The Prophet who is like unto Moses


Note: This was originally written as an explanatory tract for non-Mormons. I have left it almost intact, with very slight modifications, but added, as usual, something brand-spanking new. (Otherwise, what’s the point, right?)

Moses uttered the following prophecy in Deuteronomy 18:

The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken; according to all that thou desiredst of the Lord thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not. And the Lord said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken. I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him. (Deuteronomy 18:15-19)

The Christians believe this Prophet is Jesus Christ; the Muslims believe this Prophet is Mohammed; one of the Jewish rabbis teaches that this Prophet is Joshua, who succeeded Moses; and some Christians believe this Prophet is the Elijah/Elias who restores all things.

What do the Mormons believe? We believe that this Prophet is Jesus Christ. With this post I’m going to show why Jesus Christ fulfills this prophecy of being the Prophet who is like unto Moses, how all of this will be fulfilled and when it will be fulfilled. (Although Mormons and Christians both correctly believe that Christ is the Prophet Moses spoke of, I’m not sure that either group fully understands how Moses’s prophecy must and will be entirely fulfilled.)

A four-part prophecy

There are four parts to Moses’s prophecy: 1- That there will be a Prophet raised up in the midst of the house of Israel, of the house of Israel, who is like unto Moses, who will have the words of God in His mouth; 2- That this Prophet will speak to the house of Israel all the words that God will command Him to speak to them (which are the words of God); 3- That the house of Israel will hearken to (listen to and obey) the Prophet; and 4- That any individual who refuses to hearken to (listen to and obey) the words that the Prophet speaks to the house of Israel will be condemned by God.

Part One: A Prophet raised among Israel, of Israel, like Moses, and having God’s words

The first part of Moses’s prophecy reads:

The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me;…I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth;

It must be understood, first of all, that Deuteronomy chapter 18 is part of a sermon given to all the tribes of Israel by Moses, which begins in chapter 5:

And Moses called all Israel, and said unto them, Hear, O Israel, the statutes and judgments which I speak in your ears this day, that ye may learn them, and keep, and do them. (Deuteronomy 5:1)

So, when Moses says in chapter 18, “The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren,” he is talking to the entire assemblage of Israel, which were all the twelve tribes of Israel gathered around to hear his sermon. This prophecy, then, must be applied to the whole house of Israel, and not to just one part.

Okay, so Moses says that the Prophet will be raised up by God unto thee (the house of Israel.) In other words, this isn’t a prophet sent to the Gentiles, but to the house of Israel. This first point allows us to eliminate every prophet of God that is sent to a Gentile nation. None of such prophets are the Prophet spoken of by Moses.

Next, Moses says that the Prophet will be raised up by God from the midst of thee (the house of Israel.) This means that the man will be born and raised in one of Israel’s tribal lands of inheritance. He won’t be born in a Gentile nation, but in a nation of Israel. And he will be surrounded by others of the house of Israel, of whatever tribe the land happens to be. Again, this eliminates everyone that is born and raised in a Gentile nation.

Then Moses says that the Prophet will be raised up by God of thy (Israel’s) brethren. Now, the brethren of Israel are the twelve brothers who became the twelve tribes. These are the brethren Moses was referring to. For example, the brothers of the tribe of Gad are the other 11 tribes, and so forth. So, Moses doesn’t specify which tribal lineage the Prophet will have, but these words indicate that the man will have a tribal lineage of the house of Israel, and not merely be a Gentile born and raised in one of Israel’s tribal lands. This eliminates everyone who is not of the blood of one of the tribes of Israel.

To recap: this Prophet will be raised up by God to (or for) the entire house of Israel and He will be raised up from the midst of the house of Israel, that is, the Prophet will be raised up in one of the tribal lands of inheritance of Israel, and will be living in the midst of the house of Israel, being surrounded by other Israelites, and also He will be of the brethren of Israel, that is, of the twelve brothers (or tribes) that make up Israel.

Eliminated so far: Mohammed and the Elias/Elijah who restores all things

Thus far, with the facts we have established so far, the man Mohammed, who is proclaimed by Muslims to be the Prophet that Moses spoke of, is completely eliminated. He was born and raised in Mecca, which is not a tribal land of Israel, nor was he in the midst of the house of Israel. Instead, he was surrounded by descendants of Ishmael, not of Jacob through Isaac. The Muslims claim that the descendants of Ishmael count as the “brothers” of Israel, but they do not. The brothers of Israel are the twelve sons of Israel, who are the twelve tribes of Israel. Jacob’s brother was Esau, not Ishmael. Jacob’s father was Isaac, who had a brother from another mother named Ishmael. This makes Ishmael several steps removed from the house of Israel. You have to go up the line two generations, then over to the other mother, then down. This is not what Moses was referring to. Moses’s prophecy is Israel-centric, dealing only with the house of Israel, and speaking only to and of the house of Israel. So, sorry Muslims, but Mohammed ain’t the Prophet Moses spoke of.

What about the Elias/Elijah who restores all things? Nope. It can’t be him, either. The Elias/Elijah who restores all things (Joseph-Nephi) will be of Gentile lineage, as well of the house of Joseph (both Ephraim and Manasseh) and also a descendant of Judah, therefore his lineage will be mixed. He will be raised up in a Gentile nation, as a Gentile, not knowing his Israel lineage (at first.) He will be surrounded, then, by Gentiles, and not by the house of Israel. Also, his mission isn’t Israel-centric, but encompasses both the house of Israel and the Gentiles, even the entire world. Also, this man won’t be a mere prophet, but a mighty miracle-working seer, which is greater than a prophet, so he doesn’t fit the profile, at all.

Who is not eliminated so far?

Joshua and all the other prophets of Israel who grew up in tribal lands and ministered only to the house of Israel. Given that at least one Jewish rabbi believes and teaches that Joshua is the Prophet, he is, as yet, not eliminated.

Part One continued: like Moses, and having God’s words

The Prophet will be like unto Moses. Now, the last words of the book of Deuteronomy say this:

And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom; for Moses had laid his hands upon him: and the children of Israel hearkened unto him, and did as the Lord commanded Moses. And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, in all the signs and the wonders, which the Lord sent him to do in the land of Egypt to Pharaoh, and to all his servants, and to all his land, and in all that mighty hand, and in all the great terror which Moses shewed in the sight of all Israel. (Deuteronomy 34:9-12)

These words altogether eliminate Joshua, despite the wisdom God gave him. The Prophet like unto Moses, then, would have to be a miracle-worker that knows God face to face. Elijah the Tishbite prophet was a miracle-worker, and thus might fit, except that Elijah wasn’t like Moses, at all. Moses was a law-giver, giving Israel a new law, even his “law of Moses,” which they had to follow from then on. All the other prophets that succeeded Moses merely told the people to repent and follow the law of Moses. Thus, the Prophet like unto Moses would have to be someone that also gave a new law, which the people would need to follow from then on. But no prophet of Israel did this, except for one: Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ, in fact, not only claimed to have God’s words, but to be God’s Only Begotten Son according to the flesh. He claimed to be entirely divine. He claimed to know God the Father personally, just like Moses knew the Lord face to face. He claimed to have fulfilled the law of Moses and He gave a new law, even the law of Christ. Given all these facts, so far only Jesus Christ fits the entire bill.

Part Two: He speaks to all Israel

and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.

Now, here is where it gets a bit interesting. God says this Prophet will “speak unto them all that” God will command Him. Who is the “them”? It is the entire house of Israel, all 12 tribes, and not just a part of them. Jesus was raised up in the land of Jerusalem, in the tribal lands of Israel, and He was of the tribe of Judah, and He was surrounded by other Israelites, but by the time of His ministry, most of the tribes had already been led away and were lost from history. Only two tribes remained on the tribal lands: Judah and Benjamin. The bulk of the tribes was missing. Although Jesus made all the proper claims that would indicate He was the Prophet that Moses spoke of, and although he performed mighty miracles just like Moses did, and although He spoke the word of God to the Israelite people that were there in that land, those weren’t all of Israel. They were just a part. Moses’s prophecy is specific that this Prophet will speak to them (the house of Israel) and not just to a part of that house.

However, Jesus did say the following, as recorded in the gospel of John:

I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. (John 10:14-16)

Other sheep which are not of this fold? He will bring them and they will hear His voice? The other sheep and other fold(s) will be united into one fold with one shepherd? What a curious thing to say, especially given that Moses’s Prophet will be speaking to all the house of Israel.

Now, this great mystery has already been cleared up. By the Mormons. Or more specifically, by the Book of Mormon. After Jesus was resurrected, He visited the Nephites (who were a branch of the house of Israel) and said to them:

And verily I say unto you, that ye are they of whom I said: Other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. And they understood me not, for they supposed it had been the Gentiles; for they understood not that the Gentiles should be converted through their preaching. And they understood me not that I said they shall hear my voice; and they understood me not that the Gentiles should not at any time hear my voice—that I should not manifest myself unto them save it were by the Holy Ghost. But behold, ye have both heard my voice, and seen me; and ye are my sheep, and ye are numbered among those whom the Father hath given me. (3 Nephi 15:21-24)

And verily, verily, I say unto you that I have other sheep, which are not of this land, neither of the land of Jerusalem, neither in any parts of that land round about whither I have been to minister. For they of whom I speak are they who have not as yet heard my voice; neither have I at any time manifested myself unto them. But I have received a commandment of the Father that I shall go unto them, and that they shall hear my voice, and shall be numbered among my sheep, that there may be one fold and one shepherd; therefore I go to show myself unto them. And I command you that ye shall write these sayings after I am gone, that if it so be that my people at Jerusalem, they who have seen me and been with me in my ministry, do not ask the Father in my name, that they may receive a knowledge of you by the Holy Ghost, and also of the other tribes whom they know not of, that these sayings which ye shall write shall be kept and shall be manifested unto the Gentiles, that through the fulness of the Gentiles, the remnant of their seed, who shall be scattered forth upon the face of the earth because of their unbelief, may be brought in, or may be brought to a knowledge of me, their Redeemer. And then will I gather them in from the four quarters of the earth; and then will I fulfil the covenant which the Father hath made unto all the people of the house of Israel. (3 Nephi 16:1-5)

So, we see from this that Jesus ministered to the Jews in the land of Jerusalem, then later went to America and ministered to another branch of the house of Israel (the Nephites), and then later went to the rest of the tribes of Israel and ministered to them, too. And He gave all these many words to all the various tribes, as the new law of Christ they were to obey from then on. Thus, in this particular, Jesus Christ still fulfills the Prophet specifications.

There is only one problem with this scenario: God said, “and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.” So, “all that I shall command him” means that all the tribes must receive all the words of the Prophet, even the words He gave to the other tribes. It’s not good enough for Jesus to visit each branch of Israel and give them words, they must also have all the words he gave to the other tribes. This, and this alone, fulfills Moses’s words.

Has this happened? Nope. Will this happen? Yep. These are the words that God gave to Nephi circa 600 BC:

For I command all men, both in the east and in the west, and in the north, and in the south, and in the islands of the sea, that they shall write the words which I speak unto them; for out of the books which shall be written I will judge the world, every man according to their works, according to that which is written. 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. 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. And it shall come to pass that my people, which are of the house of Israel, shall be gathered home unto the landsof their possessions; and my word also shall be gathered in one. And I will show unto them that fight against my word and against my people, who are of the house of Israel, that I am God, and that I covenanted with Abraham that I would remember his seed forever. (2 Nephi 29:11-14)

So, at some point all the words that Jesus spoke to the ancient Jews will be written and given to the modern Gentiles. And at some point, all the words that Jesus spoke to the ancient Nephites will be written and given to the modern Gentiles. And the modern Gentiles will share those words with the modern Jews and the modern Nephites, so that the modern Nephites will have all the words that Jesus spoke to the ancient Jews and to the ancient Nephites, and the modern Jews will have all the words Jesus spoke to the ancient Jews and to the ancient Nephites. And this process will repeat with the lost ten tribes of Israel, the Nephites and the Jews, so that every branch of modern Israel has all the words spoken by Jesus to every other ancient branch of Israel. When this happens, this part of Moses’s Prophet prophecy will be fulfilled every whit.

How will this second part of Moses’s prophecy be accomplished?

It will be through the ministry of Joseph-Nephi, the miracle-working seer who restores all things. He is the one who will bring all these ancient words back, restoring them, and he is the one who will give them to the Gentiles, and from the Gentiles they will go to every branch of Israel.

Concerning the Nephite records, we know that the words of Christ were written in the Book of Mormon, which contained a lesser part of the things He taught:

And these things have I written, which are a lesser part of the things which he taught the people; and I have written them to the intent that they may be brought again unto this people, from the Gentiles, according to the words which Jesus hath spoken. (3 Nephi 26:8)

So, Joseph-Nephi will re-translate the Book of Mormon and put those words into powerful language.

And we know that the words of Christ were also written on the Large Plates of Nephi, which contained the more part of the things He taught:

And now there cannot be written in this book even a hundredth part of the things which Jesus did truly teach unto the people; but behold the plates of Nephi do contain the more part of the things which he taught the people. (3 Nephi 26:6-7)

So, Joseph-Nephi will also translate the Large Plates of Nephi.

But neither the Book of Mormon, nor the Large Plates of Nephi, contain all the words that Jesus taught the people. These two records only contain “a lesser part” and “the more part,” not the whole proceeding. Fortunately, the Nephites were fanatical record keepers, and they had records that contained “all the proceedings” of their people, including the full ministry and teachings Jesus gave them when He visited them.

But behold there are records which do contain all the proceedings of this people; and a shorter but true account was given by Nephi. (3 Nephi 5:9)

Joseph-Nephi, then, will bring forth other Nephite records, which contain the whole ministry of Christ among the Nephites, and he will send these translations forth among the Gentiles.

