While the term, the Latter Rain, may be new to most LDS people, it is quite familiar to most people from other Christian faiths. All one must do is to search for the term on the internet to prove this point. There are hundreds, if not thousands of web sites dedicated to this concept—the Latter Rain. There are Churches Called “the Latter Rain”—e.g. The Latter Rain Ministries of Texas. There are songs called the Latter Rain—e.g. The Latter Rain by Neglathea Johnson. There are sermons given on the subject on YouTube. There is a Gospel Singing Group in West Virginia called “The Latter Rain.” There is even a water distribution company in Bermuda called “The Latter Rain.”
The most pronounced movement concerning this term, however, is probably the one that occurred among Pentecostal Christians between 1948 and the early to mid-1960’s. The Latter Rain movement is a well-documented phenomenon that began in Canada and spread through the United States and other nations. The following is a quote from the Wikipedia account of this movement:
“The term Latter Rain stems from Bible passages such as Jeremiah 3:3, 5:23–25, Joel 2:23, Hosea 6:3, Zechariah 10:1, and James 5:7. The idea of a latter rain was not new to Pentecostals. It was present from the earliest days of Pentecostalism, which believed that the reappearance of speaking in tongues and the baptism of the Holy Spirit marked the “latter rain of God’s Spirit.” It was believed that these were signs of the coming end of history. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost had been the “former rain” that established the Church, but the current “move” of the Spirit was the latter rain that would bring the Church’s work to completion and culminate in the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, which was and is imminent.”
The point I wish to make is that main stream Christianity is well aware of the term, “the Latter Rain,” while the LDS perspective is not well defined. The stark contrast in terms of discussion and emphasis concerning this important Bible concept creates a need among Latter-Day Saints to focus on what this term means to them, and how it relates to the Church’s doctrine of apostasy and restoration.