Quotes on Opposition
See also: D&C 71:9-10; Moroni 7:12; Alma 5:40; Amos 3:6; Isaiah 45:7
“‘For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, . . . righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad.’ (2 Ne. 11)
“We came to mortal life to encounter resistance. It was part of the plan for our eternal progress. Without temptation, sickness, pain, and sorrow, there could be no goodness, virtue, appreciation for well-being, or joy. The law of opposition makes freedom of choice possible; therefore, our Heavenly Father has commanded His children, ‘Choose ye this day, to serve the Lord God who made you.’ (Moses 6:33) He has counseled us to yield to His Spirit and resist temptation. . . .” — The Church News, January 18, 1992
In times of hurt and discouragement, it may be consoling . . . for all of us to recall that no one can do anything permanently to us that will last for eternity. Only we ourselves can affect our eternal progression. — Elder Marvin J. Ashton, Ensign, May 1984, p. 10
It was revealed to me in the commencement of this Church, that the Church would spread, prosper, grow and extend, and that in proportion to the spread of the Gospel among the nations of the earth, so would the power of Satan rise. — Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 13:280
That war, so bitter, so intense, has gone on, and it has never ceased. It is the war between truth and error, between agency and compulsion, between the followers of Christ and those who have denied Him. His enemies have used every stratagem in that conflict. They’ve indulged in lying and deceit. They’ve employed money and wealth. They’ve tricked the minds of men. They’ve murdered and destroyed and engaged in every other unholy and impure practice to thwart the work of Christ. . . .
Opposition has been felt in the undying efforts of many, both within and without the Church, to destroy faith, to belittle, to demean, to bear false witness, to tempt and allure and induce our people to practices inconsistent with the teachings and standards of this work of God. . . .
The war goes on. It is waged across the world over the issues of agency and compulsion. It is waged by an army of missionaries over the issues of truth and error. It is waged in our own lives, day in and day out, in our homes, in our work, in our school associations; it is waged over questions of love and respect, of loyalty and fidelity, of obedience and integrity. We are all involved in it. — President Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign, November 1986, pp. 42, 44-45
Yes, there are cautions and considerations to make, but once there has been genuine illumination, beware the temptation to retreat from a good thing. If it was right when you prayed about it and trusted it and lived for it, it is right now. Don’t give up when the pressure mounts. Certainly don’t give in to that being who is bent on the destruction of your happiness. He wants everyone to be miserable like unto himself. Face your doubts. Master your fears. “Cast not away therefore your confidence.” Stay the course and see the beauty of life unfold for you. — Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, “Cast Not Away Therefore Your Confidence,” BYU Devotional Address, March 2, 1999
As surely as this is the work of the Lord, there will be opposition. There will be those, perhaps not a few, who with the sophistry of beguiling words and clever design will spread doubt and seek to undermine the foundation on which this cause is established. They will have their brief day in the sun. They may have for a brief season the plaudits of the doubters and the skeptics and the critics. But they will fade and be forgotten as have their kind in the past. — President Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign, May 1994, p. 60
We have had some who, writing in the public press occasionally, are among those who have fallen by the wayside. They befoul the honored family names that they have. They have disgraced the honors that we had given to them in times past. They are trying to join the forces of the enemy against the work of the Lord. And we can say to them, as President George Albert Smith said to them, “Those who have will be forgotten in the remains of mother earth, and the odor of the infamy will ever be with them, but honor, majesty, and fidelity to God, exemplified by the leaders of this church and attached to their names will never die.” — President Harold B. Lee, Ensign, January 1974, p. 126
Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence. — Albert Einstein
Arguments . . . will come at you in classrooms and hallways, in what you read, and in what you see in popular entertainment. Many in the world deny the need for a Savior. Others deny that there is any right or wrong, and they scoff at the idea of sin or a devil. Still others rely on the mercy of God and ignore His justice. . . .
Be not deceived. . . . Heed the ancient and modern prophetic warnings against thievery, drunkenness, and all forms of sexual sin. The deceiver seeks to destroy your spirituality by all of these means. — Elder Dallin H. Oaks,”Be Not Deceived,” Ensign, November 2004, pp. 44-45
When others disagree with our stand we should not argue, retaliate in kind, or contend with them. . . .
