Watchmen on the Wall

From the beginning of the earth, the Lord has called and ordained prophets to serve as leaders and watchmen over His people, and as legal administrators of His Gospel with its precious saving ordinances. The word apostle comes from the Greek apostolos, meaning “one who is sent.” Authentic apostles and prophets of the Lord bear His divine seal, act in His holy name and by His Priesthood authority, and are called, commissioned, and sent by the Savior. At no time has the Lord’s Church existed, neither can it exist, without authorized prophets to oversee it. 

Just as the Church of Jesus Christ cannot exist without prophets, a person cannot call himself to the ministry or ordain himself to be a prophet. God is a Being of perfect order. He does not sanction people raising up their own churches and calling themselves to any position of authority. Those who do so, though they may have the best of intentions, speak of themselves and not in the name of the Lord. Only one prophet at any given time holds the keys, authorities, and rights of leadership of the Lord’s Holy Priesthood. Only one man on earth is the authorized representative, spokesman, and mouthpiece for Jesus Christ. 

In the days of the early Church after Christ’s Ascencion, Peter was set apart as the president of the Church of Jesus Christ. The Priesthood authority was held by all of the apostles, with Peter, James, and John forming a quorum of leadership, and Peter presiding. Who was Peter’s successor? Who followed Peter in leadership? Upon whom did the prophetic mantle fall after Peter was murdered, James was killed, and John was exiled and disappeared from the historical record? 

The Catholic Church claims that the bishop of Rome took up that mantle and is the rightful successor to Peter. This is flagrantly false for multiple reasons. First, Irenaeus claimed that Peter “handed over the office of the episcopate to Linus,” though there is zero evidence to support this. In fact, other Catholic sources variously claim that Linus was appointed as bishop by Paul, not Peter, and that there was one Clement who was actually bishop before Linus. The line of succession is thus confused, contested, and based on sand with little historical veracity; hardly the pattern that God follows in such important matters. 

The bishop of Rome, Linus, and subsequently others, claimed to have Peter’s authority. How can that be? John, the highest-ranking apostle, was still alive. Peter, not having called himself to his position, had no right to call another to fill his place. Only the Lord calls apostles. Even if Peter had called Linus to some office, did that nullify John’s greater authority? Of course not. Thus, the bishop of Rome’s claim to the mantle is thus a usurpation and doesn’t follow the prescribed order, having circumvented John’s rightful leadership. Unless John fell from grace or somehow had his Priesthood revoked, then the bishop of Rome was a usurper and could not have rightfully taken the lead in the Lord’s Church. 

Second, a bishop is a lower position that does not hold the same Priesthood authority, keys, and powers as the higher offices of apostle and prophet. Did Peter, James, or John confer their authority on the bishop of Rome or on anyone else? No. If they had, the bishop of Rome would have ceased being the bishop of Rome and would have been elevated to the office of apostle and prophet. 

Such a monumental act would have also been recorded and we would be able to clearly see the line of prophetic succession from that time to the present, just as we can the succession throughout the Bible (e.g., Abraham to Isaac, then Isaac to Jacob, etc.). Yet, even as Irenaeus alleged above, Linus was merely elevated to an “episcopate,” the office of a bishop, and never attained the office of apostle, let alone president of the Church. 

What followed the death of Peter and James and the disappearance of John? In other words, what followed the death of the Church’s formal, recognized leadership? Apostasy. The total shipwreck of Christendom. A long night of spiritual darkness. This is not surprising, though. It was prophesied of by the apostles as well as by ancient seers. The Bible, and the historical record of the past two millennia, are the greatest witnesses in favor of apostasy. Below are only a few of many examples of these stark prophecies: 

“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first” (2 Thessalonians 2:3). 

“Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them” (Acts 20:28-30). 

“Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord: And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it” (Amos 8:11-12). 

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (2 Timothy 4:3-4). 

“The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant” (Isaiah 24:5). 

“I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ” (Galatians 1:6-7). 

“[T]here were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. 

“And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. 

“And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not. 

“For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment. . . . 

“But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; 

“And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you; 

“Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children: 

“Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness. . . . 

“For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. 

“For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. 

“But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire” (2 Peter 2:1-5, 12-15, 20-22). 

