“The Davidic Servant” Error


The erroneous doctrine of “the Davidic Servant”

There is a false, speculative doctrine—which is found among certain latter-day saints who are at the fringe, as well as among former members who have been excommunicated or who have resigned from the church, and also among the many break-away sects—which I call “the Davidic Servant” error, which takes

1) the scriptures that mention the Branch,

2) and the ones that mention an end-time servant named David,

3) and all the scriptures that speak of the Elias who restores all things (who is, in actuality, Joseph-Nephi),

4) and a few more scriptures that speak of Jesus Christ,

5) as well as Avraham Gileadi’s translation of Isaiah and his interpretations of the scriptures,

6) and then combines all of that with a teaching Joseph Smith gave on 10 March 1844,

7) along with three speculating paragraphs published in the Times and Seasons on 15 February 1842 (which is when “the Davidic Servant” error appears to have begun),

8) and also a sentence uttered by Orson Hyde on 22 November 1841 during his Prayer of Dedication on the Mount of Olives,

and from all of that it creates a fictional, end-time personage called, “the Davidic Servant” (who is an amalgamation of the real person, Jesus Christ, and the real person, Joseph-Nephi), and who is supposed to be a mortal man named David (who is descended from the ancient David) that will build the throne of David/Israel, and rebuild and restore Jerusalem and the temple, and gather and restore Israel and also the kingdom of Israel, and who will rule over the mortal population of Israel on the throne of David as its mortal king.

Additionally, according to “the Davidic Servant” error, when Jesus Christ returns at the Second Coming, He will rule over the immortal, resurrected population (which will not be present much, but which will come and go to and from other planets as they choose, thus being mostly absent from Earth), and Christ will rule over the mortal population only virtually, through this mortal Davidic king, who himself will continue to rule over the mortal population of Israel forever.  Thus, the error has two end-time kings, an immortal One (who is Christ) to reign over immortals and a mortal one (who is “the Davidic Servant”) to reign over mortals, and it dictates that the two populations (mortals and immortals) won’t mix much.

Now, those who accept this error take all of that as a starting point, swallowing it whole, and then begin to further speculate as to the identity of this fictional character, some ascribing John the apostle to “the DS” and adding in whatever scriptures speak of John, while others go even farther and assign the Holy Ghost as “the DS,” throwing in even more scriptures to shore up their theory. Others speculate that one of the top leaders of the church will be the man. Still others think there will be a “DS” over the Jews, Jerusalem and the Old World, while there will be a different end-time servant over the New World (America). Some believe that “the DS” will be Joseph Smith, returned from the dead. And so on and so forth, with endless speculations from all sorts of quarters of the disaffected and fringe elements of the latter-day saints.

Regardless of what version of “the Davidic Servant” error is subscribed to, all the followers use “Davidic Servant” or “DS” as an identifier of the doctrine. They don’t put “Davidic Servant” in quotations as I do because they believe it’s a real person, whereas I teach that it’s all a fiction. Thus, I state that it’s a quote unquote “Davidic Servant.” When I use quotation marks on this term, it is with the understanding that I am referring to this false doctrine, which assigns a non-Jesus Christ personage to an end-time servant named David. Regardless of who the adherent believes that “the DS” is, they all think it is not Jesus Christ. Thus, the words, “the Davidic Servant,” or merely, “the DS,” identify the error, as an encoded term, so that those who mention “the Davidic Servant” or “the DS”, trying to discuss what the man will do, or where he will be from, or what he will be like, or who his identity is, have already revealed themselves as having fallen into the error.

I teach that “the Davidic Servant,” as described by the different versions of this false doctrine, is non-existent. It’s entirely made-up by uninspired people who have allowed foolish and unfounded speculations to filter and replace the actual word of God, so that they imagine and believe a fantasy, and then teach that fable they’ve created to others, all the while scoffing and spurning at any attempt to correct the error and dislodge them from it. Like a drug, this particular delusion has proven to be addictive and those who have drunk of its poison become members of a sort of “DS” cult, who all believe they possess “eyes to see” and “ears to hear” what they consider is “the secret or hidden knowledge,” which in reality is just a falsehood built up from a misunderstanding of the scriptures.

Those who have read my words on this blog, published in my various posts and also in the comment sections, know that I have never once mentioned any “Davidic Servant.” Anyone can perform a search for this term on this blog and will discover that only One Who Is Watching (OWIW) mentioned the term in two of his own posts, and there have also been 7 comments left in the comment sections of various posts (as of today’s date) which mention it, none of which were authored by me. Why have I never mentioned “the Davidic Servant”? Because there is no such person.

Again, when speaking of the end-time servants who will be performing ministries among us, I have never used the incorrect term, “the Davidic Servant,” but have ever used the correct terms when referring to Christ:

the Stem of Jesse, the Branch, the Messiah, etc.,

and I have ever used the correct terms when referring to Christ’s forerunner, the Elias who restores all things:

the rod, the root of Jesse, Elias, the restoring Elias, the Elias who restores all things, the Elias restorer, the Elias destroyer, the Josephite, the Josephite restorer, the Josephite destroyer, Joseph-Nephi, the destroyer, the destroying angel, king Abaddon, king Apollyon, etc.

Thus the whole “Davidic Servant” error, from top to bottom, goes against what I teach and also contradicts what the LDS church officially teaches. In this post, then, I will correct the error by exposing its fallacies and refuting its foundation, put forth the correct doctrine and I will also publicly release some new teachings (’cause I might as well, right?) I will begin this task with the official teaching.

The official teaching: the end-time David is Christ

The official LDS church teaching is that the end-time Personage known in the scriptures as “my servant David”/”David my servant” is Jesus Christ. In Chapter 13 “The Establishment of Zion (Isaiah 1—12)” of the Old Testament Student Manual Kings-Malachi, published in 1982, we read:

(13-58) Isaiah 11:1. Who Is the “Branch”?

Elder Bruce R. McConkie wrote the following analysis of the meaning of the Branch:

“Since it takes a first and a second coming to fulfill many Messianic prophecies, we of necessity must consider them here, and in the case of the Davidic-Messianic utterances show also how they apply to our Lord’s Second Coming. Christ is the Son of David, the Seed of David, the inheritor, through Mary his mother, of the blood of the great king. He is also called the Stem of Jesse and the Branch, meaning Branch of David. Messianic prophecies under these headings deal with the power and dominion he shall wield as he sits on David’s throne, and have reference almost exclusively to his second sojourn on planet earth.

“Jesse was the father of David. Isaiah speaks of the Stem of Jesse, whom he also designates as a branch growing out of the root of that ancient worthy. He recites how the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him; how he shall be mighty in judgment; how he shall smite the earth and slay the wicked; and how the lamb and the lion shall lie down together in that day—all of which has reference to the Second Coming and the millennial era thereby ushered in. (Isa. 11.) As to the identity of the Stem of Jesse, the revealed words says: ‘Verily thus saith the Lord: It is Christ.’ (D&C 113:1–2.) This also means that the Branch is Christ, as we shall now see from other related scriptures.

“By the mouth of Jeremiah, the Lord foretells the ancient scattering and the latter-day gathering of his chosen Israel. After they have been gathered ‘out of all countries whither I have driven them,’ after the kingdom has been restored to Israel as desired by the ancient apostles in Acts 1:6, then this eventuality, yet future and millennial in nature, shall be fulfilled: ‘Behold the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.’ (Jer. 23:3–6.) That is to say, the King who shall reign personally upon the earth during the Millennium shall be the Branch who grew out of the house of David. He shall execute judgment and justice in all the earth because he is the Lord Jehovah, even him whom we call Christ.

“Through Zechariah the Lord spoke similarly: ‘Thus saith the LORD of hosts: … I will bring forth my servant the BRANCH. … I will remove the iniquity of the land in one day [meaning that the wicked shall be destroyed and the millennial era of peace and righteousness commence]. In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, shall ye call every man his neighbour under the vine and under the fig tree.’ (Zech. 3:7–10.) Of that glorious millennial day the Lord says also: ‘Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD: Even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne.’ (Zech. 6:12–13.)

“That the Branch of David is Christ is perfectly clear. We shall now see that he is also called David, that he is a new David, an Eternal David, who shall reign forever on the throne of his ancient ancestor. ‘It shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD of hosts, ‘that is, in the great millennial day of gathering, that ‘they shall serve the LORD their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them.’ (Jer. 30:8–9.)

“‘In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land. In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The LORD our righteousness,’ which is to say that because the Great King himself reigns in her midst, even the city shall be called after him. ‘For thus saith the LORD; David shall never want a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel. … If ye can break my covenant of the day, and my covenant of the night, and that there should not be day and night in their season; Then may also my covenant be broken with David my servant, that he should not have a son to reign upon his throne.’ (Jer. 33:15–21.) David’s temporal throne fell long centuries before our Lord was born, and that portion of Israel which had not been scattered to the ends of the earth was in bondage to the iron yoke of Rome. But the promises remain. The eternal throne shall be restored in due course with a new David sitting thereon, and he shall reign forever and ever. …

“Through Ezekiel, the Lord speaks of this One Shepherd in this way: ‘I will save my flock. … And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd. And I the LORD will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them.’ When that day comes, ‘I will make with them a covenant of peace,’ the Lord says, meaning they shall have again the fulness of the everlasting gospel. Then ‘there shall be showers of blessing’; all Israel shall dwell safely and know that the Lord is their God. (Ezek. 34:22–31.)

“Through Ezekiel, the Lord also tells of the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, which becomes the instrument in his hands to bring to pass the gathering of Israel. Of that day of gathering he says, ‘I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all.’ In that day he promises to ‘cleanse them,’ by baptism, ‘so shall they be my people, and I will be their God. And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them. And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children’s children for ever: and my servant David shall be their prince for ever.’

“Then the Lord restates that his gathered people shall have his everlasting gospel with all its blessings; that he will set his sanctuary, meaning his temple, in their midst forevermore (as Zechariah recorded); and all Israel shall know that the Lord is their God. (Ezek. 37:15–28.)

“How glorious shall be the coming day when the second David, who is Christ, reigns on the throne of the first David; when all men shall dwell safely; when the earth shall be dotted with temples; and when the gospel covenant shall have full force and validity in all the earth!” (The Promised Messiah, pp. 192–95).

Notice, in particular, that the apostle refers to the Branch as a “Branch of David.” He does this because the scripture says that the Lord will “cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David” (Jer. 33:15.) In other words, the Branch will both be a descendant of David of old, as well as a new David.  Thus, the end times David and the Branch are one and the same and so when the apostle begins to teach about the Branch, he must, of necessity, explain about the end times David. We see from this lengthy quotation that this is the teaching that is given to church students in an officially approved manual; namely, that Jesus Christ is the very end times David spoken of in the scriptures. This teaching, given in the above quotation by elder Bruce R. McConkie, wasn’t just put into the church student manual, but also into the chapter headings of the official LDS edition of the Bible, for all the chapters that deal with the end times David. For example, for the chapters that elder McConkie quoted from, these are the pertinent chapter headings:

The Branch, who is the King (the Messiah), will reign in righteousness (Jeremiah 23); Zechariah speaks about the Messiah—The Branch will come (Zechariah 3); Zechariah crowns Joshua, the high priest, in similitude of Christ, the Branch, who will come—Christ will be a priest upon His throne forever (Zechariah 6); David, their king (the Messiah), will reign over them (Jeremiah 30); The Branch of Righteousness (the Messiah) is promised—The Seed of David (the Messiah) will reign forever (Jeremiah 33); The Messiah will be their Shepherd (Ezekiel 34); David (the Messiah) will reign over them (Ezekiel 37).

Some of the chapter headings of the chapters that the Topical Guide entry of Jesus Christ, Davidic Descent of mentions also give this same teaching:

Psalms 89
A messianic psalm—A song setting forth the mercy, greatness, justice, and righteousness of the Holy One of Israel—The Lord will establish David’s seed and throne forever—God’s Firstborn will be made higher than the kings of the earth.

Psalms 132
A messianic psalm—Of the fruit of David’s loins will the Lord set One upon His throne—The Lord will bless Zion, and her Saints will shout for joy.

Isaiah 9
Isaiah speaks about the Messiah—The people in darkness will see a great Light—Unto us a Child is born—He will be the Prince of Peace and reign on David’s throne

Isaiah 11
The stem of Jesse (Christ) will judge in righteousness—The knowledge about God will cover the earth in the Millennium—The Lord will raise an ensign and gather Israel

Acts 13
Saul and Barnabas are called to missionary service—Saul, now called Paul, curses a sorcerer—Christ is a descendant of David—Paul offers the gospel to Israel, then to the Gentiles.

This shows that the Brethren themselves believe that the end times “my servant David” and “David my servant” personage mentioned in the scriptures, who will reign as king and prince over the house of Israel, is none other than Jesus Christ, the King Messiah.

Now, in another part of that same Chapter 13 of that same manual, it says this:

(13-63) Isaiah 11:13–14. “Ephraim Shall Not Envy Judah, and Judah Shall Not Vex Ephraim”

Anciently, during the days of the divided kingdoms, Judah (the leading tribe of the Southern Kingdom) and Ephraim (the leading tribe of the Northern Kingdom) were often in competition. Sometimes they were even at war with each other. Isaiah prophesied that in the last days that conflict would come to an end. Ezekiel, in a similar prophecy, promised that the house of Israel would no longer be divided, but under their true king, the New David (see Notes and Commentary on Isaiah 11:1) there would be one united nation again. (See Ezekiel 37:15–25.) Jeremiah and Zechariah also spoke of the future reuniting of the house of Israel (see Jeremiah 3:18; Zechariah 10:6–7).

Emphasis mine. Notice that the manual points the student to the section that I quoted at the start, which talks about the New David and which identifies that Personage as Christ. Notice also that there is no equivocation in the teaching. It is made unmistakably crystal clear and plain as day in its meaning. And this is the official LDS teaching on the matter.

Understanding the official teaching: the name of God is Jehovah

Three connected, omnipotent, omniscient and perfect Persons are, when taken together as a group, called “the Godhead” (Col. 2:9), or just, “one God” (D&C 20:28): even the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. The Father and the Son are Personages of Spirit who also have bodies “of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s” (D&C 130:22) and both Their spirit bodies and Their physical bodies have “the form of man” (Mosiah 13:34; Ether 3:15-16; 1 Nephi 11:11.) The Holy Ghost, however, is a Personage of Spirit who does not have a body “of flesh and bones” (D&C 130:22.)

When one speaks of God, it is generally the Father who is referred to, for He is the Supreme Governor of the Universe, the Father of all mankind and the One to whom the Son and the Holy Ghost submit and from whom They derive Their power and authority. Nevertheless, because the Son and the Holy Ghost are connected to the Father in perfection, and partake of all His attributes and powers in fullness, thus forming the Godhead, or becoming “one God,” this oneness between Them in which they share all things, allows even the title of “God” to be shared and applied to the Son and the Holy Ghost. Thus each Person is called God: the Son is God and also the Holy Ghost is God, and not just the Father.

In Hebrew, the tetragrammaton (a specific 4-letter combination) identifies the covenant or proper name of the God of Israel. In English this name is written out as Jehovah, Yahweh or some other variation. (It is actually pronounced: EEAAOOAAEE.) In the King James Version, the Jewish custom of never speaking the name of God has been followed, and the name is generally denoted by LORD or GOD, printed in small capitals.  Following the pattern of oneness, in which They all share everything, so it goes with the name of Jehovah. Jehovah is the name of the Father and the name of the Son and the name of the Holy Ghost. Given that all three members of the Godhead have the same covenant name of Jehovah, we are commanded to baptize “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost”:

Having been commissioned of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen. (D&C 20:73)

We don’t baptize in three names, but only in one name, which all three bear: Jehovah.

So, for example, in D&C 110:1-10 we find Jesus Christ referring to Himself as Jehovah. Yet in Luke 20:41-44 and in Mark 12:35-37 Jesus cites Psalms 110:1 and identifies Himself as “my Lord” and not as “The LORD” (Jehovah.) This implies that “The LORD” (Jehovah) in that verse refers to the Father and not to the Son.

In 3 Nephi chapters 20 and 21, Jesus applies the name of Jehovah to both Himself (the Son) and to the Father. Here Jesus mentions Micah 4:12, referring to Himself as Jehovah (the LORD) :

And I [Jesus] will gather my people together as a man gathereth his sheaves into the floor. (3 Nephi 20:18)

But they know not the thoughts of the LORD [Jehovah the Son], neither understand they his counsel: for he [Jehovah the Son] shall gather them as the sheaves into the floor. (Micah 4:12)

And here He mentions Micah 4:13, which is the very next verse, but this time Jesus refers to Jehovah (the LORD) as the Father:

For I [Jesus] will make my people with whom the Father hath covenanted, yea, I [Jesus] will make thy horn iron, and I [Jesus] will make thy hoofs brass. And thou shalt beat in pieces many people; and I [Jesus] will consecrate their gain unto the Lord [Jehovah the Father], and their substance unto the Lord of the whole earth. And behold, I [Jesus] am he who doeth it. (3 Nephi 20:19)

Arise and thresh, O daughter of Zion: for I [Jehovah the Son] will make thine horn iron, and I [Jehovah the Son] will make thy hoofs brass: and thou shalt beat in pieces many people: and I [Jehovah the Son] will consecrate their gain unto the LORD [Jehovah the Father], and their substance unto the Lord of the whole earth. (Micah 4:13)

Here Jesus says that it was Jehovah the Father who covenanted and spoke to Abraham:

And behold, ye are the children of the prophets; and ye are of the house of Israel; and ye are of the covenant which the Father made with your fathers, saying unto Abraham: And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed. (3 Nephi 20:25)

Now the LORD [Jehovah the Father] had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: and I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. (Genesis 12:1-3)

Here Jesus mentions Isaiah 52:9-10 and refers to Jehovah as the Father:

Then shall they break forth into joy—Sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem; for the Father hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem. The Father 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 the Father; and the Father and I are one. (3 Nephi 20:34-35)

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. (Isaiah 52:9-10)

Here Jesus mentions Micah 5:8-15 and refers to Jehovah as the Father:

And my people who are a remnant of Jacob shall be among the Gentiles, yea, in the midst of them as a lion among the beasts of the forest, as a young lion among the flocks of sheep, who, if he go through both treadeth down and teareth in pieces, and none can deliver. Their hand shall be lifted up upon their adversaries, and all their enemies shall be cut off. Yea, wo be unto the Gentiles except they repent; for it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Father, that I will cut off thy horses out of the midst of thee, and I will destroy thy chariots; and I will cut off the cities of thy land, and throw down all thy strongholds; and I will cut off witchcrafts out of thy land, and thou shalt have no more soothsayers; thy graven images I will also cut off, and thy standing images out of the midst of thee, and thou shalt no more worship the works of thy hands; and I will pluck up thy groves out of the midst of thee; so will I destroy thy cities. And it shall come to pass that all lyings, and deceivings, and envyings, and strifes, and priestcrafts, and whoredoms, shall be done away. For it shall come to pass, saith the Father, that at that day whosoever will not repent and come unto my Beloved Son, them will I cut off from among my people, O house of Israel; and I will execute vengeance and fury upon them, even as upon the heathen, such as they have not heard. (3 Nephi 21:12-21)

And the remnant of Jacob shall be among the Gentiles in the midst of many people as a lion among the beasts of the forest, as a young lion among the flocks of sheep: who, if he go through, both treadeth down, and teareth in pieces, and none can deliver. Thine hand shall be lifted up upon thine adversaries, and all thine enemies shall be cut off. And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD, that I will cut off thy horses out of the midst of thee, and I will destroy thy chariots: and I will cut off the cities of thy land, and throw down all thy strong holds: and I will cut off witchcrafts out of thine hand; and thou shalt have no more soothsayers: thy graven images also will I cut off, and thy standing images out of the midst of thee; and thou shalt no more worship the work of thine hands. And I will pluck up thy groves out of the midst of thee: so will I destroy thy cities. And I will execute vengeance in anger and fury upon the heathen, such as they have not heard. (Micah 5:8-15)

Again, we find Jesus saying to the Nephites (in 3 Nephi 24:1), “Thus said the Father unto Malachi:” and then He quotes Malachi 3:1, which reads:

Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts. (Malachi 3:1)

This means that  “the LORD of hosts” (Jehovah) in this verse is the Father.

Or, when we turn to Numbers 27:16, we find Jehovah being called the God of the spirits of all flesh, which is a reference to the Father, not to the Son.

And Jesus said to the Jews, “I am come in my Father’s name” (John 5:43.) And what is that name? It is the name of Jehovah. Thus, both the Father and the Son bear the name of Jehovah.

It is Jehovah who covenanted with Israel, yet Jesus taught the Nephites in 3 Nephi 21:4 that the Father covenanted with His people Israel, but in 3 Nephi 15:5 Jesus says that He Himself covenanted with His people Israel. Who, then, is Jehovah: the Father or the Son? Again, it is both, for They both bear the same name. And so on for the rest of the scriptures.

The name Jehovah distinguishes

Now, all of a group having the same name so that they are distinguished from all others is a custom that is found among men:

And now it came to pass that the king and those who were converted were desirous that they might have a name, that thereby they might be distinguished from their brethren; therefore the king consulted with Aaron and many of their priests, concerning the name that they should take upon them, that they might be distinguished. (Alma 23:16)

The name may be a given name, such as what George Foreman did, in which he named all five of his sons, “George,” and also named one of his daughters, “Georgetta.” It is even customary to give the same name both to men and women, and thus you might have a man named Jose whose first child is a son and so he names him, “Jose,” and then his wife gives birth to another son and he names him, “Jose Maria,” and then his wife gives birth to a girl and he names her, “Maria Jose.” In this case, all four individuals bear the same given name of Jose: the father and two sons bearing it as their first given name, whereas the daughter bears the name as her second (middle) given name.

Or, the name may be a surname, such as how all the Nephites were surnamed Nephi, and all the Jacobites were surnamed Jacob, and all the Josephites were surnamed Joseph, and all the Zoramites were surnamed Zoram, and all the Lamanites were surnamed Laman, and all the Lemuelites were surnamed Lemuel, and all the Ishmaelites were surnamed Ishmael and so on and so forth. The Gentiles also distinguish their families by a common surname which all the members of that particular family bear.

Regardless of what the name Jehovah is, whether it is a given name or a surname, its purpose is to identify the group, which is the Godhead. All those who pertain to that particular group bear this particular name of Jehovah, which distinguishes Them from all others and from every other group.

Elohim is not the covenant or proper name of the Father

Elohim just means “God.” However, in the temple rites, Elohim is used as the Father’s name, to differentiate between the Personages of the Father and the Son, the latter being called Jehovah in the temple. The temple rites use symbolism and representations to teach principles, the principle here being that the Trinity doctrine is false and that the Father and the Son are two distinct Personages and not one nebulous mass of nothingness. The use of the name Elohim in the temple is not meant to be taken as the literal, personal name of God, but latter-day saints routinely make the mistake, anyway.

