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Richardson Studies on Second Coming


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12 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

No one knows the day or time of His coming

I am just plodding along until that happens

Resistance is futile. ;)

 

Ergo, what?  We should not bother preparing, because no one knows when it will happen?  When it comes to the issue of specific timing, both Brother Lund and Brother Ridges discourage speculation.

Edited by Kenngo1969
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2 hours ago, Kenngo1969 said:

Ergo, what?  We should not bother preparing, because no one knows when it will happen?  When it comes to the issue of specific timing, both Brother Lund and Brother Ridges discourage speculation.

Yes our church has taught us to be prepared for disasters.  I am fairly good on that- depending on how long obviously they last.  I feel I am spiritually prepared pretty well or at least better than I have been in the past, and I intend to get better as time passes.

And no, I do not speculate on when it will happen- I have reasonably large trials of faith on a regular basis anyway.

Ergo what yourself!!??  :)  :angel:🤓;)

 

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4 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

No one knows the day or time of His coming

I am just plodding along until that happens

Resistance is futile. ;)

 

Your assignment should you choose to accept it is to locate and post Matthew chapter 24, verses 32-35.

Edited by rodheadlee
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  • 3 weeks later...

Okay.  I just finished reading the First edition of The Coming of the Lord by Gerald N. Lund.  One possible weakness is, he relies a lot on the early restoration Brethren, but, certainly, no one can doubt his command of those sources.  He would have had to have spent, I think, a lot of time in a library somewhere, culling through Journal of Discourses, Millennial Star, Documentary History of the Church, and so on.

A lot has been said about the Second Coming by leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the last almost 50 years, since Coming first was published.  It'll be interesting to see how he makes use of those resources, how he might blend those resources in with material from the first edition, and so on.  One thing's for sure: A lot more resources are a lot more accessible now than they were 50 years ago.  I can barely fathom the kind of work that must have gone into such a source-intensive endeavor as Coming using early 1970s technology!  The mind reels!

 I'll see if I can format my notes into something readable here.  Wish me luck! 😉

Edited by Kenngo1969
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Pretty impressive, being a successful author for 50 years.  I wonder if that was his earliest book or if he wrote earlier ones (he would have been 31/32 in '71).

Probably spent a lot of money on xerox copies.

Edited by Calm
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53 minutes ago, Calm said:

Pretty impressive, being a successful author for 50 years.  I wonder if that was his earliest book or if he wrote earlier ones (he would have been 31/32 in '71).

Probably spent a lot of money on xerox copies. [Emphasis added by Kenngo1969.]

No kidding!  Can you imagine?!  :huh::shok::o

 Interestingly, the Wikipedia article on Brother Lund mentions the 2005 reprint of Coming in its introduction, but, for whatever reason, it doesn't list Coming in the list of works he has authored that appears elsewhere in the article.   The first non-fiction book it lists is Jesus Christ, Key to the Plan of Salvation, from 1991.  :unknw:  I haven't found anything earlier than Coming.  Heckuva first book!

Edited by Kenngo1969
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Looks like it was his first book

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During his time as institute teacher in Southern California, Lund began doing research on the prophecies of the Second Coming. As he shared what he was learning in classes and firesides, many people suggested he write a book and make the information more widely available. He did so, submitting it to Bookcraft Publishers in Salt Lake City. They accepted the manuscript, and The Coming of the Lord was published in 1971. It has been in continuous print for forty years and is still available in paperback format. That began his writing career. Since then he has published more than two dozen books, has contributed numerous other articles to Church magazines, seminars and symposia. When asked what motivated him to become a writer, his standard answer is: “I write because I love to teach. Writing is just another form of teaching, but with a much bigger and more diverse class.”  

 

https://www.geraldnlund.com/about

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I. A LOOK AT PROPHECY

A. Preface

1. Purposes – (Coming, Preface, unnumbered single page, ellipses added)

a. Compile Reliable Statements – Compile “reliable statements on the important subject of the Savior’s second coming, while avoiding . . . sensational, speculative and otherwise questionable material[.]”

b. Challenges Notwithstanding, The Future Should Excite Us – “(S)timulate a positive, exciting outlook toward the future,” thus overcoming “negative, anxious feelings”

c. Gratitude to the Lord – We should be “grateful to the Lord for inspiring his prophets to instruct us so completely on how to prepare for his coming”

B. Introduction

1. God Wants to Guide Us – “[W]e . . . stand at the gates of the future pleading for light to guide us safely into the lowering storm clouds. . . . Prophecy is the hand of God extended in love to a groping, floundering world. . . . God is ever anxious to guide his children through perilous times[.]” Coming 2, ellipses and brackets added and italics removed.

2. Why The Saints are Calm – President Jedediah M. Grant, Second Counselor to President Brigham Young, said that the Saints are calm even amid the turmoil of the world because “the spirit of prophecy has made known to us that such things would actually transpire upon the earth.” Coming 3, quoting President Grant.

3. God’s Word a Loving Message, Not the Curse of a Wrathful Deity – God’s word is “the loving message from a concerned Father,” not “a curse from a wrathful deity bent on the destruction of those not willing to toe the mark.” Coming 3.

C. A Look at Prophecy

1. What Prophecy Is – Prophecy, Lund writes, is more than mere prediction, though “[p]rediction of future events is an . . . essential element of prophecy.” Quoting Acts 10:43, Lund writes that prophecy is “the testimony of Jesus,” and, quoting Peter 1:21, he writes that it is “the utterances of ‘holy men of God spoken as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” Coming 5.

2. Prophet/Prophecy – Greek Pro, “for or before”; phanai, “speak,” Coming 6.

3. Three Roles of a Prophet – Coming 6, brackets and ellipses added.

a. “[T]estify of the divinity of the savior”

b. “[W]arn the [earth’s] inhabitants . . . of . . . [results] if wrong choices are made”

c. “[P]redict future events that will profoundly affect [man’s destiny]”

4. “The Purposes of Prophecy” – Coming 7

a. To Warn – “At times, what [a prophet] predicts is necessarily terrible to contemplate, but this sis so because the choices his children make bring upon themselves terrible consequences.” Coming 7.

b. To Prepare – “Another important function is to prepare people for the crises in life that will confront them. This is especially true of the signs of the times. . . . Prophecy is one of the most direct ways that the Lord has for preparing his people.” Coming 7.

i. Example: Rainbow – Bro. Lund cites Joseph Smith’s prophecy that in a year in which the rainbow is absent, the Lord’s coming is “not far distant.” Coming 8, quoting Joseph Smith.

c. To Comfort – “[N]o matter how dark the intervening days, eventually [God’s] work will emerge triumphant. . . . Let us not forget that one of the great and significant purposes of the Lord is sharing this vision of the future with us is to give us comfort.” Coming 9, ellipses and material in brackets added.

5. Test for True Prophecy – “When visions, dreams, tongues, prophecy, impressions or any extraordinary gift or inspiration conveys something out of harmony with the accepted revelations of the Church or contrary to the decisions of its authorities, Latter-day Saints may know that it is not of God, no matter how plausible it may appear.” Coming 10, quoting August 1913 First Presidency Statement.

 

 

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II. HOW SOON THE END?

A. As Christ Departed, So Shall He Return – “Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? 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.” Coming 13, quoting Acts 1:11.

