March 9th, 1993
Educators Conference, BYU
Third Annual Laying the Foundations Symposium
Chauncey C. Riddle
I see the place of BYU in Zion to be a bridge between the world and the kingdom of God
Seventeen years ago I produced a piece entitled `A BYU for Zion‘. In preparation for this conference I wrote another version of that talk. Both of them missed the point.
They missed because in each case I approached the problem by trying to specify the institutional results which would be seen in a BYU for Zion. All those questions could be interesting, what is more needed is an understanding of just how we (you and I) can go about creating this Zion for which we hope.
The creation of Zion is not accomplished by reorganizing institutions. It is done only by individual persons who reorganize themselves in and through our Savior. The personal self-reorganization requisite for the establishment of Zion is known either as education or repentance depending on how you look at it.
It cannot be done by training, that is to say, imposed by one person on another. But an individual can learn and bring himself or herself through the requisite changes. We call it education when we discuss the human changes from the secular point of view. We call it repentance when we remember that human power cannot create Zion; that it is yielding to and using the gifts and power of God that makes Zion a reality. In other words, human education is never complete without divine assistance.
The beginning of repentance is familiar to all who know the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. The prerequisite of such repentance is the hearing and understanding of the Gospel message. Repentance is the response which places hope and trust in Jesus Christ, which is faith; turns away from known sinning, the beginning of repentance; seeks the covenant of baptism, and actually receives the Holy Ghost after the laying on of hands.
That beginning, wonderful as it is, will not establish Zion. What yet remains is the fifth item of the Gospel message; enduring to the end. When an individual endures to the end, an individual is fit to be an inhabitant of Zion. When a group of individuals has endured to the end, they are Zion. And the place of Zion is wherever they are.
I do not know what the required critical mass of individuals who have endured to the end is. But I suspect that it is a relatively small number. What we described in the telling of the establishment of Zion is what it means to endure to the end.
There are several simple ways to denote the condition of having endured to the end: `Life eternal’, `attaining the measure of the stature of the fullness of christ’, `receiving the second comforter’, `having your calling and election made sure’, `having the day-star rise in your hearts’, are all ways in which the scriptures indicate you attain that condition. What we need for our purposes is a further breakdown of that condition into more understandable pieces.
We shall to attempt to break that state into four parts. Hopefully, better to understand. Then we will show how these four parts will affect a BYU in Zion, thus fulfilling the promise of this hour.
But first a caveat. In what follows we will be discussing human perfection. Many persons find such discussions discouraging, because they cannot see any possibility of attaining such ideal states for themselves. I understand such discouragement. This discussion has as it’s goal encouragement.
I deem the difference between the discouragement and the encouragement to hinge on the simple notion of how perfection is to be attained. Those who think they have to do it all immediately and by their own power will find these ideas discouraging. Those who see that what we are talking about is attained only gradually, that it is done only by the power of God, and that every human being who will be sufficiently humble before God can and will do it eventually should be encouraged.
It is encouraging to know what the Lord has in store for the faithful. But I admit there is a hopelessness that necessarily accrues when one has tried to obtain revelation and has failed or has been fooled by the adversary. It seems that only the stout-hearted, those who are willing to fall on their face and to try again, can profit.
But now to the four parts of enduring to the end. We shall describe one who has endured to the end, the perfected state. The requisite of the `end’, is to have a pure heart. Only then can one love with a pure love. And be able to fulfill the Lord’s injunction to love Him with all of our heart, might, mind and strength.
To love purely is to be wholly concerned about the welfare of those around us. And minimally concerned about our own welfare. It enables the person to trust in God completely, to have a fullness of faith. It enables the person to make any necessary sacrifice. It fulfills all of the wondrous attributes enumerated by Paul in First Corinthians Thirteen.
God is love. To have a heart that has been stripped of all pride and selfishness is to be able to love as God loves. This is the fundamental aspect of being as God is.
