Jesus called his followers the “children of light” (Luke 16:8). Using this phrase, the apostle Paul wrote (1 Thessalonians 5):
5. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
6. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.
What does it mean to be the children of light?
What does light do?
It guides our path. Transmits information. Dispels darkness.
Spiritually, darkness can’t comprehend light (D&C 39:2 among several verses) because the “wicked one cometh and taketh away light and truth, through disobedience, from the children of men, and because of the tradition of their fathers” (D&C 93:39).
To anyone looking for light, current world events make the Book of Mormon shine like a billion-watt lighthouse over a dark sea.
Let me give you an example.
As I’m writing this, something just came to mind that happened this week and it relates to this. I got in my car to go somewhere, and just happened to hear a quick segment on the radio. Most of my car time is listening to non-radio content such as my favorite Book of Mormon podcast, or a book from Audible. But before I got the podcast started, I heard a clip from the Rush Limbaugh show where he was replaying an old recording of an interview he did with William Buckley. I was able to find a transcript online (a couple sentences appear to have typos) though I don’t know what year this took place in. Here it is:
BUCKLEY: That is radical, isn’t it?
RUSH ARCHIVE: Yes! I mean, attempt to redefine Christopher Columbus as the reason for all evil in the Western world. And I — I always say to people — and that’s what multiculturalism’s all about, Bill, and I am troubled by these are American kids that are being reprogrammed. Stop and think of this. What is multiculturalism? It is teaching people that which they fled, in order to come here to find prosperity, a better life, what have you. And I think multiculturalism is a tool of revenge used by those who fail.
BUCKLEY: It’s an invitation to retribalization.
RUSH ARCHIVE: Absolutely! Absolutely! And to try to convince kids as they’re growing up, they have no chance in this country. These are American kids, and they’re being educated in ways that are not gonna prepare them to access the opportunities that exist here.[END OLD CLIP]
RUSH: Buckley was so great. (impression) “It’s an invitation to retribalization.” I’m sitting there saying (chuckling), “‘Invitation to retribalization’?” It’s exactly right, and it’s another way of saying Balkanization.
Retribalization… Where are we at today as a result of multiculturalism?
3 Nephi 7:2. “And the people were divided one against another; and they did separate one from another into tribes, every man according to his family and his kindred and friends; and thus they did destroy the government of the land.”
Note, Mormon wrote, “thus they did destroy the government of the land.” America is fracturing right now in a planned crisis to bring down the government. Just as ancient secret combinations used crises to break up people into dissenting factions of “-ites” to promote hatred toward “them”, history is repeating the parallels written into the Book of Mormon by ancient prophets. It’s amazing to be alive and witness it!
Here’s a self-assessment to know if you’re engaged in tribalism instead of just a search for truth. How did you react to reading Rush Limbaugh’s name in this blog post? I could just as easily have used a quote from Rachel Maddow if I could have found one where she mentioned society breaking into tribes. Did you judge me or this post? Are you in a tribe that values the tribe over truth?
This is a day of deception and the Book of Mormon indicates we’re going to break apart. What brings America together? Coming to God. What causes that? Tragedy, just like 9/11 did. America is in the pride cycle at the point of being ripe for destruction unless we repent fast and put God first in our lives. We’re just in a test run right now to get people ready.
What is our responsibility as children of light? Knowing there are secret combinations prophesied of in the Book of Mormon, and witnessing the public emergence of them, what do we do? What do the scriptures teach us to do?
There are a few words that help us find some answers such as light, darkness, secret, and traditions.
A search for light in the scriptures yields hundreds of results. Same with darkness and secrets (and variations).
As you start to examine words on a large set of results, you start to see combinations that go together like “darkness and world” which has 11 search results and is easier to digest a portion of the whole.
This is how I often narrow my searches. Do the big one, look for related words, and then do new smaller searches to study from.
In Scripture Notes this is super easy because you never lose your place and can just open new search panes as you go.
Before the tares are burned, they must be combined (D&C 38:12). What does this mean? There will be a time when everyone knows who is on what side. There is a side of light and a side of darkness, and the goal of darkness is to destroy freedom and enslave everyone.
