Be Not Soon Shaken in Mind: The Second Coming of Christ

When I was a little girl, this picture hung in my church building.

The Second Coming by Harry Anderson
On the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint's website the picture looks like this.


Do you see the difference?  That's right.  The bottom has been cropped off.  

And do you know what that looks like?   My hometown of Las Cruces, New Mexico. 

I would stare at the picture hanging in my local church building and actually thought that when Jesus Christ came again it would be to Las Cruces.  And based on the Sunday School and Seminary lessons I was taught, I was pretty convinced it was going to be any day.  

As a teenager, I felt like I was taught on any given Sunday one of three lessons.  

1. Smoking and drinking is bad and will kill you. 
2. Be chaste or no man will ever want you. 
3. Christ is coming back any day and if you aren't good, you'll die before He gets here.  

Since as a teenager I wasn't struggling with the Word of Wisdom or the Law of Chastity, you'd think that lesson #3 wouldn't bother me too much.  But it did.  Big time.  

I hated it whenever the "Last Days" were brought up.  That picture hanging in my church would come to my mind. I would imagine Him looking down at me and shaking His head and wagging His finger at me.  

So the verse in 2 Thessalonians 2: 2 makes sense to me.    

"That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand."  

I can definitely say that I spent many years shaken in mind and troubled by spirit at the thought of Jesus Christ returning.  

I'm happy to report that I no longer feel this way.  I anxiously await His coming.

What changed?  

Looking back, I can't pinpoint it to a single day.  It came because of an increased understanding of the Atonement.  

Sure smoking and drinking is bad.  Sure it will kill you.  But if you are struggling with addiction and the consequences of substance abuse, there is a way out and there is a way up.  

Deja Hall, heroin addict before and after recovery
Sure it's best to not have premarital sex.  We don't have to look very far to see the effects that non-monogamous sexual relations has on our society and emotional health.  But to be told that once you lose your virginity you will never be a suitable marriage partner, just simply isn't true.  There is a path of repentance that can make us clean once again.  

And while I gained a deeper understanding of the Atonement, at some point I came to another realization too.  

We are all living in our own last days.  Whether Christ comes tomorrow or 200 years from now, our time on this earth is limited.  And now is our time to prepare to meet God.  

Because no matter how good (or bad) we are, we will eventually die.1 We will all get a chance to stand at the judgment bar.  And for years that seemed like a scary thing.  I imagined a courtroom and me on my knees pleading with the judge to have mercy on me so that I didn't have to go down to a fiery hell.  Then I saw a South Park episode and was very relieved.  


Just kidding!!!! 

In all seriousness, I no longer dread Judgment Day.  Not because of my religion, but because I've come to realize that the Savior is our Advocate.  He will plead on our behalf.  He wants us to live in heaven.  He made it possible so that we could.
Image result for lds media library gethsemane

And that is why I'm no longer shaken in mind or troubled in spirit.  

I've also since learned that when Christ comes again, it will NOT be to Las Cruces, New Mexico.  But it should.   

  Is there any place more beautiful? 

1. I recognize that not everyone dies, like Moses, John the Beloved, Alma the Younger, the Three Nephites, and those who will get "twinkled," but for the most part, everyone dies. 
This lesson is to coincide with the Come Follow Me 2019 Lesson for October 21-27.

Not an official publication of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.