Every Tuesday at 11:05 a.m., this semester, instead of flocking to the Marriott Center, students, faculty and staff tune in to watch or listen to the weekly devotional or forum address. BYU President Kevin J Worthen and his wife Peggy kick off the semester and in following weeks are followed by leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, BYU employees and a range of industry leaders and thinkers. Entertainment assemblies celebrating the talent of BYU students round out the semester schedule.
Specific details on the delivery format for each devotional and forum will be forthcoming.
Winter 2021 Devotional and Forum Schedule
- 12th: President Kevin J Worthen and Sister Peggy S. Worthen (devotional)
- 19th: Elder David A. Bednar, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (devotional)
- 26th: David Epstein, reporter and author (forum)
- 2nd: Bishop L. Todd Budge, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (devotional)
- 9th: Elder José A. Teixeira, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (devotional)
- 23rd: Dambisa Moyo, macroeconomist (forum)
- 2nd: Elder Gary E. Stevenson, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (devotional)
- 9th: Janalee Emmer, BYU Museum of Art (devotional)
- 16th: Brother Mark L. Pace, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (devotional)
- 23rd: Elder Kyle S. McKay, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (devotional)
- 30th: Drew Faust, President Emeritus at Harvard and American historian and author (forum)
- 6th: Ryan Gabriel, BYU sociology professor (devotional)
- 13th, Unforum
About the Winter 2021 Devotional and Forum Speakers:
BYU President Kevin J Worthen
January 12, 2021, 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 the dean of its J. Reuben Clark Law School, where he was the Hugh W. Colton Professor of Law. 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.
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 from 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 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.
January 12, 2021, 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 missionaries from 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 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 bachelor’s 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 David A. Bednar
January 19, 2021, Devotional
Elder David A. Bednar was ordained and set apart as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on October 7, 2004. Prior to his call to the Quorum of the Twelve, Elder Bednar served as an Area Seventy, Area Authority Seventy, Regional Representative, stake president twice, and bishop.
Elder Bednar was born in Oakland, California. He served as a full-time missionary in Southern Germany and then attended Brigham Young University, where he received a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree. He also received a doctoral degree in organizational behavior from Purdue University. After completing his education, Elder Bednar was a professor of business management at Texas Tech University and at the University of Arkansas. He then served as the president of Brigham Young University–Idaho (formerly Ricks College) from 1997–2004.
January 26, 2021, Forum
Investigative reporter David Epstein is the author of “Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World.” In it, Epstein raises issues that are central to our discussions of the purposes and processes of general education. One reviewer wrote that the book “will force you to rethink the nature of learning, thinking, and being, and reconsider what you thought you knew about optimal education and career paths.” Epstein is a graduate of Columbia University, where he earned a bachelor's degree in environmental science and astronomy and master's degrees in environmental science and journalism.
Bishop L. Todd Budge
February 2, 2021, Devotional
Bishop L. Todd Budge was sustained as a General Authority Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on April 6, 2019, at age 59. Bishop Budge has served in several Church callings, including full-time missionary in the Japan Fukuoka Mission, stake Young Men president, elders quorum president, stake executive secretary, bishopric counselor, bishop, stake president, president of the Japan Tokyo Mission, Area Seventy and member of the Fifth Quorum of the Seventy in the Utah Salt Lake City Area.
Bishop Budge received a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from Brigham Young University in 1984. He worked for Bain & Company Japan, Citibank N.A. and GE Capital in both Atlanta and Japan. In 2003 he became president and chief executive officer of Tokyo Star Bank Limited. From 2008 to 2011 he served as chairman of the board. During this time, he also served as a member of the board of directors for Hawaiian Airlines.
Elder José A. Teixeira
February 9, 2021, Devotional
Elder José A. Teixeira was sustained as a General Authority Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on April 5, 2008. He is currently serving in the Presidency of the Seventy.
Elder Teixeira’s education is in accounting, auditing and business management. He was an international controller for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, with responsibility for Europe and Africa. He also served in the Portuguese Air Force and was assigned to CINCIBERLAND, NATO and was awarded for his services to that international military unit.
February 23, 2021, Forum
Dambisa Moyo is a Zambian-born international economist and author who analyzes the macroeconomy and global affairs. Currently, serves on the boards of Chevron Corporation and the 3M Company. She worked for two years at the World Bank and eight years at Goldman Sachs before becoming an author and international public speaker. She has written four New York Times bestselling books, with the most recent, “Edge of Chaos: Why Democracy Is Failing to Deliver Economic Growth–and How to Fix It,” published in 2018.
Elder Gary E. Stevenson
March 2, 2021, Devotional
Elder Gary E. Stevenson was sustained to serve as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on October 3, 2015. At the time of his call to the Twelve, he had been serving as the Presiding Bishop of the Church since April 2012.
Elder Stevenson received a bachelor of science degree in business administration from Utah State University. He co-founded an exercise equipment manufacturing company, ICON Health & Fitness, Inc., where he served as president and chief operating officer until 2008. He was also involved in numerous civic activities and has served on various boards and advisory councils.
March 9, 2021, Devotional
An associate director at the Museum of Art, Dr. Janalee Emmer received her doctorate in art history at Pennsylvania State University and her master's and bachelor's at BYU. She has taught at Ohio Wesleyan University, the University of Tennessee, and Bucknell University. Her area of study is modern and contemporary art, with particular interest in nineteenth-century French art, women artists, American art, and Asian art and architecture. Her former museum experience includes work at the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Palmer Museum of Art on Penn State campus, and the Springville Museum of Art.
Brother Mark L. Pace
March 16, 2021, Devotional
Mark L. Pace was serving as an Area Seventy and a member of the Fifth Quorum of the Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when he was called as Sunday School General President in April 2019. As a young man he served as a full-time missionary in the Spain Madrid Mission. From 2012 to 2015 he served as president of the Spain Barcelona Mission.
Brother Pace earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Utah in 1980 and a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School in 1982. Prior to his call, he worked in commercial real estate development.
Elder Kyle S. McKay
March 23, 2021, Devotional
Elder Kyle S. McKay was sustained as a General Authority Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on March 31, 2018, at age 58. At the time of his call, he had been serving as a member of the Fifth Quorum of the Seventy in the Utah North Area.
Elder McKay received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Brigham Young University in 1984. In 1987, he received his Juris Doctor degree from Brigham Young University. From 1987 to 2018, Elder McKay practiced law in Oregon and Utah.
March 30, 2021, Forum
An American historian and the first woman to serve as the president of Harvard University, Drew Faust was ranked by Forbes as the 33rd most powerful woman in the world in 2014. She is the author of six books, including “Mothers of Invention: Women of the Slaveholding South in the American Civil War,” for which she won both the Francis Parkman Prize from the Society of American Historians and the Avery O. Craven Award from the Organization of American Historians. Faust retired as president of Harvard College in 2018 and retains her title as a professor of history there.
April 6, 2021 Devotional
Ryan Gabriel is an assistant professor of sociology at BYU. He received his bachelor’s degree from Utah State University, where he majored in sociology and minored in philosophy. He obtained his PhD in sociology from the University of Washington with an emphasis on racial stratification, demographic methods and statistics.
Dr. Gabriel joined the sociology department at BYU in 2016. His research focuses on urban sociology, racial residential segregation, racial residential mobility and neighborhood attainment and the legacies of racial violence. He investigates these areas through the use of quantitative methods with the goal to explicate the color line: its historical power on contemporary processes, how it is transforming through increasing racial and ethnic diversity and how it will manifest in the future.