King Noah and the Redemption of Zion


This is an elaboration of a comment I left on this blog on October 17th, 2012.

Making sense of Noah

One of the most confusing aspects of the Book of Mormon is the account of king Noah and his people, all of whom went from a state of righteousness to exceedingly great wickedness seemingly overnight. This mystery, though, can be quite easily explained and cleared up if we just make two little assumptions: 1) that the land of first inheritance (the land of Nephi) given to Lehi’s descendants was the very land of Zion [see Footnote below], meaning the land upon which, and round about where, the city of New Jerusalem (Zion) would be built by the descendants of Lehi—in other words, the area known to us as Independence, Jackson County, Missouri—and 2) that the people of Nephi were aware of this fact.

This post takes that premise and runs with it, to explain the motivations behind the actions of Noah, his priests, his people and also Abinadi and Alma.

The land of Lehi-Nephi (the land Bountiful) = the land of Zion (Independence, Missouri)

Jesus told the Nephites:

but if they [the gentiles] will repent | and hearken unto my words | and harden not their hearts | i will establish my church among them | and they shall come in unto the covenant | and be numbered among this the remnant of jacob | unto whom i have given this land for their inheritance | and they [the gentiles] shall assist my people | the remnant of jacob | and also as many of the house of israel as shall come | that they may build a city | which shall be called the new jerusalem | (3 Ne. 21:22-23)

When Jesus made this statement, He was standing upon the land Bountiful, near the temple that was built there. This was the land given to the remnant of Jacob (that He was speaking to) for their inheritance. It is on that spot of land (their land of inheritance) that the remnant of Jacob will build the New Jerusalem.

Jesus also stated, while standing upon that same land:

verily | verily i say unto you | thus hath the father commanded me |

that i should give unto this people this land for their inheritance | and then the words of the prophet isaiah shall be fulfilled | which say |

thy watchmen shall lift up the voice | with the voice together shall they sing | for they shall see eye to eye | when the lord shall bring again zion |

break forth into joy | sing together | ye waste places of jerusalem | for the lord hath comforted his people | he hath redeemed jerusalem |

the lord hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations | and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of god | (3 Ne. 16:16-20)

This is the same scripture that the priests of Noah quoted to Abinadi. It speaks of “bringing again Zion” and deals specifically with the land of Zion and the prophecies concerning the building of the New Jerusalem or city of Zion. When the priests of Noah quoted it to Abinadi, though, they were standing upon the land of Nephi.

Prophecy: history in reverse

The Nephites desired to know what would happen to their seed upon the land of promise, so they exercised faith:

for because of faith and great anxiety | it truly had been made manifest unto us concerning our people | what things should happen unto them | (Jacob 1:5)

and, according to their desires, God told them their future history by giving new prophecies:

and now | behold | i would speak unto you | concerning things which are | and which are to come | (2 Ne. 6:4)

The prophecies about the land of Zion, its redemption, the redemption of the people who would inherit and inhabit it (the seed of Lehi), and the holy city of God that they would build there were promises (prophecies) given to Lehi’s seed that would be fulfilled literally, not just metaphorically. Jacob taught that

the promises | which we have obtained | are promises unto us according to the flesh (2 Ne. 10:2)

So, the Nephites were blessed with a very full canon of scriptures and prophecies, brought from the Old World, in the form of the plates of brass, a kind of Bible on steroids, which the Nephite prophets fully expounded from the time of Jacob onward and they also had more scripture, pronounced by these same prophets:

behold | ye know | that i have spoken unto you exceedingly many things | nevertheless | i speak unto you again | for i am desirous for the welfare of your souls | yea | mine anxiety is great for you | and ye yourselves know | that it ever has been | for i have exhorted you with all diligence | and i have taught you the words of my father | and i have spoken unto you concerning all things | which are written | from the creation of the world | (2 Ne. 6:2-3)

This means that the Nephites possessed a whole lot more information than we do about the prophecies.

Restored knowledge

The revelation, then, that God gave to Joseph Smith about the New Jerusalem and the land of Zion, was, like everything else in this dispensation, a restoration, or restored knowledge. It was had anciently among the Nephites. They knew where the land of Zion was and they knew where the city of Zion or the New Jerusalem would be built. The city of Zion would be built by them because it was going to be built on their land of inheritance.

Now, the promised land of inheritance given to the seed of Lehi has never changed, nor will it. This is why the scripture says:

zion shall not be moved out of her place | (D&C 101:17)

zion cannot fall | neither be moved out of her place | (D&C 97:19)

The New Jerusalem can and will be built only upon the land of Zion and only by the seed of Lehi (with assistance from others.) There is no other appointed spot because the Lord has made irrevocable promises to Lehi and his seed.

The land of their “first inheritance” was the land of Zion

Zeniff wrote:

i | zeniff | having been taught in all the language of the nephites | and having had a knowledge of the land of nephi | or of the land of our fathers’ first inheritance | (Mosiah 9:1)

The land of their first inheritance would also end up being the land of their last inheritance, according to the principle that the first shall be last and the last shall be first, in all things.

Now, this land of Nephi was the same land that Nephi escaped to after Laman and Lemuel sought to take away his life. Nephi wrote:

and it came to pass | that the lord did warn me | that i | nephi | should depart from them | and flee into the wilderness | and all those who would go with me |

wherefore | it came to pass | that i | nephi | did take my family | and also zoram | and his family | and sam | mine elder brother | and his family | and jacob | and joseph | my younger brethren | and also my sisters | and all those who would go with me | and all those | who would go with me | were those | who believed in the warnings and the revelations of god | wherefore | they did hearken unto my words |

and we did take our tents | and whatsoever things were possible for us | and did journey in the wilderness for the space of many days | and after we had journeyed for the space of many days | we did pitch our tents | and my people would | that we should call the name of the place nephi | wherefore | we did call it nephi | (2 Ne. 5:5-8)

The land of Nephi, then, was the area which is now known to us as Independence, Jackson County, Missouri. The people of Nephi lived in this land from the time of Nephi until the time of the first seer Mosiah. Amaleki wrote:

behold | i am amaleki | the son of abinadom |

behold | i will speak unto you somewhat concerning mosiah | who was made king over the land of zarahemla |

for behold | he | being warned of the lord | that he should flee out of the land of nephi | and as many | as would hearken unto the voice of the lord | should also depart out of the land with him into the wilderness |

and it came to pass | that he did | according as the Lord had commanded him | and they departed out of the land into the wilderness | as many as would hearken unto the voice of the lord | and they were led by many preachings and prophesyings | and they were admonished continually by the word of god | and they were led by the power of his arm through the wilderness | until they came down into the land | which is called the land of zarahemla | (Omni 1:12-13)

From Mosiah onward, the Nephites lived in or around the land of Zarahemla, while the Lamanites took possession of the promised land (the land of Zion, which was the land of Nephi, or the land of first inheritance.) Nevertheless, it was the desire of every Nephite to return someday to that land and to redeem it, in order that the promises and prophecies be fulfilled.

Polygamy (Zarahemla) and monogamy (Nephi)

I suppose I ought to mention, at this point, that the people of Zarahemla, who were brought to the New World by Mulek, son of Zedekiah, king of Judah, had been given no monogamy restrictions by the Lord. As descendants of Jews, polygamy would have been their way of life.

After Mosiah discovered them and the two kingdoms were united under one banner, with Mosiah becoming king of both groups, they remained as a distinct group living a different set of laws. In other words, the people of Zarahemla lived the law of Moses, which allowed and even under some circumstances, commanded polygamy, whereas the people of Nephi lived the law of Moses which was modified by Lehi, their founding seer, which law allowed only monogamy, or which commanded the seed of Lehi to have only one wife and no concubines. To be even clearer, the commandment of monogamy given to Lehi’s seed was only applicable to the seed of Lehi. It had no application, whatsoever, to any other lineage. So, there were polygamists and monogamists living together under one national banner.

Much later on the people of Zarahemla would become numbered with the people of Nephi, meaning that they called themselves Nephites, or the children of Nephi, and adopted the law given to Lehi, which was monogamy. But from the time of their first landing, to the time of Mosiah discovering them, and finally to the time when they became numbered with the Nephites, polygamy was allowed for them. This is why we find that at the time of the numbering, the people of Zarahemla were more than double the population of the people of Nephi.

Now, I mention this here because if Noah, son of Zeniff, was born in Zarahemla and spent some of his childhood there, he would have grown up in that environment and would have noticed that the people of Zarahemla lived the unmodified, or more ancient form, of the law of Moses, which allowed polygamy, whereas the people of Nephi lived the modified, or more recent innovation of the law. But even if Noah did not grow up in Zarahemla, he would have been aware of these historical facts about the people living in Zarahemla.

Zeniff’s two trips to reclaim the land

Two expeditions to reclaim the land were made, as recorded by Amaleki:

and now | i would speak somewhat concerning a certain number | who went up into the wilderness to return to the land of nephi | for there was a large number | who were desirous to possess the land of their inheritance | wherefore | they went up into the wilderness | and their leader | being a strong and mighty man | and a stiffnecked man | wherefore | he caused a contention among them | and they were all slain | save fifty | in the wilderness | and they returned again to the land of zarahemla |

and it came to pass | that they also took others | to a considerable number | and took their journey again into the wilderness | and i | amaleki | had a brother | who also went with them | and i have not since known concerning them | and i am about to lie down in my grave | and these plates are full | and i make an end of my speaking | (Omni 1:27-30)

Zeniff was among both expeditions. He was the cause of the contention of the first expedition and he was the leader of the second expedition, which was successful in occupying the land.

Zeniff “redeemed” the land by bloodshed

The unnamed leader of the first expedition wanted to redeem the land of Zion by bloodshed, by attacking the Lamanites. Zeniff, though, wanted to enter into a treaty with the Lamanites and possess the land peacefully. During the second expedition, he did just that, but later the Lamanites reneged on their agreement and the Nephites who now possessed the land of their first inheritance ended up having to shed Lamanite blood anyway. It is, in this sense, that the land was “redeemed” by the shedding of blood.

Each Nephite king was (assumed to be) a prophet or seer or revelator

now | it was the custom among all the nephites to appoint for their chief captains | save it were in their times of wickedness | some one that had the spirit of revelation and also prophecy | therefore | this Gidgiddoni was a great prophet among them | as also was the chief judge | (3 Ne. 3:19)

This custom likely also applied to the time when they had kings.

Now, the Nephite king Mosiah was a seer. The Nephite king Zeniff, who led his expedition back to the land of Nephi after Mosiah had brought everyone to Zarahemla, was also a man of God, for he led his people in the strength of the Lord against Lamanite aggression and the Lord heard his prayers.

The assumption may have been, then, that each Nephite king was a man of God, capable of receiving revelations, prophecies and the like. The people of Noah would have looked at him with this same perspective.

Noah’s new revelation: the restoration and redemption of Zion

The reign and ministry of king Noah, son of Zeniff, was one of departure from what his father did. The easiest way to understand this departure is that Noah received a new revelation.

Now, it may have been a pretended revelation, thought up all by himself, for these Nephites kings were expected to be men of God, capable of receiving the word of God and that is a lot of pressure to be under. Noah may have wanted to leave a legacy behind him, as one who obtained something new from God for the people, therefore, he may have simply conceived of this himself.

Another possibility is that he got a revelation from the devil, or at least inspiration from the devil.

Whichever was the case, the result was the same. This new doctrinal idea went forth from him, first to the priests—and when the priests of his father would not accept his revelation, he interviewed other men who did accept it, and then ordained them, releasing his father’s priests from their callings—and then to the people, and it was accepted wholeheartedly by his people.

Noah also put himself out as a restorer, restoring the people to a proper worship of God, using the pure law of Moses without any of the additions of the doctrine of Christ, which was preached by Nephi and others of the Nephite prophets, nor any of the modifications made by Lehi (of monogamy.) The end result was very old school theology mixed with new school theology, with the stuff in the middle tossed out.

The gospel of Noah

The good news that Noah was giving his people was this: that the land of Zion had been redeemed by his father, by the shedding of blood, and that now they were the children of Zion, the ones who would fulfill all the prophecies of the prophets concerning this very special promised land. The land had been sanctified by the shedding of blood, and as it was redeemed, so were they, who lived upon it, redeemed, and they could now rejoice, for the great Millennial day was upon them and they would prosper in the land forever more. The promised day in which all things would come together in one was upon them and they would build and inherit and multiply in the land and be blessed by the Lord.

And so, to get on with the multiplying, a multimale-multifemale mating system was set up, where men took wives and concubines and also visited with harlots, that every available female in the land would do her part to conceive and bear redeemed children to live upon the already redeemed land of promise. Whereas the former commandments limited the number of Nephites, so that they remained small compared to the Lamanites, this new day of redemption called for a much larger population of redeemed souls, for they wanted to bring as many children as they could into their new paradise on earth.

