DC 45 Historical Background
"As Joseph Smith and his followers arrived in the Western Reserve (Ohio) and started to establish the Church's headquarters there, many non-Mormons began to respond negatively and even aggressively to the growth of this new faith. Newspaper articles generally misrepresented the history, beliefs, ambitions, and goals of the Saints, as reporters often confused improper beliefs and conduct with orthodox doctrines and behavior.
"Alarmed by the spirited anti-Mormon campaign, Joseph Smith recorded in his history that in the spring of 1831, 'many false reports, lies, and foolish stories, were published in the newspapers, and circulated in every direction, to prevent people from investigating the work, or embracing the faith.'
"Reports on the Church printed in the Ohio papers before the first missionaries arrived in the Western Reserve were more favorable and unbiased than those published during the 1830s, the period of the gathering in the state. Initially the religion was more a topic of curiosity than of scorn. But after the missionaries baptized some 130 converts in Kirtland and vicinity, the number of articles relating to the Church multiplied rapidly (in fact, more articles appeared in Ohio papers between November 1830 and December 1831 than during any other period), and most of them contained derogatory statements about the Latter-day Saints, setting the tone for a propaganda offensive that continued for a number of years." (Milton V. Backman, Jr., The Heavens Resound: A History of the Latter-day Saints in Ohio, 1830-1838 [Salt Lake City: Desert Book Co., 1983], 52-53.)
"For example, many newspapers in the area carried the story of a Mormon girl predicting an earthquake in China which caused great destruction just six weeks later. These papers labeled the loss of thousands of lives in that disaster as being 'Mormonism in China.' (HC, 1:58)." (Richard O. Cowan, The Doctrine and Covenants, Our Modern Scripture [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1984], 78.)
DC 45 Introduction
"During the winter of 1831 the Church came under a particularly heavy attack from its detractors...Discouragement was high, as was concern for the future of the Church. Then on 7 March 1831 the Prophet Joseph Smith received a revelation which served to bolster the faith of the Saints... The revelation showed that God was acutely aware of the plight of his Church and more. It stressed that time, both present and future, were fully known to God and under his control. As the Saints were obedient great blessings would come. This would include the revelation of wisdom and promises shared with Enoch and his brethren, as well as the fullness of the prophecy shared with the twelve apostles of the Lord which revealed major events to the end of time. The greater portion of the revelation demonstrated the latter.
"The revelation showed the continued willingness of the Lord to buttress the faith of his Saints, which has been his pattern throughout history. It is through prophecy that the Savior has demonstrated that he is in total control. The future is not unknown to him nor is it out of his dominion. Therefore, the key to success for his people is continued diligence in his service and faith in his revealed word." (Richard D. Draper, Studies in Scripture, Vol. 2: The Pearl of Great Price, ed. by Robert L. Millet and Kent P. Jackson, [Salt Lake City: Randall Book, 1985], 289.)
DC 45:2 the summer shall be past, the harvest ended, and your souls not saved
Jeffrey R. Holland
During the Savior's Galilean ministry, He chided those who had heard of Him feeding the 5,000 with only five barley loaves and two fishes, and now flocked to Him expecting a free lunch. That food, important as it was, was incidental to the real nourishment He was trying to give them.
"Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead," He admonished them. "I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever."
But this was not the meal they had come for, and the record says, "From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him."
In that little story is something of the danger in our day. It is that in our contemporary success and sophistication we too may walk away from the vitally crucial bread of eternal life; we may actually choose to be spiritually malnourished, willfully indulging in a kind of spiritual anorexia. Like those childish Galileans of old, we may turn up our noses when divine sustenance is placed before us. Of course the tragedy then as now is that one day, as the Lord Himself has said, "In an hour when ye think not the summer shall be past, and the harvest ended," and we will find that our "souls [are] not saved." ("He Hath Filled the Hungry with Good Things," Ensign, Nov. 1997, 65)
Sterling W. Sill
When we stand before God, there is not one person in this audience who will not then want to be a faithful, devoted, ardent, enthusiastic, industrious member of the Church. But we must make up our minds before the baking has been completed. For then it will be said, "The harvest is past; the summer is ended, and your souls not saved." (October 3, 1960, BYU Speeches of the Year, 1960 10.)
DC 45:3 Listen to him who is the advocate with the Father
"The Savior pleads our case for mercy. He is our advocate. He is the champion of our cause as no other can be. We have seen advocates of law before earthly tribunals-mere mortals who have argued their cases with spellbinding suspense, whose logic was flawless, mastery of the laws disarming, and powerful petitions compelling. Before such mortals, juries have sat in awe, almost with breathless wonder, moved and swayed by every glance, every crafted word, every passionate plea. Yet such advocates, almost Herculean heroes to their patrons, are no match to Him who pleads our case on high. He is the perfect proponent 'to appear in the presence of God for us' (Hebrews 9:24). How fortunate we are that he is our 'advocate with the Father' (1 John 2:1)." (Tad R. Callister, The Infinite Atonement, 317-318)
Gerald N. Lund
Nothing man could do for himself could bring him past the judgment bar successfully without such an Advocate. That is why eternal life is always a gift, and those who receive it do so by "inheritance." It is interesting to note that the word inherit and its cognate words are used seventy-eight times in the Doctrine and Covenants, while the word earned and its related words are not used once. (Jesus Christ, Key to the Plan of Salvation [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1991], 163 - 164.)
Bruce C. Hafen
It is generally true that no one has enough "influence in high places" to compensate for our failure to qualify on our own merits to join them in those high places. However, the Savior has won the right to such influence, not only by his unique family relationship to the Father but also because of his sinless life and his Atonement. And when the merits of our case are not strong enough by themselves to return us to the highest place of all, he, having arrived there ahead of us, will plead our case before God. He will lend us his strength, "saying: Father, behold the sufferings and death of him who did no sin, in whom thou wast well pleased; behold the blood of thy Son which was shed. . . . Wherefore, Father, spare these my brethren that believe on my name." (D&C 45:4-5.) (Bruce C. Hafen and Marie K. Hafen, The Belonging: The Atonement and Relationships with God and Family Heart [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1994], 60.)
DC 45:3 the advocate...is pleading your cause before him
Bruce C. Hafen
We must always seek to be on the Lord's side; but what good news it is to know that he is on our side.
His powerful advocacy in our behalf is not limited to pleading our case before the Father, for 'your advocate . . . knoweth the weakness of man and how to succor them who are tempted.' (D&C 62:1.) It is the advocate's role to present our case in its most favorable light, refuting the challenges of the adversary who opposes us and who presents our case in its worst possible light... What glorious news, not only that the greatest advocate of all is willing to represent those who are guilty, but also that he will take our case! 'I am the first and the last; . . . I am your advocate with the Father. . . . Therefore, lift up your heads and rejoice. . . . Let the hearts of all my people rejoice.' (D&C 110:4-6.) (Bruce C. Hafen and Marie K. Hafen, The Belonging: The Atonement and Relationships with God and Family Heart [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1994], 155.)
