Rev. Dr. William Barber II, American Protestant minister and social activist, delivered the forum address to campus on Tuesday. He spoke on initiating a nationwide moral revival to better support poor and low-wage workers in the United States.
Referencing scriptures across the Old and New Testaments, Book of Mormon and U.S. Constitution, Rev. Barber urged us to remember the poor and reject attitudes of prejudice.
But Rev. Barber recognized that just reading and reviewing scriptural and constitutional ideas of morality isn’t enough to create change.
“When I read our Constitution of the United States, and I look at the call to establish justice as a first principle, and I look at the glaring realities of racism and poverty, … it is clear to me that we face a crisis of possibility, a crisis of civilization and a crisis of democracy.”
While debates over lack of federal and state resources often underlie discussions on poverty, Rev. Barber redirected the discussion’s focus.
"We can address –– and pay for addressing –– every issue, but what we do have is a scarcity of collective moral consciousness."
How do you revive the heart of a nation? Use a moral defibrillator, said Rev. Barber.
“It’s time for the remnant to shock the conscience of this nation. Today, only a revolution of the heart can save and revive this democracy and move us toward a beloved community,” urged Rev. Barber.
Raising awareness, alleviating the struggles of the disadvantaged and participating in political processes can help us revive the heart of the nation and create a more beloved community, said Rev. Barber.
It is time, Rev. Barber exhorted, to start facilitating positive community change.
“My young brothers and sisters, you have work. You are not the leaders of tomorrow — you must be a part of the moral voice of today.”
As we mourn with those who mourn and uplift the downtrodden, Rev. Barber encouraged people of faith to actively involve God in the nation’s revival.
“Together, with God, we shock this nation with the power of love.”
Elder Neil L. Andersen, member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, will deliver the next devotional address on Tuesday, December 7, at 11:05 a.m. in the Marriott Center. Elder Andersen’s remarks will also be broadcast live on BYUtv, BYUtv.org, KBYU-TV 11, Classical 89 FM, BYUradio 107.9 FM and SiriusXM 143.