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Armageddon

by V. Daniel Rogers

The name Armageddon is a Greek transliteration of the Hebrew har megiddo, mountain of Megiddo, and is used by John the Revelator to symbolize the assembling of a vast world army in the last days (Rev. 16:16). Sixty miles north of Jerusalem, the site of the ancient city of Har Megiddo overlooks the Plain of Esdraelon or the valley of Jezreel, forming a natural entrance to the heart of the land from the Mediterranean Sea.

Anciently the valley was the scene of violent and crucial battles. It was here, during the period of the Judges, that Deborah and Barak defeated the Canaanite general Sisera and delivered Israel from Canaanite rule (Judg. 4-5). Around 640 B.C., King Josiah of Judah was killed at Har Megiddo by the army of Pharaoh Necho, resulting in Judah's subjugation to Egypt (2 Chr. 35:20-23; 2 Kgs. 23:29).

Armageddon is destined to play a future role in world events. It is LDS belief that the prophecies of the scriptures will be fulfilled and that armies representing the nations of the earth will be gathered in the valley of Megiddo. It may be that given the extent of the conflict, Armageddon is a symbolic representation of worldwide conflict centered in this geographic area. The scriptures state that when the battle is at its zenith, Christ, the King of Kings, will appear on the Mount of Olives accompanied by dramatic upheavals. Subsequently, the armies spoken of by John will be destroyed, followed by Christ's millennial reign (cf. Zech. 11-14; Rev. 16:14-21; D&C 45:42-53; JD 7:189; MD, p. 71). How long it will take to bring about these events is not revealed. The name Armageddon does not occur in latter-day scripture, nor is there a known mention of it by the Prophet Joseph Smith.

(See Basic Beliefs home page; Doctrines of the Gospel home page; The Last Days home page)

Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol. 1, Armageddon

Copyright 1992 by Macmillan Publishing Company

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