The Latter Days


M. Russell Ballard
(Adapted from an October 1992 conference address. See Ensign, November 1992, pages 31–32.)
He that endureth in faith and doeth my will, the same shall overcome (D&C 63:20).

We live in difficult times. Today I am often asked if I think the end of the world is near. My answer is the same one that Jesus gave some two thousand years ago: “But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.

“Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.” (Mark 13:32–33.)

When Jesus was asked about the sign of His [second] coming, He said, “Ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

“For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences [plagues], and earthquakes, in divers [various] places.” (Matt. 24:6–7; emphasis added.)

Although the prophecies tell us that these things are to take place, as members of the Church, we must not forget the Savior’s words, “Be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass.”

These are difficult times, times when the forces of nature seem to be unleashing a flood of “famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.”

To all who are afraid and have lost hope, I offer the words of the Lord through the Prophet Joseph Smith: “Fear not, little flock; do good; let earth and hell combine against you, for if ye are built upon my rock, they cannot prevail. …

“Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not.” (D&C 6:34, 36.)

My message to you, my young friends, is simply this: The Lord is in control. He knows the end from the beginning. He has given us adequate instruction that, if followed, will see us safely through any crisis. His purposes will be fulfilled, and someday we will understand the eternal reasons for all of these events.

As the end of the Savior’s mortal ministry drew near, He offered this reassuring hope to His beloved disciples: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27).

[illustration] Painting by Robert T. Barrett