We are two days from the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States of America. This phrase alone sparks all kinds of emotions from both sides of the political spectrum. We live in unprecedented and fragile times. The response of people all over is very interesting. Some are celebrating, relieved to get rid of Donald Trump and move on with our lives. Others are concerned and saddened that the election was stolen by the Deep State and the Republic as we know it has fallen. Some believe that Trump will somehow still pull off a last minute victory by declaring emergency powers, causing a media blackout and making mass arrests. There is no shortage of information out there. As you and I navigate the coming days of political chaos and information warfare I want to share with you some impressions I feel. It has to do with the “HAIL CAESAR” feeling that many have or in other words, “HAIL TRUMP.” “HALLELUJIAH”, on the other hand, means God be praised. Amidst all the turmoil, where are we turning for answers?
#1 IMPRESSION: TRUMP is a secular Caesar. Our faith should not be in him as a person. The following verse from the Bible helps clarify this point, Mark 12:17 – “And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. And they marvelled at him.”
I get concerned with how many people will blindly follow Trump. Jesus’ movement is the one we need to be aligned with. Jesus was clear that we should separate our allegiance to political figures and to Him. Political figures come and go. Trump has massive rallies and has promised so much to the American people. Trump has such good intentions to “Make America Great Again” but is surrounded by people who do not have his best interest. Many are caught in a false hope that he will somehow get 4 more years and bring America back to prosperity, traditional Christian Values and Constitutional principles. When he falls, now or later, I am concerned that many people will become depressed and vengeful. Some are talking about taking up arms to defend our rights and the falling Republic. In these complicated modern times is this the correct course of action? My heart says no. I choose to follow the Savior, and not to blindly follow Trump.
The ego in all of us will fall eventually. Trump and his ego will eventually fall. His Twitter is already gone. What will the rest of the fallout look like? 2nd impeachment already underway. Blacklist and arrest all Trump loyalists and supporters? I don’t think it will be pretty. We need to understand that the war we are fighting is spiritual. Satan is having is “hay day” right now and pitting family and friends against each other. While we are divided with the Trump side show he grabs more power and control over us. Unless America repents, it will face the same fate as secular Rome or ancient Israel. The United States of America is God’s covenant land. We are only guaranteed protection, prosperity, posterity if we are faithful. What has become of the 10 commandments? What about all the unborn babies being killed? What about the debt and materialism and pride in our hearts?
Moroni, the last of the authors in the Book of Mormon and the lone Nephite civilization survivor from destruction saw our day and described what things would be like. His words found in Mormon 8:34-41 in the Book of Mormon will shake your heart. Its not pretty but important to understand what he said.
“34 Behold, the Lord hath shown unto me great and marvelous things concerning that which must shortly come, at that day when these things shall come forth among you (we have the Book of Mormon so this time is NOW).
35 Behold, I speak unto you as if ye were present, and yet ye are not. But behold, Jesus Christ hath shown you unto me, and I know your doing.
36 And I know that ye do walk in the pride of your hearts; and there are none save a few only who do not lift themselves up in the pride of their hearts, unto the wearing of very fine apparel unto envying, and strifes, and malice, and persecutions, and all manner of iniquities; and your churches, yea, even every one, have become polluted because of the pride of your hearts.
37 For behold, ye do love money and your substance, and your fine apparel, and the adorning of your churches, more than ye love the poor and the needy, the sick and the afflicted.
38 O ye pollutions, ye hypocrites, ye teachers, who sell yourselves for that which will canker, why have ye polluted the holy church of God? Why are ye ashamed to take upon you the name of Christ? Why do ye not think that greater is the value of an endless happiness than that misery which never dies—because of the praise of the world?
39 Why do ye adorn yourselves with that which hath no life, and yet suffer the hungry, and the needy, and the naked, and the sick and the afflicted to pass by you, and notice them not?
