In a day when searching and understanding the scriptures and prophecies of our day becomes a life-or-death issue—when the times become such that it is all men can do to separate the truth from an ever mounting onslaught of falsehoods—why are people still ensconced in worldly pastimes and trust in human institutions as sources of truth, and don’t believe the scriptures?
Those who assume of the times we now live in that “things will revert back to normal” will lament that they didn’t “awake from a deep sleep, yea, even from the sleep of hell, and shake off the awful chains by which ye are bound, which are the chains which bind the children of men, that they are carried away captive down to the eternal gulf of misery and woe” (2 Nephi 1:13).
Yet, like Laman and Lemuel, they continue to voice today’s equivalent of “We know that the people who were in the land of Jerusalem were a righteous people; for they kept the statutes and judgments of the Lord, and all his commandments, according to the law of Moses; wherefore, we know that they are a righteous people; and our father hath judged them” (1 Nephi 17:22).
In the very hour of God’s judgments coming upon his people for their wickedness, causing him to warn Lehi to leave Jerusalem, we find today’s equivalent of these two sons’ protesting that we have judged them, when, in truth, it is the scriptures that do so which were spoken by prophets who saw our day. And such will sadly remain their mantra until the times overtake them.
There comes a point in people’s spiritual progression or regression, in other words, that they are of either of one mind or another. Either God’s truth is in them sufficiently so that they gladly receive further light and knowledge, or they object to the truth if it is told them. In the end, when they realize they can’t prevail against the light, they resort to persecution of its messengers.
Those seeking to bring forth the kingdom of God, on the other hand, gain in strength precisely because God is bound to empower them over evil when they fulfill their covenantal obligations. Isaiah portrays both their descent phase through trials and tribulation as they prove loyal to him, and their ascent phase to kingship and everlasting glory in the millennial age and beyond.