June 16th 1844 Joseph Smith gave what is known as the “Sermon in the Grove.” It was one of the last things we’d ever hear from the prophet and it got cut short on account of the rain. He was only eleven days away from his martyrdom at Carthage and he knew that his time was drawing near. Before the rain ended the sermon, Joseph said something that is as applicable today as it was in 1844 Nauvoo. He said, “I have reason to think the Church is being purged.”

When you combine that statement with a revelation given in Kirtland on July 23, 1837 also known as Doctrine & Covenants 112…you get the feeling that it will not be an easy task to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the last days. The revelation states that “gross darkness” is covering the minds of the people and that “vengeance cometh speedily upon the inhabitants of the earth, a day of wrath, a day of burning, a day of desolation, of weeping, of mourning, and of lamentation.”

But what’s most interesting is that so many of us assume that it’s the secular world that’s going to take the brunt of these troubled times. That’s not the case at all. In fact, the Lord says that “upon my house (Mormons) shall it begin, and from my house shall it go forth…first among those among you, saith the Lord, who have professed to know my name and have not known me, and have blasphemed against me in the midst of my house.” (D&C 112:23-26)

So…I’ve observed 3 types of Mormons in the church these days, but I believe that only the third type will be able to endure the trials of faith that are here now and are coming soon.

1. The Stalwart But Stubborn Mormon

These Mormons are full of faith and are used to the standard narrative. They cling to what they’ve learned in primary and cringe at anything that might contradict the things they’ve learned for so long. Change is tough for this group of Mormons. They might quote the scripture that says “God is the same yesterday, today, and forever” and assume that the church will also be the same yesterday, today, and forever. They still think that Joseph Smith sat at a table with a sheet between he and Oliver Cowdrey as he traced the engravings on the gold plates and translated for hours on end. They like how Abraham sought for further light and knowledge but have trouble applying that same principle to themselves . What they know…is what they know, and nothing else seems to matter.

This type of Mormon doesn’t think much of church scholars. They have their old library of books at home that consist of Mormon Doctrine, Doctrines of Salvation, and a host of other similar titles that were published between the 1970’s and 1985. They have the Collected Works of Hugh Nibley on their shelf but had a hard time getting through them. Critics of the church would call these people…sheeple. They would sarcastically call them “TBM’s” or “True Believing Mormons.”

I love this group of Mormons. They are faithful and obedient. They always seem to be there to help and are generally service oriented. Their only issue is how they might react to people that have questions about their faith. If the questions or statements they hear from others contradict or disrupt their long held understanding of something…they can sometimes get defensive and exhibit a condemning attitude toward the questioner. This behavior might make the questioner feel stupid…and can really turn off a struggling member that may have not had the same testimony building experiences that they have had. As Paul said…this stalwart but stubborn Mormon may have a “zeal but not according to knowledge” wherein they are immoveable in their position on a portion of church history or doctrine, while being genuinely wrong all at the same time. Lots of zeal…but lacking correct knowledge causes the same situation Alma was witnessing in the church. They “began to be scornful, one towards another, and they began to persecute those that did not believe according to their own will and pleasure.”  These people have a major problem with just saying “I don’t know…but lets discuss” which leads to innocently but ignorantly misleading others who might be honestly seeking.

2. The Curious But Furious Mormon

Read Greg’s full description on this type of Mormon on GregTrimble.com.

3. The Stalwart But Curious Mormon

Read Greg’s full description on this type of Mormon on GregTrimble.com.