Prepare for the Days of Tribulation- Pres. Ezra Taft Benson ('A Great Division Among The People' – A 'Test' & A 'Sieve')
|'A Great Division Among The People' – A 'Test' & A 'Sieve'|
John Taylor’s Last Days Vision
by John Taylor –––
(Source: Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, June 15, 1878, “A Vision, Salt Lake City, Night of Dec 16, 1877”)
[NOTE: There are some that dispute whether or not it was John Taylor that had this vision. The vision does, in fact, come from the journal of Wilford Woodruff. It is verified that it was not Wilford Woodruff that had the vision. Many believe it to be John Taylor’s vision.]
“I went to bed as usual at about 7:30PM. I had been reading a revelation in the French language. My mind was calm, more so than usual if possible, so I composed myself for sleep, but could not. I felt a strange feeling come over me and apparently became partially unconscious. Still I was not asleep, nor exactly awake, with dreary feeling. The first thing that I recognized was that I was in the tabernacle of Ogden, Utah. I was sitting in the back part of the building for fear they would call on me to preach, which however they did, for after singing the second time they called me to the stand.
“I arose to speak and said that I didn’t know that I had anything especially to say, except to bear my testimony of the Latter-day work, when all at once it seemed as if I was lifted out of myself and I said, 'Yes, I have something to say and that is this: Some of my brethren have been asking, 'What is becoming of us? What is the wind blowing?' I will answer you right here what is coming very shortly.'
“I was then in a dream, immediately in the city of Salt Lake, and wandering around in the streets and in all parts of the city, and on the doors of the houses I found badges of mourning and I could not find a house but was in mourning. I passed my own house and found the same sign there, and I asked the question, 'Is that me that is dead?' Someone gave me the answer, 'No, you will get through it all.'
“It seemed strange to me that I saw no person in the streets in all my wandering around the country. I seemed to be in their houses with the sick, but saw no funeral procession, nor anything of the kind, but the city looking still and as though the people were praying. And it seemed that they had controlled the disease, but what the disease was I did not learn; it was not made known to me. I then looked over the country, north, east, south, and west, and the same mourning was in every land and in every place.
“The next thing I knew I was just this side of Omaha. It seemed though I was above the earth, and looking down upon it. As I passed along upon my way east I saw the road full of people, mostly women, with just what they could carry in bundles on their backs, traveling to the mountains on foot. I wondered how they would get through with such a small pack on their backs. It was remarkable to us[?] that there were so few men among them. It didn’t seem to me as though the cars were running, the rails looked rusty and the roads abandoned; and I have no conception of how I traveled as I looked down upon the people.
“I continued east by the way of Omaha and Council Bluffs, which were full of disease. There were women everywhere. The state of Illinois and Missouri were in a tumult, men killing one another, women joining the fighting, family against family in the most horrid manner.
“I imagined next that I was in Washington and I found desolation there. The White House was empty and the Halls of Congress the same, and everything in ruins. The people seemed to have left the city and left it to take care of itself.
“I was in Baltimore. In the square where the Monument of 1812 stands in front of the Charles Hotel. I saw dead piled up so as to fill the street square. I saw mothers cutting the throats of their own children for their blood. I saw them suck it from their throats to quench their own thirst and then lie down and die. The water of Chesapeake Bay was stagnant, and the stench arising from it on account of their throwing their bodies into it so terrible, that the very smell carried death with it. I saw no man except they were dead or dying in the streets and very few women. Those I saw were crazy and in an ugly condition. Everywhere I went I beheld the same sights all over the city; it was terrible beyond description to look upon.
“I thought this must be the end; but no, I was seemingly in an instant in the city of Philadelphia. There everything was still. No living soul was there to greet me. It seemed the whole city was without any inhabitants. In the south of Chestnut Street and in fact everywhere I went, the putrefaction of the dead caused such a stench that it was impossible for any living thing to breathe, nor did I see any living thing in the city.
“Next I found myself in Broadway, in the city of New York, and there it seemed the people had done the best they could to overcome the disease, but in wandering down Broadway I saw the bodies of beautiful women lying, some dead and others in a dying condition, on the sidewalks. I saw men come out of cellars and ravish the persons of some that were yet alive and then kill them and rob their bodies of all the valuables they had upon them. Then before they could get back to the cellar they would roll over a time or two and die in agony. In some of the back streets I saw them kill some of their own offspring and eat their raw flesh, and in a few minutes die themselves. Everywhere I went I saw the same scene of horror and destruction and death and rapine.
