The building up of Zion is a cause that has interested the people of God in every age; it is a theme upon which prophets, priests and kings have dwelt with peculiar delight; they have looked forward with joyful anticipation to the day in which we live; and fired with heavenly and joyful anticipations they have sung and written and prophesied of this our day; but they died without the sight; we are the favored people that God has made choice of to bring about the Latter-day glory; it is left for us to see, participate in and help to roll forward the Latter-day glory, ‘the dispensation of the fullness of times,’ when God will gather together all things that are in heaven, and all things that are upon the earth, … when the Saints of God will be gathered in one from every nation, and kindred, and people, and tongue, when the Jews will be gathered together into one, the wicked will also be gathered together to be destroyed, as spoken of by the prophets; the Spirit of God will also dwell with His people, and be withdrawn from the rest of the nations, and all things whether in heaven or on earth will be in one, even in Christ.
Now we are entering times wherein there will be for all of us as Church members, in my judgment, some special challenges which will require of us that we follow the Brethren. All the easy things that the Church has had to do have been done. From now on, it’s high adventure, and followership is going to be tested in some interesting ways.
If they saw our day, and chose those things which would be of greatest worth to us, is not that how we should study the Book of Mormon? We should constantly ask ourselves, ”Why did the Lord inspire Mormon or Moroni or Alma to include that in their records? What lesson can I learn from that to help me live in this day and age?” And there is example after example of how that question will be answered. For example, 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?
CR, ET BENSON OCT:1986
CR, JB WIRTHLIN APR:2003
Quoting Boyd K. Packer:
We need not live in fear of the future. We have every reason to rejoice and little reason to fear. If we follow the promptings of the Spirit, we will be safe, whatever the future holds. We will be shown what to do.
CR, HINCKLEY OCT:2001
I do not believe the time is here when an all-consuming calamity will overtake us. I earnestly pray that it may not. There is so much of the Lord’s work yet to be done. We, and our children after us, must do it.
CR, HINCKLEY OCT:2001
I do not know what we did in the preexistence to merit the wonderful blessings we enjoy. We have come to earth in this great season in the long history of mankind. It is a marvelous age, the best of all. As we reflect on the plodding course of mankind, from the time of our first parents, we cannot help feeling grateful.
CR, H W HUNTER OCT:1993
I promise you in the name of the Lord whose servant I am that God will always protect and care for his people. We will have our difficulties the way every generation and people have had difficulties. But with the gospel of Jesus Christ, you have every hope and promise and reassurance. The Lord has power over his Saints and will always prepare places of peace, defense, and safety for his people.
CR, H B LEE OCT:1970
We have some tight places to go before the Lord is through with this church and the world in this dispensation, which is the last dispensation, which shall usher in the coming of the Lord. The gospel was restored to prepare a people ready to receive him. The power of Satan will increase; we see it in evidence on every hand. There will be inroads within the Church. We will see those who profess membership but secretly are plotting and trying to lead people not to follow the leadership that the Lord has set up to preside in this church.
Now the only safety we have as members of this church is to do exactly what the Lord said to the Church in that day when the Church was organized. We must learn to give heed to the words and commandments that the Lord shall give through his prophet, as he receiveth them, walking in all holiness before me; as if from mine own mouth, in all patience and faith. (D&C 21:4-5.) There will be some things that take patience and faith. You may not like what comes from the authority of the Church. But if you listen to these things, as if from the mouth of the Lord himself, with patience and faith, the promise is that the gates of hell shall not prevail against you; yea, and the Lord God will disperse the powers of darkness from before you, and cause the heavens to shake for your good, and his names glory. (D&C 21:6)
CR, H B LEE OCT:1972
There are among us many loose writings predicting the calamities which are about to overtake us. Some of these have been publicized as though they were necessary to wake up the world to the horrors about to overtake us. Many of these are from sources upon which there cannot be unquestioned reliance. 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. (JS-M 1.) Then read the 45th section of the Doctrine and Covenants where the Lord, not man, has documented the signs of the times. [D&C 45] 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. [D&C 101; D&C 133] 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. [D&C 138] 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.
