The Lord is seeking men [and women] like Nehemiah—… who fulfill the oath and covenant of the priesthood. He seeks to enlist unfaltering souls who diligently go about the work of building the kingdom of God—those who, when faced with opposition and temptation, say in their hearts, “I am doing a great work and cannot come down.”Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf
When faced with trial and suffering, they respond, “I am doing a great work and cannot come down.”
When faced with ridicule and reproach, they proclaim, “I am doing a great work and cannot come down.”
Our Heavenly Father seeks those who refuse to allow the trivial to hinder them in their pursuit of the eternal. He seeks those who will not allow the attraction of ease or the traps of the adversary to distract them from the work He has given them to perform. He seeks those whose actions conform to their words—those who say with conviction, “I am doing a great work and cannot come down.”
We Are Doing a Great Work and Cannot Come Down
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. exerpt taken from April 2009 General Conference address, “We Are Doing a Great Work and Cannot Come Down.”
4th June 2022 10am
Do you think you’re crazy? I’m here to tell you, you are not alone. But I’m also here to tell you, you are not crazy.
You know that feeling inside the pit of your stomach? Where something feels…cringy…? Many may refer to it as your gut feeling or gut instinct.
Well, I ignored this feeling and eventually I was deceived because of my choice to forego any cringy or “something doesnt feel right” feeling.
Let me explain. Hi, if this is your first read of my journal entries, welcome. I’ve struggled with an onslaught of addiction and behaviors that really don’t show my appreciation and gratitude for what I have been given in life. My choices have lead me down some dark paths. I believed I had finally found the way out, and I did! But just as I thought I was at my strongest point in life, through a spiritual, temporal, and emotional lens, I was hard-core blindsided because I didnt listen to the “cringy-something-doesnt-feel-right” feeling.
I had an influence in my life who quoted scripture, prophets, and claimed to be receiving revelation and promptings from the spirit, and this was someone I considered to be a close friend. Someone I’ve known over the last 5+ years. We went to church together, we worshiped together, we cried and laughed together. This was someone I trusted.
This experience taught me a potential pattern of philosophies of men mingled with scripture. This could also be repharased as philosphies of friends mingled with scripture. Especially if used to persuade, manipulate or brag about ones spirituality and ability to receive constant revelation, as if they have am open conduit from heaven and God is speaking to them 24/7.
I thought I was a bad person because I wasn’t receiving constant revelation like this person. On may 17th she called and claimed she felt prompted to call me. I was in the middle of listening to a podcast from a locap therapist. I thought he had some good tools he was teaching the listener, so I wondered if I was being led astray and my friend was here to teach me truth.
I told her I only had 5 minutes to talk. I had left her a voicemail to apologize about something I had done, and she said Heavenly Father wanted her to tell me that His spirit had withdrawn from me, and that I didn’t owe her an apology, I owed Him and apology. This didn’t make sense because I had already asked for forgiveness. So I wondered if maybe I wasnt sincere, so then I believed what she said because I have an addiction and struggle daily! I truly thought she was talking with God and He was telling her these things, even though I reasoned against it several times.
So she portrayed God as continously talking to her. She spoke as if Heavenly Father were really talking to her, and even thought “something didn’t feel right” I thought it was because I was, for lack of a better word, not worthy and not able to have the God’s Power in my life.
BEWARE THE PHILOSOPHIES OF MEN MINGLED WITH SCRIPTURE
I’d like to say I have the truth, but really truly the only way to truth is through the Savior. I am just a person, and I can’t lead you. Only through Christ, the Lord omnipotent can truth be received.
I thought I was being lead to truth through another person, and thus experience REALLY hurt.
In 2016, I decided to leave Amy habits and behaviors behind. This was hard! I had to move and get rid of things that tied my mind back to people and situations that caused triggers and flashbacks to painful memories.
During this process I had to leave friends behind, but I also prayed for a new friend. A true friend. And along came, *Diana. We weren’t bosom buddies at first, but over time we shared a lot of spiritual knowledge and quests together. Our lives seemed to parallel one anithers in regard to trial hardship and other spiritual pursuits.
