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RS/MP Lesson 45: “The Millennium” (Gospel Principles Manual)

Posted by joespencer on November 6, 2011

This lesson has changed drastically between the present and the preceding editions of the Gospel Principles manual. And I’m inclined to think that those changes, taken together, are absolutely crucial. I won’t catalog them all here (the old one can be found here, if anyone wants to do some comparison work on his or her own), but I want to give some kind of sense of these changes and especially of why I think they’re important. To state my conclusion straightforwardly from the beginning: this lesson, more than any other in the manual I’ve yet encountered (and we haven’t many to go at this point), has been, let us say, de-speculation-ized substantially. Let me defend this claim and explain why I think it’s important. After that (I’ll be brief), let me get on to the actual topic of the Millennium to see if I can’t say something helpful about the actual content of the lesson.

Clearing the Ground

First things first, it is worth noting that a note “for teachers” is now to be found at the bottom of the first page of this lesson. It reads, crucially: “The subject of the Millennium sometimes leads people to speculate about ideas that are not found in the scriptures or the teachings of latter-day prophets. As you guide this lesson, be careful to avoid such speculation.” That, it seems to me, is the spirit that guides most of the editing that has been done on this lesson. It seems clear to me that the committee in charge of preparing this manual saw substantial elements of the previous version of this lesson as guilty of the same speculative spirit. A good bit of such speculation has been purged. Much, in my opinion, remains to be purged.

A few concrete examples of the purging I’m talking about: (1) The first major deletion is this line, which was simply removed: “It [the Millennium] will be the final thousand years of the earth’s temporal existence.” (2) A little further along, this statement was removed: “Jesus and the resurrected saints will probably not live on the earth all the time but will visit whenever they please or when necessary to help in the governing of the earth.” (3) Later still, this too-widely accepted idea has been nixed: “There will not be different continents as we have now but the land will be gathered in one place as it was in the beginning.” (4) An entire paragraph was removed (and replaced) under the heading of “Righteous Government,” which included the following speculative interpretation of scripture: “At this time there will be two capitals in the world, one in Jerusalem, the other in America.” (5) What is now the section on “No Death” was before “No Disease or Death,” and the following statement has accordingly been entirely removed: “Even though mortals will live on the earth during the Millennium, they will not have diseases as we do now.” (6) An entire subsection on “Changes in the Animal Kingdom” has been removed, including the following common but wildly speculative interpretation of Isaiah: “Animals that now eat flesh will eat grass and grain.”

This list can go on. I’ve selected what seem to me to be the most obviously speculative material that has been removed. This, I hope, is enough to illustrate the point, though: the preparation of this new version of the lesson on the Millennium has been largely guided by the desire to make it more responsible and less speculative. But what’s most crucial about this is perhaps too easy to miss. Up until two years ago, when this new edition of Gospel Principles was issued, the old version of this manual taught all those wildly speculative things about the Millennium, things that the official representatives of the Church now recognize to be at least problematic or less than sure. What’s the upshot? Well, at least the following question becomes relevant, if not pressing: What will be removed next time? I don’t mean to suggest that it’s our job to figure out what else in this lesson is speculative rather than solidly grounded. I mean to suggest that all the changes to this lesson should give us to understand that some gospel topics are a good deal more guesswork than communication of simple knowledge. So what I’ll do in the following notes on this lesson is this: rather than work through the material as presented in the manual, worrying at every point whether it’s speculative-and-so-still-to-be-purged, I will offer just a few reflections on that to which the scriptures actually commit the believer concerning the Millennium. This will be, as I’ve done before with a couple other lessons (especially the one on the spirit world), a minimalist approach. We’ll see what comes of it.

The Millennium in the Scriptures

Let me begin with the following question: What volumes of scripture actually bind us to believing at all in “the Millennium”? The Old Testament? Nope. The New Testament? Only the Book of Revelation there. The Book of Mormon? Significantly, no. The Doctrine and Covenants? Unquestionably, yes. The Pearl of Great Price? Only the Book of Moses there. What do we have, then? I want to suggest that we have a kind of trajectory here. The oldest scriptural source on the Millennium is the Book of Moses, where the Millennium is introduced in the record of Enoch. Next comes, many years later, the Book of Revelation, which gives us some further reflection on the Millennium, and it seems clear to me that Revelation and Moses are connected. Finally, in the wake of all that, we have a scattering of revelations in the Doctrine and Covenants. The rest of scripture seems not only uninterested in the Millennium, but—frankly—unaware of it.

