The last day of my mission, the Mission President and his wife gathered the departing Elders and Sisters and took us on an excursion to the temple in Monterrey, Mexico. I had witnessed the temple dedication in the first month of my mission but not had the opportunity to attend the temple since my time at the Missionary Training Center in Provo. My Mission President took us to the neighboring stake center and checked our recommend status. I had allowed my recommend to lapse.
My Mission President accompanied me into an office to be interviewed to have my recommend renewed. He explained to me that he had the keys to sign both lines of my recommend. He also admonished me for allowing my recommend to expire and warned me to never allow that to happen again. As members of the church, it is comforting to know that holding a temple recommend — and being worthy of it — is as close a thing as there is to an entry pass to the Celestial Kingdom. It also carries with it a great responsibility, one of which my dear President made me aware of that day.
The Come Follow Me lesson this week dove deep into the signs of the times in these last days. In the Joseph Smith translation of Matthew 24, Christ repeatedly states to his disciples He is prophesying for the sake of the elect. While the Church has experienced tremendous growth, active members of His Kingdom are still such a small percentage of the total population –making “elect” a perfect descriptor. If you wittle the active members down to those who carry the aforementioned temple recommend worthily, and we see clearly Christ’s target audience.
In this week’s lesson, we learn about the Parable of the Ten Virgins. I wrote yesterday about the need to fill our minds and our spirits so that our mouths would be filled. Christ prophesied, “this Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world, for a witness unto all nations,” and the elect will play a big role in carrying out this mission.
We also need to fill our lamps that we may avoid deception. “For many shall come in my name, saying—I am Christ—and shall deceive many.” There was a prominent excommunication that was made public recently – a woman who claimed to make prophesies for the entire Church and led many members, some of the elect, astray. Yesterday, contributors to this blog and others, confronted a man who asserted to be a faithful member of the church while at the same time claiming the Prophet had lost his Spiritual authority. Meanwhile, other members of the Church participate in soothing – teaching that sin isn’t sin – and inadvertently or otherwise leading souls away from coming to Christ and repenting. There is a reason why Christ established his Church, a Kingdom of Order, that we may know where to cleave that we don’t fall victim to deception, as many of the elect will.
I found a tweet this week to be humorous, and timely:
We know the signs of the times. We recognize why there are disasters, famine, pestilence. While scientists and politicians push physical solutions to mother nature, we understand the conditions have more to do with our spiritual state. We were taught as school children: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. While these are all very good things, I would submit that our climate “problems” would be more easily remedied by “Repent.” We know the end of the story, and things aren’t to get better until His coming, but we can take personal charge of being Spiritually prepared.
We have no need to fear, but rather have hope in His imminent coming. Just as my Mission President taught me that fateful day at the end of my mission, there is peace in holding that recommend faithfully. We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet, who recently stated:
“Now, as President of His Church, I plead with you who have distanced yourselves from the Church and with you who have not yet really sought to know that the Savior’s Church has been restored. Do the spiritual work to find out for yourselves, and please do it now. Time is running out.”President Russell M. Nelson, April 2019
- Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: New Testament 2019 – May 27 – June 2
- “Come, Follow Me” – President Russell M. Nelson, April 2019
- “Preparation for the Second Coming” – Elder Dallin H. Oaks, April 2004