3 Nephi 2:10
Let Him In
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.
Our time already reflects yet another prophecy: “Distress of nations, with perplexity” (Luke 21:25). Before modern times, global perplexity simply was not possible. Now, there is a quick transmission of some crises and problems from one nation to others—the consequences of debt-ridden economies, the spreading of diseases, the abuse of narcotics, and, perhaps most of all, a shared sense of near-helplessness in the face of such perplexities. Today, the assembled agonies of the world pass in reminding review on the nightly news.
In the last days, happily, the Church will grow extensively, with its membership being “scattered upon all the face of the earth” (1 Ne. 14:14). Nevertheless, its dominions will still be comparatively “small” because of “wickedness,” which will close the ears of many to the gospel message (see 1 Ne. 14:12).
There will also be “a great division among the people” (2 Ne. 30:10; see also D&C 63:54). This stressful polarization will, ironically, help in the final shaking of that strange confederacy, the “kingdom of the devil,” in order that the honest in heart, even therein, may receive the truth (2 Ne. 28:19).
Happily, even though the world worsens around us, there will be many, many fine and wonderful men and women of all races and creeds—and of no religious creeds at all—who will continue to lead decent and useful lives. Besides, as Mormon said, scriptural commentary on declining conditions is not communicated “to weigh thee down,” but, instead, to help us live so that Christ may “lift thee up” (Moro. 9:25).
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.
How can we, as individual members of the Church, survive spiritually if we do not honor our covenants? How can we survive spiritually if we break outright the covenants made at the time of baptism or in the holy temples? How can we be on the Lord’s side during the “great division” if we mirror the world’s materialism and selfishness (see 2 Ne. 30:10)?
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).
Thus, there is no need to be surprised, nor to fear, when certain conditions come upon mankind. Furthermore, the Lord has given to us some remarkable assurances about the Restoration’s lead Prophet and the restored Church:
“Behold, that seer will the Lord bless; and they that seek to destroy him shall be confounded” (2 Ne. 3:14) “in mine own due time” (D&C 71:10).
“And the righteous need not fear, for they are those who shall not be confounded. But it is the kingdom of the devil … who need fear, and tremble, and quake” (1 Ne. 22:22–23).
If we are faithful and obedient while in this good and beautiful world, we will later inherit “a far better land of promise” (Alma 37:45), “a city … whose builder and maker is God” (Heb. 11:10), a city within which are “many mansions” (John 14:2–3).
Paul wrote, “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man [meaning we cannot even imagine] the things which God hath prepared for them that love him” (1 Cor. 2:9).
The spiritually submissive will make it through. The word of God will lead the man and the woman of Christ “in a strait and narrow course across that everlasting gulf of misery” (Hel. 3:29) and land their souls at the right hand of God in the kingdom of heaven, “to sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and the holy prophets who have been ever since the world began” (Alma 7:25; see also Ether 12:4).
Those who have overcome the world will themselves then be overcome by the generosity of the Father, as the Father shares “all that [the] Father hath” (D&C 84:38). The faithful will hear those special words, “Enter into the joy of [your] Lord” (D&C 51:19), for “they who have endured the crosses of the world, and despised the shame of it, they shall inherit the kingdom of God, … and their joy shall be full forever” (2 Ne. 9:18).
...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.
Jesus, our Shepherd, has “marked the path and led the way, And ev’ry point defines” (Hymns, 1985, no. 195). His clearly defined footprints are easy to see. They are pressed distinctly and deeply into the soil of the second estate, deeply and distinctly because of the enormous weight which pressed down upon Him, including the awful burden of all of our individual sins.
I thank the Savior personally for bearing all which I added to his hemorrhaging at every pore for all of humanity in Gethsemane. I thank Him for bearing what I added to the decibels of His piercing soul-cry atop Calvary, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
Let Jesus in Your Life-
from Elder Maxwell “...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.”
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