Leaving Neutral Ground

Church Educational System
When the Prophet [Joseph Smith] had ended telling how he had been treated [by apostates], Brother Behunnin remarked: ‘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.’

The great Seer immediately 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 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.

(Daniel Tyler, “Recollections of the Prophet Joseph Smith,� Juvenile Instructor, 15 Aug. 1892, p. 492)

Book of Mormon Student Manual (1996 Edition)