In our last conference, President Nelson shared his enthusiasm for a new understanding regarding the gathering of Israel. With the help of two Hebrew scholars, he learned that the name Israel means “let God prevail”.
He shared, “Thus the very name of Israel refers to a person who is willing to let God prevail in his or her life. That concept stirs my soul! The word willing is crucial to this interpretation of Israel. We all have our agency. We can choose to be of Israel, or not. We can choose to let God prevail in our lives, or not. We can choose to let God be the most powerful influence in our lives, or not.” 1
When we align our lives with the will of God and make covenants with Heavenly Father, we are becoming Israel. We are choosing Him to be our God.
I think of the many early saints who were persecuted by the government. Both the Jews and the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have had extermination orders given by government leaders, the covenant people of God in early days and now in the latter days. Our enemy knows the power that comes from a people who willingly choose God first in their lives and he tries to influence all the earth to fight against the Lamb.
The COVID 19 pandemic has changed our direction but Heavenly Father was never surprised by it. He knows that the battle of agency continues to rage on earth as it did in the premortal existence. With so many differing opinions and heated tempers, this year has been tough. However, have we looked for the blessings that God has showered upon us? Many families have had to slow down and are spending more time at home, reigniting the flame of togetherness. We have had magnificent communications coming from the leaders of the Church. We are feeling the closeness of the Lord’s spirit as we try harder to hear the Savior’s voice and we are reaching out to others to minister in ways we would not have thought of previously. There are blessings in faith and patience.
When life feels unfair, when wickedness seems to reign, when hell seems to be opening its jaws wide to swallow you whole, do not lose hope. Our Heavenly Parents are watching over us, they encourage us not to be afraid but be believing. We can find safety in following the prophet’s voice and staying on the covenant path as we prepare the world for the Savior’s second coming. John the Revelator teaches us of the beautiful promises we can look forward to. He wrote, “And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain…” (Rev 21:3-4)
We cannot comprehend the blessings that are coming to us. The world is getting more wicked, but the power poured out upon the saints is becoming greater, allowing the members of the Church to rise to the occasion.
President Nelson said, “I am not saying that the days ahead will be easy, but I promise you that the future will be glorious for those who are prepared and who continue to prepare to be instruments in the Lord’s hands.” 2
Let us look forward to the miracles and glory to come for the children of Israel!
- “Let God Prevail,” President Russell M. Nelson, General Conference October 2020
- “Embrace the Future with Faith,” President Russell M. Nelson, General Conference October 2020