Jehovah is first the Father, then the Son

Latter-day saints, when they see the tetragrammaton written out in the King James Version of the Bible as LORD or GOD in small capitals, or as Jehovah or Yahweh, etc., in other versions, assume the name is referring to the Son unless the context of the passage indicates that the Father is the One who is being referred to, in which case they assume that the passage must be an instance of Jesus speaking as the Father with “divine investiture of authority.” But the proper way to read these passages is to first assume that the name refers to the Father, unless the context indicates that it refers to one of the other members of the Godhead. If the Father fits into the passage, then you interpret the name as referring to the Father. If the Father doesn’t fit, then you plug in the Son, or, lastly, the Holy Ghost, if the Son doesn’t fit.

This confusion on the part of the latter-day saints about the name of Jehovah is one of the reasons why there is conflict between us and the Christians and Jews, who all read the tetragrammaton as referring to the Father and are utterly confused as to why the latter-day saints insist that the pre-mortal Jesus Christ is Jehovah, and not the Father. In our rush to distance ourselves from the Trinity doctrine, which indeed is false, we have mistakenly tossed away an actual truth: that the Godhead is all named Jehovah.

It is the Father’s servant David

Returning with this knowledge of the name of God to all the passages that mention the end-time servant David, we now are able to clearly see that the one who is speaking in the passages is the LORD, who is Jehovah the Father. So, let’s review the scriptures cited by the apostle.

Behold, the days come, saith the LORD [Jehovah the Father], that I [Jehovah the Father] will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS [Jehovah Our Righteous]. (Jeremiah 23:5-6)

In the above passage the Father says He will raise unto David a righteous Branch, a King that shall reign and prosper, in whose days Judah shall be saved and Israel dwell safely, and the name of this Branch King David will be Jehovah Our Righteousness.


Thus saith the LORD of hosts [Jehovah the Father]; If thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keep my charge, then thou shalt also judge my house, and shalt also keep my courts, and I [Jehovah the Father] will give thee places to walk among these that stand by. Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, and thy fellows that sit before thee: for they are men wondered at: for, behold, I [Jehovah the Father] will bring forth my servant the BRANCH. (Zechariah 3:7-8)

In the above passage the Father says He will bring forth His servant the Branch.


And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts [Jehovah the Father], saying, Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD [Jehovah]: even he shall build the temple of the LORD [Jehovah]; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both. (Zechariah 6:12-13)

In the above passage the Father says to behold the man whose name is the Branch, who shall bear the glory and sit and rule upon His throne, and who shall be a priest upon His throne. He also mentions the one who will grow up out of the Branch’s place and who will build the temple of Jehovah. Before continuing, I will take the time to expound the above scripture by explaining about prophetic switches.

Prophetic switches

“And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:” (Isa. 11:1)

Jesse was the father of David; the Stem of Jesse and the Branch are one and the same person: Jesus Christ; and the rod that comes of the Stem of Jesse is Elias (Joseph-Nephi). So, in the following scripture:

“And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD: even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.” (Zechariah 6:12-13)

it begins by speaking of the Branch (Jesus Christ) : “Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH;”

then it switches to speaking of Elias (Joseph-Nephi) : “and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD: even he shall build the temple of the LORD;”

then it switches back to speaking of the Branch (Jesus Christ) : “and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne:”

finally it ends by speaking of the covenant of peace that will exist between the Branch (Jesus Christ) and Elias (Joseph-Nephi) : “and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.”

An alternate translation from the Hebrew (found in the footnote of Zech. 6:12) of the first part reads:

“Behold the man: Branch is his name and from beneath him one shall branch forth and he shall build the temple of Jehovah.”

The one who builds the temple of Jehovah, who branches forth from beneath the Branch (Jesus Christ), is Elias (Joseph-Nephi), who is the rod that comes forth out of the Stem of Jesse (Jesus Christ):

“And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse,” (Isa. 11:1)

and who is the rod of Christ’s strength:

“The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: ” (Ps. 110:2)

and who is “a servant in the hands of Christ…on whom there is laid much power” (D&C 113:4.)

Thus, there are two main end-time personages spoken of in the scriptures, one being Jesus Christ (the Stem of Jesse/the Branch) and the other being His forerunner, Elias (the rod/root of Jesse, who is Joseph-Nephi.) The prophetic switch between these two servants happens often in the scriptures. For example, in Isa. 11, Isaiah begins in verse 1 to speak of Elias (the rod), then switches to Jesus Christ (the Stem of Jesse/the Branch) and continues to speak of the Branch in verses 2-5, but then in verse 10 he switches back to speaking of Elias (the root of Jesse):

1 And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:

2 And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;

3 And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears:

4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.

5 And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.

10 ¶ And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious. (Isaiah 11:1-5,10)

Zechariah does the same prophetic switch. In chapter 3 of his prophecy he speaks of the Branch (Jesus Christ), using Joshua the high priest as a type of the Branch. But in chapter 4 of his prophecy, he speaks of Elias (Joseph-Nephi), using Zerubbabel as the type of Elias. This shows that these two (the Son of God and His forerunner) are prophetically linked.

It is the Father’s servant David, continued

For it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD of hosts [Jehovah the Father]that I [Jehovah the Father] will break his yoke from off thy neck, and will burst thy bonds, and strangers shall no more serve themselves of him: but they shall serve the LORD [Jehovah the Father] their God, and David their king, whom I [Jehovah the Father] will raise up unto them. (Jeremiah 30:8-9)

In the above passage the Father says that the people will serve Him and also will serve David their King, whom the Father will raise up to them.


Behold, the days come, saith the LORD [Jehovah the Father], that I [Jehovah the Father] will perform that good thing which I [Jehovah the Father] have promised unto the house of Israel and to the house of Judah.

In those days, and at that time, will I [Jehovah the Father] cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land. In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The LORD our righteousness [Jehovah Our Righteous].

For thus saith the LORD [Jehovah the Father]; David shall never want a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel; neither shall the priests the Levites want a man before me [Jehovah the Father] to offer burnt offerings, and to kindle meat offerings, and to do sacrifice continually.

And the word of the LORD [Jehovah the Father] came unto Jeremiah, saying, Thus saith the LORD [Jehovah the Father]; If ye can break my covenant of the day, and my covenant of the night, and that there should not be day and night in their season; then may also my covenant be broken with David my servant, that he should not have a son to reign upon his throne; and with the Levites the priests, my ministers. (Jeremiah 33:14-21)

In the above passage the Father says that He will cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David and this Branch will execute judgment and righteousness, and in His days Judah shall be saved, Jerusalem will dwell safely, and Jerusalem will have the same name as the Branch King: Jehovah Our Righteousness. (See Jeremiah 23:5-6 where the Branch is also called Jehovah Our Righteousness.) The Father also affirms that the covenant He made with David of old about his throne always being occupied by one of his seed will be fulfilled.


Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD [Jehovah the Father] unto them; … And I [Jehovah the Father] will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd. And I the LORD [Jehovah the Father] will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them; I the LORD [Jehovah the Father] have spoken it. (Ezekiel 34:20,23-24)

In the above passage the Father says He will set up one Shepherd over them and this one Shepherd is the Father’s servant David, who shall feed them and be their Shepherd. The Father will be their God and the Father’s servant David will be a Prince among them.


And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD [Jehovah the Father]; … And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them. And they shall dwell in the land that I [Jehovah the Father] have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children’s children for ever: and my servant David shall be their prince for ever. (Ezekiel 37:21,24-25)

In the above passage the Father says that His servant David will be King over Israel and Israel will all have one Shepherd and the Father’s servant David shall be their Prince forever.

We see from this review that the apostle’s words are true, in which he wrote, “That the Branch of David is Christ is perfectly clear.” It is perfectly clear. Once a person understands that Jehovah in these passages is the Father, then it becomes self-evident that Jesus Christ “is also called David, that He is a new David, an Eternal David, who shall reign forever on the throne of His ancient ancestor,” just as the apostle and LDS church have taught.

The Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith quotation

There is a saying of Joseph Smith that people often quote regarding the end times David, which I will cite here in its original context. The bold type is the part people recite:

This spirit of Elijah was manifest in the days of the Apostles in delivering certain ones to the buffitings of Satan that they may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus, they were sealed by the spirit of Elijah unto the damnaton of Hell untill the day of the Lord or revealtion of Jesus Christ [23] Here is the doctrin of Election that the world have quarreled so much about, but they do not know any thing about it, The doctrin that the Prysbeterians & Methodist have quarreled so much about once in grace always in grace, or falling away from grace I will say a word about, they are both wrong, truth takes a road between them both. for while the Presbyterian says once in grace you cannot fall the Methodist says you can have grace to day, fall from it to morrow, next day have grace again & so follow it, but the doctrin of the scriptures & the spirit of Elijah would show them both fals & take a road between them both for according to the scriptures if a man has receive the good word of God & tasted of the powers of the world to come if they shall fall away it is impossible to renew them again, seeing they have Crucified the son of God afresh & put him to an open frame shame [24], so their is a possibility of falling away you could not be renewed again, & the power of Elijah Cannot seal against this sin, for this is a reserve made in the seals & power of the priesthood, [25] I will make evry doctrin plain that I present & it shall stand upon a firm bases And I am at the defiance of the world for I will take shelter under the broad sheler cover of the wings of the work in which I am ingaged, it matters not to me if aIl hell boils over I regard it ownly as I would the crackling of thorns under a pot A murderer; for instance one that sheds innocent Blood Cannot have forgiveness, David sought repentance at the hand of God Carefully with tears, but he could ownly get it through Hell, he got a promise that his soul should not be left in Hell, [26] Although David was a King he never did obtain the spirit & power of Elijah & the fulness of the Priesthood, [27] & the priesthood that he received [28] & the throne & kingdom of David is to be taken from him & given to another by the name of David in the last days, raised up out of his linage [29] Peter refered to the same subject on the day of pentecost, [30] but the multitude did not get the endowment that Peter had but several days after the people asked what shall we do, Peter says I would ye had done it ignorantly speaking of crucifying the Lord &c He did not say to them repent & be baptized for the remission of your sins but he said repent therefore & be converted that your sins may be blotted out when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord, Acts iii, 19 this is the case with murderers they could not be baptized for the remission of sins for they had shed innocent Blood. (10 March 1844 (Sunday). At Temple. See History of the Church, 6:249-54, and Teachings, pp. 335-41.)

Of these words, the apostle, Bruce R. McConkie, wrote:

‘Although David was a king, he never did obtain the spirit and power of Elijah and the fullness of the priesthood; and the priesthood that he received, and the throne and kingdom of David is to be taken from him and given to another by the name of David in the last days, raised up out of his lineage.’ (Teachings, p. 339.) Thus, even though a man’s calling and election has been made sure, if he then commits murder, all of the promises are of no effect, and he goes to a telestial kingdom (Rev. 21:8; D. & C. 76:103), because when he was sealed up unto eternal life, it was with a reservation. The sealing was not to apply in the case of murder.” (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3:347.)

Joseph Smith’s words were spoken in the context of the doctrine of falling from grace. “The doctrin that the Prysbeterians & Methodist have quarreled so much about once in grace always in grace, or falling away from grace I will say a word about,” he said, and then he went on to say that the idea that “once in grace you cannot fall” is false, and also the idea that “you can have grace to day, fall from it to morrow, next day have grace again & so follow it” is also false. The real doctrine is that there are certain sins that you can commit and afterward repent from and still obtain the top reward (exaltation), but there are also sins that, once committed, prohibit you from obtaining the top reward (exaltation), even if you are truly sorry for having done them. The shedding of innocent blood (murder) is one such sin that stops a person from receiving exaltation, and thus, a person who commits murder falls from the exaltation they might have had. Such people do not receive forgiveness, but must suffer for their sins in hell. Only after such suffering, in which they themselves (and not just Christ) has paid the penalty for their sins, if they are sorry for their sins and have turned from them, they can inherit a telestial kingdom. So Joseph Smith said, “A murderer; for instance one that sheds innocent Blood Cannot have forgiveness, David sought repentance at the hand of God Carefully with tears, but he could ownly get it through Hell, he got a promise that his soul should not be left in Hell”. David, then, having fallen from grace by shedding the innocent blood of Uriah, had to go through, and suffer in, hell in order to obtain his full repentance and be accepted back into the kingdom of God, but the kingdom glory he could receive was telestial only, not any glory higher than that.

Joseph Smith also stated that “although David was a King he never did obtain the spirit & power of Elijah & the fulness of the Priesthood.” This means that David didn’t obtain what latter-day saints obtain in the temple, whereby they are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, by the Melchizedek priesthood, unto their exaltation. He received a priesthood, yes, but it wasn’t the fullness of the priesthood which latter-day saints receive, it wasn’t the fullness of the spirit and power of Elijah, therefore his shedding of innocent blood didn’t cause him to become a son of perdition, to be cast out into outer darkness at the last day, but was accounted as if a non-temple endowed and sealed member of the church committed murder. Such a person, who has never been through the temple rites, falls from their exaltation, being unable to gain it in any way, falling entirely from the grace that accompanies that reward, but they may suffer in hell for their sins and at the last day come forth, having repented and suffered the penalty, and still obtain a kingdom of glory, even in the telestial kingdom. David, then, was in this same situation.

All saints are promised eternal life on condition of enduring to the end, even those who have never gone through the temple:

But, behold, my beloved brethren, thus came the voice of the Son unto me, saying: After ye have repented of your sins, and witnessed unto the Father that ye are willing to keep my commandments, by the baptism of water, and have received the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost, and can speak with a new tongue, yea, even with the tongue of angels, and after this should deny me, it would have been better for you that ye had not known me. And I heard a voice from the Father, saying: Yea, the words of my Beloved are true and faithful. He that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved.

And now, my beloved brethren, I know by this that unless a man shall endure to the end, in following the example of the Son of the living God, he cannot be saved. Wherefore, do the things which I have told you I have seen that your Lord and your Redeemer should do; for, for this cause have they been shown unto me, that ye might know the gate by which ye should enter. For the gate by which ye should enter is repentance and baptism by water; and then cometh a remission of your sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost. And then are ye in this strait and narrow path which leads to eternal life; yea, ye have entered in by the gate; ye have done according to the commandments of the Father and the Son; and ye have received the Holy Ghost, which witnesses of the Father and the Son, unto the fulfilling of the promise which he hath made, that if ye entered in by the way ye should receive.

And now, my beloved brethren, after ye have gotten into this strait and narrow path, I would ask if all is done? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; for ye have not come thus far save it were by the word of Christ with unshaken faith in him, relying wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save. Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life. (2 Nephi 31:14-20)

Had David endured in faith to the end, despite not receiving what latter-day saints who go through the temple rites receive, he still would have inherited his exaltation. But he blew it and lost all that was promised to him.

The covenant God made with David

Everything started with Saul, who would have had his kingdom established forever, if he hadn’t disobeyed God’s commandments and offered burnt offerings without actually possessing the authority to do so.

And Samuel said to Saul, Thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commandment of the LORD thy God, which he commanded thee: for now would the LORD have established thy kingdom upon Israel for ever. But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the LORD hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the LORD hath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the LORD commanded thee. (1 Samuel 13:13-14)

But he blew it before he got that promise from God, so God put David in Saul’s place and David also ended up blowing it, but not before God made the above mentioned covenant with him, in which his throne would be established forever and his seed would occupy his throne forever. So, according to the foreknowledge of God, He had already planned that the Seed of David (Christ) would be raised up out of David’s lineage, into a new David, and all things that pertained to the first David, who was now fallen from grace, would be given to the last David, who would never fall from grace, and that last David would occupy the first David’s throne forever, as an immortal King Messiah, the King who was the Branch of David, and thus David’s throne and kingdom would be established forever. Thus, Joseph Smith taught:

“the throne & kingdom of David is to be taken from him & given to another by the name of David in the last days, raised up out of his linage”

The throne and kingdom of David is the throne and kingdom of Israel, and in the last days, that is, during the end times, another by the name of David, who would be a descendant of the ancient David, would receive David’s throne and kingdom. But David hasn’t yet lost his throne and kingdom. It’s still his and it’s still called his.  The throne and kingdom of the first David gets transferred to the last David only when the last David comes down from heaven and occupies it. And once occupied by the immortal King Messiah, who is the Branch of David, nothing and no one can ever dethrone Him, thus fulfilling the covenant.

Christ got and gets everything that pertained to David’s eternal reward

In addition to the throne and kingdom of David, which have not yet been given to Christ, David’s wives that were given to him by the hand of Nathan the prophet and other prophets, which pertained to the promise of exaltation (for only exalted people are married in the afterlife), have already been given to Christ:

David’s wives and concubines were given unto him of me, by the hand of Nathan, my servant, and others of the prophets who had the keys of this power; and in none of these things did he sin against me save in the case of Uriah and his wife; and, therefore he hath fallen from his exaltation, and received his portion; and he shall not inherit them out of the world, for I gave them unto another, saith the Lord. (D&C 132:39)

This another is the same another that Joseph Smith mentioned:

“the throne & kingdom of David is to be taken from him & given to another by the name of David in the last days, raised up out of his linage”

When the Lord removes the blessings He bestowed upon one man, He takes everything He removes and gives them to another servant. He doesn’t divvy up the loot among several servants. Thus, in both the parable of the talents and the parable of the pounds, everything that the unwise and foolish servant possessed was taken and the whole of it was given to only one other servant. Also, in the following scripture we see that when Saul transgressed, the Lord took from him the kingdom of Israel and his house and his wives and gave the whole lot to David:

And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul; and I gave thee thy master’s house, and thy master’s wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things. (2 Samuel 12:7-8)

Although David fell from his exaltation, his wives did not, and so Nathan or some other servant of God performed whatever ordinance was necessary to seal them to Christ, as His eternal brides. When Christ came to earth, then, He was already married and sealed to these women, who were at that time disembodied spirits dwelling in paradise. When He died, Christ went to paradise, where He met the righteous saints and prophets and also His wives.

For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven. (Matthew 22:30)

A woman cannot be resurrected and then afterward be given to a husband, nor can a man marry a woman after his resurrection. As there is a finality to the resurrection, all gospel ordinances have to be done before it occurs. This means that the brides of Christ had to be sealed to Him before He, and they, were resurrected, and so this is what must have happened.

Upon His resurrection, then, these wives of His were also resurrected, and thus He was reunited with His brides, and the lot of them entered into their exaltation. When Christ returns, then, with ten thousand of His saints, among those saints will be His wives, and the people will wonder, “From whence did these women come? When did you marry them?” They were the wives of David, the first David, and also the wives of Saul who were given to David, all of which David lost through his transgression, whereby they were then given to the last David, who would never lose them, because He is Christ.

Orson Hyde’s Prayer of Dedication

On 22 November 1841, Orson Hyde, the latter-day saint apostle, dedicated the Holy Land for the gathering of Israel. The prayer he uttered on the Mount of Olives was, apparently, given to him by revelation. In one part of the prayer, he said the following:

Thou, O Lord, did once move upon the heart of Cyrus to show favor unto Jerusalem and her children. Do Thou now also be pleased to inspire the hearts of kings and the powers of the earth to look with a friendly eye towards this place, and with a desire to see Thy righteous purposes executed in relation thereto. Let them know that it is Thy good pleasure to restore the kingdom unto Israel — raise up Jerusalem as its capital, and constitute her people a distinct nation and government, with David Thy servant, even a descendant from the loins of ancient David to be their king.

Some have taken this statement as meaning a mortal end times servant named David, but they are mistaken. It refers to the Branch King David, who is King Messiah, the immortal, resurrected Christ.

The Times and Seasons article

Three months after elder Hyde’s prayer, there were three paragraphs of a Times and Seasons article published on 15 February 1842 that took up the topic of an end-time David. Here are the three paragraphs; and notice that I’ve put parts of the third paragraph in bold type to show that the ideas espoused are mere speculations put forth by the writer(s):

Ezekiel after giving a description of the resurrection of the House of Israel, and the coming forth of the stick of Joseph (Book of Mormon,) and its being united with the stick of Judah (the bible;) and also the restoration of the House of Israel, that are in a state of mortality, back upon their own lands, says: “Neither shall they defile themselves any more with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions; but I will save them out of all their dwelling places wherein they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be my people, and I will be their God. And David my servant shall be king over them: and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them. And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherin our fathers have dwelt, and they shall dwell therein, even they and their children, and their children’s children, forever; and my servant David shall be their prince for ever. Moreover, I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore. My tabe[r]nacle also shall be with them; yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people, and the heathen shall know that I the Lord do sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the mid[s]t of them for evermore.”—Ezek. xxxvii. 23–28. The above quotation has a particular allusion to that portion of the righteous that will remain in the flesh, and dwell on the earth, and eat the fruit of it. But the difference that will be, satan will be cast out of the earth, and he will have no power to tempt or deceive them: they will a[l]l be righteous, and not defile themselves any more. The Lord will set his sanctuary in the midst of them, and they shall multiply and be increased in number,—which they will continue to do, during the Millennium. The fact that they will multiply and increase, shows that they will be in a state of mortality.

The immortal saints will be made kings and priests, and they shall reign with Christ; but is is not said that the mortal ones shall be made kings and priests, to hold authority with Christ like the immortal ones, while in a state of mortality; only they shall have a king, priests, and all other necessary officers, to administer all ordinances, and perform all necessary ceremonies. We mean a king that shall be chosen or proceed out of their midst. Isaiah speaking of this day says, the Lord will restore their judges as at first, and their counsellors as at the beginning. This will be the time that God will restore their kingdom unto them which the apostles alluded to when they inquired of Jesus, if he would then restore the kingdom to Israel. (See Acts, i. 6)

According to the prophets the name of this king shall be David; not the patriarch David who was the son of Jesse; but a literal descendant of his. Some suppose that the Psalmist David will be raised from his tomb, and again reign over Israel; but we consider this one of the most unreasonable ideas that could be advanced. He no doubt will be in the Lord’s own due time raised from the dead, but not to act the part of a prince in the midst of Israel who remain in the flesh. Neither will any of the patriarchs act the part of an earthly king; although they will reign with Christ. Indeed, we have no reason to believe that Christ himself will act the part of an earthly king, or priest, to any great extent. It is inconsistent for us to suppose that the immortal saints, who are glorified, will be perpetually confined in the midst of the mortal ones. Because it is said, they shall reign on the earth, is no reason why we should say they shall be constantly among the mortal saints. The idea is that the earth will be under the control of Christ and the glorified saints, and Christ will virtually reign over the whole earth, and this David will be subject to him. The redeemed saints will reign on earth, and perhaps have in many respects, authority over the mortal ones. We do not wish to be understood, that there will be a total or entire separation between [p. 690] the mortal, and immortal; but the object of the foregoing remarks is to show the distinction of privilege. The prophet says, that the Lord shall reign in Mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously; hence, when the redeemed saints dwell on earth, they will dwell in Mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, which places the Lord will fully prepare for them. We might dilate upon this part of the subject, that is, the reign, and dominion of the redeemed saints, till we fill a volume; but brevity admonishes us to hasten. Those who are anxious to learn more concerning this reign of the saints, can search the scriptures for themselves.

