This conference in September is one that our family will be attending. This is a very important project underway and I’m grateful for those who are working on it.
It’s sobering to contemplate that millions, if not billions of people will die before the Lord comes again. It’s equally sobering to realize that in order to survive the apocalypse, we must be able to discern between true and false prophets. This is what saved the relative few when Jesus came to this continent in 34 AD and it will be what saves those who survive what’s coming here shortly.
I was quite surprised that among all the talks shared at General Conference this last week, not a single “prophet” or church leader warned about the food shortage that is at our doorstep. It doesn’t take prophecy to see what’s happening and a true servant of the Lord would want to warn members… or at least remind them of the warnings of previous “prophets” I would think.
LDS messages today instead seek to flatter and look to not overly offend the world or the Church. They use corporate speak and repeat catch phrases like “positive spiritual momentum, hastening the work, staying on the covenant path, lifting where you stand and blooming where you’re planted, making the Sabbath a delight, lengthening your stride (going way back), and this is how WE hear Him.”
It seems that at every conference there’s either a strange overuse of the president’s most recent catch phrase OR there’s an attempt to create a new one that also sticks. Sister Dibbs (President Monson’s daughter who was a recent General Authority) even suggested her quotable would make a great t-shirt. And thus it was made.
In fact, all quotables that are made by the president along with others that float to the top, are quickly monetized by the Church’s own Deseret Book. Sadly. Elder Devin Durant and his family had already printed the t-shirts and made a website for his “Ponderize” talk, which they apparently hoped would turn his phrase taken from the evangelical world into a little family business. His mistake, ironically, was not trying to sell t-shirts and make money, but rather that he didn’t do so through the proper sales channels of the Church.
We’re on the verge of planetary destruction and today’s Church leaders are focused on t-shirt quotes and airplanes. (Uchdorf talk GC 2022, Not Joking)
For those of us who think we may be discerning correctly, we would do well to look more closely at the message being given. My family is not ready spiritually or temporally for what is coming. We’re working on it, but we’re not there yet. And who can actually “be ready” for something so apocalyptic, unknown, and devastating. It’s overwhelming for me at times. I personally feel the need to refocus my study on the Book of Mormon and on the words of the true prophets, of which there are only two or three in the last 200 years. It’s too late in the game to be focused on anything or anyone else.
It was a good reminder for me this week to read the counsel from the Book of Mormon about what we should be teaching:
And it came to pass that Alma, having authority from God, ordained priests; even one priest to every fifty of their number did he ordain to preach unto them and to teach them concerning the things pertaining to the kingdom of God. And he commanded them that they should teach nothing save it were the things which he had taught and which had been spoken by the mouth of the holy prophets. Yea, even he commanded them that they should preach nothing save it were repentance and faith on the Lord, who had redeemed his people. And he commanded them that there should be no contention one with another, but that they should look forward with one eye, having one faith and one baptism, having their hearts knit together in unity and in love one towards another. And thus he commanded them to preach. And thus they became the children of God. Mosiah 9:9 RE
I was also rebuked by what President and Prophet Hyrum Smith said in T&C 152:
And again, I say unto you, an elder has no business to undertake to preach mysteries in any part of the world, for God has commanded us all to preach nothing but the first principles unto the world. Neither has any elder any authority to preach any mysterious thing to any branch of the church unless he has a direct commandment from God to do so. Let the matter of the grand councils of Heaven, and the making of gods, worlds, and devils entirely alone, for you are not called to teach any such doctrine — for neither you nor the people are capacitated to understand any such principles — less so to teach them. For when God commands men to teach such principles, the saints will receive them. Therefore, beware what you teach! For the mysteries of God are not given to all men; and unto those to whom they are given they are placed under restrictions to impart only such as God will command them, and the residue is to be kept in a faithful breast, otherwise he will be brought under condemnation. By this God will prove his faithful servants, who will be called and numbered with the chosen. And as to the Celestial glory, all will enter in and possess that kingdom that obey the gospel and continue in faith in the Lord unto the end of his days. Now, therefore, I say unto you, you must cease preaching your miraculous things and let the mysteries alone until by and by. Preach faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, repentance, and baptism for the remission of sins, the laying on of the hands for the gift of the holy ghost — teaching the necessity of strict obedience unto these principles, reasoning out of the scriptures, proving them unto the people. Cease your schisms, and divisions, and your contentions. Humble yourselves as in dust and ashes, lest God should make you an example of his wrath unto the surrounding world. Amen. In the bonds of the everlasting covenant, I am your obedient servant, Hyrum Smith. (T&C 152:3,4)
Again I feel rebuked, for I have taken these things too lightly and I am not ready. I commend to you in closing the words of such a true messenger that are worth reading, pondering, and heeding. One is from this week and one is from 2012. I am humbled by these words and I want to do better to prepare for what’s coming:
It would be wise to take steps to purchase food in advance of coming inflationary price increases and shortages. We will also be going through another government caused “stagflation” cycle. If you aren’t familiar with that term then you should look up how the era of President Jimmy Carter unfolded to explain how both a stagnant recessionary economy and inflation led to that term being adopted.