We’ve been in each other’s lives for the last 6 years. I definitely felt connected to her, perhaps more so than to my husband. THIS WAS NOT OKAY. And I wondered about thus off and on again. I just felt more spiritually connected to Diana. She often shared “revelations” and “promptings” she was receiving. It seemed she had a continual conduit of knowledge from the heavens.
I felt inspired by her, but at times… something didn’t feel right in the pit of My stomach. That gut instinct seemed to signal something was off, especially since this past March of 2022.
She bore her testimony about the Savior, and I just remember feeling…uncomfortable. I thought this meant there was something wrong with me! I remember being taught that spirit recognizes spirit, and “bad” is uncomfortable around “good.”
Well, I still have many habits that take me away from Christ, so I thought, there was something wrong with me because of my addictions. So I began to mistake the cringey feeling for this idea that Diana’s better than me and I’m worse than her. I felt shame, guilt, all manner or yucky feelings!
She repeatedly discussed revelation and promptings she received from Heavenly Father. She often asked if we could pray together. Can you see how I placed too much trust in someone based on what I was seeing over what I was feeling?
“Something doesn’t feel right” is an indicator that SOMETHING IS NOT RIGHT. So. Trust that feeling. Eventually I allowed myself to be deceived. This was a hard lesson to learn. Are you ready for the story?
I WAS DECEIVED. LEARN FROM MY MISTAKES!
I had felt for several years I needed to see a therapist, but then I would reason against this thought. It wasn’t until I was camping and had a dream that is too personal to share where essentially I came to understand I needed therapy.
I began to move forward by calling and leaving a voicemail on one therapists line, and a got on a waiting list for another therapist. In the meantime I began listening to a podcast from a local therapist. He gave some good tips. And then, my friend called. “I feel prompted to call you ” she said. “Oh. Okay?” I can’t even remember all that she said but at one point she instructed me on how to overcome anxiety which I will not repeat here for sever reasons.
I began doing everything she taught me. Even thought, something felt off. Fast forward to the next day, and I believed I was following a true and correct source of knowledge and instruction.
It wasn’t until my sister in law showed up and i shared with her my “revelations” and before leaving she shared with me what she knew to be true. I felt a burning I’m my bosom. A sure way of knowing what I was receiving was truth. I immediately questioned what I had received… and gasped…”I think I have been deceived….” my sister in law looked concerned. She eventually left.
Later that day I went to see a replica of the tabernacle described in the Bible. As I was there I kept questioning everything… had I been deceived? Somethings not right. But what? At the end of the tour, I entered a chapel building of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and they had the most beautiful music and images of the Savior. Again I felt that same feeling in my chest. Only this time.. it was more of a peaceful feeling that filled my bosom, confirming that this was truth.
I had been deceived. I thought I was receiving light and truth from a correct source. I apologized to several I had potentially lead astray those few days, especially my husband. It was scary. It was truly a scary experience. One that I hope to prevent others from falling for.
I do not have the whole truth. I have bits and pieces. Light and truth can only come from one source. I can only bate witness of what I know and what I believe.
I believe in God. I believe in Jesus Chrsit. I believe that the Savior died for us, so I can live with God and my family again if I live righteously. I have a hope in Christ. I believe in the power of the Holy Ghost. I believe in revelation. I believe that we have living prophets and Apostles that walk the earth today to lead and guide God’s people. I believe Christ’s church has been restored through the prophet, Joseph Smith. I believe all people can come to a knowledge of this truth if they feast upon the words of Christ and experiment to know for themselves. I believe Christ will return to the earth and reign in His glory. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
26 May, 2022, 5:33am
We can know God if we will: Obey all His commandments as best we can (see John 14:21–23).
21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.John 14:21–23
22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?
23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him
Taken from the Gospel Principles manual by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
Back in Nov 2020, on the radio program, Top of Mind with Julie Rose, Pastor Oscar T. Moses, from Calvary Baptist Church in Salt Lake City,Utah, USA, shared his background as a police officer in Chicago, what it meant to receive a call to ministry, and perspectives on race and faith in the time of Black Lives Matter.
