A new interpretation of Psalms 110


The context of Psalms 110 is the end times and the whole psalm is in chronological order.

Verse 1

The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. (Psalms 110:1)

The psalm begins in the meridian of time with the ascension of Jesus Christ to heaven after His resurrection, to sit down at the right hand of the Father. He remains there in heaven until the end times, until the restoration of all things,

…and he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began. (Acts 3:20-21)

even until the destruction of His enemies at the Second Coming, when they will finally be made ashes under His feet.

For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch…And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the LORD of hosts. (Malachi 4:1,3)

The LORD in the verse is God the Father, and the Personage who is referred to by David as “my Lord,” is Jesus Christ.

Verse 2

The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies. (Psalms 110:2)

Verse two continues within the context of the end times.

Here David is speaking to Jesus Christ, saying that the LORD (God the Father) will send the rod of Christ’s strength out of Zion. The rod of Christ’s strength is the same rod that comes out of the stem of Jesse, mentioned in Isaiah 11:1. This rod is Joseph-Nephi (who is the Elias that restores all things) and he is a servant in the hands of Christ:

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)

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)

Zion in this verse is in the New World, not the Old World.

We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory. (Articles of Faith 1:10)

This part of the verse (in bold type) :

The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies. (Psalms 110:2)

is David quoting God the Father as He speaks to the rod and gives the rod instructions. The New International Version shows the speech in this way:

The LORD will extend your mighty scepter from Zion, saying, “Rule in the midst of your enemies!” (Psalms 110:2)

The Father’s instructions to the rod are, essentially, to switch into root mode (thus becoming the root of Jesse) and to rule over his enemies (who are Gentiles.) It is the root, not the rod, that reigns over the Gentiles:

And again, Esaias saith, There shall be a root of Jesse, and he that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles; in him shall the Gentiles trust. (Romans 15:12)

This switch from rod to root will be repeated in this psalm, as we shall see. But before I continue on to verse three, I will expound more on the rod and root.

The Rod and the Root

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.

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 113:3-6)

Two or one?

There are some Mormons who think the rod and root are two different men, while others believe that it is one and the same person. Joseph Smith’s revelation on the rod says he is to be “partly a descendant” whereas Joseph Smith’s revelation on the root has no such wordage, indicating that the root is not partly descended.

This means that the rod is partly descended from Jesse (through one parent), while the root is fully descended from Jesse (through both parents.) Thus, it is impossible for the rod and the root to be one and the same man, because it would require the man to have two sets of parents.

I say, however, that none of that matters. The rod and the root are still one and the same man, for the man will become the rod first, whereby he will obtain “much power,” and then he will use that power to give himself a second set of parents. Thus, Nicodemus’s question to Jesus will be answered with a resounding, “Yes.”

Nicodemus saith unto him,

How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?

(John 3:4)

Thus, the rod will switch his parentage, from the lineage in which he was partly descended through only one parent, to a lineage in which he is fully descended through both parents. There will be, then, two men who will claim to be his father, and two women who will claim to be his mother and who will testify that they gave birth to him, and their testimonies will be correct, for he will go into the womb of the second mother and she will give birth to him, so that he is born a second time. It doesn’t matter that that is impossible. He will do it anyway. The ministry of Elias, after all, is meant to be strange:

For the LORD shall rise up as in mount Perazim, he shall be wroth as in the valley of Gibeon, that he may do his work, his strange work; and bring to pass his act, his strange act. (Isaiah 28:21)

That I may proceed to bring to pass my act, my strange act, and perform my work, my strange work, that men may discern between the righteous and the wicked, saith your God. (D&C 101:95)

The meaning of Ephraim

The revelation on the rod says he will be of Ephraim, but Ephraim can mean many things. Ephraim can mean the man Ephraim, who was the son of that Joseph who was sold into Egypt. It can mean the tribe of Ephraim, one of the 12 tribes of Israel. It can mean the northern kingdom which broke from the rest of the tribes and were led north. Fortunately, the revelation gives a clarifying phrase, to explain what is meant by “Ephraim.”

of Ephaim, or of the house of Joseph

The words “or of the house of Joseph” is a clarifying phrase, defining what is meant by “of Ephraim.” Ephraim, then, in this revelation, refers to “the house of Joseph,” which consisted of two tribes; namely, Manasseh and Ephraim, which together are called, “Ephraim,” just as the northern kingdom, although consisting of multiple tribes is all lumped together under the heading, “Ephraim.”

Now, if the revelation meant Ephraim to mean a man named Ephraim, it would have left off the clarifying phrase, and would have simply said:

It is a servant in the hands of Christ, who is partly a descendant of Jesse as well as of Ephraim, on whom there is laid much power.

But it doesn’t say that. Instead, Joseph Smith added the clarifying phrase, which broadened the meaning to include the whole house of Joseph, which contains not one, but two tribes (Manasseh and Ephraim.) This shows that the word Ephraim is also a title that is used to refer to the house of Joseph, and not just the name of a man who was born to the Joseph that was sold into Egypt.

Now, if the revelation had meant that he would descend from the tribe of Ephraim, it would have been worded thusly:

It is a servant in the hands of Christ, who is partly a descendant of Jesse as well as of the tribe of Ephraim, on whom there is laid much power.

But again, it doesn’t say that. So, it doesn’t refer to either the man Ephraim, nor to the tribe of Ephraim. Nor does it refer to the northern tribes, for if it had referred to the northern kingdom, which contained more than just the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, it wouldn’t have included the clarifying phrase which limited its meaning to just the house of Joseph:

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.

The northern kingdom is never referred to as “the house of Joseph.” Only Ephraim and Manasseh can be called, “the house of Joseph.” And the house of Joseph is not just one tribe, but consists of two, therefore neither the tribe of Manasseh alone, nor the tribe of Ephraim alone, can be called, “the house of Joseph.” Nevertheless, both tribes taken together are collectively called, “Ephraim,” and this is the manner in which the revelation uses the phrase.

Thus, the rod will be partly a descendant of Jesse, as well as of the house of Joseph, which means that the rod will have three lineages: Judah, Manasseh and Ephraim. The only way to arrive at a Ephraim-only view, with no Manasseh attached, is by dropping the clarifying phrase which identifies the revelation’s title of Ephraim as referring to “the house of Joseph,” encompassing both the tribe of Ephraim and the tribe of Manasseh.

Why did the revelation state it this way?

Joseph could have simply dropped the Ephraim part and used only the phrase, “of the house of Joseph,” but had he done so, it would not have given the understanding of this additional use of the title of Ephraim (in which it refers to both tribes descended of Joseph), nor would it have allowed the shadows to go forth. By phrasing it this way, putting out the title Ephraim, and then clarifying its meaning afterward, the Lord allowed people’s natural spiritual filters to “filter out” the clarifying phrase, allowing the revelation to cast an “Ephraim”-only shadow before its literal fulfillment of Ephraim and Manasseh. Thus, people who read this revelation read it as if there is no clarifying phrase, or as if the phrase doesn’t clarify anything (in other words, they read it as a redundancy), not understanding that the phrase is intended as a clarifying phrase meant to define the use of “of Ephraim,” and thus it must mean more than just “of the tribe of Ephraim” or “of the man Ephraim.”

The root

After the rod revelation, the root revelation drops all reference to Ephraim and merely mentions that the root is “of Joseph.” Again, everyone’s spiritual filters only read, “of Ephraim.” And yet, the text doesn’t say, “of Ephraim,” but “of Joseph.” And Joseph had not one, but two sons. Therefore, “of Joseph,” must refer either to Ephraim or to Manasseh, or to both. Which of the three must it be? It must refer to both. Why? Because there’s no point in using the more general term of, “of Joseph,” when you are just referring to the narrower meaning of, “of Ephraim,” or, “of Manasseh.” In other words, there must be a reason why the Lord uses the general term instead of opting for the more narrow term which is more specific. And there is a reason: because the root is a descendant of both Ephraim and Manasseh. So Joseph is referred to, and not one of Joseph’s two sons.

Again, the use of the term Ephraim in the rod revelation wasn’t meant to be a narrow meaning, narrowing it down to one tribe (the tribe of Ephraim), but as a general term referring to both tribes, who are the house of Joseph, but this usage of the term Ephraim is unfamiliar to Gentiles, hence it was followed up by the clarifying phrase, which defined its usage. But the follow-up revelation, on the root, entirely leaves off the usage of the title Ephraim, and just settles for calling the lineage, “of Joseph,” which phrase in itself also acts as a general or umbrella term, referring again to both tribes.

Despite the explanations in this post, I suppose people will continue to believe that the root and the rod are two different people, and that the lineage given in these revelations is only of Jesse and Ephraim. As a result of such beliefs, all impostor rods or roots will continue to affirm that they are of Ephraim and Judah and will never say that they are also of Manasseh, in order that they may deceive the people. Only the real rod and root will give the additional lineage of Manasseh. And only the real rod and root will state that he was born twice, of two different mothers.

Birthright and the firstborn status

There is a difference between the status of “firstborn” and the “birthright.” Normally “firstborn” and “birthright” go hand-in-hand, but not always. A birthright pertains to the firstborn, but may be transferred to another, or even to others, because it is sold (think: Esau’s sale of his birthright to his brother Jacob for a mess of porridge) or because of the firstborn’s transgression.

The status of firstborn remains intact regardless of the transference of the birthright to another, however whoever obtains the birthright gets the double portion and the additional responsibilities that accompany it, and thus may be considered as obtaining a “spiritual firstborn” status.

In the case of sale, the firstborn loses the birthright because it is sold to another, who then obtains it. In the case of transgression, the birthright is taken away by God from the firstborn because he transgresses, and thus it is lost to him, and then God gives it to another more righteous than he. (There is also a third case, which I will not discuss here.) In each of these cases, the birthright is always first lost to the firstborn, and then transferred to another. Thus, we find Isaac’s firstborn son Esau selling his birthright to his brother Jacob, and thus losing it; and Jacob’s firstborn son Reuben transgressed God’s commandments and lost his birthright, which was then given to his brother Joseph’s sons; and Lehi’s firstborn son Laman transgressed God’s commandments and lost his birthright, which was transferred to his brother Nephi.

In the case of Manasseh and Ephraim, Joseph’s sons, Joseph obtained Reuben’s birthright and, because Jacob made Manasseh and Ephraim tribes of Israel, both Manasseh and Ephraim received this birthright:

Now the sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel, (for he was the firstborn; but, forasmuch as he defiled his father’s bed, his birthright was given unto the sons of Joseph the son of Israel: and the genealogy is not to be reckoned after the birthright. For Judah prevailed above his brethren, and of him came the chief ruler; but the birthright was Joseph’s:) (1 Chronicles 5:1-2)

When Israel blessed the sons of Joseph, he gave the lads the very same blessing, for they both had the birthright of Reuben:

And he blessed Joseph, and said,

God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God which fed me all my life long unto this day, the Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads; and let my name be named on them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth.

(Genesis 48:15-16)

However, Manasseh was the firstborn son of Joseph, and within the house of Joseph, Manasseh had the birthright, which meant he got the double portion of the house of Joseph. Nevertheless, Israel prophetically perceived that Ephraim would obtain the naming rights and also would inherit the Gentiles, so he crossed his hands upon their heads, placing his right hand (which pertained to the firstborn and birthright) upon Ephraim’s head. Notice that Joseph was displeased with this action:

And when Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand upon the head of Ephraim, it displeased him: and he held up his father’s hand, to remove it from Ephraim’s head unto Manasseh’s head. And Joseph said unto his father,

Not so, my father: for this is the firstborn; put thy right hand upon his head.

(Genesis 48:17-18)

These were two holy prophets of God essentially having an argument in front of these kids. Joseph perceived that what Jacob was doing was wrong, and protested, for Manasseh never lost his birthright! Birthrights can only be transferred upon sale or transgression, and Manasseh was just a kid who never sold his birthright, nor did he transgress and lose it. But here was Israel placing his right hand upon Ephraim’s head anyway. Why? Because Jacob perceived that the birthright these boys had received was split between the two, and thus he gave Ephraim a spiritual endowment in order to make that split happen.

In essence, Manasseh received the double portion of land, and thus the birthright responsibilities to provide, both spiritually and temporally; whereas Ephraim received the naming rights and the Gentile converts, or, in other words, a double portion of people.

Thus, in the house of Israel, Reuben was the natural firstborn but lost his birthright to Manasseh and Ephraim, both of whom obtained a spiritual firstborn status. And in the house of Joseph, Manasseh was the natural firstborn and held the natural birthright, which he never lost, but through this blessing of Jacob, Ephraim received a spiritual firstborn status and thus shared in Manasseh’s birthright, in which the naming rights were transferred to Ephraim, and the double portion was split between the two lads, the double portion of land going to Manasseh (which double portion I will not expound upon, so don’t bother asking me about it), and the double portion of people (converted Gentiles) going to Ephraim.

The reason why Ephraim is placed before Manasseh is because he holds the naming rights. Thus, all in which the tribe of Ephraim participates is called Ephraim. The name Ephraim, then, can denote:

1. The man Ephraim, who was the son of Joseph the son of Israel;

2. The tribe of Ephraim;

3. The house of Joseph, which consists of two tribes: Ephraim and Manasseh; or,

4. The northern kingdom, which consisted of ten tribes (including Ephraim.)

We call each of these things Ephraim because of his naming rights, not because Manasseh lost his birthright and firstborn status to Ephraim. (For he didn’t lose them.) The two tribes share everything, except in the divisions I have stated above. This is why the blessing of Joseph speaks of both tribes gathering the people together during the end times:

And of Joseph he said,

Blessed of the LORD be his land, for the precious things of heaven, for the dew, and for the deep that coucheth beneath, and for the precious fruits brought forth by the sun, and for the precious things put forth by the moon, and for the chief things of the ancient mountains, and for the precious things of the lasting hills, and for the precious things of the earth and fulness thereof, and for the good will of him that dwelt in the bush: let the blessing come upon the head of Joseph, and upon the top of the head of him that was separated from his brethren. His glory is like the firstling of his bullock, and his horns are like the horns of unicorns: with them he shall push the people together to the ends of the earth: and they are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they are the thousands of Manasseh.

