Students at Brigham Young University will begin their fall semester on August 30th. Two time-honored traditions at the university are the weekly devotionals and the forums held at the Marriott Center on campus. Devotionals are spiritual in nature, while forums tend to focus on a more secular topic. These weekly addresses cover a wide variety of topics and speakers range from local leaders to nationally recognized names, but they all bring welcome perspectives, insights, and spark discussion among students and faculty alike.
Here is the fall semester’s lineup of speakers and the dates of their respective addresses:
September 7 devotional | President Kevin J. Worthen and Sister Peggy S. Worthen
President Kevin J. Worthen began serving as the 13th president of Brigham Young University on May 1, 2014. He previously served as BYU's advancement vice president and as dean of the J. Reuben Clark Law School. He served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Monterrey, Mexico, earned an associate degree from the College of Eastern Utah (now Utah State University Eastern), and received both his Bachelor of Arts in political science and his Juris Doctor from BYU.
Sister Peggy Worthen worked in a number of jobs while her husband finished his education and began his career, including as a receptionist for U.S. Senator Jake Garn. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English from BYU in 2003, the same year their oldest son graduated from high school.
Although President and Sister Worthen grew up three blocks away, they never knew each other well. President and Sister Worthen were married in the Provo Utah Temple and have three children and six grandchildren.
September 14 devotional | Elder Dale G. Renlund, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Elder Dale G. Renlund was named to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on October 3, 2015. Professionally, after receiving his Bachelor of Arts and Doctor of Medicine degrees from the University of Utah and training at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Elder Renlund worked as a professor of medicine at the University of Utah and the medical director of the Utah Transplantation Affiliated Hospitals Cardiac Transplant Program. He and his wife Ruth Lybbert Renlund were married in 1977 and have one daughter.
September 21 devotional | Elder Paul B. Pieper, General Authority Seventy
Elder Paul B. Pieper was called as a General Authority Seventy in 2005. Prior to his call, he also served as the president of the Russia St. Petersburg Mission, worked in the Europe East, Middle East, and Mexico Areas, and served in the Family History, Curriculum and Priesthood and Family Departments of the Church in Salt Lake City. He is currently serving as the President of the North America Southwest Area covering Arizona, Nevada, Texas, New Mexico, and smaller portions of other US states.
September 28 forum | Martin Luther King III, lawyer and American human rights advocate
Martin Luther King III is the oldest son and oldest living child of civil rights leaders Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King, and currently works as a lawyer and American human rights advocate. The served as the fourth president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference from 1997 to 2004.
October 12 devotional | Bishop W. Christopher Waddell, First Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric
Bishop W. Christopher Waddell was called to serve as First Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric in October 2020. Prior to his call to the Presiding Bishopric, he had served for five years as Second Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, four years as a General Authority Seventy, and president of the Barcelona Spain Mission. Professionally, Bishop Waddell worked for Merrill Lynch in various positions, including first vice president of investments.
October 19 devotional | Sister Becky Craven, Second Counselor in the Young Women General Presidency
Sister Becky Craven has served as the Second Counselor in the Young Women General Presidency since March of 2018. She and her family have traveled to villages in Kenya, Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru and Guatemala with CHOICE Humanitarian to help rural communities end poverty over the last 15 years. She also served as an executive board member for CHOICE Humanitarian and is the mother of five children and 20 grandchildren.
October 26 forum | Rev. Dr. Andrew Teal, chaplain and Oxford University lecturer
Rev. Dr. Andrew Teal is a chaplain and Fellow at Pembroke College and lecturer in theology and religion within Oxford University. He is also warden of the Community of the Sisters of the Love of God and a trustee of All Saints Sisters of the Poor, Helen and Douglas House children’s hospices, among other notable service institutions in Oxford, England. Teal will be joining the BYU Maxwell Institute this fall as an affiliate faculty member.
November 2 devotional | Julie Valentine, BYU College of Nursing
Dr. Julie Valentine is currently the associate dean of undergraduate studies and research and an associate professor for the BYU College of Nursing. Dr. Valentine's clinical work is with Wasatch Forensic Nurses as a certified sexual assault nurse examiner. She is also currently the principal investigator on multiple research studies with goals of influencing legislative policy on decreasing sexual violence, advocating for justice and creating healthier communities.
November 9 devotional | Gilbert W. Fellingham, BYU Department of Statistics
Gilbert W. Fellingham is a professor of statistics at BYU and has taught for over 30 years and authored or co-authored over 100 peer-reviewed publications. Prior to his PhD, he taught in statistics in secondary schools for over a decade, and his areas of research interest include various statistical models as applied to sports and human performance.
November 16 devotional | Elder W. Mark Bassett, General Authority Seventy
Elder W. Mark Bassett has served as a General Authority Seventy since April 2016. Prior to his call, he had served as a member of the Fifth Quorum of the Seventy and as a member of the Brazil Area Presidency. He currently serves as an assistant executive director in the Missionary Department of the Church and as a member of the North America Northeast Area Presidency. During his professional career, he was the owner and CFO of West Coast Auto Auctions, Inc.
November 30 forum | William Barber II, author, pastor and president of Repairers of the Breach
William Barber II is a pastor of Greenleaf Christian Church, Disciples of Christ in Goldsboro, North Carolina, and a prominent civil rights activist. Barber previously served as president of the North Carolina NAACP and currently sits on the National NAACP Board of Directors. He is also regularly featured in media outlets like CNN, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Nation magazine, and has authored four books on politics and civil rights.
December 7 devotional | Elder Neil L. Andersen, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Elder Neil L. Andersen was called to be an Apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in April of 2009. He also served as a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy and a member of area presidencies in Brazil and western Europe. Before he was called to be a General Authority, Elder Andersen served as a mission president in the France Bordeaux Mission and as president of the Tampa Florida Stake. He graduated from BYU as a Hinckley Scholar and earned an MBA from Harvard University. Elder Andersen and his wife, Kathy Williams Andersen, are the parents of four children.
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