Beyond Politics


Beyond Politics

Book Title

Nibley on the Timely and the Timeless

Publication Type




Year of Publication



Nibley, Hugh W. (Primary)






Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University


Provo, UT

Terms of use

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Bibliographic Citation

Nibley, Hugh W. "Beyond Politics" In Nibley on the Timely and the Timeless, 301-328. Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2004.


In most languages the Church is designated as that of the last days, and so this speech, which is only a pastiche of quotations from its founders, is unblushingly apocalyptic. Did our grandparents overreact to signs of the times ? For many years a stock cartoon in sophisticated magazines has poked fun at the barefoot, bearded character in the long nightshirt carrying a placard calling all to "Repent, for the End is at Hand." But where is the joke? Ask the smart people who thought up the funny pictures and captions: Where are they now? For all of us as individuals the fashion of this world passeth away; but the Big Bang is something else. How near is that? Should we be con­cerned at all?

The problem may be stated in the form of a little dialogue:

We: Dear Father, whenever the end is scheduled to be, can't you give us an extension of time?

He: Willingly. But tell me first, what will you do with it?

We: Well... ah .. .we will go on doing pretty much what we have been doing; after all, isn't that why we are asking for an extension?

He: And isn't that exactly why I want to end it soon—because you show no inclination to change? Why should I reverse the order of nature so that you can go on doing the very things I want to put an end to?

We: But is what we are doing so terribly wrong? The economy seems sound enough. Why shouldn't we go on doing the things which have made this country great?

He: Haven't I made it clear enough to you what kind of greatness I expect of my offspring? Forget the statistics; you are capable of better things—your stirring commercials don't impress me in the least.

We: But why should we repent when all we are doing is what each considers to be for the best good of himself and the nation?

He: Because it is not you but I who decide what that shall be, and I have told you a hundred times what is best for you individually and col­lectively—and that is repentance, no matter who you are.

We: We find your inference objectionable, Sir, quite unacceptable.

He: I know.

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