Dear 100 Hour Board,
Everybody knows the 3 best speeches on the BYU Speeches website, and so my question is: what would you say is the 4th-best forum/devotional delivered on a Tuesday morning at BYU?
-just missed the podium
I don't think there's an actual consensus ranking, but everyone should read Discovering Your Divine Individuality by Professor Julie Crockett.
This devotional does a great job talking about individuality and how it relates to perfection and exhalation. Not only is it spiritually uplifting and inspiring, but it is very entertaining and pretty short. Plus Dr. Crockett is basically the coolest engineering professor and she quotes The Incredibles. So you should definitely read it.
Some people might rank these two talks as fourth best, but in my humble opinion they're the best talks. They've shown the humor and humanity of leaders and make me love them even more. I've included some of the best quotes to encourage you to read/listen to them yourselves.
"Some Thing We Have Learned - Together" by then-President and Sister Holland. Basically they're roasting each other in front of the whole campus while giving top notch advice about relationships and marriage. Top quotes:
- Pat (as they refer to her in the transcript): "The last thing we want to do is sound self-righteous, so our first assurance is that our marriage is not perfect, and we have the scar tissue to prove it. To quote my father, the rocks in Jeff’s head have not yet filled the holes in mine."
Pat: When it is right, [marriage] should be pursued, and for some that will be younger—or older—than others. But don’t march to an arbitrary drummer who seems to be beating a frenzied cadence to the passing years.
Pat: (Oh, dear, I’m facing . . . )
Pat: (Will I ever find him?)
Pat: (Oh, woe is me, woe is me.)
Pat: (Death, make me thine! O grave, receive me!)
- Jeff: But we don’t have everything worked out yet—like room temperatures. I used to joke about LDS scripturalists who worried about the body temperature of translated beings. I don’t joke anymore, because I now worry seriously about my wife’s body temperature. She has an electric blanket on high for eleven months of the year. She suffers hypothermia at the Fourth of July picnic. She thaws out from about 2:00 to 3:30 on the afternoon of August 12th, then it’s bundle-up time again.
Pat: He ought to talk. He throws the window open every night as if he’s Admiral Peary looking for the South Pole. But just let someone suggest a little winter morning’s jogging and he sounds like a wounded Siberian sheepdog. Mr. Health here can’t tie his shoelaces without taking oxygen.
Have I ever mentioned how much I love Elder and Sister Holland?
"Principles from Prophets" by President Thomas S. Monson. In this talk, President Monson shares his memories and stories of past prophets. It really humanizes past prophets and increased my respect and love for them (especially for President Monson). I highly suggest listening to this talk. Top quotes:
- On that particular occasion I noticed a painting on the wall, and I said to him, “President McKay, that’s a lovely painting. Is it a rendition of your childhood home in Huntsville, Utah?”
President McKay sat back in his chair, gave a familiar David O. McKay chuckle, and said, “Let me tell you about that picture. A sweet woman came in to see me one day and presented to me that beautiful painting, framed and ready to be placed on the wall. She said, `President McKay, I have spent the entire summer painting this picture of your ancestral home.’” He said he thanked her profusely and accepted the gift. “Do you know, Brother Monson,” he continued, “that sweet woman painted the wrong house. She painted the house next door! I didn’t have the heart to tell her. She may come back, so that’s why it’s hanging on the wall.”
- One day I was sitting in the temple near President Kimball. As I looked down, I noticed that he had a large hole in his shoe. And I mean large! His stocking showed through. After the meeting I said to Arthur Haycock, President Kimball’s secretary, “Arthur, you can’t let the President wear those shoes.”
Arthur responded, “Has he got that pair out again? He has many pairs of shoes, and I frequently hide that pair, but he searches and finds that particular pair most of the time.”
- [After President Monson watched President Kimball deal with a difficult parent] After he left, Brother Kimball said, “Aren’t some parents unusual?” He would not use a word I might have used, but then he wasn’t in the navy like I was!
Dear Fourth Missionary,
I'm not exactly sure what list you're referencing about the three best speeches, but this list gives the most viewed BYU speeches.
On my mission, I compiled a list of my favorite BYU speeches, and your question gives me an opportunity to dig through them and give you my personal list of the best BYU devotionals. Honestly, I don't know if any one of them is my my all-time favorite since each one has been awesome for me at different parts of my life. I also made short synopses of each of them, but that's mostly for me. Here they are, in no particular order:
On Measuring Flour and Forgiveness, Madison U Sowell. A great speech about forgiveness with a lot of great stories, a song, and a poem.