B. People in Every Age of Christianity Have Anticipated Christ’s Return – “The mind thrills at the thought that one might actually see the realization of the millennial dream come true in his own life. And so from the earliest history of Christianity, there have been those who earnestly believed that Christ’s second coming was imminent.” Coming 12.

C. “Ye Know Not What Hour” – Well-meaning people have been mistaken in their belief as to the timing of Christ’s second advent, so what justification do Latter-day Saints have that it will be “soon”? Brother Lund points to Matthew 14, where Christ says “no man knoweth” the day nor the hour. But Christ also says, “Watch, therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.” Coming 15, third set of quotation marks quoting Matthew 24:42.

1. A Personal Observation; I Think Alma’s Attitude About Christ’s First Coming is Exactly the Right Attitude to Have About His Second Coming; Would That it Might Be in Our Day, but Whenever It Is, Let Us Rejoice In It – See Alma 13:25: “And now we only wait to hear the joyful news declared unto us by the mouth of angels, of his coming; for the time cometh, we know not how soon. Would to God that it might be in my day; but let it be sooner or later, in it I will rejoice.”

D. Don’t “Fear and Tremble”; Instead, “Watch and Pray” – “[W]hile the wicked fear and tremble at surrounding judgments, the Saints will watch and pray; and, waiting for the event in patience, will look calmly on the passing scenery of a corrupted world, and view transpiring events ans confirmation of the faith in the holy gospel which they profess, and rejoice more and more, as multiplied signs shall confirm the approach of the millennial day.” Coming 16, quoting Fifth General Epistle of the Presidency of the Church, issued April 7, 1851 and found in Millennial Star, Vol. 13, p. 210, July 15, 1851.

E. We Know His Coming is Nigh Because We See The Signs: President Joseph Fielding Smith – Joseph Fielding Smith testified that the Parable of the Fig Tree, in which Christ said that just as we know a fig tree is about to bear fruit when its leaves appear, when we see the signs of the times, we know that Christ’s coming is near, is being fulfilled. He also wrote “that the signs that have been pointed out [as harbingers of the Second Coming] are here.” See Coming 16-17.

F. Because We See the Signs, We Ought to Take Heed and to Prepare: President Joseph Fielding Smith – “[T]he signs that have been pointed out [as harbingers of the Second Coming] are here. The earth is full of calamity, of trouble. The hearts of men are failing them. We see the signs[,] . . . and knowing this time is near, it behooves . . . all men upon the face of the earth, to pay heed to the words of Christ, to his apostles and watch, for we know not the day nor the hour. But I tell you this, it shall come as a thief in the night, when many of us will not be ready for it.” Coming 17, quoting President Joseph Fielding Smith.

G. Natural Disasters, National and Civil Unrest Are Harbingers of His Coming: President Heber J. Grant – “The prevailing unrest among men and nations, the fury of the elements, the widespread destruction by land and sea, the frequency and intensity of volcanic and earthquake disturbances—all tell to the well-tuned ear that the gladsome yet terrible day of the Lord is nigh—aye, even at the doors!” Coming 17, quoting President Heber J. Grant, italics removed.

H. Signs That Have Already Been Fulfilled: President Joseph Fielding Smith, President of the Quorum of the Twelve on the 136th Anniversary of the Organization of the Church of Jesus Christ – Coming 18-19

1. Restoration of the Gospel

2. Organization of the Church

3. Restoration of the Priesthood

4. Dispensations Revealed, Keys of each given to the Church of Jesus Christ

5. Gathering of Israel

6. Return of Jews to Jerusalem

7. Preaching of the Gospel Throughout the World

8. Building of Temples, Performing of Saving Ordinances for the Dead

9. Hearts of the Children are Being Turned to the Fathers

10. Covenants the Lord Promised to Make With Israel Have been Revealed, Thousands are Entering Into Them

I. More Signs that His Coming is Near: Elder George Q. Morris of the Quorum of the Twelve on the 130th Anniversary of the Organization of the Church of Jesus Christ – Coming 19

1. Restoration of the Gospel

2. Rise of Communism (Elder Morris also notes the other ways in which Satan subjugates people)

3. Fulfillment of God’s Promise to Gather Jews to Jerusalem

J. The Savior Comes Tomorrow: President Joseph Fielding Smith – When someone asked him when the Savior would come, he answered “Tomorrow,” and quoted Doctrine & Covenants 64:23-24, which reads in part, “[V]erily I say, tomorrow all the proud and they that do wickedly shall be as stubble; and I will burn them up.” Coming 20.

K. Each of Revelations Seven Seals Represents a Millennium: What Will Happen at the Beginning of the Seventh Thousand Years – Revelation’s seven seals represent the seven thousand years of the Earth’s temporal existence. At the beginning of the seventh thousand years, “will the Lord God sanctify the earth, and complete the salvation of man, and shall judge all things, and shall redeem all things.” Coming 21, quoting D&C 77:12.

L. This is the “Last Day” Before the Millennium –(S)cholars disagree on how many years [have passed] since the Fall of Adam, . . . so it cannot be said that the Millennium will occur in the year 2,000 A.D. . . . But the scriptures and the prophets make it clear that this is the ‘last day’ before the Millennium, using Peter’s definition that a day with the Lord is as a thousand of our years.” Peter’s definition is given in 2 Peter 3:8. In Doctrine and Covenants 35:3, the Lord says “The field is white already to harvest, and this is the last time that I shall call laborers into my vineyard.” Coming 21, italics removed and material in brackets and ellipses added.

M. One Should Fear God Rather Than One’s Enemies: President Brigham Young – “All you who fear and tremble because of your enemies, cease to fear to offend them and learn to fear to offend God.” Coming 21, quoting President Brigham Young.

N. What Do the Scriptures Mean that Say that “This Generation Shall Not Pass Away” Before Christ Comes Again? Elder Wilford Woodruff – Apparently, the Scriptures and the Prophets use the words “generation” and “dispensation” interchangeably, as synonyms. Elder Wilford Woodruff said, “We are living in the generation and dispensation to which Jesus referred[.] . . . [Y]ou live in the day and generation when the God of Israel has set his hand to perform his work . . . in the latter- days.” Coming 23, quoting Elder Wilford Woodruff, ellipses added.

1. No Fixed Period for a Generation: President Charles W. Penrose – “[T]here is no fixed period for a generation, no set time in the revelations of God, no year or date given when these things shall take place, and it is folly for anybody to put a date on it. Leave that in the hands of the Lord and he will take care that his word is fulfilled[.]” Coming 33, quoting President Penrose, ellipses omitted and material in brackets added.

O. This is the Dispensation of the Fullness of Times – “This dispensation is called the dispensation of the fullness of times, for in this dispensation a fullness of the gospel and blessings down through time will be gathered together in one great whole.’ Coming 25, footnote omitted.

1. What it Means to Live in “The Dispensation of the Fullness of Times”: President Charles W. Penrose – “[His] people are [to] be gathered together, [and] the glorious truths which have been made manifest in the ages that are past will be brought forth in the dispensation in which we are living, and things kept hid from before the foundations of the world will be made manifest[.]” Coming 25, quoting President Charles W. Penrose, General Conference, October 1911.