(Deuteronomy 33:13-17)

Ephraim’s numbers are inflated because all Gentile converts get placed into the tribe of Ephraim. This is why the Lord stated the following:

For, verily I say that the rebellious are not of the blood of Ephraim, wherefore they shall be plucked out. (D&C 64:36)

The Lord doesn’t mean to say that if you are not of the blood of Ephriam, then you are rebellious. He is not saying that those of the tribe of Judah, or Manasseh, or Levi, or whatever, are rebels. No, the Lord is here referring to the Gentiles, for the Gentiles are always put into the tribe of Ephraim. If you have received a patriarchal blessing and it says you are of the tribe of Ephraim, it means one of two things: either you are an actual descendant of Ephraim, or you are a Gentile who is not descended from Ephraim, but who has been put into that tribe anyway. If your patriarchal blessing says any other tribe of Israel, it means you are an actual descendant of that tribe, having actual blood from that tribe. Only those whose blessing lists them as of Ephraim may be of Gentile origin.

The naming of tribes in patriarchal blessings, what they are for, what their purpose will be in the future, pertains to tribal functions, which the Lord has not, as yet, fully revealed. Nevertheless, the Lord has begun to reveal some of these things to me (because of my curiosity and my application of the gift of the word of knowledge), therefore the Lord has begun to give an understanding of these things to the saints, to replace the endless guesses and speculations found among the people.

Anyway, back to my point. I call the tribe of Ephraim “the Gentile-dumping tribe” because that is where all the Gentiles will go. As a result, Ephraim’s numbers will be vastly greater than Manasseh’s:

And his father refused, and said,

I know it, my son, I know it: he also shall become a people, and he also shall be great: but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a multitude of nations.

(Genesis 48:19)

That “multitude of nations” that he refers to are the Gentiles. Also, Ephraim is greater than Manasseh because of the naming rights. Thus, whereas it was Manasseh and Ephraim prior to this blessing, now we say, “Ephraim and Manasseh,” putting Ephraim before Manasseh. Why do we do this? Because of this naming right.

Even the record of Joseph, or the stick of Joseph, gets Ephraim’s name.

The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying,

Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions: and join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand. And when the children of thy people shall speak unto thee, saying,

Wilt thou not shew us what thou meanest by these?

Say unto them,

Thus saith the Lord GOD;

Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand.

(Ezekiel 37:15-19)

So, Joseph began the record we know of as the plates of brass, and Joseph wrote it in Egyptian and had his son Ephraim’s descendants keep the record, all the way down until Laban, and then when Laban transgressed, God had Lehi and Nephi, who were descendants of Joseph through Manasseh, obtain the record and they and their descendants were made custodians of it from then on. Yet those same plates of brass are still called, “the stick of Ephraim.” Ephraim’s naming rights apply to it, as well, and it gets his name, just because his descendants kept the record (until Laban, that is.) The plates of brass are still in the custody of the Nephites (who were all descendants of Manasseh), for they are in the hand of Moroni, who holds the keys to that record, yet it is still, to this very day, called the stick of Ephraim.

Behold, this is wisdom in me; wherefore, marvel not, for the hour cometh that I will drink of the fruit of the vine with you on the earth, and with Moroni, whom I have sent unto you to reveal the Book of Mormon, containing the fulness of my everlasting gospel, to whom I have committed the keys of the record of the stick of Ephraim; (D&C 27:5)

Latter-day saints, not understanding what all these scriptures are talking about, read the above and think, “Oh, the stick of Ephraim must be the Book of Mormon.” No, the Book of Mormon was written by Nephite prophets of the tribe of Manasseh. The stick of Ephraim (the plates of brass) were written by those of Ephraim, which is why it bears the name of Ephraim, for all that the tribe of Ephraim participates in ends up getting the name of Ephraim, per the naming rights blessing.

Or, latter-day saints will read the following scripture and mistakenly think, “Oh, that must mean that Ephraim got the birthright from Manasseh!”

They shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them: I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way, wherein they shall not stumble: for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn. (Jeremiah 31:9)

They will cite the scripture and say, “See?! It says he is the firstborn! He has the birthright!” But it doesn’t say “the tribe of Ephraim is my firstborn,” nor does it mention birthright anywhere. Ephraim can denote 1 of 4 things, remember? It can denote “the house of Joseph,” which contains not one but two tribes: Ephraim and Manasseh. Ephraim and Manasseh together got the birthright from Reuben, and they together became the spiritual firstborn of Israel, but because of Ephraim’s naming right blessing, Ephraim and Manasseh are simply called, “Ephraim!”

Now I know no matter how much I expound these things, people will remain in their die-hard beliefs. God put these names the way He did in the scriptures so that the shadows can go forth first, so that when the Josephite stands up and starts teaching this stuff in perfect clarity and with power, everybody will be surprised and finally understand what all this means. But in the meantime, I will expound some of it, too.

It is Manasseh that will convert the world

The Book of Mormon is a record of the tribe of Manasseh, and the Book of Mormon will convert the entire world. (This will happen when it is powerfully re-translated by the Josephite.) During the times of the Josephite, almost all principal players will be of Manasseh. For example, the Josephite himself will be of Manasseh, being a descendant of Lehi (who was descended from Manasseh.) His two witnesses will likely be his sons, who also, of course, will be of Manasseh. The four angelic helpers mentioned in the Book of Revelation will be four translated Nephite prophets, three of which will be the Three Nephites and the fourth will be some other Nephite (such as Alma the Younger.) That makes the six main players all of Manasseh, although being Nephites, they will also have the blood of Ephraim (through the daughters of Ishmael) and the blood of Jesse (through the group led by Mulek) in their veins. But the principal blood is of Manasseh.

Additionally, Moroni, a Nephite prophet of Manasseh, will be actively participating in the end time events, committing the gospel to many:

And now, verily saith the Lord, that these things might be known among you, O inhabitants of the earth, I have sent forth mine angel flying through the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel, who hath appeared unto some and hath committed it unto man, who shall appear unto many that dwell on the earth. (D&C 133:36)

(John the apostle will also participate, but he’s of Judah.)

Then there are the 144,000. Now, notice that the tribe of Manasseh is listed among the 144,000, but not the tribe of Ephraim!

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.

Of the tribe of Juda were sealed twelve thousand.

Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand.

Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand.

Of the tribe of Aser were sealed twelve thousand.

Of the tribe of Nepthalim were sealed twelve thousand.

Of the tribe of Manasses were sealed twelve thousand.

Of the tribe of Simeon were sealed twelve thousand.

Of the tribe of Levi were sealed twelve thousand.

Of the tribe of Issachar were sealed twelve thousand.

Of the tribe of Zabulon were sealed twelve thousand.

Of the tribe of Joseph were sealed twelve thousand.

Of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand.

(Revelation 7:4-8)

Dan and Ephraim are simply not on the list. But, curiously, “the tribe of Joseph” is on the list. And yet, there is no such thing as “the tribe of Joseph,” for Joseph was split into two tribes: Ephraim and Manasseh. The typical latter-day saint mind would use their spiritual filters to “see” Ephraim in “the tribe of Joseph.” It doesn’t say “tribe of Ephraim,” yet they will read it that way, nonetheless. Ephraim is simply not mentioned in the end times events of the book of Revelation, as if Ephraim sits this one out. Does Ephraim sit it out? Yes, sort of.

Everything is a prophetic switch. At the beginning it was first Manasseh, then Ephraim. Then at the end it will be first Ephraim (with Joseph Smith and the Gentile converts of Ephraim), then Manasseh (with the Josephite and his helpers.) The Josephite, curiously, will bear the name Joseph-Nephi. As such, his name, Joseph, will be had for good and evil everywhere during his ministry, fulfilling Moroni’s prophesy:

He called me by name, and said unto me that he was a messenger sent from the presence of God to me, and that his name was Moroni; that God had a work for me to do; and that my name should be had for good and evil among all nations, kindreds, and tongues, or that it should be both good and evil spoken of among all people. (JS-H 1:33)

Moroni’s prophecy didn’t apply to the name, “Joseph Smith,” but to the name, “Joseph,” and it referred, as a shadow and type to Joseph Smith’s name of Joseph, but its literal fulfillment would come later with Joseph-Nephi’s name of Joseph.

Now, Joseph-Nephi undoubtedly will be forming a tribe. His tribe will be a tribe of Josephites, and thus will be “the tribe of Joseph.” Thus, “the tribe of Joseph” that John the Revelator mentions might not be “the tribe of Ephraim” that everyone likes to think it is. And if it turns out that “the tribe of Joseph” is a tribe of Josephites, these 12,000 people will be Nephites, and thus they will be of Manasseh, as well as a mix of Ephraim and Judah, and thus Ephraim “sort of” sits out.

The children of Ephraim

The one scripture that every latter-day saint points to as “proof positive” that the tribe of Ephraim will direct all the end times work is found here:

And they shall bring forth their rich treasures unto the children of Ephraim, my servants. And the boundaries of the everlasting hills shall tremble at their presence. And there shall they fall down and be crowned with glory, even in Zion, by the hands of the servants of the Lord, even the children of Ephraim. And they shall be filled with songs of everlasting joy. Behold, this is the blessing of the everlasting God upon the tribes of Israel, and the richer blessing upon the head of Ephraim and his fellows. (D&C 133:30-34)

Remember those naming rights I mentioned above? Who are “the children of Ephraim” and who is “Ephraim and his fellows” in this scriptural passage? Specifically, who are the “fellows” of Ephraim in the passage? What does the name “Ephraim” denote in the above scripture?

1. The man Ephraim, who was the son of Joseph the son of Israel?

2. The tribe of Ephraim?

3. The house of Joseph, which consists of two tribes: Ephraim and Manasseh? Or,

4. The northern kingdom, which consisted of ten tribes (including Ephraim)?

Unless a person knows exactly what the term, “Ephraim,” denotes in these scriptures, any interpretation of them will be merely a guess.

Inserting David into Jesse

Many latter-day saints believe that the rod and the root of Jesse refer to a descendant of David. The revelations Joseph Smith received on these symbolic expressions revealed that the rod “is partly a descendant of Jesse” (D&C 113:4), whereas the root “is a descendant of Jesse” (D&C 113:6.) Nowhere in the text is there any indication that these descendants come through David. Despite that fact, these saints equate Jesse with David anyway.

But Jesse does not equal David.

Jesse had eight sons, the youngest of them being David. The firstborn son was Eliab (which means: God is my father/God is the father.) Next was Abinadab (which means: Father of a vow; or of willingness), then Shammah (Waste/ Appalling Desolation.) Then the rest (I won’t list them all.)

Mulek was the son of Zedekiah, who was a descendant of David. That puts the descendants of David among the Nephites. But Mulek did not come alone. Thus, the other sons of Jesse may have also had descendants among the Nephites.

There were always two end time kings that would come forth. One would come through David (which means Beloved), a son of Jesse. David was the type of King Messiah, and it was King Messiah (Jesus Christ) who routinely referred to Himself as the Son of David and also as “the Root of David.” This Son was the Beloved Son of the Father, just as the ancient David was the beloved (David) son of Jesse. All the symbolism fits.

But what of the other king? King Abaddon (Destruction)/Apollyon (Destroyer) would be the son who represented the Father’s left hand of justice, who would be associated not with mercy, like Christ, but with anger and desolation. When we turn to the text, we find that all the symbolism still fits:

And it came to pass, when they were come, that he looked on Eliab, and said, Surely the LORD’s anointed is before him. But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart. (1 Sam. 16:6-7)

Here we see Samuel being sent to Jesse to anoint one of his sons as the new king, and when he comes to Eliab, the firstborn, he is sure that this must be the Lord’s anointed. Why? Because Eliab was large in stature and of kingly countenance. He was imposing, but He wasn’t the Lord’s pick for the Beloved type. (Christ is the literal Beloved, whereas David of old is the ancient Beloved type.) Eliab didn’t fit the Christ type. He fit the destroyer type. In fact, he is spoken of in the text as being angry, just as Elias will be:

And Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spake unto the men; and Eliab’s anger was kindled against David, and he said, Why camest thou down hither? and with whom hast thou left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know thy pride, and the naughtiness of thine heart; for thou art come down that thou mightest see the battle. And David said, What have I now done? Is there not a cause? (1 Sam. 17:28-29)

Although seven of Jesse’s sons are mentioned in the scriptures, the first three are singled out:

And the three eldest sons of Jesse went and followed Saul to the battle: and the names of his three sons that went to the battle were Eliab the firstborn, and next unto him Abinadab, and the third Shammah. (1 Sam. 17:13)

Elias will come with two witnesses, just as Eliab came with his two brothers. This may be another type and pattern.

Again, there is no evidence that “a descendant of Jesse” means “a descendant of David.” None, whatsoever. Isaiah used Jesse for a purpose, and not David. It is appropriate to suppose that Jesse was used, and not David, because this descendant wouldn’t be of David, but would be of another son of Jesse, the one who was the type of the destroyer, king Abaddon.

