“Looking Forth for the Great Day of the Lord to Come”

Lesson 21 – D&C 29:9-29; 34:5-12; 45:16-75; 88:86-99; 101:22-34; 133

 

The birth of Jesus and His Second Coming are two of the most glorious events in the history of the world. Due to his humble circumstances in mortality, Jesus was generally not recognized as the Promised Messiah. His Second Coming will be what many expected the first time—a great event in which He comes in power and glory. Today’s lesson will cover teachings about both His Second Coming and millennial reign on earth.

 

The Savior will return to earth in power and great glory

In the dispensation of the fullness of times, we have revelations in the Doctrine and Covenants that teach us about the Second Coming, the events that will precede His coming, and the 1000-year millennial reign. Prophecies about the Second Coming include:

-        D&C 29:9-11; 45:44 – Christ will come in power and glory; the proud and wicked will be burned, and wickedness will cease on the face of the earth.

-        D&C 34:7, 12; 43:17; 110:16 – The time of the Second coming is at hand

-        D&C 34:8, 11; 63:34 – All nations will tremble; His power and influence will be with the faithful

-        D&C 45:45-54; 88:96-99 – Deceased Saints will rise to meet the Savior. Living Saints will be gathered to welcome Him. He will appear on the Mount of Olives, which will divide. Jews will recognize the Messiah and suffer remorse for having persecuted Him when He came into mortality and during His ministry. Then, those inhabitants of the spirit prison who received the gospel there will be resurrected.

-        D&C 49:6 – All enemies will be under His feet (subjected to Him)

-        D&C 49:7 – No one, not even the angels know when the day or hour of the Second Coming. (Note: What were the teachings of Joseph Smith about this? You might do some research on it. )

-        D&C 133:46-53 – The Savior’s robes will be red and vengeance will come upon the wicked, while the righteous will be redeemed.

 

The Millennium will be a time of joy and peace

Our 10th Article of Faith states that Christ will “reign personally on the earth” and “the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory” during the Millennium. D&C 101 describes some of the Millennial conditions:

-        101:23 – Everyone will be able to see the Savior

-        101:24 – The wicked will be destroyed

-        101:25 – The earth will be in a renewed state

-        101:26 – People and animals will coexist peacefully together

-        101:27 – Righteous desires will be granted

-        101:28; 45:55; 88:110 - Satan will be bound (how and by whom?) and we will not allow him to tempt us or gain power over us

-        101:29 – No sorrow or death

-        101:30-31 – The elderly will change suddenly from mortality to immortality (They’ll be “twinkled”!!)

-        101:32-34 – All things about the earth and heaven, their creation and destiny, will be revealed

-        45:58 – Children will grow up without sin

-        45:59; 133:25 – The Lord will be the king and the lawgiver for the entire earth

Understanding the Millennial conditions should be a blessing to us now and should strengthen our confidence in the Savior’s promises and the teachings of the prophets.

 

We must prepare for the Second Coming

D&C 133:4, 10-11 emphasizes the need to be properly prepared for the Second Coming. The Lord’s counsel is that our preparation should be an integral part of our daily lives.

 

-        D&C 61:38 - Be watchful for signs of the Savior’s coming

 

-        D&C 45:36-39 this parable teaches why these signs have been (or will be) given to us

 

-        Positive signs of the Second Coming include:

-      D&C 45:9; 133:57-58 – The fullness of the gospel will be restored

-      D&C 45:66-71 – The new Jerusalem will be built as a place of refuge for the righteous

-      D&C 65:2-6 – God’s kingdom will be established on the earth

-      D&C 110:11-16 – The keys of the Priesthood will be restored

-      D&C 133:8-9, 36-39 – The gospel will be preached throughout the world

 

-        Negative signs of the Second Coming include:

·        D&C 29:15; 88:91 – weeping, despair, fear…men’s hearts will fail them

·        D&C 29:16; 45:31; 112:24 – Famines, scourges, disease, and desolation

·        D&C 34:9; 45:40-42; 88:87 – Signs and wonders in the heavens and the earth

·        D&C 45:26; 63:33 – wars and rumors of wars…the whole earth in commotion

·        D&C 45:27 – The love of men will wax cold and iniquity will abound

·        D&C 45:33; 88:89-90 – Earthquakes, tempests, tidal waves. Hard hearts, conflict

Some of these signs have occurred, others are occurring, and others will yet come.