P. Meaning of “Times of the Gentiles” – “The times of the Gentiles began with Peter’s vision and the baptism of Cornelius (see Acts 10). Paul and the other Apostles then began the great missionary work to the Gentiles, since the Jewish nation, for the most part, had rejected Jesus. As President Smith indicated, the times that the major gospel effort would be with gentile nations continued with the Restoration. The times of the Gentiles will be over, or fulfilled, when the major efforts of gospel teaching begin to focus on the house of Israel: the Lamanites, the Jews, and the ten tribes.” Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual, Section 45, Salt Lake City: Church Educational System of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, accessed on line at https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/manual/doctrine-and-covenants-student-manual/ section-45-looking-forth-for-the-great-day-of-the-lord?lang=eng  on August 29, 2020.

1. Establishment of the Nation and the Gathering of the People of Israel Heralds the Fulfillment of “The Times of the Gentiles”: President Joseph Fielding Smith – “Jerusalem, which was trodden down by the Gentiles, is no longer trodden down but is made the home for the Jews. They are returning to Palestine, and by this we may know that the times of the Gentiles are near their close.” Coming 29, quoting President Joseph Fielding Smith.

Q. “Angels of Destruction” Sent Forth to Reap – President Joseph Fielding Smith conducted research that shows that, in the 20th century, “calamities, destructions, and plagues” have increased from the year the Salt Lake Temple was dedicated in 1893 until about 1909. (Certainly, these things have not abated today.) Later, he referred to a study conducted by sociologists that shows an exponential increase in war in the 20th century. See Coming 31.

1. When the Angels of Destruction Would be Sent forth to Reap: President Joseph Fielding Smith – “The Lord has said that the sending forth of these angels [of destruction] was to be at the end of the harvest, and the harvest is the end of the world. Now, that ought to cause us some very serious reflections. And the angels have been pleading . . . before the lord to be sent on their mission. Until 1893 [when the Salt Lake Temple was dedicated] the Lord said to them no, and then He let them loose. According to the revelation of President Woodruff, the Lord sent them out on that mission.” Coming 32, ellipses added.

 

 

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III. A CRY OF WAR

A. The Prophecy on War

1. The Prophecy on War & The Civil War – Bro. Lund quotes D&C 87:1-3 and 6 on p. 35. Then on p. 36, he says that Pres. Jackson’s firm stand quelled rebellion in North Carolina, seemingly averting the crisis, but stating that, later, it was fulfilled with the advent of the Civil War.

2. Wars & Rumors of Wars: President Joseph Fielding Smith Said The Civil War Marked the Beginning of the End – “President Joseph Fielding Smith explained that the Civil War was the Lord’s sign that the beginning of the end had come.” Coming 36.

3. Christ Spoke of “Wars and Rumors of Wars” for His “Elect’s Sake” – “And they shall hear of wars and rumors of wars. 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.” Joseph Smith—History 1:28-29, at Coming 36.

4. War Upon All Nations

a. War the Means by Which Other Kingdoms Are Broken Up – “[T]he nations of the world will be broken up for the coming of the King of [K]ings when there shall be only one government in the world, the Kingdom of Christ. War is the means by which this end will be brought about.” Coming 37.

b. Wars to Cause People to Turn to God: President Lorenzo Snow – “Lorenzo Snow stated that these wars would help bring people to the Church [of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints] for protection.” Coming 38.

5. Peace is Taken from the Earth – “And after your testimony cometh wrath and indignation on the people. 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. 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. And all things shall be in commotion; and surely men’s hearts shall fail them; for fear shall come upon all people.” D&C 88:87-91, quoted at Coming 41.

6. More Than War

a. Storm, Hail, and Famine: John Taylor – John Taylor prophesied of coming “storm and hail enough to cause a famine.” Coming 42, quoting John Taylor, Nauvoo Neighbor, August 6, 1845 (no page given, italics omitted).

b. Missionaries to be Called Home: H.C. Kimball, Brigham Young, Orson Pratt – Heber C. Kimball, Brigham Young and Orson Pratt all testified that missionaries will be called home. See Coming 42, 43.

c. God Speaking Through Elements: Elder Melvin J. Ballard – “God is speaking through the elements.” Coming 43.

7. A New Kind of Sermon – “Both Heber C. Kimball and Brigham Young taught that the calling home of the missionaries was a literal event and one of the signs of the times. ‘The judgments of God will be poured out upon the wicked to the extent that our elders from far and near will be called home. Or, in other words, the gospel will be taken from the Gentiles and Later on will be carried to the Jews.’" Heber C. Kimball, Deseret News, Church Department [sic] May 23, 1931 3, italics omitted, at Coming 42.

8. Safety to be Found in Zion and in Her Stakes – Joseph Smith said, “God told us to flee, not dallying, or we should be scattered, one here and another there. There your children shall be blessed, and you in the midst of friends where you may be blessed[.]” Coming 44, ellipses omitted and bracketed material added.

a. New Jerusalem Will Be a Refuge – “The Lord specifically told the Prophet Joseph in a revelation that the city of New Jerusalem would be a place of refuge and safety and a land of peace for the Saints of the Lord. So great will be its glory that it will strike terror into the hearts of the wicked so that they dare not come up to battle against it. And those who will not take up the sword against their neighbor will flee to Zion for safety.” Coming 44-45, citing D&C 45:68.

9. God’s Chastening Hand – While “God must take vengeance upon the wicked because they will not repent [see D&C 29:17]”—not to mention the ways in which the wicked take vengeance on each other—“this vengeance comes only after he pleads over and over for them to forsake their evil ways and come unto him.” Coming 45.

10. Still, God Pleads With Us to Repent – “[Y]et, [despite] our eagerness to turn from him, he still patiently and lovingly seeks to warn us of future destruction so that we can repent and turn his judgments aside.” Bro. Lund then quotes Elder Melvin J. Ballard from October 1923 General Conference, who said that if the world had heeded Joseph Smith’s warning, much war and suffering would have been avoided. Coming 46.

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IV. THE UNITED STATES IN PROPHECY

A. A Land Choice Above All Others

1. The Lord Told Both the Jaredites and the Nephites the Land Was “Choice Above All Others” – “[T]he Lord testified that the land to which they [both] were goingwas the promised land, a land so abundant in wealth that all who lived there in righteousness would prosper.” Coming 47, bracketed material added.

2. A Choice Land Requires a Choice People – “A land choice above all other lands requires a people choice above all other peoples. The Lord made it very clear that this land was reserved only for a people willing to serve him and keep his commandments.” Coming 47.

a. We Must Serve God or Be Swept Off – Ether 2:8-10, Coming 48.

