Signs of the Times

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Jesus Christ Second Coming Mormon
Mormons believe the Second Coming of Christ is imminent. © Intellectual Reserve

The Signs of the Times are events occurring during the Last Days which have been prophesied as leading up to the Second Coming of Christ. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or Mormon Church, have the prophesies from the Old Testament, the New Testament, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, the Pearl of Great Price, and the prophets from Joseph Smith down to the current day.

The Lord has chosen not to reveal the exact time of the Second Coming:

But of that day, and hour, no one knoweth; no, not the angels of God in heaven, but my Father only.
But as it was in the days of Noah, so it shall be also at the coming of the Son of Man;
For it shall be with them, as it was in the days which were before the flood; for until the day that Noah entered into the ark they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage;
And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be.

The flood is a type of the final destruction of the wicked. Noah preached to the people for many decades, but none would hearken to his warnings of impending doom except his own family. Prophets have warned and continue to warn that the earth will be cleansed of wickedness when Christ comes again. Though no one knew the exact date of the flood, they still had been warned to repent. The Lord has given signs that the Second Coming is approaching to prompt the righteous to prepare, and the wicked to repent.

As recorded in the Book of Matthew in the Bible, the apostles desired to know the signs of Jesus' return:

And as he sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying: Tell us when shall these things be which thou hast said concerning the destruction of the temple, and the Jews; and what is the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world, or the destruction of the wicked, which is the end of the world (Joseph Smith translation of Matthew:4)? [2] (Also see Luke 21.)

In response, Jesus revealed to them some of the signs of the times:

  1. There will be many false Christs that would lead away many. (Also see Revelation 13:13-14; Joseph Smith 1:22.)
  2. False prophets will also arise, the apostles would be killed, and a general apostasy would occur.
  3. Iniquity will abound, causing the love of men to wax cold.
  4. Jerusalem would be overcome, leading to the "abomination of desolation."
  5. There will be "wars and rumors of wars." [1]
  6. There will be famines, pestilences and earthquakes.
  7. The sun will be darkened, the moon will not give light, the stars shall fall, and the powers of heaven shall be shaken.
  8. The sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven.

Other signs of the times are as follows:

