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Faith

Devotionals and Forums for Fall 2015 Semester

Every Tuesday at 11:05 a.m., students, faculty and staff head to the Marriott Center for the weekly Devotional or Forum address. BYU President Kevin J Worthen and his wife Peggy kick off the semester and are followed by BYU professors, members of the leadership of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and a range of industry leaders and political figures. Entertainment assemblies celebrating Homecoming and the talent of BYU Arts round out the semester schedule. 

Devotional and Forums are open to the public and most are broadcast live on BYUtv, BYUtv.org (and archived for on-demand streaming), KBYU-TV 11, Classical 89 FM, BYU Radio and will be archived on speeches.byu.edu.

Fall 2015 Devotional and Forum Schedule

September

  • September 8: President and Sister Worthen (Devotional)
  • September 15: Elder Ronald A. Rasband, Quorum of the Seventy, LDS Church (Devotional)
  • September 22: Baroness Emma Nicholson, Chairman of the AMAR International Charitable Foundation (Forum)
  • September 29: Ed Eyestone, BYU Athletics (Devotional)

October

  • October 6: Homecoming Opening Ceremonies
  • October 13: Sterling Hilton, BYU McKay School of Education (Devotional) 
  • October 20: Daphne Barak-Erez, Israeli Supreme Court Justice (Forum)
  • October 27: Dance Assembly

November

  • November 3: Bishop Dean M. Davies, Presiding Bishopric, LDS Church (Devotional)
  • November 10: Leslee Thorne-Murphy, BYU College of Humanities (Devotional)
  • November 17: Jim Matheson, Former U.S. Congressman (Forum)

December

  • December 1: Elder Larry Y. Wilson, Quorum of the Seventy, LDS Church (Devotional)
  • December 8: Bonnie Anderson, BYU Marriott School (Devotional)

About the Fall 2015 Devotional and Forum Speakers

BYU President Kevin J Worthen
September 8, 2015 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 doctorate from BYU.

Following his graduation from the BYU 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. He previously served as a stake president, bishop, high councilor, and early-morning seminary instructor. 

Peggy Worthen
September 8, 2015 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, Worthen worked in a number of jobs to support their family as Kevin finished his education and started his career, including as a receptionist for U.S. Senator Jake Garn.

She was able to return to school when Kevin began teaching and 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 Ronald A. Rasband
Senior President, Quorum of the Seventy, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

September 15, 2015 Devotional

Elder Ronald A. Rasband was called as the Senior President of the Quorums of the Seventy of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in April 2009. He has been serving as a member of the Presidency of the Seventy since 2005. Elder Rasband was named a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy in April 2000. He has served as a counselor in the Europe Central Area Presidency, president of the Utah Salt Lake City Area, and executive director of the Temple Department and has supervised the North America West, Northwest and three Utah areas.

Elder Rasband attended the University of Utah. In 1995 Utah Valley University awarded him an honorary doctorate of business and commerce. In 1976 he joined Huntsman Container Company as sales representative, and in 1987 he was appointed president and chief operating officer of Huntsman Chemical Corporation.

Elder Rasband has held numerous Church callings, including full-time missionary in the Eastern States Mission (1970–1972), Temple Square missionary guide, bishop, and member of the Church’s Sesquicentennial Committee. He presided over the New York New York North Mission from 1996 to 1999.

Baroness Emma Nicholson of Winterbourne 
Chairman of the AMAR International Charitable Foundation and President of AMAR U.S.

September 22, 2015 Forum

Emma Nicholson is one of Britain’s best known politicians, famous not only for her formidable debating style but also her tireless charity and humanitarian work across the Middle East.

As the Chairman of the AMAR International Charitable Foundation, President of AMAR U.S. and British Prime Minister David Cameron’s official Trade Envoy to Iraq, Nicholson travels regularly to some of the world’s most hostile countries to promote and monitor AMAR's medical and educational work. She founded AMAR in response to Saddam Hussein’s systematic persecution and extermination of the Marsh Arabs, and it has now grown to become one of the leading charities in the region.

