Sunday, June 25, 2017

Being Prepared

Earlier this week, I was sitting in class waiting for it to begin. Some of the students were talking about the Second Coming and what to expect. One of the students, who was a returned missionary, said "Don't worry, the Lord will remove the righteous before anything bad happens." I was astonished. Surely the scriptures do say that the Lord will call up his righteous, but that is after the wars and rumors of wars, calamities, and other things that must happen before the Savior comes back. Furthermore, the students talked about how it would be a quick process. I gently said "you need to really study the scriptures and what the General Authorities have taught about what is to come. It will get bad for everyone. Some of the righteous will probably die. But we are taught that we need not have fear because no matter what we have to go through, if we are righteous, we belong to the Lord and will be saved, meaning we will have eternal life." I was further surprised to learn that some of the students thought nothing bad would happen in America because it is the promised land. The reality is, we don't know what exactly will happen or how long it will take. But I personally suspect, through my studies, that it could take longer than just some stuff that happens over the course of a year. It could take 20 for all we know. We have to be prepared so that when those hard times come, and they will and already are, we will know what to do. In the lesson in my New Testament class this week, I read an article in the November 2005 Ensign about being prepared. As I read that, this experience in my class came back to my mind. We cannot assume that we will be untouched by calamity and trial. In fact, going through those things is what will help refine us and make us ready to meet the Lord. Whenever I think about the last days, I think of the parable of the ten virgins. I think that one symbol that having enough oil represents is our ability to hear and follow the Lord. The day could come that all of our media and means of communication are cut off, and we might not be able to get word from the leaders of the Church. In those days, we had better already know how to hear the Lord and do what he directs. It will be too late to think we can just "learn on the job" in the moment. If we do not now what the voice of the Lord sounds like, it will be chaotic for us as it will be for everyone else. We need to know how to hear him. We need to already know how to act on the promptings and directions the Lord gives. He will need people that have already learned how to go forward with faith, despite fear or anxiety, and fully trust Him, even when things are scary or bleak. It will be too late in that day to think we can just figure it out then. We have to develop those skills now. Don't wait.

Monday, June 12, 2017

My view on Marriage

It's interesting that this week both my Anthropology class and my religion class talked about marriage. The difference was that in Anthropology we talked about marriage in different cultures and the different types of arrangements that there can be. There was no spiritual tie-in. Obviously for Religion class we talk about it from a spiritual perspective. Marriage is an interesting subject to me because I am still single. I am in my mid-30s, which in the Mormon culture is fairly unusual and definitely not ideal (depending on who you ask). I have maybe a different view on marriage. I have friends my age or older (and even younger) who are bitter that they are not married. I have never felt that way. I'm not looking for a pat on the back, but I'm just trying to explain where I'm coming from. I trust in the Lord's timing in my life. He leads me down paths and I follow, and I know that when the time is right it will happen. Or maybe it won't. Maybe my trial will be to not have a companion in this life. Either way, I trust it. I've had an interesting view on marriage. In our Hollywood shows and movies we are lead to believe that it is all sun and roses because you are in love. I know enough to know that it isn't exactly like that. My sister once told me that marriage is kind of like an ebb and flow. You have periods of time when you fall in love all over again with your spouse and then other times that you feel like you just have a roommate. It takes work. I've lived with two different families for a period of time. Because I was in their home, I got to see some of that ebb and flow. I feel like I understand some things about marriage because of that, things that otherwise I might not have known. I know that marriage is ordained of God, and that no one who is righteous will be kept from it's blessings. That's the most important thing to know, in my opinion, and in my phase of life.