BYU Today

Decades of Devotion


Since the beginning of B.Y. Academy, devotionals have been an integral part of the BYU experience.

* Locations: At least 11 buildings have hosted devotionals over the years: the Lewis Building (until it burned down), the ZCMI warehouse, the Academy Building, College Hall, the Maeser Building, the Joseph Smith Building (both old and new), the Smith Fieldhouse, the Marriott Center, the Harris Fine Arts Center, and the Wilkinson Student Center.

* Largest attendance: 25,875 people attended President Gordon B. Hinckley’s devotional on Oct. 17, 1995.

* Fringe benefits: During President Ernest L. Wilkinson’s administration, one half hour of religion credit was given for each term of devotional attendance.

* Speakers: Every prophet since John Taylor has delivered a BYU devotional address (although George Albert Smith was not the prophet at the time he spoke).

* Marriott memory: President Joseph Fielding Smith was the first speaker at a Marriott Center devotional on April 18, 1972; 12,276 people attended.

* Virtual devotionals: Devotionals today are broadcast on campus to the Joseph Smith Building and Varsity Theater. They are also available on KBYU-TVKBYU-FM(radio and Internet), and BYU Television (satellite and Internet).

* Best-seller: Elder Jeffrey R. Holland’s 1988 devotional address, “Of Souls, Symbols, and Sacraments,” tops the list of best-selling reprints.

WEB: Reprints of past devotional addresses can be ordered online at speeches.byu.edu.