DC 45:4 behold the sufferings and death of him who did no sin
"Imagine that you had been asked to serve as the defense attorney for a man who had been arrested for robbing a local food store... You stand and speak with much confidence, 'Judge, jury, I demand that you set this man free!' The judge answers: 'On what grounds?' You reply: 'Because of my excellent reputation as an attorney, because of my marvelous record of service to the innocent who are unjustly accused.' One can imagine how the judge and jury would respond. You would no doubt be laughed out of the courtroom. And yet, note in a modern revelation how the Savior pleads our case, how he mediates between us and the Eternal Father: 'Listen to him who is the advocate with the Father, who is pleading your cause before him-saying: Father, behold the sufferings and death of him who did no sin, in whom thou wast well pleased; behold the blood of thy Son which was shed, the blood of him whom thou gavest that thyself might be glorified.' What a strange defense! What an unusual manner of defending us! The Lord here pleads our cause on the basis of his merits; we are saved through his works, his mercy and grace. And what does he require? 'Wherefore, Father, spare these my brethren that believe on my name, that they may come unto me and have everlasting life.' (D&C 45:3-5.)" (Robert L. Millet, Steadfast and Immovable: Striving for Spiritual Maturity [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1992], 120.)
"On more than one occasion, a devoted mother pleaded with Abraham Lincoln for the life of a son who had committed a serious offense while serving in the Union Forces. Often, touched by that mother's own sacrifice for her country, Lincoln granted the pardon. Perhaps he thought, 'Not for your son's sake, but for your sake I will pardon him.' Likewise, God the Father must have been deeply moved by the incomparable sacrifice of the Savior. Like the mother who pleaded for the life of her son, the Savior pleads for the spiritual lives of his spiritual children. Not because of their own worthiness, but because of the Savior's sacrifice, they will be spared...
"While offering the inspired dedicatory prayer at the Kirtland Temple, [Joseph Smith] made reference to the Savior's power to influence the Father: 'Thou...wilt turn away thy wrath when thou lookest upon the face of thine Anointed' (D&C 109:53). It seems that there was something so noble in the Savior's countenance, so moving and powerful in reflection upon his sacrifice, that it profoundly affects the Father." (Tad R. Callister, The Infinite Atonement, 317-318)
DC 45:4-5 behold the blood of thy Son which was shed
Neal A. Maxwell
The cumulative weight of all mortal sins-past, present, and future-pressed upon that perfect, sinless, and sensitive Soul! All our infirmities and sicknesses were somehow, too, a part of the awful arithmetic of the Atonement. . . . His suffering [was] as it were, enormity multiplied by infinity... (Stephen E. Robinson, Believing Christ: The Parable of the Bicycle and Other Good News [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1992], 124.)
These passages... give us to understand that the atonement made upon Mount Calvary was the supreme sacrifice ever made in all the world. Oh, the height and the depth of divine love, the love of God for his children here upon the earth! We are put under an obligation that we never can repay in this life or in the life to come. The greatness of this sacrifice cannot be measured, cannot be fully understood by mortal man; but, nevertheless, we can get the benefit of it by faith and obedience to the commandments of God. That is what he requires. (Conference Report, October 1921, Afternoon Session 36.)
DC 45:9 I have sent mine everlasting covenant into the world, to be a light to the world
David O. McKay
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was scarcely one year old when that declaration was made through inspiration by the Prophet Joseph. He himself was but twenty-six years of age. It is a marvelous declaration, great in its pretension, comprehensive in its scope: "...mine everlasting covenant" (the gospel), is sent "into the world, to be a light to the world, and to be a standard for my people, and for the Gentiles to seek to it, ..." (D. & C. 45:9.)
On Bedloe Island, at the entrance of New York harbor, there stands the Statue of Liberty, a light to the nations. What it has meant to thousands and hundreds of thousands of the downtrodden of Europe has been most graphically expressed by Israel Zangwill in that impressive production, The Melting Pot. I shall give a few words. David the emigrant, the little Russian Jew, is speaking:
"All my life America was waiting, beckoning, shining, the place where God would wipe away tears from off all faces. To think that the same great torch of Liberty which threw its light across all the seas and lands into my little garret in Russia is shining also for all those other weeping millions of Europe, shining wherever men hunger and are oppressed, shining over the starving villages of Italy and Ireland, over the swarming, starving cities of Poland and Galicia, over the ruined farms of Romania, over the shambles of Russia. When I look at our Statue of Liberty, I just seem to hear the voice of America crying: Come unto me, all ye who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest, rest."
What that Statue of Liberty symbolizes to the oppressed and downtrodden of Europe, the gospel of Jesus Christ is to the world. Mormonism, so-called, has reared an ensign to the nations and, with words as comprehensive as those I have read in the revelation, invites the world to peace, to rest, to contentment. (Gospel Ideals: Selections from the Discourses of David O. McKay [Salt Lake City: Improvement Era, 1953], 110-111.)
Bruce R. McConkie
The everlasting covenant is the latter-day messenger before the Lord. It is the ancient standard raised anew. It is an ensign upon Mount Zion around which the honest in heart from all nations may rally. The everlasting gospel itself is the messenger. And whereas the gospel came through Joseph Smith, he becomes and is the messenger. He it is who raised the Lord's standard; he it is who raised the ensign to the nations; he it is who waved the banner of truth and righteousness in the sight of all men-all as promised in the ancient word. (The Millennial Messiah: The Second Coming of the Son of Man [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1982], 338.)
DC 45:10 I will show unto you my strong reasoning
The Savior's power of reasoning exceeds all. During his mortal ministry, he never lost a debate. His detractors could never win a point. No mortal mind could out-reason him. At last, "no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions." (Matt. 22:46)
In our day, as in days past, the unbelieving declare "it is not reasonable that such a being as a Christ shall come." (Hel. 16:18, italics added) Those pseudo-intellectuals who have reasoned themselves right out of the Church will one day face the Lord's "strong reasoning." In that day, their imagined intellectualism will be shown for what it is-the mere mortal rationalizations of a rebellious heart. Indeed, the Lord's "strong reasoning" will reveal the weakness of their argument and the real reason for their disbelief.
Neal A. Maxwell
Regarding reason, the invitation of the Lord of the Restoration is "Wherefore, hearken and I will reason with you" (D&C 45:15). Such hearkening enhances and stretches the mind, admitting one to the sun-drenched uplands of revealed understanding. "Come now, and let us reason together" is an invitation to divine tutoring, but only the meek are wise enough to accept it (Isa. 1:18; see also 2 Ne. 32:7). ("From the Beginning," Ensign, Nov. 1993, 20)
DC 45:11 Enoch, and his brethren...were separated from the earth
How righteous these people must have been for the Lord to separate them from the earth! He must have looked down upon them and thought, "these just don't belong on such a wicked earth. They abide a higher law and must be given a higher kingdom." So they were separated to abide a terrestrial glory until this earth should be terrestrialized. Then, during the Millenium, the city of Enoch and its people are to return to join Zion.
"And the Lord said unto Enoch: Then shalt thou and all thy city meet them there, and we will receive them into our bosom, and they shall see us; and we will fall upon their necks, and they shall fall upon our necks, and we will kiss each other;
And there shall be mine abode, and it shall be Zion, which shall come forth out of all the creations which I have made; and for the space of a thousand years the earth shall rest." (Moses 7:63-64)
DC 45:12 a day which was sought for by all holy men
Comment is often made that all the ancient prophets looked forward to our day. We flatter ourselves with such comments. In reality, the prophets have been looking forward to a day of greater righteousness than ours. A day in which there is no wickedness, when Satan has no power, when righteousness reigns on the earth, when the people are pure enough to enjoy the presence of God. This was the "day which was sought for by all holy men." They longed for the peace and righteousness of the Millenium.
