By Alan on Jun 21 in Blog tagged against MS, Alan Osmond, all-natural treatments, alternative medicines, blender, daily battle, David Osmond, diagnosis, dibilitation, disease, essential, Family, Father and Son, fighting spirit, golf cart, greatest act, homeopathic, hydro-exercise, lean meat, leg brace, Mormon faith, multiple sclerosis, never complained, no caffinated beverages, no casein, no drinking, no gluten, no smoking, nutrition, osmonds second generation, protein, refined flour, spouse, steroids, sugar, Suzanne Osmond, symptons, The Osmond Family, the show must go on, the whole family, unconditional love, viris, wheelchair, Winning | 2 Comments
The Osmond Family’s Greatest Act: Winning the Daily Battle Against MS
Father-and-son diagnoses of multiple sclerosis haven’t sapped Alan and David Osmond’s fighting spirit
Sherri Snelling, CEO and founder of the Caregiving Club, is a nationally recognized expert on America’s family caregivers.
Alan and David Osmond
Courtesy of David Osmond
Growing up Osmond comes with certain expectations: You sing, you dance and no matter what, the show must go on.
This has never been a problem for David Osmond, one of eight sons of Alan Osmond, the oldest of the famous brothers who shot to fame in the 1960s and ’70s. David, 32, continued the family’s pop legacy as the lead singer for Osmonds Second Generation, competed on American Idol in 2009 and released a solo album in 2010.
But just seven years ago David’s career — and life — were suddenly in jeopardy: He could not sing, play guitar or even walk because of pain in his chest and paralysis stretching from his toes to his diaphragm. Multiple sclerosis was soon diagnosed, just as it had been in his father 20 years earlier when he was in his late 30s. (Siblings or children of people with MS have a 1 in 40 risk of also contracting the disease, according to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.)
“When I originally received the diagnosis,” David tells me, “I had already tested positive for West Nile virus, but some of the symptoms did not match up. So they tested me for MS and found I had the disease. My doctors believe it may have been dormant in my system, but was triggered by the virus.”
Affecting 2.5 million people worldwide, MS is an autoimmune disease that attacks the central nervous system. It interferes with the transmission of signals to the brain and spinal cord, triggering unpredictable and often debilitating symptoms. MS can cause numbness, tingling and searing pain in the extremities; periods of partial or full blindness; loss of sensory function, like taste or smell; and even paralysis. The cause is not clear and there is no cure, but the effectiveness of long-term drug treatments has improved.
MS affects every patient differently. Most, like David, experience flare-ups that can vary in length and severity, followed by periods of remission with few or no symptoms. “It’s like a roller coaster,” David has said. His father, however, is among the 15 percent of MS patients who have the progressive form of the disease, marked by a slow degeneration of the body’s functions.
At first, David was devastated by the diagnosis. “I was in complete denial,” he admits. Sitting in a wheelchair in 2005, watching his brother’s children playing with their dad, he wondered, “Will I ever have that?”
But now, David says, “I’m almost embarrassed to admit that is how I felt, because when I looked from my brother and my nieces and nephews to my dad, I realized, here is this man who has lived with MS for 20 years — and he has never complained. I realized that life can go on and you can find ways around this disease, just like my dad did.”
Both father and son have learned to live with MS and deal with its inherent obstacles and dire prognosis. Powerful steroid shots helped David get out of his wheelchair four years ago, enabling him to walk down the aisle with his bride, Valerie, at their wedding. (They began dating before his diagnosis.) “I proposed to her from my wheelchair and she said yes,” he says, “so being able to walk down the aisle with her was something I just knew I had to do.”
David still experiences some pain in his legs, but he has not been back in his wheelchair. He and Valerie now have two daughters, ages 1 and 3.
“I know it’s crazy to say, but it is actually a great time to have MS,” says David, who sits on the board of the Nancy Davis Foundation for MS. (See footage of David and other stars at the foundation’s Race to Erase MS gala.) “The numerous choices we now have to attack this disease that is attacking our bodies are encouraging. I truly think MS is one of the chronic illnesses that may be cured in my lifetime.”