All of the above correctly foretold the apostasy that occurred after the martyrdom of the apostles and which is still dominant throughout the world and prevalent in Christendom. Though well-meaning, Christendom lacks the Priesthood authority once bestowed upon Peter, James, and John and, consequently, has no prophets or legal administrators of Gospel ordinances. The Lord said we must be baptized to enter Heaven (John 3:5). Who will baptize us if there is no Priesthood authority to officiate in God’s name? And so it goes with the other ordinances of salvation. 

Isaiah spoke of the “everlasting covenant” being broken generally throughout the world. The word “covenant” here is the same as “gospel.” The world has violated the Gospel of the Savior and rejected Him. They rejected His authorized servants, killing them and eviscerating the leadership of the Church and severing the prophetic line of succession. They have deprived themselves of legal administrators to officiate in the ordinances of salvation. 

How would the Lord rectify the situation? We see the answer when we cross-reference these more depressing verses from Isaiah, Peter, and Paul, to a prophecy of John, who affirmed: 

“And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every enation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters” (Revelation 14:6-7). 

The Lord won’t always permit the world to wander in darkness and to be blind leaders of the blind (Matthew 15:14). As He had done before in Biblical history, after long periods of apostasy, He restored the Gospel in its purity and set up prophets and the Priesthood. In some of these prior instances, the Lord appeared personally or through direct manifestation. He followed this pattern with ancient seers, including Moses, and in His own Ministry. More importantly to us is the fact that the Lord personally appeared to usher in our modern Dispensation, which is the “dispensation of the fulness of times” (Ephesians 1:10) and the “restitution of all things” (Acts 3:21).  

In 1820, the Father of us all and His Son, Jesus Christ, appeared to a young man named Joseph Smith, called Him to be a prophet, and abolished the dark night of apostasy. Joseph Smith testified of this glorious experience in his own words: 

“I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me. 

“It no sooner appeared than I found myself delivered from the enemy which held me bound. When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him! 

“My object in going to inquire of the Lord was to know which of all the sects was right, that I might know which to join. No sooner, therefore, did I get possession of myself, so as to be able to speak, than I asked the Personages who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right (for at this time it had never entered into my heart that all were wrong)—and which I should join. 

“I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: “they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof” (Joseph Smith – History 1:16-19). 

As incredible as it seems to some, this experience followed the prophetic pattern that begins dispensations. When the earth rejects the Lord and His servants and no one is left to administer Gospel ordinances, who but God Himself or angels from Heaven can restore it? Whether through a burning bush on Mount Horeb in Arabia or in a pillar of light in upper state New York, the Lord always reveals Himself to reestablish the Gospel in every new prophetic dispensation. The fact that Joseph Smith’s First Vision was even more magnificent than other appearances of the Lord underscores the importance of this final Dispensation of the Fulness of Times. 

Through Joseph Smith, the Lord has set up a Kingdom which “shall never be destroyed.” It is the same Kingdom Daniel saw in vision that “shall stand forever” (Daniel 2:44-45). It does not appear as a Kingdom with castles and armies and thrones, but it the Lord’s authorized vessel. It is known in our day as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

On the figurative walls surrounding this mighty Kingdom stand watchmen protecting the flock. These watchmen are called as prophets, seers, and revelators. They are sustained as such by faithful members. I testify that these men are true prophets of God who see Gospel truth and receive revelation for our day and our circumstances. 

Joseph Smith was the first watchmen on the wall. The Lord poured out a flood of light and truth through him. He translated an ancient volume of scripture written by Hebrew prophets living in the New World from 600 B.C. to almost 400 A.D. Their record, compiled chiefly by one of their final prophets named Mormon, has been named The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ

This book is not a work of fiction or fancy; it is the sacred word of the Lord. It testifies of Jesus Christ more forcefully, more clearly, and with more references than even the Holy Bible. In fact, The Book of Mormon talks about the Bible and confirms that it is a true record – the “stick of Judah” which Ezekiel saw. In Ezekiel’s prophecy, he foresaw that a “stick of Joseph” would eventually be joined to the stick of Judah and they would be one in the Lord’s hand to establish His truth (Ezekiel 37:16-19). 

The Book of Mormon, written by prophets primarily of the lineage of Manasseh, one of the sons of Joseph, is the stick of Joseph. It has been joined together with the Bible to form a powerful witness of the divinity and mission of Jesus Christ. Every day when I pick up my scriptures to read the word of God, I hold in my hand both the Bible and The Book of Mormon. It is a literal and tangible fulfillment of Bible prophecy and every Christian who loves the Lord should be thankful for it and glad to have another testimony that what the Bible says is true. 

