Prophets and ancient and modern, from Isaiah to John to Joseph Smith and others, even the Savior himself, prophesied of signs of the last days, when he will return to the earth a second time to usher in a 1000 years of righteous reign. We are taught in D&C 45:39 that all faithful followers of Christ will know what the signs are and will be watching for them. If you’ve been paying attention in various church and religion classes, you know about the ”easy” ones; wars, wickedness, turmoil, famine, pestilence, natural disasters, the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, the gospel spreading to all of God’s children, etc. The bottom line is that our lifetimes are destined to be filled with amazing signs and wonders as we grow closer to the end of the world as we know it. It’s up to us, however, to interpret and appreciate them as such.
Other signs are more subtle, and hence more difficult to detect. I think I’ve identified one of the more discreet yet remarkable wonders. However, before I tell you that story, I need to tell you this story.
In the mid-1980’s when I was young and poor and married, we moved to the east coast and I discovered wonder of what mankind calls “Wendy’s Hamburgers.” There were everything a heavenly hamburger was supposed to be; hot, juicy, cheesy, and full of meat and vegetables. What sealed the deal for me, however, were the square hamburger patties. I had grown up my entire life as a square hole with others constantly and unsuccessfully trying to ram a round peg through me, and I never thought I’d find a comparable situation in real life where being different was so appreciated. I reveled in its taste and squareness.
Once or twice a year during those early poor decades my wife and I would splurge on a Wendy’s hamburger. A square Wendy’s “doublewithcheesenoonions” was on my short list of the worldly experiences that I was certain was introducing me to a glimpse of what heaven was like. It tastes so divine that it has proven to be one of the few approved exceptions to the hard-and-fast rule for successful living: “never pay full price for anything.” (the other three are "always go where there is free food;" "never press the red button;" and "any problem in life can be solved with bungee cords and duct tape;" more on this can be found at the very bottom left-hand portion of this webpage.) I was willing to pay full price for a square Wendy’s doublewithcheesenoonions. Every other fast-food delicacy required a twofer coupon or a vastly discounted dollar menu. I had never seen a coupon for a square Wendy’s doublewithcheesenoonions, and resigned myself to the eventuality that I would never see one in my lifetime. It made sense. Something as tasty as a square Wendy’s doublewithcheesenoonions didn’t need to be discounted to draw customers; it possessed inherent value in the quality of its workmanship.
Then it happened. It was Wednesday, May 2nd 2012 in the late afternoon. I was trying to complete two menial tasks at once; rifling through junk mail on the kitchen table while trying to figure out what I was going to make myself for dinner- Deon was in Arizona visiting family. Time froze for a moment as I spotted in the rumpled mess of fast food advertisements sent to my house on a weekly basis something I had never seen before, something I never expected to see in my lifetime. There it was before me, staring me in the face; a colorful, glossy flier of twofer coupons for Wendy’s cheeseburgers!
First, I pinched myself to ensure this wasn’t another dream. Then I fell to my knees, overwhelmed with joy and excitement at the prospect of not paying full price for an item that for the balance of my life so far had earned the right of full price. It was then I realized that this momentous event in my life must be one of those small wonders that could be interpreted in the context of many other small wonders of life as a sign of the last days. I admit I may be exaggerating just a little bit. What do you think? Are we closer to the end of the world now than we were last Tuesday? I think so.