The Proclamation: An Appeal for Prayer


Another president-elect: here we go again

Five elections left—Between now and April of 2033, there are five presidential elections left.

Date: Nov. 2016 Nov. 2020 Nov. 2024 Nov. 2028 Nov. 2032 Apr. 2033
Approximate Number of Years Left of 6th Thousand Years 16 ½ 12 ½ 8 ½ 4 ½ ½ 0

The Proclamation still has not gone forth

Back in 2008, I gained the understanding that the proclamation commanded by the Lord in D&C 124 to be made by Joseph Smith “to all the kings of the world, to the four corners thereof, to the honorable president-elect, and the high-minded governors of the nation in which you live, and to all the nations of the earth scattered abroad” (D&C 124:3), still had to be issued by Joseph Smith and given to some president-elect of the nation under the U.S. Constitution. Joseph Smith never made that proclamation because he died before he could do so, so the Twelve Apostles wrote up their own proclamation in 1845 to obey the instructions found in that revelation. Their proclamation, though, was addressed to “all the King’s of the World; To the President of the United States of America;  To the Governors of the several States; And to the Rulers and People of all Nations.” Most Mormons would say that the deed was fully done as the apostles had the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and I would have agreed with that assessment, except that, as I said, in 2008 I got a new understanding, which indicated that Joseph Smith needed to come back from the dead and make that proclamation still. Not to a President of the United States, but to a president-elect of the United States.

2008 was an election year and Barack Obama was the new president-elect, so I wondered and waited and watched to see if Joseph Smith, newly risen from the dead, would show up and issue the proclamation. In January of 2009 I even received a manifested belief that Joseph Smith was now back in the flesh somewhere. This manifestation served to increase my anticipation of the release of the proclamation, but Joseph never showed up.  After the botched swearing in ceremony, in which President Obama could still, technically, be called the president-elect, I still continued to wait and watch. Eight years have now gone by and no proclamation has been made. There has been a suggestion that maybe it was issued in secret or privately, but I do not believe that. There is no evidence, whatsoever, that Joseph has returned or that the proclamation was issued to president-elect Obama. So, the prophecy remains unfulfilled.

This turns my attention, then, to the next five presidential elections.

I didn’t know

In 2008 I didn’t know anything about the Josephite, nor about the future Confederacy, nor about the April 2033 date for the end of the 6th thousand years, nor about the need for Joseph Smith to appoint Joseph-Nephi as his successor. A lot of new information, and clarification, about the prophecies has come forth in the last eight years. Back in 2008 I thought that Joseph Smith would make the proclamation, being sent only by the Lord. Now, however, having learned about the Josephite, it is my understanding that when the Josephite is empowered, Joseph Smith will appear to him and appoint him as his successor, and then the Josephite will send Joseph Smith to make the proclamation. So, the proclamation cannot go forth until the Josephite is empowered.

While the proclamation waits for the Josephite, the Confederacy waits for the proclamation. So, a New set of Articles of Confederation (NAC) cannot be installed until Joseph Smith makes the proclamation to a president-elect of the nation under the United States Constitution (for there is no president-elect under the NAC.) The proclamation is all important because it will prophesy of the future events of the 6th thousand years (and perhaps also of the 7th thousand years), that concern the kingdoms and nations of the world.

Let it be written in the spirit of meekness and by the power of the Holy Ghost, which shall be in you at the time of the writing of the same; for it shall be given you by the Holy Ghost to know my will concerning those kings and authorities, even what shall befall them in a time to come.  (D&C 124:4-5)

This leaves them all “without excuse” (D&C 124:7), for they will know exactly what will happen and the consequences of their actions.

Given the great number of things that must occur between now and April of 2033, and the fact that it all starts with the empowerment of the Josephite and the release of Joseph Smith’s proclamation—which must be issued to a president-elect of the U.S. Constitution—that leaves only the aforementioned five elections as possible times the proclamation can be issued.

Narrowing it down to one

There are approximately 16 ½ years left of the 6th thousand years. According to my understanding, here are some of the things that have to happen in this time frame—(not listed in chronological order) : The Josephite must be empowered; The Proclamation must be made by Joseph Smith to the president-elect under the U.S. Constitution; The State of Israel must cease to exist; The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints must be broken up (by an earthquake); The Book of the Lamb of God must appear; The Church of the Lamb of God must be established; The United States of America must be established as a Confederacy; The promised land must be fortified; The Great and Abominable Church must be formed; The Great and Abominable Church must remove many plain and precious parts from the Book of the Lamb of God; The saints of God must be brought down into captivity by the Great and Abominable Church; The Gentiles must go out of captivity to the promised land; The Remnant must be scattered and smitten; A great war must occur between the nations of the world and the Gentiles on the promised land; The Gentiles must stumble; The Book of Mormon and Small Plates of Nephi must be re-translated; The Large Plates of Nephi, the Plates of Brass, and the Plates of Ether must be translated; The world must split into two churches; Zion must be redeemed; The House of Israel must begin to gather; The first six seals must be opened via the translation of 6/7 parts of the Sealed Portion; The Josephite must perform all the work for the dead (of the first 4000 years) and resurrect these people prior to 1823, changing the past; The 144,000 must be sealed; Wars must ensue among the wicked; Saints must be martyred; The Sun must turn black, the moon to blood, the stars fall, and mountains and islands must be moved out of their places; etc.

Right off the bat the fifth election can be crossed off. 2032 leaves only half a year, which is not enough time for all these many prophecies to be fulfilled. Even the third (2024) and fourth (2028) strike me as too little time (8 ½ and 4 ½ years, respectively.) That leaves this year (2016, giving about 16 ½ years) and the next presidential election (2020, giving 12 ½ years.) Of the two dates, my mind cannot help but think it must be 2016.

16 ½ years seems to me to be the perfect amount of time to accomplish everything. It can be broken down into three parts. First, there is half a year. In this period of time, the Josephite can be empowered, Joseph can issue the proclamation (before the swearing in ceremony in January of 2017), and the Confederacy can be installed by April of 2017. That gives us a full decade (ten years) under the NAC, from April 2017 to April 2027, in which all of the prophecies can be fulfilled minus the opening of the six seals. The last six years, then, are reserved for the opening of the seals, one seal opened per year.

Again, it seems to me that God would give the Gentiles no less than a decade (ten years) to repent, before He started opening the seals. That invalidates the 2024, 2028 and 2032 elections, because they don’t even leave ten years. Also, it seems to me that God would open one seal per year, requiring an additional six years. That invalidates the 2020 election. Which leaves this year’s election (2016) as the likeliest time when the proclamation would be made.

I may be the only one

I may be the only one that believes all this stuff. If so, then this post will have no effect, whatsoever. If, however, there are others who believe these things, then I will speak to those who believe, and perhaps some good will come of the post.

To the believers: let’s empower the Josephite

I don’t know about you, but I am tired of the status quo. I’m dying for the Josephite to be empowered, for the proclamation to go forth, for the Confederacy to be established, for the new scriptures to be translated, for the angels to start descending from heaven, for the miracles to start happening and for the prophecies to be fulfilled. Yet it all begins with the empowerment of the Josephite. There is an ideal window of about three months, between now and December, in which if he gets empowered, the proclamation can go forth and the prophecies can start to be fulfilled and we won’t have to wait until the next election in 2020.

So, let’s pray for this guy. Let’s pray that he gets empowered NOW. Let’s pray that the proclamation goes out to the president-elect this year.

It may be that the Josephite is even weaker than first thought. It may be that he needs our daily prayers and supplications, perhaps even our fasting. Pouring out our souls to God in his behalf day and night wouldn’t hurt, either. It may be that the hold up isn’t the Josephite. The hold up may be us. There are scriptural precedents for all these things.

And behold, their prayers were also in behalf of him that the Lord should suffer to bring these things forth.  (Morm. 8:25)

The ancients knew that the Josephite would be raised up and would accomplish his mission, yet they still prayed for him. How many of us believing in him are doing the same? God received the prayers of His ancient saints in behalf of His miracle-working seer. Has He received the same from His modern saints? Perhaps God requires of us the same offering of prayers that was given by the ancient saints before He empowers His seer.

We know Jesus is coming back, and yet the saints of the future will be praying for it anyway:

Calling upon the name of the Lord day and night, saying:

O that thou wouldst rend the heavens, that thou wouldst come down, that the mountains might flow down at thy presence.

And it shall be answered upon their heads; for the presence of the Lord shall be as the melting fire that burneth, and as the fire which causeth the waters to boil.  (D&C 133:40-41)

James taught:

The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.  (James 5:16)

This is increased when there are more people involved.

Verily, verily, I say unto you, as I said unto my disciples, where two or three are gathered together in my name, as touching one thing, behold, there will I be in the midst of them—even so am I in the midst of you.  (D&C 6:32)

For verily I say, as ye have assembled yourselves together according to the commandment wherewith I commanded you, and are agreed as touching this one thing, and have asked the Father in my name, even so ye shall receive.  (D&C 42:3)

In this case, the one thing touched, upon which all are agreed, is the empowerment of the Josephite in the next few months. When groups of people do this, God takes notice and action.

And again, I say unto you that ye shall not go until ye have preached my gospel in those parts, and have strengthened up the church whithersoever it is found, and more especially in Colesville; for, behold, they pray unto me in much faith.  (D&C 37:2)

Behold, verily, verily, I say unto you, that the people in Ohio call upon me in much faith, thinking I will stay my hand in judgment upon the nations, but I cannot deny my word.  (D&C 39:16)

The saints were instructed to uphold Joseph Smith, and also the First Presidency, by the prayer of faith.

And if ye desire the glories of the kingdom, appoint ye my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., and uphold him before me by the prayer of faith.  (D&C 43:12)

Of the Melchizedek Priesthood, three Presiding High Priests, chosen by the body, appointed and ordained to that office, and upheld by the confidence, faith, and prayer of the church, form a quorum of the Presidency of the Church.  (107:22)

This same principle may apply to the Josephite.

According to my understanding, the Josephite is already among the LDS population, but maybe because no one is upholding him by the prayer of faith, the Lord is leaving him in his weakness. This accords to the law and doctrine of deliverance, which requires exact obedience to the deliverer, by those being delivered. If we do not do what the Josephite (who is a deliverer) says, with exactness, the Lord will not empower him to deliver us. The Josephite hasn’t said anything, for he is unknown, but the fact that he is among the people already may put the law of deliverance into effect, through our prayers.

So, let’s cause the Lord to empower him by praying to God in much faith, and get the end time events started.

Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist

Shutting the mouths of false teachers


And..the church…had peace…save it were a few contentions concerning the points of doctrine which had been laid down by the prophets…  (Hel. 11:21-22)

And it came to pass that after there had been false Christs, and…after there had been false prophets, and false preachers and teachers among the people…  (Words of Mormon 1:15-16)

…and their mouths had been shut, and…all these having been punished according to their crimes…  (Words of Mormon 1:15-16)

…there began to be much strife. But it came to pass that…many of [the] brethren who knew concerning the true points of doctrine, having many revelations daily, therefore they did preach unto the people, insomuch that they did put an end to their strife…  (Hel. 11:23)

In other words, for this post, in addition to the scriptures, I’m going to use my own revelations to correct the errors promoted by false teachers currently found among the saints.

There have only been three known churches of Christ

The first church of Christ was founded by Alma Nephi, when he baptized Helam (and also himself) in the waters of Mormon, followed by the subsequent baptism of the rest of the group.  This church was formed about 147–145 B.C. and began with about 204 people.  The account of its establishment is found in Mosiah 18.

The second church of Christ was founded by Jesus Christ during his ministry among the Jews.

The third church of Christ was founded by Joseph Smith, Jun., which was organized and established in Manchester, Ontario County, New York, USA, with six people, on 6 April, 1830.

Three verses of scripture mention an ancient church

Here is the first part of the entry of “Church” from the Bible Dictionary:

From the Greek, Ecclesia, meaning “an assembly called together.” The church is the organized body of believers who have taken upon themselves the name of Jesus Christ by baptism and confirmation.  To be the true church it must be the Lord’s church and must have His laws, His name, and be governed by Him through representatives whom He has appointed (3 Ne. 27:1–12; D&C 115:4).

This is true.  God Himself must recognize it as His church, it must bear His name, have His revealed word as its foundational text, be built upon His gospel and rock, and possess His priesthood.  Every latter-day saint understands this definition of the church.  So far so good.  Now let’s look at the next part of this Bible Dictionary entry:

In this sense, the church began with the days of Adam and has been on the earth among mankind whenever there were a group of believers who had the priesthood and revelations of heaven.

This is false.  If you take up the Standard Works, and look at the Old Testament (whether you look in the King James Version, or in the Joseph Smith Translation, it doesn’t matter), you will find no mention of any church during that period of time.  This is because there was no church of Jesus Christ during those times.  Prior to the establishment of Jesus Christ’s church in the Old World, and to the establishment of Alma Nephi’s church in the New World, the laws and ordinances of God were administered to the people tribally.  Continuing on with this BD entry:

The word church is used only twice in the four Gospels (Matt. 16:18; 18:17) but is frequently mentioned in Acts, the epistles, and Revelation.

This is true.  This is because Jesus organized and established a church among the Jews and it continued after His resurrection under the direction of His apostles.

The Old Testament uses the term congregation for church.

This is false.  The Old Testament uses the term congregation to mean “an assembly of persons” and more specifically, “an assembly of persons met for the worship of God, and for religious instruction.”  An assembly of persons, belonging to a tribe or tribes, meeting together to offer sacrifice to their God (to worship God) or meeting in a synagogue for religious instruction is not a church.  Nor does it constitute a church of Christ.  Such assemblies need not have entered into any covenant with God, witnessed by baptism, nor received any laying on of hands, etc., to congregate and worship or to receive and give religious instruction.  Thus, the Old Testament uses the term congregation, not church, for these gatherings.  More of the BD entry:

The word kingdom is often used in the scriptures to mean the church, since the church is literally the kingdom of God on the earth.

This is false.  The word kingdom means kingdom.  (Duh!)  A kingdom is “the inhabitants or population subject to a king.”  The kingdom of God, then, are the people that submit to the law of God as administered by His priests, whether it is administered tribally, or via the church of Christ.  Thus, in the Book of Mormon, we find that the Nephites, when they were established under kings—from the reign of first Nephi, who consecrated his brothers Joseph and Jacob as priests and teachers, all the way to the last Nephite king, Mosiah, who also had his consecrated priests—all Nephite kings had priests, for these patriarchal orders were patterned after the kingdom of God, and God Himself, who is the King of the Universe, has priests.  And these priests, in pre-Alma days, or in pre-Jesus days, operated tribally, administering the ordinances and laws of God to the people under a tribal protocol.  These tribal orders, then, were as much the kingdom of God as were the churches of Christ, which also had ordained priests to administer the gospel ordinances and laws.  Kingdom, then, can apply to both the tribal and church protocols, and does not automatically mean or indicate that a functioning church of Christ is present.

Here’s more of the BD entry:

The Book of Mormon, as it speaks of Old Testament events, uses the word church (1 Ne. 4:26), and the Doctrine and Covenants speaks of the church in Old Testament times (D&C 107:4).

