Actually . . . Don’t even be IN the world if you can help it
Minimize the first, so you can accomplish the latter. Things will transition and eventually we will not have to tolerate being IN the world. In the meantime, there is much we can do to lessen being IN the world. We have two things to accomplish before Zion is created, 1) Being prepared to receive Zion, God doing the gathering, gathering those who are prepared, and 2) Being patient. I do not begrudge some who genuinely feel to quit their jobs, move to a place of refuge, and try to live the law of consecration, I fear that some of this may be “rushing the pass” just a bit, but I do not judge, only warn of being too eager. We ought to let the Lord do His work upon us first, so that we may be qualified . . . eager repentance comes to mind. When we are qualified it will come one of two ways 1) We will be called as a member of the 144,000 missionary force that will go first to be the vanguard. I believe that what is happening now as part of that process–it is part of the Lord’s strange work that will take place largely in a way that will not be noticed by the world, and 2) We are to be sufficiently prepared so that we can be rescued by the angels (144,000) to go to Zion after we have received our Baptism of Fire, which the 144,000 will likely provide, being anointed by the Lord personally (meaning under His hand). Either way will work. Either way requires us to come unto Him and become clean from the blood and sins of this generation. Some will break their hearts in the din of Babylon to prepare the way, others will have their hearts broken for them by the Lord and will come later. I’m kind of wanting to the do the first, but perhaps I’m called to do that, while others will be called to tarry a bit longer.
Even though this is what excites us about Zion, I want to focus on patience in this post, patience as a practical matter. There are things we can do to “break our own hearts” as we patiently wait for instruction from the Lord.
We all have to work to put bread on the table. This is part of living in this dying Telestial world, and it will be so until the world is transfigured to her paradisaical state. What that means is that we need to continue to work, but we may not have to continue either working the same kind or work, or doing it in the same way. There are some challenges that can come from working, some of it in the nature of the work that we do, some of it in the interpersonal dynamics that we are forced to encounter, and some in how we are compensated. I will look at each one individually.
- Nature of the work – What kind of work are you doing? Aside from working in the Adult Entertainment industry, the nature of one’s work is rarely that blatantly Babylonian, but we ought to consider carefully what the fruits of our work are producing. Bad fruits can numb us as we rationalize it, and can actually damage us spiritually. It’s like working for the adversary by day but trying to become a Saint at night. Ask ourselves these questions? Does what we do for work make a customer’s life better at the end of the day? Is the business trade-off value fair? Does it “level” with the final customer or is there a level of dishonesty in it? Does our product largely benefit society or does it drag it down? Does it rely upon products and vendors who achieve through ill-gotten gains? Some of these questions we should ask ourselves, and whether the time is long or short, we ought to carefully pray to the Lord to change our work if we need to in order to remove ourselves from the stains of Babylon. it don’t think this is totally possible–we are way too entwined to do it, but we can minimize it as a personal project. I’d research and find a few ways. Then follow the Lord’s instruction and do it. It may require finding a new type of employment.
- Interpersonal dynamics in the workplace – When we work, we are usually forced to interact with people. We deal with difficult customers, difficult employers or subordinates, and difficult vendors. The stress from such interactions often cause people to sin by becoming angry or anxious, digging a pit, envying, jealousies, and strife, judging, and other such things that will make our necks more stiff, and our hearts hard. The good news with this type of problem is that these very same thing can exalt us if we go about it differently. Perhaps when we have the wrath of someone at work, we use that opportunity to “turn the other cheek” to “give them our cloak as well as our coat.” We pass the test of avoiding gossip. We use this as an opportunity to practice kindness. We do this by deciding that work is less about our own careers, and more about God’s crucible for our own salvation, in many ways, just as it is with the family and the dynamics that come into play there. We accept many of the burdens placed upon us with cheerfulness and willingness, and we cease to place burdens upon others, often taking them also upon ourselves.
- Compensation – Of all the difficult things to do, deciding how we are compensated is probably one of the most difficult. Most Latter-day Saints are taught to get an education insomuch that they are compensated well and can provide for their own needs and the needs of others. On the other hand, can you be compensated TOO well? Do we continually move up for more money or do we ask where the Lord can best use us? Do we charge more than we need? I’m going to pick on the medical industry a bit here, because it’s a good example, but not the only. In a place where people are sick and dying we find the best compensated workers on the planet. Should this be so? We may feel we are providing something for someone that is a benefit to society–and we are. But are we doing it honestly or is there a smidgen of extortion that goes on? How many of us in this industry chose it because of it’s great paying compensation rather than the effect of helping the sick? Let’s go back and ask question one about how it may also drag down society by placing extraordinarily large burdens upon them by how we choose to charge people. A Zion-like attitude would indicate that at whatever level you are in this vast industry, you ought to attempt to minimize the financial burdens you place upon others. This may include taking a lower cut in pay, or charging less for something, even at the expense of what is considered fair-market value for salaries and services. Perhaps we need to lower our own standard of living so that we do not need this extra income to provide for our own excesses. That is one way we can patiently wait to be refined by the Lord to be prepared for Zion. In our so-called services sectors of banking, medical, law, accounting, etc. I believe there is much room for improvement in ceasing the iniquities that occur. The Book of Mormon has some very prescient warnings to these industries in 3 Nephi 6, as well as any who are involved in Priestcrafts. If I was a very-well high-paid minister in a church, or a highly-paid church employee or compensated General Authority, I would take pause and consider what I could do to not waste the “widow’s mite.”
