THE MIRACLE OF FORGIVENESS & KIMBALL’S CADILLAC – Pt. 1


The crisp coldness of the Utah Valley winter air dominated my senses but clashed in competition with the rumbling warmth of an idling Cadillac engine. Soon I found myself side by side with my best friend, rolling, in silence, through a meandering suburban maze. By the time the humming motor took over the soundscape, my mind began to ruminate on the events that had led up to this unassuming moment. If I had allowed my mind to wander further back in time, I would have marveled at the stranger than fiction story-line that had brought two New Yorkers – one black, one white– to cross paths in Orem, Utah of all places. But, as it was, my subconscious and my conscious, seated side by side in my right and left brain hemispheres respectively, enjoyed a quiet, mutual appreciation, perfectly paralleled by the way Mike and I respectfully remained in our own private thoughts during these demure moments of reverie.

I thought back to only hours earlier, when we had made a midnight run for burritos at a popular 24 hours spot located in that no man’s land in between Orem and Provo. During my not so distant college days I had jokingly dubbed that area, “Orvo”. Although we were unaware, time and space had here converged in an “Ovum” pregnant with possibilities. Another brother from yet another mother, Brio Springford, would later explain to me the mystical significance of such intermediate states as midnight, dusk and dawn. Neither here nor there, this nor that, halfway between solid and gas, they act as a mystical mist or lubricant opening portals between the physical world and the realm of spirit. But, like I said, my conscious mind was not even traveling back that far into the strange and slow spiritual sojourn that had taken my brother and I along the paths of Muslim and Mormon to this current crossroads in Christ. Brio was, at this point, still just a Facebook acquaintance going by his first given name, Joseph. And all I remembered was the good grub and good conversation.

We had talked of many things; Mexican food and culture, U.S. culture, Mexican women, U.S. women. But mostly, Mike shared his enthusiasm for Cadillacs. This was my first time riding in one and I could see why he liked them so much. Comfortable and kingly, the ride evoked a classic coolness to transcend all trends. As he described the character of the car I could see, hear and feel the truthfulness of his report. This was an honorable vehicle. Even its functional flaws figured nobly into its proud performance –Honor on wheels.

This magnificent maroon colored machine now made its way to the freeway on-ramp and my thoughts moved forward to only minutes before we left the house. I had checked online and saw that the Facebook friend I mentioned earlier had invited me to join a group that called itself the Mormon Reconciliation Movement. Joseph explained in a message that the group’s goals were somewhat loosely defined but that they wanted to at least start a dialogue among people who desired a peaceful and happy society. Open to and in fact reaching out to those of all faiths and cultures, the group would however maintain as one of its focal points, a reconciliation, specifically between Mormons and Native Americans.

I was well versed in the lamentable history between LDS and ‘Lamanites’. Now as the little man in my mind accessed the file on dealings between Mormon settlers and Native tribes, I saw a vast library of information appear on my mental screen. There was Joseph’s referencing of the native population as modern descendents of the Lamanite civilization described in the Book of Mormon narrative. The commission to the overwhelmingly white converts of an early Mormon Church to join with the natives, rejected, and a precarious distance respected in Brigham’s Utah. My great-great-great-great grandfather and one of my guardian angels, Daniel Webster Jones’ statement that he had found, “more nobility of character among the Indians than what is common among many whites, even Mormons included,” echoed through my thoughts. Appalling accounts of treachery towards the Hopi that built the corrupt careers of Ernest L. Wilkinson and others were harrowed up from this dark data base. But perhaps most disturbing to me were the misguided notions of LDS Church President, Spencer W. Kimball. Most disturbing, because, this sweet old man with smiling eyes, had a love for the Navajo people, which seemed to be sincere, real. I guess Pres. Kimball was a product of the thinking of his time. But I found no comfort in this conclusion. That an old man with a good heart would allow the racism of his era to mislead his heart was extremely saddening to my own heart. The contrast between true love and false principles made me feel like puking. And speaking about “striking contrast,” as a product of ‘his era’, he pushed the painful irony deeper when, in a 1960 issue of a magazine called The Improvement Era, he said:

“I saw a striking contrast in the progress of the Indian people today …. For years they have been growing delightsome, and they are now becoming white and delightsome, as they were promised. In this picture of the twenty Lamanite missionaries, fifteen of the twenty were as light as Anglos, five were darker but equally delightsome. The children in the home placement program in Utah are often lighter than their brothers and sisters in the hogans on the reservation. At one meeting a father and mother and their sixteen-year-old daughter we represent, the little member girl—sixteen—sitting between the dark father and mother, and it was evident she was several shades lighter than her parents—on the same reservation, in the same hogan, subject to the same sun and wind and weather…. These young members of the Church are changing to whiteness and to delightsomeness. One white elder jokingly said that he and his companion were donating blood regularly to the hospital in the hope that the process might be accelerated.”

During this very visit to friends in Utah, my wife, Quiana and I, had witnessed firsthand, the soul-corroding effects of Kimball’s zeal for the Indian Placement Program. Long-time friends of Navajo descent, the Seschille Sisters, welcomed us to their home until they discovered that Quiana, by choice, no longer wore the LDS Temple undergarments. They seemed unable to feel the spirit of the ancestors sweeping the land, unaware of the blocks that had been placed between them and their kindred dead; while Quiana and I were unable to deny that same powerful spirit of Elijah. Just over a month prior, during the harvest time of year once celebrated by my Keltic ancestors as Samhain, now commercialized as Halloween and observed in Mexican tradition as Day of the Dead, we had been made keenly aware of the presence of those long passed. It wasn’t so much the resurrection of repressed ancestral memories, but a relaxed and naturally remembered ritual. There was a very ‘tuberous’ theme reminding us of our ‘roots’ that day. Modern-day Americans, of course, use pumpkins. But the Keltic Clans had used turnips, and they felt right at home with the anciently rooted Nahuatl custom, which made use of a closely related species –the refreshing jicama. Revived spiritual sensitivity along with an already sanctioned mix of Catholic and Mesoamerican holy days being observed locally by the general public, coincided to usher in an early thanksgiving, which had always been Quiana’s and my favorite holiday. It was really nice, because, whereas living so far from ‘living’ relatives made get-togethers extremely difficult, this simple openness that had snuggled up to our hearts gradually till this period of permeability in the veil between worlds, reminded us that distance itself was relative. And hence, distant relatives and even the spirits of relations of close friends and curious neighbors, graced our home with their visitation during this season.

But, I digress. This was not the warm climate of central Mexico. It was early December in Utah, and my train of thought was stopped cold in its tracks. I was contemplating the cruel confusion of this world that made a genuinely respectable man capable of hosting such degrading attitudes and perpetrating truly deplorable actions toward such a noble albeit abused race. As soon as the sick and twisted picture started to sink in, a feeling suddenly came over my heart and a thought rushed into my mind. I felt and thought that Spencer was truly sorry and repentant for his past transgressions. But who could know but the man himself and God, right?

Then, just as suddenly, my train of thought was completely derailed when Mike’s gruff voice broke the silence. “There’s this Caddy I peeped on KSL classifieds. I was thinkin’ of goin’ to check it out after we run these errands.” Oh, so not derailed but looped back to the original line of thought, “Cadillacs”. I listened while the enthusiast described the details of the vehicle for sale. It was located in American Fork –we were headed there anyway. It was a ’79 DeVille D’Elegance –we were riding in a 1980 DeVille. It was originally owned by Spencer Kimball. “Whoah, hold up. Did you say Spencer Kimball?” I asked. I had to consciously swallow the ‘W’ that my Babylonian upbringing was wont to automatically insert; as if the presentation of, first name–middle initial–surname, would grant the man some heir of worldly importance.  Mike confirmed that I had indeed heard him correctly. He said, “Yeah, I guess you know who he was. I wasn’t really familiar with that name but I gathered that he was a leader in the LDS Church.” As I marveled over the route of thought that had just completed a perfect closed circuit through my mind and Mike’s mouth, I told my friend that Spencer Kimball was the President who had finally changed the policy preventing black men from being ordained to the Priesthood in the Church. Mike’s eyebrows were slightly raised and his tone was somber as he said, “Wow. See, that makes me even more interested in this car.”

I too was seized with the desire to see this car and took it as a very material validation of the sweet spiritual assurance I had just received. Why should Spencer Kimball confess and speak to my heart regarding his personal conversion? Why should he want to offer this token and sign of his repentance? Why not? Our hearts were one on this issue. We all help one another as brothers and sisters through mutually uplifting heart to heart dialogue. One who is looked up to as a leader in any capacity knows that they can only retain respect in the eyes of their younger supporters through humility. Public confession was a very emotionally freeing way to keep families working well together in the early days of any Christian movement. The bold swallowing of pride by one of my elders, so long removed from the sphere of the ‘living’, but nonetheless indelibly impressed upon my mind from the earliest days of my childhood, caused my mind also, to be humbled. I understood that God’s forgiveness is infinite and that by continuing to judge someone based on the actions of their past, I could lose the opportunity of reaping beautiful blessings from the reconciliation that comes about through repentance. My mind could hardly believe what was happening but secretly I was excited by the prospect of participating in what appeared to be an inter-dimensional gift exchange transacted across time and space.

We went to see Kimball’s caddy. There she was, shinning in a partially iced-over driveway just off of 100 East; an impressive, Book of Mormon Blue, Mafioso looking ’79 Cadillac DeVille D’Elegance. The current owner came outside and shook our hands. We admired his scrap-metal artwork as he rummaged through drawers in his garage and finally produced the keys to the vehicle. We examined its spacious trunk, its plush, light blue interior. Between the seats, Mike found a clear plastic clip with worn adhesive material on the back, encasing a little slip of paper. “Yo, check this out.” He passed it to me. At the top of the paper it read: LDS Vehicle Service Center. Below it listed the details of a service check done in May of ’87. This being a ’79 model would have been issued to Spencer in September of the previous year, making it the same car which transported him the day of the historic announcement in general conference on Sep. 30th of 1978. The man told us that he had hoped to sell it to someone who appreciated the car’s history. He said that shortly after placing the Cadillac on the market he was contacted by an old woman who wanted to purchase it as a collection piece for the very fact that it had belonged to President Kimball, who the lady described as her “favorite prophet”. But for some reason he felt impressed to not sell it to her and wait instead. I felt a warm sensation come over my heart. The feeling was fire and ice as Mike and the seller carried out the details of the transaction. I just stood there with sunbeams, like little golden children of God signing in my face and chills running up and down my spine, like the “Itsy Bitsy Spider” from the song.

As we pulled out of that amiable young man’s driveway, Mike in Kimball’s Cadillac and I tailing him in the other Caddy, a quote popped up in my mind. From a crease in the grey matter right next to the memory accessed earlier that day, came a file containing a vaguely remembered, preferably forgotten piece of Church history which had no doubt been preserved for some wise purpose in the Lord. My happy heart was overwhelming my meticulous mind at this time and so I would have to look it up later to retrieve the corrupted file in all of its vainglorious corruption. Something about “Negroes and Cadillacs”, but this was no Snoop Dogg track. It turned out to be from a shameful speech given by apostle Mark E. Peterson, at BYU, August 27, 1954.

“Now we are generous with the Negro. We are willing that the Negro have the highest education. I would be willing to let every Negro drive a Cadillac if they could afford it. I would be willing that they have all the advantages they can get out of life in the world. But let them enjoy these things among themselves.”

Later Peterson explains how he expects to find Negroes as his servants in the next life. I wonder what he did find there and if his hateful speech has since turned to a sad soliloquy delivered from some dark catacomb like Hamlet. To be so miserably mean is to be lonely and anguish to a human being’s soul. But, unlike the fictional character of Hamlet, “Not to Be” is not an option. As soul’s discover their own immortality they are ever faced with the same question “To be loving or to be damned?” Poor guy, I’m sure he’d love company. And perhaps Spencer in some other dimension was visiting his contemporary in his spirit prison cell. But in this space and time, Spencer W. Kimball was arranging the symbolic signing over of this prized possession through the veil.

I took it as a sure sign that I was to ordain Mike to the Melchizedek Priesthood. Oddly enough, the thought had occurred to me the last time I had visited and seen Mike in person, exactly one year earlier. But that December was full of other adventures and due to last minute family plans, we had been unable to spend more than a few hours with Mike. At that time Mike had seemed a little depressed and sort of distant. Apart from that, I did not really know how to bring it up. What was I supposed to say? “Hey bro. Why don’t you let me put my hands on ya head and pass you some priesthood?” No, like many other ideas and premonitions that came to me that year, it would have to wait. Wait for what? –For me to get over my fear to act on the promptings of the Holy Spirit for one thing. It would have to wait for me to stop drinking the Kool-Aid of LDS Cult-sure once and for all by desisting from my church attendance. It would have to wait for me to get out, by means of fear and trembling, from under the veil of unbelief I was born into. It would have to wait for me to “Gird up my loins,” which is biblical language for “Grow some balls”. It would have to wait for many things. And to be fair to myself, Mike had to do some personal soul searching in that time too. It would have to wait for everything to be just right. And as a matter of fact we would end up waiting about a month, till it felt like the perfect time to perform the ordination; although I told him later that same day and we were both agreeable to the idea. But, as I explained to my friend, this would not be a conferring of power so much as a symbolic act to unlock a power already inside each of us. It would not have to wait much longer as God hastened his strange work in these latter days.

The stars were literally aligning. Michael’s militant muse of Mars and my guiding star, Jupiter were prepping each other for resiliency in an upcoming adventure where we would need to be very daring. The adventure would take us over land and sea and be challenging but exhilarating. Exhilaration and sheer electricity was felt as I finally placed my hands upon the crown of his head and unlocked the priesthood power. In many ways, Spencer’s spirit helped set us up for what we needed to do in life. The ensuing experiences since December of 2011 have changed Mike’s and my lives forever. We are new people –Stronger, happier. We are grateful to God for the miracle of forgiveness which enables us to stop trying to outrun our pasts and be made free in Christ. And we are grateful to Kimball for the Cadillac.

BRIGHAM – THE BUILDER & THE BUTCHER pt.1


THE QUESTION

This is not just an exposé on Brigham Young. It is not just an exposé on Masons or Mormons. It is an exposé on you and me.

In Hollywood insider Cecil DeMille’s The Ten Commandments, there is a scene, set against backdrops magnificently painted by Mormon artist Arnold Friberg, where Moses speaks to the Egyptian who he later slays. He poses a poignant question, from one Mason to another, which illustrates perfectly the fine line between good and evil; not only among us collectively but within us, as potential creators and destroyers. He asks:

“Are you a master builder or a master butcher?”