  • America will be discovered and settled by Europeans (Ether 2:7-12; 1 Nephi 13:1-19).
  • The American nation will be established with inspired leaders and an inspired constitution (2 Nephi 10:9-19; 3 Nephi 21:4; Doctrine and Covenants 98:4-10; 134; 101:76-80).
  • Additional scripture will come forth, including the Book of Mormon, or "stick of Joseph," to join the Bible, or "stick of Judah" (Isaiah 29; Ezekiel 37; 2 Nephi 3:12; 2 Nephi 27, 29; 3 Nephi 21; Mormon 8).
  • There will be opposition to the Book of Mormon (2 Nephi 29).
  • There will be a restoration of priesthood authority and keys (Doctrine and Covenants 13; 27; 128).
  • The gospel of Christ in its fulness will be restored (Isaiah 2; 4; 5; 10; 11; 13; 18; 24; 29; 33; 34; 35; 51; 52; 54; 60; 63; 64; 65; 66; Revelation 14:6-8; Doctrine and Covenants 133:36-41).
  • The Church and God's kingdom will be reestablished (Daniel 2:31-45; Doctrine and Covenants 20; 128:20).
  • The kingdom will roll forth and grow (Daniel 2:44; Moses 7:60-66; Doctrine and Covenants 65; Isaiah 11:9; Habakkuk 2:14).
  • Elijah will return (Malachi 3:1-6; Doctrine and Covenants 110).
  • The spirit of Elijah will fill the earth, turning the hearts of the children to their fathers (family history and genealogy work). [2]
  • The Saints will be persecuted (Doctrine and Covenants 45:18-32).
  • The spirit (of Christ) will be poured out on all flesh (Joel 2:28-32; Joseph Smith 2:41).
  • The gospel will be preached to every nation, tongue and kindred (Joseph Smith 1:31; Doctrine and Covenants 133:37).
  • There will be many false churches (Mormon 8:26-41).
  • Worldly knowledge will increase (Daniel 12:4).
  • The Lamanites will blossom as the rose (Doctrine and Covenants 49:24-25).
  • The Jews will be scattered among all nations; they will again be gathered prior to the Second Coming (Acts 1:6-11; Doctrine and Covenants 110:11; Doctrine and Covenants 133:13).
  • The Jews will begin to believe in Christ (2 Nephi 30:7).
  • Temples will be built all over the world and the temple in Jerusalem will be rebuilt (Isaiah 2:1-5; Micah 4:1-7; Ezekiel 37; Doctrine and Covenants 133:13; 124:25-42).
  • Zion, the New Jerusalem, will be established on the American continent and will be a place of refuge for the righteous (Articles of Faith, 10).
  • Two opposing kingdoms, the kingdom of Christ and the kingdom of Satan, will exist in the last days. The kingdom of Satan utters great blasphemies against Christ. An anti-Christ will hold great power, upheld by the "Beast," for three and a half years (Revelation 15, 16). There will be a separation of the righteous and the wicked (see Alma 10:23).
  • The kingdom of Satan and the anti-Christ will establish a world monetary system (Revelation 13:17; 14:9; 15).
  • Wars will rage worldwide. There will be wars on the American continent (Doctrinal History of the Church, 3:391; Doctrine and Covenants 45:66-71; 63:33; 97:22-24).
  • Mormon missionaries will be called home. [3]
  • The Ten Lost Tribes will return (Esdras 13:40-47). They will bring scriptures to add the canon of scripture (Doctrine and Covenants 133:26-34).
  • The times of the Gentiles (wherein the Gentiles have precedence in receiving the gospel) will be fulfilled (1 Nephi 13:42; Luke 21:24; Doctrine and Covenants 45:24-30; Inspired Version:Luke 21:24-32).
  • 144,000 missionaries, 12,000 from each tribe of Israel, will be called, protected (sealed in their foreheads) and sent forth to attempt one last gathering of the pure of heart (Revelation 7:2-8; 14:1-5; Doctrine and Covenants 77:11). [4]
  • There will be a great council at Adam-ondi-Ahman whereat all the prophets will turn their keys of administration over to Christ (Doctrine and Covenants 27:4-14; 116). [5]
  • The waves of the sea will roar (Luke 21); the seas shall heave beyond their bounds (Doctrine and Covenants 88:90).
  • First a portion of sea life dies, then all life in the sea dies (Revelation 16:1).
  • There will be a plague of hail (Revelation 11:19; 16:21).
  • Disasters and calamities will abound (Doctrine and Covenants 61:4-5, 14-15) and strikes, anarchy, and violence will increase (Doctrine and Covenants 45:26).
  • Iniquity (wickedness) will abound (Joseph Smith 1:30).
  • The Lord will cease to strive with the wicked and will withdraw from them (Doctrine and Covenants 63:32; 1:33).
  • Peace will be taken from the earth (Doctrine and Covenants 1:35).
  • Destroying angels will be released (Doctrine and Covenants 38:12). [6]
  • There will be an "overflowing scourge" to afflict men (Doctrine and Covenants 45:31).
  • The Lord will come "suddenly to His temple" (Malachi 3:1; Doctrine and Covenants 110:1-10).
  • The war of Armageddon will rage for three and a half years (Zechariah 12; 13; 14; Ezekiel 38; 39; Revelation 9; Doctrine and Covenants 29:14-21).
  • Two prophets will prophesy in Jerusalem and protect the city for three and a half years, until they themselves are killed (Doctrine and Covenants 77:15; Revelation 11).
  • A tremendous earthquake will change the face of the earth; the Mt. of Olives will cleave, the surviving Jews will escape through the cleft, and Christ will descend to save them from the destroying armies (Ezekiel 38; Zechariah 14:4, 5; Revelation 6:12-17).
  • Christ will destroy Israel's enemies (Zechariah 14:12, 13).
  • The Jews will recognize Christ and mourn (Zechariah 14:2-6; Doctrine and Covenants 45:48-53).
  • Jerusalem will become a glorious and holy city (2 Nephi 14:2-6).
  • The continents will become connected again—"He shall command the great deep, and it shall be driven back into the north countries, and the islands shall become one land; And the land of Jerusalem and the land of Zion shall be turned back into their own place, and the earth shall be like it was in the days before it was divided" (Doctrine and Covenants 133:21-24).
  • A river of water will flow east and west from the Jerusalem temple mount, healing the Dead Sea.
  • Absence of rainbows the year of Christ's coming.[7]
  • The earth will be cleansed by fire and the wicked consumed (Revelation 18:17, 18, 23, 24).
  • There will be a day, a night without darkness, and a day (Zechariah 14:6, 7).
  • There will be signs on earth and in the heavens (Doctrine and Covenants 45:39-42; Joel 2:30-31).
  • The sun will darken, the moon turn to blood, the stars fall (Doctrine and Covenants 29:14; Acts 2:20; Joseph Smith-Matthew 1:33).
  • Voices will be heard from heaven (Revelation 11:15; Doctrine and Covenants 45:48, 49; Doctrine and Covenants 88:92-94). The trump of God will announce the Second Coming. All men will witness it together.
  • Babylon, the "great and abominable church" will fall (1 Nephi 13:5; Doctrine and Covenants 88:94; 29:21; Ezekiel 38; 39; Revelation 17; 18).
  • The wicked will be burned as stubble (Malachi 4; Doctrine and Covenants 29:9-10; 63:34, 54; 101:23-31; 133:63-640).
  • The City of Enoch will rejoin the City of Zion (Moses 7:62-64). (See: What the "Sign of the Son of Man" at the Second Coming Means)
  • A resurrection of the just will occur. The righteous who are living will be caught up to meet Christ in the clouds (Doctrine and Covenants 88:95-98; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18).

