Quotes of Note: Elder Hafen on Independence

November 14, 2011 | 43 comments
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mormon-Hafen

Quotes of Note will be a recurring series of lesser-known General Authority statements of interest, as conversation starters. I’m starting with a favorite.

“We need to develop the capacity to form judgments of our own about the value of ideas, opportunities, or people who may come into our lives. We won’t always have the security of knowing whether a certain idea is “Church approved,” because new ideas don’t always come along with little tags attached to them saying whether they have been reviewed at Church headquarters. Whether in the form of music, books, friends, or opportunities to serve, there is much that is lovely, of good report, and praiseworthy that is not the subject of detailed discussion in Church manuals or courses of instruction. Those who will not risk exposure to experiences that are not obviously related to some Church word or program will, I believe, live less abundant and meaningful lives than the Lord intends.

We must develop sufficient independence of judgment and maturity of perspective that we are prepared to handle the shafts and whirlwinds of adversity and contradiction that may come to us. When those times come, we cannot be living on borrowed light. We should not be deceived by the clear-cut labels others may use to describe circumstances that are, in fact, not so clear. Our encounters with reality and disappointment are, actually, vital stages in the development of our maturity and understanding.” Elder Bruce Hafen, “On Dealing with Uncertainty”Ensign July 1979. At the time, Hafen was President of Ricks College.

Though I love the whole article, several things strike me in this statement.  Briefly summarized, first is the idea of not expecting or waiting on Salt Lake to put a stamp of approval on anything good in the world, and the dual acknowledgement that this entails risk and that there is plenty of good in the world that goes unrecognized by official LDS publications. Second, a recognition that we can sometimes apply simplistic labels, which is ultimately unproductive and perhaps even spiritually harmful.

Really, read the whole thing. He begins with “Early in life, most of us think of things in terms of black or white—there is very little gray in either the intellectual or the spiritual dimension of our perspective.” He also warns of the danger of becoming cynical. His sermon is one of those touchstones in my personal canon.

43 Responses to Quotes of Note: Elder Hafen on Independence

  1. Julie M. Smith on November 14, 2011 at 9:52 am

    Thank you for this.

  2. jmb275 on November 14, 2011 at 10:03 am

    That is an interesting quote. Seems like quite the mixed bag. Yes, we shouldn’t wait for church headquarters to tell us what is approved, and yet, the sentence is interesting
    “we won’t always have the security of knowing whether a certain idea is ‘church approved’…”
    So does this mean it would be preferable to know the standing of the church on all ideas, but since we won’t we should live life anyway?

    I guess I would conjecture that his point is a good one, but he should go even further. Not only are we not living life to the fullest if we wait for the church to give us a stamp of approval on each new idea, but in fact, we may be stunting our spiritual growth if we’re in effect abdicating our decisions to the dept. of church approval.

    It feels a little like a statement meant to wean the masses off the teat of church approval (which I think is a good thing). Though I confess I think it rather strange that such a statement needs to be made at all.

  3. Jax on November 14, 2011 at 10:26 am

    What jumps out at me is that he is acknowledging that we HAVE TO judge people, principles, plans and have to be able to do is righteously. We can’t sit back and wait for HQ to command us in all things… we have to have the spirit with us and the ability to discern between truth and error.

    The same thought is given by BKP in this quote, “You should know, without having to have the church deliver a statement on it, you should know what the Lord’s position is on abortion, or cloning, or same-gender marriage, or birth control. All of those things, they’re built in as a part of what we know, and what we are.” If we know and understand the gospel then some things are just obviously not in harmony with it. A little discernment can go a long way.

  4. KLC on November 14, 2011 at 10:33 am

    I think the date of the quote is significant. 30 years later we have a subsequent former president of BYUI giving talks about girls with extra earrings and boys canceling engagements because they didn’t remove them instead of counseling us to have independence of judgment.

  5. Jax on November 14, 2011 at 10:55 am

    KLC, boys cancelling engagements IS them using judgment; judging that the girl still wearing multiple sets of earrings doesn’t value the counsel of a prophet… and it is good judgement IMO. Being quick to observe counsel when it is given from SLC doesn’t contradict using your own judgment when SLC doesn’t give us any. Elder Hafen was saying use good spiritual judgment when SLC is silent… Elder Bednar was saying be quick to observe and follow when SLC speaks.

