Posts Tagged 'Second Coming'

Notes on Patience – Trusting His Timing

Patience is something that is tested in my life every day, as I am sure it is for most of us. I thought that perhaps it would be a good idea for me to begin a study that was a bit more in depth so that I could know how to gain a self-mastery that I do not have right now. I hope that my readers will enjoy following this series of posts on patience and that it may help someone else out there, as much as it has helped me. To see more posts, check out Notes on Patience

7 Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.
8 Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh. (James 5:7-8)

These things remain to overcome through patience, that such may receive a more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, otherwise, a greater condemnation. Amen.(Doctrine and Covenants 63:66)

  • The Lord is patience with me. I need to be patient with him. I do not need to focus on the timing of the Lord’s coming, if I am patiently doing what is right in my life. The Lord will come when the timing is right for the fruits of his labors. Elder Dallin H. Oaks once quoted Elder Neal A. Maxwell of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles as saying the following:

    The issue for us is trusting God enough to trust also His timing. If we can truly believe He has our welfare at heart, may we not let His plans unfold as He thinks best? The same is true with the second coming and with all those matters wherein our faith needs to include faith in the Lord’s timing for us personally, not just in His overall plans and purposes.

    I don’t think that I am not a patient person when it comes to the second coming, but I do look forward to it with excitement. I realize though, that it is my job to focus on the day at hand, with hope in that day to come. If I focus on what may come, I may miss the corrections I need to make today, and consequently be unprepared to enjoy the second coming when it occurs. (Timing)

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    The Second Coming of Jesus Christ

    The lessons from the Gospel Principles manual finished in my ward, but sadly we did not go through the entire book. I’m not one for letting it go without completing the book, so I’m going to continue posting my thoughts on the rest of the book. To view the entire lesson go here: The Second Coming of Jesus Christ (Note: I do not include the entire lesson, just my take on the questions it poses and thoughts on the general topics.

    There are several verses in the scriptures, which teach us of the coming of Christ in the latter-days. As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), I am a firm believer in this principle of the gospel. The Savior came to the earth over 2000 years ago, and he lived and died for all mankind. But that was not the end of his works on the earth. The Savior will return again, to rule and reign on this earth. It is that time, that I look forward to with hope and purpose.

    What Will Jesus Do When He Comes Again?

    At his coming, all the wicked will be destroyed. In 2 Thessalonians 2 we read the following:

    8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
    9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
    10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

    No one who desires to do wickedness will be able to withstand the brightness and power of the Lord’s glory and will therefore be destroyed at his coming. His glory will separate the righteous from the wicked and will judge all people. That same glory will be used to refine those who remain. In Malachi 3 we read the following:

    1 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts.
    2 But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap:
    3 And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.

    Those who hold the priesthood, will be purified in order to make a righteous offering in the temple, which is where the Lord will be. In addition, Jesus will make himself known to all people when he comes again. In Isaiah 40:5 we read, “And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.” Everyone will witness the glory of Christ because He will reveal himself to all people. He will reign over the earth as well. In Doctrine and Covenants 76:63 we read, “These are they whom he shall bring with him, when he shall come in the clouds of heaven to reign on the earth over his people.”

    Jesus Christ will be the spiritual and political leader of the world, with all governments beneath him. This will mark the beginning of His Millennial reign on the earth. At this time, he will continue dwell on earth with his people. In Doctrine and Covenants 104:59 we read, “For the purpose of building up my church and kingdom on the earth, and to prepare my people for the time when I shall dwell with them, which is nigh at hand.” The Savior will remain on the earth and work along side those who choose to follow Him.

    Also, Jesus Christ will reveal all the hidden truths to those who are willing. In Doctrine and Covenants 101 we read the following:

    32 Yea, verily I say unto you, in that day when the Lord shall come, he shall reveal all things—
    33 Things which have passed, and hidden things which no man knew, things of the earth, by which it was made, and the purpose and the end thereof—
    34 Things most precious, things that are above, and things that are beneath, things that are in the earth, and upon the earth, and in heaven.

    This will be an amazing time of knowledge and understanding, which has never been before. This is something that I really am anxious for. I have a thirst for gospel knowledge. To believe that there will be a time on this earth, when all the revelations of the ancient and modern prophets, will be known by those on the earth, is amazing.

    When the Savior comes again, he will bring the work of the first resurrection with him. All those who died willing to serve Him, will rise again and work alongside the living and Christ, during the time of the Millennium. In Doctrine and Covenants 133:56 we read, “And the graves of the saints shall be opened; and they shall come forth and stand on the right hand of the Lamb, when he shall stand upon Mount Zion, and upon the holy city, the New Jerusalem; and they shall sing the song of the Lamb, day and night forever and ever.” There will be so much work to accomplish and it will be able to be done with the help of those who have faithfully gone before.

    What are your thoughts and feelings as you contemplate the events of the Second Coming?

    I am overwhelmed by the amount of excitement I feel inside when I reflect on the future coming of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I want to be with the saints at that day, so that I can rejoice in the blessings of His coming. I strive each day to live a good life, so that I can be numbered with His followers. His coming will bring blessings beyond my wildest imaginations and I know in my heart that this is true. I want to have no doubt in my soul, and peace at the time of His coming. I hope to say, as the prophet Joseph said near his own death, “I am calm as a summer’s morning; I have a conscience void of offense towards God, and towards all men.”

    How Will We Know When the Savior’s Coming Is Near?

    In His great mercy and wisdom, God has given us many signs to know when the Savior’s coming is getting near. Many of these signs have already come to pass. We are living in the last days and His coming is not far away. (To read more about these signs, see Signs of the Second Coming from the last Gospel Principles lesson.

    How Can We Be Ready When the Savior Comes?

    Mostly, I think that living today as if He were here right now, is the best way to be ready. We cannot procrastinate our preparation. We have been promised that he will come as a thief in the night. In 1 Thessalonians 5:2 we read, “For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.” No one will know and it will most likely be at a time when most people least expect it. We show that we are people who live by faith, when we live each day in preparation for Him. How do we do this? We prepare when we read the scriptures and follow the commandments that are found in them. We should be striving to strengthen our personal testimonies and also helping our family to be stronger in their faith. We prepare by listening to the words of the Prophet, who is His holy mouthpiece today. We prepare by removing the things from our lives that would prevent us from being worthy to stand in His presence. We prepare by being watchful of the harmful things to our spirits, bodies and minds. We prepare by becoming accustomed to doing the work of the Lord now, because when He is here, that is exactly what we will be doing. Instead of fearing the gloom and doom of His coming, we should be changing our lives to find the happiness that He will bring. If we can find the joy He offers now, we will not fear the destruction that will come.

    Why should we be concerned about our preparedness rather than the exact timing of the Second Coming?

    Matthew 24:42 reads, “Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.” If we focus on being prepared, it doesn’t matter when He comes. If he comes today, we are saved. If he comes many years from now, we are saved. Preparation will bring us the most joy. If the Savior never comes in your lifetime, living a life in preparation of His coming, means a life worthy of the promised blessings of joy in eternity. I think the question should instead be, why not? What is lost in this life by living it righteously? Nothing of any lasting value would be lost. Everything of value is to be gained when we choose to live righteously now. I am so excited for the coming of the Savior. I hope that my testimony of this will grow even stronger and more firm, so that as the trials I face in life (which we all have to face), I will not falter. I love my Savior, Jesus Christ, and I look forward to the day when I will be counted worthy to stand with His people and do His work at His side.

