Death Is A Mere Comma, Not An Exclamation Point!


“Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision” (Joel 3:14)

The above scriptures refers to the last day just before the second coming of the Lord. It is our day! We are part of the multitudes living in “the valley of decision.” While the scripture in Joel speaks of an actual location, I prefer to think of it metaphorically. We have been part of that multitude “in the valley of decision” before. It was in the pre-existence. John the Revelator recorded that a war was waged in heaven and that Satan “drew a third part of the stars in heaven after him” (Revelations 12:4), and they were cast to this earth, un-embodied. We of course, choose to follow the Lord’s plan. Faced with a grand “decision”, we choose correctly. Once again we live in a time where we are faced with an important decision.

Our knowledge of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ should provide us with the ability to make an informed decision, to not only follow the Savior, but be active in promoting the gospel’s humanitarian benefit.  Neil A. Maxwell encouraged us to “Shine as lights in the world.” Quoting him:

“For many years now—in literature, film, and music—we have witnessed increasing expressions of a profound sense of what has come to be called existential despair, a hopelessness beyond hope…the holocausts and the wars have taken their terrible toll of hope among twentieth-century man. Said one eminent scientist, “The most poignant problem of modern life is probably man’s feeling that life has lost its significance, … [a] view … no longer limited to the philosophical or literary avant garde. It is spreading to all social and economic groups and affects all manifestations of life.” (Rene Dubos, So Human an Animal [New York: Scribners, 1968], pp. 14–15.)…Yes, there are some who live without hope who, though having reached such a wrong conclusion, nevertheless maintain right conduct. In such decent individuals, the light of Christ, though unacknowledged, burns still” (“Shine As Lights in the World”, GC, April 1983)

Then Elder Maxwell gives this inspiring charge.

“The need, therefore, is for devoted disciples to do as Paul said, to “shine as lights in the world”, illuminating that latter-day valley foreseen by Joel…The very way in which these illuminated individuals “take up [the] cross daily” is a sermon in itself. They lead lives not of quiet desperation but of quiet inspiration, constituting what Paul would call their “defence and confirmation of the gospel.”Theirs represents a tinier and quieter history within the larger and noisier human history, a joyful and reassuring drama within the more despairing drama being played out on this planet”

May we be of the type of person who lives a life of “quiet inspiration,” not of desperation. We have knowledge that should chase out such hopelessness.

Finally, quoting Elder Maxwell:

“To a world spiritually illiterate, (we) give great lessons in the grammar of the gospel, including this one: death is a mere comma, not an exclamation point!

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