There are 13 thoughts on “Vaughn J. Featherstone’s Atlanta Temple Letter”.

  1. I listened to the YouTube presentation twice and was troubled by its certitude regarding the timing of the second coming. The assertions regarding Elder Featherstone’s supposed prophetic letter were also careless and misleading, as was pointed out very clearly in this essay. The Church History Library is, indeed, quite careful to explain its collection policy. The library’s catalog page contains the following: “The Church History Library collects materials by or about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its members. These materials come from a wide spectrum of sources and represent numerous points of view. Users of the catalog should not assume that the Church or the Library endorses every item in the collection.”
    https://catalog.churchofjesuschrist.org/

    No mention of this in the video.

    Virtually all the public comments attached to the video are very positive. I left a contrary comment in this echo chamber, explaining my reservations and citing the same talk by Elder Ballard that you referenced . When I returned the next day, my comment had been deleted.

    I find the video’s analysis and conclusions bizarre and the associated enthusiasm for this letter even more so. I’ll probably stick with the carefully considered counsel of a senior member of the Quorum of the Twelve rather than feel bound by the overstated and specious assertions of Masayoshi Montemayor and Elder Featherstone.

  2. The timing of the coming of the Lord has been a subject of great interest ever since it was first announced by two men dressed in white, just subsequent to His ascension from the Mount of Olives (Acts 1:10-11). It appears that Paul expected the return of the Lord in the lifetime of Early Saints, so we can’t be too critical of Elder Featherstone if his timing was off (1 Cor 1:7; 1 Thes 1:10; 4:15).

    In the sequence of events preceding the Lord’s coming there are some things that are frequently overlooked. John made it clear that after the opening of the Seventh Seal there are a series of plagues and wars that precede the coming of the Lord in His glory (Rev 8 & 9). Couple this with the fact that it is during the Sixth Seal that there is a great earthquake, where every island and mountain are moved out of their place, the earth returns to the way it was before it was divided, the sun is darkened and the moon turned to blood (Rev 6: 12-14; D&C 133:24) We are obviously still in the days of the Sixth Seal because this hasn’t happened yet. Maybe tomorrow?

    • In 2001 President Hinkley said that the prophecy of Joel has been full field wherein he says. Then President Hinkley quotes the scripture of Joel. Here is the link: https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/general-conference/2001/10/living-in-the-fulness-of-times?lang=eng
      The moon turning to blood and the sun darkened have been fulfilled according to President Hinkley. The New Testament institute manual has a a good synopsis of the 7 signs given in the six seal: John noted seven signs that will accompany this time period: an earthquake, the darkened sun, the moon becoming as blood, stars falling, the heavens opening as a scroll. The earth returning to the way it was before it was divided is not a true statement. It is plausible that all signs of the 6th seal have been fulfilled and we could be in the 7th seal. I don’t know but President Nelson has repeatedly said we are preparing the world for the second coming. https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/2020/04/the-future-of-the-church-preparing-the-world-for-the-saviors-second-coming?lang=eng
      President Kimball in his book “Faith Proceeds the Miracle” was very nervous the we as members will be like the foolish five virgins that didn’t read the signs of the bridegroomS coming and thus were unprepared.

      • “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven:” (Matthew 24:29-30)

        “For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect. But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things. But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken. (Mark 13:22-25)

        “And they shall behold blood, and fire, and vapors of smoke. And before the day of the Lord shall come, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon be turned into blood, and the stars fall from heaven. And the remnant shall be gathered unto this place; And then they shall look for me,” (D&C 45:41-43)

        I must have missed all that.

        “The earth returning to the way it was before it was divided is not a true statement”??

        And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.” (Revelation 6:12-14)

        “And it shall be a voice as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder, which shall break down the mountains, and the valleys shall not be found. He shall command the great deep, and it shall be driven back into the north countries, and the islands shall become one land; And the land of Jerusalem and the land of Zion shall be turned back into their own place, and the earth shall be like as it was in the days before it was divided.” (D&C 133:22-24)

        • I really like this article that was written, because it gives greater insight and a bigger picture to help us understand the circumstances of the Vaughn J Featherstone letter that was used in the You Tube presentation. All of these things presented we need to use the spirt to discern for ourselves that which is of God and that which is not. The more I study the second coming to more I have come to a realization that many people use scripture to support their own thoughts and ideas. I have learned that you have to break down every statement and try to understand the context, and then on top of that when it comes to the second coming assign a timeline. We probably shouldn’t, but that is the great understanding many want to attain. This turns purely into speculation without spiritual confirmation, because many of these things have not been revealed. So I agree with every scripture you have used, I just don’t understand how you are trying to use them or maybe it is that I don’t come to the same conclusion that you are. For example D&C 133:22-24, I believe that those things will happen, but from how I understood your statement you had assigned this scripture to the sixth seal. I don’t, I believe this is in the seventh seal when these things will happen. The hard thing about the sixth seal is we don’t know with good records what happened in the beginning of that seal. Personally I think President Hinckley’s statement gives us better understanding, because prior to that statement I would not have thought those things spoken by Joel, D&C, Mark, Mathew, many of which things are very similar, had been fulfilled, and maybe not all of them have, but President Hinckley made me think more about that. I wish you the best and hope you can find the answers you need to prepare the best you can, in fact I hope we all can do this!