THE SITUATION

The traveling mystic miracle men or, as they were called in the middle and far-east, fakirs, have been replaced with fakers; apostles with apostates. Moroni tells us that the lack of supply in the department of miracles is a set up scene of false scarcity, meant to produce a demand for false prophets and the false security they sell.

“And now, O all ye that have imagined up unto yourselves a god who can do no miracles, I would ask of you, have all these things passed, of which I have spoken? Has the end come yet? Behold I say unto you, Nay; and God has not ceased to be a God of miracles.”

Mormon 9:15

“Or have angels ceased to appear unto the children of men? Or has he withheld the power of the Holy Ghost from them? Or will he, so long as time shall last, or the earth shall stand, or there shall be one man upon the face thereof to be saved? Behold I say unto you, Nay; for it is by faith that miracles are wrought; and it is by faith that angels appear and minister unto men; wherefore, if these things have ceased wo be unto the children of men, for it is because of unbelief, and all is vain.”

Moroni 7:36-37

This then, is not just a case of market manipulation, rather mammon itself is placing the minds and hearts of men under a magical spell. When a P-R-O-P-H-E-T starts to crack up or break down over profit or under pressure, there are two ways he can go. He can become a P-O-E-T, or if not, all that is left to him is to become an R-P-h (Registered Pharmicist). A prophet without a prophecy is nothing more than an apothecary. If you think that this is merely a clever analogy and is in no way literal, then please, hear the words of Boyd K. Packer in the General Conference of the Church, Oct., 1989. In his discourse entitled Revelation in a Changing World, he identifies himself and his comrades with “those ordained as Apostles, as prophets, seers, and revelators.” (italics added, capitalized ‘A’ in ‘Apostles’copied as is from the official transcript) Boyd took this opportunity to slyly and masterfully direct the substantial spiritual power generated by the collective honor and belief of his vast audience into backing the drug industry. Observe…

“Our physical body is the instrument of our spirit. In that marvelous revelation, the Word of Wisdom, we are told how to keep our bodies free from impurities which might dull, even destroy, those delicate physical senses which have to do with spiritual communication…Addiction has the capacity to disconnect the human will and nullify moral agency… Agency is too fundamental a doctrine to be left in such jeopardy…

It is my conviction, and my constant prayer, that there will come through research, through inspiration to scientists if need be, the power to conquer narcotic addiction through the SAME MEANS which cause it…”

If you don’t see the double speak here it is because your eye is not single. If you feel uneasy or confused by Packer’s message, I ask you to study in your mind and ponder in your heart this short paragraph sandwiched between the alternating truths and lies of his talk…

“Things of the Spirit need not—indeed, should not—require our uninterrupted time and attention. Ordinary work-a-day things occupy most of our attention. And that is as it should be. We are mortal beings living in this physical world.”

Since this spell was cast over the pulpit in ’89, Perscription Drug Abuse has skyrocketed  as the fastest growing addiction in the nation. Utah in particular came to lead this trend in terms of percentages. Carbon County in Utah has the second highest rate of deaths from prescription drug overdose in the nation. 8 other counties in Utah are above the national average for deaths from prescription drug abuse. From 2008 to 2009, more than 10% of all fatalities were from overdose of pharmaceutical drugs. In the first seven years since graduation from high school in Springville UT, resident Cameron Teeples watched as an average of one former schoolmate per year died from overdose of legal drugs. All this only speaks to the levels deemed as abuse and the fatal results stemming from that abuse. The bulk of the dangerous iceberg lies with the simple fact that antidepressant drugs are prescribed in Utah more often than in any other state, at a rate nearly twice the national average. Utah’s rate of antidepressant use according to a study in 2002 was twice the rate of California and nearly three times the rates in New York and New Jersey.

Playing the role of Hierophant, Packer put his trust and prodded the faith of others into scientists who are in fact zionists. Just like the Jewish people as a group are plagued by an infestation of certain misguided yet highly motivated souls who have conglomerated to lend credence to a corrupted version of the idea of a promised land; the Mormons contain an element that craftily substitute the ideal of Zion with an artificial abomination. Such self deception does not quarantine itself to only the inside minority group within, but spreads from mind to mind like germs on the wind. Without a healthy immune system, one will soon turn to vain hopes of fighting off the vile infection with chemical substances like those produced by the zionist scientists through the SAME MEANS which cause it.”

Brigham Young himself warns against the pitfalls of trusting your life to doctors rather than to God.

“Now the cry is, “Send for a doctor.” If you have a pain in the head, “Send for a doctor;” if your heel aches, “I want a doctor;” “my back aches, and I want a doctor.” The study and practice of anatomy and surgery are very good; they are mechanical, and are frequently needed. Do you not think it is necessary to give medicine sometimes? Yes, but I would rather have a wife of mine that knows what medicine to give me when I am sick, than all the professional doctors in the world. Now let me tell you about doctoring, because I am acquainted with it, and know just exactly what constitutes a good doctor in physic. It is that man or woman who, by revelation, or we may call it intuitive inspiration, is capable of administering medicine to assist the human system when it is besieged by the enemy called Disease; but if they have not that manifestation, they had better let the sick person alone. I will tell you why: I can see the faces of this congregation, but I do not see two alike; and if I could look into your nervous systems and behold the operations of disease, from the crowns of your heads to the soles of your feet, I should behold the same difference that I see in your physiognomy —there would be no two precisely alike. Doctors make experiments, and if they find a medicine that will have the desired effect on one person, they set it down that it is good for everybody, but it is not so, for upon the second person that medicine is administered to, seemingly with the same disease, it might produce death.”

Brigham Young – Journal of Discourses Vol. 15, pg. 225

It is stunning to witness the clarity with which Young speaks of the personal relationship each and every body has with the God of Nature and yet hear him in the same breath, speak with such a bullying tone to push his personal religion/medicine on families far and wide. At what point did this man slide from the position of appointed caliph and protector to become a pointed phallic protractor, plotting and planning his polygynous pimper’s paradise? Where did he make the wrong turn from builder to butcher or were the two extremes always present within him? Was he more self-appointed than chosen?

THE HISTORY

After the death of Joseph Smith Jr., the Mormons suffered a succession crisis, similar to that of the Muslims after the death of Mohammed except more immediate and divisive. Alpheus Cutler, James J. Strang, William Smith, Lyman Wight, James C. Brewster, Charles B. Thompson, Sidney Rigdon and David Whitmer, to mention only a few, each had followers numbering from 100 to several hundreds. So how did Brigham end up with such a sizable following? Actually, he didn’t, at least not at first. Of an approximate 30,000 who identified as members of the Church of Christ (later known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) in 1847, only about 2,000 initially came across the plains with Brigham Young to Utah. Of course, over the next few decades converts would pour in to a total of almost 70,000. The ignorance with which mainstream LDS consider themselves to be the original and true Mormons, not to mention their arrogance in proclaiming  themselves to be the “Only True and Living Church Upon the Face of the Earth” is similar to the laughable manner in which Super-Bowl winners snatch the self-important title of “World Champions” when only U.S. teams ever compete. Today “Brigham’s Boys” can barely refrain from boasting about their current numbers, even though these do not always reflect reality. It is true that the LDS Church has a significant presence and influence in many regions of the world.

“What is highly valued among men is detestable in God’s sight.”

–  Luke 16:15

Brigham’s success in terms of succeeding Joseph as President had something to do with being a member of the prestigious Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Where you find apostles you will surely find apostasy. The Great Apostasy, which necessitated a Restoration Movement in the first place, begins with the twelve men who Jesus ordained to be traveling teachers and commissioned with the task of giving as freely as they had been given. The moment they started to have disputations among them and to require Gentile converts to adhere to Jewish customs, apostasy set in. The issue is never one-sided and the blind leaders, as well as the blind followers, end up in the ditch. But let us be clear. As soon as apostleship goes to the head of the original quorum members, becoming some kind of exclusive club, the countdown to complete corruption begins.

Opposites are special relationships; two things so close that they are intimately linked in one. Good and evil are the ultimate opposites. And so it is that, anyone who will not accept Christ, the Son, as the union of opposites is doomed to serve one master while hating the other. The one master which they serve is Master Mahan (Master Destroyer) and the great secret is not kept by them but from them as they gather on either side of the conflict. That secret being: that contention is of the devil. So even as they choose the side called good they forget that “only one is good.” So if you’re seeing double, your eye is not single and that’s not good. Apostles seem to forget their heavenly orders too easily. They fail to find the face of God and can not, therefore, help others. They quote scripture which says that God’s house IS a house of order but they do not actually believe it is already so and hence their uncontrollable urge to steady the ark without setting in order their own house. They play as if they would usher in the King of Kings from the House of David. But it’s more like the Fall of the House of Usher. You know what they say about a house divided.

Never at any time have things fallen apart faster than in the dawning of this dispensation. The Lord had already made the definition of His church perfectly clear, through spiritual dictation in first-person to Joseph as His mouthpiece in 1828, two years before registering the church as a legal entity recognized by the state of New York. It was simple.

“Behold, this is my doctrine: whosoever repenteth and cometh unto me, the same is my church: whosoever declareth more or less than this, the same is not of me, but is against me: therefore, he is not of my church.”

Book of Commandments 9:17

This revelation later came to be listed in Doctrine & Covenants, Section 10:67-68. In verse 54 the Lord clarifies that His intentions are to “build up my church” and not to “destroy my church.” Once again, everything is delivered in first-person format. Nowhere do apostles appear. All remains simplistic, quite informal and fluid as a living movement must, until late in 1829 when a suspiciously ‘official’ sounding document titled “Articles of the Church of Christ” comes from Oliver Cowdery. The first line reads:

“A commandment from God unto Oliver how he should build up his church & the manner thereof—”

Oliver claims that God gave it to him through revelation but it is not written in first-person voice – not in the name of the Lord nor from the perspective of Oliver himself. Who is the mysterious entity who is uttering these words what is the church it refers to with the possessive pronoun ‘his’, which we can see is conspicuously devoid of any capitalization as would be typical, especially of that time period when referring in writing to the Lord. Is this for the building up of the Church and all-of-her saints or for the establishment of the Church of Oliver saints?

Brigham was not the only Apostle vying for the position of president after the martyrdom of the prophet. There were also others of the Quorum who presented themselves as candidates for the coveted office. These 12 “brethren” were at least in agreement on one thing, and that was supremacy of their elite group. The membership records of Philadelphia, which was as that time the largest branch of the Church in the eastern states, reveal a rampage of excommunications ramping up to the year of the prophet’s murder. 95% of those excommunications recorded occurred in the three years proceeding that tragic day. Every last instance was for charges of rebellion against the authority of the Quorum of the Twelve. In all, just under half of the entire membership in the Philadelphia Branch were kicked out for their opposition to the Quorum of the Twelve’s insistence on a system of apostolic succession.

However, power plays by the high and mighty Quorum of the Twelve were not enough to ensure the fierce level of devotion demonstrated by the pioneers who faithfully followed Brigham &Co. into the desert of Deseret. Something more, a spiritual manifestation would be necessary to provide men and women with the motivation to follow Big Brigham with some level of zeal. Some would eventually take that zeal to the point of excusing the slaughter of innocent men women and children in the infamous Mountain Meadow Massacre. My intent is not to draw this piece out with information regarding that incident. Many a book has been written on the topic and the reader will find no shortage of material to aid in arriving at some kind of personal conclusion regarding Brigham Young’s involvement, whether it was direct or indirect or however one should choose to view it. Time will tell. I wish only to shed a new light on some of the events surrounding Brigham’s meteoric rise/fall to fame. What was this strange, magical effect he had on the Mormon people as a leader?

On August 8, 1844, six weeks after the Prophet Joseph Smith’s martyrdom, a meeting of the Saints was held in Nauvoo, Illinois. Brigham Young, President of the Quorum of the Twelve, and several other Apostles had just returned from missions. The purpose of the meeting was to determine by vote who had the right and responsibility to lead the Church. Sidney Rigdon, First Counselor in the First Presidency, argued that there could be no successor to the deceased prophet and that he should be made the “Protector” of the church. Brigham Young argued for the right of the Quorum of the Twelve to lead, with himself conveniently positioned at the head of that organization. In the course of the two meetings held that day, many in attendance received what they interpreted as a divine witness that Brigham Young was to be the next leader: some Saints specifically state that as Bro. Brigham addressed the congregation he sounded and appeared remarkably like Joseph Smith, others simply say that the “mantle of Joseph” or “of the prophet” rested on Brigham Young. This occurrence is not easily ignored as there are over 121 personal testimonies given of this extraordinary phenomenon.

“When Brigham Young spoke it was with the voice of Joseph himself; and not only was it the voice of Joseph which was heard, but it seemed in the eyes of the people as though it was the every person of Joseph which stood before them.”

George Q. Cannon, October 29, 1870

“Now when President Young arose to address the congregation his voice was the voice of Bro[ther] Joseph and his face appeared as Joseph’s face & should I have not seen his face but heard his voice I should have declared that it was Joseph.”

George Laub, 1844

“Brother Brigham Young said, “The keys of the Kingdom are with the Twelve Apostles. They are the ones to lead the people.” He looked just like Brother Joseph and spoke like him. Surely the mantle of Brother Joseph has fallen on him. I never had a doubt. I knew Brother Brigham was the man to fill the place of our beloved Prophet. I knew that Brother Joseph Smith was a true Prophet of God and was the mouthpiece of God to the people, and that Brigham Young was his lawful successor.”

Talitha Cumi Garlick, 1844

“But their [Joseph Smith and Hyrum Smith’s] places were filed by others much better than I once supposed they could have been, the spirit of Joseph appeared to rest upon Brigham.”

William Burton, May 1845

“But as soon as he spoke I jumped upon my feet, for in every possible degree it was Joseph’s voice, and his person, in look, attitude, dress and appearance; [it] was Joseph himself, personified and I knew in a moment the spirit and mantle of Joseph was upon him.”

Benjamin F. Johnson, 1928

The second-hand memory of this supernatural event survived for a long time, even as the Church ventured across that invisible line, into a time where the dangerously low levels of faith which Moroni warned us of really began to take hold of the hearts and minds of the Mormon people. In the October 1898 General Conference, Heber J. Grant reported:

“There are those that think the Latter-day Saints are a mistaken people, that they are deluded and that they have no faith in the supernatural; but I say here today that I know the mantle of Joseph Smith fell upon the Prophet Brigham Young. I know it, and I am willing to meet the testimony that I bear. How do I know it? I know it because of my mother, a more honest woman than whom never lived, a more devoted Latter-day Saint can not be found; because she and scores of others have told me that they saw the Prophet Brigham Young when he spoke with the voice of Joseph Smith; when he looked like the prophet Joseph; and I know that these people are honest.”