  6. Dave on November 14, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    Ben, thanks for highlighting this fine article by Elder Hafen. I ran across it as a missionary and benefited greatly from the following counsel, which helped me, in the years following my mission, to avoid turning into the sort of skeptical bubble-bursting critic that he cautions against:

    I found myself wanting to tell our third-year law students that those who take too much delight in their finely honed tools of skepticism and dispassionate analysis will limit their effectiveness, in the church and elsewhere, because they can become contentious, standoffish, arrogant, and unwilling to commit themselves. I have seen some of these try out their new intellectual tools in some context like a priesthood quorum or a Sunday School class. A well-meaning teacher will make a point they think is a little silly, and they will feel an irresistible urge to leap to their feet and pop the teacher’s bubble. If they are successful, they begin looking for other opportunities to point out the exception to any rule anybody can state. They begin to delight in cross-examination of the unsuspecting, just looking for somebody’s bubble up there floating around so that they can pop it with their shiny new pin of skepticism. And in all that, they fail to realize that when some of those bubbles pop, out goes the air, and with it goes much of the feeling of trust, loyalty, harmony, and sincerity so essential to preserving the Spirit of the Lord.

  7. KLC on November 14, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    Read the quote again Jax and then think about it and then reread what you wrote in #5. After doing that maybe you can see that you have completely misunderstood what Elder Hafen was talking about. Although I will grant that you have completely understood the anti independent attitude that has overtaken the church and its leaders in the last 30 years.

  8. DLewis on November 14, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    I love this talk. I would go and find the original at speeches.byu.edu. You can read or listen to it. It’s about more than just making judgments–it’s about dealing with crises of faith and growing pains w/o becoming cynical. Why can’t anyone, anywhere (GC, BYU devotionals, CES firesdies) speak like this anymore?

  9. Sam Brunson on November 14, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    Thanks, Ben!

  10. Bob on November 14, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    And what if is openly “Church approved”, do I still get to have my personal opinion on that subject?

  11. Jax on November 14, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    KLC,

    Read it all again, and then again, and still don’t see how Bednar’s talk “Quick to Observe” rejects Hafen’s idea of independant judgments on issues SLC hasn’t made proclamations on.

    Hafen said, “We won’t always have the security of knowing whether a certain idea is “Church approved” But the issue of multiple earrings is an idea we DO know about.

    Hafen says, “We must develop sufficient independence of judgment and maturity of perspective that we are prepared to handle the shafts and whirlwinds of adversity and contradiction that may come to us.” And the young man Bednar referenced did exercise maturity of thought and sound judgment about the woman who was disregarding prophetic counsel. Even though she didn’t come with a tag saying it, he was quick to observe that she was not quick to observe.

    As for our level of “anti-independence”… What are you trying to be independent from? From other people? Then great! From God and his counsel? Not so great. We should try to be independent from all other people so that we can be completely dependent upon God and “every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (see Deut 8:3; Matt 4:4; Luek 4:4; D&C 84:44; and D&C 98:11).

  12. KLC on November 14, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    “…Hafen’s idea of independant judgments on issues SLC hasn’t made proclamations on.”

    Jax that explains exactly what you don’t see in this quote. In your world independent judgment is something that needs to be called upon rarely since issues as trivial as earrings and shirt color demand an authoritative pronouncement from SLC. In Hafen’s world independent judgment is the rule, not the exception.

  13. Alison Moore Smith on November 14, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    KLC #7:

    Read the quote again Jax and then think about it and then reread what you wrote in #5. After doing that maybe you can see that you have completely misunderstood what Elder Hafen was talking about.

    Rather than just making sweeping claims, lambasting another reader, why don’t you take the time to explain where you disagree or how you have brilliantly understood Hafen.

  14. Alison Moore Smith on November 14, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    KLC #12, we posted simultaneously.

    In your world independent judgment is something that needs to be called upon rarely…

    I can see nothing in Jax’s comment that indicate he thinks things not dictated by headquarters are rare. Can you clarify where divined that information?

    …since issues as trivial as earrings and shirt color demand an authoritative pronouncement from SLC.

