I’ve changed my mind


I used to think that the latter-day saints could self-correct and bring the current church practices back into conformity to the revelations of Joseph, and to that end I advocated, among other things, the use of the law of common consent to put a stop to practices that went contrary to the scriptures.  (See, for example, Is our procedure for sustaining a rubber stamp?)  But over the years of this blog’s existence it has become apparent to me that the latter-day saints are incapable of self-correcting.  This used to cause me consternation, but I’m not worried about it anymore.  And neither should anybody else be.  There is going to be a major correction, but it won’t come from the body of the saints doing it of their own volition under inspiration of the Holy Ghost.  The saints need to be convinced to self-correct, but they aren’t convinced.  I certainly haven’t been able to convince anyone, or at least, not enough people, to make any difference.  But also, the leadership needs to be convinced that they need to self-correct, and once again, they aren’t convinced.

So, although I still recommend that everyone should conform their lives, as best they can, to the revelations of Joseph Smith, within the context of the current church practices, I no longer believe that there will be enough people doing that to alter the church course and bring it back into conformity to the revelations.  Therefore, here is my recommendation: don’t go against the keys.  If whatever you are doing is brought into question by the authorities, submit to those keys.  If they say, “Either you wear purple socks or you are out of here,” then by all means, wear purple socks!  Go to the Lord in prayer and say, “Well, this doesn’t exactly accord with Your written word in the revelations, but they have the keys which You gave them, so I will submit to those keys.”

Perhaps you will say of me, “That’s kind of a cop-out, don’t you think?”  Not really, though.  You see, I’ve got a new view of things, of how things are going to go down, or how the church correction is going to be effected.  Those who say, “I’m going to conform to the revelations as I see fit and understand them, these leaders be damned!” are not being led by the Holy Ghost.  But the Holy Ghost is most definitely leading me.  And if you don’t believe me, then ask God, “Is the guy who calls himself LDS Anarchist led by the Holy Ghost?” And if you are capable of receiving revelation, God will manifest to you that I am.  So, anyone, from any quarter, that says the LDS leadership has apostatized and their keys are null and void is either mistaken or telling an outright lie.  The keys are here.  The church is still true.  We, the LDS church, have the only baptism of John found anywhere on the earth, John having appeared and conferred this authority upon Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery.

And it came to pass, that on one of those days, as he taught the people in the temple, and preached the gospel, the chief priests and the scribes came upon him with the elders, and spake unto him, saying,

Tell us, by what authority doest thou these things? or who is he that gave thee this authority?

And he answered and said unto them,

I will also ask you one thing; and answer me:

The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men?

And they reasoned with themselves, saying,

If we shall say,

From heaven;

he will say,

Why then believed ye him not?

But and if we say,

Of men;

all the people will stone us: for they be persuaded that John was a prophet.

And they answered, that they could not tell whence it was.  And Jesus said unto them,

Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things. (Luke 20:1-8)

And they come again to Jerusalem: and as he was walking in the temple, there come to him the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders, and say unto him,

By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority to do these things?

And Jesus answered and said unto them,

I will also ask of you one question, and answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things.

The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men?

answer me.

And they reasoned with themselves, saying,

If we shall say,

From heaven;

he will say,

Why then did ye not believe him?

But if we shall say,

Of men;

they feared the people: for all men counted John, that he was a prophet indeed.  And they answered and said unto Jesus,

We cannot tell.

And Jesus answering saith unto them,

Neither do I tell you by what authority I do these things. (Mark 11:27-33)

Also, there is the revelation (D&C 22) Joseph Smith received concerning non-church baptisms, so those who say a non church-authorized baptism is good enough to satisfy the requirements of the gospel are lying through their teeth, or deceived by the devil, or just misunderstanding the scriptures.  Whatever the case, they are in error and in need of correction.

Now, although the church practices do not fully conform to the revelations of Joseph Smith, that is not enough reason to warrant abandoning the ship or making claims of the leadership or membership apostatizing.  And, in fact, it turns out that no one is authorized to correct the leadership.  (See “Keep your mouth shut and hold your tongue!”  (Leave the leadership alone.).)

Again, let me be perfectly clear: 1) Anyone that claims the current LDS church is no longer God’s church is not inspired of the Holy Ghost.  Period.  This is still, indeed, God’s church.  2) Anyone that claims that the LDS church ceased being God’s church long ago, during Joseph Smith’s life, or right after he died, is not inspired of the Holy Ghost.  3) Anyone that claims that church ordinances performed without church authorization are binding as ordinances of salvation, is not inspired of the Holy Ghost.  4) Anyone that claims that the LDS church leadership no longer hold the keys, is not inspired of the Holy Ghost.  5) Anyone that claims that the LDS church’s departure from the precise conformity to Joseph Smith’s revelations nullifies their priesthood and church keys, is not inspired of the Holy Ghost.  6) Anyone advocating leaving the LDS church, or advocating that people not join this church, are not inspired of the Holy Ghost.  7) Anyone advocating that people who have left the LDS church are better off apart from it, or that they ought to stay where they are and not come back in and submit to the keys, is not inspired of the Holy Ghost.

Here is what the Holy Ghost will inspire a saint to do: conform to the revelations of Joseph Smith with exactness, but if the leadership of the church conflict with that conformity, then the Holy Ghost will inspire that person to conform to the keys.

The reason why the Holy Ghost operates after this fashion, or will operate after this fashion, is because the Lord already has the Josephite prepared to make the correction.  He will and must convince the world, right?  And how will he convince?  Through the manifestations of the Holy Ghost, working mighty miracles.  The leadership is going to be convinced.  The church is going to be convinced.  The whole world will be convinced.  And the correction will be made seemingly over-night.  It will be the now convinced LDS leadership telling the people, “Yesterday that was how we did it, but today we have received new divine instructions, and we are now doing it by the book, even by the revelations of Joseph, with exactness.”  And the church will correct in an instant.

But not even the Josephite is authorized, or empowered, to make the correction now.  While in his weakness, he doesn’t and can’t convince anybody.  It’s just his word without any divine manifestations of heavenly approval in attendance, which word is just as good as anybody else’s.  So, for all intents and purposes, the weak Josephite is just like any other member of the church, completely useless to make any church corrections.

That being true, that the Josephite is powerless at this present time to correct the church, why in the world would anyone else think they could do it?

Once again, I want to be perfectly clear, so I’ll give more details: the Lord’s authorized servant, the Josephite, who will be the one to actually make the correction, 1) will be a man already in this church, but not in the LDS church leadership; 2) will not be someone who has been kicked out of the church; 3) will say the church or priesthood keys are still in and with the church; 4) will not advocate non church-authorized baptism or other ordinances as ordinances of salvation; 5) will not be against the current church leadership, at any point; and 6) will convince the church leadership (and entire church) by working mighty signs and miracles such as Moses did when he began his ministry, going to the elders of Israel to perform signs, so that they knew that the time had come for a course alteration (see Exodus 4.)  And then the church will correct.

Now, what happens after that, I do not know, for there is still the prophecy I received about the earthquake and the break-up of the church, which prophecy will come to pass, but how and when and in what order all these things will play out, I haven’t a clue.  And there are a whole mess of other things I’ve received concerning the future and the Josephite, which have me completely baffled as to how they will play out, but all this stuff is real, so it will happen when it happens, and that’s good enough for me.  Let it suffice that I am saying that I have prophesied a great many things, but none of them match the “church as currently organized has apostatized” scenario.  My point is this: I know my prophecies are real, so if you are following a man or woman who claims to be a prophet and inspired of God, and they are going against what I have prophesied or received in revelation, ditch ’em quick.  Don’t follow that person.  They are in error and you are in error if you believe them.  And if you don’t believe me, then ask God about my prophecies.  It doesn’t matter that you don’t know all of what I have prophesied.  Ask God and He will tell you that my prophecies are true.  And when He does, repent and come back in to the fold, and conform as I stated above, and wait patiently upon the Lord until He sends the Josephite to make the correction.

I swear I think I’m probably speaking to the wall when I write these words—for my experience is that people just refuse to ask God about me and my revelations and prophecies.  But those who do, get answers only in the affirmative (confirmations of their truth.)  So, I will try once again, and say that the Lord will not send any mere prophet to correct the church.  What we are looking and waiting for is a seer, not a prophet.  And he won’t be a mere seer, he will be a miracle-working seer, even the greatest miracle worker of all time.  So cast all these wannabe phonies aside.  There will be no church correction until this seer shows up fully empowered.

One last thing: those who are no longer members of this church, many of whom have good intentions and truly believe what they believe, who have been “excommunicated” not by the (now defunct) elder’s court, but by the high council, although this has been done in error, in contradiction to the revelations, nevertheless, these people, if they turn around and criticize and correct and ridicule (revile), etc., they are not inspired of the Holy Ghost.  As I see it, there is only one impediment found in the church questions, and that is the one dealing with the claim that they are seers.  But even there, they do have a seer stone (although they don’t know how to use it.)  But all other questions, concerning keys and beliefs and the revelations of Joseph and so forth, are reasonable to expect of a person who wants back in.  So, if these corrections from the leadership are not accepted, that ain’t the leadership’s fault.  But if the excommunicant believes the keys are here, and believes the revelations and the doctrine, and submits to the keys, but cannot accept that the leadership are seers, and the leadership won’t let them in for that single reason alone, then that ain’t that man’s fault, that comes upon the leadership’s head.  And the Josephite will correct that.

But from my vantage point, that is not what is going on.  These people who get “excommunicated” express views of unbelief on various important points, and no longer accept the keys.  My understanding (which may be entirely wrong) is that the leadership really isn’t so much concerned with the titles, “prophet, seer and revelator,” as they are with the assertion that they have the keys.  I can only suppose that if someone says, “I fully believe that the leaders have the keys, and I will submit to them, and I believe that they have the seer stone, and that they are capable of receiving prophecies and revelations for their respective callings,” I can only assume that if those exact words were said, that the leadership would let them back in.  But if a person says this, repenting and humbly accepting whatever correction is given to them, and the leadership still refuses to let them in, then that’s a horse of a different color.  But I don’t think that is what is happening, at all.  But even if that does happen, the saint should just continue to meet with the saints and wait for the correction to come via the Josephite.  He or she should not go on a mission to correct the leadership publicly.

Okay, enough of this pointless rant.  I usually only like to put up posts that contain new information, and this post doesn’t seem to have anything new (to me, at least), but I feel like it needed to be said anyway.

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Thou shalt not “covet”


The 10th Commandment reads as follows:

Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.  (KJV Ex. 20:17)

Recently I was reading someone’s claim that the Hebrew word chamad, which was translated above by the KJV translators into “covet,” was a mistranslation.  The author claimed that the original Hebrew word chamad meant “to take.”  So, the commandment would read, instead, as:

Do not take your neighbour’s house, do not take your neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is your neighbour’s.

Here is his entire blog post (The Ten Commandments Don’t Forbid Coveting) on this issue:

In the original Hebrew, the Ten Commandments don’t address coveting, so common renditions like “do not covet” or “thou shalt not covet” are mistranslations.

The Hebrew verb in the 10th commandment (or, for some, the 9th and 10th commandments) is chamad. As usual, we learn what the word means by looking at how it is used elsewhere.

The clearest case against “covet” is Exodus 34:24, which has to do with the three pilgrimage holidays, for which the Israelites would leave their homes and ascend to Jerusalem. Exodus 34:24 promises that no one will chamad the Israelites’ land when they leave for Jerusalem to appear before God.

It seems absurd to me to think that the Israelites were afraid that in leaving their land for a while, other people would desire (“covet”) it. After all, other people could desire the land whether or not the Israelites were around.

So it’s pretty clear that chamad doesn’t mean “covet” or “desire” there.

In Deuteronomy 7:25, we see chamad in parallel with “take” (lakach): “Do not chamad the silver and gold [of statues of false gods] and take [lakach] it…” Just from this context, the verb could mean “covet,” but other than our preconceptions of what the text should mean, we see nothing to suggest that translation. (By similar reasoning, it could mean “draw a picture of” or any number of other possibilities for which there is no evidence.)

Furthermore, the parallelism here suggests that chamad is like lakach. That is, to chamad is to take in some way, not to want in some way.

We find the same juxtaposition of chamad and lakach elsewhere. For example, in Joshua 7:21 we read “[Achan said,] `when I saw among the spoil a beautiful mantle from Shinar, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a bar of gold weighing fifty shekels, then I chamaded them and took them” (NRSV, my emphasis). Proverbs 6:25, too, puts the two verbs together. These examples further reinforce the close connection between chamad and lakach.

And in Proverbs 12:12, we see a pair of opposites: “righteous” and “give” versus “wicked” and “chamad.” So chamad seems to be the opposite of “give.”

All of these point in a clear direction: chamad doesn’t mean “covet” or “want.” It means “take.”

So the last commandment should read: “Do not take…”

Okay, so when I first read this idea of his, I only skimmed his reasoning and skipped to the end, to see what he thought the translation was.  When I found it was “to take,” that didn’t ring exactly right to me, although it appeared closer than “to covet.”  But I didn’t want to give it any more thought, so I put it out of my mind.

