We all have our free agency and God holds us accountable for the way we use it in thought and deed. "Kindness, compassion, and love are powerful instruments in strengthening us to carry heavy burdens imposed without any fault of our own and to do what we know to be right." Elder Dallin H. Oaks
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The roots of a sycamore tree at Ground Zero felled on Sept. 11, 2001, have been preserved as a memorial to the event in New York City. A local messianic rabbi believes it’s a visible fulfillment of an Old Testament prophecy about God’s current judgment on America.
“The Lord sent a word into Jacob, and it hath lighted upon Israel. And all the people shall know, even Ephraim and the inhabitants of Samaria, that say in the pride and stoutness of heart, The bricks are fallen down, but we will build with hewn stones: the sycamores are cut down, but we will change them into cedars. The significance was clear: Israel had turned her back. Ezekiel cites the conditions that preceded the departure of the Glory and the judgment of the nation.
REMEMBER AND RETURN TO GOD!
DON’T DEFY GOD!
WITH PRIDE WE TRY TO REBUILD AMERICA WITHOUT GOD!
IT CANNOT HAPPEN!
AS WAS PROPHESIED, WE HAVE REPLACED
THE SYCAMORE TREE WITH ONE OF CEDAR.
THOSE VERY WORDS ARE THE ONES THE SCRIPTURES RECORDED WE WOULD SAY!
GOD IS WARNING US!
INSTEAD OF REPENTING, WE ARE REBUILDING WITH DEFIANCE!
The idea of the coming of the Lord as a Great and Dreadful day is a chaismus phrase highlighting details of particular importance. It will be a great day and it will be a dreadful day depending upon each individual’s view of the return of the Lord. It is a point of view of how one sees it.
It is a Chiastic pattern or ring structure used as a literary device applied to narrative motifs that is commonly seen in ancient literature and in the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament, to emphasize, parallel, or contrast concepts or ideas to give meaning to their writings or to highlight details.
The details of the Coming of the Lord to some will be a GREAT DAy and a DREADFUL DAY to others. It depends on how you have lived your life and what place Jesus Christ plays in your life.
There are opposites in all things. Where there is Good, there is Bad; Righteous, Evil; On, Off; Light, Darkness; Right, Wrong; Beginning, End.
To some a glass of water is half full; to others half empty.
It is all in how one looks at things. Life can be looked at the same way; from both sides; Up and Down.
In a song I wrote it sings, “Life is just what you make it. Life is just what you want it to be.” It can be a Great Life or a Dreadful life. You Make the Bed You Sleep In.
Scripture teaches: “For it must needs be, that there is an oppositioninallthings. If not so, my first-born in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, allthings must needs be a compound in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility.
Wherefore, it must needs have been created for a thing of naught; wherefore there would have been no purposein the end of its creation. Wherefore, this thing must needs destroy the wisdom of God and his eternal purposes, and also the power, and the mercy, and the justice of God.
And if ye shall say there is no law, ye shall also say there is no sin. If ye shall say there is no sin, ye shall also say there is no righteousness. And if there be no righteousness there be no happiness. And if there be no righteousness nor happiness there be no punishment nor misery. And if these things are not there is no God. And if there is no God we are not, neither the earth; for there could have been no creation of things, neither to act nor to be acted upon; wherefore, allthings must have vanished away.”2 Ne. 2: 11-13
“Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.”2 Ne. 31: 20
If you believe in God and His Son Jesus Christ, then you should look forward to the Second Coming of The Lord
“BEHOLD, I will reveal unto you the Priesthood, by the hand of Elijah the prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.” D&C 2: 1
Behold, the time has fully come, which was spoken of by the mouth of Malachi—testifying that he [Elijah] should be sent, before the great and dreadful day of the Lord come— To turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers, lest the whole earth be smitten with a curse— Therefore, the keys of this dispensation are committed into your hands; and by this ye may know that the great and dreadful day of the Lord is near, even at the doors.” D&C 110: 14
“After this vision had closed, another great and glorious vision burst upon us; for Elijah the prophet, who was taken to heaven without tasting death, stood before us, and said:
Behold, the time has fully come, which was spoken of by the mouth of Malachi—testifying that he [Elijah] should be sent, before the great and dreadful day of the Lord come— To turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers, lest the whole earth be smitten with a curse— Therefore, the keys of this dispensation are committed into your hands; and by this ye may know that the great and dreadful day of the Lord is near, even at the doors.” D&C 110: 13-16
No one, not even the angels in heaven knows exactly when Jesus Christ shall return. There are events or experiences that God gives to people to show that something important in his work has happened or will soon happen. They are called, ‘The Signs of the Times‘. In the latter days, many signs for the secondcoming of the Savior have been prophesied. These signals allow faithful people to recognize God’s plan, be warned, and prepare.
