The attached video is based upon a true story, and I feel is worthy of sharing with my readers. The Government of the Republic of Macedonia’s Ministry of Education & Science created this thought provoking clip. It was used as part of a social advertising campaign aimed at promoting religious education. The Headline for this commercial reads:
“Religion is knowledge, too.”
The concept is clear. The lack of light brings darkness. One of the great Latter-day Saint (Mormon) prophets of this century spoke on evil just one month following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Here were his words regarding evil:
” [As] wonderful as this time is, it is fraught with peril. Evil is all about us. It is attractive and tempting and in so many cases successful. Paul declared:
“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come…Having a form of godliness; but denying the power thereof: from such turn away” (2 Tim. 3:1–5).
We see today all of these evils, more commonly and generally, than they have ever been seen before, as we have so recently been reminded by what has occurred in New York City, Washington, and Pennsylvania…. We live in a season when fierce men do terrible and despicable things. We live in a season of war. We live in a season of arrogance. We live in a season of wickedness, pornography, immorality. All of the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah haunt our society. Our young people have never faced a greater challenge. We have never seen more clearly the lecherous face of evil.
And so, my brothers and sisters, we are met together…to help and lift one another, to give encouragement and build faith, to reflect on the wonderful things the Lord has made available to us, and to strengthen our resolve to oppose evil in whatever form it may take… Our strength is our faith in the Almighty. No cause under the heavens can stop the work of God. Adversity may raise its ugly head. The world may be troubled with wars and rumors of wars, but His cause will go forward.” Gordon B. Hinckley, Oct. General Conference, 2001
Off Topic, but I wanted to let you know how meaningful this morning’s program was for me. When I was in my first area on my mission, there was a point where I was struggling severely with both the language and the culture. The language was just a matter of needing more practice. But the culture was a deeper problem. I found many of the quirks of Korean culture absurd, and it really bothered me. There was no excuse for this except stubborn American pride. Sometimes at night, when I’d had a rough day, I’d go out onto our little roof/porch and I would take out my hymn book and sing “Be Still My Soul.” I always choked up when I sang, “the waves and winds still know His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.” Then one day, I opened my Korean hymnal and sang this marvelous hymn in Korean. It was like a spell was broken, and I was able to see the beauty of Korea through the Korean language. That was a real turning point in my mission. Over time, I grew to deeply love Korea, the Korean people, and their culture, food, and language. To this day, there are hymns and children’s songs I love to sing in Korean even more than in English (“Be Still My Soul” is probably a tossup). When I heard that hymn today, all of that came back to me.
And of course, you already know how much “Sweet is the Peace the Gospel Brings” means to me. Once again, I thank you and all your fellow members of the Choir for the wonderful work you do sharing the Spirit through your music.