The Proclamation: An Appeal for Prayer


Another president-elect: here we go again

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

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

The Proclamation still has not gone forth

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

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

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

I didn’t know

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

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

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

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

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

Narrowing it down to one

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

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

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

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

I may be the only one

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

To the believers: let’s empower the Josephite

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

James taught:

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

This is increased when there are more people involved.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This same principle may apply to the Josephite.

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

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

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The significance of captain Moroni


Mormon wrote,

Yea, verily, verily I say unto you, if all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men. (Alma 48:17)

The reason why Moroni wrote this of him was because he was the epitome of a major deliverer.

The doctrine of deliverers

Jesus is the appointed divine Deliverer that delivers His people from temporal and spiritual destruction, but He also appoints mortals as major and minor deliverers on an as needed basis. Like the high priesthood, deliverers were appointed and ordained by a holy ordinance and calling, “in a manner that thereby the people might know in what manner to look forward to his Son for [deliverance]” (Alma 13:2).

Deliverers in the reign of kings and in the reign of judges

From the death of the first Nephi to the time of captain Moroni, there were two Nephite systems. The first was the reign of kings, which began with second Nephi (see Jacob 1:11) and continued until king Mosiah. All of these kings were appointed and recognized as the Lord’s deliverers.

And they did wax strong in love towards Mosiah;…he had established peace in the land, and he had granted unto his people that they should be delivered from all manner of bondage (Mosiah 29:40)

After Mosiah’s death, the reign of judges began with Alma the younger wearing four hats in the new governmental system: chief judge of all the Nephites, high priest (and seer) over all the church, chief captain over all the Nephite armies and the governor of the people.

And it came to pass that Alma was appointed to be the first chief judge, he being also the high priest, his father having conferred the office upon him, and having given him the charge concerning all the affairs of the church. (Mosiah 29:42)

Now Alma, being the chief judge and the governor of the people of Nephi, therefore he went up with his people, yea, with his captains, and chief captains, yea, at the head of his armies, against the Amlicites to battle. (Alma 2:16)

Major and minor deliverers

As the chief captain, Alma became the first major deliverer during the reign of the judges. All deliverers were noted for their exceedingly great faith, according to the foundational principal set forth by the first Nephi:

But behold, I, Nephi, will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance. (1 Nephi 1:20)

But major deliverers were exceptional in their faith, even in comparison with the mighty faith of other deliverers. For this reason, the Lord set them (the major deliverers) at the head of the minor deliverers. Alma was a major deliverer, possessed of such great faith.

And it came to pass that Alma, being a man of God, being exercised with much faith, cried, saying: O Lord, have mercy and spare my life, that I may be an instrument in thy hands to save and preserve this people. Now when Alma had said these words he contended again with Amlici; and he was strengthened, insomuch that he slew Amlici with the sword. (Alma 2:30-31)

Alma ended up delivering the Nephites out of the hands of the Lamanites, but was wounded, so when a few days later another army of the Lamanites invaded, the Nephites armies were sent against them without Alma, someone else leading. This began the break-up of Alma’s four hats. These wars took place in the 5th year of the reign of the judges.

In the 8th and 9th years, the church began to be wicked, with contentions, pride, etc., which threatened to undermine the law of deliverance. For this reason, Alma delivered up the judgment-seat to Nephihah, retaining the high priesthood over the church.

The law of deliverance

Deliverance from the Lord (through His deliverers, who represent Him, or personally through direct intervention by the Lord Himself) comes according to the obedience, faith and unity of the Lord’s people. If the people are united, obedient and exercise faith, the Lord delivers them from the hands of their enemies, so that their enemies have no power over them. If the people are not united, are disobedient or fail to exercise faith, the Lord delivers them into the hands of their enemies, subjecting them to their enemies’ will. Breaking the Lord’s law of deliverance causes the people of the Lord to lose their houses, lands, cities, possessions, freedoms and even their lives, while keeping the law allows them to get most of these things back (everything except their lives) or keeps their enemies from taking these things from them in the first place.

Alma preaches to restore the power of deliverance

Alma gave up the judgment-seat and governorship in the 9th year because no deliverer could deliver a wicked people out of the hands of their enemies (Mormon and his astounding faith being a noted exception.) The people needed to be united (no more contentions), obedient (no more transgressions) and full of faith. So he dedicated the rest of his ministry to making sure that the people did not sabotage the faith of the deliverers. Although technically Alma was still a major deliverer, he took a backseat to that role, a sort of major deliverer emeritus status, allowing the Lord to raise up other deliverers in his stead.

Zoram as a major deliverer and Lehi and Aha as minor deliverers

In the 11th year, Mormon writes that Zoram lead the armies of the Nephites with two of his sons (Lehi and Aha.) He mentions these men because they were the new major and minor deliverers. Zoram and his sons repel the Lamanite invasion of this year but also do something curious: they consult with Alma to obtained revelatory strategy. This shows that although Alma was no longer in an active role, his appointment as a major deliverer was still considered intact.

The unknown leaders of the war(s) of the 14th and 15th years

There were Lamanite invasions during these years, but Mormon doesn’t reveal who the Nephite war leaders were. He only says that there was a tremendous battle in the 15th year, bigger than any battle yet, and it left a whole lot of people dead and affected by it. Nevertheless, the Nephites were victorious, being delivered, yet again.

It may be that the reason why Mormon left out the names is that so tremendous was this last battle, that the Nephite military leadership were all killed, requiring a regulation of the armies, with new appointments to captain and chief captain. It may be that captain Moroni was appointed as the chief captain over the Nephites after these wars, in the beginning of the 16th year, or at the end of the 15th. The record states that he was only 25 years old when he was appointed, so it may have been that he inherited the position because all those above him, who were older and of higher rank, were killed in this last battle.

The set-up for captain Moroni’s entrance: Korihor and the Zoramites

In the 17th year, Korihor was killed by the Zoramites, who had separated themselves from the Nephites and later rejected Alma’s preaching, kicking out all the believers. The believers went to live with the people of Ammon, which made the Zoramites angry. They then joined with the Lamanites and prepared for war. The people of Ammon (the Anti-Nephi-Lehies) removed themselves to the land of Melek so that the Nephites could protect them from the Lamanite-Zoramite army.

Moroni is at the head of the Nephite armies, as the new major deliverer

In the 18th year is when the Lamanites invade and Mormon writes that Moroni is the chief Nephite captain. Also, in this year Alma delivers the sacred records into the hands of Helaman. He had previously asked Nephihah to take the records, but was refused, so Helaman was his second choice. Alma is getting ready to leave the scene. Why? Because Moroni is getting ready to become active on the scene. This is a changing of the guard, of the major deliverers.

Alma waits until Moroni has dispatched the Lamanites (see Alma chapters 43 and 44), firmly establishing himself as the Lord’s newly appointed deliverer, and then leaves the scene in the commencement of the 19th year.

Moroni’s first outing as deliverer awes all the prophets

Alma chapter 43 and 44 is in reality only one Book of Mormon chapter on the plates of Mormon, the 64th chapter, and is an account of one of the greatest miracles of the entire Book of Mormon. We do not know exactly when 25 year old Moroni took control of the Nephite armies, for it could have been anywhere between the 11th year and the 18th year, but after he did, and prior to the Lamanite invasion of the 18th year, he completely changed the affairs of the war by putting arm shields, head shields, breastplates and thick clothing on his troops. This frightened the Lamanites so much they changed their plan of attack!

Like Zoram before him, Moroni sends soldiers to consult with Alma, for Alma had not, yet, departed, and learns where the Lamanites plan to attack. He then causes his armies to surround the much larger force and does something that had never been done before in all of Nephite history: he completely defeats the Lamanite army! Prior to Moroni, the most any king or judge or chief captain deliverer had ever accomplished with an invading Lamanite force—which was invariable always about double or more the size of the Nephite forces—was to drive the Lamanites out of the land. But Moroni doesn’t drive them out, sending them fleeing like before, instead he causes them to entirely surrender! Never at any time had the Lamanites surrendered.

This astounding miracle is made the more miraculous because Moroni then offers them a chance to leave back to their lands unharmed, merely by entering into a covenant never to attack the Nephites ever again. Those who enter the covenant leave in peace, while those who do not enter the covenant fight on until they are slain.

The whole episode shows that the Lord completely delivered the Lamanites into the hands of Moroni, His new deliverer on the scene. All the Nephite prophets of that time, and those that lived afterward, saw that Moroni had been raised up by the Lord specifically as the ideal deliverer, as an example of Himself, or of the power of deliverance which is in Himself.

The record of Alma ends; the record of Helaman begins

Alma left the scene in the beginning of the 19th year, and from this point on, which is the beginning of the record of Helaman, Moroni is in charge of everything, as the major deliverer. Everyone takes cue from him, Nephihah, Pahoran, Helaman, Lehi, Teancum, everyone. No longer does Moroni go to any prophet for revelation, but just receives it himself. He prophesies, warns, blesses, wars, and does all things in the name of the Lord. Not even the governor of the land, Pahoran, who is technically his boss, tells him what to do, but all righteous men in the land, the whole church of God, submits to his leadership. Why? Because Moroni was the appointed lion of the Lord for that time.

Moroni was the embodiment of the Lord’s righteous indignation. He represented the Lord’s judgments upon the sinful people of Nephi, as well as upon the wicked Lamanites who invaded. He was both a deliverer of the Nephites and also a judge upon the transgressor. The record of Helaman, from which Mormon takes most of his account of Moroni, deals almost entirely with Moroni. Why? Because Moroni was another type of the Lord.

Types of the Lord

From time to time the Lord sends a prophet who is lifted up as one of His types. Jonah was one such, showing the self-sacrificing nature of the Lord, etc. Captain Moroni was another, but showing the Lord’s almighty power of deliverance and sword of justice. Moroni worked with life and death, preparing his people so that they would be preserved by their enemies (life) and dealing justice upon enemies both foreign and domestic (death). His calling was to be the arm of the Lord, in judging the wicked and delivering the righteous. Moroni, then, was not just a chief captain, but was also a higher judge and a governor among the people. This made him like the judge-deliverers raised up to the house of Israel anciently, as written in the Book of Judges, with one exception: Moroni was the epitome of that calling.

Moroni is the standard by which all judge-deliverers are measured. This is why Mormon writes, “if all men were like unto Moroni.” Moroni is the standard. Other prophets have also attained standard status. For example, Melchizedek is the standard for a high priest. Moroni is like the high priest Melchizedek re-incarnated as a judge-deliverer. If such a thing could be done to Melchizedek, Moroni would be the result.

Whenever a type of the Lord makes an appearance on the mortal scene, it is imperative that we take notice of what they do and say and of their character. As the standards, the types are to be emulated. This is why Mormon stops his narrative of Moroni’s actions and words to present him as a type of Christ, lest we miss it. This is also why He doesn’t even mention any of the sermons of Helaman, given in that time. Although Helaman was a seer in possession of all the sacred records and a holy prophet, a high priest and a preacher of righteousness, Moroni’s ministry eclipsed that of Helaman. Moroni’s ministry was, simply put, more important that Helaman’s. Helaman was a prophet and seer, one of many. Moroni was a standard or type, one of a select few.

This is why we see Helaman humbling himself before Moroni in his letter to him:

Now we do not know the cause that the government does not grant us more strength; neither do those men who came up unto us know why we have not received greater strength. Behold, we do not know but what ye are unsuccessful, and ye have drawn away the forces into that quarter of the land; if so, we do not desire to murmur. (Alma 58:34-35)

In Helaman’s mind, Moroni’s needs came first before Helaman’s needs. He and his men would just suffer under the circumstances and submit to whatever Moroni saw fit as expedient for the war resources, for Moroni was the Lord’s appointed deliverer. (Helaman was also an appointed deliverer, but a minor one in comparison to Moroni, hence the submission.)

Pahoran, Moroni’s boss, also humbled himself and submitted to Moroni:

And now, in your epistle you have censured me, but it mattereth not; I am not angry, but do rejoice in the greatness of your heart. (Alma 61:9)

And now, Moroni, I do joy in receiving your epistle, for I was somewhat worried concerning what we should do, whether it should be just in us to go against our brethren. But ye have said, except they repent the Lord hath commanded you that ye should go against them. (Alma 61:19-20)

Pahoran’s letter shows that he is definitely Moroni’s superior, yet receiving (apparent) chastisement from this particular subordinate caused him to rejoice, instead of getting angry. Also, Pahoran’s instructions to Moroni are based upon Moroni’s (not Pahoran’s) revelation, showing that even the highest official in the land recognized the hand of the Lord upon Moroni and saw fit to submit.

Why all this groveling before Moroni? Because he was a type of the Lord and all these holy prophets and just men saw it. Just as if the Lord Himself were there in person, their only desire was to obey Moroni’s instructions.

Destruction upon the Nephites

In the 19th year, two things of note happen: Alma prophesies the extinction of the Nephites, to happen 400 after the coming of Christ, and Moroni raises the title of liberty and gets the Christians of the land to covenant to support the cause of freedom or be destroyed altogether. The two occurrences show that both men were being wrought upon by the Holy Ghost, the one setting up the covenant that would eventually put in motion the penalty and the other prophesying when the penalty would be enacted.

Moroni’s authority from God

Moroni was a member of the church of God, as were Amalickiah and his followers, who were mostly lower judges seeking for higher office and greater power by making Amalickiah king. After the Amalickiahites dissented from the church, and Moroni heard about it, he rallied a citizen militia around the title of liberty, getting everyone to enter into the covenant of freedom, with an attached penalty of death. Before raising the title, though, he prayed mightily to the Lord, and Mormon writes this about his prayer:

he prayed mightily unto his God for the blessings of liberty to rest upon his brethren, so long as there should a band of Christians remain to possess the land (Alma 46:13)

And therefore, at this time, Moroni prayed that the cause of the Christians, and the freedom of the land might be favored.

And it came to pass that when he had poured out his soul to God, he named all the land which was south of the land Desolation, yea, and in fine, all the land, both on the north and on the south—A chosen land, and the land of liberty.

And he said:

Surely God shall not suffer that we, who are despised because we take upon us the name of Christ, shall be trodden down and destroyed, until we bring it upon us by our own transgressions. (Alma 46:16-18)

Mormon shows by this inclusion that the judge-deliverer type that was raised up in this land prayed for the freedom of the land and named the whole of it a chosen land of liberty. This wasn’t just a simple prayer, this was a holy ordinance performed in the name of the Lord by one of the Lord’s types under valid and recognized authority and with power. In other words, this land is a land of liberty because of Moroni. This is Mormon’s point. In other words, Mormon is saying, “Here is the Lord’s deliverer standard, raised up on this land, and see, here he is praying for the freedom of the land and naming it a land of liberty, therefore, it is a land of liberty because of this man’s prayer and ordinance, for this man is the Lord’s representative, and what he proclaims in the name of the Lord is sure, as sure as if the Lord Himself said these things.”

