Last Dispensation, conclusion

Yesterday was the winter solstice, when daylight reached its lowest ebb. Today marks the return of daylight. Today is also the date of Joseph Smith’s birth. It is altogether apt that the prophet of a dispensation of the gospel would be born at the moment the annual cycle of light began to increase in nature.

It was not inevitable that Joseph’s dispensation failed to welcome the return of the Lord. That required deliberate choices by Joseph’s contemporaries. They got an offer from the Lord, delivered by Joseph Smith. It was an offer to gather them as a hen gathers her chicks, but they refused the offer.

We know that the Lord fully intends to fulfill every prophecy, vindicate every promise, and keep every covenant. That means the Lord has been confident from before the foundation of the world that there would come a generation in which His words would all be met. “The earth also shall be troubled, and the waters of the great deep, men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth, for the Powers of Heaven shall be shaken; and when these things begin to come to pass, then look up and lift up your heads, for the day of your redemption draws near. And then shall they see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And he spoke to them a parable, saying, Behold the fig tree and all the trees; when they now shoot forth, you see and know of your own selves that summer is now near at hand. So likewise you, when you see these things come to pass, know that the kingdom of God is near at hand. Truly I say unto you, this generation — the generation when the times of the gentiles are fulfilled — shall not pass away until all are fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” NC Luke 12:17-18

In Mark’s account the Lord mentions an abomination in the holy place happening also, and reiterates it will happen in a single generation. See NC Mark 6:6-7

Matthew records this account: “And now I show unto you a parable. Behold, wherever the body is, there will the eagles be gathered together. So likewise shall my elect be gathered from the four quarters of the earth. And they shall hear of wars and rumors of wars — behold, I speak unto you for my elect’s sake — for nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes in diverse places. And again, because iniquity shall abound, the love of men shall wax cold. But he that shall not be overcome, the same shall be saved. And the gospel of the Kingdom will be preached, in the whole world, to a witness over all people; and then will the end come, or the destruction of the wicked. And again shall the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, be fulfilled. And immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the Powers of Heaven shall be shaken. Truly I say unto you, this generation in which these things shall be shown forth shall not pass away until all I have told you shall be fulfilled. Although the days will come that heaven and earth shall pass away, yet my words shall not pass away, but all shall be fulfilled.” Matt. 11:7-8

The gospel must be preached in the world. That requires the gospel to be restored in a fullness. Nations are at war, both actively in direct conflict and passively using economic, psychological and cultural means to undermine and harm one another. The fig tree is showing signs of shooting forth, and therefore summer is now near at hand.

The question is not whether the Lord’s promises will be kept. The question is not whether the time is now fast approaching. The only question is how few or how many will gather from the four quarters of the earth.

The history of Israel, and the specific events of the Lord’s first coming to Israel, involve comparatively few of those who lived at the time. It is not necessary for the world to notice what is underway. It is only required for the Lord to act consistent with what He promised to do, and for some few to respond and obey His voice.

There is going to be a last dispensation of the gospel. It will coincide with a final, single generation of the world. The Lord intends to return to judge the wicked and establish peace. There are signs of the fig tree shooting forth everywhere. And there are many evidences that a new dispensation is underway. Whether it is acknowledged or even noticed by the world is unimportant. But for you, it is quite important that you notice. Noticing and heeding will determine everyone’s destiny.