– Prophesied conditions in America; are you part of it?

The Book of Mormon tells of a civilization of people that was destroyed called the Nephites. It would obviously be wise to study and find out what caused their downfall. Then you can apply those circumstances  directly to America today. The destruction of the Nephites came down to one reason – the Nephites did not keep the commandments of God that were a requirement to stay on the land.

“For behold, this is a land which is choice above all other lands; wherefore he that doth possess it shall serve God or shall be swept off; for it is the everlasting decree of God. And it is not until the fulness of iniquity among the children of the land, that they are swept off. And this cometh unto you, O ye Gentiles, that ye may know the decrees of God—that ye may repent, and not continue in your iniquities until the fulness come, that ye may not bring down the fulness of the wrath of God upon you as the inhabitants of the land have hitherto done.” – Ether 2:10,11

What then were the people guilty of? You might be comfortable right now believing that you could not possibly be guilty of what they had been caught up in. Turn to Mormon chapter eight, where Moroni states that he was the last of his people to remain alive. He then is permitted to write about their downfall as he closes out the record of the Book of Mormon. He directs his words in chapter eight directly to us in our day! The Book of Mormon was written for us in our day then to warn us.

Just to be sure that we knew he was talking to us, Moroni goes on to describe the circumstances in America when the book would come forth. These are the evidences he presents to the reader to prove he saw our day:

  • “it shall come in a day when it shall be said that miracles are done away”
  • “it shall come in a day when the blood of saints shall cry unto the Lord, because of secret combinations and the works of darkness”
  • “it shall come in a day when the power of God shall be denied, and churches become defiled and be lifted up in the pride of their hearts; yea, even in a day when leaders of churches and teachers shall rise in the pride of their hearts, even to the envying of them who belong to their churches”
  • “it shall come in a day when there shall be heard of fires, and tempests, and vapors of smoke in foreign lands; And there shall also be heard of wars, rumors of wars, and earthquakes in divers places”
  • “it shall come in a day when there shall be great pollutions upon the face of the earth”
  • “murders, and robbing, and lying, and deceivings, and whoredoms, and all manner of abominations”
  • “it shall come in a day when there shall be churches built up that shall say: Come unto me, and for your money you shall be forgiven of your sins”

Is there any question as to his accuracy? Now that Moroni has gotten our attention, he proceeds to address us directly and tell us some of the things we need to repent of:

“Behold, I speak unto you as if ye were present, and yet ye are not. But behold, Jesus Christ hath shown you unto me, and I know your doing. And I know that ye do walk in the pride of your hearts…For behold, ye do love money, and your substance, and your fine apparel, and the adorning of your churches, more than ye love the poor and the needy, the sick and the afflicted. O ye pollutions, ye hypocrites, ye teachers, who sell yourselves for that which will canker, why have ye polluted the holy church of God? Why are ye ashamed to take upon you the name of Christ? Why do ye not think that greater is the value of an endless happiness than that misery which never dies—because of the praise of the world? Why do ye adorn yourselves with that which hath no life, and yet suffer the hungry, and the needy, and the naked, and the sick and the afflicted to pass by you, and notice them not? Yea, why do ye build up your secret abominations to get gain, and cause that widows should mourn before the Lord, and also orphans to mourn before the Lord, and also the blood of their fathers and their husbands to cry unto the Lord from the ground, for vengeance upon your heads? Behold, the sword of vengeance hangeth over you; and the time soon cometh that he avengeth the blood of the saints upon you, for he will not suffer their cries any longer.” – Mormon 8: 35-41

Take a course today to free yourself from the vices of evil that America is caught up in. Take the advice of a modern apostle:

“Moroni announced that he will face us on Judgment Day in defense of his words (see Moro. 10:27). This he will do, together with his book, for out of the books we shall be judged, and the Book of Mormon is one of those books. We now have it in our hands. It is published to the world. It carries God’s message to all. It gives full and fair warning to this generation, and the warning is true! Read it! Believe it! Pray over it! Obey its counsels! It can lead us unerringly to Christ! The last words of Moroni! Dare we forget them?” – Mark E. Petersen

– Navigating a Crisis of Faith

Have you found yourself wondering what you believe in anymore? Have you been embarrassed to admit to your coworkers of friends that you go to church on Sunday? Are you wanting a more purposeful life? We can encounter periods in our life where we get discouraged. There are many reasons for a person to stop and evaluate and question what they believe and why the believe. Questioning is a natural part of human living, but so is finding answers and believing. Should your mounting pile of questions overrule your answers and feelings you have already about God?

“When problems come and questions arise, do not start your quest for faith by saying how much you do not have, leading as it were with your “unbelief.”…I am not asking you to pretend to faith you do not have. I am asking you to be true to the faith you do have. Sometimes we act as if an honest declaration of doubt is a higher manifestation of moral courage than is an honest declaration of faith. It is not! So let us all remember the clear message of this scriptural account: Be as candid about your questions as you need to be; life is full of them on one subject or another. But if you and your family want to be healed, don’t let those questions stand in the way of faith working its miracle…In this Church, what we know will always trump what we do not know. And remember, in this world, everyone is to walk by faith…Honestly acknowledge your questions and your concerns, but first and forever fan the flame of your faith, because all things are possible to them that believe.” – Elder Holland, April 2013 General Conference

Do not delay any longer. Put yourself on a more sure foundation and find you faith for the first time, or strengthen what you have already. It really boils down to a simple plan to follow. Study like crazy, pray as hard and as sincerely as you can, and combine this with living as cleanly as you can. You will not be able to receive any inspiration or gift of faith if you are not living a God fearing righteous life.