 

Throughout these times, the Lord counseled in D&C 45:35 that we “be not troubled”. It will not be easy, but we as Latter-day Saints can maintain a bright hope and be full of faith even while surrounded on all sides by turmoil, sin, and distress. It’s a matter of trusting the Lord, his promises, and his anointed leaders who hold the earthly keys during these troubled times!

 

-        Stand in holy places

The main preparatory steps we can take are daily acts of righteousness. Each of the following scriptures counsels us with things we can do to prepare:

-      D&C 27:15; 33:17 – Be steadfast in righteousness

-      D&C 34:6; 39:19-20; 43:20-23 – Cry repentance and practice repentance as needed

-      D&C 45:32; 87:8; 101:22-23 – Stand in holy places such as our temples, our chapels, our homes, and the stakes of Zion. Even in worldly environments, we must strive to assure that the wickedness and temptations around us do not keep us from being holy and worthy.

-      D&C 45:56-57 – Keep the Holy Ghost as our guide throughout our lives

 

President Gordon B. Hinckley taught: “How do you prepare for the Second Coming? Well, you just do not worry about it. You just live the kind of life that if the Second Coming were to happen tomorrow, you would be ready. Nobody knows when it is going to happen…Our responsibility is to prepare ourselves, to live worthy of the association of the Savior, to deport ourselves in such a way that we would not be embarrassed if He were to come among us. That is a challenge in this day and age.” (Church News, 2 Jan 1999, 2)

 

Elder Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve gave the following counsel: “Teenagers also sometimes think, ‘What’s the use? The world will soon be blown all apart and come to an end.’ That feeling comes from fear, not from faith. No one knows the hour or the day (see D&C 49:7), but the end cannot come until all of the purposes of the Lord are fulfilled. Everything that I have learned from the revelations and from life convinces me that there is time and to spare for you to carefully prepare for a long life. One day you will cope with teenage children of your own. That will serve you right. Later, you will spoil your grandchildren, and they in turn spoil theirs. If an earlier end should happen to come to one, that is more reason to do things right” (Ensign, May 1989, 59)

 

Since the Lord has revealed more to us than to any other people at any time in the world’s history, we should use that knowledge to prepare and stand steadfastly in righteousness as the signs unfold. Remember that His Second Coming will be a “great and dreadful day”—great for the righteous and dreadful for the wicked. We, therefore, should be joyful as we contemplate the coming of a joyful day!

 

The parable of the ten virgins is based on ancient Jewish wedding traditions. In Jesus’ time, the bridegroom and his friends would escort the bride from her home to the home of the bridegroom. Along the way, the friends of the bride waited to join them. When they arrived at the bridegroom’s home, they all went inside for the wedding. This usually took place in the evening, so those waiting for the bride usually carried small lamps fueled by oil. In the parable, the bridegroom represents the Savior, the virgins represent the members of the Church. The wedding represents the Savior’s Second Coming. The oil in the lamps represents preparation for the Second Coming.

President Spencer W. Kimball said: “In the parable, oil can be purchased at the market. In our lives the oil of preparedness is accumulated drop by drop in righteous living. Attendance at sacrament meetings adds oil to our lamps, drop by drop over the years. Fasting, family prayer, home teaching, control of bodily appetites, preaching the gospel, studying the scriptures—each act of dedication and obedience is a drop added to the store. Deeds of kindness, payment of offerings and tithes, chaste thoughts and actions, marriage in the covenant for eternity—these, too, contribute importantly to the oil with which we can, at midnight, refuel our exhausted lamps” (Faith Precedes the Miracle, [1972], 256).