Moroni saw me daily
People have said this for generations, almost 2000 years now, without it happening in the way that they have said. However, when President Russell M. Nelson says that we are running out of time, it feel like he is not offering fear tactics to get parishioners.
“As President of His Church, I plead with you who have distanced yourselves from the Church and with you who have not yet really sought to know that the Savior’s Church has been restored. Do the spiritual work to find out for yourselves, and please do it now. Time is running out,” he said.
"Be wise in the days of your probation," counsels Moroni to the world, each of us. "Strip yourselves of all uncleanness; ask not, that ye may consume it (your life, this probation) on your clusts, but ask with a firmness unshaken, that ye will yield to no temptation, but that ye will serve the true and living God." Mormon 9:28
It seems to me that he and President Nelson wants to tell the world that life is not a guaranteed thing for everyone. Jesus could come back soon, but how many of us are going to die and meet Him before that Second Coming? Now it is the time to prepare to meet God. Who knows how soon will our meeting with Christ will occur? We will each hove one. As the Prophet says, "Time is running out." What has Moron seen of you?
I am upset right now because of a video that I saw of a 12-year-old boy being handcuffed and put in the back seat of a cop car. I am not upset with the cops, I am upset with the boy's family. Living in this world, it is hard to walk among the thorns of life without getting a few scratches every so often as I did today. So, I am going to write about it. Maybe it will come off as more ranting.
Because of the nature of the video, the language, I will not post it hear. If you want to go to it, click the photo for a link. Schroll down to see the video of what happened. This is, unfortunately going to sound political, but it is not not. It is spiritual believe it or not.
We hear cries of how the police treat minorities, but then act like animals when they come around. Yes, I am considered a minority because I am one of 12 percent of the population in the United States who identifies as racially Black. Because we are minorities we are supposed to be given a pass at the others in our groups who behave poorly and villainize the cops always.
If my kid were to behave like that 12-year-old did in the picture above (as you can see on the video if you click on the photo) I would beat his butt. No respect at all, which starts at home. My kids know that when the police come around to keep their mouths closed. if there is any injustice, let it come out in the courts! No, the courts are not always fair, but it is safer to present a plea in an environment designed for those things than at an arrest scene. Did not Jesus teach us to agree with our adversary while we are in the way with him? That applies to officers arresting us whether it is just or unjust.
"Agree (be kind, respectful) with thine adversary quickly," Jesus taught according to Matthew. "whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison." Matthew 5:25
That tells me that I should not act the fool screaming what are my rights or not to people who will arrest me anyway. Being agreeable helps me live to fight another day for justice.
One time an officer did come for me and my boys, screaming at us because Ephraim, my youngest son, open the van door when the officer was behind us. I did not know we were being pulled over since we were parked getting ready to go into a building. I told my boys to be quiet and we waited for the officer doing everything he said.
I thought I was going to be shot, but it didn't happen. We know what type of society we live in and where most of the crime seems focused, in our Black communities. Of course, cops are extra jumpy around minorities when we are the focus of all the crime when we are the least of the population. Knowing that we law-abiding minorities need to live in reality and know that we are going to be targeted.
It is not fair, it is not good, but it is what is happening and will not change in the near future. We need to be awake to the truth of our society and not crying foul at the wrong times. Resisting the police is not the right time to stand up for our rights. It is in court. Court officers are less likely to shoot a person for speaking up for justice.
Everything that happens in life is not sweet and requires faith. The reason why my boys and I did not get into trouble with that officer who pulled us over is because We Prayed the whole time through. We did not want to give him a reason to think we would attack him so that he did not feel threatened. After the whole ordeal, he apologized and explained why he was so apprehensive that night. Those officers get attacked so often in the neighborhood we went to that he was on edge.
No person, citizen or not, should feel like the law interacts differently with hin or her because of race, but it is true. While it is happening, we need to be ready to respond to be safe and fight the injustice in our communities by taking them back from crime and gangs and in the court when appropriate.
It is easy for me to write these things living in the securing of the suburbs. I recognize that. I am going to pray for strong men and women in the places of crime to rise up to change things with protection from God to do it.
"O ye Gentiles," laments Moroni to those of our day. "it is wisdom in God that these things should be shown unto you, that thereby ye may repent of your sins, and suffer not that these murderous combinations shall get above you, which are built up to get power and gain—and the work, yea, even the work of destruction come upon you, yea, even the sword of the justice of the Eternal God shall fall upon you, to your overthrow and destruction if ye shall suffer these things to be.
Wherefore, the Lord commandeth you, when ye shall see these things come among you that ye shall awake to a sense of your awful situation, because of this secret combination which shall be among you; or wo be unto it, because of the blood of them who have been slain; for they cry from the dust for vengeance upon it, and also upon those who built it up."
