Before I make those predictions on the timing of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ I promised you earlier, I thought I’d stir things up further by suggesting God probably has not even decided yet when the Second Coming will be. He is probably waiting to see when the time is right. But wait, you say, doesn’t God have perfect foreknowledge? As I have written before — not necessarily. I have been reading Blake Ostler’s marvelous book Exploring Mormon Thought: The Attributes of God and in it he makes very compelling arguments that actual perfect foreknowledge requires a fixed future and a fixed future means we aren’t really freely choosing (even if we think we are). The good news is that, as has been discussed elsewhere in the Bloggernacle, perfect foreknowledge is pretty useless anyway.
So what about the Second Coming? Based on this idea that God is an extremely good predictor of the unfolding plot of our planet, I assume God has a rough date pretty well triangulated. This idea of an approximate date for the event makes for an interesting reading of some of the scriptural statements on the timing of the Second Coming:
I, the Lord God, have spoken it; but the hour and the day no man knoweth, neither the angels in heaven, nor shall they know until he comes. (D&C 49:7)
Perhaps no Man knoweth yet either. It seems entirely likely to me that God is waiting to see how his truly free children will act and which of us will break out of the tendencies of the natural man and repent or not. Knowing what the scriptures say about God, my guess is he will wait until the last possible moment to allow the most time possible for repentance before giving the go-ahead for the Second Coming and the destructions that will accompany it.
Why does this matter? Because it means there is absolutely no room for fatalism among us. The things we do could very well make a difference not only in our own lives but in the world. They could very well affect the decisions of God on something as huge as the Second Coming!
Ok, so I may have freaked a few of you out with this. But don’t fret. If this theory is right it is wonderful news. It means that fatalism is wrong in our personal lives too. We really can talk God into things (and all those scriptural stories where people do so start making sense). If we can do that then we can make a real and miraculous difference in the world. That is good new if you ask me.