In an On Faith column entitled "9/11 destruction allowed us to spiritually rebuild", published on September 8th, 2011 in the Washington Post, President Monson notes how Americans rediscovered the need for God and turned to Him for solace and understanding after the attacks. But he decries the fact that since that time, renewal of faith has waned, and indifference has taken root once again. Yet God's commitment to us remains unwavering.
This cycle is not original -- the Book of Mormon repeatedly chronicles how the Nephites, whenever engulfed by adversity, would turn to God for deliverance. They would recover, keep the commandments, and become prosperous in the land. But inevitably they would get lifted up in the pride of their hearts unto the wearing of costly apparel, mistreating the poor and the faithful -- until once again, adversity would pay them a visit, usually clothed in the guise of an invading Lamanite army. Wash, rinse, repeat.
The "money shot" of President Monson's counsel, if you want to refer to it as such:
"If there is a spiritual lesson to be learned from our experience of that fateful day, it may be that we owe to God the same faithfulness that He gives to us. We should strive for steadiness, and for a commitment to God that does not ebb and flow with the years or the crises of our lives. It should not require tragedy for us to remember Him, and we should not be compelled to humility before giving Him our faith and trust. We too should be with Him in every season".
In closing, President Monson suggests that adversity and destruction addord us the opportunity to rebuild our lives in the way God teaches us, and to become something different than we were.
Public Reaction: A discussion thread has been started on Times & Seasons, where Julie M. Smith says she likes it more than almost anything she's ever read by President Monson. Most other reaction is also favorable, although one commenter complained that it didn't go into enough detail. But it was not President Monson's intent to recite a detailed litany of events since that time, but to focus strictly on one central issue -- the need for us to be constant in our faith whether it be during prosperity or adversity.
The Salt Lake Tribune also published a story on President Monson's column, which attracted the usually litany of scoffers and antis who infest any LDS story on the Tribune.