Some of you will remember one of President Ezra Taft Benson’s final talks in General Conference. In his October 1988 talk titled, “I Testify,” he said the following:
“I testify that wickedness is rapidly expanding in every segment of our society. (See D&C 1:14–16; D&C 84:49–53.) It is more highly organized, more cleverly disguised, and more powerfully promoted than ever before. Secret combinations lusting for power, gain, and glory are flourishing. A secret combination that seeks to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations, and countries is increasing its evil influence and control over America and the entire world. (See Ether 8:18–25.)”
How do they do this? There are big clues in the scriptures. One of them is by the passing on of false traditions.
A search for the word tradition* (asterisk is a wildcard for variations) yields 58 results in the scriptures. These are highly informative scriptures.
Examining them we see 13 results in the New Testament, mostly with the Savior criticizing the Pharisees for their traditions of their fathers, or the Pharisees criticizing the disciples for not following the traditions of the fathers.
Paul wrote in Colossians 2:8:
“8. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.”
In other words, men have created false philosophies that promote lies that create vanity in us, which lift us to pride. These vanities then create a selfishness which hardens the heart against truth. When the heart is hard, it wants to destroy and remove any relic of truth from the past. As Enos wrote:
“…if it were possible, they would destroy our records and us, and also all the traditions of our fathers.” (Enos 1:14)
In other words, they would destroy the righteous history of the Nephites and the scriptures. They would declare the people of old, oppressors who wronged their fathers and now they, the descendants, would exact revenge and get retribution.
This is the same set of lies being sold to our children today in public schools. Christianity is oppressive, Christopher Columbus was an oppressor, and the Founding Fathers were evil oppressors. These people are changing our history and seek to destroy the records that contain the real story of our Godly heritage.
Mosiah 10:12-17 provides a list of the grievances (false traditions) the Lamanites had against the Nephites and what their goal was:
Because of the false traditions handed down by their fathers (vs. 12), they have taught their children to hate, murder, rob, plunder, and destroy the Nephites (vs. 17).
Overcoming traditions takes tremendous humility. It also takes tremendous love by those that would help lift those “blinders” off our spiritual eyes. They are going to suffer in the role of a peacemaker because someone has to not fight back. The Sons of Mosiah knew this as they embarked on a specific mission:
“to bring, if it were possible, their brethren, the Lamanites, to the knowledge of the truth, to the knowledge of the baseness of the traditions of their fathers, which were not correct.” (Alma 17:9)
They were filled with love for their brethren. They knew the result of the indoctrination their brethren had received, had turned them (the Lamanites) against the Nephites.
For 14 years the Sons of Mosiah labored among the Lamanites to accomplish their mission. They had to spend adequate time there, and part of that time was spent suffering in prisons for the truth.
We do not know what we will be called on to suffer, but we know persecutions will come because the Lord said:
“They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.” (John 16:2)
Interesting what the current pandemic crisis has done to kick people out of churches and violate religious freedoms… What’s next???
There is another set of actions contained in the scriptures that we are to also take. In addition to using love to overcome the false traditions of the fathers, we are to make a record and reveal the truth to the world.
When Joseph Smith was in Liberty Jail, he wrote what is now sections 121, 122, and 123 of the Doctrine and Covenants. In section 123 we have some powerful direction as to our duties in relation to the abuses taking place from secret combinations.
This section is sort of a combination letter to the saints from Joseph, along with counsel he has obviously received from the Lord. The entire section is really in need of a serious study today, but I will just record a few observations in this blog post.
Three times Joseph writes we have an “imperative duty” that we owe to God, ourselves, our families, the widowed and fatherless, the rising generation, the pure in heart, and all “who have been made to bow down with grief, sorrow, and care, under the most damning hand of murder, tyranny, and oppression…”
What is that “imperative duty?” To “not only push to all the world, but present them to the heads of government” a “knowledge of all the facts, and sufferings and abuses put upon” the saints “by the people of” Missouri.
He specifically states the reason for the persecution is from “the influence of that spirit which hath so strongly riveted the creeds of the fathers, who have inherited lies, upon the hearts of the children, and filled the world with confusion, and has been growing stronger and stronger, and is now the very mainspring of all corruption, and the whole earth groans under the weight of its iniquity.”
