The role of angels in Nephite preaching


Mormon, speaking at the end of the Nephite civilization, summarized the role of angels among the Nephite church:

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

Angels performed three tasks among the Nephites: 1) they called men to repentance, 2) they fulfilled and did the work of the covenants of the Father, and 3) they prepared the way among the children of men.

Angels accomplished all three tasks by declaring the word of Christ to chosen vessels of the Lord, which were men and women of strong faith and a firm mind in every form of godliness.

After listening to an angel, a chosen vessel was instructed to bear testimony of Christ. This was done by going on missions and preaching the gospel to all who would hear, bearing testimony of what the angel had said.

Those who listened to a preacher’s message, which was the word of God communicated by an angel, could then plant that word in their own hearts and have the power of the Holy Ghost generate faith in them.

The investigator of the gospel, after repenting and exercising strong faith in Christ, with a firm mind in every form of godliness, would pray to the Father in the name of Christ, and ask to see, hear and know the things taught by the preacher, after the same manner or in the same way that the preacher learned it, and God would then send down another angel to the new convert, confirming his faith and giving him a witness.

Finally, the new convert would start preaching what the angel had told him and the process would repeat over and over again. In this way, the Father brought to pass His covenants among the Nephites (and Lamanites).

Angels were the trial of faith, as well as the witness

When Moroni wrote

And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. (Moroni 10: 4)

this wasn’t a unique promise that only applied to what he was writing. This was a standard practice among the Nephites. The Nephite preachers would teach those listening to their words to ask God, in the name of Christ, for a witness by the power of the Holy Ghost that the words they were saying, communicated by an angel, were true. They taught the people to obtain the very same testimony that the preachers had received. They taught them to ask God to confirm the word they had received by sending an angel to them and declaring the word of Christ to them, just as was done to the preacher. In this way, both preacher and hearer would see eye to eye.

As Alma said, “For because of the word which he has imparted unto me, behold, many have been born of God, and have tasted as I have tasted, and have seen eye to eye as I have seen; therefore they do know of these things of which I have spoken, as I do know; and the knowledge which I have is of God.” (Alma 36: 26)

The trial of their faith, then, was to receive the angelic message (communicated by the preacher) and to repent and exercise faith to the point that they, also, prayed down an angel. Once the angel came down and gave them the same message, their trial of faith was over and they had the witness that they were taught to seek by the missionary.

Again, when Moroni wrote that “he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost,” he was speaking as a Nephite, with the understanding and learning of a Nephite. The Nephite understanding was the following:

Do ye not remember that I said unto you that after ye had received the Holy Ghost ye could speak with the tongue of angels? And now, how could ye speak with the tongue of angels save it were by the Holy Ghost? Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ. Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do. (2 Nephi 32: 2-3)

So, when Moroni wrote “he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost,” he had in mind that God would manifest the truth by sending an angel to declare the word of Christ, because all Nephite preachers understood that angels spoke by the power of the Holy Ghost and that this was how the Father fulfilled His covenants (by sending angels).

(Keep in mind that the words of Moroni found in Moroni 10: 4 were written to the Lamanites and not to the Gentiles. The Lamanites are the Lord’s ancient covenant people and He will fulfill His covenants to them as He did anciently: through the ministration of angels.)

From Lehi onward

The role of angels in Nephite preaching began with Lehi. Lehi began his ministry in Jerusalem with a vision of “God sitting upon his throne, surrounded with numberless concourses of angels in the attitude of singing and praising their God” (1 Nephi 1: 8.)

Lehi taught all six of his sons the gospel he had received from God and then taught them that they could go to God in prayer and ask to receive the very same manifestations he had received. This is why we find his fourth son, Nephi, writing the following:

And it came to pass after I, Nephi, having heard all the words of my father, concerning the things which he saw in a vision, and also the things which he spake by the power of the Holy Ghost, which power he received by faith on the Son of God—and the Son of God was the Messiah who should come—I, Nephi, was desirous also that I might see, and hear, and know of these things, by the power of the Holy Ghost, which is the gift of God unto all those who diligently seek him, as well in times of hold as in the time that he should manifest himself unto the children of men. (1 Nephi 10: 17)

Nephi had these desires to see, hear and know what his father had seen, heard and known, in the very same manner as his father had experienced it, because Lehi had taught his entire family this doctrine of seeing eye to eye, and had encouraged them to learn these things for themselves, by going directly to God. This is why we find Nephi so upset with his brothers Laman and Lemuel:

And it came to pass that I beheld my brethren, and they were disputing one with another concerning the things which my father had spoken unto them. For he truly spake many great things unto them, which were hard to be understood, save a man should inquire of the Lord; and they being hard in their hearts, therefore they did not look unto the Lord as they ought…

And they said: Behold, we cannot understand the words which our father hath spoken concerning the natural branches of the olive tree, and also concerning the Gentiles.

And I said unto them: Have ye inquired of the Lord?

And they said unto me: We have not; for the Lord maketh no such thing known unto us.

Behold, I said unto them: How is it that ye do not keep the commandments of the Lord? How is it that ye will perish, because of the hardness of your hearts?

Do ye not remember the things which the Lord hath said?—If ye will not harden your hearts, and ask me in faith, believing that ye shall receive, with diligence in keeping my commandments, surely these things shall be made known unto you. (1 Nephi 15: 2-3, 7-11)

“Surely these things shall be made known unto you.” Nephi said this at the beginning of the Nephite civilization. This is the same “manifestation of the truth by the power of the Holy Ghost” that Moroni wrote about to the Lamanites at the end of the Nephite civilization. It refers to the ministration of angels, in which angels declare the word of Christ, as one did to Nephi when he desired to see, hear and know.

The confirmatory role of angels was firmly established in Nephite church culture from the beginning, with Lehi and his six sons. Of the seven men, Lehi, Laman, Lemuel, Sam, Nephi and Jacob all are explicitly stated in the record as having seen angels. And the last-born son, Joseph, was said to have been a just and holy man (Alma 3: 6), the implication being that he, also, saw angels.

All recorded Nephite preachers (as well as Samuel the Lamanite) found in the Book of Mormon saw angels before they went out to preach. For example, the sons of Mosiah and Alma the Younger saw an angel and then went forth telling people what they saw and what the angel said. None of the preachers kept angelic visitations to themselves, but freely bore testimony of the declaration of the word of Christ received by the angels. These experiences weren’t “too personal” or “too sacred” to share with others. On the contrary, they were only too eager to get the word out, for they wanted the residue to have faith in Christ through the word of Christ communicated (to the preachers) by the angel. When asked how they knew the things that they preached, they were quick to say it was by angelic ministration:

Now Zeezrom said unto him again: How knowest thou these things?

And he said: An angel hath made them known unto me. (Alma 11: 30-31 – Amulek)

And behold, thus hath the angel spoken unto me; for he said unto me that there should be thunderings and lightnings for the space of many hours. (Helaman 14: 26 – Samuel the Lamanite)

Therefore, as Aaron entered into one of their synagogues to preach unto the people, and as he was speaking unto them, behold there arose an Amalekite and began to contend with him, saying: What is that thou hast testified? Hast thou seen an angel? Why do not angels appear unto us? Behold are not this people as good as thy people? (Alma 21: 5 – Aaron, son of Mosiah)

And the things which I shall tell you are made known unto me by an angel from God. And he said unto me: Awake; and I awoke, and behold he stood before me. (Mosiah 3: 2 – King Benjamin)

Widespread angelic ministration was a hallmark of the Nephite church because Lehi’s sons Nephi, Sam, Jacob and Joseph had continued the teaching of their father Lehi, that all converts ought to get confirmation from an angel after receiving the word from a preacher. They passed this teaching onto their children, who passed it onto their children, and on and on throughout their generations to the very end of the Nephite church.

When Alma spoke the following words to the people of Ammonihah around 82 B.C.:

For behold, angels are declaring it unto many at this time in our land; and this is for the purpose of preparing the hearts of the children of men to receive his word at the time of his coming in his glory.

And now we only wait to hear the joyful news declared unto us by the mouth of angels, of his coming; for the time cometh, we know not how soon. Would to God that it might be in my day; but let it be sooner or later, in it I will rejoice.

And it shall be made known unto just and holy men, by the mouth of angels, at the time of his coming, that the words of our fathers may be fulfilled, according to that which they have spoken concerning him, which was according to the spirit of prophecy which was in them. (Alma 13: 24-26)

the “unto many” that he referred to were the members of the church of his day. This wasn’t a select few leaders, one or two here or there, a quorum of three or twelve or fifteen, it was the general membership of the church. These ancients had all received angelic ministrations because this is what they were taught to do. This was how they tried their faith and received a witness of its veracity.

The same gospel, given to the Gentiles

The gospel given to the Nephites, including the eye to eye doctrine of confirmatory, angelic ministrations, was prayed (in faith) by the ancient inhabitants of this land to go to the Lamanites of a future day, hence the appearance of the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon is a record of angelic sermons, or words of Christ received through angelic means. It is designed to be this way so that when the Lamanites receive it, they will, like their ancestors, seek to obtain a manifestation of its truth through angelic ministration, once again repeating and initiating the ancient gospel given to the Nephites. In order to see eye to eye on angelic ministration, you must have a preacher preaching a message received through the means of angels. That is what the Book of Mormon is. So, the Lamanites then, when they read of Nephi’s visions, or Lehi’s visions, or Jacob’s or Alma’s or any one of the angelic visitations and declarations found in the record, will be able to put that word in their hearts and exercise faith and pray down the angels to manifest the same things to them by the power of the Holy Ghost.

This was the intent and faith and prayers of the ancients for this record, to jump start the Lamanites and to give them the same gospel which the ancient inhabitants lived.

On the other hand, the Gentiles who obtained the book could also have the same gospel, if they wanted it. The angelic word is there, if they wanted to apply it as the Lamanites of a future day would. But history has shown the Gentiles to be a hard-hearted, faithless bunch. Joseph Smith tried to get the people to see what he saw, to behold the same visions, to see the same angels, to receive the same message—in other words, to accept the gospel given to the Nephites—but the Gentile church is more or less content with having one man in charge who receives from the Lord, and then having that man (or a small group of men) tell them what to do. Joseph was only able to get a few individuals to behold the marvelous power of God that he beheld, such as Martin Harris, Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and Sidney Ridgon. Everyone else pretty much rejected the eye to eye doctrine found in the Book of Mormon. Hence the condemnation found upon the church today.

No angels = no faith = no salvation

The doctrine the Nephites preached was not the doctrine the modern Gentile church preaches and practices. Yet, it is the very doctrine that God wants everyone to live, which is why He brought it forth.

Mormon stated that if the ministration of angels ever ceased, it would be “because of unbelief, and all is vain.” The cessation of the appearance of angels among the Gentile church is proof positive that the church is condemned, or to be plainer in writing, damned, because “if these things have ceased, then has faith ceased also; and awful is the state of man, for they are as though there had been no redemption made.” (See Moroni 7: 37-38.)

