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

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.
(Ether 8:24)

God wants us to have faith, but He also wants us to have an accurate perception of the problems we face.

In the passage above, after describing a secret organization among the Jaredite civilization which hid crimes and subverted justice, Moroni warns us to watch for similar dangers in our day. Speaking to his modern readers, he says, “The Lord commandeth you, when ye shall see these things come among you that ye shall awake to a sense of your awful situation.”

On at least two occasions, President Boyd K. Packer quoted this passage as a reminder that we should be aware of the dangers around us. But on both occasions, he also reminded us not to let those dangers intimidate and immobilize us. For example, after quoting this passage along with 2 Timothy 3:1–5, he said:

The descriptions Paul and Moroni give of our day are so accurate that they cannot be dismissed. For many it may be quite disturbing, even discouraging. Nevertheless, when I think of the future, I am overwhelmed with feelings of positive optimism (“The Key to Spiritual Protection,” General Conference, October 2013).

We can be both realistic and optimistic. Our faith in God can be strong enough that we are able to face our challenges with unflinching honesty.

Today, I will heed Moroni’s call. I will strive to be vigilant and unbiased in evaluating the challenges I face and to be candid in discussing them with others. I will do this because I have confidence that, with God’s help, I can overcome them.

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