The Keys to Prophecy XI: Prophecy and the Restored Gospel


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© Anthony E. Larson, 2005

The Keys to Prophecy XI:
Prophecy and the Restored Gospel

This series has identified several keys to prophecy in the restored gospel.

When we let our scriptures speak for themselves, without imposing our own ‘modern,’ ‘scientific’ preconceptions upon them, an entirely different picture of the past emerges than the one we’ve been taught.

It was in Earth’s ancient heavens-the Creator’s most spectacular canvas-that all ancient imagery originated.  It is there we must look for the source of all the symbols used by the ancients to depict their gods.

Thus we see that the imagery of the scriptures as well is reflected in the religious, astral icons of the past.  The symbolic icons give meaning to the scriptural imagery, and the scriptural imagery gives meaning to the symbolic icons, as is the case with the Egyptian facsimiles and the Book of Abraham.  They complement and illuminate one another.

With that revised picture, ancient texts become accurate, eyewitness records of marvelous astronomical manifestations that we can only remotely comprehend.  The images carved on the walls of ancient tombs, temples and monuments come alive with meaning.

With this improved perspective, explanations of prophecy, offered by Joseph Smith and all the prophets, turn from metaphorical niceties to accurate, detailed descriptions.

The only way that planets or stars could so profoundly influence peoples of the ancient world-an influence sufficiently strong to give rise to the religious traditions and symbolism of their cultures-is if those orbs were manifestly closer than they are today.  Unlike the mere pinpoints of light we see in our night sky, they must have stood in overwhelming proximity, dominating the ancient sky watchers’ view, giving rise to the primary symbolic themes of those past cultures.

If we allow the traditions, symbols and rituals of the past to speak for themselves, that is the message they convey.

Thus we see that the stories from ancient cultures the world over of astral gods and goddesses who performed marvelous feats and engaged in heaven-spanning battle may have been based in the appearance and movements of these same planets in a near-Earth environment-a concept flatly denied by modern science and rejected by orthodox Christianity, yet supported by Joseph Smith’s observations.

The reason all these images are an enigma to us can be found in relatively recent history when our culture swerved away from their use and adopted a ‘rational’ view of ancient history, as is taught in educational institutions everywhere in the world today.  Cultural, religious traditions that once taught of recent, dramatic changes in the heavens-accounts held sacred by our ancestors-became myths and fairy tales.

We divorced ourselves from our cultural roots.  We cut ourselves off from the message the ancients struggled to convey, the one they assumed would be universally understood: They had seen “marvelous wonders” in the heavens.

The odd thing is that we don’t understand that.  In fact, we believe just the opposite: the heavens have always appeared as they do now.  That flawed, myopic belief prevents us from seeing what the ancients sought mightily to convey.

Also, this is why the imagery of prophecy and mythology are remarkably similar.  They derive from the same source: our early cultural and religious tradition from which we divorced ourselves in the Age of Enlightenment.  It is for this reason that the Bible was rejected by the emerging cult of science and scholasticism.  We really threw the baby out with the bath water!

The oddity in all this is that the guardians of religious traditions fell victims to the same thinking.  They rejected that same imagery, saying it had nothing to do with the proper practice of Christianity.  That left us without the touchstone we need to interpret the imagery of prophecy throughout the scriptures, until Joseph Smith restored that knowledge.

To unravel the mystery that is prophecy, you must first learn the symbolism of antiquity and the cosmological images from which it sprang – prodigious, heaven-spanning displays of awe-inspiring plasma phenomena generated in a neighboring conjunction of planets that produced a monumental sound and light show seen the world over.  This dramatic celestial phantasmagoria dominated Earth’s skies in the earliest epoch of history and indelibly impressed itself on the mind and spirit of all early cultures.

Dibble Illustration

According to Philo Dibble, Joseph Smith’s bodyguard, this is the Prophet’s illustration of the planetary arrangement that existed in Earth’s ancient heavens.  This “stacked” arrangement in common, polar alignment caused them to appear stationary in the heavens.  The Prophet even included the apparent “connections” between planets caused by the plasma phenomenon, as depicted in the adjoining artist’s conception.

These astral events gave rise to the cryptic icons that adorn the walls of ancient monuments, temples and tombs — virtual snapshots, in many cases, of things seen in those ancient skies.  Appropriately, they also decorate modern temples-a testament in stone to the restoration of truth.

The metaphorical language of the prophets also arose from those events.  The rhetorical counterparts of those enigmatic symbols fill the revelations of both ancient and modern prophets.  They are the keys to most scriptural symbolism.

Knowing this makes prophecy plain and easy to understand, as Joseph Smith said.  It also touches on every point of doctrine in the restored gospel revealed through him in these latter days.

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1 Comment

  1. MINISTERING ANGELS
    The Bible makes it very clear that we are to send the angels out to fight for us, for they have much more power than us mere mortals. For all the problems that we face are orchestrated by the evil unseen principalities and powers, which seeks constantly to destroy us.
    The Lord said to me, “ that one of His angels has enough power to deal with all my troubles,” and yet He assures me that He has multitudes ready to swing into action on our behalf, when we give the command for them to fight. Have you commanded them today to fight for you?
    The Lord recently has spoken to me, and said, “Where my angels are, there is my presence.” He said angels must fight the powers of darkness, man cannot defeat such powers, angels will rescue you from all evil.
    Never ask an angel for help ,never pray to them, never seek to converse with them, unless they speak to you a message that has been given to them by our Lord. Angels are servants of God and His children. God has provided strength for us by these angelic beings.
    When Christ was on this earth in His human form He needed strength, just like we do today, and God sent one of His angels to strengthen Him. So that He could obtain salvation for us.
    When you need strength, then command angels to bring you strength from your heavenly Father, in fact you can command angels to bring anything that you have asked your Father for. For example, health, wealth, deliverance, peace, etc.
    Now, some people are very confused about pictures or statues of angels, thinking that it is forbidden in the Bible to look upon such things, but in fact what the Bible says is that we must not bow down and worship images. For these visual aids actually help us to see that there is more to this world than the physical realm.
    Bible tells us that our warfare is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers. So, we must use the angelic powers from God, to deal with these unseen powers by commanding angels.

    I hope that you use these spiritual warfare secrets that the Lord has shown me. Once you begin to enter this realm of believing there is no going back, you must send angels out every day, to fight the evil spirits of infirmities, which is sickness and disease, the spirit of uncleanliness, which is the evil lusts, in mind and deed.
    The spirit of poverty, which are evil attacks on your finances, and anything else that you could possibly think of where you need help.
    Most important of all, every day we must repent, and live in the victory, that Christ Jesus has saved us.


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