This article was adapted from my new book, The Three Pillars of Zion. Click here to receive a free sample.
Where is safety? Of the many blessings that flow to those who make and keep the New and Everlasting Covenant, one of the most astonishing blessings is that of safety.
The New and Everlasting Covenant is the first pillar upon which Zion is built. The Covenant is the most glorious ever revealed. It contains the greatest hope and the most impressive promises of anything found on earth or in heaven. By abiding its terms we can escape Babylon, flee to Zion, and forever abide safely in the embrace of our Eternal Father.
No Safety in Babylon
Despite its propaganda, Babylon is neither a safe nor a nice place, and neither are its people. Those who are foolish enough to reside in Babylon are prone to dangers and adversities without the benefit of armor.
In Babylon, idolatrous people worship other gods, so when trouble strikes, they are left alone to suffer and face overwhelming challenges. The harsh philosophy of Babylon is one that is godless, self-serving, competitive and lonesome—anti-Christ. (i)
People in Babylon fare “according to the management of the creature,” prosper according to their genius, and conquer according to their strength. They assume no accountability to God; therefore they feel that they can do whatever they please without consequence. In Babylon, they succeed or fail alone. They have a form of godliness but deny the power thereof (the power of hope in Jesus Christ, the plan of salvation, the holy priesthood, and gifts of the Spirit), and they label the humble followers of Christ as frenzied captives bound by false traditions. (ii)
When the people of Babylon are faced with trouble, they receive neither aid from Babylon nor respite from her unmerciful and unrelenting attacks. Amazingly, many people insist on living in Babylon and embracing that lifestyle, all the while considering themselves safe.
A scan of the scriptures proves otherwise—in every case! Safety is only found in the Covenant. Does that mean a person of the Covenant will not suffer? Of course not. Suffering is part of the testing process for every mortal being. But by abiding in the Covenant, we understand that our afflictions are consecrated for our gain. That is, they are sanctified and therefore changed in purpose.
No longer are they merely an adversity, rather they are counted as a sacrifice; and, sacrifice, we are taught, “brings forth the blessings of heaven.” (iv) Therefore, when Zion people suffer, they are safe in the Covenant. Their affliction will not damage them; it will serve to exalt them: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose [his Covenant].” (v) Whereas a non-covenant person suffers for the purpose of leading him to Christ, a covenant person suffers for “Christ’s sake.” (vi) Among other things, this means that Jesus (because we are bound to him in the Covenant) will stand beside us, suffers with us, and help us to overcome. In the Covenant, Zion people are never left alone.
Thus, it is in the Covenant that our afflictions are consecrated for our eternal welfare. Nephi put it this way: “But behold, I say unto you that ye must pray always, and not faint; that ye must not perform any thing unto the Lord save in the first place ye shall pray unto the Father in the name of Christ, that he will consecrate thy performance unto thee, that thy performance may be for the welfare of thy soul.” (vii)
Safety through Consecration in the Covenant
Consider that the work and the glory of God are to raise us to immortality at the highest level called eternal life. (viii) To that end the Father provides us the Atonement of his Son. The New and Everlasting Covenant emerges from the Atonement and makes us partners with Jesus in all things, both the easy and the difficult. By means of the Covenant, we are yoked with the Savior to inseparably face every eventuality.
In this relationship, we pledge to each other all that we have and are, and therefore, we are entitled to draw upon the resources of the stronger partner for any eventuality. In every way, we are one in the Covenant; neither are we divided nor are we alone. Now, because of our covenantal relationship, life’s adversities are consecrated to the Lord for the welfare of our souls.
Consecration is an inclusive law that requires that we consecrate everything to the Lord, which by definition would include our difficulties. Think of it this way. When you marry would you exclude your problems from the vows you make to your spouse? Marriage partners bring everything they have and are to the relationship, and they work through things and make decisions together. Their joint consecration makes them one, and therefore there is no division of resources. They pool everything so that they might face life together.
A marriage that does not tolerate the partners’ individual problems is not strong and is at risk of failure. But a marriage in which the partners are equally yoked, in which the resources are unselfishly and totally pooled, will survive any storm. So it is with the Lord and us. In the Covenant we bring all that we have to the relationship, including our problems, and we use the sum of our resources to face life together with the Lord.
No matter how serious the trial, how deep the distress, how great the affliction, [God] will never desert us. He never has, and He never will. He cannot do it.