George A. Smith

This post began with one thought that lead into another, that lead into another. You know how that is.

It began with something I was reading. “When the Lord has spoken through His servants, there have been at different periods of time many people in the earth who have said, “I do not believe in revelation.” This age is no exception to the rule.

The thousands, yes, the millions, of our Father’s children who live in the earth are but repeating the history of the past when they deny that God has revealed again His will to the children of men, and say that they have no need of any further revelation.” (George A. Smith, Improvement Era, Mar. 1949, 137)

Noah was a just man and perfect (Hebrew: complete, whole, having integrity) in his generations, and Noah walked (guided) with God.  Genesis 6:9 (KJV)

My first thought was of Noah and the days of the flood. Men had turned to wickedness. The earth was filled with violence and all flesh was corrupted. So God commanded Noah to build an ark, taught him detail upon detail how to accomplish this astonishing project and expounded on His plan for mankind.

“The Lord saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The Lord was grieved that He had made man on the earth and His heart was filled with pain.” Genesis 6:5-6

Can you believe it possible that Noah was the only righteous man living on the earth at that time? That he alone chose to obey God’s commandments? The only person left in this world able to receive revelation-to hear the voice and instruction of the Lord?

Wow. Awfully near to 100% annihilation of humans off the face of this earth. What would have been the outcome had this one righteous man not been able and willing to hear and obey God?

I imagined Noah preaching and warning the people. Perhaps he had other children and even grandchildren that he supplicated with all his being. He would have had many other relatives-brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles and cousins. His heart must have felt an awful burden of grief and sorrow for those he knew and loved.

Noah did everything just as God commanded him. Genesis 6:22

As he explained what the Lord had planned, can you imagine people’s reactions as Noah built the ark? “Why would the Lord speak to you? What makes you so special?” “Who says you’re a prophet?” “We don’t believe in revelation.” “Go away-you’re wrong. God doesn’t speak to people anymore.” “You don’t know what you’re talking about Noah.”  “Ha, ha…he’s crazy!” “He’s losing his mind.”

Only 8 Were Saved

Once the door was sealed and the rain began, what was it really like for those eight people? They left behind people they loved and had shared their lives with. The scriptures don’t mention the state of their minds and their hearts at that time. What would they have felt? Despair? Anguish? Fear? Pain?

Not only was the world as they knew it a bit shattered, it was totally gone. Not a little at a time. It disappeared all at once. As the door slammed shut, each individual they had known and loved become only a memory of the past.

Each of them knew personally hundreds of people that perished. Heartbroken? Shocked? Scarred by the experience? I wonder how emotionally prepared they were for the future they faced.

And then perhaps, none of those torments would have lasted too long as they trustingly turned their hearts and their minds towards Heavenly Father.

I’ve always, because of a children’s song that ends with the phrase, “but only 8 were saved”, stopped at that thought. They were saved. But, what saved those 8 people?

Is it possible that they were the only people prepared to receive revelation? Did they hear a confirmation of the truth from the Lord, as they listened to Noah preaching? I believe they harkened to the Lord’s still small voice, humbly entered into covenant with God, and followed Noah into the ark.

Perhaps it’s possible that their hearts and their minds had long before been prepared as they received comfort, assurances, confidence and strength from the Lord for the choices they made.

There is none other but God that is capable of surrounding His children with a palpable comfort and peace that passes all mortal understanding. There is none other so capable of bathing broken hearts with His healing balm to make them whole again.

And then my thoughts rolled around back to the quote that began my musings. I thought of those I love. I pondered, if a prophet of the Lord came to this very town I live in, and told me it was time-right now- to leave everything-my kin, my home, my wealth-behind, how would I respond?

Am I ready to ask for and seek the Lord’s confirmation? Would I recognize and accept His true messenger? How would my neighbors react to our prophet? What would my family think? What would my family do? Would they come with me? Would I be able to go with the few and leave those most dear to my heart behind?

One day we will be dependent on the Lord’s direction to save our lives, perhaps even temporally. I wonder how many are truly prepared to recognize and listen to His voice, guidance and instruction. Or, will we be among the millions who say “We have no need of any further revelation”?

“For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.” Matthew 24:37-38

Which scriptural characters-those who are obedient to God’s commandments and hear and obey His voice- come to your mind? Which one is your favorite? Why?