The date of this event was not included in the account, but it has a timeless message. The person that sent this to me attached the following note: This is eloquent and inspirational. I don’t know the identity of the author. It was forwarded to me without any identifying information. Based on the content I’m comfortable that it’s genuine.
Wow, quite the epic/historic day today… An email went out to the entire Stanford student body this morning inviting them to a “No on Proposition 8” rally at noon at the Union. I got a text message on my way out of class at 11:45 that some of the LDS grad students were going to go over and hold some “Yes on 8” signs as a counter rally just away from the main rally. So I rode my bike over, and got there, and it was a real unique and interesting scene: Some 400 people gathered around, speeches being given by the mayor of San Francisco and others, talking about “equality”, “tolerance”, “racism”, etc., etc… at one point, as the mayor of San Francisco, Gavin Newsome, was giving his speech, he looked directly at us 8 or so grad students, and said something to the effect of “I can’t believe that in 2008 we still have people [at ] promoting discrimination.” etc., etc… It was pretty intense. The school paper was taking pictures of us, etc.. One guy rode by on his bike and yelled, “How does it feel to be on the wrong side of history, (bleep bleep)?” It was intense. But, notwithstanding all of that, there were a few students who rode/walked by and thanked us for being brave enough to do that. And that was very welcomed. One guy quietly just came over and stood by us, facing the crowd. Anyway, I don’t know if I can accurately portray the scene, but it was intense. We weren’t hostile at all, we had a few conversations, but just standing there and making that stance was incredibly profound. I kept thinking of the hymn, “Who’s on the Lord’s side? Who? Now is the time to know.”Two LDS grad students were asked last week to defend “Yes on 8” at an on campus debate. Their bishop, who’s a law professor at Stanford, compared it to , and sever a l other prophetic moments of being cast into the raging fire. Anyway, I just teared up thinking of all these students who were just putting their faith in the Lord and in His prophet and in His gospel, in spite of it being incredibly unpopular, inconvenient, and challenging. And I thought a lot about this quote below, from Elder Maxwell. I knew this was a historic moment for servants of the Lord as well – to simply show where we stood, by standing there and holding a sign in the face of a lot of persecution. Anyway, it was definitely something I’ll never forget.It’s been pretty scary, but I’ve been so touched by the courage and faith of so many of the students, and others who have been shunned, ostracized, and even lost friends because they’ve chosen to follow the prophet. I don’t remember seeing anything like it in my time; but I don’t think it will be the last time. As the world heads one way, and the church heads another, in many respects that divide will only increase, and these difficult decisions and moments will get harder. That’s why I think every small piece of instruction is crucial. As we establish the pattern of following the prophet in all situations, whatever our circumstances may be, we’ll be safe in Zion, safe on the Lord’s side, safe in our discipleship, and our lamps will be full.
“Make no mistake about it, brothers and sisters, in the months and years ahead, events are likely to require each member to decide whether or not he will follow the First Presidency. Members will find it more difficult to halt longer between two opinions. President Marion G. Romney said, many years ago, that he had ‘never hesitated to follow the counsel of the Authorities of the Church even though it crossed my social, professional or political life.’
“This is hard doctrine, but it is particularly vital doc trine in a society which is becoming more wicked. In short, brothers and sisters, not being ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ includes not being ashamed of the prophets of Jesus Christ. . . .Your discipleship may see the time when such religious convictions are discounted. . . . This new irreligious imperialism seeks to disallow certain opinions simply because those opinions grow out of religious convictions.
“Resistance to abortion will be seen as primitive. Concern over the institution of the family will be viewed as untrendy and unenlightened…. Before the ultimate victory of the forces of righteousness, some skirmishes will be lost. Even in these, however, let us leave a record so that the choices are clear, letting others do as they w ill in the face of prophetic counsel. There will also be times, happily, when a minor defeat seems probable, but others will step forward, having been rallied to rightness by what we do. We will know the joy, on occasion, of having awakened a slumbering majority of the decent people of all races and creeds which was, till then, unconscious of itself. Jesus said that when the fig trees put forth their leaves, ‘summer is nigh.’ Thus warned that summer is upon us, let us not then complain of the heat.”
— Elder Neal A. Maxwell, BYU Devotional 1978