Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Lift Another's Burdens

This is especially to you, M&M, because you are one of my angels who I know will eventually read this.

Mosiah 18:9: Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life—

I'm going through a rough time right now, rougher than I ever anticipated. Most of the time, I'm doing alright. Every now and then it all overwhelms me and I feel like I can't bear any more, that my heart can't break any further. Every time this has happened, the Lord has sent one of His servants to me, sometimes the Spirit and more often one of his mortal disciples. I am so humbled by the service these few souls have given me. I couldn't make it without you. Thank you for living your covenants. Thank you for reaching out to me.

I hope the Lord blesses you for your service. For me, there is no price I could pay great enough.

Monday, January 28, 2008

What to Say?

I always feel strange when someone I know passes through the veil. I feel even stranger when someone who is a great influence in my life - who even drives it - passes through, especially when that someone doesn't know who I am. It leaves a strange sort of gap that feels as though it shouldn't be there, a gap-within-a-gap so to speak.

I am glad for President Hinckley. His time on earth is done. He has finished his course. I am also glad that the Lord has provided for such a smooth transition through a time that for most religions would be cacophonous.

President Hinckley, thank you for your life.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Church of the Devil, Church of the Lamb

I had a wonderful insight when reading part of the Sunday School assignment this week, 1 Nephi 14. In it, Nephi takes us through a portion of the vision he had when he asked God to show him what his father saw. In verse 10 he mentions two churches: that of the Devil, referred to as a whore, and that of the Lamb of God.

I have often heard the Church of the Devil title attributed to the Catholic Church (mainly because of the mention of gold and such, and because of the size it.) I've never liked this thought. For one, there are at least thousands of pious, righteous people in the Catholic Church. For another, that line of thought leaves out a whole lot of very wicked people. Additionally, I have often heard the Church of the Lamb of God attributed to the LDS Church. After all, our numbers are small, yet they cover the whole earth. I thought that was more or less accurate.

However, in light of what has been so strongly on my mind lately, namely the damage we are doing to ourselves and to the innocent by venerating the Self, I suddenly understood a new meaning to the symbolism.

The Church of the Devil is called the whore of the whole earth. The concept of prostitution is that a person can go to fill sexual needs with no real consequence or relationship. A whore offers him/herself seemingly for nothing more than money, but the real consequences come only later in the form of disease and/or the loss of spiritual strength. Such is also true with the worship of the Self. The world tells us that WE are important, that OUR own needs have to be met. They tell us that we can buy whatever will fulfill that need, and not worry about the cost, we can pay it later. We are told there is no moral consequence for whatever we want to do, as long as it makes us happy. We are told that happiness is defined by having more, being better, smarter, richer, more powerful, more economic, more earth-friendly, more organic, more well-reasoned, more educated, more whatever. That is the church of the devil. That is the whore who sits upon the waters and reigns over all nations, kindreds, tongues and people.

Her counterpart is also significant. Never before I had thought about the meaning of the term "Church of the Lamb of God" as opposed to "Church of Christ" or "Savior" or "Messiah" or "Redeemer" or any number of other appellations. The "lamb" signifies sacrifice. It is not just any sacrifice, but a sacrifice for all people. Therefore, the Church of the Lamb of God is a church of sacrifice. This would seem to indicate that both churches cut easily across the lines of human establishment.

As such, in Nephi 14, we are shown two possible focuses for our lives, the focus on ourselves and our own needs and the focus on others, perhaps to sacrifice ourselves for them. Before anyone gets huffy, I do want to point out that there is moderation in all things. He who conserves his sacrificial energy lives to sacrifice another day. The point is not to run yourself to the ground, but to focus your thoughts and priorities on serving God's children.

You never know. If we all start focusing on others, we just might find our needs are met in the process better than we could ever have done on our own.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

You Have No Idea What You are Doing

Those of you who preach contrary to the word of God, I have only this to say: you have no idea what you are doing. You sew your seeds of unrighteousness, thinking you are right. You tell people that parenthood is a trap, that life is about the individual and the needs of the one. You teach that whatever a person does is right for them, as long as they feel it is right. They can choose whether or not to have an abortion, they can determine how many children to have purely of their own will, they can leave family and home to pursue a self-fulfilling career, and that is right. You hide from them the consequences of their actions. You lead them into believing that life is a silver platter from which they can pluck only the foods they want and avoid any consequence for their choices. Your work brings disillusionment, pain, shattered lives and pure evil. What you teach is no better than rape, because it leaves minds and lives broken almost beyond all repair. You teach what you do because you think you have a right to do so. You think your tiny mind, with all its human faults, is somehow smarter and greater than the mind of God. You are wrong. You are so very wrong.

