I understand that President Packer gave a talk in 2011 saying that the young people still had plenty of time before WW3 would happen and that they would even have grandchildren before that time. I, of course understand that no one knows the exact time of his coming. And I also know that we’re supposed to study and be aware of these things when they’re approaching. Joel Skousen, a well known member of the church has been sounding the warning to prepare because ww3 is not far off.
You touch on a topic that many people feel some anxiety about: the second coming, and the world events that are supposed to come before the second coming.
I would like to first share with you a scripture, Mark 13:32, where, while discussing the timing of the Second Coming, Christ says, “But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.” You should keep this scripture in mind when thinking about the Second Coming – we can look for signs of the times, and we should definitely live like the Second Coming is imminent, but we simply don’t know when it will happen or even many details on how it will happen.
In the October 2011 general conference, President Boyd K. Packer, an Apostle of the Lord, gave a talk entitled “Counsel to Youth“. In this talk, he stated,
“Sometimes you might be tempted to think as I did from time to time in my youth: ‘The way things are going, the world’s going to be over with. The end of the world is going to come before I get to where I should be.’ Not so! You can look forward to doing it right – getting married, having a family, seeing your children and grandchildren, maybe even great-grandchildren.”
This is very similar to counsel he gave in 1989:
“No one knows the hour or the day (see D&C 49:7), but the end cannot come until all of the purposes of the Lord are fulfilled. Everything that I have learned from the revelations and from life convinces me that there is time and to spare for you to carefully prepare for a long life.” Boyd K. Packer, To Young Women and Men, Ensign, May 1989
While we cannot know exactly when the Second Coming will happen, we do know that the Lord has sent us prophets and apostles and has given them prophetic insight. When one of them, such as Boyd K. Packer, states that we should properly prepare for a long life, we should do so!
As for Joel Skousen, I am less familiar with his works. Mr. Skousen appears to be a political commentator who has opined on world events, perhaps including some educated opinions about when the next major war will happen. However, as Mr. Skousen is not a prophet or apostle of the Lord, I am inclined to believe the words of President Packer, which are backed by revelation from the Lord, regarding the specific issue of the Second Coming.