John the Revelator is not the Elias who restores all things


Revelation chapter 10 reads as follows:

And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire: and he had in his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth, and cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices. And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me,

Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not.

And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer: but in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets. And the voice which I heard from heaven spake unto me again, and said,

Go and take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth.

And I went unto the angel, and said unto him,

Give me the little book.

And he said unto me,

Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey.

And I took the little book out of the angel’s hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter. And he said unto me,

Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings. (Revelation Chapter 10)

Joseph Smith was asked a question about the book and gave the following answer by revelation:

Q. What are we to understand by the little book which was eaten by John, as mentioned in the 10th chapter of Revelation?

A. We are to understand that it was a mission, and an ordinance, for him to gather the tribes of Israel; behold, this is Elias, who, as it is written, must come and restore all things. (D&C 77:14)

Everyone who reads this scripture thinks that the part that says, “this is Elias, who, as it is written, must come and restore all things” must be referring to John, but the question was not asked about John, but about what we should understand by the little book that he ate.

Where it is written

Joseph Smith said, by revelation, that “this is Elias, who, as it is written, must come and restore all things.” So, where is it written that Elias must come and restore all things? Here:

And his disciples asked him, saying,

Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come?

And Jesus answered and said unto them,

Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. (Matt. 17:10-11)

Lots of Eliases, but there’s only one Elias who restores all things

Now, there are lots of different Eliases, for Elias (which is simply the name Elijah translated from the Greek) is a title for anyone who is sent by the Lord to prepare the way before Him. Jesus taught the following to His disciples:

But I say unto you,

Who is Elias? Behold, this is Elias, whom I send to prepare the way before me. (JST Matt. 17:13)

This means that all angels operate as Eliases, because part of their mission is to prepare the way of the Lord:

…neither have angels ceased to minister unto the children of men. For behold, they are subject unto him, to minister according to the word of his command, showing themselves unto them of strong faith and a firm mind in every form of godliness. And the office of their ministry is to call men unto repentance, and to fulfil and to do the work of the covenants of the Father, which he hath made unto the children of men, to prepare the way among the children of men, by declaring the word of Christ unto the chosen vessels of the Lord, that they may bear testimony of him. And by so doing, the Lord God prepareth the way that the residue of men may have faith in Christ, that the Holy Ghost may have place in their hearts, according to the power thereof; and after this manner bringeth to pass the Father, the covenants which he hath made unto the children of men. (Moroni 7:29-32)

Also, all men who prepare the way of the Lord operate as Eliases. Thus, both John the Baptist and Jesus Christ (who prepared the way of the Father) are Eliases, nevertheless, there is a specific Elias who restores all things:

And he [John the Baptist] confessed, and denied not that he was Elias; but confessed, saying;

I am not the Christ.

And they asked him, saying;

How then art thou Elias?

And he said,

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

And they asked him, saying,

Art thou that prophet?

And he answered,

No.

Then said they unto him,

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

He said,

I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness,

Make straight the way of the Lord,

as saith the prophet Esaias.

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

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

John answered them, saying;

I baptize with water, but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not; he it is of whom I bear record. He is that prophet, even Elias, who, coming after me, is preferred before me, whose shoe’s latchet I am not worthy to unloose, or whose place I am not able to fill; for he shall baptize, not only with water, but with fire, and with the Holy Ghost. (JST John 1:21-28)

We see from this that John the Baptist identified both himself and Jesus Christ as Eliases (and he also identified Jesus as the Prophet that Moses spoke of in Deuteronomy 18:15-19), but John indicated that he himself was not that Elias who restores all things.

Thus, there is more than one Elias spoken of in prophecy, but they are different people performing different works at different times, and not just the same person reincarnated or transmigrated, such as for example Elijah the Tishbite coming back to earth and being born again as John the Baptist, as some erroneously believe and teach. No, these are all different Eliases, meaning different people bearing the same title of Elias.

The Elias who restores all things is not a composite personage

Nevertheless, nor is the Elias who restores all things a bunch of different people, like a composite Elias, which erroneous teaching was taught by Bruce R. McConkie and others:

According to the plan and program of the Lord, the dispensation of the fulness of times is “the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began” (Acts 3:21). This restoration is to be effected by Elias. Before the winding up of the Lord’s work, the promise is: “Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things” (Matt. 17:11). With these ancient scriptures before us, these questions arise: Who is the promised Elias who was to come and restore all things? Has the work of restoration taken place? Or is it something that is yet future?

Correcting the Bible by the spirit of revelation, the Prophet restored a statement of John the Baptist which says that Christ is the Elias who was to restore all things (Inspired Version, John 1:21-28). By revelation we are also informed that the Elias who was to restore all things is the angel Gabriel who was known in mortality as Noah (D&C 27:6-7; Luke 1:5-25; Teachings, p. 157). From the same authentic source we also learn that the promised Elias is John the Revelator (D&C 77:9, 14). Thus there are three different revelations which name Elias as being three different persons. What are we to conclude?

By finding answer to the question, by whom has the restoration been effected, we shall find who Elias is and find there is no problem in harmonizing these apparently contradictory revelations. Who has restored all things? Was it one man? Certainly not. Many angelic ministrants have been sent from the courts of glory to confer keys and powers, to commit their dispensations and glories again to men on earth. At least the following have come: Moroni, John the Baptist, Peter, James and John, Moses, Elijah, Elias, Gabriel, Raphael, and Michael (D&C 13; 110; 128:19-21). Since it is apparent that no one messenger has carried the whole burden of the restoration, but rather that each has come with a specific endowment from on high, it becomes clear that Elias is a composite personage. The expression must be understood to be a name and a title for those whose mission it was to commit keys and powers to men in this final dispensation (see Doctrines of Salvation, 1:170-174). (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3:492-493; see also Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed., p. 221)

Notice that McConkie says, “Correcting the Bible by the spirit of revelation, the Prophet restored a statement of John the Baptist which says that Christ is the Elias who was to restore all things (Inspired Version, John 1:21-28)” In point of fact, that text does not say that Christ is the Elias who was to restore all things. It only says that Christ is Elias. In other words, Christ is an Elias. This is the first error McConkie made.

Notice also that McConkie says, “By revelation we are also informed that the Elias who was to restore all things is the angel Gabriel who was known in mortality as Noah (D&C 27:6-7; Luke 1:5-25; Teachings, p. 157).” In point of fact, the text does not say that Gabriel is the Elias who was to restore all things. It only says that Gabriel holds “the keys of bringing to pass the restoration of all things.” These keys will be delivered by Gabriel to Joseph-Nephi, who will then use them to restore all things. This, then, is the second error McConkie made.

Again McConkie says, “From the same authentic source we also learn that the promised Elias is John the Revelator (D&C 77:9, 14).” This post is going to attempt to correct that erroneous assumption, for the revelation in question does not say that John is the Elias who was to restore all things. Three strikes, McConkie.

McConkie started out wrong in this endeavor because he came up with the wrong answer to the question he posed, “Who has restored all things?” McConkie (and I suppose other latter-day saints of like thinking) have supposed that the restoration of all things has already occurred. But latter-day saint scripture explicitly states that the restoration of all things has not, as yet, occurred and thus is still future to us:

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)

So, given that the restoration of all things is still future to us, the answer to McConkie’s question, “Who has restored all things?” is: no one has restored all things. And the answers to McConkie’s other questions, “Who is the promised Elias who was to come and restore all things? Has the work of restoration taken place? Or is it something that is yet future?” is: Joseph-Nephi is the promised Elias who was to come and restore all things; and a work of restoration has taken place, but not the restoration of all things, which is yet future to us.

Therefore, all the Eliases we have so far seen, have been Eliases who are not the Elias who restores all things, for that specific work of restoration, and that specific Elias, is yet future to us.

The Elias who restores all things is a specific person

Just as the prophet Elijah the Tishbite was a specific person who had a specific mission, and thus was a specific Elias, so John the Baptist was a specific person who had a specific mission, and thus was a specific Elias. Jesus taught:

But the days will come, when the violent shall have no power; for all the prophets and the law prophesied that it should be thus until John. Yea, as many as have prophesied have foretold of these days. And if ye will receive it, verily, he was the Elias, who was for to come and prepare all things. (JST Matt. 11:13-15)

John, then, was the specific Elias who was to come before the First Coming of Jesus and prepare all things for Him. In like manner, there is a specific Elias who was to come before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and restore all things:

Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist, and also of another who should come and restore all things, as it is written by the prophets. (JST Matt. 17:14)

The word “another” indicates a specific person who restores all things, not a composite personage. Okay, let’s get back to Joseph Smith’s revelation concerning the book that John ate.

A mission

According to Joseph Smith, the book that John ate was a mission for him to gather the tribes of Israel. Now, books contain words, do they not? And how does one receive a mission? Does not one receive a mission from someone else? Does not someone else say to the person receiving the mission, “Go do this and that?” Are not words used to send someone on a mission? The book, then, is representative of someone’s words, even the words of the someone who is sending somebody else (John) on a mission. Whose words does the book contain? The book contains the words of that Elias who restores all things (who is Joseph-Nephi.)

An ordinance

The eating of the book by John represents John’s ordination to the mission. How does one get ordained to a mission? Does not someone lay hands on another person’s head and say words? Whose words are used to ordain John to his mission to gather the tribes of Israel? Why, the words of that Elias who restores all things (who is Joseph-Nephi.)

John accepts the mission from Elias

It is interesting that the mission (which represents that Elias who restores all things, his words and his mission to gather the tribes of Israel) was in the hand of an angel, for, as already stated above, angels themselves also bear the title of Elias. Thus, John taking the book out of the hand of the angel is representative of John accepting the mission to gather the tribes of Israel from the hand of Elias.

An available mission

Was the book open or closed? It was open:

And he had in his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth,…And the voice which I heard from heaven spake unto me again, and said, Go and take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth. (Rev. 10:2,8)

So, this little mission was open, or available to be filled by someone. And God chose John to fill it. He then took the book (accepted the mission) and ate it (was ordained to the mission.)

This has happened before

Eating books is nothing new in prophecy. It happened to Ezekiel:

And thou, son of man, be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns be with thee, and thou dost dwell among scorpions: be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house. And thou shalt speak my words unto them, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear: for they are most rebellious. But thou, son of man, hear what I say unto thee;

Be not thou rebellious like that rebellious house: open thy mouth, and eat that I give thee.

And when I looked, behold, an hand was sent unto me; and, lo, a roll of a book was therein; and he spread it before me; and it was written within and without: and there was written therein lamentations, and mourning, and woe. (Ezekiel 2:6-10) Moreover he said unto me,

Son of man, eat that thou findest; eat this roll, and go speak unto the house of Israel.

So I opened my mouth, and he caused me to eat that roll. And he said unto me,

Son of man, cause thy belly to eat, and fill thy bowels with this roll that I give thee.

Then did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness. (Ezekiel 3:1-3)

Just like John, Ezekiel saw a roll of a book, which was in a hand—but this was a disembodied hand, representing the hand of the Lord, and not the hand of an angel, meaning an Elias—and the book was spread open before Ezekiel by the hand (therefore it was an available mission, ready to be filled), and then Ezekiel ate it and was commanded to speak the Lord’s words to the people. So, the book roll contained the words of the Lord, representing an available mission of the Lord for Ezekiel to accomplish, and Ezekiel accepted this mission by the hand of the Lord, and then was ordained to the mission by the Lord when he ate the roll.

Now, back to the book that John ate.

A little mission

What kind of a book was it? It was a little book. What kind of a mission was it? It was a little mission. (Not a big or a great mission.) As it was a little mission, it wasn’t a mission for John to gather all the tribes of Israel, just some of the tribes. How many tribes? Probably just two: the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. During the time of John’s mortal ministry, those were the two tribes that occupied the land of Jerusalem, and those were the two tribes he was familiar with. So, he gets to participate in the end time events by receiving a little mission to gather a couple of the tribes of Israel (Judah and Benjamin.)

The big mission

The mission to gather the tribes of Israel is the mission of that Elias who restores all things, who is Joseph-Nephi:

Q. What are we to understand by the angel ascending from the east, Revelation 7th chapter and 2nd verse?

A. We are to understand that the angel ascending from the east is he to whom is given the seal of the living God over the twelve tribes of Israel; wherefore, he crieth unto the four angels having the everlasting gospel, saying: Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. And, if you will receive it, this is Elias which was to come to gather together the tribes of Israel and restore all things. (D&C 77:9)

Joseph-Nephi has the mission to gather all the tribes of Israel, but because John is slated to participate in the end times work, he delegates to John a little mission, while reserving the big mission of gathering the rest of Israel himself.

Why must Joseph-Nephi be the one to gather the larger portion? Because the smaller portion (Judah and Benjamin) are of a finite number, whereas the larger portion (all the rest of the tribes and branches) are as numberless as the sands of the seashore. Thus, they are essentially infinite in number. Normal miracle-workers can’t handle that kind of workload, for not only must Joseph-Nephi gather them, but he’ll also have to number them. Joseph-Nephi will be a miracle-worker’s miracle-worker, performing feats that normal miracle-workers can’t do. Gathering the numberless and then numbering the numberless is beyond the scope of John or any other servant of God. Only Joseph-Nephi will be able to accomplish the feat. So, to Joseph-Nephi is given the bulk of the work, while all the rest of his mortal and angelic helpers are given a little bit of work.

For example, when the angel who ascends from the east (who is Joseph-Nephi) tells his four angelic helpers to not harm anything until the servants of God have been sealed, they seal 144,000 of the tribes of Israel.

