Dear 100 Hour Board:
Several years ago I heard a quote that went along these lines: Satan will try to destroy the Church and it’s members in anyway he can. He first tried to destroy it physically (persecutions during pioneer times). He then tried to destroy it intellectually ("Scopes Monkey Trial" and evolution in the early 20th century). Then he tried to destroy it socially (ERA, abortion, etc in the 1960’s and 70’s). Now he is trying to destroy it spiritually by taking direct aim at the family.
I can not remember any background or context and have tried extensive searches on google and lds.org. Did I make this up? Has anyone in authority ever said this or something similar? Perhaps it was one of “those” quotes from a seminary teacher? It’s probably been at least 10-15 years ago.
–even if it’s not an actual quote, it’s still something to think about.
Confession: I have never had a lot of success searching the wilds of the internet for quotes. Such is the case today. I couldn't find anything really relevant to this quote. Maybe other writers will have more success.
That being said, the quote, seems kind of nonsensical to me. Every tactic that has almost "destroyed" the Church fits neatly into several of these categories. The change in leadership following Joseph Smith's martyrdom caused many groups to splinter off - that was certainly a spiritually trying time for people. But it also had far-reaching effects on the social organization of the Church and how tightly the Church hierarchy banded together. The fact that all males couldn't hold the priesthood until 1978 caused a great deal of criticism and trouble for the Church - there was definitely social pressure to change this policy. It was a spiritual trial. It intellectually didn't make sense. And exploring or teaching evolution didn't "try" to destroy the Church, or any church. If science is ever "trying" to prove something in relationship to religious belief, then one of the two groups is going too far outside of its purview. Finally, I believe that once the Church reached a certain size, there was never any single issue or threat that could have led to its complete destruction. Like God, I think that Satan is interested in focusing on individuals, but as many individuals as possible. So none of these issues, however faith-shaking and spirituality destroying, really has the possibility of destroying the Church as an entity, but could cause a lot of problems for Church members individually.
- Rating Pending (who was surprised to not see "pornography" on the list. Because that is certainly something that destroys Church members' lives.)