Awake and Alive

Every Christian knows what the book of Revelation is. John the Beloved saw in vision the resurrected Christ, who showed him, essentially, the last days and the things that would go down. This book contains a lot of material that has become well known throughout the world: the mark of the beast, the mark in the forehead and hands, Babylon the mother of harlots covering the earth, the book of life, the seven seals, angels and trumpets, wars and catastrophe, etc.

When most people think of the book of Revelation, they think of bad things happening in the last days. The wars and catastrophes and the beast. These things don’t sound particularly fun. In fact, it sounds downright terrible, and somewhat hopeless. But many forget that all these things are not why John wrote Revelation. He did not want us to get caught up in all the calamities that would occur. The book of Revelation is not meant to be a warning of bad times approaching, but instead serves as a message of hope.

Yes, there will be wars. Yes, Babylon will cover the earth. Yes, people will worship the beast and the devil will mimic the miracles of God. Yes, there will be calamities. But the message John wants us to get from this is that it doesn’t matter, because Jesus is going to win in the end. Despite all of Satan’s efforts to destroy the work of God, he will not succeed. Revelation is a message of hope, not of warning.

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. (Revelation 21:4)

All the awful things of the world will pass away. Christ will conquer Satan and there will be no more sadness or pain. Eternal happiness will be what we will enjoy, so long as we are on the Lord’s side.

Gordon B. Hinckley, the last prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, once said, “The time has now come to turn about and face the future. This is a season of a thousand opportunities. It is ours to grasp and move forward. What a wonderful time it is for each of us to do his or her small part in moving the work of the Lord on to its magnificent destiny.

Never be discouraged. This is an awesome time to be alive. Amidst the bad news that gets thrown at us, we so often forget how many good things are happening right under our noses. These are the last days. These are the days in which Jesus Christ has restored the fullness of His gospel to the earth. His church is here. We have living prophets on the earth again that communicate God’s will to us. Christ’s priesthood authority is in effect. There is revelation. There are miracles. It’s awesome! Be happy. Get excited. Jesus can bring us salvation and eternal life if we only repent and turn to Him. The hand of God is with mankind more than it has ever been. I’m grateful to have been born in this day and age when I can witness of all this firsthand. You should be too, ’cause it’s a great time to be alive.

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The Greatest Among Herbs

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized in a small cabin, with about only six members. It was a humble beginning for a work that would soon progress into something great and marvelous.

In the book of Matthew, Christ compares the kingdom of heaven unto a mustard seed. Matthew 13:31-32 reads,

Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.

The prophet Joseph Smith once used this parable to teach about the Church, explaining that the mustard seed is like the Book of Mormon. It was buried in the ground, a small record containing the dealings of a once thriving civilization.

Though small, it grew into “the greatest among herbs”. Once the prophet Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon, others could read it and know that he was a prophet, and that Jesus Christ had restored His church. The Church today is thriving as the gospel of Jesus Christ is taught all throughout the world. It is becoming a magnificent tree, and God is sending revelation and His holy angels to lodge in its branches.

I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is Christ’s church restored to the earth. I know it contains the fullness of Christ’s gospel. Though it started small, and Satan fought hard to stop it through mobs and other persecution, it has grown into a great tree. Its branches are continuing to spread, and I know that God sends modern revelation to lodge in those branches. I know Joseph Smith was a prophet. I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God.

This Church is indeed the “greatest among herbs”.