Chapter 37: The Millennium and the Glorification of the Earth

Doctrines of the Gospel Student Manual, (2000), 104–6


Introduction

Contrast the glorious millennial condition described by Orson Pratt with the general state of ignorance and wickedness in the world today:

“What a happy earth this creation will be, when this purifying process shall come, and the earth be filled with the knowledge of God as the waters cover the great deep! What a change! Travel, then, from one end of the earth to another, you can find no wicked man, no drunken man, no man to blaspheme the name of the Great Creator, no one to lay hold on his neighbor’s goods, and steal them, no one to commit whoredoms” (in Journal of Discourses, 21:325).

Doctrinal Outline

Supporting Statements

  • A.

    The thousand years of the Millennium will be ushered in when the Savior comes in power and glory.

    • “The time for the Second Coming of Christ is as fixed and certain as was the hour of his birth. It will not vary as much as a single second from the divine decree. He will come at the appointed time. The Millennium will not be ushered in prematurely because men turn to righteousness, nor will it be delayed because iniquity abounds. Nephi was able to state with absolute certainty that the God of Israel would come ‘in six hundred years from the time my father left Jerusalem.’ (1 Ne. 19:8.) To a later Nephi the Divine Voice acclaimed: ‘The time is at hand, and on this night shall the sign be given, and on the morrow come I into the world.’ (3 Ne. 1:13.)” (Bruce R. McConkie, The Millennial Messiah, 26–27).

    • “When the reign of Jesus Christ comes during the millennium, only those who have lived the telestial law will be removed. The earth will be cleansed of all its corruption and wickedness. Those who have lived virtuous lives, who have been honest in their dealings with their fellow man and have endeavored to do good to the best of their understanding, shall remain” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 3:62).

  • B.

    The earth will be renewed for the millennial day.

    • “The great change which shall come when Christ our Savior begins his Millennial reign, is to be a restoration to the conditions which prevailed before the fall of man. The tenth article of faith of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches us that Christ will reign personally upon the earth, and that the earth will be renewed, or restored, and receive its paradisiacal glory when that day comes.

      “This new heaven and earth which will come into existence when our Lord comes to reign, is this same earth with its heavens renewed or restored to its primitive condition and beauty. Everything is to be brought back as nearly as it is possible to its position as it was in the beginning. The mountains, we are informed, are to be thrown down, the valleys are to be exalted, and ‘the earth shall be like as it was in the days before it was divided.’” (Joseph Fielding Smith, The Restoration of All Things, 294–95).

  • C.

    The Millennium will be a time of peace.

    • “Satan only gains power over man through man’s exercise of his own agency; and when Satan shall be bound, as the Lord says he will be for a thousand years, one of the great powers that will help bring this to pass will be man’s agency. The Lord has never forced men against their will to obey Him. He never will do so. If Satan, therefore, has power with man, it is because man yields to his influence. …

      “The time is not far distant when great judgments will be poured out upon the wicked inhabitants of the earth. Every Prophet who has looked forward to our day has seen and predicted that the wicked would be destroyed. Their destruction means the destruction of Satan’s power. The righteous will be left, and because of their righteousness the Lord will have mercy upon them; they, exercising their agency in the right direction, will bring down His blessings upon them to such an extent that Satan will be bound” (George Q. Cannon, Gospel Truth, 1:86–87).

    • “We talk about Satan being bound. Satan will be bound by the power of God; but he will be bound also by the determination of the people of God not to listen to him, not to be governed by him. The Lord will not bind him and take his power from the earth while there are men and women willing to be governed by him. That is contrary to the plan of salvation. To deprive men of their agency is contrary to the purposes of our God” (Cannon, Gospel Truth, 1:86).

    • “It shall be in that day that the lion shall lie down with the lamb and eat straw as the ox, and all fear, hatred, and enmity shall depart from the earth because all things having hate in their hearts shall pass away; and there shall come a change, a change over men, a change over the beasts of the field, and upon all things living upon the face of the earth.

