Christ’s Appearance to the Saints in Zion
I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God; wherefore, gird up your loins and I will suddenly come to my temple. Even so. Amen.
Actually, His appearance to the saints will have more than one part also.
Ezra Taft Benson:
“One appearance will be to the righteous Saints who have gathered to the New Jerusalem here in America. In this place of refuge they will be safe from the wrath of the Lord which will be poured out without measure on all nations.
“Modern revelation provides this description:
“’And the glory of the Lord shall be there, and the terror of the Lord also shall be there, insomuch that the wicked will not come unto it, and it shall be called Zion.
“’And it shall come to pass among the wicked, that every man that will not take his sword against his neighbor must needs flee unto Zion for safety.
“’And there shall be gathered unto it out of every nation under heaven; and it shall be the only people that shall not be at war one with another.’ (D&C 45:67–69.)”
Ezra Taft Benson, “Prepare Yourself for the Great Day of the Lord,” New Era, May 1982, 44
Speaking of Christ’s appearance to the saints in Zion, Elder Charles W. Penrose said:
“that appearance will be unknown to the rest of mankind. He will come to the Temple prepared for him, and his faithful people will behold his face, hear his voice, and gaze upon his glory. From his own lips they will receive further instructions for the development and beautifying of Zion and for the extension and sure stability of his Kingdom.”
(Millennial Star, 10 Sept. 1859, pp. 582–83.)
Before Adam died, he gathered His righteous posterity together for a special meeting.
53 Three years previous to the death of Adam, he called Seth, Enos, Cainan, Mahalaleel, Jared, Enoch, and Methuselah, who were all high priests, with the residue of his posterity who were righteous, into the valley of Adam-ondi-Ahman, and there bestowed upon them his last blessing.
54 And the Lord appeared unto them, and they rose up and blessed Adam, and called him Michael, the prince, the archangel.
55 And the Lord administered comfort unto Adam, and said unto him: I have set thee to be at the head; a multitude of nations shall come of thee, and thou art a prince over them forever.
56 And Adam stood up in the midst of the congregation; and, notwithstanding he was bowed down with age, being full of the Holy Ghost, predicted whatsoever should befall his posterity unto the latest generation.
Such a meeting is to be repeated in the future. In addition to Christ’s appearance at the temple, He will appear at a great priesthood gathering in Adam-ondi-Ahman, which is in Missouri. There, both mortals and resurrected beings will be present, including all the prophets of each dispensation. There the prophets will return to Jesus Christ all the priesthood keys which they hold. Adam will preside at this council.
Spring Hill is named by the Lord Adam-ondi-Ahman, because, said he, it is the place where Adam shall come to visit his people, or the Ancient of Days shall sit, as spoken of by Daniel the prophet.
“Daniel in his seventh chapter speaks of the Ancient of Days; he means the oldest man, our father Adam, Michael, he will call his children together and hold a council with them to prepare them for the coming of the Son of Man. He (Adam) is the father of the human family and presides over the spirits of all men, and all that have had the keys must stand before him in this grand council.”
(History of the Church, 3:386–87; see also D&C 116.)
Elder Joseph Fielding Smith wrote:
“Not many years hence there shall be another gathering of high priests and righteous souls in this same valley of Adam-ondi-Ahman. At this gathering Adam, the Ancient of Days, will again be present. At this time the vision which Daniel saw will be enacted. The Ancient of Days will sit. There will stand before him those who have held the keys of all dispensations, who shall render up their stewardship to the first patriarch of the race, who holds the keys of salvation. This shall be a day of judgment and preparation.
“In this council Christ will take over the reins of government, officially, on the earth, and the kingdom and dominions, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the saints of the Most High. . .
“Until this grand council is held, Satan shall hold rule in the nations of the earth; but at that time thrones are to be cast down and man’s rule shall come to an end. . . . Then shall he give the government to the saints of the Most High. . .
“[This council] shall precede the coming of Jesus Christ as a thief in the night, unbeknown to all the world.”
(Way to Perfection, pp. 289–91.)
