Chapter 9: Cleansing the Inner Vessel

Chapter 9: Cleansing the Inner Vessel

As the tares are flushed out of the Church, this process will strengthen and sanctify it. The persecution and trials that will come upon the Church will help to remove the dross, and prepare the Church to be the worthy bride who will meet the returning Bridegroom in glory and splendor.17 The Saints will increase in righteousness as the Church is purified, and this will enable them to accomplish many important tasks in the latter days, to prepare the way for the Savior’s Second Coming in glory and power.

Chapter 7: The Lord’s Promises for the Righteous

Chapter 7: The Lord’s Promises for the Righteous

The Lord has given great promises to the righteous. He has told us through His prophets those things that we must do in order to receive His protection. He has also told us why some of the righteous might perish---in spite of His protection---and He has promised them great blessings in the next world. He has also explained how the righteousness of the Saints can bring them great power and cause the wicked to withdraw in terror.

Chapter 4: Patience in Persecution

Chapter 4: Patience in Persecution

The persecution of the Church will be a difficult journey across a hot and fiery desert to prove the faithful, but on the other side of this valley of tribulation will be a beautiful oasis of peace and joy. The wicked may rage, but there is nothing that will stop the work of God. The persecutions of men are nothing compared to the power of God. The Lord’s powerful hand is watching over the Church and the Saints in the latter days . . .

Chapter 1: The Word of the Lord Will Be Fulfilled

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What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled.1

It is remarkable how many prophecies of the Lord have already been fulfilled, in ancient as well as in modern times. Even more significant is the fact that every one of these prophecies has come to pass exactly as the Lord’s prophets have predicted. Even though the wicked scoffed at these prophecies when they first heard them, they soon learned differently. As destruction and chaos descended upon them, they saw for themselves that God is able to carry out His prophecies and purposes by the power of His almighty hand.

Noah’s 120-Year Mission to the Wicked

One of the most important prophecies recorded in the history of mankind occurred in the days of the prophet Noah. Because the people had become so wicked, the Lord called Noah on a special mission to preach repentance throughout the earth. This mission would last for 120 years.2 This calling was so important that the Lord Himself laid His hands upon the head of Noah to ordain him and set him apart for this missionary assignment.3 As Noah obediently went forth among the people, he warned them that they would be utterly destroyed by a great flood if they did not turn away from their corrupt lives of complete wickedness.4

Instead of hearkening to his message, the people rejected Noah. They mocked him as they reveled in their lives of debauchery.5 They even attempted to murder him, but “the power of the Lord was upon him”6 and Noah’s life was preserved. Finally, as Noah came to the conclusion of his mission, “the wickedness of men had become great in the earth; and every man was lifted up in the imagination of the thoughts of his heart, being only evil continually,”7 and the Lord knew that He had to intervene. He was no longer able to work spiritually with the people, for He told Noah that His “Spirit shall not always strive with man,”8 and that it was time for His physical intervention into the lives of the people whose wickedness had grown completely out of control.

Noah Receives an Unusual Commandment from the Lord

It was at this critical juncture that the Lord commanded Noah to immediately begin the construction of a large ship that would hold his family and several of each kind of animal upon the earth. Undoubtedly it seemed absolutely ludicrous to the people as Noah proceeded to build his ark high up in the mountains, many miles from any ocean or lake.9 But in spite of the mocking jeers from the wicked, Noah and his sons faithfully built their massive ship in preparation for the fulfillment of the word of the Lord.

Once the ark was completed, an unexpected miracle occurred. Previous to this time, animals from every corner of the earth had started to gather to the land of Noah. As they responded to the call of the priesthood, they arrived at the place where the ark had been built and quietly congregated there. Animals that would have normally eaten each other were unusually passive because they submitted humbly to the will of God.10 As Noah and his family watched this amazing spectacle, it must have caused them to wonder in awe. It took Noah and his family seven days to house all of the animals within the ark, and they were just finishing this gargantuan task when the rain clouds began to gather.11

The Word of the Lord Is Catastrophically Fulfilled

As the skies began to darken with clouds that contained trillions of gallons of water, and the fountains of the great deep were broken open,12 the people quickly realized that Noah was indeed a true prophet of God. The prophecies that he had received didn’t need to be doubted or questioned, they didn’t need to be explained away as “symbolic;” they literally came to pass as he had tried to warn the people.

