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JON - Will there be some sort of prophet or messenger sent by god to prepare the way for Christ 2nd coming?
John the Baptist came to prepare the way for the atoning ministry of Jesus; The only prophet I know of that was sent to prepare the way for the second coming was Joseph Smith whose calling was to prepare the way for the the coming of the Lord in power and glory with all the hosts of heaven when righteousness and peace shall be established. This is how I have l have always understood this.
Now there has been some confusion about someone called "one mighty and strong" spoken of in D&C 85: 6-8. Some have speculated that this is a latter-day prophet that will usher in the second coming.
7. And it shall come to pass that I, the Lord God, will send one mighty and strong, holding the scepter of power in his hand, clothed with light for a covering, whose mouth shall utter words, eternal words; while his bowels shall be a fountain of truth, to set in order the house of God, and to arrange by lot the inheritances of the saints whose names are found, and the names of their fathers, and of their children, enrolled in the book of the law of God;
8. While that man, who was called of God and appointed, that putteth forth his hand to steady the ark of God, shall fall by the shaft of death, like as a tree that is smitten by the vivid shaft of lightning.
President Joseph Fielding Smith has said that verses 7, and 8 of this section "have caused no end of needless speculation due to a misunderstanding of what is written. There have arisen from time to time men of doubtful intelligence who have laid claim to being the 'one mighty and strong.' Some of these, notwithstanding their limitations of intellect and power of understanding, have succeeded in gathering around them a few followers of like spirit and lack of understanding." (CHMR 1:350.)
In their explanation of these verses, the First Presidency set forth these ideas:
1. Conditions of jealousy, pride, unbelief, and hardness of heart prevailed among the brethren in Missouri. (D&C 84:54-58, 76D&C 84:54-58, 76.)
Bishop Edward Partridge was a party to this condition, resulting in the foregoing revelation being received.
2. Bishop Partridge and most of the saints in Missouri partially repented, although in March 1833, the Lord declared that he was not well pleased with the bishop. Eight years later the bishop died due to persecution in Missouri, forgiven of the Lord. "Who shall say that his repentance, his sacrifices, his sufferings and faithfulness did not procure for him a mitigation of the severe judgment decreed against him in the revelation contained in the eighty-fifth section of the Doctrine and Covenants? At any rate, the Lord said, some three years later, that he was well pleased with Bishop Partridge." (Improvement Era 10:938-939; see also DHC 2:302-303.)
3. Bishop Partridge was the man referred to in the revelation who should fall by the shaft of death, if he did not repent. (D&C 85:8.)
4. If Bishop Partridge had not repented, the Lord would have appointed "one mighty and strong" to take his place; therefore, the First Presidency considered "the whole incident of the prophecy closed." (Improvement Era 10:940.)
JON - This scripture in Ether Chap. 4 Verse 16:
16 And then shall my revelations which I have caused to be written by my servant John be unfolded in the eyes of all the people. Remember, when ye see
these things, ye shall know that the time is at hand that they shall be made manifest in very deed.
So is there more scriptures that were held back from us that was written by John (is it John the beloved) and it sounds like these scriptures will come before the 2nd coming of Christ. Can we expect it to come from a prophet like Abinadi ?
I think that scripture can mean two things. The word "unfolded" could be referring to the scriptures we already have from John the Revelator which will be better understood as the signs of the second coming begin to be made manifest.
It also means that there are more scriptures written by John that are yet to be received as suggested by the following scriptures:
6 And John saw and bore record of the fulness of my glory, and the fulness of Johnís record is hereafter to be revealed.
7 And he bore record, saying: I saw his glory, that he was in the beginning, before the world was;
18 And it shall come to pass, that if you are faithful you shall receive the fulness of the record of John. (D&C 93)
Then as you refered to in Ether Moroni Said:
And then shall my revelations which I have caused to be written by my servant John be unfolded in the eyes of all the people. Remember, when ye see these things, ye shall know that the time is at hand that they shall be made manifest in very deed.
Therefore, when ye shall receive this record ye may know that the work of the Father has commenced upon all the face of the land.(Ether 4: 16-17, See also 1 Nephi 14)
I have not seen any description as to how these scriptures will be revealed, although I would assume it will follow God's normal mode of proclaiming revelation through which ever prophet is leading the church at the time it is revealed.
JON - It seems as I read that there will be a shifting of the wheat from the tares in the church.
In the parable of the wheat and tares (Matthew 13: 36-43 and D&C 86) the tares are sown among the righteous during the Lord's absence. The Lord, as the sower of good seed, permits the tares to grow with the wheat so that agency may exist, creating an arena of opposites where the righteous may be tested and earn their exaltation.
President Ezra Taft Benson expanded on the nature of the tests we will face and confirmed that the process has already begun: "There is a real sifting going on in the Church, and it is going to become more pronounced with the passing of time. It will sift the wheat from the tares, because we face some difficult days, the like of which we have never experienced in our lives. And those days are going to require faith and testimony and family unity, the like of which we have never had." (Ezra Taft Benson, Grantsville Utah Stake Conference, 1 Sept. 1974; in Ezra Taft Benson, The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1988), 107.)
Within the Church today there are tares among the wheat, many of which look like the wheat on the outside, and may not even realize that they are tares on the inside. They take it upon themselves to "warn" other church members that our church leaders are making mistakes in how they lead and in the doctrines and policies they bring forth. Their pride causes them to do and say things contrary to the will of God. Tares are not benign weeds. They are harmful. They take of the sustenance intended for the wheat, thereby weakening the good plants. The separation has been going on for a while now and will continue till the last day. Because these tares will not hearken to the teachings of latter-day prophets they either decide to leave the church, hoping to take others with them, or they will stay in the church, and with what they feel are good intentions, try to make changes according to their own will rather than God's will. The effects of their activity is evident in the slowing of the growth rate of the church and the increased numbers of members who have decided to leave it. At the end they will be bundled together and will be burned at the Lord's second coming.