BYU Speeches

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Tuly
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This talk by Elder Jeffrey Holland is in the September 2013 Ensign under the name - The Justice and Mercy of God . The complete speech is actually called -
Borne Upon Eagles' Wings given June 2nd, 1974. At the time of this talk Elder Holland was dean at BYU of Religious Instruction.

http://speeches.byu.edu/?act=viewitem&id=866

I believe with all my heart, I believe as certainly as I stand here, that—if we can repent of our sins, if we can be charitable with the sins of others, if we can take courage toward our circumstances and want to do something about them—there is a power, a living Father of us all who will reach down and, in the scriptural term, “bear us as on eagles’ wings.” When Moses was called to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt, Jehovah came down and said:

The cry of the children of Israel is come unto me: and I have also seen the oppression wherewith the Egyptians oppress them. . . .

I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt.

And Moses said unto God, who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh . . . ?

And he said, Certainly I will be with thee. [Exodus 3:9–12]

And then there were demonstrations of God’s presence. Sticks turned into serpents and water turned into blood, but that wasn’t enough. There were plagues—frogs and lice, hail and locusts—and that wasn’t enough. There was darkness, literally, and then death. Finally, that was enough. Then Israel was set free from political servitude to pursue a higher freedom if they would. And that challenge remains before us.

There really is, still stretching before you and me, something of a desert and a sea, like a barbed prison wire between our Egypt and our promised land. We’re all somewhere in that desert. When they gathered, that little band of Israelites, at the Mount of Sinai, Jehovah said to the sons of Abraham, “Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself” (Exodus 19:3–4)
"Condemn me not because of mine imperfection,... but rather give thanks unto God that he hath made manifest unto you our imperfections, that ye may learn to be more wise than we have been." Mormon 9:31
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Re: BYU Speeches

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Elder Neil Andersen shared this quote by President James Faust today at our Stake Conference. Great talk. The Voice of the Spirit - BYU September 5, 1993.

http://speeches.byu.edu/?act=viewitem&id=771

But we hear other voices. Paul said, “There are . . . so many kinds of voices in the world” (1 Corinthians 14:10) that compete with the voice of the Spirit. We have come here to hear just one voice. I have humbly prayed that I will speak by the power of the Holy Ghost so that my message may be carried into your hearts by that same power (see 2 Nephi 33:1). Imagine, however, what would happen if all of a sudden a heckler in the back of this hall started to yell obscenities; another on my left began to contend with him; another on my right began to debate with his neighbor; someone in the center turned on a recording of some loud music. Soon a chorus of raucous, rival voices would smother my voice, and it would be difficult, if not impossible, to deliver a spiritual message to you.

Such is the situation in the world. The Spirit’s voice is ever present, but it is calm. Said Isaiah, “And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever” (Isaiah 32:17). The adversary tries to smother this voice with a multitude of loud, persistent, persuasive, and appealing voices:

Murmuring voices that conjure up perceived injustices.

Whining voices that abhor challenge and work.

Seductive voices offering sensual enticements.

Soothing voices that lull us into carnal security.

Intellectual voices that profess sophistication and superiority.

Proud voices that rely on the arm of flesh.

Flattering voices that puff us up with pride.

Cynical voices that destroy hope.

Entertaining voices that promote pleasure seeking.

Commercial voices that tempt us to “spend money for that which is of no worth” and/or “labor for that which cannot satisfy” (2 Nephi 9:51).

Delirious voices that spawn the desire for a “high.” I refer not to a drug- or alcohol-induced high, but to the pursuit of dangerous, death-defying experiences for nothing more than a thrill.
"Condemn me not because of mine imperfection,... but rather give thanks unto God that he hath made manifest unto you our imperfections, that ye may learn to be more wise than we have been." Mormon 9:31
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Re: BYU Speeches

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This is a commencement talk at BYU 2011 by Elder Richard Scott - Living a Life of Peace, Joy, and Purpose . The talk is found in the February 2013 Ensign.

http://www.lds.org/ensign/2014/02/livin ... e?lang=eng


To Succeed in Life

1. Establish principles to guide your life.

2. Don’t make exceptions to your standards.

3. Be loyal.

4. Live so that the Lord can guide you.

5. Serve others.

6. Smile.

7. Don’t complain.

8. Always have a Church assignment.

9. Worship in the temple.

10. Follow the Savior’s example.


I love what he had to say about smiling.

