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  • Marcia and I are so delighted to be here with you today at this commencement celebration. From the bottom of our hearts, we congratulate all of you on this wonderful accomplishment in your life. It is no small thing to meet all the requirements for graduation and to make it to this place today. You should acknowledge your parents, spouses, siblings, children, and friends who have supported you during this quest for education. My hope is that this day will be a day of celebration, a day of gratitude, and a day when your thoughts will be focused on the wonderful future that lies ahead of you.
  • A funny thing happened to me on the way to these services. Just to make sure I wasn’t late, I started out for Provo more than two weeks ago. And boy, is it a good thing I did. I am not sure where I made the wrong turn, but the next thing I knew I was seeing road signs that said Jerusalem, Nairobi, Bangalore, and Hong Kong! My goodness, it has taken me all I could do to finally get here. And the unusual thing about this is that it was President Russell M. Nelson who was giving me advice on the route I should take. I wonder if that is the way he always gets people from Salt Lake to Pro
  • When I was fifteen years old, I worked on a sod farm located close to where the Payson Utah Temple now stands. To cut the sod, we used a harvester that weighed about fourteen tons. One day I was assigned to work with my high school classmate on the back of the harvester. We were moving the harvester from one end of the field to another. I was walking alongside the slow-moving harvester, and I attempted to jump up onto the platform to sit next to my friend. I misjudged my jump and landed only partway on the platform. I lost my balance and fell in front of the double set of dual wheels
  • I am pleased for the opportunity to speak at this BYU devotional. The first BYU devotional I addressed was exactly forty-five years ago, in 1971. That audience included my oldest daughter, just enrolling as a freshman here. Many years later I spoke at this devotional assembly to an audience that included several of my grandchildren. Today this audience includes our oldest great-granddaughter, a ­sophomore here. Time goes on. I. This opportunity comes at a unique time. I am the only General Authority assigned to address this BYU audience between the
  • Alan Harker
    I would like to share one personal observation: I have been associated with seven different universities over the course of my career. In my experience, there is nothing even remotely similar at any of those other institutions to what we are doing here today. It is remarkable what we do here each Tuesday morning. We share our testimonies and we share our experiences, and I am grateful for what I have learned from all of you as I have attended devotionals over the last twenty-two years. What I add today to that library of devotional wisdom is not new. I am acutely aware that I am mere
  • Steven M. Glover
    Good morning, my brothers and sisters. Thank you for being here today. I pray that we may share some insights that will lift and encourage our spirits and help us in our pursuit of excellence. My message is based on a statement made by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland back in the fall of 1981, when he stated: “The opportunity of a lifetime has to be taken in the lifetime of the opportunity” (“Virtus et Veritas,” in BYU 1981–82 Fireside and Devotional Speeches [Provo: Brigham Young University, 1982], p. 12). This morning let us look at opportunity in light of faith, opposition, and friendly s
  • President and Sister Uchtdorf, Elder Cardon, President and Sister Samuelson, all of the other distinguished Brethren from Salt Lake, all of the faculty and staff, students, friends, and family: There are some of you who will remember the classic children’s story Winnie-the-Pooh. As you recall, Pooh had a very unique way of going down stairs. He would go bump, bump, bump, bump down the stairs on the back of his head. According to one telling of the story, one day Christopher Robin asked Pooh why he always went down stairs on the back of his head when it must really hurt. Pooh’s
  • Nothing is more beautiful than the beginning of a new life. I cried and rejoiced at the birth of each of our four children. A new baby is so beautiful, so sweet, so tender. At such moments, the veil between mortality and eternity seems almost transparent, and the love of God is unmistakable. Likewise, I rejoice and get a little teary every time I witness a renewal of spiritual life. How beautiful, how sweet, how tender it is to see the heart changed, the lost found, and the blind restored to sight. Though we may not understand how it happens, we know why—because God loves His childre
  • I wish to thank President Samuelson, Academic Vice President Tanner, and Advancement Vice President Worthen for the opportunity to speak today. I am grateful for these devotionals and the occasion they give us to explore what it means to be a community of faith as well as a community of reason. I want to express my gratitude for the beautiful music and to Megan Grant and Suzanne Disparte for their prayers. They are two of my research assistants who prop me up on a daily basis; so it is entirely fitting that they do the same thing here. I want to also acknowledge my father and stepmother; my
