There are many signs that shall prevail prior to and upon the Lord’s coming to help us know when that time draws near. One misnomer some saints and non saints believe is to purchase fire insurance in order to be saved at the Lord’s coming, right? NOOOOOOO! Humorously, my husband says that paying tithing saves us from being burned in the last day, but the truth regarding the scriptural reference in Malachi 4:1….“the proud who do wickedly shall burn as an oven….and shall leave them neither root nor branch”, is specifically made known “after we bring all our tithes into the storehouse….if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it”. Malachi 3 Then the Lord gives his word, which he cannot break, for surely “I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say.” (D&C 82:10; italics added.) The Lord continues: “Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.” (Mal. 3:18.)
In layman’s terms, this symbolism means: When we obey the commandments of God to repent, be baptized, pay our tithing and serve in His kingdom (church), we are blessed to see (windows) the many other blessings He has poured upon us such as the continuation of families performed in sacred and holy temples where our family branches are maintained and not cut off or burned at the last day
As mentioned in Ephesians, in the last days, a sign was to be given by God to all Saints foreordained to receive the gospel by the sealing power of the Holy Spirit of promise to know God and Christ by revelation. At that time, we will know that Jesus Christ is head over all things… “And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.” Ephesians 1:22-23 How do we know if that sign has been given? When a man shall declare that a marvelous work has begun to come forth upon the earth again…“Behold, ye despisers, and wonder, and perish: for I work a work in your days, a work which ye shall in no wise believe, though a man declare it unto you.” Acts 13:41 And Jesus said concerning those marvelous work and wonderwho do not believe…“therefore it shall come to pass that whosoever will not believe in my words, who am Jesus Christ, which the Father shall cause him to bring forth unto the Gentiles, and shall give unto him power that he shall bring them forth unto the Gentiles, (it shall be done even as Moses said) they shall be cut off from among my people who are of the covenant.” 3 Nephi21:11
There will no more be strangers among us when the body (church) of Christ and His temple is again established. God will gather in all His children as His truth is revealed among them and they accept it according to their faith unto Him. In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, there are not strangers among us as we assist Christ by laboring in His vineyard. We become His teachers, teaching one another under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost. We are also guided by local leaders in branches and wards who are under the guidance of stakes who are under the guidance of the quorum of the twelve apostles and first presidency of the Church. Each of us are called through the Holy order of God known as the Holy Priesthood which is the power on earth to act in the name of God. It is through this power that all the administration for Christ’s Church is conducted on the earth today: Offices of the Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthood. “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord; In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” Ephesians 2: 19-22
Daily, new members are joining The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to follow Christ’s teachings of faith, repentance, baptism by fire and then to administer to others in the same way taught by the Savior. “During His earthly ministry, Jesus was an example of one who went far beyond the simple obligation of hospitality and tolerance. Those who were excluded from society, those who were rejected and considered to be impure by the self-righteous, were given His compassion and respect. They received an equal part of His teachings and ministry. For example, the Savior went against the established customs of His time to address the woman of Samaria, asking her for some water. He sat down to eat with publicans and tax collectors. He didn’t hesitate to approach the leper, to touch him and heal him. Admiring the faith of the Roman centurion, He said to the crowd, “Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.”5 Ye Are No More Strangers By Bishop Gérald Caussé First Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric
In order to be a teacher in the Church, the first prerequisite is a desire….“Therefore, if ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work;..” Doctrine and Covenants 4:3 The second is faith and love.. “And faith, hope, charity and love, with an eye single to the glory of God, qualify him for the work.” Doctrine and Covenants 4:5 “Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints,..” Ephesians 1:15 Charity is the most important of them all..“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.” Corinthians 13:1
Paul was one of the greatest teachers in the primitive Church of Jesus Christ and one of his first gentile converts was Cornelius even though it may have seemed odd for him to teach among the gentiles. However, the duties of Israelites toward Gentiles were defined in the law and Jesus had taught him through example not to be selective or prejudice to those whom he should teach. All people are saved by grace through faith knowing the blood of Christ saves Jew and Gentile alike. The allegory of the olive tree explains this perfectly as Jacob quotes the answer to the question, “how is it possible that the Jews, after having rejected the sure foundation of Christ can ever build upon it, that it may become the head of their cornerstone? To understand the allegory, we must first understand past and future events and the part the Gentiles will play as they become adopted into the House of Israel through baptism and continue the work of the Savior giving service in His church and temples right up to the Millenium.
Many know the sign was fulfilled when the prophet Joseph Smith became that man who declared it among us even though many did not believe….but many do believe and continue to see as they learn about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, choose to obey God’s commandments, repent from their wicked ways and have charity. Jews and Gentiles, like Cornelius, are flocking to the gospel because they recognize the saving truths found once again upon the earth. In the temple, they recognize through the sealing power of the Holy Spirit how service to our kindred dead connects us to our roots and branches, not only blessing us now but for eternity, and saves us and our lineage in the last day from being burnt as stubble. This is how service and sacrifice are essential in our exaltation as taught by Jesus Christ. And here is the Lord’s promise: “And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.” (Mal. 3:17.) I testify of these things in Jesus’ name. Amen