ALL of us have had our ‘If Only’ moments. You know, ‘If only I could have lived when times were simpler-when children respected their elders, the schools were run by the community, men knew what it meant to be men and women were happy to be mothers. If only… instead I am living in the midst of teen-age crisis, disregard for every acceptable institution, drug abuse, pornography addiction; a time when men are trying to look like women and women are hoping to be treated like men and pop culture seems to be driving the bus. If only…”
I think we are in good company! See if these words penned by Nephi II just prior to the Savior’s First Coming sound vaguely familiar: ‘Oh, that I could have had my days in the days when my father Nephi first came out of the land of Jerusalem, that I could have joyed with him the promised land; then were his people easy to be entreated, firm to keep the commandments of God, and slow to be led to iniquity; and they were quick to hearken unto the words of the Lord. Yea, if my days could have been in those day, then would my soul would have had joy in the righteousness of my brethren. (Now comes the reconciliation. You can just hear the sigh.) But behold, I am consigned that these are my days, and that my soul should shall be filled with sorrow because of this the wickedness of my brethren.’ (Helaman 7)
The Lord’s Birth and the Lord’s Second Coming have so many parallels. As the work of salvation hastens, so does the work of destruction. If you want the condensed version of what is going to happen, read Helaman in the Book of Mormon. When read like this, it is so easy to see how evil accelerates the closer the time gets to the Savior’s appearance. We are living in that time as well! The evil in our world is moving in an incredibly fast downward spiral. The alarming evil described in Helaman sounds a little too familiar… At times we all wish that we didn’t have to teach our children about the issues of our day. We wish that we could just keep them in naiveté forever. We wish WE didn’t have to know the issues of our day. But like Nephi, we have to eventually reconcile ourselves with the truth that we have been foreordained to come forth ‘for such a time as this’. (Esther 4:14) And what an exciting time it is! The work IS hastening and many powerful things happen prior to the Savior’s Coming. We can be a part of it all!