But how does one become pure in heart? That kind of a heart is a gift from God. He will give it to all who seek it according to his instructions. What we must first have is an honest heart. A heart that admits that it is not pure. An honest heart will acknowledge the whisperings of the Holy Spirit and will come down in the depths of humility when it encounters Christ and His Holy Spirit.
The honest heart will enter in at the Gate and follow the straight and narrow path to the end, as Jesus did. After the honest heart has done all that it can do, our Savior does the rest and gives the person a new heart. Then they can no longer look upon sin with the least degree of allowance. Their being has been changed, they are new creatures in Christ, heirs of all that he has and is. They will be exalted eventually. And meanwhile, they will learn enough, and be able to do enough, to live in Zion.
What if the person is not honest in heart? I don’t know the answer to this question. But I suppose that these are they that cannot inhabit Zion or the Celestial Kingdom. But then I don’t know who the Lord can save and who He cannot. I suppose we can find out about ourselves and our own possibility of salvation, and will find out by this mortal experience, and that’s all that is really necessary.
The mark of one who is pure in heart is that they are easy to be entreated and to be persuaded by our Savior or his servants. And they are without guile. Their conscience is strong, their ear is attuned to the whisperings of the Holy Spirit. Anything of Christ which they encounter is beautiful to them. Thus, every human being, is beautiful to them. As is every truth, every piece of true wisdom, every noble life striving. They are entreated by the Holy Spirit to lay hold of every good thing in and through Christ.
The second characteristic of one who has endured to the end is that they operate on the basis of pure knowledge. While they will be aware of the traditions and fabrications of men, the knowledge base on which they act and understand is wholly given of God. They have searched his ways and know his mysteries, the hidden things of the kingdom of God, the things of nature, and the history and future of the earth. Because each is a prophet and seer in his or her own right. Each has access to everything necessary for their stewardship pertaining this world. This pure knowledge is learned principally by vision, and in doing. Rather than going through language, the child of Christ sees the creation of the earth, and ancient doings of men, sees the future and it’s interaction of heaven and earth. The secret acts of men are known in every age on a need-to-know basis. Knowing how to do things is gained by instruction from mentors beyond the veil who are masters of the technique in question. Pure knowledge will go far beyond the present dreams of men, surpassing those horizons of science fiction, under the truer reality of things.
It is possible, I suppose, that the human being may approach omniscience concerning the things of this earth. The means to this pure knowledge is revelation. That can and will come only to those who have qualified for the pure heart. It is necessary to become good before one can become knowledgeable. And when one has become good and knowledgeable, only then can revelation make them truly wise. They will not only understand all things, but will be able to know and to do whatsoever is necessary to solve every problem they encounter, as God wills.
The mark of one who possesses pure knowledge is a complete unwillingness to contend about anything, and a reticence to speak except as moved upon by the Holy Ghost. Wise in counsel and penetrating in insight; the possessor of true knowledge is quite aware that the ordinary human being can and will receive little of what he has to say, being caught up in the traditions and fables of the cultures of mankind. But such an one is ever ready to bare humble witness of Christ, and of the goodness of God. And will explain the fundamentals of the Restored Gospel to anyone and everyone with delight. For they know that everyone must come unto Christ as a little child to get a solid grasp on how to solve human problems.
The solving of problems is the third aspect of having endured to the end. The standard involved here is that the person does all that they do in the name of Jesus Christ. I understand this to mean that anything and everything that a person does will be done under the direction and the permission of Jesus Christ and by his power in and through the holy Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthoods.
Things of a temporal order and matters relating to those who are not of the Kingdom of God will be conducted under the auspices of the Aaronic Priesthood. Matters of a spiritual nature, and especially those having ramifications into eternity will be conducted under the ordinance and orders of the Melchizedek Priesthood. Those who bear and act under this priesthood will act in no other way, or under no other power, having been drawn up into this holy order of God they will never step out of it to conduct any conversation, business, or interaction by any other power. They will always be servants of God, acting in His authority, and by His power, in every act of their daily life.