The first part is true and the second part is a supposition.  It is true that Joseph Smith translated the Egyptian word found in 1 Ne. 4:26 into church, but this did not mean a church of Christ, but merely “an assembly of believers.”  In other words, a “congregation of believers.”  The Jews in the land of Jerusalem at that time cast out, killed by stoning and other means, or tried to kill all those who believed in this prophesied Messiah that would suffer and die for the sins of the world.  They in no way, shape or form belonged to any church of Christ.  But they certainly professed a belief in Moses and his law, and also the prophets (the ones that didn’t prophesy of Christ or of the Jews’ destruction, that is), therefore, this was a congregation of believers in Moses and the law and the prophets, but not in Christ, who attended the Jewish synagogue.  Joseph translated it as church, for a church is an Ecclesia, meaning “an assembly called together,” and that’s what this congregation was.  But this wasn’t a church of Christ, but merely a gathering under tribal authority and protocols.  Here is the scripture in question:

And he spake unto me concerning the elders of the Jews, he knowing that his master, Laban, had been out by night among them.  And I spake unto him as if it had been Laban.  And I also spake unto him that I should carry the engravings, which were upon the plates of brass, to my elder brethren, who were without the walls.  And I also bade him that he should follow me.  And he, supposing that I spake of the brethren of the church, and that I was truly that Laban whom I had slain, wherefore he did follow me.  And he spake unto me many times concerning the elders of the Jews, as I went forth unto my brethren, who were without the walls.  (1 Ne. 4:22-27)

Now look at the Bible Dictionary entry for Synagogue:

A Jewish meetinghouse for religious purposes. The furniture was generally simple, consisting of an ark containing the rolls of the law and other sacred writings, a reading desk, and seats for the worshippers. Its affairs were managed by the local council of elders, who decided who should be admitted and who should be excluded (Luke 6:22; John 9:22; 12:42; 16:2). The most important official was the Ruler of the Synagogue (Mark 5:22; Luke 13:14), who was generally a scribe, had care of the building, and superintended the various services. There was also an attendant who performed clerical duties (Luke 4:20). The Sabbath morning service was the most important in the week and included a fixed lesson (Num. 15:37–41; Deut. 6:4–9; 11:13–21) and two lessons for the day, one from the law and the other from the prophets. A sermon was generally preached in explanation of one of the lessons (Luke 4:17; Acts 13:15). The existence of synagogues in every town in which Jews were living, both in Palestine and elsewhere, was a great help to the spread of the gospel, early Christian missionaries being generally able to get a hearing there (see Acts 13:5, 14; 14:1; 17:1, 10; 18:4), and the synagogue worship provided in many respects a model for early Christian worship.

Okay, so hopefully that explains the use of the word church in 1 Ne. 4:26.  So now to address D&C 107:4.  Here are the first four verses of that section:

There are, in the church, two priesthoods, namely, the Melchizedek and Aaronic, including the Levitical Priesthood.  Why the first is called the Melchizedek Priesthood is because Melchizedek was such a great high priest.  Before his day it was called the Holy Priesthood, after the Order of the Son of God.  But out of respect or reverence to the name of the Supreme Being, to avoid the too frequent repetition of his name, they, the church, in ancient days, called that priesthood after Melchizedek, or the Melchizedek Priesthood.

The Bible Dictionary author supposes that this mention of a church in ancient days in “the Doctrine and Covenants speaks of the church in Old Testament times,” but that is just an assumption, a supposition, a mere guess.  There is no evidence, whatsoever, that any church of Christ was found in Old Testament times, whether before Melchizedek, during his times (and he was a contemporary of Abraham, who likewise mentions no church), or after him.  As the most ancient church of Christ established on this earth was the one formed by Alma Nephi on this American continent, this D&C verse may be speaking of Alma’s church.  It need not apply to anything more ancient than that.

Stephen’s testimony in Acts 7 also mentioned a church in the times of Moses, but again, this wasn’t a church of Christ, but a congregation of the tribes.  Non-KJV bible translations use assembly or congregation, instead of church.  Here are his words in the KJV:

This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel,

A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear.

This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us: to whom our fathers would not obey, but thrust him from them, and in their hearts turned back again into Egypt, saying unto Aaron,

Make us gods to go before us: for as for this Moses, which brought us out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him. (Acts 7:37-40)

So there you have it.  There are only three verses in all of the scriptures that speak of a church in pre-Jesus or pre-Alma times, and two of the verses (1 Ne. 4:26 and Acts 7:38) are really talking of a tribal congregation or assembly, while the other passage (D&C 107:4) is speaking, in all likelihood, of either Alma’s church or Jesus’ church.  That is the extent of all the “evidence” for the existence of a church of Christ before Christ and Alma.

Nonetheless, as latter-day saints know absolutely nothing about the gospel administered tribally, to deal with the apparent operation of God’s priesthoods in antiquity, they have taken the church model and protocols and applied them to the past.  Even though there is no church mentioned or found in the ancient text, they, nevertheless, using their “church filters,” cause their eyes to see an ancient church everywhere, in every time period.  “It’s there, in the word congregation!  Or it’s over there, in the word kingdom!  Lo!  The church of Christ is everywhere!  It has been here since the very beginning!  This isn’t a restoration of the church of Christ that was established in Jesus’ day, but a restoration of the church of Christ from Adam’s time!  Our religion is that ancient!”  And so the sayings go.

How the false teachers use Abinadi and Alma

False teachers, working from the same false church-from-the-beginning reference point, have crafted a false narrative by superimposing the gospel as administered tribally upon the gospel as administered by the church.  Specifically, the application of Abinadi’s prophecy to Noah and his priests and people, by false teachers and false prophets—who attempt to use it as an example that God can, and does, use outsiders to correct and call the ministers of His church to repentance—is a misapplication.  Where these false teachers err is in their assumption that Abinadi and Noah and his priests and people were actually in any church of Christ.  They weren’t.  They weren’t living under church protocols, but under tribal protocols, which are different.

The only model that can be applied to the current church of Christ, founded by Joseph Smith, is a church model.  In other words, you must use a church example, not a tribal one, to show how the church of Christ is supposed to function.  So, we’ve got three churches: one founded by Alma the Nephite (the most ancient one), one founded by Jesus the Jew, and one founded by Joseph the Gentile of Ephraimite lineage.  You can look at the Nephite church, which begins with the baptism of Helam, or at the Jewish church, which begins with Jesus’ church, and apply those to the Gentile church, but you cannot turn to Abinadi and Noah and his priests and say, “See?  Abinadi wasn’t in the priesthood hierarchy and yet God used him to call them to repentance!”   So what?  There was a tribal protocol in place during that time that provided for that and Abinadi followed it precisely.

Tribal rights are passed on through literal lineage

Not all tribal functions have been revealed, as yet, but we do know a few things.  For example, lineage played a part in tribal priesthood.  Therefore, Aaron and his firstborn sons had (and still have) a right to the bishopric, by birth.  That’s a tribal protocol which is currently found in the church of Christ.  There is literal lineage (father to son) and priesthood lineage (priesthood father to priesthood son.)  In other words, priesthood rights can be passed on tribally, through literal seed (father to son, or for Aaron and all his firstborn sons), and that is a tribal operation, but also they can be passed on via the laying on of hands, from one unrelated man to another unrelated man.  The first man becomes the “priesthood father” of the second man, who becomes the “priesthood son.”  Thus, this conferral of priesthood by the laying on of hands is spoken of as having a lineage and seed.  So, I can trace my Aaronic “priesthood lineage” from the man who ordained me (who is my priesthood father), to the man who ordained him (my priesthood grandfather), and so on, back to Oliver Cowdery, and thus back to John the Baptist.  And so forth with the Melchizedek priesthood.

An example of the two kinds of seed (literal and priesthood) can be seen from the following scripture:

And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee above measure, and make thy name great among all nations, and thou shalt be a blessing unto thy seed after thee, that in their hands they shall bear this ministry and Priesthood unto all nations; and I will bless them through thy name; for as many as receive this Gospel shall be called after thy name, and shall be accounted thy seed, and shall rise up and bless thee, as their father; and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curse thee; and in thee (that is, in thy Priesthood) and in thy seed (that is, thy Priesthood), for I give unto thee a promise that this right shall continue in thee, and in thy seed after thee (that is to say, the literal seed, or the seed of the body) shall all the families of the earth be blessed, even with the blessings of the Gospel, which are the blessings of salvation, even of life eternal. (Abr. 2:9-11)

Another example is of evangelical ministers, which is a tribal office that is currently found in the church (since we need it here until the tribal functions are fully restored) :

It is the duty of the Twelve, in all large branches of the church, to ordain evangelical ministers, as they shall be designated unto them by revelation—the order of this priesthood was confirmed to be handed down from father to son, and rightly belongs to the literal descendants of the chosen seed, to whom the promises were made.  (D&C 107:39-40)

And again, verily I say unto you, let my servant William be appointed, ordained, and anointed, as counselor unto my servant Joseph, in the room of my servant Hyrum, that my servant Hyrum may take the office of Priesthood and Patriarch, which was appointed unto him by his father, by blessing and also by right; that from henceforth he shall hold the keys of the patriarchal blessings upon the heads of all my people, that whoever he blesses shall be blessed, and whoever he curses shall be cursed; that whatsoever he shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever he shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. (D&C 124:91-93)

Not only were priesthood rights transmitted by birth under the tribal model, but so were gifts.  In the Nephite society, it was the seed of Jacob, all the Jacobite sons, who had a right to the gift to prophesy.  As such, any male Jacobite, filled with the Spirit, was duly authorized to preach repentance to anyone, including priests, teachers and kings.  As they were Jacobites—their surname being Jacob-Nephi—they were within the Nephite tribal congregations, therefore they weren’t from the outside.  Also, as they were Jacobites, they had a right to prophesy.

Abinadi was likely a Jacobite, descended from Abinadom.  Thus, he was fully within his rights to call these people to repentance.  The whole thing followed tribal protocols, but not church protocols, for under church protocols, we are not to command him who is at our head.

But thou shalt not write by way of commandment, but by wisdom; and thou shalt not command him who is at thy head, and at the head of the church; for I have given him the keys of the mysteries, and the revelations which are sealed, until I shall appoint unto them another in his stead. (D&C 28:5-7)

Also, the elders of the church are not to be taught by others, but are to be the ones who do the teaching.

Again I say, hearken ye elders of my church, whom I have appointed:

Ye are not sent forth to be taught, but to teach the children of men the things which I have put into your hands by the power of my Spirit; and ye are to be taught from on high.  (D&C 43:15-16)

So, God will not use outsiders to call any of the church elders to repentance.  God will only use church ministers to call them to repentance.  (This means that if you’ve been excommunicated, repent and come back in.  If you start calling any part of the church to repentance, that is evidence that you do not have the Spirit of God.)

Additionally, the record states that “there was a man among them whose name was Abinadi” (Mosiah 11:20), so Abinadi was actually a part of Noah’s people and kingdom.  So, he was in no way an outsider.

An affront to the king’s right to judge

After Abinadi gave his prophecy to the people, they were livid, and when king Noah learned of his words, he also was fuming mad, and he said,

Who is Abinadi, that I and my people should be judged of him, or who is the Lord, that shall bring upon my people such great affliction?  I command you to bring Abinadi hither, that I may slay him, for he has said these things that he might stir up my people to anger one with another, and to raise contentions among my people; therefore I will slay him.  (Mosiah 11:27-28)

The reason for all this anger was two-fold.  The first reason was because, under tribal prototol, it was up to the kings to judge the people.  King Mosiah later would say,

Therefore, if it were possible that you could have just men to be your kings, who would establish the laws of God, and judge this people according to his commandments… (Mosiah 29:13)

Also, when there was iniquity in the church, Alma went to the king to have him judge them, according to tribal protocol:

And he said unto the king:

Behold, here are many whom we have brought before thee, who are accused of their brethren; yea, and they have been taken in divers iniquities. And they do not repent of their iniquities; therefore we have brought them before thee, that thou mayest judge them according to their crimes. (Mosiah 26:11)

Secondly, it was the prerogative of the kings to call upon the prophets, priests, teachers and other leaders, as helps, in their mission of judging the people and establishing peace:

…behold, it came to pass that king Benjamin, with the assistance of the holy prophets who were among his people—for behold, king Benjamin was a holy man, and he did reign over his people in righteousness; and there were many holy men in the land, and they did speak the word of God with power and with authority; and they did use much sharpness because of the stiffneckedness of the people—wherefore, with the help of these, king Benjamin, by laboring with all the might of his body and the faculty of his whole soul, and also the prophets, did once more establish peace in the land. (Words of Mormon 1:16-18)

This was the tribal protocol for just kings. And in the whole history of the Nephite people, there had only been just kings. Jarom said, “our kings and our leaders were mighty men in the faith of the Lord; and they taught the people the ways of the Lord” (Jarom 1:7.) But Noah was an anomaly. He was an iniquitous king.  In the case of an iniquitous king, judgment reverted to the LORD under tribal protocol, but this had never happened before, for Noah was the first wicked Nephite king.

This is why Noah’s question is two-fold: “Who is Abinadi, that I and my people should be judged of him, or who is the Lord, that shall bring upon my people such great affliction?”  When Noah asks, “Who is Abinadi?” it isn’t because Abinadi is an unknown person, some passerby that happened to enter into the land, and it isn’t because Abinadi isn’t a part of the priests of Noah, like many of the false teachers like to assert.  No, what Noah is saying is, “Is Abinadi king, or am I king?  Who has the right to judge this people, him or me?”

Assuming that Abinadi was, indeed, a Jacobite (and if so, his name would have been Abinadi Jacob-Nephi), Abinadi had the right to prophesy, but this always happened with the king’s advance notice and approval, and under the king’s guidance, not out-of-the-blue, without any notification whatsoever to the reigning king.  So, king Noah felt affronted.

Additionally, the prophecy of Abinadi went contrary to what the king and his priests were saying.  They proclaimed celebration and prosperity, while Abinadi’s prophecy was of affliction and bondage.  Noah assumed, therefore, that as the people appeared to be prosperous and content, and they gave their common consent to all he did(!), that he must be a just king, and therefore Abinadi must be the one out of sorts.  Therefore Abinadi must be a false prophet.  And also the name of “the Lord” that Abinadi invoked must not be the real Lord, but a false god.  (This is why king Noah asks, “Who is the Lord?”)  Abinadi, then, was the obvious guilty party, under tribal protocol (assuming a just king, that is.)  And so he and his people did not believe the prophecy.  They thought it was all made up:

And it came to pass that they were angry with him; and they took him and carried him bound before the king, and said unto the king:

Behold, we have brought a man before thee who has prophesied evil concerning thy people, and saith that God will destroy them.  And he also prophesieth evil concerning thy life, and saith that thy life shall be as a garment in a furnace of fire.  And again, he saith that thou shalt be as a stalk, even as a dry stalk of the field, which is run over by the beasts and trodden under foot.  And again, he saith thou shalt be as the blossoms of a thistle, which, when it is fully ripe, if the wind bloweth, it is driven forth upon the face of the land. And he pretendeth the Lord hath spoken it. And he saith all this shall come upon thee except thou repent, and this because of thine iniquities.  And now, O king, what great evil hast thou done, or what great sins have thy people committed, that we should be condemned of God or judged of this man?  And now, O king, behold, we are guiltless, and thou, O king, hast not sinned; therefore, this man has lied concerning you, and he has prophesied in vain.  And behold, we are strong, we shall not come into bondage, or be taken captive by our enemies; yea, and thou hast prospered in the land, and thou shalt also prosper.  Behold, here is the man, we deliver him into thy hands; thou mayest do with him as seemeth thee good.

So none of this has anything, whatsoever, to do with Abinadi not being a part of the body of Noah’s priests, but this is how the false teachers would like to spin it.

Okay, so my point is that Abinadi acted under proper tribal protocols.

A brief aside

It is not my intention to fully expound this Abinadi episode, but I will point out a couple of things, before moving on to Alma’s actions.

First, Noah, priests and people were focused on the law of Moses, thinking that salvation came by it, and they discarded the Ten Commandments, whereas Abinadi pointed to the Ten Commandments, saying that those who obeyed those commandments would be saved.

The people essentially broke every single one of the Ten Commandments.  They all “became idolatrous” (Mosiah 11:6-7.)  That broke the Second Commandment.  The king and priests spoke “vain words” (Mosiah 11:7,11) to the people.  That might indicate that they broke the Third Commandment.  The king and priests did not work, but were “supported in their laziness” (Mosiah 11:6.)  That broke the Fourth Commandment.  King Noah “did not walk in the ways of his father” (Mosiah 11:1.)  That indicates that he broke the Fifth Commandment.  The people “did delight in blood, and the shedding of the blood of their brethren” (Mosiah 11:19) and also they consented to the death of Abinadi.  This broke the Sixth Commandment.  They had “many wives and concubines” (Mosiah 11:2,4,6,14) and spent time with harlots and committed whoredoms.  That broke the Seventh Commandment.  They returned from war with the Lamanites, “rejoicing in their spoil” (Mosiah 11:18.)  That might indicate that they didn’t just get their own stuff back from the Lamanites, but took (stole) additional things that the Lamanites possessed.  That would break the Eighth Commandment.  The high priests would “speak lying” (Mosiah 11:11) words to the people.  That would violate the Ninth Commandment.  Finally, king Noah levied a tax upon the people (see Mosiah 11:4,6,13.)  This would violate the Tenth Commandment (per the post, Thou shalt not “covet”.)

