The topic of interest today is “Enduring to the End.” This comes at the end of the Millennium when we will learn where we will reside in the eternities.
When “Enduring to the End” is searched on the Church website, many excellent treatises are found. These primarily emphasize the process of enduring until the signs of the end associated with the Second Coming of Christ appear. Many Church authors provide excellent details about preparation for these coming events such as the following:
“Our primary task is not to put everything in our lives in order in some panicky, frenzied rush, but to daily assess where we are and where we need to be, then move steadily forward.
“Remember that two of the most important questions we can add to our prayers are: ‘What am I doing right now that I need to change so I can bring more revelation into my life?’ And, ‘What am I not doing right now that the Lord would have me start doing?’” (Gerald N. Lund, The Second Coming of the Lord, ,446).
Considering the status of the world, it is suggested that there is a need to emphasize the preparation that each person should undertake before we are presented to the Lord on that “great and dreadful day” (Malachi 4:5) that is foretold.
Our first task is to endure what is happening now. There are experiences that we must encounter; events that we must go through; trials that may devastate us; disappointments and unexpected occurrences that we must meet; and a myriad of other life challenges that are certain to confront us. The “easy” life will not happen for the great majority of us.
In addition to thinking of actions that accompany the actual Coming of the Saviour, we should consider specific intermediate steps that we can take today to prepare individually for that climactic event.
Before our own Judgment Day, we will all want to be rid of those aspects of our lives that may prevent us from enjoying that great day. It would be well for each of us to end our tendency to be prideful; to be less judgmental; to perfect the attitudes of empathy, sympathy and service; to stop planning to take revenge or holding grudges; to dismiss our associates as if they are meaningless. In other words, to discover what it means in our own lives to experience and dispense the Saviour’s love.
Where to turn for counsel
When the Saviour gave Moses the Ten Commandments, He delivered two of them as directives of what the Israelites should do, but stated eight other conditions of things that should be avoided. “Thou shalt not” precedes His list of things not to be done. The Jewish people of old considered this historic list of ten and created 613 more statements derived from Moses’ teachings that defined prohibitions and these were written into the Mosaic Law.
It is evident from our modern scriptures and statements of prophets of the Restoration that there are added expectations in addition to those listed in the Ten Commandments. Furthermore, the instruction given in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) provides adjustments to God’s laws that we are expected to follow.
We are also advised by our current leaders that detailed instructions are not always necessary. Once people learn correct principles, they are expected to govern themselves, as Joseph Smith taught (Boyd K. Packer, “Teach Them Correct Principles,” Ensign, April 1990). So, as an aid to our own personal progress, perhaps we should generate a personal list of conditions in our own lives what we know are not in accordance with God’s will and consider eliminating them as part of our individual code.
Principles that may be useful in constructing our own list of matters to be addressed are succinctly categorized in a general conference talk by President Ezra Taft Benson. He suggests that our goals include working in and attending the temple often; involving ourselves in all aspects of family history; participating in missionary service; building family togetherness; accepting and fulfilling Church callings honourably; ensuring our financial future; rendering Christlike service; staying physically fit, healthy, and active (Ezra Taft Benson, “To the Elderly in the Church,” October 1989).
This is not a complete list, but is still relevant today, for the elderly as well as for those younger.
As we do this energetically and follow through by putting an end to every practice and thought that we know is not approved of by God, we will be preparing ourselves more effectively to be fully ready when the call to ascend to meet Him is finally received.