40 Yea, why do ye build up your secret combinations to get gain, and cause that widows should mourn before the Lord, and also orphans to mourn before the Lord, and also the blood of their fathers and their husbands to cry unto the Lord from the ground, for vengeance upon your heads?
41 Behold, the sword of vengeance hangeth over you; and the time soon cometh that he avengeth the blood of the saints upon you, for he will not suffer their cries any longer.
The prophecy is crystal clear. The Lord is upset with us at large and unless we repent in our hearts individually and then collectively embrace our Savior, we will be destroyed. I don’t see widespread repentance happening until times get very tough. Can 2021 be worse than 2020? Indeed it can. I don’t want to preach doom and gloom but the reality of our awful situation is clear.
#2 IMPRESSION: The prophecies of the scriptures WILL come to pass. I don’t recall the scriptures saying that there would be an overall victory for truth or goodness in this world until the Savior comes again. We need to stand up for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and the President of the Church. The servants of Christ are under attack from the enemy. People are leaving the church in droves. Most fall victim to sin and are desensitized but others are choosing to leave based on disagreements with church leaders or church history. Despite what anyone says the scriptures say that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints will never be taken from the earth. Daniel saw it in vision as the “stone that was cut out from the mountain without hands which would roll forth and fill the whole earth (see Daniel 2:31–45; D&C 65:2).”
The destiny of the church and its members is to gather Israel, build Zion and welcome the return of the Lost Ten Tribes from the North and eventually the Savior back to this earth. The time is not far distant where this will all come to pass. We are in the last days of the last days. The problem is that many do not know or understand the signs of the times or the prophecies and they lose faith. Remember Nephi and the humble Christian followers at the time right before Christ’s birth? Society thought the time had passed for the sign to be given and gave up hope. The believers were rounded up and going to be executed. Then what happened was a miracle. The sign did come! The believers were validated. Prophecy was fulfilled (See 3rd Nephi Chapter 1). Our greatest desire right now and our greatest work is to build up Zion and to align ourselves unfailing with the Savior of the World. We need to maintain in the prophecies of the Kingdom and know that the world at large will get worse before it gets better. Things will get so bad eventually that everyone who doesn’t flee to Zion will have to take up the sword against their neighbor (see D&C45:68). Our only hope in this world is to establish Zion in our hearts first and then physically for protection. Zion will be built in this American continent. Until then we must wait and watch patiently and prepare for the worst.
#3 IMPRESSION: DEFEND THE SAVIOR AT ALL COSTS.
Rather than defending Trump at all costs and taking my assault rifle to protest at the capitol, I would rather defend my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ at all costs. Rather than sit here and feel guilt that I am not doing more to “save the Republic,” I should be feeling guilt that I am not doing more to defend Jesus Christ. I want to be on the front lines sure enough, but the front lines of the spiritual war and not the political war. I am concerned that many of us are being lulled to sleep in our devotion to the Savior by the trying times that are around us. I truly believe the Lord is looking for who he can count on. Now is the time to stand up and be counted! When I get concerned about the politics in our country, or the one world government takeover, I would do well to remember to have faith in the Savior and the prophecies that have been written concerning the church. This is the movement to get behind 100%. Zion is my greatest desire.
