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Events or experiences that God gives to people to show that something important in his work has happened or will soon happen. In the latter days, many signs for the second coming of the Savior have been prophesied. These signals allow faithful people to recognize God’s plan, be warned, and prepare.
Quick Monthly Review:
April 3 2013 – Buenos Aries Argentina – Geological Upheaval
April 3 2013 – Sydney Australia – Torential Rain Climate Change
April 3 2013 – Torquay England – Climate Change. Turnes Seas Red
April 3 2013 – Adelaide South Australia – Tens of Thousands of Fish and Dolphins suddenly died.
April 3 2013 – Gorge Waterway British Columbia – Dead Squid under Boardwalk.
April 3 2013 – Madagascar Plaque of Billions of Locusts Continue. Threatening lives.
April 3 2013 – Aurora Metro Manila – 5.4 Earthquake.
April 5 2013 – Mexico City – 5.5 Earthquake.
April 6 2013 – Eastern Indonesia – 7.1 Earthquake.
April 6 2013 – Peru – Heavy Rain and Flooding Devastation.
April 9 2013 – Southwest Iran – 6.3 Powerful Earthquake.
April 9 2013 – Portugal Sinkhole.
April 10 2013 – Russia Sinkholes.
April 10 2013 – Hengchun Taiwan – 6.1 Powerful Earthquake.
April 13 2013 – Southwestern Japan – 6.3 Powerful Earthquake.
South Korea reports North Korea has 2 intermediate range missiles on launch sites.
Creating a new World Order.
April 15 2013 – Boston Terrorist Attacks. 3 Confirmed Dead and 180 Injured.
April 16 2013 – Iran Pakistan Border Region – 7.8 Powerful Earthquake. Strongest in 40 years.
April 16 2013 – Oklahoma – Seismic Swarm. Multiple Earthquakes.
April 16 2013 – Lake Eerie – Millions of Dead Fish.
April 16 2013 – Big Eau Pleine Reservoir Wisconsin – Thousands of Dead Fish.
April 16 2013 – Dugway, Utah – Thousands of Birds Dive into the Ground.
April 17 2013 – South Australia – Many Dolphins Die.
April 17 2013 – Mashkel Pakistan – 7.8 Magnitude Earthquake.
April 18 2013 – Northwestern Xinuiang China – Reddish Haze Sand Storms with less than 100 feet visibility.
April 18 2013 – Southeast Chicago – Major Sinkholes and Flash Flooding.
April 19 2013 – Saudi Arabia – Sandstorm.
April 19 2013 – Northern Japan – P0werfull 7.0 Mag Earthquake.
Aoril 20 2013 – Shichauan China – Powerful 6.6 Earthquake Struck China with Flooding.
April 21 2013 – Argentina – Major Meteor Sightings with Tremors.
April 21 2013 – Midwestern States USA – Deadly Flooding. State of Emergency with Worst Floods in History.
April 21 2013 – Russia – Strange Glow In The Sky.
April 21 2013 – Woodville Adelaide SA – Sinkhole.
April 21 2013 – Diviete Latvia – Whirlpool.
April 23 2013 – Scotland – Sandstorm. 2nd to hit Scotland in a week.
April 23 2013 – Papua New Guinea. 6.8 Mag Earthquake. 2nd Big Quake in a week.
April 24 2013 – Wolcott, Connecticut – Large Meteorite through the roof.
April 26 2013 – Lowell, Vermont – Sinkhole.
April 26 2013 – Folsom Field Colorado – Sinkhole.
April 26 2013 – Kermadec Islands Region – 6.2 Mag Earthquake in Raoul Island.
April 29 2013 – Washington DC – Thousands report seeing Unidentified Flying Objects. We are NOT alone in the Cosmos.
April 30 2013 – Taylorsville, Utah – Sinkhole.
April 30 2013 – Bayo Corne Louisiana – Sinkhole.
“And then shall my revelations which I have caused to be written by my servant John be unfolded in the eyes of all the people. Remember, when ye see these things, ye shall know that the time is at hand that they shall be made manifest in very deed.” Ether 4:16
May we all be faithful people and recognize God’s plan, be warned, and prepare!
“Men may fail in this country, earthquakes may come, seas may heave beyond their bounds, there may be great drought, disaster, and hardship, but this nation, founded on principles laid down by men whom God raised up, will never fail.
This is the cradle of humanity, where life on this earth began in the Garden of Eden. This is the place of the new Jerusalem. This is the place that the Lord said is favored above all other nations in all the world. This is the place where the Savior will come to His temple. This is the favored land in all the world. Yes, I repeat, men may fail, but this nation won’t fail.
I have faith in America; you and I must have faith in America, if we understand the teachings of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are living in a day when we must pay heed to these challenges.
“I plead with you not to preach pessimism. Preach that this is the greatest country in all the world. This is the favored land. This is the land of our forefathers. It is the nation that will stand despite whatever trials or crises it may yet have to pass through.”
These are the last days. As foretold by God’s holy prophets since the world began, they are challenging times, and they are going to become even more challenging.
“When Shall These Things Be?”
I would like to discuss a subject that is on a lot of people’s minds. My intention is not to alarm or to frighten, but to discuss the significant and interesting times in which we are now living, to consider some of the events and circumstances we can anticipate in the future, and to suggest a few things we can all do to fortify ourselves and our families for the challenges and trials that will surely come into all of our lives at one time or another.
Toward the end of the Savior’s ministry, His disciples came to Him with several questions centered on one key prophetic event: “Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” (Matt. 24:3).
Two thousand years ago Christ’s followers were concerned about that. Every generation of believers since then, I think, has been concerned about the last days to one degree or another. So the Lord’s response to His disciples is meaningful to all of us. To the first question—“When shall these things be?”—He said, “Take heed that no man deceive you” (Matt. 24:3–4). That is very significant.
“For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
“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.
“For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places” (Matt. 24:5–7).
Some of these things seem to be occurring with ever-increasing regularity. If we measured the natural disasters that have occurred in the world during the past 10 years and plotted that year by year, we would see an acceleration. The earth is rumbling, and earthquakes are occurring in “divers places.” Human nature being what it is, we don’t normally pay much attention to these natural phenomena until they happen close to where we are living. But when we contemplate what has happened during the past decade, not only with earthquakes but also with regard to hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, volcanic eruptions, and the like, we see an accelerating pattern.
Can we use this scientific data to extrapolate that the Second Coming is likely to occur during the next few years, or the next decade, or the next century? Not really. I am called as one of the Apostles to be a special witness of Christ in these exciting, trying times, and I do not know when He is going to come again. As far as I know, none of my brethren in the Quorum of the Twelve or even in the First Presidency knows. And I would humbly suggest that if we do not know, then nobody knows, no matter how compelling their arguments or how reasonable their calculations. The Savior said that “of that day, and hour, no one knoweth; no, not the angels of God in heaven, but my Father only” (JST, Matt. 1:40).
