Sunday School lessons for Gospel Doctrine Class

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Lesson 21 “Looking Forth for the Great Day of the Lord to Come”




**A study of this lesson will help us understand and recognize the signs of the Second Coming and prepare for “the great day of the Lord to come”
 
  **Scripture references have been highlighted in red and hyperlinked to the LDS Scriptures at LDS.org and will open in a new window.  All other References and videos have been hyperlinked at the end of the lesson. Just click and it will take you there!



Please take out a piece of paper and a pen or pencil and answer the following questions.  Please answer them truthfully, no one will see or read your answers only you.

Think for a moment, what was your last thought, what was the last thing that went through your mind? Write it down


Now think back to what your last decision was, the last thing you chose to do before this very moment of reading this blog?  Write it down


How did you feel about that decision; were you angry, despondent, happy, sad, offended.  Write it down


What was the last thing you said to someone before reading this lesson or what was your reaction to someone or something? Write it down


Now keep these answers in your mind while reading this passage from President Joseph Fielding Smith.  April 5, 1936 General Conference   


"The day of the coming of the Lord is near.  I don't know when, I am not looking however upon the coming of the son of man, as I looked once upon the day when men would speak from city to city and through out the land with out the aid of wires and would be heard as something that may come in some far distant time.  Because I believe it (the Second Coming) will come in the very day when some of us who are here today (April 5, 1936)  will be living upon the face of 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." - Joseph Fielding Smith Doctrines of Salvation Vol 3


Now look at the answers you've written on the paper.  Are you ready?  If the Savior comes today, tomorrow, are you ready?


The Savior will return to the earth in power and great glroy.  We are privilaged to live in this time when we have latter-day revelation that teaches us the great truths concerning the second coming, the sign of the times, the millinieum. 


 The Doctrine and Covenants provides important, powerful and wonderful information that can keep us enlightened and grounded on these subjects, for just as the prophecy of the Saviors birth was fulfilled, so will the prophecy of his second coming.

What is the Prophecy we speak of?  That Christ will come to earth in power and glory.  the proud and the wicked will be burned and there will not be wickendess on earth. 
D&C 29:9-11 D&C 45:44

Who knows when this will happen?  No one, not even the angels know the hour or the day when the Savior will come. 
D&C 49:7

Though the Lord has not revealed the time of his coming he has not left us in the dark, he has revealed signs that indicate to us his return is approaching.  They serve as a remider and warning that we need to continue our personal preparation for his return.  He has revealed more information about the second coming and the millennium to us than to any other group in the history of the world. A Good majority of that information is contained in the Doctrine and Covenants So let us then take a serious look at it and some of the revelations concerning this topic that does weigh upon our minds.


WHAT ARE SOME OF THE SIGNS TO PRECEED THE COMING OF THE SON OF MAN, THAT HAVE BEEN REVEALED TO US? 


I have grouped some of these revelations in categories that can be expounded upon as you are researching and studying in your scriptures.  Because this lesson focus is with the Doctrine and Covenants I will be using only the D&C for reference however in your scriptures you can use the footnotes and guides to refer to the Bible and Book of Mormon as well.

1.  The Gospel to be restored. 
 


This is the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints restored though the Prophet Joseph Smith.

 "And when the times of the Gentiles is come in, a light shall break forth among them that sit in darkness, and it shall be the fulness of my gospel" D&C 45:28

This light is the fullness of the gospel as revealed through the Prophet Joseph Smith, it has come at the time of the end.  (Doctrine & Covenants Commentary by Hyrum M. Smith)


2.  The Gospel to be preached to the world. 

 "And this gospel shall be preached unto every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people."
D&C 133:37

In the Book Millennial Messiah by Bruce R McConkie he says that when the prophetic word says the gospel shall be preached in every nation, it means every nation.  It includes Russia and China and India.  When it speaks of every Kindred and people, it embraces the people of Islam and the believers in Buddah.  When it mentions every tounge, it includes all the confusing dialects of all the sects and parties of men.  The gospel is to go to them all and the Lord will not come until it does.  (Millennial Messiah p136 Bruce R McConkie)

Since the writing of this book the gospel has been carried to nearly every eastern European country including Russia and is being teached in India and many nations in Africa. 