As the flood waters came crashing in upon the cities of the wicked and they found themselves drowning in the tumultuous oceans, they learned for themselves that the Lord will fulfill His word to His prophets. Those who had not prepared themselves soon perished. Only Noah and his family were preserved. When the Lord God Jehovah comes forth in the fullness of His wrath in the latter days, the wicked are also certain to suffer severe retribution and catastrophic judgments in a similar manner.

The Weak and Humble Moses Receives a Startling Revelation

We can find another example of the power of the prophecies of God in the book of Exodus. When the Lord first spoke to Moses at the burning bush on Mount Sinai, He told Moses that he had been appointed to perform a mighty and sacred mission---to free the hosts of Israel from the bondage of Egypt.13

Moses was very distraught to learn that the Lord wanted him to do this, and he began to give the Lord a series of excuses as to why he felt incapable and unworthy. By asking Pharaoh to give up the slave labor of the Israelites, Moses was in danger of being accused of sedition and treason. He could be summarily executed.

He told the Lord that he felt small and powerless to change a mighty nation like Egypt.14 Patiently, the Lord strengthened Moses by promising him that He would go with him. The Lord also showed him the power of the priesthood through a series of astonishing miracles, including sickening his hand with acute leprosy and then immediately healing it.15 Eventually, Moses was convinced and he obediently began the long journey to Egypt.

The Immediate Fulfillment of the Word of the Lord to Moses

When Moses and Aaron arrived at the court of Pharaoh, they boldly proclaimed to Pharaoh, “Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, ‘Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness.’ And Pharaoh said, ‘Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the Lord, neither will I let Israel go.’”16 Because Pharaoh refused to comply with the Lord’s wishes, the Lord told Moses to afflict the Egyptians with a series of ten plagues.17

What was remarkable about these plagues was how quickly they were fulfilled. Prior to each plague, Moses prophetically warned Pharaoh of what would befall him and his people if they did not obey the voice of the Lord. In each case, Moses’ prophecies were fulfilled in less than 24 hours, and the Egyptians suffered the consequences of the predicted plague.18 It was readily apparent to all of the people that Moses was a true prophet of God, and those things that he spoke in the Lord’s name would literally come to pass.

Judea Is Attacked by Assyria

Many other amazing examples of the fulfillment of the prophetic word of the Lord are recorded in the pages of the Old Testament.

When the righteous King Hezekiah was ruling over the people of Judea in 701 B.C., the land was invaded by the armies of Assyria, which came sweeping down from the capital city of Nineveh. These desolating armies were headed by the Assyrian king, Sennacherib, and they quickly conquered the smaller towns of Judea. Sennacherib and his captains then began to plan their attack on the city of Jerusalem.19 In response, King Hezekiah prepared the people by strengthening their walls and defenses, and by stopping up the wells and other sources of water around Jerusalem so that the Assyrian army would suffer from thirst.20 Hezekiah also spoke to the people to strengthen them, and he told them to rely upon God in this crisis.21

Shortly after this, the Assyrian captains went up to Jerusalem and brashly told the people to prepare themselves to surrender, filling the air with blasphemous words.22 Assyria was well-known throughout the Middle East for its absolute brutality when it conquered a nation,23 and the people soon became very fearful of the threats from these Assyrian men. In the midst of this crisis, Hezekiah sent his servants to the prophet Isaiah to seek the Lord’s counsel in this dire emergency.24 When the prophet Isaiah inquired of the Lord, the message given to King Hezekiah was almost too fantastic to believe:

    “Thus saith the Lord, ‘Be not afraid of the words which thou hast heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me. Behold, I will send a blast upon him, and he shall hear a rumour, and shall return to his own land; and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land.’”25

Though Hezekiah found great hope in this amazing message from the Lord,26 shortly after this prophecy was given, he received a threatening letter from Sennacherib, and he went to the temple to pray for additional faith and strength.27 His prayer was answered through the prophet Isaiah,28 who sent another prophecy to King Hezekiah:

    “Therefore thus saith the Lord concerning the king of Assyria, ‘He shall not come into this city, nor shoot an arrow there, nor come before it with shield, nor cast a bank against it. By the way that he came, by the same shall he return, and shall not come into this city, saith the Lord. For I will defend this city, to save it, for mine own sake, and for my servant David’s sake’”.29