I believe that when the Lord says “no one” knows, He really means that no one knows. We should be extremely wary of anyone who claims to be an exception to divine decree.
But while the exact timing of the Second Coming remains in doubt, there is no question that scriptural prophecy relative to that momentous and sacred event is being fulfilled, sometimes in remarkable ways. For example, let’s consider the 24th chapter of Matthew, verse 8, where it reads: “All these [the trials and calamities mentioned earlier] are the beginning of sorrows.”
There are times when there is persecution—even violence on occasion—against the Church. I have personally worked through the aftermath of violence against the Church and know that to establish the Church requires a great deal of dedication, hard work, and courage.
Continuing His discussion of His own Second Coming, Jesus said:
“And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.
“And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many” (Matt. 24:10–11).
Some Latter-day Saints may not be aware of it, but there are “false prophets” rising within and without the Church. They believe they have had revelations, that they know something the First Presidency and the Twelve Apostles don’t know. We need to be very careful of such people. Members who are ever approached by anyone claiming special authority or revelation from God outside the sustained priesthood authority should turn and run from them as fast as they can. The Savior said that in the last days even the very elect could be pulled away from the truth by such false prophets.
A few groups have drifted away from the gospel under the direction of those who claim to have received special instruction through personal revelation, and some have declared themselves to be prophets. I know of one group that is led by a bright, capable, articulate young man who claims to have received a revelation that he is the prophet and that he was called of God to establish the true Church. Sadly, there are those who have chosen to follow such individuals, who in turn lead them directly away from the principles of truth and righteousness. Perhaps that is why it is so interesting to me that when the Master was asked about the sign of His Second Coming and the end of the world, He first responded by warning His listeners to beware of false prophets.
Keep your eyes riveted on the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. We will not lead you astray. We cannot. Let me tell you why. Every week that I am in town, I attend a meeting of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve on the fourth floor of the Salt Lake Temple. If you could see the process by which decision and direction comes from that meeting, you would have a deep sense of confidence and comfort that the will of the Lord is being taught by the leaders of the Church.
So keep your eyes riveted on the leadership of the Church. While individuals may falter, the body of general Church leadership will remain steadfast and true. If someone tells you that they have received revelation that the First Presidency and the Twelve have not received, run away from them.
The Lord’s next comment, found in verse 12 of Matthew 24, is similarly interesting: “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.”
Think about what that means. Today we are living in a society in which many men and women see no real purpose in marriage. Common-law relationships, in which people live together without legally and lawfully making a formal commitment to one another through marriage, are escalating at an ever-increasing rate. In the United States, the birth rate of children to unwed mothers is at an all-time high, as is the divorce rate.
In a recent article titled “Redeeming Our Time,” William J. Bennett, former U.S. secretary of education, notes: “During the same thirty-year period [1960–1990], there was a 560 percent increase in violent crime; more than a 400 percent increase in illegitimate births; a quadrupling in divorces; a tripling of the percentage of children living in single-parent homes; more than a 200 percent increase in the teen-age suicide rate; and a drop of 75 points in the average SAT scores of high school students.
“Today, 30 percent of all births … are illegitimate. By the end of the decade, according to the most reliable projections, 40 percent of all American births … will occur out of wedlock” (Imprimis, Nov. 1995, 3).
With so little of long-lasting, fully committed love in the world today, one would think you could turn to entertainment media to find a better, happier, more satisfying model for living. After all, history indicates there have always been storytellers and dramatists who have encouraged their audiences with stories of a better world where maidens are fair, princes are charming, and everyone always lives happily ever after. Unfortunately, current entertainment forms tend to portray life even uglier, and harsher than it really is. Movie critic Michael Medved laments the demise of larger-than-life heroes on film and television programs, claiming that we are now living in an age of smaller-than-life antiheroes. Sadly, one doesn’t have to look far to find all manner of violence, ugliness and illicit sexuality coming over the public airwaves. At the same time, wholesome, clean, uplifting, inspiring programs are few and far between. Hollywood and the television industry must be held accountable for their influence on the social landscape, and I believe that influence is considerable.
I believe the entertainment industry cannot portray on film people gunned down in cold blood, in living color, and not have it affect the attitudes and thoughts of some of the people who see it. I believe human sexuality cannot be continually portrayed as just another physical appetite that has to be satisfied—whenever and with whomever the urge strikes—without diminishing respect for God and His commandments. And I believe that the desensitizing effect of such media abuses on the hearts and souls of those who are exposed to them results in a partial fulfillment of the Savior’s statement that “because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.”
In order to keep the light and love of Christ burning in our hearts, we have to be careful in our choices of what we will watch and what we will read. Pornography is rampant and is absolutely destructive. Not too long ago I was assigned by the First Presidency to interview a man who had been excommunicated from the Church for adultery. It had required eight years for him to work his way through the long and sometimes painful process of reinstatement in the Church. As he sat before me in an interview to determine his worthiness for a possible restoration of his priesthood and temple blessings, I asked him this simple question: “My dear brother, looking back on this traumatic time in your life, how did it happen?”
Tears began to flow freely down his cheeks as he tried to respond. At last he was able to speak. “Brother Ballard,” he said, “it all started the day I picked up a pornographic magazine in the barbershop. It was the first time in my life I had ever seen anything like that, and it intrigued me. I wanted to see more and more. And then I wanted to see things that were progressively more explicit. And then it wasn’t enough to just look at pictures—I wanted to actually participate in some of the activities I was looking at. Eventually I was untrue to my wife and my family, and unfaithful to covenants I had made with my Heavenly Father in His holy house.”
The man continued through his tears: “I’m not trying to shift blame for the choices I made. I knew better than to do what I did, and I alone am responsible for my sins. But there’s no question in my mind that exposure to pornography played a significant role in my spiritual decline.”
And then he said: “When you talk to the brethren [and sisters] of the Church, please warn them. Please tell them to be careful about the things they read and watch.”
I extend that warning to all: please be vigilant in your entertainment choices. Some of the things that are being shown in our theaters and broadcast to our homes via television and videos and over the Internet are insidious and dangerous. Rather than falling within the definition of things that are “virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy” (A of F 1:13), they are more clearly described in the seventh chapter of Moroni, where the prophet Mormon teaches that “whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do evil, and believe not in Christ, and deny him, and serve not God … is of the devil” (Moro. 7:17).