And the consequences for your actions are not limited to those deceived by your lies. No, innocent children, husbands and wives are damaged by your teachings. How many broken hearts have been broken not to humility before God, but to the darkest depths of self-hate because of the lies you have spun? How many men and women and children, real living people, have spent how many hours wishing they or their loved ones had never listened to you?

You have shown me that you don't have to say there is no Christ to be an antithesis to all that He is. Someday, oh ye Anti-Christ, someday you will have to face the fruits of your teachings. Someday you will have to answer to the pain you have caused in the lives of innocents, all in the name of your own intellect. Some day you will plead to avoid the consequences of what you have done, you will say, "I always knew that there was a God. But I was deceived. I said what I did because it made people happy. I taught what I did and many believed me, until even I believed that what I taught brought happiness," but it will be too late for you to have the curse removed because the curse is of your own doing. I feel so sorry for you, Anti-Christ, even as I rage at what you have done, helpless to stop your effects in my life even though I, personally, shut you out. I feel sorry for you because you will never understand real joy. You will never discover how to have pure happiness lifting you up even in the midst of your darkest time. You will never understand how to forgive.

I forgive you for what you have done to me and my family. I'm still hurt by it, but even that will pass in time.

Please stop. Please stop teaching all the things you have worked out in your own head and turn back to the scriptures and the prophets. What they teach may seem so restrictive, but once you accept those restrictions, entire worlds of joy and opportunity open to you that you will never find so long as you live in the congratulatory world of your own intellect. Please, please stop pushing your agendas on the weak and innocent. Please, please, please stop hurting yourself and your brothers and sisters. Humble yourself. Repent. For now, there is still time.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Unashamedly Politically Incorrect

I'm sorry if this is a little rambling. I've been rather sick for about a week now. I just have a few thoughts on the overdone career/mother debate.

Strangely enough, once upon a time I was the sort of girl who wanted a career. I wouldn't have minded in the least to have a stay-at-home husband while I earned the money. Time has a funny way of changing a person, though. I gradually became a person who wants nothing more than to stay home with my children, to teach them and play with them and love them. Now that I have made that change, however, I find myself trapped in a life of career and work. Is that not ironic?

As a result of being trapped by the feminist push, I have less sympathy than I ought for those women who want to work but pressure themselves into feeling like they have to stay home. I have achieved a level of compassion, but at the same time it fills me with frustration to see them tying themselves with strands of rope and then blaming everyone else for their predicament. (It's the men, the Church, society, culture, employers, etc.) "If only I could work and still stay home with my children, or, even better, be paid to just stay home." "If only other people would hand me praise for something that does not benefit them." "If only other people would validate my choices." "If only I could have my cake and eat it, too." Rather than growing up and realizing that adults often have to make decisions that require some level of sacrifice, people exhibiting these sorts of attitudes expect everyone else to make things work for them. They want the happily-ever-after without having to go through the dragon-slaying.

What many of these women forget is that companies are not paying for more family-friendly benefits because they do not see the value of them. If we mothers took responsibility to show companies the value such policies could add to a company's bottom line, more companies would implement these policies. Unfortunately, we sell ourselves into running the rat race like everyone else, thinking more time at work equates to good work. Those few of us who do get the opportunities to be more flexible often fail to provide equal returns, only proving the companies right in their nine-hour-per-day-work-week outlook.

I see mothers as faced with a choice of three options.
  1. Either choose one or the other and accept the price for either choice: a) work full time and realize your children will be raised by someone else or b) stay at home and realize you will lose career mileage, or
  2. choose to work with your company to achieve more flexibility, realizing you're going to have to work your tail off to prove the value of such an adaptation on their part.
Such are the realities of life. We mothers can either raise our chins, show some maturity and face those realities or we can continue to look like a bunch of whiners expecting everything to be handed to us on a silver platter.