Let me re-phrase that to be clearer in writing. If angels ever cease appearing to the Gentile church of God, then faith will have ceased also among the church of God, and awful is the state of the church of God, for the church of God will be as though there had been no redemption. Notice, in particular, Mormon’s words: “for they are as though there had been no redemption made.” Abinadi and Alma also used such a phrase:

But remember that he that persists in his own carnal nature, and goes on in the ways of sin and rebellion against God, remaineth in his fallen state and the devil hath all power over him. Therefore he is as though there was no redemption made, being an enemy to God; and also is the devil an enemy to God. (Mosiah 16: 5)

And now behold, I say unto you then cometh a death, even a second death, which is a spiritual death; then is a time that whosoever dieth in his sins, as to a temporal death, shall also die a spiritual death; yea, he shall die as to things pertaining unto righteousness. Then is the time when their torments shall be as a lake of fire and brimstone, whose flame ascendeth up forever and ever; and then is the time that they shall be chained down to an everlasting destruction, according to the power and captivity of Satan, he having subjected them according to his will. Then, I say unto you, they shall be as though there had been no redemption made; for they cannot be redeemed according to God’s justice; and they cannot die, seeing there is no more corruption. (Alma 12: 16-18)

So, according to the above scriptures, if the Gentile church of God no longer has angels appearing to them, it is because they don’t have faith, and therefore they are under the power and captivity of Satan, he having subjected them according to his will, and they (the church of God!) are enemies to God. They, then, are not in a redeemed or saved condition, but are damned. All because they do not exercise faith to behold angels, as did the ancient Nephite church.

Remember, the Lord stated in D&C 84: 55-57 that the entire church was brought under condemnation because they did not do what was written in the Book of Mormon. This condemnation has never been lifted.  Even now, we give a lot of lip service to it, but do not live its teachings.

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LDS Anarchist’s Posts Are “Open” Copyright


Freely Print What You Want

What this means is that anyone is free to to take any of the 180 or so posts that I’ve written and print them out and distribute them to the members  and leaders of your local ward or stake, or any ward or stake, for that matter, including to any general authorities.

Claim It As Your Own

You don’t have to give me credit for anything I’ve written here.  You don’t have to have to put the url of this blog anywhere on the page.  In fact, if you want, you can claim authorship of any of the articles.  I don’t mind.

Make Them Anonymous

It might be more effective to just keep the articles anonymous, without your name on them.  Then, people who read them will have only the message to judge.  They won’t be able to judge the messenger, as they won’t know who he or she is.

Modify Them As You Wish

Don’t like certain parts of my articles?  Just cut those parts out.  Don’t agree with certain parts?  Just re-word them so that they fit into your belief system.  Want to add your own words to them as if they were part of the original article?  Knock yourself out.

Want To Make Money?

For the really entrepreneurial types, feel free to take whatever group of articles you find on this blog (authored by me), modify and edit them as you wish, and then have them published in book form.  Sell as many of them as you like.  Keep all the profits yourself.  You don’t have to give me one red cent.

Here, I’ll get you started.  Go to FastPencil, sign up for a free account. then import the following blog post XML files to your account: 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011.  (Hyper-links forthcoming.)

Why I’m Posting This “Open” Copyright Announcement

After writing The Priesthood article, I began to review some of the conditions among men that would usher in the great and marvelous work.  I also began to review some of the things the Holy Ghost had told me concerning future events and conditions.  As I had these thoughts in my mind, a new thought struck me:

What if the LDS Anarchy blog were to play a part in the ushering in of these conditions?

This was a question I had never before considered.  Although I believe that some of the articles I’ve written are quite persuasive, there has always been one thing that has never allowed anyone (statist or anarchist alike) to take the concept of Mormon anarchism completely seriously, namely, the Mormon priesthood hierarchy.  Anarchists are all about dissembling hierarchies, so Mormon anarchy, in the minds of both anarchist and statist, is a contradiction in terms.

I knew from the start that anarchists and statists would be laughing their heads off at me and hardly anyone would believe a word I would write.  That was okay with me as my aim was to chiefly use the blog as a repository of my research papers and thoughts.  So, I pushed on with my writings, never once expecting that this blog would have even the slightest bit of influence upon anyone.

But my latest article on priesthood has made me reconsider everything.  It was that article and the research conducted for it, as well as subsequent research on priesthood (see An alternate view of the keys), that has turned everything upside down in my mind.  This research directly addresses the priesthood “hierarchy” and shows that it is not designed to be a hierarchy in the traditional sense, as used by the Gentiles rulers.

With this new, anarchic understanding of priesthood, the apparent contradictions cleared up.  The rest of my anarchy articles were now on a much more solid foundation.  As I considered that the strength of my arguments for Mormon anarchy were now immensely stronger than before because of the new priesthood research, it made me wonder if these blog articles could be more than just a repository for my future reference.  Perhaps the Lord could use this blog somehow.

I then turned my mind back to October 2007, when I began blogging.  I remembered the circumstances that caused me to consider starting a blog.  (See Why I started this blog.)  And I remembered how much pondering went into the decision to start it.  (See The Mormon Worker and the LDS Anarchy Blog:  The hand of the Lord or just a coincidence?)  Although I think that I did not mention it in either of those posts, to be entirely truthful, I actually did feel inspired by the Lord to publish my views on Mormon anarchy anonymously.  It was that feeling that clinched it for me to begin blogging.

So, here it is 2+ years and around 180 posts later, and now I’m having the thought that maybe the words written on this blog are not meant just to be viewed on a computer screen.  Maybe its purpose was to get the words out in public on the Internet, so that others could print them and take them to the True Blue Mormons who would never in a million years read anything here, because of that scary looking Anarchy is Order symbol at the top of each page.

Please Report Back

To those who take this “open” copyright and run with it, please come back and tell everyone how TBM’s reacted to whatever literature you got in front of them.  Also, let us know how you distributed material.  By mail?  Hand-delivered?  By pinning them to the bulletin board?  By printing out a bunch of copies and furtively leaving them in the meetinghouse foyer?  How?

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Manasseh’s future leadership role


Note: I suppose I could have gone further with this exposition, but I’m trying to keep my posts down in size.  Hopefully, there is enough here to generate a lively discussion, or at least give food for thought.  Click the links to see the scriptural references.

An overlooked prophecy

I like to think of the tribe of Ephraim as the Gentile dumping ground.  If you are a Gentile that joins the church of Christ, chances are pretty good that when you get your patriarchal blessing, you’ll be given the tribal lineage of Ephraim.  This, of course, fulfills prophecy, as Ephraim was blessed by Jacob (father of Joseph who was sold into Egypt) to become a multitude of nations (Gentiles).

However, there is a prophecy spoken by an angel to Nephi that indicates there will come a time when the Gentiles that repent will be put into the tribe of Manasseh:

And the angel spake unto me, saying: These last records, which thou hast seen among the Gentiles, shall establish the truth of the first, which are of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, and shall make known the plain and precious things which have been taken away from them; and shall make known to all kindreds, tongues, and people, that the Lamb of God is the Son of the Eternal Father, and the Savior of the world; and that all men must come unto him, or they cannot be saved.

And they must come according to the words which shall be established by the mouth of the Lamb; and the words of the Lamb shall be made known in the records of thy seed, as well as in the records of the twelve apostles of the Lamb; wherefore they both shall be established in one; for there is one God and one Shepherd over all the earth.

And the time cometh that he shall manifest himself unto all nations, both unto the Jews and also unto the Gentiles; and after he has manifested himself unto the Jews and also unto the Gentiles, then he shall manifest himself unto the Gentiles and also unto the Jews, and the last shall be first, and the first shall be last.

And it shall come to pass, that if the Gentiles shall hearken unto the Lamb of God in that day that he shall manifest himself unto them in word, and also in power, in very deed, unto the taking away of their stumbling blocks—and harden not their hearts against the Lamb of God, they shall be numbered among the seed of thy father; yea, they shall be numbered among the house of Israel; and they shall be a blessed people upon the promised land forever; they shall be no more brought down into captivity; and the house of Israel shall no more be confounded.  (1 Nephi 13: 40-42 & 1 Nephi 14: 1-2)

To clarify: “they [the Gentiles] shall be numbered among the seed of thy father [Lehi].”  As Lehi was of the tribe of Manasseh, the seed of Lehi would also be of the tribe of Manasseh.

First to be last and then last to be first

Manasseh was the firstborn, elder son of Joseph, while Ephraim the next born, a younger son.  However, Ephraim was blessed with the birthright and was made greater (in number, as the Gentiles would be put into his tribe) than, and set before (or made first over), Manasseh.  Nevertheless, both Manasseh and Ephraim had the charge of pushing the people together in the last days (the gathering).

Today, the Gentile Ephraimites are still first over (or set before) Manasseh, meaning that it is the tribe of (Gentile) Ephraim that leads in the church and that is more numerous than Manasseh, which takes a secondary place among church membership, assisting the Gentile Ephraimites in all things.  In fact, any non-Gentile converts (actual seed of Israel) that come into the church also act as assistants to the Gentile Ephraimitish leadership.

However, the angel’s prophecy is such that at some future point in time—specifically, in the words of the angel, “in that day that [the Lamb of God] shall manifest himself unto [the Gentiles] in word, and also in power, in very deed, unto the taking away of their stumbling blocks”—the Gentiles that a) “shall hearken unto the Lamb of God” and b) “harden not their hearts against the Lamb of God” will be numbered among the tribe of Manasseh. The angel also says, “yea, they shall be numbered among the house of Israel.”  As the tribe of Manasseh is also numbered among the house of Israel, both enumerations fit.  So, when the Gentiles are numbered among the tribe of Manasseh, they are also automatically numbered among the house of Israel.

This is a future prophecy

My understanding is that this prophecy is yet to be fulfilled.  It means that when the marvelous work and a wonder takes place (read the rest of 1 Nephi 14), and new records are brought forth through the Gentiles, to the Gentiles, and then taken to the remnant of Jacob (the seed of Lehi, which are Manassehites), most Gentiles will reject them.  There will be some Gentiles, though, that will accept the records, and these will be numbered among the tribe of Manasseh.  These Gentile Manassehites will then assist the remnant of Jacob in America (the real tribe of Manasseh) in building Zion and gathering the house of Israel.  (It is real Israel that will build and gather, while grafted-in, adopted Israel—the Gentiles—will assist them, and not vice versa.)  Thus, the first (Ephraim) shall be last and the last (Manasseh) shall be first.

Numbering is a future, tribal event

The Ephraimitish Gentiles, meaning those Gentiles whose patriarchal blessings indicate they pertain to the tribe of Ephraim (which fulfills prophecy), who repent after these new records are revealed will be numbered among the (now functioning) tribe of Manasseh, along with the non-Ephraimitish Gentiles who repent.  Currently, although our patriarchal blessings indicate tribal affiliations, none of the LDS function as bona fide tribes, nor have any of them been numbered among a tribe. Numbering is a future event that pertains to bona fide, functioning tribes.  This is why in General Conference, when the church numbers are given, we never hear an enumeration of any of the tribes that make up the church membership.  Instead, we are told how the church membership is a “united nation,” such as President Uchtdorf recently told LDS at a multi-stake conference.

Destruction among the unbelieving Ephraimitish Gentiles

When the angel’s prophecy that “the house of Israel shall no more be confounded” comes to pass, real Israel, the remnant of Jacob (the real tribe of Manasseh) shall go through the unbelieving Ephraimitish Gentiles (who are not numbered among the seed of Lehi, as they do not believe the new records) as a lion among flocks of sheep, treading them down and tearing them in pieces.  They shall literally be cut off from among the people for rejecting Christ’s words.  These slated-to-be-destroyed people will not be the unbelieving Gentiles who never had the gospel, but the salt that has lost its savor (see 3 Nephi 16: 15 and D&C 101: 39-40), meaning Gentiles who have already entered into the covenant relationship with Christ.

