All my life, well at least for the last fifty years or so, I’ve wondered about the last days and my participation in the events leading up to the return of the Lord Jesus Christ to the earth. I know I’m not alone in this desire to understand the last days and how I can prepare for that which is to come. I’ve made it a life-long pursuit to study the scriptures and prophecies of the last days.
I’ve been taught, and have long believed that we have been living in the latter days, as opposed to the last days. I won’t take the time to point out all the differences between the two. The main difference is that in the last days, great destruction shall come upon the earth. I’m of the opinion we are now on the verge of crossing over into the last days in which terrible catastrophes occur.
Mocking the Prophets of Doom
Nobody likes to hear about doom and gloom. The world scoffs at and mocks those who attempt to share such a message – that of imminent destruction. Nevertheless, the scriptures are clear such events will come to pass – eventually. What everyone really wants to know is when. We want to know when because we want to be prepared for when the promised destruction arrives.
There are those who ask when because they want to know how much longer they can continue their current lifestyle. Some want to know when so they can hold the believers feet to the fire, so to speak. They want a deadline proclaimed by somebody so when it passes uneventfully, they can say, “You see. Nothing has changed here. You have frightened our children needlessly.”
Reference Material on the Last Days
Some of my favorite books on the last days include “The Coming of the Lord” by Gerald Lund, “Prophecy: Key to the Future” by Duane Crowther and of course, the Prophecy trilogy by Anthony Larson. The first two present the conventional or orthodox narrative of the expected events. Anthony’s work presents the winding up scenes from the viewpoint of a catastrophist.
Other books I enjoy include “65 Signs of the Times Leading Up to the Second Coming” by David J. Ridges, “Behold, I Come Quickly: The Last Days and Beyond” by Hoyt W. Brewster Jr, “The Last Days: Types and Shadows from the Bible and the Book of Mormon” by Abraham Gileadi and “Understanding the Signs of the Times” by Donald W Parry and Jay A Parry.
Walking Back to Missouri
Of course, these books are all commentaries or the interpretations of scriptures mingled with the opinions and philosophies of men. Some of the quotes are from men sustained as prophets in the latter days, while others are second or third-hand quotes of Joseph. I suspect a lot of Mormon tradition of how the last days are going to go down is based on some of these uncertain quotes.
I’ve read and reviewed “Visions of Glory,” and pondered the scenes of what Spencer said will happen in the Intermountain West and the journey to Missouri. I’ve read Suzanne Freeman’s “Through the Window of Life” and “A Greater Tomorrow” by Julie Rowe. Each book contains a similar Mormon theme of a journey from Utah back to Missouri to build the New Jerusalem.
California Falls into the Ocean
I’m skeptical. I’ve always struggled with the idea of walking to Missouri. I’m a California boy. I’m aware that many hold to the idea of California – in fact, both coasts – falling off into the ocean because of the cataclysmic earth-shattering destruction preceding the Savior’s return. I have prayed about this many times, wondering if I should move my family away from danger.
So far, the Lord continues to assure me the best preparation I can make is spiritual. Of course, we have a large supply of food stored away in our garage and I carry emergency food, water and even a blow-up mattress in my car in case I’m stuck at work, fifty miles from home, after a big earthquake destroys freeway overpasses. I’ve even written a fictional account of walking home.
Zion and New Jerusalem are Different
But walking to Missouri? I don’t know about you, but I’m not ready to go. At least not until the way is prepared. Heber C. Kimball gave us the Yellow Dog prophecy: “The Western boundary of the State of Missouri will be swept so clean of its inhabitants that as President Young tells us, when you return to that place, there will not be left so much as a yellow dog to wag his tail.”
According to the scriptures, the New Jerusalem will eventually be built somewhere in the land around Independence Missouri. But before that day arrives, Zion will be established in the tops of the mountains. I’m more interested in seeing that prophecy fulfilled because I believe it will be in my lifetime. And no, I don’t believe Salt Lake City qualifies as the tops of the mountains.
Up on the Mesa
I’ve written about this previously. It generated some interesting dialog, especially the suggestion that perhaps someday, Independence Missouri might be suddenly lifted by cataclysmic forces. I don’t know. The more I study, the more I feel that the city of Zion where people flee and where the Lord protects them from their enemies is different from the eventual city of New Jerusalem.
In the meantime, I’ve pondered and prayed about Zion, where it will be and how soon it will be needed. One of the purposes of Zion is to unite for protection. I have a friend who, like me, is convinced Zion will be established on a large mesa. He has visited with the Hopi Indians and been on their mesas. Hopi traditions contain prophecies about the Great Spirit coming to them.
The Remnant Family Retreat
The purpose of this post is to announce what I hope will become an annual tradition. Next May, I will be travelling to Grand Mesa in Colorado to meet with friends I have made online over the years who, like me, are convinced the Lord is inviting us to prepare for Zion in a real way. This event is being organized by my friend Bret, the author of 77 Truths, a book I highly recommend.
Bret is calling it a “Remnant Family Retreat.” I did a lot of studying yesterday and today about the remnant in the scriptures. I think we have a pretty good idea of who the remnant is. We are not them, and they have a destiny appointed them by covenant and promise. We cannot substitute ourselves for them. Nor can we fulfill the prophetic promises without them. We assist them.
Plan to Join us in May 2015
I invite you to think about joining us for this gathering. I’ve expressed my hope to Bret that this becomes an annual event, growing larger each year. There will be a number of speakers as well as opportunities to experience the sacred and spiritual nature of the Grand Mesa. The Utes who once lived there called it, “The Place Where Ancestors Walk and Home of Departed Spirits.”
Bret has called a conference and I intend to go. I want to participate. My community is mainly on the Internet. This is an opportunity to meet and worship together. There are altars on the mesa. I hope the weather has warmed up enough to make it enjoyable for all. The list of speakers will be announced in January. In the meantime, email Bret to let him know you want to be there with us.
Here is a link to all the details in a PDF: http://3tcm.net/Reuniondetails.pdf