Doctrine and Covenants 45: The Second Coming of Jesus Christ

Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Student Study Guide, (2005), 54–56

How do you feel when you think about the Second Coming of Jesus Christ? President Joseph Fielding Smith said: “We are looking forward to that time. We are hoping for it; we are praying for it. The righteous will rejoice when he comes, because then peace will come to the earth [and] righteousness to the people” (Doctrines of Salvation, 3:14). Doctrine and Covenants 45reveals much about the Second Coming. The Prophet Joseph Smith said that this revelation brought joy to the Saints at a time when many false things were being said and written about the Church and when the members were being persecuted (D&C 45section heading). As you read this revelation, consider how its messages might bring joy at a time of persecution. How might it bring joy to you during a time of trial or when others are spreading rumors about you or your religion?
2nd Coming

Understanding the Scriptures

Doctrine and Covenants 45

Circulated(section heading)Spread around 
Embracing(section heading)Accepting 
All the hosts thereof(v. 1)Everyone in it 
Advocate(v. 3)Defender, one who pleads your case 
Standard(v. 9)Flag or banner 
Redemption(vv. 17, 46)Deliverance 
Restoration(v. 17)Bringing back together, gathering 
Desolation, desolating(vv. 19, 21, 31, 33)Destruction, destructive 
Remnant(vv. 24, 43)Small part or piece 
Iniquity shall abound(v. 27)There will be much sin 
Precepts(v. 29)Commands, rules 
Generation(vv. 30–31)Time period 
Pass(v. 31)Die 
Scourge(v. 31)Great destruction or affliction 
Divers(v. 33)Various 
Shoot forth(v. 37)Grow leaves 
This place(v. 43)Jerusalem (where Jesus was when He first gave this sermon) 
This mount(v. 48)Mount of Olives overlooking Jerusalem 
Cleave in twain(v. 48)Split in two 
Folly(v. 49)Foolishness 
Calamity(v. 50)Disaster 
Scorner(v. 50)Someone who treats sacred things with contempt 
Lament(v. 53)Mourn, feel deep sorrow 
Heathen nations(v. 54)Those who did not hear the gospel or of Christ 
Refuge(v. 66)Shelter, safety 
Terrible(v. 70)Formidable, unconquerable 

Doctrine and Covenants 45:22–23—“The End of the World”

According toJoseph Smith—Matthew 1:4, “the end of the world” refers to the destruction of the wicked.

Doctrine and Covenants 45:23–26—What Periods of History Are Discussed in This Prophecy?

What Jesus Christ taught inDoctrine and Covenants 45:16–59is more clearly understood when we are aware of the two questions Jesus’s ancient disciples asked. First, they wanted to know about the time when the temple in Jerusalem would be destroyed. Second, they wanted to know about Jesus’s Second Coming, when the wicked would be destroyed and Christ would reign as the King of Kings (Matthew 24:3;Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:4). His disciples thought that those two events would occur during the same time period, but Jesus taught them that they would happen at different times. InDoctrine and Covenants 45:18–21, the Savior generally taught about the destruction of the temple. In verses 22–24 He explained the relationship between the two questions. Verses 25 to 53 deal with the prophecies about the last days and the Second Coming, and verses 54–59 are about the Millennium, or the thousand-year period of time in which Christ will rule on earth.

Doctrine and Covenants 45:25–31—“The Times of the Gentiles”

President Ezra Taft Benson taught:

“The Lord has designated these days in which we live as the ‘times of the Gentiles.’ The Gentile nations are the so-called Christian nations—North and South America and the European nations from which we came. The ‘times of the Gentiles’ refers to that period of time extending from when the gospel was restored to the world (1830) to when the gospel will again be preached to the Jews—after the Gentiles have rejected it. This is how the Lord explained it:

“‘And when the times of the Gentiles is come in, a light shall break forth among them that sit in darkness, and it shall be the fulness of my gospel;

“‘But they receive it not;for they perceive not the light, and they turn their hearts from me because of the precepts of men.

“‘And in that generation shall the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.’ (D&C 45:28–30; italics added.)

