The scriptures teach Church members that tribulation, in any age, is an integral part of mortality, said Gaye Strathearn speaking at the Sidney B. Sperry Symposium on the Scriptures at BYU Sept. 18.
"The question then should not be why we have tribulation, but how can we deal with it when it comes," said Sister Strathearn of the BYU Department of Ancient Scripture. " . . . I believe that [the book of] Revelation provides three powerful lessons, regardless of whether the tribulation we experience is global or personal in nature."- "First, despite the turmoil that may encompass us, Revelation teaches us that we can have confidence that Christ is in our midst," said Sister Strathearn. "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is His Church and He plays an active role in it - He is not, as we have noted, an absentee landlord."
She told Church members that they can turn to Christ in every situation. "We should never forget the vivid picture that John paints for us of Jesus standing at the door: `Behold I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.' " (Rev. 3:20.)
"Second, we must be actively engaged in the fight against evil," Sister Strathearn added. She said the Lord told the Saints in the seven churches that they must overcome in order to inherit the blessings of eternity. "Likewise, we can not afford to passively sit by and watch our society gather momentum on Satan's slippery slide of `eat drink and be merry . . . for tomorrow we die.' "
Church leaders, she continued, "have asked us to be actively involved in our neighborhoods and communities. They understand well the collective power of individuals who unite in promoting the cause of good."
- "Third, we need to realize the importance of the gospel of Jesus Christ as the catalyst for lasting peace." Sister Strathearn said that much of the tribulation of this world originates when people either willfully or ignorantly break God's commandments.
"Political sanctions and alliances will never bring about the peace described in Revelation," she said. "John saw that the Saints of God overcame the red dragon `by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony.' (Rev. 12:11.) What the world today needs is people who live the gospel of Jesus Christ."
Sister Strathearn called the book of Revelation a timeless masterpiece. "Its message is not primarily one about the end of the world, but rather it is about the myriad of blessings that God seeks to bestow upon His people. It is about what is possible when people turn to God, live His laws and thus overcome Satan's influence."