And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel. (Rev. 7:4)

That works out to 36,000 sealed per angel (of the four.) That’s a finite number which they can handle. But notice that John also saw another population:

After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; and cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb…And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. (Rev. 7:9-10,13-14)

This numberless host were of saved people. It is impossible for man to number them, but Joseph-Nephi will number them anyway. These people get sealed, too. By whom? By Joseph-Nephi. Why must he be the one to do it? Because their numbers are too great, requiring a miracle of outrageous power to accomplish the feat. And that’s just the sort of power Joseph-Nephi will have. He will have “much power” laid upon him. Not “much power” from the perspective of man, but “much power” from the perspective of God:

What is the rod spoken of in the first verse of the 11th chapter of Isaiah, that should come of the Stem of Jesse?

Behold, thus saith the Lord: It is a servant in the hands of Christ, who is partly a descendant of Jesse as well as of Ephraim, or of the house of Joseph, on whom there is laid much power. (D&C 113:3-4)

So, Joseph-Nephi will reserve to himself all the truly great tasks which are impossible for others to perform, while delegating only the smaller tasks that others can handle, according to their level of faith.

Eternal words

The representation of Joseph-Nephi as a little open book might be hard for some people to swallow, but he is also represented by a rod (Isaiah 11:1), a root (Isaiah 11:10), a candlestick (Zechariah 4) and so on, and yet these other symbols are readily accepted by the same people. In another revelation, Joseph-Nephi’s description is representative of all these symbols:

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; (D&C 85:7)

The scepter of power is representative of a rod; clothing of light is representative of a candlestick; eternal words is representative of a book; and a fountain of truth is representative of something that goes down deep in the earth, such as a root. So, nobody need choke on the open book being a symbol for Joseph-Nephi.

John is commanded to take the book, therefore, he cannot be that Elias who restores all things

In Revelation 10 we find that John is commanded by the voice to take the book:

Go and take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth.

And I went unto the angel, and said unto him,

Give me the little book.

And he said unto me,

Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey. (Rev. 10:8-9)

John does not volunteer to take the book. He is first commanded to take it, then he goes to Elias (the angel) and says to give him the mission. The fact that John is commanded to accept and perform the mission, and does not merely volunteer for it, shows that he cannot be that Elias who restores all things, for the Elias who restores all things is a strictly volunteer position. God cannot command anyone to be the Elias who restores all things. It must be requested by someone.

The command to restore all things is unjust

It needs to be understood that the restoration of all things is accomplished by one man, and one man alone, although there are helpers, both angelic and human, who participate, according to their prayers and desires. In other words, all the servants of God who desired to participate in the end times events, and who prayed in faith toward that end, were given some small role to play, God disbursing the various assignments as He saw fit. Thus, John’s desire to work more was rewarded with a commission to gather the tribes of Israel in the end times. God chose John for that particular work, and He chooses all His other servants for all the other participatory works they will engage in during the end times, commanding them to do this or that.

But the role of “restorer of all things” cannot be given to anyone by God, for it is too great for man. It is too much work. It is endless work, infinite work. It is unjust to put such a workload upon the shoulders of just one man, and God is a just God. Were God to command someone to perform the restoration of all things, He would cease being just, and thus He would cease being God. Therefore, God is incapable of commanding any man to be the Elias who restores all things.

Nevertheless, it is a principle of the gospel what whatsoever you ask for, in faith, believing you will receive, nothing doubting, shall be granted. Thus, God can only fill the position of “Elias who restores all things” if one of His sons requests it in faith.

God, knowing all things from the beginning, had a very special spirit son, a special servant, who He knew would request to be the Elias who restores all things. So He held this spirit back, for thousands of years, to be held in reserve until just before the end times begins, even now, and then sent him to earth to be born, knowing full well that at some point in the man’s life he would exercise exceedingly great faith and ask to be the Elias who restores all things. Given that a valid and faith filled request would be made, God would have to put upon the man the very burden, just as he asked, and thus God would get His needed Elias to save all of mankind.

John the Revelator, however, did not request the mission, but was first commanded to do it, showing he is not that Elias who restores all things.

Now, some reading this might wonder, “Just how big is Joseph-Nephi’s mission?” I will show you.

A very literal deadline: the Second Coming of Christ

First, let’s talk about when the mission needs to be completed. Joseph Smith revealed the following about Revelation chapters 8 and 9:

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

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

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

A. They are to be accomplished after the opening of the seventh seal, before the coming of Christ. (D&C 77:12-13)

In Revelation 8 the seventh seal is opened. This occurs in the beginning of the seventh thousand years, therefore this occurs after 11 April 2033. The events in chapters 8 and 9, then, take place after 11 April 2033, after the seventh seal is open, but before the coming of Christ.

In other words, all the events described by Joseph must take place before Jesus gets back. If these things don’t happen, absolutely nobody gets saved.

An endless number of impossible-to-perform tasks to be completed perfectly in an impossibly short amount of time

What has to occur? Again, notice what Joseph says:

in the beginning of the seventh thousand years will the Lord God sanctify the earth, and complete the salvation of man, and judge all things, and shall redeem all things, except that which he hath not put into his power, when he shall have sealed all things, unto the end of all things; and the sounding of the trumpets of the seven angels are the preparing and finishing of his work, in the beginning of the seventh thousand years—the preparing of the way before the time of his coming. (D&C 77:12)

So, God will 1) sanctify the earth, 2) complete the salvation of man, 3) judge all things, 4) redeem all things, 5) seal all things; and He will do all of this 6) to the end of all things. This encompasses both 1) the preparing of His work and 2) the finishing of His work. And all of this vast amount of work must occur before Jesus comes back.

The Lord God accomplishes this work through a single, solitary individual named Joseph-Nephi, who is a miracle-worker seer of faith levels never before seen or even imagined. Joseph-Nephi, then, must sanctify the earth (bringing it back to its pre-Fall condition), complete the salvation of man (referring to group salvation), judge all things (for the inhabitants of Zion will judge all nations and all things pertaining to Zion, will they not?), redeem all things and seal all things, even to the end of all things, meaning a sealing which encompasses both past, present and future, or to be plainer in writing, which seals both the dead, the living and the as-yet unborn.

Thus, for the restoration of all things, Joseph-Nephi must reveal all things, restore all things, gather all things in one, in Christ, seal all things, number all things, restore all things to their lands of inheritance, disburse all inheritances, sanctify the planet and redeem all things upon it (not including the wicked, of course.) In other words, Joseph-Nephi must do it all and also, he must do it all perfectly, with no errors, whatsoever.

Now, if you can’t wrap your mind around all of that, which must be fully finished perfectly, and before Jesus gets back, it’s likely because this great and marvelous work is beyond human comprehension. Yet it must be done, irregardless, because this is how we are group-saved, otherwise we will all get destroyed on the day of the Lord’s Second Coming. So, let me take the opportunity to expound upon group salvation.

Group salvation

A connection to Christ (oneness with Christ) is not enough to save. We must also have a connection to (oneness with) each other. This is the doctrine of perfection:

I say unto you, be one; and if ye are not one ye are not mine. (D&C 38:27)

Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. (John 17:20-23)

Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. (1 Corinthians 1:10)

And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: that we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: from whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. (Ephesians 4:11-16)

These passages show the doctrine of group salvation in which a group of persons is made perfect. Perfection is necessary for salvation because nobody can be saved while continuing to break God’s commandments, and perfection is a commandment of God required of all mankind:

Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. (Matthew 5:48)

Thus, the doctrine of perfection is the doctrine of group salvation, which is why Joseph Smith wrote the following:

And now, my dearly beloved brethren and sisters, let me assure you that these are principles in relation to the dead and the living that cannot be lightly passed over, as pertaining to our salvation. For their salvation is necessary and essential to our salvation, as Paul says concerning the fathers—that they without us cannot be made perfect—neither can we without our dead be made perfect.

And now, in relation to the baptism for the dead, I will give you another quotation of Paul, 1 Corinthians 15:29: Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? Why are they then baptized for the dead?

And again, in connection with this quotation I will give you a quotation from one of the prophets, who had his eye fixed on the restoration of the priesthood, the glories to be revealed in the last days, and in an especial manner this most glorious of all subjects belonging to the everlasting gospel, namely, the baptism for the dead; for Malachi says, last chapter, verses 5th and 6th: Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

I might have rendered a plainer translation to this, but it is sufficiently plain to suit my purpose as it stands. It is sufficient to know, in this case, that the earth will be smitten with a curse unless there is a welding link of some kind or other between the fathers and the children, upon some subject or other—and behold what is that subject? It is the baptism for the dead. For we without them cannot be made perfect; neither can they without us be made perfect. 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 128:15-18)

The means by which we become perfect is through oneness with each other and also with Christ, which creates a saved group of perfect people, yet given that we are all one, we are considered “the (singular) body of Christ.” As Christ considers us part of His body, the entire group becomes saved. Whatsoever, or whosoever, is outside of “the body of Christ,” is not considered part of His body (or fold), but is considered part of the other fold (the devil’s fold), and thus is not saved.

And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. (John 10:16)

The body (or fold) of Christ is one, not two or three or four. Just one. Therefore, it is a single group of united people that spans all of time, from the beginning to the very end, and they are all connected to (one with) each other. This is why Paul wrote:

God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect. (Hebrews 11:40)

They (that is, the dead) cannot be made perfect without us because they are part of the body (or fold) of Christ, just as Paul and the saints of his day were part of the body (or fold) of Christ, just as we latter-day saints are part of the body (or fold) of Christ, and there cannot be more than one fold (or body) of Christ, therefore, we all must be made one, even one fold, otherwise, we are not God’s. Thus, all dead saints, and all living saints, and all the future unborn saints, need to be connected to each other in some way, to become one. There cannot be two unconnected groups of saved people, but only one huge group that spans all of time, all connected to each other, all one body and fold of Christ. Unless this is so, there is no perfection for any of them, for this is the only way any of them can fulfill the commandment to “be ye therefore perfect.” They must all be part of the same, connected group.

Now Adam has the “keys of salvation” (D&C 78:16), therefore, the group that composes “the body of Christ” must be connected to each other all the way back to Adam. These “keys of salvation” aren’t the keys of individual salvation, but of group salvation, and will be used upon all those who comprise the (singular) body of Christ. The problem lies, then, that each time God reveals a dispensation of the gospel to people on earth—to this civilization, or to that civilization—and another “body of Christ” is formed, these groups of people remain unconnected to the other groups, and also unconnected to Adam; for everything must lead back to Adam so that he can use those keys of (group) salvation. Adam has the promises, and so whoever is connected to him, likewise has the promises. Given that cycles of wickedness and apostasy have happened over and over again throughout the world’s history, so that a righteous people become wicked and then self-destruct and get wiped out, their histories being wiped out and their very existence being altogether forgotten, and then God plants another seed in another location, and the process starts all over again, the wicked becoming righteous, then later becoming wicked again and getting wiped out—all these righteous people that lived in various places and at various times must be connected to each other, and to Adam, to be a part of the (singular) body of Christ. Thus, all these people must be gathered together in one, meaning one (singular) body of Christ, being one group of connected people who are one with each other, and one with Christ. But this cannot be done. It is simply impossible.

Nevertheless, if this is not done, then there is no group salvation. There is no body of Christ. And thus the people of this earth become cursed and rejected by God, for they are not considered as His, but instead are considered part of the devil’s fold, having not obeyed God’s commandments “to be perfect” and “to be one.” So, when He comes back, He destroys not only the whole human population, but also their dominions, which is this planet and all that ever existed, or might have existed, upon it. Thus, we are screwed. All is lost. There is no hope in sight. That is, except for this one little tidbit of hope:

In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: that in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: in whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: that we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. (Ephesians 1:7-12)

Thus God, seeing that His righteous saints would be destroyed by their inability to keep His commandment to be perfect, because they have no power to connect themselves to all the other groups of righteous persons who have lived on this planet, nor to Adam, He ordained that in the last days He would gather all things together in one (and this includes all the saints of all ages into one body of Christ), and He would do this before His Son Jesus Christ came back, so that the gathered body of Christ could be group-saved. How would God accomplish this feat that would span all of time, all of earth and also all of heaven? By using a very special instrument of exceeding faith, even the appointed rod of power that would be in His hands, which rod is that miracle-working seer known as Joseph-Nephi, the Elias who restores all things.

The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. The Lord shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies. (Psalms 110:1-2)

And his disciples asked him, saying,

Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come?

And Jesus answered and said unto them,

Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. (Matthew 17:10-11)

Thus, Joseph-Nephi must come, meaning that it is vital to our salvation that he comes (and he will come out of Zion, which is America), otherwise we won’t be group-saved, or be accounted as the body of Christ. And also Joseph-Nephi shall come out of Zion (America) and perform that mighty and necessary work of making Christ’s “whole body fitly joined together” (Eph. 4:16) to perfection.

Joseph-Nephi is the Lord’s salvation unto the ends of the earth

Isaiah chapter 49 contains the words of Joseph-Nephi. Notice what he says here:

And now, saith the Lord that formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob again to him,

Though Israel be not gathered,

yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the Lord, and my God shall be my strength. And he said,

It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth. (Isaiah 49:5-6)

Jesus Christ is our individual Savior, saving us individually, but when it comes to group salvation, we all participate, becoming saviors on mount Zion:

And saviours shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be the Lord’s. (Obadiah 1:21)

The principle is that we are to perform the works we are commanded to perform, and do all within our power, and then we are saved by the grace of God, who makes up for our lack.

For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do. (2 Nephi 25:23)

Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed. (D&C 123:17)

Each of us does some small amount of group salvation work, according to our faith, and when you count it all up, when all that work is added together, it is not enough to complete the full task of group salvation, thus the group remains unsaved, because the work of salvation must be done to full completion and it must be done perfectly, otherwise it is insufficient to save. In other words, just as Jesus worked out, and needed to work out, a perfect atonement, in order to save us individually, so the group salvation work must be done perfectly and completely, in order to group-save us.