The Destruction of the Massive Army of Sennacherib

It was on the very night that King Hezekiah received this message from Isaiah that the hand of the Lord was revealed. While the troops of King Sennacherib were sleeping, they were summarily ushered into the spirit world. The Bible records:

    “And it came to pass that night, that the angel of the Lord went out, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred fourscore and five thousand; and when they [the few survivors] arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses.”30

The instantaneous death of these 185,000 troops immediately ended the military campaign of King Sennacherib, but this was not yet the final fulfillment of the prophecy given to Isaiah:

    “So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed, and went and returned, and dwelt at Nineveh. And it came to pass, as he was worshipping in the house of Nisroch his god, that Adrammelech and Sharezer his sons smote him with the sword: and they escaped into the land of Armenia. And Esarhaddon his son reigned in his stead.”31

In the end, every word that was spoken through the prophet Isaiah was fulfilled. Even though his prophecy seemed absolutely impossible that the army would be “blasted” and suddenly drop dead in the middle of its military campaign, yet it came to pass. The sudden assassination of Sennacherib by his own sons was equally unexpected.

The Fall of Assyria and the Rise of Babylon

It was less than ninety years after this experience that the Assyrian nation was obliterated and destroyed. At the time of their strength when Assyria ruled the world, it was difficult to imagine the destruction of this mighty nation. Their capital city of Nineveh was an impenetrable fortress of military might. The city was so large that it took three days to walk across it. The walls surrounding the city were 100 feet high, and the walls were wide enough for three chariots to drive side-by-side across the top.32

In spite of the supposed strength and might of the Assyrian nation, the Lord told the prophets Isaiah, Nahum and Zephaniah that this wicked nation would be destroyed.33 Even though the Assyrians ruled from Egypt to Nineveh, the Lord predicted that they would be destroyed until the capital city of Nineveh was “empty, and void, and waste.”34 This prophecy was given to Isaiah and Nahum at the height of the Assyrian’s power, and at the time, it seemed unlikely that this prophecy could ever come to pass.35 But it was just a few decades later that the word of the Lord was fulfilled.

As the Assyrian nation began to lose its violent grip upon its territories in 630-620 B.C., the vassal kingdoms of Egypt, Media and Babylon began to demand their freedom and independence. Eventually the attacking armies of Babylon and Media surrounded the capital city in 612 B.C., and a sudden flood from the Tigris River caused a breach in the outer walls of Nineveh, as Nahum had prophesied.36 Babylonian and Median troops quickly entered the city and killed every living thing. Within a few years, nothing was left of the city but empty, crumbling ruins. In fact, its destruction was so complete that the existence of Nineveh was considered to be a myth for many centuries until it was rediscovered by archaeologists.37 Once again, the prophecies of the Lord, which seemed impossible at the time, were completely fulfilled.

The Rise and Fall of Babylon

After the Assyrian nation had been destroyed in 612 B.C., Babylon became the new center of power in the ancient world. It soon grew to fill the territory of Assyria, ruling the kingdoms of the Middle East with blood and terror. But this would not last for long. Both Isaiah and Jeremiah prophesied that the city of Babylon---which was also an impregnable fortress of military strength in its day---would fall to marauding armies in one night.38 The prophet Daniel had also prophesied of the fall of Babylon.39

Within a few decades the nations of the Medes and the Persians began to revolt against their Babylonian rulers. In 539 B.C., Cyrus, who was the king of the Persians, attacked and surrounded the city of Babylon. Using a brilliant military strategy, he commanded his troops to divert the waters of the Euphrates River that flowed through Babylon and underneath the massive city walls. With the water level reduced, his troops entered the city under the walls, and they captured Babylon in one night.40 The great and mighty Babylonian empire fell to the weaker nations of the Medes and the Persians, exactly as the prophets had predicted.