A Time For Laughter, Richard H Cracroft. Extremely funny speech all about laughter.
Celestial Marriage—A Little Heaven on Earth, Robert D Hales. Marriage and relationships in general.
"Father, Are You There?", Hugh B Brown. Waiting on the Lord, has a great missionary story.
Empathy and the Pure Love of Christ, Elaine Walton. Having and using empathy.
His Grace Is Sufficient, Brad Wilcox. Possibly the most popular BYU devotional about grace and the Atonement.
Meeting the Challenges of Today, Neal A Maxwell. Talk on foreordination, explained simply and clearly.
Come Unto Christ, Henry B Eyring. Repentance and Christ-like change.
More Brigham Young on Education, Hugh B Nibley. Gaining knowledge and education, kitsch.
"In the Strength of the Lord", David A Bednar. Bednar's first talk, conversion and the mercy and grace of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
The Road To Tarshish, Marion D Hanks. Living up to our full potential and doing the Lord’s will.
"That’s How the Light Gets In", Tyler Jarvis. Not fearing failure and working toward perfection.
Child of Promise, Henry B Eyring. Using time wisely.
Meek and Lowly, Neal A Maxwell. Meekness and humility.
Knowing When to Persevere and When to Change Direction, Janet G Lee. Enduring trials and times of change (pink crayon story).
A Law of Increasing Returns, Henry B Eyring. Working hard and waiting patiently for the returns.
Your Refined Heavenly Home, Douglas L Callister. Celestial culture.
The Hard Work of Understanding the Constitution, Thomas B Griffith. Understanding the Constitution and any document requiring study.
"The Very Root of Christian Doctrine", Thomas B Griffith. Making the Atonement a larger part of our lessons and lives.
Waiting Upon the Lord, Henry B Eyring. Patience and longsuffering.
On Giving and Getting, F Burton Howard. Giving our honest effort and waiting for reward.
"Quick to Observe", David A Bednar. Observing and the spiritual gift of discernment.
Leaders and Managers, Hugh Nibley. Being a great leader (note: the beginning is kind of weird, it changes topic in the middle at about minute 9)
Love is Not Blind: Some Thoughts For College Students on Faith and Ambiguity, Bruce C Hafen. Skepticism and Optimism.
"True Doctrine, Understood, Changes Attitude and Behavior", Todd B Parker. Scripture study and great biblical connections (Joseph Smith name meaning).
"Taking Sweet Counsel", J Benner Ritchie. Counseling with the Lord and counseling with others.
"By Their Fruits Ye Shall Know Them", David B Haight. Great story about charity in New York.
Thanks for the question. It gave me a good opportunity to compile all of these.
All the best,
Well, to be honest, I'm not sure I do know what the three best speeches on the BYU Speeches website are, but, based on my metric, this talk, "Loving Our Neighbors" by Carolina Núñez, is the fourth-best talk delivered on a Tuesday morning at BYU.
Dear Participation Award,
Easily and unmistakably the "Creating Justice" forum by Bryan Stevenson. This address literally had me in tears. It gave meaning, direction, and solidarity to my major and gave me hope to make the world a better place. It may not be on the list of top 3 for everyone else, but it's MY #1. The points he outlined were so perfect and so simple and so beautiful... I did something I never do and skipped part of a class to stay for the Q&A portion and it was incredible. As an advocate for Death Row inmates, I found Stevenson's empathy and general love for even the most despised of society incredibly inspiring. His life is one that exemplifies Christ-like charity and I think we can all learn from what he had to say.
I have been trying to keep his 4 points in mind as I study sociology and try to understand how I can make the world a better place. May we all try to be proximate to those who are neglected so that we might lift them with us. May we also have the strength to change narratives and be brave enough to stand up for what is right. May we remain hopeful that things CAN change, and that our day to day efforts to love, elevate, and educate will accumulate into something great, and we will see the fruits of our labors. And lastly, may we have the courage to do hard and uncomfortable things - to put ourselves in places where we can change the world.
I also don't know if "Successfully Failing" by President Worthen is on your list of top 3, but it definitely should be. It always makes me tear up, and I think it's so evident how much President Worthen cares about us and our successes and failures. It's meaningful, and a good reminder to accept your process as you grow into who you were meant to be.
That's How the Light Gets In by Tyler J. Jarvis is one of my all time life-changing talks, conference talks included.
It's just sweet, and calming, and perfectly tailored for my perfectionist scientist brain. Not to mention, he quotes Leonard Cohen so that's great. It also touches on a trait I would very much like to posses: the ability to get excited about correction, knowing that I am learning something new and wonderful.