          • Cordell,

            One of the signs of the coming of the Lord that I am eagerly watching for and anticipating is the following:

            “…and righteousness and truth will I cause to sweep the earth as with a flood, to gather out mine elect from the four quarters of the earth, unto a place which I shall prepare, an Holy City, that my people may gird up their loins, and be looking forth for the time of my coming; for there shall be my tabernacle, and it shall be called Zion, a New Jerusalem.” (Moses 7:62)

            The City of Zion, the New Jerusalem, must be built prior to His coming, and it must be built upon the principles of the fullness of the Law of Consecration and Stewardship. We are not there yet. (D&C 105:5)

            • I agree with you. I believe the temple at the New Jerusalem will be built as well as the temple in Jerusalem, before the Savior comes in his glory to the world. According to John that won’t happen until the 7th trumpet sounds. I don’t believe The new Jerusalem can be built “until the indignation of the Lord shall be poured out without measure upon all nations.” President Joseph Fielding Smith said “Because the people were not ready, or able, to abide in the laws which had been given them, the blessings were withdrawn, and the Lord said that they must wait for a little season for the redemption of Zion. In the meantime the people were to be chastened until they learn obedience, through the things which they suffer. After much tribulation would come the blessing and Zion would be redeemed, her Temple would be built, and “they who have been scattered shall be gathered.” Zion was not to be moved out of her place. There are indications in the revelations that Zion is not to be built up or redeemed, until the indignation of the Lord shall be poured out without measure upon all nations; and “This will be when the cup of their iniquity is full.” (D. and C. 101.)” — Signs of the Times
              I personal believe there will be time between the seventh horn spoken of by John and the sixth horn. It could be possible that these things would be built after Armageddon, but prior to the Lord coming in his glory to the whole world. This is purely speculation on my part. However I believe that what the author of the video is trying to imply is that the day of the Lord is coming where the earth will experience the “indignation of the Lord poured out upon all nations.” It is feasible that all of this can happen before the Lord comes in his glory to the whole world. We really don’t have a grasp on the timeline and sequence of events.

  3. Though I have little respect for video interviews and texts originating with NAMI, I can affirm the general correctness of this article from my own experience.

    When author’s state that items come from “the Church” or “Church Headquarters” or “Salt Lake” one does have to be cautious because that is often a way to sneak something past the unwary.

    Official items meant for members are approved by Correlation and have an approval date (like “6/2020”) on them (and now we are seeing the new Christus symbol also). If it passes Correlation it is approved and has the date to legitimize it. If it does not, it is not. Most experienced readers know this.

    Several years ago I contacted a friend and mentor who had worked with Correlation for three decades but has been retired now for over a decade, about the Featherstone letter. I sent him a copy of it I had found online somewhere. He said he had never seen or heard of it. It is simply not an approved publication of the Church and its contents are the opinions of the author.

    My friend also told me that one of Elder Featherstone’s last assignments before becoming emeritus was to work with the Church Correlation Department as part of its executive leadership. He said that after working in Church Correlation for a time, that Elder Featherstone indicated that if he had had that experience earlier in his general authority ministry that he would have been more careful and cautious and circumspect in his doctrinal teachings to the Church.

    In one of his General Conference talks (I think one of his first) Elder Featherstone indicates that he did receive a powerful spiritual experience regarding 3 Nephi 11, and that he was an independent witness that the events therein described were true.

    As far as I know, perhaps the last major public address Elder Featherstone gave was to BYU Idaho in 2013, as found here.
    https://byui-media.ldscdn.org/byui_ft/devo_audio/15_10_2013_Devo.mp3

    Those wanting a fairly recent taste of his teachings and speaking style might enjoy listening. He died a couple of years ago.

    In my own studies of Elder Featherstone’s messages, which I love, I have found that, like anyone, he could extemporaneously misquote scripture badly and got various things wrong on occasion. Twice I have heard him say that he heard Elder McConkie say that Gabriel, or Noah, was the angel that appeared in the garden of Gethsemane to strengthen the Savior as he underwent the atonement, or suffering for sin, of all mankind. This was incorrect, since it was Michael, or Adam, that Elder McConkie is on record as teaching as the identity of this angel.

    Anything in Elder Featherstone’s letter that is wrong, is simply that, wrong. It happens. For instance, in my own opinion, little that comes out of NAMI would ever get past the Church Correlation Evaluation division, which is there as a doctrinal quality control for the Church.

    • Hi Dennis,

      Thank you for sharing. I am pleased that you found the essay useful even if you are not fond of the Maxwell Institute. To be honest, I’m not sure what your distaste for the Institute has to do with my writing. The Maxwell Institute employs scholars who work on all sorts of things and none of their publications should be seen as representative of the Maxwell Institute. I’m not much of a philosopher – feel free to check out my other work! I sincerely enjoyed your biography of Orson F. Whitney even though I am wary of things published by Cedar Fort. 😉

      Cordially,
      Chris Blythe

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