If you are comfortable with where you are at,
If you like drifting with the current,
If you have no desire to change–or to become,
Then stop reading.
Put this down now and walk away.
Because this is an invitation for eternal warriors,
For those who feel deep down, they were born to do, to be, and to become more.
If you don’t feel that way, you don’t want to know what you are capable of because
“Hell is meeting the person you might have become.” – Anonymous
Please, decide wisely.
“For of him unto whom much is given much is required; and he who sins against the greater light shall receive the greater condemnation.” – D&C 82:3
It’s Always Been A Choice: The Foundation
God’s children have always been able to choose their personal level of commitment.
During the War in Heaven some joined Satan and actively fought against Christ,
Some wandered through no-man’s-land as torn spectators and occasional participants,
And finally there were those who became known as the ‘Noble and Great Ones’ because of their dedication and conversion.
While we don’t know the exact percentages of these groups, history suggests that there are always a few who completely embrace evil,
A corresponding few who unreservedly and wholeheartedly battle for truth,
And a vast majority that indecisively walk the sidelines while alternatively cheering for both teams.
Members of the torn majority rarely consider themselves ‘bad’ people, but they have failed to realize that,
“They who are not for me are against me, saith our God.” – 2 Nephi 10:16
Elder McConkie stated,
“In this war all who do not stand forth courageously and valiantly are by that fact alone aiding the cause of the enemy…There is no middle ground.”
This is especially applicable for members of the church. As the parable of the ten active members (ten virgins) teaches,
“The five foolish virgins’ lamps looked just like the wise virgins’ lamps. They looked like they were full of oil. They looked good on the outside. They LOOKED like good members of the church with strong testimonies, but they were empty on the inside.”
-Liza (Blogger: Ten Virgins)
The five foolish virgins were unprepared to greet the bridegroom and each member of the church who passively approaches his/her membership and conversion will also find themselves unprepared.
#1. Valiant and courageous warriors on the Lord’s side are completely committed and totally converted. They wholeheartedly live and fight for the gospel.
In contrast, members who fail to take a strong stand and who, “fear men more than God” will forfeit eternal blessings.
“Members of the Church who have testimonies and who live clean and upright lives, but who are not courageous and valiant, do not gain the celestial kingdom. Theirs is a terrestrial inheritance. Of them the revelation says, ‘These are they who are not valiant in the testimony of Jesus; wherefore, they obtain not the crown over the kingdom of our God’.” – Bruce R McConkie: General Conference 1974
#2. Valiant warriors bear responsibility for unique assignments in each age of the world.
Noah stood accountable for building an ark,
Moses was expected to lead Isreal from Egypt,
and Joseph the Carpenter was tasked with protecting the infant Savior.
Failure to fulfill our specific assignment demonstrates an unwillingness to follow the Lord because, “the Lord giveth no commandment…save He shall prepare a way…” (1 Nephi 3:7)
The youth of today have been called, ‘the chosen generation’–why? What are we chosen for?
Why are we told that God saved His most valiant children for this final dispensation?
The answer is simple but has enormous ramifications:
This final dispensation has an unparalleled responsibility.
We are responsible to build Zion in preparation for Christ’s second coming.
This responsibility brings with it potential for divine blessings like never before in earth’s history.
“Prophets of old have seen your days and rejoiced in them.” – President Benson
But it also means that failing to complete our task has unparalleled consequences.
Please ponder carefully the personal implications contained in the next two sections:
Who is Zion?
Why Hasn’t She Been Built?
Who is Zion?
Zion is first a people,
“And the Lord called his people Zion, because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them.” Moses 8:18
and second a city.
It is impossible to build Zion-The-City unless there is first a group of Zion-The-People.
What kind of a people can build Zion?
The city of Enoch is the only example we have of what we must accomplish in our day,
and the city of Enoch was a city where the people walked and talked with Christ.
It was an entire city of individuals with
faith like the Brother of Jared,
courage like Nephi,
a heart like Hannah’s,
a testimony like Abinadi,
conviction like Joshua,
and conversion like Peter.
It was literally a city where each individual knew Christ personally.
Only such a city could be ready to welcome back the returning Savior.
Why Hasn’t Zion Been Built?
Said President George Q. Cannon,
“I have not an earthly doubt that this revelation (to build Zion) given in 1834 would have been fulfilled to the very letter had our people obeyed the Lord as He desired. I do fear that we will defer the redemption of Zion indefinitely through our unwillingness to do the things that God requires at our hands.”
The early saints were unwilling and unready to live up to their responsibilities and we today are still unprepared.
Many good members of the church sit comfortably at home expecting some grand announcement at general conference to send us all to Missouri, but they miss the great truth that God can’t build Zion-The-City until He first has Zion-The-People.
So, how are we doing?
Compare the priesthood power of the city of Enoch–power that moved mountains–to the last priesthood lesson you sat through.
Compare, “and there were no poor among them” to the turnout for the last ward service project you attended.
Compare the city where they walked with Christ and were very literally ministered to by angels to your last ward sacrament meeting.