With all that said, then, what can we say about these basic sources: (1) the vision of Enoch; (2) the Book of Revelation; (3) the relevant revelations in the Doctrine and Covenants?

Enoch

I think it’s quite significant that the only not uniquely Mormon scriptural source on the Millennium is the less-than-interpretively-secure Book of Revelation. But I recommend taking a look at scholarly commentaries on Revelation, specifically as regards its presentation of a thousand-year period to follow the final conflagration. The commentators universally point out that the idea of such a period was in circulation before it appeared in Revelation, but it was confined to the apocalyptic literature of Second Temple Judaism. That is, it is to be found in the more apocalyptic texts among what we now call the apocrypha and pseudepigrapha. In those sources, that period is not always one of a thousand years, interestingly, but often of another number (four hundred, for example). What I think is particularly interesting, though, is that the commentaries systematically point out that the idea of a millennium in one form or another seems to have originated in, of all things, the Enoch literature (there are, as you may be aware, at least three distinct books of Enoch that have been unearthed that date back to Second Temple Judaism). Why is that interesting? Because the earliest source we have in Mormon scripture on the idea of a millennium is, precisely, the Book of Moses account of Enoch’s vision. In or out of uniquely Mormon scripture, the idea of a millennium seems to go back to Enoch.

Here’s the passage from Moses 7 where the Millennium is introduced (and it’s definitely worth mentioning that there are no significant textual variants in the JST manuscripts here; that’s quite unique and a bit shocking…):

And the Lord said unto Enoch: As I live, even so will I come in the last days, in the days of wickedness and vengeance, to fulfil the oath which I have made unto you concerning the children of Noah; and the day shall come that the earth shall rest, but before that day [there will be destruction coupled with a preservation of the Lord’s people or the elect, who will then be gathered into what] shall be called Zion, a New Jerusalem. And the Lord said unto Enoch: Then shalt thou and all thy city meet them there, and we will receive them into our bosom, and they shall see us; and we will fall upon their necks, and they shall fall upon our necks, and we will kiss each other; and there shall be mine abode, and it shall be Zion, which shall come forth out of all the creations which I have made; and for the space of a thousand years the earth shall rest. And it came to pass that Enoch saw the day of the coming of the Son of Man, in the last days, to dwell on the earth in righteousness for the space of a thousand years. — Moses 7:60-65

What can we—minimally—gather concerning the Millennium from this passage (and let me note that this is all it says about it!)?

First, it should be said that the Millennium is here associated directly with the meeting up of the two Zions, the one from heaven (Enoch’s Zion) and the one on earth (the New Jerusalem). That is, the thousand years seem here to begin when the two Zions meet up and Christ takes up His abode in the jointure between the two.

Second, it should be said that the thousand years is a period for the earth to rest, something that is closely tied to other parts of Enoch’s vision. Remember that Enoch has heard “a voice from the bowels” of the earth expressing its pain at the wickedness of its inhabitants, something that led Enoch to weep and cry out: “O Lord, wilt thou not have compassion upon the earth? Wilt thou not bless the children of Noah?” (verses 48-49). And remember, further, that after the Lord established a covenant with Enoch concerning Noah’s children concerning the remnant of Noah’s seed, Enoch pressed the Lord still with that first agonized question: “When the Son of Man cometh in the flesh, shall the earth rest?” (verse 54). Because he was then shown the earth suffering further during Christ’s mortal advent (“the earth groaned,” according to verse 56), he cried a third time: “When shall the earth rest?” (verse 58). It is only in response to this, finally, that the assurance concerning the meeting up of the Zions and the establishment of a thousand years of rest for the earth are described. In all this, it must not be missed that the Millennium is, in Enoch’s vision, a period of rest for the suffering earth—that first and, apparently, foremost.

