By Christine Thackeray
This weekend my family and I went camping at Tower Rock in Washington. It was a beautiful three days filled with silly songs, roasted marshmallows and glorious views. Since we were gone over Sunday, my husband got permission from the Bishop for our family to have our own sacrament meeting. I think Greg went a little overboard, asking most of the children to give talks, his sisters and brother and his wife to do songs and prayers and me to teach the Sunday School lesson. It was almost a three hour service by the end.
My topic for the Sunday School lesson was on how the Book of Mormon prepares us for the last days. While my children played a variation of "monkey in the middle" with a soccer ball in the field beside me, I opened the scriptures feeling quite confident that there was nothing new that would impress me. When we lived in Missouri near Adam-ondi-Ahman, there was such fervor over the second coming that I had studied it pretty intensely so that I wasn't sucked into common misconceptions. (Just so you know, there will NOT suddenly come a day when you get a phone call that says you need to be in Missouri by 5pm with your 72 hour kit. In 3 Nephi 21:29 it is pretty clear that if that type of gathering comes, it will "not be in haste, nor by flight.")
Anyway, so as I was once again reading about our day as prophecied by the Savior where he said that the Gentiles would be given the gospel and then dwindle in unbelief because of iniquity, I nodded at the decreased baptismal rate in the states and felt relieved that those who believe in Christ will not be cut off but then came the most fascinating verses of all in 3 Nephi 21: 12-14.
Verse 12 says that the remnant of the house of Jacob (or Lamanites) shall be among the Gentiles (us) as a lion among sheep and will tear them in pieces. I wrote in my margin when I was in high school that this could be in reference to the French and Indian War but given the increased issues with illegal immigration and gang activity, there may be a far more current fulfillment of this prophecy in ways I have never even considered. In Missouri and Oregon I have been amazed by the numbers of immigrants pouring in. According to http://www.immigrationcounters.com/, the total number is estimated at over 21 million and the cost to us as a country is in the billions. Over one million crimes are committed per year by these non-citizens, 2,000 of those crimes being murder and they make up over 25% of our prison population. (See http://www.usillegalaliens.com/impacts_of_illegal_immigration_crime_summary.html)
But the next verse is just as telling when it says "Yea, wo be unto the Gentiles except they repent; for it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Father, that I will cut off their horses out of the midst of thee, and I will destroy their chariots." What hit me as I read those words was that I never would have considered their fulfillment to come by increasing oil prices. But when you think about it, what are our horses and chariots? Our cars and trucks. It says the horses are going to be cut off but the trucking industry (or chariots) may be destroyed. (Have you looked at the cost of deisil lately?) Food prices have gone up something like 18% in the last two months. This is scary stuff.
So now that I've worked myself into a tizzy, I quickly flipped back to section 38 of the Doctrine and Covenants where it says "if ye are prepared ye shall not fear." The only problem is that we moved last year and I gave away about a thousand of pounds of grain and canned goods. Well, I'm running to Costco to spend our incentive check right now.