The end of the world has been predicted since its very beginning. According to prophecy, that end will be reached somewhere near the close of the six thousandth year which, according to man’s calculations, is some 25 or 30 years hence. The end of the world means “the destruction of the wicked,” (Smith 1:4) and the “destroying of Satan and his works.” (D&C 19:1) Therefore, the fall of Satan’s Great and Abominable Church will occur simultaneously therewith.
Nephi, who provides most of the information about the devil’s church, was not permitted to describe its fall. He did state that such was inevitable. (2 Nephi 28:18) He also described a worldwide war between all nations which belong to “the Mother of Abominations.” (1 Nephi 14:15–16) This war followed the attack made by these nations on the Church of the Lamb, and according to other prophesies, that attack signals their utter destruction. Modem scripture describes the end of the devil’s church in these words:
For the hour is nigh and the day soon at hand when the earth is ripe; and all the proud and they that do wickedly shall be as stubble; and! will burn them up, saith the Lord of Hosts, that wickedness shall not be upon the earth;
And the great and abominable church, which is the whore of all the earth, shall be cast down by devouring fire,…for abominations shall not reign. (D&C 29:9, 21)
The Point Of No-Return
The time of the end of the world has not been revealed, but Moroni has told us that the people on the promised land will be “swept off’ when they become “ripened in iniquity.” Four different times in as many verses he repeats this as an everlasting decree of God, and his last warning is directed to us “Gentiles.” (Ether 2:8–11) But at what point does a nation on this land become “ripened in iniquity” so that its destruction is made certain? Is there a point of no-return which, when reached, guarantees extinction? Is there a particular kind of wickedness which, when committed, will be punished with death, terror, famine, and pestilence?
Moroni, in the following passage assures us that there is a national sin which brings certain destruction to the nation which commits it, and he specifies what that sin is:
And whatsoever nation shall uphold such secret combinations, to get power and gain, until they shall spread over the nation, behold, they shall be destroyed; for the Lord will not suffer that the blood of his saints, which shall be shed by them, shall always cry unto him from the ground for vengeance upon them and yet he avenge them not.
Wherefore, O ye Gentiles, it is wisdom in God that these things should be shown unto you, that thereby ye may repent of your sins, and suffer not that these murderous combinations shall get above you (Ether 8:22–23)
This scripture is just one of many which teaches that the one unforgivable sin which has invariably brought the judgments of God upon that nation which has committed it is the unpunished murder of the saints and the prophets. When, instead of using government to protect God’s servants, the people use it to persecute, imprison, and kill those sent to call them to repentance, at that point disaster becomes inevitable. To state the matter another way, when a nation becomes so corrupt that they allow their officers of government to condone or participate in crimes against the saints and prophets, this is a sure sign of destruction. Let us observe that religious history confirms this truth.
The Persecution And Murder Of Nephite And Jaredite Prophets
The Book of Mormon commenced with a story of prophet-persecution and the calamity which followed. It tells us that the Jews imprisoned Jeremiah and sought to kill Lehi who fled with his family for their lives. It was only a short time thereafter that the entire Jewish nation was either slain or carried away into captivity.
When Abinadi was sent to warn the people of king Noah, he was first cast into prison and then burned at the stake. Within a year or two thereafter, king Noah was himself burned to death and all of his people were either killed or enslaved by the Lamamites.
Alma and his missionary companion Amulek tried to call to repentance the people of Ammonihah. They did succeed in converting a few, but so wicked were the people that those in charge of their government first expelled the male converts and then burned their wives and children to death. Alma and Amulek were terribly abused in prison until the Lord miraculously delivered them from the sentence of death. For these crimes, every soul remaining in the city of Ammonihah was slain by the Lamanites.
