– Brigham Young said the saints used to be a distinct people, but are becoming to be a people known for their mediocrity.
-Church culture doesn’t mean the church is or isn’t true. Joseph Smith said that the majority of the 12 Apostles and the records of the church will never lead you astray. (JS Teachings).
-President Boyd K Packer of the Quorum of the 12 said “persecution will not always come from outside of the church”. (Gen Conf)
-Truman G Madsen says in one of his lectures that sometimes we wonder why certain people were called to be presiding officers in the kingdom of God (the church), and suggests that there may be 2 types of leaders, ones that lead, and ones that try your pacience. Both will help you grow if you have the spirit of God. J Golden Kimball reportedly once said regarding someones call to a position of authority in the church who seemed a rather odd candidate, ‘it must have been God who called him, because no one else would’ve thought of him.’ Moral of the story: be humble and don’t leave the church if you have a hard time getting along with a bishop or two.
-Elder Holland says that with the exception of Jesus Christ, all God has to work with is imperfect people, and that must be terribly frustrating to him, but he deals with it, and so should we.
-Joseph Smith was known for being quick to forgive others. He even brought mobsters into his home for dinner and dance after he escaped their attempt to kidnap him and take him to jail in another state to show that there were no hard feelings. The depth of Joseph’s ability to forgive and love others should strengthen us against all manner of offensive episodes we will likely encounter on our journey in the kingdom of God, our neighborhoods, and our homes, where however sad, those we love will betray us from time to time.
-President Nelson made an ominous comment in a conference address recently that some of those we thought on our side would betray us in challenging days ahead, even close loved ones. Does this mean we abandon ship regarding the church? No, it is Christ’s church.
-I’ve heard several cases of people leaving the church because their family members who were leaders in the church did terrible even unspeakable things like raping them. Does this mean leave the church? No, it means if the church is true, stay in it despite imperfect and even evil people who appear in it from time to time. Remember leadership positions in the church are not selected by the individual, but the individual is called upon to accept positions. The pride of some wicked men leads them to accept these positions when they shouldn’t, and perhaps it’s indeed the will of God that they take those positions as a last-ditch effort to get them to wake up and repent. As Alma said to Amulek in the Book of Mormon when they were burning the wives and children of the believers, this will work to essencially heap coals upon the heads of the evil doers, it will make their eternal condemnation justified. Similarly, when we have a bad experience with a church leader, it doesn’t mean its Gods fault or the church’s fault, it means that this life involves testing people, and allowing people to have agency, and even to use that agency poorly. We must remember that the final judgement is in Gods hands, not ours. What the effected person and everyone else must do when it comes to offensive even terrible things from leaders (which we hope are very rare), is read the Book of Mormon, and get a testimony of the reality of God, and his hand in commissioning this church to help bring salvation to the souls of mankind. Surely when Christ returns and fire with him consumes the ungodly, as the D&C says, ‘upon my hosue it shall begin’, and those apostates hiding in the church who are wolves in sheeps clothing, will be the first to feel the weighty hand of the wrath of God Almighty. Not only were they evil, but they cast doubts upon the innocent children of men regarding the work and kingdom of God on earth, and for this the consequences are much more severe than those of the heathen who sins in ignorance. Well does the scripture say that whoso takes upon himself the name of God in vain will not be forgiven in this life or the next.
-In ancient rituals the initiate had to be slapped in the face and turn the other cheek, symbolizing that he could confront anything without becoming offended. (see John Welch lecture “The Temple in the Sermon on the Mount and the Gospel of Matthew” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SYkMJqSKVEQ on the Academy for Temple Studies YouTube channel.)