the thinker

Last Days

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The fact that the LDS Church believes that these are the “last days” of the world is beyond dispute. Every Mormon understands this doctrine and has been taught to believe it. The recent sanitation of this well-known and understood doctrine by LDS Prophet Gordon B. Hinckley (see Hinckley statement below) is beyond belief. This is a doctrine that has been repeated over and over again by every prophet and leader in the history of the LDS Church.

“Truly it must be said that these last days are exhibiting more than ever the blatant power and force of Satan.”

- High Priest Elray L. Christiensen, Conference Report, October 1964

“Let me call your attention to this fact which you, of course, all know that we are living in the last days, the days of trouble, days of wickedness, spoken of as days of wickedness several hundred years before the coming of Christ by Nephi, as it is recorded in the twenty-seventh chapter of Second Nephi.”

- Prophet Joseph Fielding Smith, Conference Report, April 1952

“I feel to say, O our Eternal Father, pour out thy Spirit more abundantly upon these thy saints, upon this remnant of scattered Israel which has gathered to thy gospel in these last days.”

- Prophet Joseph Fielding Smith, Conference Report, October 1970.

“Ted Capener: You certainly are not now or never have been, I'm sure, a prophet of doom, or of doomsday. Are we living in the last days?
Gordon B. Hinckley: I don't know, but we better act as if we were.
TC: Yeah.
GBH: Then we won't have anything to worry about!
TC: That's right.
GBH: If it's ready to come, we'll be ready.”

- Prophet Gordon B. Hinckley, interview by Ted Capener, Friday, December 18, 1998, KUED Public Television Station in Salt Lake City, Utah

“Youth of Zion, do you realize you are living in the days of the fulfillment of these signs and wonders? You are among those who will see many of these prophecies fulfilled. Just as certain as was the destruction of the temple of Jerusalem and the scattering of the Jews, so shall these words of the Savior be certain to your generation... You will live in the midst of economic, political and spiritual instability. When you see these signs – unmistakable evidences that His coming is nigh – be not troubled, but ‘stand... in holy places...” These holy places consist of our temples, our chapels, our homes and the stakes of Zion, which are as the Lord declares, ‘for a defense, and for a refuge from the storm, and from the wrath when it shall be poured out without mixture upon the whole earth'... We have every confidence that you, ‘the rising generation,' will not falter. I repeat: You were valiant spirits reserved for this exceptional time. You have but one choice: To rise to the task of history's most significant hour!”

- Prophet Ezra Taft Benson, “Prepare Yourselves for the Great Day of the Lord," address delivered to the Devotional Assembly, Ricks College, Idaho, September 16, 1980

“Now, I do not wish to be an alarmist. I do not wish to be a prophet of doom. I am optimistic. I do not believe the time is here when an all-consuming calamity will overtake us.”

- Prophet Gordon B. Hinckley, General Conference, October 2001

“I heard him (Martin Harris) make this statement, that there would never be another President of the United States elected; that soon all temporal and spiritual power would be given over to the prophet Joseph Smith and the Latter Day Saints. His extravagant statements were the laughing stock of the people of Palmyra.”

- Albert Chandler, worker who helped bind 1830 Book of Mormon, see Dan Vogel, Early Mormon Documents, v. 3, pp. 222-223

“[T]he hour is nigh, and the day soon at hand,… [T]here shall be weeping and wailing among the hosts of men.... I will take vengeance upon the wicked, for they will not repent: For the cup of mine indignation is full…. I the Lord God will send forth flies upon the face of the earth, which shall take hold of the inhabitants thereof, and shall eat their flesh, and shall cause maggots to come in upon them, and their tongues shall be stayed that they shall not utter against me, and their flesh shall fall from off their bones, and their eyes from their sockets…. [T]he beasts of the forest, and the fowls of the air, shall devour them up: And that great and abominable church, which is the whore of all the earth, shall be cast down by devouring fire.”

- Book of Commandments, XXIX:10, 18-24, pp. 62-63

“[B]ehold the days of thy deliverance are come…. [I]nasmuch as my people shall assemble themselves to the Ohio, I have kept in store a blessing such as is not known among the children of men…. The kingdom of heaven is at hand…. [Prepare] the way before my face, for the time of my coming; for the time is at hand…. Behold I come quickly.”

- Book of Commandments, XLI:8,14,19-20,23, pp. 85-87

“… all who believed the new bible would see Christ within fifteen years, and all who did not would absolutely be destroyed and dam'd.”

