“Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.”
...a system of inhereited conceptions expressed in symbolic forms by means of which people communicate, perpetuate and develop their knowledge about attitudes toward life.
History should not just be perceived as just politics and the military. it involves the whole realm of human expression and human experience. And to leave out music, art, literature, architecture, dance, poetry, drama is to leave out not just color and flavor and sound, but a lot of the soul of a culture. Many civilizations are known only for their art.
That's all as much a part of the American reality and the American story as our expected protagonists of history. In this one performance we have musicians, dancers, people speaking great literature, singing, architecture, all working at once. And we should never ever take it for granted.
It turns out that there is also a big difference in how number-naming systems in Western and Asian languages are constructed. In English, we say fourteen, sixteen, seventeen, eighteen, and nineteen, so one might expect that we would also say oneteen, twoteen, threeteen, and fiveteen. But we don't. We use a different form: eleven, twelve, thirteen, and fifteen. Similarly, we have forty and sixty, which sound like the words they are related to (four and six). But we also say fifty and thirty and twnty, which sort of sound live five an three and two, but not really. And, for that matter, for numbers above twenty, we put the "decade" first and the unit number second (twenty-one, twenty-two), whereas for the teens, we do it the other way around (fourteen, seventeen, eighteen). The number system in English is highly irregular. Not so in China, Japan and Korea. They have a logical counting system, Eleven is ten-one. Twelve is ten-two. Twenty-four is two-tens-four and so on.
That difference means that Asian children learn to count much faster than American children. Four-year old Chinese children can count, on average, to forty. American children at that age can count only to fifteen, and most don't reach forty until they're five...
"The Asian system is transparent," says Karen Fuson, a Northwestern University psychologist who has closely studied Asian-Western differences. "I think that it makes the whole attitude toward math different. Instead of being a rote learning thing, there's a pattern I can figure out. There is an expectation that it's sensible. For fractions, we say thee-fifths. The Chinese literally "out of five parts, take three.' That's telling you conceptually what a fraction is. It's differentiating the denominator and the numberator."
...When it comes to math, in other words, Asians have a built-in advantage. But it's an unusual kind of advantage. For years, students from China, South Korea, and Japan - and the children of recent immigrants who are from those countries - have substantially outpreformed their Western counterparts at mathematics, and the typical assumption is tha tit has something to do with a kind of innate Asian proclivity for math. The psychologist Richard Lynn has even gone so far as to propose an elaborate evolutionary theory involving the Himalayas, really cold weather, premodern hunting practices, brain size, and specialized vowel sounds to explain why Asians have higher IQs. That's how we think about math. We assume that being good at things like calculus and algebra is a simple function of how smart someone is. But the differences between the number systems in the East and the West suggest something very different - that being good at math may also be rooted in a group's culture.
I must study politics and war that my sons (and daughters) may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons (and daughters) ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce and agriculture in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry and percelain.
Make no mistake about it, brothers and sisters, in the months and years ahead, events are likely to require each member to decide whether or not he will follow the First Presidency. Members will find it more difficult to halt longer between two opinions. (See 1 Kgs. 18:21.)
President Marion G. Romney said, many years ago, that he had “never hesitated to follow the counsel of the Authorities of the Church even though it crossed my social, professional or political life” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1941, p. 123). This is a hard doctrine, but it is a particularly vital doctrine in a society which is becoming more wicked. In short, brothers and sisters, not being ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ includes not being ashamed of the prophets of Jesus Christ!
We are now entering a time of incredible ironies. Let us cite but one of these ironies which is yet in its subtle stages: We will see a maximum, if indirect, effort made to establish irreligion as the state religion. It is actually a new form of paganism which uses the carefully preserved and cultivated freedoms of western civilization to shrink freedom, even as it rejects the value essence of our rich Judeo-Christian heritage.
Your discipleship may see the time when such religious convictions are discounted. M. J. Sobran also said, “A religious conviction is now a second-class conviction, expected to step deferentially to the back of the secular bus, and not to get uppity about it” (Human Life Review, Summer 1978, pp. 58–59).
This new irreligious imperialism seeks to disallow certain opinions simply because those opinions grow out of religious convictions. Resistance to abortion will be seen as primitive. Concern over the institution of the family will be viewed as untrendy and unenlightened.
Before the ultimate victory of the forces of righteousness, some skirmishes will be lost. Even in these, however, let us leave a record so that the choices are clear, letting others do as they will in the face of prophetic counsel.
There will also be times, happily, when a minor defeat seems probable, but others will step forward, having been rallied to rightness by what we do. We will know the joy, on occasion, of having awakened a slumbering majority of the decent people of all races and creeds which was, till then, unconscious of itself.
Jesus said that when the fig trees put forth their leaves, “summer is nigh” (Matt. 24:32). Thus warned that summer is upon us, let us not then complain of the heat!
We will find that not only are there strategic signposts of morality, but there are also tactical standards of morality with which we must be concerned if we are to preserve our identity in the way that is most helpful to us and to our fellowmen. We must not unintentionally assume the appearance of evil in its various cultural costumes and dispensational dimensions. The length of Samson’s hair not only gave him strength, it set him apart from the Philistines, whose passion for alcohol Samson did not share either. The prophet will always help us to set the tone of tactical morality when such is needed to set us apart from some contemporaries. Paul did this for female Church members in Corinth, counseling them, I am told, so they would not be confused with prostitutes because of uncovered hair. Thus, the principles do not change, but as Dr. Daniel H. Ludlow has said, the practices may vary. We can always look to the prophet for guidance with regard to these tactical dimensions of morality.
Real cultures are built over time. They’re the result of action, reaction, and truth. They are nuanced, beautiful, and authentic. Real culture is patina.
Don’t think about how to create a culture, just do the right things for you, your customers, and your team and it’ll happen.
Prophets have a way of jarring the carnal mind. Too often the holy prophets are wrongly perceived as harsh and as anxious to make a record in order to say, “I told you so.” Those prophets I have known are the most loving of men. It is because of their love and integrity that they cannot modify the Lord’s message merely to make people feel comfortable. They are too kind to be so cruel. I am so grateful that prophets do not crave popularity.