I hope that you have been enlightened by this book, and that you have felt the confirming witness of the Holy Ghost, as I did while writing it. I do not doubt that I have made some errors in my assumptions and interpretations, and to the extent that I have, I would hope they will be brought to light. I want these things to be understood by all, not as I understand them, but as the Lord would have us understand them. To this end, I hope that others will rise and further expound upon the work beyond what I have been able to do. At the end of this discussion filled with frightening events and destruction, I feel it important that we maintain a proper perspective. President Gordon B. Hinckley provided the following advice:
It isn’t as bad as you sometimes think it is. It all works out. Don’t worry. I say that to myself every morning. It will all work out. Put your trust in God, and move forward with faith and confidence in the future. The Lord will not forsake us. He will not forsake us.[i]
As things begin to accelerate in these last days, we must resist the temptation to worry, giving in to fear or even panic. The Lord is in control. Make His will a priority in your life, and things will be well. Love Him. Trust in Him. Pray to Him. Obey Him. Stand in holy places. If we do these things, no matter what the future holds, it will be well with us. Now, at the conclusion of this book, I would like to provide a high level review of the book’s contents and then make some brief concluding comments.
The Lord is a covenant making God. He honors and keeps His covenants. He has made covenants with our forefathers, including but not limited to, the House of Israel. These covenants have guided the Lord’s interactions with men from the very beginning. One such covenant is that the Lord would gather Israel and restore the Lost Ten Tribes in the latter-days. As surely as the sun will rise in the morning, the Lord will keep this covenant. His doing so will impact the history of the last days more than any other single event.
The Lord’s prophets have foretold that after the restoration of the gospel, perilous times would come. The world will be turned upside down. Satan will wage war upon the Lamb of God and His saints. Many will fall, and even come out in open rebellion against the Lord and His work. Some, even among the saints, will become worn out. They will tire of resisting the world, of being persecuted, and of standing tall against the darkness. As such, these saints will become as the salt that has lost its savor and, at their own peril, will abandon the protective covenants they have made.
Secret combinations among a powerful, far-reaching network of great and abominable institutions will hasten Satan’s victory over these Saints, and the world in general. This network will include companies, religious creeds, churches, governments, and organizations. The common thread among this vast network will be power, influence, money, and control. In the Book of Mormon this network is called the great and abominable church. In the New Testament it is called the whore of all the earth. In practice and destiny, they are one and the same.
It is during these perilous times that the Lord will work a “marvelous work and a wonder” after the manner of Egypt. Heavenly signs, plagues, scourges, and natural disasters will be used to separate the righteous from among the wicked, just as they were used to liberate the ancient Israelites from the Egyptians. As part of these events, the Lost Ten Tribes will be restored from the “ends of heaven”. These, our long lost brothers and sisters, with John the Beloved at their head, will serve as the forerunners for the Lord’s second coming.
The manner of their return will be seen in the eyes of all the nations, and will be both glorious and without precedent. It will rival or even exceed the wonder and awe of the Egyptian Exodus. Their mission will be to sanctify the earth, establish the American Zion, gather in the residue of scattered Israel, and prepare the earth for the Lord’s arrival. They will return in a body. They will first come to America, where the sanctification will begin. This will begin among the church, and then extend throughout the entire country and beyond. The wicked will be driven from these shores and America will stand as the solitary island of peace and prosperity in a world of bitter war and rage.
Once America has been sanctified, the Lost Ten Tribes will build the New Jerusalem, along with whoever else will come to assist them. Meanwhile, the last great harvest will occur. To assist in this final harvest, before the vineyard is burned, one hundred and forty-four thousand righteous disciples, chosen from among all twelve tribes, will go forth into every nation of the earth. Those who will heed their message will gather to Zion. To all others, Zion will be inaccessible.
While the New Jerusalem is being constructed in America, a man named David, referred to prophetically as “The Branch,” will arrive among the Jews. He will take leadership of the struggling nation of Israel. He will rebuild the temple in Jerusalem. At the same time, the wicked of the earth will rise up against the Jews and will wage a war of extinction against them. The forces of the wicked will lay siege to Jerusalem. During this time of extreme hardship, additional leaders will come to help sustain Israel; namely two witnesses, both with the sealing power. These two will keep the enemies of Israel at bay for three and a half years. At the end of this time, they will be killed and, under the watching eyes of the world, resurrected.
