People outside faith can promote Lord's cause

At the April 1972 general conference, Elder Ezra Taft Benson, who was then a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, spoke of the role that people outside of the faith can have in helping promote the cause of the Lord. One example he gave was that of Cyrus, king of Persia.

Elder Benson said: "King Cyrus lived more than five hundred years before Christ and figured in prophecies of the Old Testament mentioned in 2 Chronicles and the book of Ezra, and by the prophets Ezekiel, Isaiah, and Daniel. The Bible states how 'the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus, King of Persia.' (2 Chron. 36:22.) Cyrus restored certain political and social rights to the captive Hebrews, gave them permission to return to Jerusalem, and directed that Jehovah's temple should be rebuilt.

"President Wilford Woodruff said:

" 'Now I have thought many times that some of those ancient kings that were raised up, had in some respects more regard for the carrying out of some of these principles and laws, than even the Latter-day Saints have in our day. I will take as an ensample Cyrus. . . . To trace the life of Cyrus from his birth to his death, whether he knew it or not, it looked as though he lived by inspiration in all his movements. He began with that temperance and virtue which would sustain any Christian country or any Christian king. . . . Many of these principles followed him, and I have thought many of them were worthy, in many respects, the attention of men who have the Gospel of Jesus Christ.' " (Journal of Discourses 22:207.)

Elder Benson added: "God, the Father of us all, uses the men of the earth, especially good men, to accomplish His purposes. It has been true in the past, it is true today, it will be true in the future.

" 'Perhaps the Lord needs such men on the outside of His Church to help it along,' said the late Elder Orson F. Whitney of the Quorum of the Twelve. 'They are among its auxiliaries, and can do more good for the cause where the Lord has placed them, than anywhere else. . . . Hence, some are drawn into the fold and receive a testimony of the truth; while others remain unconverted . . . the beauties and glories of the gospel being veiled temporarily from their view, for a wise purpose. The Lord will open their eyes in His own due time. God is using more than one people for the accomplishment of His great and marvelous work. The Latter-day Saints cannot do it all. It is too vast, too arduous for any one people. . . . We have no quarrel with the Gentiles. They are our partners in a certain sense.' " (Conference Report, April 1928, p. 59.)

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