3.  The Jews to be Gathered.  


"And this I have told you concerning Jerusalem; and when that day shall come, shall a remnant be scattered among all nations; But they shall be gathered again; but they shall remain until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled."  D&C 45: 24-25

In 1948 the nation of Israel was formerly recognized by the United Nations.  Jews from throughout the world began returing to Palestime in the late 1800s as a place of refuge.  A Flood of Jews poured into Palestine during and after the tragedy of WWII.  They have defended their nation in four separate wars.  Elder George Q Morris stated at the April 1960 General Conference "I think now we may well say they (Jews) have gathered."  It continues...


4.  Great Wickedness 


 "And the love of men shall wax cold, and iniquity shall abound." D&C 45: 26 

"And there shall be earthquakes also in divers places, and many desolations; yet men will harden their hearts against me, and they will take up the sword, one against another, and they will kill one another." D&C 45:33

Joseph Smith Said of this: "I saw men hunting the lives of their own sons, and brother murdering brother, women killing their own daughters, and daughters seeking the lives of their mothers.   I saw armies arrayed against armies.  I saw blood, desolation, fires.  The Son of man has said that the mother shall are against the dauther and the dauther against the mother.  These things are at our doors.  They will follow the saints of God from city to city.  Satan will rage and the spirit of the devil is now enraged.  I know not how soon these things will take place, but with a view of them. shall I cry peace?  NO!  I will lift up my voice and testify of them." (History of the Church Vol 3 page 391)

We know that we surely live in a time of great wickedness.  Most recently I personally feel that wickedness and grown to a new level.  In the Book Come Unto Christ written by President Ezra Taft Benson published in 1983 he states: "We constantly read of wars and rumors of wars.  Atheism, agnosticism, immorality and dishonesty are flaunted in our society.  Desertion, cruelty, divorce and infidelity have become commonplace, leading to a disintegration of the family.  Truly we live in the times of which the Savior spoke, when the love of men shall wax cold, and iniquity shall abound." Being written in 1983 how much more has our time in these present days laden itself in sin and wickedness. 

"What is the Illness?  Its symptoms are manifest in every corner of the globe.  They are found among men in high places, in hut and mansion.  Its symptoms are carelessness, casualness. covetouness, slothfulness, selfishness, dishonesty, disobedience, immorality, Uncleaness, unfaithfulness, ungodliness..." - (Conference Report September 1961)


5.  The earth in commotion.  


"And all things shall be in commotion; and surely, men’s hearts shall fail them; for fear shall come upon all people."  D&C 88-91

One only needs to pick up the paper, or watch the news, or just listen and watch people in general, governments, the ways of the world; its not hard to see the commotion, which has gotten particularly worse in the now.  I have often agreed, most recently, as in days ago with the following statement...


"Our world is in a turmoil.  It is aging toward senility.  It is very ill..." - Spencer W Kimball

"Today is another day, but history repeats itself.  We read the headlines.  The great powers warn and threaten.  Bombs are detonated.  Terror is substituted for reason.  Defense stockpiles increase. Nuclear races get swifter.  The radios whine.  The newspapers carry glaring headlines, politicians wrangle, students and authorities harangue.  Everybody expresses opinions but few approach the real cause or the real cure. "  -
  - (Conference Report September 1961)

6.  Natural Disasters.   


"For after your testimony cometh the testimony of earthquakes, that shall cause groanings in the midst of her, and men shall fall upon the ground and shall not be able to stand.And also cometh the testimony of the voice of thunderings, and the voice of lightnings, and the voice of tempests, and the voice of the waves of the sea heaving themselves beyond their bounds."  D&C 88:89-90