Counting on Nutrition and Family
Part of the Osmonds’ approach to battling MS is an embrace of homeopathic remedies, like aromatherapy. “I was given a cortisone shot when I was first diagnosed in 1987,” Alan says, “and it just about killed me. It was right then that I decided there has to be a better way and I started investigating alternative medicines.”
The Osmonds do not take traditional MS drugs but they do support research into better treatments for the disease. For themselves, though, they believe all-natural treatments and diet choices represent their best chance to keep the disease at bay. Both men follow healthy, all-natural diets that include no gluten (which is found in wheat-based products), no casein (milk protein), no sugar and no refined flour; Alan combines fruits and vegetables in his blender for most meals. They occasionally eat lean meat but prefer to get their protein from omega-3-rich fish. Further, Alan takes a variety of all-natural dietary supplements, including Vitamin D, each day; David takes up to 50 daily supplements. In keeping with the tenets of their Mormon faith, neither man smokes or drinks coffee or caffeinated beverages.
Overall, each man says he has worked to educate himself about MS and has tried various approaches to discover what works best for his own body. Each encourages other MS patients to do the same.
Alan credits his wife, Suzanne, with pointing him toward the alternative treatments that have allowed him, so far, to defy the odds of his grim prognosis. His doctors expected he’d be in a wheelchair by now, but he generally walks without assistance, only occasionally employing a leg brace or golf cart. Alan also participates in hydro-exercise; the buoyancy of the water, he says, takes the pressure off his often-painful joints and helps him maintain balance while going through his exercises.
Both Osmonds believe the unconditional love of a spouse is essential for anyone facing a chronic illness. “It is not just one person who gets MS,” Alan says. “It is the whole family. You have to have the drive and desire to keep living and keep fighting for yourself and those around you.”
Their thriving marriages defy the odds: According to a National Health Institute Survey conducted by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 75 percent of marriages in which one spouse has a chronic illness end in divorce — a rate 50 percent higher than for other marriages.
“Sometimes dealing with something like multiple sclerosis can make your marriage better,” David says. “I know both my wife and I have learned more patience with each other through this journey and I absolutely would not be where I am at today in conquering MS without her.”
As we wound up our interview, David’s girls were calling to him from the next room, eager to get back to playing Legos and watching Disney movies with their dad, experiences that, a few years ago, he was not sure he would ever be able to share. Later, I saw this tweet from David: “Going to make t-shirts for my girls that say ‘Having MS gets on my dad’s nerves.’”
Sherri Snelling’s book on celebrity caregivers, A Cast of Caregivers, will be published by Balboa Press in January 2013.
By Alan on May 27 in Blog tagged after this life, another room, celestial, children of God, death, disease, divine attributes, earth, Endure To The End, finish line, God, good and evil, Jesus, kingdom, life=threatening, many mansions, mortal life, mortal mission, our father, pathway, Plan of Salvation, prayer, President Thomas S. Monson, purpose of life, race, resurrected, savior, scriptures, seasons of life, teach your children, telestial, Terresterial, The Book of Mormon, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, The race of life, The Spirit, travel, treasures, victory over the grave, Where are we going, Where did we come from, why are we here, your heart | Comments Off
The Race of Life
By President Thomas S. Monson
Where did we come from?
Why are we here?
Where do we go after this life?
No longer need these universal questions remain unanswered.
My beloved brothers and sisters, this morning I wish to speak to you of eternal truths—those truths which will enrich our lives and see us safely home.
Everywhere people are in a hurry. Jet-powered aircraft speed their precious human cargo across broad continents and vast oceans so that business meetings might be attended, obligations met, vacations enjoyed, or families visited. Roadways everywhere—including freeways, thruways, and motorways—carry millions of automobiles, occupied by more millions of people, in a seemingly endless stream and for a multitude of reasons as we rush about the business of each day.
In this fast-paced life, do we ever pause for moments of meditation—even thoughts of timeless truths?
When compared to eternal verities, most of the questions and concerns of daily living are really rather trivial. What should we have for dinner? What color should we paint the living room? Should we sign Johnny up for soccer? These questions and countless others like them lose their significance when times of crisis arise, when loved ones are hurt or injured, when sickness enters the house of good health, when life’s candle dims and darkness threatens. Our thoughts become focused, and we are easily able to determine what is really important and what is merely trivial.
