The world is in turmoil, with conflicts and wars erupting in various regions, leading some to ponder whether the impending Armageddon is on the horizon.


Throughout history, especially more recent history, there have been numerous instances where people believed the end was imminent, only to realize that it wasn’t, and it is likely to be a similar situation now.

Nonetheless, the path ahead appears to be discernible, and the scriptures provide insight into what we can anticipate in the near or distant future.

Armageddon is a name that has sparked literary and cinematic creations, along with endless commentary, evokes images of vast armies, suffering, and widespread destruction. Amid various speculations and non-scriptural embellishments, the question arises: What do we truly know about this pivotal event in world history, and how much can we trust the information we hear?

Prophets, both ancient and modern, have extensively addressed this final war ushering in the Millennium. Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Zechariah, John, Joseph Smith, and others have discussed this battle and its associated events. Joseph Fielding Smith, a Latter-day Saints prophet, emphasized the unanimity of these prophetic voices, stating that when the nations of the world gather against Jerusalem, the Lord will emerge from His hiding place.


Significance of the Name Armageddon

In southern Galilee, about 60 miles north of Jerusalem, lies the fertile Valley of Esdraelon, often called the “breadbasket of Israel.” Bounded by the Nazareth ridge to the north and Mount Carmel, Mount Gilboa, and Samaria’s hills to the south, this valley has a rich history of major battles.

The ancient Via Maris passed through this valley, with its fortified entrance guarded by the city of Megiddo, giving rise to the name “Armageddon” in the New Testament (Revelation 16:16).

Throughout history, the Valley of Armageddon has been the backdrop for significant conflicts, involving various armies, from Egyptian to Roman, Crusaders, Muslims, and modern Israeli and Arab forces.

Regarding the last great battle before the Savior’s return, John identified it as Armageddon in the book of Revelation. While the exact term “battle of Armageddon” is not found in scripture, it symbolizes the overarching war, mainly centered around Jerusalem, extending to Megiddo.

At the Second Coming, all nations will gather against Jerusalem in the Armageddon battle, culminating in Christ’s return and dramatic events. The Supper of the Great God and the war of Gog and Magog are related to this conflict.

President Joseph Fielding Smith emphasized that this great war will precede Christ’s return and lead to judgment, with the outcome at the siege of Jerusalem. These prophecies offer vital insights for those preparing for this significant world event.


Armageddon: The Setting

Prophetic scriptures outline crucial preconditions for the battle of Armageddon:

  1. The gathering of the house of Israel from among the Gentiles and their return to their homeland (Ezekiel 36:24; 37:21).
  2. The rebuilding and reoccupation of the land of Israel by the covenant people (Ezekiel 36:10–12, 33–36).
  3. The transformation of the land into a highly fertile and Eden-like region (Ezekiel 36:8, 29–30, 34–35).
  4. The reunification of Israel into one nation (Ezekiel 37:22).
  5. The reestablishment of Jerusalem as the capital city of the Israelites (Zechariah 1:16–17; 2:12; 12:6; 3 Nephi 20:46).
  6. The rise of Judah’s influence in politics and warfare (Isaiah 19:16–17; Zechariah 10:3, 5–6).

In the last days, a formidable alliance of Satan-serving organizations will emerge, identified by various names such as the “beast out of the sea” (Revelation 13:1), symbolizing earthly kingdoms, and the “great and abominable church,” “church of the devil,” “great whore,” and “mother of abominations” (Revelation 17:1, 5). Elder George Q. Morris of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles noted that some totalitarian regimes in the 20th century were part of this coalition, bringing suffering and subjugation to a significant portion of the world’s population.

In essence, Armageddon’s stage is set by the fulfillment of these prophetic conditions and the emergence of these dark powers.


Armageddon: The Participants

Ezekiel and Jeremiah indicated key aspects of the Armageddon conflict:

  • Ezekiel identified Gog of Magog, along with an alliance of Persia, Ethiopia, Libya, Gomer, and Togarmah, as those who would target Israel in the last days. These are symbolic names, so identifying modern nations isn’t straightforward.
  • The prophets agreed that all nations would have some involvement in this alliance, with Israel being the primary target.

The army of Gog, described figuratively by the prophets, is portrayed as massive and formidable:

  • Ezekiel depicted it as well-armed and numerous, like a storm covering the land.
  • Daniel referred to the “king of the north” with an overwhelming, unstoppable army.
  • Joel foresaw the largest army in history, disciplined, and virtually invincible.
  • John the Revelator used imagery of locusts with lion-like teeth, iron breastplates, and advanced weaponry. The army was vast, with fire and smoke weapons.

False religious leaders performing miracles will play a role in gathering people into this unholy alliance. These miracles will deceive many, and the kings of the earth will be led to Armageddon by these false signs.

In summary, the Armageddon conflict is prophesied to involve several nations targeting Israel, with a formidable and technologically advanced army. Deceptive miracles will contribute to the gathering of the unholy alliance in the valley of Armageddon.