That may have been the surface reason, given to the people, for why this new gospel of procreation was going around. Secretly, Noah may have realized that there was strength in numbers, for they were surrounded by an innumerable host of Lamanites. Therefore, this new revelation made much more practical and strategic sense than the previous ones that demanded the Nephites stick to monogamy, and thus small numbers.

As this was the land of Zion, which had the promises concerning the building of the city of Zion, Noah set about to construct many elaborate and spacious buildings, for Zion must be beautified. Again, the land of Zion was redeemed, as were the people living upon it, therefore their task was to build it up, to build up a city that would be worthy of the fulfillment of the prophecies. So, although Noah exacted a heavy tax from the people, of one-fifth of all they possessed, there wasn’t so much as a peep of a complaint from any of his people. They all saw eye to eye on this project, for they were building Zion, and Noah was the man God raised up and inspired to accomplish this task.

Now, the former priests, consecrated by his father, were not in the habit of telling people how good they were, but instead they were in the habit of admonishing the people for their sins. The new priests consecrated by Noah, though, understood his new gospel and revelation, which was quite literally good news, namely, that they were all redeemed of the Lord. “No more need to repent, just enjoy the blessings of the Lord that he has bestowed and do your part to build up the land.” In other words, everyone was now to be proud of their heritage and birthright, as heirs of the promised land. Pride was no longer a sin, but was the very gospel preached, for they were redeemed.

These priests began to practice idolatry—for whenever a people develop prideful hearts and come under the control of the devil, he introduces them to idolatry—and the priests then taught the people to also be idolatrous. In the minds of Noah, his priests and his people, they were already living the Millennial day, which was, as Joseph Smith wrote, “a time to come in the which nothing shall be withheld, whether there be one God or many gods, they shall be manifest” (D&C 121:28.) The priests of Noah had taken the liberty to divulge the “truths” that were to be revealed, namely that there be many gods, even idols, and they flattered the people into divulging in these sinful practices.

(There was, again, a hidden practicality to their practice of idolatry. Idolatry and excessive sexuality go hand in hand and the kingdom law was to procreate, so idolatry would only increase the number of pregnancies in the land.)

Regardless of the contrariness of Noah’s gospel to former commandments, none of that applied to these people, for they were now in a new dispensation, a time of redemption of both land and people, and the former constraints and commandments did not apply. New dispensations come with new commandments and revelations, and Noah’s reign was to be noted in history as the beginning of the children of redemption. They were the ones who did what others could not, because they were not, yet, redeemed.

Noah took for patterns what he found in the scriptures. For example, to get around the Lord’s prohibition on polygamy, he turned to Jacob’s words which actually presuppose that at some point the Lord would lift the ban on multiple wives and concubines for the seed of Lehi:

for if i will |

saith the lord of hosts |

raise up seed unto me | i will command my people | otherwise | they shall hearken unto these things |  (Jacob 2:30)

All he needed to say was that the time had finally and fully come, in which the Lord would lift the polygamy ban, using an Official Declaration, such as the following:

Aware of the promises made by the prophets and [kings] of the [Lord’s people] who have preceded us that at some time, in God’s eternal plan, all of our brethren who are worthy may receive [a plurality of wives], and witnessing the faithfulness of those from whom [multiple wives have] been withheld, we have pleaded long and earnestly in behalf of these, our faithful brethren, spending many hours in the Upper Room of the Temple [built by our father Nephi] supplicating the Lord for divine guidance.

He has heard our prayers, and by revelation has confirmed that the long-promised day has come when every faithful, worthy man [of the seed of Lehi living in this blessed land] may receive [additional wives, and concubines, too.]

The prophecies concerning the building of a great tower he thought to fulfill literally and built two of them, one near the temple (for the city of Lehi-Nephi) and one on a historically significant hill (for the city of Shilom.)

He read about vineyards and so he planted vineyards. He read that there would be a temple in Zion, but since Nephi had already built a temple there, he instead restored it and beautified it with all manner of fine workmanship to make it match more precisely the Solomon temple. Everything that seemed to indicate what would happen in the day of Zion’s redemption, he sought to do, that his reign would go down in history as the fulfillment of these prophecies.

It was all about the redemption of Zion

The basis for all this iniquity was that the prophecies concerning the redemption of Zion had already taken place, for their fathers had inherited the land, then had to leave it, then had come back (with Zeniff), fulfilling the prophecies of its redemption. Since the land had been redeemed, that meant that they themselves had also been redeemed. Their redemption was tied to the redemption of the land. As evidence of such redemption, all could see that they were prospering like crazy in the land. Also, because of their victory against the Lamanites, under the leadership of king Noah, the people believed that the strength of the Lord was still with them, which was more evidence of Noah’s inspired reign.

The truth of the matter, though, was that they had achieved that victory without the Lord’s strength, for He had retained it, and so when they began to boast that a small number of them could slay thousands of Lamanites, that was the final straw for the Lord and it was time to set them straight by sending another prophet to prophesy evil against them.

Abinadi’s teaching that redemption was tied to Christ

When Abinadi started preaching, he was seen as a disturber of the peace, for everyone was enjoying the high life, and he brought everyone low again with his “repent or be brought into bondage” sayings. Then, his sayings concerning the king really got on everyone’s nerves since everyone thought of king Noah as an inspired man of God, who had done marvels in his time as king, making the people happy and prosperous. Abinadi was like the cop that knocks on the door of a midnight party to tell the people in the house the noise is too loud and everyone needs to go home and stop partying. He was a total downer.

Noah had begun a gospel (good news) celebration based upon a perversion of the doctrine of redemption, and it had the unintended consequences of making them all weak, meaning that the Lord had removed His strength from them. They were literally on their own and were very soon to be brought into unbreakable bondage by the Lamanites. Abinadi was sent to get them to repent so that they could stave off the coming captivity.

The people’s reaction to Abinadi’s words, of anger and seeking to kill him, is understandable when one considers that they truly believed that what they were doing was the will of God, that their king and priests were men of God, that these (perverse) teachings had come down the proper and approved channels, that all that Noah and priests had taught had been confirmed by signs of peace, prosperity and (supposed) strength of the Lord, that there was no indication, whatsoever, that God was not blessing the people according to His promises, etc. Abinadi had no leg to stand on, in their view, but was slandering the entire population and making people feel bad about themselves, breaking the law himself (disturbing the peace) and speaking false prophecies. They, the people, were acting in righteousness in seeking to shut the mouth of this obvious false prophet, by killing him. Had not the ancients done the same?

Now, Abinadi was countering this redemption perversion by saying that they were not redeemed, at all, for all this evil he prophesied upon them could not come to pass on a redeemed population. Such evil could only befall sinners. The fulfillment of his prophecies, then, would be proof positive that Noah and priests were liars, and their doctrine was either of men or of the devil; and that the redemption of Zion had not yet come, nor would it until some other future day; also that redemption does not come from the land, but from Christ.

This was the question posed to Abinadi by one of the priests:

what meaneth the words | which are written | and which have been taught by our fathers | saying |

how beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him | that bringeth good tidings | that publisheth peace | that bringeth good tidings of good | that publisheth salvation | that saith unto zion |

thy god reigneth |

thy watchmen shall lift up the voice | with the voice together shall they sing | for they shall see eye to eye | when the lord shall bring again zion |

break forth into joy | sing together | ye waste places of jerusalem | for the lord hath comforted his people | he hath redeemed jerusalem |

the lord hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations | and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our god | (Mosiah 12:20-24)

In the eyes of Noah, his priests and his people, Noah was the one whose feet were beautiful, for Noah (and his priests) were bringing good tidings of good and publishing peace and salvation. Noah was the one saying to Zion—for, remember, they were living in the very land of Zion—that their God reigns. Noah had watchmen upon the tower. Noah’s people sang with the voice together and everyone saw eye to eye. Zion had been brought again, or it had been redeemed. The waste places of this new Jerusalem were being built up again. It was a time of comfort and joy and redemption, all because of Noah (and his father.) This is why the priest asked Abinadi about this scripture, for they all believed that it was fulfilled by Noah and they held it up as proof of his divine calling as their king.

If you read through Abinadi’s sermon, you will see that he mentions “redemption” 18 times, all pointing to the fact that it is God that redeems:

“…for they understood not that there could not any man be saved except it were through the redemption of God.”

“For behold, did not Moses prophesy unto them concerning the coming of the Messiah, and that God should redeem his people?”

“I would that ye should understand that God himself shall come down among the children of men, and shall redeem his people.”

“And thus God breaketh the bands of death, having gained the victory over death; giving the Son power to make intercession for the children of men…having redeemed them, and satisfied the demands of justice.”

“…all those who have hearkened unto their words, and believed that the Lord would redeem his people, and have looked forward to that day for a remission of their sins…are the heirs of the kingdom of God.

“For these are they whose sins he has borne; these are they for whom he has died, to redeem them from their transgressions.”

“For O how beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that is the founder of peace, yea, even the Lord, who has redeemed his people…”

“For were it not for the redemption which he hath made for his people, which was prepared from the foundation of the world…all mankind must have perished.”

“They are raised to dwell with God who has redeemed them; thus they have eternal life through Christ, who has broken the bands of death. “

“And thus the Lord bringeth about the restoration of these; and they have a part in the first resurrection, or have eternal life, being redeemed by the Lord. “

“But behold, and fear, and tremble before God, for ye ought to tremble; for the Lord redeemeth none such that rebel against him and die in their sins…“

“Therefore ought ye not to tremble? For salvation cometh to none such; for the Lord hath redeemed none such; yea, neither can the Lord redeem such; for he cannot deny himself; for he cannot deny justice when it has its claim. “

“Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem; for the Lord hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem. “

“And then shall the wicked be cast out, and they shall have cause to howl, and weep, and wail, and gnash their teeth; and this because they would not hearken unto the voice of the Lord; therefore the Lord redeemeth them not. “

“Thus all mankind were lost; and behold, they would have been endlessly lost were it not that God redeemed his people from their lost and fallen state.“

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

“Therefore, if ye teach the law of Moses, also teach that it is a shadow of those things which are to come—teach them that redemption cometh through Christ the Lord, who is the very Eternal Father. Amen.”

Redemption through Christ is the topic of Abinadi’s sermon because these people believed they were already redeemed, through the redemption of the land of Zion, without the necessity of believing in Christ, etc.

The result: captivity

After they killed Abinadi—and sought to kill the sole convert among the priests, who was Alma—and the Lamanites came in, subjecting them to bondage, affliction and death, they were faced with the realization that they were not the redeemed children of Zion, and that they had misunderstood the prophecies, putting them in the wrong context and breaking a host of the Lord’s still-in-force commandments. Essentially, these people had their hopes completely dashed to pieces and had to start from an exceedingly humble place.

Now, this people fell into these grave errors because they put their trust in their leaders, even their king and priests, trusting that they interpreted the prophecies correctly, instead of searching the scriptures themselves and coming to their own, God-inspired conclusions. Had they done the legwork of searching the scriptures and obtaining the gift of the Holy Ghost for themselves, neither Noah nor his priests could have deceived them with false revelations. As we know, it turned out that Noah and his priests were wrong in their interpretations on the prophecies, so wrong in fact that it resulted in death, destruction of property, bondage, humiliation (the Lamanites treated them like dumb asses) and general misery. This shows that misinterpreting a prophecy can have disastrous results.

It also shows why Alma was so emphatic in the teaching that he gave to his people of trusting no one:

trust no man to be a king over you | and also trust no one to be your teacher | nor your minister | except he be a man of god | walking in his ways | and keeping his commandments | (Mosiah 23:13-14)

Don’t mess with the land of Zion

There appears to be a blessing and a curse upon that land. Those who live upon it, who have the laws of God, must live them, otherwise, captivity and destruction will be their lot. This may be one of the reasons why Mosiah left that land, and also why eventually Alma and Limhi left, to preserve their people from destruction. It requires a righteous people, otherwise, nobody can be established there as Zion.

The unconverted Lamanites, and now also the non-Mormon Gentiles, who currently live there, appear to be the temporary care-takers of the land, and it might be wise to leave it that way, until such time arrives that the Lord specifically and plainly commands and leads His people to return and redeem it.

This might be an important point to keep in mind, since what Noah and his priests did upon that land may be repeated in the future with another group of unauthorized persons, that attempts to “redeem Zion,” with the same (or even more) disastrous results.

