God Bless the USA

I love the United States of America. My country, your country, our country that enshrined true freedom in the soul of the world.

She is not without flaws, sins, misdeeds, and even atrocities—but that does not wipe out the billions of good and wonderful things her citizens have done for this world. She is the best thing that freedom loving people have ever had going for them on this planet.

I stand with her. Always have, always will. May God bless and forgive her, today and forever.

Please enjoy this new recording of “God Bless the USA” featuring Lee Greenwood, the Singing Sergeants, and Home Free. Recorded in Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Washington, D.C., and Nashville on June 30, 2020. Lyrics below. From the YouTube channel George.

If tomorrow all my things were gone,
I’d worked for all my life.
And I had to start again,
With just my children and my wife.

I’d thank my lucky stars,
To be livin’ here today.
Where the flag still stands for freedom,
And they can’t take that away.

And I’m proud to be an American,
Where at least I know I’m free.
And I won’t forget the men who died,
Who gave that right to me.
And I gladly stand up,
Next to you and defend her still today.
‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land,
God bless the USA.

From the lakes of Minnesota,
To the hills of Tennessee.
Across the plains of Texas,
From sea to shining sea.

From Detroit down to Houston,
And New York to L.A.
Well there’s pride in every American heart,
And its time we stand and say.

That I’m proud to be an American,
Where at least I know I’m free.
And I wont forget the men who died,
Who gave that right to me.
And I gladly stand up,
Next to you and defend her still today.
‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land,
God bless the USA.

Courtesy of MetroLyrics

“Yeah, Like That Will Ever Happen”

Courtesy Gospel Media Library

I was reading last week about a dream that a young missionary had while in the Missionary Training Center (MTC). Here’s what his mission president reported it:

This elder of ours from southern Idaho had been serving in a neighboring mission. The creation of new Scottsdale and Gilbert missions in 2013 resulted in boundary adjustments throughout Arizona and into New Mexico. This happened just before our use of digital devices. This elder was among 18 missionaries who joined us from a neighboring mission that would not be using digital technology.

After the iPads were distributed zone-by-zone to our missionaries, he sent me an email citing a journal entry recounting a dream he had while in the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah. He had dreamed about being among missionaries gathered in a meetinghouse cultural hall, where they were each given an iPad and directed to do online proselyting on social media platforms, such as Facebook. He ended his entry noting he woke up and said, “Yeah, like that will ever happen.”

It did happen — through boundary realignments and a reassignment, he joined the Arizona Phoenix Mission that was using tablets. He then used online methods to share the gospel from Arizona to his hometown friend in Idaho.

From an email from the Church News, “The Power of Missionaries on the Internet,” by managing editor Scott Taylor, June 23, 2020.

This reminds me of something the prophet Joel told us centuries ago:

And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: and also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.

(Joel 2:28-30.)

We are living in the prophetic times that Joel saw. The Spirit of the Lord is present in the lives of His saints who are seeking His will and His face. The gifts of God are available to anyone who will prepare to receive them.

Second Coming: Grievous Wolves among You

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. If we are discerning, we can see the same breed of wolf lurking among us today that Paul saw in the early church, that is, wolves in sheep’s clothing, tearing apart the flock. He once warned the early saints of Ephesus:

Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous [vicious, savage, fierce] wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. (Acts 20:28–30; emphasis added.)

The Little Girl and the Wolf, book illustration, 1845. (Wikimedia Commons.)

He also spoke of certain characters arising to speak perverse—distorted, twisted—things, seeking to draw away followers after them. The times and technology have changed, but people have not.

The goal of this post is to help free someone, anyone, from the jaws of such wolves in the last days, from those who would lead us away from Jesus Christ.

How can we discern between a true follower of the living Christ and someone who has hidden, dark motives? How can we know when someone is telling us the truth or is not telling the truth? We can know them by their fruits, as Jesus warned.

Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. (Matthew 7:15–20.)

I have struggled to discern this dichotomy since my teens. After trial and error, I’ve come up with a chart of “fruits.” Here it is. The characteristics on the left are positive while the ones on the right are the opposite, negative characteristic. An honest, reliable person will show more traits from the left column and a dishonest, unreliable person will hover over the right. None of us will fit perfectly in either column, but it can help us pick up on trustworthy trends.

