Early this morning, we felt a 5.7 magnitude earthquake in northern Utah. Family was texting almost immediately and news stations reported the quake while it was still happening (aftershocks). Emergency radio broadcasts disseminated just minutes later, and as I was typing these words, the family alerted me that bulletins just reported the trumpet fell from the angel Moroni on the Salt Lake City temple.


sick man mask pestilenceMajor news broke on the coronavirus less than a week ago, and what began on the other side of the world has encroached on us here in the United States as well. What we thought to keep out of US has affected states on all sides of the country and close to home here in Utah.


I am working from home, and states, cities, and communities are shutting down by decree and isolation. Social distancing is common, accepted, and possibly only the beginning. Some have estimated this will blow over in a couple of weeks. I expect not. At this rate, large scale vices get more serious every day.


So one of the text messages sent this morning from a daughter asked “Is the world ending????” While I think the text was actually sent in jest, the question crossed her mind, and it has crossed yours. Do you want the answer? Yes.


I understand her question is the world ending to actually be “Is the Second Coming of Jesus Christ imminent?”


Whenever the Second Coming will occur, we do not know, but we are certain that it will happen, and the escalation in our times confirms for me that it will be soon.


But when it happens is not as important as our being ready right now so we are prepared when it does. Back in 2004, Dallin H Oaks spoke about our preparation for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. His article was not intended to provoke fear in the future but encourage preparation now—at least that was my take from it. He made the following observation:


Four matters are indisputable to Latter-day Saints: (1) The Savior will return to the earth in power and great glory to reign personally during a millennium of righteousness and peace. (2) At the time of His coming there will be a destruction of the wicked and a resurrection of the righteous. (3) No one knows the time of His coming, but (4) the faithful are taught to study the signs of it and to be prepared for it.


Then he goes on to address in the article the fourth great reality. So why bring this up in the midst of all the challenges occurring in the world right now? Everyone you or I know has an attitude about this:


  1. We should prepare because these challenges are evidence of the fulfillment of the latter-day prophesies and scriptural record of the great and terrible day of the Lord.
  2. Nobody knows why these things happen. It is wise to be prepared all the time just in case.
  3. These are normal events of the modern age. We have dealt with all this before. Relax.
  4. Every time we face challenges in the world, we don’t have to make it a religious issue. Just listen to the news and do the needful. This is NOT the end of the world.
  5. <This space is left for you. Because I don’t know you, your background, circumstances, or perspective, I cannot assume I adequately captured your position. So enter your opinion here.>


We have enumerated the major responses to today’s events, and whichever of the five choices you made, my question to you is why? Why did you make the selection that you did?


Okay—now for the bombshell—it doesn’t matter. However you responded is irrelevant. Whatever you supposed is completely incidental. Now don’t think my response is directed at you to critique your intelligence or place value (or the lack thereof) on your point of view. That is not my argument. The point is that however you decided to respond doesn’t change the facts. The truth is still truth.


Now don’t get mad at me or all bent out of shape because I just said your opinion is of no value, because that’s NOT what I said. I said your opinion doesn’t matter. What’s the difference? The why.


Admittedly, whatever makes you feel the way that you do could be much different from my point of view, but it still doesn’t matter. Is that because only my opinion matters? No. My opinion doesn’t matter either. How so?


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Just as Elder Oaks related in his fourth point, we can study the signs and be prepared for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. That in the end is what really matters.


We can’t change the time the Second Coming of Jesus Christ will happen. We can’t prevent or alter its reality. The one thing we can do is prepare now, and that begins making a difference in your life and others’ today.


And that DOES matter.



About Walter Penning
In 1989, Walter Penning formed a consultancy based in Salt Lake City and empowered his clients by streamlining processes and building a loyal, lifetime customer base with great customer service. His true passion is found in his family. He says the best decision he ever made was to marry his sweetheart and have children. The wonderful family she has given him and her constant love, support, and patience amid life's challenges is his panacea.

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