Gentiles upon the land of Zion

Here are the Lord’s words regarding the establishment of Zion, given to the Nephites while He stood in the land Bountiful:

and verily i say unto you |

i give unto you a sign | that ye may know the time | when these things shall be about to take place | that i shall gather in | from their long dispersion | my people | o house of israel | and shall establish again among them my zion |

and behold | this is the thing | which i will give unto you for a sign | for verily I say unto you |

that when these things | which i declare unto you | and which i shall declare unto you hereafter of myself | and by the power of the holy ghost | which shall be given unto you of the father | shall be made known unto the gentiles | that they may know concerning this people | who are a remnant of the house of Jacob | and concerning this my people | who shall be scattered by them |

verily | verily i say unto you |

when these things shall be made known unto them of the father | and shall come forth of the father from them unto you |

for it is wisdom in the father | that they should be established in this land | and be set up as a free people by the power of the father | that these things might come forth from them unto a remnant of your seed | that the covenant of the father may be fulfilled | which he hath covenanted with his people | o house of israel |

therefore | when these works | and the works which shall be wrought among you hereafter | shall come forth from the gentiles unto your seed | which shall dwindle in unbelief because of iniquity |

for thus it behooveth the father | that it should come forth from the gentiles | that he may show forth his power unto the gentiles | for this cause |

that the gentiles | if they will not harden their hearts | that they may repent | and come unto me | and be baptized in my name | and know of the true points of my doctrine | that they may be numbered among my people | o house of israel |

and when these things come to pass | that thy seed shall begin to know these things | it shall be a sign unto them | that they may know | that the work of the father hath already commenced unto the fulfilling of the covenant | which he hath made unto the people | who are of the house of israel | (3 Ne. 21:1-7)

Now, the meaning of these words it this: when the establishment of Zion commences in the land of Zion (Independence, Jackson County, Missouri area), there will be Gentiles established upon that very land and living in anarchy, gathered there by the miraculous power of the Father. They will then receive additional records, which they will share with the remnant of Jacob. When these events occur, that will be the sign to the remnant of Jacob that the fulfillment of the covenant the Lord made with their fathers has commenced.

This true gathering of Gentiles upon the land of Zion will be attended by the miraculous works of the Father and will fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah: “The Lord hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations,” or Gentiles. However, prior to that true gathering, there may be false gatherings of Gentiles, which are not attended to by the power of the Father. Jacob prophesied:

but behold | this land |

said god |

shall be a land of thine inheritance |

and the gentiles shall be blessed upon the land |

and this land shall be a land of liberty unto the gentiles |

and there shall be no kings upon the land | who shall raise up unto the gentiles |

and i will fortify this land against all other nations |

and he that fighteth against zion shall perish |

saith god |

for he | that raiseth up a king against me | shall perish | for i | the lord | the king of heaven | will be their king | and i will be a light unto them forever | that hear my words | (2 Ne. 10:10-14)

These words are speaking of the same establishment-of-Zion event. The land in question is the land of Zion (Independence, Jackson County, Missouri area.) These prophecies have shadows, of course, but the literal and last fulfillment concerns a specific spot of land and a specific group of Gentiles. The other Gentiles, or other nations, as it is written—for the text could have also been worded this way: “and i will fortify this land against all other gentiles”—will raise up, or attempt to raise up, kings, contrary to the commandment of God, and these other groups of Gentiles will perish, for they misunderstand and misinterpret the prophecies, which brings disaster upon them.

So, there will be no kings raised up unto one group of Gentiles, while another group (or groups) will raise up king(s) and will perish. This latter group (or groups, for this prophecy may be fulfilled multiple times), will be those who gather upon the land of Zion and attempt to establish Zion and fulfill the prophecy without being authorized or directed by the Lord, just as king Noah and people did thousands of years earlier.

Mormon put the account of king Noah and his people in his book because it would be especially applicable to our times, for these same tactics inspired by Satan, of false gatherings upon the land of Zion and forcing the fulfillment of the prophecies about Zion, would be repeated.


Footnote: If Independence, Jackson County, Missouri currently does not match the pre-destruction descriptions of the land of Nephi, it does not matter, because after the death of Christ, Mormon tells us:

and there was a great and terrible destruction in the land southward |

but behold | there was a more great and terrible destruction in the land northward |

for behold | the whole face of the land was changed | because of the tempest | and the whirlwinds | and the thunderings | and the lightnings | and the exceedingly great quaking of the whole earth | (3 Ne. 8:11-12)

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| they must suffer | even as i |


I will try to make this short and sweet. In D&C 19:15-20, we read:

therefore | i command you to repent |

repent | lest i smite you by the rod of my mouth | and by my wrath | and by my anger | and your sufferings be sore |

how sore you know not |

how exquisite you know not |

yea | how hard to bear you know not |

for behold | i | god | have suffered these things for all | that they might not suffer | if they would repent | but if they would not repent | they must suffer | even as i | which suffering caused myself | even god | the greatest of all | to tremble because of pain | and to bleed at every pore | and to suffer | both body and spirit | and would | that i might not drink the bitter cup | and shrink | nevertheless | glory be to the father | and i partook | and finished my preparations unto the children of men | wherefore | i command you again |

to repent | lest i humble you with my almighty power |

and that you confess your sins | lest you suffer these punishments | of which i have spoken | of which in the smallest | yea | even in the least degree you have tasted | at the time i withdrew my spirit |

When I was a young man, reading this scripture, I had always thought that this spoke of the punishment of the devil and his angels and the sons of perdition, being cast out into outer darkness at the last and great day of judgment.

Today, however, as I was teaching one of my children about the afterlife (for there was a recent death in our extended family), I taught that this scripture also had application to all those souls who entered hell, that every soul who was bound down there would suffer in spirit even as Jesus suffered in spirit.

A description of the suffering of the Lord

The suffering of the Lord is described by the angel in this way: “he shall suffer temptations, and pains of body, hunger, thirst and fatigue, even more than man can suffer, except it be unto death” (Mosiah 3:7.) The Spirit told Alma that the Son of God “shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind” and that “he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people” (Alma 7:11.) The Spirit also said that “he will take upon him their infirmities” (Alma 7:12.)

Christ’s physical body could sustain levels of suffering beyond our comprehension, without dying, allowing the pain to be piled on everlastingly. No mortal human, therefore, could experience what Jesus experienced, while in the physical, mortal body. But once dead, man’s immortal spirit is up to the task of infinite suffering.

Thus, all those who descend into hell will come to know how sore, how exquisite and how difficult to bear were the sufferings of Christ, for they will go through the same pain and anguish.

Now, there was much more that I taught my child, but I thought that this topic might make for some interesting discussion on this blog.

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The real Jonah: holy prophet and type of Christ


Some years ago I attended a Sunday school class on the book of Jonah. The teacher did a very good job presenting the standard Mormon view of Jonah, but I found myself disagreeing with it, not from any logical standpoint, but simply because it felt wrong. So I opened up the book of Jonah and read the whole of it during that class (it’s only four chapters, so this is not any great feat.) As I read, a new view of the prophet Jonah opened up to my view.

At the time, I didn’t know what to make of it and decided to keep my mouth shut during the class, since it was a complete departure from the perspectives that everyone else was giving. After the class, I had opportunity to approach the teacher and told him I had gotten a new view of Jonah and wanted to tell him about it. He expressed interest in knowing my thoughts so I told him I would send him an email later that day. I went home that day, composed the email and sent it off to him. I never kept a copy of it for myself. He wrote back saying it was interesting, but that it really wasn’t supported by the text. I left it at that and never mentioned it again to anyone else, essentially forgetting all about it.

A few days ago I picked up a Bible and it fell open to the book of Jonah, so I read it. Bible scholars typically say that Jonah was “proud, self-centered, pouting, jealous, blood-thirsty; a good patriot and lover of Israel, without proper respect for God or love for his enemies” (Zondervan Pictorial Bible Dictionary, Merrill C. Tenny, Zondervan Publishing House, 1976, pg. 442.) As I read the book, I had this characterization of Jonah in my mind, but when I got to the last chapter, I recalled that I had once in the past re-interpreted Jonah quite differently. I tried to recall that interpretation, but couldn’t remember it. The only thing I could remember was that instead of casting Jonah in a negative light, it cast him in a very good light.

Frustrated that I could not remember the interpretation, I decided to re-read the book of Jonah yet again, this time with my mind fixed that Jonah was a holy prophet that acted righteously, in the hope that this would trigger my brain’s memory recall function. As soon as I read verse one, the interpretation I had received years ago popped right back into my mind, in its fulness, including the circumstances on how I came to think of it.

As I disclaimer, I do not know where this information comes from, but I wanted to write it down somewhere (and I have chosen this blog) so that when the full records come forth that show us the life and ministry of Jonah, we would be able to compare this to that and discover whether this was just a foolish imagination of my heart or if it was given of the Spirit.

Before I begin, let me quote this, taken from the Times and Seasons blog:

Karl D has already pointed us to the LDS Church’s official position with regard to Jonah (and Job):

In October 1922 . . . the First Presidency received a letter from Joseph W. McMurrin asking about the position of the church with regard to the literality of the Bible. Charles W. Penrose, with Anthony W. Ivins, writing for the First Presidency, answered that the position of the church was that the Bible is the word of God as far as it was translated correctly. They pointed out that there were, however, some problems with the Old Testament. The Pentateuch, for instance, was written by Moses, but “it is evident that the five books passed through other hands than Moses’s after his day and time. The closing chapter of Deuteronomy proves that.” While they thought Jonah was a real person, they said it was possible that the story as told in the Bible was a parable common at the time. The purpose was to teach a lesson, and it “is of little significance as to whether Jonah was a real individual or one chosen by the writer of the book” to illustrate “what is set forth therein.” They took a similar position on Job. What is important, Penrose and Ivins insisted, was not whether the books were historically accurate, but whether the doctrines were correct.

Alexander, Thomas G., 1996, Mormonism in Transition: A History of the Latter-Day Saints, 1890-1930, University of Illinois Press (Paperback), page 283.

The important part of that quote is that

they said it was possible that the story [of Jonah] as told in the Bible was a parable common at the time. The purpose was to teach a lesson, and it “is of little significance as to whether Jonah was a real individual or one chosen by the writer of the book” to illustrate “what is set forth therein.”

In other words, assuming that this originated from the Spirit (and I’m not saying that it did), perhaps the interpretation I got was based upon the real events of the real Jonah, and not so much on the parable that is today known as the book of Jonah, which is why this interpretation and the standard one are so different. Okay, here it is:

Jonah’s self sacrifice

Now the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me. (Jonah 1:1.)

Jonah received a message from the Lord, in the which he was shown (by vision) the great city Nineveh, the exceedingly great wickedness of its inhabitants and the impending destruction that would very soon come upon them due to their iniquities. He was overcome by what he saw, both by their abominations and also by the scene of destruction that would shortly ensue. He was told to go to Nineveh and prophesy of their utter destruction unless they repented of all their sins, according to the vision which he had seen. This was to be done that they would be left without excuse.

Instead, Jonah thought upon the principle given to Ezekiel:

When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul. (Ezekiel 33:8-9)

Based upon what he saw in the vision of Nineveh, Jonah did not believe that such wicked people would ever repent of their sins, for there were all manner of abominations among them, greater than he had ever seen. His reasoning was that if he went and prophesied, as the Lord commanded, they would be left without excuse, according to the word of the Lord, and thus would be fully condemned and perish spiritually and physically. If, however, he did not go and prophesy to them, they would still die in their sins, but having not been fully warned, they would have an excuse and a better chance in the afterlife.

Jonah was moved to compassion for them and sought to take upon himself their sins by not prophesying. He vowed to offer himself as a sacrifice and was putting his faith on the fact that the Lord was “a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness” (Jonah 4:2) and would turn “away the evil that He had said He would bring upon them” (JST Jonah 3:10.)* His desire was to turn the Lord’s wrath, which was waxing hot upon the Ninevites, toward himself, that he might suffer in their place, so that they might be spared.

But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. (Jonah 1:3.)

So, he fled from his mission, going in the opposite direction. This physical action of going in the opposite direction was symbolic of the turning of the Lord’s head away from Nineveh, which was according to Jonah’s desire. The Lord’s head and attention were focused on, and looking to, the right, at Nineveh, so Jonah went to the left, causing the Lord’s head to turn away from Nineveh and focus instead on Jonah. His physical action had a spiritual dimension to it, according to his desire of faith.

Although Jonah had disobeyed the instructions of the Lord, the intentions of this heart were in the right place, which is why the Spirit of the Lord did not leave him. In fact, it appears that the Lord accepted his vow to sacrifice himself because his desire to take the sins of the Ninevites upon himself pleased the Lord. Jonah became, by his actions, desires and the sorrow for sin that he felt (his exceedingly broken heart and contrite spirit), a type of the Lord Jesus, foreshadowing what the Savior would do in the flesh.

But the Lord sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken. (Jonah 1:4.)

The Lord grants according to the desires of the children of men, according to their faith. Jonah desired in faith to be sacrificed, to save the Ninevites, and the Lord accordingly sent out the tempest, to accept his sacrifice. Jonah did not fear death. In fact, he welcomed it, for this was what he desired. The Gentile sailors, on the other hand, did fear death and they all called upon their gods to save them from destruction. Jonah was sleeping down below and the ship-master woke him up and asked him to pray to his own God for the salvation of the ship.