Joseph Fielding Smith:
“At that time there will be a transfer of authority from the usurper and impostor, Lucifer, to the rightful King, Jesus Christ. Judgment will be set and all who have held keys will make their reports and deliver their stewardships, as they shall be required. Adam will direct this judgment, and then he will make his report, as the one holding the keys for this earth, to his Superior Officer, Jesus Christ. Our Lord will then assume the reins of government; directions will be given to the Priesthood; and He, whose right it is to rule, will be installed officially by the voice of the Priesthood there assembled. This grand council of Priesthood will be composed, not only of those who are faithful who now dwell on this earth, but also of the prophets and apostles of old, who have had directing authority. Others may also be there, but if so they will be there by appointment, for this is to be an official council called to attend to the most momentous matters concerning the destiny of this earth.
“When this gathering is held, the world will not know of it; the members of the Church at large will not know of it, yet it shall be preparatory to the coming in the clouds of glory of our Savior Jesus Christ as the Prophet Joseph Smith has said. The world cannot know of it. The Saints cannot know of it—except those who officially shall be called into this council—for it shall precede the coming of Jesus Christ as a thief in the night, unbeknown to all the world.”
(Way to Perfection, pp. 290–91.)
Speaking of the faithful who don’t see Him during these first visits, President Lorenzo Snow said:
“If you will not have seen the Lord Jesus at that time you may expect Him very soon, to see him, to eat and drink with Him, to shake hands with Him and to invite him to your houses as He was invited when He was here before” (Deseret News, 15 June 1901, p. 1).
Christ’s Appearance to the Jews
And then shall the Lord set his foot upon this mount, and it shall cleave in twain, and the earth shall tremble, and reel to and fro, and the heavens also shall shake.
And the Lord shall utter his voice, and all the ends of the earth shall hear it; and the nations of the earth shall mourn, and they that have laughed shall see their folly.
And calamity shall cover the mocker, and the scorner shall be consumed; and they that have watched for iniquity shall be hewn down and cast into the fire.
And then shall the Jews look upon me and say: What are these wounds in thine hands and in thy feet?
Then shall they know that I am the Lord; for I will say unto them: These wounds are the wounds with which I was wounded in the house of my friends. I am he who was lifted up. I am Jesus that was crucified. I am the Son of God.
And then shall they weep because of their iniquities; then shall they lament because they persecuted their king.
We have spoken briefly about the 1st battle of Armageddon, in which the whole world will basically be in a war involving the Middle East. In this battle, there will come a point where the Jews are in great distress. The two prophets that had protected them for over three years will have been killed, and now, for about three and a half days, they will be attacked without any apparent hope of delivery.
Ezra Taft Benson spoke of this appearance:
“Another appearance of the Lord will be to the Jews. To these beleaguered sons of Judah, surrounded by hostile Gentile armies, who again threaten to overrun Jerusalem, the Savior—their Messiah—will set His feet on the Mount of Olives, “and it shall cleave in twain, and the earth shall tremble, and reel to and fro, and the heavens also shall shake” (D&C 45:47–48).
“The Lord Himself will then rout the Gentile armies, decimating their forces (see Ezek. 38, 39). Judah will be spared, no longer to be persecuted and scattered. The Jews will then approach their Deliverer and ask, “What are these wounds in thine hands and in thy feet?”
“’… I will say unto them: These wounds are the wounds with which I was wounded in the house of my friends. I am he who was lifted up. I am Jesus that was crucified. I am the Son of God.
“’And then shall they weep because of their iniquities; then shall they lament because they persecuted their king.’ (D&C 45:51–53.)
“What a touching drama this will be! Jesus—Prophet, Messiah, King—will be welcomed in His own country!
“Jerusalem will become an eternal city of peace!
“The sons of Judah will see this promise fulfilled: “After their pain [the tribe of Judah] shall be sanctified in holiness before the Lord, to dwell in his presence day and night, forever and ever” (D&C 133:35).
“Yet another appearance of Christ will be to the rest of the world. Here is His description of His coming:
“’The Lord shall be red in his apparel, and his garments like him that treadeth in the wine-vat.
“’And so great shall be the glory of his presence that the sun shall hide his face in shame, and the moon shall withhold its light, and the stars shall be hurled from their places.” (D&C 133:48–49.)