The Restoration brought about by Joseph Smith, then, being a partial restoration, is insufficient to accomplish the task of group salvation. Mormons have no power to connect themselves to Adam, nor to the Nephite fold of saints, nor to any other group of saints of antiquity. And the same goes for the primitive saints of Jerusalem, the saints of the Nephite dispensation, and of every other dispensation that ever existed. None of that was perfect, none of that was done to completion, none of that connected the various folds of the Lamb into one fold, nor did any of that connect the future souls, the as-yet unborn souls, into the fold. All of that, then, is insufficient to save us, and given that there is no individual salvation without group salvation, nor group salvation without individual salvation, this planet is toast unless God shows forth His grace.

God’s group salvation grace is Joseph-Nephi

Joseph-Nephi, then, is the manifestation of God’s grace, because this man will be endowed with all the gifts, fully empowered to godlike levels, so that he will be enabled to accomplish the entire workload, thus completing the salvation of man to perfection. It won’t matter that it is impossible for an imperfect man to do anything perfectly, he, being the greatest miracle-worker of all time, will perform a mighty miracle and do it perfectly anyway.

Now, because Joseph-Nephi is accounted as one of us, as part of the fold, as one of the many group saviors, the work he accomplishes is accounted as part of the work done by the fold, and thus is accounted as having been accomplished by the group (all of us) and thus we all are accounted as having complied with God’s commandments. We do an infinitesimally small amount of the work, and then Joseph-Nephi re-does our work perfectly, and also does the infinitely large amount of work that is left, completing everything perfectly. Thus, he quite literally does it all, because he has to re-do our lousy efforts so that all things are perfect.

The numbering of Israel

Now, I wish to impress upon the reader that John the Revelator is not up to the task of doing what Joseph-Nephi needs to, and will, do. Normal servants cannot accomplish such grand works, because they lack the necessary faith. God loves each and every one of His servants, and they all exercised mighty faith, including John the apostle, but the workload of the Elias who restores all things is essentially infinite, and neither John nor anyone else (nor perhaps the entire group’s faith combined,) is equal to the task. It will take a man who has all the gifts; and not just spiritual gifts, but all the physical gifts, as well; nor just fully maxed out gifts, but with their limits taken off, so that his faith is beyond the limitations. So, I’m talking of a super special servant who desires, and obtains by his faith, godlike powers, for only the power of God can accomplish the task.

Anyway, to more fully demonstrate what I’m talking about, I will expound upon the great numbering of Israel.

Moses gathered the house of Israel from the land of Egypt and numbered them (see the Book of Numbers, chapters 1-4 and 26), intending to restore them to the land of their inheritance. This same scenario will play out a second time during the last days. Israel will be gathered out from the nations and then numbered.

As I live, saith the Lord God, surely with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out, will I rule over you: and I will bring you out from the people, and will gather you out of the countries wherein ye are scattered, with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out. And I will bring you into the wilderness of the people, and there will I plead with you face to face. Like as I pleaded with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so will I plead with you, saith the Lord God. And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant: and I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against me: I will bring them forth out of the country where they sojourn, and they shall not enter into the land of Israel: and ye shall know that I am the Lord. (Ezekiel 20:33-38)

Ezekiel’s words: “And I will cause you to pass under the rod,” mean that Israel is “to be numbered as the flock.” The rod or staff is held out over the flock by the shepherd and as each head of sheep passes under it, the flock is numbered by the shepherd, one-by-one. This great event (the numbering of Israel) only occurs after Israel is gathered, and is yet another impossible miracle to be accomplished by the rod, who is Joseph-Nephi.

And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: (Isaiah 11:1)

The reason why the numbering of Israel is impossible is because God promised Abraham his seed would be numberless:

And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered. (Genesis 13:16)

And he brought him forth abroad, and said,

Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them:

and he said unto him,

So shall thy seed be. (Genesis 15:5)

Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; (Hosea 1:10)

So God set up the parameters whereby His end times miracle-working seer (Joseph-Nephi) could perform yet another impossible miracle, for God numbers all His sheep and thus all His sheep must be numbered by Joseph-Nephi:

And the time cometh speedily that the righteous must be led up as calves of the stall, and the Holy One of Israel must reign in dominion, and might, and power, and great glory. And he gathereth his children from the four quarters of the earth; and he numbereth his sheep, and they know him; and there shall be one fold and one shepherd; and he shall feed his sheep, and in him they shall find pasture. (1 Nephi 22:24-25)

Hearken, O ye Gentiles, and hear the words of Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, which he hath commanded me that I should speak concerning you, for, behold he commandeth me that I should write, saying:

Turn, all ye Gentiles, from your wicked ways; and repent of your evil doings, of your lyings and deceivings, and of your whoredoms, and of your secret abominations, and your idolatries, and of your murders, and your priestcrafts, and your envyings, and your strifes, and from all your wickedness and abominations, and come unto me, and be baptized in my name, that ye may receive a remission of your sins, and be filled with the Holy Ghost, that ye may be numbered with my people who are of the house of Israel. (3 Nephi 30:1-2)

God never varies from what He says

Lest some claim that “the numbering” mentioned in the scriptures is merely a symbolic token and not a literal occurrence to be performed by Joseph-Nephi, consider these scriptures:

And behold, all that he requires of you is to keep his commandments; and he has promised you that if ye would keep his commandments ye should prosper in the land; and he never doth vary from that which he hath said; therefore, if ye do keep his commandments he doth bless you and prosper you. (Mosiah 2:22)

I perceive that it has been made known unto you, by the testimony of his word, that he cannot walk in crooked paths; neither doth he vary from that which he hath said; neither hath he a shadow of turning from the right to the left, or from that which is right to that which is wrong; therefore, his course is one eternal round. (Alma 7:20)

For God doth not walk in crooked paths, neither doth he turn to the right hand nor to the left, neither doth he vary from that which he hath said, therefore his paths are straight, and his course is one eternal round. (D&C 3:2)

So, as He has said His sheep shall be numbered, they shall be literally numbered, even though that is entirely impossible to do, because He has made them as numerous as the dust of the earth.

The purpose of the vision of all mankind

The scriptures record that the brother of Jared and also Moses saw visions in which all mankind, from beginning to end, were shown to them:

And when the Lord had said these words, he showed unto the brother of Jared all the inhabitants of the earth which had been, and also all that would be; and he withheld them not from his sight, even unto the ends of the earth. (Ether 3:25)

And it came to pass that Moses looked, and beheld the world upon which he was created; and Moses beheld the world and the ends thereof, and all the children of men which are, and which were created; of the same he greatly marveled and wondered. (Moses 1:8)

And it came to pass, as the voice was still speaking, Moses cast his eyes and beheld the earth, yea, even all of it; and there was not a particle of it which he did not behold, discerning it by the Spirit of God. And he beheld also the inhabitants thereof, and there was not a soul which he beheld not; and he discerned them by the Spirit of God; and their numbers were great, even numberless as the sand upon the sea shore. (Moses 1:27-28)

This “vision of all mankind” was a privilege given to these servants (and perhaps to others) in which they were shown the vast numbers of people Joseph-Nephi would have to deal with. This vision serves a purpose; it was not merely eye-candy, or for God to show off. Neither the brother of Jared, nor Moses, had the capability of numbering all those people, let alone gathering them, sealing them, and so on. So for them the vision was wondrous and marvelous. And also for us who read the accounts of these visions. But for Joseph-Nephi this “vision of all mankind” is a necessary part of his ministry, for he needs to see what he’s working with, in order to number them, etc. So, that’s what the vision is for. That’s its purpose.

How is it that there will be so many of the house of Israel?

It is because all saved Israel must be numbered, which includes both all the saved living and all the saved dead who have existed since the days of Adam, and will also include all the unborn souls who will be saved. In addition to all these saved of Israel, the Gentiles who repent, from the days of Adam to the end of time, both the living, dead and unborn of them, will also be numbered among the house of Israel.

There are about 7 billion known people living on the planet right now, and it is estimated that there have been about 100 billion people that have lived here so far. (Estimates vary.) 100 billion people is not “numberless,” but that number does not take into account the unborn, who also will be numbered by Joseph-Nephi. Nor does it take into account the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel.

The Lost Ten Tribes, alone, will be numberless

Ten of the twelve tribes of Israel went “missing” over 2000 years ago and haven’t been heard from since. Some people think that all these people were incorporated into the Gentile nations when they traveled “to the north countries.” Some stragglers of these tribes may have stayed behind in Gentile nations, but the bulk of them continued trekking north until they reached a hidden place on planet Earth that no one knows anything about. God has kept these people there, in this “hidden place” on Earth, multiplying like rabbits on steroids, so that now, over 2000 years later, they are as numberless as the sands of the seashore or the stars in the heavens. Their numbers are simply incalculable, thus fulfilling God’s promise to Abraham.

Gathering all things: the return of the Lost Ten Tribes

One of the endlessly many missions given to Joseph-Nephi will be to gather all things in one. This includes gathering all the living tribes of Israel, including the Lost Ten Tribes.

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

The keys mentioned in the above scripture are currently with the LDS church, but are only used to gather spiritual Israel (the Gentiles) into the true church and fold of God. They are not used to gather literal Israel from the four parts of the earth, nor to lead the ten tribes back from the land of the north. For these functions, the leaders of the church are merely holding onto the keys until Joseph-Nephi shows up fully empowered, at which point he will receive them from the church leaders, for as the root of Jesse, he has a right to them:

What is the root of Jesse spoken of in the 10th verse of the 11th chapter?

Behold, thus saith the Lord, it is a descendant of Jesse, as well as of Joseph, unto whom rightly belongs the priesthood, and the keys of the kingdom, for an ensign, and for the gathering of my people in the last days. (D&C 113:5-6)

Given that these keys are for the leading of the ten tribes from the land of the north, this means that Joseph-Nephi will personally go to where these tribes are hiding, and then personally lead them back. He is the point man in all this end times work, taking the lead of everything.

When the Lost Ten Tribes return from wherever they’ve been hidden, their vast numbers are going to cause great problems:

Lift up thine eyes round about, and behold: all these gather themselves together, and come to thee. As I live,

saith the Lord,

thou shalt surely clothe thee with them all, as with an ornament, and bind them on thee, as a bride doeth. For thy waste and thy desolate places, and the land of thy destruction, shall even now be too narrow by reason of the inhabitants, and they that swallowed thee up shall be far away. The children which thou shalt have, after thou hast lost the other, shall say again in thine ears,

The place is too strait for me: give place to me that I may dwell.

Then shalt thou say in thine heart,

Who hath begotten me these, seeing I have lost my children, and am desolate, a captive, and removing to and fro? and who hath brought up these? Behold, I was left alone; these, where had they been? (Isaiah 49:18-21)

Despite the fact that their numbers will be essentially endless, making the land masses groan under their combined weight and causing all who behold their masses to be astonished and wonder where all these people could possibly be put (for they will crowd out every available spot), Joseph-Nephi will be tasked to number every last one of them, and he will do so:

And verily, verily, I say unto you that I have other sheep, which are not of this land, neither of the land of Jerusalem, neither in any parts of that land round about whither I have been to minister. For they of whom I speak are they who have not as yet heard my voice; neither have I at any time manifested myself unto them. But I have received a commandment of the Father that I shall go unto them, and that they shall hear my voice, and shall be numbered among my sheep, that there may be one fold and one shepherd; therefore I go to show myself unto them. (3 Nephi 16:1-3)

Thus, when the Lost Ten Tribes arrive, we will all see that God’s promise to Abraham concerning the number of his seed was literal and not figurative or purely symbolic. And we will discover that all our current branches of mathematics are inadequate to ascertain the exact number of the persons making up each of the twelve tribes. Concerning the arrival of the Ten Tribes, the Lord has said:

And the boundaries of the everlasting hills shall tremble at their presence. (D&C 133:31)

So, their numbers will be vast, truly beyond comprehension, requiring Joseph-Nephi to restore the divine mathematics used in the heavens by God to count all His endless creations.

Why they must be numbered

The gathering of Israel is followed by the numbering of Israel, which is followed by Israel being restored to the lands of their inheritance. The tribal lands are inherited according to the number of each tribe. A tribe that has a greater number of people, receives a greater land grant; a tribe with a lesser number, receives less land for their inheritance. This is according to God’s commandment, given to Moses and Joshua, for Moses numbered the tribes of Israel (as recorded in the Book of Numbers) and then Joshua brought the tribes into their tribal lands and divvied up the land according to the numbering Moses had counted.

Joseph-Nephi will be patterned after all the prophets, seers, revelators and other servants of the Lord. So, he will be like Moses, delivering God’s people and gathering them out of the Gentile nations (and the Lost Ten Tribes from wherever they currently are), and then numbering them. And he will be like Joshua, bringing them into their tribal lands and then giving out inheritances according to their numbers. Joseph-Nephi will do all of this and much, much more.

Inheritance by tribe, and thus, numbering according to tribe

Because tribal inheritances are given out according to tribe, all who are accounted as Israel, both literal Israel and adopted Israel (Gentiles who repent and are numbered among Israel), must be placed in one of the twelve tribes. So, you don’t get placed in Israel, but in the tribe of Manasseh, or the tribe of Ephraim, or the tribe of Gad, etc. Then, when your entire tribe (let’s say it’s Gad) is counted by Joseph-Nephi, the land for Gad will be appointed, and then you will receive your inheritance on that land appointed for Gad. This is how it works. So, each tribal member must be assigned a tribe, and each tribe must be numbered, and then land must be appointed, with designated tribal land boundaries, and then you are given a piece of that land for yourself and all your descendants. It’s not a simple task, by any means.

Patriarchal blessings and lineage

The practice of receiving patriarchal blessings in which tribal lineage has been designated has been going on for about 200 years now and the LDS church is fastidious in recording every single patriarchal blessing ever given, and more especially those tribal lineages, and practically nobody knows why we do this, except that we’ve been commanded to do it.

