When I was at BYU, I started a club about historical heroes. Leaders. Men and women whose influence changed the world forever. It was called the Heroes of History Club. I have often wondered what is the most influential force in the world?
I was at stake conference this week. Elder Paul Johnson of the seventy (who is also the commissioner of education for the entire Church of Jesus Christ) spoke to us. I loved his message. It was powerful and it was good.
He spoke of wars, of heroes of history, of battles and of BABIES.
". . . men were following, with bated breath, the march of Napoleon, and waiting with feverish impatience for the latest news of the wars. And all the while, in their own homes, babies were being born. But who could think about babies? Everybody was thinking about battles. . . .
". . . in one year. . . between Trafalgar and Waterloo, there stole into the world a host of heroes! . . . in 1809. . . Gladstone was born at Liverpool; Alfred Tennyson was born at the Somersby rectory . . . Oliver Wendell Holmes made his first appearance at Massachusetts . . . and Abraham Lincoln drew his first breath at Old Kentucky. Music was enriched by the advent of Frederic Chopin at Warsaw, and of Felix Mendelssohn at Hamburg. . . Elizabeth Barrett Browning [was born] at Durham. . . . But nobody thought of babies. Everybody was thinking of battles. Yet. . .which of the battles of 1809 mattered more than the babies of 1809? . . .
"We fancy that God can only manage His world by big battalions . . . when all the while He is doing it by beautiful babies. . . . When a wrong wants righting, or a work wants doing, or a truth wants preaching, or a continent wants opening, God sends a baby into the world to do it. That is why, long, long ago, a babe was born at Bethlehem." (F. W. Boreham, Mountains in the Mist: Some Australian Reveries , 166-67, 170)