Saturday, October 2, 2021

Apostles are the Voice of Warning to All

[Readers desiring to obtain their own hardback copies of volume one of I Know He Lives: How 13 Special Witnesses Came to Know Jesus Christ can find copies on sale here  Softbound copies can be purchased here, on sale. An ebook (Kindle) edition is available on Amazon here, for cheap. The Amazon page also includes the Introduction and first chapter of volume one for free.]


(by Dennis B. Horne)


Set watchmen round about them, and build a tower,

that one may overlook the land round about,

to be a watchman upon the tower,

that mine olive trees [Church] may not be broken down

when the enemy shall come. . . .

(D&C 101:45)


            An uncompromising duty of those ordained to the Apostleship—of a special witness—is to warn and guard the Church and its members against the devices of the enemy, the Adversary. President Ezra Taft Benson explained:


            As watchmen on the tower of Zion, it is our obligation and right as leaders to speak out against current evilsevils that strike at the very foundation of all we hold dear as the true church of Christ and as members of Christian nations.

            As one of these watchmen, with a love for humanity, I accept humbly this obligation and challenge and gratefully strive to do my duty without fear. In times as serious as these, we must not permit fear of criticism to keep us from doing our duty, . . .

            The Church is founded on eternal truth. We do not compromise principle. We do not surrender our standards regardless of current trends or pressures. Our allegiance to truth as a church is unwavering. Speaking out against immoral or unjust actions has been the burden of prophets and disciples of God from time immemorial. It was for this very reason that many of them were persecuted. Nevertheless, it was their God-given task, as watchmen on the tower, to warn the people.[1]


            Such is their duty:  “Today I shall speak doctrine, by way of warning and of testimony, and shall do so as one holding the holy apostleship, whose responsibility it is to proclaim the Lord’s message in all the world and to all people. Each of my brethren of the Council of the Twelve has the same responsibility I have to declare these things to the world and to bear record of them before all men.”[2] President Gordon B. Hinckley also echoed this message (as quoted by Elder Ballard): “In a General Authority training meeting, President Gordon B. Hinckley taught on the subject ‘keeping the doctrine pure and the Church on the right course.’ He said, ‘We

cannot be too careful. We must watch that we do not get off [course]. In our efforts to be

original and fresh and different, we may teach things which may not be entirely in

harmony with the basic doctrines of this the restored Church of Jesus Christ. . . . We had

better be more alert. . . . We must be watchmen on the tower.’”[3]

            With this obligation upon special witnesses in mind, the below quotations, as categorized under specific subheadings, demonstrate how the Apostles have warned the Church and the world against the devices of the Adversary. These devices are found both in and out of the Church, with the devil commonly using the internet as his megaphone.[4] Before getting into specifics however, we should understand how the prophets, seers, and revelators view the state of society at large for the current generation. Not a general conference passes without many pointed references to the world’s decent into evil, and also that of many in the Church.


President Marion G. Romney:

            The world has never been so bad, so wicked, so full of iniquity, as now—but it never will be this good again.[5]


President Gordon B. Hinckley:

            The traditional family is under heavy attack. I do not know that things were worse in the times of Sodom and Gomorrah. . . . We see similar conditions today. They prevail all across the world. I think our Father must weep as He looks down upon His wayward sons and daughters.[6]


Elder Richard G. Scott:

            The world is being engulfed in a rising river of degenerate filth, with the abandonment of virtue, righteousness, traditional marriage, family life and personal integrity. President Hinckley has warned publicly that conditions are comparable to those of Sodom and Gomorrah, the epitome of unholy life in the Old Testament. However, while isolated then that condition is now pervasive over the world. Satan skillfully manipulates for his purposes the power of all types of media and the broad avenues of communication. His success has greatly increased worldwide the extent and availability of such degrading and destructive influences.[7]


President Boyd K. Packer:

            The world is spiraling downward at an ever-quickening pace. I am sorry to tell you that it will not get better. . . .

            I know of nothing in the history of the Church or in the history of the world to compare with our present circumstances. Nothing happened in Sodom and Gomorrah which exceeds in wickedness and depravity that which surrounds us now.

