Second Coming: Worthy to Escape

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:NinthAvStonesWesternWall.JPG
Stones “thrown down” from the wall of the temple in Jerusalem, 70 A.D.

I’ve released a revised and expanded version of my book on the Second Coming, In the Last Days: A Brief Guide to Christ’s Second Coming for Latter-day Saints — Revised and Expanded. I continue to study the topic with great interest. I feel these events are imminent.

I’m watching the behavior of faithful Saints around me. They’re watchful, but not worried. They’re listening to the counsel of inspired leaders, but not overdoing it. They’re quietly and thoughtfully preparing, without fanfare or fear-mongering or by drawing attention to themselves. They have a quiet confidence.

Ye hear of wars in far countries, and you say that there will soon be great wars in far countries, but ye know not the hearts of men in your own land. I tell you these things because of your prayers; wherefore, treasure up wisdom in your bosoms, lest the wickedness of men reveal these things unto you by their wickedness, in a manner which shall speak in your ears with a voice louder than that which shall shake the earth; but if ye are prepared ye shall not fear. (Doctrine and Covenants 38:29, 30.)

They’re spending more time in the temple and in the scriptures, two things they treasure, and they’re repenting and drawing closer to God. They don’t worry so much about public standing as they do kneeling in private. They have confidence and peace in God and in themselves.  They’re not deceived by the mockers who are leaning out the windows of the great and spacious building, accusing and pointing their fingers. Some are leaning out so far they’re about to fall out (see 1 Nephi 8:26, 27).

I was recently struck by this verse in Luke from his chapter reporting Jesus’s Olivet discourse:

Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man. (Luke 21:36; emphasis added.)

I see a cross-reference with this verse the great sermon by King Benjamin:

If ye shall keep the commandments . . . ye shall prosper in the land, and your enemies shall have no power over you. (Mosiah 2:31; emphasis added.)

What can we do to be “worthy to escape” the desolations that will precede the Second Coming and live so that our “enemies [will] have not power over” us? Here are a few suggestions that will help:

  • We can strive to do and be our best. We can work on keeping the commandments and correcting ourselves when we mess up. Perfection is not required but persistence in doing what is right is, aka “keep on keeping on.”
  • We can heed good counsel and keep our eyes and ears and heart open to what is right and true though it may be at odds with popular political sentiments. “Watch . . . and pray always” (Luke 21:36).
  • We can treasure up the words of eternal life, for “whoso treasureth up my word, shall not be deceived” (see Joseph Smith-Matthew 1:37). That’s a great promise from Jesus Christ.
  • We can avoid getting distracted by our devices, the media, and the empty promises of the world that can dull the lines of divine communication. Satan’s spider web is “the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things” (see Mark 4:19). We can see it glistening with the dew of pride; we don’t need to walk into it.

When the Romans attacked Jerusalem in 70 A.D, fulfilling Jesus’s Olivet prophecy, tradition holds that the early Christians escaped to a gentile settlement called Pella, having been warned by “an oracle given by revelation” (Eusebius [260–340 A.D.]). May we all likewise be found “worthy to escape.”

This updated post was first published in July 2017.

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