Come Unto ChristNotes taken from Elder Richard G. Scott talk given on May 17, 1992.
Layton Northridge Stake Priesthood Meeting
Elder Scott started by explaining that he had been on the phone to South America to a branch president who had gone to the church building that day and had found a note giving the names of several leaders of the church in that area and starting that if they proceeded to hold church that day that those people on the list would be killed. He stated that we in the safety of the Wasatch Mountains have no idea of the challenges the members in other parts of the world are experiencing. Is it possible that we are too comfortable? He also said he did not really know why he was in our stake conference; that it was a last minute change of assignment, and that he usually does not come to Utah Stake Conferences unless there is something necessary to teach or a major change to make.
Elder Scott then wrote on the blackboard "COME UNTO CH _ _ _ _ " and then said "Brethren, I am concerned about a very serious problem in the church and it is that we have been teaching each other to Come unto What? We said he feared we have been teaching each other to Come Unto Church, when we should have been teaching each other to Come unto Christ. He stated that he has attended many Testimony Meetings and Sacrament Meetings lately where the members will bear testimony that they believe the church is true, but hardly anyone ever testifies that they believe in Christ, nor do they tell of their love for Christ.
Then he drew a picture on the Blackboard like the one pictured here:
He asked the Priesthood leaders present in the meeting, "Where on this picture are you (as a Leader) supposed to be in relation to Christ and one of His Children?" One of the brethren said, "We should be behind the member helping him to come unto Christ." and another brother said, "We should be at his side bringing him with us."
Elder Scott said those were good thought, but then quoted President Harold B Lee when he said that if you want to lift someone, you must be on higher spiritual ground. Therefore Priesthood leaders should be on higher ground, but he drew the leader's figure off to the side helping the member. He said, "Now here is the point I want to make. DO NOT PUT YOURSELF BETWEEN CHRIST AND ONE OF HIS CHILDREN, so that you block the path. AND DO NOT PUT THE CHURCH IN THE PLACE OF CHRIST."
Elder Scott then quotes D&C 123: 12-17 where it says that we must bring to light the hidden things of darkness (which the footnote says is secret combinations) and he emphasized that point saying that he did not have the time to go into that subject now, that it would take over two hours alone, but he said, "Brethren, I want you to go home and study D&C 123 diligently until you understand completely what is means and how it affects your life."
Then he drew an axis on the black board as shown here.
He then asked, "If Up is a course toward God, then which way is the world headed?" Everyone agreed that it is on a sharp logarithmic curve downward. Then he asked, "Which way are most members of the Church headed?" One brother tried to say that maybe we are not making a lot of progress upward, but just wavering between God and Satan so it ends up being a wavy line straight forward.
Elder Scott said he did not believe that was the case with most members, maybe a few. He said that there are a few humble followers of Christ who are on a course back to God and making a curve of progress as shown below, but that he believed that most members are so concerned with being part of the world and being acceptable to the world that they are on a course of downward drift like the world but maybe not as drastic a downturn. He pointed out how we accept so much wickedness that we would not have accepted twenty years or so ago (through our exposure to TV, movies, and Music) and even many of the Saints are partaking of that wickedness, thinking that it is just part of being here).
He said that one of the MOST serious downward trends is that of mothers working outside the home contrary to the inspired counsel of President Benson. He said he knows that there are some mothers who have to work as single mothers or because fathers cannot, due to health problems etc. and he understands how hard it is to make ends meet in this wicked society. He said he feels that most working mothers do so because couples have coveted worldly good so much that they either go into debt and have to send the mother to work to pay for things they want, or instead of curbing their desires or selling what they cannot pay for. they rationalize that the wife can work just until the goods are paid for and then they see more and more things they want to buy. Then luxuries become necessities and we think we can't get by without them, such as having two cars.
Elder Scott then turned the time over to Elder William O Nelson who talked about problems and the real solution to those problems. Elder Nelson asked the brethren to tell him what problems they as priesthood leaders were dealing with, especially the Bishops. These problems were listed on the board.. Things like: Financial problems, Divorce, Child Abuse, Spouse Abuse, Drug Abuse, Teen Pregnancies, Immorality, Dishonesty, etc. Then Elder Nelson pointed out the fact that NONE of those things were problems! He indicated that those are only symptoms of one problems. He asked what the ONE PROBLEM was. No one answered. He went to the board and wrote down: “Lack of conversion to Christ.”
Then Elder Scott took the remainder of the time teaching us of the absolute importance of being sanctified. He started by quoting D&C 43: 8-10 and explaining that we are to be sanctified (as a commandment) by binding ourselves to ACT on all inspiration we receive through the Holy Ghost. We must seek inspiration on our actions and decisions and we must obey when we receive any inspiration. Otherwise, if we don’t seem to be concerned enough to follow its promptings, then the spirit will cease to speak to us. He said we are to sanctify ourselves by keeping ALL the commandments the Lord has given, which of course, means we must find out what the commandments are by studying with great diligence.
He then quoted D&C 43: 15-16 which says that we are not sent forth to be taught by men but that we are to be taught from on high, and to sanctify ourselves, that we might be endowed with power. He showed how this means that the bulk of our knowledge and wisdom should come from being taught through the scriptures and directly by the Spirit. We do not take advantage of the blessings the Lord has promised to teach us ALL things by the power of the Spirit. Do we not have enough faith that the Lord really means what he says in scripture? Would we rather place our faith in what we learn through the world? He suggested that we should learn to use all three available avenues of learning.
Next, Elder Scott explained that we live in a very wicked society, one that is comparable to that wicked society that was destroyed in the days of Noah, and in Sodom and Gomorrah. He then very strongly and pointedly said, “NOBODY IN THIS WICKED SOCIETY WILL SURVIVE WITHOUT FAITH IN CHRIST AND THE POWER THAT COMES FROM COMING UNTO CHRIST.”