Armageddon, the end of the world, and the second coming

(also see “Hell”)

 

Pros of Mormonism from the perspective of the
Believer
Nonbeliever
As natural disasters, wars, and turmoil abound, the believer takes comfort that Zion will escape the terrors of the end of the world if they are righteous. Indeed, the people of Zion will be the only people on earth who are not at war with each other. As calamities come forth, believers can take comfort and are not to be troubled.
 
        The righteous believer can look forward with an eye of joy to the end of the world and the second coming. At that time the righteous will be brought up in joy to meet Christ. Justice will be served and the wicked will be punished. The Earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.
— N/A —

 

 

Cons of Mormonism from the perspective of the
Believer
Nonbeliever
Many believers feel great anxiety and fear about Armageddon, the end of the world, and the second coming. The church paints a bleak picture of the world and explicitly teaches that a lot of scary things are going to happen. Perilous times will come, the Earth will reel to and fro, the heavens and earth will shake, there will be desolating scourges that go forth, the Lord’s wrath will spread across the Earth, nation will rise against nation and the entire world will be at war against Jerusalem or the church.
 
        While it is true that the saints are offered some degree of comfort and protection from the calamities that are promised to come forth (see the “pros” section), this protection is conditional. The end result is that many believing saints, especially children who take things more literally than adults, feel inadequate and live in fear of what is to come. How does one know if one is truly righteous and will be safe? Everyone sins, and sinners are promised the desolation of abomination and nonbelievers are promised destruction. We are counseled to stay in Holy places until the Lord comes, so if we sin does that mean all the judgements and calamities that will beset the wicked will come to us? President Woodruff explains that members of the church who are not valiant will not be exempt from the terrors of the end of the world:
 
        “Can you tell me where the people are who will be shielded and protected from these great calamities and judgments which are even now at our door? I’ll tell you. The priesthood of God who honor their priesthood and who are worthy of their blessings are the only ones who shall have this safety and protection. They are the only mortal beings. No other people have a right to be shielded from these judgments. They are at our doors; not even this people will escape them entirely.”
 
        Indeed, believing members should live in fear because the calamities that will befall the end of the world will actually start from within Zion.
The nonbeliever is likely to agree with the cons listed in the believing section, and they are not reproduced here for the sake of brevity.
 
        The nonbeliever likely views Armageddon and the end of the world as one of the more harmful teachings within Mormonism. Many nonbelievers would actually argue that the world is getting better and better, and that we are living in the most peaceful time in all recorded history. Societies are more and more advanced, human rights are stronger than ever, and freedom spreads further and wider than ever before. The concept that the world is going to get worse and worse until it finally ends minimizes all the good in the world and is a pessimistic, fatalistic way to live. It can encourage myopic  and wasteful thinking, because there is little need to plan for sustainability when the world is going to end and Christ is going to come sometime relatively soon. What is the point of worrying about global warming if Christ will come and renew the earth anyway? Another harm is that it is egocentric and condescending to think that everybody will suffer extreme calamities except the righteous.

 

Comments relating to your lived experience with Mormonism are welcome. Although it can be difficult to distinguish at times, please focus on how the church helps and harms rather than it being true vs untrue.

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