I recently visited with a woman who has been battling a life-threatening disease for over two years. She indicated that prior to her illness, her days were filled with activities such as cleaning her house to perfection and filling it with beautiful furnishings. She visited her hairdresser twice a week and spent money and time each month adding to her wardrobe. Her grandchildren were invited to visit infrequently, for she was always concerned that what she considered her precious possessions might be broken or otherwise ruined by tiny and careless hands.
And then she received the shocking news that her mortal life was in jeopardy and that she might have very limited time left here. She said that at the moment she heard the doctor’s diagnosis, she knew immediately that she would spend whatever time she had remaining with her family and friends and with the gospel at the center of her life, for these represented what was most precious to her.
Such moments of clarity come to all of us at one time or another, although not always through so dramatic a circumstance. We see clearly what it is that really matters in our lives and how we should be living.
Said the Savior:
“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
“But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”1
In our times of deepest reflection or greatest need, the soul of man reaches heavenward, seeking a divine response to life’s greatest questions: Where did we come from? Why are we here? Where do we go after we leave this life?
Answers to these questions are not discovered within the covers of academia’s textbooks or by checking the Internet. These questions transcend mortality. They embrace eternity.
Where did we come from? This query is inevitably thought, if not spoken, by every human being.
The Apostle Paul told the Athenians on Mars’ Hill that “we are the offspring of God.”2 Since we know that our physical bodies are the offspring of our mortal parents, we must probe for the meaning of Paul’s statement. The Lord has declared that “the spirit and the body are the soul of man.”3 Thus it is the spirit which is the offspring of God. The writer of Hebrews refers to Him as “the Father of spirits.”4 The spirits of all men are literally His “begotten sons and daughters.”5
We note that inspired poets have, for our contemplation of this subject, written moving messages and recorded transcendent thoughts. William Wordsworth penned the truth:
Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
The soul that rises with us, our life’s Star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar:
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home:
Heaven lies about us in our infancy!6
Parents ponder their responsibility to teach, to inspire, and to provide guidance, direction, and example. And while parents ponder, children—and particularly youth—ask the penetrating question, why are we here? Usually it is spoken silently to the soul and phrased, why am I here?
How grateful we should be that a wise Creator fashioned an earth and placed us here, with a veil of forgetfulness of our previous existence so that we might experience a time of testing, an opportunity to prove ourselves in order to qualify for all that God has prepared for us to receive.
Clearly, one primary purpose of our existence upon the earth is to obtain a body of flesh and bones. We have also been given the gift of agency. In a thousand ways we are privileged to choose for ourselves. Here we learn from the hard taskmaster of experience. We discern between good and evil. We differentiate as to the bitter and the sweet. We discover that there are consequences attached to our actions.
By obedience to God’s commandments, we can qualify for that “house” spoken of by Jesus when He declared: “In my Father’s house are many mansions. … I go to prepare a place for you … that where I am, there ye may be also.”7
Although we come into mortality “trailing clouds of glory,” life moves relentlessly forward. Youth follows childhood, and maturity comes ever so imperceptibly. From experience we learn the need to reach heavenward for assistance as we make our way along life’s pathway.
God, our Father, and Jesus Christ, our Lord, have marked the way to perfection. They beckon us to follow eternal verities and to become perfect, as They are perfect.8
The Apostle Paul likened life to a race. To the Hebrews he urged, “Let us lay aside … the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.”9
In our zeal, let us not overlook the sage counsel from Ecclesiastes: “The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong.”10 Actually, the prize belongs to him or her who endures to the end.
When I reflect on the race of life, I remember another type of race, even from childhood days. My friends and I would take pocketknives in hand and, from the soft wood of a willow tree, fashion small toy boats. With a triangular-shaped cotton sail in place, each would launch his crude craft in the race down the relatively turbulent waters of Utah’s Provo River. We would run along the river’s bank and watch the tiny vessels sometimes bobbing violently in the swift current and at other times sailing serenely as the water deepened.
During a particular race we noted that one boat led all the rest toward the appointed finish line. Suddenly, the current carried it too close to a large whirlpool, and the boat heaved to its side and capsized. Around and around it was carried, unable to make its way back into the main current. At last it came to an uneasy rest amid the flotsam and jetsam that surrounded it, held fast by the tentacles of the grasping green moss.
