Fall 2021 devotional lineup announced

BYU Photo
President Kevin J Worthen speaks at a devotional address in January 2021. BYU announced its lineup of devotional and forum speakers for Fall Semester 2021, with President Worthen and Sister Peggy S. Worthen speaking on Sept. 7. (BYU Photo)

BYU unveiled its devotional and forum schedule for fall semester which includes apostles and other Church leaders, university faculty and renowned public figures.

Delivery format details for each devotional and forum are to come.

President Kevin J Worthen and Sister Peggy S. Worthen

BYU President Kevin J Worthen and his wife, Peggy S. Worthen, will kick off the semester with a devotional address on Sept. 7. President Worthen has served in his position since 2014 and was previously the university’s advancement vice president and J. Reuben Clark Law School dean.

Sister Worthen worked as a receptionist for former U.S. Sen. Jake Garn, R-Utah while her husband was finishing school and starting his career. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English from BYU in 2003.

Elder Dale G. Renlund

The next devotional on Sept. 14 will be given by Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Elder Renlund is a doctor and studied medicine at the University of Utah. He was also a medical professor at the University of Utah and medical director of the Utah Transplantation Affiliated Hospitals Cardiac Transplant program.

Elder Paul B. Pieper

General Authority Seventy Elder Paul B. Pieper will give the next devotional address on Sept. 21. Elder Pieper served as president of the Russia St. Petersburg Mission from 2004 to 2005 and is currently president of the North America Southwest Area. He is also an attorney and has worked in Latin America, Asia and the former Soviet Union with law and management consulting firms.

Martin Luther King III

The first forum address of the semester on Sept. 28 will be given by lawyer and human rights advocate Martin Luther King III, who is the oldest living child of Martin Luther King Jr. On the 40th anniversary of his father’s death, King and Al Sharpton led a march around Memphis, Tennessee. He visited the Lorraine Hotel and placed a wreath where his father stood before being shot.

“My father’s view were unequivocal, and I have found them to be invaluable to me as guidelines for prayerful consideration of current events and issues,” he told Ebony magazine in 2005.

Bishop W. Christopher Waddell

First Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric W. Christopher Waddell will give his devotional address on Oct. 12. Bishop Waddell has served as a General Authority Seventy and president of the Barcelona Spain Mission.

Sister Becky Craven

Sister Becky Craven, second counselor in the Young Women General Presidency, will give her devotional address on Oct. 19. She and her family have traveled to villages in Kenya, Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru and Guatemala with CHOICE Humanitarian, which works to end poverty in rural areas. Sister Craven even served as an executive board member for the organization.

Rev. Andrew Teal

The Oct. 26 forum address will be given by the Rev. Andrew Teal. Teal is a chaplain and fellow at Pembroke College and theology and religion lecturer at Oxford University, as well as a trustee for All Saints Sisters of the Poor and Helen and Douglas House children’s hospices.

Teal has published material on patristic and modern theology, even collaborating with BYU and Church leaders. One of his recent publications from 2019 is titled, “Inspiring Service: Interfaith Remarks with Elder Jeffrey R. Holland at Oxford.” The piece was published by BYU’s Religious Studies Center. Teal will join the BYU Maxwell Institute this fall as an affiliate faculty member.

Julie Valentine

Julie Valentine is the associate dean of undergraduate studies and research for BYU’s College of Nursing. She will give the devotional address on Nov. 2. Valentine is also an associate professor, receiving her doctorate in philosophy and nursing from Duquesne University.

She works with Wasatch Forensic Nurses as a certified sexual assault nurse examiner and is a principal investigator in research studies aiming to decrease sexual violence.

Gilbert W. Fellingham

Statistics professor Gilbert W. Fellingham will give the devotional address on Nov. 9. He has taught at BYU for more than 30 years and authored or co-authored more than 100 peer-reviewed publications. Fellingham has a doctorate and master’s in biostatistics from the University of Washington.

Elder W. Mark Bassett

The Nov. 16 devotional address will be given by General Authority Seventy Elder W. Mark Bassett. Elder Bassett serves as an assistant executive director of the Missionary Department and member of the North America Northeast Area Presidency. He worked as owner and chief financial officer of West Coast Auto Auctions, Inc. during his professional career.

William Barber II

Greenleaf Christian Church and Disciples of Christ pastor William Barber II will give the forum address on Nov. 30. Barber is a bishop with the Fellowship of Affirming Ministries and visiting professor at Union Theological Seminary. He was president of the North Carolina NAACP and is now on the National NAACP Board of Directors. He is also an author of four books.

Elder Neil L. Andersen

The final devotional of the semester on Dec. 7 will be given by Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Elder Andersen served as senior member of the Presidency of the Seventy before being called to the Twelve. He has led the Church’s work in southern Brazil and oversaw it in western Europe as a member of an area presidency.

Elder Andersen was a Hinckley scholar during his time at BYU and has an MBA from Harvard University.

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