Ancient prophets tried to bring their people to such a state of perfection and righteousness but only Enoch was successful. Joseph Smith said, "Adam blessed his posterity; he wanted to bring them into the presence of God. They looked for a city, etc., 'whose builder and maker is God.' (Hebrews 11:10) Moses sought to bring the children of Israel into the presence of God, through the power of the Priesthood, but he could not. In the first ages of the world they tried to establish the same thing; and there were Eliases raised up who tried to restore these very glories, but did not obtain them; but they prophesied of a day when this glory would be revealed." (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 159)
Joseph B. Wirthlin
We have at least two scriptural accounts of periods of absolute peace and a third that is yet to come. (See Marion G. Romney, Ensign, Oct. 1983, p. 5.)
The first of these periods of peace was among the people of Enoch, who lived before the great flood... The second period of peace followed the ministry of the resurrected Jesus among the Nephites... A third period of perfect peace will come during the Millennium. "Satan shall be bound, that he shall have no place in the hearts of the children of men." (D&C 45:55.) As they live the gospel of Jesus Christ, the righteousness of the people will banish Satan from their midst. We look forward to that day of universal peace and justice, when Christ will reign upon the earth.
These three instances show that peace, whether in a city, a nation, or other society, develops from peace that begins within the hearts of individuals as they live by the precepts of the gospel. ("Peace Within," Ensign, May 1991, 38)
DC 45:13 they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth
Ezra Taft Benson
We are not at home here in mortality. We are spirit children of Heavenly Parentage and the righteous long for that homecoming to their Eternal Parents. This is why the revelations teach that holy men "confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth" (Hebrews 11:13; see D&C 45:13). (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1988], 25.)
DC 45:16 I will show it plainly...concerning the signs of my coming
One topic of endless interest is the signs of the times. Perhaps it would be useful to list the signs of the times that the Lord thinks are important. This is his list, given to those in plainness and simplicity. It is fair to say that these are given, in general, in chronological order.
- Jerusalem and the Temple will be destroyed (v. 19-20). This occurred in AD 70.
- Jews will be scattered among all nations (v. 24). The first few centuries after Christ, the Jews were scattered by the Romans in what has come to be called the Diaspora.
- Jews to be gathered again in the times of the Gentiles (v. 25), our dispensation.
- The love of men shall wax cold, and iniquity shall abound (v. 27).
- The gospel is brought forth among the Gentiles, but it is, by and large, rejected (v. 28-29).
- An overflowing scourge and a desolating sickness (v. 31).
- The Lord's disciples stand in holy places, i.e. temples, meetinghouses, and homes (v. 32).
- Earthquakes, desolations, violence (v. 33).
- Signs in the heavens and on earth-blood, fire, and vapors of smoke (v. 40-41).
- The sun is darkened, the moon turns to blood, and the stars fall from the heavens (v. 42).
- The remnant Jews will have gathered to Jerusalem (v. 43).
A longer list of signs is provided by Bruce R McConkie here.
DC 45:17 ye have looked upon the long absence of your spirits from your bodies to be a bondage
Interestingly, the meridian apostles understood that the Spirit World would mean a separation of the body and spirit. They understood that this was not a good thing. Such was the feeling of those righteous spirits, prophets and just men of previous dispensations, who had long been dead. Joseph F. Smith said they "waited for their deliverance, For the dead had looked upon the long absence of their spirits from their bodies as a bondage." (D&C 138:49-59)
This principle underscores the importance of the resurrection. Righteous and great men lived for thousands of years in Spirit Paradise but they still felt like they were in bondage. They wanted their bodies back. They knew they could not receive a fullness of joy until the resurrection. The Second Coming, then, becomes a day of redemption by virtue of the resurrection for all the righteous who were not brought forth at the time of his resurrection.
DC 45:19 desolation shall come upon this generation as a thief in the night
The first Abomination of Desolation occurred when the Romans sacked Jerusalem about 70 AD. This event has few parallels in recorded history. It was so horrible, so inhumane, and so tragic that the history reads more like fiction-more like the imagined concoctions of a twisted mind than actual history. The Lord warned the Jews of his day of its coming, "Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children. For, behold, the days are coming, in the which they shall say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the paps which never gave suck. Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us." (Luke 23:28-30)
The Jewish historian Josephus has left us with vivid descriptions of the events which occurred as the Romans sacked Jerusalem. In order to starve the Jews, the armies surrounded the walls of the city, allowing no provisions in or out. Starving men who were trying to obtain food for themselves and their starving families would sneak out of the city walls into the surrounding valleys looking for food. Inevitably, they would be caught by the Roman soldiers:
"they were first whipped, and then tormented with all sorts of tortures, before they died, and were then crucified before the wall of the city. This miserable procedure made Titus greatly to pity them, while they caught every day five hundred Jews; nay, some days they caught more...So the soldiers, out of the wrath and hatred they bore the Jews, nailed those they caught, one after one way, and another after another, to the crosses, by way of jest, when their multitude was so great, that room was wanting for the crosses, and crosses wanting for the bodies." (Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book V, Chap. XI, v. 1)
"So all hope of escaping was now cut off from the Jews, together with their liberty of going out of the city. Then did the famine widen its progress, and devoured the people by whole houses and families; the upper rooms were full of women and children that were dying by famine, and the lanes of the city were full of the dead bodies of the aged; the children also and the young men wandered about the market-places like shadows, all swelled with the famine, and fell down dead, wheresoever their misery seized them. As for burying them, those that were sick themselves were not able to do it; and those that were hearty and well were deterred from doing it by the great multitude of those dead bodies, and by the uncertainty there was how soon they should die themselves; for many died as they were burying others." (Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book V, Chap. XII, v. 3)
Once the siege had taken its toll, the Roman soldiers stormed the city. They were horrified by what they found:
"when they went in numbers into the lanes of the city with their swords drawn, they slew those whom they overtook without and set fire to the houses whither the Jews were fled, and burnt every soul in them, and laid waste a great many of the rest; and when they were come to the houses to plunder them, they found in them entire families of dead men, and the upper rooms full of dead corpses, that is, of such as died by the famine; they then stood in a horror at this sight, and went out without touching any thing...Yet had they not the same [mercy] for those that were still alive, but they ran every one through whom they met with, and obstructed the very lanes with their dead bodies, and made the whole city run down with blood, to such a degree indeed that the fire of many of the houses was quenched with these men's blood." (Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book VI, Chap. VIII, v. 5)
DC 45:19 this people shall be destroyed and scattered
Josephus recorded that the number of Jews who perished in the siege was 1,100,000. The number who were taken captive, most of whom would later be scattered throughout the Roman Empire, was 97,000. (Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book VI, Chap. IX, v. 3)
DC 45:20 this temple which ye now see shall be thrown down
"NOW as soon as the army had no more people to slay or to plunder, because there remained none to be the objects of their fury... [Titus] Caesar gave orders that they should now demolish the entire city and temple, but should leave as many of the towers standing as were of the greatest eminency...[The west] wall was spared, in order to afford a camp for such as were to lie in garrison, as were the towers also spared, in order to demonstrate to posterity what kind of city it was, and how well fortified, which the Roman valor had subdued; but for all the rest of the wall (and presumably the temple), it was so thoroughly laid even with the ground by those that dug it up to the foundation, that there was left nothing to make those that came thither believe it had ever been inhabited. This was the end which Jerusalem came to... a city otherwise of great magnificence, and of mighty fame among all mankind." (Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book VII, Chap. I, v. 1)
DC 45:24-25 when that day shall come, shall a remnant be scattered among all nations; But they shall be gathered again
Joseph Fielding Smith
Jerusalem was trodden down of the Gentiles from the destruction of that city and the scattering of the Jews in the year 70A.D., until the close of the year 1917. At that time the British armies took possession of Palestine during the World War. Since that time the Jews have been invited to return, and they have been doing so in great numbers. They are still gathering in fulfilment of this prophecy... Their return, and the fact that the land has been proclaimed as a gathering place for them, is the sign the Lord gave the world that the times of the Gentiles is drawing to its close.
