I believe the most powerful doctrine that Joseph Smith taught was that God was approachable, that we could, if we desire and have faith, come to Him while in this life.
“Let us here observe that after any members of the human family are made acquainted with the important fact that there is a God who has created and does uphold all things, the extent of their knowledge respecting his character and glory will depend upon their diligence and faithfulness in seeking after him, until, like Enoch, the brother of Jared, and Moses, they shall obtain faith in God and power with him to behold him face to face.” Lectures on Faith 2:55
This is also the single most important doctrine of the Book of Mormon – to come unto Christ, and the pattern is woven throughout the entire book. But despite this glorious doctrine staring us in the face, we fail to take it serious as a whole within the Church.
54 And your minds in times past have been darkened because of unbelief, and because you have treated lightly the things you have received—
55 Which vanity and unbelief have brought the whole church under condemnation. (Only two years after the Church was organized.)
56 And this condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion, even all.
57 And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them, not only to say, but to do according to that which I have written—
58 That they may bring forth fruit meet for their Father’s kingdom; otherwise there remaineth a scourge and judgment to be poured out upon the children of Zion.
There is no question that the early Church was scourged and failed to establish Zion. How many came unto Christ and became a witness of Him? How many of the General Authorities do today? Where is the fruit?
The Church as a whole was startled when newly appointed Ezra Taft Benson declared in April of 1986 that we were still under this condemnation. What happened after that? More people started reading the BofM and more books were circulated among missionaries.
So, has there been a revelation from the Lord declaring that we are no longer under this condemnation? Do we even talk about coming to God and beholding His face? Isn’t this part of what occurs if we are a true Zion people?
The Church is still under condemnation and completely ignores the subject.
When the Lord had the Book of Mormon compiled and prepared He knew who would read it. It was meant for the members of the Church in the Last Days – for us, the Gentiles.
But there is hope. The very last verses of the Book of Mormon contain these words:
31 And awake, and arise from the dust, O Jerusalem; yea, and put on thy beautiful garments, O daughter of Zion; (I believe this is the word to describe the LDS people in the last days.) and strengthen thy stakes and enlarge thy borders forever, that thou mayest no more be confounded, that the covenants of the Eternal Father which he hath made unto thee, O house of Israel, may be fulfilled.
32 Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.
There is an awakening happening among the Latter-day Saints today, and Christ-seeking people through out the world. It is time to arise from the dust and come to Him. The Book of Mormon declares it with one witness after another. This is the new covenant that we are asked to partake of. Wake up “daughters of Zion” – the time is now!