TO HUNGER AND THIRST FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS
by Bruce Young
This note was in a file of papers of Gene’s that I read and commented on, mainly (I think) in the mid-1980s. It is attached to one of the papers, my marked up copy of “Why the Church Is More True Than the Gospel” (which I remember—I hope accurately—I suggested he change to “Why the Church Is As True as the Gospel”):
August 8, ’84
One of the greatest pleasures I have teaching here at BYU is being able to read what you write. I enjoy being exposed to your faith, your intellectual energy, your gift for language—but especially to the gifts that enable you to see and convey truth, touch the human heart, and open doors and windows to the Spirit. You do all of this with a grittiness and honesty, and an honest, worked for, solid-based faith that I would like to have. I am usually moved to tears at least once or twice while reading one of your papers. And what I am feeling is not just emotion. What I feel is a “hunger and thirst for righteousness.” And you sometimes help me feel the love of God in such a powerful way that I “long to be there”—and to live so as to be there—where I can feel that love in its fulness.
This note doesn’t really adequately convey what I would like to convey. For one thing, it makes it too vague and abstract. But I thought at least once I ought to add a note trying to say what I value most in your writing (and why I keep responding to your requests to read it). It would be redundant to keep saying it every time I read something you write (once or twice a week it seems lately). Of course, the things I value won’t really take on their full value for me until they bear fruit in action—facing problems honestly, struggling with them, living through them, opening myself to the pain and vulnerability of honest struggle. I’ve done that some, but need to do it more. I’m grateful for your part in helping me get there.