What of real Ephraim and the other real tribes?

They will also play a part in the last days, but as for us Gentiles, there are only two tribes with which we have anything to do: first Ephraim and second Manasseh and then (later) first Manasseh and second Ephraim.  But, although Manasseh will get thousands injected into it from the Gentile converts, when the real tribe of Ephraim returns and functions tribally, the nations of the earth that repent during the ensuing preaching of the word (found in the new records) will be adopted into and numbered among Ephraim, fulfilling the prophecy (of Ephraim being more numerous than Manasseh) a second time.

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Why I Believe the Plates of Brass Are Next


This is my current understanding, written in response to a comment I posted recently.

Nephi’s Final Prophecy

In chapters 25-30 of 2 Nephi (in the Book of Mormon), Nephi, the son of Lehi, gives a prophecy “according to the spirit which is in [him]” and “according to the plainness which hath been with [him] from the time that [he] came out from Jerusalem with [his] father.”  Beginning with his own time, he takes us chronologically forward to the Atonement of Christ, prophesying what would occur with the Jews of the Old World and the Nephites of the New World.  He continues his prophecy onward, detailing the apostasy that would result among the Jews and the Nephites after the Savior’s visits to both continents.  Finally, he mentions the Gentiles.

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

After verse 14 of this chapter, Nephi begins to prophesy concerning the Gentiles, explaining just how they will become convinced that Jesus is the Christ.  His Gentile prophecy is of particular interest to me, as I am a Gentile, or at least I am associated with the Gentiles, until my genealogy reveals otherwise.

Two Acts, Not One

According to my understanding of the scriptures, there are two merciful acts of God towards the Gentiles, after which there is an act of judgment against the unrepentant of them.  For the sake of clarity, let’s call these acts the First Act (of Mercy), the Second Act (of Mercy) and the Act of Judgment. Nephi’s prophecy concerning the Gentiles covers all three acts.

He begins with the First Act.

But behold, I prophesy unto you concerning the last days; concerning the days when the Lord God shall bring these things forth unto the children of men.  (2 Nephi 26: 14)

The times of the “last days”includes all three acts, however the particular “last days” that Nephi is referring to is the First Act, in which “the Lord God shall bring these things [the Book of Mormon] forth unto the children of men.”  So, the First Act is defined as that merciful act of God when he sends a seer (Joseph Smith, Jun.) among the Gentiles and brings forth the Book of Mormon and other revelations, causing much gospel restoration to take place.

Nephi explains that the righteous Nephites and Lamanites will write the word of God’s prophets and God’s Son (when Jesus visits the Nephites) and that their words will be “sealed up in a book.”  He says that the Nephites and Lamanites will eventually dwindle in unbelief and that the Lord will no longer allow them to have the book, as they will then be trying to destroy God’s things.  Later, the descendants of these unbelieving people will be smitten by the Gentiles and then God will cause the words of their righteous ancestors to speak to them.  (See 2 Ne. 26: 15-19.)

Conditions Among the Gentiles When the First Act Opens

Nephi abruptly stops his prophecy of the First Act and starts to review the conditions among the Gentiles when the First Act opens.

 

And the Gentiles are lifted up in the pride of their eyes, and have stumbled, because of the greatness of their stumbling block, that they have built up many churches; nevertheless, they put down the power and miracles of God, and preach up unto themselves their own wisdom and their own learning, that they may get gain and grind upon the face of the poor.  And there are many churches built up which cause envyings, and strifes, and malice.  And there are also secret combinations, even as in times of old, according to the combinations of the devil, for he is the founder of all these things; yea, the founder of murder, and works of darkness; yea, and he leadeth them by the neck with a flaxen cord, until he bindeth them with his strong cords forever.  (2 Ne. 26: 20-22)

 

He then goes on to explain (in 2 Ne. 26: 23-33) how the Lord works and also how He doesn’t work.  He is writing here to his future, dwindled-in-unbelief posterity (the ones that the Book of Mormon was intended to go to), trying to show them that what the Gentiles of the First Act would be doing is not right in the sight of God.  Every wrong thing he mentions is what the Gentiles will be doing.  Although the text doesn’t categorically state this, it is implied. In other words, Nephi, in verses 23-33, is still listing the conditions found among the Gentiles when the First Act begins.

“The Lord God worketh not in darkness.” The implication is that the Gentiles are working in darkness.

“He doeth not anything save it be for the benefit of the world.” The implication is that the Gentiles work for their own benefit.

“Doth he cry unto any, saying: Depart from me?” The implication is that the Gentiles are telling people to go away from their churches.  In other words, they only want certain types of people, whether classed by money, race, color, etc., and that they do not want “all ye ends of the earth” to come to their churches.

“He hath given it free for all men.” The implication is that the Gentiles are charging money for forgiveness.

“All men are privileged the one like unto the other, and none are forbidden.” The implication is that the Gentiles are of unequal privileges (for example, slavery.)

“He commandeth that there shall be no priestcrafts.” The implication is that Gentiles are practicing priestcraft.

And the list of conditions goes on and on.  All of the verses from 20 through 33 of 2 Nephi chapter 26 are a prophetic description of the conditions that would exist among the Gentiles when the First Act of God’s mercy opens up.  In other words, this is a description of apostate Christianity during Joseph Smith’s time.

The Act of Gentile (and Jewish) Judgment

After having described the iniquitous conditions among the Gentiles of the First Act, Nephi jumps forward in the chronology, past the Second Act and into the Act of Judgment. These are still the “last days,” but these last days he’s talking about are the ones after the unbelieving of the Gentiles (and the Jews) have rejected the First and Second Acts of God’s mercy and are fully ripe in their iniquity. It is almost as if Nephi wants to get the message across that although the Lord is merciful towards people, such as is shown in his first two acts, He is also a just God and will reward the wicked according to their works when they are “drunken with iniquity.”  These Act-of-Judgment prophecies are still in our future.

But, behold, in the last days, or in the days of the Gentiles—yea, behold all the nations of the Gentiles and also the Jews, both those who shall come upon this land and those who shall be upon other lands, yea, even upon all the lands of the earth, behold, they will be drunken with iniquity and all manner of abominations—and when that day shall come they shall be visited of the Lord of Hosts, with thunder and with earthquake, and with a great noise, and with storm, and with tempest, and with the flame of devouring fire.  (2 Ne. 27: 1-2)  [This is a future prophecy; it has not yet been fulfilled.]

And all the nations that fight against Zion, and that distress her, shall be as a dream of a night vision; yea, it shall be unto them, even as unto a hungry man which dreameth, and behold he eateth but he awaketh and his soul is empty; or like unto a thirsty man which dreameth, and behold he drinketh but he awaketh and behold he is faint, and his soul hath appetite; yea, even so shall the multitude of all the nations be that fight against Mount Zion.  (2 Ne. 27: 3)  [This is a future prophecy; it has not yet been fulfilled.]

For behold, all ye that doeth iniquity, stay yourselves and wonder, for ye [all ye that doeth iniquity] shall cry out, and cry; yea, ye [all ye that doeth iniquity] shall be drunken but not with wine, ye [all ye that doeth iniquity] shall stagger but not with strong drink.  (2 Ne. 27: 4)  [This is a future prophecy; it has not yet been fulfilled.]

For behold, the Lord hath poured out upon you [all ye that doeth iniquity] the spirit of deep sleep. For behold, ye [all ye that doeth iniquity] have closed your eyes, and ye [all ye that doeth iniquity] have rejected the prophets; and your rulers, and the seers hath he covered because of your iniquity.  (2 Ne. 27: 5)

The First Act

Nephi next rewinds the chronology of the prophecy a bit to tell what it is exactly that they will reject that will cause the judgments of God to be brought upon them.  He begins by prophesying of the First Act, which began with the calling of Joseph Smith, Jun. in the First Vision and the visits of angel Moroni, and the translation and publication of the Book of Mormon.

Okay, now let’s review Nephi’s prophecy of the First Act.

And it shall come to pass that the Lord God shall bring forth unto you [all ye that doeth iniquity] the words of a book, and they shall be the words of them which have slumbered.  (2 Ne. 27: 6)  [This is prophecy fulfilled; the Book of Mormon is “the words” of that book.]

And behold the book shall be sealed; and in the book shall be a revelation from God, from the beginning of the world to the ending thereof.  (2 Ne. 27: 7)  [This is prophecy fulfilled; the Plates of Mormon—from which the Book of Mormon was translated—contained a sealed portion.]

Wherefore, because of the things which are sealed up, the things which are sealed shall not be delivered in the day of the wickedness and abominations of the people. Wherefore the book shall be kept from them.  (2 Ne. 27: 8)  [This is prophecy fulfilled; the Book of Mormon plates and its sealed portion has not been allowed to be with the people during these times of wickedness.  The people referred to here are the people of the Lord, in other words, the church of God. As long as the church remains unsanctified, they won’t get the sealed portion.]

But the book shall be delivered unto a man, and he shall deliver the words of the book, which are the words of those who have slumbered in the dust, and he shall deliver these words unto another; but the words which are sealed he shall not deliver, neither shall he deliver the book.  (2 Ne. 27: 9-10)  [This is prophecy fulfilled; the account of its fulfillment is found here.]

For the book shall be sealed by the power of God, and the revelation which was sealed shall be kept in the book until the own due time of the Lord, that they may come forth; for behold, they reveal all things from the foundation of the world unto the end thereof.  (2 Ne. 27: 10)  [The first part of this is prophecy fulfilled; the Book of Mormon plates contained a portion that was sealed.  Also, the words of the sealed portion have still been kept from the people.  The second part of this is future prophecy; the sealed portion has yet to come forth.]

And the day cometh that the words of the book which were sealed shall be read upon the house tops; and they shall be read by the power of Christ; and all things shall be revealed unto the children of men which ever have been among the children of men, and which ever will be even unto the end of the earth.  (2 Ne. 27: 11)  [This is a future prophecy; it has not yet been fulfilled.]

Wherefore, at that day when the book shall be delivered unto the man of whom I have spoken, the book shall be hid from the eyes of the world, that the eyes of none shall behold it save it be that three witnesses shall behold it, by the power of God, besides him to whom the book shall be delivered; and they shall testify to the truth of the book and the things therein.  (2 Ne. 27: 12)  [This is prophecy fulfilled; the account of its fulfillment is found here.]

And there is none other which shall view it, save it be a few according to the will of God, to bear testimony of his word unto the children of men; for the Lord God hath said that the words of the faithful should speak as if it were from the dead.  (2 Ne. 27: 13)  [This is prophecy fulfilled; the account of its fulfillment is found here.]

Wherefore, the Lord God will proceed to bring forth the words of the book; and in the mouth of as many witnesses as seemeth him good will he establish his word; and wo be unto him that rejecteth the word of God!  (2 Ne. 27: 14)  [This is prophecy fulfilled; the Book of Mormon was published with Three and Twelve Witnesses.]

But behold, it shall come to pass that the Lord God shall say unto him to whom he shall deliver the book: Take these words which are not sealed and deliver them to another, that he may show them unto the learned, saying: Read this, I pray thee. And the learned shall say: Bring hither the book, and I will read them.  And now, because of the glory of the world and to get gain will they say this, and not for the glory of God.  And the man shall say: I cannot bring the book, for it is sealed.  Then shall the learned say: I cannot read it.  (2 Ne. 27: 15-18)  [This is prophecy fulfilled; the account of its fulfillment is found here.]