“No carriages, buggies, or cars were running; but death and destruction were everywhere. Then I saw fire start and just at that moment a mighty East wind sprang up and carried the flames over the city and it burned until there was not a single building left standing there, even down to the waters edge. Wharves and shipping all seemed to burn and follow in common destruction where the 'great city' was a short time ago. The stench from the bodies that were burning was so great that it was carried a long distance cross the Hudson Bay and carried death and destruction wherever it penetrated. I cannot paint in words the horror that seemed to compass me about; it was beyond description of man.
“I supposed this was the end; but it was not. I was given to understand the same horror was being enacted all over the country, east, west, north, and south. Few were left alive, still there were some.
“Immediately after I seemed to be standing on the left bank of the Missouri River, opposite e the City of Independence, but there was no city. I saw the whole state of Missouri and Illinois and all of Iowa, a complete desert with no living being there. A short distance from the river however, I saw twelve men dressed in temple robes, standing in a square or nearly so (and I understood it represented the Twelve Gates of the New Jerusalem.) Their hands were uplifted in consecration of the ground and laying the corner stone of the temple. I saw myraids of angels hovering over them, and saw also an immense pillar of clouds over them and heard the angels singing the most heavenly music. The words were 'Now is established the Kingdom of God and his Christ, which shall never more be thrown down.'
“I saw people coming from the river and from the desert places a long way off to help build the temple and it seemed that hosts of angels all helped to get material to build with and I saw some of them who wore temple clothes come and build the temple and the city, and all the time I saw the great pillar of clouds hovering over the place.
“Instantly, however, I found myself again in the tabernacle at Ogden. And yet, I could still see the building go on and I got quite animated in calling on the people in the tabernacle to listen to the beautiful music, for the angels were singing the same music I had heard before. 'Now is established the Kingdom of God and his Christ, which shall never more be thrown down.'
“At this I seemed to stagger back from the pulpit and Brother Francis D. Richards and some others caught my arm and prevented me from falling. Then I finished so abruptly. Still even then I had not fainted, but was simply exhausted.
“Then I rolled over in bed and awoke just as the city clock was striking twelve.“
(The Horseshoe Prophecy)
[A Remarkable Prophecy By President John Taylor As Told by Edward Lunt, An Ordinance Worker in the Mesa Temple]
“The following incident occurred at my father’s home in Cedar City, at the time a stake conference was being held in that city, at which President John Taylor and George A. Smith were present.
“Apostle Smith was asked to conduct the conference, as President Taylor wished to rest after his having held meetings in the different wards and stakes between Salt Lake City and Cedar City. President Taylor asked Elder George A. Smith to start the conference, as he wished to rest until the afternoon meeting. President Taylor, with some of the authorities, was staying at the home of my parents during this conference.
“President Taylor wished to go to his room and lie down. He asked my mother to awaken him in time for the afternoon conference, as he feared he might oversleep and thus fail to arrive at the conference in time.
“My mother was busy preparing dinner for the visitors but was surprised to see President Taylor come into the kitchen so soon after retiring for his much needed rest. He immediately started telling mother of a most remarkable vision that he had just had while in his room.
“He stated that he saw that Salt Lake City would become a great city with many beautiful paved roads and streets of cement construction, and that the people had become wealthy. He saw that the city extended almost to the point of the mountain south of the new 1951 State prison.
“The people, he saw, had become quite indifferent to the counsel and advice of the authorities of the church, and were more interested in the accumulation of wealth than they were in living their religion. He told mother that he saw that war had been started, and that so great was the destruction of life within the city that blood ran down the gutters as though it were streams of water, and the violence was such that it would cause the destruction of the beautiful city. The people were fighting among themselves until it became necessary to remove the church records across the Colorado river.
“President Taylor said to mother, 'If you are alive at that time, be sure that you are not behind the Church records, because after the Church records leave and are made secure, the very powers of hell would be turned loose, and there will be such destruction that there will be but little life remain, —not only in Salt Lake City, but in adjoining cities also. And in Jackson County, Missouri civilization will become entirely extinct, and all means of transportation such as rail roads and highways will be destroyed, and the only means of travel will be on foot.
