When It Ends

Author’s Note: To be clear, I do not think that the current difficulties we are facing signify the end of the world! However, the disruption to normal life caused me to remember these thoughts I jotted down a couple of years ago. Though at first this poem may seem disheartening, at a time when many things seem out of our control, what is in our control is who we become. And that is encouraging indeed.

Who will you be when it ends? Photo by Wendelin Jacober.

How will it be when it ends,
    When it ends . . .
How will it be when it ends—
When Hell is unleashed and with murder contends;
How will it be when it ends?

Why will it be when it ends,
    When it ends . . .
Why will it be when it ends—
That governments topple while no one defends;
Why will it be when it ends?

What will it be when it ends,
    When it ends . . .
What will it be when it ends—
A desolate waste that none comprehends;
What will it be when it ends?

When will it be when it ends,
    When it ends . . .
When will it be when it ends—
When the old world passes and new one descends;
When will it be when it ends?

Where will you be when it ends,
    When it ends . . .
Where will you be when it ends—
Will you be among foe or be among friends;
Where will you be when it ends?

And who will you be when it ends,
    When it ends . . .
Who will you be when it ends—
That, my friend, on you all depends;
Who will you be when it ends?


I should probably not watch war movies or documentaries.  Especially about either of the World Wars.  They put me in kind of a weird place.  I cannot quite describe it.  It almost feels like a mix of foreshadowed foreboding.  After all, who knows what the future holds for each of us individually.

After watching one such movie I jotted down some thoughts.  While we don’t know exactly when or how the winding up scenes for this world will play out, what we do know paints a pretty bleak picture.  The scriptures say the Devil and his angels will be unleashed in ways we have not seen before.  Anger and hatred will rage.  Men’s hearts will fail them.  Violence and chaos will abound.  Brother will fight against brother, neighbor against neighbor.  Nations will rise up against nations in war and horror.  Natural disasters will increase in frequency and severity.  Famine and plagues will stock the land.  All these changes will alter the face, topography, and climate of the earth.  The world as we know it will cease to exist.

In all of this, families will be separated and lost.  It may be that loved ones are stuck in different lands or places, separated by ensuing chaos, or lost to death.  It may be that specific missions and tasks call people to leave the peace and safety of family to venture out into the upheaval—perhaps to never return in this life. 

The epic destructions that will one day come will change the world and will change each of us.  It is how they will change us that is yet to be seen.  Specifically, how will they change you?  And what are you doing to prepare?   I was reading in the Book of Mormon just this morning about the lengthy battles during the days of Captain Moroni.  After years of bloodshed, famine, instability, insurrection, dissension, and death, the scriptures say, “But behold, because of the exceedingly great length of the war between the Nephites and the Lamanites many had become hardened, because of the exceedingly great length of the war; and many were softened because of their afflictions, insomuch that they did humble themselves before God, even in the depth of humility” (Alma 62:41).

The war and famine and destructions were the same.  Yet some were hardened and some were softened.  Some became bitter and some better.  Some turned to Christ and some turned away.  So, what was the difference?  What tipped the scales one way or the other?  What choices set the course?  What decisions determined destiny?  What attitudes ensured the outcome?  That is what we must each discover.

For that is who we will be in the end.

Written: December 3, 2017

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