Wherefore it shall come to pass, that the Lord God will deliver again the book and the words thereof to him that is not learned; and the man that is not learned shall say: I am not learned.  (2 Ne. 27: 19)  [This is prophecy fulfilled; Joseph Smith is the unlearned man who had the Plates of Mormon and translated them.]

Then shall the Lord God say unto him: The learned shall not read them, for they have rejected them, and I am able to do mine own work; wherefore thou shalt read the words which I shall give unto thee.  (2 Ne. 27: 20)  [This is prophecy fulfilled; Joseph Smith, Jun. translated the Book of Mormon.]

Touch not the things which are sealed, for I will bring them forth in mine own due time; for I will show unto the children of men that I am able to do mine own work.  (2 Ne. 27: 21)  [The first part of this is prophecy fulfilled; the published Book of Mormon did not contain any of the sealed portion.  The second part of this is future prophecy; the sealed portion has yet to come forth.]

Wherefore, when thou hast read the words which I have commanded thee, and obtained the witnesses which I have promised unto thee, then shalt thou seal up the book again, and hide it up unto me, that I may preserve the words which thou hast not read, until I shall see fit in mine own wisdom to reveal all things unto the children of men.  (2 Ne. 27: 22)  [This is prophecy fulfilled; Joseph Smith returned the sealed Plates of Mormon to the angel Moroni after the translation was complete.]

For behold, I am God; and I am a God of miracles; and I will show unto the world that I am the same yesterday, today, and forever; and I work not among the children of men save it be according to their faith.  (2 Ne. 27: 23)

The Second Act

Nephi next fast-forwards his prophecy to the Second Act, when the Lord shall again speak to Joseph Smith, Jun.  An unspecified amount of time has gone by since the First Act opened.  Some of the apostate Christian Gentiles have converted and accepted the Book of Mormon and the seer, Joseph Smith, Jun., and have organized themselves into bona fide churches of God.  The following is a description of the membership of the Gentile church of God at the time the Second Act opens.  This prophecy does not refer to apostate (non-Mormon) Christianity.

And again it shall come to pass that the Lord shall say unto him that shall read the words that shall be delivered him: Forasmuch as this people draw near unto me with their mouth, and with their lips do honor me, but have removed their hearts far from me, and their fear towards me is taught by the precepts of men—therefore, I will proceed to do a marvelous work among this people, yea, a marvelous work and a wonder, for the wisdom of their wise and learned shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent shall be hid.  (2 Ne. 27: 24-26, emphasis mine)  [This is a future prophecy; it has not yet been fulfilled.  The Second Act will begin during a time of lip service worship and the following of men’s counsel among the people of the Lord (the church of God.)]

And wo unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the Lord! And their works are in the dark; and they say: Who seeth us, and who knoweth us? And they also say: Surely, your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter’s clay. But behold, I will show unto them, saith the Lord of Hosts, that I know all their works. For shall the work say of him that made it, he made me not? Or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, he had no understanding?  (2 Ne. 27: 27)  [The “work made” and “thing framed” referred here is the church of God. In the opening of the Second Act, the Lord is going to “turn things upside down,” which will not sit well with the church.]

But behold, saith the Lord of Hosts: I will show unto the children of men that it is yet a very little while and Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field; and the fruitful field shall be esteemed as a forest.  And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity and out of darkness.  And the meek also shall increase, and their joy shall be in the Lord, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.  For assuredly as the Lord liveth they shall see that the terrible one is brought to naught, and the scorner is consumed, and all that watch for iniquity are cut off; and they that make a man an offender for a word, and lay a snare for him that reproveth in the gate, and turn aside the just for a thing of naught.  Therefore, thus saith the Lord, who redeemed Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob: Jacob shall not now be ashamed, neither shall his face now wax pale.  But when he seeth his children, the work of my hands, in the midst of him, they shall sanctify my name, and sanctify the Holy One of Jacob, and shall fear the God of Israel.  They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding, and they that murmured shall learn doctrine.  (2 Ne. 27: 28-35)  [These are all future prophecies which will be fulfilled during the Second Act.]

Conditions Among the Gentile, Mormon, Restoration Churches When the Second Act Opens

And now, behold, my brethren, I have spoken unto you, according as the Spirit hath constrained me; wherefore, I know that they must surely come to pass.  And the things which shall be written out of the book shall be of great worth unto the children of men, and especially unto our seed, which is a remnant of the house of Israel.  (2 Ne. 28: 1-2)

At this point, from 2 Nephi 28: 3-32, Nephi gives a description of conditions among the membership of the church at the time the Second Act opens.  A common interpretation of these verses by LDS is that they speak of the non-Restoration (apostate Christianity) churches, practices and doctrines among men at the time of the First Vision (opening of the First Act).  Although it is true that there are aspects of these prophecies which were fulfilled during that time by those churches, there are other aspects which do not fit. This means that these are future prophecies that pertain to the Second Act.

List of Conditions

Condition 1: I, I am the Lord’s (2 Ne. 28: 3)

Condition 2: Contention among churches (2 Ne. 28: 4)

Condition 3: Contention among priests (2 Ne. 28: 4)

Condition 4: Teaching with their learning (2 Ne. 28: 4)

Condition 5: Denial of the Holy Ghost – not speaking by the power of the Holy Ghost (2 Ne. 28: 4)

Condition 6: Denial of the power of God – no more miracles or power of God manifested (2 Ne. 28: 5)

Condition 7: Preaching that men have the power of God (2 Ne. 28: 5)

Condition 8: Preaching to disbelieve miracles (2 Ne. 28: 6)

Condition 9: Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die (2 Ne. 28: 7)

Condition 10: Eat, drink, and be merry; nevertheless, fear God (2 Ne. 28: 8 )

Condition 11: Teaching false and vain and foolish doctrines (2 Ne. 28: 9)

Condition 12: Puffed up in their hearts (2 Ne. 28: 9)

Condition 13: Seeking to hide their counsels from the Lord (2 Ne. 28: 9)

Condition 14: Their works in the dark (2 Ne. 28: 9)

Notice, in particular, that conditions #13 and #14 are the same mentioned in 2 Ne. 27: 27.  In these verses, the people who are seeking to hide their counsels from the Lord, whose works shall be in the dark are the people of the Lord, meaning the church of God. Remember, nearly the entirety of 2 Ne. 28 is talking about the “churches which are built up, and not unto the Lord,” and not just of general conditions among men.

Condition 15: Blood of the saints cry against them – they are murderers of saints (2 Ne. 28: 10)

In particular, condition #15 did not exist during the time of the First Vision (opening of the First Act.)

Condition 16: Gone out of the way; corrupted – apostasy (2 Ne. 28: 11)

Condition 17: Pride (2 Ne. 28: 12)

Condition 18: False teachers (2 Ne. 28: 12)

Condition 19: False doctrine (2 Ne. 28: 12)

Condition 20: Lifted up, puffed up and corrupted churches (2 Ne. 28: 12)

Condition 21: Rob the poor – take from the poor (2 Ne. 28: 13)

Condition 22: Fine sanctuaries, fine clothing (2 Ne. 28: 13)

Condition 23: Persecute the meek and poor in heart (2 Ne. 28: 13)

Condition 24: Wear stiff necks and high heads (2 Ne. 28: 14)

Condition 25: Wickedness, abominations and whoredoms (2 Ne. 28: 14)

Condition 26: Only a few are humble followers of Christ (2 Ne. 28: 14)

Condition 27: Humble followers of Christ are led by men (2 Ne. 28: 14)

Condition 28: Humble followers of Christ err in many instances (2 Ne. 28: 14)

Condition 29: Humble followers of Christ are taught by precepts of men (2 Ne. 28: 14)

Condition 30: Wise, learned and rich are puffed up (2 Ne. 28: 15)

Condition 31: The just turned aside for a thing of naught (2 Ne. 28: 16)

Condition 32: That which is good reviled against (2 Ne. 28: 16)

Condition 33: That which is good said it is of no worth (2 Ne. 28: 16)

Condition 34: Great and abominable church (2 Ne. 28: 18)

Condition 35: Kingdom of devil (2 Ne. 28: 19)

Condition 36: Anger and rage against that which is good (2 Ne. 28: 20)

Condition 37: Pacified members (2 Ne. 28: 21)

Condition 38: Carnal security (2 Ne. 28: 21)

Condition 39: All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well (2 Ne. 28: 21, 25)

Surely condition #39 was not fulfilled during the opening of the First Act.

Condition 40: There is no hell; I am no devil, for there is none (2 Ne. 28: 22)

Condition 41: Ease in Zion (2 Ne. 28: 24)

Condition 42: We have received, and we need no more! (2 Ne. 28: 27)

Condition 43: Trembling and angry because of truth of God (2 Ne. 28: 28)

Condition 44: We have received the word of God, and we need no more of the word of God, for we have enough!  (2 Ne. 28: 29)

Okay, at this point let me quote Gold Five of Star Wars and say, “Stay on target.  Stay on target!”  By that I mean keep in mind we are still talking about members of all the Restoration churches, who trace their priesthoods and doctrines back to Joseph Smith, Jun. and the Foundation Movement.  After the First Act with Joseph Smith, Jun. and the Book of Mormon (and other revelations), there is a long period of time that goes by, and then the Second Act begins, again with Joseph Smith, Jun. and again with additional scripture.

So here we find that Nephi is starting to get into the meat of the prophecy, namely, that these Restoration churches who profess (merely lip service) to have accepted the choice seer and the Book of Mormon are now incensed that the Lord is giving them another book of scripture.

For behold, thus saith the Lord God: I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom; for unto him that receiveth I will give more; and from them that shall say, We have enough, from them shall be taken away even that which they have.  (2 Ne. 28: 30)

Condition 45: Putting trust in man, making flesh their arm, hearkening to precepts of men (2 Ne. 28: 31)

Nephi makes it pretty obvious (to me, at least) that when this new scriptural record makes its debut, the leaders of the Restoration churches will denounce it, thus, anyone who puts their trust in these men, hearkening to them, will be accursed.

Wo be unto the Gentiles, saith the Lord God of Hosts! For notwithstanding I shall lengthen out mine arm unto them from day to day, they will deny me; nevertheless, I will be merciful unto them, saith the Lord God, if they will repent and come unto me; for mine arm is lengthened out all the day long, saith the Lord God of Hosts.  (2 Ne. 28: 32)  [The Gentiles referred to in this verse are not the non-Mormon gentiles (apostate Christianity), but are the Mormon Gentiles.  Remember, this entire chapter is speaking of the Restoration churches, which consist of converted Gentiles.]

A Bible!  A Bible!  We have got a Bible, and we don’t want no stinkin’ Brass Plates!

