I originally wrote this post in June 2015. This morning as I add this note, I am self-isolating because of COVID-19 pandemic. A few days ago, I felt my house sway as a 5.7 earthquake hit the Wasatch front.
Question: is the Lord sending a message? Is this a shot across the bow? Those who understand scripture know that Heavenly Father speaks to us through earthquakes and pandemics (pestilence).
And thus we see that except the Lord doth chasten his people with many afflictions, yea, except he doth visit them with death and with terror, and with famine and with all manner of pestilence, they will not remember him. Helaman 12:3
24 O, ye nations of the earth, how often would I have gathered you together as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, but ye would not!
25 How oft have I called upon you by the mouth of my servants, and by the ministering of angels, and by mine own voice, and by the voice of thunderings, and by the voice of lightnings, and by the voice of tempests, and by the voice of earthquakes, and great hailstorms, and by the voice of famines and pestilences of every kind, and by the great sound of a trump, and by the voice of judgment, and by the voice of mercy all the day long, and by the voice of glory and honor and the riches of eternal life, and would have saved you with an everlasting salvation, but ye would not! Doctrine and Covenants 43:24 – 25
As a student of the scriptures, I am worried about what I see taking place in the world. I am particularly concerned about America.
Others are concerned too. In April of this year I read this headline:
AUSTRALIA CALLS WORLD TO PRAY & FAST FOR 7 DAYS FOR USA
It is abundantly clear that American’s are renouncing their Christian roots. To measure this, all that one needs to do is consider what is popular on TV, the movies, and trends in fashion. But even more telling and concerning is this weeks supreme court’s 5 to 4 ruling on marriage.
When I first heard about the decision, a scripture from Mosiah 29 came to mind:
26 Now it is not common that the voice of the people desireth anything contrary to that which is right; but it is common for the lesser part of the people to desire that which is not right; therefore this shall ye observe and make it your law—to do your business by the voice of the people.
27 And if the time comes that the voice of the people doth choose iniquity, then is the time that the judgments of God will come upon you; yea, then is the time he will visit you with great destruction even as he has hitherto visited this land.
The scriptures refer to our day as the “times of the gentiles”. The times of the gentiles broke forth with the restoration of the fulness of the gospel to the prophet Joseph Smith. That was in 1820, 195 year ago.
The Lord revealed many things to the Book of Mormon prophets about our day. One example of their prophetic insight is found in the concluding chapter in 3rd Nephi. It was written nearly two thousand years ago. It is an invitation from Jesus Christ to the Gentiles:
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.
In some ways, I wish the scriptures in the Book of Mormon about the Gentiles concluded here, but there is more. The scriptures further teach, and I might add—sadly so—that the Gentiles “shall reject the fulness of my gospel” (3 Nephi 16:10). The Doctrine and Covenants adds, “But they receive it not; for they perceive not the light, and they turn their hearts from me because of the precepts of men. And in that generation shall the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” (D&C 45:29-30).
Then comes the startling prophecy in the Doctrine and Covenants, “in that generation shall the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. And there shall be men standing in that generation, that shall not pass until they shall see and overflowing scourge; for a desolating sickness shall cover the land” (D&C 30:30-31).
I was born at the end of the world war II. Growing up, my family never owned a home, but we got by living in modest rental homes and apartments. I have never known want for food, shelter, or any of the basic necessities of life. I think the vast majority of families in post war America have never known hunger or lacked for the necessities of life. Heavenly Father has blessed America and many other countries with prosperity.
In a coming day, life as we have known it in America since WWII will come to an end. As a student of the scriptures, I expect America will be visited with desolating sickness, earthquakes, and other judgments of God.
Church leaders have told us we are living in perilous times but so far they have not raised their voices like Samuel the Lamanite. However, that day will come.
What will you think when the apostles and prophets declare with a loud voice:
Yea, and wo be unto the city of New York, for the wickedness and abominations which are in her.
Yea, and wo be unto all the cities which are in the land round about, which are possessed by the gentiles, because of the wickedness and abominations which are in them.
And behold, a curse shall come upon the land, saith the Lord of Hosts…because of their wickedness and their abominations.
Ye do not remember the Lord your God in the things with which he hath blessed you, but ye do always remember your riches, not to thank the Lord your God for them; yea, your hearts are not drawn out unto the Lord, but they do swell with great pride, unto boasting, and unto great swelling, envyings, strifes, malice, persecutions, and murders, and all manner of iniquities (adapted from the words of Samuel the Lamanite).
I’m not looking forward to what is coming. I hope it is a long way off, but I am not counting on it.
The entertainers of our day mock the Book of Mormon and our missionaries. In fact, The Book of Mormon play will be in Salt Lake City, this summer. What a treat! I think I’ll spend my money on things that enlarge the soul.
Pray for America, pray for those who are leaving the church by the thousands, especially the youth. Pray that many will be brought to understand that God has called prophets to prepare a people for the second coming of Christ.
Pray for the missionaries that they can be successful. Pray for the apostles and prophets to lead us by the gifts of the Spirit to prepare for what is coming.
Pray for your family and loved ones that they can withstand every temptation of the devil, with their faith on the Lord Jesus Christ.