Every Tuesday at 11:05 a.m., students, faculty and staff gather for the weekly devotional or forum address. BYU President Kevin J Worthen and his wife Peggy kick off the semester and are followed by members of the leadership of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, BYU employees and a range of industry leaders and thinkers.
The first three devotionals of fall semester will be delivered via television and radio broadcast only (BYUtv, BYUradio, 89.1 KBYU-FM). The Marriott Center will not be open to students, faculty, staff or members of the public. Specific details on the delivery format for later devotionals and forums will be forthcoming.
Fall 2020 Devotional and Forum Schedule
- September 8: President Kevin J Worthen and Sister Peggy S. Worthen (Devotional)
- September 15: Elder James B. Martino, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Devotional)
- September 22: Estela Marquez, Multicultural Student Services (Devotional)
- September 29: Melody Barnes, Lawyer and Political Advisor (Forum)
- October 6: Candace Berrett, Statistics (Devotional)
- October 13: Bishop Gérald Caussé, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Devotional)
- October 20: Eboo Patel, Founder/President of Interfaith Youth Core (Forum)
- October 27: TBD (Devotional)
- November 3: Jamie Jensen, Biology (Devotional)
- November 10: Elder Quentin L. Cook, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Devotional)
- November 17: Ziauddin Yousafzai, Educator and Social Activist (Forum)
- December 1: Matthew Wickman, English (Devotional)
- December 8: Elder Scott D. Whiting, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Devotional)
About the Fall 2020 Devotional and Forum Speakers
BYU President Kevin J Worthen
September 8, 2020 Devotional
Kevin J Worthen began serving as the 13th president of Brigham Young University on May 1, 2014. He previously served as BYU's advancement vice president and as dean of its J. Reuben Clark Law School, where he is the Hugh W. Colton Professor of Law.
President Worthen was born in Dragerton (now East Carbon-Sunnyside), Utah, and grew up in nearby Price. After serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Monterrey, Mexico, he earned an associate degree at the College of Eastern Utah (now USU Eastern). He then received his Bachelor of Arts in political science and his Juris Doctor from BYU.
Following his graduation from the J. Reuben Clark Law School, President Worthen served as a law clerk to Judge Malcolm R. Wilkey of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and Justice Byron R. White of the U.S. Supreme Court. After three years of private practice with the law firm of Jennings, Strouss & Salmon in Phoenix, Arizona, President Worthen joined the BYU Law School faculty in 1987. In 1994, he was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Chile Law School in Santiago. He has published extensively on a number of legal topics, with particular emphasis on federal Indian law and the rights of indigenous peoples.
President Worthen currently serves as an area seventy in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
President and Sister Worthen have three children and six grandchildren.
September 8, 2020 Devotional
Peggy Sealey Worthen, born and raised in Price, Utah, is the second oldest of five children. She is married to Kevin J Worthen, current president of Brigham Young University.
While she was attending the College of Eastern Utah, she met Kevin Worthen at a church dance and the two soon began dating. Although she grew up three blocks from Kevin and his family, their three-year age difference meant they never went to high school at the same time and didn’t know each other well. In college, she began meeting with the missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and when she decided to be baptized, Kevin was able to baptize her. She and Kevin were married in the Provo Utah LDS Temple.
Early in their marriage, Peggy worked in a number of jobs to support their family, including as a receptionist for U.S. Senator Jake Garn, as Kevin finished his education and started his career. She was able to return to school when Kevin began teaching, and she graduated with a degree in English from BYU in 2003, the same year their oldest son graduated from high school. She has taken a number of courses since then, including two years of Norwegian.
Elder James B. Martino
Europe East Area President, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
September 15, 2020 Devotional
Elder James B. Martino was sustained as a General Authority Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on April 4, 2009, and he is currently serving as president of the Europe East Area.
Elder Martino received a bachelor of science degree in business from Brigham Young University in 1974. After graduation, he began working for Russell-Newman, Inc., an apparel company. He was president and CEO of the company from 1989 to 2000. He served as chairman of the company from 2003 until his retirement in 2009.
BYU Multicultural Student Services
September 22, 2020 Devotional
Estela Marquez was born in a small village in Northern Guatemala but also lived in Costa Rica and Mexico before moving to the United States with her husband Israel more than 30 years ago. Marquez worked for the Provo School District as a school social worker before joining BYU's Multicultural Student Services office. She and her husband have seven children and 16 grandchildren.
Lawyer and Political Advisor
September 29, 2020 Forum
Lawyer and political advisor Melody Barnes worked as an aide and chief counsel to Senator Edward "Ted" Kennedy on the Senate Judiciary Committee and later as the director of the Domestic Policy Council under President Barack Obama. Barnes has assumed roles at the Aspen Institute and NYU, and is now at the University of Virginia, where she teaches law and is co-director of the Democracy Initiative.
