October 12th, 2006

Be Not Afraid

temple

From the mouth of Vaughn J. Featherstone:

The season of the world before us will be like no other in the history of mankind. Satan has unleashed every evil, every scheme, every blatant, vile perversion ever known to man in any generation. Just as this is the dispensation of the fullness of times, so it is also the dispensation of the fullness of evil; we and our wives and husbands, our children, and our members must find safety. There is no safety in the world: wealth cannot provide it, enforcement agencies cannot assure it, membership in this Church alone cannot bring it.

As the evil night darkens upon this generation, we must come to the temple for light and safety. In our temples we find quiet, sacred havens where the storm cannot penetrate to us. There are hosts of unseen sentinels watching over and guarding our temples. Angels attend every door. As it was in the days of Elisha, so it will be for us: “Those that be with us are more than they that be against us.”

Before the Savior comes the world will darken. There will come a period of time where even the elect will lose hope if they do not come to the temples. The world will be so filled with evil that the righteous will only feel secure within these walls. The Saints will come here not only to do vicarious work, but to find a haven of peace. They will long to bring their children here for safety’s sake.

There will be greater hosts of unseen beings in the temple. Prophets of old as well as those in this dispensation will visit the temples. Those who attend will feel their strength and feel their companionship. We will not be alone in our temples.

Our garments worn as instructed will clothe us in a manner as protective as temple walls. The covenants and ordinances will fill us with faith as a living fire. In a day of desolating sickness, scorched earth, barren wastes, sickening plagues, disease, destruction, and death, we as a people will rest in the shade of trees, we will drink from the cooling fountains.

We will abide in places of refuge from the storm, we will mount up as on eagle’s wings, we will be lifted out of an insane and evil world. We will be as fair as the sun and as clear as the moon.

9 Responses to “Be Not Afraid”

  1. marty
    October 13, 2006 at 8:08 am #

    Great quote. Do you have a citation so I can look at the entire address? Thanks.

  2. Connor
    October 13, 2006 at 8:33 am #

    The statement was made in the “Temple Statement for Utah South” in 1987. I’m not sure if Elder Featherstone’s statement was part of a larger one, or if that was all. I’ve found it here and here.

  3. fontor
    October 13, 2006 at 9:16 am #

    I’d like to suggest that the world is actually getting better, not more ‘evil and insane’. (Bush Administration excepted.) Yeah, some things are scary, there are a lot of problems, and the future is uncertain. But the future has always been uncertain. And this is one time in history where a lot of places on the planet are stable and more or less safe. People live longer, and while not everyone has food, more people do than ever before.

    Could this be a case where we want to see the world falling apart, so we look at just the problems? Latter-day Saints run around with this ‘Last Days’ template in their heads, and I don’t think it’s very helpful. It seems to be designed to make one want to surrender to a comforting authority figure.

    Everything in this excerpt is either a vague pronouncement of future doom, or some kind of untestable statement about invisible spirit beings.

  4. Connor
    October 13, 2006 at 9:52 am #

    Thanks for your suggestion, but I’d like to suggest the opposite. :) While saying that the world is getting worse is somewhat subjective, it cannot be judged solely by the number of ongoing wars or people starving.

    My biggest measuring stick for the status of the world is morality and pride. The scriptures provide an excellent lesson manual for observing how societies and nations rose and fall in history. Always, always have nations fallen due to these two factors (predominant among others).

    And when these things have passed away a speedy destruction cometh unto my people; for, notwithstanding the pains of my soul, I have seen it; wherefore, I know that it shall come to pass; and they sell themselves for naught; for, for the reward of their pride and their foolishness they shall reap destruction; for because they yield unto the devil and choose works of darkness rather than light, therefore they must go down to hell. (2 Ne. 26:10)

    Do Latter-day Saints want to see the world fall apart, as you say? Since the Lord is coming quickly we have been counseled to prepare. I personally look forward to that “great day” when the Lord comes to rule and reign and abolish all wickedness so that we may live in peace.

  5. fontor
    October 13, 2006 at 10:38 am #

    I’m not sure how you’re measuring morality and pride. You’d have to decide whose morality we’re measuring, and then find a way to quantify how much there is. That would be hard.

    On the other hand, it’s easy to measure things like increasing lifespans, lower incidences of disease, the decrease of slavery, to name a few. Not to go all Pollyanna-ish; there are some real problems. But there are some encouraging trends based on real data.

    Just one more thing: I admire the efforts of ‘Mothers Without Borders’ to help others. I find this approach a lot more useful than hoping Jesus will come and sort everything out. (Or looting the planet in the interim!) One of the challenges of my post-Church period is finding new ways to serve. As long as people keep it up, the world’s getting a bit better for somebody.

  6. Connor
    October 13, 2006 at 10:45 am #

    As long as people keep it up, the world’s getting a bit better for somebody.

    Agreed. As stewards over what we’ve been blessed with, ours is the responsibility to share our things with others to lighten their load and decrease their suffering.

    Temporal needs are easily met by such efforts. Fixing the widespread plagues of pornography, cohabitation, homosexuality, adultery, fornication, and all related “morality” sins are not easily countered by similarly practical methods. Such things will end when Christ comes; until then, my guess is that they’ll just propagate.

  7. fontor
    October 13, 2006 at 10:57 am #

    Side question: I noticed that all the morality sins you’ve mentioned have to do with sex.

    What do you think of as ‘moral behaviour’, other than sexual conduct?

  8. Connor
    October 13, 2006 at 11:23 am #

    Since morality is concerned with the principles of right and wrong, I suppose any sin is a “morality” sin. I should have more appropriately labeled the “sex-related” sins I see so prevalent in our society today, which are destructive to the institution of the family.

  9. fontor
    October 14, 2006 at 9:51 am #

    I’m glad to see a distinction drawn there. I see this a lot in the Church, and Christianity in general: morality is narrowed down to ‘how you conduct your sexual behaviour’. It leads people into weird contradictions, e.g. Clinton is an ‘immoral person’ because of his tawdry affair, but Bush is somehow a ‘moral person’ because of his lack of same.

    Anyhow.

Leave a Reply

Leave your opinion here. Please be nice. Your Email address will be kept private.