Mormon then recounts some of the things Moroni said, quoting a prophesy of Jacob, etc. All of this shows that Moroni had the gift of the Holy Ghost and was filled with the Spirit, both to understand the word of God and previous prophecies, and to launch his own.

And now who knoweth but what the remnant of the seed of Joseph, which shall perish as his garment, are those who have dissented from us? Yea, and even it shall be ourselves if we do not stand fast in the faith of Christ. (Alma 46:27)

Did the dissenters perish? Yes; all those who denied the covenant of freedom did perish. Did those who did not stand fast in the faith of Christ perish? Yes.

Moroni was a prophet

But this wasn’t unusual for chief captains.  It was actually fairly standard.  Wrote Mormon,

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)

Moroni was a seer

Now Ammon said unto him: I can assuredly tell thee, O king, of a man that can translate the records; for he has wherewith that he can look, and translate all records that are of ancient date; and it is a gift from God. And the things are called interpreters, and no man can look in them except he be commanded, lest he should look for that he ought not and he should perish. And whosoever is commanded to look in them, the same is called seer.

And behold, the king of the people who are in the land of Zarahemla is the man that is commanded to do these things, and who has this high gift from God.

And the king said that a seer is greater than a prophet.

And Ammon said that a seer is a revelator and a prophet also; and a gift which is greater can no man have, except he should possess the power of God, which no man can; yet a man may have great power given him from God.

But a seer can know of things which are past, and also of things which are to come, and by them shall all things be revealed, or, rather, shall secret things be made manifest, and hidden things shall come to light, and things which are not known shall be made known by them, and also things shall be made known by them which otherwise could not be known.

Thus God has provided a means that man, through faith, might work mighty miracles; therefore he becometh a great benefit to his fellow beings. (Mosiah 8:13-18)

Notice that Ammon did not say that whoever possesses the interpreters is a seer, but whoever is commanded to look in them.

Also, that there were two stones in silver bows—and these stones, fastened to a breastplate, constituted what is called the Urim and Thummim—deposited with the plates; and the possession and use of these stones were what constituted “seers” in ancient or former times; and that God had prepared them for the purpose of translating the book. (Joseph Smith—History 1:35)

So, there were two types of seers, those who possessed and used them, and those who did not possess them, but were commanded to use them. During the time of Moroni, there were two people who possessed the interpreters: Alma the younger and his son Helaman. Alma and Helaman, then, were both seers of one type. But there were other seers of the second type living at that time, who did not possess the interpreters, but who were commanded to look in them. I will explain this in another post or perhaps in a comment below, but suffice it to say that a Nephite seer was one who was commanded to use the interpreters, not just one who possessed the interpreters, and that one of the characteristics of a seer was that they could know of things which are to come.

Now Moroni clearly knew of things to come, repeatedly:

Now Moroni thought it was not expedient that the Lamanites should have any more strength; therefore he thought to cut off the people of Amalickiah, or to take them and bring them back, and put Amalickiah to death; yea, for he knew that he would stir up the Lamanites to anger against them, and cause them to come to battle against them; and this he knew that Amalickiah would do that he might obtain his purposes. (Alma 46:30)

And this is, in fact, what Amalickiah did and why he did it.

And now, behold, this was wisdom in Moroni; for he had supposed that they would be frightened at the city Ammonihah; and as the city of Noah had hitherto been the weakest part of the land, therefore they would march thither to battle; and thus it was according to his desires. (Alma 49:15)

And, in fact, that’s what the Lamanites did.

Now behold, the people who were in the land Bountiful, or rather Moroni, feared that they would hearken to the words of Morianton and unite with his people, and thus he would obtain possession of those parts of the land, which would lay a foundation for serious consequences among the people of Nephi, yea, which consequences would lead to the overthrow of their liberty. (Alma 50:32)

This fear was prophetic, but Moroni stopped it before it could be brought about.

Moroni’s second epistle to Pahoran, recorded in Alma 60, is a demonstration of his prophetic, revelatory and seership gifts, in which he was able to discern all of what the king-men had been doing in Zarahemla and prophesied what would come to pass if they did not repent.

Moroni was raised up by the Lord specifically to deal with the king-men

The king-men posed a clear and present danger to the Nephites. Given their precarious circumstances, in which they were faced with an ever present threat in the form of potentially invading Lamanites and a gospel law which required unity to qualify for deliverance, any dissension on the part of some of the Nephites would jeopardize the lives and liberty of the rest. The king-men, though, did not represent mere dissension, but full blown treason, sedition and rebellion. Unless the king-men were put down fast, they could have caused the end of the Nephite civilization about 75 years before Christ was born. To make sure that didn’t happen, Moroni was born as a Christ type.

Moroni always had a dual role in his calling: delivering from external threats in the form of Lamanites, and judging and executing internal threats in the form of king-men and other dissenters. Contention and dissension removed the Lord’s protections from the people, allowing the Lamanites to gain victories, therefore, Moroni’s calling was prioritized by cleansing the inner vessel first, by judging and executing those Nephites who violated their covenants, and then taking care of the Lamanites. Cleansing the inner vessel required more authority than a chief captain had, therefore, Moroni was also made a judge and governor.

Moroni was a judge and governor

After Moroni gathered a large group of freemen under his title of liberty, to stand against the Amalickiahites, the people of Amalickiah made a run for it to the Lamanites, but Moroni cut them off, arresting almost all of them. (Amalickiah and a few others, though, did escape to the Lamanites.) Here Mormon informs us that Moroni was both a judge and a governor:

Now, Moroni being a man who was appointed by the chief judges and the voice of the people, therefore he had power according to his will with the armies of the Nephites, to establish and to exercise authority over them. (Alma 46:34)

Now, the meaning of this text is that he had both judicial power (he was a judge) and executive power (he was a governor) and that this was according to the law and voice of the people. In the law of Mosiah, judges judged according to the Nephite laws, which laws were given by God, so these were not man-made laws, but divinely revealed laws, meaning that the Nephite governmental laws were the actual word of God.

Therefore, choose you by the voice of this people, judges, that ye may be judged according to the laws which have been given you by our fathers, which are correct, and which were given them by the hand of the Lord. (Mosiah 29:25)

No Nephite laws were man-made; all were the revealed word of God

The Nephites had no legislature. God alone legislated. All of their governmental laws were revealed through seers. The first seer was Moses, and so they used the law of Moses. The next was Lehi, who under commandment of God, modified the law of Moses. Then his son, the seer Nephi, also modified the law, under commandment of God, setting up a monarchy which took place after his death, according to the desire of the people. The monarchy was revealed by God, and thus was not a man-made system. Later, with king Mosiah, who was yet another seer, a divinely revealed system of judges was set up and the monarchy was done away with.

Although the Nephites had power to legislate, according to the law of common consent, they were forbidden to do so. If they sought to legislate by themselves, creating man-made laws, it would offend God, who had blessed them by revealing divine laws to them. It would be seen as a rejection of the word of God, and of Him, for instead of choosing Him as their Law-giver, they would become a law unto themselves by writing their own laws.

When the Nephites voted, then, they only voted for the person they wanted to be a governor (executive branch) or a judge (judicial branch). They never voted to alter any of the laws, for that was considered iniquity, or transfiguring the word of God. The governors and judges themselves, could only do what the law authorized them to do, and could only judge according to what the law prescribed. If they did not do what the law required, they would themselves be guilty of transgression, for the Nephite laws were the very laws of God.

Also, all Nephites were put under covenant to uphold the law, with penalties attached for breaking the covenant.

Covenantal obligations under Nephite law

Mosiah

had established laws, and they were acknowledged by the people; therefore they were obliged to abide by the laws which he had made. (Alma 1:1)

The acknowledgment was a covenant which was renewed from time to time. It had penalties affixed for breaking the covenant, which allowed the judges, governors and military captains to obtain jurisdiction over the people. The penalty affixed was determined by the law, according to what part of the law was violated, all of which was revealed by God. The law, the rights and privileges its obedience afforded, the penalties for breaking any part of it, and the duties of the various officers, including the penalty for dereliction of duty, and the covenant itself, was all set down by God. Breaking the Nephite law and covenant, which was the law of God, was not at all like committing a man-made infraction, misdemeanor or felony, but was considered a sin, capable of putting one’s very soul in danger of hell-fire.

There was no wiggle-room for leniency. If a person did not repent and renew his or her covenant, the penalty had to be inflicted. If the judge or governor did not judge or execute according to the law, that judge or governor would himself be guilty of sin, according to the covenant he had entered into, and would be judged.

Therefore thou art condemned to die, according to the law which has been given us by Mosiah, our last king; and it has been acknowledged by this people; therefore this people must abide by the law. (Alma 1:14)

The Nephite law was acknowledged by the people, by them entering into a covenant to obey the same. If they didn’t abide by the law, they would violate their covenant and the penalties attached would be exacted. If the judges did not judge according to the law, they would violate their covenant and the penalties attached would be exacted. If the governors did not execute according to the law, they would violate their covenant and the penalties would be exacted. Everybody, then, had to abide by the same law, because they all entered into these same covenants, with the same penalties. No Nephite, then, was exempt from the Nephite law, or the law of God.

Thus, none shall be exempted from the justice and the laws of God, that all things may be done in order and in solemnity before him, according to truth and righteousness. (D&C 107:84)

No one could become a Nephite unless they acknowledged the Nephite laws by covenant. Thus we see that Nephite society was covenant-based, just as the gospel of Jesus Christ is covenant-based, because both sets of laws were given of God, who does all things by covenant.

The obligation of the covenant came by way of the penalties that were affixed to it.

oblige, v. t. 1. To constrain by physical, moral, or legal force; to put under obligation to do or forbear something. 2. a To pledge as security; to pawn or mortgage. Obs. b To bind as subject to a penalty, as by a bond. Obs.

obligation, n. 1. The act of obligating, or binding, one’s self to a course of action. Now Rare. 2. Law. A bond with a condition annexed, and a penalty for non fulfillment. In a larger sense, it is a formal and binding agreement or acknowledgment of a liability to pay a certain sum or do a certain thing. 3. That which a person is bound to do or forbear; any duty imposed by law, promise, or contract, by the relations of society, or by courtesy, kindness, etc. 4. The agreement, promise, contract, oath, or the like by which one is obligated or bound. 5. That which obligates or constrains; the binding power of a promise, contract, oath, or vow, or of law; that which constitutes legal or moral duty; as, the obligations of conscience, of affection, or of ideals. 6. State of being indebted for an act of favor or kindness; also, the act itself; as, to place others under obligations; his aid was a great obligation.

Notice, in particular, definition 2 b of oblige, “To bind as subject to a penalty, as by a bond.”

American and Nephite systems are not equivalent

The American systems have man-made laws, created by legislatures, which the voters can modify however and whenever they want, without fear of breaking the commandments of God. Natural born citizens do not enter into any covenant to obey the laws of the land. They are merely forced to obey by threat or literally, regardless of their acknowledgment, or lack thereof, of the laws. Only naturalized citizens and those who are elected to public office take any kind of oath or covenant in respect to the laws of the land.

Also, those who are convicted of breaking the American laws cannot escape the punishment of the law by repenting and renewing their covenant, like the Nephites many times could. These and many other differences must be kept in mind when reviewing the actions of captain Moroni. If American sensibilities are allowed to cloud one’s judgment, it may be difficult or even impossible to understand why actions taken by Moroni or others are considered righteousness. Put under an American filter, which filter is based upon the laws and philosophies of men, a purely God-given system, such as the Nephite system, may be incomprehensible when looked at.

Moroni puts the Amalickiahites to death

And it came to pass that whomsoever of the Amalickiahites that would not enter into a covenant to support the cause of freedom, that they might maintain a free government, he caused to be put to death; and there were but few who denied the covenant of freedom. (Alma 46:35)

The Amalickiahites had broken their covenant, which had a penalty of death affixed to their crimes, but the Nephites didn’t just execute the penalty, but gave the people a chance to repent and recommit to the covenant, by renewing it. Some of them refused to renew their covenant and so the law had to be enacted on them. Moroni was the judge and governor in charge of administering the law in this case, and it was his moral duty to see that the law of God was enacted precisely as detailed. Had he simple forgiven these men who refused to recommit, and waived the penalty affixed to their covenants, he would have been guilty of a crime himself, and would have established the same wicked precedent as that secret combination which would later be known as the Gadianton robbers.

But behold, Satan did stir up the hearts of the more part of the Nephites, insomuch that they did unite with those bands of robbers, and did enter into their covenants and their oaths, that they would protect and preserve one another in whatsoever difficult circumstances they should be placed, that they should not suffer for their murders, and their plunderings, and their stealings. (Helaman 6:21)

Thus, the law called for the penalties affixed to the covenant to be applied, unless repentance and covenant renewal took place, but the Gadianton robbers did not believe in administering the penalties of the Nephite covenants, making the law of God of none effect. Moroni, on the other hand, was a righteous judge, therefore he administered the law exactly as God called for it to be administered.

These events took place in the 19th year of the reign of the judges.

Moroni and his fortifications and preaching

Another testament that Moroni operated by the power of the Holy Ghost is in his city, fort and land fortifications. As soon as he had put an end to the Amalickiahites, he went to work erecting forts, embankments and city walls throughout the land. This was something entirely new, that had never been done before. Also, it was being done in peacetime by a wartime army, for the Nephites had no standing army, but went right back to their farming labors after the Lamanites returned to their lands. So why was Moroni building fortifications during peacetime and why wasn’t anyone’s questioning his judgment?

The reason was because Amalickiah and a small number of the Amalickiahites had escaped to the Lamanites and Moroni prophetically knew that he would be successful in inciting the Lamanites to attack, so his preparations were inspired of God, to prepare the people against Amalickiah’s return. No other deliverer had operated in this fashion, anticipating prophetically the next war the enemy would wage and making preparations against it.

He also took part in preaching the word of God to the people:

Now it came to pass that while Amalickiah had thus been obtaining power by fraud and deceit, Moroni, on the other hand, had been preparing the minds of the people to be faithful unto the Lord their God. (Alma 48:7)

He didn’t have long to wait for at the end of the 19th year, Amalickiah sent his first Lamanite army to attack the Nephites.

Mormon’s narrative interruption to extoll Moroni’s virtues

At this point Mormon stops and tells the reader in so many words that Moroni is worthy of emulation. He says he is “like unto” Ammon and Ammon, as well as the other sons of Mosiah and also the sons of Alma (Helaman, Corianton and Shiblon). This is significant because it gives us an idea as to what kind of man Moroni was.

Keeping in mind that Mormon and the other authors of the Book of Mormon were under constraint to give not even a hundredth part of the events among their people in their record, Mormon by-passes that constraint by painting a fairly detailed picture of both Alma and Ammon. So, if Moroni is “like unto” these two, then we already know a whole lot about his character.

