Quotes on Second Coming

See also: D&C 29, 49:7, 101, 133:10; Genesis 9:12; JS-Matt 24; Malachi 3    

How do we 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 be tomorrow you would be ready.  Nobody knows when it is going to happen.  No one knows when the Savior is coming, not even the angels in heaven.  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. — President Gordon B. Hinckley, Weber State University, Institute Devotional, April 15, 1997

He comes!  The earth shakes, and the tall mountains tremble; the mighty deep rolls back to the north as in fear, and the rent skies glow like molten brass.  He comes!  The dead Saints burst forth from their tombs, and “those who are alive and remain” are “caught up” with them to meet him.  The ungodly rush to hide themselves from his presence, and call upon the quivering rocks to cover them.  He comes! with all the hosts of the righteous glorified.  The breath of his lips strikes death to the wicked.  His glory is a consuming fire.  The proud and rebellious are as stubble; they are burned and “left neither root nor branch.”  He sweeps the earth “as with the besom of destruction.”  He deluges the earth with the fiery floods of his wrath, and the filthiness and abominations of the world are consumed.  Satan and his dark hosts are taken and bound – the prince of the power of the air has lost his dominion, for He whose right it is to reign has come, and the “the kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ.”

“The people of the Saints of the Most High” will dwell on the earth, which shall bring forth her strength as in the days of her youth; they will build cities and plant gardens; those who have been faithful over a few things will be made rulers over many things; Eden will bloom, and the fruits and flowers of Paradise display their loveliness as at the first; Jesus shall reign “in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem and before his ancients gloriously,” and all created things shall “praise the Lord.” — Elder Charles W. Penrose, “The Second Advent,” Millennial Star 21:583 [1859]

“The day of the coming of the Lord is near. I do not know when . . . . I sincerely believe it will come in the very day when some of us who are here today [April 5, 1936] will be living upon the earth. That day is close at hand. It behooves us as Latter-day Saints to set our houses in order, to keep the commandments of God, to turn from evil to righteousness, if it is necessary, and serve the Lord in humility and faith and prayer.” — President Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 3:2-3

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. — Boyd K. Packer, Ensign, May 1989, p. 59

Elder Charles W. Penrose explained that Christ will make several appearances, namely, to the Saints gather to Zion, to the Jews gathered back to their homeland, and to the rest of the world: . . .

“The great and crowning advent of the Lord will be subsequent to these two appearances [to his Temple and on the Mount of Olives]; but who can describe it in the language of mortals?  The tongue of man falters, and the pen drops from the hand of the writer, as the mind is rapt in contemplation of the sublime and awful majesty of his coming to take vengeance on the ungodly and to reign as King of the whole earth.”   — Charles W. Penrose, “The Second Advent,” Millennial Star, 10 Sept. 1859, pp. 582-83; Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual, p. 340

Concerning the need to be prepared for the Second Coming but not to fear it, in a 1927 Christmas message, the First Presidency states: “Each passing year brings us nearer the date of the Lord’s coming in power and glory.  True, the hour and the day when this great event is to take place, no man knoweth; but all the promised signs indicate that  it is not far distant.  Meanwhile the duty of the Saints is to watch and work and pray, being valiant for truth, and abounding in good works.  Despite the uneasiness and discontent in many parts of the earth, the suspicions and jealousies among the nations, the mounting wave of lawlessness and crime, and the seeming spread of the elements of destruction…those who continue to stand in holy places can discern through it all the handworking of the Almighty in consummation of His purposes and in furtherance of His will.  That which, viewed with the natural eye, is portentous and dreadful, causes no apprehension to those who have faith that whatever happens, the Lord God omnipotent reigneth” (in Clark, Messages of the First Presidency, 5:256). The Pearl of Great Price Student Manual, p. 50 

In the Book of Mormon we find a pattern for preparing for the Second Coming.  A major portion of the book centers on the few decades just prior to Christ’s coming to America.  By careful study of that time period, we can determine why some were destroyed in the terrible judgments that preceded His coming and what brought others to stand at the temple in the land of Bountiful and thrust their hands into the wounds of His hands and feet.