Are they . . . ?Or are they . . . ?
BelievingUnbelieving, cynical
BuilderWrecker
CalmAgitated
CaringDismissive
CivilProfane
ComplimentaryCritical
ConfidentAggressive, arrogant
Cool-headedBullying
CuriousApathetic
DignifyingHumiliating, degrading
DiligentIdle
ForgivingUnforgiving
EncouragingDiscouraging
GratefulResentful
HonoringShaming, discrediting
HumbleProud, superior
KindCruel
ListeningBelligerent
MeekSelf-congratulating, pompous
ModestImmodest, showing off
No regard for personal gainCovetous, greedy, taking personal gain
OpenDefensive
PatientImpatient or exasperated
Personally responsibleEntitled
Positive biasNegative bias
PraisingMocking
ProactiveCompetitive
RepentantUnrepentant, self-justifying
RespectfulAbusive, insulting, threatening
ReverentIrreverent
Self-restrainedViolent
SensitiveTactless, insensitive
TolerantIntolerant
TrustingSuspicious
UnpretentiousOstentatious
UpliftingBelittling
Well-manneredRude

It’s tricky business. People just don’t fit easily in one column or the other. A wolf may not demonstrate all the characteristics on the right, but he or she will show many of them. We all tend to show up on both sides. I’m talking about spotting trends and tendencies, not putting people in boxes.

This isn’t virtue signaling. I’m not pretending to fit 100 percent in the left column. I am just saying I’ve come to know the difference.

I have met and discerned some wolves over the years. They didn’t know they were wolves, but they were. Some have led people away from the Church, unwittingly or knowingly. Some are in prison.

Earlier, I’ve called anti-Mormon literature, so called, scornograpghy. I believe it is just as damaging as pornography. Does pornography contain elements of beauty? Perhaps it does. But it’s sinister purpose is to pervert human relationships, to conquer, addict, and enslave men and women to be preoccupied with a distorted view of sex. Does scornography contain elements of truth? Perhaps it does. But it’s sinister purpose is to pervert and twist the truth to make something to appear other than it is, to seduce, conquer, and enslave your emotions so that hatred, spite, fear, and unbelief fester where love once flourished.

So stop fooling yourselves! Evil companions will corrupt good morals and character. (1 Corinthians 15:33, TPT.)

Please don’t mistake my intent. Good people make mistakes, sometimes big ones. Good people commit crimes. Every human being is a disappointment, to themselves and others. It’s the nature of mortality. I make it a personal rule to not drink in other people’s vices, to allow the bad behavior of any person, living or dead, to diminish my connection with my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I also choose to not judge anyone. Judging another is an arrogant gambit. Assuming that we know enough to judge another is a shallow, conceited act.

Think about it . . .

  • Adam and Eve did something they were forbidden to do, but mankind is on the planet because of it.
  • Noah built an ark and saved a generation, but later he got drunk and lost his clothes in the process.
  • Moses led Israel through the Red Sea, but later gave himself a little too much credit.
  • David slew Goliath but was later slew himself with lust. But he repented and stayed faithful for the remainder of his life.
  • Judas, one of the twelve apostles, turned out to be a thief and betrayed his Master for 30 pieces of silver. He hung himself the next day.
  • Peter denied knowing Christ, but went on to boldly testify of Him and die a martyr’s death.
  • Paul hauled early Christians to prison, some to their deaths, but his New Testament letters have converted millions to Christ.

Blah blah blah. So what? Just because someone does something bad, or something I can’t understand, doesn’t erase the immeasurable good they have done or may do. Our mistakes, our sins, don’t define us. The healing power of Jesus Christ defines us.

Since I was a small child, I have never let other people form my views and opinions for me. Not my parents. Not my friends. Not my closest intimates. I was a subversive kid.

But I do not trust scorners or their writings or their videos, no matter how clever and sophisticated or convincing they are. I have learned, through research and experience, that I cannot trust what they say. I’m not going to buy what they are selling or drink their poison. I sincerely try to listen intently to the voice of the Lord and try my best to trust, understand, and follow that voice.

I am a sinner, but first and foremost, I am a believer. I always have been a believer, in God and in His word. I hope I never stop believing—or trying to move myself into the left column. I have a good ways to go. But at least I know this: “From such turn away” (2 Timothy 3:5).

