Jacob Householder

Things that Matter to Me

Category: Religion

The "Decreed End of All Nations"…?

Last Days Prophecy

When I teach about prophecy of the last days, I have learned to take a very optimistic perspective. I believe in the "Jonah Principle," the idea that some prophecy is very conditional and its purpose is to cause us to change our behavior so that the prophecy actually doesn’t come true.  It’s a pretty interesting thing to contemplate, that a certain prophecy only exists to motivate us to do the things that will change our trajectory so the prophecy doesn’t need to happen. Click here to read more about the Jonah Principle.

I teach that the Constitution is inspired, that God gave us our form of government and that when we finally learn how to practice it the way He intended, other nations will become convinced of the grandeur of our form of government "and be constrained to adopt similar governmental systems, thus to fulfill the ancient prophecy of Isaiah that ‘out of Zion shall go forth the law and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem'" (Idaho Falls Temple Dedicatory Prayer).

Members of the Church often protest and say that our government is doomed and that the Constitution will not spread around the globe because the Doctrine & Covenants prophesies of "a full end of all nations."

D&C 87:6

And thus, with the sword and by bloodshed the inhabitants of the earth shall mourn; and with famine, and plague, and earthquake, and the thunder of heaven, and the fierce and vivid lightning also, shall the inhabitants of the earth be made to feel the wrath, and indignation, and chastening hand of an Almighty God, until the consumption decreed hath made a full end of all nations;

This scripture seems to conflict with statements and prophecies I have read elsewhere, so I decided to look up the scripture in the Citation Index. Here is an incredible talk I found discussing this very scripture:

Marion G. Romney

God Has Revealed the Remedy

And so, pursuant to this charge, we do declare that more than a century ago God our Eternal Father, knowing where the course of men was leading, opened the heavens and gave warning. He not only confirmed the drift; he pointed out the reason for it. He revealed also the remedy for it. He further predicted the awful consequences of a failure to follow that remedy.

And finally, he gave assurance that righteousness, peace, and happiness will ultimately prevail among the inhabitants of the earth.
… (D&C 87:1-2,6)…

That the Lord’s purpose in revealing these unhappy impending calamities was not to condemn but to save mankind is evidenced by the fact that with the warning he identified the cause and revealed the means by which the calamities may be turned aside.

… To me the foregoing statements clearly reveal the fact that if men do not humble themselves and cease relying solely upon their own wisdom, if they do not turn and seek the Lord to establish his righteousness, they will implement the "decreed . . . end of all nations.”

Backwardness Can Be Reversed

If enough people will accept and live it, the troubles of the world will fade away as the hoarfrost before the burning rays of the rising sun. Our going forward backwards will be reversed, and the anxieties of our "affluent society" will diminish and cease.

Otherwise, a Desolating Scourge

And what if enough people do not accept the remedy? Well, in such event the inhabitants of the earth will suffer the consequences of their disobedience

…Our choice, then, is clear. Men, in the exercise of their God-given free agency, will make—in fact, they are now making day by day—the decision.

Such, in brief and inadequate outline, is the message which we, the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, are under divine charge to declare to the world. For as the Lord told his prophets in dispensations past, so he told his modern Prophet, Joseph Smith, that the revelations which had been given to him were not for the sake of himself and his associates only, but were for the sake of the whole world.

…In conclusion, let me say that the message we declare includes the glorious assurance that in the end righteousness, peace, and happiness will come to the inhabitants of the earth. Whether after the destruction foreshadowed or as a result of repentance, men return to his ordinances, abide by his everlasting covenant, and "seek the Lord to establish his righteousness" D&C 1:16 remains to be seen.

(The Way to Peace Revealed, General Conference, April 1965)

In other words, this is in fact a conditional prophecy subject to the Jonah Principle. It doesn’t have to happen the way the scripture describes. We get to make that choice. Now, we could argue about which way it is more likely to go based on current trends, but that is largely speculative and subjective and based purely on individual conjecture.

I propose we don’t lose by default by assuming we will travel the absolute worst possible road and therefore giving up on our own potential. Let’s beat the odds and reverse the tide. Let’s use our agency to make the decision to not need apocalyptic destruction to motivate us to finally repent.

Keep an eye out for my coming posts called "Conditional vs Absolute Prophecy" and "This Nation Shall Endure."

The Political Kingdom of God

[This essay is not yet finished, but it will likely be an ongoing project for many more weeks. Enjoy what is available so far!]


