The History of the Latter-day Church » The Church in Recent Times

[this teaching has not yet been illustrated]


In 1986, 13th president of the Church, Ezra Taft Benson warned young male Saints that "only a fifth of the eligible young men in the Church are serving full-time missions. This is not pleasing to the Lord. We can do better. We must do better." To ward off a curse upon the Church, he asked Jesus to instill these youths with an "increased desire to flood the earth with the Book of Mormon."


President Benson urged the young women of the Church not to put off having children, and reminded them "The counsel of the Church has always been for mothers to spend their full time in the home in rearing and caring for their children." Said Benson, "Give me a young woman who is virtuous and who has maintained her personal purity, who will not settle for less than a temple marriage, and I will give you a young woman who will perform miracles for the Lord now and throughout eternity."


In the late 1980s, counselor to the First Presidency Gordon B. Hinckley addressed the AIDS epidemic, which he described as "a plague of fearsome dimensions." "Our concern for the bitter fruit of sin," said Hinckley, "is coupled with Christ-like sympathy for its victims, innocent or culpable." A follow-up statement from the First Presidency emphasized Jesus's guidance of "chastity before marriage, total fidelity in marriage and abstinence from all homosexual relations."


Hinckley became president of the Church in 1995. That year the First Presidency issued The Family: A Proclamation to the World which stood in contrast to the eroding moral standards of the world in taking a stand against any sexual activity outside of lawfully married husbands and wives, and warned that those who violate such sacred commandments "will one day stand accountable before God." President Hinckley presented a copy of the proclamation to US President Bill Clinton on November 13, 1995.


Membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints surpassed 10 million in 1997, 15 million in 2013, and continues to grow. Every moment of the Church's existence, from its founding up to the present has been directed by the all-powerful hand of God. As the Church moves through these final years before the Second Coming of Christ, it will become far larger than it now is, and will greatly influence world events. The message of the Church must reach all inhabitants of the earth.



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