My family and I are very proud to have our name associated with this great school—not only because it’s a terrific educational institution, but because we espouse similar values. My purpose today is to give you an appreciation of what Marriott values are and what they mean to me. The best way to do this is to share a little family and corporate history. They are both about the same.
Now the project of faking up the Book of Mormon is what I'm going to talk about here, because it's very much like what we science fiction writers do. Writing something that purports to be an artifact of another culture is the most complicated, difficult kind of science fiction, because not only is it about strange things, it must also in itself be a strange thing.
A man awoke one morning hearing the words of a dream, and when he wrote them down he discovered that they were the words that the chronicler of the Book of Mormon might have written, had he lived in our time, setting down a record of our dealings with each other and with the Lord.
Three times I met this Jesus of Nazareth. And each time I felt strange and confused in his presence. Each time he gently spoke three simple words: "Come Unto Me."
Daddy's happy laugh rolled around the small room of the little white house and mingled with excited giggles of the three small girls. Not much of a Christmas this year, 1926, but love and laughter made the candles in the windows flicker more brightly.
There was once a very old man who had worked very hard throughout his life for everything he owned—the comforts his family enjoyed. He knew his days were short, so he wanted his company—a business he nurtured his entire life—to be passed on.
At the first of my mission, I must admit, I was somewhat less than enthusiastic about tracting and street contacting. I had always been rather shy, and the thought of approaching complete strangers about the Gospel terrified me. I was willing to teach them, but let someone else go find them. It wasn't long before I decided that I must surely hate door-knocking more than any other missionary in the mission. I even remember faking ringing the doorbell when it was my door a couple of times.
The train was crowded, so I stood by the door and gazed out the window. It was hot, and the scorched Apennine Mountains seemed dry, brown, and uninteresting. "You'll love the Apennines," said a man selling oranges at the station. Impressive or not, they weren't foremost on my mind. I was a new zone leader, and I wanted to baptize.
I'll never forget that day in the mission field when I received my last transfer. I knew it was coming. The president had indicated there would be changes in the mission leadership, and I imagined all along that I would be called to serve the last six months of my mission as a zone leader. I was excited about the prospects.
Once upon a time there was a little kingdom called Rayad. The tiny people who inhabited this kingdom were called Rayadites. They lived happily, sharing and caring about each other. Life was good to them. There were only a few things they needed to watch out for; for instance, chocolate cake or wearing the color red. If any Rayadite ever ate chocolate cake or wore red, his spirit would become weakened and he would care less and less about himself and the rules of the kingdom.