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By Jason A. Kofoed

While there are literally thousands of Christian denominations and organizations across the world who differ on numerous different points of specific doctrines, there is one point that most are able to agree on: The Ten Commandments found in Exodus 20.

Most of the Ten Commandments are still considered foundational to Christians across the globe with most of them strictly adhered to.  The ones pertaining to killing, stealing and lying are actually the foundations for many laws found in most countries while most of the other 7 are considered by society to be "moral preferences" that they choose to ignore.  "They're more of a guideline rather than a rule" they tend to say.  Not so in Christianity, however.  We take all 10 of them quite literally and seriously.

However, there is one in particular that, the violation of which, is the cause of many of the woes that we are experiencing not only here in America, but across the world.  That is the commandment to "Remember the Sabbath Day, to keep it holy".  Why do we as Christians tend to not take this commandment so literally?  Is it too hard for us? 

I will here share some words from latter-day prophet and former president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Spencer W. Kimball, on the subject.  For those of you who are not LDS, please read through the following with an open mind and heart and see if they don't ring true.

In a talk given in General Conference, October 1961, then-Elder Kimball chose to speak about the wars that were and had been going on.  He proclaimed that the reasons for these wars and other calamaties and woes were to be traced back to disobedience to these few commandments from God.  While he touches on many things, there were a few specifically linked to Sabbath-breaking that I would like to draw your attention to.

The talk, which is posted in full at the end of this article, can be found HERE:

"It seems that rather than fast and pray, we prefer to gorge ourselves at the banquet tables and drink cocktails. Instead of disciplining ourselves, we yield to urges and carnal desires. Numerous billions we spend on liquor and tobacco. A Sabbath show or a game or a race replaces solemn worship. Numerous mothers prefer the added luxuries of two incomes to the satisfactions of seeing children grow up in the fear of God (Deut. 31:13). Men golf and boat and hunt and fish rather than to solemnize the Sabbath. Old man rationalization is with us. Because we are not vicious enough to be confined in penitentiaries, we rationalize that we are pretty good people; that we are not doing so badly."

He then goes on to say:


"Experience is a dear teacher but fools will learn by no other." But we continue on in our godlessness. While the iron curtains rise and thicken, we eat, drink, and make merry. While armies are marshaled and march and drill and officers teach men how to kill, we continue to drink and carouse as usual. While bombs are detonated and tested, and fallout settles on the already sick world, we continue in idolatry and adultery. While corridors are threatened and concessions are made, we live riotously and divorce and marry in cycles like the seasons. While leaders quarrel, and editors write, and authorities analyze and prognosticate, we break the Sabbath as though no command had ever been given. While enemies filter into our nation to subvert us and intimidate us and soften us, we continue with our destructive thinking: "It can't happen here."

 

"Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy" (Ex. 20:8, italics added). Yet work goes on, merchandise is sold, athletic entertainments, fishing, hunting go forward without regard to commandments. Conventions, unnecessary travel, family picnics, the Sabbath is violated generally. A relatively few people attend their church services, pay their tithing, serve their fellow men. Few live up to the truth they know. The taverns are full, the beaches crowded, the grandstands packed, man servants, and maid servants hired to duty, the ski lifts busy, canyon picnic tables loaded. Scriptures are read little, and the holy day becomes a holiday.

"Six days shalt thou labour" (Ex. 20:9, italics added). Yet ever-increasing hours of leisure provide ever increasing opportunities for Sabbath breaking and commandment ignoring, and strikes and lobbying go on to increase damaging leisure and decrease work hours further."

After then going on to point out how disobedience and sin leads to destruction, he then says:

 

"The cause is not lost. If race tracks were closed on the Sabbath, if gambling ceased, drinking eliminated, work and play confined to week days; if stores were closed and all people went to their sanctuaries truly to worship even as best they know; if taverns never opened, and transgressors all repented, and broken homes were mended, and children were trained in uprightness; if families all knelt in prayer night and morning, if tithes were paid and integrity and worship reigned in the lives of men, the era of total peace would be ushered in. Fear would vanish, and enemies would be subdued.