    Signs of the Second Coming

    To view the entire lesson, go here: Signs of the Second Coming

    The Second Coming is something that I personally look forward to with great anticipation. In Matthew 16:27 we read, “For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.” As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we believe that the Second Coming is the time when Christ will return again to this earth and rule over all the nations of the world. It is a time when great work will be accomplished. It will mark the beginning of the Millennium, when saints will work hard to complete temple work for all who have ever lived on the earth. It will be a time of great peace and joy.

    What are some of the signs of the Second Coming?

    The scriptures teach us of several known signs of the Second Coming. In Matthew 24, the Lord taught his disciples about the signs of his return.

    3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?
    4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
    5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
    6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
    7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
    8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
    9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.
    10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.
    11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
    12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

    14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

    21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
    22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.
    23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.
    24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

    29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
    30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
    31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

    Some of the signs include false Christs who deceive, wars and rumors of wars, famines and earthquakes, killing of the saints who stand for truth and righteousness, offenses, betrayals, and hatred, false prophets, and great amounts of sin and cold-heartedness. A great sign will be that the gospel will be preached to all the world, which is only made possible by the coming forth of the Book of Mormon. Then there will be great destruction through all the world both physically and spiritually. Then at the time of His coming, the sun and moon will be dark, the stars will fall from their places, and those who remain will see Christ coming again, with the elect of heaven at his sides. It may seem like a lot of doom and gloom, but the hope and excitement come in the outcome of these signs. In particular, the spreading of the gospel will bring great joy and happiness to people all over the earth, and even more to those who have already died and are waiting for work to be done on their behalf. As the gospel spreads, testimonies of Christ will be strengthened and faith will displace the fear of the awful destruction that is to come.

    Another sign of the second coming, was foretold by the prophet Malachi. In Malachi 4:5-6 we read the following:

    5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord:
    6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

    This has happened already. Elijah appeared to the prophet Joseph Smith and to Oliver Cowdery, in the temple. He restored necessary keys for the sealing powers of the priesthood. This sign has been fulfilled and we are now preparing for the Savior’s coming by doing work in the temple.

    We also believe that before the Lord comes again, the city of Zion will be built upon the American Continent (see Article of Faith 10). This is a sign that the saints of the latter-days have been anticipating since the restoration began.

    What evidence do you see that the signs are being fulfilled?

    It doesn’t take much effort to see the calamities of the world getting worse and causing more destruction and casualties than they have in years past. Natural disasters are happening often all throughout the world. Transgressions and sins are becoming popular culture and those things that are good are painted as wrong by the world. It is becoming increasingly difficult to be a righteous individual without ridicule and hardship from others. On a more pleasant note, temples are being built more frequently and in more places around the world. The church continues to grow and the gospel is being taken to most of the world. I truly believe that the Second Coming is not far from us.

    How can we remain calm and at peace even when some of the signs are terrifying and dreadful?

    In Doctrine and Covenants 38:30 we read, “I tell you these things because of your prayers; wherefore, treasure up wisdom in your bosoms, lest the wickedness of men reveal these things unto you by their wickedness, in a manner which shall speak in your ears with a voice louder than that which shall shake the earth; but if ye are prepared ye shall not fear.” There was a time, when thinking of the signs of the Second Coming, brought me fear and discomfort. I have learned now, that this was because I was living in a way that caused me to fear what would happen for the things I was doing wrong in my life.

    Faith is a Sunrise

    Faith cannot coexist with fear. When we work to strengthen our testimonies and focus on preparing ourselves, fear is wiped away and faith takes its place in our hearts. I believe that this is true. In simpler terms, I think about how it feels to take a test when I am unprepared and have little faith in my own abilities. I am fearful that I will not do well, and I struggle greatly. When I study and become confident in my knowledge of the material, I do much better and I have a faith that I will do the best I can. This principle is the same for the feelings that come when we think about the Second Coming and the signs that precede it. We remain calm and at peace, when we try to follow the commandments, study the gospel, attend the temple, and follow the counsel of preparation given to us by the church leaders. In 1 Thessalonians 5 we read the following:

    1 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.
    2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
    3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
    4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.
    5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
    6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.

    We would do well to use wisdom in all that we do. We should not be wasting away our days, thinking that we can do whatever we want and prepare later. We need to be prepared for the signs that are negative, because something will effect everyone of us. We also need to prepare for those positive signs as well, because it is the duty of every disciple and follower of Christ to do their part in the work. It is through this preparation and active participation, that we will find a sense of security and peace.

    The Tenth Article of Faith

    As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,

    We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.

    We believe that the Lord promised the Children of Israel that they would be scattered if they failed to keep his commandments and live righteously. In Deuteronomy 28:64 we read, “And the Lord shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other; and there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, even wood and stone.” Then we learn of the outcome of this promise in 2 Kings, chapter 17:

    6 In the ninth year of Hoshea the king of Assyria took Samaria, and carried Israel away into Assyria, and placed them in Halah and in Habor by the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.
    7 For so it was, that the children of Israel had sinned against the Lord their God, which had brought them up out of the land of Egypt, from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and had feared other gods,
    8 And walked in the statutes of the heathen, whom the Lord cast out from before the children of Israel, and of the kings of Israel, which they had made.
    9 And the children of Israel did secretly those things that were not right against the Lord their God, and they built them high places in all their cities, from the tower of the watchmen to the fenced city.
    10 And they set them up images and groves in every high hill, and under every green tree:
    11 And there they burnt incense in all the high places, as did the heathen whom the Lord carried away before them; and wrought wicked things to provoke the Lord to anger:
    12 For they served idols, whereof the Lord had said unto them, Ye shall not do this thing.
    13 Yet the Lord testified against Israel, and against Judah, by all the prophets, and by all the seers, saying, Turn ye from your evil ways, and keep my commandments and my statutes, according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by my servants the prophets.
    14 Notwithstanding they would not hear, but hardened their necks, like to the neck of their fathers, that did not believe in the Lord their God.
    15 And they rejected his statutes, and his covenant that he made with their fathers, and his testimonies which he testified against them; and they followed vanity, and became vain, and went after the heathen that were round about them, concerning whom the Lord had charged them, that they should not do like them.
    16 And they left all the commandments of the Lord their God, and made them molten images, even two calves, and made a grove, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served Baal.
    17 And they caused their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire, and used divination and enchantments, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke him to anger.
    18 Therefore the Lord was very angry with Israel, and removed them out of his sight: there was none left but the tribe of Judah only.
    19 Also Judah kept not the commandments of the Lord their God, but walked in the statutes of Israel which they made.
    20 And the Lord rejected all the seed of Israel, and afflicted them, and delivered them into the hand of spoilers, until he had cast them out of his sight.

    We believe that it is truth that Israel will be gathered again. In 1 Nephi 10:14 we read, “And after the house of Israel should be scattered they should be gathered together again; or, in fine, after the Gentiles had received the fulness of the Gospel, the natural branches of the olive tree, or the remnants of the house of Israel, should be grafted in, or come to the knowledge of the true Messiah, their Lord and their Redeemer.” We believe that this gathering will literally be fulfilled. In Deuteronomy 30:3 we read, “That then the Lord thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the Lord thy God hath scattered thee.” The tribes of Israel will be gathered together from all the earth, where they were scattered. Moreover, we believe that this gathering has already begun. In Doctrine and Covenants 110:11, we learn when this gathering started. Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery had the keys of the priesthood restored to them, which gave them the authority from God to do this work. “After this vision closed, the heavens were again opened unto us; and Moses appeared before us, and committed unto us the keys of the gathering of Israel from the four parts of the earth, and the leading of the ten tribes from the land of the north.”

