By Kellene Bishop
In Doctrine and Covenants section 123 the Lord uses some strong language in warning us of our “imperative duty”—a term He uses repeatedly—bringing to light that which is in darkness. Specifically this section implores the members of the Church to “call forth from his hiding place” and “bringing light to all the hidden things of darkness” all of the secret, unjust dealings of the adversary and his own. It even assures us that this last effort will be “enjoined by our Heavenly Father”.
We are told to exercise in diligence that “the whole nation may be left without excuse”. There are many unfortunate excuses we hear in defense of the ways of darkness and corruption today. Excuses such as “I don’t want to think about it. I don’t have time for this. I can’t afford this. No one would really do that! I don’t buy into conspiracy theories.” For every dark act that we allow to remain covered there are thousands of reasonably sounding excuses as to why we should “let well enough alone.” So many of us don’t want to get involved. But INVOLVED is exactly what we have been commanded to be.
I personally have been skewered many times for shedding light on “the hidden things of darkness” which have “filled the world with confusion and has been growing stronger and stronger and is now the very mainspring of all corruption.” (see v. 7) Unfortunately some of the emotional tussles have come between me and a few of my LDS friends (in addition to those who do not have the truth of the Gospel in their lives). Such a case should not give us pause to wonder if the Gospel is real, relevant or available to protect us. When we are attacked from within we are no different than the prophets of old or even today, and certainly no more worthy of avoiding such attacks than was the Savior himself.
For some, an enemy from within the bounds of God’s Kingdom is hard to imagine. Yes, if we can fathom the reality of enemy spies and double agents within the world’s lawful agencies, certainly we can see that this same strategy would be used by the adversary in order to have influence within our own churches and families. The scriptures are rife with sad stories of a prophet’s worse enemy of the truth coming from within his own immediate family which by all rights might have known better. The face, voice, and other traits of the adversary is often changed to represent someone we know or trust. The message of “we deserve this or that” slithers its way into our conscience. The rational arguments of the masses begin to gain territory in the safety zones of our homes, families and church meetings. But our testimony will never be compromised if we always build it upon the sure foundation of the Savior and His words. Only then are His true disciples recognized and His true words are heard undefiled and only then are his disciples assured victory.
In H. Verlan Andersen’s book “The Great and Abominable Church of the Devil” he presents the truth-filled position that only those who know the truth can properly see the falsehoods and lies, and with that vision lies the responsibility of all of us to reveal the truth as well as bravely discover and expose the lies and secret combinations that are every bit a part of our world society today. He additionally reminds us that we have as much a responsibility to identify the church of the devil in order for us to be able to tear it down. Understand that the church of the devil isn’t simply a formal religion as we may relate to it. His church comprises of back room deals, chaos, murder, a threat to morality, the destruction of the family and so much other mayhem. He revels in our fear of knowing him and in our deliberate ignorance and avoidance of knowing his works because we are afraid. When we do not know the works of the devil for what the are though, we are incapable of battling a foe we do not see.
I find it stirring to read the words in v. 13-15 which states “we should waste and wear out our lives in bringing to light all the hidden things of darkness wherein we know them; and they are truly manifest from heaven. These should then be attended to with great earnestness. Let no man count them as small things; for there is much which lieth in futurity, pertaining to the saints, which depends upon these things.” (Bold and italics added)
Think about all of the things which we have failed to fight against that has come to pass to our detriment? There are many more proposals before lawmakers today that threaten to extinguish our ability to believe and to worship the Lord as commanded. I shall not attempt to name or label them here, as I am sure our consciences will reveal that there are plenty. And yet how often to we esteem these things as superfluous matters in our life that are unworthy of our time and attention. Yet we covenant to give our all in building up a kingdom which is the very opposite of the environment of the devil.
For those of you who feel like you’re all alone in fighting the battle of shedding light on the darkest works of the adversary which have infiltrated every aspect of our society—food, safety, education, shelter, travel, employment, currency, civic leadership, medical care, in spite of the honorable attempts at many who lived before us to prevent such darkness from permeating our world, know that you are not alone and that in the words of the Lord, you are performing an “imperative duty.” “Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.” (2 Kings 6:16) Not only that but they are more holy, more powerful and more armed with truth than those we may physically see at present. “Be not afraid of their faces for, lo I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the Lord.” (Jer. 1:8) I believe our duty is to make sure that we do not shrink from their presence and cause in an attempt to get along and get by.
Every blessing we have is in direct relation to every commandment we obey thus may we be strengthened in our obedience and efforts and truly be guided in wisdom and continue in “great earnestness.”
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