“It must needs be that offenses come, but woe to unto them by whom they come.” It would be better for men to have millstones tied around their necks, and to be cast into the sea, than for them to injure the spirits of the meek and contrite, who put their trust in the Lord God. Nevertheless, many will take no heed of this warning, but spend all their strength in endeavoring to bring reproach and suffering upon the Lords chosen people.
“But it is necessary that the people of God should be tried and afflicted in every possible way, that their sterling worth may be manifest in the eyes of all. God bestows no rewards undeservedly. When thrones, principalities, authorities, dominions, crowns of eternal life are given away, to whom will they be given? To those who have never proven themselves worthy? No. But to those who have most abundantly proven that they are worthy. To those who, like their divine Redeemer, have been made an open spectacle to God, to angels, to men, and to the devils; who have borne the contradictions of sinners, and have maintained their integrity under all circumstances. Yes, the enduring rewards of a glorious immortality and celestial honors will be apportioned to the worthy only. The crowns of righteousness will be dispensed to those only who have purified themselves from the corruptions of a crooked and perverse generation, and valiantly fought the good fight of faith.
“The Lord Jesus Christ, the fairest among all, and the altogether lovely, was exalted, honored, and crowned upon this very principle.
“Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above they fellows” (Hebrews 1:9)
“Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2)
“Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessings” (Revelation 5:12)“Jesus was tempted and tried in all pain like as we are, yet without sin. That arch-apostate, Lucifer, tried his power in the moments of our Lords weakness, when he had been fasting forty days; but apostasy tainted not the lovely character of the Savior.
“One of his twelve Apostles, who had shared in his counsels, and knew more pertaining to the real character of Jesus, and the things of the kingdom of God, than any outside in the circle of his disciples- even Judas Iscariot, had the shameless effrontery to betray the Lord of glory to his enemies with a kiss. How acutely must the pure and sensitive mind of Jesus have felt the sting of this apostate’s fulsome treachery. But Jesus was faithful, and he received the crown whilst the traitor received thirty pieces of silver- the price of innocent blood.
“In our day, now the Lord has restored the true principles of the Gospel, the Saints have to be tried by the acts and doings of apostasy. The world does not know sufficiently of the Saints of God to try them to the quick. In needs those who are conversant with our conduct, our thoughts, and our motives – it needs those who are well acquainted with our real character, to lead on the world to the decisive struggle. Those who have been in our midst, and know the policy of the Saints, the power of the Priesthood, and the true genius of the pure Gospel- those men, when they take sides with Satan, are the persons who fan the flames of persecution to their utmost fierceness, and put the finishing stroke to the trial of our faith.
“But shall we flinch from the trial because apostates rage and foam? Shall we give up salvation because men reveal the filthy contents of their own black hearts, charge those things upon us, and then excite persecution because we will not endorse them? No, verily NO. The good sheep know the voice of the good shepherd, and him they will follow, pressing closer into the true fold. But a stranger they do not know and they will not follow him, but will flee from him.
“Though men who have a knowledge of the pureness of our motives, the truth of our principles, and the power of our calling, wrest these things with a view to our destruction, yet we know, and have experienced, that the Lord causes the wrath of man in order to praise Him, and the remainder of it He restrains, so that the Saints receive no real harm. Nay, “these light afflictions which are but for a moment will work out for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” Truth, Purity, and Virtue, like the three Hebrew children, will abide the fire, though heated seven times hotter than usual, and they will eventually come forth, with all their followers, without even the smell of fire upon their garments. The time will come when the righteousness of the Saints will shine forth in surpassing splendor, and calumny and misrepresentation will vanish before it like the morning mists before the rising sun. Then the world will acknowledge the worth of the Lords people, and bow the knee before the inscrutable wisdom, and inflexible justice of Jehovah.
“What then? In a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honor, and some to dishonor. If a man therefore purges himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified, and made meet for the Master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.” (Timothy 2:21-22)
“Apostates are the vessels created unto dishonor; they will fulfill the measure of their creation. They shall be cursed with the heaviest of all cursings, saith the Lord. They are liars at the best; they first testify that we are the Lord’s people, and then they testify that we are not. And all liars shall have their portion in that place where the worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. Therefore, O ye Saints of the most High, purge yourselves from the spirit and fellowship of apostates, and ye shall become vessels unto honor, sanctified and made meet for your Heavenly Master’s use, and thoroughly prepared unto every good work.”
--- Millenial Star 14:119-121
“We are told that in the latter days when the Lord is preparing to redeem His people, the unrighteous and ungodly among them will be destroyed. People have got to become godly before they can become ungodly… One of the latter day prophets told us that the time would come when we would not be able to hold meetings, and when this time came, the Lord would pour out judgments upon the people. I don’t know why we should talk this way continually. The only explanation I can give is that the Lord is trying to prepare a people against that time when He is pouring out His judgments upon the wicked and destroying them. He hates to destroy people. He hates to see His children suffer. But when they become unrighteous, and they are ripened in iniquity, there isn’t anything left for Him to do but destroy them, in order to give them some kind of salvation.” (LSJ 10/2/69)