The Desire of All Nations

Speaking on behalf of the Lord, Haggai prophesied:

Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land;

And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord of hosts.

Haggai 2:6-7

In the King James Version, God shakes the nations, and then “the desire of all nations” comes to them. A more literal translation of the Hebrew would say, “I will shake all nations, and they shall come to the Desire of All Nations.” (See parallel translations of Haggai 2:7 on biblehub.com.)

The prophet Nephi described a similar sequence of events: “The kingdom of the devil must shake, and they which belong to it must needs be stirred up unto repentance” (2 Nephi 28:19). Elder Neal A. Maxwell referred to this process as “redemptive turbulence,” and added, “The Lord has His own unique way of getting good things out of bad situations, again and again” (“’These Are [Your] Days,’” Religious Educator 3, no. 1 (2002): 1–7).

It is unfortunate that we sometimes need to be shaken before we turn to God, but we can be grateful that God gives us experiences which are calibrated to turn our hearts toward Him.

If you were to set Haggai’s words to music, how would you dramatize the shaking of the heavens, the earth, and all nations? I hope you enjoy George Frederick Handel’s setting of this text in the following performance by Tyler Simpson with the Orchestra at Temple Square:

Today, I will be grateful for the unsettling experiences of life. I will respond to difficult situations with prayers and faith, knowing that my faithful response to adversity can strengthen my relationship with God.

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