I’m aware that some LDS members think they know better than members of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles do about this subject. And some will argue their case based on artistic merit, or on the fact that “everyone is seeing it,” or will insist they are not one of those people who will be influenced one way or the other by on-screen sex or violence. To them I have only one question: Are you going to follow the true and living prophets or not? It really isn’t any more complicated than that. The standard of the LDS Church with regard to morality is clearly outlined in the For the Strength of Youth pamphlet (1990), which even adults do not outgrow, even though they are no longer in Young Men and Young Women. Those who choose to read anything that contains material that is contrary to the moral standards of the Church are placing themselves and their own wisdom above the counsel of God’s prophets—a course of action that would indeed be very unwise. As soon as people begin to think that they know better than God or His oracles, or that counsel given doesn’t apply to themselves, they are stepping onto a slippery slope that has claimed far too many victims already. It takes faith—real faith, unequivocal and unreserved—to accept and attempt to live prophetic counsel even when it’s not completely understood. Such profound and basic faith has the power to guide us safely through every challenge we may face in life.
Of course, Satan doesn’t want us to feel or exhibit that kind of faith, and so he makes us feel uncomfortable with obedience. He plants defiance in our hearts with justification and rationalization, subtly convincing us that it is possible to live the spirit of the law even if we are in violation of its letter. Eventually he can make it seem wrong—or at least politically incorrect—to obey, branding it with derogatory labels like “blind faith.” But we must never forget this about Satan: he is a liar. He is the father of all lies, and has been from the beginning. He was cast out of Heavenly Father’s presence because of his disobedience, and now he has one goal, one eternal commitment that has never changed from the time of the War in Heaven until the present day. His sole purpose is to make you and me as miserable as he is, and the best way for him to accomplish that is to entice us into disobedience. Although there are all kinds of misery in this world, the only kind that is eternal is misery of the soul. And that kind of misery is centered in sin and transgression. Be careful; stay morally clean in mind and body. Do not compromise the standards of chastity.
When we are not doing what we know we ought to be doing, and when we are not living the way we know we ought to live, we have a tendency to be unhappy. And make no mistake about it—we know when we are not doing what we ought to do, because every one of us has a conscience. We are born with the Spirit of Christ, and we know instinctively what is right and what is wrong when it comes to our personal behavior (see Moro. 7:16). It offends that Spirit when we allow ourselves and our values and standards to be manipulated by aesthetic propaganda in behalf of Satan’s lies.
Consider the following words from the Apostle Paul in connection with much of what we see and hear in contemporary media:
“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
“For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
“Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
“Traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
“Having a form of godliness; but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
“For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts.
“Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth”(2 Tim. 3:1–7).
Now please don’t misunderstand. I’m not trying to say that all of film or television or publishing or music is evil, because we all know that is not true. There is good in some of the media, and it can be a wondrous and marvelous thing and a blessing to our lives. But a considerable amount of it is evil; there can be no other word to describe it.
This is the time to make our voices heard. As we look at the media today from any vantage point, I think we would have to say that Satan’s influence has a far more dominant influence than has the Lord’s. We are in a war. This war is the same war that raged in the premortal world. Satan and his followers are committed in their evil direction. Our Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, have given a plan for our Heavenly Father’s children, and we have the responsibility as leaders and members of the Church to take this glorious plan to all of God’s children throughout the world. It is my judgment that much success will come as we become more expert and more able to harness the wonderful technology that our Heavenly Father has given us to proclaim His message.
As our opportunities increase with modern satellites, computers, fiber optics, and the Internet, the doors to the world are literally opened wide. Upon our shoulders rests the responsibility to teach the world that God’s way is the only way to find peace, joy, and happiness.
“But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
“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” (Matt. 24:13–14).
I hope we are all aware of what is happening in terms of missionary work around the world. In the past six years we have carried the gospel to 39 new countries. This work is moving; it is beginning to cover the earth. While it is true that many of our Heavenly Father’s children have never had the opportunity to hear the message of the Restoration, it is also true that the circumstances preventing them from receiving the gospel could quickly change—just as they did in Eastern Europe. Who would have dreamed a decade ago that the Iron Curtain would be gone, almost overnight? It was remarkable—even miraculous—and today our missionaries are teaching the gospel where, for 50 years, we were prohibited from establishing a gospel presence. So it is happening. Christ’s gospel is going to all the world. Be alert! Be aware! Stay awake!
I want to touch upon another matter before closing. One of my fine missionaries who served with me when I was the mission president in Toronto came to see me some years later. I asked him, “Elder, how can I help you?”
“President,” he said, “I think I’m losing my testimony.”
I couldn’t believe it. I asked him how that could be possible.
“For the first time I have read some anti-Mormon literature,” he said. “I have some questions, and nobody will answer them for me. I am confused, and I think I am losing my testimony.”
I asked him what his questions were, and he told me. They were the standard anti-Church issues, but I wanted a little time to gather materials so I could provide meaningful answers. So we set up an appointment 10 days later, at which time I told him I would answer every one of his questions. As he started to leave, I stopped him.
“Elder, you’ve asked me several questions here today,” I said. “Now I have one for you.”
“How long has it been since you read from the Book of Mormon?” I asked.
His eyes dropped. He looked at the floor for a while. Then he looked at me. “It’s been a long time, President,” he confessed.
“All right,” I said. “You have given me my assignment. It’s only fair that I give you yours. I want you to promise me that you will read in the Book of Mormon for at least one hour every day between now and our next appointment.” He agreed that he would do that.
Ten days later he returned to my office, and I was ready. I pulled out my papers to start answering his questions, but he stopped me.
“President,” he said, “that isn’t going to be necessary.” Then he explained: “I know that the Book of Mormon is true. I know Joseph Smith is a prophet of God.”
“Well, that’s great,” I said. “But you’re going to get answers to your questions anyway. I worked a long time on this, so you just sit there and listen.”
And so I answered all his questions and then asked, “Elder, what have you learned from this?”
And he said, “Give the Lord equal time.”
May we engrave that thought on our minds and carry it with us as we walk through this process of mortality. Let us give the Lord equal time. Let us give Him His due share of our thoughts, our time, our talents, and our attention. I know that we are all very busy. There are many demands for our attention, and our time is limited by a wide variety of constraints. But as we learn to manage our time, let us be sure that we give the Lord His portion.
Joseph Smith’s Vision of…
God The Father and Jesus Christ
Establish a time and place to study the scriptures on a daily basis, even if it is only for a few minutes at a time. Pray regularly. Serve faithfully in whatever capacity you are called to serve in, including home and visiting teaching, which is the very essence of gospel service. Hold weekly, meaningful family home evenings in which gospel lessons are taught and pleasant family activities are shared. In the great scheme of things, these things take so little time. But the long-term benefits to us and our families are infinite and eternal, and they will do much to prepare us and our children for the steadily increasing challenges of the future.
These are the last days. As has been foretold by God’s holy prophets since the world began, they are challenging times, and they are going to become even more challenging. So wherein is our safety? Where is our peace? Where is our joy? Where is our inner security?
