Conflict and persecution are the truest signs that can be given of the greatness of a cause or of an individual, provided this warfare is honest and a world-imposed struggle. Such conflict never ends till unconquerable right is begun anew, and hath gained fresh energy and final victory.
Mary Baker Eddy
“Mr. Young Goes to Boston” by AlanYoung, p.70-72
In loving memory of the late Alan Young
In 1925, a poll was taken to determine the greatest American woman. Mrs. Eddy was at the top of the list. As a boy (much later). I can remember that when great women were named Mrs. Eddy was always included.
In a poll taken in 1990 Mrs. Eddy’s name was not mentioned!
I watched a tv program “Jeopardy” not too long ago and none of the contestants knew who she was. It’s obvious to anyone who has contact with the Christian Science movement what’s happening to church membership. Is Mrs. Eddy being forgotten because of the decline in church membership? Or has the membership been declining because Mrs. Eddy has been forgotten? Or, if not forgotten, remembered now only as the dear little white-haired New England woman who was such a lovely human being?
Mrs. Eddy’s words kept coming back to my thought. “…truth communicates itself…” and “…the voice of truth, the revelation of Truth, the light, the laven, the standard.” I reasoned that if people could learn about Mrs. Eddy, they would discern her Science, and understanding and demonstration would naturally follow.
As I continued working for the church I made some suggestions. They were nothing brillant; in fact they were rather obvious. I was admonished: “Don’t rock the boat.”
I couldn’t believe it. “You must rock the boat at times,” I said.
My father worked in a shipyard. When a new boat was launched all the workers boarded the vessel and climbed to one side of her. Then they commenced rocking. If their work was going to capsize or fall apart now was the time for it, not in a storm a hundred miles at sea.
We must “rock the boat” to test it. If our ark reflects our best efforts and we have faith in our work then let’s rock it. If it holds up then the test is over, and we sail safely into the deep.
My experience with the organized church was disillusioning. I am sure the church’s experience with me was equally unsettling as its “Who let him in?” was echoed by my “Who let them out?”
- This painting (below) is hanging in the State House, Concord, New Hampshire.