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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

September, 2015

SURVIVAL OF THE SHEMITAH-EST


We survived it!

It's now been a couple of days since the Hebrew calendar day 29 Elul, the Shemitah, and we're still here. So is the stock market, the dollar and pretty much every national economy.

This calls for celebration. While I'm not quite to the celebratory level of getting up on top of a table and dancing, I do believe our survival through this well-patterned and well-predicted day of gloom deserves my raising my glass of ice-cold lemonade and a "well done" to everybody.

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That's the attitude I see with quite a few people who believe their consistently saying that "all this Shemitah stuff is a bunch of horse pucky" is now vindicated. Even national media has hopped on the bandwagon within the last week, with many pointing their fingers of scorn and derision at all those crazy Mormons stocking up for the end of the world.

I hate to rain on anybody's "happy happy joy joy" moment, but I think there's a part that a lot of these pre-millennial party animals are forgetting.

In speaking of the last days before His second coming, Christ highlighted a similar situation:
"But the evil servant is he who is not found watching. And if that servant is not found watching, he will say in his heart, My Lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants, and the maidens, and to eat, and drink, and to be drunken.
The Lord of that servant will come in a day he looketh not for, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him down, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.
And that servant who knew his Lord's will, and prepared not for his Lord's coming, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.
But he that knew not his Lord's will, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall much be required; and to whom the Lord has committed much, of him will men ask the more." (Luke 12:54-57 JST; emphasis mine)
Many years ago, my son once asked me, "Dad, what does air look like?" Good question. We really can't see air, let alone gamma rays, x-rays, radio waves, cosmic rays, gravity and magnetism. But just because we haven't seen something, in the way that we expect, doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

In my humble opinion, the fact that more than a few people are essentially saying "My Lord delayeth his coming" is itself a fulfillment of prophecy.

Keep your eye on the ball. Keep preparing spiritually and physically. And please, don't forget to pray for those who are quick to scorn and ridicule you for your preparations.

Make no mistake: Even though we saw nothing significant happen on 29 Elul and the economy didn't crash, the Lord delayeth nothing.

An Egyptian adornment worn over the chest which
shows the duality between between the rival gods
Horus (the god of light) on one side and Seth
(the god of darkness) on the other.

LIGHT AND DARK


Next Tuesday, September 22, is the autumnal equinox. While this day is often noted as the first official day of fall (and to me, it is a day closer to egg nog being available in local stores), it also has far greater significance: it is one of two days on the calendar when there is equal day and equal night. Light and dark have equal time. They are in balance.

Granted, this date depends on your latitude, and can vary by as much as several weeks from place to place (go here for more details).  Nevertheless, the vast majority of those reading this blog have or will experience the fall equinox.

On Wednesday, the balance is broken, as the amount of darkness overtakes the amount of sunlight as it climbs to the apex of calendrical darkness, the winter solstice. On the surface, fall seems to be a time for us to prepare for another time when we must face darkness and death.

Yet, under the surface, the fall equinox can be a time of unprecedented light breaking forth. 192 years ago, just before the fall equinox, Joseph Smith prayed "to commune with some kind of messenger." He got his wish that night, and every year after that until September 22, 1827, when the angel Moroni presented him with the plates of the Book of Mormon.

Again, God acted in a manner and time when no one was expecting it.

It can be so for you, too, on a personal basis.

Next Tuesday, I invite you to kneel before God in the profoundest of ways, repent and recommit to Him (on this day when physical darkness begins to overtake physical daylight) your dedication to choose light over dark, good over evil, celestial over telestial. Like Joseph, invite and beg God to let His light break forth into your life in truly profound ways, even when everything else is going dark.

REAL WINNERS AND REAL LOSERS


I'm by no means a college or pro sports enthusiast, and no, it's not my intention to turn my blog into a referendum on sportsmanship. But this last Saturday, I witnessed something during the BYU-BSU game that really disappointed me (click here for the Youtube, if you don't see it on the left):

What's even more interesting: (1) the BYU player who threw the crotch punch is receiving "internal school discipline," with no apparent loss of playing time, and (2) this is the second punch BYU has thrown in its last three games (click here for #1). As one online commenter stated, "BYU has turned into a team with a chip on it's shoulder willing to engage in unbecoming behavior, which doesn't represent the institution very well..."

The church's football players don’t play organized sports on Sundays, but it's no biggie if they throw punches? Just what do we stand for? Just what do the phrases "exceptional sportsmanship," "respectful behavior," "honor code" and "higher standards" mean?

True, most of us will never throw a full-force crotch punch at another. But how often are we guilty of throwing spiritual punches, like judging others? Rumor-mongering? Unforgiveness? Lacking charity (even for those we feel don't deserve it; see Mosiah 4:17)? Do you think God considers those "no biggies"?

Even though we may feel we can get away with deplorable behavior, the moral of the story is simple: If you are going to have higher standards in life, then you'd better live up to them.

Choose light over dark. And always be found knowing -- and doing -- the Lord's will.

In so doing, you'll have nothing to fear, be ashamed or concerned about when you someday review the YouTube of your life with Father.

4 comments:

  1. Perfect Day - my wife was told that they changes "will begin" in September, and quite specifically that they may not affect us for a while, but that they will begin. I was given clear directions on how to prepare, and have been obedient, acting as a steward of the Lord's resources. Those who say He "delayeth His coming", I fear, are going to be surprised. Witness the refugee crisis in Europe.

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  2. I have been my Ward's Preparedness Specialist for over 8 years. I regard this as the worst calling to have in the church. There is NO support or guidance. Of course I seek guidance from the Lord. Whenever I share something about preparedness and having a ward plan I encounter a wall of Pride. There have been two occasions when I have given a talk and or a testimony to my ward and felt the words were put in my mouth regarding preparedness. That is the extent of my contribution as I have not been given any venue to help prepare the members. Too many saints still believe that calamities will never happen in the United States, that they don't need to worry, the church will take care of them. They are waiting for the prophet to say, the time is "now". President Monson just this year, in an Ensign article said he was sad to say that too many saints were rich in debt and poor in food storage.

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  3. Hi Perfect Day. I've been reading a book that if you haven't looked at you really should. It's called God Seed. By M. Catherine Thomas. You would love it. I have been gobsmacked by so many insights on just about every page. It's a very spiritually practical book.

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    Replies
    1. That's an awesome suggestion, Dora! Thanks. I highly respect Catherine Thomas and her insights.

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