What does the [Silver] Fox Say?

President Dieter and Sister Harriet Uchtdorf with members of the _I Am Jane_ cast

They came to the play. President and Sister Uchtdorf came. What a joyous surprise! Afterwards, President Uchtdorf, LDS apostle, said to me (among other things), “The restoration continues.” I love those words.

For those who question the changeable policy of the priesthood restriction by saying, “I thought God never changed,” I suggest Elder Uchtdorf’s words. The restoration continues. God never changes, but who said we were on God’s level? We come to understand principles, to live them, and eventually to love them. We also come to understand that sometimes we have been wrong. We have, as one black pioneer put it, “allowed society to creep into the church.” Once we recognize this–and remember that church leaders are not usually historians; they need help from those who have studied the issues–we make needed changes. We repent and move on. Our destiny is not wrapped in a long moment of regret but in hope for the future. Though we need reminders of how we have misunderstood things in the past, we work individually and communally to improve, to heal, and to be reconciled and restored.

In my play, Jane says to her brother: “We just at the start of Zion. Lew, it’s like dawn. The sun don’t get itself up in two seconds! First a leaf get lit up, then a branch, then a tree, then part of a hill. It’s gradual, but it happen every morning.”

My husband, Bruce Young, framed by our Jane and by the Uchtdorfs


Likewise, Lorenzo Snow said:

We can look back new and we can see that we have advanced. We have not
stood still, but we have been moving along and gradually increasing
our growth. The child grows from childhood to boyhood, and from
boyhood to manhood, with a constant and steady growth; but he cannot
tell how or when the growth occurs. He does not realize that he is
growing; but by observing the laws of health and being prudent in his
course he eventually arrives at manhood.

We are yet a young church, and the restoration continues. Our minds will be enlightened as we allow them to be, and yet we will “see through a glass darkly.” These words from Joseph Smith’s King Follett discourse remind us of progress which continues beyond this world:

Thus you learn some of the first principles of the gospel, about which so much hath been said. When you climb a ladder, you must begin at the bottom and go on until you learn the last principle; it will be a great while before you have learned the last. It is not all to be comprehended in this world; it is a great thing to learn salvation beyond the grave.

Harriet Uchtdorf hugs a cast member.

I have long clung to the words my husband said to me years ago when we started facing difficulties with our children: “I bless you that your memories will be sanctified as the larger picture unfolds, and you will view all of the difficulties and trials you’re enduring now with gratitude and love.”

His promise has already been fulfilled. I rejoice as I contemplate my children, who they are and what they’ve done. I rejoice that I have learned some compassion for others through my own struggles, and that my perspective includes the understanding that God knows the end from the beginning, and I am simply a pilgrim moving from light to greater light. I am beginning to separate the trivial from the eternal and to recognize when I need to speak and when I need to keep silent and wait upon the Lord.

The play was particularly difficult this time. Today, however, with the run over, I look back at it with gladness and gratitude. Whatever we came through as a cast and crew, this is who we are now–a little family, bonded by love.

Group hug

Hurt feelings have been healed as far as those who were hurt would allow. The restoration continues.

About Margaret Blair Young

Margaret Blair Young teaches literature and creative writing at Brigham Young University. For the past fifteen years, she has specialized in the history of blacks in the west, particularly black Mormons. She has written six novels and two short story collections, but has lately become interested in filmmaking. Her current endeavor is a film to be shot in Zambia called Heart of Africa (www.heartofafricafilm.com)


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