A deliberate, intentional, or willful rejection or refusal to accept what God offers to man; a rebellion. When mankind limits what they will permit God to reveal, setting boundaries to His teachings, they rebel. But that rebellion only limits themselves.1 Mankind, whether as a group or a single person, is either gaining (restoring) light and truth or losing (apostatizing) from light and truth. This world is a world of change. Nothing remains the same. Either growth or decay are at work everywhere. They are also at work within every person. One either searches out new truth — finds it, lives it, and thereby becomes restored to truth — or one backs away from it. If one is backing away, losing it, neglecting it, and discarding it, one is in the process of apostasy.2 With respect to God’s people, apostasy is always marked by a change of ordinances and breaking of the covenant.3 “In ancient times, apostasy never came by renouncing the gospel, but always by corrupting it…. The great apostasy in the time of the apostles was not a renouncing of faith but its corruption and manipulation.”4
1 Passing the Heavenly Gift, 410.
2 “Forward or Backward,” April 16, 2010, blog post.
3 “Jacob 5 : 38–41,” April 4, 2012, blog post.
4 Hugh Nibley, Temple and Cosmos (Salt Lake City : Deseret Book, 1992), 395, 397.