    We believe that the tribes of Israel will be restored to the knowledge of the truth, which has long since been denied and forgotten. In 3 Nephi 20 we learn what the Savior taught the Nephites of this:

    30 And it shall come to pass that the time cometh, when the fulness of my gospel shall be preached unto them;
    31 And they shall believe in me, that I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and shall pray unto the Father in my name.

    We believe that this restoration started with the gospel being taken to the gentiles, or those who were not of the house of Israel. This started with the translation of the Book of Mormon and the missionaries being sent out to the world to preach of the gospel. We believe that as the gentiles have received the gospel, they have made covenants with God, which has allowed us to be adopted into the house of Israel. We believe that it is our responsibility to take the fullness of the gospel to the rest of the world, which will bring the scattered tribes back together.

    We believe that along with the gathering and restoration of the ten tribes of Israel, that Zion will be built. We believe that this Zion will also be knows as the New Jerusalem and it will exist as a partner to Jerusalem, which will be built again by the gathering of the tribes. We believe further, that the New Jerusalem will be upon the American continent. In Doctrine and Covenants 45 we read the following:

    66 And it shall be called the New Jerusalem, a land of peace, a city of refuge, a place of safety for the saints of the Most High God;
    67 And the glory of the Lord shall be there, and the terror of the Lord also shall be there, insomuch that the wicked will not come unto it, and it shall be called Zion.

    In another modern revelation, the Lord revealed that Zion, the New Jerusalem, would be built in the state of Missouri (see D&C 84:3). We believe that this will be the center of Zion, but that Zion as a whole will exist throughout the world, in the hearts of the righteous and covenant people of the Lord.

    We also believe that Christ, the Lord and Savior of mankind, will come again and will reign as Lord over the earth. In Matthew 16:27 we read, “For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.” Then in Doctrine and Covenants 76:63 we read, “These are they whom he shall bring with him, when he shall come in the clouds of heaven to reign on the earth over his people.” He will bring all the nations under his reign, and all people will know that He is the Christ. I think one of the things I look forward to most, is that all laws will be the laws of God, and all governments will be under his rule. This means that all those things that are wicked and unrighteous about governments today, will no longer exist.

    Finally we believe that at the second coming of Christ, the earth will be cleansed of all wickedness. In Malachi 4:1 we read, “For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.” We believe that the earth will be renewed to its perfect state and then it will receive its proper glory, which is paradisiacal. In Isaiah 51:3 we read, “For the Lord shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody.” Then later in Isaiah 65:17 we read, “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.” That paradisiacal condition will be like the Garden of Eden that existed for Adam and Eve. Then it will have the glory and be prepared for the righteous to dwell upon the face of it.

    These beliefs bring me such great joy and excitement. I believe that the work of the Lord is going forth and that the tribes of Israel are indeed being gathered, because the gospel is spreading across the earth. I know that wether I am alive or not, I will rejoice at the second coming of the Lord. I know that the earth will be prepared for his reign, and therefore it must be pure of all wickedness. This will be the beginning of the millennium, and I am so excited for the great work and blessings that will come from that time.

    Joseph Smith-Matthew (Part 3)

    This is a continuation of the previous post (Joseph Smith-Matthew part 2).

    So far this translation of Matthew 24, had been what the Savior taught his disciples about the destruction of Jerusalem and the signs that would lead up to the Second Coming. These words are meant for us to understand what we should be looking forward to, and preparing for as we live in these latter-days. I know that the Second Coming will occur and I am so glad that we have the gospel of Jesus Christ himself, to teach us how we can live to be excited for that time and the blessings of eternity, rather than to fear the end of our world as we now know it, or rather to fear our own destruction. (Emphasis in the following verses marks the difference in this chapter from the King James version of the Bible.) The Savior continues:

    38 Now learn a parable of the fig tree—When its branches are yet tender, and it begins to put forth leaves, you know that summer is nigh at hand;
    39 So likewise, mine elect, when they shall see all these things, they shall know that he is near, even at the doors;
    40 But of that day, and hour, no one knoweth; no, not the angels of God in heaven, but my Father only.

    The Savior teaches us that when the signs begin to come forth, as the leaves of the fig tree, is when we can be sure that the coming of the Lord is near. These signs began with the restoration of the gospel, when missionary work began to go forth to other nations and when the priesthood was restored to the earth through the prophet Joseph Smith. I know that we are living in the last days and that the Second Coming is not far away. We do not know the exact date, and we learn from this scripture that no one knows. When people claim to know the date of the “end of the world”, they are being deceived. Only God knows when the Savior will return again. Because of this, we are expected to rely on our faith and trust in God. We express this faith by preparing ourselves now, even if we will not live to see the day of His coming.

    41 But as it was in the days of Noah, so it shall be also at the coming of the Son of Man;
    42 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;
    43 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be.

    We cannot afford to wait until our own floods come to wipe out the wickedness on the earth. We must not procrastinate the day of our own repentance. The story of Noah and the floods should stand as an example and a witness to us, that the plan of God will go forth and it will not wait for us to get our lives in order. We must be actively working to put all things in our lives into their proper order. It is our duty to put away the things of the world, or things like the eating and drinking of the world then. I don’t think that for most of us, it would require some fantastic change of heart. I believe that we each need to try to do the “little things”. These things are not truly little things, but are those things that will save us, such as daily scripture study and prayer, family home evening, going to the temple and church, and performing little acts of service every day. If we do these things, putting away the things of the world, and actively follow the counsel of our prophets, we will be saved when the coming of the Son of God occurs.

    44 Then shall be fulfilled that which is written, that in the last days, two shall be in the field, the one shall be taken, and the other left;
    45 Two shall be grinding at the mill, the one shall be taken, and the other left;
    46 And what I say unto one, I say unto all men; watch, therefore, for you know not at what hour your Lord doth come.

    Every person will not be saved. There are some who believe that all people will be saved, but we are saved by the choices and actions we make in this life. We are saved through the atonement of our Savior, which means we must repent. The footnote for the word “left” references a scripture which tells us that 2/3 of the people on the earth, will be removed. This is something that is for all people to know and learn, not just those who are living righteously. The separation of the wheat from the tares, will occur to all mankind on the earth and we need to have the desire to be a part of the third that remains after the fire.

    47 But know this, if the good man of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to have been broken up, but would have been ready.
    48 Therefore be ye also ready, for in such an hour as ye think not, the Son of Man cometh.
    49 Who, then, is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?
    50 Blessed is that servant whom his lord, when he cometh, shall find so doing; and verily I say unto you, he shall make him ruler over all his goods.
    51 But if that evil servant shall say in his heart: My lord delayeth his coming,
    52 And shall begin to smite his fellow-servants, and to eat and drink with the drunken,
    53 The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of,
    54 And shall cut him asunder, and shall appoint him his portion with the hypocrites; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
    55 And thus cometh the end of the wicked, according to the prophecy of Moses, saying: They shall be cut off from among the people; but the end of the earth is not yet, but by and by.

