Q. Do Mormons believe in the rapture?
A. If you asked a Mormon about the rapture, you might not get a clear answer. The word, “rapture” isn’t part of our vocabulary in this context, and you won’t hear a lesson about it on Sunday. As far as my research goes, there isn’t a consensus among other Christians concerning what the rapture is either, but the basic idea is that righteous individuals will experience Heavenly glory at an event where they encounter Christ. And yes, we believe that will happen.
Do we believe in the popular idea that all or even some of the righteous souls on this earth will all be taken away permanently, leaving the rest behind? No, this earth is God’s creation and He will not abandon it. In fact, quite the opposite will occur, and the earth will be burned at His coming (Nahum 1:3-5). This is a crucial part in returning the earth to a state like the Garden of Eden which is described by John as a “new heaven, and a new earth” (Revelation 21:1) and is symbolic of our personal conversion (Noah’s flood = Baptism. Renewal of the earth by fire = Baptism by fire and spirit. John 3:5). The righteous will be spared during this period and will live on the newly cleansed earth during the Millennium of Christ’s reign. The righteous that will be spared will be the honest and just people of the earth, not members of any specific church. This includes all people who are honest, chaste, and live according to their own level of light.
Prior to this renewal, God will be pouring as much light, truth and spirit onto the earth for our benefit. This is to help all to endure what may be termed the “tribulation,” another word not found in our vocabulary in this context. This coincides with our belief concerning the increasing wickedness and suffering that will exist before Second Coming of Christ. With God’s help, it is and will continue to be possible to be happy in spite of what is happening around us. And also because of God’s help, it is our responsibility to search out those in need of a caring heart.
The subject of the Second Coming is extremely complex in its details and yet very simple by nature. One could focus intently on every sign, every prophecy and every scripture and still miss the very point of the matter, that is, that Christ is returning and we must be ready to receive Him. Study the scriptures and the words of the prophets for yourself to learn about His gospel.