She was a member of the European Parliament for ten years, and served as Vice President of the EP’s Committee on Foreign Affairs, Human Rights, Common Defense and Security Policy. Nicholson began her political life as a Member of the British Parliament in 1987, serving a constituency in the West of England for 10 years. Previously she had worked as a Director of Save the Children, and started life as a computer software developer and engineer.

Away from work, Emma’s great love is music. She trained at Britain’s Royal Academy of Music.

Ed Eyestone
BYU Director of Track and Field/Men's Cross Country Coach, Athletics
September 29, 2015 Devotional

Heading into his 16th season as the men’s cross country coach, two-time Olympian Ed Eyestone has established a team that is considered to be one of the elite programs in the nation. Since his arrival in 2000, the Cougars have won the Mountain West Conference Championship eight times and the West Coast conference Championship twice.

Eyestone, who was a 10-time All-American at BYU as an athlete, has guided his teams to greatness as the head coach. Beginning with a national ranking of 23rd in his first season, Eyestone's teams have been in the nation's top 20 every year but one since then, including 4thplace finishes in 2011 and 2013.

Eyestone has coached his distance runners to 16 All-American citations in cross country and 50 All-American honors in track along with 5 individual and relay National Champions. He has been honored with the Conference Coach of the Year award seven times. 

Prior to coming to BYU, Eyestone was a professional road racer for 15 years and competed for the United States in the marathon at the Seoul, Korea Olympics in 1988 and Barcelona, Spain Olympics in 1992 where he had served an LDS mission 10 years earlier. He wrote a monthly column for Runner’s World magazine from 1999-2012 and continues to work as a television commentator for the New York, Chicago and Los Angeles marathons. In 2008, he was the lead distance analyst for NBC’s coverage of the Beijing Olympics. 

Sterling Hilton
Department Chair, Educational Leadership and Foundations, McKay School of Education

October 13, 2015 Devotional

Sterling Hilton is the department chair of the Department of Educational Leadership and Foundations in the McKay School of Education at BYU. Hilton earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from BYU as well as two master’s degrees: one in political science and one in statistics. Several years before earning a PhD in biostatistics from Johns Hopkins University, Hilton worked as a young intern at the U.S. Consulate in Bilbao, Spain, preparing for a career in the Foreign Service. However, his plans changed when he realized his desires and goals laid elsewhere.

Hilton joined BYU as a statistics professor in 1996 and in 2003 joined the McKay School of Education. He taught and served on the doctoral committee until he became the department chair in 2009. In addition to his current role as the department chair, he teaches and conducts research in quantitative design and analysis.

In addition to spending time with his family, Hilton is an avid runner and will rarely miss getting up early in the morning to jog or train for an occasional marathon.

Daphne Barak-Erez
Israeli Supreme Court Justice

October 20, 2015 Forum

Daphne Barak-Erez currently serves as a justice of the Supreme Court of Israel. She was born in the United States, but has lived in Israel since 1966. 

Over the years, Barak-Erez has taught as visiting professor at various universities, including the University of Toronto, Columbia Law School and Stanford Law School. She also held various public positions, including as the chairperson of the Israeli Association of Public Law, a member of the Council of Higher Education in Israel and the President of the Israeli Law and Society Association. She is a member of the American Law Institute and the International Academy of Comparative Law.

Barak-Erez was awarded several prizes, including the Rector’s Prize for Excellence in Teaching (three times), the Zeltner Prize, the Heshin Prize, the Woman of the City Award (by the City of Tel-Aviv) and the Women in Law Award (by the Israeli Bar). She is the author and editor of several books and of many articles in Israel, England, Canada and the United States.

Bishop Dean M. Davies
Presiding Bishopric Second Counselor, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
November 3, 2015 Devotional

Bishop Dean M. Davies was sustained as second counselor in the Presiding Bishopric of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on March 31, 2012.

