Doctrine and Covenants 86:2-3 gives an explanation from the Lord of His parable of the wheat and the tares. The Apostles were the sowers of the wheat, planting faith in Christ everywhere in the fields (the world). After they have fallen asleep (been killed as martyrs), the whore of all the earth, the church of the devil, the persecutor of the church, the apostate, or Babylon, Satan being the ruler of it, his kingdom soweth tares and the tares choke the wheat and drive the church itself into the wilderness. Israel is scattered among all nations (once again) and persecuted of all nations. The Jewish Desolation of Abominations comes about and the Temple is destroyed. The Lamanites and Nephites also suffer the Desolation of Abominations. The Great Apostasy causes plain and simple truths to be lost and the priesthood is removed from the earth. In Revelation, Babylon is compared to an adulterous, whorish, woman that has control and the desires of all kings of Nations. She sits upon a scarlet colored beast that has seven heads and ten horns demonstrating that control over the world, nations, and kingdoms. 7 heads=7 mountains, 7 kings, five are fallen (at John’s time) one is, one is not yet come, the Beast himself is the 8th). The ten horns are ten kings that will receive with the 8th kings, power as kings for one hour (40 years if 1000=1 day to God). These shall have one mind: give strength and power to the beast, war with the Lamb and the saints, cause desolation of abominations upon Babylon. Babylon and these degenerate kingdoms come as a result of the Great Apostasy and Satans deceitfulness. Some of the things mentioned above began with the Great Apostasy but continue on. This period began with the deaths of the Apostles, over the coming centuries the truths of the Gospel were slowly changed or destroyed by philosophies of men (especially Greek philosophies that were propagated by the Roman empire). Truly evidence of this Apostasy is demonstrated in the way we refer to this period as The Dark Ages. Even in this darkened time, when God withdrew His priesthood authority and prophetic voice, a portion of His light still dwelt with the people enough to prepare the world to again receive His gospel. The renaissance, religious reformations, and discovery of America were all inspired by God in preparing a place and people that could again receive the Gospel.
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References: Revelation 12 , Doctrine and Covenants 86, Matthew 13:24-30,36-43, 1 Nephi 11:34,35,36, 1 Nephi 12:12-23, 1 Nephi 13 , 1 Nephi 15:5,13,17, Doctrine and Covenants 45:18-24 This temple shall be destroyed and this people scattered among all Nations. (70 A.D) Revelation 2:5,14,20-23 , Revelation 3:3,15, 1 Nephi 22:3-5,7-12 Sooner or later, the house of Israel would be scattered because they harden their hearts against the Holy One of Israel. They will be scattered by the Gentile Nations. 2 Nephi 6:10-11 , 2 Nephi 8:17,18, 2 Nephi 10:2-6 , 2 Nephi 12:5-9 , 2 Nephi 17:18-20, 2 Nephi 18:22, 2 Nephi 19:1-2, 2 Nephi 25:2,12-16, 2 Nephi 26:15-22