The Prophet who is like unto Moses


Note: This was originally written as an explanatory tract for non-Mormons. I have left it almost intact, with very slight modifications, but added, as usual, something brand-spanking new. (Otherwise, what’s the point, right?)

Moses uttered the following prophecy in Deuteronomy 18:

The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken; according to all that thou desiredst of the Lord thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not. And the Lord said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken. I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him. (Deuteronomy 18:15-19)

The Christians believe this Prophet is Jesus Christ; the Muslims believe this Prophet is Mohammed; one of the Jewish rabbis teaches that this Prophet is Joshua, who succeeded Moses; and some Christians believe this Prophet is the Elijah/Elias who restores all things.

What do the Mormons believe? We believe that this Prophet is Jesus Christ. With this post I’m going to show why Jesus Christ fulfills this prophecy of being the Prophet who is like unto Moses, how all of this will be fulfilled and when it will be fulfilled. (Although Mormons and Christians both correctly believe that Christ is the Prophet Moses spoke of, I’m not sure that either group fully understands how Moses’s prophecy must and will be entirely fulfilled.)

A four-part prophecy

There are four parts to Moses’s prophecy: 1- That there will be a Prophet raised up in the midst of the house of Israel, of the house of Israel, who is like unto Moses, who will have the words of God in His mouth; 2- That this Prophet will speak to the house of Israel all the words that God will command Him to speak to them (which are the words of God); 3- That the house of Israel will hearken to (listen to and obey) the Prophet; and 4- That any individual who refuses to hearken to (listen to and obey) the words that the Prophet speaks to the house of Israel will be condemned by God.

Part One: A Prophet raised among Israel, of Israel, like Moses, and having God’s words

The first part of Moses’s prophecy reads:

The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me;…I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth;

It must be understood, first of all, that Deuteronomy chapter 18 is part of a sermon given to all the tribes of Israel by Moses, which begins in chapter 5:

And Moses called all Israel, and said unto them, Hear, O Israel, the statutes and judgments which I speak in your ears this day, that ye may learn them, and keep, and do them. (Deuteronomy 5:1)

So, when Moses says in chapter 18, “The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren,” he is talking to the entire assemblage of Israel, which were all the twelve tribes of Israel gathered around to hear his sermon. This prophecy, then, must be applied to the whole house of Israel, and not to just one part.

Okay, so Moses says that the Prophet will be raised up by God unto thee (the house of Israel.) In other words, this isn’t a prophet sent to the Gentiles, but to the house of Israel. This first point allows us to eliminate every prophet of God that is sent to a Gentile nation. None of such prophets are the Prophet spoken of by Moses.

Next, Moses says that the Prophet will be raised up by God from the midst of thee (the house of Israel.) This means that the man will be born and raised in one of Israel’s tribal lands of inheritance. He won’t be born in a Gentile nation, but in a nation of Israel. And he will be surrounded by others of the house of Israel, of whatever tribe the land happens to be. Again, this eliminates everyone that is born and raised in a Gentile nation.

Then Moses says that the Prophet will be raised up by God of thy (Israel’s) brethren. Now, the brethren of Israel are the twelve brothers who became the twelve tribes. These are the brethren Moses was referring to. For example, the brothers of the tribe of Gad are the other 11 tribes, and so forth. So, Moses doesn’t specify which tribal lineage the Prophet will have, but these words indicate that the man will have a tribal lineage of the house of Israel, and not merely be a Gentile born and raised in one of Israel’s tribal lands. This eliminates everyone who is not of the blood of one of the tribes of Israel.

To recap: this Prophet will be raised up by God to (or for) the entire house of Israel and He will be raised up from the midst of the house of Israel, that is, the Prophet will be raised up in one of the tribal lands of inheritance of Israel, and will be living in the midst of the house of Israel, being surrounded by other Israelites, and also He will be of the brethren of Israel, that is, of the twelve brothers (or tribes) that make up Israel.