“Study diligently, Pray fervently, Live righteously.” – Thomas S. Monson

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– First things first – it is all about the gospel of Jesus Christ

oneOur most important undertaking in life is to understand and embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ. This means our belief in Him, following Him and preaching Him. Christ is our Lord and Saviour.

So what exactly are we being saved from?

Mankind is born into a fallen world. This was brought about by the transgression of Adam and Eve. The result was the removal of man and woman from the presence of God and our becoming subject to physical death. We are both spiritually dead and physically dead.

“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.” – Ephesians 2:1-5 NIV

As mortals we become sinful and fallen people that are out of God’s presence. In such a state we become subject to Satan. This is where the gospel message comes to save us and place us in the state of being made “alive with Christ”. God had a marvelous plan from the beginning to provide for us a Saviour. Jesus saves us from death in two ways. First, we are able to be resurrected and have our earthly body raised to incorruption and united with our spirit in eternity. This is our overcoming of the mortal death. Secondly, we also need to overcome spiritual death. Saving us from the spiritual death of Hell (captivity of the Devil) was also accomplished by the sacrifice of Christ. Those that accept Christ in this life and submit to following him and keeping his commandments will not be subject to Satan after they die, but will immediately enjoy a rest in “paradise”.

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– Prepare yourself for the coming great tribulation and second coming of Christ

Jesus_ascending_to_heaven

The second coming of Jesus Christ is an event that Christians have been anticipating ever since Jesus ascended up into heaven following his post-resurrection 40-day ministry. As people stood there that day gazing up into the sky at the ascending Christ, an angel spoke these words –

“why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” (See Acts 1:6-9)

From those earliest days continuing up to our day, believers have thought that they would be the generation living on the earth that would see Jesus return as promised. Should we have reason to think that we might finally be that generation during which Christ returns in power and glory? Yes we certainly should! There are definite signs that the second coming is imminent!

No person knows the exact date, but the second coming however does not approach without any warning. The scriptures give us the signs and events to watch for, so we need not be caught by surprise. The book of Revelation outlines a series of events that will happen in succession and that lead up to the rapture in which the saints are lifted up to meet Christ as he comes. These events, like a chain reaction of dominos, fall quickly into place and will bring us to the great and dreadful day of the return of Christ. It is both great and dreadful; depending on if you are the righteous or the wicked.

The plan of God is to gather the elect that hear His voice and then to destroy the wicked at the time of judgments that are poured out at the second coming of Christ.

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– The Five Relationships

1029949_10871057Your life has four important relationships. These are – with God, with self, with others and with things. Each can be in varying degrees of health or toxicity. Healthy relationship are positive, supportive, fruitful, harmonious, nurturing, encouraging, happy, truthful and dozens of other like words used to describe it. Think of each of these words in relation to each of your four relationship types and ponder how you are doing.

The four relationship types are now presented in the order in which you must accomplish them. You cannot have the later ones working properly until you have the ones that precede them functioning in harmony.

1. Relationship with God:

“Thou shalt love the Lord, thy God, with all thy heart and with all thy soul and with all thy mind…This is the first and great commandment.” – Matthew 22:37

Our relationship with God is based on faith and obedience out of love. We are His children and as our perfect parent, He lovingly guides us and waits for us to return home. He first loved us and we are His to keep and are destined for greatness. The most perfect devotion and worship that we can manage in this life is what we strive for with everything we have.

2. Relationship with self:

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– Living a Happier Life: Self-Image

1044093_89152896Your self-image is the mental and emotional picture you hold of yourself – your capabilities, and what you represent.

People limit themselves when they say or think things like – “I am not good enough, too fat, not capable, not wanted…” Ignorance, fear, doubt and uncertainty are all tools of Satan to get us to feel poorly. Every negative or positive image you have about yourself will affect what happens to you throughout the day. Every outward action is first an inward thought. If you have internal positive emotions of love, courage, respect, faith and confidence it will bolster you and propel you to greatness. Believe it or not, a great deal of your health, wealth and happiness are reflections of your inward thoughts.

Your self-image is partly a product of your environment. How you were raised, and what others told you about yourself gets deeply engrained in your brain. However, no matter what it is, it can be rearranged in your mind to be constructive. The destructive thought can be replaced with positive self-image thoughts.

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– Boasting not allowed

Christ did not walk around in his ministry in a prideful and dominating way, but did so as a humble servant. He even grew from grace to grace in truth and power until he received a fullness of the Father (D&C 93:12). The scriptures say that through small and simple means are great things brought to pass. Mighty men such as Enoch, Abraham and our modern apostles and prophets are not arrogant and prideful. They are in their calling because of their humble service and bearing of difficult trials.

“Be thou humble; and the Lord thy God shall lead thee by the hand, and give thee answer to thy prayers. For my Spirit is sent forth into the world to enlighten the humble and contrite, and to the condemnation of the ungodly.” – (D&C  136:32,33)

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