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THINGS AS THEY ARE, WERE ARE TO COME
Another Vision of the Last Days
ANTHONY E. LARSON

Evans and President John Taylor). S ince all communication including revelation — is corrupted to one degree or another by the interpretation placed upon it by the recipient.) Thus. the true value and merit of these visions can now be appreciated.THINGS AS THEY ARE. every attempt was made in The Prophecy Trilogy to include visions of the last days given to early Saints (Charles D. (See “Children of the Light” for an explanation as to why the interpretation of recent revelation might be tainted by sectarian notions. with the point of view presented by this author. it was assumed that the visions of early Saints would necessarily have been closer to the original concepts taught by the Prophet Joseph Smith. . WERE AND ARE TO COME Another Vision of the Last Days Copyright © 1999 Anthony E. Former LDS exegetes of prophecy had been unable to make any sense of these visions. they were included in the trilogy. they would not have been adulterated by modern misconceptions of prophecy that have been introduced over time. Evans and John Taylor who also saw in vision devastating plagues coming from the sky in the last days. resulting in the destruction of all who were not prepared. This was done to demonstrate the remarkable harmony and integrity between the concepts presented in The Prophecy Trilogy and the scenes presented in those early visions. This account fits with those of Charles D. Yet. Hence. so they ignored them. Larson A vision called The Dream of the Plagues describes a time in the last days when poison would fall upon the inhabitants of the earth from the sky.

over which were in- .3 Like the Charles D. The leaves were printed only on the front side of each. Some two or three years ago. the following vision was recorded in The Contributor. so that objects were discerned as clearly as at noonday. when suddenly a glorious messenger appeared at my bedside and awoke me from my slumber. As such. below which was the printed description of the scene represented. The typography throughout was in the finest style of the printer’s art. leading some to speculate that he may have been a general authority. its credibility is greater than those dreams or visions recorded in journals and diaries of other Latter-day Saints since the general authorities themselves chose this material for The Contributor. On the first page was a picture of a feast in progress. instead of paper. with the long table set upon a beautiful lawn. The light of his presence filled the room. In nearly every settlement the people have been warned of events soon to occur. sitting up in bed. on the front of which was stamped in gold letters its title. which occupied the upper half of the space. Evans vision. who reported this vision. opening like a copybook and bound in beautiful cover. Each page was composed of a picture printed in colors as natural as art can copy nature. saying. In size this book was about seven by ten inches.” I took the book in my hands and. and visions of the future glory of the Kingdom of God upon this earth have passed like a panorama before many of those who love God and obey His commandments. Note that the author is not named. “Look. He handed me a book. Commentary will follow. The Dream of the Plagues The present times seem to be more than usually prolific of prophetic dreams among the Latter-day Saints. and see what is coming to pass. which was The Book of the Plagues. I had retired for the night. if not the president of the church himself. the official church publication at the end of the 19th century and forerunner to the Improvement Era and today’s Ensign. examined it carefully and read its contents. and were composed of the very finest quality of pure white linen.

Below this scene was the description: A Feast among the Gentiles. The sky. piles of smoked bacon and headcheese. in order to make as a whole the word abominations. Death was in the atmosphere. the judgments of God had come upon them as silently and swiftly as upon the proud Sennacharib and his host of Assyrians. commencement of the Plague. adorned with all the ornaments of modern architecture. and on each piece was painted a large letter. next to the store. In the background through the foliage.4 terspersed clumps of fine shrubs and towering trees. and indeed the whole atmosphere. similar to that which may be observed when the sun is wholly eclipsed. showing the front of the store of a dealer in pork. The wide sidewalk was covered by an awning supported on posts at the outer edge. their countenances betraying a fearful astonishment at the peculiar and unlooked for condition of their companions. similar to a scattering fall of minute snowflakes in winter. could be discerned a stately suburban villa. leaned a number of large hams and pieces of side meat. And in smaller type below [was] a note saying that the particles of poison. for a sudden destruction had come upon them. reaching across the whole front. Many were falling backward in the agonies of a fearful death. The minute specks falling from above were dropping into the food apparently unheeded by all. Throughout the atmosphere small white specks were represented. About the table a part of richly dressed ladies and gentlemen were seated in the act of partaking of the rich repast with which the table was laden. and along the edge of the walk. and the disc is just beginning again to give its light. There were twelve of these pieces. fresh slaughtered hogs. and others pausing with their hand still holding the untasted food. others drooping upon the table. long strings of sausages. though . appeared of a peculiar sickly brassy hue. The landscape presented the appearance of midsummer. In one corner of this picture was a small circular vignette. beneath the front windows. except a small space at the doorway. and on this walk were shown barrels of pork.