Concerning the Jewish records, we know that there will be a Book of the Lamb of God brought forth at some point, but this book is apparently not a large record, containing less than what the plates of brass contained. And it will be similar to the plates of brass, covering the same types of things the plates of brass contain, except with additions by the twelve apostles. Will it contain the full ministry of Christ among the Jews? Probably not. So, we can expect something else to come forth, even more Jewish records to appear, which give the entire 3-year ministry of Christ among the Jews, from beginning to end.

Concerning the records of the Lost Ten Tribes, we know nothing. Joseph-Nephi will likely have to go to wherever these tribes have been placed, and get their records, bringing their records back to the Gentiles, in powerful translated forms. Once the Gentiles have all the words of Christ that were given to the Jews, to the Nephites, to the Lost Ten Tribes, and to any other scattered branch of Israel, then the prophecy of the Gentiles rejecting the fullness of the gospel can be literally fulfilled.

Concerning the Gentiles bringing these records to the Jews, to the Nephites, and to the Lost Ten Tribes and any other scattered branch of Israel, it shouldn’t be too difficult to accomplish this feat for the Jews and the Nephites, but as for the Lost Ten Tribes, given they are hidden away somewhere, Joseph-Nephi may need to bring a group of Gentiles with him, who possess all these records, so that they can fulfill the prophecies and give them to the tribes.

The fact, then, that Joseph-Nephi will be traveling to where the Lost Ten Tribes are to get their records, and traveling back to where the Gentiles are, and then traveling with Gentiles to where the Lost Ten Tribes are, so they can give the other tribal records to the Lost Ten Tribes, and also the fact that at some point, when Joseph-Nephi will begin to gather the tribes together he will again need to go to where the tribes are, because the function of the keys of gathering indicate a need for him to personally lead the Lost Ten Tribes back to their original tribal lands:

After this vision closed, the heavens were again opened unto us; and Moses appeared before us, and committed unto us the keys of the gathering of Israel from the four parts of the earth, and the leading of the ten tribes from the land of the north. (D&C 110:11)

All of this indicates that Joseph-Nephi will have untrammeled access to travel back and forth, to and from the place where the Lost Ten Tribes are. For others it will be impossible to get to them, but not for him (and this special group of Gentiles he may bring with him.)

At any rate, none of this has happened, yet, since Joseph-Nephi is still in his weak phase and hasn’t even started working on his mission. Now notice that we are only on part two of Moses’s prophecy, and this part hasn’t been fulfilled, yet. Part one has been fulfilled, but the final three parts of Moses’s Prophet prophecy were always meant to be fulfilled during the end times.

Part Three: the house of Israel repents and obeys Christ

unto him ye shall hearken;

Once the whole house of Israel obtains the full words of Christ that He gave to every branch of ancient Israel, the whole house of Israel will repent and obey the law of Christ, as given in these new records Joseph-Nephi will bring forth. Also, Joseph-Nephi will have what the ancients called, “the convincing power,” therefore, he will use the miraculous power of God in him to convince the entire world that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. Nephi wrote:

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 Nephi 26:12-13)

Thus, these records and the convincing power in Joseph-Nephi will convince the entire world that Jesus is the Christ, and the whole house of Israel, all branches, will repent and come to Christ, thus becoming saved as a group (group-saved.) All of this will happen before Jesus comes back. This group salvation will apply to everyone who joins the true church and fold of God, which fold will be the now-penitent house of Israel. Joseph-Nephi will then proceed to gather and number the fold, disburse inheritances, etc. The Gentiles that repent will be group-saved by being put into the true church and fold of God, and they will be numbered with Israel, so that they won’t be Gentiles anymore. All of this happens during the ministry of Joseph-Nephi, for his ministry deals with the salvation of the group (group salvation), which is why God tells him:

I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth. (Isaiah 49:6)

Part Four: what happens to those who don’t repent

And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.

Now, the words “I will require it of him” refer to being condemned in the day of judgment. It means that when Jesus returns, all those who refuse to repent and obey the words that Joseph-Nephi has brought forth in the new records, and who refuse to enter the true church and fold of God, who refuse to gather with God’s people, who refuse to be numbered with Israel, but instead are trying to fight Israel and destroy God’s people, these wicked, impenitent people will be judged and be brought under condemnation.

What is the penalty inflicted? Why, the death penalty, of course. This is why Nephi wrote:

And now behold, my beloved brethren, I would speak unto you; for I, Nephi, would not suffer that ye should suppose that ye are more righteous than the Gentiles shall be. For behold, except ye shall keep the commandments of God ye shall all likewise perish; and because of the words which have been spoken ye need not suppose that the Gentiles are utterly destroyed. For behold, I say unto you that as many of the Gentiles as will repent are the covenant people of the Lord; and as many of the Jews as will not repent shall be cast off; for the Lord covenanteth with none save it be with them that repent and believe in his Son, who is the Holy One of Israel. (2 Nephi 30:1-2)

Notice how others have cited Moses’s prophecy. Peter said:

For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people. (Acts 3:22-23)

So, according to Peter’s view, “I will require it of him” means that that soul will be destroyed.

Nephi quoted Moses’s prophecy in this way (and notice that Nephi identifies the Prophet as the Holy One of Israel, who is Christ):

For behold, the righteous shall not perish; for the time surely must come that all they who fight against Zion shall be cut off. And the Lord will surely prepare a way for his people, unto the fulfilling of the words of Moses, which he spake, saying: A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass that all those who will not hear that prophet shall be cut off from among the people. And now I, Nephi, declare unto you, that this prophet of whom Moses spake was the Holy One of Israel; wherefore, he shall execute judgment in righteousness. (1 Nephi 22:19-21)

Again, getting “cut off” means temporal and spiritual destruction. So, the wicked of the end times will be burned up by the brightness of the Lord’s coming and will lose their souls. They will not be accounted as saved Israel. They will neither have individual salvation, nor group salvation.

When Jesus Christ visited the Nephites, he also referenced this prophecy and identified himself as the Prophet, using the same “cut off” wording:

Behold, I am he of whom Moses spake, saying: A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass that every soul who will not hear that prophet shall be cut off from among the people. (3 Nephi 20:23)

Jesus also referred a second time to this same prophecy here:

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

Some people think that getting cut off, or destroyed, or having the Lord “require it” of them, can occur before the Second Coming of Christ, but they are wrong. When the angel Moroni appeared to Joseph Smith, Moroni began quoting scripture to him. One of the passages he quoted was the words of Peter in Acts, in which he identified the Prophet as Christ. Joseph Smith wrote the following about Moroni’s visit:

He quoted also the third chapter of Acts, twenty-second and twenty-third verses, precisely as they stand in our New Testament. He said that that prophet was Christ; but the day had not yet come when “they who would not hear his voice should be cut off from among the people,” but soon would come. (Joseph Smith-History 1:40)

The day when this part of Moses’s prophecy will be fulfilled is the great and dreadful day of the Lord’s Second Coming. Malachi prophesied of this day as follows:

For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. (Malachi 4:1)

So, the wicked will be toast. Not a single one will survive. Nobody can reject the coming records, which will contain all the words of the Prophet (Christ), and remain neutral. God will destroy every last person who rejects His Son, the Prophet Christ, in that day.

One last thing, regarding John the Baptist being questioned about “that prophet”

In the New Testament we discover that the Jews of that time believed that the “prophet like unto Moses” had not yet appeared. How do we know this? Because they asked John, “Art thou that prophet?” (The passage in John 1:19-27 also shows that the Jews of that time did not believe that either Christ, nor Elias, had yet appeared.) Notice that when John the Baptist was asked if he was that prophet, he said he was not that prophet:

And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him,

Who art thou?

And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed,

I am not the Christ.

And they asked him,

What then? Art thou Elias?

And he saith,

I am not.

Art thou that prophet?

And he answered,

No.

Then said they unto him,

Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself?

He said,

I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness,

Make straight the way of the Lord,

as said the prophet Esaias.

And they which were sent were of the Pharisees. And they asked him, and said unto him,

Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not that Christ, nor Elias, neither that prophet?

John answered them, saying,

I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not; he it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe’s latchet I am not worthy to unloose. (John 1:19-27)

The Joseph Smith Translation renders this passage even clearer, showing that John the Baptist actually identified Jesus Christ as the Prophet:

And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem, to ask him;

Who art thou?

And he confessed, and denied not that he was Elias; but confessed, saying;

I am not the Christ.

And they asked him, saying;

How then art thou Elias?

And he said,

I am not that Elias who was to restore all things.

And they asked him, saying,

Art thou that prophet?

And he answered,

No.

Then said they unto him,

Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself?

He said,

I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness,

Make straight the way of the Lord,

as saith the prophet Esaias.

And they who were sent were of the Pharisees. And they asked him, and said unto him;

Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not the Christ, nor Elias who was to restore all things, neither that prophet?

John answered them, saying;

I baptize with water, but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not; he it is of whom I bear record. He is that prophet, even Elias, who, coming after me, is preferred before me, whose shoe’s latchet I am not worthy to unloose, or whose place I am not able to fill; for he shall baptize, not only with water, but with fire, and with the Holy Ghost. (JST John 1:20-28)

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SPIRITUAL GIFT GIVING AND RECEIVING


Preface –

I have taken the liberty of writing on such a sacred topic but doing it in the typical banal style and cheesy tone of today’s consumer culture. I do not do this to make light of very real and very sincere things. But by the juxtaposition of something so heartfelt with something so mindless, I hope to bribe and trick our selfish minds into passing along a meaningful message to our imprisoned hearts. Enjoy!

THE IMPORTANCE OF BEINGS – EARNEST LIVING

What to wear? Where to go?  Who to be with?  Life is full of so many questions. Sometimes it’s hard to know how to make the best impression. One thing is for sure, we should place the most importance on people. “People, places and things,” we will remember from back in our school days, are all nouns. But only people and places are pronouns. So, if we want to be a pro at things, we should literally and figuratively CAPITALIZE on people and place.

“Without People You’re Nothing.”- Joe Strummer

People and place work together to produce things. So when you see something you want, know that it will take a combination of people and place to get it. Everybody wants to be hip to the latest and greatest, so keep your eye on everyone. Everybody is the same, but every body is different. Everyone wants to feel accepted but we also want to stand out in the crowd. This shared desire to get our share is a common bond between all of us. Unfortunately it is commonplace to see people get all bound up with things. These days, charity and giving are all too uncommon. People are trying to take it with them like Tut-ankh-amen. But that’s what happens when you get wrapped up in it like ancient mummies. Chasing money is not where it’s at. Keep your eye on the people! That’s where it all starts. So don’t just look at the cool clothes that come and go. Look at the people wearing and look at the people who are making those clothes. Get the big picture. Otherwise, in your attempts to be noticed as an individual you will end up being just another indy-visual.

Looking at only the clothes we will miss the bodies. And if we’re attracted only to the bodies then we will be distracted from the beings  which inhabit those bodies. The beings out there are in reality the only ones with anything to offer us. Refusing to look at the being because you’re hung up on the behavior; sells others and yourself short. Besides, when it comes to behavior, all you can do is be-have yourself. When you look past another’s behavior you will find what you’re looking for. Seeing beings — always a good look!

Earnest living or living honestly is not the same as making an “Earnist Living.” Are you an Earnist? Do you like to pay or overpay for things to let other people know or think that you spend and have a lot of money? Maybe you don’t even care what other people think but you feel like you’re getting a better product if you always pay the maximum marked up price. Perhaps you’ve seen someone who had something and got caught in the thought that they didn’t deserve it. If your main focus is on money and markets, you are probably an Earnist. When you’re too busy earning a living you are not learning from living. Existence has its own type of economics.

GENIUS / GENIE – US

In the economy of existence there are two camps  – Flesh/Corporeal and Spirit/Ethereal. But unlike Capitalism/Corporatism vs. Socialism/Communism, which work together to create chaos; the dual nature of existence promotes order.

Spirit is thankfully not confined to the same laws as the flesh is. That’s what makes it possible for God to send or leave a “portion of that spirit” to dwell in us. (Alma 18:35) The LDS sacrament prayer for the water/wine/spirits is almost identical to that which is uttered over the bread/bodies, except that any mention of commandments or obedience to them is conspicuously absent. In high-school, you might have learned a little bit about physics but you probably weren’t taught anything about metaphysics. But don’t worry. You don’t have to be an expert to understand it. In fact, a lot of so called experts don’t get it. It’s not about trying to be a genius. Just know what genius is.

Genius is a genie in us. Solomon the Wise, who knows a thing or two about working with Djinn (Genies) says: “With all thy getting, get understanding.” (Proverbs 4:7) This is the best thing you can get or give this season or any season for that matter. You want exclusive? You can’t get this gadget from The Apple Store. Technically, it’s available to anyone but so few posses it. And it’s the perfect gift for the man who thinks he has everything. It will appeal to your desire to fit in with others and your urge for uniqueness. It is the ultimate networking tool. And the settings can be completely personalized. It’s more than just the latest technology from Silicon Valley. It is the spirit of Silicon Valley and the soul of the Indus Valley, where Steve Jobs went to get his original inspiration. Trace the products (things) that inspire you, back to the places and people that came together to man-u-facture them. That way you will secure a life-time supply of treasures.

By now you’re probably wondering how you can take advantage of this incredible offer. I’ll tell you. But first you need to understand something about daemons. Despite what the Big Three companies advertise in their desperate, orthodox scams, designed to keep you in lifetime customer relationships which favor the middle man and preach that the customer is never right (unless of course he does what he’s told) – Dæmons are benevolent forces – not so much devine beings but rather a non-personified, peculiar mode of their activity. They can also assume the form of guardian beings who dispense “riches” among mortals. If you order any of the Gifts of The Spirit from God’s catalog of free goodies, it is one of these guys who will deliver it. So if you’re tired of paying up to 10% charges for your current church service, then you are ready for a direct relationship with God, and ready for what I’m going to tell you.