3. The Wickedness of This Generation

a. Promise in (2)(a), Above Reiterated in Doctrine & Covenants – D&C 1:11-16, Coming 48.

b. Lord Will Rule Wicked With a “Rod of Iron”: Joseph Smith – “The nations of the Gentiles are like the waves of the sea, casting up mire and dirt. . . . [T]hey are preparing to act the part allotted to them, when the Lord rebukes the nations, when He shall rule them with a rod of iron.” Coming 48, quoting Joseph Smith (1833) (ellipses and bracketed material added).

c. Anguish, Wrath, Tribulation, Withdrawing of Spirit: Joseph Smith – “I prophesy, in the name of the Lord God of Israel, anguish and wrath and tribulation and the withdrawing of the Spirit of God from the earth await this generation.” Coming 49, quoting Joseph Smith (1833).

d. Terrible Day of Reckoning: Taylor – “A Terrible day of reckoning is approaching the nations of the earth; the Lord is coming out of his hiding place to vex the inhabitants thereof; the destroyer of the gentiles, as prophesied of, is already on his way[.]” Coming 49, quoting John Taylor (1882), bracketed material added.

e. Reaping Angels Waiting to Descend on Wicked: Woodruff – “The angels of God are waiting to fulfill the great commandment . . . to go forth and reap down the earth because of the wickedness of men.” Coming 49, quoting Wilford Woodruff (1875), ellipses added.

f. Wilford Woodruff’s Vision: “Wickedness, Abominations, Corruptions, Judgment, Destruction” – “I saw the wickedness of the nation, its abominations and corruptions and the judgments of God and the destruction that awaited it[.]” Coming 50, quoting Matthias F. Cowley, Wilford Woodruff: History of His Life and Labors, bracketed material added and ellipses removed.

g. To Vex This Nation – “This general state of wickedness violates the decree of God that all who would possess the land must do so in righteousness and will bring upon all the nations of the promised land swift destruction if they do not repent.” Coming 51.

i. The Lord Promised to Vex the Nation if the Saints’ Pleas for Redress of Injustices Went Unheard – See Doctrine & Covenants 101:86-89, Coming 51.

ii. United States Destiny Sealed by Her Government’s Disregard of Saints’ Pleas – “It was in the lack of response to these petitions that the government of the United States sealed her destiny upon the land of promise.” Coming 52.

iii. Saints’ Pleas for Redress Unsuccessful – “Although Elias Higbee was left to continue to plead the cause of the saints” after Joseph Smith’s departure, “no action to redress the saints was ever taken.” Coming 53.

4. The Future Destiny of the United States

a. States, Cities, Neighborhoods, and People All Will Turn on One Another: President Brigham Young – “Mobs will not decrease but will increase until the whole government becomes a mob, and eventually it will be State against State, city against city, neighborhood against neighborhood[.]” President Brigham Young, paraphrasing Joseph Smith at Coming 54.

b. America Falls Below Its Privileges: President John Taylor – President John Taylor said that America was “blessed with the freest, the most enlightened and magnificent government in the world today, with privileges which would exalt people to heaven if they lived up to them,” but lamented that they did not do so. John Taylor at Coming 54-55, quoting Journal of Discourses Vol. 22 p. 141, July 3, 1881, italics removed from original in Coming.

c. President Wilford Woodruff Prophesies America’s Downfall – “The American nation will be broken in pieces like a potter’s vessel, and will be cast down to hell if it does not repent—and this, because of murders, whoredoms, wickedness, and all manner of abominations, for the Lord has spoken it.” Coming 55 quoting Wilford Woodruff (1881), italics removed.

d. America, For Her Wickedness, Not to be Spared: President Woodruff – Just as the Lord destroyed Book of Mormon civilizations, “because of [its] wickedness, so will he [destroy America], and sooner or later [it] will reap the fruits of [its] own wicked acts, and be numbered among the past. [] There are changes awaiting us, they are even nigh at our very doors[.]” Coming 55, quoting Wilford Woodruff (1881), italics removed.

e. As America Permitted the Saints to Suffer, So Shall She Suffer: Orson Pratt – “If it be asked, why is America thus to suffer? The answer is, because they [sic] have rejected the kingdom of God, and one of the greatest divine messages ever sent to man: because they have sanctioned the killing of the Saints, and the martyrdom of the Lord’s Prophets, and have suffered his people to be driven from their midst, and have robbed them of their houses, and homes, and land, and millions of property [sic], and have refused to redress their wrongs.” Coming 56, quoting Orson Pratt, Millennial Star, Vol. 28 pp. 633-634, October 6, 1866.

5. The Constitution By A Thread – “One of the things that has made the United States of America unique in the annals of government is its Constitution. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches that such a document is too unique to have come solely from the minds of men. The Lord has stated clearly in his revelations that he established the constitution by raising up wise men for that very purpose.” Bro. Lund then cites Doctrine and Covenants 101:77, 80 at Coming 56.

a. Constitution Will Not, However, Be Destroyed – “Will the Constitution be destroyed? No: it will be held inviolate by this people; and, as Joseph Smith said, ‘The time will come when the destiny of this nation will hang upon a single thread. At that critical juncture, this people will step forth and save it from the threatened destruction.’ It will be so.” Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 7, p. 15, July 4, 1854, quoted at Coming 57, italics removed.

b. Elders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Will Save It – “When the Constitution of the United States hangs, as it were, upon a single thread, they will have to call for the ‘Mormon’ [sic] elders to save it from utter destruction; and they will step forth and do it.” Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 2, p. 182, February 18, 1855, quoted at Coming 57.

c. Elder Orson Hyde’s Recollection: If the Constitution is to Be Saved, Latter-day Saint Elders Will Do It – “‘If the Constitution be saved at all, it will be by the elders of this Church.’ I believe this is about the language, as nearly as I can recollect it.” Elder Hyde goes on to say that whether the Constitution is saved or not, the Lord will provide for his people. Orson Hyde, quoting Joseph Smith, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 6 p. 152, January 3, 1858, at Coming 57.

d. Constitution’s Spirit to be Preserved in Government Church Establishes: Orson Pratt – “Orson Pratt felt that although the United States would lose the power to govern in the chaos that will be present, the spirit of the Constitution would be preserved in the government set up by the members of the Church.” Coming 58.

e. Liberties Lost Can Only be Repurchased by Blood: President J. Reuben Clark Jr. – “I say unto you with all the soberness I can, that we stand in danger of losing our liberties and that, once lost, only blood will bring them back; and once lost, we of this church will, in order to keep this church going forward, have more sacrifices to make and more persecutions to endure than we have yet known, heavy as our sacrifices and grievous as our persecutions of the past have been.” J. Reuben Clark Jr., The Improvement Era, May, 1944, p. 337, as quoted at Coming 59, italics omitted.

f. Defending the Constitution One of the Most Important Things Members of the Church of Jesus Christ Can Do: President David O. McKay – “In an editorial in The Instructor in 1956,” President McKay wrote: “‘Next to being one in worshipping God there is nothing in this world upon which this Church should be more united than in upholding and defending the Constitution of the United States.’” Coming 59, quoting David O. McKay, The Instructor, February 1956, p. 34.

g. Day to Come When Liberty Only to be Found Among the Saints: George Q. Cannon – “The day will come . . . when good government, constitutional government—liberty—will be found among the Latter-day Saints, and it will be sought for in vain elsewhere.” George Q. Cannon (citing Joseph Smith as the originator of the prophecy), Journal of Discourses, Vol. 23, p. 104, November 20, 1881, italics removed and ellipses added, as quoted at Coming 60.

6. A “Desolating Scourge” – “Webster defines a scourge as ‘an instrument of punishment or criticism; a cause of widespread or great affliction.’” Websters Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary (G. & C. Merriam Co., Springfield Mass. 1965) p. 773 at Coming 61. “This scourge seems to involve many forms of terrible calamities, including great hailstorms [D & C 29:16], tempests [D & C 88:90], plagues, pestilence, and war [D & C 97:26].” Coming 61, footnotes citing scriptures replaced with scripture references in brackets.

a. Nations in the Promised Land Must Serve God, or Other Nations Will Come Against Them – “[T]he Prophet Lehi told his son that if a nation upon the promised land did not serve the Lord [such rebellion] would result in other nations coming against it.” Bro. Lund then cites 2 Nephi 1:10-12. Coming 62.

b. The Desolating Scourge and the Civil War – “Were we surprised when the last terrible war took place here in the United States?”—that is to say, the Civil War. “No. Good Latter-day Saints were not, for they had been told about it. Joseph Smith had told them where it would start in South Carolina.” Coming 62, quoting John Taylor, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 20, p. 318, October 6, 1879, italics removed.