women and children. Further on. The character of the buildings gradually changed. Upon the balconies of the richly decorated residences. in which no breeze stirred a leaf of the foliage. the same sickly brazen atmosphere that seemed thick with foul odors laid upon the earth. lay the men. On the next page was another picture. Below this picture was the description: Progress of the Plague among the Gentiles. In the foreground were the residences of wealthy city merchants. frowning upon streets covered with the dead. The same atoms of poison were falling through the air. Along midway upon the street. along the view and in the distance were shown the great buildings of trade and commerce in the heart of a large metropolis. but no thieves were there to take the unlocked treasures within. Houses of business that had been thronged with customers stood with open doorways. but their work was done. throbbing rushing crowd had been cut down like grass before the mower. (which may be seen in the pens attached to the filthy slaughtering places in the outskirts of many cities). Nearly fifty of these pictures I carefully observed. a hungry drove of those horrible ugly slaughterhouse dogs. was tearing and devouring the dead and feasting upon the bodies of rich and poor alike with none to molest them. wherein the fearful effects of this and other plagues were almost as vividly portrayed as if I had actually seen them. On the sidewalks throughout the long vista. It was a street scene in a large city. along the walks and upon the crossings. Again it was a midsummer scene. not a soul was shown alive. the dead were everywhere. who a few days before were enjoying all the pleasures of life. are so small as to be invisible to the naked eye. A street scene in a large city. not one had been left to bury the dead—all had been stricken or had fled from the death-dealing plague and the doomed city. the busy. Across the thresholds of the banks lay the guardians of wealth. .5 represented in the picture. In the noonday glare of the sickly sun. The costly merchandise of a thousand owners laid untouched upon the counters and shelves. across the thresholds of the open doorways.

xxix:17-20. I awoke my wife. A beautiful park-like. Not a human being. This was clean and white. Below this picture was the description: “A camp of the Saints who have gathered together and are living under the daily revelations of God. Handing the book to the messenger. and the same time and season of the year. this third picture and all up to the last was suddenly taken from my memory.” I understood from this that each family was in its tent during the hours of the day that the poison falls. who was soundly sleeping.6 The last scene in the book was descriptive of the same plague as the first. grassy prairie was surrounded by elm and cottonwood trees. among the many plagues and judgments portrayed. but still I remember that they were scenes about the plagues and judgments. has always seemed to me to fully coincide with what has been related in the account of that . Not a breath of air appeared to be stirring. and commencing on the third. Sec. In the revelation given to the Prophet Joseph. animal. so that I have never been able to recall them. he vanished from my view as suddenly as he had appeared. After telling her the description of the two pictures at the beginning of the book. the area embraced being about eighty rods across. Leaving a space of about a hundred yards from these central tents were hundreds of small rectangular wall tents in rows. was represented. and thus were preserved from breathing the deathly particles. and are thus preserved from the plague. reaching as far as the surrounding trees. In the center of this enclosure was a large cone-shaped tent of a bright purple color. and appearing to be of a size suited to the wants of an ordinary family. who all this time had remained by my side. Midway in height in this tent was a floor dividing the inside into two stories. each tent clean and white. The same atmosphere as in the previous pictures. with the atoms of poison. that given in the Doctrine and Covenants. about thirty feet in diameter. Near this tent was another. a round wall tent. about thirty feet in height by twenty in diameter at the base. bird or vehicle was in sight. and commenced to relate to her what I had just beheld. and nearly as high as the first.

