Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christ at the Second Coming (Zone Conference Talk)

Good Morning my dear Elders and Sisters! I’m so humbled and grateful for the

opportunity to stand before you this morning! And I’m also so grateful to be serving here

in Fiji as a representative of our Savior Jesus Christ during this beautiful Christmas

Season! Isn’t December wonderful? It’s a time to focus on our Savior.  A time to reflect

on his birth.  To reflect on his perfect life and example.  To reflect on His infinite

Atonement. And every other aspect of who He is. Today I have the opportunity to speak a

little bit about the Savior at His Second Coming.

I remember, when I was younger, people would talk about the Second coming.

And immediately I would imagine earthquakes and tsunamis and people dying and all

sort of other scary things.  And I would start hyperventilating and hope and pray that I’m

not here when that happens.  But the Lord’s message is clear.  “Fear not, let your hearts

be comforted! “ He also says…… “If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear!”And you

know…. The more research I did about the second coming, the more I realized that I am

EXCITED.  I’m excited to witness the Savior descend in power and great glory.  Can you

imagine what that will be like? I’m excited for Christ to reign personally on the earth.  I

can’t wait for the millennium when Satan will be bound for 1,000 years! I’m excited for

the morning of the 1st resurrection.  And most of all I’m excited to meet my Savior.

I want to share with you a few verses from D&C 88 that describe what the 2nd

coming will be like.  And as I read I want you to imagine….. paint a picture in your

mind, and visualize the scenes that will unfold and how you will feel……..

93 And immediately there shall appear a great sign in heaven, and all

people shall see it together.

95 And there shall be silence in heaven for the space of half an hour;

and immediately after shall the curtain of heaven be unfolded, as a scroll is

unfolded after it is rolled up, and the face of the Lord shall be unveiled;

 96 And the saints that are upon the earth, who are alive, shall be

quickened and be caught up to meet him.

 97 And they who have slept in their graves shall come forth, for their

graves shall be opened; and they also shall be caught up to meet him in the

midst of the pillar of heaven—

 98 They are Christ’s, the first fruits, they who shall descend with him

first, and they who are on the earth and in their graves, who are first caught up

to meet him; and all this by the voice of the sounding of the trump of the angel

Can you see it? Can you feel the silence? And then you amazement and joy as the

face of the Lord is unveiled? Can you see the Hosts of heaven? And Christ descending

clothed in Power and Great Glory? Can you imagine what it will be like when the Saints

will be caught up to meet Him in the air? And what it will be like to descend with Him? I

hope we are living now to be worth of that glorious Day!

Last Christmas I was in the MTC.  And at one of the Devotionals we had the

opportunity to hear from Elder Bednar! He shared something that has given me great

insight about the character and nature of Christ Something that has also helped me

imagine the 2nd Coming.  He read the account of the Resurrected Christ visiting the

Nephites.  One of the first things Christ did was to invite them each, to come up and feel

the nail prints in His hands and feet.  To thrust their hands into his side.  So they did. 

ONE BY ONE. They EACH felt the prints and knew for themselves that He was their

Savior and Redeemer.  …….. Now just think about that for a minute.  ONE BY ONE. 

Can you imagine how long that would have taken?  It must have taken hours and hours. 

But Elder Bednar explained that that is how Christ Ministers.  ONE BY ONE.  He

wouldn’t have it any other way. 

Now with that in mind, I imagine that at some point each of us will ALSO have

the opportunity to feel the prints of the nails in His hands. To fall down and bathe His

feet in tender tears of gratitude.  Maybe He’ll wrap his loving arms around us and tell us

just how much he loves us.  Perhaps he’ll even invite us in for a personal interview. I

can’t begin to comprehend what that experience might be like.   But I do think it’s

worthwhile to try to imagine it. And most importantly try to prepare for it. 

Alma asks a question in the Book of Mormon that invites each of us to search our

souls and evaluate exactly how prepared we really are.   He says……”I say unto you,

can you imagine to yourselves that ye hear the voice of the Lord, saying

unto you, in that day: Come unto me ye blessed, for behold, your works

have been the works of righteousness upon the face of the earth?” Can

you hear the voice of the Lord say that? Can you hear Him say “Well done thou good and

faithful servant? Have we been faithful enough? Not only for this 18 or 24 months? But

for our whole lives? I hope we have.  And I hope we will continue to.

I want to share with you part of one of my favorite talks.  It is called “His Grace is

Sufficient” by Brad Wilcox.  In this part he talks about the Judgement day and how it will

probably be much different than what most of the world imagines.  As I read I’m going to

substitute my name and you can do the same. 

 In the past I had a picture in my mind of what the final judgment would be

like, and it went something like this: Jesus standing there with a clipboard and

Sister Matheson standing on the other side of the room nervously looking at Jesus. 

Jesus check His clipboard and says, ‘oh shoot, Sister Matheson,.  You missed

it by two points.” 

Sister Matheson begs Jesus, “please , check the essay question one more time!

There have to be two points you can squeeze out of that essay.” That’s how I always

saw it. 

 But the older I get, and the more I understand this wonderful plan of

redemption, the more I realize that in the final judgment it will not be the

unrepentant sinner begging Jesus, “Let me stay.” No, he will probably be saying,

“Get me out of here!” Knowing Christ’s character, I believe that if anyone is going

to be begging on that occasion, it would probably be Jesus begging the unrepentant

sinner, “Please, choose to stay.  Please, use my Atonement, - not just to be cleansed

but to be changed so that you want to stay.”

When I first read that, my mind was boggled.  And I felt so much peace and

comfort. But it makes sense! That is who Christ is.  He is our advocate with the Father. 

He is rooting for us every step of the way.  And He will NEVER stop.  He bled and died

and suffered for each of our sins… one by one… and he begs us to use it! Don’t let it be

for nothing.  We must let the Atonement change us! So we will be prepared for the day

we will meet Him again.

In closing, I want to share the words to the Primary song entitled….”When He

Comes Again.”  There is a lot of truth and power in this simple song about the 2nd

coming.  I wish I could sing it for you, but I think we will all be much happier if I just

read it. 

It says….”I wonder when He comes again will I be ready there? To look upon His

loving face and join with Him in Prayer.  Each day I’ll try to do His will. And let my light

so shine, that others see Him and they seek for greater light divine.  And when that

blessed day is here, He’ll hug me and He’ll say….”You’ve served me well my little child,

Come into my arms to stay.”

No comments:

Post a Comment