Question: As the world moves away from God, does the doctrine of God change?
Answer: “Standing obedient and strong on the doctrine of our God, we stand in holy places, for His doctrine is sacred and will not change.” (Elder Robert D. Hales)
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1 Corinthians 16:13
13 Watch ye (be alert), stand fast (firm) in the faith, quit you (behave) like men, be strong.
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Elder Robert D. Hales, Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:
We are living in the last days, in “perilous times.” As bearers of the priesthood, we have the responsibility to stand strong with a shield of faith against the fiery darts of the adversary. We are role models to the world, protecting God-given, inalienable rights and freedoms. We stand in defense of our homes and our families...
As he [my father] drew and read from the scriptures, I learned how to be a faithful priesthood holder—to protect and defend the kingdom of God. The words of the Apostle Paul were my guide:
“Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
“Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
“And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
“Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
“And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”...
Young men, your fathers and grandfathers never faced the temptations that you face on a regular basis. You are living in the last days. If your father wanted to get in trouble, he had to go searching for it. Not anymore! Today temptation finds you! Please remember that! Satan desires to have you, and “sin lieth at the door.” How will you resist his aggressive tactics? Put on the whole armor of God...
Back then I could not have imagined how far and how fast the world would move away from God; it was impossible to understand that, given doctrine, principles, and commandments. And yet the standards of Christ and His Church have not moved. As He said, “The truth abideth forever and ever.” When we understand and accept this, we are prepared to face the social pressure, ridicule, and even discrimination that will come from the world and some who call themselves friends...
Staying on the gospel path of covenants, commandments, and ordinances protects us and prepares us to do God’s work in this world. When we obey the Word of Wisdom, our agency is protected from addictions to substances like alcohol, drugs, and tobacco. As we pay our tithing, study the scriptures, receive baptism and confirmation, live for the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost, partake of the sacrament worthily, obey the law of chastity, prepare for and receive the Melchizedek Priesthood, and make sacred covenants in the temple, then we are prepared to serve.
In the temple we are prepared to and promise to live the law of consecration. Able young men begin to live this law by seeking a mission call—giving a tithing of the first years of their lives in the full-time service of the Lord. That sacrifice strengthens them to go forward to the highest covenant in life—for many, it will be to be sealed in the temple and begin an eternal family.
As we press forward along the strait and narrow path, we build progressive spiritual strength—strength in using our agency to act for ourselves...In addition, use your agency to develop yourself personally. As you discover your gifts and talents, remember that parents and mentors may assist you, but you must let the Spirit guide you. Choose and act for yourself. Be motivated from within. Make a plan for your life, including education or vocational training. Explore interests and skills. Work and become self-reliant. Set goals, overcome mistakes, gain experience, and finish what you begin...
Above all, have faith in the Savior! Fear not! As we diligently live the gospel, we become strong in the Lord. With His strength we are able to reject the anti-Christ who says, “Eat, drink, and be merry,” for God “will justify [you] in committing a little sin; … there is no harm in this … , for tomorrow we die.” In the strength of the Lord we are able to stand against any philosophy or creed that denies the Savior and contradicts the great, eternal plan of happiness for all of God’s children...
As a young man, Jesus faithfully went about His Father’s business, preaching the gospel to the learned men in the temple. Throughout His ministry, He accomplished the work of the priesthood—teaching, healing, serving, and blessing and lifting others. When appropriate, He boldly stood against evil, even cleansing the temple. He also stood for truth—whether with words or with dignified silence. When the chief priests accused Him before Caiaphas, Jesus wisely and courageously refused to respond to untruth and held His peace.
In the Garden of Gethsemane, our Savior and Redeemer did not shrink from drinking the bitter cup of the Atonement. And on the cross He suffered again to do His Father’s will, until at last He could say, “It is finished.” He had endured to the end. In response to the Savior’s perfect obedience in standing strong, our Heavenly Father declared, “Behold my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, in whom I have glorified my name.”
My beloved priesthood brethren young and old, let us glorify God’s name by standing strong with our Savior, Jesus Christ. I bear my special witness that He lives and that we “are called with a holy calling” to participate in His work. “Wherefore, stand ye in holy places, and be not moved.” Standing obedient and strong on the doctrine of our God, we stand in holy places, for His doctrine is sacred and will not change in the social and political winds of our day. I declare, as did the Apostle Paul, “Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, [behave] like men, [and] be strong.” This is my fervent prayer for you in the holy name of Jesus Christ, amen.
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Sources: Come, Follow Me–For Individuals and Families, p. 140; The New Testament Made Easier, Part 2, Volume 3, by David J. Ridges, 186; Excerpts from General Conference, April 2013, “Stand Strong in Holy Places,” By Elder Robert D. Hales, Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.