Friday, May 6, 2016


The following was a short talk given by a close friend of mine:

I'd like to talk about the big picture. Too often we get caught in the details of life and we don't see the big picture; the big picture of why we are here, why our eyes are opened and why we have such a burning desire to know the truth and serve the Savior.

We live in the end times, the last days. These are the last days of the end of the world. In reading Nibley's book, Approaching Zion, Nibley says there is only one thing is left to do, only one thing that needs to happen, and that's to gather to Zion.  
We read on page one in  Approaching Zion, speaking about the 10th Article of Faith:

            "Article 10 deals explicitly with our time and our space and sets forth the   steps by which God intends to consummate the great latter-day work. What is the consummation of the great latter-day work? The Return of Christ to usher in the millennium. "

Nibley goes on to say:

There are five steps (and this is the order):

(1) the literal gathering of Israel;      

(2) the restoration of the Ten Tribes (which is happening right now though we have no knowledge of it here);

(3) the building of Zion upon this the American continent: (and that will usher in)

(4) Christ's personal reign upon the earth; and

(5) the renewal of the earth in its paradisiacal glory.

So let's talk about this gathering. What is the purpose in gathering?  and what was the object of gathering the Jews, or the people of God in any age of the world?
Page 307-8 of The Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith says:
The main object was to build unto the Lord a house whereby He could reveal unto His people the ordinances of His house and the glories of His kingdom, and teach the people the way of salvation; for there are certain ordinances and principles that, when they are taught and practiced, must be done in a place or house built for that purpose.
What are the ordinances for? Ordinances do two things. They bestow knowledge and the teach you how to communicate with the heavens. The ordinances teach you how to open the heavens. What is the purpose of opening the heavens? To bring down the Lord. The whole purpose of the prayer circle is to summon the Lord.

You have to have a temple for the Savior and the Hosts of heaven to return. You have to open a nexus point, a connection between heaven and earth for the Lord to return. So the whole purpose of gathering is to build a temple, open the heavens and summon the Lord and start the millennium.

In a blog post entitled How to Fail  asks the questions:

·         What if the Lord were to give the opportunity to build Zion?

·         What if the Lord wanted it to happen now?  

·         What would be done differently than was done by those who went before and failed?

The post goes on to say how they failed how there were jarrings and contentions. We all know the story. And then concludes with this:

            “It is easy to fail. Just gather people who will contend with each other and there will be failure EVERY time. It makes sense to try something new rather than repeat the pattern that will never work. First, provide an opportunity for those who are interested to display who they are, whether they can live peaceably with others. Once we know one another’s hearts then the Lord can gather only those who will avoid contentions, jealousies, strifes, envyings, and jarring. Like the pattern in Abraham, first men are “proven” and then they are gathered, or spared.

So let's talk about this gathering. What do we know about the gathering?

First off, you have to be invited. You just don't volunteer. You don't just show up. You have to have an invitation.

D&C 77: 9 -11 talks about the angels gathering the righteous.
            "The angels to whom it is given power over the nations of the earth to bring as many as will come to the Church of the Firstborn."

And there is our sermon for many as will come. Well, who wouldn't want to come? To answer that, the Lord gives us the story of the certain man who made a great supper.

Luke 14: 16-21, 24, 26

            A certain man made a great supper, and bade many:  And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready. ( So the context is the supper is ready, just come and come now.) And they all with one consent began to make excuse.  The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come. So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things.  Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.

Why didn't the people who received the invitation want to attend? Business, family ties, etc. We look at these people and we think: "How foolish of them not to attend the party!" and we easily judge them. 

But wait a minute.  What if this was not just a party for an evening, but the Certain Man is asking you to come not for just for a couple of hours, but come permanently and live with him for good. Drop everything and come, and come to stay because you're not going back to your home.  Remember the context...everything is ready, you are invited to come, and you are to come now.

What does that mean? To you men it means to abandon your job, everything you've worked for and built up, the people who depend on you, your retirement, your investments, everything you've worked so hard to make. To you women it means to abandon your friends. Abandon your family, say goodbye because you're not coming back. Can you leave your grandchildren? Can you leave your home and all your nice things? Can you leave all your comforts, your comfortable lifestyle?  Can you just walk away?

The invitation is to leave everything you have and come, and come to stay, you are not going back.  That's the invitation.

Now how excited are you about the invitation? Now how excited are you about receiving the angel or receiving the dream that summons you?

I wrestle with this terribly. My wife's a non-believer. I would have to abandon her and my helpless autistic son. Without me and my income...they are in poverty and would perish. Literally, without my income they are out on the street. I've spent 32 years with this woman. Hard to throw it all away, especially if my leaving would hurt my helpless, dependent son.

There must be an easier way, right?  Surely the Lord makes exceptions. No...there is not an easier way. Christ anticipates my very dilemma in the very next verse when he says:

            If any man (or woman) come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and spouse, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
There is no easier way.

So let's talk about the invitation.

Let's assume you get the invitation. The angel comes and delivers your invitation. Will you have the option to say at that point. "Wow...okay...let me talk this over with my spouse and I'll get back to you." Is that how it works?

No... it's a "go" or "no go" answer. You don't have the option to say: "Let me think about it and I'll get back to you." The window of opportunity opens and closes with the initial offer.

You don't get asked a second time. The Lord doesn’t beg you to join him. He doesn't sent the servant around the second time to pick up the indecisive.  He offers and you either take him up on the offer or you don't.
The point is you have to make up your mind in advance.
Why am I bringing all this up?