Second, despite breaking pretty much every single commandment of God, notice that Abinadi does not say to them that their priesthood was now null and void, that they had no more keys, that because of their apostasy and sinful ways, the “church was no longer true,” etc., as the false teachers like to spin it, but instead, Abinadi continues to recognize the authority of these corrupt priests to the very end, ending his sermon in this fashion:

Therefore, if ye teach the law of Moses, also teach that it is a shadow of those things which are to come—teach them that redemption cometh through Christ the Lord, who is the very Eternal Father. Amen. (Mosiah 16:14-15)

So, this was not a case of “Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man!” that the false teachers would like it to be.  Now, let’s look at Alma.

Alma, the priest of Noah

Alma repented of his sins, ran away when Noah tried to kill him, wrote the words of Abinadi, and then began preaching in private.

Keep in mind that the tribal protocols were still intact under Noah and his priests.  But Alma couldn’t return, because they would just try to kill him again.  He was now an outsider, but he still had priesthood authority.  He was also under the obligation to teach the people the truth of Abinadi’s words.  He couldn’t teach them tribally and then tell them to go back and submit to the tribal authority of Noah as believers in Christ, because once it came out that they believed as Abinadi did, they would likely be killed, as well. So, what was Alma to do?

The answer is that he used his priesthood to form a church of Christ.  Noah and his priests operated under the tribal model, so Alma used his faith to have his converts operate under the church model.  This would protect them from the oppressions of king Noah, for they could meet in secret, be baptized in secret and so forth.  On the one hand, they would still participate in tribal functions, under Noah and priests, as well as in church functions, under Alma.

The church rises, the tribe goes away

But notice that once the church comes into existence, Satan inspires the king to destroy it, so they run away.  Then they are found by the Lamanites and finally escape to king Mosiah.  King Mosiah, a seer with his own tribal priests, seeing that Alma’s immense faith has caused a church of Christ to be formed before Christ had come to establish it(!), starts to set in motion the cessation of the priesthood within the tribal protocols.  He turns the monarchy into a system of judges without priests, gives Alma full authority over the church and the ordination of priesthood, and hands all sacred items to Alma’s son Alma.  Alma the younger then becomes first chief judge, high priest of the church, and all priesthood is now centered in the church.  From this point on, the priesthood no longer operates tribally, but within the church of Christ, exclusively.  The church of Christ has full sway over which ordinances are salvific, and which are not.

This pattern follows with the other two churches, too.  The church established by Jesus had exclusive authority.  The church established by Joseph Smith has exclusive authority.  No ordinances are salvific without church authorization, for either of these three churches.  All those who claim that they can baptize without church authorization, using Mormon priesthood, and that those baptisms are legitimately salvific in the Lord’s view, are wrong.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints possesses the keys over all the ordinances of salvation, exclusively.

Three published revelations given to me

Okay, hopefully that covers the Abinadi-Alma point that is always brought up by false teachers.

As the cry of false teachers and false prophets is always the same—the church is apostate, the keys are no longer valid, the practices of the church no longer conform to the revelations, etc.—I am going to use Abinadi logic to deal with these assertions:

And it came to pass that after Abinadi had made an end of these sayings that he said unto them:

Have ye taught this people that they should observe to do all these things for to keep these commandments? I say unto you,

Nay;

for if ye had, the Lord would not have caused me to come forth and to prophesy evil concerning this people. (Mosiah 13:25-26)

Joseph Smith organized and established the church of Christ on 6 April, 1830.  I joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 19__, at the age of nine.  About a month before my baptism, I received a revelation from the Holy Ghost, in which the Spirit said to me:

“This [The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints] is the ONLY true church!”

This revelation was received while I was attending a Mormon church service for the very first time, and it was accompanied by a baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost.  The meaning of the revelation was that the members of this particular church had valid ordinances of salvation.  In other words, that their priesthood authority was the only priesthood which was valid and authorized by God.

Now, all those who say that this church is apostate, or that the priesthood is no longer here, or some of it is missing, or the ordinances have changed, or that the keys are not valid, etc., and point to any point of time between 1830 and 19__, the year I received this revelation, are in error.  I say to them like Abinadi said to those priests:

Did the church become false at any time during this period from 1830 to 19__?  I say to you,

No, it didn’t;

for if it did, the Lord would not have caused me to receive a revelation that the church was true in 19__.

Now, either the church was true in 1830, and then became false, and then was restored back to true by 19__, or it has remained true the entire time, from 1830 to 19__.  As we have no record of any restoration that has occurred after Joseph Smith’s death, and, in fact, no such restoration will occur, except by the hand of the Josephite, then the church must have been true during this entire time.

So, that covers the period from 1830 to 19__, but what about the period since 19__?  Could there have been an apostasy since then?  Could the keys have been lost since the year I received that revelation?

No, because there is also this revelation, which I received in 2014:

Behold! Thus saith the Lord:

Thou shalt shut thy mouth, for none of my saints shall be authorized to speak against the leaders of my church, to criticize and correct them publicly, unless I send them. And thou shalt be sent, but the time is not yet, neither for thee, nor for any others, therefore, thou shalt heed these words and hold thy tongue.

Notice in particular that the Lord says, “the leaders of my church.”  Again,

Did the church become false at any time during this period from 19__ to 2014?  I say to you,

No, it didn’t;

for if it did, the Lord would not have caused me to receive a revelation that this was still His church in 2014.

So, this Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is still the Lord’s church, as of 2014.  And since 2014, there has been no indication from the Spirit, whatsoever, that the church has ceased being the Lord’s church, therefore, it’s still true, the keys are still here, the priesthood is still valid, and the Lord still recognizes it as His.

Anybody, then, who goes around saying this church no longer holds the keys, or is apostate, or does not have the priesthood (or not all the priesthood), or the ordinances have been changed or corrupted, or the Lord has rejected the church, and so forth—anyone who teaches such doctrine is a false teacher, because they go against these revelations of mine.

There is only one response that a false teacher can say to this, and that is, “These revelations are not true.”  But they are true, and this can be demonstrated by anyone praying to God about them.  God will tell any earnest seeker of truth that the above two revelations are true, and as they are true, these other phonies are false teachers.

Now, before I address the final point that false teachers always bring up, which is the fact that the practices of the church do not match the revelations of Joseph Smith in a great many instances, I will put up the third revelation, which is the tribal revelation, to show that this tribal doctrine and protocol, in which the kingdom of God was administered to the people tribally, is not something I made up on my own, but which was revealed to me by the Holy Ghost in 2010:

Be of good comfort, for verily, thus saith the Lord:

The priesthood existed before the organization of the church and is to serve both church and tribe. Although the tribes of Israel are not gathered, yet they are known to me, along with all the tribes of the earth.

For the Lord beholds no man alone, but sees the lineage of all families, of all the children of men, and of these lines form tribes.

I have yet to restore tribal functions,

saith the Lord,

nevertheless, the church ordinances of baptism, confirmation, administration of the sacrament, and priesthood ordinations, may be performed within a tribe, as tribal ordinances, under tribal authority or keys. Thus the priesthood may operate within a tribe, independently from the church, and within the church, independently from a tribe.

Nevertheless, thou shalt not substitute the church for the tribe, nor the tribe for the church.

Yet thou mayest establish thy tribe using these priesthood ordinances, and conform your tribal practices to the revelations of my servant Joseph Smith, Jun.,

saith the Lord.

¶ Because thou fearest to sin, thou shalt not administer of the sacrament at home to thy family, as a church ordinance, unless the bishop permitteth it.

For it is not meet nor right to establish a home church, apart from the body of the saints; nevertheless, thou art permitted to administer of the sacrament, as a tribal ordinance, to those that pertain to thy tribe.

For I require the saints of my church to meet together often, to worship me as a group, and thou shalt also worship me at all times, and the church is ordained and established unto this end,

saith the Lord.

Likewise the tribe is to worship me, as a group and individually. Wherefore, establish thy tribe, if thou wilt, using the priesthood, that ye may worship me as a group, in conformity to my revelations, given to my servant Joseph, that I may pour out my Spirit and gifts upon thee and thine, that thou shalt have no more cause to mourn and murmur concerning the meetings of my church. But take care not to go beyond the bounds I have set, until I have seen fit to reveal the tribal functions. Amen.

This shows that the priesthood “is to serve both church and tribe,” which means that before the churches established by Alma and Jesus, the kingdom of God was administered tribally, for that is what existed back then: tribes of Israel and tribes of the earth.

Two published revelations given to Joseph Smith

There are also two revelations which were given to Joseph Smith that show that the church still has all of its keys.  The first is:

Upon you my fellow servants, in the name of Messiah I confer the Priesthood of Aaron, which holds the keys of the ministering of angels, and of the gospel of repentance, and of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; and this shall never be taken again from the earth, until the sons of Levi do offer again an offering unto the Lord in righteousness. (D&C 13:1)

Those are the words of John the Baptist to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery when he gave them the Aaronic Priesthood. Notice that he says that that priesthood will remain on earth until the sons of Levi offer a sacrifice to the Lord in righteousness. Have the sons of Levi done this, yet? No, they haven’t. Therefore, this priesthood and all its keys are still here in the Lord’s church.

Here is another revelation of Joseph Smith:

Therefore, thus saith the Lord unto you, with whom the priesthood hath continued through the lineage of your fathers—for ye are lawful heirs, according to the flesh, and have been hid from the world with Christ in God—therefore your life and the priesthood have remained, and must needs remain through you and your lineage until the restoration of all things spoken by the mouths of all the holy prophets since the world began. (D&C 86:8-10)

This does not refer to the literal seed, but to the priesthood seed and priesthood lineage and priesthood fathers. So, the fathers of Joseph and Oliver were John the Baptist and also Peter, James and John, and Joseph and Oliver were lawful heirs, according to the flesh, for these priesthoods were conferred by the laying on of hands, of flesh and bone people, therefore it was done “according to the flesh.” Some people go way out in left field and think this scripture is speaking of the literal seed, or that Joseph and Oliver had priesthood rights by birth, from their mortal fathers, etc., but no such imaginary scenario exists, for they were Gentiles and had no right by birth to the priesthood, but via ordination by the hand of these resurrected personages. And so the lineage spoken of here is not the literal seed of Joseph and Oliver, but their priesthood seed. For example, owing to my priesthood lineage, Oliver Cowdery is one of my priesthood fathers. And I am one of his priesthood sons. And so forth. I am a part of his priesthood posterity.

Now, this priesthood (which includes both priesthoods) was to remain “until the restoration of all things.”  Again,

Has the restoration of all things occurred, yet?  I say to you,

No, it hasn’t;

therefore, this priesthood and all its keys are still with the church.

There is no getting around these revelations, neither mine nor Joseph’s.  If the false teachers are teaching correct doctrines, then both my revelations and also Joseph Smith’s are false.  If Joseph’s and my revelations are true, then the false teachers are in error.  It can’t be both ways.  As all these revelations are true, everyone can expect these two priesthoods, and their keys, to remain in this church until the restoration of all things.

These are the keys

As for what keys they have, this is what the Lord says about that:

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)

So, it is to the Twelve and First Presidency that we should look as key holders.  Now, notice what they have done with their keys since the death of Joseph Smith:

The church is out of order

According to the law of expediency, the church leadership must operate according to what is expedient.  In the absence of the revelations of a seer (Joseph Smith or Joseph-Nephi) they are to use this law and their keys, to keep the work moving forward, building up the church upon the foundation Joseph Smith laid, until the next seer (Joseph-Nephi) arrives to add to the body of revelation and restore the rest of all the things.

Because of hinderment, and especially if the hinderment is continual, things can quickly get out of order.  So, let’s say you start with 10 numbered blocks, from 1 to 10, which Joseph Smith restored, and let’s say that there are, in total, 1000 blocks to be restored.  Those 10 blocks represent the foundation of the restoration of all things, as well as the foundation of the church, which was accomplished by Joseph.  The order is from 1 to 10, but even in Joseph’s time, there was hinderment, so, for example, the law of consecration and stewardship had to be put on hold, and we got a new revealed block, which was the law of tithing.  After Joseph’s death, the leadership, holding the keys, had to move the work forward as best they could, under whatever inspiration they could get.

But again, hinderment comes, for Satan opposes this work, and maybe the order must be changed a little, so that there is no halt in the work.  Maybe blocks number 4 and 5 get swapped.  Later, there is more opposition, and the law of expediency requires that to keep the work moving forward, blocks 2 and 7 must be swapped.  Maybe with so much opposition, block 10 must have its practice ceased, but the block must remain, so it is hid under block 9.  And so on, as time goes on the blocks get more and more out of order.  Yet they are all still there.

The uninspired man, and in particular the false teachers and false prophets, will say that this is not the true church, for look at all the blocks.  They are out of order!  They no longer conform to the revelations of Joseph Smith!  But remember, these are uninspired, false teachers.  They cannot see the hand of God if it was placed right in front of their blind faces.

And it shall come to pass that I, the Lord God, will send one mighty and strong, holding the scepter of power in his hand, clothed with light for a covering, whose mouth shall utter words, eternal words; while his bowels shall be a fountain of truth, to set in order the house of God, and to arrange by lot the inheritances of the saints whose names are found, and the names of their fathers, and of their children, enrolled in the book of the law of God; while that man, who was called of God and appointed, that putteth forth his hand to steady the ark of God, shall fall by the shaft of death, like as a tree that is smitten by the vivid shaft of lightning. (D&C 85:7-8)

This prophecy cannot be fulfilled unless the house of God first gets out of order.  This is really, then, two prophecies: one of the house of God getting out of order, and one of the house of God being set in order.  Those who say: “That the house of God being out of order, or it not conforming to the revelations of Joseph Smith, is evidence that it is no longer the house of God” are false teachers, for this prophecy of Joseph Smith prophesies that the house of God will first get out of order, yet it still will be the house of God, for later on it (the house of God) will be set in order.  It never ceases to be the house of God during this process.  Therefore, all those who seek to “steady the ark of God” to restore order to it, are the ones who are uninspired.  The house of God getting out of order is a state which conforms to the revelations of Joseph Smith.  And the leadership, acting under the law of expediency, and getting this house more and more out of order, are acting under inspiration of God.

It was always the intention of God to have the house get all jumbled up, and then one day He had always planned that this guy, called a mighty and strong one, would come and set the whole mess right.  So, if you want to follow a false teacher out of this church, do it with the understanding that these people haven’t got a clue as to the workings of the Spirit.

A key to discerning the time of apostasy

When did the most ancient church of Christ (the one established by Alma Nephi) go into apostasy and cease to exist?  The answer is when God took away His twelve disciples.  (Later, under Mormon, it was when He took away all of His disciples.)  And when did the church established by Jesus among the Jews go into apostasy?

Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you my servants, concerning the parable of the wheat and of the tares:

Behold, verily I say, the field was the world, and the apostles were the sowers of the seed; and after they have fallen asleep the great persecutor of the church, the apostate, the whore, even Babylon, that maketh all nations to drink of her cup, in whose hearts the enemy, even Satan, sitteth to reign—behold he soweth the tares; wherefore, the tares choke the wheat and drive the church into the wilderness. (D&C 86:1-3)

Once again, the answer is when the apostles were taken away. (The tares had been sown in the church while the apostles were still ministering, but only when they were taken away did the tares become capable of choking the wheat and driving the church into the wilderness.) And in our day, when will the church go into apostasy?

Now, I say unto you, and what I say unto you, I say unto all the Twelve:

And again, I say unto you, that whosoever ye shall send in my name, by the voice of your brethren, the Twelve, duly recommended and authorized by you, shall have power to open the door of my kingdom unto any nation whithersoever ye shall send them—inasmuch as they shall humble themselves before me, and abide in my word, and hearken to the voice of my Spirit.

Verily, verily, I say unto you, darkness covereth the earth, and gross darkness the minds of the people, and all flesh has become corrupt before my face.

Behold, vengeance cometh speedily upon the inhabitants of the earth, a day of wrath, a day of burning, a day of desolation, of weeping, of mourning, and of lamentation; and as a whirlwind it shall come upon all the face of the earth,

saith the Lord.

