The name of this lesson is “The Great and Dreadful Day of the Lord” and it’s centered on Zechariah 10-14 and Malachi. Its purpose is “To encourage class members to (1) prepare for the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, (2) pay an honest tithe and generous offerings, and (3) experience the blessings that come because of the sealing power of the priesthood.”
If you’re thinking ‘how could they possibly do justice to these two books in one short lesson’, the answer is simple; they can’t and they don’t.
This lesson began with a couple of questions;
“What feelings do you have when you hear words like Second Coming, last days, or signs of the times? The scriptures refer to the Second Coming as a “great and dreadful day” (Malachi 4:5). How can it be both?”
Let’s take a quick look at Malachi!
Malachi 4:5; “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD”.
I’m sure I’m not the only Christian who thinks “Yes! Come Lord Jesus, come!” when I hear the phrase ‘the Second Coming’. Who doesn’t want to be with the Lord?
Historically speaking, Mormons don’t have assurance they’ll be going to heaven. I’ve not met a Mormon yet who’s told me they’re sure they’ll be in heaven with Jesus and that’s just sad. I remember feeling that way as a Mormon and it produced many dark days in my life. The Bible tells us this isn’t from God and as Christians we can know we’ll live with the Lord.
Acts 2:21; “And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved”.
As for the other question, ‘how can it be both’, referring to the great and dreadful day of the Lord…well, I just don’t know how to respond other than suggesting a concordance is desperately needed!
The Hebrew word for ‘great’ is ‘gadol’ meaning mighty, loud and exceeding. It’s not referring to ‘great’ in the sense ‘I had a great day at work!’ rather; this is a description of God’s great power.
They blew through the entire book of Zechariah with six one sentence questions and answers. As for Zechariah 12:10? They said Jerusalem will mourn in the future when they see they’ve rejected Jesus.
Zechariah 12:10; “And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn”.
I know there are many expositors who have untold years of studying eschatology and even some of those disagree on this verse, however, they’ve all agreed that prophecies in Zechariah and other end-time prophecies in the Bible contain both past and future prophecies within one chapter. I don’t see how Zechariah 12:10 could be anything but the crucifixion of the Lord and the grace we received at His death.
As for signs of the ‘Second Coming of the Lord’ this lesson suggested that Joseph Smith fulfilled this role in two ways. They claim that Elijah appeared to him at the Kirtland Temple restoring the keys of sealing powers – D&C 110:13-16. In essence this means they were to perform works for the dead in their temples.
The other sign fulfilled by Smith is found in Malachi 3:1 when Malachi prophesied a messenger would prepare the way for the coming of the Lord. While they did say that John the Baptist prepared the way for Jesus’ “mortal ministry”, they went on to say Smith was the messenger “who prepared the way for the Second Coming”. They gave Matthew 11:10, Doctrines of Salvation 1:193, 3:10-14 as their defense of this defenseless position.
I say we look at those three key passages they’re using; Malachi 3:1, D&C 110:12 and Matthew 11:10.
Malachi 3:1; “Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts”.
Matthew 11:10; “For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee”.
D&C 110:12; “After this, Elias appeared, and committed the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham, saying that in us and our seed all generations after us should be blessed”.
After all that they asked if knowing these things have turned their hearts to their ancestors to provide salvation and told them that blessings are only provided to those who pay a full tithe – Malachi 3:8-12. There’s nothing like a heavy dose of shame to go along with a false teaching to catapult people into mandatory obedience.
At the end of this horrific lesson they suggested that what they’ve learned throughout the year should prepare them for the Sunday school lessons for next year when they go through the New Testament.
As always, we’re asking that you come alongside us in prayer for these people! Each of us that have found mercy in the Lord is living proof He still performs miracles every day!
With Love in Christ;
1 Cor 1:18