Prophets Help Us to be Prepared For the Second Coming
Tahna is a BYU student and member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (sometimes known as the “Mormon Church” by the media). She is currently taking a religion course at Brigham Young, where she is learning about the Joseph Smith-Matthew (JSM) which is the Joseph Smith Translation of Matthew 23:39–24:51. Below are her thoughts and feelings concerning this book and how it applies to our lives today:
The prophet Daniel spoke of the “abomination of desolation” in Joseph Smith Matthew. We learned in class that it is important to learn about the destruction of the Jews because it reflects our history, parallels with our day, and will give us a better idea of what things will be like in our future. I remember learning about this destruction in past Sunday school lessons. When my teacher read the well-known verse spoken by Jesus Christ, “Verily I say unto you, there shall not be left here, upon this temple, one stone upon another that shall not be thrown down” (JSM 1:3), the class would “gasp” while they thought back on how horrible this destruction must have been. However, now is the time to think forward on the destruction in the days ahead.
It was not until I studied abroad in Jerusalem and actually saw what could most likely be a remainder of the temple stones (all “thrown down”) that I realized the magnitude of the destruction Christ was speaking of. I also did not fully understand that those words were a warning to future generations of what is yet to come.
I used to read Joseph Smith—Matthew with only a sense of sorrow for the people affected by the destruction in the meridian of time. Now that I have a better understanding that those things will be mirrored at the end of time (which will most likely be my time) and that I had the opportunity to “see” the destruction and step in the actual places where it occurred, different emotions arise when I read this chapter. I still feel sorrowful, but I try to use that reaction to trigger my motivation to prepare for the future. When I am reminded of what did happen, I remember what the Lord has revealed will happen. Then, I use these passages of scripture as an example of how to act when the revelations begin to be fulfilled.
Joseph Smith—Matthew warns to “flee into the mountains” (JSM 1:13) and to “not return to take anything out of his house” (JSM 1:14). Those that did not flee perished. We are also taught that there will be false Christs and prophets, and great signs and wonders which will point to the Second Coming. It is amazing how many signs have already been fulfilled. On the other hand, after reviewing many of the signs in class, there are still particular events that will continue to happen, and some that have not yet even occurred. So, if I do not treasure up God’s words, I will be deceived. I will not be ready.
“Therefore be ye also ready, for in such an hour as ye think not, the Son of Man cometh” (JSM 1:48). No one on this earth knows when the abomination of desolation will occur in the last days, or when Jesus Christ shall reign on the earth again. So, how can I be ready? I believe that “Brother Muhlestein’s Guide to the Last Days” provides the best answer: follow the prophet. I can listen to President Thomas S. Monson (Prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), the Lord’s mouthpiece. He and his apostles deliver the most effective ways to prepare for the Second Coming, especially in accordance with the trials that are being faced in the world today. They will not lead me astray; I just have to listen.
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