My dad and I were talking about Prop 8 passing today and we couldn’t help but reflect on how quickly it seems the moral tides of our country have changed (although thankfully Prop 8 should stem it to some extent for a little while). In the 13 years between high school and now I am amazed at what is now considered acceptable in our society. We couldn’t help but wonder what that meant for the next 13 years. It is scary to consider honestly. As I reflected back on what I have heard as I have followed the arguments from both sides for Prop 8 and how nasty it got (the missionary ad and the constant rhetoric about hate and bigotry) made me wonder what would it be like when we revisit this issue in the years to come (because I have no doubt that this issue will continue to surface). My Dad shared the quote below from Elder Maxwell that was given in 1979 amazingly enough. It was absolutely what I needed to hear. The Lord knows what is ahead and stated as such through Elder Maxwell almost 30 years ago and did so again with the Proclamation on the Family that came out 13 years ago. Time to tighten the seat belt I think.
"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.".there is occurring a discounting of religiously based opinions. There may even be a covert and subtle disqualification of some for certain offices in some situations, in an ironic irreligious test for office. If people, however, are not permitted to advocate, to assert, and to bring to bear, in every legitimate way, the opinions and views they hold which grow out of their religious convictions, what manner of men and women would we be?"
If we let come into being a secular church which is shorn of traditional and divine values, where shall we go for inspiration in the crises of tomorrow? Can we appeal to the rightness of a specific regulation to sustain us in our hour of need? Will we be able to seek shelter under a First Amendment which by then may have been twisted to favor irreligion? Will we be able to rely for counterforce on value education aided in school systems which are increasingly secularized?
And if our governments and schools were to fail us, would we be able to fall back upon and rely upon the institution of the family, when so many secular movements seek to shred it?
It may well be that as our time comes to "suffer shame for his name"
(Acts 5:41), some of that special stress will grow out of that portion of discipleship which involves citizenship."
Neal A. Maxwell, "A More Determined Discipleship," Ensign, Feb 1979, 69-73