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6 years ago  ::  Jul 23, 2008 - 3:52PM #1
Hilaria
Posts: 14
Hello all,

I'm not here to argue, I just have a question.

I was reading a book that described a number of nineteenth-century churches that expected the imminent return of Christ, and it listed the LDS faith among them. I hadn't really thought about this much, so I was wondering . . . Is this a correct reading of Joseph Smith's or Brigham Young's (or other early leaders') expectations? If so, would you say that many LDS now share the belief that Christ's return is imminent?

Thanks!
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 23, 2008 - 3:58PM #2
Ironhold
Posts: 11,662
The church's attitude is to live your life as if Jesus is coming back at any moment. This means doing your best to keep the commandments and live a good life.



Joseph Smith did testify that if he lived to see his 80s then he would live to see the Second Coming. However, in the same breath he also admitted that the odds of his being allowed to live that long were slim.
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 23, 2008 - 4:27PM #3
Hilaria
Posts: 14
Thanks, Ironhold . . . let me rephrase . . .

Most churches I'm familiar with talk about Jesus' return, but not all in the same way. A couple of examples:

In my own tradition (I'm Catholic) what I've always heard sounds a lot like what you suggested -- we should try to be always ready if Jesus should return. But there isn't a lot of emphasis on the idea that the second coming is imminent -- the general idea seems to be Jesus *could* come back this afternoon, or in 100 years, or in 500,000 years. We don't know, and there probably isn't much point in guessing. So we should try to be ready, but there's no particular reason to *expect* that it will happen right now.

In other traditions, there seems to be a sense of trying to "read the signs" of the present -- suggesting, for example, that it is in fact *very likely* that Jesus is going to come back within our lifetimes.

In your experience, would you say Mormons are more likely to believe the first or the second? (Or something else I haven't considered?)
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 23, 2008 - 6:27PM #4
Ironhold
Posts: 11,662
From the standpoint of theology, neither instance prevails. Instead, the focus is on simply living one's life as befitting a member of the church.
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 23, 2008 - 7:04PM #5
moksha8088
Posts: 5,036
The LDS Church definitely believes in the return of Jesus.  Some early church leaders thought it would have arrived before now.  There is no date set for when this will happen.  Many individual Church members speculate, on their own, that this will happen within their life time.  Others think it will be quite some time from now.
Cry Heaven and let loose the Penguins of Peace
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 27, 2008 - 8:27PM #6
Kib
Posts: 713

moksha8088 wrote:

The LDS Church definitely believes in the return of Jesus.  Some early church leaders thought it would have arrived before now.  There is no date set for when this will happen.  Many individual Church members speculate, on their own, that this will happen within their life time.  Others think it will be quite some time from now.



I would love to have Jesus return in my lifetime, and I hold out hope.  But it very well could be many years from now.  Jesus gave us a number of signs to watch for and it does seem that a number of them have been fulfilled, while others may take a while.  It's meant to be a mystery, not even the angels in heaven know when it will happen.  All we can do is live our lives like it will be tomorrow and rejoice when the time finally comes.

The Bible calls it the "great and dreadful day of the Lord" since it will be great for those who are ready, and dreadful for those who are not.

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6 years ago  ::  Jul 29, 2008 - 12:09AM #7
bytebear
Posts: 1,451
As was said, there is no set time.  In fact, LDS scripture says "For the time is at hand; the day or the hour no man knoweth; but it surely shall come." (D&C 39: 21)  So, I would say it is basically the same as your beliefs.  No one has ever set a date.
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6 years ago  ::  Aug 29, 2008 - 6:53PM #8
JesseLDS
Posts: 60
I certainly believe that the Second Coming is near, but it won't happen tomorrow. There's too much left to happen yet. Many of the prophesies have been fulfilled, many are now in the process of fulfillment and there are yet some whose fulfillment has not yet begun. From various sources we know some of the signs of the times whose fulfillment is yet future or in progress. Some of them, those which I can think of right off the bat and in no particular order, are these:


[LIST=1]
[*]Temples will be built in Far West, Independence and Jerusalem
[*]The Spirit of the Lord will be withdrawn from the earth, resulting in the return of all missionaries from their worldwide fields of labor
[*]The church will assemble in Zion, literally as well as figuratively
[*]The lost ten tribes will be gathered
[*]The Battle of Armageddon will be fought, will last for 3 1/2 years and will only end with the appearance of the Savior on the Mount of Olives.  Incidentally, we know the exact valley where this will occur about how long it will last so it will be a good final wake-up call to get our lives in order, assuming that point number two above hasn't occured yet to the point that the rebellious part of humanity loses the desire.
[*]The signs, plagues and desolations in D&C 29:14-21 will come to pass
[*]The city of Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built in Jackson County, MO
[*]Two prophets will be killed in fighting in the Middle East, lay in the street for three days and be gloriously resurrected in plain view of those present
[*]Priesthood holders will meet with Adam at Adam-Ondi-Ahman and return to him the keys of the priesthood which they hold
[*]The great and final battle between good and evil will be fought worldwide
[*]A great hailstone referred to in Rev. 16:21 will be sent to destroy the crops of the earth.  For reference, the "weight of a talent" herein referred to is about 75.6 pounds.
[/LIST]

It would take forever and a day to find all the references for these but there are many more to add to the list of prophesies which yet need to be fulfilled before that day will come.  I just can't think of any more at the moment, I'll need to find a book I have on this subject.

Back in the mid 70's President Spencer W. Kimball said in a priesthood conference that, in his opinion, the man who would be president of the church at the time of the Second Coming was either now on the earth or very soon would be .  How fast the above list will happen is yet to be seen, but some interesting times are ahead.  I'm almost 38 and truly believe there's a chance I will live to see the Second Coming, but question whether it's something I really want to live through or not.  I may be better off observing from the other side of the veil.
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6 years ago  ::  Sep 18, 2008 - 3:27PM #9
zerin
Posts: 509

Hilaria wrote:

Thanks, Ironhold . . . let me rephrase . . .

Most churches I'm familiar with talk about Jesus' return, but not all in the same way. A couple of examples:

In my own tradition (I'm Catholic) what I've always heard sounds a lot like what you suggested -- we should try to be always ready if Jesus should return. But there isn't a lot of emphasis on the idea that the second coming is imminent -- the general idea seems to be Jesus *could* come back this afternoon, or in 100 years, or in 500,000 years. We don't know, and there probably isn't much point in guessing. So we should try to be ready, but there's no particular reason to *expect* that it will happen right now.

In other traditions, there seems to be a sense of trying to "read the signs" of the present -- suggesting, for example, that it is in fact *very likely* that Jesus is going to come back within our lifetimes.

In your experience, would you say Mormons are more likely to believe the first or the second? (Or something else I haven't considered?)


I would say it is somewhere in the middle. We believe that the exact time of the Second Coming has not been revealed, and will not be revealed until that time arrives; but we are also encouraged to "watch the sign of the times," and be ready for it when it happens. Joseph Smith gave certain signs of the Second Coming, that must be fulfilled before it happens. One of the signs was the return of the Jews to their ancestral lands, which has already happened. The other was the buillding of the Jewish Temple on its original spot at Jerusalem, which has not yet happened (and it seems very unlikely to happen at the moment).

zerinus

zerinus
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