7. City Against City – “The war, pestilence, famines, hailstorms, etc., etc., mentioned by so many of the prophets shall evidently cause such chaos in America that ordered government shall cease and the nation shall be wracked by mob violence more terrible than normal warfare.” Coming 63.

a. Family Members to Turn Against One Another – Joseph Smith “saw the father shed the blood of the son and the son the blood of the father; the mother put to death the daughter and the daughter the mother; and natural affection forsook the hearts of the wicked[.]” Elder Jedediah M. Grant, citing a vision that the Prophet Joseph Smith reported to Elder Grant, The Improvement Era, February 1915, pp. 286-287, italics removed, at Coming 64.

b. Elder Orson Pratt Prophesied the Destruction of New York City – He also said that conditions would be so terrible that people would be grateful simply to be able to flee from city to city. See Coming 65.

c. President Brigham Young on the Increase of Mobs – “Mobs will not decrease but will increase until the whole government becomes a mob, and eventually it will be State against State, city against city, neighborhood against neighborhood.” Brigham Young, Deseret News, Vol. 9, p. 2, May 1, 1861, italics removed, at Coming 66.

8. To Repent or Be Swept Off: We Are Warned So that We Might Prepare – “These times predicted so often by the prophets of the Lord will be grim ones indeed. But it is precisely for this reason that the Lord has given us a warning of their coming. When they come upon the world, those saints who have been looking forth to the signs of the times and making preparations, in terms of their own personal righteousness, will then have strength to endure.” Coming 67-68.

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V. UPON MY HOUSE SHALL IT BEGIN

A. Upon the Wicked

1. If Righteousness Will Allow One to Escape the Judgments to Befall the Wicked Before the Second Coming, Then How Righteous Must One Be? – “[T]he very nature of the terrible judgments [to befall the wicked before the Second Coming is] such as to motivate a person to do all he can to avoid their consequences. It is only natural that one becomes concerned about his personal rating on the scale of righteous and evil behavior, if that behavior is to become the criteria [sic] for determining who shall escape these judgments.” Coming 69, material in brackets added.

B. Judgments On the House of God

1. Upon My House Shall It Begin – “And upon my house shall it begin, and from my house shall it go forth, saith the Lord. First 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.” Doctrine & Covenants 112:25-26 as quoted at Coming 70.

2. Why the Saints Were Unable to Redeem Zion When, First, They Tried to Do So – Doctrine & Covenants 101:6-7, Coming 70

a. Jarrings (Discord)

b. Contentions

c. Envyings

d. Strifes

e. Lustful and Covetous Desires

f. Slow to Hearken to God

3. The Antidote – “Zion shall escape if she observe to do all things whatsoever I have commanded her.” Doctrine and Covenants 97:21, Coming 71.

a. Latter-day Saints Must Keep Covenants: Joseph F. Smith – The Latter-day Saints must live their religion, must keep their covenants, must honor the Priesthood, and must “try faithfully to bring themselves into subjection to the laws of God.” Coming 71, quoting Joseph F. Smith (1880).

b. How Zion May Escape – Purity of Heart and Obedience: President Joseph F. Smith – “We believe that [God’s] judgments are poured out to bring mankind to a sense of his power and his purposes, that they may repent of their sins and prepare themselves for the second coming of Christ to reign in righteousness upon the earth. We firmly believe that Zion—which is the pure in hear—shall escape if she observes to do all things whatsoever God has commanded[.]” Coming 72, quoting Joseph F. Smith, Improvement Era, Vol. 9, p. 653, June, 1906, italics removed.

c. Gathering Not Enough; Saints Must Live Righteously

i. President Daniel H. Wells – “But if we are going to partake of her [Babylon’s] sins in Zion, and to nourish and cherish the wicked and ungodly, what better shall we be for gathering? Shall we escape her plagues by so doing? No.” Coming 72, quoting Daniel H. Wells, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 18, p. 98, October 1, 1875, italics removed and bracketed material added.

i. Elder Orson Pratt – “If we will not keep the commandments of God . . . then we shall be visited like the wicked, then we shall have the hand of the Lord upon us in judgment[.]” Coming 73, quoting Orson Pratt, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 12, p. 345, December 27, 1868, ellipses added and italics removed.

4. The Saints to Be Tried

a. President Joseph Fielding Smith: God’s Judgments Upon the Wicked Will Be Withheld if We Keep our Covenants – “All of these things will be withheld [i.e., the judgments of God upon the wicked] while the nations are being punished, if the members of the Church will keep faithfully their commandments.” Coming 73, quoting President Joseph Fielding Smith, The Progress of Man, (Genealogical Society of Utah: Salt Lake City 1936) 467.

b. President Heber C. Kimball: Salt Lake City to Turn to Wealth, Wickedness – “President Heber C. Kimball . . . spoke of when Salt Lake City would become one of the wicked cities of the world as the saints turned their hearts to worldly wealth.” Coming 73, ellipses added.

c. President Brigham Young: Blessed if Obedient, Cursed if Not – President Young said that if we would be blessed of the Lord, we must be obedient to the commandments he has given us, but if we are not, we would be cursed. See Coming 74.

d. Zion Will Not Be Moved Out of Her Place: President Wilford Woodruff – “Zion is not going to be moved out of her place. The Lord will plead with her strong ones, and if she sins he will chastise her until she is purified before the Lord. I do not pretend to tell how much sorrow you or I are going to meet with before the coming of the Son of Man. That will depend upon our conduct.” Wilford Woodruff, Millennial Star Vol. 31, p. 547 (1889), italics removed, at Coming 75.

5. Power and Protection to the Righteous – See Coming 75

a. What we Must Do to Be Counted Among the Righteous

i. Repent

ii. Be baptized

iii. Receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands

iv. Endure to the end in righteousness

v. Keep covenants

b. Why the Lord Chastened the Saints: Joseph Smith – “We have been chastened by the hand of God heretofore for not obeying His commands . . . [W]e have treated lightly His commandments, and departed from his ordinances, and the Lord has chastened us sore[.] . . . [L]et us be wise in time to come and ever remember that ‘to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.’” Joseph Smith, Documentary History of the Church, Vol. 5, p. 65, July 15, 1842, as quoted at Coming 76, ellipses and brackets added.

c. How we Achieve the Unity of the Faith – Obey Counsel: Brigham Young – “There is not another people on the earth whose faith and works are directed for the accomplishment of good like the Latter-day Saints. But we do not obey counsel as we should. . . . We must learn to listen to the whispering of the Holy Spirit, and the counsels of the servants of God, until we come to the unity of the faith.” Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses Vol. 12, p. 241, July 25, 1868, at Coming 76.

d. We Must Prepare Temporally to Sustain Ourselves: President Wilford Woodruff – “There are certain events awaiting the nations of the earth as well as Zion: and when these events overtake us we will be preserve if we take the counsel that is given us and unite our time, labor and means, and produce [or obtain] what we need for our own use; but without this we shall not be prepared to sustain ourselves and we shall suffer loss and inconvenience thereby.” Wilford Woodruff, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 17, p. 70, May 8, 1874, italics removed, at Coming 76- 77.

