In the past couple of years we have seen prophesies of destruction come unfulfilled. We have seen militant groups engage in violence in the name of their (LDS) faith. We have seen apostasy with many people leaving the Church because they feel that the leaders of the Church are behind the times.
All of these criticisms are based on a failure to truly have a testimony that we are being led by a living Prophet. In the priesthood session of the April 1973 conference, President Harold B. Lee spoke about the many members in his day that were being led astray by those who were laying in wait to deceive:
“[W]e have a rash of writings by certain persons who claim to be of good standing in the Church, going into considerable detail as they recite their past and present Church affiliations and activities in the foreword, interlude, and advertising. There are sensational predictions and observations, and to make their writings appear to have Church sanction, they use quotations and addresses from Church leaders, past and present, taken out of context in such a way as to make it appear as though these quotations were the endorsement of the book they wish to sell to Church members, who may thereby be induced to accept their writings as from unquestioned sources.”
All of these sensational voices are deceived and deceiving the membership of the Church.
One of the great membership of the Church is that we can know where to look for knowledge that is essential for the body of the church to know and understand. We need not worry that we are not learning something essential to our spiritual (and temporal) salvation.
President Lee quotes Elder Ivans who explained: “Well, now, my brethren and sisters, what about it all? Just be calm and turn to the Lord. … Now, my brethren and sisters, if the Church has anything to say to you it will come from them direct and not from the writings of other men. It will come to you in a manner that you will understand it. It will not be speculative. It will come to you philosophically, truthfully, and governed by common sense. God bless you,” he said, “is my humble prayer. …” (Conference Report, October 1931, pp. 87–94.)
I am grateful for this advice. We can be calm and not weighed down with anxiety. We can focus on our family and our callings. We can strive to do the best we can. And we can have confidence that god will use us as instruments in his hands and that we will be warned and given the information needed to not only surive but thrive.