Sixth, smile. I don’t mean that you need to be cracking jokes every day, but a good joke now and then is an escape valve. Life is not all that bad. You will soon learn that everybody has problems and nobody wants to hear about yours. Put those things aside and smile. Have a good sense of humor, as the prophets do. I wish I could tell you some of the things that we talk about. Not flippant things, not things that are inappropriate—just a good sense of humor. I will tell you a secret of how to wake up in the morning with a smile on your face no matter how you feel: go to bed with a coat hanger in your mouth. Remember, a good sense of humor helps you greatly.
"Condemn me not because of mine imperfection,... but rather give thanks unto God that he hath made manifest unto you our imperfections, that ye may learn to be more wise than we have been." Mormon 9:31
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Re: BYU Speeches

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His Grace is Sufficient by Brad Wilcox - July 12, 2011. This is the talk where Wilcox explains grace using a piano practice analogy. Great talk.

http://speeches.byu.edu/?act=viewitem&id=1966

Too many are giving up on the Church because they are tired of constantly feeling like they are falling short. They have tried in the past, but they always feel like they are just not good enough. They don’t understand grace.

There are young women who know they are daughters of a Heavenly Father who loves them, and they love Him. Then they graduate from high school, and the values they memorized are put to the test. They slip up. They let things go too far, and suddenly they think it is all over. These young women don’t understand grace.

There are young men who grow up their whole lives singing, “I hope they call me on a mission,” and then they do actually grow a foot or two and flake out completely. They get their Eagles, graduate from high school, and go away to college. Then suddenly these young men find out how easy it is to not be trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, or reverent. They mess up. They say, “I’ll never do it again,” and then they do it. They say, “I’ll never do it again,” and then they do it. They say, “This is stupid. I will never do it again.” And then they do it. The guilt is almost unbearable. They don’t dare talk to a bishop. Instead, they hide. They say, “I can’t do this Mormon thing. I’ve tried, and the expectations are just way too high.” So they quit. These young men don’t understand grace.

I know returned missionaries who come home and slip back into bad habits they thought were over. They break promises made before God, angels, and witnesses, and they are convinced there is no hope for them now. They say, “Well, I’ve blown it. There is no use in even trying any more.” Seriously? These young people have spent entire missions teaching people about Jesus Christ and His Atonement, and now they think there is no hope for them? These returned missionaries don’t understand grace.

I know young married couples who find out after the sealing ceremony is over that marriage requires adjustments. The pressures of life mount, and stress starts taking its toll financially, spiritually, and even sexually. Mistakes are made. Walls go up. And pretty soon these husbands and wives are talking with divorce lawyers rather than talking with each other. These couples don’t understand grace.

In all of these cases there should never be just two options: perfection or giving up. When learning the piano, are the only options performing at Carnegie Hall or quitting? No. Growth and development take time. Learning takes time. When we understand grace, we understand that God is long-suffering, that change is a process, and that repentance is a pattern in our lives. When we understand grace, we understand that the blessings of Christ’s Atonement are continuous and His strength is perfect in our weakness (see 2 Corinthians 12:9). When we understand grace, we can, as it says in the Doctrine and Covenants, “continue in patience until [we] are perfected” (D&C 67:13).
"Condemn me not because of mine imperfection,... but rather give thanks unto God that he hath made manifest unto you our imperfections, that ye may learn to be more wise than we have been." Mormon 9:31
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Re: BYU Speeches

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This was a powerful talk that Elder Dallin Oaks gave yesterday at BYUI. "Witnesses of God"

http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/witnesses-of-god
Believers need to be witnesses of God. I will now suggest three kinds of things we can do in response to current conditions, beginning with what is easiest....
A. Private Prayers and Greetings

We are taught to “believe in Christ, and deny him not” (2 Nephi 25:29); to “look unto [Christ] in every thought; doubt not, fear not” (D&C 6:36); and to “talk of Christ,” “rejoice in Christ,” and “preach of Christ” (2 Nephi 25:26). Two ways we can do this are in our private prayers and in our personal greetings.

In our private personal and family prayers we should ask God to help us and our neighbors and leaders recognize God our Creator and the right and wrong established by His commandments. We should do this for the good of His children everywhere.

We should also assert ourselves against the current trend to refrain from religious references even in private communications.

B. Publicly Recognize the Blessings of God

A second thing believers can do to stand as witnesses of God is to support public recognition of the blessings of God. This seeks to counter the diminishing mention of religious faith and references to God and His blessings in our public discourse. Contrast current public documents and the current rhetoric of government leaders with the similar documents and words of leaders in the first two centuries of our nation. In that contrast you will have evidence of deliberate efforts to edit out references to God and the influence of religion in our nation’s founding and preservation.