Those tribal lineage designations we latter-day saints receive in our patriarchal blessings are going to be used by Joseph-Nephi to number us into the tribes of Israel, and for the latter-day saints to receive their future tribal land inheritances. Joseph-Nephi is going to take the tribal lineage revelations given in those patriarchal blessings, correct and perfect them, setting them in order

And it shall come to pass that I, the Lord God, will send one mighty and strong…to set in order the house of God (D&C 85:7)

and then fully complete what Joseph Smith started, but on a grander and global scale, covering both the living, the dead and the unborn. He’s going to scale it completely up into the stratosphere (really straight into heaven), so that every saved person on this planet, from the beginning of time to the very end, gets put into a tribe of Israel, so that he can give them a land inheritance. The LDS leadership do not speak of this practice, why we do it, nor do they attempt to number the LDS population by tribe, because that is not their jurisdiction. They are merely to keep the work given to them by the Lord ongoing until Joseph-Nephi shows up to take over and finish everything to perfection.

Not enough land

The planet Earth will be too confining to fit all the new arrivals, which will include the Lost Ten Tribes as well as all the resurrected saved people who will be returning and who must also received a land inheritance (for as Jesus said, “the meek shall inherit the earth.”) Joseph-Nephi, then, will have to perform yet another glorious and astonishing miracle, and make the planet expand or enlarge in size, so that there is now plenty of room to fit everybody.

Now, this is only one of innumerable other impossible tasks that Joseph-Nephi will be given to accomplish before Jesus gets back. But this task alone, the coming numbering of Israel, is going to be as big a deal as any of the other tasks Joseph-Nephi is labored with.

Okay, back to John.

When John receives his mission

Chapters 4 and 5 of Revelation sets the stage for the opening of the seven seals of the sealed book.

Chapter 6 events occur after Jesus opens each of the six seals. These events take place after Joseph-Nephi appears on the scene fully empowered and before 11 April, 2033, which is the date that the sixth thousand years ends.

The events of chapter 7 take place after the sixth seal is opened and before 11 April, 2033.

The events of chapters 8 and 9 take place after 11 April, 2033, after the Lord has opened the seventh seal, but before the Lord’s Second Coming, and concern the sounding of the first six trumps by the angels.

Chapter 10 is when John receives his commission, even his mission and ordinance to gather the tribes of Israel, and takes place after 11 April, 2033, but before the Lord’s Second Coming, and between the sounding of the sixth and seventh angelic trumps.

Thus, John is not now gathering any tribes. The gathering of the tribes of Israel hasn’t even started yet. So, the idea that some have that John is with the 10 Lost Tribes, preparing them or whatever, is all conjecture and fantasy. Joseph-Nephi is the point man in all the end times work, therefore, John will go to Joseph-Nephi and receive his commission from Joseph-Nephi.

If we take Revelation chapters 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 to be chronological, then John’s mission of gathering the tribes of Israel will start only after the sixth angelic trump is sounded, which occurs after the 11 April, 2033 date, and before the seventh trump and before the Second Coming. And yet, the Elias who restores all things (who is Joseph-Nephi), has been active on the scene since chapter 6, for when the Lamb opens one of the seals of the sealed book, it is the Elias who restore all things (who is Joseph-Nephi) that translates that sealed record into all the languages of the world. John the apostle, though, doesn’t mention anything about having to perform any works, at all, during chapters 6, 7, 8 or 9. In other words, John receives his mission too late in end time events to be the Elias who restores all things, for that man has already been furiously working to restore all things by the time of chapter 10 of Revelation. This is yet more evidence that John is not the Elias who restores all things.

The principle of identification proves John is not the Elias who restores all things

It is my understanding that when a prophet or servant is known, he is identified. Thus, when Joseph Smith was asked, “Who is the Stem of Jesse,” he could identify the person (since Jesus had already lived) and so he gave the answer plainly:

Who is the Stem of Jesse spoken of in the 1st, 2d, 3d, 4th, and 5th verses of the 11th chapter of Isaiah?

Verily thus saith the Lord: It is Christ. (D&C 113:1-2)

But when Joseph Smith is asked about the rod and the root, this man (for it is the same man, Joseph-Nephi) had not been born, yet, and thus was unknown and unidentifiable to Joseph Smith, and so he answered in these vague ways:

What is the rod…?

Behold, thus saith the Lord: It is a servant in the hands of Christ…

What is the root of Jesse…?

Behold, thus saith the Lord, it is a descendant of Jesse… (D&C 113:3-6)

Another example of this principle in operation in the scriptures is concerning Joseph Smith’s translation of the Book of Mormon. When Joseph Smith came to the part which talked of a book called “the book of the Lamb of God,” Joseph Smith translated out the Nephite words word-for-word, because he couldn’t identify the book:

Wherefore, thou seest that after the book hath gone forth through the hands of the great and abominable church, that there are many plain and precious things taken away from the book, which is the book of the Lamb of God…And it came to pass that I beheld the remnant of the seed of my brethren, and also the book of the Lamb of God, which had proceeded forth from the mouth of the Jew, that it came forth from the Gentiles unto the remnant of the seed of my brethren. (1 Nephi 13:28,38)

But later on in the translation, when Joseph Smith came across the Nephite words, “a books,” he was able to identify it as “a Bible,” and so he did a functional translation and simply called it the Bible, which identified it for us:

And because my words shall hiss forth—many of the Gentiles shall say:

A Bible! A Bible! We have got a Bible, and there cannot be any more Bible.

But thus saith the Lord God:

O fools, they shall have a Bible; and it shall proceed forth from the Jews, mine ancient covenant people. And what thank they the Jews for the Bible which they receive from them?…Thou fool, that shall say:

A Bible, we have got a Bible, and we need no more Bible.

Have ye obtained a Bible save it were by the Jews?…Wherefore, because that ye have a Bible ye need not suppose that it contains all my words; neither need ye suppose that I have not caused more to be written. (2 Nephi 29:4,6,10)

Or, when Jesus was talking of John the Baptist to the people, He identified John the Baptist as the Elias who prepared all things:

And as they departed, Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concerning John,

What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind? But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings’houses. But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet. For this is he, of whom it is written,

Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.

Verily I say unto you,

Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force. But the days will come, when the violent shall have no power; for all the prophets and the law prophesied that it should be thus until John. Yea, as many as have prophesied have foretold of these days. And if ye will receive it, verily, he was the Elias, who was for to come and prepare all things. (Matt. 11:7-12; JST Matt. 11:13-15)

Later when the disciples asked Jesus about the scribes saying that Elias must come first, Jesus again identified John the Baptist as Elias by again quoting the same scripture he quoted above, about the messenger who is sent before the Lord’s face, who prepares His way before Him. The Lord did this specifically because John the Baptist was known to the disciples, and therefore He identified him, but notice that the other Elias, the Elias who restores all things, had not yet been born yet, and so the Lord left him unidentified, and the apostles didn’t know who that was, only that it was someone else:

And his disciples asked him, saying,

Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come? (Matthew 17:10)

And Jesus answered and said unto them,

Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things, as the prophets have written.

And again I say unto you that Elias has come already, concerning whom it is written,

Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me;

and they knew him not, and have done unto him, whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. But I say unto you,

Who is Elias?

Behold, this is Elias, whom I send to prepare the way before me.

Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist, and also of another who should come and restore all things, as it is written by the prophets. (JST Matt. 17:10-14)

So, we see this principle in operation in the scriptures. Now, concerning the above scripture, which identified John the Baptist as Elias, and left another Elias unidentified, it needs to be understood that Jesus spoke these words to his disciples right after coming down from the mount of transfiguration:

And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, and was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him. Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus,

Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.

While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said,

This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.

And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid. And Jesus came and touched them, and said,

Arise, and be not afraid.

And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only. And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying,

Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead.

And his disciples asked him, saying,

Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come? (Matt. 17:1-10)

Thus, Peter, James and John were there, asking Him about Elias. Jesus identified John the Baptist as one Elias, but spoke of another Elias who was yet to come and restore all things. And yet John the apostle was in that audience, hearing His words. If John was the Elias who restores all things, why didn’t Jesus simply identify John His beloved apostle as that Elias? Because John wasn’t and isn’t the Elias who restores all things.  Joseph-Nephi is.

John didn’t identify himself as the angel ascending from the east

Yet another evidence using this same principle of identification when something can be identified is seen in John’s account of the Revelation vision. In chapter 7 John sees an angel ascending from the east, but does not say that this angel is himself. And yet, from Joseph Smith we know that this angel is the Elias who restores all things. Surely John the apostle should have recognized himself in vision, right? But he didn’t recognize the angel ascending from the east, because it wasn’t him. It was Joseph-Nephi. If it had been John, he would have said he saw himself ascending from the east as an angel. But he didn’t say that. So it was someone else. In fact, all the angels John saw were people other than himself.

Jesus is an Elias; and He also restores all things

Some might bring up Jesus as being the Elias who restores all things, so I will address that, too. John the Baptist testified of Jesus, saying:

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

And Joseph Smith received a revelation in which the Lord said:

I am the Lord thy God, and I gave unto thee, my servant Joseph, an appointment, and restore all things.  (D&C 132:40)

So, Jesus Christ is an Elias and He also restores all things. This doesn’t mean that Jesus Christ is that Elias who restores all things. It merely means that He restores all things through the instrument in His hands, which is the rod of power, who is Elias (otherwise known as Joseph-Nephi.) Thus, He uses Joseph-Nephi’s faith to work all the wonders necessary to restore all things. And Joseph-Nephi restores all things through his faith (which He received from God), which faith also allows him to use the power and gifts of God.

So, the one is in the hands of the Other; One cannot do anything among men unless men have faith and He only works among men according to their faith, and given that the person in His hands has, essentially, endless faith, He can fully work among men and effect the restoration of all things; the other works by the power of the One, by using the faith which the One gave him. So, God claims credit for all the works that Joseph-Nephi will do, because Joseph-Nephi will do it by God’s power, using faith God gave him, acting as God’s instrument. Nevertheless, it is still Joseph-Nephi who does it, and so he also gets credit. Understand?

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 Nephi 3:24)

What is the rod spoken of in the first verse of the 11th chapter of Isaiah, that should come of the Stem of Jesse? Behold, thus saith the Lord: It is a servant in the hands of Christ, who is partly a descendant of Jesse as well as of Ephraim, or of the house of Joseph, on whom there is laid much power. (D&C 113:3-4)

These servants are too humble and timid to accomplish the task

There is a distinct difference between Joseph-Nephi and all the other servants of God. All the others, from the beginning of time to now, have all been far too meek. Now, meekness and humility is a good thing, sure, but when you are dealing with a task that might as well be infinitely scaled up so that it is of gargantuan proportions and truly impossible to accomplish any way you look at it, such as the workload that will be put upon the shoulders of Joseph-Nephi, you need a different kind of attitude. You need cojones. Big ones. The biggest ones of all.

Every one of the servants of God in the scriptures was humbled to the dust by the callings they had received, and often wished, at first, to back out of their callings because they didn’t feel worthy or properly qualified. Moses tried to back out:

And Moses said unto the Lord,

O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.

And the Lord said unto him,

Who hath made man’s mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the Lord? Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.

And he said,

O my Lord, send, I pray thee, by the hand of him whom thou wilt send.

And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses (Exodus 4:10-14)

John the Baptist tried to get out of baptizing Jesus:

Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbad him, saying,

I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? (Matthew 3:13-14)

John the Revelator fell down before the angel and even tried to worship him!

And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things. Then saith he unto me,

See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God. (Revelation 22:8-9)

Gideon was so unsure of himself that he kept asking for witnesses. And so on and so forth. Joseph-Nephi won’t be like that. He will be super tenacious, like a bulldog, ready and willing and desirous to tackle the task with all he’s got.

Also, all the other servants have been content with their missions and tasks. They desired to see the salvation of man completed, and strove to accomplish it, but they failed, each and every one. To comfort them, God simply showed them the vision of Joseph-Nephi’s ministry, so that they could see it would eventually be accomplished, and they were then content with their labors.

Nevertheless, all of these servants were astonished by what they saw Joseph-Nephi do (for the work of his ministry is truly great.) Now, you cannot perform the restoration of all things and be astonished by it at the same time. If a servant of God goes and performs a marvelous work and is astonished by what he does, the work ceases. Astonishment causes a cessation, because you are left in wide-eyed wonder, without strength. So, Joseph-Nephi is like the others in faith, but unlike them in that his mortal vision, for some reason, isn’t impressed by the great works he does.

A (prophetic) psychological profile of Joseph-Nephi

In other words, what impresses others doesn’t impress him. And he wants to be impressed. So, this is, essentially, an extremely bored individual, who loathes the things of man and who has a need or desire to only see truly great things, even the greatest things of all (which are the things of God), in order to be impressed. He needs an extra-special and an extra-difficult challenge, otherwise he’s bored out of his mind. So, God has to give him not a large task, but the whole task, the entirety of the work of group salvation and the redemption of all things. God piles on the workload, infinitely, because this man glories in doing big and wonderful things. Whereas others shout, like Martin Harris, “Tis enough! Tis enough! Mine eyes have beheld! Mine eyes have beheld!” after seeing an angel, Joseph-Nephi is the sort of person that says, “More! More! I want to see it all! Show me all the angels!” Others experience the spirit of power and wet their pants. Joseph-Nephi experiences the spirit of power and says, “Oh, yeah! That’s exactly what I want! All of the time!” The apostles of Jesus on the mount were “sore afraid” after hearing God the Father’s voice, but Joseph-Nephi in that same situation would have jumped up and down for joy and asked to hear more and to see God, too. So, this is not an ordinary person. Normal people see the light of God and retreat in fear, this man runs right into it at breakneck speed to find out what’s behind it.

Therefore, although it is a romantic notion that people have that John the Beloved is the Elias who restores all things, or that Joseph Smith will be the one to come back and accomplish the restoration of all things, and although I hate to break all yer bubbles, it simply ain’t any of these people, or anyone else of the scriptures you may think. This is an entirely new servant of God, held back for millennia, to be born in our age. And he’s unlike anyone we’ve ever seen before.

