Devotionals from the Past: 1960s to 1970s

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Karl G. Maeser first instituted daily assemblies at Brigham Young Academy for instruction and worship. A theology class was taught at the start of each school day during the late 1800s. Returned missionaries and faculty taught the students of the academy, along with special visits from General Authorities of the Church. Devotionals became a distinguishing factor of BYU. Moving from the Maeser Building to the old Joseph Smith Building and then over to the Smith Fieldhouse, the devotionals drew large crowds of students, a fact that still holds true today. The Marriott Center now holds thousands of student every Tuesday as they join together to hear the words of faculty, political leaders, religious leaders and General Authorities of the LDS Church. From the 1950s to today, the words spoken during devotionals still ring with truth.

Gordon B. Hinckley, then- Quorum of the Twelve, February 25, 1969
“I want to say to you young men and women here—all of whom likely will be married in the next five years, believe it or not—you cannot afford to be anything less than the best insofar as your family relationships are concerned. The fruits are too important. The consequences are too eternal to take a chance on anything less than the right thing.”

Harold B. Lee, then- President of the Church, September 1973
“I say to you young people today, remember your heritage, and be loyal to that royal lineage that you have as members of the church and kingdom of God on the earth.”

Russell M. Nelson, then- General President of the Sunday School, May 1974
“To me, the essence of the study of medical sciences and the lesson I have learned, to which I testify, is that the human body is divinely created!”

Ezra Taft Benson, then- Quorum of the Twelve, December 1974
“God loves us, he’s watching us, he wants us to succeed, and we’ll know someday that he has not left one thing undone for the eternal welfare of each of us.”

Neal A. Maxwell, then-President of the Seventy, October 1976
“Spiritual silence is a school. We may think we are sitting in that school only waiting, but really we are witnessing those marvelous moments of creative communication and of new commitment.”

Boyd K. Packer, then- Quorum of the Twelve, January 1977
“In your youth you can learn that the scriptures are powerful, that they’re righteous; that in this Church we learn the scriptures, that we accept them, that we determine to live by them.”

David B. Haight, then- Quorum of the Twelve, September 1977
“What do you expect to achieve? What do you want to become? Many of you are just beginning at the University and, rather than waiting for a commencement speaker to suggest lofty goals four years from now, what a blessing it would be if you would establish a clear purpose now, even tonight. You are adults with responsibilities; you are a chosen group with unlimited potential. Establish goals; identify them, study them, follow them. Set in neon lights your purpose, your plans, your future, your hopes—and if they are right they will be in harmony with God’s purpose for you.”

Bruce R. McConkie, then- Quorum of the Twelve, November 1977
“When we as Latter-day Saints talk about marriage we are talking about a holy celestial order. We are talking about a system out of which can grow the greatest love, joy, peace, happiness, and serenity known to humankind. We are talking about creating a family unit that has the potential of being everlasting and eternal, a family unit where a man and a wife can go on in that relationship to all eternity, and where mother and daughter and father and son are bound by eternal ties that will never be severed.”

Howard W. Hunter, then- Quorum of the Twelve, February 1979
“I fully believe that in the near future we will see some of the greatest advancements in spreading the gospel to all nations that have ever taken place in this dispensation or any previous dispensation.”

Joseph B. Wirthlin, then- First Quorum of the Seventy, June 1979
“You are the vital and critical link, the ones who are on the verge of making it all happen, the ones representing the loftiest gospel ideals to all the world, and in you they live or die.”

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