The Real Reactionaries: Albert E. Bowen

Prophet Statesmen, Albert E. Bowen

In this day principles and practices and institutions and beliefs, grown venerable with age, are cast aside with contemptuous abandon, often for no other reason than that they are old. We have even invented some names for those who refuse to throw overboard the principles by which they have lived and flourished. In the language of the day, no doubt, James and Paul would be called reactionaries, anti- liberals, non-progressives.

It would be easily demonstrable that most of the supposedly new and progressive offerings of the hour are in fact age-old and have been tried and found delusive and been thrown into the discard in the far-distant past. Their advocates so far from pointing the way to progress are the real reactionaries, leading back to discredited failures of long ago. I have a notion that the reactionary or progressive quality of a doctrine should be determined by the soundness or lack of soundness of the principle it embodies and not by its age. Take for instance the Ten Commandments.

Source: Albert E. Bowen, General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, October 1948. 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.