The fact that they are acting in the priesthood of God in all things may not always be known to those humans with whom they interact, that is, they will not always announce their authority and mission. But every act of their lives will be an act done by authority, and as part of their mission. Having relinquished their own heart and desires, it is now the fierce desire of their pure hearts and minds to serve the true and living God in every act unto the fulfilling of His divine purpose of the power of love in the earth. The priesthood of God is their only might, and they wield it mightily unto the fulfillment of all of Father’s plans for His children.
The ramifications of acting on this priesthood platform from which all things are done, are many. Now the person will pray, speak, and communicate only in the Lord. Everything they say to anyone will be given them by the Holy Spirit unto edification of all concerned. They will not take pleasure or nourishment or award or praise, except as it is good in Father’s eyes and can be done in holiness and as a bearer of the priesthood. They will not amuse themselves with the diversions of men, but will be wholly concerned to bring others to know Father and the goodness of His love. They will teach or preach only that portion of the truth which will help their hearers to come to God.
The scriptures bear succinct witness as to how the servant of God uses the Holy Priesthood:
”No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned. By kindness and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul, without hypocrisy and without guile.”
The mark of those who are in this mode is that their purposes fail not. Whatever they are sent by God to do, they do (unless the agency of others who are not disobedient to God is involved.) Abinadi was sent to witness to King Noah and to his priests. He could not be stopped from delivering his witness. But most of them did not accept, for there their agency was involved.
Satan is the foe of all righteousness, and especially of Zion. He is a worthy adversary, for he searches every personal and organizational weakness to destroy the work of God. As the saints of God attempt to purify their faith, so that Zion may be established, Satan assures that the effort does not go off half-cocked. When Zion is established, it is done by power; by priesthood power, by the united efforts of persons who are pure in heart, full of the pure knowledge of God and who use the power of the Savior’s priesthood without hypocrisy and without guile; Satan notwithstanding.
Satan then bears witness that the servants of Christ have finally escaped his power through their faithfulness.
The final and fourth aspect of enduring to the end is that each of those servants of Christ who thus endure is renewed in the flesh. No power of man nor prerogative of Satan can then be wielded against their person successfully, except as it fulfills Father’s purposes. Even as the Savior could not be stopped from fulfilling his mission, even so the faithful servants of Christ cannot be prevented from doing what they are sent to do. And even as Christ voluntarily gave His life on the cross, so each faithful servant will voluntarily give his or her life when the appropriate time comes. Thus the strength of the person becomes godly; wholly of the order of God, thus able to fulfill all of God’s commands on this earth.
This fourth aspect of enduring to the end seems almost incidental, because it follows from the other three without much attention needing to be paid to it.
The personal struggle of each of us is to gain a pure heart. To search out the pure knowledge, and to strive to do all things in the name of Christ. Then our Savior will strengthen our mortal tabernacles in the manner and to the degree which is requisite for our earthly mission without great effort on our part, or so it seems. Those who are faithful, are concerned about their physical tabernacles. They pay close attention to the commandments of God as in the Word of Wisdom. They strive to govern their own body and make it subject to the will of God. But this personal struggle for control of the flesh is not the great focus of their endeavor. It is there, but is unobtrusive. For the great emphasis is on struggling to love God, and neighbor, with all of one’s heart, might, mind, and strength.
The mark of one who is renewed in the flesh is their countenance shines with the image of Christ. They radiate the love of God unto all. Where some persons are of a dark countenance; they are of a shining countenance. Their whole body is full of light, and their eyes are especially radiant with this light. To be in their presence is to feel the power and majesty of God emanating from their person.
Now, having been perfected as a human being in heart, might, mind, and strength, the person can truly love God with all heart, might, mind, and strength. Thus the person will have fulfilled the law of God as pertains to mortality. They are not yet exalted, for they have only attained to the fullness of God as pertains to this earthly sphere. But having done this there is nothing which will or can bar them from progressing to the fullness of what Father is and has in eternity. Their exaltation is assured.
