Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Joseph's Words of Hope

The days in which we live are indeed perilous times. Men's hearts are failing them with fear because the love of man is waxing cold. All parts of society are in turmoil including the very churches whose heritage is the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. Truly, peace in society—collectively and individually—is no where to be found, for peace has been taken from the earth. As a new year approaches and we look to the future, we see these conditions of mankind only worsening. Yet Joseph, knowing the calamities that would come upon mankind in the latter days, wrote words of consolation and hope to the saints of his day as well as ours. On May 2, 1842 as editor of the Times and Seasons, Joseph wrote the following words of hope. As we enter the new year with these uncertainties before us, may Joseph's words remind us that the Lord will fulfill all of His promises to His faithful and establish His Kingdom Zion for the social salvation of mankind.

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 lived; and fired with heavenly and joyful anticipations they have sung, and wrote, and prophesied of this our day;—but they died without the sight; we are the favored people that God has made choice of to bring about the Latter Day glory; it is left for us to see, participate in, and help to roll forward the Latter Day glory; "the dispensation of the fulness of times, when God will gather together all things that are in heaven, and all things that are upon the earth, even in one," 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together to be destroyed, as spoken of by the prophets; the spirit of God will also dwell with his people, and be withdrawn from the rest of the nations, and all things whether in heaven or on earth will be in one, even in Christ. The heavenly priesthood will unite with the earthly, to bring about those great purposes; and while we are thus united in the one common cause to roll forth the kingdom of God, the Heavenly Priesthood are not idle spectators; the spirit of God will be showered down from above, it will dwell in our midst. The blessings of the Most High will rest upon our tabernacles, and our name will be handed down to future ages; our children will rise up and call us blessed; and generations yet unborn will dwell with peculiar delight upon the scenes that we have passed through, the privations that we have endured; the untiring zeal that we have manifested; the insurmountable difficulties that we have overcome in laying the foundation of a work that brought about the glory and blessings which they will realize; a work that God and angels have contemplated with delight, for generations past; that fired the souls of the ancient patriarchs and prophets—a work that is destined to bring about the destruction of the powers of darkness, the renovation of the earth, the glory of God, and the salvation of the human family. (Times and Seasons 3:776)