Mr. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was in London, May 10, 1983, to receive the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion. The first winner of the Temptleton Prize was Mother Teresa, in 1972, and the winner in 1982 was the Reverend
Billy Graham. The address by Mr. Solzhenitsyn at that occasion was titled,
“Men Have Forgotten God,” and in it he said:
. . . while I was still a child I recall hearing a number of older people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that have befallen Russia: ‘Men have forgotten God: that's why all this has happened.’ . . . But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous Revolution that swallowed up some sixty million of our people. I could not put it more accurately that to repeat, ‘Men have forgotten God: that's why all this has happened.’
The consequences of remembering and forgetting . . .
We must remember. Memory is the fertile land where we were planted and have grown up. Remember our fathers and mothers, and their fathers and mothers. Remember the God of our ancestors. Remember six years of age, the first grade teacher, and remember the church of your childhood. Remember when you prayed. Do not forget God.
You were unmindful . . . you forgot the God who gave you birth.
— Deuteronomy 32:18 (NRSV)
You have forgotten the LORD, your Maker, who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth. — Isaiah 51:13 (NRSV)