As I approached my Come, Follow Me studies for this week, I came across an important statement made by Elder Richard G. Scott. He explained that recording inspiration “shows God that His communications are sacred to us. Recording will also enhance our ability to recall revelation.” (“How to Obtain Revelation and Inspiration for Your Personal Life,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2012, 46).
This is an important message. I have
learned for myself the importance of keeping a written record. As I look back
over my journal of personal revelation, important information that had left my
memory. This week’s Come, Follow Me lesson comes from Daniel. Daniel was
the prophet of God and the companion of five different kings. The reason that
we have the stories of Daniel and his friends is because someone kept the
record. Without the story of Daniel in the lion’s den and the story of
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego being thrown into a hot furnace, our gospel
learning would have a significant loss.
The Come, Follow Me lesson
was titled “There Is No Other God That Can Deliver.” It was introduced by the
Most likely no one will ever threaten to throw you into a fiery
furnace or a den of lions because of your faith in Jesus Christ. But none of us
gets through this life without a trial of faith. We can all benefit from the
example of people like Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, who were taken
captive as young men by the mighty Babylonian Empire (see 2 Kings 24:10-16).
These young people were surrounded by an unfamiliar culture with different
values, and they faced great temptations to abandon their beliefs and righteous
traditions. Yet they remained true to their covenants. Like Joseph in Egypt and
Esther in Persia, Daniel and his friends in Babylon kept their faith in God,
and God worked miracles that still inspire believers to this day.
How did they find the strength to remain so faithful? They did
those small and simple things that God has asked all of us to do—praying,
fasting, choosing good friends, trusting in God, and being a light to others.
As we are strengthened by doing these same small and simple things, we can face
the lions and fiery furnaces in our own lives with faith.
What Is the Principle?
There are numerous principles found in the six chapters
in the book of Daniel. The principle that I will discuss tonight is “The Church
of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the kingdom of God on earth” found in
Daniel 2. As you know, Nebuchadnezzar had a dream that bothered him, so he called
forth the wise men in his kingdom. He most likely remembered the dream, but he
told them that he had forgotten it. He commanded them to tell him the dream and
give him the interpretation of it – or be killed.
As you may not know, Daniel and his friends were among
the wise men who would have been killed. When Daniel heard about the problem,
he asked Arioch, the captain of the king’s guard, to get him an audience with
the king. When he went before the king, Daniel asked for more time, and the
king granted it. Daniel went to his friends and asked them to fast and pray
with him that the dream and the interpretation would be revealed to them. Their
prayers were answered by personal revelation to Daniel.
Daniel first expressed his gratitude to God for revealing
the information, and then he went to Arioch and told him that he had the
answer. Arioch quickly took Daniel before the king and told him that he knew
both the dream and the interpretation. He first explained that none of the wise
men could have the answer, but the God in heaven revealed the information.
What Is the Dream and
Daniel told Nebuchadnezzar that he had dreamed about
great image whose head was made of fine gold, his breast and arms were made of
silver, his belly and thighs were made of brass, his legs were made of iron,
and his feet were part iron and part clay. Then the king saw a stone cut out of
a mountain with hands that rolled down the mountain and smashed into the image,
breaking it into pieces. Then the stone grew until it filled the entire earth.
Next, Daniel gave the interpretation: the head of gold
represented Nebuchadnezzar. The kingdom of silver would be inferior to him. The
kingdom of brass would rule over all the earth. The kingdom of iron would be
strong and subdue all things. The feet and toes made of iron and potters’ clay
represented many kingdoms, some strong and some weak.
44 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set
up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left
to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms,
and it shall stand for ever.
45 Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the
mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the
clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what
shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation
What Is the Modern-Day
Modern-day prophets and apostles have given us more
information about the dream and the interpretation. President Rudger Clawson gave
the following elaboration on Daniel’s interpretation.
The … world of today is witness of the
fact that the very things which the great image stood for have occurred so far
as time has gone. History certifies to the fact that King Nebuchadnezzar was
the head of gold. The Medes and Persians, an inferior kingdom to Babylon, were
the arms and breast of silver. The Macedonian kingdom, under Alexander the
Great, was the belly and thighs of brass; and the Roman kingdom under the
Caesars was the legs of iron. For mark you, later on the kingdom, or empire of
Rome, was divided. The head of the government in one division was at Rome
and the head of the government in the other division was at Constantinople. So
these two great divisions represented the legs of iron. Finally, the Roman
empire was broken up into smaller kingdoms, represented by the feet and toes of
iron and clay. (In Conference Report, Apr. 1930, p. 32, as quoted in the
Old Testament Institute Manuel, 2003).
Elder Orson Pratt explained that the
feet and toes were shown as part iron and part clay because they “were
governments more modern to grow out of the iron kingdom [Roman Empire], after
it should lose its strength” (In Journal of Discourse, 18:337, as quoted
in Old Testament Student Manual, 2003).
President Spencer W. Kimball further
clarified the prophecy with the following explanation:
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints began with six members. It was organized in the home of Peter
Whitmer, Sr. on April 6, 1830, in Fayette, New York. Today the Church of Jesus
Christ is organized in more than 160 nations. It has 16,805,400 members in
31,315 congregations. It publishes scriptures and other materials in 188 languages.