Gog Will Be Thwarted by the Power of Two Witnesses

A pressing question in the study of prophecy is how a small nation like modern Israel could stand against the world’s combined armies. The answer lies in the role of two crucial participants, often referred to as the “two witnesses,” “two olive trees,” and “two candlesticks” (Revelation 11:3–4).

Latter-day revelation clarifies that these are “two prophets” raised up for the Jewish nation after their gathering and Jerusalem’s construction (D&C 77:15). Elder Bruce R. McConkie suggested they might be high-ranking Church leaders and would have a prophetic ministry of similar length to the Savior’s.

These prophets will possess the power to pronounce significant judgments upon the earth (Revelation 11:5–6), similar to Elijah’s fire-calling abilities and Moses’ capacity to bring plagues.

Their miraculous powers appear to thwart Gog and his army from annihilating Israel. This force keeps the city and temple safe from total destruction during the Gentiles’ forty-two-month tread (Revelation 11:2).

Isaiah referred to these prophets as “two sons,” emphasizing their role as Israel’s sole hope of deliverance, being filled with the Lord’s divine fury (JST, Isaiah 51:19–20).


Armageddon: The Final Extremity

John’s vision reveals that the two prophets will eventually be captured and killed by the opposing army, and their bodies will be left in the streets of Jerusalem for “three days and a half.” The wicked forces will openly celebrate their deaths, signifying their deep spiritual corruption. Such a state of iniquity, akin to the Jaredites and Nephites, makes them ripe for destruction and cleansing when Jesus descends with His fiery chariots (Revelation 11:7–10).

During these “three days and a half,” the army will wreak havoc upon Jerusalem and the remaining Israelite population. Zechariah predicts that only one-third of Israel will survive this devastating event, with the city being taken, houses looted, and women subjected to violence, while half the city’s inhabitants are taken captive (Zechariah 14:1; 13:8–9; 14:2).


Armageddon: The Deliverance

In a pivotal moment for Israel, when it seems their annihilation is imminent, the Lord’s fury will be unleashed upon the world’s kingdoms (Ezekiel 38:18), and He will personally engage in battle against those nations (Zechariah 14:3).

The two prophets, who lay dead in Jerusalem’s streets, will be resurrected before the people’s eyes after “three days and a half.” A heavenly voice will call them up to heaven in a cloud, in full view of their enemies (Revelation 11:11–12). This resurrection, marked by a significant earthquake, will be a cataclysmic event, reshaping the world’s geography and resulting in the unification of land masses, a leveling of terrains, and the most massive earthquake ever witnessed (Revelation 16:17–21; Ezekiel 38:19–20; Haggai 2:6–7).

This earthquake will create a vast spring in Jerusalem, generating a new river flowing westward to the Mediterranean Sea and eastward to the Dead Sea, healing the latter’s waters and transforming it into a flourishing lake (Zechariah 14:8–9; Joel 3:18; Ezekiel 47:1–5).

Jerusalem’s hilly landscape will be smoothed into a plain, and the Mount of Olives will split, providing an escape route for the house of Israel (Zechariah 14:4–5).

During this time, the Lord’s fury will manifest through various judgments beyond the great earthquake:

  1. Gog’s army will turn on itself, possibly due to the panic and confusion of the earthquake (Ezekiel 38:21; Zechariah 14:13).
  2. A torrential rain of fire and hail, with hailstones weighing approximately 75.6 pounds, will rain down upon the army (Ezekiel 38:22; D&C 29:21; Revelation 16:21).
  3. A plague will afflict the army, causing widespread disease and calamity (Zechariah 14:12; D&C 29:18–20).
  4. As a result, only one-sixth of the invading army will survive the Lord’s judgments (Ezekiel 39:2), and their military power will be utterly destroyed. Within Jerusalem, 7,000 people will be slain, and one-tenth of the city will be demolished (Revelation 11:13).

The devastation will be so immense that for seven years, Israel will sustain itself from the spoils of war left behind. Burying the dead will take seven months, with teams searching for remaining bodies to cleanse the land (Ezekiel 39:8–16). The earth will be significantly affected, and Jeremiah prophesied of the Lord’s vengeance being poured out across the globe (Jeremiah 25:31, 33; Isaiah 34:2–3).

These events are collectively known as the great day of the Lord’s “sacrifice,” “controversy with the nations,” “supper of the great God,” and “the great winepress of the wrath of God.” Elder Charles W. Penrose summarized the sequence of events, highlighting Christ’s triumphant arrival as the mighty Deliverer, revealing His wounds to the worshipping Jews, and their conversion as they recognize Him as Jesus of Nazareth (Millennial Star, 10 Sept. 1859).


Armageddon: The End or the Beginning?

Armageddon marks the world’s end, signifying the “destruction of the wicked” (JS—M 1:4), but it paves the way for Christ’s millennial reign and an era of lasting peace lasting a thousand years. During this time, humanity will experience a period of righteousness, well-being, learning, prosperity, and safety (Isaiah 65:17–25; Zechariah 14:9, 16–20; D&C 84:98–102; 101:23–24; 133:52–56).

While the concept of Armageddon is unsettling, it is a necessary step due to the world’s wickedness and plays a crucial role in the Lord’s plan for global redemption.


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