The Prophet Samuel Courageously Prophesies of
Jesus Christ’s Birth

Other examples of prophecies that were literally fulfilled can be found on the American continent. It was five years before the birth of Jesus Christ that the Nephite nation had descended to a level of deep wickedness. A plague of robbers and secret combinations had spread throughout the land, causing death and destruction.41 It was in these trying times that the Lord called Samuel, who was a Lamanite, to preach to the Nephites with a voice of warning. Samuel faithfully obeyed this call, going forth with courage to preach repentance unto the wicked Nephites for many days. Samuel’s message was rejected by the people and they violently cast him out of their cities, telling him to never come back.42

Samuel was dejectedly preparing to return to his own people when the voice of the Lord told him to go back to the degenerate capital city of Zarahemla. Since the people would not allow him to enter the city, he climbed to the top of its large wall and began to raise his voice to the people, telling them to repent and believe in Jesus Christ who should come.43

The Amazing Prophecies Given to Samuel

As Samuel’s heart and mind were filled with the words of God, he prophesied to the people of many events that would soon come to pass. He boldly stated that Jesus would be born in five years, and he gave them the sign of His coming, when there would be a night in which the sky would remain as blue and bright as if the sun were still shining. He also said that a new star would appear, and many other signs would be given in the heavens.44

The Lord protected Samuel as he delivered this important message, but the wrath of the Nephites was so strong that he eventually had to scramble down from the city wall and flee for his life.45 However, some of the people in Zarahemla were converted by Samuel’s preaching, and they soon joined the Church.46

As the five years of Samuel’s prophecy began to elapse, the wicked Nephites devised a plan to slay those who believed in the prophecy. But it was on the very night that the wicked were planning to murder the righteous that the sign of the birth of Christ was given. The word of the Lord was fulfilled. The emotional trauma of seeing a blue and bright sky in the middle of the night---a sign they were certain would never occur---caused the wicked to fall to the earth in shock and horror. This amazement soon spread throughout the land, and many of the people collapsed upon the ground as they realized that their agnostic lives of disbelief had completely led them astray.47

Prophecies of Death, Horror and Destruction

Samuel had also warned the people that there would be massive and catastrophic destruction throughout the American continent when the Savior was crucified, followed by three days of complete and utter darkness.48 Nephi had also seen this same destruction in a vision six hundred years before.49

When the time came for the fulfillment of these prophecies of destruction, the wicked were faced with a frustrating paradox. Since they had seen the fulfillment of the prophecies of Samuel just 33 years before, they knew that the prophecies of destruction at the Lord’s crucifixion might also come true. But if they truly believed in these things, it would have required them to face up to their evil deeds and repent. However, Satan had been able to convince them that the signs they had seen at Christ’s birth were merely coincidences or lucky guesses by the prophets. In this dual state of paralysis and apathy, the Lord’s judgments soon befell them. The Book of Mormon tells us:

    “The people began to look with great earnestness for the sign which had been given by the prophet Samuel, the Lamanite, yea, for the time that there should be darkness for the space of three days over the face of the land. And there began to be great doubtings and disputations among the people, notwithstanding so many signs had been given.

    “And it came to pass in the thirty and fourth year, in the first month, on the fourth day of the month, there arose a great storm, such an one as never had been known in all the land. And there was also a great and terrible tempest; and there was terrible thunder, insomuch that it did shake the whole earth as if it was about to divide asunder. And there were exceedingly sharp lightnings, such as never had been known in all the land. . . .
    “And there was a great and terrible destruction in the land southward. But behold, there was a more great and terrible destruction in the land northward; for behold, the whole face of the land was changed, because of the tempest and the whirlwinds, and the thunderings and the lightnings, and the exceedingly great quaking of the whole earth; and the highways were broken up, and the level roads were spoiled, and many smooth places became rough.
    “And many great and notable cities were sunk, and many were burned, and many were shaken till the buildings thereof had fallen to the earth, and the inhabitants thereof were slain, and the places were left desolate.”50

By the time the wicked realized that Samuel’s prophecies were true, it was too late. Eternally too late. They were quickly ushered into the spirit world, to suffer in spirit prison for their lives of wickedness.51

A Modern Prophet Predicts a Desolating War in America

Prophecies of the Lord have also been fulfilled in modern times. In 1832 a national crisis was brewing when the state of South Carolina threatened to secede from the United States if the national government attempted to enforce a new tariff that would have severely penalized the Southern states. However, South Carolina was surprised to then discover that none of the other Southern states supported them in this brash action of withdrawing from the Union, and they eventually backed down. A compromise tariff that was kinder to the South was passed by Congress in 1833.

