Sunday, May 31, 2015

The Doctrinal Significance of "The Callout"

Throughout the history of good and evil on earth there have been many key moments when evil might have prevailed over righteous had the Lord not intervened. Such times demonstrate the Lord's tender mercy to the righteous, along with his vengeance upon the wicked. But despite his miraculous ability to protect and preserve he has always used practical means of separating the righteous from the wicked before exercising judgment. Such will be the case again in a future event. "The Callout", as it has come to be known in some circles, will offer protection during the Days of Tribulation to those who hear the Lord's voice, and it will safely lead many of the elect who harden not their hearts into the Millennium (see Doctrine and Covenants 43:29).

The Callout is not widely discussed or understood. Just enough has been revealed to start conversation and lead to speculation. Those who have not studied this subject may think of it as a future event when the saints spontaneously walk or drive back to Independence Missouri and build the New Jerusalem. While that special reverse exodus will certainly occur, a few leaders have made comments clarifying how that event will, and will not happen [1] [2]. Having studied many of those sources, I get the feeling that some of the brethren have seen and know of a call to gather and are planning its details at this time; possibly since the time of Joseph the Prophet. I can only validate this thought through the feelings that have come as I've pondered and researched this doctrine.

Modern day revelation includes other sources as well. Dallin H. Oaks has taught that there are those prophets among us who do not hold the "prophetic office" [3], but possess the prophetic gifts of dreams, and revelation (see Joel 2:28Acts 2:18). Some from this group have shared their insights publicly [4], and the spirit readily confirms their truthfulness to me. Still, having believed and felt the truthfulness of these accounts, I have validated many of their details with what has been revealed through priesthood channels and scripture (see compilation graphic here), and have found them to be doctrinally and scripturally sound. From my studies of the Callout, I conclude the following:
·         The Callout is scriptural and is the grand culminating event of a familiar pattern found throughout scripture.
·         The Callout is doctrinal.
·         The Callout is temporal and spiritual - meaning, it pertains to our physical and spiritual protection and welfare.
·         The Callout is tied to the Abrahamic Covenant, in that it will test God's children as Abraham was tested and proven, and it is evidence that the Father intends to honor His covenants with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, in preserving their seed.
·         At its core, the Callout is about the redeeming and overpowering aspects of the Atonement of the Savior Jesus Christ. It will bring deliverance to modern members of the House of Israel in the same way the children of Israel were passed over by the destroying angel, escaping death and destruction.

There are many scriptural accounts of righteous and obedient saints being led away from wickedness to lands of promise. Noah is an obvious example, as well as the Jaredites who fled the wicked builders of Babel's tower. Abraham left his inheritance in Ur of the Chaldees among idolatrous priests to the promised land of Canaan. Joseph of Egypt provided protection to his family in Canaan from a horrible seven year famine. The Israelites, Lehi (and numerous other Book of Mormon stories), and even the saints in the early days of The Restoration moved from their places of Babylonian lifestyles and persecution in pursuit of protection. These events and others testify of the scriptural pattern the Lord uses to protect his covenant people who hear his voice.

Knowing Independence Missouri to be the central place, as described in Doctrine and Covenants, it stands to reason that there will be many who go back to Independence Missouri at some point to begin construction of the New Jerusalem Temple, and that great city of righteousness. But to assume that saints will be at their day job one day, and then trekking to the modern day Promised Land the next day to build the holiest temple and city of all time is naive and doctrinally lacking. Before such a trying, historic, significant, and holy undertaking is made, the people doing the work must be sanctified. "My people must be tried in all things, that they may be prepared to receive the glory that I have for them, even the glory of Zion; and he that will not bear chastisement is not worthy of my kingdom" (Doctrine and Covenants 136: 31).

Spiritual and Temporal
Because of the fall of Adam, we each came to a world as slaves to the devil, and we would ever be so unless a way was prepared (see Mosiah 16:5). On a more personal level, even one single sin committed in a lifetime would be enough to prevent each soul from returning to the Father unless a way was prepared. We are completely dependent upon the Savior in order to redeem us from the fall of Adam.

Twice a year without fail, my 5 children remind me how helpless we are in preventing the flu, common colds, and other communicable diseases. And inevitably, when one of us gets it, we all get it. During the days of Tribulation there will be plagues (see Doctrine and Covenants 97:22-26) poured out upon mankind, not to mention all the other upheavals of nature. With regard to these temporal plagues and calamities, I feel the same helplessness and complete and total dependence upon the Savior to protect my family from them, in the same way I depend spiritually upon the Savior for redemption from sin.

Those who heed our prophet during the Callout will be blessed, and may find temporal and spiritual deliverance.

Sanctification can come about through affliction (see Isaiah 48:10). Abraham's eternally significant covenant with the Father was only complete after a number of tests described in Genesis 12-22 (and The book of Abraham). One of the last of these tests was to dismember, wash and anoint, divide, and completely burn his son on an altar in the Olah sacrifice ritual [5]. Abraham demonstrated devotion to God in nearly offering his son, and in so doing, his covenant with the Father was sealed. This covenant now binds families together for eternity in holy temples. Members who build the New Jerusalem temple complex will have experienced similar trials of faith. For many, the tests will come during the events related to The Callout.

