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According to some Christian denominations, we are currently living near the time when Jesus would return to gather those selected to heaven and/or to destroy earth or the unbelievers/wicked.

Do Mormons believe that we are currently living near the time of Jesus' return?

If they do, what passages in the Bible or the Book of Mormon do they base this on?

  • do you just want scriptural evidence or would words from the prophets, leaders of the LDS church, also be ok? – depperm Jul 31 '17 at 12:34
  • thanks, @depperm, if you have scriptural evidence that ties Jesus' coming specifically to our days and not, say, 1000 yeas in the future, that would be interesting. But barring that the words of the LDS church leaders would be sufficient. – alec Jul 31 '17 at 15:15
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Yes, but let me qualify that at the end of my answer.

2 Nephi 25:7-8 teaches:

[Nephi is speaking] But behold, I proceed with mine own prophecy … Wherefore, they are of worth unto the children of men, and he that supposeth that they are not, unto them will I speak particularly … for I know that they shall be of great worth unto them in the last days....

The Book of Mormon was specifically written for the last days or last dispensation of time. From D&C 112:30:

For unto you, the Twelve, and those, the First Presidency, who are appointed with you to be your counselors and your leaders, is the power of this priesthood given, for the last days and for the last time, in the which is the dispensation of the fulness of times....

The Book of Mormon contains a prophecy of one Zenos, describing the Lord's efforts to gather His people in the last days. That prophecy is found primarily in Jacob 5, but from a summary in Jacob 6:2 we read:

And the day that he shall set his hand again the second time to recover his people, is the day, yea, even the last time, that the servants of the Lord shall go forth in his power, to nourish and prune his vineyard; and after that the end soon cometh.

And we believe we are called to perform missionary work because this is the last time before the Second Coming when that can happen. From D&C 43:28 we read:

Wherefore, labor ye, labor ye in my vineyard for the last time—for the last time call upon the inhabitants of the earth.

So, yes, we believe we are living in the last days before our Lord's second coming.

HOWEVER…

We are strong believers in the Lord's disclaimer (Matthew 24:36):

But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.

Which is reiterated in D&C 39:21:

For the time is at hand; the day or the hour no man knoweth; but it surely shall come.

We know these are the last days. We do not believe anyone knows or can calculate when His coming will be. Since we believe our Heavenly Father, His son Jesus, and the Holy Ghost are three separate individuals, we believe that Jesus' words as recorded in Matthew mean that even He (Jesus) does not know when He will return. Only our Heavenly Father knows.

It is for this reason that LDS Church leaders teach we should basically live each day as if it were our last. President Henry B. Eyring taught:

The scriptures make the danger of delay clear. It is that we may discover that we have run out of time. The God who gives us each day as a treasure will require an accounting. We will weep, and He will weep, if we have intended to repent and to serve Him in tomorrows which never came or have dreamt of yesterdays where the opportunity to act was past. This day is a precious gift of God. The thought “Someday I will” can be a thief of the opportunities of time and the blessings of eternity.

Finally, please note there are many verses in the Book of Mormon and the book of Doctrine and Covenants that support this belief. I've provided only a fraction of them here.

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Yes, Mormons believe we live in the time near to the second coming of Jesus, a time called the "last days." (In fact, the name of the church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has direct reference to these times.) The epistle to the Ephesians calls this age the dispensation of the fulness of times.

This belief is largely influenced by the same passages in the Bible that other Christian faiths base this belief on. Namely, the seven seals described in Revelation, and the opening of the sixth seal, Acts 2:17, 2 Timothy 3, etc. The signs of the times are pretty clear by most interpretations.

Distinctive to the LDS belief, however, is the Book of Mormon and its relationship to some prophesies—even Old Testament ones—that foretell the last days. To the LDS, the very existence of the Book of Mormon is proof that we are living in the last days.

When the Book of Mormon came forth, it was the physical evidence that God was beginning to restore the fulness of His gospel to His children (as foretold by Isaiah): that meant visitations of angels such as Elijah (fulfilled in Kirtland), the pouring out of His spirit, revelations to new prophets, the conferring of the Priesthood authority to act in God's name on the earth, the building of temples (and again in Micah), and the preaching of the gospel to gather scattered Israel in (and another reference).

All these things were foretold by ancient prophets would happen before the return of our Lord.

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