Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Signs of the Second Coming: Gospel Principles Chapter 43

"For I will reveal myself from heaven with power and great glory, with all the hosts thereof, and dwell in righteousness with men on earth a thousand years, and the wicked shall not stand."     Doctrine and Covenants 29:11

Toward the end of His life, Jesus' apostles approached Him to ask about the Second Coming.  (Matthew 24)  Part of Jesus' response included the parable of the fig tree.

"Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:  So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors."  (Verses 32-33)

The video in the post above -- "Be Not Troubled" will explain more about the Savior's discussion with his apostles and about the parable.

Why should we know the signs of the Savior's coming?  Because our loving Heavenly Father wants us to be physically and spiritually prepared.  The obedient and faithful will study the scriptures and know the signs.

There are two types of signs.  One type are the signs that show a "time of trouble such as never was" (Daniel 12:1).  These include those mentioned in the following scriptures:

Doctrine and Covenants 45:27
Doctrine and Covenants 88:91
Doctrine and Covenants 88:90
Doctrine and Covenants 29:16
Doctrine and Covenants 29:14
Doctrine and Covenants 29:15
Doctrine and Covenants 29:17
Matthew 24: 9
Matthew 24: 10
Matthew 24: 24
Matthew 24: 7

There are also signs that bring great joy!  These can be found in the following scriptures:

Doctrine and Covenants 45:28

Doctrine and Covenants 90:11
Doctrine and Covenants 2
Doctrine and Covenants 49:24
Joseph-Matthew 1:31
Malachi 4:5-6
3 Nephi 21:23-25
Articles of Faith 1:10

In addition to these signs, we have also been provided with advice and promises from our Savior.  These wonderful things can be read in the following verses:

Matthew 24:6

Matthew 24:22
Matthew 24:26-27
Matthew 24:42
Doctrine and Covenants 87:8
Doctrine and Covenants 38:30
Doctrine and Covenants 88:92
Matthew 24:13

Because the Book of Mormon was written for our day and has been called a "type" of things that will happen here and now, it is helpful to study the events leading up to the Savior's appearance in the Americas and compare them to the signs of the times that have been revealed to us.  Here is a timeline that I (Debbie) came up with as I studied Helaman and the first part of 3 Nephi.

Time                      Event
BC 52                    wars and corruption in the government
BC 50-49              the righteous cause the Gadianton Robbers to flee; 10,000 are baptized
BC 38                    the Nephites defeated because of wickedness
BC 30                    Lehi and Nephi preach; many converts
BC 29                    prosperity and peace
BC 24                    Gadianton Robbers take over the government
BC 20                    the government incites the people against Nephi; Nephi is given great                     power
BC 16                   famine; many perish; many repent; rain comes
BC 7                     Gadianton Robbers entrenched in the land
BC 6                     Samuel prophesies; there are more wicked people than good
BC 1                     the wicked plan to destroy the believers; wonders in the heavens; great signs and great miracles
AD 1                     sign is given; new star; day/night/day with no darkness
AD 3-9                 wickedness increases; satan very powerful
AD 15                   war with Gadianton Robbers
AD 18-19             Nephites win; repentance and prosperity
AD 21-26             pride, wealth, class distinctions; church rent with dissension; prophets slain; Gadianton Robbers conspire to take over government
AD 29-30             government overthrown; Nephi preaches constantly; ministrations from angels; many baptisms
AD 32-33             tempests, earthquakes, fires, whirlwinds; many destroyed
AD 34                   darkness for 3 days; people bemoan their fate; the more righteous are preserved; Christ speaks from the darkness; the Father introduces His Son; Christ descends and states, "Behold, I am Jesus Christ."

What one specific thing can you do in the next few months to be better prepared either physically or spiritually?

"And at that day, when I shall come in my glory, shall the parable be fulfilled which I spake concerning the ten virgins.  For they that are wise and have received the truth, and have taken the Holy Spirit for their guide and have not been deceived -- verily I say unto you, they shall not be hewn down and cast into the fire, but shall abide the day.  And the earth shall be given unto them for an inheritance; and they shall multiply and wax strong, and their children shall grow up without sin unto salvation.  For the Lord shall be in their midst, and his glory shall be upon them, and he will be their king and their lawgiver."  Doctrine and Covenants 45:56-59

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