What greater power is there than the power of faith. Were not the worlds created by faith?
We read that if we have faith as a grain of mustard seed, we shall say to a mountain remove and it will move. We read that if we have faith as a grain of mustard seed, that if we command a sycamine tree to be rooted up and planted in the sea it will obey us.
But we don’t really care. Things are good enough as they are, we think.
In the coming years, be it near or far, the saints will find themselves in desperate need of deliverance by the power of faith.
And it will matter profoundly to us in that day whether we have faith as a grain of mustard seed or not.
These days we have been dumb, fat, and happy living beneath our privileges. We read the stories of the new testament, and we feel no concern that we are living beneath our privileges as saints.
But when the promised tribulations and persecutions come, then we will find that we care immensely.
And one cannot develop such faith in an instant.
Let us be wise and repent now and come to our God in truth. Let us lay aside our pretenses. The distance is considerable for all of us, so let us be diligent now, so that in the day of difficulty we will already be armed with power.
Saints who have but little power with God can be received up after being martyred for their cause. But we need to redeem Zion, and so we need men like Moses, men like Enoch, men like Melchizedek.
We are promised such difficulties as will make the burden of Israel in Egypt a light thing. We need men like Moses.
We are promised that again the nations will oppose Zion. We will need men like Enoch both to build and to defend her.
We do not need one such man. We do not need twelve. Those numbers are completely inadequate for the task at hand.
Does one man make a city? Can we take one righteous man who lives the principles of Zion and say “Zion is redeemed”? No.
If one man does not make a city, does 12? No.
We are thinking in entirely the wrong terms. Zion is a city of prophets. The Lord gives us a better picture when he speaks of 144,000 men.
Joseph Smith put it this way: “This principle ought (in its proper place) to be taught, for God hath not revealed anything to Joseph, but what He will make known unto the Twelve, and even the least Saint may know all things as fast as he is able to bear them, for the day must come when no man need say to his neighbor, Know ye that Lord; for all shall know Him (who remain) from the least to the greatest. How is this to be done? It is to be done by this sealing power, and the other Comforter spoken of, which will be manifest by revelation.”
In the millennium, all will know the Lord, from the least to the greatest. How will they all know him? By their having been sealed up unto eternal life, by their calling and election being made sure, in order that they may be worthy and receive the second comforter.
We read in D&C 77:11 that the 144,000 men are high priests, and yes they are. But they are high priests of the sort described in Alma 13 who have been sanctified and washed white in the blood of the lamb, who have been made holy, who cannot look upon sin save it be with abhorrence.
We need to not be thinking in terms of one man, or twelve men, but of at least 144,000 men, or maybe many more, who will deny themselves of all ungodliness and love God with all their might, mind, and strength so that God may say to them “my grace is sufficient for you”. We need men who will prove that they are determined to follow God at all hazards so that the Father will say to them “Son, thou shalt be exalted”.
We don’t need one such man. We don’t need 12 such men. We are thinking in the wrong terms. We need a city’s worth of such men. For we need to build Zion.
We must all press forward with great diligence. For the Lord requires his church to become as a nation of prophets, as we are called to redeem Zion.
And we will need protection in the days to come. Which will require, at the very least, faith like a grain of mustard seed.
We have all the wrong picture in our heads about the second coming and Zion. We think Zion is a place where people are nice to each other. Sure, but that is as incomplete as introducing Joseph Smith to nonmembers as a “nice guy” instead of as a prophet. How did a city of men come to all know the Lord, so that none need say to another “know thou the Lord” for all knew him? By the same principle that such a thing will come about in the millennium. By making their calling and election sure, and receiving the second comforter.
Christ came among them because, well, Christ could come among them. Because they had receive the second comforter.
There is a world of difference between a story in which Christ appears simply because he thinks the time is right, and a story in which the members must live up to being a nation of prophets so that they are worthy for Christ to appear to them. As it was in the meridian of time, so it will be in the end of time.
Ether 12:7 For it was by faith that Christ showed himself unto our fathers, after he had risen from the dead; and he showed not himself unto them until after they had faith in him; wherefore, it must needs be that some had faith in him, for he showed himself not unto the world.
And so it will be in the end of the world as well.