Absolutely! As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (which church is often inadvertently referred to as the “Mormon Church”), we actively look forward to and prepare for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Elder Russell M. Nelson, an apostle and leader of The Church of Jesus Christ, has stated that the Savior’s role as Millennial Messiah has yet to happen and that it will be very important . Latter-day Saints believe in all of the prophecies from both the Old and New Testament that point to Jesus’ Second Coming.
Elder Dallin H. Oaks, an apostle and leader of The Church of Jesus Christ, stated concerning the Second Coming of Christ:
Four matters are indisputable to Latter-day Saints: (1) The Savior will return to the earth in power and great glory to reign personally during a millennium of righteousness and peace. (2) At the time of His coming there will be a destruction of the wicked and a resurrection of the righteous. (3) No one knows the time of His coming, but (4) the faithful are taught to study the signs of it and to be prepared for it. (“Preparation for the Second Coming,” Ensign, May 2004).
When Will He Come?
Matthew 24:36 says of the Second Coming: “Of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.” Only Heavenly Father knows when the Second Coming will happen; not even the angels know when. Neither Latter-day Saint prophets nor members predict the day of the Second Coming. We know that it will happen, but not exactly when. However, the scriptures have given us some signs of the Second Coming so we can know when it’s getting closer.
What Are the Signs of His Coming?
Matthew 24 gives many signs of Jesus’ Second Coming. Some of these signs include: false Christs who will deceive many; wars, and rumors of wars; famines, pestilences, and earthquakes; abundant iniquity; and the love of many growing cold. Other less discouraging signs include: the restoration of Jesus Christ’s gospel; the gospel being preached to all the world; the coming of Elijah (see Malachi 4:5–6); and the building of a city called the New Jerusalem (see 3 Nephi 21:23–25).
Some of these signs have already been fulfilled, while others are yet to be fulfilled. For example, the coming of Elijah as prophesied in Malachi has been fulfilled with the appearance of Elijah to Joseph Smith in April 1836 (see Doctrine and Covenants 110:13–16). Some signs, such as wars, famine, and earthquakes, could be said to be fulfilled, but they are also continuing to be fulfilled. It’s often difficult to put checkmarks beside each sign of the Second Coming.
What are the Prophecies of His Coming?
Isaiah prophesied that “the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6); that “the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together” (Isaiah 40:5). In Acts, after Jesus ascended into heaven, two angels came to the apostles and said: “This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11). This foretells the day when the Savior will come to earth again. These and many other prophesies in the Bible, Book of Mormon, and from our own day, prophesy of the day when Jesus will come again.
What Will Happen When He Comes?
Paul wrote to the Thessalonians:
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord (1 Thessalonians 4:16).
Latter-day Saints take this to mean that all those who have died who were righteous will be resurrected first. All people who are on earth at the Second Coming will be caught up into heaven, while the wicked will be destroyed (2 Thessalonians 2:8). The earth will be cleansed with fire, and then Christ will rule and reign on the earth for a thousand years, a period known as the Millennium. Isaiah prophesied of the Millennium, speaking of a time when “a king shall reign in righteousness” and “my people shall dwell in peaceable habitation” (Isaiah 32:1, 18). The Millennium will be a wonderful time, when there will be no wickedness or evil on the earth, and we will dwell in peace and love.
Preparing for the Second Coming
For many people, reading the signs and prophecies of the Second Coming can be a bit frightening. While some of the signs of the Second Coming are wonderful, many speak of destruction and desolation. It can be easy to be frightened of what the future holds, especially as the world grows more evil and dark. However, prophets have promised us that “if ye are prepared ye shall not fear” (D&C 38:30). If we are following the Savior, we have nothing to fear from the Second Coming. In fact, for the righteous, the Second Coming and Millennium will be joyful and wonderful. Even as the world becomes more evil, the gospel is continuing to spread across the globe, bringing light and happiness to thousands. We must do all we can to prepare ourselves both spiritually and physically for the Second Coming, knowing that if we are prepared, we need not fear, but should rejoice.
Megan is a graduate of BYU-Idaho and recently married member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She is a writer and avid reader, and loves music, hiking, and her family.