Old Testament Summary Lesson 48: “The Great and Dreadful Day of the Lord”
- Title Seems Foreboding, Yet Only for the Unprepared: Preparations are being made that include beautiful and sacred “Houses of the Lord” throughout the world. (There will be at least two temple cities, Jerusalem and Zion). “. . . his voice out of Zion, and he shall speak from Jerusalem . . .” (D. & C. 124:35, 133:21) The “dress rehearsal” of today’s preparation and building – was before his “first” coming. Therefore, the accounts of the children of Israel returning to their sacred city and rebuilding the temple is valuable for us today. Zechariah believed that the Exile was God’s way of punishing the Jews for their sins, but he urged them to repent and rebuild the Temple with God’s blessing.
- Duty of Return, Build the Temple: “Zechariah continued in the same task as Haggai; he too encouraged the Jews to rebuild the Temple. Zechariah reminded Israel that before God returned to the Temple the people must return to God through righteousness, justice, and mercy . . . and Israel would flourish once again. Zechariah prophesied of the Golden Age of the Messiah when God’s Kingdom would be established on earth.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)
- Malachi Speaks of His Day and Our Day: On both holidays, special arrangements are made in anticipation of expected guests who will come unexpectedly. The prophet Malachi speaks of Elijah’s anticipated return and the work needed to prepare the people. “The ecstasy of rebuilding the holy Temple passed and the Jews fell into disreputable ways once again. Intermarriage was common, as was divorce, and morals were weak. Malachi was faced with the task of awakening the people from their religious lethargy and bringing them back to God.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)
- Old and New Jerusalem City Temples: The Lord will return to a Jerusalem that will have the House of the Lord. The entire city will become the City of The Lord. “. . . after it should be destroyed it should be built up again, a holy city unto the Lord.” (Ether 13:5) The Lord will also come to another Zion that will have a House of the Lord. Apparently it will become a City of the Lord as well. “For it is ordained that in Zion, and in her stakes, and in Jerusalem, those places which I have appointed for refuge, shall be the places for your baptisms for your dead. (Doctrine & Covenants 124:36) Far West, Missouri, also appears to be included . . . which place, he said, was holy ground; and there they were to build a city. (D. & C. 115)” (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, Page 20)