From the Book of Mormon we learn how disciples of Christ live in times of war.  From the Book of Mormon we see the evils of secret combinations portrayed in graphic and chilling reality.  In the Book of Mormon we find lessons for dealing with persecution and apostasy.  We learn much about how to do missionary work.  And more than anywhere else, we see in the Book of Mormon the dangers of materialism and setting our hearts on the things of the world.  Can anyone doubt that this book was meant for us and that in it we find great power, great comfort, and great protection?” — President Ezra Taft Benson, “The Book of Mormon – Keystone of Our Religion,” Ensign, November 1986, p. 4

I have been deeply impressed with the beauty and power of this scriptural account in 3rd Nephi [6:15], and with its great value for our time and our generation.

The record of the Nephite history just prior to the Savior’s visit reveals many parallels to our own day as we anticipate the Savior’s second coming.  The Nephite civilization had reached great heights.  They were prosperous and industrious.  They had built many cities with great highways connecting them.  They engaged in shipping and trade.  They built temples and palaces.

But, as so often happens, the people rejected the Lord.  Pride became commonplace.  Dishonesty and immorality were widespread.  Secrete combinations flourished because, as Helaman tells us, the Gadianton robbers “had seduced the more part of the righteous until they had come down to believe in their works and partake of their spoils” (Helaman 6:38).  “The people began to be distinguished by ranks, according to their riches and their chances for learning” (3rd Nephi 6:12).  And “Satan had great power, unto the stirring up of the people to do all manner of iniquity, and to the puffing them up with pride, tempting them to seek for power, and authority, and riches, and the vain things of the world,” even as today (3rd Nephi 6:15). — President Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign, May 1987, p. 4

What if the day of His coming were tomorrow?  If we knew that we would meet the Lord tomorrow – through our premature death or His unexpected coming – what would we do today?  What confessions would we make?  What practices would we discontinue? What accounts would we settle?  What forgivenesses would we extend?  What testimonies would we bear?

If we would do those things then, why not now?  Why not seek peace while peace can be obtained?  If our lamps of preparation are drawn down, let us start immediately to replenish them.

We need to make both temporal and spiritual preparation for the events prophesied at the time of the Second Coming.  And the preparation most likely to be neglected is the one less visible and more difficult – the spiritual.  A 72-hour kit of temporal supplies may prove valuable for earthly challenges, but, as the foolish virgins learned to their sorrow, a 24-hour kit of spiritual preparation is of greater and more enduring value. — Elder Dallin H. Oaks, Ensign, May 2004, pp. 8-9

I have asked of the Lord concerning His coming; and while asking the Lord, He gave a sign and said, “In the days of Noah I set a bow in the heavens as a sign and token that in any year that the bow should be seen the Lord would not come; but there should be seed time and harvest during that year: but whenever you see the bow withdrawn, it shall be a token that there shall be famine, pestilence, and great distress among the nations, and that the coming of the Messiah is not far distant.” — Joseph Smith, Teachings, pp. 340-41

The coming of the Son of Man never will be, never can be, till the judgments spoken of for this hour are poured out, which judgments are commenced. . . . All this must be done before [the] Son of Man will make his appearance:  wars and rumors of wars, signs in the heavens above [and] on the earth beneath, [the] sun turned into darkness [and the] moon to blood, earthquakes in diverse places, oceans heaving beyond their bounds, then one grand sign of the Son of Man in heaven.  But what will the world do?  They will say it is a planet, a comet, and so forth. Consequently, the Son of Man will come as the sign of [the] coming of the Son of Man. — Joseph Smith, Discourse of 6 April 1843, recorded by Willard Richards; WJS, p. 180

How are we to see it?  As the lighting up of the morning or the dawning of the morning cometh from the east and shineth unto the west, so also is the coming of the Son of Man.  The dawning of the morning makes its appearance in the east and moves along gradually.  So also will the coming of the Son of Man be.  It will be small at its first appearance and gradually become larger until every eye shall see it.  Shall the Saints understand it?  Oh yes.  Paul says so [1 Thes. 5:4-5].  Shall the wicked understand?  Oh no.  They [will] attribute it to a natural cause.  They will probably suppose it is two great comets coming in contact with each other.  It will be small at first and will grow larger and larger until it will be all in a blaze, so that every eye shall see it. — Joseph Smith, Discourse of 6 April 1843, recorded by James Burgess; WJS, p. 181

There will be here and there a stake for the gathering of the Saints.  Some may have cried “Peace!” but the Saints and the world will have little peace from henceforth.  Let this not hinder us from going to the stakes, for God has told us to flee, not dallying, or we shall be scattered, one here, another there.  There your children shall be blessed, and you [shall be] in the midst of friends where you may be blessed.  The gospel net gathers of every kind. I prophesy that the man who tarries after he has an opportunity of going will be afflicted by the Devil.  Wars are at hand; we must not delay. . . .