 

Upon examination, we find many common themes and a few variations from one testimony to the next. If we analyze the matter, we will find that, often the people testified to having seen and heard this transference of energy from Joseph to Brigham. But without exception, those testimonies which are detailed enough to recount the physical sensations taken in by the witness at that moment, always emphasize the sound. Remember that Packer, while promoting poison pushers, simultaneously provided us with a nourishing nugget of wisdom denoting the vital connection between the physical senses and spiritual communication. Even the willful Wilford Woodruff, who, when told by the Spirit to wait on the Lord, grew impatient and so became a patient of imps, suffering death by poisoning at the hands of members of the Bohemian Club, who promised him what he most desperately wanted – namely, the resuscitation of the Church as a financially profitable corporation, and thus; having directly defied the Lord’s personal and institutional council to him, as recorded in his meticulous journal keeping, became, as a prophet, unable to procure the Church’s spiritual or even “temporal salvation,” which issue Wilford claimed was keeping him up at night in a journal entry dated precisely 47 years later to the date from the mysterious happenings of August 8th, 1847; speaking of the occasion in question, publicly said:

“If I had not seen him with my own eyes, there is no one that could have convinced me that it was not Joseph Smith.”

Deseret News, Mar. 15, 1892

BELIEVE IT OR NOT

In this world there are believers and there are non-believers. But to believe is to LEAVE BE. He who possesses wisdom will see that when a man identifies himself as a so-called believer, he believes or leaves be things of which he has no understanding. For example, the LDS Church is allowed to function financially with zero disclosure because people believe blindly. The government is allowed to continue with its covert activities because people believe that they can and must only work for positive change through the political process and within legal ramifications set by the very system they know to be corrupt. Speak to them of the nature of reality, through prophecy and with the tongue of angels. They will not listen. Their belief is disbelief. Their understanding is misunderstanding. When a man chooses to identify himself as a so-called non-believer in regards to any matter, this does not mean he is not a firm believer in other ideas and instances. He simply refuses to believe in things he does not think he understands. A little belief would bring much understanding for such an individual. But in leaning to his own limited understanding he simply blocks things which he labels “too good to be true” from being true in his life.

I believe that there was a transfiguration that happened to Brigham. I believe that it was a portion of the spirit of Joseph Smith that came over Brigham Young. Indeed ye may say I believe all things. But I also believe there are details regarding this transfiguration that you and I have overlooked till now. And I believe that both Joseph and Brigham want to make these details known at this time for our enlightenment and understanding.

In the Book of Mormon we read about how Nephi and his brothers return to Jerusalem on a mission to obtain certain records from a man named Laban. It is made clear that this man enjoys great power and not only has access to genealogical records and scripture but also has close ties to the religious hierarchy. Laban refuses the band of brothers’ requests and even rejects an offer to purchase the records. He causes them to flee by calling them thieves and sending guards after them; thereby cheating them out of their goods. At this point in the story Nephi decides to go back into the city by himself, trusting completely in the voice of the Holy Spirit to guide him. He finds Laban drunk and passed out on the street. The Spirit of the Lord constrains Nephi to slay Laban and after some contemplation he does. From there we read how, after smiting off Laban’s head, he takes his clothes and sword and dons them. He goes directly to Laban’s treasury and encounters a servant of Laban who supposes him to be his master. After obtaining the records the servant accompanies Nephi to the city limits, talking to him several times and all the while thinking that he is actually Laban. In verse 23 Nephi tells us:

“And I spake unto him as if it had been Laban.”

When Nephi’s brothers see him coming they believe that it is Laban and start to run away in fear. What are we to understand from this strange story? The words that Nephi uttered to Laban’s servant were not some concocted story to try to persuade him or even tell him that he was Laban. But the servant was convinced because Nephi spoke as if he were Laban. Shadow and costume could account for Nephi’s passing for Laban visually. But the human voice is a unique marker like a thumbprint and is very difficult to falsify. What is happening here? Nephi appears to take on the mantle of Laban.

If the auditory and visual effects of the transfiguration of Brigham seem to match up with that of Nephi, what other common elements may there be to the experiences of both of these men? Slaying as a conscious act with a purpose in mind will endow the slayer with the qualities of the slain. The would-be warrior hunts the lion, not for food, but to gain bravery. If the hunter eats his prey he also incorporates physically and subconsciously many aspects of it. You are what you eat. Jesus commanded his disciples to eat of his body and drink of his blood. Of course, that was symbolic. But then again, everything is symbolic, even and especially, those things that we call literal. It’s all about INtention and INteraction.

We have no definitive evidence pointing to Brigham as a guilty party in the killing of Bro. Joseph. But there is one smoking gun which makes him in one way, if not as responsible as the mob who came to Carthage Jail that fateful day, at least as, or more responsible than any other member of Joseph’s circle. It is a natural law observable throughout history, that man-made structures are never brought down solely from without. The coup de gras is always delivered from one within the inner circle. Jesus and Judas, Caesar and Brutus, Dr. King and Jessie Jackson, Malcolm and Farrakhan, Sampson and Delilah, Biggie and P. Diddy, Pac and Shug, Jericho and Rahab, The Twin Towers and Cheney – It would not have been the first time that a close confidant to the Christ figure stood to benefit greatly from his absence and played a part in selling his friend out. It would not be the last time that Brigham Young was involved in a scenario that ended up costing people their lives. That the murders occurred at a remote distance from him does not diminish the major role President Young played. When Joseph was heading out of Nauvoo to lay low and avoid capture at the hands of his enemies, what was it that caused him to turn around and go like a lamb to the slaughter? What would make him say, “If my life is of no value to my friends, it is of none to myself.”? He read a letter filled with self-righteous rhetoric aimed at persuading Joseph to go to jail for trumped up charges and face an unjust legal system because it might give the public a better image of the Church; basically bating him into a place where assassins could be sure to find him. Who was the “friend” who wrote that letter?

THE BAD NEWS – THE GOOD NEWS

If the gospel is the Good News, then its counterpart (in truth) or counterfeit (viewed separately) would be the Bad News. When we are approached by someone bearing both we usually opt to hear the bad news first. There is an eternal principle in that.

A professor of the Queen’s English might tell you not to confuse the prefixes ‘ante’ (meaning before) and ‘anti’ (meaning against). But a teacher of Englitch will respect your intelligence and free your mind by pointing out that they both stem from the same Greek word, ‘antí’ and before that, the Sanskrit word ‘ánti’ (meaning opposite). Opposites are special relationships. We covered this before, but it bears repeating. Opposites are two things so close that they are intimately linked in one, and THE ONLY WAY to learn about one half is to learn through the other. Good and evil, evil and good must be comparable, must becomepairable’ in our minds or we can never comprehend the parable of life. Religions or ways of life are meant to re-league estranged enemies and re-pair im-paired souls.

There is a riddle which illustrates this secret very well. A man comes to a fork in the road of life. Down one path: life eternal; down the other: certain death. Of course, at the gate to the path leading to Heaven, there sits a Man of Holiness who always tells pure truth. And at the gate to the path leading to Hell sits a Trickster who always tells lies. Both gates and both gatekeepers look exactly the same. So the traveler must be wise. If he asks one of them, which is the way to Heaven, that one will say “Lo, here” (Matt. 24:23). If he asks the other he will get the same response. Should he inquire which of the two paths leads to Hell, both men will tell him, “That one there.” After some thought the man realizes that the only way to know which is which, is to talk to both, but ask each about the other. Not only must he separately interrogate one gatekeeper about what the other would advise and vice versa, but he must also pay close attention to the response. Because; if he asks, “Which path will he tell me leads to life eternal?” then he must be prepared to select the opposite of that path which would be indicated by both sentinels; since the Liar would designate his own path and the Truth Teller would point to that same path. And this would mean that the path indicated was not the path to eternal life, but rather the path to certain death. If he were to ask, “Which path will he tell me leads to Hell?” both the Holy Man and the Trickster would signal towards the same path. And yet, that would be the path to Heaven.

False prophets and false christs signal the coming of the true. The thing we need to realize about the Anti-Christ is not just that he fights against the Lamb but that he comes before and literally clears the way for Him. If God says He will gather Israel then you can bet that the United Nations, with their U.N. Holidays which are Unholy Days, has made up an unholy country that people think is real and call Israel but isn’t. Same goes for the U.N.ited States of America. The States are not really u-n-i-t-e-d but u-n-t-i-e-d. What the U.N.does, God undoes. Jewish and Mormon zionists are the same. Understand that anti means against, as in the wicked who fight against Zion. Ante means before and the false Zion precedes the true. Know that the holy three letter word G.O.D. stands for Generator, Operator, Destroyer. If the prototype does not function properly, then the D-stroyer in the G.O.D.Head reserves the right to trash it. The Protocols of the Learned Elder’s of Zion will not stand. No, I am not speaking of the suspected anti-semitic hoax. I am talking about the interplay of superiority and inferiority complexes which spring from such ideas whether published by Nazis or Niceys. The Learned “B.Y.U.ppie” attitude of the affluent and arrogant Provo pricks and the “B.Y.Me?” attitude of {misplaced} groveling gratitude of the Latino undergrad enrolled and embroiled in Hinckley’s Perpetual Debt-U-Cation Fund both share the guilt in the iniquity of inequity.

Not to confuse the reader, but the Book of Mormon provides us with a further unfolding of the multi-layered meaning of this ‘ANTI’ matter. In Alma 23:17we find the case of the Lamanite group who took on the name Anti-Nephi-Lehies. Here ‘Anti’ refers to the Reformed Egyptian reflex of an ancient Khemetian (Egyptian) word ‘N-T-Y’ which is used grammatically to connect a relative clause to an undetermined antecedent. It would translate as “One With”, “One Of” or “One who” depending on the relative clause which followed. As Egypt started in ancient Ethiopia and in modern times Ethiopia has made its mark on Jamaica; it can be aptly compared to the way in which Afro-Jamaican Patois uses ‘One’ instead of ‘A’ as the indefinite article. But this is similar to many Latin-based languages where the words for ‘One’, ‘A’ and ‘An’ are very similar. More grammatical crossover can be heard in Reggae’s rich vocal tradition, where it is common to hear the phrase, “The one called” before introducing one’s self on the track. It translates as “One With”Opposites are two halves of the same whole. “If ye are not one ye are not mine.” (D&C 38:27) Or we could say if ye are not “One With” the U‘n’I-verse ye are NoTYet mine. This author is not anti-mormon. I am only “one with” understanding granted me from on high. I be-for Zion mon! De spirit ah Gaad like a fyah is burnin’ up de wicked mon! The more righteous paart is again-stirrin’ like a pot. De Laad ah Laads and King ah Kings, Conquerin’ Lion ah de Tribe ah Judah soon come. One Love!

 

Just before the glorious First Vision burst upon Joseph, he felt “ready to sink into oblivion” in the grasp of some evil being from the unseen world.“After the dark arrives the sweet dawn,” writes the righteous revolutionary singer/song writer Lauryn Hill. Alma the Younger describes his prior pains and consequent joy as equally exquisite. (Alma 36:21) “No hay mal que por bien no venga,” sings Gloria Estefan. There is no evil that from good does not come. The Devil only operates on the power and principles that the Almighty gives him. All dead filth is given over to the care of Lucifer and his Fallen Angels. This is why, even the Lord of Lies is only Lord o Flies. First will be Last, Last will be First – will be the flow of eternity. When you follow God’s established order, you start to lose track of things like beginnings and ends and it all blends into one ‘Begending’. In D&C 29: 31-33, the Lord tells us:

31 For by the power of my Spirit created I them; yea, all things both spiritual and temporal—

32 First spiritual, secondly temporal, which is the beginning of my work; and again, first temporal, and secondly spiritual, which is the last of my work—

33 Speaking unto you that you may naturally understand; but unto myself my works have no end, neither beginning; but it is given unto you that ye may understand, because ye have asked it of me and are agreed.

So we go, Spiritual, Temporal, Temporal, Spiritual – S,T,T,S,S,T, – st-st-stuttering like Moses, the ‘Slow of Tongue’ mouth-piece of the Lord. One second we are ST-arting our engines, the next thing we know, starting line becomes finish line. A steady course of First, Last, Last, First – F,L,L,F,F,L – takes us on a time-traveling adventure like Marty, with a fully functioning FLux capacitor.

If we stick to the gospel tradition of Bad News, Good News, Good News, Bad News, then the simple sound of our “BuGaBuGaBoo!” will ward off the buzzing flies of Beelzebub who would try to bug us. Should we think we can put the ‘G’ before the ‘B’ we will get the “GoBBle, GoBBle!” sound of the Global Elite Goblins who eat everything and everyone in their path. Operating out of Great Brittan, adorned in royal GarB in this age, the Oppressor has spread his infectious GarBage to us in the U.S., since King George W. Frederick to George W. Bush, they are never without their entourage of wicked priests. Lt. George Bush could never have used the LGBT rights issue (of which the secret combinations make a loveless mockery) so astutely to seduce the LDS into political prostitution, without the aid of a very priestly but beastly Gordon B. Hinckley (GBH). This P.R.iest even received his training in the haughty cult-sure of Great Britain. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly – All are alike unto God. But the Prideful always insist that they are all Good, and they put themselves first. Still, they always end up Bad. In the ‘last days’ of their mortal lives, they may nervously admit that there are some things which they do not know, just as Gordon B. did. But if they were completely honest with themselves they would borrow a line from ‘Chill’ Bill Murray in Ghost Busters, who, when told that he must never “cross the streams” because “it could be bad,” responds truthfully and wisely, “Alright, I’m fuzzy on this whole Good/Bad thing.” The world leaders and worldly followers do not realize, until it is too late, that their “Could be Bad” philosophy, phonetically matches the dangerous incantation of “Good be Bad” which their vain minds keep muttering in the trance induced by that White Magic Scapegoat Spell de-scribed in the Bible when Isaiah speaks woefully unto them that “call evil good, and good evil.” To the pure, humble followers of Christ, all things are pure. And they use their humility for converting evil into good, whereas those proud followers do not posses the clarity/charity necessary for such a feat, and instead entertain themselves with the cheap trick of perverting good into evil.