6. Not All Suffering Comes from Wickedness

a. Sources of Suffering – Ken K. Gourdin ((i)-(v) are mine; others are Bro. Lund’s)

i. Man’s inhumanity to man

ii. Living in a fallen world

iii. Chastening to cause us to turn from sin

iv. Chastening to cause us to turn to God

v. Crap happening

vi. Persecution

b. It is Far More Important to be Saved in the Kingdom of God Than it is to Be “Saved” (i.e., to be Spared Tribulation) in the Flesh: Joseph Smith – “I explained concerning the coming of the Son of Man; also that it is a false idea that the Saints will escape all the judgments whilst the wicked suffer; for all flesh is subject to suffer, and ‘the righteous shall hardly escape;’ . . . [M]any of the righteous shall fall a prey to disease, to pestilence, etc., by reason of the weakness of the flesh, and yet be saved in the kingdom of God.” Coming 77, quoting Joseph Smith, Documentary History of the Church, Vol. 4, p. 11, September 29, 1839, italics removed.

c. Are You a Hothouse Plant? – “God does not shield the righteous from all pain and sorrow, for this is the very purpose of our existence. [Bro. Lund’s footnote references 2 Nephi 2:11.] Hothouse plants are beautiful to behold but they have no durability to weather the heat and cold of everyday life.” Coming 77-78.

d. Sources of Suffering: Persecution – “Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will persecute you.” John 15:20, quoted at Coming 78.

e. Mercy in Calamities: Joseph F. Smith – “Judgment is not an end in itself. Calamities are permitted by a merciful Father, in order to bring about redemption.” Coming 78, quoting Joseph F. Smith, Improvement Era, Vol. 9, p. 653, June, 1906.

f. Suffering May Increase the Faith and Humility Even of the Already- Faithful-and-Humble – “Even though the suffering may come upon a person as a result of someone else’s wickedness, it still serves to bring him to greater depths of faith and humility.” Bro. Lund then quotes Doctrine and Covenants 98:3. I would throw Romans 8:28 in here, too. Coming 79.

g. The Nations of the Earth Will Be Arrayed Against the Saints: Brigham Young – “If we live, we shall see the nations of the earth arrayed against this people; for that time must come in fulfillment of prophecy.” Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 5, p. 339, October 18, 1857, italics removed, at Coming 79.

h. Why Live Righteously if We Won’t Be Spared Tribulation?

i. “[T]here is a joy and satisfaction in obedience to gospel principles which would, in and of itself, justify the Christ-like life.” Coming 79.

ii. “[E]ven if the righteous should fall prey to the weaknesses of the flesh, they will be saved in the kingdom of God.” Eternal glory is worth more than “a brief flash of comfort and painlessness in mortality.” Coming 79.

iii. “Although the righteous have no guarantee of escape, the wicked have no hope. It is true that some of the righteous will suffer, but all of the wicked will, and without the assurance of an eternal reward that the righteous have.” Coming 80, emphasis in original.

iv. “[T]he person who seeks diligently to live the obedient life has nothing to lose, and everything to gain. . . . The Christ-like life is not a burden but a blessing. Coming 80-81, emphasis in original, ellipses added.

7. The Chastening Hand of God

a. Calamities Inspire Charity Toward Others, Devotion to God – “[W]e believe that these severe, natural calamities are visited upon men by the Lord for the Good of His children, to quicken their devotion to others, and to bring out their better natures, that they may love and serve him.” Quoting Joseph F. Smith, Improvement Era, Vol. 9, p. 653, June, 1906, italics removed and brackets added, at Coming 81.

b. Calamities Herald the Judgment, Warn People to Prepare – “We believe, further, that they [these calamities] are the heralds and tokens of his final judgment, and the schoolmasters to teach the people to prepare themselves, by righteous living, for the coming of the Savior to reign upon the earth, when every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is the Christ.” Quoting Joseph F. Smith, Improvement Era, Vol. 9, p. 653, June, 1906, italics removed and brackets added, at Coming 81.

c. Purpose of Chastisement: Wilford Woodruff – “It matters not what the minds and feelings of men are, the Lord is determined to raise up a people that will worship Him; and if He has to whip, and scourge, and drive it through a whole generation, He will chastise us until we are willing to submit to righteousness and truth, or until we are like clay in the hands of the potter.” Coming 81, quoting Wilford Woodruff, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 2, p. 198, February 25, 1855, italics omitted.

d. Bro. Lund on Chastisement – “Strange as it may seem at first glance, these judgments are the work of a loving Father, deeply concerned about the eternal and temporal welfare of his children. If the children are wise, they shall heed the warning signs and diligently apply themselves to the task of ordering their lives in accordance with the plan laid down by the Father and his Divine Son. Only in this way will any person be sure that when the judgments start upon the house of God, he will not be in that part of the house that needs to be swept clean.” Coming 82.

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VI. REFUGE IN THE MIDST OF TERROR

A. Judgments to Come Upon the World – “[T]he United States and the rest of the world will see great disasters and severe chaos before the millennial reign of the Savior begins. War, pestilence, mobocracy, famine, storms, earthquakes and other judgments of the Lord will sweep the wicked of this generation from the face of the earth. These judgments of the Almighty are necessary to cleanse theearth in preparation for the coming of the Lord.” Coming 83, bracketed material added.

B. Gathering is the Key to Safety – “[T]he righteous will generally be preserved and protected, even though some suffering will naturally come upon them.” This will be accomplished by gathering the Saints and others who are just to safety. Coming 83, bracketed material added.

1. Joseph Smith on the Gathering – “(I)f we are not sanctified and gathered to the places God has appointed . . . we must fall; we cannot stand; we cannot be saved; for God will gather out his Saints from the Gentiles, and then comes desolation and destruction, and none can escape except the pure in heart who are gathered.” Coming 85, quoting Joseph Smith, Documentary History of the Church, Vol. 2, p. 52, April 21, 1834, italics removed and ellipses added.

2. John Taylor on the Gathering – “The testimony of God is first to be made known [i.e., before the gathering], the standard is to be raised, the Gospel of the Kingdom is to be preached to all nations, the world is to be warned, and then come the troubles. The whole world is in confusion, morally, politically, and religiously; but a voice was to be heard, ‘Come ye out of her, my people, that you partake not of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” Coming 85, quoting John Taylor, The Government of God, (S.W. Richards: Liverpool, England, 1852), p. 101, italics removed and bracketed material added.

C. Joseph F. Smith: Gathering is as Necessary as Any Saving Ordinance – “The gathering of this people is as necessary to be observed by believers, as faith, repentance, baptism, or any other ordinance. It is an essential part of the Gospel in this dispensation[.]” Coming 85, quoting Joseph F. Smith, Journal of Discourses, Vol 19 p. 182, September 30, 1877.

D. Gathering For Deliverance – “[T]hat this gathering together upon the land of Zion, and upon her stakes, may be for a defense, and for a refuge from the storm, and from wrath when it shall be poured out without mixture on the whole earth.” Doctrine and Covenants 63:33 at Coming 84.

E. Purity, Faithfulness & Unity Required of Those Who Gather – Those who gather must be pure in heart; “every man should take righteousness in his hands and faithfulness in his loins” (Doctrine & Covenants 63:37); “If ye are not one, ye are not mine.” (Doctrine and Covenants 38:29); See Coming 86.