Ours is to explain our position through reason, friendly persuasion, and accurate facts. Ours is to stand firm and unyielding on the moral issues of the day and the eternal principles of the gospel, but to contend with no man or organization. Contention builds walls and puts up barriers. Love opens doors . . . . Contention never was and never will be an ally of progress. — Elder Marvin J. Ashton, Conference Report, April 1978, p. 10
The Church began with only six members. It has grown day by day in spite of the opposition of the adversary. But for the powerful arm of righteousness, but for the watchcare of our Heavenly Father, this Church would have been crushed like a shell long ago. However, the Lord has said that he would safeguard us, and has promised us protection if we will honor him and keep his commandments. (Conference Report, Oct. 1945, 170-71)
The growth of this Church has not come because it was popular. It has been in spite of the opposition of the wise men of the world; it has been in spite of the opposition of religious teachers, and it has continued to gather here and there choice spirits who have lived in such a way that they could comprehend the truth. (Conference Report, Oct. 1916, 47) — Teachings of Presidents of the Church, George Albert Smith, pp. 162-63
Our responses will inevitably shape our souls and ultimately determine our status in eternity. Because opposition is divinely decreed for the purpose of helping us to grow, we have the assurance of God that in the long view of eternity it will not be allowed to overcome us if we persevere in faith. We will prevail. Like the mortal life of which they are a part, adversities are temporary. What is permanent is what we become by the way we react to them. — Elder Dallin H. Oaks, “Adversity,” Ensign, July 1998, p. 7
Now may I speak . . . to those buffeted by false insecurity, who, though laboring devotedly in the Kingdom, have recurring feelings of falling forever short. . . . This feeling of inadequacy is . . . normal. There is no way the Church can honestly describe where we must yet go and what we must yet do without creating a sense of immense distance. . . . This is a gospel of grand expectations, but God’s grace is sufficient for each of us. — Elder Neal A. Maxwell, Ensign, November 1976, pp. 12, 14
The world grows increasingly noisy. Clothing and grooming and conduct are looser and sloppier and more disheveled. Raucous music, with obscene lyrics blasted through amplifiers while lights flash psychedelic colors, characterizes the drug culture. Variations of these things are gaining wide acceptance and influence over our youth.
Doctors even say that our physical sense of hearing can be permanently damaged by all of this noise. This trend to more noise, more excitement, more contention, less restraint, less dignity, less formality is not coincidental nor innocent nor harmless. The first order issued by a commander mounting a military invasion is the jamming of the channels of communication of those he intends to conquer. Irreverence suits the purposes of the adversary by obstructing the delicate channels of revelation in both mind and spirit. — Elder Boyd K. Packer, Conference Report, October 1991, pp. 26-30
Don’t be discouraged at seemingly overwhelming odds in your desire to live and to help others live God’s commandments. At times it may seem like David trying to fight Goliath. But remember, David did win. — Elder David B. Haight, Ensign, November 1977
We should not be discouraged or depressed by our shortcomings. No one is without weakness. As part of the divine plan, we are tested to see whether we master weakness or let weakness master us. Proper diagnosis is essential to proper treatment. The Lord gave us this remarkable assurance: “Because thou hast seen thy weakness thou shalt be made strong” (Ether 12:37). But wishing for strength won’t make us strong. It takes faith and work to shore up a weakened cord of integrity. — Elder Russell M. Nelson, “Integrity of Heart,” Ensign, August 1995, p. 19
If you should have doubting thoughts, remember the counsel given by President Stephen L. Richards, a former counselor in the First Presidency, who declared: “Just say to those skeptical, disturbing, rebellious thoughts, ‘I propose to stay with my faith, with the faith of my people. I know that happiness and contentment are there and I forbid you, agnostic, doubting thoughts, to destroy the house of my faith. I acknowledge that I do not understand the processes of creation, but I accept the fact of it. I grant that I cannot explain the miracles of the Bible, and I do not attempt to do so, but I accept God’s word. I wasn’t with Joseph, but I believe him. My faith did not come to me through science and I will not permit science to destroy it. — President Thomas S. Monson, “Great Expectations,” CES Fireside for Young Adults, January 11, 2009
Without question, we need to be informed of the happenings of the world. But modern communication brings into our homes a drowning cascade of the violence and misery of the worldwide human race. There comes a time when we need to find some peaceful spiritual renewal. I acknowledge with great gratitude the peace and contentment we can find for ourselves in the spiritual cocoons of our homes, our sacrament meetings, and our holy temples. In these peaceful environments, our souls are rested. We have the feeling of having come home. — President James E. Faust, “Gratitude As a Saving Principle,” Ensign, May 1990, p. 86
This is a world in which we are to prove ourselves. The lifetime of man is a day of trial, wherein we may prove to God, in our darkness, in our weakness, and where the enemy reigns, that we are our Father’s friends, and that we receive light from him and are worthy to be leaders of our children – to become lords of lords, and kings of kings – to have perfect dominion over that portion of our families that will be crowned in the celestial kingdom with glory, immortality, and eternal lives. — Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, p. 85
There is an adversary who has his own channels of spiritual communication. He confuses the careless and prompts those who serve him to devise deceptive, counterfeit doctrine, carefully contrived to appear genuine. I mention this because now, as always, there are self-appointed spokesmen who scoff at what we believe and misrepresent what we teach. — Elder Boyd K. Packer, Ensign, November 1984, p. 66