Mormon Eschatology

Q. I came across (an) article and it made me realize that I have no idea what the LDS teach about the end times. Do you? With Mitt Romney running for president, it might be nice to know what he believes.

A. It’s hard to determine exactly what Mormons believe about the End Times, but having lived among them for 25 years I’ve found that there are some commonly held views, at least at the informal level.

Most Mormons believe in a 2nd Coming but not a rapture of the church, and especially not a pre-trib rapture. Many believe that the bulk of end times prophecies about chaos and rampant evil will be fulfilled in the US, and that the faithful will build the New Jerusalem in Missouri before the Lord returns to live there among them. Since they believe that they are the true descendants of Israel, mainly from the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, there isn’t really any end times role for Israel.

You might hear about Joseph Smith’s “white horse” prophecy in the days ahead, especially if Mitt Romney’s run for President becomes a serious possibility. It’s an interpretation of Rev. 6 that speaks of a prominent Mormon saving the US from complete destruction in the last days. (An LDS Church spokesman has publicly stated that this prophecy is not part of their officially accepted canon.)

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