The tempest was not of an ordinary nature, and the sailors rightly ascribed it as supernatural, caused by some god to destroy one of those in the ship. They cast lots to see who was the one responsible for the storm, or who was the one that incited the anger of the god that was creating the storm. The lot fell upon Jonah and they asked him who he was and why the supernatural storm was upon them.

And he said unto them, I am an Hebrew; and I fear the Lord, the God of heaven, which hath made the sea and the dry land. (Jonah 1:9.)

Jonah took the opportunity and preached the gospel to the sailors and presented himself to them as both a holy prophet of the Lord and also as a sacrifice for the sins of the Ninevites. All the sailors on the ship converted to the Lord, for he preached with power and authority from God and the Spirit of the Lord was present, testifying to the sailors of the truthfulness of his message. Jonah knew that the Lord had accepted his intent to self-sacrifice and had prepared the storm for this very purpose. When the sailors asked him what they should do to get the supernatural storm to calm down, Jonah prophesied to them that if they tossed him into the sea, the storm would cease.

This, however, was not something that the sailors wanted to do, for they had converted to the Lord through Jonah’s preaching and so tried, instead, to row the ship to land, but to no avail. Finally, convinced by the raging tempest, by Jonah himself and by the workings of the Spirit of the Lord upon them, confirming to them that it was the will of the Lord that Jonah be tossed overboard, these new Gentile converts prayed to the Lord to spare the ship and to not be held responsible for causing Jonah to drown in the sea, calling him “innocent blood.” After their prayer, the sailor converts tossed Jonah overboard and continued to worship the Lord with sacrifice and vows.

Jonah dies and is brought back to life

Jonah died in those waters and the Lord prepared a sea creature to swallow his body. His physical body remained inside the creature for three days and three nights, while his spirit body went to the spirit world. After the three days and nights were over, he was brought back to life and the sea creature spat him out onto the shore. During the three day interval, Jonah prayed to the Lord in spirit and in truth, a prayer of the truly penitent and the Lord heard him and answered him by putting him alive upon dry ground.

At that point, Jonah was a new man. He had died and returned from the dead. He had intimate knowledge about the afterlife, both of hell and paradise, as well as what it meant to die and to come back to life again. He was unique among all the prophets, having received a vision of the spirit world that no one else in his time had been given.

Jonah is called to preach again

And the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the second time, saying, Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee. So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord. (Jonah 3:1-3.)

This time Jonah did as he was commanded. Nevertheless, he still fully believed that the Ninevites would not repent, but based upon his three day “out of body” or “in the body of a sea creature” experience, he now desired to preach repentance to them and spare them from the afterlife they would receive if they died in their sins. What he did not understand was that his experiences on the ship, in the sea creature and in the spirit world would make his preaching and prophesying overwhelmingly powerful, so that when he got to Nineveh and traveled a day’s journey into it and then started preaching, his message would have a profound effect upon the people.

And Jonah began to enter into the city a day’s journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown. (Jonah 3:4.)

Jonah’s preaching and prophesying can be compared to Lehi, who prophesied the destruction of Jerusalem. When Lehi testified to the Jews, “he truly testified of their wickedness and their abominations.” Jonah did the same. He had seen what they were doing in vision and he testified of all their wickedness and abominations, all their secret acts of iniquity. He preached the gospel of faith and repentance to them, told them of their evil deeds done in secrecy, told them of the destruction which awaited them in forty days if they did not repent in sackcloth and ashes and told them of the afterlife that awaited them when dead. He recounted his experiences on the ship, in the sea, in the sea creature and in the spirit world, including him coming back to life. He spoke to multitudes and then bade them to go and tell everyone in the city. When Jonah was finished delivering his message in all the great squares and plazas where people gathered, he took his leave of the city, traveling eastward and setting up a shelter where he had a view of the city and could witness with his own two eyes its destruction.

Now, the Ninevites were amazed at Jonah’s preaching, for he preached in power and authority and had knowledge of all their secret abominations. They deemed it impossible that Jonah could know these things except it was through the power of a god and took all his testimony of their secret works of wickedness as a witness that Jonah was speaking the very words of God, for this was the reason why Jonah was instructed by God to tell them of these things. The same principle was offered to Oliver Cowdery as a witness:

And now, behold, you have received a witness; for if I have told you things which no man knoweth have you not received a witness? (D&C 6:24)

Unlike the Jews in Jerusalem during Lehi’s time, who also had their secret works (which no man knew of) revealed by a prophet of God, for Lehi saw these iniquities in vision, but who mocked Lehi and rejected his testimony because Lehi lived among them and was aware of the ways and customs of the Jews as well as the words of the other prophets among them, and who therefore dismissed his claims of divine knowledge, the Ninevites could not account for how Jonah knew these things, for Jonah had just arrived and was a foreigner that knew nothing of them, except as God had told him. So, they accepted Jonah’s testimony as God-given, and all that Jonah said, all of it, as valid and true.

When Jonah left the city to set up camp on the east side of it, he wasn’t aware of the effect his preaching had had upon the men of the city. After the multitudes listened to him in amazement, they followed his instructions and repeated to everyone they knew the words he had spoken. Eventually, every last person in the entire city had heard the message, from the least to the greatest, and they were all equally affected or moved by it, and struck by a sense of urgency, for it was a timed message of destruction: repent in 40 days or perish. Therefore the king and his nobles acted rapidly, proclaiming a fast throughout the city and encouraging everyone to repent in sackcloth and pray to the Lord for forgiveness.

Jonah was in his shelter overlooking the city and could not see what was going on in it. He was of the thought that they were going about their lives as usual, unrepentant and fully ripening in inquity, his preaching having been in vain. Ever the man of sorrows, he became angry at the situation.

But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry. (Jonah 4:1)

The text of the book of Jonah is essentially correct, but is written in a fashion that seems to cast him in a negative light. This particular verse should have come after Jonah 3:4, so that the text instead read: “And Jonah began to enter into the city a day’s journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown. But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry.” Instead, it comes after Jonah 3:10 so that it reads: “And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not. But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry.” In other words, Jonah 3:5-10 is an insertion between Jonah 3:4 and Jonah 4:1. The insertion tells what happens to the Ninevites after Jonah’s preaching, but the insertion can be removed and the text would flow accurately from Jonah 3:4 to Jonah 4:1.

Now, it did not displease Jonah that the Ninevites were repenting of their sins, for he was not aware of what was happening in the city. No, what displeased Jonah was that he had to deliver a message of doom and that his preaching was in vain, for he believed that they had not repented, or would not repent, and that he was sent to this city for nothing.

And he prayed unto the Lord, and said, I pray thee, O Lord, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil. Therefore now, O Lord, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live. (Jonah 4:2-3.)

Once again Jonah turned to his old way of doing things, petitioning the Lord to take his life as a sacrifice, to allow him to take upon himself their sins, that the Lord would spare the city in return for his own life. He made this petition because he had no faith that they would repent. Also, because he lamented having to witness again the great destruction of Nineveh with his physical eyes, which he had already seen with his spiritual eyes in vision.

Then said the Lord, Doest thou well to be angry? (Jonah 4:4.)

The Lord knew what was happening in the city, but Jonah did not. To teach Jonah a lesson that the Lord’s heart was even greater than Jonah’s, He caused a gourd to grow overnight, making Jonah glad for the shade it offered him, and then He had a worm wither it the next night, making Jonah uncomfortable in the heat of the day and an east wind. Once again, Jonah was miserable and wished to die, for Jonah’s heart sorrowed for all life lost, even that of a gourd.

And God said to Jonah, Doest thou well to be angry for the gourd? And he said, I do well to be angry, even unto death. Then said the Lord, Thou hast had pity on the gourd, for the which thou hast not laboured, neither madest it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night: and should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle?  (Jonah 4:9-11.)

It was at this point that Jonah learned from the Lord that the Ninevites had repented of their sins and that the Lord had spared them from destruction. At this news, Jonah rejoiced and returned to Nineveh, where he was hailed as a hero and holy prophet sent from the Lord. The conversion of Nineveh was held to be a great miracle on the same grand scale as Melchizedek’s preaching to Salem:

Now this Melchizedek was a king over the land of Salem; and his people had waxed strong in iniquity and abomination; yea, they had all gone astray; they were full of all manner of wickedness; but Melchizedek having exercised mighty faith, and received the office of the high priesthood according to the holy order of God, did preach repentance unto his people. And behold, they did repent; and Melchizedek did establish peace in the land in his days; therefore he was called the prince of peace, for he was the king of Salem; and he did reign under his father. Now, there were many before him, and also there were many afterwards, but none were greater; therefore, of him they have more particularly made mention. (Alma 13:17-19.)

In the same way that Salem did for Melchizedek, the Ninevite converts of that time “more particularly made mention” of Jonah’s name. To them, Jonah was the greatest prophet of all time and they were all aware of his various attempts to offer his life as a sacrifice for their sins and to be their advocate and mediator before the Lord. This love that he had for them was reciprocated by them and when the full records come forth we will see just how highly esteemed Jonah was by that generation and also throughout generations of Ninevites. Even the Lord took notice of Jonah’s unique spirit. It was Jonah’s proclivity to self-sacrifice that caused Jesus to point to him as one of His types.

Jonah’s preaching was on a par with the greatest of all preachers, for everyone he preached to converted, without exception. All of the men on the ship converted to the Lord as well as all 120,000 Ninevites. In fact, Jonah may have been on the same level as Nephi, whose preaching power was so great that “it were not possible that they could disbelieve his words” (3 Ne. 7:18.) This is important to understand because when Jesus said that “a greater than Jonas is here” (Matt. 12:41 and Luke 11:32), He was comparing Himself to one of the greatest of all preachers, if not the very greatest. So, the Savior essentially was saying, “This is the greatest preacher you’ve had, and he truly was great, but I’m even greater.”

*Note: Jonah became a mediator of the Ninevites, mediating between them and the Lord and advocating their cause before Him. He did the same thing that Moses did for the Israelites—who pleaded with the Lord to pardon the iniquities of the people each time His wrath waxed hot and He was about to destroy them and make a new nation out of Moses—by appealing to the Lord’s gracious nature. See Exodus 32, Numbers 14 and Deuteronomy 9.

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Methods of Scriptural Interpretation


Constitutional Interpretation:

Judicial interpretation explains how a judge/court should interpret specific statutes of law, particularly in constitutional documents and legislation.

There are two main camps with regard to how this legal interpretation should work:

  • Originalism/strict constructionism – which would be characterized as “conservative” or “judicial restraint”.
  • Functionalism – which would be characterized as “liberal” or “judicial activism”.

Simply speaking, the former emphasizes fidelity to the original meaning [or originally intended meaning] of the words in the constitution.  It seeks to be loyal to the authors’ original intent by looking at things like what the words used generally meant at the time they were written and looking at what reasons the authors had for using particular phrases, etc.

While the latter would argue that the constitution was deliberately written to be broad/vague and flexible to accommodate social or technological change over time.  It seeks to be loyal to the author’s original intent by looking at what the words have generally come to mean in applicable ways to people today, etc.

The Constitutional Example of “Cruel and Unusual Punishment”:

In the 8th amendment of the US constitution, there is a clause that states:

nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

This seems cut-and-dry – however, there is controversy as to how to apply this clause/standard in specific judicial cases.  To look at it from the point-of-view of the two above schools of interpretation, we could interpret the clause in terms of:

  • What were generally accepted as “cruel and unusual” punishments during the late 1700’s?  What were the specific conceptions the founders had in mind when barring “cruel and unusual punishments”?  Etc.
  • Or what do we, as 21st century Americans, understand to be “cruel and unusual” ways to punish criminals?  How did the founders want us to be guided by the general concept of “cruelty” or “unusualness” in assigning punishments?  Etc.

In this way, one group has ground to argue, based on the idea of original intent, that hanging is not a cruel and unusual form of capital punishment because it would have generally been accepted at the time the constitution was written.

While the other group, still based on the idea of original intent, can argue that hanging is cruel and unusual at a time when we have developed more humane technologies for capital punishments – or that we have come to view the taking of human life as a form punishment itself as being cruel and unusual.

Scriptural Interpretation:

Scriptural interpretation can be seen as very similar to this constitutional/judicial interpretation.  There are different ways to approach the “original intent” question of passages that may seem quite vague when one attempts to apply them to particular circumstances.  These mirror to two schools of thought on judicial interpretation:

  • Strict textual/contextual interpretation – which would be characterized as “fundamentalist” or “conservative”.  Wherein this group focuses on the specific context of the scripture, what the author was addressing in that scripture, what did the words used mean at the time they were written, etc.
  • Liken the scriptures to yourself interpretation – which would be characterized as being more “liberal” with interpreting passages.  Wherein this group focuses on personal circumstances and concerns, what general concepts did the author outline in that scripture, what do the words used in the translation mean to me or what can I conclude from them personally, etc.

