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  • I am so happy and honored to have been asked to speak to you on this day that represents so much hard work, careful teaching, and eager anticipation. I have many friends and loved ones here today, so it feels much more intimate here in the Marriott Center than it otherwise might have. Sitting and listening to this talk could be a real test of those friendships! I want to thank Dr. Brooks for those excellent insights into the poison of contempt and on how love is the great antidote. My remarks are in many ways connected. Thank you, too, for the fabulous music from the BYU Women
  • Students, family members, administrators, ­faculty, and staff, I am greatly honored to be here today and appreciate the opportunity to address you. Two weeks ago my wife, Vicki, and I were in Washington, DC, attending the Portrait Society of America Conference with seven of my illustration students on an experiential learning trip. Our students represented us so well. Last year while Vicki and I were in Rome, we visited the Vatican Museum and had an opportunity to view the Sistine Chapel. In an address given more than fifty years ago, President Spencer W. Kimball spoke of Mich
  • 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
  • You might recall in the beloved Dr. Seuss children’s book Horton Hears a Who! how Horton, who was an elephant, had a chance encounter with a speck of dust, from whence a voice, barely audible, called out for help. Horton recognized that the voice was coming from the speck of dust and proceeded to do all he could to protect and defend this colony of Whos, who were “too small to be seen by an elephant’s eyes.” Horton perceived that someone was in distress and realized that he could help. Instead of discounting his newly discovered friends, and amidst scoffs and scorn from
  • Good morning! It is a cherished privilege to share this time with you this morning. Thirty years of college teaching, 32 years of parenthood, 40 years of Church service, and 45 years of performing as a musician have convinced me that I am nothing. As to my own strength, I am weak, and I must depend fully upon the Lord if I am to succeed in accomplishing anything good. You recognize those are nearly the words of Ammon in the chapter 26 of the book of Alma (see verses 11–12). Moroni said something very similar: And now I speak unto all the ends of the earth—that if the day cometh t
  • The first thing I want to say today is that I want to testify I know Jesus Christ is our Savior and our Redeemer. I know by the power of the Holy Ghost that He stands at the head of this Church, guiding it through a living prophet, Gordon B. Hinckley. I am so thankful for that testimony. It is a sweet experience for Sister Oaks and me to be here on the BYU campus this morning. This is not our first BYU devotional. We started attending them in September 1951 when we were sophomores at BY High School on the old BYU lower campus, where the Provo City Library is now located. A gre
  • Today as I stand before you, I am humbled by the invitation to share my thoughts and bear my testimony of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. It has been mentioned that I am in my 31st year here at Brigham Young University, and I can truly say that this opportunity to address you has never been on my radar screen. Indeed, I have comfortably sat in the audience for more than three decades now and have never ceased to be inspired each week by the music and the spoken word. Rosalind, your selection today was marvelous, and the choir has set the tone and tenor of the message that I wish to share
  • When I was near your age, I had returned from serving as a missionary in Uruguay, and my wife and I were making plans for marriage. At that time foreign language missions were for a period of two and a half years. I had completed two years of college, but my memory was somewhat dulled by the passage of three years of time. I wanted then to be where you are now, so I came to BYU and spoke with the chair of the Electrical Engineering Department. His first question was to ask me to invert a matrix. Then he wrote out a simple matrix and presented me with a piece of paper to do my work. I had to
  • Brothers and sisters, I am grateful for this opportunity to speak to you today. When I learned I would be speaking and told my daughter Amelia she might be asked to pray, she said, “If I am, I hope I say the opening prayer instead of the closing prayer.” When I asked why, my wife said, “That’s so she can ask Heavenly Father to really, really, really bless you.” To that Amelia said, “No, I just don’t want to be under the burden of having to listen.” Now that Amelia has prayed, I would appreciate it if you would watch her carefully to make sure she at least stays awake.
  • My dear fellow students, I am honored to speak to you this summer morning and approach this assignment with a humble heart and pray for the Spirit of the Lord to guide me in the things I say to you. You have made a very wise choice in determining to further your education; I commend you all for attending this great university. For many of you I am sure it must have been a difficult choice because of attractive alternatives in life or possibly because of the lack of funds. But you chose wisely, and I counsel you to have the courage to continue to pursue your goal, regardless of obstac
  • Despite the fact that we are living in a troublesome period, we are living in the dispensation of the fullness of times, a most wonderful period in the history of the world—yes, in a new era of growth and development. In my judgment, opportunities today, for young and old, exceed those of any other age. We should be truly grateful to live at this particular time when the Spirit of the Lord is being poured out upon the people of the earth so abundantly. A universal question in the hearts and minds of men and women in all parts of the world is, What is the purpose of life? The r
  • Good morning, my young brothers and sisters. It is always a humbling experience to come to this building, where great attendance is always in evidence—particularly at basketball games. You are always an inspirational sight. I think you scare opposing teams to death, which is to our advantage. But I feel strongly the spirit that emanates from this institution. I bring with me a couple of quotes from President McKay which seems appropriate. He said to a group one time, as he arose to speak, “You are so good; you really should be a lot better than you are.” And to another group he said,
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