F. No Peace but in Zion and in Her Stakes

1. Characteristics of Zion – Doctrine and Covenants 45:66-67, Coming 87

a. "(I)t shall be called the New Jerusalem”

b. “[A] land of peace”

c. “[A] city of refuge”

d. “[A] place of safety for the saints of the Most High God”

e. “[T]he glory of the Lord shall be there”

f. “[T]he terror of the Lord also shall be there”

g. “[T]he wicked will not come unto it”

2. “Songs of Everlasting Joy” – Isaiah 35: 10 – “[T]he ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads”

G. Notwithstanding the Saints’ Earlier Failure to Establish Physical Zion, It Would Not be Moved Out of the Place that the Lord Appointed – See Doctrine and Covenants 101:17-20, Coming 87.

H. Wilford Woodruff Witnessed Joseph Smith’s Prophecy Regarding the Church’s Destiny – That tens of thousands of Saints would gather to the Rocky Mountains and that the Church would fill North and South America, and the world. Wilford Woodruff, Conference Report, April, 1898 57, at Coming 89-90.

I. Other Places of Refuge

1. The Idea that Saints Must Gather to Utah for Safety is Mistaken – See Coming 91-95

2. How We Live is More Important than Where We Live

a. Joseph Fielding Smith – “We shall not escape [the judgments God is to pour out upon the wicked] unless we repent, turn to the Lord, honor our Priesthood and our membership in this church, and be true and faithful to our covenants.” Coming 93, quoting Joseph Fielding Smith, Conference Report, April, 1937 62, italics omitted.

b. John A. Widtsoe – “There is safety wherever the people of the Lord live so worthily as to claim the sacred title of citizens of the Zion of our Lord. . . . The only safety that we can expect in this or any other calamitous time lies in our conformity to gospel requirements.” Coming 93, quoting John A. Widtsoe, Conference Report, April, 1942 33, italics omitted and ellipses added.

c. Harold B. Lee –(S)afety is where the pure in heart are, and . . . there is just as much safety wherever you are [as there may be anywhere else] if you are living and keeping the commandments of God.” Coming 95, quoting Harold B. Lee, Conference Report, April, 1970 36, ellipses and bracketed material added.

3. Live to Be Ready to Gather, Wherever, Whenever – Whoever may be called to gather, wherever, and whenever, “[t]he important thing is for the person to so live that when the instructions come from the Lord through his servants, he will be ready to heed them and to gather to the designated place[ ], be it Salt Lake City, the outlying stakes, or wherever.” Coming 95.

a. Spencer W. Kimball: Saints Should Gather to Build Zion in their Homelands – “We are building up the strength of Zion—her cords or stakes—throughout the world. Therefore, we counsel our people to remain in their native lands and gather out the elect of God and teach them the ways of the Lord. There temples are being built and the saints will be blessed wherever they live in all the world.” President Spencer W. Kimball, 148th Semiannual General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (October 1978), Ensign, Nov. 1978 76, as quoted in Graham W. Doxey (April 1979), “Missouri Myths,” Ensign, Salt Lake City UT: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, accessed on line at the following address on September 6, 2020: https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/1979/04/missouri- myths?lang=eng

J. The “Pure-in-Heart” Qualification is Not Limited to Members of the Church: Others Will Gather to Zion With Us – Gentiles to Come “As a Flowing Stream” 1. Orson Pratt: Gentiles Will Want to Come to Zion Simply to Escape World’s Disastrous Conditions – “Orson Pratt . . . spoke about” the gathering to Zion “on several different occasions. . . . n 1855 he spoke of the time when the Gentiles would come to the Church as a flowing stream, not because they will want to join the Church but simply to escape the disastrous conditions that will prevail in the world.” Coming 97, ellipses added, alluding to (but not quoting) Orson Pratt.

2. Orson Pratt Again: Gentiles Will Come to Zion Because They “Hear that Peace and Health” Prevail Among Us and that “Our Officers are Men of Righteousness – “Many” Gentiles “will come that have never heard the servants of God; but they will hear that peace and health dwell among us, and that our officers . . . [are] men of righteousness.” Coming 97, ellipses and bracketed material added, quoting Orson Pratt, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 3, p. 16, May 20, 1855.

3. George Q. Cannon: Gentiles Will Come to Zion So They Can Enjoy a Peaceful Government – “[W]e are leaving the old constitutional landmarks, and . . . the time is not far distant when there will be trouble in consequence of it, when there will be civil broils and strife; and, to escape them, we believe, men will be compelled to flee to the ‘Mormons’ [sic], despised as they are now.” Coming 97, ellipses and bracketed material added, Quoting George Q. Cannon, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 18, p. 10, April 8, 1875, italics removed.

K. God Watches Over His Own – “The times which are coming will, indeed, be such that many wonder how anyone could survive. . . . [¶] The primary task of each member of the Church today is to make sure that he has placed his own hand in the hand of God.” Coming 98. We are to gather if the Lord commands us to gather. If He does not, as we do His will, He will watch over us and make the best use of us where we are.

Edited by Kenngo1969
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Okay.  I know that my absence from this thread and failure to post updates more regularly have cast my loyal followers (both of you! :D) into the very nadir of the pit of abject despair!  Fear not!  Since I know you were waiting, with 'bated breath, on the very edges of your seats, all aquiver with anticipation, I have returned! :rofl:  I got side-tracked by another book, Behold, I Come Quickly: The Last Days and Beyond, by Hoyt W. Brewster Jr.  (Yes, if you're as astute as I'm sure you are, surely, you have detected a pattern in my reading lately! :D)  Anyway, without further ado, here is the latest installment:

VII. FACES EASTWARD

A. A Holy City – The great Jaredite prophet, Ether, spoke of a New Jerusalem to be built in America. See Ether 13:4, 6, and 8. When the Saints asked Joseph Smith to inquire where it would be built, by revelation, he received Doctrine and Covenants 57:1-4, stating that it would be built in Independence, Jackson County, Missouri. See Coming 99.

1. Though the Saints Were Driven Out, the Lord Made Clear That Zion Would Not Be Moved – Notwithstanding that the Saints were driven out, the Lord made clear that their expulsion would not change where Zion was to be established, saying “only that the redemption of Zion would have to wait for a season, evidently until he had a people worthy to build and possess a city of such [a] special nature.” See Doctrine and Covenants 101:16-20. Coming 100.

2. Independence is Still the Centerplace of Zion, Notwithstanding the Church’s Massive Investment Elsewhere – “It is inconceivable that after so much investment of time, labor, and money that the Church should ever want to leave its headquarters. And yet, during the [187] years that the Church has been exiled from the lands of Jackson County, Missouri, the saints have ever been taught that Jackson County, not Utah, is to be their final, permanent headquarters.” Coming 100-101.

3. George Q. Cannon: The Saints Have Been Favored in the Intermountain West, but Zion Ever Beckons – Elder George Q. Cannon said that while other lands have been favored of God for the saints, “we look forward to that land [Zion] with indescribable feelings because it is the place where God said His City shall be built.” Coming 101, quoting George Q. Cannon, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 11, pp. 336-337, March 3, 1857, italics removed.

