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Prophet of God

Have you ever wondered if God still speaks to people today? You know, like in the days of Moses or Abraham or Noah? Don't you think people on the earth today would need a prophet as desperately as in ancient times?

I've kinda noticed lately that there are some terrible things happening in the world. There's a lot of uncertainty and fear.

In Matthew 24, Jesus is teaching people about calamities that will come before his Second Coming. Matt 24:6 KJV online says it this way:

"And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places."

Okay, so remember what it says in 2 Timothy 3? Paul is teaching people about the last days and all the stuff that will happen. NIV says it this way:

"But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; having a form of godliness but denying its power."

Okay, so we've established that we live in a tumultuous time. We've established that 2020 super duper sucks. I've heard the word "unprecedented" so many times this year, that I think if I hear it one more time I'll go jump in the pool, even though it's not even hot outside right now.

And yet, I'm still okay. I'm still at peace. Psalm 46:10 reminds us to, "Be still, and know that I am God..."

How can I find this stillness in the midst of chaos? How can I turn my heart to God? How can I even find God amidst the really loud noise everywhere?

For me, peace comes in the quiet moments. It comes when I'm at BSF with my friends, studying God's word. Last year I found peace in our small group meetings, talking with other women who love the Bible and who are willing to admit that life is hard. I loved those meetings and I'm really sad we can't meet in person right now. Zoom is okay. I'll take it.

Peace comes when I'm playing the piano in the quiet stillness of my living room; it comes when I'm practicing the organ in an empty chapel. Peace comes when I find a friend willing to sing with me, and we worship in my favorite way: me on the piano bench with her singing the melody. I really miss my friend B. She was the chorister when I was the organist, for a long time. I wrote more about this over here.

Peace comes in the middle of the night when everybody is asleep, and I have time to read and study and think and write. Peace comes quietly.

I also find great peace knowing that God has a plan, and that He's still in charge. God is sovereign. He knows what He's doing. I am certain that a merciful Father in Heaven is still in charge. He is still God, and He speaks to a prophet today. There are twelve apostles just like in New Testament times. It's kind of amazing. If you want to know more about the current twelve, go here for the coolest article from earlier this year and the Rome Temple dedication.

First a trip down memory lane. It was 1997 and I was living in southern China. I was a wannabe English teacher. The exchange program was called ILP and they recruited young college students to interact with elementary school children.  The only qualification: be able to speak fluent English (and not British but with an American accent). I'd always wanted to go to China and this was my chance. It was cheap, interesting, and there were two dozen other college kids who were willing to forfeit college credit in favor of seeing the world. We did some pretty amazing stuff (Great Wall, Beijing and the forbidden city, Xian and the terra cotta soldiers, Shanghai, YangShuo and the most beautiful mountains, Guangzhou, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macao, etc), and we managed to teach some English on the side, too.

The only hitch came when I realized I was on the other side of the planet from my family, and I got a bit homesick. One of my best friends died and I missed his funeral. And then I was depressed.  But I had great roommates, I could speak Mandarin okay, we had food and housing. Well, one day our church leaders told us we were invited to dress up in Sunday clothes and go to the school gymnasium at 10 am. I really wasn't sure it was worth the effort to wake up early and go. But my roommates and I decided we'd go, and then met a handful of church dignitaries who were touring southeast Asia. They had business in other big cities, but they took a rickety bus an hour outside of their path from Guangzhou, to visit our little town of Szichau so they could meet us. We all stood in line, wedding reception style, and had a moment to say hello and shake hands with each of the men and women in the group.  I liked each of the people who came to our school that day, including President Faust and his wife; Elder Nelson's wife Dantzel; other men and women; but when I shook hands with Elder Russell Nelson it was different. It was the most impactful, though we chatted for less than a minute. In all of these years I have never forgotten how I felt when we spoke. There was light and love radiating from him. He'd never met me before, but I felt this overwhelming outpouring of love and peace from him. I felt like he loved me and everybody. But how can a person be filled with that much love or peace or light?

Fast forward a bunch of years and in 2018 this same man was sustained as President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I've been a member of this church ever since I was eight years old. He's been an apostle my whole life. I trust this man. I'm sure that when he speaks, he is a mouthpiece for God. And in nine more days, he and his colleagues will share messages of hope and inspiration with everybody. Please join me if you're searching. If you're in need of hope because the world feels upside down, why not listen? If you're mad or scared or bored or lonely or depressed, why not listen? If you're not sure that God is still in charge, then lean on my faith right now.  I'm sure that God is still God. He is still sovereign and he speaks through a living prophet today. I am so glad to live in a time when the prophesies and promises are being fulfilled. I am so glad to know that a merciful Father in Heaven is still leading his people today through a living prophet.

Post Script: He issued a message to the world about the Healing Power of Gratitude on November 20, 2020. You can find it here. His message was exactly right, and social media was so fun for a week, because of the flood of goodness and gratitude. #GiveThanks You can go here if you want to see what I posted that week.


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