I will not become uneasy or restless or lose faith because of what happens with the Presidency of the United States. Indeed, our cause is far greater than the MAGA or “HAIL TRUMP” movement. I am amazed at how the brethren stay politically neutral and talk mostly about the “rule of law.” This is upsetting to some but the Lord’s kingdom is not of this world. We must realize that the Savior is in control and while the world is divided and chaotic, he is quickly and quietly preparing a people and a nation to build Zion. Let us join together regardless how we feel politically in building the Kingdom of God on earth and ushering in the Milennial reign of our Lord. Let us all shout “HALLELUJIAH” as we trust only in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
It’s the evening on Christmas. My wife and kids have gone to bed and I am sitting here in reflection on the meaning of it all. There is so much about Christmas in the modern day that seems excessive. The decorations, the lights, the picture perfect family photo, the elaborate meal, the gifts and the toys…its all a bit much. Some of us rebel as Scrooge or the Grinch. As a dentist on Christmas there is never a more stressful time of the year. Insurance and lab deadlines along with bonuses and paid time off and holidays. Not really a profitable month by any stretch. Anyone who does the numbers or owns a small business knows what I am talking about. But it’s not about the money. And why fight it anyway? We can’t simply just ignore Christmas or get rid of it all and travel to the middle of nowhere as an escape. Remember how that worked out for Mr. Krank. So before this season I decided I was going to GO ALL IN and make this a Christmas to remember. Instead of about-facing I was EMBRACING. I said yes to everything and made sure to push for all the things I wanted. We put lights on our house this year which was. a big step up from what we normally do which was just the bushes. We put lights everywhere actually. In my office front room and my back cubby hole, in the kids room, the family room, and even put up new string lights in the backyard over our pool.
I was going ALL IN on the lights. We purchased our best REAL Christmas tree yet and probably watched every Christmas movie available getting into the spirit. One of the strands went out on my tree a couple weeks or so before Christmas and I made a late night trip to WAL-MART just to get new lights. I had to undo everything I had done without breaking glass ornaments and then redo all the tree lights. I was really caught up and full steam ahead until one night I was reading the Book of Mormon in 2nd Nephi Chapter 7 verse 11 and it hit me like a ton of bricks.
“Behold all ye that kindle fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks, walk in the light of your fire and in the sparks which ye have kindled. This shall ye have of mine hand—ye shall lie down in sorrow. “
To me this clearly was telling me that I was too worried about the DISPLAY of Christmas-namely the lights (compassing myself about with sparks). Many can display Christmas Spirit but it needs to match my actions and what I am doing. Am I walking in the sparks that I have kindled? Am I actually doing what the Savior would do if he were here? Am I giving myself to others and loving others as He would want me to?
From this day on I changed my attitude. I still went ALL IN on all the extras. We did gingerbread houses, drove 5 hrs for a 1hr train ride on the Polar Express in Williams Arizona, I ate too much junk and I spent way too much money on gifts. But all of this I did with a different spirit in my heart. I started to love a little more and give and the opportunities to bless others lives kept coming. I gave and gave and gave some more and it felt so good! I was more fully present at home and tried to soak in every moment. For this entire year I’ve had the feeling that these are “the good ‘ol days” we will reminisce about for years to come. Many want 2020 to be over with and on to 2021, thinking all will return to normal. Well what if it doesn’t? Not to be doom and gloom but knowing what I know about the current state of the world and the future of society I don’t think circumstances will improve. The vaccines won’t magically fix everything. Biden getting in or 4 more years of Trump won’t fix anything. Our faith is not in the world but in the Savior and in Him alone. I am optimistic about the future but only because good people everywhere are awake in their hearts and living better lives than they ever have before. ZION is awake and the purification of the people to receive the Savior is happening. There is so much love and goodness in the world. For many, we are living in times of abundance. We really are so blessed.
So what is our calling? I believe with all that is going on it is our opportunity to show Christ how much we love Him by making Him our priority. I find it ironic that Mary and Joseph could not find room when they arrived in Bethlehem. The Christ Child had nowhere to lay his head in fulfillment of prophecy. The creator and ruler of this Universe didn’t have a place to be born in this world. What is the lesson here? I believe we need to choose each day to make room for Jesus in our lives. He doesn’t mind not having a place in the world but He is eager to be in our hearts. He is of heaven are we. Do we have a place for Him in our heart? Do we make Him the center of all we do or the afterthought that we hurriedly try to “squeeze-in” amidst everything else we are doing. We MAKE ROOM for Him by intentionally saying no to the things that are of less worth and YES to the inclinations to love and to give and to serve. This is the great challenge. With all the action and everything we have going on it means so much to Him that we would set it all aside to put Him first. True love requires us to sacrifice the things that are good but that are NOT the most important, for what is MOST important.