Whether it is from the gangs of multiple names or those who infiltrate the governments of our lands, we need to seek them out where we can and with Gods help so that the innocent do not die in vain, because they will die. At this time in most of America, we can control the narrative of how people live because the corruption is no all too complete yet. If we do nothing, we ill be just like the Nephites were, entrenched with murderers and criminals if we are not vigilante.
"For it cometh to pass that whoso buildeth it up," Moroni continues about the corruption of a few called secret combinations in government and the community (gangs) "seeketh to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations, and countries; and it bringeth to pass the destruction of all people, for it is built up by the devil, who is the father of all lies; even that same liar who beguiled our first parents, yea, even that same liar who hath caused man to commit murder from the beginning; who hath hardened the hearts of men that they have murdered the prophets, and stoned them, and cast them out from the beginning.
"Wherefore, I, Moroni, am commanded to write these things that evil may be done away, and that the time may come that Satan may have no power upon the hearts of the children of men, but that they may be persuaded to do good continually, that they may come unto the fountain of all righteousness and be saved." Ether 8:23-26
Just like the Gadianton robbers in the Book of Mormon, criminals are everywhere in society influencing government where they can and outright killing where they cannot be discovered. We will lose many good people before we weed them out, but hopefully, we can do it with some help from God and good people who love truth and justice for all. Yes, some are on the police force. More are in the community than we feel comfortable to admit. We need to get them out and exposed if we can. We need to be careful in doing so. President Nelson has told us that we will need the constant guidance of the Holy Spirit in revelation now more than ever to survive spiritually in these last days. Evil is at the door, and we must keep it at bay. What has Moroni revealed to you?
On the way to the temple, about 15 or so years ago, two friends, engaged to marry, found themselves preparing to make the eternal covenant in the San Diego Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They loved each other, and were travelling together without any other person on a three to four-day drive!
That's what was thinking. Surprise, a baby coming!
They stopped along the way, and married each other. Being young and in love made it so they could not resist touching each other. Rather than offend God with premarital intimacy, they married legally.
Unfortunately, their marriage in the temple would have to wait a year under, then marriage policy in the Church.
Today, May 6, 2019, the leaders of the church, the first presidency announced a change!
"The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced Monday that a civil marriage between a man and a woman will no longer necessitate waiting a year for that couple to be married (or sealed) in a temple. The change means Latter-day Saint couples can look forward to a temple marriage as soon as their circumstances permit."
Courtesy of Church News
Why does that matter? It is a foundational belief among Saints that families are to be eternal according to our understanding of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. When Jesus gave the power to His disciples to seal things on Earth and in heaven, marriage was one of the things that could be perpetuated beyond death for the righteous. The love from a couple's relationship through the power of Jesus Christ can last for eternity in the heavens.
God gave the power to a prophet by the name of Nephi in the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ, a book that we have through the ministrations of Moroni.
"Behold," Spoke Jehovah to Nephi. "I give unto you power, that whatsoever ye shall seal on earth shall be sealed in heaven; and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven; and thus shall ye have power among this people." Helaman 10:7
What God gave to that man was the power to bind things together or remove a binding in mortal life, or eternal life in the heavens with God. This same power gave Jesus to Peter during his mortal ministry.
The Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection, but knowing that Jesus preached such a thing, they tried to lure Him into a trap by putting what they thought would be riddle before Him regarding the impropriety of believing in a physical resurrections.
"Master," came these men hoping to cross Jesus. "Moses said, If a man die, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother."
Before Him they brought the Law of Progeny, which was not a common practice among Jewry much at that time. However, stumping Him on the issue would fulfill their purpose, which was to expose the impropriety of believing in a resurrection of the body.
"Now there were with us seven brethren," continued the questioner, "and the first, when he had married a wife, deceased, and, having no issue, left his wife unto his brother. Likewise, the second also [died, leaving the wife to the next brother], and the third, unto the seventh."
"And last of all the woman died also.," came the triumphant end of the story from the interrogators. "Therefore, in the resurrection, whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her.
"Ye do err," Jesus chastens them in answer, "not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven." Matthew 22:24-30
Power of God to Seal
To many, that statement suggest that Jesus intends that family relationships do not exist beyond this life. Further examination proves just the opposite. All scripture must be taken in conjunction to have a full understanding of Christ's teachings.
Of that fictional story perpetuated by the Sadducees to the Savior, the woman had not been in a marriage with any of the seven that was solemnized by a person with the power to seal on earth and in heaven. Since that was the case, none of them would have her. After the resurrection, sealings and marriages do not occur.
The big BUT to this situation is the power that God has to seal those who are still in spirit awaiting a resurrection can still have that work performed for them vicariously in temples.
What does that have to do with the Policy Change Today?
People are more important than policies. It was true back then when the Jewish leaders sought to use the policy of Moses' offering to make sure that a widow is not left without family connections if her husband died without giving her a chance to bare children, the brother had obligation. It is true now for people who marry outside the temple for whatever the reason. They can now go directly to have their union solemnized for eternity.
