As Jesus Christ ascended into heaven at the completion of His mortal ministry, two angels declared to His Apostles, "This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven" (Acts 1:11). Since that time, believers have looked forward to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
When the Savior comes again, He will come in power and glory to claim the earth as His kingdom. His Second Coming will mark the beginning of the Millennium.
The Second Coming will be a fearful, mournful time for the wicked, but it will be a day of peace for the righteous. The Lord declared:
“They that are wise and have received the truth, and have taken the Holy Spirit for their guide, and have not been deceived—verily I say unto you, they shall not be hewn down and cast into the fire, but shall abide the day.
“And the earth shall be given unto them for an inheritance; and they shall multiply and wax strong, and their children shall grow up without sin unto salvation.
“For the Lord shall be in their midst, and his glory shall be upon them, and he will be their king and their lawgiver” (D&C 45:57-59).
The Lord has not revealed exactly when He will come again: “The hour and the day no man knoweth, neither the angels in heaven, nor shall they know until he comes” (D&C 49:7). But He has revealed to His prophets the events and signs that will precede His Second Coming. Among the prophesied events and signs are:
The preaching of the gospel throughout the world (see Matthew 24:14).
The righteous need not fear the Second Coming or the signs that precede it. The Savior's words to His Apostles apply to all who prepare for His coming and who look forward to it with joy: “Be not troubled, for, when all these things shall come to pass, ye may know that the promises which have been made unto you shall be fulfilled” (D&C 45:35).
—See True to the Faith (2004), 159-61
Elder Neal A. Maxwell passed away on 21 July 2004 as this issue of the Ensign was being prepared for publication.
We need to make … spiritual preparation for the events prophesied at the time of the Second Coming.
These are the last days. As foretold by God’s holy prophets since the world began, they are challenging times, and they are going to become even more challenging.
Additional Study Materials
Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Wilford Woodruff, Chapter 24
Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph F. Smith, Chapter 44
Guide to the Scriptures
Gospel Principles, Chapter 41
Old Testament Gospel Doctrine Teacher's Manual, Lesson 48
New Testament Gospel Doctrine Teacher's Manual, Lesson 21
Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Gospel Doctrine Teacher's Manual, Lesson 21