    I suggest that your personal definition of “trivial” may not be the only one worth considering. That said, can you pass on the authoritative pronouncement on shirt color? I’ve been using the lack of one for years as the reason to refuse to buy white shirts for any men in my family.

    But, it’s sure good to have someone from “Hafen’s World” to translate for the rest of us!

  15. Jax on November 14, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    KLC,

    As Alison aptly pointed out, I do NOT think that using individual judgment/discernment is rare. I think SLC proclamations are. When compared to a list of all the things a person could possible do, the list of “thou shalt” and “thou shalt nots” from SLC is very, very small.

    On another note, I really found the first line of the quote given as spectacularly useful in the “it’s not my place to judge” world that I see quite often. I am weary of hearing people say, “don’t judge others” and “it’s not my place to judge” when in reality it is our duty to do so.

    We need to develop the capacity to form judgments of our own about the value of ideas, opportunities, or people who may come into our lives.

    He specifically mentions judging people who come into our lives. This is one area where many people I hear from in church/society/blogs try to shirk their “need” to use righteous judgment. Did anyone pick this up from that line?

  16. Ben S on November 14, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    I think there’s a qualitative difference between forming judgements of our own and condemning others for not meeting narrow and shallow standards of our own imposition.

  17. KLC on November 14, 2011 at 4:01 pm

    So Alison, is Ben also guilty of brilliantly understanding Hafen? In the OP he says, “Briefly summarized, first is the idea of not expecting or waiting on Salt Lake to put a stamp of approval on anything good in the world, and the dual acknowledgement that this entails risk and that there is plenty of good in the world that goes unrecognized by official LDS publications. Second, a recognition that we can sometimes apply simplistic labels, which is ultimately unproductive and perhaps even spiritually harmful.” Or maybe that is just him translating for us all?

    Waiting for Salt Lake to put a stamp of approval on things is precisely what Jax seems to be asserting is the correct order of things, with independent judgment necessary only as a fall back when that is not available. I don’t think it is reaching to say that is exactly the opposite of what Hafen is talking about.

  18. Jax on November 14, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    KLC,

    I never said or implied that anyone should wait “for Salt Lake to put a stamp of approval on things”. Please re-read my posts and point out how I made that claim. I think using our own judgment is critical to our growth. But in areas where SLC has made statements (like with earrings, gambling, etc) it would be a mistake to think that our own judgment is better than the Lord’s.

    Do you recognize any SLC proclamations as legitimate? or do they all encroach on your personal judgments? In what areas would you restrict the Lord’s right to proscribe behavior?

  19. Ben S on November 14, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    KLC, our interpretations of his statement may be colored by what we naturally apply it to. I’ve been reading Hafen in light of people who refuse to read anything not published by Deseret Book, for example.

  20. Bob on November 14, 2011 at 6:17 pm

    Alison”
    “can you pass on the authoritative pronouncement on shirt color?”.
    No__but I can on about a thousand other things they tell you how to wear or not to wear.
    Being Mormon is about following the rules__spoken or unspoken by the Church Leaders__ not your personal opinion. Your personal opinion is good only until the Church gets around to telling you it’s position. When it gives you one, stop using your’s__ (that’a a rule).

  21. KLC on November 14, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    Jax, let me back up and say that I immediately thought of two opposing world views when I read this quote that is very familiar to me.

    The first world view, one that I think Hafen was explaining when he gave this talk, one that I was exposed to over and over as a youth and a young adult, is that God not only expects us to use our agency and our own minds to make decisions and govern our lives he has created a world where that is necessary. I was taught that Joseph really meant what he said when he proposed that we teach correct principles and then govern ourselves. In other words, don’t go asking God for a quarter to buy a piece of chicken, figure out on your own how to get it.

    The second world view, which seems much more common in the church today, is that God expects us to go to him for everything including spare change. In this world view we claim independence and self governance but those qualities are not in play often since God (or his authorities) provides us with authoritative answers for micro applications of principles such as how many earrings, correct Sunday shirt color or whether our children should have sleepovers.

    In your first response to me you defended the use of judgment when I never questioned or brought that up. I was talking about the distinction between individual judgment and authoritative judgment and not about the value or necessity of judgment itself. To me that meant that you didn’t even see the distinction that I think is so vital. But I realize that I was responding more to my irritation over this change in emphasis rather than to many of your specific points, I apologize for that.