Moving on to 2 Nephi 29

But behold, there shall be many—at that day when I shall proceed to do a marvelous work among them, that I may remember my covenants which I have made unto the children of men, that I may set my hand again the second time to recover my people, which are of the house of Israel; and also, that I may remember the promises which I have made unto thee, Nephi, and also unto thy father, that I would remember your seed; and that the words of your seed should proceed forth out of my mouth unto your seed; and my words shall hiss forth unto the ends of the earth, for a standard unto my people, which are of the house of Israel; and because my words shall hiss forth—many of the Gentiles shall say: A Bible! A Bible! We have got a Bible, and there cannot be any more Bible.  (2 Ne. 29: 1-3)

The “marvelous work” is the Second Act, not the First Act. It is in the Second Act that the Lord sets his “hand again the second time” to recover his people.  The Second Act is also called the Strange Act or Strange Work.  So, Nephi is tipping us off here that we are still talking about the events that occur in the opening of the Second Act.

Notice that the Lord makes a distinction between “the words of your seed” and “my words.”  Notice that “the words of your seed” are to go to “your seed,” whereas “my words” are to “hiss forth unto the ends of the earth” and to be “a standard unto my people, which are of the house of Israel.”  Notice that it is because “my words shall hiss forth,” and not because “the words of your seed” shall hiss forth, that the Gentiles (the Mormon Gentiles, mind you) “shall say: A Bible!  A Bible!  We have got a Bible, and there cannot be any more Bible.”

Consider that Nephi already gave us a description of both the Bible and the Plates of Brass:

And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld that they did prosper in the land; and I beheld a book, and it was carried forth among them.

And the angel said unto me: Knowest thou the meaning of the book?

And I said unto him: I know not.

And he said: Behold it proceedeth out of the mouth of a Jew. And I, Nephi, beheld it; and he said unto me: The book that thou beholdest is a record of the Jews, which contains the covenants of the Lord, which he hath made unto the house of Israel; and it also containeth many of the prophecies of the holy prophets; and it is a record like unto the engravings which are upon the plates of brass, save there are not so many; nevertheless, they contain the covenants of the Lord, which he hath made unto the house of Israel; wherefore, they are of great worth unto the Gentiles.  (1 Ne. 13: 20-23, emphasis mine)

The Bible is similar to the Plates of Brass, except that the Plates of Brass have a lot more than what is in the Bible.  This is why when the Mormon Gentiles are presented with the Plates of Brass, they will start screaming, “A Bible!  A Bible!  We have got a Bible, and there cannot be any more Bible.”

Modern LDS typically interpret this passage as referring to the appearance of the Book of Mormon and the reaction of apostate Christianity (non-Mormon Gentiles) to it.  However, the Book of Mormon never fit in these verses, because the Book of Mormon was never presented as a Bible. Although some people have labeled it “the Mormon Bible,” most people understand that it is supplementary material and not meant to replace the Bible.  Not so with the Plates of Brass. The Plates of Brass is a Bible on steroids, containing the prophecies of Joseph as well as the prophets and seers from his line (Ephraim and Manasseh).  The Plates of Brass likely was the scriptural record of the Northern Kingdom (Israel) and is the roots of the Nephite natural branch (see Jacob 5), which is why the Lord will set it up to be a standard to the house of Israel.  It perfectly fits into this prophecy.

I’m going to skip over some of this chapter.  Verses 4-6 are a chastisement by the Lord of the Mormon Gentiles for their ingratitude and lack of charity.  Let’s now look at verses 7 and 8:

Know ye not that there are more nations than one? Know ye not that I, the Lord your God, have created all men, and that I remember those who are upon the isles of the sea; and that I rule in the heavens above and in the earth beneath; and I bring forth my word unto the children of men, yea, even upon all the nations of the earth?

Wherefore murmur ye, because that ye shall receive more of my word? Know ye not that the testimony of two nations is a witness unto you that I am God, that I remember one nation like unto another? Wherefore, I speak the same words unto one nation like unto another. And when the two nations shall run together the testimony of the two nations shall run together also.  (2 Ne. 29: 7-8)

We LDS have become accustomed to interpret the Lord’s use of “two nations” as referring to the Jews and the Nephites.  However, as the text is specifically talking about the Plates of Brass and the reaction of the Mormon Gentiles that they’ve already got a Bible and need no more Bible, these “two nations” are not the Jews and the Nephites, but the Kingdom of Judah and the Kingdom of Israel.  The testimony of the Kingdom of Judah is the Bible, which proceeded forth out of the mouth of a Jew, whereas the testimony of the Kingdom of Israel is the Plates of Brass, which proceeded forth out of the mouth of Joseph and his descendants.  (Remember, Joseph spent time in Egypt and knew Egyptian and the Plates of Brass were written in Egyptian.  These plates, then, likely are Joseph of Egypt’s record, which is why they contain “the prophecies of Joseph.”  See 2 Ne. 4: 1-3.)

Now, let’s skip down some more because once you get it in your head that these chapters are talking of Mormon Gentiles and of the First and Second Acts, and that during the Second Act the Plates of Brass will be revealed, things start to fall into place.  For example,

And it shall come to pass that the Jews shall have the words of the Nephites, and the Nephites shall have the words of the Jews; and the Nephites and the Jews shall have the words of the lost tribes of Israel; and the lost tribes of Israel shall have the words of the Nephites and the Jews.  (2 Ne. 29: 13)

In other words, the Jews get the Book of Mormon, and the Nephites get the Bible; and then the Nephites and the Jews get the Plates of Brass, (which are “the words of the lost tribes of Israel.”)  The Plates of Brass is the next scriptural record to be revealed to the Mormon Gentiles.

Notice also that it doesn’t stop there:

For behold, I shall speak unto the Jews and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto the Nephites and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto the other tribes of the house of Israel, which I have led away, and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto all nations of the earth and they shall write it. (2 Ne. 29: 12)

So, all the nations of the earth have words of the Lord spoken to them and written up in records, and those words will go forth, too.

The deaf/blind/mistaken/murmurers shall hear/see/understand/learn the Book of Mormon…when the Plates of Brass go forth

And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity and out of darkness.  They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding, and they that murmured shall learn doctrine.  (2 Ne. 27: 29, 35)

Remember those humble followers of Christ among the Mormon Gentiles?  The ones that were led, that erred in many instances, that were taught by the precepts of men?  Well, once the Plates of Brass go forth, the humble followers shall finally understand these and other prophecies of the Book of Mormon and their doctrinal errors will be corrected.  In other words, “the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto [them,…] which [mysteries] are great and marvelous.”  See D&C 6: 7, 11; also, see D&C 8: 11.  This brings to mind Alma’s prophecy.

Alma’s Prophecy Concerning the Plates of Brass

And now, my son Helaman, I command you that ye take the records which have been entrusted with me; and I also command you that ye keep a record of this people, according as I have done, upon the plates of Nephi, and keep all these things sacred which I have kept, even as I have kept them; for it is for a wise purpose that they are kept.

And these plates of brass, which contain these engravings, which have the records of the holy scriptures upon them, which have the genealogy of our forefathers, even from the beginning—behold, it has been prophesied by our fathers, that they should be kept and handed down from one generation to another, and be kept and preserved by the hand of the Lord until they should go forth unto every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, that they shall know of the mysteries contained thereon.

And now behold, if they are kept they must retain their brightness; yea, and they will retain their brightness; yea, and also shall all the plates which do contain that which is holy writ.

Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise.

And the Lord God doth work by means to bring about his great and eternal purposes; and by very small means the Lord doth confound the wise and bringeth about the salvation of many souls.

And now, it has hitherto been wisdom in God that these things should be preserved; for behold, they have enlarged the memory of this people, yea, and convinced many of the error of their ways, and brought them to the knowledge of their God unto the salvation of their souls.

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

And who knoweth but what they will be the means of bringing many thousands of them, yea, and also many thousands of our stiffnecked brethren, the Nephites, who are now hardening their hearts in sin and iniquities, to the knowledge of their Redeemer?

Now these mysteries are not yet fully made known unto me; therefore I shall forbear.

And it may suffice if I only say they are preserved for a wise purpose, which purpose is known unto God; for he doth counsel in wisdom over all his works, and his paths are straight, and his course is one eternal round.

O remember, remember, my son Helaman, how strict are the commandments of God. And he said: If ye will keep my commandments ye shall prosper in the land—but if ye keep not his commandments ye shall be cut off from his presence.

And now remember, my son, that God has entrusted you with these things, which are sacred, which he has kept sacred, and also which he will keep and preserve for a wise purpose in him, that he may show forth his power unto future generations.

And now behold, I tell you by the spirit of prophecy, that if ye transgress the commandments of God, behold, these things which are sacred shall be taken away from you by the power of God, and ye shall be delivered up unto Satan, that he may sift you as chaff before the wind.

But if ye keep the commandments of God, and do with these things which are sacred according to that which the Lord doth command you, (for you must appeal unto the Lord for all things whatsoever ye must do with them) behold, no power of earth or hell can take them from you, for God is powerful to the fulfilling of all his words.

For he will fulfil all his promises which he shall make unto you, for he has fulfilled his promises which he has made unto our fathers.

For he promised unto them that he would preserve these things for a wise purpose in him, that he might show forth his power unto future generations.

And now behold, one purpose hath he fulfilled, even to the restoration of many thousands of the Lamanites to the knowledge of the truth; and he hath shown forth his power in them, and he will also still show forth his power in them unto future generations; therefore they shall be preserved.

Therefore I command you, my son Helaman, that ye be diligent in fulfilling all my words, and that ye be diligent in keeping the commandments of God as they are written.  (Alma 37: 1-20, emphasis mine)

As can plainly be seen from this prophecy, the Plates of Brass are indeed slated to go to “every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, that they shall know of the mysteries contained thereon.”  This coincides with the Lord’s words to Nephi that “my words shall hiss forth unto the ends of the earth.”

Joseph’s Prophecy Concerning the Plates of Brass

Lehi spoke of Joseph of Egypt in 2 Nephi chapter 3, saying that “great were the covenants of the Lord which he made unto Joseph.”  One of those covenants was that the Nephite branch was “to be remembered in the covenants of the Lord” and would be brought out of darkness to light and out of captivity to freedom in the latter days, in the spirit of power.  The means by which this would be accomplished would be that one of Joseph’s descendants would be a choice seer that would bring the other descendants of Joseph “to the knowledge of the covenants which [the Lord]” had made with Joseph’s fathers.  This seer was going to receive, in the words of the Lord to Joseph, “power to bring forth my word unto the seed of thy loins.”  (See 2 Ne. 3: 4- 5, 7 and 11.)

Because Joseph Smith, Jun. did translate the Book of Mormon by the gift and power of God, modern LDS typically interpret the words “my word” (verse 11) as being the Book of Mormon.  This, however, cannot be, as shown in the following verse:

Wherefore, the fruit of thy loins shall write; and the fruit of the loins of Judah shall write; and that which shall be written by the fruit of thy loins, and also that which shall be written by the fruit of the loins of Judah, shall grow together, unto the confounding of false doctrines and laying down of contentions, and establishing peace among the fruit of thy loins, and bringing them to the knowledge of their fathers in the latter days, and also to the knowledge of my covenants, saith the Lord.  (2 Ne. 3: 12)

Nearly two hundred years have passed since the publication of the Book of Mormon and still there are false doctrines, contentions and lack of peace among the fruit of the loins of Joseph!  The Book of Mormon does not fulfill this prophecy because the Book of Mormon is not the scriptural record that is being spoken of here.  The Plates of Brass is “that which shall be written by the fruit of thy loins.”  These words then, and this prophecy, is speaking of the Second Act, not the First Act.

Now, Joseph continued on with his prophecy of the Second Act up to and including verse 16.  But he also prophesied of the First Act.

