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My vision of the Church in these times

Jon Menough

My vision of the Church in these times

Written by Jon Menough, 13 May 2001

One night earlier this week, I awoke around 3 AM and was unable to go back to sleep. I had to get up in about 3 hours and for most of that 3 hours I laid in bed thinking about a number of things. One of the major items I was thinking about was the talk I had been called to give in Sacrament meeting the following Sunday. I had been assigned Deuteronomy 4:9 as the basis of this talk.

While I had not begun to put the talk on paper, I had prayed about it and pondered on it quite a bit. In my reading and reflection thought it interesting that this was the high point in Israel's (the nation of) history. As I lay there, something strange happened. I was able to see Israel's history almost like the whole of its events were laid out simultaneously before me. I could pick out any point on the line and would know what was happening to them at that moment. It showed their leaving Egypt, their passage through the desert, finally their gathering together before Moses just before crossing into the Promised Land. This was the peak of their spiritual history. They had covenanted to a man to obey the law they had been given. The Mosaic covenant was established.

From then until the coming of the Messiah, they slowly slipped off this peak. The Mosaic covenant was given up as too hard to live and they were given the Davidic covenant. Then the Pharisees became the guardians of the Law and began to embellish it, to protect the people from straying over the line. Finally, by the time the Messiah arrived, they did not even recognize that the law was to direct them to Him. Along the way a few of the righteous were removed and upon His arrival, there was a righteous remnant that accepted and recognized Him for who He was.

Simultaneously, I saw a picture of the same type of events in Modern Israel. The exact same scenario was played out except on a compressed time frame. From the birth of the nation in Missouri through the exodus across the desert, to the establishment of a righteous nation in Utah, then their slow demise, captivity by Babylon, the coming of a modern set of Pharisaic priests who put fences around the law to help keep us righteous. Finally, in the end, only a small remnant were able to recognize the Lord when he arrived and they were removed quietly, much as Lehi and his family were taken out of Jerusalem.

During this time, I could see with perfect clarity and I could see exactly how this fit. I had perfect knowledge and vision. When the alarm went off and it was time to get up (I had not been "asleep"), I could remember much of what I had seen, but with much less definition. The clarity with which I could see things during this event was incredible. When I came back to full consciousness, while I could remember much of what I had seen, it was like trying to play Handel or Mozart on a piano with a pair of arctic mittens on. While the knowledge of the vision remained, the clarity and definition were gone.

I got up tired and grouchy. Typical of me when I don't get enough rest. Finally, I decided to just stay home and go back to bed. I called my boss and left a message and went back to bed to sleep for a while.

When I went back to bed to sleep the entire vision with all its clarity and precision and definition repeated itself, exactly as it had before. I awoke several hours later with an amazing calmness and depth of understanding of where we are as a Church.

The bottom line is that the modern house of Israel has followed an identical pattern to the ancient house of Israel. We had our peak after reaching the Salt Lake Valley and have been declining ever since. Just as most of the Israelites living at the time the Messiah arrived were a far cry from the spiritual giants that emerged from the 40 years in the desert, most latter day saints today are a far cry from those who came out of the desert to establish the modern nation. Just as priesthood authority continued with the ancient house of Israel because of a few righteous servants (such as Zacharias, Elizabeth's husband, and Joseph, Jesus' stepfather), priesthood authority still resides with the Church, even though it has drifted far from its roots. As then, it will continue with the Church until one who has greater authority returns.

The modern Church has developed it's own set of Pharisees who set new bounds that have nothing to do with the original law. Just as the Temple in the Lord's time was still a proper place of worship, our temples are righteous places of worship today. However, as then, most who enter don't know what they are doing other than "getting their tickets punched" like good little Mormons.

I did not see the end scene of the latter day scenario. I only know that there will be a righteous remnant removed. But, beyond that, the vision was blurry. Everything else, however, was crystal clear. My reaction to the parallels that were place before me was "Wow, why didn't I see that before. How could I have missed that!"

I've had events in my life before (voices, visions, and more), but I think this was the first time I ever had an event with such clarity repeat within a few hours. And the repeated scene was an exact duplicate of the first.