Discussions of Mormons and Mormon life, Book of Mormon issues and evidences, and other Latter-day Saint (LDS) topics.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Is Your Airline Rapture Ready?

Breaking news: After a successful pilot program, a major US airline is preparing to officially launch its new Rapture Ready® campaign in which they will assure passengers that 100% of their airborne planes will continue to fly safely in case of rapture. Getting all the pilots on board has not been easy and required several layoffs of recalcitrant Christians. While emphasis has been on the pilots, a high-level source at the airline reports that there has been a trickle down effect in their flight crews with a steady flux of flight attendants also being certified as Rapture Ready®, often thanks to the after-hours help of the pilots. "In case of rapture, not only can passengers expect a safe flight, but they can also count on getting an enjoyable snack of pretzels and orange juice."


I chuckle when I see the bumper stickers on some cars: "In case of rapture, this vehicle will be unattended." Isn't it socially irresponsible for those people to drive?

On a more serious note, we Latter-day Saints don't subscribe to the popular rapture theories of some groups, believing instead that we are going to be here on earth with everyone else as we struggle with the challenges of the last days before the triumphant return of the Savior. But we do take the Second Coming of the Savior very seriously, recognizing that it may yet be very far off.

27 comments:

Bookslinger said...

Jeff,
Although we differ in the timing of the so-called "rapture", I thought Mormons do believe that the righteous will be "caught up to meet him" in the morning of the 2nd coming, both the righteous living and the righteous dead who will be resurrected that morning.

1 Thes 4:17 and: D&C 88: 96-98

As I understand it, mainstream evangelicals believe that the "caught up to meet him" part will occur at the beginning of the "tribulation" thus sparing the righetous from suffering.

Whereas Mormons generally believe the "caught up to meet him" part will not occur until after the tribulations and will happen the morning when Christ comes in his glory.

Speculation time: My personal belief is that the 2nd coming will be so obvious when it happens that righteous drivers who are worthy of being in "caught up" will see what's going on and have time to pull over.

And since the 2nd coming is supposed to happen at the worst part of the 'tribulation' period, it may be that air travel will be suspended anyway.

The Lord is certainly capable of knowing who is where at any given time, so "rapture-worthy" pilots may indeed be given time to land their planes.

The bottom line: Although we use differing terminology, Mormon doctrine does encompass "the rapture." The main difference being the timing of it. We believe it will be at the end of the tribulation period, when things are at their worst, and will occur the morning of the glorious 2nd coming, whereas most mainstream Christians and evangelicals believe it will happen at the beginning of the tribuations leading up to the 2nd coming.

Ariel said...

Jeff, it is my understanding that it is *debated* in many Christian circles whether the rapture will occur before or after the tribulation. While most Christians I know believe it will be before the tribulation, there are many who believe it will be after.

Bishop Rick said...

So what exactly does it mean to be living in the last days? Haven't be been living in the last days for 2000 years? How many more 1000 years have to pass before we start questioning the "last days" doctrine?

Bookslinger said...

Rick,
Because it's been about 6,000 years since Adam, and with the millennium lasting 1,000 years, and with there being a total of 7,000 years to work with, it's now a matter of arithmetic.

Some people thought the 2nd coming would be about 2,000 years since Christ's birth, plus or minus 4 years, as some believe the calendar is off by that much. But that didn't happen.

Or perhaps it will be 2,000 years since the Lord's resurrection. Which means we have 27 or so years to go.

The scripture says: "No man knows the hour or the day." But that leaves the year open, doesn't it?

Bookslinger said...

Open to speculation, that is.

Anonymous said...

You know what's weird? I saw a car parked just last week that had one of those rapture bumper stickers on it. And there was NOBODY in it!! For a second I thought that maybe he was right! Weird, I tell ya.

Mormanity said...

Right - there are a diversity of views here. The "popular rapture theories of some groups" that I referred to were those that spawned the "Left Behind" series.

Ryan said...

Most times I've heard people talk about the "rapture" they mention Matt 24:40-41 as a basis for it. This has always confused me because the context really makes it sound more like the wicked will be "taken" while the righteous remain, at least during the particular event it discusses:

37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.


Anybody have some insight on this?

Bishop Rick said...

bookslinger,

The 2000 years after the resurrection of Christ was always my understanding. The Apostles, however, taught that the second coming would be within a few generations. Well we are nearly 2000 years past that.

Ryan,

Those scriptures really do sound as if they support a Rapture theory. Merits more study.

Anonymous said...

But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming... the lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, and shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. - Matt 24

Bishop Rick said...