This is strong imagery. A rivet is a mechanical fastener where the shaft (called a tail) is driven into something and expands to hold the head in place permanently. These lies of the fathers have been riveted upon the hearts of the children, which has filled the world with confusion and iniquity. Joseph reveals here, these lies are the very mainspring of all corruption. It’s the head of the river of filthiness. In modern times, the lies taught to the children have been riveted upon their hearts and filled the world with confusion. They no longer know the truth about their heritage and in fact seek to destroy it.
Joseph then continues in section 123 by stating “there are many yet on the earth among all sects, parties, and denominations, who are blinded by the subtle craftiness of men, whereby they lie in wait to deceive, and who are only kept from the truth because they know not where to find it.”
“13. Therefore, that we should waste and wear out our lives in bringing to light all the hidden things of darkness, wherein we know them; and they are truly manifest from heaven–
14. These should then be attended to with great earnestness.
15. Let no man count them as small things; for there is much which lieth in futurity, pertaining to the saints, which depends upon these things…
16. Therefore…let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed.”
We live in a time of conspiracy and we are warned that we must take action to shine a light on the darkness. We must awaken the world to the truth of those evil deeds wherein we are able to determine them and we know heaven has confirmed the truth to us. In other words, let your light so shine…
What areas do we need to be concerned with? There are many conspiracies in every facet of our lives but the one to primarily be very concerned about is in our government because that deals with core issues of freedom.
Ether 8:24 “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.”
However, it’s not just government. The Lord is very concerned with conspiracies in every aspect of our lives. Even the Word of Wisdom starts off with a warning of food conspiracies stating:
D&C 89:4 “Behold, verily, thus saith the Lord unto you: In consequence of evils and designs which do and will exist in the hearts of conspiring men in the last days, I have warned you, and forewarn you, by giving unto you this word of wisdom by revelation.”
How should we proceed? It’s time to leave Babylon for Zion. We need to put our homes in order. Meet with your family. Seek revelation on things of importance to your family. Search out the truth and proclaim it, wasting and wearing “out our lives in bringing to light the hidden things of darkness.”
In a time of strife, it will take tremendous humility to receive answers. We cannot seek for answers with a bias toward our own positions. We have to realize we know next to nothing and not trust in the arm of flesh (meaning anyone but the Lord). We need independent witnesses from heaven to proceed. There are strong deceptions coming that will test the faith and patience of all people. The only hope we have is to follow the counsel of our prophet, President Nelson when he said this in the April 2018 general conference:
“To be sure, there may be times when you feel as though the heavens are closed. But I promise that as you continue to be obedient, expressing gratitude for every blessing the Lord gives you, and as you patiently honor the Lord’s timetable, you will be given the knowledge and understanding you seek. Every blessing the Lord has for you—even miracles—will follow. That is what personal revelation will do for you.
I am optimistic about the future. It will be filled with opportunities for each of us to progress, contribute, and take the gospel to every corner of the earth. But I am also not naive about the days ahead. We live in a world that is complex and increasingly contentious. The constant availability of social media and a 24-hour news cycle bombard us with relentless messages. If we are to have any hope of sifting through the myriad of voices and the philosophies of men that attack truth, we must learn to receive revelation.
Our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ, will perform some of His mightiest works between now and when He comes again. We will see miraculous indications that God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, preside over this Church in majesty and glory. But in coming days, it will not be possible to survive spiritually without the guiding, directing, comforting, and constant influence of the Holy Ghost.
My beloved brothers and sisters, I plead with you to increase your spiritual capacity to receive revelation. Let this Easter Sunday be a defining moment in your life. Choose to do the spiritual work required to enjoy the gift of the Holy Ghost and hear the voice of the Spirit more frequently and more clearly.”
If you want some additional resources to seek for and obtain revelation, try these:
With this topic, there’s a lot you can study. The 4 words mentioned above (light, darkness, secret*, tradition*) are a beginning as this is a deep topic. You might start with one of the quotes mentioned in this article and go from there. The more you dig and look for modern parallels, the more the Lord will open your mind to what’s happening today and how the Book of Mormon prophesied exactly what would happen.
(Featured Image by Brian Jackson @123rf.com)