If the anti-Christ were an individual, we could easily remove that individual and be done with him. After all it’s better that one man perish than an entire nation dwindle and perish in unbelief. Laban had the plates that Nephi and his brothers needed to preserve “belief,” to protect their generation and their posterity from “…dwindling in unbelief.” If the impact of the Anti-Christ were the doings of one man, like Laban, then beheading him could suffice. But the problem is much deeper than one man. Our problem is that our nation is dwindling from unbelief. That dwindling did not occur because we did not have the records. Our dwindling came about because the records we have been given have been “rested.”
The power of the Anti-Christ is our ignorance to the words of Christ, our unbelief. Many have tried to identify who the Anti-Christ is. Names of different black people have often come up. But, we fail to realize that, the figure of the Anti-Christ can be easily substituted and have the same impact on a nation filled with unbelief. When an entire nation is unfamiliar with the correct attributes, perfections, and characteristics of God, the Anti-Christ is powerful. It is only in this state of ignorance of the dealings of God with men that the Anti-Christ can market, convince, persuade, and deceive us into creating god’s that are like unto the world (D&C 1:16). Our ignorance of God is the foundation of idol worshipping. Because we are ignorant of the ways of God, we search for solutions in the ways of the world (psychology, pharmaceuticals, sciences, medical attention, certificates of scholarly achievement, financial structuring, legal loop-holes, buy low and sell high strategies, market trends, etc.). Then we justify it by saying that “…we live in the world, but that doesn’t mean that we are of the world.” The problem with claiming to be stuck in this world is supposed to justify doing some things the way the world does it (paying our bills, keeping our agreements of debt, etc.). However, that justification is weak, at best. You see, since we have rested the words of Christ, we have sought nothing else but the ways of the world. We know very little about the ways of God.
“Wo, wo, wo… now you’re punching below the belt…” you might say. No, that is exactly what “the prophesies” said, because that is what always happens. You or I are not at fault for the condition we are in. Satan is the deceiver and the only enemy here. All I am saying is that we have been lulled into his snare of unbelief. These conditions are unfamiliar to you and I. The veil is still over our minds. But these conditions are so familiar to Satan. They are hundreds of years in the making. We have been chosen to do our part in these days.
We are mistaken to think that unbelief is the absence of belief. No matter who you are, your very existence is founded upon your beliefs (right or wrong). Everyone has beliefs of some sort. Some believe in Santa, some the tooth fairy, and others belief that they can use debt to get out of debt, without any impact to the society they live in. Truth differentiates belief from unbelief. Philosophies of men, mingled with scripture, is the foundation of unbelief. The deadliest unbelief is tied to correct principles, and tweaked to remove the plain and precious truths.
The defense against unbelief, given to Nephi, by the hand of the Lord and the head of Laban, was the words of Christ. Lehi’s dream teaches that the iron rod is what we are to hold on to. Those who are founded in the words of Christ, will not be deceived. They are promised more scripture and more ordinances, until they too have ascended and have become complete. The Greek word for complete is “perfectos” or perfect. “Be ye therefore complete…” is the correct translation. Complete… is what the words of Christ is intended to give those who will receive it. Once we are complete, through our own ascension, then the power of God will reside in us. Then we will be like unto Nephi, and can transport instantaneously, or like Enoch who moved mountains and streams to turn away the wrath of his enemy. That is the defense the Lord is offering.
The whole church is condemned, damned, cannot move forward, cannot progress, remains incomplete, because we fail to remember the new and everlasting covenant, even the Book of Mormon (D&C 88:55).
If you think that reading the words of Christ is only a problem in our day, think again. The failure to know the mind and will of God, through the study and understanding of the words of Christ, was the problem for every dispensation that ended in apostasy. The pattern of the ancient saint is a mirror image of the pattern of us modern saints. When the ancient saints placed little importance on the words of Christ, the words of Christ became lost them. As the saints became more and more ignorant towards the doctrines (personally), they relied upon representatives to do the “knowing” for them. The children of Israel were cursed for relying upon Moses to be their representative in the presence of Christ. The ancient saints of the New Testament split up into sects after Christ left. Some followed James, others Peter, others John, etc. Although these men were good men (James, Peter, John, etc.), the saints fell, because they relied only upon what these men taught, but failed to identify the mind and will of God in the matter. Specifically, they thought that it was the office of their leader that made the words matter. The knowledge of the saints became founded in hear-say, rumors, and traditions. The doctrines became lost, changed, and mistranslated, to result in the absence of plain and precious truths.
In our day, we teach our children to look to the brethren and to follow the prophet. We teach the youth that a living prophet is better than a dead prophet. We spend more time in the general conference talks as if they were scripture, when they were intended to be additive. We place little emphasis on the words of Christ, and the knowledge of the mind and will of God. For this reason, the modern saint is unfamiliar with the dealings of God with men. Thus, when push comes to shove, in our economic tides, we rely upon the ways of the world for our solutions. We hide our money, we protect ourselves with our swords in hand, and we trust in the arms of men. Since we don’t know the dealings of God with men, personally, we too become followers of men (Bishops, Stake Presidents, Temple Presidents, Mission Presidents, General Authorities, Apostles, and Prophets). While these men and women are not bad people, we modern saints have placed them as our representatives. They are the ones that have all the knowledge of the things of God. We commonly claim that they’ll tell us all we need to know. Pay your tithing and keep your eye on the prophet has become our strategy for survival when the day of burning comes.
Just as the ancient saints were swept off and cast into the fire (Jacob 5), our finale will be no different if we too are disconnected to the words of Christ, the root of the olive tree. Ignorance of the dealings of God with man is the very fuel of the Anti-Christ. For that reason, removing one man would not be sufficient to stop the disaster ahead. The only solution is to repent, and to study the words of Christ with the utmost intensity you can “really” afford. When the day of the gentile has ended, it will be too late to start then.
Conclusion: In the words of Isaiah, there is a part that speaks of the waters of Shiloah. The waters of Shiloah are described as gentle waters, that are gently coming up from a natural spring, that flowed from the center of the temple of Solomon, out into the world. There, Isaiah says to us that it’s much better to drink from those clean, gentle waters. Then Isaiah contrasts drinking from the waters of Shiloah, to drinking in the times of the floods, when the water is up to your neck, and you are drowning.
I think that studying the words of Christ right now, before the day of the gentile has ended, building a foundation of rock (Christ), is what Isaiah is talking about when he speaks of the gentle waters of Shiloah. But if you wait until the day of the gentile has ended, while you are treading the flood waters, you will be too busy treading water to stay alive, to think of taking a drink, of the very waters that are drowning you.
Remember, the living waters are Christ. Christ’s words are a two edged sword. Those who treasure His words, the edges of His sword will be in their defense. However, those who had the words, but neglected to find value in them, that two edged sword will come down against you. No man can serve two masters. Feast upon the words of Christ, remove the power of the Anti-Christ by replacing unbelief with belief, for the words of Christ will tell you all things what you should do.