Then a couple of days ago I was reading the prophecy of Micah and I came across this passage:

Woe to them that devise iniquity, and work evil upon their beds! when the morning is light, they practise it, because it is in the power of their hand. And they covet fields, and take them by violence; and houses, and take them away: so they oppress a man and his house, even a man and his heritage. Therefore thus saith the Lord;

Behold, against this family do I devise an evil, from which ye shall not remove your necks; neither shall ye go haughtily: for this time is evil. (Micah 2:1-3)

As soon as I read that, my mind turned its attention back to this man’s idea of an alternate meaning for chamad, so I decided to go back to his writings and actually read the entire thing.  Which I’ve now done.  Once again, his idea that it meant “to take” didn’t appear to be right, but this time a new thought popped into the noggin’: that chamad actually means “to accept as payment for debt.”

Throwing out covet and take

There are a great many people that think chamad means “to covet” and there is at least one guy that thinks it means “to take” or “to take temporarily.”  But I don’t care about those other definitions and ideas.  This blog is a repository for my thoughts, so this new, intriguing thought is the one I will apply to these scriptures, and I will see what kind of new information comes of it.

Do not accept a man’s stuff as payment for debt

Here is the 10th commandment with this new definition inserted:

Do not accept your neighbour’s house as payment for debt, do not accept your neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is your neighbour’s, as payment for debt.

So, the first scripture that the man mentions, which has chamad, is Exodus 34:24, which now reads:

For I will cast out the nations before thee, and enlarge thy borders: neither shall any man accept thy land as payment for debt, when thou shalt go up to appear before the Lord thy God thrice in the year.

In other words, if the man had any outstanding debts, no one could consider his land as payment for any levy made upon him while he was gone (nor even when he was around.)

Next he mentions Deuteronomy 7:25, which now reads:

The graven images of their gods shall ye burn with fire: thou shalt not accept the silver or gold that is on them as payment for their debt to you, nor take it unto thee, lest thou be snared therein: for it is an abomination to the Lord thy God.

So, these nations that the Israelites were supposed to entirely wipe out, were to be considered debt-free.  They didn’t owe the Israelites anything, at all, therefore, there was to be no spoiling of their stuff.  Their stuff was to be destroyed, not accepted as payment for the trouble of having to go in with the Israelite army and wipe them out.  They couldn’t chamad it (accept it as the pay that was due them) nor lakach it (take it.)

The next scripture cited is Joshua 7:21, which now reads:

When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I accepted them as payment for their debt to me, and took them; and, behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it.

Once again we find that he first accepted the spoils as payment and then took his payment (the spoils.)  This is how every transaction is supposed to be done.  You don’t walk into a store and just take something and then walk out with it.  That would be theft.  No, you first negotiate the terms of the exchange or sale, arrange for payment, and then take your stuff.  So, the relationship between chamad and lakach is clear: the one deals with the payment arrangement (what is to be considered as payment) and the other deals with the delivery or receipt of the goods.

He next mentions Proverbs 6:25, which I’ve now re-written as:

Do not accept her beauty in thine heart as a payment for debt; neither let her take you (as her goods received) with her eyelids.

The whole thing, when written out in this way, assigning chamad and lakach these meanings, reveals the whore contract in all its vileness.  It shows the whole sexual affair as a mere transaction.

Lastly, he mentions Proverbs 12:12, which now reads:

The wicked accepts the net of evil men as payment for debt: but the root of the righteous yieldeth fruit.

The point being that the wicked will accept all sorts of things as payment for debt, including things they are not supposed to.  The word play is that the wicked accepts (which is like receiving, or agreeing to receive), while the righteous yields (or in other translations, gives), showing the opposite parallel: for receiving is the opposite of giving (not taking, as he supposed.)

So, in all these scriptures, using “to accept as payment for debt” as the meaning for chamad works perfectly.

What it is all about

Continuing on with the assumption that I’m right on this point, then the 10th commandment is basically saying, “No one put a lien for debts accrued on a man’s house, land, wife, servants, and so forth.”  If a man owes something, he must pay what he owes, or deliver the goods that he promised to pay, but barring that, no one is allowed to deprive that man of his home and wife and servants and so forth, which are his property and not someone else’s property.

To be clearer, I’ll use the Book of Mormon as an explanatory text.

Now if a man owed another, and he would not pay that which he did owe, he was complained of to the judge; and the judge executed authority, and sent forth officers that the man should be brought before him; and he judged the man according to the law and the evidences which were brought against him, and thus the man was compelled to pay that which he owed, or be stripped, or be cast out from among the people as a thief and a robber.  (Alma 11:2)

So, let’s say that I walk into a bicycle shop and negotiate with the owner for a bicycle.  I say, “I’ll pay you $100 for such-and-such a bike, upon delivery.”  We are agreed and I walk out.  Later, my custom-made bike is delivered to me, but I refuse to pay the $100.  The bike shop owner complains to the judge, who brings me to court.  I am found guilty and I am then compelled to pay the $100.

Now, if the situation was reversed, say, for example, I walked into the shop and gave the owner $100 for my custom bike, which was to be delivered on such-and-such a day, and then walk out.  But the day comes and goes and my bike never shows up.  The owner refuses to deliver the goods.  So I complain to the judge, who hauls the man to court, and he is found guilty and is stripped—meaning that the officers go into his shop and take the bike I had coming to me—of my goods, not his goods, for that bike is mine.

If, though, he does not have the bike, or in the reverse situation, if I don’t have the $100, the guilty party is cast out as a thief and a robber.  My house cannot be assessed as payment for the cost of the bike, because my house is my property that I need to live in.  If they took that, I’d be homeless.  My wife can’t be assessed, because the Lord commands that no one is allowed to split us up (separate us.)  My servants can’t be assessed as payment because I need them to work my land, and I need my animals, and so forth.  All my stuff is still mine.  The law only takes what pertains to the party who won the case and gives that back.  It has no authority to substitute what I need to survive as payment for my debts.

The 10th commandment, then, is a commandment against any practice that accepts as payment a man’s stuff.  If people obeyed the 10th commandment, there could be no taxation, whatsoever.  There could also be no taking of the lands of the little guy by the big guy.  In other words, a wealthy land owner that was owed debts, can’t increase his holdings by accepting the debtor’s house and lands and so forth, making the latter man destitute, while enriching the wealthy man.  All of this is wickedness.  The 10th commandment, then, was to be a protection against such wicked practices.

Taxation is the legalized breaking of the 10th commandment

When a man refuses to pay his taxes, or is unable to, he can lose everything, both his house, his wife and kids (through divorce and separation), his employment and employees and business, his land, all his possessions, and even his freedom (jailtime.)  All of these practices violate the 10th commandment, which has nothing to do, whatsoever, with desiring anything, but with accepting a man’s goods as payment for debt.

On a spiritual level, yes, we can say that to spiritually break the 10th commandment, we can desire to accept as payment (or take) a man’s stuff.  In other words, greed and the desire to re-distribute the wealth by taking from the one and giving to the other, spiritually breaks this commandment, just as it is possible to spiritually commit adultery, by desiring to do so, or any other of the 10 commandments, by desiring to kill, steal and so forth.

All 10 commandments are action commandments

Worship God, make no idols, do not bow down to idols, do not speak the Lord’s name vainly, work six days, rest on the seventh, don’t kill, don’t steal, don’t lie, etc.  All these things are commandments concerning actions (or words spoken.)  The 10th commandment is an anomaly if it is taken to mean covet (meaning, “desire,”) for that has nothing to do with actions.  However, when understood as meaning “accept as payment for debt,” it, too, becomes an action commandment, and this time it has extremely broad application, condemning just about everyone, everywhere, for neither governments, nor businesses and private individuals have any qualms about leaving a man who hasn’t paid his bills destitute.  But the Lord finds that to be grossly wicked.

When we look at wicked king Noah, who broke many of the 10 commandments, a case could be made that it was the introduction of taxation among the people that ultimately caused their downfall.  If a man isn’t protected in his goods, then he isn’t protected in his life or freedoms, either.  Without private property protections, nothing is protected.  It is then, from that moment on, fair game to assess everything and anything, including a man’s life and freedom and wife, as payment for debts incurred.  Thus, you get everything for sale, including prostitutes and slaves and so forth, hence king Noah introducing harlotry among the people.  Even God comes with a price tag, hence the introduction of idolatry.  And so on and so forth.

This means nothing, of course

None of what I wrote above means anything, of course, because it is based upon a mere thought I had as to the meaning of the Hebrew word chamad, and I have no proof that it is correct.  But it seemed interesting enough to post about it, nonetheless.

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Word-for-word vs. functional translations


Good translations decode the function from the source language and then encode it into the target language. The language function should be the same, or as close to the same as possible, in each language. If the source language uses formal language, the target language ought to do the same, so: formal decoded and formal encoded, informal decoded and informal encoded, poetry decoded and poetry encoded, and so on, the function of the source encoded into the target language according as the source text changes.

There are five levels of translations with increasing accuracy:

 1) Sounds. What are the sounds of the original?
2) Words. What do the original words mean?
3) Phrases. What do the original phrases mean?
4) Concepts. What concepts are involved in the original?
5) Affect. What does the original do?

The King James Version translators decoded the original words of the Bible as best they could and then tried to make them into phrases that made some sense, keeping the syntax of the original source languages as intact as possible. Joseph Smith did the very same thing in all of his translations and revelations.  Unfortunately, what we ended up with is a text that gets only to the second or third level of translation, and which is constructed not like English, but like Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic. English is such an amazing language that, even doing this you can still grasp a lot of the meaning of the original text. But on the other hand, doing this also masks a lot of the meaning, for the phrase, concept and affect levels are never fully revealed. Only by fully decoding the original language in all its levels, and then encoding those levels into English syntax, so that it sounds like seamlessly flowing English and not a choppy translation from another language into English, does the reader get to more fully grasp what the various functions of the original text were trying to convey.

I am going to show what I mean by doing some translation. I am going to translate the title page of Mormon’s Book and part of the first chapter of Nephi’s First Book of His Reign and Ministry (notice my change in titles) by decoding the function of the original translated text, as word-for-word translated by Joseph Smith, and then encode it back into flowing English syntax. We’ll see if I do a good job.

I suppose that I must give a disclaimer: my translations should not be taken in any way as correct. When translating from one language to another, only someone who fully understands both the source and target languages, and who has power to convey the various textual meanings between languages, is qualified to translate. I know neither Hebrew, nor Egyptian, nor Greek, nor Aramaic, and, according to my detractors, I’m also deficient in English. So, I am not qualified to make a proper translation. I’m doing this, then, merely as a demonstration of what a bona fide functional translation might look like.

Joseph Smith’s Translation My Translation
The Book of Mormon

An Account Written by the Hand of Mormon upon Plates Taken from the Plates of Nephi

Wherefore, it is an abridgment of the record of the people of Nephi, and also of the Lamanites—Written to the Lamanites, who are a remnant of the house of Israel; and also to Jew and Gentile—Written by way of commandment, and also by the spirit of prophecy and of revelation—Written and sealed up, and hid up unto the Lord, that they might not be destroyed—To come forth by the gift and power of God unto the interpretation thereof—Sealed by the hand of Moroni, and hid up unto the Lord, to come forth in due time by way of the Gentile—The interpretation thereof by the gift of God.

An abridgment taken from the Book of Ether also, which is a record of the people of Jared, who were scattered at the time the Lord confounded the language of the people, when they were building a tower to get to heaven—Which is to show unto the remnant of the house of Israel what great things the Lord hath done for their fathers; and that they may know the covenants of the Lord, that they are not cast off forever—And also to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations—And now, if there are faults they are the mistakes of men; wherefore, condemn not the things of God, that ye may be found spotless at the judgment-seat of Christ. (Title Page)

Mormon’s Book

This account is:—written on plates by Mormon’s own hand; taken from Nephi’s plates, being an abridgment of that record of Nephi’s people and the Lamanites; written to the Lamanites, who are a remnant of the house of Israel, and also to the Jews and the Gentiles; written by the spirit of prophecy and revelation to fulfill a commandment; written, sealed up, buried in the earth and entrusted into Jehovah’s care, so that it will not be destroyed; prophesied to be taken out of the earth and translated by God’s gift and power; sealed and buried in the earth and entrusted into Jehovah’s care by Moroni’s own hand, to be taken out of the earth in due time by a Gentile who will translate it by God’s gift.

There is also an abridgment taken from Ether’s Book included, which is a record of Jared’s people, who were scattered at the time Jehovah confounded the people’s language, when they were building a tower to get to heaven.

The purpose of this record is to show to the remnant of Israel’s house the great things that Jehovah did for their fathers, and so that they might know Jehovah’s covenants, so that they are not cast off forever. It is also to convince the Jews and the Gentiles that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, and that he manifests himself to all nations.

