Revelations found in the Doctrine and Covenants can help members look ahead and prepare for future events, said Elder Dean L. Larsen of the Presidency of the Seventy during a Church Educational System (CES) symposium.
In addition to Elder Larsen, Elder Richard P. Lindsay of the Second Quorum of the Seventy spoke during the Aug. 16-18 symposium at BYU. They joined more than 35 others who presented lectures, workshops, or participated in panel discussions during the symposium, which focused primarily on helping seminary and institute teachers prepare for the coming year."The view of the forthcoming events that is opened to us in the revelations of the Doctrine and Covenants is a sobering one," Elder Larsen told the more than 3,000 CES employees and spouses assembled for the closing meeting.
"It is obvious that world conditions will not improve as we approach the time of the Savior's return. Wickedness will increase; contention among nations will be ever present. It will be a time of many challenges for the Church and its members. But through these foreboding storm clouds, it is important to keep sight of the light of hope, promise and fulfillment which the Lord holds out to His faithful saints.
"It is quite possible that one of the greatest challenges facing the Lord's people in the years ahead will be to cope with the coming difficulties without becoming despondent and pessimistic about the final outcome of things. . . ."
While it is not useful to dwell too much upon the calamities to come, it is also foolish to be oblivious to them, noted Elder Larsen. "It is probably as important to be mentally and emotionally prepared to meet these difficulties as it is to be physically and spiritually prepared for them," he declared. "One point the Lord makes with clear emphasis is that the Latter-day Saints will not be free of concern simply on the basis of their membership in the Church. Indeed, those who do not abide by the covenants they have made will have good reason to be concerned."
Elder Larsen told those who had gathered for the 13th annual CES symposium that they have a great opportunity and obligation to teach members of the Church to do everything possible to help them have a clear view of the time in which they live.
"A study of the Doctrine and Covenants cannot be exclusively a backward view along the trail of history of this dispensation," he counseled. "To some degree, all of us must be imbued with the vision of what is ahead. It is a glorious time, notwithstanding all of the challenges that are yet to be faced. It is a time of fulfillment. We are the principal actors in the final chapters of this earth's mortal existence," Elder Larsen concluded.
Elder Richard P. Lindsay of the Second Quorum of the Seventy spoke Aug. 17 on teaching the youths in the Church the importance of moral cleanliness and righteous living.
"In this dispensation the Lord reiterated the commandment given at Sinai when He said, `Thou shalt not . . .commit adultery, . . . nor do anything like unto it.' (D&C 59:6.)
"From the beginning of time, the Lord has set a clear and unmistakable standard of sexual purity," stated Elder Lindsay. "It always has been, it is now, and it always will be the same. That standard is the law of chastity. It is the same for all - for men and women, for old and young, for rich and poor.
"In the Book of Mormon, the prophet Jacob tells us that the Lord delights in the chastity of His children. The Lord is not just pleased when we are chaste; He delights in chastity. Mormon taught the same thing to his son, Moroni, when he wrote that chastity and virtue are "most dear and precious above all things.' (Moroni 9:9.). . .
"Is there a valid case for virtue in our world?" Elder Lindsay asked. "It is the only way to freedom from regret. The peace of conscience which flows therefrom is the only personal peace that is not counterfeit.
"And beyond all of this is the unfailing promise of God to those who walk in virtue. Declared Jesus of Nazareth, speaking on the mountain, `Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.' (Matt. 5:8.) That is a promise, made by Him who has the power to fulfill."
In concluding his remarks, Elder Lindsay quoted President Spencer W. Kimball, who, many years ago told a CES symposium gathering: "It appears the only way we can give to our youths a peaceful clean survival is to teach them before the tidal wave of the sewer engulfs them. We must build the walls before the storm comes. We teach them correct principles. We ingrain them into their lives and then if they permit evil to swamp them, at least we have done our part. Would you please help the youth of Zion to put on the whole armor of God?"