The bold, shameless advance of sexual abuse of children in the public schools, and unrelenting killing of the unborn are making this and many other countries ripen in iniquity. It will not go unnoticed by God, but will invoke the promised penalty: This is “the land of promise, which was choice above all other lands, which the Lord God had preserved for a righteous people. And he had sworn in his wrath unto the brother of Jared that whoso should possess this land of promise, from that time henceforth and for ever should serve him, the true and only God, or they should be swept off when the fullness of his wrath should come upon them.” RE Edition Ether 1:6
Instead of instilling honor, integrity, honesty, and courage in children, schools are sexualizing and confusing children with corrupt ideas that result in mental damage. It is perilous and wicked to engage in this foolishness. It mirrors the words of Isaiah: “The show of their countenance does witness against them, and does declare their sin to be even as Sodom; they cannot hide it. Woe unto their souls, for they have rewarded evil unto themselves.” RE Isa 1:8 (Source)
And from 2012:
Jacob makes a startling promise for those who live when the destruction begins preliminary to the cleansing of the world before the Lord returns. He says “none will he destroy that believe in him. And they that believe not in him shall be destroyed, both by fire, quakes, and by bloodsheds, and by pestilence, and by famine.” (2 Ne. 6: 14-15.)
This amazing promise is predicated on “believing in Him.” This requires us to understand what the word “believe” means in the parlance of the Book of Mormon. Those who believe in Him know and accept correct doctrine, or the truth about Him. Those who do not know and will not accept correct doctrine or the truth have dwindled in unbelief. They do not believe in Him. They may have religion, may belong to churches, may be active in all their observances, but they are not in possession of belief in Him. Instead they accept for doctrines the commandments of men, and their hearts are far from Him. They teach false and vain things. As a result they neither enter into the kingdom nor suffer those who are entering to go in. This includes those who, though they are humble followers of Christ, are nevertheless led that in many instances they do err in doctrine. (2 Ne. 28: 14.)
There will be many who are destroyed who will be quite surprised by it. They will complain that they have prophesied in Christ’s name, and in His name cast out devils, and done many wonderful works, but they do not know Christ, and therefore never did believe in Him. (See Matt. 7: 22-24.)
If you are one of those who believe in Him, and who will not dwindle in unbelief, will not accept the commandments of men as doctrine, but will take the Spirit for your guide, then Jacob promises that Christ will not destroy you. The rest He will destroy.
Fire will upset the order of things and make societal collapse inevitable. Men’s self-inflicted woes will not be the only sign of Divine disapproval. The earth will quake to signal God’s disapproval. Interruptions of social order and control will be followed by self-inflicted violence. Bloodshed will be widespread among the survivors. Disease and pestilence will be one of the results of the lack of social order. Air and water will be contaminated. Neglected hygiene will lead to the promised pestilence. As the downward spiral continues, food production and distribution will be inadequate to prevent widespread, global famine. It is as if Jacob could see the sequence of events and gave us the list of how it would unfold, step by step, as the unbelieving are wiped from the earth.