Even though the clouds of war seemed to have dissipated, the Lord knew the true destiny of the nation. On Christmas day in 1832, twenty-eight years before the Civil War commenced, the Prophet Joseph Smith was told by the Lord that the state of South Carolina would some day rise up in rebellion. The other Southern states would join them in this revolt and the nation would soon be drenched in blood through the atrocities of a terrible civil war.52 The Lord not only predicted where the war would begin, but He also stated that the Southern states would ask for military help from Great Britain and other nations.53 All of these things were literally fulfilled, exactly as the Lord had warned.54

These are just a few examples of the fulfillment of the prophetic word of the Lord. There is no doubt that when the Lord speaks through His servants, His words will be fulfilled.

But why does the Lord tell His children of these future events? Why does He give prophetic visions to His faithful servants? Why not keep these secrets to Himself?

Chapter Footnotes

1 . D&C 1:38.
2 . W. Cleon Skousen, The First 2,000 Years, (Salt Lake City: Ensign Publishing, 1997), p. 161.
3 . Moses 8:19.
4 . Moses 8:17.
5 . Moses 8:20-21.
6 . Moses 8:18.
7 . Moses 8:22; emphasis added.
8 . Moses 8:17.
9 . Since it took 40 days for the waters to reach the ark, Noah must have built the ark high up in the mountains, far from any large body of water. See The First 2,000 Years, p. 171.
10 . The First 2,000 Years, p. 167.
11 . The First 2,000 Years, pp. 167-168.
12 . Genesis 7:11.
13 . Exodus 3:1-22.
14 . Exodus 3:11, 4:1.
15 . Exodus 4:1-17.
16 . Exodus 5:1-2.
17 . W. Cleon Skousen, The Third Thousand Years, (Salt Lake City: Ensign Publishing, 1997), pp. 192-206.
18 . Exodus, chapters 7-12.
19 . 2 Kings 18:13-17.
20 . 2 Chronicles 32:1-5.
21 . 2 Chronicles 32:6-8.
22 . 2 Kings 18:17-37.
23 . W. Cleon Skousen, The Fourth Thousand Years, (Salt Lake City: Ensign, 1997), pp. 378-379.
24 . 2 Kings 19:1-5.
25 . 2 Kings 19:6-7.
26 . 2 Kings 19:10.
27 . 2 Kings 19:9-19.
28 . 2 Kings 19:20-34.
29 . 2 Kings 19:32-34.
30 . 2 Kings 19:35.
31 . 2 Kings 19:36-37.
32 . The Fourth Thousand Years, p. 380.
33 . Isaiah, chapter 10; Nahum, chapters 1-3; Zephaniah 2:13-15.
34 . Nahum 2:10.
35 . The Fourth Thousand Years, pp. 542-543 and note.
36 . Nahum 2:6.
37 . The Fourth Thousand Years, pp. 471, 545-547.
38 . Isaiah 13:15-22, 14:4-6, 45:1-4; 47:9; Jeremiah, chapters 50 and 51.
39 . Daniel 2:39, 7:28-31.
40 . The Fourth Thousand Years, pp. 632-633.
41 . Helaman 11:32-37.
42 . Helaman 13:1-4.
43 . Helaman, chapters 13-15.
44 . Helaman 14:2-7.
45 . Helaman 16:2.
46 . Helaman 16:1.
47 . 3 Nephi 1:15-18.
48 . Helaman 14:20-31.
49 . 1 Nephi 12:4-5.
50 . 3 Nephi 8:3-7, 11-14; emphasis added.
51 . Alma 40:13-14.
52 . D&C 87:1.
53 . D&C 87:3.
54 . For an interesting discussion of the five political blunders that led to the Civil War, see Richard and Cleon Skousen, Brother Joseph---Seer of a New Dispensation, (Orem, Utah: Verity Publishing, 2005), pp. 402-407.

