I have written in this space about how that in the town of Alma, Quebec, where I was the first LDS missionary, there is now an LDS Chapel and also how the Province of Quebec, which had not even a Stake when I was there, now has a Temple! This is part of the gathering of Israel so long prophesied and now unfolding. It a marvelous work and wonder1 and it has the adversary trembling2 in his boots. Of course, evil and opposition to Zion is more frenzied and desperate than ever. They, the enemy, know that their time is short.
On my Quebec proselyting mission there was so much joy, yet so much heartbreak too. For everyone brought to repentance and into the Church, it seems there were 2 or 3, who believed but did not repent – they would not take that step to a higher plane!! The chains of sin3 are so-o-o hard to break. Not only on my mission, but with relations and friends I have seen it4. They start with knowledge of the truth and truly believe but then some sin that they love bars their progress. Very very often it’s sexual sin, but also significant are chemical addictions, greed, ego, or some other bad habit that prevents a commitment to the Lords standards of conduct. So instead, they become unfruitful5, begin to lie to themselves, get offended and start looking for any means possible to rationalize away the truth. Then the Holy Ghost departs out6 of their lives and they “settle” for something less because it seems so much easier. Even Jesus, the perfect Man, recognized the rights of those who rejected His teachings, though it caused Him personal heartache and grief7 to see them turn away8.
|Latter-day Saint Church Membership (click to enlarge)|
But on a happier note, the promise of the Lord is that, despite opposition, the cause of Zion will not fail9 in our days. No more postponements10! This can be seen in the growth11 of the restored Church or “gathering12” which has been rapid and steady. The growth rates are now in the 2-3% range. That’s down a bit from the recent past because the worthiness standards for converts has been re-emphasized and also because the “bar has been raised” for missionary worthiness. The end result has actually been stronger growth in missionaries and members with enduring testimonies of the truth.
The video below is about the new Temple Kyiv (Kiev) Russia. It’s a living example of growth where just a few years ago there were zero Latter-day Saints. God bless them. Glorious!
17 And the Lord will set his hand again the second time to restore his people from their lost and fallen state. Wherefore, he will proceed to do a marvelous work and a wonder among the children of men.
18 Wherefore, he shall bring forth his words unto them, which words shall judge them at the last day, for they shall be given them for the purpose of convincing them of the true Messiah …
24 Keep all the commandments and covenants by which ye are bound; and I will cause the heavens to shake for your good, and Satan shall tremble and Zion shall rejoice upon the hills and flourish;
18 And again Moses said: I will not cease to call upon God, I have other things to inquire of him: for his glory has been upon me, wherefore I can judge between him and thee. Depart hence, Satan.
19 And now, when Moses had said these words, Satan cried with a loud voice, and ranted upon the earth, and commanded, saying: I am the Only Begotten, worship me.
20 And it came to pass that Moses began to fear exceedingly; and as he began to fear, he saw the bitterness of hell. Nevertheless, calling upon God, he received strength, and he commanded, saying: Depart from me, Satan, for this one God only will I worship, which is the God of glory.
21 And now Satan began to tremble, and the earth shook; and Moses received strength, and called upon God, saying: In the name of the Only Begotten, depart hence, Satan.
22 And it came to pass that Satan cried with a loud voice, with weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth; and he departed hence, even from the presence of Moses, that he beheld him not.
25 And he [Enoch] saw angels descending out of heaven; and he heard a loud voice saying: Wo, wo be unto the inhabitants of the earth.
26 And he beheld Satan; and he had a great chain in his hand, and it veiled the whole face of the earth with darkness; and he looked up and laughed, and his angels rejoiced.
37 … but when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, … behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; …
38 Behold, ere he is aware, he is left unto himself, to kick against the pricks, to persecute the saints, and to fight against God.
18 Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower.
19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.
20 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it;
21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.
22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.
23 But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
21 And he doth not dwell in unholy temples; neither can filthiness or anything which is unclean be received into the kingdom of God; therefore I say unto you the time shall come, yea, and it shall be at the last day, that he who is filthy shall remain in his filthiness.
3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.;
60 Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it?
61 When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you?
66 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. 67 Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?
68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.
69 And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.
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 thereof sure.
2 The keys of the kingdom of God are committed unto man on the earth, and from thence shall the gospel roll forth unto the ends of the earth, as the stone which is cut out of the mountain without hands shall roll forth, until it has filled the whole earth.
The building up of Zion is a cause that has interested the people of God in every age; it is a theme upon which prophets, priests and kings have dwelt with peculiar delight; they have looked forward with joyful anticipation to the day in which we live; and fired with heavenly and joyful anticipations they have sung and written and prophesied of this our day; but they died without the sight;
… when the Saints of God will be gathered in one from every nation, and kindred, and people, and tongue, when the Jews will be gathered together into one, the wicked will also be gathered together to be destroyed, as spoken of by the prophets; the Spirit of God will also dwell with His people, and be withdrawn from the rest of the nations, and all things whether in heaven or on earth will be in one, even in Christ.
62 And righteousness will I send down out of heaven; and truth will I send forth out of the earth, to bear testimony of mine Only Begotten; his resurrection from the dead; yea, and also the resurrection of all men; and righteousness and truth will I cause to sweep the earth as with a flood, to gather out mine elect from the four quarters of the earth, unto a place which I shall prepare, an Holy City, that my people may gird up their loins, and be looking forth for the time of my coming; for there shall be my tabernacle, and it shall be called Zion, a New Jerusalem.
14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
27 And now I show unto you a parable. Behold, wheresoever the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together; so likewise shall mine elect be gathered from the four quarters of the earth.
7 And ye are called to bring to pass the gathering of mine elect; for mine elect hear my voice and harden not their hearts;