I like Glenn Beck’s take on the future: “Tomorrow Can and Will Be Better.” He expresses it in a chiastic form. Which way do you read it?
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Many of us are personally blessed to see the fulfillment of this prophecy as we enter the Lord’s temples and are taught therin of “his ways” and walk in “his path”.
( Isa. 2: 3 ) “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 willteach 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.”
This prophecy speaks to us in our day. The gathering of Israel, temples, and temple service. We will “flow” upwards to the temple mountain, learn of God’s ways (in the temple), and walk in God’s paths (in the temple). In additioin, temple service and worship (Isa. 2: 2-3) are directly connected to worldwide peace and prosperity (Isa. 2: 4); that is, temple attendance (Isa. 2: 2) results in peace (Isa. 2: 4), a desire to learn of God (Isa. 2: 3), and a willingness to walk in his light (Isa. 2: 5).
Micah presents the same prophecy in his writings (Micah 4: 1-3).
Joseph Smith summed up the connection between the gathering of Israel and temple service:
“The object of gathering the Jews, or the people of God in any age of the world . . . was to build unto the Lord a house whereby He could reveal unto His people the ordinances of His house and the glories of His kingdom, and teach the people
the way of salvation.”
“He will teach us of his ways“… The Lord will teach us through revelation given through his prophets and apostles, through the scritures, and by way of personal revelation (Isa. 54: 13). Specifically, we will learn of God’s ways in his temple.
Therefore [O Lord] thou hast forsaken thy people the house of Jacob, because they be replenished from the east,
and [hearken unto the] soothsayers like the Philistines, and they [clasp hands]please themselves in the children of strangers. (Isa. 2: 6)
Their land also is full of silver and gold, neither is there any end of their treasures;
Their land is also full of horses, neither is there any end of their chariots: (Isa. 2: 7)
Their land also is full of idols; they worship the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made: (Isa. 2: 8)
And the [ordinary] man boweth [not] down, and the great man humbleth himself [not]: therefore forgive them not. (Isa. 2: 9)
NOTES AND COMMENTARY:
Isa. 2: 6thou hast forsaken. The Lord has forsaken members of the house of Israel because of their wicked condition (2:6-9). The term forsaken has the sense of abandoning the house of Israel and leaving them without the Spirit of the Lord, revelation, and God’s word through his living prophets.
replenished … east. To the Israelites, “east is the sacred direction. Holy temples are oriented eastward . . . Jesus Christ enters his temples from the east (Ezek. 43: 1-2; see Exek. 10:19); and at the time of the Second Coming, the Lord will come from the east (JS-M 1: 26; Matt. 24: 27; Teachings, 287).” In Isa. 2: 5, the prophet Isaiah commands the house of Israel to “walk in the light of the Lord,” which comes from the east. Yet the house of Israel attempted to be spiritually revitalized (replenished) through apostate, spurious sources from the east (such as the deities and religious systems of the heathen countries), which constituted mockery unto God.
soothsayers. Individuals who pretend to prophesy or predict the future are soothsayers. The law of Moses contained espress commands against the Israelites’ association with these false prophets (Lev. 18: 26; Deut. 18: 10-12).
Philistines. This was a group of people who occupied southwest Palestine and who often warred against Israel.
clasp hands . . . children of strangers. One meaning of this phrase is to participate and make covenants in apostate temple systems whith those who are not affiliated with the true Israelite temple. The Hebrew word for strangers has reference to characters who are “foreign” or “alien” to the house of Israel. A command from the law of Moses warned the Israelites, “Thou shat make no covenant with them [strangers; such as the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hivites, and Jebosites], nor with their gods” (Ex. 23: 32). The phrase also refers to God’s command that Israelites not intermarry with those who do not belong to covenant Israel (Deut. 7: 1-4).
2:7 silver/gold/treasures. When they sought these riches, which are symbolic of worldly materialism (Rev. 17: 4; Rev. 18: 16; 1 Ne. 13: 7-8), ancient Israel broke the law of Moses, for they were commanded, “neither shall [you] greatly multiply to [your]self silver and gold” (Deut. 17: 17). The Lord’s people are ever commanded to seek him rather than the riches of this world.
2:8 idols. This term refers both to heathen deities constructed of wood or stone and to more abstract things that men become excessively devoted to, including worldly wealth, the honor of men, and things of the flesh. Isaiah speaks of idols in Isa. 2: 8, 18, 20; Isa. 10: 10-11; Isa. 19: 1, 3; and Isa. 31: 7. The law of Moses speaks clearly against the creation and worship of idols (Ex. 20: 3-4).