Rub that magic lamp. Everybody has an old lamp (pineal gland), stashed away in their attic (head), just collecting dust. Don’t be fooled by those merchants that advertise “new lamps for old.” They run commercials to try to con the general public into turning in their magic lamps for shiny gimmicks. Your old lamp will work just fine. It only needs to be cleaned up a bit. Don’t be a Foolish or Fuel-less Virgin. Rub it, decalcify it and then make sure to put oil in it! Wise virgins use E.V.O. (Extra Virgin Olive Oil), Skate Liver Oil, Cod Liver Oil. Any of these will have your light “so shining,” that men and women who see you will consider you a distributor of God’s Gifts to the world. Don’t be bashful. Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine!

Warning –We’re talking about unlocking and releasing your god potential, so you need to be fully prepared and even expect that people will one day form cults around your name. Hopefully they will eventually look past the persona and catch the vision themselves. Certainly your closest friends will. Then multi-level miracle campaigns will spring up everywhere you go. But even in the humble initial stages of your accumulation and distribution of gifts, you have to be comfortable with being emulated. When we magnificently magnify our callings in life we do not feel threatened in the slightest by copiers or even freeloaders. We respect them as equals and care for them as we would a newborn baby, who cries and eats and does not contribute in the same ways an adult would but is no less valuable in our sight.

TURN SHOPPING LISTS INTO SWAPPING LISTS SHARING WITH THE STARS

Some of the best, shining examples we have available to us are the celebrities or stars of our day. Many of them put it all out there into the Universe. Yeah, sure they may have their faults, but don’t we all? Remember what we said about getting self-righteously stuck on critiquing others’ behavior. Look past those character flaws to the essence. It might be helpful to make a list of attributes you bring to the table and combine it with a list of characteristics you admire in a particular singer, actor or even historical figure. They can be dead or alive, male or female. If you can establish any type of strong mental/emotional link to that person, you can merge and make it work. Jesus Christ, the biggest Super Star of them all understood this very well. As Lord Jesus Krishna, He left us with an ancient Indian text called the Bhagavata Purana, that catalogs many of the toys available to children of the Most High. He dipped into the magic sack of good gifts often to make use of such cool tricks as anūrmi-mattvam: Being undisturbed by hunger, thirst, and other bodily disturbances, and sva-chanda mṛtyuh: Dying when one desires. He showed that He possessed these two particular powers when He said, “Man shall not live by bread alone,” (Luke 4:4) and when He spoke the words, “No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself.”(John10:18)

George Bernard Shaw said:

“If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.”

Ideas can be so much more than the metaphorical light bulb or flash of inspiration. Spirit is made of consolidated ideas. Letting ourselves be inspired by our fellow man is the self same act as letting our light shine. You literally have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

There’s a famous song by Earth, Wind & Fire that says: “You’re a shining star – no matter who you are – shining bright to see – what you can truly be.” Musicians are magicians and I always wondered why EWF, omitted the magical element of Water from their band name. But if we think of this Aquarian Age outfit’s masterful music as the water that they bear to the world, we can learn much about the way this spiritual gift giving and receiving works.

F*I*L*E  SHARING  IS  L*I*F*E  SHARING

Osmosis is: The tendency of a fluid, usually water, to pass through a semipermeable membrane into a solution where the solvent concentration is higher, thus equalizing the concentrations of materials on either side of the membrane – A subtle or gradual absorption or mingling. When you get that pineal cone secreting, what you’re doing is properly consecrating. Once your lamp is lubed up and consecrated, then your efforts will be concentrated more equally among both camps of the Economics of Existence – Spiritual and Physical. Genius is also known as the activating spirit. It is downloadable and dilutable. In the mundane market of mammon, non-dilutable shares are preferred. But in the mundus spiritus, the more diluted, the more desirable. To get the ball rolling with that activating spirit, it can’t remain still. It needs to be dis-stilled. The idea is, that disturbance of the vital force concentrates the spirit-like, essence of any substance, situation or abstract idea. Osmosis is the wave of the future. Concepts like College Courses and Social Security are so passé. Why spend thousands of dollars and hours on something which will never give you an immediate return and in many cases will never pay out as much as you put into it? But even though Osmosis is being applied in exciting, cutting edge ways today; it is by no means a new science.

Moses, one of history’s most famous self-made men, employed the art in some very impressive dæmon-strations. ‘Moses’ means ‘Son of’ in ancient Khemetian and can be seen in names like Ramses (Son of Ra) and Thutmose (Son of Tut). Are we expected to believe that the single most important role of the Old Testament is played by a guy  named simply “Son of”? How is it that he has only half a name? This child of destiny who was passed back and forth from the king’s court to a people in poverty, similarly to Nathan Jr. in the Cohen Bros. classic, Raising Arizona, should we call him Nothing Jr.? Or is it more likely that the Judeo-Christian re-writers of history purposely masked the man’s moniker in mystery, to demon-ize the real power by which such amazing miracles were performed? We’re told that Pharaoh’s daughter named him Moses because she “drew him from the water.” The Nile was thought of as the backbone of Ausr, who the Greeks called Osiris. Might then Moses’ real name be Ausrmoses or Os-moses?

On this side of the impregnable veil between worlds we may find materials lacking but on the other side there is abundance. Going from lack to luck? The secret is in ‘U’. Let’s say you need a new house. You may not be able to pull a house out of your magic hat (pineal gland), but you can pull out the idea of a new house from that region. And that will pull the desired house and yourself into the same space. Here’s how to order: Fill out the thought form with as much information as you can without worrying about every last detail. All requests should be like a woman’s skirt – long enough to cover everything but short enough to keep it interesting. If you like, you may include images, audio/video files, text, whatever. Simply attach them with the thought form and “submit.” (James 4:7) It is not necessary to address them to any particular department but if you know the name of someone who works on the other side and feel to bring the matter to their attention for a faster response time, then please, feel free to do so.

If you follow these general guidelines and let spirit flow, you should receive what you ask for. If your genie brings curses instead of blessings then the problem is with the application process. Remember, you should be maintaining a lovely feeling of the “I” and the “We” together. When the moon hits your I ‘Am’ coinciding with what We ‘Are’ – that’s Amare (to love).  Unless you are asking from that in-between place of Am-Are then you are asking Am-Is (amiss). (James 4:3) Do you sometimes have difficulty shaking that “me vs. the world” mentality? Do you feel like you’ve been souled a lie? Just calm down, play some soulful aRe&Be one -with everyone… One with everything he or she wants and needs!

You will start to develop, by osmosis, the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. According to followers of the Coven of Covey, these fit into 3 imperatives which start with Independenceor Self-Mastery, progressing to Interdependenceor Unity with Others, and finally looping back around to Self Renewal. This corresponds very well with our universal desire to experience simultaneously the synergy of the group and the power of the individual. Whether the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, the 5 Siddhis of Yoga and Meditation, the 8 Siddhis of Hinduism or the Christian Gifts of the Spirit with their 2 complimentary groups of 7 each combining for a grand total of 14 – the point is not to get stuck in this ideology or that tradition but to “covet earnestly the best gifts.” Hey I thought we weren’t supposed to covet. I’m telling you, this is the “more excellent way” (1 Cor.12:31) of the new æon of Ma’at. The trends are all moving toward a balance between collectivism and individuality.

If you haven’t done it yet, don’t get left behind, get updated, and upgraded in heart and mind. If you’re like most of us, you have been a member of one of the many file-sharing communities that are buckling and breaking up, under the pressure of the State. You feel the life-sharing that you crave starting to cave under ever tighter controls. Don’t fret and definitely do not delay. Link into the saving network of our common spiritual lineage now. At this point the institution is working endlessly to keep a FILE on you+your kindred dead but is itself, almost entirely devoid of LIFE. When we see such a dire dearth of the Spiritual Gifts in The Church, it’s like watching a poisoned puppy die a slow painful death. That poor DOG is in need of men who heed GOD and can, with love, fulfill the wise purposes of the Generator Operator Destroyer of Heaven and Earth.

DON’T BE ASHAMED – KEEP IT MOVING WITH NEW ASHE!

It is impossible or at least silly to speak of the Spiritual Gifts without talking about that which keeps all the Gifts in circulation.

Ashé! is the power to make things happen, the spiritual life force. Ashé! takes the foundational energy of the other world and ((BAM)) makes it available in this world. But wait, that’s not all! Ashé!’s versatile nature also makes it possible to effect change in the realms beyond from the comfort of your own home.

Are you tired of the same old religious routine? So many churches claim to be true and living but they’re all rigor and no vigor. Stop settling for rigormortis! Get out of that annoying contract with Death & Hell and get into Ashé! Or should we say let Ashé! get into you. Ashé! provides an amazing body/mind workout. Just listen to this satisfied practitioner….

“I do a lot of traveling, from Jerusalem to Thessalonica, from Corinth to Rome. I’m always on the road. I take Ashé! with me wherever I go. Since I started using Ashé! back in Damascus, I’ve felt this deep connection both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise. I make connections between Jew and Gentile, male and female and [it] keeps me connected, that I may be comforted together with my friends by the mutual faith of both them and me. It’s great! I just make a request, if by any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey and the results are astounding every time. Ashé! makes a great gift. I impart it to all my family and friends. For I am not ashamed of the testimonial of Jesus Christ that is in me…ASHE!

–  Paul, Apostle of the Lord

The word ‘Ashé’ is Yoruba but the actual energy it describes is universal. Whereas in the ancient Afrikan tradition the tendency is to internalize the Holy Spirit, today’s Christ-Shun culture clings to a “hitherto shalt thou come, but no further” attitude as touching (or should we say, almost but not quite touching) any matter of the spirit. Hence, Christ-Shuns, as well as a sad group of saints who actually have genuine desires to follow the Christ to the fullest, are tempted to attempt to divide the indivisible. Don’t they wonder why their God remains invisible to them when He is supposed to be invincible in their lives and through their bodies? As long as we persist in perverting AsHé into As He, obsessed with doing as he would do, trying to live as he lived, then we will be truly living in sin, which is not living at all but constitutes the committing of slow spiritual suicide. No wonder so many people of the world, whether of European, Afrikan or Asian heritage are ripening for destruction.  They’re so miserable, so removed from the roots (or to paraphrase Jacob 5 in the Book of Mormon: Burdened by lofty branches) that they practically beg the posthumously deified king, Xangô (Shango) to intervene with his double-bladed axe (aXé) via his earthly and earthy devotees.

THE LORD GIVETH AND THE LORD TAKETH AWAY WITH HIS DOUBLE EDGED SWORD WHICH IS CALLED ASHE

Before one can continue in the Circle of Life, he or she must commence the Spiritual Gift Exchange for themselves and their household. But if one refuses to personally participate in the very power by which that flow is generated and labels such spiritual/paranormal activity as voodoo or native superstition, saying it is of the Devil, all the while promoting a soulless version of family history record keeping and lame, stiff dance steps, to replace the spontaneous movements of the dance of life, then I ask you….Who is the devil, who is the zombie? Once you have hardened your heart to such a point; once you’ve set your heart like a flint against H.I.M (His Imperial Majesty); that’s when, in the symmetry of the universe, the poetic justice of the Lord, He will set His face like a flint against you. You’ve probably seen Him staring you right in the eyes and didn’t even know it. Traditional Afrikan art often depicts the carved figure of a woman holding her bosom as a gift to God with a single double-bladed axe sticking up from her head. Yep, just like He did through the “foreheads” of His prophets Ezekiel (Ezekiel 3:9) and Isaiah when He possessed them and made them unashamed to preach against the rebellious House of Israel. (Isaiah 50:7)

Here is where the gloves come off. A-SH-E becomes A-CH-E. And the Ori’shas – literally ‘owners of heads’ – become a headache if we deny them. This has a very real physiological effect that is not to be ignored. Neurotransmission is the process by which spiritual signals get propagated throughout the physical body. It is necessary for the regulations of bodily secretions and organ functions critical for the long-term survival of multicellular vertebrate organisms such as mammals. There is an enzyme called AChE (Acetylcholinesterase). This is a perfectly appropriate name for it, since it functions like a “small axe” that cleaves peptide bonds by means of hydrolysis. If it becomes inhibited in its function, it creates serious problems for the flow of important spiritual messages across the synapses. AChE is specifically intended to aid in the smooth flow of a neurotransmitter called Acetylcholine (often abbreviated ACh). ACh has a variety of effects as a neuromodulator upon arousal and reward. ACh has an important role in the enhancement of sensory perceptions when we wake upand in sustaining attention. If AChE is not able to function correctly, the ACh and the messages it carries, literally clog up the synapses. Irreversible inhibitors of AChE may lead to muscular paralysis, memory deficit and Alzheimer’s disease or even death by asphyxiation.

If that sounds bad, check out the drastically negative spiritual effects: When ASHE turns to ACHE, the softer, even soothing sound of consolation, signified by the letters ‘Sh’ and whispered by Our Mother to quiet fears in our formative years, now changes to the harsher, chastising sound of the ‘Ch’, from The Father. Shango retains cool self-control but subtly shifts to Chango.  Suddenly, Ere we are aware, our vain shopping for shoes at City Creek Mall turns to chopping block blues for any and all cocky heads that refuse to ‘choose the right.’ One of Shango’s sacred colors is white. It symbolizes the logic He gets from His Grandfather, Obatala. Oh, but alas He will not spare the stubborn head that has not inherited some of Aganyu’s blood red. Past all feeling and passion, unrepentant hearts will wither. Like the Lion of Zion, Bob Marley, sings in the song “Small Ax,” It is the small acts of the righteous that eventually “cut down” the “Big Tree”. And in a Jamaican accent ‘Big Tree’ could be understood to mean ‘Big Three’. Let the pride of the Jews, the Christians and the Muslims fall like a great and spacious building in an earthquake! The Lord of the Vineyard uses Aché like a hatchet to prune and cast into the blaze, all lofty branches who do not acknowledge the roots. If this seems un-fair to ye so called ‘fair-ones’ remember, Nephi said, “If ye ask not….ye are not brought into the light, but must perish in the dark” (2 Nephi 32:4) In other words, “If you don’t aks, you get axed.” Brethren, are we therefore justified in lingering while the Spiritual Gifts fall completely out of use for fear that some might misuse them? Seems to this author, that the Master employed the metaphor of money in the parable of the talents to show us that, abstaining from using them is in fact (ab)using the Gifts of the Fathers.

