Question: Was ''The Evening and the Morning Star'' threatening non-Mormon with "imminent destruction" if they did not repent?


Question: Was The Evening and the Morning Star threatening non-Mormon with "imminent destruction" if they did not repent?

Most of the page is given up to a quotation from the apocryphal book of 2 Esdras

The article "The Last Days," Evening and Morning Star, February 1833, vol. 9, no. 10, 65, nowhere "harangues" the non-Mormons. Most of the page is given up to a quotation from the apocryphal book of 2 Esdras. The quoted material runs from 9:28-47, 10:1-59, 13:1-36.

Before these quotations, the author notes:

SOMETHING singular attaches itself to the phrase, The last days. We can take up the bible, and read what took place in the beginning, without any emotion, and generally without realizing what did happen; but when we read the prophecies touching the last days, the very soul starts to know what shall be....We see nation rising against nation; we hear of the pestilence destroying its thousands in one place, and its tens of thousands in another; the plague consuming all before it, and we witness the terror that reigns in the hearts of the wicked, and we are ready to exclaim, The Lord is certainly about bringing the world to an account of its iniquity. Let us reflect, then, in the last days, that there was to be great tribulation: for the Savior says, [Matt. 24:7] nation shall rise against nation, kingdom against kingdom, and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes in divers places; and the prophets have declared that the valleys should rise; that the mountains should be laid low; that a great earthquake should be, in which the sun should become black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon turn into blood; yea, the Eternal God hath declared that the great deep shall roll back into the north countries and that the land of Zion and the land of Jerusalem shall be joined together, as they were before they were divided in the days of Peleg. No wonder the mind starts at the sound of the last days! Great things will come to pass in them: sickness, sorrow, pain and death, will come upon the wicked; the righteous will be gathered from all nations, as well as Israel, to Zion, and the Jews assemble at Jerusalem, to behold the Lord of glory gather all things in one, that there may be on earth, one fold and one Shepherd.

The author then begins to quote 2 Esdras, and this consumes the rest of the cited page. After the long quote, the author then continues in a similar vein.

Our Savior, who knew all things that should come to pass in the last days, even when he come in his glory to reign on earth with his saints, said before the end should come, there should be great tribulations, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever should be.

Paul, who had the privilege of seeing his Lord and master in the flesh, and who knew a man that was caught up into the third heaven, while on this all important subject, thus wrote: -- [2 Tim. 3:1-5] This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, truce-breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away....(p. 66)

And, in the following page:

We have an earnest desire that men should escape the calamities, that will soon be poured out upon the earth, to scourge the inhabitants. Those that will not hear, as has been the case in all ages, pass on and are punished. The inhabitants before the flood, rejected the preaching of Noah, and were drowned. The men of Sodom and Gomorrah repented not of their sins, and died in their wickedness. Pharaoh, after seeing the mighty works of the Lord, died for his folly. But the Lord is merciful, the Lord is just, and, as in ancient days, so now, even in these last days, he warns, that men may repent and live. So much for the world. To the church, a word fitly spoken is like the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the Lord commanded the blessing life forever more. Beloved brethren, you know these are the last days, for the Lord hath said so. You, then, have not to look across the ocean for testimony, for you have it in your hearts. -- You have not to send to heaven for proof, for the judgments of God are already sent forth unto victory as evidence that the end is nigh....

Wherefore, while he is revealing unto you the great things that will shortly come to pass, learn wisdom, and rejoice for the day, even the day of righteousness that will soon come; yea, that day that was sought for by all holy men, and they found it not because of wickedness and abominations, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth; but obtained a promise that they should find it, and see it in their flesh, and so will you, if you continue faithful. Are you sensible of the blessings and privileges you enjoy? you can look upon the world and upon them that profess to worship their God, and see the course of evil, and shun it, because the Lord has shown you the right way. You can see some for gold; some for fame; some for blood; some for persecution; some for fun; some for pleasure; some for vanity; some for lying; some for this, and some for that, and you can pray to God to keep you from such follies, and he will do so, if your hearts are pure.

What blessings! you can shun the dreadful distress of nations, if you are humble and honest in all things before the Lord: you can overcome the world and enter into his rest, where trouble will cease. You ought to rejoice, with joy unspeakable; for while the nations are crumbling to pieces, and men are filling up the tombs without repentance, you know your redemption is nigh, and you believe that Israel will soon be gathered home to meet his God, when he comes in his glory.

Men without the Spirit of God to guide them into sacred truth have long labored six times as much for the perishable things of this world, as for the one thing needful: brethren, you have better knowledge, act accordingly, for the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof. Counsel not the Lord but walk by faith, showing good works, that your examples may be worthy of imitation.

The love of money fills the hearts of the wicked; but what profit would it be to you, with all your knowledge, of what must shortly come to pass, if you could gain the whole world for thirty or forty years, and then loose your inheritance, and eternal life? This is a solemn question, and when the faithful enter into the joys of their Lord, they will be more apt to say: [1 Cor. 2:9] Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither has it entered into the heart of men to conceive, what the Lord has prepared for them that love him. The Lord will hear when saints do pray.

The message is a fairly standard Christian apocalyptic—the days are perilous, the world is becoming more wicked, and the scriptures have foretold it

But, those who accept God and his covenant need not fear, though the days are dark. Most of the message is addressed directly to Latter-day Saints; there is little here that would be out of place in any nineteenth-century Christian reflection on "the last days."

There is certainly no suggestion that the members of the Church are threatening to inflict "imminent destruction" on non-members.

Notes