And the Lord said unto me also: I will raise up unto the fruit of thy loins; and I will make for him a spokesman. And I, behold, I will give unto him that he shall write the writing of the fruit of thy loins, unto the fruit of thy loins; and the spokesman of thy loins shall declare it.  And the words which he shall write shall be the words which are expedient in my wisdom should go forth unto the fruit of thy loins. And it shall be as if the fruit of thy loins had cried unto them from the dust; for I know their faith.  And they shall cry from the dust; yea, even repentance unto their brethren, even after many generations have gone by them. And it shall come to pass that their cry shall go, even according to the simpleness of their words.  Because of their faith their words shall proceed forth out of my mouth unto their brethren who are the fruit of thy loins; and the weakness of their words will I make strong in their faith, unto the remembering of my covenant which I made unto thy fathers.  (2 Ne. 3: 18-21, emphasis mine)

Here we are talking about a different record altogether. This writing is also going to be “the writing of the fruit of thy loins,” but this record is to go specifically “unto the fruit of thy loins.”  Notice the Lord never calls these words, “my words.”  Instead He says, “Their words shall proceed forth out of my mouth unto their brethren who are the fruit of thy loins.”  The wording here is similar to the wording in 2 Ne. 29: 2; “the words of your seed should proceed forth out of my mouth unto your seed.”

Conclusion

The tendency of prophets—even those of a book as plain as the Book of Mormon—to jump around the chronology may confuse or obfuscate the real meaning of their prophecies if people fail to recognize the prophetic markers that indicate a different time, a different prophecy.  People who do this will blend the First and Second Acts together and will miss that these prophecies are talking about multiple records coming forth.  Once it is understood that the Plates of Brass are next, the Book of Mormon no longer needs to be used as a prophetic fulfill-all, like the square peg being forced into a round hole.  Prophecy should not be forced.  Either a prophecy is fulfilled every whit exactly as prophesied, or our interpretation is off and needs to be discarded.  Also, by viewing these scriptures in this way, we can better apply the scriptures to ourselves, for, as Gentile Mormons, 2 Ne. 28 talks about us. Prophecy, then, becomes a tool whereby we might determine whether our personal conditions lump us with the many who have gone astray, or with the few, humble followers of Christ who are led and taught by the precepts of men and who err in many instances.  It also allows us to more accurately read the signs of the times and determine the time of the re-appearance of the the Plates of Brass.

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D&C 87, expounded


This is my understanding of this section.

The section heading

Revelation and prophecy on war, given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, December 25, 1832. HC 1: 301–302. This section was received at a time when the brethren were reflecting and reasoning upon African slavery on the American continent and the slavery of the children of men throughout the world.

D&C 87, as currently written

1. Verily, thus saith the Lord concerning the wars that will shortly come to pass, beginning at the rebellion of South Carolina, which will eventually terminate in the death and misery of many souls;

2. And the time will come that war will be poured out upon all nations, beginning at this place.

3. For behold, the Southern States shall be divided against the Northern States, and the Southern States will call on other nations, even the nation of Great Britain, as it is called, and they shall also call upon other nations, in order to defend themselves against other nations; and then war shall be poured out upon all nations.

4. And it shall come to pass, after many days, slaves shall rise up against their masters, who shall be marshaled and disciplined for war.

5. And it shall come to pass also that the remnants who are left of the land will marshal themselves, and shall become exceedingly angry, and shall vex the Gentiles with a sore vexation.

6. And thus, with the sword and by bloodshed the inhabitants of the earth shall mourn; and with famine, and plague, and earthquake, and the thunder of heaven, and the fierce and vivid lightning also, shall the inhabitants of the earth be made to feel the wrath, and indignation, and chastening hand of an Almighty God, until the consumption decreed hath made a full end of all nations;

7. That the cry of the saints, and of the blood of the saints, shall cease to come up into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth, from the earth, to be avenged of their enemies.

8. Wherefore, stand ye in holy places, and be not moved, until the day of the Lord come; for behold, it cometh quickly, saith the Lord. Amen.  (D&C 87)

In order to expound this prophecy, I will render a plainer translation.

TAV D&C 87; (TAV=The Anarchist Version)

Truly, this is what the Lord says concerning the wars that will shortly come to pass, beginning at the rebellion of South Carolina, which will eventually terminate in the death and misery of many soulsand the time will come that war will be poured out upon all non-Israelite tribes (States), beginning at South Carolina, for see, the Southern States shall be divided against the Northern States, and the Southern States will call on other non-Israelite tribes (States), even the non-Israelite tribe (State) of Great Britain, as it is called, and they shall also call upon other non-Israelite tribes (States), in order to defend themselves against other non-Israelite tribes (States); and then war shall be poured out upon all non-Israelite tribes (States)—and it shall come to pass, after many days, those who are ruled shall violently overthrow their rulers, who shall be marshaled and disciplined for war.

And it shall also come to pass that the Israelite remnants who are left of the land will marshal themselves, and shall become exceedingly angry, and shall vex the non-Israelite tribes (in tribal anarchies) with a sore vexation.

And in this way, with the sword and by bloodshed the inhabitants of the earth shall mourn; and with famine, and plague, and earthquake, and the thunder of heaven, and also the fierce and vivid lightning, shall the inhabitants of the earth be made to feel the wrath, and indignation, and chastening hand of an Almighty God, until the consumption decreed has made a full end of all non-Israelite tribes;  that the cry of the set-apart ones, and of the blood of the set-apart ones, shall cease to come up into the ears of the Lord of Armies, from the earth, to be avenged of their enemies.

Wherefore, stand, all of you, in set-apart places, and do not allow yourselves to be moved, until the day of the Lord come; for see, it comes quickly, says the Lord. Amen.  (TAV D&C 87, changes in italics)

TAV D&C 87, in verses

1. Truly, this is what the Lord says concerning the wars that will shortly come to pass, beginning at the rebellion of South Carolina, which will eventually terminate in the death and misery of many souls

2. and the time will come that war will be poured out upon all non-Israelite tribes (States), beginning at South Carolina, for see, the Southern States shall be divided against the Northern States, and the Southern States will call on other non-Israelite tribes (States), even the non-Israelite tribe (State) of Great Britain, as it is called, and they shall also call upon other non-Israelite tribes (States), in order to defend themselves against other non-Israelite tribes (States); and then war shall be poured out upon all non-Israelite tribes (States)

3. and it shall come to pass, after many days, those who are ruled shall violently overthrow their rulers, who shall be marshaled and disciplined for war.

4. And it shall also come to pass that the Israelite remnants who are left of the land will marshal themselves, and shall become exceedingly angry, and shall vex the non-Israelite tribes (in tribal anarchies) with a sore vexation.

5. And in this way, with the sword and by bloodshed the inhabitants of the earth shall mourn; and with famine, and plague, and earthquake, and the thunder of heaven, and also the fierce and vivid lightning, shall the inhabitants of the earth be made to feel the wrath, and indignation, and chastening hand of an Almighty God, until the consumption decreed has made a full end of all non-Israelite tribes;  that the cry of the set-apart ones, and of the blood of the set-apart ones, shall cease to come up into the ears of the Lord of Armies, from the earth, to be avenged of their enemies.

6. Wherefore, stand, all of you, in set-apart places, and do not allow yourselves to be moved, until the day of the Lord come; for see, it comes quickly, says the Lord. Amen.  (TAV D&C 87, changes in italics)

D&C 87: 1 and TAV D&C 87: 1—The War Between The States

1. Verily, thus saith the Lord concerning the wars that will shortly come to pass, beginning at the rebellion of South Carolina, which will eventually terminate in the death and misery of many souls;  (D&C 87: 1)

1. Truly, this is what the Lord says concerning the wars that will shortly come to pass, beginning at the rebellion of South Carolina, which will eventually terminate in the death and misery of many souls (TAV D&C 87: 1)

This seems to me to be fairly self-explanatory, but taking this single verse alone might confuse the matter.  D&C 87: 1-4 (which is paragraph 1 of TAV D&C 87 or, if you prefer, TAV D&C 87: 1-3) is a complete prophetic thought. Although verse 1 is mentioning The War Between The States (known to Northerners as The Civil War and to some Southerners as The War of Northern Aggression), the whole prophetic message is that The War Between The States is the beginning of the end of all States.  The War Between The States was fought over the rights of man, and more specifically over the right of secession, but only started the struggle that would ultimately end in tribal anarchy (freedom) for humanity in D&C 87: 4. (See Abraham Lincoln for more information about The War Between The States.)

D&C 87: 2 and TAV D&C 87: 2 — The War Between The States Begins

2. And the time will come that war will be poured out upon all nations, beginning at this place. (D&C 87: 2)

2. and the time will come that war will be poured out upon all non-Israelite tribes (States), beginning at South Carolina, (TAV D&C 87: 2)

“nations” — The words “nations” and “Gentiles” are synonymous to the prophetic mind.  Originally, the word “Gentiles” simply meant “nations,” regardless of which one, but later it referred only to non-Israelite nations.  To the ancients, though, a “nation” wasn’t the modern State we think of.  Nations were tribes.  The prophets of all ages, who have prophesied of the Gentiles, have always referred to non-Israelite tribes.  Joseph, however, being both a true prophet of God who understood the ancient use of the terms, and a citizen of a modern State who understood the modern use of the terms, choose his words carefully, when using “nation” and “Gentile” in this prophecy, to key us in as to what this prophecy was talking about.  “Nations,” therefore, in this verse is referring to non-Israelite tribes that are established (or tied to the land) under (or by) State governments.

“this place” — The place being referred to is the place mentioned in verse 1, namely, South Carolina.  The Prophet is associating South Carolina with the nations that would have war poured out upon them, because, to the prophetic mind, South Carolina is a nation. In other words, the State of South Carolina is really a non-Israelite tribe established (meaning they are land-owners, or tied to the land, which is why they are also known as a place) as a State government.  The Prophet could have worded it as follows and it would have retained the same meaning:

“and the time will come that war will be poured out upon all nations, beginning at the nation of South Carolina

D&C 87: 3 and TAV D&C 87: 2—The War Between The States Morphs into World Wars Between The States

3. For behold, the Southern States shall be divided against the Northern States, and the Southern States will call on other nations, even the nation of Great Britain, as it is called, and they shall also call upon other nations, in order to defend themselves against other nations; and then war shall be poured out upon all nations. (D&C 87: 3)

2. for see, the Southern States shall be divided against the Northern States, and the Southern States will call on other non-Israelite tribes (States), even the non-Israelite tribe (State) of Great Britain, as it is called, and they shall also call upon other non-Israelite tribes (States), in order to defend themselves against other non-Israelite tribes (States); and then war shall be poured out upon all non-Israelite tribes (States) (TAV D&C 87: 2)

“nations” — Like the previous verse, all uses of the word “nation” or “nations” here are referring to State governments, meaning non-Israelite tribes established (as landowners) under State governments.

“war shall be poured out upon all nations” — Eventually, all these State governments will be fighting amongst themselves.  In other words, this is World War but still among the States.  To be clearer still, all of this is but an extension of The War Between The States, as the World Wars will still be Wars Between States.

