• Suzanne Julian
    One of the first devotionals I attended at BYU was in 1979, when Elder Dallin H. Oaks was president of the university. He focused on the attitudes and commitments a student needed to succeed at BYU. President Oaks said: At Brigham Young University you are privileged to take a guided tour with the best thinkers and through the best information available in the world today. Most of you will be eager and alert, stimulated by ideas, struggling with the exciting process of learning. Most BYU students are busy preparing themselves for the important responsibilities that they will bear.
  • Gary C. Barton
    In considering what I might say today, my mind kept turning to what the Apostle Paul said in his first epistle to the Corinthians: “For now we see through a glass, darkly.”1 Over many years I have thought a great deal about this statement and its meaning. The word seeing is often used to describe the action of visually or mentally perceiving or discerning. It can also mean to perceive or discern spiritually, and how we see is critical in shaping who we are, the choices we make, and who we become. Research on seeing and perception is conducted in a number of different field
  • Gordon Limb
    In the social work main office in the Joseph F. Smith Building there is a disability access door that has a self-charging mechanism that opens and closes the door. We’ve had this mechanism on the door for over two years. My office is located next to that door, so I am very aware of every time the door opens and closes. However, it was only very recently that, as I was sitting at my desk in a quiet, thoughtful moment, I heard the door open, and as it closed I heard a unique melodic sound. I was so taken aback that I got up from my desk, walked out of my office, opened the door, and listened
  • Stanley A. Johnson
    I am definitely humbled by this opportunity to speak to you today. As you can imagine, I have lost a lot of sleep over this responsibility, and I’m guessing that when I am done you will probably say, “He should have slept!” To begin with, I feel it is important to explain that for most of my life I grew up without a father’s influence in the home, so I turned to the leaders of the Church for guidance. I have read over and over the talks given by the General Authorities and other leaders at general conference and other occasions. Their counsel and instruction have guided me throughout
  • James P. Porter
    I am grateful and humbled by this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to speak to you today. I still remember with fondness the day in 1971 when my friend and I loaded up his Volkswagen Bug and left Concord, California, for Provo, Utah, to begin our studies at Brigham Young University. Ever since we came around the Point of the Mountain and first saw the large block Y on the mountainside, I have had an abiding love of BYU. Brigham Young University is such a unique institution. I have a research lab in the Widtsoe Building and occasionally need to check on experiments over the weekend. One Sunday
  • My brothers and sisters, I am honored to have been invited to speak to you today. The topic that I have been assigned to speak on may seem a little strange to some of you for a setting like Campus Education Week, but I hope and pray that it will be both interesting and inspiring. The subject is death. Someone once said that life is a terminal illness; no one gets out of it alive. Death is both fascinating and somewhat frightening—­frightening in that there is normal apprehension about it. The Prophet Joseph Smith taught that “the Lord in his wisdom had implanted the fear of death in
  • Years ago I took a botany class here at BYU. The professor described a problem that sometimes occurs with sweet cherry trees. Apparently, there are times when they look fully mature, are beautifully shaped, and have complete foliage, but they don’t bear fruit. As I remember (and I ask the life sciences students here to be patient with me as I describe this in lay terms), he said that there are times when the sugar that sets fruit does not stay in the branches but goes to the roots instead. If this has occurred, then it may be necessary to “shock” the tree by upsetting the cambium layer in t
  • Brothers and sisters, despite my anxiety over the assignment I have been asked to fill today, I am truly pleased to be with you. I am grateful for the support I have received from colleagues and friends. I express particular gratitude to my sweet wife, Angela, who supports me today and always. You have heard that I am an electrical engineer, and this leads me to a confession: I am a classic science geek. Shocking, I know. I am fascinated by the workings of our world, and I love to learn and to teach about them. I am guilty of soliciting opportunities to give science demonstrations to
  • President Samuelson, honored guests, parents, family members, graduates, my dear brothers and sisters—Sister Uchtdorf and I extend our congratulations, commendation, and deep love to all of you whom we honor on this happy day. Even nature seems to be honoring you with the beauties of springtime as we mark the culmination of many years of hard work and study. It is a great privilege for us to be with you today. And we are pleased to be with Elder and Sister Nelson, who are wonderful friends and true servants of the Lord. I love this university. During my years as an airline cap
  • What a joy it is to be with you tonight and share my testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. With you, I give thanks for gospel principles that give us an eternal perspective and teach us how to have joy in this life and in the life to come. After I was set apart in the Salt Lake Temple as an Assistant to the Twelve Apostles, Elder LeGrand Richards, who was 46 years my senior, put his arms around me and whispered into my ear, “Oh, to be a boy again and have my whole life ahead of me.” To be a boy again? I was 42 years old! The reason I say that is because tonight I’m going
  • Rodger Sorensen
    It’s a privilege to be with you and among you and feel of your spirits. I pray, as my son did in the opening prayer, that the Spirit will attend us and that we can learn from each other in this conversation we will have today about the Spirit. My wife and I have been blessed with eight grandchildren; two of them, Ashley and Brooke, are twins. Two months ago they gave the scripture and prayer in their Primary closing exercises. My son Josh helped Ashley give the scripture. During the closing song he whispered to Brooke, “Can you do the prayer by yourself?” “No,” she said
  • Welcome to Brigham Young University for the 2007 school year. Hopefully you had a wonderful Christmas holiday as you remembered and honored the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. I so enjoy this time of year because it also includes gatherings with those you love—family and friends. These times and others create memories to be remembered and recalled throughout one’s lifetime. One such memory of mine includes an extended family portrait taken several years ago. Whenever someone who has not seen it before views this portrait, a puzzled look appears on the person’s face and this questi
