Selected Teachings on
The Spirit Will Not Always Strive With Man

2 Nephi 26:11

For the Spirit of the Lord will not always strive with man. And when the Spirit ceaseth to strive with man then cometh speedy destruction, and this grieveth my soul.

D&C 1:33

And he that repents not, from him shall be taken even the light which he has received; for my Spirit shall not always strive with man, saith the Lord of Hosts.

Ether 2:15

And the Lord said unto him: I will forgive thee and thy brethren of their sins; but thou shalt not sin any more, for ye shall remember that my Spirit will not always strive with man; wherefore, if ye will sin until ye are fully ripe ye shall be cut off from the presence of the Lord. 

George Albert Smith (Quorum of the Twelve)

The spirit of God continues to strive with men everywhere, as long as they make the effort to keep his commandments. When men abandon the truth, refuse to do the right, the Lord of necessity withdraws his spirit and men are left to the buffetings of the adversary. (Conference Report, Oct. 1916, p.48)

Bruce R. McConkie (Quorum of the Twelve)

All men receive this Spirit, but not all hearken to its voice. Many choose to walk in carnal paths and go contrary to the enticings of the Spirit. It is possible to sear one's conscience to the point that the Spirit will withdraw its influence and men will no longer know or care about anything that is decent and edifying. (A New Witness for the Articles of Faith, p.260)

Spencer W. Kimball (President)

Conscience warns but does not govern. Conscience tells the individual when he is entering forbidden worlds, and it continues to prick until silenced by the will or by sin's repetition. (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball. Compiled by Edward L. Kimball (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1982), p.162)


When people know right from wrong and find themselves in the broad way to destruction, they have two ways to go. They may repent and cleanse themselves and obtain eventual peace and joy, or they may rationalize and excuse themselves and try the "escape" road. Those who follow the latter road sometimes so completely rationalize that they become calloused and lose the desire to repent, until the Spirit of God ceases to strive with them. (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p.82)


The Spirit of God ceases to strive with the man who excuses himself in wrong-doing. (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p.86) 


Self-justification is the enemy of repentance. God's Spirit continues with the honest in heart to strengthen, to help, and to save, but invariably the Spirit of God ceases to strive with the man who excuses himself in his wrong doing. (Faith Precedes the Miracle [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1972], p.234) 


When the Lord said, "My spirit shall not always strive with man ..." this was not because the Spirit is unwilling to strive but because he is made so unwelcome. He is willing to come to the rescue of anyone who really wants to be helped, who will yield to assistance. But when a person pushes the Spirit away and ignores and puts out the "unwelcome sign," eventually the Spirit of the Lord ceases to strive. He does not move away from the individual; it is the person who moves away from the Lord. (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p.162)


A man may rationalize and excuse himself till the groove is so deep he cannot get out without great difficulty.... And if the yielding person continues to give way he may finally reach the point of "no return." The Spirit will "not always strive with man." (D&C 1:33.) (The Miracle of Forgiveness (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1969), p.86)


When we move away from the Lord there seems to grow upon us a film of worldliness, which insulates us from his influence. (Faith Precedes the Miracle, p.209)

Marion G. Romney (First Presidency)

[A]gency possessed by any one person is increased or diminished by the use to which he puts it. Every wrong decision one makes restricts the area in which he can thereafter exercise his agency. The further one goes in the making of wrong decisions in the exercise of free agency, the more difficult it is for him to recover the lost ground. One can, by persisting long enough, reach the point of no return. He then becomes an abject slave. By the exercise of his ... agency, he has decreased the area in which he can act, almost to the vanishing point. ("The Perfect Law of Liberty," Ensign (Nov 1981), p. 45)

Neal A. Maxwell (Quorum of the Twelve)

The more coarse and crude people become, the less they are aware of it. (Wherefore Ye Must Press Forward (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1977), p.15)