Signs of the Second Coming

I hear comments from a wide variety of people who wish Christ would return. They welcome the idea, as if it were going to solve the world’s problems. I’m always daunted by what will happen immediately before His return. Whatever joy He may ultimately bring, this world will undergo widespread catastrophes prior to the return.

Jesus was asked about the signs which would accompany His return. He answered in Luke 21: 25-26:

And there shall be signs in the sun…

[the most common sign is always an eclipse. For some reason the transit of Venus across the sun went largely unnoticed. But the sun waxes and wanes in both magnetic effect, sunspot activity and solar flares. It affects climate, electromagnetic fields, crops and all life.]

and in the moon…

[the most common sign are blood moons and eclipses. But it can also be used to gauge the health of our atmosphere.]

and in the stars…

[these rotate predictably, but when they move from one age to another by the precession through the equinoxes, the new constellation was said anciently to be “a new earth.” And when the pole star moved from one to the next, the change was said anciently to be “a new heaven.” Both Aquarius and Polaris represent a change to a new heaven and a new earth.]

and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity;

[most often associated with economic upheaval and warfare. But today there is both distress and perplexity from causes the modern world has no preparation to face and little hope of solving peacefully.]

the sea and the waves roaring;

[most often associated with tsunami activity.]

Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth:

[most often associated with the lack of courage to face the adversaries and opposing forces that threaten our safety. It includes the inability to stand for principal and righteousness because men are weak. It also includes the growing cruelty of men toward one another.]

for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.

[most often associated with apostasy and collapse of faith by men. But also includes distress felt by the angels who are over the earth and those sent by heaven to minister to others. The term “Powers of Heaven” is a proper noun, referring to angelic hosts.]

I’m not certain those who pray for the Lord’s quick return appreciate fully what they are asking.

Prophecy, not Publicity

The most surprising thing to me is the Lord’s utter indifference to whether the world takes note of what He is doing. Prophecy was never intended to be the same thing as publicity. He works in obscure, unnoticed ways to bring His work to pass. The Book of Mormon calls it “small means.” He describes His labor force as “the weak things of the world.”

The people who expect something big, noteworthy and earth-shaking before recognizing God’s hand have never noticed His message or messengers. The world expects publicity. It expects God will always work through the “chief seats” when He rarely does.

The Lord will return as a “thief in the night” because He is unwanted, unwelcome, and although He gives many signs and sends a message, men choose darkness instead of light. For mankind it is always nighttime. They do not notice the dawn. They remain asleep, with eyes closed.

Come Unto Christ

Immediately before taking Peter, James and John to the Mount of Transfiguration, the Lord prophesied there were “some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.” (Matt. 16:28.) This He fulfilled on the Mount when these three were shown the day of the earth’s transfiguration at His coming. (D&C 63:20-21.) One of the Lord’s gifts to many of His disciples is to show them His coming, judgment of the wicked, and redemption of the righteous.

In the final days of His earthly ministry, He was approached by His disciples in private and asked for an explanation of His coming in glory. The group who approached Him included men and women followers. (Matt. 24:3.) He then told them plainly about His return. We have two restored accounts of His lesson: D&C 45:16-59; and the re-translated version of Matthew 24 (JS-Matthew in the Pearl of Great Price). In both, He refers to “holy places” where His disciples will stand “and shall not be moved.” (D&C 45:32.) They will first be gathered by Christ, who “shall send his angels before him with the great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together the remainder of his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” (JS-Matt. 1:37.) These are “they who are ordained out of every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, by the angels to whom is given power over the nations of the earth, to bring as many as will come to the church of the Firstborn.” (D&C 77:11.)

The Lord’s return is always a subject He wants us to keep in mind. All the latter-day events that will mark the time for His return will happen in a single generation. (D&C 45:30; JS-M 1:34.) Therefore, when that generation begins to witness the signs of His coming, they should prepare so the return of the Master does not find them abusing others. (Matt. 24:44-51; JS-Matt. 1:49-55.)

Among the gentiles, the “covenant” will only be established in His church. He defines His church as “whosoever is baptized unto repentance.” (Mosiah 26:22.) More clearly, in our day He has said, “Behold, this is my doctrine—whosoever repenteth and cometh unto me, the same in my church.” (D&C 10:67.) As Christ promised to those living on this land, “But if they will repent and hearken unto my words, and harden not their hearts, I will establish my church among them, and they shall come in unto the covenant and be numbered among this the remnant of Jacob, unto who I have given this land for their inheritance; And they shall assist my people, the remnant of Jacob, and also as many of the house of Israel as shall come, that they may build a city, which shall be called the New Jerusalem.” (3 Ne. 21:22-23.)

