"All about us we see the bitter and abundant harvest from permissiveness. A perceptive person has acknowledged: "The struggle to live ethically without God has left us not with the just and moral order we imagined but with disorder and confusion". (Peter Marin, Harper's Magazine, Sept. 1995)
"The more what is politically correct seeks to replace what God has declared correct, the more ineffective approaches to human problems there will be, all reminding us of C.S.Lewis's metaphor about those who run around with fire extinguishers in times of flood. For instance, there are increasing numbers of victims of violence and crime, yet special attention is paid to the rights of criminals. Accompanying an ever increasing addiction to pornography are loud alarms against censorship. Rising illegitimacy destroys families and threatens the funding capacities of governments; nevertheless, chastity and fidelity are mocked."
"I have no hesitancy... in stating that unless checked, permissiveness, by the end of its journey, will cause humanity to stare in mute disbelief at its awful consequences."
"Ironically, as some people become harder, they use softer words to describe dark deeds... Needless abortion, for instance, is a "reproductive health procedure," which is an even more "spongy expression" than "termination of pregnancy"."
"Church members will live in this wheat-and-tares situation until the Millenium. Some real tares even masquerade as wheat, including the few eager individuals who lecture the rest of us about Church doctrines in which they no longer believe. They criticize the use of Church resources to which they no longer contribute. They condescendingly seek to cousel the Brethren whom they no longer sustain... they leave the Church, but they cannot leave the Church alone. Like the throng on the ramparts of the "great and spacious building," they are intensely and busily preoccupied, pointing fingers of scorn at the steadfast iron-rodders.
Considering their ceaseless preoccupation, one wonders, is there no diversionary activity available to them, especially in such a large building - like a bowling alley? Perhaps in their mockings and beneath the stir are repressed doubts of their doubts. In any case, given the perils of popularity, Brigham Young advised that this "people must be kept where the finger of scorn can be pointed at them"."
..."the arrogance of critics must be met by the meekness and articulateness of believers."
..."the exhilarations of discipleship exceed its burdens. Hence, when journeying through our Sinai, we are nourished in the Bountiful-like oases of the Restoration."
"It has been a privilege to seal several adopted children to Nan and Dan Barker, now of Arizona. Some time ago Nate, then just over three, said: "Mommy, there is another little girl who is supposed to come to our family. She has dark hair and dark eyes and lives a long way from here."
The wise mother asked, "How do you know this?"
"Jesus told me, upstairs."
The mother noted, "We don't have an upstairs," but quickly sensed the significance of what had been communicated. After much travail and many prayers, the Barker family were in a sealing room in the Salt Lake Temple in the fall of 1995 - where a little girl with dark hair and dark eyes, from Kazakhstan, was sealed to them for time and eternity."
..."as we cross our Sinai, including in those moments when we must "be still, and know that I am God". Such submissive stillness is necessary, because the process of consecration is not one of explanation. Only "after the trial of our faith" does the full witness come..."
Elder Neal A. Maxwell
May 1996 Ensign