Now, I’ll use the rest of this post to expound a little bit more about Joseph-Nephi, since I’ve gained a much greater understanding about him and his mission since last I posted.

Isaiah 49:1-12

These verses speak of Joseph-Nephi and his mission, but I’m not going to expound this whole thing. I’m just going to point out a few things.

The first six verses are the words of Joseph-Nephi himself:

Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people, from far; The Lord hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name. And he hath made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of his hand hath he hid me, and made me a polished shaft; in his quiver hath he hid me; and said unto me,

Thou art my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified.

Then I said,

I have laboured in vain, I have spent my strength for nought, and in vain: yet surely my judgment is with the Lord, and my work with my God.

And now, saith the Lord that formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob again to him,

Though Israel be not gathered,

yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the Lord, and my God shall be my strength. And he said,

It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth. (Isaiah 49:1-6)

Listen, O isles, unto me—This first part is the announcement I spoke about before on this blog. When Joseph-Nephi becomes fully empowered, going from weakness to strength, he will make an announcement that he is now on the scene, which we will all hear. Like everything else about this man, it will undoubtedly be done by some mighty miracle.

The Lord hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name—When explaining his history, Joseph-Nephi will mention his mother and her womb, so that he will begin the account of his history from before the time he was born. Also, given that Gabriel ministered and announced the birth and name of both John the Baptist and Jesus before they were born, we may see this scenario repeat.

In the shadow of his hand hath he hid me, and made me a polished shaft; In his quiver hath he hid me—Joseph-Nephi will be hidden in a place that is impossible to find. I believe that he may be hidden in time. In other words, this man will have power to do all things, including changing times and seasons. I have already on this blog explained that he will need to alter the past, something that is altogether impossible. He will also have power to perform reset miracles, including time reset miracles, so that one instant we are in 2017 and in the next instant when he performs the miracle, all of time has been rewound to some past year or time, affecting all the living and dead, the planet locations, etc. If he does such a thing, that makes our current timeline an alternate timeline in which God can fully prepare him to be the mighty seer he is destined to become, giving him all the practice he needs to be fully expert in all the powers and gifts of God. Isaiah’s quiver symbol, then, brings up the idea of parallel timelines, for what is a quiver? Is it not a bunch of tubes (which are lines) aligned together? And Joseph-Nephi is the “polished shaft” (a long, slender cylinder, or rod, with a pointed end) that Isaiah says is hidden in one of the tubes (time lines) of that quiver. If and when he resets the time, then, he will literally “burst onto the scene” as the fully empowered Josephite, and the devil of the past will poop his spiritual pants. The devil of today knows who this man is, of course, just as he knew who Joseph Smith was, but Joseph-Nephi is hidden somewhere, as a protection to him, so the devil’s servants can’t get to him to assassinate him while he is in his weakness. Wherever he is, then, he is safe. Also, this timeline serves as a place of “hidden darkness” in which he can be hidden and prepared by the Lord, and raised up properly. The devil, knowing Joseph-Nephi’s plans (if indeed he has such plans) to perform a time reset miracle and rewind the time to a former year cannot do anything to counter this miracle. The devil cannot prepare his past self for the advent of Joseph-Nephi from the future, for the devil is likewise affected by a time reset miracle, so that when the reset occurs, the devil will have been reset to a former time and will have no knowledge of this alternate future. His past devilish self, then, will have to deal, as best he can, with a fully empowered Josephite bursting onto the scene unexpectedly.

Do you remember that I said in a previous post that I thought that Joseph-Nephi should be empowered, Joseph Smith should show up and issue the Proclamation, and the New Articles of Confederation (or something like it) should be installed, all before April of 2017? And yet none of that happened. Well, my feelings haven’t changed one bit. I still feel like this stuff is going to happen before April of 2017. Which is impossible. Unless the guy is going to perform a time reset miracle…

Thou art my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified—He is representative of Israel (he who prevails with God) and God will be glorified by the work that he accomplishes. (And why not be glorified by him? He will accomplish the whole work, after all!)

I have laboured in vain, I have spent my strength for nought, and in vain—This means that Joseph-Nephi’s weak phase is a manifestation of the anti-prosperity miracle. In other words, God has placed the man in a spiritual box by this miracle, so that he cannot get ahead, not even one iota. The man then must exercise faith in order to get the miracle off of him, and when his faith gets strengthened some more, God puts even more of the miracle on him. Instead of giving up, the man exercises even more faith, and then God boxes him up even more, and so on it goes, endlessly. Eventually the man’s faith becomes super-charged and over-developed, like faith on steroids, becoming so mighty that it is impossible for God to keep him boxed-in any longer by the miracle, and the man, by his faith alone, gets himself out of the box. The anti-prosperity miracle, then, at that point, no longer works, and so it flips or reverses polarity, like the switch of a light, changing from the anti-prosperity miracle, to the prosperity miracle, and the man then prospers miraculously according to his now outrageously great and strong faith. In other words, God is applying a spiritual isometric press to the man, giving him something impossible to push against, with his faith, to super-develop it. Joseph-Nephi needs exorbitant amounts of faith in order to accomplish the mission of restoration, so God must deal with him a bit different than other servants. Mighty faith is not enough. He needs “exceeding faith,” meaning faith that exceeds all, going beyond all limits.

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 Nephi 3:24)

So, this man’s faith will be entirely off the scales and well into godhood territory. It is the anti-prosperity miracle, which hedges up his way, which prods him continually to try to get the thing off of him. And this prod, like a button God pushes, keeps him heading in the direction he needs to go, which is the direction of more and more, and of stronger and stronger faith. No servant of God, then, will hold a candle to him when God is done with this process of over-developing his faith. He will be altogether different than any man the world has ever seen. This is why the scriptures speak of three bigwigs: Christ the Messiah, the Prophet spoken of by Moses, and Elias that restores all things. Jesus Christ is the Prophet, and He is God, so He’s obviously big. But the Elias who restores all things is right up there on the same level as Christ and the Prophet in importance, and yet he’s just a man. But his faith level pushes him up to the Christ and Prophet level, making him essential to our salvation.

Yet surely my judgment is with the Lord—This refers to his reward for having requested in faith to be the Elias who restores all things. God’s Great and Marvelous work is essentially infinitely large, so the Elias who restores all things gets certain privileges as a recompense for having to single-handedly perform so much work. What is his reward? All of his desires will be given to him in this life, without limitations. In other words, it will be done by the power of God, therefore nothing is off the table, nothing is impossible. Whatever he wants, he will get. As much as he wants, where he wants, who he wants, etc. He gets his full desires given to him…just as soon as he gets himself out of the spiritual box! This, then, is another motivation he has. I call this his “carrot on a stick” and as soon as he is free of the box, by his faith, he will have all the miraculous power of God needed to create his carrot and obtain it and be satisfied by it. Now, he needs to be satisfied and content and blissful with his carrot, because the restoration of all things is an infinite amount of responsibility, and that alone is too much stress for any one man. Should this man fail at his task, all of creation will be destroyed at the Second Coming of Christ.

Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: and he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse. (Malachi 4:5-6)

Behold, I will reveal unto you the Priesthood, by the hand of Elijah the prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. And he shall plant in the hearts of the children the promises made to the fathers, and the hearts of the children shall turn to their fathers. If it were not so, the whole earth would be utterly wasted at his coming. (D&C 2:1-3)

So, our salvation fully depends upon the success of his mission. Therefore, he must be entirely stress-free. His carrot then will comfort him and make his life blissful, so that he can fully concentrate on the infinite number of things he must do to group-save us all.  Despite all the stress that the work God lays upon him will cause him, his divinely bestowed carrot will just as rapidly remove that stress. And thus, God has fully planned for his success, and thus our success, for he will succeed and save us all.

The Lord formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob again to him—This shows that Joseph-Nephi’s sole life purpose is this restoration of all things. It’s what he was born for. It’s the reason for his very existence. John the apostle and all the other servants who lived out their lives in the past, served other purposes of God. Sure, other servants will participate in the end time events, but they will play a secondary role in the restoration of all things, not the primary role like Joseph-Nephi will have. This man’s mortal sojourn will be fully occupied by God’s holy work of restoration and salvation of all things.

It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel—In other words, it’s too small a thing. Bringing the house of Israel back to God, so that they repent and come to Christ, and raising them back up into tribes, gathering them, numbering them, sealing them, giving them inheritances, and so on: all of this work is too small a thing for Joseph-Nephi to do! This is what God is saying. His workload needs to be much more heavy because the man has a seemingly endless amount of faith. This means that God will intentionally pile on the workload, piling it up and up and up, to the very heavens above, so that Joseph-Nephi is absolutely swamped with impossible things to do, and has to do everything, in the process saving both Israel and the Gentiles and also the entire earth, becoming God’s salvation unto the ends of the earth. He’s got enormous faith, so he will use it all, which makes workloads less than infinite too easy to accomplish. Therefore God will make it infinite for him, so that he won’t be so bored with life. And it will be so large, a truly infinite workload, that he will need every last drop of faith he’s got to accomplish it all.

Again, because his faith will be orders of magnitude greater than anything we’ve ever seen here on earth, God must give the man a challenge, so the number of impossible tasks needed to be accomplished will multiply endlessly. Every task will be impossible and there will be infinite numbers of them and every problem he will face will be impossible to solve and there won’t be enough time to finish any of it, etc. Yet, none of that will matter, because Joseph-Nephi will accomplish it anyway, even if he has to alter all of history to do it. Most servants of God have some respect for the laws of physics and the Universe, having limitations in their brains as to what is “appropriate” to do with miraculous power. This man, though, will have no such limitations. He will have the power to do anything, and so he alter all reality and even time itself, as he sees fit, and will bring all time, past, present and future, together, gathering everything, and everyone, into the present, so that we all enter eternity. This man, then, starts out in one point of time, one point of reference, but then using these vast powers his faith affords him, will start altering reality and conditions among men, as he sees fit and as necessary, in order to get all the work done before the deadline. Given he’s a bulldog and not a timid individual, then, God needs to make it all as difficult as possible for him, as challenging as possible, giving him impossible puzzles to solve, which perhaps involve time and space manipulations, etc. To God this is fun stuff, watching a single, solitary servant do everything that is thrown at him, no matter how hard or impossible it is, and in record time. To God this is manly stuff. And in this way God proves to man, once and for all, that by faith all things are accomplished, by having a single special servant accomplish all things. And for Joseph-Nephi, given the type of bulldoggish, bored and unimpressed person he is, to him it is all fun, too. Thus, it is a glorious time for both.

The promised carrot gives him confidence galore, even in weakness

Of note is the fact that even in the man’s weakness, he’s supremely confident that his promised carrot is assured and that he will be glorious in the eyes of God. We don’t know what his carrot will be, but Isaiah gives us a glimpse of it here:

And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious. (Isaiah 11:10)

That rest that Isaiah speaks of is not Joseph-Nephi’s eternal rest, for he will be a translated man, and thus will never die, or sleep in the earth. He will live and live and live and live, right here on earth, enjoying his carrot forever, after he has completed the salvation of man. So, the rest is referring to the man’s house here on earth, which Isaiah says will be “glorious.” I have previously taught on this blog that Joseph-Nephi will be working almost exclusively by miracles, therefore we can assume that his house will be something impossible, some reality-altering miracle he has conjured up in which to live, which defies the laws of physics. (Remember, he gets whatever he wants as a recompense, even if it’s impossible.)

The carrot comes before he starts the work of the Lord, for the carrot has to keep the man stress-free, so we can expect that as soon as he gets out of his box, he’ll go for his carrot. Whatever it is, it will undoubtedly alter conditions among men, given that a slew of reality-altering miracles will proceed forth from him to obtain it. It is the promised carrot, then, and the eventual release of himself from the spiritual box, that serves as the man’s motivation. And think about it. If you were told by God, “I’ll give you whatever you want; all your dreams will come true, by my power, once you get yourself out of this box I’ve put you in,” wouldn’t that be some mighty strong motivation? So, the guaranteed promise of his carrot will make the man of supreme confidence, despite being in his box.

Riches galore and a hated man

We must likewise assume that once out of his box he’ll be richer than all the world’s rich people combined. He will be the lord of this earth, and it will be done by the miraculous power of God, operating the prosperity miracle upon him according to his now over-developed faith. So, while weak, he will be a poor man, because of the super-empowered hedge miracle placed upon him, which stops his economic progress, but once off of him, a super-empowered prosperity miracle will be placed upon him, which will make his way straight in all things, all obstacles and stumbling-blocks being forever removed from his path. And thus, once freed from the box, God will bless him beyond belief and also confound all his enemies:

And thus prophesied Joseph, saying:

Behold, that seer will the Lord bless; and they that seek to destroy him shall be confounded; for this promise, which I have obtained of the Lord, of the fruit of my loins, shall be fulfilled. (2 Nephi 3:14)

This dual miracle, the prosperity miracle upon him and his enemies confounded, plus the fact that he will now be the richest man alive, by a long shot, in other words, his wealth will be impossible to count, for all things about this man will be miraculous, thus, he will hold the financial destiny of the world in his hands. So, nations are going to hate him, for they will see that suddenly this man, who has come out of left field, has power and control over them:

Thus saith the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel, and his Holy One, to him whom man despiseth, to him whom the nation abhorreth, to a servant of rulers,

Kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship, because of the Lord that is faithful, and the Holy One of Israel, and he shall choose thee. (Isaiah 49:7)

He will be a servant of rulers. Now, how will he serve the rulers? We don’t know. But whatever service he provides to them, it will be something they need, something that only he can supply, something that puts them in his control. In other words, he will set the terms of the service and they will have to agree to his terms and so he will have them right where he wants them, and they will know it, and they will hate him for it.

