Of course you are peculiar. If the world continues its present trend, and if you walk in obedience to the doctrines and principles of this church, you may become even more peculiar in the eyes of others.
To each of you I say this: As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, you have been taught many values of divine origin. These values are based on the commandments which the finger of the Lord wrote upon the tablets of stone when Moses spoke with Jehovah upon the mountain. You know them. You are familiar with them.
The values you have been taught likewise are based upon the beatitudes which Jesus spoke to the multitude. These with others of His divine teachings constitute a code of ethics, a code of values, a code of divine doctrine familiar to you and binding upon you.
To these have been added the precepts and commandments of modern revelation.
Combined together these basic, divinely given principles, laws, and commandments must constitute your value system. You cannot escape the consequences of their observance. If you will shape your lives according to their pattern, I do not hesitate to promise that you will know much of peace and happiness, of growth and achievement. To the degree that you fail to observe them, I regretfully say that the fruits will be disappointment, sadness, misery, and even tragedy.
You of this generation, this chosen generation, this royal priesthood, this holy nation, you of this peculiar people, you cannot with impunity follow practices out of harmony with values you have been taught. I challenge you to rise above the sordid elements of the world about you.1
Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the LORD.
Go ye out from Babylon. Be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord.
Melvin J. Ballard
God bless us that we shall treasure our heritage, that we shall recognize that we are to do an unusual thing. We are not called to be imitators, we are called to be exemplars to the world, a light that shall shine until the day will come when from the east to the west, the north to the south, they will come, not to look upon our lands nor our fields nor our factories, but to learn of our ways that they may walk in our paths, and thereby find peace, preservation and salvation now and eternally. 2
George Q. Cannon
If the breach is daily widening between ourselves and the world . . . we may be assured that our progress is certain, however slow. On the opposite hand, if our feelings and affections, our appetites and desires, are in unison with the world around us and freely fraternize with them . . . we should do well to examine ourselves. Individuals in such a condition might possess a nominal position in the Church but would be lacking the life of the work, and, like the foolish virgins who slumbered while the bridegroom tarried (Matt. 25:5), they would be unprepared for his coming. 3
Gordon B. Hinckley. “A Chosen Generation,” April 1992.
Elder Melvin J. Ballard, Conference Report, October 1927, Second Day—Morning Meeting 70.