Gerald N. Lund: Signs of the Second Coming—Take 2
A lot has happened in 2020: the pandemic, wildfires, social unrest, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornados—the list goes on and on. It is understandable, then, that many are curious about what this all means in regard to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. While the “day or hour knoweth no man,” Gerald Lund has devoted years of his life to studying the Second Coming. In today’s episode, he explains what he believes our current circumstances mean and what we can do to prepare so that regardless of what comes, we “shall not fear."
One of the things that I found curious is that even many of the members are focused on COVID and rightly so, it dominates our life right now, [and] defines our schedule. But we're overlooking what I think are other really quite evident and quite remarkable signs of the times.
Elder Lund's Book's:
Elder Bednar's talk about religious freedom that Morgan mentions: "COVID-19 Crisis – A Wake-Up Call for Religious Freedom," Elder Bednar discusses the pandemic at BYU Law School conference
Quote: "My beloved brothers and sisters, I plead with you to increase your spiritual capacity to receive revelation. Let this Easter Sunday be a defining moment in your life. Choose to do the spiritual work required to enjoy the gift of the Holy Ghost and hear the voice of the Spirit more frequently and more clearly" (President Russell M. Nelson, "Revelation for the Church, Revelation for Our Lives," April 2018 General Conference).
Quote: "If we are to have any hope of sifting through the myriad of voices and the philosophies of men that attack truth, we must learn to receive revelation" (President Russell M. Nelson, "Revelation for the Church, Revelation for Our Lives," April 2018 General Conference).
2:42- Are We Getting Closer?
9:03- An Intensifying
12:12- Temple Closure
13:53- Initial Interest
17:22- Great and Terrible
22:11- The United States of America
25:54- Something to look forward to?
28:25- 3 Ways to Prepare
35:43- Once Prophecy, Now History
38:08- What Does It Mean To Be “All In”
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Morgan Jones 0:00
Does it feel to you like everywhere you go these days people are talking about the Second Coming? There's no doubt that the topic has definitely seen a resurgence in interest this year. But Gerald Lund's interest in the topic dates back to his time as a young missionary. And in 1971 – nearly 50 years ago, his book The Coming of the Lord was released. Now in the year 2020, a rewrite of the book shares what Elder Lund has learned about the topic in the years since. So, for all of you who have asked, "Is this a sign of the Second Coming?" – over the past six months – this one's for you. Gerald N. Lund received his bachelor’s and master's degrees in sociology from Brigham Young University. He served for 35 years in the Church Educational System, and as a member of the Second Quorum of the 70, from 2002 to 2008. He is a prolific and best-selling author of both fiction and nonfiction, and is best known for his historical novels, including: The Work and the Glory, Fire of the Covenant, The Kingdom and the Crown, and The Undaunted. He and his late wife, Lynn, are the parents of seven children. This is All In, an LDS Living podcast where we ask the question, what does it really mean to be all in the Gospel of Jesus Christ? I'm Morgan Jones, and I am so excited to have Gerald Lund with me today. Elder Lund, welcome.
Gerald Lund 1:37
Thank you, Morgan. Good to be with you again.
Morgan Jones 1:40
Well, I loved our conversation last time. And clearly, I was not the only one that loved it, because your episode was our number one episode – I think for like the first year after it came out. And so people are big fans, and they want to hear more from you. And I think certainly, we have a lot to talk about, because COVID was not even a thing last time that we spoke, we didn't have any idea what we would be experiencing. And when COVID first started to happen, we actually got several requests from people asking that we do a follow-up episode with you, which corresponds perfectly to this new book that you have coming out, which is – it's not, it's not just a rewrite, it's like a new book of Coming of the Lord. Is that right?
Gerald Lund 2:31
That's correct. It's more than twice as long than the original one.
Morgan Jones 2:36
Wow. That is – it's pretty incredible to me that in those 50 years, that you would learn that much more about the Second Coming. So for starters, Elder Lund, a lot – like I said, a lot has happened since we last spoke. Do you think we're getting closer?