So these are speculations. In Mormonism we are free to speculate but these speculations aren’t correct. They are based upon the (incorrect) belief that resurrected and mortal beings will exist but not intermingle during the Millennium, and thus the (erroneously supposed) necessity for a mortal king David, along with an immortal resurrected King Messiah. Here’s a full breakdown of these three paragraphs:

Correcting the Times and Seasons: first paragraph

I will quote again parts of these three paragraphs, to make the correction. The parts in bold are incorrect:

Ezekiel after giving a description of the resurrection of the House of Israel, and the coming forth of the stick of Joseph (Book of Mormon,) and its being united with the stick of Judah (the bible;) and also the restoration of the House of Israel, that are in a state of mortality, back upon their own lands, says:

First, the Book of Mormon functions as a type or as a shadow fulfillment of the stick of Joseph, while the Bible functions as a type or shadow of the stick of Judah. The literal fulfillment of these prophecies will occur when the plates of brass (the real or literal stick of Joseph) and the Book of the Lamb of God (the real or literal stick of Judah) comes forth and are translated by the Josephite.

Secondly, the text of Ezekiel says nothing about them being mortal. That’s just an assumption. A false assumption. Will they be mortal when their King (and it’s King with a capital K, for this will be King Messiah) reigns over them? Nope. How do we know that they will not be mortal? Well, for starters, because of what happened to Moses:

And the presence of God withdrew from Moses, that his glory was not upon Moses; and Moses was left unto himself. And as he was left unto himself, he fell unto the earth. And it came to pass that it was for the space of many hours before Moses did again receive his natural strength like unto man; and he said unto himself: Now, for this cause I know that man is nothing, which thing I never had supposed. But now mine own eyes have beheld God; but not my natural, but my spiritual eyes, for my natural eyes could not have beheld; for I should have withered and died in his presence; but his glory was upon me; and I beheld his face, for I was transfigured before him. (Moses 1:9-11)

The Son of God will be returning at the Second Coming in His full glory. Nothing mortal can survive the Advent of the Son of God. All things mortal will be destroyed. This is why Elijah the prophet must come back to deliver the Priesthood to the Josephite before Jesus returns, because the Priesthood that will be delivered to him will be the same that causes transfiguration, or translation, for unless all things are transfigured or translated, the Earth and all things upon it will be destroyed in God’s presence. This is why Moroni stated:

Behold, I will reveal unto you the Priesthood, by the hand of Elijah the prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. And he shall plant in the hearts of the children the promises made to the fathers, and the hearts of the children shall turn to their fathers. If it were not so, the whole earth would be utterly wasted at his coming. (D&C 2:1-3)

“Utterly wasted” means destroyed. So, the Josephite will have to use this Priesthood of transfiguration and transfigure all things that will be saved and redeemed, before Jesus gets back, which will, in part, fulfill this scripture:

Q. What are we to understand by the sounding of the trumpets, mentioned in the 8th chapter of Revelation?

A. We are to understand that as God made the world in six days, and on the seventh day he finished his work, and sanctified it, and also formed man out of the dust of the earth, even so, in the beginning of the seventh thousand years will the Lord God sanctify the earth, and complete the salvation of man, and judge all things, and shall redeem all things, except that which he hath not put into his power, when he shall have sealed all things, unto the end of all things; and the sounding of the trumpets of the seven angels are the preparing and finishing of his work, in the beginning of the seventh thousand years—the preparing of the way before the time of his coming.

Q. When are the things to be accomplished, which are written in the 9th chapter of Revelation?

A. They are to be accomplished after the opening of the seventh seal, before the coming of Christ. (D&C 77:12-13)

So, the notion that these gathered people of the house of Israel will be mortal is patently false.The Josephite will gather all things and then redeem all things, saving them from the destruction which happens at the Second Coming, because all the things he has transfigured through this Priesthood (which will be delivered to him by Elijah the Tishbite, who himself was translated or transfigured) cannot be destroyed by the Lord’s glory. Thus they are protected from, or prepared for, His Coming. This is why the Lord told Joseph Smith the following:

Nevertheless, he that endureth in faith and doeth my will, the same shall overcome, and shall receive an inheritance upon the earth when the day of transfiguration shall come; when the earth shall be transfigured, even according to the pattern which was shown unto mine apostles upon the mount; of which account the fulness ye have not yet received. (D&C 63:20-21)

The day of transfiguration is the day of the Josephite, when all that will be saved with be transfigured or translated, prior to the Second Coming of the Lord. Thus, the writers of this article in the Times and Seasons didn’t have a clue of what they were talking about. The speculation about the house of Israel being mortal at the gathering and installment of their King is pure bunk. The house of Israel will be composed of resurrected personages, even those spoken of in Ezekiel 37, verses 1 through 14, while the rest will be translated personages, even those spoken of in verses 20 to 22 of the same chapter.

After citing Ezekiel 37:23-28, the Times and Seasons article says:

The above quotation has a particular allusion to that portion of the righteous that will remain in the flesh, and dwell on the earth, and eat the fruit of it. But the difference that will be, satan will be cast out of the earth, and he will have no power to tempt or deceive them: they will all be righteous, and not defile themselves any more. The Lord will set his sanctuary in the midst of them, and they shall multiply and be increased in number,—which they will continue to do, during the Millennium. The fact that they will multiply and increase, shows that they will be in a state of mortality.

Here we see that the writer or writers of this piece have continued their faulty reasoning, thinking that only mortal people can multiply and increase. No, not only mortal people can multiply and increase. Resurrected, translated and mortal people can all multiply and increase. Their is no evidence to back up the claim about “multiply and increase” meaning that they must be mortal. It is just thrown out there and assumed to be true. But it’s patently false.

God is a resurrected Personage. Does He have children? Does His seed multiply and increase? How about all the people who receive the promise of exaltation? Do they multiply and increase after their resurrection?

And again, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife by my word, which is my law, and by the new and everlasting covenant, and it is sealed unto them by the Holy Spirit of promise, by him who is anointed, unto whom I have appointed this power and the keys of this priesthood; and it shall be said unto them—Ye shall come forth in the first resurrection; and if it be after the first resurrection, in the next resurrection; and shall inherit thrones, kingdoms, principalities, and powers, dominions, all heights and depths—then shall it be written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, that he shall commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood, and if ye abide in my covenant, and commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood, it shall be done unto them in all things whatsoever my servant hath put upon them, in time, and through all eternity; and shall be of full force when they are out of the world; and they shall pass by the angels, and the gods, which are set there, to their exaltation and glory in all things, as hath been sealed upon their heads, which glory shall be a fulness and a continuation of the seeds forever and ever. Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them. Then shall they be gods, because they have all power, and the angels are subject unto them. Verily, verily, I say unto you, except ye abide my lawye cannot attain to this glory. For strait is the gate, and narrow the way that leadeth unto the exaltation and continuation of the lives, and few there be that find it, because ye receive me not in the world neither do ye know me.

Abraham received promises concerning his seed, and of the fruit of his loins—from whose loins ye are, namely, my servant Joseph—which were to continue so long as they were in the world; and as touching Abraham and his seed, out of the world they should continue; both in the world and out of the world should they continue as innumerable as the stars; or, if ye were to count the sand upon the seashore ye could not number them. (D&C 132:19-22,30)

Correcting the Times and Seasons: second paragraph

In this next part the article continues to insist that the scripture means that in the Millennium there will be mortal people:

The immortal saints will be made kings and priests, and they shall reign with Christ; but is is not said that the mortal ones shall be made kings and priests, to hold authority with Christ like the immortal ones, while in a state of mortality;

Actually, nothing is said about anyone being mortal. That is merely a false supposition made by the article’s writer(s). All who survive the Second Coming will be the ones who are saved and redeemed and sealed, per D&C 77:12, which I quoted above. Does anyone really think these saved people won’t be made kings and priests?

Once we make one error in understanding, like this “mortal” supposition, everything that builds upon that error will diverge further and further from the path of truth. You must correct the initial mistake first, as I have done, and then the rest can be seen to be fully wrong, and can then be tossed into the trash, because you must start over again upon the proper and true foundation, which will take you to a different and more correct conclusion: namely, that the king and shepherd mentioned in these scriptures is none other than the resurrected Christ, King Messiah.

Correcting the Times and Seasons: third paragraph

According to the prophets the name of this king shall be David; not the patriarch David who was the son of Jesse; but a literal descendant of his.

This is correct. But there are only two people in the scriptures who are spoken of as “the son of David.” One is Joseph, the step-father of Jesus. The other is Jesus Christ Himself. In fact, the New Testament stresses over and over again that Jesus Christ is a descendant of David, calling Him the Root of David twice. Thus, Jesus Christ is a literal descendant of David, and is also the King Messiah that was prophesied to reign over Israel one day. Jesus Christ matches all the prophecies perfectly. But if you have this error about the man needing to be mortal in your head, then you go awry and enter into “the Davidic Servant” error.

Some suppose that the Psalmist David will be raised from his tomb, and again reign over Israel; but we consider this one of the most unreasonable ideas that could be advanced.

This is true. It is unreasonable because David fell from his exaltation. His priesthood, throne and kingdom are to be given to a descendant of his in the last days, per Joseph Smith, therefore it cannot be the old David, but must be a new David:

Although David was a King he never did obtain the spirit & power of Elijah & the fulness of the Priesthood, & the priesthood that he received & the throne & kingdom of David is to be taken from him & given to another by the name of David in the last days, raised up out of his linage

Just as there was a first Adam and then a last Adam, so there was a first David and also will be a last David. Jesus Christ will fulfill both roles.

And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. (1 Corinthians 15:45-48)

Okay, continuing on with this article:

He [the Psalmist David] no doubt will be in the Lord’s own due time raised from the dead, but not to act the part of a prince in the midst of Israel who remain in the flesh. Neither will any of the patriarchs act the part of an earthly king; although they will reign with Christ.

True enough, so far.

Indeed, we have no reason to believe that Christ himself will act the part of an earthly king, or priest, to any great extent.

This is not correct. We have plenty of reasons why Christ Himself will be a King over all Israel, namely: because this is what all the scriptures teach and preach.

It is inconsistent for us to suppose that the immortal saints, who are glorified, will be perpetually confined in the midst of the mortal ones.

Here again we see the persistent error of a division between mortal and immortal, which won’t exist, for all will be either translated (transfigured) people, or resurrected people, and no one will be mortal. Last I checked translated people fit in quite well among resurrected people, which is why Elijah was translated and went to heaven, as well as all the other people who have been translated. Resurrected people and translated people have no problem dwelling with each other.

Because it is said, they shall reign on the earth, is no reason why we should say they shall be constantly among the mortal saints.

Here again is mentioned the false division between mortal and immortal. Resurrected beings can come and go as they please, but this planet is where they will have their inheritance, so they will make their abode here, on planet Earth, as they were promised by God. The writers of the article are setting up this idea of traveling resurrected people who will be nominally present, so that they can put forth their false idea of a mortal king reigning over mortal Israel.

The idea is that the earth will be under the control of Christ and the glorified saints, and Christ will virtually reign over the whole earth, and this David will be subject to him.

Here we have the first mention of virtual reality! And we Mormons have the honor of having put forth the idea! No, Christ won’t “virtually reign” over Israel, He will literally and personally reign over the entire people. And David won’t be subject to Him, because Christ and the end-time David are one and the same Being, He being the new, or second, or last David. So, this idea of theirs might make for a good fictional movie, but it is not based upon the scriptures, nor upon truth, but upon an erroneous and speculative idea about mortals and immortals not mixing, and upon a mortal population needing a mortal king, while an immortal population needs an immortal King.

In truth, we have always had an immortal, or resurrected, King over us, even God the Father. God was our King in the heavens and He had a body of flesh and bones while we were mere spirits. That shouldn’t mix, right? But there we were, under our King who looked and was so vastly different from us. Down here on earth, we get clothed in mortal flesh. Who was our King? Still God the Father, who was an immortal or resurrected personage. Yet He still told us what to do. Or, if you want to say that the Son was our King, then before His First Advent, He was a Spirit. How’s that for incompatibility? We were mortals of flesh and blood, and our King was an immortal Spirit! Then He came down and partook of flesh and blood, but alas!, He didn’t reign over Israel! (Not yet, anyway.) Later He died and was resurrected, and now we had the same problem, for our King was a resurrected Personage of flesh and bone, like His Father, and we were still mortal beings. Next he’ll return in His resurrected body to reign over Israel and Israel will be both resurrected and translated. Is there a problem with any of this? The writers of the Times and Seasons article saw a problem, but the problem was in their own minds, for they were obsessed with privilege (as we will soon see) and they felt a need that that privilege remain intact:

The redeemed saints will reign on earth, and perhaps have in many respects, authority over the mortal ones. We do not wish to be understood, that there will be a total or entire separation between [p. 690] the mortal, and immortal; but the object of the foregoing remarks is to show the distinction of privilege. The prophet says, that the Lord shall reign in Mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously; hence, when the redeemed saints dwell on earth, they will dwell in Mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, which places the Lord will fully prepare for them. We might dilate upon this part of the subject, that is, the reign, and dominion of the redeemed saints, till we fill a volume; but brevity admonishes us to hasten. Those who are anxious to learn more concerning this reign of the saints, can search the scriptures for themselves.

Thank goodness for brevity! So, they were obsessed with the distinction of privilege and so erroneously divided the population into mortal and immortal, with a mortal king David and an immortal King Messiah, the one to be over the mortal population, and the other to be over the immortal one, but with the resurrected ones exercising authority (privilege) over the lowly mortal ones, etc. But despite all these errors, they give one good bit of advice: “search the scriptures for themselves.” That advice should have been the only words put into this article.

The name David (Beloved) identifies Christ

The name David means Beloved, and so when the Father says in the scriptures, “my servant David,” it is the same as if He were saying, “my servant Beloved,” or “my beloved servant.” The Beloved Servant of God the Father is Jesus Christ, who is also His Beloved Son, or, to put it another way, God’s Son David (Beloved.) Jesus Christ, then, is both the Beloved Son of God and also the Beloved Servant of God:

Yet it pleased the LORD [Jehovah the Father] to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD [Jehovah the Father] shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I [Jehovah the Father] divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. (Isaiah 53:10-12)

The above passage is speaking of Jesus Christ, yet the Father calls Him “my righteous servant.” The prophetic use of the word “Beloved” or “David” in connection with a servant of God or a Son of God identifies Jesus Christ as the One in question. And so we get:

Now will I sing to my wellbeloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My wellbeloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill: (Isaiah 5:1)

and

Behold my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, in whom I have glorified my name—hear ye him. (3 Nephi 11:7)

An analysis of the biblical name David

An excerpt from Abarim Publications’ Biblical Name Vault: David

The name David in the Bible
David is the youngest of eight (1 Samuel 16:10-13) or seven (1 Chronicles 2:15) sons of Jesse the Bethlehemite, and the first king of the united Kingdom of Israel. He was not the first king of Israel because that was Saul (1 Samuel 10:1). Saul, however, never managed to make peace in Israel.

Popular as this name is nowadays, in the Bible there is only one person named this way. Many names occur more than once, but David’s name was never repeated. Perhaps it was for venerative reasons that nobody named their child after the great king David of Israel. The Bible also only lists one Adam, Moses, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the list goes on.

The name David (Δαβιδ; Dabid) appears frequently in the New testament, but solely in constructions: Both Joseph and Jesus are called “son of David” (Matthew 1:20, 9:27, Mark 10:47), and Jesus is additionally called the “root of David” (Revelation 5:5, 22:16). The Messiah’s reign is referred to as the “kingdom of David” (Mark 11:10) and the “throne of David” (Luke 1:32), and His reign would rebuild the “tent of David” (Acts 15:16). He who is holy can open and no one will shut and vice versa, using the “key of David” (Revelation 3:7). And once Paul refers to a statement occurring in Psalm 95:7, as being “in David,” meaning the work of David (Hebrews 4:7).

The name David occurs 59 times in the New Testament; SEE FULL CONCORDANCE.

Etymology and meaning of the name David
Most Bible translators and commentator will render the name David as Beloved, but as always with important names, the etymology of the name David is disputed. But we can’t help noticing the distinct similarity of this name with the Hebrew root דוד (dwd) that yields דוד (dod), generally meaning beloved. This word is also the Hebrew word for uncle — 1 Chronicles 27:32, for instance, speaks of דוד־דויד, or “David’s uncle”:

The entire web page on David can be read by clicking here.

Of particular note are these words:

The Messiah’s reign is referred to as the “kingdom of David” (Mark 11:10) and the “throne of David” (Luke 1:32), and His reign would rebuild the “tent of David” (Acts 15:16). He who is holy can open and no one will shut and vice versa, using the “key of David” (Revelation 3:7).

I will quote those referenced scriptures. First Mark:

And they brought the colt to Jesus, and cast their garments on him; and he sat upon him. And many spread their garments in the way: and others cut down branches off the trees, and strawed them in the way. And they that went before, and they that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna; Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord: blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest. (Mark 11:7-10)

Next, Luke:

And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. (Luke 1:31-33)

Notice the similarities of the above passage to this passage in Ezekiel:

And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them. And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children’s children for ever: and my servant David shall be their prince for ever. (Ezekiel 37:24-25)

and also to this passage in Isaiah:

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this. (Isaiah 9:6-7)

Next, Acts:

And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me: Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: that the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things. (Acts 15:13-17)

Finally, Revelation:

And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; (Rev. 3:7)

These scriptures do, in fact, support the Abarim Publications’ view that: King Messiah’s reign is referred to as the “kingdom of David” and the “throne of David,” and His reign would rebuild the “tent (tabernacle) of David,” and that King Messiah is the Holy One who can open and no one will shut and vice versa, using the “key of David.”

From these scriptures it appears that Jesus Christ, “the son of David” and “the Root of David,” even the King Messiah, will get all things that were given to David, doesn’t it? Here’s that Joseph Smith quotation again, for comparison:

Although David was a King he never did obtain the spirit & power of Elijah & the fulness of the Priesthood, & the priesthood that he received & the throne & kingdom of David is to be taken from him & given to another by the name of David in the last days, raised up out of his linage

More on the key of David

I taught the following in the King Abaddon post:

Now, the angel (Elias) Gabriel possessed keys, and keys are only obtained during a mortal probation. Notice again what Joseph Smith said:

While speaking in 1839 to members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and some Seventies prior to their leaving for missionary service, the Prophet Joseph Smith said: Noah, who is Gabriel, … stands next in authority to Adam in the Priesthood; he was called of God to this office, and was the father of all living in his day, and to him was given the dominion. These men held keys first on earth, and then in heaven.” (Quoted from History of the Church, 3:386. Cited in Noah, The Great Preacher of Righteousness by Joseph B. Romney, Ensign, February 1998.)

So, when we read that Elias (the angel Gabriel) possessed “the keys of bringing to pass the restoration of all things,” this means that Gabriel must have already had a mortal probation. The same principle applies to each and every angel that holds keys:

And the voice of Michael, the archangel; the voice of Gabriel, and of Raphael, and of divers angels, from Michael or Adam down to the present time, all declaring their dispensation, their rights, their keys, their honors, their majesty and glory, and the power of their priesthood; giving line upon line, precept upon precept; here a little, and there a little; giving us consolation by holding forth that which is to come, confirming our hope! (D&C 128:21)

Therefore, given that Moroni, Michael, John the Baptist, Peter, James, John the Beloved, Gabriel, Raphael, Moses, Elijah and Elias all came to Joseph Smith as angels possessing keys, all of these men had already had mortal probations. They obtained their keys in mortality, and then retained them when they died or were translated. Joseph Smith also obtained the keys of the mysteries and sealed things during his mortal ministry, and he retains those keys still, even after his death.

Jesus Christ, then, received the special key of David during His earthly ministry. Now, notice what Isaiah prophesied about the key of David:

And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will call my servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah: and I will clothe him with thy robe, and strengthen him with thy girdle, and I will commit thy government into his hand: and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah. And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder; so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open. And I will fasten him as a nail in a sure place; and he shall be for a glorious throne to his father’s house. And they shall hang upon him all the glory of his father’s house, the offspring and the issue, all vessels of small quantity, from the vessels of cups, even to all the vessels of flagons. In that day, saith the Lord of hosts, shall the nail that is fastened in the sure place be removed, and be cut down, and fall; and the burden that was upon it shall be cut off: for the Lord hath spoken it. (Isaiah 22:20-25)

The above words were spoken to Shebna, a government official. In the prophecy, Eliakim is made into a type of Christ, who will replace Shebna. Eliakim means “God shall cause to arise.” The prophecy points forward to the literal fulfillment, in which Christ receives the robe of Shebna, the girdle of Shebna and the government of Shebna is committed into His hand. Additionally, He will have the key of the house of David (the key of David), but will be fastened as a nail in a sure place, a reference to the crucifixion of Christ. Notice, in particular, that Christ will be “for a glorious throne to his father’s house.” Thus it is Jesus that inherits David’s throne. He has a right to that throne not just because He is a descendant of David through Mary, but specifically because He, and He alone, possesses “the key to the house of David.”

There can be no other “Davidic Servant” coming forth in the end times, to reign upon David’s throne, because no other person, except Christ, possesses the key of David necessary to establish that throne forever. The key of David is given to one repository only. So, either there is a mortal “Davidic Servant” who reigns upon the end-time throne of David, or there is an immortal Branch King David who reigns upon the end-time throne of David. There cannot be two Davids reigning upon two thrones of David, nor can there be two Davids reigning upon the same throne, for to reign on that throne requires the key of David, which only one person possesses.

To determine, then, which personage reigns, the fictitious “Davidic Servant,” or the real King Messiah, we just need to answer this question: Which one has the key of David? And that’s easy to answer because the Revelation of Saint John the Divine reveals that Christ has the key of David, therefore He has the right to rule on that throne and He is the one who will “be for a glorious throne” to both His father David, and His Father Jehovah, for He will establish that throne forever.

Now, the only way for “the DS” cult to get around this fact is to make the claim that Jesus Christ Himself will come to earth, before the Second Coming, and commit the key of David into the hand of a mortal descendant of David, whose name is also David, so that the mortal servant can reign upon the throne of David. But there is no prophecy or scripture of any king that supports such a claim. Should someone come forth making that claim, it will be readily seen as baseless. The only evidence of a pre-Second Coming appearance of Christ is the meeting to take place at Adam-ondi-Ahman. But in that meeting, Jesus won’t be delivering keys into the hands of others, but all the repositories of the various keys, even all the servants of God who were given unique keys, such as this unique key of David that Jesus possesses, will deliver those keys back to Christ. So, He will be the one receiving keys, not committing them to others.

This fact alone, then, that Jesus Christ holds the key of David, invalidates the whole “Davidic Servant” error.

Abaddon’s key

Now, one last thing about keys before moving on. The fact that “keys are only obtained during a mortal probation” proves that king Abaddon is a servant of God.

The idea among latter-day saints that king Abaddon is the devil (which idea is put forth in the Bible Dictionary entry of Abaddon) is unsupported in the scriptures because king Abaddon is the angel who possesses the key of the bottomless pit:

And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.