And upon my house shall it begin, and from my house shall it go forth,

saith the Lord;

first among those among you,

saith the Lord,

who have professed to know my name and have not known me, and have blasphemed against me in the midst of my house,

saith the Lord. (D&C 112:14,21-26)

Again, the answer is the same: the day of vengeance, wrath, burning, desolation, weeping, mourning and lamentation will begin first among the Twelve apostles.  (And this day has not come, yet.)  So, when the Lord removes the twelve Gentile apostles, that is the day when the tares, which are already sown among the wheat of this church, will begin to choke the wheat. But as long as we have the twelve apostles among us, the church is not apostate, it still has the priesthood, the keys are still here, the ordinances are still valid, and so forth. Even my prophecies concerning the breakup of the church and of the descent into wickedness (by the tares of this church) bear out this principle, for the church breakup and wickedness of the tares only occurs when the quorum of the Twelve are taken out of the picture. So, all of this shows that a key to know whether this church is still valid in God’s eyes, is the existence of the quorum of the twelve apostles. If that quorum exists, the church is still true.  And since we do have the Twelve among us still, this (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) is still the Lord’s church and believe it or not, all the expedient disordering that is being done with their keys is under inspiration of God.  So, hopefully this post will do something to help shut the mouths of the false teachers who are spreading lies among the saints.

Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist

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.

Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist

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)

Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist

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.

Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist

New Thoughts on Faith


“Take no thought”:

In the New Testament, Jesus uses the phrase “take no thought” to describe a condition of faith.

no person can serve two masters
for either they will hate the one
and love the other
or else they will hold to the one
and despise the other
you cannot serve god and money
therefore
I say unto you
take no thought for your life
what you shall eat
what you shall drink
nor thought for your body
what you shall wear
is not your life more than food
and your body more than clothing?

o ye of little faith
therefore
take no thought
saying

what shall we eat?

or

what shall we drink?

or

what shall we wear?

for the gentiles seek after all these things
but your heavenly father knows that you have need of all these things
so seek ye first the kingdom of god
and his justice
and all these things shall be given to you
therefore
take no thought for your next day
for tomorrow shall take thought for the things of itself
the business of today is sufficient

and

take heed and be on guard
for they shall deliver you up to councils
and you shall be beaten in the places of worship
and you shall be brought before political rulers because of me
as a testimony against them in the day of judgement
at the time when the gospel has been made known among all the nations
but
when they shall lead you
and deliver you up
take no thought beforehand
about what you will say
neither premeditate
but whatsoever she gives you in that moment
that shall you speak
for it is not you that will speak
but the holy spirit who is with you

In this view, we are to mimic nature — where the sparrows and the lilies go about their activities without spending effort worrying about obtaining what is needed.  It is an act of faith, in Jesus’ sermons, for a disciple to make no prior arrangements for something, but to trust wholly in God to meet the need when it arises.  In fact, taking thought would show that the person must not have trusted God to provide.

In contrast, Alma uses the phrase “take no thought” to describe a condition of NO-faith.

behold
as the tree begins to grow
you will say

let us nourish it with great care
that it may get root
that it may grow up
and bring forth fruit unto us

and now
behold
if you nourish it with great care
it will get root
and grow up
and bring forth fruit
but if ye neglect the tree
and take no thought for its nourishment
behold
it will not get any root
and when the heat of the sun comes and scorches it
because it has no root
it withers away
and you pluck it up
and cast it out
now
this is not because the seed was not good
neither is it because the fruit thereof would not have been desirable
but it is because your ground is barren
and refuse to nourish the tree
therefore
you cannot have the fruit thereof
and thus
if you will not nourish the word
looking forward with an eye of faith to the fruit thereof
you can never pluck of the fruit of the tree of life

In this view, we are to mimic agriculture — where the farmers who cultivate nature expend their effort in the hope that they will be rewarded with an abundant harvest.  It is an act of faith for a disciple to make the effort towards something even when its results are not immediately evident, and not to passively wait for someone to just drop what you need in your lap.  In fact, in Alma’s sermon, taking no thought would show that the person must not have trusted very much in the thing they were hoping to attain.

This is the same view on “taking thought” and its relationship with faith that God communicated to Joseph Smith.

behold
you have not understood
you have supposed that I would give it unto you
when you took no thought save it was to ask me

God then gives him a description of the kind of premeditated effort that a disciple should invest in the matter, as an act of faith, before a revelation as to the truth of something can be obtained.

 The Language of a Science:

I have long thought of “faith” as a state of mental acceptance of a claim for which the physical evidence is either not there or is forthcoming.  As in,

now
faith is the substance of things hoped for
the evidence of things not seen

It’s been, to me, a possession that one can either have or not have.  I’ve since changed the way I view faith — to more of a description of an active process of discovery and progression.  Akin to the scientific method, which uncovers truth and is always conditional, faith is the activity of:

  • taking a proposition
  • holding it to be true in your mind
  • experimenting in your life as if that were true
  • making conclusions about its truth based on the results

Alma’s sermon differs from Jesus’ sermons because he is using the language of the sciences, rather than the language of a theology.

  • awake and arouse your faculties
  • experiment upon my words
  • try the experiment
  • your faith is dormant
  • a particle of faith
  • because it is discernible
  • your mind doth begin to expand
  • O then, is not this real?

Alma is talking about a physical process by which a particle is implanted into your mind and produces the observable effect of enlarging it.  He goes so far as to call it an experiment — one in which you have to arouse your physical senses to make real conclusions about things that are observable.  Furthermore, this process is, in principle, never-ending — subject to continual expansion at each new horizon.  Once you have achieved results in one thing, you’ve got to reapply your faith to a new thing — or else it all falls dormant (or becomes at rest).

So,

yea
a person may say

you have faith
but I have thought

then show me your faith without taking thought
and I will show you my faith by taking thought

Next Article by Justin:  We are all the Rich Young Ruler

Previous Article by Justin:  Master, Master, We Parish

They did it for prosperity, dominion, discovery, diversity, defense and memorial


When Lehi left Jerusalem, he went from having a permanent dwelling, on a permanent piece of land (his land of inheritance), to traveling around and living in a tent:

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.

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.

And it came to pass that when he had traveled three days in the wilderness, he pitched his tent in a valley by the side of a river of water.

And my father dwelt in a tent.  (1 Ne 2:2-4,6,15)

He took tents with him and began living in a tent because it was a commandment of the Lord. Living in a tent is permissible in the gospel when you are not on the place of your permanent dwelling.

His group ceased being (for a time) an agricultural society and became, for the 8-year journey to Bountiful, hunter-gatherers.  But when he sent his boys back to get Ishmael’s group they also brought back all manner of seeds:

And it came to pass that we had gathered together all manner of seeds of every kind, both of grain of every kind, and also of the seeds of fruit of every kind.  (1 Ne. 8:1)

They did this because it was a commandment of the Lord, for hunting and gathering is permissible in the gospel only insofar as you are traveling.  Once you get to the place of your permanent dwelling, you are commanded to cease hunting and gathering and to put seed into the ground.  This is, in fact, exactly what Lehi’s group ended up doing when they got to the promised land:

And it came to pass that we did begin to till the earth, and we began to plant seeds; yea, we did put all our seeds into the earth, which we had brought from the land of Jerusalem. And it came to pass that they did grow exceedingly; wherefore, we were blessed in abundance.   (1 Ne. 18:24)

Again, they did this because they were commanded to do it.

Initially they pitched their tents when they got to the promised land, but only initially, for they needed a temporary place to dwell while they built their permanent houses:

And I did teach my people to build buildings, and to work in all manner of wood, and of iron, and of copper, and of brass, and of steel, and of gold, and of silver, and of precious ores, which were in great abundance.  (2 Ne. 5:16)

Nephi taught his people to build permanent structures because this was the commandment of the Lord, for the gospel requires that when you are on the place of your permanent dwelling, you are to construct a permanent house and cease living in a tent.

Lazy Laman and Lemuel and the sons of Ishmael

Laman and Lameul were lazy and idle.  They complained about leaving Jerusalem because the land and house they would have inherited was already built.  They didn’t have to do anything.  They just had to inhabit it and live off the rich inheritance their father would give them.  When Lehi moved everyone into tents (for 8 full years!) they eventually grew accustomed to the hunter-gatherer lifestyle and to living in tents.  It wasn’t so bad after all.  They could do this easily and they became expert at finding food.  It was actually kind of fun to hunt and gather and not have to work the land or raise animals. Also, there were other perks, for they did not have to even cook their food or make any type of light and their women were strong like the men were and didn’t complain:

And so great were the blessings of the Lord upon us, that while we did live upon raw meat in the wilderness, our women did give plenty of suck for their children, and were strong, yea, even like unto the men; and they began to bear their journeyings without murmurings.

And thus we see that the commandments of God must be fulfilled. And if it so be that the children of men keep the commandments of God he doth nourish them, and strengthen them, and provide means whereby they can accomplish the thing which he has commanded them; wherefore, he did provide means for us while we did sojourn in the wilderness.

For the Lord had not hitherto suffered that we should make much fire, as we journeyed in the wilderness; for he said:

I will make thy food become sweet, that ye cook it not; and I will also be your light in the wilderness; and I will prepare the way before you, if it so be that ye shall keep my commandments; wherefore, inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments ye shall be led towards the promised land; and ye shall know that it is by me that ye are led.  (1 Ne. 17:2-3,12-13)

In Bountiful, they pitched their tents and were happy, because Bountiful had a lot of food that could be gathered and it had a seaside view.  They could live out their lives in Bountiful and be happy:

And we did come to the land which we called Bountiful, because of its much fruit and also wild honey; and all these things were prepared of the Lord that we might not perish. And we beheld the sea, which we called Irreantum, which, being interpreted, is many waters.

And it came to pass that we did pitch our tents by the seashore; and notwithstanding we had suffered many afflictions and much difficulty, yea, even so much that we cannot write them all, we were exceedingly rejoiced when we came to the seashore; and we called the place Bountiful, because of its much fruit.  (1 Ne. 17:5-6)

To have Nephi, then, announce that they weren’t going to stay in Bountiful, but that they had to cross the sea, and to top it off, that there wasn’t a ship already built for them by the Lord, but that they actually had to build it themselves!, was cause for a scene.  For Laman and Lemuel, more than anything else, were lazy:

And when my brethren saw that I was about to build a ship, they began to murmur against me, saying:

Our brother is a fool, for he thinketh that he can build a ship; yea, and he also thinketh that he can cross these great waters.

And thus my brethren did complain against me, and were desirous that they might not labor, for they did not believe that I could build a ship; neither would they believe that I was instructed of the Lord.  (1 Ne. 17:17-18)

This was the reason why Laman and Lemuel, and the sons of Ishmael and their families, and also the Ishmaelitish women that became wives of Laman and Lemuel, never converted to the Lord.  The Lord requires some labor in order to be saved, and they were too lazy to even look or pray.

Eventually, though, they did build the ship and cross the sea and arrive at the promised land.  But their laziness and idleness continued to follow them, for Nephi and his group continued to obey these commandments of God and so they began to sow seed and construct buildings and raise animals, etc., while Laman’s group continued to live in tents and hunt and gather.

Lehi’s death resulted in a major schism, for Laman’s tradition was based upon what they had been doing, begin lazy and idle, while Nephi’s tradition was based upon what he had been doing, obeying the commandments of God, which required that they start working the land and constructing permanent structures, etc.  In Laman’s view, it was one thing to lose the land and house of your inheritance in Jerusalem, but it was quite another to have to start from scratch and build civilization all over again in this new land.  Being hunter-gatherers was working for the group, or had been working for the past 8 years, so there was no reason to go back to the old ways, which was a lot of work.  Let’s just live in tents and forage like we’ve been doing.

“Nope,” said Nephi.  “The Lord commands that the group start building up a vast civilization to His name.  If you don’t start building according to the instructions I got from the Lord, you are a vile sinner and are going to hell.”  Now, there was no way that Laman and his group were going to undertake such a project, nor were they going to let Nephi slide, for this was not just a difference of opinion, but a situation in which Nephi was yet again claiming to know God’s divine will for the group and condemning those who didn’t heed his commands, so Nephi had to “go,” as in dead go.  And Nephi did go, taking with him everyone in the group that believed in the commandments of God, as they were received by Nephi through his revelations, who were all those that were willing to labor and build up a civilization to the Lord’s name, and taking with him all the records and artifacts, too.

And all those who would go with me were those who believed in the warnings and the revelations of God; wherefore, they did hearken unto my words.  (2 Ne. 5:6)

When Nephi got to the new place, called the land of Nephi, he began again to keep all the commandments of God that they had received:

And the Lord was with us; and we did prosper exceedingly; for we did sow seed, and we did reap again in abundance. And we began to raise flocks, and herds, and animals of every kind.

And it came to pass that we began to prosper exceedingly, and to multiply in the land.

And I did teach my people to build buildings, and to work in all manner of wood, and of iron, and of copper, and of brass, and of steel, and of gold, and of silver, and of precious ores, which were in great abundance.

And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did cause my people to be industrious, and to labor with their hands.  (2 Ne. 5:11,13,16-17)

What industrious means

Before going any further, let’s look up the definitions of the words industry and industrious from the 1828 Dictionary:

IN’DUSTRY, n. [L. industria.]

Habitual diligence in any employment, either bodily or mental; steady attention to business; assiduity; opposed to sloth and idleness.

We are directed to take lessons of industry from the bee.

Industry pays debts, while idleness or despair will increase them.

INDUS’TRIOUS, a. [L. industrius, from industria.]

1. Diligent in business or study; constantly, regularly or habitually occupied in business; assiduous; opposed to slothful and idle.

Frugal and industrious men are commonly friendly to the established government.

2. Diligent in a particular pursuit, or to a particular end; opposed to remiss or slack; as industrious to accomplish a journey, or to reconcile contending parties.

3. Given to industry; characterized by diligence; as an industrious life.

4. Careful; assiduous; as the industrious application of knowing men.

The Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary gives this origin:

Origin of INDUSTRY

Middle English (Scots) industrie, from Middle French, from Latin industria, from industrius diligent, from Old Latin indostruus, perhaps from indu in + -struus (akin to Latin struere to build)

First Known Use: 15th century

So, their industry wasn’t just “the process of making products by using machinery and factories” or “manufacturing activity as a whole,”, but “steady application in business of any kind; constant effort to accomplish what is undertaken; exertion of body or mind without unnecessary delay or sloth” applied to all aspects of their lives.  And this wasn’t just a tradition of Nephi’s, but an actual gospel principle, for they were to pray always, asking for whatsoever they needed, repeatedly, until they got it.  In like manner, they were to steadily apply themselves in all their efforts until they prevailed, for this is what faith is all about, and this is what Israel is all about, for Israel is “he who prevails,” which is the same as saying “the faithful one.”

Okay, so back to that scriptural list that Nephi had them do.  These things that Nephi mentioned were not just his workaholic obsession passed on to his people as tradition, but were bona fide gospel principles and commandments of God.  We can see this clearly in the Book of Mormon text because the newly converted Anti-Nephi-Lehies actually covenanted with God to labor abundantly with their hands:

And it came to pass that they called their names Anti-Nephi-Lehies; and they were called by this name and were no more called Lamanites.  And they began to be a very industrious people; yea, and they were friendly with the Nephites; therefore, they did open a correspondence with them, and the curse of God did no more follow them.  (Alma 23:17-18)

And this they did, it being in their view a testimony to God, and also to men, that they never would use weapons again for the shedding of man’s blood; and this they did, vouching and covenanting with God, that rather than shed the blood of their brethren they would give up their own lives; and rather than take away from a brother they would give unto him; and rather than spend their days in idleness they would labor abundantly with their hands.  (Allma 24:18)

It must be understood that the Nephites were blessed beyond anything the other tribes of Israel had received, almost beyond belief.  This is why Lehi states:

Wherefore, I, Lehi, have obtained a promise, that inasmuch as those whom the Lord God shall bring out of the land of Jerusalem shall keep his commandments, they shall prosper upon the face of this land; and they shall be kept from all other nations, that they may possess this land unto themselves. And if it so be that they shall keep his commandments they shall be blessed upon the face of this land, and there shall be none to molest them, nor to take away the land of their inheritance; and they shall dwell safely forever.

But behold, when the time cometh that they shall dwindle in unbelief, after they have received so great blessings from the hand of the Lord—having a knowledge of the creation of the earth, and all men, knowing the great and marvelous works of the Lord from the creation of the world; having power given them to do all things by faith; having all the commandments from the beginning, and having been brought by his infinite goodness into this precious land of promise—behold, I say, if the day shall come that they will reject the Holy One of Israel, the true Messiah, their Redeemer and their God, behold, the judgments of him that is just shall rest upon them.  (2 Ne. 1:9-10.  Note: The full implications of “having all the commandments from the beginning” will not be expounded in this post since it is a topic worthy of its own separate post, which, if I remember to, I will write and publish at some point.)

