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FLDS Priesthood History for 3rd – 8th Grade Students

Taught by Warren Jeffs

Tape # 36 – April 2, 1996


Subject: Reasons For the Apostasy
I do request that you come into the room quietly and remember we are needing Heavenly
Father's spirit to help us understand. All of you know what that spirit feels like. It's the good feeling
when you obey. That's what I want you to do. Right now, you're with your friends and they are very
important to you. You can get real silly with them and do many good or evil things. Young people, you
are here for yourself, to grow and learn so you can be useful in the hands of our Prophet. Pleasing
him is number one. Pleasing your friends comes after pleasing your parents. Don’t let your friends
influence you away from prayer.
I want to discuss with you today, what we need to be aware of, so that we don't turn away from
this priesthood. We must endure to the end - be faithful to our last breath - to prove ourselves worthy of
the celestial kingdom. The priesthood work has been a work where there have been many apostates.
Write it down in your notes: An apostate is a person that turns against the prophet. They turn
away from him at first then they turn to fight him in the end. People who criticize the prophet will
eventually turn against him. What brings a person to do this? It is simply losing the spirit of God through
disobedience. Many times, we disobey, justifying ourselves because of our traditions or habits - the ways
of our forefathers.
President Jeffs travels as much as he does because he is the light among the people. Very often,
when the light stays away for a while, the people go into darkness. He's careful and tries to stay on
schedule. He goes to meetings here (Salt Lake City), in the South (Colorado City), and goes to Canada
at certain times. He sets aside days to visit with people, trying to be that light, trying to bless the people
if they will be. We gather together to receive light and truth. If you don't come to meeting, you're not
gathering. You're staying away in the darkness. It's necessary to gather where the light is. There seems to
be a pattern: when people stay away from meetings for a while, it becomes unimportant. They become
darkened.
Among the twelve apostles and others, there was fighting between them. Certain weaknesses in
the lives' of priesthood men would cause people to make mistakes. In section 64 (D&C), the Lord told
Joseph Smith the apostles "were afflicted and sorely chastened." In our day, there were apostles Marion
Hammon, Guy Musser, Alma Timpson - who turned against Uncle Roy and they led away anybody who
wanted to be led away. The errors in those men caused others to stumble. Brigham Young describes how
there were men among the twelve apostles in his day who taught wrong things. Understand this as I say
it: The one man - the prophet - will never teach you wrong. He will always lead you right, but other
apostles who are under him - for them to be acceptable, they must please the one man, the prophet. Thus,
we listen to their teachings as they unite with the one man.
You notice how we print many sermons of President Jeffs in the Student Star. He was not the one
man when he taught those things, but he is today and he is publishing his words today, for us to read. He
was perfectly united with Uncle Roy and John Y. Barlow. We receive the teachings of Heber C. Kimball
as though they were the teachings of Brigham Young because he was perfectly united with the one man,
the prophet. We want to be perfectly united with the one man - the prophet.
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That's another reason the people apostatized, because they followed the weaknesses of certain
leaders among them. If they all united, gathered together and followed the prophet Peter, they wouldn't
have 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 find
any saints, and kill them.
Another reason for apostasy is that people hold on to their traditions. When you join or enter into
the work of God, you are required to sacrifice all earthly things. Many of these gentiles have followed
idol worshipping. They had their celebrations at certain times for certain things and when they received
the 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 - even
allow 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 had
stepped, 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
priesthood ways. There has to be a prophet on the earth for the earth to stay together. In America, there
were the Nephites and Lamanites. Our Savior visited this land also, and they lived the united order and
celestial, plural marriage. That only lasted 165 years. By 400 years after Jesus was born, the Nephites
and Lamanites had apostatized. The Nephites were destroyed. The Lord allowed the people to go into a
time of darkness, filthiness, fighting, and death - a terrible, dark time called the Dark Ages. The people
of 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 the
teachings 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 the
world, and then it became a powerful church throughout the earth. These Catholics became the rulers
over all the land.
It's just like the days that we live in. In 1830, the Lord had Joseph Smith organize the church and
teach the world. Sixty years later, in 1890, that church apostatized. Wilford Woodruff signed the
Manifesto 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 the
world. Now, the world loves them. They have nine million members. When you become a member out
in 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's
happened in this day, where those who have had the gospel have rejected it. The Lord promised there
would 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 Smith
received the priesthood and taught the people of the world. Can you imagine all the millions of people
that 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 and
have the light of truth, the spirit of God, given you. Be very grateful for what you have.
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I testify to you, young people, we are part of the kingdom of God - the greatest work on earth.
You are part of it. Are you living to help build it up? The kingdom of God can be built up only by a
righteous people who obey the prophet and their good parents. You are not here to be gentiles and go
after their ways and entertainments. You are here to become like God and qualify to live with Him - and
raise a family that can visit Him and know Him personally. That's what your parents are trying to do
with you. Teachers, you can test the students on reasons of apostasy.
I'll tell you how apostasy begins. It begins by not saying your prayers and that will lead you to
complain and criticize. Criticism will drive the spirit of God from you until you are even willing to
criticize the prophet, and once a person does that, they can't have the spirit of God. They will leave this
work. If something wakes them up, yes, they could be delivered - as long as they don't go too far. It
seems like when a person criticizes the prophet, it's so hard to get the spirit of this work back again.
Don't turn traitor against the light that President Jeffs has. Stay faithful.