To give Pres. Hinckley the benefit of the doubt, we could say that he thought it best to deny the saints meat in favor of prepping their palettes with milk. But then it begs the question, “Have ye done all this? And have ye taught this people that they should do all these things?” Abinadi, an unpopular prophet of old, would say, “Nay, ye have not.” Mosiah 12:28, “And they said: We teach the law of Moses.” But you will have to do better than your Mormon Yom Kippur if you want to keep pure. The Day of Atonement, ‘Yom Kippurim,’ as it is written in the Torah, is directly related to the idea behind the word ‘Pūrim’- The Day of Deliverence. But ‘Pūrim’ split up and turned around is ‘Impūr’. Those who were mercifully kicked out of Babylon, now embrace her. The resulting American Religion has fashioned itself the perfect idol in Mitt Romney. And false prophets like Glenn Beck, talking out of the side of his GliB Neck, have successfully bid for Salt Lake to become the new cult center for the worship of false Godvernment.  If GBH understood the scriptures or had the spirit of prophecy, he would know that the milk which he ad-minister-ed was tainted with BGH (Bovine Growth Hormone). Maybe Hinckley did have the gift of prophecy. If so, that would make him not just a false prophet but a Prophet of Falsehood.

If we want to hear the ‘Good News’ so Badly that we reject the ‘Hard Sayings’ of Jesus, then we will remain in denial, saying, “All is well in Zion, Yea, Zion prospereth” when in reality, Zion is not to be found anywhere on the face of the earth. But, “the earth travails, like a woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; the Day of Deliverance. But when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world.” – John 16:21. Isaiah 62:1 – “Because I love Zion, I will not keep still. Because my heart yearns for Jerusalem, I cannot remain silent. I will not stop praying for her until her righteousness shines like the dawn, and her salvation blazes like a burning torch!” May this be our gathering freedom cry. Give us the bad news then. BRING IT ON!

If we absolutely must defer dessert till after this dinner in the desert then so “bee” it. For, we shall soon make the Red Land of the Egyptian DSRT flow with honey.

“And should we die before our journey’s through;

Happy day! All is well!”

                                              – Come, Come Ye Saints 

                                                    by William Clayton

“Blessed are those who struggle.

Oppression is worse than the grave.

Better to die for a noble cause

Than to live and die a slave.”

                                         – Blessed Are Those Who Struggle

                                                   by The Last Poets

Why should we fear? The wicked who fight against Zion shall surely be smitten at last. The first has been last and now the last shall surely be first. The righteous rise in the morning of the first resurrection. THIS IS OUR TIME!

Damnation


I recently (Sept. 17) had the opportunity to participate in a discussion on The Millennial Star blog.  The topic was on the meaning of the word “damned” in D&C 132: 4-6.  I stopped participating when I realized that I needed more room than a comments section to explain my understanding of damnation.  So, I thought I’d take the topic up in earnest on this blog.

Bible Dictionary definition of damnation

BIBLE DICTIONARY
Damnation
As used in the KJV this word has a wider meaning than is at once apparent from modern usage. Damnation is the opposite of salvation, and exists in varying degrees. All who do not obtain the fulness of celestial exaltation will to some degree be limited in their progress and privileges, and hence be damned to that extent. See Matt. 23: 14, 33; Mark 3: 29; Mark 16: 16; John 5: 29; Rom. 13: 2; 1 Cor. 11: 29; 2 Ne. 9: 24; 3 Ne. 18: 28-29; D&C 58: 26-29; D&C 84: 74; D&C 112: 29; D&C 132: 4, 6, 27.

This is the definition that the modern Mormons have accepted, and which they routinely teach.  According to this interpretation, there are four degrees of damnation:

  • Sons of perdition. These are people who are cast into outer darkness, who inherit the kingdom of the devil.   They receive the full measure of damnation, being fully limited in their progress and privileges.  They are damned in that they do not partake of either the Telestial, Terrestrial or Celestial kingdoms of glory and the happiness which is found therein.  The kingdom of the devil is not a kingdom of glory, but a hell, and all who inherit it are miserable forever.
  • Telestials. These are people who inherit the Telestial kingdom of glory and the happiness found therein.  They escape the misery of outer darkness, but partake of the misery in knowing that they will eternally miss out on the glories of the Terrestrial and Celestial kingdoms.  Although this kingdom of glory is termed a heaven (see the section heading of D&C 76), because of the damnation of these individuals in what they might have received, but did not, they feel regret and longing and are miserable forever.  And thus their kingdom of glory is also a hell.
  • Terrestrials. These are people who inherit the Terrestrial kingdom of glory and the happiness found therein.  They escape the misery of outer darkness and the misery of the Telestial kingdom, but partake of the misery in knowing that they will eternally miss out on the glory of the Celestial kingdom.  Although this kingdom of glory is termed a heaven, because of the damnation of these individuals in what they might have received, but did not, they feel regret and longing and are miserable forever.  And thus their kingdom of glory is also a hell.
  • Celestial angels. These are people who inherit the Celestial kingdom of glory and the happiness found therein.  They escape the misery of outer darkness and the misery of the Telestial and Terrestrial kingdoms, but partake of the misery in knowing that they will eternally miss out on the glory of the exalted, those who are gods in the Celestial kingdom.  Although this kingdom of glory is termed a heaven, because of the damnation of these individuals in what they might have received, but did not, they feel regret and longing and are miserable forever.  And thus their kingdom of glory is also a hell.

Under this model, there is only one type of person that is not damned:

  • Celestial gods. These are people who inherit the Celestial kingdom of glory and the happiness found therein, and who are exalted.  They escape the misery of outer darkness and the misery of the Telestial and Terrestrial kingdoms, as well as the misery of Celestial angels.  This kingdom of glory is termed a heaven, and it verily is to these individuals, because they have no regrets and long for nothing, for they possess all things and thus are not miserable, but have a fulness of joy and happiness.

Salvation, who gets it and who doesn’t

As the Bible Dictionary mentions salvation in its definition of damnation, it might be helpful to give the Mormon understanding of who gets saved.  Specifically, we know of four types of people who receive salvation:

  • Celestial gods. These are people who inherit the Celestial kingdom of glory and the happiness found therein, and who are exalted.  They dwell in the presence of God and Christ and receive that salvation known as eternal life (exaltation), becoming like God.
  • Celestial angels. These are people who inherit the Celestial kingdom of glory and the happiness found therein, but who are not exalted.  They are servants to God and Christ and dwell in their presence, but are not exactly like them.  They are in a saved condition, like gods, but without exaltation.
  • Terrestrials. These are people who inherit the Terrestrial kingdom of glory and the happiness found therein.  They do not dwell in the presence of God, but receive of “the ministration of the celestial.”  Like the Celestials, these people are saved.
  • Telestials. These are people who inherit the Telestial kingdom of glory and the happiness found therein.  They do not dwell in the presence of God, nor receive of the fulness of Christ, but receive of the Holy Spirit through “the ministration of the terrestrial.”  These people are also “heirs of salvation.”

There is only one type of person that is not saved:

  • Sons of perdition. These are people who are cast into outer darkness, who inherit the kingdom of the devil, a kingdom which is not of glory.

Damned and saved at the same time?

The Bible Dictionary model creates a conflict in which it is possible to be damned and saved at the same time, to be eternally happy and eternally miserable at the same time. Despite damnation being “the opposite of salvation,” according to the Bible Dictionary these two opposite conditions will exist in Celestial angels, Terrestrials and Telestials.  This thought goes contrary to the principle of like things cleaving unto like things:

For intelligence cleaveth unto intelligence; wisdom receiveth wisdom; truth embraceth truth; virtue loveth virtue; light cleaveth unto light; mercy hath compassion on mercy and claimeth her own; justice continueth its course and claimeth its own; judgment goeth before the face of him who sitteth upon the throne and governeth and executeth all things.  (D&C 88: 40)

The way around this quandary is to redefine the word damnation (or damned) to mean something other than what it traditionally means.  The Bible Dictionary would have us believe that damnation means “to be limited in one’s progress and privileges” in certain passages of the scriptures, in other words, that “this word has a wider meaning than is at once apparent from modern usage.”

Acceptance of this theory creates an internal conflict of regret and longing, and a judgmental attitude, with comparisons of those “above us” and “below us,” and ultimately will and does lead to depression.  In other words, according to this model, happiness comes from knowing you got more than someone else and unhappiness comes from knowing you didn’t get as much as others.  This is what LDS look forward to in the eternities, having accepted this doctrinal theory, and this is what they routinely display in their mortal lives.

Correcting an error

The redefining of the words damnation and damned to fit certain passages of the scripture, assigning them a meaning of “a limiting of one’s progress and privileges,” has become systemic throughout the church.  Every LDS I know believes the Bible Dictionary assertion.  I do not know how or when it crept into the church, but I am a convert member of some decades and I have never heard another model other than this one since my baptism, so I know it’s been around a long time.

It is a bit embarrassing to admit that I not only accepted it myself from the beginning without question, but also preached it as a missionary to others. It wasn’t until September 17, 2009, that I actually got around to checking to see if the model held up to scriptural scrutiny.  It was then that I discovered that the standard LDS damnation model (of being saved and damned at the same time) is incorrect.  Many thanks go out to JA Benson and his/her Friday Forum post at The Millennium Star blog, as well as the comments of others on that post, for providing me the excuse and impetus to investigate this subject.

Although I don’t know the origins of this particular doctrinal theory, it seems apparent that it was the result of not understanding the scriptures.  So, to correct it, I will attempt to lay out the scriptures to the understanding of the reader and expound the real meaning of the words damned and damnation.  Perhaps with a proper understanding of these words, LDS won’t be such chronically depressed people.

Number of scriptural uses of damned and damnation

Damn In the scriptures, there are ZERO uses of the word damn.

Damning In the Doctrine and Covenants there is but ONE use of the word damning. (See D&C 123: 7Damning in this verse means detestable and so it doesn’t need to be addressed.)

Damned In the New Testament there are THREE uses of the word damned. (See Mark 16: 16; Rom. 14: 23; and 2 Thes. 2: 12.)  In the Book of Mormon there are EIGHT uses of the word damned. (See 2 Ne. 9: 24; Alma 14: 21; Alma 36: 16; 3 Ne. 11: 34; Morm. 2: 13; Morm. 9: 4, 23; and Ether 4: 18.)  In the Doctrine and Covenants there are TEN uses of the word damned. (See D&C 42: 60; 49: 5; 58: 29; 68: 9; 84: 74; 112: 29; and 132: 4, 6, 27.)  And in the Pearl of Great Price there is but ONE use of the word damned. (See Moses 5: 15.)  The total number of scriptural uses, then, of the word damned, comes to 21.

Damnation In the New Testament there are ELEVEN uses of the word damnation. (See Matt. 23: 14, 33; Mark 3: 29; 12: 40; Luke 20: 47; John 5: 29; Rom. 3: 8; 13: 2; 1 Cor. 11: 29; 1 Tim. 5: 12; and 2 Pet. 2: 3.)  In the Book of Mormon there are NINE uses of the word damnation. (See Mosiah 2: 33; 3: 18, 25; 16: 11; Alma 9: 28; Hel. 12: 26; 3 Ne. 18: 29; 26: 5; and Morm. 8: 33.)  In the Doctrine and Covenants there are THREE uses of the word damnation. (See D&C 19: 7; 29: 44; and 121: 23.)  The total number of scriptural uses, then, of the word damnation, comes to 23.

So, there are only 44 verses in the English Standard Works that mention damn or damnation.  It shouldn’t be too hard for us to figure this all out.

1828 Webster’s Dictionary definition of damned and damnation

First let’s establish what people understood these words to mean during the time of Joseph Smith:

DAM’NED, pp.

1. Sentenced to everlasting punishment in a future state; condemned.

2. a. Hateful; detestable; abominable;

A word chiefly used in profaneness by persons of vulgar manners.

(Taken from the damned entry of the 1828 Webster’s Dictionary.)

DAMNA’TION, n.

1. Sentence or condemnation to everlasting punishment in the future state; or the state of eternal torments.

How can ye escape the damnation of hell. Matt. xxiii

2. Condemnation.

(Taken from the damnation entry of the 1828 Webster’s Dictionary.)

From the same dictionary, here are the definitions of the words condemned and condemnation:

CONDEMNED, pp. Censured; pronounced to be wrong, guilty, worthless or forfeited; adjudged or sentenced to punishment.

(Taken from the condemned entry of the 1828 Webster’s Dictionary.)

CONDEMNATION, n.

1. The act of condemning; the judicial act of declaring one guilty, and dooming him to punishment.

For the judgment was by one to condemnation. Romans 5.

2. The state of being condemned.

Dost thou not fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation. Luke 23.

3. The cause or reason of a sentence of condemnation.  John 3.

(Taken from the condemnation entry of the 1828 Webster’s Dictionary.)

Okay, so the words damned, damnation, condemned and condemnation all deal with a judicial act of declaring one guilty (no mercy applied) and dooming him to punishment.  In the case of the words damned and damnation, this can refer to either eternal (everlasting) punishment or temporal punishment (condemnation).  Condemned and condemnation usually refer to temporal punishment unless the scriptural text is speaking specifically of the last day (day of judgment) and eternal punishment.  Regardless of which word you use, though, the meaning always is that a judgment has taken place, you have been found guilty because no mercy has been applied and you are to receive a punishment.

To condemn means to damn

In the scriptures, the verb to damn is never used.  Instead, the verb to condemn is used.  This makes sense from an etymological standpoint:

Etymology of condemn: Middle English, from Anglo-French condempner, from Latin condemnare, from com- + damnare to condemn

See that damnare? Damnare means damn, or to damn. So, the verb to condemn is really just the verb to damn with the prefix con- attached to it.

Damned and damnation in Spanish

Remember those 44 total verses listed above?  If you look them up in Spanish, you will find that in 40 of them the word damned is translated as condenado and the word damnation is translated as condenación.  The Spanish word condenado means condemned and condenación means condemnation.  Also, regardless of whether the word in English is damned or condemned, the Spanish word is almost always condenado (condemned). In the same manner, regardless of whether the word in English is damnation or condemnation, the Spanish word is almost always condenación (condemnation). So, in Spanish there is no distinction made between damnation and condemnation and the Spanish speaking population merely allows the context to indicate whether we are talking of temporal or eternal condemnation (judgment, verdict of guilty and punishment).

The other four verses are translated as follows:

Matt. 23: 33 reads in English, “damnation of hell,” but in Spanish it reads, “juicio del infierno” (judgment of hell).

