Wars and Rumors of Wars


Matthew-24-7Nobody likes to talk about war, at least I don’t think so. Maybe there are those who delight in the subject. I don’t. However, the theme of war is found throughout the scriptures, indicating it is a topic about which the Lord expects us to be knowledgeable. I don’t think He wants us to become experts at waging war, but be informed about what will happen in the last days in regard to war.

We can’t go about with our head in the sand when it comes to international affairs, although one could make an argument to the contrary. For example, in my mother’s journal, referring to the timeframe of World War II, I recall this statement: “The war is so far away. We hear about it on the radio and see the boys who come home to the hospital, but for us, there really is no war.”

Now mother knew perfectly well there was a war going on. She worked on the base where she grew up in Norman Oklahoma. She was a cashier in the Naval Hospital where she met my dad, who was a cook at the same base. She saw one of the results of war first hand – the wounded and the maimed. But there were no bullets flying around her family, so in effect, there was no war.

War Always Seems So Far Away

I have never seen war. Of course I have seen videos and read the history of wars in my lifetime, but I have never lived in a war zone, so I can’t relate to those who do, such as a large population of the Middle East. I have watched lots of movies about war, some which glamorize it and others that show it in all its gory detail. But I have never experienced the heart-pounding fear of war.

Update: I remembered a time on my mission where I worked in a soon-to-be war zone. I wrote this little memoir a few years back for a writing class. The thing about memoirs is they can be “enriched” memories. I combined two separate events for this piece of writing. It’s the closest I came to feeling the fear of war some experience every day

The United States has experienced only one civil war so far and that was long before any of us were born, so it’s a distant memory in the history books. The closest thing to civil war now is experienced by those who live in downtown crime-ridden neighborhoods. Even then, it’s nothing like that experienced by those who live, for example, in Honduras, where I served my mission.

countries-at-war-2015There are over fifty ongoing armed conflicts being waged somewhere around the world as I write this. Although the Mexican Drug War can be considered close-by, most wars are centered around the Middle East and Africa. One of the longest running wars is the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, ongoing since 1948, when Israel was established as an independent state by the United Nations.

Prophecy Concerning War in the Last Days

Two of my favorite books growing up were Gerald Lund’s The Coming of the Lord and Duane Crowther’s Prophecy, Key to the Future. I have read or studied both of them almost constantly since I purchased them in the early seventies.  They are well marked-up and annotated, similar to my scriptures. Duane’s book was published before the Six Day War so lacks commentary there.

However, they both have considerable content dedicated to explaining the author’s interpretation of scripture and prophecy dealing with the subject of war. I’d like to focus on war in the Middle East in this post. I don’t believe the author of either book I mentioned above has taken sides, nor is that my intent in sharing this post. I simply desire to outline prophecies concerning that war.

Of course, one of the things about prophecy is that it is not intended to foretell the future, but to make us aware of the foreknowledge of God in such matters. Prophecy is not given to help us pin down an exact date as to when certain things are supposed to happen. It is to remind us of the love of our Savior in preparing us for that which is to come. Thus, we can avoid being fearful.

A Voice of Warning in the Last Days

sword-of-heaven“And the anger of the Lord is kindled, and his sword is bathed in heaven, and it shall fall upon the inhabitants of the earth. And the arm of the Lord shall be revealed…” When I read this verse I see it being fulfilled in two ways, but primarily by the Lord. The phrase, “arm of the Lord” has special significance in terms of prophecy. It is referring to an astral event in the ancient skies.

But it can and does also refer to the destruction that is forthcoming upon the appearance of this frightening object in the skies. All the world will see it. The wicked shall fear and tremble. Even the righteous will be alarmed if they have not taken the Holy Spirit for their guide. Read chapter twenty-one of Ezekiel to learn more about the imagery of this bright sword bathed in heaven.

“For I will reveal myself from heaven with power and great glory, with all the hosts thereof…” The word of the Lord is “quick and powerful, sharper than a two-edged sword, to the dividing asunder of both joints and marrow…” There’s that sword imagery again. This time it’s applied to the word of the Lord, which will prepare our hearts for the tribulation and desolation sent forth.

