“The time has come.” It’s not infrequent to hear of scenarios where people convince themselves that Christ’s Second Coming is at the doors, and the time has come for them to take extreme measures.
One such scenario happened recently. A family left their home with a wad of cash and supplies and made a run for it because “the time was now” to escape the wrath to come.
Hysteria on the topic of the end of times, Armageddon, and the Second Coming of Christ are not new. People have wondered about the Second Coming of Christ before he even died.
We need to calm ourselves and be still. There is no need for hysteria.
There seems to be a false idea that we will not be warned of Christ’s coming. Many point to these string of verses in Matthew 24:
36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
42 ¶ Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.
44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.
What is clear from this passage is that we will not know the day and hour that the Lord will come. However, look at this passage from Joseph Smith-Matthew, which is an extract from the translation of the Bible as revealed to Joseph Smith the Prophet in 1831: Matthew 23:39 and chapter 24. Do you get the same sense of being caught completely off guard by Christ’s coming?
36 And, as I said before, after the tribulation of those days, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken, then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven, and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn; and they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory;
37 And whoso treasureth up my word, shall not be deceived, for the Son of Man shall come, and he 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.
38 Now learn a parable of the fig tree—When its branches are yet tender, and it begins to put forth leaves, you know that summer is nigh at hand;
39 So likewise, mine elect, when they shall see all these things, they shall know that he is near, even at the doors;
40 But of that day, and hour, no one knoweth; no, not the angels of God in heaven, but my Father only.
As I read this inspired version, it is much more comforting to me for a few reasons:
- Whoso treasureth up my word shall not be deceived
- He shall send his angels before him
- Mine elect, when they shall see all these things, they shall know that he is near
For those who seek to follow the Lord and heed his living prophet, deception will be avoided, angels will guide us, and we shall be warned and know when Christ is near.
Second Coming Warning Like Samuel the Lamanite
We will not know the day and hour of Christ’s Second Coming, but what about the year? Is that a possibility?
I would say 100% yes. Why would I say that? Because it has happened in the past.
The people on the American continent were given a prophetic warning of when Christ would come by the living prophet in Helaman 14:
1 And now it came to pass that Samuel, the Lamanite, did prophesy a great many more things which cannot be written.
2 And behold, he said unto them: Behold, I give unto you a sign; for five years more cometh, and behold, then cometh the Son of God to redeem all those who shall believe on his name.
Samuel gave the people a warning and let them know that they have five years to prepare for the coming of Jesus Christ. Ezra Taft Benson said:
The record of the Nephite history just prior to the Savior’s visit reveals many parallels to our own day as we anticipate the Savior’s second coming.
It would seem to me that another prophetic warning and prediction would be entirely possible. Could “President Bednar” be the one to give us a 5 year warning sometime in future? Who knows.
One thing that is for certain – we must stand with the living prophet and the brethren and never be deceived by someone who claims to have received a revelation or have inside information that not even God’s prophet is entitled to.
Prophetic Preparation for Second Coming
God will prepare us for the events that are to come. He is already doing so. Listen to a few of the words from living prophets and Church leaders.
“I love you and thank you and now bless you with the ability to leave the world behind as you assist in this crucial and urgent work. Together we can do all that our Heavenly Father needs us to do to prepare the world for the Second Coming of His Beloved Son.” – Russell M. Nelson
“The rising generation will become the nurturers of the generation to follow. The multiplier effect will produce a miracle. It will spread and grow over time, and the Lord’s kingdom on earth will be prepared and ready to greet Him with shouts of hosanna. There will be peace on earth.” – Henry B. Eyring
“The world is being prepared for the Second Coming of the Savior in large measure because of the Lord’s work through His missionaries.” – Neil L. Andersen
“For those who have eyes to see, ears to hear, and hearts to feel, more than ever before we are required to confront the reality that we are getting ever closer to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. True, great difficulties yet await those on the earth at His return, but in this regard, the faithful need not fear.” – Christoffel Golden
Go Ye Now in Peace
The Second Coming will surely be a time of commotion, but it will also be a time of joy. I envision it being something similar to the time when the city of Enoch was being established. Many think that everything was grand at that time, but the reality is that Satan was raging in the hearts of men at the same time that the city of Enoch was established.
15 And the giants of the land, also, stood afar off; and there went forth a curse upon all people that fought against God;
16 And from that time forth there were wars and bloodshed among them; but the Lord came and dwelt with his people, and they dwelt in righteousness.
17 The fear of the Lord was upon all nations, so great was the glory of the Lord, which was upon his people. And the Lord blessed the land, and they were blessed upon the mountains, and upon the high places, and did flourish.
18 And the Lord called his people Zion, because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them.
19 And Enoch continued his preaching in righteousness unto the people of God. And it came to pass in his days, that he built a city that was called the City of Holiness, even Zion.
20 And it came to pass that Enoch talked with the Lord; and he said unto the Lord: Surely Zion shall dwell in safety forever. But the Lord said unto Enoch: Zion have I blessed, but the residue of the people have I cursed.
While war and bloodshed surrounded them, the glory of the Lord was also with his people. While the people fought against God, others dwelt in righteousness. If we choose to follow the Prince of Peace, peace will be our reward. The living prophet will always point us to Christ. In the words of Ezra Taft Benson:
“Learn to keep your eye on the prophet. He is the Lord’s mouthpiece and the only man who can speak for the Lord today. Let his inspired counsel take precedence. Let his inspired words be a basis for evaluating the counsel of all lesser authorities. Then live close to the Spirit so you may know the truth of all things.”
May we rely on guidance from our living prophet and take peace in the Holy Spirit that can safely lead us in the paths of righteousness.
What do you think? Will a prophet ever give us a “Samuel the Lamanite warning” and tell us how many years we have to prepare for Christ’s coming?