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The true prophets of our day are not popular with the people at large, as their teachings require a mighty change of heart and a tangible adjustment to our behavior and lifestyle.
Samuel the Lamanite accused the wicked inhabitants of Zarahemla of choosing their prophets according to their permissiveness, not their truthfulness. They sought spiritual leaders who made accommodations for their sinful lifestyles, but rejected those that informed them of their iniquities and their need to repent. Heavenly Father’s children often have “itching ears,” seeking leaders that tell them what they want to hear, not what they need to hear.
26 Behold ye are worse than they; for as the Lord liveth, if a prophet come among you and declareth unto you the word of the Lord, which testifieth of your sins and iniquities, ye are angry with him, and cast him out and seek all manner of ways to destroy him; yea, you will say that he is a false prophet, and that he is a sinner, and of the devil, because he testifieth that your deeds are evil.
27 But behold, if a man shall come among you and shall say: Do this, and there is no iniquity; do that and ye shall not suffer; yea, he will say: Walk after the pride of your own hearts; yea, walk after the pride of your eyes, and do whatsoever your heart desireth— and if a man shall come among you and say this, ye will receive him, and say that he is a prophet.
We see a similar phenomenon in modern-day America. Some spir- itual leaders preach that God loves us just as we are, that we have no reason to change, and that we simply need to accept Jesus Christ as our Savior and we will be saved in the kingdom of heaven.
While it is true that God does love all of His children, He will not save them in their sins. “And remember also the words which Amulek spake unto Zeezrom, in the city of Ammonihah; for he said unto him that the Lord surely should come to redeem his people, but that he should not come to redeem them in their sins, but to redeem them from their sins. And he hath power given unto him from the Father to redeem them from their sins because of repentance” (Helaman 5:10–11). He will save us from our sins if we come to Him with full purpose of heart, obey His commandments, repent of our sins, and endure to the end in faithfulness to Jesus Christ.
The true prophets of our day are not popular with the people at large, as their teachings require a mighty change of heart and a tangible adjustment to our behavior and lifestyle. The Lord requires us to do all that we can within our power to qualify for the redeeming and enabling power of His atonement. The prophet Moroni taught, “Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind, and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ” (Moroni 10:32). God’s grace will save and exalt us after we have met His conditions of obedience and repentance. He does not expect perfection from us in this life, but He does expect our best efforts.
While the Lord is willing to meet us wherever we are in our mortal journey, He does not want us to stay where we are—with His divine help He expects us to make positive changes in our lives which will move us forward and closer to Him. In the words of Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, “‘Come as you are,’ a loving Father says to each of us, but He adds, ‘Don’t plan to stay as you are.’ We smile and remember that God is determined to make of us more than we thought we could be.”1 Ultimately, our Savior descended below all things to enable each of us to ascend above all things.
The following was taken from the book The Coming of Christ, by Brad Brase, currently on sale at cedarfort.com.