  • I am grateful to be with you today. I know that I am in the presence of a most outstanding group of young people—you who are earnestly striving to achieve in both your spiritual and temporal lives. As I look into your faces, I see goodness, optimism, determination, and hope for the future. I am particularly grateful to be with you at such an important time when you are preparing for your life that will shortly go beyond the safety and sanctuary of school—a life that some of you may see as bleak and concerning and that others will see as full of excitement and opportunity. As I pondered and 
  • David L. Kooyman
    Having a hope in Christ is a theme woven throughout the scriptures. The word hope can imply a simple wish, or it can suggest a declaration founded upon experience and knowledge. The Apostle Paul said, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). The hope that Paul describes is much richer than and different from a mere wish. Rather, it is related to knowledge, and it leads to a life of diligence. If we take a difficult class and put forth little effort to study or prepare for exams and assignments, we might say, “I hope I get an A
  • This morning, as most of you know, one of the greatest tragedies that has occurred on the mainland of the United States took place. Thousands of lives have been lost, and thousands have been injured. The most important counsel that we can give this morning, I believe, is threefold. The first is there is no reason to fear for our lives or the lives of our loved ones if they weren’t in those towers or the Pentagon. We suspect the terrorists are hoping for panic. With the exception again of the Pentagon and the World Trade Center, we believe there are no other areas of danger. Se
  • There is a lesson in the Prophet Joseph Smith’s account of the First Vision that virtually everyone in this audience has had occasion to experience, or one day soon will. It is the plain and very sobering truth that before great moments, certainly before great spiritual moments, there can come adversity, opposition, and darkness. Life has some of those moments for us, and occasionally they come just as we are approaching an important decision or a significant step in our life. In the marvelous account that we read too seldom, Joseph said he had scarcely begun his prayer when he felt
  • Geoffrey J. Germane
    Brothers and sisters, though I consider it a great privilege to speak to you today, perhaps I have never been so much aware of my personal inadequacy to deliver something of value to you without the help of the Lord. I only hope that together we can accomplish the purposes of a devotional assembly at BYU. To borrow a scriptural reference from my friend Andrew Skinner, which sums up my feelings since being asked a few weeks ago to participate, the prophet Ezra said, “And when I heard this thing, I rent my garment and my mantle, and plucked off the hair of my head and of my beard, and sat dow
  • Sister Nelson and I extend greetings for a happy New Year to all of you. At this fireside for college-age youth, thousands are with us on the campus of Brigham Young University. Elsewhere, many are participating via satellite transmission, including congregations assembled in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and other locations in the Caribbean area. Having recently visited Saints in those islands, we are grateful to greet you once again. In Santo Domingo, we stood on the site where a new temple will be built. There we envisioned the day when you may enter that holy house and receive al
  • It is a wonderful privilege for me to be with all of the students and young adults gathered here in the Marriott Center tonight and in many other locations throughout North America. I am also aware that videotapes of these firesides will be sent to many of our international areas where English, Spanish, and French are spoken. I am thrilled that modern technology allows us to reach out to so many of you marvelous young people at a time when the Church is growing very rapidly. The General Authorities of the Church have great confidence in you and have a genuine desire to stay in touch
  • I want to visit with you this evening on a level that is both mutually understandable and mutually profitable. In order for that to happen I ask for your faith and prayers on behalf of all of us, that what is said and what is heard will be influenced and touched by the Spirit of God. I appreciate that. (It’s good to pray for one another; it helps everyone.) The subject I wish to speak on is one that I hope you will appreciate. I know I do. It is simply this: there is always hope. I have read and heard from different psychologists and teachers that we must hear something at lea
  • I would like to be quite personal this morning—personal about you and personal about myself. I have thought about you a great deal over the past few weeks and have prayed to know what might be helpful to you. In doing so I have been drawn back to my own days as a student and some of the challenges I faced then. While such experiences now border on primitive history, fit only for a geology lecture, I’m nevertheless going ahead. I have wondered if some of your experiences and feelings might even now be very much the same. I come this morning knowing the semester is nearly over and that
  • This is always a wonderful sight, my young brothers and sisters, and I am delighted to have this opportunity to come back. I extend my appreciation to Bishop Vern Law for his thoughtful and spiritual invocation. I have had the opportunity many times to travel the world in the sports environment, and I have found that Bishop Law had done this Church and this University proud. I am honored to be here with him and with you. I always feel comfortable here. You are my friends, and I appreciate that. You ought to know in all sincerity that it does not always exist around the Church, althou
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