The Times in Which We Live

Dear Will:

I have had a lingering sense of unease caused by the disaster of September 11 and its aftermath.  It’s not as if I feel immediately threatened (Orange isn’t exactly a hotbed of commerce or political activity); but it is certainly apparent that safety and security is something over which I ultimately have very little control.  That’s not easy to accept when you are the father of small children.  So I ask myself: How do I achieve any kind of peace-of-mind in this new world of ours?  It’s an important question.

I recently discovered a passage of scripture that seems to answer that question.  And the answer is this: If I want to be protected from the evil forces which now swirl around us, I must follow the counsel of the living prophet:

Wherefore, . . . thou shalt give heed unto all [the prophet’s] words and commandments which he shall give unto you as he receiveth them, walking in all holiness before me;
For his word ye shall receive, as if from mine own mouth, in all patience and faith.
For by doing these things the gates of hell shall not prevail against you; yea, and the Lord God will disperse the powers of darkness from before you, and cause the heavens to shake for your good, and his name’s glory. (Doctrine & Covenants 21:4-6)

That’s a pretty powerful promise, but if you’re anything like me, doing as you’re told is not always as easy as it should be.  I tend to be somewhat selective in what I will and will not do, and unfortunately that passage doesn’t seem to give me a lot of wiggle room: “as if from mine own mouth” seems to suggest that I’m not going to get away with much if I decide I know better than the prophet of God.

Now I realize that you may not consider Gordon B. Hinckley to be the Lord’s living oracle, but consider this: Do we need the help of a prophet any less than they did anciently?  Can’t we make the case that we need a prophet today more than ever?  I know I do.

In any case, I felt like I should share President Hinckley’s comments concerning “The Times in Which We Live,” delivered last month during a General Conference of the Church.  (You’ll find it here.) Ironically, his talk coincided with the commencement of the current military campaign in Afghanistan.  I hope you’ll take a few minutes to review his counsel and that it may redound to your benefit.

I pray that the blessings outlined in the verse above may become a reality for you and your family.

PW

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