The Will of God and Faith


Romans 9: 6-24 [English Standard Version]:

…it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring. For this is what the promise said: “About this time next year I will return, and Sarah shall have a son.”

And not only so, but also when Rebekah had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac, though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad — in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls — she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” As it is written [in Malachi], “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”

What shall we say then?  Is there injustice on God’s part?  By no means!  For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”

So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. For the scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.

You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will? But who are you, O man, to answer back to God?  Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this? Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory — even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles?

The two historical cases:

Looking at Paul’s logic — because God chose one of Abraham’s spouses over the others, it follows that claiming descent from Abraham was not sufficient to make one an heir to God’s promise:

And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called.

Further because God chose one of Rebekah’s twins over the other, claiming descent from Isaac was not sufficient to make one an heir to God’s promise.

And Isaac intreated the Lord for his wife, because she was barren: and the Lord was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived.  And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to enquire of the Lord.  And the Lord said unto her, two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.

NOTE:  However, Rebekah was told that the older would serve the younger.  Given the Lord’s vernacular for presidency/leadership as voluntary servitude – perhaps this was a misunderstood revelation, and that misunderstanding led things to play out the way they did.  Just a thought.

The extrapolated case:

From these two historical cases, Paul theroizes that it is then likewise true that claiming to be “of Israel” cannot demonstrate that a person is right with God [or justified].

The implication made by using Abraham and Isaac as examples, is that being a justified believer is still a function of God’s choice [like choosing Sarah’s son over Hagar’s, and choosing one of Rebekah’s sons over the other].   He either made you for glory or for wrath and you are in no place to dispute His choice for you.

This is the Calvinistic doctrine of “irresistible grace” — wherein they conclude that it is not possible for humans to have any role in justification — because how could we do anything more than God could do Himself?

What about faith?

However, Paul consistently stresses “faith” as the means of access to God and to a justified state with Him:

Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.  Is he the God of the Jews only?  is he not also of the Gentiles?  Yes, of the Gentiles also:  Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith.

and

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

and

Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

and

But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.  Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.  But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

and

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Faith = Word of God + Belief + the Spirit:

So, if humans have access to God by virtue of faith — then it must still be God’s irresistible choice as to who “gets faith” and who does not — right?  To answer this question, it requires one to look at Alma’s preaching on the subject of faith that is found in Alma 32:

Now, we will compare the word unto a seed.

Equating the word of God with a seed is also done in Luke 8: 11;  1 Peter  1: 23; Romans 10: 17; and Galatians 3: 2-9.  The farmer analogy is quite accurate.  The right-brain-hearts of humans are soil, which can be at varying degrees of receptiveness for the seeds, which are the various doctrines of God, the devil, and of men.  The faith that will justify a person with respect to God comes as the ever-good seed is allowed to germinate and grow in the right-brain-heart.

Now, if ye give place, that a seed may be planted in your heart,

This “place” is given in the right-brain-heart.  It involves the concept of yielding [Mosiah 3:19] or being lowly, humble, and teachable.  Broken soil [or a softened right-brain-heart] is a result of a person humbling him/herself — thereby having a broken heart or contrite spirit.  This is equivalent to being “poor in heart” — which Alma observed that the Zoramites were:

of whom were poor in heart, because of their poverty as to the things of the world.

In their case, worldly poverty had brought them to this “lowliness of heart” state:

And now, as I said unto you, that because ye were compelled to be humble ye were blessed, do ye not suppose that they are more blessed who truly humble themselves because of the word?

Yea, he that truly humbleth himself, and repenteth of his sins, and endureth to the end, the same shall be blessed — yea, much more blessed than they who are compelled to be humble because of their exceeding poverty.

So, Alma describes two options for softening the right-brain-heart:  a person may wait for certain circumstances to bring about a state of humility [or soft ground], which will make him/her open and receptive to the word — or a person may exercise self-motivation by virtue of the power of the word alone [motivated by the promises of the Lord], and give place for that seed on his/her own.

Also, if a person’s circumstances do not cause him/her to be humble and they cannot seem to humble themselves before the Lord, then the Lord provides another tool for a man or woman to obtain the required humility:  fasting and prayer.

Nevertheless they did fast and pray oft, and did wax stronger and stronger in their humility, and firmer and firmer in the faith of Christ, unto the filling their souls with joy and consolation, yea, even to the purifying and the sanctification of their hearts, which sanctification cometh because of their yielding their hearts unto God.

This is how the ancients did it, because this is how it is done.

Continuing one with Alma’s preaching in chapter 32:

behold, if it be a true seed, or a good seed,

The seed Alma spoke of was:

the Son of God, that he will come to redeem his people, and that he shall suffer and die to atone for their sins; and that he shall rise again from the dead, which shall bring to pass the resurrection, that all men shall stand before him, to be judged at the last and judgment day, according to their works.

