As there was a spirit that went forth to prepare the way before the appearance of Christ to the Nephites, so there is a spirit that must go forth to prepare the way before his final return.
“I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: and also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the Lord come.” (Joel 2:28-31.)
And again: “Hearken and hear, O ye inhabitants of the earth. Listen, ye elders of my church together, and hear the voice of the Lord; for he calleth upon all men, and he commandeth all men everywhere to repent. For behold, the Lord God hath sent forth the angel crying through the midst of heaven, saying: Prepare ye the way of the Lord, and make his paths straight, for the hour of his coming is nigh.” (D&C 133:16-17.)
Even before the first missionaries of this dispensation went forth, the Lord declared, “The field is white already to harvest” (D&C 4:4), which we would interpret to mean that the hearts and minds of many have been prepared for this day and this hour. The seed of the gospel will take root and will grow into the mighty oak of the millennial day.