Jesse=Father and David=Son

When Isaiah says:

And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:

¶ 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 11:1,10)

the use of Jesse and not David additionally strikes me as a prophetic reference to the Father. Jesse was the father of David, who was the son of Jesse. Therefore, these four titles: rod, Stem, Branch and root, all of Jesse, may indicate that the personages are emissaries of the Father, and not of the Son. Now, I already teach this very thing, that the rod and root are the same man: the Josephite, who is an emissary of the Father (representing His left hand.) And the Stem and Branch, who is Jesus Christ, is also an emissary of the Father (representing His right hand.) So, the use of “Jesse” may indicate special representatives, or emissaries, of the Father, indicating the work of the Father. Whereas use of the name “David” indicates and points one’s mind prophetically to the Son. Hence, both the meaning of the name David (which, again, means Beloved) and also the name itself (David) in the scriptural expressions, “my servant David” and “David my servant,” which occur in passages such as Ezekiel 37, etc., and which refer to an end times Personage who will reign as king and prince forever over the house of Israel, identify the Beloved (David) Son of God.

Recap before continuing with verse three

Joseph-Nephi, then, will start out as the rod, with a Nephite lineage of Manasseh, Ephraim and Jesse (through one of Jesse’s eight sons, but probably not through David) through one parent, while the other parent will be of Gentile lineage. Then God the Father will send him forth with the instructions to rule in the midst of his enemies (the Gentiles) as the root, which means he must switch his parentage and become the root of Jesse. At that point, Joseph-Nephi will miraculously get himself a new set of parents, in which he will still have a Nephite lineage of Manasseh, Ephraim and Jesse (most likely not through David), but this time it will be through both his new mother and his new father, making him now of non-Gentile lineage.

And he will have a tribal kingdom of Josephites, over which he will rule as king Abaddon/Apollyon. This tribe of his will be his people. Now, let’s continue on to verse three.

Verse 3

Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth. (Psalms 110:3)

The context of verse three is the end times.

Here David is quoting God the Father speaking to the rod. The day of the rod’s power is the end times. The rod’s ministry will be noted by the spirit of power. Again, Joseph Smith’s revelation about the rod says the following:

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, going back to what the Father says to the rod, He says:

Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power,

This is not talking of the people of the Lord Jesus Christ, but of the people of the rod. So, when Joseph-Nephi (the rod) stands up and begins his ministry, he will have a people and this verse specifically speaks about them. However, the Josephite will also gather the people of the Lord Jesus Christ, and so it also has a more general or wider application. In other words, what it specifically says about Elias’s people, who will be a select group of Gentiles, will be a pattern that will later be applied generally to all of God’s people found throughout the earth.

So, what is it about Elias’s people that will be so special? Here’s the verse again:

Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth. (Psalms 110:3)

The men of the Josephite’s tribe will be volunteers (willing), and handsome, young, numerous and virile, all to an alarming degree. In other words, these will be genetically upgraded males, made so by the power of God. So, essentially, a tribe of Supermen. Their willingness will manifest in their volunteering to be part of the 12,000 who are sent of the tribe of Joseph, as part of the 144,000 force.

As for the women of the Josephite’s tribe, they will be extremely submissive (willing), astoundingly beautiful, very young, ultra fertile, and exceedingly numerous. These women, and also the men, of the Josephite’s tribe will be set apart (holiness=the state of being set apart) from the rest of society, both in terms of their geographical location as well as their transcendent femininity (for the women) and masculinity (for the men.) Like the men, the women will be genetically upgraded by the power of God, so that all those who behold the male or female members of his tribe will gawk in astonishment, as if angelic beings had just descended from heaven.

Verse 4

The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek. (Psalms 110:4)

The context of verse four is the end times.

Here David is quoting God the Father speaking to the root.

In his epistle to the Hebrews, Paul applied this verse to the Lord Jesus Christ, and it certainly does apply to Him, but this passage does not speak of the meridian of time, when the First Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ occurred, but of the end times, when the Second Coming of Christ happens. This passage, then, is specifically pointing to Elias in root mode, for Elias will be a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek, just as Melchizedek was, just as Enoch was, and just as Elijah was. In other words, these men were made high priests forever, and thus they never tasted of death. They never died. And neither will Joseph-Nephi.

The Priesthood spoken of in this verse, then, is the translation or transfiguration Priesthood. It is the Priesthood of an endless life, that allows a person to live forever.

Elijah the prophet possesses this Priesthood, and he will be coming back to call and ordain Elias to it, so that Elias will be able to take upon himself the high priesthood forever, becoming a high priest forever, thus living forever as a translated or transfigured man:

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)

After Elias is transfigured by this Priesthood and its keys of translation/transfiguration, he will call and ordain (through his four angelic helpers) 144,000 others to it. Thus these 144,000 others will likewise become high priests forever and will be translated/transfigured men who do not die:

Q. What are we to understand by sealing the one hundred and forty-four thousand, out of all the tribes of Israel—twelve thousand out of every tribe?

A. We are to understand that those who are sealed are high priests, ordained unto the holy order of God, to administer the everlasting gospel; for they are they who are ordained out of every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, by the angels to whom is given power over the nations of the earth, to bring as many as will come to the church of the Firstborn. (D&C 77:11)

These 144,000 translated high priests will be redeemed from the Fall, so that their bodies will return to the pre-Fall condition of translation/transfiguration. Prior to the Fall of Adam, there was no death or mortality. After falling, Adam and Eve became mortal. Thus, before the fall they weren’t mortal. Yet they also weren’t resurrected beings prior to the Fall. What kind of bodies did they have? They had translated bodies, which is an intermediary state between mortal and immortal (resurrected.) Thus, when the scriptures speak of the 144,000 being redeemed, it means the bodies of these men have reverted to the pre-Fall condition:

And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. (Revelation 14:3-4)

All these men, then, will be high priests forever, after the order of Melchizedek, and thus they will be incapable of being killed. This is necessary for their mission, for they will be entering into the territory of the wicked during the end times, and the wicked will be trying to kill them. Also, God will be sending plagues upon the territories of the wicked, and these plagues would also afflict the 144,000, were it not that their bodies were translated. Therefore, these redeemed-from-the-Fall translated high priests will have bodies incapable of being harmed or killed, which will keep them safe and able to continue their mission to completion.

This means that verse 4 not only applies to Elias, but also to the 144,000:

The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek. (Psalms 110:4)

As usual, though, this is an expanding pattern. So, after the root has become a translated high priest, and after that same priesthood has been conferred upon 144,000 others, who will likewise be translated high priests, he will use these keys of translation to redeem all things, bringing all things back into the pre-Fall condition (which is the translated condition), except for the wicked, who will remain mortal:

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. (D&C 77:12)

So far everything in this psalm is perfectly chronological, according to the end times order.

To recap: Jesus ascends to the Father and remains there until the Second Coming; Elias is sent to subdue and prepare and reign over the enemies of Christ, his preparation being the causing of the wicked tares to fully ripen in iniquity, then gathering them together into bundles, making their bands strong, so that they are ready to be burned at the Second Coming; Elias goes forth in power during his ministry and his people are mentioned; Elias then gets the translation Priesthood, becoming a high priest; he then has his four angelic helpers confer this same Priesthood upon the 144,000, and then, at the very end, just before Christ shows up, Elias will transfigure all things except the wicked, so that all things will be protected from destruction when Jesus returns, except for the wicked, who will still be in their mortal state.

Okay, on to the last verses:

Verses 5-7

The Lord at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath. He shall judge among the heathen, he shall fill the places with the dead bodies; he shall wound the heads over many countries. He shall drink of the brook in the way: therefore shall he lift up the head. (Psalms 110:5-7)

The context of verses five to seven is the end times.

Here David is speaking to the Father, of Christ (the Lord.) We see here that the end of the psalm’s chronology is, in fact, the very end, for Joseph-Nephi has completed his mission of preparing all things and so now the Lord Jesus Christ descends and destroys the wicked at His Second Coming, by fire, which fire “drinks up the brook in the way,” and He becomes exalted in that day (lifting up His head.)

Thus, practically the whole psalm takes place during the end times.

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


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

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

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

John’s apocalyptic book of Revelation

Past

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

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

Present

[Monday, March 21, 2016]

Future

Revelation 4:2 and on.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Again, when do these seals get opened?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nephi’s apocalyptic vision

Past

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

Look!

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

What beholdest thou?

And I said:

I behold many nations and kingdoms.

3And he said unto me:

These are the nations and kingdoms of the Gentiles.

Present

[Monday, March 21, 2016]

Future

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nephi’s end times prophecy

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

Past

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

Present

[Monday, March 21, 2016]

Future

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

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

Daniel’s apocalyptic visions

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

Some loose ends and final thoughts

Nephi prophesied:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Noachian Flood, Part Three: Oceans above, below and within


Continued from part two.

Part one and two of this series were published on 12 November 2007 and 8 July 2008, respectively, so nearly six years have passed since the last one.  I began this particular draft in 2008 but decided not to finish it, because there really isn’t much to it, but I recently got a little more scientific information to add, so off it goes for publication.  (Just think of this as me doing some spring cleaning in my draft posts queue.)

Stacked planetary effects

Tim Malone brought up a good point in his (1 March 2008) article, Just where exactly are the lost ten tribes?, concerning the effect on the oceans of a configuration of stacked planets.  Wrote he,

Can you imagine what will happen to the waters of the earth with the attraction of another planet over the North pole? I would hate to live North of any large body of water at that point. Think about it. There will be a worldwide catastrophic inundation as the water from the equatorial regions suddenly rushes to the Northern polar region. Imagine the water in the Gulf of Mexico. Where will it go? How about the water in the Mediterranean? Think of the great devastation that will cause as it travels Northward at a frightening speed.

Where’s Waldo, er, water?

If we believe the scriptures that state that “the earth will be rolled together as a scroll”—meaning that the scattered planets will once again return to their stacked locations, just as scattered Israel will be gathered together again—then with a planet above us and (possibly) a planet below us, the waters of the earth will return to the poles, as conjectured by Malone. If this was their original location—and if they were held there by both gravitational and electrical means, due to the stacked nature of the planetary configuration—then when these planets scattered, the oceans were free to move over the Earth, causing inundations everywhere.

Still, the scientists tell us that there isn’t enough water to cover the Earth entirely. The previous part of this series spoke of the possibility of water being created in the atmosphere due to highly reactive OH production in a high energy, electrical state. But even this may not be enough water to cover everything.

So, where else could the water come from?

Two reports show “oceans” of water inside the Earth

One possibility is from underground “oceans.”

For example, on February 27, 2007, Richard A. Lovett, writing for the National Geographic News, reported in the article Huge Underground “Ocean” Found Beneath Asia that a “blob” of water the size of the Arctic Ocean had been discovered hundreds of miles below. This particular find was of moisture “locked in” to rocks, so it is not a free flowing ocean, however, it at least points to the prospect of there being more water to this planet that we are not aware of.  If this and other underground sources of water were at one time held in polar geographies by the planets found above and below Earth, then when freed, these same waters might have helped to cover the earth in the Noachian Flood and subsequently over time receded, forming our water tables and underground “oceans.”

Revealed: The vast resevoir hidden in the Earth’s crust that holds as much water as ALL of the oceans is the second article, which was published on 12 March 2014.  Here are some quotes:

Scientists have discovered a vast reservoir of water under the Earth’s mantle they say could be larger than all the ocean’s combined.

Hans Keppler, a geologist at the University of Bayreuth in Germany, cautioned against extrapolating the size of the subterranean water find from a single sample of ringwoodite.

And he also said the water was likely to be locked up in specific rocks, in a molecular form called hydroxyl.

‘In some ways it is an ocean in Earth’s interior, as visualised by Jules Verne… although not in the form of liquid water,’ Keppler said in a commentary also published by Nature.

The implications of the discovery are profound, Pearson suggested.

Water under the Earth

Another possibility is that the oceans found on the inner surface of the planet—assuming we live on a hollow orb with polar openings—were likewise held at the poles and so when the plasma “fountains” (columns) were broken, they inundated the outside surface first, before receding to their present inner surface positions.

Concerning the oceans and rivers found on the inside surface of the planet, Olaf Jansen wrote:

About three-fourths of the “inner” surface of the earth is land and about one-fourth water. There are numerous rivers of tremendous size, some flowing in a northerly direction and others southerly. Some of these rivers are thirty miles in width, and it is out of these vast waterways, at the extreme northern and southern parts of the “inside” surface of the earth, in regions where low temperatures are experienced, that freshwater icebergs are formed. They are then pushed out to sea like huge tongues of ice, by the abnormal freshets of turbulent waters that, twice every year, sweep everything before them.

(Quoted from The Smoky God.)

Enough and to spare

As one fourth of the inner surface is covered in water (according to Jansen), if that oceanic water was added to the outer surface amount and to the water found between the two surfaces of the crust of the Earth, and all of that was coupled with the water generated through electrical OH production, it might very well be that there is enough water and to spare to cover the outside surface (and perhaps also the inside surface) of the planet completely, just as is recorded in our current Bibles.

Conclusion

When taking into consideration the evidence for an electrical universe and a stacked planetary configuration, as well as the evidence of all planets being hollow with possible polar openings, the scriptural account of the global Noachian Flood no longer remains outside of the realm of possibility. Mainstream scientists reject the idea of a global Flood because they reject the plasma and hollow planet models, despite the evidence supporting both models. The Noachian Flood “story” is unbelievable when viewed through the mainstream models, but it is believable when viewed through the plasma and hollow planet models, especially when taking into account this new data concerning all the water within the Earth.

I started this series because of the discussions LDS were having (back in 2007), in which they were trying to make the Noachian Flood “fit” into the mainstream scientific models. We no longer need to fit square pegs into rounds holes. There are other models available which allow us to accept our scriptures, and this global Flood story in particular, without hesitation or doubt.

