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Sunday, July 10, 2016

Why There May Not Be A General Warning Before Prophesied Calamities Strike

A Reality Check

"And in that day shall be heard of wars and rumors of wars, and the whole earth shall be in commotion, and men’s hearts shall fail them, and they shall say that Christ delayeth his coming until the end of the earth.
And the love of men shall wax cold, and iniquity shall abound.
And when the times of the Gentiles is come in, a light shall break forth among them that sit in darkness, and it shall be the fulness of my gospel;
But they receive it not; for they perceive not the light, and they turn their hearts from me because of the precepts of men.
And in that generation shall the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.
And there shall be men standing in that generation, that shall not pass until they shall see an overflowing scourge; for a desolating sickness shall cover the land.
But my disciples shall stand in holy places, and shall not be moved; but among the wicked, men shall lift up their voices and curse God and die.
And there shall be earthquakes also in divers places, and many desolations; yet men will harden their hearts against me, and they will take up the sword, one against another, and they will kill one another." (D&C 45:26-33)
The increasing frequency and severity of natural disasters. $19 trillion (and counting) government debt. Porous borders. The threat of Islamic terrorism. Pre-WWII military readiness levels. Escalating racial tensions. Lack of trust in national leaders. Abortion. Illicit drug use. Decaying education. The resurgence of Russian and Chinese military. Increased missionary restrictions. Dwindling belief in God.

Never in the history of our country have we faced so many simultaneous, destructive threats.

A few weeks ago, I watched a YouTube where a man predicted that the short-term future of the U.S. is bright, and that it will enter an era of peace, productivity and prosperity unimagined by anyone. While I hope he's right, the truth is, at this point, only repentance and God's mercy can make America great again. Because neither are even distantly, remotely part of the national discourse, the writing is on the wall: America is sitting on a powderkeg, and worse trouble is coming.
"And thus, with the sword and by bloodshed the inhabitants of the earth shall mourn; and with famine, and plague, and earthquake, and the thunder of heaven, and the fierce and vivid lightning also, shall the inhabitants of the earth be made to feel the wrath, and indignation, and chastening hand of an Almighty God, until the consumption decreed hath made a full end of all nations" (D&C 87:6; emphasis mine)

The Blessed Ones


If you think societal decay is only evident outside our church, think again.
"We have done very well at distributing the authority of the priesthood. We have priesthood authority planted nearly everywhere. We have quorums of elders and high priests worldwide. But distributing the authority of the priesthood has raced, I think, ahead of distributing the power of the priesthood. The priesthood does not have the strength that it should have and will not have until the power of the priesthood is firmly fixed in the families as it should be." (Elder Boyd K. Packer, "The Power of the Priesthood", April 2010)
How do you think the priesthood has done in the last six years since Elder Packer's observation? If you asked ward or (even better) stake priesthood leaders about the impact pornography has had on the quantity and quality of the Melchizedek Priesthood, what do you think they'd say? How are home teaching percentages doing?

Difficulties exist even among priesthood leaders. Here's a text I received just today from a friend:
"I attended church today. I was confronted by Bro. T right after sacrament and he showed signs of distress so I focused my attention on him and spent 2 hours invested in his topics of conversation. While listening to him I noticed no one reaching out to say hello, no one recognizing him or I, no one asking us to attend a class, and.......the first and second counselors in the stake presidency actually went out of their way to recognize others and when they walked past us, they looked the other way and walked by like we were not there. It made me sick to my stomach. The HPG Leader is concerned about Bro. T and didn't even say hello, yet walks by. Bishop is concerned and he walked by. He saw us and kept walking. What is wrong with this stake/ward?"
While I don't intend to pick on church leaders (none are perfect; all make mistakes), I think I can safely say that Elder Packer's observation that "the authority of the priesthood" racing ahead of "distributing the power of the priesthood" is just as valid -- and quite likely, even moreso -- than it's ever been.

