“What Shall Be the Sign of Thy Coming?”

The Life and Teachings of Jesus and his Apostles, Instructor’s Guide (Rel 211–12), (2000), 51–52


Those who are aware of the many signs of the Savior’s second coming will be better prepared for that great event.

Theme Analysis

  • A.

    The Lord and his prophets have declared the signs of the Second Coming so that the faithful might be prepared for the grand event.

  • B.

    Although the day and hour of Christ’s second advent is unknown to us, and understanding of the fulfillment of the signs will indicate its approach.

  • C.

    Only those who obey the gospel and take the Holy Spirit for their guide will be adequately prepared for the second coming of the Lord.

Study Sources

New Testament Reading Assignment

Matthew 24:1-51 (see also Joseph Smith 1); 25:1-46; Mark 13:1-37; Luke 21:5-36

Course Manual

Chapter 22, “What Shall Be the Sign of Thy Coming?”

Standard Works

Mosiah 3:15. How extensive have been the signs, types, and prophecies of Christ’s coming—of both his first and second advents?

D&C 43:29-34. Who is the ultimate authority in teaching the Church of the coming of Christ?

D&C 45:37-40. Why has the Lord provided signs of the times?

2 Nephi 25:9. How often does the Lord warn the world of destruction?

D&C 1:12, 36. According to the Lord’s preface to the Doctrine and Covenants, what is one of the great prerogatives of this last dispensation?

D&C 34:7-9. How imminent is the great day of the Lord?

D&C 133:16-74. Why would these things be discussed in the Lord’s appendix to the Doctrine and Covenants?

Basic Library

Teachings, pp. 286-87. A chronicling of specific signs to be fulfilled before the Savior comes.

DS, 3:1-52. Signs of the times and the second coming of Christ.

Jesus the Christ, pp. 569-84. The context and content of the Savior’s warning to his apostles of the destruction of Jerusalem and the signs of his second coming.

A of F, pp. 356-74. Christ’s millennial reign and events leading up to it.

Marion G. Romney in CR, Oct. 1971, pp. 68-72. The signs of the times and becoming prepared for the coming of the Lord.

Additional Sources

Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, pp. 715-34. An extensive listing and explanation of the signs of the times.

Joseph Fielding Smith, Signs of the Times, This entire book is about the second coming of the Savior and the signs relating to it. The instructor may wish toiperuse it.

Joseph Fielding Smith in CR, Oct. 1966, pp. 58-61. A discussion of the signs of the times.

Some Suggestions for Presentation

(Ideas Other Teachers Have Used)

Some Specific Signs of the Last Days

As pointed out by President Lee (see reading 22-14), the scriptures are our most authoritative source of information about the events which will transpire before the Savior’s return to the earth. While we cannot be certain of the precise order in which specific events will occur, we can obtain more than a passing knowledge of these signs by careful scriptural inquiry. The following exercise could help one’s understanding in this regard.

Below you will find a list of events relating to the last days. Some of these events relate to (1) physical phenomena, such as “the earth to be in commotion”; (2) conditions of men, such as “love of men to wax cold”; and (3) the kingdom of God, such as “the gospel to be preached to the world as a witness.” You could proceed as follows:

  1. 1.

    Read D&C 29:14-21; 45:26-43; Joseph Smith 1 (Pearl of Great Price).

  2. 2.

    Place the events listed below in their most appropriate category as indicated above in 1, 2, or 3. (You may wish to construct a chart.)

  3. 3.

    Then add the reference source (the passage of scripture).

Your completed analysis sheet should prove to be a valuable compilation to you.

Specific Events of the Last Days

  1. 1.

    Sun darkened, moon turned to blood, stars to fall from heaven

  2. 2.

    Weeping and wailing among men

  3. 3.

    Gospel to go to the gentiles, but largely to be rejected by them

  4. 4.

    Powers of heaven to be shaken

  5. 5.

    The signs of the Son of Man in the clouds of heaven

  6. 6.

    Times of the gentiles to be fulfilled

  7. 7.

    Wars and rumors of wars

  8. 8.

    Great signs in heaven and on earth

  9. 9.

    Great and abominable church to fall

  10. 10.

    Disciples to stand in holy places, unmoved

  11. 11.

    Two working in the field-one taken, the other left

  12. 12.

    Gospel to be preached in all the world for a witness

  13. 13.

    False Christs and prophets to appear, showing signs and wonders

  14. 14.

    A great hailstorm to destroy crops of the earth

  15. 15.

    Wicked to curse God and die

  16. 16.

    Righteous to be looking for the signs of Christ’s coming

  17. 17.

    Flies to come upon the earth

  18. 18.

    Love of men to wax cold

  19. 19.

    Men to say that Christ delays his coming

  20. 20.

    Remnant of the Jews to be gathered to Jerusalem

  21. 21.

    Maggots to come on men

  22. 22.

    Iniquity to abound

  23. 23.

    Flesh to fall from bones and eyes from sockets

  24. 24.

    According to the covenant, even the very elect to be subject to deception

  25. 25.

    An overflowing scourge of desolating sickness to cover the land

  26. 26.

    Beasts and fowls to devour men’s bodies

  27. 27.

    Whole earth to be in commotion

  28. 28.

    Earthquakes in divers places

  29. 29.

    Elect of God to be gathered from four quarters of the earth

  30. 30.

    Blood, fire, and vapors of smoke

  31. 31.

    Nation to rise against nation, kingdom against kingdom

  32. 32.

    Famines, pestilences in divers places

  33. 33.

    A second “abomination of desolation”

Why Does the Lord Provide Signs? (A Discussion)

The teacher could profitably conduct a discussion of why the Lord gives signs. Note some of the following reasons from the scriptures: Joseph Smith 1:37-39. Why did the Savior give the signs of the times?

Helaman 16:5. Why are the prophecies given?

2 Nephi 11:8. Why did Jacob quote from the prophecies of Isaiah?

D&C 45:35-40. Are the signs given to frighten us? John 16:19-22. In what ways could these verses relate to Christ’s second coming?

Revelation 22:20. How should a saint of God feel about the coming of the Lord?

Note: For IS teachers who are teaching the entire New Testament as one course, please note that lesson 33 in Religion 212 also deals with the Second Coming. You should examine both lessons carefully before presenting either.