The former approaching scriptural intent by focusing on original context – the latter approaching the same goal by focusing on application to modern issues.

The Scriptural Example of Adultery:

Many directives in the scriptures seem cut-and-dry at first glance.  Take:

thou shalt not commit adultery

as an example.  What seems straight-forward can be really quite vague as we start to look into applying this “statute” to specific cases.  For example:

Alice is in an “open relationship” with Barry.  Both she and Barry have agreed to allow the other to seek extra-marital sexual partners for one-time flings – given that consent is granted prior to any intercourse.  Alice has had sexual relations with men other than Barry [her only husband], but she has always sought and obtained his permission for each of the encounters.

Barry [from the above example; married to Alice] has had some sexual relations with women other than Alice [his only wife], but maintains that – based on the original meaning of the Hebrew word “na’aph” – a man is not able to commit adultery.

Connor is married to two women.  Both know about the polygynous arrangement and both consented to it and find joy in it.  Connor engages in sexual relations with both women separately.

Darren is Christian.  Though he is married to only one woman and has only had sexual relations with his wife, he has imagined lust in his right-brain-heart towards other women.  Jesus Christ said:

But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

Earl is Catholic.  Though he is married to only one woman and has not imagined lust in his right-brain-heart towards other women, he has imagined lust in his right-brain-heart towards his wife.  According to Pope John Paul II:

Adultery “in the heart” is committed not only because man “looks” in this way at a woman who is not his wife, but precisely because he looks at a woman in this way.  Even if he looked in this way at the woman who is his wife, he could likewise commit adultery “in his heart”.

Who in this group committed adultery – which did not?  For what reasons did that person commit or not commit adultery?  Answering these specific cases suddenly reveals how vague a simple command of “thou shalt not commit adultery” can really be.  Am I bound by what adultery would have meant to Moses when he wrote it – or by what the church currently interprets “adultery” to entail – or by what my wife and I have agreed would violate the terms of our marriage covenant?

The Scriptural Interpretation of Hot Drinks:

Another example is:

And again, hot drinks are not for the body or belly.

The current church method seems to be the “strict textual/contextual interpretation” method, wherein essentially all official exposition on the subject default to this quote from Brigham Young:

I have heard it argued that tea and coffee are not mentioned [in D&C 89]; that is very true; but what were the people in the habit of taking as hot drinks when that revelation was given?  Tea and coffee.  We were not in the habit of drinking water very hot, but tea and coffee — the beverages in common use.

However, Brigham Young is going thru some contextual reasoning.  He is answering the question in terms of what the saints were generally in the habit of drinking very hot.  He is not laying down a clear-cut definition of “hot drinks” so that “tea and coffee” simply can just be substituted in for the words “hot drinks” to make the revelation read:

And again, tea and coffee are not for the body or belly.

However, given Brigham’s line of reasoning, it could be argued that the Lord is counseling against habitually drinking things very hot — which for the early saints happened to be tea and coffee.  However, it doesn’t necessarily follow that those are the only two specific conceptions the Lord wanted the saints to be guided by.

Putting this into the perspective of the two schools of interpretive thought:

  • Are we bound by the specific conceptions of “hot drinks” – meaning we, today, should just not drink the things that people in the 1830’s were in the habit of drinking very hot [As Brigham was arguing] — such that even though tea and coffee are now often consumed cold, we still must avoid them?
  • Or are we bound to the general concept of “drinks that are hot” – meaning we, today, should not be in the habit of drinking anything very hot [regardless of what the early saints were habitually doing] — such that if the saints became in the habit of drinking apple cider or chocolate as “hot drinks”, then we must avoid those too?

Questions:

  • How do you interpret scripture?
  • Are you an “original meaning” kind of reader – or a “liken it to myself” kind of reader?
  • Might one be appropriate at some times, while the other more appropriate for others?
  • What are the implications of favoring one school of thought over the other?
  • How might an “original meaning” person give extra insight to a “liken it to myself” person.  What about the other way around?

Next Article by Justin:  The Healing Gifts
Previous Article by Justin:  The Will of God and Faith

Seeking the Good of Others


Meat Sacrificed to Idols:

One of the issues in the first-century church that was addressed in writing by Paul concerned meat that had been sacrificed to idols.  Debates over what to eat might seem strange within a church established by a man who said:

Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him; Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats?

However, as formerly pagan/Roman converts began joining congregations of the church of Jesus Christ, an issue arose concerning the eating of meat.

Pleasing the Romans gods thru animal sacrifice resulted in temples having more meat than their priests and priestesses could eat.  So, as a source of income, the temples would sell the extra meat to vendors — who would in turn sell that meat in the marketplace for general consumption.  Thus, it was common for meat sold in the marketplace to have been previously consecrated as a sacrifice to a Roman god.  The Jews stayed away from such meat because they were wary of the chances encountering the “unclean” food-handling practices and they believed that to partake of consecrated meat was to give second-hand approval of idol worship.  The Gentiles did not believe that meat could be tainted by a sacrifice they did not participate in.  Both parties brought these preconceived cultural views on the subject with them into the church of Jesus Christ — thereby making the matter a point of contention within the church.

The council recorded in Acts 15 urged Gentile converts to abstain from meat sacrificed to idols.  In essence, the council sought to assure that at the next church sacramental meal a formerly-Jewish believer could eat meat he was served with confidence — knowing it had never been part of a sacrificial cow, and a formerly-Roman believer could not be accused of participating in idol worship.

Applying the Matter to Ourselves:

Whenever I read Paul’s writings on the subject of members of the church of Jesus Christ eating meat that had was considered “unclean” by some — I can’t help but think of the current LDS views on things like meat, caffeinated drinks, beer, and wine.  So last week, I read thru 1 Corinthians 8-10, imagining that Paul was writing to church members today on the subject of the Word of Wisdom.

Paul’s Law of Offense = Seek the good of others instead of being concerned for your own good:

The following was taken from 1 Corinthians 8-10.

Some people might think that all things are lawful for them because of justification by faith or because of all the knowledge they have on the issue.  While the freedom in Christ or the knowledge you obtain may make you feel important, it is love that strengthens the church of God.  If you claim to know all the answers, then you don’t really know very much.  However, the person who loves God – the same is known by Him.

Whether or not everything is lawful for you – not everything is expedient or constructive.

You may be able to consume any food or drink without raising questions of moral conscience within yourself because you understand that everything from the earth comes from the Lord.  Why should your freedom be limited by what someone else thinks?  If you are capable of enjoying all things that come from God, then why should you be condemned for it?  We can’t win God’s approval by what we eat – you won’t lose anything if you abstain, and you won’t gain anything if you partake.  So whether you eat or drink – whatever you do – do it all to glorify God.

However, not all believers understand this.  Some are accustomed to thinking that words of wisdom concerning diet are commandments – and their weak consciences will be offended.

Should a non-member ask you over to his or her house, by all means go if you want to and eat whatever is offered to you, out of respect for their hospitality.  But then should a member there point out that the food or drink served ought to be considered morally objectionable to you because of your religion – don’t consume it out of consideration for the one who told you.  For you must be careful that your freedom doesn’t cause another of a weaker conscience to stumble.

If your superior knowledge on a subject were to encourage a believer to do something they believe is wrong, then you would be sinning against Christ because he died for that person too.

If my dietary choices would cause another believer to sin, then may I never break the “commandments” outlined in any words of wisdom concerning diet so long as I live.  I do not desire another believer to stumble.  Don’t give offense to Jews, Gentiles, or the church of God.  Try to please everyone in what you do.  Don’t just do what is best for yourself – do what is best for others, so that many may be saved.

When you are with those who are weak, you should share their weakness because you have a desire to bring the weak to Christ.  It is best to try and find common ground with people, doing everything you can that you might save some.

Even though you are a free person, with no earthly slave master, you must become a servant to all people to bring them to Christ.  When you are with Jews, live like a Jew to bring them to Christ.  When you are with members who strictly adhere to Church™ teachings, live under that law – even though you are not subject to that law, do so in order to bring Christ to them.  When you are with Gentiles who are without the law, then also live apart from that law for the purpose of bringing them to Christ.  But you must not ignore the law of God – always obey the law of Christ.

Questions:

  • Is my characterization of Paul’s teaching on offense accurate?
  • What lessons can be drawn from his teaching?
  • Is my connection of his teaching on eating pagan meat with the Word of Wisdom™ fair?
  • Is this teaching consistent with the rest of the Scriptures?
  • How can we balance Paul’s law of offense with spicing up your church experience, rebelling against body modesty, or cheerfully doing all things?

Next Article by Justin:  Money-free Communities

Previous Article by Justin:  Cheerfully Doing All Things

Wives, follow your husbands! – Patriarchy, androcracy and the egalitarian tribe


My text for this post are the following scriptural passages, written by the apostles Peter and Paul:

Peter: Wives, be in subjection to obedient and disobedient husbands

Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conduct of the wives; while they behold your chaste conduct coupled with fear.  Let your adorning be not that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and wearing of gold, or putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.  For after this manner in old times the holy women, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands; even as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord; whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do will, and are not afraid with any amazement. (1 Peter 3: 1-6 Inspired Version)

Paul: Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. (Colossians 3: 18 Inspired Version)

Paul: Wives, your husband is your head, submit and subject yourselves to him

But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. (1 Corinthians 11: 3 Inspired Version)

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.  For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church; and he is the Savior of the body.  Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. (Ephesians 5: 22-24 Inspired Version)

Androcracy

Androcracy is “rulership by the men.”  (From Webster’s 3rd Unabridged International Dictionary.)

Although there is little doubt that biblical patriarchy existed, what Peter and Paul taught under the gospel framework in the above scriptural passages was theological androcracy, not biblical patriarchy.  Patriarchy is androcracy with the added dimension of father-right.  Here are the definitions of patriarchy and patriarch, as well as matriarchy, from the same dictionary.

Patriarch

A patriarch is “the father and ruler of a family or tribe; one ruling his family or descendants by paternal right; –usually applied to heads of families in ancient history, esp. in Biblical and Jewish history to those who lived before Moses.”  The word comes from patri-, meaning father + arch, meaning a leader, chief.

Patriarchy

A state or stage of social development characterized by the supremacy of the father in the clan or family in both domestic and religious functions, the legal dependence of wife, or wives, and children, and the reckoning of descent and inheritance in the male line.  Patriarchy is distinguished from androcracy, or the physical and social supremacy of men in primitive society, patriarchy being held to involve, besides such supremacy, father right (adaptation of the Ger. Vaterrecht), or descent and inheritance in the male line.

Matriarchy

A state or stage of social evolution in which descent is reckoned only in the female line, all children belonging to the mother’s clan.  Such a system increases the mother’s social and political importance, making her the head of the family and the guardian of religious rites and traditions.  Hence, with many writers matriarchy means not only descent reckoned through the female line (called uterine descent, or cognation), but also rulership by woman.  Others, however, discriminate the rights and customs characteristic of uterine descent, as mother-right (adaptation of G. Mutterrecht), from the political or domestic supremacy of woman, known as gynecocracy, or gynocracy, “rulership by women,” or metrocracy, “rulership by mothers.”  Matriarchy in the narrow sense (that is, as “mother-right”) is found among many primitive peoples; whether it ever existed in the broader sense is disputed.

The priesthood is patterned after the egalitarian tribe

We modern LDS tend to view the the gospel in terms of only patriarchy and androcracy, but this view is only held because we are not numbered in functioning tribes.  The gospel, when lived tribally, encompasses patriarchy, matriarchy, androcracy, gynocracy, father-right and mother-right.  When taken out of the tribal context, some aspects of it manifest or dominate more, while others are suppressed, depending on the non-tribal culture we find ourselves in.  The gospel can be adapted to the cultures and societies of the world, but it is designed to be lived in egalitarian tribes.

Because of the gospel’s tribal nature, the organization of the priesthood mimics that of the egalitarian tribe.  Bishops, bishoprics, counselors, common judges, higher judges, lower judges, high councils, presidencies, apostles, seventies, quorums, etc., all have their counterpart in egalitarian tribal organization.

Tribal bishops

A man married to a woman acts in the office of a bishop.  The office of a bishop “is in administering all temporal things” (D&C 107: 68) and in being a common judge.  This is the duty of a husband, to provide the temporal (material) necessities of life for his wife and children, and to sit as a judge in his family.

His wife, as his helpmeet, may act as his counselor in matters of temporal administration or in judgment of family affairs, or may simply defer all judgment to him, allowing him to sit as a literal descendant of Aaron, without counselors.

The tribal bishop (with the single counselor) is superior to the church bishop because there is a covenantal bond between bishop and counselor.

Tribal bishoprics

When a man is married to two wives, the arrangement corresponds to a bishopric with two counselors.  The two wives are not equal to the man, just as a bishopric’s counselors are not equal to the bishop: he is the wives’ bishop (with responsibility to provide temporal salvation) and they are the husband’s counselors.  Because of the covenantal bonds between the man and his wives, this marriage bishopric is superior to a church bishopric.