Eliminated so far: Mohammed and the Elias/Elijah who restores all things

Thus far, with the facts we have established so far, the man Mohammed, who is proclaimed by Muslims to be the Prophet that Moses spoke of, is completely eliminated. He was born and raised in Mecca, which is not a tribal land of Israel, nor was he in the midst of the house of Israel. Instead, he was surrounded by descendants of Ishmael, not of Jacob through Isaac. The Muslims claim that the descendants of Ishmael count as the “brothers” of Israel, but they do not. The brothers of Israel are the twelve sons of Israel, who are the twelve tribes of Israel. Jacob’s brother was Esau, not Ishmael. Jacob’s father was Isaac, who had a brother from another mother named Ishmael. This makes Ishmael several steps removed from the house of Israel. You have to go up the line two generations, then over to the other mother, then down. This is not what Moses was referring to. Moses’s prophecy is Israel-centric, dealing only with the house of Israel, and speaking only to and of the house of Israel. So, sorry Muslims, but Mohammed ain’t the Prophet Moses spoke of.

What about the Elias/Elijah who restores all things? Nope. It can’t be him, either. The Elias/Elijah who restores all things (Joseph-Nephi) will be of Gentile lineage, as well of the house of Joseph (both Ephraim and Manasseh) and also a descendant of Judah, therefore his lineage will be mixed. He will be raised up in a Gentile nation, as a Gentile, not knowing his Israel lineage (at first.) He will be surrounded, then, by Gentiles, and not by the house of Israel. Also, his mission isn’t Israel-centric, but encompasses both the house of Israel and the Gentiles, even the entire world. Also, this man won’t be a mere prophet, but a mighty miracle-working seer, which is greater than a prophet, so he doesn’t fit the profile, at all.

Who is not eliminated so far?

Joshua and all the other prophets of Israel who grew up in tribal lands and ministered only to the house of Israel. Given that at least one Jewish rabbi believes and teaches that Joshua is the Prophet, he is, as yet, not eliminated.

Part One continued: like Moses, and having God’s words

The Prophet will be like unto Moses. Now, the last words of the book of Deuteronomy say this:

And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom; for Moses had laid his hands upon him: and the children of Israel hearkened unto him, and did as the Lord commanded Moses. And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, in all the signs and the wonders, which the Lord sent him to do in the land of Egypt to Pharaoh, and to all his servants, and to all his land, and in all that mighty hand, and in all the great terror which Moses shewed in the sight of all Israel. (Deuteronomy 34:9-12)

These words altogether eliminate Joshua, despite the wisdom God gave him. The Prophet like unto Moses, then, would have to be a miracle-worker that knows God face to face. Elijah the Tishbite prophet was a miracle-worker, and thus might fit, except that Elijah wasn’t like Moses, at all. Moses was a law-giver, giving Israel a new law, even his “law of Moses,” which they had to follow from then on. All the other prophets that succeeded Moses merely told the people to repent and follow the law of Moses. Thus, the Prophet like unto Moses would have to be someone that also gave a new law, which the people would need to follow from then on. But no prophet of Israel did this, except for one: Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ, in fact, not only claimed to have God’s words, but to be God’s Only Begotten Son according to the flesh. He claimed to be entirely divine. He claimed to know God the Father personally, just like Moses knew the Lord face to face. He claimed to have fulfilled the law of Moses and He gave a new law, even the law of Christ. Given all these facts, so far only Jesus Christ fits the entire bill.

Part Two: He speaks to all Israel

and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.

Now, here is where it gets a bit interesting. God says this Prophet will “speak unto them all that” God will command Him. Who is the “them”? It is the entire house of Israel, all 12 tribes, and not just a part of them. Jesus was raised up in the land of Jerusalem, in the tribal lands of Israel, and He was of the tribe of Judah, and He was surrounded by other Israelites, but by the time of His ministry, most of the tribes had already been led away and were lost from history. Only two tribes remained on the tribal lands: Judah and Benjamin. The bulk of the tribes was missing. Although Jesus made all the proper claims that would indicate He was the Prophet that Moses spoke of, and although he performed mighty miracles just like Moses did, and although He spoke the word of God to the Israelite people that were there in that land, those weren’t all of Israel. They were just a part. Moses’s prophecy is specific that this Prophet will speak to them (the house of Israel) and not just to a part of that house.

