Restoration of All Things

Malachi prophesied that Elijah the prophet would return to the earth “before the great and dreadful day of the Lord” and that he would “turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers” (Malachi 4:5-6).

Peter, James, and John apparently had that prophecy in mind when they asked Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration what it meant for Elijah to return. Jesus responded by testifying, “Elias [Elijah] truly shall first come and restore all things” (Matthew 17:11). He went on to explain that, in one sense, Elias had already come: John the Baptist had fulfilled the role of an “Elias,” preparing the way for His earthly ministry.

After the death and resurrection of the Savior, Peter reiterated the Savior’s promise that all things would one day be restored:

Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;

And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:

Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.

Acts 3:19-21

The Greek word translated “restitution” in this passage, apokatastasis (ἀποκατάστασις), means “restoration,” as in returning something to its prior condition or recovering something that has been lost. Nearly all Bible translations render this passage “restoration of all things.” (See Acts 3:21 on biblehub.com.)

The apostle John saw in a vision a woman (representing the church) who fled into the wilderness to escape from danger. (See Revelation 12.) Nephi likewise foresaw that the Savior’s church would be smothered by persecution and corrupted by inaccurate doctrines. (See 1 Nephi 13.)

But as Alma taught his son Corianton, “All things must be restored to their proper order” (Alma 41:4). Through the grace of God, everything that is lost can be found, and everything that has been destroyed can be rebuilt.

In 1832, the Lord encouraged church members to hold on to that promise of restoration:

Your life and the priesthood have remained, and must needs remain through you and your lineage until the restoration of all things spoken by the mouths of all the holy prophets since the world began.

Therefore, blessed are ye if ye continue in my goodness.

Doctrine and Covenants 86:10-11

Today, I will trust in the promise of complete restoration. I will have faith in a God who refreshes, replenishes, rebuilds, and renews all things that are needed for the happiness and progression of His children.

4 thoughts on “Restoration of All Things

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  1. all things must be restored in their proper order?? Alma 41:4 ? Then why didnt Alma or Joseph whoever is responsible for alma write the truth on death?? People arent giddy , happy , walkin around excited for Jesus to come when theyre dead OR waiting on pins n needles ; theyre dead, asleep, unconscious . Psalms 115:17; ecc 9:5,6,10; Job 14:10-14

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    1. Robert,
      Thanks for bringing these scripture passages to my attention. I spent some time with them, and thought I’d share a few observations:
      There are a number of passages in the book of Psalms similar your first one, including Psalm 6:5, 30:9, 31:17, and 88:10-12. Also, Isaiah 38:18-19 follows the same pattern. All of these passages urge people to praise God now, while they’re still alive, while they still have a voice.
      Alma’s missionary companion, Amulek, made a similar plea to the Zoramites:
      “Do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end; for after this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, behold, if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed” (Alma 34:33).
      Clearly some opportunities are only available to us in this life, and we should take advantage of them while we can.
      Ecclesiastes 9 is a sobering reminder that we leave everything behind when we die. We are no longer part of “any thing that is done under the sun.” A useful reminder that so many of the things we cling to now will no longer be ours tomorrow. We would be wise not to “lay up” for ourselves “treasures on earth,” since we can’t take them with us.
      And then there’s Job: If you cut down a tree, he says, it might begin to sprout again (v. 7-9). But who ever heard of a person waking up after dying? Sounds pretty discouraging. And yet Job’s plea to God sounds very hopeful:
      “O that thou wouldest hide me in the grave, that thou wouldest keep me secret, until thy wrath be past, that thou wouldest appoint me a set time, and remember me!” (v. 13)
      And what do you think he meant by “All the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come” (v. 14)? Could he be talking about life after death?
      A few chapters later, he expresses the same hope but with much more conviction:
      “I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:
      “And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God!” (Job 19:25-26).
      Like Job, Alma also testified of the resurrection:
      “The soul shall be restored to the body, and the body to the soul; yea, and every limb and joint shall be restored to its body; yea, even a hair of the head shall not be lost; but all things shall be restored to their proper and perfect frame.” (Alma 40:23).
      So Alma’s not disputing the reality of death. He’s seeing beyond it to another reality. God can make all things right. He can break the chains of death and make us whole again.
      I hope some of those observations are useful to you.
      Thanks again for the comment,
      Paul

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