      The Millennium will be a time of universal peace.

      “According to this word I have read there shall be harmony, and love, and peace, and righteousness because Satan is bound that he cannot tempt any man, and that will be the condition that shall be upon the earth for 1,000 years” (Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 3:58).

    • “When Christ comes the saints who are on the earth will be quickened and caught up to meet him. This does not mean that those who are living in mortality at that time will be changed and pass through the resurrection, for mortals must remain on the earth until after the thousand years are ended. A change, nevertheless, will come over all who remain on the earth; they will be quickened so that they will not be subject unto death until they are old. Men shall die when they are one hundred years of age, and the change shall be made suddenly to the immortal state. Graves will not be made during this thousand years, and Satan shall have no power to tempt any man. Children shall grow up ‘as calves of the stall’ unto righteousness, that is, without sin or the temptations which are so prevalent today” (Joseph Fielding Smith, The Way to Perfection, 298–99).

  • D.

    During the Millennium the Savior will reign personally on the earth.

    • “When Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon, he learned that America is the land of Zion which was given to Joseph and his children and that on this land the City Zion, or New Jerusalem, is to be built. He also learned that Jerusalem in Palestine is to be rebuilt and become a holy city. [3 Nephi 20:22; 21:20–29; Ether 13:1–12.] These two cities, one in the land of Zion and one in Palestine, are to become capitals for the kingdom of God during the millennium” (Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 3:71).

    • “That this work may be hastened so that all who believe, in the spirit world, may receive the benefit of deliverance, it is revealed that the great work of the Millennium shall be the work in the temples for the redemption of the dead; and then we hope to enjoy the benefits of revelation through the Urim and Thummim, or by such means as the Lord may reveal concerning those for whom the work shall be done, so that we may not work by chance, or by faith alone, without knowledge, but with the actual knowledge revealed unto us” (Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine, 438).

    • “Some members of the Church have an erroneous idea that when the millennium comes all of the people are going to be swept off the earth except righteous members of the Church. That is not so. There will be millions of people, Catholics, Protestants, agnostics, Mohammedans, people of all classes, and of all beliefs, still permitted to remain upon the face of the earth, but they will be those who have lived clean lives, those who have been free from wickedness and corruption. All who belong, by virtue of their good lives, to the terrestrial order, as well as those who have kept the celestial law, will remain upon the face of the earth during the millennium.

      “Eventually, however, the knowledge of the Lord will cover the earth as the waters do the sea. But there will be need for the preaching of the gospel, after the millennium is brought in, until all men are either converted or pass away” (Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 1:86–87).

  • E.

    The final glorification of the earth will take place sometime after the Millennium.

    • “The earth will abide its creation, and will be counted worthy of receiving the blessings designed for it, and will ultimately roll back into the presence of God who formed it and established its mineral, vegetable, and animal kingdoms. These will all be retained upon the earth, come forth in the resurrection, and abide for ever and for ever” (Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young, 101–2).

    • “God has said if we will honor Him and keep His commandments—if we will observe His laws He will fight our battles and destroy the wicked, and when the time comes He will come down in heaven—not from heaven—but He will bring heaven with Him—and this earth upon which we dwell, will be the celestial kingdom” (George Albert Smith, in Conference Report, Oct. 1942, 49).

    • “I remarked to my family and friends present, that when the earth was sanctified and became like a sea of glass, it would be one great urim and thummim, and the Saints could look in it and see as they are seen” (Joseph Smith, History of the Church, 5:279).

    • “In that great change, or resurrection, which shall come to this earth, it shall be sanctified, celestialized and made a fit abode even for God the Father, who shall grace it with his presence. (D.C. 88:19.) Then shall the righteous, those who have become sanctified through the law of God, possess it for ever as their abode. This earth is destined to become the everlasting residence of its inhabitants who gain the glory of the celestial kingdom. It shall become in that day like the throne of God and shall shine forth with all the splendor and brightness of celestial glory in its eternal, sanctified and glorious state” (Smith, Way to Perfection, 351).