Speeches by Topic Topics | Individual Worth

  • I am so excited to be here speaking to all of you. I know it might make me seem a little weird that I want to speak in front of thousands of ­people, but that is okay. I know I am a little weird. All my life I have enjoyed being an individual who is different from those around me. I am over six feet tall, but I still wear heels so I can be even taller. As a volleyball player, on long flights to away games I would sit cramped in my seat doing my calculus homework while my teammates teased me for being a nerd. I still find “your mom” jokes hilarious and will laugh loud enough that
  • Six years ago President Dieter F. Uchtdorf gave a profound conference talk entitled “You Matter to Him.”1 In his talk he explained that God is the Creator of all things and yet is concerned about each one of us individually. Today I would like to build upon President Uchtdorf’s topic and title my remarks “BYU Matters to Him.” However, I would like to redefine the acronym for Brigham Young University as B-Y-You, as in you (y-o-u). Thus the title of my address is “B-Y-You Matter to Him.” This past semester one of my students submitted the following account. With her p
  • Diane Strong-Krause
    When I tell people I am a faculty member in the Department of Linguistics and English Language, I am often asked, “How many languages do you speak?” Or they may react and say, “Oh, I’d better watch my grammar.” While it is true that linguists study language, they study it in many different ways, not just by learning languages or by watching for grammar mistakes. I would like to give you a taste of what some of the linguists in our department and college do. A few of my colleagues study and describe lesser-known languages—some that are spoken in North America, such as the Ute and Sali
  • Kristin L. Matthews
    Good morning, friends. A few months ago I had the opportunity to travel to Italy for the first time. While there I saw art created by the great masters: Michelangelo, Botticelli, Fra Angelico, and many others. In Milan I was able to see the famed The Last Supper of Leonardo da Vinci. This mural is in the refectory of the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie, and to see it one must purchase tickets ahead of time and wait for one’s fifteen minutes with the painting. When my time drew near, I was corralled with twenty-four others into a waiting area, guided through two air-locked chamber
  • When I received the call to give a devotional, I accepted the invitation, got off the phone, and knew immediately what—at least some part of what—I would be speaking about today. Then I second-guessed this first impression and considered a whole variety of intellectually provoking things that I might talk about, and I realized that, whatever interesting ideas I might have, they were not the things the Lord was trying to inspire me to speak about. Maggie, who just offered the prayer, left me a note from some students who had taken a Freshmen Academy class from me a couple of years ago
  • In his much-quoted talk on dating versus hanging out, Elder Dallin H. Oaks said: A message given by a General Authority at a general conference . . . is given to be heard under the influence of the Spirit of the Lord, with the intended result that the listener learns from the talk and from the Spirit what he or she should do about it. [“The Dedication of a Lifetime,” CES fireside for young adults, Oakland, California, 1 May 2005; emphasis in original] No one is more aware than your speaker today that you are not, in this gathering, listening to a General Authorit
  • Sally H. Barlow
    A foundation of self-knowledge about our divine identity is critical to us. And it appears to be critical to God, since he wants us back: “For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39). God spends a great deal of time talking about our divine identity through his prophets in the scriptures. In fact, he communicates his love of our individual differences in a number of ways. Witness the canon of scripture in the synoptic Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. They tell essentially the same story of the divinity of Jesus Christ. B
  • I am so happy to be able to share some ideas with you today that I know have been directed by Heavenly Father. I pray that the Spirit of the Lord will help me communicate the thoughts I have received, according to the desire of the Lord. What a blessing this assignment has been to me. I want to borrow a term I first heard at a workshop conducted by the Franklin Institute, now Franklin Covey. They introduced me to the concept of the belief window, which I have identified with ever since. I can still visualize a clear window suspended in front of the eyes of a cartoon face, illu
  • This is an inspiring sight—even a thrill—to look over this vast congregation. President Bateman and I welcome all of you to the 1997 fall semester at Brigham Young University. We hope all of you are happy to be here. We also hope that you appreciate the privilege it is to be at BYU. We are confident that each of you has determined in your mind and heart to live a life consistent with the honor code to which you have signed your name. Your honor and integrity are at stake. Abraham Lincoln said, “Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith let us to the end dare to do o
  • I am grateful for the opportunity to speak with you, because I have a hint as to who you are and what you will become. I have also fallen in love with this university, its students, and its mission to balance the sacred and the secular. President Bateman indicated earlier this semester that this balance “is at the core of this institution’s existence” (Merrill J. Bateman, “The Mission of Brigham Young University,” Addresses Delivered at the 1996 Annual University Conference,August 26–27, 1996, p. 10). A student friend recently asked me how I balance the sacred and the secular
  • Thank you, President Snow, for that introduction. It is a thrill for me to think of you in so many settings. I have tremendous respect for you, the work you are doing, and the decisions you are making at this time in life. If I have ever visited with any of you in the past, perhaps you noticed that my name has changed. I was married in April to a wonderful man who had also lost his spouse. I am appreciative that not only did President Snow use the correct name, but he also pronounced it correctly. Has anyone ever mispronounced your name? I would guess that even though we each try to
  • Eighteen days ago our daughter-in-law Sharon gave birth to twin boys, James and John. As you can imagine, there was much rejoicing the morning they were born. Excited and loving grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends all lined up in front of the hospital nursery window, marveling at the beautiful little faces and perfect little bodies. “Are they identical?” we all asked. The preliminary tests were inconclusive, which of course only made us more curious. We stared at them, placed side by side, and compared them from their ears down to their toes. Was one lighter, darker, fatter, thi
  • Francis M. Gibbons
    We are all alike, and yet so very different. This truth reflects one of the most unusual aspects of the Creation, that there should be such wide diversity in the midst of apparent uniformity. For example, as I look out over this vast audience, it is impossible for me to differentiate among the sea of faces. It reminds me somewhat of the jest of one of our Japanese friends who said, “The trouble with you Occidentals is that you all look alike.” But if I were to dismount the stand and walk toward the back of the building, as I drew near, the differences would be readily apparent in the
  • Daniel H. Ludlow
    Introduction by Dr. B. West Belnap Dr. Daniel H. Ludlow is well known to our faculty and many members of the student body. Three years ago, because of his excellent teaching, he was greatly honored by the students in being selected as the Professor of the Year at Brigham Young University. In 1955 Professor Ludlow received a doctor of education degree from Columbia University and has nearly completed all requirements for a second doctor’s degree from Indiana University. Last winter he took his written and oral examinations, passing with the highest score in h
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