Armageddon to precede coming of Christ

"For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, . . . and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle." (Zech. 14:2-3.)

Before the coming of Christ, the great war, sometimes called Armageddon, will take place as spoken of by the prophets. Another war of Gog and Magog will be after the millennium.While many speak of the coming of Armageddon, no one knows when it will take place. During the days of World War II, Elder Joseph Fielding Smith, then of the Council of the Twelve, wrote of the fact that many questioned whether that would be the "great war" that would end with the Second Coming. Pointing out it is futile to try to put a specific time of this event, he wrote in Doctrines of Salvation:

"The Lord very definitely informed His disciples that not even the angels in heaven knew the day nor the hour when He should make His appearance, but His Father only. . . .

"One thing we are given by [the Old Testament] prophets definitely to understand is that the great last conflict before Christ shall come will end at the siege of Jerusalem. . . . At this time, prophesied Joel, will the Lord judge the heathen: `Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness is great. Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision.' . . .

"Zechariah is another prophet who has plainly spoken of these great events. According to his predictions the nations will gather and lay siege to Jerusalem. Part of the city will fall, with dire consequences to its inhabitants, when a great earthquake will come, the Mount of Olives will cleave in twain, and the persecuted people will flee into this valley for

safety. "At that particular time will the Savior come as their Deliverer and show them His hands and His feet. They will look upon Him and ask Him where He received His wounds, and He will tell them they were received in the house of His friends - He is Jesus Christ, their Redeemer."

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