3 Nephi 1:10
I Will Lead You
or Wickedness Never Was Happiness
Because Nephi loved his people and he wanted the best for them. Wickedness never brings happiness to anyone or to the people who love them in spite of their evil doings.
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Some prophecies, such as the return of Jewish people to Israel, were decades in their fulfillment (see Ezek. 39:27). Other prophecies can be fulfilled in a compressed period of time. Taking the restored gospel “for a witness” to all the nations of the world involves generations (Matt. 24:14), but a “desolating scourge” can cover the land quickly (see D&C 5:19). Sadly, more than one qualifying possibility already exists for such scourges (see Mark 13:10, D&C 5:19). The blossoming of the desert “as the rose” involved substantial time, yet significant moral decay can happen within a single generation—whether in a nation or in a family (see Isa. 35:1; Hel. 6:32; Hel. 11:36; Hel. 12:4).
The Middle East has been at the intersection of human history so many times! Yet in our time the words of Zechariah are especially descriptive, saying that Jerusalem is to be “a cup of trembling” for “all the people round about” and “a burdensome stone for all people” (Zech. 12:2–3).
Some of the coarseness and cruelty present at the time of Noah will be replicated, for “the love of many shall wax cold” (Matt. 24:12). Also, peace will have been “taken from the earth” (D&C 1:35).
Peter wrote of how “the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah” until, as other scriptures advise, the wickedness exceeded that among all God’s creations (1 Pet. 3:20; see also Moses 7:36). A very cruel society existed, one “without affection” in which people hated “their own blood” (Moses 7:33). Given the abuses by humans of other humans, in His longsuffering, God waited as long as even He could.
Thus, what I have said is not said in alarm at all, but, rather, so that we might be noticing and preparing. Prophecies are given, in part, that we “might know and remember” that these things “had been made known … beforehand, to the intent that [we] might believe” (Hel. 16:5). Today’s inattentive people will be like an earlier, desensitized people who “began to forget those signs and wonders which they had heard, and began to be less and less astonished, … and began to disbelieve all which they had heard and seen” (3 Ne. 2:1; see also 1 Pet. 3:17). If faithful, brothers and sisters, we lose nothing, even if, happily, like the ancient Ninevites, today’s mortals were to repent.
Members of the Church need not and should not be alarmists. They need not be deflected from quietly and righteously pursuing their daily lives, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Tim. 1:7).
Brothers and sisters, it is my testimony to the Church that the Lord will lead us along, just as promised. He balances giving to the Church and its people the needed, specific directions, with providing the relevant learning experiences, including having our faith and patience tried in order to be strengthened. Thus He leads us along, but He desires that during that process we take His yoke upon us in order to learn of Him by our personal experiences. We surely feel the weight of that yoke at times, but the path is clear.