- Work Tips – Here I want to give some tips that can help make your work productive in the Lord.
- Silent Times – Use commutes and work trips to pray and talk with the Lord. They can be very productive as long as we turn off the music, books, and talk radio.
- Bad boss or customer – Pray for them by name every day, learn to love them
- Use breaks wisely – Instead of water cooler talk, how about shutting the door to your office, turning off the lights, and communing with the Lord.
- Manual labor – Find times where you can exert yourself in your employment. Physical work brings us all down the the same level–we strain and notice the limitations of our bodies. Some of the best jobs in the world exalt us precisely because they have no hierarchy. Blue collar labor has some added benefits to finding the Lord that white collar jobs do not have. If you have a blue collar job, use that precious time in repetition with your own thoughts to pray, ponder, and meditate on the things of the Lord.
Leisure and Recreation
When we are not at work, our time is ours for the most part. We need to find the most worthy things to do. Leisure trips, cruises, vacations, camping, may be useful if done with the right spirit, recognizing that funds may be best spend on other more worthy projects such as helping others. Simple leisure vacations may work the best, as they are often less stressful, allow us for time to be close to the Lord, and if camping, allow us some inconveniences that can humble us. I find that staying in nice hotels often makes me feel more privileged and does not help with my refinement. Anything from boating, fishing, cooking, camping, hiking, horse-back riding can be places of quiet contemplation, and if undertaken with the right spirit, CAN be temples dedicated to our God. I would avoid noisy recreation and crowded experiences–these tend to create avenues of comparison–even lust, or experiences that focus our attention on the world, such as rock concerts, motorized ATV trips that disturb your own peace and the peace of others. It’s not that these things are necessarily BAD in and of themselves, but there are better uses of leisure time. Include plenty of time for personal and family solitude.
Some of us have been “meeting oft” to partake of the Lord’s supper. There is no prohibition on how many times we can do this in scripture. This in and of itself can refine us as it focuses us on the Lord. Make them productive. Casual gospel discussions or complaining about other churches get us nowhere. We ought to start with prayer, song, and decided upon a topic of discussion in the scripture. This IS church. You may want to figure out the best days to worship, such as Sabbath days (according to Jewish and lunar calendars) It may not be necessary, but shows an added effort to meet on the Lord’s timetable. Other feast days should be observed as well, for they reflected the signs in the heavens and honor the covenants the Lord made with the Fathers. For a good resource on Israel feast and Sabbath days and how they correlate to our calendar, this is a good resource.
Service time is crucial. It is our charity that will refine us and bring us heaven’s blessings. I find that if I’m stuck in a spiritual rut, if I do charitable service, I’m blessed with the grace of heaven. I would look for efforts to serve in your own fellowship groups, your LDS wards and stakes (even if you’re not attending), praying to find someone who needs a hand up that day–perhaps a beggar you feel called to serve. Some followers have made it a practice to go to places where the homeless congregate and help them, not just give them money, but give them your time, attention, and love. You may be inspired to use the Gifts of the Spirit on their behalf. Do it! If you like to write, ask what He would have you write for the benefit of others. If undertaken with the right spirit, it could become a form of scripture, particularly if you are moved upon by the Holy Ghost. Far from being crazy, we internet bloggers who spend all of our time staring at computers in our pajamas and not doing our home teaching or visiting teaching (which we SHOULD still do), blogging can be an incredible source of assistance to others. In days of old we would stand out on street-corners and cry repentance. These days, the lions’ share of that crying out comes through social media and blogging. Do it! Missionary work is different among the remnant. It’s less intrusive than LDS missionary work. It’s quiet, unassuming, and requires a level of discernment to know if someone is ready. Pray to find someone who is ready to hear more and whose heart is softened and will have faith to go past the boxes they have been placed in by their church leaders and the arms of flesh. Then Do it!
Time is Short
I really do believe time is short. I find no value in watching television or movies, or wasting time. I think that we are months away from critical tribulations that will try us all. Even if it’s not the big one, tribulations of this sort tend to happen every 70 years in America, and we are overdo. So whether it’s the natural business cycle of depression, collapse, and war, or whether it’s something larger, it WILL happen, and happen soon. There isn’t a moment left to waste. We can use the crisis to refine us or we can run and hide. Food storage and emergency preparation may be helpful, as it may keep us alive, but it will not refine us. Spiritual preparation is paramount!