|Elder Mark E. Petersen|
In this talk Elder Petersen echoes the warnings of three great civilizations: the Jaredite civilization, the Nephite civilization, and our own. What caused the downfall of the great Jaredite civilization? What caused the downfall of the great Nephite civilization? What will cause the downfall of our own great civilization if we fail to learn the lessons of civilizations past?
"The Almighty provided that we should observe a sacred Sabbath each week," declares Elder Petersen. "We have flouted this law to his face, and most of us have turned his holy day into one of pleasure or of 'business as usual,' and yet the Sabbath was given as a symbol of allegiance to our Creator."
God consecrated the American continent to the Lord's work, and to the service of the Lord. The Jaredites failed to heed the warning. The Nephites failed to learn from the example of the Jaredites. Will we fail to heed the warning, or to learn from the demise of the two great civilizations that preceded our own?
- George Washington: "… we ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained. …" (First inaugural address, April 30, 1789.)
- Abraham Lincoln: "told the people of his day that America 'need fear no danger from without. … If danger were ever to threaten the United States, it will come from within. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide...We have grown in numbers, wealth and power. … But we have forgotten God. … It behooves us then to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.'"
- Daniel Webster: "If we and our posterity reject religious instruction and authority, violate the rules of eternal justice, trifle with the injunctions of morality and recklessly destroy the political constitution which holds us together, no one can tell how sudden a catastrophe may overwhelm us, that shall bury all our glory in profound obscurity."
"Only religion can prevent democratic rule from developing into mob rule. A nation can prosper only as its citizens are religious, intelligent, capable of service and eager to render it... Every great panic we have ever had has been foreshadowed by a general decline in observance of religious principles."
"The extinct civilizations of the past now speak to us out of the dust of the ages, giving warning against the same conditions which brought them down to oblivion." - Elder Mark E. Petersen
Other blog posts looking back on the Saturday Afternoon Session of the April 1971 General Conference:
- "Satan" - Moral Agency and the Problem of Evil (Ralph Hancock at Soul and City)
- Good Timber Does Not Grow at Ease (Nathaniel Givens at Difficult Run)
- The General Conference Project: Controlling the Hulk, Believing the Devil, and Cussing GAs (Walker Wright at Difficult Run)
- LDS Conference April 1971 - The Sexual Revolution and Entertainment Media (J. Max Wilson at Sixteen Small Stones)
- When Thou Art Converted (Chastity Wilson at Comfortably Anachronistic)
- The Adiabolist, or Jihad of the Heart (G at Junior Ganymede)
- Being Slow to Anger (Daniel Ortner)
- Creativity and Celebrating Success vs. The D.F.T. File (Michelle Linford at Mormon Women)
- 58 years of General Conference: What can we learn?/Messages on morality, religious freedom, and the Sabbath from 1971 (Michael Worley at Michael's Thoughts and Ideas)