So the Lord is delaying his coming because of me (the evil servant)? I guess he delayed his coming due to a different evil servent before I was born, and before that evil servent was born, and so on for the last 2000 years.

That scripture doesn't stand up to the slightest of scrutiny...but why should it? It is merely the words of someone named Matthew, not Jesus or even Jesus's disciple.

Bookslinger said...

Rick, which scriptures and which events are you referring to that were to occur within a few generations?

The siege and destruction of Jerusalem was within a couple generations and was one of the tribulations spoken of.

My understanding is that the faithful Christians had all fled Jerusalem by that point.

Is it just me or have you become more cynical in the last few months? You sound a lot more NOM/DAMU than I remember.

Walker said...

Agreed.

Rick,

I'm still puzzled as to why you say you're an active Mormon. If by active, you mean that you go to church, well, I know some "active" Mormons too, but...I would certainly hope you're not anything like them (I couldn't trust them with anything).

If you really don't believe in Mormonism, go ahead and tell us. We won't judge you. The only thing I've heard you believe in is a distant supreme power that does not deal with its creations. I have friends who believe similarly and I regard them highly.

Anonymous said...

"Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left."

The bad guy gets burned, the good guy is left.

"Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth."

Ryan said...

Those scriptures really do sound as if they support a Rapture theory.

Care to elaborate? I'm fully aware that people think these verses support a Rapture theory, but I still don't see how "the flood came, and took them all away" implies the righteous will be the ones taken up.

Also, on the subject of prophesied "comings," Samuel the Lamanite always seemed interesting. He gave a specific time interval, and either
(a) the wicked were so anxious to see it go unfulfilled that they picked an earlier date, and the event was on time
(b) the "big day" chosen by the wicked was the same as the one pointed out by Samuel, and the event was on time
(c) the wicked were careful timekeepers and the event was a few days late

I kind of lean toward (a), but most people assume (b), even though the passages don't ever say it. (c) would be a bit awkward.

Bishop Rick said...

Bookslinger,

I don't know what NOM/DAMU is. Please explain.

Bishop Rick said...

Walker,
To be honest, I'm not sure what I believe. That said, I am a card carrying member of the LDS church and I attend every Sunday and follow the precepts. That doesn't mean I have to believe everything I'm taught.

Bookslinger,
I am referring to scriptures in Matthew and Luke that allegedly quote Jesus:

"Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who shall not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom" (Matthew 16:28, Luke 9:27)

And another reference to this generation will not pass...:

"This generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place" (Matthew 24:34, Luke 21:32)

I'm just trying to figure out what I'm supposed to believe. Things like this stick out in my mind.

Bishop Rick said...

Ryan,

My comment was meant to state that I can see why some could read those scriptures you cited and use them to support the Rapture theory.

I don't believe it to be true.

The term Rapture comes from the Latin (earliest) translation of the bible. Rapture means to be caught up or taken away. The original term used by Paul (harpazo) means to be raised from the ground and is probably referring to resurrection.

Sorry if I led you to believe that I supported the Rapture theory.

Anonymous said...

We will be "caught up" to meet Christ at his 2nd coming (after the tribulation). The earth will be burned and changed and then we will land back on the ground again to enjoy the paradisiacal and millenial reign of Christ on the Earth.

Moro. 10: 34 "brought forth triumphant through the air"

Bishop Rick said...

BRoz,

That scripture is referring to the resurrection, not the rapture.

Bookslinger said...

Ryan:
how "the flood came, and took them all away" implies the righteous will be the ones taken up.

Actually, that snippet supports the opposite of the evangelical version of the rapture.

The evangelical rapture theory says the "taken" ones are the good guys, and get taken so they don't have to endure tribulations.

However, by using a parallel to the flood, the "taken" ones may in fact be the bad guys who are burned by the intense glory of Christ when he returns, for telestial people can't withstand his glory. "taken" in both the flood and in the description at the 2nd coming appears to mean "killed."

Rick:
NOM/DAMU = New Order Mormon/
Dis-affected Mormon Underground.

"Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who shall not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom" (Matthew 16:28, Luke 9:27)"

That could refer to some of them being translated, or they could be seeing a preview in vision.

"This generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place" (Matthew 24:34, Luke 21:32)

Again, we have the qualifiers "this" and "these" for which we need to know the "which". "This generation" could be the one in which he was just talking about, the generation in which the signs are fulfilled. In that context, the generation that sees the signs of the second coming won't pass away until they see all the signs of the 2nd coming, or the 2nd coming itself. Though that begs the question of which point you start counting, which my personal opinion is the restoration of the modern state of Isreal in 1948 or thereabouts.

The other thing is that maybe the statement could be in reference to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD, and not the 2nd coming.