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Today I turned the NBA on for about 10 minutes and it felt odd. I haven’t watched a game since the COVID shutdowns happened and anyone who knows me knows how much I love basketball. Yet deep in my heart I knew my Spirit would be better served doing something else, something more meaningful. So I wrote an e-mail to a good friend who had a really tough year. I spent time actually playing and interacting with my kids. I turned on peaceful relaxing Christmas jazz. I really tried to tune out the world. Then I started getting inspiration on what to write. I only really write when I feel moved upon and I was really feeling this post. So if it helps someone out there I really am grateful I chose to not give in to the lesser things.
We need Christ in our lives now more than ever. If you are overwhelmed, run-down or just flat out burnt out and stressed, turn to Christ and just start serving your brothers and sisters around you. Start in your family, in your profession, the ways to serve are endless. We don’t all have to feed starving children in Africa to make a difference. There are so many people in need. Let us carry this Spirit of Christ and giving into 2021 and beyond, no matter what happens with the world and society.
MAKE ROOM FOR HIM. HE WILL FILL YOUR HEART WITH LOVE. LOVE IS ALWAYS THE ANSWER.
Both my Grandfather and Uncle on my Mom’s side passed away from heart attacks. Heart anomalies run in the family and so it is wise for me to get my heart checked often. Without the heart beating properly I could jeopardize my long term health and future. A routine heart check up using an EKG, could be beneficial.
“Each time your heart beats, an electrical signal travels through the heart. An EKG can show if your heart is beating at a normal rate and strength. It also helps show the size and position of your heart’s chambers. An abnormal EKG can be a sign of heart disease or damage. “https://medlineplus.gov/lab-tests/electrocardiogram/
Just as vital as our physical heart is our spiritual heart. Is our spiritual heart in good shape and ready for what lies ahead? We would be wise at this junction, with all that is pulling at us, to check our spiritual hearts. The weight of the world can crumble and clog our hearts if we are not careful. I just read a headline that said that in Japan, suicide deaths now outnumber Covid-19 deaths https://www.cnn.com/2020/11/28/asia/japan-suicide-women-covid-dst-intl-hnk/index.html. These are surely dark days. Many are giving up hope. This is the equivalent of our spiritual hearts failing us. Watch this short video below.
There is a prophecy that in the last days, “men’s hearts shall fail them.” The prophecy is found in Luke 21:26 and reads, “Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.” As we look around us now it is easy to get discouraged.
I feel like as soon as I make some progress up my personal mountain climb that I can get thrown back down a ways. Despite them being my biggest blessings, the challenges of being a husband, father, owning a house and small business are all consuming. Life has a certain way of bringing us to our knees and humbling us. The pandemic, the political strife and secret combinations of evil all seem to be weighing me down. Part of me wants to sell everything and go live in a bunker with Jess and the kids, bracing for the end of the world. My heart aches for a better world as it talks about in the book of Revelations in the Bible. Revelations 21:4 says, “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain, for the former things are passed away.” I look forward to this day.
So how is your heart? At least for me when I check my spiritual heart I find that it is still weak in many ways. It is not ready for the next life or even a Zion on earth because it has not yet been sufficiently tested. Has my heart been stripped of pride, envy, jealousy? Is my heart oriented first towards loving God and my fellow men above the world? Is my heart pure before the Lord to the point where I only desire righteousness and to do the Lord’s will? I may think that I have good intentions to do good in the world but if my will is not in line with Heavenly Father’s then I am in the wrong. The Lord says in Matthew 6:21 “where your treasure is there will your heart be also.”
And so here I am in the present with unfinished business for my heart. I am not going to go hide in a bunker as the world struggles. I am here to love and serve first in my family and then to friends and all that I can in my circle, for as long as I can.