This great event, the gathering of the Jews, was to come in a day when tribulation and distress are laying hold of the nations. It was to be in a day of wars, and rumors of wars; when men's hearts should be failing them for fear; when their love for the truth and their fellow men should wax cold, and they should be saying that Christ delayeth His coming until the end of the earth. All of these things we are seeing today. Never has there been such a time of commotion and perplexity among the nations. (The Progress of Man [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1964], 396.)
DC 45:26 the whole earth shall be in commotion, and men's hearts shall fail them
Ezra Taft Benson
We live, in an age when, as the Lord foretold, men's hearts are failing them, not only physically but in spirit. (See D&C 45:26.) Many are giving up heart for the battle of life. Suicide ranks as a major cause of deaths of college students. As the showdown between good and evil approaches with its accompanying trials and tribulations, Satan is increasingly striving to overcome the Saints with despair, discouragement, despondency, and depression.
Yet, of all people, we as Latter-day Saints should be the most optimistic and the least pessimistic. For while we know that "peace shall be taken from the earth, and the devil shall have power over his own dominion," we are also assured that "the Lord shall have power over his saints, and shall reign in their midst." (D&C 1:35-36.) ("Do Not Despair," Ensign, Oct. 1986, 2)
Howard W. Hunter
In this last dispensation there will be great tribulation. (See Matt. 24:21.) We know that there will be wars and rumors of wars (see D&C 45:16) and that the whole earth will be in commotion (see D&C 45:26). All dispensations have had their perilous times, but our day will include genuine peril. (See 2 Tim. 3:1.) Evil men will flourish (see 2 Tim. 3:13), but then evil men have very often flourished. Calamities will come and iniquity will abound. (See D&C 45:27.)
Inevitably the natural result of some of these kinds of prophecies is fear, and that is not fear limited to a younger generation. It is fear shared by those of any age who don't understand what we understand.
But I want to stress that these feelings are not necessary for faithful Latter-day Saints, and they do not come from God. To ancient Israel, the great Jehovah said:
"Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. ...
"And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed." (Deut. 31:6, 8.) ("An Anchor to the Souls of Men," Ensign, Oct. 1993, 71)
Neal A. Maxwell
The last days will be rampant with the cardinal sins, just "as in the days of Noah." Society in the days of Noah, scriptures advise, was "corrupt before God" and "filled with violence." (Gen. 6:11-12; Moses 8:28.) Corruption and violence-sound familiar? Both of these awful conditions crest because of surging individual selfishness. When thus engulfed, no wonder men's hearts in our day will fail them because of fear. (See Luke 21:26; D&C 45:26.) Even the faithful can expect a few fibrillations. ("Put Off the Natural Man, and Come Off Conqueror," Ensign, Nov. 1990, 14
DC 45:26 they shall say that Christ delayeth his coming
The world may say that he delays his coming until the end of the earth. But they know neither the thoughts nor the ways of the Lord. The Lord will not delay his coming because of their unbelief, and the signs both in heaven and earth indicate that it is near. The fig trees are leafing in sight of all the nations of the earth, and if they had the Spirit of God they could see and understand them. (Journal of Discourses, 16:35)
Henry B. Eyring
The Lord knew we would be tempted to procrastinate the most important preparation we could ever make in this life. More than once He warned us about delay. He taught the parable of the ten virgins, five of whom did not fill their lamps for the coming of the bridegroom. He also gave the parable of the servants who were faithless because they believed their Lord would delay His coming. The results of delay were tragic...
The temptation to delay repentance comes not only at the end of the world as suggested by those scriptures. That temptation seems to have been nearly constant since the beginning of time and goes on throughout our lives. In youth we may have thought: "There will be time enough to worry about spiritual things just before my mission or before marriage. Spiritual things are for older people." Then, in the early years of marriage, the pressures of life, of jobs, of bills, of finding a moment for rest and recreation seem to crowd us so closely that delay in meeting obligations to God and family again seems reasonable. It is easy to think, "Perhaps there will be more time for that in the middle years." But the compression of time does not ease in the years that follow. There is so much to do, and time seems to shrink.
...Finally, we are personally accountable because the Lord has given us ample warning...Even the acceptance of personal responsibility may not overcome the temptation to believe that now is not the time to repent. "Now" can seem so difficult, and "later" appear so much easier. The truth is that today is always a better day to repent than any tomorrow...The very faith we need to repent is weakened by delay. ("Do Not Delay, Ensign, Nov. 1999, 34)
DC 45:27 the love of men shall wax cold, and iniquity shall abound
Ezra Taft Benson
We constantly hear or read of wars and rumors of wars. Atheism, agnosticism, immorality, and dishonesty are flaunted in our society. Desertions, cruelty, divorce, and infidelity have become commonplace, leading to a disintegration of the family. Truly we live in the times of which the Savior spoke, when "the love of men shall wax cold, and iniquity shall abound." ("Prepare Yourself for the Great Day of the Lord," New Era, May 1982, 48-49)
Glenn L. Pace
Some of the greatest disasters are social and are occurring in places of relative peace and prosperity. It is sobering and saddening to view a world so full of pain. It is ironic that at a time when the fulness of the truth is available, society in general is choosing its own way of life under the banner of liberation and freedom. The cause and effect of following incorrect principles is coming into play, and we find pain and suffering everywhere in the form of broken homes, bodies, minds, and spirits. ("Infinite Needs and Finite Resources," Ensign, June 1993, 50)
Glenn L. Pace
We need to overcome fatalism. We know the prophecies of the future. We know the final outcome. We know the world collectively will not repent and consequently the last days will be filled with much pain and suffering. Therefore, we could throw up our hands and do nothing but pray for the end to come so the millennial reign could begin. To do so would forfeit our right to participate in the grand event we are all awaiting. We must all become players in the winding-up scene, not spectators. We must do all we can to prevent calamities, and then do everything possible to assist and comfort the victims of tragedies that do occur. ("A Thousand Times," Ensign, Nov. 1990, 8)
DC 45:28-30 when the times of the Gentiles is come in
Marion G. Romney
"The times of the Gentiles"... is, the era in which, in this last dispensation, the gospel is to be preached primarily to the non-Jewish people of the earth. You will recall that in the meridian of time it went first to the Jews and then to the Gentiles.
But, back to what the Savior said:
"... when the times of the Gentiles is come in, a light shall break forth among them that sit in darkness, and it shall be the fulness of my gospel;
"But they receive it not; for they perceive not the light, and they turn their hearts from me because of the precepts of men." (D&C 45:28-29.)
