“What is the war involving Gog and Magog?” New Era, Mar. 1971, 37
Answer/President Bruce R. McConkie
Gog and Magog are the prophetic names given in the scriptures to that combination of nations which will fight against the purposes of the Lord on two separate and future occasions:
1. At the time of and incident to the second coming of the Lord and the ushering in of the millennial era; and
2. At the end of the Millennium, plus a little season, when the final overthrow of evil and the destruction of the wicked shall take place.
The Lord has not revealed who the nations are, but his prophets have described, in general terms, what they will do in the great battles that shall hereafter be fought.
Because we are living in the last days, immediately preceding the second coming of the Lord, our chief interest in Gog and Magog centers in the pre-millennial war. The following quotation summarizes what is to take place:
“Our Lord is to come again in the midst of the battle of Armageddon, or in other words during the course of the great war between Israel and Gog and Magog. At the Second Coming all the nations of the earth are to be engaged in battle, and the fighting is to be in progress in the area of Jerusalem and Armageddon. (Zech. 11; Zech. 12; Zech. 13; Rev. 16:14–21.) The prophecies do not name the modern nations which will be fighting for and against Israel, but the designation Gog and Magog is given to the combination of nations which will seek to overthrow and destroy the remnant of the Lord’s chosen seed.
“The 38th and 39th chapters of Ezekiel [Ezek. 38; Ezek. 39] record considerable prophetic detail relative to this great war. It should be noted that it is to take place ‘in the latter years’; that it will be fought in the ‘mountains of Israel’ against those who have been gathered to the land of their ancient inheritance; that the land of Israel shall be relatively unprotected, a ‘land of unwalled villages’; that Gog and Magog shall come ‘out of the north parts’ in such numbers as ‘to cover the land’ as a cloud; that the Lord will then come, and all men shall shake at his presence; that there will be such an earthquake as has never before been known, which will throw down the mountains; that there will be pestilence, blood, fire, and brimstone descend upon the armies; that the forces of Gog and Magog will be destroyed upon the mountains of Israel; that the Supper of the Great God shall then take place as the beasts and fowls eat the flesh and drink the blood of the fallen ones (Rev. 19:17–18; D&C 29:18–21); and that the house of Israel will be seven months burying the dead and seven years burning the discarded weapons of war.
“In the light of all this and much more that is prophetically foretold about the final great battles in the holy land, is it any wonder that those who are scripturally informed and spiritually enlightened watch world events with great interest as troubles continue to foment in Palestine, Egypt, and the Near East?” (Mormon Doctrine [Bookcraft, 1966], 2nd ed., pp. 324–25.)
One final word: When considering items of this sort, it is exceedingly important to stay close to the revealed word and not stray off into those speculative realms that engender strife and do not increase faith in our hearts.