The Millenium

Public forum to discuss questions about Mormon history and doctrine.
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felixfabulous
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Re: The Millenium

Post by felixfabulous » 17 Jul 2018, 07:32

Good post. Growing up in the 80s in northern Utah County, I heard so much about the Second Coming and the Millennium, that I was convinced it would happen before I graduated from high school. I don't think many members of the Church realize how intertwined Missouri was with the idea of the Second Coming happening in the next 1-5 years. No one was talking about "let's build this up and in 200-300 years it might happen." A big part of the fallout and struggle of the Saints in those years was coping with the disappointment that it did not happen and them blaming themselves. I think Fawn Brodie really captures that aspect in No Man Knows My History.

I don't think Isiah was talking about Christ or the Millennium, he was talking about the (then) current political situation and speaking truth to power. The bottom line is that we have taken a whole bunch of scriptures out of context and tried to weld everything together into a giant narrative about the Millennium. No wonder there are huge problems with the narrative. Satan will be bound and then loosed and then permanently cast into a pit? Why couldn't God just call it good with the temple work or create a name card with every name on it and have someone go through one giant proxy ordinance? On my mission I couldn't understand why not everyone would join the Church if there were resurrected beings serving in the government.

I wish we would focus on how to make our community Zion right now and less on the details of the Millennium.

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DarkJedi
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Re: The Millenium

Post by DarkJedi » 17 Jul 2018, 08:57

felixfabulous wrote:
17 Jul 2018, 07:32
I don't think Isiah was talking about Christ or the Millennium, he was talking about the (then) current political situation and speaking truth to power. The bottom line is that we have taken a whole bunch of scriptures out of context and tried to weld everything together into a giant narrative about the Millennium. No wonder there are huge problems with the narrative.
I totally agree. Last year I undertook a study of Isaiah. I suppose it could be said that Isaiah was talking about those future events without knowing about it, but it seems unlikely to me and much more likely we (and not just Mormons) have tried to make it look like he was talking about things he wasn't talking about and upon close examination don't really fit.

You're also right about the early Saints, including JS. Of course I know people in my own ward who believe the Second Coming is going to be any day now. But many (most?) of the early converts seem to have believed they were literally preparing for the imminent Second Coming.
I wish we would focus on how to make our community Zion right now and less on the details of the Millennium.
Me, too. I will say that I have noticed a change in some of the narrative from the top in recent years. It's clear by sitting in any class or most SMs that not everyone has noticed the changes but GC now is really quite different from GC in the 80s - and that's a good thing.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

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Roy
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Re: The Millenium

Post by Roy » 17 Jul 2018, 10:19

Ilovechrist77 wrote:
22 Dec 2014, 17:51
Roy, I always thought that the "this generation statement" was referring to the last days, not during Joseph Smith's or the early apostles' lifetimes. At least, that what I was taught.
Yes, our church tends to teach that now. Partly as I said, because as an established religion we are not as eager for the world to go down in flames. The other part because we simply cannot keep promising the end of this system of things any day know and continue to be taken seriously. As a kid I remember reading about a promise that was given in priesthood session in the early 1900's that said that some present would live to see the second coming. I did the math and figured that if someone was 12 years old or even a newborn baby at that meeting they must be over 100 now and the second coming was immanent. I fully expected the millennium to begin before the end of my youth. Here we are now 100 years later and rather than sounding the voice of warning, building bunkers, and stocking away food supplies - we are completely downplaying the end of days. Not that I want that kind of "prepper" church, it is just that our church membership and leadership were so clearly wrong in their prophecies and expectations on this issue.


Again this is perfectly understandable as Christianity and Mormonism specifically mature. New religions - especially marginalized and persecuted ones - tend to preach the end of the world in urgency. Why would anyone join a religion that taught the world was going to end in 2,000 to 5,000 years?
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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dande48
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Re: The Millenium

Post by dande48 » 17 Jul 2018, 13:54

Roy wrote:
17 Jul 2018, 10:19
... because as an established religion we are not as eager for the world to go down in flames. The other part because we simply cannot keep promising the end of this system of things any day know and continue to be taken seriously.
I've actually known quite a few, who believe the end of the world and the second coming could happen "any day now", both in and out of the Church. There's a prominent world-ending prophecy out there about 1-3 times per year. With the LDS love for prepping, food storage, "self-reliance"... with the big "I told you so", middle finger to "the World" it would be, it feels like a large percent of the LDS/Christian population are looking forward to and hoping in the end of the world.