4. Orson F. Whitney: Zion (Independence) “The Joy of the Whole Earth” – Speaking of Independence, Jackson County, Missouri, Elder Whitney said, “There Zion will arise and shine, ‘the joy of the whole earth,’ and there the Lord will come to his temple in his own time, when the people shall have made the required preparation.” Orson F. Whitney, address given in Salt Lake City, April 9, 1916, recorded in Hyrum M. Smith and Janne M Sjodahl, Doctrine and Covenants Commentary (Deseret Book Co.: Salt Lake City, 1967) 147 at Coming 101.

5. Lorenzo Snow: Notwithstanding Future Promises, We Should Build Zion Where We Are – “President Lorenzo snow cautioned the saints against feeling that the return to Jackson County was so close that they should not try [to] build up the area in which they were presently living.” Coming 102, bracketed material added.

6. Brigham Young: Saints Will Return “From the West” – “Brigham Young spoke of a vision he had received before the saints were driven from Missouri . . . [in which he] saw them returning to Jackson County from the west. Said he: ‘When this people return to the Center Stake of Zion, they will go from the west.’” Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 11, p. 17, December 11, 1854, quoted at Coming 102.

B. Not All Shall Return

1. Two Reasons We Should Continue to Build Zion Where We Are

a. Only by Building Zion Where We Are Will We Be Prepared to Do so in Missouri – “No one yet knows exactly when the call [to gather to Zion will come; until it does come the Church must continue to build Zion and the kingdom of God in that location in which they find themselves. For only in this way will they be prepared to build up the center place of Zion.” Coming 104.

b. The Church Has Invested Such Great Resources Elsewhere That it Would be Illogical for it to Abandon Them – “The investment . . . the Church and its members have made in the building up of the Western Empire is not simply to be abandoned.” Coming 104, capitalization sic and ellipses added.

2. How Long Will the Church of Jesus Christ Stay in Utah and in the Intermountain West? Brigham Young – “If we live our religion, we shall stay here in these mountains for ever and for ever.” Coming 104, quoting Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 11, p. 16, December 11, 1864, italics removed.

3. Brigham Young: Physical Zion Not Large Enough to Hold all the Saints – Brigham Young said that the country [i.e., Zion, in Jackson County MO] “is not large enough to hold our present numbers,” and if that was true then, it’s certainly true now! Coming 105, quoting Journal of Discourses, Vol. 18, pp. 355-356, August 6, 1877, italics removed.

C. The Army of the Lord

1. The Parable of the Vineyard: Doctrine and Covenants 101 – A nobleman commanded his servants to raise up a vineyard in a choice spot of ground and to set watchmen and to build a tower to guard it. At first, they were watchful, but gradually, they became slothful, and did not build the tower, and the enemy broke down the hedge and destroyed the trees. The nobleman told one of his servants to gather an army to reclaim the vineyard. The Lord told the saints He would raise up someone to lead them to redeem Zion who is like Moses. See Coming 106-108 and Doctrine and Covenants 101:43-62.

2. Zion to be Redeemed by Purchasing It, Not by Force or by Bloodshed – Notwithstanding the Lord’s use of an army for a metaphor, physical Zion is to be redeemed by purchasing it, not by fighting for it. See Doctrine and Covenants 63:21, Coming 108.

a. Lorenzo Snow Said the Same Thing – “We will not take possession of the land of Zion by force. If we should do [so], it would turn out to us as it did with the people who were upon the land when this revelation [Doctrine and Covenants 63?] was given.” Coming 108, quoting Lorenzo Snow, Conference Report, October 1900 63, italics removed.

3. Orson Pratt: Cloud and Pillar to Accompany the Saints in Their Return to Jackson County? – The organization of those returning will “consist[ ] of thousands, and tens of thousands, and they will march forward, the glory of God overshadowing their camp by day in the form of a cloud, and a pillar of flaming fire by night, the Lord’s voice being uttered forth before his army[.]” Coming 109, quoting Orson Pratt, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 15, p. 364, March 9, 1873, italics removed and bracketed material added.

a. The Imagery of “Pillar and Shadow” Comes from the Scriptures – Of course, the imagery of pillar and shadow did not originate with Pratt, as, according to Exodus 13:21-22, a cloud accompanied Israel by day and a pillar accompanied her by night in her journey out of Egypt.

4. However it is Done, The Lord’s Hand Will be Evident in the Saints’ Return to Jackson County – “Unquestionably, the return of the saints to Jackson County, Missouri, will require the power of the Lord, both in the preparation of the area round about and also in the actual journey itself.” Coming 111-112.

5. The Actual Identity of the Man “Like Unto Moses” is Less Important than Is Our Willingness to Follow Him Whom The Lord Appoints – According to Elder John A. Widtsoe, “The man like unto Moses in the Church is the President of the Church.” Bro. Lund goes on to say, “The important fact to remember is that there will be a mighty prophet of God, raised up by the Lord to deliver his people back to the site of the New Jerusalem.” John A. Widtsoe, Evidences and Reconciliations (Bookcraft, Salt Lake City, 1943) 197, italics removed, Coming 113.

D. Only The Worthy – Just as it is the worthy who will avoid God’s judgments, who will escape the desolating scourge, and so on, “[o]nly the worthy will be called upon to build up that great city[,]” the New Jerusalem. Coming 113.

1. We Must Prepare Ourselves

a. Joseph F. Smith: Righteousness is Key to Preparation – “[W]hen the Latter-day Saints have prepared themselves through righteousness to redeem Zion, they will accomplish that work.” Coming 114, quoting Joseph F. Smith, Millennial Star, Vol. 46, p. 385, June 18, 1894, italics removed.

b. Brigham Young: The Lord is More Prepared for Us to Redeem Zion than We Are to Redeem It – “We must be pure to be prepared to build up Zion. To all appearance the Lord is preparing that end of the route faster than we are preparing ourselves to go there.” Coming 114, quoting Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 9, p. 137, July 28, 1861, italics removed.

c. Lorenzo Snow: If We Are to Return, We Must Be Prepared to Do What the Early Saints Failed to Do – “Do you suppose that the Lord would ever send you and me back to Jackson cCounty until He could feel perfectly assured that we would do those things which the people of Jackson County failed to do for lack of experience and faith?” Coming 115, quoting Lorenzo Snow In Conference Report, October 1900, 62.

E. “All That I Have is Thine”

1. To Be a Zion People We Must Live the Law of Consecration – Evidently, the Saints’ failure to live the Law of Consecration and Stewardship led to their failure to redeem Zion. This law also is called the United Order, and it was “designed to provide for God’s children in such a way that poverty would be eliminated and all members would live together in perfect harmony and brotherhood. . . . [A]nyone returning to Jackson County must be able and willing to live the principles of the Law of Consecration.” Coming 115, 116, ellipses and brackets added.

a. John Taylor: If We Want to Live In Zion, We Will be Unable to Get Around the Law of Consecration – See Coming 116, quoting John Taylor.

b. Joseph F. Smith: We Must Love God More Than We Love the World, and Rid Ourselves of Selfishness and Greed – We will not be prepared to go to Zion as long as we “have in [our] heart[s] the love of this world more than the love of God” and as long as we are “possessed of that selfishness and greed that would induce [us] to cling to the world or [our] possessions in it, at the sacrifice of principle or truth.” Coming 116, quoting Joseph F. Smith, Millennial Star, Vol. 56, pp. 385-387, June 18, 1894, italics removed.

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