    But I think my irritation is warranted. In the first world view God is our teacher, our guide and our mentor who has crafted a world that forces us to make our own decisions in order to become like him. In the second world view God is more of a vending machine that provides everything we ask for as long as we have the right coins. I much prefer the first. I honestly believe that Joseph had it right about governing ourselves. I think we have strayed far from that ideal.

  22. Jax on November 14, 2011 at 9:06 pm

    Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do.

    (Book of Mormon | 2 Nephi 32:3)

    I think there is a happy medium where both Nephi and Jo. Smith are right. We need to live by every word from HIS mouth, but often his words are the principles we need to know, not the specifics of what we do.

    In my world view, both Hafen and Bednar agree. Follow the word of God to exactness, especially when the counsel is precise (one set of earrings), but use your own judgment when applicable (i.e. don’t go build an ark just because Noah was commanded too, don’t sacrifice your son [Abraham], don’t challenge false priests to showdowns[Elijah], don’t kill drunkards who stole from you just because Nephi was commanded…etc).

    Any qualms with that analysis KLC?

  23. Bob on November 14, 2011 at 9:41 pm

    Jax:
    I have never heard the voice of God. All I know has come through filters.
    Either questioned written words of the past, or questioned spoken words from leaders in the Church today.
    The Church is a HUGE enterprise set up to tell me what God wants of his people. It’s not just knowing ” correct principles”, but having your toe under water when bapitzed.

  24. Hugh on November 14, 2011 at 9:42 pm

    I read Elder Hafen’s talk for the first time as a missionary in Costa Rica. His three methods of dealing with uncertainty were fantastic and mind-opening for this letter-of-the-law flechón. I second the “read the whole thing” recommendation.

  25. Jax on November 14, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    I’m not sure what the implications are of saying you have never heard his voice…

    35 For it is my voice which speaketh them unto you; for they are given by my Spirit unto you, and by my power you can read them one to another; and save it were by my power you could not have them;
    36 Wherefore, you can testify that you have heard my voice, and know my words.

    (Doctrine and Covenants | Section 18:35 – 36)

  26. Bob on November 14, 2011 at 10:42 pm

    Jax:
    I don’t know what the “implications” are either. I guess it depend on how you define a voice or sounded words. You may define them as subjective feelings(?)
    I would define them as ‘objective’ hearings.

  27. Brad on November 14, 2011 at 10:48 pm

    Jax (3),

    What Elder Hafen is saying appears to be the exact opposite of what BKP is saying in that quote that you mentioned. Whereas Elder Hafen is implying that the church is large and strong enough to be able to accommodate members with somewhat diverse views on a number of doctrinal and social issues and regard them in good standing, BKP is implying that members with more liberal views on issues such as birth control, cloning, and gay marriage are more out of line with the way the Lord sees it. Elder Hafen is trying to make a case that grey area exists. BKP is trying to come out in favor of a black and white way of viewing things.

  28. Sonny on November 14, 2011 at 10:52 pm

    Jax,

    The reasoning I think I hear from you, and please correct me if I am wrong, is quite similar to something that was published in the Improvement Era in June 1945:

    “When our leaders speak, the thinking has been done. When they propose a plan–it is God’s plan. When they point the way, there is no other which is safe. When they give direction, it should mark the end of controversy. God works in no other way. To think otherwise, without immediate repentance, may cost one his faith, may destroy his testimony, and leave him a stranger to the kingdom of God.”

    To me, the sentiment expressed in this passage is familiar because I have heard it similarly expressed many times as I have grown up in the church. The problem is, Pres George Albert Smith, when he heard of it quickly emphasized that this passage was not put in by any church leaders and slipped passed uncensored. He then went on to say regarding the passage “The Church gives to every man his free agency, and admonishes him always to use the reason and good judgment with which God has blessed him.”

    What I get out of that is that things are not always so back and white, even if pronounced over a pulpit. The leadership of the church are great and inspired men that do their level best to speak the will of the Lord, but men they are, imperfect like all of us are, and may from time to time inject personal opinions and preferences as pronouncements. That I believe is what Bob is referring to when he says the word of God comes through filters, human filters. In my mind what is so beautiful about the restored gospel is that we have very much a “duel track” for receiving personal divine instruction — Through our inspired yet not always perfect leaders *and* through our own God-given mind and heart that the Lord talks to. I view it very much as a check and balance on each other to keep overreaching and personal preferences in check.

