Joseph Smith—Matthew 1; Matthew 24 to 25; Mark 12 to 13; Luke 21

May 22, 2023 to May 28, 2023

Jesus has repeatedly taught who he is and how we should follow him. In this week’s readings, he teaches that perilous times will come but if we follow him, we will not fear but will find peace in him.

“Signs of the Coming Son of Man (Luke 21: 25–28).” by S. Kent Brown, from The Testimony of Luke
In these verses, the Savior turns to the signs that will precede his Second Coming and the end-time, illuminating a gap between the fall of Jerusalem and these future events. By borrowing language from the Old Testament that is difficult to grasp in places, Jesus predicts troubling portents in the heavens, on the earth, and among men and women.

“Jesus Questioned about Resurrection (Mark 12: 18–27)” by Julie M. Smith, The Gospel According to Mark
“The point of the Sadducees’ (highly unlikely) senario is to suggest that resurrection cannot be possible because if it were, a woman might end up with seven husbands in the next life… The obvious way out of the Sadducee’s trap is for Jesus to say that there are no marriages in heaven; the fact the the Sadducees do not consider this a possibility (and thus think that their question proves that there can be no resurrection) suggests that the Saducees assumed that Jesus would believe in marriage after death so strongly that he would be more likely to concede the Resurrection than postmortal marriage. In other words, this trap question is a testament ot the strength of Jesus’ (and the Sadducees’) belief in marriage after death.”

“Jesus Christ: Second Coming of Jesus Christ,” Gerald N. Lund, Encyclopedia of Mormonism
The scriptures teach that the era preceding the second coming of the Savior will be “perilous” and filled with “tribulation.” Both the wicked and the righteous will experience these times of tribulation. While there is no way to predict the exact date of Christ’s return, Christ has described signs to look for. When he does come there will be an age of peace, harmony, and joy.

“The Great and Dreadful Day of the Lord: The Anatomy of an Expression,” Dana M. Pike, BYU Studies Quarterly, Vol. 41, no. 2
The phrase “the great and dreadful day of the Lord” should not be interpreted as some say, to mean “great” for the righteous and “dreadful” for the wicked. The term “great” means large and powerful—something that no one should miss. The last days will be a difficult time for both the righteous and the wicked.

“Prepare Yourself for the Great Day of the Lord,” Ezra Taft Benson, New EraMay 1982
Jesus foretold many signs that would precede his second coming. We have seen many of these events transpire that have been prophesied of. “Still, men’s hearts will be hardened to the revelations from heaven. Even greater signs shall then be given to manifest the approaching great day of the Lord.” To withstand the challenges and circumstances that will come from these signs we must be valiant and faithful in our testimonies of Christ and not be deceived by false rumors.