April 3, 1996
Subject: Fall of the Roman Empire; Dark Ages
We'll go through some events to show you what Heavenly Father does to His children. He is a
man of His word. He will give people time to repent if they will. He knows if people can repent. When a
people reach a point where they will not repent and do better, He will destroy them to give them some
degree of salvation.
For nearly two thousand years, the people of the earth were without the gospel. As the gentile
people killed the saints and changed the laws of God - as they took on the ways of the world, the
Catholic Church became very popular. First today, I want to talk to you about what those apostates
became within a hundred years after the apostasy. It shows you how the world was very corrupt. It
shows you what happens to people if they turn against the priesthood. Apostates become more dark in
their minds and their ways, than even gentiles are. Those who have heard the gospel and fall away
from it - they are all the more darkened. It's like they turn traitor against light and truth. Also,
their children and those that follow after their ways, become dark and filthy.
During the time of the Apostles, revelation came from Heaven to name who was the leader, but
once the people lost the priesthood, they would have to get into groups and decide what to believe. They
would call groups of Christians together and vote what was true and what was not. This is so wrong. In
priesthood, you don't vote what is true. You listen to the prophet who speaks the truth to us. That's what
happened to these false Christians - the Catholic Church and others. They decided that certain things that
the Apostles had taught, shouldn't be taught any more - just like this wicked Mormon church here in the
valley (Salt Lake City). They got together and decided that what Joseph Smith taught shouldn't be taught
any more. It's happened again.
Instead of knowing God through the spirit of God, they would debate and argue about what
Heavenly Father is like. They decided that Jesus and all the Gods were everywhere, but nowhere. They
changed the true understanding that God is a man exalted in the Heavens. They taught the people that as
soon as Jesus died, He just went everywhere into space and you couldn't ever see Him.
Also, concerning plural marriage, in their groups and meetings, they decided to not teach plural
marriage any more. They should live monogamy like the Romans did. That meant they lost the eternal
blessings. Sometimes, during the Catholic religion's history, it taught that with baptism, you don't need
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to go completely under the water. They said to sprinkle water on the head to be baptized. They changed
the meaning of repentance - if you just believe you will be saved. If you just name your wrongs, you will
be saved. We know better. Repentance means you must change and do the wrong no more.
At a certain time in the Catholic Church, rich people could pay a lot of money to the Catholic
priests, which meant their sins were forgiven. That's not how sins are forgiven. If you did wrong and you
gave President Jeffs millions of dollars, that wouldn't make you good. It’s your honest repentance and
doing good, turning away from evil, that would make you good. Building up the prophet is part of that.
The Christians lost the priesthood, but they had a tradition, an idea, the writings of the Apostles.
They had their Bible, but you know, people all over the world read the very same scriptures we read, and
they can't understand because they don't have the priesthood. They don't have the spirit of God. They are
darkened. When they went into darkness, they changed all their ideas until they were just gentiles.
For about 200 years, there was a period of time when the leaders of this new Christian religion
became very low and filthy. They corrupted the idea of God. They did terrible things. For instance, we
know Jesus was married. These Christians said it's wicked to get married, so many men would go off by
themselves and live together in monasteries and never get married, never have children. They just died.
Many women were so corrupt, they would go off and live just with women - never have children,
never get married and they'd just die. The people of the world thought these men and women who
wouldn't get married, were so righteous. We know it's just not right. We were sent here to help the
kingdom of God grow by bringing forth children the Lord can use. Your parents are good people.
They're not wicked for getting married.
These monks - hermits, another name for them - they were considered righteous men and to
