Awake to a Sense of Your Awful Situation – Ether 8:24-25

24 Wherefore, the Lord commandeth you, when ye shall see these things come among you that ye shall awake to a sense of your awful situation, because of this secret combination which shall be among you; or wo be unto it, because of the blood of them who have been slain; for they cry from the dust for vengeance upon it, and also upon those who built it up.
25 For it cometh to pass that whoso buildeth it up seeketh to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations, and countries; and it bringeth to pass the destruction of all people, for it is built up by the devil, who is the father of all lies; even that same liar who beguiled our first parents, yea, even that same liar who hath caused man to commit murder from the beginning; who hath hardened the hearts of men that they have murdered the prophets, and stoned them, and cast them out from the beginning.
(Ether 8:24-25)

After describing the emergence of secret combinations among the Jaredites, Moroni issues a warning to us: When we begin to see these same types of groups forming among us, we need to be aware of the danger we face, and we need to take it seriously.

Disciples of Jesus Christ are optimists, but they are also realists. Jesus commanded his disciples to be harmless as doves but wise as serpents (Matthew 10:16). To have faith and hope is to believe that God can help you overcome every challenge; it is not to pretend there are no challenges.

President Russell M. Nelson demonstrated these dual attributes of hope and discernment in the most recent general conference of the Church:

I am optimistic about the future. It will be filled with opportunities for each of us to progress, contribute, and take the gospel to every corner of the earth. But I am also not naive about the days ahead. We live in a world that is complex and increasingly contentious. The constant availability of social media and a 24-hour news cycle bombard us with relentless messages. If we are to have any hope of sifting through the myriad of voices and the philosophies of men that attack truth, we must learn to receive revelation.
Our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ, will perform some of His mightiest works between now and when He comes again. We will see miraculous indications that God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, preside over this Church in majesty and glory. But in coming days, it will not be possible to survive spiritually without the guiding, directing, comforting, and constant influence of the Holy Ghost (“Revelation for the Church, Revelation for Our Lives,” General Conference, April 2018).

Today, I will be a hopeful realist. I will strive to see clearly the risks and pitfalls I face and to make wise decisions with faith in God. I will avoid being immobilized by discouragement, but I will also avoid an unrealistic sense of security based on a distorted perception of reality. I will strive to see “things as they really are” (Jacob 4:13) and to deal with them appropriately, with God’s help.

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2 Responses to Awake to a Sense of Your Awful Situation – Ether 8:24-25

  1. Pingback: Lessons from Chapters About Government in the Book of Mormon | Book of Mormon Study Notes

  2. Pingback: Awake to a Sense of Your Awful Situation – Ether 8:24 | Book of Mormon Study Notes

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