"I will fight your battles," says the Lord God Omnipotent (D&C 105:14). He never fails his promises."

Folks, I don't know about you, but these words ring very true to me.  I find great value in the entire talk, posted below, and would encourage each of you to read through it and see if it is not the truth.  Are our problems originating in Washington?  No, they're originating with "We the People" and only we can begin to solve them.  All other things that seem out of our control are merely symptoms to our disobedience.  Once we make ourselves "right" before the Lord, then we can begin to see and know within our hearts that, come what may, all will be well.

-Jason

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Listen to the Prophet's Voice
Elder Spencer W. Kimball
Of the Council of the Twelve Apostles

Spencer W. Kimball, Conference Report, October 1961, pp. 29-34

My beloved brothers and sisters, I hope that of the estimated million who may have been listening this morning, there may have been many among them who might have been kings and their courts, presidents and their cabinets, prime ministers and their associates, editors, commanders of armies and navies and air forces, and all others in the world, particularly our fellow men of the Americas from Tierra del Fuego to Point Barrow—for the prophet of the Lord spoke in stirring tones of warning to all the people of this world.

Our world is in turmoil. It is aging toward senility. It is very ill. Long ago it was born with brilliant prospects. It was baptized by water, and its sins were washed away. It was never baptized by fire, for that is still to come. It has had shorter periods of good health, but longer ones of ailing. Most of the time there have been pains and aches in some parts of its anatomy, but now that it is growing old, complications have set in, and all the ailments seem to be everywhere.

The world has been "cliniced," and the complex diseases have been catalogued. The physicians have had summit consultations, and temporary salve has been rubbed on afflicted parts, but it has only postponed the fatal day and never cured it. It seems that while remedies have been applied, staph infection has set in, and the patient's suffering intensified. His mind is wandering. It cannot remember its previous illnesses nor the cure which was applied. The political physicians through the ages have rejected suggested remedies as unprofessional since they came from lowly prophets. Man being what he is with tendencies such as he has, results can be prognosticated with some degree of accuracy.

In an ancient situation somewhat comparable to our own, there was a great destruction, and when the quiet came, those who were spared were wailing:

". . . O that we had repented before this great and terrible day, and then would our brethren have been spared . . . and our mothers and our fair daughters, and our children . . . not have been buried" (3 Ne. 8:24-25).

Today is another day, but history repeats itself. We read the headlines. The great powers warn and threaten. Bombs are detonated. Terror is substituted for reason. Defense stockpiles increase. Nuclear races get swifter. The radios whine. The newspapers carry glaring headlines, politicians wrangle, students and authorities harangue. Everybody expresses opinions, but few approach the real cause or the real cure.

What is the illness? Its symptoms are manifested in every corner of the globe. They are found among men in high places, in hut and mansion. Its symptoms are carelessness, casualness, covetousness, slothfulness, selfishness, dishonesty, disobedience, immorality, uncleanness, unfaithfulness, ungodliness.

Our national and international authorities should know that men have ". . . been destroyed from generation to generation according to their iniquities; and never hath any of them been destroyed save it were foretold them by the prophets of the Lord" (2 Ne. 25:9). And modern prophets are warning frequently, constantly. People are destroyed by their own acts.

"There is one principle," a modern prophet said, "(that we should) understand:—that is of blessings and cursings. For instance, we read that war, pestilence, plagues, famine, etc., will be visited upon the inhabitants of the earth, but if distress through the judgments of God comes upon this people, it will be because the majority have turned away from the Lord."

The world's living prophet has warned and pleaded that the people return to God, who has said again: "I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise" (D&C 82:10).

This America is no ordinary country. It is a choice land, "choice above all other lands" (1 Ne. 2:20). It has a tragic and bloody past, but a glorious and peaceful future if its inhabitants really learn to serve their God. It was consecrated as a land of promise to the people of the Americas, to whom God gave these great promises:

"It will be a land of liberty to its people" (2 Ne. 1:7).

"They shall never be brought down into captivity" (2 Ne. 1:7).

"And there shall be none to molest them" (2 Ne. 1:9).