The fulfillment of this prediction is painfully evident today. The large majority to whom the gospel has been taken reject it. It is because of this rejection, and not because there is no guiding light, that this generation has been and, unless it reverses its course, will continue to be unable to avoid the calamities foreseen and foretold by Jesus. For, said he, in that generation-that is, in which the gospel is preached-"they perceive not the light" (the Gospel of Jesus Christ) and "turn their hearts from me...[quotes D&C 45:31-35]." ("The Light Shineth," Ensign, Dec. 1971, 75-76)
DC 45:31 a desolating sickness shall cover the land
The world in the last century has been ravaged by disease in spite of great advances in medicine. Even with current understanding of methods of disease transmission, new infectious diseases develop every year-some with devastating consequences. In 1918, there was a worldwide influenza epidemic that killed millions.
"[The prophecies of D&C 45:31] have had their partial fulfilment in the influenza that has already ravaged the earth. It made its first appearance in the far east, among the Chinese, and from thence it extended across Europe and America to the eastern shores of Asia again, embracing in its march, every continent and almost every island of the sea. It has baffled the skill of the greatest physicians, for it has taken its toll from among the healthy and strong, and has resulted, it is claimed, in more deaths than the great world war just closed." (Present World Conditions and Prophecy by Joseph A. West, Improvement Era, 1919, Vol. Xxiii. December, 1919. No. 2.)
In our day, the great AIDS epidemic has baffled those who thought that great epidemics were a thing of the past. Consider some of these statistics. By the end of 2003, an estimated 524,000 people had died from AIDS in the United States alone. "At the end of 2003, an estimated 1,039,000 to 1,185,000 persons in the United States were living with HIV/AIDS, with 24-27% undiagnosed and unaware of their HIV infection." (Glynn M, Rhodes P. Estimated HIV prevalence in the United States at the end of 2003. National HIV Prevention Conference; June 2005; Atlanta. Abstract 595.)
Worldwide, the total number of AIDS deaths between 1981 and the end of 2003 were estimated at 20 million. (http://www.avert.org/worldstats.htm) Furthermore, global statistics as of 2001, estimate that 40 million people were living with AIDS, with 5 million new infections and 3 million deaths that year alone. (World Health Organization/UNAIDS report) Finally, AIDS has become the leading cause of death in Africa.
With such grim and overwhelming statistics, it would be nice to think this prophecy regarding a desolating sickness has already been fulfilled. Certainly, the influenza epidemic of 1918 and the AIDS epidemic represent partial fulfillment, but it is probable that another great sickness still awaits us. Elder Maxwell has stated, "Other prophecies await. Some are grim, such as "a desolating sickness shall cover the land." (D&C 45:31.) How its awful fulfillment will occur, we do not know. ("My Servant Joseph," Ensign, May 1992, 38, italics added)
DC 45:32 my disciples shall stand in holy places, and shall not be moved
"The Lord said that his disciples shall 'stand in holy places, and shall not be moved' (D&C 45:32). Sacred places include the temple, but extend to other places as well. President Boyd K. Packer has said that 'the chapel, the stake house, and the temple are sacred as they contribute to the building of the most sacred institution in the Church-the home-and to the blessing of the most sacred relationships in the Church, the family' (That All May Be Edified, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1982, pp. 234-35)." ("More Blessed and Holy," Ensign, Dec. 1995, 65)
Neal A. Maxwell
We can stand fast "in holy places" even though in the world "all things shall be in commotion." (D&C 45:32; D&C 88:91.) ("Behold, the Enemy Is Combined," Ensign, May 1993, 79)
DC 45:37-39 look and behold the figtrees
"It is well known that the fruit-buds of a fig tree appear earlier than do the leaves, and that by the time the tree is in full foliage the figs are well advanced toward maturity" (James E. Talmage, Jesus the Christ, 487). The appearance of the leaves, then, signifies that 'the Lord of the vineyard had preserved unto himself the natural fruit, which was most precious unto him from the beginning' (Jacob 5:74). Those who understand the parable of the fig tree will not be surprised by the arrival of the summer harvest, for 'the poor and the meek...shall be looking forth for the time of my coming, for it is nigh at hand-And they shall learn the parable of the fig-tree, for even now already summer is nigh' (DC 35:15-16). Neal A. Maxwell commented, "The 'summer' Jesus cited is now upon us, and you and I must not complain of the heat. Nor, indeed, should we let that heat, as Alma counseled, wither our individual tree of testimony. If we neglect to nourish the tree, 'when the heat of the sun cometh and scorcheth it,' it can prove fatal. (Alma 32:38.)" (All These Things Shall Give Thee Experience, 123.)
Bruce R. McConkie
"In giving the Parable of the Fig Tree, Jesus both reveals and keeps hidden the time of his coming. The parable is perfect for his purposes. It announces that he will most assuredly return in the 'season' when the promised signs are shown. But it refrains from specifying the day or the hour when the figs will be harvested, thus leaving men in a state of expectant hope, ever keeping themselves ready for the coming harvest." (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 1:664.)
DC 45:39 he that feareth me shall be looking forth for the great day of the Lord to come
Not all will be surprised when the Lord comes. We know that for the wicked, the coming of the Lord will be as a "thief in the night" (1 Thess. 5:2). "The coming of the Lord draweth nigh, and it overtaketh the world [but not the saints] as a thief in the night." (D&C 106:4) As we get closer, the signs of the times will be so obvious to the righteous that they will be looking for him when he makes his appearance (v. 44).
DC 45:40 signs and wonders...shall be shown forth in the heavens above
I was in Tennessee in the year 1835, and while at the house of Abraham O. Smoot, I received a letter from Brothers Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery, requesting me to stay there, and stating that I would lose no blessing by doing so. Of course, I was satisfied. I went into a little room and sat down upon a small sofa. I was all by myself and the room was dark; and while I rejoiced in this letter and the promise made to me, I became wrapped in vision. I was like Paul; I did not know whether I was in the body or out of the body. A personage appeared to me and showed me the great scenes that should take place in the last days. One scene after another passed before me. I saw the sun darkened; I saw the moon become as blood; I saw the stars fall from heaven; I saw seven golden lamps set in the heavens, representing the various dispensations of God to man-a sign that would appear before the coming of Christ. I saw the resurrection of the dead. (Journal of Discourses, October 1881, 22:332-33.)
I saw a great many signs that were presented before me, by this personage; and among the rest, there were seven lions, as of burning brass, set in the heavens. He says, "That is one of the signs that will appear in the heavens before the coming of the Son of Man. It is a sign of the various dispensations."
Now, had I been an artist, on the next day I could have sat down at my table and drawn, as clearly as though I had studied them all my life, everything I saw. I went to meeting the next day, with Brother Smoot. I hardly knew where I was. I did not comprehend a being, scarcely. I was entirely overwhelmed with what I had seen the night before. (Brian H. Stuy, ed., Collected Discourses, 5 vols. [Burbank, Calif., and Woodland Hills, Ut.: B.H.S. Publishing, 1987-1992], vol. 1, March 3rd, 1889 discourse)
DC 45:41 they shall behold blood and fire, and vapors of smoke
On 09/11/01, terrorists attacked the World Trade Centers and Pentagon. To those who witnessed it, the events seemed apocalyptic. President Gordon B. Hinckley, in the next conference, said the prophecy of Joel had been fulfilled wherein he said, "...I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke..." (Ensign, Nov. 2001, 4) Perhaps no other words could be chosen to better describe the scene on that day than "blood and fire, and pillars of smoke." We are seeing in our own day, the very dramatic fulfillment of every prophecy regarding the last days. What did Joel know of New York City? Apparently, he knew enough to describe the destructions of that fateful day. And yet more wonders, both in heaven and on the earth, still await us. We will see more blood spilt, more fires rage, and more vapors of smoke before the end.
