|Daniel chapters 2, 7, 8, 9, 10-11, 12, overview||WhyProphets.com|
The "blessed" period of church history
|The final prophecy of the book of Daniel promises the
reader that if he can wait a certain period of time, he
will be blessed. Do you want to be blessed? This is your
chance to commit yourself to the winning team.
Left: "the sunshine of goodwill" (see below)
|The history of the church|
Daniel 12:11-12 - a summary of the scattering of the kingdom of God.
As already noted, the Book of Daniel ends with a summing up of the message - by talking about the restoration of the gospel. Great prophecies typically end on such an upbeat note.
Daniel's prophecies are all about the scattering of the power of the people of God (Daniel 12:7, 10). As noted earlier, the first great scattering began 721 BC, the low point is the beginning of the Dark Ages in AD 570, and it ends with the final return of the kingdom of God in AD 1830, never to be scattered again.
Now we already know about the key date, 570, the start of the Dark Ages. So what more is there to say? We already know that we should wait for 1260 years for the return of the kingdom of God. In Daniel 12:12, we are instead advised to wait for 1335 years if we want to be blessed. So it is 1290 years from the first scattering to the Dark Ages, then 1335 years until a blessed era again. What exactly does this mean?
From a pioneer period to a blessed period
We have seen how the early days of the church, between 1830 and 1844, were uncertain - the saints relied on the prophet Joseph being able to fulfil the great task that the Lord had given him. We shall see elsewhere that the church went through three particularly bad periods of trial, each lasting 1260 days. Certainly life was not easy for the church in the nineteenth century. So when does this pioneer period blossom into a blessed period? When is Daniel's prophecy fulfilled?
|The trials of the church|
Note: this deals with the main themes of trial across the entire nineteenth century. The particular years of the nineteenth that had the worst trials are discussed elsewhere.
In the nineteenth century, the church had five main sources of trial:
1905 was the beginning of the twentieth century for the church
As www.Mormons.org noted, under "Centennial Observances",
"the Church ushered in the twentieth century in 1905 with the centenary of the birth of the Prophet Joseph Smith. For this occasion, President Joseph F. Smith led a group of Church leaders and Smith family members to Sharon, Vermont, Joseph Smith's birthplace, and dedicated a memorial cottage and large granite obelisk to his memory. Many LDS congregations held local observances."
|"The Sunshine of Goodwill"|
Gordon B. Hinckley, in "Truth Restored", summarized the nineteenth century as "persecution" and "endurance", but called the twentieth century "The Sunshine of Goodwill". The turning point was around 1905. Perhaps as symbolic of this healing, in 1905 the first LDS hospital opened.
As if to confirm that the time for hiding was over, the church from this time began to really look at one of its greatest blessings, something that until that time had been largely neglected by church members: the Book of Mormon. In 1907 Mission President Ellsworth was on the hill Cumorah with the church president. He heard an unseen voice say:
"push the distribution of the record taken from this hill. It will help to bring the world to Christ".
The year 1905
In conclusion, if a historian had to choose a single year that summarized the transition from retreat to advance, from persecution to blessings, the year would have to be 1905.
And how long was 1905 from that terrible year 570, the start of the Dark Ages? 1335 years. Exactly as prophesied in the book of Daniel. As the church grows from strength to strength, the years since 1905 have been a blessed time indeed!
|A footnote: Joseph Smith foresaw the change|
Although 1905 was the year when the church effectively ceased to be persecuted, Joseph Smith apparently did not know this. All he knew was that it would be some time after 1890, when the greatest persecution ended (see discussion).
Joseph Smith, as a prophet, would report on what God had told him, even when he did not understand exactly what it meant. Before Doctrine and Covenants 130:14-17, he had prayed to know the time of the Second Coming. Nobody knows the exact time, but Joseph was told that it would not be any sooner than 1890. He had earlier been told something similar. In 1835 he said that "fifty-six years should wind up the scene" (History of the Church 2:182).
Historians have noted that 1890 was something of a turning point for the LDS church, as the end of the greatest period of persecution, and the beginning of the long process toward the blessed state we now enjoy. Joseph was right to say that 1890 would wind up the scene he knew. It seems that in the Lord's timetable, there was to be a period of persecution (1830 to 1890) then a recovery period (to 1905) and then a blessed period. But only our Father in Heaven knows the exact date of the Second Coming.
For more about the year 1890, and the First Presidency message of 1905, see the page on the Baha'i faith.
the bottom line
Life is good! If it isn't good for you, have a look at what the church has to offer!