    If the time of the Second Coming had been revealed, we all would be ready when the time was there. Those who are faithful, will prepare themselves as if they knew the Lord was coming, even when they do not know. I think that those who are righteous, will actually be able to feel that the time is getting closer. Even now, when I discuss the ways of the world with family and friends, we often talk about how we can feel it growing closer each day. The faithful will be blessed for their preparations. I understand completely the example that the Lord uses for the servant who is not looking. When I was working both for an electrical contractor and a light manufacturer, there were times when management would decide to check on their productivity. The boss would go to a job site, or into the production warehouse at very unexpected times. There were a few occasions when he would catch good workers doing as they had been asked and things were going as expected. Those workers would receive some kind of reward for their good work. At other times, and sadly more often then not, those workers would be seen not doing their jobs and in effect they were caught costing the company time and money. A lot of these workers assumed that as long as they met their quota in the end, it didn’t matter how they did their work. Eventually that kind of attitude leads to a fall in productivity or quality of the product. These workers were reprimanded and sometimes even let go for their choices. This is what the Lord is teaching us here. We have been told that the world will be in the worst kind of wicked times. People will have made the choice to ignore basic gospel truths, and even go so far as to say the Lord is not coming, or the Lord does not exist. It is then, when He is least expected, that the Savior will come. At that time there will be those who are faithful and will be rewarded, but there will be more who will not be expecting it and will be unfaithful and unprepared. Those individuals will receive the reward that awaits those who are living wickedly.

    The world is growing darker and people are now accepting more wickedness into their lives. It is hard to hear what our children are being faced with every day. It is difficult to find good, quality entertainment that is not tainted by the temptations and ways of Satan. But through it all, I am filled with hope and excitement for the things that are to come. I find joy in the knowledge of the peace that the Savior will bring. It is difficult to separate our lives from the wickedness of the world, but it is so worth it. I know that if we are faithful, we will truly be blessed. I love the Lord and I love His teachings and His gospel. I love knowing that the reward will be great for doing the right things in this life.

    Joseph Smith-Matthew (Part 2)

    This is a continuation of the previous post (Joseph Smith-Matthew Part 1).

    This is a translation of Matthew Chapter 24 from the King James version of the Bible. (Emphasis in quotes below is for changes to the Joseph Smith translation from the KJV.) The Savior has taught his disciples about the destruction of Jerusalem and is relating it to the things that will happen at His Second Coming. He continues his teachings:

    24 Behold, I have told you before;
    25 Wherefore, if they shall say unto you: Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: Behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not;
    26 For as the light of the morning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west, and covereth the whole earth, so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be.

    The Savior taught his disciples, and now us, that we must not believe the false prophets who will tell us the Savior will come in their ways. When He comes again, as the son which brings light to the whole earth. Anything or anyone, who claims that our salvation can come by any other means than what the gospel of Jesus Christ teaches, is a false prophet or false Christ. We do not have to go to the desert or in secret to find Him. We find Him through his gospel, which is plain and available openly to all who are searching for Him. The plan of salvation will not change because the times have changed, because God and His gospel are constant. I believe that He will come again, just as the prophets of old have said. I believe that the gospel is true and available to each and every one of us, if we allow our hearts to be opened, softened and changed.

    27 And now I show unto you a parable. Behold, wheresoever the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together; so likewise shall mine elect be gathered from the four quarters of the earth.
    28 And they shall hear of wars, and rumors of wars.
    29 Behold I speak for mine elect’s sake; for nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
    30 And again, because iniquity shall abound, the love of men shall wax cold; but he that shall not be overcome, the same shall be saved.
    31 And again, this Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world, for a witness unto all nations, and then shall the end come, or the destruction of the wicked;
    32 And again shall the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, be fulfilled.

    33 And immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of heaven shall be shaken.
    34 Verily, I say unto you, this generation, in which these things shall be shown forth, shall not pass away until all I have told you shall be fulfilled.
    35 Although, the days will come, that heaven and earth shall pass away; yet my words shall not pass away, but all shall be fulfilled.
    36 And, as I said before, after the tribulation of those days, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken,
    then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven, and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn; and they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory;
    37 And whoso treasureth up my word, shall not be deceived, for the Son of Man shall come, and he shall send his angels before him with the great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together the remainder of his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

    Jesus taught his disciples that all the righteous will be gathered from all over the earth. There will be great trials and tribulations, wars, evil and wickedness which cover the earth. We are experiencing a great number of these things today. It says that the love of men will wax cold. I think that this is evident greatly in the breaking down of the family unit. People are becoming cold to one another, especially to those whom they should love and care for the most. But even in with all that, those who remain righteous and faithful are promised that they will be saved. They will have this ability to be saved, because the gospel will reach to all the world. As the gospel goes forth, people will be drawn to the truth and to Christ, just as the birds of the air are drawn together to one place. Once the gospel has been taken to all the world, then the wicked will be destroyed. At that time, the signs of the coming of the Lord again, will come to pass as they have been prophesied. Those who are there to witness the signs of His coming, will be there until all things will be fulfilled, including the Second Coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ. When he comes, all those who are covenanted members of His gospel, will be gathered together. I believe that at that time, those covenanted people will be quickened to meet the Savior and the saints who have died before that time. I hope that I am on the right path to be considered one who treasures the word of the Lord. I hope that I will remain strong and not be deceived by the temptations and snares that Satan will surely place in my path. I look forward to this great and dreadful day of the coming of the Lord.

    This post is to be continued.

    Joseph Smith-Matthew (Part 1)

    I learned in my study of the Doctrine and Covenants, that the prophet, Joseph Smith, was given the commandment to translate parts of the bible. This is because, there are parts of the modern-day Bible which were lost through the work of men. The King James version of the Bible is only partially translated correctly. If we are to learn the true gospel of Christ from these scriptures, than it was necessary for a translation to be done by the power of God, not the hands of men. In Doctrine and Covenants 45, the Lord revealed things about the second coming, but then Joseph Smith received the revelation to translate in order to learn more. Doctrine and Covenants 45:60-62 says the following:

    60 And now, behold, I say unto you, it shall not be given unto you to know any further concerning this chapter, until the New Testament be translated, and in it all these things shall be made known;
    61 Wherefore I give unto you that ye may now translate it, that ye may be prepared for the things to come.
    62 For verily I say unto you, that great things await you;

    Joseph Smith knew that he would be given the opportunity to translate more of the scriptures by the power of God, and this revelation told him he was now able to translate the New Testament. This portion of the Pearl of Great Price, is specifically the translation of Matthew 23:39 through 24:51. I have not started my study of the New Testament yet, but I look forward to it in the future.

    At this point in Matthew, the Lord, Jesus Christ has been speaking to the multitude and his disciples, and chastising the scribes and pharisees for their hypocrisy. Then he goes into explaining what the future of Jerusalem will be. Joseph Smith-Matthew 1:1 reads:

    1 For I say unto you, that ye shall not see me henceforth and know that I am he of whom it is written by the prophets, until ye shall say: Blessed is he who cometh in the name of the Lord, in the clouds of heaven, and all the holy angels with him. Then understood his disciples that he should come again on the earth, after that he was glorified and crowned on the right hand of God. (emphasis on changes from the KJV – King James Version)

    The Savior told the people that he was the Messiah, who the prophets had written about. He said that he would come again as a resurrected and glorified being, or in other words, he taught that there would be a second coming. When the Savior comes again, their will be angels with Him. I hope that if I am not on the earth when this amazing event occurs, that I will be among those righteous saints who have died and have the privilege of returning with the Lord. I believe that this is true and I look forward to this great time with so much hope and anticipation.