This is the ever-good seed.  Any seed that is planted and persuades a person to believe in and plant this ever-good seed, is also a good seed.  While any seed that is planted and persuades a person not to believe in and plant the ever-good seed, is not a good seed.  None of this has anything to do with religion or churches.  All seeds are judged to be good or evil by how they measure up to the ever-good seed and whether they point people towards, or away from, it:

For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God.

But whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do evil, and believe not in Christ, and deny him, and serve not God, then ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of the devil; for after this manner doth the devil work, for he persuadeth no man to do good, no, not one; neither do his angels; neither do they who subject themselves unto him.

Continuing on in Alma 32:

if ye do not cast it out by your unbelief, that ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord,

Unbelief is equated by Alma with resistance.  Resistance requires effort or work.  It means to oppose with force. The opposite of resisting would be to bow, give in, submit, succumb, surrender, or yield.  All of these words imply a lack of effort or ceasing to work.

As belief is an entirely passive act, any effort whatsoever on a person’s part will stand as an obstacle or impediment to the formula for obtaining faith.  It is like someone pushing you and simply allowing yourself to be pushed — or being in a river that is pushing you downriver and allowing yourself to be carried along.  No effort.  This is belief.

The moment there is resistance [in the slightest degree] to that push, even to just change the direction of travel one inch, it will decrease belief — ultimately turning it into its opposite [disbelief or doubt], which is a state of resistance to the Spirit of the Lord.

behold, it will begin to swell within your breasts; and when you feel these swelling motions, ye will begin to say within yourselves — It must needs be that this is a good seed, or that the word is good, for it beginneth to enlarge my soul; yea, it beginneth to enlighten my understanding, yea, it beginneth to be delicious to me.

This is a formula — akin to a scientific equation or cooking recipe.  Following the steps with the outlined ingredients will always produce the same result.  If a person varies one step or another — or rationalizes that a certain step is not required — or puts in some of their own effort into the formula — anything different causes “user error” and faith will not result.

The desire to believe:

But what can a person a person do if he/she is having problems with the formula?  There are certain signs following them that believe.  The purpose of these signs is to give the professed believer [and also the church] a means to discern justified believers in Christ [saints, who possess faith] from non-justified believers in Christ [Christians, who do not possess faith] — this is the fruit by which you may know them.  If one finds that he/she is not able to:

In my name they shall do many wonderful works; In my name they shall cast out devils; In my name they shall heal the sick; In my name they shall open the eyes of the blind, and unstop the ears of the deaf; And the tongue of the dumb shall speak; And if any man shall administer poison unto them it shall not hurt them; And the poison of a serpent shall not have power to harm them.

or

And these signs shall follow them that believe — in my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover; And whosoever shall believe in my name, doubting nothing, unto him will I confirm all my words, even unto the ends of the earth.

Then Alma advises that:

But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words

What will “awake and arouse your faculties”?  This was mentioned earlier in describing how to soften the soil:

  • One could be compelled by circumstances to have a desire to believe.
  • One could be motivated by virtue of the promises of the Lord in His word to desire to believe.
  • One could fast and pray until a desire to believe stirs in his/her right-brain-heart.

Again, “let this desire work in you” is the same as being in that river of water that is pushing you downriver, and instead of resisting, just allowing yourself to be carried along.

God’s will is your faith:

God works according to the faith of the children of men — meaning according to the formula outlined above.  Thus, the doctrine of God saving people by virtue of His will and choice is true.  However, that He works according to our faith means that His “choice” cannot be outside the bounds of an agent’s faith.

There is no such thing as something operating solely according to the will of God without the context of our faith.  Things operate solely according to the faith of agents — and this is God’s will.  This is why, for example, when Alma and Amulek were beholding the destruction of the saints by fire — and Amulek says to Alma:

How can we witness this awful scene?  Therefore let us stretch forth our hands, and exercise the power of God which is in us [which power comes by faith], and save them from the flames.

we read that Alma replies:

The Spirit constraineth me that I must not stretch forth mine hand.

Because Alma and Amulek had the faith to stop the destruction — the Spirit needed to tell them that they should not use their gift because there was a wiser purpose in letting the saints die.  Should it be the case that God’s will can be done without regard for an agent’s faith — then there would have been no purpose in the Spirit telling Alma anything.  Alma would have just stretched forth his hand and watched as the flames kept on burning [Much like what many LDS experience with priesthood healings, etc.].

The principle is that God must act where there is faith, so the Spirit had to tell Alma not extend his hand [not to exercise his faith] so that the destruction would not stop.

Also, there are two examples from Paul.  In 1 Corinthians 14, he gives a command that members of the church who possess the gift of tongues refrain from using their gift in church meetings whenever a member with the gift of interpretation of tongues is not present:

…let one interpret. But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church;

No such instruction would be needed unless the gifts are available to be used at will by those who have faith.  If the gifts worked according to God’s will and choice alone, then the Spirit would simply not manifest tongues in cases when an interpreter was absent — and no one would need instruction from Paul.

