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Topic

Life


"Go Forth to Serve"

No matter what the outer conditions are, keep spirits high and just persevere. Personal righteousness, responsibility, discipline, and devotion are requirements for final achievements.

Your Learning Doesn’t End

Well, we believe in you, my dear brothers and sisters, and so does our Heavenly Father. I pray that you will follow His counsel for you throughout the eternities because He sees in you the power to become perfect and to dwell with Him eternally.

The Abundant Life

Everything the Savior did and said was for the benefit of humankind. His Atonement, His example, and His teachings—everything was to help us not only to have a more abundant life on earth but also to attain the most abundant of all life—even eternal life.

Beware the Dragons

The paths your lives take today have areas that could be marked by the phrase “Here Be Dragons” as a warning that you should and must avoid them. A firm testimony of the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ is so necessary to maintain the proper perspectives and withstand the buffetings of the adversary that can and often will bombard you from all directions.

The World at Our Doorstep

As we listen to the stories of others, we form invisible connections that bind us to our ancestors and to strangers. These connections can be both fulfilling and compelling, driving us to strengthen relationships, to develop new friendships, and, ultimately, to make the world a better place.

Persistence, Patience, and Posies

Most of our plans have bumps along the way. Your plan may include an education program that because of limited resources cannot admit all applicants. Your bump may be that you are not able to get into your program or that you have to apply to it more than once. Maybe you will find some of your courses especially challenging. This is when persistence and patience are particularly helpful.

"Hold the Banner High"

Though men’s hearts are failing them, you should take heart. There have always been challenging times. We, the generations of your predecessors, have survived daunting challenges, and so will you. The answer to all of these challenges is the same as it has always been. We have a Savior, and He has taught us what we should do.

Harvey and Howard: Lessons from Two Grandfathers

Perhaps one of my messages today is to learn from our family histories. Both Howard and Harvey were born in large families in small towns. One became an internationally known scientist, bearing his testimony to large numbers of people throughout his life and while working in New York City. The other quietly served a mission, raised a family, worked hard on a farm in Victor, Idaho, and served the Lord with all of his heart whenever called. Perhaps in the eyes of the world one was great and one was relatively obscure. However, in the eyes of the Lord, I think that both were good. Both were valiant servants of our Lord Jesus Christ throughout their lives.

Life's Two Big Questions

I will not attempt to speak for your church, but I will speak for and to mine: It is never an option to claim Jesus Christ as Savior and behave in an uncivil manner with anyone, under any circumstance. Never.

Lessons from Life’s Laboratory

I am first struck with the observation that the Savior was not distant from those whom He healed. In point of fact, He was “among” them. His healing act was personal. I am amazed that among all the creations so extensive that they cannot be numbered by man, the Lord knows us as individuals.

"Into the Burn!"

I have pondered the analogous circumstances in which many of the recorded prophets found themselves faced with commands from God that were, if anything, counterintuitive. How and why did they respond?

The Choices Before You

One of the blessings of your BYU experience is that you should be familiar with the promise of the Lord that “I will tell you in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you and which shall dwell in your heart.”

Our Journey into the Wilderness

When I return from my journey in the wilderness each year, the first thing I do, even before I get cleaned up, is call my husband on the telephone. I tell him: “I am back. I am safe. I love you.” I can only imagine that it must be like that when we return to our Heavenly Father.

Your Future

There is significant truth in the notion that much of what happens to us is unexpected and not in our control. However—and this is most vital and critical to understand—the things of greatest ultimate importance to us are largely in our control and are within the scope of our agency.

The Cycle of Becoming

This cycle of learning, doing, and becoming is literally going on in some micro or miniature form every day of our lives. That’s how we’ve become who we are today. The question then becomes “Are we where we’re supposed to be in becoming who we told our Heavenly Parents we would become?”

Great Expectations

Actually, my young friends, the period of your preparation did not begin the day you walked into your first college or university classes. It began long before you ever came to mortality, when we lived as spirit children of our Heavenly Father.

As We Face This Beginning

I’m guessing we all had various expectations as we arrived here, some outrageous and some reasonable. If your experience has been like mine, all of your expectations were not met, but I would surmise that our unmet expectations, whatever they were, brought good things to our college experiences, contributing to the people that we’ve become.

To Establish a Secure Foundation for Life

I energetically encourage you to establish a personal plan to better understand and appreciate the incomparable, eternal, infinite consequences of the perfect fulfillment by Jesus Christ of His divinely appointed calling as our Savior and Redeemer. Profound personal pondering of the scriptures accompanied by searching, heartfelt prayer will fortify your understanding of and appreciation for the Atonement.