SHARING IS PREPARING

Do we need to be commanded in all things? What are we, a bunch of high-school girls (foolish virgins) before prom? Don’t wait to be ‘axed out.’ Ask for your gifts today and start giving and getting in the United Order right away! There have been many, many groups who have sought to live as one and establish Zion. The Oneida Community in New York, New Harmony in Pennsylvania and Nauvoo in Illinois are only three of endless defunct examples from the past. There is no shortage of people trying today either. From southern Utah to Canada, California to Russia, gathering for the purpose of spiritual enlightenment and good living is ‘in’. Organization and reason figure heavily into the planning of these communities. Polygyny and even polyandry in some cases are working themselves into mainstream culture as polyamory peaks the public’s interest. Everywhere, the word ‘Share’ is in the air.

Even within virtual realms so far detached from physical people and places, there is a great meeting of the minds taking place. If you know how to read the signs you will find memos from God popping up in the strangest of spaces. Key words are everywhere surging up from the collective consciousness to clue you into the New Multidimensional Jerusalem where all are intimately linked. Verizon Network has recently revealed a “Share Everything” plan for the family. Could the Logos spell it out any more plainly for us? A whole generation of ambitious and admirable attempts at community based on sharing were spawned by Napster, who lived up to its name as it succeeded in its purpose to stir us from our napping. And speaking of naps, extremely esoterically coded messages, probably with deeply intended dual meaning, appear before our eyes and ears in the advertisements for the new feature film, Paranorman. It is an animated zombie [movie] set for release right on the day of the new moon (8-17-2012). Norman Babcock, a misunderstood boy who speaks with the dead, takes on ghosts, zombies and grown-ups to save his town from a centuries-old curse. One specific ad being run is not your ‘normal’ preview. Only spiritually awake and alert audience members will notice what the foolish and sleepy virgins fail to see. The young hero, who symbolically represents the hearts of the children that must be turned to the hearts of the fathers to avoid the curse, tells us that he is promoting something called NAPZ (National Alliance of People and Zombies). He says, “Life shouldn’t just be for the living.” Nap time is over folks!

MAKING THE CHOICE BETWEEN DECREES OF DECAYING DEATH AND LAWS OF LOVING LIFE

You don’t have to be a fan of the band to agree that ‘The Grateful Dead’ sounds a lot better than the ‘Ungrateful Undead.’ In “Friend of The Devil,” Garcia gives some good advice on how to nec-romance the nasty nuisance of not so kindred dead by killing them with kindness. He suggests keeping it moving but never running in fear from the ghosts of our past. Spending “a night in Utah, in a cave up in the hills,” while lighting out on the lamb, wending our way from one wife to the next, as the lyrics indicate, might just transform any shy man into a Sha-man. Without shamanic elders after the likes of Alma, how would we understand that, “that same spirit which doth possess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world.” (Alma 34:34).  To the same degree that a man or woman was a terror or a tyrant to his or her own family and fellow man during life, that same foul spirit will resume reeking, and wreaking havoc from the great beyond. At this very moment you and your family most likely have relatives, both dead and alive, who are involved in your life either as a help or a hindrance. If you do not recognize them, then you can not fully accept the goods they bring, nor fully reject the garbage they bring. What non-tribally structured utopians do not grasp is the firmness of the grip that spirit holds on flesh and the irresistible draw that the flesh holds for the spirit. Upon death, the disembodied spirit becomes very clear in his understanding of this fact as he can clearly see how the flesh is unable to wield any influence independently of the spirit. When we love our bodies right, we do indeed become one with them but if we aint’ lovin’ ’em right,  then we will feel  unable to resist the evil urge to break that eternal law of our Mother Matter who says – “Love Me Or Leave Me.”

Mother Earth moans and groans under oppression of evil spirits who buy up false priests to exercise unrighteous dominion over the elements. (D&C 123:7) Afflicted since the dawn of civilization along the Indus Tributaries by men of renown and their giants of industry who, in dust, try to subjugate the womanly wilderness under their man-ipulation. The saints will in dust, cry against the monstrous men strewing their blood like a morbid menstrual cycle of mortal combat. But the beautiful body of Christ is starting to exercise her rights and exorcise the demons who torment her. Just as Jesus said through Isaiah:

“Shake thyself from the dust; arise, sit down, O Jerusalem; loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion.”  – Isaiah 52:2

Or as Jesus said through a young, full of life, Michael Jackson in a chiasmic channeling during the break down of one of the most popular songs sung by him and his brothers:

Sit down girl, I think I love ya? No, get up girl, show me what you can do Shake it, shake it baby, come on now. Shake it, shake it baby” – Jackson 5:ABC 1:50

Alma, (Soul in Spanish) tells us that, though all gifts are by definition freely offered some are automatically received in this life due to prior arrangements. But even the great gift of resurrection is made available by and through LOVE which must be accepted before the gift takes effect for the individual. He also mentions that, meanwhile, the soul who did not accept part nor portion of the Spirit of the Lord will be weeping, and wailing, and gnashing its teeth. (Alma 40) And the reason he gives for this is that, due to their wicked choices and also their abdication of choice, the spirit of the devil enters into them and takes possession of their house.

THE TRUE LAW OF THE JUNGLE – CHOOSE OR LOSE

Possession must be thought of as a neutral term. It is up to us as individuals to choose between demonic or angelic influences. But remember that demons are only fallen angels. Nothing can compensate for a lack of personal righteousness. So while a proper understanding of possession opens us up to an endless universe of possibilities, if we decline to work consciously with cohorts and instead hand over our will to another, we are left with zero excuses. The Real King of The Jungle has clearly delineated the True Law to us. He will gladly work with us if we are either hot or cold, But if we won’t choose, the Conquering Lion chews us up and spews us out. When we gingerly nibble and sip at the Body and Blood of Christ rather than being enthused (en “in” + theos “god”), literally possessed of God, then we eat and drink to our own condemnation.

Possession is nine tenths of the law. But still, many would-be inheritors of Zion focus all their attention on the one tenth of the law of tithing. And this they usually pay out to others in cash or kind as a religious duty rather than a natural, free and fractal continuance of the fractions of infinity. It is said that a human being typically only uses ten percent of his brain, leaving nine tenths to be possessed by whatever entity has a mind to do so. We must allow ourselves to be spatially and specially occupied by the Spirit of Christ. Because, “charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.” (Moroni 7:47)  The true church of Christ is waking up to the power she alone holds and the people have taken to occupying places from Wall Street to Oakland. And yet, these well meaning 99 percent masses have not fully realized that no one mighty and strong like moses can or will free them from the 1 percent masters. Until we all step up to fulfill our role as saviors on Mount Zion, our sad state will be reflected in both ecology and economy. Millions in debt could be instantly transmuted into millions in death benefits through the death of the ego. From ego, we go to a mutually beneficial, cooperative relationship with our dead, a simple symbiotic bond with nature and a planetary paradise. To achieve this, we have to stop waffling and just ‘leggo’ our ‘eggo’. This truly is eternal life insurance. The verb insure derives from the Latin word securus, meaning “safe” or “secure,” which itself derives from se, meaning “without” and caru, meaning “care” – literally “without care or worries.” Before the Lion King of The Jungle can reclaim his throne and restore the Circulation of Life’s Gifts, he must learn to live the law of “Hakuna Matata!”

RICH-U-ALL – SNACKRAMENTS & BATHTISMS

It is good to get. It is good to give. The two actions are really one and the same as they form a balance. There is absolutely no need to obsess over rules, traditions or laws, even good laws can turn bad real quick if they are not kept simple. Love is the law and sharing of our own volition is how we show our love. You should know that the only reason for Lucifer’s fall was because he did not want to share. In essence, the only thing we have to share is our will and that is freely given to us and must be allowed to operate freely through and around us. So Lucifer had to invent a scenario wherein we are conned into giving up our will and thereby limiting love.

There are endless ways in which we can share love. Rituals as seemingly unimportant as a midnight snack or a shower after work can serve to revitalize the individual. And that vitality can be shared with the group through meals or sexual intercourse. But how do our routines regain that vital spark that transforms rote ritual into rich-u-all? How can a snack become a snackrament and a bath become a bathtism? We have to make our spiritual intent more intense. Many have hoped to establish a heaven on earth and have failed because their focus was on arranging the external in such a way, in hopes that following formula would provide security and comfort. I’m not saying that it doesn’t work from the outside inward at all, that fractal alignment of temporal things can not draw down the blessings of heaven. I’m saying if we are going to have all things in common, let’s not skip any steps. That we must meet the Lord halfway is true but unfortunately when only a trickle came through, as opposed to the pouring promised in scripture no one seemed to notice. And why did they not notice? Because they had never done the internal work of wanting, desiring, dreaming and imagining heavenly blessings. They relied and focused too much on ‘laws unto themselves’ rather than eternal law. They followed the double-minded tradition of their fathers  – “Pray as if it all depended on the Lord, but work as if it all depended on you.”

The Law of Consecration outlined in canonized LDS Church scripture and its attempted implication in the early days of the Church, provide a perfect example of an imperfect understanding of spiritual law. D&C tells us to “consecrate our properties” and that this will help God’s people to establish equality and bring security, then prosperity to all. We could start with money, cars, and canned goods in an honest desire to care for one another and tend to the poor. But if we never take consecration to a deeper level then all our efforts will be temporary in their effects. Why don’t we read “properties” as a scientific term, as in our physical and chemical properties? Is it because we do not believe it possible to share such things? Is it that we are SELFish and are happy to give away extra cash as long as we can remain detached from the poor “in spirit”? If we can donate so called non perishable food items at the drop of a dime, then why not move one step closer to the truly non perishable qualities of the spirit? Would ‘sister wives’ in a polygynous situation or ‘brother outlaws’ in a polyandrous family structure, be more likely to share and share alike, not only their spouse, but material things as well, out of an external expectancy to comply with household rules? Or do you think maybe a greater motivation would be heart to heart spiritual connection, which would dispense with the need for any lists of do’s and don’ts ruling over their minds. This is why men seem to so easily set aside differences and assimilate when they are told that it is for the defense of women and children. This is why women more naturally share in the role of raising children than in the sharing of the clothes of their wardrobe (providing they are the right size). But I have seen strange and wondrous shape shifting override our physical programming. With my own eyes, I have witnessed how one superconscious size fits all. What if I told you it was possible to share physical attributes by uploading the pre-seeding spiritual attributes and participating in a non jealous potluck of properties?

The term potluck is very similar to potlatch. The potlatch was a big celebration among Native Americans of the northwest, which involved some serious gift giving and receiving. Often the host would give all his possessions away. This continued until European settlers outlawed the practice. The settlers’ problem was in their settling for less, for a world view severely lacking connection to the unseen world, instead of hanging on to their own lucky tribal traditions extending back before the Middle Ages, in Europe. Going from lack to luck, as it turns out, actually has a science to it. Remember it’s people coming together in a place that produces things. Viewing ‘luck’ as some kind of arbitrary thing, will not get us anywhere. Anytown U.S.A. would be wise to wake up to distinctly American mixes of Afrikan, European, and Native spiritual sanitation practices like Hoodoo, which are extremely practical in their applications and will serve the people in the approaching Greatest American Depression. In order to weather the stormy times ahead we will need to make sure we are on the right side of the right law.

LEGAL MATTERS & LAWFUL SPIRITS – DON’T MISS THE MYSTIC MARRIAGE…DIVORCE THE DEVIL

In a 1973 interview, when asked his opinion of all the crime and violence going on in the world, Bob Marley stated that it was laws that caused crime and violence and that any man could know that fact. The Pharisites tried to ensnare the prophet by asking him if there were any of man’s laws in particular which he wished to publically decry. To which he responded: “Every law! The only law which is law is the law of life.” That same year, Marley demonstrated his knowledge of and love for the law of life when he recorded the infamous I Shot The Sherriff.” IF you want to SHARE in “all that the Father hath,” (John 16:15) then you will have to shoot the ‘SHARE-IF.’ He is the impish being who enforces the “death & taxes” mode of business among men to stifle and kill good will. There is only one real way you can steal; and that is to uphold a policy of force. And a police force does just that. The Share-If will only let you share IF, your papers are in order, IF you are a member of the club, IF his masters don’t decide to completely mono-polize it. The Sherriff is an enemy to Zion. While this single track eventually served to make a mixed Marley sound militant and look iconic, the following year, it provided a caucasian, cowboy-hat clad Clapton with an ironic #1 hit on the charts. Both versions had their own lives. Both came from the same divine creative spark. Bob deserves praise for the original revelation. Eric deserves credit for bringing the message in some level of purity to other sheep in the fold. This is how The Good Shepherd works. Linking through Christ Consciousness is ultimately The Way we are gonna’ run the devil outa’ town. Of course, the Sherriff is always trailing strong, long-haired types like Sampson, Jesus and Bob with his hellhounds. The head imp himself sent imposters with a devilish counterattack.

Ashé is a chain that, if unbroken, ensures eternal connection between the creator and the creation. While writing the preceding paragraph, the spirit of Bob Marley, who was guiding my hand, reminded me of a personal revelation regarding “I Shot The Sherriff” which had impacted me as a teenager. In part of the lyrics, Bob explains that the Sherriff always hated the singer and he tells us:

“Everytime I’d plant a seed, He’d say, Kill it before it grows.’ He’d say, ‘Kill them before they grow.”