Now, if there are faults in this record, they are the mistakes of men, so do not condemn God’s things, otherwise you will not be found spotless at the judgment-seat of Christ. (Title Page)

The First Book of Nephi

His Reign and Ministry

An account of Lehi and his wife Sariah, and his four sons, being called, (beginning at the eldest) Laman, Lemuel, Sam, and Nephi. The Lord warns Lehi to depart out of the land of Jerusalem, because he prophesieth unto the people concerning their iniquity and they seek to destroy his life. He taketh three days’ journey into the wilderness with his family. Nephi taketh his brethren and returneth to the land of Jerusalem after the record of the Jews. The account of their sufferings. They take the daughters of Ishmael to wife. They take their families and depart into the wilderness. Their sufferings and afflictions in the wilderness. The course of their travels. They come to the large waters. Nephi’s brethren rebel against him. He confoundeth them, and buildeth a ship. They call the name of the place Bountiful. They cross the large waters into the promised land, and so forth. This is according to the account of Nephi; or in other words, I, Nephi, wrote this record. (1st Nephi Title and Summary)

Nephi’s First Book of His Reign and Ministry

This account is of Lehi, of his wife Sariah, and of his four sons, who were named, (from oldest to youngest) Laman, Lemuel, Sam and Nephi.

In this record:—Jehovah warns Lehi to leave the land of Jerusalem because the people seek to kill him after he prophesies of their iniquities; he travels three days into the wilderness with his family; his four sons, led by Nephi, return to the land of Jerusalem to get the record of the Jews; there is an account of their sufferings; they take Ishmael’s daughters to wife; they depart into the wilderness with their families, suffering afflictions during their journey; their travelling path is given; they come to a vast ocean; Nephi’s brothers rebel against him, he confounds them and builds a ship; they name the place Bountiful; they cross the ocean, arrive in the promised land, and so forth.

This record is taken from Nephi’s version and testimony of the facts, or in other words, I am Nephi and I wrote this record. (1st Nephi Title and Summary)

I, Nephi, having been born of goodly parents, therefore I was taught somewhat in all the learning of my father; and having seen many afflictions in the course of my days, nevertheless, having been highly favored of the Lord in all my days; yea, having had a great knowledge of the goodness and the mysteries of God, therefore I make a record of my proceedings in my days. (1 Ne. 1:1) My name is Nephi and I am writing an account of the life experiences that I had with God, for I had good parents who taught me what my father knew about God, and although I had many afflictions from time to time, yet Jehovah highly favored me my entire life so that I ended up with a vast knowledge of God’s greatness and goodness. (1 Ne. 1:1)
Yea, I make a record in the language of my father, which consists of the learning of the Jews and the language of the Egyptians. (1 Ne. 1:2) I am writing this book in my father’s language, which is Egyptian used by the Jews as if it were Hebrew. (1 Ne. 1:2)
And I know that the record which I make is true; and I make it with mine own hand; and I make it according to my knowledge. (1 Ne. 1:3) I testify that the book that I am writing is true; and I alone am writing it, by my own hand; and I am writing it according to my firsthand knowledge. (1 Ne. 1:3)
For it came to pass in the commencement of the first year of the reign of Zedekiah, king of Judah, (my father, Lehi, having dwelt at Jerusalem in all his days); and in that same year there came many prophets, prophesying unto the people that they must repent, or the great city Jerusalem must be destroyed. Wherefore it came to pass that my father, Lehi, as he went forth prayed unto the Lord, yea, even with all his heart, in behalf of his people. (1 Ne. 1:4-5) For as my father, whose name was Lehi, lived in the land of Jerusalem his whole life, I have personal knowledge that in the commencement of the first year of Zedekiah’s reign, who was the king of Judah, and throughout that same year, many prophets came prophesying to the people, telling them that if they did not repent the great city Jerusalem would be destroyed, consequently, on one of my father’s trips away from the land of Jerusalem, he prayed with all his heart to Jehovah in behalf of his people. (1 Ne. 1:4-5)
And it came to pass as he prayed unto the Lord, there came a pillar of fire and dwelt upon a rock before him; and he saw and heard much; and because of the things which he saw and heard he did quake and tremble exceedingly. (1 Ne. 1:6) While he was praying to Jehovah, a pillar of fire came down onto a rock before him and remained there, and he saw and heard many things which caused him to shake tremendously and to tremble uncontrollably. (1 Ne. 1:6)
And it came to pass that he returned to his own house at Jerusalem; and he cast himself upon his bed, being overcome with the Spirit and the things which he had seen. (1 Ne. 1:7) Afterward he returned to his own house in the land of Jerusalem and he threw himself upon his bed, for he was overpowered by the Spirit and by the things that he had seen, so that he had no more strength. (1 Ne. 1:7)
And being thus overcome with the Spirit, he was carried away in a vision, even that he saw the heavens open, and he thought he saw God sitting upon his throne, surrounded with numberless concourses of angels in the attitude of singing and praising their God. (1 Ne. 1:8) Then the Spirit carried him away in a vision, so that he saw the heavens open, and he thought he saw God himself sitting upon his throne, surrounded by innumerable groups of angels who were singing to and praising their God. (1 Ne. 1:8)
And it came to pass that he saw One descending out of the midst of heaven, and he beheld that his luster was above that of the sun at noon-day. (1 Ne. 1:9) Afterward he saw Someone descending to earth from the heavenly throne and he noticed that this Personage radiated light brighter then the noon-day Sun. (1 Ne. 1:9)
And he also saw twelve others following him, and their brightness did exceed that of the stars in the firmament. (1 Ne. 1:10) He also saw twelve others following him, and the light they radiated was brighter than the stars in the sky. (1 Ne. 1:10)
And they came down and went forth upon the face of the earth; and the first came and stood before my father, and gave unto him a book, and bade him that he should read. (1 Ne. 1:11) These came down to earth and went forth upon it, but the first Personage went to my father, stood in front of him, and gave him a book, telling him to read it. (1 Ne. 1:11)
And it came to pass that as he read, he was filled with the Spirit of the Lord. (1 Ne. 1:12) As my father read, he was filled with Jehovah’s Spirit. (1 Ne. 1:12)

And he read, saying:

Wo, wo, unto Jerusalem, for I have seen thine abominations!

Yea, and many things did my father read concerning Jerusalem—that it should be destroyed, and the inhabitants thereof; many should perish by the sword, and many should be carried away captive into Babylon. (1 Ne. 1:13)

He read,

“Wo, wo to Jerusalem, for I have seen your abominations!”

In fact, my father read many things about Jerusalem, namely, that it and its inhabitants would be destroyed, and many would die by the sword and also would be carried away captive into Babylon. (1 Ne. 1:13)

And it came to pass that when my father had read and seen many great and marvelous things, he did exclaim many things unto the Lord; such as:

Great and marvelous are thy works, O Lord God Almighty! Thy throne is high in the heavens, and thy power, and goodness, and mercy are over all the inhabitants of the earth; and, because thou art merciful, thou wilt not suffer those who come unto thee that they shall perish! (1 Ne. 1:14)

After my father had read and seen the many great and marvelous things of this vision, he voiced many praises to Jehovah, such as:

“O Jehovah God Almighty, your works are great and marvelous! Your throne is high in the heavens and your power, goodness and mercy are over all the earth’s inhabitants; and you will not allow anyone to die who comes to you, because you are so merciful!” (1 Ne. 1:14)

And after this manner was the language of my father in the praising of his God; for his soul did rejoice, and his whole heart was filled, because of the things which he had seen, yea, which the Lord had shown unto him. (1 Ne. 1:15) This is how my father praised his God, for his soul rejoiced and his whole heart was filled with emotion, because of all the many things that Jehovah had shown to him. (1 Ne. 1:15)
And now I, Nephi, do not make a full account of the things which my father hath written, for he hath written many things which he saw in visions and in dreams; and he also hath written many things which he prophesied and spake unto his children, of which I shall not make a full account. (1 Ne. 1:16) Now I do not give an unabridged account of my father’s writings, for he wrote a lot of things that he saw in visions and dreams, and also that he prophesied and spoke to his children. (1 Ne. 1:16)
But I shall make an account of my proceedings in my days. Behold, I make an abridgment of the record of my father, upon plates which I have made with mine own hands; wherefore, after I have abridged the record of my father then will I make an account of mine own life. (1 Ne. 1:17) Instead, I will write of my own life experiences with God, but notice that I am abridging my father’s record in this book, the plates of which I have made with my own hands, and then afterward I will give the account of my own life. (1 Ne. 1:17)
Therefore, I would that ye should know, that after the Lord had shown so many marvelous things unto my father, Lehi, yea, concerning the destruction of Jerusalem, behold he went forth among the people, and began to prophesy and to declare unto them concerning the things which he had both seen and heard. (1 Ne. 1:18) So I want you to know that after Jehovah had shown to my father so many marvelous things concerning the destruction of Jerusalem, notice that he went forth among the people and began to prophesy, and to declare to them all the things he had seen and heard. (1 Ne. 1:18)
And it came to pass that the Jews did mock him because of the things which he testified of them; for he truly testified of their wickedness and their abominations; and he testified that the things which he saw and heard, and also the things which he read in the book, manifested plainly of the coming of a Messiah, and also the redemption of the world. (1 Ne. 1:19) But the Jews mocked his testimony, for he testified that he knew of their wickedness and abominations; and he testified that the things he had seen and heard, and also the words he had read in the book, plainly showed that a Messiah would come and redeem the world. (1 Ne. 1:19)
And when the Jews heard these things they were angry with him; yea, even as with the prophets of old, whom they had cast out, and stoned, and slain; and they also sought his life, that they might take it away. But behold, I, Nephi, will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance. (1 Ne. 1:20) It was at this point that the Jews became angry with him, after they had heard these things about the Messiah, just as they had been angry with the ancient prophets, whom they had cast out and stoned and killed; and they also sought to kill my father. But notice that I will show to you that Jehovah’s tender mercies are over all those who he has chosen, making them so mighty that they are empowered with deliverance, all because of their faith. (1 Ne. 1:20)
For behold, it came to pass that the Lord spake unto my father, yea, even in a dream, and said unto him:

Blessed art thou Lehi, because of the things which thou hast done; and because thou hast been faithful and declared unto this people the things which I commanded thee, behold, they seek to take away thy life. (1 Ne. 2:1)

For notice that Jehovah spoke to my father in a dream and said to him,

“Lehi, you are blessed because of what you have done; and notice that this people seek to kill you because you have faithfully declared to them the things I commanded you to declare.” (1 Ne. 2:1)

And it came to pass that the Lord commanded my father, even in a dream, that he should take his family and depart into the wilderness. (1 Ne. 2:2) Then Jehovah commanded my father in a dream to flee into the wilderness with his family . (1 Ne. 2:2)
And it came to pass that he was obedient unto the word of the Lord, wherefore he did as the Lord commanded him. And it came to pass that he departed into the wilderness. And he left his house, and the land of his inheritance, and his gold, and his silver, and his precious things, and took nothing with him, save it were his family, and provisions, and tents, and departed into the wilderness. (1 Ne. 2:3-4) As he was obedient to Jehovah’s word, he did as Jehovah commanded him, and so he left his house, the land of his inheritance, his gold, his silver, and all his precious things, and took nothing with him, except it were his family, provisions and tents, and fled into the wilderness. (1 Ne. 2:3-4)

Analyzing the two versions

English titles—First of all, I did away with all the funky Hebrew title syntax and just called it by what a person speaking English would call it: Mormon’s Book and Nephi’s First Book. Nephi’s First Book Of His Reign and Ministry presupposes that there is at least one other such book, and there is: Nephi’s Second Book, which is also of his reign and ministry. The difference between the two is that the first book deals with his reign over and ministry to his brothers, whereas the second book deals with his reign over and ministry to his people (for the brothers split and formed the Lamanites.)

No more broken sentences—It is not correct English to say: “An account of that.” No, you need to say, “This is an account of that.” The function remains the same, even though the syntax is different in the two languages. Joseph, though, keeps the Hebrew syntax intact, creating a non-English sentence. (Never mind that we can still understand it. That is simply the immense power of English to communicate, even when written and spoken incorrectly.)

Lord to Jehovah—There is no need to hide the name of God anymore. This translation is not intended to hide meaning, but to reveal it, therefore all the “Lord’s” are converted into “Jehovah’s.” (You can think of a functional translation as an unfolded translation, which reveals what a native speaker of the source tongue would understand by the source text.)

Doubtless a great mystery is contained within these plates, and these interpreters were doubtless prepared for the purpose of unfolding all such mysteries to the children of men.  (Mosiah 8:19)

I, Nephi and my father, Lehi—In the source language, these demarcations indicate a switching of gears. When Nephi is talking of himself and then he switches to talking of his father, he uses, “my father, Lehi” to make note of the switch.  When he is talking of his father and then he switches to talking of himself, he uses, “I, Nephi.” These things are not necessary in English because we can understand the narration just fine with a simple “I” or “my father.” Also, “I, Nephi” can mean “I am Nephi” and “My name is Nephi” and also “I myself” or “I personally,” emphasizing that the person speaking is going to show something through their own power, with an emphasis on “I”. Etc. My translation takes advantage of these nuances. Joseph’s does not.

Clause orders reversed—In English we say “I did this because of that,” not “Because of that I did this.” The latter syntax is fine for Hebrew, but in English it’s bad. Converting it into the proper English order, although a different syntax, does not reduce the function.

Functional translations are plain—Starting in 1 Nephi 1: 1, it can be plainly seen what the functional translation is trying to say, namely that Nephi is uniquely qualified to write what he is writing and that this book is a book of divine manifestations. There is nothing secular even implied. Now, a Gentile might read Joseph’s translation of 1 Ne. 1:1 and say, “But the text doesn’t say that!” That’s true, the words in Joseph’s translation do not implicitly state what is in my translation, but that is because it isn’t a functional one, but merely a word-for-word one. For example, the movie “Like Water for Chocolate” is a translated movie, from Spanish to English. The title was translated word-for-word from Como Agua Para Chocolate into Like Water For Chocolate (Como=Like, Agua=Water, Para=For, and Chocolate=Chocolate.) To a Spaniard, though, what those four words are referring to is the making of hot chocolate, which is made with nearly-boiling water. The meaning to a Spaniard then is: At the Boiling Point, meaning that things are getting so hectic that the protagonist of the movie is about to explode. The English title translation doesn’t communicate the function of the original Spanish text, it merely translates the four words of the original title word-for-word. So, for example, a Gentile that says that Joseph’s translation, which says, “like water for chocolate” doesn’t say what my translation converts it into (“at the boiling point”), would be both right and wrong. On a word-for-word level, that’s true, it doesn’t say that. But on a functional level, it communicates exactly what the author was trying to convey.

Some examples of this in my translation are “which consists of the learning of the Jews and the language of the Egyptians” converted into “which is Egyptian used by the Jews as if it were Hebrew,” or “I know that the record which I make is true; and I make it with mine own hand; and I make it according to my knowledge” converted into “I testify that the book that I am writing is true; and I alone am writing it, by my own hand; and I am writing it according to my firsthand knowledge,” etc.

Yeas—The word translated by Joseph Smith as “yea” means “yes” on a word-for-word basis, but “indeed” or “in fact” or “in truth” on a functional level, and when used with “and” the order should be reversed in English, so that “yea, and” becomes “and in fact.” But these affirmative additions in Hebrew are not always necessary when encoding the function into English, and so they often can be left out.

And it came to pass that—This phrase, found in the scriptures, and more especially in the Book of Mormon, is merely an indicator that “this is the next thing that happened.” It is not meant to be translated out into words, but the KJV translators, and also Joseph Smith, did so anyway. And so we get 50 million “and it came to passes” in the Book of Mormon. Pretty much every single one can be left out of the text without changing the meaning one iota. English doesn’t need them to convey the source function. It can be translated as “then,” or as “afterward” or as “so then” etc., or it can be merely left out.

At Jerusalem—The functional understanding of “at” + [city] means “in the land of [city].”

First year/same year—The reason why Nephi even mentions these facts (in 1 Ne. 1:4), as well as the fact that Lehi lived there all his life, is to show that he has personal knowledge of what he is saying, since, as he is Lehi’s son, he also must have lived at Jerusalem his whole life.

As he went forth—The function of this expression in 1 Ne. 1:5 is to show that Lehi routinely left the land of Jerusalem. This is why verse 7 says, per Joseph Smith:

And it came to pass that he returned to his own house at Jerusalem; and he cast himself upon his bed, being overcome with the Spirit and the things which he had seen.

Behold—The function of the word Joseph translated as “behold” means “pay attention to what follows.” Unfortunately, we don’t use the word “behold” very much in modern speech, therefore it doesn’t have the effect on us that it should. Perhaps in Joseph Smith’s time it did, but not any longer. So, to make it have the oomph it needs to have, to draw the readers attention to what follows, it needs to be translated as “notice that” or as “observe this.”

Saying—”Saying” is a marker in the source language and it was never intended to be translated out. It literally means “to say” and it indicates that what follows is a direct quotation. In English, when we want to show a direct quotation, we use “comma, quotation mark…” And that is how it is supposed to be translated, not as the word, “saying.”

Why we have only word-for-word translations

I suspect that both the King James Version translators (who did a word-for-word translation of the Bible) and Joseph Smith (in his continual use of the KJV translation style, both for the Book of Mormon, the Book of Abraham, the JST of the Bible, and also for his revelations in the D&C), were divinely inspired of God, so as to keep the Restoration of the Fulness of Times at less than a “1/100th part” of the total Restoration. In other words, I now believe that Joseph Smith’s translations and revelations were intended to keep almost all of the facts hidden so that when Joseph-Nephi goes back over these things to re-translate them into plain English (and into other languages), not only are we going to get the 116 lost pages of the Book of Mormon restored, but the text of the Book of Mormon will now be a fully functional translation, so that now the Gentiles will fully comprehend all the Nephite meanings. Hence, we will get a fulfillment of these prophecies:

Because of their faith their words shall proceed forth out of my mouth unto their brethren who are the fruit of thy loins; and the weakness of their words will I make strong in their faith, unto the remembering of my covenant which I made unto thy fathers.  (2 Ne. 3:21)

And the words which I have written in weakness will be made strong unto them  (2 Ne. 33:4)

So, even the English translations we have will be strengthened by the Lord, through the faith of the Josephite.

Expressing beyond Joseph Smith’s language

Your eyes have been upon my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., and his language you have known, and his imperfections you have known; and you have sought in your hearts knowledge that you might express beyond his language; this you also know.

Now, seek ye out of the Book of Commandments, even the least that is among them, and appoint him that is the most wise among you; or, if there be any among you that shall make one like unto it, then ye are justified in saying that ye do not know that they are true; but if ye cannot make one like unto it, ye are under condemnation if ye do not bear record that they are true. For ye know that there is no unrighteousness in them, and that which is righteous cometh down from above, from the Father of lights. (D&C 67:5-9)

Notice that the Lord merely says that the language of Joseph has no unrighteousness in them, not that that it is strong or powerful. So, as the saints did desire to express beyond Joseph’s language, and as God grants to His saints what they desire to have, it would not surprise me if we are slated to get at some point a new, vastly improved and quite different English version of the entire canon, courtesy of the Josephite.

New witnesses must appear

Keeping in mind that if I am right on this point—that the Josephite will re-translate the Standard Works, including the Book of Mormon, and all the revelations of Joseph, into exceedingly plain and powerful English—then the Book of Mormon he brings forth will not look in any way like what we currently have.  So the Three Witnesses of the Book of Mormon, whose testimony is affixed to Joseph Smith’s translation, cannot be affixed to the new edition.  Three new men must be selected to witness that the vastly different re-translation is of God.  This means that those prophecies in the Book of Mormon that speak of the witnesses to the book must have a dual fulfillment, and the second fulfillment will really be the primary fulfillment, while the first fulfillment was merely a shadow.

The full power of the Urim and Thummim to be employed

The Lord said this about the Urim and Thummim, or the interpreters, as the Nephites called them:

For behold, the language which ye shall write I have confounded; wherefore I will cause in my own due time that these stones shall magnify to the eyes of men these things which ye shall write. (Ether 3:24)

When something is magnified, it becomes larger and you can notice more detail about it. Thus, when translating ancient (or even modern) languages, a seer (using the Urim and Thummim) can notice and fully understand all the functions of the text, but notice that Joseph Smith didn’t really use the Urim and Thummim, except at the very beginning of the translation of the Book of Mormon, in which he produced the 116 lost manuscript pages. As they became lost, no one but Joseph, his scribe and a few others (such as the people who stole them) ever got to see them. For the rest of the translation, he used a “seer stone” and interestingly enough, what he produced wasn’t a functional translation, but merely a word-for-word translation. The use of the Urim and Thummim for the first part may have been necessary for a shadow fulfillment of Moroni’s prophecy that the Book of Mormon would be translated by the Urim and Thummim. But as the shadow is never meant to be the principal fulfillment, those pages went missing and the Urim and Thummim was taken from Joseph and never returned, and we ended up with a translation produced by a single, solitary “seer stone.” So, it may have been that Joseph, using the seer stone, could not notice and fully understand all the functions of the text, and thus produced a word-for-word translation, which was what he could perceive through the use of the stone, and later on, even without it.

When the Urim and Thummim is given to the next seer, then, it will be used to produce a fully functional text in English, for the next seer will perceive every functional nuance of the original language, but that is only half of the work of translation, because then you need to encode those functions into the target language, and every man is limited both by his knowledge of the target language (which is usually his own) and also by the limitations of the target language to express the functions of the source language. English is an extensive language, having not only a lot of words, but also a whole lot of shades of meaning, so attempting to know all of the various English words and ways of expression seems to me like an impossible task, but perhaps it is not necessary to know everything, for most English speakers don’t use the entire gamut of the English lexicon anyway. Perhaps they use only, say, several thousand words over their whole lifetime, and so let’s say that a seer may be able to learn the number of words necessary. But what about the functional limitations of a language?

Impossible translations

It is often impossible to decode the functions from one language and then encode all those same functions into a second language.  Everyone who knows two or more languages knows that each language has strengths and weaknesses and they are not always the same, and often what needs to happen is the use of circumlocution, which is speaking in a round-about way to communicate the general idea of the source language function to the target language audience, because there is no direct way to do it.  For example, if I say, “She sells sea shells by the sea shore,” and then I tell you to translate that into another language, you may be able to translate the word function but perhaps not the sound and affect functions (all the ‘s’ sounds and the tongue-tying effect.)  Depending upon what the functions are, it may simply be impossible to do.

But remember that the Josephite is going to be working in the spirit of power, so even though it may be impossible for you and me and everyone else, that isn’t going to be able to stop him from doing it.  If necessary, he will alter the target language miraculously, so that now these functions will be able to be expressed in it, new words appearing instantly with etymological histories already attached.  (Remember what was stated about the Lamanites in the post, The definition of eternal!)  So, we are in for days that will cause everybody, both believer and unbeliever alike, to gape in amazement.

More on Joseph Smith’s translations

In the above side-by-side comparison, we see that Joseph translated the engravings into English pretty much word-for-word, writing out each clause as they appeared on the plates. Although his translation still retains meaning, a translator isn’t supposed to simply convert a word from one language into an equivalent word in the target language, because there are idioms and word plays and other functions in the text that give fuller meanings and understandings to the one who knows the language. So, a translator must be familiar enough with the source language to fully understand the text and all its intricate functions in that language, and also must be familiar enough with the target language to be able to convert the functions and not just the words of the source text, into the target language. Joseph Smith didn’t do this. He merely converted one word into another word and when the output text didn’t make any sense in English, or not enough sense, or when it seemed to say the opposite of what it was intended to say, then he took what he translated out and made it more readable and understandable by doing the slightest functional translation he could. To demonstrate what I’m talking about, consider the two versions of the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible, the first draft and the revised draft:

1851 Edition of the Pearl of Great Price (First draft of the JST) 1878 Edition of the Pearl of Great Price (Revised draft of the JST)
Behold, this is my work to my glory, to the immortality and eternal life of man. For this is my work and my glory, to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.
blessed be the name of God for my transgression, for in this life I shall have joy, Blessed be the name of God, for because of my transgression my eyes are opened, and in this life I shall have joy,
Behold, you have driven me out this day from the face of men, and from your face shall I be hid also; … And it shall come to pass, everyone that finds me will slay me because of my oath. Behold thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the Lord, and from thy face shall I be hid; … and it shall come to pass, that he that findeth me will slay me, because of mine iniquities.
inasmuch as they were born into the world by the fall which bringeth death, by Water and Blood and the Spirit, which I have made, and so become of dust a living soul, even so ye must be born again of Water and the Spirit, and cleansed by Blood, even the Blood of mine Only Begotten, into the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven. By reason of transgression cometh the fall, which fall bringeth death, and inasmuch as ye were born into the world by water, and blood, and the spirit, which I have made, and so became of dust a living soul, even so ye must be born again into the kingdom of heaven, of water, and of the Spirit, and be cleansed by blood, even the blood of mine Only Begotten.

(Btw, I took the above from the article, How We Got the Book of Moses.)

There is also Alma 46:40, which was improved by Joseph Smith after the first version:

And there were some who died with fevers, which at some seasons of the year was very frequent in the land—but not so much so with fevers, because of the excellent qualities of the many plants and roots which God had prepared to remove the cause of diseases, which was subsequent to man by the nature of the climate— (earliest version) And there were some who died with fevers, which at some seasons of the year were very frequent in the land—but not so much so with fevers, because of the excellent qualities of the many plants and roots which God had prepared to remove the cause of diseases, to which men were subject by the nature of the climate—(current version)

This shows that Joseph Smith didn’t really do a functional translation, but instead he gave us a word-for-word translation.

Don’t compare the seed to the mature tree

Mark Twain wrote this about the Book of Mormon:

All men have heard of the Mormon Bible, but few, except the elect have seen it or at least taken the trouble to read it. I brought away a copy from Salt Lake. The book is a curiosity to me. It is such a pretentious affair and yet so slow, so sleepy, such an insipid mess of inspiration. It is chloroform in print.

If Joseph Smith composed this book, the act was a miracle. Keeping awake while he did it, was at any rate. If he, according to tradition, merely translated it from certain ancient and mysteriously engraved plates of copper, which he declares he found under a stone, in an out of the way locality, the work of translating it was equally a miracle for the same reason.