Also, in Acts 21, we see Paul in a similar circumstance as Alma and Amulek.  Paul is told twice, through the gift of prophecy, not to go to Jerusalem.  In the wording of the Alma 14 story we could say:  “The Spirit constraineth Paul that he must not go forth unto Jerusalem.

And finding disciples, we tarried [at Tyre] seven days: who said to Paul through the Spirit, that he should not go up to Jerusalem.

and

And as we tarried [at Ptolemais] many days, there came down from Judæa a certain prophet, named Agabus.  And when he was come unto us, he took Paul’s girdle, and bound his own hands and feet, and said, Thus saith the Holy Ghost, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle, and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.  And when we heard these things, both we, and they of that place, besought him not to go up to Jerusalem.

Yet, while Alma and Amulek chose to submit their faith to what the Spirit had told them — Paul chooses otherwise.  Exercising his faith — Paul feels it better to die at Jerusalem for the name of Jesus Christ.  When the people saw that Paul could not be persuaded, they acknowledged that:

The will of the Lord be done.

And His will is done — in these examples and in the example of exercising faith unto salvation.  It is God’s will that people work according to their faith — and His will is done when faith is used.  With respect to salvation, God chooses every person that He has the power to choose — and He only has power where there is faith.  Thus He “chooses” all those who have faith.

Next Article by Justin:

Previous Article by Justin:  The Tribal Church

See also:  The Faith of God Series, FPR post on LDS Cessationism, T&S post on LDS Cessationism, and W&T post on Alma 32

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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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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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Scriptural Discussion #16: David and Solomon


DAVID AND SOLOMON

Behold, David and Solomon truly had many wives and concubines, which thing was abominable before me, saith the Lord. (Jacob 2: 24)

David also received many wives and concubines, and also Solomon and Moses my servants, as also many others of my servants, from the beginning of creation until this time; and in nothing did they sin save in those things which they received not of me.  David’s wives and concubines were given unto him of me, by the hand of Nathan, my servant, and others of the prophets who had the keys of this power; and in none of these things did he sin against me save in the case of Uriah and his wife; and, therefore he hath fallen from his exaltation, and received his portion; and he shall not inherit them out of the world, for I gave them unto another, saith the Lord.  (D&C 132: 38-39)

Discuss.

Previous Scriptural Discussion: #15 ABORTION

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The tribal nature of the gospel


Those people who accept the gospel through faith, repentance, baptism and confirmation are automatically put into a tribe of Israel by the Lord, which tribe they ultimately find out when they receive their patriarchal blessing. In fact, the main purpose of a patriarchal blessing, or the only real unique feature of it, is that it names your tribe. Any other blessing given by any other priesthood holder may contain revelations on your past, present and future (prophecies), but all other blessings are to leave the naming of your tribe alone, as that is the jurisdiction of a patriarch.

Why the importance of being in a tribe?

Old Testament Tribes

From the Old Testament, we don’t know much about the saints who lived before Abraham, whether they were put by the Lord into tribes or not, but we do know that Abraham lived among people who were grouped into tribes or clans (the tribes of the earth.) So, tribes and clans are the norm of the world, unless a State is formed, which always has the tendency to shatter tribal allegiances. (See Book of Mormon Anarchy.)

Concerning church tribes though, we know that from Abraham came Isaac, and from Isaac came Jacob, and from Jacob came the twelve sons of Israel, who became tribes. These tribes were then enslaved by the Egyptians and later freed by Moses, who gave them a tribal law, the law of Moses, whereby they could live in tribal anarchy.

That tribal anarchy lasted only so long, until the tribes demanded that a king be anointed, turning the self-government which they had had into an earthly monarchy, like the nations around them. But, despite the change of affairs, they still remained in tribes, and continued to refer to themselves as part of a tribe, even to this very day. That, in itself, may not be so surprising, as it concerns the descendants of Jacob and their traditional designations, but after the gospel went to the Gentiles, during the times of the New Testament, the New Testament writers continued to stress the tribal nature of the gospel.

New Testament Tribes

There are only two types of tribes mentioned in the New Testament: the tribes of the earth, which, according to Matthew 24: 30, shall mourn when the Second Coming of the Lord occurs, and the twelve tribes of Israel. There is no mention of any other division of the people. Either you are one of the twelve tribes of Israel, or you are one of the tribes of the earth. This is how the text reads. The New Testament writers mentioned both past tribes (Old Testament), present tribes (New Testament) and future tribes (latter-day and last days.)