I’m writing this article in an attempt to clear up a prominent misunderstanding regarding the kingdom of God seen in dream by King Nebuchadnezzar and in vision by the young prophet Daniel (see Daniel 2).  Verses 44 and 45 report:

44 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.

45 Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.

It seems that the interpretation of this dream is falsely interpreted by a vast majority of the members of my Church. A correct understanding of this dream really matters because it affects how we prepare for the return of Jesus Christ and his Millennium of peace. I will use scriptures and statements made by church authorities to illuminate the truth of this "kingdom of God." Continue reading

Free Agency vs. Moral Agency

I often find myself in conversations with people who advocate against legislating morality in an attempt to "preserve the agency" of others. They say, "I would never ________, but it’s not my place to make it illegal for others to do it. We should preserve their agency and let them choose on their own whether to indulge in those acts." I understand the logic of the argument, but through my studies I have come to strongly favor legislating morality. Here are some great quotes that have helped me to come to this position:

LDS General Authorities

President Boyd K. Packer

"Covenants"

"Life is meant to be a test to see if we will keep the commandments of God. (See 2 Ne. 2:5.) We are free to obey or to ignore the spirit and the letter of the law. But the agency granted to man is a moral agency. (See D&C 101:78.) We are not free to break our covenants and escape the consequences.”

Continue reading

Thomas Jefferson on the Restoration of Christ’s True Church

On November 4, 1820, Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter to the Reverend Jared Sparks. He stated:

"I hold the precepts of Jesus, as delivered by Himself, to be the most pure, benevolent, and sublime which have ever been preached to man.  I adhere to the principles of the first age; and consider all subsequent innovations as corruptions of His religion, having no foundation in what came from Him. The metaphysical insanities of Athanasius, of Loyola, and of Calvin, are, to my understanding, mere relapses into polytheism, differing from paganism only by being more unintelligible.  The religion of Jesus is founded in the Unity of God, and this principle chiefly, gave it triumph over the rabble of heathen gods then acknowledged.  Thinking men of all nations rallied readily to the doctrine of one only God, and embraced it with the pure morals which Jesus inculcated.  If the freedom of religion, guaranteed to us by law in theory, can ever rise in practice under the overbearing inquisition of public opinion, truth will prevail over fanaticism, and the genuine doctrines of Jesus, so long perverted by His pseudo-priests, will again be restored to their original purity.  This reformation will advance with the other improvements of the human mind, but too late for me to witness it.”

(The Writings of Thomas Jefferson V15: Containing His Autobiography, Notes on Virginia, Parliamentary Manual, Official Papers, Messages and Addresses, And Other Writings And Private (Lipscomb and Bergh, Eds.; Kessinger Publishing, 2006), 15:288 (emphasis in original))

Continue reading

Manti Temple Dedicatory Prayer

Dedicated 21–23 May 1888
by Lorenzo Snow

Almighty and Eternal Father, Creator of heaven and earth, and all that they contain, Thou who art the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and of the spirits of all living; to Thee, Thy believing children here present bring our offering and beseech Thee to grant Thy listening ear while we dedicate this Temple unto Thy most holy name.

We realize our weakness, our utter feebleness and inability to advance the interests and honor of Thy name upon the earth, except Thou dost guide us by Thy Holy Spirit; therefore, we humble ourselves in Thy presence, and earnestly entreat Thee to forgive us our sins and all vanity and unworthiness which Thy purity and perfection have discovered in any one of us, inasmuch as we are truly penitent therefore, and ready to forgive those who trespass against us. Continue reading

President Thomas S. Monson at Cleon Skousen’s Funeral – Excerpts

From: latterdayconservative.com

 

At the funeral of author W. Cleon Skousen, Thomas S. Monson recited, from memory, a passage found in The First 2,000 Years (by Skousen). President Monson said that he had previously quoted this to a man who had asked about Skousen’s character:

“Often the wisdom of God is foolishness to men, but the greatest single lesson to be learned in mortality is that when God commands and a man obeys, that man will always be right.”

President Monson also said: “Everyone he spoke to, everyone he taught, is closer to Christ than before they met Cleon Skousen.” Continue reading

Idaho Falls Temple Rededicatory Prayer (2017)

From: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865681491/Idaho-Falls-temple-rededicatory-prayer.html

Following is the prayer offered by President Henry B. Eyring, first counselor in the First Presidency, on Sunday, June 4, to rededicate the Idaho Falls Idaho Temple.


Almighty Father, Thou great Elohim, we come before Thee in love and humility, in the name of Thy Beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. We are assembled to rededicate this, Thy holy house and a prophesied place of rest for Thy Son (see Acts 7:49).

This beautiful temple has been a haven in the past for all who have entered herein and who have felt of its spirit. We thank Thee for it and ask for Thy Spirit to once again dwell continuously within its walls.

We are thankful for those who laid the foundations of this and other nearby communities. Now their posterity enjoys the sweet fruits of those efforts and the crowning blessings that come from faithful service in this magnificent and beautiful temple.

We are profoundly grateful for the Constitution of the United States, with its Bill of Rights. These are the guarantees of our freedom and our liberty. Preserve them through the generations to come that Thy children may be free to worship Thee without restraint or hindrance of any kind.

Bless those who govern in this nation that they may be inspired to do that which will ensure peace and freedom for the people of this land. Similarly, bless leaders in all nations, where Thy children dwell. Continue reading

Salt Lake, Utah Temple Dedicatory Prayer

Dedicated 6–24 April 1893
by Wilford Woodruff

Our Father in heaven, Thou has created the heavens and the earth, and all things that are therein; Thou most glorious One, perfect in mercy, love, and truth, we, Thy children, come this day before Thee, and in this house which we have built to Thy most holy name, humbly plead the atoning blood of Thine Only Begotten Son, that our sins may be remembered no more against us forever, but that our prayers may ascend unto Thee and have free access to Thy throne, that we may be heard in Thy holy habitation. And may it graciously please Thee to hearken unto our petitions, answer them according to Thine infinite wisdom and love, and grant that the blessings which we seek may be bestowed upon us, even a hundred fold, inasmuch as we seek with purity of heart and fullness of purpose to do Thy will and glorify Thy name. Continue reading

Philadelphia Pennsylvania Temple Dedicatory Prayer

Dedicated 18 September 2016
by Henry B. Eyring

O God, our Heavenly Father, Thou Great Elohim, in the name of Thy Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, we come before Thee in love and humility to dedicate this holy house. We are grateful for the blessings that have been showered upon us.

First and foremost, we remember the gift of Thy Son, the great Jehovah, Savior of the world. We are grateful that He came down from His place in glory at Thy side to offer the infinite sacrifice that makes it possible for us to be purified and to return to Thee.

We are grateful for the hospitality of this historic city and pray that it may be blessed by the very presence of Thy house. May the light of the gospel that emanates from this holy temple be felt throughout the community.

We thank Thee for all who have made possible this day, those who have made the decision to place a temple here, the architects and contractors, the city officials who have granted the necessary permits, the workmen and all associated with this undertaking. Bless the faithful tithe payers of the Church who have given to further the building of temples. Keep Thine promises made by the prophet Malachi to open the windows of heaven and shower blessings down upon them.

We are profoundly grateful for the Constitution of the United States and for the Bill of Rights. These are the guarantors of our independence and our liberty.

We pray for this nation of which we are part. Preserve the freedom of the people now and for generations to come. May these blessings rest upon its citizens without restraint or hindrance of any kind. Bless those who lead and inspire them in their endeavors that righteousness may grow, that the people may look to Thee, and that this nation, under God, may continue as a base from which Thy work may spread throughout the earth. Continue reading

Idaho Falls Temple Dedicatory Prayer (1945)

Dedicated 23–25 September 1945
by George Albert Smith

O Thou great and eternal God, Father of our spirits, Creator of the heavens, the earth and all things therein; before whom all things are present, whether past or yet to come; full of mercy and love, guided by wisdom, judgment and justice in their perfection; in humility and with thanksgiving and with our hearts filled with gratitude unto Thee, we approach Thee through Thy Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, our elder Brother, who, through the great and exquisite sacrifice wrought out for us magnanimous beyond our comprehension, made it possible that we might approach Thee in humility on this great occasion, with our petitions and supplications, in this House which we have built to Thy most holy name.

We pray Thee that Thou wilt cause our hearts to be purified in Thy sight and our faith in Thee to be multiplied and increased so that our petitions may reach Thy holy habitation and be answered in our behalf in accordance with Thy infinite wisdom and love, and grant that the blessings we here seek may be fully realized to Thy name’s honor and glory. Continue reading

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