The war in heaven never ended, we simply switched battlefields. In pre-earth life Satan sought us by gift and was rejected with his plan by our Father in Heaven. Now, here upon the earth, he seeks us by the commission of sin. During the Missouri persecutions there were many who apostatized from the Church and even became enemies. The Prophet Joseph Smith spoke of their sad state and warned against apostasy.
At the conclusion of the Prophet’s remarks, Isaac Behunnin, a member of the Church, stated: “If I should leave this Church, I would not do as those men have done – I would go to some remote place where Mormonism had never been heard of, settle down, and no one would ever learn that I knew anything about it.” To which Joseph Smith replied: “Brother Behunnin, you don’t know what you would do. No doubt these men once thought as you do. Before you joined this church you stood on neutral ground. When the gospel was preached good and evil were set before you. You could choose either or neither. There were two opposite masters inviting you to serve them. When you joined this church you enlisted to serve God. When you did that you left the neutral ground, and you never can get back on to it. Should you forsake the Master you enlisted to serve, it will be by the instigation of the evil one, and you will follow his dictation and be his servant.” He [further] emphasized the fact that a man or woman who had not taken sides either with Christ or Belial could maintain a neutral position, but when they enlisted under either the one or the other, they left the neutral ground forever. (Juvenile Instructor, Aug. 15, 1892, p. 492). . . Why is it, then, that the apostates will not leave the Church alone? Because they are the servants of sin and have another master whose bidding they now do.
| Church News, January 4, 1997, p. 13