We ought to have the building up of Zion as our greatest object.  When wars come we shall have to flee to Zion.  The cry is to make haste.  The last revelation says, “Ye shall not have time to have gone over the earth until these things come” [cf. Matt. 10:23].  It will come as did the cholera-war, fires burning, earthquake, one pestilence after another. — Joseph Smith, Discourse of summer of 1839, recorded in Willard Richards’ “Pocket Companion;” WJS, p. 11

I prophesy, in the name of the Lord God of Israel, anguish and wrath and tribulation and the withdrawing of the Spirit of God from the earth await this generation, until they are visited with utter desolation. This generation is as corrupt as the generation of the Jews that crucified Christ; and if He were here to-day, and should preach the same doctrine He did then, they would put Him to death. Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 328

We live in a very difficult era in the history of the world, when Satan is going to and fro on the earth among the children of God, doing all manner of evil to thwart the desires of a righteous God.  The scriptures teach us that Satan’s evil designs upon the peoples of the earth will intensify as the Second Coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ draws near at hand (see 2 Thessalonians 2:1-10; D&C 10:33; 52:14; 86:3-10). . . . It is so important that all of us understand that we live in the last dispensation of the fulness of time – that we are preparing for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and that the adversary in these last days will be able to loose more evils upon the world. — Elder Robert D. Hales, Ensign, November 2001, pp. 39, 41

Concerning the need to be prepared for the Second Coming but not to fear it, in a 1927 Christmas message the First Presidency stated:  “Each passing year brings us nearer the date of the Lord’s coming in power and glory. True, the hour and the day when this great event is to take place, no man knoweth; but all the promised signs indicate that it is not far distant. Meanwhile the duty of the Saints is to watch and work and pray, being valiant for truth, and abounding in good works.  Despite the uneasiness and discontent in many parts of the earth, the suspicions and jealousies among the nations, the mounting wave of lawlessness and crime, and the seeming spread of the elements of destruction . . . those who continue to stand in holy places can discern through it all the handworking of the Almighty in consummation of His purposes and in furtherance of His will.  That which, viewed with the natural eye, is portentous and dreadful, causes no apprehension to those who have faith that whatever happens, the Lord God omnipotent reigneth” (in Clark, Messages of the First Presidency, 5:256). Pearl of Great Price Student Manual, 50

Are you priesthood bearers aware of the fact that we need no such publications to be forewarned, if we were only conversant with what the scriptures have already spoken to us in plainness?

Let me give you the sure word of prophecy on which you should rely for your guide instead of these strange sources which may have great political implications.

Read the 24th chapter of Matthew particularly that inspired version as contained in the Pearl of Great Price.  (Joseph Smith 1)

Then read the 45th section of the Doctrine and Covenants where the Lord, not man, has documented the signs of the times.

Now turn to section 101 and section 133 of the Doctrine and Covenants and hear the step-by-step recounting of events leading up to the coming of the Savior.

Finally, turn to the promises the Lord makes to those who keep the commandments when these judgments descend upon the wicked, as set forth in the Doctrine and Covenants, section 38.

Brethren, these are some of the writings with which you should concern yourselves, rather than commentaries that may come from those whose information may not be the most reliable and whose motives may be subject to question. And may I say, parenthetically, most of such writers are not handicapped by having any authentic information on their writings. — President Harold B. Lee, Conference Report, October 1972, p. 128

When the Savior has completed the work, when the faithful Saints have preached the Gospel to the last of the spirits who have lived here and who are designed to come to this earth; when the thousand years of rest shall come and thousands and thousands of Temples shall be built, and the servants and handmaids of the Lord shall have entered therein and officiated for themselves, and for their dead friends back to the days of Adam; when the last of the spirits in prison who will receive the Gospel has received it; when the Savior comes and receives his ready bride, and all who can be are saved in the various kingdoms of God – celestial, terrestrial and telestial, according to their several capacities and opportunities; when sin and iniquity are driven from the earth, and the spirits that now float in this atmosphere are driven into the place prepared for them; and when the earth is sanctified from the effects of the fall, and baptized, cleansed, and purified by fire, and returns to its paradisiacal state, and has become like a sea of glass, a urim and thummim; when all this is done, and the Savior has presented the earth to his Father, and it is placed in the cluster of the celestial kingdoms, and the Son and all his faithful brethren and sisters have received the welcome plaudit – “Enter ye into the joy of your Lord,” and the Savior is crowned, then and not till then, will the Saints receive their everlasting inheritances. — Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 17:117