Third, it should be said that the thousand years is a period of Christic presence. Though the Lord Himself emphasizes the earth resting (and from that one can conclude, given the rest of the vision, that the thousand years are characterized by a general righteousness, or at least a general not-wickedness), the report of Enoch’s vision of the thousand years describes it as the time during which “the Son of Man . . . dwell[s] on the earth.” There is no specific talk of government (of Christ reigning, for example) or any such thing; only of dwelling (of taking up an “abode”).

That, it seems to me, is about the most we can say in a minimalist reading. I do think more can be said than just this, of course, but I think this skeletal approach is perhaps all that should be said to get started.

Revelation

The Book of Revelation mentions the idea of a millennium in only a single passage. Here it is in its entirety:

And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, and cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, and shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.

What can be said about this passage and its doctrine of the Millennium?

The emphasis here, interestingly, is less on the presence of Christ than on the non-presence of Satan. The drama of the Millennium here begins with the appearance of “an angel” with “the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand” who then “la[ys] hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and b[i]nd[s] him a thousand years.” (It is interesting to note that in Enoch’s vision it is Satan, not any binding angel, who is described as having “a great chain in his hand,” with which he veils the whole face of the earth. See Moses 7:26.) One might say, then, that whereas the Book of Moses account of the Millennium is deeply positive and optimistic (it is the period of the coming of the Son of Man, and that in connection with a meeting up of the heavenly and earthly Zions), the Book of Revelation account of the Millennium is deeply negative and pessimistic (it is the period of the temporary binding of the dragon who otherwise causes widespread destruction and misery). This sharp distinction between the optimistic Enoch and the pessimistic John repeats itself. Whereas the righteous in the Book of Moses are those who “gird up their loins” and “look forth for the time of [the] coming” of the Son of Man (Moses 7:62), the righteous in the Book of Revelation are those who “were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his name upon their foreheads, or in their hands.” In Enoch’s vision, the righteous are those who train their vision on the glorious coming of the Son of Man; in John’s vision, the righteous are those who are martyred for not worshiping the beast.

A less stark difference, but an important one nonetheless, is the fact that the Book of Revelation focuses on those who “reign” during the Millennium, whereas the Book of Moses was interested instead simply on He who dwells during the Millennium. That is, while Enoch’s vision provides a picture of Christ dwelling among the people but nothing is said about government or the like, John’s vision provides a picture of the true martyrs reigning with Christ, apparently over the rest of the world. Here in Revelation there is a picture of government. And this difference is related to yet another one. Those who, it seems, dwell with Christ in the Enochic Millennium seem to be those who, on the one hand (in the earthly Zion), happen to be alive and faithful at the coming of the Son of Man and those who, on the other hand (in the heavenly Zion), were translated with Enoch and so never tasted of death. In the Johannine Millennium, however, those who reign (not dwell) with Christ during the thousand years are those—all faithful martyrs—who make up “the first resurrection,” while “the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished.” Thus in Moses it is the still-living righteous and the translated who make up the community surrounding Christ, but in Revelation it is the uniquely-resurrected martyrs who make up that community.

Of course, all these differences do not necessarily mean that Enoch and John have irreconcilable doctrines of the Millennium. One could certain work on reconciling the two accounts, assuming simply that each emphasizes different aspects of what will take place (perhaps even suggesting that Enoch has given us an account of who will be governed during the Millennium, while John has given us an account of who will govern during the same). Leaving that possibility wide open, I’ll say that I’m not here particularly interested in the details of any such reconciliation, especially since I’m just trying to outline a minimalist doctrine of the Millennium. What interests me is that while the Book of Moses commits the believing Latter-day Saint to a conception of a millennium characterized by the earth’s rest and the presence of the Christ at the intersection of the earthly and heavenly, the Book of Revelation commits the believing Latter-day Saint to a conception of a millennium characterized by respite from the untrammeled reign of Satan and the exaltation of the persecuted. Put another way (and in the language of the religious studies scholar), the Book of Moses seems to commit the believing Latter-day Saint to a kind of postmillennialism (far too roughly: the idea that the millennium is something the Saints are to bring about, here by building the earthly Zion), while the Book of Revelation seems to commit the believing Latter-day Saint to a kind of premillennialism (far too roughly: the idea that the millennium is something Christ inaugurates through His interrupting arrival in the midst of so much catastrophe, here by disturbing the reign of Satan).

