George Q. Cannon, having witnessed more than fifty years of Church History offered the following reflections:
Our pathway from the beginning, it may be said, is lined with the graves of those who have lost their faith, who were buried before they died, having lost faith and remained behind. They thought the work of God could not stand the pressure, that his promises could not be fulfilled. They felt as though they must save themselves or they would be destroyed, and they sought safety in apostasy, in denying God, and in breaking loose from their brothers and sisters. What has been the result? You who have had friends, relatives and acquaintances in this condition know what the result has been. Would you exchange your circumstances today with theirs? . . . .
The man that loves God; the man that maintains his virtue, and refrains from committing any sin that will grieve the Spirit of God . . . or other habits that destroy the faith that God has planted in our hearts, will continue to prosper, and will continue to live. They may not live in the flesh, but they will live hereafter. They will live with the blessed, they will live with those whom they love and with whom they can associate; and while they do live upon the earth they will live in the enjoyment of the Spirit of God, they will have peace at night, and through the night, and peace through the day. It is true they may suffer, but God will be with them. His angels will be around them to sustain them; and he will not only bless and prosper them but bless their children after them, for they will sow seed the fruit of which their children will gather in years to come.
God does not forget his faithful people. He loves the righteous and he loves the courageous. He loves the true; but traitors–those who betray their brethren–He–I was going to say–despises them; at any rate they fall under His displeasure; they become like wrecks, castaways stripped of their former power, bereft of the Spirit and blessing that attended them in former times. Some of you have no doubt seen fine vessels that have done good service stranded and wrecked, with nothing much besides the ribs and keel left; those who become darkened lose the Spirit and their faith, and thus become human wrecks, remind me of such unfortunate vessels.
[George Q. Cannon, 23 February, 1890, Collected Discourses 2:17-18].
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