The book seems to be merely a prosy detail of imaginary history with the Old Testament for a model followed by a tedious plagiarism of the New Testament. The author labored to give his words and phrases the quaint old fashioned sound and structure of our King James translation of the scriptures. The result is a mongrel, half modern glibness and half ancient simplicity and gravity. The latter is awkward and constrained, the former natural, but grotesque by the contrast. Whenever he found his speech growing too modern, which was about every sentence or two, he ladled in a few such scriptural phrases as, “exceeding sore,” “and it came to pass,” etc. and made things satisfactory again. “And it came to pass,” was his pet. If he had left that out, his bible would have been only a pamphlet. (Taken from here and with corrected spelling.)

What Twain was looking at was the seed. Everything we have in scripture is simply in seed form, almost entirely folded up and devoid of functionality. Knowing this allows us to reply to assessments like Twain’s by saying, “Wait a bit. This is just a foundational seed and it is going grow into something that will knock your socks off.”

Now, we know that the scriptures that we have are going to be dumbfounding when converted into their functional form, because they are not man’s words, but God’s words, and God’s words are always greater than man’s words. In fact, God’s [fill-in-the-blank] is always greater than man’s [equivalent fill-in-the-blank.]

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: so shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. (Isa. 55:8-11)

So, when the scriptures are converted from their present seed form into their fully functional, mature tree form, these works of literature are going to outstrip every and all literary works combined that man has ever been able to produce. God is going to show to the world that man is absolutely nothing compared to Him. The current release of His word in seed form to man is almost like a running joke, a game that He is playing, and the joke is on us because we are so ignorant and stupid that we look at the seed and say, “Bah! That’s ain’t nothing! I can do much better than that! Is that all you got? That’s the best that you can do?” And so forth, like idiot children who know nothing at all about anything, who when presented with a seed they’ve never seen before and told, “This is the most amazing thing you’ll ever see,” they don’t understand that it’s still in seed form and that when it sprouts, after they have ridiculed both the seed and the Man that planted it, they are going to eat their words and be put to shame.

Speaking of words, there is also this to consider:

Mighty in word and deed

Lehi prophesied this about the Josephite:

And there shall rise up one mighty among them, who shall do much good, both in word and in deed, being an instrument in the hands of God, with exceeding faith, to work mighty wonders, and do that thing which is great in the sight of God, unto the bringing to pass much restoration unto the house of Israel, and unto the seed of thy brethren. (2 Ne. 3:24)

So, he will be mighty both in word and in deed. There are only four individuals in our current canon who are referred to as being “mighty in word and in deed.” Moses was one of them. Christ was one of them. Nephi was another one. And the last one will be the Josephite.

And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds. (Acts 7:22)

And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people: (Luke 24:19)

And now, because thou hast done this with such unwearyingness, behold, I will bless thee forever; and I will make thee mighty in word and in deed, in faith and in works; yea, even that all things shall be done unto thee according to thy word, for thou shalt not ask that which is contrary to my will. (Hel. 10:5)

I have repeatedly emphasized that Joseph-Nephi will be the greatest miracle worker bar none, but that only covers deeds. His words, both spoken and written, are also going to enter into the realm of the impossible.

Another functional translation

Just for fun, I will do another functional translation, of a scripture that causes a lot of confusion among latter-day saints. I do this to show that a word-for-word translation might give one impression of the meaning of the source language text, while a functional translation of the same text might give exactly the opposite, or at least a vastly different impression of the meaning. So here is Jacob 2:23-24 word-for-word translated by Joseph Smith and functionally translated by me:

Joseph Smith’s Translation My Translation
But the word of God burdens me because of your grosser crimes. For behold, thus saith the Lord:

This people begin to wax in iniquity; they understand not the scriptures, for they seek to excuse themselves in committing whoredoms, because of the things which were written concerning David, and Solomon his son.

Behold, David and Solomon truly had many wives and concubines, which thing was abominable before me,

saith the Lord.

But God’s word weighs heavily upon my shoulders because of your grosser crimes. For notice that this is what Jehovah says,

“These people begin to grow iniquitous, for they do not understand the scriptures that were written about David and his son Solomon having many wives and concubines, and thus they seek to excuse themselves in committing whoredoms, which has always been abominable to me,”

says Jehovah.

Fulness has two stages or forms: seed and sprouted

The functional translations for the Standard Works can be considered part of the developing fulness of the gospel and scriptures. We currently have the fulness of the gospel in word-for-word (seed) form, but later, when we get it in functional form, there will be Gentiles that are going to reject that particular form of the fulness. The example above shows the reason for the rejection, because there are two forms or stages of gospel fulness, seed (folded) and sprouted (unfolded), and not everyone is going to like the sprouted form, because it gives the plain meaning, without any room to wiggle around it.

Plainness for Nephi and even for Isaiah

Nephi wrote the words of Isaiah and said that Isaiah’s words “are plain unto all those that are filled with the spirit of prophecy” (2 Ne. 25:4.) He also said that

in the days that the prophecies of Isaiah shall be fulfilled men shall know of a surety, at the times when they shall come to pass. Wherefore, they are of worth unto the children of men, and he that supposeth that they are not, unto them will I speak particularly, and confine the words unto mine own people; for I know that they shall be of great worth unto them in the last days; for in that day shall they understand them; wherefore, for their good have I written them. (2 Ne. 25:7-8)

Nephi also said of his own words that “I proceed with mine own prophecy, according to my plainness; in the which I know that no man can err” (2 Ne. 25:7.) And yet, men do err over Nephi’s words, so Nephi is not speaking of nobody erring while his words are in their seed stage, but when they are transformed into their functional form. The same goes for Isaiah, which is going to completely shock the world, for Isaiah is hard to understand and nobody but liars and bona fide prophets—and I know of no prophet—can read Isaiah in seed form plainly. So, “the words of Isaiah are not plain” (2 Ne. 25:4) to anyone currently in existence.

The transformation of Isaiah’s words from seed to sprouted form will be part of the reason why in “the last days,” when Isaiah’s prophecies start to come to pass, men will know of a surety and will understand them and will look upon them as “of great worth.” Nobody is going to be left with even one single excuse that “they didn’t understand” God’s words. Everything we have is about to be

given unto [men] in plainness, even as plain as word can be. (2 Ne. 32:7)

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The “dispensational counting” thought


Recently I had a curious thought pop into my mind about how the Dispensation of the Fulness of Times (DFT) is actually counted.  Basically, the thought was that the DFT began to be ushered in

Neither can they nor we be made perfect without those who have died in the gospel also; for it is necessary in the ushering in of the dispensation of the fulness of times, which dispensation is now beginning to usher in, that a whole and complete and perfect union, and welding together of dispensations, and keys, and powers, and glories should take place, and be revealed from the days of Adam even to the present time. And not only this, but those things which never have been revealed from the foundation of the world, but have been kept hid from the wise and prudent, shall be revealed unto babes and sucklings in this, the dispensation of the fulness of times.  (D&C 128:18)

with Joseph Smith’s First Vision and was then put on hold upon his death, but that it would be resumed with the appearance of the fully empowered Josephite.  In the interim, the Dispensation of the Last Days and Last Times would be in force, which is the dispensation we are in right now.

For unto you, the Twelve, and those, the First Presidency, who are appointed with you to be your counselors and your leaders, is the power of this priesthood given, for the last days and for the last time, in the which is the dispensation of the fulness of times, which power you hold, in connection with all those who have received a dispensation at any time from the beginning of the creation; for verily I say unto you, the keys of the dispensation, which ye have received, have come down from the fathers, and last of all, being sent down from heaven unto you.  (D&C 112:30-32)

Unto whom I have committed the keys of my kingdom, and a dispensation of the gospel for the last times; and for the fulness of times, in the which I will gather together in one all things, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth;  (D&C 27:13)

So this got me wondering how long Joseph Smith’s ministry actually lasted.  In JS—H 1:3, Joseph Smith writes of his birthday:

I was born in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and five, on the twenty-third day of December

and D&C 135:1,6 says this about his death day:

…we announce the martyrdom of Joseph Smith the Prophet, and Hyrum Smith the Patriarch. They were shot in Carthage jail, on the 27th of June, 1844

…Joseph Smith was thirty-eight in December, 1843

Joseph Smith wrote this (in JS—H 1:14) about when his First Vision took place:

It was on the morning of a beautiful, clear day, early in the spring of eighteen hundred and twenty.

So, he was born on 23 December, 1805, and he was a little more than 14 years old “early in the spring of” 1820.  He died on 27 June, 1844, at the age of about 38 and a half.  So, the visions and revelations that Joseph Smith received lasted a little more than 24 years.

Then I remembered D&C 130:14-17:

I was once praying very earnestly to know the time of the coming of the Son of Man, when I heard a voice repeat the following:

Joseph, my son, if thou livest until thou art eighty-five years old, thou shalt see the face of the Son of Man; therefore let this suffice, and trouble me no more on this matter.

I was left thus, without being able to decide whether this coming referred to the beginning of the millennium or to some previous appearing, or whether I should die and thus see his face.  I believe the coming of the Son of Man will not be any sooner than that time.

and I wondered whether the answer that Joseph received was, in fact, the answer to his inquiry.  (Notice that Joseph had three options presented to him as to the meaning of this revelation and he chose to interpret it as option number one: the Second Coming.)  In other words, had Joseph not died on 27 June, 1844, the Millennium would have begun when he was 85 years old, because of the way the DFT is counted.

Now, I guess I ought to say this, by way of explanation.  My understanding is that Joseph Smith had a choice: avoid death and continue on with the restoration, with all the hindering going on, or take a rest and allow his enemies to kill him, and thus let the second seer (Joseph-Nephi) to finish the work, which seer, because of the working of miracles, etc., would not be hindered like Joseph was.  Joseph Smith chose, of course, to rest from his labors and to let the next guy finish the restoration.  He would still receive all the honor coming to him as the one who single-handedly laid the foundation, despite all the opposition and hindrance, without the working of miracles or any of the other useful gifts the next guy would have.

Okay, so, assuming that 85 years is the actual number of years, and given that Joseph died at age 38 and 1/2, the remaining years would be 85 minus 38.5, which is 46 and 1/2 years.  The counting, then, of the DFT prior to the Second Coming, would be the 24 years of Joseph Smith’s ministry (the foundation of the restoration of all things) plus the remaining 46 and 1/2 years (the finishing of the restoration of all things), making 70 and 1/2 years total.  The counting of the 46 and 1/2 years would resume with the advent of the fully empowered Josephite.  In other words, once the Josephite makes his appearance, we can expect the Second Coming to happen about 46 and 1/2 years later.

Then I got to thinking about the sixth thousand years, given that there are now less than 17 years left of it (as of 6 April, 2016.)  In order for the prophecies to be fulfilled, the Josephite must show up at some point during the next 17 years.  He cannot show up in the seventh thousand years.  That would be too late.  So, whenever he appears, we can count from that point on to the end of the sixth thousand years, and then whatever amount is left of the 46 and 1/2 years must be counted as occurring during the beginning of the seventh thousand years.

Again, when I looked at the total number of years (70 and 1/2), I thought, “That’s pretty close to 70,” seventy being a number used often in end time and other prophecy.

One last thing, there is also the curious manifested belief I received on 2 January 2009, about Joseph Smith being back in the flesh.  (See this comment.)  I still don’t have any confirmation on that.  (In other words, I don’t know if it is true or not.)  But if it turns out to be true, or if it is assumed to be true, I wondered if the DFT should be counted as resumed from that date?  I would have said, “Yes,” had the proclamation been issued, but it never was.  And there have been no new revelations or anything, from any quarter, since that date (not counting my own revelations, of course, which are received from time to time, but which only apply to myself.)  So, based upon this dearth of heavenly manifestations, I have to say, “No.”  So, the DFT will be resumed with the Josephite and his revelations, I suppose, and not merely with the return of Joseph Smith from the land of the dead.  Given that Joseph Smith must appear to the Josephite and appoint him as the next seer, I suppose that Joseph-Nephi will then turn around and send Joseph Smith to issue his proclamation.  In other words, the Josephite will be the man in charge, and so the proclamation will be issued on his order.  The return of Joseph Smith in the flesh may still have occurred on or by 2 Jan. 2009, but all is still waiting until the Josephite becomes strong.

Anyway, none of this means anything.  These were just curious thoughts that I wanted to record on this blog and also to see where they lead.  In other words, I have received no revelations or manifestations confirming any of this stuff.

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Where We Are on the Prophetic Timeline: The Times of Types and Shadows


Not too long ago I came across a post from the Upward Thought blog called, The Seals of the Book of Revelation Do Not Represent Each 1000 Years, and, to be honest, I just skimmed through it at the time, but I caught that it put forth the idea that the seals mentioned by John the Revelator were still future events and that D&C 77 wasn’t reliable information.  I discounted the latter idea (about D&C 77) but decided to review the book of Revelation later concerning the seals.  I then forgot all about it.

Then I published the last post (The definition of eternal) and I found myself quoting from section 77 of the Doctrine and Covenants, so I thought maybe I ought not to put off looking at the book of Revelation and D&C 77 and also other prophetic timelines.  The new scriptural search I did took my old beliefs concerning these things and tossed them right out the window.  I now have a new understanding, which I will share right now.

