April 26-May 2
If you prefer to listen over reading an article, keep an eye on A Balanced Saint of Mind on YouTube. I post video versions of my blog posts on my channel. The video versions are often posted a little later than the written blog posts.
So one very long section to talk about for this particular week. To give you a little direction on how to follow this section, I want to point out a couple of verses.
The Sermon in the Center
Doctrine and Covenants 45:15-16
15 Wherefore, hearken and I will reason with you, and I will speak unto you and prophesy, as unto men in days of old.
16 And I will show it plainly as I showed it unto my disciples as I stood before them in the flesh, and spake unto them, saying: As ye have asked of me concerning the signs of my coming, in the day when I shall come in my glory in the clouds of heaven, to fulfil the promises that I have made unto your fathers,
The Lord is speaking with Joseph for the first part of the section, and then He gives a little bit of a signpost that can be easy to miss. He says, “Joseph, I’m going to prophesy to you just like I did to my disciples a long time ago when they asked about when I was coming back to the earth.” The Lord then proceeds to give a very similar sermon to the one he gave His followers during His mortal life on the Mount of Olives. It talks in great detail about the signs that will tell us the Lord is coming again. He then says this.
Doctrine and Covenants 45:34-35
34 And now, when I the Lord had spoken these words unto my disciples, they were troubled.
35 And I said unto them: Be not troubled, for, when all these things shall come to pass, ye may know that the promises which have been made unto you shall be fulfilled.
So the Lord tells Joseph, “I’m going to tell you what I told my disciples.” He proceeds to give a similar sermon. He pauses and addresses Joseph again saying, “When I told them about all of this, they got a little worried and so I told them to be not troubled.” Christ then continues on with His sermon until verse 60 when He addresses Joseph again. So we’ve got this whole section in the middle (verses 15-59) where the Lord is repeating a sermon He’s given before.
When the Lord says something more than once, it’s probably a good idea to listen. In the sermon, the Lord speaks about the Jews getting destroyed by the Romans a long time ago and then He talks about when He’s coming again.
The Time of the Gentiles
Here is one of the significant things I learned about while reading this sermon.
There is a period called the “times of the Gentiles.” Quick history lesson. A long time ago, Jesus Christ gave His gospel and the law of Moses to the Israelites. The Israelites didn’t do a whole lot of missionary work. In fact, they generally stayed away from anyone who was a “Gentile” or non-Jew. Christ then personally comes to the earth for His mortal mission, and the Jews completely reject Him. After Christ ascends to heaven, He tells Peter to take the gospel to rest of the world. The Jews didn’t want it; give it to the Gentiles. This is when the times of the Gentiles began.
There are a couple of signs that let us know when the times of the Gentiles are ending. The Jews go back to Jerusalem. The world will be in commotion. The Gentiles will essentially reject the gospel.
So why is this important? Why do we need to know about this time period? It is because the end of the “time of the Gentiles” is a sign of the end of times. Jews are in Jerusalem. The world is in a great commotion. Perhaps you would argue with me, but the Gentiles have rejected the gospel, and President Nelson is calling on us to go out and find the house of Israel. The Gentiles don’t want the gospel and so now we’re taking it back to the Israelites and their descendents all across the world.
There will be other signs. Wars, natural disasters, and plagues. There will be desolating sickness and secret societies like the band of Gadianton will be huge problems in every nation around the world. It’s no wonder that the disciples felt worried after Christ prophesied of these things.
Zion – A Promise of Protection
A couple more verses. These ones are after Christ’s repeated sermon. So all of these dreaded things are happening, and this is what the Lord has for the righteous.
Doctrine and Covenants 45:66-68
66 And it shall be called the New Jerusalem, a land of peace, a city of refuge, a place of safety for the saints of the Most High God;
67 And the glory of the Lord shall be there, and the terror of the Lord also shall be there, insomuch that the wicked will not come unto it, and it shall be called Zion.
68 And it shall come to pass among the wicked, that every man that will not take his sword against his neighbor must needs flee unto Zion for safety.
The Lord will gather His people in the last days to protect them, and it’s going to get so bad that if you don’t want to kill your neighbor, you’re going to need to go to Zion.
Parallels with the Jews and The Book of Mormon
So we have New Jerusalem. I think of two parallels when I think about New Jerusalem.
As I mentioned previously, the Lord didn’t just talk about His Second Coming in the sermon in the center of this section. He also spoke of the Jews being destroyed after He had ascended to heaven following His mortal ministry.
The Romans came to fight against Jerusalem. The Jews had a temporary victory against them before all hell broke loose. A siege took place, and the Romans didn’t even have to fight. The Jews were busy killing each other inside of the city. At this point in time, the Christians had already fled from Jerusalem, and the wicked destroyed the wicked.
There will come a time for us to flee and gather while the rest of the world destroys each other. The place where we gather will have the glory of the Lord, and the wicked will be too afraid to attack it.
The Book of Mormon parallels our day. If you recall, there is a time period before Christ comes to visit the Nephites. During this time period, their government has completely fallen apart and everyone has broken into different tribes. Then the destruction and darkness happen before Christ comes to visit.
We don’t know exactly what governments will look like as we draw closer to the Second Coming. We do know that our “tribe,” the people gathered together in New Jerusalem will have the glory of the Lord, and no one will want to attack them.
What do we do now that we know the doctrine?
We don’t know when it’s coming. The prophet isn’t going to give a PSA and let us know that it’s finally here. Like with the parable of the ten virgins, it’s going to creep up on us and unless we’re looking for it, we will miss it. We don’t know exactly what it’ll look like. Do you see these signs? Do you see the ending of the times of the Gentiles? What are you doing about it?
When the end comes, what will your social media do for you? What will your paycheck and social security do for you? What will your clean house look like amidst the destruction?
What will your family do for you? What will your temple recommend do for you? What will your heed to the prophet’s warnings about food storage do for you?
If I sound a little doomsday, please forgive me. I’m simply sharing what the Savior has been trying to tell us through the words of His prophets and scriptures. To those without the Holy Ghost, these kinds of discussions will seem foolish and crazy. To those with the Holy Ghost, the warning will be clear. We have received our warnings. We may receive a few more admonitions for food storage or spiritual preparation, but if we’re not listening now, what on earth makes us think we’re going to listen then? We have already been warned.
We have already been comforted. Yes, this will be the end of the world as we know it, but the Lord overcame the world. He has taught us how to be on the winning side at the end of this. He has taught us not to be troubled, and He has taught us that our true rewards, for good or for bad, lie in heaven. I’m not always good at listening to the admonitions about being calm and not troubled. My husband won’t stop teasing me about trying to buy a year’s supply of toothpaste, but sometimes I get a little neurotic.
Despite my many weaknesses, I do testify that it’s just as important to listen to His teachings of peace as it is to listen to His teachings about the signs of the times. We have to have the Spirit, and the Spirit speaks softly. If you want to know how to prepare temporally and spiritually, you have to be calm enough to hear the Spirit. That’s really the only way you can be truly prepared. The Spirit will tell you what you need to do for your family, but more importantly, the Spirit will tell you what you need to change about yourself. The end of this journey is not the end of the world; it is the destination we find ourselves in when the end of the world comes.