4. The Church is releasing more learning materials and information.
The new Church history book Saints was released in early September and it serves as a narrative-style history of the early saints who established the Church. It’s the first of four volumes and the rest will be released over the next several years.
This new book is helping everyone in the Church learn more about early Church history and deepen their testimonies. The book illustrates how God works through all of His imperfect children. In addition, the Church has been creating new curriculum as well as home-centered gospel study guides to help members of every age develop a strong knowledge and faith in the gospel. On top of that the Church is creating new websites, resources, and magazines to spread uplifting messages address challenging topics, such as preventing suicide.
As we work to learn about our history, the gospel, and strive perfect ourselves, we become closer to Christ and increase faith in Him, allowing us to look forward to the day when He comes again.
5. More people have access to temples throughout the world.
Temples are being built at an impressive rate, and Church members around the world are rejoicing. In the April 2018 general conference, President Nelson announced seven new temples, and then in the October 2018 general conference, he announced 12—the most temples announced at one time. That brings the total of temples completed and under construction to over 200.
“My dear brothers and sisters,” President Nelson said, “the assaults of the adversary are increasing exponentially, in intensity and variety. Our need to be in the temple on a regular basis has never been greater . . . I promise you that the Lord will bring the miracles He knows you need as you make sacrifices to serve and worship in His temples.”
As temptations and wickedness in the world increase, the temple can be a place of refuge from worldly troubles and challenges. Spending time worshiping the Lord in the temple will help us prepare spiritually for His coming.
6. Church leaders are emphasizing our role in gathering Israel.
Missionary work is such an important part of the gathering of Israel. President Thomas S. Monson’s announcement in lowering the required missionary age pushed the work forward.
There are also things we can do to gather Israel even if we don’t have an assigned mission call and a name tag. In the October 2018 women’s session of general conference, President Nelson encouraged and challenged everyone listening to do four things that would assist in the gathering of Israel. He invited us to participate in a 10-day social media fast, to read the Book of Mormon by the end of the year, to regularly attend the temple, and to fully participate in Relief Society.
At the end of his address he said, “My dear sisters, we need you! We need your strength, your conversion, your conviction, your ability to lead, your wisdom, and your voices. We simply cannot gather Israel without you.”
He continued, “I love you and thank you and now bless you with the ability to leave the world behind as you assist in this crucial and urgent work. Together we can do all that our Heavenly Father needs us to do to prepare the world for the Second Coming of His Beloved Son.”
As we listen to our Church leaders and prophet and heed their advice, we will be able to better ourselves and prepare for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.