30 And in that generation shall the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. 31 And there shall be men standing in that generation, that shall not pass until they shall see an overflowing scourge; for a desolating sickness shall cover the land. 32 But my disciples shall stand in holy places, and shall not be moved; but among the wicked, men shall lift up their voices and curse God and die.
18 And their testimony shall also go forth unto the condemnation of this generation if they harden their hearts against them; 19 For a desolating scourge shall go forth among the inhabitants of the earth, and shall continue to be poured out from time to time, if they repent not, until the earth is empty, and the inhabitants thereof are consumed away and utterly destroyed by the brightness of my coming.
22 For behold, and lo, vengeance cometh speedily upon the ungodly as the whirlwind; and who shall escape it? 23 The Lord's scourge shall pass over by night and by day, and the report thereof shall vex all people; yea, it shall not be stayed until the Lord come; 24 For the indignation of the Lord is kindled against their abominations and all their wicked works.
A long time ago the Lord raised the curtain on the scene of destruction awaiting the inhabitants of the earth if they followed to the end the course they were then pursuing. More than a hundred years ago, he said that a desolating scourge should go forth among the inhabitants of the earth, and if they repented not, it should continue from time to time until the earth was empty and the inhabitants thereof utterly destroyed.
"For a desolating scourge shall go forth among the inhabitants of the earth, and shall continue to be poured out, from time to time, if they repent not, until the earth is empty, and the inhabitants thereof are consumed away and utterly destroyed by the brightness of my coming." That is the word of the Lord. Now I do not understand that the plague of influenza shall continue until the Lord comes, but I do think that one form or another of chastisement shall follow, with its seasons for repentance, for the preaching of the gospel, and crying to the nations of the earth: "Will you now listen unto the Lord," and if they shall not listen, then another affliction will come, until men shall either repent, or they shall perish. For these are the last days, the days preceding the coming of the Redeemer, and he will not come when the wicked stand and flourish. Reading again from the ninety-seventh section: "For the indignation of the Lord is kindled against their abominations and all their wicked works." Now here is the answer for ourselves: "Nevertheless, Zion shall escape, if she observe to do all things whatsoever I have commanded her."
I refer to a revelation given in the year 1833, called the Word of Wisdom. We fail to obey it today, and we shall fail tomorrow unless we make a short turn and determine in our own minds that we will obey it. How many of us have disregarded that revelation, in every particular? It is to be found on page 240 of the Doctrine and Covenants, and it shadows to me that a time will come in the midst of this people when a desolating scourge will pass through our ranks, and the destroying angel will be in our midst as he was in Egypt when he slew all the firstborn of the Egyptians. God says "the destroying angel shall pass by" and shall not harm you if you will observe to do these things.
For the Lord has said in this book, (the Book of Mormon) which has been published for thirty eight years, that if they will not repent He will throw down all their strongholds and cut off the cities of the land, and will execute vengeance and fury on the nation, even as upon the heathen, such as they have not heard. That He will send a desolating scourge on the land; that He will leave their cities desolate, without inhabitants.