Mark 3: 29 reads in English, “eternal damnation,” but in Spanish it reads, “juicio eterno” (eternal judgment).

1 Cor. 11: 29 reads in English, “damnation,” but in Spanish it reads, “juicio” (judgment).

2 Pet. 2: 3 reads in English, “judgment” and “damnation,” but in Spanish it reads, “condenación” (condemnation) and “perdición” (perdition).

All of this shows that in the scriptures, whenever it speaks of damnation (or condemnation), it is always talking about a judgment being passed, no mercy has been applied, a guilty verdict is the result and punishment is inflicted.  Always.

Abinadi’s definition of damnation

Even this mortal shall put on immortality, and this corruption shall put on incorruption, and shall be brought to stand before the bar of God, to be judged of him according to their works whether they be good or whether they be evil—if they be good, to the resurrection of endless life and happiness; and if they be evil, to the resurrection of endless damnation, being delivered up to the devil, who hath subjected them, which is damnation—having gone according to their own carnal wills and desires; having never called upon the Lord while the arms of mercy were extended towards them; for the arms of mercy were extended towards them, and they would not; they being warned of their iniquities and yet they would not depart from them; and they were commanded to repent and yet they would not repent.  (Mosiah 16: 10-12)

According to Abinadi’s definition, damnation consists of “being delivered up to the devil.”  Those who are damned are subject to the devil. Notice that Abinadi says that there is an endless damnation. There is also a damnation that ends.

Verily, verily, I say unto you, if a man marry a wife according to my word, and they are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, according to mine appointment, and he or she shall commit any sin or transgression of the new and everlasting covenant whatever, and all manner of blasphemies, and if they commit no murder wherein they shed innocent blood, yet they shall come forth in the first resurrection, and enter into their exaltation; but they shall be destroyed in the flesh, and shall be delivered unto the buffetings of Satan unto the day of redemption, saith the Lord God.  (D&C 132: 26)

So, we see from this verse that it is possible to be delivered up to the devil for a time, and then be redeemed when repentance occurs.

Two types of damnation

This shows that there are two types of damnation: eternal damnation (that damnation that comes after the resurrection) and temporal damnation (that damnation that comes prior to the resurrection and which has an end prior to the resurrection.)  This is why the scriptures speak of two time frames of forgiveness: this world and the world to come.

But whoso breaketh this covenant after he hath received it, and altogether turneth therefrom, shall not have forgiveness of sins in this world nor in the world to come. (D&C 84: 41)

And now, behold, I speak unto the church. Thou shalt not kill; and he that kills shall not have forgiveness in this world, nor in the world to come. (D&C 42: 18)

And we saw a vision of the sufferings of those with whom he made war and overcame, for thus came the voice of the Lord unto us: Thus saith the Lord concerning all those who know my power, and have been made partakers thereof, and suffered themselves through the power of the devil to be overcome, and to deny the truth and defy my power—they are they who are the sons of perdition, of whom I say that it had been better for them never to have been born; for they are vessels of wrath, doomed to suffer the wrath of God, with the devil and his angels in eternity; concerning whom I have said there is no forgiveness in this world nor in the world to come—having denied the Holy Spirit after having received it, and having denied the Only Begotten Son of the Father, having crucified him unto themselves and put him to an open shame.  (D&C 76: 30-35)

Those who do not have forgiveness in this world, but who receive forgiveness in the world to come are those who are temporally damned, meaning that they are delivered unto the buffetings of Satan until the day of their redemption.  They are subject to the devil in the mortal world or in the spirit world, being delivered up to him until the day that they finally have faith in Jesus and repent of their sins.  At that point, they are washed clean in the blood of the Lamb and are no longer damned.  In other words, at that point they no longer have a judgment with a guilty verdict and a punishment hanging over them, because mercy and forgiveness is extended to them and they become heirs of salvation.  This applies to all mankind who inherit any of the three glories.  None of these people will be among the “filthy still” because they will have accepted Christ and mercy will be applied to them.

Those who do not have forgiveness in this world, nor in the world to come are those who are eternally damned, meaning that they are delivered up to the devil, are in subjection to him and remain subjected to him, having no deliverance.  These are the sons of perdition.  (Remember the 2 Pet. 2: 3 Spanish scripture above, where condemnation was translated as perdition?)  These are the people who are cast into outer darkness, who inherit the kingdom of the devil.

Greater damnation, lesser damnation

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation. (Matt. 23: 14)

Which devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayers: these shall receive greater damnation. (Mark 12: 40)

Which devour widows’ houses, and for a shew make long prayers: the same shall receive greater damnation. (Luke 20: 47)

What is the greater damnation?  It is eternal damnation. What is the lesser damnation?  It is temporal damnation.

It is impossible to be saved and damned at the same time

Remember that I wrote above that condemnation requires that no mercy is applied?  It is a judgment of guilty with punishment executed upon the party.  Well, consider Jacob’s words:

Wherefore, he has given a law; and where there is no law given there is no punishment; and where there is no punishment there is no condemnation; and where there is no condemnation the mercies of the Holy One of Israel have claim upon them, because of the atonement; for they are delivered by the power of him.  (2 Ne. 9: 25)

By the same token, where there is mercy, there is no condemnation and where there is no condemnation, there is no punishment.  Speaking of the day of judgment (the last day), there is only one punishment or penalty affixed to the law: death.  The spiritual death that is the second death means dying as to things pertaining to righteousness, meaning that those who receive it are banished from the kingdom of God and cast into outer darkness, where the devil will eternally subject them (Abinadi’s definition of damnation).

None of the inhabitants of the three degrees of glory receive this punishment.  In fact, it is impossible for them to receive it because Satan will be cast out into outer darkness.  Once out of the kingdom of God, he cannot subject anyone in the kingdom of God to himself.  Only those cast out with him (the filthy still) can be subject to him.  So, the inhabitants of the three kingdoms will be free forever from the power and influence of Satan.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.  (John 3: 16-18)

The above scripture shows that you are either saved or condemned (damned) based upon your acceptance of Christ.  It is one or the other, not both. If you do not accept Him now, you are condemned (damned) already (temporal damnation).  But once there is acceptance of Christ, there is salvation not damnation. This is why the inhabitants of the three glories are only spoken of as being saved.  There is not a single scripture that indicates that these people are eternally damned.  They may be temporally damned (for a time) but eventually they, too, will be redeemed and be heirs of salvation.

Mormonism is so much more excellent and merciful than apostate Christianity because the people they say are damned to hell, we say are saved in a kingdom of glory.  Unfortunately, we go awry of the pure doctrine of Christ by adopting the man-made precept found in the Bible Dictionary theory of damnation.

The misunderstood scripture

I believe the reason why people generally accept the Bible Dictionary model of damnation is due to a misunderstanding of D&C 132: 4-6.  Here are those verses, along with the comments I gave on them over at The Millenial Star blog:

For behold, I reveal unto you a new and an everlasting covenant; and if ye abide not that covenant, then are ye damned; for no one can reject this covenant and be permitted to enter into my glory.  For all who will have a blessing at my hands shall abide the law which was appointed for that blessing, and the conditions thereof, as were instituted from before the foundation of the world.  And as pertaining to the new and everlasting covenant, it was instituted for the fulness of my glory; and he that receiveth a fulness thereof must and shall abide the law, or he shall be damned, saith the Lord God.  (D&C 132: 4-6)

And now my comments:

The 1828 Webster’s Dictionary definitions, which gave how these words were used in Joseph Smith’s time, are consistent with the usage of the word damned in the above quotes.

I will break it down for you:

For behold, I reveal unto you a new and an everlasting covenant; and if ye abide not that covenant, then are ye damned; for no one can reject this covenant and be permitted to enter into my glory.

The key word here is “abide.” To “abide…that covenant” means “to endure or sustain” or “to bear or endure; to bear patiently” the covenant. You cannot abide a covenant without first entering the covenant, so the use of the word damned here refers to people who have entered the covenant and have not abided it, or, as the Lord states later in the same sentence, to people who have entered the covenant and then “reject” it. These people are damned. The verse does not refer to people who never enter the covenant.

Next, the following verse:

And as pertaining to the new and everlasting covenant, it was instituted for the fulness of my glory; and he that receiveth a fulness thereof must and shall abide the law, or he shall be damned, saith the Lord God.

The key here to understanding the verse are the words “he that receiveth a fulness thereof.” The Lord doesn’t say “he who would receive a fulness thereof,” but refers to people who already received a fulness thereof. These people must and shall abide the law or they shall be damned. In this particular verse, the damned people we are talking about have already entered the covenant and have received a fulness of the Lord’s glory, who then do not abide (or, in other words, they reject) the law. However, we are assured by the Lord that such people “shall abide the law,” so there is no danger of such being damned, because they will not reject it after receiving such a fulness.

However, those who enter the covenant and who have not yet received of this spoken fulness, who reject the covenant, are damned.

These verses, then, are explicitly referring to one type of damnation: that received by the sons of perdition (see verse 27) and not to merely not receiving exaltation (a stopping of progression.)

27 The blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, which shall not be forgiven in the world nor out of the world, is in that ye commit murder wherein ye shed innocent blood, and assent unto my death, after ye have received my new and everlasting covenant, saith the Lord God; and he that abideth not this law can in nowise enter into my glory, but shall be damned, saith the Lord.

My comments were meant to show that there is no need to invent another shade of meaning of the word damned to fit into these particular verses, as the normal shades of damned work just fine.  When the above scriptures are misunderstood to mean that “if you don’t enter the covenant, at all, you will miss out on the opportunity for exaltation,” then you must invent a new shade of meaning of the word damned, giving it the meaning of a “stopping or limiting of progress and privileges,” which is what LDS appear to have done.

Apparently, I am not the only one to come to this conclusion.  Another person commented on the same Millennial Star post, one Rob Osborn, and he essentially said the same thing:

As for defining “damnation”, in Joseph Smiths day he grew up with a protestant background and upbringing. In their day they used the word “damned” to mean “condemnation to hell”. I have done a lot of research on this noting how Joseph himself used the word outside of scriptural text. In every account I have run accross, Joseph uses it in the traditional protestant sense of condemnation to hell. To this day, that definition is what other Christian religions use. It is only our LDS religion that uses the word out of context. This is almost entirely due to a misunderstanding of the scriptural text. As has already been discusssed, section 132’s usage of the word “damned” literaly is used in the context of “condemantion to hell”. Verse 26 speaks of those who enter into the fulness and then perhaps sin in the new and everlasting covenant. It says they will be destroyed in the flesh and delivered over to the buffetings of Satan (in hell). This is the usage of “damned” in verses 4-6.

The three glories are not punishments; they are rewards

Only those who go into outer darkness receive punishment after the resurrection.

Wherefore, he saves all except them—they shall go away into everlasting punishment, which is endless punishment, which is eternal punishment, to reign with the devil and his angels in eternity, where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched, which is their torment—  (D&C 76: 44)

So, if everyone else gets saved and receives a fulness of joy and endless happiness, why is everyone put into one of three glories?  Why not have one glory, instead of three?  Why do all the Telestials eventually receive a fulness of the Telestial glory, the Terrestrials a fulness of the Terrestrial glory and the Celestials a fulness of the Celestial glory, without being able “to go up a glory?”  If the assignment to a kingdom of glory is not a punishment for wicked deeds, but a reward, upon what principle is the reward based?

I will simply say that these questions and their answers have to do with the doctrine of the resurrection.  They could be explained with a review of D&C 76, D&C 88 and Alma 41, but I am done with expounding scripture for today.  This post is long enough already and I want to keep it on the topic of damnation and not delve into the mysteries of the resurrection.  However, I will say that assignments to one of the three glories has nothing to do with dishing out punishments.  None of the saved people long for something they could have had, but are eternally blissful, content, happy and joyful in their saved condition.  Assigning them to a kingdom of glory does not, and cannot, damn them.  I hope this post is sufficient to get that point across.  If there is still confusion, I will open it up further in the comments section.

I have listed above and hyper-linked all of the scriptures that mention damned and damnation. I invite everyone to read those verses again, with the information in this post fresh in your mind, and see if the scriptures are not more plainly unfolded to your view.

Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist

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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The Split-Brain Model of the Gospel


About this article: It was the book Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Dr. Betty Edwards that first got me comparing split-brain research with the gospel.  I had developed some ideas about it, but never wrote them down, though I did verbalize them to what4anarchy.  Recently, though, at the library, I picked up an old Stanislaw Lem book, Peace on Earth, which brought the research back into my mind.  So I again took the subject up, this time going a whole lot deeper.  Afterward, I passed it through what4anarchy and told him I was thinking of writing an article on this topic.  He suggested I do so immediately.  So, I put pen to paper and came up with the following…

Two Brains, Not One

Modern brain research has discovered that what we term our brain is really two brains working together. One brain resides in the right hemisphere, which I will call the right-brain, while the other resides in the left hemisphere, which I will call the left-brain. The right-brain controls the left side of the body, while the left-brain controls the right side of the body.

Each brain is the mirror image of the other, and like mirror images, they express themselves and perceive reality in opposing ways. However, the two brains are joined by a bridge of connecting tissue, called the corpus callosum, which allows them to communicate with each other and to combine their individual expressions, so that outside observers perceive a single message.

Inner Conflict

We all know that there is an inner conflict or turmoil within us, though no one else may be aware. We often desire two conflicting things at the same time and must make instantaneous decisions to suppress one desire over another. What we may not be aware of is that these conflicting thoughts, feelings, desires and impulses are coming from our opposing brains.

Observing the Conflict

The conflicting messages transmitted by the two brains are largely unobservable by outsiders. However, when a callotomy is performed, which severs the corpus callosum, neither brain can communicate with the other and thus they become incapable of coordinating all of their actions. Once this main communication line is cut, and by using specific tests, the independence of each brain can then plainly be seen.

Through these tests and observations of callotomized humans, modern research into the differences between the left and right brains has so far revealed the following:

Left and Right Brains Compared

The left-brain uses intellect.
The right-brain uses intuition.
The left-brain is convergent.
The right-brain is divergent.
The left-brain is digital.
The right-brain is analogic.
The left-brain is secondary.
The right-brain is primary.
The left-brain is abstract.
The right-brain is concrete.
The left-brain is directed.
The right-brain is free.
The left-brain is propositional.
The right-brain is imaginative.
The left-brain is analytic.
The right-brain is relational.
The left-brain is lineal.
The right-brain is nonlineal.
The left-brain is rational.
The right-brain is intuitive.
The left-brain is sequential.
The right-brain is multiple.
The left-brain is analytic.
The right-brain is holistic.
The left-brain is objective.
The right-brain is subjective.
The left-brain is successive.
The right-brain is simultaneous.