Gerald Lund 2:56
Yeah, of course, we're getting closer and closer. In this last year, I believe there's been a special acceleration. I think that's a good word. I think an analogy I heard some time ago works here. And that is – let's say you had a large Sequoia tree. And someone comes along and whacks it with a hatchet, knocks a chip out. And they pass by everyday coming and going. And they do that over and over. And if you're on the other side of the tree, everything looks just fine. But there will come a time when he makes that one last chop, and the tree starts to quiver, and it starts to fall. And at first it's moving very slowly. Once that starts, it starts to accelerate with increasing rapidity. And then putting all the chips back doesn't make any difference. It just crashes down. And I think that's what I'm seeing in this acceleration time. I mean, I was thinking the other day, it was just late February and March that we heard about COVID. That now seems like a year or so ago, not just a few months ago and all that's happened. So yeah, it's, it's an accelerating time. You think of the things that we've been seeing happen, but this is not the first time we've seen conference cancelled, for example. That was cancelled back in 1918. That's not the first time that we've called missionaries home. It's just that we're seeing it on the scale that we've really never seen before. But one of the things that I found curious, Morgan, is that even many of the members are focused on COVID and rightly so, it dominates our life right now, defines our schedule. But we're overlooking what I think are other really quite evident and quite remarkable signs of the times. One of those being the collapse of social order in society. Several places in the Doctrine & Covenants and other scriptures where it talks about that, this is not just regular war, but where society begins to collapse. And that's happening all around us not only out in the world, but just in this last few weeks, we're seeing cities at war and people afraid for their lives, and – but I don't hear anyone saying, "Oh, there's a sign of the time that I hadn't expected before." So it's gratifying to see how people are changing and adapting to COVID. I think we're learning some things about personal revelation and putting our lives in order. I think we're also getting some tests. I wonder if some of this is not the Lord's – kind of a preview of things to come. And this is a get ready, wake up call, as someone called it. Another person used the better analogy, maybe he said, "It's kind of like a shot across the bow, trying to get a ship to turn its course." And yet in all that, I don't feel fear, I don't feel despair. It's a time for recommitting and re-doubling down and growing closer to the Lord and having the Spirit with us every day in our lives.
Morgan Jones 6:40
Yeah, well, I think like you said, I think it's interesting, because we have – COVID has changed our lives. It's something – like I told you before we even started recording, it's something that I think a lot of us never anticipated living through in our lives. My grandma is about your age, and she's like, "I've never lived through anything like this." But I do think it's interesting, because I think sometimes we focus so much on the negative side of it, rather than the positive things that we're seeing as a result of it. And I had a conversation with a friend a few months ago, where he said, "You know, I do find it interesting that you have a virus that is – one, forcing people to spend more time in their homes or their families, and then second, the whole mask thing, regardless of where you stand on that, the, the idea behind it is to wear a mask to help other people to protect others around you. So you kind of have to like get outside of yourself. Anyway, I thought that was an interesting point.
Gerald Lund 7:48
Yeah, I think there's – as the Lord does – there's many, many levels of learning here. Some of my family and friends are talking about some of the sweetest experiences they've had with family in years. Others seem to be seeing this as an opportunity to kind of take a holiday from spirituality for a while, you know. Go out Sunday boating or up in the mountains or whatever. And it's just an interesting learning time, I think.
Morgan Jones 8:20
Yeah, I think that's one thing that is interesting about our Church. I – the talk that Elder Bednar gave where he talked about religious freedom as it relates to COVID, I thought, you know, that talk was fantastic. And the cool thing is, within our faith, we actually were prepared for this. We had the home centered church model in place and the resources available to us to do that. But, even then, I think some people – I worry, are going to be out of the habit of going to church or doing spiritual things. And so I do think it takes some more deliberate effort right now.
Gerald Lund 9:00
Yeah, it is a time of testing as well as the time of challenge.
