In Luke 21:26 we read of the results of our time on the general population:
Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.
Yet we need not fear, if we are living our lives based on the pattern that Jesus Christ laid out for us. His was a perfect life and a life that demonstrated that peace can replace what most people carry in their hearts - that of fear. He teaches us how to achieve this level of peace throughout the many pages of the scriptures.
But the verse that particularly stands out in my mind is found in Luke 21:34-36, just a few verses down from the "failing hearts" verse. In these simple words, the Lord teaches us how to avoid the snares so many will fall into:
And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.
For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.
Watch therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.
Christ has given us simple, yet important instruction to avoid the snare which is to come. Those instructions are:
- Take Heed
- Pray Always
- Be Accounted Worthy
When we follow these simple steps, we will be found doing the following:
We will be taking heed, meaning that we will be listening to the counsel given from God - whether through the scriptures or from His servants.
We will be watching, noticing the events happening around us. We won't watch to panic, but rather to notice the evolution of events. When we see prophesy coming to pass, this can actually reassure us to know that the Lord's prophets knew of this long ago and that God is the one in charge. An excellent scripture about watching is found in Mosiah 4. See if you can find it. Record your thoughts in your journal on its meaning to you and personal application points.
We will be praying always. An excellent scripture about praying always is in D&C 10. See if you can find it. Ponder on its implications. Record those thoughts in your journal, to strengthen you for future times.
We will live to be accounted worthy...in every choice possible. And when we make mistakes, we will repent carefully and immediately, seeking the help we need from our ecclesiastical leaders. Nothing would be worse than procrastinating our day of repentance and not being ready for the Lord.
By taking heed, watching carefully, praying always, and living to be accounted worthy, peace can come to our souls.
Personally and on some days, I also need the added measure of the scriptures. I can't tell you how many times I've need to go to my scriptures for re-strengthening.
I'm so grateful to my Father in Heaven and to the Savior for wisely mapping all this out for us. Now it is up to us to simply folllow their profound advice. When we do, we will come to know the peace Christ preached and lived.
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