Ammon and the sons of Mosiah could not bear the thought of anyone perishing, and desired that the Lamanites would repent and come to Christ, so we can surmise that Moroni did, too. Ammon was miraculously skilled in knowledge and physical power, as demonstrated by him slaying 7 Lamanites with a sling and stones and cutting off a bunch of their arms. We can surmise that Moroni was equally skilled. Both Ammon and Alma fell to the ground, overpowered by the Spirit in joy. We can surmise that Moroni also was at that level of penitence. And on and on we can list the virtues of those two, or the others mentioned, and the picture we get is that Moroni was as much, or more, of a holy prophet and saint as any of those other men.

Some have a hard time believing these words of Mormon concerning what Moroni was like, since the narrative Mormon gives us focuses on his anger, but that must, of necessity, be of Mormon’s design, to show that Moroni was the embodiment of God’s righteous indignation. In other words, if we want to see what righteous indignation looks like, all we need to review are the captain Moroni chapters (Alma 43-62). But Moroni wasn’t just righteous indignation, for he had all the other qualities that these other men had, too. The narrative gives us hints of these other qualities, showing that Moroni was a man of mercy, willing to allow men to repent and recommit, or an enemy to go unpunished merely by promising never to come again as an enemy. We see him open the door to Lamanites, offering them Nephite citizenship, sending them to live with the people of Ammon. We see him protecting the people of Ammon, who were Lamanites by birth, so there is no prejudice in Moroni, whatsoever. He is fully color blind, the only filter he used being the word of God. We see him as a man of prayer, “pouring out his whole soul to God.” We see him as a prophet, prophesying, as a revelator, giving revelation, as a seer, seeing the future actions of wicked men, as a member of God’s church, even a saint, opposing those who would seek to slay the church brethren.

We see him possessing the spirit of wisdom and knowledge, and defending the rights and privileges of all men. He apparently had the gift of discernment, as well as tremendous faith. We see him speak in the name of the Lord in a manner that no Book of Mormon prophet has ever spoken, because they were forbidden by the Lord, yet Moroni uses such authority as if he were God Himself. (I’ll get to that a little later.)

And yet all of that still falls short of why Mormon considered him worthy of emulation, why if all men were like Moroni the devil would have no power over men. The key to understanding this is in what Mormon says here:

And also, that God would make it known unto them whither they should go to defend themselves against their enemies, and by so doing, the Lord would deliver them; and this was the faith of Moroni, and his heart did glory in it; not in the shedding of blood but in doing good, in preserving his people, yea, in keeping the commandments of God, yea, and resisting iniquity. (Alma 48:16)

Moroni was the embodiment of resisting iniquity. Not just resisting his own iniquity, but resisting the iniquity of everyone around him. For most men that profess God, it is good enough for them to repent and resist the temptations of the devil, but if others sin, and that sin does not harm them, they see no need to resist the iniquity spread forth by that person. Theirs is a personal worship, in which their only concern is their own salvation and they are content to let others damn themselves to hell, as they choose. Moroni, though, was concerned about the salvation of the entire group or nation of Nephites. Therefore, he conformed to the following standard, or embodied it:

I the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance; nevertheless, he that repents and does the commandments of the Lord shall be forgiven; and he that repents not, from him shall be taken even the light which he has received; for my Spirit shall not always strive with man, saith the Lord of Hosts. (D&C 1:31-33)

Like the Lord, Moroni could not look upon sin with the least degree of allowance, nevertheless, he that repented and renewed their covenant was forgiven, every single time, but he that did not repent had the letter of the law applied to him. This exacting standard made it impossible for Moroni to remain still and just let things run their course. If He saw iniquity, he was compelled to resist it and stamp it out.

A prime example is the Amalickiah affair and his title of liberty. Amalickiah and his people were against the church leadership, which were Helaman, Nephihah and the rest. Moroni may have been one of the high priests among that leadership, but whereas the others just preached, Moroni was spurned to action, organizing an armed resistance to the iniquity represented by Amalickiah, before Amalickiah turned into an unstoppable force. Once he learned of the dissensions, he was in Amalickiah’s face, with a group of armed saints, ready to take it to the next level, if need be. Although the others were holy prophets and righteous men, it was Moroni who was God’s representative or type at this time, for this is how God reacts to iniquity, without the least degree of allowance.

This is the emulation that Mormon was putting forth, which, if spread everywhere, would remove all power from the devil forever. Moroni was the earthly counter-part to the archangel Michael, who fought the devil in the war in heaven. Like Michael or Adam, He didn’t pussyfoot around, but was adamant in his support for the cause of God and against the forces that opposed God, whether they proceeded from man-made philosophies and commandments or devilish doctrines.

1st Lamanite army sent by Amalickiah

In the 11th month of the 19th year, Amalickiah sends a Lamanite army towards Zarahemla armed after the manner of the new Nephite army, with shields, breastplates and thick clothing but are astounded to find the land covered in new fortifications. So, they change their attack plans and decide to attack the weak city of Noah. But Moroni has second-guessed them, yet again, and made the city of Noah stronger than even the first city (Ammonihah). The Lamanites attack the city, lose more than a thousand soldiers, while the Nephites don’t even lose one! And then the Lamanites return to their lands, to inform Amalickiah of their failure.

Again, the object of Mormon in writing all of this is to show that if the people are united, obedient to the commandments of God, and exercise faith, according to the Lord’s law of deliverance, that the Lord will deliver them out of every trouble, either personally or by sending one or more of his appointed deliverers, for these deliverers are unstoppable, for they operate by the miraculous power of the Holy Ghost. The message of the Book of Mormon war chapters is not to show that war is bad, or that war is justified, or that the Anti-Nephi-Lehies are more righteous than the Nephites, etc., but that we are to obey the commandments of God that He gives to us, no matter what they happen to be, and doing so, we will prosper in the land and be protected and delivered by God, even during times of war. It is to show that there is safety in the Lord, if we obey His commandments, according to the law of deliverance.

The miracle at the city of Noah should have caused all Nephites to cease from all their iniquities and be forever united in the faith of Christ, secure in the knowledge that God would strengthen their arms against the Lamanites no matter how numerous they would become, so that they would never have power over them. This was, in fact, the response of the people, though it did not last.

And it came to pass, that on the other hand, the people of Nephi did thank the Lord their God, because of his matchless power in delivering them from the hands of their enemies.

And thus ended the nineteenth year of the reign of the judges over the people of Nephi.

Yea, and there was continual peace among them, and exceedingly great prosperity in the church because of their heed and diligence which they gave unto the word of God, which was declared unto them by Helaman, and Shiblon, and Corianton, and Ammon and his brethren, yea, and by all those who had been ordained by the holy order of God, being baptized unto repentance, and sent forth to preach among the people. (Alma 49:28-30)

Yet another miracle accomplished by Moroni

In the 20th year, Moroni continued his work of fortifications (again in peacetime!) Why? Because Amalickiah still had not come down at the head of the Lamanite armies, according to the prophetic expectation of Moroni.

Also in this year Moroni went into the east wilderness, which were Nephite lands under the possession of the Lamanites, and drove all the Lamanites out of the land, into their own lands to the south. In other words, Moroni accomplished his appointed role in this year by delivering the Nephites lands out of the hands of the Lamanites! The Nephites now had all the lands of their inheritance given back to them! Then he began the foundations of Nephite cities in these newly liberated lands, causing the inhabitants of Zarahemla to go into the eastern wilderness and possess the land. And he continued strengthening the border between the Nephite and Lamanite lands. In the 21st year, the Nephites continued to prosper in the lands of their possessions.

Now the whole point of Mormon’s narrative is to teach the law of deliverance:

And thus we see how merciful and just are all the dealings of the Lord, to the fulfilling of all his words unto the children of men; yea, we can behold that his words are verified, even at this time, which he spake unto Lehi, saying:

Blessed art thou and thy children; and they shall be blessed, inasmuch as they shall keep my commandments they shall prosper in the land. But remember, inasmuch as they will not keep my commandments they shall be cut off from the presence of the Lord.

And we see that these promises have been verified to the people of Nephi; for it has been their quarrelings and their contentions, yea, their murderings, and their plunderings, their idolatry, their whoredoms, and their abominations, which were among themselves, which brought upon them their wars and their destructions.

And those who were faithful in keeping the commandments of the Lord were delivered at all times, whilst thousands of their wicked brethren have been consigned to bondage, or to perish by the sword, or to dwindle in unbelief, and mingle with the Lamanites. (Alma 50:19-22)

Mormon is not concerned about pacifism, or self-defense, or any modern philosophy of man. His only concern is that if you obey God’s commandments, whether they are to lay down your weapons or to take them up, He will deliver you.

Now, the deliverance of the land, accomplished by Moroni, was so remarkable and miraculous and so joyous to Mormon, for it demonstrated just how careful the Lord is in taking care of His people, if they would only just trust in Him and obey His commandments—and the commandments given to the Nephites were to defend themselves from the Lamanites, even unto blood-shed—that he made the following statement:

But behold there never was a happier time among the people of Nephi, since the days of Nephi, than in the days of Moroni, yea, even at this time, in the twenty and first year of the reign of the judges. (Alma 50:23)

Teancum vs. Morianton

Peace continues until the 24th year, when Morianton and his people start up some contention with the people of Lehi. The people of Lehi flee to Moroni and Morianton’s people get worried, and so high-tail it out of there to the north. Moroni prophetically knows these guys are up to no good and that if they are allowed to escape, they will cause the Nephites to come into bondage, so he sends Teancum to arrest these men and bring them back. Teancum heads them off but they resist arrest and Morianton is killed and his army defeated. They are brought back as prisoners and upon them renewing their covenants, they are allowed to go back home to the city of Morianton, ending the 24th year.

Now, according to the law of deliverance, this disturbance between the people of Morianton and the people of Lehi will have dire consequences for the entire populous, for they were not united nor completely obedient (Morianton was a wicked man.) So, the Lamanites should be showing up soon and should be victorious in obtaining possession again of some Nephite lands.

And like clockwork, they do show up during the 25th year.

But before we get into that, Mormon mentions another thing that happens during the end of the 24th year: Nephihah dies and his son, Pahoran, is chosen to fill the judgment-seat.

Moroni executes more king-men

In the 25th year, the king-men want Pahoran to alter the law to allow for a king. Now, remember, the Nephite and American systems are not equivalent, the Nephite laws being the very laws of God, so this was a big deal, a grave sin on their part. Pahoran righteously refuses to alter the law and so the king-men want to remove Pahoran. A recall election is scheduled and the king-men lose, which ticks them off, since they were of high birth and wanted to rule the people as kings, seeking power and authority over the people.

And it came to pass that the voice of the people came in favor of the freemen, and Pahoran retained the judgment-seat, which caused much rejoicing among the brethren of Pahoran and also many of the people of liberty, who also put the king-men to silence, that they durst not oppose but were obliged to maintain the cause of freedom. (Alma 51:7)

Why were the king-men obliged to maintain the cause of freedom? Because of the covenant all Nephites made to acknowledge the laws, which had those pesky penalties attached that activated when they broke the covenant.

After this recall election, Amalickiah starts making his way into Nephite territory at the head of a vast Lamanite army, right on schedule for the fulfillment of the law of deliverance.

And it came to pass that when the men who were called king-men had heard that the Lamanites were coming down to battle against them, they were glad in their hearts; and they refused to take up arms, for they were so wroth with the chief judge, and also with the people of liberty, that they would not take up arms to defend their country. (Alma 51:13)

Now this broke their covenants, for all Nephites were commanded of God to defend the nation. They weren’t conscientious objectors, they weren’t pacifists, they hadn’t taken an oath like the people of Ammon, no, they were just so pissed at not getting what they wanted that they thought to let the Nephite armies be defeated by their lack of support, knowing full well that Amalickiah was a king-man like themselves, and that he would welcome them into his society after he had defeated the Nephites. They didn’t care that Amalickiah would have to slaughter a whole lot of men, women and children in order to accomplish his goal. That was a small price to pay in order to rule.

As expected, Moroni popped his cork when he heard about this.

And it came to pass that when Moroni saw this, and also saw that the Lamanites were coming into the borders of the land, he was exceedingly wroth because of the stubbornness of those people whom he had labored with so much diligence to preserve; yea, he was exceedingly wroth; his soul was filled with anger against them. (Alma 51:14)

Moroni’s reaction, being a type of Christ, embodying His righteous indignation, shows us how the Lord Himself felt towards these men, for Moroni’s feelings matched those of the Lord. This was the Lord’s people whose lives these traitors were seeking to end, through sabotage. So, the Lord Himself was exceedingly wroth towards the king-men. When the Lord gets this angry towards a person or group, only repentance can save them from the inevitable, impending death.

For this particular group, Moroni did not have jurisdiction, so he sent a petition to the governor with the voice of the people, requesting it. In other words, the people voted Moroni as the man to judge the crimes of these men and execute the penalties, and he was instated. Even as bad as the king-men were, he still gave them the option of renewing their covenant, joining the army and fighting for the country. He did not go to them with the intent to just mow them down, for they were still his brethren, despite his anger with them.

Instead of submitting to Moroni’s legal authority, they resisted arrest, just as the people of Morianton did with Teancum. As a result, 4000 king-men perished. Those that did not die were arrested and cast into prison, to await their trials, and the rest, who did not resist arrest, renewed their covenant and took up arms in defense of their country, in obedience to the law.

This event shows that even with the most despicable of people, for surely the king-men were morally bankrupt, Moroni did as the law of God allowed, giving them the chance to make things right by repenting and renewing their covenant.

Mormon records, yet again, his purpose in giving this narrative, which is to teach the law of deliverance:

For it was his first care to put an end to such contentions and dissensions among the people; for behold, this had been hitherto a cause of all their destruction. (Alma 51:16)

Amalickiah attacks with success, but then dies

The combined disturbances of Morianton and the king-men grant Amalickiah power and success over the Nephites, according to the law of deliverance. While Moroni is taking care of internal affairs, the external enemy breaks through. Without going through the whole play-by-play, Teancum ends up killing Amalickiah and the 25th year ends.

Ammoron takes over the Lamanites; there are dissensions, successes, failures, etc.

Without going over everything, Ammoron, (Amalickiah’s brother), takes over the Lamanites, there are more Nephite dissensions, which cause more Lamanite victories; there are some miraculous Nephite victories, for many of these men exercise great faith, etc.

Moroni’s epistle to Ammoron

One of the most remarkable inclusions by Mormon is Moroni’s epistle to Ammoron, in which Moroni says something that is truly amazing, showing that the man was indeed a type and could speak for God in a way that other prophets dared not.

The epistle was sent in the 29th year, after Ammoron sent an epistle to Moroni asking to exchange prisoners. Moroni speaks in the name of God throughout the epistle, giving Ammoron an overview of his iniquities and the unrighteousness of his cause, and assigning two conditions for an exchange: that Ammoron withdraw his murderous purposes and that he exchange a Nephite and his wife and children for one Lamanite. During the letter, though, Moroni begins to gets angrier (righteously indignant) and writes the following:

And now behold, we are prepared to receive you; yea, and except you withdraw your purposes, behold, ye will pull down the wrath of that God whom you have rejected upon you, even to your utter destruction.

