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|Year of Publication
|Nibley, Hugh W.
|Nibley on the Timely and the Timeless
|Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University
|Church; Government; Old Testament; Politics; Question
In most languages the Church is designated as that of the last days, and so this speech, which is only a pastiche of quotations from its founders, is unblushingly apocalyptic. Did our grandparents overreact to signs of the times ? For many years a stock cartoon in sophisticated magazines has poked fun at the barefoot, bearded character in the long nightshirt carrying a placard calling all to "Repent, for the End is at Hand." But where is the joke? Ask the smart people who thought up the funny pictures and captions: Where are they now? For all of us as individuals the fashion of this world passeth away; but the Big Bang is something else. How near is that? Should we be concerned at all?
The problem may be stated in the form of a little dialogue:
We: Dear Father, whenever the end is scheduled to be, can't you give us an extension of time?
He: Willingly. But tell me first, what will you do with it?
We: Well... ah .. .we will go on doing pretty much what we have been doing; after all, isn't that why we are asking for an extension?
He: And isn't that exactly why I want to end it soon—because you show no inclination to change? Why should I reverse the order of nature so that you can go on doing the very things I want to put an end to?
We: But is what we are doing so terribly wrong? The economy seems sound enough. Why shouldn't we go on doing the things which have made this country great?
He: Haven't I made it clear enough to you what kind of greatness I expect of my offspring? Forget the statistics; you are capable of better things—your stirring commercials don't impress me in the least.
We: But why should we repent when all we are doing is what each considers to be for the best good of himself and the nation?
He: Because it is not you but I who decide what that shall be, and I have told you a hundred times what is best for you individually and collectively—and that is repentance, no matter who you are.
We: We find your inference objectionable, Sir, quite unacceptable.
He: I know.
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