The desolation of abomination
In my scripture study today I jumped from the Book or Mormon to section 84 in the Doctrine and Covenants, specifically to the last verses 114 to 120. In verse 114 the Lord refers to the desolation of abomination. Is that a typo, a reversal in the mind of the prophet Joseph of the familiar phrase used in the Old and New Testaments of the abomination of desolation?
No, the order and wording of the phrase is intentional and correct. The Lord uses the same order of the words in section 88, verses 84-85. Is there some significance to this order or do the phrases carry the same meaning? You may argue that perhaps they do and I would listen with attentiveness but I think the Lord was referring to a specific event in these verses.
The phrase in the familiar order of ‘abomination of desolation’ refers to a set of circumstances that will exist in the last days. We know that the prophecy in Daniel and repeated in the New Testament referred to both the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD as well as the prophesied siege of Jerusalem that will occur at the time of the second coming of the Savior.
However, and this is my opinion only, I believe the phrase as expressed in the uncustomary order of ‘desolation of abomination’ refers to a cataclysmic event at the time of the coming of the Savior that destroys the wicked who have participated in and are grossly engaged in acts of abomination that merit their being made desolate and ‘utterly abolished’ or destroyed.
Why else would the Lord warn his priesthood in these verses to go and warn the people of certain cities of the East Coast of the United States of an impending event that would ‘rend their kingdoms’ and ‘shake the earth’ and cause the starry heavens to tremble. The Lord referred to something in verse 119 that he has already put into motion but that we cannot yet see.
I believe that event is a cataclysmic ‘planetary catastrophe of the most devastating kind where nature goes on a rampage, where almost all the works of mankind crumble in worldwide earthquakes while oceanic super-tsunamis rush in upon continents, wiping vast areas of the globe clean of any vestige of life as the heavens appear to reel about as a result of our planet’s wobbling on its axis of rotation.’
I put most of that last paragraph in quotes because it was written by someone else who expressed it so much better than I could do. In case you haven’t noticed, several of my recent posts have included quotes from the writings of Anthony E. Larson, the author of the Prophecy Trilogy. I have been reading new writings (new to me) from Mr. Larson over the past few days.
The verses seem clear to me. The Lord has already ‘put forth his hand to exert the powers of heaven’ with something that ‘will not only shake the earth, but the starry heavens shall tremble.’ That something will cause the desolation of abomination that now exists and is only getting worse before it is utterly and completely destroyed when the Lord comes again.
What do you think? Is there an intended difference in meaning between these two phrases?