Great sin of the ages has been worship of, reverence to, false gods

Speaking in the April 1969 general conference, Elder LeGrand Richards of the Council of the Twelve, said: "The great sin of the ages has been the worship of false gods, hence the first of the ten commandments written by God himself upon the tablets of stone amid the thunder and lightning of Sinai: `Thou shalt have no other Gods before me.' (Exodus 20:3.)

"When Moses led the children of Israel to the promised land, he told them that they should be, in coming generations, scattered among the heathen nations: And there ye shall serve gods, the work of men's hands, wood and stone, which neither see, nor hear, nor eat, nor smell.' (Deut. 4:28.) Then Moses promised them thatin the latter days' when they were in tribulation, if they would seek after the Lord their God with all their hearts and with all their souls, they would find him." (See Deut. 4:29-30.)In A New Witness for the Articles of Faith, Elder Bruce R. McConkie of the Council of the Twelve wrote: "In some of the most pointed and piercing language ever written with a mortal pen, Moses blesses Israel on condition of obedience and curses her if she rejects God and walks in the ways of the world. Included in the cursings are these prophetic words: Thou shalt be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth.' Scattered Israel, all of it, all of the twelve tribes, is everywhere, in all nations.The Lord shall bring thee, and thy king which thou shalt set over thee, unto a nation which neither thou nor thy fathers have known; and there shalt thou serve other gods, wood and stone.' " (Deut. 28:36.)

Elder McConkie noted that in the days of their initial scattering, the rebels of the house of Jacob worshiped gods of wood and stone in the literal sense. In this present age "of supposed enlightenment, their seed, in whose veins the blood of Israel yet flows," has turned to false gods perpetuated by the perverted teachings of apostates.

"The gathering ( of Israel) will be as extensive and all-embracing as was the scattering," Elder McConkie wrote. "The day of gathering will be a day of conversion. `The Lord thy God will circumcise thine heart and the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy God with all thine heart and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live. And thou shalt return and obey the voice of the Lord and do all his commandments which I command thee this day. And the Lord thy God will make thee plenteous in every work of thine hand in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy land, for good: for the Lord will again rejoice over thee for good, as he rejoiced over thy fathers, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the law, and if thou turn unto the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul.' " (Deut. 30:1-10.)

Additional Information


The Miracle of Forgiveness, by Spencer W. Kimball; A New Witness for the Articles of Faith, by Bruce R. McConkie; A Companion to Your Studey of the Old Testament, by Daniel H. Ludlow; April 1969 general conference report and Ensign, July 1976.

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