One funny observation is that if all people in America were to follow the Proclamation on the Family, this problem would be a non-issue. But then, so many problems would be resolved were everyone trying to live the gospel of Christ.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Does a Happy Ending Define a Genuine Experience with the Spirit?

I was reading a series of comments to a post at Mormon Matters and ran into this comment. Essentially, it says that if an action ends happily, we can conclude that an action was prompted by the Holy Ghost. I'm not so sure this is true.

I seem to be at a 5-10 year period of my life wherein I try to follow the Spirit and receive confirmation to every careful request for direction but my decisions that seem to be Spirit-guided end badly. I have come to realize that the ending does not invalidate my Spiritual prompting. To give a fairly innocuous example, I felt a strong, Spiritual drive towards a geographical location after my mission. I had a choice to remain in Florida (not really an option for me, I hate the heat) to follow my parents to Washington and find a job there (an area of the country I have longed after) or to come back to Utah. I felt I should come back to Utah. There was no doubt in my heart, and every time I prayed in and out of the temple, I felt that same strong prompting. I came here only to find myself Spiritually stagnating in this environment, aggravated by the constant bickering between Mormons and ex-Mormons and non-Mormons. I have no real day-to-day friends in my life. A few experiences since my return have left me feeling rather alienated from the Church rather than integrated.

Does that mean my prompting was not real because its ending was not happy? You might argue that it hasn't ended yet, but I have other more personal examples which have to all practical purposes ended and left me feeling broken. Yet, I believe that I did follow actual promptings. I don't think the question of whether or not someone followed the Spirit can always be answered by the obvious results of their actions. I don't think that the Spirit always leads us to happy endings in this life.

As my favorite movie, the Last Unicorn concludes, "there are no happy endings, because nothing ends." Not in this life, anyways. I know, however, that after our lives are over if not before, we will have cause to thank the Lord and thank Him and thank Him, both for the joys in our lives and for the sorrows. I know by my own experience that if we do our best to follow the Spirit, even though our lives may seem dark and lonely for awhile, we will find that our path led us through the greatest joys in this life to the Greatest Joy of all eternity.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

More on the Word Vs. the Spirit of God

I was struck lately by the Book of Mormon's reconciliation of that age-old false dichotomy between following the Spirit of God and following the Word (Law) of God in the very first few chapters. In these first chapters, Nephi kills, lies, steals, bullies and coerces, all in the name of listening to the Spirit. It would be easy to see how to use his example to justify doing whatever you like and citing the Spirit as a reference. People throughout history have done just that. You don't even need to appeal to the Devil. However, there are a few good things to keep in mind when following the Spirit.

  1. The Spirit does not contradict God's laws.

  2. Of course, the trick to that is knowing God's laws. First and foremost is to bring about the salvation of man. Nephi's actions accomplished these things. Less ultimate laws such as "do not kill" and "pay tithing" are created to serve that law, not for it to serve them.

  3. Ultimately, you will have to answer to the Lord for your actions.

  4. In other words, you'd better make sure of yourself before acting on an impulse. You'll note that Nephi had a bit of a scuffle before he finally followed the Spirit's drastic promptings.

  5. Lastly, be cautious when the Spirit is prompting you to do something counter to what the prophets have advised.

  6. Rare is the time you will have to go to the measures Nephi did. You'll also notice he exhausted all other options, first. If it's scripturally shady or downright black territory, especially if you WANT to do it, chances are good you're deluding yourself.

There is no real conflict between following the Law of God and the Spirit of God. Neither extreme will apply to all situations. You'll find, as with many things in the Gospel, that the truth is not so easily pigeonholed.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Discipleship is a Lonely Road

Did I ever mention how much I love the Germans? One of my favorite paintings is called "Road to Emmaus" by German painter Robert Z√ľnd.

On my mission, I often stared into that painting, wondering what was down the road, wondering if Christ would be walking with me along the way, teaching me.

I have had a lot of cause lately to doubt my choices. I don't know if I made the right ones. My dad sent me a beautiful letter last week for my birthday outlining my life. I wonder where that bright, inquisitive, loving, fearless child has gone. She was full of possibility. She decided, once, that she wanted nothing but to be a disciple of Christ. Now, my life is set in the path it will take to the end. I have found that I'm a pretty sorry excuse for a disciple. I no longer have the control over my destiny I once had. I no longer feel that I can make the powerful decisions I once made. Unable to change my situation satisfactorily, I have had to completely give the reins of my life over to the Lord and just concentrate on staying on the horse. It hurts in a way. I feel like I have messed up, lost the trust of the Lord. But looking back, I know I did my best. I've always done my best. My fear is that my best won't be good enough.

