BYU professor Donald Parry told Education Week participants that they need not fear the events preceding the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, and that they should instead look forward to the prophesied event with anticipation.
Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and other Christians believe Jesus will return to the earth — but the Book of Revelation warns that His return will happen after a period of wars, natural disasters and worldwide suffering. Parry used verses from Revelation and modern examples to show that the last days are to be, in reality, good days.
“There are over 100 signs of the times — most of them are positive,” Parry said. He then listed some of these signs, including the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, the building of temples and a great outpouring of the Spirit.
Parry also addressed the more foreboding signs of the times outlined in scripture, saying he and others he knows have experienced fear when considering some of the coming events.
“God is in charge of these (signs). They’re under His direction,” Parry assured. “The judgements are designed to get people to love God and to repent and to follow Jesus Christ. So I see these as positive matters.”
Parry explained the various symbols in Revelation 19, including the white horse Jesus rides, the many crowns He wears and the names by which He is called. He said these symbols represent Christ’s majesty, power and glory. When Jesus comes again, Parry said, all will recognize Him as Savior and King, unlike during His mortal life.
“Every eye will see Him coming in the clouds of glory,” Parry said.
Revelation 19 also says Jesus’s clothing will be dipped in blood when He returns. Parry compared this to Christ’s inevitably bloodstained clothing in Gethsemane, where the New Testament account says he bled from every pore. His red, blood-dipped clothing will serve as a reminder of his Atonement and suffering, Parry taught.
Joseph Smith said, “The building up of Zion is a cause that has interested the people of God in every age. … They have looked forward with joyful anticipation to the day in which we live. … We are the favored people that God has made choice of to bring about the latter-day glory.” Parry shared this quote with the audience, assuring that the last days preceding the Second Coming of Christ will not be horrific, but grand and joyous.