When I first heard those lines, my mind supposed that they could very well be a thinly veiled reference to cultivation of marijuana plants. But from behind the innermost veil, the Holy Spirit bore witness to my heart and mind, that there was a deeper meaning. The seeds referenced were unborn children.

The creator in this case, had guided my hand from the beginning paragraph of this section, when he cited the correct year of these scenes from his life, leading my fingers to type it in spite of my skeptical mind, which was sure they must have occurred later. Now as the doubting Thomas in me double checked the date online, the consciousness of the creator indulged me and then whispered that there was more he wished to reveal to me at that time. So, having brought this previously released information about the scripture of the song to my memory, and I having brought myself to an online search engine for the purpose of proving the more subtle and recent received details; my mind was sufficiently humbled to hear a still small voice.

It told me to enter the words “birth control” alongside the numbers of the year in question, “1973.” To my surprise, this resulted in the discovery of an obscure prog-rock band from Germany whose name directly related to the prior revelation regarding the slaughter of innocents and gave me a foreboding feeling. Birth Control came out with a song that very year entitled “Gama Ray.” The name of the song was equally scary since gama-rays have everything to do with those decrees of decaying death which we spoke of above in contrast to the law of loving light and life. Gama-rays are associated with radioactive decay and DNA damage. In addition to radioactive decay, there are also some non-nuclear sources that are known to produce gama-rays, for example, thunderstorms. This then is a summoning of Shango’s bad side, since apart from his axe, Shango is known to throw lightning bolts. Shekinah is a Hebrew word that means the dwelling or settling, and is used to denote the dwelling or settling of the divine presence of God, especially behind the veil in the Temple. Shekinah is a parallel idea to Sophia (wisdom) in Christianity. Imagine the Shekinah or Shock n’Awe I felt come over me when I clicked on the video clip before me and saw images of mass destruction. Even more awesome was the wisdom which distilled upon me as I heard and read between the lines, a not so cleverly disguised eugenicist message calling Afrikans out by name. Then most chilling of all, was the music. The notes of the transitional breakdowns were slightly off but nonetheless unmistakably close to the famous chords in the transitions of Marley’s lively anthem. The notes contained, hidden within them, the indisputable evidence that this had been the Devil’s direct response to the Reggae Renegade, who must have been to the forces of evil, a devastating Bo[m]b Marley, on the battlefield of spiritual warfare in that year of 1973.

The immediate seizing upon the powerful life force which was born into the world with this one Bob Marley song, is a perfect example of the truth that: Even in the humble initial stages of your accumulation and distribution of gifts, your journey to godhood, you have to be comfortable with being emulated. I know we expressed these things earlier but it is worthy of bearing bolder witness again and again. When we magnificently magnify our callings in life, we do not feel threatened in the slightest by copyright infringers, freeloaders or even detractors. We respect them as equals and care for them as we would a newborn baby, who cries and eats and does not contribute in the same ways an adult would but is no less valuable in our sight. Even when those babies become annoying adolescents, willfully rebelling against us as creative beings and sometimes hijacking our dear creations to serve nefarious purposes for which they were never intended; we remain calm knowing that truth & righteousness always prevail. For so persecuted they the prophets and righteous men that came before us. Why should we be afraid? We stand on the shoulders of the ancestors. We maintain perfect clarity on this point, that we are where we are today, and forever, because we were allowed the complete freedom to emulate or rebel against God according to our wills. Then why not see good and perfection in ourselves? We know and we understand that mighty God is a living man. We have been granted a glorious vision from Heaven, wherein we can see ourselves simultaneously as God’s and as GODS. Yes, we know that all things shall work together for our good. AMEN.

 

Special Thanks –

I would first and foremost like to thank God/Christ for making this special, spiritual collaboration possible. As for God’s specific aspects who’s combined efforts helped to write this piece, I sincerely thank my good friends, Frederick Douglass, Joseph Smith Jr., Robert Nesta Marley and The Honorable Marcus Mosiah Garvey.

P.S. Hugh Nibley, if that was you, then I thank you for your brief appearance and pointers.

The Baptism of Fire


The following is my current understanding of the baptism of fire.

One baptism in three parts

The gospel of Jesus Christ has one, tripartite baptism consisting of the baptism of water, the baptism of fire and the baptism of the Holy Ghost. The purpose of baptism is to witness that there exists a covenant between God and the man being baptized. Unless all three witnesses have occurred, the covenant between him and God is not binding.

The doctrine of re-baptism applies equally to all three

Anyone who enters into an agreement with another is free to witness or affirm the fact of the agreement by attestation for as many times as desired. There is no law of man or God against this. In fact, under the law of God, we are to “stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places” that we may be in, even until death. So, the principle of witnessing and re-witnessing is a part of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The manner in which man witnesses of his covenant to serve God is through water baptism. This means that in order to re-witness his covenant, he must be re-baptized. Therefore, he may receive the baptism of water whenever and as many times as he desires and must, per his covenant, be ever ready to be re-baptized at all times and in all places, to re-attest of the validity of his covenant. This is the doctrine or principle of re-baptism and it applies equally to both water, fire and Holy Ghost baptisms.

Order: fire and Spirit, then water, then fire and Spirit, etc.

Re-baptism being a principle of the gospel, the order in which these baptisms are received is not all that important. The only necessary thing is that each one is received, for these are really three parts of one baptism. Nevertheless, the scriptural, ideal order is first the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost (see D&C 20: 37), followed by the baptism of water, followed by another baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost, and thereafter, any part may be repeated multiple times throughout one’s life.

Another thing that the gospel states is that after a baptism of water, the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost is supposed to follow on its heels, either right after coming out of the water, or right after confirmation by the laying on of hands.

To demonstrate these principles, Joseph Smith received a baptism of fire during the First Vision, then a baptism of fire during each of Moroni’s visits and during the visit of John the Baptist, then a water baptism by the hand of Oliver Cowdery, followed by a baptism of the Holy Ghost after he came out of the water. Later he received other baptisms of fire with the visits of Peter, James, John, Moses, Elijah, etc. He also received another water baptism after the church was legally organized, etc.

Simultaneity

A baptism of fire is always accompanied with a baptism of the Holy Ghost, but a person may be baptized with the Holy Ghost without an accompanying baptism of fire. This is why the baptism of fire is always called the baptism (singular) of fire and of the Holy Ghost, and not the baptisms (plural) of fire and of the Holy Ghost. These two parts of the tripartite baptism occur simultaneously as a single baptismal event whenever there is a baptism of fire.

Jesus alone performs the baptism of fire

Unlike the baptism of water, which can be performed by the hand of a mortal man under priesthood power and authority, the baptism of fire is reserved for Deity alone to accomplish and is based upon the state of a man’s heart and his faith in Him. (See 3 Ne. 12: 1-2; 3 Ne. 9: 20; Matt. 3: 11; Luke 3: 16; JST Mark 1: 6; JST John 1: 28.)

Confirmation is not the baptism of fire

The scriptures say that elders are “to confirm those who are baptized into the church, by the laying of of hands for the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost.” This is the ordinance of confirmation. Laying hands on someone’s head for the baptism of fire does not baptize anyone with fire. Only the Lord can do that.

When the scriptures say that this ordinance is “for” the baptism of fire, it is using that word “for” to mean “indicating the end with reference to which anything is, acts, serves or is done.” Specifically, the word “for” in that sentence means “as a preparation for” or “with the object of.” So, elders lay hands as a preparation for the baptism of fire, or they lay hands with the object of the baptism of fire.

The ordinance of confirmation, then, is a preparatory ordinance, which precedes an actual baptism of fire. This ordinance is called confirmation because it is intended to confirm the believers’ faith, both that of the one being confirmed and that of those doing the confirming. This is because true priesthood is “inseparably connected with the powers of heaven,” so when true priesthood is exercised as an ordinance of the gospel, there will be a corresponding manifestation of heavenly power. So, after the ordinance of confirmation, there is supposed to be a baptism of fire that occurs, showing that the covenant of the newly baptized person is accepted of God, as well as the priesthood of the one who is doing the confirming.

Binding and accepted covenants

The baptism of fire serves to witness to the new member, to the priesthood holder(s) confirming, and to the church that is present, that the covenant that the man has entered into with his God, witnessed by his water baptism, is accepted by God and is now in force. In other words, that it is binding, both upon the man and his God.

To put another way, water baptism is man’s way of witnessing to God that he has entered into a covenant to serve Him, whereas fire baptism is God’s way of witnessing to man that He has accepted that covenantal relationship.

(Jesus said, “Whoso believeth in me believeth in the Father also; and unto him will the Father bear record (witness) of me, for he will visit him with fire and with the Holy Ghost.” See 3 Ne. 11: 35.)

Plasma is the medium

To serve as a witness to all these people, the baptism of fire must be a visual sign. The medium used is not the fire of a gas stove or match, but discharging plasma in appearance as fire. Depending upon where one is located in relation to the plasma display, it may look like the flame of fire, like a palpable or living light, like lightning, or just as immense glory or brightness.

Specifically, the baptism of fire consists of twin plasma filaments, rapidly rotating around a central axis, creating a plasma tube or sheath, or plasma column, in other words, a cylindrical shape around the person being baptized. When viewed from the outside, it appears to be “a pillar of fire.” When viewed from within the tube, the fire aspects may or may not be discerned, but its bright light or glory is apparent. Thus we have the various accounts of Joseph Smith’s First Vision, which was a baptism of fire, using the words “fire,” “flame,” “light,” “brightness” and “glory” to describe the discharging plasma he was witnessing.

Sometimes the twin filaments themselves can be discerned, and so we get a description of “cloven tongues of fire,” meaning twin tongues (or filaments) of plasma flame. Other descriptions are of fire “encircling” the persons being baptized, showing that the filaments rotate around the person.

All of these scriptural accounts are describing the same plasma manifestation observed from different spatial perspectives, and so accounts vary. But even with everything before a person, sometimes details can still be missed, as in 1 Ne. 15: 27.

Other aspects

Fire baptism is by complete, or cellular, immersion. Plasma both surrounds and enters the man, so that he becomes “filled with fire.” The fire can be seen and felt. To the one immersed in it, it initially feels like he is burning to death, in an incomprehensibly complete and rapid manner, as every part of the body seems to have caught on fire. Great fear instantly comes upon the man as he fully believes he is about to die. But in the next instant his mind realizes that death has not occurred, that there is no pain and that there is no apparent cellular damage or harm. The fear leaves just as suddenly as it comes, only to be replaced with a feeling of awe and gratitude as the mind realizes that this same destroying fire, which should have instantly atomized the body, is somehow keeping the body protected from its own destructive power.

The divine plasma has the effect of cleansing the heart of man, purifying it of all dross (sinful desires), so that he no longer desires to sin, but instead abhors it. In this swept clean condition, the Holy Ghost then unexpectedly and suddenly enters the man and causes the individual bits of his soul to shout for joy, because of the presence of Deity.

Fire baptism allows other heavenly manifestations to occur

The baptism of fire purifies a person’s heart and Jesus said that all the pure in heart shall see God. So, whenever a person receives a baptism of fire, chances are real good that they will also see either an angel, vision or God Himself. At the very least some revelation or prophecy will occur along with the baptism of fire, or some other manifestation of one of the gifts of the Spirit.

Fire remits sin

Whenever a person receives a baptism of fire, his sins are automatically remitted. In other words, he becomes justified, or guiltless, before the Lord. Nephi said, “For the gate by which ye should enter is repentance and baptism by water; and then cometh a remission of your sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost.”

Fire brings forth a new tongue

Nephi also said that when a man receives the baptism of fire he then can speak with a new tongue, even the tongue of angels, and that “angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ.”

There are only two, definitive, scriptural examples

There are plenty of scriptural verses that mention the doctrine of baptism of fire, but there are only two accounts in our current standard works in which it is definitively stated that actual baptisms of fire occurred. Of those two accounts, only one applies to us in the latter days. They are:

Adam’s baptism of fire
After Adam was baptized by the Spirit of the Lord, as recorded in Moses 6: 64-68, he heard a voice saying, “Thou art baptized with fire, and with the Holy Ghost.” Nevertheless, there is no mention of any manifestation of fire in the account. Although quite interesting, this experience was, apparently, Adam specific and is not the template for the baptism of fire among the modern masses.

The Lamanites’ baptism of fire
When the Nephite missionaries Nephi and Lehi preached among the Lamanites and were imprisoned, about 300 souls received a baptism of fire, as recorded in Hel. 5: 20-49. This is the scriptural template of a baptism of fire for all mankind. We know this because the voice of Jesus Christ said so:

And ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit. And whoso cometh unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, him will I baptize with fire and with the Holy Ghost, even as the Lamanites, because of their faith in me at the time of their conversion, were baptized with fire and with the Holy Ghost, and they knew it not. (3 Ne. 9: 20)

So, the Lord categorically states in the above scripture that the experience of the 300 souls was a baptism of fire. Additionally, He states that all baptisms of fire that He performs will be “even as the Lamanites… were baptized with fire.” The Lamanites’ baptism of fire, then, is the standard, the rule, and NOT the exception. It is the event that the Lord points to for us to determine whether a baptism of fire has occurred.

(The word “even” in the phrase “even as the Lamanites” means “in or to such (indicated) degree or kind.”)

What the baptism of fire consists of

Based upon the Lamanites’ experience, there are six characteristics of any baptism of fire. They are:

1. Fire encircling an individual, forming a cylindrical shape, such as a column or “pillar of fire” or plasma tube. This would be twin Birkeland currents (plasma cables or filaments) rotating rapidly around a central axis, in appearance like a fire tornado. This is the visual sign to all those witnessing the baptism.