That volume of scripture which I hold in my hands every day contains still other books of revealed truth that came through Joseph Smith. One of them is The Pearl of Great Price and is a partial record from Moses and Abraham. We learn more about Adam and Eve, Enoch, the covenant God made with Abraham, and so forth. There is also a book in this combination of scripture called The Doctrine and Covenants. The Doctrine and Covenants holds a special place in my heart. It contains 138 revelations or epistles received or written by latter-day prophets. All but a few of them were received by the Prophet Joseph Smith. They contain the words of the Lord given by His holy lips to men in our day. It is what He wants us to know today in our Dispensation. 

A unique doctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is that the scriptural canon is not closed. We believe in continuing revelation through a living prophet. What could be more important than having a prophet among us; a watchman standing at a high vantage point to warn us and guide us? In 2008, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, a modern apostle of the Lord and one of the highest-ranking prophets, seers, and revelators currently living, gave a bold witness of continuing revelation. He stated: 

“God continues to speak His word and reveal His truth, revelations which mandate an open canon of scripture. 

“Some Christians, in large measure because of their genuine love for the Bible, have declared that there can be no more authorized scripture beyond the Bible. In thus pronouncing the canon of revelation closed, our friends in some other faiths shut the door on divine expression that we in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints hold dear: the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, the Pearl of Great Price, and the ongoing guidance received by God’s anointed prophets and apostles. Imputing no ill will to those who take such a position, nevertheless we respectfully but resolutely reject such an unscriptural characterization of true Christianity. . . . 

“The fact of the matter is that virtually every prophet of the Old and New Testament has added scripture to that received by his predecessors. If the Old Testament words of Moses were sufficient, as some could have mistakenly thought them to be, then why, for example, the subsequent prophecies of Isaiah or of Jeremiah, who follows him? To say nothing of Ezekiel and Daniel, of Joel, Amos, and all the rest. If one revelation to one prophet in one moment of time is sufficient for all time, what justifies these many others? What justifies them was made clear by Jehovah Himself when He said to Moses, “My works are without end, and . . . my words . . . never cease.” 

The Nephite king-prophet Benjamin preaching to his people.

“One Protestant scholar has inquired tellingly into the erroneous doctrine of a closed canon. He writes: “On what biblical or historical grounds has the inspiration of God been limited to the written documents that the church now calls its Bible? . . . If the Spirit inspired only the written documents of the first century, does that mean that the same Spirit does not speak today in the church about matters that are of significant concern?” We humbly ask those same questions. 

“Continuing revelation does not demean or discredit existing revelation. The Old Testament does not lose its value in our eyes when we are introduced to the New Testament, and the New Testament is only enhanced when we read the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. In considering the additional scripture accepted by Latter-day Saints, we might ask: Were those early Christians who for decades had access only to the primitive Gospel of Mark (generally considered the first of the New Testament Gospels to be written)—were they offended to receive the more detailed accounts set forth later by Matthew and Luke, to say nothing of the unprecedented passages and revelatory emphasis offered later yet by John? Surely they must have rejoiced that ever more convincing evidence of the divinity of Christ kept coming. And so do we rejoice. . . . 

“. . . We believe in a God who is engaged in our lives, who is not silent, not absent, nor, as Elijah said of the god of the priests of Baal, is He “[on] a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be [awakened].” In this Church, even our young Primary children recite, “We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.” . . . . 

“I testify that the heavens are open. I testify that Joseph Smith was and is a prophet of God, that the Book of Mormon is truly another testament of Jesus Christ . . . I testify that the presence of such authorized, prophetic voices and ongoing canonized revelations have been at the heart of the Christian message whenever the authorized ministry of Christ has been on the earth. I testify that such a ministry is on the earth again, and it is found in this, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” (Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, “My Words . . . Never Cease,” General Conference, 2008). 

I give my own personal witness that ongoing revelation is a verity, that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord’s Church and that it was restored through Joseph Smith in accordance with ancient prophecies and by the power of God, that we are led by a living prophet whose name today is Russell M. Nelson, and that all of this points us to Jesus Christ who lives and guides His people. I know this, in fact, by revelation through the Holy Spirit after specific prayers and fasting and study to receive on. I stand by it, even as I watch others falter and abandon their Lord. How can I deny the truth that the Holy Ghost impressed upon my soul so powerfully? 