My testimony is that safety, peace, joy, and security are found only in the life and mission of Jesus Christ, the Son of Almighty God. Bringing people to Him is the sum and substance of our ministry. So we embrace His teachings, we give up all of our sins, we repent, we do all that is in our power to do to come unto Him in a true spirit of discipleship, knowing perfectly well that it is through His grace that we are saved, even after all that we can do (see 2 Ne. 25:23). And as we give ourselves to Christ, fully and completely, we find safety, peace, joy and security in Him.
Does that mean we will not have turmoil or personal problems or sickness or family challenges or employment difficulties? Not at all. But it does mean that if our faith is anchored securely in our testimonies of Christ, we will be able to cope with whatever adversity comes our way, and we will be able to do so in a positive, faith-promoting manner. If we keep the eye of faith focused on Christ, we gain a broader view and an eternal perspective, and with that we can understand adversity from within the context of Heavenly Father’s eternal plan for all of His children. And we can find comfort in this life in the eternal safety, peace, joy and security that He promises.
Not too long ago I attended a missionary fireside in Idaho, after which I was introduced to a beautiful 18-year-old woman who was fighting a battle with cancer. For the third time, her cancer had come out of remission, and I was asked if it would be possible for me to give her a blessing. Her father, a convert to the Church along with the rest of the family, said: “Brother Ballard, we are aware that our daughter is in the hands of Heavenly Father, and we’re not asking you to do anything that would be contrary to His mind and will. We just want to feel that we’ve done everything we possibly can to appeal to Him for her life.”
Of course I understood. Any parent would understand that feeling. We went into a private room where I was able to visit with this extraordinary young woman for a few minutes. I wish I could communicate the sweet and wonderful spirit that I felt from her. This beautiful young woman looked into my eyes and with powerful simplicity said: “Brother Ballard, I’m not afraid to die. I would like to live. There are things that I would still like to accomplish in this life. But I know that Jesus is my Savior and my Redeemer, and during these past few years He has become my best friend. I trust Him, and I trust you as His representative. Whatever He wants for me, I’m prepared.”
We gave her a blessing, during which we petitioned God for a miracle but, at her request, left the matter with Him. My wife, Barbara, was with me, and as we returned to our car, tears came to our eyes as we said to each other, “Oh, thank heavens for the gospel. Thank heavens for a plan that makes it possible for an 18-year-old woman to know what it means to come unto Christ. Whatever happens, she is going to be fine.” She died on 23 June 1995 with the peace of the Lord accompanying her and her family.
That’s the blessed assurance of the gospel of Jesus Christ. This is His Church, the only true and living Church upon the face of the whole earth. May we stay anchored to it and not allow any voice or any wind of doctrine or any secret, so-called revelation or any special information that “the Brethren don’t understand” lead us away from what we know to be true. Our safety, brothers and sisters, and our peace—our inner peace, the peace that we all seek—lie in striving to live as the Savior would want us to live and in knowing within our hearts and minds that we are doing the best we can to try to keep His commandments.
Of course, such discipleship comes at a price. It isn’t always easy to come to Christ. There are sacrifices that need to be made by all who seek to follow the Savior, and sometimes those sacrifices are quite painful. To be called by God to serve Him in any capacity is the greatest honor a person can have, and we all do it willingly and with all our hearts because we love Him and we love His Son. Let us accept Their teachings, strive to understand Them, labor to put sin out of our lives through repentance, and endeavor to honor Them through our own righteous living, and always follow the inspired leadership of the Church.
“And verily I say unto you, I give unto you a sign, that ye may know the time when these things shall be about to take place—that I shall gather in, from their long dispersion, my people, O house of Israel, and shall establish again among them my Zion.” 3 Ne. 21: 1
Literally the house of the Lord. The Lord has always commanded his people to buildtemples, holy buildings in which worthy Saints perform sacred ceremonies and ordinances of the gospel for themselves and for the dead. The Lord visits his temples, and they are the most holy of all places of worship.
The tabernacle erected by Moses and the children of Israel was a portable temple. The Israelites used it during their exodus from Egypt.The best known temple mentioned in the Bible is the one built by Solomon in Jerusalem (2 Chr. 2-5). It was destroyed in 600 B.C. by the Babylonians and was restored by Zerubbabel almost a hundred years later (Ezra 1-6). Part of this templewas burned in 37 B.C., and Herod the Great later rebuilt it. The Romans destroyed the temple in A.D. 70.In the Book of Mormon, the righteous followers of God were led to build and worship in temples (2 Ne. 5: 16; Mosiah 1: 18; 3 Ne. 11: 1). Building and using a temple properly are signs of the true Church in any dispensation, including the restored Church in our day. The Kirtland Temple was the first templebuilt and dedicated to the Lord in this dispensation. Since that time templeshave been dedicated in many lands across the earth.
We MUST STAND With Israel; The Future Of The Holy Land.
“Of all the things in the world, the saddest is to see a people who have once known libery and freedom and then lost it.” Ezra Taft Benson
Jesus’s return is called the Second Coming.
At the Second Coming, Jesus will come down from heaven with great power. He will cleanse the earth of all wickedness, and Satan will no longer have power over the people. Jesus will rule for a thousand years over all the people who have been faithful to Him.
Jesus Has Told Us What Will Happen Before He Comes
Jesus has told us many things that will happen before He comes again. These things are called the signs of His Second Coming. He has told us to look for these signs and be ready for His coming. He said that when we see these things happening, we will know He is coming soon. But we will not know the exact time of His coming.
If we study the scriptures and are faithful to Jesus, we will know what the signs of Jesus’ coming will be. Many things will happen before Jesus comes to earth again. Some have already happened, some are happening now, and the rest will happen in the future.
Before Jesus’ Second Coming, the gospel will be preached to all nations. This will make many people happy and bring them blessings. Other things that will happen will test our faith. There will be great wickedness, earthquakes, and other kinds of destruction.
There Will Be Great Trouble on the Earth
Jesus said we will know His coming is near when we see much wickedness, war, and suffering on the earth. This will be a time of great trouble. There will be earthquakes, great storms, disease, and famines. Hailstones will destroy the crops of the earth.
Many people will stop loving our Father in Heaven and will turn to Satan. They will also stop loving and serving other people and will begin to harm them. There will be many wars on the earth. Nations will fight each other. These wars will continue until a great and final war takes place, which will be the most destructive war ever fought on the earth. Then Jesus will come.
History records what happened just before Jesus appeared to those in America after He was resurrected. This is a “type and shadow” of things to come:
11 And there was a great and terrible destruction in the land southward.
12 But behold, there was a more great and terrible destruction in the land northward; for behold, the whole face of the land was changed, because of the tempest and the whirlwinds, and the thunderings and the lightnings, and the exceedingly great quaking of the whole earth;
13 And the highways were broken up, and the level roads were spoiled, and many smooth places became rough.
14 And many great and notable cities were sunk, and many were burned, and many were shaken till the buildings thereof had fallen to the earth, and the inhabitants thereof were slain, and the places were left desolate.