- High Priest Martin Harris, The Telegraph (Painesville, OH), March 15, 1831, v. 2, no. 39

“[P]repare for the great day of the Lord…. The day has come, when the cup of the wrath of mine indignation, is full…. The great Millennial [reign], which I have spoken by the mouth of my servants, shall come.”

- Book of Commandments, XLV:24,31,36, pp. 98-99

“Ye shall assemble yourselves together to rejoice upon the land of Missouri, which is the land of your inheritance.”

- Book of Commandments, LIV:43, p. 127 (D&C 45:66)

“They [Mormons] came into the neighborhood proclaiming that these were the last days, and that God had sent forth the book of Mormon to show the times of the fulfillment of the ancient prophecies when the Saviour shall come to destroy iniquity off the face of the earth, and reign with his saints in Millennial Rest.”

- Apostle William McLellin, letter to relatives, August 4, 1832, typescript in RLDS archives; quoted in Abanes, One Nation Under Gods, p. 101

“Within four years from September 1832, there will not be one wicked person left in the United States; that the righteous will be gathered to Zion (Missouri,) and that there will be no President over these United States at that time…. I do hereby assert and declare that in four years from the date thereof [1832], every sectarian and religious denomination in the United States, shall be broken down, and every Christian shall be gathered unto the Mormonites, and the rest of the human race shall perish.”

- High Preist Martin Harris, quoted in Howe, Mormonism Unvailed, 1834, p. 14

“[I]t is the time when the wicked shall be destroyed… when plagues shall be sent to humble the haughty…. [I]t is a time when the wicked can not expect to see the next generation; year, it is that great time.”

- “The Last Days,” The Evening and Morning Star, February 1833, v. 1, no. 10, p. 65

“I am prepared to say by the authority of Jesus Christ, that not many years shall pass away before the United States shall present such a scene of bloodshed as has not a parallel in the history of our nation.”

- Prophet Joseph Smith, Jr., letter to N.E. Seaton, January 4, 1833, in History of the Church, v. 1, p. 315

“The people of the Lord… have already commenced to gather together to Zion, which is in the state of Missouri; therefore I declare unto you the warning which the Lord has commanded me to declare unto this generation,…. ‘[T]he hour of His judgment is come.'… Flee to Zion, before the overflowing scourge overtake you, for there are now those living upon the earth whose eyes shall not be closed in death until they see all these things, which I have spoken, fulfilled.”

- Prophet Joseph Smith, Jr., History of the Church, v. 1, pp. 315-316

“[T]his generation of Jews shall not pass away until every desolation which I have told you concerning them shall come to pass.”

- Doctrine and Covenants 45:21

“Oh! Such fearful looking for the wrath of God to be poured out upon this generation, together with the evidence of Holy writ, ought to convince every man in the world, that the end is near; that the harvest is ripe, and that the angels are reaping down the earth.”

- “Signs of the Times,” The Evening and Morning Star, January 1833, v. 1, no. 8, p. 62

“Without a Zion, and a place of deliverance, we must fall; because the time is near when the sun will be darkened, the moon turned to blood, the stars fall from heaven, and the earth reel to and fro. Then, if this is the case, and if we are not sanctified and gathered to the places where God has appointed, [despite] with all our former professions and our great love for the Bible, we must fall, we cannot stand; we cannot be saved; for God will gather out his Saints from the gentiles and then comes desolation or destruction and none can escape except the pure in heart who are gathered.”

- Prophet Joseph Smith, Jr., “Joseph Smith Recital to Kirtland High Council,” Kirtland Council Minute Book (1832-37), April 21, 1834, p. 44; reprinted in Dan Vogel, Early Mormon Documents, 1996, v. 1, pp. 33-34

“The hour of God's judgment hath come…. This is the Lord's recompense for the controversy of Zion…. Flies shall go forth among the people, and bite them, and cause worms to come in their flesh, and their flesh shall fall from their bones; and their eyes shall fall out of their sockets;… Serious losses will soon be sustained both by sea and land; because of whirlwinds and tempests, and devouring fire…. The world is fast ripening for the judgments of God.”

- Apostle Orson Hyde, “A Prophetic Warning,” Latter Day Saints' Messenger and Advocate, July 1836, v. 2, no. 10, p. 345

“The signs of the times are portentous and clearly indicate the approaching downfall of the nations, and the overturning of kingdoms, empires, and republics, preparatory to the coming of Christ and his personal reign on the earth.”

- Apostle Orson Pratt, “Second Epistle of Orson Pratt," October 1, 1853, see Pratt, The Seer, 1853, v.1, no. 11

“The time is coming when justice will be laid to the line and righteousness to the plummet; when we shall take the old broad sword and ask, ‘Are you of God?' and if you are not heartily on the Lord's side, you will be hewn down.”

