In order to prepare for His Second Coming, the Lord admonished the saints to “go ye out from Babylon” (D&C 133:5). The reason being that at the time He comes again, the proud and the wicked will be burned. The Lord had said previously that He would not “spare any that remain in Babylon” (D&C 64:24).
So what exactly does it mean to go out from Babylon?
As we know, Babylon symbolically refers to the world–it’s traditions, ideals, and influence. What many of us know but may not really fully realize is that we live in the very heart of Babylon. So how, exactly, do we leave it when we physically live in the middle of it?
The Words of the Prophet
In the October 2019 General Conference, President Nelson spoke about the need to leave worldly cares behind as a pre-requisite to understanding what God desires for us.
Part of this endeavor will require you to put aside many things of this world. Sometimes we speak almost casually about walking away from the world with its contention, pervasive temptations, and false philosophies. But truly doing so requires you to examine your life meticulously and regularly. As you do so, the Holy Ghost will prompt you about what is no longer needful, what is no longer worthy of your time and energy.
Here, President Nelson admonishes us that we should not casually talk about walking away from the world and its false philosophies. Instead, we ought to meticulously and regularly examine our lives in order to allow the Holy Ghost to show us the false ideas and traditions from which we need to unsubscribe. The prophet doesn’t give any suggestions of what worldly influences should be removed from our lives–he leaves that to the Spirit to show–but he does promise great blessings.
As you shift your focus away from worldly distractions, some things that seem important to you now will recede in priority. You will need to say no to some things, even though they may seem harmless. As you embark upon and continue this lifelong process of consecrating your life to the Lord, the changes in your perspective, feelings, and spiritual strength will amaze you!
The prophet clearly states that sometimes we will need to say no to some things that don’t seem to cause any harm. But he promises that as we do this, we will notice changes in perspective, feelings, and spiritual strength.
These words were very timely for my wife and me.
A couple of years ago, we started down a path of spiritual purification and consecration we never imagined we would be on. Never before in my entire life have I felt as much peace, joy, and happiness as I have as we have strived to leave the traditions, philosophies, and influence of Babylon. These words from the prophet were a vindication for what we felt the Spirit was urging us to do but didn’t know why.
Over the last two years but mostly over the last 9-12 months, we have been trying to focus our home on the Gospel while removing worldly influences. We examined the scriptures and the words of the prophets in a way that we had never done before. As we did so, we felt the need to reexamine the way we celebrated certain holidays, what kinds of media we consumed, what kinds of activities we participated in, and even what kind of foods we ate. Gradually, the Lord revealed to us what He wanted us to do–it did not come all at once, but it was “line upon line” as we were prepared for it.
There was one point where it seemed like every day we were getting new communication from Heaven with changes that needed to be made in our home. It was incredible! The more we sought to purify our home and diligently follow through on the instruction given, the more new revelations and promptings would come. This experience has taught me that God wants us to know the mysteries of His kingdom and is ready and willing to speak to us. However, we must first show Him that we treasure the words He has already caused to be spoken and written by His prophets.
I can assure you that while this may sound like not the most fun thing in the world–giving up worldly, cultural traditions–that it has been one of the greatest blessings in my life. However, the joy and happiness my wife and I (and even my kids) have felt as a result of this process have not come without personal cost.
The Personal Cost
Whenever you try to leave Satan and his kingdom, he will do whatever he can to hedge up your way and to get you to think twice your choices. People you thought were your friends and even family members will call you crazy or extremists or will simply avoid speaking to you altogether thinking that you have become “self-righteous.” Rather than simply having a difference of opinion, you will be criticized and ostracised. Indeed, these things have happened to us.
At first, these kinds of things hurt and caused us to ask ourselves, “Are we being too extreme in our beliefs and in our behaviors?” Yet, each time we petitioned the Lord in prayer, we felt the firm confirmation that we were on the right track.
Jesus never said that the path of discipleship would be easy, but he did say,
He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.
He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.Matthew 10:37-39
In a small way, I have come to understand what Christ says here. He expects us to be willing to give up everything–our possessions, our traditions, even our family and friends if necessary–if it does not bring us closer to Him. If we want to be worthy of Him and all that He has, this is what it costs.
Flee Babylon Now
Unless you have been living under a rock, you already know that economic, political, and social conditions in the world are rapidly deteriorating. I have seen many people downplay the potential effects of what is currently happening in our society, especially economically and politically, but things are getting pretty bad. At the time of this writing, nearly 10 million people have lost their jobs in the United States in just two weeks. I won’t get too much into what is going on with the Coronavirus Panic, but the trend is not our friend from an economic and political standpoint. I don’t say all of this to be an alarmist or a fear-monger, but to acknowledge the stark reality of our present situation. We must be able to face the hard truth in order to correctly and appropriately deal with our circumstances.
Hard times are on the horizon. For so many years we have collectively lived the Babylonian lifestyle and have partaken in the Babylonian riches to the demise of our God-inspired nation and our national moral character.
But there will come a reckoning. And when that reckoning comes, it will spiritually destroy many who are unprepared. The only protection we will have is in the Lord and His teachings.
To my friends, my family, and strangers that may see this, I urge you and plead with you to flee Babylon! Leave the ways of the world behind. Follow the counsel of God’s prophet on the earth today! Pray to God to know what you must do in order to remove the influence of Babylon and her king who is Satan from your life and then diligently read the scriptures and the words of modern prophets. If done in this way, the Lord will illuminate to your mind exactly what He wants you to do.
As we eliminate the influence of Babylon from our lives, the Holy Ghost will have more room to direct us. And, as President Nelson has admonished, “in coming days, it will not be possible to survive spiritually without the guiding, directing, comforting, and constant influence of the Holy Ghost.” The time to act is now.