15 And there were some cities which remained; but the damage thereof was exceedingly great, and there were many in them who were slain.
16 And there were some who were carried away in the whirlwind; and whither they went no man knoweth, save they know that they were carried away.
17 And thus the face of the whole earth became deformed, because of the tempests, and the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the quaking of the earth.
18 And behold, the rocks were rent in twain; they were broken up upon the face of the whole earth, insomuch that they were found in broken fragments, and in seams and in cracks, upon all the face of the land.
19 And it came to pass that when the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the storm, and the tempest, and the quakings of the earth did cease—for behold, they did last for about the space of threehours; and it was said by some that the time was greater; nevertheless, all these great and terrible things were done in about the space of three hours—and then behold, there was darknessupon the face of the land.
20 And it came to pass that there was thick darkness upon all the face of the land, insomuch that the inhabitants thereof who had not fallen couldfeel the vapor of darkness;
21 And there could be no light, because of the darkness, neither candles, neither torches; neither could there be fire kindled with their fine and exceedingly dry wood, so that there could not be any light at all;
22 And there was not any light seen, neither fire, nor glimmer, neither the sun, nor the moon, nor the stars, for so great were the mists of darkness which were upon the face of the land.
23 And it came to pass that it did last for the space of three days that there was no light seen; and there was great mourning and howling and weeping among all the people continually; yea, great were the groanings of the people, because of the darkness and the great destruction which had come upon them. 3 Nephi 8:11-23
The House of Israel Must Be Gathered Again
Our Father in Heaven said the descendants of the house of Israel* must hear and accept the gospel and prepare themselves to meet Jesus when He comes again. Those who accept the gospel must teach it to all people, build temples, and do the ordinances for the dead people.
Many people from the house of Israel, either by blood or by adoption, are being converted to the Church as they accept the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Holy Land has been blessed for the gathering of many of the descendants of Abraham. The descendants of Abraham include the people known as Arabs and Jews, and others. The descendants of the Book of Mormon people in America, who also are descendants of Abraham, are accepting the gospel and are becoming a strong and righteous people.
The Gospel Will Be Preached to All the World
Jesus said we will know He is coming soon when His followers have preached the gospel to all the world. From the time when the Church was restored, missionaries have been sent to preach the gospel in different nations. Many missionaries are now preaching the gospel almost everywhere in the world. Every member of the Church is asked to tell his or her relatives and friends about the gospel, and many are going to other countries to preach the gospel, so that all people will have an opportunity to hear it.
Elijah Has Come
The prophet Malachi in the Bible said that before Jesus would come the second time, the prophet Elijah would visit the earth. He would bring back the authority to seal families together forever. He would cause people to want to learn about their ancestors and their descendants and help them be saved.
In April 1836, Elijah came and restored this authority to the Prophet Joseph Smith. Because Elijah came, families can now be sealed together in temples on the earth today.
A New City of Jerusalem Will Be Built
Jesus said we will know He is coming soon when His Church has built a city called the New Jerusalem. Jesus said He will rule in that city, and righteous people will live there. He has told us where this city will be built. It will be in the state of Missouri, in the United States.
The nations of the earth will gather together against the descendants of Judah, and Judah will be smitten.
Zechariah says, quoting the Lord: “For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.” (Zech. 14:2.)
President Woodruff has also discussed this subject: “… O house of Judah, … It is true that after you return and gather your nation home, and rebuild your City and Temple, that the Gentiles will gather together their armies to go against you to battle, to take you a prey and to take you as a spoil, which they will do, for the words of your prophets must be fulfilled. …” (Matthias F. Cowley, Wilford Woodruff [Bookcraft, 1964], p. 509.)
If you wonder how this prophecy could be fulfilled, let me simply remind you that on July 4, 1967, the United Nations General Assembly voted 99 to 0 to condemn Israel because of its annexation of Jerusalem. Twenty countries abstained; 99 countries voted in favor of condemning Israel; not a single nation voted against the condemnation. And if a United Nations military force should be sent into the Middle East to take over Jerusalem again, literally all of the nations of the earth would gather together to battle against Judah.
Two prophets are to be raised up to the Jewish nation.
Joseph Smith has explained the following concerning the two prophets who are mentioned in Revelation 11:2–3, 6–12 [Rev. 11:2–3, 6–12]:
“Q. What is to be understood by the two witnesses, in the eleventh chapter of Revelation? [And the Lord answered:]
“A. They are two prophets that are to be raised up to the Jewish nation in the last days, at the time of the restoration, and to prophesy to the Jews after they are gathered and have built the city of Jerusalem in the land of their fathers.” (D&C 77:15.)
Orson Pratt has said the following concerning the role of these prophets: “We might bring up, also, the declaration of John in relation to the two witnesses who are to prophecy about that period. They are to prophecy three and a half years, and their field of labor will be Jerusalem, after it shall have been rebuilt by the Jews. By means of their prophecies and the power of God attending them, the nations who are gathered together against Jerusalem will be kept at bay, these Prophets will hold them in check by their faith and power. By and by these nations overcome the two witnesses and, having finished their mission, they are slain, and their bodies will lie three days and a half in the streets of the city. Then a great earthquake will take place, and these two witnesses will be caught up to heaven.” (JD, vol. 16, p. 329. Italics added.)
For a thrilling detailed insight into what is going to take place concerning this, one should read the entire eleventh chapter of the Book of Revelation.
12. The Savior is to appear to the descendants of Judah.
“… they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him. …” (Zech. 12:10.) The Doctrine and Covenants provides an even more vivid account, because the Savior, in talking about this, says:
“And then shall the Jews look upon me and say: What are these wounds in thine hands and in thy feet?
“Then shall they know that I am the Lord; for I will say unto them: These wounds are the wounds with which I was wounded in the house of my friends. I am he who was lifted up. I am Jesus that was crucified. I am the Son of God.
“And then shall they weep because of their iniquities; then shall they lament because they persecuted their king.” (D&C 45: 51–53.)
President Woodruff has referred to this great event as follows: “… the Jews have got to gather to their own land in unbelief. … and when they have done this and rebuilt their city, the Gentiles, in fulfillment of the words of Ezekiel, Jeremiah and other prophets, will go up against Jerusalem to battle and to take a spoil and a prey; and then, when they have taken one-half of Jerusalem captive and distressed the Jews for the last time on the earth, their Great Deliverer, Shiloh, will come.” (JD, vol. 15, pp. 277–78. Italics added.)
13. The Messiah will lead the people of Israel to victory and later he will rule as King of kings and Lord of lords.
In fact, Zechariah, in talking about this, says:
“Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.
“And the Lord shall be king over all the earth; in that day shall there be one Lord, and his name one.” (Zech. 14:3, 9.)
The Doctrine and Covenants also mentions this event:
“… for the presence of the Lord shall be as the melting fire that burneth, and as the fire which causeth the waters to boil.