Plagues will come and the wicked must suffer.) Commentary In many respects. caused by extra-terrestrial contamination of air and water. and the second to document the progress of the plague. while latter-day revelation. but the Saints will be preserved by the very principle for which the wicked persecute them. (See Joseph Smith—History 1:36-41. making them poisonous to living things. very much a Millennialist or Adventist religion. 5:411. . he only remembers the first two and the last. Taken all together. the book was as close to the animator’s art as a 19th .) The author of this vision notes that there were “nearly fifty of these pictures . Central to the restoration was the idea that the mission of the Church was to prepare for the imminent return of the Savior. in its infancy. Mormonism was.” Yet. Once again. Each wrote of a similarly poisoned atmosphere that brought certain death. given to general authorities and priesthood holders alike. is capable of amplifying our understanding of future events. The scriptures make only passing reference to this plague. when coupled with the catastrophist view. planetwide plague. The three corroborate one another and the thesis of this author regarding a future. It is logical to surmise that the last scene in the book represents the final stage of the plague. modern revelation. (One can only lament that he was not allowed to remember the rest!) The first picture is said to represent the beginning of the plague. it does not matter. It is further evidence that the central thesis of And The Earth Shall Reel To And Fro regarding the Great Plague of the last days is valid. this vision matches certain primary elements of Brother Evans’ and John Taylor’s visions. it is very significant that the sole source for the accounts of this future plague is the membership of the Church. exhibits a much fuller and technically accurate picture of this catastrophic plague. the scriptural quotations of Moroni to Joseph Smith deal almost exclusively with prophecies of the last days. For example. The first paragraph paints a very interesting picture of a church that anticipates the onset of the last days at any time. .7 dream. . (The Contributor. Furthermore. which is present revelation from the Almighty. But whether that plague or another is meant.

It is an allusion to the Mosaic Law’s prohibition on pork. having nothing to do with reality. The scenes were accurate in their representation of the plague’s effects on mankind.” the number of tents in that defined area would be astoundingly small. Given the size of the encampment enclosure.” Assuming that most of the vision is self-explanatory in light of this author’s thesis. The vignette of the pork store was certainly a symbolic representation. but the settings were rather idealized and therefore somewhat symbolic. under very similar conditions to those experienced by the Israelites under Moses’ direction. It also relates to the scriptural phrase “desolation of abominations” that is often applied to the catastrophic destructions of the last days since such destructions have historically been the means by which God swept wickedness or abominations from the planet. the destruction of something as horrific as a pork shop could be construed as a symbolic “desolation of abominations. as described. The mention of an assembly and templelike pair of tents in the center of the encampment further reinforces this analogy. given the size of . it is the last scene depicting the final stage of the plague to which we turn our attention. This conforms with the traditional belief among early Mormons who had migrated to the Salt Lake Valley that the day would come when they would return to Jackson County. The size of the encampment is also a notable detail. seen to occur in the last days. Missouri. Obviously. each scene was meant to depict a virtual reality. It confirms the idea of a modern exodus.8 century work could be—almost a motion picture! The author notes that it was all so “vividly portrayed” that it was “as if I had actually seen them. which was seen as a foul pollution. The situation. That they were living in tents implies two things: Their permanent dwellings were uninhabitable and they were in the process of migrating to a new location. “about eighty rods across. the site designated by Joseph Smith for the building of the New Jerusalem. has many subtle implications. A shop trafficking exclusively in pork would certainly be seen as an abomination in a kosher neighborhood! The 12 large hams with letters that spelled out abominations may be a metaphor for a wicked 12 tribes.” Apparently.

com .9 the Church today. Given the modest level of interest in these ideas among Latter-day Saints. It seems to indicate that although the membership of the Church today numbers in the millions.com/ For online classes. is consistent with the nature and extent of the plague witnessed in this vision and also conforms to the traditional view of the original Exodus wherein it is said that 49 out of 50 Israelites perished. videos. Those of us who have been given a glimpse of the reality and the nature of these plagues and destructions should consider ourselves fortunate because that forewarning will allow us to better prepare ourselves for them and to better cope with them when they do happen. Such revelations as this. only a tiny fraction of those Saints will survive to reclaim Jackson County. it seems logical to assume that very few of us will be prepared to cope with the Great Plague and the other profoundly devastating and destructive events of the last days.blogspot. provide us with life-saving information. newsletters and published books exploring this material in depth: http://www. of course.com/ Your questions or comments are welcome: anthonyelarson@gmail. seen through the focused lens of catastrophism.mormonprophecy. For more essays from this series: http://mormonprophecy. This.

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