War Poured Out Upon All Nations

wars-and-rumors-of-wars“And in that day shall be heard of wars and rumors of wars, and the whole earth shall be in commotion…” There is no getting around it. We live in that day now. Peace has been taken from the earth. “…see that ye be not troubled, for all I have told you must come to pass…Behold I have told you before…for nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom…”

“And the time will come that war will be poured out upon all nations…And thus with the sword and by bloodshed the inhabitants of the earth shall mourn…” If you think God has nothing to do with war upon the earth, think again. I’m not saying God causes war. Men are very well able to do that by themselves. But ask yourself, why would He use the phrase “war will be poured out”?

And when He says ‘all nations,” do you think He means the United States of America? I do. That day has not come yet, but is at the doors. The Lord said He would make an end of all nations. It could be through social unrest or it could be through invasion by other nations who have sworn to destroy “the great Satan,” which is their term for wickedness exported from the United States.

Sworn to Annihilate Israel

map-of-israelNow to the point of my post: Israel. As reader Linda pointed out in the comments section of my last post, nobody wants war. She linked to a YouTube video of an awesome TED talk about an Israeli designer who created an online peace sensation with his design, “Iranians: We will never bomb your country. We {heart} you.” If you haven’t viewed the short 2012 video, take a look.

Linda, you are right. Your average citizen of most any nation doesn’t want war. I believe that is true for Palestinians, Iranians, Afghanis, Israelis, Russians, Chinese or Americans. It’s true for the citizens of every nation that has weapons of mass destruction such as India, Pakistan, France, England, and even North Korea. Nobody wants war, or at least I would like to believe that’s so.

Sadly, we know that’s not true. There are individuals out there who do want war. They want it for various reasons. Some desire it to increase personal wealth, others want to change the balance of power in the world. Unfortunately, there are deranged individuals who want war for religious reasons. They have declared their intent to annihilate the nations of Israel and the United States.

Israel Not Powerless to Defend Themselves

The leader of Iran tweeted last year, “This barbaric, wolflike & infanticidal regime of Israel which spares no crime has no cure but to be annihilated.” I think that’s fairly clear, don’t you? Yet, John Kerry is brokering a deal with Iran to remove economic sanctions and extend time to allow weapons-grade uranium development in their nuclear program. What is the man thinking?

As the Prime Minister of Israel said in his address to congress this week, “We are no longer scattered among the nations, powerless to defend ourselves. … For the first time in one hundred generations, we, the Jewish people, can defend ourselves. This is why … as a prime minister of Israel, I can promise you one more thing: Even if Israel has to stand alone, Israel will stand.”

I’m not choosing sides here. I believe the reports Israel has nuclear weapons. We know Israel will act in a pre-emptive manner. They demonstrated that in the Six Day War. I don’t think the Prime Minister of Israel wants war. But I do believe the leader of Iran wants war. He wants it specifically so he can annihilate Israel. He has said so. I just want to make sure we’re all clear.

No Nation Can Do More Than God Permits

“Have I not made the earth? Do I not hold the destinies of all the armies of the nations of the earth?” In spite of wars and rumors of wars, in spite of the whole earth being in commotion, in spite of men’s hearts failing them, meaning losing courage to stand up for what is right, in spite of Satan’s seeming success in promoting war and contention, please remember who is in charge.

The adversary’s greatest efforts will not stop the work of the Lord. “The Lord rules, manipulates and manages the affairs of men, of nations and of the world, and therefore, neither this nation nor any other nation can do anything more than God permits. He sets up one nation, and puts down another, according to the counsels of his own will.” John Taylor couldn’t have said it any better.

armageddon-countriesWe know Israel will be the focus of the great battle of the last days – Armageddon. The battle is essentially religious: one ideology and theology against another. One host stands for God and his cause. The other fights against Him. Both hosts are comprised of wicked and worldly men, but one is defending freedom while the other would destroy liberty and enslave men. You choose.

