1 HEARKEN, O ye Gentiles, and hear the words of Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, which he hath commanded me that I should speak concerning you, for, behold he commandeth me that I should write, saying:
2 Turn, all ye Gentiles, from your wicked ways; and repent of your evil doings, of your lyings and deceivings, and of your whoredoms, and of your secret abominations, and your idolatries, and of your murders, and your priestcrafts, and your envyings, and your strifes, and from all your wickedness and abominations, and come unto me, and be baptized in my name, that ye may receive a remission of your sins, and be filled with the Holy Ghost, that ye may be numbered with my people who are of the house of Israel. 3 Nephi 30:1-2
We live in a day when these verses of scripture are relevant. The daily national and local news broadcast report these kinds of evils daily.
Ten years a ago President Hinckley said:
“I do not know that things were worse in the times of Sodom and Gomorrah. … We see similar conditions today. They prevail all across the world. I think our Father must weep as He looks down upon His wayward sons and daughters.” “Standing Strong and Immovable,” Worldwide Leadership Training Meeting, 10 Jan. 2004, 20.
I’ve lived long enough to remember when people along the Wasatch didn’t bother to lock their doors. We felt safe.
Nowadays, people are turning to gun ownership for self protection. When I was young guns were purchased for hunting. In Utah, it wasn’t uncommon to see pickup trucks with a rife hanging on a rack in the back window driving down the street. In our day, people get alarmed when a firearm is visible. This fear stems from school shootings and other kinds of gun violence.
Another telltale-sign of the day we’re living in is the prevalence of doubt among church members and the emergence of post-mormons. I believe the reason doubt and apostasy is on the rise is due to the affluent day we live in (See Helaman 12). It is so easy to forget the Lord and harden our hearts because of prosperity.
One of these days, the Mormon prophets are going to warn America that the judgments of God are at the door unless they repent.
And I say unto you, that if the Gentiles do not repent after the blessing which they shall receive…it shall come to pass, saith the Father, that the sword of my justice shall hang over them at that day; and except they repent it shall fall upon them, saith the Father, yea, even upon all the nations of the Gentiles.
3 Nephi 20:15 & 20
I think it is an excellent time for church members to prepare spiritually and temporally for the events of the last days. However, I wouldn’t develop a bunker mentality. I don’t think some of the current books like “Visions of Glory” and other like books should dominate our thoughts of the future. I keep up on these kinds of books, but after reading them I ask myself, “what value did this book add to my understanding?” The answer has been, very little. The restoration scriptures and teachings of the living prophets provide all we need to know.
The apostles and prophets are not pointing our attention to a bleak future. We should study their messages and let what they say dominate our thoughts.