Everywhere we look lately, it seems that we can find trouble and destruction. The times we live in were prophesied of long ago. We are seeing earthquakes, hurricanes, great upheavals of nature, fires and smoke, wars and rumors of wars, divisions, wonders in the heavens and earth. Before we look for a gigantic rock to hide under, remember that these things must occur as part of the plan in the latter days. As I thought about these signs we are witnessing throughout the world, I asked the Lord what message He was trying to share with us and He answered. I found the message as I read in the Book of Mormon just after the destruction of the wicked on the American continent prior to His coming there.
3 Nephi 9: 5 says “And again, how oft would I have gathered you as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, yea, O ye people of the house of Israel, who have fallen; yea, O ye people of the house of Israel, ye that dwell at Jerusalem, as ye that have fallen; yea, how oft would I have gathered you as a hen gathereth her chickens, and ye would not.
6 O ye house of Israel whom I have spared, how oft will I gather you as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, if ye will repent and return unto me with full purpose of heart.”
As I read, I felt the sorrow He felt when so many people rejected His counsel. I felt the love He felt for those whose hearts were turned toward Him. We are no different in our day. He is working to prepare His disciples to receive Him. The things we are currently witnessing are an invitation for all of us to “repent and return unto Him with full purpose of heart” that we can be “gathered” safely under His wing.
How can we return to Him with full purpose of heart? We can choose to trust in His promises and be obedient.
Elder L Tom Perry said “Too often we think of obedience as the passive and thoughtless following of the orders or dictates of a higher authority. Actually, at its best, obedience is an emblem of our faith in the wisdom and power of the highest authority, even God. When Abraham demonstrated his unwavering faithfulness and obedience to God, even when commanded to sacrifice his son, God rescued him. Similarly, when we demonstrate our faithfulness through obedience, God will ultimately rescue us.”1
Our family was in central Florida just a few days ago and we realized we were going to have to cut our visit short due to Hurricane Irma’s approach. My husband and I had planned on joining the millions of others evacuating the state on Friday morning after breakfast. Shortly after 1 AM, I was awoken by a phone call with no one on the other end. I felt the Lord’s message that we needed to leave immediately. Choosing to listen to His instruction blessed us immensely. What should have taken us eight hours to arrive home took more than sixteen. We were able to find fuel and avoid much of the thicker traffic. There were many accidents on the road out but because we listened to the Lord, we knew He was watching over us and protecting our family. That knowledge gave us great peace in a situation where many people were feeling despair and panic.
John 14:27 says “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” Peace is available in times of trouble through the Lord Jesus Christ. As we return unto Him with full purpose of heart, we will be able to look to Him with confidence and be able to call upon Him for help because of our faithful obedience. Peace is possible now.