My dear brethren and sisters I sincerely pray that the Lord will direct me in what I shall say upon this occasion. President Moyle Monday morning set forth very clearly and effectively the teachings of the Church regarding the coming of the Savior, and I thought I would like to mention three signs that the Lord gave that we might observe and know when we saw them that he had set his hand again to accomplish final preparatory work for the coming of the millennium.
The first of these was to be the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. That has already occurred, and it occurred 130 years ago. The Church speaks for itself. Its literature, its scriptures, its martyrs, over a million testimonies from lips and lives of members of the Church speak to the world and bear witness that this thing has been accomplished that the Lord has set his hand to do, and it is evident that it is spreading all over the world rapidly.
A week ago Sunday our representatives organized a stake in Australia and on the same day another in England. Our temples encircle the globe. Our people are on all continents and in most of the countries of the world, and God is moving forward with this, his kingdom.
Another sign of great importance was the rise of an evil power. Brother Benson had already very impressively referred to it—communism. The Lord, in the first section of the Doctrine and Covenants, officially and formally announced to the world the restoration of the true and living Church, and called upon all people to hear and accept the messages of his servants that he was sending forth to the world D&C 1:1-39
He also said: “For I am no respecter of persons, and will that all men shall know that the day speedily cometh; the hour is not yet, but is nigh at hand, when peace shall be taken from the earth”—that condition, I think we readily understand—”and the devil shall have power over his dominion” D&C 1:35
It is that point that I think is very significant. The Savior recognized the domination of Satan over the world generally, and called him the prince of the world, but in a special way—in the way that Brother Benson has referred to—he has entered into the politics of the world among the nations of the world, and already subjugated about one billion people of the world, and by a dire, sanguinary, and deadly philosophy has brought death to millions and has brought slavery to almost a billion people.
I just want to call one point to your attention. I have not time to name others here. Brother Benson has said that they have declared for world domination, their aim the destruction of all the governments in the world. I want to read before you God’s declaration: “And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever” Dan. 2:44
I bear my witness that that decree of God will hold. It remains for us—members of the kingdom of God—to devote ourselves with singleness of purpose to his service. To love God with all our hearts, and love our fellow men as ourselves, and live and proclaim this gospel of salvation to the world is the only means that will save it.
A third item is God’s promise that he would gather Jews to Jerusalem, and I think perhaps we may well now not continue saying the Jews are going to gather in Jerusalem. I think now we may well say they have gathered. The ultimate returns will come later as they develop this land and are joined by others.
In a writing issued recently this statement was made: “About two million Jews have returned to restore land which has lain desolate for centuries. In little more than ten years fetid swamps have been transformed into fertile valleys. Orchards now blossom on stony hillsides. Farms have sprouted the desert and towns and cities have been built on the site of ancient settlements.”
It goes on to explain—I do not have time to read the details—that this movement started about 1880 when pogroms against the Jews drove them from Europe, and they began to trickle into Palestine. In 1909 a number of Jewish families started homes on the sand dunes outside of Jaffa, working with shovels and wheelbarrows. Thus began the city of Tel Aviv, meaning the “hill of spring,” Israel’s biggest city, the first all-Jewish city built in two thousand years. “Pioneers,”—as they called their farmers—returned to the land from countries from which the Jews had been driven, in which they could not possess land. They were armed farmers, they constituted the Army of Defense, reminding one of the Prophet Nehemiah who said, “every one with one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other hand held a weapon” Neh. 4:17
In 1948, with a population of 600,000, the Declaration of Independence was issued, and the State of Israel was established. An army of 35,000 Jews was opposed by an army of nearly 80,000 Arabs. In about nine months peace was declared and they set up their government. They planted more than 53 million trees. Martyrs’ Forest has six million trees, one for each Jewish life lost in Nazi Europe.
This statement by a writer is very interesting:
“Strangely enough when the State of Israel was reborn in 1948, it was a nation of 600,000, the same number which the Bible reports that Moses led out of bondage in Egypt. It now numbers some two million, the same number which it is said populated the ancient Kingdom of Solomon, when Israel was in all its glory.” That is why we may now say that the Jews have returned to Palestine. On a land one-tenth the size of Utah they have nearly a half million more people than we have in our whole Church. They have about 258 people for each square mile in Palestine, which is a dense population. We have about ten a square mile in Utah.
So that this may remind us—I cannot give further details of the words of Isaiah:
“Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem: for the Lord hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem.
“The Lord hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God” Isa. 52:9-10
And this looks to the time when the Lord Jesus Christ is to stand on the Mount of Olives, and the people will gather about that mount, and they will say, “What are these wounds in your hands and in your feet?” And he will say unto them, “These are the wounds received in the house of my friends” Zech. 13:6 Then they will recognize him—Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world.
I declare to you, my dear brethren and sisters, that Jesus Christ is the Redeemer of the world, the Son of the Living God. We cannot partly accept him—as a philosopher, as merely the most perfect man who ever lived. When we do that we reject him. We reject his sovereignty and his divinity. He is the God of Israel, and the God of the whole world. He is Jehovah of the ancient scriptures, and God, the Savior of the new scriptures. Into his hands God has placed all things John 13:3 and given him power over the nations Rev. 2:26all flesh, and he is exercising that power.
Things seem to us, in our shortsightedness, all confusion, but a clear pattern is marked out that we can discern. These three things have been accomplished that he told his disciples would happen, as he sat with them on the Mount of Olives, and he is to accomplish all other things. We see now another rebellion like that which occurred at the planning of the world, when Lucifer stood up and impudently proposed that he should be the Savior, and attempted to dethrone God and Jesus Christ, and subject the world to slavery.
Now these issues are drawn again—the same evil power has declared that they are to conquer the world. God has declared that his kingdom is to consume all the nations of the world Dan. 2:44 The issues are now clearly drawn, and the time will come when Satan, again, by the power of the Only Begotten, shall be cast down, and Jesus Christ will reign supreme, and all those who believe and accept the fulness of his gospel and devote themselves with all their hearts to the building up of his kingdom will be saved and honored with him. Those who will not must of necessity be cast out.
I bear witness that this is the Church and kingdom of God established by him, and it is never to be thrown down, that Joseph Smith is a prophet of the Living God; that David O. McKay is a prophet of God to this world this day. I bear this witness in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Elder George Q. Morris
Of the Council of the Twelve Apostles
George Q. Morris, Conference Report, April 1960, pp. 100-102