I was struck by the wording of this revelation recently.
D&C 1:12 Prepare ye, prepare ye for that which is to come, for the Lord is nigh;
13 And the anger of the Lord is kindled, and his sword is bathed in heaven, and it shall fall upon the inhabitants of the earth.
14 And the arm of the Lord shall be revealed; and the day cometh that they who will not hear the voice of the Lord, neither the voice of his servants, neither give heed to the words of the prophets and apostles, shall be cut off from among the people;
15 For they have strayed from mine ordinances, and have broken mine everlasting covenant;
16 They seek not the Lord to establish his righteousness, but every man walketh in his own way, and after the image of his own god, whose image is in the likeness of the world, and whose substance is that of an idol, which waxeth old and shall perish in Babylon, even Babylon the great, which shall fall.
The statements here are simple enough. The Lord's anger is kindled. Kindling is a reference to a fire that is just being ignited. It refers to the time at which the revelation was given.
Verse 16 is particularly interesting. Every man walks in his own way. While the Lord saw that was true in Joseph Smith's day when the revelation given, in modern days this has become a cultural cornerstone that even many church members will endorse. It is the false teaching that "everyone has to find his own path". It is often used to argue against church doctrines and standards with phrases like "there is no one size fits all".
Every man walks after the image of his own god, whose image is in the likeness of he world. While many were externally claiming to seek the Lord's will when this revelation, the Lord knew that wasn't the reality. The reality was that in their hearts the people of the world where looking to the world for their ideas about God and following that false God in place of the real thing.
Whose substance is that of an idol. If you let the world determine what you think God is like, then you are worshiping a figment of your imagination, and not the true and living God. In that case, what you are worshiping has no more reality to it than an idol or statue does.
Which waxeth old and shall perish. Of necessity, worship of such substitutes will bring no eternal rewards. They prove to be as temporary as anything else of this earth.
The Lord could see the reality of what was happening in Joseph Smith's days. He could look into the hearts of the people. In these days some of the things warned against here have grown from truths hidden in the darkened corners of worldly men's hearts into a public frenzy. "Every man walks in his own way" is no longer so much a warning as a beloved standard - a cornerstone of a corrupted society.