As the years go by and the commotion and noise of the world increases, I am ever more grateful for the incredible blessing of having 15 prophets, seers, and revelators among us.
What a comforting and peaceful gift that we have been given. While many in the world are crippled with fear and anxiety, we have access to the gift of the comforter as well as a seer who has a vision of what lies ahead.
The most recent example of how this has brought great peace to the world is President’ Nelson’s #1 trending video on YouTube where he declared that we will get through Coronavirus scare this in due time.
These unique challenges will pass in due time. I remain optimistic for the future.
President Nelson also wrote an article that will be published in the April 2020 Ensign, which is already available digitally. While he focuses on the glorious restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ, he also provides a few glimpses into the future, evidence of his seership.
Facing the Future With Faith
President Nelson spoke of the commotion, turmoil, and great cause for concern, but declared that we must move forward with faith.
“Meanwhile, here and now, 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.
Why do we need such resilient faith? Because difficult days are ahead. Rarely in the future will it be easy or popular to be a faithful Latter-day Saint. Each of us will be tested. The Apostle Paul warned that in the latter days, those who diligently follow the Lord “shall suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12). That very persecution can either crush you into silent weakness or motivate you to be more exemplary and courageous in your daily lives.”
The phrase that President Nelson used, being crushed into silent weakness, was a very powerful one for me. It’s very common in our society for people to keep quiet and not speak up because they feel their only responsibility is to “love, love, love.’ But we have been asked to defend our faith and the things that we believe in, while at the same time showing forth love. We can do both.
We should not just love, and at the same time, we should not just defend. We live in a world that tells us we can only do one or the other, but we CAN love those around us and defend our beliefs, all the while being civil and kind.
With the recent commotion on the campus of BYU, many people were declaring their support for the LGBTQ students, including NFL Hall of Famer Steve Young. He tweeted the following below.
— Steve Young (@SteveYoungQB) March 6, 2020
I appreciate Steve offering his support for the LGBTQ+ community, and he has been a very gracious ally for a while. I, too, wanted to offer my support to my LGBTQ+ friends and be clear that I also support the brethren of the Church. This is the interaction that ensued as I commented on Steve Young’s Twitter post.
Essentially, what I was told is that I can’t love someone who is LGBTQ and support the church, and that is a bold-faced lie. This is an example in our society of the discord that Satan likes to stir up. God wants us all to be united, Satan wants us to be divided and not see eye to eye.
I believe that we all are coming together “as one.” This coming together truly represents all that is good in the world. I pray each of us can work toward building peace and fostering understanding so that we all may be “as one.”
— Russell M. Nelson (@NelsonRussellM) May 10, 2019
(For those who would like a good model of how it is possible to love and support our LGBTQ+ brothers and sisters and still be true and committed to the doctrine of Christ, look no further than Tom Christofferson and his brother Todd (yes, D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve). In Tom’s book, That We May Be One, he speaks about how his family loved and support him through his 20-year gay relationship with his partner.)
As President Nelson said, “Rarely in the future will it be easy or popular to be a faithful Latter-day Saint. Each of us will be tested.” My hope is that as we are tested, we will not resort to silent weakness but we will lovingly and kindly defend the truth.
The Time is Coming
Another warning from our seer, President Nelson, references this continued discord and disunity that will eventually end up in a separation similar to the families of Nephi and Laman and Lemuel.
“The time is coming when those who do not obey the Lord will be separated from those who do (see Doctrine and Covenants 86:1–7). Our safest insurance is to continue to be worthy of admission to His holy house. The greatest gift you could give to the Lord is to keep yourself unspotted from the world, worthy to attend His holy house. His gift to you will be the peace and security of knowing that you are worthy to meet Him, whenever that time comes.”
In the past month, I’ve heard of a few people who have taken The Family: A Proclamation to the World off of the walls of their home in support of a family member who is LGBTQ. What sign is that giving to the Lord?
As President Nelson states, our safest insurance is to be worthy of entering the house of the Lord. The temple recommend questions below are what determines our eligibility to enter the Lord’s house.
- Do you have faith in and a testimony of God, the Eternal Father; His Son, Jesus Christ; and the Holy Ghost?
- Do you have a testimony of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and of His role as your Savior and Redeemer?
- Do you have a testimony of the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ?
- Do you sustain the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as the prophet, seer, and revelator and as the only person on the earth authorized to exercise all priesthood keys? Do you sustain the members of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles as prophets, seers, and revelators? Do you sustain the other General Authorities and local leaders of the Church?
- The Lord has said that all things are to be “done in cleanliness” before Him (Doctrine and Covenants 42:41). Do you strive for moral cleanliness in your thoughts and behavior? Do you obey the law of chastity?
- Do you follow the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ in your private and public behavior with members of your family and others?
- Do you support or promote any teachings, practices, or doctrine contrary to those of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?
- Do you strive to keep the Sabbath day holy, both at home and at church; attend your meetings; prepare for and worthily partake of the sacrament; and live your life in harmony with the laws and commandments of the gospel?
- Do you strive to be honest in all that you do?
- Are you a full-tithe payer?
- Do you understand and obey the Word of Wisdom?
- Do you have any financial or other obligations to a former spouse or to children? If yes, are you current in meeting those obligations?
- Do you keep the covenants that you made in the temple, including wearing the temple garment as instructed in the endowment?
- Are there serious sins in your life that need to be resolved with priesthood authorities as part of your repentance?
- Do you consider yourself worthy to enter the Lord’s house and participate in temple ordinances?
If we can answer these questions worthily, we will not only be worthy to enter the house of the Lord, but we will also be aligned with the living prophets of God.
What a Prophet!
LDS Business College President Bruce C. Kusch addressed the students, faculty, and staff during the school’s regular Tuesday devotional on March 17 and showed again how prophets in the land bring a wonderful abundance of hope.
The Church News reported that President Kusch spoke of a recent meeting about how Church-owned schools would respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. President Kusch said he observed a leader who was calm and positive.
President Russell M. Nelson “was happy, joyful and optimistic,” President Kusch said. “He greeted each of us by name and looked into our eyes with a sincere love and concern — one by one.”
He continued, “Challenging issues were discussed in our meeting, but there was no evidence of panic or fear — only a firm resolve for the welfare of our students, and to be responsible local and global citizens. As I watched this unfold, and observed four other prophets, seers and revelators counsel together, I was grateful to have it confirmed in my heart once again that ‘there are prophets in the land’” (see Ether 9:28).
In these times of confusion, I am so grateful to acknowledge that we have a seer among us. May we heed the prophet’s voice and align our wills with our Father in Heaven. The upcoming April 2020 General Conference will be the most anticipated conference in the history of the church as we all seek for the peace and comfort that comes from hearing the word of the Lord through his chosen servants.
To read President Nelson’s full April 2020 Ensign article, click here.