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    How to Prepare for the Second Coming

    Elder Dallin H. Oaks Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

    Are we preparing today for the day of His coming?

    “This life is the time for men to prepare to meet God” (Alma 34:32). Are we preparing? What if the day of His coming were tomorrow? If we knew that we would meet the Lord tomorrow—through our premature death or through His unexpected coming—what would we do today? What confessions would we make? What practices would we discontinue? What accounts would we settle? What forgivenesses would we extend? What testimonies would we bear?

    If we would do those things then, why not now? Why not seek peace while peace can be obtained?

    We are surrounded by challenges on all sides. But with faith in God, we trust the blessings He has promised those who keep His commandments.

    Evil that used to be localized and covered like a boil is now legalized and paraded like a banner. The most fundamental roots and bulwarks (protective walls) of civilization are questioned or attacked. Nations disavow their religious heritage. Marriage and family responsibilities are discarded as impediments to personal indulgence. The movies and magazines and television that shape our attitudes are ­ filled with stories or images that portray the children of God as predatory beasts or, at best, as trivial creations pursuing little more than personal pleasure. And too many of us accept this as entertainment.

    The good, the true, and the beautiful are being replaced by the no-good, the “whatever,” and the valueless fodder of personal whim. Not surprisingly, many are caught up in pornography, pagan piercing of body parts, self-serving pleasure pursuits, dishonest behavior, revealing attire, foul language, and degrading sexual indulgence.

    All of this is grievous in the sight of our Heavenly Father, who loves all of His children and forbids every practice that keeps any from returning to His presence.

    What is the state of our personal preparation for eternal life? The people of God have always been people of covenant, including the sacred promises we made in the waters of baptism, in receiving the holy priesthood, and in the temples of God. Are we promisers who do not ful­fill and believers who do not perform?

    Are we following the Lord’s command, “Stand ye in holy places, and be not moved, until the day of the Lord come; for behold, it cometh quickly”? (D&C 87:8).

    We are surrounded by challenges on all sides (see 2 Corinthians 4:8–9). But with faith in God, we trust the blessings He has promised those who keep His commandments. We have faith in the future, and we are preparing for that future.

    “Wherefore,” the Savior tells us, “be faithful, praying always, having your lamps trimmed and burning, and oil with you, that you may be ready at the coming of the Bridegroom—

    “For behold, verily, verily, I say unto you, that I come quickly” (D&C 33:17–18).

    From an April 2004 general conference address.

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