|Quotations from modern prophets||WhyProphets.com|
about the 1260 years of apostasy
sometimes said in the church that God has not explained
the numbers in Daniel and Revelation.
This is not quite true.
The important numbers have been explained.
We just didn't listen.
|In this page I show what modern prophets have said about the 1260 "days". This is the key to most of the other interpretations.||See
Joseph Smith's teachings on Revelation
John Taylor on the Kingdom of God
The Iron Rod
|The official LDS position|
Official: the church was in the wilderness for 1260 years
And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she had a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore years.
- JST Revelation 12:5 (see context).
Official: the 1260 years ended in 1830
"In the year 1830, this woman--the church--with her man child returned to the earth. The power of the dragon was overcome and the Lord has proclaimed that the gospel now restored shall never be taken from the earth, for this is the dispensation in which the Lord is gathering in one all things both which are in heaven and on earth."
- President Joseph Fielding Smith.
"The Restoration of All Things".
Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1973, p.83
It is difficult to come to any other conclusion. As Elder Bruce R. McConkie wrote, "Obviously these 1260 days ended when the Church was restored in the latter-days." - Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 'Day', point 5.
Apparently official: the 1260 years began in AD 570
If the 1260 years ended in 1830, it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that they began in 570. That is what the church taught when Joseph Smith was alive:
"We are informed by the renowned historian, Whelpley, as also in the Revolutions of Europe, that the church of Jesus Christ was overrun, and driven into the wilderness, A.D. 570, and John the Revelator informs us it must remain there 1260 years, which makes exactly the time, the year 1830, that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints was organized, with the gifts and blessings."
- Times and Seasons, Vol.5, Pg.732
"Q. 6. What was the rod?
A. -- It was the power and priesthood after the holy order of the son of God, which the church had; and was delivered of it, or rather, it was taken from her in the year 570, and the church fell into the hands of the Pope of Rome."
- Times and Seasons, Vol.6, Pg.858 [referring to a modern day parable]
For more about this parable, visit the page about The Iron Rod
|From the pamphlet "Joseph Smith - Was He a Prophet of God?"|
J. M. Sjodahl was a greatly respected scholar in the church. He is best known as joint author of the standard commentary on the Doctrine and Covenants , and is often quoted in Church Education System publications. In 1891 he published the pamphlet, "Joseph Smith - Was He a Prophet of God? An Investigation and Testimony". Speaking of Daniel's prophecy, he writes:
"In chapter seven the prophet treats of the same subject [as in chapter 2]. The four kingdoms are represented by four beasts, and the ten kingdoms by ten horns; three of the horns or kingdoms are subdued by a little horn, the papal, anti-Christian power, which exercises its tyrannical reign, and overcomes the Saints for a period of one thousand two hundred and sixty years. Here, too, the time is fully defined, showing beyond the possibility of doubt that the restoration of the Kingdom of God belongs to this century, counting from the appearance of the little horn, the papal power."
[N.B. At its appearance, the little horn was indeed Papal. It is not any more.]
what the prophets predict in relation to the ancient
(Daniel chapters 2, 7, 8, and 11, and Revelation chapters 12 and 13 cover the same events - the period from 570 to 1830)
Apostle Orson Pratt, in Journal of Discourses (JD), Vol.7, p.219 (emphasis added)
Hear what the prophets predict in relation to the ancient Church. Daniel says, "And I beheld, and the same horn made war with the Saints, and prevailed against them." (See Daniel 7: 21.) Again, he says, "And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper and practice, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people." (See Daniel 8: 24.)
He further says--"And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall be corrupt by flatteries; but the people that do know their God shall be strong and do exploits, and they that understand among the people shall instruct many; yet they shall fall by the sword and by flame, by captivity and by spoil many days. Now, when they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries." (See Daniel 11: 32, 34.)
John, the Revelator, in describing this same power under the figure of a beast, says--"And all the world wondered after the beast." "And it was given unto him to make war with the Saints, and to overcome them; and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations." (See John's Revelation, chapter 13.) Therefore, instead of the ancient Church overcoming the image, it was itself to be overcome by the image. History shows the sad fulfillment of these predictions. Therefore the former-day kingdom was not the stone of the mountain [Daniel 2]. The ancient kingdom being overcome, fled to heaven, and the Priesthood was caught up to God and to his throne [Revelation 12]; and there the Saints are reserved in heaven until the coming of the Son of God to reign on the earth, according to the predictions of the Prophets.
