2012

When I was a boy growing up, it was pretty much a given in the church that the end of the world would come in the year 2000. A friend told me of a BYU religion professor who actually had the then number of years to 2000 as the answer to a test question, “In how many years will Jesus return.” Well, Y2K paranoia notwithstanding, 2000 came and went with no armageddon in sight. So now some Saints appear to have recalibrated their apocalyptic expectations on the year 2012, complete with a cgi-overloaded movie coming soon to a theater near you. I have been getting a lot of questions about this, so I thought I would throw up an answer here so I can just refer future questioners to this blog post. The short answer is, no, the world isn’t going to end in 2012.

The reason some people have become fascinated with 2012 has to do with the Mayan calendar. The details are very complicated, but I’ll try to make it as simple as I can.

The Maya used a number of different calendrical systems. Two of the main ones were the 365-day solar calendar (called the Haab) and the 260-day ceremonial calendar, consisting of 20 periods of 13 days each and called the Tzolk’in. (20 and 13 were important numbers in Maya calendrical calculations.) These two calendars named the days but did not identify years. By combining the two dates it would be possible to identify a given date with specificity within a cycle of 52 Haab years, which was good enough for most purposes, since life expectancies were shorter than that. One of these 52-year periods is called a calendar round. But this method was inadequate as a way of designating dates before or after the current 52-year period. To accomplish this, the Maya created something called the Long Count Calendar.

Long counts are written with five digits, as so: 0.0.0.0.0. From the right, each digit represents the following passage of time:

Solar Days / Cycle Name

1 Kin
20 Uinal
360 Tun
7200 Katun
144,000 Baktun

So 0.0.0.0.1 represents 1 kin, or 1 day from the start date. 0.0.0.0.19 represents 19 kins. When you reach 20 you roll up to the next level: 0.0.0.1.0, which stands for 1 uinal (= 20 kin). (Remember that Maya number systems tend to be based on 20 rather than 10.) For some reason, the third digit only goes to 18, not to 20. So when you get to 0.0.0.17.19, and then you add one more day, you roll over to 0.0.1.0.0, which is 1 tun or 360 days. The two digits on the left go back up to 20. Do you see how this works?

1.0.0.0.0 is a baktun, or 144,000 days. The limit on baktuns is 13, or 13.0.0.0.0, which is 1,872,000 days (= 144,000 times 13). This is 13 baktuns, which is as far as the long count calendar goes.

It was a puzzle to correlate this calendar to our western calendar, but there is a scholarly consensus these days that the starting point for this great cycle was September 6, 3114 B.C. on the Julian calendar. If you add 13 baktuns to that date, you come up with a date of December 21, 2012. So this is the “end” of this Mayan calendar, which has inspired contemporary people with an interest in an imminent end of the age (New Age folk, Christians and others) to see this as the date for the coming apocalyptic end of the world.

But there is no accompanying Mayan prophecy of dire events to occur on that date. There are various indications that the Maya would have simply started the cycle over again, like a car’s odometer rolling over. For instance, they could state dates beyond the end of the great cycle by adding a distance number, which would be added to the end of the 13th baktun and extend into the next cycle. It makes as much sense to see 2012 as the end of the world as it would to see January 1, 2010 as armageddon, since that date will mark the end of our current calendrical year cycle.

There are a lot of interesting questions involved in this. For instance the Maya apparently created this calendar circa 500 B.C.; why did they set it up with a start date going back to 3114 B.C.?

But so far as we can tell, if the original Mayan culture had survived to today, they would probably do like Prince and have a big party at the turning of the cycle. There is no indication in their own writings that they saw this as indicative of the end of the world.

Comments

  1. I got asked about this at Institute tonight. Pretty much gave the same response about the odometer rolling over.

  2. alextvalencic says:

    Just one little nitpicky detail, which is that it is my understanding that the Mayan numerical system is a base-60 system, not base-20.

    Otherwise, I totally agree – the Mayans set up a calendar that would eventually run out of new place values, and it just rolls over to zero at that point. Personally, I’m impressed that they made such a long-term calendar in the first place! According to my nifty little multi-year calendar that involves a wheel-inside-a-wheel, the world ended in 2005, I believe.

  3. Kevin Barney says:

    I agree alexvalencic, it’s a pretty impressive achievement.

  4. I like the imagery of the calendar being like an odometer.

    Personally, I don’t get why everyone gets so hung up on specific dates of the end of the world. I mean, yeah, I get that it gives a certain feel of finiteness to something so abstract, but trying to pinpoint the exact end of the world gives that feeling of “oh, I have [insert however much time] left to repent and ‘make good.’ I can do it later.”

    Very interesting post.

  5. Kevin,
    I’m a little younger than you, but I sure don’t remember any vibe in the Church suggesting that the world was coming to an end in Y2K. A BYU professor aside, I don’t remember anyone saying anything except that no one knows.

  6. Kevin Barney says:

    It was very common when I was young. The idea was based on Archbishop Ussher’s calculation putting Adam at circa 4000 B.C.; seven dispensations of 1,000 years each, putting the seventh or millennial dispensation as beginning at A.D. 2000.

  7. in 1999, i lived in a california ward that was mostly paranoid about y2k. admittedly, it was somewhat of a “backwoods” sort of area, but we lost at least 30 people to jackson county. that included a mid-sized extended family who took several others with them. i’ve had a bishop, who was mid-40s at the time, tell me that christ would come again in his lifetime.

  8. Kevin Barney says:

    makakona, my bishop when I was a teen told me Christ would definitely come during my lifetime. Lots of patriarchal blessings given to my peers had similar language.

  9. Paranoia for the end of the world is good for businesses that sell food storage, guns and other such stuff. Also, it’s good for the movie industry.

  10. aloysiusmiller says:

    Well I sure never heard such a thing and I was in my late 40s at the turn of the millennium and a lifetime active member of the Church. But I didn’t grow up on the southern outskirts of Provo.

  11. Are we sure there isn’t some sort of Mayan typo? Because I’m convinced that the world will end in 2112.

  12. “the starting point for this great cycle was September 6, 3114 B.C. on the Julian calendar”

    I think what we need is the starting point in our modern modified Gregorian calendar, which corrects the leap year (and adds a leap second every now and then).

    Oh, and by the way, 42 is the number of angels that can dance on the head of a pin, in case that has any bearing on when the world will end.

  13. Thanks Kevin- I was hoping someone would tackle this- I should have guessed opening up a can of Barney would shut down the conspiracy theorists.

  14. so you’re saying Hal Lindsay is wrong?

  15. The JW’s predicted the end to come in 1914, 1925, and 1975, but they were wrong. Perhaps it could be possible that Christ did come back secretly and is just seeing the sights before he gets real busy.

  16. Well, given the scriptures that say that nobody knows the day of Christ’s return, does that mean we could postpone it indefinitely by having someone make a guess of each particular day as it’s coming? The functionaries on Kolob who are planning the Second Coming with Christ would curse (mildly) every time a new day was guessed, and cross it off their calendar. :)

    Great post, Kevin. Thanks for debunking this.

  17. Not that I am predicting the end of the world at 2012, but isn’t it glossing over a bit to say it means nothing? If I recall (and the New Age nonsense is too thick on the net to find a worthwhile reference this time of night) the Mayans had different ages of the World, and that the end of the Calendar signified the beginning of a new world or age. Significant changes in the world accompanied the end and beginning of each age.

    I am dubious, (but stubbornly curious) because there are prophecies we have about ages changing – the 6th and 7th seals, the end of the time of the Gentiles, the Counsel and Judgment at Adam-ondi-Aham, etc.

    2012 sounds a bit early for all of that – at least it sounds a bit early to me. But the possibility of seeing it in our lives is not far-fetched.

  18. Never ran into the 2000 hysteria growing up. Nor the 2012 wackjobs, now. What kind of circles do you run in, Kevin?

  19. Q. What are we to understand by the book which John saw, which was sealed on the back with seven seals?

    A. We are to understand that it contains the revealed will, mysteries, and the works of God; the hidden things of his economy concerning this earth during the seven thousand years of its continuance, or its temporal existence.

  20. Silus,
    I haven’t heard any of the 2012 stuff from church members, but the billboards and bus stops are filled with ads for the 2012 movie, and the news (sorry, should be “news”) has been talking about the Mayan calendar for the last year or two.

  21. Kevin,

    I think you fail to appreciate the predictive power of the Mayan calendar. It has predicted that the sun will rise each and every day, without fail!

    Ok, seriously, I have been thinking about a post on this, but I could not have touched what you write here. Nice job.

    On a recent cross-country flight, I watched an episode on the History channel about the end of the world (I know, right?). In it they had some experts talking about the use of web-bots, and how those bots have crawled for chatter and correctly-ish predicted events such as 9/11. This objective-sounding expert then referenced the increased probability that something major – perhaps global – would happen in 2012, because the web-bots are predicting it, and such a prediction coincides with the Mayan calendar! I couldn’t believe that I was wasting my time watching the program.

    The web-bots pick up chatter from real people, not some mystical super-intelligence that knows the future. People are crazy, and they are talking about 2012 and the Mayan calendar. They are writing about it. There is a big disaster-porn motion picture coming out about it. Of course the web-bots are going to find this!

    And now the web bots are picking up this post, and they are even more certain that the end of the world is coming in 2012. Way to contribute, brother! ;-)

  22. Latter-day Guy says:

    Whew. I’m relieved. I’m glad that this hasn’t derailed my plan to be dead long before the parousia. Honestly, based on my understanding of the “End of Times (TM)”––cobbled together by overlaying copies of The Book of Revelation, Left Behind, Skousen’s The 5000-Year Leap, and Fascinating Womanhood (a strangely unappreciated apocalyptic work) printed on transparencies––the whole thing sounds pretty unpleasant (in spite of putting on a clean apron and freshening up your makeup for your hubby’s arrival).

  23. When I was a teenager, I overheard a much older woman tell a friend that her patriarchal blessing promised her that the second coming would be in her lifetime. I worried about this quite a bit and felt a bit cheated of the opportunity to live a long and normal life.

    When I was at BYU, I got a job transcribing old documents so they could be made available electronically. When I transcribed a book of patriarchal blessings given in the late 1800’s and saw that many of the blessings promised the recipients, in very unambiguous language, that they would be alive for the second coming, I stopped worrying.

  24. Frankly I’m convinced every time somebody predicts the end of the world, it gets pushed forward two weeks

  25. We talked about 2012 a lot in high school, 16 years ago… Guess the catholics were ahead of the curve.

  26. California Condor says:

    In an LDS chapel in upstate New York (Fayetteville, I believe), President Spencer W. Kimball installed a time capsule to be opened in 2030.

    So take that for what it’s worth.

  27. Frankly I’m convinced every time somebody predicts the end of the world, it gets pushed forward two weeks

    HA. I needed that chuckle tonite. Thanks.

    Kevin, thanks for the post. I haven’t about 2012 before now, though — where are people discussing this? Or is it just that I’m clueless when it comes to movies?

    Sidenote: While I don’t think we should ever gloss over the possibility that we could see the Savior come (so we should be prepared as if He would come tomorrow), I always sort of scratch my head when I hear someone trying to predict something date-wise — if even the angels don’t know that info, how could we? A thief in the night and all of that, too…????.

  28. I first read about the 2012 Mayan Calender thing in Ambrose Bierce’s Devil’s Dictionary way back in high school.

  29. People have thought Christ’s second coming was imminent since right after his ascension. People in Christ’s time thought he’d come back then. There was talk around 666 AD, 1000 AD, and many, many other times. People in the early days of our church thought they were truly “Latter-day saints”. Even JS had a prophecy about that if he lived to be…

    Perhaps this is all meant to be chatter and static to that none of us truly know when Christ will come again.

  30. I first read about the 2012 Mayan Calender thing in Ambrose Bierce’s Devil’s Dictionary way back in high school.

    So I’m *really* out of it? :)

  31. Don’t forget the “Great Disappointment” of 1844.

  32. The big 2000 was all the rage while I was on my mission in the late eighties. I used to get quite riled at a companion who swore (figuratively speaking) that we were only 12 years off the Second Coming.

    I therefore got quite a chuckle, while sitting in a General Conference session, from hearing Elder Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve give the following counsel to the Young Women and Men (of whom I still considered myself to be) : “Teenagers also sometimes think, ‘What’s the use? The world will soon be blown all apart and come to an end.’ That feeling comes from fear, not from faith. 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. One day you will cope with teenage children of your own. That will serve you right. Later, you will spoil your grandchildren, and they in turn spoil theirs. If an earlier end should happen to come to one, that is more reason to do things right” (Ensign, May 1989, 59)

    My grandchildren will spoil their grandchildren? My eldest child is ten! No one knows the hour or the day, but I’m feeling pretty sure that 2012 isn’t it!

  33. Hasn’t the entire history of Christianity been one of being consistently wrong about the end? I always liked what Wilford Woodruff said. He was trying to live spiritually so he would be prepared if it came tomorrow but was living temporally as if it wouldn’t happen during his lifetime. “I’m still planting cherry trees,” he said.

  34. dang, you mean I have to listen to conservatives whine for more than just three more years? ;)

    /end stereotype

    Kevin,

    But there is no accompanying Mayan prophecy of dire events to occur on that date. There are various indications that the Maya would have simply started the cycle over again, like a car’s odometer rolling over.

    That’s the real key, and the real deflator in any attempt to correlate the “end of the world” as Christians see it with the ending of the calendar that the Mayans created thousands of years ago. Were they supposed to have created an endless calendar? I mean, it’s pretty impressive (and arrogant) for them to think their civilization could even go on the thousands of years they felt comfortable enough to put on their calendar. Then again, our own calendaring system dictates that the world will never end, because our calendar never ends.

  35. In 1994, I felt strongly that I had only twenty more years to go before the world ended. That would be 2014. Got five years left. :)

  36. Eric Russell says:

    Then again, our own calendaring system dictates that the world will never end, because our calendar never ends.

    It dictates no such thing, Daniel.

  37. Thank you! I have to admit a superstitious fear of 2012, which this has helped address. Now if someone could only help me with my superstitions about the month of October (darn thing comes every year).

  38. Natalie B. says:

    I just assumed the world was ending in 2012 because Obama might get re-elected :)

  39. I agree with Sam, and 2112 will be the year.

    And yes, in Idaho, where I was a teenager during the eighties, 2000 was certainly going to be the year (if not earlier).

  40. I keep an open mind. I have no doubt that others, besides our own prophets, can make predictions of the future. That said, all we know of the Maya calendar is it ends an era and begins a new one. All the destruction, etc., is an expansion of those ideas. What I love is when the History Channel ties the Maya Calendar in with the prophecies of Nostradamus. Now THAT’S great television!

    While we have no date for the 2nd Coming, we do have signs of the times to watch for. While I am not a believer in 2012 being the end, I do think events in the world are such that many things could bring it about in our day. For example, we now have the ability to nuke the entire world, something not possible just 70 years ago. And we have global communications, which allows us to hear from the rooftops everyone’s sins.

  41. Thanks for the heads up on this Kevin. I now feel more comfortable postponing my repentance.

  42. If you’re into this kind of thing, I recommend A History of the End of the World.

  43. When I was a kid in the 1980s I didn’t suppose that the world would end by 2012. But I did assume that by then we would have flying cars a la Bladerunner.

  44. By the way, if you’re ever in a boxing match against a Mayan, and there’s a home town ref, beware the Mayan Long Count.

  45. If you’re up for some great discussion try here: http://forums.armageddononline.org/

    I say great, but I don’t mean good. There are some crazy people who comment here, including at least one guy who claims to be Christ. Good times.

  46. Brant Gardner says:

    Re # 2. I know that the Babylonians used a base 60, but everthing I have seen for Mesoamerica (including the Maya) is base 20.

    As for the meaning of the end of a period, it is exactly like our calendar ending in 0s (such as 1000, 2000). It is a big period of time and we mark such clean changes of the way we mark things with some recognition. The Maya period is longer – so maybe a bigger celebration is due. However, they expect the sun to rise on the same world the next day and start the count over again.

  47. Re #26: The time capsule is indeed at the Fayette chapel (at the Peter Whitmer farm). You can see the plaque in the visitor’s center.

  48. Christ will come in the year when General Conference/Easter lands on April 6 and Passover starts the Friday before it. Sort of completes the cycle.

  49. I remember several companions tell me that the Mayans were the direct descendants of the Nephites, only corrupted, so the Mayan calendar was also inspired.

    I never bought into that idea, but as someone who admittedly held their breath during the countdown when we rolled over to 2000, this only helps strengthen my resolve that I will throw a very big party, and then feel very sorry when wormwood hits the earth.

  50. Eric,

    #36,

    It dictates no such thing, Daniel.

    But it does because we don’t ascribe any end to the dating. The Mayan calendar indicates an end to their numbering. That’s all I was saying.

  51. Peter LLC says:

    the Mayan Long Count

    The author of many an abbreviated career.

  52. Why would a believing member of the church put any faith in the Mayan calendar? Might as well go and ask a palm reader about your future prospects.

  53. Latter-day Guy says:

    Because the Mayan calendar is clearly of Nephite origin, bbell!

  54. Well, I’m a little late in commenting, but thanks for the write-up Kevin. I don’t remember any specifics about 2000 being the end of the world as a kid. I would be interested in an inter-regional study, if that were possible, if divergent eschatology.

    I’ve never heard anyone mention 2012.

  55. Personally, I’m not going to even start paying attention until Prince writes a song called “2011.”

    Seriously, though, it boggles my mind that anyone would expend any time and effort figuring out the date by which they need to get their act together when they could be expending that time and effort, you know, getting their act together.

  56. Thanks for this write-up, Kevin. This pea-brain likes the easy-to-grasp concept of the odometer.

    I was a kid in the 1970s and teenager in the 1980s, and talk of the second coming was rampant (more so in the 70s, I should say). And yes, I remember some folks saying the end of the world would happen *roughly* around the year 2000. In fact, the other day I read a journal entry in my dad’s journal dated in the mid-70s that the bishop told a ward fireside that he “felt strongly” that the second coming was imminent. Yikes!

    All the talk of “signs of the times” during my youth just turned me off to the whole thing. Now, I love anyone who can take the hysteria level down a notch. So, thanks again, Kevin. The odometer image will help in future conversations about 2012.

  57. In the mid-80’s, my seminary/institute teacher predicted April 6, 2000 as the date Christ would come again, but said He could be around for quite some time (what with his temple and Adam-ondi-Ahman visits) before He actually came “in glory” for all the world to see. I remember thinking I wanted to move close to Adam-ondi-Ahman so I wouldn’t miss anything.

  58. esodhiambo says:

    The world ending around 2000 was a common idea in my Sunday School and Seminary in VA in the late 80s/early 90s.

    I currently work with the youth on the stake level and I am amazed at how often suggestions for workshops/firesides/super Saturdays center around End Times/Signs of the Times. It is suggested EVERY time we are brainstorming. Almost always by adults. Weird.

  59. Kevin, you’re a lawyer and you know the details of the Mayan calendar? I’m impressed, I thought only a few academics would be into that.

    Since Christ said no one know the day of His coming, it puzzles me that some people think they’re going to outsmart him by studying Mayan calendars and whatnot.

  60. Sharon LDS in Tennessee says:

    I’ve always thought…..yup, we cannot know the day or the hour, but why not the month or the year?
    Meems……good idea about the 6th of April during General Conference….
    What a mind-blower….intead of the prophet coming up to the stand to say his talk…..Down floats the Lord himself in one of those private appearances before He shows himself to the whole world?
    And last thought…..The Second Coming of the Lord for all those people who had it written in their Pat. Blessings….could refer to a private manifestation when they got their Calling & Election.
    It would be a second coming, just a very personal one???
    Good point on watching the signs very carefully as well…they seem to be occuring much more slowly than we might think. Probably happening in small, almost indetectable phases, so as to be “hidden” from the world. I once heard a story about all the plans, supplies, and all necessary to build the temple at the New Jerusalem in Missouri being already almost complete..so that they could be assembled and finished almost ‘overnight’ to most peoples astonishment.
    Kind of like the Extreme Home Makeovers! Thousands could meet, build and BAM……very rapidly get a lot ready for His coming.
    Agree with the idea we really should be putting heavy attention on being ready now, not wait for the Bridegroom call to the wedding!
    Love To All

  61. I have found the whole concept of 12-21-2012 to be quite fascinating as my family spent time in Mexico @ Chichen Itza, 1 of the most famous Mayan cities. After we returned I became very interested in their culture and beliefs, and did a lot of informal research. History Channel Intnl. alone has had many fascinating shows on 2012, one of my favorites being an episode of “Decoding the Past”. The main misconception is that the world will end, but actually physical transformations are supposed to take place – biggest emphasis is on major flooding all over the earth, resulting in starvation of many, many people. There are also actual major astronomical events that will take place on that day, which is what the Mayans were focused on. Modern scientists believe, too, that the December Solstice sun will align w/ the center of the Milky Way Galaxy – an event that occurs once every 26K years. AND @ the same time, the earth completes a ‘procession’ – a wobble around its axis, which changes angular orientation. Also only occurs, you guessed it, once every 26K years. As a result changes will occur. Just what and how much is the $64K question. Beliefs for Katun (20 yr period) 4; the current Katun (1993-20012), include that 12/2012 will mean ‘an end to the word of god and a time uniting for a cause’. Also, the Mayans get the most publicity, but the Hopi Indians and Chinese also attach great significance to this date. SO, it’s not nothing, but it probably won’t be the end either. All I’m sayin’ is that I’m not starting MY X-mas shopping that year until the 22nd. :)

  62. Sharon LDS in Tennessee says:

    Hey, another idea after reading T-NCs post.
    Since the scriptures and the way the Lord refers to things..the world is the ‘earthly – carnal – mortal life’ thing
    and the Millenium is another…..might it be possible that the whole thing about the “WORLD coming to an end” might mean just that the Millenium could start full sway…full bore with the 1000 year NEW dating start?
    (Right after we all tromp off to Zion after becoming Zion in our hearts and homes? At least those who have worked har to create that condition in self and family first?)

  63. belledame2 says:

    This is a very fascinating subject and we’ll just have to see what happens on that date.

  64. California Condor says:

    Why would a believing member of the church put any faith in the Mayan calendar?

    Maybe the Mayans were Nephites.

  65. wouldn’t 12-21 2112 be the more appropriate date?

  66. The Mayans were not the Nephites. If anything, they were the Lamanites. Since when do we put any weight into what the Lamanites say?

  67. Well there once was this guy named Samuel… :)

  68. My patriarchal blessing says I will rise in the first resurrection, so I guess I’m gonna die before 2012. Kind of makes me wonder why I contribute to by 401(k) retirement account…

  69. Thanks, Kevin. My girlfriend’s dad is a big believer in this. He plans to wait until after December 23, 2012 to buy Christmas presents, just in case. I was just reading up on this the other day at the ever-reliable Wikipedia. It seems the idea that 2012 would mark a great cataclysm in the Mayan worldview stems from scholarly interpretations from the 1950s and 1960s, including the prominent Yale archealogist Michael D. Coe, who argued in a 1966 work that “[t]here is a suggestion . . . that Armageddon would overtake the degenerate peoples of the world and all creation on the final day of the thirteenth [baktun]. Thus … our present universe … [would] be annihilated on December 23, 2012, when the Great Cycle of the Long Count reaches completion.” Subsequent scholars have backed off of Coe’s interpretation of the calendar, but the idea has persisted in popular culture.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_phenomenon

  70. #48 I always heard that, too. When are the next April 6ths with Easter, GC and Passover occuring in that pattern?

  71. ummquestion says:

    C.S. Eric

    Does it say you will “rise” which could also mean being caught “UP” with Christ or does it say you will “come forth”? Details details.

    I like #61 have studied the legends, myths, predictions etc and find the entire thing fascinating. Many, many ancient cultures studied the movement of the stars and the physical anomalies predicted in the heavens alone could cause the Earth “to reel to and fro like a drunken man” and will definitely be a “wonder in heaven”. Good times.

  72. Steve G.,

    #67

    Well there once was this guy named Samuel…

    Are you saying that the Mayan civilization arises from Samuel?

  73. Has no one else seen this highly informative cartoon?

    Ruling out the icecaps melting, meteors coming to crash into us, the ozone layer leaving, and the sun exploding, we’re definitely going to blow ourselves up.

    http://www.endofworld.net/

  74. A touch vulgar, don’t you think?

  75. tesseract says:

    I heard that 2012 is not the end of the world, but a new beginning – that we would enter a new dimension or consciousness or something like that. I also believe I heard something about being able to communicate to animals. Sounds fun to me – I’m in.

  76. Predicting the date of the Savior’s return and describing the horrors visited upon the unrighteous before the Great and Terrible Day are useful attention-getting devices for seminary and Sunday School instructors trying to get the Youth of Zion to focus on the lesson instead of each other.

    I predict the most positive outcome for 2012 speculation will be in improving attention spans during Youth meetings.

  77. Kevin Barney says:

    You’ll be seeing a lot of articles like this one coming out as we get closer to 2012:

    http://apnews.myway.com/article/20091011/D9B8P09O0.html

  78. Now even the Mayans are denying it is the end of the world.

  79. The End Of This World is the most disgusting doctrine Christianity ever propagated (it apparently derived such from Zoroastrianism to an extent, and gave it a new face).

    I was raised in the LDS church, and this doctrine, in the form of a ‘year 2000 coming of the Lord’ was piped into my consciousness in high school Release Time’s Seminary (and confirmed by my Patriarchal Blessing). I was absolutely convinced of the fact, and it shaped about everything else in my life. I continued thru high school and university, convinced however that the skills and facts I learned there would be primarily useful in my post-millennial lifetime, not before then. I did not need to prepare for a career immediately after high school or college. I think that aside from the standard psychological explanations for any failures in myself, this belief has contributed to my other-worldly disposition toward life, and something that massively contributed to the atheism that would result a few years after my mission.

    The Radiohead lyric from 2001 seems to encapsulate my post-hoc feelings on the matter: “after years of waiting/ nothing came/…And you realize you’re looking in/looking in the wrong place…” (Paranoiac album).

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 8,800 other followers