Table of Contents

    Chapter Footnotes

Chapter One: The Word of the Lord Will Be Fulfilled
    Noah’s 120-Year Mission to the Wicked
    Noah Receives an Unusual Commandment from the Lord
    The Word of the Lord Is Catastrophically Fulfilled
    The Weak and Humble Moses Receives a Startling Revelation
    The Immediate Fulfillment of the Word of the Lord to Moses
    Judea Is Attacked by Assyria
    The Destruction of the Massive Army of Sennacherib
    The Fall of Assyria and the Rise of Babylon
    The Rise and Fall of Babylon
    The Prophet Samuel Courageously Prophesies of Jesus Christ’s Birth
    The Amazing Prophecies Given to Samuel
    Prophecies of Death, Horror and Destruction
    A Modern Prophet Predicts a Desolating War in America
    Chapter Footnotes

Chapter Two: The Purpose of Prophecy
    The Lord Uses Prophecy to Fulfill His Purposes
    The Lord Wants to Warn the Righteous and Encourage the People to Repent
    Standing in Holy Places
    Latter-day Prophecies Give Us Knowledge and Peace
    Preparing for the Events of the Last Days
    Chapter Footnotes

Chapter Three: The Persecution of the Saints
    Persecution Will Increase Throughout the World
    Modern Prophets Have Warned of Increased Persecution
    When Can We Expect This Period of Persecution?
    The Lord Will Watch Over the Saints in Their Trials
    Commerce with Babylon Will Cease
    Chapter Footnotes

Chapter Four: Patience in Persecution
    A Warning for the Saints
    We Must Protect Our Souls In Patience
    Understanding the Root Cause of Persecution
    Comprehending the Lord’s Purposes in Allowing the Persecution of the Saints
    Persecution Will Lead to the Destruction of the Wicked
    Persecution Also Increases the Efforts and Diligence of the Faithful
    The Faithful Will Be Blessed
    Chapter Footnotes

Chapter Five: The Gospel Is Withdrawn from the Nations
    The Beginning of the Times of the Gentiles
    The End of the Times of the Gentiles
    The Destruction of the Wicked Will Occur After the Missionaries Are Called Home
    Modern Prophets Describe in Detail the Fate of the Wicked Who Reject the Gospel
    The Wicked Will Bring Destruction Upon Themselves Because They Will Not Repent
    Modern Prophets Testify that the Lord Will Bring Destruction Upon the Wicked
    The Wicked Must Be Warned Before They Can Be Destroyed
    The Sword of God’s Justice Hangs Over the Americas
    Chapter Footnotes

Chapter Six: Protection for the Righteous
    The Power of Righteousness
    Promises of Protection from the Prophets of the Lord
    Lessons Learned in Missouri
    The Lord Will Protect His Servants
    The Prophet Joseph Smith Was Protected Numerous Times
    The Saints Will Be Blessed in Holy Places of Security
    The Lord Will Watch Over the Saints
    Chapter Footnotes

Chapter Seven: The Lord’s Promises for the Righteous
    The Lord Wants to Bless His Servants
    The Righteous Will Receive Help from the Heavens
    Only Those Who Are Righteous Will Merit Protection
    Some of the Righteous Will Perish
    “Terrible” for Righteousness
    The Wicked Will Be Destroyed by Fire
    Preparing for the Protective Powers from Heaven
    The Lord Has Promised to Help the Righteous
    Chapter Footnotes

Chapter Eight: Gathering the Wheat and Removing the Tares
    Gathering the Wheat into Places of Safety
    The Gathering Will Occur as the Tares Are Being Bound for Destruction
    The Fate of Those Who Turn Against the Church
    The Threshing of the Wheat
    “Cut Off from Among My People”
    Chapter Footnotes

Chapter Nine: Cleansing the Inner Vessel
    The Lord Needs a Purified and Sanctified People
    The Continual Cleansing of the Church
    A Wheat or a Tare?
    The Angels Are Ready to Reap Down the Wicked
    The Church Will Be Purified and Prepared for the Second Coming
    Chapter Footnotes

Chapter Ten: The Return of Brother Joseph
    Many of the Nauvoo Saints Learn of Joseph’s Future Return
    President Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball Teach of Joseph’s Future Resurrection
    The Savior Prophesies of Joseph’s Return
    Malachi Prophesies of the Important Work to be Completed by the Prophet Joseph
    The Priesthood and Keys Given to Joseph Were Never Taken from Him
    Joseph Will Be the First Person to Be Resurrected in This Dispensation
    The Prophet Brigham Young Discloses Many Details about the Prophet Joseph’s Return
    Many People Will Not Recognize that the Millennium Has Begun
    The Sacred Opportunity to Associate with the Resurrected Saints
    Chapter Footnotes