Survival during this bleak time depends on the qualification of “believing in Him.” Suddenly, if you think Jacob knew what he was talking about then our doctrines take on terrible significance. What we believe matters. Not just in the distant after-life, but for the preservation of our present lives. Jacob does make a powerful case for studying the Gospel a good deal more carefully than we can accomplish in a 40 minute class-discussion, with an approved “discussion leader,” using Correlated materials, rather than a teacher declaring and testifying of true doctrine.
I’m pretty sure Jacob would be a very marginalized Mormon, if he were among us today. (Source)
Tonight Jupiter and Venus will almost overlap in the western sky. My understanding is that the last time this took place was 2 B.C. Some say this new “star” was the very same sign given more than 2,000 years ago preceding Jesus’ birth. John Pratt and others more intelligent than myself offer greater insight and detail.
Is this astrological re-occurrence significant? Is this one of the signs that Jesus is coming again, soon? Will we be found looking for the signs in the heavens like those of times past who awaited Him and who were prepared to receive Him? Or will we dismiss the signs, the dates, and the events that are taking place right before our very eyes? From all that I’m reading, I’m inclined to believe that this is a very important event.
Just this year we will have also witnessed four blood moons all landing on Jewish Holy Days separated by a Solar Eclipse. Any year this has happened in recorded history, something very significant has taken place.
This month is also Ramadan. A time in which faithful Muslims fast during the daylight hours for 30 consecutive days. Sadly during this holy time, a growing number of radical Islamists are escalating the cry for the destruction of Israel, Christianity, the West, and basically any person or group who disagrees with them. They have no value for life, not even their own. These terrorists also seem to be fulfilling latter day prophecy:
Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them, which shall not regard silver and gold, nor shall they delight in it. Their bows shall also dash the young men to pieces; and they shall have no pity on the fruit of the womb; their eyes shall not spare children. (2 Nephi 23:17–18)
I am humbled by both the signs of heaven as well as by the increasing signs of wickedness. I’m reminded that every one of us is a child of God. Each soul is precious and our time to prepare is short. There is no mortal and there is no institution to which we can look to be saved.
The only sure way to be saved is to come unto Him with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, to be literally changed by Him (Psalms 51:17, Psalms 34:18, D&C 59:8, 3 Nephi 9:20, 2 Nephi 2:7, Moroni 6:2, etc.). We are all broken. We all need His healing. May we look heavenward and be found ready to receive the God of Heaven and Earth who comes again.
“…severe persecution at the hands of all classes of men, both religious and irreligious, because I continued to affirm that I had seen a vision…being of very tender years, and persecuted by those who ought to have been my friends and to have treated me kindly, and if they supposed me to be deluded to have endeavored in a proper and affectionate manner to have reclaimed me—I was left to all kinds of temptations; and, mingling with all kinds of society, I frequently fell into many foolish errors, and displayed the weakness of youth, and the foibles of human nature; which, I am sorry to say, led me into divers temptations, offensive in the sight of God.” (JS-H 1:27,28)
Like prophets of scripture, Joseph was experiencing rejection, ridicule, and disappointment from those “even who ought to have been his friends.” The lack of support must’ve left him very discouraged. He surely felt very alone as he approached the Lord on this night of autumnal equinox, although surrounded by his siblings who all shared the same bed in that tiny loft of the Smith residence in upstate New York.
“In consequence of these things, I often felt condemned for my weakness and imperfections; when, on the evening of the above-mentioned twenty-first of September, after I had retired to my bed for the night, I betook myself to prayer and supplication to Almighty God for forgiveness of all my sins and follies, and also for a manifestation to me, that I might know of my state and standing before him; for I had full confidence in obtaining a divine manifestation, as I previously had one.” (JS-H 1:29)
Interestingly, it does not appear from the record that Moroni spends a lot of time consoling Joseph nor does he pull up a chair and listen to his concerns. Moroni is laser focused on the message he has been commanded to deliver to young Joseph.