At the point that Jerusalem is about to be overrun, the Lord will appear in power and great glory with the Remnant of Jacob behind Him. The Lord will save the Jews from annihilation. The Lord will divide the Mount of Olives in two in order to provide a way for their escape. He will then personally fight Israel’s battles for them, and destroy all the enemies arrayed against them. The Jews will then, at long last, acknowledge the Savior as the Messiah and become a righteous people. They will be faithful and unyielding in their righteousness forevermore. America and Israel will rejoice together as the Jews embrace the gospel.
The world will then enter into a period of millennial peace and prosperity, the likes of which have never been seen. Upon the American continent, the city of Enoch will descend from heaven and become part of the New Jerusalem. God the Father and Jesus Christ will dwell there. Zion will be the capital of the West and Jerusalem the capital of the East. This period of peace and prosperity will last for one thousand years, during which Satan will be bound by the righteousness of the people.
Many prophets have testified of these things: Nephi, Moroni, Ether, Isaiah, Moses, Nehemiah, Jeremiah, Zachariah, Joel, Daniel, Malachi, Peter, John, and others. As I have reflected upon the content of this book, and these latter-days in general, I have witnessed that a pronounced shift has taken place in the world. We have transitioned from the wide slow-spinning part of the whirlpool into the tighter, faster spinning portion of the vortex right before things go down the drain. However, many of us have become so accustomed to the spinning we hardly notice it anymore.
It reminds me of a summer job I had as a boy. I worked at a sewage treatment plant, providing general plant cleanup and maintenance. When I arrived for my first day of work, I was repulsed by the putrid smell of raw sewage to the point of nausea. I lost my appetite. I was painfully aware of the sights and sounds all around me, the bitter fruit of millions of gallons of liquefied human waste. I wondered how I would be able to stand working in such an environment for the whole summer. The smell stuck to me. It penetrated my clothing. It followed me everywhere I went. I stunk too!
However, as the days turned into weeks, the smell began to bother me less and less, until one day, I stopped noticing the smell all together. I assumed it had gone away, or at least improved. In reality, I had become desensitized. I had become so completely accustomed to the putrid smell, that not only was I no longer revolted by it, but I could eat my lunch while sitting next to a pool of raw sewage without even a second thought. I had learned to become content in an environment that had once made me sick. However, my inability to perceive the horrors of my surroundings did not change the reality of my situation. The sewage still smelled, and so did I.
We have all seen this same process play out on a spiritual level in the world around us. When I was a young boy, television programs showed parents sleeping in different beds. Over the course of thirty years, things have changed dramatically for the worse. Immorality, obsession, and casual sex, have become the primary storylines of our television programs, movies, and entertainment. Websites have been developed for the sole purpose of facilitating extramarital affairs. Mobile phone apps have been developed to leverage the GPS functionality of our phones to facilitate fornication with consenting strangers within a predetermined radius, anywhere in the country. Such service providers have tens of millions of subscribers.
Our entertainment has become graphically violent. Actors use blunt object to bash in the heads of zombies to the cheers of fans, all the while becoming covered from head to toe in oozing blood and gore. The horrors of war that once stunned entire generations into shocked-silence now play out on a daily basis in our children’s bedrooms in virtual reality. To what degree, if any, does our entertainment differ from that of Rome’s horrific coliseums or from the fleshpots ofSodom. President Gordon B. Hinckley said:
The traditional family is under heavy attack. I do not know that things were worse in the times of Sodom and Gomorrah.… We see similar conditions today. They prevail all across the world. I think our Father must weep as He looks down upon His wayward sons and daughters.[ii]
Wickedness has become so commonplace that it has become engrained into the American culture. I have witnessed sunday school teachers become sick with worry as they contemplate the backlash from teaching lessons on morality and modesty, not to strangers, but members of the church. I have heard of others that find it better to avoid such lessons all together. What does this say about the status of discipleship today? In the eyes of our society, the only true social evil is the intolerance of sin.
I used to wonder in puzzlement at the Jew’s reaction to Christ’s announcement of His messianic calling. Rather than rejoice that theirs was the long awaited day of the Messiah’s coming, they were offended by Him. I used to take comfort in believing that the Latter-day Saints would never take such offense. However, I have since witnessed similar venom in the opposition expressed by church members against our modern-day prophets and apostles, and know I was wrong. These members are offended by Christ’s stance on many public issues of our day. They expect that the Lord change His position to conform with their views they, or their friends and family have taken. Which way do you face? Does the Lord offend you too?