Chapter Eleven: Establishing the Political Kingdom of God
    God Is in Control of the Nations of the World
    The Kingdom of God Grows Out of the Church
    An Explanation of How the Kingdom of God Will Operate
    The Prophecy that “Every Knee Shall Bow” Will Be Fulfilled
    The Banner of Liberty of the Kingdom of God
    Freedom for the People within the Kingdom of God
    The Kingdom of God Will Bring Political Unity, Order and Peace
    Chapter Footnotes

Chapter Twelve: The Kingdom of God Will Cover the Earth
    The Kingdom of God Will Be Established by the Saints
    The Rise of the Kingdom of God
    The Constitution Will Hang by a Thread
    The Kingdom of God Will Spread Throughout the World
    Making Room for the Kingdom of God
    The Righteous Will Rule the Nations During the Millennium
    The Role of the Prophet Joseph
    Chapter Footnotes

Chapter Thirteen: Restoring the Law of Consecration and Stewardship
    The “One Mighty and Strong” Who Will Establish the Law of Consecration
    Other Prophecies of “One Mighty and Strong”
    Understanding the Law of Consecration and Stewardship
    A New Kind of Lifestyle
    Chapter Footnotes

Chapter Fourteen: Preparing to Live a Consecrated Life
    A Step Toward Building the City of New Jerusalem
    Becoming Like the City of Enoch
    The Law of Consecration Will Bring Many Blessings
    An Organization to Bless the Human Race
    Chapter Footnotes

Chapter Fifteen: Light and Knowledge Pours Down from Heaven
    Joseph Was Unable to Reveal All He Knew Because the Church Members Failed to Support              Him
    The Prophet Joseph Could Not Reveal All that He Knew
    Joseph’s Brethren Also Noted that He Was Unable to Teach All that He Knew
    The Saints Will Be Blessed with the Teachings and Principles of Eternity
    Missing Scriptures Will Be Restored
    Strengthening the Saints
    Chapter Footnotes

Chapter Sixteen: Signs of Impending Destruction
    The Righteous Will Flee the Wicked Cities
    The Saints Will Be Led by Inspired Church Leaders and They Will Be Guided by the Holy                   Spirit
    Weakness in the Government
    Chapter Footnotes

Chapter Seventeen: The Awful Fate of the Wicked
    Judgments Await the United States If the People Do Not Repent
    Safety in Zion
    The Lord’s Wrath Will Descend upon the Wicked
    The Fullness of the Lord’s Wrath
    Chapter Footnotes

Chapter Eighteen: Famine and Wars Spread Across the Land
    Famines of Epic Proportions Will Decimate the Wicked
    “Upon My House Shall It Begin”
    The Preservation of the Righteous
    A Great Hailstorm Will Destroy the Crops of the Earth
    This Great Famine Will Then Result in War
    Chapter Footnotes

Chapter Nineteen: The Desolation of Cities of the Wicked
    The Prophesied Destruction of Certain Wicked Cities
    The Wrath of God Will Be Poured Out Upon the Wicked
    A Special Warning from the Lord to the Righteous in the Latter Days
    Chapter Footnotes

Chapter Twenty: Cataclysmic Disasters Descend Upon the Wicked
    Those Who Have Rejected the Lord Will Receive His Judgments
    Earthquakes in Diverse Places
    Turmoil in the Earth’s Oceans
    Many Wicked Men Will Be Destroyed
    Retribution from the Children of Lehi
    A Plague to Vex the Gentiles
    The Sanctification of the Land of America
    The Fall of the Great and Abominable Church
    Great Rejoicing Among the Righteous
    Chapter Footnotes

Chapter Twenty-One: The Land of Zion Will Be Redeemed
    The Expulsion of the Saints from Jackson County
    The Land of New Jerusalem Will Be Redeemed by a “Man Like Moses”
    What Is the Redemption of Zion?
    The Saints Must Be Righteous in Order to Live in the Lands of Zion
    The Righteousness of the Saints Can Hasten the Day of Zion’s Redemption
    The Prophets Saw in Vision the Return of the Saints to Missouri
    Inheritances for the Saints
    Chapter Footnotes

