The Good Word

Words. This campus is full of them. The students and faculty and visitors to BYU speak and write and type and text millions upon millions of words every day. Any attempt to sift through all those words and select the best sentences or paragraphs from a year on campus would be futile, but nonetheless here we have gathered a few of our favorites. These quotes come from speeches given on campus in 2015. You can read or listen to or watch many of these words—and more, from last year and decades past—at

“Because of the Atonement, all failures are changeable and temporary, except the one that occurs when we give up. So whatever you do, don’t you dare give up.”

—President Kevin J Worthen, “Successfully Failing: Pursuing Our Quest for Perfection,” University Devotional, Jan. 6, 2015

“[Creativity] is a path that is filled with false turns and errors, and the errors are a necessary part of the process.”

—Ed Catmull, “The Creative Culture,” University Forum, Jan. 27, 2015

“History has a circular quality—it tends to repeat and sometimes rewind. Wisdom, by contrast, is linear. Smart people, parents tell their children, learn from their own mistakes. A really smart person, a corollary might suggest, learns from the mistakes of others. And a sage gleans great truths from the wise as well as mistaken steps of those who came before.”

—James Leach, “Public Angst, Gridlock, and the Unending Nature of Modern Warfare,” University Forum, Feb. 24, 2015

“The words experiment and experience have the same Latin root: they both come from the word experior, which means to gain knowledge through repeated trials.”

—Professor Jennifer B. Nielson, “Experiment and Experience,” University Devotional, March 3, 2015

“When covenant women keep their covenants, they have greater access to the power of God. The power of God flows into them, and that power—His power—generates a decrease in stress, an increase in energy, more and clearer revelation for their lives, renewed focus, courage to make needed changes, an increase in patience, and—more time for what matters!”

—Sister Wendy Watson Nelson, “My Soul Delighteth in the Covenants of the Lord,” BYU Women’s Conference, April 30, 2015

“I recommend you make a policy to never make a major purchase on the spot. Go home, have dinner, talk about it with your spouse or someone else you trust, pray about the decision, and decide later whether or not to make the purchase. You can remember this advice with the acronym HALT: don’t make major purchases when you are hungry, angry, lonely, or tired.”

—Professor E. Jeffrey Hill, “Money Matters: Living Joyfully Within Your Means,” University Devotional, June 9, 2015

“The joy that is the purpose of our existence is intense and enduring. We may properly say that it is eternal. Where do we find our greatest joy? I suggest that it is in creativity, the process and feeling of creating something.”

—Elder Dallin H. Oaks, “Joy at Graduation,” Commencement, August 13, 2015

“As evil increases in the world, there is a compensatory spiritual power for the righteous. As the world slides from its spiritual moorings, the Lord prepares the way for those who seek Him, offering them greater assurance, greater confirmation, and greater confidence in the spiritual direction they are traveling.”

—Elder Neil L. Andersen, “A Compensatory Spiritual Power for the Righteous,” Education Week Devotional, Aug. 18, 2015

“Character is not about what we know but about who we are—and who we become. It is about the heart and soul, not just the mind.”

—President Kevin J Worthen, “Building Character,” University Devotional, Sept. 8, 2015

“Heavenly Father loves all of His children equally. . . . There is no choice, sin, or mistake that you or anyone else can make that will change His love for you or for them. That does not mean He excuses or condones sinful conduct; nor do we, in ourselves or in others. But that does mean we reach out in love to persuade, to help, and to rescue.”

—Elder Ronald A. Rasband, “Religious Freedom and Fairness for All,” University Devotional, Sept. 15, 2015

“My beloved young brothers and sisters, if the Lord cares enough to send His Spirit and make available a site for a temple, do you not suppose that He will send His Spirit and prepare your heart and guide your steps not only this day but throughout the rest of your life and for the remainder of eternity?”

—Bishop Dean M. Davies, “God Will Use You, God Will Bless You,” University Devotional, Nov. 3, 2015

“Lewis and Tolkien rejected both a faithless view of life and an egocentric one. Their heroes understood that pain and loss would occur in this life but that ultimate victory would be theirs. In their stories, many are the defeats and great is the suffering that the truest servants endure while fighting for good in this world. In both Narnia and Middle Earth, hope was in the ultimate return of the king. You too find yourself in a world of conflict between good and evil. You too must decide what part you will play.”

—Elder Larry Y. Wilson, “The Return of the King,” University Devotional, Dec. 1, 2015