Latter-day Saints, it seems to me, even as yet independent of the Doctrine and Covenants and what it has to say, are called upon to live in the tension between the desperate desire that Christ will interrupt the reign of wickedness here below and the faithful, hopeful, and charitable work of building Zion regardless of whether He comes any time soon. Taking these two accounts quite seriously, one can neither give up the work of building Zion in desperation nor assume that the work is entirely our own to accomplish. That tension, I can only assume, is essential.

But it is time to see what revelations from our own dispensation have to add to all this.

D&C

Only a handful of revelations in the Doctrine and Covenants have anything to say about a millennium, and only two of them are substantial (let me mention here in parentheses the three references to the Millennium with which I won’t even deal, since they are too brief and uninformative to deserve comment here: D&C 43:28-31; D&C 88:110; D&C 130:16). I will take the two substantial revelations in the order they were given.

The first revelation concerning the Millennium came in connection with the first general conference of the Church, a few months after the Church was organized. Without speculating too much, there is good reason to suggest that the Saints (who were very few in number at that point) had had their attention directed to the question of the Millennium by the “revelations” that Hiram Page had been receiving through his stone. (Note that the vision of Enoch had not yet been produced in the early work on the JST. It would come a couple of months after this revelation.) It seems clear, at any rate, that Page’s “revelations” had made some claims about the location for the building of a New Jerusalem, and it isn’t too wild a guess to suggest that something there was said about the proximity of the Millennium as well. At any rate, section 29 introduces the Millennium to modern revelation. Here is the passage (and here again there are no significant textual variants):

For the hour is nigh, and that which was spoken by mine apostles must be fulfilled; for as they spoke so shall it come to pass; for I will reveal myself from heaven with power and great glory, with all the hosts thereof, and dwell in righteousness with men on earth a thousand years, and the wicked shall not stand. And again, verily, verily, I say unto you, and it hath gone forth in a firm decree, by the will of the Father, that mine apostles, the Twelve which were with me in my ministry at Jerusalem, shall stand at my right hand at the day of my coming in a pillar of fire, being clothed with robes of righteousness, with crowns upon their heads, in glory even as I am, to judge the whole house of Israel, even as many as have loved me and kept my commandments, and none else. For a trump shall sound both long and loud, even as upon Mount Sinai, and all the earth shall quake, and they shall come forth—yea, even the dead which died in me, to receive a crown of righteousness, and to be clothed upon, even as I am, to be with me, that we may be one. . . . And again, verily, verily, I say unto you that when the thousand years are ended, and men again begin to deny their God, then will I spare the earth but for a little season; and the end shall come, and the heaven and the earth shall be consumed and pass away, and there shall be a new heaven and a new earth. — D&C 29:8-13, 22-23

What should be said about this modern take on the Millennium?

Here, as in the Book of Moses, what launches the Millennium is the arrival of Christ “from heaven” to “dwell in righteousness” on the earth for a thousand years, though here there is an emphasis on the “power and great glory” with which He comes. Also somewhat unique to this passage is the arrival of Christ “with all the hosts” of heaven—with, that is, a multitude of angels. Here also the power and glory, coupled with the presence of the hosts of heaven, seem to have a direct effect on “the wicked”: “the wicked shall not stand” (the immediately preceding verses draw on the language of Malachi 4, suggesting that the very appearance of Christ and His retinue will be what “burn up” the wicked). This gives the passage slightly to echo the Book of Revelation (there is some kind of focus on the destruction of the wicked), but with a difference: the Book of Revelation seems to suggest that the destruction of the wicked (and righteous?) goes on until the coming of Christ, which brings it to an end; here it appears almost as if the very appearance of Christ brings about the destruction. From the very start, then, this passage positions itself elsewhere than either of the two ancient texts: bearing some connections with each but adding entirely new elements, this revelation forges yet another understanding of the Millennium.

