Today’s blog might have been titled “For the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened” or “The final sequence”, a phrase that I’ve come to use quite often. However, “The year with no rainbow” won out because we shall be referencing two statements regarding that specific year, given by the Prophet Joseph Smith. Here they are:
I have asked the Lord concerning His coming, and while asking the Lord, He said, ‘In the days of Noah I set a bow in the heavens as a sign and token, that in any year that the bow should be seen, the Lord would not come, but there should be seed time and harvest during that year; but whenever you see the bow withdrawn, it shall be a token that there shall be famine, pestilence and great distress among the nations, and that the coming of the Messiah is not far distant. (Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 340-341)
So long as we see the bow in the cloud, seed time and harvest shall continue that year. When the bow shall cease, then shall come famine, wars, and so forth, after which the sign of the Son of Man shall be seen in heaven. ((Kent P. Jackson, Joseph Smith’s Commentary on the Bible, p.112.))
Statement two is so strait forward and revealing, we conclude, in “that year. When the bow shall cease, then shall come famine, wars, and so forth, after which the sign of the Son of Man shall be seen in heaven.” Wow, now that’s powerful to my way of thinking! It indicates that when the stops are completely pulled out, “a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time” according to Daniel 12:1, we will be in the final sequence!
We also note the shortness of the sequence, that it is all contained within the one year. That is why I said above that this blog could have been titled “For the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened”. Now let us apply this perspective to “the parable of the fig tree”. From JS Matthew we read:
38 Now learn a parable of the fig tree—When its branches are yet tender, and it begins to put forth leaves, you know that summer is nigh at hand;
39 So likewise, mine elect, when they shall see all these things, they shall know that he is near, even at the doors;
40 But of that day, and hour, no one knoweth; no, not the angels of God in heaven, but my Father only.
Note the correlation between “seed time” in Joseph Smith’s statements and the phrase “When its branches are yet tender” used here! Could “the parable of the fig tree” be the equivalent of “the year with no rainbow”?
In verse 39 we read “when they shall see all these things”. What things? We only have to backtrack a few verses in JSM to read “And again shall the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, be fulfilled.” Oh…. That thing! The “abomination of desolation” was addressed in a previous blog where we quoted Ezra Taft Benson as saying:
“The great destructive force which was to be turned loose on the earth and which the prophets for centuries have been calling the “abomination of desolation” is vividly described by those who saw it in vision. Ours is the first generation to realize how literally these prophecies can be fulfilled now that God, through science, has unlocked the secret to thermonuclear reaction. (Oct. general conference, 1961)
Joseph Smith speaks of “wars, and so forth, after which the sign of the Son of Man shall be seen in heaven” above which ties in nicely with another of his statements as to what we must do when this granddaddy of wars occurs, says he:
“When wars come, we shall have to flee to Zion. The cry is to make haste. The last Revelation says, “Ye shall not have time to have gone over the earth, until these things come.” It will come as did the cholera, war, fires, and earthquakes; one pestilence after another, etc., until the Ancient of Days come, then judgment will be given to the Saints. (Joseph Smith,1839-July-DHC 3:385-391)
Let us quote the Prophet yet again on this subject:
“For without Zion, and a place of deliverance, we must fall; because the time is near when the sun will be darkened, and the moon turn to blood, and the stars fall from the 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 God has appointed, with all our former professions and our great love for the Bible, we must fall” (Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p.70)
The saints are presently “gathered to the places God has appointed” around the globe, this process has been going on for a very long time but “without Zion, and a place of deliverance, we must fall”. We shall soon fulfill the scriptural mandate “Behold, and lo, the Bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him” and when we arrive shall the “Ancient of Days come”!
This whole final sequence is just barely preceded by “a time, times, and an half” (the 42 months) and then “all these things shall be finished.” (Daniel 12:7) We ought to be paying close attention to what Daniel and John had to say about our day and comparing their prophecies to current events! From 1 Thessalonians 5 we read:
4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.
5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.
I bear witness that the answers we seek concerning the coming of the bridegroom are contained within the standard works! Let us be “the children of light” and “not of the night… but let us watch and be sober.”
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