I will use today’s date [Monday, March 21, 2016] and insert it into each of these prophetic timelines to show where we are.

John’s apocalyptic book of Revelation

Past

JST Rev. 4:1After this I looked, and behold, a door was opened into heaven; and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said,

Come up hither, and I will show thee things which must be hereafter.

Present

[Monday, March 21, 2016]

Future

Revelation 4:2 and on.

Explanation:  Everything John saw, whether it was in the extreme future—(for example: JST Rev. 4:6“And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal” and D&C 77:1“Q. What is the sea of glass spoken of by John, 4th chapter, and 6th verse of the Revelation?  A. It is the earth, in its sanctified, immortal, and eternal state.)—or in the extreme past (for example: JST Rev. 12:6“And there was war in heaven;”) were to signify “things which must be hereafter,” meaning after the time of John’s vision.

The Revelation of John is the revelation of the seven seals and the events that take place once these seals are opened:

D&C 77:6Q. What are we to understand by the book which John saw, which was sealed on the back with seven seals?

A. We are to understand that it contains the revealed will, mysteries, and the works of God; the hidden things of his economy concerning this earth during the seven thousand years of its continuance, or its temporal existence.

7Q. What are we to understand by the seven seals with which it was sealed?

A. We are to understand that the first seal contains the things of the first thousand years, and the second also of the second thousand years, and so on until the seventh.

The first seal, then, is a revelation of the “will, mysteries, and the works of God; the hidden things of his economy concerning this earth during the first thousand years of its continuance, or its temporal existence.”  The second seal is a revelation of the “will, mysteries, and the works of God; the hidden things of his economy concerning this earth during the second thousand years of its continuance, or its temporal existence.”  And so on until the seventh.

After each seal is opened, or after each revelation is unfolded in the eyes of the people, John saw events happen on earth.  These events were future to him.

When are the earthly events associated with the opening of these seals supposed to happen?  The Book of Mormon gives us the answer:

Ether 4:13Come unto me, O ye Gentiles, and I will show unto you the greater things, the knowledge which is hid up because of unbelief.

14Come unto me, O ye house of Israel, and it shall be made manifest unto you how great things the Father hath laid up for you, from the foundation of the world; and it hath not come unto you, because of unbelief.

15Behold, when ye shall rend that veil of unbelief which doth cause you to remain in your awful state of wickedness, and hardness of heart, and blindness of mind, then shall the great and marvelous things which have been hid up from the foundation of the world from you—yea, when ye shall call upon the Father in my name, with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, then shall ye know that the Father hath remembered the covenant which he made unto your fathers, O house of Israel.

16And then shall my revelations which I have caused to be written by my servant John be unfolded in the eyes of all the people. Remember, when ye see these things, ye shall know that the time is at hand that they shall be made manifest in very deed.

So, first the Book of Mormon has to come forth (and remember, this hasn’t happened, yet.)  Then, the Lord’s people must rend the veil of unbelief.  Once that happens, the seals will begin to be opened and the revelations of each of the thousand years will be given to the saints, and the accompanying earth events associated with these revelations will go forth.

Again, when do these seals get opened?

D&C 77:10Q. What time are the things spoken of in this [7th] chapter to be accomplished?

A. They are to be accomplished in the sixth thousand years, or the opening of the sixth seal.

12Q. What are we to understand by the sounding of the trumpets, mentioned in the 8th chapter of Revelation?

A. We are to understand that as God made the world in six days, and on the seventh day he finished his work, and sanctified it, and also formed man out of the dust of the earth, even so, in the beginning of the seventh thousand years will the Lord God sanctify the earth, and complete the salvation of man, and judge all things, and shall redeem all things, except that which he hath not put into his power, when he shall have sealed all things, unto the end of all things; and the sounding of the trumpets of the seven angels are the preparing and finishing of his work, in the beginning of the seventh thousand years—the preparing of the way before the time of his coming.

13Q. When are the things to be accomplished, which are written in the 9th chapter of Revelation?

A. They are to be accomplished after the opening of the seventh seal, before the coming of Christ.

So the events associated with the opening of the first six seals take place during the sixth thousand years, while the events associated with the opening of the seventh seal take place “in the beginning of the seventh thousand years.”

Given that none of these things have occurred yet, we can assume that the “meridian of time” in which Jesus came is an uncounted portion of these thousands of years.  As there were 4,000 years before the birth of Christ, this means that the fifth thousand years began in AD 33 and the sixth thousand years began in AD 1033 and will end in 2033.  So, between now [March 21, 2016] and April 6th, 2033, the events associated with the opening of the first six seals must take place, and the events associated with the opening of the seventh seal will take place after April 6th, 2033.

In other words, not a single thing from the book of Revelations has happened, yet.  What we—and all the Christians and others who look at the book of Revelation and then say, “Prophecy is happening before our very eyes!”—are seeing are merely types and shadows.

Now, going back to the Upward Thought blog and actually reading it this time, it seems that the idea for the seals being events future to John actually comes from Joseph Smith himself.  So, I guess I’m in good company on this.  Quoting from that blog post:

It turns out we do have teachings from Joseph Smith on the Book of Revelation outside of D&C 77. This comes from “Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith”:

There is a grand difference and distinction between the visions and figures spoken of by the ancient prophets, and those spoken of in the revelations of John. The things which John saw had no allusion to the scenes of the days of Adam, Enoch, Abraham or Jesus, only so far as is plainly represented by John, and clearly set forth by him. John saw that only which was lying in futurity and which was shortly subject: “The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him, to show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and He sent and signified it by His angel unto His servant John: who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of his prophecy and keep those things that are written therein: for the time is at hand.” Also Rev. 4:1. “After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven; and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will show thee things which must be hereafter.”….Now, I make this declaration, that those things which John saw in heaven had no allusion to anything that had been on the earth previous to that time, because they were the representation of “things which must shortly come to pass,” and not of what has already transpired. John saw beasts that had to do with things on the earth, but not in past ages. The beasts which John saw had to devour the inhabitants of the earth in days to come. ….The revelations do not give us to understand anything of the past in relation to the kingdom of God. What John saw and speaks of were things which he saw in heaven; those which Daniel saw were on and pertaining to the earth.

Nephi’s apocalyptic vision

Past

1 Ne. 13:1And it came to pass that the angel spake unto me, saying:

Look!

And I looked and beheld many nations and kingdoms.  2And the angel said unto me:

What beholdest thou?

And I said:

I behold many nations and kingdoms.

3And he said unto me:

These are the nations and kingdoms of the Gentiles.

Present

[Monday, March 21, 2016]

Future

4And it came to pass that I saw among the nations of the Gentiles the formation of a great church.  5And the angel said unto me:

Behold the formation of a church which is most abominable above all other churches, which slayeth the saints of God, yea, and tortureth them and bindeth them down, and yoketh them with a yoke of iron, and bringeth them down into captivity.

There certainly are, and have been, many nations and kingdoms of the Gentiles, but there has been no formation of the great and abominable church among the nations of the Gentiles, as yet.  This church’s formation is the first sign of the apocalypse and last days events.  Notice, though, that there are already saints of God on the scene when this church is formed, for the church begins to torture and kill and imprison them.  The fact that there are latter-day saints on the earth today among the nations and kingdoms of the Gentiles means that all is in prophetic readiness.  We are just awaiting the formation of this quite literal church.

People are free to apply the portion of the vision found in 1 Ne. 13:4 through 1 Ne. 14 to the events of today, but it is my understanding that these are just types and shadows.  Now, let’s fast-forward to:

1 Ne. 14:15And it came to pass that I beheld that the wrath of God was poured out upon that great and abominable church, insomuch that there were wars and rumors of wars among all the nations and kindreds of the earth.  16And as there began to be wars and rumors of wars among all the nations which belonged to the mother of abominations, the angel spake unto me, saying:

Behold, the wrath of God is upon the mother of harlots; and behold, thou seest all these things—17and when the day cometh that the wrath of God is poured out upon the mother of harlots, which is the great and abominable church of all the earth, whose founder is the devil, then, at that day, the work of the Father shall commence, in preparing the way for the fulfilling of his covenants, which he hath made to his people who are of the house of Israel.

Then Nephi is shown John, who the angel says will write the rest of the apocalyptic vision. And what is the rest of the vision? The opening of the seals.

Nephi’s end times prophecy

In 2 Ne. 25 Nephi gives an end time prophecy which he finishes in 2 Ne. 30.  “I give unto you a prophecy, according to the spirit which is in me” (2 Ne. 25:4), “I proceed with mine own prophecy, according to my plainness” (2 Ne. 25:7), “And now, my beloved brethren, I make an end of my sayings” (2 Ne. 30:18), and “And now I, Nephi, make an end of my prophesying unto you, my beloved brethren” (2 Ne. 31:1).  Where do we fit into the timeline of this prophecy?  Here:

Past

2 Ne. 26:14But behold, I prophesy unto you concerning the last days; concerning the days when the Lord God shall bring these things forth unto the children of men.  15After my seed and the seed of my brethren shall have dwindled in unbelief,

Present

[Monday, March 21, 2016]

Future

15and shall have been smitten by the Gentiles; yea, after the Lord God shall have camped against them round about, and shall have laid siege against them with a mount, and raised forts against them; and after they shall have been brought down low in the dust, even that they are not, yet the words of the righteous shall be written, and the prayers of the faithful shall be heard, and all those who have dwindled in unbelief shall not be forgotten.

The Gentiles have not yet brought the remnant so low in the dust that they are not. They’ve come close, but it’s not a perfect fulfillment, so what happened previously was yet another shadow fulfillment.  This means that most of chapter 26 and all of chapters 27-30 are still future events.

Daniel’s apocalyptic visions

Daniel’s end time visions, found in Daniel chapters 7 to 12, largely deal with kingdoms and kings.   John’s vision also dealt with kingdoms and kings.  Although our times [Monday, March 21, 2016] have some kingdoms among a bunch of nations, most of these kingdoms are constitutional monarchies, with essentially powerless kings.  The future, as I understand it, will mark a return to the absolute monarchy.  This is why both Daniel and John speak at great length about these things, which are largely absent today.  Daniel, then, saw things that are still future to us.

Some loose ends and final thoughts

Nephi prophesied:

1 Ne. 22:7And it meaneth that the time cometh that after all the house of Israel have been scattered and confounded, that the Lord God will raise up a mighty nation among the Gentiles, yea, even upon the face of this land; and by them shall our seed be scattered.

This mighty nation is typically interpreted by latter-day saints as being The United States of America under the United States Constitution, but that might be just a shadow fulfillment.  It may, instead, be The United States of America under the New Articles of Confederation (NAC).  I prophesied that the Josephite restorer will use his faith to bring us into a new set of perfected articles of confederation, and this event would certainly qualify as fulfilling Nephi’s prophecy that “the Lord God will raise up a mighty nation among the Gentiles.”  In other words, God Himself, using His miraculous power, will create a new nation in a day, through His appointed miracle-working seer.  Such an event shows God directly raising up the nation Himself, explicitly fulfilling the prophecy.  There would be no need to “try and make current events fit” into the prophecy, like is done with the Revolutionary War.  They would simply fit, altogether perfectly.

If, then, the NAC is the document that the Josephite is going to cause to be installed, by his faith, then its installation must precede the scattering and smiting of the remnant.  But what about the great and abominable church?  Does it precede or follow the NAC’s installation?

An interesting thing about the NAC is its strong language against kings and secret combinations.  I think, then, that the formation of the great and abominable church may be a sort of knee-jerk reaction against the Josephite and the new set of articles of confederation that he puts in place.  So I give it as my opinion that first comes the Josephite and the NAC (or something like it) and a slew of miracles from this guy, and then we get the rapid formation of the abominable church, in order for the wicked to try to deal with and stop him.

I say this because not only are saints on the scene when the abominable church is formed, but also miracles also appear to be on the scene:

1 Ne. 26:20And the Gentiles are lifted up in the pride of their eyes, and have stumbled, because of the greatness of their stumbling block, that they have built up many churches; nevertheless, they put down the power and miracles of God, and preach up unto themselves their own wisdom and their own learning, that they may get gain and grind upon the face of the poor.

Now, most latter-day saints would interpret that as meaning that they will simply say that there are no more miracles done any more, but that is not how I read this text.  I read it as that there are miracles occurring among the saints, or at least through this Josephite, and these miracles are causing a whole lot of problems for the various Christian and other churches and denominations out there.  After all, if you’ve got a guy saying that the Mormon church (LDS church) is God’s only true church and fold, and he’s emptying out hospitals of the sick and afflicted, and doing all sorts of other miracles, people are going to start flocking to his church (the LDS church.)  How do you deal with this onslaught of miracles, from a pastor’s perspective?  Well, one way, perhaps, is to unite the various churches into a single church conglomerate, a sort of great church, united against this man and his Mormon church.

So, it seems to me that the Josephite, the NAC and the Josephite’s never-ending mighty miracles, must precede the formation of the great and abominable church.  He, then, is the initial sign that gets everything prophetically moving, but how do we know when he is active on the scene?

