Second Coming: Awake to . . . Your Awful Situation

President John F. Kennedy motorcade, Dallas, Texas, Friday, November 22, 1963. Also in the limousine are Jackie Kennedy, Texas Governor John Connally and his wife, Nellie.
President John F. Kennedy motorcade, Dallas, Texas, Friday, November 22, 1963. Also in the limousine are Jackie Kennedy, Texas Governor John Connally and his wife, Nellie.

It was 1963, 57 years ago today. I had just turned 6. It was a Friday morning and I was home from kindergarten. I remember my mother screaming from her bedroom. I had never heard my mother scream before or since. I ran to the door of her room. President John F. Kennedy had been shot in Dallas, Texas.

For days, the only thing on our four television channels was news of the assassination. All these years later, it’s hard to believe my parents allowed me to watch this nightmare played over and over again. I can still remember sitting in front of our black-and-white TV watching Lee Harvey Oswald wince as he was shot by the mobster Jack Ruby.

Even as a young child, I knew something was not right with this series of events. Something seemed fake about the whole thing. I couldn’t express it in words and I even have a hard time doing it now. But after thinking about it for nearly six decades, it seems like more of a coup d’état or secret combination than an assassination.

By the time I reached my late teens, I discovered for the first time these words in the Book of Mormon. Moroni, the last writer in the book, was recounting the fall of a civilization which he laid at the feet of sin, pride, and murderous conspiracies:

Wherefore, the Lord commandeth you, when ye shall see these things come among you that ye shall awake to a sense of your awful situation, because of this secret combination which shall be among you; or wo be unto it, because of the blood of them who have been slain; for they cry from the dust for vengeance upon it, and also upon those who built it up. (Ether 8:24.)

“This Nation Won’t Fail”

Given the condition of our nation right now, I’m grateful that a former missionary companion and friend sent me this Harold B Lee quote the other day. We have reason to hope.

Men may fail in this country, earthquakes may come, seas may heave beyond their bounds, there may be great drought, disaster, and hardship, but this nation, founded on principles laid down by men whom God raised up, will never fail. This is the cradle of humanity, where life on this earth began in the Garden of Eden. This is the place of the new Jerusalem. This is the place that the Lord said is favored above all other nations in all the world. This is the place where the Savior will come to His temple. This is the favored land in all the world. Yes, I repeat, men may fail, but this nation won’t fail. I have faith in America; you and I must have faith in America, if we understand the teachings of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are living in a day when we must pay heed to these challenges. I plead with you not to preach pessimism. Preach that this is the greatest country in all the world. This is the favored land. This is the land of our forefathers. It is the nation that will stand despite whatever trials or crises it may yet have to pass through. (Ye Are the Light of the World [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1974] 350–51.)

It seems our country has been shrouded by a pall ever since that dark day in November 1963. There are too many unreconciled independent facts for me to not be suspicious of what happened then and what is happening now in the United States. There are too many contradictions and too many threats of violence. There is too much obvious propaganda and too much censorship. There must be something rotten in Washington, D.C.

It’s time we waken to our awful situation. The media is biased and unreliable. The current election, according to many independent sources and witnesses, appears to be fraught with manipulation, irregularities, broken laws, and broken trust.

What and who are we supposed to believe?

I’ll wait for proof before I claim to have it, but I’m paying keen attention to evidence of mass corruption. Until we have proof, I’ll trust God. I’ll trust the heaven-inspired Constitution of the United States. I’ll trust in and cherish the sovereign, individual rights guaranteed by that constitution.

Official Whitehouse portrait of John F. Kennedy (Aaron Shikler, 1970)

May God bless President John F. Kennedy. May he rest in peace. And may God bless and preserve this great nation.

The prophets have testified that the United States will hold together, but it may look different after God is done with it.

I believe in America. But I’m braced for the political earthquake that is about to shock this nation and shake her to the core.

Finally, my [sisters and] brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints (Ephesians 6:10–18).

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