CR, JE TALMAGE APR:1916
It is the proud and they who do wickedly who close their eyes and their ears and their hearts to the signs of the times, to the word of the Gospel and to the testimony of the Christ. It has long been a favorite excuse of men who were not ready for the advent of the Lord, to say, ‘The Lord delayeth His coming.’ Don’t attach too much importance to the fact that He has thus far delayed His coming, for He has repeatedly told us that the day of His coming is very, very near, even at our doors. There is a tendency among men to explain away what they don’t wish to understand in literal simplicity, and we, as Latter-day Saints are not entirely free from the taint of that tendency. Prophecies that have not yet been fulfilled are by many of us made the subjects of hypothesis and theory and strained interpretation.
CR, J TAYLOR APR:1887
But out of apparent evil, Providence will bring abundant good, and the lesson which the signs of the times should teach us is one of patience, endurance, and calm reliance on the Lord. The result will be that we shall be stronger, wiser, purer, happier, for the experience gained, and the work of the Lord, delivered by His Omnipotence from all the snares set for its retardation, or plans laid for its destruction, will yet triumph gloriously over all its foes, and the infinite atonement of the Redeemer will accomplish its perfect work. The final victory of the Saints is certain; after the trial comes the reward.
Messages of the First Presidency, 3:108-130
CR, M G ROMNEY OCT:1966
I hope we are all familiar with these words of the Lord and with his predictions concerning other coming events, such as the building of the new Jerusalem and the redemption of the old, the return of Enoch’s Zion, and Christ’s millennial reign. Not only do I hope that we are familiar with these coming events; I hope also that we keep the vision of them continually before our minds. This I do because upon a knowledge of them, and an assurance of their reality and a witness that each of us may have part therein, rests the efficacy of Christ’s admonition, “be not troubled.”
JD, W WOODRUFF 18:111
There never was a generation of the inhabitants of the earth in any age of the world who had greater events awaiting them than the present. As I before remarked, the fulfillment of this whole volume of revelation points to our day. The building up of the kingdom of God, the building up of the Zion of God, in the mountains of Israel, the erection of a standard for the Gentiles to flee unto, the warning of the nations of the earth to prepare them for the great judgments of our God, the building up of the Church, the sanctifying of the people, the building of Temples to the Most High God, that his servants may enter therein and become saviors on Mount Zion, redeeming both the living and the dead, all these things are to be performed in our day. And an age fraught with greater interest to the children of men than the one in which we live never dawned since the creation of the world.
JD, O PRATT 7:190
But the Latter-day Saints are not in darkness; they are the children of light, although many of us will actually be asleep. We shall have to wake up and trim up our lamps, or we shall not be prepared to enter in; for we shall all slumber and sleep in that day, and some will have gone to sleep from which they will not awake until they awake up in darkness without any oil in their lamps.
But, as a general thing, the Saints will understand the signs of the times. Others have their eyes closed upon the prophecies of the ancient Prophets; and not only that, but they are void of the spirit of prophecy themselves. When a man has this, though he may appeal to ancient Prophets to get understanding on some subjects he does not clearly understand, yet, as he has the spirit of prophecy in himself, he will not be in darkness; he will have a knowledge of the signs of the times; he will have a knowledge of the house of Israel, and of Zion, of the ten tribes and of many things and purposes and events that are to take place on the earth; and he will see coming events, and can say such an event will take place, and after that another, and then another; and after that the trumpet shall sound, and after that certain things will take place, and then another trump shall sound, &c., &c.; and he will have his eye fixed on the signs of the times, and that day will not overtake him unawares.