2. The presence and ministration of angels.

3. Justification, meaning a remission of sins.

4. Purification, by fire entering the heart.

5. Sanctification, by becoming filled with (baptized in) the Holy Ghost.

6. Speaking with a new tongue (the tongue of angels, meaning speaking by the power of the Holy Ghost.)

Two more scriptural examples

Using the six characteristics above, we find two more scriptural examples of baptisms of fire which exactly match that of the Lamanites, although the text does not specifically say that they were fire baptisms. They are:

The Nephite little children’s baptism of fire
Jesus baptized little children with fire, as recorded in 3 Ne. 17: 21-25 and as witnessed by 2500 people. These children were encircled by fire, had angels minister to them and spoke in new tongues (see 3 Ne. 26: 14, 16.) Also, we know that they were justified, purified and sanctified, for they were little children and all little children are alive in Christ.

The 12 disciples’ baptism of fire
The fire baptism of these men is recorded in 3 Ne. 19: 11-15. They were encircled about by fire, filled with fire, had angels minister to them and prayed by the power of the Holy Ghost. From the text it is clear that they were justified, purified and sanctified.

Other intimated baptisms of fire

Joseph Smith’s baptisms of fire
As mentioned above, each of Joseph’s angelic ministrations was attended by a baptism of fire (plasma), including the First Vision.

For example, one First Vision account says, “A pillar of fire appeared above my head; which presently rested down upon me, and filled me with un-speakable joy. A personage appeared in the midst of this pillar of flame, which was spread all around and yet nothing consumed…I saw many angels in this vision.”

Another First Vision account says, “while in [the] attitude of calling upon the Lord [in the 16th* year of my age] a pillar of {fire} lightabove the brightness of the Sun at noon day come down fromabove and rested upon me and I was filld with the Spirit of God”. In this account Joseph couldn’t decide whether what he saw was fire or light. He finally decided on light and crossed out fire. The reason for his confusion was that he was witnessing discharging plasma.

I believe that it is reasonable to conclude that the plasma nature of the angel Moroni’s visit (see The plasma aspects of the First Vision and Moroni’s visit) was typical of all angelic ministrations to Joseph, and thus all such events in his life were likely baptisms of fire.

Moses’ vision of God
In Moses chapter 1 it says that “the glory of God was upon Moses.” That sounds to me like a plasma event and that he received a baptism of fire.

Lehi’s pillar of fire
1 Ne. 1: 6 mentions Lehi seeing a pillar of fire. It is obviously a super-duper abridgment of all that occurred, but it sounds like a baptism of fire.

Nephi’s visit from the Lord
Nephi mentions in 1 Ne. 2: 16 that he was visited by the Lord. He doesn’t elaborate but my guess is that this was Nephi’s first baptism of fire. Jesus states in 3 Ne. 11: 35 that when the Father visits people, He visits them with fire and with the Holy Ghost.

Cloven tongues on day of Pentecost
As recorded in Acts chapter 2, there appeared “cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.” They were filled with the Spirit, spoke other tongues and spoke by the power of the Holy Ghost. It’s not an exact match of the Lamanite experience (angels are missing), but pretty darn close.

Gentile cloven tongues
In Acts 11: 15 we read Peter’s words about how the Gentiles also received the Holy Ghost. He said, “And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning.” That, to me, seems to be saying that the Holy Ghost fell on the Gentiles in the same way that the Holy Ghost fell on the Jews, namely, with accompanying manifestation of cloven tongues like as of fire. This could explain the astonishment of the Jews who witnessed the manifestation of tongues among the Gentiles. (See Acts 10: 44-47.)

Downgrading the baptism of fire

Now, when you compare the scriptural accounts of the baptism of fire to our modern, LDS definitions, it becomes obvious that we have downgraded the sudden, rapid changes effectuated by the marvelous, visual, power displays of the real deal to something gradual, drawn out, imperceptible and nondescript. For example:

While one definition of this expression (the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost) refers to a cleansing by the Holy Spirit as if by fire, still the scriptures and the writings of the prophets indicate there is something more.

The new convert who has accepted the gift of the Holy Ghost with the right spirit will experience not only a cleansing but a feeling that will give him a new heart and make of him a new person. Sometimes this is immediate, and sometimes it happens over a period of time.

The scriptures, and even our church history, record miraculous instances when visible flames encircled the humble followers of Christ—literal manifestations of fire and the Holy Ghost—but more often this fire works quietly and unseen in the hearts of those who have received the gift of the Holy Ghost.

The witness, the change, the cleansing that comes gradually is no less powerful to the person with the right heart, and he or she is impelled to action whether the experience was a sudden, miraculous manifestation or the quiet workings of the Spirit.

(Fire and the Holy Ghost, Loren C. Dunn, Ensign, June 1995)

We have taken away the majesty of the Father’s witness and replaced it with something that goes entirely against nature. Nature is cyclic, cycling between periods of rest and periods of activity. All things work on this principle, including spiritual things. Baptism (all three parts) are designed to be moments of spiritual intensity. You cannot perform a baptism of water over a period of time, or gradually, quietly and unseen. No, you are outside of the water (which can be visually discerned), then you are immersed, and then you come out of the water. There is nothing gradual about it. A single water baptism cannot be performed over days and years. In like manner, the baptism of fire is a punctuated, spiritually intense event.

No one’s spirituality is designed to grow gradually. Gradual spiritual growth is the same as no spiritual growth. There is no such animal as gradual spiritual growth. You either have intense spiritual experiences from time to time or you are spiritually dying. This is why we are commanded to come together often, to intensify the Spirit so as to be capable of growing spiritually.

Joseph Smith’s life was meant to be an example to us. He had multiple, very intense spiritual experiences. It began with a baptism of fire, it continued with more baptisms of fire and it ended in a volley of gun fire. John Taylor said that Joseph lived for glory, died for glory and glory is his eternal reward. Glory = plasma = the baptism of fire. Joseph did, indeed, live for those fire baptism experiences. He had a lot of them, he saw a lot of angels and who knows how many visions, and he wanted to have more of the same. And he tried ceaselessly to get the saints to experience what he was experiencing. So did Moses and all true prophets.

You are either immersed in plasma or you are not. You are either in an intensity phase or in a rest phase of the cycle. There is no such thing as non-cyclic gradualness. If you think you are growing spiritually for the past ten years without any intense spiritual experiences, you are kidding yourself. It means that you have been in a spiritual rest phase of the cycle during this time. No one can remain at spiritual rest for any extended period of time before spirituality begins to decay. It is an impossibility. So, the LDS concept of a gradual, life-long, imperceptible baptism of fire is patently false and leads to spiritual death.

Everyone will receive a baptism of fire

It is not a question of if, but when and how. If a man humbles himself before the Lord and enters into a covenant to serve Him, he’ll receive a baptism of fire in this life, one that will purify and justify him. But there are other baptisms of fire that can be received. For example, one is the baptism of fire that the earth and all those that do wickedly upon her will receive at the Second Coming. Another is the baptism of fire that occurs when the sons of perdition are immersed in the lake of fire and brimstone. One way or another, we are all eventually going to have to go through some type of baptismal fire.

And they knew it not

In closing, let me address one other thing. Jesus said that the Lamanites “were baptized with fire and with the Holy Ghost, and they knew it not.” Some have taken that to mean that the Lamanites experienced a change upon their hearts which they did not perceive, because it happened gradually, over time. In other words, that the Lord meant that there was no great manifestation during the Lamanites’ fire and Holy Ghost baptism. And also that the Lord was not referring to the 300 Lamanites who were in prison with Nephi and Lehi, but was referring instead to other Lamanite converts.

This is an incorrect interpretation.

The real meaning of the Lord’s words is that the Lamanites (the 300 souls in that prison) had a magnificent, visual baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost, but did not know what it was. That is all that the Lord meant by what He said.

Any time someone experiences a baptism of fire without first being taught about it, they go through the experience without knowing what it is. Joseph’s First Vision fire baptism was performed on him while he was still a boy totally ignorant of such a thing as a baptism of fire. In my own life, I remember that the first time that I had a baptism of fire (prior to my water baptism) I was blown away and didn’t know what it was. The missionaries that had taught me the gospel had not explained this doctrine, so it came as a complete surprise to me and it was only years later, as I studied and learned more of the gospel on my own, that I was able to determine what the hell it was. Prior to that time, it was always an anomaly to me and when talking to others about the various spiritual experiences I had had over the years, I would always set it apart by saying something like, “The second time the Holy Ghost manifested itself to me was quite different than the other times. It was, well, a really big manifestation with a lot of power and I thought I was going to die, or I did die and came back to life. I’m not really sure what happened. All I know is I was consumed in fire but somehow survived unharmed.” Such were my ignorant descriptions. But of course it was a different manifestation than the others. It was a baptism of fire, for crying out loud! But I knew it not.

And in the same manner, neither did the Lamanites.

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Lehi’s Josephite Prophecy


The chapter heading

The chapter heading of 2 Nephi 3 says the following:

Joseph in Egypt saw the Nephites in vision—He prophesied of Joseph Smith, the latter-day seer; of Moses, who would deliver Israel; and of the coming forth of the Book of Mormon.

I have always been taught that this particular chapter contains, as its heading indicates, a prophecy of Joseph in Egypt about Joseph Smith, Jun., Moses and the Book of Mormon.  I assumed that every mention of a seer was Joseph Smith and that every mention of a scriptural record was the Book of Mormon.  I no longer hold that view.

11 possible personages and 8 possible scriptural records

As I have gone through this chapter, comparing it to the Joseph Smith Translation of Genesis 50: 24-36, I have found 11 possible personages spoken of by either Joseph in Egypt or Lehi.    In addition, I see a possibility that 8 separate records are spoken of, not just one (the Book of Mormon).  Here is the list of people mentioned:

  • 1.  A righteous branch – per Lehi
  • 2.  The prophet Moses that delivers people from Egypt – per Joseph
  • 3.  A spokesman for Moses called Aaron – per Joseph
  • 4.  A seer (a choice seer) “like unto” Moses – per both Joseph and Lehi
  • 5.  A seer “like unto” Joseph in Egypt, called Joseph – per Joseph
  • 6.  A seer “like unto” Lehi, called Lehi – per Lehi
  • 7.  A descendent of Joseph in Egypt (Joseph Smith, Jun.) who brings forth “expedient” words that “cry from the dust” (the Book of Mormon) – per Joseph
  • 8.  A spokesman for Joseph Smith (Sidney Rigdon) – per Joseph
  • 9.  A descendent of Lehi who brings forth Lehite scripture – per Lehi
  • 10.  A spokesman for the Lehite descendent – per Lehi
  • 11.  A Josephite restorer working miracles – per Lehi

Here is a list of possible scriptural records spoken of in these scriptures:

  • 1.  “a work” performed by a seer “like unto” Moses
  • 2.  “power to bring forth my word” and a “thing” brought “forth by his hand” by a seer “like unto” Joseph
  • 3.  “power to bring forth my word” and a “thing” brought “forth by his hand” by a seer”like unto” Lehi
  • 4.  The Brass Plates* (“that which shall be written by the fruit of thy [Joseph’s] loins”)
  • 5.  The Bible (“that which shall be written by the fruit of the loins of Judah”)
  • 6.  “judgment in writing” and “my law” by Moses
  • 7.  The Book of Mormon by Joseph Smith, Jun.
  • 8.  “the writing of the fruit of thy [Lehi’s] loins” (expedient words) by a descendant of Lehi

Same or different people/records?

Some of these individuals may be the same person, just as some of these records may be the same.  But, there is also the possibility that they are all different people and all different records.  It is possible to narrow things down a bit.  For example, let’s take a look at only the list of 6 people who were mentioned by Joseph in Egypt:

  • 1.  The prophet Moses that delivers people from Egypt – per Joseph
  • 2.  A spokesman for Moses called Aaron – per Joseph
  • 3.  A seer (a choice seer) “like unto” Moses – per both Joseph and Lehi
  • 4.  A seer “like unto” Joseph in Egypt, called Joseph – per Joseph
  • 5.  A descendent of Joseph in Egypt (Joseph Smith, Jun.) who brings forth “expedient” words that “cry from the dust” (the Book of Mormon) – per Joseph
  • 6.  A spokesman for Joseph Smith (Sidney Rigdon) – per Joseph

Moses and Aaron (#1 and #2) can be set aside.  We know who they were and the records they brought forth.  Joseph and Sidney (#5 and #6) we can also set aside.  That leaves a seer “like unto” Moses (#3) and a seer “like unto” Joseph (#4).  Are these two seers the same person?  Are they all the same as Joseph Smith, Jun.?  That is the current interpretation of most LDS.  It may be the correct one.  However, verse 12, which speaks of the Brass Plates* and the Bible, presents a problem because the Brass Plates are listed as either making up “my word which shall have already gone forth among them” or as being “my word” which the seer “like unto” Joseph would bring forth.  During the time of Joseph Smith, Jun. the Brass Plates weren’t around, nor did Joseph translate them.  Therefore, Joseph doesn’t fit as this seer “like unto” Joseph in Egypt.

That said, it may be that Joseph Smith may yet fulfill the prophecy of this seer if he comes back and translates the Brass Plates or if he comes back after the Brass Plates have been revealed.

The seer “like unto” Moses may also be Joseph Smith, but we don’t have much detail to go on, other than he will be “great like unto Moses” and will do “a work” to bring his brethren to a knowledge of the covenants that the Lord made with their fathers.  That can apply to Joseph Smith, or it may apply to some other seer.  The fact, though, that this seer will be “like unto” Moses and that Moses was a “deliverer” of the Lord’s people, may mean that the seer “like unto Moses” will also be a deliverer of the Lord’s people.  Did Joseph “deliver” the Lord’s people from a Pharaoh-type of individual?  No.