On the show, Pastor Moses describes his experience in the PD, including witnessing people who were treated as if their lives didn’t matter because of the perspective coming from the police officers. Some of these officers came from war, and they viewed citizens in a similar way, as the enemy.
He discussed that there comes a point when you have to speak up, for if you have a voice and you don’t speak up, you become complicit.
He relates the modern affliction and devastation that many face today to the ancient judaic roots of the human family saying,
“From the biblical perspective, I see the scriptures from a harmonudic perspective. The lenses of those who have been marginalized. I can relate to the children of Israel coming out of the flesh pots of egypt.Moses, 2020
“We are preaching in the midst [of many who are suffering from all manner of ailments]. Christ was in the midst of poor people, hurting people, those who didn’t receive equal distribution of wealth or power. I preach to the gospel that comforts the afflicted and afflicts the comforted.”
The challenge today is finding unity amongst diversity of beliefs, backgrounds, goals, and desires. Martin Luther King Jr., described the end result if our goals are approached with hatred and anger when he stated,
“Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? , 64-65
Loving others is not easy. Pure religion, as described by James, who is writing to the 12 tribes of Israel (James 1:1), aka us, is this, “To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world (1:27).
How do we move forward during these times of tribulation, calamities, and a spectrum of illness, trauma, addiction, and affliction especailly when the way we associate has changed?
Robert D.Hales once advised David A. Bednar with these words, “When you cannot do what you have always done, then you only do what matters most.”
What does this mean? Search, ponder, and pray. I believe it is different for each person, which would require the ability to receive personal revelation from the Lord. He will guide you. Believe He is guiding you. Trust that he will guide you. This is my prayer, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
According to President Bruce R. McConkie of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints,
Gog and Magog are the prophetic names given in the scriptures to that combination of nations which will fight against the purposes of the Lord on two separate and future occasions:Bruce R. McConkie 1971
1. At the time of and incident to the second coming of the Lord and the ushering in of the millennial era; and
2. At the end of the Millennium, plus a little season, when the final overthrow of evil and the destruction of the wicked shall take place.
The Lord has not revealed who the nations are, but his prophets have described, in general terms, what they will do in the great battles that shall hereafter be fought.
Because we are living in the last days, immediately preceding the second coming of the Lord, our chief interest in Gog and Magog centers in the pre-millennial war. The following quotation summarizes what is to take place:
“Our Lord is to come again in the midst of the battle of Armageddon, or in other words during the course of the great war between Israel and Gog and Magog. At the Second Coming all the nations of the earth are to be engaged in battle, and the fighting is to be in progress in the area of Jerusalem and Armageddon. (Zech. 11; Zech. 12; Zech. 13; Rev. 16:14–21.) The prophecies do not name the modern nations which will be fighting for and against Israel, but the designation Gog and Magog is given to the combination of nations which will seek to overthrow and destroy the remnant of the Lord’s chosen seed.
“The 38th and 39th chapters of Ezekiel [Ezek. 38; Ezek. 39] record considerable prophetic detail relative to this great war. It should be noted that it is to take place ‘in the latter years’; that it will be fought in the ‘mountains of Israel’ against those who have been gathered to the land of their ancient inheritance; that the land of Israel shall be relatively unprotected, a ‘land of unwalled villages’; that Gog and Magog shall come ‘out of the north parts’ in such numbers as ‘to cover the land’ as a cloud; that the Lord will then come, and all men shall shake at his presence; that there will be such an earthquake as has never before been known, which will throw down the mountains; that there will be pestilence, blood, fire, and brimstone descend upon the armies; that the forces of Gog and Magog will be destroyed upon the mountains of Israel; that the Supper of the Great God shall then take place as the beasts and fowls eat the flesh and drink the blood of the fallen ones (Rev. 19:17–18; D&C 29:18–21); and that the house of Israel will be seven months burying the dead and seven years burning the discarded weapons of war.
