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actionofapostates ( ** )

The action of apostates

At one time, the prophet Joseph Smith was describing the actions of several men who had left the Church and were now staunch enemies of the Prophet and the Church itself.  He mentioned that they could not just leave and move on to other pursuits, but they now spent all their time denigrating, castigating, denouncing, and demeaning the Church and its leaders, especially Joseph Smith.  When the Prophet finished his remarks about these critics and how he had been mistreated by them, a brother by the name of Behunin said, “If I should leave this Church, I would not do as those men have done.  I would go to some remote place where Mormonism had never been heard of, settle down, and no one would ever learn that I knew anything about it.”

The great Seer immediately replied: “Brother Behunin, you don’t know what you would do.  No doubt these men I have described once thought as you do.  Before you joined this Church you stood on neutral ground.  When the gospel was preached, good and evil were set before you.  You could choose either or neither.  There were two opposite masters inviting you to serve them.  When you joined this Church, you enlisted to serve God.  When you did that, you left the neutral ground, and you can never get back on to it.  Should you forsake the Master you enlisted to serve, ti will be by the instigation of the Evil One and you will follow his dictation and be his servant.”

Joseph empathized that fact that a man or woman who had not taken sides either with Christ or the Adversary could maintain a neutral position, but when he or she enlisted under either the one or the other, they left neutral ground forever.

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