Friday, June 14, 2013

2012 in Review

The following are adapted excerpts from an address given in a voice of warning by President De Visser at a Stake Conference General Session on February 3, 2013. His thoughts and message struck a chord with me and I thought it was worth sharing.
Another year has come and gone, but not just any year -- it was the year 2012. A year about which much was speculated, predicted, and some would even argue prophesied. And while the most discussed prediction or prophecy -- that of the Mayans concerning the end of the world -- did not come to pass, I feel and believe that 2012 will still prove to be one of the more significant years in our life time.

Let's take a moment and look back at a few things that happened in 2012:
  • Gaza fired missiles on Jerusalem causing heightened unrest in the Middle East
  • The Director of the CIA, a man considered to be of the highest moral integrity, resigned due to improprieties and adultery
  • The UN Ambassador was instructed by the White House to cover up what happened in Libya, attempting to minimize the deaths of four Americans who were murdered
  • There was an attempt to raise taxes during the worst economic times since the great depression
  • Hurricane Sandy, called the "perfect storm" hit the east coast causing great devastation
  • Iran became closer to a nuclear weapon
  • The use of marijuana was legalized in Washington and Colorado
  • Some states legalized same sex marriage
  • 23 states began a petition to secede from the nation
  • Russia strengthened its coalitions with North Korea and Iran
  • Forces aligned to stop school prayer, but allowed the handing out of birth control
  • The government used tax dollars to fund abortions
  • Examples of violence, gambling, drug misuse, and infidelity were more prevalent than ever
  • Hollywood promoted parenthood without marriage
  • Education scores of our youth plummeted to their lowest levels ever
  • And finally, we were brought to the edge of the fiscal cliff
Never in my life have I witnessed a more stark difference between good and evil than I did in 2012. Never has there been a greater moral, economic, or political decline in society, than there was in 2012 and over the last few years. These climates combined, were as bad in 2012 as they have ever been in the history of the world.
For their laws and their governments were established by the voice of the people, and they who chose evil were more numerous than they who chose good, therefore they were ripening with destruction, for the laws has become corrupted. (Helaman 5:2)
In 2012 the voice of the people spoke loudly and clearly as it chose:
  • Socialism over capitalism
  • Entitlements over free enterprise
  • Redistribution and regulation over self reliance
In 1976 while serving as a President of the Seventy, Neal A. Maxwell said:
I fear that as conditions worsen, many will react to the failures of too much government by calling for even more government. Then there will be more and more lifeboats launched, because fewer and fewer citizens know how to swim. Unlike some pendulums, political pendulums do not swing back automatically; they must be pushed. History is full of instances when people have waited in vain for pendulums to swing back.
In 1966 while serving as an apostle, Howard W. Hunter said:
The government will take from the "haves" and give to the "have nots". [When this happens] Both have lost their freedom. Those who "have", lost their freedom to give voluntarily of their own free will and in the way they desire. Those who "have not", lost their freedom because they did not earn what they received. They got "something for nothing", and they will neither appreciate the gift nor the giver of the gift.
From the scriptures:
This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, truce breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God. (2 Timothy 3:1-4)
President Boyd K. Packer said:
The world is spiraling downward at an ever quickening pace. I am sorry to tell you that it will not get better. I know of nothing in the history of the Church, or in the history of the world to compare with our present circumstances. Nothing happened in Sodom and Gomorrah which exceeds in wickedness and depravity that which surrounds us now. Words of profanity, vulgarity, and blasphemy are heard everywhere. Unspeakable wickedness and perversion were once hidden in dark places; now they are in the open, and even accorded legal protection. At Sodom and Gomorrah these things were localized. Now, they are spread across the world, and they are among us.
In the end, the only things that will matter will be our personal worthiness and our relationships, especially the one we have with the Savior. As difficult as it may be to embrace, it is simply God's plan. The moral, economic, and political conditions of the world will not, overall, get better. You and I were held back for this special time to prepare the earth for the return of the Savior. I believe many within the sound of my voice will be part of, and witnesses to, all of the events that will transpire prior to the return of the Savior.

Heber C. Kimball said:
The time is coming when we will be mixed up in these now peaceful valleys to the extent that it will be difficult to tell the face of a Saint from the face of an enemy to the people of God. Then, brothers and sisters, look out for the great sieve, for there will be a great sifting time, and many will fall; for I say unto you there is a test, a TEST, a TEST is coming, and who will be able to stand?
This church and each member of it has before it many close places through which it will have to pass before the work of God is crowned with victory. To meet the difficulties that are coming, it will be necessary for you to be temporally and spiritually prepared, and have a knowledge of the truth of this work for yourselves. The difficulties will be of such a character that the man or woman who does not possess these things will fall."
Brothers and sisters, the test has come. It is now upon us. No man or woman will be able to endure what is happening now, or what is ahead, if we are not temporally and spiritually prepared. If you are not, you will not stand.
I hope we're all ready. If we're not, "now is the time to prepare to meet God."

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