2:9 ordinary/great man. Both ordinary people, or commoners, and those who have achieved worldly status and positions are guilty of pride.
forgive them not. Isaiah, whose testimony lists the sins of Israel, stands as a witness against the house of Israel in Jehovah’s courtroom (Isa. 1: 2-5; Isa. 2: 4). Inasmuch as the children of Israel saturate their lives with sins (as Isaiah suggests in the terms replenish and full, used several times) and fail to hearken to the voice of man prophets by repenting and turning to God, Isaiah can deliver his plea (prayer) before the Lord.
Forgive them not.
Isaiah has testified against Israel, and now, according to the custom of the court, the judge will deliver his sentence. In this case, the judgment will be delivered by Jesus Christ during the “day of Jehovah” (Isa. 2: 12).
(‘Understanding Isaiah’ – Donald w. Perry – JW N Perry – Tina M Peterson)
They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance. For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee.” Ps. 83: 4-5
“And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the Lord thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God. Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field.” Deut. 28: 1-3.
“A seer can know of things which are past, and also of things which are to come, and by them shall all things be revealed, or, rather, shall secret things be made manifest, and hidden things shall come to light, and things which are not known shall be made known by them, and also things shall be made known by them which otherwise could not be known.”
Thus God has provided a means that man, through faith, might work mighty miracles; therefore he becometh a great benefit to his fellow beings. Mosiah 8:17–18
“Because Elijah was a seer, Isaiah saw in vision such events as the War in Heaven, the destruction of Jerusalem after the Savior’s death, the battle of Armageddon, and the millennial reign of the Savior. (The Second Coming of Jesus.)
Many of Isaiah’s writings seem difficult to understand because they refer to a wide range of past and future events described in symbolic language.
“…Behold, I will reveal unto you the Priesthood, by the hand of Elijah the prophet, before the coming of the greatanddreadfulday of the Lord.”JS-H 1: 38
Great because the Priesthood has been restored!
Great because Elijah has already returned with those promised keys.
Dreadful because we have the TOCCI F-35B to fight our battles.
IT MUST NOW BE THE TIME FOR THE COMING OF THE GREAT AND DREADFUL DAY OF THE LORD?
When the Savior comes again, He will come in power and glory to claim the earth as His kingdom. His Second Coming will mark the beginning of the Millennium.
The Second Coming will be a fearful, mournful time for the wicked, but it will be a day of peace for the righteous. The Lord declared:
“They that are wise and have received the truth, and have taken the Holy Spirit for their guide, and have not been deceived—verily I say unto you, they shall not be hewn down and cast into the fire, but shall abide the day.
”And the earth shall be given unto them for an inheritance; and they shall multiply and wax strong, and their children shall grow up without sin unto salvation.
“O then ye unbelieving, turn ye unto the Lord; cry mightily unto the Father in the name of Jesus, that perhaps ye may be found spotless, pure, fair, and white, having been cleansed by the blood of the Lamb, at that great and last day.”Morm. 9: 6
This revelation expresses the will of the Lord relative to governing and conducting meetings. All are welcome in our Church Meetings.
This Revelation was given through Joseph Smith the Prophet to the Church, at Kirtland, Ohio, March 8, 1831. In this early time of the Church, there had not yet developed a unified pattern for the conducting of Church services. However, a custom of admitting only the family members and earnest investigators to the sacrament meetings and other assemblies of the Church had become somewhat general. Doctrine and Covenants – Section 46
HEARKEN, O ye people of my church; for verily I say unto you that these things were spoken unto you for your profit and learning.
But notwithstanding those things which are written, it always has been given to the elders of my church from the beginning, and ever shall be, to conduct all meetings as they are directed and guided by the Holy Spirit.
Ye are also commanded not to cast any one who belongeth to the church out of your sacrament meetings; nevertheless, if any have trespassed, let him notpartake until he makes reconciliation.
And again I say unto you, ye shall not cast any out of your sacrament meetings who are earnestly seeking the kingdom—I speak this concerning those who are not of the church.
And again I say unto you, concerning your confirmation meetings, that if there be any that are not of the church, that are earnestly seeking after the kingdom, ye shall not cast them out.
“But ye are commanded in all things to ask of God, who giveth liberally; and that which the Spirit testifies unto you even so I would that ye should do in all holiness of heart, walking uprightly before me, considering the end of your salvation, doing all things with prayer and thanksgiving, that ye may not be seduced by evil spirits, or doctrines of devils, or the commandments of men; for some are of men, and others of devils.