And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon. (Revelation 9:1,11)

And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, and cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. (Revelation 20:1-3)

All keys are obtained during the mortal probation, therefore this angel cannot be the devil, for the devil will never have a mortal probation. Therefore, this must be a divine angel (as I have taught on this blog) who has already been born into mortality. Okay, back to the topic at hand.

The ancient David as a type

The boy David, who later became king David, was given the name David (Beloved) because he functioned as a type of King Messiah, as a Beloved King type. Even after David’s transgression, he still performed the kingly functions in righteousness, so that he continued being the Beloved King type. The end times is not when types are brought forth, but when the literal things the types are patterned after finally appear. Thus, the prophecies of the end times David, are not of another David type, but of the literal David, the one that the king David type was patterned after, even the One who would not fall into transgression.

The Davidic Servant is real; “the Davidic Servant” is not

The word “Davidic” means “of David.” In the scriptures, there is an end times Personage that is prophesied to come forth who is “of David,” meaning that He will be a descendant of the ancient David. This Personage is the Branch:

In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land. (Jeremiah 33:15)

The Branch, then, is a Branch “of David,” or, to put it another way, a Davidic Branch. This Branch is the same as the end-time Personage called in the scriptures “my servant David” or “David my servant.” Therefore, the name of this Personage is Beloved (David.) Thus, there is, indeed, a Davidic Branch Servant named David, and this Beloved Davidic Branch Servant is Jesus Christ.

In addition to the Branch (Jesus Christ) being Davidic, so is everything that He is associated with. The kingdom of David, the throne of David, the tent or tabernacle of David, the key of David, the house of David, etc., all these terms can be re-termed as: the Davidic kingdom, the Davidic throne, the Davidic tent or tabernacle, the Davidic key, the Davidic house, etc. All of these Davidic properties belong to Jesus alone.

There is no mortal branch of ancient David, whose name is also David, who reigns upon David’s throne in the last days, as king of mortal Israel. Such a personage is that figment of speculating Mormons’s imagination which is known as “the Davidic Servant.” I put this imaginary personage in quotation marks as “the Davidic Servant” to indicate that I am speaking of the fictional entity, and not of the real Davidic Servant, who is Jesus Christ.

“The Davidic Servant” is a misnomer

By taking the scriptures that speak of the end-time Branch of David (Christ) and the ones that speak of the end-time “my servant David”/”David my servant” (also Christ) and combining them with the scriptures that speak of the end-time Elias and his ministry, “the DS” cult has invented a fantastical figure which resembles aspects of both Christ and Elias, yet isn’t exactly like either one. Almost all of the scriptures used to bolster this professed, but fictional entity come from the ones that speak of Elias. But Elias isn’t like Christ, at all, and any attempt to make him appear to be and act like the Savior shows that “the DS” cult has no idea, whatsoever, about this end times servant.

For starters, Elias is not even said to be Davidic! His lineage is only spoken of as coming from Jesse, not David, and there is no place in the scriptures, anywhere, that indicates this man will be a descendant of David. Thus, the labeling of him as “the Davidic Servant” is a misnomer. There isn’t a shred of evidence that Elias is descended of David. In fact, as the rod/root of Jesse, Elias’s lineage is given as of Jesse and of the house of Joseph, which includes two tribes (Ephraim and Manasseh), but nothing is ever said of David.

I teach that Elias is the same Josephite mentioned in 2 Nephi chapter 3, who will be the one mighty that is raised up from among the posterity of Joseph the son of Lehi, and therefore Elias will be a Nephite of the same lineages had among that ancient people, namely: Judah, Manasseh and Ephraim.

Elias, as I teach him, is the destroying angel, even the king Destroyer (Abaddon), and as a descendant of Jesse, we can assume that Jesse named his eight sons prophetically and that the destroyer is prophetically linked to the name of one of those sons. This isn’t so unusual, for I, myself, named my own sons prophetically, according to the spirit of prophecy which was upon me, and so the meaning of their names will be manifest in their lives, and we also have evidence that Jesse named at least one son prophetically, because David, which means Beloved, was so named because through him would come God’s Beloved Son, King Messiah, thus making David a type. If Jesse, then, named David prophetically, then we might assume that he did the same with all his sons (as I did my own).

Is there any son of Jesse whose name points prophetically to the destroyer? Yes, in fact, there is. Jesse’s third son was named Shammah. And what does Shammah mean? It means “Waste; Appalling Desolation.” Why would a father name his son, “Desolation?” Well, if the king Destroyer would be coming through that child’s loins, it makes perfect prophetic sense to call him that.

The Nephites came from the Lehi (Manasseh)/Ishmael (Ephraim) group, but later they also combined with the Mulek (Judah) group. Mulek was a son of Zedekiah, king of Judah, and thus a direct descendant of David. So, we know that the lineage of David was had among the Nephites, but what about Shammah? Was his lineage also found among the Nephites? Perhaps:

And it bordered upon the land which they called Desolation, it being so far northward that it came into the land which had been peopled and been destroyed, of whose bones we have spoken, which was discovered by the people of Zarahemla, it being the place of their first landing. And they came from there up into the south wilderness. Thus the land on the northward was called Desolation, and the land on the southward was called Bountiful, it being the wilderness which is filled with all manner of wild animals of every kind, a part of which had come from the land northward for food. And now, it was only the distance of a day and a half’s journey for a Nephite, on the line Bountiful and the land Desolation, from the east to the west sea; and thus the land of Nephi and the land of Zarahemla were nearly surrounded by water, there being a small neck of land between the land northward and the land southward. (Alma 22:30-32)

We typically think that the land Desolation—which was far to the north, strangely enough (for king Abaddon’s kingdom will likewise be in a far country to the north)—was named because of the destruction of the Jaredites, and perhaps that is the case, or perhaps that’s not the case:

Now it was the custom of the people of Nephi to call their lands, and their cities, and their villages, yea, even all their small villages, after the name of him who first possessed them; and thus it was with the land of Ammonihah. (Alma 8:7)

Shammah the son of Jesse may have had descendants among the Mulek party, and perhaps when they made their first landing, the descendant of Shammah put Shammah’s name (Desolation) upon the land. And where is the land Desolation in modern times? At least part of the land of the United States of America enters into the land Desolation. And where does Elias the destroyer come from? From Zion, which is found in the USA:

The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion (Psalms 110:2)

We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent; (AoF 1:10)

Which part of the USA will Elias come from? Likely that part which resides within the borders of the ancient land Desolation.

Now, the Lord hasn’t revealed these mysteries, as yet. But suffice it to say that there is no scriptural evidence that the end-time Elias is a descendant of David, therefore it is incorrect to refer to the end-time Elias servant as “the Davidic Servant.”

Addressing Gileadi

Avraham Gileadi is a part of the group that believes in “the Davidic Servant” error. Given that he is widely considered an authority on the writings of Isaiah, those who also believe in “the Davidic Servant” error feel that they are now in good company. Unfortunately for them, even if the whole world believed in “the Davidic Servant” error, that still wouldn’t make it any less wrong than it already is.

From Gileadi’s FAQ page on his Isaiah Institute web site, it states:

Do other prophets besides Isaiah prophesy of God’s endtime servant?

Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Hosea, and others prophesy of God’s endtime servant who gathers Israel’s twelve tribes from dispersion and restores them to lands of inheritance on a parallel with the prophecies of Isaiah. As a descendant of David named David, God’s servant reunites Israel and Judah, builds the temple in Jerusalem, and establishes the political kingdom of God on the earth in preparation for Jehovah’s coming to reign among his elect people as King of Zion.

If Gileadi had left out the phrase “As a descendant of David named David” from the second sentence, the above would have been perfectly true and it would have been an apt description of part of Joseph-Nephi’s mission. But Gileadi shows himself as mixed up as the others by conflating the actual Davidic Servant (who is Jesus Christ) with the non-Davidic Servant forerunner (who is Joseph-Nephi) and by creating a non-existent entity named David who is a descendant of David of old, who does all the things Joseph-Nephi will do and who is not Jesus Christ.

Now, before I proceed, let me just say that Avraham Gileadi gets a lot right. I am actually quite impressed by how much he gets right. But in a sea of white, the single, solitary black spot gets all the attention, and so it is with me. I cannot help but hone in on the errors.

It is my belief that the correct things that Gileadi has come to are a result of diligent study and the use of the Jewish scriptural interpretation techniques. In other words, his writings and interpretations don’t come from the Holy Ghost. His teachings or interpretations aren’t manifested understandings, and so errors creep in, for no man-made interpretation technique is perfect.

Nevertheless, perhaps if he had had some of the keys I have given in this post, these errors would have been kept more or less at bay. For example, if only he had understood that special keys are obtained in mortality (as stated by Joseph Smith), then he would have known that Jesus Christ is the only One who could possibly be the Davidic Servant to reign upon the throne of David, because He is the only One who possesses the key of David. Thus, in the following passage of scripture, which speaks of a son reigning upon the throne of David forever, Gileadi would have instantly known that the passage speaks of Christ; but instead, he mistakes it as speaking of the fictional “Davidic Servant.”

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this. (Isaiah 9:6-7, KJV)

For to us a child is born, a son appointed,
who will shoulder the burden of government.
He will be called
Wonderful Counsellor, One Mighty in Valor,
a Father for Ever, a Prince of Peace—
that sovereignty may be extended
and peace have no end;
that, on the throne of David
and over his kingdom,
his rule may be established and upheld
by justice and righteousness
from this time forth and forever.
The zeal of Jehovah of Hosts will accomplish it. (Isaiah 9:6-7, Gileadi’s translation)

Additionally, Gileadi believes that the KJV mistranslates the above verses, as he explains here:

Although Handel’s Messiah cites this prophecy of Isaiah in reference to Jesus—perhaps based in part on its mistranslation in the King James Version of the Bible—no scriptural writers do so because that would entirely remove it from its literary-scriptural context in the Book of Isaiah. As the exemplar of his people, Jehovah nevertheless embodies the divine attributes of counsel (Isaiah 25:1; 28:29); valor (1:24; 49:26); fatherhood (45:10; 63:16); and kingship (Isaiah 33:22; 43:15). Jehovah’s servant and his associates, too, therefore, evidence these same attributes (Isaiah 11:2; 13:3; 22:21; 46:11; 49:23).

It is strange that Gileadi would call this passage mistranslated by the KJV given that the same passage of Isaiah was found on the plates of Mormon and translated by Joseph Smith in a virtually identical manner as the KJV:

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called, Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of government and peace there is no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of Hosts will perform this. (2 Nephi 19:6-7)

If we are to pick a translation, surely the KJV wins over the Gileadi one in this passage, given that the Book of Mormon translation is word-for-word the same as the KJV, and because we know that Joseph Smith’s translation is both correct and divinely given.

Again, if Gileadi had understood that the name Jehovah could refer to each of the three members of the Godhead, he would not force every single scripture that speaks of Jehovah to refer to Jesus Christ alone. To illustrate my point, Gileadi goes on to say the following in the same commentary on this chapter of Isaiah:

Other Hebrew prophets, too, predict the millennial rule of a descendant of David named David who is not identical with Jehovah, Israel’s divine King (Isaiah 33:17, 22; 43:15), but who prepares the way for Jehovah’s coming (cf. Isaiah 40:3-5; 52:7): “They shall serve Jehovah their God and David their king, whom I will raise up to them” (Jeremiah 30:9); “I Jehovah will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them” (Ezekiel 34:24); “David my servant shall be king over them, and they all shall have one shepherd. . . . and my servant David shall be their prince forever” (Ezekiel 37:24-25).

Here we see Gileadi’s inability to see that the name Jehovah in the passages refers to the Father, and not to the Son. The name David in the passages in fact refer to God’s Beloved, who is Christ.

A final example is from Isaiah 11: 1-5, which reads as follows in the KJV:

And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: and the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord; and shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: but with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.

Gileadi translates this passage as follows:

A shoot will spring up from the stock of Jesse
and a branch from its graft bear fruit.
The Spirit of Jehovah will rest upon him—
the spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
the spirit of counsel and of valor,
the spirit of knowledge
and of the fear of Jehovah.
His intuition will be guided
by the fear of Jehovah;
he will not judge by what his eyes see,
nor establish proof by what his ears hear.
He will judge the poor with righteousness,
and with equity arbitrate for the lowly in the land;
he will smite the earth with the rod of his mouth
and with the breath of his lips slay the wicked.
Righteousness will be as a band about his waist,
faithfulness a girdle round his loins.

Joseph Smith said the following about this passage:

Who is the Stem of Jesse spoken of in the 1st, 2d, 3d, 4th, and 5th verses of the 11th chapter of Isaiah?

Verily thus saith the Lord: It is Christ. (D&C 113:1-2)

So, to be clearer, according to the Lord, as revealed to Joseph Smith, Christ is the one spoken of in verses two, three, four and five, as well as in verse one. But Gileadi sets this revelation completely aside, because he is stuck in his own interpretation, which he believes is correct. And so after citing verse two, he says:

Although all three messianic individuals in Isaiah’s olive tree allegory evidence the divine attributes here listed, grammatically they apply to the last one mentioned—the branchJehovah’s end-time servant. Word links confirm that identity: “My servant whom I sustain, my chosen one in whom I delight, him I have endowed with my Spirit; he will dispense justice to the nations” (Isaiah 42:1); “He will be called Wonderful Counsellor, One Mighty in Valor” (Isaiah 9:6); “Because of his knowledge, and by bearing their iniquities, shall my servant, the righteous one, vindicate many” (Isaiah 53:11).

Now, Gileadi is correct when he says, “grammatically they apply to the last one mentioned—the branch.” In other words, verse one mentions three individuals: the rod, the Stem and the Branch, but the last one mentioned is the Branch, and therefore the next verses (two to five) apply to the Branch. Yet Joseph Smith said that verses two to five apply to the Stem. Nevertheless, both Joseph Smith and Avraham Gileadi are correct because the Stem of Jesse and the Branch of David are one and the same individual: Christ.

Where Gileadi goes wrong is in his assumption that the Branch of David is “Jehovah’s end-time servant.” In other words, he assumes that the Branch is the end-time servant who prepares and restores all things. He says that “word links confirm that identity” and then cites Isaiah 42:1, which speaks of Joseph-Nephi; and he cites Isaiah 9:6, which speaks of Jesus Christ; and he cites Isaiah 53:11, which speaks of Jesus Christ. This shows how messed up one can get by falling into this “Davidic Servant” error, in which two distinct servants of God are conflated into a single, fictional entity.

And thus we see that it doesn’t matter how much scholarly knowledge you obtain, or how much diligence you apply in study, unless you are in possession of certain revealed keys, you will still fall into many errors, including this “Davidic Servant” error.

The gift of the word of knowledge is what is needed

The apostle, Bruce R. McConkie, who I quoted at the beginning of this post, has been shown to have been in actual possession of the gift of the word of knowledge, for his knowledge of these things far surpassed all the others. I myself also possess this same gift, and going back and reviewing what McConkie wrote I find myself amazed at just how much knowledge he was able to obtain using that gift. It is that gift that allows the scriptures to be understood and to have the things of God revealed, for God keeps His stuff in an unsearchable format:

Behold, great and marvelous are the works of the Lord. How unsearchable are the depths of the mysteries of him; and it is impossible that man should find out all his ways. And no man knoweth of his ways save it be revealed unto him; wherefore, brethren, despise not the revelations of God. (Jacob 4:8)

Through the use of this gift, then, all errors can be corrected, so that we may all end up having a correct understanding:

To another is given the word of knowledge, that all may be taught to be wise and to have knowledge. (D&C 46:18)

McConkie obviously made an attempt at a correction, or at least he gave the correct knowledge, but his correction didn’t stick. People persisted in “the Davidic Servant” just the same. He’s now dead and gone and nobody is attempting a correction. So with this post I will add knowledge to his correction, using my own gift, and who knows?, perhaps this time it will stick.

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A new interpretation of Psalms 110


The context of Psalms 110 is the end times and the whole psalm is in chronological order.

Verse 1

The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. (Psalms 110:1)

The psalm begins in the meridian of time with the ascension of Jesus Christ to heaven after His resurrection, to sit down at the right hand of the Father. He remains there in heaven until the end times, until the restoration of all things,

…and he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began. (Acts 3:20-21)

even until the destruction of His enemies at the Second Coming, when they will finally be made ashes under His feet.

For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch…And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the LORD of hosts. (Malachi 4:1,3)

The LORD in the verse is God the Father, and the Personage who is referred to by David as “my Lord,” is Jesus Christ.

Verse 2

The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies. (Psalms 110:2)

Verse two continues within the context of the end times.

Here David is speaking to Jesus Christ, saying that the LORD (God the Father) will send the rod of Christ’s strength out of Zion. The rod of Christ’s strength is the same rod that comes out of the stem of Jesse, mentioned in Isaiah 11:1. This rod is Joseph-Nephi (who is the Elias that restores all things) and he is a servant in the hands of Christ:

And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: (Isaiah 11:1)

What is the rod spoken of in the first verse of the 11th chapter of Isaiah, that should come of the Stem of Jesse?

Behold, thus saith the Lord: It is a servant in the hands of Christ, who is partly a descendant of Jesse as well as of Ephraim, or of the house of Joseph, on whom there is laid much power. (D&C 113:3-4)

Zion in this verse is in the New World, not the Old World.

We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory. (Articles of Faith 1:10)

This part of the verse (in bold type) :

The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies. (Psalms 110:2)

is David quoting God the Father as He speaks to the rod and gives the rod instructions. The New International Version shows the speech in this way:

The LORD will extend your mighty scepter from Zion, saying, “Rule in the midst of your enemies!” (Psalms 110:2)

The Father’s instructions to the rod are, essentially, to switch into root mode (thus becoming the root of Jesse) and to rule over his enemies (who are Gentiles.) It is the root, not the rod, that reigns over the Gentiles:

And again, Esaias saith, There shall be a root of Jesse, and he that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles; in him shall the Gentiles trust. (Romans 15:12)

This switch from rod to root will be repeated in this psalm, as we shall see. But before I continue on to verse three, I will expound more on the rod and root.

The Rod and the Root

What is the rod spoken of in the first verse of the 11th chapter of Isaiah, that should come of the Stem of Jesse?

Behold, thus saith the Lord:

It is a servant in the hands of Christ, who is partly a descendant of Jesse as well as of Ephraim, or of the house of Joseph, on whom there is laid much power.

What is the root of Jesse spoken of in the 10th verse of the 11th chapter?

Behold,

thus saith the Lord,

it is a descendant of Jesse, as well as of Joseph, unto whom rightly belongs the priesthood, and the keys of the kingdom, for an ensign, and for the gathering of my people in the last days.

(D&C 113:3-6)

Two or one?

There are some Mormons who think the rod and root are two different men, while others believe that it is one and the same person. Joseph Smith’s revelation on the rod says he is to be “partly a descendant” whereas Joseph Smith’s revelation on the root has no such wordage, indicating that the root is not partly descended.

This means that the rod is partly descended from Jesse (through one parent), while the root is fully descended from Jesse (through both parents.) Thus, it is impossible for the rod and the root to be one and the same man, because it would require the man to have two sets of parents.

I say, however, that none of that matters. The rod and the root are still one and the same man, for the man will become the rod first, whereby he will obtain “much power,” and then he will use that power to give himself a second set of parents. Thus, Nicodemus’s question to Jesus will be answered with a resounding, “Yes.”

Nicodemus saith unto him,

How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?

(John 3:4)

Thus, the rod will switch his parentage, from the lineage in which he was partly descended through only one parent, to a lineage in which he is fully descended through both parents. There will be, then, two men who will claim to be his father, and two women who will claim to be his mother and who will testify that they gave birth to him, and their testimonies will be correct, for he will go into the womb of the second mother and she will give birth to him, so that he is born a second time. It doesn’t matter that that is impossible. He will do it anyway. The ministry of Elias, after all, is meant to be strange:

For the LORD shall rise up as in mount Perazim, he shall be wroth as in the valley of Gibeon, that he may do his work, his strange work; and bring to pass his act, his strange act. (Isaiah 28:21)

That I may proceed to bring to pass my act, my strange act, and perform my work, my strange work, that men may discern between the righteous and the wicked, saith your God. (D&C 101:95)

The meaning of Ephraim

The revelation on the rod says he will be of Ephraim, but Ephraim can mean many things. Ephraim can mean the man Ephraim, who was the son of that Joseph who was sold into Egypt. It can mean the tribe of Ephraim, one of the 12 tribes of Israel. It can mean the northern kingdom which broke from the rest of the tribes and were led north. Fortunately, the revelation gives a clarifying phrase, to explain what is meant by “Ephraim.”

of Ephaim, or of the house of Joseph

The words “or of the house of Joseph” is a clarifying phrase, defining what is meant by “of Ephraim.” Ephraim, then, in this revelation, refers to “the house of Joseph,” which consisted of two tribes; namely, Manasseh and Ephraim, which together are called, “Ephraim,” just as the northern kingdom, although consisting of multiple tribes is all lumped together under the heading, “Ephraim.”

Now, if the revelation meant Ephraim to mean a man named Ephraim, it would have left off the clarifying phrase, and would have simply said:

It is a servant in the hands of Christ, who is partly a descendant of Jesse as well as of Ephraim, on whom there is laid much power.

But it doesn’t say that. Instead, Joseph Smith added the clarifying phrase, which broadened the meaning to include the whole house of Joseph, which contains not one, but two tribes (Manasseh and Ephraim.) This shows that the word Ephraim is also a title that is used to refer to the house of Joseph, and not just the name of a man who was born to the Joseph that was sold into Egypt.

Now, if the revelation had meant that he would descend from the tribe of Ephraim, it would have been worded thusly:

It is a servant in the hands of Christ, who is partly a descendant of Jesse as well as of the tribe of Ephraim, on whom there is laid much power.

But again, it doesn’t say that. So, it doesn’t refer to either the man Ephraim, nor to the tribe of Ephraim. Nor does it refer to the northern tribes, for if it had referred to the northern kingdom, which contained more than just the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, it wouldn’t have included the clarifying phrase which limited its meaning to just the house of Joseph:

It is a servant in the hands of Christ, who is partly a descendant of Jesse as well as of Ephraim, or of the house of Joseph, on whom there is laid much power.

The northern kingdom is never referred to as “the house of Joseph.” Only Ephraim and Manasseh can be called, “the house of Joseph.” And the house of Joseph is not just one tribe, but consists of two, therefore neither the tribe of Manasseh alone, nor the tribe of Ephraim alone, can be called, “the house of Joseph.” Nevertheless, both tribes taken together are collectively called, “Ephraim,” and this is the manner in which the revelation uses the phrase.

Thus, the rod will be partly a descendant of Jesse, as well as of the house of Joseph, which means that the rod will have three lineages: Judah, Manasseh and Ephraim. The only way to arrive at a Ephraim-only view, with no Manasseh attached, is by dropping the clarifying phrase which identifies the revelation’s title of Ephraim as referring to “the house of Joseph,” encompassing both the tribe of Ephraim and the tribe of Manasseh.

Why did the revelation state it this way?