The world is loosing its faith in God. Sadly, I do not believe our own community of Latter-day Saints has been entirely exempt. In fact, many of our own have already been overcome. Many more are wearing thin. I have feelings of great anxiety and concern for how we can continue under such conditions. Things are not getting worse bit by bit, they are getting exponentially worse. Unfortunately, the worst is still ahead of us. At what point is the world fully ripe in iniquity? The Book of Mormon provides the answer:
Now it is not common that the voice of the people desire anything contrary to that which is right; but it is common for the lesser part of the people to desire that which is not right; therefore this shall ye observe and make it your law—to do your business by the voice of the people.
And if the time comes that the voice of the people doth choose iniquity, then is the time that the judgments of God will come upon you; yea, then is the time he will visit you with great destruction even as he has hitherto visited this land.[iii]
What a telling sign! Where is the voice of the majority of the people today? Is the voice of the righteous still the voice of the majority? The words of Mormon to his son describing the conditions of their ripened society unfortunately now mirror that of our own.
Pray for them, my son, that repentance may come unto them. But behold, I fear lest the Spirit hath ceased striving with them; and in this part of the land they are also seeking to put down all power and authority which cometh from God; and they are denying the Holy Ghost. And after rejecting so great a knowledge, my son, they must perish soon, unto the fulfilling of the prophecies which were spoken by the prophets, as well as the words of our Savior himself.[iv]
Our modern secular society is a mirror of the Nephites’ society of old. Powerful forces among us seek to pull down all power and authority associated with God. There are many prophecies that speak of a mighty anti-Christ who will arise in the last days. He will have inexplicable powers, and the ability to perform marvelous works and wonders, and this will cause a terrible crises of faith among the Christian community. So successful will be this deceiver, that if it were possible, even the very elect would fall prey to his wiles. More than ever, the influence and power of the Holy Ghost is needed in our lives, yet more than ever it is being denied. The world considers the influence of the Holy Ghost to be nothing more than an emotional response. Thus, to an ever growing portion of the world’s population, God is both unknown and unknowable – to the world, He does not exist.
Therefore, I wish the world to know that I believe the Book of Mormon is the word of God, not in part, nor in pieces, but in its entirety. I believe that it was meant for us in our day. The Nephites were swept off the face of the land because they denied their God, after He had established them in a land of promise. Likewise, the hand of God has established The United States of America. Just as the Nephites of old, American must repent or be swept from the face of this blessed land to make a place for the righteous Remnant of Jacob. This is the warning that whispers to us from the dust of the Jaredite and Nephite nations, the former inhabitants of these lands. It has happened before, and it will happen again.
I close this book with an invitation. Evaluate your life. Carefully consider your attitudes, allegiances, and behaviors. Are you ready? Do you fear men more than God? Does anger grip your heart? Are you humble? Do you envy others or their positions? Do you consider others to be lesser than yourself? Are you drawing nearer to the Lord? Are you keeping the covenants you have made with the Lord? Do you stand in holy places? Are there things in your life that are inconsistent with a true disciple of Christ?
We all have weaknesses, but weakness cannot be our excuse. We must take action now; in the few remaining moments we have left, to firmly establish ourselves on the Lord’s side. Turn to the Lord with full purpose of heart, trust in Him, serve Him, and He will deliver you from bondage.
O then despise not, and wonder not, but hearken unto the words of the Lord, and ask the Father in the name of Jesus for what things soever ye shall stand in need. Doubt not, but be believing, and begin as in times of old, and come unto the Lord with all your heart, and work out your own salvation with fear and trembling before him.[v]
The Lord is coming! The great and dreadful day of the Lord will catch the world and many of the members of the church completely unaware, just as the thief in the night. Ours is a day of courage. We must be valiant in our testimony of Jesus Christ. We must stand with the brethren. If your life is not consistent with the teachings of our latter-day prophets, make it so. In the words of Nephi:
And now I, Nephi, cannot say more; the Spirit stoppeth mine utterance, and I am left to mourn because of the unbelief, and the wickedness, and the ignorance, and the stiffneckedness of men; for they will not search knowledge, nor understand great knowledge, when it is given unto them in plainness, even as plain as word can be. Wherefore, now after I have spoken these words, if ye cannot understand them it will be because ye ask not, neither do ye knock; wherefore, ye are not brought into the light, but must perish in the dark.[vi]
[i] “Latter-day Counsel,” Ensign, Oct. 2000, 73
[ii] “Standing Strong and Immovable,” Worldwide Leadership Training Meeting, 10 Jan. 2004, 20
[iii] Mosiah 29:26-27
[iv] Mormon 8:28-29
[v] Mormon 9:27
[vi] 2 Nephi 32:7,4