*I intended to publish a post every week on Tuesday mornings. However, life can get in the way. The upcoming one-year mark of my husband's death is affecting me, as is the very personal topic I chose for this post.

Persecution in Book of Mormon times

Ever been persecuted by church members? If you have, you are not alone. This poignant two verses from the Book of Mormon details how it occurred in ancient times. 

From Helaman 3: 33-34:

And in the fifty and first year of the reign of the judges there was peace also, save it were the pride which began to enter into the church—not into the church of God, but into the hearts of the people who professed to belong to the church of God—

And they were lifted up in pride, even to the persecution of many of their brethren. Now this was a great evil, which did cause the more humble part of the people to suffer great persecutions, and to wade through much affliction.
Gee, it was caused by pride. Look at the surprise on my face. Isn't nearly every problem caused by pride?

What form did this persecution take?

We don't know the details of this persecution. The Book of Mormon doesn't tell us. We only know it occurred. We also know it was a great evil and the truly humble people suffered.

We can make some educated guesses on what form it took. It was probably similar to what occurs now.

What occurs now? Well, we don't tend to talk about it now, do we? Maybe we should, without unduly dwelling on the negative, however.

The simple answer is contention. In other words, conflict of some kind. Contention drives away the Spirit.

If your experience, or your imagination, can't supply you with examples, Part 7 of my series on corruption can help.

Satan also targets our church family

Back in 2014, I wrote an article entitled, "How to Deflect Satan's Assault on Your Church Family." It's no longer available online, but the point here is that Satan is targeting your church family, not just your nuclear and extended family.

The sooner you realize this simple fact, the closer you are to addressing the problem. Satan wants to cause discord at church.

You may not be able to prevent others from being caught up in the discord, but you can prevent yourself from becoming involved in it.

However, and I hope you let this become a mantra, inactivity is NOT an option! What this means is that you won't let it drive you from church and church activity, no matter what. Redirected activity is an option.

What forms your redirected activity can take

So, what can you do? The answer is a lot!

Here is a list to get you started:
  • Work on family history for yourself and others. This can include indexing or other voluntary services on redeeming the dead.
  • Do temple work as much as possible.
  • Volunteer to help the Church in some other way, possibly digitally. These opportunities creep up from time to time. Keep your eye on the Church's official website.
  • Spread the gospel digitally, especially using social media.
  • Support other people's righteous efforts.
  • Anxiously engage yourself in some good cause.
  • Serve individuals and your community through your own righteous initiative.
If you can't already tell, these activities don't require you to interact directly with individuals or entities in your own church unit.

Pointers on coping with the situation

The Book of Mormon also gives some guidance on how the persecuted people coped with the persecution. See Helaman 3:35:
Nevertheless they did fast and pray oft, and did wax stronger and stronger in their humility, and firmer and firmer in the faith of Christ, unto the filling their souls with joy and consolation, yea, even to the purifying and the sanctification of their hearts, which sanctification cometh because of their yielding their hearts unto God.

So here is the list: fasting, praying, developing more and more humility, and becoming firmer and firmer in the faith of Christ.

These activities brought joy and consolation. Notice that the scriptures don't necessarily say that the persecution stopped. That omission is instructive.

Can it work? Will it work?

We know it can work. Cultivating the Spirit will eventually prevail. President Henry B. Eyring tells us so:

Where people have that Spirit with them, we may expect harmony. The Spirit puts the testimony of truth in our hearts, which unifies those who share that testimony. The Spirit of God never generates contention (see 3 Ne. 11:29). It never generates the feelings of distinctions between people which lead to strife (see Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine, 13th ed. [1963], 131). It leads to personal peace and a feeling of union with others. It unifies souls. A unified family, a unified Church, and a world at peace depend on unified souls.


If you haven't experienced persecution at Church by other church members, you probably will eventually. The sad truth of the matter is that these people eventually destroy themselves and each other. They drive each other from church activity.

My point is, you need to be one of the humble people left so that unity and the Spirit can finally thrive.

You can't be part of that if you've gone inactive. Remember, inactivity is NOT an option, just redirected activity.

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