Prophecy Fulfilled

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.

About Scott Abbott

I received my Ph.D. in German Literature from Princeton University in 1979. Then I taught at Vanderbilt University, BYU, and Utah Valley State College. At Utah Valley University, I directed the Program in Integrated Studies for its initial 13 years and was also Chair of the Department of Humanities and Philosophy for three years. My publications include a book on Freemasonry and the German Novel, two co-authored books with Zarko Radakovic (REPETITIONS and VAMPIRES & A REASONABLE DICTIONARY, published in Serbo-Croatian in Belgrade and in English with Punctum Books), a book with Sam Rushforth (WILD RIDES AND WILDFLOWERS, Torrey House Press), a "fraternal meditation" called IMMORTAL FOR QUITE SOME TIME (University of Utah Press), and translations of three books by Austrian author Peter Handke, of an exhibition catalogue called "The German Army and Genocide," and, with Dan Fairbanks, of Gregor Mendel's important paper on hybridity in peas. More famously, my children are in the process of creating good lives for themselves: as a model and dance/yoga studio manager, as a teacher of Chinese language, as an ecologist and science writer, as a jazz musician, as a parole officer, as a contractor, as a seasonal worker (Alaska and Park City, Utah), and as parents. I share my life with UVU historian Lyn Bennett, with whom I have written a cultural history of barbed wire -- THE PERFECT FENCE (Texas A&M University Press). Some publications at
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1 Response to Prophecy Fulfilled

  1. Chuck says:

    41 years from the end of the Vietnam war. From Gd’s mouth to Rector’s ear.


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