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Dallin H. Oaks|Sep. 13, 2016 I am pleased for the opportunity to speak at this BYU devotional. The first BYU devotional I addressed was exactly forty-five years ago, in 1971. That audience included my oldest daughter, just enrolling as a freshman here. Many years later I spoke at this devotional assembly to an audience that included several of my grandchildren. Today this audience includes our oldest great-granddaughter, a sophomore here. Time goes on. I. This opportunity comes at a unique time. I am the only General Authority assigned to address this BYU audience between the beginning of school this fall and the election on November 8. And this audience includes thousands who will soon have their first opportunity to vote. I, therefore, begin by speaking about our national and local elections. The few months preceding an election have always been times of serious political divisions, but the divisions and meanness we are experiencing in this election, especially at the presidential level, seem to be unusually wide and ugly. Partly this results from modern technology, which expands the audience for conflicts and the speed of dissemination. Today, dubious charges, misrepresentations, and ugly innuendos are instantly flashed around the world, and the effects instantly widen and intensify the gaps between different positions. TV, the Internet, and the emboldened anonymity of the blogosphere have facilitated the current ugliness and have replaced whatever remained of the measured discourse of the past. Nevertheless, as the First Presidency always reminds us, we have the responsibility to become informed about the issues and candidates and to independently exercise our right to vote. Voters, remember, this applies to candidates for the many important local and state offices as well as the contested presidential election. II. We should also remember not to be part of the current meanness. We should communicate about our differences with a minimum of offense. Remember this teaching of the Prophet Joseph Smith: While one portion of the human race [is] judging and condemning the other without mercy, the great parent of the universe looks upon the whole of the human family with a fatherly care and paternal regard; he views them as his offspring, and without any of those contracted feelings that influence the children of men.1 I spoke about this subject two years ago in an October general conference talk titled “Loving Others and Living with Differences.” My message focused on doctrine and its application to the differences we face in our diverse circumstances in Church and family and in public, but the principles I taught are also relevant to political differences. I said: We are to live in the world but not be of the world. We must live in the world because, as Jesus taught in a parable, His kingdom is “like le
Marion G. Romney|Nov. 21, 1972 Thank you very much, President. This is a great opportunity, brethren and sisters, and a great responsibility. I’m honored to have the invitation to say a few words about the political life and thought of President J. Reuben Clark. I have here my opinion of him that appears in the book Stand Fast by Our Constitution. I’ll not have time to read it to you, but before I start on my assigned theme I would like to say just a word about President Clark as a kind, thoughtful, generous man and a congenial companion. I don’t know anyone who was more thoughtful of us who worked under his direction. Whenever one of us was absent because of illness, he daily inquired concerning our welfare. He was ever solicitous about our safety as we traveled. Repeatedly he warned us against taking chances, and he frequently reprimanded us when we did take chances. I remember on one occasion I drove through a raging storm between Burley, Idaho, and Salt Lake City. He knew I was on a welfare assignment, so he telephoned my home several times before I arrived. Soon after I arrived, the phone rang again. “Marion,” he said, “where have you been?” And I told him. “Did you come through that storm?” “Yes, sir.” “Alone?” “Yes, sir.” He then proceeded to give me a Scotch blessing. As soon as I could get him off the line, I began to tell my wife in vehement terms what I thought about his reprimand. In the midst of my fury the phone rang again, and he said, “Marion, this is President Clark. I’m just calling you up in the spirit of the 121st section of the Doctrine and Covenants,” referring, of course, to the statement, “reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy” (D&C 121:43). At his invitation I, on one occasion, rode with him in his stateroom on a train from Salt Lake to Boise, Idaho, and back. When we went to bed that night, he said, “Marion, I hope I don’t keep you awake with my snoring.” And I said, “Well, how shall I awaken you if you do?” “Well,” he said, “Sister Clark used to nudge me in the ribs with her elbow, but I don’t want you taking any such liberties.” But now to my assigned subject. As I have pondered the assignment to speak about the political thought and life of President Clark, I have concluded that the best way to do this, and the most effective way, is to let him speak for himself. I shall therefore quote extensively from his writings and talks. I’ll not tell you every tie I slide from his language into mine; if you can’t tell the difference I’ll be very complimented. The quotations, however, are all noted in the manuscript, and they, when not otherwise given, are from the book Stand Fast by Our Constitution. Common and Civil Law The central
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