However, Jesus did say the following, as recorded in the gospel of John:

I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. (John 10:14-16)

Other sheep which are not of this fold? He will bring them and they will hear His voice? The other sheep and other fold(s) will be united into one fold with one shepherd? What a curious thing to say, especially given that Moses’s Prophet will be speaking to all the house of Israel.

Now, this great mystery has already been cleared up. By the Mormons. Or more specifically, by the Book of Mormon. After Jesus was resurrected, He visited the Nephites (who were a branch of the house of Israel) and said to them:

And verily I say unto you, that ye are they of whom I said: Other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. And they understood me not, for they supposed it had been the Gentiles; for they understood not that the Gentiles should be converted through their preaching. And they understood me not that I said they shall hear my voice; and they understood me not that the Gentiles should not at any time hear my voice—that I should not manifest myself unto them save it were by the Holy Ghost. But behold, ye have both heard my voice, and seen me; and ye are my sheep, and ye are numbered among those whom the Father hath given me. (3 Nephi 15:21-24)

And verily, verily, I say unto you that I have other sheep, which are not of this land, neither of the land of Jerusalem, neither in any parts of that land round about whither I have been to minister. For they of whom I speak are they who have not as yet heard my voice; neither have I at any time manifested myself unto them. But I have received a commandment of the Father that I shall go unto them, and that they shall hear my voice, and shall be numbered among my sheep, that there may be one fold and one shepherd; therefore I go to show myself unto them. And I command you that ye shall write these sayings after I am gone, that if it so be that my people at Jerusalem, they who have seen me and been with me in my ministry, do not ask the Father in my name, that they may receive a knowledge of you by the Holy Ghost, and also of the other tribes whom they know not of, that these sayings which ye shall write shall be kept and shall be manifested unto the Gentiles, that through the fulness of the Gentiles, the remnant of their seed, who shall be scattered forth upon the face of the earth because of their unbelief, may be brought in, or may be brought to a knowledge of me, their Redeemer. And then will I gather them in from the four quarters of the earth; and then will I fulfil the covenant which the Father hath made unto all the people of the house of Israel. (3 Nephi 16:1-5)

So, we see from this that Jesus ministered to the Jews in the land of Jerusalem, then later went to America and ministered to another branch of the house of Israel (the Nephites), and then later went to the rest of the tribes of Israel and ministered to them, too. And He gave all these many words to all the various tribes, as the new law of Christ they were to obey from then on. Thus, in this particular, Jesus Christ still fulfills the Prophet specifications.

There is only one problem with this scenario: God said, “and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.” So, “all that I shall command him” means that all the tribes must receive all the words of the Prophet, even the words He gave to the other tribes. It’s not good enough for Jesus to visit each branch of Israel and give them words, they must also have all the words he gave to the other tribes. This, and this alone, fulfills Moses’s words.

Has this happened? Nope. Will this happen? Yep. These are the words that God gave to Nephi circa 600 BC:

For I command all men, both in the east and in the west, and in the north, and in the south, and in the islands of the sea, that they shall write the words which I speak unto them; for out of the books which shall be written I will judge the world, every man according to their works, according to that which is written. For behold, I shall speak unto the Jews and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto the Nephites and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto the other tribes of the house of Israel, which I have led away, and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto all nations of the earth and they shall write it. And it shall come to pass that the Jews shall have the words of the Nephites, and the Nephites shall have the words of the Jews; and the Nephites and the Jews shall have the words of the lost tribes of Israel; and the lost tribes of Israel shall have the words of the Nephites and the Jews. And it shall come to pass that my people, which are of the house of Israel, shall be gathered home unto the landsof their possessions; and my word also shall be gathered in one. And I will show unto them that fight against my word and against my people, who are of the house of Israel, that I am God, and that I covenanted with Abraham that I would remember his seed forever. (2 Nephi 29:11-14)

So, at some point all the words that Jesus spoke to the ancient Jews will be written and given to the modern Gentiles. And at some point, all the words that Jesus spoke to the ancient Nephites will be written and given to the modern Gentiles. And the modern Gentiles will share those words with the modern Jews and the modern Nephites, so that the modern Nephites will have all the words that Jesus spoke to the ancient Jews and to the ancient Nephites, and the modern Jews will have all the words Jesus spoke to the ancient Jews and to the ancient Nephites. And this process will repeat with the lost ten tribes of Israel, the Nephites and the Jews, so that every branch of modern Israel has all the words spoken by Jesus to every other ancient branch of Israel. When this happens, this part of Moses’s Prophet prophecy will be fulfilled every whit.

