There are many who would have doctrines and principles of the gospel that are malleable to fit the current environment. That way believers would be popular with the current culture and avoid the struggles of being different. All that desire to change offers is something that is opposite what God intended.
I was recently pointed to a message that explains the need for purity in what we believe. Only part of the discourse is included below. Please consider the message and the implications it addresses.
A little background on the author -- Elder Carlos E. Asay (formerly of the Seventy but now deceased) was a full-time missionary in Syria from 1947-50 and was very familiar with the Arab culture. For his complete message, follow this link.
|Elder Carlos E. Asay|
While serving in the Middle East, I established a choice friendship with a prominent Arab official. He offered my companion and me the courtesies of his home and more. That is, he shared with us his profound wisdom and insights about religion gathered over a lifetime of living and serving. On one occasion, he expressed high regard for LDS teachings and practices. Among other things, he complimented the Church for its simplicity, the apparent purity of its doctrine, its service orientation, and the extreme devotion shown by its members. Then he questioned, “Can your faith survive the test of time?” He explained, “I would like to be around in another generation to observe your Church when it is established worldwide and broadly recognized, it is less persecuted and generally accepted, it can boast of meeting places and other evidence of affluence, and it has members of mixed backgrounds and races. If under conditions of public acceptance and prosperity you can preserve your purity of doctrine and integrity,” he added, “the truthfulness of your claims will be verified.”
I have pondered the words of my Muslim friend many times over the years. A generation has come and gone since he made his profound observation, and conditions have changed. I feel that my faith has weathered the storm and passed successfully the test of time. Yet I’m concerned about the continuing need to exercise care and to keep the waters pure. As the standards of men in the world deteriorate, we must be watchful in making certain that our attention to the standards of God does not lessen. While man’s tendency to flaunt commandments seems to increase, our allegiance to holy laws must become stronger. When men seek to pervert or contaminate the wells of living water, we must guard the springs and guarantee their purity.
Carlos E. Asay, “God’s Love for Mankind,” in Mormons and Muslims: Spiritual Foundations and Modern Manifestations, ed. Spencer J. Palmer (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University 2002), 51–61.