    2 And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple; and his disciples came to him, for to hear him, saying: Master, show us concerning the buildings of the temple, as thou hast said—They shall be thrown down, and left unto you desolate.
    3 And Jesus said unto them: See ye not all these things, and do ye not understand them? Verily I say unto you, there shall not be left here, upon this temple, one stone upon another that shall not be thrown down. (emphasis on changes from the KJV)

    The Savior had previously told his disciples that the temple would be thrown down. He questions why they can not understand what he has said. I think that he says this because they have witnessed his great miracles, but they weren’t still weren’t believing all of his words. The Savior, as the master teacher, begins to teach them again. He told them that the temple of Jerusalem would be destroyed completely. I can understand why this may have seemed a difficult thing for them to understand, because the temple was built so strong that the Jews believed it would never fall. It is my understanding that when it did eventually fall, it took a long time and a great deal of effort for the Romans to destroy it. I am blessed to have the ability to believe on the testimony of others when I am living worthy of the spirit, so when the prophets and church leaders tell us something that will happen, I do not have a need to question it. I imagine, however, that there are a lot of other righteous people, who want to live the gospel fully, but may have a difficult time believing the things that we have been told will happen before the second coming. This is not an easy thing for everyone and I know that we will be tested with how prepared we are when the time comes. I think that those who are obedient even when they do not understand, will have great blessings for their faithfulness.

    4 And Jesus left them, and went upon the Mount of Olives. 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?
    5 And Jesus answered, and said unto them: Take heed that no man deceive you;
    6 For many shall come in my name, saying—I am Christ—and shall deceive many;
    7 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you, and ye shall be hated of all nations, for my name’s sake;
    8 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another;
    9 And many false prophets shall arise, and shall deceive many;
    10 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold;
    11 But he that remaineth steadfast and is not overcome, the same shall be saved.

    Now his disciples want to know when the destruction of Jerusalem will occur. They also wanted to know what the signs of the second coming would be. The Lord taught them that there would be many people who would try to lead the righteous astray. There would be false prophets and those pretending to be Christ. He taught them that they would not have it easy, because of their choice to follow Christ. I believe that there were several false prophets and such, who helped to bring sorrow and death to the disciples of Christ.

    Part of the signs of His coming, which is seems were the same signs of the destruction of Jerusalem, will be the continual growth of wickedness in the world. More people will take offenses easily, more of the righteous will be afflicted for their choices and beliefs, more people will betray, hate, and deceive others, and so on. Those who take offense are more likely those who know the truth, but use something as an excuse to fall away from the gospel and the church. The promise the Lord gives is that those who are faithful and strong in the gospel, will be saved.

    12 When you, therefore, shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, concerning the destruction of Jerusalem, then you shall stand in the holy place; whoso readeth let him understand.
    13 Then let them who are in Judea flee into the mountains;
    14 Let him who is on the housetop flee, and not return to take anything out of his house;
    15 Neither let him who is in the field return back to take his clothes;
    16 And wo unto them that are with child, and unto them that give suck in those days;
    17 Therefore, pray ye the Lord that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day;
    18 For then, in those days, shall be great tribulation on the Jews, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, such as was not before sent upon Israel, of God, since the beginning of their kingdom until this time; no, nor ever shall be sent again upon Israel.
    19 All things which have befallen them are only the beginning of the sorrows which shall come upon them.
    20 And except those days should be shortened, there should none of their flesh be saved; but for the elect’s sake, according to the covenant, those days shall be shortened.
    21 Behold, these things I have spoken unto you concerning the Jews; and again, after the tribulation of those days which shall come upon Jerusalem, if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there, believe him not;
    22 For in those days there shall also arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders, insomuch, that, if possible, they shall deceive the very elect, who are the elect according to the covenant.
    23 Behold, I speak these things unto you for the elect’s sake; and you also shall hear of wars, and rumors of wars; see that ye be not troubled, for all I have told you must come to pass; but the end is not yet.

    The Lord taught them that in the day of destruction, those who were righteous and believed His words, should flee to safety without looking back. If they waited too long, such as into the winter or on the Sabbath, which is the day of rest, they would suffer for their choice. According to my study, the faithful saints did flee and were saved from the destruction. It is true that this was only an early portion of the suffering of the Jews. Since then, many Jews have been persecuted, afflicted, and killed by others.

    The Lord teaches that after the destruction of Jerusalem, more wicked people would come claiming to be Christ and the saints are not to believe them. There are people today who claim to be the Savior, and we must be worthy of the spirit and listen to the prophets, to have help in discerning that they are not true. The closer we get to the second coming, the harder it will be for the righteous to not be deceived if their guard is down. This teaching is for our sake. Those of us who have made sacred covenants with God, must be constantly on guard. The wickedness of Satan and his followers can be very tempting and alluring to even the best of us. I am grateful to have the teachings of the Savior in His gospel, which can help to keep us safe.

    Moses Chapter 7 (Part 2)

    This is a continuation of the previous post (Moses Chapter 7 Part 1).

    So far in this chapter, God has shown Enoch the righteousness of his own people (the city of Enoch, or Zion), the wickedness of others, and the destruction of all that was wicked at the time of Noah. This section continues:

    45 And it came to pass that Enoch looked; and from Noah, he beheld all the families of the earth; and he cried unto the Lord, saying: When shall the day of the Lord come? When shall the blood of the Righteous be shed, that all they that mourn may be sanctified and have eternal life?
    46 And the Lord said: It shall be in the meridian of time, in the days of wickedness and vengeance.
    47 And behold, Enoch saw the day of the coming of the Son of Man, even in the flesh; and his soul rejoiced, saying: The Righteous is lifted up, and the Lamb is slain from the foundation of the world; and through faith I am in the bosom of the Father, and behold, Zion is with me.

    Enoch, who was overcome with sorrow for the destruction of men at the time of the floods, found joy in the coming of the Savior. The Son of Man, Jesus Christ, would be sacrificed and through his suffering, all mankind would be able to become clean and pure again. The Savior lived in a time of wickedness and vengeance. He was pure and perfect, but was slain by the world in which he lived. We all need to come to the point where we can find faith and hope through the Savior, just as Enoch did during this revelation.

    48 And it came to pass that Enoch looked upon the earth; and he heard a voice from the bowels thereof, saying: Wo, wo is me, the mother of men; I am pained, I am weary, because of the wickedness of my children. When shall I rest, and be cleansed from the filthiness which is gone forth out of me? When will my Creator sanctify me, that I may rest, and righteousness for a season abide upon my face?
    49 And when Enoch heard the earth mourn, he wept, and cried unto the Lord, saying: O Lord, wilt thou not have compassion upon the earth? Wilt thou not bless the children of Noah?
    50 And it came to pass that Enoch continued his cry unto the Lord, saying: I ask thee, O Lord, in the name of thine Only Begotten, even Jesus Christ, that thou wilt have mercy upon Noah and his seed, that the earth might never more be covered by the floods.
    51 And the Lord could not withhold; and he covenanted with Enoch, and sware unto him with an oath, that he would stay the floods; that he would call upon the children of Noah;
    52 And he sent forth an unalterable decree, that a remnant of his seed should always be found among all nations, while the earth should stand;
    53 And the Lord said: Blessed is he through whose seed Messiah shall come; for he saith—I am Messiah, the King of Zion, the Rock of Heaven, which is broad as eternity; whoso cometh in at the gate and climbeth up by me shall never fall; wherefore, blessed are they of whom I have spoken, for they shall come forth with songs of everlasting joy.

    This is a reminder here, that the earth has a spirit just as we have spirits. We learn from the description of the creation found earlier in Moses, that all things were created spiritually before they were created physically, and the earth is one of the things which was created by God. The earth was cleansed when the floods came, and was made to suffer in a way, because of the wickedness of men. The the earth asked when it would no longer be made to have wickedness upon it. I think this is in reference to the eventual sanctification of the earth when it will receive its paradisiacal glory. Enoch was so touched by what he heard from the earth, that he pleaded with the Lord for it. The Lord had compassion for the earth, and so He made a covenant with Enoch that after the floods of Noah, the earth would never again experience the floods that would cover the earth.

