Our declining sense of right and wrong in the face of Christ's Second Coming

Deseret News editor Jay Evenson recently wrote what for me was a thought provoking piece reminding us of recent news stories that have “swirled in the currents of daily life while the FLDS saga played out.” I have no tolerance or sympathy for the FLDS situation, and think that Evenson may appear to have soft peddled it a bit. But I take his point that we are too quick to dismiss reports of many other issues of sexual misconduct in our nation. I think his piece is worth reading (click here).

I also listened yesterday to Elder Dallin Oaks’ talk “Preparation for the Second Coming,” in the May 2004 Ensign. His recitation of concerns and sins dwarfs Evenson’s, and is a prophetic and conscience-stinging list of offenses toward God that should stir us all:

“We are living in the prophesied time “when peace shall be taken from the earth” (D&C 1:35), when “all things shall be in commotion” and “men’s hearts shall fail them” (D&C 88:91). There are many temporal causes of commotion, including wars and natural disasters, but an even greater cause of current “commotion” is spiritual.

“Viewing our surroundings through the lens of faith and with an eternal perspective, we see all around us a fulfillment of the prophecy that “the devil shall have power over his own dominion” (D&C 1:35). Our hymn describes “the foe in countless numbers, / Marshaled in the ranks of sin” (“Hope of Israel,” Hymns, no. 259), and so it is.

“Evil that used to be localized and covered like a boil is now legalized and paraded like a banner. The most fundamental roots and bulwarks of civilization are questioned or attacked. Nations disavow their religious heritage. Marriage and family responsibilities are discarded as impediments to personal indulgence. The movies and magazines and television that shape our attitudes are filled with stories or images that portray the children of God as predatory beasts or, at best, as trivial creations pursuing little more than personal pleasure. And too many of us accept this as entertainment.
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Everything that is unholy will perish

Can error live? No, it is the very plant of destruction, it destroys itself; it withers, it fades, it falls and decays and returns to its native element. Every untruth, all error, everything that is unholy, unlike God, will, in its time, perish.

Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 14:93.

The Devil delights in the work of destruction—to burn and lay waste and destroy the whole earth. He delights to convulse and throw into confusion the affairs of men, politically, religiously and morally, introducing war with its long train of dreadful consequences. It is evil which causeth all these miseries and all deformity to come upon the inhabitants of the earth. But that which is of God is pure, lovely, holy and full of all excellency and truth, no matter where it is found, in hell, in heaven, upon the earth, or in the planets.

Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 11:240.

Every providence and dispensation of God to his earthly children tends directly to life and salvation, while the influences and powers exerted by the enemy upon mankind and every suggestion of our corrupt natures tends to death.

Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 10:221.