  29. pop on November 14, 2011 at 11:28 pm

    those commenting on this page sure do value their bubbles

  30. Cameron N on November 15, 2011 at 1:08 am

    Folks, let’s not read false dichotomies from these different statements just for argument’s sake.

    The complete spectrum of statements regarding obedience and agency are like seeing the same object from thousands of different angles. Each viewpoint is true and part of the whole.

    – Strict, prompt, and exact obedience is warranted to specific counsel.
    – God teaches us correct principles and we govern ourselves.
    – As Brigham Young taught, we are to validate leaders’ teachings through prayer and receiving a personal witness.
    – We are to act and not be acted upon, to be anxiously engaged and proactive.
    – The Holy Ghost magnifies our ability to discern how to react in each circumstance.
    – President Packer has been at the forefront of declaring the church’s increasing emphasis on personal revelation rather than ‘proxy personal revelation’ for guidance. He has been addressing this for years, if not decades.

    Elder Hafen’s words are very wise and applicable, and to be honest I don’t find anything unique about them within the collective counsel of all general conferences and leadership discourses, although I guess I understand how some can. Thank you very much for sharing this. It’s a keeper.

  31. Brad on November 15, 2011 at 5:22 am

    “The complete spectrum of statements regarding obedience and agency are like seeing the same object from thousands of different angles. Each viewpoint is true and part of the whole.”

    I’d agree that LDS church leaders try to keep from showing differences in worldview about different subjects and that there is a lot of overlap in their opinions on obedience. Also if you were to take everything said by Bruce Hafen and everything said by BKP on obedience and compare them that you would find more common ground than difference.

    But we have to recognize the fact that LDS church leaders’ worldviews on obedience are not all necessarily mutually reconcilable. Some leaders, such elders Hafen and Uchtdorf, have a track record of emphasizing obedience to principles over obedience to strict sets of rules. Other leaders, such as elder Packer and others, have a track record of emphasizing obedience to rules over obedience to principles.

    I think what we can gather from this is much like we followers have disagreements in worldview yet coexist, the LDS church leaders also sometimes have differences in their worldviews, but yet coexist. We are a big history with a rich history, we can accommodate some diversity of thought. But let’s not be in denial that diversity of thought, approach, and worldview exists among active LDS even in the upper echelons of church authority.

  32. Bob on November 15, 2011 at 5:43 am

    The post is on ‘Independence’ within the Church. Yes__there is some ‘diversity of thought’. But the Church very much trys to control the behavior and thinking of members within the Church far beyond just treating ‘correct principles’. It does this through priesthood power. You do not have power for a bake-sale with out an OK from the Priesthood leadership. Members are not self govnering

  33. Bob on November 15, 2011 at 5:49 am

    (Wrong button)..self governing. Members are taught to follow rules as outlined by the Church.

  34. Raymond Takashi Swenson on November 15, 2011 at 7:37 am

    I read Elder Hafen as addressing those Latter-day Saints who lack confidence that they can “do many things of their own will, and bring to pass much righteousness.” Joseph Smith explained that we seek after all that is “of good report or praiseworthy”, and Brigham Young taught that all good things are encompassed in the Gospel. The prophets want us to be free from a Pharisaical attitude that looks for spiritual srcurity in building “a hedge around the law”, a hedge that has to deal with so many issues and circumstances and exceptions that it can come to resemble a convoluted piece of topiary. Not only does being afraid to venture out into the unanalyzed wilderness strip us of our freedom to accomplish the affirmative duties we have accepted as Saints, to find ways to express our love for God and neighbor with ALL of our heart, might, mind and strength, but there is also a flip side to seeking Church sanction for things, when we try to enlist the authority of the Church to drive our own vanity projects. Those who want to use the priesthood to gratify their ambitions want to claim that they are humbly carrying out God’s program, so you had better fall in line. They are “looking beyond the mark” for reasons to coerce or compel others. By contrast, when we are pursuing a goal because it looks righteous to us, but we don’t have authority behind it, we have to persuade othets to agree with us if we want their support. We are throen back on our reliance on gentleness and meekness and love unfaigned.