Although the other signs of the Second Coming are indeed miraculous, the Doctrine and Covenants asserts that there will be “greater signs in heaven above” than that of the stars falling, the sun being darkened, and the moon appearing as blood (D&C 29:14). President Wilford Woodruff, who was shown many of these additional signs by an angel of God, relates what one of them will be. As a missionary, he had the following experience:

I knelt down and prayed. I arose from my knees and sat down. The room was filled with light. A messenger came to me. We had a long conversation. He laid before me as if in a panorama, the :signs of the last days, and told me what was coming to pass. I saw the sun turned to darkness, the moon to blood, [and] the stars fall from heaven. I saw the resurrection day. I saw :armies of men in the first resurrection, clothed with the robes of the Holy Priesthood. I saw the second resurrection. I saw a great many signs that were presented before me [cf. Hel. :14:6], by this personage; and among the rest, there were seven lions, as of burning brass, set in the heavens. [The angel said], “That is one of the signs that will appear in the heavens :before the coming of the Son of Man. It is a sign of the various dispensations.

The Lord has promised that those who seek him will be preserved and that the righteous need not fear. He has also said that men's hearts shall fail them :

Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken (Luke 21:26).
And in that day shall be heard of wars and rumors of wars, and the whole earth shall be in commotion, and men’s hearts shall fail them, and they shall say that Christ delayeth his coming until the end of the earth (Doctrine and Covenants 45:26).
And all things shall be in commotion; and surely, men’s hearts shall fail them; for fear shall come upon all people (Doctrine and Covenants 88:91).

Yet, the Lord will preserve the righteous and provide places of sanctuary for the pure in heart, and many will rejoice at His coming, which will usher in one thousand years of peace. During the millennium, Christ will reign personally on the earth (Doctrine and Covenants 29:11; Revelation 11:15).

These are the Last Days before the Coming of Christ


  1. In 1832, Joseph Smith received a revelation now recorded in the Doctrine and Covenants, section 87 [1]: "Verily, thus saith the Lord concerning the wars that will shortly come to pass, beginning at the rebellion of South Carolina, which will eventually terminate in the death and misery of many souls; And the time will come that war will be poured out upon all nations, beginning at this place. For behold, the Southern States shall be divided against the Northern States, and the Southern States will call on other nations, even the nation of Great Britain, as it is called, and they shall also call upon other nations, in order to defend themselves against other nations; and then war shall be poured out upon all nations (Doctrine and Covenants 87:1-3)."
  2. Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, Vol 2, pp. 117-128.
  3. Heber C. Kimball, Deseret News, Church Department, May 23, 1931, p. 3.
  4. See also, Orson Pratt, Journal of Discourses, Volume 18:68, July 25, 1875.
  5. See also, Joseph Fielding Smith, The Way to Perfection, (Genealogical Society, Salt Lake City, 1931), pp. 289-291).
  6. Through revelation, in 1894, Wilford Woodruff said the following: "God has held the angels of destruction for many years, lest they should reap down the wheat with the tares. But I want to tell you now, that those angels have left the portals of heaven, and they stand over this people and this nation now, and are hovering over the earth waiting to pour out judgments. And from this very day they shall be poured out."--Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, p. 230.
  7. Teachings of Joseph Smith, p. 340.