The National Basketball Association is currently in lockout mode. Millionaires are fighting with billionaires. Lame! This means that the league is at odds and all things are at a hault for...who knows how long! Things need to be settled before any moves can be made and before any games can be played. Those who are fans of the NBA will have to wait for the conflicts to be resolved before there is any action. The offseason is always an exciting time for teams to pick up new players, hire new coaches, etc. Now that things are at a stand-still there are many questions that arise. Some questions that I have are: Will the Mavericks compete like they did last year? Will Jimmer Fredette play like he did at BYU? Will Greg Oden hurt his knees so badly that he'll be confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life (THAT is unlikely but chances are that he'll get hurt to some degree)? Will LeBron and the Heat put it together and play to the caliber that their roster shows? Will the Jazz trade one of their big men to get a more reliable guard? Yikes! The questions are endless.
If this continued confusion would be rampant and things would get hostile. Some people would try their best to keep the NBA going but they wouldn't quite understand everything and things would be changed. Some people would try to reform the league or start their own. Before ya know it, there would be a ton of different leagues all claiming to be the original one or the best one but they all would be a little bit off. Something (a miracle or, dare I say, a restoration) would have to happen to bring it back! Then we all could enjoy the pleasures of the real NBA that Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, John Stockton, and Julius Erving enjoyed!
|John Stockton: Short shorts and laser passes. Now THAT'S a basketball player.|
This situation of the NBA lockout is strikingly similar to a huge event known as the great apostasy. Jesus Christ ministered on the earth at Jerusalem for 3 years. During this time many heeded His famous call, "Follow me" (Matthew 4:19)and became disciples (followers). He chose twelve to be Apostles (special witnesses), and He gave them (Peter, James, John, etc.) what is called the Priesthood authority. The Priesthood is God's power given to men to perform things in His name like baptism (Matthew 3:11, 13-17), giving blessings to the sick and afflicted (Acts 3:2-9), preparing, blessing, and passing the sacrament (Matthew 26:26-29), etc. Christ's earthly ministry ended at His Crucifixion but His work continued through His Apostles and disciples.
The Apostles spread out and did missionary work (what much of the New Testament is about) but they were rejected, kicked out of cities, and killed. This solidified the "falling away" (2 Thessalonians 2:3) from the truth of the Gospel. The prophet Amos of the Old Testament prophesies of this great apostasy as well. "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord: And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it" (Amos 8:11-12). There was a famine of truth!
For a very long time, the world was in "lockout" of the fulness of the Gospel of Christ. His Church was changed, distorted, and divided. That is why there are now SO many churches that scatter the earth. People have been wandering the land, looking for truth but have only been able to find a portion of it.
As a representative of Jesus Christ, I am called to proclaim the truth of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. His church has been restored to the earth through a prophet named Joseph Smith Jr. At the age of 14 in the year of 1820 Joseph Smith was confused. He knew that the churches that he was attending were not the same church that Christ established with prophets and apostles. He knew that there should be "one Lord, one faith, one baptism" (Ephesians 4:5). As he was studying in the Bible he came across a scripture in the book of James that states, "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him" (James 1:5). Joseph lacked wisdom and he knew that if he asked of God, he would receive an answer. Joseph took these words to heart and he heeded the counsel that he received.
Joseph went out into a grove of trees outside his home in Palmyra, New York and he knelt in prayer to offer up his heart to God. He received an answer. He has recorded his experience as such:
I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me. When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other - This is My Beloved Son, Hear Him!The following is a video about the Restoration of the Gospel. It has clips from a film called, "The Restoration" and it contatins words of one of our living apostles (yep, just like Peter, James and John) named L. Tom Perry.
I know that the world was once like the NBA currently is...in "lockout". But through the love of God a prophet was called to the earth once again to restore the truth in its fullness. God has provided us with the Book of Mormon so we can know that Christ loves us and called Joseph Smith to be the prophet of the restoration. He also has appointed a prophet for us in our day named Thomas S. Monson. I plead with you to heed his words for they are the words of God. We will never go astray if we follow the word of God. We will never have a "lockout" again.