Our Book of Life

...it is important to recognize that we are all, day by day, moment by moment, writing our book of life. Although not written on paper, the entries in this book are just as real and will have an eternal impact.

Guideposts for Life’s Journey

I testify to you today that turning away from God brings broken covenants, shattered dreams, and crushed hopes. Such a quagmire of quicksand I plead with you to avoid. You are of a noble birthright. Eternal life in the kingdom of our Father is your goal.

Live Right Now

Promptings from Heavenly Father through the Holy Ghost can help us live right now. I am grateful Heavenly Father respects perfectly our agency and at the same time—in circumstances and at times He knows best—also prompts and guides us.

Seeing Through the Generations

As you can learn to see through the generations—by looking back and by looking forward—you will see more clearly who you are and what you must become. You will better see that your place in this vast, beautiful plan of happiness is no small place. And you will come to love the Savior and depend on Him.

Beyond Baby Shampoo

Looking back upon journal entries from my freshman days at BYU, I found what I had written to sum up my year of learning: “An unconfident man will say he has no talent. A foolish man will believe him.” This idea has made a strong impression upon me.

More Than Knowledge

Perhaps the most unique thing about a BYU education is that it prizes eternal and not simply academic progression. This difference in priorities encourages both faculty and students to factor in service alongside their pursuit of knowledge.

High Expectations

We promise we will never forget you and expect that you will not forget BYU. You will demonstrate your great love for this institution and all that it represents by the way you live your life. You will live in such a way that objective observers will be able to tell that you are different—in a very positive way. They will usually not know exactly how or why, but they will appreciate the goodness and example of your life.

As You Go Forth

Establish a set of guiding principles for your life, and never compromise them. Make no exception to them. Difficulties in life begin when small deviations from true standards are made to justify a quick move to a greater accomplishment.

“Put Away Childish Things”

For any among you who have made serious mistakes and are feeling spiritually scarred, remember the words of Isaiah: “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”

Building Your Future

It is frightening to be asked to speak to you today. It is even more frightening when I hear those who have sacred callings in the Church—those much closer to the Spirit than I—acknowledge the great responsibility they feel when asked to speak at a BYU devotional. I don’t know that I will say anything profound today, but I will tell you a few things I have learned from others…

Have No Regrets

I am deeply humbled to be in communication with you tonight. You are some of the most choice, righteous, and devoted of Father in Heaven’s children on earth. I have had the personal privilege of being with many of you in different locations throughout the world. I am most grateful for this opportunity to share another experience with you tonight. You represent the flower of the youth of the Church.…

After the "Y"— What Then?

Since I am a relative newcomer to BYU and somewhat unfamiliar with its traditions, when I initially received the invitation to give this devotional address, instinctively the thought went through my mind, “Wow, maybe they think that I haven’t been working hard enough and this is the punishment!” A few moments reflection, however, convinced me that this invitation was an honor, although I can’t help thinking that the punishment is…

Therefore Choose Life

In the thirtieth chapter of Deuteronomy we read, “I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life” (19). With these words Moses challenged the children of Israel to renew their covenant with the Lord. We may have heard the same words earnestly addressed to us by parents, teachers, and church leaders. We know what they mean. Or do we? Perhaps we could gain by pondering…

Making Memories

Sensing the importance of this occasion and knowing how valuable your time is, I have decided to speak upon a subject that is vastly important to all of us—that of making memories. Early Times It was forty-eight years ago that my brother and I arrived in this beautiful valley from Chicago, Illinois, and enrolled as freshman at BYU. We were two bewildered young men as we gazed at those majestic…

Them That Love Him

I would like to thank the choir for their beautiful musical number “Let the Mountains Shout for Joy.” They couldn’t have chosen a song that I would have enjoyed more. You see, I collect mountains. I treasure them. I think it began by being raised at the foot of Timpanogos on the Wasatch side (that is where you can see the sleeping princess). I love that mountain and everywhere I…

The Hope of Tomorrow

My brothers and sisters, I feel almost as if I should look in the coffin to see if I am there. I am grateful for Brother Haycock’s kindness. I assure you it was overdone. I congratulate you young students who have the good fortune to be students at this great university. I am grateful that several of our grandchildren are with you. It is sixty-eight years this month since I…

God Is the Gardener

Whatever undertakings may demand of you and of your attention, I tell you, young men and young women, you cannot make a better resolution today than this: “I am going to keep close to the Lord. I am going to understand Him better, and, understanding Him, I will understand myself and will try to put my life into harmony with His.”