Saturday, December 3, 2011

Back to the Basics

Today I read 1 Thessalonians 4 where Paul spends quite a bit of time talking about the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. I have often wondered if when Prophets and Apostles talk about the Second Coming and future events if they have seen them in vision or are they just passing along what God has communicated to them through the Spirit? I know John the Beloved saw all the things in vision that he wrote down in what we call the book of Revelation. Likewise Isaiah saw most of the things he wrote down in vision we are told. But when Paul is talking about the Second Coming he states it with such conviction that it makes me wonder if he has seen it in vision.

Paul also talks in this chapter about how we should behave and how God wants us to avoid fornication and unclean acts. This is all things we have read about several times in the scriptures already over the past 2 years and there is not much else to say on the subject as Paul just gives it a cursory mention before moving on to the Second Coming. Paul spends a lot of time talking to the Saints in Thessalonia about the Latter-days and about the Second Coming. I have often wondered why that is. A good speaker, writer, singer or whatever else you might imagine, tailors their message/performance to his/her audience. And so I wonder why Paul spends time talking to them about the Second Coming and last days. Did they have questions about when the last days would be and when Jesus would come again?

I went through a phase, as most Latter-day Saints, and probably other Christian religions too, often do where I studied quite a bit about the Second Coming and what would happen and what I could do to prepare myself. But I found in all my studies that I am never going to know when it is going to come and quite frankly even if I did, it would do me no good. As I have stated in the past, the Final Judgement is not so much a judgement as it is a detailed analysis of who we are and what we have become. There is no death bed repentance. No final confession that will absolve us of our sins. So knowing when the Second Coming is going to happen is pointless. We need to instead focus on the basics and what we can do to become better men and women. That is going to be far more beneficial to us than knowing the precise hour the Savior will come again. Because if we are living a good and righteous life, He can come in the next minute or the next 10 years and it won't change anything. We will still be prepared.

That is why in General Conference more often than not, the Prophet and Apostles all talk about the basics and repeat what we have heard hundreds of times before. Because that is what we need to know in order to be prepared. That is what is going to help us more than knowing the nitty gritty details of the Second Coming. If we focus on one thread at a time, we will weave the whole tapestry before we know it and will not be discouraged at how far we have yet to go. Take it one day at a time. Be the best man/woman you can be today. That is what you can control and that is what is going to make the most difference in your life. That will help you more than anything. Until tomorrow.

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