You can read Mdenkers1’s comment in the previous UnBlog. The assertion was that the Times of the Gentiles have already been fulfilled because the Jews HAVE returned, according to his/her thinking. Mdenkers1 had some very good references you may enjoy reading and made a good point. This is my reply:
As I noted earlier, there is a lot of confusion about these events and timings, and I do not claim to have all of the answers. I am presenting information as I understand it because it is my Blog, and because it is where the Holy Spirit is leading me. But, I am not a general authority, and have no intent to define doctrine, only to discuss it. I never mean to offend or agitate. I enjoy a wholesome discussion, but I never debate.
In that light, here is my thinking about the Jews and whether or not they have actually returned to Israel, thus signaling the end of the Times of the Gentiles: There are two significant things that need to happen when in order for the Times of the Gentiles to be fulfilled. First, the Gospel actually has to be “given” to the Jews who are gathered. As of this moment, that is not possible because of the political and religious structure in Israel. They are not Christian at all, let alone ready for the gospel. The second great indicator is that the Jews who have “returned” will actually accept and embrace and believe the Gospel, which means they will accept Christ, accept the current administration of His Gospel, which is the LDS church, and will be baptized in great numbers. This hasn’t happened, and since it hasn’t occurred, the times of the Gentiles have not ended in my opinion.
Another point that I don’t personally accept is that the Gentiles have rejected the Fullness of the Gospel. In the world of Gentiles, the rejection is underway. But if you consider the “gentiles” spoke of to be the latter-day church, (as I do) then the position should be taken that there are still millions of faithful Gentile LDS, and no flagrant rejection is evident. There is also the Fullness as it pertains to the greater blessings taught in the Temple, and I do not believe there is a wholesale rejection of those as yet either.
I agree completely that we are on the cusp, the razor’s edge, of the end of the Times of the Gentiles, but I don’t personally believe it has ended yet. The gentile church still possesses all of the keys, and administers all of the ordinances, and builds all of the temples.
The confusion is fed in some part by authoritative statements (such as your fine quotes) which conflict with one another. The reason they conflict is because there truly is confusion on these points. Here is the same quote by McConkie I included in part on my Blog, which does not agree with them. His position is harmonious with the scriptures as I understand them, and hence the position of the Blog article.
“The true Israelites and the true Jews believe in the true Messiah and worship his Father in spirit and in truth. And so it is that the times of the Gentiles is not yet fulfilled, and so it is that the city where our Lord was crucified shall be trodden down by Gentile unbelievers until that day of fulfillment dawns upon the earth.” (McConkie, Millennial Messiah, p.252)
But, please remember that I am not the one to solidify these things. We are just discussing them, and I thank you for your comment.
The reason I ended the Un-Blog article with a call to personal preparation is because for us personally it doesn’t matter if the Times of the Gentiles are over or not. What matters is if we have arisen to the stature of righteousness and claimed our personal place in Zion.
© January 2012, John M. Pontius, all rights reserved. Non-commercial reproduction permitted.