As we greet a new year, it seems fitting to reflect on where we stand in history. What has come before us and what is ahead of us. Where do we fit in the story of humanity and in God’s overall plan? The world is progressing at rates never seen before. The view in some areas is very bleak, and in others has never been brighter. We get to live in a time when truth fills the Earth, yet we are also surrounded by the darkness of greed, oppression and selfishness. The work of the Lord moves forward in spite of opposition.
What will our place be, what will our contribution be to history? Will we be an influence for good? Will we make a positive impact in our own spheres of influence? That is up to each one of us. We have been empowered with the ability to determine our destiny, by our thoughts, desires, words and actions.
In 1999, Pres. Hinckley had similar thoughts and expanded on this same question as he reflected on the passing of a century:
“Daniel had foreseen a stone which was cut out of the mountain without hands and which became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.
“And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever” (Dan. 2:44).
Isaiah and Micah had spoken long before when with prophetic vision they saw our time:
“And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.
…do you realize what we have? Do you recognize our place in the great drama of human history? This is the focal point of all that has gone before. This is the season of restitution. These are the days of restoration. This is the time when men from over the earth come to the mountain of the Lord’s house to seek and learn of His ways and to walk in His paths. This is the summation of all of the centuries of time since the birth of Christ to this present and wonderful day.
The centuries have passed. The latter-day work of the Almighty, that of which the ancients spoke, that of which the prophets and apostles prophesied, is come. It is here. For some reason unknown to us, but in the wisdom of God, we have been privileged to come to earth in this glorious age.
…We stand on the summit of the ages, awed by a great and solemn sense of history. This is the last and final dispensation toward which all in the past has pointed.
…Let the old year go. Let the new year come.
…And so we shall go forward on a continuing path of growth and progress and enlargement, touching for good the lives of people everywhere for as long as the earth shall last.
At some stage in all of this onward rolling, Jesus Christ will appear to reign in splendor upon the earth. No one knows when that will be. Not even the angels in heaven will know of the time of His return. But it will be a welcome day.
May God bless us with a sense of our place in history and, having been given that sense, with our need to stand tall and walk with resolution in a manner becoming the Saints of the Most High, is my humble prayer in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.”
(At the Summit of the Ages, President Gordon B. Hinckley, Oct. 1999)