I vividly remember a family home evening lesson from many years ago when my mom drew a big line across our marker board. We started the lesson with the hymn, “Who’s On the Lord’s Side Who?” and then opened up the discussion on what side of the line we were on according to our day to day decisions, choices and actions.
As I have watched the course of recent world events unfold over the past few years, and have dedicated myself to the study of prophecies, scripture and revelation devoted to the unfolding of events that would take place prior to the coming of Christ, I cannot deny that we are currently in the midst of much which has already come to pass. As things continue to take place, only scarier, unimaginable things will happen to our world, our nation, our cities, our friends, and our families. As these events unfold, I constantly stop and re-evaluate which side of the line I am living my life on and how far away I am from crossing it.
I cannot think of a more exciting time to live than here and now. So many incredible opportunities have and will be opened to us to share the gospel and to help gather God’s children and bring them safely home. As events unfold, it will be those who always stayed far away from the “line” that God will trust with the many assignments and responsibilities that He will need to delegate.
As you start reading different accounts of the last days and the events that will take place… it is natural for fear to set in. But the Lord has promised us that He will gather those who are righteous to safety. The scriptures are full of examples where the Lord preserved the righteous and led them to safety prior to the destruction of the wicked. These patterns can be found in the story of Noah and the Ark, Lehi and Nephi leaving Jerusalem, Lot leaving Sodom and Gomorrah, the Brother of Jared and his family, the Israelite’s leaving Eqypt, and countless other incredible women and men who were living righteously, listening to the Lord, and were quick to obey when He needed them to leave to a safe place.
These scriptural accounts speak very differently when we realize that many of them were written and preserved for US. OUR DAY. The people in these accounts didn’t have this complete record that we have access to at our fingertips. Why else would the Lord want some of these stories in here? What do we have to learn from them? They were obedient. They counseled the Lord often. They were selfless and full of service. They spent their free time honoring the Lord, teaching His words, and living by celestial laws and principles. They were not distracted. They did not waste time. They did not procrastinate their preparation. They had to live every minute of every day close to the spirit so that when the time came, the Lord knew they were ready, willing, and had enough faith to act quickly. He knew He could trust them because of the trust they had earned from Him overtime. This was reflected in their day to day decisions, choices and actions.
Does the Lord know He can trust you?
What side of the line are you currently living your life on?
Life is a constant, uphill climb to eternal perfection. We have to work every single minute of every single day to be better. To prove to the Lord He can trust us. To deny ourselves of worldly temptations so that we are out of the adversary’s attempts to influence and distract. What happens if we stop pedaling, even for a few seconds? That’s right. We go backwards.
Never is the road to perfection flat. If you aren’t working hard, spending your free time wisely, preparing for the last days, and going to the Lord daily and asking, “What lack I yet? What else can I do? What weaknesses can I strengthen?” Then you are going backwards. There is no coasting to the celestial kingdom.
Are you living your life building the Lord’s kingdom or your own?
It is easy to get distracted in today’s world. Stop and ask yourself if you are going forwards – uphill – or backwards, down the hill to a quick and sure spiritual death and destruction. As we begin to regain our course, reset our focus on the path ahead of us, we will be blessed with more knowledge and instructions on what we can do to prepare for the times ahead. Prophets for hundreds and hundreds of years have warned us about what is coming. They have prophesied of distractions, selfishness, love for money and things – all which turn our hearts from the Lord and cause us to plug our ears to His pleadings to live right and stay close to Him. The time is near. Are you ready? Are you listening to Him?
Consider the following warnings from some of our beloved prophets:
“How many now here, are ready – having oil in their vessels, and lamps trimmed, and prepared for coming events? .. the church, no doubt, needs purifying – we have hypocrites among us – milk and water Saints – those professing to be Saints, but doing nothing to render themselves worthy of membership; and too many of us have been pursuing worldly gains, rather than spiritual improvements – have not sought the things of God with that earnestness which becomes our profession. Trials and afflictions will cause our hearts to turn towards our Father who has so marvelously wrought out our redemption and deliverance from Babylon.” – Lorenzo Snow
“I feel that we are in just as great danger as were those who lived in the days of Noah, or those who lived in the days of Nephi upon this great western land. We are in great danger as any nation that has ever lived, because God has given us more than any other nation, and if in arrogance and in pride we turn aside from the Father of us all, and in our carelessness and indefference towards sacred things we spend our lives for the things of this world, it will not be very long until the chastening hand of an all-wise Father may come upon us as a nation, and we be counted as the nations of the past, among those that have withered away.” – George Albert Smith
“It would be well, before the frightening events concerning the fulfillment of all God’s promises and predictions are upon us, that the Saints in every land prepare themselves and look forward to the instruction that shall come to them from the First Presidency of this Church as to where they shall be gathered and not be disturbed in their feelings until such instruction is given to them as it is revealed by the Lord to the proper authority.” – Harold B. Lee
“There is a real sifting going on in the Church, and it is going to become more pronounced with the passing of time. It will sift the wheat from the tares, because we face some difficult days, the like of which we have never experienced in our lives. And those days are going to require faith and testimony and family unity, the like of which we have never had.” – Ezra Taft Benson
“Are we prepared for the emergencies in our lives? Are our skills perfected? Do we live providently? Do we have our reserve supply on hand? Are we obedient to the commandments of God? Are we responsive to the teachings of the prophets? Are we square with the Lord? We live in turbulent times. Often the future is unknown; therefore, it behooves us to prepare for uncertainties. When the time for decision arrives, the time for preparation is past.” – Thomas S. Monson
Things are only going to get harder. The world as you know it will soon be turned upside down. If you are prepared, you will not be afraid. You will be protected. God will lead His elect to safety. If you wait to prepare – both spiritually and temporally – it will be too late.
“When will all these calamities strike? We do not know the exact time, but it appears it may be in the not-too-distant future. Those who are prepared now have the continuing blessings of early obedience, and they are ready. Noah built his ark before the flood came, and he and his family survived. Those who waited to act until after the flood began were too late. The revelation to store food may be as essential to our temporal salvation today as boarding the ark was to the people in the days of Noah.” Ezra Taft Benson
Recently I received a priesthood blessing to help calm many upsets I’ve been dealing with regarding friends and family members who are distracted – and not preparing for the times ahead. In that blessing I was reminded that God is just as available to those around me as He is to me, but that it was a test of their faith to turn to Him and listen. The answers and promptings He has given me He can also give to you, if you do the work. Some of my favorite accounts of the last days, besides the scriptures and prophecies, would be found in a few books, conference talks, dreams, and articles. One incredible article that I love can be found here. I know you can take anything you learn, go to the Lord, and ask Him if these things are true. And as promised in the scriptures, He will testify to you what is true, and add to it that you might learn and grow and prepare.
God wants to save, preserve and protect as many of His children as He can before He allows the destruction of America as prophesied. There is so much talk of hastening the work. But I believe the most important place to start is yourself. Conduct a personal interview with you and the Lord and see where you stand. Do all that you can to be ready. Don’t sit on the fence with one foot in Babylon and the other foot out. Take accountability and stay on the Lord’s side. Strengthen yourself spiritually. Prepare physically by following counsel to get food storage and other provisions. Live by the spirit daily that you may be led to safety and protected.