• How many of you recall seeing the great arch of the Milky Way span the sky over your head, along with millions of other stars that cover the dome of the heavens? Because I live in a city, one of the things that I forget is the glory of that night sky stretching from one horizon to the other. Prior to the industrialization of society, a view of the night sky filled with stars would have been com
  • After receiving the call from President Worthen asking me to speak at devotional today, I spent a considerable amount of time thinking about what I might say. One evening my daughter Andrea, who is a recent graduate of BYU, said, “Dad, don’t worry. I always went to devotional to feel the Spirit and to have a rest from the stress of a week of school. As long as you bring the Spirit, it will be o
  • This is one of the highest honors I’ve ever received. When I looked to see who some other forum speakers have been, I quickly felt out of place. In fact, I felt like the speaker I heard a few years ago at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, DC. Some 4,000 guests attend this breakfast each February, including the president, the vice president, members of the cabinet, House and Senate me
  • Thank you, President Samuelson. It is great to be here today. As that choir was singing, it reminded me that my wife and I met with our seats assigned in a choir just like that a few years back, and we’ve been sitting next to each other ever since. This place is really like a second home to me. I spent a good part of my adult life at BYU. When people ask me how long I’ve been here—which they do
  • I testify that God, our Heavenly Father, loves each of you. He knows your name. He knows your circumstances. He hears your prayers and wants to bless you in every righteous desire through His Son, Jesus Christ. Like Alma, “I testify unto you that I do know that these things . . . are true. . . . They are made known unto me by the Holy Spirit of God” (Alma 5:45–46). I know these things because of m
  • Over the past two weeks, we have seen an outpouring of love on the Brigham Young University campus. When we learned of the death of President Gordon B. Hinckley, students set up spontaneous memorials expressing their love for him. And when the reorganization of the First Presidency was announced last week, our hearts reached out in love to President Thomas S. Monson and his counselors. Cha
  • God’s Love

    What an amazing sight you are this morning! What a vibrant spirit you exude—so full of life and energy and hope for the future. I am so glad to be here with you today. In case some of you may not have noticed, today is Valentine’s Day. And of course, that being the case, our thoughts turn to love. Love is such a wonderful thing. And there are many types of love. Love, as it is defined by the
  • My beloved brothers and sisters, I am pleased to be with you to speak about two principles that will give you light throughout your journey through life. The Great Journey Like many others, I have followed with interest the landing of an unmanned craft on the planet Mars. What a remarkable feat! Since the early 1960s, 35 missions have been launched from Earth to the red pla
  • President Samuelson, brothers and sisters: I am humbled to address you. For almost 40 years my wife and I have been blessed by the full life of the mind offered by Brigham Young University—first as students, where we met in the library, and now as we both serve on the faculty. For 23 years I have taught in the law school and worked in various campus assignments. We are grateful to all who have wor
  • I am delighted to be with you the day after Valentine’s Day and the day before Sister Holland’s birthday. Guess what is on my mind! Guess what I am going to talk about! Yes, I am going to talk about love, because Shakespeare made me do it. You see, it is the fifteenth of February. If it were the fifteenth of March, it would be the ides of March. And everybody remembers what Brutus did to Julius Ca
  • Thank you for the beautiful prayer and the lovely music. I want to start today by expressing my appreciation to all who have made my experience at Brigham Young University such a sweet experience, starting with my time here as a student and including many years as a full-time faculty member. I know many of you have a deep appreciation for this institution and what it stands for and for the potenti
  • One afternoon while driving around town, I had a CD playing in my car—a collection of Andrew Lloyd Webber songs sung by Sarah Brightman. I was preoccupied with the traffic, so the music mostly provided a soothing background. At one point, though, the lyrics of one of the songs caught my attention, and immediately I felt moved by the sentiment of these words: Love, Love changes everyt
  • Pure Love