“In the light of all this and much more that is prophetically foretold about the final great battles in the holy land, is it any wonder that those who are scripturally informed and spiritually enlightened watch world events with great interest as troubles continue to foment in Palestine, Egypt, and the Near East?” (Mormon Doctrine [Bookcraft, 1966], 2nd ed., pp. 324–25.)
The second and final great war involving Gog and Magog is referred to by John in Revelation 20:7–9 [Rev. 20:7–9] and by the Lord in Doctrine and Covenants 88:111–116 [D&C 88:111–116].
One final word: When considering items of this sort, it is exceedingly important to stay close to the revealed word and not stray off into those speculative realms that engender strife and do not increase faith in our hearts.
Somehow I ended up in Ezekiel last week. I don’t really read the old Testament. It can be hard to understand. But, as I read about about the battle of Gog and Magog, I couldn’t help but take notice with all that’s going on right now in the world. I wanted to understand it so I began doing some research. I hoped “Come Follow Me” would be covering this mext year, but as I skipped ahead, I didn’t see anything. So, I did a little more digging and came across the Old Testament Institute Student Manual.
It was interesting (understatment) to learn that Gog and Magog can actually refer to two battles, which, as I read, came to understand that these two wars will be the most notable events in time.
The following is taken from this section of the student manual:
(27-24) Ezekiel 38–39. The Battle of Gog and MagogProphecies of the Restoration (Ezekiel 25–48)
The following from Elder Bruce R. McConkie sums up the events of the battle of Armageddon:
“Our Lord is to come again in the midst of the battle of Armageddon, or in other words during the course of the great war between Israel and Gog and Magog. At the Second Coming all nations of the earth are to be engaged in battle, and the fighting is to be in progress in the area of Jerusalem and Armageddon. (Zech. 11; 12; 13; Rev. 16:14–21.) The prophecies do not name the modern nations which will be fighting for and against Israel, but the designation Gog and Magog is given to the combination of nations which are seeking to overthrow and destroy the remnant of the Lord’s chosen seed.
“The 38th and 39th chapters of Ezekiel record considerable prophetic detail relative to this great war. It should be noted that it is to take place ‘in the latter years’; that it will be fought in the ‘mountains of Israel’ against those who have been gathered to the land of their ancient inheritance; that the land of Israel shall be relatively unprotected, a ‘land of unwalled villages’; that Gog and Magog shall come ‘out of the north parts’ in such numbers as ‘to cover the land’ as a cloud; that the Lord will then come, and all men shall shake at his presence; that there will be such an earthquake as has never before been known, which will throw down the mountains; that there will be pestilence, blood, fire, and brimstone descend upon the armies; that the forces of Gog and Magog will be destroyed upon the mountains of Israel; that the Supper of the Great God shall then take place as the beasts and fowls eat the flesh and drink the blood of the fallen ones (Rev. 19:17–18; D. & C. 29:18–21); and that the house of Israel will be seven months burying the dead and seven years burning the discarded weapons of war.
“In the light of all this and much more that is prophetically foretold about the final great battles in the holy land, is it any wonder that those who are scripturally informed and spiritually enlightened watch world events with great interest as troubles continue to foment in Palestine, Egypt, and the Near East?” (Mormon Doctrine, pp. 324–25.)
That the battle before the Millennium, which is known as the battle of Armageddon, makes reference to Gog and Magog may at first be confusing since the last great battle at the end of the Millennium is called the battle of Gog and Magog by John (see Revelation 20:7–9). But the names “Gog” and “Magog” are used for both battles because they symbolize an alliance of great, evil power. President Joseph Fielding Smith clarified this point as follows: “Before the coming of Christ, the great war, sometimes called Armageddon, will take place as spoken of by Ezekiel, chapters 38 and 39. Another war of Gog and Magog will be after the millennium.” (Doctrines of Salvation, 3:45.)
Obviously the battle seen by Ezekiel will be one of the greatest events of the world’s history, and so it is not surprising that the prophets speak of it again and again. Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Joel, Zechariah, and John the Revelator all speak of it in some detail, and it is mentioned in several places in latter-day scripture. (See Enrichment I.)