Also, the Church has made many future promises, prophecies, and predictions which have failed to come to pass. When that happens, they either get redefined, or re-framed as personal opinion. I've said it before, prophecies literally cannot fail in the minds of believers.
Roy wrote:
17 Jul 2018, 10:19
Why would anyone join a religion that taught the world was going to end in 2,000 to 5,000 years?
I would hope because it was true. Or at least because it made them happy. Doomsday talk is great at keeping people awake. It's one of the 3 "S"es that everyone in Church will listen to (Second coming, sex, and Satan). But does it really make anyone happy? I mean, if you look forward to the second coming, because you desire to be with and see Christ, or you want to be in "paradise", you'll get there when you die. But really, when believers think on the Second Coming and "End of the World", it's with smugness, disdain for the wicked, a desire to be proven right, to stand out as the best, most faithful of the world, chosen by God to survive the end... there's really not a lot of charity. I'd go so far as to say it feeds into the most pessimistic, prideful, negative emotions.

I'd rather belong to a religion which teaches "Tomorrow's uncertain. Life's unfair and then you die. But it is also good and beautiful. We have a lot to be grateful for. We can make the burdens of those around us heavy or light. Every small kindness matters." In contrast, doomsday beliefs almost have a nihilistic undertone to them.
"The whole world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel." - Horace Walpole

"Even though there are no ways of knowing for sure, there are ways of knowing for pretty sure."
-Lemony Snicket

Curt Sunshine
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Re: The Millenium

Post by Curt Sunshine » 17 Jul 2018, 15:36

The bottom line is that we have taken a whole bunch of scriptures out of context and tried to weld everything together into a giant narrative about the Millennium. No wonder there are huge problems with the narrative.
This. Exactly this.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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Heber13
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Re: The Millenium

Post by Heber13 » 18 Jul 2018, 16:11

AmyJ wrote:
17 Jul 2018, 06:06
While things have rarely gone "perfectly" for me, I can see many times in the past where things were going better then I perceived them to be when I was there at the time. I strive to incorporate that memory into my present circumstances - channel it into the hope that we will be able to make everything work out in the best way possible for all of us.
The meaning we place on the things that are happening to us, or have happened to us, as well as our hopes or fears for the future...are all constructs in our mind. They are not real, they are not facts. They are the perceptions from our point of view. Like the prism in my avatar, looking at the same source of light at different angles makes that same source of light look a different color. The difference is not the color of light, the light source is the same, it is from where we perceive it, and how the lens of our eye translates meaning of "color", and so it is with our circumstances, and how we perceive "good for us" or "wait a little while until we all feel the hardships" ...these are all stories constructed in our minds.

I've been studying A Course In Miracles. In it, it says:
What perception sees and hears appears to be real because it permits into awareness only what conforms to the wishes of the perceiver. Perception is a mirror, not a fact. And what I look on is my state of mind, reflected outward.
We may project from our minds what we want the Millenium to be. When it happens, we will perceive it as a reflection of our state of mind...either tormenting us or experiencing the rapture. We may be disappointed the Millenium is not all we wanted it to be, or heaven to be all we wanted it to be.

That is part of what we should learn now...to find peace of mind as things are, not as we project meaning on to them or how we want them to be.

It is very possible we are living in the Millenium. I mean, it is 2018. What if Christ came to the temple, and we are now living the Millenium? It is what it is. We are who we are, despite what is or is not happening around us. It would be no different if Christ came. We would still be searching for peace of mind from how we perceive things.

The past events in my life that happened are exactly what needed to happen to me to get me to this point. I strive to remind myself of that daily. I am not sure the Millenium will be any different than today.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

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