Prophecy, Destiny & Hope. These three profound truths can teach us what the Lord has revealed about the events of the latter days and the glorious day of His Return. It will be in the troubling times of the last days that we will see the fulfillment of the many words of prophecy that have flowed forth from the Lord’s prophets, both ancient and modern. Some of their words have already come to pass, but many of their prophecies have not yet been fulfilled.
Contained within these prophetic revelations is the pivotal element of destiny. It is the destiny of the wicked to be destroyed and removed from the earth in the latter days. It is the destiny of the righteous---after passing through a period of persecution and trial---to inherit the bounteous blessings of the Lord. After the righteous have endured the distress of a night filled with darkness, the wicked will be destroyed by the wrath of Almighty God. The righteous will then experience the dawning of a new day so glorious and beautiful to behold that it is impossible for us to comprehend in our current world. They will be blessed with the presence of the Son of God.
And this brings us to the third message of the last day---hope for the righteous. In spite of the seeming ferocity of the events of the last days, the righteous will be watched over and protected by the Lord. The traumatic prophetic events of the last days will eventually bring about a thousand years of peace, tranquility and order to those who will follow the Savior and live by the Holy Spirit.
Many events of great magnitude must yet occur in order to cleanse the earth of the wicked in preparation for the Second Coming. The earth has now endured over 6,000 years of war, sorrow and hatred. Thinking in terms of the Lord’s time, it has been six long days that were ruled by the wicked---a Monday through Saturday of a very tough and brutal week. It is almost time for the Lord to give the earth a Saturday night bath (with a lot of intense scrubbing to clean all of the dirty spots!) in preparation for Sunday--- a thousand years that will be full of peace, joy, love and happiness.
The Millennium will be a glorious time. It will be a world of incredible contrast to the one in which we live today. The wicked will no longer rule the nations and the righteous will not be persecuted. Satan will be bound so that he can no longer afflict mankind. As the glorious Millennium commences, it be like waking from a bad dream as the coarseness of the world of today will begin to fade from our memories. The righteous will be blessed to live on the earth when it is free from wickedness. The repercussions of this absence of iniquity will affect all aspects of human life and culture.
But in order to make this possible, the Lord must first remove the wicked from the earth, and this will be a process of great turmoil and distress.1 While the wicked are being destroyed, the only place of peace and safety will be among the righteous.2 The Lord has promised to preserve the righteous in the last days.3
This book is the culmination of over twenty-five years of research. The prophecies of the latter days have always been a topic of deep personal study, even from my youth. By studying the scriptures and contemplating the discourses that were given by modern prophets---especially the teachings of the prophets Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, John Taylor and Wilford Woodruff---my understanding of the events of the latter days began to come into focus. By correlating together the many prophecies that have been revealed about the last days, a larger picture began to emerge---a picture that is not commonly understood today.
I was surprised to discover in my research that many of the Saints who lived in the early days of the Church had a deep understanding of latter-day prophecies, and some of the things that we think are “new” discoveries were often common knowledge for the Saints that lived in the times of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young.
It is my hope and prayer that we can study the events of the latter days so that we will understand those things that will be happening in the coming years. By preparing ourselves spiritually, physically, financially, mentally and emotionally for the events that will surely come to pass, we will be able to pass through the turbulent times of the last days with an unshaken foundation and faith in our Savior, Jesus Christ. He is the source of our salvation and the only true rock upon which we can be firmly anchored in these latter days.
I want to thank my wife, Jill, whose faith and patience have made this book possible. I appreciate her willingness to allow me to write this book, to help me with the manuscript and to be a sounding board for discussions about the book. She helped me tremendously during this project. I have been blessed, and I thank her.
I owe a great debt of gratitude to my father, Eric, for his encouragement and feedback as I worked on this book. I appreciate his thorough review of the manuscript and the great suggestions that he gave me. Both he and my mother have been wonderful sources of support in this and many other projects on which we have worked.
I sincerely appreciate the many stimulating and thought-provoking discussions that I have enjoyed with my brother, Daniel. From our youth we have often pondered many ideas about the latter days and shared with each other the discoveries that we have made in our personal research over the years. Dan passed away on June 26, 2013 from brain cancer, leaving a big hole in our hearts and in our lives. I miss him dearly.
I have been blessed to be born into a close family of five brothers and two sisters with whom I have shared many fascinating ideas. I thank each of them for their thoughts over the years, and their ability to fine tune my thinking.
I would also like to thank my grandfather, W. Cleon Skousen, for his example of excellent research and tireless work in the creation of his many books. His life was a great example of what a faithful and dedicated person can accomplish in mortality. He is greatly missed.
My sincere thanks also goes to Del Parson who allowed us to use his wonderful painting “Hope in the Second Coming” on the cover. I cannot think of a more appropriately-titled painting to match the message of this book.
I must also thank Arlene Kay Butler and her publisher, Zeldon Nelson, for the excellent three volume work, Quotes from Apostles, Prophets and Scriptures on the Last Days, which was a very useful and succinct compilation of the many prophecies about the latter days. Their efforts aided me enormously and opened my eyes to many new vistas of future events. I would also like to thank my uncle, David C. Skousen, who shared his files and research on the last days with me.
I sincerely appreciate the tireless work extended by Heather K. Loughmiller in editing and correcting this manuscript, as well as the manuscript for both volumes of Brother Joseph---Seer of a New Dispensation. Her accurate and careful editing have saved me many hours of sleepless nights.
I would also like to earnestly thank the many prophets of God who made a book like this possible. We have been blessed by the legacies of prophets like Isaiah, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Lehi, Nephi, Mormon, Moroni, Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff and many others. We would know nothing about what the future holds if these prophets had not taken the time to contemplate and meditate upon the things of God, and if they had not asked the Lord for answers to their questions. I am so grateful for their lives of courage and faithfulness. It is never easy to be a prophet of God. Their lives and examples are especially poignant in the times in which we live.
Most importantly, my heart is filled with gratitude for a merciful Father in Heaven and His Son, Jesus Christ, who have been willing to reveal what will occur in the latter days. I treasure Their mercy and love for us. It is to Them that I dedicate this book.
1 . D&C 29:15-21.
2 . D&C 45:68.
3 . 1 Nephi 22:17-21; 3 Nephi 22:15-17.