Again, the seer “like unto” Joseph is going to be like Joseph because “the thing which the Lords shall bring forth by his hand shall bring my people unto salvation.”  So, just as Joseph saved his family from starvation, so likewise the seer “like unto” Joseph will save the Lord’s people.  From starvation?  We don’t know.  We LDS often assume that everything is spiritual in the scriptures, but really, as Nephi said, things manifested to prophets by the voice of the Spirit are often “things pertaining to things both temporal and spiritual”.

So, nothing concrete can be determined about the seer “like unto” Moses and the seer “like unto” Joseph.  We are free to interpret these seers as Joseph Smith (whether his future or past missions), but we are likewise free to interpret them as separate and distinct seers, one that will deliver the Lord’s people (temporally and spiritually) and one that will save the Lord’s people (temporally and spiritually).

However, what we do know is that the seer “like unto” Joseph will be named Joseph, like his father.  And the seer “like unto” Lehi will be named Lehi, like his father.  So, if there is a pattern here, we might surmise that the seer “like unto” Moses will be named Moses, like his father.  If this is a true pattern, then it will be a little easier to determine who these seers are when they show up, merely by finding out their names and their father’s names.

Lehi’s list of 6 seers

Here is the list of personages mentioned by Lehi in the Book of Mormon:

  • 1.  A righteous branch – per Lehi
  • 2.  A seer (a choice seer) “like unto” Moses – per both Joseph and Lehi
  • 3.  A seer “like unto” Lehi, called Lehi – per Lehi
  • 4.  A descendent of Lehi who brings forth Lehite scripture – per Lehi
  • 5.  A spokesman for the Lehite descendent – per Lehi
  • 6.  A Josephite restorer working miracles – per Lehi

I’ve already covered a seer “like unto” Moses.  The “righteous branch” we don’t know much about.  It may be Joseph Smith, or it may be some other seer.  We do know that this “righteous branch” is not the Messiah because Lehi explicitly says so.

A seer “like unto” Lehi, who is called Lehi after the name of his father, has not shown up, yet.  This man may be a descendant of Lehi or merely a descendent of Joseph in Egypt.  But we do know that Joseph Smith doesn’t fit because he had the wrong name.  Also, as this seer will be “like unto” Lehi, it may mean that he will save the Lord’s people in the same manner as Lehi did.  How did Lehi save the Lord’s people?  By leading them away from the apostate majority.

A descendent of Lehi (plus spokesman) still hasn’t shown up.  Also, the new Lehite record that this man will translate hasn’t come forth, as yet.  Joseph Smith doesn’t fit this bill as he’s got the wrong lineage.

Lastly, the Josephite restorer still hasn’t shown up.  Again, Joseph Smith’s lineage is wrong.  This man will be a descendant of Joseph, son of Lehi.  He will not be a Lamanite, Lemuelite, Ishmaelite, Jacobite, Zoramite, Mulekite or Nephite.  This narrows it down a bit.  Once we know the man’s lineage, it will be much easier to determine whether he is the man spoken of here by Lehi.

Prophecy is a pattern

In Lehi’s blessing to his son Joseph, he paraphrased Joseph in Egypt, using Joseph’s prophecies as a base or reference point, upon which to pronounce his own prophecies which were tailored to his son Joseph (son of Lehi).  Unless his words explicitly state that he is paraphrasing Joseph in Egypt, it may be rightly interpreted as being Lehi’s own prophecy, which he was pronouncing on the spot, being filled with the spirit of prophecy and revelation.  Keep this in mind.

Lehi wasn’t just a simple prophet.  He was a seer.  We don’t know if he possessed a Urim and Thummim, but we do know that he was a “visionary man”, seeing things in visions and dreams.  This is the mark of a seer, not a prophet.  But Lehi also prophesied of things.  So, he was a seer and a prophet.  And he received revelations, new commandments that pertained to the Nephites, altering the law which was given to Moses in significant ways.  He was a prophet, seer and revelator and a dispensation head, being the head of the so-called Nephite dispensation.  In fact, he was very much “like unto” Moses.  Lehi, then, was uniquely qualified to speak of seers, being one himself, and also of prophecies, having spoken and written many of his own, and of revelations, having revealed the word of the Lord to his people.

The tendency to treat 2 Ne. 3 as if Lehi was merely quoting Joseph in Egypt is tempting, as this is what non-prophets and non-seers typically do.  We non-prophets quote others whose words we consider greater than ours.  (For example, consider our favorite past-time of quoting general authorities.)  Instead of adding something new, our own prophecy, we rehash what others have already said.  But Lehi and Joseph were equals, seeing eye to eye.  They both were seers.  2 Ne. 3, then, should be viewed as Lehi’s prophecy, not as Joseph in Egypt’s prophecy.  The paraphrasing he does of Joseph in Egypt’s words is to launch his own prophecy, tailored specifically to his son’s lineage.  In other words, he took the words of Joseph as a pattern and applied it in his own prophecy.  So, when reviewing the differences between the two versions, each version should be taken as a separate and distinct prophecy.

Okay, let’s get into the text.

Lehi’s opening words to his son Joseph

In chapter 3 of 2 Nephi, Lehi gives a father’s blessing to his youngest son Joseph, prophesying concerning Joseph’s seed (the Josephites) in the latter days.  Lehi begins by wishing that the land (the American continent) be consecrated to Joseph and his seed (the Josephites) for their inheritance along with Joseph’s brothers, for Joseph’s “security forever,” if they would just keep the commandments of God.  Next, he wishes that God would bless Joseph forever and then prophesies, “thy seed shall not utterly be destroyed.”  (See verses 2 and 3.)

He then attempts to explain or expound upon his prophecy to Joseph, detailing exactly how it is that his “seed shall not utterly be destroyed.”  To do this, Lehi turns to the plates of brass, to a prophecy uttered by Joseph in Egypt.  Lehi cites and/or paraphrases the ancient Joseph’s words, reviewing “the covenants of the Lord which he made unto Joseph.”  These words do not appear in the Bible (the stick of Judah) but they were found written on the plates of brass (the stick of Ephraim).  Luckily, however, the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible contains a version of this prophecy.

A righteous branch; a prophet; neither of which is the Messiah

It may be helpful to compare the two versions.  I will put in bold type everything that is exactly the same.

And Joseph said unto his brethren, I die, and go unto my fathers; and I go down to my grave with joy. The God of my father Jacob be with you, to deliver you out of affliction in the days of your bondage; for the Lord hath visited me, and I have obtained a promise of the Lord, that out of the fruit of my loins, the Lord God will raise up a righteous branch out of my loins; and unto thee, whom my father Jacob hath named Israel, a prophet; (not the Messiah who is called Shilo;) and this prophet shall deliver my people out of Egypt in the days of thy bondage.  And it shall come to pass that they shall be scattered again; and a branch shall be broken off, and shall be carried into a far country; nevertheless they shall be remembered in the covenants of the Lord, when the Messiah cometh; for he shall be made manifest unto them in the latter days, in the Spirit of power; and shall bring them out of darkness into light; out of hidden darkness, and out of captivity unto freedom.  (JST Gen. 50: 24-25)

Wherefore, Joseph truly saw our day. And he obtained a promise of the Lord, that out of the fruit of his loins the Lord God would raise up a righteous branch unto the house of Israel; not the Messiah, but a branch which was to be broken off, nevertheless, to be remembered in the covenants of the Lord that the Messiah should be made manifest unto them in the latter days, in the spirit of power, unto the bringing of them out of darkness unto light—yea, out of hidden darkness and out of captivity unto freedom.  (2 Ne. 3: 5)

Notice that there is a difference between the two versions.  The JST seems to have Joseph in Egypt saying that God will raise up two things: 1) a righteous branch out of Joseph’s loins and 2) a prophet, raised up unto Israel.  This prophet was to deliver the people of the Lord out of Egypt in the days of bondage, and was not going to be the Messiah, so presumably this is Moses.  Again, the JST is talking of two separate things: a righteous branch and the prophet Moses.

But Lehi mixes the two together.   Lehi says that it will be a righteous branch that will be raised up unto Israel (not Moses, like Joseph in Egypt said), and that this righteous branch will not be the Messiah.  Lehi completely skips over all talk of Moses.

Okay, thus far we have:

  • A righteous branch mentioned by Joseph and Lehi (not the Messiah, according to Lehi)
  • A prophet mentioned by Joseph only (not the Messiah, according to Joseph in Egypt)

A seer (a choice seer) “like unto” Moses; Moses identified as the “prophet”

A seer shall the Lord my God raise up, who shall be a choice seer unto the fruit of my loins.  (JST Gen. 50: 26)

For Joseph truly testified, saying: A seer shall the Lord my God raise up, who shall be a choice seer unto the fruit of my loins.  (2 Ne. 3: 6)

Lehi ceases paraphrasing and here directly quotes from the plates of brass.  Now we have to add a third item on this list:

  • A righteous branch mentioned by Joseph and Lehi (not the Messiah, according to Lehi)
  • A prophet that delivers people from Egypt, mentioned by Joseph only (not the Messiah, according to Joseph in Egypt)
  • A seer (a choice seer)

The record continues:

Thus saith the Lord God of my fathers unto me, A choice seer will I raise up out of the fruit of thy loins, and he shall be esteemed highly among the fruit of thy loins; and unto him will I give commandment that he shall do a work for the fruit of thy loins, his brethren.  And he shall bring them to the knowledge of the covenants which I have made with thy fathers; and he shall do whatsoever work I shall command him.  And I will make him great in mine eyes, for he shall do my work; and he shall be great like unto him whom I have said I would raise up unto you, to deliver my people, O house of Israel, out of the land of Egypt; for a seer will I raise up to deliver my people out of the land of Egypt; and he shall be called Moses. And by this name he shall know that he is of thy house; for he shall be nursed by the king’s daughter, and shall be called her son.  (JST Gen. 50: 27-29)

Yea, Joseph truly said: Thus saith the Lord unto me: A choice seer will I raise up out of the fruit of thy loins; and he shall be esteemed highly among the fruit of thy loins. And unto him will I give commandment that he shall do a work for the fruit of thy loins, his brethren, which shall be of great worth unto them, even to the bringing of them to the knowledge of the covenants which I have made with thy fathers.  And I will give unto him a commandment that he shall do none other work, save the work which I shall command him. And I will make him great in mine eyes; for he shall do my work.  And he shall be great like unto Moses, whom I have said I would raise up unto you, to deliver my people, O house of Israel.  And Moses will I raise up, to deliver thy people out of the land of Egypt.  (2 Ne. 3: 7-10)

With these verses we now read that Lehi is mentioning Moses and is identifying him as the delivering prophet.  So, our list is now:

  • A righteous branch (not the Messiah, according to Lehi)
  • The prophet Moses that delivers people from Egypt (not the Messiah, according to Joseph in Egypt)
  • A seer (a choice seer) that brings his brethren to a knowledge of the Lord’s covenants which he made with the fathers of Joseph in Egypt; and is considered great “like unto” Moses

A seer “like unto” Joseph in Egypt, called Joseph

And again, a seer will I raise up out of the fruit of thy loins, and unto him will I give power to bring forth my word unto the seed of thy loins; and not to the bringing forth of my word only, saith the Lord, but to the convincing them of my word, which shall have already gone forth among them in the last days; 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 a knowledge of their fathers in the latter days; and also to the knowledge of my covenants, saith the Lord.  And out of weakness shall he be made strong, in that day when my work shall go forth among all my people, which shall restore them, who are of the house of Israel, in the last days.  And that seer will I bless, and they that seek to destroy him shall be confounded; for this promise I give unto you; for I will remember you from generation to generation; and his name shall be called Joseph, and it shall be after the name of his father; and he shall be like unto you; for the thing which the Lord shall bring forth by his hand shall bring my people unto salvation.  (JST Gen. 50: 30-33)

But a seer will I raise up out of the fruit of thy loins; and unto him will I give power to bring forth my word unto the seed of thy loins—and not to the bringing forth my word only, saith the Lord, but to the convincing them of my word, which shall have already gone forth among them.  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.  And out of weakness he shall be made strong, in that day when my work shall commence among all my people, unto the restoring thee, O house of Israel, saith the Lord.  And thus prophesied Joseph, saying: Behold, that seer will the Lord bless; and they that seek to destroy him shall be confounded; for this promise, which I have obtained of the Lord, of the fruit of my loins, shall be fulfilled. Behold, I am sure of the fulfilling of this promise; and his name shall be called after me; and it shall be after the name of his father. And he shall be like unto me; for the thing, which the Lord shall bring forth by his hand, by the power of the Lord shall bring my people unto salvation.  (2 Ne. 3: 11-15)

Now we have a new prophecy, of a new seer.  (The words, “and again,” found in JST Gen. 50: 30, tips us off that we are now talking of something different.  Also, the writings mentioned in these scriptures are the two sticks, the stick of Judah, which is the Bible, and the stick of Joseph, which is the Brass Plates*.)  Here is our list:

  • A righteous branch (not the Messiah, according to Lehi)
  • The prophet Moses that delivers people from Egypt (not the Messiah, according to Joseph in Egypt)
  • A seer (a choice seer) that brings his brethren to a knowledge of the Lord’s covenants which he made with the fathers of Joseph in Egypt; and is considered great “like unto” Moses
  • A seer “like unto” Joseph in Egypt, that is given power to bring forth word and convince of word; shall be weak but made strong; shall be called Joseph; father’s name shall be called Joseph; etc.

A seer “like unto” Lehi, called Lehi

There is at least a possibility that Lehi, using Joseph in Egypt’s words found upon the plates of brass,inserted his own prophecy at this point. When Lehi said, “And thus prophesied Joseph, saying: Behold,that seer will the Lord bless; and they that seek to destroy him shall be confounded; for this promise, which I have obtained of the Lord, of the fruit of my loins, shall be fulfilled,” this may have been either a direct quote from the Brass Plates or a paraphrase.  But his next statement may have been Lehi’s own prophecy, using many of the same words Joseph in Egypt used: “Behold, I am sure of the fulfilling of this promise; and his name shall be called after me; and it shall be after the name of his father. And he shall be like unto me; for the thing, which the Lord shall bring forth by his hand, by the power of the Lord shall bring my people unto salvation.”