Second Coming: We Are in Perilous Times

Nearly 2,000 years ago, the apostle Paul told us “that in the last days perilous times shall come” (2 Timothy 3:1). Other translations render the word perilous as times of stress, hard, grievous, dangerous, distressing, difficult, extremely fierce, terrible, terrifying, and violent. I think it’s evident to any watchful believer in Christ that we are in the last days and that we are currently living through “perilous times.”

Minneapolis, Minnesota, May 29, 2020 (Wiki Media Commons)

In his letter to fellow disciple Timothy, Paul went on to list what to look for in these times (see 2 Timothy 3:2–9). What we are seeing in on our city streets right now—vandalism, rioting, looting, violence, and murder, under the banner of a worthy cause—is a reflection of Paul’s list. We seem to be at a precipice.

The List

Let’s review that list. I’ll add synonyms from other translations (other than the King James version) and my own comments along the way. You can decide for yourself if you are a witness of prophetic times:

  • “For men shall be lovers of their own selves” — selfish, self-absorbed, self-centered, the opposite of the love Christ shows to us
  • “covetous” — obsessed lovers of money, desiring the rightful property or relationships of others
  • “boasters” — pretentious, haughty, stuck up, self-congratulating
  • “proud” — arrogant, not humble, swaggering, ignorant, unwise, self-deceived
  • “blasphemers” — abusive, mocking and speaking evil of sacred things and of God and His Son
  • “disobedient to parents” — not honoring or respectful of parents, disobeying “the first commandment with promise” (Ephesians 6:2)
  • “unthankful” — grumbling, murmuring, ungrateful, unappreciative, lacking self-reflection
  • “unholy” — cursed, crude, profane, willfully self-defiled, ungodly, knowingly walking away from God’s commandments
  • “without natural affection” — cold, unloving, uncaring, unkind, heartless, callous, inhuman, hardhearted
  • “trucebreakers” — promise breakers, implacable, unwilling to reconcile with others, unforgiving
  • “false accusers” — pointing fingers, shaming, accusing, slandering, gossiping, backbiting, lying about others, not taking responsibility for their actions but blaming others
  • “incontinent” — lacking self-control, giving in to pleasure, without restraint, intemperate, dissolute, profligate, unashamedly justifying their giving in to carnal desire
  • “fierce” — mean, untamed, angry, brutal, savage, violent, ruthless, unmerciful, unrelentingly cruel, acting like wild animals
  • “despisers of those that are good” — opposed to and hating those who are good or are trying to be good, calling evil good and good evil
  • “traitors” — without principle, treacherous, turncoats, turning against friends, family, commitments, and allegiances to God, faith, and country
  • “heady” — self-important, conceited, full of themselves, excessive claims about self
  • “highminded” — pretentious, exaggerated, intellectual mocking
  • “lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God” — self-indulgent, sensual, led away by a variety of lusts, preferring physical pleasure over loving, honoring, and serving their Creator
  • “having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof” — pretending to be holy, acting like followers of God or higher principles but denying, mocking, and abusing God’s power

Turn Away

Paul advises us “turn away” from such and tells that this “folly shall be manifest unto all men.” I believe Paul meant we should turn away from people who behave and live like this, but I also think it means we must turn away from all these evils ourselves. This isn’t about judging others; it’s about living for Christ.

Turning away, for me, includes turning off the popular media voices who want to flip our world upside down while claiming to be full of virtue. I believe among the politically righteous there are wolves in sheep’s clothing, matching Paul’s descriptions of self-congratulating end-times characters.

We are and have been misled and deceived on a massive scale. Could this current unrest—a good measure of which appears to be legitimate protests co-opted by more nefarious actors—be an attempt to distract a nation from what is really going on behind closed doors? I believe it is.

You may also like: “The Riots and the Danger of False Narratives” from Meridian Magazine online.

The Way Out

If we deny our Creator, we will remain “ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” Always learning something new but forgetting God. Always seeking “the truth” but coming up unhappy and short. “These also resist the truth” because they are “men of corrupt minds, reprobate [lost] concerning the faith” of Christ.

