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Question

 

Gramps,

Is God showing his fierce anger with the natural disasters and diseases today?  Are the righteous are affected by this?  How do you explain it?

Donna

 

Dear Gramps,

Have our church leaders said anything concerning if COVID 19 is the plague in the book of revelation referred to as wormwood?
Thank you.

Will

 

Answer

 

Donna and Will,

The Brethren have not said anything about COVID being either God’s judgments on the wicked, or the plagues of the Revelation of John.

Short of that, it would be premature at best and arrogant at worst to assume we can interpret the current events to be anything more than the natural course of the Earth’s temporal existence.

Will,

You’re claiming that “poisonous water” that kills two-thirds of the world population is a “virus”?  I’m not sure where you heard poisoned water = virus.  But I don’t think that was a prophetic statement.

Donna,

I explain the current disease as being just another disease like so many others that we’ve had before.  Plagues and named storms into the Greek Alphabet have both been experienced before (albeit, to my knowledge, not at the same time).  And people believed it all to be the end of the world back then as well.  But guess what?  It didn’t happen.

And they’ve seemed to affect both the righteous and the wicked alike.  Natural disasters have likewise affected the righteous and the wicked.

You may notice that this will be the tell-tale sign that it is God’s judgment or not.  Whom does it affect?

12 And it was the more righteous part of the people who were saved, and it was they who received the prophets and stoned them not; and it was they who had not shed the blood of the saints, who were spared—

 

13 And they were spared and were not sunk and buried up in the earth; and they were not drowned in the depths of the sea; and they were not burned by fire, neither were they fallen upon and crushed to death; and they were not carried away in the whirlwind; neither were they overpowered by the vapor of smoke and of darkness.

 

14 And now, whoso readeth, let him understand; he that hath the scriptures, let him search them, and see and behold if all these deaths and destructions by fire, and by smoke, and by tempests, and by whirlwinds, and by the opening of the earth to receive them, and all these things are not unto the fulfilling of the prophecies of many of the holy prophets.

 

15 Behold, I say unto you, Yea, many have testified of these things at the coming of Christ, and were slain because they testified of these things.

 

— 3 Ne 10:12-15

While such calamities of the last days will not be 100% one way or the other (killing only the wicked and sparing ALL of the righteous) the “more part of the people” will tend to be righteous people.  When it appears to be completely random, we have to prayerfully make one of two conclusions:

1) It is simply a random act of nature and not an act of a wrathful God. OR
2) Our judgments of who is righteous vs. who is wicked is sorely lacking.

As for #2, we simply read further in the same verse.  I’ll modernize the language for you and liken the scriptures for our day.

  •  Follow the Prophet.
  • Avoid evil speaking of the Lord’s Anointed.
  • Don’t be violent.  Love your neighbors – and your enemies.

Notice President Dallin H. Oaks words from this past Conference regarding violence:

  • We will not participate in the violence threatened by those disappointed with the outcome.
  • Some basic principles of law were tested in the recent protests in many American cities.
  • At one extreme, some seem to have forgotten that the First Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees the “right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” That is the authorized way to raise public awareness and to focus on injustices in the content or administration of the laws.
  • At the other extreme, a minority of participants and supporters of these protests and the illegal acts that followed them seem to have forgotten that the protests protected by the Constitution are peaceful protests. Protesters have no right to destroy, deface, or steal property or to undermine the government’s legitimate police powers.

— Pres Dallin H. Oaks; Love Your Enemies; General Conference Oct 2020.

While there are many factors involved in someone being “righteous” (and let us not forget that Jesus, Himself, said that there is none righteous but One.  And that is God).  These are apparently the signs among the Nephites that people were being righteous at the time of Christ’s death.

I’d make a less educated guess that if we look for these three signs in the behavior of people in our day, then we will know what side to be on should the disasters turn into the tools of a wrathful God.

 

Gramps

 

 

 

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