But, as the Lord liveth, our armies shall come upon you except ye withdraw, and ye shall soon be visited with death, for we will retain our cities and our lands; yea, and we will maintain our religion and the cause of our God. (Alma 54:9-10)

And behold, if ye do not this, I will come against you with my armies; yea, even I will arm my women and my children, and I will come against you, and I will follow you even into your own land, which is the land of our first inheritance; yea, and it shall be blood for blood, yea, life for life; and I will give you battle even until you are destroyed from off the face of the earth.

Behold, I am in my anger, and also my people; ye have sought to murder us, and we have only sought to defend ourselves. But behold, if ye seek to destroy us more we will seek to destroy you; yea, and we will seek our land, the land of our first inheritance. (Alma 54:12-13)

The Nephites were expressly forbidden by the Lord from entering Lamanite lands to attempt to destroy the Lamanites and from taking back the land of their first inheritance by force. They were only allowed to fight defensively, waiting for the Lamanites to attack them in their lands, and then they could repel them back to the border, but they could not go over that border to pursue them any further. But here we find Moroni saying that if Ammoron continues his murderous purposes, continually striving to destroy the Nephites, that Moroni will fight them to the border and then pass through, fighting them until they become extinct and the Nephites possess both lands of inheritance and the Lamanites are no more.

At the end of the Nephite civilization, the wicked Nephites did just that, bringing down the wrath of God upon them and sealing their destruction. So, this was a very big no-no. Yet, Moroni states this with authority: if you continue in this fashion, we will wipe you out.

There are two ways to interpret this. One is that Moroni was out of line. Such a view goes contrary to Mormon’s lifting up for emulation. So, that view is not consistent with the text. The other view, which is the correct view, is that Moroni wrote as was given to him by the power of the Holy Ghost. In other words, that Moroni was the first and only Nephite deliverer to have actually gotten conditional permission to invade Lamanite lands. And that makes sense, since this is God’s deliverer type. If anyone should be able to get permission, it ought to be him. Permission to invade is actually part of the Nephite war law:

And again, this is the law that I gave unto mine ancients, that they should not go out unto battle against any nation, kindred, tongue, or people, save I, the Lord, commanded them.

And if any nation, tongue, or people should proclaim war against them, they should first lift a standard of peace unto that people, nation, or tongue; and if that people did not accept the offering of peace, neither the second nor the third time, they should bring these testimonies before the Lord; then I, the Lord, would give unto them a commandment, and justify them in going out to battle against that nation, tongue, or people. (D&C 98:33-36)

“Going out to battle” does not refer to self-defense, or defensive warfare, but offensive warfare, warring beyond the confines of the lands one possesses or has been given as an inheritance. This is the meaning of the scripture and this is the law that was given to the Nephites. Nevertheless, from what Mormon included in his abridgment, permission was never granted, except for Moroni, for the Lamanites had promises extended to them and it was never the intention of the Lord to have them altogether wiped out.

Did Moroni’s threat come to pass? Nope, for the Lamanites eventually withdrew their purposes, but the potential for such a disaster (for the Lamanites) came closest during the times of Moroni.

Moroni, God’s appointed deliverer, obtains the prisoners and city of Gid miraculously

After the epistles back and forth, Moroni again shows that he is God’s appointed deliverer by obtaining the Nephite prisoners without an exchange and also the city of Gid without any blood-loss! None of this was done by human strategy or just dumb luck, but by the hand and Spirit of God guiding Moroni, by the power of the Holy Ghost working miracles in him, through the wisdom of God and the spirit of prophecy and revelation. All this to demonstrate that God has power to deliver His people without any blood-loss, whatsoever, or even without negotiating with the enemy! These miracles were meant to witness to the Nephites that God could and would protect and deliver them, if only they would trust in Him and obey His commandments.

The stripling warrior chapters

Alma chapters 56, 57 and 58 are the stripling warrior chapters, which tell of Helaman and his Lamanite sons. I will skip over these (for the topic of this post is Moroni, not Helaman), except to say that the Anti-Nephi-Lehies, who were the converted Lamanites that became the people of Ammon, had taken their oath never to take up arms again while they were still Lamanites living in Lamanite lands. Their oath was permissible because they had never entered into the Nephite covenant to obey the Nephite laws of the Nephite lands, which laws included the law to defend the land even unto bloodshed. When they were accepted onto Nephite lands, and given possession of the land of Jershon, they were not called Nephites, for they could not take the Nephite covenant without violating the oath they had taken in Lamanite territory. Therefore, exception was made for them to reside on Nephite land and just live the gospel, contributing to the financial support of the Nephite armies, but without taking up arms themselves, because of the oath they had taken, for it is a gospel law to keep your oaths.

It is important to understand that the people of Ammon were not pacifists, meaning that they entered into their oath because they opposed violence of any type. No, they took their oath because of the love they had for their brethren, the Lamanites, and they took this oath without knowing all the revealed laws of God, given to the Nephites. This is why they considered breaking their oath and taking up arms again, to help the Nephites, for they were not opposed to self-defense, for they accepted the Nephite laws as the laws of God, revealed to them. But Helaman convinced them not to break their oath, convincing them that God would strengthen the Nephites.

Also, the 2016 young men of these people, were raised by them as Nephites, not as Lamanites, and they were not taught to follow in the footsteps of their parents, taking an oath to never fight, but instead, they were taught to follow in the footsteps of the Nephites, by entering into the Nephite covenant, which was given by God, so that they could acknowledge the Nephite laws and defend the land. This shows that the people of Ammon were not guided by any man-made philosophy of nonviolence, such as we have in modern times, but only by the laws of God, which taught them to obey whatever the current law of God was, which in that time was to “defend the land unto bloodshed” and to never break an oath. It also shows that the people of Ammon did not rank things as “higher and lower” laws of God, nor consider their oath higher than the covenant God commanded the Nephites to enter into. Each one had its place, according to the conditions, which is according to the gift of knowing the differences of administration:

And again, to some it is given by the Holy Ghost to know the differences of administration, as it will be pleasing unto the same Lord, according as the Lord will, suiting his mercies according to the conditions of the children of men. (D&C 46:15)

For the Anti-Nephi-Lehies, it was expedient for them, at that time and location and in those conditions, to take the oath they took, but for their sons, it was expedient to enter into the Nephite covenant, for the conditions and time and location had changed.

Moroni’s first epistle to Pahoran and another Lamanite success

After Moroni learned of Helaman’s problems with not receiving reinforcements and supplies, he sent an epistle to Pahoran to tell him to send men immediately to Helaman and then went to work planning to take back everything the Lamanites had gained, apparently confident that his orders would be followed. This is understandable as Moroni was used to issuing orders and having them followed to the ‘t’. He had no reason to expect that Pahoran and the rest would not continue to follow his instructions. It seems to me that not only was everyone around him aware of who he was before the Lord, but Moroni himself also knew this. The Spirit of the Lord was upon him and he was appointed to win these wars. It would be inconceivable that anyone would disobey him. To disobey him was akin to disobeying the Lord, for all that he did was by the power of the Holy Ghost. Surely those beneath and also above him would not be so foolish as to reject the Lord’s earthly representative, His appointed deliverer. Only gross wickedness would reject deliverance from the Lord.

And so, when another Lamanite army came in and took the city of Nephihah, a city that Moroni had ordered to be reinforced so as to remain unconquerable, and which was not reinforced according to his orders, and thus was conquered, both he and all his chief captains began to wonder and doubt, and he was filled with sorrow. Having not followed Moroni’s instructions, they had disobeyed the Lord, and for this transgression the Lord, according to His law of deliverance, allowed the Lamanites to gain power over the Nephites. This is why the record states,

And now, when Moroni saw that the city of Nephihah was lost he was exceedingly sorrowful, and began to doubt, because of the wickedness of the people, whether they should not fall into the hands of their brethren.

Now this was the case with all his chief captains. They doubted and marveled also because of the wickedness of the people, and this because of the success of the Lamanites over them. (Alma 59:11-12)

The wickedness of the people was judged by Moroni and his men by how precisely Moroni’s instructions were followed; for there was no difference between “Moroni’s instructions” and ”the Lord’s instructions”; they were one and the same. Moroni was living the standard by which things during this time were measured.

How did Moroni react to this disobedience?

And it came to pass that Moroni was angry with the government, because of their indifference concerning the freedom of their country. (Alma 59:13)

More righteous indignation.

Moroni’s second epistle to Zarahemla, this time addressed to ALL the war governors

The epistle begins,

And it came to pass that he wrote again to the governor of the land, who was Pahoran, and these are the words which he wrote, saying: Behold, I direct mine epistle to Pahoran, in the city of Zarahemla, who is the chief judge and the governor over the land, and also to all those who have been chosen by this people to govern and manage the affairs of this war.

For behold, I have somewhat to say unto them by the way of condemnation; for behold, ye yourselves know that ye have been appointed to gather together men, and arm them with swords, and with cimeters, and all manner of weapons of war of every kind, and send forth against the Lamanites, in whatsoever parts they should come into our land. (Alma 60:1-2)

Notice that Moroni sent the epistle to Pahoran, but addressed it to both Pahoran and all the other governors and war managers. But when he begins to say what he wants to say to Pahoran, he begins by talking to them. Who are “them”? “Them” are the governors and managers of the war affairs. It is this group, not the singular Pahoran, that Moroni speaks to in this epistle, which is why he uses the plural “ye yourselves.”

This plural audience is found throughout the epistle, showing that Moroni is addressing the entire group of war managers:

“if ye had rendered unto our armies sufficient strength” (Alma 60:5)

“Can you think to sit upon your thrones” (Alma 60:7)

“that ye might have succored them, yea, ye might have sent armies unto them” (Alma 60:8)

ye have withheld your provisions from them” (Alma 60:9)

“my beloved brethren—for ye ought to be beloved; yea, and ye ought to have stirred yourselves more diligently for the welfare and the freedom of this people; but behold, ye have neglected them” (Alma 60:10)

Behold, could ye suppose that ye could sit upon your thrones, and because of the exceeding goodness of God ye could do nothing and he would deliver you? Behold, if ye have supposed this ye have supposed in vain. (Alma 60:11)

Now, I will not list every instance that shows that Moroni was speaking to the governor group, apart from Pahoran. The reader can search this epistle for himself and see that this is true. But why did Moroni address this group? It was because he had received a revelation from God. He wrote,

Ye know that ye do transgress the laws of God, and ye do know that ye do trample them under your feet. Behold, the Lord saith unto me:

If those whom ye have appointed your governors do not repent of their sins and iniquities, ye shall go up to battle against them. (Alma 60:33)

So Moroni knew, per this revelation, that the group of governors at Zarahemla were transgressing, but he didn’t know which ones they were, so he addressed the epistle to the entire group, but he made a division, leaving Pahoran out of the conversation and speaking to the rest. Pahoran could read the epistle, but the censorship was really on the others, not on him (although he thought otherwise). And the accusations he leveled at these other governors were all bull’s eyes, for it was the other governors who kicked Pahoran out, who were the king-men responsible for all their troubles, who had over-taken Zarahemla.

Mormon included this epistle for many reasons, but one of them is that it was concrete evidence that Moroni was indeed the anointed deliverer, the arm of the Lord’s deliverance. Every part of this epistle attests to the fact that he wrote it by the power of the Holy Ghost, for everything he said in it turned out to be the absolute truth. The whole thing is prophetic, from start to finish, a miracle epistle written by a miracle worker. Every question he asked was a true statement, discerned by the Holy Ghost, which knows the thoughts of men. I don’t want to expound the entire epistle, but I’ll just give some examples of what I mean.

Moroni asked, “Can you think to sit upon your thrones in a state of thoughtless stupor, while your enemies are spreading the work of death around you?” The truth was that they were thinking just that very thing, to sit upon their thrones in a thoughtless stupor.

He wrote, “The blood of thousands shall come upon your heads for vengeance”. That’s a prophecy that would be fulfilled, even as he pronounced it.

He asked, “Could ye suppose that ye could sit upon your thrones, and because of the exceeding goodness of God ye could do nothing and he would deliver you?” And this is exactly what they were supposing.

All Moroni’s questions and wonderings were prophetic, given by the workings of the Spirit in him. Mormon possessed the full record and thus knew of everything that the king-men were doing in Zarahemla, so he knew for a fact that Moroni’s epistle was chillingly accurate in its description of what these men were doing and thinking and that such information could only be known to Moroni by the workings of the Spirit in him. This is one of the reasons why Mormon said Moroni had a “perfect understanding.”  All of his thoughts were enlightened by the power of the Holy Ghost.

Moroni didn’t just prophesy of future events, but also spoke “past prophecies.” I’ll illustrate what I mean by that:

For were it not for the wickedness which first commenced at our head, we could have withstood our enemies that they could have gained no power over us. (Alma 60:15)

That is spoken as the Lord’s head deliverer. Who was more qualified to know what would have happened if something different had occurred? This isn’t Moroni speculating. This is Moroni revealing what the Lord had revealed to Him. As the appointed deliverer, he had received certain promises from the Lord, certain assurances or guarantees. The Lord’s deliverer cannot be defeated and must of necessity accomplish all his goals, so the only impediment to him is the wickedness of the people he serves. Like the Lord Himself, who is the Deliverer of us all, the desire to deliver the people is overwhelmingly compelling. This was Moroni’s joy in life, to deliver the Lord’s people, according to the power that the Lord had delivered into his hand. Only glory days could be ahead, and endless happiness, for the Nephites would be safe forever, if they just would hearken to the Lord and His deliverer. Moroni understood this aspect of the Lord (the desire to deliver and the power of deliverance) better than anyone else, and so he was a man of sorrows, for, like the Lord, he watched as the people transgressed and suffered needlessly. What pain to know the Nephites could have been protected from their enemies, because of the power of deliverance that was in him, but they weren’t, because of dissensions!

But behold, now the Lamanites are coming upon us, taking possession of our lands, and they are murdering our people with the sword, yea, our women and our children, and also carrying them away captive, causing them that they should suffer all manner of afflictions, and this because of the great wickedness of those who are seeking for power and authority, yea, even those king-men. (Alma 60:17)

Moroni had eradicated the king-men already (back in the 25th year, see Alma 51:21), but here he is saying that it is the wickedness of king-men who are presently seeking for power that has caused this destruction. This shows that even though no one had told him, Moroni could prophetically discern that king-men were again in the land. And they were, for the very governors he was writing to were king-men.

But why should I say much concerning this matter? For we know not but what ye yourselves are seeking for authority. We know not but what ye are also traitors to your country. (Alma 60:18)

And they were, on both accounts.

But I will leave off the prophecy and focus on the deliverer aspect of the epistle.

