No unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear; till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done. 1
Elder Neil L. Andersen recalled President Thomas S. Monson testifying that, “We do everything we can to move this work forward. But this is the Lord’s work, and He directs it. He is at the helm. We marvel as we watch Him open doors we cannot open and perform miracles we can scarcely imagine.” 2
Like our prophet, we must do everything we can and then have faith strong enough for God to perform the miracles needed to move the work along toward the second coming of Jesus Christ. Joseph Smith taught what the saints need to do to prepare. He said, “…could we all come together with one heart and one mind in perfect faith the veil might as well be rent today as next week, or any other time” 3
That means we do not so much wait for the Savior to come as the Savior is waiting for us to come, as one, to Him. Preparing for the second coming and the building of Zion involves us “coming together with one heart and one mind in perfect faith.” To make this happen, me have to stop being ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We must stop making excuses for our beliefs and our doctrine. We must be bold in living and declaring the truth. Remember, the commandment given to the saints in the latter days is to prepare the way. To do that, we must unashamedly study, live, and share the gospel.
- Study the Doctrine: We need to know what we believe, and we need to know the signs of the times. We can learn this from studying the scriptures and the talks and writings of all of the modern-day prophets from Joseph Smith down to Thomas S. Monson. Time for gospel study should become our most important and beloved of times. We can incorporate it into our time spent with our families. Conversations with our children and our spouses about their lives and comings and goings should include gospel study.
- Live the Gospel: We need to keep all of the commandments, and repent when we fall short. None of the commandments are too hard with the help of the Savior. As we change our lives so that everything we do is aligned with the teachings of Christ, the Holy Ghost will continue to shed the light and knowledge we need to move forward in building Zion.
- Share the Gospel: We need to teach the gospel. Sometimes this will mean leaving home and going on a mission, and other times it will mean serving where service is needed, and unashamedly speaking in favor of the doctrine of Jesus Christ. We must testify of faith, repentance, baptism, and the gift of the Holy Ghost. We must stand for the family and for the institution of religion.
We have been given beautiful prophecies. Neil L. Andersen taught :
In that day He will not come “wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger, ”but He will appear “in the clouds of heaven, clothed with power and great glory; with all the holy angels.” We will hear “the voice of the archangel, and … the trump of God.” The sun and the moon will be transformed, and “stars [will] be hurled from their places.” You and I, or those who follow us, “the saints … from [every quarter] of the earth,” “shall be quickened and … caught up to meet him,” and those who have died in righteousness, they too will “be caught up to meet him in the midst … of heaven.”
Then, a seemingly impossible experience: “All flesh,” the Lord says, “shall see me together.” How will it happen? We do not know. But I testify it will happen—exactly as prophesied. We will kneel in reverence, “and the Lord shall utter his voice, and all the ends of the earth shall hear it.” “It shall be … as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder.” “[Then] the Lord, … the Savior, shall stand in the midst of his people.”
There will be unforgettable reunions with the angels of heaven and the Saints upon the earth.34 But most important, as Isaiah declares, “All the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God,” and He “shall reign over all flesh.” 1
In Moses 7:62-63 God gave Enoch a beautiful vision of the Church in the latter-days.
62 And righteousness will I send down out of heaven; and truth will I send forth out of the earth, to bear testimony of mine Only Begotten; his resurrection from the dead; yea, and also the resurrection of all men; and righteousness and truth will I cause to sweep the earth as with a flood, to gather out mine elect from the four quarters of the earth, unto a place which I shall prepare, an Holy City, that my people may gird up their loins, and be looking forth for the time of my coming; for there shall be my tabernacle, and it shall be called Zion, a New Jerusalem.
63 And the Lord said unto Enoch: Then shalt thou and all thy city meet them there, and we will receive them into our bosom, and they shall see us; and we will fall upon their necks, and they shall fall upon our necks, and we will kiss each other. 4
Not a week goes by when I hear someone express a desire for the second coming. That desire will be fulfilled as we have faith enough to fulfill it.
As we study and learn the doctrine, serve, live, and share the gospel–as we let go of shame, and quit looking toward the great and spacious building for an affirmation of our beliefs–the scriptures will be fulfilled. The saints will be called again to go and build up Zion, the New Jerusalem. The Savior will return in glory to rule and reign.
Remember, “Persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble,” 1 and they are. We live in a time of wars and rumors of wars. We live in a time where the whole earth is in commotion and men’s hearts are failing. 5 But as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we must stand firm in our faith. We cannot allow the fear of men to shame us from serving, loving, living, and declaring the gospel of Jesus Christ. Waiting for the second coming and preparing for it are very different. The five foolish virgins waited for the bridegroom. The other five prepared for His coming.
1 Joseph Smith, Letter to John Wentworth, Times and Seasons, Nauvoo, Ill., Mar. 1, 1842.
2 Neil L. Andersen, Thy Kingdom Come, Apr. 2015 General Conference.
3 Joseph Fielding Smith, Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Joseph Fielding Smith, Sec. 1, p. 8.
4 Pearl of Great Price, Moses 7:62-63, lds.org.
5 Doctrine and Covenants 45:26.
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