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The day of the Lord will come quickly

In the early days of the LDS church, there was much excitement about the idea of the imminent return of the Savior. The brethren spoke often about the signs of the times and the fulfillment of prophecy in the last days. Those who listened to their speeches would go home to discuss what they had learned, expecting that the second coming would surely be just around the corner now.

For example, on Christmas day in 1832, the prophet Joseph Smith was pondering the troubles facing the nations of the world at that time. Events in the United States were leading toward civil war and outbreaks of deadly diseases were widespread throughout the world. While he was praying earnestly on the subject, the prophet received the following in revelation:

Warning to the world

“…with the sword and by bloodshed the inhabitants of the earth shall mourn; and with famine, and plague, and earthquake, and the thunder of heaven, and the fierce and vivid lightening also, shall the inhabitants of the earth be made to feel the wrath, and indignation, and chastening hand of an Almighty God, until the consumption decreed hath made a full end of all nations.

“Wherefore, stand ye in holy places, and be not moved, until the day of the Lord come; for behold, it cometh quickly, saith the Lord.” Now, that was 176 years ago and the Lord hasn’t come yet. Perhaps the Savior had a different meaning in mind when he expressed through the prophet Joseph that the day of the Lord would come quickly. What is the day of the Lord?

The day of the Lord

This is also known as the great and dreadful day. It will be great for those who are prepared and are looking forward to it. For those who are not prepared and are not pure and worthy before the Lord, it will be a dreadful day. They will wish that the rocks could fall upon them so they can hide from what they see coming towards them. Everyone will see the sign of the Son of Man.

The Savior has always referred to this day as being “at the doors” and that it will come upon us quickly. Even in Old Testament times the Lord places special emphasis on the day of his return as being one that will come suddenly. There will be many; in fact, most of the world will not be prepared for that day. They will not recognize the many warning signs that precede that day.

The sign of the Son of Man

“…then will appear one grand sign of the Son of Man in heaven. But what will the world do? They will say it is a planet, a comet, etc. But the Son of Man will come as the sign of the coming of the Son of Man, which will be as the light of the morning cometh out of the east.” In other words, everyone will see something like a large planet coming towards the earth for many days.

Perhaps this coming planet will come between us and the sun, thus fulfilling the promise that the sun will be darkened just before the return of the Lord. Accompanying this planet will be many other celestial objects, such as comets and meteoroids. They will bring with them much space debris that will reign down upon the wicked. The Lord will fight his own battles in the last days.

Pieces of the earth to return

The Lord revealed in scripture that he took the City of Enoch unto his bosom. The prophets have taught that Zion shall descend from above. The entire city; yes, a physical city, and not just the people of that city, will come down and be joined to the earth once again. There will be some land or earth that will come with that city which will take its place from where it was once taken.

The return of the lost ten tribes is also not symbolic or figurative but a literal event that has yet to transpire. These lost tribes shall come forth from their hiding place. The Rocky Mountains will tremble when the Lord brings the lost tribes back. What could cause mountains to tremble more than the approach of a great planetary body that will come alongside and overtake the earth?

Catastrophic events foretold

The events that are prophesied to occur at the return of the Lord are not without precedent but are hidden in ancient records that most scholars and scientists do not accept. The idea of pieces of the earth being broken off and returning is scoffed at by many. Nevertheless it has been foretold and will take place. That’s why ancient prophets told us to look to the heavens for coming signs.

“The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining: and the Lord shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word: for the day of the Lord is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?” Look to the heavens for the sign of his coming.

The Battle of Armageddon

One of the events of the very last days is that all nations will be gathered in battle to destroy the people of Israel. Israel will do something that will cause the whole world to hate them and unite in a tremendous battle. Perhaps they will force the people of Palestine out and build the temple as has been foretold. Maybe they will take some sort of action to not allow Iran to go nuclear.

So for some reason, millions of people from all nations will besiege Israel for several years while marvelous and miraculous events occur on both sides. In the end, the two prophets who have been holding their enemies at bay will be killed and it will seem that the destruction of Israel is near. At that moment, the Lord will appear in a great earthquake and provide them an escape.

Several appearances of the Lord

Apparently, when the Lord sets his foot on the Mount of Olives and saves Israel from imminent destruction, this is not his final appearance in which he comes with all the angels and in which the righteous are caught up. Those who have studied out the chronological clues in scripture have concluded that there is some time between this appearance and his final coming in glory.

What many people don’t know is that there is even another prior appearance to the servants of the Lord at Adam-ondi-Ahman in Missouri. This is to be a grand council that is held under the direction of Adam. There will be a vast congregation in attendance, but the majority of them will be from beyond the veil. The Savior will appear and accept the keys of all dispensations.

