A little over 20 years ago, Elder Neal A. Maxwell spoke to BYU educators about a certain kind of distribution of labor in the Church:
The member who is an automobile mechanic does not likely have all the skills of a scholar, and not likely you the mechanic’s [skills]. But both of you are under the same spiritual obligations to keep the same commandments and the same covenants. Furthermore, the mechanic is under the same obligation to develop the attributes of patience and meekness as are you.
The Institute that bears his name has undergone some changes over the past year. My perspective on them is obviously skewed; after all, I’m the Maxwell Institute’s new public communications specialist. So take it with a grain of Salt when I say I’m excited to be looking forward.
When I was offered this position I knew that some people, including some of my friends, viewed the Institute with skepticism for various reasons. I’m not going to debate the merits and drawbacks of various styles of apologetics here (so please don’t turn comments in that direction). But I think some of the old battles have overshadowed much of the other great scholarship the Institute’s been doing as the past several decades flew by. Part of my job will be to highlight some of that work alongside the work we do going forward, believing that solid scholarship can help enrich the soil where the seeds of faith are planted.
It has taken a lot of patience from folks here at the Institute to get to where we are now. I hope all of the mechanics, scholars, and everyone else will keep extending patience and good vibes our way as we get some of our new initiatives off of the ground. I’ll be covering a lot of these over at the brand-spanking-new Maxwell Institute Blog which we plan to launch next Monday. The first post contains a big announcement, so you’ll want to check out our new Twitter feed for updates (@MI_BYU), or check back here for the link which I’ll add as soon as it’s available.
More fruit will be ready for the tasting from the Maxwell Institute in the coming weeks and months.