C. Contend for the Free Exercise of Religion

My third suggestion of what we can do to be better witnesses of God is to contend for the free exercise of religion. This is more difficult because it requires cooperative action by believers of various faiths. We should press officials in the executive, legislative and judicial branches of governments to honor the constitutionally guaranteed free exercise of religion.
"Condemn me not because of mine imperfection,... but rather give thanks unto God that he hath made manifest unto you our imperfections, that ye may learn to be more wise than we have been." Mormon 9:31
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Re: BYU Speeches

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This is a great talk by John S. Tanner, the new counselor of the General Sunday School presidency - One Step Enough - June 1992. Thanks Lily for inspiring me to check out his talks. Please read the complete talk, it is a wonderful talk.

http://speeches.byu.edu/?act=viewitem&id=449

According to Parley P. Pratt, the pioneers who endured the first terrible winter in the Salt Lake valley suffered more from fear than from actual hunger. Think about that. Remember how hungry the Saints were: “The people tried eating crows, thistle tops, bark, roots, and Sego Lily bulbs—anything that might offer nutriment or fill the empty stomach.” Yet they suffered most from fear. For “the valley was new,” says Brother Pratt, “nether was it proven that grain could be raised.”

Uncertainty can be more chilling than winter, doubt more gnawing than hunger, tempests of the mind more fearful than pelting rain. As Shakespeare’s King Lear remarks: “This tempest in my mind / Doth from my senses take all feeling else, / Save what beats there” (3.4.12–14).

And, in a similar vein, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn describes a peculiar reaction evident in many people picked up by the Soviet secret police: “Sometimes the principal emotion of the person arrested is relief and even happiness!” After all, Solzhenitsyn explains, there is a kind of exhaustion that is “worse than any kind of arrest.” He illustrates this point with the example of a priest who, having eluded arrest for eight years, “suffered so painfully from this harried life that when he was finally arrested in 1942 he sang hymns of praise to God.”


We have just sung lines by John Henry Newman that express this theme. Newman wrote “Lead, Kindly Light” aboard ship on the way home to England from Italy. He was homesick and seasick; he had just had malaria. Though he didn’t know it yet, he was also about to take the first faltering steps of a spiritual pilgrimage that ultimately would lead him, and many who followed him, to another church. In these circumstances, Newman writes:

Lead, kindly Light, amid th’ encircling gloom;
Lead thou me on!
The night is dark, and I am far from home;
Lead thou me on!
Keep thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene—one step enough for me.
[Hymns, 1985, no. 97]

The last line contains a phrase that became a motto for my wife, Susan, and me through long years of uncertainty in graduate school: “I do not ask to see the distant scene—one step enough for me.”


Now the final caution I promised. What I have said today does not mean that we should seek out risk, court anxiety, or take reckless chances. There is a difference between foolhardiness and faith. If you are the sort of person who likes risks, this is not the talk for you. We have an obligation to prepare for the future, to count the cost before we build, to study out decisions intelligently as well as prayerfully. We should be careful, and we should be wise.

Nevertheless, we must not trust only in our own wisdom. As George Santayana asserts,

It is not wisdom to be only wise,
And on the inward vision close the eyes,
But it is wisdom to believe the heart.
Columbus found a world, and had no chart,
Save one that faith deciphered in the skies; . . . .

Our knowledge is a torch of smoky pine
That lights the pathway but one step ahead
Across a void of mystery and dread.
Bid, then, the tender light of faith to shine
By which alone the mortal heart is led
Unto the thinking of the thought divine.

May the Lord light our various pathways, though it be “but one step ahead / Across a void of mystery and dread.” And may we, as covenant children of Abraham, have the faith to follow that heavenly light home.
"Condemn me not because of mine imperfection,... but rather give thanks unto God that he hath made manifest unto you our imperfections, that ye may learn to be more wise than we have been." Mormon 9:31
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Re: BYU Speeches

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Commencement Address 1957 - Cecil B. DeMille

http://speeches.byu.edu/?act=viewitem&id=1924

Moses and Brigham Young were more than leaders. They were lawgivers and they were educators—and those two functions came together in the lessons and the tasks they have left behind for us to learn and do.