Jesus said, “I am the way [and] the truth” (John 14:6). If we want to find the truth, we have to first find ourselves in Him. There is no other way. Any other path is a false path.

There is hope for all of us through Christ, through humility and faith on His name, the faith to exercise sincere repentance and obedience to Jesus Christ, our Lord, Savior, and God.

I invite you, plead with you, to turn or return your heart to Jesus Christ so you may be led away from the coming calamity. This is not doom and gloom: this is a way out.

Be safe and lean on Jesus. I promise to do my best to follow my own advice.

“Defeat” by Kahlil Gibran

Defeat, my Defeat, my solitude and my aloofness;
You are dearer to me than a thousand triumphs,
And sweeter to my heart than all world-glory.

Defeat, my Defeat, my self-knowledge and my defiance,
Through you I know that I am yet young and swift of foot
And not to be trapped by withering laurels.
And in you I have found aloneness
And the joy of being shunned and scorned.

Defeat, my Defeat, my shining sword and shield,
In your eyes I have read
That to be enthroned is to be enslaved,
And to be understood is to be leveled down,
And to be grasped is but to reach one’s fullness
And like a ripe fruit to fall and be consumed.

Defeat, my Defeat, my bold companion,
You shall hear my songs and my cries and my silences,
And none but you shall speak to me of the beating of wings,
And urging of seas,
And of mountains that burn in the night,
And you alone shall climb my steep and rocky soul.

Defeat, my Defeat, my deathless courage,
You and I shall laugh together with the storm,
And together we shall dig graves for all that die in us,
And we shall stand in the sun with a will,
And we shall be dangerous.

Second Coming: Comparison of Matthew 24, Joseph Smith—Matthew, and Doctrine and Covenants 45

The Second Coming of Christ with angels by Harry Anderson. Courtesy Gospel Media Library, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.The events of 2020 are creating a growing interest in the signs of the times. Here’s a comparison of Jesus’s Olivet Discourse as given in Matthew 24, the Joseph Smith Translation of Matthew 24 (including the last verse of chapter 23 in Matthew), plus section 45 of the Doctrine and Covenants. I trust you will find it helpful. You can see a PDF version of this comparison here. If you see anyway to improve this schema, please let me know using the contact form. Stay healthy, be safe, and God bless.