Some of the references to future tribes (post New Testament) are the following: The twelve apostles of the Lord are to judge the twelve tribes of Israel, according to Matthew 19: 28 and Luke 22: 30; the 144,000 will be chosen among the twelve tribes of Israel according to Revelation 7: 4-8; and the future holy city of Jerusalem will have twelve gates with the names of the twelve tribes of Israel written upon them according to Revelation 21: 12.

Furthermore, the General Epistle of James was written to the twelve tribes scattered abroad. (See James 1: 1.) These twelve tribes were church members, again emphasizing the tribal nature of the gospel and that all who enter it are put, by the Lord, into one of the twelve tribes of Israel.

Book of Mormon Tribes

In the Book of Mormon, there is mention made that the Nephites and Lamanites were of some of the standard tribes of Israel: Lehi and descendants were of Manasseh, Ishmael and descendants were of Ephraim and Mulek and descendants were of Judah. But in addition to these standard tribes of Israel, the Book of Mormon people further divided themselves into seven, more particular tribes: Nephites, Jacobites, Josephites, Zoramites, Lamanites, Lemuelites and Ishmaelites. This makes sense as the law of Moses, which was used by the Nephites, was tribal in nature, meaning that it was written and meant to serve tribes, even the tribes of Israel.

After the Lord’s visit to the American continent, the people all converted to the Lord and 4 Nephi 1: 17 makes mention that there were no more -ites in the land, but this doesn’t mean that they no longer kept track of who was of what tribe, merely that no one was called by the tribal or class distinctions, as they were all one people, even the children of Christ. Evidence that they still kept track of their tribal affiliations is found in 4 Nephi 1: 36-38, when they departed from their oneness and started calling themselves and others according to the tribal designations. This shows that even in times of great oneness, tribal affiliations were important.

The prophet Mormon, quoting the Lord Jesus (in 3 Nephi 30: 2), explained the great mystery, still not comprehended by the Gentile Christians of today, that when a Gentile converts to the Lord via faith, repentance, baptism and the reception of the Holy Ghost, they are numbered among the house of Israel from that point on, meaning that they are no longer part of the “tribes of the earth” but are part of the tribes of Israel. As Israel is composed of twelve tribes, these Gentile converts are placed by the Lord into one of these tribes. This is why the General Epistle of James, written to the twelve tribes of Israel, applies to all members of the church, whether Israelites by birth or Gentile converts.

The great Jaredite prophet Ether, whose people had no affiliation whatsoever with the bloodline of the house of Israel, Israel residing in the Old World and the Jaredites residing in the New World, nevertheless thought it important to prophesy to the Jaredites (some of which prophecies are recorded in Ether 13) all about the house of Israel and their cities of Jerusalem, and especially the New Jerusalem which would be built up by the remnant of the seed of Joseph, who are of the house of Israel, upon this (the American) continent, and which would come down out of heaven. All of the Jaredites, from the time of Jared and his brother down to the time of Ether, were all part of Jareditish tribes, meaning part of the tribes of the earth, but those Jaredites who came unto Christ and converted renounced their wordly “citizenship” and became numbered among one of the tribes of the house of Israel, whether they lived before the time of Israel (Jacob) or afterward, it mattered not.

The principle, then, is that tribal affiliations naturally exist on this planet (when States do not exist to break them up) and these tribes and tribal affiliations are worldly, or the tribes of the earth. But the Lord, using the same natural order of tribes, chose for himself an earthly family to represent the tribal affiliations of his people, even the house of Israel. As the tribes of the earth have their own laws, so the Lord’s tribes (the twelve tribes of Israel) have their own laws, given to them by the Lord, their tribal Chief (or King.) Just as the lower law of Moses, given by the Lord, was tribal in nature, so the more excellent law of Christ, given by the same Lord, is tribal in nature.

Tribes in the Dispensation of the Fulness of Times

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is engaged in gathering the tribes of Israel. This is what missionary work is all about. Everyone who comes unto Christ, whether of the direct bloodline of Israel (Jacob) or not (a Gentile), is automatically numbered among the house of Israel. The keys to this gathering were delivered by Moses to Joseph and Oliver (D&C 110: 11) and are used by each successive prophet to direct the missionary work.

So, the scriptures taken as a whole, emphasize the tribal nature of the gospel. We, the people of the Lord, are not just numbered by the Lord among the house of Israel, we are numbered among one of the tribes of the house of Israel. All of this is in anticipation of the coming of “the kingdom of heaven” (D&C 65: 6) , meaning the system of government that exists in heaven, which is tribal anarchy.

Next Anarchism/Anarchy article: Is Molly right?

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Deep Waters: Lehi’s model of the universe


I thought that I would do something new with this post. I will quote scriptures, ask questions about them and give answers according to my understanding. Hopefully, you will be able to follow my logic. 2 Nephi 2: 5-14 is my scriptural text. (I am publishing this article as a result of three comments I posted on another blog, which were met with confusion and disbelief. You may read the comments here: 1, 2 & 3.)

