PERSECUTION: How will the true saints be persecuted?

Prophetic Statements

Joseph Smith

Six years later, after the saints had been driven from the state of Missouri, the Prophet told the Twelve Apostles: “I saw men hunting the lives of their own sons, and brother murdering brother, women killing their own daughters, and daughters seeking the lives of their mothers. I saw armies arrayed against armies. I saw blood, desolation, fires. The Son of Man has said that the mother shall be against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother. These things are at our doors. They will follow the Saints of God from city to city. Satan will rage, and the spirit of the devil is now enraged. I know not how soon these things will take place; but with a view of them, shall I cry peace? No; I will lift up my voice and testify of them. How long you will have good crops, and the famine be kept off, I do not know; when the fig tree leaves, know then that summer is nigh at hand.” 1

Brigham Young

Do you know that it is the eleventh hour of the reign of Satan on the earth? Jesus is coming to reign, and all you who fear and tremble because of your enemies, cease to fear them, and learn to fear to offend God, fear to transgress his laws, fear to do any evil to your brother, or to any being upon the earth, and do not fear Satan and his power, nor those who have only power to slay the body, for God will preserve his people. (JD, B YOUNG 10:250)

“If we live, we shall see the nations of the earth arrayed against this people; for that time must come in fulfillment of prophecy. Tell about war commencing! Bitter and relentless war was waged against Joseph Smith before he had received the plates of the Book of Mormon; and from that time till now the wicked have only fallen back at times to gain strength and learn how to attack the Kingdom of God.”
Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 5, p. 339, October 18, 1857.

Ezra Taft Benson

I testify that as the forces of evil increase under Lucifer’s leadership and as the forces of good increase under the leadership of Jesus Christ, there will be growing battles between the two until the final confrontation. As the issues become clearer and more obvious, all mankind will eventually be required to align themselves either for the kingdom of God or for the kingdom of the devil. As these conflicts rage, either secretly or openly, the righteous will be tested. (President Ezra T. Benson, I Testify, Ensign, November 1988, pg. 87).

There is a real sifting going on in the Church, and it is going to become more pronounced with the passing of time. It will sift the wheat from the tares, because we face some difficult days, the like of which we have never experienced in our lives. And those days are going to require faith and testimony and family unity, the like of which we have never had.” (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 107.)

Supporting Statements

Heber C. Kimball

After a while the Gentiles will gather by the thousands to this place, and Salt Lake City will be classed among the wicked cities of the world. A spirit of speculation and extravagance will take possession of the Saints, and the results will be financial bondage.

Persecution comes next and all true Latter-day Saints will be tested to the limit. Many will apostatize and others will be still not knowing what to do….Before that day comes, however, the Saints will be put to a test that will try the integrity of the best of them. The pressure will become so great that the more righteous among them will cry unto the Lord day and night until deliverance comes. 2

There will not many calamities come upon the nations of the earth, until this people first feel their effects, and when hard times commence they will begin at the house of God, and if there is any house of God on the earth, where is it? It is here, is it not? It is where the people have assembled together according to the commandments of the Almighty. We have got to feel the effects of these things, and if we do so patiently it will be good for us. No serious loss or injury will arise from calamities, if we do as we are told. 3

J. Reuben Clark

I say unto you with all the soberness I can, that we stand in danger of losing our liberties, and that once lost, only blood will bring them back; and once lost, we of this Church will, in order to keep the Church going forward, have more sacrifices to make and more persecutions to endure than we have yet known, heavy as our sacrifices and grievous as our persecutions of the past have been. (President J. Reuben Clark, Conference Report 1966)

Bruce R. McConkie

The way ahead is dark and dreary and dreadful. There will yet be martyrs; the doors in Carthage shall again enclose the innocent. We have not been promised that the trials and evils of the world will entirely pass us by. (Bruce R. McConkie, Source: “The Coming Tests and Trials and Glory,” 1980)

Vaughn J. Featherstone, “A Champion of Youth,” Ensign, November 1987, p. 28
It is not difficult to understand why the great God of heaven has reserved these special spirits for the final work of the kingdom prior to his millennial reign…. This generation will face trials and troubles that will exceed those of their pioneer forebears. Our generation has had periods of some respite from the foe. The future generation will have little or none….This is a chosen generation…. I believe today’s [Church youth] will lead the youth of the world through the most trying time in history.


Revelation 13:7

And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them.

D&C 6:34, 36

Fear not little flock; do good; let earth and hell combine against you, for if ye are built upon my rock, they cannot prevail. . .Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not. 4

Matthew 24:9

Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.

Doctrine and Covenants 101:35

And all they who suffer persecution for my name, and endure in faith, though they are called to lay down their lives for my sake yet shall they partake of all this glory.

  1. History of the Church, Vol. 3:391, given on July 2, 1839.
  2. Heber C. Kimball, First Counselor in the First Presidency, May 1868, in Deseret News, 23 May 1931; see also Conference Report, Oct. 1930, p. 58-59
  3. Heber C. Kimball, “Elders Called to Go on Missions, Etc.“, Journal of Discourses, vol. 3, pp. 227-232, March 2, 1856.
  4. D&C 6:34, 36
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