Commencing in the year 71 B.C., the entire Nephite nation suffered a calamity which continued for five years. It commenced with a civil war and ended with a famine. The people had so corrupted their government that when a prophet pointed this out to them they tried to kill him rather than using the police power to protect him. The famine became so severe that it threatened the extinction of the entire nation. When the survivors finally repented and the Lord sent rain the record tells us:
And behold, the people did rejoice and glory God, and the whole face of the land was filled with rejoicing; and they did no more seek to destroy Nephi, but they did esteem him as a great prophet (Hela. 11:18)
The awesome destruction which preceded the Lord’s visit to the Nephites in the meridian of time followed immediately upon the murder of many of their prophets. Let the record tell the story:
Now there were many of those who testified of the things pertaining to Christ who testified boldly, who were taken and put to death secretly by the judges (3 Nephi 6:23)
These murders occurred in the year 30 A.D. It was just three years later that one of the greatest calamities ever suffered by any nation came to the Nephites. Whole cities were obliterated. The inhabitants were burned to death, crushed by falling buildings, buried under mountains, drowned in the depths of the sea, and carried away in violent whirlwinds. After the terrible storm had subsided and the earth ceased its convulsions, the Lord appeared to the survivors and told them the extent of the disaster and why it happened. In the first twelve verses of the ninth chapter of 3rd Nephi, He describes the destruction of 16 great cities and in these twelve verses He reiterates over and over again the fact that the people of these cities had slain the saints and prophets. The following phrase appears six different times:
that the blood of the prophets and the saints should not come up unto me any more against them.
Concerning those who were spared the record says:
And it was the more righteous part of the people who were saved, and it was they who received the prophets and stoned them not; and it was they who had not shed the blood of the saints, who were spared— (3 Nephi 10:12)
The Jaredite record confirms this important lesson. Let us note one or two examples. Heth was the name of one of the many Jaredite rulers who gained control of government by means of secret combinations. When this occurred:
there came prophets in the land again, crying repentance unto them
But the people believed not the words of the prophets, but they cast them out; and some of them they cast into pits and left them to perish. And it came to pass that they did all these things according to the commandment of the king, Heth.
And it came to pass that there began to be a great dearth upon the land, and the inhabitants began to be destroyed exceeding fast (Ether 9:28–30)
Following the killing of the prophets by the secret combinations who obtained control of the government in the days of Corn, the record says:
wherefore, there began to be wars and contentions in all the land, and also many famines and pestilences, insomuch that there was a great destruction, such an one as never had been known upon the face of the earth (Ether 11:7)
The end of the Jaredite nation is summed up by the prophet Alma in these words:
these people were destroyed on account of their wickedness and abominations and their murders.
For behold, they murdered all the prophets of the Lord who came among them to declare unto them concerning their iniquities; and the blood of those whom they murdered did cry unto the Lord their God for vengeance upon those who were murderers (Alma 37:29–30)
We could pursue our examination of this subject by turning to the history contained in the Bible, but perhaps it is sufficient to note that following the crucifixion of Christ and the murder of His apostles, the people primarily responsible therefor have suffered more terribly and for a longer period than any group in history.
The Persecution And Murder Of The Saints And Prophets In The Latter Days
The United States has already experienced the judgments of God which inevitably flow from the unpunished murder of prophets. The 135th Section of the Doctrine & Covenants which describes the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum Smith says of them:
They were innocent of any crime, as they had often been proved before, and were only confined in jail by the conspiracy of traitors and wicked men; and their innocent blood, with the innocent blood of all the martyrs under the altar that John saw, will cry unto the Lord of Hosts till he avenges that blood on the earth. Amen. (v. 7)
In a revelation given to the Saints while they were camped at Winter Quarters where they had been driven by their enemies just prior to their forced exodus to the west, the Lord said:
Thy brethren have rejected you and your testimony, even the nation that has driven you out;
And now cometh the day of their calamity, even the days of sorrow, like a woman that is taken in travail; and their sorrow shall be great unless they speedily repent, yea, very speedily.