Common judge

A husband in a tribe sits as a common judge of the wife with whom he lives and their children.

Higher judges the lower; lower judges the higher

The gospel principle set forth in the Book of Mormon of a system of higher and lower judges, the lower one judging the higher and the higher judging the lower, is based upon ancient tribunals (tribe-unals), or tribal judgment systems.

Higher and lower judges

When a man has more than one wife, his wives form a quorum or council of lower judges. Because common consent must reign supreme, the combined decision of his wives upon his head is the end of controversy concerning him. If a husband, a common judge, acts up the lower judges (the wives) can convene to decide the issue.

When a woman has more than one husband, her husbands form a quorum or council of higher judges. If she acts up, the matter can be taken before a council of her husbands, for judgment.

These are the true “courts of love,” for all these people are married to each other and are under covenant to love one another. They are superior to church higher, lower and common judges, as well as church higher and lower courts of love. The church courts are mere imitations of the tribal courts.

A jury of peers

In an egalitarian tribal system, the jury of peers consists of the husbands of your wife, or the wives of your husband. The modern jury of peers is inferior to the tribal peers, because there is no mechanism to link the peers together. In the tribal system, they all have a vested interest that justice and mercy be done, for they are all linked together through a web of marriage covenants.

Priesthood councils, presidencies and quorums

Every conceivable priesthood council, presidency and quorum is found within the tribal quorums and councils of husbands. Three husbands of one wife form a presidency. Twelve husbands of one wife who are free to travel, form a quorum of apostles (sent ones). Seven husbands of one wife who are free to travel, form a presidency of seventy. Seventy husbands who are free to travel form a quorum of seventy. 12, 24, 48, or 96 husbands form quorums of deacons, teachers, priests and elders.

The United Order

A woman who has multiple husbands essentially is married to multiple bishops, meaning she is married to men who are responsible for her temporal welfare. Her husbands form a bishopric quorum, or quorum of bishops, in which they share what they have with each other and with their wives and children, so that all have everything common. They are bound to the all the wives by covenant to care for them and thus are bound (or linked through her) to each other, also. In other words, this is the what the United Order is patterned after. The United Order binds men together by covenant to care for the poor and the needy and to dispose of their material possessions in their behalf.

Androcracy and patriarchy are found in egalitarian tribes

The egalitarian tribe is what Zion is based upon, nevertheless, an egalitarian tribe may or may not use the gospel as its tribal law. Just as a husband is free to “obey not the word” of God, so an entire egalitarian tribe is free to adopt or reject the gospel. But regardless of whether a husband obeys the word of God or rejects it, the gospel, being patterned after the egalitarian tribe, requires that wives submit or subject themselves to their husbands. This is a manifestation of androcracy. The husband is the common judge, the bishop. When there are multiple husbands, they constitute the high council, or higher judges.

When one husband lives with the wife and the other husbands live with other wives, the children of the one wife that lives with the one husband may be counted as posterity of the one husband, even though any of the husbands may have fathered the children and despite all husbands treating them as their own flesh and blood. But on the tribal records, all children may be written down as being fathered by the one husband living with the wife. This is a manifestation of patriarchy.

Gynocracy and matriarchy are also found in egalitarian tribes

When acting as a quorum or council, as a court, as a jury of peers, or when giving or withholding consent, the wives manifest gynocracy. All the children born to a woman are posterity of that woman and her lineage is recorded on tribal records. This is a manifestation of matriarchy or mother-right (uterine descent). If the woman lives with multiple husbands and not just one of her husbands, then uterine descent is the preferred method of recording lineage.

When a woman marries a man from another clan or tribe, she remains with her clan and her husband leaves his own clan to join with her clan, not vice versa. The gospel imitates this tribal function by instructing the man to leave his father and mother and become one flesh with his wife.

Gospel checks and balances

The gospel provides checks and balances to abuses that may result in relationships between men and women.  Although women are instructed to obey their husbands, even if the husbands are not themselves obeying the gospel, the law of common consent still applies.  Also, men are instructed to love their wives and to use only persuasion, long-suffering, gentleness, unfeigned love, kindness and pure knowledge to influence their wives.  If any husband attempts to maintain his power or influence over his wives by virtue of his title of husband, or if he attempts to exercise control or unrighteous dominion over his wives, his authority as a husband is null and void and his wife is justified in withdrawing her consent from him.  But as long as that husband follows the gospel-prescribed way of influencing people, even if the man himself is an unbeliever, or was a believer in the gospel but has since departed from it, or even if the man believes in the gospel but his views of the gospel have become markedly different than the wife’s, she is still bound by the gospel to obey him.

Proper protocol: go through covenant lines of authority

Sometimes a woman is tempted to by-pass her husband and his divinely appointed leadership and go to an ecclesiastical (church) authority for direction.  She may feel justified to talk to her bishop, or perhaps even to her stake president, about her husband, because she feels that his beliefs about, and actions concerning, the gospel are incorrect.  She may feel that he is breaking his gospel covenants in some way, shape or form (even though he himself may not see them as broken).  Or, perhaps he no longer believes in the gospel.  Because of this, she may see him as a sinner and as a man no longer worthy of following, submitting and subjecting herself to.

If she goes to see the bishop or stake president for guidance and direction, by-passing her husband and tattle-telling on him, she will be guilty of committing sin.  Men and women are free to believe what they will and act however they want.  They are free to accept the gospel, modify the gospel or reject it outright.  As long as a husband is following the proper manner of influencing a wife, in other words, as long as there is no unrighteous dominion, the wife is to obey the husband.  That is the gospel law.  He can start drinking and smoking and swearing, he can start growing a beard and stop wearing ties, he can do all sorts of things that his wife may think are incompatible with the gospel, but as long as he is not exercising unrighteous dominion, she is bound by the gospel law to submit to his authority.

The reason why there is no gospel justification in holding a bishop or stake president’s authority above a husband’s is because the Lord considers the authority of a husband as carrying more weight than the authority of a bishop or stake president.  The bishop or stake president is under no covenant relationship with the man’s wife.  They have no vested interest in her.  They have not become one with her.  The husband, though, has become one with her and has a vested interest in her, and she in him.  Even without the priesthood, the husband still acts in the tribal office of bishop and common judge.  The Lord looks upon him as if he were an un-ordained priest, as if he possessed priesthood.  And the Lord fully recognizes the tribal authority of that man.

When a wife goes to a priesthood holder who has no covenantal relationship to her, for leadership and guidance, she shows by her actions that she has no respect for her husband’s tribal office, nor for the gospel law or their marriage covenant.  She disrespects both her husband and the Lord.

Proper priesthood protocol is to go through the lines of authority.  The first line of authority that a wife has access to is her husband with whom she is living.  This line is created by her covenantal relationship to him.  Her next lines of authority are all her other husbands, who do not live with her, but who also have covenantal relationships with her.  The next line of authority would be the wives of her husband, what some call the “sister wives.”  These wives are linked to her through covenants they have with her husband.  An ecclesiastical leader, who has no covenantal ties to her, is the very last line of authority she should resort to, and only after all tribal lines have been exhausted.

Not submitting is iniquity

Again, if a woman in such a situation, whose husband is not engaging in unrighteous dominion, does not submit to her husband, she commits the sin of rebellion and treason by ratting out his beliefs and actions which she believes are incompatible with the gospel to an ecclesiastical authority who has no covenantal relationship to her.  It is disloyalty and betrayal on her part, akin to cheating, by revealing family matters essentially to strangers and is unbecoming of a saint.  It also will create even greater problems in her family as now the ecclesiastical leader will often go on a witch-hunt and interfere in their covenantal connection.

If there are beliefs or actions that the wife doesn’t like, she and the husband need to work it out among themselves, and not drag persons who are not in a covenantal relationship with either one of them into the matter.  If there is genuine iniquity, it needs to be confessed to the offending party (the wife or the husband) and then forgiveness and reconciliation between the two needs to occur.  Ecclesiastical authorities are only to be called in for cases of unrepentant sins in which the offending party refuses to confess to a sin witnessed by two or more persons.  But in most cases a spouse should never testify against another spouse.  That would be an act of betrayal.

Speaking in terms of plasma theology, this would be like two planets linked to each other through a plasma column (the marital covenant) and one of them moves toward, or attracts, a third planet that has no plasma column linking it to the first two planets.  The resulting plasma interactions will cause disruption of the plasma column found between the first two planets.

Paul’s words

In a gospel-centered marriage, the man and woman have covenanted with each other, making them equals.  They have also covenanted with Christ, which binds both of them individually to Him.  This makes a triangle, with the husband, wife and Christ each taking a corner.

Paul’s words, though, about God being the head of Christ, Christ being the head of man, and man being the head of woman, creates a straight line of authority (a plasma column) : creating a patriarchy or androcracy.  What needs to be kept in mind when reading Paul is that this is only one frame of the picture.  If the full, tribal picture is not seen, if only the one frame is observed, it is understandable that the gospel may be understood as containing only patriarchy.  With only the single frame to see, patriarchy or androcracy dominates the view.

Paul’s words, then, must be viewed in light of the complete, tribal picture, that also contains matriarchy and gynocracy.  This makes it plain that the gospel is egalitarian in nature.  We cannot clearly see it now because we are not currently living in egalitarian tribes.

The head is the chief, which is the servant

In the gospel, the chief ones are to be the servants, by entrance into the priesthood.  So, when Paul says that the man is the head of the woman, it is because he is meant to be the servant of the woman.

But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them.  But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: and whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all.  For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. (Mark 10: 42-45, emphasis mine.)

Here is the same scripture, re-worded a little different:

But Jesus called them, and said to them,

You [Twelve] know that they who are appointed to be -archs(a) over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them.  But among you [Twelve] there shall be anarchy(b); whoever desires to become great among you [Twelve], shall be minister of you [Twelve].  And whoever of you [Twelve] desires to become the chiefest, shall be servant of all.  For even the Son of Man came, not to be ministered to, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.  (Mark 10: 42-45, emphasis mine.)

(a) “-arch” and “arch” defined: -arch Function: noun combining form. Etymology: Middle English -arche, from Anglo-French & Late Latin & Latin; Anglo-French -arche, from Late Latin -archa, from Latin -arches, -archus, from Greek -arches, -archos, from archein, to begin, rule. : ruler : leader  (Taken from Merriam-Webster’s Online Collegiate Dictionary.)  -arch [Gr. archos chief, commander, archein to rule. See ARCH, a.]  A suffix meaning a ruler, as in monarch (a sole ruler). arch, a. 1. Chief; eminent; greatest; principal.  (Taken from Webster’s 3rd Unabridged International Dictionary.)

(b) anarchy Etymology: Medieval Latin anarchia, from Greek, from anarchos having no ruler, from an- + archos ruler.  (Taken from Merriam-Webster’s Online Collegiate Dictionary.)

So, whoever wanted to be great, was not be be great (they were to be the least) and whoever wanted to be first (chief, principal), was to be last (servant of all).  The priesthood, then, is not an archy, but an anarchy.  The order is reversed: whoever wants to be first must be last.  There are to be no rulers, only servants.

Follow the Brethren

Although many LDS find this annoying saying (“follow the brethren”) to be counter-productive to a gospel-enlightened life, it actually does have some basis in truth.  In a tribal setting, in which a wife is married to multiple husbands, her husbands form a tribal quorum of “brethren.”  If these men hold the Holy Priesthood, they also form a priesthood quorum.  It is this quorum of husbands, or council of husbands, that the wife must follow.  When meeting together to decide issues pertaining to this woman and her children, they form a council of husbands.

In the church, the saying “follow the brethren” applies to quorums, or men who hold priesthood together as a quorum, and specifically to the highest two quorums in the church: the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

In a tribe, the highest quorum that has anything to do with a wife, being bound to her by covenant, is the quorum of her husbands.  If she is in a monogamous relationship, then she is to follow her “brother” (singular husband) until such time as she gets another husband.  So, the only “brother” or “brethren” that the gospel requires to be followed (by women) is the council of husbands.  For the men, we are to “follow the sisters”, meaning that quorum or council of our wives that decides issues in tribal settings.

Conclusion

A tribal view of the gospel helps us to see it for what it really is.  There is no aspect of the gospel that we need be ashamed of.  It is completely egalitarian in nature and divine.

Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist

The Parable of the Redemption of Zion (D&C 101: 43-62), Take Two: a Purely Planetary/Plasma Interpretation


Prophecy = Planetary Movements

It is my understanding that the heavenly precedes the earthly and that prophecy takes as its template what happens in the heavens: the movements of planets. Prophecy is merely the description of these movements and the plasma interactions that result from them.