October 6, 2020 Devotional
Dr. Candace Berrett is an Associate Professor in the Department of Statistics at BYU. Her research interests focus on Bayesian spatial and spatio-temporal methods for non-normal data in environmental, epidemiological, and signal processing applications. She most often teaches courses on probability and generalized linear models. She is actively involved in both national and international statistics communities. Berrett earned her bachelor's degree in actuarial science from BYU and her master's and doctoral degrees in statistics from The Ohio State University. In addition to being a statistician and professor, she is also a daughter, sister, wife, stepmom, mom, colleague, friend, quilter, runner, prayer, learner, A Lot football player, and more.
Bishop Gérald Caussé
Presiding Bishop, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
October 13, 2020 Devotional
Bishop Gérald Caussé was serving as a General Authority Seventy and as a counselor in the Europe Area Presidency when he accepted the call to be a counselor in the Presiding Bishopric at the April 2012 general conference. In October 2015, he became the 15th presiding bishop in the Church's history.
He is the third presiding bishop born outside the United States and the first for whom English is a second language.
Bishop Caussé received a master’s degree in business from ESSEC in 1987. His career has been in the food industry, where he has worked with several supermarket chains and food distribution companies. At the time of his call as a General Authority Seventy, he was the general manager of Pomona, a food distribution company in France.
Founder and President of Interfaith Youth Core
October 20, 2020 Forum
American Ismaili Eboo Patel is the founder and president of Interfaith Youth Core, a Chicago-based international nonprofit that aims to promote interfaith cooperation. Patel was also a member of President Barack Obama's inaugural Advisory Council on Faith-based Neighborhood Partnerships and served on the Department of Homeland Security’s Faith-based Security Advisory Council. He earned a doctorate in sociology of religion from Oxford University and is the author of several books, the most recent being Out of Many Faiths: Religious Diversity and the American Promise.
November 3, 2020 Devotional
Dr. Jamie Jensen is a discipline-based educational researcher (DBER) in biology at BYU. She received a bachelor’s degree in animal science and a master’s degree in biology, with an emphasis in developmental biology and molecular evolution, from BYU. Jensen received a doctoral degree in biology, with an emphasis in science education, from Arizona State University.
Jensen joined the faculty at BYU in 2010. Her research foci include the reconciliation of evolution and religion among religious students, creating faculty development programs that teach evidence-based instructional practices to STEM faculty, and developing and assessing undergraduate biology curricula that use evidence-based pedagogical strategies to increase student scientific reasoning skills and deep conceptual understanding.
Elder Quentin L. Cook
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
November 10, 2020 Devotional
Elder Quentin L. Cook was sustained as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on 6 October 2007.
At the time of his call to be a General Authority of the Church, he was vice-chairman of Sutter Health System. He had previously served as president and chief executive officer of a California healthcare system. Prior to that, he was a business lawyer and managing partner of a San Francisco Bay Area law firm. He also served on the governing boards of a number of civic and business-related corporations.
He is a native of Logan, Utah, received a bachelor’s degree in political science from Utah State University, with honors, and a Doctor of Jurisprudence from Stanford University. Utah State University awarded him an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.
Teacher and Social Activist
November 17, 2020 Forum
Educator, human rights campaigner and social activist Ziauddin Yousafzai is from Pakistan. After graduating with an MA in English, he established a successful school in his native Swat Valley. There, at great personal risk among grave political violence, he peacefully resisted the Taliban’s efforts to shut down schools and kept open his own school. Yousafzai speaks on national and international media resisting the Taliban’s atrocities and on promoting children’s rights –especially girls’ rights – to education and peace through active pacifism. His courage and passion have inspired many people, including his daughter, Malala Yousafzai, to join him in standing up for human rights.
December 1, 2020 Devotional
Matthew Wickman is a professor of English and the Founding Director of the BYU Humanities Center. His interests include interdisciplinary literary and cultural studies, including in disciplines outside the humanities (e.g., the sciences, mathematics, law, etc.), Scottish literary and intellectual history, British literature of the long eighteenth century, Romanticism, modernism, critical and literary theory, the Enlightenment and its intellectual legacy, the history and morphology of literary forms, and literary and intellectual history. For three years (2009-2012) he held a joint appointment between BYU and the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, where he was Senior Lecturer of Scottish Literature, returning full-time to BYU in 2012 to help launch the Humanities Center.
Elder Scott D. Whiting
General Authority Seventy, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
December 8, 2020 Devotional
Elder Scott D. Whiting was sustained as a General Authority Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on March 31, 2012. At the time of his call, he had been serving as a member of the Fifth Quorum of the Seventy in the North America West Area. He has served as the President of the Asia North Area and is currently serving at Church headquarters.
Elder Whiting received a bachelor’s degree in Japanese from Brigham Young University in 1986 and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law in 1990. Most recently, he was employed as the president of Waterhouse, Inc., and he previously worked as the president and CEO of Molokai Ranch.
Elder Whiting has been active in civic affairs, serving as a member of both the Aloha Council and Far East Council executive boards of the Boy Scouts of America and as chairman of the LDS-BSA Relations Committee. He has also served as a member of the Brigham Young University–Hawaii School of Business executive advisory board and the Hawaii Reserves, Inc. board.