“Never forget which way you face,” taught Elder Lynn G. Robbins of the Presidency of the Seventy during the Saturday morning session of general conference. Latter-day Saints must remember that they stand as a representation of Jesus Christ, not of the world.
“Trying to please others before pleasing God is inverting the first and second great commandment,” Elder Robbins said. “It is forgetting which way we face. And yet, we have all made that mistake because of the fear of men.”
Drawing from the account of Lehi’s dream of the iron rod that led to the tree of life, Elder Robbins said the people’s fear of the finger of scorn pointing from the great and spacious building caused them “to forget which way they faced and to leave the tree ashamed.”
This fear becomes a snare, creating stumbling blocks for the weak of faith, Elder Robbins said.
“Prophets through the ages have always come under attack by the finger of scorn,” Elder Robbins said. Living prophets are still under attack today.
“The scornful often accuse prophets of not living in the 21st century or of being bigoted. They attempt to persuade and even pressure the Church into lowering God’s standards to the level of their own inappropriate behavior,” he said.
Members must be careful not to lower their standards as well.
“Some members don’t realize they are falling into the same snare when they lobby for acceptance of local or ethnic traditions — the traditions of their fathers — that are not in harmony with gospel culture,” Elder Robbins said. “Still others, self-deceived and in self-denial, plead or demand that bishops lower the standard on temple recommends, school endorsements or missionary applications.”
Elder Robbins encouraged members to be strengthened by the Savior’s example and always remember to keep “the first and great commandment” (Matt:22 37, 38).
“The Savior, the only perfect being who ever lived, was the most fearless,” he declared. “In His life, He was confronted by scores of accusers, but never yielded to their finger of scorn. He is the only person who never once forgot which way He faced. ...
“When others demand approval in defiance of God’s commandments, may we always remember whose disciples we are, and which way we face,” Elder Robbins said.