These are notes from a lesson I gave on the Second Coming of Christ this past Sunday, December 7, 2008, in a meeting with youth. They outline the events roughly in the order they will appear, though this list is not comprehensive or complete. I was only able to give part of the lesson. A PDF of these notes is here.
The Second Coming of Jesus Christ
- Apostasy. After the death of the apostles at the time of Christ, the Church fell away and the fulness of the gospel was lost. As Paul said of the Second Coming, “that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first.” (2 Thessalonians 2:1-4.) He also said that “after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you” (Acts 20:29-30), meaning those who would lead the Church astray through selfishness and wickedness.
- Restoration of the Church, the Priesthood, Priesthood Keys, and Ordinances. As promised, there was a “restitution of all things” (Acts 3:19-21). In due season, the priesthood, keys, and ordinances, including temple ordinances, were restored to the earth between 1829 and 1842.
- The Gathering of Israel—Missionary Work. Since 1830, hundreds of thousands of missionaries have been sent out to gather the elect into the Church, those who hear the Lord’s voice and do not harden their hearts. The Lord called it “the gathering of mine elect.” (D&C 29:7.)
- Great Wickedness and Tribulation. The world has witnessed and will continue to witness wars and rumors of wars (D&C 45:26), earthquakes (D&C 88:89), tempests or storms (D&C 43:25), waves of the sea (D&C 88:90), hailstorm (D&C 29:16), plague, pestilence or desolating sickness (D&C 5:19; D&C 45:31).
- Signs in the Heavens. Among other signs, the sun will refuse its shining, the moon will be turned into blood, and stars will fall from heaven. (Isaiah 13:10; D&C 133:49.)
- Old Jerusalem Rebuilt, the New Jerusalem Built, and Temples Built and Restored. The old city of Jerusalem will be restored (Ether 13:5), the New Jerusalem will be built on the American continent (D&C 45:66), and temples will dot the earth—”We are living in the greatest era of temple building ever witnessed” (Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign, Nov. 1985, 54).
- The Constitution Will Hang by a Thread. Joseph Smith, on July 19, 1840, is quoted as saying that the Constitution of the United States will be on the brink of ruin, but that also it will be born away from the verge of destruction. Others reported hearing the Prophet utter this prophecy, such as Eliza R. Snow, Parley P. Pratt, Orson Hyde, and Brigham Young.
- Division of the Righteous and the Wicked. The righteous will be gathered at Zion, the New Jerusalem, all other peoples will be at war with one another, and will be afraid to come against the people of Zion. (D&C 45:63-75.)
- Adam-ondi-Ahman. (Possible meaning, “Adam Before God.”) High priests and others of Adam’s righteous posterity will gather in the valley of Adam-ondi-Ahman (D&C 116), previous to the Second Coming of Christ. It will be a gathering like the one that took place there three years previous to the death of Adam (D&C 107:53-57).
- Battle of Armageddon. All nations will be gathered in a battle in the valley of Megiddo in Palestine for a great battle against the Jews in Israel and Jerusalem. (Joel 3; Zechariah 12; Revelation 16.)
- Angels Fly in the Midst of Heaven and Announce the Coming of Christ and Other Events with Trumpets. Seven angels will announce events related to the coming of Christ. (D&C 88:92-106.) There will be a great sign in heaven (D&C 88:93), then silence for half an hour, then the face of the Lord will be unveiled (D&C 88:95).
- The Second Coming of the Son of Man. A light will shine from the east to the west (Joseph Smith-Matthew 1:26), but people on the earth will think it is a comet or a planet (History of the Church, 5:337). Christ will descend—dressed in red (Isaiah 63:2; D&C 133:48)—with ten thousands of His saints (Jude 1:14), and the saints on earth, both the living and the dead, will be caught up to meet Him (1 Thessalonians 4:17; D&C 88:96-98; D&C 109:75). There will be a great earthquake as the Lord rests His foot upon the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem (Zechariah 14:4; D&C 45:48). The mountain will split in two, and the people under siege in Jerusalem will escape through the pass or valley. The Jews will ask what are the wounds in His hands and His feet, and then weep and lament (Zechariah 13:6; D&C 45:51-53). The wicked will plead for the rocks to fall upon them (Hosea 10:8; Luke 23:30; Revelation 6:16), be destroyed, and the world will end.
- The Great Millennium. Christ will usher in a thousand years of peace (D&C 43:30), and Satan will be bound (Revelation 20:2; D&C 43:31; D&C 45:55; D&C 88:21) and have no power because of the righteousness of the people (1 Nephi 22:26).
- A New Heaven and New Earth. After the thousand years, Satan will be loosed for a little season with his armies (D&C 29:22; D&C 88:111), and then will fight the saints once more in the battle of the Great God (D&C 88:114). Satan and his armies will be defeated by Michael (Adam) and his armies (D&C 88:115). Then the old earth will pass away and there will be a new heaven and a new earth (Ether 13:9; D&C 29:23-24). The earth will be a sea of glass and fire (D&C 77:1; D&C 130:7), a celestial kingdom to the worthy inhabitants of the earth, becoming a great Urim and Thummim to all who dwell on it (D&C 130:8-10).