Thus, we see with the above list that there are “two ways of knowing.”

Left and Right Brains, Another Comparison

Here is another comparison between the left and right brains:

The left-brain is verbal; using words to define.
The right-brain is nonverbal; using non-verbal cognition to process perceptions.
The left-brain is analytic; figuring things out step-by-step and part-by-part.
The right-brain is synthetic; putting things together to form wholes.
The left-brain is symbolic; using a symbol to stand for something else. For example, the + sign stands for the process of addition.
The right-brain is actual, real; relating to things as they are, at the present moment.
The left-brain is abstract; taking out a small bit of information and using it to represent the whole thing.
The right-brain is analogic; seeing likeness among things; understanding metaphoric relationships.
The left-brain is temporal; keeping track of time, sequencing one thing after another, doing first things first, second things second, etc.
The right-brain is nontemporal; without a sense of time.
The left-brain is rational; drawing conclusions based on reason and facts.
The right-brain is nonrational; not requiring a basis of reason or facts; willingness to suspend judgment.
The left-brain is digital; using numbers as in counting.
The right-brain is spatial; seeing where things are in relation to other things and how parts go together to form a whole.
The left-brain is logical; drawing conclusions based on logic; one thing following another in logical order; for example, a mathematical theorem or a well-stated argument.
The right-brain is intuitive; making leaps of insight, often based on incomplete patterns, hunches, feelings, or visual images.
The left-brain is linear; thinking in terms of linked ideas, one thought directly following another, often leading to a convergent conclusion.
The right-brain is holistic (meaning ‘wholistic’); seeing whole things all at once; perceiving the overall patterns and structures, often leading to divergent conclusions.

Chinese Comparisons

The Chinese description of yin and yang is but a description of the brains, too. Notice in particular, those of you who subscribe to the notion that we were initially created as dual, composite beings, male and female, that one brain is female, while the other is male.

The yin (right-brain) is feminine.
The yang (left-brain) is masculine.
The yin (right-brain) is negative.
The yang (left-brain) is positive.
The yin (right-brain) is the moon.
The yang (left-brain) is the sun.
The yin (right-brain) is darkness.
The yang (left-brain) is light.
The yin (right-brain) is yielding.
The yang (left-brain) is aggressive.
The yin (right-brain) is the left side.
The yang (left-brain) is the right side.
The yin (right-brain) is cold.
The yang (left-brain) is warm.
The yin (right-brain) is autumn.
The yang (left-brain) is spring.
The yin (right-brain) is winter.
The yang (left-brain) is summer.
The yin (right-brain) is unconscious.
The yang (left-brain) is conscious.
The yin (right-brain) is emotion.
The yang (left-brain) is reason.

Two Ways of Seeing – Convergence and Divergence

Human eyesight has elements of both right and left brain characteristics.

Convergence Our eyes focus on a single point, the smaller and more defined that point, the clearer the vision. This is known as central fixation and is the key to superior eyesight. Thus, your eye must be single, or centrally fixated, to be able to see the light. Central fixation is typical of left-brain convergence, converging the attention on a single point.

Divergence However, we also see what surrounds that point. This is known as eccentric vision. Eccentric vision takes in the whole picture, the whole view, with less clarity than the central point we are fixating our eyes upon. With eccentric vision, we get a sense of where everything is in relation to everything else. None of what we see with eccentric vision is very clear.  In fact, it could almost be termed “dark.” This dark, eccentric vision is typical of right-brain divergence, as attention is diverged among all points and not just one.

In this way, using centric and eccentric vision simultaneously, we are able to see the one and the all at the same time. Both are necessary for proper vision, otherwise blindness, to a greater or lesser degree, results.

Two types of blindness If you were to become eccentrically blind, so that all you could perceive was a single point, you would not be able to determine where that point was in relation to everything else. You would literally be lost, having no idea (spatially) where anything was. And if your centric vision became blind, so that you could only see everything around the point you fixated your eyes upon, you would be able to determine that there were things around you, knowing (spatially) where everything was, but you wouldn’t be able to see it with any clarity, meaning that you wouldn’t really know what it was with any detail, nor would you know what the point you were focusing on was.

A Cerebral Struggle for Dominance

Just as both centric and eccentric vision are necessary for proper perception, so are the left-brain and right-brain necessary, yet modern man tends to favor the left-brain processes over the right-brain ones. In fact, the left-brain almost always dominates the right-brain in adults because the speech centers are typically located there, whereas the right-brain is mute. In a debate between a highly articulate man and a mute man, the articulate one wins every time.

As both brains are essentially opposites in every way, and compete for dominance over the man, it is not surprising that the left-brain has ridiculed the right-brain in every language. All words and verbal expressions come from the left-brain. It names everything. It also controls the right hand. So, it is not surprising that everything good is associated with the right hand, whereas everything evil is associated with the left hand, which is controlled by the right-brain. To give you two examples of how the left-brain builds itself up while putting the right-brain down, consider the words “sinister” and “adroit.” The etymology of “sinister” is left, while that of “adroit” is right. Sinister has a bad connotation, while adroit has a good one. The left-brain, in control of speech, takes every opportunity, in every language, to aggrandize itself and belittle the right-brain.

Again, I say, that such behavior is not surprising because, invariably, the right-brain actions—the messages it communicates to the outside world—are always believed over the words verbalized by the left-brain. The right-brain, being mute, communicates through gestures and body language. When a man talks to someone else, and his words do not match his body language, invariably the listener will believe the message communicated by the body language, over what is spoken in words. The left-brain’s words only gain credibility if the right-brain’s body language and gestures match them. Each brain, though, is independent and wants to make itself heard and to dominate, so the necessity of working together can be frustrating, which frustration is manifested by the left-brain calling the (right-brain controlled) left hand names.

In the gospel, we are taught to be one and we tend to think of that in terms of two or more people.  However, in its most fundamental practice, it means to harmonize the two brains so that they work in unity, instead of fighting between each other.

The term “one,” used in the scriptures to describe the Godhead and us in relation to God, should (says I) be translated “united.”  “United” is a more descriptive term; it recognizes the individuality of the parts while showing the harmonious relationship of the whole.  The left-brain, however, is the one that chooses the words of the scriptures and so it is understandable that “one” is the word used.  The left-brain does not want to even recognize the existence of the right-brain, therefore, according to its thought, we are to become one homogenized being, centered smack dab in the left hemisphere!

What the Left-Brain and Right-Brain Actually Are

If you were to ask a person to point with their finger where they are in their body, they would eventually figure it out and point to their brain.  For example, although they control their knee and can see and feel it, it is “over there,” not “in here” where they are.  If you ask where their mind is, they will point to their brain (either hemisphere).  When you ask where their heart is, they will point to their chest.  When you ask where their sentimental heart is, not the physical heart, they will point to the same location, the chest.

For most people, the sentimental heart and the physical heart are located, like the knee, “over there,” not “in here” where they are.  Yet, all sensations are sensed in the brain, not in the extremities.  It is the brain that interprets the signals coming from without as pleasure, pain, etc.  The organs at those extremities are designed to collect information about the inner and outer environments and to transmit the information to the brain, which then interprets it as “feeling.”  We can see physical organs at every location of the body, but the sentimental heart, which we say is located in the bosom somewhere, has no physical organ that collects sentimental information.  Where, then, is the location of the sentimental heart?  Where is the organ of the sentimental heart?  It is the right-brain.

In its quest for dominance of the brain, the mind of man (the left-brain), has named the location of the heart of man (the right-brain), as “out there,” somewhere in the bosom or chest area.  In the reality of the left-brain—which is the dominant brain in adults—the heart is something that is to be subject to the mind, like any other part of the body.  It, the left-brain, wants the man to believe that his mind (which is the left-brain) occupies the whole region of the cerebral area, both left and right hemispheres, while the heart (which is his right-brain) is in a nether region.

The truth of the matter is, though, that the left-brain, which deals in symbols, has created a symbolic location for the sentimental heart.  The actual location is unnervingly close to the mind, right across the corpus callosum bridge, and it, the heart, is every bit as big and complex as the mind.  In fact, the heart of man is not just the equal of the mind of man, but is actually the primary brain organ, while the left-brain is a secondary brain organ.

From this point on, I will refer to each brain by what they actually are: the left-brain-mind and the right-brain-heart.

Man is from the Beginning Right-Brain-Heart Dominant

We come into this world right-brain-heart dominant.  Over time the speech and other centers of the left-brain-mind develop and, due to the mastery of speech and writing, the left-brain-mind often and largely takes control of the man, dominating the right-brain-heart.  The return to a heavenly state, such as our pre-mortal state, indicates a return to right-brain-heart dominance.

In one of the lists above, the left-brain-mind is called the secondary brain, while the right-brain-heart is called the primary brain.  Let’s explore why this is.

Right-Brain-Heart: Primary; Left-Brain-Mind: Secondary

When Jesus visited the Nephites, he was complying with the commandments of the Father, who had given him a to-do list (and a to-say list.)  After finishing the list of tasks, he was to return to the Father and then to go to the lost tribes but he changed plans, because his right-brain-heart, the primary brain, which contains the emotional centers, felt compassion towards the Nephites.  He then stayed longer, said more and performed more acts than he had been instructed to by the Father.  In other words, Jesus took initiative and expressed his individuality.

The right-brain-heart trumps the left-brain-mind every time.  It takes precedence over the logic of the left-brain-mind.  We left-brain-mind dominant humans, when thinking of the oneness of the Gods, tend to think in mathematical logic like a computer program which gives the proper response to every conceivable situation, as if the Gods were robots.  Such thinking is uniquely left-brain-minded, in other words, it is convergent.  Although the Gods utilize their left-brain-minds, and thus are capable of convergent thought, they are right-brain-heart dominant, which is divergent.  There is not one proper response or solution, but an infinite number of proper responses and solutions.  Diversification and variety are functions of the right-brain-heart.

So, despite going beyond what the Father had told him to do, Jesus acted properly.

The Nonverbal Gesture Language of the Right-Brain-Heart

The right-brain-heart of man, although mute, possesses the language of gestures.  No matter what language you look at on this planet, you will find that human verbal expressions are often accompanied by hand and body gestures.  Try telling someone to describe a spiral staircase to you and see if they don’t make a spiral gesture with their hand as they give their description.  The gesture language of the right-brain-heart appears to be more or less the same regardless of language or culture.  We all use the same or similar gestures, with some variance among the like generalities.  When picking a mate, gestures or body language is virtually identical in every culture.  This is known as the pair-bonding sequence.  All of this mute body language is the right-brain-heart communicating with another right-brain-heart.

In the heavens, as everyone there is right-brain-heart dominant, the principal language is a gesture language.  The language given to Adam was also a gesture language.  (Think back to Adam’s prayer in the temple.)  The gospel ordinances consist of bodily movements and gestures.  This is the language of the right-brain-heart.

The language of the right-brain-heart cannot be expressed in words or written down.  The verbal left-brain-mind cannot understand the expressions of the right-brain-heart.  It is all a mystery, unknowable to the left-brain-mind.  That is, perhaps, why we find such curious passages of scripture in which Jesus prays to the Father and no one can speak or write “the things” they both saw and heard him speak.  Part of the reason could very well be because Jesus used the gesture language of his right-brain-heart in front of the multitude.

Later, on the second day of his visit, Jesus again prays a prayer that was impossible to speak or write.  Finally, on the third day, the babes and little children spoke unspeakable things, as did many of the later church converts.  (The children, still right-brain-heart dominant, were already in the proper dominance state, so right-brain-heart speak would come first and easiest to them.)  All of this may be indicative of the gesture language of the right-brain-heart.

A built-in lie detector; a built-in lying machine

The right-brain-heart always tells the truth that it perceives, whereas the left-brain-mind is capable of lying.  (The left-brain-mind has the ability of lying through its rationalization processes.)  If the left-brain-mind speaks a lie, even to the point where it attempts to control the person’s body language to make the deception complete, the right-brain-heart will nevertheless cause a body part to manifest that the words spoken and body language shown are untrue.  As much as the left-brain-mind tries to control the right-brain-heart’s bodily gestures, the message of truth always gets through, via so-called involuntary functions, such as pupil dilation/constriction, etc.  A person trained in these right-brain-heart body signs can always tell when someone is lying, just by careful observation of the body signals.

The Spiritual Center of Man: the Right-Brain-Heart

The residence of the Holy Ghost All spirituality is centered in the right-brain-heart.  When explaining how the spirit of revelation operates, the Lord said, “I will tell you in your (left-brain-) mind and in your (right-brain-) heart, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you and which shall dwell in your (right-brain-) heart.”  (D&C 8: 2.)

In addition to residing in the right-brain-heart, the Holy Ghost utilizes the peculiar processes of that hemisphere to communicate divine knowledge.

Dreams As the right-brain-heart controls the subconscious, many prophets and seers, such as Lehi, received divine dreams.

Timelessness The right-brain-heart has no concept of time, so we find Joseph Smith matter-of-factly stating, after his visions with the angel Moroni, “After this third visit, he again ascended into heaven as before, and I was again left to ponder on the strangeness of what I had just experienced, when almost immediately after the heavenly messenger had ascended from me the third time, the cock crowed, and I found that day was approaching, so that our interviews must have occupied the whole of that might.”  (JS-H 1: 47)

Children, in particular, routinely demonstrate the timelessness of the right-brain-heart.  Being right-brain-heart dominant, they have the innate ability to immerse themselves in the reality of the right-brain-heart, without very much input from their left-brain-minds.  Such a brain state might be termed R-mode.  Only by activating the time keeping function of their left-brain-minds, can R-mode be broken.

For example, when my youngest son is engaged in an enjoyable activity, which I need to interrupt because it is time to go, there is no way to disengage him without him becoming upset.  This is because he has no concept of time while in R-mode and feels cheated to be suddenly taken out of it.  Even if he has been playing for hours on end, to him it wasn’t enough time, since he wasn’t aware of time while doing it.  What I need to do in order to avoid a scene is to engage his left-brain-mind (or L-mode), which does keep time, by saying, “Okay, we’re leaving in 15 minutes!”  Instantly, the left-brain-mind of the boy starts a countdown, which overrides the right-brain-heart’s timelessness.  At intervals, he will ask me, “How much time is left?” because his left-brain-mind still has no concept of how long a minute is, let alone 15, and it needs information to pace the countdown.  When the time is up there is no scene when leaving because his rational left-brain-mind is telling his right-brain-heart that he was given “enough” time to play and “fair warning.”

