This blog post is a response to the many articles posted online about how people are supposedly leaving the LDS Church in droves and that the millennials have left at an alarming rate, “never seen before.” The reality is that at least 657 people per day join the LDS Church. So every time you hear someone loudly proclaim their stand and that they are leaving, hundreds of others quietly joined and the church continues to grow.
All my life I’ve loved sharing the gospel with everyone I meet. I have served in numerous callings over the decades and enjoyed experiences with all ages of members. I love to speak in positive and hopeful terms about the future, encouraging people to have faith and to overcome their trials and difficulties in life.
I don’t like to speak harsh words, ones that may offend. I like to build up and not tear down. I like to plan and accomplish and succeed instead of destroying or bringing down.
We read in the Scriptures many times where a prophet or leader is inspired to speak bold words, sometimes referred to by the recipient as sharp words that are harsh and angry. Some of the following words might fit that category. I’m definitely no prophet or leader and I pray the Lord will forgive me if I offend anyone or drive anyone away from the church that I love. My intent is not to offend but to awaken because something needs to be said.
Obviously, labeling someone a, “Mormon Snowflake” is going to offend someone right off the bat. The term “Snowflake” is used all over in the political world today towards people, usually college-age students and Millennials, who are easily offended by opposing points of view and accuse others of such things as “micro-aggression”. I use the term “Mormon Snowflake” to refer to mostly that same age of people (they can actually be any age), that are easily offended by the doctrines of the past, that are not always easily defensible and are definitely not politically correct in our sanitized society.
Talking about anything relating to Joseph Smith, polygamy, covenants, the Book of Mormon, Temples, garments, Revelation, modern Prophets or words and phrases supposedly spoken by Brigham Young, etc., are sometimes not easy to defend in a society that cares little to nothing about real truth or about faith in the things of God.
As our increasingly secular society continues to move away from God, it seems to care more about their narcissistic self-interest and even hedonistic attitudes and actions. Submission to God’s will? Forget it! Exercise faith? “No way! I want the cold hard “facts” because that’s the only way to find the truth. I’m a Secular Humanist and I demand proof. I’m a Pastafarian and believe in the Great Flying Spaghetti Monster in the sky!”
We are a nation that is steeped in Pride and which the prophets warned the Lord would bring down in humility and then destruction if things don’t change.
For behold, saith the prophet, the time cometh speedily that Satan shall have no more power over the hearts of the children of men; for the day soon cometh that all the proud and they who do wickedly shall be as stubble; and the day cometh that they must be burned. 1 Ne 22:15
So how can we save this generation and prevent them from becoming like those mentioned in the Vision of the Tree of Life where they wander off into strange roads and forbidden paths? How can we bolster them against those who are in the Great and Spacious Building pointing their fingers of scorn? How can we prevent them from being ashamed and losing their promised covenant blessings?
A lot of it comes down to the questions of how are we to deal with those strange doctrines and curious stories of the past. What is the answer? We live in a time when everything is easily discovered with just a few keystrokes and the click of a mouse. It’s extremely easy to find anything you want about any subject. But is it the truth? That is the question. Its easier than ever to be deceived especially when one claims they did research on a subject, that in reality was a 5 minute search on Google.
Someday the truth of everything in the past will all be known. Everything will be revealed from house to house and shared to the world. The exact nature and motives will be known. The exact words will be exposed. Nothing will be hidden and we will see things from God’s perspective, not from a biased bystander nor someone reporting with questionable motives.
But here is the frightening part: not only will their actions and words and deeds be revealed, but so will ours. What is the real reason they left the church? Was it because of the supposed sexual relations Joseph Smith had with a teenager or was it because you couldn’t give up pornography? Was it the offensive words of Brigham Young that drove you away or was it because you were having an affair? Did your once strong testimony die because of neglect or did you fall out of the boat?
The Mormon Snowflake’s of our day are following a pattern of the past. This is nothing new. In the Book of Mormon there was a time when even the most righteous of the people fell victim to the persuasions of very wicked men and it was a great heartbreak to the faithful members of the church of the time. The Mormon Snowflakes of our day are in many ways a very prideful lot, unwilling to submit to God’s will because they’ve been taught since birth how great and powerful they are, how extraordinarily talented and deserving they are.
In our socially connected world, we are, in reality, very unconnected and alone. Every age has had its periods of questioning regarding their faith, this one just happens to be the time of easy access to virtually any information, whether it’s true or false. The amount of effort it takes to find something today is minuscule of that of the past, and equally, it takes minimal effort to spread false words and inaccuracies that are therefore easily found and believed to be true.
