Twenty years ago, I worked as a full-time manager of a high-profile political campaign for a good, honest, humble man. He won. Yet instead of being invited onto the new elected official’s staff (which was expected), he offered me a pretty menial job at a supporter’s business. Interestingly, 10 years later, the elected official resigned and many staffers were fired amidst a scandal, which leaves me grateful I wasn’t hired there in the first place.
Since then, my wife and I have had quite a few opportunities where it would have been easy to trust another person. We listened to the Spirit, and in many cases, we didn’t. I’m thankful for the Spirit’s guidance throughout my life.
Today, many people are concerned about the state of our society, and the challenges upon us individually and collectively, as we barrel towards an inevitable rendezvous with Zion. Of particular concern is how we’ll keep our families safe amidst the tremendous trials and tribulations which will come upon us. Many proudly boast of their trust in inanimate objects or other mortals to ensure their physical and/or spiritual survival.
Last fall, we held our Unblog Family Reunion and “Visions of Glory” was published. I’m not sure about you, but two of the messages I got from the book and the reunion was (1) that I needed to greatly accelerate and amplify my spiritual preparedness and (2) trust in the Lord.
As I frequent various forums, blogs and websites, this conflict — between trusting in things/other mortals on one hand, and God on the other hand — seems to be intensifying. In fact, I see many (who are encouraging others to trust in God) being persecuted and castigated by other latter-day saints.
To all, I present for your consideration a few excerpts from “Visions of Glory” (underlines are mine):
“Our company was about a day away from entering Zion. We had come a long way. We left Cardston on trucks with good supplies and confidence. We arrived at Zion on foot and in rags. All of our vehicles were abandoned and our supplies were gone. Even our pockets were empty. We had been stripped of everything we relied upon, everything that had produced our earlier confidence, even food and clothing. It was this process of sacrificing everything earthly that had sequentially taught us to totally trust in God, to have utter confidence in Him, rather than in our ‘things’. We arrived with a pillar of fire before us, and a pillar of fire behind us, and we lacked for nothing. We had been beaten down, and in that same process we had been elevated to the stature of Zion.”
“The mood of some of the people turned rebellious, and along with the troops who had defected from the foreign forces, they moved from their homes up into the mountains. They took with them guns and provisions, and periodically attacked the foreign troops. Their efforts were poorly inspired, and they were soon killed or captured, or they melted back into the larger society. The remainder of the people quietly turned their attention to prayer and faith, and they hearkened to the leadership of the Church. The Church began operating quietly to accomplish the Lord’s mission, and did not fear the troops, but they also didn’t provoke them.”
“We brought a large quantity of food and other odd things, like farm implements, spare parts and other items which the Spirit led us to collect. All of these things played into our ability to barter and trade along the way. This was all for our learning, to teach us to rely totally and only upon Christ. It was a hard lesson to learn because we had to keep relearning it on higher and higher levels.”
“My first view was that we had entered a mountain pass. I don’t know where it was. On our right were tall cliffs. The stone was dark, with trees and bushes growing out of it. We were standing in tall grass and bushes at the bottom of the cliff. On the hillside to our left a long row of military vehicles came into view. They had been waiting in ambush. Troops took up position at the entrance and exit to the canyon, trapping us inside. There were trucks with machine guns, several huge army tanks and half a dozen trucks with rocket launchers. They were mocking us and threatening us, telling us that we were all going to be dead in a few minutes. They taunted God, and said that this time even God could not save us; they were more powerful than God.
These troops were from almost every nation that had survived – Asia, Russia, Europe and Africa. The soldier who was taunting us was shouting in broken English through a large bullhorn.
They began to fire upon us. People from our company began to fall.
Rachael, the only woman who was translated, got up onto the bed of our big truck and cried with a mighty voice that could be heard above the roar of rockets and machinegun fire, “Behold the majesty of the Lord!”
The pillars of light grew brighter as the enemy fired every weapon they had. The pillar of light before us seemed to arch backward to meet the pillar from behind. The rockets and bullets they shot at us began bouncing back at the enemy. A huge explosion rocked the enemy in a ball of fire, and then there was thundering silence and gray smoke on the hillside.”
“At times our enemies would approach our group. I would speak to them but they did not seem to see me because they didn’t reply or even look at me. They sometimes saw the group I was leading, but they never saw me. I would say to them something like, ‘There is no one here,’ or anything the Lord led me to say, and they would leave. We were never in any danger, but those with me trembled with fear because they were still on their ‘journey to Zion’ which involved long experience in learning to completely and absolutely trust the Lord.
I could also create an illusion if need be. If we were standing before the soldiers, I could cause them to “see” us suddenly turn and try to run away in a different direction. They would fire and be satisfied that we had been eliminated. After such an illusion, they could no longer see us, and we would leave. They couldn’t even hear our voices or noise of our departure no matter what it was. These things were continually amazing to me, and I always glorified God in my heart, and I plainly told the people what had happened so they could enhance their faith in Christ’s protection and love.
There was a law we followed. It was not a rule, but a law. When an individual or group threatened us, we knew their hearts. If there was any hope, even the slightest hope that they could be saved, even in the most telestial sense, we did not harm them. When we were confronted by someone who was fully ripe in iniquity, and who would never repent, then we were free to deliver them from mortality. Their death would then be a blessing to them because they could no longer add additional iniquity to their divine ledger.
In the beginning of our work of gathering, we most often hid behind God’s power. Toward the end, we were most often granted permission to display God’s power. Instead of hiding from them, we started them on their immortal journey. When we did this, it was not a bloodbath and rarely a consumption by fire. They just fell to the ground and slipped into the eternities. When this happened, we felt happy for them to be freed from the torment of their own delusions. With God they would eventually see clearly once again, and could choose to cease heaping condemnation upon their souls.”
Without going into detail, let me add my (second?) witness to the last two paragraphs quoted above. I, too, will someday encounter several dangerous circumstances which will demand not the usage of any inanimate objects or trust in an individual, but instead, an unparalleled reliance upon God and the power of His priesthood. True, there may be some instances where I’ll have to rely on “people” or “things”; but such directions will be Spirit inspired.
Based on the above testimonies, I encourage you, I plead with you, to aim higher, reach farther and attain greater. Focus not on man or anything man-made. Take the Lord’s yoke upon you, for it is easy and his burden is light. Envision yourself exercising greater faith, greater priesthood power, greater reliance upon He who is mighty to save. I know – I know – that as you do this, you will feel the Spirit in greater abundance and the Lord’s proximity to you closer.
P.S. To “Rachael”, whoever you are…thanks for inspiring me.