SICKNESS: What has been said concerning a desolating sickness or plague in the last days?

Prophetic Statements

Brigham Young

If you want a revolution go to work to improve yourselves and give your minds something to act upon instead of looking at the faults of others. We are a poor, feeble set and have hardly eyes to see; and many of those who have eyes see not, but are constantly watching the weaknesses and follies of each other. Endeavor with all your mind and strength to improve yourselves and ask your sisters and brethren to improve their lives. I am preaching to you practical religion. Learn to take proper care of your children. If any of them are sick, the cry now, instead of “Go and fetch the Elders to lay hands on my child!” is, “Run for a doctor.” Why do you not live so as to rebuke disease? It is your privilege to do so without sending for the Elders. You should go to work to study and see what you can do for the recovery of your children. If a child is taken sick with fever give it something to stay that fever or relieve the stomach and bowels, so that mortification may not set in. Treat the child with prudence and care, with faith and patience, and be careful in not overcharging it with medicine. If you take too much medicine into the system, it is worse than too much food. But you will always find that an ounce of preventive is worth a pound of cure. Study and learn something for yourselves. It is the privilege of a mother to have faith and to administer to her child; this she can do herself, as well as sending for the Elders to have the benefit of their faith. 1

John Taylor

We had a great war upon this continent some years ago; but there will yet be wars pass through these United States, and through other nations, until it will be mournful to hear the report of the bloodshed, the sorrow and trouble that will be caused thereby, as also by pestilence, famine and earthquake, and the waves of the sea heaving themselves beyond their bounds, and storms and tempests, etc., etc. We have been gathered together from among the nations of the earth in order that God might have a people who would obey His law. 2

Ezra Taft Benson

In Matthew, chapter 24, we learn of ‘famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes,…’ (Matt 24:7) The Lord declared that these and other calamities shall occur. These particular prophecies seem not to be conditional. The Lord, with his foreknowledge, knows that they will happen. Some will come about through man’s manipulations; others through the forces of nature and nature’s God, but that they will come seeks certain. Prophecy is but history in reverse – a divine disclosure of future events. 3



 Doctrine and Covenants 84:97
And plagues shall go forth, and they shall not be taken from the earth until I have completed my work, which shall be cut short in righteousness—

Doctrine and Covenants 87:6
And thus, with the sword and by bloodshed the inhabitants of the earth shall mourn; and with famine, and plague, and earthquake, and the thunder of heaven, and the fierce and vivid lightning also, shall the inhabitants of the earth be made to feel the wrath, and indignation, and chastening hand of an Almighty God, until the consumption decreed hath made a full end of all nations;

Revelation 15:1, 6
1 And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God.

6 And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven plagues, clothed in pure and white linen, and having their breasts girded with golden girdles.


Supporting Statements

Bruce R. McConkie

Before the Lord comes, the whole earth will be in turmoil. Wars and rumors of wars will spread death and destruction and disease that will dwarf anything ever known among men. Plagues and pestilence and pain will punish the people to a degree never before known. Men will be cursed physically and spiritually; the flesh of many will fall from their bones and their eyes from their sockets. Earthquakes will destroy many cities and bring death to their municipals; fire and hail will destroy the crops of the earth; rivers and seas and deserts and mountains will be contaminated; the waters of the world will be polluted; famines and poisons and dead bodies will be commonplace. No tongue can tell the desolations and sorrows that are yet to be, all of which will be climaxed by the burning of the vineyard, at which time every corruptible thing will be consumed.  4

  1. JOD, 13:155
  2. John Taylor, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 24, pg. 200.
  3. Ezra Taft Benson, “Prepare Ye,” Ensign, Jan 1974, 68
  4. Bruce R. McConkie, A New Witness for the Articles of Faith [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1985], 633
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