Now you say this may sound wonderful, but has anyone ever done it? Is not this so far beyond the possibilities for a human being that you are telling us fairy tales? I plead that this is only what the Spirit teaches me. Which spirit it is that I listen to you must judge for yourself. I understand that this is the state to which all the ancient Patriarchs and their wives came. As also everyone who has inhabited one of the many Zions. As also those who have been translated in any dispensation. It is the state to which John the Beloved, and the Three Nephites came. It is the blessed and happy state to which everyone who has become a saint may aspire.
To become a saint is to have entered in through the gate of faith, repentance, baptism and receiving the Holy Ghost, and having received a forgiveness of sins. To endure to the end is to go on from the gate as a little child in Christ, submitting to Father’s will in all things, until the education (or repentance) is complete. Until one has come to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. I plead that what I have said is the burden of the scriptures, and the temple, for me.
I understand that to become exalted is to go beyond the state that we have described until one is knowledgeable about and has mastered all the kingdoms of the universe. What we have been describing as `enduring to the end’ is becoming perfect in the sphere of this earth. And that to become exalted is to become perfect in the sphere of the universe. It is plain that one who has not become perfect in the sphere of this earth can never become perfect in the sphere of the universe.
Now let us say how all of these things relate to a BYU in Zion. It seems plain to me that BYU will not be used by Father to assist people in enduring to the end. The specific institution established for doing that is His Holy Temple. And BYU cannot, nor will attempt to take the place of the temple. But, of course, BYU will have in it’s community, if it is in Zion, people who have endured to the end. Having thus repented, they can then encourage others to repent.
I see the place of BYU in Zion to be a bridge between the world and the kingdom of God. It will become a center of truth and ability which surpasses every other institution in the world which is not related to the Church. It will be a light from Christ to all the world to teach the world how to live in harmony, peace, prosperity, and technical benevolence. It will help those who will not accept the restored gospel of Christ to profit from the other blessings of Christ. Through this means, many will be brought to Christ, and will enter in at the narrow way.
The scriptures tell us that all nations will come to Zion, accept the Gospel, and find in the Holy Temples the knowledge and power to endure to the end. Some will come to Zion because they are spiritual, but there may be some who are of a more intellectual type who will be attracted to the work of the Lord through a BYU. They might be honest in heart enough to recognize the intellectual superiority of an institution filled with the servants of God. And be caused to turn to spirituality as they become curious as to the cause of this intellectual superiority.
It is noteworthy that God today has spread His intellectual gifts among all nations and peoples. The members of His church do not enjoy noteworthy superiority over peoples in contributing to art, technology, science, etcetera. But the members of this Church will and must enjoy such a superiority if they are Zion.
The purpose of my message today is the hope that by understanding how to be a worthy participant of Zion, we each individually may be moved to do what is necessary to come closer to that goal. Even now there are doubtless some in our midst who already qualify. What remains is for more of ourselves to humble ourselves until we have attained, as a group, the critical mass.
So, though the place of BYU in Zion, as I see it, is not ultimate. It will be of great service to all mankind. At this BYU, the good things given by Christ unto every kindred and nation, and people, will be sought out and treasured. Then, as people come from those nations to BYU, they will see and recognize that which was already familiar to them in their own culture. They will then see that Father has given good things to every culture. And as they desire more and more of the good things of God, they will eventually want to come in to the New and Everlasting Covenant, that they may receive all good things at the hand of Christ, through the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and through the Temples.
Thus, I see the place of BYU in Zion as a bridge by which all mankind will find it easier to come to the Kingdom of God and to His Christ. BYU will become a facilitator to those of academic bent who are willing to recognize the things of God. And that is a good place. That place is not to be the master of the Church, but rather the servant of the Church, even as the persons who administer and teach therein will be the humble servants of Christ.
Well now, we have few minutes for questions if you have any questions. We’ll even try answers.
Q- The question is, what about the servants of Christ not following the diversions of men.
Well, I could mention enough things to touch everyone’s pet diversion I guess, but I think of most of the movies and TV programs that we see are not particularly edifying. While it is necessary for a servant of God to be aware of the culture of the world, it is not necessary to drown in it. And so I think that the servant of God will find better things to do with his time than to sit comfortably before the TV taking it in every night, for instance.