I was recently part of an hour long discussion among ward leadership about the youth of the promise being unable to show up to church on time and unwilling to stay for all three hours.
Not as a criticism but as an honest appraisal, can you see why God hasn’t been able to build Zion?
We Must Wake Up!
Christ is waiting on Zion to be built before he can come.
Joseph Smith taught,
“Zion and Jerusalem must both be built up before the coming of Christ.”
and Elder Orson Pratt echoed Joseph’s words when he said,
“Before he (Christ) appears in his glory he is going to build up Zion, that is, Zion must again be built up on the earth: and if there is not a Zion built up on the earth before he comes, or in other words, if there is never to be another Zion built up on the earth, then he will never come.”
Author John Pontius summed it up well when he said,
“It appears that by delaying the establishment of Zion, we have also delayed the Second Coming of the Lord. If this is true, it is startling. The idea that we, through our spiritual sleepiness, could delay the return of the Lord, and thus the day of peace so long sought by the righteous of every generation, is almost horrific. When we speak of, “delaying” the Second Coming we mean only that in His foreknowledge of all things, the Father has fixed that date (the return of Christ) after the establishment of Zion. And since our own agency and faithfulness governs when we get around to building Zion, we have an obvious influence upon that date.”
The following statement is attributed to the Prophet Joseph Smith:
“Every Saint has an equal interest in building up of the Zion of our God; for it is after the Lord has built up Zion, that he will appear in his glory. (Psalms 102:16) We all look for the appearing of the great God, and our Savior Jesus Christ; but we shall look in vain, until Zion is built; for Zion is to be the dwelling place of our God when he comes.
How then is the Lord to dwell in Zion, if Zion is not built up? This questions we leave the saints to answer.–The salvation of the saints one and all depends on the building up of Zion; for without this there is no salvation; for deliverance in the last days is found in Zion, and in Jerusalem.”
Becoming a Zion individual that can stand in the presence of the Savior is indeed a humbling task. Perhaps this verse was included by Mormon to offer us a reminder that the Lord is in charge.
“And it came to pass that I beheld that the great mother of abominations did gather together multitudes upon the face of all the earth, among all the nations of the Gentiles, to fight against the Lamb of God. And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld the power of the Lamb of God, that it descended upon the saints of the church of the Lamb, and upon the covenant people of the Lord, who were scattered upon all the face of the earth; and they were armed with righteousness and with the power of God in great glory.” –1 Nephi 14:13-14
A Call to Action!
Brothers and Sisters, the Lord needs more! The world has never been darker which means that God needs and expects our light to shine brighter than ever before.
God needs more Abrahams’ and Captain Moronis’,
He needs more Esthers’ and Hannahs’,
God needs spiritual power and not moral pacificity!
He needs conversion and not just the motions.
He pleads for dedication and not neutralization!
God is calling for eternal warriors who are all in—heart and soul–completely on the Lord’s side!
God longs for us to rediscover who we were when we buckled on the armor of faith and stood side by side with Micheal.
We were eternal warriors then and can find that fire now!
We were foreordained to carry the Lord’s banner and to be His light during these dark days–foreordained to build Zion–because He knows we are capable of living up to this amazing potential.
How Do We Reach Zion?
We become a Zion individual in exactly the same way the Nephi, Moses, Alma, Enoch, the Brother of Jared, and so many others throughout holy writ did.
Simply put, they chose to fully live the commandments and keep their covenants.
They took the spirit as their guide and day-by-day they put off
and the comfort of going with the crowd,
and instead made the gospel their whole life.
They put aside rebellion and rationalization and offered their honest best to the Lord.
“No matter what your current status, the very moment you voluntarily choose honest, joyful, daily repentance by striving to simply do and be your very best, the Savior’s Atonement envelops and follows you, as it were, wherever you go. Living in this manner, you can truly “always retain a remission of your sins” (Mosiah 4:12) every hour of every day, every second of every minute, and thus be fully clean and acceptable before God all the time.” – Elder Klebingat: General Conference 2014
They were righteous enough to merit the blessings.
“…for I the Lord am bound when ye do what I say…” – D&C 82:10
The Lord will extend the same blessings to us as soon as we choose to live as they did.
Today is the day for us as God’s sons and daughter with a sacred and weighty responsibility to,
“…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 Nephi 1:13-14
The grace of Christ can make, “weak things strong”(Ether 12:27) and, “perfect (us) in Christ”(Moroni 10:32) but
God will not change us against our will.
“Actions speak louder than words.” – Proverb
Only action can fully enable the forgiving and perfecting power of the atonement.
Today is the day to begin living the gospel with all your heart and soul!
Today is the day to get on your knees, share with your Father your desires, and then ask for His help!
Today is the day to choose to wholeheartedly walk the gospel path of conversion and change that was designed to make natural men and women into Zion individuals.
The path is clear, the only question each of us must ask ourselves is:
Will I choose to sincerely and completely walk-the-walk in order to make Zion my destination of choice?