President Russell M. Nelson mentioned above is the chief apostle on earth today. He stands at the head of the watchmen on the wall. The Bible talks of such inspired watchmen and so do modern revelations. The Lord told Isaiah: 

“I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the Lord, keep not silence” (Isaiah 62:6). 

Latter-day watchmen have not kept silent. Since 1830 when the Lord restored The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints through Joseph Smith, the Lord’s prophets have raised their voices to call the world to repentance. They have preached and prophesied of Christ and of His fast-approaching Second Coming. They have begun the gathering of Israel and have united millions of true Israelites in the fold of the Good Shepherd. They have sent missionaries into nearly every nation on earth and operate one of the world’s best language programs aimed at helping people in all languages and nations learn the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They have declared their witness that Jesus is the Son of God, our Master, our Redeemer, and the rightful King of the earth who will shortly establish Zion with capital cities in both Jerusalem and in America, fulfilling the prophecy that “out of Zion shall go forth the flaw, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem” (Isaiah 2:3). 

These watchmen have warned of Satanic secret societies that would flourish and attempt to subjugate humanity. They have warned of threats to Freedom, such as communism and welfare-statism. They have held up just and holy principles of good government and have repeated the word of the Lord to Joseph Smith that the U.S. Constitution was established by Him for the Liberty of all flesh on earth (Doctrine and Covenants 98:4-10; Doctrine and Covenants 101:77-80). 

They have preached against abortion, the willful limiting of children, birth control, the LGBT movement, gay marriage, and anything that destroys the sanctity of the family. They have declared that gender is an eternal characteristic of the sons and daughters of God. They have taught that the family is the most sacred institution in the world and that the family unit can, by the authority of the Priesthood and individual faithfulness to covenants, be perpetuated into the eternities. 

These wise watchmen have further warned since 1833, against the machinations of those who would, for profit and other malicious ends, promote drugs, tobacco, and alcohol to destroy people. Since that time, generations before doctors and scientists caught up to them, they have expounded an inspired health code that involves eating harmful meat sparingly, consuming primarily vegetables and the plants and grain of the earth in their proper seasons, avoiding addictive caffeine, drugs, and alcohol, and which promises amazing blessings of wisdom, health, and spiritual protection. They have warned against idleness and sloth, overspending and debt, addiction and idol worship, tithing to avoid burning at the Lord’s coming, and so on. 

These latter-day watchmen of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have been commissioned by the Lord to do the same work that His ancient apostles were called to do. They stand on the wall, at a strategically high vantage point above everyone else, and see the dangers afar off. Because of the revelations of the Spirit, they see a bigger part of God’s Plan and give us pieces of it as we are prepared to receive it. We may also, individually, approach the Lord in prayer and He will give us hidden wisdom and reveal the mysteries of eternity to us (James 1:5; Doctrine and Covenants 42:61). However, private revelations are for private consumption. It is the watchmen’s task to publicly declare the general will of the Lord and the threats facing the Saints. 

To Ezekiel, the Lord anciently counseled His watchmen: 

“[I]f the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand. 

“So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me. 

“When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. 

“Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul” (Ezekiel 33:6-9). 

By chance, as I was composing this article, I stumbled on a YouTube video by one “Watcher Palmer” titled “The Stony Silence Of Our Prophets.” He happened to be a fellow member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He spoke of the perception by some people that our modern prophets are silent, meaning they must be false prophets or somehow fallen. He spoke of the figurative stoning of prophets by many people that has caused them to speak and preach in a different way. Jesus spoke in parables, instead of directly, in order to be able to speak truth to a general audience while also testing people to see who could tap into the Holy Spirit and find out the truth. Whenever Christ openly said who He was or declared His doctrine with force, the Jews attempted to murder Him, stone Him, throw Him off cliffs, and, eventually, succeeded in crucifying Him. His crucifixion had to happen at a specific time and, therefore, He held back, spoke in parables, and was careful with whom He shared His Gospel. 