    54 And it came to pass that Enoch cried unto the Lord, saying: When the Son of Man cometh in the flesh, shall the earth rest? I pray thee, show me these things.
    55 And the Lord said unto Enoch: Look, and he looked and beheld the Son of Man lifted up on the cross, after the manner of men;
    56 And he heard a loud voice; and the heavens were veiled; and all the creations of God mourned; and the earth groaned; and the rocks were rent; and the saints arose, and were crowned at the right hand of the Son of Man, with crowns of glory;
    57 And as many of the spirits as were in prison came forth, and stood on the right hand of God; and the remainder were reserved in chains of darkness until the judgment of the great day.
    58 And again Enoch wept and cried unto the Lord, saying: When shall the earth rest?
    59 And Enoch beheld the Son of Man ascend up unto the Father; and he called unto the Lord, saying: Wilt thou not come again upon the earth? Forasmuch as thou art God, and I know thee, and thou hast sworn unto me, and commanded me that I should ask in the name of thine Only Begotten; thou hast made me, and given unto me a right to thy throne, and not of myself, but through thine own grace; wherefore, I ask thee if thou wilt not come again on the earth.

    I think it is amazing that Enoch had the type of relationship with God, that he could ask in such a way as to say “I know thee”. Enoch knew that he had been favored of God and that he would be blessed to be exalted through the grace of God, and therefore he knew he would given an answer to his questions. Enoch at this point was transfigured through the power of God and had the spirit of God in Him. I look forward to the day when I will have that kind of relationship with the Lord, when I will be able to ask the burning questions of my heart. Enoch had seen great suffering in this revelation and now he wanted to know when the time of the rest would come. The Lord showed him that rest would not come with the original coming of Christ. He saw that the Savior would be crucified by men, which would cause more suffering to the earth, but also great blessings for righteous spirits. Then he asked if God would again return to the earth.

    60 And the Lord said unto Enoch: As I live, even so will I come in the last days, in the days of wickedness and vengeance, to fulfil the oath which I have made unto you concerning the children of Noah;
    61 And the day shall come that the earth shall rest, but before that day the heavens shall be darkened, and a veil of darkness shall cover the earth; and the heavens shall shake, and also the earth; and great tribulations shall be among the children of men, but my people will I preserve;
    62 And righteousness will I send down out of heaven; and truth will I send forth out of the earth, to bear testimony of mine Only Begotten; his resurrection from the dead; yea, and also the resurrection of all men; and righteousness and truth will I cause to sweep the earth as with a flood, to gather out mine elect from the four quarters of the earth, unto a place which I shall prepare, an Holy City, that my people may gird up their loins, and be looking forth for the time of my coming; for there shall be my tabernacle, and it shall be called Zion, a New Jerusalem.

    The Lord promised Enoch that he would return again in the last days. The world would again be full of wickedness and vengeance before the second coming. Darkness would cover the earth again, the the earth will suffer and shake for the wickedness of the people, but the righteous would be preserved just as was promised to Enoch. Then at that time, the restoration of the gospel would begin. This began when the Book of Mormon was brought forth again, through the prophet Joseph Smith. Then the priesthood keys were restored to the earth through angels from heaven, or through righteousness sent down from heaven. At the same time, the church of Christ was being restored upon the earth, through the many revelations that were received by Joseph Smith, from the Lord. These revelations are recorded in what we know as the Doctrine and Covenants. All these parts of the restoration, have come to bear witness of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

    In the last days, the city of Zion, the New Jerusalem, will be built again and a temple will be built there. This will be possible because there will be those who are righteous enough to build it up. Now is a time of trial for the saints, because we are being prepared to be worthy of this great task. The ways of the world are a type of test for us, and they will separate the most devoted of the Saints of God, from the rest of the world. Truth is surely flooding the earth and the elect of the Lord are being gathered. I think it is amazing to be living in this time of restoration and truth, when so many amazing things are happening and will soon happen on the earth.

    63 And the Lord said unto Enoch: Then shalt thou and all thy city meet them there, and we will receive them into our bosom, and they shall see us; and we will fall upon their necks, and they shall fall upon our necks, and we will kiss each other;
    64 And there shall be mine abode, and it shall be Zion, which shall come forth out of all the creations which I have made; and for the space of a thousand years the earth shall rest.
    65 And it came to pass that Enoch saw the day of the coming of the Son of Man, in the last days, to dwell on the earth in righteousness for the space of a thousand years;
    66 But before that day he saw great tribulations among the wicked; and he also saw the sea, that it was troubled, and men’s hearts failing them, looking forth with fear for the judgments of the Almighty God, which should come upon the wicked.
    67 And the Lord showed Enoch all things, even unto the end of the world; and he saw the day of the righteous, the hour of their redemption, and received a fulness of joy;
    68 And all the days of Zion, in the days of Enoch, were three hundred and sixty-five years.
    69 And Enoch and all his people walked with God, and he dwelt in the midst of Zion; and it came to pass that Zion was not, for God received it up into his own bosom; and from thence went forth the saying, Zion is Fled.

    The city of Zion, Enoch’s city, will be returned to the modern city of Zion. There will be great rejoicing because of the righteousness. The New Jerusalem will be the dwelling place of the Lord, and the earth will receive it’s rest for the millennium. Enoch saw the wickedness before the Second Coming, and the fear that the wicked will have because of the judgement. We live in a time now where we need to live righteously and learn that fear and faith cannot coexist in us. I know that in that day, only those who are truly wicked will be destroyed. All people who are trying to live good lives, will be saved and will have the opportunity then to hear and accept the gospel. This will be a time of great happiness for all people on the earth and there is nothing that should cause fear in that, unless we are truly wicked. If we fear, than we have things that we need to work on and repent for, so that we can find the faith in the Second Coming and the blessings that will follow. I am not perfect, but I am at a place in my life where the knowledge of the Coming of the Savior again, brings me so much excitement and joy. I know that the righteous will be blessed and I plan on being counted among them in that day.

    Enoch was shown these things, and then went back to serve as the prophet and leader of a great and righteous people in the city of Zion. The city was on the earth for 365 years before it was received into the bosom of God. During this time, the people were taught and prepared for living a completely righteous life. It did not happen over night. I don’t think that we can expect anyone to become completely righteous that quickly, let alone an entire city. It can happen for those who follow the prophet and his council, just as those of Zion followed Enoch. Once the city was prepared, Enoch was given the power and authority to be translated along with the entire city of Zion. I am sure that Enoch had the opportunity to preach and teach many people about the things which he had learned about the plan of salvation. I am also sure that this was a time of great happiness for the people there. It gives me hope to know that one day, a new city of Zion will be able to be as righteous as the city of Zion from ancient days.

    D&C Section 133 (Part 2)

    This post is a continuation of the previous post on this section (D&C Section 133 Part 1).

    The previous post of the section included information about the second coming of the Savior, preparing ourselves for that day, and teaching the gospel to the world. This section represents the main points of the entire Doctrine and Covenants, and serves as a kind of appendix for this book of scripture. The section continues:

    36 And now, verily saith the Lord, that these things might be known among you, O inhabitants of the earth, I have sent forth mine angel flying through the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel, who hath appeared unto some and hath committed it unto man, who shall appear unto many that dwell on the earth.
    37 And this gospel shall be preached unto every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people.
    38 And the servants of God shall go forth, saying with a loud voice: Fear God and give glory to him, for the hour of his judgment is come;
    39 And worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters—
    40 Calling upon the name of the Lord day and night, saying: O that thou wouldst rend the heavens, that thou wouldst come down, that the mountains might flow down at thy presence.

