Come Follow Me LDS 2021 D&C 133-134 (Nov 15-21) (Doctrine and Covenants) – Prepare Ye! Prepare Ye! – powered by Happy Scribe
When Jesus returns, many will be surprised and ask, who is this coming down from heaven with died garments, and he shall say, I am he who is mighty to save. I have trodden the one wine press alone, and none were with me and your blood. Have I sprinkled upon my garments? Yes. His robes are red. Since he took upon himself all our sins, problems, trials, weaknesses, and pains through the atonement, though our sins be as Scarlet, they shall be as white as snow in all our afflictions he was afflicted, and in His love he redeemed us o the lovingkindness of our Lord.
So remember in Episode One about Section One, we learned that in 1831, as Church leaders were preparing to publish the Book of Commandments, the Lord revealed his prophets. Well. Two days later, the Lord also revealed his ending or appendix, which is now section 133. In the Prophets, the Lord declares, Prepare Ye, prepare Ye for that which is to come for the Lord is nigh. Yes, preparation is one of the main themes of this book, as the word prepare appears 105 times in the Doctrine and Covenants, including eight times in the appendix alone.
So what are we told over and over again to prepare for for the second coming? When Christ shall suddenly appear on the great and terrible day of the Lord, it will be great for all who are prepared, but for the unprepared. Let’s just say it won’t be very pleasant. So then how do we prepare by buying all the brownie mixes from every store, a two year supply tempting, but no sure physical preparation will help with the foretold calamities. But more importantly, we’re asked to prepare spiritually by repenting living faithfully and being clean on the inside, every day, every day, every day.
Okay, so now how long do we have to get prepared? Great question. We don’t know, but the early Saints certainly thought Christ was coming during their lifetime, and here we are today, almost 200 years closer to His coming. Now, section 134 is a really different type of section than the others. Back in 1835, many outsiders thought the Saints and Kirtland were creating their own government and refusing to obey the law. So inspired by God, Oliver Cautery, along with other leaders, wrote an amazing document clearly explaining the Church’s beliefs on government.
They shared it with everyone they could. In fact, they felt it was so important they included it in the Doctrine and Covenants. Its statements on government still ring true, declaring that from the beginning governments were instituted of God for the benefit of man, and God holds men and women accountable for how they make and administer laws for the good and safety of all. Also, it teaches the importance of keeping religion and government separate, as the two have a tendency to corrupt one another. Government should allow the free exercise of religion and not suppress the freedom of the soul.
Conversely, religion shouldn’t control the state. Simply put, quoting the 11th and 12th Articles of faith, we claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience and allow all the same privilege. Let them worship how, where or what they may. And we believe in being subject to Kings, presidents, rulers, and Magistrates in obeying, honoring and sustaining the law. President Oakes taught God has given his children moral agency the power to decide and act, and that the most desirable condition for the exercise of that agency is maximum freedom for men and women to act according to their individual choices.
Yes, religious freedom is worth fighting for. In the end, after many petitions for help, the Saints never did get the support they desperately needed from the government they believed in. And while they loved the Constitution, the freedoms it promised weren’t being protected by the people in power. After going to local, county and state governments and the US Congress and President Martin Van Buren, they Lamentedly chose to leave the country. They loved to go to a land far, far away.
No, not to space.
To the Rocky Mountains. Next time we get to see how the Lord helps Brigham Young take charge of the Church and this epic exodus.
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