Discuss this article or ask questions at the LDS.net Forums.
Last Days 2
During the Last Days there will be signs that indicate that the time is near for the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ prior to the beginning of the millennium. We are living in the Last Days. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church) feel they have a duty to warn people (see Doctrine and Covenants 88:81) and help them to prepare (see Doctrine and Covenants 1:12) for the Second Coming of the Lord. Elder Bruce R. McConkie, late apostle of the Church, listed 51 events or signs that will take place prior to or at the advent of the Second Coming, of which 43 have been completed or are in the process of being completed at this time (see Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 1st ed. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1958], 645-663). Since no man knows the date and hour of His coming or the date and time that we may leave this earthly existence, it seems that the question is: Are we doing all we can in our preparation to meet our Savior and our Heavenly Father? These are our days of probation here upon the earth and every day is precious—one more day to prepare to meet God.
The Scriptures Teach Us
· Doctrine and Covenants 34:6—To lift up your voice as with the sound of a trump, both long and loud, and cry repentance unto a crooked and perverse generation, preparing the way of the Lord for his second coming.
- In this final dispensation those who understand what is coming and how to prepare have a duty to open their mouths and admonish people to repent and come unto Christ. This is of great worth (see Doctrine and Covenants 15:6; 18:10-16) and it is their duty (see Doctrine and Covenants 88:81).
· Alma 12:27—But behold, it was not so; but it was appointed unto men that they must die; and after death, they must come to judgment, even that same judgment of which we have spoken, which is the end.
- Whether at the Second Coming or at death we shall receive a judgment. If we are worthy, then we shall be caught up to meet Him at the Second Coming and continue our life during the millennium, living, as it were, to the age of a tree (see Doctrine and Covenants 101:30). Isaiah speaks of living a hundred years in that situation (Isaiah 65:20). If we die prior to the millennial era, we will be assigned to Paradise or Spirit Prison.
Modern Prophets Speak
The Church proclaims the doctrine of the impending return of the Christ to earth in literal simplicity, without mental or other reservation in our interpretation of the scriptural predictions. He will come with the body of flesh and bones in which his Spirit was tabernacled when he ascended from Mount Olivet. One of the characteristic features of the Church concerning that great, and in the language of the scripture, both glorious and terrible event, is its nearness. It is close at hand. The mission of the Church is to prepare the earth for the coming of its Lord. Biblical prophecies are numerous [Luke 21:7-28; Mark 8:38; Acts 1:11; 1 Thessalonians 4:16]; the Book of Mormon prophecies are abundant, respecting the return of the Christ [1 Nephi 22:24; Mosiah 15:20; 3 Nephi 21:25; 29:2]. His own words, both before and after his crucifixion and resurrection are unambiguous, definite, convincing, and convicting unto those . . . in this day and age of the world he has spoken with his own voice unto his prophets, impressing upon them the fact that the time of his coming in judgment is near at hand. [Doctrine and Covenants, Sec. 34:7, 8, 12; 63:34; 133:17.] Thus, within a few months after the Church was organized, in the year 1830, as recorded in the 29th section of the Doctrine and Covenants, the Lord Jesus Christ said unto his Prophet Joseph Smith: [Sec. 29:9-11, quoted.]” (James E. Talmage, CR, April 1916, pp. 126-27.)
- (Daniel H. Ludlow, A Companion to Your Study of the Doctrine and Covenants, 2 vols. [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1978], 1: 195.)
These are the last days; the signs of the times are now being shown forth on every hand; and the coming of the Lord is not far distant. In the early days of this final gospel dispensation, when his servants were just beginning to lay the foundations of his earthly kingdom, the Lord said: “The voice of the Lord is unto the ends of the earth, that all that will hear may hear: Prepare ye, prepare ye for that which is to come, for the Lord is nigh.” (Doctrine and Covenants 1:11-12.) Prepare for the pestilence and plagues and sorrows of the last days. Prepare for the second coming of the Son of Man. Prepare to abide the day, to stand when he appeareth, and to live and reign with him on earth for a thousand years. Prepare for the new heaven and the new earth whereon dwelleth righteousness. Prepare to meet thy God.
- (Bruce R. McConkie, The Millennial Messiah: The Second Coming of the Son of Man [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1982], 570.)
Ideas for Daily Living
Here is a partial list of some major events and signs to help us prepare for the Last Days preparatory to the Second Coming of the Lord:
1. The establishment of a free land (with a Constitution to protect its people) from which the gospel could go forth throughout the entire world (see 2 Nephi 10:9-19; 3 Nephi 21:4).