Matthew 23:39–Matthew 24:51 Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:1–55 Doctrine and Covenants 45
15 Wherefore, hearken and I will reason with you, and I will speak unto you and prophesy, as unto men in days of old.
23:39 For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord. 1 For I say unto you, that ye shall not see me henceforth and know that I am he of whom it is written by the prophets, until ye shall say: Blessed is he who cometh in the name of the Lord, in the clouds of heaven, and all the holy angels with him. Then understood his disciples that he should come again on the earth, after that he was glorified and crowned on the right hand of God.
16a And I will show it plainly as I showed it unto my disciples as I stood before them in the flesh, and spake unto them, saying:
1 And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple. 2 And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple; and his disciples came to him, for to hear him, saying: Master, shew him show us concerning the buildings of the temple, as thou hast said—They shall be thrown down, and left unto you desolate.
16b As ye have asked of me concerning the signs of my coming, in the day when I shall come in my glory in the clouds of heaven, to fulfil the promises that I have made unto your fathers,
17 For as ye have looked upon the long absence of your spirits from your bodies to be a bondage, I will show unto you how the day of redemption shall come, and also the restoration of the scattered Israel.
18 And now ye behold this temple which is in Jerusalem, which ye call the house of God, and your enemies say that this house shall never fall.
19 But, verily I say unto you, that desolation shall come upon this generation as a thief in the night, and this people shall be destroyed and scattered among all nations.
2 And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. 3 And Jesus said unto them: See ye not all these things, and do ye not understand them? Verily I say unto you, there shall not be left here, upon this temple, one stone upon another that shall not be thrown down. 20 And this temple which ye now see shall be thrown down that there shall not be left one stone upon another.
3 ¶ 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? 4 And Jesus left them, and went upon the Mount of Olives. And as he sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying: Tell us when shall these things be which thou hast said concerning the destruction of the temple, and the Jews; and what is the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world, or the destruction of the wicked, which is the end of the world?
4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. 5 And Jesus answered, and said unto them: Take heed that no man deceive you;
5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. 6 For many shall come in my name, sayingI am Christand shall deceive many;
9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. 7 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you, and ye shall be hated of all nations, for my name’s sake;
10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. 8 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another;
11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. 9 And many false prophets shall arise, and shall deceive many;
12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. 10 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold; 27 And the love of men shall wax cold, and iniquity shall abound.
13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. 11 But he that shall endure unto the end remaineth steadfast and is not overcome, the same shall be saved.
15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) 12 When you, therefore, shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, concerning the destruction of Jerusalem, then you shall stand in the holy place; whoso readeth let him understand.
32 But my disciples shall stand in holy places, and shall not be moved; but among the wicked, men shall lift up their voices and curse God and die.
16 Then let them which be in Judæa flee into the mountains: 13 Then let them who are in Judea flee into the mountains;
17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: 14 Let him who is on the housetop flee, and not return to take anything out of his house;
18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. 15 Neither let him who is in the field return back to take his clothes;
19 And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! 16 And wo unto them that are with child, and unto them that give suck in those days;
20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: 17 But Therefore, pray ye the Lord that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day;
21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. 18 For then, in those days, shall be great tribulation on the Jews, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, such as was not before sent upon Israel, of God, since the beginning of the world their kingdom to until this time; no, nor ever shall be sent again upon Israel.
8 All these are the beginning of sorrows. 19 All things which have befallen them are only the beginning of the sorrows which shall come upon them.
22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened. 20 And except those days should be shortened, there should no none of their flesh be saved; but for the elect’s sake, according to the covenant, those days shall be shortened.
23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. 21 Behold, these things I have spoken unto you concerning the Jews; and again, after the tribulation of those days which shall come upon Jerusalem, then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there, believe him not;
24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. 22 For in those days there shall also arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders, insomuch, that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect, who are the elect according to the covenant.
6a And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: 23a Behold, I speak these things unto you for the elect’s sake; and you also shall hear of wars, and rumors of wars; 26 And in that day shall be heard of wars and rumors of wars, and the whole earth shall be in commotion, and men’s hearts shall fail them, and they shall say that Christ delayeth his coming until the end of the earth.
34 And now, when I the Lord had spoken these words unto my disciples, they were troubled.
6b see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 23b see that ye be not troubled, for all these things I have told you must come to pass; but the end is not yet. 35 And I said unto them: Be not troubled, for, when all these things shall come to pass, ye may know that the promises which have been made unto you shall be fulfilled.
25 Behold, I have told you before. 24 Behold, I have told you before;
26 Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. 25 Wherefore, if they shall say unto you: Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: Behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not;
27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 26 For as the lightning of the morning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west, and covereth the whole earth, so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be.
28 For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together. 27 And now I show unto you a parable. For Behold, wheresoever the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together; so likewise shall mine elect be gathered from the four quarters of the earth.
28 And they shall hear of wars, and rumors of wars. 63 Ye hear of wars in foreign lands; but, behold, I say unto you, they are nigh, even at your doors, and not many years hence ye shall hear of wars in your own lands.
7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. 29 Behold I speak for mine elect’s sake; for nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. 33 And there shall be earthquakes also in divers places, and many desolations; yet men will harden their hearts against me, and they will take up the sword, one against another, and they will kill one another.
30 And again, because iniquity shall abound, the love of men shall wax cold; but he that shall not be overcome, the same shall be saved.
14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. 31 And again, this Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world, for a witness unto all nations, and then shall the end come, or the destruction of the wicked;
32 And again shall the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, be fulfilled.
29 ¶ Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: 33 And immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken. 42 And before the day of the Lord shall come, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon be turned into blood, and the stars fall from heaven.

