We have come to the earth in troubled times. The moral compass of the masses has gradually shifted to an “almost anything goes” position.
I’ve lived long enough to have witnessed much of the metamorphosis of society’s morals. Where once the standards of the Church and the standards of society were mostly compatible, now there is a wide chasm between us, and it’s growing ever wider.
A series of Gallup polls, known as the Values & Beliefs poll, taken during May 2011 supports his contention. Most notable was this telephone poll of 1,018 adults aged 18 and older, conducted May 5-8, 2011 in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, in which respondents were quizzed about their overall perceptions of the current state of moral values in the country. They were asked if the overall state of moral values was Excellent/Good, Fair, or Poor. The results show that only 38 percent of respondents consider the state of moral values to be Poor.
Worse yet, this represents a noticeable decline from the 45 percent reported in May 2010. Gallup conducts this poll in May of each year. The results of similar questions asked in this poll mirrors the decline shown in the first question, and stratification by political affiliation further indicates that it is primarily Democrats and Independents who think moral values are improving; Republicans tend to remain constant.
Want more evidence that President Monson is right? The same poll also asked respondents if they personally believe that gay sexual relations are morally acceptable or morally wrong. The results indicate that 56 percent believe gay relations to be morally acceptable, a jump of four percent from 2010 and the third consecutive year in which support exceeds opposition. Stratification by political affiliation indicates a sharp divide; while over two-thirds of both Democrats and Independents consider homosexual activity morally acceptable, over two-thirds of Republicans disagree. Of course, the Lord expresses a different opinion through his prophets in Leviticus 18:22 and Romans 1:26-27; it is considered unseemly at best, and an outright abomination at worst.
According to another Gallup story, the same poll indicates that for the first time since tracking began, more people approve of gay marriage than disapprove. While 53 percent believe gay marriage should be officially recognized by law, only 45 percent oppose it. In contrast, the Lord has made His opinion crystal clear on the subject; marriage is to be between only man and woman, and, except during brief periods when He authorized differently, between only one man and ONE woman. The Old Testament patriarchs and the early Latter-day Saints are the only known groups specifically authorized by the Lord to practice plural marriage between one man and multiple women; when the Lord decided in 1890 that modern plural marriage had fulfilled its purposes for the time being, He authorized President Wilford Woodruff to indefinitely suspend the practice.
And finally, the poll indicates that the gay rights lobby has waged a brilliantly cunning campaign to hornswoggle the public into believing that they are influential. The poll estimates that 35 percent of respondents believe that 25 percent of Americans are gay, despite more official reports that only three percent are gay. This represents the successful adoption of the "puffer fish" strategy by the gay rights lobby, in which they make themselves look bigger than they really are. Gay advocates have succeeded in convincing a significant segment of the population that not only is homosexuality "cool" and "hip", but that simultaneously, all gays are to be considered eternal victims, regardless of employment stability or financial status. Even a few progressive Mormons have been suckered by the gay rights lobby, endlessly demanding that the Church make itself more "affirming" to gays, but never quite specifying just exactly what the Church should do.
Thus the evidence supporting President Monson's contention that LDS values and societal values are diverging exists. Nevertheless, the Church leadership continues to wage a well-intentioned campaign to convince the public that "we Mormons are not much different than you". The Church leadership has also sought to convince other Christians, particularly Evangelicals, that "we are just as Christian as you". And this campaign is worthwhile; it will result in more people accepting the fulness of the Gospel and joining the Church. But in the process, the Church leadership has de-emphasized the "peculiar people" angle.
Despite this campaign, if the divergence between LDS values and societal values continues to widen, the day will come when we will be considered a "peculiar people", whether or not we want to be. We are all aware of what happened to the Jews in national socialist Germany when they were considered a "peculiar people". In the Book of Mormon, Chapter 14 of First Nephi forecasts that the day will come when there will only be two churches; the Church of the Lamb of God and the church of the devil. The Saints of God in all nations will be persecuted by this great and abominable church. The term "church" in this case is not believed to refer to a specific denomination, but instead to a specific system of governance which will combine a future religious denomination with state power.
When that day comes, will Latter-day Saints hold fast to the rod of iron, or will they slink off to join the scoffing multitudes in that great and spacious building?