The brethren have recently spoken about watching athletic events on Sunday. Now that is a terrestrial kind of injunction to a people who are not very apt in the things of God. It is too bad we had to be told that. But we did. And we might take a cue from that as to some other things that we might do that will lead us in a godly direction.
Q- Could you use the man Brigham Young as a case study of enduring to the end?
Could I use the man Brigham Young as a case study. I’m not sure what you are suggesting, but I suspect that if Brigham Young had enough Brigham Youngs around him he would have had Zion. He tried very hard. So far as I can tell he did very well. He was a man of great vision and great wisdom. He sought diligently to encourage the Saints to let go of their petty selfishness and become Zion.
But he couldn’t get them to do it. Even as Joseph hadn’t been able to. Even as Spencer was unable. Even as Ezra has been unable. We don’t have Zion yet. I’m not really as negative as that sounds. Now my suspicion is that these prophets of God have succeeded sufficiently that if you were to go all over the Church and take out all of the people who really live the Gospel and put them in one ward you would have Zion in that one ward. But then the rest of the Church would fall apart.
So I think in His wisdom, God does not worry so much about the establishment of Zion as He does about getting people everywhere to draw a little closer. The invitation of the Church is to come unto Christ. Some want to come one step, some want to come all the way. Anything people do in coming closer to Christ, is good. And the work of Christ in every ward and stake of the Church is to get people to take any step they will take.
However, we will not have Zion, and we will not have the power of Zion, until enough people take many steps and come together. There is a strength in unity in the priesthood, that cannot be broken by anything of this world. When we get groups of people gathering together, and praying for certain things, in the name of Jesus Christ, that is to say, in the power of His priesthood, great things happen.
My own personal suspicion is, that the reason we have seen interesting changes in the Church in the last thirty years, is because of that very fact. Righteous people have implored Father for certain things, and have been granted them. And as that process continues, more and more things will come. And the Kingdom will come closer and closer to what it should be.
Q- The question relates to Zion being the place where the pure in heart are.
May I tell you that my thinking shifts a little bit from the way you have stated the question. In my thinking, Zion is the people, and not the place. Zion is the people who are pure in heart. And wherever they happen to be, that is Zion. Zion can be plucked up and moved. You don’t create Zion by staking out a territory and doing something to that territory. You do it by having a people who will repent.
Now, I take it that every stake (the word stake means tent peg and Zion is a tent, it’s the pavilion of the Lord) when the stakes get strong enough, then you can pull the tent up. If you try to pull the tent up before the stakes are in firmly, all it does if flop this way and that. You have no tent capacity whatsoever. So, my understanding is that every stake of the Church, is a stake of Zion, and a strength to Zion. And when the stakes fulfill what they have been asked by the brethren to do. Specifically, when the Aaronic and Melchizedek priesthoods in each stake start functioning fully as they should, we will be getting very close to Zion. Then stakes of Zion will be scattered all over the earth.
Now maybe it will be gathered. I don’t know. That is the nice things about stakes, you can pull them up and pound them in somewhere else. You can move the whole thing. And so there may be a gathering yet. I don’t know. That will simply depend on what is good in the sight of God. And the brethren will direct us to do what we should do.
Meanwhile, we are going all over the earth and establishing Zion, trying to establish Zion all over the earth. Because this is what will leaven the whole lump. I hope I answered your question.
Q- Could you talk about what is the meaning of `the end’ in enduring to the end.
My understanding is that `the end’ is to become as Christ. And the purpose of everything in the Church and the Gospel, is to facilitate our coming unto Christ and becoming as He is. And we haven’t endured to the end as long as we’re still sinning, as long as we haven’t taken upon ourselves His heart, His mind, His countenance (His body as it were). And every ordinance in the Church is designed to help us in that process. Particularly, baptism, the sacrament, and the Temple ordinances. Those are the great keys. And if we will receive them for what they are, they bring us in marvelous and mysterious ways into his being.
