When you heard that you’d be studying the Apostasy this month, did you wonder why we talk about something that happened so long ago, especially since the gospel has already been restored? Well, we can learn a lot from the past to help us avoid personal apostasy today. After all, distractions are all around us, trying to get us to leave the path to Heavenly Father. But you can stay strong. As Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught:
“The boundaries of good taste and public decency are being pushed to the point where there are no boundaries at all. The commandments of God have taken a beating in the … marketplace of ideas that absolutely rejects the notion of right and wrong. Certain factions of society seem generally mistrustful of anyone who chooses to live according to religious belief. And when people of faith attempt to warn others of the possible consequences of their sinful choices, they are scoffed at and ridiculed. …
“Does any of this sound familiar, my young brothers and sisters? Do you see the historical pattern emerging again—the pattern of righteousness followed by prosperity, followed by material comforts, followed by greed, followed by pride, followed by wickedness and a collapse of morality—the same pattern we’ve seen again and again within the pages of the Old and New Testaments and the Book of Mormon? … What impact will the lessons of the past have on the personal choices you make … ?
“… Each one of you has to decide for yourself if you are going to ignore the past and suffer the painful mistakes and tragic pitfalls that have befallen previous generations. … How much better your life will be if you will follow the noble example of the faithful followers of Christ … and choose, as they did, to remain faithful to your Heavenly Father’s commandments” (“Learning the Lessons of the Past,” Ensign, May 2009, 33).
The teachings of prophets and apostles, past and present, are as relevant to your life today as they ever have been.
Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “Learning the Lessons of the Past,” Ensign, May 2009, 34.
You can safeguard yourself against personal apostasy by keeping your covenants, obeying the commandments, following Church leaders, partaking of the sacrament, and constantly strengthening your testimony through daily scripture study, prayer, and service.
True to the Faith: A Gospel Reference (2004), 14.