I testified in Church last week to the same thing I'm going to say here. Despite the pain and uncertainty, I know that my Savior will get me through this. There is indescribable joy woven through the sorrow and the fear. My best may not be good enough, but His was. Men are that they might have joy. That does not mean we are without pain and doubt. I heard it said once that faith cannot exist where there is doubt. Contrarily, I have found my faith growing most during this time of doubt. I look at the offering that has been my life so far and weep at its smallness. It is small, but it is all I have. According to the prophets, it is enough.

Let it be enough.

Monday, January 7, 2008

When "Funny" Isn't

Once upon a time, I prided myself on my ability to make a person feel two inches tall in less than ten words. I was good at using sarcasm and "wit", and built quite a reputation for myself. I was careful to use my linguistic power only when the situation warranted it and the object of my censure was fully deserving of it. I thought that made me safe, excused me from any sin. A long series of experiences gradually led me to change my opinion, culminating with my husband's explanation of his extreme distaste for any form of sarcasm.

I've recently had an experience with a blog post that has led me to think about this topic again. I observed a once-admired person ridiculing a group of people I do not agree with. Despite being superficially on the "side" of the ridiculer, I felt uncomfortable and finally felt that I should speak up, lest my silence be construed as tacit approval. As a result, I put myself in a position to also be ridiculed. I have mixed feelings of disappointment and hurt about this. Gradually, the hurt is fading, though I'm still disappointed. I thought perhaps I was wrong in my stance, so I decided to make it the topic of study in my scripture study this morning. Since I think best when I write, I thought I'd share my conclusions here. It's not meant as an attack or justification; it's just a way for me to cope with what happened and to resolve my internal concerns. I have found that both scriptures and leadership, with one exception, seem to agree with me.

There is an undeniably bitter chasm between those who have left the LDS Church and those who still profess to believe. Often, those who have left mock and point fingers at those who believe in the Gospel. Sometimes, this mockery becomes downright attack. Unfortunately, mockery is not the sole prerogative of the disaffected. In fact, sometimes mockery creates the disaffected. President Hinckley in 1986 said "Everywhere is heard the insulting remark, the sarcastic comment, the verbal attack against the reputations of others. Sadly, these are too often the bases of our conversation. . . . In the Church it sows the seed of inactivity and finally apostasy." Those who become inactive and/or leave the Church can be either source or subject of the mockery. Ofttimes, they either begin to mock sacred things, even in jest or, when they find themselves doubting or with questions, they find themselves denigrated and shunned by those who should be their brothers and sisters in the gospel. In the latter case, the situation often seems to prove to those who are doubting that the Church is not founded by God. Some find it hard to believe that the Church of God would include those who do not practice His charity, and so they stop believing and they leave.

There is no doubt that not all humor is wrong, but sarcasm is a particular brand of so-called "humor" of its own. Peter B. Rawlins in his 1974 New Era article explains,
"A most damaging form of humor is sarcasm, or cutting, hostile, or contemptuous remarks. Such humor is usually based on inordinate pride and is usually aimed at some person or group thought to be inferior, such as minority races, ethnic groups, and the physically handicapped. Occasionally some good comes from these jokes when taken in good humor by the object of the joke . . . . but this occurs only when the feelings of all concerned are considered.

Though often meant to be harmless, sarcasm denotes insensitivity to the feelings of others, stemming either from thoughtlessness or maliciousness."
In other words, the very nature of sarcasm includes insensitive thoughtlessness or maliciousness, depending on whether or not the person is aware that they are hurting others. To say that someone deserves the sarcasm is to admit, perhaps without conscious realization, to intentional hurting of another child of God, no matter how far led astray that child of God may be.