    The gospel has been restored and the saints have been called to bring the gospel to the world. The restoration came through the prophet, Joseph Smith, and by the authority of God, which is the priesthood. There have been many scriptures and prophets who have said that the gospel would go to all the world. It is the duty of the church to help others to prepare for the coming of the Lord, and for the judgement of all.

    41 And it shall be answered upon their heads; for the presence of the Lord shall be as the melting fire that burneth, and as the fire which causeth the waters to boil.
    42 O Lord, thou shalt come down to make thy name known to thine adversaries, and all nations shall tremble at thy presence—
    43 When thou doest terrible things, things they look not for;
    44 Yea, when thou comest down, and the mountains flow down at thy presence, thou shalt meet him who rejoiceth and worketh righteousness, who remembereth thee in thy ways.
    45 For since the beginning of the world have not men heard nor perceived by the ear, neither hath any eye seen, O God, besides thee, how great things thou hast prepared for him that waiteth for thee.
    46 And it shall be said: Who is this that cometh down from God in heaven with dyed garments; yea, from the regions which are not known, clothed in his glorious apparel, traveling in the greatness of his strength?
    47 And he shall say: I am he who spake in righteousness, mighty to save.
    48 And the Lord shall be red in his apparel, and his garments like him that treadeth in the wine-vat.
    49 And so great shall be the glory of his presence that the sun shall hide his face in shame, and the moon shall withhold its light, and the stars shall be hurled from their places.
    50 And his voice shall be heard: I have trodden the wine-press alone, and have brought judgment upon all people; and none were with me;
    51 And I have trampled them in my fury, and I did tread upon them in mine anger, and their blood have I sprinkled upon my garments, and stained all my raiment; for this was the day of vengeance which was in my heart.

    For the wicked, the coming of the Lord will be destruction and fire. Those who are not prepared, will be found fearful in that day, because they will realize the truth. Those who are prepared will not be among those who question who He is, because they will know Him. The glory of the Lord will be greater than any light we have ever known. He will be dressed in a red garment, because he alone suffered the atonement and I think that his clothing will be a reminder of the suffering he went through for us, especially for those who will be destroyed for their wickedness. The judgement He will bring with Him, will crush those who have lived a wicked life, like the grapes are crushed in a wine-press. It will not be good for anyone who is among the wicked.

    52 And now the year of my redeemed is come; and they shall mention the loving kindness of their Lord, and all that he has bestowed upon them according to his goodness, and according to his loving kindness, forever and ever.
    53 In all their afflictions he was afflicted. And the angel of his presence saved them; and in his love, and in his pity, he redeemed them, and bore them, and carried them all the days of old;
    54 Yea, and Enoch also, and they who were with him; the prophets who were before him; and Noah also, and they who were before him; and Moses also, and they who were before him;
    55 And from Moses to Elijah, and from Elijah to John, who were with Christ in his resurrection, and the holy apostles, with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, shall be in the presence of the Lamb.
    56 And the graves of the saints shall be opened; and they shall come forth and stand on the right hand of the Lamb, when he shall stand upon Mount Zion, and upon the holy city, the New Jerusalem; and they shall sing the song of the Lamb, day and night forever and ever.

    At this point of time, it will be the “year of my redeemed”. Like we consider time as before Christ and after his death, I think that we will start to record time in this sense. Meaning that fifty years later, people will say that it is 50 years of the redeemed Lord. The Savior will be our ruler and all will have the opportunity to recognize his perfect goodness. All those who have served faithfully as his prophets and apostles, since the beginning of the Earth, will bear witness again of Him. At this point, the resurrection of the saints will also occur, and those righteous saints will stand with the Savior and live again to do His work. It is my understanding that some of the most faithful have already been resurrected, such as John the Baptist and Peter, James, and John, who passed on the priesthood authorities to Joseph Smith. I can imagine, in only a small part, the glorious time that this will be for all there.

    57 And for this cause, that men might be made partakers of the glories which were to be revealed, the Lord sent forth the fulness of his gospel, his everlasting covenant, reasoning in plainness and simplicity—
    58 To prepare the weak for those things which are coming on the earth, and for the Lord’s errand in the day when the weak shall confound the wise, and the little one become a strong nation, and two shall put their tens of thousands to flight.
    59 And by the weak things of the earth the Lord shall thresh the nations by the power of his Spirit.
    60 And for this cause these commandments were given; they were commanded to be kept from the world in the day that they were given, but now are to go forth unto all flesh—
    61 And this according to the mind and will of the Lord, who ruleth over all flesh.
    62 And unto him that repenteth and sanctifieth himself before the Lord shall be given eternal life.
    63 And upon them that hearken not to the voice of the Lord shall be fulfilled that which was written by the prophet Moses, that they should be cut off from among the people.
    64 And also that which was written by the prophet Malachi: For, behold, the day cometh that shall burn as an oven, and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble; and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.
    65 Wherefore, this shall be the answer of the Lord unto them:
    66 In that day when I came unto mine own, no man among you received me, and you were driven out.
    67 When I called again there was none of you to answer; yet my arm was not shortened at all that I could not redeem, neither my power to deliver.
    68 Behold, at my rebuke I dry up the sea. I make the rivers a wilderness; their fish stink, and die for thirst.
    69 I clothe the heavens with blackness, and make sackcloth their covering.
    70 And this shall ye have of my hand—ye shall lie down in sorrow.
    71 Behold, and lo, there are none to deliver you; for ye obeyed not my voice when I called to you out of the heavens; ye believed not my servants, and when they were sent unto you ye received them not.
    72 Wherefore, they sealed up the testimony and bound up the law, and ye were delivered over unto darkness.
    73 These shall go away into outer darkness, where there is weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth.
    74 Behold the Lord your God hath spoken it. Amen.

    The gospel will continue to go to the righteous. I love the words here, that the weak will confound the wise. God will use those who are simple and weak in the eyes of the world, to teach those who are seen as great. The Saints will be saved, but those who have not and will not accept it, will be cast into outer darkness. Those gospel and how we live it, can either save us or destroy us.

    My understanding is that ultimately all things will be done in fairness. Not the kind of fairness that the world sees today. Everyone will not receive the same reward, but they will receive the same judgement for their works. Because God is just, we all will receive exactly what we deserve. Those who wanted to ignore the spirit and the testimony of the prophets, choosing to live wicked lives, will be cast into outer darkness. Their reward of glory will be something other then that of the celestial kingdom, because they refused to recognize and obey the laws of God and His witnesses.

    This section, really does review the whole of the Doctrine and Covenants. The reason for all of the sections that cover bits of the restoration and callings to serve, is to further prepare the saints for the coming of the Savior. I am so grateful for the scriptures. I am filled with happiness to know that we have modern revelation from God and that He still calls holy prophets to lead and guide us today.

    D&C Section 133 (Part 1)

    The Elders of the church wanted to know more about preaching the Gospel and the gathering of Israel and the saints. The prophet, Joseph Smith, asked the Lord about these things, and received this revelation for the saints. This section was considered to be an appendix or a further explanation of what was contained in the Book of Commandments (later called the Doctrine and Covenants). It was later added as a section of the book.

