It is difficult to discern where we stand in the prophetic timeline. It helps, however, to first understand and know that we are in the fifth seal.
I will prove this in a moment, but let’s consider the state of what is said to occur during the fifth seal.
9 And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:
Many people are not aware of this, but right now the most persecuted group in the entire world is Christians. They are being slaughtered by the millions in the Middle East.
See this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ytdMUddGe-U
The media is not reporting this, obviously. The media is pro-Islam, which is to be expected. They believe Muslims are fighting for justice, that they have been wronged by the Jews and European colonization. This narrative is a lie. The Muslims simply want to kill Jews and Christians because their false god tells them to in the Quran.
This website provides 100 references to violence in the Islamic religious text: http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/pages/quran/violence.aspx
While the Saints on this side of the globe may be in the midst of a spiritual warfare– a battle for their faith– the Christians (and Jews) on the other side of the globe are fighting for their lives.
Mormons are currently not the main characters in God’s story right now.
The fifth seal contains the tribulation.
The tribulation is the war against Christians and Jews, as well as the culminating event of the abomination of desolation.
God’s people do not escape the Tribulation; they escape God’s wrath during the, “day of the Lord.”
This is why there is a divide between those that study the Bible. There seems to be references to escaping the end-time evil’s, but there are references to having go through it– like the martyrs who die for their testimonies.
I am positive that the celestial souls do not escape the Tribulation. In fact, I believe the celestial souls are the TARGET of the Tribulation.
Only until the seventh seal will God’s wrath be poured down on the earth. THAT is what the Saints will of course be protected from.
However, God’s wrath does BEGIN in the sixth seal…but we read that the angels tell God to wait long enough to seal the 144,000. I’ll return to this in a moment.
Here is the evidence that we are in the fifth seal….
When the sixth seal is opened, there is a great earthquake, the sun becomes black, and the moon gives no light/turns to blood. (Rev 6:12)
I do not believe this has occurred.
Certain things must come to pass BEFORE this happens.
Look at Mathew 24:
28 For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.
29 ¶Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
There is a gathering that occurs before/during the Tribulation!
Early in the D&C we read that the first elders of the church are called to bring to pass the gathering of the elect–that, “they shall be gathered unto ONE place upon the face of the land,” when tribulation is sent forth. (D&C 29:7-8)
Look at what the JST of Mathew even says:
27 And now I show unto you a parable. Behold, wheresoever the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together; so likewise shall mine elect be gathered from the four quarters of the earth.
28 And they shall hear of wars, and rumors of wars.
29 Behold I speak for mine elect’s sake; for nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
30 And again, because iniquity shall abound, the love of men shall wax cold; but he that shall not be overcome, the same shall be saved.
31 And again, this Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world, for a witness unto all nations, and then shall the end come, or the destruction of the wicked;
32 And again shall the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, be fulfilled.
33 And immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of heaven shall be shaken.
There is going to be a gathering.
Then the Gospel is preached unto the whole world…
the abomination of desolation occurs…
and THEN the sixth seal opens, where the sun is darkened and the moon gives no light.
Let’s get further clarity from Luke before we turn to the D&C.
24 And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.
25 ¶And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;
The times of the Gentiles are fulfilled before the sixth seal.
The JST, again, makes it even more clear:
25 And he answered them, and said, In the generation in which the times of the Gentiles shall be fulfilled, there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations with perplexity, like the sea and the waves roaring. The earth also shall be troubled, and the waters of the great deep;
Something else that most are not aware of, is that the times of the Gentiles is yet to come in.
According to the D&C, the times of the Gentiles needs to come in one last time. (D&C 45:28) This is when the Gospel of the Kingdom is preached as a witness unto the whole world, as recorded by Mathew.
14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)
After the final witness to the nations, the abomination of desolation occurs. We are told that when we see this, we must go the holy place. (Zion!)
We are also told that when this happens we should, “pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day.” (Matt 24:20)
The meaning of Christ’s words here is that we need to pray that we are not fleeing from Babylon during the seventh seal (sabbath day/seventh day). We want to be fleeing during either the fifth or the sixth seal– not the seventh, because that is when the wrath of God is being poured out on the nations.
We want to leave in the summer, not the winter.
There is two passages of scripture I want to compare:
- And now I show unto you a parable. Behold, wheresoever the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together; so likewise shall mine elect be gathered from the four quarters of the earth. (JST Mathew-1:27, Mathew 24:28)
- Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. And they answered unto, Where Lord? And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body is, hither will the eagles be gathered together. (Luke 17:37)
Notice that Luke uses the word body, not carcass.
The reason for this is because Luke is referring to the body of Christ, which is already gathered. Luke is speaking of the rapture, not the gathering.