 

28 And when the times of the Gentiles is come in, a light shall break forth among them that sit in darkness, and it shall be the fulness of my gospel;
29 But they receive it not; for they perceive not the light, and they turn their hearts from me because of the precepts of men.
34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. 34 Verily, I say unto you, this generation, in which these things shall be shown forth, shall not pass away until all these things I have told you shall be fulfilled. 21 And it shall come to pass, that this generation of Jews shall not pass away until every desolation which I have told you concerning them shall come to pass.
30 And in that generation shall the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.
35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. 35a Although, the days will come, that heaven and earth shall pass away; 22 Ye say that ye know that the end of the world cometh; ye say also that ye know that the heavens and the earth shall pass away;
35b but yet my words shall not pass away, but all shall be fulfilled. 23 And in this ye say truly, for so it is; but these things which I have told you shall not pass away until all shall be fulfilled.
24 And this I have told you concerning Jerusalem; and when that day shall come, shall a remnant be scattered among all nations;
25 But they shall be gathered again; but they shall remain until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.
31 And there shall be men standing in that generation, that shall not pass until they shall see an overflowing scourge; for a desolating sickness shall cover the land.
30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 36 And, as I said before, after the tribulation of those days, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken, then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven, and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn; and they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory; 44a And then they shall look for me, and, behold, I will come; and they shall see me in the clouds of heaven, clothed with power and great glory; with all the holy angels;
44b and the saints that have slept shall come forth to meet me in the cloud.
46 Wherefore, if ye have slept in peace blessed are you; for as you now behold me and know that I am, even so shall ye come unto me and your souls shall live, and your redemption shall be perfected; and the saints shall come forth from the four quarters of the earth.
31a And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, 37a And whoso treasureth up my word, shall not be deceived, for the Son of Man shall come, and he shall send his angels before him with a the great sound of a trumpet, 45a But before the arm of the Lord shall fall, an angel shall sound his trump,

 

45b and the saints that have slept shall come forth to meet me in the cloud.
31b and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. 37b and they shall gather together the remainder of his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. 43 And the remnant shall be gathered unto this place;
36 And when the light shall begin to break forth, it shall be with them like unto a parable which I will show you—
32 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: 38 Now learn a parable of the fig treeWhen his its branches is are yet tender, and it begins to put forth leaves, you know that summer is nigh at hand; 37 Ye look and behold the fig trees, and ye see them with your eyes, and ye say when they begin to shoot forth, and their leaves are yet tender, that summer is now nigh at hand;
33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. 39 So likewise ye, mine elect, when ye they shall see all these things, they shall know that it is he is near, even at the doors; 38 Even so it shall be in that day when they shall see all these things, then shall they know that the hour is nigh.
39 And it shall come to pass that he that feareth me shall be looking forth for the great day of the Lord to come, even for the signs of the coming of the Son of Man.
40 And they shall see signs and wonders, for they shall be shown forth in the heavens above, and in the earth beneath.
41 And they shall behold blood, and fire, and vapors of smoke.
47 Then shall the arm of the Lord fall upon the nations.
48 And then shall the Lord set his foot upon this mount, and it shall cleave in twain, and the earth shall tremble, and reel to and fro, and the heavens also shall shake.
49 And the Lord shall utter his voice, and all the ends of the earth shall hear it; and the nations of the earth shall mourn, and they that have laughed shall see their folly.
50 And calamity shall cover the mocker, and the scorner shall be consumed; and they that have watched for iniquity shall be hewn down and cast into the fire.
51 And then shall the Jews look upon me and say: What are these wounds in thine hands and in thy feet?
52 Then shall they know that I am the Lord; for I will say unto them: These wounds are the wounds with which I was wounded in the house of my friends. I am he who was lifted up. I am Jesus that was crucified. I am the Son of God.
53 And then shall they weep because of their iniquities; then shall they lament because they persecuted their king.
54 And then shall the heathen nations be redeemed, and they that knew no law shall have part in the first resurrection; and it shall be tolerable for them.
55 And Satan shall be bound, that he shall have no place in the hearts of the children of men.
36 ¶ But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. 40 But of that day, and hour, no man one knoweth; no, not the angels of God in heaven, but my Father only.
37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 41 But as it was in the days of Noah were, so it shall be also at the coming of the Son of Man;
38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, 42 For it shall be with them, as it was in the days that which were before the flood; for until that the day that Noah entered into the ark they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage;
39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 43 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be.
40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 44 Then shall be fulfilled that which is written, that in the last days, two shall be in the field, the one shall be taken, and the other left;
41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 45 Two women shall be grinding at the mill, the one shall be taken, and the other left;
42 ¶ Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. 46 And what I say unto one, I say unto all men; watch, therefore, for you know not at what hour your Lord doth come.
43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. 47 But know this, if the good man of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to have been broken up, but would have been ready.
44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. 48 Therefore be ye also ready, for in such an hour as ye think not, the Son of Man cometh.
45 Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? 49 Who, then, is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?
46 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. 50a Blessed is that servant whom his lord, when he cometh, shall find so doing;
47 Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods. 50b and verily I say unto you, that he shall make him ruler over all his goods.
48 But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; 51 But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart: My lord delayeth his coming,
49 And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; 52 And shall begin to smite his fellow-servants, and to eat and drink with the drunken,
50 The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, 53 The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of,
51 And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 54 And shall cut him asunder, and shall appoint him his portion with the hypocrites; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
55 And thus cometh the end of the wicked, according to the prophecy of Moses, saying: They shall be cut off from among the people; but the end of the earth is not yet, but by and by. 44b and he that watches not for me shall be cut off.
56 And at that day, when I shall come in my glory, shall the parable be fulfilled which I spake concerning the ten virgins.
57 For they that are wise and have received the truth, and have taken the Holy Spirit for their guide, and have not been deceived—verily I say unto you, they shall not be hewn down and cast into the fire, but shall abide the day.
58 And the earth shall be given unto them for an inheritance; and they shall multiply and wax strong, and their children shall grow up without sin unto salvation.
59 For the Lord shall be in their midst, and his glory shall be upon them, and he will be their king and their lawgiver.
62 For verily I say unto you, that great things await you;
64 Wherefore I, the Lord, have said, gather ye out from the eastern lands, assemble ye yourselves together ye elders of my church; go ye forth into the western countries, call upon the inhabitants to repent, and inasmuch as they do repent, build up churches unto me.
65 And with one heart and with one mind, gather up your riches that ye may purchase an inheritance which shall hereafter be appointed unto you.
66 And it shall be called the New Jerusalem, a land of peace, a city of refuge, a place of safety for the saints of the Most High God;
67 And the glory of the Lord shall be there, and the terror of the Lord also shall be there, insomuch that the wicked will not come unto it, and it shall be called Zion.
68 And it shall come to pass among the wicked, that every man that will not take his sword against his neighbor must needs flee unto Zion for safety.
69 And there shall be gathered unto it out of every nation under heaven; and it shall be the only people that shall not be at war one with another.
70 And it shall be said among the wicked: Let us not go up to battle against Zion, for the inhabitants of Zion are terrible; wherefore we cannot stand.
71 And it shall come to pass that the righteous shall be gathered out from among all nations, and shall come to Zion, singing with songs of everlasting joy.

