From: Francis Harper
Francis Harper Message for 2/2/18
I recall my father saying, “secrecy can be an evil and dangerous thing”. Jesus said to Caiaphas, the high priest, “I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing (John 18:20).
Paul said as he stood before King Agrippa: “…I am not mad [crazy] most noble Festus; but speak forth the words of truth and soberness. For the king knoweth of these things, before whom also I speak freely; for I am persuaded that none of these things are hidden from him; for this thing was not done in a corner.” (Acts 26:25-26). Secret rites and ceremonies were never performed in the New Testament church. Neither should anything secret be done in his church today.
Much is said in The Book of Mormon about the wickedness of secret combinations: “And it came to pass that they formed a secret combination [organization], even as they of old; which combination is most abominable and wicked above all, in the sight of God; For the Lord worketh not in secret combinations, neither doth he will that man should shed blood, but in all things hath forbidden it, from the beginning of man.
“And whatsoever nation shall uphold such secret combinations, to get power and gain, until they shall spread over the nation, behold, they shall be destroyed, for the Lord will not suffer [allow] that the blood of his saints, which shall be shed by them, shall always cry unto him from the ground for vengeance upon them, and yet he avenge them not;
Wherefore, o ye Gentiles [that’s us!], it is wisdom in God that these things should be shewn unto you, that thereby ye may repent of your sins, and suffer not that these murderous combinations shall get above you, which are built up to get power and gain, and the work, yea, even the work of destruction come upon you;
“Yea, even the sword of justice of the eternal God, shall fall upon you, to your overthrow and destruction, if ye shall suffer these things to be;
“Wherefore the Lord commandeth you, when ye shall see these things come among you, that ye shall awake to a sense of your awful situation, because of this secret combination which shall be among you, or wo be unto it, because of the blood of them who have been slain; for they cry from the dust for vengeance upon it, and also upon those who build it up.
“For it cometh to pass that whoso buildeth it up, seeketh to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations, and countries: And it bringeth to pass the destruction of all people, for it is built up by the devil, who is the father of all lies; even that same liar who beguiled our first parents;
“Yea, even that same liar who hath caused man to commit murder from the beginning; who hath hardened the hearts of men, that they have murdered the prophets, and stoned them, and cast them out from the beginning” (Ether 3:92-101).
We do indeed need to be awakened to a sense of our awful situation as we see Al Qaeda, the Taliban, ISIS and others, coming among us, seeking to destroy us. Our hope rests upon Jesus who promised: “except those days should be shortened, there should none of their flesh be saved. But for the elect’s sake, according to the covenant, those days shall be shortened” (Matthew 24:19-20 I.V.; 24:22 KJV).
Love to All,
“Search Me, O God…”
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts; and see of there
be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23-24).
Nothing within us or about us is hidden from God. “Jesus saw Nathanael coming unto
him and said of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile! Nathaniel said unto him,
Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answering him said unto him, Before Philip called thee, when
thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee. Nathanael answered and said unto him, Rabbi, thou art
the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel” (John 1:47-49).
Many of our politicians claim transparency. In other words, vote for me, and “what you
see is what you get”. In spite of their claims, nearly every day, some hidden agenda is
uncovered. Enormous sums of time and money are spent in investigating all of their “evil
surmisings” (1 Timothy 6:4). How wonderful it would be if we could fully trust all of our
elected representatives. We long for the day when “the government shall be upon his shoulder…
[and] of the increase of his government and peace there is no end, upon the throne of David, and
upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth
even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this (Isaiah 9:7).
What about us? Will we be fit to live in the Lord’s kingdom when he comes to establish
it? “The heart [of natural man] is deceitful [dishonest] above all things, and desperately wicked;
who can know it? I the Lord, search the heart, I try the reins [the seat of our desires]…”
(Jeremiah 17:9-10). God knows us better than we know ourselves. He cannot be fooled.
We need to pray, “Search me, O God…” As we sing, “Unto God who knows our every
weakness…” (Hymns of the Restoration, #312). “…the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man
looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7). The
Holy Spirit will reprove us of our sins. See John 16:8. He will help us overcome our
The Lord has promised: “I will raise up unto myself a pure people, that will serve me in righteousness” (Doctrine and Covenants 97:4-d). “Blessed are all the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matthew 5). “…who may abide the day of his coming? And who shall stand when he appeareth? For he is like a refiners fire, and fullers soap.” “…and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as silver ...” (Malachi 3:2). I recall the words of the Lord: “Woe unto you Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye make clean the outside of the cup, and of the platter; but within they are full of extortion [evil] and excess…ye are like unto whited sepulchers, which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but are within full of the bones of the dead [stinking], and of all uncleanness” (Matthew 23:23-24 I.V.; 23:25-27 KJV).
Are we as good inside as we appear to our neighbors? Are we as good as we think we are? Paul warned: “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think…” (Romans 12:3). “Once saved, always saved” is false doctrine. “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12).
Paul who preached the gospel knew that he could fall. He wrote: “Not as though I had already attained [the resurrection of the just], either were already perfect; but I follow after…” (Philippeans 3:12). “but I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection [ self control]; lest by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway” (1 Corinthians 9:27).
O Lord, “if there be any wicked way in me…lead me in the way everlasting!” Amen.