Joseph could have simply dropped the Ephraim part and used only the phrase, “of the house of Joseph,” but had he done so, it would not have given the understanding of this additional use of the title of Ephraim (in which it refers to both tribes descended of Joseph), nor would it have allowed the shadows to go forth. By phrasing it this way, putting out the title Ephraim, and then clarifying its meaning afterward, the Lord allowed people’s natural spiritual filters to “filter out” the clarifying phrase, allowing the revelation to cast an “Ephraim”-only shadow before its literal fulfillment of Ephraim and Manasseh. Thus, people who read this revelation read it as if there is no clarifying phrase, or as if the phrase doesn’t clarify anything (in other words, they read it as a redundancy), not understanding that the phrase is intended as a clarifying phrase meant to define the use of “of Ephraim,” and thus it must mean more than just “of the tribe of Ephraim” or “of the man Ephraim.”

The root

After the rod revelation, the root revelation drops all reference to Ephraim and merely mentions that the root is “of Joseph.” Again, everyone’s spiritual filters only read, “of Ephraim.” And yet, the text doesn’t say, “of Ephraim,” but “of Joseph.” And Joseph had not one, but two sons. Therefore, “of Joseph,” must refer either to Ephraim or to Manasseh, or to both. Which of the three must it be? It must refer to both. Why? Because there’s no point in using the more general term of, “of Joseph,” when you are just referring to the narrower meaning of, “of Ephraim,” or, “of Manasseh.” In other words, there must be a reason why the Lord uses the general term instead of opting for the more narrow term which is more specific. And there is a reason: because the root is a descendant of both Ephraim and Manasseh. So Joseph is referred to, and not one of Joseph’s two sons.

Again, the use of the term Ephraim in the rod revelation wasn’t meant to be a narrow meaning, narrowing it down to one tribe (the tribe of Ephraim), but as a general term referring to both tribes, who are the house of Joseph, but this usage of the term Ephraim is unfamiliar to Gentiles, hence it was followed up by the clarifying phrase, which defined its usage. But the follow-up revelation, on the root, entirely leaves off the usage of the title Ephraim, and just settles for calling the lineage, “of Joseph,” which phrase in itself also acts as a general or umbrella term, referring again to both tribes.

Despite the explanations in this post, I suppose people will continue to believe that the root and the rod are two different people, and that the lineage given in these revelations is only of Jesse and Ephraim. As a result of such beliefs, all impostor rods or roots will continue to affirm that they are of Ephraim and Judah and will never say that they are also of Manasseh, in order that they may deceive the people. Only the real rod and root will give the additional lineage of Manasseh. And only the real rod and root will state that he was born twice, of two different mothers.

Birthright and the firstborn status

There is a difference between the status of “firstborn” and the “birthright.” Normally “firstborn” and “birthright” go hand-in-hand, but not always. A birthright pertains to the firstborn, but may be transferred to another, or even to others, because it is sold (think: Esau’s sale of his birthright to his brother Jacob for a mess of porridge) or because of the firstborn’s transgression.

The status of firstborn remains intact regardless of the transference of the birthright to another, however whoever obtains the birthright gets the double portion and the additional responsibilities that accompany it, and thus may be considered as obtaining a “spiritual firstborn” status.

In the case of sale, the firstborn loses the birthright because it is sold to another, who then obtains it. In the case of transgression, the birthright is taken away by God from the firstborn because he transgresses, and thus it is lost to him, and then God gives it to another more righteous than he. (There is also a third case, which I will not discuss here.) In each of these cases, the birthright is always first lost to the firstborn, and then transferred to another. Thus, we find Isaac’s firstborn son Esau selling his birthright to his brother Jacob, and thus losing it; and Jacob’s firstborn son Reuben transgressed God’s commandments and lost his birthright, which was then given to his brother Joseph’s sons; and Lehi’s firstborn son Laman transgressed God’s commandments and lost his birthright, which was transferred to his brother Nephi.

In the case of Manasseh and Ephraim, Joseph’s sons, Joseph obtained Reuben’s birthright and, because Jacob made Manasseh and Ephraim tribes of Israel, both Manasseh and Ephraim received this birthright:

Now the sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel, (for he was the firstborn; but, forasmuch as he defiled his father’s bed, his birthright was given unto the sons of Joseph the son of Israel: and the genealogy is not to be reckoned after the birthright. For Judah prevailed above his brethren, and of him came the chief ruler; but the birthright was Joseph’s:) (1 Chronicles 5:1-2)

When Israel blessed the sons of Joseph, he gave the lads the very same blessing, for they both had the birthright of Reuben:

And he blessed Joseph, and said,

God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God which fed me all my life long unto this day, the Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads; and let my name be named on them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth.

(Genesis 48:15-16)

However, Manasseh was the firstborn son of Joseph, and within the house of Joseph, Manasseh had the birthright, which meant he got the double portion of the house of Joseph. Nevertheless, Israel prophetically perceived that Ephraim would obtain the naming rights and also would inherit the Gentiles, so he crossed his hands upon their heads, placing his right hand (which pertained to the firstborn and birthright) upon Ephraim’s head. Notice that Joseph was displeased with this action:

And when Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand upon the head of Ephraim, it displeased him: and he held up his father’s hand, to remove it from Ephraim’s head unto Manasseh’s head. And Joseph said unto his father,

Not so, my father: for this is the firstborn; put thy right hand upon his head.

(Genesis 48:17-18)

These were two holy prophets of God essentially having an argument in front of these kids. Joseph perceived that what Jacob was doing was wrong, and protested, for Manasseh never lost his birthright! Birthrights can only be transferred upon sale or transgression, and Manasseh was just a kid who never sold his birthright, nor did he transgress and lose it. But here was Israel placing his right hand upon Ephraim’s head anyway. Why? Because Jacob perceived that the birthright these boys had received was split between the two, and thus he gave Ephraim a spiritual endowment in order to make that split happen.

In essence, Manasseh received the double portion of land, and thus the birthright responsibilities to provide, both spiritually and temporally; whereas Ephraim received the naming rights and the Gentile converts, or, in other words, a double portion of people.

Thus, in the house of Israel, Reuben was the natural firstborn but lost his birthright to Manasseh and Ephraim, both of whom obtained a spiritual firstborn status. And in the house of Joseph, Manasseh was the natural firstborn and held the natural birthright, which he never lost, but through this blessing of Jacob, Ephraim received a spiritual firstborn status and thus shared in Manasseh’s birthright, in which the naming rights were transferred to Ephraim, and the double portion was split between the two lads, the double portion of land going to Manasseh (which double portion I will not expound upon, so don’t bother asking me about it), and the double portion of people (converted Gentiles) going to Ephraim.

The reason why Ephraim is placed before Manasseh is because he holds the naming rights. Thus, all in which the tribe of Ephraim participates is called Ephraim. The name Ephraim, then, can denote:

1. The man Ephraim, who was the son of Joseph the son of Israel;

2. The tribe of Ephraim;

3. The house of Joseph, which consists of two tribes: Ephraim and Manasseh; or,

4. The northern kingdom, which consisted of ten tribes (including Ephraim.)

We call each of these things Ephraim because of his naming rights, not because Manasseh lost his birthright and firstborn status to Ephraim. (For he didn’t lose them.) The two tribes share everything, except in the divisions I have stated above. This is why the blessing of Joseph speaks of both tribes gathering the people together during the end times:

And of Joseph he said,

Blessed of the LORD be his land, for the precious things of heaven, for the dew, and for the deep that coucheth beneath, and for the precious fruits brought forth by the sun, and for the precious things put forth by the moon, and for the chief things of the ancient mountains, and for the precious things of the lasting hills, and for the precious things of the earth and fulness thereof, and for the good will of him that dwelt in the bush: let the blessing come upon the head of Joseph, and upon the top of the head of him that was separated from his brethren. His glory is like the firstling of his bullock, and his horns are like the horns of unicorns: with them he shall push the people together to the ends of the earth: and they are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they are the thousands of Manasseh.

(Deuteronomy 33:13-17)

Ephraim’s numbers are inflated because all Gentile converts get placed into the tribe of Ephraim. This is why the Lord stated the following:

For, verily I say that the rebellious are not of the blood of Ephraim, wherefore they shall be plucked out. (D&C 64:36)

The Lord doesn’t mean to say that if you are not of the blood of Ephriam, then you are rebellious. He is not saying that those of the tribe of Judah, or Manasseh, or Levi, or whatever, are rebels. No, the Lord is here referring to the Gentiles, for the Gentiles are always put into the tribe of Ephraim. If you have received a patriarchal blessing and it says you are of the tribe of Ephraim, it means one of two things: either you are an actual descendant of Ephraim, or you are a Gentile who is not descended from Ephraim, but who has been put into that tribe anyway. If your patriarchal blessing says any other tribe of Israel, it means you are an actual descendant of that tribe, having actual blood from that tribe. Only those whose blessing lists them as of Ephraim may be of Gentile origin.

The naming of tribes in patriarchal blessings, what they are for, what their purpose will be in the future, pertains to tribal functions, which the Lord has not, as yet, fully revealed. Nevertheless, the Lord has begun to reveal some of these things to me (because of my curiosity and my application of the gift of the word of knowledge), therefore the Lord has begun to give an understanding of these things to the saints, to replace the endless guesses and speculations found among the people.

Anyway, back to my point. I call the tribe of Ephraim “the Gentile-dumping tribe” because that is where all the Gentiles will go. As a result, Ephraim’s numbers will be vastly greater than Manasseh’s:

And his father refused, and said,

I know it, my son, I know it: he also shall become a people, and he also shall be great: but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a multitude of nations.

(Genesis 48:19)

That “multitude of nations” that he refers to are the Gentiles. Also, Ephraim is greater than Manasseh because of the naming rights. Thus, whereas it was Manasseh and Ephraim prior to this blessing, now we say, “Ephraim and Manasseh,” putting Ephraim before Manasseh. Why do we do this? Because of this naming right.

Even the record of Joseph, or the stick of Joseph, gets Ephraim’s name.

The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying,

Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions: and join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand. And when the children of thy people shall speak unto thee, saying,

Wilt thou not shew us what thou meanest by these?

Say unto them,

Thus saith the Lord GOD;

Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand.

(Ezekiel 37:15-19)

So, Joseph began the record we know of as the plates of brass, and Joseph wrote it in Egyptian and had his son Ephraim’s descendants keep the record, all the way down until Laban, and then when Laban transgressed, God had Lehi and Nephi, who were descendants of Joseph through Manasseh, obtain the record and they and their descendants were made custodians of it from then on. Yet those same plates of brass are still called, “the stick of Ephraim.” Ephraim’s naming rights apply to it, as well, and it gets his name, just because his descendants kept the record (until Laban, that is.) The plates of brass are still in the custody of the Nephites (who were all descendants of Manasseh), for they are in the hand of Moroni, who holds the keys to that record, yet it is still, to this very day, called the stick of Ephraim.

Behold, this is wisdom in me; wherefore, marvel not, for the hour cometh that I will drink of the fruit of the vine with you on the earth, and with Moroni, whom I have sent unto you to reveal the Book of Mormon, containing the fulness of my everlasting gospel, to whom I have committed the keys of the record of the stick of Ephraim; (D&C 27:5)

Latter-day saints, not understanding what all these scriptures are talking about, read the above and think, “Oh, the stick of Ephraim must be the Book of Mormon.” No, the Book of Mormon was written by Nephite prophets of the tribe of Manasseh. The stick of Ephraim (the plates of brass) were written by those of Ephraim, which is why it bears the name of Ephraim, for all that the tribe of Ephraim participates in ends up getting the name of Ephraim, per the naming rights blessing.

Or, latter-day saints will read the following scripture and mistakenly think, “Oh, that must mean that Ephraim got the birthright from Manasseh!”

They shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them: I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way, wherein they shall not stumble: for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn. (Jeremiah 31:9)

They will cite the scripture and say, “See?! It says he is the firstborn! He has the birthright!” But it doesn’t say “the tribe of Ephraim is my firstborn,” nor does it mention birthright anywhere. Ephraim can denote 1 of 4 things, remember? It can denote “the house of Joseph,” which contains not one but two tribes: Ephraim and Manasseh. Ephraim and Manasseh together got the birthright from Reuben, and they together became the spiritual firstborn of Israel, but because of Ephraim’s naming right blessing, Ephraim and Manasseh are simply called, “Ephraim!”

Now I know no matter how much I expound these things, people will remain in their die-hard beliefs. God put these names the way He did in the scriptures so that the shadows can go forth first, so that when the Josephite stands up and starts teaching this stuff in perfect clarity and with power, everybody will be surprised and finally understand what all this means. But in the meantime, I will expound some of it, too.

It is Manasseh that will convert the world

The Book of Mormon is a record of the tribe of Manasseh, and the Book of Mormon will convert the entire world. (This will happen when it is powerfully re-translated by the Josephite.) During the times of the Josephite, almost all principal players will be of Manasseh. For example, the Josephite himself will be of Manasseh, being a descendant of Lehi (who was descended from Manasseh.) His two witnesses will likely be his sons, who also, of course, will be of Manasseh. The four angelic helpers mentioned in the Book of Revelation will be four translated Nephite prophets, three of which will be the Three Nephites and the fourth will be some other Nephite (such as Alma the Younger.) That makes the six main players all of Manasseh, although being Nephites, they will also have the blood of Ephraim (through the daughters of Ishmael) and the blood of Jesse (through the group led by Mulek) in their veins. But the principal blood is of Manasseh.

Additionally, Moroni, a Nephite prophet of Manasseh, will be actively participating in the end time events, committing the gospel to many:

And now, verily saith the Lord, that these things might be known among you, O inhabitants of the earth, I have sent forth mine angel flying through the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel, who hath appeared unto some and hath committed it unto man, who shall appear unto many that dwell on the earth. (D&C 133:36)

(John the apostle will also participate, but he’s of Judah.)

Then there are the 144,000. Now, notice that the tribe of Manasseh is listed among the 144,000, but not the tribe of Ephraim!

And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.

Of the tribe of Juda were sealed twelve thousand.

Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand.

Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand.

Of the tribe of Aser were sealed twelve thousand.

Of the tribe of Nepthalim were sealed twelve thousand.

Of the tribe of Manasses were sealed twelve thousand.

Of the tribe of Simeon were sealed twelve thousand.

Of the tribe of Levi were sealed twelve thousand.

Of the tribe of Issachar were sealed twelve thousand.

Of the tribe of Zabulon were sealed twelve thousand.

Of the tribe of Joseph were sealed twelve thousand.

Of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand.

(Revelation 7:4-8)

Dan and Ephraim are simply not on the list. But, curiously, “the tribe of Joseph” is on the list. And yet, there is no such thing as “the tribe of Joseph,” for Joseph was split into two tribes: Ephraim and Manasseh. The typical latter-day saint mind would use their spiritual filters to “see” Ephraim in “the tribe of Joseph.” It doesn’t say “tribe of Ephraim,” yet they will read it that way, nonetheless. Ephraim is simply not mentioned in the end times events of the book of Revelation, as if Ephraim sits this one out. Does Ephraim sit it out? Yes, sort of.

Everything is a prophetic switch. At the beginning it was first Manasseh, then Ephraim. Then at the end it will be first Ephraim (with Joseph Smith and the Gentile converts of Ephraim), then Manasseh (with the Josephite and his helpers.) The Josephite, curiously, will bear the name Joseph-Nephi. As such, his name, Joseph, will be had for good and evil everywhere during his ministry, fulfilling Moroni’s prophesy:

He called me by name, and said unto me that he was a messenger sent from the presence of God to me, and that his name was Moroni; that God had a work for me to do; and that my name should be had for good and evil among all nations, kindreds, and tongues, or that it should be both good and evil spoken of among all people. (JS-H 1:33)

Moroni’s prophecy didn’t apply to the name, “Joseph Smith,” but to the name, “Joseph,” and it referred, as a shadow and type to Joseph Smith’s name of Joseph, but its literal fulfillment would come later with Joseph-Nephi’s name of Joseph.

Now, Joseph-Nephi undoubtedly will be forming a tribe. His tribe will be a tribe of Josephites, and thus will be “the tribe of Joseph.” Thus, “the tribe of Joseph” that John the Revelator mentions might not be “the tribe of Ephraim” that everyone likes to think it is. And if it turns out that “the tribe of Joseph” is a tribe of Josephites, these 12,000 people will be Nephites, and thus they will be of Manasseh, as well as a mix of Ephraim and Judah, and thus Ephraim “sort of” sits out.

The children of Ephraim

The one scripture that every latter-day saint points to as “proof positive” that the tribe of Ephraim will direct all the end times work is found here:

And they shall bring forth their rich treasures unto the children of Ephraim, my servants. And the boundaries of the everlasting hills shall tremble at their presence. And there shall they fall down and be crowned with glory, even in Zion, by the hands of the servants of the Lord, even the children of Ephraim. And they shall be filled with songs of everlasting joy. Behold, this is the blessing of the everlasting God upon the tribes of Israel, and the richer blessing upon the head of Ephraim and his fellows. (D&C 133:30-34)

Remember those naming rights I mentioned above? Who are “the children of Ephraim” and who is “Ephraim and his fellows” in this scriptural passage? Specifically, who are the “fellows” of Ephraim in the passage? What does the name “Ephraim” denote in the above scripture?

1. The man Ephraim, who was the son of Joseph the son of Israel?

2. The tribe of Ephraim?

3. The house of Joseph, which consists of two tribes: Ephraim and Manasseh? Or,

4. The northern kingdom, which consisted of ten tribes (including Ephraim)?

Unless a person knows exactly what the term, “Ephraim,” denotes in these scriptures, any interpretation of them will be merely a guess.

Inserting David into Jesse

Many latter-day saints believe that the rod and the root of Jesse refer to a descendant of David. The revelations Joseph Smith received on these symbolic expressions revealed that the rod “is partly a descendant of Jesse” (D&C 113:4), whereas the root “is a descendant of Jesse” (D&C 113:6.) Nowhere in the text is there any indication that these descendants come through David. Despite that fact, these saints equate Jesse with David anyway.

But Jesse does not equal David.

Jesse had eight sons, the youngest of them being David. The firstborn son was Eliab (which means: God is my father/God is the father.) Next was Abinadab (which means: Father of a vow; or of willingness), then Shammah (Waste/ Appalling Desolation.) Then the rest (I won’t list them all.)

Mulek was the son of Zedekiah, who was a descendant of David. That puts the descendants of David among the Nephites. But Mulek did not come alone. Thus, the other sons of Jesse may have also had descendants among the Nephites.

There were always two end time kings that would come forth. One would come through David (which means Beloved), a son of Jesse. David was the type of King Messiah, and it was King Messiah (Jesus Christ) who routinely referred to Himself as the Son of David and also as “the Root of David.” This Son was the Beloved Son of the Father, just as the ancient David was the beloved (David) son of Jesse. All the symbolism fits.

But what of the other king? King Abaddon (Destruction)/Apollyon (Destroyer) would be the son who represented the Father’s left hand of justice, who would be associated not with mercy, like Christ, but with anger and desolation. When we turn to the text, we find that all the symbolism still fits:

And it came to pass, when they were come, that he looked on Eliab, and said, Surely the LORD’s anointed is before him. But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart. (1 Sam. 16:6-7)

Here we see Samuel being sent to Jesse to anoint one of his sons as the new king, and when he comes to Eliab, the firstborn, he is sure that this must be the Lord’s anointed. Why? Because Eliab was large in stature and of kingly countenance. He was imposing, but He wasn’t the Lord’s pick for the Beloved type. (Christ is the literal Beloved, whereas David of old is the ancient Beloved type.) Eliab didn’t fit the Christ type. He fit the destroyer type. In fact, he is spoken of in the text as being angry, just as Elias will be:

And Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spake unto the men; and Eliab’s anger was kindled against David, and he said, Why camest thou down hither? and with whom hast thou left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know thy pride, and the naughtiness of thine heart; for thou art come down that thou mightest see the battle. And David said, What have I now done? Is there not a cause? (1 Sam. 17:28-29)

Although seven of Jesse’s sons are mentioned in the scriptures, the first three are singled out:

And the three eldest sons of Jesse went and followed Saul to the battle: and the names of his three sons that went to the battle were Eliab the firstborn, and next unto him Abinadab, and the third Shammah. (1 Sam. 17:13)

Elias will come with two witnesses, just as Eliab came with his two brothers. This may be another type and pattern.

Again, there is no evidence that “a descendant of Jesse” means “a descendant of David.” None, whatsoever. Isaiah used Jesse for a purpose, and not David. It is appropriate to suppose that Jesse was used, and not David, because this descendant wouldn’t be of David, but would be of another son of Jesse, the one who was the type of the destroyer, king Abaddon.

Jesse=Father and David=Son

When Isaiah says:

And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:

¶ And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious. (Isaiah 11:1,10)

the use of Jesse and not David additionally strikes me as a prophetic reference to the Father. Jesse was the father of David, who was the son of Jesse. Therefore, these four titles: rod, Stem, Branch and root, all of Jesse, may indicate that the personages are emissaries of the Father, and not of the Son. Now, I already teach this very thing, that the rod and root are the same man: the Josephite, who is an emissary of the Father (representing His left hand.) And the Stem and Branch, who is Jesus Christ, is also an emissary of the Father (representing His right hand.) So, the use of “Jesse” may indicate special representatives, or emissaries, of the Father, indicating the work of the Father. Whereas use of the name “David” indicates and points one’s mind prophetically to the Son. Hence, both the meaning of the name David (which, again, means Beloved) and also the name itself (David) in the scriptural expressions, “my servant David” and “David my servant,” which occur in passages such as Ezekiel 37, etc., and which refer to an end times Personage who will reign as king and prince forever over the house of Israel, identify the Beloved (David) Son of God.

Recap before continuing with verse three

Joseph-Nephi, then, will start out as the rod, with a Nephite lineage of Manasseh, Ephraim and Jesse (through one of Jesse’s eight sons, but probably not through David) through one parent, while the other parent will be of Gentile lineage. Then God the Father will send him forth with the instructions to rule in the midst of his enemies (the Gentiles) as the root, which means he must switch his parentage and become the root of Jesse. At that point, Joseph-Nephi will miraculously get himself a new set of parents, in which he will still have a Nephite lineage of Manasseh, Ephraim and Jesse (most likely not through David), but this time it will be through both his new mother and his new father, making him now of non-Gentile lineage.

And he will have a tribal kingdom of Josephites, over which he will rule as king Abaddon/Apollyon. This tribe of his will be his people. Now, let’s continue on to verse three.

Verse 3

Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth. (Psalms 110:3)

The context of verse three is the end times.

Here David is quoting God the Father speaking to the rod. The day of the rod’s power is the end times. The rod’s ministry will be noted by the spirit of power. Again, Joseph Smith’s revelation about the rod says the following:

What is the rod spoken of in the first verse of the 11th chapter of Isaiah, that should come of the Stem of Jesse?