1) And the law is given unto men. (2 Ne. 2: 5)

1) QWhat law? A-The law that is given unto men (not necessarily the one that is received by them.) QGiven by whom? A-“The law which the Holy One hath given.” (See 2 Ne. 2: 10.)

2) And by the law no flesh is justified; or, by the law men are cut off. (2 Ne. 2: 5)

2) QWhat does Lehi mean by “flesh?” A-He means mortality, or any mortal creation. QWhat does Lehi mean by “justified?” A-He means guiltless. QFrom what are men cut off? A-From the presence of the Lord (see v. 8), from that which is good (see v. 5), from things pertaining to righteousness (see Alma 12: 16, etc.)

3) Yea, by the temporal law they were cut off; and also, by the spiritual law they perish from that which is good, and become miserable forever. (2 Ne. 2: 5)

3) QWhat is the temporal law? A-The laws of physics given by God to all mortal creations, which ultimately lead to the physical death of all flesh. QWhat is the spiritual law? A-The spiritual laws of God, which ultimately lead to the spiritual death of all flesh. QWhat does it mean to be cut off by the temporal law? A-To die a physical death (separation of the spirit body from the physical body), which, if not overcome, results in us becoming devils and being cast into outer darkness. (See 2 Ne. 9: 9.) QWhat does it mean to “perish from that which is good” by the spiritual law? A-To become devils and be expelled into outer darkness (separation from the presence of God.) In other words, the end result of both the temporal and spiritual law, if not overcome, is the second death: expulsion into outer darkness.

4) Wherefore, redemption cometh in and through the Holy Messiah; for he is full of grace and truth. (2 Ne. 2: 6)

4) QWhat does “redemption cometh in…the Holy Messiah” mean? A-It means the resurrection from the dead, which is free and requires nothing of us to receive it. (It is unconditional.) QWhat does “redemption cometh…through the Holy Messiah” mean? A-It means forgiveness of sin, which is given on condition of repentance. QHow is the Holy Messiah full of grace? A-He is full of grace in that he forgives sin. QHow is the Holy Messiah full of truth? A-He is full of truth in that he causes the resurrection to happen. QWho is the Holy Messiah? A-He is Jesus Christ.

5) Behold, he offereth himself a sacrifice for sin, to answer the ends of the law, unto all those who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit; and unto none else can the ends of the law be answered. (2 Ne. 2: 7)

5) QWhat are “the ends of the law?” Why does Lehi say “ends” plural and not “end” singular? A-The expression “ends of the law” refers to the bounds (D&C 88: 38 ) or limits of the law, the law itself proceeding “forth from the presence of God to fill the immensity of space” (D&C 88: 12) and being in the shape of a sphere (D&C 93: 30). There is not one “end” of the law, only “ends” because every point from the center of the sphere to the perimeter in any direction is one of the infinite “ends of the law.” The law, being the power of God, governs, gives light and gives life to the entire created universe which resides within its bounds, or “ends,” God himself being “in the midst of all things” (D&C 88:13) or, in other words, residing in the center of the sphere (the most holy place or the holy of holies.) QWhat does Lehi mean by “answer the ends of the law?” A-He means the answer or solution to the problem at hand, namely, that no flesh is justified by the law, therefore, all flesh must inevitably be expelled from, or placed outside of, the law (the sphere), in other words, they must be removed to “the ends of the law.” At the ends of the law is where the lake of fire and brimstone is located, and beyond that is outer darkness. As the sphere is a sphere of light, outside of that sphere is darkness, hence the name, “outer darkness,” in contrast or opposition to the sphere of inner light. The question is, essentially, “What can be done for all these creatures that they may not have to return (D&C 88: 32) to the lake of fire and brimstone and outer darkness from whence they originally came? How can they remain in the kingdom of light (glory) which God has created?” The answer is the atonement of Jesus Christ. QWhat happens to those who do not “have a broken heart and a contrite spirit,” unto whom the ends of the law cannot be answered? A-They return to the lake of fire and brimstone, to be delivered to the darkness which exists outside of the sphere of light. This is known as the second death.

6) Wherefore, how great the importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth, that they may know that there is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah, who layeth down his life according to the flesh, and taketh it again by the power of the Spirit, that he may bring to pass the resurrection of the dead, being the first that should rise. (2 Ne. 2: 8 )

7) Wherefore, he is the first fruits unto God, inasmuch as he shall make intercession for all the children of men; and they that believe in him shall be saved. (2 Ne. 2: 9)

8 ) And because of the intercession for all, all men come unto God; wherefore, they stand in the presence of him, to be judged of him according to the truth and holiness which is in him. (2 Ne. 2: 10)

9) Wherefore, the ends of the law which the Holy One hath given, unto the inflicting of the punishment which is affixed, which punishment that is affixed is in opposition to that of the happiness which is affixed, to answer the ends of the atonement—for it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. (2 Ne. 2: 10-11)

