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What is the Olivet Discourse?





Dear William,

The Olivet Discourse is the teaching given by Christ on the Mount of Olives as recorded in Matthew 24 and 25.  These teachings come near the end of Christ’s ministry and mortal life. Joseph Smith made enough changes to Matthew 24 that we include his translation as Joseph Smith–Matthew in the Pearl of Great Price.

This discourse contains several familiar teachings:

  • the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem (fulfilled in AD 70) (JS-M 24:1-21), many things described herein can be likened to the time just before Christ’s Second Coming
  • various signs of the Second Coming (JS-M 24:22-55)
  • the parable of the fig tree (you know summer is near when the fig tree puts forth leaves, even so the signs in chapter 24 indicate his Second Coming is near)
  • Christ will come in a time like that of Noah, when people are going about their lives as usual, not expecting him
  • warnings to watch for his coming (the wise vs evil servant, the parable of the ten virgins)
  • counsel to be wise in our stewardships (parable of the talents)
  • and comparing the separation of the righteous and wicked to separating sheep from goats.

In this last teaching, we are reminded that what we do to one another, even to those considered “the least”, we do to our Savior.

I hope this answers your question, William, and that you will take the chance to review these teachings so relevant to our day.  May we all prepare and watch for the coming of our Savior, be wise, and treat others as we would treat him.






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