JD, Vol.17, p.209
Jesus told his disciples that when they saw "Jerusalem encompassed about with armies they were to flee to the mountains." One of the Prophets, in speaking of the affairs that were then to take place [Daniel chapter 7], said that a certain power should arise which should prevail against the Saints, and that power should seek to change the times and the law, and that they should be given into his hand, for a time, and times and the dividing of times.
Very well, these things have taken place.
JD, Vol.17, p.372
Jesus preached the Gospel. Was it right? Yes. Why did it not continue? I do not know, but it did not continue, and the Prophets said it would not, and one of them prophesied that a certain power would seek to make war with the Saints of God, and that it would prevail against them, and that they would be given into his hands until a time, and times, and the dividing of a time. And then other events had to transpire, and other plans and principles had to be introduced, and by and by the time came for the restoration of the Gospel again, and Joseph Smith was raised up, and through him the revelations of God and the Priesthood were restored, the same Priesthood that Jesus had, and which existed upon the earth long before his day.
JD, Vol.21, p.251
And when people were flocking to John to be baptized of him, Jesus came also as a candidate for baptism. But John told him that he (John) had need to be baptized of him. But the Savior told him to suffer it to be so, then "to fulfil all righteousness." And he was baptized of him. Well, that dispensation continued for a long while after, and it began to decline and disappear; but there were a great many men in different parts who listened to the principles of the Gospel of the Son of God. But by and by it began to fade away, both upon the Asiatic continent and upon this continent.
[Note that this is not an immediate end at the deaths of the apostles, but a gradual decline]
It was prophesied that it would, and that there should a certain power arise who should seek to make war with the Saints of God and that it should overcome them; and this power should seek to change times and seasons and things, and they should be given into his hands until a time and times and the dividing of a time.
These things were fulfilled--the Church of God fell into darkness and the priesthood was taken from them, and they had instead something in the form of a bogus priesthood and a bogus creed instead of the true principles which Jesus introduced among men. That was on the continent of Asia. On this continent they seemed the same pretty much; but they had an unparalleled scene of prosperity and joy in the Gospel of the Son of God after he came; and it grew and spread and prevailed throughout the land.
And as it was in their love for one another that no one said that ought he possessed was his own; but they had all things common among them. We are told of these things more elaborately in some other places which might be introduced, but which I do not wish to enter into now. On this continent they remained in this condition for two hundred years; and they dealt justly one with another, and dwelt together in peace. I wish we could do that always. By and by they fell into darkness, and the result was, as recorded in the Book of Mormon, to which I again refer you to read and investigate.
JD, Vol.25, p.307 - 308
Hence there is a great work for us to do. There is something comprehensive in it. It is indeed the dispensation of the fullness of times spoken of by all the holy prophets since the world was. It relates to the interests of men that now live: it relates to the interests of men who have lived, and it relates to things that are yet in the future. It is a thing in which the Gods in the eternal worlds are interested, and all the ancient Patriarch and Prophets that have lived upon the earth are all interested in the work in which we are engaged. There is a Priesthood in the heavens, and we have the same Priesthood on the earth, but there should be a closer communion between the Priesthood on the earth and the Priesthood in the heavens; it is desirable that we should be brought into closer proximity, we want to be advancing as Enoch advanced.
After the appearance of Jesus upon the earth, there was to be a certain power who would make war with the Saints and prevail against them; and it is said, "they shall be given into His hands until a time and times and the dividing of time:" (Daniel vii, 25:) but in this day we are told that "the Saints of the Most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever," (18 verse). You and I may violate our covenants; you and I may trample upon the principles of the Gospel, and violate the order of the Priesthood and the commands of God; but among the hosts of Israel there will be thousands and tens of thousands who will be true to the principles of truth, and God in the heavens, the holy angels and the ancient Priesthood that now live where God lives are all united together, for the accomplishment of this purpose.
"The change from truth to error in the church did not take place in a day. The Apostasy, hastened by the deaths of the Apostles in the latter half of the first century, gradually deepened during the years that followed. By the fourth century there was hardly a trace"
- Church History in the Fullness of Times (Institute manual) p.4
[Note also that these statements focus on the main church in Rome, where the changes occurred fairly quickly. It is possible that in some far flung corner of the Lord's vineyard, the apostasy may have progressed more slowly. While even one righteous family survived with the priesthood, the apostasy was not complete.]
the bottom line
"We do not
need more prophets to speak, we need more ears to listen."
(Harold B. Lee, Conference Report, Apr. 1970)