Monday, February 24, 2014

He "hast broken...the rod of [our] oppressor" - Isaiah 9:4


We live in the last days. These are the days that prophets, priests, and kings have looked down through the corridors of time with joyful anticipation. Why? Because we live in a day when "righteousness [is sent] down out of heaven; and truth [is sent] forth out of the earth, to bear testimony of mine Only Begotten; his resurrection from the dead; yea, and also the resurrection of all men; and righteousness and truth will I cause to sweep the earth as with a flood, to gather out mine elect from the four quarters of the earth, unto a place which I shall prepare, an Holy City, that my people may gird up their loins, and be looking forth for the time of my coming; for there shall be my tabernacle, and it shall be called Zion, a New Jerusalem" (Moses 7:62).

Very few of us would ever engage in sexual immorality simply because a golden calf is set before us any more. But, God had to save His best because there would be many seeking to deliver all of us into the yoke of bondage. We are warned in plain language in The Book of Mormon: "WhereforeO ye Gentiles, it is wisdom in God that these things should be shown unto you, that thereby ye may repent of your sins, and suffer not that these murderous combinations shall get above you, which are built up to get power and gain—and the work, yea, even the work of destruction come upon you, yea, even the sword of the justice of the Eternal God shall fall upon you, to your overthrow and destruction if ye shall suffer these things to be. Wherefore, the Lord commandeth you, when ye shall see these things come among you that ye shall awake to a sense of your awful situation, because of this secret combination which shall be among you; or wo be unto it, because of the blood of them who have been slain; for they cry from the dust for vengeance upon it, and also upon those who built it up" (Ether 8:23-24). What exactly is this secret combination, built up to get power and gain?

In Revelation 17, we read "And upon her forehead was a name written, Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots and Abominations of the Earth" (Revelation 17:5). We can safely assume from the word "mystery" being written upon her forehead that the woman spoken of in Revelation is the secret combination that has infiltrated every aspect of society. Who else teaches us about this woman? Nephi.

"And the angel spake unto me, saying: Behold the gold, and the silver, and the silks, and the scarlets, and the fine-twined linen, and the precious clothing, and the harlots, are the desires of this great and abominable church" (1 Nephi 13:8). So the desires of this church, this secret combination, are to get wealth, glory, and fame. That is not to say that they will stop being secret, but the members of the organization get that. Furthermore, "the time speedily shall come that all [organizations] which are built up to get gain, and all those who are built up to get power over the flesh, and those who are built up to become popular in the eyes of the world, and those who seek the lusts of the flesh" (1 Nephi 22:23). They also want to get wealth and fame, and power over the flesh and those who seek the lusts of the flesh.

I do not know what that sounds like to you, but to me, it seems as though there is something hastening the hypersexualization of society. Pornography has been normalized. Homosexual relationships are being demanded and forced upon everyone for the sake of "equality". Nobody can be anywhere in this world without seeing something related to sex at least one time in a day.

Good men, honorable men, otherwise righteous men have become ensnared in this evil web spun by the King of Babylon, the Prince of the Power of the Air, even Lucifer. He is our oppressor, it is the great day of His power. He is ensuring that "the whore....With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication" will have power on this earth to reign with blood (Revelation 17:1-2). That does not necessarily mean that death is involved. Any person who has taken a biology course knows that blood is essential in sexual activities. Thus, by reigning with blood in that way, Satan has been able to get whole industries to bring into bondage millions of people.

To show how pervasive it is, I went to YouTube, and looked up "McDonald's Advertisement". I randomly clicked on one (shown right). Watch it, and see how many things that are somewhat, remotely sexual involved in it. 

In my quick watching of it, I counted 5 instances when something that seemed sexual happened in 30 seconds. FOR A BURGER?! Watch commercials carefully, they will sprinkle sexual movements, innuendos, and anything that looks like sex into their commercials to get you to purchase their product.

Have you "[awakened] to a sense of [our] awful situation" (Ether 8:24)? It has brought us, as a society, into bondage. Sexual indulgence has been sold as consequence free, and people have bought it. You get pregnant? Just go get an abortion. You want sex without getting pregnant? Here's some birth control pills for the girls and some condoms for the boys. You want sex without attachment? Here's some pornography.

Soft-core pornography is so pervasive in our society that hard-core pornography doesn't seem so bad, though it is almost always done in the darkness, or only with a few people. Friends show it to each other. Even the righteous happen upon it going to good sites. Wikipedia has straight up pornography on their site, and slang terms, even those not widely used such as "Clue" (at least at one point) get redirected to those pages. (That was many years ago that happened, and I do not care to go look at that again). Pop ups happen all the time on many different sites with pornography. It is easy even for the very elect, the righteous members of the church, to see it, and just once can cause an addiction.

This society has declared war on the Saints of the Lamb of God, and soon, shall make total and utter war upon Jesus Christ. Robert D Hales said in the October 2013 General Conference, "The adversary has been loosed upon the earth. We watch, hear, read, study, and share the words of prophets to be forewarned and protected. For example, “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” was given long before we experienced the challenges now facing the family. “The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles” was prepared in advance of when we will need it most." Soon, this secret combination will utterly and completely make a war against Christ. "These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful" (Revelation 17:14). He will utterly overthrow them off the face of the earth. And it won't take long: "Therefore, shall her plagues come in one day" (Revelation 18:8). If God can destroy the entire secret combination in one day, He can save anyone from it in one day.

If you have struggles with this, you are not alone. And if you let him, God can break "the rod of [your] oppressor" (Isaiah 9:4). He has immense love for each of His children. I have felt a particle of the immensity of that love as I have labored for Him and in His place in the Holy Temple. 

One of my favorite hymns is "Gently Raise the Sacred Strain". The fourth verse has always brought me comfort:
Holy, holy is the Lord.
Precious, precious is his word:
Repent and live,
Repent and live;
Tho your sins be crimson red,
Oh, repent, and he'll forgive.
Oh, repent, and he'll forgive.

That is my testimony. As we repent, God will forgive us through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. May we ever do so for sins both great and small is my prayer. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.