How can we prepare for the Savior’s return to the earth?
During His mortal ministry, Jesus provided some guidance to His disciples. As recorded in Matthew 24-25, Mark 13, and Luke 21, He foretold wars and rumors of wars, false prophets, and natural disasters preceding His glorious return. Like a careful observer who can detect the seasons by the state of a fig tree, His disciples would recognize these disruptive events for what they are: signs that the Savior’s return is drawing closer. To those who are prepared, like the five wise virgins from the parable, His return will be a joyful occasion.
In March of 1831, Joseph Smith received a revelation in which the Lord repeated and elaborated on the guidance He had given anciently. Doctrine and Covenants 45 can be divided into four sections:
- The Savior introduces Himself as our Creator, our Advocate, and our Advisor (verses 1-15).
- He describes the events which will occur before His return, drawing heavily on Matthew 24-25 and Zechariah 12-14 (verses 16-59).
- He commands Joseph Smith to begin translating the New Testament (verses 60-62). (Joseph had previously been focused on translating the Old Testament. See Revelations in Context: Joseph Smith’s Bible Translation.)
- He commands members of the church to gather and establish Zion (verses 63-75).
Here are some blog posts relating to themes in this revelation:
- The Savior’s goal is not vengeance but rehabilitation: Wilt Thou Turn Away Thine Anger? – Helaman 11:15-16.
- He is on our team, supporting us and championing our cause: What Does It Mean for Jesus to Be Our Advocate?
- The Book of Mormon and the temple can refine and purify us, so that we will be ready to meet Him when He comes: What Does the Book of Mormon Teach About the Second Coming of Jesus Christ?
- We must not allow our emotional and spiritual stability to depend upon the world’s values and priorities: The Sun Shall Be Darkened – 2 Nephi 23:9-11.
- God can help us avoid the panic which might otherwise overwhelm us when we face difficult experiences: Every Man’s Heart Shall Melt – 2 Nephi 23:6-8
- “The righteous need not fear” (1 Nephi 22:17, 22). We can follow the Savior’s example to “be not troubled” (Matthew 24:6, Doctrine and Covenants 45:35), even during unsettling experiences: What Is the Day of Burning Spoken of by Malachi?
- We should strive to promote unity, holiness, and charity, to help prepare the world for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ: “Bring Forth My Zion” – 1 Nephi 13:37.
- God wants His children to be united and to be holy: What Is Zion?