Wherefore, beware lest ye are deceived; and that ye may not be deceivedseek ye earnestly the best gifts, always remembering for what they are given;
For verily I say unto you, they are given for the benefit of those who love me and keep all my commandments, and him that seeketh so to do; that all may be benefited that seek or that ask of me, that ask and not for a sign that they may consume it upon their lusts.
And again, verily I say unto you, I would that ye should always remember, and always retain in your minds what those gifts are, that are given unto the church.
For all have not every gift given unto them; for there are many gifts, and to every man is given a gift by the Spirit of God.
To some is given one, and to some is given another, that all may be profited thereby.
To some it is given by the Holy Ghost to know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that he was crucified for the sins of the world.
To others it is given to believe on their words, that they also might have eternal life if they continue faithful.
And again, to some it is given by the Holy Ghost to know the differences of administration, as it will be pleasing unto the same Lord, according as the Lord will, suiting his mercies according to the conditions of the children of men.
And again, it is given by the Holy Ghost to some to know the diversities of operations, whether they be of God, that the manifestations of the Spirit may be given to every man to profit withal.
And again, verily I say unto you, to some is given, by the Spirit of God, the word of wisdom.
To another is given the word of knowledge, that all may be taught to be wise and to have knowledge.
And again, to some it is given to have faith to be healed;
And again, it is given to some to speak with tongues;
And to another is given the interpretation of tongues.
And all these gifts come from God, for the benefit of the children of God.
And unto the bishop of the church, and unto such as God shall appoint and ordain to watch over the church and to be elders unto the church, are to have it given unto them to discern all those gifts lest there shall be any among you professing and yet be not of God.
And it shall come to pass that he that asketh inSpirit shall receive in Spirit;
That unto some it may be given to have all those gifts, that there may be a head, in order that every member may be profited thereby.
He that asketh in the Spirit asketh according to the will of God; wherefore it is done even as he asketh.
And again, I say unto you, all things must be done in the name of Christ, whatsoever you do in the Spirit;
And ye must give thanks unto God in the Spirit for whatsoever blessing ye are blessed with.
And ye must practise virtue and holiness before me continually. Even so. Amen.
We all come with gifts and talents. The Lord encourages each of us to magnify those talents and to use them for good.
If we all would use our various talents to bless the lives of others without any env or jealousy, or to get gain, this world would be a better place. We are encouraged to study, learn, and with faith, seek the best gifts, those spiritual gifts that will be your live and others, eternally. This is how God became who He is. As His children, this is how He teaches us:
“For behold, thus saith the Lord God: I will give unto the children of men lineuponline, precept uponprecept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom; for unto him that receiveth I will give more; and from them that shall say, We have enough, from them shall be taken away even that which they have.” 2 Ne. 28: 30
Because it has been prophesied that hard times would come and precede the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. If anyone can turn this world around, He is The Way!
Because Jesus’s restored church is alive and ready with a living Prophet to receive our Lord, Jesus Christ.
Because this world is already so much worse than Sodom and Gomorra which was destroyed because of its wickedness that we need Jesus to come and destroy the wicked and cleanse and rule this world.
Because there are opposites in all things. When things are really bad, they are also really good. ”A Great and Dreadful day.”
Because I have hope and faith in Jesus Christ that those prophecies of cleansing the wicked and having peace on earth, with Satan and his workers being bound for a thousand years, and that it will take place while I am living withe the opportunity of witnessing it with my family.
Because these are the Last Days. How much worse can it get?
We know that Jesus will appear to the Jews and show them his nail scarred hands and feet and disclose himself as Jesus of Nazareth, whom they had reviled and whom their fathers put to death. Then will unbelief depart from their souls, and “the blindness in part which has happened unto Israel” be removed. Then they will fall down at His feet and worship Him.
After these days will come their redemption and the building of Jerusalem. They will be given their own land again, and every man will live under his own vine and his own fig tree and they will learn to love the Lord and keep His commandments and walk in the light, and He will be their God and they will be His people.
. . . and right now is at our front door!
Yes, we know how this world and it’s story ends. The scriptures will be fulfilled!
We know which way to follow! Jesus is The Way!
So, let’s fasten our seat belts, offer a humble prayer, take a deep breath and enjoy the ride!
I can hardly wait for our Lord and Savior to return and rule this world for a thousand years in peace and happiness.
“And blessed are they who shall seek to bring forth my Zion at that day, for they shall have the gift and the power of the Holy Ghost; and if theyendure unto the end they shall be lifted up at the last day, and shall be saved in the everlasting gkingdom of the Lamb; and whoso shall publish peace, yea, tidings of great joy, how beautiful upon the mountains shall they be. 1 Ne. 13: 37