Sign Of The Times #48 – The Gospel Will Flourish In Egypt And A Temple Will Be Built There

Unless you haven’t been paying attention to any news service, you know that Egypt has been protesting and rioting for a new government. It seems that this is a global event and it’s ramifications will be felt around the world. Personally, it’s just one more thing, in a series of events that brings anxiety to my life. As Boyd K. Packer said in April 2010 General Conference:

We live in a day of “wars [and] rumors of wars, and earthquakes in divers places.As prophesied, “the whole earth [is] in commotion” and “Satan is abroad in the land.” He seeks to destroy all that is good and righteous. He is Lucifer, who was cast out of the presence of God.

While alone, this quote is enough to get anyone paying attention a little nervous with all that is going on. We can let those sentences get the best of us, and at times I have – but we should be paying more attention to the next sentence of Elder Packer’s statement more so than the first four:

Against all of that, we have very positive feelings about what lies ahead.

Luckily a good friend of mine @LDSGuy has been paying better attention, not to mention we had been discussing if there would ever be missionaries in Egypt. I got a text message the other night from him, telling me to go look up sign #48. It has been awhile since I read 65 Signs of the Times and couldn’t remember what it was, so I was pretty excited to see what it was about. I will let him add the remainder of this post:

With the recent unrest in Egypt I have been pondering on which of the two likely scenarios will be the end result of the current status.

The way I figure it, either 1. the fullness of the gospel will be taken into Egypt, missionaries will be welcome, a temple will be built, the Egyptian people will enjoy the blessings of eternal marriage and being sealed to their families for eternity, or 2. the Muslim extremists in that region will take over and align themselves with other extremist groups in the region and attack a common enemy—Israel. Both seem plausible. Of course both could happen, with the latter occurring before the former.

Somewhere deep inside my mind I seem to recall scriptures mentioning something about Egypt’s role in the last days and what their status will be with respect to the gospel, but I was not able to locate any.

That is until I came across my copy of David Ridges’ book 65 Signs of the Times Leading up to the Second Coming and started thumbing through it that night. Lo! and behold there it was on page 127 and continuing over onto page 128. The answers to Egypt’s status in the last days was given to us eight centuries prior to Christ’s birth by the prophet Isaiah (Esaias in the New Testament Greek). I’m going to copy Brother Ridge’s explanatory notes (in italicize brackets) in these verses to help illustrate his views on this topic.

18 In that day [the last days] shall five [several] cities in the land of Egypt speak the language of Canaan [Israel; a prophecy of greatly improved relationship between Egypt and Judah in the last days], and swear to the Lord of hosts [make covenants with Jesus Christ, implying that they will have the true gospel]; one shall be called, The city of destruction [not a good translation; could be "city of the sun"].

19 In that day [the last days] shall there be an altar [a temple; in a temple] to the Lord in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar [symbolic of a temple—see Revelation 3:12] at the border thereof to the Lord.

20 And it [the altar and the pillar] shall be for a sign and for a witness [reminder] unto [of] the Lord of hosts in the land of Egypt: for they [Egyptians] shall cry [pray] unto the Lord because of the oppressors, and he shall send them a saviour, and a great one, and he shall deliver them.

21 And the Lord shall be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians shall know the Lord in that day [the last days], and shall do sacrifice [see 3 Nephi 9:20; broken heart and contrite spirit] and oblation [see D&C 59:12]; yea, they shall vow a vow [make covenants] unto the Lord, and perform it [and will be faithful to them].

Here the author points out the fact that often times the Lord has to humble a group of people, and then save them for peril before they will listen to Him.

22 And the Lord shall smite Egypt: he shall smite and heal it [first humble it, then heal it]: and they shall return even to the Lord [the Egyptians will hear and live the gospel], and he shall be intreated [prayed to] of [by] them, and shall heal them [wonderful blessings are in store for Egypt].