(27-25) Ezekiel 38:1–2. Gog and MagogProphecies of the Restoration (Ezekiel 25–48)
The terms Gog and Magog are often joined together, as, for example, in the phrase the “battle of Gog and Magog” (see Revelation 20:8). Thus, many people assume the terms refer to two people by those names. Ezekiel 38:1–2shows clearly, however, that Gog is a name of a person and Magog the land from which he comes. Technically, “Gog of Magog” is the correct way to say it. Over the centuries, however, the names have come to mean the combination of nations that will fight against Israel in the last days. (See Notes and Commentary on Ezekiel 38–39.)
Ezekiel saw in vision a great battle that will precede the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. He also saw in vision a latter-day temple that will be built in Jerusalem. He saw water flowing from this temple through the surrounding land and into the waters of the Dead Sea, which were then healed. Many of the details regarding these prophecies have not yet been revealed.
Ezekiel prophesies of the battle that will precede the Second Coming
If you could pick two things that you would like the world to know about Jesus Christ, what would they be? Why?
As [you] study the prophecies of Ezekiel in Ezekiel 38–48, ask [yourself] …what the Lord will make sure everyone knows about Him as part of His Second Coming.
Read Ezekiel 38:1–3 aloud, looking for whom the Lord declared He was against.
Gog was the king (or chief prince) of a land called Magog, located north of Jerusalem. Ezekiel used Gog symbolically to represent a wicked leader or leaders who will seek to destroy God’s people in the last days.
Summar[y] of Ezekiel 38:4–6: Ezekiel prophesied that Gog would assemble a great army from many nations…Look in verse 5 for three countries that would gather.
What countries gathered to Gog?
[A]ncient Persia was east of Jerusalem, ancient Ethiopia was south of Jerusalem, and ancient Libya was west of Jerusalem. Ezekiel may have used these countries symbolically to illustrate that this army would come from many surrounding nations.
Summar[y] of Ezekiel 38:7–14: after the army of Gog gathers “against the mountains of Israel” (verse 8), their purpose will be to attack what they perceive to be the defenseless kingdom of Israel “dwelling without walls” (verse 11). This prophecy refers to the great battle commonly referred to as the battle of Armageddon, which will precede the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. (Note: The battle at the end of the Millennium described by John is also referred to as the battle of Gog and Magog [see Revelation 20:7–9; Bible Dictionary, “Gog”].) The army of Gog symbolizes the great army that will attack Jerusalem.
Read Ezekiel 38:15–16 aloud, looking for the Lord’s purpose in allowing the army of Gog to attack the people in Jerusalem in the latter days.
What did the Lord say is His purpose in allowing Gog to battle the people of Israel?
[C]onsider marking the phrase “that the heathen may know me” in verse 16… [T]he word heathen refers to people who do not know the Lord… [T]he phrase “I shall be sanctified in thee” in verse 16 means that the Lord will manifest Himself as He sustains the people of Israel against the army of Gog.
[R]ead aloud from Ezekiel 38:18–23, looking for how the Lord will demonstrate His power against the army of Gog.
How will the Lord demonstrate His power against Gog?
According to verse 23, what will many nations come to know as they witness the destruction of Gog?
Summar[y] of Ezekiel 39: After most of the army of Gog is destroyed, it will take seven months for the house of Israel to bury the dead and seven years to clean up after the battle. Sometimes in the scriptures, writers use numbers to convey symbolic meaning beyond the literal understanding. Thus, the number seven may refer to a long time or to the land becoming complete and whole again.
Lesson 145: Ezekiel 38–48
[R]ead Ezekiel 39:7, 21–22 aloud and look for what the children of Israel will know after this battle…mark what [you] find.
What will the children of Israel know after this battle?
According to Ezekiel 39:7, what name or title did the Lord use to refer to Himself?
What truth will all people, including the entire house of Israel, eventually know as a result of this battle? (All people will know that Jesus Christ is the Lord.)