11 For all flesh is corrupted before me; and the powers of darkness prevail upon the earth, among the children of men, in the presence of all the hosts of heaven—
12 Which causeth silence to reign, and all eternity is pained, and the angels are waiting the great command to reap down the earth, to gather the tares that they may be burned; and, behold, the enemy is combined.
This is taken from the 38th Section of the Doctrine and Covenants. What does it mean? I don’t know, but a have a couple of ideas.
“…all flesh is corrupted”
Could this mean that we are all mortal, living in a telestial world, and all men everywhere are filthy unless they come unto Christ and are sanctified so that they are washed clean in the blood of the Lamb?”
“…the powers of darkness prevail upon the earth”
What does the word “prevail” mean in this context? It might mean that those who are in seats of power over the nations are in darkness, or in other words they are influenced or controlled by Satan, the great deceiver.
“…Which causeth silence to reign”
This phrase I do not understand at all. I hope to learn more, by and by.
“…the angels are waiting the great command to reap down the earth”
This phrase is also mysterious. I believe that it is literal as well as metaphorical. Apparently angels are going to have a role in the destruction of the wicked at the end of the world. In other words, it is not going to be entirely a holocaust by the hands of mortal men. Who will or what will be reaped down? I hope it will not be me. It is a frightening verse. If it is a reference to the wicked and their destruction at the beginning of the Millennium, who are the wicked? How can I be sure I’m not one of them? How is “wicked” defined? It is a word used often throughout scripture. It must have a meaning beyond those who are not a member of the Church, or those who are merely imperfect and sinners.
“…gather the tares that they may be burned”
I assume this does not mean literal weeds growing among literal wheat. But how far does the metaphor go? Does it mean that the wicked will be literally burned at the beginning of the Millennium?” Or does it mean that something else will happen to them that is represented by this metaphorical reference? If the latter, what could it be referring to?”
“…behold, the enemy is combined.”
Who is the enemy? I suppose it is a reference to the enemies of Jesus Christ and his covenant people, but could it mean something else too? And what does the word “combined” mean? I believe it is a reference to secret combinations, those who intentionally or unwittingly follow Satan in opposition to Christ and his covenant people. They are undoubtedly organized into syndicates, cartels, and other criminal organizations. Are these the combinations spoken of? Is this what “combined” means in this context? I think so, but what else could it mean?”
I find these two verses fascinating precisely because I am not certain what they mean. I am sure there are others who understand them better. It is my hope that such a one will find this blog post and enlighten me in the comments.