The toy boats of childhood had no keel for stability, no rudder to provide direction, and no source of power. Inevitably, their destination was downstream—the path of least resistance.
Unlike toy boats, we have been provided divine attributes to guide our journey. We enter mortality not to float with the moving currents of life but with the power to think, to reason, and to achieve.
Our Heavenly Father did not launch us on our eternal voyage without providing the means whereby we could receive from Him guidance to ensure our safe return. I speak of prayer. I speak too of the whisperings from that still, small voice; and I do not overlook the holy scriptures, which contain the word of the Lord and the words of the prophets—provided to us to help us successfully cross the finish line.
At some period in our mortal mission, there appears the faltering step, the wan smile, the pain of sickness—even the fading of summer, the approach of autumn, the chill of winter, and the experience we call death.
Every thoughtful person has asked himself the question best phrased by Job of old: “If a man die, shall he live again?”11 Try as we might to put the question out of our thoughts, it always returns. Death comes to all mankind. It comes to the aged as they walk on faltering feet. Its summons is heard by those who have scarcely reached midway in life’s journey. At times it hushes the laughter of little children.
But what of an existence beyond death? Is death the end of all? Robert Blatchford, in his book God and My Neighbor, attacked with vigor accepted Christian beliefs such as God, Christ, prayer, and particularly immortality. He boldly asserted that death was the end of our existence and that no one could prove otherwise. Then a surprising thing happened. His wall of skepticism suddenly crumbled to dust. He was left exposed and undefended. Slowly he began to feel his way back to the faith he had ridiculed and abandoned. What had caused this profound change in his outlook? His wife died. With a broken heart he went into the room where lay all that was mortal of her. He looked again at the face he loved so well. Coming out, he said to a friend: “It is she, and yet it is not she. Everything is changed. Something that was there before is taken away. She is not the same. What can be gone if it be not the soul?”
Later he wrote: “Death is not what some people imagine. It is only like going into another room. In that other room we shall find … the dear women and men and the sweet children we have loved and lost.”12
My brothers and sisters, we know that death is not the end. This truth has been taught by living prophets throughout the ages. It is also found in our holy scriptures. In the Book of Mormon we read specific and comforting words:
“Now, concerning the state of the soul between death and the resurrection—Behold, it has been made known unto me by an angel, that the spirits of all men, as soon as they are departed from this mortal body, yea, the spirits of all men, whether they be good or evil, are taken home to that God who gave them life.
“And then shall it come to pass, that the spirits of those who are righteous are received into a state of happiness, which is called paradise, a state of rest, a state of peace, where they shall rest from all their troubles and from all care, and sorrow.”13
After the Savior was crucified and His body had lain in the tomb for three days, the spirit again entered. The stone was rolled away, and the resurrected Redeemer walked forth, clothed with an immortal body of flesh and bones.
The answer to Job’s question, “If a man die, shall he live again?” came when Mary and others approached the tomb and saw two men in shining garments who spoke to them: “Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen.”14
As the result of Christ’s victory over the grave, we shall all be resurrected. This is the redemption of the soul. Paul wrote: “There are … celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.”15
It is the celestial glory which we seek. It is in the presence of God we desire to dwell. It is a forever family in which we want membership. Such blessings are earned through a lifetime of striving, seeking, repenting, and finally succeeding.
Where did we come from? Why are we here? Where do we go after this life? No longer need these universal questions remain unanswered. From the very depths of my soul and in all humility, I testify that those things of which I have spoken are true.
Our Heavenly Father rejoices for those who keep His commandments. He is concerned also for the lost child, the tardy teenager, the wayward youth, the delinquent parent. Tenderly the Master speaks to these and indeed to all: “Come back. Come up. Come in. Come home. Come unto me.”
Our thoughts will turn to the Savior’s life, His death, and His Resurrection. As His special witness, I testify to you that He lives and that He awaits our triumphant return. That such a return will be ours, I pray humbly in His holy name—even Jesus Christ, our Savior and our Redeemer, amen.
