Guest Author - T. Lynn Adams
Two years ago my husband and I returned from a house-hunting expedition to our future home town. The prices gave us sticker shock and my concerns turned to the future of my children. I told my non-member friends I didn’t know how they would afford their first homes in a few years.
“The Second Coming will happen in the next two to three years,” the wife of a preacher firmly announced. “My children won’t even be here to worry about it. We will be Raptured away before then.” All the others agreed with her.
Well, that stunned me more than housing prices! Didn’t they read the Bible?
Signs of His coming have always drawn interest from His followers. A week before His Crucifixion, Christ met with his Apostles on the Mount of Olives. He had told them He would return and the Apostles asked, “what sign will there be when these things shall come to pass?” (Luke 21:7) The Savior preceded to teach them many things.
For our blessing, the Bible has recorded many signs of His Coming but often we tend to fixate on the negative signs and forget the positive testimonies to be given prior to His Coming. By reminding our teenagers of the blessings that lay ahead, we can reduce their stress while teaching them that the Lord truly does love His children, even those who live in the Last Days.
Here are some positive Biblical promises.
The Restoration of the Gospel,
After the death of Christ and as the apostasy began the Apostle John saw that an angel would come bearing the gospel of the Savior; to be preached “unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people” (Rev. 14:6-7) Other Biblical prophets also foresaw this restoration of truth in the last days. This has been fulfilled.
The Coming Forth of the Book of Mormon
Both the prophets Isaiah and Ezekial foresaw the coming forth of additional scriptures in the last day. In Isaiah 29, an oft misunderstood chapter, Isaiah saw that after the destruction, distress and sorrow of Ariel (another name for Jerusalem), there would be another nation who would suffer “as Ariel”. This nation would be brought down and their dead would ‘speak out the ground’ and ‘whisper out of the dust' and it would ‘become unto you as the words of a book’--the Book of Mormon.
Ezekiel testified that the record or ‘stick’ of Judah would be joined with the ‘stick’ of Joseph and become one in the hand of the Lord. We know this record of Judah, recorded by the descendents of the tribe of Judah, is the Bible. The record of Joseph is the Book of Mormon, a history recorded by the descendents of the tribe of Joseph. Together the two volumes of scripture unite to bear record to the world of the divinity of the Savior Jesus Christ!
How grateful I am that I live in a day when the Lord has allowed us to have the Bible as a founding witness and the Book of Mormon as a second witness of the Savior Jesus Christ!
The Gospel to be Preached to All the World
From the words of the Savior to the words of His prophets, we know that the gospel is to be preached “in all the world for a witness unto all nations” before He comes again. Furthermore, we know that it is to be preached “to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people.”
Bruce R. McConkie said “When the prophetic word says the gospel shall be preached in every nation, it means every nation…When it mentions every tongue, it includes all the confusing dialects of all the sets and parties of men. The gospel is to go to them all. And the Lord will not come until it does.”
Though much of the world is still closed to our missionaries, thanks to the blessing of the internet, the restored gospel is penetrating many of these countries. The gospel is now rolling foward, like a stone cut from the mountain without hands!
Elijah to Restore the Sealing Power
To fulfill His promise to Abraham, the Lord promised to send Elijah before "the great and dreadful day of the Lord, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers." The prophet Elijah appeared to Joseph Smith in April 1836 and restored the sealing powers. Now, families can be linked together through sealing ordinances in the temples, creating “seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore… in an eternal family in which "all the nations of the earth be blessed.” (Gen. 22:17-18)
The Lamanites Will Blossom
Such tremendous blessings here! The descendents of Lehi are some of the ‘other sheep’ the Lord spoke about in John 10:14-16! Christ testified that they would join with the believers and become one fold. A Proclamation of the Twelve Apostles in October of 1845 said that these ‘other sheep’, these righteous descendents of Joseph “shall enter into the congregation of the Lord, even into the Holy of Holies, there to be crowned with authority and power which shall never end.”
Spencer W. Kimball promised these worthy 'other sheep' would become leaders in business, politics, art, literature, medicine and law. Though coming to pass, this promise has not been completely fulfilled. I thrill to watch that glorious day arriving!
A Temple to the Lord Will be Built in Jerusalem
Prophets foresaw the destruction of the temple and its rebuilding into a temple that would stand until He came again. This temple will not be built by non-believers for it will be a temple where “I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them forevermore” (Ezek. 37:26-28).
Joseph Smith said, “Judah must return. Jerusalemen must be rebuilt, and the temple…and all this must be done before the Son of Man will make His appearance” (Teachings, p. 286). That temple has yet to be built.
Though we do not know for sure when the Lord will come, using the Bible we can know many things still have to be fulfilled. Blessed by additional scripture and the words of the living prophets we know and understand even more. The Lord has given us all this information so that we could prepare for the day of His Coming and so we could help others prepare as well.