Morgan Jones 9:05
Elder Lund, another thing that I wanted to ask you about is – and you, you kind of alluded to this earlier – that we've seen some of the signs of the times before, missionaries being called home, earthquakes, pandemics, but just in the past few months, we've seen them all packaged together. Is that significant?
Gerald Lund 9:27
Yeah, that's, that's one of the interesting things about this. It's, it's not only an acceleration, it's an intensifying. We're seeing more and more. I'm often asked by people, because in the first book, I wrote about missionaries being called home as being one of the signs that would be – we would see in the future, and so I'm having people say kind of, "So is this it?" You know, "Was this our sign?" And, yes, I think we have to say that definitely is a part of the fulfillment of prophecy, but as some of these people have asked me, I think they're seeing that as what I call an "End of Days" prophecy, kind of a cataclysmic, “Okay, this is the sign now,”or “Everything's changing” and, and that's not the case because as you said, we've called missionaries home several times in our history, World War One, World War Two, Korean War – I remember when we couldn't send missionaries out because of the draft registration that they had to do. So in that way, it's, it's something, but there is an interesting scripture. This is Section 43, and this is where I got this concept of the missionaries being called home. But notice how the Lord says this, He says, "How oft have I called upon you by the mouth of my servants, and by the ministering of angels, and by my own voice, by the voice of thunderings, and the voice of lightnings, and by the voice of tempests, and by the voice of earthquakes and great hail storms, by the voice of famines and pestilence of every kind, and by the great sound of a trump and by the voice of judgment, and by the voice of mercy all the day long. And I would have saved you with an everlasting salvation, but you would not." And that suggests that there is coming a time when the Lord will say, "Okay, missionaries, you are coming home." And that may be because of the social collapse we were talking about. But now he's going to preach his own sermons. But we'll see missionary work even in the millennium, we know there will be non-members, people who are good people who are not destroyed in the great classic cataclysms, and we’ll go out and teach them. So we just need to see it in it's proper – it is part of prophecy, but it's not one of those, "Oh, dear. Now what happens?"
Morgan Jones 12:05
Yeah, I actually saw that quote from your book going around on Twitter. So if you're wondering why people are, are hitting you up – you know. Was there anything – is, is the temple closure, is that significant in terms of signs of the times?
Gerald Lund 12:23
I think it is in, in one way. It's the first. That is a first. We've never seen major temple closing. We've seen … when we had to flee to different countries. But that's pretty dramatic – that we shut down an ordinance, a place of ordinances that are so critical to us. But again, that may be one of those tutorials that the Lord is giving us that in the future when war or social collapse or whatever it is, pandemics or whatever, that we will be more confined to our homes then we are now, so it's just, I like the concept of a shot across the bow, "Wake up." There are things coming and this is – "I know those things, and I'm preparing you for them." I think that's a good way to think about it.
Morgan Jones 13:17
Yeah, for sure. And I think it also – I mean, again, pointing to positive things. It's been interesting to me to hear about different people and what they've done to kind of have that presence of the temple in their lives and Elder Renlund talked a little bit about what can we do to maintain the temple as a part of our lives when the temples are closed down. And I think I've heard of really cool ways that people have tried to make that still a part of their lives, whether it's reading in scripture, whether it's like going through in their minds, the endowment, I think there are a lot of different things that people can do to preserve that. Elder Lund – I wanted to ask you before we get any further into this, how did you initially have the idea for the original Coming of the Lord book? What sparked your interest in that?