"And there shall be a great hailstorm sent forth to destroy the crops of the earth."
  D&C 29-16

"Recently I read a newspaper article that cited statistics from the U.S. Geological Survey indicating that earthquakes around the world are increasing in frequency and intensity.  According to the article, only two major earthquakes, (earthquakes measuring at least six on the Richter scale) occurred during the 1920s.  In the 1930s the number increased to five, and then it decreased to four during the 1940s.  But in the 1950s nine major earthquakes occurred, followed by fifteen during the 1960s, forty-six during the 1970s and fifty-two during the 1980s.  Already almost as many major earthquakes have occurred during the 1990s as during the 1990s as during the entire decade of the 1980s" -Ensign Nov 1992 Elder M. Russell Ballard

7.  God's Kingdom will be established on earth. 


"The keys of the kingdom of God are committed unto man on the earth, and from thence shall the gospel roll forth unto the ends of the earth, as the stone which is cut out of the mountain without hands shall roll forth, until it has filled the whole earth.  Yea, a voice crying—Prepare ye the way of the Lord, prepare ye the supper of the Lamb, make ready for the Bridegroom  Pray unto the Lord, call upon his holy name, make known his wonderful works among the people.  Call upon the Lord, that his kingdom may go forth upon the earth, that the inhabitants thereof may receive it, and be prepared for the days to come, in the which the Son of Man shall come down in heaven, clothed in the brightness of his glory, to meet the kingdom of God which is set up on the earth.  Wherefore, may the kingdom of God go forth, that the kingdom of heaven may come, that thou, O God, mayest be glorified in heaven so on earth, that thine enemies may be subdued; for thine is the honor, power and glory, forever and ever. Amen."
  D&C 65:2-6

8.  New Jerusalem will be built.  It will be a place of peace and safety for the righteous in the last days.  


" And it shall be called the New Jerusalem, a land of peace, a city of refuge, a place of safety for the saints of the Most High God; And the glory of the Lord shall be there, and the terror of the Lord also shall be there, insomuch that the wicked will not come unto it, and it shall be called Zion.  And it shall come to pass among the wicked, that every man that will not take his sword against his neighbor must needs flee unto Zion for safety.  And there shall be gathered unto it out of every nation under heaven; and it shall be the only people that shall not be at war one with another.  And it shall be said among the wicked: Let us not go up to battle against Zion, for the inhabitants of Zion are terrible; wherefore we cannot stand.  And it shall come to pass that the righteous shall be gathered out from among all nations, and shall come to Zion, singing with songs of everlasting joy."
  D&C 45: 66-71

 "American and Jerusalem are set forth as two places of gathering for the nations, that they may escape the judgments abaout to overtake the world, as the prophets have testified that  in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance." - President Wilford Woodruff (Companion to your study of the old testament p 50-51)

9.    Famine, sickness, desolation      

 
"And there shall be a great hailstorm sent forth to destroy the crops of the earth." D&C 29:16


"And there shall be men standing in that generation, that shall not pass until they shall see an overflowing scourge; for a desolating sickness shall cover the land."
  D&C 45:31

"Behold, vengeance cometh speedily upon the inhabitants of the earth, a day of wrath, a day of burning, a day of desolation, of weeping, of mourning, and of lamentation; and as a whirlwind it shall come upon all the face of the earth, saith the Lord."
D&C 112:24


10.  Priesthood Keys restored 


"After this vision closed, the heavens were again opened unto us; and Moses appeared before us, and committed unto us the keys of the gathering of Israel from the four parts of the earth, and the leading of the ten tribes from the land of the north.  After this, Elias appeared, and committed the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham, saying that in us and our seed all generations after us should be blessed. After this vision had closed, another great and glorious vision burst upon us; for Elijah the prophet, who was taken to heaven without tasting death, stood before us, and said: Behold, the time has fully come, which was spoken of by the mouth of Malachi—testifying that he [Elijah] should be sent, before the great and dreadful day of the Lord come— To turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers, lest the whole earth be smitten with a curse— Therefore, the keys of this dispensation are committed into your hands; and by this ye may know that the great and dreadful day of the Lord is near, even at the doors."D&C 110: 11-16  



AS STATED BEFORE THE SAVIOR WILL RETURN TO THE EARTH IN POWER AND GREAT GLORY.  WHAT ARE SOME THINGS,THAT HAVE BEEN REVEALED TO US, CONCERNING HIS ARRIVAL?

