In his address in the priesthood session of the April 1983 general conference, Elder Dean L. Larsen of the Presidency of the Seventy spoke of conditions in the last days.
"Joel saw the period of time in which we live as a great battleground for the souls of men," said Elder Larsen in reference to Joel 3:9-10."Joel saw that this great battle would not be regarded in a casual way," Elder Larsen continued. "It would be no time for weakness nor weaklings."
The challenging conditions found in the world today should be no surprise, he said. "As we approach the time of the Savior's return, wickedness will increase. There will be more temptations in our daily lives, and they will become more intense. It will become more acceptable in the world to break the laws of God or to disregard them altogether. The stigma attached to immoral, dishonest behavior will disappear.
"In this difficult environment we will be expected to steer our own course in an upward direction.
"As [President Spencer W.] Kimball warned us, it will neither be acceptable nor safe to remain on the plateaus where our present conduct has kept us.
"Abrupt downward forces, represented by increasing wickedness in the world, can only be offset by forces that move correspondingly upward. Our lives must be better than they have ever been before. This simply means that we will become increasingly different from those around us whose lives follow the world's way."
Elder Larsen said members must understand it is not safe to move in the same direction the world is moving. "Such a course will eventually lead us to the same problems and heartaches," said Elder Larsen.
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Information compiled by Gerry Avant
Sources: April 1983 general conference report; The Voice of Israel's Prophets by Sidney B. Sperry