Next Plasma Theology article: The plasma aspects of the First Vision and Moroni’s visit

Previous Plasma Theology article: The Noachian Flood, Part Two: Electrically manufacturing OH

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A commandment to practice polygamy found in the New Testament


The following has been lifted from this page and was not written by me.  I thought it was interesting enough to put on this blog and allow people to comment on it.  I will insert the scriptures in block quotes for easy reading.

————————————–

 Polygamy Commanded of God in NT?

There absolutely is an example in the Bible, where God actually does command a situation of polygamy —in the New Testament, even.

1_Corinthians 7:10-11 & 27-28.

10 And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband:

11 But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.

—–

27 Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife.

28 But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned. Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh: but I spare you.

In 1 Corinthians 7, the Apostle Paul differentiates when he is making his own “recommendation” (in verses 6, 12, and 25)

6 But I speak this by permission, and not of commandment.

—–

12 But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away.

—–

25 Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord: yet I give my judgment, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful.

and when he is expressing the “commandment of the Lord” (verses 10-11).

10 And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband:

11 But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.

Indeed, in verses 10-11, Paul clarifies that the instruction in those two verses is the “commandment of the Lord”. (It should therefore also be noted that the other areas in which he clarifies as being only his “recommendation” can NOT be used to otherwise and incorrectly assert that God Himself is creating some sin or doctrine. After all, Paul’s ultimate “recommendation” therein is celibacy!)

With that realized, it is clear for readers of the Bible that Paul makes it emphatically clear that verses 10-11 are different. Namely, verses 10-11, in the exact way in which they are actually written, are the “commandment of God”.

“And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband: But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.”  1 Corinthians 7:10-11.

Paul further specifies that that above “commandment of the Lord” was only addressed to believers-married-to-believers. In the next verses (i.e, 12-16), he clarifies that he is subsequently addressing believers-married-to-unbelievers, and that that subsequent instruction is not the Lord’s words, but his own again.

12 But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away.

13 And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.

14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.

15 But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.

16 For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?

Verses 10-11 show that, if a believer WIFE leaves her believer HUSBAND, the

  • believer WIFE is commanded of God to either:

remain unmarried, or
be reconciled back to her husband

  • believer HUSBAND is commanded of God to:

not put away any wife, and to
let any departed wife return back to him

The key point is that the HUSBAND is NOT given the same commandments of instruction. Only the WIFE is commanded to remain unmarried, but the HUSBAND is not given that commandment. He is commanded of God to let her be married to him, either way!

Accordingly, the HUSBAND is of course, still free to marry another wife. That fact is further proved by the later verses of 27-28.

“Art thou bound unto a wife?
seek not to be loosed.
Art thou loosed from a wife?
seek not a wife.
But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned;
and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned.”
1 Corinthians 7:27-28.

The Greek text of verse 27 is clearly only addressing married men –whether or not the wife has departed.

As such, the married man whose wife is still with him does not sin when he marries another wife (who is not another’s wife). And likewise, the married man, whose wife has departed from him, he also does not sin when he marries another wife (who is not another’s wife).

And herein comes the “commandment of the Lord”, of polygamy, as in the following situation.

A believer WIFE departs from her believer HUSBAND. She is commanded of God to remain unmarried, per verses 10-11. Her HUSBAND, however, then subsequently marries another wife (who is not another man’s wife). The HUSBAND and the new wife have not sinned, per verses 27-28. The departed WIFE then seeks to be reconciled back to her HUSBAND.

In that situation, verses 10-11 show the following instruction as the “commandment of the Lord”. The HUSBAND is commanded of God to let the departed wife be reconciled back to him. AND…. he is commanded of God to not put away a wife, including the new wife.

As such, verses 10-11 show that it is an outright “commandment of the Lord” of polygamy for the family in that situation.

1 Corinthians 7:10-11 is indeed a Commandment of God — in the New Testament — that, when a previously-departed believer wife returns, her believer husband and his new (believer) wife (from verse 27-28) MUST let the previous wife be reconciled to her husband.

There truly IS a “commandment of the Lord” for a situation of polygamy to be found in the Bible —and it’s in the New Testament Scriptures, as well!

————————-

Here are the same verses as found in the Joseph Smith Translation, in case anyone wants to do a comparison:

Joseph Smith Translation

—–

6 And now what I speak is by permission, and not by commandment.

—–

10 And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband;

11 But if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband; but let not the husband put away his wife.

—–

12 But to the rest speak I, not the Lord; If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away.

13 And the woman which hath a husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.

14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.

15 But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases; but God hath called us to peace.

16 For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?

—–

25 Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord; yet I give my judgment, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful.

—–

27 Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife.

28 But if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned. Nevertheless, such shall have trouble in the flesh. For I spare you not.

Okay, now for my own comments.  It seems to me that the crux of this argument lies in this statement of his:

The Greek text of verse 27 is clearly only addressing married men –whether or not the wife has departed.

I cannot speak about the Greek text (since I do not know Greek), but it seems to me that the context of the chapter, as translated into English, supports this view.  Namely, that the words “bondage,” “bound,”  and “loosed” do not refer to marriage and divorcement, but to marital togetherness and marital separation.  For example, (and I will use the JST for these scriptures), verse 5 says,

5 Depart ye not one from the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.

This “departure” is not referring to marital divorce, but marital separation.  It cannot refer to divorce because two divorced people “coming together again” without getting married would be considered a sin, and Paul would never recommend that people engage in sin.

Next we get verses 10 and 11:

10 And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband;

11 But if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband; but let not the husband put away his wife.

Again, “depart” must mean marital separation, not marital divorce.  Also, “put away” only means marital separation, not marital divorce, for I happen to have done an in-depth study on this very expression years ago, and discovered this very thing.  For example, Moses commanded that after a wife was put away by her husband (which is marital separation) that he give her a writ of divorcement (which is the marital divorce.)

To continue, verses 12-13 state:

12 But to the rest speak I, not the Lord; If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away.

13 And the woman which hath a husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.

These verses can only be speaking of marital separation or marital union, in which the two are together.  They do not speak of divorce.

Next, there’s verse 15:

15 But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases; but God hath called us to peace.

“Departure” is used in this chapter to indicate marital separation, not marital divorce, and this verses equates “departure” with “not being under bondage,” or in other words, with being “loosed.”  Thus, departure=separation=loosed and reconciliation=togetherness=bound.  The chapter is consistent in its contextual meanings of these terms, so far.

Finally, verses 27 and 28 state:

27 Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife.

28 But if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned. Nevertheless, such shall have trouble in the flesh. For I spare you not.

Since the context of the chapter reveals that bound means together and loosed means separated (not divorced), we could write verse 27 like this:

27 Art thou together with a wife? seek not to be separated. Art thou separated from a wife? seek not a wife.

With this meaning in mind, then verse 28 does, in fact, allow a man whose wife has separated from him to marry another woman without sinning.  Also, it allows a woman to marry an already married man whose first wife has separated from him, without committing sin.  And, per verses 10-11, if the first wife return to him in reconciliation, the man is commanded to receive her and not put her away.  Or, in other words, this does indeed make a New Testament commandment of the Lord to engage in polygamy.

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King Noah and the Redemption of Zion


This is an elaboration of a comment I left on this blog on October 17th, 2012.

Making sense of Noah

One of the most confusing aspects of the Book of Mormon is the account of king Noah and his people, all of whom went from a state of righteousness to exceedingly great wickedness seemingly overnight. This mystery, though, can be quite easily explained and cleared up if we just make two little assumptions: 1) that the land of first inheritance (the land of Nephi) given to Lehi’s descendants was the very land of Zion [see Footnote below], meaning the land upon which, and round about where, the city of New Jerusalem (Zion) would be built by the descendants of Lehi—in other words, the area known to us as Independence, Jackson County, Missouri—and 2) that the people of Nephi were aware of this fact.

This post takes that premise and runs with it, to explain the motivations behind the actions of Noah, his priests, his people and also Abinadi and Alma.

The land of Lehi-Nephi (the land Bountiful) = the land of Zion (Independence, Missouri)

Jesus told the Nephites:

but if they [the gentiles] will repent | and hearken unto my words | and harden not their hearts | i will establish my church among them | and they shall come in unto the covenant | and be numbered among this the remnant of jacob | unto whom i have given this land for their inheritance | and they [the gentiles] shall assist my people | the remnant of jacob | and also as many of the house of israel as shall come | that they may build a city | which shall be called the new jerusalem | (3 Ne. 21:22-23)

When Jesus made this statement, He was standing upon the land Bountiful, near the temple that was built there. This was the land given to the remnant of Jacob (that He was speaking to) for their inheritance. It is on that spot of land (their land of inheritance) that the remnant of Jacob will build the New Jerusalem.

Jesus also stated, while standing upon that same land:

verily | verily i say unto you | thus hath the father commanded me |

that i should give unto this people this land for their inheritance | and then the words of the prophet isaiah shall be fulfilled | which say |

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 god | (3 Ne. 16:16-20)

This is the same scripture that the priests of Noah quoted to Abinadi. It speaks of “bringing again Zion” and deals specifically with the land of Zion and the prophecies concerning the building of the New Jerusalem or city of Zion. When the priests of Noah quoted it to Abinadi, though, they were standing upon the land of Nephi.

Prophecy: history in reverse

The Nephites desired to know what would happen to their seed upon the land of promise, so they exercised faith:

for because of faith and great anxiety | it truly had been made manifest unto us concerning our people | what things should happen unto them | (Jacob 1:5)

and, according to their desires, God told them their future history by giving new prophecies:

and now | behold | i would speak unto you | concerning things which are | and which are to come | (2 Ne. 6:4)

The prophecies about the land of Zion, its redemption, the redemption of the people who would inherit and inhabit it (the seed of Lehi), and the holy city of God that they would build there were promises (prophecies) given to Lehi’s seed that would be fulfilled literally, not just metaphorically. Jacob taught that

the promises | which we have obtained | are promises unto us according to the flesh (2 Ne. 10:2)

So, the Nephites were blessed with a very full canon of scriptures and prophecies, brought from the Old World, in the form of the plates of brass, a kind of Bible on steroids, which the Nephite prophets fully expounded from the time of Jacob onward and they also had more scripture, pronounced by these same prophets:

behold | ye know | that i have spoken unto you exceedingly many things | nevertheless | i speak unto you again | for i am desirous for the welfare of your souls | yea | mine anxiety is great for you | and ye yourselves know | that it ever has been | for i have exhorted you with all diligence | and i have taught you the words of my father | and i have spoken unto you concerning all things | which are written | from the creation of the world | (2 Ne. 6:2-3)

This means that the Nephites possessed a whole lot more information than we do about the prophecies.

Restored knowledge

The revelation, then, that God gave to Joseph Smith about the New Jerusalem and the land of Zion, was, like everything else in this dispensation, a restoration, or restored knowledge. It was had anciently among the Nephites. They knew where the land of Zion was and they knew where the city of Zion or the New Jerusalem would be built. The city of Zion would be built by them because it was going to be built on their land of inheritance.

Now, the promised land of inheritance given to the seed of Lehi has never changed, nor will it. This is why the scripture says:

zion shall not be moved out of her place | (D&C 101:17)

zion cannot fall | neither be moved out of her place | (D&C 97:19)

The New Jerusalem can and will be built only upon the land of Zion and only by the seed of Lehi (with assistance from others.) There is no other appointed spot because the Lord has made irrevocable promises to Lehi and his seed.

The land of their “first inheritance” was the land of Zion

Zeniff wrote:

i | zeniff | having been taught in all the language of the nephites | and having had a knowledge of the land of nephi | or of the land of our fathers’ first inheritance | (Mosiah 9:1)

The land of their first inheritance would also end up being the land of their last inheritance, according to the principle that the first shall be last and the last shall be first, in all things.

Now, this land of Nephi was the same land that Nephi escaped to after Laman and Lemuel sought to take away his life. Nephi wrote:

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 | (2 Ne. 5:5-8)

The land of Nephi, then, was the area which is now known to us as Independence, Jackson County, Missouri. The people of Nephi lived in this land from the time of Nephi until the time of the first seer Mosiah. Amaleki wrote:

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)

From Mosiah onward, the Nephites lived in or around the land of Zarahemla, while the Lamanites took possession of the promised land (the land of Zion, which was the land of Nephi, or the land of first inheritance.) Nevertheless, it was the desire of every Nephite to return someday to that land and to redeem it, in order that the promises and prophecies be fulfilled.

Polygamy (Zarahemla) and monogamy (Nephi)

I suppose I ought to mention, at this point, that the people of Zarahemla, who were brought to the New World by Mulek, son of Zedekiah, king of Judah, had been given no monogamy restrictions by the Lord. As descendants of Jews, polygamy would have been their way of life.

After Mosiah discovered them and the two kingdoms were united under one banner, with Mosiah becoming king of both groups, they remained as a distinct group living a different set of laws. In other words, the people of Zarahemla lived the law of Moses, which allowed and even under some circumstances, commanded polygamy, whereas the people of Nephi lived the law of Moses which was modified by Lehi, their founding seer, which law allowed only monogamy, or which commanded the seed of Lehi to have only one wife and no concubines. To be even clearer, the commandment of monogamy given to Lehi’s seed was only applicable to the seed of Lehi. It had no application, whatsoever, to any other lineage. So, there were polygamists and monogamists living together under one national banner.

Much later on the people of Zarahemla would become numbered with the people of Nephi, meaning that they called themselves Nephites, or the children of Nephi, and adopted the law given to Lehi, which was monogamy. But from the time of their first landing, to the time of Mosiah discovering them, and finally to the time when they became numbered with the Nephites, polygamy was allowed for them. This is why we find that at the time of the numbering, the people of Zarahemla were more than double the population of the people of Nephi.

