Dwindling in Unbelief From Year to Year, the title of this post is a sad title, but unfortunately, it is what is happening before our eyes in the era we live in. It happened to the Nephites. Look up the word dwindle with all its word forms. It appears 24 times in the Book of Mormon.
The theistic foundation of America is undergoing a dramatic change. At the end of WWII, societies values were compatible with LDS values. Today that is not the case. There is a vast difference and the difference is increasing each year.
Case in point, If what appears on TV today was somehow suddenly shown to viewers in the 1980’s what do you think would happen? No doubt, there would be a huge uproar! But sadly, our culture has slowly, with little opposition, permitted the values of former days to fade away.
What about church members (Mormons), have they been immune to the changes taking place in America? No, I don’t think anyone would use the word immune. I think most observers would agree, the best we can say is that we have lagged behind the changes in our culture.
Elder Russell M Nelson recently wrote in his new book:
“Difficult days are ahead. Rarely in the future will it be easy or popular to be a faithful Latter-Day Saint. Each of us will be tested. The Apostle Paul warned that in the latter days, those who diligently follow the Lord, “shall suffer persecution”. That very persecution can either crush you into silent weakness or motivate you to be more exemplary and courageous in your daily life.” Accomplishing the Impossible, Page 115.
What about you? How are you dealing with the increased secularization of American values? Do you find yourself watching movies and going to internet sites that you formerly would never have considered? How about social issues? Do you find yourself aligning more and more with modern trends that apostles and prophets are opposed too? If so, where do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years?
I hope that any church members who are moving away from the values they once cherished will “cross themselves”.
The Book of Mormon prophets referring to the day we are living in and moving more and more towards, warned us, saying:
1 HEARKEN, O ye Gentiles, and hear the words of Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, which he hath commanded me that I should speak concerning you, for, behold he commandeth me that I should write, saying:
2 Turn, all ye Gentiles, from your wicked ways; and repent of your evil doings, of your lyings and deceivings, and of your whoredoms, and of your secret abominations, and your idolatries, and of your murders, and your priestcrafts, and your envyings, and your strifes, and from all your wickedness and abominations, and come unto me, and be baptized in my name, that ye may receive a remission of your sins, and be filled with the Holy Ghost, that ye may be numbered with my people who are of the house of Israel. 3 Nephi 30:1 – 2
For those who decide to cross themselves and return to greater faith, this is a good time of year to do so.
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Thanks for posting! You asked some good questions I’m pondering on.
“I believe all that God ever revealed, and I never heard of a man being damned for believing too much but they are damned for unbelief.” (Sunday, 16 June 1844; Words of Joseph p. 381.
The word “unbelief” appears seventy-two times in the scriptures.
Having the definitions of the word unbelief and similar words helps me to discern the difference.
Definitions from Webster’s 1828 Dictionary
Dwindle: To diminish; become less; shrink; waste or consume away; degenerate; sink; fall away; break; or disperse.
Belief: “an assent of mind to the truth of a declaration”
Disbelief: Refusing or denying a belief
Unbelief: “withholding of belief…disbelief of divine revelation, disbelief of the truth of the gospel, rejection of Christ as the Savior of men, and of the doctrines he taught; distrust of God’s promises and faithfulness.”
Doubt: To waiver or fluctuate in opinion, to fear, to distrust, to be in suspense or uncertainty of the truth or fact.
Faith: “4. Evangelical, justifying, or saving faith is the assent of the mind to the truth of divine revelation, on the authority of God’s testimony, accompanied with a cordial assent of the will or approbation of the heart; an entire confidence or trust in God’s character and declarations, and in the character and doctrines of Christ, with an unreserved surrender of the will to his guidance, and dependence on his merits for salvation. In other words, that firm belief of God’s testimony, and of the truth of the gospel, which influences the will, and leads to an entire reliance on Christ for salvation.”