"It is a land of promise" (1 Ne. 2:20).

"It shall be free from all nations under heaven."

"There shall be no enemies come into this land."

"It shall be free from bondage" (Ether 2:12).

"There shall be no kings upon the land" (2 Ne. 10:11).

"I will fortify this land against all other nations" (2 Ne. 10:12).

"He that fighteth against Zion shall perish" (2 Ne. 10:13).

But these promises, glorious though they be, desirable as they are, can come only ". . . if they will but serve the God of this land who is Jesus Christ" (Ether 2:12). There is only one way. That infallible cure is simply righteousness, obedience, Godliness, honor, and integrity. There is no other cure. Mountains of arms and ammunitions will not guarantee safety, for enemies can also build fortifications and missiles and bomb shelters. If we would but believe the prophets! For they have warned that if the "inhabitants of this land are ever brought down into captivity and enslaved, it shall be because of iniquity; for if iniquity shall abound cursed shall be the land" (see 2 Ne. 1:7).

The prophet exclaims again with fervor: "And now we . . . behold the decrees of God concerning this land, that it is a land of promise; and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall serve God, or they shall be swept off when the fulness of his wrath shall come upon them. And the fulness of his wrath cometh upon them when they are ripened in iniquity" (Ether 2:9).

O that men would listen! Why should there be spiritual blindness in the day of brightest material vision? Why must men rely on fortifications and armaments when the God of heaven yearns to bless them? One stroke of his omnipotent hand could make powerless all nations who oppose and save a world even in its death throes.

Jesus Christ our Lord is under no obligation to save this world. The people have ignored him, disbelieved him, failed to follow him. They stand at his mercy which will be extended only if they repent. But to what extent have we repented? Another prophet said, "We call evil good, and good evil" (Isa. 5:20). Men have rationalized themselves into thinking that they are "not so bad." Are they fully ripe? Has the rot of age and flabbiness set in? Can they change? They see evil in their enemies, but none in themselves. Even in the true Church numerous of its people fail to attend their meetings, to tithe their incomes, to have their regular prayers, to keep all the commandments. We can transform, but will we? It seems that we would rather tax ourselves into slavery than to pay our tithes; rather build protections and walls than drop to our knees with our families in solemn prayers night and morning.

It seems that rather than fast and pray, we prefer to gorge ourselves at the banquet tables and drink cocktails. Instead of disciplining ourselves, we yield to urges and carnal desires. Numerous billions we spend on liquor and tobacco. A Sabbath show or a game or a race replaces solemn worship. Numerous mothers prefer the added luxuries of two incomes to the satisfactions of seeing children grow up in the fear of God (Deut. 31:13). Men golf and boat and hunt and fish rather than to solemnize the Sabbath. Old man rationalization is with us. Because we are not vicious enough to be confined in penitentiaries, we rationalize that we are pretty good people; that we are not doing so badly. The masses of the people are much like those who escaped destruction in the ancient days of this continent. The Lord said to them:

"O all ye that are spared because ye were more righteous than they [the slain ones], will ye not now return unto me, and repent of your sins, and be converted, that I may heal you?" (3 Ne. 9:13).

The Great Wall of China with its 1,500 miles of unbreakable walls, with its twenty-five feet high impregnableness, with its innumerable watchman towers, was breached by the treachery of men.

The Maginot Line in France, these forts thought to be so strong and impassable, were violated as though they were not there. Strength is not in concrete and re-enforcing steel. Protection is not in walls nor mountains nor cliffs, yet foolish men still lean on "the arm of flesh."

The walls of Babylon were too high to be scaled, too thick to be broken, too strong to be crumbled, but not too deep to be undermined when the human element failed (Dan. 5:1-31). When the protectors sleep and the leaders are incapacitated with banqueting and drunkenness and immorality, an invading enemy can turn a river from its course and enter through a river bed (Isa. 44:27-28; Isa. 45:1).

The precipitous walls on the high hills of Jerusalem deflected for a time the arrows and spears of enemies, the catapults and firebrands. But even then wickedness did not lessen, men did not learn lessons. Hunger scaled the walls; thirst broke down the gates; immorality, cannibalism, idolatry, godlessness stalked about till destruction came.