Now, I mention this here because if Noah, son of Zeniff, was born in Zarahemla and spent some of his childhood there, he would have grown up in that environment and would have noticed that the people of Zarahemla lived the unmodified, or more ancient form, of the law of Moses, which allowed polygamy, whereas the people of Nephi lived the modified, or more recent innovation of the law. But even if Noah did not grow up in Zarahemla, he would have been aware of these historical facts about the people living in Zarahemla.

Zeniff’s two trips to reclaim the land

Two expeditions to reclaim the land were made, as recorded by Amaleki:

and now | i would speak somewhat concerning a certain number | who went up into the wilderness to return to the land of nephi | for there was a large number | who were desirous to possess the land of their inheritance | wherefore | they went up into the wilderness | and their leader | being a strong and mighty man | and a stiffnecked man | wherefore | he caused a contention among them | and they were all slain | save fifty | in the wilderness | and they returned again to the land of zarahemla |

and it came to pass | that they also took others | to a considerable number | and took their journey again into the wilderness | and i | amaleki | had a brother | who also went with them | and i have not since known concerning them | and i am about to lie down in my grave | and these plates are full | and i make an end of my speaking | (Omni 1:27-30)

Zeniff was among both expeditions. He was the cause of the contention of the first expedition and he was the leader of the second expedition, which was successful in occupying the land.

Zeniff “redeemed” the land by bloodshed

The unnamed leader of the first expedition wanted to redeem the land of Zion by bloodshed, by attacking the Lamanites. Zeniff, though, wanted to enter into a treaty with the Lamanites and possess the land peacefully. During the second expedition, he did just that, but later the Lamanites reneged on their agreement and the Nephites who now possessed the land of their first inheritance ended up having to shed Lamanite blood anyway. It is, in this sense, that the land was “redeemed” by the shedding of blood.

Each Nephite king was (assumed to be) a prophet or seer or revelator

now | it was the custom among all the nephites to appoint for their chief captains | save it were in their times of wickedness | some one that had the spirit of revelation and also prophecy | therefore | this Gidgiddoni was a great prophet among them | as also was the chief judge | (3 Ne. 3:19)

This custom likely also applied to the time when they had kings.

Now, the Nephite king Mosiah was a seer. The Nephite king Zeniff, who led his expedition back to the land of Nephi after Mosiah had brought everyone to Zarahemla, was also a man of God, for he led his people in the strength of the Lord against Lamanite aggression and the Lord heard his prayers.

The assumption may have been, then, that each Nephite king was a man of God, capable of receiving revelations, prophecies and the like. The people of Noah would have looked at him with this same perspective.

Noah’s new revelation: the restoration and redemption of Zion

The reign and ministry of king Noah, son of Zeniff, was one of departure from what his father did. The easiest way to understand this departure is that Noah received a new revelation.

Now, it may have been a pretended revelation, thought up all by himself, for these Nephites kings were expected to be men of God, capable of receiving the word of God and that is a lot of pressure to be under. Noah may have wanted to leave a legacy behind him, as one who obtained something new from God for the people, therefore, he may have simply conceived of this himself.

Another possibility is that he got a revelation from the devil, or at least inspiration from the devil.

Whichever was the case, the result was the same. This new doctrinal idea went forth from him, first to the priests—and when the priests of his father would not accept his revelation, he interviewed other men who did accept it, and then ordained them, releasing his father’s priests from their callings—and then to the people, and it was accepted wholeheartedly by his people.

Noah also put himself out as a restorer, restoring the people to a proper worship of God, using the pure law of Moses without any of the additions of the doctrine of Christ, which was preached by Nephi and others of the Nephite prophets, nor any of the modifications made by Lehi (of monogamy.) The end result was very old school theology mixed with new school theology, with the stuff in the middle tossed out.

The gospel of Noah

The good news that Noah was giving his people was this: that the land of Zion had been redeemed by his father, by the shedding of blood, and that now they were the children of Zion, the ones who would fulfill all the prophecies of the prophets concerning this very special promised land. The land had been sanctified by the shedding of blood, and as it was redeemed, so were they, who lived upon it, redeemed, and they could now rejoice, for the great Millennial day was upon them and they would prosper in the land forever more. The promised day in which all things would come together in one was upon them and they would build and inherit and multiply in the land and be blessed by the Lord.

And so, to get on with the multiplying, a multimale-multifemale mating system was set up, where men took wives and concubines and also visited with harlots, that every available female in the land would do her part to conceive and bear redeemed children to live upon the already redeemed land of promise. Whereas the former commandments limited the number of Nephites, so that they remained small compared to the Lamanites, this new day of redemption called for a much larger population of redeemed souls, for they wanted to bring as many children as they could into their new paradise on earth.

That may have been the surface reason, given to the people, for why this new gospel of procreation was going around. Secretly, Noah may have realized that there was strength in numbers, for they were surrounded by an innumerable host of Lamanites. Therefore, this new revelation made much more practical and strategic sense than the previous ones that demanded the Nephites stick to monogamy, and thus small numbers.

As this was the land of Zion, which had the promises concerning the building of the city of Zion, Noah set about to construct many elaborate and spacious buildings, for Zion must be beautified. Again, the land of Zion was redeemed, as were the people living upon it, therefore their task was to build it up, to build up a city that would be worthy of the fulfillment of the prophecies. So, although Noah exacted a heavy tax from the people, of one-fifth of all they possessed, there wasn’t so much as a peep of a complaint from any of his people. They all saw eye to eye on this project, for they were building Zion, and Noah was the man God raised up and inspired to accomplish this task.

Now, the former priests, consecrated by his father, were not in the habit of telling people how good they were, but instead they were in the habit of admonishing the people for their sins. The new priests consecrated by Noah, though, understood his new gospel and revelation, which was quite literally good news, namely, that they were all redeemed of the Lord. “No more need to repent, just enjoy the blessings of the Lord that he has bestowed and do your part to build up the land.” In other words, everyone was now to be proud of their heritage and birthright, as heirs of the promised land. Pride was no longer a sin, but was the very gospel preached, for they were redeemed.

These priests began to practice idolatry—for whenever a people develop prideful hearts and come under the control of the devil, he introduces them to idolatry—and the priests then taught the people to also be idolatrous. In the minds of Noah, his priests and his people, they were already living the Millennial day, which was, as Joseph Smith wrote, “a time to come in the which nothing shall be withheld, whether there be one God or many gods, they shall be manifest” (D&C 121:28.) The priests of Noah had taken the liberty to divulge the “truths” that were to be revealed, namely that there be many gods, even idols, and they flattered the people into divulging in these sinful practices.

(There was, again, a hidden practicality to their practice of idolatry. Idolatry and excessive sexuality go hand in hand and the kingdom law was to procreate, so idolatry would only increase the number of pregnancies in the land.)

Regardless of the contrariness of Noah’s gospel to former commandments, none of that applied to these people, for they were now in a new dispensation, a time of redemption of both land and people, and the former constraints and commandments did not apply. New dispensations come with new commandments and revelations, and Noah’s reign was to be noted in history as the beginning of the children of redemption. They were the ones who did what others could not, because they were not, yet, redeemed.

Noah took for patterns what he found in the scriptures. For example, to get around the Lord’s prohibition on polygamy, he turned to Jacob’s words which actually presuppose that at some point the Lord would lift the ban on multiple wives and concubines for the seed of Lehi:

for if i will |

saith the lord of hosts |

raise up seed unto me | i will command my people | otherwise | they shall hearken unto these things |  (Jacob 2:30)

All he needed to say was that the time had finally and fully come, in which the Lord would lift the polygamy ban, using an Official Declaration, such as the following:

Aware of the promises made by the prophets and [kings] of the [Lord’s people] who have preceded us that at some time, in God’s eternal plan, all of our brethren who are worthy may receive [a plurality of wives], and witnessing the faithfulness of those from whom [multiple wives have] been withheld, we have pleaded long and earnestly in behalf of these, our faithful brethren, spending many hours in the Upper Room of the Temple [built by our father Nephi] supplicating the Lord for divine guidance.

He has heard our prayers, and by revelation has confirmed that the long-promised day has come when every faithful, worthy man [of the seed of Lehi living in this blessed land] may receive [additional wives, and concubines, too.]

The prophecies concerning the building of a great tower he thought to fulfill literally and built two of them, one near the temple (for the city of Lehi-Nephi) and one on a historically significant hill (for the city of Shilom.)

He read about vineyards and so he planted vineyards. He read that there would be a temple in Zion, but since Nephi had already built a temple there, he instead restored it and beautified it with all manner of fine workmanship to make it match more precisely the Solomon temple. Everything that seemed to indicate what would happen in the day of Zion’s redemption, he sought to do, that his reign would go down in history as the fulfillment of these prophecies.

It was all about the redemption of Zion

The basis for all this iniquity was that the prophecies concerning the redemption of Zion had already taken place, for their fathers had inherited the land, then had to leave it, then had come back (with Zeniff), fulfilling the prophecies of its redemption. Since the land had been redeemed, that meant that they themselves had also been redeemed. Their redemption was tied to the redemption of the land. As evidence of such redemption, all could see that they were prospering like crazy in the land. Also, because of their victory against the Lamanites, under the leadership of king Noah, the people believed that the strength of the Lord was still with them, which was more evidence of Noah’s inspired reign.

The truth of the matter, though, was that they had achieved that victory without the Lord’s strength, for He had retained it, and so when they began to boast that a small number of them could slay thousands of Lamanites, that was the final straw for the Lord and it was time to set them straight by sending another prophet to prophesy evil against them.

Abinadi’s teaching that redemption was tied to Christ

When Abinadi started preaching, he was seen as a disturber of the peace, for everyone was enjoying the high life, and he brought everyone low again with his “repent or be brought into bondage” sayings. Then, his sayings concerning the king really got on everyone’s nerves since everyone thought of king Noah as an inspired man of God, who had done marvels in his time as king, making the people happy and prosperous. Abinadi was like the cop that knocks on the door of a midnight party to tell the people in the house the noise is too loud and everyone needs to go home and stop partying. He was a total downer.

Noah had begun a gospel (good news) celebration based upon a perversion of the doctrine of redemption, and it had the unintended consequences of making them all weak, meaning that the Lord had removed His strength from them. They were literally on their own and were very soon to be brought into unbreakable bondage by the Lamanites. Abinadi was sent to get them to repent so that they could stave off the coming captivity.

The people’s reaction to Abinadi’s words, of anger and seeking to kill him, is understandable when one considers that they truly believed that what they were doing was the will of God, that their king and priests were men of God, that these (perverse) teachings had come down the proper and approved channels, that all that Noah and priests had taught had been confirmed by signs of peace, prosperity and (supposed) strength of the Lord, that there was no indication, whatsoever, that God was not blessing the people according to His promises, etc. Abinadi had no leg to stand on, in their view, but was slandering the entire population and making people feel bad about themselves, breaking the law himself (disturbing the peace) and speaking false prophecies. They, the people, were acting in righteousness in seeking to shut the mouth of this obvious false prophet, by killing him. Had not the ancients done the same?

Now, Abinadi was countering this redemption perversion by saying that they were not redeemed, at all, for all this evil he prophesied upon them could not come to pass on a redeemed population. Such evil could only befall sinners. The fulfillment of his prophecies, then, would be proof positive that Noah and priests were liars, and their doctrine was either of men or of the devil; and that the redemption of Zion had not yet come, nor would it until some other future day; also that redemption does not come from the land, but from Christ.

This was the question posed to Abinadi by one of the priests:

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)

In the eyes of Noah, his priests and his people, Noah was the one whose feet were beautiful, for Noah (and his priests) were bringing good tidings of good and publishing peace and salvation. Noah was the one saying to Zion—for, remember, they were living in the very land of Zion—that their God reigns. Noah had watchmen upon the tower. Noah’s people sang with the voice together and everyone saw eye to eye. Zion had been brought again, or it had been redeemed. The waste places of this new Jerusalem were being built up again. It was a time of comfort and joy and redemption, all because of Noah (and his father.) This is why the priest asked Abinadi about this scripture, for they all believed that it was fulfilled by Noah and they held it up as proof of his divine calling as their king.

If you read through Abinadi’s sermon, you will see that he mentions “redemption” 18 times, all pointing to the fact that it is God that redeems:

“…for they understood not that there could not any man be saved except it were through the redemption of God.”

“For behold, did not Moses prophesy unto them concerning the coming of the Messiah, and that God should redeem his people?”

“I would that ye should understand that God himself shall come down among the children of men, and shall redeem his people.”

“And thus God breaketh the bands of death, having gained the victory over death; giving the Son power to make intercession for the children of men…having redeemed them, and satisfied the demands of justice.”

“…all those who have hearkened unto their words, and believed that the Lord would redeem his people, and have looked forward to that day for a remission of their sins…are the heirs of the kingdom of God.

“For these are they whose sins he has borne; these are they for whom he has died, to redeem them from their transgressions.”

“For O how beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that is the founder of peace, yea, even the Lord, who has redeemed his people…”

“For were it not for the redemption which he hath made for his people, which was prepared from the foundation of the world…all mankind must have perished.”