Also unique to this passage is the heavy emphasis on the apostles. All of what it has to say it claims was said before by “mine apostles,” so that all that is here said to be set to happen will be to the fulfillment of what the apostles said. Still more, the apostles themselves are a part of the drama: the moment of the arrival of Christ and the legions of angels is here described as the moment when the apostles will, exalted, level judgment on the house of Israel—Israel here defined, it seems, as those who have loved the Lord. Accordingly, the coming of Christ is here associated with a massive resurrection, something not unlike what in the Book of Revelation is described as the first resurrection, the resurrection of the faithful. But whereas those resurrected in the Book of Revelation seem to be specifically the Christian martyrs, here they are all the faithful making up Israel. So while yet again there seem to be some echoes here of other passages dealing with the Millennium, there are unmistakably new elements as well.

A summary word concerning the introduction of the Millennium to the Saints, then: Carving out a distinctly third take on the Millennium, D&C 29 presents it as a time when all the faithful will be resurrected to dwell with Christ, who has come with the heavenly hosts in order to bring an end to wickedness on the earth, and who has thus established the possibility of a judgment of Israel undertaken by the original Twelve.

The other substantial revelation dealing with the Millennium came a year and half later (early in 1832). It came, curiously, in the form of a question-and-answer session regarding the Book of Revelation. Here’s the text:

Q. What are we to understand by the sounding of the trumpets, mentioned in the 8th chapter of Revelation? A. We are to understand that as God made the world in six days, and on the seventh day he finished his work, and sanctified it, and also formed man out of the dust of the earth, even so, in the beginning of the seventh thousand years will the Lord God sanctify the earth, and complete the salvation of man, and judge all things, and shall redeem all things, except that which he hath not put into his power, when he shall have sealed all things, unto the end of all things; and the sounding of the trumpets of the seven angels are the preparing and finishing of his work, in the beginning of the seventh thousand years—the preparing of the way before the time of his coming. — D&C 77:12

Here, as with every other passage on the Millennium, the emphasis is on the moment of its beginning, of how it gets launched and with what aim. But here again we have an entirely distinct picture. The vision of things provided here is quite general, indeed so general that there is no mention of Christ’s coming (something that, though differently characterized, features prominently in each of the other passages). The emphasis here is first on the parallel between the Millennium and the seventh day of creation, and then on exactly what that implies about the overarching purposes and aims of the Millennium. And what are they? “To sanctify the earth, and complete the salvation of man, and judge all things, and . . . redeem all things.” Note that the sanctification of the earth might be said to echo the Book of Moses, and the judgment of all things might be said to echo D&C 29, but the rest of this is new. What is meant by the completion of man’s salvation? And what is meant by the redemption of all things? Perhaps still more perplexing, what does it mean when the passage goes on to say that “all things” is limited to what God has put into Christ’s power? And what has that putting into Christ’s power to do with the sealing of all things?

Clearly this passage is doing its own thing, and so rather than finding here a kind of synthesis of the other approaches to the Millennium, we find ourselves with a distinctly fourth understanding. Arguably, in the end, there is more emphasis here on what precedes the Millennium than on the Millennium and its inauguration themselves. Whatever is meant by the sealing of all things, it is clear that it is associated with the angels who undertake “the preparing and finishing of his work,” the last stages that Joseph clearly would have associated with the last dispensation and his own work. Here, then, the Millennium seems to be something like the capstone laid on the latter-day work, a finishing off of what is undertaken in the last days. Put another way, this passage almost serves to turn the Saints from any obsession with what is to come (an obsession D&C 29 might easily have spawned), focusing them on the work they have to do in preparation for what is to come: the Saints are to get to work on the preparations, the work of sealing up everything until the end.

It is worth saying that the D&C, between these two passages discussed, reproduces the tension between Enoch and John. D&C 29 presents a kind of premillennialist vision of things: the Christ is to come rather suddenly to destroy the wicked and to introduce a massive resurrection and judgment. D&C 77, on the other hand, presents a kind of postmillennialist vision: the coming of Christ isn’t even mentioned, and the emphasis is clearly on the work that has to be finished, the Millennium’s dawn marking the finishing off of what had already been going on. Here again, it seems, the Saints are summoned to occupy the space between the traditional pre- and postmillennialist understandings of things.

But let me step back from all this work on texts to say a few things by way of general reflection.