 
1.  The saints who have died will be resurrected and come forth to meet the Savior. 

 
"But before the arm of the Lord shall fall, an angel shall sound his trump, and the saints that have slept shall come forth to meet me in the cloud."  D&C 45:45 


2.  The Saints on the earth will be gathered to meet him.  

 
"Wherefore, if ye have slept in peace blessed are you; for as you now behold me and know that I am, even so shall ye come unto me and your souls shall live, and your redemption shall be perfected; and the saints shall come forth from the four quarters of the earth."   D&C 45:46


3.  HE will come to the Mount of Olives and it will divide . 

 
"And then shall the Lord set his foot upon this mount, and it shall cleave in twain, and the earth shall tremble, and reel to and fro, and the heavens also shall shake."  D&C 45:47


4.  The Jews will recognize their Savior and weep because they persecuted Him. 

 
"And the Lord shall utter his voice, and all the ends of the earth shall hear it; and the nations of the earth shall mourn, and they that have laughed shall see their folly. And calamity shall cover the mocker, and the scorner shall be consumed; and they that have watched for iniquity shall be hewn down and cast into the fire. And then shall the Jews look upon me and say: What are these wounds in thine hands and in thy feet? Then shall they know that I am the Lord; for I will say unto them: These wounds are the wounds with which I was wounded in the house of my friends. I am he who was lifted up. I am Jesus that was crucified. I am the Son of God. And then shall they weep because of their iniquities; then shall they lament because they persecuted their king." D&C 45: 49-53


5.  The Savior will come in red apparel His coming will be a time of vengeance upon the wicked and redemption for the righteous.

 
"And it shall be said: Who is this that cometh down from God in heaven with dyed garments; yea, from the regions which are not known, clothed in his glorious apparel, traveling in the greatness of his strength?  And he shall say: I am he who spake in righteousness, mighty to save.  And the Lord shall be red in his apparel, and his garments like him that treadeth in the wine-vat. And so great shall be the glory of his presence that the sun shall hide his face in shame, and the moon shall withhold its light, and the stars shall be hurled from their places. And his voice shall be heard: I have trodden the wine-press alone, and have brought judgment upon all people; and none were with me; And I have trampled them in my fury, and I did tread upon them in mine anger, and their blood have I sprinkled upon my garments, and stained all my raiment; for this was the day of vengeance which was in my heart. And now the year of my redeemed is come; and they shall mention the loving kindness of their Lord, and all that he has bestowed upon them according to his goodness, and according to his loving kindness, forever and ever. In all their afflictions he was afflicted. And the angel of his presence saved them; and in his love, and in his pity, he redeemed them, and bore them, and carried them all the days of old"  
D&C 133:46-53

6.  The Savior will put all enemies under his feet.  

 
" And they have done unto the Son of Man even as they listed; and he has taken his power on the right hand of his glory, and now reigneth in the heavens, and will reign till he descends on the earth to put all enemies under his feet, which time is nigh at hand" D&C 49:6



WHAT WILL HAPPEN AFTER HIS ARRIVAL?

 
When the Savior comes it will not be the end of the world but the world will change.  His coming will usher in the thoursand year period called the Millennium.  The Tenth article of Faith declares that during this time Christ will reign personally upon the earth and the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisical glory.  D&C 101 Tenth Article of Faith


WHAT WILL LIFE BE LIKE ON EARTH DURING THE MILLENNIUM?