And also why Alma states:

For he will not suffer you that ye shall live in your iniquities, to destroy his people. I say unto you, Nay; he would rather suffer that the Lamanites might destroy all his people who are called the people of Nephi, if it were possible that they could fall into sins and transgressions, after having had so much light and so much knowledge given unto them of the Lord their God; yea, after having been such a highly favored people of the Lord; yea, after having been favored above every other nation, kindred, tongue, or people; after having had all things made known unto them, according to their desires, and their faith, and prayers, of that which has been, and which is, and which is to come; having been visited by the Spirit of God; having conversed with angels, and having been spoken unto by the voice of the Lord; and having the spirit of prophecy, and the spirit of revelation, and also many gifts, the gift of speaking with tongues, and the gift of preaching, and the gift of the Holy Ghost, and the gift of translation; yea, and after having been delivered of God out of the land of Jerusalem, by the hand of the Lord; having been saved from famine, and from sickness, and all manner of diseases of every kind; and they having waxed strong in battle, that they might not be destroyed; having been brought out of bondage time after time, and having been kept and preserved until now; and they have been prospered until they are rich in all manner of things—  (Alma 9:19-22)

(As Alma mentioned above, the righteous Nephties were also kept from diseases, for what joy is there in wealth if you have no health?  The unrighteous Nephites, on the other hand, became not only poor, but also sick.  Those who repented were healed and then baptized, baptized and then healed, and also healed upon baptism, possibly forming the basis of Joseph Smith’s baptism for healing, a topic for another post, I suppose.  Those who did not have faith to be healed, or who did not repent of their sins and receive miraculous healing, were administered to in other ways, according to their condition.  The commandments we have in D&C 42:43-52 are thus possibly Nephite in origin.)

When the modern latter-day saint reads the promise which is repeated again and again in the Book of Mormon:

And inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments, ye shall prosper  (1 Ne. 2:20)

he tends to think that the text is speaking of, perhaps, obeying the law of tithing, or attending church, or living a chaste life, etc.  No latter-day saint believes that it is a sin to not build a permanent structure if you own land and can do so.  Nor does anyone believe that it is a sin to not work the land and instead to hunt and gather and live in a tent upon your land.  This is because, unlike the Nephites, the latter-day saints do not have all the commandments from the beginning.

Everything that the Nephites did, while in their righteousness, was not just a custom or tradition, but was according to the commandments of God that they had received.  For their traditions were correct,

And it came to pass that whosoever would not believe in the tradition of the Lamanites, but believed those records which were brought out of the land of Jerusalem, and also in the tradition of their fathers, which were correct, who believed in the commandments of God and kept them, were called the Nephites, or the people of Nephi, from that time forth—  (Alma 3:11)

meaning that they were in accordance with the commandments of God.  In other words, these traditions were given to them by God.  The traditions of the Lamanites, on the other hand, were not correct, but were mere philosophies of men:

And it came to pass that the Lord began to bless them, insomuch that they brought many to the knowledge of the truth; yea, they did convince many of their sins, and of the traditions of their fathers, which were not correct.  (Alma 21:17)

And it came to pass that they journeyed many days in the wilderness, and they fasted much and prayed much that the Lord would grant unto them a portion of his Spirit to go with them, and abide with them, that they might be an instrument in the hands of God to bring, if it were possible, their brethren, the Lamanites, to the knowledge of the truth, to the knowledge of the baseness of the traditions of their fathers, which were not correct.  (Alma 17:9)

I say unto you, my sons, were it not for these things, which have been kept and preserved by the hand of God, that we might read and understand of his mysteries, and have his commandments always before our eyes, that even our fathers would have dwindled in unbelief, and we should have been like unto our brethren, the Lamanites, who know nothing concerning these things, or even do not believe them when they are taught them, because of the traditions of their fathers, which are not correct.  (Mosiah 1:5)

And this was done that their seed might be distinguished from the seed of their brethren, that thereby the Lord God might preserve his people, that they might not mix and believe in incorrect traditions which would prove their destruction.  (Alma 3:8)

Yea, I say unto you, were it not for these things that these records do contain, which are on these plates, Ammon and his brethren could not have convinced so many thousands of the Lamanites of the incorrect tradition of their fathers; yea, these records and their words brought them unto repentance; that is, they brought them to the knowledge of the Lord their God, and to rejoice in Jesus Christ their Redeemer.  (Alma 37:9)

This is the same sense in which Joseph Smith uses the word “correct”:

Concerning this record the Prophet Joseph Smith said: “I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.”  (Introduction to the Book of Mormon)

The 1828 dictionary gives this definition of the word “correct”:

CORRECT, a. [L., to set right; right, straight. See Right.] Literally, set right, or made straight. Hence, right; conformable to truth, rectitude or propriety, or conformable to a just standard; not faulty; free from error.

A correct edition of a book is exactly according to the original copy.

Correct manners correspond with the rules of morality and received notions of decorum.

Correct principles coincide with the truth.

Correct language is agreeable to established usage.

The Book of Mormon isn’t correct in that it is factual, it is correct in that the principles (precepts) that the righteous Nephites and righteous Jaredites acted under were actually commandments of God.

So, the agricultural society, in which we grow and raise our own food, is a principle given by God.  So is erecting permanent houses, public buildings (temples, sanctuaries, synagogues, etc.), making streets and roads, constructing cities, and the host of other things that the Nephites did.  They did these things to keep the commandments of God.  With this principle in mind, that these projects weren’t just mere traditions, but were actually correct traditions, let’s review what they did and what the purposes of God were in these things.

For prosperity

Right off the bat, we learn that if they keep the commandments of God, that they will prosper in the land.  They wanted this prosperity, for God is rich and to become like Him we must also be rich.  As He also wants us to become like Him, His children must also be prosperous (rich), but the promise is that they will obtain this prosperity only insofar as they keep His commandments.

As they were commanded to sow seed, raise animals, build cities, build houses and buildings and roads, make weapons of war, make clothing and work in all manner of everything they found upon the earth or in the earth, their lives were full of activity.  Not busy-body work, like the Gentiles, but creative work, for God is a Creator, and all things that the Nephites did were creative, making all kinds of things.

They were also appointed, or commanded, the very times in which they had to perform these labors, and also the time in which they had to rest:

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work; but the seventh day, the sabbath of the Lord thy God, thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy man-servant, nor thy maid-servant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is; wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.  (Mosiah 13:16-19)

The Gentiles and latter-day saints work five days a week, breaking the commandment each and every week.  The righteous Nephites kept the commandment and labored in these efforts with all diligence for six days.  On the seventh day, they rested, according to the commandment.  The Gentiles use the sixth day as a day of recreation.  Sometimes they even use the seventh day as a day of recreation, too.  For the Gentile Christians and Mormons, resting on the seventh day is the important thing, not the laboring for six days, but to the Nephites, keeping a commandment of God could only be done with exactness:

And we did observe to keep the judgments, and the statutes, and the commandments of the Lord in all things, according to the law of Moses.  (2 Ne. 5:10)

It was precisely because they exactly kept this commandment, laboring for exactly six days and resting only on the seventh, that God prospered them to an astonishing degree, in a miraculous manner, for the thing was a miracle, indeed.

An abundance of crops

For example, when they put the seeds into the ground, they all germinated.  They also had accelerated growth rates, enormous yields, and vastly superior crop quality and nutritional content.  As a comparison, it should be noted that we have technologies which have shown that you can cause a plant to grow really fast, increase in yield and become a much healthier and superior plant.  For example, Sonic Bloom, magnetized water, mycorrhizal fungi, etc., all do these things.  And each succeeding generation of plants that are treated with these things is even better than the previous generation, showing that we have not yet seen nor yet do we know the genetic potential of plants.  Still, what we have seen is quite impressive, at least to a Gentile.  But everything we have discovered about plants is a mere drop compared to what the Nephites had, for God unlocked the full plant genetic potential for them, as a miracle, because they kept His commandments and sowed their seeds.

Also, it must be said that they weren’t just to simply sow their seeds, but had to keep all the rest of the commandments, too, including this most important one:

Cry unto him over the crops of your fields, that ye may prosper in them.  (Alma 34:24)

An abundance of flocks

The “flocks, and herds, and animals of every kind” which they raised were also genetically unlocked, so that their full potential was unleashed.  Now, we can’t even begin to conceive of what that genetic potential actually is, but to the Nephites, this was their normal life existence.  If a Nephite, who lived back then, were suddenly transported to this day and age to observe the “abundance” that the Gentiles have obtained by their technology, he would break out in hysterical laughter, thinking someone was making some kind of practical joke, for our abundance is not true abundance, for our animals and plants remain largely unlocked, despite the application of our many technologies.

Again, in addition to raising flocks, they also had to diligently exercise their faith unto prayer:

Cry over the flocks of your fields, that they may increase.  (Alma 34:25)

An abundance of everything else

The whole thing (their prosperity) must be looked at as a miracle, for this is what it was.  It wasn’t just that they were hard workers and were able to amass vast fortunes.  It was that they kept the commandments of God and fortune smiled upon them.  The modern Gentiles understands that no matter how good your idea is, and how hard you work, there is always luck involved.  Sometimes lady luck smiles on you, sometimes she doesn’t.  For obedient Nephites, in all their endeavors, luck always went their way, for God caused that the laws of luckprobabilityrandomness, indeterminism, etc., changed favorably for them, so that nothing was left to chance, everything becoming ordered and predictable:

And they began again to prosper and to wax great; and the twenty and sixth and seventh years passed away, and there was great order in the land; and they had formed their laws according to equity and justice.  And now there was nothing in all the land to hinder the people from prospering continually, except they should fall into transgression.  (3 Ne. 6:4-5.  Randomness had altogether ceased at this point in their history.)

This is why they were such damnable souls when they began to be lifted up in their pride and set their hearts upon their riches, as if they themselves were the ones responsible for obtaining them!  God alone provided the miracle and He alone was to be acknowledged as the one responsible for the blessing, for no one can force luck upon themselves.  Yet, for the Nephites, if they obeyed God’s commandments, this is essentially what they did, forcing lady luck to smile upon them, obtaining the Midas touch, through God’s almighty power and their diligent obedience and faith.

Again, because the blessing of prosperity was so obviously a miracle that no one could deny, and because all Nephites knew that it was a guaranteed miracle, available to all, (you just needed to keep the commandments), this scripture makes a little more sense:

 And also, ye yourselves will succor those that stand in need of your succor; ye will administer of your substance unto him that standeth in need; and ye will not suffer that the beggar putteth up his petition to you in vain, and turn him out to perish.

Perhaps thou shalt say:

The man has brought upon himself his misery; therefore I will stay my hand, and will not give unto him of my food, nor impart unto him of my substance that he may not suffer, for his punishments are just—

But I say unto you, O man,

whosoever doeth this the same hath great cause to repent; and except he repenteth of that which he hath done he perisheth forever, and hath no interest in the kingdom of God.

For behold, are we not all beggars? Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment, and for gold, and for silver, and for all the riches which we have of every kind?

And behold, even at this time, ye have been calling on his name, and begging for a remission of your sins. And has he suffered that ye have begged in vain? Nay; he has poured out his Spirit upon you, and has caused that your hearts should be filled with joy, and has caused that your mouths should be stopped that ye could not find utterance, so exceedingly great was your joy.

And now, if God, who has created you, on whom you are dependent for your lives and for all that ye have and are, doth grant unto you whatsoever ye ask that is right, in faith, believing that ye shall receive, O then, how ye ought to impart of the substance that ye have one to another.

And if ye judge the man who putteth up his petition to you for your substance that he perish not, and condemn him, how much more just will be your condemnation for withholding your substance, which doth not belong to you but to God, to whom also your life belongeth; and yet ye put up no petition, nor repent of the thing which thou hast done.

I say unto you,

wo be unto that man, for his substance shall perish with him;

and now, I say these things unto those who are rich as pertaining to the things of this world.  (Mosiah 4:16-23)

Has the man brought upon himself his own misery?  Why, yes he has, for all righteous Nephites were prospered and blessed by the hand of the Lord.  The man was an obvious sinner.  He has obviously not kept the commandments of God and this is the reason he has not prospered and is found begging people for his sustenance.  The sin, then, is not that this man has said “the man has brought upon himself his misery,” (for such was indeed the case), but in that the man stayed his hand and did not administer to his needs and wants.

Remember, this prosperity was so that they could become like God, and since God, the rich Man, is charitable and sends His rain upon both the just and the unjust, therefore, these riches that God gave them were not to be hoarded, but to be freely given to others, whether they were sinners or not:

And they [the church] did impart of their substance, every man according to that which he had, to the poor, and the needy, and the sick, and the afflicted; and they did not wear costly apparel, yet they were neat and comely.

And now, because of the steadiness of the church they began to be exceedingly rich, having abundance of all things whatsoever they stood in need—an abundance of flocks and herds, and fatlings of every kind, and also abundance of grain, and of gold, and of silver, and of precious things, and abundance of silk and fine-twined linen, and all manner of good homely cloth.

And thus, in their prosperous circumstances, they did not send away any who were naked, or that were hungry, or that were athirst, or that were sick, or that had not been nourished; and they did not set their hearts upon riches; therefore they were liberal to all, both old and young, both bond and free, both male and female, whether out of the church or in the church, having no respect to persons as to those who stood in need.  (Alma 1:27,29-30)

Think of your brethren like unto yourselves, and be familiar with all and free with your substance, that they may be rich like unto you.

But before ye seek for riches, seek ye for the kingdom of God.

And after ye have obtained a hope in Christ ye shall obtain riches, if ye seek them; and ye will seek them for the intent to do good—to clothe the naked, and to feed the hungry, and to liberate the captive, and administer relief to the sick and the afflicted.  (Jacob 2:17-19)

We see in this then that God’s laws and commandments required that the rich give away their riches (surplus) to the needy and the poor, which humbled the rich to the poverty level (so that they had sufficient for one’s needs, but no more surplus) and exalted the poor and the needy to the level of the rich (so that they now had a surplus).  These new rich were then required by the same gospel laws to give away their riches to other needy and poor.  In the gospel, then, all are to become rich, through God’s miracle of prosperity and through charitable donations (by the rich) and then all such who are blessed are to become poor, by giving away their riches.  This shows that God has appointed unto man both when it is appropriate to be rich and also when it is appropriate to be poor, both states having a place in the divine economy.  He has also appointed unto man the time for being needy, which is when a man travels around preaching the gospel, without purse or scrip, relying upon the mercies of the world and upon God’s mercy for his sustenance, suffering hunger, thirst, fatigue and all manner of afflictions and in patience and long-suffering, to “show forth good examples” (Alma 17:11) to the world in Christ.

(It was also important to give to the wicked poor because should the righteous rich not give, that wicked man might die of hunger, thirst, fatigue, exposure to elements, etc., which would be a cause for mourning, for he would die in his sins.  Therefore, it was imperative (and also a commandment of God), to freely give to these wicked people, to extend as much as possible their probationary and preparatory state, that they might have more time to repent, lest they perish in their sins from their poor and needy condition.)

A divinely made economy

Nephites, then, had no business cycle (boom-bust cycle), nor did they subscribe to any particular school of economic thought.  Their prosperity was merely a miracle provided by God and they could never, nor would ever, cease prospering, if they would remain fixed in keeping the commandments of God.  It didn’t matter what their chosen profession was, for, for as long as they kept the commandments, they became grotesquely rich.  The righteous man who provided a service found that he always had customers who needed the service he provided.  And when he took his earnings and invested them in this or that, it brought him unbelievable profits, each and every time.  The righteous artisan that created something new out of gold or some other metal, and made a bunch of them to sell at market, found that he returned home having sold every last one of them at great profits.  This is how the miracle worked for them.  They had no way to explain what they saw except that somehow God was changing the laws of chance and luck for them, because of their obedience to His commandments.

So, Nephite prosperity was an impossible miracle and does not apply to Gentile life, for Gentile life does not have this bizarre miracle attend us.  Instead, the Gentiles use Korihor’s doctrine to amass fortunes, which I will get to in a moment. First, let it be fully understood and believed that Nephite prosperity was solely the result of righteousness:

And thus they [the church] did prosper and become far more wealthy than those who did not belong to their church.

