Stand as Witnesses of God

“I suggest to all believers everywhere that we have a solemn religious duty to be witnesses of God.” Read the full article. —Elder Dallin H. Oaks


 


The First Three Articles of Faith

  • Sometimes the most needed things we can teach are things we tend to take for granted.
  • We must stress the fundamental truths on which our beliefs are based and not assume others understand them.

Anti-Christ

  • The Apostle John uses the term anti-Christ to describe one who “denieth the Father and the Son” (1 John 2:22).
  • Today those who deny the existence of God are called atheists.
  • The Book of Mormon account of Korihor (see Alma 30) prepares us for denials of God.

Moral Relativism

  • This means that where moral issues are concerned there are no reasonable ways to make moral distinctions that always apply.
  • Behind this assumption there is not God, or if there is, He has given no commandments that apply to us today.

Secular Humanism

  • This philosophy, most influential in higher education, rejects formal religious morality and relies on scientific evidence.
  • Many positive contributions have been made by adherents of humanism, such as their support of human rights, education, and democracy.
  • Our issue with them is their rejection of divine authority and values.

The Great and Abominable Church and Other “Churches”

  • Teachings in the Book of Mormon use the word church to signify belief or nonbelief in God (see final chapters of 2 Nephi).
  • In the Savior’s ministry among the Nephites, He warned against a church that is not “built upon my gospel, [but] is built upon the works of men, or upon the works of the devil” (3 Nephi 27:11). See also 1 Nephi 8:26-33; 11:35, 12:18—teachings about the “great and spacious building”.
  • These warnings are not limited to religious organizations. They include a multitude of secular philosophies and activities.

Three Things We Can Do in Response to Current Conditions

  • Honor the name and influence of God in our private prayers and personal greetings.
  • Publicly recognize the blessings of God, setting the right example in our family and Church teachings.
  • Contend for the free exercise of religion which requires cooperative action by believers of various faith.

Conclusion

  • We must affirm our religious faiths, unite to insist upon our right to the free exercise of our religions, and honor their vital roles in establishing and preserving and prospering nations.
  • The consequence of our failing to speak out as witness of God is evident in our Savior’s teaching about the salt that has lost its savor (Matthew 5:13).

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