“We will know when the times of the Gentiles are approaching fulfillment by these signs:

“‘And in that day shall be heard of wars and rumors of wars, and the whole earth shall be in commotion, and men’s hearts shall fail them, and they shall say that Christ delayeth his coming until the end of the earth.

“‘And the love of men shall wax cold, and iniquity shall abound.’ (D&C 45:26–27.)

“‘And again, this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world, for a witness unto all nations, and then shall the end come, or the destruction of the wicked’ (JST,Matt. 24:32).

“Are we not witnessing the fulfillment of these signs today? The gospel is being extended to all nations which permit our missionaries to penetrate their countries. The Church is prospering and growing. Yet in undiminished fury, and with an anxiety that his time is short—and it is—Satan, that great adversary to all men, is attempting to destroy all we hold dear” (“Prepare Yourself for the Great Day of the Lord,”New Era,May 1982, 47).

Doctrine and Covenants 45:32—“Holy Places”

The Savior said that His disciples would not experience all of the terrible judgments of the last days if they would stand in holy places. What are these holy places? President Ezra Taft Benson taught: “Holy men and women stand in holy places, and these holy places consist of our temples, our chapels, our homes, and stakes of Zion” (Come unto Christ[1983], 115).

The Lord revealed more about these holy places inDoctrine and Covenants 45:64–71, where He taught about the gathering of the Saints and the establishment of Zion.

Doctrine and Covenants 45:60–61—Did Joseph Smith Translate the New Testament?

Doctrine and Covenants 45:60–61refers to the Joseph Smith Translation of the King James Bible. (For more information, the “Understanding the Scriptures” section for Doctrine and Covenants 35:20–21, p. 46; Bible Dictionary,“Joseph Smith Translation,” p. 717).

Doctrine and Covenants 45:68—What Is Zion?

the information on Zion in “People and Terms in the Doctrine and Covenants” (p. 233).

Studying the Scriptures

Do three of the following activities (A–E) as you studyDoctrine and Covenants 45.

Activity A iconWhy Should You Listen?

  1. 1.

    Find and mark the words and phrases inDoctrine and Covenants 45:1–15that invite us to “listen” to the Lord (look also for words and phrases such as “hearken,” “hear,” and “give ear,” which are invitations to listen). How many times were we invited to listen to Him?

  2. 2.

    List what those verses teach about Jesus Christ that give us good reasons to listen to Him.

  3. 3.

    From your list, choose one of the reasons and explain why it is important to you.

  4. 4

    When do you think it is hardest to listen to the Lord? How will your list help you to better listen to Him in your life?

Activity B iconOrganize and Apply the Information

  1. 1.

    Draw the following chart in your notebook, with a column for each of the major time periods the Savior spoke of inDoctrine and Covenants 45:16–59. In each column, write what He said would occur during that time period.

    Events Prophesied inDoctrine and Covenants 45

    Time of Jesus’s Apostles

    Time of the Gentiles

    Time of the Second Coming

    Time of the Millennium

  2. 2.

    Why do you think the Lord gave us this information?

  3. 3.

    Explain at least two different ways the information in this revelation could be important in your life.

Activity C iconAnalyze the Message

  1. 1.

    ReviewDoctrine and Covenants 45:26–34and list what Jesus said there that might have troubled or worried them.

  2. 2.

    Review verses 35–44. What did Jesus say that would give His disciples good reasons to “be not troubled” (v. 35) in spite of the events He prophesied.

Activity D icon“Great Things Await You”

Suppose your bishop or branch president asked you to give a talk on the last days and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. He said that many people focus on the negative aspects of the last days and wants you to emphasize the positive events the righteous can look forward to. He also wants you to emphasize what we can do to be prepared to meet the Savior with joy when He comes. List ideas fromDoctrine and Covenants 45that you would want to include in this talk. Note the verses in which each of the ideas are found.

Activity E iconProtection in the Midst of Wickedness

  1. 1.

    According toDoctrine and Covenants 45:32, how will the Lord’s disciples avoid the wickedness of the last days?

  2. 2.

    What additional information did the Lord give in verses 62–71?

  3. 3.

    What else can you add from what the Lord said inDoctrine and Covenants 115:5–6?

  4. 4.

    Write about ways the Church has been a place of “peace,” “safety,” or “refuge” for you.