I quote that scripture not to set up the expectation that my address today will begin to compare to his, nor to caution you against trifling with my words, but to ask you to consider Benjamin's entreaty for his people to listen not only with ears but also with hearts and minds.
You know that it is not just King Benjamin who uses these words. Many other prophets throughout scripture make frequent reference to, and coupling of, heart and mind. Often, especially in the Book of Mormon, the reference is a caution against hard hearts and blinded minds, but there are other references, some of which I will quote later, that encourage open minds and soft hearts as we strive to live the gospel.
The need for coupling minds that think, reason, and evaluate with hearts that perceive, feel, and experience has been on my mind a great deal, especially these last months. In fact, when I was asked to give this devotional address, the issue I wanted to consider was immediately clear to me.
One month from now the forty members of this past year's edition of Brigham Young University Singers will reunite here for a week of intense rehearsals before departing for Australia, where we will be the United States' representative to the Fourth International Choral Symposium. We will sing three concerts at the symposium, the first of which is to take place in the Sydney Opera House. You can imagine how a sense of intimidation has tried to overwhelm us in this opportunity to bring the name of Brigham Young University to this astute international gathering.
But we have countered such misgivings with a commitment to prepare ourselves for performances that are full of heart and mind, performances...