Personal Online Journal

Thursday, November 20, 2008

"Things will work out"

Soon after the election I received an email with quotes from "Meeting the Challenges of Today" (Neal A Maxwell, Oct 1978 BYU Devotional).
make no mistake about it, brothers and sisters; in the months and years ahead, events will require of each member that he or she decide whether or not he or she 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" (CR, April 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.
We are now entering a period of incredible ironies. Let us cite but one of these ironies which is yet in its subtle stages: we shall see in our time a maximum if indirect effort made to establish irreligion as the state religion. It is actually a new form of paganism that uses the carefully preserved and cultivated freedoms of Western civilization to shrink freedom even as it rejects the value essence of our rich Judeo-Christian heritage.
I put my trust in the oracles of God. They are watchmen upon a tower. (Ezekiel 33, D&C 101). Does that mean I am absolved of the responsibility of learning of what is right to do? No. The Lord expects us to study out the decision and then take it to Him to confirm. When the Lord gives clear counsel, how quick are we to observe it? (See "Quick to Observe", David A Bednar)

Following is the quote from the email.
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.
This is prophecy from 1978 being fulfilled in our days.

He goes on to discuss the principle of foreordination as a principle to help us in trying times, "the doctrine of foreordination properly understood and humbly pursued can help us immensely in coping with the vicissitudes of life."

This statement reminds me of President Hinckley when he said, "Things will work out. Keep trying. Be believing. Be happy. Don’t get discouraged. Things will work out." (Jeffrey R. Holland, “President Gordon B. Hinckley: Stalwart and Brave He Stands,” Liahona, Jun 1995, 2)

Neal Maxwell also warned, "Isolated from other doctrines or mishandled, though, these truths can stoke the fires of fatalism, impact adversely upon our agency, cause us to focus on status rather than service, and carry us over into predestination."


Dandi said...

Richard, thank you so much for your constant inspiring thoughts. I am uplifted by your entries and encouraged to keep on trying, no matter what, to make a difference and stand up for what I believe in. Thank you!

Rich Alger said...

Download the MP3.

Elder Maxwell explains foreordination more clearly here than I have ever heard anywhere. Very empowering!

Nan said...

I love your blog Richard.. Thanks for blogging...