Hey guys, so today we’re going to talk about the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. A lot of what members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe about the Second Coming overlaps with the beliefs of most Christians, but there are a few beliefs that are unique to our faith. In this episode, we’re not really going to be getting into the specifics of all of the signs and wonders and catastrophes leading up to the Second Coming. Instead, we’re just going to get a bird’s eye view of the appearances of Christ leading up to His Second Coming. We believe that before Christ reveals Himself to the whole world in glory, He will make at least one or two precursory appearances. Let’s talk about ‘em.
Alright so the first event we’re going to talk about has to do with a prophecy made in Daniel chapter 7: “I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him…”
A lot of Christians interpret “Ancient of days” to be a name for God the Father. Joseph Smith offered a different interpretation. In Joseph’s journal is written, “Daniel in his seventh chapter speaks of the Ancient of Days; he means the oldest man, our Father Adam … he will call his children together and hold a council with them to prepare them for the coming of the Son of Man.” Not to be confused with God the Father, as the first man spoken of in scripture we consider Adam to be the “father” of the physical human family.
Latter-day Saints believe that before Christ’s official Second Coming, He will meet on the earth with faithful mortal followers as well as many immortal individuals, namely Adam and many others. At this meeting, the priesthood keys given to these individuals to administer the gospel to the earth will be turned back over to Jesus Christ. Why? Because after the Second Coming it will be Christ Himself who reigns on earth during the Millennium, which we talked about in this episode.
Doctrine and Covenants section 116 talks about the location where this council meeting will happen: “Spring Hill is named by the Lord Adam-Ondi-Ahman, because, said he, it is the place where Adam shall come to visit his people, or the Ancient of Days shall sit, as spoken of by Daniel the prophet.” Spring Hill, or Adam-Ondi-Ahman, is located about 80 miles northeast of Kansas City, Missouri. Joseph Smith taught that after Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden, they ultimately ended up in Adam-Ondi-Ahman. There’s a lot more that could be said about this place so if you want to dive deep, check out some of these resources, which are also linked in the YouTube description.
Pre-Second Coming visit #2: As you know, before the Second Coming, things on earth are going to get pretty dang bad. Wars, plagues, natural disasters, cats and dogs living together, complete chaos. Latter-day Saints and other Christians believe that the battle of Armageddon will culminate with the Jews in Jerusalem being surrounded by enemies and on the brink of destruction. But before the Jews are overcome, As Zechariah 14 prophesies, Christ will appear and set foot on the Mount of Olives just outside of the Old City’s eastern wall. The Mount of Olives will split in half, and provide the Jews with a route of escape from their enemies. Doctrine and Covenants 45 says:
“And then shall the Jews look upon me and say: What are these wounds in thine hands and in thy feet? Then shall they know that I am the Lord; for I will say unto them: These wounds are the wounds with which I was wounded in the house of my friends. I am he who was lifted up. I am Jesus that was crucified. I am the Son of God.” Interestingly, the Mount of Olives was where the resurrected Christ ascended into heaven. Two angels in Acts chapter 1 prophesied that just as Christ ascended from the Mount of Olives, He would one day descend there as well.
Now, here comes the ambiguity. There are many who believe that this appearance on the Mount of Olives will be the Second Coming — the main event, and not just an appearance preceding the main event. Even within our own faith, there is sometimes some confusion on this question, so don’t feel bad if you’re in that boat. The most concrete understanding in our faith seems to me to be that Christ’s appearance on the Mount of Olives and the official Second Coming are two separate events. But I’m not going to speak dogmatically on that issue.
In either case, when Christ comes again for the main event, ushering in the beginning of the Millennium, the whole world will be aware of it. D&C 88 teaches that before Christ comes, “there shall appear a great sign in heaven, and all people shall see it together.” After this sign is given, “there shall be silence in heaven for the space of half an hour; and immediately after shall the curtain of heaven be unfolded, as a scroll is unfolded after it is rolled up, and the face of the Lord shall be unveiled”; Revelation 1 teaches, “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him….”
As Christ, dressed in red, descends to a tired world (as we talked about in our episode about the rapture) “…the saints that are upon the earth, who are alive, shall be quickened and be caught up to meet Him. And they who have slept in their graves shall come forth, for their graves shall be opened; and they also shall be caught up to meet him in the midst of the pillar of heaven— They are Christ’s, the first fruits, they who shall descend with him first…”
Now, this has been a very brief overview of these events. There’s obviously a lot more that’s going to be going on in the world leading up to these events. We didn’t talk about angels and trumpets and earthquakes — there are lots of signs and wonders that we didn’t get to — but hopefully, this gives you somewhat of an idea of what Latter-day Saints believe about Christ and His Second Coming. If you want to dive deeper, as always, check out the resources in the YouTube description. Watch some of our other videos while you’re here, and we’ll see you next time. Have a great day.
- “The History and Doctrine of the Adam-Ondi-Ahman Revelation (D&C 116)” by Alexander Baugh (BYU Studies): https://bit.ly/3HoMwrG
- “Adam-Ondi-Ahman” by Robert J. Matthew (BYU Studies): https://bit.ly/3kFBaWm
- “Adam-Ondi-Ahman” from the Encyclopedia of Mormonism: https://bit.ly/3HlnOIJ
- Some info about the “Garden of Eden” location controversy: https://bit.ly/3ov50xS
- “Jesus Christ: Second Coming of Jesus Christ” via Encyclopedia of Mormonism: https://bit.ly/3lUmL8u
- “Prepare Yourself for the Great Day of the Lord” by Ezra Taft Benson (New Era, May 1982): https://bit.ly/3ccnA8g
- “Three Appearances the Savior Will Make Before the Second Coming” by Matthew B. Brown (published by LDSLiving): https://bit.ly/39yApIB
- Doctrine and Covenants 88 (verse 86ish – 116ish): https://bit.ly/32cMPpl
- Some commentary from the Church’s website on D&C 88: https://bit.ly/3nq9I0L
- “The Lord’s Second Coming” in Doctrines of the Gospel student Institute manual: https://bit.ly/3zC1Qfp
- “The Last Days” in Doctrine and Covenants student manual: https://bit.ly/30rBd0J