The man in control and in authority

So, Joseph-Nephi will be the end times Zerubbabel who gets put in authority over the nations of the world:

And again the word of the Lord came unto Haggai in the four and twentieth day of the month, saying,

Speak to Zerubbabel, governor of Judah, saying,

I will shake the heavens and the earth; and I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms, and I will destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the heathen; and I will overthrow the chariots, and those that ride in them; and the horses and their riders shall come down, every one by the sword of his brother. In that day,

saith the Lord of hosts,

will I take thee, O Zerubbabel, my servant, the son of Shealtiel,

saith the Lord,

and will make thee as a signet: for I have chosen thee,

saith the Lord of hosts. (Haggai 2:20-23)

The name Zerubbabel means “born in Babylon” and as Joseph-Nephi will be a Gentile, born here in America (the USA), he fits the prophecy. Thus Zechariah’s Zerubbabel prophecy also applies to Joseph-Nephi:

And the angel that talked with me came again, and waked me, as a man that is wakened out of his sleep, and said unto me,

What seest thou?

And I said,

I have looked, and behold a candlestick all of gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, and his seven lamps thereon, and seven pipes to the seven lamps, which are upon the top thereof: and two olive trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof.

So I answered and spake to the angel that talked with me, saying,

What are these, my lord?

Then the angel that talked with me answered and said unto me,

Knowest thou not what these be?

And I said,

No, my lord.

Then he answered and spake unto me, saying,

This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, saying,

Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit,

saith the Lord of hosts.

Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying,

Grace, grace unto it.

Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,

The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also finish it;

and thou shalt know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me unto you. For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the Lord, which run to and fro through the whole earth. (Zechariah 4:1-10)

Joseph-Nephi, then, will both lay the foundation of God’s house and also finish it. He will build the whole thing, from top to bottom, and it will not be done by the might or power of man, but by the Spirit of God. So, the end times Zerubbabel (Joseph-Nephi) will be working mighty miracles to cause all the prophecies that were spoken by the holy prophets from the very beginning to now, to be precisely fulfilled, including the temple and city that Ezekiel saw in vision, as recorded in the last half of his book.

Joseph-Nephi will also be the end times Joseph who was sold into Egypt and the end times Zaphnath-paaneah:

And Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand, and put it upon Joseph’s hand, and arrayed him in vestures of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck; and he made him to ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried before him,

Bow the knee:

and he made him ruler over all the land of Egypt. And Pharaoh said unto Joseph,

am Pharaoh, and without thee shall no man lift up his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.

And Pharaoh called Joseph’s name Zaphnath-paaneah; (Genesis 41:42-45)

According to the Bible Dictionary, Zaphnath-paaneah is:

A name given by Pharaoh to Joseph (Gen. 41:45). Although its meaning is uncertain, the Rabbinical commentaries, following the Targum, interpret the name as “he who reveals that which is hidden.”

And this is exactly what Joseph-Nephi will do, for he will translate the sealed portion of the plates of Mormon, revealing all hidden things.

Joseph-Nephi will have all the spirits

Joseph Smith gave a discourse on Mar. 10, 1844, in Nauvoo, Illinois, in which he expounded on the spirit and calling and office and power of Elias, Elijah and Messiah. Some people present during that discourse took notes, which you can read by clicking here. The gist is this: one spirit does the preparing (what Joseph referred to as the spirit of Elias), while another spirit does the finishing (what Joseph referred to as the spirit of Elijah),

and the sounding of the trumpets of the seven angels are the preparing and finishing of his work, in the beginning of the seventh thousand years—the preparing of the way before the time of his coming. (D&C 77:12)

while a third spirit does the empowering (what Joseph referred to as the spirit of Messiah.) All three spirits manifested during the Mormon Restoration, hence, the world can trust in Mormonism. It is truly the kingdom seed.

Likewise, during the ministry of Joseph-Nephi, all three spirits will manifest, except that they will manifest fully, as the fully mature kingdom tree, and not as mere shadows, or as the kingdom seed.

And so on and so forth.

This post serves as a correction

With this post I have attempted to correct a few errors found among the saints. Hopefully I have succeeded.

To recap: John the apostle is not the Elias who restores all things. That is Joseph-Nephi. John merely receives a small mission from the hand of Joseph-Nephi to gather some of the tribes of Israel, which mission he will accomplish in the future.

The deadline for the completion of the group salvation of man and the redemption of this earth is the Second Coming. All work (including all temple work) must be accomplished perfectly prior to that day, otherwise we are all doomed. Latter-day saints have been erroneously taught to believe that our work for the dead has no deadline, and that we can complete it at our leisure during the Millennium. D&C 77:12, however, proves that this teaching and belief is false. No temple work will be done during the Millennium.

The work that must be accomplished before the time of Jesus’s Second Coming is much greater than the work we are currently doing in our temples. God must sanctify the earth, complete the salvation of man (which refers to group salvation), judge all things, redeem all things, and seal all things unto the end of all things, both for the dead, the living and the unborn, through His miracle-working seer, Joseph-Nephi, otherwise this creation and everything on it will be destroyed.

Nothing done in this dispensation or in previous dispensations is sufficient to group-save us, because work done partially is insufficient. It has to be entirely done to completion, and also perfectly done, otherwise it’s useless. Thus, the Restoration produced by Joseph Smith is entirely useless to save us, because it is missing parts (such as the work for all the unborn), there is not enough work done of the parts that are intact, there is no way to connect all the folds into one and nothing is done perfectly. And everything else done in previous dispensations is also useless, missing parts, partially done and imperfect. Unless Joseph-Nephi appears and takes all that work and completes it perfectly, re-doing it perfectly, we are all toast. The good news is that that is exactly what is going to happen, and it will all happen before Jesus gets back.

In closing, what Mormonism is

The reader might ask, “If Joseph-Nephi is the actual Elias who restores all things, then what is Joseph Smith and what is Mormonism?” The answer is: Mormonism is Joseph-Nephi’s shadow, even his foreshadow.

Joseph-Nephi is the Lord’s forerunner for the Second Coming of Christ. Therefore, if Christ is a shining light, brighter than the Sun, and His forerunner is standing in front of Him, with his back towards Him, ready to sprint ahead and prepare His way, that bright and shining light of Christ hits the back of Joseph-Nephi and casts a shadow in front on him, even a foreshadow. Depending on how low the light Source is, the foreshadow might be really long.

So, between 100 and 200 years before Joseph-Nephi was born, his foreshadow arrived in the form of the church and gospel of Jesus Christ, as restored by Joseph Smith. Whereas Joseph-Nephi is the Lord’s messenger that He sends to prepare the way before Him, and is a man of flesh and blood, his foreshadow is not a man of flesh and blood, but just a silhouette of the restoration of all things that he will accomplish. Therefore, the foreshadow (Mormonism) becomes both the messenger and the covenant:

And even so I have sent mine everlasting covenant into the world, to be a light to the world, and to be a standard for my people, and for the Gentiles to seek to it, and to be a messenger before my face to prepare the way before me. (D&C 45:9)

Later on Joseph-Nephi, a man of flesh and blood, will be both the messenger and the covenant given to group-save the people:

Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me:

and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in:

behold, he shall come,

saith the Lord of hosts. (Malachi 3:1)

Thus saith the Lord,

In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages; (Isaiah 49:8)

Just as some like to build up John the Revelator into something more than he is, so others like to build up both Joseph Smith and the Restoration he performed into something more than he and it was. Neither John the Revelator, nor Joseph Smith will be the miracle-working seer that will be known as Joseph-Nephi, nor will they perform, nor be able to perform, the work he will do. Nor is the Restoration Joseph Smith performed, which we know as Mormonism, equal to the restoration of all things that Joseph-Nephi will accomplish. It’s just a foreshadow of something infinitely greater to come.

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Nehor’s and Amlici’s origin and plan


Royal Skousen postulates that the words Amlicite and Amalekite found in the Book of Mormon are speaking of the same group of people, but just spelled differently by Oliver Cowdery, because of the different way that this term can be, and was, pronounced by Joseph Smith when he dictated the text to Oliver: [AM-uh-luh-kite] and [AM-luh-kite].

If this is the truth—and it does, to my ears, sound like a reasonable assumption—then we end up with an apparent anachronism in the Book of Mormon, for Amlici is first mentioned as being among the Nephites in 87 B.C., and he was a follower of Nehor, who himself is first mentioned as being among the Nephites in 91 B.C., and who died that very same year; but later on the Book of Mormon mentions that Aaron, a Nephite missionary, started preaching the gospel in Lamanite territory in about 90 B.C., which is one year before Nehor is mentioned as preaching among the Nephites, yet the text says that Jerusalem, which was the city that Aaron started preaching in, was built by the Lamanites and Amalekites (Amlicites) and Amulonites, and that most of these Amalekites (Amlicites) and Amulonites were of the order of Nehors.

We need not assume anarchronism

Keeping in mind that the Book of Mormon is an abridgment, here is a possible backstory:

Noah and his priests were preaching, essentially, the same doctrine that Nehor was found preaching later on:

Nehor’s doctrine

And he had gone about among the people, preaching to them that which he termed to be the word of God, bearing down against the church; declaring unto the people that every priest and teacher ought to become popular; and they ought not to labor with their hands, but that they ought to be supported by the people.

And he also testified unto the people that all mankind should be saved at the last day, and that they need not fear nor tremble, but that they might lift up their heads and rejoice; for the Lord had created all men, and had also redeemed all men; and, in the end, all men should have eternal life.  (Alma 1:3-4)

The doctrine of the priests of Noah was based upon the scripture they quoted to Abinadi, which they interpreted as meaning “salvation for all”:

And it came to pass that one of them said unto him:

What meaneth the words which are written, and which have been taught by our fathers, saying:

How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings; that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good; that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth;

Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing; for they shall see eye to eye when the Lord shall bring again Zion;

Break forth into joy; sing together ye waste places of Jerusalem; for the Lord hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem;

The Lord hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God?  (Mosiah 12:20-24)

(See King Noah and the Redemption of Zion for more on this scripture and the priests’ false understanding of it.)

The doctrine of Nehor and that of the priests of Noah was virtually identical because Nehor’s doctrine was based upon the doctrine of the priests.  It was merely a modification of the priests’ doctrine, Nehor himself being a Nephite dissenter living among the Lamanites, who ended up becoming a disciple of the priests of Noah, and later their main teacher, having altered their doctrine just a little to fit their current circumstances among the Lamanites.  Here are some similarities:

Both taught vain doctrines and flattered the people.

Yea, and they also became idolatrous, because they were deceived by the vain and flattering words of the king and priests; for they did speak flattering things unto them.  (Mosiah 11:7)

Nevertheless, this did not put an end to the spreading of priestcraft through the land; for there were many who loved the vain things of the world, and they went forth preaching false doctrines; and this they did for the sake of riches and honor.  (Alma 1:16)

And he also testified unto the people that all mankind should be saved at the last day, and that they need not fear nor tremble, but that they might lift up their heads and rejoice; for the Lord had created all men, and had also redeemed all men; and, in the end, all men should have eternal life.  (Alma 1:4)

Both taught that the pastors of the people ought to become popular and be lazy and be supported by the people.

For he put down all the priests that had been consecrated by his father, and consecrated new ones in their stead, such as were lifted up in the pride of their hearts.  (Mosiah 11:5)

Yea, and thus they were supported in their laziness, and in their idolatry, and in their whoredoms, by the taxes which king Noah had put upon his people; thus did the people labor exceedingly to support iniquity.  (Mosiah 11:6)

And the seats which were set apart for the high priests, which were above all the other seats, he did ornament with pure gold; and he caused a breastwork to be built before them, that they might rest their bodies and their arms upon while they should speak lying and vain words to his people.  (Mosiah 11:11)

And he had gone about among the people, preaching to them that which he termed to be the word of God, bearing down against the church; declaring unto the people that every priest and teacher ought to become popular; and they ought not to labor with their hands, but that they ought to be supported by the people.  (Alma 1:3)

Enforced, as opposed to non-enforced, priestcraft

The main difference between the doctrine of Nehor and the priests of Noah was in how the money was obtained.   In the case of the wicked priests of Noah, they were practicing enforced priestcraft, being enforced by king Noah’s law and army, and supported by king Noah’s taxation of the people.  This was, in effect, a money machine, but it was eventually broken up after king Noah was burned at the stake.  Nevertheless, his priests escaped and later became Lamanites, and the Lamanite king ended up making them the teachers of his people.  As teachers, they had no way to tax the Lamanites and restore the former order, (which was that priestcraft money machine.)  So, Nehor, the new disciple-turned-main teacher, altered the order by making it a cash-for-preaching affair.  This was, admittedly, an inferior mechanism for generating a profit, but it was the best they could do among the Lamanites.

Where the Amulonites and Amalekites (Amlicites) came from

The Amulonites were descendants and followers of Amulon, the leader of king Noah’s priests, who were now Lamanite teachers, and this is why they were found among the Lamanites.  The Amalekites (Amlicites), on the other hand, were followers of Amaleki (Amlici), all of whom were Nephite dissenters living among the Lamanites, and most of whom were now followers of the new order of Nehor.

Now when Ammon and his brethren separated themselves in the borders of the land of the Lamanites, behold Aaron took his journey towards the land which was called by the Lamanites, Jerusalem, calling it after the land of their fathers’ nativity; and it was away joining the borders of Mormon.

Now the Lamanites and the Amalekites and the people of Amulon had built a great city, which was called Jerusalem.

Now the Lamanites of themselves were sufficiently hardened, but the Amalekites and the Amulonites were still harder; therefore they did cause the Lamanites that they should harden their hearts, that they should wax strong in wickedness and their abominations.

And it came to pass that Aaron came to the city of Jerusalem, and first began to preach to the Amalekites. And he began to preach to them in their synagogues, for they had built synagogues after the order of the Nehors; for many of the Amalekites and the Amulonites were after the order of the Nehors.  (Alma 21:1-4)

All of these wicked men practiced, (or continued to practice, in the case of the Amulonites), priestcraft in Lamanite territory.

And Aaron answered him and said unto him:

Believest thou that there is a God?

