The LDS church has 4 missions: proclaim the gospel, redeem the dead, perfect the saints, and care for the poor and needy. These describe processes. I think they are components that lead to an objective: the establishment of Zion. I call this the Fifth Mission.
Establishing Zion gives focus and purpose to the first four missions. Hence, Joseph Smith said, "We ought to have the building up of Zion as our greatest object."
This blog explores ways to do that.
The Fifth Mission
Tuesday, February 28, 2017
knowledge “that [had] not been revealed since the world was"
Elder Neil Anderson of the 12 gave a wonderful talk at BYU-Idaho about the impact of the Restoration.
Here is a long excerpt:
The year 2017 is now upon us. Your days, these days in which you live are some of the most amazing that this world has ever seen. The appearance of the Father and the Son to the Prophet Joseph Smith in the Sacred Grove in 1820 brought the Restoration of the gospel and the dispensation of the fulness of times. You know why you are here and what the Lord expects of you. You have the gift of the Holy Ghost, and the priesthood of God is upon the earth. The Lord indicated to the Prophet Joseph Smith that it would not be just a time of spiritual revelations but also a time of understanding and progress in all areas. The Lord promised knowledge “that [had] not been revealed since the world was.”44.Doctrine and Covenants 121:26.
The appearance of the Father and the Son to the Prophet Joseph Smith in the Sacred Grove in 1820 brought the Restoration of the gospel and the dispensation of the fulness of times.
These wonders would include remarkable achievements in science, medicine, manufacturing, transportation, and communication.
William J. Bernstein, a noted financial theorist and neurologist by training (not a member of the Church), wrote about what he saw in the world’s economic history: “When we look at the [facts], it becomes crystal clear that something happened … in the early nineteenth century. … [Up] until approximately 1820, per capita world economic growth [the single best way of measuring human material progress] registered near zero. … Then, not long after 1820, prosperity began flowing in an ever-increasing torrent; with each successive generation, the life of the [child] became observably more comfortable, informed, and predictable than that of the father.”55. William J. Bernstein, The Birth of Plenty: How the Prosperity of the Modern World Was Created (2004), 3–4.
I hold in my hand an example of the amazing blessing of technology—my iPhone. This small device is a mobile phone, a planner, a GPS, and a digital camera. It includes videoconferencing, books and newspapers, a video and music player, and so much more. There are apps for banking, word processing, social media, video games, and a thousand other purposes. Just the other day I was skiing with my son-in-law. As we started up the chairlift for the last run of the day, he said to me, “Dad, I’m going to go ahead and warm up the car.” He pulled out his iPhone, and with the touch of his finger, his car more than a mile away started its heater, melted the snow off its windows, and prepared itself for our travel home.
Elder Neil L. Andersen holds up his cell phone during his address to BYU-Idaho students February 14.
Advances in science, medicine, manufacturing, transportation, and communication will continue throughout your lifetime. There will be variety in entertainment and innovation never imagined. These are your days, and it’s a beautiful time to be alive.
However, in this time of prosperity and advancement, there are also real challenges. You live in a world that is sometimes divisive and contentious. Information is everywhere, and with it, a host of enticing voices attempts to pull you one way and then another. There is confusion and commotion, with many moving away from God and His commandments and away from the Savior. Think about these U.S. statistics:
Believe in God: my generation—81 percent; your generation—64 percent6
6. See “Americans’ Belief in God, Miracles and Heaven Declines,” Dec. 16, 2013, theharrispoll.com. Information is based on surveys of approximately 2,200 adults in the United States.
Believe Jesus is God or the Son of God: my generation—74 percent; your generation—58 percent
Believe in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ: my generation—72 percent; your generation—55 percent
You hear and read on your mobile devices the exact words of those who shot the arrows at Samuel: “It is not reasonable that such a being as a Christ shall come”7—or that an angel would deliver the Book of Mormon to the Prophet Joseph.
Your days are a time of sifting in the Church. It will be very important for your eternal welfare that, as the Apostle Paul said, you are grounded, rooted, established, and settled in spiritual things.9
There are great privileges, possibilities, and opportunities in this wonderful time of life. I admire you and respect you for your worthiness and preparations in being here at BYU–Idaho.
Be wise in what you are learning. In today’s environment, you need to know how to think, adjust, and mold yourself to a changing world. Be disciplined in planning your courses to ensure a timely graduation. Whether you are a young man or a young woman, you should be sharpening your professional skills, strengthening your ability to work on a team, exercising your mind so it is adept at many subjects, disciplining your commitment to work, and fortifying your character so you can be trusted with responsibility. I would advise my own sons and daughters to prepare professionally. Women in this audience may be in a position to choose to use your unlimited intelligence, talents, and capacities full-time in strengthening your own children in your home, but in the event that is not your situation, you need to prepare to compete in the world should it be necessary.
Even more important than your professional preparation is your spiritual preparation: prayer; the word of God; the importance of honesty, purity, and faith.
As you seek to be grounded and settled, I repeat the advice given to you just one month ago by President Russell M. Nelson in his worldwide devotional for young adults. You will remember when he said this:
“How can you increase in your discipleship? I have an invitation for you that will help—it’s an assignment, actually—if you choose to accept it. Commence tonight to consecrate a portion of your time each week to studying everything Jesus said and did. …
“This may seem like a large assignment, but I encourage you to accept it.” Now, listen to his promise. President Nelson continues: “If you proceed to learn all you can about Jesus Christ, I promise you that your love for Him, and for God’s laws, will grow beyond what you currently imagine. I promise you also that your ability to turn away from sin will increase. Your desire to keep the commandments will soar. You will find yourself better able to walk away from the entertainment and entanglements of those who mock the followers of Jesus Christ.”10
I add my witness to this counsel and promise given to you by the President of the Quorum of the Twelve—a man whom we sustain as a prophet, seer, and revelator. Follow his counsel and you will see the realization of the blessings he promised you.
The journey ahead will be a joyful journey if you will ground yourself spiritually and be diligent in your professional preparations. Oh, there will be challenges, but there will be tremendous happiness and beautiful satisfactions. There is no better time, no better place, no better conditions to live out your mortality than now.
I realize that you come from many countries and many different situations. What I have said applies to all here today.