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  • David W. Hart
    There is an ancient temple in Greece, in some foothills near the ocean, that is dedicated to the Greek god Apollo. Above the entrance of this temple, now referred to as the Oracle at Delphi, is the following well-known inscription: “Know thyself.” This simple yet profound invitation reflects an important step in our progression as human beings. Like many societies, the Greeks were concerned with existential questions, such as what it means to be human. Some of the best thinking on this subject is captured in what I argue is one of the more significant non-scriptural books in Western
  • What an awesome sight! What a remarkable collection of personal accomplishment your presence here today represents! What a memorable feeling! I thank the university for the privilege I have to be here to share it with you. For you and your families, this is clearly a high point of your lives. Events of a few years ago helped me gain an appreciation for the high points of my life. My oldest daughter, her fiancé, and I decided to climb Mount Rainier. It was something I had thought about often as a young kid growing up in Washington State, where I could always see this snow-capped mount
  • It is wonderful to be together with you this morning. I hope you have had a pleasant and productive summer because the activities of this week send an unmistakable message: Vacation is over! The time has arrived once again to engage in essential and vital tasks related to our stewardships at Brigham Young University. As we begin a new fall semester, there can be no better reminder of the fundamental purpose and mission of Brigham Young University than our theme, “Education for Eternity.” Since my arrival at BYU, each summer has been occupied in part by my growing anticipation of a ne
  • In the days and weeks following my ­appointment as academic vice president, I received many kind notes from faculty colleagues. Thank you. Your confidence means so much to me. I only hope that I can fulfill your hopes rather than confirm my doubts. Your expressions of support have made me feel like Shakespeare’s Portia: Though for myself alone I would not be ambitious in my wish To wish myself much better, yet for you, I would be trebled twenty times myself. [William Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice, act 3, scene 2, lines 150–
  • Brothers and sisters, each year I approach this assignment with some apprehension because I believe the Annual University Conference is one of the most important events of the year. It is an opportunity for the faculty, staff, and administration of Brigham Young University to gather together and reset our course, to synchronize our compasses. Since the university’s journey began well before we entered the scene and will continue long after we are gone, the directions set in these meetings are critical for us and for those who follow. I appreciate very much those in attendance today and hope
  • My beloved friends, what a delightful experience it is to look into your faces. You are here with great expectations concerning what I might say. That frightens me. You are here to get a lift from the drudgery of your studies. Whether you are in undergraduate or graduate work, the way is difficult. I know that. You made great effort to come here to BYU, and now you have discovered that it is not a piece of cake. It is hard. But the rewards are tremendous. You can grow here as you have never before grown in all of your lives. You can rise to the fullness of your potential. It is a season of
  • Before I begin my formal remarks, I would like to briefly address one separate important matter: our Code of Honor and our Dress and Grooming Standards. As an increasingly smaller percentage of Church members get the opportunity to study at BYU, there seems to be ever less justification for students to come here who violate basic principles of honesty or who deliberately break agreements they have made to gain admission. I am pleased with recent reports that serious Honor Code violations by freshmen seem to be diminishing. But casual observation would not make me quite so optimistic about d
  • I am happy to be with you today. Over the years the Brethren have had dreams and visions regarding Brigham Young University, yet such hopes and prophetic utterances are not self-executing. They are fulfilled by righteous and devoted people who make the prophecies come true. Your generation now shares in this responsibility. Part of your privilege while you are at BYU is not only to become acquainted with some of humanity’s noblest knowledge and achievements, but to participate in personal and spiritual development in this ideal setting. President David O. McKay once observed that
  • This is homecoming time, a special time for all of us to come to BYU, a time of reunion, and a time of recommitment to the “traditions of excellence” for which Brigham Young University stands. I would like to use the theme of this homecoming week for my remarks today. The Foundation We have just experienced the 154th Semiannual General Conference of the Church. Conference time itself marks a time of tradition for many of us. There are the many conference visitors from far and near, the missionary reunions, the long lines and large gatherings of people on Temple Square
  • Twenty-three years ago on this same occasion, I gave the opening prayer, in which I said: “We have met here today clothed in the black robes of a false priesthood.” Many have asked me since whether I really said such a shocking thing, but nobody has ever asked what I meant by it. Why not? Well, some knew the answer already, and as for the rest, we do not question things at the BYU. But for my own relief, I welcome this opportunity to explain: a “false priesthood?” The Explanation Why a priesthood? Because these robes originally denoted those who had taken clerical orders, an
  • I welcome you to a Christian campus where discipleship and scholarship are uniquely blended. I salute your ecclesiastical and academic leaders, so many of whom are with us tonight. They will serve you exceedingly well. My brothers and sisters, as on another occasion at this pulpit, I will speak out of my own strugglings about another unglamorous but very crucial gospel objective. Then, the subject was patience, a virtue which is regarded by some as quite pedestrian but which is essential to our development and happiness. A Companion Virtue to Patience Ou
  • President Oaks, members of the faculty, my beloved and choice young friends: I am grateful for the presence of the most important person in my life. I know that it’s not appropriate to brag about your relatives, but I’m not related to her; I’m just married to her. I have a desire this morning to be objective in what I say to you, and I think, in my desire to be objective, I also have a concern that I might not be invited back again to speak to you. I have not been privileged to attend this great institution, which memorializes the name of Brigham Young, but my interest in and concern
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