A Few Concluding Thoughts

As I’ve tried to suggest in working through the details here, the scriptures present a rather uneven picture of the Millennium. Only a few times total does it even surface as a topic in scripture, and each time it does it is presented with a drastically distinct emphasis and focus. Not even an emphasis on the coming of Christ can be said to be constant among the relevant passages. Each looks at the event in a different way. One thing, though, is constant: the emphasis is always on the moment of the Millennium’s beginning. There is nowhere in scripture any focus on what takes place during the Millennium, only on its inauguration. What is unique about each passage dealing with the theme, then, is the distinct way it understands the significance of such a radical break in time. Each passage attempts to make sense of the Millennium’s dawn, apparently because that dawn itself is a kind of rupture of time as we currently experience it. And that gives me something to reflect on a bit more theologically.

Part of what drives my interest here in a minimalist doctrine of the Millennium is my concern that any discussion of the Millennium leads to wild speculation about what it will be like to live with Christ on the earth, what it will be like to live without the wicked around, what it will be like to live with resurrected folks, etc. The scriptures, though, are entirely uninterested in such things. The focus instead is on the way that the Millennium as such affects time, and often enough on what that rupture implies about the way we should experience time right now. Enoch experiences time as a time to identify with the suffering earth, anticipating redemption; John experiences time as a time to endure intense suffering, persecution, and catastrophe, anticipating an exalted respite; the early Saints experience time as a time of waiting for the fulfillment of promises made anciently, anticipating the redemption of the faithful; Joseph experiences time as a time of undertaking the preparatory work that the Millennium serves to complete, anticipating the arrival of those who can complete it. Perhaps what we have above all in the scriptures to learn concerning the Millennium is that we can experience time as we now live it in several distinct ways, and perhaps we have something to learn from those experiences of time that are not our usual ones. Can we learn to live time in these other ways? Can we learn to live in the shadow of the coming eschaton in a way other than our wonted way? Are we at all oriented to that time, or do we spend our time on our own pursuits?

A minimalist doctrine of the Millennium. I fear only that even all this is too speculative, that I have failed to see what should be read spiritually instead of naively historically or objectively in these texts. But I can come back to these texts again and again, never taking anything I’ve said before as binding. Only the texts themselves are binding, in the end. I’ll continue in the work of sorting out what they say and especially what they imply for living.

4 Responses to “RS/MP Lesson 45: “The Millennium” (Gospel Principles Manual)”

  1. Melanie Pousard said

    I will study the millennium with new enthusiasm after reading your superbly outlined insights. Thank you for so generously sharing your study notes.

  2. robf said

    Very interesting, makes me realize how much of our thoughts about this actually come from Isaiah. Do you see that as a problematic conflation, or how do you deal with that?

  3. joespencer said

    I do see our readings of Isaiah on this point as problematic, though I avoided bringing that up in the post. :)

    To put it in a nutshell, I think most everything we say about Isaiah is problematic, most of it taken over from nineteenth-century Protestantism. That the Book of Mormon never discusses the Millennium, and mentions the Second Coming only two or three times and never in connection with Isaiah should force us to recognize that we’re not reading Isaiah in a uniquely Mormon way. Nephi gives us so much to work from on Isaiah, but we ignore everything he’s telling us….

  4. kirkcaudle said

    I had the same question about Isa. as Rob. Joe, I’d love to see you take up the problematic nature of Isaiah and the Millennium in another post sometime.

    How does AOF 10 fit into this whole discussion? This was written in 1842, ten years after D&C 77. In fact, I believe that it is the last canonical teaching on the Millennium. It reads in part that, “Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built up on the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisaical glory.” I see shades of many of the passages discussed in this post: Zion (Moses 7), Christ’s singular reign (Moses 7? “dwell”), renewed/glory of the earth (D&C 77). However, is the word paradise/paradisaical used anywhere else to describe the Millennial condition? I hear this in talks quite a bit, but I don’t recall it anywhere else in the standard works off hand.

    As for D&C 77:12 and the “seal[ing] all things,” could this perhaps be related to temple ordinances and the sealing of families? After all, the coming of Christ shows shades of Malachi and much of the D&C is dedicated to temples.

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