3 Nephi 21: 29:
"And they shall go out from all nations; and they shall not go out in haste, nor go by flight, for I will go before them, saith the Father, and I will be their rearward."
When the time comes to redistribute the survivors to their respective promised lands of inheritance, they will not flee, nor will the process be hurried. No one will pursue them. They will at last be free to go to their homes without being molested along the way.
The Father will go before them. The Father will be on their rear guard. His glory and His presence will be their shield and protection.
How will the earth respond to such a passage? Psalms 48: 1-4 gives some idea of this great and joyful procession. Psalms 67 is another great anthem of this event.
Though the days before were terrible, in their wake all be comforted, for to know the Great Comforter is to know at last peace. Isaiah could not refrain from adding to the anthems of praise of this future event: "Thus saith the Lord, In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages; That thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth; to them that are in darkness, Shew yourselves. They shall feed in the ways, and their pastures shall be in all high places. They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun smite them: for he that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall he guide them. And I will make all my mountains a way, and my highways shall be exalted. Behold, these shall come from far: and, lo, these from the north and from the west; and these from the land of Sinim. Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains: for the Lord hath comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted." (Isa. 49: 8-13.)
This ultimate triumph was always intended to be the outcome. The end will be joyful. Though His covenant people may pass through the trials and rigors of mortality, the fruit offered to them is delicious even in times of tragedy and distress. (Alma 32: 28.) To make it through what is coming and endure to the final comfort, it will be necessary to come and plant that seed inside you now. Unless you do so, you will not have the strength to lay hold on the promises of the Lord.
The end will be worth all the shame and bitterness endured while the world still lies in sin and error. (2 Nephi 9: 18.) The final triumph will be won by those who can endure the presence of the Father. This requires more than enduring the presence of the Son. Those who can rise to this glory must be sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise, and become kings and priests, holding that same priesthood and bearing that same right which was in the beginning and is named after the Son of God. They will be everlasting, for they came from everlasting and have reconnected with that while here in mortality.
The Book of Mormon is a message of hope and triumph. But to win that triumph and possess that hope requires the reader to follow the same path and take the same steps as all others who went before. There simply is not a way to avoid the rigors of the journey. It must change YOU. The work of the Father is to develop YOU. To do so it will require you to cooperate with Him. It is His work and His glory, but you must choose to let Him bring you along. Read Nephi's remarkable summary: "Behold, the Lord hath created the earth that it should be inhabited; and he hath created his children that they should possess it. And he raiseth up a righteous nation, and destroyeth the nations of the wicked. And he leadeth away the righteous into precious lands, and the wicked he destroyeth, and curseth the land unto them for their sakes. He ruleth high in the heavens, for it is his throne, and this earth is his footstool. And he loveth those who will have him to be their God. Behold, he loved our fathers, and he covenanted with them, yea, even Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and he remembered the covenants which he had made;" (1 Ne. 17: 36-40, emphasis added.) Can you not see the pleading, the meekness and the humility in this description of our God?
Great is His wisdom and endless His mercy and the extent of His doings no man can find out! He makes Himself known to those who seek after Him, and those who cry out they do not know Him is only because they have chosen to ignore His plea!
We will return then to Nephi's writings and continue this effort to understand what great covenants the Book of Mormon lay before us if we choose to receive them.
Thank you for your efforts in the behalf of others and especially as they have influenced my seeking God and Christ more earnestly and humbly. I've fasted and prayed many days, but am still slow to hear the Lord's voice. I pray that I can find His favor to both hear and respond to Him with exactness.ReplyDelete
I, too, have been earnestly striving to hear their voices, but I guess there is still much to learn. Perhaps I need to do what was suggested in some earlier comments, and give up "trying." That doesn't mean to get frustrated or lose hope, but to put it all on the Lord's shoulders, and trust in His plan for me. Maybe my stumbling block is thinking that there is anything I can "do" to earn or merit His presence, other than to just receive the gift.ReplyDelete
So, Denver Snuffer, where do we go from here? Think there are some of us in need of a lot of help. Any suggestions?ReplyDelete
I'm going to keep going. So keep reading.ReplyDelete
One thought related to this post: In 2 Nephi 14: 3 the prophecy of those who survive the purging states: "they that are left in Zion and remain in Jerusalem shall be called holy..." Meaning that these survivors are holy beings; having become holy before the purge. They survive because they were holy.
Two verses later the manner of their survival is explained in terms you should recognize: "The Lord will create upon every dwelling-place of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day and the shining of a flaming fire by night; for upon all the glory of Zion shall be a defense." (2 Ne. 14: 5.) To dwell in a house with a pillar of smoke by day and fire by night is to dwell in a holy house. In effect, every home will be a Temple of the Lord and every occupant themselves holy.
This is why the wicked will be content to not go up against Zion. This is why Zion will appear to be too terrible to confront.
The answer to what we should to is always (in the Book of Mormon) to "repent and come unto Christ." He is called the Savior because He saves. He is called the Comforter because He comforts. If you have not read The Second Comforter, you should. It is a manual of how to come to Him.
I thought this was a good scripture that Denver brought again to our attention:ReplyDelete
1 VERILY, thus saith the Lord: It shall come to pass that every soul who forsaketh his sins and cometh unto me, and calleth on my name, and obeyeth my voice, and keepeth my commandments, shall see my face and know that I am;
Then we wait for the Lord.... in His own due time.... when He determines we are ready/prepared.