DC 45:42 the sun shall be darkened, and the moon be turned into blood
Not uncommonly, someone will declare that this prophecy has been fulfilled. They usually reference solar eclipses, lunar eclipses, and meteor showers. While this prophecy probably will have multiple fulfillments, we can't help but think that a very dramatic and unequivocal sign still awaits us. Think of what happened in the New World at the Savior's birth-36 hours of daylight. What happened at his death-three days of utter darkness. Should we think that this sign would be any less dramatic?
The scriptures speak of many signs in the heaven and on the earth, but this particular sign is different. That the sun should be darkened, the moon turned to blood, and the stars fall from the heavens is a sign that is repeated over and over in the scriptures (see Ezek. 32:7, Joel 2:31; 3:15, Matt 24:29; Mark 13:24-25, Lu. 21:25, Acts 2:20, Rev. 6:12; 8:12, DC 29:14; 34:9; 45:42; 88:87; 133:49). How many other signs or doctrines are repeated in 14 different places? Certainly, the fulfillment of this scripture will be as dramatic as anything we have ever seen, for when it occurs, 'the earth shall tremble and reel to and fro as a drunken man' (DC 88:87).
Joseph Fielding Smith
"Eventually the sun is to be turned into darkness and the moon as blood and then shall come the great and dreadful day of the Lord. Some of these signs have been given; some are yet to come. The sun has not yet been darkened. We are informed that this will be one of the last acts just preceding the coming of the Lord." (Conference Report, April 1966, First Day-Morning Meeting 13.)
DC 45:45 the saints that have slept shall come forth to meet me in the cloud
When I contemplate the rapidity with which the great and glorious day of the coming of the Son of Man advances, when He shall come to receive His Saints unto Himself, where they shall dwell in His presence, and be crowned with glory and immortality: when I consider that soon the heavens are to be shaken, and the earth tremble and reel to and fro; and that the heavens are to be unfolded as a scroll when it is rolled up; and that every mountain and island are to flee away, I cry out in my heart, What manner of persons ought we to be in all holy conversation and godliness! (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 29.)
DC 45:46-47 Then shall the arm of the Lord fall upon the nations
Bruce R. McConkie
The first resurrection will precede the desolations and horrors to be poured out upon the wicked without measure in the day of our Lord's return. "Wherefore, if ye have slept in peace blessed are you," he continues, "for as you now behold me and know that I am, even so shall ye come unto me and your souls shall live, and your redemption shall be perfected; and the saints shall come forth from the four quarters of the earth." That is to say, the saints who are alive and who are worthy shall be caught up to meet the Lord and the heavenly hosts that accompany him.
Now note the chronology. Jesus' next words are: "Then"-that is, after the saints that sleep have been resurrected, and after the living saints have come forth from the four quarters of the earth-"Then shall the arm of the Lord fall upon the nations. And then shall the Lord set his foot upon this mount, and it shall cleave in twain, and the earth shall tremble, and reel to and fro, and the heavens also shall shake." (D&C 45:16-48.) And then he speaks of the calamities and the burning of the iniquitous and of his appearance to the Jews who remain. Truly the righteous need not fear, for either in life or in death their redemption is assured. (The Millennial Messiah: The Second Coming of the Son of Man [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1982], 634.)
DC 45:48 then shall the Lord set his foot upon this mount
The Mount of Olives will be divided in two when the Lord comes. "And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee" (Zech. 14:4-5).
Ezra Taft Benson
The Lord Himself will then rout the Gentile armies, decimating their forces. (See Ezekiel 38-39.) Judah will be spared, no longer to be persecuted and scattered. (Come unto Christ [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1983], 114.)
DC 45:49 the nations of the earth shall mourn
Bruce R. McConkie
Oh, what sorrow, what mourning, what wailing shall rise in that day from the lips of all men in all nations, from all who have not made Christ-the true Christ-their King. How the Jews will mourn because they crucified their King. What sorrow will be in the hearts of the Mohammedans because they acclaimed him as one of the prophets and denied his divine Sonship. What tears will water the faces of all those whose fathers bequeathed false forms of worship to them. And how the Christians will wail-wail until it will seem their very souls shall dissolve into nothingness-for they, favored above all the kindreds of the earth, had the Holy Scriptures and could read the words of the ancient prophets and the holy apostles, and yet they did not believe the true gospel of the lowly one by whom salvation came. (The Millennial Messiah: The Second Coming of the Son of Man [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1982], 469)
DC 45:52-53 I am Jesus that was crucified. I am the Son of God
A television program once compared Christian and Jewish notions of the advent of the Messiah. Christian theologians described the glorious return of Jesus Christ. Jewish theologians similarly believed in the emancipation of the Jews by a great Deliverer. The Christians argued this would be the Messiah's second appearance; the Jews argued it would be his first. One Jewish expert said he imagined that when the Messiah comes, he might be asked if this was his first coming or his second. The expert then gave his opinion that the Messiah would just smile and remain silent, as if it didn't matter whether it was his first or second advent-as if it didn't matter.
Well it does matter. Remarkably the Jewish expert was right about the question just not about the answer. A most tragic, poignant, and almost pathetic scene will then be displayed. The Jews who have for centuries denied the Christ will face the painful truth of what their fathers had done. For centuries they have suffered persecutions and the more painful accusation that their fathers had killed God-had committed deicide. They had faced insinuations that their many persecutions over centuries had been a punishment from God for the crucifixion of Jesus. All these ideas they despised and rejected. How then can we gauge the depth of their pain and sorrow to hear the words, "I am Jesus that was crucified. I am the Son of God"?
What then? Then they begin to believe, then the Jews are convinced, I mean that portion of them who formerly despised Jesus of Nazareth, and being convinced they begin to mourn, and they mourn every family apart, and their wives apart. The family of the house of Levi apart and their wives apart; the family of the house of David and their wives apart, and all their families that remain will mourn, they and their wives apart, and there will be such mourning in Jerusalem as that city never experienced before [see Zech 12:11-14]. What is the matter? What are they mourning about? They have looked upon him whom their fathers pierced, they behold the wounds, they are now convinced that they and their fathers have been in error some eighteen hundred years, and they repent in dust and ashes.
The next step for them will be baptism for the remission of their sins. They look upon him whom their fathers pierced and they mourn for him as one who mourns for his only son, and, as Zechariah says, they are in bitterness for him. But repentance alone would not be sufficient, they must obey the ordinances of the Gospel; hence there will be a fountain opened at that time on purpose for baptism. (Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. [London: Latter-day Saints' Book Depot, 1854-1886], 18: 66)
DC 45:54 then shall the heathen nations be redeemed, and have part in the first resurrection
"These heathen nations, who know nothing of Christ or of his commandments, are also referred to as they who 'have sinned without law' (Romans 2:12), 'they who died without law' (D&C 76:72), or 'the spirits of men kept in prison, whom the Son visited...who received not the testimony of Jesus in the flesh, but afterwards received it' (D&C 76:73-74).