Covenants can be broken. By changing the ordinances covenants are broken. (Isa. 24:5.) No organization exists with an intact covenant, but there are messengers the Lord has chosen and sent, preaching and offering the Lord’s covenant through baptism. Salvation is not related to joining an institution, but it is dependent on repentance and receiving baptism at the hands of those He has sent. There is a website where baptism can be requested by one with authority. Baptism can be received even if one chooses to worship with Baptists, Catholics, Presbyterians, Buddhists, Hindus, Muslins, or Mormons. Faith in Christ and covenant with Him does not require anyone to be part of an organization run by men. It requires repentance and faith in Christ.

I am sent as another witness to testify He will return. Signs have been, and are being given both in the heavens and on earth. Today there are “false Christs, and false prophets,” who are doing their work “that, if possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” (JS-Matt. 1:22.) The elect are only protected “according to the covenant.” (JS-Matt. 1:20, 22.) He has authorized baptism as His own covenant to preserve all who receive it. I have seen His return and I know this newly offered baptism will be respected at His return by those who will return with Him. Baptism is offered as a covenant between you and the Lord. There are no institutional demands made upon you as a result of receiving the ordinance. It is an invitation to renew your relationship with Christ and take an act of faith to show Him you keep Him in your heart.

There is a requirement to record on earth so it can be recorded in heaven. (Rev. 20:12; D&C 128:6-9.) Because it must be recorded, the recorder’s clearinghouse allows you to submit your name on-line. The record consists of only a name, without any contact information. These names are kept confidential.

If, on this journey, you find yourself looking for fellowship with like-minded people, the fellowship locator allows you to locate, or announce your own fellowship and invite others to share in worship. These are voluntary associations and anyone can choose to participate.

Every nation, kindred, tongue and people, black and white, male and female, young and old, are invited to be baptized. There is no charge, and you make no commitment to men. You only covenant to follow Christ.

He is aligning events to complete His work, and the signs of His return are being given to this generation. The time will soon come when it will not be possible to receive this invitation any longer. Do not procrastinate the day of your repentance.

It Will Be Again

As it was once, it will be  again. Adam was born again and received the Record of Heaven, or in other words the Holy Ghost. (Moses 6: 66.) Adam was born of the Spirit and quickened in the inner man. (Moses 6: 65.) Through this he was after the Order of the Father. (Moses 6: 67.) This same Order will return again at the end of the world. (Moses 6: 7.) The end of the world is the destruction of the wicked (JS-M 1: 4) to happen at the Lord’s return. (Matt. 13: 38-40.)

This same Order is connected with surviving the day of His return. “There are, in the church, two priesthoods.” (D&C 107: 1.) “There are three grand orders of priesthood referred to [in the Epistle to the Hebrews]” (TPJS, p. 322-23; DHC 5: 554-55.)

God, who presides over this process, created Adam in His likeness and image. The image of God’s body consists of both the male and female, and they together are called Adam. (Moses 6: 9.) Through it, the man and woman called Adam begat a son named Seth. (Moses 6: 10.) From this we can see the procreative power, which produces offspring, is possible only through the man and woman called Adam, because together they possess this godlike attribute. Apart they are not in God’s image. Their seed continues, which is what God does. (D&C 132: 19-20.) The return of this Order, that was from the beginning, requires the man and woman who have had God’s Spirit poured on them, and have been quickened. It is promised to return again before the end of the world.

We do not inherit these things by imposing our views on God, but by allowing ourselves to become converted to His views. His are as far above ours as the heavens are above the earth. (Isa. 55: 9.) We must receive counsel from Him, not give it. (D&C 22: 4.) God alone makes us a son of God. (Moses 6: 68.) Enoch was also a son of God. (Moses 6: 27.)

Noah, whose days are like the Coming of the Son, was ordained to this same Order by God. (Moses 8: 19.) Noah called upon men to repent, but men did not listen to him. (Moses 8: 20.) Moses told them to repent and follow Jesus Christ, receive the Spirit and be taught by heaven which will reveal all things; but the people did not listen. (Moses 8: 24.)

When they refused to repent, God destroyed all flesh because of their corruption and violence. (Moses 8: 28-30.) “But as it was in the days of Noah, so it shall be also at the coming of the Son of Man.” (JS-M 1: 41.) The good news is that this Order will return. There will be the opportunity to repent. God intends to make sons again. This promise should make us all search the matter and freely repent of our sins, using the Spirit as our guide to find God’s will. Then we should have the courage to conform to it. This is good news, as long as we are willing to heed it.