“O Lord, thou shalt come down to make thy name known to thine adversaries, and all nations shall tremble at thy presence.” (D&C 133:41–42.)
Also, President Woodruff has said that the Savior will fight the battles of Judah: “… but when this affliction comes, the living God, that led Moses through the wilderness, will deliver you, and your Shiloh will come and stand in your midst and will fight your battles; and you will know him, and the afflictions of the Jews will be at an end, while the destruction of the Gentiles will be so great that it will take the whole house of Israel who are gathered about Jerusalem, seven months to bury the dead of their enemies, and the weapons of war will last them seven years for fuel, so that they need not go to any forest for wood. These are tremendous sayings—who can bear them? Nevertheless they are true, and will be fulfilled, according to the sayings of Ezekiel, Zechariah, and other prophets. Though the heavens and the earth pass away, not one jot or tittle will fall unfilled.” (Cowley, pp. 509–10.)
14. Two great world capitals are to be established—one in Zion and one in Jerusalem.
Isaiah has prophesied the following concerning this event (Latter-day prophets have also indicated this scripture pertains to this day, and the same idea is found in the Doctrine and Covenants, section 133 [D&C 133]):
“And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.
“And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” (Isa. 2:2–3.)
President Joseph F. Smith has spoken of these two gathering places as follows: “Jerusalem of old, after the Jews have been cleansed and sanctified from all their sin, shall become a holy city where the Lord shall dwell and from whence he shall send forth his word unto all people. Likewise, on this continent, the city of Zion, New Jerusalem—shall be built, and from it the law of God shall also go forth. There will be no conflict, for each city shall be headquarters for the Redeemer of the world, and from each he shall send forth his proclamations as occasion may require. Jerusalem shall be the gathering place of Judah and his fellows of the house of Israel, and Zion shall be the gathering place of Ephraim and his fellows, upon whose heads shall be conferred ‘the richer blessings.’” (Improvement Era, vol. 22 , pp. 815–16.)
As Latter-day Saints, we should know more about the prophecies pertaining to Israel than any other people on earth, including the Jewish people themselves. We have everything they have, and in addition we have the words of the prophets in the Book of Mormon, the Pearl of Great Price, and the Doctrine and Covenants. We also have living prophets who stand at the head of our church today who can tell us about these great events.
The Savior has admonished us to “search these things diligently.” One purpose of devoting this special issue of the Ensign to the Holy Land is to inspire and motivate Latter-day Saints to learn about the dealings of the Lord with his covenant people.
“And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.”Isa. 11: 11
“Man may fail in this country, earthquakes may come, seas may heave beyond their bounds, there may be great drought, disaster, and hardship, but this nation founded on principles laid down by men whom God raised up, will never fail.
This is the cradle of humanity, where life on this earth began in the Garden of Eden. This is the place of the New Jerusalem. This is the place that the Lord said is favored above all other nations in all the world. This is the place where the Savior will come to His temple. Yes, I repeat, men may fail, but this nation won’t fail. I have faith in America; you and I must have faith in America if we understand the teachings of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
We are living in a day when we must pay heed to these challenges. I plead with you NOT to preach pessimism. Preach that this is the greatest country in all the world. This is the favored land.
This is the land of our forefathers. It is the nation that will stand despite whatever trials or crises it may yet have to pass through.”
President Harold B. Lee
Former Prophet of God
For The Family
“Jesus Christ Hath Shown You Unto Me, And I Know Your Doing.” (That’s Us!)
The last Prophet and writer of The Book of Mormon who abridged all of the gold plates that had been writen by previous writers in America, buried this abridgement in the Hill Cumorrah, New York, and then appeared as a glorified being to Joseph Smith and showed him were these plates were buried.
Joseph eventually got these gold plates and translated them into what we call The Book of Mormon.
This prophet, Moroni, when he was yet alive wrote this note to all of us, in our day, who reads this book:
“Behold, I speak unto you as if ye were present, and yet ye are not. But behold, Jesus Christ hath shown you unto me, and I know your doing.”
Then Moroni described latter-day Babylon as if he were a modern-day journalist:
And I know that ye do walk in the pride of your hearts; and there are none save a few only who do not lift themselves up in the pride of their hearts, unto the wearing of very fine apparel, unto envying, and strifes, and malice, and persecutions, and all manner of iniquities; and your churches, yea, even every one, have become polluted because of the pride of your hearts. For behold, ye do love money, and your substance, and your fine apparel, and the adorning of your churches, more than ye love the poor and the needy, the sick and the afflicted.
Moroni’s vision was essentially the same vision as that seen by Jesus, Paul, and John the Revelator. Moroni foresaw pervasive pride, attention to fashion, envy, strife, malice, persecution, iniquity, and polluted churches, which are actual religious institutions and the philosophies of men, all of which are worshipped and followed devoutly.
Saints will embrace in Babylon (The World)
Sadly, Moroni reported, these conditions would exist among the Saints, whose fascination with Babylon would defile the holy church of God:
O ye pollutions, ye hypocrites, ye teachers, who sell yourselves for that which will canker, why have ye polluted the holy church of God? Why are ye ashamed to take upon you the name of Christ? Why do ye not think that greater is the value of an endless happiness than that misery which never dies—because of the praise of the world?”
Moreover, Moroni said that our embracing Babylon while professing Zion would serve to persecute, rank, alienate, and maltreat the less fortunate among us: “Why do ye adorn yourselves with that which hath no life, and yet suffer the hungry, and the needy, and the naked, and the sick and the afflicted to pass by you, and notice them not?”
Frighteningly, he noted that some Saints would adopt Babylon’s strategy of sinful secret dealings to get rich. Their selfish attitude toward money would hold the vulnerable and poor in captivity:
Yea, why do ye build up your secret abominations to get gain, and cause that widows should mourn before the Lord, and also orphans to mourn before the Lord, and also the blood of their fathers and their husbands to cry unto the Lord from the ground, for vengeance upon your heads?” Unless we Saints repent and flee Babylon, we will suffer her fate: “Behold, the sword of vengeance hangeth over you; and the time soon cometh that he avengeth the blood of the saints upon you, for he will not suffer their cries any longer.
A Day of Immense Wickedness and Contentions
Moroni described latter-day Babylon as “a day when the blood of saints shall cry unto the Lord, because of secret combinations and the works of darkness. Yea, it shall come in a day when the power of God shall be denied, and churches become defiled and be lifted up in the pride of their hearts; yea, even in a day when leaders of churches and teachers shall rise in the pride of their hearts, even to the envying of them who belong to their churches.”
Beyond the preponderance of latter-day secret combinations, denials of the power of God, and myriad competing churches and man-made philosophies that are built up to get gain, Babylon boasts one continual scene of natural disasters and war: “Yea, it shall come in a day when there shall be heard of fires, and tempests, and vapors of smoke in foreign lands; and there shall also be heard of wars, rumors of wars, and earthquakes in divers places.”
