As part of my church responsibilities, I had the pleasure of visiting an Elders Quorum in a ward different from my own. As the instructor introduced the General Conference talk we were going to use for the lesson, I decided to skim down my iPad version of the talk to see what I had already marked. The talk we used was President Boyd K. Packer’s October 2013 talk, “The Key to Spiritual Protection“. I had studied the talk a few weeks ago and found myself zeroing in on a particular quote that I must have liked. After quoting a few passaging in the scriptures that highlight some of the difficulties we would face in the latter days, President Packer shared:
The descriptions Paul and Moroni give of our day are so accurate that they cannot be dismissed. For many it may be quite disturbing, even discouraging. Nevertheless, when I think of the future, I am overwhelmed with feelings of positive optimism. (Boyd K. Packer, October 2013)
Over the last two months I’ve certainly noticed what I think might be an uptick in, well, circumstances that seem to weaken the Savior’s influence on the earth and strengthen Satan’s. Haven’t things changed, as far as the moral fiber of the human family, rather quickly? With that said, I do remember why I like President Packer’s quote so much. I, too, feel optimism for the future. Here are a few reasons why:
- I get to watch the youth of our church, and many other churches, doing great things and being great people. We’re absolutely not raising a bunch of whiny, selfish people. We’re seeing smart, kind, hard-working young people growing into adults. I have a lot of confidence in the future due to what I see in our youth.
- I’m seeing large pockets of people who are balanced, dedicated, honest adults. I’m seeing that people who don’t believe the same as I do still impress me and make me see that the Light of Christ is covering the earth. In fact, I’m thankful to know that people who are on the opposite side of the voting issues relative to me actually line up with what I value on about 90% of life. That gives me hope.
- The scriptures and the prophets have promised some pretty exciting things that are yet to be. We’ve seen a lot of miraculous events lately regarding the spread of the gospel, the efforts in family history work, and the strengthening of our youth, but we have very exciting things around the corner. That bodes well for this planet.
- As dark as things sometimes seem, this isn’t 70 A.D. The Church of Jesus Christ is not falling into apostasy like in the meridian of time. We’re not losing church leadership and rebelling, en masse, against the apostles. The story goes a little different in the latter days in that the light of the gospel will not go out…In fact, the Light of the World will come. I believe that Jesus will come again, as He promised, and that is how things end this time.
There’s more, I’m sure. I feel good about life here on earth, even in light of the negative things that seem to be increasing.
Lastly, I just want to tell Satan (I doubt he follows my blog) something: You can’t win. We know how things end. I realize that each day we choose who we are going to follow, but we know that you, Satan, won’t come out on top. It may seem like you won a great battle 2000 years ago as the apostasy settled upon the earth. But, that just set the stage for the Restoration and the Second Coming…
The future of this world has long been declared, the final outcome between good and evil is already known. There is no question as to who wins because the victory has already been posted on the scoreboard. The only really strange thing in all of this is we are all still down here on the field trying to decide which team’s jersey we want to wear. (Elder Jeffrey R. Holland)