• My remarks this evening are about America’s great heritage of religious liberty—and about the need for each of us to defend that heritage before it is too late. In 1790, at a time when western Europe excluded Jews from the full rights of citizenship, including the ability to hold public office, President George Washington wrote a memorable letter to the Jewish congregation in Newport, Rhode Island. They had written congratulating him on his election. In reply, Washington assured them that the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecutio
  • Paul V. Johnson
    We deal with one key aspect of the remarkable plan of salvation many times each day (in reality, many times each hour): agency, or the ability to choose for ourselves. As I was preparing these remarks, I tried to think of a comparison to convey the importance of agency in the plan of salvation. First I thought of a piece in a jigsaw puzzle. Have you ever put together a jigsaw puzzle and found out there was one missing piece? It can be frustrating, and the picture isn’t totally complete without every piece of the puzzle. But I realized that this is not analogous to agency in the plan because
  • I take my title today from D&C 88:86: “Abide ye in the liberty wherewith ye are made free.” I want to consider liberty for a moment, then observe how it is obtained, and, finally, look at how it is that we abide in it. Liberty Considered Liberty is essential to the Lord’s plan of happiness. the scriptures we see evidence of the Lord’s deep commitment to liberty. Take King Benjamin for example. He said: I have not commanded you to come up hither that ye should fear me, or that ye should think that I of myself am more than a mortal man. But I
  • I appreciate this opportunity to participate in BYU’s annual symposium on the Book of Mormon. This year you are focusing on the second book of Nephi. That book provides some of our most important doctrinal insights on the significance of free agency in the gospel plan. I have therefore chosen to speak about free agency and freedom. The scriptural terms are agency and free. When we refer to agency, we usually combine the two words and say free agency. But we sometimes use this term to refer to freedom as well as agency. And the scriptural term free sometime
  • A Memorable Event At two o’clock this afternoon, throughout all of the United States, bells of all shapes, sizes, and sounds will ring. Two hundred years ago today, at approximately two o’clock our time, delegates to the Grand Convention in Philadelphia started queuing up to sign their proposed constitution of the United States. It would still require nine months before it could really be called a constitution. This happened on 21 June 1788, when New Hampshire, the ninth state, ratified it. During that hot and humid summer of 1787, the delegates labored nearly four mo
  • I think that my biography would not be complete if I didn’t share the following with you. “One American, who was called to work with European organizations, was asked to define ‘a European.’ After some thought, the light came, and he gave this portrait: A European is someone who has the capacity of an Englishmen, the sobriety of an Irishman, the modesty of a Frenchman, the liberality of a Luxembourg-man, the prudery of a Dane, the humor of a German, the generosity of a Dutchman—briefly, it is a Belgian!” Never deny your origin! It is always quite a challenge to address such a demandi
  • It is always a difficult occasion for me to ask our Heavenly Father that I might have the Spirit to say those things that are proper at a time like this. I know that God lives. I know that Jesus is the Christ. To communicate that to others is very easy. The difficult part, for you young men and women who are about to embark on your two-year missions, is how do you get somebody else to feel that Spirit. Because this Spirit respects free agency, you cannot force somebody to believe; he has to have free agency. What does that mean in a free land? I thought today (and I will come back to
  • It is a great honor to be on this beautiful campus, which is new by the standards of universities throughout the world, on this special occasion. It is to your great credit that you seek each week to reexamine your spiritual values and their importance in your lives. I have chosen to speak to you today on the subject of “Christianity—repression or liberation?” For the past decade, students have been doing what they have been doing for centuries, examining and challenging their values. During the past ten years, it has been done, however, with greater fervor. Repression and lib
  • Daniel H. Ludlow
    It is a privilege for me, President Oaks, to be here. It is good to come back home again with friends and family and associates and colleagues. My mind goes back to the fact that I was scheduled to teach a class in this room when this building was built, and I remember the first time that I was in the room, before some of the seats were in, I had the responsibility of teaching a Book of Mormon course. I deem it a privilege, my brothers and sisters, to be asked to be here as your devotional speaker today. I consider it a great privilege to be associated with this University in any way
  • Good evening. It’s a great honor and privilege to greet you this evening—the beautiful Sabbath evening that is—in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. We meet in his name; it’s because of him that we’re here. We’re on the eve of what we call the Fourth of July. It’s altogether fitting that we consider, relative to the Fourth of July, the real meaning that is behind it. Certainly the Lord Jesus Christ is behind the Fourth of July and our celebration thereof. It’s marvelous to have just the opportunity to get together on a Sunday evening like this with so many of you. You make such a bea
  • While looking into your faces for the last twenty minutes or so, I have seen a lot of male-female combinations, which for some peculiar reason have brought to my mind the only story I know of a college freshman (who may have been registering at this University for all I know). He faced on that day the myriad of questionnaires and information items that freshmen get when they register, and somehow during the day he got one which said, among other things, “Do you believe in college marriages?” He thought about it a minute, shrugged his shoulders, and said, “Well, I guess—if the college
  • President Oaks, my beloved brethren and sisters, humbly and gratefully I approach this assignment this morning. I’m very, very happy to be back on this great campus. I cherish very much the days that I spent here as a student. I’m proud to be an alumnus of this great institution; and of all these degrees—honorary, eleven of them—I think that there’s none that I cherish more than the one from Brigham Young University. I had a glorious weekend. I’ve had the privilege of being at another of the Lord’s institutions: I was up at Ricks College, where we reorganized the two student stakes o
  • BYU Speeches Podcasts