Abraham's faithfulness in persevering through a number of tests without faltering put the Lord in a peculiar position. The Lord had promised Abraham that he would be a father of many (righteous) nations (see Genesis 17: 4-5Abraham 1:2Romans 4: 17-18), that his seed would be numerous, and he and they would have temple blessings. Many aspects of this covenant are complete; some will not be entirely fulfilled until the earth is translated and many nations enter into the ordinances and covenants of exaltation (Millennium). Through Abraham's faithfulness, the Lord became bound to honor His end of the covenant to preserve Abraham's posterity through to the end times. Because of Abraham, the Lord is obligated to protect and prosper the House of Israel! Nearly every ancient prophet knew this, and rejoiced in our day when it would be fulfilled.

But there is an obstacle that needs to be crossed before that day comes. Nearly every biblical prophet also spoke of the Days of Tribulation, a time that culminates at a point when so few people will be left that a 'child can number them' [6]. The destruction leading to that condition will be brought about through a number of ways [7], but it is clear that the saints won't make it unless they gather. Joseph Smith said, “In addition to all temporal blessings, there is no other way for the Saints to be saved in these last days, than by gathering...” [8].

A Symbol of the Atonement
The Hebrew word for atonement can mean to cover. The Callout is a shadow of the Savior's atoning sacrifice, his compassion upon the family of Adam, and his power to protecting, enable, and indeed, to cover. Those who hear the Lord's voice through his servants, the prophets, will be protected as the children of Israel, who's angel of destruction passed by those who obeyed Moses' simple invitation to put lambs' blood over their doors; or those who would be healed from the lethal fiery serpents if they would merely cast their eyes upon the brazen serpent raised by Moses (see Alma 33:19-21). And yet, according to some visionary individuals, it appears there will be many who won't find deliverance by merely following the simple direction to gather and be called out.

But even more importantly than the assurance of temporal safety in these special prepared places, is the gradual elevation of spirituality in those who are faithful. The Abrahamic trials faced by the saints will have just the sanctifying effect needed to prepare them to inhabit the transfigured earth at the time of the Second Coming. Doctrine and Covenants Section 88 describes the laws that exist for inhabiting such a kingdom of glory. The dimmed light of this earth caused by its adulterous and murderous inhabitants is not a home fit for the King of Kings. It appears that only the removal of those evil-doers, and the increased righteousness of the remnant will bring the earth into the necessary level of light that is needed to welcome the Prince of Peace.

In summary, the Callout is a type and shadow of all of the redeeming, enabling, and covering powers of the Savior's atonement. To claim the blessings of The Callout, may we do that which has been told us for hundreds of years - hearken to the prophet. Put oil in our lamps, and be prepared. Live righteously. Prepare for the return of the Lord, the King of Kings (Revelation 19:16). I am confident that this special gathering of safety will occur, and I thank God for mercifully providing this small and simple means that is so layered in purpose and meaning, and the fulfillment of prophecy.

All sources in this post and more can be found in the illustration here.

[2] Elder H. Aldridge (Second Quorum of the Seventy) LDS Business College Devotional, February 8th, 2005. “We must both learn what these signs are and then identify them correctly when they occur. They can and will strengthen our faith in Christ and His prophets, if we know the scriptures. Just as in the days of Noah, a way is already prepared for the escape of the Lord’s elect Latter-Day Saints, if they are in tune with His prophets.”
Joseph Smith – The teaching of the prophet Joseph Smith, Section 2, P.71. …for without Zion, and a place of deliverance, we must fall; because the time is near when the sun will be darkened, and the moon turn to blood, and the stars fall from the heaven, and the earth reel to and fro. Then, if this is the case, and if we are not sanctified and gathered to the places God has appointed, with all our former professions and our great love for the Bible, we must fall; we cannot stand; we cannot be saved; for God will gather out his saints from the Gentiles, and then comes desolation and destruction, and none can escape except the pure in heart who are gathered. 
Joseph Smith DHC 4:272. “In addition to all temporal blessings, there is no other way for the Saints to be saved in these last days, than by gathering….”
•James E. Talmage, Conference Report, October 1921, p.188. “Great and grand as is this people, mighty as are the works that have been accomplished through the blessings of God through his servants in these days, there is too little real prayer among the Latter-day Saints, too many prayerless homes, and hence the spread of spiritual contagion among some of us. Thank the Lord not among many, relatively speaking. I have faith in my people, for I knew that they are the Lord’s people, and I am proud to be one of them; but when the cry shall come, as come it shall: “To your tents, O Israel,” for there are struggles ahead, the Lord knows where to find those who have been faithful.”
President Howard W. Hunter, “An Anchor to the Souls of Men,” Ensign, Oct. 1993, 70 – “I promise you in the name of the Lord whose servant I am that God will always protect and care for his people. We will have our difficulties the way every generation and people have had difficulties. But with the gospel of Jesus Christ, you have every hope and promise and reassurance. The Lord has power over his Saints and will always prepare places of peace, defense, and safety for his people. When we have faith in God we can hope for a better world-for us personally, and for all mankind.”
•Henry B, Eyring, “Safety in Counsel” June 2008 First Presidency Message - “We are blessed to live in a time when the priesthood keys are on the earth. We are blessed to know where to look and how to listen for the voice that will fulfill the promise of the Lord that He will gather us to safety. I pray that we will have humble hearts, that we will listen, that we will pray, and that we will wait for the deliverance of the Lord that is sure to come as we are faithful.”
Henry B. Eyring – “Raise the Bar”, January 2005; “…places of safety
Revelation 18: 4 - And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, (Babylon) my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins , and that ye receive not of her plagues
•Wilford Woodruff – History of the Church, 6:26 - “… that the saints of God may have a place to flee to and stand in Holy Places while judgment works in the earth; that when the sword of God that is bathed in heaven falls upon Idumea, or the world, - when the Lord pleads with all flesh by sword and by fire, and the slain of the Lord are many, the Saints may escape these calamities by fleeing to the Places of Refuge, like Lot and Noah.”

