Sign up for Meridian’s Free Newsletter, please CLICK HERE
“And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.” (Matthew 24: 4-7)
We see many references in the scriptures, The Holy Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants and the teachings of modern day prophets warning us of events which will occur before the return of the Savior.
Why would Heavenly Father warn us so often and for so long of the challenges in the last days? Did He mean to frighten us?
It was Fayette, New York, January 2, 1831, the occasion of a conference of the Church.
Joseph Smith was told of the last days in Section 38 of the Doctrine and Covenants.
Section 38: 28-30 “And again, I say unto you that the enemy in the secret chambers seeketh your lives. Ye hear of wars in far countries, and you say that there will soon be great wars in far countries, but ye know not the hearts of men in your own land. I tell you these things because of your prayers; wherefore, treasure up wisdom in your bosoms, lest the wickedness of men reveal these things unto you by their wickedness, in a manner which shall speak in your ears with a voice louder than that which shall shake the earth; but if ye are prepared ye shall not fear.”
No, He did not mean to cause fear, in fact, we have been warned so we need not fear.
An apostle teaches: “Because the Lord is kind, He calls servants to warn people of danger. That call to warn is made harder and more important by the fact that the warnings of most worth are about dangers that people don’t yet think are real.” Henry B. Eyring, Ensign Jan. 2009
Even the Savior himself warned us so we could prepare.
Matthew 24: 3-13: “And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my names sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.”
He continued with a warning to be ready to abandon what is normal and a natural response to the dangers.
Matthew 24: 15-18 “When ye therefore shall see the abominations of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy places (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judæa flee into the mountains:
Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.”
Are you ready to flee? (A 120 hour kit) Are you ready to evacuate and never return? (A home inventory) Are you ready to leave work (in the field) or school? (A workplace kit, copies important documents stored with an out of area contact, a family plan and place to meet)
Often, we hear, “nothing can happen here so why prepare?”
Do you remember the children’s book Horton Hears a Who? Horton tries to warn the people of Whoville that danger is ahead. In response Whoville’s city council proclaims, “Nothing ever happens here, and nothing ever will”. A short time later Whoville was nearly destroyed. Watch the movie or read the book again and consider discussing preparedness with your family before viewing and again afterward.
On September 10, 2001, would any of us have believed terrorists would fly airplanes into the World Trade Center and Pentagon the next morning? Now we commemorate September 11th as the deadliest terrorist attack in history. Did anyone attending the Bay to Bay world series in 1989 think they would be running from the stadium due to the 6.9 Loma Prieta earthquake. Who would have believed the Freemont California Stake would be forced to evacuate girls camp due to a forest fire.
“For the time is at hand; the day or the hour no man knoweth, but it surely shall come.” Doctrine and Covenants 39:21
Ezra Taft Benson taught:” Too often we bask in our comfortable complacency and rationalize that the ravages of war, economic disaster, famine, and earthquake cannot happen here. Those who believe this are either not acquainted with the revelations of the Lord, or they do not believe them. Those who smugly think these calamities will not happen, that they will somehow be set aside because of the righteousness of the saints, are deceived and will rue the day they harbored such a delusion.” (Prepare for the Days of Tribulation October Conference 1980)
These days we need more people like Horton, who recognize that even when others are oblivious to wise counsel. We must not doubt ourselves when it is time to be smart, time to be educated about the signs around us and time to prioritize our preparedness. We should not need the prophet and apostles to warn us at General conference to recognize the gift we have been given in the warnings of the past. We do not need them to warn us each conference that, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” or “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain”. Then why would we ignore the warnings to prepare because we have not been told to do so every General conference?
No matter where you live, disasters prophesized are happening, they will affect you and your family. Your home may not be destroyed by an earthquake, hurricane, tornado, wildfire or terrorism, but your current way of life could be permanently altered when those happen in other places.
We are acquainted with the revelations of the Lord. Do we choose to believe them and prepare or do we choose to suffer as the time for the Lord’s return grows closer and challenges become harder?
Ezra Taft Benson taught: “When obedience ceases to be an irritant and becomes our quest, in that moment God will endow us with power.” (quoted by Donald L. Staheli Obedience—Life’s Great Challenge,” Ensign, May 1998)