            Words of profanity, vulgarity, and blasphemy are heard everywhere. Unspeakable wickedness and perversion [homosexuality] were once hidden in dark places; now they are in the open, even accorded legal protection. At Sodom and Gomorrah these things were localized. Now they are spread across the world, and they are among us. I need not—I will not—identify each evil that threatens our youth. It is difficult for man to get away from it.[8]


President Russell M. Nelson:

            The work of Almighty God and His great plan of happiness are opposed by the adversary and his minions. Satan wants us to be miserable like his is. First he attacked the prophets. When that didn’t work, he attacked the scriptures. When that didn’t work, he now attacks at the very heart of the Church, which is the family. You are all painfully aware of this war for the hearts and souls of our fellow human beings, even some members of our own families.[9]


False Philosophies of Men


President Marion G. Romney:

            Now, while I feel that the many people of the earth today are so infected with the works of the flesh that they do not recognize them as such, and, therefore, many people are not possessed of the moral courage to pay the price of peace, still we should not, Jonah-like, sulk under a vine if some of them should turn to apply the principles of the Prince of Peace and find its joyful rewards. On the contrary, we should rejoice, for to proclaim peace is the sole purpose of our life’s mission. We should find no pleasure in the fact that men’s strivings for peace have proved ineffectual. I wage no war against their efforts. Many of them are doing the best they can in the light they have. Nevertheless, I can see no justification for us, who have the clear light of the revealed gospel of Christ, to spend our lives stumbling around through the mists following the uncertain glimmer of a flickering candle lighted by the wisdom of men. Rather, we should devote our energies to spreading the true light, and leave the mists to those who do not see that light.[10]


President Ezra Taft Benson:

            The contrast between the Church and the world will be increasingly marked in the future, which contrast, we hope, will cause the Church to be more attractive to those in the world who desire to live according to God’s plan for us, His children.

            The Church will always stand for that which is honest, virtuous, true and praiseworthy. Such a pronounced stand for righteousness constitutes a repudiation against every evil and all false philosophies. The First Presidency and the Twelve are not oblivious to false philosophies and evils and will continue to warn the world and the Saints as the Lord directs.[11]


President Ezra Taft Benson:

            I testify that wickedness is rapidly expanding in every segment of our society. (See D&C 1:14–16; D&C 84:49–53.) It is more highly organized, more cleverly disguised, and more powerfully promoted than ever before. Secret combinations lusting for power, gain, and glory are flourishing.

            I testify that as the forces of evil increase under Lucifer’s leadership and as the forces of good increase under the leadership of Jesus Christ, there will be growing battles between the two until the final confrontation. As the issues become clearer and more obvious, all mankind will eventually be required to align themselves either for the kingdom of God or for the kingdom of the devil.[12]


President Ezra Taft Benson:

            Today the world is full of alluring and attractive ideas that can lead even the best of our members into error and deception. Students at universities are sometimes so filled with the doctrines of the world they begin to question the doctrines of the gospel. How do you as a priesthood leader help fortify your membership against such deceptive teachings? The Savior gave the answer in His great discourse on the Mount of Olives when He promised,  And whoso treasureth up my word, shall not be deceived.” (JS-M 1:37.)[13]


President Ezra Taft Benson:

            Increasingly the Latter-day Saints must choose between the reasoning of men and the revelations of God. This is a crucial choice, for we have those within the Church today who, with their worldly wisdom, are leading some of our members astray. President J. Reuben Clark, Jr., warned that  “the ravening wolves are amongst us from our own membership and they, more than any others, are clothed in sheep's clothing, because they wear the habiliments of the Priesthood. ... We should be careful of them.” (The Improvement Era, May 1949, p. 268.)[14]


President Russell M. Nelson:

            The time is coming when those who do not obey the Lord will be separated from those who do (see Doctrine and Covenants 86:1–7).[15]


Elder LeGrand Richards:

            I can’t think of anything that we as parents and as leaders in Israel can plant into the hearts of our youth that will help them to avoid the evils and pitfalls and temptations of this world and the false philosophies of men and enable them to live in the world and yet not be a part of the world like having planted in their hearts through the power of the Holy Ghost a testimony of the truth of this restored gospel.[16]


Elder Quentin L. Cook:

            The prophet Enoch foresaw the days in which we live. The Lord acknowledged to Enoch the great wickedness that would prevail and prophesied of the “great tribulations” that would occur.[17]


Evolution and the Creation of Man


Elder Neal A. Maxwell:

            We believe Adam and Eve were this planet’s first humans and first Christians.[18]


President Boyd K. Packer:

            It is my conviction that to the degree the theory of evolution asserts that man is the product of an evolutionary process, the offspring of animals—it is false! What application the evolutionary theory has to animals gives me no concern. That is another question entirely, one to be pursued by science. But remember, the scriptures speak of the spirit in animals and other living things, and of each multiplying after its own kind. (D&C 77:2; 2 Nephi 2:22; Moses 3:9; Abraham 4:11-12, 24).

            And I am sorry to say, the so-called theistic evolution, the theory that God used an evolutionary process to prepare a physical body for the spirit of man, is equally false. I say I am sorry because I know it is a view commonly held by good and thoughtful people who search for an acceptable resolution to an apparent conflict between the theory of evolution and the doctrines of the gospel. . . .

            The creation of man and his introduction into mortality by the Fall as revealed in the scriptures conform to eternal laws governing both body and spirit. . . .

            How long a time has man been upon the earth? I do not know! But I do know that man did not evolve from animals. . . .[19]


Elder Mark E. Petersen:

            Now, what is the truth about the origin of man? Paul gave it to us: We are the children of God. We are his offspring. We are heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ. (See Rom. 8:16-17.)

            And what does that mean?

            It means that we have a mighty purpose in life, which purpose is that we may become like God!

            Jesus commanded us to achieve this purpose, saying:  “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” (Matt. 5:48.)

            Then, being children of God, we can see our true destiny. And being thus related to him, as his children, we now see ourselves in an entirely new light—not as the descendants of ape-like creatures living an aimless existence, but as the descendants of Almighty God, with the possibility of becoming like him!

            Now we can understand the true place and dignity of man. Now we can see his infinite potential.

            As members of the family of God, we can know that he has placed us here on earth in a type of school that will help us to become like him, if we are willing to follow the curriculum.[20]


President Russell M. Nelson:

            Your body, whatever its natural gifts, is a magnificent creation of God. It is a tabernacle of flesha temple for your spirit. A study of your body attests to its divine design.[21]


President Russell M. Nelson:

            The plan required the Creation, and that in turn required both the Fall and the Atonement. These are the three fundamental components of the plan. The creation of a paradisiacal planet came from God. Mortality and death came into the world through the Fall of Adam. . . .

            In period five, fish, fowl, and “every living creature” were added. They were made fruitful and able to multiplyin the sea and on the eartheach after its own kind.

            In the sixth period, creation of life continued. The beasts of the earth were made after their kind, cattle after their kind, and everything which “creepeth upon the earth”again, after its own kind. Then the Gods counseled together and said: Let us go down and form man in our image, after our likeness.

            Eventually, “the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.” At the Second Coming of the Lord, the earth will be changed once again. It will be returned to its paradisiacal state and be made new.[22]


President Russell M. Nelson:

            The Creation culminated with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. They were created in the image of God, with bodies of flesh and bone. Created in the image of God and not yet mortal, they could not grow old and die. [Footnote: They were created as amortal beings—“without mortality”—not at that time subject to death.] “And they would have had no children” nor experienced the trials of life. (Please forgive me for mentioning children and the trials of life in the same breath.) The creation of Adam and Eve was a paradisiacal creation, one that required a significant change before they could fulfill the commandment to have children and thus provide earthly bodies for premortal spirit sons and daughters of God.

            That brings us to the Fall. Scripture teaches that “Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.” The Fall of Adam (and Eve) constituted the mortal creation and brought about the required changes in their bodies, including the circulation of blood and other modifications as well. They were now able to have children. They and their posterity also became subject to injury, disease, and death.[23]


President Russell M. Nelson:

            We believe that God is our creator and that he has created other forms of life. It’s interesting to me, drawing on my 40 years experience as a medical doctor, how similar those species are. . . . But to think that man evolved from one species to another is, to me, incomprehensible. . . . Man has always been man. Dogs have always been dogs. Monkeys have always been monkeys. It’s just the way genetics works.[24]


Elder D. Todd Christofferson:

            We know that fatherhood is much more than a social construct or the product of evolution. The role of father is of divine origin, beginning with a Father in Heaven and, in this mortal sphere, with Father Adam.[25]


