Key Concepts:

One problem I have found with research on the Second Coming of Christ has been the practice of focusing in on certain aspects of the work and leaving out key prophetic events.  The battle of  Armageddon is a good example, many books have been written on this subject.  The problem is they don't address the key issues leading up to the battle nor do they deal with other key issues that must interplay.  Any work on the Second Coming must bring all key issues into focus.  Once all key issues are understood then the total picture will unfold before your eyes making the full mosaic evident.  Many key issues are highlighted throughout LDS scriptures and provide a view unseen by most Christians.  While trying to put together a complete template dealing with the last days let's keep in mind the following key issues:

The role of the House of Israel:

John 4:22 "For Salvation is of the Jews"   Dispensationalism, a distorted view of Gods plan for the salvation of His children, invented in the1500s, by Jesuit priest Francisco Ribera, and firmed up in the 19th century by John Nelson Darby, has most of the Christian faith believing that events leading up to the second coming don’t pertain to them and are limited to the House of Israel., and that they are on a separate plan for Salvation. Dispensationalism teaches that the law was one way to salvation not understanding that it never was an end unto itself simply a teaching tool. (Galations 3: 24Wherefore the alaw was our bschoolmaster to bring us unto Christ…) Paul’s teachings in Romans was all about spelling that out.

Abr 2:9-11 All who accept the gospel will be counted of the seed of Abraham.
In the book of Mormon when the prophets talk about the last days they reference the Great and Marvelous Work. The Great and Marvelous Work is all about the restoration of Gods one and only plan for the salvation of mankind. One of the major portions of which is the gathering "restoration" of the House of Israel. This includes the lost ten tribes!  Although a remnant has gathered in, the major scene has yet to unfold.  You will recognize this event when the gathered do so believing in Jesus Christ as their Savior.

2 Neph 10:7
3 Neph 20:31
Mormon 5:14

The Book of Isaiah is all about the Great and Marvelous Work of restoration of the House of Israel.
This event will be so grand that the world will reference the house of Israel by it. Jer 16:14-15
The Lion of Jacob prophecies are Key to this gathering.  When the House of Israel wakes up to their role in the salvation of mankind and the ushering in of the millennium, they will gather home with such force that it will be an event in and of itself. 3 Nep 20:18-46, D&C 64:43
For another view on this see

The work performed by the remnant of the House of Israel:

A remnant of the House of Israel has gathered in and established the rock that will go forth to conquer the rest of the world.
The restoration work was made possible by the establishment of the United  States through the constitution.
One key event that is yet to unfold is the preservation of the US constitution by the Elders of Israel and the establishment of the Government of Zion. D&C 63:29
The origin of the prophecy concerning the elders and the constitution is in question.  But it has been supported by many of the Prophets.  We do have a Prophecy by John Taylor concerning this event. Let's go to the Encyclopedia of Mormonism under the topic Constitution of the United States, by Ralph Hancock;

"LDS attachment to the Constitution has been further encouraged by an important oral tradition deriving from a statement attributed to Joseph Smith, according to which the Constitution would "hang by a thread" and be rescued, if at all, only with the help of the Saints. Church President John Taylor seemed to go further when he prophesied, "When the people shall have torn to shreds the Constitution of the United States the Elders of Israel will be found holding it up to the nations of the earth and proclaiming liberty and equal rights to all men" (JD 21:8). To defend the principles of the Constitution under circumstances where the "iniquity," or moral decay, of the people has torn it to shreds might well require wisdom at least equal to that of the men raised up to found it. In particular, it would require great insight into the relationship between freedom and virtue in a political embodiment of moral agency."  (RALPH C. HANCOCK. CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol. 1)

The key point I want to highlight is the statement by John Taylor, "When the people shall have torn to shreds the Constitution of the United States the Elders of Israel will be found holding it up to the nations of the earth and proclaiming liberty and equal rights to all men".  This may assist us when we try to understand the original prophecy by Joseph Smith.  With President Taylor's comment we gain a clarification as to what the conditions will be when the prophecy is fulfilled.
The fate of the US government and the need for the Elders to protect the constitution is another issue that must be kept in mind.  I know that Brigham Young taught that the US flag would be flying over the Saints when Christ returned but, I believe that Isaiah 19 is in reference to the fate of the US and sets the stage for the need of the Elders to step in and preserve the constitution of the US, ( or the concepts embodied by that document).  I believe that the Saints, like Moroni seeking a rallying "Title of Liberty", will use the flag to represent the only place on earth where freedom still remains.  We know that the Americas have been set up as the Promised Land and will only be inhabited by righteous people.  Is that the condition of the present United States?  I don't think so!  Have the Prophecies given by Joseph Smith concerning the United States and the wrongs committed on the Saints came to pass?  These are two reasons requiring a cleansing of the US and I think it will come as Isaiah has said.  This fits with the prophecy concerning; there being no peace accept in Zion.  (speculative food for thought)
Another role the  Remnant of the House of Israel will provide will be the Temple blessings.