President Thomas S. Monson
By Alan on May 08 in Blog tagged a man and a woman, abortion, abstinence, avoid pornography, baptism, between husband and wife, blessings, chastity, commandment, complete fidelity, create life, disease, divorce, faithful, Family, feel peace, for His children, God's direction, God's plan, gospel of jesus Christ, heartache, high moral standards, how you dress, in his heart, intimacy, jokes, law, looketh on a woman, marriage, obscene, overcome, Physical intimacy, repentance, resist temptation, sacred, sacred power, Satan, self-control, self-respect, sexual relations, shalt not commit adultery, sin, undesirable thoughts, virtuous and chaste, wholesome recreaction activities, words, you can be forgiven | Comments Off
Your Heavenly Father loves you and wants you to be happy today and forever. He has given counsel and commandments through His prophets to help you. One commandment that is vital to your peace and happiness is His commandment regarding sexual purity, known as the law of chastity. The Lord instituted this law from the beginning, and He emphasized its importance to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Obedience to this commandment is a requirement for baptism in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
What Is the Law of Chastity?
Physical intimacy between husband and wife is a beautiful and sacred part of God’s plan for His children. It is an expression of love within marriage and allows husband and wife to participate in the creation of life. God has commanded that this sacred power be expressed only between a man and a woman who are legally married. The law of chastity applies to both men and women. It includes strict abstinence from sexual relations before marriage and complete fidelity and loyalty to one’s spouse after marriage.
In addition to reserving sexual intimacy for marriage, we obey the law of chastity by controlling our thoughts, words, and actions. Jesus Christ taught, “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: but I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart” (Matt. 5: 27-28).
The law of chastity requires that sexual relations be reserved for marriage between a man and a woman.
Why Should I Keep the Law of Chastity?
Your Heavenly Father has given the law of chastity to protect and bless you. Like all sacred things, physical intimacy must be expressed according to God’s direction. As you keep the law of chastity, you will enjoy happiness, peace, and self-respect. You will enjoy trust and confidence in your family relation- ships, and you will be blessed with self-control. You will enjoy the blessings of the gospel of Jesus Christ through the influence of the Holy Ghost.
Satan leads people to believe that sexual intimacy outside of marriage is acceptable and even desirable. But it is a serious sin; God has always taught His chil- dren to be virtuous and chaste (see Ex. 20: 14 and Alma 39: 3-5). This principle is eternal.
Violating the law of chastity is an abuse of the power God has given to create life; it shows a disregard for Him and for His children. It dulls spirituality and often leads to bitterness, heartache, divorce, disease, and abortion. Those who violate this law are exposed to greater influence from Satan. This sin also seriously affects family members and others.
How Do I Keep the Law of Chastity?
God requires a high moral standard of His children. To keep the law of chastity, you must replace undesirable thoughts, words, and actions with wholesome ones.
The following principles will help:
Thoughts. Positive and constructive thoughts will push negative or immoral ones from your life. As you fill your life with whole- some thoughts and activities, you will grow in your ability to replace and overcome negative thoughts. Reading the scriptures, serving your family, working diligently, and engaging in wholesome recreational activities will help you control your thoughts.
Avoid pornography in all forms. It is addictive and destructive. It will rob you of your self-respect and of an appreciation for the beauties of life. Do not allow your mind to dwell on obscene or immoral thoughts or images. Do not view, read, or listen to anything that depicts or describes the human body or sexual conduct in a disrespectful way. Avoid looking with lustful thoughts at others, and avoid suggestive or explicit movies, television shows, Internet sites, music, books, magazines, and activities.
Words. Let your words build up others and strengthen them. Eliminate degrading, vulgar, and sexually explicit words, jokes, and themes from your conversations.
Actions. Always treat others with respect. Be modest in how you dress. If you remember that each person is a child of God, and if you do all you can to help others follow His plan, then you will be strengthened in your desire to keep the law of chastity.
Determine now that you will not do anything outside of marriage to arouse the powerful emotions that must be expressed only in marriage. Do not arouse those emotions in another person or in yourself. Do not participate in homosexual or lesbian acts or other immoral activities. Replace activities where you may be tempted to violate the law of chastity with constructive activities and hobbies. In marriage, remain absolutely faithful to your spouse in thought and action.
Because living the law of chastity will bring you closer to God, Satan will entice you to break this commandment. He knows when you are lonely, confused, or depressed, and he will tempt you when you are weak. Pray to your Heavenly Father for help, and He will give you strength to resist temptation (see 1 Cor. 10: 13). As you rely on Him and follow these principles, you will be able to overcome temptation.