Gerald Lund 14:07
Well that's, that's interesting, and I don't want to take too much time, but– I'm not sure where my initial interest came from. But while I was serving as a missionary, one time we were over at a couple's home, my companion and I, actually there were four couples there. And after dinner, one of the men brought out two prophecies, he had them printed out. One was called the “White Horse Prophecy” that was about four pages long, another one was called the “Horseshoe Prophecy.” And he read those to us. He was quite enchanted with them. And they're pretty dramatic. And I remember thinking, "Whoa, this is – why have I never heard any of this before?" And so, my dad always taught us to ask chapter and verse kind of thing, and so I just said – so they're both attributed to – one, to Joseph Smith, one to John Taylor. So he's saying, "Well, of course they're true this is Joseph, and this is President Taylor." I said, "I want to know if this is authentic." And I don't know how I knew this, but back then Joseph Fielding Smith, who was President of the Quorum of the 12, would take questions from members of the Church. You could write in a question, and he would answer it. And I don't know how I knew that, but I said, "Why don't you send these into Joseph F. Smith, Joseph Fielding Smith, and ask him?" And this man said, "No way am I gonna do that." And I said, "I'll do it." So I did, I sent them into Joseph Fielding Smith, and they came back – I didn't send him the four page one, I just described it, and he knew them both. And across my letter, he put in the margins, "Forget it," and three exclamation points. On the “Horseshoe Prophesy,” just put a big cross on it, and wrote, "Throw this in the trash." And so – which confirmed what I was kind of feeling, that this, this isn't right. So out of that, I determined to start collecting quotes that were trustworthy, because this did fascinate me. And then I became a seminary teacher and wanted to teach it, and, and that's just kind of how it got started. And then I was in California teaching institute by this time, and I would use it to speak in firesides. I would talk about this and quote the quotes, and people will say, "Well, that's incredible. Where do we get those quotes?" And I said, "At Brigham Young University Library." They said, "Well, that's not very helpful. Why don't you write a book?" I had never, ever thought about writing a book. And I didn't think about writing. But when that happened several times I finally said to my wife, "Why not?" And so that was a –that was the beginning.
Morgan Jones 17:12
How many books have you written now, Elder Lund?
Gerald Lund 17:15
Oh, I think this one that's coming out is 40, or 41? I'm not sure.
Morgan Jones 17:20
Incredible. You've talked a little bit, um, in the things that I've looked at, about the phrase, "The great and dreadful day of the Lord." So for those that are interested, how will the coming day of the Second Coming – How will, how will it be great? And how will it be terrible? And kind of packaged with that, as we go through, maybe you can acknowledge what we're still waiting on?
Gerald Lund 17:48
Okay. That, that phrase, of course, comes from Elijah, when he visited the Prophet Joseph in the Kirtland temple. And I've heard some people say that terrible, does not mean bad. It just means kind of worrisome. I think he meant terrible. And interestingly enough, that's what you find in all the prophecies, it is a dual scenario. You have the great stuff, and you have the terrible stuff. And the great is incredibly marvelous. And the terrible is terribly awful. And that seems to be the way it is. The interesting thing to me is, I divided the book into sections, and one section is the terrible things and one section is the great things. Which do you think has the more chapters?
Morgan Jones 18:48
Gerald Lund 18:49
That's what most people would guess. But no, there's 8, I think it's 8, I'd have to look – 8 chapters on the – on the terrible and 14 on the great. Which is a wonderful thing.
Morgan Jones 19:02
That's encouraging. Makes me feel better already, Elder Lund.
Gerald Lund 19:06
So, out of that, I came to realize that in the, in the Scriptures, the Lord uses two voices – I call two voices. One is the voice of warning. And one is the voice of promise. Very often those are coupled together. “If you do this, it's going to be bad for you. If you do this, you'll get blessings.” And I think there's great wisdom in that. Some people have said you shouldn't focus on the negative and I said, "Well, actually, it's coming out of the scriptures." "Well, I don't think the Lord does that." Of course He does it. If there's something terrible coming, and you knew it, and you didn't warn somebody – I'd be angry. And so He warns us and it's not that He's causing them, He just sees what's coming. And so, as we see that coming, we see, still a lot of things that we are still waiting on – if that's a good word. One of the things that we often forget is that many people think the signs of – take any sign of the time, that it's a one off thing, kind of a one shot, and then it's over, and then we go to the next one. But many of these, I mean, you take war, prophesied to start at the Civil War, and we'll go right up to the end, that's gonna be 150 to 200 years or more. But there are a few things that we can say we are living in them now, we are seeing them, but we don't think about them as signs of the times. I don't think many people think of World War Two now as a major sign of the time, and yet that was probably the greatest war in the history of the world. But there are tons of things that have not been fulfilled. So we're seeing wickedness, we're seeing unrest, we're seeing Satan ruling over his dominion, all of those are ongoing, not one-off signs. There are still some things out there that we have not seen – both good and bad. One of the terrible things will be the great battle of Armageddon, which will be total global war. And you got wonderful things like the New Jerusalem, Adam-ondi-Ahman – the council there, Jesus appearing to the Jews on the Mount of Olives. So, we still have a lot coming. But I'm surprised how many of our people are not looking around them and saying, "Oh, yes, this is one of the signs of the times." It's just happening so natural, we just kind of don't make that connection.
