Judge Robert Conrad: “John Fisher & Thomas More: Keeping Their Souls While Losing Their Heads”

By Maren Hendricks February 6, 2024

“What is God calling me to do?” In BYU Law’s weekly forum, Judge Robert Conrad of Western District of North Carolina urged BYU Law students to consider this question as he shared details about 16th century Catholic martyrs John Fisher and Thomas More. Both were at the pinnacle of their careers when they were executed for refusing to take the Oath of Supremacy acknowledging Henry VIII as supreme head of the Church of England.

Judge Conrad explored vocational lessons their lives inspire. Moore (a brilliant lawyer and Lord High Chancellor of England) and Fisher (Chancellor of the University of Cambridge and Catholic cardinal) both pursued excellence in striving after God’s will. Yet, “after achieving extraordinary success, they both demonstrated a remarkable willingness to let it all go in service to a higher calling. The source of their peace was beyond their worldly achievements. Their real achievement was fulfilling their purpose: bringing glory to God.” Indeed, these men are not remembered for their careers, but rather for their absolute fealty to God.

Judge Conrad challenged students to emulate More and Fisher by leading “significant lives” by pursuing their vocations in accordance with God’s will, making the most of present opportunities and letting go of anxiety about the next task or hurdle. “Put your relationship with God squarely in the decisions you make and the way you go about your professional life.”