God is kind enough to always warn us of impending doom through prophetic counsel. Often, however, the noise of modern communications- the Internet, cableTV, instant messaging, smart phones, and even blogs (hmmmm…excuse me?) drowns out the subtle warnings spiritually conveyed to us. I just discovered one buried in 2nd Nephi on the way home from work last week that I’d like to share with you now.
I few days ago last week on the commute home I was listening to 2nd Nephi 25 with one ear and the grinding gears of a failing moving van engine in the next lane over with the other. This dynamic causes me to miss more of what the Word of God can provide me than I would like, but every so often I am fortunate to capture a “forgotten scripture;” an inspired verse that becomes unusually overlooked in the shadow of a seemingly more powerful nearby message. You can learn more about forgotten scriptures here.
Everyone should remember Nephi’s interpretation of the prophecies of Isaiah in 2nd Nephi 25; how his soul delights in plainness, how Isaiah’s words are plain to those who understand the manner of prophesying among the Jews, etc. My mind was being lulled into a false sense of spiritual security by this message I had heard and internalized several times over during the past five decades, when I was mentally awakened by this forgotten scriptural passage embedded in verse 9: “ And as one generation hath been destroyed among the Jews because of iniquity, even so have they been destroyed from generation to generation according to their iniquities; and never hath any of them been destroyed save it were foretold them by the prophets of the Lord.”
Did you realize that the Lord always warns people of their upcoming destruction before it happens, perhaps to give them a chance to repent? I never really thought of this scripture that way before. Then I began to review modern-day warnings by living prophets, and arrived at the terrible conclusion that the same process is at work today. Here is one example:
In 1995, the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles issued “The Family- A Proclamation to the World.” This inspired guidance describes the divine roles of men and women, husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, and sons and daughters in sustaining the eternal doctrine that the family is ordained of God, and that marriage between man and woman is essential to his eternal plan. Towards the end of proclamation, these roles are clearly spelled out, then followed by a prophetic warning:
- Children: are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity.
- Marriages and families: are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities.
- Fathers: By divine design, they are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families.
- Mothers: are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children.
- Parents: In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners.
- When something goes wrong: Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation.
- Everyone else: Extended families should lend support when needed.
And then, the warning:
“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.”
Do you think that back in 1995 the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles knew about gender-bending roles in today’s families; the rising challenge that gay marriage presents to eternal marriage; the rising wave of children being raised in families not protected by the bonds of matrimony, by parents who are not honoring marital vows with complete fidelity; the prominence of ”Mormon Feminism” that seemingly seeks to cloud the divine roles of fathers as providers and mothers as nurturers, while at the same time trivially dismissing their obligations to help one another as equal partners? The plaque of broken families, broken homes, and economic materialism necessitating individual adaptations?
I think so. This is why they warned us so early. Will we heed it? Or be destroyed? The choice is ours.