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  • When I was fifteen years old, I worked on a sod farm located close to where the Payson Utah Temple now stands. To cut the sod, we used a harvester that weighed about fourteen tons. One day I was assigned to work with my high school classmate on the back of the harvester. We were moving the harvester from one end of the field to another. I was walking alongside the slow-moving harvester, and I attempted to jump up onto the platform to sit next to my friend. I misjudged my jump and landed only partway on the platform. I lost my balance and fell in front of the double set of dual wheels
  • We live in some challenging times. More than fifty years ago President Thomas S. Monson said: Today, we are encamped against the greatest array of sin, vice, and evil ever assembled before our eyes.1 I thought to myself that whatever the conditions were fifty years ago, there is a greater array today. The war between good and evil is raging and intensifying. Satan is busy radicalizing and recruiting. You are needed. You must gain the skills, convictions, courage, wisdom, and confidence to help make a difference for yourself and others. I am grateful for the i
  • Todd B. Parker
    Good morning. My thanks go to those who provided the music this morning. Their music has helped to bring the Spirit to this meeting. I would hope to speak by that Spirit today. My late friend Robert J. Matthews, who taught religion here at BYU, used to say, “If I speak by the Spirit and you listen by the Spirit, you will hear things better than I say them.” I pray that that can happen today. I thought it appropriate to begin with a little poem written by a young man that I think might illustrate what sometimes may happen in parents’ attempts to change the behavior of their chi
  • Sister Jensen and I are thankful to be here today. We feel a debt of gratitude to the administration, faculty, and staff of this great university. To have studied and taught here are among the great experiences of our lives, and now they are memories we treasure. Three of our four sons and a daughter-in-law are BYU graduates. No one who knows the scriptures, specifically the prophecies concerning the latter days, is surprised by the events in the world. We do live in the perilous, stormy times prophesied (see Matthew 24, 2 Timothy 3:1–7, and D&C 45), and we see the fulfillment of
  • Mary Anne Prater
    I would like to share with you three experiences in my life that have made me grateful for maps. My first example: When I moved to Provo six years ago, I purchased a home. Although I looked at many homes in the area, I selected one that was somewhat geographically hard to find. I grew up in Salt Lake Valley, where almost the whole valley follows the same east, west, north, and south coordinates first laid out by Brigham Young. No such universal address system exists across Utah Valley. When one changes city limits, the address coordinate system also changes. That fact, coupled with t
  • Terry B. Ball
    I became a seminary teacher in the Church Educational System at a time when a new paradigm for teaching the scriptures was being introduced. Our leaders felt that this new approach, which emphasized teaching each book from the standard works sequentially from beginning to end, would help students better know and love the scriptures. It was exciting to be part of that grand experiment. President Henry B. Eyring, who was then serving as commissioner of Church education, shared his feelings about what these efforts could accomplish. He said: I have a hunch that four or five years fro
  • Sister Bednar and I are grateful to meet with you tonight. As we travel the earth, we especially appreciate opportunities to gather with and learn from faithful young people like you. Tonight I pray for the assistance of the Holy Ghost as we worship together and seek in unity to be taught from on high (see D&C 43:16). I want to begin by asking a simple question. What is the most valuable substance or commodity in the world? We might initially think that gold,
  • Thank you to the wonderful choir. The music was beautiful, and it invited the Spirit. I also appreciated the opening prayer. I noticed particularly that the prayer asked that each of us would feel the Spirit tonight and that we would be inspired in the ways that we particularly need it. That certainly is my prayer. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to be with you tonight. But if I could have my wish, I would wish that this devotional could be a real old-fashioned fireside where I could pull you into my family room and we could have a heart-to-heart conversation—just as I would do if you w
  • Any listening to a talk or any reading of a book starts with an introduction. As you may be familiar with the Book of Mormon and particularly the first verse, may I personalize its introduction in this way: I, Charles Didier, was born in Belgium—and, paraphrasing Nephi—of goodly parents. Alas, the similitude stops there; I was not taught somewhat in all the learning of my father and in the knowledge of the goodness and the mysteries of God! Therefore I would like to share with you today a short record of my proceedings in my early days as a student in that country. And it came to pas
