050: The Second Coming; Doctrine & Covenants and Church History 21

“Looking Forth for the Great Day of the Lord to Come”

I know I often use superlatives relating to these lessons, but this topic might deserve a few. Is there any topic more thrilling and discussion provoking as the Second Coming? When I subbed youth Sunday School and asked for questions, the Second Coming was a requested topic. This is blockbuster movie material. And it has been.

What most believers don’t know is that believers have been fascinated with the idea of the Second Coming since the first generation of Christians, and that ideas of God fixing the world go back even further! This lesson will

  • Explore the way members have talked about the Second Coming, both currently and in the past
  • Provide two “take home” approaches, namely:
  • The timing of the Second Coming is not like a scheduled plane flight; we have a role in preparing the world for the Second Coming, to build Zion and doing what we can to repair the world
  • It is problematic, even harmful to depend on the Second Coming arriving by a certain time. As prophets have summarized, we should live prepared for the return of Jesus, but we should also make responsible long term plans (“still plant cherry trees”). Most urgently, we need to be wise stewards of the earth and prepare for the long term.
  • Discuss the Millennium
  • I will also go over the history of the idea of the Second Coming.

Recurring Donation:

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One Time Donation:

$10   $25   $50   $100

Student ReadingD&C 29:9–29; 34:5–12; 45:16–75; 88:86–99; 101:22–34; 133; D&C 49:6–7; D&C 27:15–18 D&C 43:20–23

Additional Teacher Reading: D&C 110:16; D&C 63:34; D&C 133:46–53; D&C 101; D&C 88:110; D&C 61:38; D&C 65:2–6; D&C 110:11–16; D&C 112:24; D&C 63:33; D&C 38:30; D&C 33:17; D&C 39:19–20; D&C 87:8; D&C 86; Matthew 13:24–30; Matthew 25:1–13

Join Heidi, Sarah, and Carson for an engaged discussion.

You can access my Lesson Notes here

You can access my Reading Notes here



Many thanks to Devin Roth for the beautiful bumper music. Check out his arrangement of hymns and other work at DevinRothMusic!

Thanks to James Estrada of Oak Street Audio for his timely and high quality post-production.

Latest Comments

  1. Adam says:

    In discussions about the Second Coming, we often talk about the signs of the second coming. I’ve never found discussions about signs of the second coming particularly helpful since mostof the signs are events that have always been taking place throughout Earth’s history. We’ve always had wars, rumors of wars, natural disasters, etc. Is there a more productive way of discussing signs of the second coming?


  2. Carson says:

    Great work as always Jared and also James for helping me sound coherent and articulate instead of a bumbling fool 🙂

    I have one question for you Jared, you mentioned how in section 29 that JS is told something about these verses not being exactly literal, or something along those lines. Can you elaborate on that further? What I remember was something about what the Savior says is more for the effect it will give than the actual literal fulfillment. It reminded me of section 19:6-7 that implies a similar idea.


    • Jared Anderson says:

      I tried not to overstate my point and say “We are clearly supposed to understand these passages symbolically rather than literally” (except in instances such as Revelation where the text itself demands symbolic interpretation). I was making the point that God saying in D&C 29:33 and 2 Ne. 31:3 and elsewhere, “Ok kids, I am talking to you in your language, in your worldview, so you can understand” suggests that reality is bigger and different than our understanding of it, including scriptural descriptions. Does that make any sense?


  3. Jeannie says:

    Podcasts are terrific. Keep it up!


  4. Ron H. says:

    One of my earliest spiritual experiences that I can remember happened when I was about 16 and I was listening to a gentleman named Dr Lund (I forget his first name) at an outdoor fireside in Southern California. He was discussing all of the signs of the Second Coming and doing it very authoritatively and I just about hung on his every word. I was fascinated and I have the clear recollection that I “knew” the Savior would return in my lifetime. I had NO UNDERSTANDING of early Christianity, early Mormonism, or any other ideas about End of the World Millenial thinking that has existed in the past (and present). I was just caught up in the whole grandeur of the idea regarding Christ’s return, and especially the spiritual lottery ticket I must have won to be so lucky to be around for this event that was surely coming in my lifetime! Well, 27 years later, I have tempered a bit in my thinking, and though I wouldn’t ever rule out the possibility of this still happening like that 16 year old boy imagined, I very much fall in line with the quote about positioning your life like the Second Coming would happen tomorrow, but go ahead and plant cherry trees as well.

    One final thought question (a little “tongue in cheek” but also sincere in the asking): Current Mormon thinking and teaching is always that we are in the Last Days. (Who of my generation doesn’t remember Saturday’s Warriors?) It is fascinating to think this was probably even more in the stream of consciousness for early Mormons in the days of Joseph Smith. How long can “Last Days” rhetoric go on before it just loses it’s effectiveness? I realize there is no hard and fast date/deadline, but what if it hasn’t happened in the next 100 years, 200 years, 300 years? At what point does it become questionable and instead of being something that is in a sense hoped for, it becomes more akin to folklore? Just something that crossed my mind a while ago as I studied this very topic.


  5. Hedgehog says:

    Enjoyed the discussion, but missed discussion of the astronomical phenomena – sun being darkened (solar eclipse), moon turned to blood (lunar eclipse) and stars falling from the heavens (comets & meteor showers). All these things happen over and over quite regularly, and historically were indivudually regarded as portents of great and terrible events (possibly as a sign of winning or loosing a battle re: Alexander the Great, and red moon). And would have been ideas picked up by the Jews whilst in captivity in Persia.
    For me the idea that there will be all three events is simply placed as a literary device to signify the greatness and terribleness of the apocalyptic events.


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