Like any muscle, your heart grows when you use it. This Christmas it is my challenge to myself and all those reading to have a Grinch or Scrooge-like transformative Christmas experience this year. We can sit around and feel sorry for ourselves or we can choose to let our hearts grow. We can choose to give our hearts and wills totally to the Savior and watch what happens. I can promise you miracles will come into our lives if we just let him in. He stands at the door and knocks and all we need to do is open our heart to him. He will enter our hearts, he will purify them and get rid of any weakness. In fact, He will give us a totally new heart if we trust Him.
John 16:33 “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”
This year I am committing to strengthening my heart and seeking the heart that only the Savior can give. There is a campaign through my church called #lighttheworld. Will you join me on this heart journey? Here is the link: https://www.comeuntochrist.org/light-the-world-2020. It starts December 1st!
Good people everywhere are waking up to the fact that evil is on the rise across the globe, including in our very own backyard. There are people with money and power who have joined in a secret combination to destroy our way of life. The need has never been greater for good Christians everywhere to rise up as “Defenders of the Faith.” We can no longer sit in silence and watch the world and people we love crumble around us.
I’ve been doing A LOT of soul searching lately. Part of it was sprung by my parents cleaning out an old storage unit with boxes and bins full of my old memorabilia, journals and photos. Jess & I went through everything this weekend and it was like my entire life flashed before my eyes. It was eye opening to see how the Lord has prepared me for this very moment in time.
In going back through everything I saw how the Lord has been guiding me in each phase of my life. I saw my early years reared in a loving home, my high school days full of growth and accomplishment and then into the mission where I learned to teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Spanish but most importantly, how to love. Then came the post mission adjustment to real life where I endured heartbreaking trials in school, athletics and dating. I struggled as a single adult with the pull of worldly pursuits including a lust addiction that almost destroyed me. I didn’t believe I would ever be married in the temple. A long repentance/recovery and some angelic ministry and miracles brought me back to the light and filled my soul with true love instead of lust. I was lucky enough to marry one of those ministering angels who is my best friend and love of my life. We have been married over 5 years with two kids and have been “adulting” as they call it. We are finding the trials of professional debt, family stress and establishing a career as small business owners very challenging in these times. But after looking back on it all now in reflection I see what the Lord has done for me and what he has molded me into. It fills me with so much joy and gratitude to know that He cares about me and has been with me the entire time. His love was not conditional. My life has been far from perfect but through all of it I’ve come to know the Savior. My relationship with Him is after all what matters most. The Lord in the Book of Mormon said to the prophet Nephi, “…wherefore, inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments ye shall be led towards the promised land land and ye shall know that it is by me that ye are led.” (1 Nephi 17:13). I feel like in this moment I am in a good place and can say that I know that the Lord has led me where I am.
I feel like I’ve arrived at some sort of a significant destination. Like climbing a mountain I am now at a certain vantage point or crossroads in my life where I can see the past present and future all at once. Looking back I can see how far I’ve come. On a date tonight with my wife Jessica I told her that I feel like I’m right where I am supposed to be. She is also right where she is supposed to be. We were always meant to be together. How special is that? There is no one that could take her place. She is such an ideal companion for me with a powerful natural inclination for the spiritual and the divine. We passed by the temple we were married at in Gilbert. We made sacred promises to each other. And now here we are only 7.5 years after meeting each other in this lifetime and feeling more in love than ever.
For our date I insisted we go listen to a presentation by my close friend and my cousin once removed, Rod Meldrum who founded the website Bookofmormonevidence.org. He is a researcher into concrete archaeological evidence for the Book of Mormon events happening right here in the United States of America. He collaborates with many others and together they have created a massive wave of undeniable truths which are solidifying the testimonies of believing members. The focus is on the scriptures and the words of modern prophets in regards to the “Promise Land” that God saved and set apart for a land of liberty and safety. From this land he would be able to share His word with all the world. This land God set aside is the United States of America. Some of the recent physical findings Rod and his colleagues have uncovered include numerous earthworks uncovered in the heartland of America that prove the existence of a vast civilization and advanced society whose history was buried. The timeline of their rise and fall matches precisely when the Nephite culture existed in the Book of Mormon (approx 600 BC to 400 AD). The Book of Mormon is the anchor to my faith as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Either it is true or it is an enormous lie, it can’t be both.