“’All nations will see Him “in the clouds of heaven, clothed with power and great glory; with all the holy angels. …
“’And the Lord shall utter his voice, and all the ends of the earth shall hear it; and the nations of the earth shall mourn, and they that have laughed shall see their folly.
“’And calamity shall cover the mocker, and the scorner shall be consumed; and they that have watched for iniquity shall be hewn down and cast into the fire.” (D&C 45:44, 49–50.)
“When the Savior spoke of these signs and prophecies to His disciples in Jerusalem, they were apprehensive. He said to them, “Be not troubled, for, when all these things shall come to pass, ye may know that the promises which have been made unto you shall be fulfilled” (D&C 45:35).”
Ezra Taft Benson, “Prepare Yourself for the Great Day of the Lord,” New Era, May 1982, 44
Elder Charles W. Penrose:
“The bankrupt nations, envying the wealth of the sons of Judah, will seek a pretext to make war upon them, and will invade the ‘holy land’ to ‘take a prey and a spoil.’ . .
“His [Christ’s] next appearance [after coming to his temple] will be among the distressed and nearly vanquished sons of Judah. At the crisis of their fate, when the hostile troops of several nations are ravaging the city and all the horrors of war are overwhelming the people of Jerusalem, he will set his feet upon the Mount of Olives, which will cleave and part asunder at his touch. Attended by a host from heaven, he will overthrow and destroy the combined armies of the Gentiles, and appear to the worshipping Jews as the mighty Deliverer and Conquerer so long expected by their race; and while love, gratitude, awe, and admiration swell their bosoms, the Deliverer will show them the tokens of his crucifixion and disclose himself as Jesus of Nazareth, whom they had reviled and whom their fathers put to death. Then will unbelief depart from their souls, and ‘the blindness in part which has happened unto Israel’ be removed.”
(“The Second Advent,” Millennial Star, 10 Sept. 1859, pp. 582–83.)
Parley P. Pratt:
“Zechariah, chapter 14, has told us much concerning the great battle and overthrow of the nations that fight against Jerusalem, and he has said, in plain words, that the Lord shall come at the very time of the overthrow of that army; yes, in fact, even while they are in the act of taking Jerusalem, and have already succeeded in taking one-half the city, spoiling their houses, and ravishing their women. Then, behold, their long-expected Messiah, suddenly appearing, shall stand upon the Mount of Olives, a little east of Jerusalem, to fight against those nations and deliver the Jews. Zechariah says the Mount of Olives shall cleave in twain, from east to west, and one-half of the mountain shall remove to the north while the other half falls off to the south, suddenly forming a very great valley into which the Jews shall flee for protection from their enemies as they fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah, king of Judah; while the Lord cometh and all the saints with Him. Then will the Jews behold that long, long-expected Messiah, coming in power to their deliverance, as they always looked for him. He will destroy their enemies, and deliver them from trouble at the very time they are in the utmost consternation, and about to be swallowed up by their enemies. But what will be their astonishment when they are about to fall at the feet of their Deliverer and acknowledge him their Messiah! They discover the wounds which were once made in his hands, feet, and side; and on inquiry, at once recognize Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews, the man so long rejected. Well did the prophet say, they shall mourn and weep, every family apart, and their wives apart. But, thank heaven, there will be an end to their mourning; for he will forgive their iniquities and cleanse them from uncleanness. Jerusalem shall be a holy city from that time forth.”
(Voice of Warning, pp. 32–33.)
Joseph Smith spoke more about the earthquake that divides the Mt. of Olives:
“All [the prophets] speak of [this day]; and when that time comes, the Lord is going to come out of His hiding place. You can see what a terrible condition it is going to be; and the Jews besieged, not only in Jerusalem but, of course, throughout Palestine are in the siege; and when they are about to go under, then the Lord comes. There will be the great earthquake. The earthquake will not be only in Palestine. There will not be merely the separation of the Mount of Olives, to form a valley that the Jews may escape, but the whole earth is going to be shaken. There will be some dreadful things take place, and some great changes are going to take place, and that you will find written in the book of Ezekiel (38:17–23).”