JST—as always—clarifies even more:
37 And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body is gathered; or, in other words, whithersoever the saints are gathered, thither will the eagles be gathered together; or, thither will the remainder be gathered together.
38 This he spake, signifying the gathering of his saints; and of angels descending and gathering the remainder unto them; the one from the bed, the other from the grinding, and the other from the field, whithersoever he listeth.
This is included in the JST-Mathew. Verse 27 spoke of a gathering to the carcass, to make up the body, but then it speaks of the rapture once the Gospel of the Kingdom is preached and the abomination of desolation occurs.
37 And whoso treasureth up my word, shall not be deceived, for the Son of Man shall come, and he shall send his angels before him with the great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together the remainder of his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
The gathering occurs from the four quarters of the earth, while the rapture occurs from the four winds.
The rapture also occurs at the sound of a trumpet– just like Paul said in 1 Thessalalonians 4:
16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
The elect who are gathered together in Zion, will be lifted up, and the remainder of the elect will be gathered by angels from the four winds.
This happens at the sound of a trumpet. This is the first trumpet which occurs in the seventh seal. So the rapture occurs during the seventh seal.
Those that are not elect, who are neither gathered nor caught up, will have to make the journey to Zion on foot, during the seventh seal.
That’s why Jesus said to pray your journey would not be on the sabbath day. If you’re travelling on the sabbath day, you missed the rapture.
Let’s return back to the fifth seal:
This is when the Tribulation is occurring.
This is when the times of the Gentiles comes in for one final generation.
Doctrine and Covenants Section 88 tells us EVERYTHING we need to know as we anticipate the soon-to-be gathering.
Before we look at Section 88, let’s cover something from Section 1:
37 Search these commandments, for they are true and faithful, and the prophecies and promises which are in them shall all be fulfilled.
Denver Snuffer, to use an example, is one who believes that because the Saints failed God must now use another people entirely. He does not take modern revelation seriously. In this, he is not alone. Nobody studies the D&C seriously.
Until someone takes D&C 1:37 at face-value, they will fall victim to false prophets.
The voice of warning will be from the disciples that Christ has already chosen! The disciples that he chose were the ones that published the Book of Commandments in 1833. (D&C 1:4-6)
Speaking to the disciples who were chosen to give the voice of warning, Section 88 tells them this:
84 Therefore, tarry ye, and labor diligently, that you may be perfected in your ministry to go forth among the Gentiles for the last time, as many as the mouth of the Lord shall name, to bind up the law and seal up the testimony, and to prepare the saints for the hour of judgment which is to come;
85 That their souls may escape the wrath of God, the desolation of abomination which awaits the wicked, both in this world and in the world to come…
The first elders of the church will go forth amongst the Gentiles to BIND up the law (of consecration) among the Saints and seal them up to eternal life, which is the power they have been given. (D&C 68:12)
Meanwhile, the Lord tells us:
85 … Verily, I say unto you, let those who are not the first elders continue in the vineyard until the mouth of the Lord shall call them, for their time is not yet come; their garments are not clean from the blood of this generation.
This is the LDS church. They have kept the mandate to continue in the vineyard with their limited priesthood and spiritual gifts. This is their priesthood calling, until the mouth of the Lord calls for the first elders to return and prepare the Saints.
Section 133 calls for the followers of Christ to flee to Zion– all except those that have been told to TARRY.
Those that were told to TARRY were the first elders. The first elders don’t go to Zion like the rest of the Saints; they go into the world to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom!
The abomination of desolation will be seen around this time; and thus the world will be given a chance to accept Jesus Christ or not– by heeding the warning of the first elders, which is, “Repent, and be baptized, and flee to Zion.”
Once the first elders are called forth and complete their mission:
87 .. not many days hence and the earth shall tremble and reel to and fro as a drunken man; and the sun shall hide his face, and shall refuse to give light; and the moon shall be bathed in blood; and the stars shall become exceedingly angry, and shall cast themselves down as a fig that falleth from off a fig tree.
88 And after your testimony cometh wrath and indignation upon the people.
89 For after your testimony cometh the testimony of earthquakes, that shall cause groanings in the midst of her, and men shall fall upon the ground and shall not be able to stand.
90 And also cometh the testimony of the voice of thunderings, and the voice of lightnings, and the voice of tempests, and the voice of the waves of the sea heaving themselves beyond their bounds.
After the first elders complete their mission throughout the sixth seal, sealing up the 144,000, the seventh seal is opened as recorded in Revelation 8.
The wording in that chapter reflects D&C 88:90 – during the seventh seal there are many VOICES.
Voices of thunderings, voices of lightnings, voices of earthquakes.
5 And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire on the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there VOICES, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.
Those are the voices after the first elders complete their mission and give their testimonies!