That is not to say that one should never criticize behavior. As President Hinckley later says,
"I am asking that we look a little deeper for the good, that we halt the sounds of insult and sarcasm, that we more generously compliment virtue and effort. I am not asking that all criticism be silenced. Growth comes of correction. Strength comes of repentance. Wise is the man who can acknowledge mistakes pointed out by others and change his course of action."
The trick is to make certain that criticism is being done in a spirit of love and not one of mocking sarcasm. ANY time criticism is necessary, the criticizer must show an increase of love towards the person if they wish to criticize righteously. One should try to evaluate and see if their love is stronger than death. Otherwise, one should probably refrain from criticizing, unless otherwise directed by the Spirit. (And if you're in the frame of spirit necessary to be directed by the Spirit, you are probably also filled with love for the person needing to be criticized!)

Those who are struggling with questions and doubts need that love more than anyone. It is too common (and easy) to label people with doubts as near-Apostates, and then to ignore and revile them. After all, Korihor was not allowed to teach among the Anti-Nephi-Lehis, and Christ did not always give the Pharisees nothing but warm fuzzies. Most of the time, however, if the situation is examined with a prayerful heart, it will be discovered that the people in question are not nearly anti-Christs and are almost never deliberately misunderstanding the Gospel as the Pharisees did. Usually, people with doubts are just like every other person in the Church. Can any long-term member honestly say that they have never had questions or doubts and yet still have a strong testimony? If there are any, they are rare.

I guess that most of the time, those members who overreact to questions and doubts do so because they do not have a true understanding of agency and the Atonement, or faith in their own testimony. They are afraid of questions and doubts because they are afraid that if they are exposed to questions, their testimonies will be undermined.

Of course, my last two paragraphs do not apply to those few souls who are truly anti-Christ. These are people whose only goal is to lead others away from the Church and from Christ. It is usually quite easy to tell the difference. Anti-Christs are rarely questioning, but they often pose rhetorical questions. They rarely seem as though they are searching, but will exude confidence in the answers they have already received. If nothing else, if you can feel the Spirit's true love and sorrow for a person, but still feel that you should not engage in discussion, the Spirit is directing you away from a conversation, rather than your own fears acting to categorize and revile a person who is honestly seeking to know.

What I have found is that sarcasm is not compatible with Christian discipleship. I could find no references to God or Christ mocking anyone. The one exception I found in the scriptures is when it mentions in Proverbs and Psalms that the Lord will laugh at the wicked. Given the nature of these two books of scripture, I think that is a bit of literary word painting on Solomon's and David's (or others') parts, and not literal.

Meekness is compatible with discipleship, and as Elder Maxwell stated in his 1982 BYU address, the meek know how to not speak. They have nothing to prove and no need to revile others. "The meek think of more clever things to say than are said. And it’s just as well, for there is so much more cleverness in the world than wisdom, so much more sarcasm than idealism."

Rawlins says later in his article:
"Would it not be better to “lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees” (D&C 81:5) than to humiliate and disgrace one of our neighbors? When humor is such a powerful tool in building subtle bonds of brotherhood, in cheering those who suffer, and in teaching profound and memorable lessons, why should it be used to belittle and discourage?

Those who profess belief in Christ should shape their humor in the light of Christ’s teachings. Being rejected from His kingdom because of a warped sense of humor would not be funny."
Sarcasm is never funny. "Remember, too, that no matter what you see in the TV sit-coms and movies, put-down, cutting humor is not good humor. While it may be entertaining to watch, in real life, cutting humor and sarcasm are too unkind to be funny. They can only injure, never uplift." (Chris Crowe, New Era 1986)

What disciple of Christ would wish to harm any of the souls for which He died? Whether or not those souls accept His sacrifice is irrelevant; He died for them unconditionally, should we not give them the benefit of the doubt and love them unconditionally? Let their choices push them away from the Church and the comfort of God, if that is what they wish. Never let your choices force that decision upon them. If you criticize, criticize with love, not sarcasm. You might be surprised how many "near-Apostates" only need that love to give them the courage and strength they need to come back to Him.

Other interesting and pertinent articles:
Brad Wilcox 2000
Rex A. Skidmore 1988
James E. Faust 2000
Russell Wilcox 2007
FHE Book 1997

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Angry at Myself

I guess this shows that progress can often be two steps forward and one step back. After having spent several weeks doing much better on blogs, not getting involved in any pointless disagreements, I find myself once again embroiled in a discussion I wish I had never entered.

