Eternal Right Must Still Stand Unshaken — Albert E. Bowen

Prophet Statesmen, Albert E. Bowen

Those courses of behavior which harmonize with and conform to absolute spiritual values must be eternally right just as their opposites must be eternally wrong. Between the two there is undying conflict. They cannot accommodate themselves one to the other. If it were attempted to make adjustments between them by having each yield something to the other you might succeed in tempering the wrong but what you had left would not be the right. It could at best be right debased by an admixture of wrong, a counterfeit.

The Church as the teacher and interpreter of the Gospel message cannot countenance any dilution. There may be new techniques of exposition, improved approaches, expanding understanding of interpretation and application and even a weeding out of extraneous accretions which have fastened themselves upon the basic principles, but in the fundamentals of the message itself there can be no alterations. Wherever the majority opinion may for the moment lie, or however the conflict may swirl and lash about it the eternal right must still stand unshaken and unmoved as the fixed base to which men may with assurance and safety anchor their lives. That which is right does not become wrong merely because it may be deserted by the majority, neither does that which is wrong today become right tomorrow by the chance circumstance that it has won the approval or been adopted by overwhelmingly predominant numbers. Principles cannot be changed by nor accommodate themselves to the vagaries of popular sentiment.

Excerpt from Albert E. Bowen’s April 1941 Gen­eral Con­fer­ence Address, p. 85. Albert E. Bowen (1875–1953) was a mem­ber of the Quo­rum of the Twelve Apos­tles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Prior to his call to full time church ser­vice Albert Ernest Bowen taught at Brigham Young Col­lege, then grad­u­ated with hon­ors from Uni­ver­sity of Chicago law school, prac­ticed law in Logan, Utah, and later Salt Lake City, where he also became involved in many impor­tant busi­ness ven­tures such as the Utah Con­struc­tion Com­pany, the Amer­i­can Sav­ings and Loan Asso­ci­a­tion, and the Utah Fuel Company.