As things really are The right-brain-heart is concrete, seeing things as they really, actually are, and not projecting symbolic relationships, so, when the Lord wishes to reveal truth, which is “knowledge of things as they are, and as they were, and as they are to come” (see D&C 93: 24), he does so through the right-brain-heart of man.

More on Timelessness: Patience is Centered in the Right-Brain-Heart

Patience takes on a new meaning when in a timeless state.  There is no sooner or later in eternity or timelessness.  You either get something or you do not.  The right-brain-heart will ask God for something, believing that it will receive it.  “I do not know when I will get it, I just believe that I will get it,” says the right-brain-heart.  The right-brain-heart is, by nature, patient, because waiting an eternity to receive something is the same as waiting one day.  Without a concept of time, it is all the same.

The Exaltation of the Left-Brain-Mind (by Man)

Modern man, being left-brain-mind dominant, tends to idolize the left-brain-mind attributes, whereas the right-brain-heart attributes are considered inferior.  So, a man with strong intellectual powers, rational and analytic in thought, with strong verbal skills, who is punctual and can follow instructions precisely, is lifted up on a pedestal as ideal.  Such a man is a thinker, thinking things through and figuring things out, linking things together like a Sherlock Holmes detective until he comes to the “only logical conclusion.”  Logic, reason, intellect, mathematical concepts, with emotions being held in check at all times, so as not to cloud one’s thoughts, these are the qualities of the scientific, left-brain-mind dominant man.

The Use of the Right-Brain-Heart (by God)

Unfortunately, such a man, whose right-brain-heart is largely neglected, while the left-brain-mind becomes over-developed, misses every opportunity to hear the voice of God, because God dwells only in the right-brain-heart.

Spatiality God shows the spatial relationships of the heavens to man in vision through the right-brain-heart, not the left-brain-mind.  “These are the governing ones,” the Lord said to Abraham (in Abr. 3: 3), as he showed him the planets and their spatial relationships.  The left-brain-mind must rely upon telescopes and math to get a picture of where everything is, whereas the right-brain-heart has the built-in capacity to see the whole picture at once, so God uses it when giving vision.

Intuition When we have an “a-ha!” moment, that is the right-brain-heart in action.  We finally understand something, though we may not be able to put it into words, or the words we use to describe the understanding is inadequate.  Although the left-brain-mind processes, like advanced mathematical equations, are very complex, they still only deal with the one point or thought that is in the mind.  The right-brain-heart has the job of dealing with everything other than that one point or thought.  In other words, the right right-brain-heart sees the whole picture (eccentric vision), while the left-brain-mind sees only one point of the picture (centric vision).  Right-brain-heart processes embrace the all or infinite, while the left-brain-mind embraces the one or singular.  The left-brain-mind sees one thing at a time, sequentially; the right-brain-heart sees multiple things at a time, simultaneously.  As a result, the right-brain-heart is vastly more complex than the left-brain-mind.  Its processes are much too fluid and complex to be put into words.

Miracles As LDS, we often fall into the left-brain-mind track and approach the gospel in a left-brain-mind way.  Each side is to be fully developed and harmonized, or united, becoming “one.”  If one or the other must dominate, the right-brain-heart, the primary brain, is to be the one in the control seat, not the left-brain-mind.  If the order is reversed, we may find ourselves going through a list of gospel actions, which is inherently left-brained, without experiencing any of the miracles, visions, dreams, tongues, angelic visitations, etc., which are associated with right-brain development and dependence.

Gospel principles Faith, hope, charity and all the rest of the gospel principles are right-brain-heart centered.  It is impossible to exercise these principles utilizing the ordered left-brain-mind.  To the left-brain-mind, the right-brain-heart appears disordered, chaotic, anarchic, much too free and unrestrained.  The left-brain-mind likes to be told what to do, to be directed, guided, and confined into limitative schedules and restrictive borders.  This is because the left-brain-mind only sees one thing at a time and the dot or point it sees has specific boundaries, everything converging at the center.  The right-brain-heart, though, sees everything at once, and there are no boundaries to what it sees, all things diverging in all directions.  It enjoys the freedom of boundless space and the natural order that the things it sees “settle into.”  It doesn’t like to be confined and it has no sense of propriety.  All it sees is infinite variety, all of which it deems “proper.”

The Return to Right-Brain-Heart Dominance

Our task here on earth is to return to right-brain-heart dominance so that God can reveal the way to become one, so that both brains act in harmony, firmly under the control of the right-brain-heart, which sees the big picture.  This is why the scriptures state that God requires the heart of man.  Once God gets a man’s right-brain-heart, He can show man the big picture and man can see where he fits in the universe, what his potential is and how to obtain it.

As I said before, all mankind is born with a dominant right-brain-heart.  As infants, babes, toddlers and little children, we learn chiefly using the right-brain-heart processes.  At some point we learn how to speak, read, write and do arithmetic (which are left-brain-mind processes) and the left-brain-mind overpowers the right-brain-heart, suppressing the imaginative and creative right.  Such left-brain-mind dominance impedes our spiritual progression.  What then becomes necessary is that we become as little children, repent and be baptized (see 3 Nephi 11: 37) and also repent, be baptized and become as little children (see 3 Nephi 11: 38).  We must become as little children both before and after baptism.  In other words, we must become again right-brain-heart dominant.

Often many of the instructions given by the Lord to LDS are switched by the LDS, so that we try to perform a right-brain-heart function with the left-brain-mind and vice versa.  For example, when the Lord told the Nephite disciples to cease praying but not to cease praying in their hearts, we might confuse “praying in the heart” with praying with the mind.  The (left-brain-) mind uses words, while the (right-brain-) heart is mute.  It can feel and make gestures, but it cannot express itself in words.  Therefore, to pray in one’s heart is to express a feeling towards God.  It is entirely possible to continually pray in one’s heart to God while performing other tasks.

Likewise, pondering in one’s left-brain-mind and pondering in one’s right-brain-heart are two separate things and have different results.  Left-brain-mind pondering is analytic, abstract, propositional, temporal, rational, digital, logical and linear and leads to intellectual stimulation. Right-brain-heart pondering is synthetic, analogic, imaginative, nontemporal, nonrational, spatial, intuitive, holistic and nonlineal and leads to spiritual stimulation and revelation. Unless one ponders with the right-brain-heart, it may result in no spiritual progress.

Many of the “techniques” we are taught to use for gospel study are nothing more than left-brain-mind processes.  In fact, any and all studying engages only the left-brain-mind.  This is why the Lord said to Oliver Cowdery, “You must study it out in your mind.”  (See D&C 9: 8.)  Faith is right-brain-heart based and study is left-brain-mind based.  And so the Lord said, “And as all have not faith…seek learning, even by study (left-brain-mind) and also by faith (right-brain-heart).”  (See D&C 109: 7.)

To maximize gospel progression, the right-brain-heart must be engaged.  The more it is engaged, the more rapid the progress.  The right-brain-heart has the capacity to dwell on something continually, night and day.  Ask any broken-hearted fool if he feels the effect of his lost love continually and he’ll tell you.  By placing the affections of the heart upon the Lord (see Alma 37: 36), we keep it open to receive communications from that quarter.

United Brains – or, One Brain under (the Right-Brain-Heart, It Being under) God

The Lord has said that “children are whole from the foundation of the world.”  (Moses 6: 54.)  Another way of saying “whole” is “united,” “complete,” “not missing any parts,” “with no divisions or separations among the parts,” meaning that the two brains are united, each one working as they are supposed to work, in other words, with the right right-brain-heart in the dominant position.  Then they enter earth life, in which all the adults have brains in which the left-brain-mind is dominant, and as they grow up, “sin conceiveth in their (right-brain-) hearts” (Moses 6: 55.)  The effect of sin is that it separates us from God, so, as the right-brain-heart is our pathway to the divine, as soon as children allow their left-brain-minds to dominate or ignore the right-brain-heart, they begin to cut themselves off from Heavenly Father.

Satanic Strategies

The devil has a few strategies to “deal with” the right-brain-heart.  As the right-brain-heart is the conduit to God, one strategy is to get people to completely ignore it.  Using the left’s power of words, the attributes of the left-brain-mind are exalted while those of the right-brain-heart are ridiculed as foolishness.  In this way, no one wants to develop the right-brain-heart qualities because of its stigma in the popular mind-set.  Right-brain-heart dominant artists, creators, visionaries, and prophets are looked upon as slackers, knaves, vagabonds, lazy, crazies, etc.  Their “heads are in the clouds” and they need to “get their feet on the ground” and “face the realities of (left-brain-mind dominant) life.”  Right-brain-heart dominant individuals are not punctual, can’t follow a set of instructions precisely (they are prone to change the order of a sequenced plan on the spur of the moment), they can’t focus on any one thing at a time, instead thinking of everything at once, they are irrational (nonrational), etc.  Who wants to be like that?!  Just about every right-brain-heart process has been marginalized and made unpopular by the left-brain-mind so that hardly anyone wants to develop it.

The universities are especially adept at atrophying the right-brain-heart so that a man can enter a university with faith in God (the right-brain-heart functioning) and leave it as an atheist, with near total reliance upon the left-brain-mind.  Universities and most schooling in general teach left-brain-mind development almost exclusively.

Another strategy of the devil is to inflame the desire and emotion centers of the right right-brain-heart so that hate, anger and rage pour out instead of the love and goodwill that is supposed to be there.  He will also incite desires for sex, power, fame and money because the desires of the right-brain-heart never tire as do the thought processes of the left-brain-mind.  So, if he can’t get a person to ignore the right-brain-heart entirely, he will try to get the individual to spend right-brain-heart energy in anything other than God.

If all of this fails and the person still seeks God and continues to develop the right-brain-heart, he will give them religion, a religion that is largely left-brain-minded, that professes God with its mouth (the left-brain-mind words) but whose (right-brain-) heart is far from Him.  Or, if a person’s right-brain-heart is very developed so that left left-brain-mind dominant religion has no appeal, the devil will present spiritualism and other esoteric religions and paths to the individual, causing him or her to divert right-brain-heart energy to something other than God.  Women, in particular, are susceptible to this latter strategy.

The Right-Brain-Heart, the Key to Combating the Devil

The way to combat these devilish deceptions is to open up the right-brain-heart to God and to develop it despite the stigma.  “Yielding up the (right-brain-) heart to God” (Hel. 3: 35) is how the scriptures describe it.  This causes the right-brain-heart to become sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost which will then dwell there and deposit the gifts of the Spirit, which gifts will discern the deceptions of the devil (see D&C 46: 8) and will reveal the truth via miraculous manifestations.  So, the right-brain-heart is the key to everything.

Belief, Doubt and Prayer

The right-brain-heart is the believing brain, whereas the left-brain-mind is the doubter, unless the belief is based upon logic, facts, peer-reviewed evidence, etc.  So, when the Lord instructs us to pray in faith, believing that we will receive, nothing doubting, he is explaining the manner of using both hemispheres of the brain.  Verbal prayers require the left-brain-mind, while faith and belief both originate in the right-brain-heart.  And by saying “nothing doubting” He is explaining that the left-brain-mind is to speak but do nothing more.  So, there is to be no conflict between left-brain-mind and right-brain-heart.  Belief and faith are to come from the right-brain-heart without any doubt from the left-brain-mind.  In our prayers, then, we are to be one, meaning that our left-brain-mind and right-brain-heart are to be united, with the right-brain-heart in its proper role as the primary and dominant brain.  Prayer, then, becomes a means whereby we may train our left-brain-minds to be subservient to our right-brain-hearts.

Revelation and the Right-Brain-Heart

By changing our approach to the gospel from left-brain-mind to right-brain-heart dominant, suddenly one-way communication (prayer) turns into two-way communication (revelation) and God starts pouring down information about the nature of the Universe, expanding our horizons accordingly.  Joseph Smith, Jun., is the poster boy for what happens when you develop the right-brain-heart and turn it over to God: God fills it with visions of eternity.  Joseph’s left-brain-mind was in no way as developed as his right-brain-heart, which fact bothered him, but this did not present any obstacle whatsoever to him receiving messages from God.  The reason?  Because the left-brain-mind is not needed by God to communicate to us.  Only the right-brain-heart is. The Holy Ghost speaks to the left-brain-mind when the message needs to be put into words, as that is where the speech center is found.  If the message is only for the individual, the right-brain-heart alone can be used, but if the message is to be told to others, the left-brain-mind is also activated.

The Eternal Destiny of Man Requires an Organ that Can See Eternity: the Right-Brain-Heart

All of this talk of the importance of the right-brain-heart is not meant to imply that the left-brain-mind plays no part in the gospel.  It does, but it was always the intention that the left-brain-mind have a secondary, not primary role, in the gospel.  We are here on earth to learn to walk by faith (right-brain-heart) and not by sight (left-brain-mind).  The left-brain-mind, being of a limited nature, with narrow confines, boundaries, rules, etc., is designed to be a tool in the hand of the right-brain-heart to perform certain limited, sequential tasks.  The right-brain-heart has no limits, being as wide as eternity itself, and thus is designed to control the eternal destiny of man because its vision is large enough to see the big picture and man’s spatial relationship to all other things in the Universe.  The left-brain-mind is unsuited to control the eternal destiny of man because of its limited vision, seeing only one thing at a time and not knowing where it fits in the Universe.  But it is especially useful during mortality, to construct houses and perform other mortal tasks.

In eternity, the left-brain-mind is also used to perform tasks, but always in subjection to the right-brain-heart, which directs all things.  If you look on the lists above of left and right attributes, you’ll see the left hemisphere is “directed” while the right is “free.”  By nature and by design, the left-brain-mind is meant to be directed or to be given orders, whereas the right-brain-heart is meant to be free of direction.  Thus we see the resurrected Christ following the orders of the Father, performing left-brain-mind tasks, but when the right-brain-heart expresses itself, suddenly plans change.  Again, I repeat, the right-brain-heart is designed to do what it wants to do (freedom or anarchy, in other words, self-government); it is not designed to be directed.  Whereas the left-brain-mind is designed to be directed, and not to be free.  (The devil perverts this design by getting everyone’s left-brain-mind in the dominant position, with the devil doing the directing.  The Savior corrects this perversion with the Sermon on the Mount, whose instructions, if followed precisely, would put the right-brain-heart again in the dominant position.)