prove they believed in Jesus and His suffering, they thought they'd become righteous and go to Heaven
if they would hurt their own body. They thought the most righteous man would be the one who hurt
himself the most. Now, are you a good person if you can stab a knife into your hand and say you can
stand the pain? That's really stupid, isn't it? That's the kind of thing they did.
For instance, one of these great priests (pronounced with sarcasm) whom we know as a wicked
man yet was called good by the people - he tied a rope around his belly. It would rub against his skin
until it made big sores. He wouldn't bathe. Worms started to grow in him, coming out of his mouth and
would falloff his body. His rotting flesh made him a terrible sight.
This same man would bow down and pray. People would say what a righteous man - he suffered
so much because he believed in the Savior. They thought if people would hurt themselves, they'd
become good. The priests in their darkness did these terrible things to themselves. Some of them would
leave their wives and children and go off by themselves and try to become a righteous man. These
wicked men would go out in nature and just eat grass until their clothes would rot off their body and
they would be like animals wandering in the mountains. Other men would dig a deep hole and sit down
in it and not come out. Other men would go into their room and just sit there and starve and starve and
starve. They thought because Jesus suffered and was righteous, they had to suffer.
I want to teach you the truth about suffering. What you suffer doesn't make you righteous.
It is your obedience that makes you righteous. Even if you are suffering and you are obedient, you
are happy. It's not if you put on a sad face and you're suffering, that shows how good you are. It's
being happy and not letting people know you're going through a trial or a suffering. It's keeping
sweet. That's why the Lord lets us have trials and tests, but if you make pain come on yourself, you're
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not considered righteous at all. You are supposed to live happy in this work. You're supposed to
conquer evil and you're happy when you do it.
That's what happens to these wicked men and to the Catholic Church. They became so dark and
filthy and low. They didn't have the truth any more. These leaders of the Christian religion, being so dark
and wrong, all they could do was teach the people of the world darkness and wrong things. Sometimes,
the leaders of their churches thought it was righteous to go kill, just for the sake of doing it or because
the Pope wanted it. Terrible wars happened during these dark ages and middle ages.
The Lord saw the gentiles rejected the gospel, caused the barbarians, who had never heard the
gospel and weren't as wicked, to wipe out the Roman Empire. Then the Catholic church would convert
these barbarians. The Catholic priests taught lies. The people didn't know how to read and didn't know
the truth for themselves. Their way of life became low and filthy. For instance, many of the common
people let the animals wander in and out of their houses - children, chickens, goats and pigs in the same
house. It was a dark time when people had forgotten Heavenly Father.
The Lord also sent terrible diseases upon the Romans, who became rich and lazy. They hired
barbarian tribes to be their armies, who then turned on the Romans and killed many. The Lord said that
any nation that fights against the priesthood would be destroyed.
Nearly all the barbarian tribes were converted to the Catholic religion. It was the wrong religion,
yet still they had the idea that Jesus lived on the earth. This was the way it was for over a thousand
years. The people believed in Christ, but they had the wrong ideas of Him. They didn't have the
priesthood to teach them.
I'm trying to show you what happened because of the apostasy. When people fall away, they
become dark and filthy and low, just like the Lamanites on this land. We know the Indians became
just like animals, dark and filthy and low, because their forefathers apostatized. What you do is
going to affect your children. How you live will cause your children to go toward the good or toward the
evil - whichever you choose. We hope you will choose the right. Today hundreds of millions of people
follow those false religions. The Catholic Church was the political power that ruled the nations at that
time, a very wicked people. It was a terrible time of darkness.
I am preparing your minds for other happenings. Have in your minds what I've explained today.
The barbarian tribes in the north wiped out the Roman Empire, fulfilling the Lord's promise.

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