In my reading preparing for class, I had a hard time understanding some of what the manual was trying to explain, so I really appreciated Brother Line’s class tonight. He had some very interesting facts about the destruction of Jerusalem and dismantling of the temple in 70 AD. We were reading Joseph Smith Matthew and did some comparison to Matthew 24. I was amazed at how thoroughly the Romans sacked Jerusalem and methodically destroyed the sacred temple. To be honest, though, I’m not surprised that such a drastic event occurred; the hearts of the population were very hard. When people reject the prophets and apostles like that, the protection of the Lord is no longer theirs.
It’s always interesting to me to study apostasies and the progression that leads to the fall of civilizations. When God’s people choose to revile His servants instead of revering them, the consequences cannot be avoided. God, in His infinite love, continually tries to warn His children, but the ultimate decision is ours. I appreciated what Brother Line said about how the elect in 70 AD could be deceived; when the prophets and priesthood have been taken off the earth, confusion soon follows. God directs His people through His servants, but He will not provide that direction if it is not wanted. It is a warning to us that we should be very careful in our attitudes towards our prophets and leaders. When I hear about members of the Church criticizing the leaders, especially their General Conference addresses, I can see how dangerously close they are to the attitudes that prevailed in 70 AD and other times of apostasy. God won’t force His blessings on us, and to reject His guidance and love is the most foolish error we can make. I know pride manifests itself in many different forms, and if left untended will grow to take over more of one’s spirituality. That is why it is vital to read these accounts and carefully examines one’s own standing before the Lord.