Elder Maxwell’s prophecy

Church members will live in this wheat-and-tares situation until the Millennium. Some real tares even masquerade as wheat, including the few eager individuals who lecture the rest of us about Church doctrines in which they no longer believe. They criticize the use of Church resources to which they no longer contribute. They condescendingly seek to counsel the Brethren whom they no longer sustain. Confrontive, except of themselves, of course, they leave the Church, but they cannot leave the Church alone (Ensign, Nov. 1980, 14). Like the throng on the ramparts of the “great and spacious building,” they are intensely and busily preoccupied, pointing fingers of scorn at the steadfast iron-rodders (1 Ne. 8:26–28, 33). Considering their ceaseless preoccupation, one wonders, Is there no diversionary activity available to them, especially in such a large building—like a bowling alley? Perhaps in their mockings and beneath the stir are repressed doubts of their doubts. In any case, given the perils of popularity, Brigham Young advised that this “people must be kept where the finger of scorn can be pointed at them” (Discourses of Brigham Young, sel. John A. Widtsoe [1941], 434).

This prophecy seems more and more relevant all the time.

(h/t to Brian Duffin.)

Here is the source:


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About Geoff B.

Geoff B graduated from Stanford University (class of 1985) and worked in journalism for several years until about 1992, when he took up his second career in telecommunications sales. He has held many callings in the Church, but his favorite calling is father and husband. Geoff is active in martial arts and loves hiking and skiing. Geoff has five children and lives in Colorado.

9 thoughts on “Elder Maxwell’s prophecy

  1. Elder Maxwell was gifted with such prophetic insight. My favorite Maxwell quote:

    “The declarations are about principles, not people, and causes, not candidates. On occasions, at other levels in the Church, a few have not been so discreet, so wise, or so inspired.

    “But make no mistake about it, brothers and sisters; in the months and years ahead, events will require of each member that he or she decide whether or not he or she will follow the First Presidency. Members will find it more difficult to halt longer between two opinions…

    “This is a hard doctrine, but it is a particularly vital doctrine in a society which is becoming more wicked. In short, brothers and sisters, not being ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ includes not being ashamed of the prophets of Jesus Christ.”


  2. The events in the months after Jim Cobabe’s Maxwell quote included Sonia Johnson’s APA paper that resulted in her excommunication.

    There have always been those members who are part of the ablative layer of the Church, a layer that may be expected to evaporate or become disattached whenever there is great turbulence, either due to changes within the Church, or changes outside the Church.

    Luckily for all those who would be saved, being part of an ablative layer can be fixed, even after death. I love that about the restored gospel, the idea that even honest dissenters who go to their deaths fighting the Church can be saved in God’s heaven by that same Church they rejected in life.

  3. I think of those who insist the BoM is not historical in any fashion or form, and then think: what does that do to our restoration claims if Moroni did not appear to Joseph Smith? Does God deal in farce?

    The Community of Christ is a failing remnant of the Restoration movement – evidence of what happens when you reject your past. Meanwhile, Pres Benson has called on us to renew our efforts in studying the Book of Mormon and embracing its message.

  4. People believe in weird things. But if that belief sustains their faith – even makes it possible – rather than diminishes it, I think one would be hard pressed to criticize, and say that one shouldn’t harbor such thoughts at all.

  5. Wonderful quote from a wonderful man but perhaps someone can explain how the “corruption of the holy church of god’ and the” transfiguring of god’s word’ that Moroni complained about in Mormon 8 ,or Nephi’s warnings in 2Nephi 28 or the Saviors comments and prophecy in 3 Nephi 16 fit into all of this. As I look at the scripture instead of fallible men I see prophesies about the loss of precious truths and the time of the Gentiles (us) passing and wonder if they are not being fulfilled before our eyes? Any help about the meaning of the cited scriptures and the attitude I see that all is well in Zion would be appreciated.

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