    As I have thought about this welcome opportunity, I have concluded that although aging brings some all too obvious changes, there are certain values that are constant, and gratefully so. It was 10 years ago, almost to the day, that I occupied this space as a newly called stake president. Elder Maxwell and Elder Holland, just called to the First Quorum of the Seventy, were on the stand. Although I
  • In the early chapters of Mosiah, King Benjamin asked his son to gather the people to the temple so that the king could address them. Mosiah sent a proclamation throughout the land, and great numbers of people assembled. As they arrived, they pitched their tents round about with the doors facing the temple. The people were organized by family with father, mother, children, and grandchildren grouped
  • I appreciated the opening prayer offered by Matt Jensen. I’m going to let you in on a little secret—Matt had a special reason this morning to pray for the Spirit to be here today. You see, Matt did much of the research for my remarks. And so he is really hoping that this will go well. A couple of days ago, I asked Vice President Jim Gordon for some advice on giving this talk. This morning as I cam
  • I stuttered most of the way through school so badly I could scarcely talk. When I dared, I tried to answer the teacher’s questions, but seldom successfully. You have seen the grimace a stutterer makes and the flickering eyelids. I remember the strained expressions on people’s faces. As children often do, I compensated. I became brash, loud, boastful, and competitive—to win the respect I didn’t
  • I am delighted to be with all of you here this morning. I appreciate your being here. I would like to speak about having a heart like unto God’s own heart, and I want to enlarge on that in a few minutes. However, first I would like to pay a special tribute to a man here at BYU whom I respect greatly—Dr. Hugh Nib
  • My wife and I, brothers and sisters, are very grateful to be here this evening. We are honored–especially honored to have a goodly number of our family here. It is a wonderful thing in life when children begin to eclipse their parents, and we sure feel that way about our children. Before we came here tonight we had a reception with a number of the men and women who serve as leaders in your stak
  • If you were asked the question “What element of Christ’s life or attribute of his character or part of his ministry best represents to you his majesty and personal relationship with us,” what would your answer be? I am going to talk specifically about one potential answer. It is the answer I have been thinking about for some time; it would likely be my answer to the question. I am going to lay
  • May I introduce my remarks today with two questions: (1) what is your relationship with your parents, and (2), for those of you who are married, what is your relationship with your companion and your children? Now, think seriously about these questions for a moment. Are you comfortable with your thoughts and feelings? Does pride and joy start to swell within your heart? Or is there a tinge of rese
  • Today is Valentine’s Day. . . . A wonderful holiday devoted to thoughts of love, tucked into the middle of a winter month to warm the heart and revitalize the spirit of men and women. I asked Pat Holland if she had ever received a special valentine from President Holland she would share, and I found that she was born just two days after Valentine’s Day, and so he called her his February Sixt
  • The trauma and devastation of the wind, mudslides, and floods of recent months have created opportunities for expressions of love, care, and concern throughout our area. It has been said, in fact, that these catastrophes were in part a blessing because of the resulting opportunities to serve. We have witnessed open expressions of brotherhood that often are not evident in the day-to-day unfolding o
  • Good morning, my brothers and sisters. I consider it a privilege and an honor to greet you there this morning in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. We are met in his name. I’m not sure that there is another university on the face of the earth where that could be said. You have a devotional; you meet in the name of the Lord. The Lord Jesus Christ loves this university. I love it, too. I love the bl
  • I once heard President Holland tell about a conversation he overheard between two freshman women talking about their favorite subject. One of them said, “Do you believe in college marriage?” The other replied, “Well, yeah, if the colleges really love each other.” I would like to believe that there are no two colleges anywhere who “love each other” more than BYU and Ricks. I am in love with both pl
  • A week ago this evening I was in Osaka in rather pleasant weather, which was a relief because the weekend before we were in Sapporo with snow above our haircuts, and falling all the time. In between I was in Hong Kong, where we now live, where the moisture content of the air that day was 95. This is March; summer is coming. Someone asked me, “How is it in Hong Kong and Southeast Asia?” I sai
  • Gifts of Love

    Thank you, President Holland. I am delighted to be here with you. I pray that I may have the blessings of the Spirit so that I can say something useful to you. A father asked me yesterday to advise him about giving a Christmas gift to his daughter. He just can’t decide whether or not to give this gift, or how to give it. His daughter is a college student; she may even be listening today. Her he
  • President and Sister Holland, President Dalton and all stake presidents, President and Sister Joe Christensen of the Missionary Training Center, it is a joy and privilege to meet with you this evening. What an impressive sight to look upon this vast assembly of students, stake and ward leaders, and missionaries. President Kimball made a special request that I extend to each of you his love and
  • President Oaks and members of your leadership here, members of the faculty, and students: It is a privilege and an honor to be here at Brigham Young University. It is unfortunate that not all who would like to attend this University are able to attend. In fact, it is a very limited number that can attend. We want to do a little thinking tonight on matters about which we have already thought man
  • I so greatly appreciated that music. I have never heard a rendering of “I Need Thee Every Hour” quite like that, nor one that has touched me more deeply. I did not know that it was Indian Week at BYU, or I might have spoken of these wonderful people. As it is, I shall speak to them, and to you also wonderful people. It is so refreshing to stand before you. You give life, vitality, and beauty to
  • 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 o
  • I am very pleased to be with you tonight. When I was invited to accept this assignment, I looked to it as a great honor and one to which hopefully I can contribute something. I do feel very keenly about young people, and I guess these are the thoughts that went through my heart as I thought about this assignment for the past weeks. Not too long ago a news item came over from Scotland. Apparentl
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