And the king said:

I know that the Amalekites say that there is a God, and I have granted unto them that they should build sanctuaries, that they may assemble themselves together to worship him.  (Alma 22:7)

Back in Nephite territory, then, in 91 B.C., when Alma says the following to Nehor about this being the first time priestcraft has been practiced among the people, he is speaking strictly about the people of the Nephites of the land of Zarahemla, for priestcraft was first initiated in all its full-blown “glory” with Noah and his priests in the land of Lehi-Nephi and the land of Shilom, and then transferred in a less efficient mode to the Lamanite-controlled lands:

But Alma said unto him:

Behold, this is the first time that priestcraft has been introduced among this people. And behold, thou art not only guilty of priestcraft, but hast endeavored to enforce it by the sword; and were priestcraft to be enforced among this people it would prove their entire destruction.  (Alma 1:12)

Everything that Alma says here is entirely prophetic, for this was the very plan of both Nehor and Amlici, as I will show in a moment.

Nehor and Amlici among the Lamanites

Nehor and Amlici, who were Nephite dissenters living in Lamanite territory, could not turn the profit that they wanted to make, so they, as the chief dissenters among the Lamanites, thought to transfer the operation into Nephite lands.  The plan was to have Nehor and Amlici, and many of the Amlicites (Amalekites) cross the border and relocate back into Zarahemla and surrounding regions.  Nehor would then start preaching his doctrine, and instantly get many “converts” (the Amlicites/Amalekites who had crossed over), which would generate a great deal of interest among the people, for whatever was prospered was assumed to be the hand of the Lord bestowing His prosperity miracle.  When enough real converts were gained, Nehor or Amlici would make a call to change the laws to install a king in the land.  There were many reasons for this, but one of the main ones was so that they could re-establish the enforced priestcraft of king Noah’s reign, through taxation, and make a ton of money.

Fortunately, though, Nehor’s life was cut short by his meeting with Gideon and his subsequent execution in 91 B.C.  But that didn’t deter Amlici and the rest of the Amlicites/Amalekites of their plan—for the Nephites were never deterred in anything they put their mind to—it merely delayed them for about 4 or 5 years.  In 87 B.C., Amlici decided that it was time to call for a vote.  Now, the plan was that even if the vote went sour, Amlici would call to be anointed king anyway and the fake converts (the dissenters who crossed the border) would support him, and then the real converts would also support them, so that he would have an army of Amlicites/Amalekites to oppose the Nephites by force of arms on the Zarahemla side of the border.

On the other side of the border, the Amalekites/Amlicites and other Nephite dissenters, had, according to their secret plan, already stirred up the Lamanites to yet another invasion.  The one force would join the other force, at just the right time, and voila!, the Nephites would finally be defeated and the Amlicites would get their king.  This is why, oh coincidence of all coincidences!, there just happened to be an army of the Lamanites armed and ready to invade when the Amlicites made their move:

And it came to pass that on the morrow they returned into the camp of the Nephites in great haste, being greatly astonished, and struck with much fear, saying:

Behold, we followed the camp of the Amlicites, and to our great astonishment, in the land of Minon, above the land of Zarahemla, in the course of the land of Nephi, we saw a numerous host of the Lamanites; and behold, the Amlicites have joined them; and they are upon our brethren in that land; and they are fleeing before them with their flocks, and their wives, and their children, towards our city; and except we make haste they obtain possession of our city, and our fathers, and our wives, and our children be slain.  (Alma 2:23-25)

This was no coincidence.  This was the secret plan of Nehor and Amlici and the other dissenters who had crossed the border from the Lamanite lands into the Nephite lands.  The meeting of Lamanites and Amlicites was a scheduled meeting.  Everything was going more or less according to plan.  If it weren’t for that pesky strength of the Lord miracle that the Lord kept bestowing upon the Nephites, they would have succeeded.

In conclusion

There need not be any anachronism if Skousen is correct about Amlicite and Amalekite being one and the same word.  Hopefully this will silence all those who constantly look for any dang thing to show that the Book of Mormon is wrong; at the very least, on this one point.  But I ain’t gonna hold my breath on that.

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We are all the Rich Young Ruler


I wanted to express my heart as it pertains to something I’ve heard from LDS leaders previously — specifically because I heard it just heard it again from a member of the quorum of the 70 during this most recent General Conference.

It concerns a false interpretation of the story given in Matthew 19:

and behold
one came and said unto Jesus

good master
what good thing shall I do
that I may have eternal life?

and Jesus said unto him

why do you call me “good“?
there is none good
but one
and that is god
but
if you want to experience eternal life
then you must keep the commandments

he said unto him

which ones?

Jesus said

do not take life
do not cheat on your spouse
do not steal
do not speak falsely
honor your parents
love your neighbor as though they were yourself

the young man said

all these things have I done since my youth
what else am I lacking?

Jesus said

if you want to be perfect
go and sell all that you have
and give to the poor
then you will have treasure in heaven instead
and then come and follow me

but he went away sorrowful after hearing that
because he had amassed great wealth

This is a scripture with an obvious interpretation:  namely that if we want to follow Christ, we must first sell all of our material possessions and follow after Jesus.  And because of that, it’s something that has always been interpreted by modern men to have “some other” application that “doesn’t apply” to us today [just so we can get away from addressing what it really means for us as a society today].

Most recently, I heard Larry Lawrence [of the Quorum of the Seventy] teach false doctrine to the saints of Christ as it relates to this topic.  He said:

Let’s consider the New Testament account of the rich young ruler. He was a righteous young man who was already keeping the Ten Commandments, but he wanted to become better. His goal was eternal life.

When he met the Savior, he asked, “What lack I yet?

Jesus answered immediately, giving counsel that was intended specifically for the rich young man.  Jesus said unto him, “If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and … come and follow me.”

What Lack I Yet?

Note the part I bolded from Elder Lawrence’s talk he gave to latter-day saints.  The human inclination is to read this story and ass-u-me that the counsel that Jesus gave applies only to that man in question.  The proper position that a man of God would take is to let that scripture prick conscience of the people and convict us of sin, insofar as we withhold our surplus from the needy, impoverished, and destitute.

I want to state, unequivocally, by the power of the Holy Spirit which is in me — that the counsel of Jesus given to the rich, young man in Matthew 19 was not “intended specifically for the rich young man” — this is false doctrine, and what Jesus said is true for all people who want to truly follow Him.

It is true for each-and-every one of us — that if we want to experience eternal life, then we must cease to covet the abundance we have and be free-and-willing to share all that we have with the needy, impoverished, and destitute.  And, if we are not willing, then we will find ourselves with the rest of the “rich men” — in hell lifting up our eyes, being in torment.

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“Keep your mouth shut and hold your tongue!” (Leave the leadership alone.)


A new revelation and commandment

As time goes on, I am becoming more and more aware of problems in the church, of practices that don’t match our scriptures, of ecclesiastical abuses and errors in judgment and policy, etc.  Sometimes the abuses hit home and a nerve and I feel like “putting forth my hand” to make a correction, speaking directly to the leadership.  This blog, for the most part, does not address the leadership, but the membership.  This is by design.  I have always taken a “leave the leadership alone” stance and have always believed that the Lord will make His correction in His own way and in His own time.  And so, I have never spoken, though occasionally some words nevertheless get out, but only in general terms.

However, I have watched as others have spoken out, publicly, and these have been disciplined or even excommunicated for doing so.

Now, I want everyone to understand that when I started this blog, I left the leadership alone because that was the Lord’s business, not mine.  But as time went on, I began to feel a desire to speak up and to these many issues, for there are many corrections to be made and many misconceptions, both at the general and leadership levels.  At some point, while feeling these desires, I began to offer up prayers to God about them.

(The reader needs to understand something about me and prayer.  When I pray to God for something, I don’t offer up one or two occasional prayers, or pray daily for a minute or two.  No, I send up a barrage of constant and fervent prayers, all day long, over many days, incessantly, for as long as it takes, until He answers me.  I send up what seem to me to be millions of prayers and if God could open up your ears and eyes so that you could know of these things, you would also say the prayers seem never-ending.  As a result, I eventually always get a response from Him in some form.)

In this particular case, I got an answer fairly quickly.  Now, my request was to be able to open my mouth and speak about all that I was observing concerning the leadership.  But the Spirit said to me:

“Hold your tongue and shut your mouth!”

Apparently, it is neither the time to correct the leadership, nor am I, or anyone else, authorized to do so.  I must assume, from this revelation and commandment, that it will be up to the Josephite to make the correction.

Now, after getting this revelation, I, nevertheless, started to write a draft post—not on this blog, but in a notebook, so as to at least put down on paper my gripes—and was smitten, by the Spirit, with a stupor of thought.  I couldn’t figure this one out.  I could see the problems, but not the solutions.

What this means for others

Lest anyone think that this revelation is for my consumption only, of only personal application, let me say that this post is NOT forbidden me by the Spirit.  I can write it with God’s blessing.  As I said above, no one is authorized to correct or even criticize the leadership publicly.  If you have got a gripe or think you’ve been the victim of ecclesiastical abuse, go through the proper channels, and if you do not get satisfaction, then start offering up your prayers and complaints to God, but “keep your mouth shut!”  Do not make the mistake of speaking out publicly against the leadership.  If you do so, it is because you are being deceived by a false spirit and the devil is operating in you, despite any true grievances you may have.

There is a time for all things

And Alma tarried many days with Amulek before he began to preach unto the people.  And it came to pass that the people did wax more gross in their iniquities.  (Alma 8:27-28)

God did not send these two forth immediately, but waited until the people had waxed more gross in their iniquities.  Now is not the time for anyone to criticize the church leadership.  So, don’t do it.

You’ve criticized and been kicked out.  Now what?

Repent, humble yourself before the leadership and come back in.  (I bet there will be many that don’t like this counsel!)

And he [Zedekiah] did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord his God, and humbled not himself before Jeremiah the prophet speaking from the mouth of the Lord.  (2 Chronicles 36:12)

Jeremiah 23

I’ll close by using this chapter of Jeremiah as my example, which speaks on false prophets.  For those who end up criticizing the leadership, typically do so because of a belief that they are false prophets.  In truth, they are not false prophets, for they don’t prophesy anything, true or false.  They are merely priests and teachers that like to quote each other a lot:

Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, saith the Lord, that steal my words every one from his neighbor.  (Jeremiah 23:30)

And they like to be sustained and called prophets, seers and revelators.  And they like to have their counsel obeyed.  Because they have the keys.  And they DO have the keys.  But on to Jeremiah.

Now, here is the main part of this chapter that deals with false prophets in our day, which I will not fully expound:

Behold, a whirlwind of the Lord is gone forth in fury, even a grievous whirlwind: it shall fall grievously upon the head of the wicked.  The anger of the Lord shall not return, until he have executed, and till he have performed the thoughts of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly.  (Jeremiah 23:19-20)

So, everybody just chill.  In the latter days, even in our days, God will deal with these false prophets, using a whirlwind.  In other words, He is going to do this by His own miraculous power, and the whirlwind (tornado) is the coming sign of that power.

On to Jeremiah 23:

Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture!

saith the Lord.

Therefore thus saith the Lord God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people;

Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings,

saith the Lord.

And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase.

And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking,

saith the Lord.

¶Behold, the days come,

saith the Lord,

that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.

In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called,

The Lord Our Righteousness.

Therefore, behold, the days come,

saith the Lord,

that they shall no more say,

The Lord liveth, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt;

But,

The Lord liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country,

and from all countries whither I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land.

¶Mine heart within me is broken because of the prophets; all my bones shake; I am like a drunken man, and like a man whom wine hath overcome, because of the Lord, and because of the words of his holiness.

For the land is full of adulterers; for because of swearing the land mourneth; the pleasant places of the wilderness are dried up, and their course is evil, and their force is not right.

For both prophet and priest are profane;

yea, in my house have I found their wickedness,

saith the Lord.

Wherefore their way shall be unto them as slippery ways in the darkness: they shall be driven on, and fall therein: for I will bring evil upon them, even the year of their visitation,

saith the Lord.

And I have seen folly in the prophets of Samaria; they prophesied in Baal, and caused my people Israel to err.

I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem an horrible thing: they commit adultery, and walk in lies: they strengthen also the hands of evildoers, that none doth return from his wickedness: they are all of them unto me as Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah.

Therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts concerning the prophets;

Behold, I will feed them with wormwood, and make them drink the water of gall: for from the prophets of Jerusalem is profaneness gone forth into all the land.

Thus saith the Lord of hosts,

Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the Lord.

They say still unto them that despise me,

The Lord hath said,

Ye shall have peace;

and they say unto every one that walketh after the imagination of his own heart,

No evil shall come upon you.

For who hath stood in the counsel of the Lord, and hath perceived and heard his word? who hath marked his word, and heard it?

Behold, a whirlwind of the Lord is gone forth in fury, even a grievous whirlwind: it shall fall grievously upon the head of the wicked.

The anger of the Lord shall not return, until he have executed, and till he have performed the thoughts of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly.

I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied.

But if they had stood in my counsel, and had caused my people to hear my words, then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings.

Am I a God at hand,

saith the Lord,

and not a God afar off?

Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him?

saith the Lord.

Do not I fill heaven and earth?

saith the Lord.

I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesy lies in my name, saying,

I have dreamed, I have dreamed.

How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? yea, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart; which think to cause my people to forget my name by their dreams which they tell every man to his neighbour, as their fathers have forgotten my name for Baal.

The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully.

What is the chaff to the wheat?

saith the Lord.

Is not my word like as a fire?

saith the Lord;

and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?

Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets,

saith the Lord,

that steal my words every one from his neighbor.

Behold, I am against the prophets,

saith the Lord,

that use their tongues, and say,

He saith.

Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams,

saith the Lord,

and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all,

saith the Lord.

¶And when this people, or the prophet, or a priest, shall ask thee, saying,

What is the burden of the Lord?

thou shalt then say unto them,

What burden?

