Rector likens days of the Noah to contemporary society; appears to assume a global flood.

Apr 1981
Speech / Court Transcript
Hartman Rector, Jr.
Scribed Verbatim

Hartman Rector, Jr., "Turning the Hearts," General Conference, April 1981, in Ensign, May 1981, accessed February 22, 2022

Elijah, Moses, Noah, Hartman Rector, Jr.
Latter-day Saints

I believe that families are under a more serious attack today than at any time since the beginning of the world, with the possible exception of the days of Noah. It must have been bad then too. Maybe we today are not quite as bad as they were. Moses recorded in the Book of Genesis: “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” (Gen. 6:5.) I don’t believe I have ever known anyone quite that bad, whose “every thought was evil continually.”

The Lord further indicated that all flesh was corrupt in those days, and so he brought forth the flood and destroyed all flesh except Noah and his family. Therefore, we are all descendants of righteous Noah. But the family concept is under very serious attack today all over the world.

The Lord said from Mt. Sinai, “Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.” (Ex. 20:12.)

We seem to have conditions today similar to those Noah faced; and the Lord speaks of smiting the earth with a curse, as happened at the time of the flood, and this will happen if there is not a turning of “the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers.” (Mal. 4:6.)

There are those who feel that this turning of the hearts is strictly Elijah’s job, but in Doctrine and Covenants 98:16 [D&C 98:16] the Lord seems to give us that assignment. He said, “Seek diligently to turn the hearts of the children to their fathers, and the hearts of the fathers to the children.”

Elijah came and delivered the keys, but the Lord looks to us to do the work. In a little plainer translation of the Malachi scripture, the Lord said:

“Behold, I will reveal unto you the Priesthood, by the hand of Elijah the prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.

“And he shall plant in the hearts of the children the promises made to the fathers, and the hearts of the children shall turn to their fathers.

“If it were not so, the whole earth would be utterly wasted at his coming.” (D&C 2:1–3; see also JS—H 1:38–39.)

We, then, are in the very serious business of attempting to save the earth or to keep it from being “wasted” when the Lord comes. This earth was created so God the Father would have a place to send His children to receive bodies of flesh and bones and prove themselves. If we will no longer permit the Lord to send his children to this earth, then the earth is wasted, and as in the days of the flood He will surely destroy it.

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