Morgan Jones 22:04
Yeah, don't even think of it is that.
Gerald Lund 22:09
Morgan Jones 22:11
Another thing I wanted to ask you about Elder Lund is there – when I was looking on Twitter last night, which can be a dangerous place, I saw where some people had pointed out some, some things regarding the state of the United States, when the Savior comes – what do we know about that?
Gerald Lund 22:33
There are some in the scriptures – there are some general prophecies like we talked about. War, a collapse of social order that seemingly indicated in the United States too, but Joseph Smith specifically, and repeatedly, talked about, particularly after the US Congress, and the President of the United States refused to do anything to recoup the wrongs that have been committed in Missouri, which violated I don't know how many parts of the Constitution, and in typical politician fashion, they just kicked it down the road. And so Joseph started making some prophecies. One time, he said, "If the United States Congress does not hear our petition, then they will be utterly broken up as a government." Another time, he said, "If they do not hear the cries of our people, then the time will come when there's not so much as a pot shard left" – that's a broken piece of pottery. But the one that we hear about the most, and this is because, at first it was – we heard it as quotes by those who were around him. And he talked about the Constitution, "And the time would come when the Constitution would hang by a thread." He seemed to have used that phrase more than once. I mean, we have – these are, these are all hearsay, but they're pretty good hearsay. Brigham Young, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, some of the great sisters of the Church all reported him talking about this. One place he talked to in vision of seeing in the United States where the collapse of order was so bad that he saw men hunting their sons, women hunting their daughters, and it was so horrible that he finally just asked the Lord, take it out. I can't stand it anymore. So we're not clear on what those are because they're slightly different in how they were remembered. But a few years ago – this was a bit more now – back in the 70's, Ezra Taft Benson one day in conference read a scripture about this same time, only he was reading it from a document that was the firsthand account by Joseph. And Joseph talked about the time when there would be that crisis, but he added things that nobody else has mentioned, he talked about foreign saints coming to America to help, that the members of the Church and the Priesthood would be the cause of saving the Church, so he doesn't talk about – maybe a collapse of our government as we think of it now, but he does not talk about us losing the Constitution. And out of that, I think we have some more indications. We're seeing a lot of places where our Constitution is being weakened. How that'll play out, he does not tell us, but it is coming. And I think it's one of the signs, I have a whole chapter on that in the book, by the way.
Morgan Jones 25:52
I'll look forward to reading that. Another thing I wanted to ask you about is, when, so when we hear about these terrible things happening, and especially I think when we've started to kind of live through some of them, and we see like the anxiety and depression that's associated with that, and fear – when these things are happening, why is the Second Coming still something that we should look forward to?
Gerald Lund 26:21
COVID is making us reassess our – where we are spiritually. And that's the thing. But the thing to remember is God is at the helm. God is in charge, nobody's gonna throw something at Him that He can't handle. And so as long as we do what President Nelson has asked us to do, and link with him, and strive to get revelation, and prepare ourselves to commit to new levels of spiritual commitment, then, as the Savior Himself said, "If ye are prepared, you need not fear." And that's, that's really comforting. In all of the concern I have and looking at the world around us, I am not anxious. I am just at peace and very concerned but at peace. And I think that's what the Lord's trying to teach us.