And except ye grant mine epistle, and come out and show unto me a true spirit of freedom, and strive to strengthen and fortify our armies, and grant unto them food for their support, behold I will leave a part of my freemen to maintain this part of our land, and I will leave the strength and the blessings of God upon them, that none other power can operate against them—and this because of their exceeding faith, and their patience in their tribulations— (Alma 60:25-26)

Now, this is going to sound blasphemous, but it is a true principle nonetheless, that Christ types can generate faith in others. Moroni had power to leave the strength and blessings of God upon his men, so that nothing could take away their agency. He says this is because of their faith, and he’s right, but their exceedingly strong faith in Christ was in part because a Christ type was among them, and they also had faith in Moroni. Faith in Moroni became faith in Christ. No faith in Moroni, no faith in Christ. Like other prophets, the Spirit doesn’t just confirm Christ, but also His anointed servants. This is why a latter-day saint who doubts the mission of Joseph Smith has a darkened mind. The restoration of the gospel is linked to Joseph. There is no accepting the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ without accepting the calling of His servant Joseph Smith. In like manner, Moroni was linked to God so that there was no faith in Christ without faith in His deliverer.

The next part of the epistle shows just how ballsy Moroni was:

And I will come unto you, and if there be any among you that has a desire for freedom, yea, if there be even a spark of freedom remaining, behold I will stir up insurrections among you, even until those who have desires to usurp power and authority shall become extinct. (Alma 60:27)

This demonstrates that Moroni did not fear anything, not even state power. Or, as he said,

Yea, behold I do not fear your power nor your authority, but it is my God whom I fear (Alma 60:28)

A man like this is worthy of emulation

I wrote this post to disabuse the minds of the people about captain Moroni and to give people a little deeper understanding into how the law of deliverance and the law of deliverers works. It may be that in a future time, we also, like these ancient Nephites, will have major and minor deliverers among us. If so, hopefully we will take these lessons to heart and learn to unite in obedience and faith under their leadership, as the people did under Moroni’s. In the meantime, we can strive to emulate him, for

if all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men.

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How to receive what you ask for


It is a gospel law that if you ask God for something that is good and right, in the name of Jesus, in faith, believing that you will receive, doubting nothing, you will receive what you ask for.

A new investigation

Lately I have been perplexed by the lack of spiritual best gifts among the church of God. In my interactions with church members, I had come to the conclusion that we do not have the gifts “because [we] ask not, neither do [we] knock” (2 Ne. 32: 4), after all, Jesus said that “every one that asketh, receiveth; and he that seeketh, findeth; and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened” (3 Ne. 14: 8.) Nevertheless, with over 13 million members of record, I found it awfully strange that not even one person sought these gifts. I mean, what are the odds of that?

That got me thinking that in all likelihood the truth was that while the vast majority of the membership no longer sought the gifts, a small minority did. Yet even among them the gifts are absent. I wondered, why haven’t these people received what they are asking for?

Moroni records Jesus as saying, “Whoso shall believe in my name, doubting nothing, unto him I will confirm all my words, even unto the ends of the earth” (Mormon 9: 25.) He also gives his own prophecy, “Whoso believeth in Christ, doubting nothing, whatsoever he shall ask the Father in the name of Christ it shall be granted him; and this promise is unto all, even unto the ends of the earth” (Mormon 9: 21.) God cannot speak a lie and still remain a God of truth. This means that for the entire gospel to be true, all its individual parts must also be true, including this promise, because the principle is that God “never doth vary from that which he hath said” (Mosiah 2: 22; also Alma 7: 20 and D&C 3: 2.)

I decided, then, that I would put Moroni’s promise to the test and follow the prescribed steps so that Jesus would have to confirm His words to me. I believed the word of God to be true and had full confidence that I would receive what I asked for. Specifically, I was going to ask for a spiritual best gift, for the gifts of the Spirit are things that are right and good, which is one of the qualifications necessary for the promise to be fulfilled. (See 3 Ne. 18: 20 and Moroni 7: 26.)

I began my trial sometime between the 19th and 26th of January, 2011, and have continued it to this very day. This post contains what I have so far learned from this ongoing experiment with the word of God.

Ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith

And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith. (Ether 12: 6)

A trial is a proof. A proof is “any effort, process, or operation designed to establish or discover a fact or truth; an act of testing; test; trial; as to put in proof.” The trial of your faith, then, is the proof of your faith, or an effort, process or operation designed to establish or discover whether or not you have faith.

The “effort, process, or operation” that is used to establish that we have faith is a very specific type of prayer. By praying in a specific way, our faith will be instantly put in proof and we will immediately know whether we have faith.

How to pray, part one

For the purposes of this experiment, we shall attempt to obtain one of the gifts of God. In particular, we will seek a gift that is easily recognizable as having been received. Of the three lists of gifts in the scriptures, the list given to the Lamanites is the only one that contains the gift of the beholding of angels (see Moroni 10: 14 and The role of angels in Nephite preaching.) So, this is the gift we will seek, for once an angel of light appears and is discerned (see D&C 129: 4-9), there is no doubt that the gift has been received.

The instructions of how to ask God for one of His gifts, which were given by Jesus and Moroni (in Mormon 9: 21, 25; 3 Ne. 18: 19-20; and Moroni 7: 26), are summarized in the following manner:

Ask the Father

Ask in the name of Christ

Believe in Christ

Believe in the name of Christ

Ask for something good and right (the gift of the beholding of angels qualifies)

Ask in faith

Believe you shall receive

Doubt nothing

The promise is that if the above steps are followed by anyone, it shall be granted/done/given and Jesus’ words will be confirmed.

Let’s write up a sample prayer based upon the above instructions.

My heavenly Father, your name be blessed. Show mercy upon me and hear my words. Baptize me in the Spirit and cause that I speak the words of this prayer by the power of the Holy Ghost. I thank you for the gospel and your Beloved Son: His life, suffering, death and resurrection. Grant me belief in Him and in His holy name. Give me faith in your Son. Bestow upon me the belief that I will receive what I ask you for in this prayer. Take away my doubt so that I pray, doubting nothing. Confirm Jesus’ words to me. Send your angel to me. Let me behold his face. Allow me to converse with him. Have him declare the word of Christ to me. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

A deadline

On the surface, the above prayer seems to serve its purpose of putting our faith in proof. If you have faith, the angel will appear. If you do not have faith, the angel will not appear. What it lacks, though, is an element of time. When does the angel have to appear? The prayer does not specify. The time frame is left up to the Lord. If the Lord decides to send the angel at the end of your life, 60 years from now, how does this tell you now whether or not you have faith? It doesn’t. What if the Lord decides not to send an angel because you didn’t exercise faith, would you know? Nope.

Prayers that don’t have an element of time in them are insufficient to put your faith in proof. A deadline, such as a day and time, must be included so as to make a discovery of faith (or lack thereof.) If the deadline comes and goes, with no result, you didn’t pray in faith. If the deadline arrives with an angel, you now have passed the trial of your faith and have received your witness.

Here is the same prayer altered slightly so that it serves as a trial of faith:

My heavenly Father, your name be blessed. Show mercy upon me and hear my words. Baptize me in the Spirit and cause that I speak the words of this prayer by the power of the Holy Ghost. I thank you for the gospel and your Beloved Son: His life, suffering, death and resurrection. Grant me belief in Him and in His holy name. Give me faith in your Son. Bestow upon me the belief that I will receive what I ask you for in this prayer. Take away my doubt so that I pray, doubting nothing. Confirm Jesus’ words to me. Send your angel to me right now. Let me behold his face. Allow me to converse with him. Have him declare the word of Christ to me. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

All things can be asked for

Notice in the above prayers that I asked for everything. I didn’t say, “Give me this according to the faith that I have,” I said, “Give me faith in your Son.” I didn’t say, “I believe that I will receive what I ask you for in this prayer,” I said, “Bestow upon me the belief that I will receive what I ask you for in this prayer.” I didn’t say, “I have no doubts whatsoever,” I said, “Take away my doubts.” The Lord has everything I need to make a prayer work. If I lack anything, He can make up for it, if I ask Him for it.

O then despise not, and wonder not, but hearken unto the words of the Lord, and ask the Father in the name of Jesus for what things soever ye shall stand in need. (Mormon 9: 27)

Different amounts of faith

To move mountains, you need faith the size of a mustard seed. Jesus told Peter that he had little faith. The scriptures speak of having the gift of exceedingly great faith. All of this shows that faith comes in different amounts. Depending on what you are asking for, you will need a greater or lesser amount of faith.

The mere act of asking God for something, believing that you are going to receive, is an act of faith. How much faith? No one but God knows. However, if you ask, believing that you will receive, and do not receive what you ask for—and you know for a fact that you have not received what you asked for because you asked in the manner detailed above, using an element of time so that the prayer creates a trial of faith—it causes you to confront your false beliefs. You must then admit to yourself that the belief that you had that you would receive what you asked for was false. Again, you may indeed have asked in faith, because the very act of asking is an act of faith, but it was of an insufficient quantity to receive what you asked for, therefore your belief that you would receive was false.

When a man is faced with a false belief—not determined by someone else, but determined by the man himself—the natural tendency is to discard the belief. You will no longer wish to follow Jesus’ instructions to believe that you will receive, because your mind, shown by direct evidence, will tell you that that belief is false. The evidence will be incontrovertible. In order for you to pray again, again believing that you will receive, you will have to completely ignore the evidence. You will have to call black white and white black. You will have to act totally irrationally. You will have to step into the unknown. You will have to close your eyes and walk blindly in darkness. You will have to face the fear and trembling spoken of in the scriptures and work out your own salvation under these conditions.

If you are able to get back on your knees and offer another prayer, asking again for something with a deadline, so that the prayer becomes another trial of your faith, and with the (irrational) belief that you will receive, the very act of attempting the experiment again requires more faith than your first attempt.

Each subsequent attempt will again naturally increase your faith. But each time you fail to receive, you will be faced again with a religious crisis that can only be overcome by faith.

The theory in all of this is that eventually, continuing on in this manner, you will finally arrive at the amount of faith required for what you are asking for, and you will then receive the gift you seek, obtaining the witness promised in the scriptures, which comes after the trial of your faith.

The veil of unbelief

The Lord prophesied that the people of our day would have a veil of unbelief, which, unless rent, would keep us in a state of wickedness, blindness of mind and hardness of heart, and He would withhold the greater things from us.

Behold, 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. (Ether 4: 15)

The purpose of the veil of unbelief is to hide “the great and marvelous things” of God from us. As long as it is upon us, we can pray until we are blue in the face to see angels or obtain the powers and gifts of the Spirit and we will forever remain in the dark about such things, never tasting of the goodness of God, nor feasting upon his fatness. Only those who pray to God “with a broken heart and a contrite spirit” are the ones who rend the veil of unbelief and partake of the greater things, such as the ministration of angels. To all others, the heavens are closed.

God has power to cast away the veil of unbelief from our minds

Now, this was what Ammon desired, for he knew that king Lamoni was under the power of God; he knew that the dark veil of unbelief was being cast away from his mind, and the light which did light up his mind, which was the light of the glory of God, which was a marvelous light of his goodness—yea, this light had infused such joy into his soul, the cloud of darkness having been dispelled, and that the light of everlasting life was lit up in his soul, yea, he knew that this had overcome his natural frame, and he was carried away in God— (Alma 19: 6)

Anyone can ask for the same blessing from the Lord.

It is extremely important that the veil of unbelief be removed, because it will prohibit us from exercising faith.

And the reason why he ceaseth to do miracles among the children of men is because that they dwindle in unbelief, and depart from the right way, and know not the God in whom they should trust. (Mormon 9: 20)

Using disappointment to rend one’s soul

…when ye shall rend that veil of unbelief… (Ether 4: 15)

The disappointment of not receiving what we ask for, as promised in the scriptures, is a heart-wrenching experience. If repeated over and over again, using back-to-back deadline prayers, it feels like your whole soul is being ripped apart. This might be the reason why the Lord chose the word “rend” when speaking of what to do with the veil of unbelief.

To rend means “to part, tear off, or take away, by force.” It also means “to separate into parts with force or sudden violence; to tear asunder; to split; burst; tear; to affect as if tearing asunder; as, ‘powder rends a rock in blasting; lightning rends an oak; a lion rends its prey; to rend one’s garments; the nation was rent by discord; a heart rent with grief.’” So, there is nothing gradual or subtle about rending the veil of unbelief. It is supposed to be done suddenly and violently, creating rapid change in the individual.

What the veil is

Man cannot perceive the veil of unbelief that covers him. The word veil is used to describe it because it feels very much like a thick piece of cloth that envelops the spirit. We can’t see out through it and, in fact, can’t even feel that it is there. However, once a part of the veil is rent, suddenly we can perceive that something real (an actual thing) is covering us, like a cocoon that gets cracked, letting the airy breeze in. The breeze feels good to us and the contrast between the exposed and covered parts (where the veil is still intact) enables us to finally perceive the veil.

The first perception of the veil is an alarming experience. The initial reaction is, “Get this off of me!” It feels like an uncomfortable, alien, spiritual cloth. And indeed it is. The veil of unbelief is Satan’s spiritual garment that he imperceptibly places upon all mankind when they arrive at the age of accountability and sin. Its purpose is to reduce agency, faith, knowledge, wisdom, etc. It allows him to more easily deceive us and lead us to destruction. It is the counterpart of the garment of the priesthood.

The veil of unbelief appears to be an extension of the spirit of the devil and not an individual thing placed upon each person. The result of being subject to it is damnation (see Damnation.) Once you can perceive that it is on you, you want it off of you immediately, because you can perceive that it is not a part of you and that it has been placed there without you even realizing it and that it is stopping you from spiritually progressing. In other words, you can perceive that an enemy put it there.

Even if one goes through all the ordinances of the gospel and wears the physical priesthood garment, etc., as long as Satan’s spiritual garment (the veil of unbelief) is still being worn, spiritual progress will be stunted and the gifts of the Spirit will remain off-limits. The gospel teaches that the proper order is to first rend the veil of unbelief and take it off, and then we are to put on gospel covenants and clothing. But even if things have been done out of their proper order, it is of utmost importance that Satan’s veil be removed.

The chains of hell

The chains of hell are twin filaments of spirit matter (plasma) that twist and revolve around each other in a pattern that looks like the links of a chain.

One end of the chain leads to, and is held by, Satan (see Moses 7: 26.) The other end of the chain leads to the veil of unbelief. It is attached to the veil at the back and base of the skull. One filament is attached to the half of the veil that goes over a man’s left brain hemisphere (the mind) and the other filament is attached to the half of the veil that goes over a man’s right brain hemisphere (the heart.)

There are three modes of plasma discharge: glow, arc and dark. The chains of hell are twin filaments of plasma discharging in dark mode.

The mind operates in arc mode, while the heart operates in dark mode. The mind is designed to believe what it sees, therefore it is designed to be lit up so that it can see everything and thus believe everything. The mind is also designed to be firm or fixed. When illuminated, it clearly can see where everything is and instantly can fixate upon what it sees without any wavering. When minds are darkened, it cannot clearly see things or where things are and must waver in order to try to find its way in the darkness, just as a blind man moves his cane left and right to figure out where things are.