But also equally dangerous are the demands placed upon, for example, church leadership to reveal everything about everything because they want to know it. That isn’t faith nor submission. God does not reveal everything He knows for a whole host of reasons, including our protection. The revelation of the expenditures of any large organization should be revealed on a need-to-know basis. In the church, the disposition of the tithes is something that is handled by God himself, by his own voice. He doesn’t have to reveal to anyone where the money goes because He is in control.
Now many people will not like to hear that and think it would be best to have it all revealed as “there is something sinister going on and the only way to prove it is to open everything up so all can see.” That is not faith, which is the one thing that the Mormon Snowflake’s of our day possibly lack in more degrees than any other generation before. Everything is too easy for them. They may not be a lazy lot but they certainly don’t have difficult things to overcome like the pioneers of the past This generation complains about absolutely anything and posts Memes about it on Facebook for all the world to know. How does that compare with the difficulties of your forefathers where they spent months of their lives just trying to get to a place to build a new home and to get there alive? Whether we have actual pioneers in our lineage, we are still connected to them.
But misery loves company and so they post their articles on Facebook just to find those that feel the same way. In this way, it will justify their actions, make them feel connected and not feel alone. Satan did the same thing. As he was cast out of heaven for rejecting God’s plan of salvation, he took everyone with him that he could and he continues to this day to bring others down to his level. In our day of easy access to information, it is apparent that it is easier now than ever to persuade more people to follow him.
In the coming day, as I mentioned, everything will be revealed, including our own motives, actions, and words. Our sins will be shouted out upon housetops and we will wish that the very mountains could fall upon us and hide us from His presence because of the immense guilt that we feel. But it will not happen. We will stand with the perfect brightness of our guilt in His presence and know that Satan has won and that we have lost our eternal salvation. Then, as the scripture says, there will be weeping, wailing on the gnashing of teeth because the hard truth of that loss will finally hit us and we will only have ourselves to blame.
No matter how valiant the teachers, no matter how diligent the parents, no matter how gentle and kind and loving the bishops and leaders of the church are who extended hours and hours of their service trying to counsel and correct, no matter how many times the Spirit tried to give us directions, it will all have been wasted because we had let the enemy take hold of our hearts and we chose not to repent. We chose not to seek out Jesus Christ and ask him to forgive us. Only then will the realization of what we have really done hit us as the proverbial ton of bricks. Included in that mountain of guilt will be all the other people that we persuaded to follow along. All the other people that we led astray by our actions and words. All the other times that we acted as Satan himself did dragging others down to our level. It is impossible to describe the horrible guilt that will be pressed upon us and with which we must pay for with our own eternal salvation.
And yet also those who remain faithful will have glory added upon their heads forever and ever. Those who submitted to God’s will and cried out for forgiveness of their sins no matter how deep and dark will be blessed for eternity. To those who know Jesus Christ, heaven will be theirs. Eternal progression and endless progeny through worlds without number will be theirs.
Why would anyone choose anything else? Why would we allow our own addictions and unwillingness to repent and take such a hold of our lives? Why would we give up such blessings? It’s because we are being deceived and we have allowed our adversary to destroy our souls and blind our minds.
I pray that all of those who read this will wake up and recognize the awful situation you are in. Have faith and repent. There is a reason that faith and repentance are the first two principles and ordinances of the Gospel. They are given for that reason because they are something we must always do. You have more glory waiting for you than you can possibly know. Don’t give up your eternal blessings for the pleasure of the moment. Look forward and have faith that you can overcome and that you can receive the same blessings of Abraham if you will put down the pride, humble yourself now and repent.
All your life you have had people teach you the Gospel. You’ve been through thousands of hours of Sunday school, primary, gospel doctrine, Seminary and Institute. Many of you have been on missions and converted others. Think of all the times that your parents have tried to teach you these things and now you’re willing to throw that all away because one little thing doesn’t sit well with you? I’m not buying it.
Someday you’re going to stand next to your ancestors, the ones who had to endure unimaginable suffering and problems. The ones who had to forage for their food every day and sometimes went without clothing or shoes, crossing the plains leaving bloody footprints in the snow. How are you going to feel standing next to them because you were offended at some words written on an Internet blog that questioned something that happened 170+ years ago? It’s been said that someday we will have to stand next to the great prophets of old, the martyrs of the past. How will you feel then? Would you feel worthy of such a reward? Will you feel justified in sitting next to them on eternal thrones?
