If Ye Are Prepared….

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“We believe all that God has revealed, all that he does now reveal and that he will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the kingdom of God.”

Articles of Faith 9

The mission of the kingdom of God encompasses inviting all to come unto Christ, to receive the ordinances and covenants of the gospel, that they may have ‘peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come’ (D&C 59:23)

Since the call of President Russell M. Nelson, revelation from God has established a series of organisational changes to bring a dedicated home-centred, church-supported focus. Organisational changes like these are not self-serving, neither are they change for change’s sake. These inspired alterations are given from God as “directions how [we] may act before [Him], that it may turn to [us] for our salvation.” (D&C 82:10)

Although many have pointed to the changes enacted in recent months by President Nelson which have prepared us for this time – and without mistake the hand of the Lord has been in the timing – I am reminded of The Family: A Proclamation To The World. This document, given in 1995 addressed globally the continuing decline of family relationships and spoke of the doctrines, principles and risks involved. It gave corrective guidance and forewarned strongly for such times as these. Personally, I feel it is no coincidence that the Proclamation sits centrally to the renewed focus of a home centred faith.

“Wherefore, gird up your loins and be prepared. Behold, the kingdom is yours, and the enemy shall not overcome.”

Doctrine and Covenants 38:9

So the Lord has prepared us, or at least invited us to be prepared, for this time. What is it we have been prepared to do?

Thomas S. Monson Quote: “When the time for decision arrives, the ...

Below are four things that the Prophet and Apostles have recently invited us to attend to.

  1. Come Follow Me. The Lord has repeatedly invited us to study his word (D&C 11:22). The church has supported us in doing this by giving us the Come Follow Me study resources. As the saying goes ‘it does what it says on the tin’, or in other words as we follow Christ, we will be guided to him. In last year’s ward conference, one of the messages given from the pulpit was that Come Follow Me is about revelation.
  2. Keep the Sabbath day holy. The word disciple is rooted in discipline. Setting one day a week aside for the Lord is a signal to Him of our discipleship, of our discipline. It witnesses that we are ‘willing to be called by His name’ and to be His ‘peculiar people’.
  3. Minister. To anyone and everyone. The baptismal covenant to “mourn with those that mourn, 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” doesn’t have any stipulation about whom we do these things with and certainly is very open on the how and when! Perhaps some of our ministering will guided by a church assignment, perhaps some of it is targeted to a friend, and perhaps for some of it we “cast our bread upon the waters” of the internet trusting to the Lord that “we will find it after many days” (Ecclesiastes 11:1). By doing so we #HearHim when he said ‘love one another, as I have loved you.’ (John 13:34)
  4. Support the rising generation. With repeated scriptural warnings of growing tribulation and commotion in the world, it becomes us to help the next generation be prepared also. Our rising generation need to know that ‘in God we trust’ and they can too.

May each of us signify by our actions that we are true disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. May we renovate our lives through our faith and trust in Him. May we access the power of His Atonement by our repentance each day. And may we dedicate and rededicate our lives to serving God and His children—on both sides of the veil.

Rusell M. Nelson, April 2019

I used to love hearing Gordon B Hinckley, 15th President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, speak. He always radiated quiet, determined optimism. In 2005 he gave a talk to the Priesthood called ‘If Ye Are Prepared’. He noted the pattern of calamities in the world at that time and remarked:

“What we have experienced in the past was all foretold, and the end is not yet. Just as there have been calamities in the past, we expect more in the future. What do we do?

Someone has said it was not raining when Noah built the ark. But he built it, and the rains came.”

Gordon B. Hinckley, ‘If Ye Are Prepared Ye Shall Not Fear’ October 2005

Much has been prophesied concerning the last days, and – for all that has happened – there is more to come. Perhaps we will return to meeting together soon, perhaps not. And when we do, perhaps there will be further occasions like these days when we cannot meet for a time.

 “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.”

Doctrine and Covenants 38:30-31

We should take heart and ‘be of good courage’. The Lord has indeed prepared us for times such as these because He wants us to succeed. The truth of the Apostle Paul’s words are borne out by many a scriptural account. He poses this question with resounding, optimistic faith;

‘If God be for us, who can be against us?’ (Romans 8:31).

Romans 8:31

My love, prayers and concern for you all,

Bishop Batt

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