I’ve already written that I believe now that that California earthquake I prophesied about, and the Josephite, are prophetically linked.  So, he is going to cause the earthquake.  This means it won’t be naturally occurring, but a miraculous event.  I now also believe that this “earthquake” might not even be a singular earthquake, at all, but a series of earthquakes, unleashed on the same day, in increasing magnitude over time, in a manner that cannot be explained as naturally occurring.  In other words, it seems to me that he is going to make it unmistakably clear that we are witnessing a mighty miracle, so that the entire nation and the whole entire world suddenly turn their attention to him.  This can only cause a full and complete combination of the wicked, to face this new threat to their power, hence the formation of the great and abominable church.

One last thing, and then I’ll end this post:  The angel that John saw having the seal of the living God, appears to me now as being the Josephite:

JST Rev. 7:1And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.  2And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God; and I heard him cry with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, 3saying,

Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.

D&C 77:9Q. What are we to understand by the angel ascending from the east, Revelation 7th chapter and 2nd verse?

A. We are to understand that the angel ascending from the east is he to whom is given the seal of the living God over the twelve tribes of Israel; wherefore, he crieth unto the four angels having the everlasting gospel, saying: Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. And, if you will receive it, this is Elias which was to come to gather together the tribes of Israel and restore all things.

So, maybe what I’ve written above (if believed) will allow people to sleep a little more restfully.  The presidential elections will not mark the end of American civilization, nor is it, as yet, the end of the world.  We are not even yet in the end or last times.  It is still very much just the latter days and despite the doom and gloom crowd, we can expect a work of miracles to be forthcoming, before any of the “bad” signs happen, since it is also my understanding that the Josephite is already among us somewhere in this church.

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The definition of eternal


On January 28th, jackdale76 wrote the following in a comment on this blog:

At the Great Judgement the Lord will declare to those who are filthy still:

23 And then will I profess unto them: I never knew you; depart from me, ye that work iniquity (3 Nephi 14:23)

JST Matt. 7:33 And then will I say, Ye never knew me

So, Jesus will say both “I never knew you” and “you never knew Me”.  Those people he addresses are former saints for they prophesied, cast out devils and did many wonderful works.

When he tells them “I never knew you”, I interpreted it “I did not bear your pains,sicknesses,infirmities during the Atonement so that I could know how to succor you”. That makes sense because owing to God’s foreknowledge Christ only suffered for those who repent.

22 Therefore, whoso repenteth … for such I have laid down my life, and have taken it up again; (3 Nephi 9:22)

Now, my question is, what does He mean by “you never knew Me”?  My understanding is that to know Christ is to be baptized with fire.

ye … and after this [the baptism of fire] should deny me, it would have been better for you that ye had not known me (2 Nephi 31:14)

So, those former saints did indeed know Christ at some point in their lives. How is it that “they never knew Him”? Any thoughts?

Prior to jackdale76 asking this question, I had never considered the meaning of that scripture.  After he wrote his comment, I took a look at the scripture and an answer popped into my head, which I then wrote into the following comment:

It’s just a reset:

And now, verily I say unto you, I, the Lord, will not lay any sin to your charge; go your ways and sin no more; but unto that soul who sinneth shall the former sins return, saith the Lord your God. (D&C 82:7)

The sons of perdition commit spiritual suicide, going back instead of forward, returning like the dog to his vomit, so everything gets reset to its former condition. In other words, they didn’t know the Lord, then they knew the Lord, then they committed spiritual suicide and so go back to their former condition of not knowing the Lord. Put another way, the Lord never knew them, then He knew them, then they committed spiritual suicide and so the Lord goes back to the former condition of not knowing them. They had sins, their sins were remitted, then they committed spiritual suicide and so all their former sins return, as if the atonement and redemption never happened. The experience of this reset leaves them completely gutted or empty, so that now the devil has full control over them and they are lost (perdition) forever.

However, although I thought the thought and penned the words, I had never heard such a doctrine before, but after writing the comment, I was too lazy to more fully unfold it, so I just let it go. But then on March 10th the following scripture came into mind, which dealt with the same doctrine, so I wrote out a follow-up comment:

It may be that this is the same reset miracle mentioned in the previous comment. Moses 5:

22And the Lord said unto Cain:

Why art thou wroth? Why is thy countenance fallen? 23If thou doest well, thou shalt be accepted. And if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door, and Satan desireth to have thee; and except thou shalt hearken unto my commandments, I will deliver thee up, and it shall be unto thee according to his desire. And thou shalt rule over him; 24for from this time forth thou shalt be the father of his lies; thou shalt be called Perdition; for thou wast also before the world. 25And it shall be said in time to come—

That these abominations were had from Cain; for he rejected the greater counsel which was had from God;

and this is a cursing which I will put upon thee, except thou repent.

So, Cain wasn’t called Perdition before the world, and we all knew this, yet once he becomes a son of perdition, miraculously the heavenly record and our memories are changed and he is now found to have been called Perdition before the world. Everyone goes back to check their memories and the records, and lo and behold!, what do you know? He really was called Perdition! And we all remember this to have ocurred.

As this thing keeps grabbing my attention, I might as well delve into it.

Now, if this doctrine is correct, and for the sake of this post I will assume that it is, it seems to me that the implications are as follows:

Time has eternal consequences

God lives in a state of presence, in which all thngs are present before him, both past, present and future:

D&C 38:1Thus saith the Lord your God, even Jesus Christ, the Great I Am, Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the same which looked upon the wide expanse of eternity, and all the seraphic hosts of heaven, before the world was made; 2the same which knoweth all things, for all things are present before mine eyes; 3I am the same which spake, and the world was made, and all things came by me.

D&C 130:6The angels do not reside on a planet like this earth; 7but they reside in the presence of God, on a globe like a sea of glass and fire, where all things for their glory are manifest, past, present, and future, and are continually before the Lord.

This means that the future, to God, is actually not ahead in time, as we think of it, but a “day” behind, in the past, in that spot of time which we call the present.  And it means that the past, to God, is actually not behind in time, as we think of it, but a “day” ahead, in the future, in that spot of time which we call the present.  His present consists of both past, present and future, whereas our present is devoid of past and future.

We operate in time linearly, the past being a path that has already been traveled, and the present being the spot on the path we are on.  In front of us, there is no path, only a planned path or an imaginary one.  Each step we take in the present towards that imaginary future path (in whatever direction we choose) creates a new point on the path, and everything previous to that point is counted as already traveled and immutable.

When we make changes to the present, to our present conditions, we say that what we do or do not do in this present time has eternal consequences, and what we are referring to is the future, because for us, the past is set in stone.  But that is because we are living in time, and time is an illusion appointed unto us so that we can be tried and tested and be able to choose our eternal destiny.

Illusions operate on the principle of blindness, and indeed, we cannot see the future.  And when we gaze upon the past, we see it as unalterable.

But God sees all things and all things are in the present, and this is the actual state of the universe.  So, when you make a change to the present, as future and past are also there, they also change.

Thus, we’ve got it wrong, or only half right.  It is true that what we do in time has eternal consequences, referring to our future state, but the saying and understanding is a manifestation of our ignorance of what the word eternal means in the scriptures, for eternal does not refer to only the future, it refers also to the past.

The meaning of eternal

Abr. 3:18Howbeit that he made the greater star; as, also, if there be two spirits, and one shall be more intelligent than the other, yet these two spirits, notwithstanding one is more intelligent than the other, have no beginning; they existed before, they shall have no end, they shall exist after, for they are gnolaum, or eternal.

Whatever, then, that is eternal, is from everlasting to everlasting, or unchanging in one direction (the future) and unchanging in the other direction (the past).  Something that has a beginning, must have an end, and thus, cannot be eternal, and this, then, is what time is, even a state of existence in which there is a beginning and an end.  Whatever does not have a beginning cannot have an end, and thus must be eternal and this then is what eternal life is, even a state of existence in which there is no beginning and no end.

Eternal cannot be changed

It is, by definition, a never-ending (and never-beginning) state, therefore, it is impossible to change it.  So, how, then, does one take an eternal spirit (of whatever intelligence) and upgrade it (change it) so that now it is enlarged and can receive greater glory?  Through the introduction of time.

Time changes eternity in both directions

Whatever happens in time (our present) alters both our future and our past.  This happens because both future and past are with us.  We cannot see it, but God can see it.  Both states are simultaneously affected and altered by every change that happens in time (the present).  When all is said and done and we are arranged before the judgment bar of Christ, whatever reward we get, whether the telestial kingdom, terrestrial kingdom or celestial kingdom, or exaltation in the celestial kingdom, will be given to us everlastingly in both directions, so that we enter, once again, into eternity, always existing as (whatever we end up as).

D&C 132:20Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them.

These gods, which are exalted men and women, will be made from everlasting to everlasting, continuing in both directions as gods.  Their past will match their future and they will find themselves as having always existed as gods, having no beginning and no end.  It is this power that God possesses to alter the past so that it matches the endless state of the future that allows the fulfillment of the following scripture:

Moro. 7:48Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen.

Now, it is not possible to become exactly like Jesus Christ and His Father, right?  They have different histories than us, right?  (So goes the saying among Mormons.)  But when you factor in that the past is right smack in God’s present just as the future is, and that both are simultaneously affected in an equal manner by what happens in the present, and so God’s almighty power holds both the future and the past of men in His eternal hands, then you end up with a doctrine that shows it is in fact very much possible to become exactly like Jesus Christ and His Father!

This applies to more than just the exalted

It is not just the exalted (the gods) who obtain this eternal state, in which they are now gods with no beginning or end.  No, everyone that receives an inheritance in any of the three glories will become eternal (it is called eternal life for a reason!), having no beginning to their history and no end to their state of existence, being unchanging from everlasting to everlasting.  This brings us to the ejected ones: Perdition and his sons and angels.

A liar and murderer from the beginning

D&C 93:25And whatsoever is more or less than this is the spirit of that wicked one who was a liar from the beginning.

John 8:44Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

12 Ne. 2:7And I, Lehi, according to the things which I have read, must needs suppose that an angel of God, according to that which is written, had fallen from heaven; wherefore, he became a devil, having sought that which was evil before God.

D&C 76:25And this we saw also, and bear record, that an angel of God who was in authority in the presence of God, who rebelled against the Only Begotten Son whom the Father loved and who was in the bosom of the Father, was thrust down from the presence of God and the Son, 26and was called Perdition, for the heavens wept over him—he was Lucifer, a son of the morning.

Lucifer was a liar and a murderer from the beginning, yet also an angel in authority in the presence of God?  Why would God allow a liar and murderer to be angel in authority in his presence?  The answer is that He didn’t.  In Lucifer’s eternal state, he was an angel in authority in the presence of God from everlasting to everlasting, having no beginning nor end.  He was always an angel.  That was his history.  However, the moment that he entered into his first estate and rebelled, his past and future altered, as did the past and future of the angels who were cast out with him.  Now he is always a liar and always a murderer, from everlasting to everlasting.  His sons will likewise obtain the same history, because of their acts committed in time.

As numerous, as it were, as the sands of the sea

Not only does God have power to alter our eternal history, but He also has power to alter the history of time.

Gen. 22:17That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;

Gen. 32:12And thou saidst, I will surely do thee good, and make thy seed as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.

Jer. 33:22As the host of heaven cannot be numbered, neither the sand of the sea measured: so will I multiply the seed of David my servant, and the Levites that minister unto me.

Hosea 1:10Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God.

Rom. 9:27Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved:

Heb. 11:12Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable.

The children of Israel, then, were to be as numerous as the sands of the sea or the stars in the heavens. The children of Lehi, being, of course, of the house of Israel, got this blessing of innumerability.  For example, there is Nephi’s vision:

1 Ne. 12:1And it came to pass that the angel said unto me: Look, and behold thy seed, and also the seed of thy brethren. And I looked and beheld the land of promise; and I beheld multitudes of people, yea, even as it were in number as many as the sand of the sea.

Nephi saw these numbers before Jesus ever arrived on the continent.  As the Nephites were (almost) always of a limited number, this vision of innumerable multitudes of people could only be speaking of the Lamanites.  Mormon, in fact, actually ends up describing one of the Lamanite armies in such terms:

Alma 2:27And behold, as they were crossing the river Sidon, the Lamanites and the Amlicites, being as numerous almost, as it were, as the sands of the sea, came upon them to destroy them.

Lamanite numbers are always described as vast, even beyond comprehension.  Lamanite casualty numbers are given only if the numbers are sufficiently small enough, but when they become too large to number, they are always left out.  The Lamanites seem to have had an endless population supply.  Even when the Lamanites attack the Nephites and get decimated, we find them coming back for more a short time later with another seemingly endless supply of men.  They do this time and time again, with no end in sight to their numbers.  There is a finite amount of land and a finite amount of resources, yet the Lamanites appear to be infinite.  How can this be possible?

It may be that what the text is describing is yet another miracle occurring, one in which God is inflating the Lamanite numbers at will.  For example, if there are 100 Lamanites only, and everybody knows there are only 100, but suddenly 500 more Lamanites show up, this miracle, which altered the present Lamanite numbers, must have also caused a corresponding alteration in the Lamanite history.  So, when the unknown Lamanites show up, they are asked, “Where did you come from?  We didn’t even know you existed!”  And the answer is the revised history: “Oh, we are descendants of Uncle Ishmael’s third son that was assumed missing.  We’ve been living in the east wilderness all this time and heard shouting.  We thought it was a raiding party assembling to attack the Nephites and we wanted to be involved.”  When the genealogy is checked, everything matches up perfectly, and yet, these were unknown, even missing Lamanites, who had been living among the larger Lamanite population without anyone knowing about them until now.  There is still that thing called finite space, so it’s still impossible, right?