Elder Mark E. Petersen

            Something different was now being introduced—because there was a different species—here was the race of God. The animals and the birds and the bees were His creations, yes. They had life in themselves; He gave them the right and the power of reproduction after their own kind. But now with man, who was of the race of God, something else had to be introduced before He could give them the commandment. That something else was marriage. So God brought the woman whom He had made to the man whom He had made. They twain became one flesh; she, his helpmeet. Having given her, in the bonds of holy matrimony, to the man, the Father in heaven stood before those two and gave them a commandment: to bring forth after their own kind. To multiply and fill up the earth with more of the race of God. . . . It [sex] is holy. It is part of the function of Almighty God.[26]


President M. Russell Ballard:

            In particular, the God of Heaven has revealed to His servants, the prophets, who He is and who His Beloved Son is and our true relationships with Them. We are not created objects like a smartphone. We are literal children of God, and He knows us.[27]


The First Presidency:

            It was shown to the brother of Jared that all men were created in the beginning after the image of God; whether we take this to mean the spirit or the body, or both, it commits us to the same conclusion: Man began life as a human being, in the likeness of our Heavenly Father.[28]


Homosexuality/LGBT Sin


President M. Russell Ballard:

            When evil wants to strike out and disrupt the essence of God’s work, it attacks the family. It does so by attempting to disregard the law of chastity, to confuse gender, to desensitize violence, to make crude and blasphemous language the norm, and to make immoral and deviant behavior seem like the rule rather than the exception. . . .

            We need to raise our voices with other concerned citizens throughout the world in opposition to current trends.[29]


President N. Eldon Tanner:

            We love virtue and chastity and decry the immorality and moral decay which is so prevalent in the world today. We align ourselves with all God-fearing people who are striving to save the world from the sins of pornography, abortion, homosexuality, and other deviant sexual behavior.[30]


President Gordon B. Hinckley:

            Prophets of God have repeatedly taught through the ages that practices of homosexual relations, fornication, and adultery are grievous sins. Sexual relations outside the bonds of marriage are forbidden by the Lord. We reaffirm those teachings.[31]


President Gordon B. Hinckley:

[1999] Such is currently the case in California, where Latter-day Saints are working as part of a coalition to safeguard traditional marriage from forces in our society which are attempting to redefine that sacred institution. God-sanctioned marriage between a man and a woman has been the basis of civilization for thousands of years. There is no justification to redefine what marriage is. Such is not our right, and those who try will find themselves answerable to God. Some portray legalization of so-called same-sex marriage as a civil right. This is not a matter of civil rights; it is a matter of morality. Others question our constitutional right as a church to raise our voice on an issue that is of critical importance to the future of the family. We believe that defending this sacred institution by working to preserve traditional marriage lies clearly within our religious and constitutional prerogatives. Indeed, we are compelled by our doctrine to speak out.

Nevertheless, and I emphasize this, I wish to say that our opposition to attempts to legalize same-sex marriage should never be interpreted as justification for hatred, intolerance, or abuse of those who profess homosexual tendencies, either individually or as a group. As I said from this pulpit one year ago, our hearts reach out to those who refer to themselves as gays and lesbians. We love and honor them as sons and daughters of God. They are welcome in the Church. It is expected, however, that they follow the same God-given rules of conduct that apply to everyone else, whether single or married.

I commend those of our membership who have voluntarily joined with other like-minded people to defend the sanctity of traditional marriage. As part of a coalition that embraces those of other faiths, you are giving substantially of your means. The money being raised in California has been donated to the coalition by individual members of the Church. You are contributing your time and talents in a cause that in some quarters may not be politically correct but which nevertheless lies at the heart of the Lord’s eternal plan for His children, just as those of many other churches are doing. This is a united effort.[32]


Elder Bruce R. McConkie:

            We live in a day of evil and wickedness. The generality of men are carnal, sensual, and devilish. They have forgotten God and are reveling in the lusts of the flesh. Crime, immorality, abortions, and homosexual abominations are fast becoming the norm of life among the wicked and ungodly. The world will soon be as corrupt as it was in the days of Noah.[33]


Elder Richard G. Scott:

            Adultery, fornication, committing homosexual acts, and other deviations approaching these in gravity are not acceptable alternate lifestyles. They are serious sins.[34]


President Ezra Taft Benson:

            A priesthood holder is virtuous. Virtuous behavior implies that he has pure thoughts and clean actions. He will not lust in his heart, for to do so is to “deny the faith” and to lose the Spirit. (See D&C 42:23.)
            He will not commit adultery “nor do anything like unto it.” (D&C 59:6.) This means fornication, homosexual behavior, self-abuse, child molestation, or any other sexual perversions.[35]


Elder Quentin L. Cook:

            One of the unique and troubling aspects of our day is that many people engage in sinful conduct but refuse to consider it sinful. They have no remorse or willingness to acknowledge their conduct as being morally wrong. Even some who profess a belief in the Father and the Son wrongfully take the position that a loving Father in Heaven should exact no consequences for conduct that is contrary to His commandments.[36]




Elder Melvin J. Ballard:

            I know of nothing today that the Latter-day Saints need more than the guidance of the Holy Spirit in the solution of the problems of life. I know also that that same unerring wisdom of the Holy Spirit can detect the deceptions of the adversary. I have been led recently to feelings of pity for groups of people who have been deceived by lying tongues, by deceptive spirits.[37]


President M. Russell Ballard

            Therefore, let us beware of false prophets and false teachers, both men and women, who are self-appointed declarers of the doctrines of the Church and who seek to spread their false gospel and attract followers by sponsoring symposia, books, and journals whose contents challenge fundamental doctrines of the Church. Beware of those who speak and publish in opposition to God’s true prophets and who actively proselyte others with reckless disregard for the eternal well-being of those whom they seduce. Like Nehor and Korihor in the Book of Mormon, they rely on sophistry to deceive and entice others to their views. They “set themselves up for a light unto the world, that they may get gain and praise of the world; but they seek not the welfare of Zion” (2 Nephi 26:29).[38]


President Ezra Taft Benson:

            There are some in our midst who sponsor the sophistry that this appearance of God the Father and his Son, Jesus Christ, was not literal, that it was probably a product of the Prophet’s imaginings. That is an absolute falsehood. It is not only an attempt to discredit the testimony of Joseph Smith; it would discredit the testimony of Jesus himself who literally appeared to the Prophet as a witness of His own resurrection.[39]


President Spencer W. Kimball:

            Not all scribes and Pharisees lived anciently. There are today wreckers as well as builders among men and in nature. . . . 

            Apparently there were in the early church those who taught for doctrines the sophistries of men. There are those today who seem to take pride in disagreeing with the orthodox teachings of the Church and who present their own opinions which are at variance with the revealed truth. Some may be partially innocent in the matter; others are feeding their own egotism; and some seem to be deliberate. Men may think as they please, but they have no right to impose upon others their unorthodox views. Such persons should realize that their own souls are in jeopardy. 

            If one cannot accept and teach the program of the Church in an orthodox way without reservations, he should not teach. It would be the part of honor to resign his position. Not only would he be dishonest and deceitful, but he is also actually under condemnation, for the Savior said that it were better that a millstone were hanged about his neck and he be cast into the sea than that he should lead astray doctrinally or betray the cause or give offense, destroying the faith of one of “these little ones “ who believe in him. And remember that this means not only the small children, it includes even adults who believe and trust in God.[40]


President Russell M. Nelson:

            Those same threats are among us today. The somber reality is that there are “servants of Satan” embedded throughout society. So be very careful about whose counsel you follow.[41]


Error in some Scholarship/Academia


President Spencer W. Kimball:

            It should be kept in mind that God cannot be found through research alone, nor his gospel understood and appreciated by study only, for no one may know the Father or the Son but “he to whom the Son will reveal him.” (Luke 10:22.) The skeptic will some day either in time or eternity learn to his sorrow that his egotism has robbed him of much joy and growth, and that as has been decreed by the Lord: The things of God cannot be understood by the spirit of man; that man cannot by himself find out God or his program; that no amount of research nor rationalizing will bring a testimony, but it must come through the heart when compliance with the program has made the person eligible to receive that reward. The Savior could have taken highly trained minds from the temple porches for the chief builders of his kingdom, but he went to the seashore to get humble fishermen. He wanted men who would not depend upon their own intellects only to ferret out the truths, but unbiased men to whom he might reveal his new program, men who were trusting and sincere and willing to serve.[42]


President Ezra Taft Benson:

            The Book of Mormon is the keystone in our witness of Jesus Christ, who is Himself the cornerstone of everything we do. It bears witness of His reality with power and clarity. Unlike the Bible, which passed through generations of copyists, translators, and corrupt religionists who tampered with the text, the Book of Mormon came from writer to reader in just one inspired step of translation.[43]

            [One reason this statement of testimony and doctrine is important is that it eliminates a theory, cooked up by misled academics studying the original Book of Mormon manuscripts, that someone besides Joseph Smith—some unknown anonymous person in heaven—translated the Book of Mormon plates, and then that previously created translation was given to Joseph Smith by revelation that he dictated to his scribes. But this theory says that Joseph himself actually did no translating. Since “the Book of Mormon came from writer to reader in just one inspired step of translation” a second previous step of translation performed by a made-up anonymous heavenly person is eliminated and Joseph remains the translator—as he and all of the prophets have said he was.]


President Harold B. Lee:

            Wouldn’t it be a great thing if all who are well schooled in secular learning could hold fast to the “iron rod,” or the word of God, which could lead them, through faith, to an understanding, rather than to have them stray away into strange paths of man-made theories and be plunged into the murky waters of disbelief and apostasy?

            I heard one of our own eminent scientists say something to the effect that he believed more professors have taken themselves out of the Church by their trying to philosophize or intellectualize the fall of Adam and the subsequent atonement of the Savior. This was because they would rather accept the philosophies of men than what the Lord has revealed until they, and we, are able to understand the “mysteries of godliness” as explained to the prophets of the Lord and more fully revealed in sacred places.[44]


Elder D. Todd Christofferson:

            Some even claim, with no sense of history, that religious people and institutions violate the constitutional separation of church and state if they bring their beliefs into the public square. A few scholars have gone so far as to argue that religion does not deserve to be tolerated, much less receive special protection.[45]


Religious Freedom


President Dallin H. Oaks:

            I love Elder D. Todd Christofferson’s definition of religious freedom:

            “The right to choose, change, declare and act upon your faith. It includes the freedom to worship, but it is much more than that. It is the right to ‘exercise’ or practice your religion without interference from government, subject to government’s responsibility to protect the health and safety of all its citizens in a pluralistic society.”

            The theme of our effort is “fairness for all, including people of faith.” Some have misunderstood that theme to imply that fairness for all will lead to compromising our beliefs or our doctrine. The media furthered that misunderstanding by labeling a recent fairness effort in the Utah legislature as “the Utah Compromise.” We deny any intent to compromise our doctrine or religious belief or to invite any others to compromise theirs. We are here to talk about how to preserve religious freedom while living with the differences that exist in our society, among friends and neighbors, and even within our families.[46]


Elder D. Todd Christofferson:

            That freedom is now under fire. Although religious freedom lies at the core of what America is and what it stands for, critics now openly ask whether religion belongs in American public life at all. Some say that faithful Americans have no business speaking of their beliefs when addressing issues of public concern, even when those issues involve unmistakably moral judgments. Others condemn churches and religious organizations for expressing moral and religious perspectives on matters of public policy—especially when those perspectives conflict with secular viewpoints. . . .

            Recently it has become popular to argue that the freedom of religion is really only the right to worship rather than the right to freely exercise your faith in daily life—as if religion should be kept in the closet or some other private place. Some advocates demean as “discrimination” the long-standing right of religious organizations and schools to have faith-based standards in employment and admissions. Others resort to politically correct name-calling rather than talking about difficult topics in a spirit of mutual respect. Hurtful labels such as “bigot” or “hater” are all too common. There are concerted efforts to shame and intimidate believers who have traditional moral values and to suppress religious viewpoints and practices regarding marriage, family, gender, and sexuality. Worst of all, government sometimes joins in these efforts.[47]


Elder Quentin L. Cook:

            I am equally concerned that the foundations which have historically supported faith, accountability to God, and the religious impulse are increasingly being marginalized in a secular world and derided and even banished from the public square.[48]


Apostolic Solutions to Satan’s Reality and Influence


President Ezra Taft Benson:

            One of the trials of life is that we do not usually receive immediately the full blessing for righteousness or the full cursing for wickedness. That it will come is certain, but ofttimes there is a waiting period that occurs, as was the case with Job and Joseph.

            In the meantime the wicked think they are getting away with something. The Book of Mormon teaches that the wicked “have joy in their works for a season, [but] by and by the end cometh, and they are hewn down and cast into the fire, from whence there is no return” (3 Ne. 27:11).[49]


President J. Reuben Clark Jr.:

            There are abroad among us, men, and women also, who are preaching doctrines that are destructive of the very fiber of our civilization. . . .

            It seems sometimes as if the darkness that surrounds us is all but impenetrable. I can see on all sides the signs of one great evil mastermind working for the overturning of our civilization, the destruction of religion, the reduction of men to the status of animals. This mind is working here and there and everywhere. May we hope and may we pray that this is the darkness before the dawn, and that soon the light will come in the east, that the darkness will fade out, that a sun of righteousness will rise and touch the peaks and flow down and fill the valleys, fill our hearts and fill our lives, until we shall be the people which God wishes us to be.[50]


President James E. Faust:

            I strongly counsel all who have membership in this church to follow the teachings and counsel of those who now have the keys as prophets, seers, and revelators. They are the ones who will inspire us to deal with the vicissitudes of our time. I plead with all not to try to selectively invoke gospel principles or scripture to wrongly justify spiritual disobedience, or to separate themselves from the responsibilities of covenants and ordinances contrary to the counsel of those who have the prophetic voice in the Church.[51]


President Marion G. Romney:

            We Latter-day Saints need not be, and we must not be, deceived by the sophistries of men concerning the reality of Satan. There is a personal devil, and we had better believe it. He and a countless host of followers, seen and unseen, are exercising a controlling influence upon men and their affairs in our world today. . . .

            We know that the Spirit of Christ and the power of his priesthood are ample shields to the power of Satan. We know that there is available to each of us the gift of the Holy Ghostthe power of revelation which embraces the gift of discernment by which we may unerringly detect the devil and the counterfeits he is so successfully foisting upon this gullible generation. Our course is clear and certain. It is to strictly obey the commandments of the Lord, as they are recorded in the scriptures and as they are being given by the living prophets.[52]


President Boyd K. Packer:

            Fear is the antithesis of faith. In this Church we do not fear. I have been sitting in the councils of the Brethren now for some thirty-four years. I have seen disappointment, shock, and concern. Never once, for one second, have I ever seen any fear.[53]


President Boyd K. Packer:

            He [Alan Packer, a son] also said he believed President Packer would be remembered  “as one who knew the doctrine and was a teacher and tried to teach in such a way that people understood and didn't misunderstand.”. . .

            “Dad was always optimistic and positive and not afraid of anything. He said over and over again—we've heard him say—'The Twelve are not afraid of what's going on in the world.' That brings great peace to the church and the family.”[54]


President Gordon B. Hinckley:

            In the Church we are working very hard to stem the tide of . . . evil. But it is an uphill battle, . . . we are succeeding in a substantial way. . . .We must not give up. We must not become discouraged. We must never surrender to the forces of evil. We can and must maintain the standards for which this church has stood since it was organized. There is a better way than the way of the world.[55]


[1] “Watchman Warn the Wicked,” Ensign, May 1973.

[2] “A Message to the World,” Ensign, November 1975.

[3] M. Russell Ballard, “The Opportunities and Responsibilities of CES Teachers in the 21st Century,” An Evening with Elder M. Russell Ballard; Address to CES Religious Educators, February 26, 2016, 1; quoting Gordon B. Hinckley, “General Authority training meeting, Sept. 29, 1992.” Brackets in original.

[4] As Elder Ballard taught about the internet: “This is especially applicable today because not all of your students have the faith necessary to face the challenges ahead and because many of them are already exposed through the Internet to corrosive forces of an increasingly secular world that is hostile to faith, family, and gospel standards. The Internet is expanding its reach across the world into almost every home and into the very hands and minds of your students” (Ibid, 2).

[5] Quotation taken from an address given at Pocatello, Idaho, Spring 1966, as privately recorded by Glen L. Rudd.

[6] Worldwide Leadership Training Meeting; January 10, 2004.

[8] “The One Pure Defense,” Address to CES Religious Educators, February 6, 2004, 6.