Q- President Benson has said that pride is the great stumbling block of Zion. Could you put that statement into the context of what you are talking about?
Oh I think he said even more than that. The question was is pride the stumbling block of Zion? YES! That is the stumbling block of Zion. Pride is the sin. There is no other sin but pride, as it were. Another way to say it is there no other sin but selfishness.
I rejoice in that marvelous talk that President Benson gave, which so far as I’m aware, is the greatest thing that has ever been said on pride in any dispensation that we have record of.
Now, Latter-Day Saints need to take that to heart. Because what stops us from becoming as Christ is our thought that we are already good, that we are already sufficient, that we already know enough, that we are already pure enough, we already have enough priesthood power. And as long as we think that what we are is good enough, that is pride. And the scriptures are very plain, the only stance appropriate to the servant of Christ, is to come down in the depths of humility and admit that we are nothing! The world has a hard time with that idea. To admit that you’re nothing goes against the grain of everything the psychologists (some psychologists) say. But that is the plan of God. And He says it very plainly in the scriptures.
The first thing that He said to the Nephites was that: come down in the depths of humility, or I can’t open to you. As long as you think you’re somebody, or something, I can’t help you. But if you’ll admit you’re nothing, I can give you everything. It is that simple.
So yes, pride is the great stumbling block of Zion. And until you and I stop being proud we just don’t progress. I find it curious, all I have to do is verbally state some good thing that I have done or attained to, and immediately it is taken from me and I fall flat on my face. I don’t know what happens to you, but the Lord takes great pains to show me that I am nothing. And I can’t claim anything of myself. He is inside me, He is the power in me that enables me to any and every good thing that I do. And anything else I do is evil. So, I just have to recognize that. As I do, then I have power to receive strength from Him.
Q- One thing you mentioned in reference to Zion, that great concept that it can be anywhere, can be moved anywhere. In the ninety-seventh section of the Doctrine and Covenants it indicates that Zion, I suppose referring to the center place, “Cannot be moved out of her place.” I guess because of the past experiences at that location.
The question is about Zion being moved out of her place as mentioned in section ninety-seven of the Doctrine and Covenants. I understand that to say the center place of the New Jerusalem will not be moved just because the Saints aren’t faithful enough to build the New Jerusalem yet. Eventually we will get faithful enough, and eventually we will return to that place, and will build the city of Zion. Now the city of Zion is called `Mount Zion’, as I understand it. That’s what will be on the sign posts of the city. But it’s easy to put it on the sign posts, what is tough is to make the city worthy of that appellation. So, hopefully, we can to that.
My understanding is that it was seen long ago, that the place Zion would actually be established, was in the tops of the mountains. And then it will be transported; pulled up and pounded in somewhere else. And my guess is that one of these days, there will be a motion, a movement.
The Savior says, “Where you see the eagles gather, there the carcass is.” So I think we ought to be watching the eagles. Who are the eagles? The brethren.
Q- The question, or comment is that in some classes it is difficult to bring up the scriptures and the LDS point of view in things. What should students do about that?
Well, I sympathize with the problem, having faced it many times myself. I recommend to you that you pray for your instructor. Pray for your classmates. Pray that something will happen to change the situation. But I recommend to you that you in your own mind never settle for that. Always in your own mind insist on understanding how what’s being said in that class compares with the gospel. Insist that you see the total picture.
My own feeling is that you cannot see anything in it’s true perspective except by comparison. And you don’t see a true comparison unless you compare it with the best. And the best is the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and the truth that surrounds it. And therefore, in my own teaching, I admit that I cannot teach any other way than to teach in a gospel context. No matter what I’m teaching.
Now when BYU get’s a little closer to Zion, I think that will be more the rule than the exception. I don’t know what the average is now. I don’t know whether it’s the rule or the exception now. But I have found out, that if you want to help somebody, friend or enemy, the way to help them is to pray for them. And the Savior commends that. And if we will all pray for the coming of Zion, I think we can materially advance it’s cause. Because as we pray, Father through the Spirit, will tell us specific things we can, and should, and must do to advance the cause of Zion.
