We must first understand the foundation for the work in the last days a period
known as the Dispensation of the Fullness of Times.
The Dispensation of the fullness of times
Ephesians 1:10, D & C 27:13, 112:30, 121:31, 124:41, 128:18, 138:48
From an article in the 1989, Ensign, December issue, we have an explanation of this period:
"The dispensation of the fullness of times is a period
of restoration and of gathering. Peter described the work in terms of a
restoration: "And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached
unto you: "Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of
all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since
the world began." (Acts 3:20-21.)
Paul called this period of time a dispensation: "Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: "That in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him." (Eph. 1:9-10.)
The question is, What was to be restored in this dispensation of the fullness of times? Elder David W. Patten, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, answered that question in July 1838: "The dispensation of the fullness of times is made up of all the dispensations that ever have been given since the world began, until this time ... in the which all things shall be fulfilled that have been spoken of since the earth was made. ...
"Joseph Smith, the leader of this dispensation must be clothed with the power of all other dispensations, or his dispensation could not be called dispensation of the fullness of times. ..." (Robert J. Matthews. The Fullness of Times. Ensign, December 1989: 49)
The dispensation of the fullness of times will bring all things into one. All that has been shall be. Every mosaic tile will be put into place, every prophecy will be played out during this time frame. This is a key concept that many overlook., one which I am striving to fully understand.
John P Prat set the start time of the Dispensation
of the fullness of times as being
Most of the prophecies dealing with events beyond the old and new testament times happen during the dispensation of the fullness of times, however one key event preceded it and that is the universal apostasy of the church. (Some may be asking; "What about all that has been shall be?" In a spiritual filled priesthood lesson, Teachings of Presidents of the Church, Joseph Smith, lesson 27, Beware the Bitter Fruits of Apostasy: I came to believe that the Apostacy, like the birth of Christ, is a one time event and will not be repeated. The lesson quoted Orson Hyde: "Joseph the prophet....said, 'Brethren, remember that the majority of this people will never go astray; and as long as you keep with the majority you are sure to enter the celestial kingdom.'": Orson Hyde,Deseret News: semi-weekly, June 21 1870, P 3. )
Isa 24:4-6, 29:13-24, 60:2-3, Amos 8:11-12, Matt -30, Acts -30, II Thes. 2: 1-12.,
Each piece of the mosaic is made up of individual events, each piece having its own unique shape color and interface(s). Just like a complex puzzle many pieces will appear to fit in many places, (the interface or sequence may fit into the adjacent pieces) but when the final analysis is done, the overall color or flow will uncover the misplaced piece. Having set the foundation we now arrive at the last dispensation and move into the list of key events (The mosaic pieces):
6TH Seal Event placement replaced by
Pre-Wrath View format (
Let’s start the work by filling in some of the key events that have already taken place. Let’s set the stage by reviewing what happened when Christ lived on the earth. At the beginning of that dispensation the Gospel was taken to the Jews, Christ made no effort to take the Gospel to any other peoples. It wasn’t until the Apostle Paul’s ministry that we have the Gospel taken to the gentile nations. That brings us to this dispensation, the dispensation of the fullness of times, of which the first stage is directed to the gentile nations and begins the Gentile/Restoration period. let's review the first few events of this period.
Hear the words of the book; 2 Neph 26:16, 2 Neph 27:5-21, Isa 29:17-18
Elijah Returns: Mal 4:5-6, D&C 110:13-16
Keys restored: D&C 13; 27; 128
Gospel restored: Isa 2; 4; 5; 10; 11; 13; 18; 24; 29; 33; 34; 35; 51; 52;54; 60; 63; 64; 65; 66, Rev 14:6-8, D&C 133:36-41, Acts 3:19-21,
Gathering of the remnant of the House of Israel commences: D&C 110:11
In my estimation this is where we are in the sequence. The gathering work has just begun and our journey now begins. Notice the wording in 3 Nephi "then shall the work of the Father commence". Christ is in the process of preparing this remnant of the House of Israel for the Great and Marvelous work that is to come, the gathering of the House of Israel. The portion of the Great and Marvelous work initiated by Joseph Smith jr. is still in the commencement stage. If you take a close look at the actual gathering of the House of Israel in the Great and Marvelous Work, you will find that it doesn't start until after the Time of the Gentiles has been fulfilled (D&C 45:25) However we do find a remnant of the House of Israel already gathering in with the current missionary effort in preparation for this great work to come. I don't mean to trivialize all that has been accomplished. I selected the main events that have taken place and listed them above. There are many prophecies that have been fulfilled that are not included and could have been, but this work is not to focus on what has been or justify the church to others by showing their fulfillment but rather to focus on what is coming.
Will the brethren tell the saints where to
gather prior to the tribulation events? There has been some speculation
recently of this. From a recent yahoo post by Aaron Tracy:
“… The Lord has placed the responsibility for directing the
work of gathering in the hands of the leaders of the Church to whom he will
reveal his will where and when such gatherings would take place in the future.
It would be well—before the frightening events concerning the fulfilment of all God’s promises and predictions are upon
us, that the Saints in every land prepare themselves and look forward to the
instruction that shall come to them from the First Presidency of this Church as
to where they shall be gathered and not be disturbed in their feelings until
such instruction is given to them as it is revealed by the Lord to the proper authority.”
(In Conference Report, Apr. 1948, p. 55.)
From there, I've heard of people having dreams and visions of these gathering places... the most noteable that I can think of off the top of my head is Julie Rowe's first book titled "A Greater Tomorrow" Where she reports on her near death experience. Julie's take on this seems to be more of what is spelled out in the Flee unto