 
1.  Everyone will be able to see the Savior. 

 
"And prepare for the revelation which is to come, when the veil of the covering of my temple, in my tabernacle, which hideth the earth, shall be taken off, and all flesh shall see me together."
  D&C 101:23

2.  All the Wicked will be destroyed. 

 
"And every corruptible thing, both of man, or of the beasts of the field, or of the fowls of the heavens, or of the fish of the sea, that dwells upon all the face of the earth, shall be consumed" D&C 101:24


3.  The Earth will become new.  

"And also that of element shall melt with fervent heat; and all things shall become new, that my knowledge and glory may dwell upon all the earth."
D&C 101:25


4.  People and Animals will live in peace. 

 
"And in that day the enmity of man, and the enmity of beasts, yea, the enmity of all flesh, shall cease from before my face." D&C 101:26


5.  People will be granted what they righteously desire. 

 
"And in that day whatsoever any man shall ask, it shall be given unto him."
D&C 101:27


6.  Satan will be bound and will not have power to tempt anyone


"And in that day Satan shall not have power to tempt any man."
D&C  101:28 


"And Satan shall be bound, that he shall have no place in the hearts of the children of men."
D&C 45:55 

"And so on, until the seventh angel shall sound his trump; and he shall stand forth upon the land and upon the sea, and swear in the name of him who sitteth upon the throne, that there shall be time no longer; and Satan shall be bound, that old serpent, who is called the devil, and shall not be loosed for the space of a thousand years."
  D&C 88:110

7.  There will be no sorrow or death a person will grow old then be changed suddenly from mortal to immortal.  

 
"And there shall be no sorrow because there is no death. In that day an infant shall not die until he is old; and his life shall be as the age of a tree; And when he dies he shall not sleep, that is to say in the earth, but shall be changed in the twinkling of an eye, and shall be caught up, and his rest shall be glorious."  D&C 101:29-31


8.  The Lord will reveal all things about the earth and heaven. 

 
"Yea, verily I say unto you, in that day when the Lord shall come, he shall reveal all things— Things which have passed, and hidden things which no man knew, things of the earth, by which it was made, and the purpose and the end thereof—Things most precious, things that are above, and things that are beneath, things that are in the earth, and upon the earth, and in heaven."  D&C 101:32-34


9.  Children will grow up without sin.

 
"And the earth shall be given unto them for an inheritance; and they shall multiply and wax strong, and their children shall grow up without sin unto salvation."  D&C 45:58


10.  The Lord will be the King and lawgiver for the whole earth.  

 
"For the Lord shall be in their midst, and his glory shall be upon them, and he will be their king and their lawgiver."  D&C 45:59 


"And the Lord, even the Savior, shall stand in the midst of his people, and shall reign over all flesh."
  D&C 133:25



WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT THAT WE KNOW AND UNDERSTAND THE SIGNS, THE INFORMATION GIVEN TO US? 


We are commanded to prepare and be ready.  It is part of our daily living in righteousness to continually prepare ourselves for the great day of the Lord.  D&C 101:23, 38

"And prepare for the revelation which is to come, when the veil of the covering of my temple, in my tabernacle, which hideth the earth, shall be taken off, and all flesh shall see me together" 

"And seek the face of the Lord always, that in patience ye may possess your souls, and ye shall have eternal life."

Though we are commanded to prepare and be ready we should not feel worry about inadequacies  or  be discouraged that it is an impossible task.  Preparation is a daily ongoing activity.  We can prepare a little at a time each day, each week, each second until we change our nature and become more like Him and The Lord has given us great counsel to teach us that we CAN prepare for this as a part of our daily lives. We only need to take action and continue in that action and allow the Lord to help us fill in what we cannot do ourselves.  Our righteous desires to be like Him and prepare will be granted if we do our best to live the commandments as he has set forth.  That means looking at the paper with the answers you've written today.  Are all things in harmony, are there things you can change, improve on, this is preparation.  Taking an inventory of your daily thoughts, actions, deeds, and finding where improvement is needed and acting on it. 

"This is a day for action.  This is the time for decision, not tomorrow, not next week.  This is the time to make our covenant with the Lord.  Now is the time for those who have been noncommittal or who have had a half-hearted interest to come out boldly and declare belief in Christ and be willing to demonstrate faith by works."- President Howard W Hunter Conference Report 1960


THE LORD HAS COUNSLED US TO BE NOT TROUBLED DURING THE TURMOIL OF THE LAST DAYS.  HOW CAN WE MAINTAIN HOPE AND AVOID FEELING DISTRESSED WHEN WE ARE SURROUNDED BY WICKEDNESS AND TURMOIL?

Repentance and be repentant. 

" To lift up your voice as with the sound of a trump, both long and loud, and cry repentance unto a crooked and perverse generation, preparing the way of the Lord for his second coming."  D&C 34:6 

Be Steadfast in righteousness

"Wherefore, lift up your hearts and rejoice, and gird up your loins, and take upon you my whole armor, that ye may be able to withstand the evil day, having done all, that ye may be able to stand." D&C 27:15

Stand in Holy Places

"But my disciples shall stand in holy places, and shall not be moved; but among the wicked, men shall lift up their voices and curse God and die."  D&C 45:32

Think about the things we can do to keep ourselves  worthy and holy even when you are in worldly environments. 

Have the Holy Spirit guide us. 

"And at that day, when I shall come in my glory, shall the parable be fulfilled which I spake concerning the ten virgins.  For they that are wise and have received the truth, and have taken the Holy Spirit for their guide, and have not been deceived—verily I say unto you, they shall not be hewn down and cast into the fire, but shall abide the day."  D&C 45: 56-57

The parable of the ten virgins is based on ancient Jewish wedding customs.  In Jesus' time the bridegroom and his friends would escort the bride from her home to the home of the bridegroom.  Along the way the friends of the bride waited to join them.  When they arrived at the bridegroom's home, they all went inside for the wedding.  These weddings usually took place in the evening, so those waiting for the bride carried small lamps fueled by oil. In the parable, the bridegroom represents the Savior.  The virgins represent members of the Church.  The wedding represents the Savior's second coming.   Video: Parable of the ten virgins CLICK TO VIEW

"In the parable, oil can be purchased at the market.  In our lives the oil of preparedness is accumulated drop by drop in righteous living.  Attendance at sacrament meetings adds oil to our lamps, drop by drop over the years.  Fasting, family prayer, home teaching control of bodily appetites, preaching the gospel, studying the scriptures-each act of dedication and obedience is a drop added to our store.  Deeds of kindness, payment of offerings and tithes, chaste thoughts and actions, marriage in the covenant for eternity-these too contribute importantly to the oil with which we can at midnight refuel our exhausted lamps.- (Faith Precedes the Miracle President Spencer W Kimball)


CONCLUSION

President Gordan B Hinckley taught:  "How do you 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 its going to happen....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"  -(Church News Jan 2, 1999)

We must be up to the challenge...

BEGIN A GOSPEL DOCTRINE JOURNAL IF YOU DON'T ALREADY HAVE ONE, AND RECORD YOUR THOUGHTS AS YOU STUDY!

Resources: 

Doctrines of Salvation Vol 3  Read Free Here
Church News 1999 Church News
Come Unto Christ by Ezra Taft Benson  Kindle Preview
Companion To Your Study of the Old Testament Daniel H Ludlow
Conference Report 1960 and 1961Read Free Here
Doctrine and Covenants Commentary Hyrum M Smith
Ensign M. Russell Ballard The Joy of Hope Fulfilled
History of the Church Vol 3 page 391 History of the Church Vol 3 pg 391 BYU Studies
LDS.org LDS.ORG
The Millennial Messiah Bruce R McConkie
Beardall200 gospel doctrine  Lesson Summaries











The Fall of Adam and Eve

  Scriptures are hyperlinked to Scriptures at ChurchofJesusChrist.org Resource quotes have been highlighted in blue and are noted at the end...