Personal Feelings (Jan 15, 2016):
There are so many prophecies referring to the last days and the 2nd Coming of the Messiah that I hesitate to write the following because I am not one of the ‘prophesiers’. I can only write down my feelings, the thoughts that have come to me, my impressions and then try and make them compatible and coordinate with what I have read and know to be true.
Much has been written about the opening of the seven seals, each seal representing a thousand years, that there were four thousand years from Adam’s time to the birth of the Savior, then two thousand years (approx..) from the Savior to our time…making in all six thousand years, or the amount of time…well let me insert this here: D&C 77:6:
“6 Q. What are we to understand by the book which John saw, which was sealed on the back with seven seals?
A. We are to understand that it contains the revealed will, mysteries, and the works of God; the hidden things of his economy concerning this earth during the seven thousand years of its continuance, or its temporal existence.”
Or each seal represents a thousand years. Of that seven thousand years, the last thousand is to be the millennial era. What I was going to say at the first is that many times we have heard such sayings as: the Second Coming of the Lord is near…or…at the doors…or…at hand…and many other phrases to describe its proximity. And it hasn’t happened yet. And we still say that it is ‘at hand’ or ‘just around the corner’. Even in J.S. time there was language like this. And more than one hundred and eighty-five years have passed since then. But I guess if you consider that a day with the Lord is as a thousand years with man, then ‘close at hand’ can be better understood. For what are a few decades of time compared to 6 thousand years?
Every year, every lifetime, each generation, the saying has been spread, but no fulfillment as of yet. When the year 2,000 came there were many who said that would be the year, because that year represented the end of the 6,000 years of the earth’s temporal existence. I remember reading statements where the person(s) were adamant about that. Yet it didn’t happen. This is because the Lord has told us that nobody knows the day or the hour of His appearing. Not even the angels in heaven. The Father only knows.
I am going to make a daring statement. I have always felt (I don’t know why) that I would be alive at the Lord’s Second Coming. We are told to watch for the coming of the Lord, and be prepared for His coming; to study and consider the signs of the times…the parable of the fig tree…so we will be ready for that event. I don’t think the previous prophets really envisioned what is going on today in the world. I’m not saying they knew not the prophecies, nor the wickedness that would abound, to the degree that it has shown its ugly head in the world, but I really don’t believe they saw fully all the garbage, grossness, ugliness etc. that is in our world today. Our leaders in the church are aware as they have grown up and are living in it and see its grossness every day. But it is one thing to study the Bible and read about Sodom and Gomorrah, and another thing to live in the midst of it. I didn’t envision all of this even though I grew up in it.
I don’t know how much longer the Lord will or can stay His hand. After what I saw today (I saw something really horrific on the net)… O.K. here comes the most daring part… If I manage to live a life close to the length of my mother’s life, I expect to be here when the first events take place at the beginning of the Millennium. And Christ will come to earth at that time. So that would agree with the statement I made up above.
Like I said, I’m no prophet, just going on the feelings I’ve had and corroborating those with what’s happening today in the world.
I hope you are alive when the Savior returns. What a magnificent experience that will be for the righteous.
I have a few thoughts about timing.
First, in Joseph Smith’s day, they knew about that very scripture you quoted, yet many still thought the event would occur during their lifetime. Consider that. Even though they had the information they needed in order to know that the Lord probably wouldn’t come until sometime near the beginning of the 7th thousand years, they still thought they would experience it even though they lived well within the 6th thousand years. To me, this indicates that the event is so inspiring and so amazing that everyone who looks forward to it wants to be there to witness it.
In my opinion, people now living are the first in the history of the world who can say with any degree of reliability that they might experience the second coming of Jesus Christ before they die. Why? Because we are in the period of the beginning of the 7th thousand years, assuming the calendar is correct.
We don’t know the exact day and hour, but we do know the general time. And our time seems to be that general time.
I remember the claims near the year 2000. I am one who tends to think most claims like that are bogus. Why? Because we know that the people will say that the Lord delays His coming. To me, this means that many people will think He ought to have come already. I think we’re heading toward a time when the world will be ripe for that kind of thinking. My suspicion is that the catalyst for claims that Christ delays His coming is calamity and suffering. When people who know about the prophesy of Christ’s return experience great hardship, they will look for Him to come. Waiting for His return will be a trial for them and they’ll wonder if He delays. This also happened when the Nephites waited for the sign of Christ’s first coming.
I guess what I’m saying is that Christ isn’t coming back to a world of peace and prosperity; He is coming back to a world of calamity, gross wickedness, and war. The year 2000 had some of that, but nowhere near what I think we’ll experience before Christ’s return.
Regardless, I do believe His coming is very near. But let’s be clear: His coming will be directly preceded by extremely challenging events. We have a calamity in America to pass through. We have intense calamities world-wide to endure. And we still have the battle of Armageddon to encounter.
My opinion is that these events will last approximately 7 years: a 3.5-year tribulation in America, a 3.5-year tribulation around Israel, and many calamities happening all the while all over the place. But I’m not God’s mouth piece. Though I form these opinions based on scripture, I could be getting some opinion-based details wrong.
It is so fortunate that we have a witness of Christ’s glorious return and of what that means for the righteous. Were it not for that witness, the calamities would convince so many of the faithful to doubt, to quit, and to wish to die. But because we know of the glorious and saving return of Christ that is just around the corner, we can endure with faith and with hope and with charity.