Isaiah 19:18-22

After looking at this source further it seems to me that dark days still lie ahead for Egypt; however, the distant future will be a bright new dawn, full of gospel truths and saving ordinances.

Another excellent source I love to turn to when studying Isaiah is David R. Minert’s book Simplified Isaiah for the Latter-day Saints.

In covering Isaiah, Brother Minert does a remarkable job explaining Isaiah in simplified, modern terminology. Brother Minert consulted at least 12 different sources on Isaiah before coming up with his narrative of each verse in Isaiah.

In his book he covers chapter 19 by explaining details that have yet to happen for Egypt. These include, civil war (v. 2), a cruel king/leader (v. 4 – in my opinion this has yet to occur), all the water sources including the Nile river will dry up, plant life and the entire Egyptian economy will suffer as a result (vs. 5-10), the Egyptians will be fearful of even the mention of Israel (v. 17), eventually relations between Egypt and Israel will improve (v. 18), the gospel will be taught to Egyptians, a temple will be built (vs. 19-22), there will be an Arab alliance between Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Syria (v. 23), and surprisingly Israel will join this alliance (v. 24).

Obviously a lot of the things listed by Isaiah seem unlikely or far-fetched given Egypt’s current status, but then again remember how few people could have imagined that a) the end of the Cold War would occur almost overnight in 1989, or b) the gospel would be preached in eight Russian missions (count as of today), or even that c) an LDS temple would be built in a communist country prior to the end of the Cold War. Clearly, the Lord’s purposes continue to go forth, despite the status of the world’s problems.

I firmly believe that by-and-by all of the concrete prophecies of the prophets will be fulfilled, meaning the ones that do not have conditions attached to them. If a prophet says “in the last days Egypt will have a temple” it will come to pass. However, if a prophet says “in the last days Egypt will have a temple if they do not align themselves with {insert foreign troublemaker here}” and Egypt still aligns themselves with that country then of course they will not receive a temple. In the verses outlined above by Isaiah the prophecies of the future of Egypt all seem pretty concrete to me.

It will be interesting to watch and see how this current Egyptian unrest unfolds, but if I had to guess where we are with regards to the status of Egypt and her future, I’d start at the beginning of the chapter (v. 2)—with a lot of terrible and exciting things ahead for the Egyptians. My personal take on the current murky future of Egypt combined with verse four is that the near future will bring some sort of extreme regime that will NOT be friendly to the United States or Israel, that will possibly attempt to or be successful in instigating Shariah Law throughout Egypt, thus restricting the freedoms of those people who are currently calling for freedoms, and serve as a “cruel lord” over the Egyptian people. It may get dark before it gets bright, but Isaiah has promised the Egyptian people that one day prior to the Lord’s Second Coming the restored gospel will flourish in the Land of the Pharaohs and that the saving ordinances of the gospel will be administered to the Egyptians by the Egyptian saints. It may seem distant, but it could very well all happen within the next 5-10 years.

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4 Responses so far.

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by LDSGuy, LDSGuy, LDSGuy, LDSGuy, Jonathan and others. Jonathan said: New post: Sign Of The Times #48 – The Gospel Will Flourish In Egypt And A Temple Will Be Built There http://bit.ly/dONt2A #lds #lds, #mormon [...]

  2. Ashley says:

    This is great! Thanks for posting. It’s exciting (and sometimes scary!) to think about the prophecies that still lie in our future, and it’s so neat that we have the resources to study them and know at least a little of what to expect.

  3. [...] Helaman and LDSGuy on Egypt Sign Of The Times #48 – The Gospel Will Flourish In Egypt And A Temple Will Be Built There | Hel…. [...]

  4. Thought you might be interested in my related post on this subject – Muslim Brother History.

    This is certainly an interesting chapter from Isaiah. Since Egypt also represents “the world”, I wonder if it has additional connotations.
    Believe All Things´s last [type] ..What To Do With Federal Mortgages

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