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A Voice of Warning from Church Leaders
Talofa, Malo e lelei and Aloha!
During our 36 years of marriage we have spent 13 of them in Tonga, two years in American Samoa, one year in Arizona, 18 years in Hawaii and four years in Utah. Right before we came here to Hawaii, we had spent ten years in Tonga, the last three of those working full-time with the LDS missionaries. With the mantle of our calling, we were on a spiritual high as you get when you serve the Lord full-time in any position and strive daily to be an example.
We have been blessed most of our marriage to live near an LDS temple and within close proximity of an LDS church school. Our children benefited from having their father work at BYU Hawaii. Each of them has graduated either from BYU Hawaii or BYU Provo after serving a full-time mission. Only recently after taking a couple of classes per semester, I finally graduated from Brigham Young University Hawaii in Art. I truly enjoyed gaining more knowledge, which has helped my children, my grandchildren and myself.
I would like to refer to the topic “A Voice of Warning” .
To me that means many different things. We are daily bombarded by different “voices of warning” . The media is full of them – newspapers, TV talk shows, talk radio, financial, political and weather news.
To the latter-day saints, the Book of Mormon is a voice of warning to this generation. It warns us against pride, indifference, procrastination, the dangers of false traditions, hypocrisy, and unchastity. Moroni’s last words to the members of the Church are written as a voice of warning.
In many sections of the Doctrine and Covenants, the Lord sounds a clarion voice of warning. This is an important theme running through many portions of this volume of scripture. D&C1:4 "And the a voice of warning shall be unto all people, by the mouths of my disciples, whom I have chosen in these last days".
No one will escape the day of God’s judgment. God expects us to take his revelations seriously, and no one who reads this book can say he or she has not been warned. (See Doctrine &Covenants 124:7.) The Lord says: “And all they who receive the oracles of God, let them beware how they hold them lest they are accounted as a light thing, and are brought under condemnation thereby.” (D&C 90:5.) Again and again, in dozens of places, the Lord calls for us to hearken and give heed, “lest death shall overtake you”for the day of judgment will surely come upon all who are in the world (D&C 45:2), (see D&C 1:30–39).
In these verses, the Lord is giving notice to the world. He makes it unmistakably clear that severe judgments will fall upon mankind because of their willful unrighteousness. (See D&C 56:14–20.) He expresses his unequivocal displeasure with sin (see D&C 1:31), and speaks of his wrath being kindled against the wicked (see D&C 5:8; D&C 63:2).
But this voice of warning is not a voice of irrational rage. Indeed, it would be somewhat unfair if the Lord were to judge the world without first giving it a full warning and a fair chance to repent. Moreover, the revelations go on at great length to extend an arm of mercy and an invitation to repentance.
Just as earthly parents have issued warnings, the Lord has warned His children. “And the voice of warning shall be unto all people, by the mouths of my disciples, whom I have chosen in these last days.” And also cometh the testimony of the voice of thunderings, … lightnings, … tempests, and … waves of the sea heaving themselves beyond their bounds.” Does this sound similar to our times?
Today the Lord is revealing his will to all the inhabitants of the earth, and to members of the Church in particular, on the issues of this our day through our living prophets, with the First Presidency at the head. What they say as a presidency is what the Lord would say if he were here in person. This is the rock foundation of Mormonism.
I’m grateful for our watchmen on the tower who are known to us as apostles and prophets. They are our spiritual eyes in the sky. I am grateful for those prophets who have left their counsel with us in the scriptures and also for a living prophet today.
As a mother and grandmother, I ask myself, how can I help our children and grandchildren hold fast to their faith when a faithless world continually tempts and tries them?
When we show our children a consistent example of wholehearted faith, they will likely follow that example. Even if they temporarily experiment with another set of values, or are momentarily distracted by an exciting theory, they will usually return to the sound teachings of their parents.
We must also realize that we can never warn our children against every specific evil they may encounter in this life, nor should we try. What we can do is help them become familiar with the Holy Spirit themselves. Then they will have a voice of warning or counsel, a bad feeling or a good feeling, whenever they need it. If they keep the commandments and learn to hear and feel the voice of the Spirit, they can weather any storm.
Women today face a particular conflict with regard to the importance of motherhood. The culture of the world defines worth in terms of dollars and cents, in terms of power and visibility. It is comforting to hear a prophet reaffirm that parenthood is a most valuable responsibility. It is, in fact, a core value of the LDS gospel.
The second to the last line in The Family: A Proclamation to the World given by the First Presidency and Council of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints says: We warn that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God. Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets. We cannot say we have not been warned.
Gordon B. Hinckley, “Your Greatest Challenge, Mother,” Ensign, Nov 2000, 97–100
I know of no better answer to [the] foul practices that confront our young people than the teachings of a mother, given in love with an unmistakable warning.
Our late prophet advised us to warn our children about the following:
Teach them to seek for good friends
President Kimball continued: “Oh, if our young people could learn this basic lesson—to always keep good company, to never be found with those who tend to lower their standards!
Teach them to value education
Teach them to respect their bodies
Teach them to be honest
Teach them to be virtuous
Teach them to pray
God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and his covenants and doctrines are unchanging: Old values are upheld by the Church, not because they are old, but rather because through the ages they have proved right.
He then referred to the collapse of the Teton Dam in Idaho, and graphically described what happened on that occasion as houses, churches, and whole towns vanished. In all, 790 homes were destroyed, and 800 others were severely damaged, as were schools, churches, business houses, etc. About 7,800 people were in the immediate path of the flood, and farther down the valley another 25,000 or 30,000 were in danger. I quote:
“But what happened to the people that Saturday morning? There was a miracle! There were several deaths, but only six of them by drowning. How could such terrible destruction take place with such a little loss of life?
“The answer: they were warned. A number of them had been subjected to a restless, anxious feeling that morning, and so responded instantly when the warning came. They heeded the warning. Latter-day Saints pay attention to warnings. They have read the revelation which states:
“ ‘For this is a day of warning, and not a day of many words. For I, the Lord, am not to be mocked in the last days.’ ” (D&C 63:58.)
Recently we witnessed how the Holy Ghost worked on our children. When our daughter in law was expecting our 12th grandchild, she went to have a sonogram to find out if it was a girl or boy. They found that the baby had physical challenges and it was suggested that perhaps they should have an abortion. Of course it was difficult realizing that they would have to spend much of their time caring for this child who may never walk and may have other problems, they felt that they could not rob this spirit of the opportunity of coming to earth at this time. Just last week, our son blessed his little baby girl, Lily Ruth, who has had two surgeries since she was born, and still will have many more, but whom we all love very much.
As John said, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth” (3 Jn. 1:4)