Sure, it’s impossible, but God has power to make one hundred yards into 100,000 yards.  You measure it out and it measures out each and every time to 100 yards, yet you can fit 300 air craft carriers into it.  The Lamanites weren’t too particular on things.  It was pretty easy to hide an innumerable, seemingly infinitely large population right under their (and everybody else’s) noses.

The point I’m trying to make is that if God did perform such miracles, altering the present, even the present Lamanite population numbers, miraculously, then these people don’t just appear out of thin air.  No, they appear with histories.  And those histories are instantaneously-made pasts, which they actually lived, and they will recall their past lives and the histories of their ancestors.  God has power to do all this because it’s all there, in front of Him: past, present and future, and whatever He alters or creates in the present, comes complete with a past and a future.

Btw, to be fair to the Nephites, after Christ came and visited them, they also got this same, apparent, miracle of innumerability:

Morm. 1:7The whole face of the land had become covered with buildings, and the people were as numerous almost, as it were the sand of the sea.

Records on earth affect heavenly records

As it is time that modifies eternity, and not the other way around, so it is that earthly records (of time) modify the eternal heavenly records.  So we get stuff like this from Joseph Smith:

D&C 128:6And further, I want you to remember that John the Revelator was contemplating this very subject in relation to the dead, when he declared, as you will find recorded in Revelation 20:12—And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

7You will discover in this quotation that the books were opened; and another book was opened, which was the book of life; but the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works; consequently, the books spoken of must be the books which contained the record of their works, and refer to the records which are kept on the earth. And the book which was the book of life is the record which is kept in heaven; the principle agreeing precisely with the doctrine which is commanded you in the revelation contained in the letter which I wrote to you previous to my leaving my place—that in all your recordings it may be recorded in heaven.

8Now, the nature of this ordinance consists in the power of the priesthood, by the revelation of Jesus Christ, wherein it is granted that whatsoever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatsoever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Or, in other words, taking a different view of the translation, whatsoever you record on earth shall be recorded in heaven, and whatsoever you do not record on earth shall not be recorded in heaven; for out of the books shall your dead be judged, according to their own works, whether they themselves have attended to the ordinances in their own propria persona, or by the means of their own agents, according to the ordinance which God has prepared for their salvation from before the foundation of the world, according to the records which they have kept concerning their dead.

9It may seem to some to be a very bold doctrine that we talk of—a power which records or binds on earth and binds in heaven. Nevertheless, in all ages of the world, whenever the Lord has given a dispensation of the priesthood to any man by actual revelation, or any set of men, this power has always been given. Hence, whatsoever those men did in authority, in the name of the Lord, and did it truly and faithfully, and kept a proper and faithful record of the same, it became a law on earth and in heaven, and could not be annulled, according to the decrees of the great Jehovah. This is a faithful saying. Who can hear it?

Again, whatever is bound or loosed on earth is bound and loosed in heaven in both directions (future and also past.)

Okay, so I’m not going to take this any further.  If any of the other blog contributors want to see where else this doctrine leads to, such as the life of Christ and the Great Millennium in which there will be “time no longer,” they can be my guests and blog about it.  I think what I’ve written here is sufficient food for thought for the day.

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$6 for every $1000 of Net Worth Is the Proper Tithe


The heading to section 119 of the Doctrine and Covenants says the following:

Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Far West, Missouri, July 8, 1838, in answer to his supplication:

“O Lord! Show unto thy servants how much thou requirest of the properties of thy people for a tithing.”

The Prophet asked the Lord how much of their property He required for sacred purposes. The answer was this revelation.

Here is the text of the revelation:

D&C 119:1Verily, thus saith the Lord,

I require all their surplus property to be put into the hands of the bishop of my church in Zion, 2for the building of mine house, and for the laying of the foundation of Zion and for the priesthood, and for the debts of the Presidency of my Church.  3And this shall be the beginning of the tithing of my people.  4And after that, those who have thus been tithed shall pay one-tenth of all their interest annually; and this shall be a standing law unto them forever, for my holy priesthood,

saith the Lord.

5Verily I say unto you,

it shall come to pass that all those who gather unto the land of Zion shall be tithed of their surplus properties, and shall observe this law, or they shall not be found worthy to abide among you.

6And I say unto you,

if my people observe not this law, to keep it holy, and by this law sanctify the land of Zion unto me, that my statutes and my judgments may be kept thereon, that it may be most holy, behold, verily I say unto you,

it shall not be a land of Zion unto you.

7And this shall be an ensample unto all the stakes of Zion. Even so. Amen.

The individual judges what is surplus property

An excerpt from “The Tithing of My People”:

Shortly after Joseph received the revelation in section 119, he assigned Brigham Young to go among the Saints “and find out what surplus property the people had, with which to forward the building of the Temple we were commencing at Far West.” Before setting out, Brigham asked Joseph, “‘Who shall be the judge of what is surplus property?’ Said he, ‘Let them be the judges themselves.’” (“Discourse,” Deseret News, June 20, 1855, 117; punctuation modernized. )

That covers “the beginning of the tithing of [the Lord’s] people,” now what about the standing law, which concerned the meaning of interest?

Interest = interest; (plain and precious knowledge lost)

Apparently, the revelation said what it meant and meant what it said.  In other words, the words were plain to the understanding of the men who lived in the day in which the revelation was given.  As Joseph had asked regarding “how much the Lord required of the properties of His people for a tithing,” he received an answer regarding their properties, and this is why we find Bishop Partridge explaining the plain and precious meaning of the words in terms of property in a letter written a few days after the revelation was received:

“Bishop Partridge understood ‘one tenth of all their interest’ annually to mean 10 percent of what Saints would earn in interest if they invested their net worth for a year,” Harper wrote. He cited an example from Partridge who was reportedly in the room when Smith received the revelation.

“If a man is worth a $1000, the interest on that would be $60, and one/10. of the interest will be of course $6. thus you see the plan,” Partridge wrote in a letter just days after the revelation was received.

According to Harper, six percent was a common interest rate at the time.  (New historical information reveals original meaning of LDS tithing – KUTV.com)

Unfortunately, the saints apparently did not obey the law of tithing, as evidenced by Lorenzo Snow’s much later administration, in which the church found itself in dire financial straits.  As a result of this disobedience on the part of the saints, a gospel principle was invoked:

Alma 12:9And now Alma began to expound these things unto him, saying:

It is given unto many to know the mysteries of God; nevertheless they are laid under a strict command that they shall not impart only according to the portion of his word which he doth grant unto the children of men, according to the heed and diligence which they give unto him.  10And therefore, he that will harden his heart, the same receiveth the lesser portion of the word; and he that will not harden his heart, to him is given the greater portion of the word, until it is given unto him to know the mysteries of God until he know them in full.  11And they that will harden their hearts, to them is given the lesser portion of the word until they know nothing concerning his mysteries; and then they are taken captive by the devil, and led by his will down to destruction. Now this is what is meant by the chains of hell.

1 Ne.13:26And after they go forth by the hand of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, from the Jews unto the Gentiles, thou seest the formation of that great and abominable church, which is most abominable above all other churches; for behold, they have taken away from the gospel of the Lamb many parts which are plain and most precious; and also many covenants of the Lord have they taken away.  27And all this have they done that they might pervert the right ways of the Lord, that they might blind the eyes and harden the hearts of the children of men.  28Wherefore, thou seest that after the book hath gone forth through the hands of the great and abominable church, that there are many plain and precious things taken away from the book, which is the book of the Lamb of God.  29And after these plain and precious things were taken away it goeth forth unto all the nations of the Gentiles; and after it goeth forth unto all the nations of the Gentiles, yea, even across the many waters which thou hast seen with the Gentiles which have gone forth out of captivity, thou seest—because of the many plain and precious things which have been taken out of the book, which were plain unto the understanding of the children of men, according to the plainness which is in the Lamb of God—because of these things which are taken away out of the gospel of the Lamb, an exceedingly great many do stumble, yea, insomuch that Satan hath great power over them….40And the angel spake unto me, saying:

These last records, which thou hast seen among the Gentiles, shall establish the truth of the first, which are of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, and shall make known the plain and precious things which have been taken away from them; and shall make known to all kindreds, tongues, and people, that the Lamb of God is the Son of the Eternal Father, and the Savior of the world; and that all men must come unto him, or they cannot be saved.

2 Ne.28:30For behold, thus saith the Lord God:

I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom; for unto him that receiveth I will give more; and from them that shall say,

We have enough,

from them shall be taken away even that which they have.

D&C 1:33And he that repents not, from him shall be taken even the light which he has received; for my Spirit shall not always strive with man,

saith the Lord of Hosts.

D&C 43:8And now, behold, I give unto you a commandment,

that when ye are assembled together ye shall instruct and edify each other, that ye may know how to act and direct my church, how to act upon the points of my law and commandments, which I have given.

9And thus ye shall become instructed in the law of my church, and be sanctified by that which ye have received, and ye shall bind yourselves to act in all holiness before me—10that inasmuch as ye do this, glory shall be added to the kingdom which ye have received.  Inasmuch as ye do it not, it shall be taken, even that which ye have received.

D&C 60:3And it shall come to pass, if they are not more faithful unto me, it shall be taken away, even that which they have.

D&C 83:39And that wicked one cometh and taketh away light and truth, through disobedience, from the children of men, and because of the tradition of their fathers.

So the Lord took away from His saints the plain and precious meaning of this scripture, removing this light from them, because their minds had become dark, through disobedience.

Interest = increase; (from Brigham Young onward)

After Joseph Smith’s death, we find this new meaning of the revelation’s use of the word interest among the saints.  This is the meaning that I used for my 4-part tithing series on this blog, it being the earliest meaning I could find to Joseph’s time.

Interest = income; (1970 First Presidency statement onward)

Here is the part of that First Presidency letter that deals with tithing:

What is a proper tithe?

For your guidance in this matter, please be advised that we have uniformly replied that the simplest statement we know of is that statement of the Lord himself that the members of the Church should pay one-tenth of all their interest annually, which is understood to mean income. No one is justified in making any other statement than this. We feel that every member of the Church should be entitled to make his own decision as to what he thinks he owes the Lord, and to make payment accordingly. (First Presidency Statement, 19 March 1970)

Interest = interest; (plain and precious knowledge restored*)

On 13 January, 2016, the scholars broke the news of their new historical research, which essentially restored the light we had at the first.  So, now we are posed with a question, even the same question that the First Presidency of 1970 asked in their letter: In the light of this newly restored knowledge, what is a proper tithe?

6% is the divinely approved rate for calculating tithing

I suppose it will be tempting for people to think that since interest rates fluctuate, that one can use whatever is the current interest rate to calculate tithing, whether it is smaller or greater than 6%, and still be in full compliance with this law.  But not necessarily.  We don’t know whether the Lord approved of any other interest rate for calculating tithing, other than the one which was had among the saints in the day the revelation was given.  So, using any other interest rate would be using an unknown variable.  In other words, you’d just be guessing.  It may be that the Lord would be okay with using fluctuating interest rates to calculate tithing, but it also may be that the Lord would not be okay with that.  So, why venture into unknown territory?

What we know is this: the revelation was given according to the circumstances of the people of the day it was given in.  During that day, 6% was the common interest rate, and this is the rate that had divine approval for calculating tithing.  Regardless of what the current fluctuating interest rates may be, six percent will always be a known, divinely approved rate for calculating tithing.  So, use it!

The individual judges what is net worth

Just like the surplus property, you, the individual, must be the judge as to what is your net worth.  This assessment must be made on a yearly basis, for all stewards must and will give an accounting of their stewardship, and assessing is one of the functions of stewards.  This, then, is the only part of the equation that may fluctuate from year to year.

Once you know your net worth, you just multiply that number by 0.006, and that is what you give to your bishop as tithing.  That will satisfy the law of heaven and you can then answer truthfully to your bishop, “I am a full tithe payer,” without either under-paying or over-paying.

What is a proper tithe?

To recap: you first assess what is your surplus property, and give that to the bishop.  Then you assess, on a yearly basis, your net worth, and for every $1000 of net worth, you give $6 to the bishop.

Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist


*This same “light given, light removed, light restored” pattern and process can also be seen in regards to D&C 89, which is the revelation known as the Word of Wisdom.  When that revelation was given, it was understood to be, in its entirety, a revelation of God.  Later on light was removed and the first three verses were thought to be “originally written as an inspired introduction and description by the Prophet.”  Thus, when Brigham Young used the law of common consent to cause the church to make D&C 89 a commandment of God, the saints could (and did) conveniently ignore those first three verses.  But then light was restored, and we now know that those verses were and are part of the revelation, which verses (and knowledge) nullify the common consent commandment the saints made, reverting the revelation back to a word of wisdom, and not a word of commandment!

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