The sixth seal reveals a world haunted by war and a sense of futility. “The pillars of the earth are shaken, the mountains totter, and all is put in question.” The earthquakes of the last days are not only physical but also spiritual earthquakes. Figuratively, the ground trembles if our spiritual foundations are built on sand.

Knowing this “calamity” of despair “which should come upon the inhabitants of the earth, I the Lord called upon my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., and spake unto him from heaven, and gave him commandments” (D&C 1:17).