"The common denominator for all these descriptions is the idea that as a general rule and because of their ignorance, these peoples may be judged more leniently for their transgressions than either Israel or the so-called Christian nations. Because they didn't have the Lord's commandments, the heathen will be less likely to be judged 'wicked' than will members of the Church or other Christians who knew and rejected the commandments. Thus Doctrine and Covenants 45:54 holds out much greater hope for the unbaptized heathen than did the majority of Christian churches in 1831, most of whom taught that the unconverted 'heathen' burned in hell forever and ever.
"...Though many heathens will inherit celestial glory, they will be the exception rather than the rule. On the other hand, the heathen nations will be redeemed from the devil through Christ and will be resurrected in the first resurrection, their glory being greater than that of those who are assigned to the telestial kingdom. Their terrestrial glory, neither the highest nor lowest degree, will thus be 'tolerable' for them." (Stephen E. Robinson, H. Dean Garrett, A Commentary on the Doctrine and Covenants, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 2001] 2:65-66)
DC 45:56 then shall the parable be fulfilled which I spake concerning the ten virgins
James E. Faust
The parable of the ten virgins, five wise and five foolish, has both a spiritual and a temporal application. Each of us has a lamp to light the way, but it requires that every one of us put the oil in our own lamps to produce that light. It is not enough to sit idly by and say, "The Lord will provide." ("Responsibility for Welfare Rests with Me and My Family," Ensign, May 1986, 22)
DC 45:57 they that are wise...have taken the Holy Spirit for their guide
Marion G. Romney
I think we are not safe because we say we intend to do what's right. I think the people who are safe are those who have taken the Holy Spirit for their guide and have not been deceived. These are they who shall not be hewn down and cast into the fire, but shall abide the day... To have the Holy Spirit with us as he speaks of it here, and as I have now said what I think it means, is to be guided by revelation from heaven. I know that such guidance can be had.
When the Prophet Joseph Smith went to Washington in 1839 with Elias Higbee, he had conferences with many of the statesmen there-and a lot of the politicians also. He had conferences with the President of the United States. In one of them Mr. Van Buren asked "wherein we differed in our religion from the other religions of the day. Brother Joseph said we differed in mode of baptism, and the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands. We considered that all other considerations were contained in the gift of the Holy Ghost." (History of the Church, 4:42.)
Now, we have the Holy Ghost. Each one of us who is a member of the Church has had hands laid upon his head and has been given, as far as an ordinance can give it, the gift of the Holy Ghost. But, as I remember, when I was confirmed, the Holy Ghost was not directed to come to me; I was directed to "receive the Holy Ghost." If I receive the Holy Ghost and follow his guidance, I will be among those who are protected and carried through these troubled times. And so will you, and so will every other soul who lives under his direction. If ye are prepared, ye need not fear. ("If Ye Are Prepared Ye Shall Not Fear," Ensign, July 1981, 5)
One morning, while we were at Winter Quarters, Brother Brigham Young said to me and the brethren that he had had a visitation the night previous from Joseph Smith. I asked him what he said to him. He replied that Joseph had told him to tell the people to labor to obtain the Spirit of God; that they needed that to sustain them and to give them power to go through their work in the earth.
...Brigham Young also visited me after his death. On one occasion he and Brother Heber C. Kimball came in a splendid chariot, with fine white horses, and accompanied me to a conference that I was going to attend. When I got there I asked Brother Brigham if he would take charge of the conference. "No," said he, "I have done my work here. I have come to see what you are doing and what you are teaching the people." And he told me what Joseph Smith had taught him in Winter Quarters, to teach the people to get the Spirit of God. He said, "I want you to teach the people to get the Spirit of God. You cannot build up the Kingdom of God without that." (Brian H. Stuy, ed., Collected Discourses, 5 vols. [Burbank, Calif., and Woodland Hills, Ut.: B.H.S. Publishing, 1987-1992], vol. 5, October 19, 1896 discourse)
DC 45:58 children shall grow up without sin unto salvation
"Parents who are faced with the responsibility of training children today can contemplate the glorious reality of that day-when Satan's power will be gone, and children who are born will know neither sin nor its sorrows. In a revelation to Joseph Smith the Lord said, 'In that day an infant shall not die until he is old; and his life shall be as the age of a tree; and when he dies he shall not sleep, that is to say in the earth, but shall be changed in the twinkling of an eye, and shall be caught up, and his rest shall be glorious' (D&C 101:30-31). Isaiah reported that those born in the Millennium will live to be one hundred years old (Isa. 65:20). Then they will be resurrected and will receive their celestial inheritance. How glorious will be that time! As President Joseph Fielding Smith wrote, 'We are looking forward to that time. We are hoping for it; we are praying for it.'" (Robert L. Millet and Kent P. Jackson, eds., Studies in Scripture, Vol. 1: The Doctrine and Covenants [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1989], 197 - 198.)
George A. Smith
The tabernacles of the children of men shall grow up without sin unto salvation.
Hence their tabernacles shall not be subject to pain and sickness like unto ours. There will be no pain and sickness, because there will be no breach of the laws of life and health. There will be no intemperance of any kind, because there will be no breach of the laws of life and health. There will be no intemperance of any kind, because there will be no evil spirit at the elbow continually ready to allure and draw into sin. But the Spirit of the Lord will be with every person to guide him constantly, and the law of the Lord will be written in his heart, so that one will not need to say to another, "This is the way; walk ye in it." There will be no Devil to tempt on the right hand and on the left, saying, "This is the way, walk in it." Thus having this good influence continually around them to keep them in the straight path, they will grow up without sickness, pain, or death.
There will be a change wrought in their tabernacles, which is equivalent to death and the resurrection; but they will not sleep in the dust of the earth. Their tabernacles shall not moulder back into corruption; but they shall be like Jesus Christ's most glorious tabernacle, who never knew sin. (Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. [London: Latter-day Saints' Book Depot, 1854-1886], 7: 356.)
DC 45:60 it shall not be given unto you to know any further concerning this chapter, until the New Testament be translated
"At the time, the Prophet was working on the inspired revisions of the Old Testament, but the manuscripts of the Joseph Smith Translation show that on the very next day, 8 March 1831, he began his work on the New Testament, starting with the first chapter of Matthew. He completed the inspired translation of Matthew 24 by September of 1831, and it was included in the early editions of the Pearl of Great Price. To the biblical text of Matthew 24, the Prophet added 450 new words. Significantly, he also changed the order of many of the verses and repeated elements of three verses (JST, Matt. 24:10, 30; Matt. 24:12, 32; Matt. 24:23, 28).