It is expected of a commencement speaker that he should leave (with his younger classmates) at least one thought that they will remember—that may have a lasting meaning and value for them. The same thought that prompted me to produce The Ten Commandments—the same thought that I am sure Moses and Brigham Young had when they taught and legislated for their people, and that thought is a greater understanding of God’s law.

We are too inclined to think of law as something merely restrictive—something hemming us in. We sometimes think of law as the opposite of liberty. But that is a false conception. That is not the way that God’s inspired prophets and lawgivers looked upon the law. Law has a twofold purpose. It is meant to govern and it is also meant to educate. Take, for example, one of the most ordinary, everyday laws affecting all of us—the traffic regulations. The traffic laws, when they are observed, prevent accidents. They also produce good drivers. That is their educational function.

The Ten Commandments of God, when they are observed, prevent murder, stealing, false witness, envy, the worship of false idols, and the other sins and crimes against which God on Mount Sinai thundered “Thou shalt not.” Today some people are inclined to look upon those commandments as a bit archaic. But they are not. They are more modern than today’s newspaper—because they are timeless. “I am the Lord thy God. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” We do not bow before giant birds of carved granite or wooden idols with stone eyes. But we have other gods competing with God. We have never bent the knee before a graven image of Hathor—but there is also a graven image on a dollar bill.
"Condemn me not because of mine imperfection,... but rather give thanks unto God that he hath made manifest unto you our imperfections, that ye may learn to be more wise than we have been." Mormon 9:31
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Re: BYU Speeches

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I have always appreciated Bruce C. Hafen's writings. A Disciples Journey - February 2008

http://speeches.byu.edu/?act=viewitem&id=1758

Being like Him means we possess His divine attributes, such as charity. Do we develop charity by our own power or is it a gift from God? It is both. In the current BYU vernacular, we must be “fully invested” in Him—as He is fully invested in us. Only then will God “bestow” charity “upon all who are true followers of his Son.” We can’t develop a Christlike love by ourselves, but we can do all in our power to become a “true follower”—meek, lowly of heart, and submissive to correction and affliction. Then the Comforter, the Holy Ghost, “filleth” us “with hope and perfect love, which . . . endureth [forever], when all the saints shall dwell with God.”

On that day we will no longer be God’s “servants,” or even just His “friends.” In Liberty Jail, Joseph Smith suffered so much that he learned both the affliction side and the charity side of Christ’s love for him and for the Saints. Then Joseph was not just the Lord’s servant or even His friend. Rather, God addressed him this way: “My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment.” Christ also invites us to grow from servant to friend to God’s son or daughter—and then we are joint heirs with Christ. Then we will receive all that the Father hath and be all that the Father is.
"Condemn me not because of mine imperfection,... but rather give thanks unto God that he hath made manifest unto you our imperfections, that ye may learn to be more wise than we have been." Mormon 9:31
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You Were Born to Lead, You Born for Glory - Sheri L. Dew - December 9, 2003.

http://speeches.byu.edu/?act=viewitem&id=984

You were born to lead, and, in the words of Isaiah, you were born for glory (see Isaiah 62:2–3).

Now the glorious but sobering truth is that, in spite of your aeons of premortal preparation, the days ahead will at times “wrench your very heart strings,” as the Prophet Joseph told the Twelve (in John Taylor, JD 24:197). If you’ve hoped to passively, comfortably live out your lives, let me burst that little bubble once and for all. Now, please, do not misunderstand me: This is a magnificent time to live! It is a time, said President Spencer W. Kimball, when our influence “can be tenfold what it might be in more tranquil times” (“Privileges and Responsibilities of Sisters,” Ensign, November 1978, 103). The strongest runner wants to run the last leg of the relay.

But the last days are not for the faint of heart or the spiritually out of shape. There will be days when you feel defeated, exhausted, and plain old beat-up by life’s whiplash. People you love will disappoint you—and you will disappoint them. You’ll probably struggle with some kind of mortal appetite. Some days it will feel as though the veil between heaven and earth is made of reinforced concrete. And you may even face a crisis of faith. In fact, you can count on trials that test your testimony and your faith.
"Condemn me not because of mine imperfection,... but rather give thanks unto God that he hath made manifest unto you our imperfections, that ye may learn to be more wise than we have been." Mormon 9:31
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Re: BYU Speeches

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Another great Bruce C. Hafen talk. Bro. Hafen gave this talk at BYU Provo when he was President of Ricks College. I'm hoping this is the complete transcript. If not I would love to get the complete transcript since sometimes the Ensign does not print the complete transcript.
On Dealing with Uncertainty - A Brigham Young University devotional address, delivered 9 January 1979.