9) QWhat are “the ends of the atonement?” A-The bounds or limits of the atonement, the scope of which exactly conforms to the bounds and limits of the law, the course of the Lord being “one eternal round” and thus a sphere, like the law. QWhat does Lehi mean by “answer the ends of the atonement?” A-He means the answer or solution to the problem at hand, namely, how to answer the question, “What is to be done to those unrepentant souls who are not claimed by the atonement?” Lehi explains that “the ends of the law” will “answer the ends of the atonement.” In other words, these people will be delivered to the ends of the law (the lake of fire and brimstone) and beyond it to outer darkness. QWhat is the punishment that is affixed to the ends of the law? A-The casting of these souls into the lake of fire and brimstone and outer darkness. QWhat is the happiness that is affixed that is opposite to the punishment that is affixed to the ends of the law? A-It is the innermost location of the light sphere, the most holy place or the holy of holies, where God resides in the midst of his creations (the created universe.) It is the central location of the light sphere, being opposite in all ways to the outermost location, (the ends and outer darkness.) QDoes removing the comma after “for it must needs be” change the meaning of the phrase, “for it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things”? A-Yes. QWhat is a plainer translation of the phrase with the comma? A-“Because it needs to be this way, so that there is an opposition in all things.” QWhat is a plainer translation of the phrase without the comma? A-“Because there needs to be an opposition in all things.” QWhat is the difference between the two phrases, with comma and without comma? A-The phrase with the comma is explaining that the law necessarily is set up so that there is an opposition in all things, in other words, that the law itself is creating the necessary opposition in all things, whereas the phrase without the comma is explaining that an opposition in all things is necessary. (This is where most LDS stumble in the correct interpretation of this scripture. They read it as if there were no comma and thus miss the true meaning of Lehi’s words.)

10) If not so, my first-born in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. (2 Ne. 2: 11)

10) QWhat does the phrase “if not so” mean? If what is not so? A-If the law was not so. In other words, if the law were not set up to create the opposition in all things (outer darkness-inner light) there would be no opposition in all things. Lehi is explaining that the opposition in all things was created by God. It does not exist naturally. QWhat are the opposite conditions that could not be brought to pass if the law did not create an opposition in all things? A-Righteousness-wickedness; holiness-misery; good-bad.

11) Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility. (2 Ne. 2: 11)

11) QWhat does Lehi mean when he says, “Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one?” A-He means that if you take away the creative act of God, in creating the opposition in all things through the law, which is his light and power, the natural state of things is to be “a compound in one,” both spirit and element being joined together as if they were one single substance. This is the state of things as they existed prior to creation. This is the state of things as they exist now in outer darkness, which is outside of the kingdom of God, or the created universe (the sphere of light). This is the state that we were in before God brought us into existence, or better stated, into a state of awareness of our existence, before he split our “compound in one” substance into two opposite materials: spirit matter (that which acts) and element or physical matter (that which is acted upon). QWhat is “it” in the phrase “if it should be one body?” A-It is the compound in one substance. QWhy does Lehi refer to the “compound in one” substance as being “one body?” A-Two reasons: 1st, to contrast it to our own dual natures, as we have both a spirit body and a physical body and, 2nd, to contrast it to our current state of individuality. The compound in one substance literally was as one body, or a single mass of everything that is currently in the sphere of light, which is the kingdom of God. There was no individuality, nor even awareness of individuals, nor of anything else. Everything was the same as everything else, thus, without anything to contrast, it all was as a single body, all of it unaware that it even existed. QWhy does Lehi state that “it must needs remain as dead” when later on he says, “having no life neither death?” Is this a contradiction? A-There is no contradiction. Lehi is explaining that the one body compound in one substance was useless in its compound in one state. It was good for nothing. It served no purpose. It was as dead, meaning it was like a dead thing, totally incapable of usefulness as it was not even aware of its own existence. It was literally “in the dark” as to any possibilities for expansion and progression. It had nothing to contrast anything else with, as there was no light to contrast with its darkness, no separate individuals to contrast with its singular, combined substance. With such material, nothing can be accomplished, not life, not death, etc.

12) Wherefore, it must needs have been created for a thing of naught; wherefore there would have been no purpose in the end of its creation. (2 Ne. 2: 12)

13) Wherefore, this thing must needs destroy the wisdom of God and his eternal purposes, and also the power, and the mercy, and the justice of God. (2 Ne. 2: 12)

12-13) QWhat is the meaning of Lehi’s words as written in verse 12? A-He is saying that if God had created the one body, compound in one substance, it would have been created for nothing, having no utility or serving no useful purpose, at all. Since God cannot create anything without giving it a purpose, a use, had he created such stuff, he would have ceased to be God. Lehi is attempting to explain that as God has not ceased to be God and as this stuff did exist prior to creation and still exists (as this is the material that God uses to expand his kingdom), then this substance is stuff in its natural, untouched or un-created state, that it is co-existent with God and co-eternal, but his complete opposite. (He has all power, it has no power, etc.)