For those who did not belong to their church did indulge themselves in sorceries, and in idolatry or idleness, and in babblings, and in envyings and strife; wearing costly apparel; being lifted up in the pride of their own eyes; persecuting, lying, thieving, robbing, committing whoredoms, and murdering, and all manner of wickedness; nevertheless, the law was put in force upon all those who did transgress it, inasmuch as it was possible.  (Alma 1:31-32)

To a Gentile, this scripture makes absolutely no economic sense.  The non-believers did not prosper because they were iniquitous?  What does that have to do with economics, Mormon?  Absolutely nothing.  And that’s the point that Mormon is trying to make, for Nephite prosperity was a miracle and not based upon economics, but on righteousness.  But your average Gentile or Mormon reading this scripture will think, “Well, they must have been less wealthy because they spent their riches on wicked practices that used up their wealth or caused them to become sick, or put them in jail, etc.”  Nope, that ain’t the point.  The point is that they were wicked, meaning that they engaged in wicked practices, breaking the commandments of God, and so when they went to market, their products didn’t sell, or when they raised their flocks, they suddenly had become sterile and infertile, or their crops didn’t grow, etc.  In other words, the miracle didn’t happen for the wicked.

Okay, so here’s Korihor’s doctrine:

And many more such things did he say unto them, telling them that there could be no atonement made for the sins of men, but every man fared in this life according to the management of the creature; therefore every man prospered according to his genius, and that every man conquered according to his strength; and whatsoever a man did was no crime.  (Alma 30:17)

This is, in plain speak, simply man-made economic theory.  Korihor was saying, “You stupid Nephites!  There ain’t no miracle!  It is just that the rich people manage their finances better than the poor ones.  The rich guys are smarter than the dumb poor ones.  God has NOTHING to do with it!”

The LDS church teaches proper management of one’s finances according to modern economic principles.  We teach, then, Korihor’s doctrine.  “Go to school so you can become smarter (getting an education).  In this way you’ll get a better job and make more money, thus prospering by your genius (education).  If you manage your finances correctly, you’ll be able to save money and get ahead, etc.  Oh, yeah, and it is also important that you have a proper Protestant work ethic and abide by the current Mormon teachings on work and personal responsibility.”  All these principles are based upon Korihor’s man-made principles.

The Nephites simply obeyed all God’s commandments with diligence and exercised mighty faith to obtain the miracle of prosperity, and God gave it to them.  They didn’t have to worry about saving for a rainy day, for there was never any rainy day for the righteous.  They could give away all their riches (their surplus) freely, because they knew that the miracle was going to replenish the coffers again to overflowing.  It happened all the freaking time.  It was so totally obvious a miracle that Korihor and his stupid doctrine must have looked like an utter fool to the righteous.  To the wicked, or to those righteous who secretly desired to hoard their wealth, which would cause them to cease to be righteous, Korihor’s doctrine sounded appealing, because they didn’t have to give their surplus away but could just retire on their wealth, like the Gentiles currently do.  But that wickedness always caused God’s anger to kindle against them and the Lamanites were always soon sent upon the people for such iniquity.  Plus it cut them off from the miracle of prosperity.

The anti-miracle

When the people sinned against the Lord, He didn’t just remove the miracle of prosperity from them, so that they were left to their own devices, as the Gentiles are, but instead He provided an anti-miracle, or a miracle which had the opposite effect:

For behold, the Lord hath said:

I will not succor my people in the day of their transgression; but I will hedge up their ways that they prosper not; and their doings shall be as a stumbling block before them.  (Mosiah 7:29)

A righteous, prosperous Nephite that turned around and began to break God’s commandments, essentially cut his own throat, committing financial suicide.

The Gadianton plans

It was because of the anti-prosperity miracle that the wicked sought out the plans of Gadianton.  As the wicked Nephites could not prosper via the Lord’s prosperity miracle and the anti-miracle hedged up their way, they sought to obtain gain via the secret oaths and combinations of Gadianton.  This allowed them to remain in their wickedness, and also do more wickedness, and to obtain power, too, while still getting gain.  So, it was a way the wicked used to “get around” the anti-miracle. This might clear up any confusion about why the Gadianton robbers kept popping up throughout Nephite history and why these secret societies grew so fast.  The wicked couldn’t prosper unless they repented of their sins, therefore they had three choices if they wanted to avoid becoming rapidly poor: 1) they could humble themselves before the Lord and obtain the prosperity miracle or 2) they could remain in their pride and wickedness and become Lamanites, and rob and plunder like they did, or 3) they could remain in their pride and wickedness as Nephites, and obtain gain by robbing and plundering, via the secret combination.  The prospect of continuing to make money while remaining in one’s sins was a very strong temptation, hence the growth of these societies.

Defection to the Lamanites was inevitable

Before Gadianton got the secret combination plans revealed to him by the devil, they were found written in the scriptural records, but the prophets and seers were forbidden to reveal these things to the people.  So the wicked Nephites, prior to the release of these ancient plans, inevitably became Lamanites.  The only way to get gain in wickedness was to plunder and rob.  They couldn’t do it among the Nephites because the law would take hold of them, therefore they defected to the Lamanites and then incited them to wage war on the Nephites, (for plunderers target the wealthy).  It was simply inevitable once the anti-miracle took effect on the wicked and their riches dried up, and all Nephites knew this:

Now the Nephites greatly feared that the Zoramites would enter into a correspondence with the Lamanites, and that it would be the means of great loss on the part of the Nephites.  (Alma 31:4)

The wicked defectors would tell the Lamanites of all the wealth that the Nephites had and how easy it would be to take it all, for the Lamanites were much more numerous than the Nephites, plus they could tell them of any weaknesses that the Nephites had.  The Lamanites, plunderers themselves, almost always went for the carrot when it was dangled by these defectors in front of them.  The Nephites were RICH beyond belief and the defectors knew this, but could not lay their hands upon it unless they got the Lamanites to engage in another war of plunder.  So, any time the Nephites became wicked and separated themselves from the body, the prophets of God had to immediately go and preach to them, to try to get them to speedily repent, because if that didn’t happen, the sound of war would very soon be in the land again.  Thus, we see that a knowledge of the prosperity and anti-prosperity miracles clears up yet another Book of Mormon mystery.

A word on the Zoramite poor

When Alma went to the Zoramites to preach, the poor Zoramites were those on whom the anti-miracle had already taken effect and their poverty had humbled them, putting them in a state in which they were prepared to hear, accept and receive the word, through their repentance.  The anti-miracle, then, was not a punishment, per se, but a means to reclaim and save the wicked, by humbling them.  Dissension to the Lamanites or uniting with the Gadianton robbers aborted that process.

There were no homeless among the Nephites

All of the homeless were given lands upon which to reside:

And he breathed out many threatenings against them. And now the people of Ammon did not fear their words; therefore they did not cast them out, but they did receive all the poor of the Zoramites that came over unto them; and they did nourish them, and did clothe them, and did give unto them lands for their inheritance; and they did administer unto them according to their wants.  (Alma 35:9)

This is why all the passages in the Book of Mormon that speak of the giving of one’s substance to the poor and the needy, and the thirsty, hungry, naked, etc., do not ever mention the homeless.  The wicked poor, although they had lands and houses, could not grow anything, due to the anti-prosperity miracle, and so still needed to beg.

The reason for wanting more wives

In chapter 2 of Jacob we learn that the Nephites had found gold and silver and had grown quite rich.  We also learn that they had begun to desire to have more than one wife.  Why?  Because they had grown quite rich and they thought to “raise up seed unto the Lord.”  The Nephites could now afford to have as many wives as they wanted, through this prosperity miracle, and as the Lord had prospered them in all things, He could likewise prosper them so that they became much more numerous than the Lamanites, so that the Nephites became even as numerous as the sands of the seashore.  The virility of Nephite men and fertility of Nephite women could be as blessed as everything else, and thus, in their numerous state, the Lamanites would never even dare to attack.  All this seed would be raised up unto the Lord and how great would such a thing be?  Such was the thinking of these men.

But the Lord knew that the Nephites would go through very many periods of wickedness, in which many men would die, and instead of having a certain number of monogamous widows and fatherless in the land, in plural marriage you’d end up with a an almost endless sea of polygamous widows and fatherless, and the Lord was not going to have it.  Even if the men did not die, but became beggars because of the anti-miracle, this, too, would create a tidal wave of misery among the wives and children.  It was a wicked desire, also, because they wanted something that the Lord had already expressly forbidden them to have (unless He commanded it through another of His appointed seers).  But to understand the desire, one must understand that there was a prosperity miracle in play among the Nephites, for no man wanted the financial burden of having more than one wife, unless he had exceptional finances (or could plunder the people via taxation, see the Re: taxation section below).

Modern practices

The LDS cannot obtain the prosperity miracle by their current practices, but would have to adopt the Nephite ways to get it.  This is why the LDS are not the richest people on the planet.  If we could do what the Nephites did and obey with exactness all of the commandments received through God’s seer, Joseph Smith, Jun., then God would provide the very same prosperity miracle to us as He did to the Nephites and we would become richer than everyone else.  But we do not comply with our scriptures, the commandments, nor fulfill our duties, so on Korihor we must rely for wealth.

Korihor also taught:

ye lead away this people after the foolish traditions of your fathers, and according to your own desires; and ye keep them down, even as it were in bondage, that ye may glut yourselves with the labors of their hands, that they durst not look up with boldness, and that they durst not enjoy their rights and privileges.

Yea, they durst not make use of that which is their own  (Alma 30:27-28)

In other words, Korihor taught that a person’s property and substance was his own, to use as he saw fit, and that he need not give to the poor and needy, that staying one’s hand from giving was no crime nor sin.  This directly contradicted king Benjamin’s teaching:

how much more just will be your condemnation for withholding your substance, which doth not belong to you but to God  (Mosiah 4:22)

Korihor’s end is interesting, in that after he became dumb, he began begging for food, and a proclamation was sent out:

And it came to pass that the curse was not taken off of Korihor; but he was cast out, and went about from house to house begging for his food.

Now the knowledge of what had happened unto Korihor was immediately published throughout all the land; yea, the proclamation was sent forth by the chief judge to all the people in the land, declaring unto those who had believed in the words of Korihor that they must speedily repent, lest the same judgments would come unto them.

And it came to pass that they were all convinced of the wickedness of Korihor; therefore they were all converted again unto the Lord; and this put an end to the iniquity after the manner of Korihor. And Korihor did go about from house to house, begging food for his support.  (Alma 30:56-58)

The entire populace was convinced that Korihor was a wicked man, nevertheless, they still gave him of their substance when he went around to them begging for food, for it is a commandment of God to give to the poor of your surplus substance, even if they are wicked sinners.  But when he went to the Zoramites begging, they, being wicked and not disposed to give to the poor, trod him down to death, for they considered all the poor dross.

Re: taxation

Some, who continue to subscribe to Korihor’s doctrine and so believe that the Nephites prospered according to economic principles, such as those which are taught to us by the LDS church, and not by the miracle I am describing in this post, might point to the lack of Nephite taxation as the real reason they prospered so much.  It is true that the Nephites had no taxation among them, save during their times of wickedness (such as during wicked king Noah’s reign, in which he laid a 20% tax upon his wicked people; see Mosiah 11:3,6) or in periods of bondage (such as during righteous king Limhi’s reign, whose people paid a 50% tributary tax to the Lamanite king; see Mosiah 19:15).  The Book of Mormon refers to the levy of taxes as “the laying of that which is grievous to be borne upon men’s shoulders”.

I say unto you that as I have been suffered to spend my days in your service, even up to this time, and have not sought gold nor silver nor any manner of riches of you; neither have I suffered that ye should be confined in dungeons, nor that ye should make slaves one of another, nor that ye should murder, or plunder, or steal, or commit adultery; nor even have I suffered that ye should commit any manner of wickedness, and have taught you that ye should keep the commandments of the Lord, in all things which he hath commanded you—and even I, myself, have labored with mine own hands that I might serve you, and that ye should not be laden with taxes, and that there should nothing come upon you which was grievous to be borne—and of all these things which I have spoken, ye yourselves are witnesses this day.  (Mosiah 2:12-14)

And all this he did, for the sole purpose of bringing this people into subjection or into bondage. And behold, we at this time do pay tribute to the king of the Lamanites, to the amount of one half of our corn, and our barley, and even all our grain of every kind, and one half of the increase of our flocks and our herds; and even one half of all we have or possess the king of the Lamanites doth exact of us, or our lives.

And now, is not this grievous to be borne? And is not this, our affliction, great? Now behold, how great reason we have to mourn.  (Mosiah 7:22-23)

And it came to pass that Riplakish did not do that which was right in the sight of the Lord, for he did have many wives and concubines, and did lay that upon men’s shoulders which was grievous to be borne; yea, he did tax them with heavy taxes; and with the taxes he did build many spacious buildings.

And he did erect him an exceedingly beautiful throne; and he did build many prisons, and whoso would not be subject unto taxes he did cast into prison; and whoso was not able to pay taxes he did cast into prison; and he did cause that they should labor continually for their support; and whoso refused to labor he did cause to be put to death.

And after that he had established himself king he did ease the burden of the people, by which he did gain favor in the eyes of the people, and they did anoint him to be their king.  (Ether 10:5-6,10)

And king Mosiah did cause his people that they should till the earth. And he also, himself, did till the earth, that thereby he might not become burdensome to his people, that he might do according to that which his father had done in all things.  (Mosiah 6:7)

Taxation, then, was always considered by the Nephites as a “burden” and thus, as an iniquity.  But even under the heavy 50% tributary tax levied by the Lamanite king, Limhi’s people, (once they began to repent), started to prosper:

And they did humble themselves even in the depths of humility; and they did cry mightily to God; yea, even all the day long did they cry unto their God that he would deliver them out of their afflictions.

And now the Lord was slow to hear their cry because of their iniquities; nevertheless the Lord did hear their cries, and began to soften the hearts of the Lamanites that they began to ease their burdens; yet the Lord did not see fit to deliver them out of bondage.

And it came to pass that they began to prosper by degrees in the land, and began to raise grain more abundantly, and flocks, and herds, that they did not suffer with hunger.  (Mosiah 21:14-16)

So taxation, or the lack thereof, had nothing to do with their prosperity.  Prosperity was always directly related to their righteousness alone.

Laboring with your hands

As you might have guessed, this, too, is a commandment of God.  And like all other things the Nephites did, it is patterned after God Himself.  The Bible teaches that God spoke and the world was made, by the power of His word alone.  However, the Book of Mormon has an additional teaching, and that is that the Liahona was prepared by the hand of the Lord.  Thus, as the Lord also prepares things with His hand, so the Nephites, who could not create with their voice (other than songs), used their hands to make things, just as the Lord used His hand to prepare the Liahona.

The Book of Mormon writers were careful to always point out that they complied with this commandment.  For example, on the Title Page, Moroni wrote, “Sealed by the hand of Moroni.”  He could have just stated, “Sealed by Moroni,” but that would not have communicated to us that He was obeying the commandment to labor with his hands.  Another example: right off the bat, in the third verse of the Book of Mormon, Nephi writes, “and I make it with mine own hand” (1 Ne. 1:3).

No matter how rich and powerful a Nephite got, he was still required by God’s law to perform a daily (six days a week) labor with his own hands.  Not even the Nephite kings were exempt from this commandment:

And even I, myself, have labored with mine own hands that I might serve you, and that ye should not be laden with taxes, and that there should nothing come upon you which was grievous to be borne—and of all these things which I have spoken, ye yourselves are witnesses this day.  (Mosiah 2:14)

The Gentiles, in comparison, labor with their own hands until they get rich enough to employ others to do the labors required by their business.  Then they merely manage the business and employees, ceasing to labor with their hands, until they get rich enough to employ competent managers who can manage the business in their absence.  Then they spend their days playing golf, traveling around and buying stuff.  Occasionally they drop in to make sure the business is still turning a profit.

Such practices, to a Nephite, was wickedness, for they broke God’s commandment to labor with one’s own hands.  Now, that doesn’t mean Nephites didn’t have employees, or servants in their employ.  They did, for many business ventures or enterprises require the labor of more than one person to make them work.  Nevertheless, they either labored with their employees, side-by-side with them, or in some other labor.  Management of employees, in which all you did was tell people with your mouth what to do, and they performed the labor, while you didn’t lift a finger, was considered laziness and a sin and was not what the righteous Nephites did.  Even during their times of war, their captains and chief captains, which were the equivalent of our Gentile generals, came down at the head of their armies (see Alma 2:16) and fought side-by-side with the rest of the troops.  They didn’t stay in the back of the army, directing the rest how to fight and die for them, while they remained safe and alive.  Such was considered wickedness, idleness, laziness and cowardice.