Bishop Davies has been employed by the Church since July 1995 and has filled various assignments. Most recently he was managing director of the Special Projects Department, with responsibility for special-purpose real estate, temple design, and temple construction.

Previous to Church employment, Bishop Davies was employed by High Industries, Inc., of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and by Bechtel Investments, Inc., of San Francisco, California, where he specialized in the identification, acquisition, development and management of investment properties. He earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics at BYU and has completed advanced executive programs at Stanford and Northwestern Universities.

Bishop Davies has served the Church as a mission president, mission president’s counselor, stake president, stake president’s counselor, stake executive secretary, high councilor, in several bishoprics and as a full-time missionary in the Uruguay/Paraguay Mission.

Leslee Thorne-Murphy
Associate Professor, English Department, College of Humanities
November 10, 2015 Devotional

Leslee Thorne-Murphy is an associate professor in the Department of English. She joined the faculty in 2002, after completing her graduate work at Brandeis University. 

Thorne-Murphy specializes in Victorian literature, with research interests in women’s literature, social reform, book history, and the genres of prose fiction. She teaches courses in British and transatlantic literature.

Jim Matheson
Former U.S. Congressman
November 17, 2015 Forum

As the lone Democrat in Utah’s congressional delegation, Jim Matheson represented the state for seven terms from 2001 to 2015. He was a chief deputy whip for the House Democratic Caucus and served as co-chairman of the Blue Dog Coalition, an influential group of center/right-leaning Democrats in the House. During his time in Congress, Matheson was a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, as well as the Financial Services, Transportation and Infrastructure, and Science Committees.

Known for his independence and his bipartisan approach, Matheson was actively engaged in energy, healthcare, trade, regulatory relief and financial services issues.

Matheson had several legislative successes, including legislation to halt the proliferation of counterfeit pharmaceuticals; the Washington County Lands Bill, which fostered a balanced approach to conservation and economic development in the fastest growing county in Utah; menu labeling legislation that brought industry and consumer groups together to create a reasonable and predictable regulatory environment; and an amendment to the Dodd-Frank legislation that provided regulatory relief for the industrial bank industry.

Matheson worked in the energy sector for several years before entering government service. 

Elder Larry Y. Wilson
Quorum of the Seventy, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

December 1, 2015 Devotional

Elder Larry Y. Wilson was sustained a member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on April 2, 2011, at age 61. He is now serving at Church headquarters in the Temple Department and previously served in Hong Kong, China, as a member of the Asia Area Presidency.

Elder Wilson graduated from Harvard University with a bachelor's degree in English and American literature. He later received a master's of business administration degree from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

His professional career involved serving as the chief operating officer for Catholic Healthcare West in San Francisco, California, and as chief financial officer for the Northern California Region of Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, California. Most recently, he served in Kaiser’s national organization as the senior vice president for financial and strategic planning. Earlier in his career, Elder Wilson was a principal with the management consulting firm of Booz, Allen and Hamilton. He has also been an officer and chairman of the California Healthcare Association, which advocates health care public policy on behalf of California hospitals.

Elder Wilson has served the Church as an Area Seventy in the North America West Area and as a stake president, bishop and full-time missionary in Brazil. 

Bonnie Brinton Anderson
Associate Professor, Information Systems Department, Marriott School of Management
December 8, 2015 Devotional

Bonnie Brinton Anderson is an associate professor of information systems at BYU. She has been at BYU since receiving her PhD from Carnegie Mellon University in 2001. She earned a BS and MAcc-IS from the Marriott School and worked as a consultant at Accenture. She currently serves as the director of the Master of Information Systems Management program. 

In addition to teaching classes on information systems analysis and implementation, Anderson is currently engaged in research at the intersection of neuroscience (fMRI, EEG, eye-tracking, etc.) and behavioral information systems security. Her work is funded by the National Science Foundation and the White House Brain Initiative as well as a Google Faculty Research Award. She has presented her work internationally.

Outside of work, her hobbies include sports, playing the harp, family activities and the occasional shark encounter.

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