Skip to main content

The Arm of the Lord Revealed

Yea, even doth not Isaiah say: Who hath believed our report, and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed? (Mosiah 14:1)

God has done, is doing, and will do everything that can be done to ensure your degree of eternal joy is determined only by your own choice, and not for lack of anything from him or anyone else.

Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself. (2 Nephi 2:27)

Therefore, cheer up your hearts, and remember that ye are free to act for yourselves—to choose the way of everlasting death or the way of eternal life. (2 Nephi 10:23)

One reason so few have chosen to seek and receive all that the Lord has to give is that so few believe he is as good as he and those who know him have claimed. But God is patient, determined, and merciful. In our day, he will provide stronger evidence than ever before that we should believe and obey him; that he knows what is best, and that he loves us more than we love ourselves.

In the end times, the Lord will make his final arguments in the case he has presented to us throughout creation, which is the demonstration of his love for us, patiently expressed in terms we have the ability to understand.

He will show you the worthlessness of what you choose instead of him, the value of what you know about him that you are so quick to turn away from, and the value of what you need from him but do not yet have.

Rather than inadequately reduce the long-form explanation of these themes that will be in books I will publish, I will use a short video to provide an analogy.

In the movie Terminator 2, a young teenager has to stop an as-yet apocalypse by preventing a scientist from developing the technology that will lead to the destruction of the human race by AI robots. It's quite something to persuade someone that something they've invested their soul into for good is actually evil. Luckily for the teenager, he happens to have one of the robots with him, reprogrammed by his future self and sent to the past to save his life. In this scene, the robot cuts the skin off his arm to prove to the scientist that the teenager's story is true.

Here's the clip.

In our day, God is revealing his arm. It is and will be as dramatic as this robot peeling his skin off.

How will you react?

In a bit of movie magic that might be more fantastic than the idea of time traveling robots, the scientist immediately abandons his life's work, the safety of himself and his family, and ends up giving his life in a raid on his company's office, where he helps destroy everything and save the world. In my experience, even with the most persuasive of evidence, humans have a really hard time reconciling to reality, even more so when doing so implicates their past selves, even more so when revealed reality requires sacrificing what they have valued until now, and even more so when the benefit is primarily for others and not themselves.

How have you reacted so far? Have you even noticed? If you don't feel as amazed as you would be at a time traveling robot peeling off his skin, you are in dire need of all the afflictions God will send into your personal life and society as a whole to help you see the value in what you have taken lightly, and what you lack but need from him. As those things happen, thank God for being so patient with you in giving you yet another opportunity to receive him, and more time to deepen your love for him.

As these things unfold, you need to realize that there is a difference between a robot ripping off his skin and a mortal man doing it. Cleary, the robot does not feel pain. But we know that when Jesus came to mortality, he experienced the full spectrum of pain possible for humans to feel (2 Nephi 9:21). He culminated his demonstration of the love of the Father by being lifted up on the cross before all mankind.

26 And the angel said unto me again: Look and behold the condescension of God!
31 And he spake unto me again, saying: Look! And I looked, and I beheld the Lamb of God going forth among the children of men. And I beheld multitudes of people who were sick, and who were afflicted with all manner of diseases, and with devils and unclean spirits; and the angel spake and showed all these things unto me. And they were healed by the power of the Lamb of God; and the devils and the unclean spirits were cast out.
32 And it came to pass that the angel spake unto me again, saying: Look! And I looked and beheld the Lamb of God, that he was taken by the people; yea, the Son of the everlasting God was judged of the world; and I saw and bear record.
33 And I, Nephi, saw that he was lifted up upon the cross and slain for the sins of the world. (1 Nephi 11)

Were God to show you how much he loves you, he would need to show you the pain he suffered. He would do this just as he shows you everything else: through cascading representations of diminishing intensity through others to you, and through your own cascading experiences of the same in increasing intensity. 

21 And the angel said unto me: Behold the Lamb of God, yea, even the Son of the Eternal Father! Knowest thou the meaning of the tree which thy father saw?
22 And I answered him, saying: Yea, it is the love of God, which sheddeth itself abroad in the hearts of the children of men; wherefore, it is the most desirable above all things. (1 Nephi 11)

Will you notice when a person rips off their arm for you? Arms can be puny (see D&C 121:33) and mighty (see D&C 123:6) and everything in between. How mighty would the arm need to be before you noticed? How much more blessed would you be if you noticed early?

The weak things of the world shall come forth and break down the mighty and strong ones, that man should not counsel his fellow man, neither trust in the arm of flesh— (D&C 1:19)

It is an interesting thing to reflect on resistance and rejection of the Lord's message. It is interesting to witness someone hating someone for living and sharing the gospel, not seeming to realize that you they tearing off their own arm for them, and deeply wishing that demonstrating God's love for them was as easy as cutting off their own flesh in front of them, which they would readily do if it would persuade them. It would be easier and less painful than what is required instead, most of which they can't see, and they refuse to acknowledge and act according to even that which they do see.

But so it was with the Master, and so it will be with all who follow him, until he comes to possess his kingdom. In that day, those who oppose him will not stand, and those who have served him will bask in the everlasting joy of the fruits of their faith in the one who has overcome all things.