I say primary and not just first, because these signs are the first and most prominent among a people that is becoming – or which has become – wicked in the eyes of God. Jacob 1:15-16 describes the primary signs: “And now it came to pass that the people… began to grow hard in their hearts, and indulge themselves somewhat in wicked practices, such as like unto David of old desiring many wives and concubines, and also Solomon, his son. Yea, and they also began to search much gold and silver, and began to be lifted up somewhat in pride.”
The people were good prior to that change, but now they show the early stages of wickedness, and those things can only get worse if left uncorrected. They obviously do not value women as individuals and they are obsessing over riches. Both of these things lead to ruin. Imagine a society like Margaret Atwood’s Gilead – the rich have a law very much different from the poor, and the women at all levels are made to suffer under a patriarchy. When a nation makes women less than men before the law, that is a crime in the eyes of God.
The riches go along with that in terms of creating further unequal social structures, and I’ve made comment on that line in previous posts. But finding an added element of gender rights to this narrative is fascinating. Therefore, beware those who fight against equal rights: they will drag a nation into wickedness and ruin.