For they killed the prophets, and them that were sent unto them; and they have shed innocent blood, which crieth from the ground against them. (D&C 136:34–36)
A few years following the expulsion of the saints and the murder of their leaders, a terrible civil war was suffered by the nation responsible therefor. President Brigham Young, through whom the last revelation cited was given, spoke of the connection between the murder of the prophets and the Civil War on a number of occasions. In a talk given in 1867 just a couple of years after the cessation of hostilities, he said:
The destruction of property and life during the war has been enormous
They killed the prophet. The mob that collected at Carthage, Illinois, to commit the deed of blood contained a delegation representing every State in the Union. Each has received its bloodstain.
If they had hearkened to the counsel of Joseph Smith, this nation would have had no wars; there would have been no division in the Government, but it would have gone on in harmony and prosperity. (JD 12:120-121)
The Reason For The Destruction Of Satan’s Church
A critical examination of the accounts of the persecution and murder of saints and prophets throughout history will reveal that in virtually every instance, the crime is traceable to corrupted government. Indeed, such crimes could hardly occur without the concurrence and cooperation of those in charge of the police power. According to the scriptures, this is to be expected. Nephi, in referring to Satan’s Great and Abominable Church, described it as that organization which,
slayeth the saints of God, yea, and tortureth them and bindeth them down, and yoketh them with a yoke of iron, and bringeth them down into captivity. (1 Nephi 13:5)
Then it will be recalled that Moroni prophesied that any nation which upholds Satan’s organizations until they shall spread over the nation will be destroyed because the Lord will not permit the prophet-murders which these organizations always commit when they gain power to go unpunished. As he stated it:
for the Lord will not suffer that the blood of his saints, which shall be shed by them, shall always cry unto him from the ground for vengeance upon them and yet he avenge them not, (Ether 8:22)
This scripture in effect predicts that any time Satan gains control of government, the murder of the saints is certain to follow. He can be counted upon to oppose the Lord’s work in this manner. In a later verse in speaking directly to the Gentiles (us), Moroni confirms this prediction and also says that those who help build up Satan’s secret combinations will be called upon to suffer for the murder of the prophets:
Wherefore, the Lord commandeth you, [Gentiles] when ye shall see these things come among you that ye shall awake to a sense of your awful situation, because of this secret combination which shall be among you; or woe be unto it, because of the blood of them who have been slain; for they cry from the dust for vengeance upon it, and also upon those who built it up.(Ether 8:24)
There is one additional prophecy of Moroni regarding the building up of Satan’s secret organizations which should be cited here because in it he speaks directly to those who pollute the holy Church of God in these latter days:
O ye pollutions, ye hypocrites, ye teachers, who sell yourselves for that which will canker, why have ye polluted the holy church of God?
Yea, why do ye build up your secret abominations to get gain, and cause that widows should mourn before the Lord, and also orphans to mourn before the Lord, and also the blood of their fathers and their husbands to cry unto the Lord from the ground, for vengeance upon your heads?
Behold, the sword of vengeance hangeth over you; and the time soon cometh that he avengeth the blood of the saints upon you, for he will not suffer their cries any longer. (Mor. 8:38, 40-41)
These scriptures constitute clear warnings to those who engage in building up Satan’s church and kingdom. They will be called upon to answer for the murders of the saints which are bound to result therefrom. Let us observe that according to the following modem day prophecy on war, such murders will occur and the Lord will make “a full end of all nations,” i.e., the devil’s Great and Abominable Church.
And thus, with the sword and by bloodshed the inhabitants of the earth shall mourn; and with famine, and plague, and earthquake, and the thunder of heaven, and the fierce and vivid lightning also, shall the inhabitants of the earth be made to feel the wrath, and indignation, and chastening hand of an Almighty God, until the consumption decreed hath made a full end of all nations;
That the cry of the saints, and of the blood of the saints, shall cease to come up into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth, from the earth, to be avenged of their enemies. (D&C 87:6–7)
For of him unto whom much is given much is required; and he who sins against the greater light shall receive the greater condemnation. (D&C 82:3)