“What is the Sign of thy Coming” Matthew 23-24 Joseph Smith – Matthew New Testament – “Teach of Me” – March 1, 2008
Quiz –write what you think is the exact date Will the Second coming occur in the next 200 years? Will the Second coming occur during your life time? Will you be on the earth when Christ comes? When, specifically will the Second coming occur? Who really knows when the Second coming will occur?
What are these? Phylacteries
Define: _______________: “When we try to appear better than we are.” _______________: “When we let ourselves appear worse than we are.” Answers: hypocrite
Define: Hypocrisy “Harry Emerson Fosdick observed that there are two kinds of hypocrisy: when we try to appear better than we are, and when we let ourselves appear worse than we are. We have been speaking of the kind of hypocrisy where people pretend to be more or better than they are. Too often, however, we see members of the Church who in their hearts know and believe, but through fear of public opinion fail to stand up to be counted. This kind of hypocrisy is as serious as the other” (CR, Oct. 1970, 52-53).
Define: Hypocrisy “Change and improvement are also blocked when we compartmentalize our lives so that learning in one part of our life does not affect another portion. We are then not a whole person but a series of compartments, not only ideologically, but in terms of our feelings and our behavior. People know only parts of us. This can produce rank hypocrisy” (Neal A. Maxwell, A More Excellent Way, 48).
Signs to look for… What kind of bush is this? Forsythia When the bush blooms, it’s time to plant the garden
JS-M 1:38-40 Joseph Smith: “Watch ye, for the time is at hand for the second coming…Watch the signs of His coming, that ye be not deceived” (HC, 1:281). “We are to watch for the coming of Messiah in faith, meekness, humility and prayer; observing the signs of the times instead of mystical numbers, and the wise will understand” (Times and Seasons, 4:105).
JS-M 1:38-40 President Wilford Woodruff: “You watch the signs of the times [for] they are beginning to be manifest both in heaven and on eart…All that the Latter-day Saints have to do is to be quiet, careful and wise before the Lord, watch the signs of the times, and be true and faithful; and when you get through you will understand many things that you do not today…It is a great day, and the eyes of all the heavens are over us, and they eyes of God himself and all the patriarchs and prophets. They are watching over you with feelings of deep interest, for your welfare…Therefore, let us be faithful, and leave events in the hands of God, and he will take care of us if we do our duty” (Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, 211-212). “I’d live as if the 2nd Coming were tomorrow, but I’m still planting cherry trees” (In CR, April 1950, 105).
JS – Matthew 1:1-4 Answers: v. 5-20 v. 21-54 Two Questions: • The destruction of the Temple and the Jews? • The sign of Christ’s second coming & end of the world?
JS – Matthew 1:5-20 • “Abomination of Desolation” • 70 A.D. – Jerusalem under Siege • Roman Legions under Titus • Lasted for 134 days • 1,110,000 Jews perished • 97,000 were taken captive • Romans destroyed 987 towns in Palestine • Moses’ prophecy • Christ = not one stone left upon another (see pictures on following slides)
Largest Block • 10’ x 10’ x 45’ • 410 tons
JS – Matthew 1:13-15 The warning to all to flee from Jerusalem and Judea to the mountains when the armies would begin to surround the city was so generally heeded by members of the Church, that according to the early Church writers not one Christian perished in the awful siege.James E. Talmage, Jesus the Christ, 588
Heber C. Kimball I am perfectly satisfied that my Father and my God is a cheerful, pleasant, lively, good-natured Being. Why? Because I am cheerful, pleasant, lively, and good-natured when I have His Spirit. That is one reason why I know; and another is-the Lord said, through Joseph Smith, "I delight in a glad heart and a cheerful countenance." That arises from the perfection of His attributes; He is a jovial, lively person, and a beautiful man. JD 4:222
Heber C. Kimball • Served 8 missions between 1832-1840 • Participated in Zion’s Camp • Apostle at age 33 • First Counselor to Brigham Young for 21 years • Died in 1868 • Largest Funeral ever in the Utah territory
Heber C. Kimball New York Times – “The Mormons…have lost their most prominent man next to Brigham Young. He illustrated himself all the more striking peculiarities of the Mormon leaders – their energy and astuteness, their self-sacrifice and selflessness, and their devotion to the Church.”
