The Vision Opens

The Vision Opens:

I see the rod of iron and feel the river of filthiness running alongside it. I am in the river, within arms' distance of the rod. The river does not seem filthy, only swift.

I sense that I have been in these waters for years and that I have discovered over the years that I could offset the current by steadily swimming upstream. Although I might be only swimming in place, I have always taken pride in the fact that I am not carried downstream by the swiftness of the current.

I even feel a sense of security; the rod is near, and has been near most of my life.nbsp; I have kept close to it, close enough that when the time comes to meet my Savior, I can grab hold. I have been careful about that.

In the past, the Spirit has sometimes urged me to reach for the rod, even jump for it, if possible, but being so close I cannot see the urgency to do so.

Suddenly things change. The Savior is here. He is hurrying the Saints who were prepared along the rod, ushering them into his bridal chamber. They move rapidly. There is an air of excitement and anticipation.

I have prepared of this moment all my life; it is time to move. All I have to do is reach, reach for the rod and make my way into the bridal chamber before the door closes.

I reach, but to do so I must stop swimming, and the river takes me farther from the rod than I was before. I panic. For the first time I realize that having the rod so close was no guarantee that I would be able to grasp it in my hour of need. Why didn't I listen to the prompting of the Spirit? There is not enough time to reach the rod now.

I see the Saints who were prepared passing in front of me, within arms' distance of me. Why don't they reach out and help me? They seem to be looking at something of great importance just ahead of them. They clutch the rod with both hands and in this moment of urgency not one of them dares let go, not even with one hand, to help me.

I see others passing behind me, being carried rapidly downstream by the current. They call to me, they plead for help but they are quickly gone. I must continue thrashing toward the rod. I must not concern myself with those poor souls, for I cannot help them; I am in danger of being carried away myself.

Everything is happening so swiftly. The people seem to be keenly aware of the tragedies all around them and of their inability to help at this crucial moment. Yes, all seem aware of their own position, of having to stand on their own.

I begin to see things as they really are. I see my own desperate straits, my helplessness, my carelessness. I had thought there would be no difficulty in grasping the rod. I was always so close, so comfortably close, that I never tried.

The doors! The doors of the bridal chamber are closing. This can't be happening. This can't be true. O Lord God Almighty, don't let it be true.

The doors close.

I'm stunned, staring, and motionless, and the current moves me out into deeper water.

I fix my eyes on those doors, on all that I hoped for, on all that I supposed and imagined would be mine. The river moves heedlessly on as I sink into its dark and filthy depths.

The Vision Closes.

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