Prepare for the second coming

Listening to the prophet will help Church members prepare for "Christ's Advent in Glory," said Richard Cowan during the Church Educational System symposium on the Doctrine and Covenants Jan. 25.

"As we see the time of the Second Coming getting closer there will be some remarkable events taking place," said Brother Cowan, a BYU faculty member of Church history and doctrine.Brother Cowan called D&C 45 "perhaps the single best overview of the last days anywhere in the standard works."

He asked the audience to base their conclusions about the topic on authoritative sources and not to read more into scriptures about the topic than is really there.

Brother Cowan said that nobody knows the day or the hour when the Savior will return to the earth. He added, however, that Church members can watch for signs and know that the time of the second coming is approaching - just as a mother knows the time she will deliver an unborn child is approaching.

He noted that even though the time has not yet been revealed, the scriptures tell Church members they must prepare for that day.

Brother Cowan talked about some of the recent events in Eastern Europe - such as the fall of Communist governments in Czechoslavakia, Hungary, and Poland and the Berlin Wall opening up - as signs of the times. These events, he continued, helped usher missionary work into those countries.

"Ten years ago, in 1987, if anybody had asked me when there would be missionaries in the Soviet Union, I would have said `Well, perhaps during the Millennium.' The point I am trying to suggest is that these events that we thought would happen some day are here."

And the signs of the times, he continued, are going to get more exciting as time goes on.

He said while members can get a general outline of events dealing with the last days from D&C 45, they can also turn to other scripture - such as D&C 29:7-30, D&C 43:17-45, D&C 87, D&C 88:86-116, D&C 101:22-34 and D&C 133: 1-56 - for more detail.

"What message can we draw from all this," Brother Cowan questioned. "We need to be prepared. I think if there is any one single piece of counsel that I would share, that would be follow the prophets.

"In other words, latter-day revelation from the living prophets is the means by which we know what to do right now to be prepared."

Brother Cowan said the General Authorities have talked to Church members time after time about repentance, strengthening families, living closer to the Spirit, and listening to the Spirit. "Those are the things that we need to do to be prepared," he said.

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