My wife and I were not able to have either or our parents at our wedding ceremony because we married in the temple. It is true that we exchanged rings afterward before the family who could not attend the solemnization of our marriage. It was not the same.
The policy of waiting a year if we decided to have the wedding outside of the temple made us feel as though we had to choose between God and our families. We chose God. Now, this policy is about doing what the Church teaches about being family-focused and church supported. Family can now take a front seat at the weddings of all Saints, while the higher ordinance of eternal sealing can remain holy and in tact for the lives of the believers.
It no longer makes a mock of the temple marriage to have a public wedding and a temple sealing if a couple decides to do that.
Mother's day is coming in the next week. This upcoming Mother's day is a hard one for me because it will be the first one that I will honor without the mortal presence of my mother, Catherine Bazin Oliver, who passed away on July 11, 2018 in our home due to heart complications.
Loosing a loved one never truly heals with time, if we're honest. What happens in time is we adjust to a new normal. When a person is no longer present who occupied a significant portion of your life, you do not get over that, as people like to claim. There is only adjustment and acceptance, which does not equal getting over.
Included above are pictures of my mother, Catherine Bazin Oliver, and Lilly Bell Phillips Bazin. Due to a few house fires, I don't have man pictures of my grandmother. These two women are directly responsible for my physical existence, even though they are not the only women who have mothered me.
When I think of love and home, these images come to mind because they will never grace my face in mortal existence again. Knowing that they are waiting on the other side of mortal life, helps me patiently wait to see them again as glorified beings of light.
Now, to some this wish of mine is a mere fairytale. Death is death. Once the body of the dead enters into the ground or the urn, there is nothing else but a memory to live on as reminder of that person ever living. That, a memory, is enough for a time to some. Not for me.
There are people out here who want us to believe that there is no life after death or any such thing as God or devils. Some want us not to spend our days thinking of a glory beyond this existence, rather focus on what we have now. And we should focus on this life. We are here. We are NOW.
Religion was once said to be the intoxication of the masses of wretched souls who have no hope for better faire in this life, so they need an escape to a future life where all will be perfect. No eyes will cry, not pain will exist, no hunger will ravish, and sickness will cease.
"Yes," they say--the realists, non-theists. "All these things are true because all will die, with no way to suffer any more. There will be no tears if there are no tear ducts to cry them. There will be no pain with no receptors to signal the brain. There is no hunger with no stomach. There is no sickness with no body."
What, then, I say, is the point of hoping for a better life when most of us on the planet will not have one? Why go on living if there is no hope for which to strive? What is the point of continuing to exist when existence means, as some say, nothing, ultimately?
Life is a cruel divorce sentence, then. Every person we love ceases to function by operational error or outside trauma until we ourselves cease to exist. That is the end.
I humbly say, no. It is not a delusion to have an understanding that life does not begin at birth and does not end at death. Because it does not fit into the neat package of current science, some of us want to dismiss it. I, submit, that science will catch up to reality one day. Until then, we use our faith and hope that life continues beyond mortal death.
All it is, is faith. There is no proof for the world to see yet, but it will come.
The Moroni Perspective
Knowing that one day there would exist those of us who would call to question the good news that Jesus brought to the tiny nation of Israel in 33 a. d that life is everlasting, God inspired Moroni to inscribe, "I speak also concerning those who do not believe in Christ.
"Behold, will ye believe in the day of your visitation—behold, when the Lord shall come, yea, even that great day when the earth shall be rolled together as a scroll, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, yea, in that great day when ye shall be brought to stand before the Lamb of God—then will ye say that there is no God?" Mormon 9:1-2
His incredulity in this modern age of post-religionism caused him to burn with sorrow because of us when he, Moroni, knew that Jesus lived and lives. He saw Him.
Moroni even ministered as a resurrected being himself, on the word of Joseph Smith saying, "I am a messenger sent from the presence of God to you. My name is Moroni. God has a work for you to do.
“There is a book deposited, written upon gold plates, giving an account of the former inhabitants of this [the American] continent, and the source from whence they sprang. The fulness of the everlasting Gospel is contained in it, as delivered by the Savior to the ancient inhabitants." Adapted from The Pearl of Great Price, Joseph Smith History 1:33
I will see Mother. You will see your lost loved ones. Billions of testimonies claims it.
Moroni saw us. He saw that his words, by the power of God, would bring hope to people like me who lost loved ones, mothers, daughters, sons, spouses, etc.
There is God in the heaves. There is life beyond this one. To know it, we must have the faith to act on it by living the principles of the gospel, and asking the Creator of the Universe for a witness, a personal one. Moroni promises that we will get one, if we have faith. Read Moroni 10. It give the key. What has Moroni seen of you?