Three special signs are associated with the Lord’s return to earth:

            1. “All flesh shall see [Him] together” (D&C 101:23).  Elder Orson Pratt said that “the second advent of the Son of God is to be something . . . accompanied with great power and glory, something that will not be done in a small portion of the earth like Palestine, and seen only by a few; but it will be an event that will be seen by all – all flesh shall see the glory of the Lord; when he reveals himself the second time, every eye, not only those living at that time in the flesh, in mortality on the earth, but also the very dead themselves” (in Journal of Discourses, 18:170).

            2. “Every corruptible thing . . . shall be consumed” (D&C 101:24).  Elder Bruce R. McConkie explained:  “Incident to the commencement of the millennial era, the earth (the Lord’s vineyard) will be burned.  Every corruptible thing will be consumed (D. & C. 101:24); all the proud and they that do wickedly shall be burned as stubble (Mal. 4:1; D. & C. 29:9; 64:23–25; 133:63–64); the sinners will be destroyed (Isa. 13:9–14); and there will be an entire separation of the righteous and the wicked. (D. & C. 63:54.)  Those only shall be able to abide that day who are worthy to live on a paradisiacal or terrestrial sphere.” (Mormon Doctrine, p. 494.)

            3. “All things shall become new” (D&C 101:25; see also D&C 29:23–24). Of this newness Elder Parley P. Pratt wrote:  “A new heaven and a new earth are promised by the sacred writers. Or, in other words, the planetary systems are to be changed, purified, refined, exalted and glorified, in the similitude of the resurrection, by which means all physical evil or imperfections will be done away.”  (Key to the Science of Theology, p. 61)

This newness of things is not the same as the “new heaven and a new earth” (Revelation 21:1) that will be part of the earth’s celestialization at the end of the Millennium. Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual, p. 241

How will the earth be burned by fire?  (D&C 101:25)  The glory of a celestial being, of which the sun is typical (see D&C 76:70), is so radiant that to bring that glory to the earth will cause great burning. The cleansing of the earth by fire will be caused by the coming of the Savior to earth (see D&C 5:19; McConkie, Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3:368–69; Notes and Commentary for D&C 133:40–49). Those who are not changed to withstand the presence of the Savior will perish by fire. Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual, p. 241

Elder Charles W. Penrose explained that Christ will make several appearances, namely, to the Saints gathered to Zion, to the Jews gathered back to their homeland, and to the rest of the world:  “Among the first-mentioned of these three classes of men [that is, among the Saints in Zion] the Lord will make his appearance first; and that appearance will be unknown to the rest of mankind.  He will come to the Temple prepared for him, and his faithful people will behold his face, hear his voice, and gaze upon his glory.  From his own lips they will receive further instructions for the development and beautifying of Zion and for the extension and sure stability of his kingdom.

“His next appearance will be among the distressed and nearly vanquished sons of Judah.  At the crisis of their fate, when the hostile troops of several nations are ravaging the city and all the horrors of war are overwhelming the people of Jerusalem, he will set his feet upon the Mount of Olives, which will cleave and part asunder at his touch. Attended by a host from heaven, he will overthrow and destroy the combined armies of the Gentiles, and appear to the worshiping Jews as the mighty Deliverer and Conqueror so long expected by their race; and while love, gratitude, awe, and admiration swell their bosoms, the Deliverer will show them the tokens of his crucifixion and disclose himself as Jesus of Nazareth, whom they had reviled and whom their fathers put to death.  Then will unbelief part from their souls, and ‘the blindness in part which has happened unto Israel’ be removed.  ‘A fountain for sin and uncleanness shall be opened to the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem,’ and ‘a nation will be born’ unto God ‘in a day.’  They will be baptized for the remission of their sins, and will receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, and the government of God as established in Zion will be set up among them, no more to be thrown down for ever.