https://www.lds.org/ensign/1979/08/on-d ... y?lang=eng
Turning to one more fertile field to illustrate the naturalness of ambiguity, I remember Arthur Henry King’s statement that most truly great literary works will raise some profound question about a human problem, explore the question skillfully and in depth, and then leave the matter for the reader to resolve. He added that if the resolution seems too clear or too easy, the literature is perhaps not very good or else those reading it have missed its point. Take, for example, Dostoevsky’s novel, The Idiot, where the question is seriously raised whether it is possible for a true Christian to love unselfishly. The main character of the story is a pure and good person who loves two different women in two very different ways. One he loves as most men love women—she cares for him, she helps him, he is attracted to her romantically, and she could make his life very happy. The other woman—a pathetically inadequate person—he loves primarily because she needs him desperately and he has a compassionate heart. Posing the dilemma of which of these two the man should marry, Dostoevsky seems to ask if it is possible for mortal men to be totally devoted to the unselfish ideals of Christianity. As you might expect, he leaves that huge question unresolved, forcing the reader to ponder it for himself.

I have intentionally tried to suggest a wide variety of instances in which the answers we may seek are not as quickly apparent as we might have expected. My suggestion is that some uncertainty is characteristic of mortal experience. The mists of darkness in Lehi’s dream are, for that very reason, a strong symbolic representation of life as we face it on this planet. There are, of course, many things very certain and very clear, as so beautifully represented by the iron rod in Lehi’s dream; but there is enough complexity to make the topic of ambiguity worthy of discussion.

Given, then, the existence of a gap for most of us between where we stand and where we would like to be, and given that we will have at least some experiences that make us wonder, what are we to do? I think there are three different levels of dealing with ambiguity.
At level one, there are two typical attitudes, one of which is that we simply do not—perhaps cannot—even see the problems that exist. Some seem almost consciously to filter out any perception of a gap between the real and the ideal. Those in this category are they for whom the gospel at its best is a firm handshake, an enthusiastic greeting, and a smiley button. Their mission was the best, their student ward is the best, and every new day is probably going to be the best day they ever had. These cheerful ones are happy, spontaneous, optimistic, and they always manage to hang loose. They are able to weather many storms that would seem formidable to more pessimistic types, though one wonders if the reason is often that they have somehow missed hearing that a storm was going on.
I invite you then to step up to level two, where you see things for what they are, for only then can you deal with them in a meaningful and constructive way...
Despite the value of a level-two awareness, however, there are some serious hazards at this level. One’s acceptance of the clouds of uncertainty may be so complete that the iron rod fades into the receding mist and skepticism becomes a guiding philosophy. Often, this perspective comes from erasing the outer circle representing the ideal, or what ought to be, and focusing excessively on the inner circle of reality.

As a teacher in the BYU Law School, I noticed how common it was among first-year law students to experience great frustration as they discovered how much our legal system is characterized not by hard, fast rules, but by legal principles that often appear to contradict each other. I think, for example, of one new student who approached me after class expressing the confusion he was encountering in his study of the law. He said he had what he called “a low tolerance for ambiguity” and had been wondering if part of his problem was that he had only weeks before returned from a mission, where everything was crisp and clear, where even the words he was to speak were provided for him. To feel successful, all he had to do was follow the step-by-step plan given him for each day and each task on his mission. Law school was making him feel totally at sea as he groped for simple guidelines that would tell him what to do. His circumstance was only another example of what I have previously tried to describe as typical of college and university students in the early years of their experience. However, by the time our law students reached their third year of study, it was not at all uncommon for them to develop such a high tolerance for ambiguity that they were skeptical about everything, including some dimensions of their religious faith. Where formerly they felt they had all the answers, but just did not know what the questions were, they now seemed to have all the questions but few of the answers.

I found myself wanting to tell our third-year law students that those who take too much delight in their finely honed tools of skepticism and dispassionate analysis will limit their effectiveness, in the church and elsewhere, because they can become contentious, standoffish, arrogant, and unwilling to commit themselves.