The 1st Key

All true prophecy follows the same pattern: every element is some celestial body or plasma display—a star, a planet, a comet, etc.–and the imagery in the prophetic story is imagery seen in the heavens. So, for example, if the prophecy mentions a sword, it doesn’t mean that there is a real sword in the heavens (the sky or outer space) but that there are planetary movements and plasma formations that, when seen from Earth, create the image of, or look like, a sword. Again, it is merely the image of a sword, not a real, earthly sword. This is a key to understanding prophecy.

So, any prophecy is merely the movements of the planets and the resulting plasma interactions, converted into a story. To understand the prophecy, one must convert the story back into the planetary movements and plasma interactions.

Prophets Prophesy of the Heavenly

In any true prophecy of the future, the prophet is explaining what is going to occur in the heavens: the movements and plasma interactions of the planets.

Prophets Prophesy of the Earthly

After the planets go through their motions, fulfilling the elements of the prophecy, the same story then plays out here on Earth.

The 2nd Key

A second key, then, to understanding prophecy is that first comes the heavenly fulfillment followed by an earthly fulfillment.

Elements and Their Order: The 3rd Key

For a prophecy to be fulfilled, every element of it must be present, in the correct sequential order. If any element is missing or if any two elements are out of order, the prophecy is not fulfilled. This is a third key to understanding prophecy.

Why D&C 101: 43-62 is still future

When applying these three keys to the parable of the redemption of Zion, it becomes clear that this parable, which is a prophetic story, has not been fulfilled in any way.

Most people who comment on the parable assign a strictly earth-based meaning to it. Not possessing the first two keys, they fail to examine the past and present astronomical history to see if the heavenly aspect of it has been fulfilled. Had they used these keys, they would have quickly noticed that nothing even remotely similar to the parable has occurred in the heavens. This would halt their search for any earthly fulfillment, because the earthly must follow the heavenly.

By forcing an earth-only fulfillment, commentators must use the third key alone, but even here they often don’t turn it. If a prophecy contains exactly 10 elements, they will often accept 9 as its “fulfillment.” If the order is 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, they will often accept 1, 2, 4, 3, 5, 6 and call it “fulfilled.” Coming close is their standard, not exactness.

For example, many people still believe that the first part of this parable (D&C 101: 43-51) was fulfilled in Independence, Missouri or in Nauvoo, Illinois, because the parable speaks of a failed attempt to build a tower, which everyone interprets as a temple, and the Missouri saints failed to build a temple. In the case of Nauvoo, some people also believe that the Nauvoo temple was not completed (either entirely or in the time designated by the Lord to be completed).

A simple look at the parable will show that neither interpretation is correct. Notice the sequential order and the number of elements:

  • 1st, the servants of the Nobleman plant 12 olive-trees, which Joseph Smith interpreted as being 12 stakes. (A tree is a stick of wood sticking straight out of the ground. A stake is a stick of wood sticking straight out of the ground.  To the prophetic mind, they are the same.) This never occurred during Joseph’s lifetime. (A number of stakes were established, but not 12.)
  • 2nd, the servants build a hedge around the 12 trees (stakes). This also never occurred.
  • 3rd, the servants set watchmen upon the hedge. This also never occurred.

The first three elements are completely missing from the Missouri and Nauvoo histories. There is no way around this, so interpreters merely ignore these elements and start with the 4th.

  • 4th, the servants begin to construct a tower but get no farther than laying its foundation. Joseph interpreted the tower as an observatory, distinct from a temple, but everyone else combines them together. His design for the Nauvoo temple called for a tower to be built on top of (in addition to) the temple. The parable only mentions a tower, not a temple. So, tower does not equate to temple, yet people routinely mix these elements up.

These first four elements of the parable are sufficient to show that neither Missouri nor Nauvoo fulfills the parable/prophecy. There are similarities to past and current events for some elements, but coming close is not the same as fulfillment. For example, some will see the City Creek Development as fulfillment of D&C 101: 49 (“Might not this money be given to the exchangers?”) Prophecy is based upon true patterns, so sure we’ll see aspects of prophecy repeated among men, but we shouldn’t be so quick to declare that “this is prophecy being fulfilled before our very eyes.” When we take one element of a 10-element prophecy out of context, it sets us up to miss the real event.

About this post

In my previous post, I attempted to interpret the parable of the redemption of Zion using key #3 alone, as an earth-only fulfillment. Halfway through my examination, I realized that the entire thing was evidently speaking of the planets and I thought to scratch out what I was writing and start all over again, this time applying the three keys, but I didn’t because I found the exercise fun and also because the information I had drawn out of the text interested me. Despite my attempt at using only the third key, I still couldn’t come up with a strictly earth-bound interpretation because my mind kept seeing the heavens move about and I ended up with a mixed bag: half earth-bound, half planetary. I found the post strange and wonderful at the same time, if not wholly accurate, and felt compelled to hit the publish button.

The very next day, I re-interpreted it according to the three prophetic keys and wrote out this post. Unfortunately, I had computer/Internet connection problems and I wasn’t able to publish this until today. What follows is what I believe to be the actual meaning of the parable, the real celestial events that the parable’s story was placed over. Unlike the previous post, these aren’t musings, but consist of my scriptural exposition of this parable.

Parable of the Redemption of Zion

And now, I will show unto you a parable, that you may know my will concerning the redemption of Zion.

The Planet EEAAOOAAEE

A certain nobleman

Nobleman is the massive Planet EEAAOOAAEE.

Planet EEAAOOAAEE owns Our Solar System

had a spot of land, very choice;

The very choice land is the empty space that makes up Our Solar System, such as the field that a man had, “and he sent forth his servants [planets] into the field [Our Solar System] to dig in the field [Our Solar System]” (D&C 88: 51.)

Planet EEAAOOAAEE speaks to Servant Planets; i.e., Planet EEAAOOAAEE discharges Interplanetary Thunderbolts to the Servant Planets

and he said unto his servants:

Servants are planets located in the empty spaces between the various Solar Systems.

Planet EEAAOOAAEE commands Servant Planets to go to a Solar System

Go ye unto my vineyard,

Vineyard is any of the Solar Systems, where the bulk of the fruit (planets) are located. Servant Planets are to travel to one of these Solar Systems.

Planet EEAAOOAAEE commands Servant Planets to go to Our Solar System

even upon this very choice piece of land,

Servant Planets are to travel to Our Solar System.

Planet EEAAOOAAEE commands Servant Planets to plant Twelve Planet/Plasma Trees

and plant twelve olive-trees;

Servant Planets are to discharge plasma and/or rearrange the objects of Our Solar System, creating the visual image of olive-trees in twelve locations around Our Solar System. To do this, the trees must be “planted” on the Planets of Our Solar System. When the Planets of Our Solar System are properly arranged, they discharge plasma, creating the visual image of a tree coming from their poles. This can be accomplished with a minimum of six planets (two trees per planet, one out of each pole.)

Planet EEAAOOAAEE commands Servant Planets to set Moons around Twelve Planet/Plasma Trees

and set watchmen round about them,

Servant Planets are to discharge plasma and/or rearrange the objects of Our Solar System, creating the visual images of watchmen around the olive-tree plasma formations. The visual images of watchmen are moons that circle a planet.

Planet EEAAOOAAEE commands Servant Planets to build an Interplanetary Plasma Tube

and build a tower,

Servant Planets are to discharge plasma and/or rearrange the objects of Our Solar System, creating the visual image of a tower (plasma tube). The visual image of a tower can be formed by a stack of planets with a plasma tube connecting them.

so that a Planet Sun, set upon the Interplanetary Plasma Tube, can illuminate the space surrounding Our Solar System

that one may overlook the land round about, to be a watchman upon the tower,

Servant Planets are to discharge plasma and/or rearrange the objects of Our Solar System, creating the visual image of a watchman upon the tower. The visual image of a watchman upon a tower can be formed by a planet sitting atop a plasma tube.

so that when the Disruptive Planets Not From Our Solar System come, they don’t destroy the plasma and planetary formations

that mine olive-trees may not be broken down when the enemy shall come to spoil

The enemy are Disruptive Planets Not From Our Solar System.

and capture the Planets of Our Solar System

and take upon themselves the fruit of my vineyard.

The fruit of the vineyard are the Planets of Our Solar System. If the Servant Planets have not accomplished their work by the time the Disruptive Planets Not From Our Solar System enter Our Solar System, these Disruptive Planets Not From Our Solar System will break up the plasma and planetary formations of the olive-trees, hedge, watchmen, tower, and watchman upon the tower and will capture the Planets of Our Solar System.

Servant Planets enter Our Solar System

Now, the servants of the nobleman went and did as their lord commanded them,

The Servant Planets enter Our Solar System.

Servant Planets form Twelve Planet/Plasma Trees

and planted the olive-trees,

The Servant Planets discharge plasma and/or rearrange the objects of Our Solar System, creating the visual images of twelve olive-trees around Our Solar System.

Servant Planets form Planetary Rings around Twelve Planet/Plasma Trees

and built a hedge round about,

The Servant Planets discharge plasma and/or rearrange the objects of Our Solar System, creating the visual image of a hedge around the twelve olive-tree plasma formations. The visual image of a hedge is a planetary ring, such as the rings of the planet Saturn. It could also be an asteroid belt.

Servant Planets set Moons upon the Planetary Rings

and set watchmen,

The Servant Planets discharge plasma and/or rearrange the objects of Our Solar System, creating the visual image of a hedge around the plasma formations of the twelve olive-trees and also creating the visual image of watchmen upon the hedge. The visual image of watchmen upon the hedge is of moons orbiting the planet, on the outskirts of the planetary rings, as if the moons were set upon the rings. It can also be of planets skirting the edge of the asteroid belt.

Servant Planets form a Partial Interplanetary Plasma Tube

and began to build a tower.

The Servant Planets discharge plasma and/or rearrange the objects of Our Solar System, creating the visual image of the foundation of a tower. The visual image of a tower is of a plasma tube connecting two (or more) planets. A plasma tube between two planets that only goes part of the way up from only one of the planets (it doesn’t actually connect the planets) will look like the foundation of a tower and not a completed tower.

Servant Planets discharge Interplanetary Thunderbolts after forming Partial Interplanetary Plasma Tube

And while they were yet laying the foundation thereof, they began to say among themselves:

After the foundation of a tower image is formed, the Servant Planets discharge plasma between themselves, creating interplanetary thunderbolts (celestial sound/thunder).

Servant Planets discharge Interplanetary Thunderbolts

And what need hath my lord of this tower?

The Servant Planets discharge plasma between themselves, creating interplanetary thunderbolts (celestial sound/thunder).

Servant Planets discharge Interplanetary Thunderbolts for a long time

And consulted for a long time,

The Servant Planets continue discharging plasma between themselves, creating interplanetary thunderbolts (celestial sound/thunder) for a long time.

Servant Planets discharge Interplanetary Thunderbolts

saying among themselves:

The Servant Planets discharge plasma between themselves, creating interplanetary thunderbolts (celestial sound/thunder).

Servant Planets discharge Interplanetary Thunderbolts

What need hath my lord of this tower, seeing this is a time of peace?

The Servant Planets discharge plasma between themselves, creating interplanetary thunderbolts (celestial sound/thunder).

Servant Planets discharge Interplanetary Thunderbolts

Might not this money be given to the exchangers?

The Servant Planets discharge plasma between themselves, creating interplanetary thunderbolts (celestial sound/thunder).

Servant Planets discharge Interplanetary Thunderbolts

For there is no need of these things.

The Servant Planets discharge plasma between themselves, creating interplanetary thunderbolts (celestial sound/thunder).

Servant Planets discharge Interplanetary Thunderbolts

And while they were at variance one with another

The Servant Planets discharge plasma between themselves, creating interplanetary thunderbolts (celestial sound/thunder).

Servant Planets slow down their rotation and celestial movements

they became very slothful,

The Servant Planets begin to rotate and move in their orbits much more slowly, slowing down to a near standstill.

Servant Planets stop forming the Interplanetary Plasma Tube

and they hearkened not unto the commandments of their lord.

The Servant Planets no longer go through the spatial movements necessary to finish the creation of the visual image of a tower (a plasma formation).

Servant Planets stop discharging; afterward Disruptive Planets enter Our Solar System

And the enemy came by night,

The Servant Planets stop discharging interplanetary thunderbolts between themselves, so that there is no more celestial sound/thunder. The watchmen (moons) upon the hedge move off and away. The only visual images that remain when one looks upon into the sky are the twelve olive-trees, the hedge and the foundation of a tower. But even these displays of plasma are reduced in power, so that everything seems like it is nighttime and the heavens are asleep. In this setting, the Disruptive Planets Not From Our Solar System enter Our Solar System.

Disruptive Planets break down Planetary Rings (that have no Moons skirting their edges)

and broke down the hedge;

The Disruptive Planets Not From Our Solar System break down the hedge (planetary rings/asteroid belt).

Servant Planets begin discharging and leave Our Solar System

and the servants of the nobleman arose and were affrighted, and fled;

The Servant Planets begin to discharge wildly and begin moving again, leaving Our Solar System.

