In reading the Book of Mormon again with my husband, Earl, we find that on every page new insights emerge. We can open the scriptures anywhere, and whatever we read the Spirit conveys truth. Even though the scriptures were written long ago, we see how they apply directly to us, and how they serve us well. They are a profound influence in our lives.
Just as the Lord provided the Liahona that gave instructions to Book of Mormon prophet Lehi, so we have the word of Christ in our day.
Much has been said about preparing for the Second Coming. President Russell M. Nelson has said, “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is preparing the world for the day when ‘the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord’” (Isaiah 11:9) (Russell M. Nelson, “The Future of the Church: Preparing the World for the Savior’s Second Coming,” Ensign, April 2020).
We can prepare spiritually and physically
There are many who are anxious about today’s turmoil. It is important to be aware, through the media, of what is happening in the world so we can prepare spiritually and physically. However, there is a “but” here. We should be tuned in first and foremost to our prophet and apostles as they provide direction for our time.
President Nelson declared that we are the men, women, and children who have front-row seats to witness and prepare the world for our Savior’s Second Coming. This is humbling. He says, “Of all the people who have ever lived on planet earth, we are the ones who get to participate in this final, great gathering event” (Russell M. Nelson and Wendy W. Nelson, 'Hope of Israel' Worldwide Youth Devotional, June 3, 2018). Well, who does not want to be on board with that? We do! What an honor and privilege to be living here and now.
To fulfill our full measure, he has asked us to seek personal revelation through the promptings of the Spirit. Some people might wonder what exactly does the Holy Ghost do?
What exactly does the Holy Ghost do?
Parley P. Pratt, who served as an apostle from 1835-1857, gave us a vision of what the gift of the Holy Ghost could mean to us when he said:
“The gift of the Holy Ghost . . . quickens all the intellectual faculties, increases, enlarges, expands and purifies all the natural passions and affections; and adapts them, by the gift of wisdom, to their lawful use. It inspires, develops, cultivates, and matures all the fine-toned sympathies, joys, tastes, kindred feelings, and affections of our nature. It inspires virtue, kindness, goodness, tenderness, gentleness, and charity. It develops beauty of person, form, and features. It tends to health, vigor, animation, and social feeling. It invigorates all the faculties of the physical and intellectual man. It strengthens and gives tone to the nerves. In short it is, as it were, marrow to the bone, joy to the heart, light to the eyes, music to the ears, and life to the whole being” (L. Tom Perry, “That Spirit Which Leadeth To Do Good,” Ensign, May 1997).
President Nelson said, “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” (Russell M. Nelson, “Revelation for the Church, Revelation for Our Lives,” Ensign, May 2018).
Using the Ten Commandments to improve daily
The scriptures admonish us to keep the commandments and to repent. It sounds so easy, and yet why is it so difficult at times? Some time ago, I addressed this issue and went to the Lord in prayer asking how I could improve. I went to Him and asked if He would help me have a more disciplined mind, one not prone to wander, one not filled with inappropriate thoughts, one that is laser focused on the gospel, and to help me remember what I read so I may apply those principles. Then I printed out the Ten Commandments.
Each day I place this copy of the Ten Commandments on our bed, and I go over every one of them, one by one. Since doing this, my mind is constantly going over these rules from morning until night. I try to repent right at the time I feel as though I need to. This has changed my life in ways I would not have foreseen.
My granddaughter, recently visiting, saw the list on our bed and was surprised. She wanted to know why it was there? She is very young, and I responded that the Lord has commanded us to keep the commandments, all of them, so I review them one by one and repent when I need to. I want to do what the Lord asks of me. She had the biggest smile on her face, one I will never forget.
We have so much laid out before us to embrace. Peace can come as we try to be righteous. We cannot expect His help if we are unwilling to keep the commandments. President Wilford Woodruff said, “If you do your duty, and I do my duty, we’ll have protection, and shall pass through the afflictions in peace and in safety. Read the scriptures and the revelations. They will tell you about all these things” Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, sel. G. Homer Durham , 230).
He further added: “Brethren and sisters, the glory of the whole matter is, that when we get through, we are going to have our families with us - our fathers and our mothers, our brothers and our sisters, our wives and our children – in the morning of the resurrection, in the family organization of the celestial world, to dwell forever and forever. This is worth all you or I can sacrifice the few years we have to spend here in the flesh” (Deseret Weekly, October 22, 1892, 548).