It is even more difficult today to preach bluntly with the vast censorship of Big Tech and the radical hordes of activists who persecute, protest, and harass anyone who speaks plainly. Yours truly has received death threats, has had three videos deleted by YouTube, has had three groups or pages deleted by Facebook, has had a personal account permanently disabled, and has been banned seventeen times by Facebook. Were The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to speak as bluntly as some of us would like them to, they would be shut down and harassed to the gates of hell. It would greatly inhibit the work of the Lord which is progressing around the world. Perhaps, as in Jesus’ day, the time is not yet right for the floodgates of persecution to be opened. 

All of this said, however, the prophets are not silent. That is a myth. They continue to boldly preach repentance, baptism, faith, charity, good works, grace, mercy, justice, divine judgment, punishment for sin, the Second Coming, the gathering of Israel, the coming famines and natural disasters of prophecy, the wrongs of prejudice and hate, the incorrectness of LGBT philosophies, the importance of the family and marriage, and so on. The current president-prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ, Russell M. Nelson, has spoken multiple times in recent years about the “servants of Satan” embedded in society and has testified that The Book of Mormon teaches us of Satan’s secret combinations. All of this, though perhaps more subtle, runs contrary to modern society and is evidence that the prophets have not gone silent or become ignorant. 

Samuel the Lamanite preaching to hostile Nephite unbelievers.

Just two to three generations ago, the watchmen more openly spoke against communism, socialism, and other overt threats. But today is a different day and a more muddled and dangerous time. The watchmen, from their vantage point, can see the battle raging and have changed their tactics. To think they are ignorant does not make sense considering that the current leadership of the Church are faithful members and grew up listening to the more over sermons by earlier watchmen on the wall. It also goes against the notion of personal testimony. If you, as I, have received a true testimony from the Spirit that the Lord has called prophets in our day and that they are His servants and mouthpieces, how can we seriously think they have gone astray or have become too timid to open their mouths? 

When the Lord tells them to, these modern watchmen, who are even now bearing their witness of Christ and calling a wicked world to repentance and warning subtly about Satan’s schemes, will speak more openly against Satan’s kingdom. Are you ready for the persecution when that happens? Maybe, just maybe, the prophets, seers, and revelators who can see well from their vantage point, know the general membership are not quite ready for the full sifting. Maybe the Lord is allowing the wheat and tares to grow up a little more before He sends His angels to harvest the good and burn the bad. 

In modern times, 1833 specifically, the Lord gave a parable to His latter-day Church. In it, He adapted and expanded upon parables He gave during His ministry. Said the Lord: 

“And now, I will show unto you a parable, that you may know my will concerning the redemption of Zion. 

“A certain nobleman had a spot of land, very choice; and he said unto his servants: Go ye unto my vineyard, even upon this very choice piece of land, and plant twelve olive trees; 

“And set watchmen round about them, and build a tower, that one may overlook the land round about, to be a watchman upon the tower, that mine olive trees may not be broken down when the enemy shall come to spoil and take upon themselves the fruit of my vineyard. 

“Now, the servants of the nobleman went and did as their lord commanded them, and planted the olive trees, and built a hedge round about, and set watchmen, and began to build a tower. 

“And while they were yet laying the foundation thereof, they began to say among themselves: And what need hath my lord of this tower? 

“And consulted for a long time, saying among themselves: What need hath my lord of this tower, seeing this is a time of peace? 

“Might not this money be given to the exchangers? For there is no need of these things. 

“And while they were at variance one with another they became very slothful, and they hearkened not unto the commandments of their lord. 

“And the enemy came by night, and broke down the hedge; and the servants of the nobleman arose and were affrighted, and fled; and the enemy destroyed their works, and broke down the olive trees. 

“Now, behold, the nobleman, the lord of the vineyard, called upon his servants, and said unto them, Why! what is the cause of this great evil? 

“Ought ye not to have done even as I commanded you, and—after ye had planted the vineyard, and built the hedge round about, and set watchmen upon the walls thereof—built the tower also, and set a watchman upon the tower, and watched for my vineyard, and not have fallen asleep, lest the enemy should come upon you? 

“And behold, the watchman upon the tower would have seen the enemy while he was yet afar off; and then ye could have made ready and kept the enemy from breaking down the hedge thereof, and saved my vineyard from the hands of the destroyer. 

“And the lord of the vineyard said unto one of his servants: Go and gather together the residue of my servants, and take ball the strength of mine house, which are my warriors, my young men, and they that are of middle age also among all my servants, who are the strength of mine house, save those only whom I have appointed to tarry; 

“And go ye straightway unto the land of my vineyard, and redeem my vineyard; for it is mine; I have bought it with money. 

