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Friday, June 26, 2015

A Call To Arms

"And it came to pass that he rent his coat; and he took a piece thereof, and wrote upon it—In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children—and he fastened it upon the end of a pole."

This is what Captain Moroni did when people from his home land became traitors to their country, to their God and the liberty whereby they had been made free.

Unfortunately, the same things that were happening then are happening today.  We have people in more than just the U.S. becoming traitors to their country, traitors to their God and the plan for which they fought before they were born, traitors to the very gifts of the Atonement and Agency they defended prior to this life and, as modern prophets have been warning for a long time now, it's time we step it up and stop being afraid to defend truth.  Political correctness needs to go out the window.  Sensitivity to people's feelings and beliefs does not have to and should never mean that we should be apologizing for our own.  As Elder Dallin H. Oaks said, "Even as we seek to be meek and to avoid contention, we must not compromise or dilute our commitment to the truths we understand. We must not surrender our positions or our values. The gospel of Jesus Christ and the covenants we have made inevitably cast us as combatants in the eternal contest between truth and error. There is no middle ground in that contest."

This entry is a call to action, to it's readers and to the world.

Jesus Christ, the Savior and Redeemer of the world, our Advocate with the Father, our Atoning Mediator and loving Friend, is coming VERY soon.  I can't pretend to know how soon, but consider this.  Why do you think our prophet lowered the missionary age limit, allowing more missionaries to be called to hasten the work?  Why do you think Elder Bednar issued a challenge to all members of the Lord's church as follows? "My beloved brothers and sisters, what has been accomplished thus far in this dispensation communicating gospel messages through social media channels is a good beginning—but only a small trickle. I now extend to you the invitation to help transform the trickle into a flood.  Beginning at this place on this day, I exhort you to sweep the earth with messages filled with righteousness and truth—messages that are authentic, edifying, and praiseworthy—and literally to sweep the earth as with a flood."  Why do you think leaders of the Lord's church have, a few years ago, sent out the clarion call to hasten the work of salvation?  Why do you think we don't hear about getting out of debt, emergency preparation, food storage, etc. in General Conference anymore?  Why do you think General Authorities have repeatedly declared the churches position on marriage every time the judicial government makes a decision that violates the Lord's standards for marriage?  Why do you think there is more emphasis from our leaders, pleading with the world, to defend the Lord's standard for families, marriage, and a change of heart, and clinging to truth over all other things as frequently as they are?

The answer is simple.  Our Lord is coming much sooner than most people, even many Latter-Day Saints, seem to be even willing to believe.  The glorious day of His power will be here in the near future, the "disintegration of the family [is bringing] upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets"* and only those who are ready, willing to follow Christ's gospel and aware of what they should be looking for will not be deceived when He comes.

So here is my plea to members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints reading this article as well as to myself:

1.  Please show a greater commitment to sharing our Savior's gospel, the power of His Atonement and the  reality of His restored church by being a greater example to those around you.  Please show greater reverence and dedicated, sacred observance of the Sabbath day and make repentance and a change of heart and mind (I mean the hard changes) a daily practice.  The blessings of doing so will be immeasurably wonderful to you, it will be noticed by others and they will want what you have.
2.  Please show a greater commitment to sustaining the Lord's servants, the leaders of His church.  Please do not seek to interpret their words in a way that simply fits your lifestyle, but rather in a way that brings you closer to exact, unapologetic, faith filled obedience to Christ's restored gospel.
3.  Please learn to recognize the Holy Ghost more effectively and become more willing to follow His promptings.  Recognize that He will never give you an impression that contradicts or even isn't in exact alignment with what God's prophets have declared.

Here is my plea to all others.

1.  Please seek for understanding of the role of Jesus Christ in your life, to understand why He is so vital for your eternal happiness.
2.  Please remember that as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, we are not out to convert you**, only the Holy Ghost can do that. We are simply and desperately trying to share with you the unmatched love and joy that comes with faith in and obedience to Jesus Christ, His Atonement and His resultant restored gospel.  You are, of course, free to reject that invitation, but many of us will keep trying when we feel the time is right because we just care so darn much about you!
3.  Please remember that taking offense is a one way choice.  We live the way we believe and outwardly defend our beliefs when they are challenged, insulted or under attack the same way you would defend yours in the same situations.  We respect your right to believe, choose and live as you will so long as you are not taking away other's right to do the same, so we ask in kindness that you give us same respect.

And last but not least, a challenge to all from any walk of life.

Whether you take me seriously with what I am about to say or not, I say it because I don't like seeing anyone suffer.  A great change is coming to the world.  For some it will be a time of great rejoicing, a signal of the proximity of the coming of our Lord, Jesus Christ.  For others it will be a time of great sorrow because they are not prepared - spiritually, temporally, or both - and therefore cannot be guaranteed the same protection and safety as those to whom the blessings of faith and obedience have been granted by God, on which promise He has remained so invariably constant and will forever.  Please prepare yourselves, spiritually and temporally, so your suffering is as minimal as possible.  Follow the Lord's prophets so you can be as spared as possible from the grief that is to come and find joy in the protection of your Savior.

I say this with all the concern and love I can muster, echoing an ancient american prophet "...come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ;..."  This call to arms is a request to accept his invitation, before it's too late.

*[The Family: A Proclamation To The World]
**[We are not trying to convert you]