second coming
Week 47 is scheduled for study Nov. 15-21, 2021. Let’s take stock of what we are expected by God to do to prepare for His Second Coming. What are the blessings He has in store for us? And what should I feel about my responsibility towards my government, and its responsibility to me?

Day 1

President Henry B. Eyring taught: “The Restoration of the gospel started with a humble question pondered in a humble home, and it can continue in each of our homes.”

Doctrine and  Covenants 133 – The truths in the Doctrine and Covenants can prepare me to do God’s work.

It is easy enough to read today’s lesson title and think, “What is God’s work?” After all, preparing to do His work is all in the details of that work. Has God’s work ever really changed at all since the foundation of the world? Didn’t He tell Abraham that His work and His glory was to bring about the immortality and eternal life of man? The word “man” in that sentence refers to all of humanity. So is preparing to do God’s work preparing to save our self, or does it also include the work needed to help prepare others to do God’s work as well? Has any part of God’s work ever promoted just doing something for yourself? If any of God’s commandments have ever only applied to me, and not my neighbor, I’m not aware of it.

It may feel like the gospel is a conundrum at times. I need to save myself, for no one else can save me, and I can’t rely solely on someone else’s efforts on my behalf to be saved. Yet at the same time, I can’t be saved without my neighbor and my ancestors, for God has decreed that we will either all be saved together or not at all. (That’s a paraphrase, not a quote. He has told us that we are being held accountable for our efforts to help save our brothers and sisters.)

Preparing to do God’s work has some simple, basic steps to the execution of the task. Following are a list of verses, along with the words from each verse that give us instructions.

4 … sanctify yourselves; gather ye together, …

Go ye out from Babylon. Be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord.

Call your solemn assemblies, and speak often one to another. And let every man call upon the name of the Lord.

Send forth the elders of my church unto the nations which are afar off; unto the islands of the sea; send forth unto foreign lands; call upon all nations, first upon the Gentiles, and then upon the Jews.

10 Prepare yourselves for the great day of the Lord.

16 … hear the voice of the Lord; … he commandeth all men everywhere to repent.

You may find additional things mentioned in the first 16 verses, but as I see them, from here on in this section the Lord is specifying what will happen to the righteous and the wicked. The first 16 verses are the ones that tell us how we prepare ourselves for the Savior’s Second Coming.

Twice, once in verse four, and again in verse six, the Lord tells us to gather or assemble together as a people. In this section, because it was given in the very early years of the Church, he was referring to physically gathering together in Zion. But the counsel still applies to each of us. Now we can gather locally, and even virtually. Elsewhere in the Doctrine and Covenants we have already been told to stand in holy places, which include our homes, our wards/branches, our stakes, and in the temples of our God.

This standing in holy places is part of how we flee Babylon, the spiritual wickedness of the world. Where holiness is, there is no wickedness. What are we doing to make our homes holy, our ward holy, and our neighborhoods more holy? How are we fleeing from the evils that surround us and continually try to encroach on the sanctity of our homes? When our personal spaces have become more holy we can take that influence into the temple to contribute to its holiness. And the reverse is also true – as we seek to bask in the holiness of God’s house, we can take that influence back into our own home to help it become more holy.

Everything we do is related to missionary work. Our personal work is to save our self. Our temple work is to save our ancestors and others whom we serve in the temple. Our service in our home and community is missionary work for those among whom we live and work. The Lord is seeking more than just our personal salvation and exaltation. He wants us to want that same blessing for all with whom we come in contact. He wants us to become fully committed to His work and His glory and make it our work and our glory as well. This is how we prepare ourselves for the coming of Christ. It is to become immersed in the work of salvation for everyone.

Day 2

President Henry B. Eyring taught: “The Restoration of the gospel started with a humble question pondered in a humble home, and it can continue in each of our homes.”

Doctrine and  Covenants 133:1-19 – The Lord wants me to prepare for His Second Coming.

This lesson is an extension of yesterday’s lesson. Yesterday I outlined a number of things the Lord listed as ways to prepare ourselves for doing His work and preparing for his coming. As you read the rest of the section, note the differences in the Lord’s promised behaviors towards his faithful saints, as well as his promised behavior towards those who have rejected him and abused his people. As you take in the polar opposite behaviors between these two sets of people, this should act as encouragement to be on the side of faithful behavior to the Lord, rather than one upon whom His wrath will fall.