  • I find myself continuing to feel the inspiration of the last general conference. I felt the power of the messages, especially the doctrinal presentations on the restoration of the gospel. Fortunately we can continue to study these messages. Sessions are replayed on television and over the Internet, and the printed text is available in the Church magazines in a remarkably short period of time. Just one month after the final session we have the conference edition of the Ensign and the Liahona ready for distribution. That’s a marvelous accomplishment. It is now possible to
  • Merrill J. Bateman - BYU President - and Marilyn S. Bateman
    Elder Bateman: Brothers and sisters, it is wonderful to see the large number gathered this morning in the Marriott Center as Sister Bateman and I extend our welcome at the beginning of a new year. The attendance at the devotionals during the last semester was exceptional as many students, faculty, and staff responded to the challenge given on that fateful day, September 11th. The devotionals are an important part of the BYU experience. They add significantly to the Spirit on campus and provide a weekly opportunity for all to ponder the meaning of life and reflect on ways in which we
  • I have been advised that this fireside concludes a series of activities that have focused attention on the Book of Mormon, with particular emphasis on the book of Alma. In many ways Alma could qualify as an independent scripture. It contains almost twice as many chapters as any other book in the Book of Mormon. Its recounting of the missionary labors of the sons of Mosiah among the Lamanites is one of the most remarkable missionary stories of all time. Alma’s great treatise on faith and the power of God’s word in chapter 32 is a classic. Amulek’s explanation of the Atonement in chapter 34 i
  • We live in a glorious time in the history of the world when much of God’s word has been restored, when living prophets are upon the earth again, and when many ancient treasures are available to all who will read them. Joseph the Patriarch, the son of Jacob, prophesied of one in the last days who would be an instrument in the hands of the Lord in bringing forth much scripture to bless his people. “And his name shall be called after me,” said this ancient Joseph, . . . and it shall be after the name of his father. And he shall be like unto me; for the thing, which the Lord shall bri
  • Robert J. Matthews
    I think this is one of the greatest opportunities that I have ever had to give a public address. I would like to do well for a number of reasons, and I want you to know that I am very serious about what I’m going to say. One reason I would like to do well is that if I do not, it might reflect adversely upon the role of Religious Instruction at BYU and upon the office I hold as dean. I would not want to say or do anything to minimize that important assignment. Also, I would not want the subject that I wish to talk about—the scriptures—to be minimized because of my poor delivery. So I t
  • Ronald E. Poelman
    Seriously, this is a fireside? As I commence this assignment, I do not see the fire, but I feel the heat. I am grateful to be here; I am thankful to be one of you, a fellow student with you. I regard myself as a lifetime student and have a very fond affection for this campus and this school although I was never a student here. Many years ago there was a beautiful, talented, brown-eyed brunette freshman girl here on this campus, and I fell in love with her. Even though I was a student at another institution of higher learning, which is a few miles north of here, I managed to find my w
  • My brothers and sisters, one of the things that Dallin forgot to mention in that obituary was the fact that I was a cheerleader at BYU and as such was asked to be one of the Montana Queens. Brothers Mose Flake, Gene Jensen, and myself had the opportunity to dress up, complete with our Dracula false teeth, and ride on the float to represent the Montana Queens several years ago—a very creditable job, I might add. It is wonderful to be back at BYU. I grew up in Provo, looked forward to attending the University, and was grateful to come here and be an associate of Dallin Oaks at that tim
  • I have prayed and pondered earnestly to learn what the Lord wants me to say on this occasion. In the early hours of the morning, as I tossed and turned in bed and kept my wife awake, I concluded upon a subject. I shall talk, if I am properly guided by the Spirit, about what I consider in some respects to be the third greatest miracle that has ever occurred in all eternity. This miracle is of such a nature and of such moment that its accomplishment was attended by a heavenly choir, who sang, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men” (Luke 2:14). It was attended
  • 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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