“[Jesus] shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, . . . they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven” (Acts 1: 3-11).
The return of Jesus Christ is based upon the reality of His first coming–the reality of the babe of Bethlehem, the growing Boy of Nazareth, the Master of mighty miracles, and the Savior slain for the sins of the world. Mormons believe in, and look forward to, the second coming of the resurrected Messiah, for biblical prophecies plainly testify of His glorious return to earth:
“Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him” (Rev. 1: 7). “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air” (1 Thes. 4: 16, 17).
Even though the New Testament clearly foretells of the Son of God’s second coming, yet the majority of the world dismisses the Bible’s clear witness; most people on earth have yet to receive the reality of the Messiah’s first coming, and therefore deny His second coming.
According to Government statistics, 67% of the world’s population is non-Christian (about 4,421,000,000). The total population of the planet is estimated at 6,602,224,000 as of 2007, and the major religions of the world distribute this way:
1) Christians 2,181,000,000 (33%)
2) Muslims 1,328,000,000 (20%)
3) Hindus 881,000,000 (13%)
4) Buddhists 389,000,000 (6%)
5) Sikhs 25,750,000 (0.4%)
6) Jews 15,190,000 (0.23%)
* Other Religions 833,000,000 (12.6%)
* Non-Religious 794,000,000 (12%)
* Atheists 155,800,000 (2.4%)
Because 2/3rds of the world’s population have not yet realized the divinity of Jesus Christ as Son of God, in the infinite wisdom of the Almighty, Another Testament of Jesus Christ has been given to the world. As prophesied by Ezekiel, the Book of Mormon has become “one in thine hand” (Ezek. 37: 15-20) in bearing witness of the Redeemer of the world.
The strength of this additional witness to the world is manifest by the Book of Mormon’s unmistakable and palpable prophecies of Christ’s birth, mission, and crucifixion. About 600 B.C., the prophet Nephi saw a vision of the land of Jerusalem and of Mary, the mother of Jesus (1 Nephi 11: 13-18); in his heavenly vision this prophet of ancient America also saw the Savior of the world “lifted up” upon a cross and crucified (1 Nephi 11: 26-33).
When the world comes to know that the Son of God has come a first time in humility, then they will fully realize that their Savior and Redeemer will come a second time in glory.