“All means of manufacturing will also be entirely destroyed. Be sure when you see these things come that you have buttons, needles, cloth and things to work with as much as possible, to make yourselves clothing, because all tools and every kind of machinery will be destroyed. It will be such a destructive war that in comparison to the sufferings and the drivings of the people of Nauvoo, it would be only a drop in the bucket.
“One half of the Mormon people will entirely forsake their leaders, and half of the other half, because of their suffering, will leave the church. Many Mormons will die in the struggle, but the Lord will bless those who stick faithfully to the church and will bless them to the extent that they will not be destroyed.'
“He said that faithful Latter-day Saints would go to the south and would form a circle something like a horseshoe, before they return to Jackson County, Missouri.
“Said he, 'Those only will be privileged to help build Jackson County who will be found willing and glad to obey the counsel and advice of the authorities who will be placed over them [NEW ones after the times of the Gentiles ends], and who will seek counsel that they may be guided and protected from dire want and distress.'
“President Taylor also said that we will assist the Lamanites in building the New Jerusalem in Jackson county. He said that the vision to him appeared so terrible that he besought the Lord to close it up, but he saw that those who would keep the commandments and adhere to the authorities of the church [not the prior leaders, but the One Mighty and Strong] would be the ones who would survive and not be destroyed. And that the Lord would protect them as he did the children of Israel.
“The above experience my mother told to me many, many times; and she held this great experience very sacred.”
(A remarkable prophecy by president John Taylor)
(A Test Is Coming)
On August 16, 1857, Heber C. Kimball stated:
“There will also be a day when you will be brought to the test — when your very hearts and your inmost souls will melt within you because of the scenes that many of you will witness. Yes, you will be brought to that test, when you will feel as if every thing within you would dissolve. Then will be the time you will be tried whether you will stand the test or fall away.”
(Remarks by President Heber C. Kimball, Delivered in the Bowery, Great Salt Lake City, Sunday Morning, August 16, 1857. source)
In May of 1868 Heber C. Kimball said:
“An army of Elders will be sent to the four quarters of the earth to search out the righteous and warn the wicked of what is coming. All kinds of religions will be started and miracles performed that will deceive the very elect if that were possible. Our sons and daughters must live pure lives so as to be prepared for what is coming.
“After a while the Gentiles will gather by the thousands to this place, and Salt Lake City will be classed among the wicked cities of the world. A spirit of speculation and extravagance will take possession of the Saints, and the results will be financial bondage.
“Persecution comes next and all true Latter-day Saints will be tested to the limit. Many will apostatize and others will be still not knowing what to do. Darkness will cover the earth and gross darkness the minds of the people. The judgments of God will be poured out on the wicked to the extent that our Elders from far and near will be called home, or in other words the gospel will be taken from the Gentiles and later on carried to the Jews.
“The western boundary of the State of Missouri will be swept so clean of its inhabitants that as President Young tells us, when you return to that place, there will not be left so much as a yellow dog to wag his tail.
“Before that day comes, however, 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.
“Yes, we think we are secure here in the chambers of these everlasting hills, where we can close the doors of the canyons against mobs and persecutors, the wicked and the vile, who have always beset us with violence and robbery, but I want to say to you, my brethren, that the time is coming when we will be mixed up in these now peaceful valleys to that extent that it will be difficult to tell the face of a Saint from the face of an enemy against the people of God.
“Then is the time to look out for the great sieve, for there will be a great shifting time, and many will fall. For I say unto you there is a test, a Test, a TEST coming.
“This Church has before it many close places through which it will have to pass before the work of God is crowned with glory. The difficulties will be of such a character that the man or woman who does not possess a personal knowledge or witness will fall. If you have not got this testimony, you must live right and call upon the Lord, and cease not until you obtain it.
“Remember these sayings: The time will come when no man or woman will be able to endure on borrowed light. Each will have to be guided by the light within themselves. If you do not have the knowledge that Jesus is the Christ, how can you stand?”