Heber C. Kimball We think we are secure here in the chambers of the everlasting hills where we can close those few doors of the canyons against mobs and persecutors, the wicked and the vile, who have always beset us with violence and robbery, but I want to say to you, my brethren, the time is coming when we will be mixed up in these now peaceful valleys to that extent that it will be difficult to tell the face of a Saint from the face of an enemy to the people of God.
Heber C. Kimball Then, brethren, look out for the great sieve, for there will be a great sifting time, and many will fall- for I say unto you there is a test, a TEST, a TEST coming, and who will be able to stand? Let me say to you, that …the time will come when you will have all the trouble, trial and persecution that you can stand, and plenty of opportunities to show that you are true to God and his work.
Heber C. Kimball This Church has before it many close places through which it will have to pass before the work of God is crowned with victory. To meet the difficulties that are coming, it will be necessary for you to have a knowledge of the truth of this work for yourselves. The difficulties will be of such a character that the man or woman who does not possess this personal knowledge or witness will fall.
Heber C. Kimball If you have not got the testimony, live right and call upon the Lord and cease not till you obtain it. If you do not you will not stand. The time will come when no man nor woman will be able to endure on borrowed light. Each will have to be guided by the light within himself. If you do not have it, how can you stand?" (Life of Heber C. Kimball, pp. 446, 449-450.)
JS – Matthew 1:13-15 When tensions ran high in northern Missouri in the fall of 1838, the Prophet Joseph Smith called for all the Saints to gather to Far West for protection. Many were on isolated farms or in scattered settlements. He specifically counseled Jacob Haun, founder of a small settlement called Haun’s Mill.
JS – Matthew 1:13-15 A record of that time includes this: “Brother Joseph had sent word by Haun, who owned the mill, to inform the brethren who were living there to leave and come to Far West, but Mr. Haun did not deliver the message”
JS – Matthew 1:13-15 Later, the Prophet Joseph recorded in his history: “Up to this day God had given me wisdom to save the people who took counsel. None had ever been killed who [had abided] by my counsel” (History of the Church, 5:137).
JS – Matthew 1:13-15 Then the Prophet recorded the sad truth that innocent lives could have been saved at Haun’s Mill had his counsel been received and followed. Henry B. Eyring, “Finding Safety in Counsel,” Ensign, May 1997, 25
JS – Matthew 1:21-55 “What is the asign of thy bcoming, and of the cend of the world, or the destruction of the dwicked, which is the end of the world?
JS – Matthew 1:21-55 The end of the world is not the end of the earth but the end of the social conditions prevailing among worldly people. The end of the world is the end of unrighteousness or of worldliness as we know it, and this will be brought about by the destruction of the wicked. When our world ends and the millennial era begins, there will be a new heaven and a new earth. Lust, carnality, and sensuousness of every sort will cease, for it will be the end of the world. (DNTC 1:640)
Elder M. Russell Ballard • 1920’s = 2 • 1930’s = 5 • 1940’s = 4 • 1950’s = 9 • 1960’s = 15 • 1970’s = 46 • 1980’s = 52 • 1990… CR, October 1992
Brigham Young It was revealed to me in the commencement of this Church, that the Church would spread, prosper, grow and extend, and that in proportion to the spread of the Gospel among the nations of the earth, so would the power of Satan rise. Discourses of Brigham Young p.72
Boyd K. Packer We live in troubled times – very troubled times. We hope, we pray for better days. But that is not to be. The prophecies tell us that. We will not as a people, as families, or as individuals be exempt from the trials to come. Conference Report April 2000 p.8
Bruce R. McConkie Conditions in the world are not going to get better. They are going to get worse until the coming of the Son of Man, which is the end of the world, when the wicked will be destroyed. The world is going to get worse, and the faithful portion of the Church, at least, is going to get better. The day is coming, more than ever has been the case in the past, when we will be under the obligation of making a choice… “Be Valiant in the Fight of Faith,” Ensign, Nov. 1974, 35
Bruce R. McConkie …of standing up for the Church, of adhering to its precepts and teachings and principles, of taking the counsel that comes from the apostles and prophets whom God has placed to teach the doctrine and bear witness to the world. The day is coming when this will be more necessary than has ever been the case in our day or at any time in our dispensation. “Be Valiant in the Fight of Faith,” Ensign, Nov. 1974, 35
M. Russell Ballard November 1831: “For I am no respecter of persons, and will that all men shall know that the day speedily cometh; the hour is not yet, but is nigh at hand, when peace shall be taken from the earth, and the devil shall have power over his own dominion” (D&C 1:35). CES Fireside March 2002 THIS IS NOW FULFILLED!