Moreover, Babylon is a place and condition of “great pollutions,” both physical and spiritual: “Yea, it shall come in a day when there shall be great pollutions upon the face of the earth.” Every conceivable sin abounds: “There shall be murders, and robbing, and lying, and deceivings, and whoredoms [every form of sexual sin], and all manner of abominations.”
Babylon is a place and condition of apathy and lack of accountability to God: “Many . . . will say, Do this, or do that, and it mattereth not, for the Lord will uphold such at the last day. But wo unto such, for they are in the gall of bitterness and in the bonds of iniquity.”
Babylon (The World) as a Counter-religion
As we recall, the word church, in Babylonian terms, means both a religious institution and a worshipped philosophy of man, anything that we worship other than God, whose leaders and teachers are those to whom we give our allegiance in place of God. Therefore, for example, Moroni prophesied: “Yea, it shall come in a day when there shall be churches built up that shall say: Come unto me, and for your money you shall be forgiven of your sins.”
Beyond spawning many corrupt religious institutions and man-made philosophies, Babylon promotes the attitude of entitlement, the doctrines that having money equals personal goodness, and that money exalts its owner above those of lesser fortunes. In the process, Zion’s equality, unity, and oneness become nonexistent.
To achieve her goals, Babylon first focuses her disciples on seeking riches for self-serving purposes; then she soothes their consciences with the lie that God will favor or at least wink at the rich (because they are rich, they warrant God’s favor, they are told), and eventually He will usher them into heaven where more riches await. This is false doctrine. Hugh Nibley notes, “God recognizes only one justification for seeking wealth, and that is with the express intent of helping the poor (Jacob 2:19).”
Moroni offered no comfort to those who espouse such Babylonian attitudes: “O ye wicked and perverse and stiffnecked people, why have ye built up churches [worshipped philosophies] unto yourselves to get gain? Why have ye transfigured [reinvented] the holy word of God, that ye might bring damnation upon your souls?” Clearly, Babylon wants money so badly that she will ignore or wrest the scriptures to justify her actions.
The Fall of Babylon
Babylon is like a cancer: her presence is destructive to the system. She is an unwelcomed intruder that must be excised completely, or she will overwhelm and kill her host. Babylon can be neither converted nor saved. Total annihilation is the only answer. “We would have healed Babylon, but she is not healed: forsake her, and let us go every one into his own country: for her judgment reacheth unto heaven, and is lifted up even to the skies.”
Other prophets have weighed in on Babylon and its future. For example, Nephi foresaw the absolute demise of latter-day Babylon (a.k.a., the great and abominable church): “Behold, that great and abominable church, the whore of all the earth, must tumble to the earth, and great must be the fall thereof. For the kingdom of the devil must shake, and they which belong to it must needs be stirred up unto repentance, or the devil will grasp them with his everlasting chains, and they be stirred up to anger, and perish.” Unfortunately, many people who are aware of these scriptures will still choose to wait it out, then try to jump ship to Zion at the very last minute.
We should take to heart these prophecies. Babylon and Zion do not mix. Zion merged with even a little bit of Babylon is no longer Zion. For Zion to be Zion—a Zion person, a Zion family, or a Zion priesthood community—there can be no hint of Babylon. Hugh Nibley writes:
Zion is pure, which means ‘not mixed with any impurities, unalloyed’; it is all Zion and nothing else. . . . It is all pure—it is a society, a community, and an environment into which no unclean thing can enter. ‘Henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean’ (3 Nephi 20:36). It is not even pure people in a dirty environment, or pure people with a few impure ones among them; it is the perfectly pure in a perfectly pure environment.
If we partake of Babylon or embrace her teachings in any degree, we are not Zion, and we will suffer Babylon’s fate.
John’s Prophecy of Babylon’s Fall
In the chapter 18 of the Revelation of John, the apostle saw a powerful angel descend from heaven, “and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils.” John lists five reasons for Babylon’s fall:
Illicit relationships, interactions, and transactions that bring power and wealth. Described as “fornication,” these universally accepted things stand contrary to the Covenant.
The intolerable sin of wealth-seeking: “and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies”
Pride: “How much she hath glorified herself”
Excess and selfishness: “[Babylon] lived deliciously”
Ignoring the underprivileged: “I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow.” But enough is too much: “her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.”
The first angel’s voice is now joined by a voice from heaven, which is directed at the Saints: “And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” This merciful warning is dire; the Lord has undertaken to judge Babylon, and neither she nor the people who remain in her will be able to withstand his judgment: “Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.”
The reference to a sudden and astonishing fall is repeated throughout the prophecy:
“…in one day”
“Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come”
“For in one hour so great riches is come to nought”
“…in one hour is she made desolate.”
Babylon’s fall will be violent and permanent: “Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.”
The wicked, who have loved Babylon, will greatly miss her; their reaction will be widespread mourning: “And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning, standing afar off for the fear of her torment.”
The world’s economy will collapse, and those who have bought and sold will never recover: “And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more.”
John then records the words of a voice from heaven, as if it were speaking directly to Babylon, saying, “All things which were dainty and goodly are departed from thee, and thou shalt find them no more at all.” Then viewing the merchants, the voice adds, “The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing, and saying, Alas, alas.”
But the merchants are not the only ones to mourn. The fall of Babylon is lamented by everyone who has remained within her precincts:
And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off, and cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What [city is] like unto this great city! And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas, that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate.
Then a mighty angel assesses the extent of the destruction:
And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in thee; and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee; and the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee.
No more of the world’s music and art; no more worldly crafts; no more worldly manufacturing. Babylon’s light has been snuffed out forever, and the world mourns, “For thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived. And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.”
But Zion’s hour has come at last. While the people of Babylon mourn, the people of Zion rejoice. “Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her.” Clearly, we have a choice: we can remain in Babylon, suffer her plagues and mourn, or we can come to Zion, obtain safety in the Covenant, and rejoice.
Nephi’s Vision of Babylon’s Fall
According to Nephi, the fall of Babylon will be “exceedingly great.”Babylon will be destroyed “speedily; . . . it shall be at an instant, suddenly.” Lehi’s foundationless “great and spacious building” that “stood as it were in the air, high above the earth” will collapse, to the astonishment and fear of the world. Then a voice from heaven will be heard: “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit.”
Moreover, when Babylon, “the glory of kingdoms,” falls, it “shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah.” That is, Babylon will be so fully eradicated that “it shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation; . . . her time is near to come, and her day shall not be prolonged. For I will destroy her speedily; yea, for I will be merciful unto my people, but the wicked shall perish.”