The Lord will descend

After the resurrection of the Savior, he appeared unto his disciples and many others for many days. He then left them in a miraculous manner. He was taken up and a cloud received him out of their sight. Two angels then came and said, “Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” He will descend from above.

We also know that the Lord will come with the angels, who are the faithful who have believed and loved him throughout the history of the world. In addition, those who are alive and are pure shall be caught up to meet him. Why? Because the earth will be burned at his coming when he descends. Those who are not caught up will be destroyed by the fire that descends from heaven.

The Second Advent

He comes! The earth shakes, and the tall mountains tremble, the mighty deep rolls back to the north in fear, and the rent skies glow like molten brass. He comes! The dead saints burst forth from their tombs, and those who are alive and remain are caught up with them to meet him. He comes! With all the hosts of the righteous glorified.” What a great and dreadful day!

This is the time of the first resurrection and the ushering in of the millennium. The devil will be bound for a thousand years and the great work of the temples will begin in earnest. All families must be linked together through the sealing power of the priesthood back to father Adam. It will be a glorious time when mortals will receive help from beyond the veil like never before.

The end of the world

And yet, even this glorious period will come to an end when Satan gathers his forces for the last great battle of Gog and Magog. This will not be a battle of mortals only but will include all who have ever lived upon this earth. This is the final deciding moment when the fate of the wicked are sealed. Either you fight with Michael and the Lord or you fight as one possessed by Satan.

Once again, the hordes that follow the devil will be vanquished by fire from heaven, which will completely envelop the earth, baptizing it, cleansing it and bringing it into celestial glory. Then comes the second resurrection and the final judgment before Christ. The cities of old and new Jerusalem will descend to the celestial earth which will then be inherited by the righteous saints.

Summary and conclusion

All this may seem incredible and unbelievable if you have never studied it before. But it has all been foretold and will come to pass, some of it in our lifetime. Many people have studied and written about these things and some have tried to place them in chronological order. That is a most difficult prospect and there is much disagreement about which events will occur when.

However, there is no disagreement among those who have studied the words of the prophets that these events will indeed take place. Because they will be so catastrophic, the Lord has given us ample warning and has always been clear that they will come suddenly when most of the world is not expecting them. For those who heed the words of the prophets, we know what to expect.


Illustration of ancient prophet and planets courtesy of Anthony E. Larson. Visit Anthony's website at or his YouTube channel

For more Information:

1. The Coming of the Lord by Gerald N. Lund
2. Prophecy, Key to the Future by Duane S. Crowther
3. Behold, I come Quickly by Hoyt W. Brewster, Jr.
4. And the Moon Shall Turn to Blood by Anthony E. Larson
5. And the Earth Shall Reel To and Fro by Anthony E. Larson
6. And There Shall be a New Heaven and a New Earth
by Anthony E. Larson
7. The Plainest Book: Revelation by Anthony E. Larson
8. The Millennial Messiah by Bruce R. McConkie
9. The Second Coming and the Millennium, chapter 21,
Teachings of the Presidents of the Church - Joseph Smith
10. Toward the New Jerusalem by Alma P. Burton


Experimental reading of this essay on YouTube deleted.


Bryce Haymond said…
An interesting addition to the signs of the new earth is that the landmasses will join together again (pangaea), perhaps as part of the great earthquakes. Elder McConkie explained:

"Now, when the Lord stands upon Olivet and when he utters his voice from Zion and from Jerusalem, it shall be heard among all people. 'And it shall be a voice as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder, which shall break down the mountains, and the valleys shall not be found. He shall command the great deep, and it shall be driven back into the north countries, and the islands shall become one land; And the land of Jerusalem [the Holy Land] and the land of Zion [America] shall be turned back into their own place, and the earth shall be like as it was in the days before it was divided. And the Lord, even the Savior, shall stand in the midst of his people, and shall reign over all flesh.' (D&C 133:20-25.) It is an interesting speculative enterprise to look at a map or a globe of the world and to wonder how, with modest adjustments involving the rising and sinking of various areas of the earth, the continents and islands might fit back together again. There is much to indicate they once were joined and would easily fit back in their former positions" (Bruce R. McConkie, Millennial Messiah: The Second Coming of the Son of Man, 623).

There is also an interesting quotation from Joseph Smith on the location of the city of Enoch:

"Joseph Smith said, on another occasion, in the hearing of some of the saints still surviving, that the City of Enoch would again take its place in the identical spot from which it had been detached, now forming that chasm of the earth, filled with water, called the Gulf of Mexico" ("History of the Organization of the Seventies," in Pamphlets: Latter-day Tracts, 12.).
S.Faux said…
Tim, I enjoyed the YouTube addition and the opportunity to hear your voice as you read the essay.

Have there been any General Authorities besides Joseph Smith who have discussed in any detail the "one grand sign?" I know the quote is in the current Priesthood manual, but I am a little new to that topic and would like a lot more detail.

Sometime back I wrote on the Second Coming and I did not mention the grand sign and Anthony Larson jumped all over me. ;) Actually, the great benefit to blogging is how much I learn.

Oh, yeah ... I usually try to copy your ways, but I am too bashful for YouTube. But, I would enjoy it on your site. Good development.
Tim Malone said…
Bryce, thanks for adding the quote on the land masses coming together again. What a great animation on Wikipedia showing the land masses breaking up! I sure wish I understood better how the Old Testament record can report that this occurred in the days of Peleg, which is about 4,000 years ago.

I have read that quote attributed to Joseph many times about the location for the city of Enoch when it returns. It will be a marvelous thing to behold when it happens. We'll see Earth-forming in catastrophic time as opposed to gradualism. What a concept!
Tim Malone said…

Anthony posted a short essay (unusual for Anthony) on the grand sign over on LDS Anarchy as a guest blogger before he started his own blog recently. In it he references D&C 88:93. I am not aware of others who taught more about or amplified Joseph's comments on the subject.

Perhaps Hyrum Smith and Janne M. Sjodahl said it best in the D&C Commentary (p. 560), "What this sign is has not been revealed, but there is no uncertainty about it, when it appears...When the sign appears, God will make its meaning known to the Prophet, Seer and Revelator...of the Church, and through him to His people and the world in general."

Even growing up in the church through Sunday School, seminary, institute and numerous gospel doctrine classes on the subject of the Second Coming, this one grand sign has always been discussed in the context of Joseph's quote that the world will say that it is a comet or a planet.

I have always felt that such a description is probably accurate as to what it actually is, but I guess we will just have to wait until it appears and the prophet clarifies the meaning of the sign.

In my mind, the meaning is clear - it's past time to repent when we see a huge planet hurtling at us from space. I can't wait to read what Dr. Phil Plait of Bad Astronomy will have to say.
The battle of Armageddon is a Plague event.

Trumpet events follow Seal events followed by Plague events.

Seal events have not yet concluded.

At the Sixth Plague the way is PREPARED for the soon coming battle of Armageddon, and the Dragon and the beast and the false prophet, and their armies are gathered together (by Spiritual forces) into "a place" for the battle (Re.16:12-16, Jer 51:36, Jer.51:49, Isa.63:2-3).

After the Seventh, and final, PLAGUE, after the great city Babylon comes into remembrance before God, after the fall of that great city Babylon (Re.16:17-21, Revelation chapter 18), the battle of Armageddon will be fought.

The battle will be fought after the marriage of the Lamb has taken place in heaven. The church (1 Cor.10:32) throughout all ages (His wife) has made herself ready (Re.19:17) and are the armies of the Lord that accompanies Him to the battle (Re.19:14).

The end of the battle of Armageddon will mark the beginning of the Millennium.

Directly after the battle of Armageddon (Re.19:11-21) is fought, and after the beast and the false prophet are taken in the battle and cast into the lake of fire (Re.19:20), the Lord will stand upon the mount of Olives (Zech.14:4).

Saints of the most High (Dan.7:22), the Lamb’s wife, will live AND reign with Him throughout the Millennium, the thousand years (Re.20:4).

After the Millennium the battle of Gog and Magog is fought.

Patricia © Bible Prophecy on the Web
Author of the self-study aid, The Book of Revelation Explained © 1982
Anonymous said…
I think that from what I have seen of your perspective on eschatology, that you might appreciate Joseph Fielding Smith's Signs of the Times.
Thank you for suggesting the reading material.

Anonymous said…
I remembered Joseph's comment about the sign being mistaken for a planet, etc. when I saw a flurry of articles a couple of years ago discussion what our response should be if an asteroid ahould approach the earth.
Anonymous said…
Perhaps this segment from my essay, "Signs of the Times" will be helpful in your discussion.

Joseph’s reference to the “grand sign” as a planet or comet is often misconstrued to mean that the sign is not a comet or a planet. However, a careful reading of the text says otherwise. Indeed, the Prophet meant that the world’s assessment would be a correct one, that the sign would, indeed, be “a comet, a planet,” but that the Saints should see it as a “grand sign”—perhaps the same sign referred to in a revelation from the Lord that says, “And immediately there shall appear a great sign in heaven, and all people shall see it together.” (Doctrine & Covenants 88:93.) Joseph’s addendum that the sign would come out of the east “as the light of the morning” reinforces the idea that it will be all three: a planet that looks and behaves as a comet, yet is also a sign from the Creator.
Connected to both the Savior’s statement and that of Joseph Smith is one made by Elder LeGrand Richards in a 1951 General Conference address on the subject of the last days. “The newspapers might announce some great phenomenon in the heavens, misplacement of planets, that have caused consternation, and scientists will have their explanation to make of it, and unless they have faith in the living God, unless as Jesus said, they can read the signs of the time, they may not know anything about what is (actually) going on in the world.” (Conference Report, April, 1951, pp. 40-1; italics added.)
This statement puts a lock on it. Elder Richards specifically refers to the Savior’s statement and alludes to that made by Joseph Smith on the subject of the grand sign, then brings them together in a modern context. Though such pronouncements are admittedly rare, the latter-day prophets are on the record with unmistakably lucid statements as to what the signs of the last days, prior to the second coming, will be. It appears, from the above statements, that a planet-sized body that will look and behave like a comet will threaten us—that is, it will be brilliant, have a great tail and move on an elliptical path that will bring it dangerously close.
Anonymous said…

I don't buy the Pangaea theory. It's New Age science.

The answer to the landmass observation you made was given by Joseph himself, though the report is anecdotal. Speaking of the planet that will some day approach and join the Earth (or probably the other way around, given the proper perspective), Joseph told Homer Brown that this joining would cause Earth's rotation to slow. That slowing would reduce the centrifugal force that holds the bulk of Earth's oceans at the equator. (He used the illustration of swinging a bucket full of water over your head without losing a drop.) That's how the two, Zion and Jerusalem will be joined, not by sliding continents.

I rather think that gravity and electromotive forces will be primary in that coming event. Still, the effect will be the same: The oceans will migrate to the two poles, leaving the landmasses joined at the equator and mid-level latitudes. That ocean migration alone will account for prodigeous destruction - including the 'cleansing' of the Mississippi River Valley prior to the arrival of the saints to build the New Jerusalem, when the water in the Gulf of Mexico rises up in a planetary-wide tsunami of epic proportions, scouring the earth and pulverizing everything in its path as walls of water hundreds of feet high, moving at the speed of a jet plane, rush northward. Not a pretty picture.
The Sixth SEAL’s Great Earthquake and Its Culmination -

At the opening of the Sixth SEAL (Re.6:12-14 below) there will be a great earthquake which will MOVE EVERY MOUNTAIN (continent – Ps.104:6 below) and island out of their places.

Note that at the Seventh, and final, PLAGUE (Re.16:17), when that great city (Babylon) comes in remembrance before God to give her what she deserves (which will occur prior to the battle of Armageddon), the noise of Babylon’s destruction will be heard throughout the world as the cities of the nations fall (Re.16:19), and the islands and mountains (continents – Ps.104:6 below) are NO MORE (Re.16:20).

At the last PLAGUE the cities of the nations fall, and the islands and mountains are no more (Re.16:20) because the continents (mountains – Ps.104:6 below) will continue to drift (from the Sixth Seal earthquake) to finally come together as one land mass.

Re.6:12 And I beheld when he had opened the Sixth SEAL, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;

Re.6:13 And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.

Re.6:14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain (continent – Ps.104:6 below) and island were moved out of their places.

Ps.104:6 Thou coveredst it (the earth) with the deep as with a garment: the waters stood above the mountains (Re.6:14 above).

Additional Scriptures in reference to the Sixth SEAL - 1 Thess.5:2-3, Re.1:7, Re.6:12-17, Acts.2:20-21, Lk.21:25-27, Matt.24:29-30, Mk.13:24-27, Isa.13:6-11, Jer.30:7, Joel 2:31-32, Lk.23:30, Isa.2:19.

Patricia © Bible Prophecy on the Web
Author of the self-study aid, The Book of Revelation Explained © 1982
Cire said…
Just an interesting article I saw after reading your blog the first time:
Tim Malone said…
Hi Cire,

Thanks for the link to the article about the asteroid Apophis that will return in 2036. I added the NASA NEO Program to my list of links that I check regularly several months ago. You may also be interested in visiting Space Weather on a regular basis. 2036 is a long ways away. Some have predicted visits of celestial objects much sooner - 2012 being one that is frequently mentioned.

By the way, I very much enjoyed visiting your blog and reading about your wonderful family. You take a lot beautiful pictures of your family. Thanks for sharing. My wife was very interested in reading your wife's blog as Carol is a writer and your wife does a lot of reading. Thanks for stopping by and reading my essay.

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