A headline in the Salt Lake Tribune this morning:
Mormon church wins full recognition in Vietnam, sees chance for growth
When I was a student at BYU in the late 1960’s, this eventuality was prophesied. The full account is included in my forthcoming book Immortal For Quite Some Time (University of Utah Press, October 2016). Here’s an excerpt:
The next step for a young man who had been equipped by the Boy Scouts to stand up for America was my military obligation. The mimeographed pamphlet we received at Brigham Young University was called “A Guide to Opportunities Open to the Young Men Faced with the Obligation (Opportunity) to Serve in One of the Armed Services: Prepared by Detachment 855 Air Force ROTC BYU for Bishops’ and Stake Presidents’ Day.”
We gathered in the DeJong Concert Hall where an Elder of the Church, Hartman Rector, spoke to us about duty, obedience, and patriotism. He reminded us that “the members of the Church have always felt under obligation to come to the defense of their country when a call to arms was made.” He described the war that liberated Japan as a war used by God to introduce the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the Japanese. Ditto the Korean War. And “exactly the same thing will happen in Vietnam. When we pull out the U.S. troops . . . we will move the mission president and the missionaries right in behind them. We will build up the kingdom of God there. Yes, it took some of the best of this nation to do it, but these nations must be redeemed by blood. It’s in the economy of God. . . . Yes, this is God’s nation, and the stars and stripes is God’s flag.”
Over the decades I had come to discount the prophecy. Should have been more patient.
41 years from the end of the Vietnam war. From Gd’s mouth to Rector’s ear.