Recently, the mainstream press has reported on “Mormon Preppers” and their various beliefs and preparations for what they see as imminent earthquakes, tribulations, destructions, etc.
You can read one such article here:
While not diminishing the need to be prepared, I am struck by how naively latter-day saints fall for the so-called “visions” that others have had and interpret them to be authoritative in some way. Several books have recently been published about visionary experiences had by certain members including Spencer’s “Visions of Glory” in 2012 and more recently two books by Julie Rowe entitled “The Time is Now” and “A Greater Tomorrow.”
LDS communities have always been a hotbed of revelatory “rumor” about the last days and how it is going to go down. These books, along with facebook posts and conference calls have recently fanned the flames into an inferno, causing many to rush out, stock up and even cash out 401k accounts and buy gold — because, of course, we all know that salvation is found in the shiny metal.
Why are we so susceptible to these voices? I would suggest two reasons. The first is that despite being constantly told to follow the Brethren, the Brethren are not providing the revelatory direction people desire in troubled times. Instead we get the same old tired instruction spoken of in Isaiah 28:20
For the bed is shorter than that a man can stretch himself on it: and the covering narrower than that he can wrap himself in it.
BTW Isaiah 28 is a great chapter about the “Drunkards of Ephraim” that is worthy of a complete post in and of itself someday.
In other words, the doctrine taught by the church is not satisfying to the members and is insufficient. We are not being led to Zion or to live the celestial law. Instead we are fed counterfeit doctrines that lead us to believe all is well in Zion if we just do our missionary work and attend the temple.
For Israel hath forgotten his Maker, and buildeth temples (Hosea 8:14)
I challenge anyone to come up with with another people for which that scripture could reasonably apply.
The narrative that I have heard many times from the Brethren is that the church will continue to grow until one day the Lord will say “enough” and make His appearance. This was the final message from Elder Holland at a recent stake conference I attended. See “Don’t Conflate the Church with the Gospel” for more details on his talk. Unfortunately, that narrative has no support in the scriptures which leads to the second and most fundamental reason we are seduced by these voices:
WE ARE NOT SUFFICIENTLY GROUNDED IN THE SCRIPTURES!
If we were we wouldn’t be tossed to and fro by every latter-day rumor regarding the last days.
We wouldn’t believe that “energy healing” as promoted and sold (priestcraft anyone?) by Julie Rowe et al is a method from God to heal us and will be practiced under the direction of Christ during the millenium and in tent cities prior.
We wouldn’t believe that the current brethren are going to lead us to Zion. Instead, we would understand from D&C 101 and 103 that it is in fact Joseph who will redeem Zion with power. We would understand that will take place only after the priesthood which we have lost (See D&C 124:28 and 3 Ne 16:10) is restored again to the earth (See D&C 113: 7-10).
We would know that Joseph continues to hold the keys whether in this world or in the world to come. (See D&C 90:3)
We would comprehend that Zion will not be established “with haste nor by flight” (See D&C 101:68, 3 Nephi 20:42, D&C 58:56, etc)
We would understand that the most pressing need among the saints is to repent of their idolatry, including their worship of the Brethren, before the Lord sends one “mighty and strong” to set in order the house of God (See D&C 85:7) and that vengeance will begin “upon my house” and shall go forth “from my house” (See D&C 112: 25). Those are reasons enough to be prepared, but the real preparation needs to be a spiritual awakening from the slumber of complacency.
Our blindspots are legion. We would understand that cursed is he who puts his or her trust in the arm of flesh (See 2 Ne 4:34) whoever they may be. As we have chronicled here before, the only way to avoid deception in the last days is to treasure up the words of Christ and take the Holy Spirit as our guide. Those who trust only in their feelings and are not conversant with the holy word of God are setting themselves up to be tossed to and fro. They will be deceived.
There is hope. The restoration will commence and the marvelous work go forth. Click here for evidences that the marvelous work is a future event. The Lord has also promised in JST Isaiah 42:
19 For I will send my servant unto you who are blind; yea, a messenger to open the eyes of the blind, and unstop the ears of the deaf;
20 And they shall be made perfect notwithstanding their blindness, IF they will hearken unto the messenger, the Lord’s servant.
21 Thou art a people, seeing many things, but thou observest not; opening the ears to hear, but thou hearest not.
22 The Lord is not well pleased with such a people, but for his righteousness’ sake he will magnify the law and make it honorable.
23 Thou art a people robbed and spoiled; thine enemies, all of them, have snared thee in holes, and they have hid thee in prison houses; they have taken thee for a prey, and none delivereth; for a spoil, and none saith, Restore.
The scriptures testify that blindness will be removed from those of us who sit in darkness if we hearken to the messenger who will be sent to complete his mission. In the meantime we MUST become conversant with God’s word by SEARCHING the scriptures. Many false voices have arisen to fill the void left when we don’t search. We must not hearken to them, except and to the extent that their message is wholly and completely consistent with the words of Christ AND the whisperings of the Holy Spirit. The day is close at hand for the return of the servants. For that we should all be prepared.