• I am grateful and humbled to be with you today. As I was preparing for my talk, I was reminded of a story I once heard in a stake conference session a number of years ago. The story begins with a rancher performing chores out on his ranch one morning when he sees a shiny pickup truck drive onto his ranch and park. Out of the truck steps a man in uniform who walks up to the rancher and states
  • As I begin my message today I would like you to think back on a time when you were completely lost. You may have been hiking in the wilderness, been trying to find your way to a meeting in a new city, or been separated from your parents at an amusement park. Can you remember how you felt? You may have felt frightened, embarrassed, or desperate for help. How did you ultimately find your way? Rather
  • 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 r
  • When I was asked to give this devotional address and choose my own topic, I felt completely overwhelmed. I ran to the office of my dear friend Peggy Anderson, who gave a devotional address last fall, and she assured me the topic would come. That very evening, after I said my prayers, the music and words to the familiar children’s hymn “I Am a Child of God” came to my mind. I have always treasured
  • 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 o
  • Sister Jensen and I are pleased to be with you. I sincerely thank the choir for not only how they sang, but also for what they sang. Hymns do invite the Spirit of the Lord. They create a feeling of reverence and teach us the doctrines of the kingdom. This is a very humbling assignment, and I have prayed, and continue to pray, for the Holy Ghost to be our true teacher. My message is titled “The
  • 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
  • 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 tim
  • 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 sci
  • 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
  • Live Right Now

    Brothers and sisters, isn’t language interesting? For example, a bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. On my desk is a work station. It is where . . . At church we hope those who sit on the stand understand how long we can stand to sit. When they grow on vines, blackberries when green are red. Wireless BlackBerries when read in class make green instruct
  • 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 o
  • Addressing the Saints in Nauvoo on the subject of revelation, the Prophet Joseph Smith said: I am going to take up this subject by virtue of the knowledge of God in me, which I have received from heaven. The opinions of men, so far as I am concerned, are to me as the crackling of thorns under the pot, or the whistling of the wind. I break the ground; I lead the way like Columbus when he was
  • 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
  • In the late 1940s a young man named Tom was at a dance for the freshman class at the University of Utah. As he was dancing with a girl from West High School, a young lady from East High came dancing by. Tom took one look and decided that there was a young lady he needed to meet. However, she danced away and the evening concluded before Tom could dance with this mystery girl, much less find out her
  • My dear brothers and sisters, what a delight it is to be with you today. To feel your spirit and the greatness of this school is uplifting and edifying. My wife and I connect in a very personal way to this institution of higher education. No, we never studied here, but our daughter received a master’s degree here. As a proud parent, I am not only sharing with you that she graduated summa cum la
  • 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
  • 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, nurse
  • 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
  • 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 blacknes
  • 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
  • Going Home

    Finding Our Way Back I want to talk with you about going home. This is the time of year when all of us feel a tug at our hearts. Many of you will be thinking about being home for the holidays. But all of us know, perhaps more than at any other time of year, that happiness in some way centers on a family—both in this world and the next. Only as I’ve grown older have I come to un
  • I think that my biography would not be complete if I didn’t share the following with you. “One American, who was called to work with European organizations, was asked to define ‘a European.’ After some thought, the light came, and he gave this portrait: A European is someone who has the capacity of an Englishmen, the sobriety of an Irishman, the modesty of a Frenchman, the liberality of a Luxembou
  • 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 desi
  • In harmony with the spirit and fever of this football season, I thought you might want to hear of an experience I had some two years ago. I looked at my stake conference schedule and discovered that I had what is called a “firm free” weekend. This meant that my assignment was to remain at home and to attend to my family responsibilities. This freedom pleased me very much because on that particu
  • 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
  • My beloved brethren and sisters, it’s a pleasure to be with you. I am complimented by your presence this stormy morning. I am grateful for Brother Wheelwright’s prayer. It’s about 2:20 in the morning in Australia where I have just been, and if I fall asleep while I give this talk you will know the reason why, and you may have the same privilege. I know that you have come to hear something that
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