I read it for the 3rd time before Denver started teaching from the Book of Mormon in his blogs. Now that there is some light and understanding gathered from these lessons, I'll start over for the 4th time. I'm sure I missed a lot.ReplyDelete
Denver, could you confirm, I think I read once that all the personal commentary you put in the book was to show us how NOT to proceed. Is that correct?
The personal vignettes at the beginning of the chapters illustrate a principle discussed in the chapter which follows. However, more often than not, the personal experience related shows how I failed, did not understand, or did not follow the right course in my life. My own errors were required for me to learn.ReplyDelete
The purpose of this approach was to show the reader that I am not different or better than they are. I had no advantage. If, therefore, someone as prone to error and failure as I am was able to finish the course, then the reader should be confident that they too may be comforted by our Lord.
Denver you said....ReplyDelete
"To dwell in a house with a pillar of smoke by day and fire by night is to dwell in a holy house. In effect, every home will be a Temple of the Lord and every occupant themselves holy."
What if currently you live in a home where not all of the occupants have caught the vision of the importance of studying the scriptures and things are a little disconnected, although all are good people, members of the Church, but plod along in the "institution". A weekly (I know...it should be daily) gospel discussion doesn't occur unless I am the one to prepare it. I believe in covenants, I believe in family's and I love mine, but it gets discouraging. What to do, what to feel, how to proceed. Discouraging.
I loved the vignettes throughout "The Second Comforter". For me, it accomplished exactly what you wanted it to :)ReplyDelete
A home or Temple is called "sacred space" because the Lord may come and dwell there. It is a place of refuge and peace. It would be good to have such a house right now. But, if not, "know ye not that ye are the Temple of God?" God can come and dwell with you, even if others will not permit Him. Since you are the Temple, you may become the sacred space to which He comes. The blood on the posts and lentil saved the occupants, for the sake of the righteous. For the want of a few Sodom was destroyed. Be the few. Be the leaven. Be the salt. If you are the Temple you preserve more than yourself.ReplyDelete
Further, what makes any of you think you can become redeemed without bringing others with you? Why would you think that those given to associate with you are not a gift from God, deliberately in your life to permit you the high honor and great responsibility of showing by a godly walk what redemption can bring? Why shrug off others, thinking they will fail when you will succeed? You will only succeed if you minister to them in patience, all the while seeking their redemption even before your own. Christ came not to be ministered to, but to minister. Why would it be different for His servants?
Thank you Denver, for responding to my question...also for the gentle rebuke. I dont ever want to give the impression that I feel like I am better than anyone, because I am not. Your response has given me much food for thought. I am grateful.ReplyDelete
I concur with your last comments Denver.ReplyDelete
We must do what Christ did, to become like him, to really come to know him. We must be willing to give our lives to be Saviors on Mount Zion for our loved ones.
I think of that story about the 'Special Olympics', where one runner fell down & another, instead of running on ahead to win, stopped to help the fallen runner up & together they went on to the finish line.
That is what I feel we must do with our loved ones who fall. Not leave them behind but stop & put them before our own life & help them finish the race too, as slow as that might be & even if they may not want our saving help yet.
To paraphrase: one must first be able to endure the presence of the Son. After this, one must be able to endure the presence of the Father- if one is to achieve the final triumph.ReplyDelete
What about BEFORE being able to endure the presence of the Son? Must one first be able to endure the presence of the Holy Ghost? Is being in the presence of the personage of the Holy Ghost for the first time also known as the baptism by fire and of the Holy Ghost?
Is this a stepwise sanctification process? Do these acceptances by the members of the Godhead "advance the day of judgement" in the lives of worthy individuals? Do these acceptances foreshadow the process that all must acheive who will one day inherit a kingdom of glory?
Are we made sons of the individual members of the Godhead as we progress up this ladder?
These posts and your reply comments have been an answer to prayer. We have some members of our ward who are promoting material composed by Roger K. Young, and they are stressing the importance of stocking up on food storage to get ready to move to tent cities. They are good people with good hearts, but I've read some of Roger's stuff that I found online (http://www.ldsavow.com/resources.html), and I only felt fear and confusion (hmmmmmm). I've now read up through these blogs and comments, and I feel a strong presence of the Spirit. When I read your blog where you encouraged us to look up the definition of a "soothsayer", I couldn't help but relate it back to Roger's material.
I'm going to keep reading because I know there are still things I don't understand. However, I now know that only those called by the Savior will be invited to Mount Zion. I don't know if those who are invited will need to bring a year supply of food with them, but I know that year supply won't do me much good unless I'm prepared spiritually to be in both my Savior's and Father's presence to receive one of those invitations. I truly hope I will be ready when this day comes because I do not want to be one who has to fight against neighbor to defend any food supply I may have pulled together.
Your comments also give me hope for my family. I'm married to the sweetest woman that I've ever met whom I love with all my heart. I've shared some of the things I've learned on the blogs and books with her, and honestly some of the topics have broken her tender heart (which breaks mine). I'm sure part of that is due to my weakness in conveying the message, but she has instilled in her a deep love of the church (i.e. the instituional church discussed in the blogs) and its leaders. I know she loves the Savior too. I will pray for help to share this doctrine in the true Spirit and love required. I am grateful for what the church can still provide for us, especially the ordinances. However, I do recognize the need now to seek learning directly from the Lord.
Thank you again for sharing this doctrine with us. I will continue to thank my Savior as well. I hope to meet him as well some day, and I hope I will have the patience to endure until that day comes.