“Therefore, get ye straightway unto my land; break down the walls of mine enemies; throw down their tower, and scatter their watchmen. 

“And inasmuch as they gather together against you, avenge me of mine enemies, that by and by I may come with the residue of mine house and possess the land. 

Gideon and the 300

“And the servant said unto his lord: When shall these things be? 

“And he said unto his servant: When I will; go ye straightway, and do all things whatsoever I have commanded you; 

“And this shall be my seal and blessing upon you—a faithful and wise steward in the midst of mine house, a ruler in my kingdom. 

“And his servant went straightway, and did all things whatsoever his lord commanded him; and after many days all things were fulfilled. 

“Again, verily I say unto you, I will show unto you wisdom in me concerning all the churches, inasmuch as they are willing to be guided in a right and proper way for their salvation— 

“That the work of the gathering together of my saints may continue, that I may build them up unto my name upon holy places; for the time of harvest is come, and my word must needs be fulfilled. 

“Therefore, I must gather together my people, according to the parable of the wheat and the tares, that the wheat may be secured in the garners to possess eternal life, and be crowned with celestial glory, when I shall come in the kingdom of my Father to reward every man according as his work shall be; 

“While the tares shall be bound in bundles, and their bands made strong, that they may be burned with unquenchable fire” (Doctrine and Covenants 101:43-66). 

The time of reaping is upon us. The watchmen really are upon the tower. They can see the enemy and they see his troop movements and strategies. They stand upon the walls watching and warning. Their warnings have been variously blunt and subtle, but they are steady and sure. Our problem is that we have not fixed our eyes upon them and we have missed their warnings. 

Yet, they are the Lord’s spokesmen. He called them. He commissioned them. He gave them His Priesthood. He directs them and reveals His will to them and they give it to us when it is the right time and when we are prepared for it. 

The man leading the earthly watchmen and who stands on the highest tower of the Lord’s Kingdom is President Russell M. Nelson. This wizened sage recently celebrated his 98th-birthday and is still sharp as a tack, healthy, and vibrant. He will be speaking this upcoming weekend to the world. I know he is a prophet. He is a true watchman. 

Dear reader, would you like to hear from the Lord’s watchmen? Could you or your loved ones benefit from their wisdom? Do you yearn to know the current will and word of the Lord to mankind and the things He wishes to emphasize at this exact moment of time? If the answer is yes, you are invited to join with me and millions of other individuals in dozens of nations as we watch General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints this upcoming October 1 and 2. General Conference is a semi-annual gathering of the entire leadership and membership of the Church, and all who want “come and see” (John 1:39). 

Most of my readers are not members of my faith. I extend the hand of fellowship to you and invite you to investigate what we have to offer and how we can add to your faith and knowledge of the Lord. You don’t have to give up the Bible or anything good and true and worthy you have; we love the Bible and happily embrace all good things, gifts, and truths. We simply want to add upon it and to help you live a richer and more abundant life. 

President Russell M. Nelson

As you investigate us, you will definitely find apostate and bad members in our Church, as you do in all faiths. However, despite the tares whom the Lord in mercy is still allowing to grow up side by side with the wheat, we profess the name of the Lord, we teach of His Atonement, we traverse the world teaching Jesus Christ’s Gospel to all who will listen, we profess the virtues of chastity and modesty and morality, we promote the family and marriage between man and woman, we defend the sanctity of life, we uphold the U.S. Constitution with its timeless principles of personal and public Liberty, we stand against secret societies and Satanic schemes, we proclaim that the Heavens are open and that each man and woman may receive personal revelation and confirmations by the Spirit of the truth, and, significantly, we have prophets and apostles to lead us as in the true Church of Jesus Christ established personally by the hand of the Lord in His day. 

I testify that the watchmen are on the wall. They are awake and aware. It is all-hands-on-deck. They have been divinely commissioned to perform a task, empowered by the Lord who directs them, and stand as beacons of light for the world. Their light is a mere reflection of the Light of the World, who is Jesus Christ, our Lord, Savior, and King. President Russell M. Nelson stands at the head of this great work. He will also stand to address the world in two short days. Please tune in to see what the Lord’s prophet would have you know and do and then act in faith on any impressions the Holy Ghost might give you. 

Zack Strong, 
September 29, 2022