The dangers of which I speak are not limited to our relations with others. They can become very personal, prying into our own hearts in unhealthy ways. The ability to acknowledge ambiguity is not a final form of enlightenment. Having admitted to a willingness temporarily to suspend judgment on questions that seem hard to answer, having developed greater tolerance and more patience, our basic posture toward the Church can, if we are not careful, gradually shift from being committed to being noncommittal. That is not a healthy posture. Indeed, in many ways, a Church member who moves from a stage of commitment to a stage of being tentative and noncommittal is in a worse position than one who has never experienced a basic commitment. The previously committed person may too easily assume that he has already been through the “positive-mental-attitude” routine and “knows better” now, as he judges things. He may assume that being submissive, meek, obedient, and humble are matters with which he is already familiar, and that he has finally outgrown the need to work very hard at being that way again. Those are the assumptions of a hardened heart.
The English writer G. K. Chesterton once addressed questions similar to those I have raised today. He distinguished among “optimists,” “pessimists,” and “improvers,” which roughly correspond to my three levels of dealing with ambiguity. He concluded that both the optimists and the pessimists looked too much at only one side of things. He observed that neither the extreme optimist nor the extreme pessimist would ever be of much help in improving the human condition, because people can’t solve problems unless they are willing to acknowledge that a problem exists and yet also retain enough genuine loyalty to do something about it. More specifically, Chesterton wrote that the evil of the excessive optimist (level one) is that he will “defend the indefensible. He is the jingo of the universe; he will say, ‘My cosmos, right or wrong.’ He will be less inclined to the reform of things; more inclined to a sort of front-bench official answer to all attacks, soothing everyone with assurances. He will not wash the world, but whitewash the world.”

On the other hand, the evil of the pessimist (level two), wrote Chesterton, is “not that he chastises gods and men, but that he does not love what he chastises.” In being the so-called “candid friend,” the pessimist is not really candid. Chesterton continued: “He is keeping something back—his own gloomy pleasure in saying unpleasant things. He has a secret desire to hurt, not merely to help. … He is using the ugly knowledge which was allowed him [in order] to strengthen the army, to discourage people from joining it.” (Gilbert K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy, Garden City, N.Y.: Image Book, 1959, pp. 69–70).

In going on to describe the “improvers,” or level three, Chesterton illustrates by referring to women, who tend to be so loyal to those who need them. “Some stupid people started the idea that because women obviously back up their own people through everything, therefore women are blind and do not see anything. They can hardly have known any women. The same women who are ready to defend their men through thick and thin … are almost morbidly lucid about the thinness of his excuses or the thickness of his head. … Love is not blind; that is the last thing that it is. Love is bound; and the more it is bound the less it is blind.” (Chesterton, Orthodoxy, p. 71.)

Perhaps President Harold B. Lee was thinking of Chesterton’s point about women when he used to say, “Behind every great man, there is an amazed woman.”
"Condemn me not because of mine imperfection,... but rather give thanks unto God that he hath made manifest unto you our imperfections, that ye may learn to be more wise than we have been." Mormon 9:31
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Re: BYU Speeches

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From BYU-Hawaii - Take Upon Ourselves His Name - September 26, 2002 - Brent Wilson - Dean of the School of Business

http://devotional.byuh.edu/node/292
Our efforts to love the Lord and love our neighbors as ourselves should result in behaviors and attitudes that differentiate us from others. We have our personal name, a distinctive e-mail address, and other identifying items to differentiate us from anyone else. Taking upon ourselves the holy name of Jesus Christ should also differentiate us from others. Are you distinctive and different from others who have not taken upon themselves Christ's name?

From an external perspective, carrying upon ourselves His name should be reflected in how we dress, how we speak, what movies we watch, what music we listen to, and what we eat or allow into our bodies. Too frequently I think we attempt to see how close to the limits we can come, how much we can get away with, how close can we come to being like others. For example, do we excuse ourselves for wearing clothing that violates our standards and covenants because that is the fashion. Do we use inappropriate language with our friends to be accepted by them? A better approach is to evaluate whether our behavior and actions identify us as disciples of Christ.
And we should strive to bring forth this fruit constantly and continually. As you may recall, I referred at the beginning of this talk to our propensity to segment our lives into boxes or compartments. When we are attending Church, we may behave one way, yet when we are with friends during the week, we may behave quite another way. We cannot be Christian in our behavior and attitudes only when it is convenient. We must be consistent and unending in our devotion to following His example. Enduring to the end, does not mean starting just before the end, or intermittently choosing to follow Him. We must be unceasing in our devotion.
It is my hope that we will recognize the responsibility that we bear as we have covenanted to take upon ourselves the name of our Savior Jesus Christ. Just as President George Albert Smith was able to face his grandfather, I pray that we might each be able to say to our Savior when we meet Him, "I have never done anything with your name of which you need be ashamed."
"Condemn me not because of mine imperfection,... but rather give thanks unto God that he hath made manifest unto you our imperfections, that ye may learn to be more wise than we have been." Mormon 9:31
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Tuly
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Re: BYU Speeches

