The Extra Effort

“If there is one person in this audience today, man or woman, who is discouraged because of failure, seemingly on his part, to obtain his ideals or some special goal and who is just about ready to give up because of continued loss and discouragement, let him remember the counsel of Elbert Hubbard, who told us that the line between failure and success is so fine that often a single extra effort is all that’s needed to bring victory out of apparent defeat.”

Elder Paul H. Dunn Of the First Council of the Seventy Brigham Young University devotional address November 5, 1974

1,113 Couples, but How Many Marriages?

“To enter into eternal life we must accept and enter into the covenant of the holy priesthood. We must receive our endowments in the holy temples of God. We must enter into the covenant of eternal marriage in that holy place.

I have seen so many couples who come into the Salt Lake Temple for marriage, coming in groups, day after day. In one month alone, the month of August 1973, we had 1,113 couples come to that temple to receive this sacred ordinance, which is required for eternal life.

As I performed some of these marriages, I said to these couples, “We can give you the ordinance, but we can’t give you eternal marriage. That is your decision; that is your job. That you must earn. You must endure in righteousness to the end. You have nothing made by simply coming here. Nothing is ever made that you do not make yourself. You will have to continue in righteousness, to the end of your lives, living ‘by every word that proceedeth forth from the mouth of God.’” (D&C 84:44.)

President John K. Edmunds, Salt Lake Temple Brigham Young University devotional address, February 26, 1974

In a Church That Crosses Cultures

“Becoming a worldwide religion in spirit as well as in organization is much more than building organizations and translating documents and scriptures and sharing them with other peoples in their own language. Now we see that if we Mormons are to experience the universal brotherhood we seek, then all of us must be prepared to make some alterations in our views of one another. This will mean an increased giving and taking—one that is as psychological and material as it is spiritual. We will need to increase our empathy and cross-cultural sensitivity, and progressively discard prejudices incompatible with brotherhood. …

We need to make a clear distinction between our cultural and other preferences and the gospel of Christ. The gospel has flourished and has been blessed and sanctioned by God under numerous kinds of governments and economic and cultural systems. There must be some compatibility, of course, between these preferences and systems and the gospel.

Referring to the political area, one key is freedom. Freedom unfettered by practices that limit the exercise of religious conscience, or that relegate classes of citizens to servitude or bondage or to oppression and exploitation, is freedom compatible with the gospel. Governments that actively foster freedom of conscience and opportunity and protect it for all its citizens are Mormonism’s implicit friends. This is so whether they happen to agree with the foreign policy of the United States or not. Learn, therefore, something about freedom of conscience and opportunity and extend your understanding beyond the parochial interests of any given country or class of people within it. The Church is beyond the nation state because no state is an official representative of God. …

So why is it to our advantage to make a distinction between the gospel we profess and our own political, economic, and cultural preferences? It is simple. If we do not, we cannot become a worldwide church in spirit even though we may do so in organization. A diverse people cannot have brotherhood if one of its segments insists on being always right, all the time, on everything. The gospel is transcendent truth. But man-made political and social institutions are not. So in social, cultural, and political areas we cannot expect that widely divergent peoples should adhere to the same specific perspectives. It is certain that some aspects of culture, ideology, and political practices are more compatible with gospel principles than others, and from that point they are temporarily preferable. But only the principles of the gospel constitute eternal truth.”

LaMond Tullis Associate professor of political science Brigham Young University BYU forum address, April 8, 1975