D&C 87: 4 and TAV D&C 87: 3—The End of the States and Beginning of Tribal Anarchy

4. And it shall come to pass, after many days, slaves shall rise up against their masters, who shall be marshaled and disciplined for war. (D&C 87: 4)

3. and it shall come to pass, after many days, those who are ruled shall violently overthrow their rulers, who shall be marshaled and disciplined for war. (TAV D&C 87: 3)

“slaves” — This refers to those who are ruled in the States.

“rise up against” — Although the prophecy only states that the slaves will openly oppose the masters, as in armed conflict, my understanding is that the slaves, which vastly outnumber the masters, will defeat them, therefore I have rendered this saying as “violently overthrow,” to indicate the result of this revolution.

“masters” — This refers to those who rule the States.

“who shall be marshaled and disciplined for war” — The armies of the States will be overcome by the people themselves and these many (oppressive) State governments and military dictatorships will topple, bringing about a new world order of tribal anarchies.

D&C 87: 5 and TAV D&C 87: 4—The Indians Get Their Revenge

5. And it shall come to pass also that the remnants who are left of the land will marshal themselves, and shall become exceedingly angry, and shall vex the Gentiles with a sore vexation. (D&C 87: 5)

4. And it shall also come to pass that the Israelite remnants who are left of the land will marshal themselves, and shall become exceedingly angry, and shall vex the non-Israelite tribes (in tribal anarchies) with a sore vexation.  (TAV D&C 87: 4)

“remnants” — This refers to the descendants of the Nephite/Lamanite civilizations.

“shall become exceedingly angry” — The Gentiles, now living in tribal anarchy, are going to do something so exceedingly bad to the Indians, that the Indians will be fairly berserk with anger towards them.

“shall vex” — Once the non-Israelite tribes destroy the States which held them captive, they will no longer have the protection afforded them by the military might of the State.   As a result, when the Indians decide to repay them for the wrongs done to them by the white man, wrongs committed both in the present and the past, the Gentiles will fall before them.  This verse speaks of the same event recorded in 3 Nephi 21:  12-13.

“the Gentiles” — The phrase “the Gentiles” is synonymous with “the nations,” but Joseph used Gentiles here instead of “nations” to indicate that the Gentiles would be in tribal anarchies when this part of the prophecy was fulfilled.  Joseph walked a fine line between what the modern man understood and what the ancient man understood by the terms “Gentiles” and “nations” and the wording is, I believe, sufficiently clear, but I’ve rendered it plainer still.

D&C 87: 6 and TAV D&C 87: 5—The End of the Gentile Tribes

6. And thus, with the sword and by bloodshed the inhabitants of the earth shall mourn; and with famine, and plague, and earthquake, and the thunder of heaven, and the fierce and vivid lightning also, shall the inhabitants of the earth be made to feel the wrath, and indignation, and chastening hand of an Almighty God, until the consumption decreed hath made a full end of all nations; (D&C 87: 6)

5. And in this way, with the sword and by bloodshed the inhabitants of the earth shall mourn; and with famine, and plague, and earthquake, and the thunder of heaven, and also the fierce and vivid lightning, shall the inhabitants of the earth be made to feel the wrath, and indignation, and chastening hand of an Almighty God, until the consumption decreed has made a full end of all non-Israelite tribes;  (TAV D&C 87: 5)

“sword…bloodshed” — Although there will be bloodshed on both sides, Gentiles killing Israelites, Israelites killing Gentiles, the lion’s share of bloodshed will be Gentiles killing Gentiles.  These wicked tribes will kill each other off.  This will be one of the ways that the Lord will use to protect his people from destruction.

“famine” — There will be famine caused by man, and also famine caused by God (the hailstorms.)

“plague” — There will be plague caused by man, and also plague (the scourge) caused by God.

“earthquake…thunder…lightning” — With plasma discharges, both planetary and interplanetary, the Lord will first chasten the Gentiles, to perhaps cause some to repent, and then destroy them off the face of the earth.

“wrath” — The Lord’s wrath will be kindled against the wicked, unrepentant Gentiles because they fight against and seek the destruction of his people.

“indignation” — The Lord will be indignant because the Gentiles will refuse to repent and accept the sacrifice of God’s Only Begotten Son, making a mockery of God’s plan to save them.  Despite the mighty words of God brought forth to the Gentiles in the new records, the wicked Gentiles will reject them.

“chastening” — In spite of their obstinancy, the Lord will do all things he can to get them to repent, until he can no longer stay his hand and must return to Earth at the appointed time, meaning that those who are not in the proper (safe) places, and in the proper spiritual state, will be burnt up at the brightness of his coming.

“consumption decreed” — This is talking about the Second Coming, which will consume many people.

“nations” — This refers to the non-Israelite tribes who refuse to repent and gather to Zion.  Those that repent will be numbered with the tribes of Israel.  You could substitute the word “Gentiles” here so that it reads, “a full end of all Gentiles.”  It means the same thing.  Joseph probably chose the word “nations” instead of Gentiles because it sounds pretty harsh that the Gentiles will be consumed.  But, the meaning is not that the Gentiles will be destroyed, but that all unrepentant people will be destroyed, while all repentant people will live.  The unrepentant are not numbered with the house of Israel, and in fact, they fight the house of Israel and Zion, therefore these people are Gentiles; while the repentant people become Israelites and thus cease to be Gentiles.

Again, it sounds harsh, this repent or die doctrine, but that is only because we do not, yet, have the full Nephite record, which will cause a great division among the people.  When that record is revealed, no man will be left without excuse.  They will either reject the Lord openly, calling the Sun at noonday darkness, or accept Him with full purpose of heart.  There will be no middle ground.  It will polarize everyone.

D&C 87: 7 and TAV D&C 87: 5—The Reason the Gentiles will be Destroyed

7. That the cry of the saints, and of the blood of the saints, shall cease to come up into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth, from the earth, to be avenged of their enemies. (D&C 87: 7)

5. that the cry of the set-apart ones, and of the blood of the set-apart ones, shall cease to come up into the ears of the Lord of Armies, from the earth, to be avenged of their enemies.  (TAV D&C 87: 5)

“saint” — The term “saint” signifies one who is set apart for a sacred purpose.  The term “holy” also means the same thing.

“cry…blood” — The Gentiles, living in tribal anarchy after the end of their State governments, and after the Nephite record is revealed, who reject the message, shall fight against the people of the Lord, spilling their blood and causing the people to call upon the Lord for vengeance.  This is the reason why they are destroyed.  Had they merely left Zion alone, the Lord would have left them alone.  But as the Nephite record will be polarizing in its effect, those who reject it will desire and seek the destruction of those who accept it, necessitating the intervention of the Lord of Armies.

“Lord of Sabaoth” — This is a title of Jehovah that means Lord of Hosts, hosts meaning armies, as in both the armies of Israel and the angelic armies of heaven.  The Lord, acting as the Lord of Armies, will utilize both the mortal Israelite armies to afflict the unrepentant Gentiles, as well as the angelic armies of heaven, in the last days.  (See 3 Nephi 20: 16-17 for the work the angelic armies will do.)

D&C 87: 8 and TAV D&C 87: 6—Establishment of Zion and Her Stakes is Our Only Hope

8. Wherefore, stand ye in holy places, and be not moved, until the day of the Lord come; for behold, it cometh quickly, saith the Lord. Amen. (D&C 87: 8)

6. Wherefore, stand, all of you, in set-apart places, and do not allow yourselves to be moved, until the day of the Lord come; for see, it comes quickly, says the Lord. Amen.  (TAV D&C 87: 6)

“holy places” — This is referring to Zion and her stakes, which are places set apart for sacred purposes.  Temples also fall into this category, as temples are at the heart of any stake of Zion.

“be not moved” — This is the same as saying, “become established” or “fixed.”  It is referring to land ownership.  It is referring to the gathering of Israel and the restoration of them to the lands of their inheritance.

Okay, I think that I’ve expounded enough for today.

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The End of the State of Israel


Some background

For the past few months, I’ve been searching the scriptures an awful lot, especially the prophecies concerning the last days and the fulness of times.  In the last week (January 7-14), as I read the scriptures that dealt with the scattering and gathering of Israel, I was also listening to the news we’re getting of the conflict happening in Gaza and, both being in my mind, I began to hold up the State of Israel to prophetic scrutiny, meaning that I compared the State of Israel to the prophecies that were before me to see if it fulfilled them.  The conclusion I came to was that its existence did not fulfill prophecy, both the prophecies concerning the scattering of the Jews, as well as the restoration (gathering) of the Jews to the lands of their inheritance.

As this realization dawned on me, a feeling came over me that the State of Israel would be broken up, and its inhabitants scattered and then later the real gathering of the Jews would take place.  This feeling has persisted to this day.  As it wasn’t a direct revelation from the Holy Ghost, with attendant manifestations, I filed it under miscellaneous and kept it to myself.

However, on Thursday, January 15, in preparation for some advertising I was doing for the silver bartering currency, I went to the LEAP/EUROPE2020 web site to print out their summer 2009 prediction, their September 2008 prediction (which came true), and their March 2009 prediction and I noticed that they had a new article published about Israel:

Israel 2020: 2 scenarios for the future Scenario 1: Towards the end of the State of Israel / Scenario 2: Towards a durable Israeli state

Upon seeing this, I thought, “Maybe there is something to this feeling, after all.”  I called up what4anarchy to get his two cents and then decided to broach the subject on this blog.

Why the State of Israel does not fulfill prophecy

The main problem I have with the existence of the current State of Israel is that it does not appear that the Lord is the one who has gathered them.  It looks like the hand of man (the nations of the earth) used their colonial powers to establish them in Palestine.  Unlike the redemption of Zion, which will be redeemed by the power of the Lord, the gathering of Jews to Jerusalem appears to be the hand of man trying to force the fulfillment of prophecy.

Prophecies, when they are fulfilled are totally obvious to those who live during their fulfillment.  There is no guess-work involved or straining to make a prophecy fit.  Even the most enigmatic of prophecies become plain to those who live during their fulfillment.  This is why Nephi says that the Lord “doeth nothing save it be plain unto the children of men” (2 Ne. 26: 33).  The Lord aims to leave the children of men without the excuse of saying, “I couldn’t recognize the fulfillment of your prophecies.”  All men who are aware of the prophecies and who live during their fulfillment will be able to recognize their literal fulfillment.  That goes even for the prophecies of Isaiah, of which Nephi says, “in the days that the prophecies of Isaiah shall be fulfilled men shall know of a surety, at the times when they shall come to pass” (2 Ne. 25: 7).

Forcing the fulfillment of prophecy

As men, we are often guilty of super-imposing our current circumstances upon the ancient prophecies and if there is a resemblance, will often declare them fulfilled.  Those who believe in the prophecies want to see them fulfilled every whit, as their belief and faith depends upon it.  Unfulfilled or false prophecy is a great trial to faith while fulfilled prophecy confirms it.  Besides, no one likes to be wrong by believing a lie (a false prophecy), so every effort is made to force interpretations that make the prophecy seem fulfilled.

This anxiousness on the part of preachers and religionists is unnecessary because, in their literal fulfillment, prophecies become plain to all men.

Forcing prophecies is also unwise because if the literal fulfillment is still future and you broadcast its fulfillment now, conditions may change which undo the supposed fulfillment, which may cause a loss of faith.  Those putting forth the forced interpretations end up looking like jack-asses and those who otherwise might have believed the prophecies and gospel begin to doubt.

