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  • I join Peggy in welcoming you to the new school year. For some of you, including an unprecedented number of returned missionaries, this will be your first semester as full-time students at BYU. Others are back for another round. For all, it is a wonderful time of new opportunities, challenges, and, we hope, optimism. As Peggy mentioned, the women’s volleyball and soccer teams are both ranked nationally. The men’s and women’s cross-­country teams both won their first meets. And this past weekend the football team demonstrated that Book of Mormon scriptures apply to our times. Read Moroni 7:2
  • My dear young brothers and sisters, Kristen and I feel privileged to be with you on this significant occasion. We meet on 9/11, the tenth anniversary of an event that has profoundly influenced our lives and thinking and will do so for many years to come. It is forever associated with the Twin Towers. I have felt impressed to speak this evening about another set of twins, the twin ideas of Truth and Tolerance. These subjects were not chosen because they are uniquely your concern as young adults, like the dating, hanging out, and marriage I described to this audience some years ago. My
  • President Samuelson; trustees, faculty, and staff of Brigham Young University; honored guests; parents; family members; and graduates: My dear brothers and sisters, Sister Christofferson and I offer our congratulations, respect, and love to all of you. We thank you for the privilege of being with you on this grand occasion and rejoice with you in the achievements that we honor today. We are pleased to have been authorized to convey to you the greetings of President Thomas S. Monson, his counselors in the First Presidency, and the members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. We extend those
  • I offer you a warm greeting on this cold January day. Two years ago, in January, President Gordon B. Hinckley spoke to the leaders of the Church around the world, both men and women. Commenting on current conditions, he said: No one need tell you that we are living in a very difficult season in the history of the world. . . . . . . I do not know that things were worse in the times of Sodom and Gomorrah. At that season, Abraham bargained with the Lord to save these cities for the sake of the righteous. Notwithstanding his pleas, things were so bad that Jehovah decreed
  • Your Turn Imagine with me a scene from the premortal existence. The time is about two decades ago, plus or minus a few years. We see an eager spirit at the front window watching the mailbox located out by the street. The mailman arrives and a delivery is made. The spirit rushes out to the mailbox with great anticipation that a long-awaited letter has been delivered. Plowing through the usual junk mail and monthly statements, we see a large white envelope. This may be it! Eagerly the letter is opened. Your name and address heads the letter. You read on: “Greetings! You
  • This responsibility to speak to you never gets any easier for me. I think it gets more difficult as the years go by. I grow a little older, the world and its litany of problems get a little more complex, and your hopes and dreams become evermore important to me the longer I am at BYU. Indeed, your growth and happiness and development in the life you are now living and in the life you will be living in the days and decades ahead are the central and most compelling motivation in my daily professional life. I care very much about you now and forever. Everything I know to do at BYU i
  • Most Dear and Precious My dear brothers and sisters, what a thrill it is to look out over this congregation. I so much appreciate the collective power of righteousness that you represent. In this dispensation the Lord reiterated the commandment given at Sinai when He said, “Thou shalt not . . . commit adultery, . . . nor do anything like unto it” (D&C 59:6; emphasis added). From the beginning of time, the Lord has set a clear and unmistakable standard of sexual purity. It always has been, it is now, and it always will be the same. That standard is the law o
  • Sister Holland and I are delighted to welcome you back to BYU for a new school year. We especially welcome those who are with us for the first time, whether as freshman, transfer students, or those simply seeking good, solid catastrophic insurance coverage. Welcome one and all. We want you to have the best year ever. Reminders from the Past Even as we greet you at the university, however, I am aware that at least one writer believes most of what you need to know was suggested to you more than a dozen years ago. Given the costs of a university education, such an assert
  • Jeff: Before we begin today, I want to put down a widespread rumor. Unfortunately, former BYU president Dallin Oaks and I will not be presenting a live rock concert this month. We know how much you want us, and we know that no other university can claim a rock group out of its last two presidents, but I’m sorry. Holland-Oaks (Hall and Oates) cannot work it into their schedules this fall. Please try not to be too disappointed. Pat: If you think having a rock star for a president is strange, you ought to try being married to him! Jeff: For those of yo
  • David O. McKay Graduates, fellow students, patrons of the Brigham Young University: It has been my privilege to introduce a number of great men to audiences, but I can say truly that I have never felt the joy in introducing a speaker to an audience that I experience at this moment in announcing to you, as the commencement speaker, Mr. Cecil B. DeMille. Thomas Carlyle, in his Heroes and Hero Worshippers, expressed this thought: Great Men, taken up in any way, are profitable company. We cannot look, however imperfectly, upon a great man, without gaining
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