We latter-day saints have been blessed with an astounding amount of light and knowledge -- moreso than any other time in history. Yet many have minimized or even disregarded these blessings. Perhaps this is why Pres. Heber C. Kimball said,
"This Church has before it many close places through which it will have to pass before the work of God is crowned with glory. The difficulties will be of such a character that the man or woman who does not possess a personal knowledge or witness will fall. If you have not got this testimony, you must live right and call upon the Lord, and cease not until you obtain it.
Remember these sayings: The time will come when no man or woman will be able to endure on borrowed light. Each will have to be guided by the light within themselves. If you do not have the knowledge that Jesus is the Christ, how can you stand?" (Heber C. Kimball, 1856. Quoted by J. Golden Kimball, Conference Report, October 1930, pp. 59-60; also quoted by Ezra Taft Benson, "Be Not Deceived" Conference Report, October 1963, p. 15-19; http://emp.byui.edu/jexj/new/talks/talks/JGK%20GiftProphecy.pdf; http://scriptures.byu.edu/gettalk.php?ID=1286)

Where to Go...What to Do


Clearly, all of us -- member and non-member -- face a sifting which will only grow more pronounced as time goes on. But how will it all come about? How will there be a "full end of all nations"?

There are a million different possibilities, all of them equally plausible. Here's mine:

1A. There's a disruption in the Middle East, the stock market or basically something which causes fuel prices to dramatically skyrocket. Interstate commerce quickly becomes impractical and ceases. Store shelves are cleared out within hours. Looting becomes increasingly commonplace.
(or) 1B. There's a sustained escalation in racial tensions.
2. Local law enforcement struggles to maintain control.
3. To establish some semblance of peace and order, an "emergency declaration" (martial law) is declared.
4. Insurrections against National Guard units/local law enforcement apparently escalate, forcing martial law to be racheted up.
5. Private transportation is severely curtailed, then ceases.
6. Employment and productivity stop.
7. Metropolitan areas become extremely dangerous.

Here's another scenario:
"Yea, wo be unto the Gentiles except they repent; for it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Father, that I will cut off thy horses out of the midst of thee, and I will destroy thy chariots;
And I will cut off the cities of thy land, and throw down all thy strongholds;
And I will cut off witchcrafts out of thy land, and thou shalt have no more soothsayers;
Thy graven images I will also cut off, and thy standing images out of the midst of thee, and thou shalt no more worship the works of thy hands;
And I will pluck up thy groves out of the midst of thee; so will I destroy thy cities.
And it shall come to pass that all lyings, and deceivings, and envyings, and strifes, and priestcrafts, and whoredoms, shall be done away.
For it shall come to pass, saith the Father, that at that day whosoever will not repent and come unto my Beloved Son, them will I cut off from among my people, O house of Israel;" (D&C 21:12-20; emphasis mine)
Interestingly, the bolded portion above is mentioned elsewhere in the D&C:
"And upon them that hearken not to the voice of the Lord shall be fulfilled that which was written by the prophet Moses, that they should be cut off from among the people." (D&C 133:63)
Now, it seems to me that there's a convergence of concepts here:

  • Come unto Christ.
  • Repent.
  • Hearken to His voice.

Will There Be a General Forewarning?


We latter-day saints passionately believe in prophets, seers and revelators. And because of that, we've always assumed that prophets, seers and revelators will let us know when it's time to wake up, shake our heads, pack up our necessities and head for the hills.

The only problem is that there's no scriptural, historical or prophetic justification for such a belief.

Scriptural justification: The Lord provides a modern-day interpretation of Matthew 25:1-13's Parable of the Ten Virgins:
"And at that day, when I shall come in my glory, shall the parable be fulfilled which I spake concerning the ten virgins.
For they that are wise and have received the truth, and have taken the Holy Spirit for their guide, and have not been deceived—verily I say unto you, they shall not be hewn down and cast into the fire, but shall abide the day." (D&C 45:56-57; emphasis mine)
Historical Precedent: One could say, "Well, I'll consult the Holy Spirit when the church leaders get up and tell me when it's time to head for safety." However, at least with respect to U.S. history, (as far as I know) we've never been forewarned by church leaders, with a timeframe, about impending societal catastrophes:


Prophetic Statement: Additionally, even a prophet has stated that there will be no general warning before prophesied calamities strike:


While it is true that a church president -- and some individuals -- have prophesied that the work of gathering the righteous will be coordinated by Church leaders, there's no definitive indication if such gatherings will take place before, during or after calamitous times emerge.