 

Spiritual Whirlwinds


This short video came out a few years ago. It was introduced to me tonight. I can’t believe I missed it, but I’m so glad I found it—or it found me. I love how everything changes when the young man, who could be any of us, takes upon himself the image of Christ.

And now behold, I ask of you, . . . have ye spiritually been born of God? Have ye received his image in your countenances? Have ye experienced this mighty change in your hearts? (Alma 5:14.)

I believe we were all destined, foreordained, and sealed to take on His image and likeness, if we are only willing.

For he knew all about us before we were born and he destined [Aramaic “sealed”] us from the beginning to share the likeness of his Son. This means the Son is the oldest among a vast family of brothers and sisters who will become just like him. (Romans 8:29, The Passion Translation.)

Favorite moments are at 1:49 and 1:58.

“A Psalm of Life” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

What the Heart of the Young Man Said to the Psalmist.

Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream!
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.

Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each to-morrow
Find us farther than to-day.

Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.

In the world’s broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife!

Trust no Future, howe’er pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act,— act in the living Present!
Heart within, and God o’erhead!

Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time;

Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o’er life’s solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.

Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Video from RedFrost Motivation. Many other excellent videos there.

The Crucifixion of Jesus

Once again, here is another wonderful video from Messages of Christ. It helped me grasp and understand more about the crucifixion and death of our Savior. When I look at what our Lord suffered during the last hours of His life, it fills me with an awe and reverence that I can barely express to others.

Just considering what He actually did for us is more than I can bear yet the burden He bore is unimaginable.

To me, one of the most piercing verses of scriptures is found in 2 Peter:

For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. (2 Peter 1:16.)

May we be eyewitness of His majesty this season.