It required response. As diplomatically and soft-spoken as I could, I said, "I detect a slight political message in my friend ____'s comment. Can I just say that "Social Justice" does not mean equal results, it means EQUAL OPPORTUNITY!" (I didn't use caps or yell in the class, that's just for the benefit of the readers here. I went on using my Jedi lawyer tricks (and hoping for the Spirit) to work this back into the lesson and on subject with a discussion of how we of course had to be responsible for our own testimony, but we can't do it alone. We are a community of believers to support each other and we need this community to take the message out to those who have never had an opportunity to hear the message to have their own testimony.
"How can they learn except a preacher be sent?" I admitted I was roughly paraphrasing Isaiah. Checking later, I was roughly paraphrasing Paul in Romans but he connects right back into Isaiah thusly:
[Which reminds me out of nowhere that an old friend of the family gave me a white shirt for my mission with that scripture from Isaiah embroidered on the tail presumably to keep tucked in to my pants. Being a little confused about whether it was my feet or my backside that was beautiful upon the mountain, I principally used that shirt as my "lucky" baptism shirt when I went into the waters with someone. Once again demonstrating that religious belief often mixes with folk or private lore for an odd mix of individualized practices.]
The instructor got back to the lesson even diverging in support of it to the statement of the Prophet Joseph that the gospel and our witness is simple. From the Introduction to "Our Heritage" he referenced:
“The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it.”The reference there is to History of the Church, 3:30. Original Source, Elder's Journal, July 1838, p. 44, Joseph Smith Papers Project. [wow! Digital provenance at your fingertips!] which cites the source this way:
The fundamental principles of our religion is the testimony of the apostles and prophets concerning Jesus Christ, “that he died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended up into heaven;” and all other things are only appendages to these, which pertain to our religion.
But in connection with these, we believe in the gift of the Holy Ghost, the power of faith, the enjoyment of the spiritual gifts according to the will of God, the restoration of the house of Israel, and the final triumph of truth.After the lesson, I went and apologized to my friend for being a little "fiesty." His response was that if that was "feisty" he wasn't worried about it.
Later that evening I was telling this story to Anonymous D who responded, very appropriately, that God's gift of salvation is a free gift for all. He wants us all to be like him. We only have to choose to take advantage of it and follow Him with all the basic principles of the Gospel.
I noted that was in line with the God's own stated purpose:
For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. Moses 1:39.He doesn't seem to make distinctions among us. His work and glory are available to all and I'm not going to question his judgments. We all seem to keep doing it down here, though . . . .
[note to self: repent, repent, repent]