Friday, October 31, 2008

A Challenge For Today--Prophetic words from Elder Maxwell

This speech was given 30 years ago, this month of October, by Elder Maxwell:

"Make no mistake about it, brothers and sisters, in the months and years
ahead, events are likely to require each member to decide whether or not he
will follow the First Presidency. Members will find it more difficult to
halt longer between two opinions. President Marion G. Romney said, many
years ago, that he had 'never hesitated to follow the counsel of the
Authorities of the Church even though it crossed my social, professional or
political life.'

"This is hard doctrine, but it is particularly vital doctrine in a society
which is becoming more wicked. In short, brothers and sisters, not being
ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ includes not being ashamed of the
prophets of Jesus Christ. . . . Your discipleship may see the time when
such religious convictions are discounted. . . . This new irreligious
imperialism seeks to disallow certain opinions simply because those opinions
grow out of religious convictions.

"Resistance to abortion will be seen as primitive. Concern over the
institution of the family will be viewed as untrendy and unenlightened....
Before the ultimate victory of the forces of righteousness, some skirmishes
will be lost. Even in these, however, let us leave a record so that the
choices are clear, letting others do as they will in the face of prophetic
counsel. There will also be times, happily, when a minor defeat seems
probable, but others will step forward, having been rallied to rightness by
what we do. We will know the joy, on occasion, of having awakened a
slumbering majority of the decent people of all races and creeds which was,
till then, unconscious of itself. Jesus said that when the fig trees put
forth their leaves, 'summer is nigh.' Thus warned that summer is upon us,
let us not then complain of the heat."

- Elder Neal A. Maxwell, "Meeting the Challenges of Today" Oct. 10, 1978.


Tim Malone said...

Amazingly prophetic and appropriate for today, isn't it? Thanks for sharing this quote from one of my favorite apostles of days past.

Taylor said...

How "spot on" is that? What insightful leaders we have.

Thirty years ago... So, this would have been right in the throes of the ERA (Equal Rights Amendment) battle, if I remember right. The situation in Illinois (where I grew up, and one of the hotly contested battleground states for ratification of the ERA at the time) was *extremely* similar to the situation in California this year in terms of direct church involvement, lots of calling and precinct walking, the anti-religious invective from the left...

In particular, the cautious temporary alliances between the evangelical churches and the LDS church were kinda fun to observe. We'd go going to Springfield (to the steps of the Capitol) for a rally with Jerry Falwell on a Saturday, where he would thank all of the Mormons for coming out to join the fight, and then listen to him preach about how the Mormons were going to hell in a handbasket on Sunday. Fun times. :-)

Amanda said...

I love that quote. It's a great picture of what we're dealing with today. I say "we", but at the moment I feel insulated against the brunt of it, since I'm still at BYU, (for another few weeks anyway...). But, knowing the stories of those standing up for their beliefs in other states, this is definitely at least the beginning of those times.

Sariah said...

WOW. I don't think I'd heard that quote before, so thank you for sharing it. I need to go reread it a few times. :)

Anonymous said...

Have you ever been suddenly called into the boss's office?

Say, like you are driving Tuesday morning, a truck slams into your car, and your heart suddenly stops. They put your body in the ambulance, pound on your chest, as they speed toward the hospital. Suddenly this bright light hits and there is the boss. God. Sitting behind the desk in front of you.

"Come on in Dave. Have a seat, I only have a few minutes."

"Ah, Ok. Ah... What can I do for you."

"Sorry to pull you out of school, but I just felt we should talk."

"Ah. Ok... What's up?"

"Dave, remember when I said love everyone?"

"Ah, yeah. Sure. Great advise."

"Dave. You've always been a fine student. But I'm a little concerned with what I've been seeing lately. I need to know if you are on the team. Dave. Can I ask you to take that advise very seriously from now on. When I said everyone, I think I was clear. Got it?"

"Ah. Sure. Absolutely. Why do you say that? Did I do something wrong?"

"Dave. You know I have a daughter in California who got married three months ago. Her life, like everyones, has had challenges that I needed her to learn from. But I'm hearing that you don't consider her free agency equal to yours."

"Ah. But I got this email from my local manager on earth. He said to..."

"Dave. We only have a minute so let me interrupt you here. I gave you a brain to think with, a heart to love with, and a family to understand caring for others more than yourself. Now just to remind you, those that complete this training program successfully are gonn'a get there own galaxies and universe's. Correct-a-mundo??"

"Ah. Yeah. That's right. That's what I heard."

"Yeah Dave. I'm God. I'm always right. Did it ever cross your mind that I gave you a brain, a heart, and love so you can recognize when it's time to stand up and NOT follow the email or the mid-level managers? I mean, there is not a manual for running a universe, yet.... lol. Until then, I gotta know that you can think for yourself when needed."

"Ok. Sorry. I mean, I thought I was doing the right thing."

"Thanks Dave. I gotta get going. How about a little more leadership and a little less following your crowd then. It's been a crazy week. And these people are starting to roast their planet. That's one big HVAC pain in my rear that I just didn't need right now..."

BZZZZZZZZZZZZ. The paddles hit your chest and you wake up in the emergency room. The doctor looks down at you and says "Wow, you look like you just saw a ghost."

Really. What do you think God expects of you in this life? What do you think he is looking for in his graduating students? You think he is looking for someone who's prime concern is reading the manual and following memos and managers? Or is he looking for someone who can think, love, and relate to people. Even when it requires leadership. Maybe he saw something higher in you and that's why he invited you to this class...

Clean Cut said...

Anonymous--wow, you were clearly ahead of me back in 2008. I'm just revisiting this years later recognizing how much I drank the "Kook-aid" and have since learned to stop considering the words of ecclesiastical authorities as more important than my own conscience. I doubt you'll ever read this again, but just in case you do, please know that I know now of what you wrote, and truly desire to love *all* of God's children and not hinder their free agency. I have a much deeper appreciation for love now, and feel that one day our church will feel to repent of how we treated our gay brothers and sisters. Things are changing--slowly, but surly.