Behold, thus saith the Lord: It is a servant in the hands of Christ, who is partly a descendant of Jesse as well as of Ephraim, or of the house of Joseph, on whom there is laid much power. (D&C 113:3-4)

So, going back to what the Father says to the rod, He says:

Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power,

This is not talking of the people of the Lord Jesus Christ, but of the people of the rod. So, when Joseph-Nephi (the rod) stands up and begins his ministry, he will have a people and this verse specifically speaks about them. However, the Josephite will also gather the people of the Lord Jesus Christ, and so it also has a more general or wider application. In other words, what it specifically says about Elias’s people, who will be a select group of Gentiles, will be a pattern that will later be applied generally to all of God’s people found throughout the earth.

So, what is it about Elias’s people that will be so special? Here’s the verse again:

Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth. (Psalms 110:3)

The men of the Josephite’s tribe will be volunteers (willing), and handsome, young, numerous and virile, all to an alarming degree. In other words, these will be genetically upgraded males, made so by the power of God. So, essentially, a tribe of Supermen. Their willingness will manifest in their volunteering to be part of the 12,000 who are sent of the tribe of Joseph, as part of the 144,000 force.

As for the women of the Josephite’s tribe, they will be extremely submissive (willing), astoundingly beautiful, very young, ultra fertile, and exceedingly numerous. These women, and also the men, of the Josephite’s tribe will be set apart (holiness=the state of being set apart) from the rest of society, both in terms of their geographical location as well as their transcendent femininity (for the women) and masculinity (for the men.) Like the men, the women will be genetically upgraded by the power of God, so that all those who behold the male or female members of his tribe will gawk in astonishment, as if angelic beings had just descended from heaven.

Verse 4

The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek. (Psalms 110:4)

The context of verse four is the end times.

Here David is quoting God the Father speaking to the root.

In his epistle to the Hebrews, Paul applied this verse to the Lord Jesus Christ, and it certainly does apply to Him, but this passage does not speak of the meridian of time, when the First Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ occurred, but of the end times, when the Second Coming of Christ happens. This passage, then, is specifically pointing to Elias in root mode, for Elias will be a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek, just as Melchizedek was, just as Enoch was, and just as Elijah was. In other words, these men were made high priests forever, and thus they never tasted of death. They never died. And neither will Joseph-Nephi.

The Priesthood spoken of in this verse, then, is the translation or transfiguration Priesthood. It is the Priesthood of an endless life, that allows a person to live forever.

Elijah the prophet possesses this Priesthood, and he will be coming back to call and ordain Elias to it, so that Elias will be able to take upon himself the high priesthood forever, becoming a high priest forever, thus living forever as a translated or transfigured man:

Behold, I will reveal unto you the Priesthood, by the hand of Elijah the prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. And he shall plant in the hearts of the children the promises made to the fathers, and the hearts of the children shall turn to their fathers. If it were not so, the whole earth would be utterly wasted at his coming. (D&C 2:1-3)

After Elias is transfigured by this Priesthood and its keys of translation/transfiguration, he will call and ordain (through his four angelic helpers) 144,000 others to it. Thus these 144,000 others will likewise become high priests forever and will be translated/transfigured men who do not die:

Q. What are we to understand by sealing the one hundred and forty-four thousand, out of all the tribes of Israel—twelve thousand out of every tribe?

A. We are to understand that those who are sealed are high priests, ordained unto the holy order of God, to administer the everlasting gospel; for they are they who are ordained out of every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, by the angels to whom is given power over the nations of the earth, to bring as many as will come to the church of the Firstborn. (D&C 77:11)

These 144,000 translated high priests will be redeemed from the Fall, so that their bodies will return to the pre-Fall condition of translation/transfiguration. Prior to the Fall of Adam, there was no death or mortality. After falling, Adam and Eve became mortal. Thus, before the fall they weren’t mortal. Yet they also weren’t resurrected beings prior to the Fall. What kind of bodies did they have? They had translated bodies, which is an intermediary state between mortal and immortal (resurrected.) Thus, when the scriptures speak of the 144,000 being redeemed, it means the bodies of these men have reverted to the pre-Fall condition:

And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. (Revelation 14:3-4)

All these men, then, will be high priests forever, after the order of Melchizedek, and thus they will be incapable of being killed. This is necessary for their mission, for they will be entering into the territory of the wicked during the end times, and the wicked will be trying to kill them. Also, God will be sending plagues upon the territories of the wicked, and these plagues would also afflict the 144,000, were it not that their bodies were translated. Therefore, these redeemed-from-the-Fall translated high priests will have bodies incapable of being harmed or killed, which will keep them safe and able to continue their mission to completion.

This means that verse 4 not only applies to Elias, but also to the 144,000:

The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek. (Psalms 110:4)

As usual, though, this is an expanding pattern. So, after the root has become a translated high priest, and after that same priesthood has been conferred upon 144,000 others, who will likewise be translated high priests, he will use these keys of translation to redeem all things, bringing all things back into the pre-Fall condition (which is the translated condition), except for the wicked, who will remain mortal:

Q. What are we to understand by the sounding of the trumpets, mentioned in the 8th chapter of Revelation?

A. We are to understand that as God made the world in six days, and on the seventh day he finished his work, and sanctified it, and also formed man out of the dust of the earth, even so, in the beginning of the seventh thousand years will the Lord God sanctify the earth, and complete the salvation of man, and judge all things, and shall redeem all things, except that which he hath not put into his power, when he shall have sealed all things, unto the end of all things; and the sounding of the trumpets of the seven angels are the preparing and finishing of his work, in the beginning of the seventh thousand years—the preparing of the way before the time of his coming. (D&C 77:12)

So far everything in this psalm is perfectly chronological, according to the end times order.

To recap: Jesus ascends to the Father and remains there until the Second Coming; Elias is sent to subdue and prepare and reign over the enemies of Christ, his preparation being the causing of the wicked tares to fully ripen in iniquity, then gathering them together into bundles, making their bands strong, so that they are ready to be burned at the Second Coming; Elias goes forth in power during his ministry and his people are mentioned; Elias then gets the translation Priesthood, becoming a high priest; he then has his four angelic helpers confer this same Priesthood upon the 144,000, and then, at the very end, just before Christ shows up, Elias will transfigure all things except the wicked, so that all things will be protected from destruction when Jesus returns, except for the wicked, who will still be in their mortal state.

Okay, on to the last verses:

Verses 5-7

The Lord at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath. He shall judge among the heathen, he shall fill the places with the dead bodies; he shall wound the heads over many countries. He shall drink of the brook in the way: therefore shall he lift up the head. (Psalms 110:5-7)

The context of verses five to seven is the end times.

Here David is speaking to the Father, of Christ (the Lord.) We see here that the end of the psalm’s chronology is, in fact, the very end, for Joseph-Nephi has completed his mission of preparing all things and so now the Lord Jesus Christ descends and destroys the wicked at His Second Coming, by fire, which fire “drinks up the brook in the way,” and He becomes exalted in that day (lifting up His head.)

Thus, practically the whole psalm takes place during the end times.

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Word-for-word vs. functional translations


Good translations decode the function from the source language and then encode it into the target language. The language function should be the same, or as close to the same as possible, in each language. If the source language uses formal language, the target language ought to do the same, so: formal decoded and formal encoded, informal decoded and informal encoded, poetry decoded and poetry encoded, and so on, the function of the source encoded into the target language according as the source text changes.

There are five levels of translations with increasing accuracy:

 1) Sounds. What are the sounds of the original?
2) Words. What do the original words mean?
3) Phrases. What do the original phrases mean?
4) Concepts. What concepts are involved in the original?
5) Affect. What does the original do?

The King James Version translators decoded the original words of the Bible as best they could and then tried to make them into phrases that made some sense, keeping the syntax of the original source languages as intact as possible. Joseph Smith did the very same thing in all of his translations and revelations.  Unfortunately, what we ended up with is a text that gets only to the second or third level of translation, and which is constructed not like English, but like Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic. English is such an amazing language that, even doing this you can still grasp a lot of the meaning of the original text. But on the other hand, doing this also masks a lot of the meaning, for the phrase, concept and affect levels are never fully revealed. Only by fully decoding the original language in all its levels, and then encoding those levels into English syntax, so that it sounds like seamlessly flowing English and not a choppy translation from another language into English, does the reader get to more fully grasp what the various functions of the original text were trying to convey.

I am going to show what I mean by doing some translation. I am going to translate the title page of Mormon’s Book and part of the first chapter of Nephi’s First Book of His Reign and Ministry (notice my change in titles) by decoding the function of the original translated text, as word-for-word translated by Joseph Smith, and then encode it back into flowing English syntax. We’ll see if I do a good job.

I suppose that I must give a disclaimer: my translations should not be taken in any way as correct. When translating from one language to another, only someone who fully understands both the source and target languages, and who has power to convey the various textual meanings between languages, is qualified to translate. I know neither Hebrew, nor Egyptian, nor Greek, nor Aramaic, and, according to my detractors, I’m also deficient in English. So, I am not qualified to make a proper translation. I’m doing this, then, merely as a demonstration of what a bona fide functional translation might look like.

Joseph Smith’s Translation My Translation
The Book of Mormon

An Account Written by the Hand of Mormon upon Plates Taken from the Plates of Nephi

Wherefore, it is an abridgment of the record of the people of Nephi, and also of the Lamanites—Written to the Lamanites, who are a remnant of the house of Israel; and also to Jew and Gentile—Written by way of commandment, and also by the spirit of prophecy and of revelation—Written and sealed up, and hid up unto the Lord, that they might not be destroyed—To come forth by the gift and power of God unto the interpretation thereof—Sealed by the hand of Moroni, and hid up unto the Lord, to come forth in due time by way of the Gentile—The interpretation thereof by the gift of God.

An abridgment taken from the Book of Ether also, which is a record of the people of Jared, who were scattered at the time the Lord confounded the language of the people, when they were building a tower to get to heaven—Which is to show unto the remnant of the house of Israel what great things the Lord hath done for their fathers; and that they may know the covenants of the Lord, that they are not cast off forever—And also to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations—And now, if there are faults they are the mistakes of men; wherefore, condemn not the things of God, that ye may be found spotless at the judgment-seat of Christ. (Title Page)

Mormon’s Book

This account is:—written on plates by Mormon’s own hand; taken from Nephi’s plates, being an abridgment of that record of Nephi’s people and the Lamanites; written to the Lamanites, who are a remnant of the house of Israel, and also to the Jews and the Gentiles; written by the spirit of prophecy and revelation to fulfill a commandment; written, sealed up, buried in the earth and entrusted into Jehovah’s care, so that it will not be destroyed; prophesied to be taken out of the earth and translated by God’s gift and power; sealed and buried in the earth and entrusted into Jehovah’s care by Moroni’s own hand, to be taken out of the earth in due time by a Gentile who will translate it by God’s gift.

There is also an abridgment taken from Ether’s Book included, which is a record of Jared’s people, who were scattered at the time Jehovah confounded the people’s language, when they were building a tower to get to heaven.

The purpose of this record is to show to the remnant of Israel’s house the great things that Jehovah did for their fathers, and so that they might know Jehovah’s covenants, so that they are not cast off forever. It is also to convince the Jews and the Gentiles that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, and that he manifests himself to all nations.

Now, if there are faults in this record, they are the mistakes of men, so do not condemn God’s things, otherwise you will not be found spotless at the judgment-seat of Christ. (Title Page)

The First Book of Nephi

His Reign and Ministry

An account of Lehi and his wife Sariah, and his four sons, being called, (beginning at the eldest) Laman, Lemuel, Sam, and Nephi. The Lord warns Lehi to depart out of the land of Jerusalem, because he prophesieth unto the people concerning their iniquity and they seek to destroy his life. He taketh three days’ journey into the wilderness with his family. Nephi taketh his brethren and returneth to the land of Jerusalem after the record of the Jews. The account of their sufferings. They take the daughters of Ishmael to wife. They take their families and depart into the wilderness. Their sufferings and afflictions in the wilderness. The course of their travels. They come to the large waters. Nephi’s brethren rebel against him. He confoundeth them, and buildeth a ship. They call the name of the place Bountiful. They cross the large waters into the promised land, and so forth. This is according to the account of Nephi; or in other words, I, Nephi, wrote this record. (1st Nephi Title and Summary)

Nephi’s First Book of His Reign and Ministry

This account is of Lehi, of his wife Sariah, and of his four sons, who were named, (from oldest to youngest) Laman, Lemuel, Sam and Nephi.

In this record:—Jehovah warns Lehi to leave the land of Jerusalem because the people seek to kill him after he prophesies of their iniquities; he travels three days into the wilderness with his family; his four sons, led by Nephi, return to the land of Jerusalem to get the record of the Jews; there is an account of their sufferings; they take Ishmael’s daughters to wife; they depart into the wilderness with their families, suffering afflictions during their journey; their travelling path is given; they come to a vast ocean; Nephi’s brothers rebel against him, he confounds them and builds a ship; they name the place Bountiful; they cross the ocean, arrive in the promised land, and so forth.

This record is taken from Nephi’s version and testimony of the facts, or in other words, I am Nephi and I wrote this record. (1st Nephi Title and Summary)

I, Nephi, having been born of goodly parents, therefore I was taught somewhat in all the learning of my father; and having seen many afflictions in the course of my days, nevertheless, having been highly favored of the Lord in all my days; yea, having had a great knowledge of the goodness and the mysteries of God, therefore I make a record of my proceedings in my days. (1 Ne. 1:1) My name is Nephi and I am writing an account of the life experiences that I had with God, for I had good parents who taught me what my father knew about God, and although I had many afflictions from time to time, yet Jehovah highly favored me my entire life so that I ended up with a vast knowledge of God’s greatness and goodness. (1 Ne. 1:1)
Yea, I make a record in the language of my father, which consists of the learning of the Jews and the language of the Egyptians. (1 Ne. 1:2) I am writing this book in my father’s language, which is Egyptian used by the Jews as if it were Hebrew. (1 Ne. 1:2)
And I know that the record which I make is true; and I make it with mine own hand; and I make it according to my knowledge. (1 Ne. 1:3) I testify that the book that I am writing is true; and I alone am writing it, by my own hand; and I am writing it according to my firsthand knowledge. (1 Ne. 1:3)
For it came to pass in the commencement of the first year of the reign of Zedekiah, king of Judah, (my father, Lehi, having dwelt at Jerusalem in all his days); and in that same year there came many prophets, prophesying unto the people that they must repent, or the great city Jerusalem must be destroyed. Wherefore it came to pass that my father, Lehi, as he went forth prayed unto the Lord, yea, even with all his heart, in behalf of his people. (1 Ne. 1:4-5) For as my father, whose name was Lehi, lived in the land of Jerusalem his whole life, I have personal knowledge that in the commencement of the first year of Zedekiah’s reign, who was the king of Judah, and throughout that same year, many prophets came prophesying to the people, telling them that if they did not repent the great city Jerusalem would be destroyed, consequently, on one of my father’s trips away from the land of Jerusalem, he prayed with all his heart to Jehovah in behalf of his people. (1 Ne. 1:4-5)
And it came to pass as he prayed unto the Lord, there came a pillar of fire and dwelt upon a rock before him; and he saw and heard much; and because of the things which he saw and heard he did quake and tremble exceedingly. (1 Ne. 1:6) While he was praying to Jehovah, a pillar of fire came down onto a rock before him and remained there, and he saw and heard many things which caused him to shake tremendously and to tremble uncontrollably. (1 Ne. 1:6)
And it came to pass that he returned to his own house at Jerusalem; and he cast himself upon his bed, being overcome with the Spirit and the things which he had seen. (1 Ne. 1:7) Afterward he returned to his own house in the land of Jerusalem and he threw himself upon his bed, for he was overpowered by the Spirit and by the things that he had seen, so that he had no more strength. (1 Ne. 1:7)
And being thus overcome with the Spirit, he was carried away in a vision, even that he saw the heavens open, and he thought he saw God sitting upon his throne, surrounded with numberless concourses of angels in the attitude of singing and praising their God. (1 Ne. 1:8) Then the Spirit carried him away in a vision, so that he saw the heavens open, and he thought he saw God himself sitting upon his throne, surrounded by innumerable groups of angels who were singing to and praising their God. (1 Ne. 1:8)
And it came to pass that he saw One descending out of the midst of heaven, and he beheld that his luster was above that of the sun at noon-day. (1 Ne. 1:9) Afterward he saw Someone descending to earth from the heavenly throne and he noticed that this Personage radiated light brighter then the noon-day Sun. (1 Ne. 1:9)
And he also saw twelve others following him, and their brightness did exceed that of the stars in the firmament. (1 Ne. 1:10) He also saw twelve others following him, and the light they radiated was brighter than the stars in the sky. (1 Ne. 1:10)
And they came down and went forth upon the face of the earth; and the first came and stood before my father, and gave unto him a book, and bade him that he should read. (1 Ne. 1:11) These came down to earth and went forth upon it, but the first Personage went to my father, stood in front of him, and gave him a book, telling him to read it. (1 Ne. 1:11)
And it came to pass that as he read, he was filled with the Spirit of the Lord. (1 Ne. 1:12) As my father read, he was filled with Jehovah’s Spirit. (1 Ne. 1:12)

And he read, saying:

Wo, wo, unto Jerusalem, for I have seen thine abominations!

Yea, and many things did my father read concerning Jerusalem—that it should be destroyed, and the inhabitants thereof; many should perish by the sword, and many should be carried away captive into Babylon. (1 Ne. 1:13)

He read,

“Wo, wo to Jerusalem, for I have seen your abominations!”

In fact, my father read many things about Jerusalem, namely, that it and its inhabitants would be destroyed, and many would die by the sword and also would be carried away captive into Babylon. (1 Ne. 1:13)

And it came to pass that when my father had read and seen many great and marvelous things, he did exclaim many things unto the Lord; such as:

Great and marvelous are thy works, O Lord God Almighty! Thy throne is high in the heavens, and thy power, and goodness, and mercy are over all the inhabitants of the earth; and, because thou art merciful, thou wilt not suffer those who come unto thee that they shall perish! (1 Ne. 1:14)

After my father had read and seen the many great and marvelous things of this vision, he voiced many praises to Jehovah, such as:

“O Jehovah God Almighty, your works are great and marvelous! Your throne is high in the heavens and your power, goodness and mercy are over all the earth’s inhabitants; and you will not allow anyone to die who comes to you, because you are so merciful!” (1 Ne. 1:14)

And after this manner was the language of my father in the praising of his God; for his soul did rejoice, and his whole heart was filled, because of the things which he had seen, yea, which the Lord had shown unto him. (1 Ne. 1:15) This is how my father praised his God, for his soul rejoiced and his whole heart was filled with emotion, because of all the many things that Jehovah had shown to him. (1 Ne. 1:15)
And now I, Nephi, do not make a full account of the things which my father hath written, for he hath written many things which he saw in visions and in dreams; and he also hath written many things which he prophesied and spake unto his children, of which I shall not make a full account. (1 Ne. 1:16) Now I do not give an unabridged account of my father’s writings, for he wrote a lot of things that he saw in visions and dreams, and also that he prophesied and spoke to his children. (1 Ne. 1:16)
But I shall make an account of my proceedings in my days. Behold, I make an abridgment of the record of my father, upon plates which I have made with mine own hands; wherefore, after I have abridged the record of my father then will I make an account of mine own life. (1 Ne. 1:17) Instead, I will write of my own life experiences with God, but notice that I am abridging my father’s record in this book, the plates of which I have made with my own hands, and then afterward I will give the account of my own life. (1 Ne. 1:17)
Therefore, I would that ye should know, that after the Lord had shown so many marvelous things unto my father, Lehi, yea, concerning the destruction of Jerusalem, behold he went forth among the people, and began to prophesy and to declare unto them concerning the things which he had both seen and heard. (1 Ne. 1:18) So I want you to know that after Jehovah had shown to my father so many marvelous things concerning the destruction of Jerusalem, notice that he went forth among the people and began to prophesy, and to declare to them all the things he had seen and heard. (1 Ne. 1:18)
And it came to pass that the Jews did mock him because of the things which he testified of them; for he truly testified of their wickedness and their abominations; and he testified that the things which he saw and heard, and also the things which he read in the book, manifested plainly of the coming of a Messiah, and also the redemption of the world. (1 Ne. 1:19) But the Jews mocked his testimony, for he testified that he knew of their wickedness and abominations; and he testified that the things he had seen and heard, and also the words he had read in the book, plainly showed that a Messiah would come and redeem the world. (1 Ne. 1:19)
And when the Jews heard these things they were angry with him; yea, even as with the prophets of old, whom they had cast out, and stoned, and slain; and they also sought his life, that they might take it away. But behold, I, Nephi, will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance. (1 Ne. 1:20) It was at this point that the Jews became angry with him, after they had heard these things about the Messiah, just as they had been angry with the ancient prophets, whom they had cast out and stoned and killed; and they also sought to kill my father. But notice that I will show to you that Jehovah’s tender mercies are over all those who he has chosen, making them so mighty that they are empowered with deliverance, all because of their faith. (1 Ne. 1:20)
For behold, it came to pass that the Lord spake unto my father, yea, even in a dream, and said unto him:

Blessed art thou Lehi, because of the things which thou hast done; and because thou hast been faithful and declared unto this people the things which I commanded thee, behold, they seek to take away thy life. (1 Ne. 2:1)

For notice that Jehovah spoke to my father in a dream and said to him,

“Lehi, you are blessed because of what you have done; and notice that this people seek to kill you because you have faithfully declared to them the things I commanded you to declare.” (1 Ne. 2:1)

And it came to pass that the Lord commanded my father, even in a dream, that he should take his family and depart into the wilderness. (1 Ne. 2:2) Then Jehovah commanded my father in a dream to flee into the wilderness with his family . (1 Ne. 2:2)
And it came to pass that he was obedient unto the word of the Lord, wherefore he did as the Lord commanded him. And it came to pass that he departed into the wilderness. And he left his house, and the land of his inheritance, and his gold, and his silver, and his precious things, and took nothing with him, save it were his family, and provisions, and tents, and departed into the wilderness. (1 Ne. 2:3-4) As he was obedient to Jehovah’s word, he did as Jehovah commanded him, and so he left his house, the land of his inheritance, his gold, his silver, and all his precious things, and took nothing with him, except it were his family, provisions and tents, and fled into the wilderness. (1 Ne. 2:3-4)

Analyzing the two versions

English titles—First of all, I did away with all the funky Hebrew title syntax and just called it by what a person speaking English would call it: Mormon’s Book and Nephi’s First Book. Nephi’s First Book Of His Reign and Ministry presupposes that there is at least one other such book, and there is: Nephi’s Second Book, which is also of his reign and ministry. The difference between the two is that the first book deals with his reign over and ministry to his brothers, whereas the second book deals with his reign over and ministry to his people (for the brothers split and formed the Lamanites.)

No more broken sentences—It is not correct English to say: “An account of that.” No, you need to say, “This is an account of that.” The function remains the same, even though the syntax is different in the two languages. Joseph, though, keeps the Hebrew syntax intact, creating a non-English sentence. (Never mind that we can still understand it. That is simply the immense power of English to communicate, even when written and spoken incorrectly.)

Lord to Jehovah—There is no need to hide the name of God anymore. This translation is not intended to hide meaning, but to reveal it, therefore all the “Lord’s” are converted into “Jehovah’s.” (You can think of a functional translation as an unfolded translation, which reveals what a native speaker of the source tongue would understand by the source text.)