Government of the United States Will Collapse

Joseph Smith stated on several occasions that, “the government will be utterly overthrown and destroyed,” and that “Congress…shall be broken up as a government.” In addition the prophet Joseph is quoted as saying, “A terrible revolution will take place in the land of America, such as has never been seen before; for the land will be literally left without a supreme government…”

President Woodruff was more emphatic when he asked, “…can the American nation escape? The answer comes, No; its destruction, as well as the destruction of the world, is sure…Sooner or later they will reap the fruits of their own wicked acts, and be numbered among the past.” On another occasion he said, “The American nation will be broken in pieces like a potter’s vessel…”

Perhaps you recall this statement by Orson Pratt, an early LDS apostle. “State will be divided against state, city against city, town against town, and the whole country will be in terror and confusion; mobocracy will prevail and there will be no security, through this great Republic, for the lives or property of the people.” This statement was made after the Civil War of 1861-65.

The Coming Civil War

civil-unrestReferring to the Civil War of 1861-65, President John Taylor said, “We had a great war upon this continent some years ago; but there will yet be wars pass through these United States…” He also said, “You will see worse things than that, for God will lay his hand upon this nation, and they will feel it more terribly than even they have done before. There will be more bloodshed…”

“Their great and magnificent cities are to be cut off. New York, Boston…and numerous other cities will be left desolate…the whole nation will be broken up. There shall be a fleeing from one city to another, from one state to another, from one part of the continent to another, seeking refuge, from the devastations of bandits and armies; then shall their dead be left unburied.”

The above quote is from Orson Pratt, who left us the best descriptions of the great American civil war of the last days, a prophecy yet to be fulfilled. He said, “It will be a war of neighborhood against neighborhood…they will go forth destroying and being destroyed…going forth in bands and destroying and pillaging the land…the whole country…will be wasted away…”

“The time will come when there will be no safety in carrying on…peaceable pursuits…these will be neglected and the people will think themselves well off if they can flee from city to city, from town to town and escape with their lives.” In one particularly foreboding statement, Brigham Young agreed with Orson and said the whole government will become a mob. Hmmm…

Gather to Zion for Protection

tent-cityThe only protection for those who will not take up arms against their neighbors is to flee to Zion. Zion as a place of refuge has not yet been established. At one time I had a dream about a large piece of land behind our Stake Center. It was filled with tents. The members of our stake had come together to protect one another. Men took turns patrolling the area, armed with weapons.

I wondered about the dream and asked the Lord for an interpretation. The impression came this was one possible scenario. It was a temporary situation. The people were waiting for word from Salt Lake to gather to Zion. But no word came. We were cut off. Communications were down. But in fact, Utah and especially Salt Lake were in worse shape. Zion was not found in Utah.

It was just a dream. The LDS Church teaches preparedness. We are counseled to have a large supply of food, water and even money although it’s fairly clear money will be worthless if the government collapses and social chaos reigns. I never cared for weapons yet I now have a small arsenal in my home, next to my food storage. What? Here in California? I hope I never need it.

Zion Prospereth, All Is Well In Zion

I close in the same way I began. Nobody likes to talk about war. Nobody likes to think about the possibilities of social anarchy or the specter of financial collapse. Surely this great nation will last forever, right? As long as we serve the God of this land we will be blessed. Once the highest court of the United States rejects the principles of religious freedom, we lose God’s protection.

I hope and pray these things I have written about do not come to pass in my lifetime. We seem to be enjoying renewed prosperity in our nation as I write this. Employment prospects appear to be the best they have been in years. Crime is down to a level not seen since the sixties. In my ward and stake, families appear to be happy and growing. All is well in Zion. Yea, Zion prospereth.

You can dismiss this post on war as irrelevant from an old man out of touch with the realities of life. You can tell yourself the scriptures and prophecies I have quoted were taken out of context and have different interpretations than those I have offered. Of course they do. The spirit will guide you how to receive these thoughts. After all, they are only the ramblings of an old man.

 

%d bloggers like this: