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Taken from the best-selling book, 100 Signs of the Times by David Ridges.
Misinterpretation of Ezekiel 34:23 and other scriptures has given rise to a false sign of the times among some members of the Church to the effect that the Savior will come when a prophet named David is the President of the Church. I’m including this false sign, in this context, here for clarification and warning.
Let’s read this verse in its context and setting. Ezekiel prophesied of the last days, including the gathering of Israel (see heading to Ezekiel 34, in your LDS Bible; bold added for emphasis):
Ezekiel 34:13, 16, 20–24
13 And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country.
16 I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick: but I will destroy the fat and the strong; I will feed them with judgment.
20 Therefore thus saith the Lord God unto them; Behold, I, even I, will judge between the fat cattle and between the lean cattle.
21 Because ye have thrust with side and with shoulder, and pushed all the diseased with your horns, till ye have scattered them abroad;
22 Therefore will I save my flock, and they shall no more be a prey; and I will judge between cattle and cattle.
23 And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd.
Verse 23 is actually referring to the Savior during His millennial reign. “David” is often used in the scriptures to refer to descendants of King David. This includes Jesus (see Matthew 1:1–16). He will reign personally on the earth during the Millennium as “Lord of lords and King of kings” (Revelation 17:14, 19:16) and is referred to here as “David.” He will be our “Shepherd.” Thus, one named David will indeed lead the Church, but it is the Savior during the thousand years of peace that will begin with the Second Coming (D&C 29:11.) This passage of scripture is not even a sign of the times.
Such misinterpreting of the scriptures can cause unjustified excitement and even worry. During my growing up years, when David O. McKay was the president of the Church, there was a persistent rumor to the effect that there was a prophecy that the Second Coming would take place during the time in the last days when a prophet named David was the President of the Church.
Needless to say, it caused considerable excitement for some who believed it, especially as President McKay was getting very old. When he passed away and the rumor had not proven true, there was some disappointment among those who believed it, and even worse, there were some whose testimonies were shaken. Later in my teaching career, I occasionally ran into another such rumor built up around Elder David B. Haight, when he was called to be an Apostle. It was whispered that if he became the President of the Church, we would know that the Savior would come sometime during his administration.
To read more about the Signs of the Times, go check out David Ridges best-selling book, 100 Signs of the Times currently on sale at cedarfort.com!
** The following was taken from 100 Signs of the Times. The opinions and views expressed herein belong solely to David Ridges and do not necessarily represent the opinions or views of Cedar Fort, Inc.