“They are raised to dwell with God who has redeemed them; thus they have eternal life through Christ, who has broken the bands of death. “

“And thus the Lord bringeth about the restoration of these; and they have a part in the first resurrection, or have eternal life, being redeemed by the Lord. “

“But behold, and fear, and tremble before God, for ye ought to tremble; for the Lord redeemeth none such that rebel against him and die in their sins…“

“Therefore ought ye not to tremble? For salvation cometh to none such; for the Lord hath redeemed none such; yea, neither can the Lord redeem such; for he cannot deny himself; for he cannot deny justice when it has its claim. “

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

“And then shall the wicked be cast out, and they shall have cause to howl, and weep, and wail, and gnash their teeth; and this because they would not hearken unto the voice of the Lord; therefore the Lord redeemeth them not. “

“Thus all mankind were lost; and behold, they would have been endlessly lost were it not that God redeemed his people from their lost and fallen state.“

“But remember that he that persists in his own carnal nature, and goes on in the ways of sin and rebellion against God, remaineth in his fallen state and the devil hath all power over him. Therefore he is as though there was no redemption made, being an enemy to God; and also is the devil an enemy to God. “

“Therefore, if ye teach the law of Moses, also teach that it is a shadow of those things which are to come—teach them that redemption cometh through Christ the Lord, who is the very Eternal Father. Amen.”

Redemption through Christ is the topic of Abinadi’s sermon because these people believed they were already redeemed, through the redemption of the land of Zion, without the necessity of believing in Christ, etc.

The result: captivity

After they killed Abinadi—and sought to kill the sole convert among the priests, who was Alma—and the Lamanites came in, subjecting them to bondage, affliction and death, they were faced with the realization that they were not the redeemed children of Zion, and that they had misunderstood the prophecies, putting them in the wrong context and breaking a host of the Lord’s still-in-force commandments. Essentially, these people had their hopes completely dashed to pieces and had to start from an exceedingly humble place.

Now, this people fell into these grave errors because they put their trust in their leaders, even their king and priests, trusting that they interpreted the prophecies correctly, instead of searching the scriptures themselves and coming to their own, God-inspired conclusions. Had they done the legwork of searching the scriptures and obtaining the gift of the Holy Ghost for themselves, neither Noah nor his priests could have deceived them with false revelations. As we know, it turned out that Noah and his priests were wrong in their interpretations on the prophecies, so wrong in fact that it resulted in death, destruction of property, bondage, humiliation (the Lamanites treated them like dumb asses) and general misery. This shows that misinterpreting a prophecy can have disastrous results.

It also shows why Alma was so emphatic in the teaching that he gave to his people of trusting no one:

trust no man to be a king over you | and also trust no one to be your teacher | nor your minister | except he be a man of god | walking in his ways | and keeping his commandments | (Mosiah 23:13-14)

Don’t mess with the land of Zion

There appears to be a blessing and a curse upon that land. Those who live upon it, who have the laws of God, must live them, otherwise, captivity and destruction will be their lot. This may be one of the reasons why Mosiah left that land, and also why eventually Alma and Limhi left, to preserve their people from destruction. It requires a righteous people, otherwise, nobody can be established there as Zion.

The unconverted Lamanites, and now also the non-Mormon Gentiles, who currently live there, appear to be the temporary care-takers of the land, and it might be wise to leave it that way, until such time arrives that the Lord specifically and plainly commands and leads His people to return and redeem it.

This might be an important point to keep in mind, since what Noah and his priests did upon that land may be repeated in the future with another group of unauthorized persons, that attempts to “redeem Zion,” with the same (or even more) disastrous results.

Gentiles upon the land of Zion

Here are the Lord’s words regarding the establishment of Zion, given to the Nephites while He stood in the land Bountiful:

and verily i say unto you |

i give unto you a sign | that ye may know the time | when these things shall be about to take place | that i shall gather in | from their long dispersion | my people | o house of israel | and shall establish again among them my zion |

and behold | this is the thing | which i will give unto you for a sign | for verily I say unto you |

that when these things | which i declare unto you | and which i shall declare unto you hereafter of myself | and by the power of the holy ghost | which shall be given unto you of the father | shall be made known unto the gentiles | that they may know concerning this people | who are a remnant of the house of Jacob | and concerning this my people | who shall be scattered by them |

verily | verily i say unto you |

when these things shall be made known unto them of the father | and shall come forth of the father from them unto you |

for it is wisdom in the father | that they should be established in this land | and be set up as a free people by the power of the father | that these things might come forth from them unto a remnant of your seed | that the covenant of the father may be fulfilled | which he hath covenanted with his people | o house of israel |

therefore | when these works | and the works which shall be wrought among you hereafter | shall come forth from the gentiles unto your seed | which shall dwindle in unbelief because of iniquity |

for thus it behooveth the father | that it should come forth from the gentiles | that he may show forth his power unto the gentiles | for this cause |

that the gentiles | if they will not harden their hearts | that they may repent | and come unto me | and be baptized in my name | and know of the true points of my doctrine | that they may be numbered among my people | o house of israel |

and when these things come to pass | that thy seed shall begin to know these things | it shall be a sign unto them | that they may know | that the work of the father hath already commenced unto the fulfilling of the covenant | which he hath made unto the people | who are of the house of israel | (3 Ne. 21:1-7)

Now, the meaning of these words it this: when the establishment of Zion commences in the land of Zion (Independence, Jackson County, Missouri area), there will be Gentiles established upon that very land and living in anarchy, gathered there by the miraculous power of the Father. They will then receive additional records, which they will share with the remnant of Jacob. When these events occur, that will be the sign to the remnant of Jacob that the fulfillment of the covenant the Lord made with their fathers has commenced.

This true gathering of Gentiles upon the land of Zion will be attended by the miraculous works of the Father and will fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah: “The Lord hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations,” or Gentiles. However, prior to that true gathering, there may be false gatherings of Gentiles, which are not attended to by the power of the Father. Jacob prophesied:

but behold | this land |

said god |

shall be a land of thine inheritance |

and the gentiles shall be blessed upon the land |

and this land shall be a land of liberty unto the gentiles |

and there shall be no kings upon the land | who shall raise up unto the gentiles |

and i will fortify this land against all other nations |

and he that fighteth against zion shall perish |

saith god |

for he | that raiseth up a king against me | shall perish | for i | the lord | the king of heaven | will be their king | and i will be a light unto them forever | that hear my words | (2 Ne. 10:10-14)

These words are speaking of the same establishment-of-Zion event. The land in question is the land of Zion (Independence, Jackson County, Missouri area.) These prophecies have shadows, of course, but the literal and last fulfillment concerns a specific spot of land and a specific group of Gentiles. The other Gentiles, or other nations, as it is written—for the text could have also been worded this way: “and i will fortify this land against all other gentiles”—will raise up, or attempt to raise up, kings, contrary to the commandment of God, and these other groups of Gentiles will perish, for they misunderstand and misinterpret the prophecies, which brings disaster upon them.

So, there will be no kings raised up unto one group of Gentiles, while another group (or groups) will raise up king(s) and will perish. This latter group (or groups, for this prophecy may be fulfilled multiple times), will be those who gather upon the land of Zion and attempt to establish Zion and fulfill the prophecy without being authorized or directed by the Lord, just as king Noah and people did thousands of years earlier.

Mormon put the account of king Noah and his people in his book because it would be especially applicable to our times, for these same tactics inspired by Satan, of false gatherings upon the land of Zion and forcing the fulfillment of the prophecies about Zion, would be repeated.


Footnote: If Independence, Jackson County, Missouri currently does not match the pre-destruction descriptions of the land of Nephi, it does not matter, because after the death of Christ, Mormon tells us:

and there was a great and terrible destruction in the land southward |

but behold | there was a more great and terrible destruction in the land northward |

for behold | the whole face of the land was changed | because of the tempest | and the whirlwinds | and the thunderings | and the lightnings | and the exceedingly great quaking of the whole earth | (3 Ne. 8:11-12)

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The real Jonah: holy prophet and type of Christ


Some years ago I attended a Sunday school class on the book of Jonah. The teacher did a very good job presenting the standard Mormon view of Jonah, but I found myself disagreeing with it, not from any logical standpoint, but simply because it felt wrong. So I opened up the book of Jonah and read the whole of it during that class (it’s only four chapters, so this is not any great feat.) As I read, a new view of the prophet Jonah opened up to my view.

At the time, I didn’t know what to make of it and decided to keep my mouth shut during the class, since it was a complete departure from the perspectives that everyone else was giving. After the class, I had opportunity to approach the teacher and told him I had gotten a new view of Jonah and wanted to tell him about it. He expressed interest in knowing my thoughts so I told him I would send him an email later that day. I went home that day, composed the email and sent it off to him. I never kept a copy of it for myself. He wrote back saying it was interesting, but that it really wasn’t supported by the text. I left it at that and never mentioned it again to anyone else, essentially forgetting all about it.

A few days ago I picked up a Bible and it fell open to the book of Jonah, so I read it. Bible scholars typically say that Jonah was “proud, self-centered, pouting, jealous, blood-thirsty; a good patriot and lover of Israel, without proper respect for God or love for his enemies” (Zondervan Pictorial Bible Dictionary, Merrill C. Tenny, Zondervan Publishing House, 1976, pg. 442.) As I read the book, I had this characterization of Jonah in my mind, but when I got to the last chapter, I recalled that I had once in the past re-interpreted Jonah quite differently. I tried to recall that interpretation, but couldn’t remember it. The only thing I could remember was that instead of casting Jonah in a negative light, it cast him in a very good light.

Frustrated that I could not remember the interpretation, I decided to re-read the book of Jonah yet again, this time with my mind fixed that Jonah was a holy prophet that acted righteously, in the hope that this would trigger my brain’s memory recall function. As soon as I read verse one, the interpretation I had received years ago popped right back into my mind, in its fulness, including the circumstances on how I came to think of it.

As I disclaimer, I do not know where this information comes from, but I wanted to write it down somewhere (and I have chosen this blog) so that when the full records come forth that show us the life and ministry of Jonah, we would be able to compare this to that and discover whether this was just a foolish imagination of my heart or if it was given of the Spirit.

Before I begin, let me quote this, taken from the Times and Seasons blog:

Karl D has already pointed us to the LDS Church’s official position with regard to Jonah (and Job):

In October 1922 . . . the First Presidency received a letter from Joseph W. McMurrin asking about the position of the church with regard to the literality of the Bible. Charles W. Penrose, with Anthony W. Ivins, writing for the First Presidency, answered that the position of the church was that the Bible is the word of God as far as it was translated correctly. They pointed out that there were, however, some problems with the Old Testament. The Pentateuch, for instance, was written by Moses, but “it is evident that the five books passed through other hands than Moses’s after his day and time. The closing chapter of Deuteronomy proves that.” While they thought Jonah was a real person, they said it was possible that the story as told in the Bible was a parable common at the time. The purpose was to teach a lesson, and it “is of little significance as to whether Jonah was a real individual or one chosen by the writer of the book” to illustrate “what is set forth therein.” They took a similar position on Job. What is important, Penrose and Ivins insisted, was not whether the books were historically accurate, but whether the doctrines were correct.

Alexander, Thomas G., 1996, Mormonism in Transition: A History of the Latter-Day Saints, 1890-1930, University of Illinois Press (Paperback), page 283.

The important part of that quote is that

they said it was possible that the story [of Jonah] as told in the Bible was a parable common at the time. The purpose was to teach a lesson, and it “is of little significance as to whether Jonah was a real individual or one chosen by the writer of the book” to illustrate “what is set forth therein.”

In other words, assuming that this originated from the Spirit (and I’m not saying that it did), perhaps the interpretation I got was based upon the real events of the real Jonah, and not so much on the parable that is today known as the book of Jonah, which is why this interpretation and the standard one are so different. Okay, here it is:

Jonah’s self sacrifice

Now the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me. (Jonah 1:1.)

Jonah received a message from the Lord, in the which he was shown (by vision) the great city Nineveh, the exceedingly great wickedness of its inhabitants and the impending destruction that would very soon come upon them due to their iniquities. He was overcome by what he saw, both by their abominations and also by the scene of destruction that would shortly ensue. He was told to go to Nineveh and prophesy of their utter destruction unless they repented of all their sins, according to the vision which he had seen. This was to be done that they would be left without excuse.

Instead, Jonah thought upon the principle given to Ezekiel:

When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul. (Ezekiel 33:8-9)

Based upon what he saw in the vision of Nineveh, Jonah did not believe that such wicked people would ever repent of their sins, for there were all manner of abominations among them, greater than he had ever seen. His reasoning was that if he went and prophesied, as the Lord commanded, they would be left without excuse, according to the word of the Lord, and thus would be fully condemned and perish spiritually and physically. If, however, he did not go and prophesy to them, they would still die in their sins, but having not been fully warned, they would have an excuse and a better chance in the afterlife.

Jonah was moved to compassion for them and sought to take upon himself their sins by not prophesying. He vowed to offer himself as a sacrifice and was putting his faith on the fact that the Lord was “a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness” (Jonah 4:2) and would turn “away the evil that He had said He would bring upon them” (JST Jonah 3:10.)* His desire was to turn the Lord’s wrath, which was waxing hot upon the Ninevites, toward himself, that he might suffer in their place, so that they might be spared.

But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. (Jonah 1:3.)

So, he fled from his mission, going in the opposite direction. This physical action of going in the opposite direction was symbolic of the turning of the Lord’s head away from Nineveh, which was according to Jonah’s desire. The Lord’s head and attention were focused on, and looking to, the right, at Nineveh, so Jonah went to the left, causing the Lord’s head to turn away from Nineveh and focus instead on Jonah. His physical action had a spiritual dimension to it, according to his desire of faith.

Although Jonah had disobeyed the instructions of the Lord, the intentions of this heart were in the right place, which is why the Spirit of the Lord did not leave him. In fact, it appears that the Lord accepted his vow to sacrifice himself because his desire to take the sins of the Ninevites upon himself pleased the Lord. Jonah became, by his actions, desires and the sorrow for sin that he felt (his exceedingly broken heart and contrite spirit), a type of the Lord Jesus, foreshadowing what the Savior would do in the flesh.