When a chain of hell is attached to a veil of unbelief, the dark mode discharging filament that goes into the half of the veil of unbelief that encases the mind causes the mind to go into dark mode. The mind becomes darkened, and undergoes a state of blindness. It begins to waver. As it cannot see anything or much at all, it does not believe much either, or it begins to doubt or exhibit unbelief. Wickedness is simply a state which goes against the purpose God designed. It is a perversion. The mind was designed to operate in arc mode, in a digital manner. The veil of unbelief causes it to operate in dark mode, in an analog manner. The mind is now in a state of wickedness.

As stated above, the heart operates in dark mode. It is designed to operate in this mode and is designed by God to be soft and malleable, or easily entreated. When the other filament of the chain of hell goes into the half of the veil of unbelief that covers the heart, it cannot change the discharge mode of the heart, because the chain of hell is also in dark mode. However, it does have an effect upon the organ of the heart: it causes the heart to become hard or fixed. So now, instead of feeling its way around its environment like a blind man, as it was intended to do, the heart functions like a mind, fixating on individual emotions, instead of expanding to encompass the infinite gradations of feelings. In other words, the heart is designed to embrace the infinite, or feel an infinite variety of feelings and emotions. When the veil of unbelief, powered by the chains of hell, covers the heart, it becomes selective in what it feels, acting in a digital manner instead of the analog manner it was designed to operate in. It, too, is now in a state of wickedness.

Satan is able to deceive mankind through his chains of hell and the veils of unbelief that are attached to all sinners. Through sin, the veil of unbelief and its chain becomes attached to man around the age of eight. Through continual sin, it becomes increasingly more difficult to be removed.

The chains of hell not only look like chains, but also function as chains. If a man does not, while in mortality, repent and shake off the chains of hell and rend the veil of unbelief that is attached to his mind and heart, when he dies he becomes exposed to the full captivating power of Satan. Satan has power to pull on his chains, dragging the souls down to hell, but he has no power to pull the spirits into hell while they are still in their physical, mortal bodies. Only when the spirit leaves its body can the devil pull the helpless souls into hell. The body serves as a temporary protection from the devil in this manner. Once in hell, the devil can fully subject the spirits to him, through his spirit (the chains of hell and veils of darkness). (See Alma 34: 33-35.)

Having an understanding of these things is extremely important, in order that we can work out our salvation with fear and trembling before God. (See Alma 34: 37.)

A tare sown

The chains of hell and the veil of unbelief, if turned upside down, look like a plant stalk with roots going into the heart and mind of man. This is, in actuality, the tare that is sown by the enemy. The tare seed is planted in the heart of man first (see Moses 6: 55) and then takes root in both heart and mind. In other words, the first plasma filament of a chain of hell first begins its connection to man in the heart, then the second filament connects to the mind, creating the veil of unbelief which encompasses the mind and heart of man.

(Note: the veil of unbelief only covers the heart and mind of man, not any other part of his spirit body.)

Secret works of darkness

Man cannot discover the chains of hell, nor the veil of unbelief that is upon him. If it were not for the word of God, which reveals the secret works of darkness of the evil one, no man would ever know that actual chains of hell exist, nor that veils of unbelief are secretly placed upon all mankind. These invisible plasma filaments (chains of hell) and plasma coverings (veils of unbelief) can only be detected by a manifestation of the gift of the discerning of spirits, for these are extensions of the spirit of the devil.

Satan operates in secret. As long as we have no knowledge of what he is doing to us, or what he has done or plans to do, he can work his destruction upon us with impunity. The word of God ruins his plans, because it fully exposes the danger the devil poses to us. Once a man knows that he is in chains of hell and covered in a veil of unbelief, secretly put there by the devil upon reaching the age of accountability and sinning, man can use his agency to fight it and attempt to get it off of him by calling on the power of Christ to help him. This puts a clog in the works of the devil, so he has always attempted to destroy the scriptures, or corrupt them, or get people to disbelieve them or misinterpret them. For those of us that have uncorrupted scriptures (the Book of Mormon), the devil’s strategy to stop us from liberating ourselves with the power of Christ is to deceive men into believing that all is figurative in the scriptures, or at least the parts that pertain to him. So, the expression “chains of hell” is not considered a real thing that binds man. And the “veil of unbelief” is not considered a real thing that covers the heart and mind of man. They are thought to be just figurative expressions of states of mind, not actual things that must be actively sought to be removed from one’s spirit body.

Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling before the Lord

O then despise not, and wonder not, but hearken unto the words of the Lord, and ask the Father in the name of Jesus for what things soever ye shall stand in need. Doubt not, but be believing, and begin as in times of old, and come unto the Lord with all your heart, and work out your own salvation with fear and trembling before him. (Mormon 9: 27)

Most LDS interpret this scriptural expression as referring to respect. In other words, when we fear God, we don’t actually exhibit fear of Him, meaning that we are frightened by Him, but accord Him the respect that He deserves. However, this expression does not refer to respect. Such an interpretation is a deception of the devil, a snare meant to blind the minds and harden the hearts of the church of God.

What fear in the expression actually means

The word fear in the expression “fear and trembling” signifies actual fear, as in fright or horror. It is the fear of being cast off forever.

And thus did the Spirit of the Lord work upon them, for they were the very vilest of sinners. And the Lord saw fit in his infinite mercy to spare them; nevertheless they suffered much anguish of soul because of their iniquities, suffering much and fearing that they should be cast off forever. (Mosiah 28: 4)

Such fear is instilled in a person when the gospel of Jesus Christ is preached in its fulness and purity (see Alma 16: 21), meaning that those parts of the gospel which reveal the power and captivity of the devilthe reality of death and hell, the chains of hell, the darkness and blindness of minds, the hardness of hearts, the state of wickedness, the fallen, evil nature and nothingness of man, the bands of death, the doctrine of damnation and endless torment, the spirit of the devil, the mists of darkness and temptations of the devil, the veil of unbelief, the wavering state of the mind, the lake of fire and brimstone, the flaming sword of justice, the rivers of filthy water, etc.such parts of the gospel sink home into the heart and mind of a man, and this new awareness causes him to fear to die because of the knowledge that the instant he leaves his mortal body he will be “taken home to that God who gave him life” (Alma 40: 11) and, being found unclean and possessed by the spirit of the devil (for the chains of hell are still attached), will then be cast off into hell (Alma 40: 13), to be kept in captivity by the devil, because of his sins.

Again, this is according to the power and captivity of the devil, which the Lord respects:

And again, doth a man take an ass which belongeth to his neighbor, and keep him? I say unto you, Nay; he will not even suffer that he shall feed among his flocks, but will drive him away, and cast him out. I say unto you, that even so shall it be among you if ye know not the name by which ye are called. (Mosiah 5: 14)

Satan possesses all who have his chains of hell upon them. We are his property and the Lord respects that and will respect that so long as we have a chain upon us sealing us as the devil’s. This is why we are cast off when we return to that God who gave us life and cannot enter paradise or the gates of righteousness. The chains of hell are still attached to us, the veil of unbelief remains intact and our minds are still in a state of blindness or darkness, or “filthiness” and “uncleanness.” No unclean thing can enter the gates of righteousness, otherwise paradise would also be unclean. So, we are cast off and dragged down to hell.

What trembling in the expression actually means

The trembling is both physical and spiritual, or the trembling of the entire soul when a man is confronted with his deepest, darkest and most horrifying fear, that of being cast off forever. Trembling happens when a man is conscious of his own guilt before God, having transgressed His laws and commandments.

Now Alma, seeing that the words of Amulek had silenced Zeezrom, for he beheld that Amulek had caught him in his lying and deceiving to destroy him, and seeing that he began to tremble under a consciousness of his guilt, he opened his mouth and began to speak unto him, and to establish the words of Amulek, and to explain things beyond, or to unfold the scriptures beyond that which Amulek had done. (Alma 12: 1)

Shaking loose the chains and rending the veil

Fear and trembling before the Lord causes man to be confronted with the realization that he does not have faith unto salvation, unto repentance, unto redemption. It is faith that saves a man from the hell that is prepared for him. The realization that he does not have faith plunges his soul into its own personal hell, where darkness envelops him and hell fires scorch and burn him up, in a process that, if the man learns to trust the Lord, repent of all his sins and continue on through the darkness and fires, will sanctify him, for these are the refiner’s fires, which are meant to consume the impurities found within his heart and mind, his very soul.

The trembling and shaking is not a mental process alone, but also a physical one. When it is discovered that the devil has actual chains upon his spirit, with an actual veil of unbelief upon his mind and heart, the spirit of man reacts violently against the foreign spirit of the devil, of which the chains of hell and veil of unbelief are a part, and attempts to shake it off itself. As the spirit of man is connected to his physical body, when the spirit suffers in anguish because of the awareness of the presence and attachment of the spirit of the devil,―and such suffering is known as “the pains of hell”―and then attempts to shake the chains of hell loose, the physical body likewise begins to shake uncontrollably. (See 2 Ne. 1: 13, 23; 9: 45 and Alma 5: 9-10; 26: 14.)

Faith unto repentance brings relief and liberation

If a man is able to obtain faith unto repentance, by offering to the Lord a broken heart and contrite spirit, the fear of being cast off forever and his trembling under a consciousness of guilt is turned into the joy of the saints, knowing that the Lord has redeemed his soul from hell and forgiven his sins. This happens when the chains of hell have finally been shaken off and the veil of unbelief has been rent by all the fearing, trembling and crying to the Lord with a broken heart and contrite spirit. The man is now free from the power and captivity of the devil and can worship the Lord free from the guilt of his sins, with the understanding that Jesus has taken them away and that should he die this instant, he will go to paradise and not hell.

“O blessed Jesus, who has saved me from an awful hell!” (Alma 19: 29. These were the first words king Lamoni’s wife said, when she arose and stood upon her feet, after having been under the power of God.) The relief of liberation from the devil and deliverance from hell is the first thing on everyone’s mind.

In this state, the man is now justified (guiltless), purified (having no more desire to sin and, in fact, looking upon sin with abhorrence), and sanctified (having desires to do only good continually). He can now ask the Lord for a gift or power of the Spirit, with faith in Christ, believing he will receive, doubting nothing, and the Lord will grant his request.

Fear and trembling, part two

“O blessed God, have mercy on this people!” (Alma 19: 29; which were the second words that king Lamoni’s wife said after arising and standing upon her feet.)

Once free from sin, the liberated man turns his attention to those around him and his now acute knowledge of the power and captivity of the devil, and how narrowly he was able to escape his grasp and hell, causes him to fear and tremble for others. He begins to fear that those around him will be cast off forever and he begins to tremble and quake at the thought that if his fellowmen do not go through the same process that he just did, liberating themselves by faith on the word of Christ, that they will perish.

Now they were desirous that salvation should be declared to every creature, for they could not bear that any human soul should perish; yea, even the very thoughts that any soul should endure endless torment did cause them to quake and tremble. (Mosiah 28: 3)

The man of God, having been born as a new creature, even born of God, now desires that all should have the same privilege. Instead of fearing and trembling before the Lord because of his own sins, he now fears and trembles for the sins of others. If the man’s heart remains broken and his spirit contrite, he will continue in this purified, sanctified and justified state, working tirelessly to save as many souls from hell as he can, by exercising his faith to obtain and use the powers and gifts of God to benefit others and to help them also liberate themselves from Satan’s grasp.

This principle applies even to those who overcome the world and are translated, becoming sanctified in the flesh. Such persons still “suffer…sorrow…for the sins of the world.” (See 3 Ne. 28: 38.)

Fear and trembling, part three

The unrepentant man, whose soul is cast into hell, quickly finds himself in torment, with no apparent means of escape, bound to the devil by the chains of hell, which he can now plainly see are attached to his spirit, along with the veil of unbelief, in an environment of darkness, filthy rivers, magma, mists of darkness, surrounded by souls who are weeping and wailing and gnashing their teeth, in continuous anguish and misery.

He sees his situation as hopeless. Although he walks in every imaginable direction, hell appears to be endless and its gates are all one way. Souls continually enter but none have power to leave. There is no relief to his torment. Not even death can get him out of this prison, for he cannot die. Finding himself literally in hell, which appears to him to be a never-ending prison, he begins to fear and tremble uncontrollably and without cease, which causes him to enter a state of misery and indescribable suffering. The fearing and trembling, however, that the damned soul in hell goes through, is insufficient to shake loose the chains of hell that bind him, because he still has no faith, hope or charity. Unless he is able to obtain the word of Christ and plant it in his heart, and go through the process of repentance, by which he exercises faith unto repentance, he must remain chained as a possession of the devil and be subjected to the devil’s power to make him miserable.

All must fear and tremble

All men who arrive at the age of accountability and have chains of hell placed upon them because of their transgressions must eventually fear and tremble. A man can either do it voluntarily before the Lord during mortality and allow the hellish process to work out his own salvation, purify his heart and shake off the devil’s chains, through faith on the Son of God, thereby causing the gates of hell to be shut before him, or he can be compelled by the devil to fear and tremble while he resides within the confines of hell.

Fearing and trembling before the Lord in mortality is the same process as that in hell, except that you have a physical body. The body makes it much easier and quicker to shake off the chains of hell and rend the veil of unbelief. The fearing and trembling occurs before the Lord, in prayer, as you wrestle with the understanding that there is a satanic veil covering your mind and heart, with a chain attached to it that leads directly to the devil himself. And this veil and chain is causing you to remain in a state of wickedness, blindness of mind and hardness of heart. It is deceiving you and not allowing you to exercise faith. And unless you exercise faith, you aren’t, can’t and won’t be saved. And if you were to die this instant, with this satanic spirit attached to you, this same spirit would possess you and drag you down to hell and cause you to be in subjection to it and all would be lost. (See Alma 34: 34-35.)

These are scary thoughts, the thought that you are unsaved and doomed to hell unless you can rend the veil of unbelief. This fear, when it works its way into a frenzy, causes your spirit and physical body to start shaking uncontrollably.

Again, it is the trembling of the spirit that leads to the veil of unbelief being rent and cast away and the chain of hell being loosened and shaken off. This is how all the ancients worked out their own salvation. It is a personal trip to hell done in the presence of the Lord, where the fires of hell sanctify the person by causing him to fear and tremble, which eventually frees the man from the bonds of hell that held him tight. Mind you, these aren’t the literal fires of hell (magma), but the spirit fires of hell (the twin plasma filaments discharging into our human spirits in dark mode, known as the chains of hell.) Hell, in a very literal way, is already attached to all of sinning mankind, by way of the spirit of the devil (the veil) that is rooted in us. The spiritual fires of hell is the spiritual torment a man feels knowing that he is not saved. It is a reaction by the spirit host (the man) to the alien, devilish symbiote (the veil and chain).

