Fall 2013

Elder Ben B. Banks

Date:
Title:

"Nations Flow Unto 'Mountain of the Lord's House'" 

Nations Flow Unto "Mountain of the Lord's House"

Thank you, choir, for that beautiful number. I have never heard that hymn, “The Olive Tree” before, and I enjoyed it very much. Thank you. I’d like to invite the choir and those sitting in back of me if they would like to maybe move to the side so they could see the screen. I think it would be much more meaningful to them if they would like to.

I couldn’t help but notice when President Nelson announced how many children and grandchildren my wife and I have, that many of you gasped for air. People often say, when they hear that, “Well, how old are you really?”

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Elder Allan F. Packer

Date:
Title:

"Become Well-Educated in Spiritual Things"

Become Well-Educated in Spiritual Things

Thank you. I wanted to share this with you, and I’ll explain that in just a moment, but the introduction reminded me of my experience in South America as a young missionary. This is intended to be a message of hope, this little story that I’m going to share with you as you begin a new semester. I know and remember—as a matter of fact, as I went to school, especially in the university-level classes, I found myself having nightmares, about missing a class or, worse, missing a test or not being prepared. Have any of you had that experience? Two or three. I still have those nightmares, and I’ve not been in classes for a long time. But there is something about the intensity of being in school, and particularly after graduation from high school, that puts an emotional demand and sometimes a drain on each of us.

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David Meidell

Date:
Title:

"Small and Simple Steps Lead to Perfection"

Small and Simple Steps Lead to Perfection

We’re shrouded in black up here, it’s raining—why are you here? I hope that’s not a bad omen. Thirty-six years—that is the definition of long-suffering, of patience. That’s how long my wife has been dealing with me—my quirks, my idiosyncrasies. I love her and have been blessed to have her in my life [for] every one of those 36 years.

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E. Jeffrey Hill

Date:
Title:

"Strive to Harmonize Work and Family Life"

Strive to Harmonize Work and Family Life

What a spirit is here. Wow. I was sitting on the stand; my wife, Cami, nudged me and said, “This is a beautiful group of students.” And it is. What a wonderful, beautiful group of students that is beautiful on the outside and on the inside.

President Richards got one thing wrong in my introduction; we had our 17th grandchild yesterday. So we’re excited. And we have four more coming before the end of the year. That’s what happens when you have 12 children. The truth be known; professors often study those things they have the most difficulty with, and if you can imagine having a position at Brigham Young University and having 12 children and 17 grandchildren, and having responsibilities in the Church, sometimes it’s difficult to find harmony among all of those responsibilities.

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Lisa Smith

Date:
Title:

"Conquer Fears, Develop Good Habits, Set Goals"

Conquer Fears, Develop Good Habits, Set Goals

I’d like to compliment the students of LDS Business College. I’ve worked in four or five places, and the students here are the most kind and gracious students, not only to each other but also to the faculty, that I’ve ever worked with. So I want to compliment you.

I’ve given this talk three times in my head, and it went really well, so I’m hoping that we can have the Spirit here and that will happen again. As far as the finance goes, that’s just—I don’t know, I just like it. Some people think it’s weird, but I get a kick out of it.

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Pres. J. Lawrence Richards

Date:
Title:

"Choose Not to Hold Back"

Choose Not to Hold Back

How many are here to a devotional for the first time because you are a brand new student to the College?  The rest of you old timers know the drill, so you know what I’m going to say here for a second. For those who are here for the very first time, I want to tell you how this all works, no matter which week or who the devotional speaker is. The speaker may say something that is interesting, and may have bullet points and may say, “I have five of these and three of these things to remember”—that’s all well and good. But I’ll tell you what you should write down in your book: the things that the Spirit teaches you, the promptings of the still, small voice. What a wonderful opportunity we have every week to come and practice hearing the still, small voice for us, our individual needs, our wants, and our righteous desires. So I invite you today to start. Learn to listen with your heart and record what the Spirit would have you know.

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Robert F. Bennett

Date:
Title:

"U.S. Constitution ‘Ordered’ Our Freedom"

U.S. Constitution ‘Ordered’ Our Freedom

Good morning. I’m delighted to have the opportunity to talk to you today, and I’ve been given as my assigned topic one of my favorite topics. I address it in my classes at the University of Utah; I’ve talked about it in political settings; I’ve spent some time studying it, and I think it’s something very much worth your while as you gather on this particular occasion. The topic is the U.S. Constitution, how it has influenced the Church and American citizens and others throughout the world. There is only one problem with this assignment—it has been given before to other people who are more qualified to address it than I. And I’m glad that you all have a notebook on which you can write things down, because I am about to give you a homework assignment stemming from this.