Disruptive Planets destroy planetary/plasma formations of Servant Planets

and the enemy destroyed their works,

The Disruptive Planets Not From Our Solar System destroy all the plasma/planetary formations created by the Servant Planets.

Disruptive Planets break down formation of Twelve Planetary/Plasma Trees

and broke down the olive-trees.

The Disruptive Planets Not From Our Solar System remove the plasma formation of the olive-trees.

Planet EEAAOOAAEE discharges Interplanetary Thunderbolts to the Servant Planets

Now, behold, the nobleman, the lord of the vineyard, called upon his servants, and said unto them,

Outside of Our Solar System, plasma discharges occur between Planet EEAAOOAAEE and the Servant Planets.

Planet EEAAOOAAEE discharges Interplanetary Thunderbolts to the Servant Planets

Why! what is the cause of this great evil?

Outside of Our Solar System, plasma discharges occur between Planet EEAAOOAAEE and the Servant Planets.

Planet EEAAOOAAEE discharges Interplanetary Thunderbolts to the Servant Planets

Ought ye not to have done even as I commanded you, and—after ye had planted the vineyard, and built the hedge round about, and set watchmen upon the walls thereof—built the tower also,

Outside of Our Solar System, plasma discharges occur between Planet EEAAOOAAEE and the Servant Planets. In this “conversation,” the Servant Planets are chastised for not completing the plasma tube (tower).

Planet EEAAOOAAEE discharges Interplanetary Thunderbolts to the Servant Planets

and set a watchman upon the tower,

Outside of Our Solar System, plasma discharges occur between Planet EEAAOOAAEE and the Servant Planets. In this “conversation,” the Servant Planets are chastised for not setting a planet atop the completed plasma tube (tower).

Planet EEAAOOAAEE discharges Interplanetary Thunderbolts to the Servant Planets

and watched for my vineyard,

Outside of Our Solar System, plasma discharges occur between Planet EEAAOOAAEE and the Servant Planets. In this “conversation,” the Servant Planets are chastised for not keeping the watchmen (moons/planets) upon the hedge (rings/asteroid belt).

Planet EEAAOOAAEE discharges Interplanetary Thunderbolts to the Servant Planets

and not have fallen asleep, lest the enemy should come upon you?

Outside of Our Solar System, plasma discharges occur between Planet EEAAOOAAEE and the Servant Planets. In this “conversation,” the Servant Planets are chastised for going into a low power mode, slowing down their orbits and rotations, reducing the energy field of Our Solar System.

Planet EEAAOOAAEE discharges Interplanetary Thunderbolts to the Servant Planets

And behold, the watchman upon the tower would have seen the enemy while he was yet afar off;

Outside of Our Solar System, plasma discharges occur between Planet EEAAOOAAEE and the Servant Planets. In this “conversation,” the Servant Planets are told that had a planet been set atop the plasma tube (tower), it would have discharged, illuminating the space surrounding Our Solar System so that the approaching Disruptive Planets Not From Our Solar System would have been seen.

Planet EEAAOOAAEE discharges Interplanetary Thunderbolts to the Servant Planets

and then ye could have made ready

Outside of Our Solar System, plasma discharges occur between Planet EEAAOOAAEE and the Servant Planets. In this “conversation,” the Servant Planets are told that then Our Solar System would have gone into high energy mode, creating a strong plasma double layer.

Hannes Alfvén described a double layer as, “…a plasma formation by which a plasma, in the physical meaning of this word, protects itself from the environment. It is analogous to a cell wall by which a plasma, in the biological meaning of this word, protects itself from the environment.” (Source.)

Planet EEAAOOAAEE discharges Interplanetary Thunderbolts to the Servant Planets

and kept the enemy from breaking down the hedge thereof,

Outside of Our Solar System, plasma discharges occur between Planet EEAAOOAAEE and the Servant Planets. In this “conversation,” the Servant Planets are told that then Our Solar System would have gone into high energy mode, creating a strong plasma double layer, which would have repelled the Disruptive Planets Not From Our Solar System.

Planet EEAAOOAAEE discharges Interplanetary Thunderbolts to the Servant Planets

and saved my vineyard from the hands of the destroyer.

Outside of Our Solar System, plasma discharges occur between Planet EEAAOOAAEE and the Servant Planets. In this “conversation,” the Servant Planets are told that then Our Solar System would have gone into high energy mode, creating a strong plasma double layer, which would have repelled the Disruptive Planets Not From Our Solar System.

Planet EEAAOOAAEE discharges Interplanetary Thunderbolts to Servant Planet Joseph

And the lord of the vineyard said unto one of his servants:

Outside of Our Solar System, plasma discharges occur between Planet EEAAOOAAEE and one of the Servant Planets called Joseph.

Planet EEAAOOAAEE discharges Interplanetary Thunderbolts to Planet Joseph

Go and gather together the residue of my servants,

Outside of Our Solar System, plasma discharges occur between Planet EEAAOOAAEE and Planet Joseph. In this “conversation,” the Planet Joseph is told that it is to capture other Servant Planets in the area.

Planet EEAAOOAAEE discharges Interplanetary Thunderbolts to Planet Joseph

and take all the strength of mine house, which are my warriors, my young men, and they that are of middle age also among all my servants, who are the strength of mine house,

Outside of Our Solar System, plasma discharges occur between Planet EEAAOOAAEE and Planet Joseph. In this “conversation,” Planet Joseph is told that it is to capture small and medium sized Servant Planets in the area.

Planet EEAAOOAAEE discharges Interplanetary Thunderbolts to Planet Joseph

save those only whom I have appointed to tarry;

Outside of Our Solar System, plasma discharges occur between Planet EEAAOOAAEE and Planet Joseph. In this “conversation,” Planet Joseph is told that it is to not capture some of the small and medium sized Servant Planets in the area.

Planet EEAAOOAAEE discharges Interplanetary Thunderbolts to Planet Joseph

and go ye straightway unto the land of my vineyard,

Outside of Our Solar System, plasma discharges occur between Planet EEAAOOAAEE and Planet Joseph. In this “conversation,” Planet Joseph is told to take the captured small and medium sized Servant Planets in the area to Our Solar System.

Planet EEAAOOAAEE discharges Interplanetary Thunderbolts to Planet Joseph

and redeem my vineyard;

Outside of Our Solar System, plasma discharges occur between Planet EEAAOOAAEE and Planet Joseph. In this “conversation,” Planet Joseph is told that it is to liberate Our Solar System from the Disruptive Planets Not From Our Solar System.

Planet EEAAOOAAEE discharges Interplanetary Thunderbolts to Planet Joseph

for it is mine; I have bought it with money.

Outside of Our Solar System, plasma discharges occur between Planet EEAAOOAAEE and Planet Joseph. In this “conversation,” Planet Joseph is told that the Planet EEAAOOAAEE owns Our Solar System.

Planet EEAAOOAAEE discharges Interplanetary Thunderbolts to Planet Joseph

Therefore, get ye straightway unto my land;

Outside of Our Solar System, plasma discharges occur between Planet EEAAOOAAEE and Planet Joseph. In this “conversation,” Planet Joseph is told to leave at once for Our Solar System with the captured Servant Planets.

Planet EEAAOOAAEE discharges Interplanetary Thunderbolts to Planet Joseph

break down the walls of mine enemies;

Outside of Our Solar System, plasma discharges occur between Planet EEAAOOAAEE and Planet Joseph. In this “conversation,” Planet Joseph and captured Servant Planets are to break down the walls of the Disruptive Planets Not From Our Solar System. This could be synonymous with planetary rings and/or the asteroid belt, or it could be referring to strong plasma double layers (which are like cellular walls) that have been formed by the Disruptive Planets Not From Our Solar System. Whatever the planetary configuration or plasma formation they consist of, when viewed from Earth they will appear to man as walls in the heavens above.

Planet EEAAOOAAEE discharges Interplanetary Thunderbolts to Planet Joseph

throw down their tower,

Outside of Our Solar System, plasma discharges occur between Planet EEAAOOAAEE and Planet Joseph. In this “conversation,” Planet Joseph and captured Servant Planets are to break up the interplanetary plasma tube that the Disruptive Planets Not From Our Solar System have formed.

Planet EEAAOOAAEE discharges Interplanetary Thunderbolts to Planet Joseph

and scatter their watchmen.

Outside of Our Solar System, plasma discharges occur between Planet EEAAOOAAEE and Planet Joseph. In this “conversation,” Planet Joseph and captured Servant Planets are to scatter the moons (remove them from their orbits) of the Disruptive Planets Not From Our Solar System.

Planet EEAAOOAAEE discharges Interplanetary Thunderbolts to Planet Joseph

And inasmuch as they gather together against you,

Outside of Our Solar System, plasma discharges occur between Planet EEAAOOAAEE and Planet Joseph. In this “conversation,” it is learned that the Disruptive Planets Not From Our Solar System may gather together, presenting themselves as a barrier to Planet Joseph and the captured Servant Planets.

Planet EEAAOOAAEE discharges Interplanetary Thunderbolts to Planet Joseph

avenge me of mine enemies,

Outside of Our Solar System, plasma discharges occur between Planet EEAAOOAAEE and Planet Joseph. In this “conversation,” Planet Joseph is told that it and the captured Servant Planets are to scatter any of the gathered Disruptive Planets Not From Our Solar System, removing them from Our Solar System.

Planet EEAAOOAAEE discharges Interplanetary Thunderbolts to Planet Joseph

that by and by I may come with the residue of mine house and possess the land.

Outside of Our Solar System, plasma discharges occur between Planet EEAAOOAAEE and Planet Joseph. In this “conversation,” Planet Joseph learns that immediately after the Disruptive Planets Not From Our Solar System are removed from Our Solar System, the massive Planet EEAAOOAAEE and all its captive planetary entourage (planets, moon, comets, etc.) will enter Our Solar System and take control of it.

Planet Joseph discharges Interplanetary Thunderbolts to Planet EEAAOOAAEE

And the servant said unto his lord: When shall these things be?

Outside of Our Solar System, plasma discharges occur between Planet Joseph and Planet EEAAOOAAEE.

Planet EEAAOOAAEE discharges Interplanetary Thunderbolts to Planet Joseph

And he said unto his servant: When I will;

Outside of Our Solar System, plasma discharges occur between Planet EEAAOOAAEE and Planet Joseph.

Planet EEAAOOAAEE discharges Interplanetary Thunderbolts to Planet Joseph

go ye straightway, and do all things whatsoever I have commanded you;

Outside of Our Solar System, plasma discharges occur between Planet EEAAOOAAEE and Planet Joseph.

Planet EEAAOOAAEE discharges Interplanetary Thunderbolts to Planet Joseph

and this shall be my seal and blessing upon you—a faithful and wise steward in the midst of mine house, a ruler in my kingdom.

Outside of Our Solar System, plasma discharges occur between Planet EEAAOOAAEE and Planet Joseph. Planet Joseph will be located in the center of the group of planets that will make up Our Solar System, and will become a ruling planet (a sun).

Planet Joseph captures the Servant Planets, enters Our Solar System and scatters the Disruptive Planets and their plasma/planetary configurations

And his servant went straightway, and did all things whatsoever his lord commanded him;

After many days all these planetary movements/plasma formations come to pass

and after many days all things were fulfilled.

What all this means

There are four groups of planets that are to enter our Solar System in the future.

Group One: The Servant Planets

These planets will cause great changes to our Solar System. After this group arrives we will see trees, a hedge and watchmen in the heavens, as well as the foundation of a tower, but no watchman upon the tower. In other words, they will not complete the Interplanetary Plasma Tube and ignite a Sun at the top of that tube.

Group Two: The Disruptive Planets

These planets will break up whatever has been formed by the first group and will cause the first group to leave our Solar System. This group will create an Interplanetary Plasma Tube but there will be no plasma trees and possibly no hedge, though there will be plasma walls erected. They will also cause watchmen to appear, though there will likely be no watchman upon the tower, as none is mentioned in the parable. So, like the first group, there will be no ignited Sun at the top of the tube.

Group Three: Planet Joseph and the Servant Planet Army

When this group enters, they will scatter the second group’s watchmen, break up the walls and throw down the Interplanetary Plasma Tube. They will cause the second group to leave our Solar System. The parable does not mention that this group builds anything, only that it will sweep away what encumbered the spot (the Disruptive Planets and their works.)

Group Four: Planet EEAAOOAAEE and entourage

The fourth and final group will enter Our Solar System and take possession of it, meaning that the massive Planet EEAAOOAAEE will capture everything found within the confines of our Solar System, including Planet Joseph and the Servant Planet Army which will be there awaiting the arrival of the fourth group.

Conclusion: this parable is a future prophecy

Group one needs to arrive and start doing its thing before the earthly part of the prophecy can even begin to be fulfilled. This group has not, yet, arrived. This parable, then, in its entirety, pertains to the future.

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