Latter Day Saints' Messenger and Advocate/Volume 3/Number 2/The latter day glory
THE LATTER DAY GLORY.
The subject of the latter day glory, has produced as much speculation among professed believers in the bible, perhaps, as any other which is supposed to have been a subject of revelation. Every new sect in religion which has made its appearance, has been supposed by its founders, to be the sect which is to lead the world to the full blaze of the latter day glory: and every sect in all sectariandom supposes, that when the latter day glory comes they will be the principal or prevailing party. The never ending variety of clashing opinions upon this subject, is a clear manifestation of the great darkness which exists in the world, together with the unsettled state of the public mind in relation to it.—Some think it will be ushered in in one way, and some in another. Some by one means, and some by another: but one widely different from the other; and a careful reader of the scriptures would surely say, that they all widely differ from the bible.
The subject however seems to have gained pretty general belief, that the latter days are to bring forth something different from what has been in the former periods of the world; and the belief in that fact has no doubt been the cause of multitudes of new parties in religion springing up in the different ages of the world, and has been the cause, as people of modern times say, of much enthusiasm in former times.
We, in modern times, speak of the exertions of the ancients to usher in this day, as the greatest folly, and even wickedness. For it is a fact of great notoriety, that the generations back for many centuries, felt as much zeal in the ushering in of the latter day glory, and as much interest in that day, as we in modern times feel; and used as great exertions to bring it about: but they differed widely with us as to the means by which it was to be accomplished. For instance, Peter the hermit thought that the only way by which this day was to be ushered in, was by taking the holy land (as it was called) and dispossessing the infidels who then held it, and thereby prepare the way for the coming of the Son of man. And in the greatness of his zeal to accomplish so laudable an object, he went through all Europe proclaiming the coming of the Son of man, and the necessity for all christian kings to arouse, and prepare his way, by rescuing the holy land out of the hands of the barbarians, that the Son of man might come again to his own inheritance.
And such was the effect of his zeal, that all Europe was litterally [literally] electrified: the kings were aroused to put their armies into requisition; and army after army marched off into Asia, to redeem the holy land. In history, their armies are known by the name of crusaders. And after much fighting and blood shed, they finally succeeded in getting possession of the holy land; but the Son of man not coming according to their expectations, the land finally rolled back again into the hands of unbelievers, and remains so to this day. But though the crusaders failed to bring about the latter day glory, and this great waste of human life was an unavailing effort, still, the belief in the coming of the Son of man, and the latter day glory, did not perish with this fanaticism, (as we are pleased to call it,) but continues an article in the faith of a large majority of the professing world to this day.
It is the belief in the coming of the Son of man and in the glory which shall follow that is the spur to all the efforts of the religious communities of the present day. The great exertions which are made to excite revivals of religion, and bring mankind under the dominion of some religious party or other, is in view of the near approach of the latter day glory, and the coming of the Son of man. All the missionary schemes of the age are founded on the belief of it. The attempts which are making to convert the heathen on every continent, and in the islands of the sea, grow out of this belief. The cry of Millen[n]ium is heard all over the land, and men are required to use all their exertions to usher in the glory of the last days, by converting the world, as they call it, so that the knowledge of God may cover the earth, as the waters do the sea,and the testimony of the prophets not fail.
It is the same faith and the same zeal that excite the religious societies of this day, that excited Peter the hermit in former days: it is the faith which both have in the coming of the Son of man, and the glory which shall follow. Both agree as to the fact of such a time, and that it will be; but they disagree as to the means by which it is to be brought about. Peter the hermit thought that it was to be introduced by raising armies, and taking the land of Palestine or Canaan, (or the holy land as it was called,) so that when the Son of man came, he might find his own disciples dwelling on the land where he was to make his appearance, and in accordance with his belief he acted; and actually succeeded in raising the armies, and in taking the land, but could not hold it, but it fell back into the hands of barbarians again, and so all his efforts were fruitless.—And in modern times we look at them, and call them the heighth of enthusiasm; and we say so, because we differ from him not in the fact of the coming of the Son of man; but in the proper means to be used in order to prepare the way of his coming.
We believe in the coming of the Son of man, as much as he did, and in the glory that shall follow; but we think that the means which he used were no way calculated to obtain the object for which they were intended, but the very reverse; and suppose that we have fallen upon the only means which can be used in relation to it, that will be of any avail, and that is, to convert the world to the belief in God, and in Christ; and believing this to be not only probable, but an indispensable duty, the religious world has entered into it, with all the zeal of their nature, firmly believing, that in so doing, they are preparing the way of the Son of man, and also the glory that shall follow.
The Jews who also have a belief in the glory of the last days, as well as in the coming of the Son of man, or their Messiah, differ from both Peter the hermit, and the present sectarian world; not in the fact of such a day coming; but in the means by which it is to be brought about. They say that it is to be done by gathering the scattered remnants of Jacob together, and collecting the outcasts of Israel from all lands whithersoever they have been driven in the time of their affliction, and returning them again to the land of their fathers. And their entire course of conduct is in view of this advent; all their worldly circumstances are regulated by it in all countries as far as we have account of them, so that it is their polar star to direct all their movements, and they are entirely under the influence of this belief.
Any person who has made himself in any good degree acquainted with the movements of those who believe in the bible, whether Jew or Gentile, must see, that the belief in the coming of the Son of man; and the latter day glory, are, after all that men may say to the contrary, holding the influence over their minds; and their movements are all in a greater or lesser degree, made in view of it. And it is in relation to this subject that those different parties are constantly upbraiding each other with the appel[l]ations of fanatic, enthusiasts, imposters [impostors], and not because they do not believe the facts of the coming of the Son of man, and the following glory, after they all believe in this; but they disagree about what that glory shall be, and in what it is to consist, and by what means the way is to be prepared for it. Some think it will come one way, and some another. And some think it will consist in one thing, and some in another, and thus it is that they are calling each other fanatics, imposters, &c.
For instance all the religious world Jews and Gentiles say of Peter the hermit that he was a fanatic, and that the crusaders were the veriest enthusiasts in the world; and the Jews say of the present Gentile churches that they are fanatics, and enthusiasts, to believe as they do about the latter day glory.—And the Gentile churches say of the Jews that they are fanatics for their belief in relation to it: and it is no uncommon thing to hear the Gentile churches denouncing each other as fanatics, and enthusiasts, because they hold different opinions about it.
Now, these all believe in the second coming of the Savior, and that a great glory will follow; but they differ about the events which will precede that advent, and about what the glory will be when it comes. And on these points they frequently grow wrathy, denounceeach other as heretics, fanatics, enthusiasts, &c. &c. and deal out their anathemas against one another with a liberal hand.
It is in relation to these things that the church of the Latter Day Saints has been so shamefully abused and belied by all these parties both Jews and gentiles, reformers and non-reformers, (not even excepting the pious A. Campbell and old Clapp, his Sanco Panza, and the will-making A. Bently, one of his flunkies:) not that they do not believe in the second coming of the Savior, and in the glory that shall follow; but because they differ from all the other parties about the means by which the Savior will prepare the way of his second coming, and what the glory will be which will follow.
The Latter Day Saints believe that Christ will prepare the way of his coming by raising up and inspiring apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers, and under their ministry restore again to his saints all the gifts of the church as in days of old.—And the glory which shall follow, will consist in the increase of faith on the earth, by which men shall obtain revelations, visions, the ministering of angels, and the manifestations of the Savior himself; so that the saints shall know that he lives, and shall each one know it for himself, and not for another; and these blessings will gradually multiply and increase, until they will have power to behold the Father of glory; and spiritual gifts through faith will so greatly increase, until every individual saint shall have power to behold the face of God in the flesh, as did Moses and others in days of old, until the prophecy of Isaiah shall be literally fulfilled, that the knowledge of God will cover the earth as the waters do the sea.
The Latter Day Saints also believe that God has began this work, by raising up and inspiring men to bring forth revelations, and to direct his saints as in days of old, that the church may come out of obscurity, and out of darkness, and begin to shew forth her light, and her glory, so that the way of the Son of man may be prepared.
And for this their belief, the saints of the last days have been made to partake of the sufferings and afflictions of those of former days. Priests and drunkards, deacons and scoundrels, professors and thieves, have all shewn themselves to be of one spirit, and of one clan, and of one mind.
The Latter Day Saints further believe that previous to Christ's coming, and at the time of his coming, he will cut off and consign to the perdition of ungodly men, the before mentioned motley gang of professors, and non professors, priests and drunkards, deacons and scoundrels, professors and thieves, as being of their father the devil, and materials suitable for his kingdom, and there will none be able to stand in this great and notable day of the Lord, except such as have obtained like precious faith with the apostles, and have power over all things this side the celestial world; among whom all the spiritual gifts are found that ever were known among men, and if these gifts never return to the world, God will come and smite the whole earth with a curse, and not one will escape.
Such is the faith of the Latter Day Saints, and for this their belief, earth and hell have combined for their overthrow: the devil and his emis[s]aries on earth, the priests of all denominations, have used their utmost exertions, but their exertions have been vain for the truth prevails exceedingly, far beyond the expectations of any of the saints.
Another item of their faith is, that before the coming of Christ, and the general destruction of the wicked, God will gather his saints together from every nation, tongue, language and kindred, under the whole heaven, unto places before appointed, and will try his saints in those places, and try them until there is not one left but those who are pure and holy in his sight: that among those who are left after the bad are gathered out, he will shew forth his glory: they shall be the ones, of whom it is said, they shall know the Lord from the least to the greatest of them; among them the knowledge of God shall cover the earth, as the waters cover the sea; and all the rest of the world will without exception be cut off; and when this is done, and all the rest of the world cut off but the saints which are gathered, then the earth will be of one heart, and one mind: then men will beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks, and learn war no more: then shall the cow and the bear feed, andtheir young ones lie down together: then shall the lion eat straw like the ox: then shall the time come when they shall neither hurt nor destroy in all the Lord's holy mountain, which holy mountain is the place where the saints will be gathered.
For believing these things, and acting accordingly, the saints have been made to feel the hand of persecution from this ungodly generation which is fast ripening for the damnation of hell; for the saints have began to gather together, in spite of all the lying priests there are this side the perdition of ungodly men, (and this is only such as are in the flesh) until they shall all have come from one end of heaven to the other, and not one left in all nations, tongues, languages and kindreds, under heaven, and then, and not till then will Christ come and the glory will follow. S. R.