Unique Individual. . .
Riders of 'White Horse'
Told Where to Get Off
by Roger Sorenson
Standing in the entrance of the Joseph Smith building, one is amazed by the variety of individuals who daily traverse our campus. Unique among these is the returned missionary.
The returned missionary can be seen at any hour treading with pious mien the halls of our venerable institution as he compassionately ponders the transgressions of others. In spite of weighted soul, he bravely tries to remain cheerful as he lovingly mingles with the doomed. An avid reader of "The Voice of Warning" and "The White Horse Prophecy," he knows too well the fate of men and nations. He will interpret Daniel and with modesty confess that he knows the Revelation of St. John forward and backward. These also he understands along with various other tidbits of general information such as the location of the Ten Tribes, the latitude and longitude of the City of Enoch, and the date of the Second Coming. The fearful import of his knowledge occasionally finds expression in the violent denunciation of such heinous practices such as the worship of "The Great Stone God" on "Y" Mountain, and the foolishness of an honor code among the Saints. These denunciations are discreetly published in the campus scandal sheet that all may stand warned and condemned.
The returned missionary alone approaches school life with that suave assurance which only two years on the pedestal can engender. He can be heard in every class asking the instructor questions, not to know, but to be known. This, of course, is more easily tolerated when we understand that, with the minor assistance of God, he very well ran things in the vineyard during his pilgrimage. This experience qualifies him as an expert in everything, and, as a veritable fountain of truth, he graciously confers than manifold blessings of his advice on high and low alike. Neither Bishop nor Stake President is beyond the kind chastening of this sage as he goes about his noble task of reforming everyone but himself. He, as everyone knows, is perfect, his greatest fault being that he knows it.
It Is Unique Service
Thus, the returned missionary, though scoffed and ridiculed, may yet prove to be the salvation of the Church,. For though these things distinguish him as one of decidedly simple faith, he performs still greater service to humanity. This he does unconsciously as a man of destiny. For it is not in the unctuous wagging of his tongue that we find ourselves saved; it is not in the blackness of his prophesies that we find ourselves purged; it is not that we are cleansed in his pious presence, or enlightened by his wisdom. But it is rather through his association that we gain that deep mature and abiding faith that the Church will grow in spite of the missionaries. This is the greatest service he can perform. This, indeed, is what makes the returned missionary unique.