But the Lord sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken. (Jonah 1:4.)

The Lord grants according to the desires of the children of men, according to their faith. Jonah desired in faith to be sacrificed, to save the Ninevites, and the Lord accordingly sent out the tempest, to accept his sacrifice. Jonah did not fear death. In fact, he welcomed it, for this was what he desired. The Gentile sailors, on the other hand, did fear death and they all called upon their gods to save them from destruction. Jonah was sleeping down below and the ship-master woke him up and asked him to pray to his own God for the salvation of the ship.

The tempest was not of an ordinary nature, and the sailors rightly ascribed it as supernatural, caused by some god to destroy one of those in the ship. They cast lots to see who was the one responsible for the storm, or who was the one that incited the anger of the god that was creating the storm. The lot fell upon Jonah and they asked him who he was and why the supernatural storm was upon them.

And he said unto them, I am an Hebrew; and I fear the Lord, the God of heaven, which hath made the sea and the dry land. (Jonah 1:9.)

Jonah took the opportunity and preached the gospel to the sailors and presented himself to them as both a holy prophet of the Lord and also as a sacrifice for the sins of the Ninevites. All the sailors on the ship converted to the Lord, for he preached with power and authority from God and the Spirit of the Lord was present, testifying to the sailors of the truthfulness of his message. Jonah knew that the Lord had accepted his intent to self-sacrifice and had prepared the storm for this very purpose. When the sailors asked him what they should do to get the supernatural storm to calm down, Jonah prophesied to them that if they tossed him into the sea, the storm would cease.

This, however, was not something that the sailors wanted to do, for they had converted to the Lord through Jonah’s preaching and so tried, instead, to row the ship to land, but to no avail. Finally, convinced by the raging tempest, by Jonah himself and by the workings of the Spirit of the Lord upon them, confirming to them that it was the will of the Lord that Jonah be tossed overboard, these new Gentile converts prayed to the Lord to spare the ship and to not be held responsible for causing Jonah to drown in the sea, calling him “innocent blood.” After their prayer, the sailor converts tossed Jonah overboard and continued to worship the Lord with sacrifice and vows.

Jonah dies and is brought back to life

Jonah died in those waters and the Lord prepared a sea creature to swallow his body. His physical body remained inside the creature for three days and three nights, while his spirit body went to the spirit world. After the three days and nights were over, he was brought back to life and the sea creature spat him out onto the shore. During the three day interval, Jonah prayed to the Lord in spirit and in truth, a prayer of the truly penitent and the Lord heard him and answered him by putting him alive upon dry ground.

At that point, Jonah was a new man. He had died and returned from the dead. He had intimate knowledge about the afterlife, both of hell and paradise, as well as what it meant to die and to come back to life again. He was unique among all the prophets, having received a vision of the spirit world that no one else in his time had been given.

Jonah is called to preach again

And the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the second time, saying, Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee. So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord. (Jonah 3:1-3.)

This time Jonah did as he was commanded. Nevertheless, he still fully believed that the Ninevites would not repent, but based upon his three day “out of body” or “in the body of a sea creature” experience, he now desired to preach repentance to them and spare them from the afterlife they would receive if they died in their sins. What he did not understand was that his experiences on the ship, in the sea creature and in the spirit world would make his preaching and prophesying overwhelmingly powerful, so that when he got to Nineveh and traveled a day’s journey into it and then started preaching, his message would have a profound effect upon the people.

And Jonah began to enter into the city a day’s journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown. (Jonah 3:4.)

Jonah’s preaching and prophesying can be compared to Lehi, who prophesied the destruction of Jerusalem. When Lehi testified to the Jews, “he truly testified of their wickedness and their abominations.” Jonah did the same. He had seen what they were doing in vision and he testified of all their wickedness and abominations, all their secret acts of iniquity. He preached the gospel of faith and repentance to them, told them of their evil deeds done in secrecy, told them of the destruction which awaited them in forty days if they did not repent in sackcloth and ashes and told them of the afterlife that awaited them when dead. He recounted his experiences on the ship, in the sea, in the sea creature and in the spirit world, including him coming back to life. He spoke to multitudes and then bade them to go and tell everyone in the city. When Jonah was finished delivering his message in all the great squares and plazas where people gathered, he took his leave of the city, traveling eastward and setting up a shelter where he had a view of the city and could witness with his own two eyes its destruction.

Now, the Ninevites were amazed at Jonah’s preaching, for he preached in power and authority and had knowledge of all their secret abominations. They deemed it impossible that Jonah could know these things except it was through the power of a god and took all his testimony of their secret works of wickedness as a witness that Jonah was speaking the very words of God, for this was the reason why Jonah was instructed by God to tell them of these things. The same principle was offered to Oliver Cowdery as a witness:

And now, behold, you have received a witness; for if I have told you things which no man knoweth have you not received a witness? (D&C 6:24)

Unlike the Jews in Jerusalem during Lehi’s time, who also had their secret works (which no man knew of) revealed by a prophet of God, for Lehi saw these iniquities in vision, but who mocked Lehi and rejected his testimony because Lehi lived among them and was aware of the ways and customs of the Jews as well as the words of the other prophets among them, and who therefore dismissed his claims of divine knowledge, the Ninevites could not account for how Jonah knew these things, for Jonah had just arrived and was a foreigner that knew nothing of them, except as God had told him. So, they accepted Jonah’s testimony as God-given, and all that Jonah said, all of it, as valid and true.

When Jonah left the city to set up camp on the east side of it, he wasn’t aware of the effect his preaching had had upon the men of the city. After the multitudes listened to him in amazement, they followed his instructions and repeated to everyone they knew the words he had spoken. Eventually, every last person in the entire city had heard the message, from the least to the greatest, and they were all equally affected or moved by it, and struck by a sense of urgency, for it was a timed message of destruction: repent in 40 days or perish. Therefore the king and his nobles acted rapidly, proclaiming a fast throughout the city and encouraging everyone to repent in sackcloth and pray to the Lord for forgiveness.

Jonah was in his shelter overlooking the city and could not see what was going on in it. He was of the thought that they were going about their lives as usual, unrepentant and fully ripening in inquity, his preaching having been in vain. Ever the man of sorrows, he became angry at the situation.

But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry. (Jonah 4:1)

The text of the book of Jonah is essentially correct, but is written in a fashion that seems to cast him in a negative light. This particular verse should have come after Jonah 3:4, so that the text instead read: “And Jonah began to enter into the city a day’s journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown. But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry.” Instead, it comes after Jonah 3:10 so that it reads: “And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not. But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry.” In other words, Jonah 3:5-10 is an insertion between Jonah 3:4 and Jonah 4:1. The insertion tells what happens to the Ninevites after Jonah’s preaching, but the insertion can be removed and the text would flow accurately from Jonah 3:4 to Jonah 4:1.

Now, it did not displease Jonah that the Ninevites were repenting of their sins, for he was not aware of what was happening in the city. No, what displeased Jonah was that he had to deliver a message of doom and that his preaching was in vain, for he believed that they had not repented, or would not repent, and that he was sent to this city for nothing.

And he prayed unto the Lord, and said, I pray thee, O Lord, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil. Therefore now, O Lord, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live. (Jonah 4:2-3.)

Once again Jonah turned to his old way of doing things, petitioning the Lord to take his life as a sacrifice, to allow him to take upon himself their sins, that the Lord would spare the city in return for his own life. He made this petition because he had no faith that they would repent. Also, because he lamented having to witness again the great destruction of Nineveh with his physical eyes, which he had already seen with his spiritual eyes in vision.

Then said the Lord, Doest thou well to be angry? (Jonah 4:4.)

The Lord knew what was happening in the city, but Jonah did not. To teach Jonah a lesson that the Lord’s heart was even greater than Jonah’s, He caused a gourd to grow overnight, making Jonah glad for the shade it offered him, and then He had a worm wither it the next night, making Jonah uncomfortable in the heat of the day and an east wind. Once again, Jonah was miserable and wished to die, for Jonah’s heart sorrowed for all life lost, even that of a gourd.

And God said to Jonah, Doest thou well to be angry for the gourd? And he said, I do well to be angry, even unto death. Then said the Lord, Thou hast had pity on the gourd, for the which thou hast not laboured, neither madest it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night: and should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle?  (Jonah 4:9-11.)

It was at this point that Jonah learned from the Lord that the Ninevites had repented of their sins and that the Lord had spared them from destruction. At this news, Jonah rejoiced and returned to Nineveh, where he was hailed as a hero and holy prophet sent from the Lord. The conversion of Nineveh was held to be a great miracle on the same grand scale as Melchizedek’s preaching to Salem:

Now this Melchizedek was a king over the land of Salem; and his people had waxed strong in iniquity and abomination; yea, they had all gone astray; they were full of all manner of wickedness; but Melchizedek having exercised mighty faith, and received the office of the high priesthood according to the holy order of God, did preach repentance unto his people. And behold, they did repent; and Melchizedek did establish peace in the land in his days; therefore he was called the prince of peace, for he was the king of Salem; and he did reign under his father. Now, there were many before him, and also there were many afterwards, but none were greater; therefore, of him they have more particularly made mention. (Alma 13:17-19.)

In the same way that Salem did for Melchizedek, the Ninevite converts of that time “more particularly made mention” of Jonah’s name. To them, Jonah was the greatest prophet of all time and they were all aware of his various attempts to offer his life as a sacrifice for their sins and to be their advocate and mediator before the Lord. This love that he had for them was reciprocated by them and when the full records come forth we will see just how highly esteemed Jonah was by that generation and also throughout generations of Ninevites. Even the Lord took notice of Jonah’s unique spirit. It was Jonah’s proclivity to self-sacrifice that caused Jesus to point to him as one of His types.

Jonah’s preaching was on a par with the greatest of all preachers, for everyone he preached to converted, without exception. All of the men on the ship converted to the Lord as well as all 120,000 Ninevites. In fact, Jonah may have been on the same level as Nephi, whose preaching power was so great that “it were not possible that they could disbelieve his words” (3 Ne. 7:18.) This is important to understand because when Jesus said that “a greater than Jonas is here” (Matt. 12:41 and Luke 11:32), He was comparing Himself to one of the greatest of all preachers, if not the very greatest. So, the Savior essentially was saying, “This is the greatest preacher you’ve had, and he truly was great, but I’m even greater.”

*Note: Jonah became a mediator of the Ninevites, mediating between them and the Lord and advocating their cause before Him. He did the same thing that Moses did for the Israelites—who pleaded with the Lord to pardon the iniquities of the people each time His wrath waxed hot and He was about to destroy them and make a new nation out of Moses—by appealing to the Lord’s gracious nature. See Exodus 32, Numbers 14 and Deuteronomy 9.

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Wives, follow your husbands! – Patriarchy, androcracy and the egalitarian tribe


My text for this post are the following scriptural passages, written by the apostles Peter and Paul:

Peter: Wives, be in subjection to obedient and disobedient husbands

Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conduct of the wives; while they behold your chaste conduct coupled with fear.  Let your adorning be not that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and wearing of gold, or putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.  For after this manner in old times the holy women, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands; even as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord; whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do will, and are not afraid with any amazement. (1 Peter 3: 1-6 Inspired Version)

Paul: Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. (Colossians 3: 18 Inspired Version)

Paul: Wives, your husband is your head, submit and subject yourselves to him

But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. (1 Corinthians 11: 3 Inspired Version)

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.  For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church; and he is the Savior of the body.  Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. (Ephesians 5: 22-24 Inspired Version)

Androcracy

Androcracy is “rulership by the men.”  (From Webster’s 3rd Unabridged International Dictionary.)

Although there is little doubt that biblical patriarchy existed, what Peter and Paul taught under the gospel framework in the above scriptural passages was theological androcracy, not biblical patriarchy.  Patriarchy is androcracy with the added dimension of father-right.  Here are the definitions of patriarchy and patriarch, as well as matriarchy, from the same dictionary.

Patriarch

A patriarch is “the father and ruler of a family or tribe; one ruling his family or descendants by paternal right; –usually applied to heads of families in ancient history, esp. in Biblical and Jewish history to those who lived before Moses.”  The word comes from patri-, meaning father + arch, meaning a leader, chief.

Patriarchy

A state or stage of social development characterized by the supremacy of the father in the clan or family in both domestic and religious functions, the legal dependence of wife, or wives, and children, and the reckoning of descent and inheritance in the male line.  Patriarchy is distinguished from androcracy, or the physical and social supremacy of men in primitive society, patriarchy being held to involve, besides such supremacy, father right (adaptation of the Ger. Vaterrecht), or descent and inheritance in the male line.

Matriarchy

A state or stage of social evolution in which descent is reckoned only in the female line, all children belonging to the mother’s clan.  Such a system increases the mother’s social and political importance, making her the head of the family and the guardian of religious rites and traditions.  Hence, with many writers matriarchy means not only descent reckoned through the female line (called uterine descent, or cognation), but also rulership by woman.  Others, however, discriminate the rights and customs characteristic of uterine descent, as mother-right (adaptation of G. Mutterrecht), from the political or domestic supremacy of woman, known as gynecocracy, or gynocracy, “rulership by women,” or metrocracy, “rulership by mothers.”  Matriarchy in the narrow sense (that is, as “mother-right”) is found among many primitive peoples; whether it ever existed in the broader sense is disputed.

The priesthood is patterned after the egalitarian tribe

We modern LDS tend to view the the gospel in terms of only patriarchy and androcracy, but this view is only held because we are not numbered in functioning tribes.  The gospel, when lived tribally, encompasses patriarchy, matriarchy, androcracy, gynocracy, father-right and mother-right.  When taken out of the tribal context, some aspects of it manifest or dominate more, while others are suppressed, depending on the non-tribal culture we find ourselves in.  The gospel can be adapted to the cultures and societies of the world, but it is designed to be lived in egalitarian tribes.

