• I am very happy to be with you today. As a graduate of BYU, may I pass along some advice as you begin a new semester or as you begin your college career? I have two daughters here today who fall into those categories. Tori Strong is a senior beginning a new semester. Tanne Cait Griffith is a freshman starting her college career. I will say to all of you what I have said many times to them: make attending devotional and forum assemblies the backbone of your academic week. Sometime soon after I arrived on campus to begin my studies forty years ago, I read an interview of an upperclassm
  • 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
  • This morning I want to talk to you about a very important relationship that exists between, on the one hand, our lives, our practices, and our beliefs as participants in the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and, on the other, the Constitution of the United States. In one sense, this topic is a timeless one, because the Restoration and the Constitution trace their beginnings almost to the same point in time, and over the intervening two centuries have grown and flourished side by side. And yet, in another sense, the subject is not only timely, but also time-driven. Today’s devotional i
  • Welcome back to school. As Sister Holland has said, we love you and miss you when you are away, and we are praying for you to have a bright and beautiful year together. Work hard. Learn much. Make your opportunities count. And do come in on time at night, but don’t come by our house to tell us. Another Election Year This first semester of our brand-new academic year, it should be duly noted, is going to be spiced up by a national presidential election. It is now the first week of September, the conventions are over, and we have nine weeks to the day to g
  • 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
  • As I pondered what I should discuss with you tonight, I asked myself the question, “If I were you sitting where you are, and you were me standing where I am, what would I like to have you talk about?” I concluded that I would like you to talk about a principle that you understand now that you did not understand (but wish you had) when you were a student. That thought has prompted my subject this evening. Years ago, Dr. Asael Woodruff, who at the time was the dean of the College of Education here at BYU, addressed the Sunday School General Board on the subject of concepts. He t
  • Thank you very much, President. This is a great opportunity, brethren and sisters, and a great responsibility. I’m honored to have the invitation to say a few words about the political life and thought of President J. Reuben Clark. I have here my opinion of him that appears in the book Stand Fast by Our Constitution. I’ll not have time to read it to you, but before I start on my assigned theme I would like to say just a word about President Clark as a kind, thoughtful, generous man and a congenial companion. I don’t know anyone who was more thoughtful of us who worked under hi
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