A belief in the Second Coming obviously is not just a Mormon or modern belief. It is clear in the Old and New Testaments, as well as in the Book of Mormon - and lots of non-Christian texts, as well. People all throughout history have thought their time was so wicked that the world would be destroyed. We (modern Christians, not just Mormons) have reinterpreted Biblical warnings about "the last days" to be about our time, but they weren't seen that way when they were written and spoken back in the day. At that time, the warnings weren't seen as being about a long-future time; they were about the immediate or relatively near future.
I don't believe strongly this is
the beginning of the end - but I believe we now have more power to cause
the end than humans ever have possessed. In that regard, I understand
modern millennial prophecies and beliefs well enough not to ridicule and
dismiss them. We have the capability of annihilating ourselves, so end time prophecies make more sense now than they have at any other point in history.
Also, it can
be useful to understand that our individual earthly end is near - but that
reading is based on a recognition that classic end-of-the-world
prophecies have not been accurate for thousands of years. It's a
productive repackaging of the statements, if you will, so I have no
problem whatsoever with it and have used it on occasion, but it still is
When it comes to "the end times", my own standard is, "No man knoweth the time"
- so I can chalk up everything else as generalized messages about
preparing for the end of the world, whether that be my own life or the
literal end of human existence on this earth.
Edith Russell: Associate Editor
30 minutes ago