Thus, the Nephites were taught to labor with their own hands for their own support, regardless of how many employees or agents they may have had, or soldiers under their command.  The Lamanites, as usual, did not follow this correct tradition:

And assuredly it was great, for they had undertaken to preach the word of God to a wild and a hardened and a ferocious people; a people who delighted in murdering the Nephites, and robbing and plundering them; and their hearts were set upon riches, or upon gold and silver, and precious stones; yet they sought to obtain these things by murdering and plundering, that they might not labor for them with their own hands.  (Alma 17:14)

For dominion

The 1828 Dictionary entry on dominion:

DOMINION, n. [L. See Dominant.]

1. Sovereign or supreme authority; the power of governing and controlling.

The dominion of the Most High is an everlasting dominion. Daniel 4.

2. Power to direct, control, use and dispose of at pleasure; right of possession and use without being accountable; as the private dominion of individuals.

3. Territory under a government; region; country; district governed, or within the limits of the authority of a prince or state; as the British dominions.

4. Government; right of governing.

Jamaica is under the dominion of Great Britain.

5. Predominance; ascendant.

6. An order of angels.

Whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers. Colossians 1.

7. Persons governed.

Judah was his sanctuary; Israel his dominion. Psalm 114.

Adam and Eve were given dominion:

And God said,

Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

And God blessed them, and God said unto them,

Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.  (Gen. 1:26-28)

The children of Adam and Eve also have dominion, even the same dominion as their first parents.  The Nephites then, who, in their righteousness, were obedient to all the commandments of God, saw five (5) commandments in the above scripture:

1) Be fruitful

2) Multiply

3) Replenish the earth

4) Subdue the earth

5) Have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

Having dominion meant that they were to be lord and master of all that they surveyed; that they were the supreme authority of all creation and were to direct, control, use, dispose of and govern everything around them.

The word dominion comes from the Latin dominant, which means:

DOMINANT, a. [L., to rule; lord, master; a house; to overcome, to subdue.]

1. Ruling; prevailing; governing; predominant; as the dominant party, or faction.

Thus, they were to rule and overcome and subdue all things.  In other words, they were to be the dominant entity in the land, dominating all other things.  To dominate means:

DOMINATE, v.t. [L. See Dominant.] To rule; to govern; to prevail; to predominate over.

We every where meet the Slavonian nations either dominant or dominated.

DOMINATE, v.i. To predominate. [Little used.]

Now I will give my own definition, according to my understanding of how the Nephites understood the commandment to have dominion over all things:

To have dominion means “to cause someone or something—which does not conform in its natural state—to conform to oneself, to one’s ideas, to one’s desires, to one’s plans and to one’s purposes.”

As with everything, the Nephites took God as their pattern, for they were trying to be like Him.  So, as God took the Nothing, which in its natural state had no purpose, and made it conform to Himself, His ideas, His desires, His plans and His purposes, by altering it—splitting it, so that He caused the opposition in all things, creating something new, even a new, unnatural state out of the old natural state, giving it a new purpose, according to His plan and idea, so that it conformed to Him—so, in like manner, the Nephites looked upon all of the creation of God, both plants, animals and the earth itself, and undertook plans to alter it to conform to themselves, their ideas, their plans and their purposes, taking it out of its natural state, (which was the first unnatural state that God had put it in), and putting it into a second unnatural state.

Why did they do this?  Because this was the commandment of God, for it was His purpose that they (and all His children), become like Him, doing the same types of things He does.

Now, the pattern of what to build was the city, even the heavenly city, for the vision of heaven turns out to be the vision of a city:

These are they who are come unto Mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly place, the holiest of all.  (D&C 76:66)

But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,  (Hebrews 12:22)

But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.  (Hebrews 11;16)

So the Nephites, with their view to the heavens showing that mankind dwells in a city there, sought to build cities here.  Again, they didn’t do it just because they were following a pattern, but because they were commanded to build cities up unto the name of the Lord, even as we latter-day saints have been commanded to do the same:

Verily, thus saith the Lord, I say unto you, if those who call themselves by my name and are essaying to be my saints, if they will do my will and keep my commandments concerning them, let them gather themselves together unto the places which I shall appoint unto them by my servant Joseph, and build up cities unto my name, that they may be prepared for that which is in store for a time to come.  (D&C 125:2)

(I must mention Rodney Cluff, a forward-thinking latter-day saint, who took the commandment to build up cities unto the name of the Lord so seriously that he designed the layout of his very own city, which he calls a City of Light.  Regardless of whether you like his plan or not, it is commendable that he took the time to design a city unto the Lord’s name.  All latter-day saints ought to be doing the same.  I myself have also designed a city and, interestingly enough, it is circular, like Rodney’s, with a central plaza, circular roads and streets that emanate outward at the eight points of the compass, just like his.  The rest of the layout, though, is different.)

Unlike the latter-day saints, though, the Nephites were obedient to the Lord’s commandments, and built cities just about everywhere in this land.

So, a Nephite man, coming into a plain or valley for the first time, being the very first settler, would set up his tent and begin planning out his permanent dwelling, and where his crops and flocks would go, and he would also plan out the layout of the city that would bear his name.  Others that came into his land, then, would take up his plan, and work with him to complete the city, even his city, which would end up bearing his name.  The whole thing was done unto the name of the Lord, but bore the name of the first settler, for the city plan was drawn out by his hand, and those that came afterward simply followed the plan, filling it out and expanding the city as needed, according to the circumstances and number of inhabitants.  Nevertheless, the cities were centrally planned from the very get-go, by the first settler, and were not built after the fashion of the Gentiles, who do not centrally plan cities, but allow cities to “grow up” around settlers in a more or less random order.

Anything that came in the way of that plan, was subdued and overcome.  In other words, all things were made to conform to the plan, idea and purpose of the first settler.  If there was a hill in the way and the plan called for a flat plaza to be there, that hill was leveled.  If a location called for a commercial district, but animals inhabited the place, the animals were moved.  It was the plan that was important, not the local conditions.  The Nephites dominated everything, causing all things in their view to conform to their plan.  They did not conform to anything, at all, for they were commanded to be the dominant force in the land, and they were.

This is why when the Nephites became prideful, they became exceedingly prideful, for they literally were like gods upon the earth, doing as they pleased with God’s creation, in order to become like Him and fulfill His commandments.  They left just about nothing unchanged, or in its natural state, except as it suited their purpose.  The Jaredites also did the same, leaving nothing untouched or unchanged, except insofar as it suited their purposes.  The righteous Jaredite king Lib, whose reign was attended to by unmatched prosperity from the Lord, left all the land south of the narrow neck of land as a hunting preserve:

And they built a great city by the narrow neck of land, by the place where the sea divides the land.

And they did preserve the land southward for a wilderness, to get game.  (Ether 10:20-21)

As it served their purpose, they left it unchanged.  Otherwise, they would have used that land for other purposes and altered it.

Leaving things in its unaltered, natural state, for no purpose other than to leave it be, was a sin, for that was not complying with the commandment to have dominion.  They could only leave things be for a purpose, according to their plan:

And the people who were in the land northward did dwell in tents, and in houses of cement, and they did suffer whatsoever tree should spring up upon the face of the land that it should grow up, that in time they might have timber to build their houses, yea, their cities, and their temples, and their synagogues, and their sanctuaries, and all manner of their buildings.  (Hel. 11:16)

But they did not let the lack of timber stop them:

And it came to pass as timber was exceedingly scarce in the land northward, they did send forth much by the way of shipping.

And thus they did enable the people in the land northward that they might build many cities, both of wood and of cement.  (Hel. 11:17-18)

The Lamanites, on the other hand, built nothing and changed nothing, leaving everything more or less in its natural state.  Although they inhabited the land, they did not have dominion, thus they broke this commandment, as well.

Nephite dominion was not patterned after Gentile capitalism:

Verily I say,

that inasmuch as ye do this, the fulness of the earth is yours, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and that which climbeth upon the trees and walketh upon the earth; yea, and the herb, and the good things which come of the earth, whether for food or for raiment, or for houses, or for barns, or for orchards, or for gardens, or for vineyards; yea, all things which come of the earth, in the season thereof, are made for the benefit and the use of man, both to please the eye and to gladden the heart; yea, for food and for raiment, for taste and for smell, to strengthen the body and to enliven the soul.

And it pleaseth God that he hath given all these things unto man; for unto this end were they made to be used, with judgment, not to excess, neither by extortion.  (D&C 59:16-20)

Whereas the Gentile capitalists have, historically, raped the land of resources, creating great pollutions (and still do), the Nephites were commanded to use all things “with judgment, not to excess, neither by extortion.”  Thus, they didn’t rape the land nor create pollutions, save during their times of wickedness.  (They also made sure that they replenished the earth, which was another commandment of God.) The above scripture pertains to the commandment to “have dominion over all things” and was directed to the latter-day saints, showing that the Lord expects the latter-day saints to have dominion just as the Nephites did.  In fact, the dominions of the latter-day saints are prophesied to eventually be established:

And it came to pass that I beheld the church of the Lamb of God, and its numbers were few, because of the wickedness and abominations of the whore who sat upon many waters; nevertheless, I beheld that the church of the Lamb, who were the saints of God, were also upon all the face of the earth; and their dominions upon the face of the earth were small, because of the wickedness of the great whore whom I saw.  (1 Ne. 16:12)

which dominions I prophesied last year would be brought to pass by the latter-day saints using the Bartering Currency.  Currently, though, no latter-day saint has dominion and thus we break this commandment, as well.

For discovery

As I stated above, God has put everything on and in this earth in a more or less locked state.  The natural state of things has purpose, given by God, but within each thing is a puzzle, which when unfolded, allows everything to be used for multiple purposes, in fact, essentially infinite purposes.  God, of course, knows each and ever use of everything He has created and put upon this planet, but the natural state keeps things hidden.  This allows the commandment to “seek and you shall find” to be fulfilled, through discovery of all the possible uses of things.  It pleases God that man is inquisitive about His creations and seeks to alter them in order to discover other uses, for these other uses and their discovery allow His children to become like Him, for this is, in fact, what He did with the Nothing.  It had no purpose whatsoever, and He took it and made it be used in an infinite number of ways, merely by making the one thing two things, and from those two things an infinite number of things, with an infinite number of purposes.

The Nephites, then, saw all things as a puzzle to be unlocked and discovered.  The question, “What else can this be uses for?” was always on their minds.  They never were content with what they had, but always sought more.  More stuff, more answers, more knowledge about things, etc.  They diligently applied themselves to know everything about everything, so that they could become like God.  Therefore, they never ceased their creations.  Even when their cities were essentially built, they continued building them.  To stop was a sin, unless God Himself commanded it, which He never did, for the building was never finished nor ever would be.

The modern Gentiles are like the Nephites in their inquisitiveness, except that the Gentiles are often “set in their ways” and get comfortable with age and riches, and so slow down.  The Nephites never slowed down, except when they became wicked, but continued to amass knowledge about their surrounding at an alarming, miraculous rate, discovering things much faster than anything we are able to do, even in our computer age.  Now, I have written about this at length years ago in an unpublished post, but it is still not yet time to release it, so I will forbear talking on this and proceed to the next point, with just a slight aside.

And it came to pass after I, Nephi, having heard all the words of my father, concerning the things which he saw in a vision, and also the things which he spake by the power of the Holy Ghost, which power he received by faith on the Son of God—and the Son of God was the Messiah who should come—I, Nephi, was desirous also that I might see, and hear, and know of these things, by the power of the Holy Ghost, which is the gift of God unto all those who diligently seek him, as well in times of old as in the time that he should manifest himself unto the children of men.

For he is the same yesterday, today, and forever; and the way is prepared for all men from the foundation of the world, if it so be that they repent and come unto him.

For he that diligently seeketh shall find; and the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them, by the power of the Holy Ghost, as well in these times as in times of old, and as well in times of old as in times to come; wherefore, the course of the Lord is one eternal round.  (1 Ne. 10:17-19)

And now behold, my brethren, this is the word which I declare unto you, that many of you have begun to search for gold, and for silver, and for all manner of precious ores, in the which this land, which is a land of promise unto you and to your seed, doth abound most plentifully.  And the hand of providence hath smiled upon you most pleasingly, that you have obtained many riches;  (Jacob 2:12-13)

And they did work in all manner of ore, and they did make gold, and silver, and iron, and brass, and all manner of metals; and they did dig it out of the earth; wherefore, they did cast up mighty heaps of earth to get ore, of gold, and of silver, and of iron, and of copper. And they did work all manner of fine work.  (Ether 10:23)

The aside is this: the Nephites took Nephi’s teaching to diligently seek in order to find and applied it in all areas of their life.  The Jaredites also did the same.  So, whereas a Gentile will consult with a geologist before beginning a mining operation, the Nephites and Jaredites simply exercised their faith in their prayers and started digging, confident that whether there was gold or silver or other types of ore in the spot or not did not matter, for they would find what they were seeking, for God Himself would provide the miracle, just as He provided the principle and promise that “whoso diligently seeketh shall find.”  The promise was a divine guarantee, as long as they kept His commandments and diligently sought as the principle called for.

For diversity

God, when He created all things, didn’t just make one type of each thing, one type of tiger, one type of ant, one type of this, that or the other, etc., but created an astoundingly diverse array of each type of thing.  The Nephites, then, again taking God as their pattern, and also being commanded to do it, made all manner of things of every type.  The phrase “all manner of” is found in 120 verses of the Book of Mormon.  They were commanded to make every imaginable thing they could of everything they could find upon the planet, and they did.  (The reign of the righteous Jaredite king Lib is probably the standard set for diversity.  See Ether 10:18-29.)

Just as a kid in a candy store gets giddy upon entering it and, seeing the wide variety and assortment of candies—most of which are basically composed of the very same sweet ingredients, yet they all look a bit different and taste a bit different and have a different feel in the hands and mouth, producing a different effect upon the sense—will naturally want to purchase and taste each and every one, so the Nephites rejoiced in their society and were filled with desire, for all they saw was an endless variety of things of all types and shapes and sizes and tastes and smells.  This assault upon the senses by the sheer magnitude of diversity was evidence of God’s blessings upon them, and they sought to find more ways to increase the diversity, each succeeding generation outdoing the previous generation, for they made the stuff that went before, plus new things.

Unlike the Gentile economy, which discards the old to make place for the new, the Nephites never discarded anything old, but kept everything and added to it.  This is as it should be, if you think about it, and this is how it was for them.  How many Gentiles say that they “miss the good old days when such-and-such a thing” was around.  The Nephites never said this, for their society only added, never subtracted things.

Think about that for a moment.  Imagine if every good, safe product or service that was ever produced or offered in the previous century, from 1900-2000, was still available to purchase today in 2015, at the very same price, and every store that ever existed during that time period still existed today, offering the very same products they did back then, as well as new ones.  The previous century offered a great deal of diversity to Americans, but it was supplanted diversity: out with the old and in with the new.  If the previous American century were patterned after the Nephites, nothing would get supplanted and all old products and services would still sell, due to God’s miraculous blessing of prosperity.  Most Americans would call that a capitalistic paradise, a commercial heaven on earth.  Yet, as many new products and services that came out during 1900-2000, it still doesn’t compare to the numbers that the Nephites produced in any hundred year period of their history.  They were prolific in creating new things.  They were as obsessed with new things as I am.  But they were also obsessed with preserving and retaining old things, so that their diversity multiplied endlessly.

Can you imagine if every car ever produced was still being manufactured and available as new models?  Same with computers and games and toys and everything else.  Or if all the different types of musical genres and bands of the previous century still existed and toured?  There would be a hundred different radio stations to broadcast each type of music.  There would be every type of media: vinyl records, audiocassettes, 8-tracks, CD’s, MP3’s, etc.  There would be switchboard operators, candlestick phones, rotary phones, touch-tone phoces, cell phones, smart phones, etc.  As time went on, your choices would increase, because new things would be created while the old was still available.  The diversity of Nephite society, then, increased their agency year by year.  American society, by comparison, has its agency decreased each year, because our choices become more limited, due to old products being phased out, competition going out of business, mergers, etc.

In the Gentile economies, businesses come and business go, but the Nephite businesses operated on miraculous principles and simply prospered and remained for as long as the man or his posterity remained righteous.  They were permanent fixtures, for about a 1000 years.  But new businesses and new products and new services were constantly being introduced, with miraculous success.  In short, the Nephites had absolutely no reason to complain about anything.  They had it all, given to them on a silver platter, which platter came in hundreds of different styles and sizes to choose from.  That they actually turned from their righteousness and disinherited themselves from all this diversity and prosperity is both astounding and heart-breaking.

