Lord provides means for deliverance

When Esther was instructed by Mordecai to make an appeal to King Ahasuerus to save her people, she knew that carrying out such a request could lead to her own death.

According to the law, it was death for any person to go into the inner court and ask anything of the king without being summoned to do so; if she went in it would be at the risk of her life. (See Esth. 4:11.)Mordecai counseled Esther: "Think not with thyself that thou shalt escape in the king's house, more than all the Jews." He told her that if she did not make her appeal to the king "thou and thy father's house shall be destroyed." Then Mordecai suggested to Esther: ". . . who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?" (Esth. 4:14.)

Not only was Esther a woman of courage, but she also was a woman of faith. She instructed Mordecai to gather all the Jews in Sushan for a fast for three days, during which time she and her maidens would also fast in preparation for her to "go in unto the king, which is not according to the law. . . ."

Her next words characterize Esther as a true heroine: "and if I perish, I perish." (Esth. 4:16.)

In an address at general conference on Oct. 5, 1882 - at a time when the Church was undergoing great persecutions - Elder Lorenzo Snow of the Quorum of the Twelve read from the fourth chapter of Esther and spoke of her courageous resolve to do what she could to save her people.

Elder Snow said, "In many instances of a similar nature where the destruction of the people of God seemed imminent, and there appeared no way of escape, suddenly there arose something or another that had been prepared for their salvation to avert the impending destruction." He cited as an example that at the very moment Moses and the children of Israel needed deliverance, such was provided as the Egyptian army was destroyed as it pursued them to the Red Sea.

"So it has been and so it ever will be with us," Elder Snow said. "Notwithstanding our difficulties may appear very great, yet there will be means provided for our escape if we ourselves perform the duties incumbent upon us as the children of God. But it may become necessary in the future . . . for some of the Saints to act the part of Esther, the queen, and be willing to sacrifice anything and everything that is required at their hands for the purpose of working out the deliverance of the Latter-day Saints. . . .

"I will say to the Latter-day Saints - you may call it prophecy if you choose - that if this people will be united and will keep the commandments of God, God will turn the popular sentiment of this nation in our favor; the nation will feel disposed to bestow upon us favor instead of persecution and destruction. But it is our business to step forward as did Esther, and be willing to risk all for the salvation of the people. In undertaking her task, Esther said, `If I perish, I perish.' . . . But the people of God will not perish. There will always be a ram caught in the thicket for their deliverance. . . .

"A little spiritual knowledge is a great deal better than mere opinions and notions and ideas, or even very elaborate arguments. . . . We have received that knowledge, and we will stand by it, the Lord being our helper.

"It is now time for the Latter-day Saints to humble themselves before the Almighty, as did the people that were at the point of destruction by the decree of Ahasuerus. It is time now for the Latter-day Saints to find out wherein they have committed themselves; it is time for the Latter-day Saints to repent of their sins and follies and call upon the Almighty, that His aid may be given; that those fetters and chains that are being forged for us may fall to the ground, and that we may have the deliverance that is necessary; that we may go forward and accomplish the great work entrusted to our care."

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