The world has never needed a prophet of God more than we do now. With increased feelings of urgency, we look to President Russell M. Nelson to learn how to navigate this fast-changing world we suddenly find ourselves in. So what is he saying right now? What is he asking us to do—right now? In this month’s edition of the Liahona magazine, President Nelson asked the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to do the following things:
1. Immerse ourselves in the scriptures. “Doing so opens our minds and hearts to the Savior’s teachings and truths. The words of Christ “tell [us] all things what [we] should do” (2 Nephi 32:3), especially in these days of uncertainty and upheaval.”
2. Pray. We must take the initiative “to humble ourselves before God, find a quiet place where we can regularly go, and pour out our hearts to Him.”
3. Listen. “If we will stay on our knees for a while after we finish our prayer, thoughts, feelings, and direction will come into our mind. Recording those impressions will help us remember what actions the Lord would have us take.”
4. Repent. “[Be] worthy to receive revelation. … If something is stopping us from opening the door to heavenly direction, we may need to repent. Repentance allows us to open the door so we can hear the voice of the Lord more frequently and clearly.”
This is a direct message about what we need to do right now. Interestingly enough, this same prophet was one of the signers of “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” where prophets and apostles warned that “the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets” (Paragraph 8, The Family Proclamation).
Both then and now, President Russell M. Nelson is calling on us to pay attention:
President Nelson is known for being precise with his words, and he isn’t mincing them here. Consider why he may have used these very specific phrases:
“Satan has marshaled his forces” and “Satan is raging against the Lord’s work and those of us engaged in the Lord’s work.”
The prophet knows the dangers we are facing and he says that they’re increasing. He says that these are things that are the most urgent for all of us:
“Our need for divine guidance has never been greater, and our efforts to hear the voice of Jesus Christ have never been more urgent.”
Does the prophet have our attention now?
Urgency for Clarity in the Confusion
If you ever feel confused about where to get answers in troubled times, you are not alone and you are not the first.
In the days and months leading up to the First Vision, the prophet Joseph Smith explained that there was “an unusual excitement on the subject of religion.” This excitement, he said, wasn’t just located in upstate New York, but was actually happening around the country. He said that this “created no small stir and division amongst the people, some with an almost urgent cry, “Lo, here!” and others, “Lo, there!”
Does this sound like our day?
In his account, Joseph Smith talked about the great zeal among these groups. He explains that “a scene of great confusion and bad feeling ensued—priest contending against priest, and convert against convert; so that all their good feelings one for another, if they ever had any were entirely lost in a strife of words and a contest about opinions.”
Does this sound like our day?
With so many conflicting voices, opinions and strife swirling around him, Joseph said that “his mind at times was greatly excited, the cry and tumult were so great and incessant.” It was a “war of words and tumult of opinions.” You can almost feel the sense of frustration and urgency when wrote, “I often said to myself: What is to be done? Who of all these parties is right; or, are they all wrong together? If any one of them be right, which is it and how shall I know it?”
Can you relate to the prophet Joseph Smith?
Joseph kept himself aloof from all these parties, although he attended their meetings. But ultimately, none of them were satisfying because they all understood and interpreted the same verses of scripture so differently. There was also a lot of contention in this process. He says that all of these voices were destroying his confidence. He had questions. He needed answers. So what did Joseph Smith do? He did what President Russell M. Nelson is pleading with us to do in this month’s edition of the Liahona magazine.
We Get Clarity and are Protected as We Follow the Prophet
The Book of Mormon‘s promise to all of us who are living in the last days and seeing prophesies being fulfilled is that “the righteous need not fear,” for the Lord “will preserve the righteous by his power.” (1 Ne. 22:17) With everyone and everything out there proclaiming truth mixed in with half-truths or false doctrine, we are so blessed to have prophet of God who knows and follows the voice of the Savior and our Heavenly Father. Just as God said to Joseph Smith: “This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!” we can choose to hear Him. His voice is heard through our prophet and apostles. Just as the voice of our Heavenly Father pierced through the noise of the world, it will do the same for us as we listen to His prophet.
Because through His prophets, we can also hear Him.
Concerned about social issues involving the family? Wondering how to talk to youth about their tough questions? Check out the rest of this site for the research and the “why’s” behind God’s commandments. Start here: Home — The Family Proclamation