No one, except it be little children, will escape the fear and trembling of hell. When little children die, they go straight to paradise, avoiding hell altogether, and while little children are alive, they are sinless and have no chains of hell placed upon them, therefore they need not go through any fear and trembling. The repentant saints of God, though, must go through hell on earth, by which they work out their own salvation with fear and trembling before the Lord. This allows them to enter paradise when they die, thus avoiding the gates of hell. The unrepentant wicked, on the other hand, do not go through this process on earth, therefore they must go to literal hell when they die, where they do not work out their own salvation, yet still fear and tremble under Satan’s power.

Suffering and sorrow is what it is all about

Suffering and sorrow are the sanctifying, purifying and justifying principles of the gospel. Fearing, trembling and having a broken heart and contrite spirit are the three principles that bring us to the Lord. The fear of being cast off forever, or, in the case of the righteous, the fear of other people being cast off forever, is a form of suffering. Trembling under a consciousness of one’s own guilt, or, in the case of the righteous, trembling under a consciousness of other people’s guilt (because of the knowledge that they will perish unless they repent), is also a form of suffering. And a broken heart and a contrite spirit is sorrow for one’s own sin (demonstrated by uncontrollable weeping), or, in the case of the righteous, sorrow for other people’s sins.

All of this suffering and sorrow is over, or about the consequences of, sin. It is sin-centric suffering and sorrow. If we go through suffering and sorrow about anything else that is not sin-centric, such as an illness, or failure at a relationship, or poverty, etc., none of such things does us any good whatsoever in the process of working out our own salvation. Only suffering and sorrow for sin sanctifies, purifies and justifies.

Deceptions of the devil

It is the intent of the devil to have all mankind fear and tremble in literal hell, under his satanic power, and not in mortality under the power of the Holy Ghost. The doctrine of working out one’s salvation with fear and trembling before the Lord destroys the devil’s captivating power, therefore, he inspires mortal men who are under his evil spirit to preach against this doctrine. One such individual was Nehor.

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

Nehor’s preaching had devastating effect among the church of God, leading many members into sin and many were excommunicated. Since the time of Nehor, however, the devil has changed strategies, but the result is the same. Now, instead of getting the church of God to believe that the doctrine of fearing and trembling before the Lord is false or unnecessary, the devil has caused the church to re-interpret it as something other than what it is. Now the church believes it is merely showing respect towards the Lord by striving to keep His commandments, with no spiritual and physical suffering needed. This new strategy of the devil is more effective, at least for our time, because the church actually believes that they are working out their own salvation with fear and trembling before the Lord, without going through any of the steps of the real doctrine.

Again, although the strategy has changed, the end result is the same. No one goes through the process of fearing that they will be cast off forever. No one goes through the spiritual and physical shaking and trembling under a consciousness of his guilt. And no one manifests the uncontrollable weeping associated with profound sorrow for one’s sins, known as a broken heart and a contrite spirit.

The doctrine of working out one’s own salvation with fear and trembling before the Lord requires that a knowledge of the chains of hell, of death, hell and the devil, of the captivity and power of the devil, and of all things associated with Satan and hell and sin and death be explained to a person. Unless a person understands that he is in the devil’s grasp and is going to hell if he does not repent, he can never fear and tremble before the Lord in mortality, and if he never fears and trembles before the Lord in mortality, he must fear and tremble before the devil in hell.

Owing to the necessity of teaching the doctrine of hell and the captivating powers of the devil as part of the plan of salvation, the devil has enacted a plan whereby he now gets the church of God to avoid all mention of hell, death, the devil, fear, sin, trembling and any other “negative” emotional state. We focus on heaven and salvation and avoid all mention of damnation and hell. Fear is never, ever mentioned, at all, and when it is mentioned, it is immediately struck down as a barbaric relic of old-time religion. (For example, see this comment.)

Nephi saw our day (as well as the days to come) and saw the strategies that would be employed by the devil to emasculate the doctrine of fearing and trembling before God:

For the kingdom of the devil must shake, and they which belong to it must needs be stirred up unto repentance, or the devil will grasp them with his everlasting chains, and they be stirred up to anger, and perish; for behold, at that day shall he rage in the hearts of the children of men, and stir them up to anger against that which is good.

And others will he pacify, and lull them away into carnal security, that they will say: All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well—and thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell.

And behold, others he flattereth away, and telleth them there is no hell; and he saith unto them: I am no devil, for there is none—and thus he whispereth in their ears, until he grasps them with his awful chains, from whence there is no deliverance.

Yea, they are grasped with death, and hell; and death, and hell, and the devil, and all that have been seized therewith must stand before the throne of God, and be judged according to their works, from whence they must go into the place prepared for them, even a lake of fire and brimstone, which is endless torment. (2 Nephi 28: 19-23)

Nephi said that “the kingdom of the devil must shake.” He understood completely the doctrine of fearing and trembling before the Lord. Also, he foresaw that hell would no longer be considered an actual place (see Teachings on hell and the spirit world), but a state of mind, as if people could release themselves from the misery of hell merely by thinking a different thought. Such deceptions are already upon us, and even greater deceptions are to come.

The gospel has already been compromised

The Book of Mormon preaches the gospel of Jesus Christ in purity. If you look at every preacher found within that book’s pages, you will notice that when they preached Christ, they also preached the devil and hell. When they preached salvation through Christ, they also preached damnation through the devil. When they preached liberation through the Son of God, they also preached captivity through the devil. When they preached of the Holy Ghost, they also preached of the evil spirit of the devil. They preached the gospel in its fulness and purity.

Now compare that to how the Gentile church of God preaches. We leave out fully one-half of the gospel when we preach it. We never talk of damnation, or captivity or hell, etc. When we talk of the atonement, we briefly mention sin and death and how the suffering, death and resurrection of Christ liberates us from that and then move on. There is no mention of fear, trembling, or any other thing that people might consider “too negative.” We focus on the positive and largely discard anything negative from our minds and conversations. As a result, we have stopped preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ, for, like a scale, balanced coverage must be given to both sides in order for a man or woman to repent of their sins.

Truth be told, even the half that we do preach isn’t preached all that much. The vast majority of our conversation is centered on prophets and apostles, obedience to leaders and commandments, blessings of paying tithing, attending church and temple, and every other conceivable topic that has nothing, whatsoever, to do with Jesus Christ’s suffering, death, resurrection and judgment upon all mankind.

Now, I normally put the blame of all things wrong with the church of God on the member’s backs, but this time I point the finger at the church leadership. They are not teaching the gospel and instead of getting the people to repent, they are causing the hearts of the people to become more and more hardened.

The plan of salvation has also been compromised

The Gentile church has likewise modified the scriptural plan of salvation. The plan is, in a word, Christ. It is not a flip-chart with circles representing kingdoms of glory, earth and the Spirit World. Christ is the plan. He was sent to deliver us from death, hell and the devil. Through faith on the power of His deliverance He can blot out our transgressions, all our afflictions, all our pain, take away our temptations and even blot out death, in other words, everything that causes a tear of sadness to fall from the eyes of man. He took all this upon Himself so that He could blot it all out.

Without Christ we are subject to the devil. We are not subject to sin, but to the devil. This is an important distinction to make. Sin and death are but tools of the devil. The real danger is the devil. The plan of salvation is a plan to save us from the devil. For example, death is a problem because

“…if the flesh should rise no more our spirits must become subject to that angel who fell from before the presence of the Eternal God, and became the devil, to rise no more. And our spirits must have become like unto him, and we become devils, angels to a devil, to be shut out from the presence of our God, and to remain with the father of lies, in misery, like unto himself…” (2 Ne. 9: 8-9.)

And sin likewise causes us to become subject to him, so that, were there no plan of salvation, “our spirits must have become like unto him, and we become devils,” even angels to a devil. So, Christ’s suffering, death and resurrection is designed to save us from the devil for he is the one holding all the chains of hell.

When we focus on sin and death and leave out the devil, we destroy the plan of salvation and faith. If sin were just a nebulous concept, without an actual being of power behind it, we could all be Buddhists or of any other religion and not need Christ. But this is not the case. No one can break Satan’s chains of hell. No Buddhist, no Muslim, no religion or philosophy of men. Only faith in Christ can. He, and He alone is the plan of salvation and we need saving from Satan and Satan alone. Christ and Satan must go hand in hand when presenting the plan of salvation, otherwise, it is no longer the plan of salvation and is of none effect to save men.

The Gentile church of God has pretty much divorced sin from the power and captivity of Satan. For example, if you look at the Mormon.org page on “Jesus Christ,” sin is mentioned 24 times with no mention of the devil. (A little better is that site’s page, “God’s Plan of Happiness,” which mentions sin 7 times, with Satan mentioned twice.) As a result, no one can properly exercise faith as a principle of power. Instead, we get hit and miss manifestations and no gifts.

Also, the focus of the plan of salvation is no longer Christ. Now when we think of the plan of salvation, instead of viewing the sufferings, death and resurrection of Christ, we think of three degrees of glory and of exaltation in the celestial kingdom. And we most certainly do not think of the devil and hell. In fact, we don’t even use the word hell anymore, having replaced it with the more politically correct term, “spirit prison.” Yet, even with that term, we do not see it as an actual prison, with real shackles upon a person. All has become figurative states of mind.

All fear is negative and bad and inspired by me,” says the devil

All of this is according to the deceptions, plans and power of the evil one, for it is his intent to remove both Christ and himself from our conversations. As long as he remains out of sight and out of mind, he is free to go about destroying souls.

In this way, the people are deceived and never realize the danger they are in, nor do they learn the process by which to go about removing themselves from that danger. They are deceived into thinking that fear, meaning actual fear, as in fright, is contrary to the gospel, and that fear can only be inspired by the devil. So, they never enter the process by which all the ancient saints went through to shake off the chains of hell and rend the veil of unbelief and save themselves, which is the process of fearing and trembling and crying before the Lord.

Again, what is it that we are to fear in this process? We are to fear being cast off forever. (See Mosiah 28: 4.) It is this fear that causes the body and spirit to tremble. And, why should we fear this? Because as long as the chains and veil are attached to us, we cannot exercise faith, cannot be saved and will be dragged down to hell once we leave our physical bodies, to become subject to, and possessed by, the devil’s spirit. Once people learn of these things, they begin to fear death, while the righteous, who have been liberated from this captivity, have no fear of death.

To be clearer in writing, no one can be saved without faith in Christ and no one can exercise faith in Christ unless they go through the process of fearing, trembling and crying before the Lord. So, to ascribe all fear as inspired of the devil is to commit spiritual suicide, for you will then never be able to exercise faith unto salvation.

The scriptures explain these things in plainness, so that people can understand that they ought to go through this process right now, this very moment, while they are still alive. Such plainness necessitates Satan’s strategy to get us to misinterpret these real things as mere symbols.

The one mighty and strong is a deception

There are many who are waiting for “one mighty and strong” to show up and save the day, performing miracles and wonders and signs. Such a doctrine is inspired of the devil. I’m not saying that there will not be one or more persons arriving who will be mighty and strong and manifest miracles and perform great works. Of course there will be. However, the waiting for such a man or men to arrive is inspired by the evil one, that he might keep all those who believe such a doctrine in the status quo and ever relying upon the arm of flesh and looking for someone to lead them.

The true doctrine of Christ is that every man and woman is to repent of their sins and harden not their hearts, receiving a remission of their sins, and then asking God in faith to obtain the gifts and powers of the Spirit, so as to work miracles themselves, and not to wait for miracle workers to show up. Those who wait for miracle workers to show up, without learning how to work miracles themselves, will end up being deceived, for Satan will send miracle workers with the intent to deceive such people.

We are to obtain the gifts ourselves so that we are not deceived (see D&C 46: 8.) If you do not obtain the gifts, but merely wait for a savior to arrive, you will get a savior, but he will be sent from the evil one.

Pray against the power of the devil

The scriptures indicate that we must pray always and not faint, that we be not led into temptation. In other words, we are to pray against the power of the devil, against his power to tempt and deceive us and others.

Yea, cry unto him against the devil, who is an enemy to all righteousness. (Alma 34: 21.)

The Lord will grant us what we ask for in faith, but if we do not ask for something, He will not grant it. The ancients always prayed against the devil’s power and taught all men to do so. The Gentile church typically neglects this duty.

The ordinance of prayer

Prayer is an ordinance (see New thoughts on prayer) by which we offer a sacrifice to the Lord. He only accepts one type of sacrifice: that of a broken heart and a contrite spirit. A broken heart and contrite spirit is a heart that is inundated with sorrow for sin. Initially, it is sorrow for one’s own sins. Later, when forgiveness through faith on Christ has come, it is sorrow for the sins of the world.

Prayer only works if this sacrifice is offered up. If any man or woman prays to God without presenting before Him the required sacrifice, which is the only sacrifice He will accept, the prayer is counted as evil and profits the man nothing. (See Moroni 7: 6-9.) Just as Cain brought the wrong sacrifice to the Lord and was rejected by Him, while Abel brought the right sacrifice and was accepted, so if we pray to God without a broken heart and contrite spirit, our prayers will not be answered, or will be of no profit to us.

The Son of God is “quick to hear the cries of his people and to answer their prayers” (Alma 9: 26), but only if they offer the required sacrifice. If they go to the prayer altar and offer up nothing, or some substitute sacrifice, they have no such promise.

If you are not weeping, you are not broken-hearted

The Lord has given us a key whereby we might know if we have a broken heart and contrite spirit: the crying of tears of sorrow. When we are crying tears of sorrow for our own sins, or for others’ sins, then we are broken-hearted. If we have not, as yet, reached that point, our hearts are still hard.

Yea, his weeping for Zion I have seen (D&C 21: 8 – The Lord, speaking of Joseph Smith, Jun.)

For I pray continually for them by day, and mine eyes water my pillow by night, because of them; and I cry unto my God in faith, and I know that he will hear my cry. (2 Ne. 33: 3 – Nephi)

There is a reason why the scriptures tell us to “cry unto the Lord.” The word cry can mean “to make a loud call or cry, as in an effort to be heard, in prayer or supplication, in pain or anger, etc.; to call out or exclaim vehemently or earnestly; to shout; to vociferate.” But it can also mean “to utter lamentations; to lament audibly; to express pain, grief, or distress, by weeping and sobbing; to wail; to shed tears with or without making a sound; to weep.” It is the latter type of crying that demonstrates a broken heart and contrite spirit.

When we cry to the Lord, with uncontrollable weeping for our sins, the Lord is “quick to hear the cries.” Only those who have a broken heart and contrite spiritwho are they that are truly penitent and sorry for their sinshave access to the atonement of Jesus Christ, “and unto none else can the ends of the law be answered” (2 Ne. 2: 7.) This means that unless you are brought to tears for your own sins, or for the sins of the world, you are currently in a state of damnation, because your heart is still hard, the veil of unbelief is still intact, the chains of hell are still attached to you and you are still in subjection to the devil, being an enemy to God.

The condition of the heart

It all comes down to our hearts. Our hearts are hard, like a stone. This is the reason, the only reason, why those of us who ask God for a gift of the Spirit, do so in vain. This is the reason why we do not receive.

