That's another reason the people apostatized, because they followed the weaknesses of certainleaders among them. If they all united, gathered together and followed the prophet Peter, they wouldn'thave apostatized. Yet another reason for apostasy was the great persecution that the gentiles, Romans,Jews and others brought upon the priesthood people. It was a neat thing to do, among the wicked, to findany saints, and kill them.Another reason for apostasy is that people hold on to their traditions. When you join or enter intothe work of God, you are required to sacrifice all earthly things. Many of these gentiles have followedidol worshipping. They had their celebrations at certain times for certain things and when they receivedthe gospel, they mixed their gentile traditions with the priesthood tradition until they lost the truth.Today, the Christian churches throughout the world celebrate Christmas and different events - evenallow things like Halloween - all those celebrations came from pagans or gentiles who worshipped their idols. They would build a statue of Jesus and pray to that, or some of them drew paintings of the prophets and worshipped the paintings. Some thought a piece of rock, where supposedly, Jesus hadstepped, was holy, etc. If they just had that, they would go to heaven.You can't do that and stay faithful. You have to sacrifice your traditions and change yourself into
There has to be a prophet on the earth for the earth to stay together. In America, therewere the Nephites and Lamanites. Our Savior visited this land also, and they lived the
celestial, plural marriage.
That only lasted 165 years. By 400 years after Jesus was born, the Nephitesand Lamanites had apostatized. The Nephites were destroyed. The Lord allowed the people to go into atime of darkness, filthiness, fighting, and death - a terrible, dark time called the Dark Ages. The peopleof Europe, particularly, became filthy and low in their habits, many living like animals. The idea of Christ and the true religion was lost. As the apostasy took place, there were some who still held on to theteachings of our Savior and the apostles. There grew an apostate church that we call the Catholic church,which grew throughout the Roman empire. This church changed the religion until it was pleasing to theworld, and then it became a powerful church throughout the earth. These Catholics became the rulersover all the land.It's just like the days that we live in. In 1830, the Lord had Joseph Smith organize the church andteach the world. Sixty years later, in 1890, that church apostatized. Wilford Woodruff signed theManifesto and gave up plural marriage. He also gave up his rights to the priesthood and ever since 1890,that big Mormon Church out there has changed the ways of the priesthood until they are pleasing to theworld. Now, the world loves them. They have nine million members. When you become a member outin that apostate church, they don't have to live the laws of the gospel. They can be whatever they want to be, as long as they go to church or pay their tithing. Just like it happened in the days of our Savior, it'shappened in this day, where those who have had the gospel have rejected it. The Lord promised therewould be a people come out of that wicked church and become the center, or nucleus of the millennium.We are that people today. We are the priesthood people, the true church.For 1,800 years or so, the people of the gentiles were without the true gospel, until Joseph Smithreceived the priesthood and taught the people of the world. Can you imagine all the
millions of peoplethat lived and died in darkness, not knowing what was right? How terrible it was. Dear young people,you are so blessed - you hardly even recognize how blessed you are, to know the living prophet andhave the light of truth, the spirit of God, given you. Be very grateful for what you have.