I will even forsake you,

saith the Lord.

And as for the prophet, and the priest, and the people, that shall say,

The burden of the Lord,

I will even punish that man and his house.

Thus shall ye say every one to his neighbour, and every one to his brother,

What hath the Lord answered?

and,

What hath the Lord spoken?

And the burden of the Lord shall ye mention no more: for every man’s word shall be his burden; for ye have perverted the words of the living God, of the Lord of hosts our God.

Thus shalt thou say to the prophet,

What hath the Lord answered thee?

and,

What hath the Lord spoken?

But since ye say,

The burden of the Lord;

therefore thus saith the Lord;

Because ye say this word,

The burden of the Lord,

and I have sent unto you, saying,

Ye shall not say,

The burden of the Lord;

Therefore, behold, I, even I, will utterly forget you, and I will forsake you, and the city that I gave you and your fathers, and cast you out of my presence:

And I will bring an everlasting reproach upon you, and a perpetual shame, which shall not be forgotten.

Okay, so the point is that although there are and will be false pastors, prophets and priests that scatter the Lord’s people, preach lies and so forth, it ain’t up to you or me to fix this.  If ever this prohibition of the Spirit is lifted, I will post accordingly, but these are the standing orders I have received—and it was last year (2014) that this was communicated to me—and according to my understanding, they apply to everyone, not just me.  So heed them.

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

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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.

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The Nephite Artifacts


Meg Stout blogged the following on January 22 of this year:

Don Bradley wrote an intriguing paper titled Piercing the Veil: Temple Worship in the Lost 116 Pages. In the final section, Bradley discusses a lost story about how the interpreters, or Urim and Thummim, were found.

According to Fayette Lapham, Joseph Smith related some of the stories that were contained in the book of Mormon prior to publication. In one of these stories, the Liahona led the travelers to a curious set of implements. Unable to determine what these implements were, the man who found them (presumably the high priest of that time), took them into the tabernacle and present them to the Lord. The Lord tells the man  to cover his head with skins. Once he had done so, the high priest was able to see the spiritual. And according to the story, after this point Liahona stopped working.

Now that the high priest (probably Lehi, as this story describes a migrating people before the portion of the plates that described events in the current book of Mosiah) had the interpreters, or the Urim and Thummim, he no longer needed the Liahona. Thus we do not see the Liahona used as a guidance device in the rest of the book of Mormon narrative. Despite this, the Liahona is one of those relics which is passed down along with the sword of Laban and the interpreters.

At this point, I stopped reading (and I never did get around to reading the rest of her post) and was going to write a comment on Meg’s blog and offer a correction according to my understanding, (which understanding I gained that very instant upon reading her words), but decided against it, “For,” thought I, “my understanding is not based upon what is written in the scriptures and they will just chalk it up to a supposition, best guess or just an opinion and not something to put any weight or faith behind.”  But I’ll put it here on this blog, despite its lack of scriptural proof.

Now, before I begin, here is the pertinent part Meg linked to in that passage:

In the story as Lapham recounts it from Joseph Smith, Sr. is that sometime after the people have arrived in the New World, they’re traveling and they’re being led by the Liahona. And the Liahona leads them to this strange object, and the guy who finds it doesn’t know what it is. So they have a tabernacle, which shows you that they’re in between temples, which would’ve only been the case either when they first arrived in the New World and had not yet built a temple or during the exodus Mosiah led from the Land of Nephi, where they had a temple, to Zarahemla where they would build a temple. He brings this object into the tabernacle and immediately the voice of the Lord asks him a question, presumably from behind the veil covering the Holy of Holies where the Lord’s presence was understood to dwell. And the voice asks him, “What is that in your hand?” And Lapham says the man responded that “he did not know but that he had come to inquire” – those are Lapham’s exact words. So the Lord tells the man to take this object and put it on his face, and then to cover his face with animal skins. And when he does, he’s able to see anything supernaturally, it’s the interpreters. At that point the Liahona actually stops working; the Liahona, which led him to the interpreters, is actually now replaced by the interpreters. This would explain not only how the Nephites get the interpreters, but also why the military expeditions in the book of Alma ever uses the Liahona for guidance.

Five artifacts

Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet to Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and Martin Harris, at Fayette, New York, June 1829, prior to their viewing the engraved plates that contained the Book of Mormon record. Joseph and his scribe, Oliver Cowdery, had learned from the translation of the Book of Mormon plates that three special witnesses would be designated (see Ether 5:2–4; 2 Nephi 11:3; 27:12). Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and Martin Harris were moved upon by an inspired desire to be the three special witnesses. The Prophet inquired of the Lord, and this revelation was given in answer through the Urim and Thummim.

Behold, I say unto you, that you must rely upon my word, which if you do with full purpose of heart, you shall have a view of the plates, and also of the breastplate, the sword of Laban, the Urim and Thummim, which were given to the brother of Jared upon the mount, when he talked with the Lord face to face, and the miraculous directors which were given to Lehi while in the wilderness, on the borders of the Red Sea.  (D&C 17 section heading and verse 1)

The plates, the interpreters and the breastplate were obtained by Joseph Smith, used by him to accomplish the work of translation, and then immediately retrieved by the angel.  Joseph never got to hold onto them (keep and preserve them), nor did he ever get to obtain the sword of Laban and the Liahona.  He never got the gift required to preserve these artifacts, which was the miraculous strength of the Lord, because they were never meant for him, but were always intended to be used by the next seer that followed him, who would have that gift.

Nevertheless, it was essential that the Three Witnesses be able to testify that these five artifacts were real things, for it was always the intention of the Lord to bring them back, that they be used again among men.  I will explain why this is so.

The Liahona

In the post Lehi’s Trek to China and North America, I went into some detail as to how the Liahona worked, so I won’t rehash that, but I will say that after the group got to the promised land, it was most definitely used again.  Even though the text doesn’t explicitly say so, I will show where it was used.

It was used by Nephi to get to the land of Nephi:

Behold, it came to pass that I, Nephi, did cry much unto the Lord my God, because of the anger of my brethren.

But behold, their anger did increase against me, insomuch that they did seek to take away my life.

Yea, they did murmur against me, saying: Our younger brother thinks to rule over us; and we have had much trial because of him; wherefore, now let us slay him, that we may not be afflicted more because of his words. For behold, we will not have him to be our ruler; for it belongs unto us, who are the elder brethren, to rule over this people.

Now I do not write upon these plates all the words which they murmured against me. But it sufficeth me to say, that they did seek to take away my life.

And it came to pass that the Lord did warn me, that I, Nephi, should depart from them and flee into the wilderness, and all those who would go with me.

Wherefore, it came to pass that I, Nephi, did take my family, and also Zoram and his family, and Sam, mine elder brother and his family, and Jacob and Joseph, my younger brethren, and also my sisters, and all those who would go with me. 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.

And we did take our tents and whatsoever things were possible for us, and did journey in the wilderness for the space of many days. And after we had journeyed for the space of many days we did pitch our tents.

And my people would that we should call the name of the place Nephi; wherefore, we did call it Nephi.

And all those who were with me did take upon them to call themselves the people of Nephi.

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.

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 I, Nephi, had also brought the records which were engraven upon the plates of brass; and also the ball, or compass, which was prepared for my father by the hand of the Lord, according to that which is written.  (2 Ne. 5:1-12)

It was used by Mosiah to get to the land of Zarahemla:

Behold, I am Amaleki, the son of Abinadom. Behold, I will speak unto you somewhat concerning Mosiah, who was made king over the land of Zarahemla; for behold, he being warned of the Lord that he should flee out of the land of Nephi, and as many as would hearken unto the voice of the Lord should also depart out of the land with him, into the wilderness—

And it came to pass that he did according as the Lord had commanded him. And they departed out of the land into the wilderness, as many as would hearken unto the voice of the Lord; and they were led by many preachings and prophesyings. And they were admonished continually by the word of God; and they were led by the power of his arm, through the wilderness until they came down into the land which is called the land of Zarahemla.  (Omni 1:12-13)

[This part has been removed, due to errors.  See this comment to read what was originally written here.]

Okay, so that’s enough.  I just wanted to show that the interpreters did not replace the Liahona.  The interpreters were for translation, whereas the Liahona was for guiding the people to and from their promised lands of inheritance.  Thus, the Liahona was not a relic, but a compass that was kept and preserved for future migrations of the people, in which they needed to be guided to another land of promise.

Joseph Smith never needed the Liahona, for the migrations of the Gentile saints were, more or less, along known paths.  Also, he didn’t have the strength of the Lord to keep it safe, therefore, as it wasn’t needed, and giving it to him posed a very real danger, for it wasn’t safe with him, it was retained.  But the ancient Nephites did not have such a restriction placed upon them.  The Liahona was with them to the very end and they were given the strength, and even commanded, to keep and preserve it, along with the other artifacts.

The Liahona will be used again in the future, by the next seer, because it will be needed, for the land will be completely changed or altered, and everyone will be, essentially, lost, in terms of point of reference.  Thus, the physical will match the spiritual, for as their souls will become lost, through their sinfulness, so will they physically be lost, or not know how to get from one point to the next.  Our modern compasses will no longer work, the satellite systems will be down, and nobody will have any frame of reference upon which to rely.  Even the starry skies will be altered, so that navigation by the stars will be impossible.  Thus, the Liahona’s need.

The interpreters and breastplate

The story given at the start of this blog post sounds about right to me.  Meg is incorrect, though, about that man being Lehi.  It was not Lehi, but Mosiah.  Mosiah is the very first person mentioned in the record who translated anything:

And it came to pass in the days of Mosiah, there was a large stone brought unto him with engravings on it; and he did interpret the engravings by the gift and power of God.  (Omni 1:20)

Mosiah needed the interpreters, therefore, he got them.  But they did not replace the Liahona.  Later on, the interpreters were used to translate the plates of Ether.  Again, this shows that God prepares these things for future purposes.  These same interpreters were for translating the plates of Mormon the first time, via Joseph Smith, and also will be used to translate them the second time, via the second seer, as well as all the records of this and other continents.

Again, when the interpreters return, like the Liahona’s return, they will be kept and preserved by the next seer, to be used and preserved perpetually, for they were never intended to be temporary measures, but a permanent thing.  We can expect, then, that the next seer will have all three of these items in his possession, or at least claim to have them.

Now, about that breastplate.  It was likely of Jaredite origin, like the interpreters.  It may have been created by the brother of Jared, or by the Lord, but it surely proceeded from the time that the brother of Jared received the interpreters from the Lord, and not from the Nephites.  Therefore, it was made either by the Lord, or by the brother of Jared (or some other Jaredite) specifically for some person.  That person was not Joseph Smith, nor any of the ancient Nephites, but for the next seer.  In other words, it is a custom fit for him, but for all others, it was an imperfect fit.  The next seer, who will be the Josephite, then, will be a man large in stature, for he must fit into this breastplate perfectly, for it was made specifically for him.

The plates of Mormon

Not much to say here, except that when the next seer gets these plates, they ain’t going back.  They will remain kept and preserved, safe in his possession, and stay with the people of God throughout their generations, like the rest of the artifacts.  Their use will be specific, even after he translates them, for the sealed portion, which was written in the ancient language of the Nephites, was for the Nephites of the future, to read via or sans the interpreters.  Remember what I wrote about captain Moroni being a man of perfect understanding?  History is going to repeat itself, for the new Nephites are going to need to re-learn the old languages and read their scriptures in these languages, too.

The sword of Laban

We don’t know the history of the sword of Laban.  It may be that Laban made the sword himself, or caused some steel-worker to make the sword for him.  But I highly doubt it.  The sword of Laban strikes me as a historical (and practical) emblem of the deliverers, for this is how it was used by the Nephites, and they followed the same custom of the Jews.  In other words, Laban inherited the sword from the previous deliverer.  Now, I have written before about deliverers and the principle of deliverance (see The significance of captain Moroni) and I have also written a little bit about the need to kill Laban and why he was entrusted with the plates (see, for example, Nephi slaying Laban in light of D&C 98), but I don’t think I have ever explained that Laban was the appointed Jewish deliverer at that time.  Unfortunately, instead of being a righteous man, he was a murderer.

The sword of Laban was the emblem of deliverance, for both Jewish times and Nephite times.  It was passed down from one appointed deliverer to the next, to be used to protect the people of the Lord from the wicked who were trying to slay them.  The first recorded use of the sword of Laban, by Nephi, shows him using it for that very purpose, for Laban was actively trying to kill them, and Nephi delivered himself and his brothers by using the sword to end Laban’s life.

Later on, Nephi wields the sword again, in the protection of his people from Lamanite attack.  The sword then gets passed down, from one king to the next, who use it as the appointed Nephite deliverers, to protect the people from the Lamanites, ending the life of the murderous, wicked Lamanites, so that the righteous Nephites are spared.  During the times of the judges, it gets used again, this time by the chief commanders, who were the appointed deliverers.

Now, the Book of Mormon text does not explicitly state this stuff.  Nevertheless, this is my understanding of these things, and that this sword was passed down and used by all these men who were appointed chief captains over the entire Nephite armies, as the emblem of the Lord’s deliverance.

Joseph Smith, however, did not get the sword.  Why not?  He was not appointed to be a deliverer.  But the next seer, the Josephite, will be like unto Moses, and will deliver the Lord’s people from captivity.  And guess what that guy is going to be wielding?  The very sword of Laban.  The Lord is going to make such a show before the people that the Gentiles are going to be astounded by what they see, for this man is going to be decked out, in Nephite clothing and armor, wielding the sword of Laban, and, being of large stature, he is going to intimidate all those around him.

Now, this may sound like a bunch of foolishness to people, for we use guns, not swords, today.  But remember that post I wrote back in 2010?  (“And thus, with the sword…”)  So, these artifacts are all coming back, and will be used by this guy.  They were used by the ancients, but they were specifically made for the end times, to be used and wielded by the Josephite.

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