by Carol F. McConkie
This is the third talk in a row that admonishes us to Follow the Prophet!
I love the war chapters of the Book of Mormon.
Last Monday for FHE we were discussing Alma 49-51 with our children. We first talked about all the fortifications the Nephites did to strengthen themselves and their cities.
They built dirt mounds, motes, fences, and forts. They made shields, breastplates, and head-plates. They also built watchtowers (a high tower) which enabled the watcher to look clear out into the distance to see when the enemy was coming. They were ready for the enemy. They were strong and their cities were fortified.
But in chapter 51 things start to change. Pride creeps in. Some of the people stop listening to Moroni (the prophet), They rebel and cause contention with the righteous, all because they believe they are right and the so-called righteous are wrong. Well, we all know what happens. The enemy sneaks right past, through their motes, up over their dirt mounds and take possession of their cities.
We talked about how we too have a prophet. He tells us the things we need to do to fortify ourselves and our families. He is the guy in the watchtower. He can see into the distance and he will tell us when the enemy is coming, what the enemy is planning, and how we can prepare and be ready.
However, sometimes we let our pride get in the way. We stop listening to the prophet because we don't like what he asks us to do. We think he's being old-fashioned, or dumb or what he asks us to do is just not necessary. We're stubborn and believe we're right and he is wrong. When we do this the enemy is going to take this opportunity while our defenses and fortifications are down to take possession of our lives and our families and conquer.
"Heavenly Father loves all of His children and desires that they know and understand His plan of Happiness (the battle plan). Therefore, He calls prophets. . .They are messengers of righteousness, witnesses of Jesus Christ and the infinite power of His Atonement. They hold the keys of the kingdom of God on earth and authorize the performance of saving ordinances."
"Concerning the living prophet, the Lord commands the people of His Church:
'Thou shalt give heed unto all his words and commandments which he shall give unto you as he receiveth them, walking in all holiness before me;
'For his word ye shall receive, as if from mine own mouth, in all patience and faith.
'For by doing these things the gates of hell shall not prevail against you.'"
"To be in harmony with heaven's divine purposes, we sustain the prophet and choose to live according to his words."
The key word being CHOOSE. We have to choose for ourselves to follow the prophet and to what degree we will obey- wholeheartedly, maybe just a few things he asks us to do, or none at all. It's our choice. But with all choices, the consequences aren't ours to choose. We will get what we get - good or bad.
"When we choose to live according to the words of the prophets, we are on the covenant path that leads to eternal perfection."
"In a world threatened by famine of righteousness and spiritual starvation, we have been commanded to sustain the prophet. As we give heed to, uphold and affirm prophetic word, we witness that we have the faith to humbly submit to the will, the wisdom and the timing of the Lord."
"We heed prophetic word even when it may seem unreasonable, inconvenient and uncomfortable. According to the world's standards, following the prophet may be unpopular, politically incorrect or socially unacceptable. But following the prophet is always right. . ."
"The Lord honors and favors those who will heed prophetic direction."
I don't know about you, but I want to be favored and honored by the Lord. I need His blessings, help, and protection in all aspects my life.
"The words of the prophets are like manna to our souls. When we partake, we are blessed, protected, and preserved both temporally and spiritually. . ."
Just like the Nephites who listened to their prophet Moroni, if we listen to the prophet, we too will be saved. Sister McConkie quotes Elder Bruce R. McConkie (her uncle in-law - I was curious so I Googled it. You're welcome.) who said:
"In every age the Lord gives his people the direction they need at the moment of their peril and danger. And surely in the days ahead there will be times when nothing but the wisdom of God, descending from heaven and flowing forth from prophetic lips, will be able to save his people."
I believe we are in the heat of the battle. Satan and his armies are so experienced. They are so good. They know the battle is quickly coming to an end and they are trying to capture as many souls and do as much damage as they can before their time is up.
However, the Lord knows exactly what Satan and his minions are up to. What their battle plan is and when where and how they plan to attack. He knows what we need to do to fortify ourselves and our family against these attacks. He warns the prophet, and the prophet warns us. BUT it is up to us to do something with these warning. It does us no good to hear them, and say, "oh that's a great idea" and not do it. We have to choose to do, to act and obey.
"We have a choice. We may choose to ignore, trifle with, trample upon, or rebel against the words of Christ spoken by His ordained servants. But the Savior taught that those who do so will be cut off from His covenant people."
"When we heed the words of the prophets, we build our homes and our lives upon an eternally sure foundation, 'the rock of our Redeemer who is Christ, the Son of God,. . . that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to. . . misery and endless wo.'"