Apostasy Quotes

apostasy and restoration

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Latter-Day Apostasy

Today we are troubled by evil-designing persons who are endeavoring with all their power to destroy the testimonies of members of the Church, and many members of the Church are in danger because of lack of understanding and because they have not sought the guidance of the Spirit of the Lord.

Every baptized member of the Church receives the gift of the Holy Ghost, by the laying on of hands.  This, however, will not save them unless they continue in the spirit of light and truth.  Therefore it is a commandment from the Lord that members of the Church should be diligent in their activities and study of the fundamental truths of the gospel as it has been revealed.

The Spirit of the Lord will not continue to strive with the indifferent, with the wayward and the rebellious who fail to live within the light of divine truth.  It is the privilege of every baptized person to have an abiding testimony of the restoration of the gospel, but this testimony will grow dim and eventually disappear unless we are constantly receiving spiritual good through study, obedience, and diligent seeking to know and understand the truth.

President Joseph Fielding Smith gave this admonition: (CR, Oct. 1963, p. 22)

The Saints of the church who pride themselves on their strict observance of  the rules and ordinances and ceremonies of the Church if not careful can be led astray by false spirits, who exercise an influence so imitative of that which proceeds from a Divine source that even these persons, who think they are the very elect, find it difficult to discern the essential difference.  Satan himself has transformed himself to be apparently an angel of light.

(Monte S. Nyman and Robert L. Millet, The Joseph Smith Translation,  p.24)

The failure to take prophetic counsel lessens our power to take inspired counsel in the future.

Elder Henry B. Eyring General Conference - April 1997 - Finding Safety in Counsel

If you would see God, you must be pure.  There is in Jewish writings the story of a man who saw an object in the distance, an object that he thought was a beast.  As it drew nearer he could perceive it was a man; as it came still closer he saw it was his friend. You can see only that which you have eyes to see.  Some of the associates of Jesus saw Him only as a son of Joseph the carpenter.  Others thought Him to be a winebibber or a drunkard because of His words.  Still others thought He was possessed of devils.  Only the righteous saw Him as the Son of God.  Only if you are the pure in heart will you see God, and also in a lesser degree will you be able to see the God or good in man and love him because of the goodness you see in him.  Mark well that person who criticizes and maligns the man of God or the Lord's anointed leaders in His Church. Such a one speaks from an impure heart.

Harold B. Lee, Stand Ye In Holy Places, p.345

We cannot go astray if we listen to the prophet's voice and follow him, and as we do so we will be led in the path of truth and righteousness and enjoy the love, respect, and confidence of our fellowmen, and eventually enjoy eternal life with our Father in Heaven.

President N. Eldon Tanner, April 1973 Gen. Conf. "Thou Mayest Choose for Thyself"

Satan is a skillful imitator, and as genuine gospel truth is given the world in ever-increasing abundance, so he spreads the counterfeit coin of false doctrine.

President Marion G. Romney, "Satan--The Great Deceiver," Ensign, June 1971

In Oct. 1971 conference,  Elder Boyd K. Packer likened the fulness of the gospel to a piano keyboard. He reminded us that a person could be attracted by a single key, such as a doctrine they want to hear played over and over again.  He explained:

Some members of the Church who should know better pick out a hobby key or two and tap them incessantly, to the irritation of those around them.  They can dull their own spiritual sensitivities.  They lose track that there is a fulness of the gospel,...(which they reject) in preference to a favorite note.  This becomes exaggerated and distorted, leading them away into apostasy. 

(Boyd K. Packer, Teach Ye Diligently, p. 44) Our Strengths Can Become Our Downfull,  Dallin Oaks, BYU Fireside, June 7, 1992  Speeches 1991-92, p. 108

Thus, the Lord has clearly placed responsibility of directing the work of gathering in the hands of His divinely appointed leaders.  I fervently pray that all Saints and truth seekers everywhere will attune their listening ears to these prophet-leaders instead of to some demagogue who seeks to make capital of social discontent and gain political influence.

Harold B. Lee said, after quoting D&C 101:21:  (Stand Ye In Holy Places, p. 22)

The devil never did care how many dead prophets the people believed in, and he does not care today.  But he does care if they believe in the living prophets.

Ben E. Rich  (General Conference Report, October1901)

Presumptuous and blasphemous are they who purport to baptize, bless, marry, or perform other sacraments in the name of the Lord while in fact lacking his specific authorization.  And no one can obtain God's authority from reading the Bible or from just a desire to serve the Lord, no matter how pure his motives.