Re: Moroni 10:34, referring to the resurrection, not the rapture.

If one defines the rapture as that point where living saints are "caught up" to meet the Lord in the air at the 2nd coming, then that IS the same point in time as the 1st resurrection.

Both those who have died in Christ who are resurrected the morning of day of the 2nd coming, and who are alive in Christ will be caught up in the air to meet Him.

As was pointed out in previous comments, most Christians (especially evangelicals) and LDS believe in an event where righteous living people will be "caught up in the air" to meet Christ.

The difference of opinion is at what point in time that "reverse skydiving" takes place. Evangelicals generally believe it to be at the beginning of the tribulation so that the righteous are spared suffering. LDS believe it to be at the end of the tribulation and on the morning of the 2nd coming.

Chris said...

Great blog Jeff! I'm LDS and was searching for the LDS understanding of the so-called "rapture". I'll definitely be returning daily!

Anonymous said...

Hi:

I'm a Mormon and I have to say that both the Book of Mormon and the Bible strongly state that the righteous will be spared while the wicked will perish.

I know all those doom-and-gloom Mormons who hide around every corner and insist that we will suffer along with the wicked, but the Holy Ghost does not agree with them.

Mal. 3:17 And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.

The Christians who think that the "rapture" will occur before the tribulation are more accurate than those who believe it will occur after. But I have to add that speculations about people vanishing into thin air are just that -- speculations. It is very unlikely that people will vanish without explanation. The Lord does everything in order. He has a plan. It will happen much like the City of Enoch was caught up to be with God. (Moses 7: 27) So I'm sure the wicked will see the whole thing as it happens.

As for not knowing the timing of his return, look at this:

Rev. 3 3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.

Did you notice the "if"? This seems to indicate that only those who do not watch for his coming shall be taken by surprise. That means everyone who thinks it will not happen in their lifetimes would be better off thinking it was going to happen ... immediately!

Then there are the Mormons who deny that we will be caught up at all. They need to get out their Bibles and their D&C. The D&C has several direct references to being caught up to be with the Lord.
D&C 88: 96-98, D&C 76: 102, D&C 101: 31, D&C 109: 75, and

D&C 27:18 ... ye shall be caught up, that where I am ye shall be also.

I actually had to convince one Mormon that that we were going to be "caught up," at which he protested that he didn't like heights.

So, if anyone wants to ignore the word of God and stay behind, that is his affair. But as for me, I've got my bags packed.

Anonymous said...

Most Mormons I meet want to say the Second Coming is far off -- at least 20 years. At any rate, they seem to agree that it will be any time other than now. They seem to want to postpone it indefinitely.

Anyway, I ran into a Mormon at the grocery store the other day. We started talking about the Second Coming; everyone else in the vicinity backed off.

This guy's opinion was that Jesus was coming very soon. Thinking I had finally found an intelligent Mormon, I told him our role in the Second Coming would be like Joseph's role when he spared much people alive.

Gen. 50:20 But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.

Well, the Mormon looked at me as if that didn't fit into his views at all. He seemed to prefer to think we were all going to starve if we didn't get enough food storage. He didn't seem to realize the food storage would be not just for the Mormons, but for anyone who comes unto Zion for refuge.

So I'm still trying to find someone who takes the scriptures more seriously than traditions and rumors.

Anonymous said...

I am proud to say that I have one of those Rapture Bumper Stickers on my Van, so if you are behind me, you better be saved and ready to Fly, or else Change Lanes. Jesus is coming BE READY

Anonymous said...

Why are we trying to figure out the time when the Rapture will occur? I am a Christian, and I have taken these verses from the Bible...
"Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take heart what is written in it, because the time is near."
Revelation 1:3 NIV
So... what does it mean by "near"?

"No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father."
Matthew 24:36 NIV

"Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come."
Matthew 24:42 NIV

The word "near" in my thoughts tells me just to be ready ALL THE TIME. It's a warning to be prepared. Also, there's this one part in the Bible... (I forgot where), where it says that God's day is totally different than how we interpret a day. I don't know where you got 2,000 years... but if it is 2,000 years later, it's going to be hard to calculate with arithmetic when God has his own time scedule.

Rapture said...

The word (From) in Greek is as “out of” (Greek word, ek)

The Bride of Christ


Revelation 3:10
Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee (from, Greek, ek- out of) The (hour, Greek, hora- season) of (temptation, Greek, peirasmos- adversity or tribulation) which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.


Saved Now, and From (out of) The Tribulation.

2 Thessalonians 3:3
But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and (keep you (from) evil. AMEN.


Delivered, Translated, Raptured us
http://www.raptureprophecy.net/delivered-translated-raptured-us