• Over the past several decades my wife, Lisa, faithfully stood at our door to send our children off as they left our home for school. Without exception, she would call to them—usually in her pajamas—and say, “Stand up straight, smile, and remember who you are! You’re a Richardson, a child of God!” Without taking a breath, she would then say our family motto: “Reverence. Respect. Responsibility. Resourcefulness.” And then, with the excitement of a cheerleader, she would roll her arms and say the final word: “Reeesolve.” Oh, but wait, she wasn’t quite finished. She would c
  • Sister Virginia U. Jensen, then first counselor in the general Relief Society presidency, spoke to the Faculty Women’s Association at BYU in January of this year. She recalled the first time she had to give a talk in the Tabernacle on Temple Square. She noted that she had never had a desire to speak in the Tabernacle. I guess that is how I feel about my experience today. I have never really wanted to give a devotional speech at BYU. I take heart in the promise given in 1 Corinthians 2:3: “And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.” I want to begin by telling
  • In just a few months all of us will experience a first that is rare in the history of humankind. We will enter a new millennium. As we approach the end of the 20th century, the torch of enlightenment shines brighter than ever. The opportunity to learn of intellectual and spiritual truths has never been greater. It is now possible for the world’s population to read about the latest scientific discovery within hours of the event. It is possible for Church members anywhere in the world to access President Hinckley’s latest sermon within minutes of its delivery. The rate of discovery in the wor
  • I am honored to be with you this morning. As this sesquicentennial year draws to a close, I would like to reflect upon the legacy left by a special set of pioneers who are perhaps not well known. These pioneers, my ancestors, experienced the trials of the trek westward, converted to the Church, and left a noble heritage but left us little to understand their everyday feelings and experiences. Still, they left a great legacy, even though my first acquaintance with them occurred as I helped my parents copy the pages of pedigree charts for our family. Mary A. Johnson wrote: I’
  • This large congregation at the Marriott Center at Brigham Young University is but a fraction of the total audience assembled in centers throughout the world tonight. I wish that I could greet each one of you, and I am very sorry that is not possible. I am also thankful that Sister Nelson and several members of our family can be here. Their steadfast support means much to me. I bring love and greetings from the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. We appreciate the great faith and devotion of the young adults of the Church. We hope that you students will enjoy your
  • My brothers and sisters, I am honored to have been invited to address you in this devotional setting today. As you well know, this year we are celebrating the sesquicentennial of the arrival of the Mormon pioneers in the Salt Lake Valley. The high point of this yearlong commemoration will be witnessed this week not only in Salt Lake City and here in Provo, but throughout the Church all over the world. In conjunction with that commemoration, I have been asked to pay tribute today to those faithful pioneers. I feel grossly inadequate to pay proper homage to the pioneers, for I am not a
  • Yesterday morning I awoke in a comfortable bed and breakfast establishment in Cambridge, England. I was some 6,000 miles away from Utah. My one-day journey home required a taxi ride to the Cambridge train station, a short train ride into and through London, and another train ride south to Gatwick Airport. After checking my luggage, which would be handled by others for me, I boarded a modern jet airliner. After about 13 hours of flying in a temperature-controlled environment, I was back in Utah. With the exception of making a few connections and watching for ever-present pickpockets, my majo
  • A couple of months ago, my older sister, Margo, serving as Young Women president in her ward in Cape Town, South Africa, expressed frustration that she could find no way to help her young women see the meaning in “Faith in Every Footstep.” In fact, she said, “I am tired of these American stories, these pioneers who died a hundred years ago and with whom I can find no connection.” I knew exactly what she meant. As a child of relatively new convert parents in Cape Town, South Africa, I was bewildered to encounter American pioneers. After all, we had pioneers of our own—the Voortrekkers
  • My dear brothers and sisters—my dear young friends. There are so many of you here and so many out beyond here. We have been speaking to some very large congregations recently—last Sunday in Guatemala City, 35,199 people. Earlier we were in South America and spoke to 35,000–40,000 in Santiago; 50,000 in Buenos Aires; and so on—crowded in great football stadiums. There is great faith out across the Church: wonderful, devoted people everywhere—some large congregations, some small ones, but everywhere there is tremendous faith in this, the work of the Lord. It is a wonderful thing to see
  • What a joyful noise comes from this congregation! It fills my heart with joy to be here with you, to sing the songs of Zion, and to hear your prayers and share in your spirit. How good you are! Your mothers probably tell you that, but I want to tell you, too. The members of the Church are blessed with the goodness of your generation. The opening hymn was so appropriate for the first of January: “Come, let us anew our journey pursue, Roll round with the year, And never stand still till the Master appear” (“Come, Let Us Anew,” Hymns, 1985, no. 217). As Latter-day Saints, those w
  • It is good to be at Brigham Young University. There is a legacy of faith that I think everyone feels who comes here. I would like to speak today about heritage. Certainly 1996 and 1997 are years of heritage from a Church point of view. The year 1996 marks the 150th anniversary of the Saints arriving in California, and 1997 marks the same anniversary of the Saints arriving in the Salt Lake Valley. At the opening of this devotional we heard the hymn High on the Mountain Top, which is a good pioneer heritage hymn—the first words being “High on the mountain top / A banner i
  • Lawrence R. Flake
    My brothers and sisters, I’m very grateful for the prayer, the introduction, and especially for the beautiful musical numbers. I agree with the late apostle Adam S. Bennion, who used to say, “What we need in this church is better music and more of it, and better speaking and less of it” (see Sterling W. Sill, Leadership, vol. 3 [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1978], p. 288). “Come, Come, Ye Saints” is one of our most loved hymns, not only because of its pleasing music or even its poignant words but because of the feelings it evokes as we reflect on the nobility and courage of the first a
  • The Prophet Joseph Smith went through many great trials in his life. One time, you may recall that, when he was in Kirtland, Brother Behunin came to him and said, “Brother Joseph, many of the brethren have left the Church, and not only have they left the Church, but they have turned against the Church and become some of our most bitter persecutors. I will never leave the Church, but if I do, I will move out in the country and buy a little farm somewhere, and I promise you that I will never turn against the Church.” Joseph said something that was very prophetic. He said, “Brother Behu
  • It is always a humbling experience to come to this vast congregation and speak to you. Especially is this true this particular time. For the last two weeks I’ve been on the ranch in Wyoming. You could put that whole city in this center section here—that is, if you don’t count the mosquitos and the cows. We’re delighted to be with you at this important time in BYU’s history. I always enjoy the summer, and this summer is significant here at this university. The summer of 1980 marks the end of another great era of administration at BYU. I want the students and the staff to know of my ad
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