Why did the Lord grant Samson great strength? I think it was to teach us that one man strengthened by the Lord is worth more than all the armies together.
We read that many are called, but few are chosen. We are all called. We have all been given the gospel of Jesus Christ. We have the light of Christ in abundance, at at times we even receive a measure of the Holy Ghost.
The Lord does not just call men, and select them. The men he calls select themselves. They were foreordained in the premortal life because of the foreknowledge of God.
What better way is there to convince a man to lay aside his work than to convince him that his labor is in vain? Work is hard. If a man believes his work will bring him no benefit, will he not lay it aside?
There are the many among us who have been convinced, one way or another, to either keep hold of that which offends the spirit, or to put their efforts into that which has little power to save them. We have been convinced that to cast off that which is indecent is unnecessary, and thus we have not felt compelled to separate ourselves from it. We have been convinced that salvation is a matter offered us by the church, and it is sufficient to be commanded in all things, rather than feeling compelled to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling.
By one woman, Deborah, the Lord directed Israel and the people were delivered from Sisera and his 900 chariots of iron. Like Miriam before her, Deborah lived so righteously that the Lord could speak to her quite plainly.
By one man, Gideon, the Lord could deliver Israel from the Midianites. Without Gideon, who entertained angels and who the Lord could speak to as clearly as we speak to each other, Israel could not be delivered.
By one man, the Lord has moved mountains, has divided the sea hither and thither, has turned the river to blood, called down plagues from heaven, destroyed armies, and stopped both the Sun and the Moon in the sky for about the length of a day.
But one man will not build Zion. One man may convince other to do it. But they must be convinced that they, themselves, must become the Sons of God. He must convince them that they, themselves, need to live so that they will not only be called, but also chosen. Zion cannot be built by one man. Zion is built by 144,000 men like Gideon, or like Aaron. It is built by women like Miriam and Deborah.
We hear the number 144,000 and tune out. But the point is that we need to become men like Gideon in that quantity. Do we have 20 such men these days? No. I do not think we do. One need only look at the writings and the teachings in the church today and that is plain as day. Yes, we have men who speak by the Holy Ghost. Not that everything they say is spoken by the Holy Ghost as Harold B Lee observed, but we do have them. However, of men who have grown into the principle of revelation so powerfully that the Lord speaks to them as freely and clearly as I speak to my neighbor that is another matter altogether. No, I do not think we have 20 such men alive. And we need well over 100,000.
That is why the scriptures say their old men will see visions and their young men dream dreams. The Lord will not be more generous with divine manifestations in the last days. The requirements for revelation have not changed. Rather, the Lord wants his church to raise up a vast multitude of men like Gideon who can entertain angels and hear his own voice. The Lord wants a multitude of men who have spiritual strength that is like the physical strength of Samson, and which is worth more than an army of men who are less empowered by God.
I am afraid if the Lord announced that it was time for the church to offer up his required due of 144,000 such men sealed with the seal of their god in their forehead, and we were to cast about and find members with the spirit of revelation among us, we would mostly offer up a bunch of charlatans to our god. We would offer up charlatans like John Pontius and Julie Rowe as our required due.
We would offer up charlatans like Stephen Robinson and Brad Wilcox. These men have successfully separated us from working out our salvation with fear and trembling by convincing us it is unnecessary, and even morally wrong. They have thoroughly replaced the doctrine of the atonement among us with nothing better than protestantism-for-mormons.
We would offer up charlatans like Richard Bushman. He plays the sheep while intentionally suggesting to his listeners again and again that Joseph Smith was a very immoral man. He is a wolf that wants to bring members into his personal delusion that morality is not required to be a good mormon, and that Joseph Smith was immoral.
We would offer up those who have sapped our strength because they are the ones who have captured our ears.
We need to repent. Who among us has faith like a mustard seed? I do not and must repent. Who among us believes in the sense the Savior wants us to? I do not and must repent. Who among us is converted in the sense the Savior wanted from Peter? I am not and must repent.
We are in desperate need of repentance. We must cast off the indecency of our media so that we no longer offend the Holy Ghost. We must stand as men for truth. We must each work out our own salvation with fear and trembling before the Lord.
We need a vast host of men in the church who have so grown into the principles of truth and revelation that they can entertain angels as Gideon did and hear the voice of the Lord as plainly as Aaron could.
I am not just using empty words here. We like exaggeration for effect these days, but this is no exaggeration. This is precisely as things are. The Lord doesn’t want us to find one such man, or two such men, or 15 such men and call them prophets. In the last days, the requirement the Lord makes of his saints is that they can offer him 144,000 such men, enough men to be a city. Enough men to build Zion.