A More Determined Discipleship
This was brought to my attention by an email today. I researched it and found that Elder Neal Maxwell, in a BYU devotional talk did actually make these observations that I think are being fulfilled in our times. These are direct quotes taken from his talk found in the Ensign article of February 1979 "A More Determined Discipleship".
"Make no mistake about it, brothers and sisters, in the months and years ahead, events are likely to require each member (of the LDS Church) to decide whether or not he will follow the First Presidency. Members will find it more difficult to halt longer between two opinions. (See 1 Kings 18:21.)
"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.' (in Conference Report, Apr. 1941, p. 123). This is a hard doctrine, but it is a 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!"
Speaking of forces that are trying to remove God and religious thought from public places, he said, "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."
"The Framers of the Constitution … forbade the Congress to make any law ‘respecting’ the establishment of religion, thus leaving the states free to do so (as several of them did); and they explicitly forbade the Congress to abridge ‘the free exercise’ of religion, thus giving actual religious observance a rhetorical emphasis that fully accords with the special concern we know they had for religion. It takes a special ingenuity to wring out of this a governmental indifference to religion, let alone an aggressive secularism."
"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
Our daughter Shannon is in the thick of the Prop 8 fight, trying to rally young single adults to follow the directions of President Monson and stand up for traditional marriage by working for the proposition's passage. Many have. Some have not. Some are indecisive. Is this not the literal fulfillment of Elder Maxwell's prophetic words? HOW LONG WILL WE HESITATE BETWEEN TWO OPINIONS? The sifting is in progress.
Many of our friends are also deeply involved in the pro-prop 8 work. Young families like our son Brian and his wife Andrea are walking precincts and making calls. Empty-nesters like Carol Shouse and Marilyn Lund are doing the same. My hat is off to you and my heart is with you. Should we not press forward in such a cause? We should all be grateful that we CAN press forward in such a cause. Some people in the world can't, and if we don't press forward we may not be able to in the future.
What a country.