14) And if ye shall say there is no law, ye shall also say there is no sin. (2 Ne. 2: 13)

15) If ye shall say there is no sin, ye shall also say there is no righteousness. (2 Ne. 2: 13)

16) And if there be no righteousness there be no happiness. (2 Ne. 2: 13)

17) And if there be no righteousness nor happiness there be no punishment nor misery. (2 Ne. 2: 13)

18 ) And if these things are not there is no God. (2 Ne. 2: 13)

14) QWhy does Lehi begin with the phrase, “And if ye shall say there is no law?” A-Because the opposition in all things is created by the law. Everything hinges on the existence of the law. With the existence of the law, you can then have sin, righteousness, happiness, punishment and misery, in other words, the opposition in all things. If there is no opposition in all things, it means there is no law given by God and if there is no law given by God, then there is no God, as the law is his power.

19) And if there is no God we are not, neither the earth; for there could have been no creation of things, neither to act nor to be acted upon; wherefore, all things must have vanished away.

19) QWhat does Lehi mean when he says that “all things must have vanished away” if there is no God? A-He means that God is holding all of creation together, in its created state, by his own power. If God ever loses his power (his honor, see D&C 29: 36), all created things will revert back to their previous, uncreated, one body, compound in one state. In fact, if any of the gods and goddesses (god-dom) ever cease to be a god or goddess, the same result occurs everywhere. This is why Lucifer necessarily demanded the honor of God in his pre-mortal bid to conquer the universe, so that the universe would not revert to its previous state. (See
Deep Waters: What would have happened if Lucifer had won the vote?)

20) And now, my sons, I speak unto you these things for your profit and learning; for there is a God, and he hath created all things, both the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are, both things to act and things to be acted upon. (2 Ne. 2: 14)

20) QLehi says that God created all things. Does that not include the compound in one substance? A-God created all things that are created and all things that are created have purpose. The compound in one substance has no purpose and is in the natural, un-created state. God did not create it. QWhat are the things to act and what are the things to be acted upon? A-When God split the compound in one substance into two materials, one was the fire or spirit, which was given the purpose (by God) to move on its own (that which acts) and the other was the brimstone, or physical element, which was given the purpose (by God) to be moved (that which is acted upon.) The physical element does not move on its own, it must be acted upon, or pushed around, by the spirit matter. This is why living things move around (because the spirit bodies move the physical bodies) but when the living things die, which means that the spirit bodies leave the physical bodies, the physical bodies just lay there, motionless, unless acted upon by other, authorized spirit matter. (Devils can possess living souls, with permission, or power granted, of the living souls, but once a person dies, devils are not authorized to possess the physical body of that dead individual. In other words, the free agent physical body won’t allow itself to be moved by devils, only by spirits whose authority it, the physical body, recognizes.) Both spirit and element are given agency (D&C 93: 31) by God from the get-go. The spirit moves of its own volition and the element moves not, or allows itself to be pushed around, of its own volition. As the Lord has said, “All truth is independent in that sphere in which God has placed it, to act for itself, as all intelligence also; otherwise there is no existence (D&C 93: 30).” Both truth and intelligence (physical element and spirit matter) act for themselves, but truth (element) acts by allowing itself to be pushed around, or acted upon, while intelligence (spirit) acts by doing the pushing. The creation of the opposition in all things happens at the ends of the law, where the lake of fire (spirit) and brimstone (element) burns. If you could float just above the ends or boundary of the light sphere, so that your head pointed to the center of the light sphere and your feet pointed to the edge or ends of the sphere (the ends of the law), you being within the sphere, the ends of the law would appear to be a lake of fire and brimstone. This is the plasma bow shock that divides the outer darkness from the inner light. It is the lake of fire and brimstone that is where the compound in one substance is being converted, or split, into spirit (fire) and element (brimstone.) The flame of this lake “ascendeth up forever and ever and has no end” (2 Ne. 9: 16). The reason is that the lake is in the shape of a sphere, being at the ends of the law, and if you could follow it with your eye, although the sphere is inconceivably big, you would eventually see it curve upward. Also, as the creative act is continual, meaning that more compound in one substance is being split into spirit and element, the sphere is constantly expanding. (See Moses 1: 4, “my works are without end.”)

Final QuestionWhat does this tell us about our own natures? A-It shows us why God is so obsessed with getting everything resurrected with a physical body. The physical aspect is as much a part of our original, un-split, compound in one natures as is the spiritual aspect. We cannot feel complete without it. This is why only spirit and element, inseparably connected, can receive a fulness of joy (D&C 93: 33-34). This is one of the reasons why Satan is miserable forever. The lack of a physical body creates a void. This is why Jacob explained that we would all become devils if there were no resurrection (2 Ne. 9: 9). If there were no resurrection, there would be no hope of ever getting that missing part of us back. As hope is a part of faith, if we lose all hope, we lose all faith, and Satan then would obtain all power over us and we would become devils just like him, as he also has no hope nor faith. This is why the resurrection has so much emphasis in the scriptures.