Since we have already gone through the verses listed in today’s lesson, go through the rest of the section and compare what God promises as the outcome for the righteous as well as the outcome for the wicked. Do you think He has ever really wanted to punish people for the fun of hurting others? This is not in God’s personality to do so. He is love. All He ever WANTS to do is bless us. Punishments are only given when there is no other option left. The scriptures talk about His wrath, His vengeance, etc. But I believe, personally, that there is probably more hurt and sorrow mixed in there than actual wrath or joy in vengeance.

Day 3

President Henry B. Eyring taught: “The Restoration of the gospel started with a humble question pondered in a humble home, and it can continue in each of our homes.”

Doctrine and  Covenants 133:19-56 – The Second Coming will be joyful for the righteous.

What do these verses promise God’s faithful people? Below is a quick list I came up with. Can you find more promises?

Verse 20 – God’s voice shall be heard among all people.

Verse 24 – The earth will be healed and brought back together from its brokenness into one great land mass, as it was in the beginning of the world.

Verse 25 – The Lord will personally reign over all the earth. That in an of itself implies many wonderful things, as all the wicked governments of the earth will be replaced with a government of peace and righteousness.

Verses 29-30 – the earth will be healed and bring forth its treasures for the Lord’s people. This may be difficult to imagine, since the world tells us all the time now that we are depleting the earth’s resources, that we need to panic over the loss of this, that, or the other, and that scarcity is the order of the day. This, all in spite of the fact that God has promised us that there are more resources than we can possibly use. Doctrine and Covenants 104:17 says

17 For the earth is full, and there is enough and to spare; …

Verses 32, 34 – We, who have the keys to the holy priesthood will fulfill the promise of the Lord to the lost tribes by crowning them with glory when they return. We are the “children of Ephraim.”

32 And there shall they fall down and be crowned with glory, even in Zion, by the hands of the servants of the Lord, even the children of Ephraim.

34 Behold, this is the blessing of the everlasting God upon the tribes of Israel, and the richer blessing upon the head of Ephraim and his fellows.

Verse 45 – Great things shall be proclaimed by us about our God. For He will bring many blessings for His faithful when He comes.

45 For since the beginning of the world have not men heard nor perceived by the ear, neither hath any eye seen, O God, besides thee, how great things thou hast prepared for him that waiteth for thee.

Verses 52-53 – I have underlined the parts of these verses that have touched me the most. It never occured to me that when we suffer, He suffers as well.

52 And now the year of my redeemed is come; and they shall mention the loving kindness of their Lord, and all that he has bestowed upon them according to his goodness, and according to his loving kindness, forever and ever.

53 In all their afflictions he was afflicted. And the angel of his presence saved them; and in his love, and in his pity, he redeemed them, and bore them, and carried them all the days of old;

Day 4

President Henry B. Eyring taught: “The Restoration of the gospel started with a humble question pondered in a humble home, and it can continue in each of our homes.”

Doctrine and  Covenants 134 – “Governments were instituted of God for the benefit of man.”

I refuse to wax political here, so I will only make this observation. We, as a Church, believe that governments have obligations to their citizens. And the citizens have obligations to their government. Read this section and think to yourself, “Is my government fulfilling what I have been told their obligation to me is? And am I giving my proper support, in the way I am supposed to give it, to my government?”

Every government is different, so each of us has to study this section and determine where our particular government is fulfilling the measure its creation, and where it is falling short. We also need to recognize where we are personally fulfilling our obligations to our government, and where we need to improve in our responsibilities to our country’s government. We have the blueprint approved from the Lord in front of us.

FHE/Personal Study

Improving Personal Study – Teach clear and simple doctrine.

Down through the centuries, Christianity rejected many of the simple truths taught by Jesus and his apostles. Instead, they adopted mysteries that were incomprehensible. In some instances this was because they actually didn’t understand the doctrines, because they had lost the gift of the Holy Ghost. In other instances these changes consolidated their power over the people they were supposed to serve. Regardless of the reasons for these changes, the real gospel of Christ has always been simple to understand, and simple to live.

I suggest you reread or listen to Elder Gary E. Stevenson’s talk entitled, Simply Beautiful—Beautifully Simple. His talk came from the October 2021 General Conference.

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print a PDF copy of the file.

The Coming of the Bridegroom

Week 47