The Worldwide Church

Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Student Study Guide, (2005), 199


Over the last 50 years of the 20th century, the Church experienced unprecedented growth. Under the able and inspired leadership of Church presidents from David O. McKay to Gordon B. Hinckley, missionary work has expanded and Church membership has surpassed 11,000,000. Temples now begin to dot the earth, making available the highest ordinances of the gospel to more Saints and their ancestors in many lands. Truly, in fulfillment of the Lord’s plan, the Church is being brought forth “out of obscurity and out of darkness” (D&C 1:30). Speaking of our day, President Gordon B. Hinckley said:

“The latter-day work of the Almighty, that of which the ancients spoke, that of which the prophets and apostles prophesied, is come. It is here. For some reason unknown to us, but in the wisdom of God, we have been privileged to come to earth in this glorious age. There has been a great flowering of science. There has been a veritable explosion of learning. This is the greatest of all ages of human endeavor and human accomplishment. …

“We stand on the summit of the ages, awed by a great and solemn sense of history. This is the last and final dispensation toward which all in the past has pointed. …

“At some stage in all of this onward rolling, Jesus Christ will appear to reign in splendor upon the earth. No one knows when that will be. Not even the angels in heaven will know of the time of His return. But it will be a welcome day” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1999, 94–95; orEnsign,Nov. 1999, 74).