There are those who say in all sincerity of heart, “I will do anything God asks me to do” and then wait for God to tell them what to do. There are others who say, “The gospel has been restored, and all we need to do is follow the prophet.” Yet others say they look forward to being translated like the prophets of old, and they assume they have it coming because they are earnestly praying for it. Then there are those who assume nothing but are earnestly laboring in doing many things of their own accord that truly build the kingdom of God no matter the cost to themselves.
Additionally, there are those receive CEO salaries, fellowships, research grants, sabbaticals, etc., whose standing in the community makes them the acknowledged voices of truth. Many who recognize them as such enthusiastically partake of their inspirational talks and academic learning without seeing a need to do their own research, penetrate the scriptures’ deeper meanings, and receive their own inspiration. When has God manifested his divine power in a person or revealed greater light and knowledge except in instances where his servants have paid an exacting price?
If ever the Lord’s end-time servants are going to “rend the veil of unbelief”—as so it is rightly called (Ether 4:15)—and see the Lord and the end from the beginning as the brother of Jared saw (Ether 3:25–27; 4:7), it will be because they have done the kinds of works the brother of Jared did. It will be because, like him, they humbled themselves, repented of their iniquities, became “highly favored of the Lord,” became sanctified in him, called “upon the name of the Lord for his brethren who were with him,” and believed and acted on faith at all times (Ether 1:34; 2:15; 4:6–7).
When such souls have gained “power with God and with men” to accomplish his will for them (Genesis 32:28), they will inevitably raise the ire of the establishment within which they arise—the well-heeled entitled class that sees them as upstarts: “Your brethren who abhor you, and exclude you because of my name, say, Let Jehovah manifest his glory, that we may see cause for your joy!” (Isaiah 66:5). It is the very opposition they suffer from those who “deny these things,” who themselves are “show[n] no greater things” (Ether 4:8), that pays the price of their success.
Such are the spiritual dynamics underlying the processes through which God’s plan for the house of Israel’s end-time restoration is implemented that sees the Gentiles’ rejection of the gospel and it’s turning back to its rightful heirs. When the first shall be last and the last shall be first (Matthew 19:30), it will not be through the privileged class: “First, the rich and the learned, the wise and the noble; and after that cometh the day of my power; then shall the poor, the lame, and the blind, and the deaf, come in unto the marriage of the Lamb” (Doctrine & Covenants 58:10–11).
These poor, lame, blind, and deaf, however, are gathered by those servants who have offered their all in sacrifice and thereby obtained the faith necessary to perform their task: “Let us here observe that a religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things, never has power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation” (Lectures on Faith, 6:7); “Then said he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage” (Matthew 22:8–9).