Lest you think that I am sitting here on my great white throne proclaiming my own sinless state, put those thoughts aside. I look around me and see my great weaknesses. I remember the sins of the past and it fills me with horror, hoping above all that the Lord has “forgotten” those sins. It is because of the guilt that I felt at one time in my life that I am writing this post. It is because I know how awful it feels to do something wrong and be in need of forgiveness that I’m writing this. I wouldn’t wish that upon anyone, yet we all have fallen short of the glory of God. I would hope and pray that everyone will recognize what a terrible situation sin puts them in and as this life is the time for us to repent and to prepare to meet God, there may come a time when it is too late and that is what I’m worried about. Now is the day to repent. Now is the day to come unto him and be forgiven of everything. Now is the day to put aside our pride, our selfishness, and self-justifications of what we have done. Now is the time to submit to God’s will and recognize the awful situation that we have put ourselves in.
It is time to recognize that we are in a lost and fallen state and to realize how terrible that is for those who once knew the truth.
In the Book of Mormon Alma describes the process of building Faith, something that is a major requirement for our eternal progression and standing. It is the process of planting a seed, nurturing it and helping it to grow, constantly feeding it and building it until it becomes a giant tree that can withstand all the forces against it. But if we neglect it and forget to water it, forgetting to pray, ignoring our scriptures, neglecting to perform service for others or repent, then that tree within us may die and we may pluck it out. With some people, it seems as if they have taken one of those giant tree shredders and leveled it to the ground in a matter of seconds. (Just watch 30 seconds of this to demonstrate what I mean).
Faith is something we must constantly work at on a day by day basis and never forgotten. But sin is really the great destroyer of faith. Sin causes blindness in our minds and hearts as to what is true and what is right. Satan gains control over those who have covenanted to keep God’s Commandments. He then controls their lives as they run helter-skelter all over the world searching for something to feel good and something to justify their lost and fallen condition.
Many of the Mormon Snowflakes of our day have fallen into the same trap. Things have become so easy for them for so long that they’ve forgotten what it takes to stay close to God and to keep their testimonies. It has nothing to do with laziness. It has everything to do with deception.
In the coming day, very soon, there will be a great shaking of the earth because of the wickedness that is on it. Millions, and possibly billions of people will die. Death and destruction will be everywhere and only those who have remained more righteous will be preserved. Only those who kept their covenants and did the best they could with what they knew, will be spared the horrific events of the near future.
Members of the LDS church were sent forth to be a light to the world and a standard by which all the world may look. They were to be examples of righteousness, love, standing for what is right, and being centered and peaceful in a world of confusion and darkness. But, as Jesus warned, if it is thenceforth good for nothing and the salt has lost his savor, it is to be thrown out and trodden under the foot of men. If those who have once been given these marvelous blessings forget them and refuse to stand up for the covenants that they made, great and terrible destruction awaits them. If those who made covenants with God and then through their own neglect let their tree of testimony die and became everything from agnostics to atheists, what will be their final state?
Having worked with youth for a few decades I’ve known firsthand the problems that they face. I’ve seen young men and women who once had a bright countenance about them, who once bore powerful testimonies and shared powerful experiences that they have had. They were wonderful, and yet I’ve seen them fall from grace and lose the spirit. It breaks my heart every time. It is the most distressing thing I see in the world today. Amidst all the horrors that are going on in the world, the loss of faith to me is possibly the worst thing because it has the most eternal significance. Those who suffer under the hands of despotic dictators have a terrible life. But that doesn’t determine their eternal future. Those who are martyrs of our day, who are killed because they are Christians, have not lost eternal blessings. If those who lose their faith and go against that which they know to be true, they are the ones that may suffer for eternity. They are the ones that I previously described who will be filled with guilt and suffer weeping and wailing and gnashing their teeth.
In reality, many of the Mormon Snowflakes of our day are like unto those mentioned in the Vision of the Tree of Life and who have partaken of the fruit. They then cast their eyes about being ashamed because of those pointing the fingers of scorn from the great and spacious building.
It’s time to wake up. It’s time to realize the deception and to get back on the path. It’s time to repent and humble ourselves and submit to God’s Will. It’s time to put away the pride, admit our faults, confess our sins, and look toward eternity. It’s time to build our Faith, have Hope in that future and exercise Charity for our fellow man.
It’s time to quit being a Mormon Snowflake and to just be a regular, faithful, hopeful, humble, repentant member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints that is willing to stand for what the church believes in and for what you have covenanted to follow and not melt in the process of the heated opposition and deception of our day.
The time to return is now.
•Photo adapted from Brooks Crandall