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Pres. J. Lawrence Richards

Date:
Title:

"7 Ways to Go Forth in the Strength of the Lord"

7 Ways to Go Forth in the Strength of the Lord

Oh, you look good. I heard some counsel once from Elder Bednar. He said, “You don’t speak to an entire congregation. You speak to an assemblage of ones.” Assemblage of ones. As I looked over you during the opening song, the announcements, and this wonderful choir number, I saw “ones”. I’m grateful to be here. I’m grateful for a little gift of the Spirit Heavenly Father blessed me with when I was appointed to this position in 2009.That little gift of the Spirit is a love for you.  It is overwhelming at times. It is obviously not the same kind of love I have for my wife or for my children or for my parents. It is a unique love. I cannot describe it. But it is powerful. It would be wrong for me to say that it is a flavor of the love that Heavenly Father has for you, because that would be presumptuous. But if it’s not, it’s got to be very close. Very close.

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Richard Turley Jr.

Date:
Title:

"Early Saints Spread the Gospel Far and Wide"

Early Saints Spread the Gospel Far and Wide

It’s good to be with you today, brothers and sisters. I have stood at this pulpit many times, and each time I do I think of history. This building was not constructed until long after Brigham Young had passed away. But Brigham Young actually stood near where I am standing today and spoke to the Saints many times. If you look at early records of Brigham Young’s speeches, you will see that he spoke in what was called “the Tabernacle.” And you may be led by today’s structures to think that the Tabernacle mentioned in those speeches from the 1850s was the Tabernacle that’s over there. But in fact, the original Tabernacle on Temple Square was constructed on this corner. It was a low-slung, gabled building with a sunburst on the gable that faced south, and as it was originally arranged, there was a pulpit on the west end. Brigham Young spoke to a crowd that was kind of spread out north and south.

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Terry B. Ball

Date:
Title:

"Allow Learning to Inform and Confirm Your Faith"

Allow Learning to Inform and Confirm Your Faith

Thank you for that beautiful, beautiful number—the Spirit is invited. I hadn’t heard that particular arrangement before. I love that hymn [“Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing”]. I love the doctrine it teaches. I love the way that it makes me feel, and how it captures so much of my faith. “Oh to Grace how great a debtor daily I’m constrained to be. Let Thy goodness, as a fetter, bind my wand’ring heart to Thee.” A marvelous prayer.

I’m so happy to be invited to speak to you today. This is just a thrill for me. Thank you for coming. As you came in, I couldn’t help but think how good you look, and I suspect you are probably as good as you look. In fact, not only do you look good, you’re really quite good-looking. Isn’t it great to be both—to look good and to be good-looking? Do you know what makes you good-looking? Living the gospel. The more you live the gospel, the better looking you are.

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Brent Cherrington

Date:
Title:

"The Lord Inspires Us Along the Way"

The Lord Inspires Us Along the Way

My brothers and sisters, it’s great to be with you today—a little bit nervous for me, but hopefully I’ll make it through it. The choir is so good, and it’s nice to have a nice soothing hymn before you are called upon to speak. It calms my nerves. I was thinking during the opening hymn of the time when I was serving as a bishop. We used to have, when we were expecting that the meeting wasn’t going to last very long, we had a six-minute hymn that we would sing and see if we could take up a little of the extra time. I was disappointed to see that we only had two verses in our hymn.

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Mitch Pendleton

Date:
Title:

"Be Faithful, Trust in the Lord’s Timing"

Be Faithful, Trust in the Lord’s Timing

Let me start with a true story from a favorite professor at BYU. Brother Tolman is a wonderful and unique individual. He was funny in the classroom and spiritual, and he cared about his students. He also cared about being honorable. One morning prior to his class, he had a student show up in his office, and the student reported to him that apparently he had witnessed another student cheating on an exam. Apparently, this was a take-home exam and no materials were to be used, and the student said to Brother Tolman, “I don’t want to be a snitch or a tattle-tale, but I signed the Honor Code, too.”

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