Doubtless a great mystery is contained within these plates, and these interpreters were doubtless prepared for the purpose of unfolding all such mysteries to the children of men.  (Mosiah 8:19)

I, Nephi and my father, Lehi—In the source language, these demarcations indicate a switching of gears. When Nephi is talking of himself and then he switches to talking of his father, he uses, “my father, Lehi” to make note of the switch.  When he is talking of his father and then he switches to talking of himself, he uses, “I, Nephi.” These things are not necessary in English because we can understand the narration just fine with a simple “I” or “my father.” Also, “I, Nephi” can mean “I am Nephi” and “My name is Nephi” and also “I myself” or “I personally,” emphasizing that the person speaking is going to show something through their own power, with an emphasis on “I”. Etc. My translation takes advantage of these nuances. Joseph’s does not.

Clause orders reversed—In English we say “I did this because of that,” not “Because of that I did this.” The latter syntax is fine for Hebrew, but in English it’s bad. Converting it into the proper English order, although a different syntax, does not reduce the function.

Functional translations are plain—Starting in 1 Nephi 1: 1, it can be plainly seen what the functional translation is trying to say, namely that Nephi is uniquely qualified to write what he is writing and that this book is a book of divine manifestations. There is nothing secular even implied. Now, a Gentile might read Joseph’s translation of 1 Ne. 1:1 and say, “But the text doesn’t say that!” That’s true, the words in Joseph’s translation do not implicitly state what is in my translation, but that is because it isn’t a functional one, but merely a word-for-word one. For example, the movie “Like Water for Chocolate” is a translated movie, from Spanish to English. The title was translated word-for-word from Como Agua Para Chocolate into Like Water For Chocolate (Como=Like, Agua=Water, Para=For, and Chocolate=Chocolate.) To a Spaniard, though, what those four words are referring to is the making of hot chocolate, which is made with nearly-boiling water. The meaning to a Spaniard then is: At the Boiling Point, meaning that things are getting so hectic that the protagonist of the movie is about to explode. The English title translation doesn’t communicate the function of the original Spanish text, it merely translates the four words of the original title word-for-word. So, for example, a Gentile that says that Joseph’s translation, which says, “like water for chocolate” doesn’t say what my translation converts it into (“at the boiling point”), would be both right and wrong. On a word-for-word level, that’s true, it doesn’t say that. But on a functional level, it communicates exactly what the author was trying to convey.

Some examples of this in my translation are “which consists of the learning of the Jews and the language of the Egyptians” converted into “which is Egyptian used by the Jews as if it were Hebrew,” or “I know that the record which I make is true; and I make it with mine own hand; and I make it according to my knowledge” converted into “I testify that the book that I am writing is true; and I alone am writing it, by my own hand; and I am writing it according to my firsthand knowledge,” etc.

Yeas—The word translated by Joseph Smith as “yea” means “yes” on a word-for-word basis, but “indeed” or “in fact” or “in truth” on a functional level, and when used with “and” the order should be reversed in English, so that “yea, and” becomes “and in fact.” But these affirmative additions in Hebrew are not always necessary when encoding the function into English, and so they often can be left out.

And it came to pass that—This phrase, found in the scriptures, and more especially in the Book of Mormon, is merely an indicator that “this is the next thing that happened.” It is not meant to be translated out into words, but the KJV translators, and also Joseph Smith, did so anyway. And so we get 50 million “and it came to passes” in the Book of Mormon. Pretty much every single one can be left out of the text without changing the meaning one iota. English doesn’t need them to convey the source function. It can be translated as “then,” or as “afterward” or as “so then” etc., or it can be merely left out.

At Jerusalem—The functional understanding of “at” + [city] means “in the land of [city].”

First year/same year—The reason why Nephi even mentions these facts (in 1 Ne. 1:4), as well as the fact that Lehi lived there all his life, is to show that he has personal knowledge of what he is saying, since, as he is Lehi’s son, he also must have lived at Jerusalem his whole life.

As he went forth—The function of this expression in 1 Ne. 1:5 is to show that Lehi routinely left the land of Jerusalem. This is why verse 7 says, per Joseph Smith:

And it came to pass that he returned to his own house at Jerusalem; and he cast himself upon his bed, being overcome with the Spirit and the things which he had seen.

Behold—The function of the word Joseph translated as “behold” means “pay attention to what follows.” Unfortunately, we don’t use the word “behold” very much in modern speech, therefore it doesn’t have the effect on us that it should. Perhaps in Joseph Smith’s time it did, but not any longer. So, to make it have the oomph it needs to have, to draw the readers attention to what follows, it needs to be translated as “notice that” or as “observe this.”

Saying—”Saying” is a marker in the source language and it was never intended to be translated out. It literally means “to say” and it indicates that what follows is a direct quotation. In English, when we want to show a direct quotation, we use “comma, quotation mark…” And that is how it is supposed to be translated, not as the word, “saying.”

Why we have only word-for-word translations

I suspect that both the King James Version translators (who did a word-for-word translation of the Bible) and Joseph Smith (in his continual use of the KJV translation style, both for the Book of Mormon, the Book of Abraham, the JST of the Bible, and also for his revelations in the D&C), were divinely inspired of God, so as to keep the Restoration of the Fulness of Times at less than a “1/100th part” of the total Restoration. In other words, I now believe that Joseph Smith’s translations and revelations were intended to keep almost all of the facts hidden so that when Joseph-Nephi goes back over these things to re-translate them into plain English (and into other languages), not only are we going to get the 116 lost pages of the Book of Mormon restored, but the text of the Book of Mormon will now be a fully functional translation, so that now the Gentiles will fully comprehend all the Nephite meanings. Hence, we will get a fulfillment of these prophecies:

Because of their faith their words shall proceed forth out of my mouth unto their brethren who are the fruit of thy loins; and the weakness of their words will I make strong in their faith, unto the remembering of my covenant which I made unto thy fathers.  (2 Ne. 3:21)

And the words which I have written in weakness will be made strong unto them  (2 Ne. 33:4)

So, even the English translations we have will be strengthened by the Lord, through the faith of the Josephite.

Expressing beyond Joseph Smith’s language

Your eyes have been upon my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., and his language you have known, and his imperfections you have known; and you have sought in your hearts knowledge that you might express beyond his language; this you also know.

Now, seek ye out of the Book of Commandments, even the least that is among them, and appoint him that is the most wise among you; or, if there be any among you that shall make one like unto it, then ye are justified in saying that ye do not know that they are true; but if ye cannot make one like unto it, ye are under condemnation if ye do not bear record that they are true. For ye know that there is no unrighteousness in them, and that which is righteous cometh down from above, from the Father of lights. (D&C 67:5-9)

Notice that the Lord merely says that the language of Joseph has no unrighteousness in them, not that that it is strong or powerful. So, as the saints did desire to express beyond Joseph’s language, and as God grants to His saints what they desire to have, it would not surprise me if we are slated to get at some point a new, vastly improved and quite different English version of the entire canon, courtesy of the Josephite.

New witnesses must appear

Keeping in mind that if I am right on this point—that the Josephite will re-translate the Standard Works, including the Book of Mormon, and all the revelations of Joseph, into exceedingly plain and powerful English—then the Book of Mormon he brings forth will not look in any way like what we currently have.  So the Three Witnesses of the Book of Mormon, whose testimony is affixed to Joseph Smith’s translation, cannot be affixed to the new edition.  Three new men must be selected to witness that the vastly different re-translation is of God.  This means that those prophecies in the Book of Mormon that speak of the witnesses to the book must have a dual fulfillment, and the second fulfillment will really be the primary fulfillment, while the first fulfillment was merely a shadow.

The full power of the Urim and Thummim to be employed

The Lord said this about the Urim and Thummim, or the interpreters, as the Nephites called them:

For behold, the language which ye shall write I have confounded; wherefore I will cause in my own due time that these stones shall magnify to the eyes of men these things which ye shall write. (Ether 3:24)

When something is magnified, it becomes larger and you can notice more detail about it. Thus, when translating ancient (or even modern) languages, a seer (using the Urim and Thummim) can notice and fully understand all the functions of the text, but notice that Joseph Smith didn’t really use the Urim and Thummim, except at the very beginning of the translation of the Book of Mormon, in which he produced the 116 lost manuscript pages. As they became lost, no one but Joseph, his scribe and a few others (such as the people who stole them) ever got to see them. For the rest of the translation, he used a “seer stone” and interestingly enough, what he produced wasn’t a functional translation, but merely a word-for-word translation. The use of the Urim and Thummim for the first part may have been necessary for a shadow fulfillment of Moroni’s prophecy that the Book of Mormon would be translated by the Urim and Thummim. But as the shadow is never meant to be the principal fulfillment, those pages went missing and the Urim and Thummim was taken from Joseph and never returned, and we ended up with a translation produced by a single, solitary “seer stone.” So, it may have been that Joseph, using the seer stone, could not notice and fully understand all the functions of the text, and thus produced a word-for-word translation, which was what he could perceive through the use of the stone, and later on, even without it.

When the Urim and Thummim is given to the next seer, then, it will be used to produce a fully functional text in English, for the next seer will perceive every functional nuance of the original language, but that is only half of the work of translation, because then you need to encode those functions into the target language, and every man is limited both by his knowledge of the target language (which is usually his own) and also by the limitations of the target language to express the functions of the source language. English is an extensive language, having not only a lot of words, but also a whole lot of shades of meaning, so attempting to know all of the various English words and ways of expression seems to me like an impossible task, but perhaps it is not necessary to know everything, for most English speakers don’t use the entire gamut of the English lexicon anyway. Perhaps they use only, say, several thousand words over their whole lifetime, and so let’s say that a seer may be able to learn the number of words necessary. But what about the functional limitations of a language?

Impossible translations

It is often impossible to decode the functions from one language and then encode all those same functions into a second language.  Everyone who knows two or more languages knows that each language has strengths and weaknesses and they are not always the same, and often what needs to happen is the use of circumlocution, which is speaking in a round-about way to communicate the general idea of the source language function to the target language audience, because there is no direct way to do it.  For example, if I say, “She sells sea shells by the sea shore,” and then I tell you to translate that into another language, you may be able to translate the word function but perhaps not the sound and affect functions (all the ‘s’ sounds and the tongue-tying effect.)  Depending upon what the functions are, it may simply be impossible to do.

But remember that the Josephite is going to be working in the spirit of power, so even though it may be impossible for you and me and everyone else, that isn’t going to be able to stop him from doing it.  If necessary, he will alter the target language miraculously, so that now these functions will be able to be expressed in it, new words appearing instantly with etymological histories already attached.  (Remember what was stated about the Lamanites in the post, The definition of eternal!)  So, we are in for days that will cause everybody, both believer and unbeliever alike, to gape in amazement.

More on Joseph Smith’s translations

In the above side-by-side comparison, we see that Joseph translated the engravings into English pretty much word-for-word, writing out each clause as they appeared on the plates. Although his translation still retains meaning, a translator isn’t supposed to simply convert a word from one language into an equivalent word in the target language, because there are idioms and word plays and other functions in the text that give fuller meanings and understandings to the one who knows the language. So, a translator must be familiar enough with the source language to fully understand the text and all its intricate functions in that language, and also must be familiar enough with the target language to be able to convert the functions and not just the words of the source text, into the target language. Joseph Smith didn’t do this. He merely converted one word into another word and when the output text didn’t make any sense in English, or not enough sense, or when it seemed to say the opposite of what it was intended to say, then he took what he translated out and made it more readable and understandable by doing the slightest functional translation he could. To demonstrate what I’m talking about, consider the two versions of the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible, the first draft and the revised draft:

1851 Edition of the Pearl of Great Price (First draft of the JST) 1878 Edition of the Pearl of Great Price (Revised draft of the JST)
Behold, this is my work to my glory, to the immortality and eternal life of man. For this is my work and my glory, to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.
blessed be the name of God for my transgression, for in this life I shall have joy, Blessed be the name of God, for because of my transgression my eyes are opened, and in this life I shall have joy,
Behold, you have driven me out this day from the face of men, and from your face shall I be hid also; … And it shall come to pass, everyone that finds me will slay me because of my oath. Behold thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the Lord, and from thy face shall I be hid; … and it shall come to pass, that he that findeth me will slay me, because of mine iniquities.
inasmuch as they were born into the world by the fall which bringeth death, by Water and Blood and the Spirit, which I have made, and so become of dust a living soul, even so ye must be born again of Water and the Spirit, and cleansed by Blood, even the Blood of mine Only Begotten, into the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven. By reason of transgression cometh the fall, which fall bringeth death, and inasmuch as ye were born into the world by water, and blood, and the spirit, which I have made, and so became of dust a living soul, even so ye must be born again into the kingdom of heaven, of water, and of the Spirit, and be cleansed by blood, even the blood of mine Only Begotten.

(Btw, I took the above from the article, How We Got the Book of Moses.)

There is also Alma 46:40, which was improved by Joseph Smith after the first version:

And there were some who died with fevers, which at some seasons of the year was very frequent in the land—but not so much so with fevers, because of the excellent qualities of the many plants and roots which God had prepared to remove the cause of diseases, which was subsequent to man by the nature of the climate— (earliest version) And there were some who died with fevers, which at some seasons of the year were very frequent in the land—but not so much so with fevers, because of the excellent qualities of the many plants and roots which God had prepared to remove the cause of diseases, to which men were subject by the nature of the climate—(current version)

This shows that Joseph Smith didn’t really do a functional translation, but instead he gave us a word-for-word translation.

Don’t compare the seed to the mature tree

Mark Twain wrote this about the Book of Mormon:

All men have heard of the Mormon Bible, but few, except the elect have seen it or at least taken the trouble to read it. I brought away a copy from Salt Lake. The book is a curiosity to me. It is such a pretentious affair and yet so slow, so sleepy, such an insipid mess of inspiration. It is chloroform in print.

If Joseph Smith composed this book, the act was a miracle. Keeping awake while he did it, was at any rate. If he, according to tradition, merely translated it from certain ancient and mysteriously engraved plates of copper, which he declares he found under a stone, in an out of the way locality, the work of translating it was equally a miracle for the same reason.

The book seems to be merely a prosy detail of imaginary history with the Old Testament for a model followed by a tedious plagiarism of the New Testament. The author labored to give his words and phrases the quaint old fashioned sound and structure of our King James translation of the scriptures. The result is a mongrel, half modern glibness and half ancient simplicity and gravity. The latter is awkward and constrained, the former natural, but grotesque by the contrast. Whenever he found his speech growing too modern, which was about every sentence or two, he ladled in a few such scriptural phrases as, “exceeding sore,” “and it came to pass,” etc. and made things satisfactory again. “And it came to pass,” was his pet. If he had left that out, his bible would have been only a pamphlet. (Taken from here and with corrected spelling.)

What Twain was looking at was the seed. Everything we have in scripture is simply in seed form, almost entirely folded up and devoid of functionality. Knowing this allows us to reply to assessments like Twain’s by saying, “Wait a bit. This is just a foundational seed and it is going grow into something that will knock your socks off.”

Now, we know that the scriptures that we have are going to be dumbfounding when converted into their functional form, because they are not man’s words, but God’s words, and God’s words are always greater than man’s words. In fact, God’s [fill-in-the-blank] is always greater than man’s [equivalent fill-in-the-blank.]

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: so shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. (Isa. 55:8-11)

So, when the scriptures are converted from their present seed form into their fully functional, mature tree form, these works of literature are going to outstrip every and all literary works combined that man has ever been able to produce. God is going to show to the world that man is absolutely nothing compared to Him. The current release of His word in seed form to man is almost like a running joke, a game that He is playing, and the joke is on us because we are so ignorant and stupid that we look at the seed and say, “Bah! That’s ain’t nothing! I can do much better than that! Is that all you got? That’s the best that you can do?” And so forth, like idiot children who know nothing at all about anything, who when presented with a seed they’ve never seen before and told, “This is the most amazing thing you’ll ever see,” they don’t understand that it’s still in seed form and that when it sprouts, after they have ridiculed both the seed and the Man that planted it, they are going to eat their words and be put to shame.

Speaking of words, there is also this to consider:

Mighty in word and deed

Lehi prophesied this about the Josephite:

And there shall rise up one mighty among them, who shall do much good, both in word and in deed, being an instrument in the hands of God, with exceeding faith, to work mighty wonders, and do that thing which is great in the sight of God, unto the bringing to pass much restoration unto the house of Israel, and unto the seed of thy brethren. (2 Ne. 3:24)

So, he will be mighty both in word and in deed. There are only four individuals in our current canon who are referred to as being “mighty in word and in deed.” Moses was one of them. Christ was one of them. Nephi was another one. And the last one will be the Josephite.

And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds. (Acts 7:22)

And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people: (Luke 24:19)

And now, because thou hast done this with such unwearyingness, behold, I will bless thee forever; and I will make thee mighty in word and in deed, in faith and in works; yea, even that all things shall be done unto thee according to thy word, for thou shalt not ask that which is contrary to my will. (Hel. 10:5)

I have repeatedly emphasized that Joseph-Nephi will be the greatest miracle worker bar none, but that only covers deeds. His words, both spoken and written, are also going to enter into the realm of the impossible.

Another functional translation

Just for fun, I will do another functional translation, of a scripture that causes a lot of confusion among latter-day saints. I do this to show that a word-for-word translation might give one impression of the meaning of the source language text, while a functional translation of the same text might give exactly the opposite, or at least a vastly different impression of the meaning. So here is Jacob 2:23-24 word-for-word translated by Joseph Smith and functionally translated by me:

Joseph Smith’s Translation My Translation
But the word of God burdens me because of your grosser crimes. For behold, thus saith the Lord:

This people begin to wax in iniquity; they understand not the scriptures, for they seek to excuse themselves in committing whoredoms, because of the things which were written concerning David, and Solomon his son.

Behold, David and Solomon truly had many wives and concubines, which thing was abominable before me,

saith the Lord.

But God’s word weighs heavily upon my shoulders because of your grosser crimes. For notice that this is what Jehovah says,

“These people begin to grow iniquitous, for they do not understand the scriptures that were written about David and his son Solomon having many wives and concubines, and thus they seek to excuse themselves in committing whoredoms, which has always been abominable to me,”

says Jehovah.

Fulness has two stages or forms: seed and sprouted

The functional translations for the Standard Works can be considered part of the developing fulness of the gospel and scriptures. We currently have the fulness of the gospel in word-for-word (seed) form, but later, when we get it in functional form, there will be Gentiles that are going to reject that particular form of the fulness. The example above shows the reason for the rejection, because there are two forms or stages of gospel fulness, seed (folded) and sprouted (unfolded), and not everyone is going to like the sprouted form, because it gives the plain meaning, without any room to wiggle around it.

Plainness for Nephi and even for Isaiah

Nephi wrote the words of Isaiah and said that Isaiah’s words “are plain unto all those that are filled with the spirit of prophecy” (2 Ne. 25:4.) He also said that

in the days that the prophecies of Isaiah shall be fulfilled men shall know of a surety, at the times when they shall come to pass. Wherefore, they are of worth unto the children of men, and he that supposeth that they are not, unto them will I speak particularly, and confine the words unto mine own people; for I know that they shall be of great worth unto them in the last days; for in that day shall they understand them; wherefore, for their good have I written them. (2 Ne. 25:7-8)

Nephi also said of his own words that “I proceed with mine own prophecy, according to my plainness; in the which I know that no man can err” (2 Ne. 25:7.) And yet, men do err over Nephi’s words, so Nephi is not speaking of nobody erring while his words are in their seed stage, but when they are transformed into their functional form. The same goes for Isaiah, which is going to completely shock the world, for Isaiah is hard to understand and nobody but liars and bona fide prophets—and I know of no prophet—can read Isaiah in seed form plainly. So, “the words of Isaiah are not plain” (2 Ne. 25:4) to anyone currently in existence.

The transformation of Isaiah’s words from seed to sprouted form will be part of the reason why in “the last days,” when Isaiah’s prophecies start to come to pass, men will know of a surety and will understand them and will look upon them as “of great worth.” Nobody is going to be left with even one single excuse that “they didn’t understand” God’s words. Everything we have is about to be

given unto [men] in plainness, even as plain as word can be. (2 Ne. 32:7)

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The Book of Mormon Is a Litmus Test


Stage three is on the horizon

There are three prophesied stages of the church: first, the works of the Father; second, the works of men; and third, the works of the devil. Stage one is attended by miracles, which show the approbation of the Father. At some point in the past, the general membership of the church entered into stage two, which is a state of condemnation, and the work of miracles ceased, except for the occasional individual here and there who was full of faith.

There is only one reason, only one, why the saints of God become condemned before Him. It is because they no longer listen to His voice. Anyone who has a friend and who knows his or her voice and how he or she speaks, is acquainted with the voice and words of that friend. But if you stop listening for a long enough time, the day will come when it is no longer a familiar voice and can no longer be recognized. This occurs with all of us in our dealings with our fellowmen. It also occurs with God.

The word of God, found in the scriptures, allows us to become familiar with His voice. The more of His word we receive, the more familiar it becomes. This is the good Shepherd principle. He calls His sheep and they, being familiar (or acquainted) with His voice, listen and obey. If they do not listen and obey, they are not His sheep and are accounted as the devil’s sheep and upon death are delivered up to him, for the Lord only gathers His own and will not rob the devil of that which pertains to him (see Mosiah 5:14.)

And whoso receiveth not my voice is not acquainted with my voice, and is not of me…And your minds in times past have been darkened because of unbelief, and because you have treated lightly the things you have received—which vanity and unbelief have brought the whole church under condemnation. And this condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion, even all. And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them, not only to say, but to do according to that which I have written—that they may bring forth fruit meet for their Father’s kingdom; otherwise there remaineth a scourge and judgment to be poured out upon the children of Zion. (D&C 84:52,54-58.)

The second stage, then, occurred when the general membership of the church gave lip service to the Book of Mormon without actually doing what was written there, or ignored it altogether and used the Bible or even the words of their living leaders, to guide them. We are living right now in the second stage and there is both good and bad news associated with it, namely, that compared to the first stage, the second stage is not a good place to be, but compared to the third and final stage, it is infinitely better. As long as we do not descend into the third stage, we have reason to rejoice.

The problem is that we are currently nearing the very end of stage two and stage three is about to begin. The defining feature of the end of the second stage is the hardening of the hearts of the church so that they no longer believe the words of the Book of Mormon and eventually end up rejecting the entire thing.

The Lord said of the Book of Mormon, “Those who receive it in faith, and work righteousness, shall receive a crown of eternal life; but those who harden their hearts in unbelief, and reject it, it shall turn to their own condemnation” (D&C 20:14-15.)

So, the first stage church believes the Book of Mormon to be true and lives it, and the second stage church believes the Book of Mormon to be true but does not live it, while the third stage church does not believe the Book of Mormon to be true.

Up until recently, we have weathered attacks on the Book of Mormon from outside the church only. Why the attacks on this book? Because the devil knows that the Book of Mormon is key to the salvation of those living in these days. If they believe it and work righteousness, per the Lord’s words, they will receive eternal life, so it has ever been his plan to destroy belief in it. However, as we near the beginning of the third stage, we are now weathering attacks on the Book of Mormon from within the church.