The law of consecration and stewardship of properties patterned after Nephite diversity

As I said, Gentile businesses come and go, but under God’s law of consecration and stewardship of properties, each stewardship was meant to exist in perpetuity, for the man and his seed after him, throughout all his generations, for God is all about permanence, and these stewardship properties are His.

And again, a commandment I give unto you concerning your stewardship which I have appointed unto you.

Behold, all these properties are mine, or else your faith is vain, and ye are found hypocrites, and the covenants which ye have made unto me are broken; and if the properties are mine, then ye are stewards; otherwise ye are no stewards.  (D&C 104:54-56)

Doctrine and Covenants section 104 gives a list of stewardships appointed to various brethren, which was “for them, and their seed after them.”  Over and over again the revelation states, of each of these stewards, “I will multiply blessings upon him and his seed after him, even a multiplicity of blessings.”  The phrase is curious and likely no one knows what the Lord was talking about so I guess I’ll briefly unfold it to the reader by saying that the Lord intended to unlock and unleash upon the latter-day saints, through this law of consecration and stewardship of properties, the same blessing of prosperity and diversity that He bestowed upon the Nephites.  From 1834, (the date of the revelation), to 2015, a period of 181 years—had they not screwed up—we would have had permanent stewardships fill up the land, each new generation of latter-day saints receiving new stewardships, the old stewards passing on their stewardships to an heir, so that the old stewardships continued, and our prosperity and diversity—(for old and new would be side-by-side, like Nephite diversity)—would have been the envy of the Gentiles.  This church and people would have been the very richest on the planet.  But they transgressed and it didn’t happen.  Se la vie.

For defense

The cities they built had walls around them, and were fortified from time to time by the various deliverers that came along, such as that deliverer of deliverers, captain Moroni.  These walls were made of stone and there were works of timbers and towers and other defensive measures built into each city, such as mounds of earth and very deep ditches, etc.  They were meant to be impregnable.  In time, they essentially were.

These weren’t just temporary measures to deal with the Lamanites of the time, but were patterned after the New Jerusalem, or Zion, which was to be a place of security, for defense, and also her stakes, which likewise would be places of security, defense and refuge.

Verily I say unto you all:

Arise and shine forth, that thy light may be a standard for the nations; and that the gathering together upon the land of Zion, and upon her stakes, may be for a defense, and for a refuge from the storm, and from wrath when it shall be poured out without mixture upon the whole earth.  (D&C 115:5-6)

And it shall be called the New Jerusalem, a land of peace, a city of refuge, a place of safety for the saints of the Most High God; and the glory of the Lord shall be there, and the terror of the Lord also shall be there, insomuch that the wicked will not come unto it, and it shall be called Zion.  And it shall come to pass among the wicked, that every man that will not take his sword against his neighbor must needs flee unto Zion for safety.  (D&C 45:66-68)

For it is ordained that in Zion, and in her stakes, and in Jerusalem, those places which I have appointed for refuge, shall be the places for your baptisms for your dead.  (D&C 124:36)

Again, they also did this because it was a commandment, for they were to pattern themselves after God, after how He builds and designs cities, and as the city of Zion would be designed by revelation, meaning by God Himself, and would be a defense, therefore the Nephite cities must also have defensive structures in place, to exactly conform to and follow the pattern.

So mighty did the Nephite cities become, essentially becoming impregnable, that the wicked at one time scoffed at a prophecy that their cities would become desolate, saying:

For behold he doth condemn all this people, even unto destruction; yea, and also that these our great cities shall be taken from us, that we shall have no place in them.  And now we know that this is impossible, for behold, we are powerful, and our cities great, therefore our enemies can have no power over us.  (Hel. 8:5-6)

These mighty cities did, in fact, end up being taken from them shortly thereafter, by the almighty power of God Himself, He exerting the very powers of heaven and sending down fire from heaven, as He did with Sodom and Gomorrah, and burning many of these cities to dust, via cosmic plasma bolt (interplanetary electrical discharge), which can incinerate even the mightiest of materials, and burying other cities in earth and seas, so that all their mighty defenses came to naught, when compared to the power of God.  Although they were like gods on earth, they weren’t gods indeed.  They were just His children.

Gentile cities, including Mormon cities, typically have no defensive structures whatsoever around them.  They are open and easily invaded.  Why build defenses when there is no foreseeable enemy around, right?

And now, I will show unto you a parable, that you may know my will concerning the redemption of Zion.

A certain nobleman had a spot of land, very choice; and he said unto his servants:

Go ye unto my vineyard, even upon this very choice piece of land, and plant twelve olive trees; and set watchmen round about them, and build a tower, that one may overlook the land round about, to be a watchman upon the tower, that mine olive trees may not be broken down when the enemy shall come to spoil and take upon themselves the fruit of my vineyard.

Now, the servants of the nobleman went and did as their lord commanded them, and planted the olive trees, and built a hedge round about, and set watchmen, and began to build a tower.

And while they were yet laying the foundation thereof, they began to say among themselves:

And what need hath my lord of this tower?

And consulted for a long time, saying among themselves:

What need hath my lord of this tower, seeing this is a time of peace?  (D&C 101:43-48)

Again, what enemy do the Americans have that can come here and molest them in their cities?  But God sees the enemy from afar, way before we can see him, and He knows that cities must be constructed with defenses, to keep the enemy out.  But the Gentiles do not plan that far ahead into the future, and so their cities will be taken from them.

The Nephites, though, saw the future and they saw the need for defenses in their cities, both against the Lamanites and also against other, future enemies.  As long as they stayed righteous, their cities and the defenses in them would remain in their possession and they would remain secure in them.

Interestingly enough, though, the secret combinations of our day see our cities not as places of defense and security, to keep the enemy out, but as potential secure prisons, to keep the inmates in, to more easily slaughter undesirables and control the population.  Thus, measures are being put into place to spy on Americans at all times and provide means whereby Americans can be trapped in their own cities.  This is completely the opposite of Nephite cities, which had all defenses pointed outward, nothing whatsoever was pointed inward at the citizens.

For memorial

Behold, the Lord hath created the earth that it should be inhabited; and he hath created his children that they should possess it.  (1 Ne. 17:36)

There ain’t nothing more precious than a child making something new and giving it to his father as a present.  “Look, Father.  See what I made for you?”  That thing, whatever it is, that the child made, is sanctified in the sight of the parent and acts as a memorial, by which the parent remembers the innocence and development of the child, and the child himself.  We are children of God and He has everything.  There is nothing we can give Him that he doesn’t already have, except memorials from us, for those are unique gifts that He cherishes.

The commandment to build up cities unto His name, and make all manner of other stuff unto His name, is the commandment to create memorials to God.  Memorials are meant to be permanent, that we always be in the memory of God, that every time He looks upon that thing we created, He thinks of us, and His heart is softened towards us.  All parents, including the heavenly Parent, desire to preserve a child’s memorial.  Every parent knows that throwing away a child’s memorial is like cutting off a part of your body.  No one wants to do it.  No one likes to do it.  If we could, we would preserve every last thing our children make forever, regardless of how primitive its construction.  It is evidence of the child’s stage of development at that point and of its love for the parent and of its discovery of a new use and purposes for the item.  Parents are compelled to keep these things and love to look at them.

God is no different.  Thus the Nephites, those righteous children of God that He loved so much, when they built up their cities and roads and houses and structures and made all their stuff, all unto His name, they did it as a memorial to Him, knowing full well that He would preserve these things of theirs forever, by His own power.  So, when the Nephites built things, they did it to last forever.  Not figuratively, but literally.

Every single time they sinned and their structures and cities and roads were damaged, they rebuilt them.  The memorials had to be rebuilt.  Always.  This was a commandment of God, for these were God’s gifts, given to Him by the Nephites, and it was a sin to leave God’s memorials in a state of disrepair if the opportunity and means to repair and rebuild them presented itself.

The memorials (cities, buildings, roads, etc.) were the mark they left on the land.  They announced, “We came, we saw, we had dominion, and we built unto the Lord.”  Even if they left, their memorials were to remain there as evidence that they were there and that they had left memorials to the Lord. If they ever returned to the place, they had to rebuild, repair and renew the memorials, if they had fallen into disrepair.

The Lamanites, on the other hand, built nothing.  They left no mark. They lived and died and there is nothing to show that they were ever here.  No memorials to the Lord.  No discoveries.  They kept everything in its unchanged, natural state.

The perpetual nature of these Nephite memorials requires that they be restored at some point.  As Joseph-Nephi-Lehi, (the one who will perform this restoration), will be a Nephite—i.e., he will not be at all like the Lamanites, nor like the Indians, their descendants, for he will not be a tree-hugger,  an environmentalist, or anybody whose main purpose will be to keep everything, as much as possible, in its natural, untouched state—he will be inciting the people to be industrious, to centrally plan things, as the ancients did their cities, to dominate all things and make wise use of everything. Permanent building, structures, roads, monuments, city walls and defenses, etc., will be his push.  All Nephite cities will be restored, repaired, renewed, whether they were sunken in the earth or in the ocean, they will rise again and be rebuilt, to be inhabited again by a righteous branch:

But if not, O house of Israel, the places of your dwellings shall become desolate until the time of the fulfilling of the covenant to your fathers.  (3 Ne. 10:7)

Where are the Nephite cities?

The Lord buried them in the earth, for Mormon prayed to the Lord the following:

Behold, my heart cries:

Wo unto this people. Come out in judgment, O God, and hide their sins, and wickedness, and abominations from before thy face!  (Moroni 10:15)

and the Lord answered his prayer by burying all evidence that the Nephites ever existed, for burial in the earth is one of the ways the Lord uses to hide a people’s sins:

And behold, that great city Moronihah have I covered with earth, and the inhabitants thereof, to hide their iniquities and their abominations from before my face, that the blood of the prophets and the saints shall not come any more unto me against them.

And behold, the city of Gilgal have I caused to be sunk, and the inhabitants thereof to be buried up in the depths of the earth; yea, and the city of Onihah and the inhabitants thereof, and the city of Mocum and the inhabitants thereof, and the city of Jerusalem and the inhabitants thereof; and waters have I caused to come up in the stead thereof, to hide their wickedness and abominations from before my face, that the blood of the prophets and the saints shall not come up any more unto me against them.

And behold, the city of Gadiandi, and the city of Gadiomnah, and the city of Jacob, and the city of Gimgimno, all these have I caused to be sunk, and made hills and valleys in the places thereof; and the inhabitants thereof have I buried up in the depths of the earth, to hide their wickedness and abominations from before my face, that the blood of the prophets and the saints should not come up any more unto me against them.  (3 Ne. 9:5-8)

It is useless to search for the cities and roads and structures they built.  They are all underground, under mountains and valleys and lakes and rivers and also the sea.  The Nephites and their riches—which was all of their possessions and all that they built; cities, roads, everything—and the land itself, were cursed by God for their wickedness, so that “all things are become slippery” (Helaman 13:36; see the entire chapter for the curse) and their entire civilization slipped into the earth, never to be found or redeemed again, save by righteous men.  There are only two men capable of finding them: Joseph Smith, Jun. and Joseph-Nephi-Lehi.  The first saw these cities in vision and knew where they were by revelations, but was not called to raise them up.  The second, though, will fulfill this scripture:

Surely, your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter’s clay.  (2 Ne. 27:27)

by reversing the placement order of the Gentile and Nephite cities, turning things upside down by the working of miracles, so that the Gentile cities on top of the land get buried and the Nephite cities below the land are raised up, to be repaired, renewed and rebuilt, according to the original plans of the first settlers of these cities, for even these plans will be revealed.  But all these cities will remain hidden and buried and desolate until Joseph-Nephi-Lehi brings them forth.  Then the remnant will inhabit them, as prophesied by the Lord in 3 Ne. 10:7.  This means, then, that all those who believe the ruins of Central America, or South America, must be those of the Nephites, are in error.  These and all such ruins neither proceeded from the Nephites, whose ruins are buried and cursed, nor from the Lamanites, who never built anything, but are of other people who were brought here by the hand of the Lord.  These people may have had interaction with Nephites and Lamanites, and thus some of their customs and knowledge may have transferred over, but they are not, nor were they ever, the people mentioned in the Book of Mormon.  (Jaredite structures and cities, likewise, were buried.)  So the latter-day saints must simply wait (and pray) for the appearance of Joseph-Nephi-Lehi.

The reason the Lord buried the memorials

When a child is obedient, the sight of his memorial brings joy and remembrance of his good behavior, but when a child is rebellious, the sight of his memorial—that he made when he was obedient and innocent—brings pain and anguish to a parent, for the bad behavior is remembered along with the time when the child was obedient, and the sense of loss is great.  Therefore, God buried the memorials of both the Jaredites and the Nephites, essentially “putting them away” into His “earth closet,” so that His pain goes away, according to the principle: out of sight, out of mind.  His focus, now, is on another group of children: the Gentiles, and more specifically, the latter-day saints.  But because of the promise He gave to the ancients that He would, at some point, remember them and their seed, (when the Gentiles reject the fullness of the gospel, found in the plates of brass and large plates of Nephi), then He will fulfill His promise to the ancients and remember them again.  How?  By taking out their memorials from His “earth closet.”  Once the memorials are again in His sight, the Nephites will again be in His mind and His focus will shift from the Gentiles to the house of Israel.

The Nephites were the pinnacle of civilization

They were the apex, or standard, by which all other civilizations were and are to be measured.  This is why the Book of Mormon, which will convert the world, is a book of Nephite scripture.  The Lord chose His most blessed people to be the instruments in His hands to bless all the tribes of the earth.  Although there have been many great and good and blessed societies, all the others have either self-destructed or have been translated away, the latter ones to return during the Millennium.  It is true that Nephite society withered away and perished, but so great was the faith of their mighty ones, that they received a promise that their civilization would be restored to earth again, prior to the Millennium, to be the society that establishes the Millennium, setting the standard for the Millennium to follow.  This is because the blessings that the Nephites received were akin to the blessings to be received by world society during the Millennium.  The Nephite era, itself, lasted about 1000 years (600 BC – 400 AD) and was very much like a Millennial era, at least insofar as the righteous Nephites were concerned.  Gentiles who read the Book of Mormon, then, ought to humble themselves to the dust, as a student humbles himself before his master or teacher, and not presume to know more than Mormon or the other Book of Mormon writers, or to ascribe to them the same human weaknesses seen in Gentiles society, putting them on the same level as the Gentiles.  Gentiles who view the Nephites as a secular civilization or who make them equal to other, baser, man-made societies, will miss the mark and not learn the lessons being taught.  The greater teaches the lesser.  The Nephite civilization, then, must be viewed as superior to anything we have yet known (for so it was) and we must set aside our pride and preconceived notions and learn from it.

(Over the years on other blogs I have repeatedly rebuked those who tried to “bring the Book of Mormon down to earth,” who tried to interpret its passages as having a human, as opposed to a divine source, in an effort to, essentially, “humanize the text” so that we can more readily connect to it, since we are imperfect, frail humans and it, supposedly, is helpful to view these authors through the same lens.  This is the claim that is made, but it is bogus, (for the Book of Mormon was written by God’s power, not man’s and is God’s word and not man’s), and all who follow such man-made interpretations and philosophies will continue to misunderstand the text and will remain clueless about the Nephites, their history and their future.  As my rebukes have been in vain, I will stick to this blog and elaborate on the true history and future of the Nephites here, speaking only to only this readership.)

In conclusion

I used to think Nephite prosperity was Nephite centric, meaning that you had to be Nephite in order to get it.  But I was wrong.

And I beheld the Spirit of the Lord, that it was upon the Gentiles, and they did prosper and obtain the land for their inheritance; and I beheld that they were white, and exceedingly fair and beautiful, like unto my people before they were slain.

And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld that they did prosper in the land; and I beheld a book, and it was carried forth among them.  (1 Ne. 13:15,20)

So, the believing Gentiles, at some point in the future, will obtain these same blessings, even before they are numbered with the Nephites.  How can you get this blessing now?  You just have to do what the Nephite did—keeping all the commandments of God, as diligently and as exactly as they did—and for the same reasons.  They did it for prosperity, dominion, diversity, discovery, defense and memorial.  And so should we.

Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist