Elder Neal A Maxwell On Same-Sex Marriage, Family, Abortion And The Secu...

For all flesh is corrupted before me; and the powers of darkness prevail upon the earth, among the children of men, in the presence of all the hosts of heaven—
Which causeth silence to reign
, and all eternity is pained, and the angels are waiting the great command to reap down the earth, to gather the tares that they may be burned; and, behold, the enemy is combined. (
D&C 38:11-12)

This verse explains why the silence reigns from the opening of the SEVENTH SEAL, until the Second Coming. Once the world is wicked enough to cause silence to reign the wicked "shall lift up their voices and curse God and die" (D&C 45:32) rather than repent.

Silence obviously only affects the wicked who cause it. Heaven will not be silent for the righteous. A similar condition existed during Enoch's time. God was angry with the wicked because "their ears are dull of hearing" (Moses 6:27). Later in the same chapter this condition was emphasized when Enoch says the wicked were "shut out from the presence of God" (Moses 6:49).

The verse in D&C also describes the relationship between the righteous and the wicked when silence begins to reign. It says "the enemy is combined." This must be what Neil A. Maxwell had in mind in his book "Even As I Am" when he said, "There will be wrenching polarization of this planet." Brigham Young also described this gulf. He said:
By and by there will be a gulf between the righteous and the wicked so that they cannot trade with each other, and national intercourse will cease.
We are getting closer and closer to this condition every day, but we are not there yet. Heber C. Kimball may have been referring to that time when he said:
The Saints will be put to a test that will try the integrity of the best of them. The pressure will become so great that the more righteous among them will cry unto the Lord day and night until deliverance comes.
Heber C. Kimball, must be referring to the prayers of the saints that are taken to heaven when the seventh seal opens and silence begins to reign. An angel "having a golden censer" takes the prayers of the saints to heaven and comes back with answer to their prayers in the form of destructions poured out of the golden censer. This must be the deliverance Heber says will come.

So, silence is not a period of inactivity in heaven as some believe. It represents the corruption and wickedness of the wicked. It represents the polarization that will come to exist between the righteous and the wicked. It represents the intention of the wicked to destroy the righteous, just as in Enoch's day.

It also provides us with another way to realize the seventh seal is about to open. The saints will be "combined" in places of refuge for protection against the deliverance to come when the angel pours destruction out of the censer.

The verse about silence in D&C says "The angels are waiting the great command to reap down the earth" (D&C 38:12). Some believe the angels are waiting for the silence to end. They are actually waiting for silence to begin.

We should be anticipating a time when conditions become so extreme that silence reigns, the seventh seal is opened, and the angels of destruction (deliverance for the saints) are released.


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