King Benjamin finishes his discourse and admonishes the people to care for the poor. The people are spiritually begotten of Christ and take upon them his name.
2 Nephi 9:41-42
Lectures on Faith 3
Moroni 10:21, 26
D&C 20:37, 68
3 Nephi 11:38
JST Mathew 24:
22 For in those days there shall also arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders, insomuch, that, if possible, they shall deceive the very elect, who are the elect according to the covenant.
23 Behold, I speak these things unto you for the elect’s sake; and you also shall hear of wars, and rumors of wars; see that ye be not troubled, for all I have told you must come to pass; but the end is not yet.
24 Behold, I have told you before;
25 Wherefore, if they shall say unto you: Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: Behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not;
26 For as the light of the morning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west, and covereth the whole earth, so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be.
27 And now I show unto you a parable. Behold, wheresoever the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together; so likewise shall mine elect be gathered from the four quarters of the earth.
28 And they shall hear of wars, and rumors of wars.
29 Behold I speak for mine elect’s sake; for nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
30 And again, because iniquity shall abound, the love of men shall wax cold; but he that shall not be overcome, the same shall be saved.
31 And again, this Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world, for a witness unto all nations, and then shall the end come, or the destruction of the wicked;
So Christ tells us not to be troubled by the things we see going on in the world, but rather be prepared to be gathered where the carcass is. The fear and panic in the world today is a sign that most people don’t actually believe in God or an afterlife. They are living for today in fear of death because they either do not believe in God, or they fear punishment for the way they have lived. The gospel of Christ really is a wondrous thing. It gives us hope that we will not cease to exist when we die, but rather that we will be raised up unto immortality as Christ has already obtained the victory.
55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
What greater message can we give the world than this? God will use these plagues upon the nations to bring them into remembrance of their nothingness. Humans think we can design some perfect system that will lead to a peaceful prosperous society by our own ingenuity. And yet what do we have to show for it? We can’t even beat a freaking bad cold. Our economies are shredded to tatters in a matter of days, and we literally can’t even supply enough paper to wipe our rear ends. We need to all wake up to the awful state in which we find ourselves. To realize as King Benjamin said that we are nothing. Even the dust listens to God, but we do not. The natural man is an enemy to God and always will be, and only by spiritually being reborn will we be able to escape the awful monster of death and hell. Only by being reborn through water, and blood, and the spirit as it says in Moses 6, will we be able to sever the bands from off our necks, will we be able to shake ourselves from the dust, will we be able to reclaim the priesthood which we have all lost and have the power to establish Zion. To break every band, to defy every army, to cast out devils and to heal the sick and to raise the dead. Christ’s power has conquered all enemies and the last enemy was death. If we truly believe in Christ we should pray with the whole energy of our souls that this power will be returned that we may not fear death and hell, that we may comfort those who mourn and bring Zion again to the earth.
Lots of good content this week. Here are a few thoughts I had while I was listening:
What we don’t get from the scripture account but might be filled in from personal experience is what happens in the lives of people after they make this covenant to serve God and their neighbor. It isn’t simply a matter of making a habit to give cash to the beggar on the edge of the Walmart parking lot. I think the gospel and faith in God is what gives us the perspective to be refined by the fires that come, instead of being burned. In the process of our own personal fires, we start to gain a perspective of shared suffering, so that we are better able to put ourselves into the shoes of those who need help, making the help we give much more heartfelt and appropriate, no matter what form it comes in.
If we decide to follow Christ as an insurance policy that bad things will be avoided through our efforts to keep the commandments, we may become disillusioned if our lives start to fall apart at the seams. However, if we take those same challenges with the perspective of “all things work together for good to them who love God and are called according to His purposes”, then we can move forward through the fire with faith that God will make things better in the end. We signed up to be on His team, we didn’t get any assurance that He would show us the details of our contribution to save souls.
I guess what I am trying to say here is best said by Alma 7:12-13, that if we become part of the body of Christ, through covenant, we too “will go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith [they] will take upon [them] the pains and the sicknesses of his people…that [their] bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that [they] may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.”
In the end, we are not saved by our good works, but God, working through us, can save us and our neighbors, if we let him. However, if we don’t have faith to see how he is shaping our souls in the fire of adversity, we may be at risk of failing to endure to the end. Recognizing that God gives us what we ask for, has helped me to see that when a trial doesn’t end when I pray for it to, that I may be praying for a premature end. Even Christ had to say “if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.”
Looks like the “prophets” failed to see this one coming: https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/18/us/earthquake-salt-lake-temple-moroni/index.html
I was woken up this morning to my bed shaking. There hasn’t been an earthquake this big in Utah in decades. Things are definitely getting interesting.