Joseph Smith’s Revelation on the Fall of Babylon
Speaking to the Prophet Joseph Smith, the Lord said,
Behold, vengeance cometh speedily upon the inhabitants of the earth, a day of wrath, a day of burning, a day of desolation, of weeping, of mourning, and of lamentation; and as a whirlwind it shall come upon all the face of the earth, saith the Lord. And upon my house shall it begin, and from my house shall it go forth, saith the Lord; first among those among you, saith the Lord, who have professed to know my name and have not known me, and have blasphemed against me in the midst of my house, saith the Lord.
The Saints are not exempt. Those Saints who hold to Babylon and its philosophies will suffer the consequences of Babylon’s fall. Either we must decide to be safe in Zion or defenseless in Babylon. To the extent that we dabble with Babylon we are vulnerable.
Given the mountain of irrefutable evidence that the foundation of Babylon is cracking, we would be well served to reconsider our allegiance to the principles Zion and flock to her safety.
86 Abide ye in the liberty wherewith ye are made free; entangle not yourselves in sin, but let your hands be clean, until the Lord comes.
87 For not many days hence and the earth shall tremble and reel to and fro as a drunken man; and the sun shall hide his face, and shall refuse to give light; and the moon shall be bathed in blood; and the stars shall become exceedingly angry, and shall cast themselves down as a fig that falleth from off a fig-tree.
88 And after your testimony cometh wrath and indignation upon the people.
89 For after your testimony cometh the testimony of earthquakes, that shall cause groanings in the midst of her, and men shall fall upon the ground and shall not be able to stand.
90 And also cometh the testimony of the voice of thunderings, and the voice of lightnings, and the voice of tempests, and the voice of the waves of the sea heaving themselves beyond their bounds.
91 And all things shall be in commotion; and surely, men’s hearts shall fail them; for fear shall come upon all people.
92 And angels shall fly through the midst of heaven, crying with a loud voice, sounding the trump of God, saying: Prepare ye, prepare ye, O inhabitants of the earth; for the judgment of our God is come. Behold, and lo, the Bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.
93 And immediately there shall appear a great sign in heaven, and all people shall see it together.
94 And another angel shall sound his trump, saying: That greatchurch, the mother of abominations, that made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of herfornication, that persecuteth the saints of God, that shed their blood—she who sitteth upon many waters, and upon the islands of the sea—behold, she is the tares of the earth; she is bound in bundles; her bands are made strong, no man can loose them; therefore, she is ready to be burned. And he shall sound his trump both long and loud, and all nations shall hear it.
As Jesus Christ ascended into heaven at the completion of His mortal ministry, two angels declared to His Apostles, “This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11). Since that time, believers have looked forward to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
When the Savior comes again, He will come in power and glory to claim the earth as His kingdom. His Second Coming will mark the beginning of the Millennium.
The Second Coming will be a fearful, mournful time for the wicked, but it will be a day of peace for the righteous. The Lord declared:
“They that are wise and have received the truth, and have taken the Holy Spirit for their guide, and have not been deceived—verily I say unto you, they shall not be hewn down and cast into the fire, but shall abide the day.
”And the earth shall be given unto them for an inheritance; and they shall multiply and wax strong, and their children shall grow up without sin unto salvation.
“For the Lord shall be in their midst, and his glory shall be upon them, and he will be their king and their lawgiver” (D&C 45:57-59).
The Lord has not revealed exactly when He will come again: “The hour and the day no man knoweth, neither the angels in heaven, nor shall they know until he comes” (D&C 49:7). But He has revealed to His prophets the events and signs that will precede His Second Coming. Among the prophesied events and signs are:
Apostasy from gospel truth (see Matthew 24:9-12; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3).
The Restoration of the gospel, including the restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ (see Acts 3:19-21; Revelation 14:6-7; D&C 45:28; 133:36).
The restoration of priesthood keys (see Malachi 4:5-6; D&C 110:11-16).
The coming forth of the Book of Mormon (see Isaiah 29:4-18; 3 Nephi 21:1-11).
The preaching of the gospel throughout the world (see Matthew 24:14).
A time of wickedness, war, and turmoil (see Matthew 24:6-7; 2 Timothy 3:1-7; D&C 29:17; 45:26-33; 88:91).
Signs in heaven and on the earth (see Joel 2:30-31; Matthew 24:29-30; D&C 29:14-16; 45:39-42; 49:23; 88:87-90).
The righteous need not fear the Second Coming or the signs that precede it. The Savior’s words to His Apostles apply to all who prepare for His coming and who look forward to it with joy: “Be not troubled, for, when all these things shall come to pass, ye may know that the promises which have been made unto you shall be fulfilled” (D&C 45:35).
See also Millennium; Plan of Salvation; Signs
—See True to the Faith (2004), 159-61
The Savior’s Apparel Will Be Red At His Coming.
He is "The Way".
In Revelation 19:13, [Rev. 19:13] he describes Christ at his second coming, mentioning that “he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood.” This may puzzle those who picture him clothed in glorious white. Nevertheless, it is in perfect agreement with other scriptures that tell us that the Savior’s apparel will be red at his coming. (See Gen. 49:11; Isa. 63:2; D&C 133:48.)
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We need to “Get NoiZ” and “Turn the World Around” with a flood of Righteousness! Let’s gather together from the four quarters of the earth and make that “Great Change of Heart” and become a Zion People! Moses 7:62
Are you worried about this World, with Violence, War, Famine, Earthquakes and Destruction, Disease, and the means to stay alive? We have the “Power to Choose”!
Scripture says: Therefore, cheer up your hearts, and remember that ye are free to act for yourselves—to choose the way of everlasting death or the way of eternal life. “ 2 Nephi 10:23
Are you following Satan…or do you follow Jesus?
Jesus is “Everlasting Life”. Because of Him, everyone will live again after this world! If you are following Satan, your future will NOT be bright as He is “The Way” of Everlasting Death!
We are living in the dispensation of the fulness of times! The Fullness of All Truth is HERE and the Fullness of All EVIL is Here! Satan is very much alive today…and Jesus has restored ALL of the keys necessary to
gain Eternal Life after we ALL get to Paradise, or Heaven and is coming back soon!
I’ve been reading Jesus’s words in The Bible, The Book of Mormon, and soon, other records that are coming forth. I want to know ALL that Jesus has said to us!
Here is a beautiful scripture that motivates me to publish Truth and Light on the internet as well as Peace, especially during these Last Days! Especially for those who are seeking to become a Zion People! The day when Jesus Christ shall return! This is why we “Get NoiZ” and open our mouths so that that we may “Turn the World Around”! Yes, with “A Flood of Righteousness” to become a Zion People. (The Happiest People that ever lived!)
I got that phrase from the following scripture:
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.
“Sweep the earth as with a flood”? Yes! “A FLOOD of Righteousness” is what will save us! Because, there are opposites in all things, there is ALSO be, like in the days of NOAH, …A Flood of Darkness Coming!