In fact, those who choose not to act, but to be acted upon (where someone else is pulling their strings) are not counted as righteous (see Elder James E. Faust, "Acting for Ourselves and Not Being Acted Upon", October 1995 General Conference).
“...you and I are to act and be doers of the word and not simply hearers who are only acted upon. Are you and I agents who act and seek learning by faith, or are we waiting to be taught and acted upon? Are the children, youth, and adults we serve acting and seeking to learn by faith, or are they waiting to be taught and acted upon?" (Elder David A. Bednar, "Seek Learning by Faith", Liahona, September 2007)
Too many rely on the "arm of flesh" to tell them what to do and when to do it, rather than developing the ability to listen to the Spirit -- the Lord's voice -- which the Lord has told us to do time and time again. The Inspired Version of the Bible illuminates this point:
"Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, Ye know me not." (Matthew 25:10-11 JST; emphasis mine)

Improving Your Chances to Survive the Coming Tribulations


God has warned you multiple times of the coming calamities. In fact, there has never been a time in scripture where God has not warned His people.

To survive them, the onus is on you to seek and reach out to Christ...before it's too late.

The onus is on you to repent and become aligned with Him...before it's too late.

The onus is on you to hear His voice and hearken to it...before it's too late.

You've now been warned with Christ's own words. Will you act on them by repenting and hearkening to His voice, or will you agree that these things are important but allow other things to assume greater importance in your life, or will you show Him you're serious about aligning with Him, and having a shot at surviving what's coming?

3 comments:

  1. Amen!!! I am so glad someone speak the truth!!! You (in writing this article) remind me of Jesus who can be so honest and true in front of so called religious pharisees at His time. Excellent article!!! Thank you so much!!!

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  2. Below is a collection of quotes which reinforce the fact that it is the Lord who will invite and guide us upward -- especially and including to prepared places of safety -- via the intimations of the Holy Ghost. Note the dynamics here: the information comes FROM the Lord and goes TO the members and their leaders, NOT from the leaders to the members who must confirm it with God. The leaders and members are on the same, level playing field and it is THEIR responsibility, individually, to RECEIVE the information first-hand from the Lord.

    ---

    "The giant earthquake, and the tsunamis it sent crashing into the coasts around the Indian Ocean, is just the beginning and a part of what is to come, terrible as it was. You remember the words from the Doctrine and Covenants which now seems so accurate"

    (he quotes D&C 88:88-91)

    "Fear shall come upon all people. But you and I know that the Lord has prepared places of safety to which He is eager to guide us."

    "It will be our choice whether or not to move up or to stay where we are. But the Lord will invite and guide us upward by the direction of the Holy Ghost, which He sends to His leaders and to His people who will receive it."

    "I did not plan to speak to you about the hard times that are ahead and they are real, and they are coming."

    (Excerpts from Elder Henry B. Eyring's talk, “Raise the Bar”, Brigham Young University–Idaho Devotional, January 25, 2005, http://www2.byui.edu/Speeches/eyring_jan2005.htm)

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  3. While it is true that there may not be warnings about preliminary calamities and perils, the Lord will, through his chosen servants, warn the "inhabitants of the earth to flee the wrath to come". Everytime the world has been purged, there has always been a clear warning to repent or suffer. This was case in the days of Noah, and in the days of the Nephites. The leadup to what happened in the Kirtland Temple was all about the Elders and High Priests preparing to go forth and warn the wicked for the last time. The Lord delayed that action for generations because of the early Gentile saints broke the covenant and were not obedient.

    God cannot be a just God without giving a clear warning. He will through his servants who will return. Just don't expect it from the leadership in SLC.

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