How will this second part of Moses’s prophecy be accomplished?

It will be through the ministry of Joseph-Nephi, the miracle-working seer who restores all things. He is the one who will bring all these ancient words back, restoring them, and he is the one who will give them to the Gentiles, and from the Gentiles they will go to every branch of Israel.

Concerning the Nephite records, we know that the words of Christ were written in the Book of Mormon, which contained a lesser part of the things He taught:

And these things have I written, which are a lesser part of the things which he taught the people; and I have written them to the intent that they may be brought again unto this people, from the Gentiles, according to the words which Jesus hath spoken. (3 Nephi 26:8)

So, Joseph-Nephi will re-translate the Book of Mormon and put those words into powerful language.

And we know that the words of Christ were also written on the Large Plates of Nephi, which contained the more part of the things He taught:

And now there cannot be written in this book even a hundredth part of the things which Jesus did truly teach unto the people; but behold the plates of Nephi do contain the more part of the things which he taught the people. (3 Nephi 26:6-7)

So, Joseph-Nephi will also translate the Large Plates of Nephi.

But neither the Book of Mormon, nor the Large Plates of Nephi, contain all the words that Jesus taught the people. These two records only contain “a lesser part” and “the more part,” not the whole proceeding. Fortunately, the Nephites were fanatical record keepers, and they had records that contained “all the proceedings” of their people, including the full ministry and teachings Jesus gave them when He visited them.

But behold there are records which do contain all the proceedings of this people; and a shorter but true account was given by Nephi. (3 Nephi 5:9)

Joseph-Nephi, then, will bring forth other Nephite records, which contain the whole ministry of Christ among the Nephites, and he will send these translations forth among the Gentiles.

Concerning the Jewish records, we know that there will be a Book of the Lamb of God brought forth at some point, but this book is apparently not a large record, containing less than what the plates of brass contained. And it will be similar to the plates of brass, covering the same types of things the plates of brass contain, except with additions by the twelve apostles. Will it contain the full ministry of Christ among the Jews? Probably not. So, we can expect something else to come forth, even more Jewish records to appear, which give the entire 3-year ministry of Christ among the Jews, from beginning to end.

Concerning the records of the Lost Ten Tribes, we know nothing. Joseph-Nephi will likely have to go to wherever these tribes have been placed, and get their records, bringing their records back to the Gentiles, in powerful translated forms. Once the Gentiles have all the words of Christ that were given to the Jews, to the Nephites, to the Lost Ten Tribes, and to any other scattered branch of Israel, then the prophecy of the Gentiles rejecting the fullness of the gospel can be literally fulfilled.

Concerning the Gentiles bringing these records to the Jews, to the Nephites, and to the Lost Ten Tribes and any other scattered branch of Israel, it shouldn’t be too difficult to accomplish this feat for the Jews and the Nephites, but as for the Lost Ten Tribes, given they are hidden away somewhere, Joseph-Nephi may need to bring a group of Gentiles with him, who possess all these records, so that they can fulfill the prophecies and give them to the tribes.

The fact, then, that Joseph-Nephi will be traveling to where the Lost Ten Tribes are to get their records, and traveling back to where the Gentiles are, and then traveling with Gentiles to where the Lost Ten Tribes are, so they can give the other tribal records to the Lost Ten Tribes, and also the fact that at some point, when Joseph-Nephi will begin to gather the tribes together he will again need to go to where the tribes are, because the function of the keys of gathering indicate a need for him to personally lead the Lost Ten Tribes back to their original tribal lands:

After this vision closed, the heavens were again opened unto us; and Moses appeared before us, and committed unto us the keys of the gathering of Israel from the four parts of the earth, and the leading of the ten tribes from the land of the north. (D&C 110:11)

All of this indicates that Joseph-Nephi will have untrammeled access to travel back and forth, to and from the place where the Lost Ten Tribes are. For others it will be impossible to get to them, but not for him (and this special group of Gentiles he may bring with him.)

