“An Ensign for the Nations,” New Era, Jan. 2019, 32–33.
“In the scriptures, a flag or standard around which people gather in a unity of purpose or identity. In ancient times an ensign served as a rallying point for soldiers in battle” (Guide to the Scriptures, “Ensign,” scriptures.lds.org).
Is raised up. The Lord urges us to look upward, to raise our sights and serve a higher cause—His cause.
Gathers. In the last days, the Lord will gather scattered Israel. He has begun this work by restoring His authority and His Church (see Doctrine and Covenants 110:11–12), as well as by sending His servants to preach the gospel. They invite people to “gather” by accepting Jesus Christ, obeying Him, making covenants, and assembling in stakes of Zion in their own lands. “The Book of Mormon and the Church of Jesus Christ are symbolic ensigns to all nations of the earth” (Guide to the Scriptures, “Ensign,” scriptures.lds.org). Also included in the work of gathering are ordinances performed for deceased ancestors.
Rallies an army. We rally to the Lord’s cause by making and keeping covenants, preaching God’s word, keeping His commandments, and serving in His Church. As we minister to one another and stand up for the cause of truth and righteousness, we join the ranks of the Lord’s army.
Focuses on a rallying point. The center of our faith, devotion, and service is Jesus Christ. He said, “My Father sent me that I might be lifted up upon the cross; and after that I had been lifted up upon the cross, that I might draw all men unto me, that as I have been lifted up by men even so should men be lifted up by the Father” (3 Nephi 27:14).