“The great and crowning advent of the Lord will be subsequent to these two appearances; but who can describe it in the language of mortals?  The tongue of man falters, and the pen drops from the hand of the writer, as the mind is rapt in contemplation of the sublime and awful majesty of his coming to take vengeance on the ungodly and to reign as King of the whole earth.” (“The Second Advent,” Millennial Star, 10 Sept. 1859, pp. 582–83)

Other scriptures show that besides Christ’s appearance in Zion, He will appear at the council held at Adam-ondi-Ahman. Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual, p. 340

Genesis indicates that in the early history of the world the land masses were united. [See also D&C 133:23-24.]  Moses recorded that one of the great-great-grandsons of Shem was named Peleg (a Hebrew word meaning division) because “in his days was the earth divided” (Genesis 10:25).  Many scholars have passed this reference off as meaning some sort of cultural or political division, but modern prophets have taught that this statement should be taken literally.

An article published early in the history of the Church under the direction of the Prophet Joseph Smith stated:  “The Eternal God hath declared that the great deep shall roll back into the north countries and that the land of Zion and the land of Jerusalem shall be joined together, as they were before they were divided in the days of Peleg. No wonder the mind starts at the sound of the last days!”  (“The Last Days,” Evening and Morning Star, Feb. 1833, p. 1)

President Joseph Fielding Smith wrote:  “If . . . the earth is to be restored as it was in the beginning, then all the land surface will again be in one place as it was before the days of Peleg, when this great division was accomplished.  Europe, Africa, and the islands of the sea including Australia, New Zealand, and other places in the Pacific must be brought back and joined together as they were in the beginning.”  (Answers to Gospel Questions, 5:74) Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual, p. 340 

When I contemplate the rapidity with which the great and glorious day of the coming of the Son of Man advances, when He shall come to receive His Saints unto Himself, where they shall dwell in His presence, and be crowned with glory and immortality: when I consider that soon the heavens are to be shaken, and the earth tremble and reel to and fro; and that the heavens are to be unfolded as a scroll when it is rolled up; and that every mountain and island are to flee away, I cry out in my heart, What manner of persons ought we to be in all holy conversation and godliness! Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 29

Joseph Smith also taught that we must be able to endure persecution in order to stand in the day when the Lord shall come: “Those who cannot endure persecution, and stand in the day of affliction, cannot stand in the day when the Son of God shall burst the veil, and appear in all the glory of His Father, with all the holy angels.” Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 42

. . . the earth will be baptized with fire, and wickedness swept away from its face, so that the glory of God shall cover it.  As the waters cover the great deep, so will the earth be overwhelmed and immersed in the glory of God, and His Spirit be poured out upon all flesh, before the earth dies.  After this purifying ordinance, there will be a thousand years of rest, during which righteousness shall abound upon the face of the earth; . . . — Orson Pratt, Journal of Discourses, 1, p. 292

 

In answer to questions put by his apostles, Jesus spoke of certain events which were to be taken as signs of his advent.  These things are now taking place: therefore we are living in the day of his coming.

The “Gospel of the kingdom,” restored to earth by revelation, is being preached as a special “witness” of his appearing; his people are gathering together; already the foundations of his kingdom are being laid in the mountains; Zion is being built up; a Temple is being reared for his reception; the spirit of gathering is brooding over the Jews, and wealthy and influential men among them are exerting themselves for the re-establishment of Jerusalem; barren parts of that land are beginning to blossom, and streams there long since dried up begin again to flow.  The spirit of contention increases in every department of society, and the nations feel impelled by an invisible influence to prepare themselves for war.  Horrible inventions are continually being brought out for the purpose of destroying the lives of men.  Incapacity among law-makers and rulers is seen to a most humiliating degree. We hear of earthquakes, tornadoes, storms, and all kinds of appalling disasters; and though the earth still brings forth an abundance of her fruits, thousands pine for the want of natural nourishment.  Crime increases at a fearful rate; the religion of the great mass of mankind is nothing but a mockery and a sham; the cords that hold together society are snapping and loosening, and all feel that “there’s something at hand!”

These are some of the tokens of his coming.  “Behold the Bridegroom cometh.  GO YE OUT TO MEET HIM!” The “wise virgins” are awaking; their lamps are trimmed; they walk not in the dark, but, with “a light to their feet and a lamp to their path,” they are hastening to the place appointed; for it is written, “The Redeemer shall come to Zion.”

The time is close at hand. The events we have been considering will follow each other in rapid succession.  God will cut his work short in righteousness.  The day and hour are not revealed; but “when the Lord hath built up Zion, then will he appear in his glory.” — Elder Charles Penrose, “The Second Advent,” Millennial Star, September 10, 1859

Future revelations, brothers and sisters, will include astounding events as well as great and important truths.  So much so, that Moses’ and Israel’s exulting song after safely crossing the Red Sea (see Ex. 15) and the Prophet Joseph’s 1842 litany will gladly give way to the crescendo of glorious events associated with Christ’s coming in majesty and power.

