Ezekiel's words in the Old Testament can be both chilling and inspiring. And by the time we get to chapter 33, if feeling the Spirit, we can be most roused to get up and get busy living the gospel!
The beginning of chapter 33 in Ezekiel tells us how. In verses 1-6 we read:
Again the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,
Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman:
If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people;
Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head.
He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul.
But if the watchman see the sword coming, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand.
So I ask, in which regards are we - as Latter-day Saints - to be watchmen for the Lord?
President Hinckley as been given specific "watchman" responsibilities as the voice of the Lord to the whole church. The members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles have been given significantly specific responsibilities from the Lord to the whole church.
The other General Authorities have their assignments for their particular portion of the gospel field, just as the local Stake and Ward leaders have. That leaves you and me and our families. We too have specific assignments from the Lord to work in His vineyard.
What are your responsibilities and assignments? I would assume you know of some now, others may come to you in the future. But each of us best be getting busy living to those assignments as best we can - so that we have discharged our duties and warned those we love to the best of our ability.
To some is given a family. Those responsibilties take precedent over any others. To those who are citizens of the United States, the First Presidencies of different eras in the church have told us we have a responsibility to study our Constitution and to defend it against threats, symbolic "swords" if you will.
Even the Prophet Joseph Smith spoke to the need for the latter-day members to defend that sacred document. If there are threats to it, we need to speak up and warn against the "swords", both symbolic and real, that would threaten it and the freedoms it represents.
Whatever our God-given responsibilities, both spiritual and temporal, I testify that as we live to them, the Lord will be on our side. We will not need to live the devastations Ezekiel warned of. And we will bring joy to Him who gave all so that we might be free - both spiritually and physically.
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