• President Worthen, distinguished guests, parents, friends, and members of the Brigham Young University class of 2019: Congratulations on this important day, and thank you for this incredible honor. With this honorary degree, I am proud to say that I am finally a real member of the BYU community. I have to confess that, up to this point, I have only ever impersonated a member of the BYU community. I know that sounds bad, so let me explain. Several years ago I came to this beautiful place, to BYU, to deliver a lecture. My wonderful hosts sent me home with a ton of branded
  • Lawrence C. Walters
    We live in exciting times. Over 180 years ago the Lord said, “I will hasten my work in its time.”1 On every hand we hear from Church leaders and see evidence that now is that time. From temple construction to family history to conversion to reactivation, the pace is quickening. And the young adults of the Church are central to virtually every aspect of this hastening of the work. However, this stone is not rolling forth without resistance.2 These are exciting times, but they are also described as “perilous times.”3 Just as the hastening is taking plac
  • Brothers and sisters, colleagues and friends, it is always a pleasure to meet together in the BYU Annual University Conference. Each summer at BYU has been for me—and I hope for you as well—a season for both reflection and refreshment. Not that it is entirely free time, because it is not. Life, with its many attendant responsibilities and tasks, goes on, and we go along with it. However, it is a time when some of the pace of fall and winter semesters slackens just a little and we—figuratively, at least—gird up our loins for the expectations and excitement of another academic year. Ou
  • I am honored and humbled by this invitation. I pray for the Lord’s blessings that I may convey well to you the message I have and that you might receive it in the spirit by which it was prepared. I have titled these remarks “Accountable Citizenship,” a topic discussed in section 134 of the Doctrine and Covenants, the section about which I want to talk to you today. But I want to introduce you to that section with some preliminary thoughts, starting with some thoughts about agency. Agency Beyond life itself, agency is God’s greatest gift to his children. In the absence
  • Democracy is on trial in America. Expert and ordinary opinion converges on a sober recognition: we live in an age of political resentment and withdrawal from civic life. What can be done to revivify American democracy? Some propose electronic solutions—technological means to register instantly the popular will—but others, myself included, see in the proposed solution a deepening of our current troubles. Why? Because democracy is not and has never been primarily a means whereby popular will is tabulated and enacted but, rather, a political world within which citizens deliberate, negotiate, c
  • On the seventeenth day of September 1987, we commemorate the two-hundredth birthday of the Constitutional Convention, which gave birth to the document that Gladstone said is “the most wonderful work ever struck off at a given time by the brain and purpose of man” (William Ewart Gladstone: Life and Public Services, ed. Thomas W. Handford [Chicago: The Dominion Co., 1899], p. 323). I heartily endorse this assessment, and today I would like to pay honor—honor to the document itself, honor to the men who framed it, and honor to the God who inspired it and made possible its coming
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