Morgan Jones 28:24
Yeah. So I think one thing – when you were talking about what President Nelson has asked us to do – I was thinking about how the first principle in Preach My Gospel is, "God is our loving Heavenly Father." And I think that's why that's so important, like that has to be the baseline, because when we understand that – it does eliminate the fear. And when we build a relationship with our Heavenly Father, like President Nelson has asked us to do, then we know that He loves us, and we're aware of how concerned He is with our lives. Elder Lund, how do we best prepare for the coming of the Lord?
Gerald Lund 29:05
That's actually the most critical question of all. And I use it – I take a whole section on that. As I read through it, I finally completed this “Three basic ways that we prepare” – that the Lord asks us to prepare. One is knowledge. And Section 88 it talks about learning from good books, and studying astronomy and chemistry and geology and all those things. He's telling us that we ought to be aware of the world around us. Sometimes I hear people and I totally understand this. Say, "I don't watch the news. I don't listen to any of that anymore. I can't stand it. It's so negative." And I'm not saying you have to listen to all that, but the Lord wants us to know what's going on. We ought to – we ought to be aware of some of the forces going on in the world in our politics, things around us, you know? Like, is the COVID the only problem we're having right now? No, not quite. So that's, that's part of it, we just – we're to be a prepared people. And that's knowing what's coming and how to prepare for it, and so on. The second area is that He asked us to prepare temporally. And the brethren have spoken a lot about this. The first thing we think of is food storage, but the Lord asked us to be independent of other things – that means no debt, if possible. Now, we do have food storage – but that we get an education so we can take care of our families for the rest of our lives. And that whole area is the one that we talk most about. And part of that's because it's easiest to do. If you've been slacking, all you have to do is go to the grocery store and buy an extra cartload of food and you're saying, "Okay, now I'm a little better prepared." And so, sometimes, you see in a crisis, we see this over and over when a crisis hits, and look what happened with COVID. You got lines trying to get toilet paper, lines, trying to get milk, and so on. And then as soon as the crisis passes, then everything kind of goes away. And we're back to normal again. But the Lord's giving us that warning, He says, "You have to be temporally prepared." The third and most important, of course, is what you were just talking about, and that's being spiritually prepared. I just went through and collected some of the things that President Nelson has said, and all of these are about spiritual preparation, "If we're to have any hope of sifting through the myriad of voices and the philosophies of men that attack truth, we must learn to receive revelation." I like this one, "Our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ will perform some of His mightiest works between now and when He comes again." "In coming days it will not be possible to survive spiritually without the guiding, directing, and comforting influence of the Holy Ghost. I plead with you to increase your spiritual capacity to receive revelation." Over and over and over he's saying we've got to do the spiritual work that brings us sensitivity with the Holy Ghost. If we don't have that all the preparation in one and two won't save us.
Morgan Jones 32:40
Yeah, I think that's interesting because all of those different kinds of preparation – you, you kind of touched on the fact that when COVID first started happening, you couldn't find toilet paper, you couldn't find some – several different things. And then the other day, I was at Costco, and they had the huge giant thing of toilet paper again, and I was so happy. But I think that it's important to realize that like, even when things are good – I think many times, especially when it comes to spiritual preparation, many times we kind of turn to the Lord when we're in our hour of need, and then when things level out again, we're like, "Oh, I'm good. Thanks." And – but, being prepared, constantly preparing in those times of safety, is so important.
Gerald Lund 33:32
Exactly. I'm sure you've probably heard that old story about the boy who's hired by a farmer. And the farmer says, "Why should I hire you?" And he says, "Because I can sleep when the wind blows." You ever heard that?
Morgan Jones 33:46
Gerald Lund 33:47
And the farmer says, "What do you mean by that?" And he said, "I can sleep when the wind blows." So the farmer is intrigued, and he hires him. And several weeks later, along comes a tornado, and he jumps up, the farmer, and starts yelling at his kids, "We got to get out and tie down the hay," and he runs out there, and there's the kid, already has it done. And he's back in his bed sleeping. And that's a great concept. If you prepare in advance, then you can – doesn't mean we won't be anxious, but I think we really can accept that concept of fear.
Morgan Jones 34:26
I love that story. That's awesome.
Gerald Lund 34:29
Here's one last thing that I think is critical that we're taught by the Lord. The Section 45, the Lord is retelling Joseph Smith, what he told the 12 on the Mount of Olives. And He's talking about all of the terrible things that are coming. And when He finishes that, the 12 say, or it says in the record that the 12 said, "And they were troubled." I remember reading that one day and thinking, "They were troubled? They're 2,000 years away from it – we're living here." And then the Savior says, "Be not troubled." And if you go on, He uses the, the idea of the fig tree and its leaves. And what is, what represents the fig tree? – the signs of the times. If we're watching the signs of the times, preparing spiritually and temporally and in knowledge, then we can sleep when the wind blows, we can be there and contribute instead of being a victim that has to be helped. That's what we're after.
Morgan Jones 35:40
Yeah, that's so good. Another thing I wanted to ask you about Elder Lund is – with writing this rewrite, you said it's, it's twice as long as the original. So obviously, in the 50, how many? 54 years? Was it?
Gerald Lund 35:57
Yeah, it'll be 51 years when that actually comes up.
Morgan Jones 36:01
Okay. 51. So in those years, you learned a lot more, gathered a lot more information, what are some of the biggest things that you learned in working on this second edition that you didn't know before?
Gerald Lund 36:15
I probably knew them, but I didn't recognize them in the same way. One thing that's clear is some of the things I wrote back then, which were prophecy, are now history. That's a major thing. For example, taking the Church to Russia. When I was a kid, and a teenager thinking mission down the road, a very common statement was, "Do you think we will ever see missionaries called to Russia?" And the standard answer from everybody was, "Not till the Millennium." Well, we were wrong. Now, that's history. And, and so as we, as we look down that road, and I see the changes that change so gradually – but here's another example, I was born 12 days after World War Two began, that's not really auspicious time, that it sounds like, and yet my childhood, we live two blocks from my elementary school, and me and my buddy would walk back and forth, unless it was terrible weather. The only thing my mother ever said to me when I left was, "Watch out for traffic." Now you go past any elementary school, and it's a traffic jam, because we don't dare let our children walk a block, because of child predators. That is a profound change in our society. But it's happened so gradually. And so that was why I wanted to take more time. I also have collected so many quotes from more of the modern Brethren. I actually cut out about 300 pages. It's an amazing – it was, it was a daunting task. And yet it was very fulfilling.
Morgan Jones 38:07
Elder Lund, thank you so much for taking the time to talk with me. It is always a treat to talk to you. And I just – I appreciate so much the work that you've put in, not only on this book, but on many other books that have blessed the lives of members of the Church. My last question for you is, what does it mean to you to be all in the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
Gerald Lund 38:33
I thought about that as I read your question, and I think it's simply this – that, though we recognize we are not perfect, we stumble and fall and do stupid things all the time. If our first love, as He says is, “Love Father in heaven first, and your neighbor second,” that's what “all in” means. So, total, complete, commitment.
Morgan Jones 39:03
Thank you so much Elder Lund. I wish you nothing but the absolute best. Stay safe and healthy – and we are excited for your new book.
Gerald Lund 39:13
Morgan Jones 39:16
We are so grateful to Elder Lund for joining us on this week's episode, you can find The Second Coming of the Lord in Deseret Book stores, or on deseretbook.com now. A big thank you to Derek Campbell of Mix at Six Studios for his help with this episode. And as always, we hope that you know – that we know – how valuable your time is. Thank you so much for spending it with us. We'll look forward to being with you again next week.