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Elder Jeffrey Holland spoke at BYU Idaho today. It was packed, Emma ended up listening the devotional at home. Here is another of Elder Holland's memorable talks, given at BYU March 1997 - Come Unto Me. I love this quote - it is so true how we do run from the very things that will bless us.

http://speeches.byu.edu/?act=viewitem&id=734

We aren’t told all of the circumstances of the disciples as they set out in their boat, but it was toward evening, and certainly it was a night of storm. The winds must have been ferocious from the start. Because of the winds, these men probably never even raised the sails but labored only with the oars—and labor it would have been. We know this because by the time of “the fourth watch of the night” (Matthew 14:25)—that is somewhere between three and six in the morning—they had gone only a few miles. By then the ship was caught up in a truly violent storm, a storm like those that can still sweep down on the Sea of Galilee to this day.

But, as always, Christ was watching over them. He always does, remember? Seeing their difficulty, the Savior simply took the most direct approach to their boat, striding out across the waves to help them, walking on the water as surely as he had walked upon the land. In their moment of great extremity, the disciples looked and saw in the darkness this wonder in a fluttering robe coming toward them on the ridges of the sea. They cried out in terror at the sight, thinking that it was a phantom upon the waves. Then, through the storm and darkness—when the ocean seems so great and little boats seem so small—there came the ultimate and reassuring voice of peace from their Master. “It is I,” he said, “be not afraid” (verse 27).

This scriptural account reminds us that the first step in coming to Christ—or his coming to us—may fill us with something very much like sheer terror. It shouldn’t, but it sometimes does. One of the grand ironies of the gospel is that the very source of help and safety being offered us is the thing from which we may, in our mortal shortsightedness, flee. For whatever the reason, I have seen investigators run from baptism, I have seen elders run from a mission call, I have seen sweethearts run from marriage, and I have seen young couples run from the fear of families and the future. Too often too many of us run from the very things that will bless us and save us and soothe us. Too often we see gospel commitments and commandments as something to be feared and forsaken.

Let me quote the marvelous James E. Talmage on this matter:

Into every adult human life come experiences like unto the battling of the storm-tossed voyagers with contrary winds and threatening seas; ofttimes the night of struggle and danger is far advanced before succor appears; and then, too frequently the saving aid is mistaken for a greater terror. [But,] as came unto [these disciples] in the midst of the turbulent waters, so comes to all who toil in faith, the voice of the Deliverer—“It is I; be not afraid.” [Jesus the Christ, 3d ed. (Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1916), p. 337]
"Condemn me not because of mine imperfection,... but rather give thanks unto God that he hath made manifest unto you our imperfections, that ye may learn to be more wise than we have been." Mormon 9:31
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Tuly
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Re: BYU Speeches

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Incredible talk by Elder Holland - Living After the Manner of Happiness - Brigham Young University-Idaho Devotional - September 23, 2014 -
Personal note - I am not an Elizabeth Gilbert fan.

http://www2.byui.edu/Presentations/Tran ... olland.htm

Happiness comes first by what comes into your head a long time before it comes into your hand. Joseph Smith was living “after the manner of happiness” in a very unhappy situation when he wrote from Liberty Jail to those on the outside who were also the victims of great injustice and persecution:

“Let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; . . .

“The Holy Ghost shall be thy constant companion, and thy scepter an unchanging scepter of righteousness and truth.”

Let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly. That is not only good counsel against the modern plague of pornography, but it is counsel for all kinds of gospel thoughts, good thoughts, constructive thoughts, hopeful thoughts. Those faith-filled thoughts will alter how you see life’s problems and how you find resolution to them. “The Lord requireth the heart and a willing mind,”the revelations say. Too often we have thought it was all up to the heart; it is not. God expects a willing mind in the quest for happiness and peace as well. Put your head into this. All of this takes effort. It is a battle but a battle for happiness that is worth waging. In her popular book of a year or so ago, Elizabeth Gilbert wrote:

“Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and . . . look for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it. You must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness . . ., to stay afloat on top of it.”


I love that phrase of hers: “Participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings.” Don’t be passive. Swim upward. Think and speak and act positively. That is what happy people do; that is one aspect of living after the manner of happiness.