President Spencer W. Kimball: The Miracle of Forgiveness, p. 55

Apostasy usually begins with question and doubt and criticism.  It is a retrograding and devolutionary process. The seeds of doubt are planted by unscrupulous or misguided people, and seldom directed against the doctrine at first, but more often against the leaders.

The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball,  p.462

Some persons may ask, 'How is it possible that men who had seen angels and had such a testimony could fall away from the Church, as these men did?'  Men may see angels and have revelations, and as long as they obey the whisperings of the Holy Spirit they will not apostatize; but when they begin to feel that they have strength enough in themselves, and fail to acknowledge God as their Helper, then they cannot stand.

Anthon H. Lund Collected Discourses, Volume 2  April 1890

At least once a month, we fast and pray and contribute generous offerings to funds that enable bishops to disperse aid. This is part of the law of the gospel. Each of us truly can help the poor and the needy, now, and wherever they are. And we, too, will be blessed and protected from apostasy by so doing.

Russell M. Nelson, April 1986 General Conference

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.

Great temporal and spiritual strength flows from following those who have the keys of the kingdom of God in our time.  Personal strength and power result from obedience to eternal principles taught by the living legates of the Lord.  May the Spirit of God rest upon us as we follow the living oracles.

James E. Faust: "The Keys That Never Rust" - Oct. 1994 Gen. Conf.

Usually when people speak of an apostasy from the truth they refer to changes in doctrines or a repudiation of certain beliefs.  There has been an abundance of this.  Such changes have resulted in the organization of hundreds of churches with different creeds, rituals and ordinances, many of them being highly contradictory.  But personal sin is as real an apostasy as any effort to change the law or break the everlasting covenant.

 Mark E. Petersen: Conference Report,  April 1965,  p.35

Elder Bruce R. McConkie wrote: "There are…millions of sincere and devout persons who disbelieve, oppose, and openly fight the Book of Mormon. …What is it about some words on a printed page—all of which are clean and uplifting and pertain to historical and doctrinal matters—that arouses such violent antagonism?

"Men ordinarily do not rise up to fight the Bible; they do not organize mobs and incite them to shed the blood of others because such persons believe in the scripture of the Old World. …The violent opposition to the Book of Mormon is one of the great evidences of its divinity.  If it were not of God, Lucifer would not overly concern himself with it."

(A New Witness for the Articles of Faith, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1985, pp. 59-60, 462.)

There are some among us now who have not been regularly ordained by the heads of the Church and who tell of impending political and economic chaos, the end of the world-something of the sky is falling, chicken licken of the fables.  They are misleading members to gather to colonies or cults. 

Those deceivers say that the Brethren do not know what is going on in the world or that the Brethren approve of their teaching but do not wish to speak of it over the pulpit.  Neither is true.  The Brethren, by virtue of traveling constantly everywhere on earth, certainly know what is going on and by virtue of prophetic insight are able to read the signs of the times.

Do not be deceived by them--those deceivers.  If there is to be any gathering, it will be announced by those who have been regularly ordained and who are known to the Church to have authority. 

Come away from any others.  Follow your leaders, who have been duly ordained and have been publicly sustained, and you will not be led astray.

"To Be Learned is Good If..." - Boyd K. Packer Oct.1992 Gen. Conf.

Church members will live in this wheat-and-tares situation until the Millennium.  Some real tares even masquerade as wheat, including the few eager individuals who lecture the rest of us about Church doctrines in which they no longer believe.  They criticize the use of Church resources to which they no longer contribute. They condescendingly seek to counsel the Brethren whom they no longer sustain.  Confrontive, except of themselves of course, they leave the Church, but they cannot leave the Church alone (see ENSIGN, Nov. 1980, 14). Like the throng on the ramparts of the great and spacious building, they are intensely and busily preoccupied, pointing fingers of scorn at the steadfast iron-rodders (1 Ne. 8:26-28, 33). Considering their ceaseless preoccupation, one wonders, Is there no diversionary activity available to them, especially in such a large building--like a bowling alley? Perhaps in their mockings and beneath the stir are repressed doubts of their doubts. In any case, given the perils of popularity, Brigham Young advised that this people must be kept where the finger of scorn can be pointed at them (Discourses of Brigham Young, sel. John A. Widtsoe [1941], 434).

"Becometh As a Child" - Neal A. Maxwell - April 1996 Gen. Conf.

He who makes no effort to learn of the existence of Deity will, in this life, likely not learn there is a Deity.  But his ignorance does not warrant him in declaring there is no God.

Joseph F. Merrill, The Truth-Seeker and Mormonism, pp. 76-77 (quoted by Howard W. Hunter in 1974 Gen. Conf. - "To Know God")