"To this city, and to its several branches or stakes, shall the Gentiles seek, as to a standard of light and knowledge. Yea, the nations, and their kings and nobles, shall say, Come and let us go up to the Mount Zion, and to the temple of the Lord; where his holy priesthood stand to minister continually before the Lord; and where we may be instructed more fully, and receive the ordinances of remission, and of sanctification, and redemption; and thus be adopted into the family of Israel, and identified in the same covenants of promise." (James R. Clark. Messages of the First Presidency. Vol. 1, p.259 - p.260)

The Gentiles:

The Gospel went first to the House of Israel then to the Gentiles.  It was the Gentile nations that brought Christianity down through the ages to the dispensation of the fullness of times when the Full Gospel was restored. Romans 11 and Jacob 5 and 6 talks about this process of grafting from Israel to the Gentiles and the need to graft back into the House of Israel.  The Gentiles seeing the need to be grafted back into the Abraham covenant for their salvation will play a key role in events leading up to the last days. This is a key point in the overall template of Last Days prophecies. During the restoration phase the work is still within the Gentile nations. When the time of the gentiles comes to an end you will see a dramatic turn to the portion of the Great and Marvelous Work which most scriptures point to, the time when the Arm of the Lord is raised, the grafting period is focused back on the House of Israel. The Arm raised period will be the Ensign to all nations to prepare for the final phase the burning/cleansing, Arm falls phase. To recap the Template; 1. Restoration phase (Time of the Gentiles). 2. Restoration of the House of Israel, grafting, Arm of the Lord raised phase. 3. Cleansing, Burning, Arm of the Lord falls phase.
In addition to the Key Issues listed above.  I believe it will be instructive to keep in mind the Prophetic visions of our day.  The following is a high level overview of prophecies concerning our day.

Nephi's Visions of our day:
Nephi was a very visionary prophet, he saw many aspects of our day and recorded them for our benefit.  Let's review the ones centered around second coming events at a high level.

1 Neph 13-15
Nephi sees many nations and the great and abominable church (the devil being the founder of it).  The history of the Bible to include the manipulation of the contents of the Bible.  The restoration of the Gospel. The theme of the first being last and the last being first. In chapter 14:1-2, Nephi give a glimpse into the great and marvelous work "If the Gentiles shall harken,....manifest....word, also in power....taking away of their stumbling blocks...they shall be numbered among the house of Israel"  continuing in 7, He will remember the covenants made.  He then goes on to define the state in our time;  Only two churches.  The whore has dominion over all the earth.  Church of the lamb small but also upon all the earth.  Power descends on the saints and they are armed with power the mission of John the revelatory.  Nephi was told to quit talking about the last days.  That role is given to John. (This is the reason for Nephi quoting Isaiah so much.  He hopes that we will understand what Isaiah is saying so that we too can understand the last days).  He also uses the olive tree grafting story to help us understand that which he was told to leave to John see Chapter 15.
1 Neph 19-22

Nephi states that this record is kept for a more wise purpose.  Signs of Christ's coming reviewed.  Nephi goes on to review past prophets and likens Isaiah to his people.  Chapters 20 and 21 are Isaiah 48 and 49 taken from the brass plates.  After reviewing Isaiah Nephi talks plainly about the last days.  10 tribes lost, Jews scattered.  A mighty Gentile nation raised.  A marvelous work among the Gentiles.  Verse 10 "earth cannot be blessed unless he shall make bare his arm in the eyes of the nations"  22:11, ..make bar his arm by brining his covenant and gospel to the house of Israel22:12 ...they shall know that the Lord is their Savior.  All that fight against zion shall be destroyed, the great and abominable church shall fall.
2 Neph 11-30.

In my estimation all of 2 Nephi was written for us, it is about our day and events that directly concerns us.  This book starts out with a farewell from Lehi then Jacob (following Nephi's request) reviews events concerning our day and then Nephi wraps things up with chapters 11-30 dealing directly with our day.  Let's review what Nephi has to say starting with Chapter 11; Nephi takes over where Jacob left off and quotes Isaiah chapters 2-14.  Nephi delights in plainness and teaches the words of Isaiah in plainness to us and his people.  Nephi then goes on to prophecy about Christ's first advent and the resurrection., destruction of Jerusalem and the scattering of the Jews.  In 25:16 we again see an introduction to what the Great and Marvelous work is and when it takes place (when they believe in Christ).  Then in Chapter 26 Nephi reviews events leading up to the last days and in verse 14 we have the coming forth of the Book of Mormon.  In 27 we have the same pattern; the apostasy, restoration, coming forth of the Book of Mormon (Minus the sealed portion. 6-9) Then the start of the Great and Marvelous work (27:34-  The work is the restoration of the House of Israel)  Chapter 28 then looks at the status of the people in their state of apostasy. Chapter 29 starts with the definition of the Marvelous work "Remember my covenant...recover my people, which are of the house of Israel".  The people reject the Book of Mormon.  Chapter 30 starts with a warning to both Jew and Gentile and then we move into a very key sequence in verse 3; a view of the last days and after the Book of Mormon (Written unto the Gentiles) then it goes to the "remnant" of the house of Israel (the lamanites).  The Jews begin to believe and are gathered in, then the Lord begins His work, a great division occurs then the millennium begins.

Jacob's Visions of our day:
Jacob learned well from Nephi and continued in His footsteps.  Let's review that provided by Jacob;

2 Neph 6-10
Following the loss of their father and the building of the Temple Jacob (at the request of Nephi) provides a glimpse of the future using Isaiah as his base.  He starts in with the Great and Marvelous work (Yet to come)  Please take note of the defining properties of the work; 6:11 "when they shall come to a knowledge of their redeemer", 6:14 "When they shall believe in Him", 9:2 "restored to the true Church" and 10:7 "When they believe in me".  In chapters 7 and 8 Jacob's reviews the work of Christ, the atonement, resurrection and the land of America to be given to the Gentiles as a gathering place.
Jacob 5-6 (Prophecy of Zenos.  The olive tree)
A direct answer to Romans 11.  (Israel was chosen (foreordained) according to the election of grace—But some harden their hearts against it—The Gentiles are adopted into the house of Israel—The gospel goes preferentially to the Gentiles until the fulness of the Gentiles.)


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