• 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
  • Play Through Your Mistakes Music has always been a very important part of my life. Nearly every major memory of my childhood involves music of some kind: singing with my family on road trips to pass the time; learning barbershop music with my mom and sisters; listening to the Tijuana Brass band on the record player while decorating our Christmas tree; singing my father’s favorite song, “Love at Home” (see Hymns, 2002, no. 294), for family home evening; and admiring my mother as she played the organ in our sacrament meeting every week—something she still does at the yo
  • This is my first opportunity to address you in a devotional as president of the university. Let me begin by telling you, “You look really good.” That is different from being good-looking, though you are that as well. I hope that each of you has some inkling of the spirit you carry with you and the light that radiates from you. It is evident to visitors to the campus—who sometimes struggle to come up with words to describe what they see and feel in your presence. I thank each of you for your individual contribution to what is the real Spirit of the Y that those who come on campus experience
  • Elder David B. Haight once told this story: James Peter Fugal was an honest man! He herded sheep much of his life in the rolling hills of Idaho—both his own sheep and sheep for others. On one bitterly cold winter night, he was herding sheep for another man when a blizzard set in. The sheep bunched together, as sheep do, in the corner of a fenced area, and many died. Many other sheep on surrounding ranches also died that same night because of the weather. Though the death of the sheep was no fault of his, James Fugal felt responsible and spent the next several years work
  • John S. Robertson
    Let me introduce my subject with a brief story. A month or so ago, on a Saturday morning, my wife, Barbara, was busy finishing a baptismal dress for a neighbor girl, and the house was in need of a good picking up and vacuuming. The need was there, so I did what I frequently do in such situations: I pressed the children into service. Unfortunately, I sometimes become grouchy when cleaning house. I noticed, however, that every time I asked my 12-year-old son Matt to do a job, he always responded with a smile and a genuinely cheery face. He was apparently trying to overcome my grouchiness by s
  • Jacob de Jager
    Here is a story that I would like to share with you. The closing speaker at a stake conference was a General Authority. He had talked for about ten minutes when all of a sudden, from way back in the chapel, came a five-year-old boy strolling down the aisle. The boy was all dressed up by his mother for the occasion in gray slacks, a white shirt, and a red bow tie, and his hair was sticking up in the air with a lot of “greasy kid stuff.” This dapper young man came down the aisle and stopped right in front of the pulpit. He looked up at the speaker and said, “You talk too loud.” Then he turned
  • I always feel inadequate when responding to an invitation to speak to a group such a this. I commend you for the interest you have in self-improvement that has brought you to the BYU campus for the special activities associated with Campus Education Week. It has been my sincere desire in preparing for the remarks I will share with you today to deal with matters that will be relevant and of some practical value for you. I recognize the need I have for the blessings of the Spirit, and I have earnestly prayed for that blessing on my own behalf as well as for you. We Are Still Short
  • The late Samuel Johnson once said, “There’s nothing like an imminent hanging to concentrate the mind upon a single idea!” For the past several weeks my mind has focused upon a central theme which I would like to share with you today. Inasmuch as speakers generally learn more than listeners, I need to improve my life in a number of ways, so I’ve chosen to speak to the topic “Having a Form of Godliness.” Above the desk in my office are a number of photographs which are very significant to me. One of them is a picture of the Provo Temple taken at night. The illuminated golden spire of t
  • I am very grateful indeed for this recognition. Thank you for the Exemplary Manhood Award. I recognized, when you stood and sang “We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet” as I came into this building this morning, that you are here to recognize the leadership of the Church you love so much and not me personally. I accept your tribute in that vein. This is a very kind remembrance, and I’ll try to continue to use it and profit by it. Thank you very much. My beloved brothers and sisters, young and older, it is a real privilege to meet with you on this occasion in this great edifice.
  • Lael J. Woodbury
    Thank you, President Lewis, so very much for that generous introduction. Thank you, Brother Downs, for that beautiful music. Thank you, my brothers and sisters, for sharing this hour with me. The introduction made me reflect back on my life. Many of the events mentioned in it sound better in the telling than in the doing, but I’m grateful that they would be mentioned. What We See Versus What We Know I had an experience the other morning that has resonated in my mind since that time. My son, for some reason, kind of got the missionary spirit and decided he’d do some th
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