He called me by name, and said unto me that he was a messenger sent from the presence of God to me, and that his name was Moroni; that God had a work for me to do; and that my name should be had for good and evil among all nations, kindreds, and tongues, or that it should be both good and evil spoken of among all people. (JS-H 1:33)
After then proceeding to tell Joseph about the ancient record Moroni does something I have always found very curious. He begins to quote scripture, word for word, seeming to cut and paste in symphonic fashion from various prophets from various dispensations. Imagine being in the presence of a glorious being sent from the presence of God and with the voice of an angel he begins to speak of the destruction soon to come, as pronounced by incredible prophets such as Isaiah, Joel, Paul and Malachi:
“For behold, the day cometh that shall burn as an oven, and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly shall burn as stubble; for they that come shall burn them, saith the Lord of Hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch...Behold, I will reveal unto you the Priesthood, by the hand of Elijah the prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord…And he shall plant in the hearts of the children the promises made to the fathers, and the hearts of the children shall turn to their fathers. If it were not so, the whole earth would be utterly wasted at his coming.” (JS-H 1: 37–39)
In addition to quoting this slightly different version from Malachi, Moroni also:
“…quoted the eleventh chapter of Isaiah, saying that it was about to be fulfilled. He quoted also the third chapter of Acts, twenty-second and twenty-third verses, precisely as they stand in our New Testament. He said that that prophet was Christ; but the day had not yet come when ‘they who would not hear his voice should be cut off from among the people,’ but soon would come. He also quoted the second chapter of Joel, from the twenty-eighth verse to the last. He also said that this was not yet fulfilled, but was soon to be. And he further stated that the fulness of the Gentiles was soon to come in. He quoted many other passages of scripture, and offered many explanations which cannot be mentioned here.”
There are so many amazing things in Joseph’s account worth great study and attention. But in interest of time, I’d like to focus on the words of Joel while keeping in mind that the angel would appear 4 times that night and next morning and repeat the exact same message:
And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the Lord come. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call. (Joel 2:28–32)
Why did Moroni come four times? Why not three? Why not five? Why would he then ask Joseph to appear on the same day (the Autumnal Equinox) for the next four years at the Hill Cumorah? What was the significance of the number four, if any?
What is also interesting is that since 1823 there have been many “blood moons” and “solar eclipses.” Assuming this is what is meant by the references to blood and darkness. Does anyone else find it odd that Moroni is quoting prophets from the Old and New Testament saying the time of burning is soon at hand, and oh by the way, it won’t happen before a blood moon and solar eclipse, when such a thing is not very unique?
Unless of course, it’s four blood moons and a solar eclipse. What if Moroni was leaving Joseph a message with the emphasis on the number four?
Many of you are aware that we are living history this year as it pertains to Blood Moons. We are experiencing what is called a Tetrad of Blood Moons. It’s not the first Tetrad we’ve seen since Christ’s first coming. But, all the Tetrads have been during years of great significance for Israel.
So here we have four blood moons, all happening to fall on really important Jewish dates. And as if that weren’t interesting enough, the four moons are separated by a solar eclipse. It’s almost as if Moroni was trying to say, “when these things shall happen four times, while the sun is also darkened, make sure you take notice, because it will be soon after that.”
There is so much more here to study and to see and to ponder. I found an intriguing article written on this topic by a person not of our faith. He speaks of a prophecy by a Rabbi Judah Ben Samuel in 1217 AD. I definitely think it’s worth a read. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
As I read and ponder such things I am reminded that our Lord must soon be coming. It has been nearly 200 years since Joseph’s first vision and since that first visit from Moroni! I often hear people in the church say they “can’t wait until He comes again!” I don’t know that I share that same sentiment.
He and those that come will destroy many of us. Or their glory will at least. I feel the need to repent and to become more prepared before He comes. To be a better husband and father, son and brother. To be more humble, more trusting in Him. I need His grace and seek His fulness.
I know many of you may relate to Joseph in feeling discouraged at this time, by rejection from those who ought to be your friends. God bless you. I know God hears your prayers and will comfort you as you turn to Him.
I leave you with a beautiful version of a song I wish was in our hymn book. Amazing Grace. I have heard it’s not included in the hymnal for doctrinal reasons, although I notice the Mormon Tabernacle Choir has sung it on occasion. Either way, I hope you enjoy it. It really is all about His Amazing Grace.