More than three decades ago, the Velvet Revolution brought an end to authoritarian rule in what was then known as Czechoslovakia. This was a revolution unlike most in the world’s history: it was entirely nonviolent, accomplishing its goals primarily through peaceful protests.
Just months later, Václav Havel, the former dissident and newly elected president of Czechoslovakia, spoke to the United States Congress and shared what his experience had taught him. He said, “The salvation of this human world lies nowhere else than in the human heart, in the human power to reflect, in human modesty, and in human responsibility.”
Havel went on to observe that while the revolution had succeeded in securing freedom for his people, the world was not yet united as a great human family. For this reason, he said, “we are in fact far from definite victory. … We still don’t know how to put morality ahead of politics, science, and economics.”
These many years later, Havel’s insightful words echo as loudly as ever. The human world’s need for peace hasn’t changed, and neither has the solution: it lies in the human heart that beats inside us all. The Prince of Peace, the Savior of the World, has placed in each heart a longing for heaven, a sense of morality, and a feeling of responsibility to one another as fellow travelers in life.
Acting on those feelings is not always easy. The human heart also aches with hurt feelings, anger, and selfishness at times. To reach the more peaceful world we all hope for, we’ll have to cross some troubled waters. But that’s what bridges are for—bridges of understanding, of compassion, and of cooperation. Such bridges are built as we set aside differences and work together as equals, not adversaries.
None of us is perfect. We’ve all made our own contribution to the problem, and so we all can be part of the solution. The power is within each of us, granted by a loving God who trusts us to do the right thing—to put morality above self-interest. May we always remember our shared humanity, our shared responsibility, and the great power that lies in every human heart.
April 11, 2021
Broadcast Number 4,778
The Tabernacle Choir
Orchestra at Temple Square
Guide Us, O Thou Great Jehovah
John Hughes; arr. Mack Wilberg
If the Savior Stood beside Me
Sally DeFord; arr. Sam Cardon
How Great Thou Art
Swedish folk tune; arr. Dale Wood
Happy and Blest Are They, from St. Paul
On a Wonderful Day like Today
Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley; arr. Sam Cardon
All People That on Earth Do Dwell
Attributed to Louis Bourgeois; arr. Mack Wilberg