    The place whete this plays out most in our lives is in our families. We are constantly under necessity of making life-critical decisions about where we live, what we will do to support ourselves, and how to make our spouses and children happy, righteous and secure. The decisions come at us too fast to give us time to pester a prophet for answers. We have to learn to hear the still, small voice, to feel the Liahona within us called the Light of Christ that points toward righteousness, to be meek toward that influence, even as we become bold in acting under its influence.

    President Monson is an exemplar of living in that way. Recall his talk at October Cobference about ferling impressed to call on a brother to speak at a temple dedicatory service, even though the man was not in the congregation. The speaker got his own prompting that sent him there, just in time to walk to he lectern.

    Think of how much more freedom we have, how much confidence, if we can train our minds and hearts to recognize righteous options in realtime.

  35. Jack on November 15, 2011 at 8:43 am

    You mean I can’t just run with FOX News?

  36. Bob on November 15, 2011 at 10:00 am

    Raymond,
    Well said.

  37. chris on November 15, 2011 at 11:32 am

    Wow, strange but I guess not surprising to see such controversy…

    I think this kind of thing will go on as long as we insist that one sentence says it all. There is nothing new here in some of the comments, we might as well be debating “thou shalt not kill” and “thou shalt utterly destroy”.

    Instead of insisting that the single or collection of piece(s) of the puzzle represents the entire artwork, it’s helpful to recognize that single or collections of pieces can be informed by adding more to it. I see contradiction between what has been referenced by Elder Bednar, Packer or Hafen in this thread… I think it’s up to us to use each of their statements to add to our knowledge-set.

  38. KLC on November 15, 2011 at 11:33 am

    Raymond, I agree with you, I think Hafen’s intent was to build confidence in people’s ability to guide their own lives. My own experience from then tells me that in 1979 this was seen as the higher law, to progress beyond needing instruction for every step. Unfortunately I believe that 30 years later we have turned this law on its head.

    I know many good, honest, committed members who sincerely try to live the gospel and who seem to believe that the highest expression of faith in God is to rely on him or his authorities for every decision. So what was the higher law in 1979 is now an indication of lack of faith in God.

    That is why I say they are two different world views. To me this is denying your God given ability to think for yourself. To them I come off as one lacking in faith, evidenced by Jax’s questions to me above, “Do you recognize any SLC proclamations as legitimate? or do they all encroach on your personal judgments? In what areas would you restrict the Lord’s right to proscribe behavior?”

  39. Stephen Hardy on November 15, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    I have heard it said the opposite of every great truth is also a great truth.

    It is true that we should work out our own salvation. Our road to God is a lonely journey in the wilderness.

    It is true that we should look to our scriptures, and as Mormons, to our church leaders to give us spiritual guidance. Our road to God is a collective journey and celebration.

  40. Al on November 15, 2011 at 10:56 pm

    Poor Bob, here I am a stupid right wing conservative and I am more free from impositions than you who appears to reject what you see as impositions. It must be tiring to be so obsessed. Relax a little. It isn’t as hard as you are making it. Maybe it’s because I am stupid. Who knew stupidity had such an upside.

  41. Geoff - A on November 15, 2011 at 11:33 pm

    Do you think that as we progress toward Godhood we may become more independant and less reliant.

    Do you think our God relies on another to tell them what to do, or are they informed by eternal truths but operating with their own interpretation of same.

    I have children in their 30s and 40s and I am impressed when they make decisions on thir own. Sometimes its nice to be consulted but generally I expect they will no longer need to consult me.

    Might not the Lord feel similarly about us and be pleased we can determine our course with less reference to authority?

    So as we become more mature in the Gospel I think we require less obedience and more choice, particularly in ares like those BKP proscribes. Obviously there are some eternal truths but many less than the church pushes.

  42. Brad on November 16, 2011 at 11:59 am

    Al (40), consult the comments policy. No ad hominems. Your comment should be removed.

  43. @UtMormonDemoGuy on November 16, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    Elder Hafen’s talk is one of my all-time favorites. I first read it a young missionary. There are few adresses that I would describe as formative, but this is one for me.