A prime example is section 87 of the Doctrine and Covenants, which prophesied the War Between the States and that it would be started “at the rebellion of South Carolina.”  At the time that the prophecy was received, though, South Carolina was already in rebellion with its nullification convention and the smell of war was in the air.  Many broadcast the prophecy far and wide, sure that its fulfillment was imminent.  Then conditions changed and South Carolina backed down.  Those taking the prophecy on their missionary journeys stopped showing it to people as proof that Joseph Smith was a prophet.  Its literal fulfillment did not come until decades later when conditions changed again.

Unless all the conditions called for in a prophecy are exact, no one should force a fulfillment upon it, no matter how closely the conditions come to the actual conditions needed for its fulfillment.

Many Christians (and LDS) have done this with the State of Israel.  Seemingly overnight the Jews went from a scattered state to a gathered one in Palestine (by the nations of the Gentiles.)  “The hand of the Lord!  Prophecy fulfilled!”  So went, and still goes, the cry.  (The religious right in particular is guilty of this.)  All government programs which supported and aided and supplied Israel with arms and other things it needed to survive in the region have been lobbied by this group so that the apparent fulfillment of prophecy remains fulfilled.  After all, the promise is that once the Jews are gathered by the Lord in the last days, they will never be scattered again.  (See 1 Ne. 15: 20.)

Not all Jews agree with the forced establishment of the State of Israel.  Over the years, I have come across Jews and Jewish organizations that say that the Jews are to remain scattered until the Lord, and the Lord alone, gathers them, and that this forced gathering is a false gathering and does not fulfill scripture.  For example, consider the following quote by one such organization:

“God-fearing Jews believe that the ultimate Redemption of the Jewish Nation will come about only through the Hands of God, and that at the time of the Redemption, peace will reign in the entire world. Any other type of forced redemption is but a sinful transgression, condemned by God and His Holy Torah.”  (Taken from The Torah Position on the Current Conflict in Gaza article found on the JewsAgainstZionism.com web site.)

My study of the prophecies bears this assessment out.

If, or when, the State of Israel ceases to exist and the Jews are scattered again, what will become of the religious right?  Will they lose credibility in the eyes of the people?  If our own LDS people have bought their faulty arguments concerning the fulfillment of prophecy, will our own people lose faith?  According to LEAP/EUROPE2020’s analysis, Israel can cease to exist in a matter of weeks. Conditions can change that rapidly.  Can our confidence in prophecy change to doubt as quickly?

The LDS are prophetic morons

Sadly, we LDS tend to skip over prophecy and just focus on the doctrines of Christ when reading the scriptures.  We rely on the chapter headings, institute and church manuals and general conference addresses to interpret prophecy and tell us what it all means.  When those sources only go so far, we then rely on the Christians’ analysis of prophecy.  In other words, we haven’t done our prophetic homework and obtained the spirit of prophecy and revelation so that we can understand these sayings.  There are few prophets left in the church.  The rest of us are led by blind guides (the Christians) who are even more in the dark concerning prophecy than we are, having less prophetic writings than we do.

So, if you are among the membership that believes the State of Israel was established by God and fulfills prophecy, I invite you to take up your scriptures alone and to leave aside the Christian and LDS commentaries.  Let nothing but the Spirit and the scriptures guide you and see if you still come to the same conclusion.

To help you in that end, let me list some Book of Mormon prophecies that deal with the scattering and gathering of the Jews.  You may start to see an emerging pattern once you take a look.

The prophecy of Lehi in 1 Ne. 10

1. Messiah slain (1 Ne. 10: 11)  2. Jews scattered (1 Ne. 10: 12-13)  3. Jews gathered/come to knowledge of true Messiah (1 Ne. 10: 14)

The prophecy of Nephi in 1 Ne. 11-15

1. Messiah slain (1 Ne. 11: 33)  2. Jews fight apostles (1 Ne. 11: 35)  3. Jews broken up, destroyed (1 Ne. 11: 36) and scattered (1 Ne. 15: 12-18)  4. Jews believe in Redeemer (1 Ne. 15: 13-16)  5. Jews restored (1 Ne. 15: 19)  6. Jews never to be scattered again (1 Ne. 15: 20)

The prophecy of Zenos in 1 Ne. 19

1. Messiah slain (1 Ne. 19: 10)  2. Jews reject Christ (1 Ne. 19: 13)  3. Jews scourged and scattered (1 Ne. 19: 13-14)  4. Jews believe in Christ (1 Ne. 19: 15)  5. Jews gathered by the Lord (1 Ne. 19: 16)

The prophecy of Nephi in 1 Ne. 22

1. Jews reject Christ (1 Ne. 22: 5)  2. Jews scattered (1 Ne. 22: 3-5)  3. Lord does marvelous work among Gentiles (1 Ne. 22: 8)  4. Jews believe in Christ [through new records] (1 Ne. 22: 9-12)  5. Jews gathered by Christ (1 Ne. 22: 12, 25)

The prophecy of Jacob in 2 Ne. 6

1. Messiah slain (2 Ne. 6: 9)  2. Jews reject Christ (2 Ne. 6: 10)  3. Jews scattered (2 Ne. 6: 11)  4. Jews believe in Christ (2 Ne. 6: 11)  5. Jews gathered by Lord (2 Ne. 6: 11, 14)

The prophecy of Jacob in 2 Ne. 10

1. Messiah slain (2 Ne. 10: 3, 5)  2. Jews reject Christ (2 Ne. 10: 5)  3. Jews scattered (2 Ne. 10: 6)  4. Jews believe in Christ (2 Ne. 10: 7)  5.  Jews gathered (2 Ne. 10: 7-8)

The prophecy of Nephi in 2 Ne. 25-30

1. Jews reject Christ (2 Ne. 25: 12)  2. Messiah slain and resurrected (2 Ne. 25: 13-14)  3. Jews fight against church of God (2 Ne. 25: 14)  4. Jews destroyed, scattered (2 Ne. 25: 14-15) and scourged for many generations (2 Ne. 25: 16)  5. Jews believe in Christ (2 Ne. 25: 16; 2 Ne. 30: 7)  6. The Lord “sets his hand again the second time to restore” Jews (2 Ne. 25: 17; 2 Ne. 27: 26)  7. Jews receive new records that will judge them (2 Ne. 25: 18; 2 Ne. 29: 11-13)  8. Both Jews and records gathered in one (2 Ne. 29: 14; 2 Ne. 30: 7)

The prophecy of Jacob in Jacob 4: 15 – 6: 4

1. Jews reject Christ (Jacob 4: 15)  2. Jews scattered (Jacob 5)  3. The Lord sets “his hand again the second time to recover” Jews (Jacob 6: 2)  4. Servants of the Lord go forth for the last time to nourish and prune vineyard (Jacob 6: 2)

The prophecy of Zenos in Jacob 5

1. Jews scattered (Jacob 5)  2. Servant and Lord bring forth new records (Jacob 5: 55-56)  3. Servant, Lord and other servants bring forth new records (Jacob 5: 61-69)  4. Servant, Lord and other servants labor for last time (Jacob 5: 70-73)  5. Both Jews and records gathered in one body (Jacob 5: 74)

The prophecy of Mormon in 3 Ne. 5

1. Jews scattered, then gathered by Lord (3 Ne. 5: 24)  2. Jews to receive new records of Christ (3 Ne. 5: 25-26)  3. Jews then to be gathered after they believe in Christ (3 Ne. 5: 26)

The prophecy of the Lord in 3 Ne. 16

1. Jews scattered (3 Ne. 16: 4)  2. Gentiles take new records to Jews (3 Ne. 16: 4)  3. Jews believe in Christ (3 Ne. 16: 4)  4. Jews gathered (3 Ne. 16: 5)

The prophecy of the Lord in 3 Ne. 20

1. Covenant of Father to Israel fulfilled when Isaiah’s words fulfilled (3 Ne. 20: 11-12)  2. Jews scattered (3 Ne. 20: 13)  3. Gentiles scatter Jews (3 Ne. 20: 15) and scourge them (3 Ne. 20: 28)  4. Jews receive new records (3 Ne. 20: 13, 30)  5. Jews believe in Christ (3 Ne. 20: 30)  6. Jews gathered by the Lord (3 Ne. 20: 13, 18, 21, 29, 33, 46)

The prophecy of the Lord in 3 Ne. 21

1. The sign that Israel is about to be gathered and Zion is about to be established (3 Ne. 21: 1) is when the record of the ministry of the Savior to the Nephites goes to the Gentiles (2 Ne. 21: 2) and from the Gentiles to the remnant of Israel (3 Ne. 21: 3.  See 3 Ne. 21: 1-7)  2. In that day kings will shut their mouths (3 Ne. 21: 8)  3. In that day Father will perform great and marvelous work (3 Ne. 21: 9)

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

—”My words” in the phrase “whosoever will not believe my words” means the record of the ministry of the Savior to the Nephites (not the abridgment made by Mormon.)  Remember, Mormon was about to write the full account of the ministry contained on the large plates of Nephi, because these words were prophesied to come forth, as these were the words meant by the Savior in this verse, and these are the words that would implement the “cut off” clause of the prophecy, but the Lord forbade it (3 Ne. 26: 11).

—”Him.”  Can you guess who “him” is in the phrases “the Father shall cause him to bring forth unto the Gentiles, and shall give unto him power that he shall bring them forth unto the Gentiles”?  (See 3 Ne. 21: 9-10.)  This “him” man will bring forth the record of the Savior’s ministry.  Again, this is not speaking of the abridgment.

—”Cut off.”  The prophecy of Moses says, “A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass that every soul who will not hear that prophet shall be cut off from among the people.”  This prophet is Christ.  The fulfillment of this prophecy happens when the record of the Savior’s ministry to the Nephites (not the abridgment) comes forth.  Then, everyone who reads the record will be left without excuse.  Either they believe the words of Christ and become numbered with the house of Israel, or they disbelieve them and cut themselves off.  In other words, Moses had view of this last record coming forth when he spoke his prophecy.

—What this all means: At some point a “healed” servant of the Lord will appear and will bring forth the record of the Savior’s ministry (the full account) as well as other records.  These “last records” will show that the first records (including the Book of Mormon) are true and will convince everyone that Jesus is the Christ, leaving no one with an excuse.  They will go first to the Gentiles and then to the Jews, which will turn them both to the Lord and into bona fide Israelites.  Then the Lord will gather with power those who have accepted these last records to the lands of their inheritance.  Everyone else will be cut off and gathered into bundles to be burned.  The “last records” will cause a great division among the people (2 Ne. 30: 10).  This latter work, in which this “healed” servant comes forth and produces the “last records,” first to the Gentiles and then to the Jews, after which everyone is gathered, is known as the marvelous work and a wonder, the great and marvelous work, the second time the Lord will set his hand again to restore his people, etc.

That is all I will say about this chapter.

The prophecy of Mormon in Morm. 5: 14

1. Scattered Jews receive new records, believe in Christ and are restored (Mormon 5: 14)

The prophecy of Ether in Ether 13

1. Jerusalem destroyed (Ether 13: 5)  2. Jews scattered (Ether 13: 11)  3. Jerusalem to be built up again (Ether 13: 5)  4. Jerusalem to be a holy city of the Lord (Ether 13: 5)  5. Jews to be clean “washed in the blood of the Lamb” (Ether 13: 11.  See also 2 Ne. 25: 16 “with pure hearts and clean hands.”)

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