At any rate, none of this has happened, yet, since Joseph-Nephi is still in his weak phase and hasn’t even started working on his mission. Now notice that we are only on part two of Moses’s prophecy, and this part hasn’t been fulfilled, yet. Part one has been fulfilled, but the final three parts of Moses’s Prophet prophecy were always meant to be fulfilled during the end times.

Part Three: the house of Israel repents and obeys Christ

unto him ye shall hearken;

Once the whole house of Israel obtains the full words of Christ that He gave to every branch of ancient Israel, the whole house of Israel will repent and obey the law of Christ, as given in these new records Joseph-Nephi will bring forth. Also, Joseph-Nephi will have what the ancients called, “the convincing power,” therefore, he will use the miraculous power of God in him to convince the entire world that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. Nephi wrote:

And as I spake concerning the convincing of the Jews, that Jesus is the very Christ, it must needs be that the Gentiles be convinced also that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God; and that he manifesteth himself unto all those who believe in him, by the power of the Holy Ghost; yea, unto every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, working mighty miracles, signs, and wonders, among the children of men according to their faith. (2 Nephi 26:12-13)

Thus, these records and the convincing power in Joseph-Nephi will convince the entire world that Jesus is the Christ, and the whole house of Israel, all branches, will repent and come to Christ, thus becoming saved as a group (group-saved.) All of this will happen before Jesus comes back. This group salvation will apply to everyone who joins the true church and fold of God, which fold will be the now-penitent house of Israel. Joseph-Nephi will then proceed to gather and number the fold, disburse inheritances, etc. The Gentiles that repent will be group-saved by being put into the true church and fold of God, and they will be numbered with Israel, so that they won’t be Gentiles anymore. All of this happens during the ministry of Joseph-Nephi, for his ministry deals with the salvation of the group (group salvation), which is why God tells him:

I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth. (Isaiah 49:6)

Part Four: what happens to those who don’t repent

And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.

Now, the words “I will require it of him” refer to being condemned in the day of judgment. It means that when Jesus returns, all those who refuse to repent and obey the words that Joseph-Nephi has brought forth in the new records, and who refuse to enter the true church and fold of God, who refuse to gather with God’s people, who refuse to be numbered with Israel, but instead are trying to fight Israel and destroy God’s people, these wicked, impenitent people will be judged and be brought under condemnation.

What is the penalty inflicted? Why, the death penalty, of course. This is why Nephi wrote:

And now behold, my beloved brethren, I would speak unto you; for I, Nephi, would not suffer that ye should suppose that ye are more righteous than the Gentiles shall be. For behold, except ye shall keep the commandments of God ye shall all likewise perish; and because of the words which have been spoken ye need not suppose that the Gentiles are utterly destroyed. For behold, I say unto you that as many of the Gentiles as will repent are the covenant people of the Lord; and as many of the Jews as will not repent shall be cast off; for the Lord covenanteth with none save it be with them that repent and believe in his Son, who is the Holy One of Israel. (2 Nephi 30:1-2)

Notice how others have cited Moses’s prophecy. Peter said:

For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people. (Acts 3:22-23)

So, according to Peter’s view, “I will require it of him” means that that soul will be destroyed.

Nephi quoted Moses’s prophecy in this way (and notice that Nephi identifies the Prophet as the Holy One of Israel, who is Christ):

For behold, the righteous shall not perish; for the time surely must come that all they who fight against Zion shall be cut off. And the Lord will surely prepare a way for his people, unto the fulfilling of the words of Moses, which he spake, saying: A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass that all those who will not hear that prophet shall be cut off from among the people. And now I, Nephi, declare unto you, that this prophet of whom Moses spake was the Holy One of Israel; wherefore, he shall execute judgment in righteousness. (1 Nephi 22:19-21)

Again, getting “cut off” means temporal and spiritual destruction. So, the wicked of the end times will be burned up by the brightness of the Lord’s coming and will lose their souls. They will not be accounted as saved Israel. They will neither have individual salvation, nor group salvation.

