One of the greatest defects of all mankind is that of procrastination. Our propensity to give into it has been a struggle down through the ages. Our day is no different, in fact, our comfortable and easy life probably makes it more likely. There is the classic quote by Spencer W. Kimball about procrastination, but I am too lazy to look it up now. I will do it later.
Fortunately, I have not been afflicted much with the dreaded disease. I get a bit antsy if something needs to be done. In fact, I would be one of those who would border on the workoholic side more. Always something more to be done and just not enough time to do them all.
All I know is if I have the mentality that it doesn’t need to be done now, then I delay it. If I can switch it in my mind to be done soon, then it will fall into a queue and I continue working until the queue is finished. Somehow, I generally don’t tend to see things as being a ways off. Which I think makes a marked difference between me and the next man. I believe I can have a state now, and will work towards it.
The same applies for me in the gospel. Many, many talk about when the Savior returns. Then we will have to live the law of consecration. Then we will get the temple work in full gear. Then we will live all the celestial laws. Then we will be more proactive in missionary work. Then I will repent. Then I will believe. Then we will work on learning the scriptures more fully. Then we will do this, then we will do that, then we whatever it is we will do. In reality, it is a bunch of hokum. The scriptures tell us so.
“And now, as I have said unto you before, as ye have had so many witnesses, therefore, I beseech of you that ye do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end; for after this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, behold, if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the night of darkness, wherein there can be no labor performed.” (Alma 34:33)
Those who procrastinate will find themselves not knowing what they need to do. Not having experienced what they will have need to experience. They will be in darkness. As Joseph Smith said, “Hell is not knowing.” Don’t say you will change. Why will you change then? Why not now? Remember Lazarus, even if one should come back from the dead, they will not believe. Jesus already came back from the dead and yet we still don’t act, we still don’t live our faith, we still don’t believe. Nothing will change then.
“Ye cannot say, when ye are brought to that awful crisis, that I will repent, that I will return to my God (or start coming closer to my God), Nay, ye cannot say this; for that same spirit which doth possess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world.” (Alma 34:34). Why would the millennium be any different? If not doing it now, why then?
“But behold, your days of probation are past; ye have procrastinated the day of your salvation until it is everlastingly too late and your destruction is made sure; yea, for ye have sought all the days of your lives for that which ye could not obtain (Pleasure? Comfort? Relaxation? Work is an eternal principle. Rest is in the after life. Joy is for this life.); and ye have sought for happiness in doing iniquity (Sin is waste. Waste of time – killing time especially. Waste of learning. Waste of work. Waste of intelligence. Waste of eternity), which is contrary to the nature of that righteousness which is in our great and Eternal Head.” (Helaman 13:38)
Is it any wonder why the Lord makes the following statement? “Hearken, O ye people of my church, and ye elders listen together and hear my voice while it is called today, and harden not your hearts.” (D&C 45:6). Today is the day of salvation. Not tomorrow. “Behold, now it is called today until the coming of the Son of Man, and verily it is a day of sacrifice, and a day of the tithing of my people; for he that is tithed shall not be burned at his coming. For after today cometh the burning – this is speaking after the manner of the Lord – for verily I say, tomorrow all the proud and they that do wickedly shall be as stubble; and I will burn them up for I am the Lord of Hosts; and I will not spare any that remain in Babylon. Wherefore, if ye believe me, ye will labor while it is called today.” (D&C 64:23-25).
Wow, if that is not harsh and clear enough, we are certainly beyond feeling. Very clearly the Lord states tomorrow is for the wicked. Today, if we believe, we will labor. There are no tomorrows in the Gospel. Today we work. Today we sacrifice. Today we repent. Today we build. Today we lift. Today we teach. Today we convert. Do not ever allow yourself to fall to the belief in tomorrow. Those who look to tomorrow will be burned.
The probationary games goes forward. Working today, with a hope in the mansions of the Father. Tomorrow for all intents does not exist. What we are going to do tomorrow doesn’t matter really. Tomorrow may not arrive and today has been wasted.
Here is the verses that triggered this little soapbox. I think it applies just as fully.
“Wherefore, the prophets, and the priests, and the teachers, (let’s include the deacons, the children, the Relief Society, the Apostles, the Seventies, the High Priests, and even those not in the church) did labor diligently, exhorting with all long-suffering the people to diligence; teaching the law of Moses, and the intent for which it was given; persuading them to look forward unto the Messiah, and believe in him to come as though he already was. And after this manner did they teach them.” (Jarom 1:11)
“And the Lord God hath sent his holy prophets among all the children of men, to declare these things to every kindred, nation, and tongue, that thereby whosoever should believe that Christ should come, the same might receive remission of their sins, and rejoice with exceedingly great joy, even as though he had already come among them.” (Mosiah 3:13)
We are to be acting as if he is already among us. He has come, more than once. Although not to the whole world in the big wrapping up scene yet, ye will. But to us, he has already come and that is how we are to be acting. We are to be keeping his commandments now. We are to be living a Christian life now. We are to be building Zion now. As the scripture above stated, we are supposed to be coming out of Babylon now. Not at some future time. I made covenants in the temple to live the law of consecration now. I have covenanted to live the laws of the celestial kingdom now. Not at some future time when we imagine they will be dictated to us. They already have.
“And Zion cannot be built up unless it is by the principles of the law of the celestial kingdom; otherwise I cannot receive her unto myself.” (D&C 105:5)
We have to live the celestial laws to have Zion. We have to have Zion for the King to take his throne to rule forever. Zion will not be raised up and then we will try to live accordingly. We have to be living accordingly to receive Zion. Even the Lord said so.
“Behold, I say unto you, were it not for the transgressions of my people, speaking concerning the church and not individuals, they might have been redeemed even now.” (D&C 105:2)
We may have already been redeemed if we were not procrastinating. If were were living as if he were already here. Let’s get to work. Today. With President Kimball, let’s DO IT!