Sunday, January 4, 2015

All About Armageddon

In the five years that I have maintained this blog, I have studiously avoided posting anything about the end times, the second coming, or the battle of Armageddon, for at least two reasons.  First, these topics tend to bring out the crazies on the internet, which I find incredibly tiresome.  Second, I have found that focusing too much on these subjects can cause everyday Christians to “look beyond the mark” (see Jacob 4:14).  By this I mean that it can often seem more exciting and interesting to speculate about the great and terrible events of the end of the world, which can seem safely removed from our everyday experience, than it does to contemplate the need to apply the simple principles of the gospel in our everyday lives.

On the surface, the simple and basic principles of the gospel, like faith, and repentance, and enduring to the end, can seem mundane and small when compared to the terrible glory of the end times.  It is also my opinion that these principles are often overlooked because the principles of the gospel require daily transformation, and self-evaluation, which can be difficult and uncomfortable, and therefore much less fun to consider in a priest quorum meeting than the “exciting” events leading up to the second coming of Christ.

I therefore preface this post by declaring that learning to live the gospel, and developing a relationship with God through the Holy Ghost, is more important than knowing the particulars of the events of the end times, or becoming an eschatological expert.  It is important to know "the signs of the times," but not at the expense of the "weightier matters," like justice, mercy, faith, and faithfulness.  If we are truly converted, through faithful obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ, then the last days need hold no fear for us.  If we have truly become converted as a disciple of Christ, we can look forward with anticipation, and without trepidation, for the day of His return, and there is no need to continually pore over and dwell on the accounts of the suffering and bloodshed that will come in the days leading up to His coming, especially if doing so causes us to lose sight of the truly important study and application of the gospel.

With that said, I chose to publish this post about Armageddon because I found that there is an everyday spiritual application which we can gain from a study of the terrible fighting that will usher in the coming of Christ.  While I spend most of this post outlining the events and conditions during the battle of Armageddon, I conclude it with advice concerning how best to fight the everyday spiritual battle which each of us must fight in order to stay true to the Lord and His gospel, and ultimately, to prepare for His coming.

My friend Shari asked me this question in an effort to deepen her knowledge so that she could answer some questions that her friends had concerning the end times.  What follows is an expanded version of my original answer.

Q:  Is the battle at the end of the world (Armageddon) going to be a physical or spiritual battle?
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