Hopefully you’ve all heard a speech that made you sit up straight, listen intently and fumble for a piece of paper, any scrap of paper to take notes. Maybe it’s been in General Conference, in Sacrament Meeting or at another event? For me, some of the speeches I love the most and refer back to often come from speeches.byu.edu. Chances are you’ve heard at least one of these before. The BYU archive pulls speeches from their Tuesday morning devotionals, graduation speeches and occasionally other events.
Because these speeches are intended for a younger audience, they are smarter, more powerful and often a bit more fun. And since I always want to feel smart, spiritually powerful and fun (not to mention young) I visit the site fairly often to listen to the most recent speeches.
An interesting feature on the sidebar of speeches.byu.edu is the MOST VIEWED speeches in the upper right corner. You can click the tab to see most viewed this week or of all time. In more than a decade of visiting the site I have never seen a day where at least two speeches from Elder Jeffrey R. Holland and at least one from Elder Neal A. Maxwell aren’t in the most viewed of all time. For the past few years the top spot belongs to Brad Wilcox and deservedly so. If you listen to only one talk on this list make it His Grace Is Sufficient. And then listen to it again.
I’ve chosen this list by talks I think are especially good for young people. I’m sure you’ll find your own favorites.
1. His Grace Is Sufficient Brad Wilcox. Required listening for every latter-day saint. Chances are you’ve heard this already, but you should probably listen to it again.
2. Cast Not Away Therefore Your Confidence Jeffrey R. Holland. This talk helped me understand the way God sends revelation and just the title reminds me to never give up on the Lord.
3. You Were Born to Lead, You Were Born for Glory Sheri L. Dew. Think you don’t matter? Think you aren’t powerful? Listen to Sheri Dew. She’ll change your mind.
4. Remember Lot’s Wife: Faith Is for the Future Jeffrey R. Holland. No one teaches true doctrine quite like Elder Holland. This reassuring talk teaches you to look forward and have faith.
5. Faith to Forgive Grievous Harms: Accepting the Atonement as Restitution James R. Rasband. You might not see this on the ‘most listened’ lists, but this beautiful talk changed my life. If you’ve been severely hurt by someone else’s sins, this talk will help you understand the atonement in a new way. Besides, Dean Rasband tells fantastic lawyer jokes.
6. If Thou Endure It Well Neal A. Maxwell. For some reason this talk isn’t on the site anymore, but when I first discovered BYU Speeches I listened to it nearly every day for a year. If you’re going through something difficult in your life, this talk offers understanding and healing. I especially love the story about the British soldiers on the beaches of Dunkirk. You can even watch in on BYUtv Neal A. Maxwell 12/4/84
and one of my personal favorites: How Will You Serve? by Phoebe Romney Cook– one of our very own writers at RubyGirl.org. I was listening to the newest BYU Speeches one day and found myself brought to tears by one graduation speech. After listening to it, I went to Facebook just to tell this Phoebe Cook how much I’d loved her speech. I was surprised to find we were already friends– I just hadn’t translated Phoebe Romney- a girl I’d known and loved for years to her married name– Phoebe Cook. Take a listen. I think you’ll enjoy it as much as I do.
What are your favorite talks or speeches? Has a talk changed your life or helped you understand a gospel principle?