I’ll break the scripture down to better explain what I mean:

And thus prophesied Joseph, saying: [Lehi quoting or paraphrasing Joseph] Behold, that seer will the Lord bless; and they that seek to destroy him shall be confounded; for this promise, which I [Joseph] have obtained of the Lord, of the fruit of my loins, shall be fulfilled. [Lehi now begins his own prophecy] Behold, I [Lehi] am sure of the fulfilling of this promise; and his name shall be called after me [Lehi]; and it shall be after the name of his father [Lehi]. And he shall be like unto me [Lehi]; for the thing, which the Lord shall bring forth by his hand, by the power of the Lord shall bring my people [Lehi’s people] unto salvation.  [Lehi switching back to Joseph’s prophecy] Yea, thus prophesied Joseph: I am sure of this thing, even as I am sure of the promise of Moses; for the Lord hath said unto me, I will preserve thy seed forever.  (2 Ne. 3: 14-16)

Assuming that Lehi prophesied of yet another seer to appear in the latter days, here is the list so far:

  • A righteous branch (not the Messiah, according to Lehi)
  • The prophet Moses that delivers people from Egypt (not the Messiah, according to Joseph in Egypt)
  • A seer (a choice seer) “like unto” Moses
  • A seer “like unto” Joseph in Egypt, called Joseph
  • A seer “like unto” Lehi, called Lehi, having power to bring forth a “thing” that will bring Lehi’s people to salvation

Moses and Aaron

And the Lord sware unto Joseph that he would preserve his seed forever, saying, I will raise up Moses, and a rod shall be in his hand, and he shall gather together my people, and he shall lead them as a flock, and he shall smite the waters of the Red Sea with his rod.  And he shall have judgment, and shall write the word of the Lord. And he shall not speak many words, for I will write unto him my law by the finger of mine own hand. And I will make a spokesman for him, and his name shall be called Aaron.  (JST Gen. 50: 34-35)

Yea, thus prophesied Joseph: I am sure of this thing, even as I am sure of the promise of Moses; for the Lord hath said unto me, I will preserve thy seed forever.  And the Lord hath said: I will raise up a Moses; and I will give power unto him in a rod; and I will give judgment unto him in writing. Yet I will not loose his tongue, that he shall speak much, for I will not make him mighty in speaking. But I will write unto him my law, by the finger of mine own hand; and I will make a spokesman for him.  (2 Ne. 3: 16-17)

Our list continues:

  • A righteous branch
  • The prophet Moses that delivers people from Egypt
  • A spokesman for Moses called Aaron
  • A seer (a choice seer) “like unto” Moses
  • A seer “like unto” Joseph in Egypt, called Joseph
  • A seer “like unto” Lehi, called Lehi

Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon

And it shall be done unto thee in the last days also, even as I have sworn. Therefore, Joseph said unto his brethren, God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land, unto the land which he sware unto Abraham, and unto Isaac, and to Jacob.  (JST Gen. 50: 36)

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)

Whereas the JST Bible (stick of Judah) just gives a summary: “and it shall be done unto thee in the last days, also, even as I have sworn”, Lehi’s words here, if taken to be a paraphrase or quote of Joseph in Egypt’s words, show that the Brass Plates go into much greater detail.  We learn that there will be a repeat of the Moses/Aaron scenario, that a descendant of Joseph in Egypt will have a spokesman and that this descendent will write “expedient” words, which words will “cry from the dust” and that these words are not called “my words” but “their words” (the writings of the fruit of the loins of Joseph).  From all this information it becomes easy to identify who this descendant is, who the spokesman is and what the record is.  Here is our updated list:

  • A righteous branch
  • The prophet Moses that delivers people from Egypt
  • A spokesman for Moses called Aaron
  • A seer (a choice seer) “like unto” Moses
  • A seer “like unto” Joseph in Egypt, called Joseph
  • A seer “like unto” Lehi, called Lehi
  • A descendent of Joseph in Egypt (Joseph Smith, Jun.) who brings forth “expedient” words that “cry from the dust” (the Book of Mormon)
  • A spokesman for Joseph Smith (Sidney Rigdon)

A descendent of Lehi, a spokesman and some Lehite scriptures

The above scripture can also be interpreted as Lehi’s words, not Joseph’s.  So, when Lehi says, “And the Lord said unto me also”, he is not paraphrasing or quoting Joseph in Egypt, but actually giving his own prophecy, yet again.  In that case, there will be a descendent of Lehi raised up, as well as a spokesman, and this descendent will write Lehite scriptures which will be taken to the latter-day Lehites.  In fact, the scripture might actually have a dual fulfillment, one applying to Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon, and one applying to the Lehite descendent and spokesman.  In other words, “And the Lord said unto me also” might mean that the Lord said this to Joseph as well as to Lehi.  Based on that, here is the potential list:

  • A righteous branch
  • The prophet Moses that delivers people from Egypt
  • A spokesman for Moses called Aaron
  • A seer (a choice seer) “like unto” Moses
  • A seer “like unto” Joseph in Egypt, called Joseph
  • A seer “like unto” Lehi, called Lehi
  • A descendent of Joseph in Egypt (Joseph Smith, Jun.) who brings forth “expedient” words that “cry from the dust” (the Book of Mormon)
  • A spokesman for Joseph Smith (Sidney Rigdon)
  • A descendent of Lehi who brings forth another book of Lehite scripture
  • A spokesman for the Lehite descendent

The Josephite Restorer

As we can see, our list is getting lengthy.  At this point, Lehi has sufficiently reviewed the covenants of the Lord made to Joseph in Egypt to explain how it is that the Josephites “shall not utterly be destroyed.”

And now, behold, my son Joseph, after this manner did my father of old prophesy.  Wherefore, because of this covenant thou art blessed; for thy seed shall not be destroyed, for they shall hearken unto the words of the book.  (2 Ne. 3: 22-23)

The reason given as to why they don’t get destroyed is that the Josephites of the latter-days “shall hearken unto the words of the book.”  The book is not named.  It could be the Book of Mormon, which cries “repentance unto their brethren” from the dust or it could be another Lehite book of scripture that does the same.  Or it could be both records brought together as one book.  Regardless of what the scenario is, the Josephites will end up hearkening and will repent of all their sins.

Because of their penitence, the Josephites will get an additional blessing.  Lehi now proceeds to give his own prophecy concerning the latter days:

And there shall rise up one mighty among them, who shall do much good, both in word and in deed, being an instrument in the hands of God, with exceeding faith, to work mighty wonders, and do that thing which is great in the sight of God, unto the bringing to pass much restoration unto the house of Israel, and unto the seed of thy brethren.  And now, blessed art thou, Joseph. Behold, thou art little; wherefore hearken unto the words of thy brother, Nephi, and it shall be done unto thee even according to the words which I have spoken. Remember the words of thy dying father. Amen.  (2 Ne. 3: 24-25)

“And there shall rise up one mighty among them,” says Lehi.  Who is “them”?  It is the descendents (or seed) of Joseph, the son of Lehi.  It is the Josephites.  This Josephite restorer will be attended with miracles (working mighty wonders) and will bring to pass “much restoration” to the rest of the Lehites as well as to the whole house of Israel.  Here is the final list:

  • A righteous branch
  • The prophet Moses that delivers people from Egypt
  • A spokesman for Moses called Aaron
  • A seer (a choice seer) “like unto” Moses
  • A seer “like unto” Joseph in Egypt, called Joseph
  • A seer “like unto” Lehi, called Lehi
  • A descendent of Joseph in Egypt (Joseph Smith, Jun.) who brings forth “expedient” words that “cry from the dust” (the Book of Mormon)
  • A spokesman for Joseph Smith (Sidney Rigdon)
  • A descendent of Lehi who brings forth another book of Lehite scripture
  • A spokesman for the Lehite descendent
  • A Josephite restorer working miracles

Conclusion

There are potentially eleven people spoken of in this chapter.  Only one of them is plainly Joseph Smith.  And there are potentially eight books of scripture mentioned.  Again, only one of them is plainly the Book of Mormon.  In my view, 2 Nephi chapter 3 is not as cut and dry as the chapter heading would have us believe.

*Note: For more information, see the blog post, Why I Believe the Plates of Brass Are Next.

Update and correction (made 30 March 2014):

When I wrote the text above, I interpreted “that which shall be written by the fruit of the loins of Judah” as the Bible. Two years later I wrote the CTC post, which brought out the book of the Lamb of God stuff. Coming back to this post and reading it, I see that “that which shall be written by the fruit of the loins of Judah” is likely the book of the Lamb of God, per the CTC post, and not the Bible, as I had previously thought. The Bible is likely just a shadow fulfillment. For more info on the book of the Lamb of God, see the following post: 1 Nephi 13 & 14 commentary, using CTC’s view.

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The End of the State of Israel


Some background

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

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

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

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

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

Why the State of Israel does not fulfill prophecy

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

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

Forcing the fulfillment of prophecy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My study of the prophecies bears this assessment out.

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

The LDS are prophetic morons

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

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

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

The prophecy of Lehi in 1 Ne. 10

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

The prophecy of Nephi in 1 Ne. 11-15

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

The prophecy of Zenos in 1 Ne. 19

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

The prophecy of Nephi in 1 Ne. 22

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

The prophecy of Jacob in 2 Ne. 6

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

The prophecy of Jacob in 2 Ne. 10

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

The prophecy of Nephi in 2 Ne. 25-30

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

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

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

The prophecy of Zenos in Jacob 5

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

The prophecy of Mormon in 3 Ne. 5

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

The prophecy of the Lord in 3 Ne. 16

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

The prophecy of the Lord in 3 Ne. 20

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

The prophecy of the Lord in 3 Ne. 21

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

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

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

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

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

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

That is all I will say about this chapter.

The prophecy of Mormon in Morm. 5: 14

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

The prophecy of Ether in Ether 13

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

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Scriptural Discussion #16: David and Solomon


DAVID AND SOLOMON

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

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

Discuss.

Previous Scriptural Discussion: #15 ABORTION

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The Keys to Prophecy III: The Prophets’ Language


829 words

© Anthony E. Larson, 2004

 The Keys to Prophecy III:

The Prophets’ Language

 The bizarre and mystifying images employed by the prophets-by all ancient cultures, in fact-are derived from one common source: the heavens of antiquity.

We have only to look at Hebrew history to determine this, though it is universally true of ancient cultures.

Israel strayed into the same practices as their neighbors, though their prophets strove mightily to curb that idolatry.  “And they left all the commandments of the Lord their God, and made them molten images, even two calves, and made a grove, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served Baal.”  (2 Kings 17:16, italics added.)

King Josiah attempted to “put down the idolatrous priests, whom the kings of Judah had ordained to burn incense in the high places in the cities of Judah, and in the places round about Jerusalem; them also that burned incense unto Baal, to the sun, and to the moon, and to the planets, and to all the host of heaven.”  (ibid. 23:5, italics added.)

Pay particular attention to the fact that planets are listed, along with the sun and the moon, among the things designated as the “host of heaven.”  Note that calves were intrinsic symbols employed in their worship and the implication long recognized by scholars that Baal was an astral deity.

In fact, it was the worship of astral images that the Lord, speaking through Moses, condemned “… lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them ….”  (Deuteronomy 4:19.)

So, the Israelites worshipped the stars and the planets in identical fashion to their neighbors the Babylonians, the Assyrians and the Egyptians.  Scholars who study antiquity have long asserted this.

Joseph Smith, too, emphasized that the Egyptians’ gods represented planets and stars when he produced his explanations of the Egyptian papyri he obtained.

It is no great leap of logic, therefore, to assume that the language of the prophets, immersed in Israelite culture, reflected that astral worship-reverence for the stars, moon, sun and planets-even though they condemned the practices associated with it.

So it is that when we turn to the scriptures, we see an abundance of such imagery in prophetic declarations-especially those concerning the last days.  Tellingly, the same imagery can be found in other biblical pronouncements, illuminating their origins for us.

Let’s look at just one example.

“And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars.”  (Revelation 12:1.)

This ‘woman,’ described by John, is the same ‘woman’ worshipped by the idolatrous Israelites, their Queen of Heaven.

“But we will certainly do whatsoever thing goeth forth out of our own mouth, to burn incense unto the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, as we have done, we, and our fathers, our kings, and our princes, in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem ….”  (Jeremiah 44:17.)

Sumerians also called their sky goddess, Inanna, the “Queen of Heaven.”  She was the Babylonians’ Ishtar, the Assyrians’ Astarte and the Egyptians’ Hathor (Athyr),
Isis, or Sekhmet.

Illustrations of the Egyptian goddess Hathor always depict her either as a cow with what is called a “sun disk” between her horns or as a queen wearing a disk and horns on her head.

Of particular importance is that the very names of this goddess, Astarte, Ishtar and Athyr (the ‘s’ is aspirated), have the same root as our word ‘star,’ betraying their astral origin.  They were all ‘star’ goddesses.

More familiar names for the same star goddess would include the Greek Aphrodite, Athena, and Artemis, or the Latin Venus, Minerva, and Diana.

As we learned in the previous installment in this series, Joseph Smith indicated that such symbols are representations.  “When the prophets speak of seeing beasts [a woman in this case] in their visions, they mean that they saw the images, they being types to represent certain things.”  (History of the Church, p. 343.)

In the case of the Egyptian papyri, Joseph explained that those images that did not represent some spiritual concept such as God or the priesthood, instead represented stars and planets.

This is key.  Like most Egyptian icons, the woman represents a star or a planet.  Of course, in the ancient mind, both words can apply to the same image in the sky.  But the archetype, the original image for these goddesses, was a planet.

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