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True or False: Second Coming Rumors

RUMOR: There will be no rainbow for a year before the Second Coming.

Joseph Smith wrote, “I have asked of the Lord concerning His coming; and while asking the Lord, He gave a sign and said, ‘In the days of Noah I set a bow in the heavens as a sign and token that in any year that the bow should be seen the Lord would not come; but there should be seed time and harvest during that year: but whenever you see the bow withdrawn, it shall be a token that there shall be famine, pestilence, and great distress among the nations, and that the coming of the Messiah is not far distant‘” (Joseph Fielding Smith, “Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith,” Section Six 1843-44, p.341).


The lack of a rainbow likely means that there will be no rain and that famine will cover the earth.

RUMOR: The U.S. Constitution will hang by a thread.

The only first person account of a prophet saying this comes from Brigham Young who said, “When the Constitution of the United States hangs, as it were, upon a single thread, they will have to call for the ‘Mormon’ elders to save it from utter destruction; and they will step forth and do it.” (Source: Journal of Discourses: Volume 2, page 182)



Joseph Smith, quoted by Brigham Young, said something similar: “Will the Constitution be destroyed? No: it will be held inviolate by this people; and, as Joseph Smith said, “The time will come when the destiny of the nation will hang upon a single thread. At that critical juncture, this people will step forth and save it from the threatened destruction.” It will be so. (Source: Journal of Discourses 7:15)



A first-person account from Joseph Smith saying the constitution will hang by a thread doesn’t appear to exist. There is a journal entry from Elder John B. Roberts who heard from a man named Robert Pierce what Joseph Smith had said. He wrote: “You will see the Constitution of the United States almost destroyed. It will hang like a thread as fine as a silk fiber.” (Source:  John J. Roberts, “Reminiscences and Diaries 1898-1902”, Microfilm Manuscript, Church History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.)

RUMOR: There will be an LDS temple in Jerusalem.

Isaiah prophesied in Isaiah 2:1-3 that a temple would be built in Jerusalem and all nations would flow to it. 



Many Latter-day Saints consider this prophesy to be about the Salt Lake temple the original Hebrew (בית־יהוה הר) indicates that it is specifically about Mount Moriah – the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. 



Again, the original Hebrew in this verse clarifies whose temple it will be. The word “nations” in this verse comes from the Hebrew הגוים which means Genties. It thus appears that the temple Isaiah wrote about will be built in Jerusalem and not by the LDS church. (Source: BYU Religious Studies Center)

RUMOR: World War III will kill ⅓ of the world’s population.

The battle of Armageddon will (in some way) include all nations of the earth (Zechariah 14:2; Jeremiah 25:26; Revelation 16:14).


Thus it could be considered a World War III.


The idea that ⅓ of the world population will be killed in this battle comes from Revelation 9:14-18 which says that four angels will be loosed “. . . for to slay the third part of men. . . .


Whether this is symbolic (as most of Revelation is) or not, we don’t know.

RUMOR: A red heifer has to be sacrificed in Jerusalem before Jesus will return

This rumor is related to ancient Israel in the wilderness with Moses.



In Numbers 19:1-22 God gave the Israelites a law that would allow them to purify the ritually unclean.



The law included the sacrifice of an unblemished red heifer, the ashes of which would be combined with pure water to cleanse the impure.



Because entering the temple is impossible without being ritually cleansed, the idea of red heifers being sacrificed in or near Jerusalem is connected with the building of a temple in Jerusalem.



So this rumor is actually a rumor about the prophecy that a temple will be built in Jerusalem, which we know will happen.