JD, B YOUNG 9:3
Suppose the word should come, ‘Return and build up the centre Stake of Zion,’ are we ready for it? No. Are you prepared for the day of vengeance to come, when the Lord will consume the wicked by the brightness of his coming? No. Then do not be too anxious for the Lord to hasten his work
Let our anxiety be centered upon this one thing, the sanctification of our own hearts, the purifying of our own affections, the preparing of ourselves for the approach of the events that are hastening upon us. This should be our concern, this should be our study, this should be our daily prayer, and not to be in a hurry to see the overthrow of the wicked. Be careful; for if they were all to be overthrown at once, how many would there be left that are called Saints? Not as many as I would have remain.
We are prepared for the day that is approaching: let us then prepare ourselves for the presence of our Master–for the coming of the Son of Man. The wicked and the ungodly are preparing for their own utter overthrow, and the nation in which we live is doing so as fast as the wheels of time can roll, and ere long sudden destruction will come upon them. Seek not to hasten it, but be satisfied to let the Lord have his own time and way, and be patient. Seek to have the Spirit of Christ, that we may wait patiently the time of the Lord, and prepare ourselves for the times that are coming. This is our duty.
DISC BY, B YOUNG 10:250
Do you know that it is the eleventh hour of the reign of Satan on the earth? Jesus is coming to reign, and all you who fear and tremble because of your enemies, cease to fear them, and learn to fear to offend God, fear to transgress his laws, fear to do any evil to your brother, or to any being upon the earth, and do not fear Satan and his power, nor those who have only power to slay the body, for God will preserve his people.
JD, W WOODRUFF 18:192
Somebody or other has got to build up Zion; somebody has got to build Temples, and to go into them and attend to the ordinances therein. The Lord has said that he will come and visit the earth, but before he does come the people have got to be pure. The Lord Jesus has declared that he will come and reign on the earth, and if you read the Book of Doctrine and Covenants you will find numerous predictions in regard to his coming, such as ‘I come quickly,’ ‘I come at an hour ye think not,’ ‘My coming is at the door,’ ‘I come as a thief in the night,’ ‘I come in an hour when you are not looking for me,’ and ‘Blessed is he who is looking for the coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.’ I say that throughout the whole of the Scriptures the Old and New Testament, the Book of Mormon, and the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, the second coming of the Lord is frequently referred to; and has the Lord promised these things without intending to fulfill them? No, he has not, they will be fulfilled. But before Christ comes, a people have got to be prepared by being sanctified before the Lord. Temples have got to be built; Zion has got to be built up, there must be a place of safety for the people of God while his judgments are abroad in the earth, for the judgments of God will visit the earth, there is no mistake about that, the revelations are full of promises to this effect and as the Lord has declared it, he will not fail in keeping his word.
JD, W WOODRUFF 18:111
I do not know that any people on the earth, except the Latter-day Saints, are looking for this great event. There may be exceptions, there may be men who believe in the second coming of Christ. The people called Millerites, believe in the second coming of the Savior, and they have set a great many days when it should take place. But he did not come, and he never will come until the revelations of God are fulfilled and a people are prepared for his coming. He will never come until the Jews are gathered home and have rebuilt their temple and city, and the Gentiles, have gone up there to battle against them. He will never come until his Saints have built up Zion, and have fulfilled the revelations which have been spoken concerning it. He will never come until the Gentiles throughout the whole Christian world have been warned by the inspired elders Of Israel. They are called to thrust in the sickle and reap, for the harvest is ripe and the time has come, which is referred to in this revelation, when the Lord commands the elders to go forth and warn the world for the last time, and call upon the inhabitants of the earth to repent.
