Get off the Fence (1 Nephi 14)
There are many times in life when we are faced with a difficult choice and we put off making that choice as long as possible. We stay on the fence as long as we can, perhaps hoping that something will happen to make the choice a little easier. Although this is not necessarily a bad strategy, the time generally comes when you either have to make the choice or else it will be made for you.
For example, when you eat at a restaurant, you're presented with a menu that offers lots of choices. Although the choice may be difficult, you eventually have to select something. What would happen if you stayed on the fence and refused to make a choice? Either you would sit there with nothing while everybody else eats, or someone else would make the choice for you (probably spinach or something equally distasteful).
As Nephi's vision comes to an end in 1 Nephi Chapter 14, he is shown things from the future. Specifically, he sees that there are "two churches only; the one is the church of the Lamb of God, and the other is the church of the devil; wherefore, whoso belongeth not to the church of the Lamb of God belongeth to that great church, which is the mother of abominations" (1 Nephi 14:10).
Since there are so many churches in existence today, it may seem hard to believe that there could ever be only two. However, the prophecy is actually telling us that in the end, there will only be two choices — and only one of those choices will actually be a church. Each person will have to choose to either belong to the church of the Lamb of God (a.k.a. "The Church of Jesus Christ") or be grouped with everybody else, which will include a wide range of people with a wide range of beliefs, none of which are based on the gospel of Jesus Christ.
In truth, the same two choices exist today. Each of us has the opportunity to either choose to follow the gospel of Jesus Christ or to choose a different way. The specific "different way" we choose is immaterial since they all end up at the same destination. And what happens if we stay on the fence? Well, if we die without making a choice, then the choice is made for us — and it won't be a choice we'll be happy with.
At the time of Joshua, many of the Israelites were struggling with choosing between the many "gods" that were available at the time as compared to the true God of Israel. Finally, Joshua pushed them to get off the fence with his famous challenge:
"Choose you this day whom ye will serve…
but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!"
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.