What would you
do if a prophet appeared in your life and told you that Jesus Christ would
return to earth within five years? Would
you believe him or mock him? Would you take
action to change your life or would you stay as you are? The
Book of Mormon – Another Testament of Jesus Christ contains a story about a
prophet suddenly appearing among the Nephites and telling the people that Jesus
Christ would be born in five years.
Nephi was a prophet of God who
had recently received the sealing power, the same power possessed by the
prophet Elijah. Nephi and his equally
righteous brother had been traveling throughout the land of the Nephites
preaching, teaching, and calling the people to repentance. Still the Nephites remained very wicked while
the Lamanites had become righteous. One
day Samuel the Lamanite appeared in a Nephite city and began preaching. He preached for “many days,” but the people did
not appreciate his message and cast him out of their city.
Samuel was in the act of
returning to his people “when the voice of the Lord came unto him, that he
should return again, and prophesy unto the people whatsoever things should come
into his heart” (Helaman 13:3). Samuel
was obedient and returned, but the people would not allow him to enter their city. The prophet Samuel was determined to deliver
God’s message to the Nephites, and he climbed upon the wall of the city in
order to deliver it.
Samuel told the Nephites that “an
angel of the Lord hath declared it unto me, and he did bring glad tidings to my
soul. And behold, I was sent unto you to
declare it unto you also that ye might have glad tidings; but behold ye would
not receive me.
“Therefore, thus saith the
Lord: Because of the hardness of the
hearts of the people of the Nephites, except they repent I will take away my
word from them, and I will withdraw my Spirit from them, and I will suffer them
no longer, and I will turn the hearts of their brethren against them.
“And four hundred years shall
not pass away before I will cause that they shall be smitten; yea, I will visit
them with the sword and with famine and with pestilence….
“But if ye will repent and
return unto the Lord your God I will turn away mine anger, saith the Lord; yea,
thus saith the Lord, blessed are they who will repent and turn unto me, but wo
unto him that repenteth not….” (Helaman 13:7-11).
The Nephites still did not like
Samuel’s message, but he continued to deliver the words of the Lord. He told the Nephites that the Son of God
would be born on earth in five years; he told them that they would know when
the Christ was born because there would be no darkness in their land during the
night before His birth. He also told
them that a new star would appear in the sky, “such an one as ye never have
beheld; and this also shall be a sign unto you” (Helaman 14:1-5)
Samuel was not finished with his
prophecy about the birth of Jesus Christ.
He continued with a prophecy about the death of Christ and gave the
signs of His death and the destruction that would take place at that time. Samuel continued with his warning, and many
people believed his words; these people went to the prophet Nephi, confessed
their sins and were baptized (Helaman 16:1).
There were also many people who
were angry with Samuel because they did not believe his words. They began to cast stones at him and to shoot
arrows at him as he stood upon the wall.
More people became believers when they saw that the stones and arrows
could not touch Samuel. They too sought
Nephi to confess their sins and be baptized (Helaman 16:3).
Most of the people did not
believe the words of Samuel and tried to capture him. When Samuel was finished delivering his
message, he jumped down from the wall and went back to his people. The Nephites heard no more about him. (Helaman 16:6-8).
So, I ask you again: what would you do if you heard a prophet
crying repent and prepare the way of the Lord?
Would you hear his words and be baptized? Would you change from wickedness to
What would you do if I told you
that there is a prophet on earth calling us to repentance in preparation for
the return of Jesus Christ to earth?
Would you believe me and seek him out or would you get angry and mock
The Lord’s prophet on the earth
in our day is Thomas S. Monson; he is the prophet, seer, and revelator for our
day and the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In his latest message in December 2015,
President Monson encouraged all of us to make room in our lives and hearts for the Savior as we celebrated Christmas.
President Monson spoke twice in
our last General Conference, October 2015.
He counseled the brethren in the priesthood session to keep the
commandments. “God’s commandments are
not given to frustrate us or to become obstacles to our happiness. Just the opposite is true. He who created us and who loves us perfectly
knows just how we need to live our lives in order to obtain the greatest
happiness possible. He has provided us
with guidelines which, if we follow them, will see us safely through this often
treacherous mortal journey. We remember
the words of the familiar hymn: `Keep the commandments! In this there is
safety; in this there is peace.’”
To the general Church
membership, President Monson gave counsel to be a good example to others and let our lights shine. “Recently, as I
have been reading and pondering the scriptures, two passages in particular have
stayed with me. Both are familiar to
us. The first is from the Sermon on the
Mount: `Let your light so shine before
men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ The second scripture is one which came to my
mind as I pondered the meaning of the first.
It is from the Apostle Paul’s Epistle to Timothy: `Be thou an example of the believers, in
word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.’
“I believe the second scripture
explains, in great part, how we can accomplish the first. We become examples of the believers by living
the gospel of Jesus Christ in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in
faith, and in purity. As we do so, our
lights will shine for others to see.”
There we have the words of the
living prophet of God telling us how we can prepare for the Second Coming of
Jesus Christ. President Monson counseled
us to make room for Christ in our lives and in our hearts, to keep the
commandments, to be good examples, and to let our light shine for others to follow.
Now, what will you do with this
information? Will you believe it? Will you accept it? Will you follow the counsel of the living
prophet? As to myself, I believe it and
accept it as though the words came from the mouth of God. I will make room for the Christ in my life and
in my heart. I will keep His
commandments. I will be a good example
and let my light shine that others may also find the Christ. I will follow President Monson’s counsel
because I know he is God’s prophet on earth today.