The reason I'm bringing up this unpleasantness is to say this: The time is growing short. All too soon this is going to get real. If a true messenger is starting to say stuff like this, then the time is getting short and this is going to be all too real very soon, and you will have to make the decision. Better to understand what you are getting into now, than to say: "Sure, I'll go," and then when reality hits and you understand the cost to then back out.
So that's the big picture. That's what faces us. We live in the end times - the last days. These are the last days of the end of the world. There is only one thing is left to do and that's to gather to Zion. We are to build the temple, receive the ordinances, open the heavens and summon the Lord.
To do that, you need your invitation, and if and when the invitation comes you need to be willing to go.

In the original Greek, John 14:15 says: "If you love me, stand watch as a sentry awaiting my instructions." And then when the instructions comes, do it.





Lance said...

My bigger concern is whether I would be invited at all rather than concern over my response to the invitation.

Bob Sonntag said...

*paradisiacal, not paradoxical. Though Earth is also paradoxical.


LOL. thanks Bob. Fixed


Yeah... first things first right?
However, I tend to think we are all invited, but most of us never pay attention and/or read the invitation. Instead we discard and throw it out with the "junkmail."

Eric Kuntz said...

Have you heard about the flat earth yet?

LJn said...

Aren't marriages number one? Isn't it that angels look at a marriage and see something of heaven in them, so they inform the Lord, who then works with the couple to bring them to Him?

The only reason I see for leaving a wife of 35 years and a helpless child behind is if the wife and son refuse to be with you. What does that say about your marriage? About your oneness? What if you are not invited because you are not kind enough to your wife for her to choose you over a church or over her false beliefs?

Nonbeliever? In what? Does she not believe in Jesus Christ?

I think, when the angels come to gather to Zion, the decision will have been made long before to sacrifice all things to God. And I don't think we should look at our spouses and children with the idea that we might leave them behind. Instead, we should focus on loving them, on being an "example of the believers" to them.

We don't know how the gathering is to be. We know precious little about the reality of Zion. I think we should be focused on connecting with Christ and on being the type of spouse that would make our spouse want to be with us instead of with whatever false traditions they believe in.


Anonymous said...

Great post, one of your very best.
A wise man told me long ago to love my children because they will respond to love as to no other emotion. It took me a very long time to begin to comprehend that message. Not long ago, when I was agonizing over my children and their apparent acceptance and love for the trivialities of the world, the Spirit told me, "love the Lord, love your children, and they will eventually, when the world has proven itself false as it surely will, remember your example and seek for the Lord as you tried to teach them in patience, long-suffering, gentleness and love unfeigned". Being painfully aware of my own faults and short-comings, my greatest fear is that I have not shown them enough love, that I have not given them a good enough example. I can only hope and trust and pray that the Lord in His great mercy will make up for my failings and inadequacies.
Thank you. Excellent post.
James Russell Uhl

Anonymous said...

Any man or woman who would abandon a spouse or child, for any reason, would not be worthy of Zion anyway, that is not what Christ mean't at all.

If we really understand Christ's teachings we know that unconditional love and commitment to a spouse reveals and creates Zion and is what proves that he or she puts God 1st, by putting their spouse 1st.

When we isolate a verse or two, it can easily lead to misunderstanding the message. We must consider all the things Christ taught and see the bigger picture of what he was trying to say. Leaving a spouse or children is the opposite of his message. He only meant to put God's teachings ahead of anything even a relative, friend or prophet would say or teach.

And creating Zion would be an easy & quick thing to do if people would just follow Christ's commandments. We can easily create Zion in our own homes even today and help others to also, no need to wait for anyone else to do it for us, for no one can do it for us.

It seems like most Christian Churches today, including the LDS, are teaching completely contrary to Christ so that Zion 'can't' be created. It seems those churches are trying to create the opposite of Zion. For if they preached Christ's real commandments then Zion would become a quick reality for millions and more.

We should not be waiting for God or leaders to bring Zion, for that will never happen. God is waiting for us to start truly living Christ's commandments and create a Zion here and now, starting with our own marriage and family, then helping extended family and friends to do so. And thus we will prove worthy of a Zion in the next life. Christ taught that he who does not do this will miss out on Eternal Life.

JLC said...

lectures on Faith #6

For a man to lay down his all, his character and reputation, his honor and applause, his good name among men, his houses, his lands, his brothers and sisters, his wife and children, and even his own life also, counting all things but filth and dross for the excellency of the knowledge of Jesus Christ, requires more than mere belief, or supposition that he is doing the will of God, but actual knowledge: realizing, that when these sufferings are ended he will enter into eternal rest; and be a partaker of the glory of God.


Anonymous said...

As per that quote and Joseph's life, it is evident that he did not understand nor follow Christ's teachings.

Unknown said...

I love peolpe that talk appsolue's. Not!!!! #1 So if your statement is true "Any man or woman who abandon a spouse or child, for any reason would not be worthy of zion" then Martin Hairris is in HELL, even know is wife did the unrighteous act of taken the manuscrpt. In your statement the wife was an angel too, she can do no wrong. But Christ said in "Mathew 12:50 For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother." Christ is talking a about indiviuals here when his use the word 'whosoever' not marriages. Yes marriage is a celestial princible but both "husbands and wife" need to be worthy to enter together.
#2 Unconditional love, the secound appsolute. When people use unconditional do you mean that every person we return to the celestial kingdom and yet scripture say there are three major kingdoms. I agree that heavenly father has uncondition love for his child. But that does not mean his all children get into celestial kingdom, if that was the case the Kingdom would be dirty.
Appsolute's are unrealistic and from me understand a tool of the satan!!!!