How is it that something that begins as an attempt to have a gentle discussion so quickly becomes highly emotional? How is it that I move from discussion to feeling defensive so quickly? Perhaps it is once again time to adopt a more strict commenting policy for myself. I get indescribably frustrated with myself when I try to communicate with caring and fail so spectacularly.

Am I also the only one who gets into a discussion and tries to empathize with the other's viewpoint to the point where I get confused and unable to articulate?

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

A House of Holiness

I have felt to write about several topics over the last few days, most of them forgotten once I sit down to write. This is something, however, that has stuck with me. It is a topic very close to my heart. I am aware that the internet is not always the best venue in which to share deeply spiritual things, as there are those who may read them who will mock them. Despite knowing this, I feel it important for me to share what I can of what I feel and know on this subject, despite feeling awkward and unwieldy in my words.

There is too much back story to share it all, but I'll share what I can. When I was fourteen, I had an experience which inspired me to want to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. From fourteen to twenty, my future plans were centered around this event. For any reading who are not aware, before a man or woman serves a mission for the Church, they must receive what are called "endowments" in the temple of God. These endowments consist of additional covenants with the Lord, much like baptismal covenants. These covenants, again like baptism, help you become what you must become to follow Jesus Christ and return to our Father in Heaven. Typically, no one makes these covenants until they are preparing to either serve a mission for the Church or to be married for eternity. When I was nineteen, I felt a strong impression from the Spirit of God that I should go to the temple, despite being two years away from a mission and much longer than that from marriage.

I had heard many rumors about the temple, some of which were a bit unnerving. But I prayed and continued to feel the strong desire to go. My parents were against the notion. Although they were both members of the Church, they felt that I should wait until later, until a time more typical for this step. After months of praying, searching the scriptures and counseling with my bishop and stake president, I decided to go. This was a difficult decision. My father was stationed in Korea at the time and my mother was far enough away to make it impossible for either to attend. My only family members in attendance were my paternal grandparents and one of my mother's sisters.

Despite this, the entire experience was beautiful beyond description. There were parts I had not expected, but the session was filled with the most glorious power of the Spirit. I learned things I had read before, but never properly understood. I learned empowering things about who I am and who I could become. I learned about the work and glory of the Lord, and I covenanted to be a part of that great undertaking. I felt whole for the first time in my life. I felt that I was part of something, that I belonged.

It wasn't until much later that I learned that the temple experience was not that way for many. There are some who found the experience mundane or even physically hot and uncomfortable. There are some who find it to be simply a hoop to jump through in order to be a "perfect Mormon". There are some who are not comfortable with the promises made or the things said. One of my favorite companions was one of these. We were so much alike in many ways, but her first experience in the temple was downright panicky for her. We spent many hours during that six weeks talking about the temple and about our different perspectives. I think she felt better about things, understood them better, after our talks.

I understand that the temple is a thing of mystery and sometimes fear for many, but I know that it can be the most beautiful experience imaginable. I am grateful that I did not have to work for that first understanding of its power and beauty, but I am not exempt from the need to work for that understanding now. And it does take work for most of us. Even now, though my feelings of unity with God and His children are not guaranteed every time I go, I long to be in the temple. It is quiet there. It is home. Only in the temple can I truly step away from this life for awhile and obtain an eternal perspective. There I can feel the love of God more strongly than anywhere else. Whether you who read these words are an LDS member or not, study and learn about the temple in the hopes of eventually attending and strengthening your bond with God. In the end, it will be an experience unparalleled.

If you are curious about what you will do in the temple, I can tell you that everything you need to know is in the scriptures. If you read, pray and prepare, you will open yourself to understanding. D&C 38: 30-33
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*.

And that ye might escape the power of the enemy, and be gathered unto me a righteous people, without spot and blameless—Wherefore, for this cause I gave unto you the commandment that ye should go to the [temple]; and there I will give unto you my law; and there you shall be endowed with power from on high;

And from thence, whosoever I will shall go forth among all nations, and it shall be told them what they shall do; for I have a great work laid up in store, for Israel shall be saved, and I will lead them whithersoever I will, and no power shall stay my hand.

*Prepare yourself with prayer and by reading the scriptures - the Old and New Testaments, as well as the Book of Mormon - and you can be an even greater part of His great work: the salvation of His people.

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