When Jesus Christ visited the Nephites, he also referenced this prophecy and identified himself as the Prophet, using the same “cut off” wording:

Behold, I am he of whom Moses spake, saying: A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass that every soul who will not hear that prophet shall be cut off from among the people. (3 Nephi 20:23)

Jesus also referred a second time to this same prophecy here:

Therefore it shall come to pass that whosoever will not believe in my words, who am Jesus Christ, which the Father shall cause him to bring forth unto the Gentiles, and shall give unto him power that he shall bring them forth unto the Gentiles, (it shall be done even as Moses said) they shall be cut off from among my people who are of the covenant. (3 Nephi 21:11)

Some people think that getting cut off, or destroyed, or having the Lord “require it” of them, can occur before the Second Coming of Christ, but they are wrong. When the angel Moroni appeared to Joseph Smith, Moroni began quoting scripture to him. One of the passages he quoted was the words of Peter in Acts, in which he identified the Prophet as Christ. Joseph Smith wrote the following about Moroni’s visit:

He quoted also the third chapter of Acts, twenty-second and twenty-third verses, precisely as they stand in our New Testament. He said that that prophet was Christ; but the day had not yet come when “they who would not hear his voice should be cut off from among the people,” but soon would come. (Joseph Smith-History 1:40)

The day when this part of Moses’s prophecy will be fulfilled is the great and dreadful day of the Lord’s Second Coming. Malachi prophesied of this day as follows:

For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. (Malachi 4:1)

So, the wicked will be toast. Not a single one will survive. Nobody can reject the coming records, which will contain all the words of the Prophet (Christ), and remain neutral. God will destroy every last person who rejects His Son, the Prophet Christ, in that day.

One last thing, regarding John the Baptist being questioned about “that prophet”

In the New Testament we discover that the Jews of that time believed that the “prophet like unto Moses” had not yet appeared. How do we know this? Because they asked John, “Art thou that prophet?” (The passage in John 1:19-27 also shows that the Jews of that time did not believe that either Christ, nor Elias, had yet appeared.) Notice that when John the Baptist was asked if he was that prophet, he said he was not that prophet:

And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him,

Who art thou?

And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed,

I am not the Christ.

And they asked him,

What then? Art thou Elias?

And he saith,

I am not.

Art thou that prophet?

And he answered,

No.

Then said they unto him,

Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself?

He said,

I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness,

Make straight the way of the Lord,

as said the prophet Esaias.

And they which were sent were of the Pharisees. And they asked him, and said unto him,

Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not that Christ, nor Elias, neither that prophet?

John answered them, saying,

I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not; he it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe’s latchet I am not worthy to unloose. (John 1:19-27)

The Joseph Smith Translation renders this passage even clearer, showing that John the Baptist actually identified Jesus Christ as the Prophet:

And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem, to ask him;

Who art thou?

And he confessed, and denied not that he was Elias; but confessed, saying;

I am not the Christ.

And they asked him, saying;

How then art thou Elias?

And he said,

I am not that Elias who was to restore all things.

And they asked him, saying,

Art thou that prophet?

And he answered,

No.

Then said they unto him,

Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself?

He said,

I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness,

Make straight the way of the Lord,

as saith the prophet Esaias.

And they who were sent were of the Pharisees. And they asked him, and said unto him;

Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not the Christ, nor Elias who was to restore all things, neither that prophet?

John answered them, saying;

I baptize with water, but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not; he it is of whom I bear record. He is that prophet, even Elias, who, coming after me, is preferred before me, whose shoe’s latchet I am not worthy to unloose, or whose place I am not able to fill; for he shall baptize, not only with water, but with fire, and with the Holy Ghost. (JST John 1:20-28)

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