• Christmas is coming. But so are final exams. So, while Christmas is coming, stress is already here. Years ago, when my wife, Kathy, and I were in your place, the schedule was a bit different. The fall semester ended in January, and finals came after the Christmas holiday. We would all dutifully take a suitcase or box of books home with us or wherever we were going for the Christmas break. We had every intention of devoting hours to studying for finals in addition to celebrating Christmas. Of course we never cracked a book. Rather, we just felt guilty the whole time, and it ruined
  • I am grateful to be with you on this cold December morning. I pray that the warmth of the Spirit will bless us that we might be edified during our few moments together. Today I want to talk with you about the greatest story ever told—and one of its less obvious but most important themes. You could probably recite much of this story by heart. It occupies little more than a page of scripture. It begins with the familiar duty of paying taxes. It continues with a journey that was not unusual for the time. The plot thickens when no room can be found “in the inns”;1 it culminate
  • Scott E. Ferrin
    In conclusion, brothers and sisters—the Plausible Evasion Research Institute, an institute I made up, has found that “in conclusion” is the most welcome phrase for most audiences, after “there will be refreshments after this meeting.” So, in conclusion, I love Christmas and I love BYU devotionals. I am grateful to be with you, and my older siblings, graduates of BYU, are here, having traveled from Arizona and Idaho. They must have thought I was graduating today. I’m not saying my older siblings are old, but there were no history classes on campus when they attended, just current events. The
  • Beloved students, faculty, and friends of Brigham Young University, you are a marvelous sight, and Susan and I are honored and full of gratitude to be with you today. We always feel tender feelings when we return to Brigham Young University, as this is where we met and were engaged. We met in a religion class called Your Religious Problems. I have forgotten many of the details of the class, but I do know that whatever my religious problem was, she solved it, and whatever her problem was, well, I hope I solved it too. In a very short while your final exams will end and you will return
  • With Christmas only a fortnight away, thoughts turn to our homes and families. Sister Nelson and I enjoy many Christmas traditions. On our mantle over the fireplace we display a small framed photograph of each member of the family. With 10 children, their spouses, and 54 grandchildren, that’s quite a flock of photos. We have been doing this for so long that most of the pictures are no longer current. The children scramble to find their own pictures among the many. They also admire Sister Nelson’s large assortment of dolls collected from various countries throughout the world. Those d
  • When Elder F. Enzio Busche was attempting to make a telephone call from Frankfurt, Germany, on December 5, 1995, he accidentally pushed the wrong button and was connected to Elder Dean L. Larsen at 7:00 a.m. Elder Larsen asked how things were going. Elder Busche replied by saying, “It is hard to imagine how much we are learning from our experiences in Russia.” Recently he had visited in Moscow with the mission president there, who had several branches under his direction. He had written to each branch, wanting to know what they were going to do to celebrate Christmas. Each branch president
  • Thank you, President Holland. I am delighted to be here with you. I pray that I may have the blessings of the Spirit so that I can say something useful to you. A father asked me yesterday to advise him about giving a Christmas gift to his daughter. He just can’t decide whether or not to give this gift, or how to give it. His daughter is a college student; she may even be listening today. Her hectic life of school activities is made even harder because she doesn’t have a car. She begs rides, and she sometimes misses appointments. Her dad doesn’t have enough money for another car, at l
  • President and Sister Holland, President Dalton and all stake presidents, President and Sister Joe Christensen of the Missionary Training Center, it is a joy and privilege to meet with you this evening. What an impressive sight to look upon this vast assembly of students, stake and ward leaders, and missionaries. President Kimball made a special request that I extend to each of you his love and greetings. I pray for divine inspiration that I may say—that you may hear—the thoughts that are in my heart; that we may be spiritually in tune as we discuss eternal principles and oblig
  • I am very honored to be traveling today with Elder Kikuchi, who is at Church headquarters, becoming better acquainted with his work across the world before he returns to his home and family in Tokyo and to whatever assignment he will then receive. He is a wonderful, choice, special servant of the Lord, and it will be a happy day when you get to know him a little better and feel the warmth and strength of his spirit. We are honored that he would come with us today as part of his introduction to the big frightening world of being a General Authority. I had you in mind a week ago today
  • I think when I received the assignment to come here I still had visions of College Hall. I don’t know that I’ve been at an assembly at Brigham Young University since. It’s quite overpowering. I don’t know whether I should say this or not, in view of the black-and-white-clothes brigade over there, but in our experience with missionaries we had the custom of assigning those who arrived newly in the field to speak at a street meeting on the evening of their first day in the mission field. Their usual reaction was to shudder with the feeling that the most fearsome thing that could happen
  • It’s an honor to be here. Although my present competence is geared more to a first-position version of “Flow Gently, Sweet Afton,” my years with the violin so long ago perhaps qualify me to express deep gratitude and some appreciation for that magnificent music. I am thankful. It had occurred to me that I might talk today about a subject such as voluntary compliance with established standards, but I drove here on the freeway. I think I won’t discuss that subject today. Instead, I’d like to talk to you about the season. I am aware that examinations are dead ahead and would hope that i
  • The time is drawing near when books will be closed and hearts and thoughts turned toward home. Like the shepherds of old who journeyed to the manger marked by the star, many of you will travel to a place where a special star hangs over your home—a holy place, a place where love and confidence increase with the years. Christmas is a busy season. Streets and stores are filled with people making last-minute preparations. Travelers on the highways increase, airports are crowded—all Christianity seems to come to life with music, lights, and festive decorations. A writer has said:
  • I drove here today in a snowstorm, and my thoughts turned to the season of the year in which we find ourselves—a season that can be so meaningful if we will but let it be. As I heard my little son last evening stand before the fireplace and recite what he thought was a new poem, I was reminded that this is the Christmas season. “Daddy, I’ve learned a new poem,” he said, “and I’d like to teach it to you. I know you’ll like it.” The poem that he then recited commenced: ’Twas the night before Christmas, when all throug
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