    1 Hearken, O ye people of my church, saith the Lord your God, and hear the word of the Lord concerning you—
    2 The Lord who shall suddenly come to his temple; the Lord who shall come down upon the world with a curse to judgment; yea, upon all the nations that forget God, and upon all the ungodly among you.
    3 For he shall make bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of their God.
    4 Wherefore, prepare ye, prepare ye, O my people; sanctify yourselves; gather ye together, O ye people of my church, upon the land of Zion, all you that have not been commanded to tarry.
    5 Go ye out from Babylon. Be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord.
    6 Call your solemn assemblies, and speak often one to another. And let every man call upon the name of the Lord.

    The first thing that I get from these verses, is that this book of scripture is for all the saints of the world and members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I would go even further and say that it is written for all those who wish to be disciples of Jesus Christ, because these are his words as they were revealed to a modern day prophet of God. This is a companion to the Bible and Book of Mormon, and will help the faithful to prepare for the Second Coming and judgment of mankind. The Lord will come as he has before, and he will visit the most righteous in His temple. Then, He will appear to all for the judgment of the wicked and unprepared. In preparation, we need to live more righteously, gather together as brothers and sisters in the gospel, meet together often and pray always. We also need to leave the places and things that will lead us to wickedness, so that we can be clean and pure. I think that most of all, we are prepared when we know the Savior as best as we can. If we seek to know Him, we will live in a way that is worthy to recognize Him and be ready to serve Him.

    7 Yea, verily I say unto you again, the time has come when the voice of the Lord is unto you: Go ye out of Babylon; gather ye out from among the nations, from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
    8 Send forth the elders of my church unto the nations which are afar off; unto the islands of the sea; send forth unto foreign lands; call upon all nations, first upon the Gentiles, and then upon the Jews.
    9 And behold, and lo, this shall be their cry, and the voice of the Lord unto all people: Go ye forth unto the land of Zion, that the borders of my people may be enlarged, and that her stakes may be strengthened, and that Zion may go forth unto the regions round about.
    10 Yea, let the cry go forth among all people: Awake and arise and go forth to meet the Bridegroom; behold and lo, the Bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Prepare yourselves for the great day of the Lord.
    11 Watch, therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour.
    12 Let them, therefore, who are among the Gentiles flee unto Zion.
    13 And let them who be of Judah flee unto Jerusalem, unto the mountains of the Lord’s house.
    14 Go ye out from among the nations, even from Babylon, from the midst of wickedness, which is spiritual Babylon.
    15 But verily, thus saith the Lord, let not your flight be in haste, but let all things be prepared before you; and he that goeth, let him not look back lest sudden destruction shall come upon him.
    16 Hearken and hear, O ye inhabitants of the earth. Listen, ye elders of my church together, and hear the voice of the Lord; for he calleth upon all men, and he commandeth all men everywhere to repent.

    The Lord tells the church to continue in missionary work worldwide. We need to call upon the nations to allow the missionaries to teach them. We also need to gather the faithful together. Now the church has grown substantially, and we are able to gather together in numbers all over the world. There are many stakes of Zion, which are being strengthened and prepared for the coming of the Lord. We need to prepare ourselves to share the gospel with all people in every nation and land of the world.

    As in the parable of the ten virgins, we need to be faithful in our personal preparation and help others to become prepared themselves. There will come a time, when we will not be able to help them any longer, because the Savior will come again and we will need to be fully prepared to meet Him. Our preparation is needed in every moment of every day, because we do not know when the second coming will happen. We have been given signs of the time to look towards, but our preparation must be a priority or we will not know how to be prepared when the time does come.

    Also, there is reference here to the scripture story of Lot, who was instructed to leave Babylon and not look back. We must be willing to leave all that is wickedness, never to turn back towards it. If we leave wickedness and make sacred covenants with God, and then we decided to turn back, knowing the gospel truths, we will bring our own destruction upon us. We cannot allow ourselves to have desires for the worldly things that we leave behind.

    I find it important to recognize that in the section, the Lord tells us first to prepare ourselves for the second coming, and then to go out to the world and teach all others to be prepared. We cannot help to save other souls, until we have started the work on our own. Likewise, we cannot wait for our own hearts to be fully prepared before we teach others, because we will not be fully prepared without them, and that preparation will take time and most likely our whole lives to come. I am grateful for the knowledge that the Lord understands that we cannot run faster than we are able. We start with out own little testimony, then we share what we know to be truth, and greater understanding will be given to us through the power of the Holy Spirit. The pattern of our growth and our ability to share with others, is an amazing thing to ponder about.

    17 For behold, the Lord God hath sent forth the angel crying through the midst of heaven, saying: Prepare ye the way of the Lord, and make his paths straight, for the hour of his coming is nigh—
    18 When the Lamb shall stand upon Mount Zion, and with him a hundred and forty-four thousand, having his Father’s name written on their foreheads.
    19 Wherefore, prepare ye for the coming of the Bridegroom; go ye, go ye out to meet him.
    20 For behold, he shall stand upon the mount of Olivet, and upon the mighty ocean, even the great deep, and upon the islands of the sea, and upon the land of Zion.
    21 And he shall utter his voice out of Zion, and he shall speak from Jerusalem, and his voice shall be heard among all people;
    22 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.
    23 He shall command the great deep, and it shall be driven back into the north countries, and the islands shall become one land;
    24 And the land of Jerusalem and the land of Zion shall be turned back into their own place, and the earth shall be like as it was in the days before it was divided.
    25 And the Lord, even the Savior, shall stand in the midst of his people, and shall reign over all flesh.
    26 And they who are in the north countries shall come in remembrance before the Lord; and their prophets shall hear his voice, and shall no longer stay themselves; and they shall smite the rocks, and the ice shall flow down at their presence.
    27 And an highway shall be cast up in the midst of the great deep.
    28 Their enemies shall become a prey unto them,
    29 And in the barren deserts there shall come forth pools of living water; and the parched ground shall no longer be a thirsty land.
    30 And they shall bring forth their rich treasures unto the children of Ephraim, my servants.
    31 And the boundaries of the everlasting hills shall tremble at their presence.
    32 And there shall they fall down and be crowned with glory, even in Zion, by the hands of the servants of the Lord, even the children of Ephraim.
    33 And they shall be filled with songs of everlasting joy.
    34 Behold, this is the blessing of the everlasting God upon the tribes of Israel, and the richer blessing upon the head of Ephraim and his fellows.
    35 And they also of the tribe of Judah, after their pain, shall be sanctified in holiness before the Lord, to dwell in his presence day and night, forever and ever.

    The restoration of the gospel was brought about by angels of the Lord. We have been given the words of ancient prophets in the Book of Mormon, and we can learn from the scriptures the fullness of the gospel. The priesthood power and authority has been restored to the earth and prophets of God have been called to tell us the word of the Lord.

    When the Lord comes again, all people will know that He is Christ. The Savior will visit different parts of the world, including New Jerusalem and Jerusalem of old, and eventually, all will know who He is. The land will literally come back together to be one land. I remember learning about how science explains the division of the land (the continental drift), and it shows here that those who believe in this are correct. The lands were once whole and as Christ will make all things whole, the land will become whole again and will no longer be divided. Christ will reign over all people. Then the tribes of Israel will be gathered and able to receive their inheritance of the promised land and of glory in Zion.

    This section will be continued.


    About My Scripture Study Buddy

    I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I love the scriptures, but I am not a scriptorian. I've been told that I'm too "deep" for some, but if you are willing, I'd love to have others join me in my quest for a greater understanding of the gospel. Please feel free to leave me comments and hopefully we can help each other to learn.
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