• Introduction—It Is Easier to Avoid Temptation Than It Is to Resist Temptation The focus of my message today is based on a proverb from Solomon, who was given a gift from God of “exceeding” wisdom, “and his fame was in all nations round about. . . . And there came of all people to hear the wisdom of Solomon.”1 Even 3,000 years later, when we read Solomon’s proverbs we often nod in agreement with his profound wisdom because life has also taught us the same lesson—often through a trying or difficult experience. If life hasn’t yet taught you the wisdo
  • I recently heard a sentence that caught my attention: It is better to be than to seem. I’ve been thinking about this idea—about what it means and how it applies. Hamlet’s mother asked him why he was so concerned about the death of his father, “Why seems it so particular with thee?” Hamlet answered, “Seems, madam! Nay, it is; I know not seems” (William Shakespeare, Hamlet, act 1, scene 2, lines 75–76). I have come to feel with Hamlet that it is better to be than to seem. Merely seeming thwarts our development. We cannot truly grow if we
  • My dear brothers and sisters, I am glad to participate in this BYU Campus Education Week. This year’s theme, “Education: Refined by Reason and Revelation,” is both appropriate and challenging. The idea that education should be based on both reason and revelation is a true gospel principle. It is rooted in the divine direction that we “seek learning, even by study and also by faith” (D&C 88:118). It is an immensely important principle that some good persons do not understand and apply. Some who have refined their application of reason reject revelation, and some who understand rev
  • More than thirty years ago I stood beside the desk of Professor Richard Rosenbloom, who taught courses in manufacturing management. In those days they called the field “production.” I was a research assistant, and Professor Rosenbloom had just stood up to welcome one of his students into his office. The student, of medium height, was dressed in a dark suit and tie. He stood before the desk, bowed deeply, and handed to his professor a beautifully wrapped gift. He had completed his studies and was returning to his home in Japan. The professor murmured thanks and then, to demonstrate hi
  • Sister Oaks and I are glad to be with you this evening. It is always a thrill to return to BYU, where we have some of our happiest memories. For example, half of our six children were born while we were here at BYU. The first two were born while we were students here, and the last was born while I was serving as president. That is what you call coming full circle. Repent! I begin by describing an event that happened here on campus. About fifteen years ago, a group of newspaper editors from various western states came to Salt Lake City to learn more about the Church. T
  • 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
  • Henry Adams once said that any succession of American presidents that could start with George Washington and lead to Ulysses S. Grant disproved forever the theory of evolution. I may well be striking it another fatal blow by inserting myself into an otherwise outstanding devotional calendar. But one of the advantages of being president of the university is that when you ask to be the speaker, they have to let you. Let me tell you why I’m intruding. I have been a little frustrated that the only real chance I get to address you is in our opening President’s Assembly the first week of t
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