“Angels are waiting the great command to reap down the earth . . . ; and, behold, the enemy is combined.”

Doctrine and Covenants 38:12

12 Which causeth silence to reign, and all eternity is pained, and the angels are waiting the great command to reap down the earth, to gather the tares that they may be burned; and, behold, the enemy is combined.

Elder Neal A. Maxwell said:

“Years ago, I wondered over the scriptural imagery of angels waiting ‘day and night’ for ‘the great command’ to come down and reap the tares in a wicked and suffering world; it seemed rather eager to me. (See D&C 38:12; 86:5.) Given such massive, needless human suffering, I don’t wonder any more!

“Even so, the final reaping will occur only when the Father determines that the world is ‘fully ripe’ (D&C 86:7). Meanwhile, brothers and sisters, the challenge is surviving spiritually in a deteriorating ‘wheat and tares’ world [D&C 86:7].

“Granted, occasionally a few defectors or dissidents may try to vex us as they hyperventilate over their particular concerns, but it is the engulfing effects of that deteriorating world on Church members which is the ‘clear and present danger.’ ‘Evils and designs’ really do operate through ‘conspiring [individuals] in the last days’ (D&C 89:4). The Lord has even announced, ‘Behold, the enemy is combined’ (D&C 38:12).

“Yet we must not be intimidated or lose our composure even though the once morally unacceptable is becoming acceptable, as if frequency somehow conferred respectability!”

(“‘Behold, the Enemy Is Combined’ (D&C 38:12),” Ensign, May 1993, 76.)