I know I drive my wife crazy because we drove 55 minutes and listened to a 4 and a half hour long presentation. Deep down though I don’t think she thinks I am too crazy. In fact she also believes in the Book of Mormon and that it all happened right here in the USA. I have researched enough for myself and prayed and felt very strongly that all of this evidence is true. It has solidified my testimony to the point of it being unbreakable. It isn’t really “faith” or “belief” anymore but has become knowledge. Armed with this knowledge I feel I can go out into a trouble world and better defend the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I also feel I am better prepared for the trying days that are ahead. As we drove home I looked at the face shield hanging from the dashboard and I told my wife that I just have a feeling the COVID Pandemic is not going away. Remember just two weeks to slow the spread? Life will never be going back to how it once was no matter how badly we want it to. Now is the time for true members of the church to step up and go to battle. Who will join in the defense of all that we hold dear? Will we rise against evil and secret combinations to protect our families? We need many who are willing to be modern day Captain Moroni’s. Moroni wrote, “In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children.” Alma 46:12.
This post is a call for myself and men and women everywhere, who lead their families, to join the front lines in the fight against the evil of our day and be defenders of the faith. Our families, livelihood and very existence are under attack. Are we awake? Does the political polarization of society, pandemic, lockdowns, riots and contested election concern you at all as to where we are headed? This is just the beginning and it is not going to ever be entirely back to normal my friends. So now is the time to get our lives and our homes in order and prepare everyday as if the Savior was coming tomorrow. We must be ready to meet our Maker. Most important is to keep the commandments of God and love one another.
So where are we now in the present? We must avoid the common pitfalls of men of our day and rise up to be men of God. What are these pitfalls? We are too easily led off course with our ego thinking we are wise in the ways of the world and ignoring God’s counsels. We follow our own paths of self promotion and feed our massive egos. We focus too much on our career at the expense of our wives and children who need us. We may provide financially but we also need to be preparing our families for disaster with storable food and water which will be far more valuable for the future. Another pitfall is that we let lust into our hearts and get distracted from the love Heavenly Father wants us to feel in a committed relationship. We live in a pornographic society where we have a constant feed of immodesty and lust at our fingertips. The world engages in moral decline and the Saints are not innocent either, especially in thoughts. Will we let ourselves become or remain addicted to this evil? If we allow it in our hearts we will be destroyed. There is a way out. There is hope and healing on the other side but it is a long hard road. Are we willing to get or stay clean at any cost? Another threat to our spirit is the way we approach our physical health. At times we don’t exercise, we stay up too late and consume foods that are harmful. We push aside the Lord’s code of health in the Word of Wisdom and at what expense? We will need all the physical strength and mental clarity we can muster for what lies ahead.
And what does lie ahead? Do we know what is to come? Do we realize the destiny of the United States of America and this world? Yes we do. This was all foretold by prophets long ago who saw our day. The signs are all around us. We know who wins in the end. The Constitution will endure through trial into eternity. The United States will birth the Kingdom of God and Zion including the New Jerusalem built on this continent in Missouri and the Savior himself will return and the wicked will be destroyed. Good will ultimately triumph over evil. So what do we have to fear?
It is time we all unite as defenders of the faith…As lovers of truth. One definition of truth is knowledge of things as they really are…the past, the present and the future all wrapped up in one. As I am writing this I know what I am saying is true. I’ve discussed my past, the present state of the world and what is to come in the future. It is all right here before my eyes. All I can do is drop to my knees in gratitude for all that God has revealed and be thankful. Let us stand with the Savior. Let us be “Defenders of the Faith.”
Please feel free to share with friends and family! We all need each other during this time.