By Frank M. Keele
In the 103rd section of the Doctrine and Covenants the Lord reveals some very interesting details regarding events leading up to His coming as the Bridegroom, we begin by reading:
15 Behold, I say unto you, the redemption of Zion must needs come by power;
16 Therefore, I will raise up unto my people a man, who shall lead them like as Moses led the children of Israel. (on passover and to their promissed land)
17 For ye are the children of Israel, and of the seed of Abraham, and ye must needs be led out of bondage by power, and with a stretched-out arm.
18 And as your fathers were led at the first, even so shall the redemption of Zion be.
19 Therefore, let not your hearts faint, for I say not unto you as I said unto your fathers: Mine angel shall go up before you, but not my presence.
20 But I say unto you: Mine angels shall go up before you, and also my presence, and in time ye shall possess the goodly land.
One of the most intriguing aspects of this passage is the underlying theme, in it, the Lord compares us to the children of Israel who were delivered out of bondage through the instrumentality of mighty Moses, on Passover, and eventually delivered to their promised land. Judging from the Lord’s words above, it appears that we are sitting on the verge of a replay or re-enactment because we are “the children of Israel, and of the seed of Abraham, and… must needs be led out of bondage by power, and with a stretched-out arm” as well.
In verse 15 we read that “the redemption of Zion must needs come by power” and in verse 17 the Lord says “ye must needs be led out of bondage by power, and with a stretched-out arm”. So it’s rather obvious, that form the Lord’s perspective we are in bondage of sorts. And we must, therefore, be “led out of bondage by power, and a stretched out arm”, right?
In verse 16 we read, “Therefore, I will raise up unto my people a man, who shall lead them like as Moses led the children of Israel”, and in verse 20 it is revealed that he shall lead us to “possess the goodly land”. And so the theme of bondage, Passover, Moses, deliverance, and a promised land gives us a sense of who we are and what our future looks like!
In verses 18-20 the Lord makes other comparisons between us and the children of Israel, says He, “And as your fathers were led at the first, even so shall the redemption of Zion be… for I say not unto you as I said unto your fathers: Mine angel shall go up before you, but not my presence. But I say unto you: Mine angels shall go up before you, and also my presence, and… ye shall possess the goodly land.”
So, as our fathers were led, so shall we be led, except that in our case the Lord Himself “shall go up before” us. And since the Lord makes this point so crystal clear, it begs the question… is the Lord going to come to the headquarters of His church to prepare us for our return to Missouri and “the redemption of Zion”? Of the Lord’s coming to the saints out west, Joseph Smith said:
“This people will go into the Rocky Mountains; they will there build temples to the Most High. They will raise up a posterity there, and the Latter-day Saints who dwell in these mountains will stand in the flesh until the coming of the Son of Man. The Son of Man will come to them while in the Rocky Mountains.” (Wilford Woodruff, Conference Report, April 1898, p. 57.)
I’ve often wondered if this appearance would be to the Leadership of the Church only or to the Church as a whole… But Joseph does say “This people will go into the Rocky Mountains… The Son of Man will come to them”. So it appears that He will come to “This people”…
And so, if the Lord, preparatory to “the redemption of Zion” was to appear to the church as a whole, including the first presidency, quorum of the twelve, the seventy and all other general authorities, along with the worldwide membership, what better instrument to accomplish this than a General Conference of the Church?
And if such an event were just ahead, what might President Nelson say to us, in order to help us prepare our hearts and minds for the same? Would he say something like:
“You may wish to begin your preparation by reading afresh Joseph Smith’s account of the First Vision as recorded in the Pearl of Great Price… It is your personal preparation that will help April’s general conference become for you not only memorable but also unforgettable. The time to act is now. This is a hinge point in the history of the Church, and your part is vital.”?
Now, if all were to unfold in a manner very similar to that proposed above, what would be the effect on the faithful members of the Church? Would it alter our perception as to what the “hinge point in the history of the Church” is all about? Would it get our attention, soften our hearts and help us to yield our will to the Lord’s purposes? Would it strengthen our faith and stiffen our resolve, that we might endure the difficulties that lie just ahead? Would it bring about a unity of purpose among the Latter Day Saints not previously attained?
And if all of this were to come to pass, what then? Well, for one thing, we would have to conclude that Russell M. Nelson is the one “who shall lead them like as Moses led the children of Israel” as the Lord says. And if that be a truth and I believe it is, President Nelson himself is a compelling sign of the times!
So, are you ready for the “hinge point in the history of the Church”? Are you ready for big changes? As President Nelson says “It is your personal preparation that will help April’s general conference become for you not only memorable but also unforgettable. The time to act is now.”
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You are invited to download and share the free pdf version of The Bridegroom Cometh, just click on the image of the book below. May the Lord’s blessings abide with us as we prepare for an amazing future!