No one can exercise faith while in a state of damnation. No one can be saved in his sins. He must be saved from his sins. A hard heart is a wicked heart. As long as his heart is hard, a man is still in his sins. The heart must be broken before salvation goes forth. Before Christ can forgive anyone of any sins, there must be the all-important sacrifice of a broken heart and a contrite spirit. Simply saying you are sorry for your sins does not cut it. You must feel sorrow for your sins. And this must be the sorrow unto repentance spoken of in the scriptures. This is sorrow that is accompanied by tears, by uncontrollable weeping. It is this sorrow that causes you to turn from (repent of) your sins.

And for those of us who have turned from our sins without the accompanying sorrow for sin (the weeping of a broken heart), such “repentance” is but a change of lifestyle and profits us nothing in the afterlife. The Lord looks upon the heart. Regardless of how one has stopped using drugs, alcohol, tobacco, and breaking the law of chastity and other laws of God, if the heart is still hard, that man is still in a state of wickedness, with veil of unbelief firmly attached, and has no faith unto salvation, which is why he cannot perform any miracle and will find himself in hell upon his death if he continues in the iniquity of his heart. So, it is sorrow for sin (the broken heart and contrite spirit) that is the first and chief gift of God that one needs to be saved.

But before you can attain to that state of sorrow, you must understand the consequences of sin. You must have a proper understanding of death, hell, and the devil and the captivity of the devil. And this understanding must work in you until you fear being cast off and tremble under a consciousness of your guilt before God. Only then can you come close to obtaining a broken heart and a contrite spirit.

All of this brings us to the role of the Book of Mormon.

The Book of Mormon is the solution

The word of God, found in the Book of Mormon, contains everything necessary to bring people to repentance, to the broken heart and contrite spirit required before miracles can go forth. This volume of scripture is designed to “pull down all the pride” (see Alma 4: 19) of the church of God. The opposite of pride is humility, meekness, lowliness of heart. These words refer to the broken heart and contrite spirit, not to mere “teachableness” as many LDS would interpret them to mean.

The church of God is currently in a rising pride cycle, which means that it does not desire to repent, nor feels the need to. It enjoys the status quo just fine. It resembles the Nehor perversion in certain aspects.

(The order of Nehors created exceedingly hard-hearted people. It was the Nehors of Ammonihah who murdered the women and children believers by fire. See Alma 14. It was also mostly the Nehors who slew the Anti-Nephi-Lehies who were prostrate and praying to God. See Alma 24.)

So, many members no longer care about obtaining the gifts. But even the members that are concerned about the lack of gifts, and that attempt to receive them, are incapable of doing so because they “are led, that in many instances they do err because they are taught by the precepts of men.” In short, the devil has the entire world under darkness, both within and without the church.

The Book of Mormon is the Lord’s solution to this problem. It is intended to give us the word of God in purity so that we can learn everything we need to know about Christ’s atonement and His power of deliverance, as well as the devil’s power of captivity. It continually calls us to repentance and shows us exactly what to do to escape the grasp of the devil and avoid entering hell, how to obtain a glorious resurrection, how to repent and receive forgiveness of sin, and how to obtain any gift or power that God has ever given to any saint of any age. In short, it gives us exactly what we need to gain the victory over the devil and overcome the world by faith.

Enos and Amulek as our models

Enos knelt before his Maker and “cried unto him in mighty prayer and supplication” for his own soul, “all the day long.” And when the night came, he did still raise his voice in prayer. And then the Lord spoke to him and told him his sins were forgiven.

It took Enos less than 24 hours of “crying to the Lord,” or less than the waking hours of a day, before the Lord finally spoke to him and he obtained a remission of his sins. It was accomplished in a single day.

Amulek said:

Yea, I would that ye would come forth and harden not your hearts any longer; for behold, now is the time and the day of your salvation; and therefore, if ye will repent and harden not your hearts, immediately shall the great plan of redemption be brought about unto you. (Alma 34: 31)

Again, the implication is that it takes but one day to obtain forgiveness.

How to pray, part two

Remember the list of steps? Pray to the Father, in the name of Christ, with faith in Christ, believing that we will receive, doubting nothing, for something good and right? Well, if you pray that way without a broken heart and a contrite spirit, you won’t receive a damn thing.

Before approaching the Lord in prayer to obtain the gifts of the Spirit, you must first obtain a remission of your sins, and before that you must first obtain a broken heart and a contrite spirit. And to do that you need to be harrowed up with guilt, you need to tremble and fear before the Lord, and nothing does that like the pure gospel of Jesus Christ, even the word of God as written in the Book of Mormon. The broken heart is the first thing to ask for. With prayer and the word of God, as found in the Book of Mormon, pride will eventually be pulled down and your heart will be softened and the tears will flow for your sins.

At that point, you must pray to God for forgiveness, while in your state of tears, or broken-heartedness, for as long as it takes. As demonstrated by Enos, it won’t take longer than a day, for the Lord is quick to hear the cries of His people. When you finally receive forgiveness of sin and have had your sorrow wiped away and replaced by joy, being full of the Holy Spirit and being baptized with fire, with the ability to speak the tongue of angels, etc., then, and only then, will you be able to ask and receive whatever you want.

Right after Enos received a forgiveness of sins, he got back onto his knees and poured out his whole soul to God for his brethren the Nephites. His broken-heartedness was in their behalf. Again, the Lord spoke to him. Later, he again prayed in this same manner, this time asking for something specific regarding the preservation of their records. He received what He asked for, because once again, he prayed with a broken heart and contrite spirit.

This is the grand key to the doctrine of ask and receive. If you have a hard heart, you receive the lesser portion until you know nothing and are taken captive by the devil. If you do not harden your heart, but keep it broken, you receive the greater portion of the word until you know the mysteries in full. (See Alma 12: 10-11.) Again, the key to know if you have a hard or soft heart is whether you weep over sin.

The Atonement has power to melt hearts

And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people. And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities. Now the Spirit knoweth all things; nevertheless the Son of God suffereth according to the flesh that he might take upon him the sins of his people, that he might blot out their transgressions according to the power of his deliverance; and now behold, this is the testimony which is in me. (Alma 7: 11-13)

The suffering that Jesus went through is designed to move the Universe to tears, compassion and forgiveness. All mankind would unavoidably perish were it not for the redemption of Christ, and He came down to save us, not to save Himself, because He loves us and does not want the workmanship of His hands to perish. So, this was a completely selfless sacrifice. Both the reasons for the sacrifice and the intensity of it work on all who plant this word in their hearts.

This means that when we plant this word in our hearts and believe it, viewing the cross of Christ and all the suffering that He underwent, we, too, can be moved to tears, compassion and forgiveness. In other words, the atonement has power to take away our stony hearts and give us a heart of flesh. For this reason, studying the word of God tends to pull down pride and humble us to the dust, making it easier for us to obtain a broken heart and a contrite spirit.

For those of us who find that we cannot cry to the Lord, meaning that we cannot feel the sorrow for sin necessary to obtain blessings from the Lord, because the tears do not come, the Lord, in His infinite foreknowledge and mercy, knowing that the preaching of the word in purity has power to break hearts and that the Gentile church would not preach the word in purity, began the foundation of the church with the Book of Mormon, for the Book of Mormon prophets preached it in purity. In this way, anyone who desired to obtain a broken heart and a contrite spirit, could do so by reading the Book of Mormon with a believing heart. This would be as effective as hearing the pure word preached in power.

A doctrine of two atonements

The process of working out your own salvation with fear and trembling before the Lord, and of calling upon the name of the Lord with a broken heart and a contrite spirit is an atonement. To be saved, two atonements are required. The infinite atonement of Christ in which He feared that we would all be cast off, trembled with a perfect consciousness of all our guilt, and sorrowed under the enormous weight of our sins, was the first one, without which no one would be saved. But a second one, a finite one, in which each person must also go through this process of fearing, trembling and sorrowing, is necessary to activate the first one.

A sense of our own nothingness

Ammon said, “Yea, I know that I am nothing” (Alma 26: 12.) Mormon said, “O how great is the nothingness of the children of men; yea, even they are less than the dust of the earth” (Helaman 12: 7.) And king Benjamin said, “The knowledge of the goodness of God at this time has awakened you to a sense of your nothingness, and your worthless and fallen state” (Mosiah 4: 5.)

The broken heart and contrite spirit is attendant with a sense of our own nothingness. Lehi preached the nothingness of man to his children (see Deep Waters: Lehi’s model of the universe) who then kept up the teaching throughout their generations to the end of their civilization. We are, quite literally, nothing, having come from the nothingness. All that we are and possess has been given to us, or leased to us, by the generosity and charity of God. If we do not turn the lease into a permanent ownership, by filling our hearts with charity, which is the love of God, our lease will end and we will return to the nothingness from whence we came. Just as from dust we are taken and to dust we shall return, so from nothing we come and to nothing we shall return, unless we take advantage of the atonement of Christ.

Even before obtaining a broken heart and a contrite spirit, getting a sense of one’s own nothingness assists in softening the heart, for the contrast between God’s absolute greatness, being a possessor of all things, and our nothingness, causes us to quake and tremble. Shaking, quaking and trembling are helpful in softening the heart. And after the broken heart is received, always remembering one’s nothingness and the greatness of God keeps everything in a proper perspective, so that it becomes that much easier to retain a remission of sin.

Retaining a remission of sins

And again I say unto you as I have said before, that as ye have come to the knowledge of the glory of God, or if ye have known of his goodness and have tasted of his love, and have received a remission of your sins, which causeth such exceedingly great joy in your souls, even so I would that ye should remember, and always retain in remembrance, the greatness of God, and your own nothingness, and his goodness and long-suffering towards you, unworthy creatures, and humble yourselves even in the depths of humility, calling on the name of the Lord daily, and standing steadfastly in the faith of that which is to come, which was spoken by the mouth of the angel. And behold, I say unto you that if ye do this ye shall always rejoice, and be filled with the love of God, and always retain a remission of your sins; and ye shall grow in the knowledge of the glory of him that created you, or in the knowledge of that which is just and true. (Mosiah 4: 11-12)

The key to retaining a remission of sins, given by king Benjamin, is to continually perform the ordinance of prayer, offering a sacrifice of a broken heart and a contrite spirit, which is the required sacrifice or atonement that is acceptable to the Lord. Doing so will fill us with the love of God (charity) so that it will be well with us at the last day, for whoever does not possess charity is counted as nothing and must return to the nothingness from whence they came, while those who do possess charity remain in the kingdom and receive an inheritance.

It is imperative, then, that we pray always and do not faint, after the prescribed manner.

There is no going back

To those who wish to use the information in this post, know going into it that once you start the fearing and the trembling, there is no going back. The pure gospel awakens you from the sleep of hell into a state of torment, even the pains of hell. The realization that you do not have faith will torment you as if your soul has been set on fire, for without faith no man can be saved.

One option (temporary at best) is to reject the gospel altogether and to believe that the promises of the Lord are false and thus the plan of salvation is a sham. But that will only work until you die and then you will find yourself in hell, in your unsaved condition. So death does not bring relief from this misery.

If you make an agency choice to continue to believe that what the Lord has promised in the scriptures is true, and that all who ask in faith, believing they will receive, nothing doubting, will indeed receive, then you must remain in your miserable, faithless state until you obtain the promised witness.

The very misery you find yourself in, then, knowing that you have no faith sufficient to save yourself, will either impel you forward to ask again and strive to obtain the witness, or drive you backward to reject the entire gospel. In this way, all who arrive at the trial of faith must make a choice. There is no middle ground. It is all or nothing.

Closing summary: A gospel prescription

Just as one goes to a doctor who then prescribes a medication or procedure to cure the ailment, so we can write a prescription based upon the above information to “cure” the world of a deficiency of gifts and miracles.

There are three steps to receiving what you ask God for. The first is the fear of being cast off forever. The second is a trembling under a consciousness of your own guilt before God. The third is a broken heart and a contrite spirit, which is extreme sorrow for your sins, manifested by uncontrollable weeping.

Once a man has the fear we are speaking of, this automatically leads him to trembling. The fear and trembling, if they are continued through prayer and studying the word of God, will eventually lead to a broken heart and a contrite spirit.

It is the broken heart and contrite spirit that rends the veil of unbelief, shakes off the chains of hell and casts away every doubt. Once a person has a broken heart and a contrite spirit, he can pray to God for forgiveness of his sins and within a single day of prayer become justified, sanctified and purified. This is because God is quick to hear the cries of those that have a broken heart and a contrite spirit.

After his sins are remitted, the man must continue in prayer and fasting, praying against the power of the devil, acknowledging the greatness, goodness and long-suffering of God and His hand in all things, and always remembering his own nothingness, and by so doing, he will always retain a remission of his sins.

Such a man, whose sins are now remitted due to his broken heart and contrite spirit, can ask the Lord for any gift or power of the Spirit and it will be granted him. So long as he remains broken-hearted and with a contrite spirit, he will grow in the knowledge of the glory of God, and partake of as many gifts, marvels, signs, wonders and powers as he asks for.

Now, backing up a bit: the first step is fear. To obtain this fear, a man must have the gospel preached to him in its purity, so that he has a good understanding of the power and captivity of the devil, of hell and of death, and also of the power and deliverance of the Son of God, of heaven and of the resurrection and judgment. The volume of scripture that God has given to us to preach the gospel in purity is the Book of Mormon. Therefore, to all who are serious about obtaining and exercising faith and receiving the gifts and miracles of God into their lives, may I make a suggestion?

Put every other book you are currently reading and studying aside and just read the Book of Mormon, preferably out loud, so that you actually hear it preached. Every available moment that you have, read from its pages, with the above understanding in mind, and allow it to soften and affect your heart, afflict your soul, harrow you up with your sins, instill fear in you and cause you to tremble under a consciousness of your own guilt. This can only be accomplished if you believe everything that you read and apply all the sermons of repentance to you, as if they were spoken directly to you and with you in mind. Do this until your pride has been pulled down by the word of God and you have obtained the broken heart and contrite spirit that you seek.

Also, pray to God in the above prescribed manner, using a deadline so that each prayer becomes a trial of your faith. In this way, you will be able to plainly see that you do not have faith, which will cause you to fear and tremble exceedingly.

Continue on with these prayers and scripture readings, and petition the Lord for the broken heart and contrite spirit and to rend the veil of unbelief and shake loose the chains of hell. Use every available moment to do these things and submit yourself fully to the fearful and trembling pains of hell. Eventually, the Lord will take away your stony heart and replace it with a heart of flesh and you will finally feel the relief that comes from uncontrollably sobbing because of your sins. You will finally be able to feel sorrow for your sins, instead of just saying you are sorry and not really feeling it.

When those tears come, continue crying (with tears) to God, in your broken heart and contrite spirit, asking for forgiveness of your sins until you obtain forgiveness.

Once you obtain forgiveness, you can now ask God to see an angel or a vision or whatever, and it will be given to you. Then go and bear testimony to others of what you have seen so that they can exercise faith to see the same things. This is how it works.

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