Here is another. In anticipation of giving this talk, I sat in my study for a long time trying to think if I had ever known a happy person who was unkind or unpleasant to be with. And guess what? I couldn’t think of one, not a single, solitary one. So learn this great truth early in life while you are at such a happy place as BYU-Idaho: You can never, worlds without end, build your happiness on someone else’s unhappiness. Sometimes, maybe especially when we are young and insecure and trying to make our way up in the world, we think if we can tear someone else down a little, it will somehow miraculously lift us up. That is what bullying is. That is what catty remarks are. That is what arrogance and superficiality and exclusiveness are. Perhaps we think if we are negative enough, or cynical enough, or just plain mean enough, then expectations won’t be too high; we can keep everyone down to a flaw-filled level and therefore our flaws won’t be so glaring.

Happy people aren’t negative or cynical or mean so don’t plan on that being part of the “manner” of happiness. If my life has taught me anything, it is that kindness and pleasantness and faith-based optimism are characteristics of happy people. From the words of Mother Teresa, “Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.”
"Condemn me not because of mine imperfection,... but rather give thanks unto God that he hath made manifest unto you our imperfections, that ye may learn to be more wise than we have been." Mormon 9:31
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Tuly
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Re: BYU Speeches

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I can't believe I have not posted this classic talk by Elder Jeffrey Holland - Remember Lot's Wife - BYU January 2009. This is a great reminder to move forward with faith. I also have to believe and trust that people can change and improve. I have witnessed that concept many times but conveniently choose to forget it.

http://speeches.byu.edu/?act=viewitem&id=1819
I can’t tell you the number of couples I have counseled who, when they are deeply hurt or even just deeply stressed, reach farther and farther into the past to find yet a bigger brick to throw through the window “pain” of their marriage. When something is over and done with, when it has been repented of as fully as it can be repented of, when life has moved on as it should and a lot of other wonderfully good things have happened since then, it is not right to go back and open up some ancient wound that the Son of God Himself died trying to heal.

Let people repent. Let people grow. Believe that people can change and improve. Is that faith? Yes! Is that hope? Yes! Is it charity? Yes! Above all, it is charity, the pure love of Christ. If something is buried in the past, leave it buried. Don’t keep going back with your little sand pail and beach shovel to dig it up, wave it around, and then throw it at someone, saying, “Hey! Do you remember this?” Splat!
To all such of every generation, I call out, “Remember Lot’s wife.” Faith is for the future. Faith builds on the past but never longs to stay there. Faith trusts that God has great things in store for each of us and that Christ truly is the “high priest of good things to come.” - Hebrews 9:11
"Condemn me not because of mine imperfection,... but rather give thanks unto God that he hath made manifest unto you our imperfections, that ye may learn to be more wise than we have been." Mormon 9:31
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Tuly
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Re: BYU Speeches

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This is a great talk that Elder Russell Nelson gave at BYU-I recently. Here are portions of his talk - God Uses the Unlikely for the Impossible - January 2015

https://www.lds.org/church/news/god-use ... 8&lang=eng
Recognizing his audience is young and still learning, Elder Nelson reminded listeners that they are “literally and truly a son … or daughter of Almighty God” and are created in His image.

“Physically, He wants you to honor the body He has given you,” he said. “He wants you to treasure and care for your body as your own personal temple. Spiritually, He has sent you here to be successful and to have joy in your journey in mortality.”

Individuals are entitled through their worthiness to receive revelation to help them with their righteous endeavors.

“It matters not that times of tribulation will come,” he said. “Your prayerful access to help is just as real as it was when David battled his Goliath.”

Elder Nelson told listeners to foster their faith and to fix their focus with an eye single to the glory of God.

“The Lord has more in mind for you than you have in mind for yourself,” he said. “You have been reserved and preserved for this time and place. You can do hard things. At the same time, as you love Him and keep His commandments, great rewards—even unimaginable achievements—may be yours. …

“You faithful students here at BYU–Idaho can accomplish the impossible. You literally can help shape the destiny of the entire human family! You will be scattered like seeds in the wind to build up the Church in all parts of the world. As you know and apply the teachings of the Lord in your lives and in your work, you can change the world. You will become a precious part of His perennial pattern: the Lord uses the unlikely to accomplish the impossible!”
"Condemn me not because of mine imperfection,... but rather give thanks unto God that he hath made manifest unto you our imperfections, that ye may learn to be more wise than we have been." Mormon 9:31
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