What Does the Book of Mormon Teach About the Millennium?

A millennium is a period of a thousand years. The Millennium is a thousand-year period of peace following the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

The apostle John foresaw a time when Satan would be bound for a thousand years. Jesus Christ and His followers would govern the earth during that time (Revelation 20:1-7).

Isaiah foresaw a time of peace, in which “nation shall not lift of sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more” (Isaiah 2:4, 2 Nephi 12:4). He also described this time of peace using a striking image of animals who are natural enemies living peacefully together:

The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid, and the calf and the young lion and fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.
And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’s den.
They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea (Isaiah 11:6-9, 2 Nephi 21:6-9, 2 Nephi 30:12-15).

Why will Satan be bound, and why will there be peace? Nephi provides the answer in the last chapter of his first book:

Because of the righteousness of his people, Satan has no power; wherefore, he cannot be loosed for the space of many years; for he hath no power over the hearts of the people, for they dwell in righteousness, and the Holy One of Israel reigneth (1 Nephi 22:26).

Simply put, Satan will have no power because people will no longer listen to him. Because they are no longer persuaded by his temptations, they will live righteously and will consequently enjoy peace.

After the Savior’s visit to the American continent, the people experienced a microcosm of the Millenium:

There were no contentions and disputations among them, and every man did deal justly one with another.
And they had all things common among them; therefore there were not rich and poor, bond and free, but they were all made free, and partakers of the heavenly gift (4 Nephi 1:2-3).

This condition lasted for about 166 years. After that time,

There began to be among them those who were lifted up in pride, such as the wearing of costly apparel, and all manner of fine pearls, and of the fine things of the world.
And from that time forth they did have their goods and their substance no more common among them (4 Nephi 1:24-25).

This inability to share their possessions represented the beginning of the end of their happy society. The people divided into social classes, then into different groups who hated one another. The happiness and peace they had enjoyed was gone, “because of the power of Satan who did get hold upon their hearts” (4 Nephi 1:28).

Unlike the Millenium, this society did not last 1,000 years, nor was it global in nature. But it had all of the characteristics of the Millennium: a group of people who learned to live together in peace and righteousness after being visited by the resurrected Savior. It is, therefore, a compelling description of what the Millennium might be like.

Today, I will be grateful for the insights the Book of Mormon provides about the Millennium. I will strive to live in a way that would be appropriate to that time: ignoring the temptations of Satan, prioritizing the well being of others, and being a peacemaker.

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