One of the profound results of understanding the doctrine of the three watches is that I read the scriptures from a whole new paradigm. Things that I had never really noticed before take on new meaning. It is like a treasure hunt with new and fascinating discoveries all along the way.
For those of you unfamiliar with the doctrine of the three watches, it is taken from JST Luke 12:41-57 in the which the Lord visits the earth 3 times prior to his coming in glory. Here are a few excerpts:
For, behold, he cometh in the first watch of the night, and he shall also come in the second watch, and again he shall come in the third watch.
And verily I say unto you, He hath already come, as it is written of him; and again when he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, blessed are those servants when he cometh, that he shall find so doing;
And they said, Who then is that faithful and wise servant?
And the Lord said unto them, It is that servant who watcheth, to impart his portion of meat in due season.
Blessed be that servant whom his Lord shall find, when he cometh, so doing.
Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath.
But the evil servant is he who is not found watching. And if that servant is not found watching, he will say in his heart, My Lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants, and the maidens, and to eat, and drink, and to be drunken.
The Lord of that servant will come in a day he looketh not for, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him down, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.
And that servant who knew his Lord’s will, and prepared not for his Lord’s coming, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.
But he that knew not his Lord’s will, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall much be required; and to whom the Lord has committed much, of him will men ask the more.
We are currently living in the time of the second watch just prior to the opening of the third watch which will usher in the dispensation of the fulness of times and the marvelous work and a wonder. See my previous post here for evidence that the marvelous work is a future event.
So as I was reading the other day in 3 Nephi 22 I ran across this little gem that the Lord specifically left for us to read in the latter-days.
v7. For a small moment have I forsaken thee, but with great mercies will I gather thee.
v8. In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment, but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer.
Boom! It hit me like a ton of red Nauvoo bricks. He is talking about us today and the 4 generations when the saints will be scattered after they break the covenant, prior to the final gathering. Unbelievable! Right there in front of our faces the Lord is quoting Isaiah (see Isaiah 54) to tell us of his mercy and love, but also that he has indeed forsaken (chastened) us for a “small moment.”
These golden nuggets are all over in the scriptures.
“Send you AGAIN”
“Laying the FOUNDATION of a great work”
Joseph’s use of the future tense when referring to the return of Elijah, etc. etc.
It’s there if we look for it.
Praise the Lord for his kindness and mercy. Praise the Lord for his wisdom in informing us regarding the latter days for all those who have eyes to see and ears to listen. The information is right there in plain sight for all those who are willing to follow the Lord’s commandment to search.