Chapter Twenty-Two: Building the Glorious City of New Jerusalem
    Prophecies of the Rise of the City of New Jerusalem
    Understanding the Blueprint for the City of New Jerusalem
    The Construction of the City of New Jerusalem
    The Beauty of the City of New Jerusalem
    The Saints Will Find Protection in Zion
    Zion Will Spread Throughout the World
    An Important Council at Adam-ondi-Ahman
    The Rule of the Wicked Comes to an End
    Chapter Footnotes

Chapter Twenty-Three: A Fiery Crucible at Old Jerusalem
    The Gathering to Jerusalem
    The Temple of Solomon Will Be Rebuilt
    Jerusalem Will Be Surrounded and Attacked
    The People Will Be Protected Through the Priesthood Power Given to Two Prophets of the             Lord
    The Savior Will Appear and Destroy the Wicked Armies at Jerusalem
    The Destruction of the Wicked Armies
    Blessings for the Jewish Nation
    Chapter Footnotes

Chapter Twenty-Four: The House of Israel Returns Home
    The Remnants of Israel Begin to Gather Home
    The Kings and Queens of the Gentiles Will Assist in the Gathering of Israel
    The Saints Will Go Forth, Preaching the Gospel and Gathering Israel Home
    The Return of the Lost Tribes of Israel
    The Land Will Be Blessed by the Lord
    The Tribes of Israel Will Inhabit the Empty Cities of the Wicked
    The Returning Tribes of Israel Will Begin to Gather to Their Lands of Inheritance
    Chapter Footnotes

Chapter Twenty-Five: The Savior Returns in Triumph and Glory
    The Savior’s First Two Appearances
    All of Mankind Will See the Savior at His Awe-Inspiring and Glorious Second Coming
    The Sun Will Be Darkened and the Moon Turned to Blood Shortly Before the Second Coming
    Other Signs in the Heavens Will Appear
    The Celestial Saints Will Be Resurrected
    The Triumphant Return of the Son of God
    The Earth Is Cleansed by the Burning of the Wicked
    The Angels of God Will Burn the Wicked
    The Tares of the Church Will Also Be Destroyed
    Satan’s Dominion Will Come to an End
    Chapter Footnotes

Chapter Twenty-Six: A Thousand Years of Peace
    The Righteous Will Be Blessed and Rewarded
    The End of All Wars Will Profoundly Affect the Human Race
    The Saints Will Inherit Eternal Glories with the Lord
    The History of the World Will Be Revealed in Great Detail in a Millennial Vision
    The Continents Will Join Back Together
    The City of Enoch Will Return and Dwell on the Earth Again
    Many Other Important Millennial Events Will Take Place
    A Marvelous Work and a Wonder Will Fill the World During the Millennium
    Chapter Footnotes

Chapter Twenty-Seven: Spiritual and Physical Preparation
    Spiritual Preparation
    Preparation Through the Gift of Charity
    Physical Preparation
    Financial Preparation
    Chapter Footnotes

Chapter Twenty-Eight: Mental and Emotional Preparation
    Crafts and Skills Will Bless the Saints
    Emotional Preparation
    Preparing for the Law of Consecration and Stewardship
    Preparing to Administer the Kingdom of God
    Preparing for the Return of the Savior
    Chapter Footnotes

Chapter Twenty-Nine: Peace, Hope and Strength
    The Lord Will Help Us in Our Trials
    Rejoicing in Persecution
    All That We Receive Is Through the Mercy of the Father and Son
    Strength Comes Through Faith in Jesus Christ
    The Holy Spirit Can Comfort Us in our Trials
    Facing Our Trials with an Eternal Perspective
    The Lord’s Promised Heritage for the Righteous
    We Must Rely Upon the Lord
    Chapter Footnotes



His Return: Prophecy, Destiny & Hope
by Richard N. Skousen

© Copyright 2007, 2015 by Richard N. Skousen

This book may not be copied or reproduced in any form without prior written consent from the author or publisher.

eBook-format ISBN 978-0-934364-79-9
Print-format ISBN 978-0-934364-29-4

Published by
Verity Publishing, Inc.

Cover painting “Hope in the Second Coming” by Del Parson
© Copyright 2012 by Del Parson. Used by permission.


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.

Richard Skousen
October 2015

Chapter Footnotes

1 . D&C 29:15-21.
2 . D&C 45:68.
3 . 1 Nephi 22:17-21; 3 Nephi 22:15-17.