The Coming Flood

There was a certain village that dwelt at the bottom of a canyon.

Though their ancestors were said to have prospered on higher planes, they found comfort in the canyon’s familiarity. As a matter of fact, most had never left the canyon, and regarded any such legend concerning their ancestors to be mere myth.

Those with eyes to see recognized that life in the canyon was far less than life could be. They believed the legends regarding their forebears, and sought to climb out of the canyon to reach the higher planes.

As they began their climb out, others wondered at their faith and began to consider the veracity of the legends as well. They looked around at their present condition and noticed something they had never seen before: the tide of the canyon’s river was gradually rising. They tried to warn others and decided to trek for higher ground; some believed them and followed suit, others disregarded the discovery. “It will come back down soon enough,” one remarked. “This happens all the time, this is normal,” “we knew this would happen,” others reasoned.

With time, the flood waters began rushing in at greater speeds. Those who hadn’t responded to the warning to flee were forced to do so—or double down in their belief that the canyon was a perfectly suitable home.

Eventually, the flood rushed in and filled the canyon. Those who had not previously sought to escape were swept up in it, while those who had proactively and voluntarily climbed to the higher planes were unaffected. Not only were they saved from the flood, but they enjoyed the prosperity had among their ancestors.

Today

Regarding the last days, the Savior said: “But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left” (Matthew 24:37-41; emphasis added).

How does this apply to our day?

In Noah’s day, the earth was baptized by water. In our day, it will be baptized by fire and the Holy Ghost—that is to say, truth. Those who acclimate to the new level of revealed truth will abide the day in greater glory—those who do not will be burned by it.

If you are not actively exercising diligence in knowing God, coming to His truth, and seeking to understand His will, you will get swept up in the coming flood. As each revelation is made, the children of men will be forced to choose repentance or death.

I’ll provide some examples.

1. The CES Letter, Under the Banner of Heaven, etc.
It’s been supposed by members of the Church for some time that a simple “testimony” and faithful church participation is all that was necessary to be saved. However, this is akin to living at the bottom of the canyon. Content like the CES Letter functions as the left hand of God, scourging His people and stirring them up to repentance. It challenges their worldview and demands they either seek higher ground or be lost to the flood.

Because most of us are not proactively seeking greater spiritual truth (as a whole), these things catch us off guard. My observation is that the vast majority of people are unprepared to contend with these things, and it overwhelms their faith to the point of doubt. It’s highly likely that such content will increase in volume and prevalence in the coming years, challenging those whose faith has not yet taken them higher, and further hardening those who have already given way to the flood.

The following is a fact: the Sunday School narrative of both Church history and doctrine is so low-resolution that it has become a stumbling block to almost everyone. If we are not seeking higher ground, we will realize in greater and greater degrees how sandy of a foundation we are built upon—and when the floods come, great shall be the fall of it. “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children” (Hosea 4:6).

Nearly all the criticisms I see floating around online are responding to a caricature of a narrative regarding the Church/restoration—a caricature which we are in large part responsible for creating. Mormon and anti-Mormon alike must realize that the battle for truth is not happening on the level they think it is. This is almost impossible to see or understand at the bottom of the canyon. Unfortunately, we’ve espoused the belief (whether consciously or subconsciously) that once you’ve gotten the ordinances and know enough to teach Sunday School, you know basically everything you need to know—and if there is anything else that matters, it will come through the current Church President; everything else is trivia, bonus material, or “looking beyond the mark.” Such an attitude keeps one at the bottom of the canyon, and will prove itself untrue in this generation.

2. Social Justice
If we’re not actively seeking to understand the Lord’s morals and ideals on their own terms, the rising tide of Western leftist ideology will sweep us up. Before their destruction, the Israelites were guilty of worshipping the gods of the gentile nations. Being enticed by the world’s morals and ideals, and even turning around and reading them back into the scriptures, accomplishes the same thing spiritually. Many of us worship the gods of the gentiles without realizing it.

The reason that this happens is similar to the reason the previous issue does. If there is not an active effort being made on an individual’s part to know God, they will be introduced to and become faithful to some other god—whichever one is the most popular in a given culture.

Our faith ought to inform our politics. Social movements should not determine our religious beliefs, but vice versa. If we don’t bother to figure these things out, the world will figure them out for us—or quickly convince us our beliefs are bigoted, shallow, and immoral. “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20).

These also function as the left hand of God.

3. A World in Commotion
Another similar issue is the way the world is reacting to the natural consequences of general wickedness. In all contexts and places, we are beginning to reap the consequences of corruption, pride, and vanity.

Life at the bottom of the canyon is of a lower quality already, but one thing that seals the deal for the honest in heart is the fact that it can and does flood. Those who love their “things” down here—their telestial way of life—will either have to confront the fact that their idols are insufficient to rely on, or blame their frustration and unmet expectations on others.

When vacations, TV, and A/C disappear, when money loses its value, when government proves unreliable, when leaders, political, religious, or otherwise are caught in corruption, how will we react?

Every idol must be thrown down. Anything that could deter or distract us from faith in Christ will be put to the test. Will it stand the fire of greater truth?

“For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is” (1 Corinthians 3:11-13).

This is the left hand of God.

Conclusion

This pattern applies in other ways as well. We must be anxiously, proactively, engaged in knowing God (D&C 58:26-27). Those who do not exercise diligence now will be caught off guard when the floods rise.

There are two dimensions to the flood. One enacted by the left hand of God, which will find its fullest manifestation in the endtime King of Assyria (Isaiah 28), and the other by the right hand of God, which will gather out the elect and take them higher:

“And righteousness will I send down out of heaven; and truth will I send forth out of the earth, to bear testimony of mine Only Begotten; his resurrection from the dead; yea, and also the resurrection of all men; and righteousness and truth will I cause to sweep the earth as with a flood, to gather out mine elect from the four quarters of the earth, unto a place which I shall prepare, an Holy City, that my people may gird up their loins, and be looking forth for the time of my coming; for there shall be my tabernacle, and it shall be called Zion, a New Jerusalem” (Moses 7:62; cf. JSH 1:37).

The world is beginning to transition into a greater degree of truth and glory. Who will abide the day of his coming? We must personally decide whether we will transition with it, or be burned by the coming day (Malachi 4:1).

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