[3] Dallin H Oaks, Spiritual Gifts, September 1986

[4] See compilation of many of these visionary experiences by Shelle McDermott at

[6] Isaiah 10: 18-192 Nephi 20 – The destruction of Assyria is a type of the destruction of the wicked at the Second Coming—Few people will be left after the Lord comes again; Isaiah 24: 6 – Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left; Orson Pratt, JD, Vol 20. June 23, 1878. “What, only a few persons to be converted, only a few to receive the true Gospel, and be prepared for the coming of the Bridegroom; only a few people to escape this awful desolation? So says the Prophet Isaiah; that is, few in comparison to the great and numerous population of our globe.”

[7] 1 Nephi 14: 3 – That great pit which hath been digged for the destruction of men shall be filled by those who digged it, unto their utter destruction; Doctrine and Covenants 88: 94 - And another angel shall sound his trump, saying: That great church, the mother of abominations… she is the tares of the earth; she is bound in bundles; her bands are made strong, no man can loose them; therefore, she is ready to be burned; Doctrine and Covenants 43: 25-26 - …Behold, the day has come, when the cup of the wrath of mine indignation is full; Mormon 8: 41 – The sword of vengeance hangeth over the wicked; 2 Nephi 6: 18 – I will feed them that oppress thee with their own flesh; 1 Nephi 11: 36 – The fall of the great and spacious building was exceedingly great; Doctrine and Covenants 29: 21 – And the great and abominable church…shall be cast down by devouring fire; 1 Nephi 22: 13-14 - The great and abominable church shall turn upon their own heads; war among themselves; shall be drunken with their own blood. Every nation which shall war against Israel shall fall into the pit which they digged to ensnare the people of the Lord. All that fight against Zion shall be destroyed.

[8] Joseph Smith DHC 4:272.  


  1. Love it! Have you ever read Visions of Glory?

  2. Great compilation of quotes and insightful article. Here's some quotes from Brigham Young that I thought were fascinating. With your interest in geography, I think you will like them as well.

    (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, pp. Vol 9, p 2-3) I am thankful that we live to see this day, and have the privilege of assembling ourselves in these valleys. We are not now mingling in the turmoils of strife, warring, and contention, that we would have been obliged to have mingled in, had not the Lord suffered us to have been driven to these mountains—one of the greatest blessings that could have been visited upon us. It has been designed for many generations to hide up the Saints in the last days until the indignation of the Almighty be over. His wrath will be poured out upon the nations of the earth. We see the nations steadily driving along to the precipice. The Lord has spoken from the heavens, and he is about to fulfill the prophecies of his ancient and modern Prophets. He will bring the nations into judgment, and deal with them and make a full end of them. Do you wish to see it done today? Are you prepared for the crisis that will eventually come? No.

    We are blessed in these mountains. This is the best place on the earth for the Latter-day Saints. Search the history of all the nations, and every geographical position on the face of the earth, and you cannot find another situation so well adapted for the Saints as are these mountains. Here is the place in which the Lord designed to hide his people. Be thankful for it; be true to your covenants; be faithful, each and every one.

  3. This is the best callout document I have read. Most just sight references in scriptures and prophet quotes. This goes beyond and shows more of the symbolism of the callout. I fully believe with the author that the callout event will happen. Thanks you for the time and understanding it took to write this article.

  4. "It would be pleasing if all the Saints had strong faith and confidence, but sometimes many seem to falter in their feelings. I do not know how many I might find in this congregation who would have faith enough to believe that we could live on the tops of these high mountains, which are 6, 619 feet higher than the Temple Block, in case we’re called to go up there and live, and there was no other place for us; I do not know whether a great many in this congregation could have faith to believe that we could live there." Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 3, p. 153, May 6, 1855


Constructive and uplifting comments are welcome.