2. Gospel restored through the Book of Mormon (see Isaiah 29:2-4,9-18; Ezekiel 37:15-20; 2 Nephi 3; 29; 3 Nephi 21; Mormon 8:12-17).
3. Restoration of the priesthood and important keys, constituting the power and authority of God delegated to man to act in all things pertaining to the salvation of mankind (see Doctrine and Covenants 13; 20; 27;107; 110; 121; 128).
4. God's Church is reestablished upon the earth (see Doctrine and Covenants 20: 128:20; 155:4).
5. Gathering of Israel—In addition, missionary work is inaugurated. Moses restores the keys to the gathering (see Doctrine and Covenants 110:11).
6. Spirit of Elijah and temple work—Elijah restores the keys for genealogical and temple work (see Doctrine and Covenants 110:13-16).
7. Knowledge will increase—Additionally, disease, commotion, and wickedness will abound. Peace will be taken from the earth. Wars and rumors of wars will be heard of. Famines will occur. Churches will arise, and many more signs will be seen. Since there will be no “pre-tribulation rapture” wherein the righteous are taken up before the final plagues and upheavals, it is even more important to prepare spiritually and physically for what is to come.
8. Additional signs of the last days—Gathering at Adam-ondi-Ahman. Great wars. Fall of the “great and abominable church” (sometimes called Babylon in the scriptures the Devil’s kingdom, or “the world.” Sorrow, fear, and lamentation prior to the great day. Two Missionaries in the streets of Jerusalem. Wicked to be burned. Final restitution—and Christ to reign here upon the earth. See the Topical Guide for the scripture list of the Last Days.
Illustrations for our Time
“Mountains May Come and Go”
Edward J. Wood, first President of the Cardston Temple in Alberta, was a leader of legendary vision and spirituality during his many years of service in the House of the Lord. I recall as a young person hearing my father tell several times the story of the occasion when he and my mother were at the temple one day and she noticed in one of the corridors a painting of Chief Mountain, a famous landmark in Southern Alberta and Northern Montana. At the same time, she observed that this same craggy granite mountain peak is plainly visible through one of the temple windows to anyone who might choose to look at it. President Wood happened to be passing by at the time and she asked him the question, “Why would we have a painting of Chief Mountain hanging here in the temple when we can look through the window and see it in reality?” Without hesitation, President Wood responded, “Because this temple is going to be here longer than that mountain, and we want to remember what it looked like.” His point, taken in the spirit of faith and hope, is that the temple is our most apparent evidence of the eternity of lives and the grand bonding that takes place among faithful families—present, past, and future—by virtue of the sealing powers of the priesthood of God. Families under the new and everlasting covenant of eternal marriage are intended to endure forever, far beyond the frontiers of mortality.
Mountains may come and go, but the children of God and their covenant relationships are to be secured through sanctification and made to last forever. The scriptures concerning the Second Coming make clear the dramatic transformation that will take place: “And he shall utter his voice out of Zion, and he shall speak from Jerusalem, and his voice shall be heard among all people; And it shall be a voice as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder, which shall break down the mountains, and the valleys shall not be found” (Doctrine and Covenants 133:21-22). Safety inheres in righteous compliance with the commandments of God; security flows from temple covenants and ordinances; refuge is found in holy places (homes, stakes, and temples of Zion) where the Spirit of the Lord can guide and direct the affairs of men, women, and children bought with the sacred blood of the Redeemer and characterized by broken hearts and contrite spirits.” (Richard J. Allen)
More Thoughts on the Last Days
· “And we now bear testimony to all, both small and great, that the Lord of Hosts hath sent us with a message of glad tidings—the everlasting gospel, to cry repentance to the nations, and prepare the way of his second coming.” —Orson Pratt (Interesting Accounts of Several Remarkable Visions [Edinburgh, 1840], 31).
· “The gospel has been revealed to prepare a people for the second coming of the Son of Man so that they can sit down everlastingly in the kingdom of God with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the prophets.” —Bruce R. McConkie (Sermons and Writings of Bruce R. McConkie [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1998], 381).
We are in the last days. The time is nigh at hand, but no one knows the hour of our Savior’s coming: “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only” (Matthew 24:36). We simply must do our best in keeping the commandments and cheerfully endure to the end that we might be prepared to meet our beloved Savior whenever we are called home.
- This article was adapted from ‘’What We Need to Know and Do,” by Ed J. Pinegar and Richard J. Allen.
--Dennisangot 22:46, 24 September 2010 (MDT)