The war that began in heaven continues. The Devil and his angels have been cast out of heaven down to the earth. Satan knows his time is short and comes against us in great wrath. The climax of the battle is upon us. He is the dragon who deceiveth the whole world. He is the great accuser. “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” What power is in the blood of the Lamb? What power is in the word of their testimony? Who puts the work of the Lord even above their own lives? Revelation12:7-12
Satan was defeated in heaven, but he still has power on the earth. Jesus asks us to pray that this battle may be won in earth as it is in heaven. “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:10
The Lord needs every warrior of light that will come. Why are there “none that doeth good except those who are ready to receive the fulness of [His] gospel”? D&C 35:12-13 Are we ready to receive the fulness of His gospel? What does it mean to receive the fulness of His gospel? D&C 39:18 Do we desire to come into his presence and receive Him? D&C 76:14 Why does He call upon the weak things of the world to thresh the nations by the power of His Spirit? Why are His messengers despised? Who despises them?
Even though we may be weak, He still has a work for us to do. He is calling us. All who have desires to serve God are called to the work. If we decide to get on board, we should hold nothing back. As we labor with all our heart, might, mind and strength to bring souls to Christ, we will find our own soul saved. No man is compelled to come unto Christ. This is a labor of love, not a labor of force, control, and manipulation. “And faith, hope, charity and love, with an eye single to the glory of God, qualify [us] for the work.” D&C 4:1-7
“Behold, I sent you out to testify and warn the people, and it becometh every man who hath been warned to warn his neighbor.” Why should we warn others? “They are left without excuse, and their sins are upon their own heads.” How would you feel if someone came to you saying, “You knew this! Why didn’t you open your mouth and say something to me?” This is the last time the Lord shall go forth among us, the Gentiles, to prepare us for the hour of judgment, which is to come. Seek him early while he is near, and you shall not be forsaken. D&C 88:81-84 What does it mean to be cleansed from the blood and sins of this generation?
“For there are many yet on the earth among all sects, parties, and denominations, who are blinded by the subtle craftiness of men, whereby they lie in wait to deceive, and who are only kept from the truth because they know not where to find it— Therefore, that we should waste and wear out our lives in bringing to light all the hidden things of darkness, wherein we know them; and they are truly manifest from heaven—
"These should then be attended to with great earnestness. Let no man count them as small things; for there is much which lieth in futurity, pertaining to the saints, which depends upon these things. You know, brethren, that a very large ship is benefited very much by a very small helm in the time of a storm, by being kept workways with the wind and the waves.
"Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed.” [emphasis added] D&C123:12-17
When you speak hard things against the wicked in the name of the Lord, do you experience great joy and exceeding gladness? 3 Nephi 12:11-12 Is it a cheerful, joyful experience?
Some might believe it is wrongheaded to focus on exposing false doctrine. They might even say, “You’re being too negative.” As I study the scriptures I see a distinct difference between accusing and judging a fellow brother or sister and speaking boldly against the philosophies of men and the doctrines of the devil.
We are not battling each other. When we allow devils to possess our bodies, they may persuade us to believe we are at war with each other. As brothers and sisters, we are on the same team. It is the devils and demons we’re fighting against.
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” So that we may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil, it is necessary to take upon us the whole armor of God: truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, faith, salvation, and the Spirit. We must pray always; be constantly, steadily, and patiently watching; and then boldly speak those things given to us by God. Ephesians 6:10-20
“Judge not, that ye be not judged.” Matthew 7:1 We have no right to judge each other, for that right belongs to the Lord Mormon 8:20.
Is there a difference between judging another mortal and judging the philosophies and doctrines that are being taught? Would it be following the pattern of God to be humble, meek, and contrite when speaking to each other D&C 52:14-17; yet speak out against our foolish and vain traditions with the boldness of a lion? Proverbs 28:1
Nephi sounded the warning voice. He cautioned us to beware of the false and vain and foolish doctrines, false teachers, priestcrafts, and pride. He said, “They have all gone out of the way; they have become corrupted.” He saw our latter day tendency to trust in men and institutions instead of God, and he reminds us that God has not given His power unto men as many will claim. Nephi gave a firm admonition to deny not the Holy Ghost or the power of God, the Holy One of Israel.
Nephi doesn’t sound very optimistic or positive about the latter day gentiles? Was Nephi just being negative and depressing or is there something here worth paying attention to? Did he see something we don’t? Why didn’t he focus on the things we’re doing right? Maybe he didn’t see much good going on, described it the way he saw it, and called us to repentance by the power of God. If you saw a multitude of people about to go off a cliff would you keep your thoughts to yourself? 2 Nephi 28
As we speak boldly, is contention ever justified? 3 Nephi 11:29 What is the power that awaits those who use persuasion, long-suffering, gentleness, meekness, love unfeigned, kindness, and pure knowledge? D&C 121:41-42
Is a call to repentance negative, gloomy, and pessimistic? How have you responded to Alma’s rebuke? “Wo unto all ye workers of iniquity; repent, repent, for the Lord God hath spoken it! . . . O ye workers of iniquity; ye that are puffed up in the vain things of the world, ye that have professed to have known the ways of righteousness nevertheless have gone astray, as sheep having no shepherd. . . And now if ye are not the sheep of the good shepherd, of what fold are ye? Behold, I say unto you, that the devil is your shepherd, and ye are of his fold; and now, who can deny this?"
How do you know when the Lord has received you? “Behold, he sendeth an invitation unto all men, for the arms of mercy are extended towards them, and he saith: Repent, and I will receive you. Yea, he saith: Come unto me and ye shall partake of the fruit of the tree of life; yea, ye shall eat and drink of the bread and the waters of life freely; Yea, come unto me and bring forth works of righteousness, and ye shall not be hewn down and cast into the fire” Alma 5:32-39