Preparing for the Lord's Return by D. Todd Christofferson
Content by Jenika Clawson
Building Zion has been a priority for the Saints for many generations, but it wasn't until studying this talk that I understood Zion isn't meant to simply be a community of likeminded individuals and families. Elder D. Todd Christofferson points out that "first, and crucial for the Lord's return, is the presence on earth of a people prepared to receive Him at His coming." I find that to not only be a great responsibility but also rather daunting, right? Later on, he teaches that "we build up Zion in our homes, wards, branches, and stakes through unity, godliness, and charity." Of those, godliness was the most unfamiliar, so I decided to dig a little deeper.
I've always found it intriguing how Satan tries to get into Jesus' head. He taunts Jesus a couple of times with the same tactic every time:
"And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
"Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God." (Matthew 4:6-7)
Now obviously, Jesus had no reason to jump off the cliff to prove him wrong. Honestly, would any of us? No, because we know that it's ridiculous. But what if that was never Satan's intention? Satan knew he couldn't trick the Son of God into jumping off a cliff. Satan's tactic here, and in all the subsequent verses, all start with the same word, if. If you were the Son of God, you could turn this stone to bread. If you were the Son of God, you could jump off the cliff and angels would save you. Satan only leaves when Jesus responds:
"… Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve." (Matthew 4:10)
Satan knows the only way to pry his way into our hearts and minds is through making us doubt who we are and where we stand. If we have an eye single to our Father in Heaven, there is nothing that can draw us away from Him.
If we look at the beginning of the talk, Elder Christofferson opens by pointing out that "the Resurrection confirms the divinity of Jesus Christ and the reality of God the Father." Our Father. I think that we forget all too often that divinity runs throughout our spiritual DNA. It's unnatural for us to feel inadequate. It's something we have let the world teach us. Don't believe me? Watch any child look at themselves in the mirror. They're not thinking anything hateful about themselves and more often than not they'll attempt to give themselves a big smooch! Godliness is something we have inherited from our Heavenly Parents. The lesson to learn here is to ignore Satan's lies and fallacies and listen to the spirit God carefully placed in your body. Listen to the spirit that tells you that you are more than enough and you are capable of amazing things.
Now I would like to create a space for honesty here. Grab a pen and paper and list your top 10 priorities in life at the moment, your honest priorities. If you feel a little stuck, it might be helpful to consider a few things, such as how do you spend your time? What do you think about when falling asleep at night? What are the things you consider when making decisions? Where do God and your relationship with Him lie on that list?
Recently, a friend opened up to me about how she discovered God wasn't her number one priority in life. At that moment, I realized I couldn't remember the last time God was my top priority. She shared the peace and joy she found when she decided to put God first for a whole month, and I would like you to join me in her challenge to do the same. To wake up every day and ask yourself, "How will I put God first today?" Is it starting your day in the word of God? Does it mean attending the temple weekly? Monthly? Recommitting to morning and evening prayers?
Whatever it looks like for you, whether it be a combination of things or just nailing one thing, I would like to remind you of the earlier quote:
"First, and crucial for the Lord's return, is the presence on earth of a people prepared to receive Him at His coming."
What if the second coming is pending us being those prepared people? What if Christ is patiently waiting for us to figure all of this out so He can come and relieve the world? If that is the case, what will you do differently to prepare your stakes, branches, wards, and families, for the second coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? What will you do to prepare yourself?
FAITH IN ACTION
The Second Coming of Jesus Christ is an exciting event to look forward to in these last days! Elder Christofferson tells us that Christ may be waiting on us to be prepared to receive him. Let this new wallpaper download be a reminder for you to do something today to help prepare you for the coming of Christ.