We live in troubling times. One of my frequent readers, John Paul at e4Unity recently posted about the worries of the religious community regarding the crumbling fabric of our society, the loss of freedoms and spirituality we are experiencing, and the natural contemplation that ensues of signs of the last days and second coming of Christ. He links to an open letter written by the president and editor of Zion’s Fire, a Judeo-Christian magazine. This is a very long piece, but I found it well written, and including some important commonalities of belief.
Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints share concern over the global spiritual crises. We feel the weight of oppression as evil increases upon the earth, family values disintegrate, God is mocked, and bad news seems to be the only news. There is a sense of urgency to prepare physically and financially for further calamities. We are oft reminded of the importance to prepare spiritually for the glorious return of the Savior. We believe that Satan is very real. He is diligently running a mighty war campaign against the children of God on earth. His victories come from the destruction and enslaving of souls. He wants to spiritually blind and capture as many as possible before The King of Kings returns in Glory to once and for all “crush his head” as promised.
The following is just an excerpt from an excellent article written by Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the LDS Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 2004 which I find particularly pertinent for us to ponder (link to full article included below):
“We are living in the prophesied time “when peace shall be taken from the earth” (D&C 1:35), when “all things shall be in commotion” and “men’s hearts shall fail them” (D&C 88:91). There are many temporal causes of commotion, including wars and natural disasters, but an even greater cause of current “commotion” is spiritual.”
Viewing our surroundings through the lens of faith and with an eternal perspective, we see all around us a fulfillment of the prophecy that “the devil shall have power over his own dominion” (D&C 1:35)…”
Evil that used to be localized and covered like a boil is now legalized and paraded like a banner. The most fundamental roots and bulwarks of civilization are questioned or attacked. Nations disavow their religious heritage. Marriage and family responsibilities are discarded as impediments to personal indulgence. The movies and magazines and television that shape our attitudes are filled with stories or images that portray the children of God as predatory beasts or, at best, as trivial creations pursuing little more than personal pleasure. And too many of us accept this as entertainment.”
The men and women who made epic sacrifices to combat evil regimes in the past were shaped by values that are disappearing from our public teaching. The good, the true, and the beautiful are being replaced by the no-good, the “whatever,” and the valueless fodder of personal whim. Not surprisingly, many of our youth and adults are caught up in pornography, pagan piercing of body parts, self-serving pleasure pursuits, dishonest behavior, revealing attire, foul language, and degrading sexual indulgence.”
An increasing number of opinion leaders and followers deny the existence of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and revere only the gods of secularism. Many in positions of power and influence deny the right and wrong defined by divine decree. Even among those who profess to believe in right and wrong, there are “them that call evil good, and good evil” (Isa. 5:20; 2 Ne. 15:20). Many also deny individual responsibility and practice dependence on others, seeking, like the foolish virgins, to live on borrowed substance and borrowed light.”
(from Dallin H. Oaks, “Preparation for the Second Coming,” Liahona, May 2004, 7–10 – emphasis added)
Although we are living in the “winding up scenes of this earth”, there is still much good which we can experience and do! We should not be cowering in fear, but rather standing fast and immovable in our faith, hope and testimonies of Christ. We can build up our spiritual reserves, and help those around us, so that we are not relying upon “borrowed light”.
The following short video is beautifully done. It includes messages and warnings from our modern-day prophets and apostles given over the past 30 years, along with helpful encouragement, and wise council on how to strengthen our homes and families: