I suspect that some people feel I am making that assumption simply because many of my timeline calculations indicate that the Servants should have returned to the earth by now, probably sometime in 2008.
Additionally, if the President Elect prophecy pertains to the President Elect of the last election, rather than the next one, which I believe it does, then that would be another reason to believe the Servants have previously returned.
What you might be surprised to realize however, is that it is not just my timeline calculations and the President Elect prophecy that cause me to feel that the Servants have returned.
The plain and simple fact of the matter is that modern revelation indicates that when the Servants return to the earth, they have two assignments to quietly complete BEFORE they are revealed to the world in general and sent forth to testify and warn the people for the last time.
I think many of us, myself included, have had a tendency in the past to assume that the Servants immediately return in power and start testifying and warning the world, but that is actually not what the scriptures reveal.
In this post I am going to itemize, chronologically, what takes place when the 3rd watch opens up, from the time that the servants of the Lord return to this earth.
The following events and associated chronology represents my interpretation of what the infinite and infallible word of God is saying various passages found in section 88.
The first four phases pertain to the Marvelous Work in the final generation of probationary time, in the sixth seal (or during the sixth one thousand year period). The additional four phases that follow, take place in the Seventh Seal leading up to the paradisaical millennium which begins when Michael declares that there shall be time no longer. (There is a possibility that the testimony of thunderings, lightnings and earthquakes in phase four is in the same time frame of the angels flying in the midst of heaven in phase five, depending on how you choose to read it)
The First Laborers must Organize and Prepare Themselves
Verses 74-79 The first thing the Servants do when they return to this earth in the 3rd watch is to assemble themselves together to organize themselves, prepare themselves, sanctify themselves, purify their hearts and cleanse their hands and their feet before the Lord, so that He can make them clean.
This is done so that Christ can testify unto their Father and God as well as to Christ’s God that the first laborers are clean from the blood of this current generation.
This enables Christ to fulfill the great and last promise that he had previously made to them back in the 2nd watch when he had given them the anointing of the 1st comforter which is the promise of eternal life. (see verses 1-5 see also Isa 45, 61 and Dan 9 regarding the ancient prophecies about the “anointing” that would take place in the latter days. Although the anointing took place in 1833, the fulfillment of the anointing was to take place “when I will” (see verse 75), a prophetic phrase having reference to an unspecified future time in the 3rd watch when the redemption of Zion is to take place (see the use of the exact same phrase in the parable of the redemption of Zion 101:60)
From the time the first laborers of the last kingdom return, going forth, they are to continue in prayer and fasting and to teach one another the doctrine of the kingdom. During this time the grace of God shall attend them as they are instructed more perfectly in theory, in principle, in doctrine, in the law of the gospel, in all things that pertain to the kingdom of God that is expedient for them to understand pertaining to their callings.
This period of preparation will include prophecies of things that will shortly come to pass having to do with wars, the perplexities of nations, the judgments that are on the land, and knowledge of countries and kingdoms.
These first laborers must have an understanding of these things in order to be prepared in all things when the Lord shall send them AGAIN to magnify the calling whereunto they were called and to magnify the mission with which they have been commissioned. (the knowledge of countries and kingdoms is critical for their assignment to take the proclamation to the governors of all of the countries and kingdoms of the world.)
These first laborers of the last kingdom are to tarry during this time of preparation instead of going forth declaring the gospel. During this time they are to labor diligently that they may be perfected in their ministry for when they go forth at future time among the Gentiles for the last time, to bind up the law and seal up the testimony and to prepare the Saints for the hour of judgment which is to come.
These remarkable passages seem to indicate that they will be returned to the earth as mortals, instead of as translated, angelic or resurrected beings and that they will probably need to be secluded from the world during their time of preparation!
What a strange act!
It would further indicate that to a large extent, these men will pretty much be continuing from where they left off when they left this world which will require them more than ever to study current affairs and customs as well as to actuate the fullness of the gospel and the gifts of the spirit in their lives to a greater degree than they did during the 2nd watch.
I have often found it curious that the following passages in section 88 imply that the servants return as mortals with physical needs. It is truly humbling to think that as mortals they will need to be supported by guardian angels and will need people to feed them, clothe them and give them money;
“Behold, I send you out to reprove the world of all their unrighteous deeds, and to teach them of a judgment which is to come.
And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up.
Whoso receiveth you receiveth me; and the same will feed you, and clothe you, and give you money.
And he who feeds you, or clothes you, or gives you money, shall in nowise lose his reward.
And he that doeth not these things is not my disciple; by this you may know my disciples.” (88:87-91)
[ Editorial Note: Although it would make sense that the first laborers of the last kingdom would organize themselves in Kirtland where they will teach each other the doctrines of the kingdoms and prepare themselves to go forth into all the world from there, the following statement from Joseph Smith may indicate that the organization and preparation may take place in Nauvoo; " Since our arrival in this place[Nauvoo] there has been [one] special and one general conference of the church, and the twelve have been called to tarry at home for a season, and stand in their lot next to the first Presidency and assist in[counseling] the brethren and in the settling of emigrants &c., and the first great object before us, and the saints generally, is to help forward the completion of the Temple and the Nauvoo House; buildings which are now in progress according to the revelations, and which must be completed to secure the salvation of the church in the last days, for God requires of his saints to build him a house wherein his servants may be instructed, and endued with power from on high, to prepare them to go forth among the nations, and proclaim the fullness of the gospel for the last time, and bind up the law and seal up the testimony, leaving this generation without excuse, and the earth prepared for the judgments, which will follow. In this house all the ordinances will be made manifest, and many things will be shown forth, which have been hid from generation to generation."]
Since our arrival in this place[Nauvoo] there has been [one] special and one general conference of the church, and the twelve have been called to tarry at home for a season, and stand in their lot next to the first Presidency and assist in[counseling] the brethren and in the settling of emigrants &c., and the first great object before us, and the saints generally, is to help forward the completion of the Temple and the Nauvoo House; buildings which are now in progress according to the revelations, and which must be completed to secure the salvation of the church in the last days, for God requires of his saints to build him a house wherein his servants may be instructed, and endued with power from on high, to prepare them to go forth among the nations, and proclaim the fullness of the gospel for the last time, and bind up the law and seal up the testimony, leaving this generation without excuse, and the earth prepared for the judgments, which will follow. In this house all the ordinances will be made manifest, and many things will be shown forth, which have been hid from generation to generation."]
The First Laborers are sent forth
to make a Solemn Proclamation to all those who govern
Verse 80 reveals that the First Laborers of the Last Kingdom are being prepared to go forth on two separate assignments in the 3rd watch. One is to MAGNIFY a CALLING they have been CALLED to do. The other is to fulfill a MISSION they have been COMMISSIONED to do.
Very little distinction is made in this verse about the two separate assignments because one of their callings was only briefly mentioned previously in D&C 1:23. It reveals that they would be proclaiming the gospel to kings and rulers, but no details are given about this assignment at that time.
It was not until 1841 wherein it is explained in section 124 that their first missionary assignment is to make a solemn proclamation of the gospel to all the KINGS of the world, to the honorable PRESIDENT ELECT and to all of the GOVERNORS of all of the US and all of the GOVERNORS of the nations of the world.
In other words, their first calling is directed exclusively to all those who GOVERN. (Their second mission will be to all those who are governed.)
Their message to all those that govern is to take heed to the light and glory of Zion. For it will be the SET TIME to favor her.
This warning will contain prophecies telling those that Govern what will befall them in a time to come. This proclamation will leave the Governors of the World without excuse. Those who refuse to humble themselves and turn over their kingdom and dominion to he whose right it is, will be visited in the day of visitation when God shall unveil the face of his covering and appoint the portion of the oppressor among hypocrites, where there is gnashing of teeth. (see D&C 124:2-11)
[Editorial Note: this phase is not very clear as to when it fits in chronologically. It is possible that the proclamation goes forth to the govenors first, then the first laborers prepare themselves to go forth unto the nations]
First Laborers sent forth among the Gentiles for the last time
To prepare the Saints for the hour of judgment
Verses 84-85 Finally, after the proclamation is sent forth unto those who govern and an event takes place that enables the First Laborers to reclaim the cornerstone of Zion, the First Laborers of the Last Kingdom are sent forth among the gentiles to warn and testify for the LAST TIME to BIND UP THE LAW, SEAL UP THE TESTIMONY, AND PREPARE THE SAINTS FOR THE HOUR OF JUDGMENT WHICH IS TO COME that their souls may escape the desolation of abomination which awaits the wicked, both in this world and in the world to come.
It is during this time that the elect are gathered out of Babylon. (this is the first harvest of souls)
After the LAST Testimony cometh Wrath
Verses 88-91 After the First Laborers of the Last Kingdom have given their final testimony and warning to the gentiles, it will be followed by the testimony of earthquakes, thundering, lightnings, tempests and waves.
All things shall be in commotion (by cross referencing other prophecies we know that the time when all things are in commotion is also the time of major wars See Luke 21:9 D&C 45:26 JST Matt 24:29) and surely men’s hearts shall fail them and fear shall come upon all people. (all of the people who are left, who have not been gathered out)
Probation Ends, the 7th Seal Opens, Judgment Begins
A Trump Sounds, Angels declare time of God’s Judgment
Verses 92-94 Following the testimony of earthquakes, thundering, lightnings, tempests, waves and the associated commotions and wars, the beginning of the seventh seal and the hour of judgment is heralded by two trumps sounding one right after another.
The first trump is accompanied by angels flying through the midst of heaven crying with a loud voice saying “Prepare ye prepare ye O inhabitants of the earth for the judgment of our God has come. Behold and low, the Bridegroom cometh, go ye out to meet him”.
Do not confuse this with the similar verbiage found in the parable of the Ten Virgins.
The literal fulfillment of the cry that goes forth in the parable of the ten virgins has to do with the two groups of Saints who were believers in Christ and responded to the warning cry of the gospel that went forth in during probationary time, before the hour of judgment began. That event took place back in phase Three when the First Laborers of the Last Kingdom went forth for the last time among the Gentiles. ( The parable begins with a cry and it prepares the Saints for the great day of the Lord, this event mentioned in section 88 begins with a cry and a trump and it takes place at the great day of the Lord after probation has ended. (compare this event with the one mentioned in D&C 65:3 and 133:10 which are actually referring to the event mentioned in the parable)
That warning voice of the Servants during the last generation of probationary time is known as the “first harvest” when the Celestial Souls were gathered. (See verse 83!)
This event in phase five takes place after probation is over. It is known as the “second harvest” of terrestrial souls that takes place while the remainder of the people who are the tares of the earth are bound in bundles.
Following the first trump, there is a great sign in heaven and all people will see it. Rev 6:12-17 appears to indicate that the events mentioned in 88:87 pertaining to the earth reeling to and fro and the sun hiding his face, and the stars falling from heaven happens in conjunction with the great sign in verse 93. (Nevertheless, there is reason to believe that there may be two separate and distinct events involving the sun, moon and stars, one that takes place during the sixth seal and one that takes place during the seventh seal.)
Following the great sign in the heavens, the second trump sounds and another angel declares that the great church, the mother of abominations which is the tares of the earth is bound in bundles, ready to be burned.
Two trumps begin judgment, followed by silence
end of the ½ hour of silence- face of the Lord unveiled
Verse 95 indicates that there is a period of silence in heaven following the sounding of the first two trumps. We can only speculate what is taking place at this time.. perhaps the valid proxy work for the dead among the righteous and the continuation of wars and plagues and the consummation among the wicked.
Unveiling Face of the Lord begins the redemption
Righteous are quickened, wicked judged
Verses 96-110 indicates that the sounding of trumps resumes following the half hour of silence. These trumps have to do with the quickening of the living and the dead and the redemption of the celestial and terrestrial souls of men while the telestial and sons of perdition will not come forth again until the little season, after the paradisiacal millennium.
They also announce that the great church has fallen and that Christ has finished his work enabling the Saints to be crowned and made equal with him.
You can read an excellent summary about the finishing of the work in the beginning of the seventh seal in section 77.
Following the trumps, and the various declaration, Father Adam who is Michael the Arch Angel declares “there shall be time no longer”, which ushers in the paradisiacal millennium.
As you can see from section 88, there is strong reason to believe that the first laborers of the last kingdom are returned to the mortal state that they were in just prior to their deaths. There may be an eternal law that requires this process.
Additionally, they don’t appear to have much more doctrinal knowledge than they had when they died nor do they have any more worldly knowledge about the countries and kingdoms they will have to visit and warn. Hence the need to study and teach each other and prepare.
Interestingly enough, they still need to become sanctified and purified before God.
This is consistent with the events of the foundation movement and the fact that the Saints went into a state of darkness and apostasy before being able to redeem Zion and live the laws of consecration.
It is almost as if there is a time warp that takes place and these good brethren are able to resume where they left off. It appears that their will be another session of the school of the Prophets and another solemn assembly in the 3rd watch.
If my interpretations of these amazing prophecies in section 88 are generally correct, it is not unreasonable to suppose that the servants have returned and begun and possibly even completed phase one, and that a solemn assembly has or will shortly take place.
It is also likely that the proclamation has been personally given to those who govern, calling upon them to give heed to the light and glory of Zion and informing them that the “set time” has come for God to favor her.
At the appointed time, an amazing event will take place which will establish the cornerstone of Zion.
At that time or shortly after, the Servants will go forth to those who are governed, inviting us to come out of Mistress Babylon and accept the fullness of the Gospel and the liberty by which we are made free.
Yes… I realize this stretches the imagination. I realize how this must appear to some people, I simply invite those of you who have read every numbered post and have a strong foundation in the doctrine of the three watches to carefully read this section very closely in the context given above while in the Spirit. There have been a few of you that have indicated that you have felt something different taking place during the last year, or that you feel something is about to take place… I don’t doubt it.
The signs are all around us. We are getting close to the set time.