Q- In your bridge analogy, is it a drawbridge, what kind of bridge is it? A wide bridge, a two way bridge?
Well, I kind of think of it as a human chain. One strong person holding on to another strong person, reaching down to a weaker person to pull them to safety. I don’t think that any other analogy will suffice for me. And I think that to pretend to any but a human chain is to miss the point of Zion.
Q- I understand how you said that BYU could work as a bridge of Zion to bring people unto Christ, people who are interested in more intellectual things. And that Zion in the future will have superiority in art and technology and this sort of thing. Will the role of BYU in that situation be more of a responsibility to teach the students or for the faculty to progress to be the superior people in the field?
My understanding is that there won’t be any more teachers in that day. Everybody will be a student, the teacher will be Christ. And He alone will be the master. Everyone else will be learning, scrambling, trying to come up to His standard. Trying to share all of the good that they have received from Him, recognizing that other people have good things from Him that they don’t have. And so, I think we’d find a quite different social situation, as regards to the relationship between Professor and Student. I don’t think there would be professors in that Zion.
Q- Well, what can we be doing now to progress more towards that state?
What can we be doing now to become that way? I think it’s happening already. I am grateful to say that I have had many wonderful students that taught me a great many things about the things I profess to tell them about. And it’s been a great delight for me to teach at BYU because of this. And I think it’s happening already. This is happening in many classes, in many situations. I think as teachers turn around and face the Savior, and become one with their students instead of looking down on their students, we get a very different situation and a much richer learning environment.
Q- You were careful to use the word `person’ and `people’ including men and women in those descriptions that mention all this would be done by the power of the priesthood. Could you explain the role of women in having the power of the priesthood in bringing about Zion?
I am asked to explain the role of women in the priesthood in bringing about Zion. That’s kind of a shortening of what you said but I think carries of the essence of it. Uh, yes, I will stick my neck out. You see, my conception is that many sisters in the Church have the priesthood and wield it very effectively, and very beautifully.
My understanding is that those sisters in the Church who clamor for the priesthood do not know what they are talking about. They have not understood the gifts that they have been given. And therefore, probably, have not received the gift fully. But I think the same thing is true for the brethren. My image of most people I see going to the temple is that they have almost no notion of what is happened to them. Or, potentially could happen to them when they come out. It took me years to figure out the first beginnings of what’s going on. To realize that it is an `endowment’. And to understand what the endowment is and to receive it is a great undertaking. And I don’t conceive anybody enduring to the end who will not study the endowment until they know it backwards and forwards and understand every word in it.
The temple is the means to enduring to the end. It is the power of God which enables one to do so. And men and women are alike in that respect. I do not know this for sure, but I understand that the women in fact, even have an advantage in that respect.
Q- Will I elaborate further on the role of the temple? Well, I have already probably, maybe, said to much, I don’t know.
But, we’re out of time, so let me just conclude by saying; I hope I make it plain, I think that the hope of BYU to become part of Zion is for everybody at BYU to go to the temple and understand what is going on there. And to read the scriptures, and to understand what is going on there. And to listen to the brethren when they speak, and to understand what they are saying. Until we become more apt as pupils, we will not be the BYU that we should be. In other words, we need to become as little children, and be able to be instructed in all things in the way of godliness. And then we can triumph over the enemy, which is simply, ourselves. The enemy is our own pride and the weaknesses which so easily beset us which cause us to flinch before Satan and give in to the desires of the flesh and the honors of man. When we stop doing that I think we’ll be on a great track.
In closing, I’d like to bear you my testimony. I wish I were a better person and could bear you a stronger and better testimony. But the person that I am, I bear you with all my heart, I know that this is the work of Jesus Christ. And that He is good. He is a worthy master. And that you and I will make no sacrifice in His behalf that will not be well worth it. And we will sing His praises forever.
I bear this witness in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.