(Smith, Signs of the Times, p. 170.)
There will be many events associated with this appearance.
19 Wherefore, prepare ye for the coming of the Bridegroom; go ye, go ye out to meet him.
20 For behold, he shall stand upon the mount of Olivet, and upon the mighty ocean, even the great deep, and upon the islands of the sea, and upon the land of Zion.
21 And he shall utter his voice out of Zion, and he shall speak from Jerusalem, and his voice shall be heard among all people;
22 And it shall be a voice as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder, which shall break down the mountains, and the valleys shall not be found.
23 He shall command the great deep, and it shall be driven back into the north countries, and the islands shall become one land;
24 And the land of Jerusalem and the land of Zion shall be turned back into their own place, and the earth shall be like as it was in the days before it was divided.
25 And the Lord, even the Savior, shall stand in the midst of his people, and shall reign over all flesh.
Bruce R. McConkie tells of some of these events:
“Three natural changes in the earth—all apparently growing out of one transcendent happening—are here named [Revelation 16:17–21] as attending our Lord’s Second Coming. They are:
“1. Earth’s land masses shall unite; islands and continents shall become one land.
“2. Every valley shall be exalted and every mountain shall be made low; the rugged terrain of today shall level out into a millennial garden.
“3. Such an earthquake as has never been known since man’s foot was planted on this planet shall attend these changes in the earth’s surface and appearance.
“And, fourthly, as recorded elsewhere, the great deep—presumably the Atlantic ocean—shall return to its place in the north, ‘and the earth shall be like as it was in the days before it was divided.’ (D. & C. 133:21–24.)” (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3:543.)
Christ’s Appearance to the Whole World
And there shall be silence in heaven for the space of half an hour; and immediately after shall the curtain of heaven be unfolded, as a scroll is unfolded after it is rolled up, and the face of the Lord shall be unveiled;
For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.
While His first appearances may be to chosen groups of people who have been diligently waiting for Him, His final appearance will be to the whole world – and the whole world will know of it.
“Then will appear one grand sign of the Son of Man in heaven. But what will the world do? They will say it is a planet, a comet, &c. But the Son of Man will come as the sign of the coming of the Son of Man, which will be as the light of the morning cometh out of the east.”
(History of the Church, 5:337.) (Teachings, pp. 286–87.)
According to Orson Pratt, it is after this sign that there is the half hour of silence. Then the curtain of heaven is opened so that all can see Christ and all the angels with Him and the righteous are caught up to meet Him. For this description, see part 6 of this series describing the ½ hour of silence.
D&C 45: 16, 44
16 And I will show it plainly as I showed it unto my disciples as I stood before them in the flesh, and spake unto them, saying: As ye have asked of me concerning the signs of my coming, in the day when I shall come in my glory in the clouds of heaven, to fulfil the promises that I have made unto your fathers,
• • •
44 And then they shall look for me, and, behold, I will come; and they shall see me in the clouds of heaven, clothed with power and great glory; with all the holy angels; and he that watches not for me shall be cut off.
When Christ appears to the whole world, everyone will confess that there is a God.
“The time will come when every knee will bow, and every tongue confess to and acknowledge him, and when they who have lived upon the earth and have spurned the idea of a Supreme Being and of revelations from him, will fall with shamefacedness and humble themselves before him, exclaiming, ‘There is a God! O God, we once rejected thee and disbelieved thy word and set at naught thy counsels, but now we bow down in shame and we do acknowledge that there is a God, and that Jesus is the Christ.’ This time will come, most assuredly. We have the faith of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus (DBY, 112–13).
“What will they do? They will hear of the wisdom of Zion and the kings and potentates of the nations will come up to Zion to inquire after the ways of the Lord, and to seek out the great knowledge, wisdom and understanding manifested through the Saints of the Most High (DBY, 113).
“They will have to bow the knee and confess that he is God, and that Jesus Christ, who suffered for the sins of the world, is actually its Redeemer; that by the shedding of his blood he has redeemed men, women, children, beasts, birds, fish, the earth itself and everything that John saw and heard praising in heaven [see Revelation 5:13] (DBY, 113).”
Chapter 45: The Last Days,” Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, 331