Blessings of Living the Law of Chastity
As you live the law of chastity, you will be more open to the influence of the Holy Ghost. With the guidance of the Holy Ghost, you will develop greater wisdom, face trials with greater courage, feel God’s support and direction in your life, and be an example to your family and others. The love you have for your spouse and loved ones will be deeper, richer, and more meaningful. You will experience greater peace of mind.
In the scriptures we learn that true happiness comes from obeying the commandments of God (see Mosiah 2: 41) and that “wickedness never was happi- ness” (Alma 41: 10).
If you have broken the law of chastity, God has made it possible for you to repent and become clean again. Repent now of any past transgressions, and commit to live this sacred law. Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ and true repentance, you can be forgiven and feel peace.
By Alan on Jul 01 in Blog tagged Bible, Book of Mormon, disease, earthquakes, Elijah, famines, future, future of the holy land, gathering, hailstones, hreat storms, Jesus Christ second coming, Jewish nation, king of kings, last days, LDS, Mormon, New Jerusalem, prophecies, prophets, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, The Family, theFamily, war, we must stand with Israel, Zion | 2 Comments
“Of all the things in the world, the saddest is to see a people who have once known libery and freedom and then lost it.” Ezra Taft Benson
Jesus’s return is called the Second Coming.
At the Second Coming, Jesus will come down from heaven with great power. He will cleanse the earth of all wickedness, and Satan will no longer have power over the people. Jesus will rule for a thousand years over all the people who have been faithful to Him.
Jesus Has Told Us What Will Happen Before He Comes
Jesus has told us many things that will happen before He comes again. These things are called the signs of His Second Coming. He has told us to look for these signs and be ready for His coming. He said that when we see these things happening, we will know He is coming soon. But we will not know the exact time of His coming.
If we study the scriptures and are faithful to Jesus, we will know what the signs of Jesus’ coming will be. Many things will happen before Jesus comes to earth again. Some have already happened, some are happening now, and the rest will happen in the future.
Before Jesus’ Second Coming, the gospel will be preached to all nations. This will make many people happy and bring them blessings. Other things that will happen will test our faith. There will be great wickedness, earthquakes, and other kinds of destruction.
There Will Be Great Trouble on the Earth
Jesus said we will know His coming is near when we see much wickedness, war, and suffering on the earth. This will be a time of great trouble. There will be earthquakes, great storms, disease, and famines. Hailstones will destroy the crops of the earth.
Many people will stop loving our Father in Heaven and will turn to Satan. They will also stop loving and serving other people and will begin to harm them. There will be many wars on the earth. Nations will fight each other. These wars will continue until a great and final war takes place, which will be the most destructive war ever fought on the earth. Then Jesus will come.
History records what happened just before Jesus appeared to those in America after He was resurrected. This is a “type and shadow” of things to come:
11 And there was a great and terrible destruction in the land southward.
12 But behold, there was a more great and terrible destruction in the land northward; for behold, the whole
face of the land was changed, because of the tempest and the whirlwinds, and the thunderings and the lightnings, and the exceedingly great quaking of the whole earth;
13 And the highways
were broken up, and the level roads were spoiled, and many smooth places became rough.
14 And many great
and notable cities were sunk
, and many were burned
, and many were shaken till the buildings thereof had fallen to the earth, and the inhabitants thereof were slain, and the places were left desolate.
15 And there were some cities which remained; but the damage thereof was exceedingly great, and there were many in them who were slain.
16 And there were some who were carried away in the whirlwind
; and whither they went no man knoweth, save they know that they were carried away.
17 And thus the face of the whole earth became deformed, because of the tempests, and the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the quaking of the earth.
18 And behold, the rocks were rent in twain; they were broken up upon the face of the whole earth, insomuch that they were found
in broken fragments, and in seams and in cracks, upon all the face of the land.
19 And it came to pass that when the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the storm, and the tempest, and the quakings of the earth did cease—for behold, they did last for about the space of three hours
; and it was said by some that the time was greater; nevertheless, all these great and terrible things were done in about the space of three hours—and then behold, there was darkness
upon the face of the land.
20 And it came to pass that there was thick darkness upon all the face of the land, insomuch that the inhabitants thereof who had not fallen could feel
21 And there could be no light, because of the darkness, neither candles, neither torches; neither could there be fire kindled with their fine and exceedingly dry wood, so that there could not be any light at all;
22 And there was not any light seen, neither fire, nor glimmer, neither the sun, nor the moon, nor the stars, for so great were the mists of darkness which were upon the face of the land.
23 And it came to pass that it did last for the space of three days that there was no light seen; and there was great mourning and howling
and weeping among all the people continually; yea, great were the groanings of the people, because of the darkness and the great destruction which had come upon them. 3 Nephi 8:11-23
The House of Israel Must Be Gathered Again
Our Father in Heaven said the descendants of the house of Israel* must hear and accept the gospel and prepare themselves to meet Jesus when He comes again. Those who accept the gospel must teach it to all people, build temples, and do the ordinances for the dead people.
Many people from the house of Israel, either by blood or by adoption, are being converted to the Church as they accept the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Holy Land has been blessed for the gathering of many of the descendants of Abraham. The descendants of Abraham include the people known as Arabs and Jews, and others. The descendants of the Book of Mormon people in America, who also are descendants of Abraham, are accepting the gospel and are becoming a strong and righteous people.
The Gospel Will Be Preached to All the World
Jesus said we will know He is coming soon when His followers have preached the gospel to all the world. From the time when the Church was restored, missionaries have been sent to preach the gospel in different nations. Many missionaries are now preaching the gospel almost everywhere in the world. Every member of the Church is asked to tell his or her relatives and friends about the gospel, and many are going to other countries to preach the gospel, so that all people will have an opportunity to hear it.
Elijah Has Come
The prophet Malachi in the Bible said that before Jesus would come the second time, the prophet Elijah would visit the earth. He would bring back the authority to seal families together forever. He would cause people to want to learn about their ancestors and their descendants and help them be saved.
In April 1836, Elijah came and restored this authority to the Prophet Joseph Smith. Because Elijah came, families can now be sealed together in temples on the earth today.
A New City of Jerusalem Will Be Built
Jesus said we will know He is coming soon when His Church has built a city called the New Jerusalem. Jesus said He will rule in that city, and righteous people will live there. He has told us where this city will be built. It will be in the state of Missouri, in the United States.
The nations of the earth will gather together against the descendants of Judah, and Judah will be smitten.
Zechariah says, quoting the Lord: “For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.” (Zech. 14:2.)
President Woodruff has also discussed this subject: “… O house of Judah, … It is true that after you return and gather your nation home, and rebuild your City and Temple, that the Gentiles will gather together their armies to go against you to battle, to take you a prey and to take you as a spoil, which they will do, for the words of your prophets must be fulfilled. …” (Matthias F. Cowley, Wilford Woodruff [Bookcraft, 1964], p. 509.)
If you wonder how this prophecy could be fulfilled, let me simply remind you that on July 4, 1967, the United Nations General Assembly voted 99 to 0 to condemn Israel because of its annexation of Jerusalem. Twenty countries abstained; 99 countries voted in favor of condemning Israel; not a single nation voted against the condemnation. And if a United Nations military force should be sent into the Middle East to take over Jerusalem again, literally all of the nations of the earth would gather together to battle against Judah.
Two prophets are to be raised up to the Jewish nation.
Joseph Smith has explained the following concerning the two prophets who are mentioned in Revelation 11:2–3, 6–12 [Rev. 11:2–3, 6–12]:
“Q. What is to be understood by the two witnesses, in the eleventh chapter of Revelation? [And the Lord answered:]
“A. They are two prophets that are to be raised up to the Jewish nation in the last days, at the time of the restoration, and to prophesy to the Jews after they are gathered and have built the city of Jerusalem in the land of their fathers.” (D&C 77:15.)
Orson Pratt has said the following concerning the role of these prophets: “We might bring up, also, the declaration of John in relation to the two witnesses who are to prophecy about that period. They are to prophecy three and a half years, and their field of labor will be Jerusalem, after it shall have been rebuilt by the Jews. By means of their prophecies and the power of God attending them, the nations who are gathered together against Jerusalem will be kept at bay, these Prophets will hold them in check by their faith and power. By and by these nations overcome the two witnesses and, having finished their mission, they are slain, and their bodies will lie three days and a half in the streets of the city. Then a great earthquake will take place, and these two witnesses will be caught up to heaven.” (JD, vol. 16, p. 329. Italics added.)
For a thrilling detailed insight into what is going to take place concerning this, one should read the entire eleventh chapter of the Book of Revelation.
12. The Savior is to appear to the descendants of Judah.
“… they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him. …” (Zech. 12:10.) The Doctrine and Covenants provides an even more vivid account, because the Savior, in talking about this, says:
“And then shall the Jews look upon me and say: What are these wounds in thine hands and in thy feet?
“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.
“And then shall they weep because of their iniquities; then shall they lament because they persecuted their king.” (D&C 45: 51–53.)
President Woodruff has referred to this great event as follows: “… the Jews have got to gather to their own land in unbelief. … and when they have done this and rebuilt their city, the Gentiles, in fulfillment of the words of Ezekiel, Jeremiah and other prophets, will go up against Jerusalem to battle and to take a spoil and a prey; and then, when they have taken one-half of Jerusalem captive and distressed the Jews for the last time on the earth, their Great Deliverer, Shiloh, will come.” (JD, vol. 15, pp. 277–78. Italics added.)
13. The Messiah will lead the people of Israel to victory and later he will rule as King of kings and Lord of lords.
In fact, Zechariah, in talking about this, says:
“Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.
“And the Lord shall be king over all the earth; in that day shall there be one Lord, and his name one.” (Zech. 14:3, 9.)
The Doctrine and Covenants also mentions this event:
“… for the presence of the Lord shall be as the melting fire that burneth, and as the fire which causeth the waters to boil.
“O Lord, thou shalt come down to make thy name known to thine adversaries, and all nations shall tremble at thy presence.” (D&C 133:41–42.)
Also, President Woodruff has said that the Savior will fight the battles of Judah: “… but when this affliction comes, the living God, that led Moses through the wilderness, will deliver you, and your Shiloh will come and stand in your midst and will fight your battles; and you will know him, and the afflictions of the Jews will be at an end, while the destruction of the Gentiles will be so great that it will take the whole house of Israel who are gathered about Jerusalem, seven months to bury the dead of their enemies, and the weapons of war will last them seven years for fuel, so that they need not go to any forest for wood. These are tremendous sayings—who can bear them? Nevertheless they are true, and will be fulfilled, according to the sayings of Ezekiel, Zechariah, and other prophets. Though the heavens and the earth pass away, not one jot or tittle will fall unfilled.” (Cowley, pp. 509–10.)
14. Two great world capitals are to be established—one in Zion and one in Jerusalem.
Isaiah has prophesied the following concerning this event (Latter-day prophets have also indicated this scripture pertains to this day, and the same idea is found in the Doctrine and Covenants, section 133 [D&C 133]):
“And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.
“And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” (Isa. 2:2–3.)
President Joseph F. Smith has spoken of these two gathering places as follows: “Jerusalem of old, after the Jews have been cleansed and sanctified from all their sin, shall become a holy city where the Lord shall dwell and from whence he shall send forth his word unto all people. Likewise, on this continent, the city of Zion, New Jerusalem—shall be built, and from it the law of God shall also go forth. There will be no conflict, for each city shall be headquarters for the Redeemer of the world, and from each he shall send forth his proclamations as occasion may require. Jerusalem shall be the gathering place of Judah and his fellows of the house of Israel, and Zion shall be the gathering place of Ephraim and his fellows, upon whose heads shall be conferred ‘the richer blessings.’” (Improvement Era, vol. 22 , pp. 815–16.)
As Latter-day Saints, we should know more about the prophecies pertaining to Israel than any other people on earth, including the Jewish people themselves. We have everything they have, and in addition we have the words of the prophets in the Book of Mormon, the Pearl of Great Price, and the Doctrine and Covenants. We also have living prophets who stand at the head of our church today who can tell us about these great events.
The Savior has admonished us to “search these things diligently.” One purpose of devoting this special issue of the Ensign to the Holy Land is to inspire and motivate Latter-day Saints to learn about the dealings of the Lord with his covenant people.
Original Ensign Article.
“And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.” Isa. 11: 11
For The Family