REXBURG, Idaho Remain strong in the gospel in spite of the ever-changing values in the world, Elder L. Tom Perry counseled students at BYU-Idaho on Jan. 24.
Speaking at the weekly devotional, Elder Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve began by focusing on two phrases from the Book of Mormon which reverberate in his mind. "The first is 'and it came to pass,' and the second is 'thus we see that,' " Elder Perry remarked. " 'And it came to pass' seems to indicate to me something predictable that's going to happen. 'Thus we see that' is confirmation of what has occurred. We find these repeated so many times as we read the Book of Mormon."
Elder Perry was accompanied to Rexburg by his wife, Sister Barbara Perry, who addressed female employees and wives of employees that evening in a fireside on the subject of "Joy and happiness from an LDS perspective." Elder Perry offered brief remarks during the fireside.
During his devotional address, Elder Perry cited 1 Nephi 1:4-9,18-19, in which Lehi sees his marvelous vision of God's plan. In this, Lehi realized the Lord's promised blessings were based upon the willingness of His children to follow the designated plan. If one chooses not to follow the Lord's way, they subject themselves to the judgments of God and to the miseries and trials of the world.
Continuing, Elder Perry then rehearsed the events of the Savior's life, death, His apostles' ministries and the effects of the apostasy on the gospel's progression. He then referred to happenings which began to prepare the way for the restitution of all things spoken of in the scriptures. This included the invention of the multiple-type printing press by Johann Gutenburg, which eventually led to an English translation of the Bible and more people receiving the scriptures to study. Then the Prophet Joseph Smith was born in 1805 and soon became the instrument in the Lord's hand to usher in the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
"With the birth of the Prophet, it was just as if the Lord illuminated the minds of mankind to make it possible that technology and communications would be such that the gospel could be scattered and spread throughout the earth," Elder Perry said.
Referring to John 15:19, Elder Perry said, "From those teachings of the Savior, we have adopted the saying in the Church of being 'in the world' but not 'of the world.' The phrase has two distinct parts. Sometimes we fail to separate them. The first being 'in' and the second 'not of.' Too often, I think we use them together and think of them as justification to remain somewhat detached, somewhat removed from the world. I would like to separate the two and talk about just being in the world."
Elder Perry then emphasized the fact that members of the Church must be a part of the world and help prepare the world for Christ's second coming. However, in this they cannot fall into "sins of materialism in the world around us."
He then shared his observations of the European nations, where he and Sister Perry served in the past year, noting that many people there are embracing secularization, which is becoming a force for bringing about false ideas and the eroding of traditions that have been held for many years. He recognized that this lifestyle has a spiritual and moral price for those who exercise it.
In conclusion, Elder Perry offered a voice of warning and admonition: "My concern is that we are starting to follow the same pattern towards secularization. We have embraced and committed ourselves to the gospel of Jesus Christ, which is completely contrary to Satan's plan. He is doing everything he can to destroy the family. Throughout your life, you must set an example of the principles and doctrines which bring about the blessings of the Lord."