Classic Truth: Darkened in their Minds

The following is taken from a discourse Joseph Smith gave to the Female Relief Society on the 26th of May, 1842, in Nauvoo, Illinois (Documentary History of the Church 5:19, cited verses added for context, grammar modernized for clarity):


“President Joseph Smith read the 14th chapter of Ezekiel:

“And the word of the LORD came to me, saying, ‘Son of man, if a land sins against Me by acting unfaithfully, and I stretch out My hand against it to cut off its supply of food, to send famine upon it, and to cut off from it both man and beast, then even if these three men—Noah, Daniel, and Job—were in it, their righteousness could deliver only themselves, declares the Lord GOD.
“‘Or if I send wild beasts through the land to leave it childless and desolate, with no man passing through it for fear of the beasts, then as surely as I live, declares the Lord GOD, even if these three men were in it, they could not deliver their own sons or daughters. They alone would be delivered, but the land would be desolate.
“‘Or if I bring a sword against that land and say, ‘Let a sword pass through it,’ so that I cut off from it both man and beast, then as surely as I live, declares the Lord GOD, even if these three men were in it, they could not deliver their own sons or daughters. They alone would be delivered.
“‘Or if I send a plague into that land and pour out My wrath upon it through bloodshed, cutting off from it both man and beast, then as surely as I live, declares the Lord GOD, even if Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it, they could not deliver their own sons or daughters. Their righteousness could deliver only themselves'” (vv. 12 – 20, Berean Study Bible edition).

“[President Joseph Smith] said the Lord had declared by the Prophet, that the people should each one stand for himself, and depend on no man or men in that state of corruption of the Jewish church—that righteous persons could only deliver their own souls.

“[He] applied it to the present state of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and said if the people departed from the Lord, they must fall—that they were depending on the Prophet, hence were darkened in their minds, in consequence of neglecting the duties devolving upon themselves….”

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