• Welcome to another school year. It is such a joy to be with you again. Since we met in this capacity last year, there have been so many exciting developments that it would be impossible to list them all. Let me just share some examples of student achievements in this past year. More than 2,000 of our students—an all-time high—had a study-abroad experience this past year, participating in more than 200 programs in seventy-five countries. Truly the world is our campus. At the same time, inspiring learning opportunities were also provided to our students here in Provo. More than
  • President Samuelson, members of the faculty, family members, guests, and graduates: my wife, Kathy, and I are honored to celebrate this day and all the accomplishments that have led to it with each of you. We rejoice in the accomplishments and achievements recognized by these proceedings and in the privilege of being with you. We feel profound respect for Brigham Young University and for the Church that supports it. With you we recognize that h
  • It is a privilege to stand before you this evening. I want to thank everyone in the choir for that beautiful music. Thank you so much for the spirit that you brought. And thank you for the beautiful prayer. I am happy and humbled to be here, and I pray that tonight each of you will know how much the Lord loves you. I want you to know how deeply I love you. I am happy that my husband, Steve, and members of my family are also here. I love my husband. He and I attended Brigham Young University, and it is here where we made the decision to marry. I think it is interesting that I am stand
  • Several years ago I visited an isolated oasis deep in the Gobi Desert in China. Some 80 miles from the nearest town, the oasis was in a small canyon that had been occupied by a handful of Buddhist monks for hundreds of years. In this incredibly isolated spot, the monks could avoid the temptations of the world and focus only on Buddhist teachings. In Latter-day Saint terms, these monks were trying to flee Babylon. Most of us have elected not to dwell in total isolation but to live in the civilized world. This decision requires us to interact daily with the world and to face the challe
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