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is Appealing to Both Brains

The gospel contains elements meant to appeal to both left and right brains.  Gospel symbols, sequential commandments, prophetic directions, linear progression, the emphasis on study, the word of God, etc., all appeal to the left-brain-mind, while Gospel literalism, illogical and irrational commandments, faith and belief, the innumerability of the worlds (infinity), spatial relationships of kingdoms (planets), etc., all appeal to the right-brain-heart.  So, the gospel addresses the needs of both brains, but puts the major emphasis on the right-brain-heart as the primary organ that determines our eternal destiny.

The Lord’s Bountiful Sermon to the Nephites Corrects Brain Disunity

The pre-eminence of the right-brain-heart, the importance of it, cannot be over-stated.  The Sermon on the Mount given to the Jews and the Bountiful Sermon given to the Nephites, speak almost exclusively of the re-enthroning of the right-brain-heart, giving irrational, illogical rules to live by, such as turning the other cheek, etc., which rules fly in the face of the left-brain-mind’s sense of justice.  For example, “blessed are the poor in spirit who come unto me” is contrary to left-brain-mind pride.  “Blessed are all they that mourn” is contrary to left-brain-mind concepts of happiness.  “Blessed are the meek” is contrary to left-brain-mind aggression.  To the left-brain-mind, these instructions given by the Savior are irrational.  To the left-brain-mind, it is the strong that inherits the earth, not the meek.  The left-brain-mind cannot see how being persecuted can be of any benefit.  Left-brain-mind dominant people, therefore, do not obey the principles found in the Sermon on the Mount, only insofar as the left-brain-mind sees a rational benefit associated with them.  To the degree that it views no rational benefit, it avoids this sermon like the plague.

The Sermon on the Mount is designed to present principles which are intentionally contrary to the nature of the left-brain-mind so that mankind can learn to obtain control over it, to re-enthrone the right-brain-heart as the director and to become as a little child.

In particular, the Bountiful Sermon is a test, given to LDS, as to whether they will receive the “greater things” that were ministered to the Nephites by the Savior.  Of all the scriptures in the entire Standard Works, the four chapters found in 3 Nephi 11-14 are the most important. If a person were to throw away every other scripture and just read and live every principle found in these four chapters, the Lord would open up the heavens to that man and would re-reveal the rest of the scriptures, including scriptures the man never had, so that he would obtain, through the door of his right-brain-heart the keys of his salvation and enter into the rest of the Lord.  The fact that all these years have gone by and we still have not received the complete Nephite record shows that LDS are largely ignoring the Bountiful Sermon, perhaps complying with left-brain-mind commandments, but avoiding those that target the right-brain-heart.

As a result of this failure to comply with the Bountiful Sermon, choosing instead to let our left-brain-minds direct us, our right-brain-hearts have become hardened or atrophied.  All mankind begins life with dominant, soft hearts which, over time, grow hard and give up dominance to the left-brain-mind.  Like stones, hard hearts need to be broken open through repentance (a “broken heart and contrite spirit”) so that the Spirit of God can finally get in.  In other words, we need to become as little children again, with soft, dominant right-brain-heartsThe Bountiful Sermon is the way to achieve that goal.

(For The Anarchist Version of the Bountiful Sermon, see the post, The Words of Jehovah-Saves Anointed One, Spoken During His Nephite Ministry: DAY ONE.  That post is also my answer to the question posed in the post, If you could only read 3 chapters or sections…)

Hardness of Heart, Blindness of Mind and Looking Beyond the Mark

The scriptures refer to the left and right brains as being in a state of wickedness with the expressions “hardness of heart” and “blindness of mind.”  The left-brain-mind becomes blind only when it “looks beyond the mark.”  It can see, by design, only one single point or dot (mark).  If it attempts to see two or more things simultaneously, or if it attempts to see outside of the boundaries of its centrally fixated point, it cannot and becomes blind.  In other words, if the left-brain-mind attempts to see what the right-brain-heart can see, it fails and sees nothing, becoming blind.

Two Brains, Two Realities

The left-brain-mind and right-brain-heart perceive life in opposing ways.

A Circle Within a Circle The reality of the left-brain-mind consists of two circles, one smaller circle within a larger circle.  Within the smaller circle are all things the left-brain-mind has deemed “possible and probable.”  Outside of the small circle, but within the larger circle are all things it has deemed “possible, but improbable.”  Outside of the larger circle are all things it calls “impossible.”  The left-brain-mind sees reality in this way because, by nature, it is incapable of viewing it any other way.  It is designed by God to be an organ whose view of the Universe is limited, that is, it can focus only on the one and not the many.  It deals only in absolutes such as on or off, right or wrong, true or false, etc.

No Circles The reality of the right-brain-heart has no such labels, as it uses no words.  It merely sees all things at once as they are, or as they really look, and perceives their various spatial locations in relation to everything else.  It also perceives the similarities of the objects, as well as the differences or divergent paths.  As there is no end to the things it views, its view contains no boundaries, no symbolic circles, etc.  The reality of the right-brain-heart, therefore, is the reality of limitless eternity and infinite variety, in which “all things are possible.”  If all things are possible, then nothing is impossible or improbable.

The realities of the left-brain-mind and right-brain-heart are conflicting and create a clash within us.  “Which view is correct?” you may ask yourself.  But such a question comes from the left-brain-mind, which sees things as right and wrong, correct and incorrect, proper and improper.  In other words, for the left-brain-mind everything is either a 1 or a 0, either on or off, whereas the right-brain-heart sees everything in infinite gradations and variations.  Because the gospel of Christ is one of eternity, it must be lived in the reality of the right-brain-heart.  Therefore, the real answer to such a question is that both perspectives are correct.

Possible, probable, improbable and impossible If we are ever on our knees for some miracle to occur, and we think any of the following thoughts—

“I’m just engaging in wishful thinking.”

“I don’t really believe this will happen.”

“Do I really believe this will happen?”

“Maybe I should state this as a hope, not a belief.”

etc.

—all of these doubtful thoughts are coming from the left-brain-mind.  To the left-brain-mind, if what you are petitioning the Lord for falls into the “possible, but improbable” category of its reality—or even worse, the “impossible” category—you are engaging in “wishful thinking,” “delusion,” or some other designation of an irrational mind.  The left-brain-mind is incapable of comprehending the reality of the right-brain-heart, in which all things are possible, and must label the right-brain-heart’s reality in left-brain-mind terms.

The Four Modes of Existence

There are four modes of existence: 1) L-mode and R-mode expressing themselves simultaneously, with the left-brain-mind dominant, 2) L-mode and R-mode expressing themselves simultaneously, with the right-brain-heart dominant, 3) L-mode expressing itself with the right-brain-heart silent and 4) R-mode expressing itself with the left-brain-mind silent.

The gospel of Jesus Christ teaches us that only modes #2 and #4 are acceptable.  God is always to be a part of our existence (the main part) and as He manifests Himself through right-brain-heart dominance, only #2 and #4 put Him in His proper place.  The natural man, forever an enemy to God, chiefly expresses himself in modes #1 and #3.  Our task on earth is to switch #1 to #2 and #3 to #4.  Again, this is accomplished by applying the principles found in 3 Nephi 11-14.

The Split-Brain Model Applied to God and the Universe

The Universe is a finite sphere of light with well defined, but ever-expanding limits.  It is composed of kingdoms of glory (light) and space.  All of creation exists within the Universal sphere.  Beyond it nothing exists.  This nothing region outside is called “outer darkness” in contrast to the inner light of the Universal sphere.  Outer darkness has no limits or boundaries to it.  It is truly infinite.  (See the post, Deep Waters: Lehi’s model of the universe, for more info on this topic.)

God can see all created things within the Universal sphere through the capacity of His right-brain-heart, which sees everything simultaneously, but He also has the capacity to focus on the one, the individual creation, through the ability of His left-brain-mind, which sees only one thing at a time sequentially.

We know that God has already seen all things individually with His left-brain-mind, including each one of us, because He has stated that He has numbered every single thing that exists.  Numbering is a left-brain-mind process which requires centric vision, focusing on the thing being counted.

The capacity of God’s left-brain-mind to number things appears to be unlimited because we are told that the process of creation is ongoing and never-ending (“my works never cease”) and that He numbers all of His creations (“all things are numbered to me”).  We are also told that although all things in the Universal sphere are of finite number, the number is so very great that to man they are essentially infinite in number (“all things are numberless to man”).  This shows that the left-brain-mind of God, which is designed to deal only with the finite, is beyond the scope of comprehension of man and it, alone, is worthy of man’s worship and endless devotion.

Nevertheless, the left-brain-mind of God, though awe-inspiring and dumbfounding in its perfection and complexity, like the ultimate computer, is sub-ordinate to the right-brain-heart of God, which is designed to comprehend the infinite.  And where is the truly infinite?  Outer darkness.

God’s left-brain-mind does not gaze into outer darkness because that region is infinite and God would not use an instrument designed for finite measurements and counting to deal with the infinite, but if it did look, what would it see?  It would see nothing.  Why?  Because nothing is there.  The “mark” of God is the Universal sphere of light.  God’s left-brain-mind is not designed to “look beyond the mark.”  Were it to do so, it would become blind and see nothing.  Thus, to God’s left-brain-mind, outer darkness literally is dark.

Yet God does gaze into outer darkness.  And He sees an infinite number of things of infinite variety surrounded by boundless space.  He sees all these uncreated, non-existent things through the capacity of His right-brain-heart to imagine.  These are the future creations of God.

Thus, through the finite yet ever-expanding Universal sphere of light, God is able to fully engage the numbering and naming capacity of His left-brain-mind, while the infinite and divergent nothingness outside of the sphere fully engages the infinite imagination and eccentric vision of His right-brain-heart.  In fact, in a very real sense, God’s left-brain-mind is the Universal sphere of light (as mormonmilkman was cleverly able to determine), and, in like manner, His right-brain-heart is outer darkness.   See the post, Deep Waters: Creatio ex nihilo, creation ex material and creation ex deo are all true doctrines, for more on this topic.

(It is telling that God has His right-brain-heart’s eccentric vision continuously gazing into outer darkness, as it is His right-brain-heart and not His left-brain-mind that brings us into existence.  But that is a topic worthy of its own post, so I will take it up in the next installment of the Faith of God series.)

Finally, the Universal sphere of light converges at the center point where God resides “in the midst” of all things.  Outer darkness, though, is best described as divergent.

Justice and Mercy

Justice is a characteristic of the left-brain-mind, which sees things as black or white, on or off, good or bad, righteous or wicked.  Mercy is a characteristic of the right-brain-heart, which sees things as diversified and varied.  The gospel of Jesus Christ allows us to obtain the mercy that resides in God’s right-brain-heart by developing our own right-brain-heart to match that of God’s, so that He can speak to us heart to heart.  If we do not take advantage of the gospel, God will speak to us mind to mind and we will then be exposed to the justice that resides in God’s left-brain-mind.  The sense of justice of our left-brain-mind is patterned after the sense of justice of God’s left-brain-mind, so those who receive God’s judgment will find themselves confessing that God’s judgments are all just and that they are guilty of their crimes.  The key to avoiding God’s justice and obtaining His mercy is by using the gospel to submit our right-brain-hearts to God.

Conclusion

When the gospel is viewed through the split-brain model, many of the human and Godly behavioral mysteries suddenly clear up.  Once informed by this model, no longer need we spurn the characteristics of the right-brain-heart as embarrassing, primitive, unnecessary and unwanted, but can heartily embrace them as just as much a part of the human nature as any aspect of the left-brain-mind, for such they are.  Application of the model allows us to more accurately ascertain where we are on the gospel path, based upon the left or right processes we regularly use.  By taking inventory of how we act, we can determine whether we are directed by our left-brain-minds or by our right-brain-hearts.  And by using the Savior’s corrective Bountiful Sermon, we can unite our brains and re-enthrone the right-brain-heart as the dominant organ, allowing the Lord to open up a direct channel to us and pour light and truth into our right-brain-hearts.

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Bartering Currency Pictures


For background on this post, see Introducing a new bartering currency—the first coin: 1/2 Troy oz pure silver .999 fine.

I got my first coins yesterday and thought I’d take some pictures. I’ll update this post with pictures of all the various sizes, as they are made. Feel free to download and use the pictures to tell people about the currency.

1/2-oz Troy, .999 Fine Silver

There was a mistake made to the dies. The Collector’s Mint only deals with collector’s items, so when the die-maker at the American National Mint got the order to make the dies and read “Brilliant Uncirculated” (BU) condition on the order sheet, he figured that it must be wrong and made the dies for “Proof” condition, instead. The first strike run was for 500 coins. However, after they struck the first 134 coins, they had to wait a few more days before striking the rest because not all of the needed planchets had arrived, so they shipped out the 134 coins to The Collector’s Mint. When The Collector’s Mint got the coins and saw that they were in “Proof” condition, they ordered the dies fixed so that all subsequent coins would be in “Brilliant Uncirculated” condition. The dies now only produce coins in BU condition. (The difference between Proof and BU condition is that the Proof coins have a mirrored finish and frosted letters, while BU is a non-numismatic bullion coin.) It was never the intention to produce numismatic coins, but apparently there are now 134 of them. The following pictures are of Proof condition coins.

Obverse of a Proof Condition Silver 1/2-oz Bartering Currency Coin - Contrast Increased

Obverse of a Proof Condition Silver 1/2-oz Bartering Currency Coin - Contrast Increased

Reverse of a Proof Condition Silver 1/2-oz Bartering Currency Coin - Contrast Increased

Reverse of a Proof Condition Silver 1/2-oz Bartering Currency Coin - Contrast Increased

A Stack of Proof Condition Silver 1/2-oz Bartering Currency Coins

A Stack of Proof Condition Silver 1/2-oz Bartering Currency Coins

A Pile of Proof Condition Silver 1/2-oz Bartering Currency Coins

A Pile of Proof Condition Silver 1/2-oz Bartering Currency Coins

Obverse Close-up of a Pile of Proof Condition Silver 1/2-oz Bartering Currency Coins

Obverse Close-up of a Pile of Proof Condition Silver 1/2-oz Bartering Currency Coins

Reverse Close-up of a Pile of Proof Condition Silver 1/2-oz Bartering Currency Coins

Reverse Close-up of a Pile of Proof Condition Silver 1/2-oz Bartering Currency Coins

More to come later…

Next Anarchism/Anarchy article: A sign of the times?

Previous Anarchism/Anarchy article: Introducing a new bartering currency—the first coin: 1/2 Troy oz pure silver .999 fine

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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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