Scriptures: • Joel 2:28-32 • Joseph Smith – History 1:41 • Joseph Fielding Smith – 1971: “rapidly being fulfilled” “yet to come” • President Hinckley – October 2001
Gordon B. Hinckley The era in which we live is the fulness of times spoken of in the scriptures, when God has brought together all of the elements of previous dispensations. From the day that He and His Beloved Son manifested themselves to the boy Joseph, there has been a tremendous cascade of enlightenment poured out upon the world. Ensign November 2001 Opening Talk
Gordon B. Hinckley The hearts of men have turned to their fathers in fulfillment of the words of Malachi. The vision of Joel has been fulfilled wherein he declared: [He then quotes Joel 2:28-32] Ensign November 2001 Opening Talk
Elder Boyd K. Packer Teenagers also sometimes think, “What’s the use? The world will soon be blown all apart and come to an end.” That feeling comes from fear, not from faith. No one knows the hour or the day (see D&C 49:7), but the end cannot come until all of the purposes of the Lord are fulfilled. Everything that I have learned from the revelations and from life convinces me that there is time and to spare for you to carefully prepare for a long life.
Elder Boyd K. Packer One day you will cope with teenage children of your own. That will serve you right. Later, you will spoil your grandchildren, and they in turn spoil theirs. If an earlier end should happen to come to one, that is more reason to do things right. Boyd K. Packer, “To Young Women and Men,” Ensign, May 1989, 59
Elder Neal A. Maxwell Brothers and sisters, over the sweep of Christian history, some believers have, by focusing on a few prophecies while neglecting others, prematurely expected the Second Coming. Today, while we are obviously closer to that great moment, we are in the same danger….In the context of such cautions, I have no hesitancy in saying that there are some signs—but certainly not all—suggesting that “summer is nigh” (Matt. 24:32). Ensign, May 1988, 7
When Will the Second Coming Occur? Jesus Christ never did reveal to any man the precise time that He would come. Go and read the Scriptures, and you cannot find anything that specifies the exact hour He would come; and all that say so are false teachers. TPJS 341
When Will the Second Coming Occur? • “No man knoweth…” • D&C 39:21 • D&C 49:7 • D&C 51:20 • D&C 61:38 • D&C 130:14-16 • D&C 133:11
When Will the Second Coming Occur? 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.
When Will the Second Coming Occur? 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. …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. Elder Ballard, BYU, 3/12/96
Precision vs. Accuracy • 147.4567 • “Sunrise is in the morning” • Problem: some try to predict second coming with precision…scriptures do tell us when it is, but not with precision, only with statements that are accurate • JS-M 1:38 – “Summer is at hand” – accurate, but not precise
Accurate Statements from the D&C • It is the 11th hour (D&C 33:3) • Near, even at the doors (110:16) • I come quickly (13 times) • Nigh at hand (12 times) • Soon (6 times) • “Tomorrow” (D&C 64:24) • “In the beginning of the seventh thousand years” (D&C 77:12)
JS-M 1:51 As to the Second Coming, the time is fixed, the hour is set, and, speaking after the manner of the Lord, the day is soon to be. The appointed day can be neither advanced nor delayed. It will come at the decreed moment, chosen before the foundations of the earth were laid, and it can be neither hastened by righteousness nor put off by wickedness. It will be with our Lord's return as it was with his birth to Mary: the time of each coming was fixed by the Father. NWAF 591
The Second Coming and Missionary Work – JS-M 1:31 • Revelation 14:6-7 • D&C 90:11 • Alma 29:8 • 1 Nephi 14:12 • Revelation 5:8-9 • Every nation • In their language • Own people spread gospel • Congregations there • Temple work… Point: lots of work to do!