The first elders must return before the seventh seal is opened.
So the test is this:
Do you believe in the Doctrine and Covenants?
Either it is a book of failed prophecies– which makes it a lie– or it will come to pass exactly as it is written.
For me, I know the D&C is true. The revelations therein are incredible. I trust it. I know that it’s God’s word.
Section 88 continues on to expound on the trumpets that are blown during the seventh seal.
How Section 88 perfectly fills in the gaps of Revelation, without ever contradicting it, is beyond belief. No mortal man could have come up with this stuff. Joseph Smith is not the author of the D&C.
The only logical explanation for the Book of Mormon and the D&C is that they came from God. When you take them seriously, it becomes obvious.
When you take God’s word seriously… many things, in fact, become obvious.
I have never received a testimony of the Doctrine & Covenants. I certainly believe many parts are true, but how do you reconcile the changes that have been to it after Joseph Smith? Specifically, the removal of the Lectures on Faith, and the inclusion of Section 132, and Official Declarations.
Thank you so much for following my blog and being open while asking good questions. It’s great knowing that at least SOMEBODY’s reading my stuff.
I do not reconcile the changes made to the D&C after Joseph’s death.
Sections 126-132, 135-136, 138, OD1 & 2 — all do not contain the word of God, but the word of man.
The Saints have not been able to endure sound doctrine. Those sections are evidence of the apostasy that took place.
We in fact NEED those sections to know that God rejected the church as warned in Section 124.
That way we need not study secular history. We don’t have to read about Joseph’s wives or Brigham’s BS.
We know an apostasy took place because the D&C falls out of place.
I realize I’m late in replying, but I would (somewhat controversially) reconcile it thusly:
1 Nephi 13:
28 Wherefore, thou seest that after the book hath gone forth through the hands of the great and abominable church, that there are many plain and precious things taken away from the book, which is the book of the Lamb of God.
29 And after these plain and precious things were taken away it goeth forth unto all the nations of the Gentiles; and after it goeth forth unto all the nations of the Gentiles, yea, even across the many waters which thou hast seen with the Gentiles which have gone forth out of captivity, thou seest—because of the many plain and precious things which have been taken out of the book, which were plain unto the understanding of the children of men, according to the plainness which is in the Lamb of God—because of these things which are taken away out of the gospel of the Lamb, an exceedingly great many do stumble, yea, insomuch that Satan hath great power over them.
I also agree with the assessment that the great and abominable church spoken of in 1 Nephi 13 is in reference to the LDS church. However, I believe its fulfillment happened already and is not a future event. There is a duality to the LDS church. The salvation of the church was brought about by the keys to the gathering of the dispersed of Judah and outcasts of Israel. At the same time, the saints were handed over to Satan as prophesied in the Book of Commandments. This duality causes much of our cognitive dissonance!
My learning has grown substantially thanks to you, and I pray for guidance daily to learn more. It appears we already follow the same blogs, and I agree with most of your assessments.
I agree that these sections are needed as as source to discover truth (you must know the bitter to appreciate the sweet), I just had to pause when you wrote, “I know the D&C is true”.
When you have time, I would love for you to expound upon some of the sections listed above. Specifically: D&C 129, 130. I know that they are listed as being received in 1843 which is an obvious cause for concern, but both of these contain verses that support some of my doctrinal beliefs.
Thank you for taking the time to share your insights on this journey.
In regards to Section 129– how to discern angels.
If an apostasy was taking place, and Satan had a chance to wedge in a little something into the Saints standard works, what could be better and more effective than 129? An incorrect method to discern between Satan and true messengers..
I don’t actually know if it’s correct or not, but it’s not something I would put my trust in.
What is it about Section 130 that is incorporated into your beliefs?
Also remember and keep in mind that I do think it’s very smart to not reject everything that happened after the apostasy of 1842. Joseph may have been losing his crap, but he was still full of the leftovers of truth he received previous to having his eyes covered. We need to be very skeptical and careful, but not so skeptical that we miss out on something.
I absolutely believe that you can find truth in many (often unexpected) places. That’s what makes any teaching from BY so difficult to swallow.
With that in mind; D&C 130:20-21 has become a sort of mantra. As I search to learn the mysteries of the gospel, they almost always come back to the basics. You have advance step by step. Precept by precept. Blessing/knowledge is received based on obedience to the law(s) they represent.
And yet when I try to articulate why this must be true, I come up against my own truth test. This wording “There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated—” is only used in this section. I am not aware of a second or third witness to it’s usage. I guess I have more studying to do.
There is nothing wrong with D&C 130:20-21
It’s doctrinal. Very elegantly written, as well.
The Bible agrees with the concept completely….
7 … for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
What ever we sow, we reap.
If we are obedient to God’s commandments, we reap the blessings thereof.