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Book of Mormon Anarchy


In 3 Nephi chapter 7 there is the very interesting account of the destruction of the Nephite government and the introduction of tribal-based anarchy. A quick summary: The chief judge is murdered by the secret combination (v. 1) and it causes a great contention in the land, causing virtually everyone to become wicked (v. 7); the government and its regulations are destroyed (v. 2, 6); the people separate (v. 2, 14) into exceedingly large tribes (v. 4) with appointed leaders or chiefs (v. 3) consisting of family, kindred and friends (v. 2, 4, 14); the tribes have their own separate laws (v. 11, 14) including laws on how to interact with other tribes (v. 14); the tribes have no wars among them (v.5) and are united, but not according to their laws (v. 11, 14); the secret combination forms a monarchy with king Jacob as the monarch (v. 9-10); the tribes are united in their hatred of the kingdom of Jacob (v. 11) ; king Jacob and his subjects escape to the north (v. 12-13); the tribes stone and cast out any prophets that come among them (v. 14); Nephi ministers with great power and authority to the tribes, making but few converts, who also witness of their conversion through signs and miracles (v. 15-22.)

One of the arguments against anarchy, made chiefly by statists, is that anarchy cannot exist without a totally moral people. They argue, essentially, that since the natural man is an enemy to God, people living in anarchy would murder, rape, steal and do other very wicked deeds without a government to check their wicked ways. Nevertheless, 3 Nephi chapter 7 flies in the face of that logic, showing that even wicked people living under anarchy had “in some degree…peace in the land” (v. 14.) Obviously, “some degree of peace” applied to a temporal sense, as spiritually, these people were completely devoid of the peace of Jesus.

People normally learn about anarchy from statists, who have a vested interest to vilify and smear anarchy, because anarchy is the natural enemy of statism. Thus, a statist will say that anarchy breeds violence and chaos. Yet the Book of Mormon account of anarchy, an admitted account of a wicked people that stoned prophets of God, is one of an ordered society that, although separated into tribes, were still united and had strict agreements (treaties) between the tribes.

Some believe that once a government is removed and the natural anarchic order is allowed to settle in, family ties are strengthened exceedingly and families naturally start to coalesce into clans. (See the articles that Mary Ruwart and Phillip E. Jacobson have written on this very subject.) This is based upon historical, non-Book of Mormon data. However, the ancient books of scripture used by the LDS add to the body of evidence for this belief. Both the Bible and Book of Mormon examples of anarchy are tribal-based, a tribe essentially being a clan, or a very large clan. Tribal or clan-based anarchy appears to be the natural order of anarchy.

Jacob and his followers were king-men, attempting to establish a monarchy so that they could rule over the souls of men. These were die-hard statists and it is telling that as soon as the government was dissolved, they grouped together and created their own little state, a kingdom with a monarch (Jacob, not Jesus) to rule over them.

Another interesting point to note is that Mormon explains that it was the dividing of the people and their separation into tribes that destroyed the government (v. 2.) On the surface this might not seem like enough to destroy a government, but when you live in a tribe of your family, kindred and friends and your tribe has laws, your allegiances become torn. As they say, blood is thicker than water. These people are your relatives. To which laws do you owe your allegiance, the government or your tribe, if there is a conflict between the two sets of regulations? As long as families are nuclear and small (a mother, a father and children,) the power and pull of a family will be small and the power and pull of government will be large, but when families group together in common biological or friendship links (blood brothers), the power of a tribal family becomes large. The allegiance to it also increases. This may be why organized crime Mafia clans, which have blood ties and their own laws, command greater allegiance from their members than the legal government around them does. So, if you take the entire country, the USA, for example, and suddenly have everyone placed into a family clan or family tribe, suddenly the government loses all power, as allegiance to the government goes down to zero and allegiance to family, clan and tribe becomes all important.

A last thought: Before I learned anarchy from anarchists, I learned anarchy from state propaganda. I, like most, thought of anarchy as a great evil, to be avoided at all costs. I thought that any government was better than no government at all. Reading verse 5 of 3 Nephi chapter 7 seemed to solidify the propaganda. When Mormon used the phrase “all this iniquity,” I just figured he was talking about the anarchic, empowered tribal state, in other words, the destruction of the government. Now, though, I realize that tribes are not intrinsically evil. In fact, as LDS, we are placed into one of 12 tribes. So, Mormon was talking of different iniquities and not the ones that my state propaganda-ized mind was assigning, the iniquities of which he explains in this and the preceding chapter.

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