Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Enduring the Signs of the Times

It is hard to ignore the "signs of the times" this year. I haven't mentioned them very much on my blog for no other reason except that they are depressing and they seemed to be happening in far off places. Well, they have hit closer to home and I feel that it is time to mention them. 

My heart and mind have pondered this subject a lot lately. I find myself wondering what will happen next and when it will happen right on my door step. Right now I am talking about the "signs and wonders" of nature. The moral "signs" are a whole post in themselves.  I have also found myself searching through the scriptures and reading about the Nephites in the Book of Mormon as they waited for the signs of Christ's birth and then the signs of his death. I look at the short time frame within those events and it makes me wonder about Father's plan for His Son's second coming. And mostly, it makes me wonder what I really need to do to prepare for, and endure through it all.

Leif and I had a late night talk about this subject. I shared my thoughts and concerns with him and he, being the wise one out of the two of us, put it all into perfect perspective. I had talked about how important it is to focus on the very basics of the gospel right now during the full force battle raging against us. He agreed with me, but he also reminded me that the events happening around us can affect us in two very different ways. It is all a matter of perspective.

1. We can live in fear. Where we are focusing and tallying all of the terribly tragic things that seem to be happening at a more rapid speed then ever. We can wallow in the sorrow of it all and the wickedness. And ultimately, we can despair.
2. We can create a heaven on earth perspective. One where we live the gospel within our homes, and find joy within them. We are aware of the sorrow and disaster around us, but the fear is not overwhelming because our faith is strong. We can serve where and when we can. We can prepare for things to come. But we do not fear. Ultimately, we can rejoice, for we know the end of the story.  This is the path that I will choose!

Now, with this said, I have had one more question. Just how much have things changed within the last 40 years? What about within the last 10 years? How much closer are we to His coming? I know, NO ONE on earth or in heaven know the time except for God the Father. But He has given us a few markers to look for as we exercise faith in Him along the way.

1982 President Ezra Taft Benson: Prepare Yourself for the Great Day of the Lord.
"Every generation, I suppose, sees the time in which they live as being exceptional. The truth of the matter is, you do live in a most exceptional time in the history of mankind. You young people will see events transpire which were prophesied from the beginning of the world. Prophets of old have seen your days and rejoiced in them. And yet, you will face challenges and circumstances, the severity of which has been unparalleled in generations past. For this you must be prepared. ..."

1992 Elder M. Russell Ballard: The Joy of Hope Fulfilled.
"Although the prophecies tell us that these things are to take place, more and more people are expressing great alarm at what appears to be an acceleration of worldwide calamity. As members of the Church, we must not forget the Savior’s admonition, “Be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass.” These are difficult times, when the forces of nature seem to be unleashing a flood of “famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.”..."

2004 Elder Dallin H. Oaks: Preparation for the Second Coming.
"In modern revelation we have the promise that if we are prepared we need not fear (see D&C 38:30). I was introduced to that principle 60 years ago this summer when I became a Boy Scout and learned the Scout motto: “Be prepared.” Today I have felt prompted to speak of the importance of preparation for a future event of supreme importance to each of us—the Second Coming of the Lord. ..."

2011 Elder Russell M. Nelson: Face the Future with Faith.
"We live in a time of turmoil. Earthquakes and tsunamis wreak devastation, governments collapse, economic stresses are severe, the family is under attack, and divorce rates are rising. We have great cause for concern. But we do not need to let our fears displace our faith. We can combat those fears by strengthening our faith. ..."

While reading through these four articles I recognized a shift that took place as the years progressed. Starting in President Benson's article written in 1982 up through the 90's we are being warned about what is to come. From there, we are being comforted through the storms and advised on how to endure them.

Finally, I would like to give myself a reminder of the basics that I will ground my focus upon.

  • Pray: Personal and Family
  • Scriptures: Personal and Family 
  • Temple Attendance
  • Sunday Meetings Attendance
  • Nourishing my Marriage
  • Nourishing my Family
  • Emergency Preparation Supplies
  • Self Reliance
And all of these revolve around HIM

1 comment:

Heidi Hamilton said...

This was a great post, Lena. Great reminders. I love the "for we know the end of the story." I've had discussions with McKinley and Jason about this in the past week. That knowledge brings me SO much peace & joy! Light will always overtake darkness - Good will always overcome evil in the end. !! :)
P.S. I'm going to e-mail you once we get our trailer home & packed & see when a good camp out weekend for you guys would be. Love ya!

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