Happiness in the Last Days

In the last days, perilous times shall come…

When I was a teenager, I believed the world was almost over. I gave it fifteen, maybe twenty years max. It was just so wicked. Surely it was “wicked enough” for the Lord to return.

But that’s not what the Lord’s waiting for, is it?

Tonight’s lunar cycle is a “Blood Moon,” according to John Hagee, who looks to be the one solely responsible for associating the biblical phrase “and the moon [shall be] turned to blood” with the lunar tetrad – four successive lunar eclipses with no partial eclipses in between, with each separated by the other by six full moons.

But could this moon be the fulfillment of biblical prophecy?

Not if you’re LDS, it ain’t. Here’s what President Gordon B. Hinckley said in General Conference of October 2001:

The era in which we live is the fulness of times spoken of in the scriptures, when God has brought together all of the elements of previous dispensations. From the day that He and His Beloved Son manifested themselves to the boy Joseph, there has been a tremendous cascade of enlightenment poured out upon the world. The hearts of men have turned to their fathers in fulfillment of the words of Malachi. The vision of Joel has been fulfilled wherein he declared:

“The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the Lord come.” [emphasis added]

J’catch that? The moon-turned-to-blood prophecy was deemed fulfilled as far back as 2001, by a prophet of God, over the pulpit in General Conference, more than a decade before Hagee predicted the end times in his book.

But my original point of this post was not to talk about supermoons or lunar eclipses or “blood moons.” My point was to say that some things will get better during the last days.

We’re a bit of a doomsday cult sometimes, despite what the prophets tell us. Whereas in journalism the phrase is, “If it bleeds, it leads,” the prophets have been telling us things will get better for the saints for some time.

In President Boyd K. Packer’s October 2011 General Conference address, he told the youth:

Sometimes you might be tempted to think as I did from time to time in my youth: “The way things are going, the world’s going to be over with. The end of the world is going to come before I get to where I should be.” Not so! You can look forward to doing it right—getting married, having a family, seeing your children and grandchildren, maybe even great-grandchildren.

So The End isn’t around the corner.

Now consider Christ’s parable of the wheat and tares. His enemy sows tares among his wheat, and his servants want to go destroy the tares. But, Christ says,

Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.
Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.

The harvest has to come first. The wheat is what He’s waiting for, not the tares.

Put more simply, the Lord isn’t waiting for the world to be wicked enough before he returns. He’s waiting for the saints to be righteous enough.

More examples come from the D&C. “Wherefore, may the kingdom of God go forth, that the kingdom of heaven may come.” The Church has to be established, Zion needs to be built, before Christ can return to Earth.

And Zion will be wonderful, remember. “And the Lord called his people Zion, because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them.” (Moses 7:18)

Oh, the world will continue to descend into evil. Greater and greater wickedness will exist. But the saints should be focused on becoming more spiritually prepared, more kind, more generous, more happy. Waiting for the world to grow “wicked enough” ain’t gonna bring about paradise. Building it is.

2 thoughts on “Happiness in the Last Days”

  1. I like your thoughts. If you don’t mind a small subject change, I think the follow-up question should be: “Are the saints becoming more righteous?”

    Of the Saints in Kirtland, Ohio, the Lord said:

     4 Behold, I, the Lord, have looked upon you, and have seen abominations in the church that profess my name. (D&C 50:4)

    54 And your minds in times past have been darkened because of unbelief, and because you have treated lightly the things you have received—
    55 Which vanity and unbelief have brought the whole church under condemnation.
    56 And this condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion, even all.
    57 And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them, not only to say, but to do according to that which I have written—
    58 That they may bring forth fruit meet for their Father’s kingdom; otherwise there remaineth a scourge and judgment to be poured out upon the children of Zion.
    59 For shall the children of the kingdom pollute my holy land? Verily, I say unto you, Nay. (D&C 84:54-59)

    After the Missouri saints were expelled, the Lord told them:

     1 Verily I say unto you, concerning your brethren who have been afflicted, and persecuted, and cast out from the land of their inheritance—
     2 I, the Lord, have suffered the affliction to come upon them, wherewith they have been afflicted, in consequence of their transgressions;
     6 Behold, I say unto you, there were jarrings, and contentions, and envyings, and strifes, and lustful and covetous desires among them; therefore by these things they polluted their inheritances.
     7 They were slow to hearken unto the voice of the Lord their God; therefore, the Lord their God is slow to hearken unto their prayers, to answer them in the day of their trouble.
    (D&C 101: 1-2, 6-7)

    At Nauvoo, the Lord told the Saints

    28 For there is not a place found on earth that he may come to and restore again that which was lost unto you, or which he hath taken away, even the fulness of the priesthood.

    Something was lost?

     45 And if my people will hearken unto my voice, and unto the voice of my servants whom I have appointed to lead my people, behold, verily I say unto you, they shall not be moved out of their place.
     46 But if they will not hearken to my voice, nor unto the voice of these men whom I have appointed, they shall not be blest, because they pollute mine holy grounds, and mine holy ordinances, and charters, and my holy words which I give unto them.
     47 And it shall come to pass that if you build a house unto my name, and do not do the things that I say, I will not perform the oath which I make unto you, neither fulfil the promises which ye expect at my hands, saith the Lord.
     48 For instead of blessings, ye, by your own works, bring cursings, wrath, indignation, and judgments upon your own heads, by your follies, and by all your abominations, which you practice before me, saith the Lord. (D&C 124: 28, 45-48)

    If you look at the history of the Nauvoo temple, you will find that it was never actually completed. The saints were expelled from Nauvoo before they could finish it.

    So, now we are approaching the 100 year mark since an actual revelation from the Lord has been published and added to our canon. Did we all of a sudden become righteous? Have we prepared a place for Zion? Have we removed Babylon from our midst? Are we really so good that the Lord has nothing else to say?

    This is just some food for thought.

    1. Good question. I wish we had more immediate direction sometimes. “I, the Lord, say such-and-such about Prop 8,” that sort of thing. I certainly don’t attribute its absence to the saints’ righteousness, though. I think it’s more likely the pattern established anciently: Moses has TONS of direct revelations in the books of Leviticus and Exodus and whatnot, as the House of Israel is being organized after its escape from Egypt. Then, while we see the Lord speaking to His prophets in subsequent books in the following centuries, we don’t see many prophets saying “THUS SAITH THE LORD…” In General Conference we’ll hear our leaders share things the Spirit told them, which seems more like what the prophets after Moses experienced.

      Same with Christ, as followed by Peter, Paul, etc. The epistles are more like General Conference talks than like D&C revelations; the exception is the Book of Revelation.

      So, when the House of Israel needs a leader to establish the law and organize, we get one; after that we have prophets addressing us in their own voices.

      (Note, the Nauvoo temple was in use even though it wasn’t completed. I found that interesting.)

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