  • I am grateful for the lovely music and for the Spirit that it has brought. I am grateful for this opportunity to be with you this evening. Many of you are here in the Marriott Center at Brigham Young University. There are thousands more listening and watching at locations across the world. I cannot see all of you, but your Heavenly Father can. He knows your name and your needs. He knows your heart. Each of you has unique challenges. I pray that I may be inspired to say the words He would have you hear. Blessings and Challenges of the Last Days With all of our uniquene
  • Troy W. Carlton
    Thank you for that beautiful music and opening prayer that helps to set the tone for the devotional today. I appreciate those members of my family, members of the College of Nursing, and each of you for coming today. I am also thankful for the opportunity to reflect over the past few weeks and come before you with a humble heart to share with you some of the experiences I have had that have taught me to be a better child of God. I hope the Lord will bless me to be able to communicate to you the message that I have prepared. Twenty-five years ago I found myself in my first nursing cou
  • My wife and I once boarded a train going south from Paris to Marseilles, a Mediterranean port. At Lyon, about halfway there, part of the train (the part we were in!) split off and headed east toward Geneva. As soon as we saw the Alps, we realized that we were off course. We got off in Grenoble, caught a train back to Lyon, then took a later train to Marseilles. Our minimal ability to discern between the Alps and the Mediterranean helped us to make a necessary course correction on a physical journey. We need discernment for each of the three tracks of our journey through life. These t
  • Sister Bednar and I are delighted to be with you. She and I have been anxiously engaged in university life for more than 30 years, and we love the young people of the Church. Time spent with you this morning is a sacred privilege for us. I now seek for and invite the assistance of the Holy Ghost as I speak with you about essential spiritual truths. In October 1987 Elder Marvin J. Ashton, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, spoke in general conference about spiritual gifts. I recall with fondness the impact his message had upon me at that time, and the things he taught then continue
  • L. Lionel Kendrick
    I feel very humble being in your presence this morning. I’m deeply grateful for our association with Elder and Sister Bateman and for the wonderful leadership they are providing for this great institution. I would like to speak a few minutes this morning reviewing some of the sacred principles that apply to receiving personal revelations. I will rely very heavily on the scriptures and the words of the prophets, seers, and revelators. After we experienced our spiritual birth, Heavenly Father counseled and corrected us, and we were instructed, enlightened, and edified in his holy prese
  • I am humbled by the awesome responsibility of speaking before you today, and I appreciate President Bateman’s kind introduction. I am truly a person who has worn many hats in my life. Like Bartholomew Cubbins and his 500 hats, one just keeps popping on the minute I take another off: daughter, wife, mother, grandmother; student, teacher; missionary, visiting teacher, Relief Society president, nursery leader, choir member; and on and on (see Dr. Seuss, The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins [New York: Random House, 1989]). My life has been one of marvelous experiences. Introduc
  • My young brothers and sisters, as I contemplate your great future, your wonderful potential, as well as your acute challenges, I am humbled with the responsibility of speaking to you. Being somewhat closer to the eternities than you are, I have chosen to introduce you to concepts that may be new to some of you. I do so in the spirit of the song from Mary Poppins, “A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.” The Meaning of Epiphany I wish to emphasize a profoundly significant phenomenon that occurs in life. It is inspiration. I also want to introduce you to the wo
  • It is a pleasure to be with all of you special young people this evening. I feel deeply my responsibility to teach you sacred things. I appreciate the fact that as I teach you, I am standing on holy ground. I am well aware that the world in which you live will be vastly different from the one I have known. Values have changed. Basic decency and respect for good things are eroding. A moral blackness is settling in. You are in many ways the hope of the future, and I remind you that valuable diamonds shine better against a dark background. For you outstanding young men and women there i
  • I begin this morning just as Elder J. Golden Kimball began his general conference address in October 1932. He said, in his inimitable fashion, “I take it that we will all be relieved when I get through this morning.” 1 So it is today; and President Rex Lee, sitting nervously and vicariously in the stead of President Heber J. Grant, responds grimly, “Amen!” I. Introduction I’d like to begin my invasion of your souls this morning by wrenching a bit Elder William W. Phelps’ lyrics of the hymn we just sang, written at the dawning of the Restoration as the Spiri
  • This night I look into the faces of the greatest group of youth assembled in one place on the earth. I plead that our eternal spirits, yours and mine, may be entwined with the Holy Ghost this night in such a way that what I say this hour may be understood through the Spirit. Using the Spirit You have a tool more helpful than any Apple Macintosh, IBM PC, or Wang computer ever designed. This tool is more exact and more explicit than any book, video, or cassette tape you could read, watch, or listen to. This great tool is the utilization of the Holy Ghost in your life. T
  • This is a tremendous audience—they tell me that between thirteen thousand and fourteen thousand people are here. I hope that you will join me in a prayer that while I speak to you I will have the influence of the Spirit with me—and that you will, too, so that the time will not be wasted. We particularly need it because I have chosen to speak to you about the guidance of the Holy Spirit. As a prelude to what I shall say, I quote a statement made some time ago by Kurt Waldheim, Secretary-General of the United Nations, in which he said: I do not wish to conceal . . . my
  • President Oaks, brothers and sisters, fellow students, it is an honor to return again to the campus of Brigham Young University. I am grateful for each opportunity I have to be among you. Every time I am privileged to come to BYU, I leave as a better individual. I am always inspired by the students here and by the great members of the faculty. I want you to know of my love and admiration for all of you. In responding to this request to share my innermost thoughts with you on this occasion, I sense my inadequacies; for I stand before you, not as a speaker or as an entertainer, but sol
  • BYU Speeches Podcasts