JD, E SNOW 25:29
The Latter-day Saints realize as I do that every year brings us nearer to the coming of our Lord; that every month and week and day that passes over our heads, brings us nearer to the great and important events that must transpire, and that it does not become us to give way to a feeling of apathy and indifference, and to say in our hearts, ‘The Lord delayeth His coming,’ and that to-morrow will be as this day and much more abundant, and that the next generation will be like the present, and as the world has continued to roll on, as generations have come and generations have gone, so will it be with us and our children. I say it does not become us to give way to these sentiments and feelings which are common with unbelievers, with the world, or with the unenlightened, who have not a knowledge of God, who have not been favored with the light of revelation, who have not discerned the signs of the times; for we are not the children of darkness, but the children of light. Light has come unto us. We have been called out of darkness unto light. We have been translated from the kingdom of darkness unto the kingdom of God’s dear Son, and therefore it may and ought to be said of us as Saint Paul said concerning the Saints: ‘Ye, brethren are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.’ It is written and we expect it to be fulfilled upon the heads of the unbelieving and the wicked, that the Lord will overtake them as a thief in the night. ‘In such an hour,’ said the Savior, ‘as ye think not, the Son of man cometh. Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Verily I say unto you, that he shall make him ruler over all his goods. But, and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, my lord delayeth his coming, and shall begin to smite his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; the lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, and shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites.
TPJS, J SMITH 4:231
They have looked forward with joyful anticipation to the day in which we live; and fired with heavenly and joyful anticipations they have sung and written and prophesied of this our day; but they died without the sight; we are the favored people that God has made choice of to bring about the Latter-day glory; it is left for us to see, participate in and help to roll forward the Latter-day glory”¦Our name will be handed down to future ages; our children will rise up and call us blessed; and generations yet unborn will dwell with peculiar delight upon the scenes that we have passed through, the privations that we have endured; the untiring zeal that we have manifested; the all but insurmountable difficulties that we have overcome in laying the foundation of a work that brought about the glory and blessing which they will realize.
I do not doubt that we are sailing into troubled waters. There are storms to ride out; there are reefs and shoals to negotiate ere we reach port. But we have been through them before and have found safe passage. ‘… the heavens shall be darkened, and a veil of darkness shall cover the earth; the heavens shall shake, and also the earth; and great tribulation shall be among the children of men, but my people will I preserve.’ (Moses 7:61.) ‘Steady as she goes.’ Our craft has weathered storms before. It is seaworthy. What a glorious time to be alive! What a marvelous age to live! Thank the Lord for the privilege of living in an adventuresome day of challenge. There is celestial radar—revelation from God—guiding us. There is an inspired captain, a prophet of God, leading us.
I want to bear witness to you, my young friends, that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is on the right course. It is led by inspiration, and I say to you, to all of us, ‘steady as she goes.’ I bear witness that Jesus is the Christ. The gospel of Jesus Christ is true. It was formulated for strength and direction in stormy times.
Yes, there will be wrenching polarization on this planet, but also the remarkable reunion with our colleagues in Christ from the city of Enoch. Yes, nation after nation will become a house divided, but more and more unifying Houses of the Lord will grace this planet. Yes, Armageddon lies ahead–but so does Adam-ondi-Ahman!
There was never a brighter day than today in the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. There was never a season when the work of the Lord prospered as it now prospers. . .There was never a time for greater rejoicing and gratitude on the part of Latter-day Saints everywhere. . .I marvel at what is happening in the growth and expansion of this work. And yet I know that what we see today is but the scratching of the surface of far greater things yet to come.
CR, R. L. EVANS, APR:1950
I recall a reported statement, attributed, as I remember it, to President Wilford Woodruff. Some of the brethren of his time are said to have approached him … and to have inquired of him as to when he felt the end would be—when would be the coming of the Master? These, I think, are not his exact words, but they convey the spirit of his reported reply: ‘I would live as if it were to be tomorrow—but I am still planting cherry trees!
MESSAGES OF THE FIRST PRESIDENCY,
JOHN TAYLOR, GEORGE Q CANNON, JOSEPH F SMITH, APR:1887
“¦the lesson which the signs of the times should teach us is one of patience, endurance, and calm reliance on the Lord. The result will be that we shall be stronger, wiser, purer, happier, for the experience gained, and the work of the Lord, delivered by His Omnipotence from all the snares set for its retardation, or plans laid for its destruction, will yet triumph gloriously over all its foes, and the infinite atonement of the Redeemer will accomplish its perfect work. The final victory of the Saints is certain; after the trial comes the reward.