[9] “Begin with the End in Mind,” New Mission President’s Seminar, June 22, 2014, 3.

[10] First Presidency Message, “The Price of Peace,” Ensign, October 1983.

[11] “May the Kingdom of God Go Forth,” Ensign, May 1978.

[12] “I Testify,” Ensign, November 1988.

[13] “The Power of the Word,” Ensign, May 1986.

[14] Conference Report, April 1969, 11.

[15] “The Future of the Church: Preparing the World for the Savior’s Second Coming,” Liahona, April 2020; I predict this message will go down in church history as one of the most prophetic ever shared by a prophet of God.

[16] “A Testimony,” Ensign, October 1980.

[17] Quentin L. Cook, “The Blessing of Continuing Revelation to Prophets and Personal Revelation to Guide Our Lives,” Ensign, May 2020.

[18] “From the Beginning,” Ensign, October 1993.

[19] “The Law and the Light,” in, The Book of Mormon: Jacob through Words of Mormon, To Learn with Joy

Monte S. Nyman and Charles D. Tate Jr., eds. (Provo, Utah: BYU Religious Studies Center, 1990); this entire talk should be read online at the BYU RSC website.

[20] Conference Report, October 1968, 100-01.

[21] “We Are Children of God,” Ensign, October 1998.

[22] “The Creation,” Ensign, April 2000.

[23] “The Atonement,” Ensign, October 1996.

[24] “In Focus: Mormonism in Modern America,” Pew Research Center, interview transcript, May 16, 2007.

[25] “Fathers,” Ensign, April 2016.

[26] “Chastity,” (also titled, “The Sacredness of Procreation,”) BYU Speeches, February 3, 1953; (4 mins to 15 mins).

[27] “Children of Heavenly Father,” BYU Speeches, March 3, 2020.

[28] “The Origin of Man, By the First Presidency of the Church,” Improvement Era, November 1909, 75–81.

[29] “Let Our Voices Be Heard,” Ensign or Liahona, November 2003, 18.

[30] “A Practical Religion,” Ensign, October 1978.

[31] “Reverence and Morality,” Ensign, April 1987.

[32] “Why We Do Some of the Things We Do.” Ensign, November 1999.

[33] “The Lord God of the Restoration,” Ensign, October 1980.

[34] “Finding Forgiveness,” Ensign, April 1975.

[35] “What Manner of Men Ought We to Be,” Ensign, October 1983.

[36] “Valiant in the Testimony of Jesus,” Ensign, October 2016.

[37] Conference Report, April 1931, 37-38.

[38] “Beware of False Prophets and False Teachers,” Ensign, October 1999.

[39] “Because I Live, Ye Shall Live Also,” BYU Speeches, March 26, 1978.

[40] Conference Report, April 1948, 108-09.

[41] “Becoming True Millennials,” Brigham Young University–Hawaii; Worldwide Devotional for Young Adults, January 10, 2016.

[42] Conference Report, October 1944, 44-45.

[43] “The Book of MormonKeystone of Our Religion,” Ensign, October 1986.

[44] Conference Report, April 1971, 93.

[45] “Religious Freedom—A Cherished Heritage to Defend,” BYU Speeches, June 26, 2016.

[46] “Elder Dallin H. Oaks Speaks on Religious Freedom in Texas,” (Section 1) Concerns and Counsel, U.S. Religious Freedom Conference Dallas/Fort Worth (Colleyville Stake Center), September 10, 2016; Newsroom additional resource, accessed 10/2/2020.

[47] “Religious Freedom—A Cherished Heritage to Defend,” BYU Speeches, June 26, 2016.

[48] Church News, “Elder Cook addresses benefits of religious liberty at University of Oxford,” October 23, 2019. Accessed 10/2/2020.

[49] “The Great CommandmentLove the Lord,” Ensign, April 1988.

[50] Conference Report, October 1935, 93.

[51] “The Keys That Never Rust,” Ensign, October 1984.

[52] “Satan, the Great Deceiver,” Ensign, October 1971.

[53] “The Play and the Plan,” CES Fireside for Young Adults, May 7, 1995, 7.

[54] “President Packer was working on upcoming conference talk when he died,” Tad Walch, Deseret News, July 7, 2015.

[55] “Worldwide Leadership Training Meeting,” January 10, 2004.

No comments:

Post a Comment