"It is a most remarkable chapter, an account of the Savior's final recorded discourse, given to his disciples as they sat on the Mount of Olives looking over the magnificent city of Jerusalem with its splendid temple complex. Jesus Christ prophesied of his return and of the destruction of the temple." (David Rolph Seely, "The Joseph Smith Translation: 'Plain and Precious Things' Restored," Ensign, Aug. 1997, 15)
DC 45:63 not many years hence ye shall hear of wars in your own lands
War will overtake our nation. The civil war, the war between the North and the South, which laid in the dust nearly a million of men and cost the nation many hundred millions of dollars, was only the beginning of suffering. Had this nation listened to the counsels of Joseph Smith and heeded them, this war and the terrible suffering which it entailed would have been avoided. But the judgments of the Lord are not yet ended. He is going to fulfill His work. (Brian H. Stuy, ed., Collected Discourses, 5 vols. [Burbank, Calif., and Woodland Hills, Ut.: B.H.S. Publishing, 1987-1992], vol. 1, March 3rd, 1889 discourse)
DC 45:66 a land of peace, a city of refuge, a place of safety for the saints
There is one aspect of [Zion] that only the Latter-day Saints have taken to heart... it is that doctrine that sets them off most sharply from all of the other religions, namely, the belief that Zion is possible on the earth, that men possess the capacity to receive it right here and are therefore under obligation to waste no time moving in the direction of Zion. The instant one realizes that Zion is a possibility, one has no choice but to identify himself with the program that will bring about the quickest possible realization of its perfection. (Approaching Zion, edited by Don E. Norton [Salt Lake City and Provo: Deseret Book Co., Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, 1989], 28 - 29.)
We ought to have the building up of Zion as our greatest object. (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, selected and arranged by Joseph Fielding Smith [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1976], 160.)
DC 45:67 the glory of the lord shall be there, and the terror of the Lord also shall be there
Bruce R. McConkie
The city has yet to be built, and it will not be built and cannot be built except by a people who are living a celestial law. And after it is built, the fear and dread of the Lord will rest upon the wicked as they see how and in what manner the Lord preserves its righteous inhabitants. (The Millennial Messiah: The Second Coming of the Son of Man [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1982], 303.)
Can you tell me where the people are who will be shielded and protected from these great calamities and judgments which are even now at our doors? I'll tell you. The priesthood of God who honor their priesthood and who are worthy of their blessings are the only ones who shall have this safety and protection. They are the only mortal beings. No other people have a right to be shielded from these judgments. They are at our doors; not even this people will escape them entirely. (Come unto Christ [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1983], 116.)
DC 45:68 every man that will not take his sword against his neighbor must needs flee unto Zion for safety
When wars come, we shall have to flee to Zion. The cry is to make haste. The last revelation says, Ye shall not have time to have gone over the earth, until these things come. It will come as did the cholera, war, fires, and earthquakes; one pestilence after another, until the Ancient of Days comes, then judgment will be given to the Saints. (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, selected and arranged by Joseph Fielding Smith [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1976], 160.)
Those who will not take up their sword to fight against their neighbor must needs flee to Zion for safety. And they will come, saying, we do not know anything of the principles of your religion, but we perceive that you are an honest community; you administer justice and righteousness, and we want to live with you and receive the protection of your laws, but as for your religion we will talk about that some other time. Will we protect such people? Yes, all honorable men. When the people shall have torn to shreds the Constitution of the United States, the Elders of Israel will be found holding it up to the nations of the earth and proclaiming liberty and equal rights to all men, and extending the hand of fellowship to the oppressed of all nations. This is part of the program, and as long as we do what is right and fear God he will help us and stand by us under all circumstances. (Neal A. Maxwell, "The Doctrine and Covenants: The Voice of the Lord," Ensign, Dec. 1978, 7)
DC 45:70 Let us not go up to battle against Zion, for the inhabitants of Zion are terrible
[Zion is] terrible because it is indestructible. Her invulnerability makes her an object of awe and terror. As Enoch says, "Surely Zion shall dwell in safety forever." ...Zion itself is never in danger. On the contrary, it alone offers safety to the world. The Doctrine and Covenants says, "The 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 upon the whole earth" (D&C 115:6). It would seem that Zion enjoys the complete security of the celestial world, and nothing can touch it as long as it retains that character. (Approaching Zion, edited by Don E. Norton [Salt Lake City and Provo: Deseret Book Co., Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, 1989], 319 - 321.)
Orson F. Whitney
Terrible, for what? For bayonets, for cannon, for the sword? No. Terrible for their righteousness. We are told that "the righteous are bold as a lion," while "the wicked flee when no man pursueth." No, it is not by means of carnal weapons, nor by wealth, nor by the power of the arm of flesh, that God's people will be preserved, but it will be by fasting and prayer, by faith and good works, by the practice of principles of virtue and truth, by shaking ourselves free from the trammels and shackles of sin, of selfishness, of fraud, of deception, of crookedness and hypocrisy, of error and evil in all their forms. This is what will make the people powerful; they will be a terror to the ungodly by reason of their righteousness, and God will fight their battles. He will thunder from the heights of Zion with the artillery of His Holy Spirit; with that power He will thresh the nations; by the words of His mouth will He cause the earth to tremble, and by the breath of His lips will He slay the wicked. You need not fear that God will call upon you to fight the battles of Zion. He will fight them in His own way. (Brian H. Stuy, ed., Collected Discourses, 5 vols. [Burbank, Calif., and Woodland Hills, Ut.: B.H.S. Publishing, 1987-1992], vol. 1, Sep. 22, 1889 discourse)
DC 45:69 it shall be the only people that shall not be at war one with another
The time is soon coming, when no man will have any peace but in Zion and her stakes.
I saw men hunting the lives of their own sons, and brother murdering brother, women killing their own daughters, and daughters seeking the lives of their mothers. I saw armies arrayed against armies. I saw blood, desolation, fires. The Son of Man has said that the mother shall be against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother. These things are at our doors. They will follow the Saints of God from city to city. Satan will rage, and the spirit of the devil is now enraged. I know not how soon these things will take place; but with a view of them, shall I cry peace? No; I will lift up my voice and testify of them. How long you will have good crops, and the famine be kept off, I do not know; when the fig tree leaves, know then that the summer is nigh at hand. (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, selected and arranged by Joseph Fielding Smith [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1976], 233.)
DC 45:71 the righteous shall be gathered out from among all nations, and shall come to Zion
Anthon H. Lund
This revelation was given March 7, 1831. The Church was not then a year old, and but very few had accepted the faith; but the Lord revealed through His servant, the Prophet Joseph, the glory that should come unto Zion, and He told him that the people of Zion should be gathered from every nation. Think of this young man called to lead the Church, then but twenty-five years of age, given this promise that there should be established a Zion to which the people should gather out of all nations! What likelihood was there for him to imagine this himself, when he looked at the small flock around him that believed in his words? But it was not his imaginings; it was the revelation of God unto him that there should be established a Zion to which people should come from out of all nations. It was the fulfillment of the prophecies in the second chapter of Isaiah, and fourth chapter of Micah, in language similarly worded, when they looked down through the vista of time and saw there was to be a gathering, and that the people would go up to the "mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob," in order that they might learn of His ways and walk in His paths. Isaiah prophesied to this effect, and we bear testimony it is coming to pass. (Conference Report, April 1908, First Day-Morning Session. 11.)
DC 45:72 keep these things from going abroad unto the world
The Lord has just explained that his matchless power will preserve the New Jerusalem as it preserved the city of Enoch (Moses 7:13-14). It will also be like Moses and the children of Israel, who were protected from the wrath of Egypt by the hand of the Lord. These are remarkable claims.
But when the saints first settled in Jackson County, they were at times imprudent with what information they shared with their neighbors. Some boasted that the land would all be theirs in time. Such statements only inflamed the Missourians against the Mormons and history tells the rest of the story. Had they followed the counsel of the Lord, by keeping "these things from going abroad unto the world until it is expedient in me," they would have saved themselves much trouble. Yet even in our day, we should be careful about making boastful claims-we should be prudent in public, while in private we marvel at the promises given the saints.