Devotionals provide students with time for spiritual reflection

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    By Jessica Kehr and Brent Edmunds

    There is not a fire drill, a football game or a student strike every Tuesday at 11 a.m.

    So where are all the students going?

    BYU students are flocking to the Marriot Center for the weekly Devotional.

    “All services on campus close for this hour so that people don’t have to work and miss that opportunity. It makes it possible for everyone on campus to attend,” said Sue Fernstedt, executive secretary in the academic vice presidents office.

    The Devotional is an hour set aside every Tuesday for speakers to address the entire BYU population.

    “Devotionals provide a spiritual lift during the week. You don’t have to study or go to class. It’s a time to sit back and think about spiritual things,” said Jeremy Shakespear, 23, a sophomore from Austin, Texas, majoring in geology. “I think it is what separates BYU from other universities.”

    Devotionals are dedicated to topics that address the same values and beliefs of the BYU students and faculty.

    Speakers are chosen and organized by the Church Education System, usually inviting general authorities, or officers to come to BYU during the year.

    “We present the devotional calendar to the Church Education System office to determine what general authorities/officers will come,” said Kay Johnson, administrative assistant to the advancement vice president.

    Forum speakers are chosen differently. Speakers are chosen by the Forum Committee, which is composed of Faculty members and one student representative.

    The individuals that are invited to speak at the forums are invited based on a few criteria.

    The committee believes that the speaker will talk about something interesting to the faculty and staff of BYU. The speaker should also be in line with BYU standards and the speaker needs to have contributed something outstanding in their field in some way, Fernstedt said.

    For more information about Devotionals and Forums, call 801-378-2640, or visit BYU’s Web site at www.byu.edu/news/yevents/.

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