Because of the gospel’s tribal nature, the organization of the priesthood mimics that of the egalitarian tribe.  Bishops, bishoprics, counselors, common judges, higher judges, lower judges, high councils, presidencies, apostles, seventies, quorums, etc., all have their counterpart in egalitarian tribal organization.

Tribal bishops

A man married to a woman acts in the office of a bishop.  The office of a bishop “is in administering all temporal things” (D&C 107: 68) and in being a common judge.  This is the duty of a husband, to provide the temporal (material) necessities of life for his wife and children, and to sit as a judge in his family.

His wife, as his helpmeet, may act as his counselor in matters of temporal administration or in judgment of family affairs, or may simply defer all judgment to him, allowing him to sit as a literal descendant of Aaron, without counselors.

The tribal bishop (with the single counselor) is superior to the church bishop because there is a covenantal bond between bishop and counselor.

Tribal bishoprics

When a man is married to two wives, the arrangement corresponds to a bishopric with two counselors.  The two wives are not equal to the man, just as a bishopric’s counselors are not equal to the bishop: he is the wives’ bishop (with responsibility to provide temporal salvation) and they are the husband’s counselors.  Because of the covenantal bonds between the man and his wives, this marriage bishopric is superior to a church bishopric.

Common judge

A husband in a tribe sits as a common judge of the wife with whom he lives and their children.

Higher judges the lower; lower judges the higher

The gospel principle set forth in the Book of Mormon of a system of higher and lower judges, the lower one judging the higher and the higher judging the lower, is based upon ancient tribunals (tribe-unals), or tribal judgment systems.

Higher and lower judges

When a man has more than one wife, his wives form a quorum or council of lower judges. Because common consent must reign supreme, the combined decision of his wives upon his head is the end of controversy concerning him. If a husband, a common judge, acts up the lower judges (the wives) can convene to decide the issue.

When a woman has more than one husband, her husbands form a quorum or council of higher judges. If she acts up, the matter can be taken before a council of her husbands, for judgment.

These are the true “courts of love,” for all these people are married to each other and are under covenant to love one another. They are superior to church higher, lower and common judges, as well as church higher and lower courts of love. The church courts are mere imitations of the tribal courts.

A jury of peers

In an egalitarian tribal system, the jury of peers consists of the husbands of your wife, or the wives of your husband. The modern jury of peers is inferior to the tribal peers, because there is no mechanism to link the peers together. In the tribal system, they all have a vested interest that justice and mercy be done, for they are all linked together through a web of marriage covenants.

Priesthood councils, presidencies and quorums

Every conceivable priesthood council, presidency and quorum is found within the tribal quorums and councils of husbands. Three husbands of one wife form a presidency. Twelve husbands of one wife who are free to travel, form a quorum of apostles (sent ones). Seven husbands of one wife who are free to travel, form a presidency of seventy. Seventy husbands who are free to travel form a quorum of seventy. 12, 24, 48, or 96 husbands form quorums of deacons, teachers, priests and elders.

The United Order

A woman who has multiple husbands essentially is married to multiple bishops, meaning she is married to men who are responsible for her temporal welfare. Her husbands form a bishopric quorum, or quorum of bishops, in which they share what they have with each other and with their wives and children, so that all have everything common. They are bound to the all the wives by covenant to care for them and thus are bound (or linked through her) to each other, also. In other words, this is the what the United Order is patterned after. The United Order binds men together by covenant to care for the poor and the needy and to dispose of their material possessions in their behalf.

Androcracy and patriarchy are found in egalitarian tribes

The egalitarian tribe is what Zion is based upon, nevertheless, an egalitarian tribe may or may not use the gospel as its tribal law. Just as a husband is free to “obey not the word” of God, so an entire egalitarian tribe is free to adopt or reject the gospel. But regardless of whether a husband obeys the word of God or rejects it, the gospel, being patterned after the egalitarian tribe, requires that wives submit or subject themselves to their husbands. This is a manifestation of androcracy. The husband is the common judge, the bishop. When there are multiple husbands, they constitute the high council, or higher judges.

When one husband lives with the wife and the other husbands live with other wives, the children of the one wife that lives with the one husband may be counted as posterity of the one husband, even though any of the husbands may have fathered the children and despite all husbands treating them as their own flesh and blood. But on the tribal records, all children may be written down as being fathered by the one husband living with the wife. This is a manifestation of patriarchy.

Gynocracy and matriarchy are also found in egalitarian tribes

When acting as a quorum or council, as a court, as a jury of peers, or when giving or withholding consent, the wives manifest gynocracy. All the children born to a woman are posterity of that woman and her lineage is recorded on tribal records. This is a manifestation of matriarchy or mother-right (uterine descent). If the woman lives with multiple husbands and not just one of her husbands, then uterine descent is the preferred method of recording lineage.

When a woman marries a man from another clan or tribe, she remains with her clan and her husband leaves his own clan to join with her clan, not vice versa. The gospel imitates this tribal function by instructing the man to leave his father and mother and become one flesh with his wife.

Gospel checks and balances

The gospel provides checks and balances to abuses that may result in relationships between men and women.  Although women are instructed to obey their husbands, even if the husbands are not themselves obeying the gospel, the law of common consent still applies.  Also, men are instructed to love their wives and to use only persuasion, long-suffering, gentleness, unfeigned love, kindness and pure knowledge to influence their wives.  If any husband attempts to maintain his power or influence over his wives by virtue of his title of husband, or if he attempts to exercise control or unrighteous dominion over his wives, his authority as a husband is null and void and his wife is justified in withdrawing her consent from him.  But as long as that husband follows the gospel-prescribed way of influencing people, even if the man himself is an unbeliever, or was a believer in the gospel but has since departed from it, or even if the man believes in the gospel but his views of the gospel have become markedly different than the wife’s, she is still bound by the gospel to obey him.

Proper protocol: go through covenant lines of authority

Sometimes a woman is tempted to by-pass her husband and his divinely appointed leadership and go to an ecclesiastical (church) authority for direction.  She may feel justified to talk to her bishop, or perhaps even to her stake president, about her husband, because she feels that his beliefs about, and actions concerning, the gospel are incorrect.  She may feel that he is breaking his gospel covenants in some way, shape or form (even though he himself may not see them as broken).  Or, perhaps he no longer believes in the gospel.  Because of this, she may see him as a sinner and as a man no longer worthy of following, submitting and subjecting herself to.

If she goes to see the bishop or stake president for guidance and direction, by-passing her husband and tattle-telling on him, she will be guilty of committing sin.  Men and women are free to believe what they will and act however they want.  They are free to accept the gospel, modify the gospel or reject it outright.  As long as a husband is following the proper manner of influencing a wife, in other words, as long as there is no unrighteous dominion, the wife is to obey the husband.  That is the gospel law.  He can start drinking and smoking and swearing, he can start growing a beard and stop wearing ties, he can do all sorts of things that his wife may think are incompatible with the gospel, but as long as he is not exercising unrighteous dominion, she is bound by the gospel law to submit to his authority.

The reason why there is no gospel justification in holding a bishop or stake president’s authority above a husband’s is because the Lord considers the authority of a husband as carrying more weight than the authority of a bishop or stake president.  The bishop or stake president is under no covenant relationship with the man’s wife.  They have no vested interest in her.  They have not become one with her.  The husband, though, has become one with her and has a vested interest in her, and she in him.  Even without the priesthood, the husband still acts in the tribal office of bishop and common judge.  The Lord looks upon him as if he were an un-ordained priest, as if he possessed priesthood.  And the Lord fully recognizes the tribal authority of that man.

When a wife goes to a priesthood holder who has no covenantal relationship to her, for leadership and guidance, she shows by her actions that she has no respect for her husband’s tribal office, nor for the gospel law or their marriage covenant.  She disrespects both her husband and the Lord.

Proper priesthood protocol is to go through the lines of authority.  The first line of authority that a wife has access to is her husband with whom she is living.  This line is created by her covenantal relationship to him.  Her next lines of authority are all her other husbands, who do not live with her, but who also have covenantal relationships with her.  The next line of authority would be the wives of her husband, what some call the “sister wives.”  These wives are linked to her through covenants they have with her husband.  An ecclesiastical leader, who has no covenantal ties to her, is the very last line of authority she should resort to, and only after all tribal lines have been exhausted.

Not submitting is iniquity

Again, if a woman in such a situation, whose husband is not engaging in unrighteous dominion, does not submit to her husband, she commits the sin of rebellion and treason by ratting out his beliefs and actions which she believes are incompatible with the gospel to an ecclesiastical authority who has no covenantal relationship to her.  It is disloyalty and betrayal on her part, akin to cheating, by revealing family matters essentially to strangers and is unbecoming of a saint.  It also will create even greater problems in her family as now the ecclesiastical leader will often go on a witch-hunt and interfere in their covenantal connection.

If there are beliefs or actions that the wife doesn’t like, she and the husband need to work it out among themselves, and not drag persons who are not in a covenantal relationship with either one of them into the matter.  If there is genuine iniquity, it needs to be confessed to the offending party (the wife or the husband) and then forgiveness and reconciliation between the two needs to occur.  Ecclesiastical authorities are only to be called in for cases of unrepentant sins in which the offending party refuses to confess to a sin witnessed by two or more persons.  But in most cases a spouse should never testify against another spouse.  That would be an act of betrayal.

Speaking in terms of plasma theology, this would be like two planets linked to each other through a plasma column (the marital covenant) and one of them moves toward, or attracts, a third planet that has no plasma column linking it to the first two planets.  The resulting plasma interactions will cause disruption of the plasma column found between the first two planets.

Paul’s words

In a gospel-centered marriage, the man and woman have covenanted with each other, making them equals.  They have also covenanted with Christ, which binds both of them individually to Him.  This makes a triangle, with the husband, wife and Christ each taking a corner.

Paul’s words, though, about God being the head of Christ, Christ being the head of man, and man being the head of woman, creates a straight line of authority (a plasma column) : creating a patriarchy or androcracy.  What needs to be kept in mind when reading Paul is that this is only one frame of the picture.  If the full, tribal picture is not seen, if only the one frame is observed, it is understandable that the gospel may be understood as containing only patriarchy.  With only the single frame to see, patriarchy or androcracy dominates the view.

Paul’s words, then, must be viewed in light of the complete, tribal picture, that also contains matriarchy and gynocracy.  This makes it plain that the gospel is egalitarian in nature.  We cannot clearly see it now because we are not currently living in egalitarian tribes.

The head is the chief, which is the servant

In the gospel, the chief ones are to be the servants, by entrance into the priesthood.  So, when Paul says that the man is the head of the woman, it is because he is meant to be the servant of the woman.

But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them.  But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: and whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all.  For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. (Mark 10: 42-45, emphasis mine.)

Here is the same scripture, re-worded a little different:

But Jesus called them, and said to them,

You [Twelve] know that they who are appointed to be -archs(a) over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them.  But among you [Twelve] there shall be anarchy(b); whoever desires to become great among you [Twelve], shall be minister of you [Twelve].  And whoever of you [Twelve] desires to become the chiefest, shall be servant of all.  For even the Son of Man came, not to be ministered to, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.  (Mark 10: 42-45, emphasis mine.)

(a) “-arch” and “arch” defined: -arch Function: noun combining form. Etymology: Middle English -arche, from Anglo-French & Late Latin & Latin; Anglo-French -arche, from Late Latin -archa, from Latin -arches, -archus, from Greek -arches, -archos, from archein, to begin, rule. : ruler : leader  (Taken from Merriam-Webster’s Online Collegiate Dictionary.)  -arch [Gr. archos chief, commander, archein to rule. See ARCH, a.]  A suffix meaning a ruler, as in monarch (a sole ruler). arch, a. 1. Chief; eminent; greatest; principal.  (Taken from Webster’s 3rd Unabridged International Dictionary.)

(b) anarchy Etymology: Medieval Latin anarchia, from Greek, from anarchos having no ruler, from an- + archos ruler.  (Taken from Merriam-Webster’s Online Collegiate Dictionary.)

So, whoever wanted to be great, was not be be great (they were to be the least) and whoever wanted to be first (chief, principal), was to be last (servant of all).  The priesthood, then, is not an archy, but an anarchy.  The order is reversed: whoever wants to be first must be last.  There are to be no rulers, only servants.

Follow the Brethren

Although many LDS find this annoying saying (“follow the brethren”) to be counter-productive to a gospel-enlightened life, it actually does have some basis in truth.  In a tribal setting, in which a wife is married to multiple husbands, her husbands form a tribal quorum of “brethren.”  If these men hold the Holy Priesthood, they also form a priesthood quorum.  It is this quorum of husbands, or council of husbands, that the wife must follow.  When meeting together to decide issues pertaining to this woman and her children, they form a council of husbands.

In the church, the saying “follow the brethren” applies to quorums, or men who hold priesthood together as a quorum, and specifically to the highest two quorums in the church: the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

In a tribe, the highest quorum that has anything to do with a wife, being bound to her by covenant, is the quorum of her husbands.  If she is in a monogamous relationship, then she is to follow her “brother” (singular husband) until such time as she gets another husband.  So, the only “brother” or “brethren” that the gospel requires to be followed (by women) is the council of husbands.  For the men, we are to “follow the sisters”, meaning that quorum or council of our wives that decides issues in tribal settings.

Conclusion

A tribal view of the gospel helps us to see it for what it really is.  There is no aspect of the gospel that we need be ashamed of.  It is completely egalitarian in nature and divine.

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