- Prophet Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, v. 3, p. 226, March 2, 1856

“This great war [Civil War] is only a small degree of chastisement, just the beginning; nothing compared to that which God has spoken concerning this nation, if they will not repent. For the Lord has said in this book, (the Book of Mormon) which has been published for thirty eight years, that if they will not repent He will throw down all their strongholds and cut off the cities of the land, and will execute vengeance and fury on the nation, even as upon the heathen, such as they have not heard. That He will send a desolating scourge on the land; that He will leave their cities desolate, without inhabitants. For instance the great, powerful and populous city of New York, that may be considered one of the greatest cities of the world, will in a few years become a mass of ruins. The people will wonder while gazing on the ruins that cost hundreds of millions to build, what has become of its inhabitants, Their houses will be there, but they will be left desolate. So saith the Lord God. That will be only a sample of numerous other towns and cities on the face of this continent. Now I am aware that it is almost impossible for even some of the Latter-day Saints to get that confidence and that strong faith in the events which God intends to accomplish on this land in the future to believe in such a thing, to say nothing about outsiders, that do not believe a word of it. Outsiders do not believe it any more than they believed me when I was a boy and tok that revelation which was given in 1832, and carried it forth among many towns and icites and told them there was to be a great and terrible war between the North and the South, and read to them the revelation. Did they believe it? Would they consider that there was any truth in it? Not in the least, ‘that is a Mormon humbug' they would say. ‘What! this great and powerful nation of ours to be divided one part against the other and many hundreds of thousands of souls to be destroyed by civil wars!' Not a word of it would they believe. They do not believe what is still in the future. But there are some in this congregation who will live, to behold the fulfillment of these other things, and will visit the ruins of mighty towns and cities scattered over the face of this land destitute and desolate of inhabitants.”

- Apostle Orson Pratt, Journal of Discourses, v. 12, pp. 244-245, December 27, 1868

“We shall pull the wool over the eyes of the American people and make them swallow Mormonism, polygamy and all.”

- Prophet Brigham Young, July 12, 1875, quoted in E.A. Folk, “Story of Mormonism,” see Abanes, One Nation Under Gods, p. 281

“The time is coming, when we will not be fettered by unjust laws that are imposed upon us. Why? Because the Lord intends, by his judgment, by wars among the nations that will not serve him, by famines, and pestilence, and by various judgments that will be sent forth, to waste away the nations of the earth.... we know their doom, and we know that it is very near at hand. It is not something to happen in a far distant period of the future, but it is right at the doors.... he will speedily fulfill the prophecy in relation to the overthrow of this nation, and their destruction.”

- Apostle Orson Pratt, September 26, 1875, printed October 2, 1875 in Deseret Evening News, v. 8, no. 265; see also N.B. Lundwall, comp., Inspired Prophetic Warnings, 1940, p. 26

“The American Nation will be broken in pieces.... you live in the day and hour of the judgments of God Almighty.... the hour of God's judgment is at the door.... I wish to warn all nations.... Thrones will be cast down, nations will be overturned, anarchy will reign, all legal barriers will be broken down, and the laws will be trampled in the dust. You are about to be visited with war, sword, famine, pestilence, plague, earthquakes, whirlwinds, tempests, and with the flame of devouring fire.... the slain of the Lord will be many.”

- Prophet Wilford Woodruff, April 21, 1879, in Millennial Star, v. 41, p. 241

“My Son, if thou livest until though art eight-five years of age [i.e., December 1890], thou shalt see the face of the Son of Man.... in the name of the Lord God, and let it be written – the Son of Man will not come in the clouds of heaven till I am eighty-five years old.”

- Prophet Joseph Smith, Jr.'s conditional prophecy on the return of Jesus Christ, see History of the Church, v. 5, p. 324

“… the day of your deliverance is not far distant for the judgments of the Lord are already abroad in the earth and the cold hand of death will soon pass through your neighborhood, and sweep away some of your most bitter enemies…. The day is fast hastening on when the restoration of all things shall be fulfilled.”

- Prophet Joseph Smith, Jr., letter to Colesville, New York LDS members, in Newel Knight Journal, pp. 132-136; reprinted in Dan Vogel, Early Mormon Documents, v. 1, p. 14

“… the land of Missouri, which is the land which I have appointed and consecrated for the gathering of the saints. Wherefore, this is the land of promise, and the place for the city of Zion. And thus saith the Lord your God, if you will receive wisdom here is wisdom. Behold, the place which is now called Independence is the center place.”

- Prophet Joseph Smith, Jr. revelation, Doctrine and Covenants 57:1-3