Question: Where will the Lord come when he comes again?
, Associate Professor of Humanities, Brigham Young University
We do not have the complete details of the Savior’s second coming. However, he has outlined some of the major events, leading to the establishment of his millennial reign. From this outline it becomes evident that his second coming will be prefaced by other appearances by the master.
Some of these preliminary appearances have already occurred. The first of these was to the Prophet Joseph Smith in the Sacred Grove. Another appearance of the Savior occurred on April 3, 1836, following the dedication of the temple in Kirtland, Ohio (see D&C 110:1–10).
The next stated appearance of the Master seems to be one that will occur at a gathering of priesthood leaders at Adam-ondi-Ahman in Missouri. This conference, involving all ages of the earth, is described by the Prophet Joseph Smith in this way:
“Daniel in his seventh chapter [Dan. 7] speaks of the Ancient of Days; he means the oldest man, our Father Adam, Michael, he will call his children together and hold a council with them to prepare them for the coming of the Son of Man. He (Adam) is the father of the human family, and presides over the spirits of all men, and all that have had the keys must stand before him in this grand council. … The Son of Man stands before him, and there is given him glory and dominion. Adam delivers up his stewardship to Christ, that which was delivered to him as holding the keys of the universe, but retains his standing as head of the human family” (History of the Church, 3:386–87).
By this act Christ becomes once again the lawful ruler of this world. He becomes the actual ruler by exerting power. This power is first demonstrated, apparently, at a battle in Jerusalem when he comes as the long-anticipated Messiah of the Jewish nation. This event is recorded by the prophet Zechariah in these words:
“For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.
“Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.
“And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley” (Zech. 14:2–4).
After the Jews have fled into this valley and the wrath of the Lord has been poured out upon the wicked, the Jewish leaders will become aware of the marks of the crucifixion in the body of the Lord and acknowledge him as the historic Christ (see Zech. 13:6; see also D&C 45:51–53).
All of this is in preparation, however, for that moment usually known as the Second Coming, an appearance that will be majestic and worldwide in its scope. However, I am not aware of any reference to the specific location of this return so far as a city or other geographical point is concerned. Those who record this event have been more enthralled with the majesty of the event—the ushering in of the millennial reign, the binding of Satan, the destruction of the wicked, the resurrection of the just, the return of the city of Enoch. All of these events seem to take preference to the location in the minds of the recorders. One might, with good reason, assume that his visit at this point would involve either Jerusalem of old or the New Jerusalem of the new world, or both, since both will be capitals for the millennial reign. The movements of the Savior are also not well documented during this millennial era. All we seem to know about this is a short statement by the Prophet Joseph Smith:
“Christ and the resurrected Saints will reign over the earth during the thousand years. They will not probably dwell upon the earth, but will visit it when they please, or when it is necessary to govern it” (History of the Church, 5:212).