"Experience is a dear teacher but fools will learn by no other." But we continue on in our godlessness. While the iron curtains rise and thicken, we eat, drink, and make merry. While armies are marshaled and march and drill and officers teach men how to kill, we continue to drink and carouse as usual. While bombs are detonated and tested, and fallout settles on the already sick world, we continue in idolatry and adultery. While corridors are threatened and concessions are made, we live riotously and divorce and marry in cycles like the seasons. While leaders quarrel, and editors write, and authorities analyze and prognosticate, we break the Sabbath as though no command had ever been given. While enemies filter into our nation to subvert us and intimidate us and soften us, we continue with our destructive thinking: "It can't happen here."

Will we ever turn wholly to God? Fear envelops the world which could be at ease and peace. In God is protection, safety, peace. He has said, "I will fight your battles" (D&C 105:14). But his commitment is on condition of our faithfulness. He promised to the children of Israel:

"I will give you rain in due season,"

The land shall yield her increase and trees their fruit.

Granaries and barns will bulge in seed time and harvest.

Ye shall eat your bread in abundance.

Ye shall dwell in your land safely and none shall make you afraid.

Neither shall the sword go through your land.

And five of you shall chase an hundred, and an hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight (see Lev. 26:4-6,8).

But if you fail to serve me:

The land will be barren, (perhaps radioactive or dry from drought.)

The trees will be without fruit and the fields without verdure.

There will be rationing and a scarcity of food and hunger sore.

No traffic will jam your desolate highways.

Famine will stalk rudely through your doors and the ogre cannibalism will rob you of your children and your remaining virtues.

There will be pestilence uncontrollable.

Your dead bodies will be piled upon the materialistic things you sought so hard to accumulate and save.

I will give no protection against enemies.

They that hate you shall reign over you.

There will be faintness of heart "and the sound of a shaken leaf" shall chase you into flight and you will fall when none pursueth.

Your power—your supremacy—your pride in superiority—will be broken.

Your heaven shall be as iron and your earth as brass. Heaven will not hear your pleadings nor earth bring forth her harvest.

Your strength will be spent in vain as you plow and plant and cultivate.

Your cities will be shambles, your churches in ruins.

Your enemies will be astonished at the barrenness, sterility, desolation of the land they had been told was so choice, so beautiful, so fruitful.

Then shall the land enjoy her Sabbaths under compulsion.

And ye shall have no power to stand before your enemies.

And your people will be scattered among the nations as slaves and bondsmen.

You will pay tribute and bondage and fetters shall bind you (see Lev. 26:14-43).

What a bleak prediction! Yet "These are the statutes and judgments and laws, which the Lord made between him and the children of Israel in Mt. Sinai by the hand of Moses" (Lev. 26:46). The Israelites failed to heed the warning. They ignored the prophets. They suffered the fulfillment of every dire prophecy.

Do we twentieth century people have reason to think that we can be immune from the same tragic consequences when we ignore the same divine laws?

With such innumerable blessings as are available to godly people of this land, how can any sane one continue in his careless patterns of life?

There is a cure for the earth's illness, an infallible one.

War clouds gather, fear heightens; tenseness increases, yet there need be no fear and worry and sleepless nights.

Our God rules in the heavens. He lives. He loves. He desires the happiness and well being of all his children. He has a prophet on the earth today who receives his revelations. He is a prophet to all the world. He has on numerous occasions outlined the cure for all international as well as local ills. The diagnosis is sure, and the remedy certain. Today's prophet stands in the same position between God and the people as did Isaiah, Samuel, and even Moses who gave to the world the ten commandments.

But a controlling majority of the people of this world have relegated them to the past.

"Thou shalt have no other gods before me" (Ex. 20:3, italics added). Yet today we worship the gods of wood and stone and metal. Not always are they in the form of a golden calf, but equally real as objects of protection and worship. They are houses, lands, bank accounts, leisure. They are boats, cars, and luxuries. They are bombs and ships and armaments. We bow down to the god of mammon, the god of luxuries, the god of dissipation.

"Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain" (Ex. 20:7, italics added). Yet on the corner, in public places, on work projects, at banquet tables, there come ringing into our ears the sacred names of Deity without solemnity.

"Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy" (Ex. 20:8, italics added). Yet work goes on, merchandise is sold, athletic entertainments, fishing, hunting go forward without regard to commandments. Conventions, unnecessary travel, family picnics, the Sabbath is violated generally. A relatively few people attend their church services, pay their tithing, serve their fellow men. Few live up to the truth they know. The taverns are full, the beaches crowded, the grandstands packed, man servants, and maid servants hired to duty, the ski lifts busy, canyon picnic tables loaded. Scriptures are read little, and the holy day becomes a holiday.

"Six days shalt thou labour" (Ex. 20:9, italics added). Yet ever-increasing hours of leisure provide ever increasing opportunities for Sabbath breaking and commandment ignoring, and strikes and lobbying go on to increase damaging leisure and decrease work hours further.

"Thou shalt not commit adultery" (Ex. 20:14, italics added). Yet this common sin and idolatry run hand in hand. Free love and indiscretions and deviations of every nature are common in our day. Illegitimate births are said to reach as high as one in ten, yet promiscuity far exceeds illegitimacy. This ugly deviation is found among youth and married people. Divorce, ever on the increase, jumping from one divorce for thirty-six weddings in Civil War days now has reached somewhere near one to four. Flirtations, rationalized to be innocent ones, are the root of numerous of the divorces and other ills.

"Thou shalt not steal" (Ex. 20:15, italics added). Yet in high places and in low, in government office and in business, in everyday life, men have rationalized until consciences seem to have been seared in the matter of honesty. Yet here are bribery, fraud, deceit, theft, padding of expense accounts, tax evasion, installment buying beyond ability to pay, and gambling running into the billions.

The outlook is bleak, but the impending tragedy can be averted. But it can be only through a great repentance and transformation.

"What can I do?" asks the fearful one. I can transform my own life till it is perfected and then influence others when thus transformed. I am prepared to live or die and need not fear. The righteous were saved in Enoch's day and the wicked were drowned in the flood. Other rebellious people were destroyed in the convulsions of the earth in the meridian of time, and they who were more righteous were saved.

Concerning Jerusalem the Lord said: "I will defend this city" (2 Kgs. 19:34) when the powerful, invincible Assyrian army camped at the gates. That night the Lord saved Jerusalem from Sennacherib and his 185,000 troops who did not live the night through to attack (2 Kgs. 19:35-37). Three hundred soldiers and God and Gideon routed the powerful army of the Midianites (Judg. 7:1-25). The thirteen colonies gained a permanent victory over superior forces, and America was born. The Lord and David slew Goliath (1 Sam. 17:45-47), and Israel won many battles when they were righteous. God will fight our battles if we honor him and serve him with all our hearts, might, mind, and strength.

This I know, for the Lord has so declared it through the ages, and I know he lives and is all powerful.

The cause is not lost. If race tracks were closed on the Sabbath, if gambling ceased, drinking eliminated, work and play confined to week days; if stores were closed and all people went to their sanctuaries truly to worship even as best they know; if taverns never opened, and transgressors all repented, and broken homes were mended, and children were trained in uprightness; if families all knelt in prayer night and morning, if tithes were paid and integrity and worship reigned in the lives of men, the era of total peace would be ushered in. Fear would vanish, and enemies would be subdued.

"I will fight your battles," says the Lord God Omnipotent (D&C 105:14). He never fails his promises.

If we are of the masses who are casual, passive, irreligious, irreverent, unholy, immoral, ungodly, then we must "repent or suffer" (D&C 19:4).

Of course, a one-sided disarmament could be madness if worldliness and materialism continued, but a serious turn of the masses could forestall all military conquests, all tragedies of conflict. God is all powerful.

I plead with men everywhere to "Come, listen to a prophet's voice" and hear the word of God from our living prophet who sits with us here today. I know he is God's recognized prophet. I beg of you to listen and act, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.