Friday, August 24, 2012

Awake and Arise

The scriptures and prophets are clear in their witness concerning our neglect and indifference to the gospel of salvation.  Something must be done to wake us up.  We are no different from other people who have had the gospel taught to them in ages past, but for some reason we think we are different.  Just as Nephi foresaw, we think that because "Zion prospereth, all is well" (2 Ne. 28:21).  Man remains unchanged, and therefore the message of the prophets has not, and cannot change. 

Lehi warned his posterity:

"awake; awake from a deep sleep, yea, even from the sleep of hell, and shake off the awful chains by which ye are bound, which are the chains which bind the children of men, that they are carried away captive down to the eternal gulf of misery and woe.  Awake!  and arise from the dust" (2 Ne. 1:13-14).

Jacob invited his brethren:

"arouse the faculties of your souls; shake yourselves that ye may awake from the slumber of death" (Jacob 3:11).

Orson Pratt taught that the Latter-day Saints

"are the children of light, although many of us will actually be asleep. We shall have to wake up and trim up our lamps, or we shall not be prepared to enter in; for we shall all slumber and sleep in that day, and some will have gone to sleep from which they will not awake until they awake up in darkness without any oil in their lamps" (JD 7:189).

Most often we are unaware when we are sleeping.  When we dream we think we are experiencing reality only to find out the truth once we are awake.  As Hugh Nibley has said, nobody likes to be awakened from a deep sleep.  So we choose to sleep on.

Taking the Book of Mormon seriously, and analyzing its contents honestly, will provide the necessary "shaking" to awaken our souls to the awful situation in which we find ourselves.  Only in this way is it possible to remove the condemnation under which we presently labor (D&C 84:53-58).  

The Book of Mormon is stunningly clear in its identification of the latter-day Gentiles, and has a message for them that should get our attention.  The time in which the Lord has chosen to work with the Gentiles is drawing to a close, and our sin remains.  We ought to realize this, and begin helping others to realize it.

"The Gospel of Jesus Christ is so important a subject that you ought to be thinking deeply about it.  Joseph Smith said:  

"[T]he things of God are of deep import; and time, and experience, and careful and ponderous and solemn thoughts can only find them out. Thy mind, O man! if thou wilt lead a soul unto salvation, must stretch as high as the utmost heavens, and search into and contemplate the darkest abyss, and the broad expanse of eternity-thou must commune with God. How much more dignified and noble are the thoughts of God, than the vain imaginations of the human heart! None but fools will trifle with the souls of men." (DHC vol. 3, page 295.)  

"We should not be dealing with the Gospel at a superficial level.  We should be ashamed of how we have been treating it.  Again, Joseph said:

"How vain and trifling have been our spirits, our conferences, our councils, our meetings, our private as well as public conversations—too low, too mean, too vulgar, too condescending for the dignified characters of the called and chosen of God, according to the purposes of His will, from before the foundation of the world! We are called to hold the keys of the mysteries of those things that have been kept hid from the foundation of the world until now."  (Id.)

"A religion that allows you to foolishly waste the days of your probation will not save you.  That religion is NOT the faith that Abraham followed or that Jesus Christ taught.  If you are attending "vain and trifling" meetings that are "low, mean, vulgar and condescending" then you must do something about your own education in the faith to obtain exaltation.

"The path trod by the ancients is exactly the same path every saved soul must walk" (Snuffer).

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