How can your interpretation be true – that we are only in the 5th seal, when D&C 77:7 tells us that each Seal is 1,000 years?
The seals do indeed represent the 7000 years of Earth’s temporal existence.
That is what they REPRESENT.
But that does not mean that each seal is opened every thousand years. Everything in John’s vision was a vision of the future. I believe the seals are opened by Christ in the future. I do not believe that he has been slowly opening them once every thousand years.
Regarding D&C 130 – from another blog post: “where did section 130 come from?”
Elder Orson Pratt and Elder Orson Hyde added it to the Doctrine and Covenants in 1876. It came from a series of talks that Orson Hyde gave in the presence of Joseph Smith in 1842. Some of the items that Orson Hyde spoke on were not accurate, such that it required a private correction by Joseph Smith. Joseph Smith Papers, Journals, Volume 2 page 324, on April 2, 1842, Joseph recorded:
“Elder Hyde I am going to offer some corrections to you. Elder Hyde replied – they shall be thankfully received. – When he (Christ) shall appear we shall see him as he is. We shall see that he (Christ) is a man like ourselves. – (Parenthesis added).
This is consistent with the Lectures on Faith. The Son (Christ) is a man, a ‘tabernacle of clay’. Just like us. However, later on, Joseph records the following on page 326:
“There is a law irrevocably decreed in heaven. Before the foundation of the world upon which all blessings are predicted and when we obtain a blessing it is by obedience to the law upon which that blessing is predicated. Again reverted to Elder Hyde’s mistake. &c the Father has a body of flesh & bones as tangible as mans the son also, but the Holy Ghost is a personage of spirit. – and a person cannot have the personage . It may descend upon him but not to tarry with him.— (Bold and Italics added)
“So the clincher here, the way Joseph Wrote in his Journal is he elaborated on “Elder Hyde’s mistake”, by writing. “&c”. I had to look this up, but &c is another way to write Etc. Normally we would write this after the sentence. However, Joseph Used it before the sentence, in fact it starts the sentence, listing Elder Hyde’s mistake. What was Elder Hydes mistake? Amongst other things (&c): the Father having a body of flesh and bones as tangible as mans the son also and the Holy Ghost is a personage of Spirit. I assert that Joseph was trying to lay out to Elder Hyde, that to know God, you must know correctly about God. Then preceded to correct his errors, which errors, he listed for us in his Journal.”
“In Lectures on Faith, Joseph Smith Clearly states that God is a SPIRIT OF GLORY AND POWER, and further that the HOLY SPIRIT IS THE MIND OF GOD.”
The Joseph Smith Papers captures this incident with Joseph correcting Elder Hyde on the Godhead: http://www.josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/journal-december-1842-june-1844-book-2-10-march-1843-14-july-1843/50
Section 130:22 was one of the things at odds with those brethren on the committee that decided to remove the Lectures on Faith from the D&C in 1921 without a vote. They felt that the description Joseph gave of the Father in lecture on Faith chapter 5 (?) was at odds with what was in section 130:22, which apparently was added to the D&C sometime after Joseph and Hyrum were slain.
This is really awesome and really shows just how easy it is to inadvertently mistake notes from Joseph correcting Orson and how it literally can change the entire trajectory of belief of all of us!
Thanks for the info M
Whether or not Joseph was correcting Hyde or making the same mistake…
we all know that God does not have a body of flesh and bones unless that is Jesus Christ we are talking about.
The Father is a personage of spirit and power, just like the Lectures on Faith made perfectly clear.
You are right: It is amazing how some notes have changed the trajectory of the LDS church in a huge way. The time came where the Saints could not endure sound doctrine.
Only a few of us seem to in these days….
So your interpretation of the Seals representing the overall temporal existing of the earth means that we can be in two different seals at the same time – meaning that they can overlap.
We are living in the sixth seal for sure. We are living within the 6000-7000 year period.
But the seals can be opened at any time.
John saw the seals all being opened in the future.
D&C 130: 1-3, appears to be in contradiction to:
Alma 34: 34-38
2 Nephi 4: 12
John 14:10, 16-17, 19-20, 23
Acts 7: 48
1 Cor 3:16-17
1 Cor 12: 11-14
2 Cor 6: 14-16
Eph 3: 17, 19
D&C 88: 47-50, 66
2 Tim 1:14
1 John 4: 12-16
Heb 10: 19-20
2 Cor 3: 12-18
Helaman 4: 24
Jonah 2: 4, 7
Psalms 18: 6
Mosiah 15: 1-5
I think Joseph was correcting Elder Hyde that “a person cannot have the personage in his heart he may recive the gift of the holy Ghost. it may descend upon him but not to tarry with him.” Not about the Father having flesh and bones.