History Repeating Itself

Joseph Fielding Smith of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, 28 Dec. 1938:It is a very apparent fact that we have traveled far and wide in the past 20 years. What the future will bring I do not know. But if we drift as far afield from fundamental things in the next 20 years, what will be left of the foundation laid by the Prophet Joseph Smith? It is easy for one who observes to see how the apostasy came about in the primitive church of Christ. Are we not traveling the same road?” (Joseph Fielding Smith Journal, entry for 28 Dec. 1938.)

J. Reuben Clark Jr., First Counselor in the First Presidency, 7 Oct. 1944:I tell you we are beginning to follow along the course of the early Christian church. So long as that church was persecuted from without, it prospered, but when it began to be polluted from within, the church began to wither. There is creeping into our midst, and I warn you brethren about it, and I urge you to meet it, a great host of sectarian doctrines that have no place amongst us. The gospel in its simplicity, is to be found in the revelations, the teachings of the Prophet and the early leaders of the Church.” (In One Hundred Fifteenth Semi-annual Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints[Conference Report, October 1944] [Salt Lake City, Utah: Published by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints], pp. 117–18; paragraphing omitted.)

J. Reuben Clark Jr., First Counselor in the First Presidency, 7 Oct. 1945:Even during the time of the apostles there began to be a falling away, as is clear from the Epistles of Paul, of Peter, John, James, and Jude. People began to wander off, and that wandering was increased in the succeeding centuries, accumulating speed, it seems, as it went on. They began to gather into church teachings things to make Christianity a little more palatable to the philosophers of the time. . . . They were trying to satisfy the thought and the philosophy and the reasoning of men, in order that they might have their support and probably their praise. . . . There is a deep lesson in all of that for us today. Already there are coming in amongst us doctrines that have no part or place in the pure doctrines of the restored gospel. These heresies are creeping in insidiously. They come to us from the philosophies of the Christian scholars of the day. They make our doctrines, as they made the early Christian beliefs, more palatable to our philosophers, but so surely as they destroyed the Christian church in the early days, just so surely will they destroy us if we do not stop them where they are.” (In One Hundred Sixteenth Semi-annual Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints [Conference Report, October 1945] [Salt Lake City, Utah: Published by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints], pp. 165, 166; paragraphing omitted.)

J. Reuben Clark Jr., First Counselor in the First Presidency, 29 Sept. 1950:In the early church the Saints were extremely anxious for two things: First, to be well thought of by the pagans. Their ears itched for praise. Do any of you brethren know anything about such a tendency as that?” (In “Remarks at Bishop’s Meeting,” J. Reuben Clark Papers, box 151, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.)

J. Reuben Clark Jr., Second Counselor in the First Presidency, 5 April 1952:Read your books. There is a startling parallel between the course that is coming in to us today and the course that was in the early Church, so startling that one becomes fearful.” (In One Hundred Twenty-second Annual Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints [Conference Report, April 1952] [Salt Lake City, Utah: Published by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints], p. 81.)

H. Verlan Andersen, Future Member of the First Quorum of the Seventy, 1972:Religious history testifies that, with the single exception of the inhabitants of the City of Enoch, no people to whom the gospel has been given have remained faithful to their covenants for more than a few generations. Time after time the Lord has established his Church among a group who have lived his commandments for a few years and then fallen away thus bringing upon themselves his judgments. This cycle of human folly which so many prophets have noted, has repeated itself with such consistent regularity, that any group which finds itself to be the favored recipients of the gospel would do well to assume that their own apostasy is certain and the only question about it is how long it will take. . . . The fact that the Lord has found it necessary to restore his gospel so many times is in itself evidence of the regularity with which apostasy has occurred because the only thing which will cause the destruction of his Church is the wickedness of its members. . . . The prophet, Mormon, whose labors as a historian gave him an opportunity to observe the frequency of the righteousness-wickedness-punishment cycle, spoke of it as though it were a law of life which operates as a certain consequence of universal human weakness. . . . The Church is in deep trouble because seldom, if ever, has any group been as prosperous as it is today. . . . After 140 years of growth, membership numbers in the millions, persecution has largely vanished, and instead of ostracism, members are, for the most part accepted and respected. . . . To fail to consider the possibility that the members of the church are again ‘falling away’ would be to ignore one of the most thoroughly documented lessons of history.” (The Great and Abominable Church of the Devil [Published by H. Verlan Andersen, ©1972], pp. 178, 179, 180; paragraphing omitted.)

Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, 30 Mar. 1990:In recent years I have felt, and I think I am not alone, that we were losing the ability to correct the course of the Church. You can not appreciate how deeply I feel about the importance of this present opportunity unless you know the regard, the reverence, I have for the Book of Mormon and how seriously I have taken the warnings of the prophets, particularly Alma and Helaman. Both Alma and Helaman told of the church in their day. They warned about fast growth, the desire to be accepted by the world, to be popular, and particularly they warned about prosperity. Each time those conditions existed in combination, the Church drifted off course. All of those conditions are present in the Church today. Helaman repeatedly warned, I think four times he used these words, that the fatal drift of the church could occur ‘in the space of not many years.’ In one instance it took only six years. (See Helaman 6:32, 7:6, 11:26.)” (Transcript of an address given at a Regional Representatives Seminar, 30 March 1990, entitled “Let Them Govern Themselves.”)


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3 Responses to History Repeating Itself

  1. Marc says:

    Dear LDS Apostasy…Thank you for the TRUTH you bring to the world! Brother Joseph said “the truth will cut it’s own way.” But many CHOOSE not to hear or see. Sad. I awoke to our awful situation about 7 years ago. Wow…what a ride. I use to believe the church was the most solid of all my foundations. But…I soon realized that the TRUTH…that is being offered to those that accomplish Ether 4:15 ( “Behold, when ye shall rend that veil of unbelief which doth cause you to remain in your awful state of wickedness, and hardness of heart, and blindness of mind, then shall the great and marvelous things which have been hid up from the foundation of the world from you—yea, when ye shall call upon the Father in my name, with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, then shall ye know that the Father hath remembered the covenant which he made unto your fathers, O house of Israel.”) is a superior foundation and a straighter way.
    Ezra Taft Benson spoke of the “fort being captured” in a speech given at BYU in Dec of 1963. I believe that due to the LDS members desire to be “acceptable in the eyes of the world” and some slackness on the part of certain leaders…the fort…has indeed been captured!
    I am most thankful for the information on this site. If we never have a chance to meet in this life…stop by the snack bar in paradise…and I’ll buy you a milkshake! Xc ) God bless my friend!

  2. Amy Brown says:

    Thank you so very much. God bless and help us all.

  3. jr says:

    Can you say City Creek Mall? Costing billions of dollars? And decided on without Common Consent from the members.

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