Elder Dallin H. Oaks

Quorum of the Twelve

Every Latter-day Saint should study the signs of the times and prepare for Christ's Second Coming, "the hinge-point of history."

"While we are powerless to alter the fact of the Second Coming and unable to know its exact time, we can accelerate our own preparation and try to influence the preparation of those around us."

Signs of the Second Coming include the fullness of the gospel preached in all the world, wars, earthquakes, iniquity and "the whole Earth in commotion." Those signs are increasing: The faithful are gathering. Iniquity is rampant. The number of natural disasters is climbing. The Earth is rife with physical and spiritual commotion.

"The good, the true and the beautiful are being replaced by the no-good, the 'whatever' and the valueless fodder of personal whim. . . . We see all around us a fulfillment of the prophecy that 'the devil shall have power over his own dominion.' "

Members should be like the five wise virgins who went to the wedding with enough oil for their lamps, while the five foolish, unprepared virgins were shut out.

"The arithmetic of this parable is chilling. The 10 virgins obviously represent members of Christ's church, for all were invited to the wedding feast and all knew what was required to be admitted when the bridegroom came. But only half were ready when he came.

"Why not seek peace while peace can be obtained? If our lamps of preparation are drawn down, let us start immediately to replenish them."

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