(Heber C. Kimball, First Counselor in the First Presidency, May 1868, in Deseret News, 23 May 1931; see also Conference Report, Oct. 1930, p. 58-59)
President Spencer W. Kimball read this prophecy verbatim. And then he closed his grandfather's quote by saying:
“I hope he fails in that line of his prophecy, but I don't think he will. If they don't repent, there will be great mourning and weeping and wailing.”
In his talk, 'Be Not Deceived', in the October 1963 General Conference Ezra Taft Benson stated:
“Those of us who think '. . . all is well in Zion . . .' (2 Nephi 28:21) in spite of Book of Mormon warning might ponder the words of Heber C. Kimball when he said, 'Yes, we think we are secure here in the chambers of these everlasting hills . . . but I want to say to you, my brethren, the time is coming when we will be mixed up in these now peaceful valleys to that extent that it will be difficult to tell the face of a Saint from the face of an enemy against the people of God. Then is the time to look out for the great sieve, for there will be a great sifting time, and many will fall. For I say unto you there is a test, a Test, a TEST coming.' (Heber C. Kimball, 1856. Quoted by J. Golden Kimball, Conference Report, October 1930, pp. 59-60.)”
In the October 1975 General Conference, Gordon B. Hinckley stated the following words which were then repeated verbatim in a First Presidency Message, in July 1990, note the very last paragraph quoted here:
“In 1856, when the Latter-day Saints were largely alone in the Western valleys, some people thought we were safe from the ways of the world. To such talk, President Heber C. Kimball of the First Presidency responded: 'I want to say to you, my brethren, the time is coming when we will be mixed up in these now peaceful valleys to that extent that it will be difficult to tell the face of a Saint from the face of an enemy to the people of God. Then, brethren,' he went on, 'look out for the great sieve, for there will be a great sifting time, and many will fall; for I say unto you there is a test, a Test, a TEST coming, and who will be able to stand?' (Orson F. Whitney, Life of Heber C. Kimball, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1945, p. 446.)
“I do not know precisely the nature of that test. But I am inclined to think the time is here and that the test lies in our capacity to live the gospel rather than adopt the ways of the world.”
Is this what this country will look like after the Savior separates the 'wheat' from the 'tares'? (D&C 86:1-7)
Is this what the Lord's 'day of wrath' will look like – from the 'words of Isaiah', the Book of Mormon, the Holy Bible and the Doctrine & Covenants?
Is this how the Savior will 'sweep' (Ether 2:7-12) iniquity off the land – in preparation for Zion, a New Jerusalem, to stand on this land? (D&C 45)
Is this a sample of the bitter consequences poured out onto the wicked for, at some point in the future, mounting up to 'make war' with the 'saints of the Lamb' and the 'covenant people of God'? (1 Nephi 14:9-17; Daniel 7:1-22; JST-Revelation 13:1-10)
There will be incredibly difficult accumulating and culminating trials, both within and outside of the Church, to trigger a prophesied 'great division among the people' (2 Nephi 30:10; 4 Nephi 1:35), that will separate the 'wheat' from the, now hidden, 'tares' (D&C 86:1-7; 101:39-66)
If we remain faithful to the Savior and His Gospel, we may have to leave the settings we are now familiar with for a time – as the Saints will, once again, depart for the (literal/figurative) 'wilderness' (JST-Revelation 12:14)
(Or what Pres. Uchtdorf, in his parable, called 'Great Aunt Rose's Countryside Home' (D&C 49:24))
The Lord always separates those He will listen to His voice – before He reigns down destruction on the wicked. How far away are we from seeing this 'great division among the people' (2 Nephi 30:10; 4 Nephi 1:35) – wherein John Taylor once prophesied that one HALF of the Church will immediately apostatize in one fell swoop? What will be the event that will cause the 'tares' to reveal themselves to the 'wheat'? How will it happen? Where will it happen? When will it happen?
However it may all unfold, if we faithfully 'endure to the end' (1 Nephi 22:31), of this great 'sieve' (Amos 9:8-10), we will see the 'New Jerusalem' (Ether 13) – either in our physical or our spirit bodies:
8 Behold, the eyes of the Lord God are upon the sinful kingdom, and I will destroy it from off the face of the earth; saving that I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob, saith the Lord.
9 For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth.
10 All the sinners of my people shall die by the sword, which say, The evil shall not overtake nor prevent us.
John 'Uluakiola- (Gatherer Of This Above Message)