Saturday, March 1, 2008

Why Persecution?

It is no secret that the Latter-day Saints have suffered a great deal of persecution throughout our history. We are the only group of US citizens that actually had an extermination order placed on our heads by our own government (Missouri, 1838). I was fascinated tonight as I read an interesting sermon by Brigham Young that answers the question of why the Latter-day Saints have been persecuted. I here quote what he said in part for your enjoyment.

We have been persecuted because there is a conviction, so far as [people] have heard the Gospel preached, that we have the truth. This is the cause of the opposition against us.

Would a priest of any denomination oppose 'Mormonism,' if he was not convinced that it is true? No. Were a man to come into this congregation and relate something that every man, woman, and child present knew to be false, who would take the trouble to disprove it? We all know the statement to be false; consequently, will [we] not take pains to oppose it? On the other hand, were there no conviction in the sound of the Gospel to the minds of the people—that it is true—that it is of and from God, who would take pains to oppose it? Let a person go into a [Christian congregation] and try to prove that Jesus was an impostor, that every system of religion is false, and that the Bible is a matter of speculation got up by selfish divines expressly for their own benefit; and who in that congregation would deem it worth while to oppose views so erroneous to the minds of those who have heard from Sabbath to Sabbath, the doctrines of the Gospel preached, so far as they understand them? No one, because to them the speaker's views would be so obviously false (Brigham Young in Journal of Discourses, 8:131).

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