[Excerpt from an interview with Sterling Van Wagenen and Alex Nibley in 1983]
It has always been said by the Prophet Joseph Smith and Brigham that the Saints would be sorely tempted, and the nearer we were to promoting the Gospel the harder Satan would work, the more subtly he would work. [He would] never use a crude frontal attack or anything like that, but his main effort was in the bosom of the Saints. That was where he was really going to do his dirty work.
Now isn’t it an interesting thing that everything is going the same way today? We do not have two parties or anything else anymore. Everything is going into one direction. He’s working awfully hard. He’s been very successful, apparently. No, the idea [is that] that there is no longer any struggle going on, as if he’d won, as far as that goes.
Utah is so…Notice where the church is always being fought…where the church has always received the most savage…resistance everywhere in the deep South. But…we are imitating the deep South here. We match Mississippi more closely than any other state in various things now: in our morality, in our politics, in our views of things, in our self-righteousness and in our intolerance. It’s a very interesting thing now how this heavy opposition that’s coming out of this film, you know, The God Makers and so forth, and this stuff they’re doing down in Arizona. This is done by the by the Moral Majority people, people like that with which so many Mormons are trying to identify themselves. We think like them, you see. They’re all of this right-wing war-mongering and all this sort of thing — we’re hand-in-glove with that crowd which have always been the persecutors of the church. The interesting thing is they still are. They don’t like us. They won’t let us get into bed with them. They won’t. They hate it, you see, these ministers. And that, I think is amusing.
Some people would love to join up with them as far as that goes…people…that would just love to cooperate with these people and try to capitalize on their common interests. But Mormonism is anathema for them. As long as you leave Joseph Smith out, that’s fine. Forget The Book of Mormon and so forth, but otherwise nothing is dirty enough to say about the Mormons. So, that’s interesting, isn’t it? We’ve got to be ourselves, after all, whether we choose or not, you see. The Lord is forcing us to be that way.