September 11, 2017
I have very little idea what is going on in the world right now, aside from wildfires, 3 hurricanes, and apparently earthquakes. Scary stuff.
“And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
All these are the beginning of sorrows.” Matthew 24:6-8
We’ve had the wars for a long time. One day, some years ago, I realized that I cannot remember a time in my life that the United States has not been at war, not to mention the countless conflicts that have taken place besides. We’ve seen widespread disease, hunger, and every sort of natural disaster known to man. The world is scary. It’s probably scarier than it ever has been, and the end is not yet. How could Christ possibly tell us that we shouldn’t be troubled by it?
“Behold, great and marvelous are the works of the Lord. How unsearchable are the depths of the mysteries of him; and it is impossible that man should find out all his ways. And no man knoweth of his ways save it be revealed unto him; wherefore, brethren, despise not the revelations of God.” Jacob 4:8
Despise not the revelations of God. And I’m not just talking about the Book of Revelation in the Bible: All of these things, the natural disasters, the conflicts, the wickedness so prevalent in the morals of our society today, have been foretold by prophets for literally thousands of years, and we are continually guided by a living prophet and apostles.
We live at a time in which we will need to hang on every word that proceeds forth from the mouth of the Lord, both through personal revelation resulting from prayer, and through the modern prophetic word.
Soon, nobody is going to be so concerned that God has commanded us to obey the Word of Wisdom. They won’t care so much that He has asked us to give just 10% of our earnings to His church. It will be a simple matter that he has asked that we remain chaste and pure. Why? These simple laws, so frequently viewed as restrictions, will be so insignificant to us compared to the immediate and eternal salvation we will need as the words of the prophets continue to be fulfilled. Such a small price to pay, in exchange for such a great reward.
Let us here resolve to obey God’s laws, such that we will not become like the stiff-necked children of Israel, who would not so much as turn and look at the brazen serpent to be saved from death. Remember the tempests, fires, earthquakes, and darkness that canvassed the Nephite landscape at the death of the Savior, shortly before His appearance to them? I fear that unless we humble ourselves and choose to obey the simple laws laid before us by our God, we will join our voices with those wicked Nephites, who said, “O that we had repented before this great and terrible day, and had not killed and stoned the prophets, and cast them out; then would our mothers and our fair daughters, and our children have been spared, and not have been buried up in that great city Moronihah.”
Why will we allow ourselves to be angry over such simple commandments? Remember the words of our Savior to this same group of people,
“Will ye not now return unto me, and repent of your sins, and be converted, that I may heal you?
Yea, verily I say unto you, if ye will come unto me ye shall have eternal life. Behold, mine arm of mercy is extended towards you, and whosoever will come, him will I receive; and blessed are those who come unto me.
Behold, I am Jesus Christ the Son of God. I created the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are. I was with the Father from the beginning. I am in the Father, and the Father in me; and in me hath the Father glorified his name.”– 3 Nephi 9:13-15
It is never too late to repent, but why procrastinate the day of repentance? The days ahead will certainly be difficult, and because of this, we need to be obedient to the commandments such that God can pour out his blessings upon us.
Fathers need to prepare themselves with priesthood power to guide their families in righteousness and bless them with the word of the Lord. Mothers need to prepare against further attacks on their families, strengthening testimonies and resolves. Children need to be firm in their faith, and stand steadfast and immovable upon the “Rock of their Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.”
The God of Heaven and Earth is with us when we obey His commandments. If we have slipped on our journey, He will forgive us if we will now repent and come unto him.
Why should we mourn or think our lot is hard?
’Tis not so; all is right.
Why should we think to earn a great reward
If we now shun the fight?
Gird up your loins; fresh courage take.
Our God will never us forsake;
And soon we’ll have this tale to tell—
All is well! All is well!
Love, Elder Shull