Sunday, March 13, 2016

What Does The Second Coming Have to Do with Preparedness?

“The most often mentioned event in the entire Bible is that wonderful, yet awful experience that we will have when Jesus Christ shall come to judge our world. There are many important gospel doctrines mentioned in the Bible only briefly, and some not at all. The new birth is mentioned in the Bible nine times; baptism is mentioned 52 times, repentance is mentioned 89, but the second coming of Christ is mentioned over 1,500 times in the Old Testament and 300 times in the New Testament. If God thought this subject that important, he must have wanted us to do something about it.” 

In April 2004, Elder Dallin H. Oaks taught of the need to continually watch and be ready:
"In modern revelation we have the promise that if we are prepared we need not fear... The scriptures are rich in references to the Second Coming, an event eagerly awaited by the righteous and dreaded or denied by the wicked. The faithful of all ages have pondered the sequence and meaning of the many events prophesied to precede and follow this hinge point of history. 
"Four matters are indisputable to Latter-day Saints: (1) The Savior will return to the earth in power and great glory to reign personally during a millennium of righteousness and peace. (2) At the time of His coming there will be a destruction of the wicked and a resurrection of the righteous. (3) No one knows the time of His coming, but (4) the faithful are taught to study the signs of it and to be prepared for it. I wish to speak about the fourth of these great realities: the signs of the Second Coming and what we should do to prepare for it." 
"Biblical and modern prophecies give many signs of the Second Coming. These include: (1) The fulness of the gospel restored and preached in all the world for a witness to all nations. (2) False Christs and false prophets, deceiving many. (3) Wars and rumors of wars, with nation rising against nation. (4) Earthquakes in divers places. (5) Famine and pestilence. (6) An overflowing scourge, a desolating sickness covering the land. (7) Iniquity abounding. (8) The whole earth in commotion. (9) Men's hearts failing them.
He continued, "We need to make both temporal and spiritual preparation for the events prophesied at the time of the Second Coming." (Dallin H. Oaks, Preparation for the Second Coming, April 2004)

In October 1980, President Ezra Taft Benson said:
“Too often we bask in our comfortable complacency and rationalize that the ravages of war, economic disaster, famine, and earthquake cannot happen here. Those who believe this are either not acquainted with the revelations of the Lord, or they do not believe them. Those who smugly think these calamities will not happen, that they somehow will be set aside because of the righteousness of the Saints, are deceived and will rue the day they harbored such a delusion. The Lord has warned and forewarned us against a day of great tribulation and given counsel, through His servants, on how we can be prepared for these difficult times. Have we heeded His counsel?” (Ezra T. Benson, “Prepare for the Days of Tribulation”, October 1980)
In April 1997, Elder Henry B. Eyring said: 
“The Savior has always been the protector of those who would accept His protection. He has said more than once, ‘How oft would I have gathered you as a hen gathereth her chickens, and ye would not’. The Lord expressed the same lament in our own dispensation after describing the many ways in which He calls us to safety: ‘How oft have I called upon you by the mouth of my servants, and by the ministering of angels, and by mine own voice, and by the voice of thunderings, and by the voice of lightnings, and by the voice of tempests, and by the voice of earthquakes, and great hailstorms, and by the voice of famines and pestilences of every kind, and by the great sound of a trump, and by the voice of judgment, and by the voice of mercy all the day long, and by the voice of glory and honor and the riches of eternal life, and would have saved you with an everlasting salvation, but ye would not!’. There seems to be no end to the Savior’s desire to lead us to safety. And there is constancy in the way He shows us the path. He calls by more than one means so that it will reach those willing to accept it. And those means always include sending the message by the mouths of His prophets whenever people have qualified to have the prophets of God among them. Those authorized servants are always charged with warning the people, telling them the way to safety.” (Henry B. Eyring, “Finding Safety in Counsel”, General Conference, April 1997)

Although it has been prophesied that there will be great tribulation prior to the Savior's return, we can rejoice that the Lord has given us prophets and apostles, His authorized servants, to help us to prepare and to lead us to safety.

If you'd like to know more about what the prophets and apostles have said about the Second Coming, click HERE.

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