The valley of Adam-ondi-Ahman will ring again – this time with the sounds of dispensational reunion, as it glows with gathering (see Dan. 7:13-14; D&C 107:53-57; D&C 116:1)!  Those of Enoch’s utterly unique city of “one heart” will greet those of the New Zion with holy embraces and holy kisses amid the sounds of sweet sobbing (see Moses 7:62–63)!  The “hills shall tremble” at the presence of the lost tribes, and hearts, as well as ice, will melt, as they come “filled with songs of everlasting joy” (see D&C 133:26–33).

And it will all occur at the direction of the “Redeemer of Israel, our only delight.” Hence, “as children of Zion, good tidings for us. . . . The hour of redemption is near” (Hymns, 1985, no. 6). — Elder Neal A. Maxwell, “God Will Yet Reveal,” Ensign, November 1986

Many of the signs are terrifying and dreadful. The prophets have warned that the earth will experience great turmoil, wickedness, war, and suffering.  The prophet Daniel said that the time before the Second Coming would be a time of trouble such as the earth has never known (see Daniel 12:1).  The Lord said, “The love of men shall wax cold, and iniquity shall abound” (D&C 45:27).  “And all things shall be in commotion; and … fear shall come upon all people” (D&C 88:91).  We can expect earthquakes, disease, famines, great storms, lightnings, and thunder (see Matthew 24:7; D&C 88:90).  Hailstorms will destroy the crops of the earth (see D&C 29:16).

Jesus told His disciples that war would fill the earth: “Ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars. . . . For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom” (Matthew 24:6-7).  The Prophet Joseph Smith said:  “Be not discouraged when we tell you of perilous times, for they must shortly come, for the sword, famine, and pestilence are approaching.  There shall be great destructions upon the face of this land, for ye need not suppose that one jot or tittle of the prophecies of all the holy prophets shall fail, and there are many that remain to be fulfilled yet” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith [2007], 252).

Many of these signs are being fulfilled. Wickedness is everywhere. Nations are constantly at war.  Earthquakes and other calamities are occurring.  Many people now suffer from devastating storms, drought, hunger, and diseases. We can be certain that these calamities will become more severe before the Lord comes.

However, not all the events preceding the Second Coming are dreadful.  Many of them bring joy to the world. Gospel Principles, “Signs of the Second Coming,” p. 253

Before that sacred night in Bethlehem, the events of history and the words of the prophets of all dispensations prepared the way for the first coming of the Lord and His Atonement.  Similarly, history and prophecy laid the groundwork for the Restoration of the gospel through the Prophet Joseph Smith.  Do we have eyes to see that the events and prophecies of our time are preparing us for the Savior’s Second Coming? — Elder Robert D. Hales, “Preparations for the Restoration and the Second Coming: ‘My Hand Shall Be over Thee,'” Ensign, November 2005, p. 92

Signs of the Second Coming are all around us and seem to be increasing in frequency and intensity. . . . While we are powerless to alter the fact of the Second Coming and unable to know its exact time, we can accelerate our own preparation and try to influence the preparation of those around us.  We need to make both temporal and spiritual preparation for the events prophesied at the time of the Second Coming.             — Elder Dallin H. Oaks, “Preparation for the Second Coming,” Ensign, May 2004, pp. 7-9

The First Presidency:  “When Jesus was on the earth, he said to his people, ‘How oft would I have gathered you, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, but ye would not; therefore, behold, your house is left unto you desolate.’  (Matt 23:37-8)  And if the Saints of this dispensation do not listen to the call of the good Shepherd, and gather according to the holy commandment, the time is not far distant, when the representatives of the Saviour now on earth, may have occasion to say, as he said, ‘Your house is left unto you desolate;’ for plagues, famine, pestilence, and death are beginning to circumscribe the earth; and where will safety be but in Zion – the land of God’s appointing – the home of the Saints; a land choice in products and government above all other lands; therefore, we say unto you, Arise and come forth, and tarry not, for the great day of the Lord is at hand, and who shall abide His coming?” — Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Willard Richards, James R. Clark, Messages of the First Presidency, April 1852, vol. 2, p. 99