BYU Speeches just discovered footage of 24 campus devotionals. See the list here

by | Jul. 30, 2020

BYU Speeches recently found footage for 24 past talks given on the Brigham Young University campus. Read up on just a handful of our favorite messages and see the complete list of speakers for the talks below.

President Ezra Taft Benson

During his October 11, 1983 devotional address, President Ezra Taft Benson spoke of how thoughts “lead to acts, acts lead to habits, habits lead to character—and our character will determine our eternal destiny.”

“It is our privilege to store our memories with good and great thoughts and bring them out on the stage of our minds at will,” said President Benson. “When the Lord faced His three great temptations in the wilderness, He immediately rebutted the devil with appropriate scripture which He had stored in His memory.”

Sheri Dew

Sheri Dew gave her address, “Living on the Lord’s Side of the Line,” on March 21, 2000. In her talk, Dew speaks of how she took a year off from her studies at BYU to tour with a USO group and once performed at a Demilitarized Zone separating North Korea and South Korea. The group had to sign waivers in order to attend, and they were assured they would be safe, but since “relations between the two Koreas were strained at the time,” Dew said the experience was nerve-racking. Three Americans were later shot and killed in the Demilitarized Zone.

Quoting George Albert Smith, Dew gave the assurance that “If we live on the Lord’s side of the line Lucifer cannot come there to influence us.”

“Very simply, our physical and spiritual safety lies in never even getting close to the line that separates light from dark, good from evil. Jesus Christ showed us how to deal with the adversary. When Satan tempted Him, there was no clever repartee, no battle of wills, just immediate dismissal—“Get thee behind me, Satan. . . . Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God” (Luke 4:8, 12). If the omniscient Jehovah wasn’t willing to debate the adversary, how quickly ought we to run for our lives—our eternal lives—when confronted with even the slightest hint of evil,” said Dew.


Elder L. Tom Perry 

Speaking about the common phrase “To be in the world, but not of the world,” Elder L. Tom Perry shared in his devotional address on January 4, 1981, that while it is important to “stay free from the sins and materialism of the world around us,” it is still important to live “in the world.”

“It is ‘in the world’ we have had the privilege of coming to have a mortal experience. It is ‘in the world’ where we are tested and tried. It is ‘in the world’ that we have the opportunity of partaking of sacred saving ordinances which will measurably determine our postmortal life. It is the world that must be saved; it is to the world that the Christ must come again. It is the world that will be our eternal home,” he said.

President James E. Faust 

Footage of two talks by President Faust were recently found by BYU Speeches. In “A Testimony of Jesus Christ,” delivered in March 1979, then-Elder Faust wished to seal his testimony of the Savior as the newest member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Just a year later in March 1980,  he encouraged reading one’s patriarchal blessing.

“Our testimonies can be strengthened and fortified and our lives given greater purpose every time we read and reread our patriarchal blessings,” he said. “By their very nature, all blessings are qualified and conditional, regardless of whether the blessing specifically spells out the qualification or not. Each blessing is absolutely qualified and given upon the condition of the faithfulness of the recipient of the blessing.”

President Gordon B. Hinckley

During his talk, “The Widow’s Mite,” delivered on September 17, 1985, President Gordon B. Hinckley shared the following story about a widow who gave all she could to the Church:

Some time back a small, bent, elderly woman came to my office. For the purpose of this talk I shall call her Mary Olsen, although that is not her name and she would not wish her identity disclosed. She said she had just come over from the temple. She took from her purse her checkbook. She said that she had been a widow for many years, that life had not been easy for her. She had a great love for the Lord and his Church. She had faithfully paid her tithing all her life. She felt she would not live much longer. Now, she said, she felt she ought to be doing more to help than she had done. In a hand shaky with age, she wrote a check for $5,000. She handed it to me. I noted the address where she lived. It was in a poor neighborhood. I confess that as I looked at that check tears came into my eyes. I have held many larger checks than that in my hands. But as I held the check of this widow woman, I was almost overcome by her faith and the seriousness of the trust that was mine in the expenditure of her consecrated contribution.

My dear young friends, we—you and I—are trustees of that which has been given to the Lord by Mary Olsen and thousands like her whose devotion is as great and whose sacrifice is as certain. This beautiful campus, with its many programs, is a consumer of a very substantial portion of the widow’s contribution. She gives her offering to the Lord, and she is then released from responsibility. The responsibility then becomes mine—and yours!

See the entire list of speakers below or watch all the talks on the BYU Speeches YouTube channel.

Update: Since publication, two additional speeches have been added to the “From the Archives” playlist: Gordon B. Lindsay's address “And Always Remember Him”  and John W. Welch's “Thy Mind, O Man, Must Stretch.” According to the playlist description, the playlist is “a collection of devotional videos from the BYU archives, many of which have never before been publicly available.”

Danielle christensen

Danielle Christensen

Danielle is a features writer and editor for LDS Living. Previously, she served as web producer for Church News, where she managed their website and social media platforms. Danielle is a graduate of Brigham Young University in English and has been published with Deseret NewsChurch NewsBYU Magazine, and Spires Intercollegiate Arts and Literary Magazine.

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