More and more members are beginning to doubt its truth and accuracy. For example, we have already seen the appearance of the New Order Mormons, who generally do not believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God. But they are not the only ones in the church who have begun to doubt its divine origins. There are many now who secretly doubt in their hearts. All of this means that we are at the end of the second stage and the third stage is about to begin.

Now, I will talk about the third stage and you can take what I write as prophecy, if you want.

The third stage church will be divided, with one faction holding control over the printing of the scriptures. This church will seek to alter the word of God, as found in the scriptures. In particular they will seek to alter the words of the Book of Mormon so that they read contrary to how they read now. This will fulfill the scripture found in Mormon 8:33, in which Moroni asked, “Why have ye transfigured the holy word of God, that ye might bring damnation upon your souls?”

By the way, the last half of Mormon chapter 8 is a prophecy of the future, meaning that it has not yet been fulfilled. It speaks of the third stage church, when wicked members will secretly slay righteous members in order to shut their mouths, because these saints will stand up and speak against the incredible wickedness they will be witnessing. It is after these acts of wickedness that the Lord will send again new prophets and the full Nephite record, with all the Nephite laws, which these wicked churches will reject.

The unchanged Book of Mormon, meaning the version of the Book of Mormon that will exist prior to the transfiguration that the third stage church will perform upon it, will be used by the righteous members to preach to the wicked members, and to show that their wickedness at that time will be in fulfillment of Book of Mormon prophecy.

Now, the seeds to those future, wicked days have already been sown today, among the hearts of the church, by their unbelief regarding the divine origins of the Book of Mormon and its truth. The Book of Mormon, then, is a litmus test, to show us where we are in relation to the Lord and salvation, or in other words, to show us what stage we, personally, are in: stage one, stage two or stage three, depending upon our views and actions regarding it.

Concerning this record the Prophet Joseph Smith said: “I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.” (Introduction to the Book of Mormon)

To understand why this is so, it is necessary to understand how the Book of Mormon came to be.

How the Book of Mormon was translated

When Joseph used the Urim and Thummim, he thought of a word and then asked God in his mind if the word he was thinking of was right. After asking God, he got a feeling about the word. Sometimes the word felt right and sometimes the word felt wrong. If the word felt right, he would speak the word out loud and Oliver would then write it down. If the word felt wrong, he would discard it and then think of another word, always trying to guess what the next word was.

If Joseph went through a bunch of words in his head and they all felt wrong, he would think that perhaps the next word was one that he didn’t know, such as a proper noun (a name of some ancient person or location), so he would think of a letter, such as the letter “a” and ask the Lord in his mind if the word began with that letter. If it felt right, he would think of another letter and ask if that was the next letter of the word. If any of the letters he asked about felt wrong, he would just go to the next letter of the alphabet and ask about it. He would continue in this manner letter by letter until he had the full name. When he did have the name and all of the letters felt right, he would then spell out the name to Oliver, who would then right it down, or he would just pronounce the name or word if he thought Oliver could spell it.

This tedious process is how Joseph translated the Book of Mormon, from beginning to end, because this is how the angel told him how to do it. With practice, Joseph became more adept at guessing the next word or letter and also faster. Eventually he reached the point where he needed no Urim and Thummim to obtain revelation from the Lord, but could easily and quickly feel out the words from the Spirit. But when he first started translating, he had to first figure it out in his head and then ask if his guess was right. No part of the Book of Mormon was given to him as a text that appeared before his eyes, or in his mind, or spoken to him as audible words. Any words or pictures he saw in his mind was just his own imagination as his mind perused the vocabulary he possessed in his attempt to find the right word so that he could ask the Lord about it.

At one point, Oliver desired to translate and got the okay from the Lord. He asked Joseph how to translate and Joseph told him how he did it, as given above. So, Oliver took the Urim and Thummim and followed Joseph’s instructions. He thought of a word and asked the Lord if it was right, and then felt something. He continued in this fashion, until he had a word that he felt right about. Now, we don’t know how many words he got that felt right, because he never spoke them out loud to Joseph, but we know he got at least one word right and perhaps several, but they all remained in his head.

Oliver began to wonder, in his mind, if his feelings were correct. He began to fear that these words that felt right might be his own words and not those given to him by God. So, he pushed Joseph’s tedious process aside and just asked God, in his mind, to tell him what the next words were. After repeatedly asking and not receiving any answer, he gave up and handed the Urim and Thummim back to Joseph. Joseph resumed to translate and Oliver resumed to be his scribe. Later, Joseph asked the Lord why Oliver wasn’t able to translate and received the revelation found in D&C section 9.

You now have the context of D&C 9. When the Lord said,

“And, behold, it is because that you did not continue as you commenced, when you began to translate, that I have taken away this privilege from you.”

it refers to the fact that Oliver actually began translating correctly, for he followed Joseph’s instructions precisely and got at least one divinely inspired word from heaven, if not more. But then he stopped doing what Joseph told him to do.

And when the Lord said,

“Behold, you have not understood; you have supposed that I would give it unto you, when you took no thought save it was to ask me.”

it refers to the fact that Oliver discarded Joseph’s tedious method and took the easy way out, merely asking that God reveal the words directly without first searching for them, asking about them and feeling them out.

And when the Lord said,

“But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel it is right. But if it be not right you shall have no such feelings, but you shall have a stupor of thought that shall cause you to forget the thing which is wrong; therefore, you cannot write that which is sacred save it be given you from me. Now, if you had known this you could have translated; nevertheless, it is not expedient that you should translate now.”

it means that Joseph merely couched his instructions in terms of “feels right” and “feels wrong” and nothing more specific than that, which is why Oliver wasn’t sure whether the word(s) he got was/were right, but here, in this revelation, the Lord gives the exact feelings, even a “stupor of thought” and a “burning in the bosom,” and had Oliver known what exact feelings to “watch for,” he would have had confidence in the words he got and could have translated.

And when the Lord said,

“Behold, it was expedient when you commenced; but you feared, and the time is past, and it is not expedient now;”

it means that Oliver feared that the words he had correctly gotten from God were his own imagination and not from God. In other words, he feared to destroy the work of God by adding man-made words of his own invention, for he wasn’t certain that the words he got were right.

The reason why Joseph’s tedious approach worked and Oliver’s altered approach did not is that Joseph worked by faith but Oliver sought to work by knowledge. In other words, Joseph thought of a word and asked God if it was right and then if it felt right he simply had the faith that it was right and spoke it out loud. There were no doubts or fears on his part. The words were spoken by him in full confidence, not because God showed them to him in a vision or spoke them to him, but because he operated on faith, or had faith that the feeling he got was right and given to him of God. Oliver, on the other hand, required a witness, or required knowledge, in order to proceed. He required that God tell him in some fashion, by vision or hearing or mental apparition, what the words were. He operated under the principle of knowledge and could get nowhere with God, whereas Joseph operated under the principle of faith and pulled the divine words down from heaven, easily and speedily.

All gifts of the spirit, including the gift to interpret tongues and translate ancient languages are gifts of faith. You are given faith to do something. Not one of the gifts relies upon knowledge. But I’ve written about this before, so I will return to the subject of this post.

The Book of Mormon was created by the power of God

When the Nephite prophets wrote the text that would come to be known to us as the Book of Mormon, they wrote “by the spirit of prophecy and of revelation” (Book of Mormon Title Page.) The spirit of prophecy and revelation is the same spirit by which Joseph translated the Book of Mormon. Just as he received the Book of Mormon word by word, letter by letter, in a tedious process, so it was written character by character, by the ancient Nephite prophets, in the same tedious manner. They wrote their record in reformed Egyptian, using the characters that they knew, but they did not operate under their own power, but under the power of the Spirit. They searched for the characters, just as Joseph searched for the words, and found the ones that God wanted them to write and put them down in their own language, according to their knowledge of the characters. So, it was written under and by the miraculous power of God and not of man.

Later, Moroni hid the record. Then it came out of the earth in a miraculous way, via an angel. Finally, after delivering the plates and Urim and Thummim to Joseph, it was translated into English under or by the miraculous power and gift of God. In every step of its creation, the operation of God was upon the work.

The plates upon which the Book of Mormon was engraved do not contain the words of Nephite, Lamanite and Jaredite men. Although the record was engraved onto plates by Nephite men, it does not contain their words. It contains their characters and language and speech or writing patterns, but not their words. All the words written under the spirit of prophecy and revelation are God’s words, not man’s. He claims them as His own, for they were inspired by Him and given under His power. The men writing or speaking by His power become His proxies and have no claim on the words as their own. This is why we call it the word of God.

So, God gave words to the Nephites that engraved the Book of Mormon, in their own language, then later when the record came forth via the angel, He gave the interpretation of those words to Joseph in his own language, English. Who gave the words? God did. Who wrote the words down? Man did. Whose words did they write? God’s words.

No faults in the text

Moroni wrote, “We know of no fault” in the record. There is no fault in the record because it does not contain the words of men. The only way faults could be introduced into the record is if one of the writers wrote anything by his own power, or not by the spirit of prophecy and revelation. As far as Moroni and the other prophets knew, there was no fault in the record, for all the Nephite writers wrote under the same spirit. The spirit of prophecy and revelation eliminates human error.

For example, the prophecy I wrote above about the corruption of the scriptures, if written by my own power, may be erroneous. If written by the spirit of prophecy, it must come to pass, even as I wrote it, because they no longer are my words, but the words of God, for there is no fault or error in the word of God.

Again, Mormon illustrated this principle when he wrote:

And now it came to pass that according to our record, and we know our record to be true, for behold, it was a just man who did keep the record—for he truly did many miracles in the name of Jesus; and there was not any man who could do a miracle in the name of Jesus save he were cleansed every whit from his iniquity— (3 Ne. 8:1.)

In other words, since this man operated under the power of God (as demonstrated by the many miracles he did) and he kept the record by the power of God, it means that the record is true, for as long as a record is kept (written) by the power of God, human mistakes are eliminated.

The Book of Mormon, then, is without fault, error or imperfections, because all of those who worked to bring it forth (the Nephite prophets and the Gentile prophet Joseph) did so under the power of God.

And now, behold, we have written this record according to our knowledge, in the characters which are called among us the reformed Egyptian, being handed down and altered by us, according to our manner of speech. And if our plates had been sufficiently large we should have written in Hebrew; but the Hebrew hath been altered by us also; and if we could have written in Hebrew, behold, ye would have had no imperfection in our record. But the Lord knoweth the things which we have written, and also that none other people knoweth our language; and because that none other people knoweth our language, therefore he hath prepared means for the interpretation thereof. (Mormon 9:32-34.)

Now, I will reveal a mystery to you. The imperfection spoken of in the above quote does not apply to the English Book of Mormon. It speaks of the limitation of the reformed Egyptian in conveying the full meaning of what was put into the hearts of these prophets by the spirit of prophecy and revelation. Hebrew is a language that has the capacity to convey the full meaning of all things, so, when you translate from one language into Hebrew, nothing is lost. But all other languages are limited in their capacity to convey meaning, so that when you translate from one language into another, inevitably some meaning is lost. So, Moroni only referred to the plates of Mormon themselves, which were written in reformed Egyptian, and not to the English Book of Mormon.

The English Book of Mormon was interpreted by God, through Joseph Smith. God knew the meaning of the words that were in the hearts of these prophets and conveyed that meaning into English, in the best way possible. Therefore, had Moroni and Mormon written in Hebrew, God would have interpreted it into English just the same way, for the English Book of Mormon are the words that God wanted us to have. In other words, had the Nephite prophets written the same text in Egyptian and also in Hebrew, and then God interpreted each version into English, so that there were two English versions, one taken from the reformed Egyptians and one taken from the altered Hebrew, the two English versions would have been identical.

The imperfection in their record, then, only applies to the plates themselves and the limitations of the reformed Egyptian in conveying full meaning. It does not signify that the English Book of Mormon contains errors. When the plates come forth and are read by people in reformed Egyptian, we will see that the same information put into Hebrew conveys much more meaning.

Faults in the text

And if there be faults they be the faults of a man. (Mormon 8:17.)

Everything in the Book of Mormon is prophetic (dealing with things pertaining to the future) and/or revelatory (dealing with things pertaining to the present or past.) The record is perfect insofar as the men working on it were operating under the power of God. At any moment that the text comes under human power, errors can be introduced. We know, for example, that Oliver Cowdery sometimes made errors when writing down the text that Joseph dictated. We also know that the printer made errors. So, from the moment that the text began to be handled by men who operated under their own power, it was susceptible to “the faults of a man.”

About this edition: Some minor errors in the text have been perpetuated in past editions of the Book of Mormon. This edition contains corrections that seem appropriate to bring the material into conformity with prepublication manuscripts and early editions edited by the Prophet Joseph Smith. (A Brief Explanation about the Book of Mormon.)

Opinions given by prophecy

Whenever a man expresses an opinion by the spirit of prophecy and revelation, that opinion ceases to be an opinion and becomes instead a prophecy (if it pertains to the future) or a revelation (if it pertains to the present or past.) For example, Alma said: “I give it as my opinion, that the souls and the bodies are reunited, of the righteous, at the resurrection of Christ, and his ascension into heaven” (Alma 40:20.) Although he expressed it as an opinion, he did so under the power of the Spirit (which is why Mormon included it) and so this opinion concerning the future became a prophecy. In the same fashion, all opinions and assessments expressed by the prophets who engraved the Book of Mormon are prophetic or revelatory, because they operated under the spirit of prophecy and revelation.

Even questions asked by the spirit of prophecy and revelation are no longer just questions, but become accurate assessments of reality. So, for example, in captain Moroni’s epistle “to all those who have been chosen by this people to govern and manage the affairs of this war,” every question he asked of these wicked men concerning what they were or were not doing, or the reasons why they were or were not doing something, was prophetic and revelatory. So, for example, when he wrote, “Do ye suppose that, because so many of your brethren have been killed it is because of their wickedness?” the fact of the matter was that this is exactly what they supposed. In other words, we can remove the question mark and switch the first two words so that it reads as a statement and it would present an accurate picture of what these men were doing and thinking in Zarahemla at that time: “Ye do suppose that, because so many of your brethren have been killed it is because of their wickedness.” The same can be done with all the other questions he asked them. This is why Mormon included captain Moroni’s epistle in the book, because it was written by the spirit of prophecy and revelation.

A prophetic and revelatory history

history, n. 1. A narrative of events connected with a real or imaginary object, person, or career, esp. such a narrative devoted to the exposition of the natural unfolding and interdependence of the events treated; a tale; story. 2. Specif., a systematic written account of events, particularly of those affecting a nation, institution, science, or art, and usually connected with a philosophical explanation of their causes;—distinguished from annals and chronicles, which simply relate facts and events in strict chronological order.

Both of the above definitions apply to the Book of Mormon, which claims to be “an account written” as “an abridgment of the record of the people of Nephi, and also of the Lamanites” and “an abridgment taken from the Book of Ether also, which is a record of the people of Jared” (Book of Mormon Title Page.) Specifically, the Book of Mormon is a systematic written account of events, affecting the spiritual affairs of the Nephite, Lamanite and Jaredite nations and connected with a theological explanation for their causes.

The Book of Mormon is a theological history that is more concerned with prophecy, revelation and other miracles that occurred among these people, than with secular matters, and can be termed a prophecy that also reveals things about the past, meaning that it is a prophetic revelation. Although the source material is a compilation of books written by various prophets over a long period of time, all of whom were operating by commandment and under the power of God, the interpretation of those ancient words into English were given as a single, but very long, prophetic revelation that took many days to dictate and write down. The Book of Mormon, then, must be treated as a single whole, from beginning to end, even as a divine revelation from God.

Just as God gave the Torah to Moses in a miraculous manner, as divine writ from heaven, so God gave the Book of Mormon to Joseph as divine writ from heaven. If you subtract any part of it or alter it in any way so that its message and intended meaning is corrupted or compromised, the purposes of God in regard to the book will be frustrated. This means that all parts of the Book of Mormon are equally important. It was given as a whole and it is designed to be read as a whole. This is why the Lord states:

This work does contain all those parts of my gospel which my holy prophets, yea, and also my disciples, desired in their prayers should come forth unto this people…And now, behold, according to their faith in their prayers will I bring this part of my gospel to the knowledge of my people. (D&C 10:46,52.)

The Lord did not include superfluous material in the work. It contains everything He wanted it to contain and gives the very teachings He wanted taught.

The Book of Mormon contains many different narratives, taken from diverse sources, but there is no objectivity in any of it. The prophets who wrote the book revealed and judged not only the actions and words, but also the unspoken thoughts and hidden intentions and desires of the hearts of the characters they wrote about. It is entirely subjective material, as if they were God and all people in the account were an open book, so that they could read their minds and hearts and could know what everyone thought and felt. In this sense, it is not a normal history or narrative, for no man can know what is in anyone’s heart. If the word narrative must be used, then it must be called a prophetic and revelatory narrative, not because men with the title “prophet of God” wrote it, but because by using the spirit of prophecy and revelation the men who engraved the record were able to draw out things that cannot be drawn out, except by the power God.

So, for example, when the record states, “And it came to pass that I was constrained by the Spirit that I should kill Laban,” it reads as a revelatory narrative. An objective history would state that Nephi killed Laban and claimed to have done it under command by the Spirit. This prophetic or revelatory narrative, though, states not only that there was a voice that Nephi heard, but identifies it as the Spirit and goes so far as to reveal what the voice said, Nephi’s feelings about it, and his subsequent spiritual struggle and resolution. Not only that, the whole occurrence of Laban’s death at Nephi’s hands is treated as a miracle, for Laban was apparently impossible to kill:

“How is it possible that the Lord will deliver Laban into our hands? Behold, he is a mighty man, and he can command fifty, yea, even he can slay fifty; then why not us?…The Lord…is mightier…than Laban and his fifty, yea, or even than his tens of thousands” (1 Ne. 3:31; 1 Ne. 4:1.)

And then after the act was accomplished, it was used as a sign that God was with Nephi and his group:

Yea, and how is it that ye have forgotten what great things the Lord hath done for us, in delivering us out of the hands of Laban, and also that we should obtain the record? (1 Ne. 7:11.)

So, the Book of Mormon sees all things through a prophetic and revelatory filter and makes no claim to be any kind of secular history. It is a strictly theological history, or a history of God’s dealings with those people, and takes the form of a revelatory prophecy that can see all things as they really are, even if they are inside a person’s head and heart. It can do this because it emphatically declares that it has been written by the spirit of prophecy and revelation.

From its beginning to its end the Book of Mormon makes outrageous claims of knowing what is in the hearts of men, of what men are thinking, of knowing what is of God and what is not of God, of knowing of secret things that no one in the civilization had any knowledge of (such as what the secret combinations were doing), of knowing the plans of the devil, and a host of other things that are impossible to know except by God’s power. Why does it do this? Because it is not a secular history. It is a prophetic revelation (or a revelatory prophecy), meant to give us a peek into how God sees things, by holding up the Nephite civilization under the light of God. It claims to be God’s word, God’s prophecy, God’s revelation, God’s opinion, God’s facts, God’s thoughts, God’s perspective, etc., because “whatsoever [a man] shall [write] when moved upon by the Holy Ghost shall be scripture, shall be the will of the Lord, shall be the mind of the Lord, shall be the word of the Lord, shall be the voice of the Lord, and the power of God unto salvation” (D&C 68:4.)

If the Book of Mormon were mere fiction, it would be easier to treat as a strictly literary work, but because it presents itself as real events, yet gives a long list of miracles, it does not fit among other books or literary formulas, instead becoming the perfect tool to generate faith in Christ, for which it was designed. There is nothing rational about faith and there is nothing rational about the Book of Mormon. Yet, it expects the reader to believe its miracles without any doubts, whatsoever, and it presents everything as the absolute truth, regardless of its impossibility. So, when it tells us that Nephi killed Laban under the Spirit’s command or when it says that Zeezrom never intended to give the six onties of silver to Amulek, etc., it always means what it says. It does not matter that no man can know what is in another man’s heart, because the work itself proclaims itself miraculous from the get-go. It does not need to submit to the normal rules that man must operate under, for it is not the work of a man or a group of men, but of God. Since God can see into the hearts of men and can communicate what is there to His prophets, as well as performing all the other miracles in the book, there is no problem. The Book of Mormon, then, can only be said to stay true to one thing: its spirit of prophecy and revelation. It is the only formula it follows precisely.

To deny the Book of Mormon is to deny the revelations of God

And again I speak unto you who deny the revelations of God, and say that they are done away, that there are no revelations, nor prophecies, nor gifts, nor healing, nor speaking with tongues, and the interpretation of tongues; behold I say unto you, he that denieth these things knoweth not the gospel of Christ; yea, he has not read the scriptures; if so, he does not understand them. (Mormon 9:7-8)

I would go further and say that if he denies the revelations but has read the scriptures and does not understand them it is because he does not believe them. There is a wo pronounced upon all those who reject the Book of Mormon, in whole or in part, and assign a man-made source to it. Paraphrasing Moroni, whoever condemns it as man-made, “let him be aware lest he shall be in danger of hell fire” and he that judges it rashly, “shall be judged rashly again.”

The Lord is very sensitive about the Book of Mormon and about how we treat it. It pleased Him to see the immense amount of faith that went into its creation. The prophets who engraved the words or were quoted in the work also pleased Him. He loved them, their faith and their works, which were works of faith in Jesus Christ. He loved their prayers and their desires. And it pleases Him when we receive and believe the book and live its teachings. On the other hand, it incites Him to anger when we disbelieve and reject it.

We LDS typically think of the brother of Jared as one of the mighty ones, of unbelievable faith, and all other prophets among the Nephites as on a lower faith level than him. But this is only because we do not understand the scriptures and have no spirit of prophecy ourselves. Nephi, Jacob, Alma, Mosiah, Amulek, Mormon, Moroni, etc., even all these men and many others like them had faith like unto the brother of Jared. They all could move mountains with their faith. And this is why the Lord chose them to write the record and speak to us.

Why the Book of Mormon is the most correct book on earth

It is the most correct in the sense that it was entirely written and interpreted by the spirit of prophecy and revelation (the power of God) and has been the least touched by man-made operations as have other books that have been sent forth by God, such as the Bible. It was written to us, in our day, so its prophecy has direct application to us. The theme of the book has always been the same: if you keep God’s commandments (whatever they happen to be, see Mosiah 12:33) according to the law of expediency, He will prosper you and if you do not keep them, you will be cut off from His presence.

Again, its correctness has nothing whatsoever to do with the reality of the history of the Nephite civilization or the accuracy of its narrative, but on the simple fact that the Book of Mormon is a work of prophecy and revelation that has had minimal input from men operating under their own power. It presents to the world a prophecy and revelation-based reality that contradicts the assumptions under which the works of men and the works of the devil operate.

It is impossible to understand the Book of Mormon from the perspective of the works of men, or through a filter of the philosophies of men, because it contradicts in every fashion those works and philosophies. The only way to make it compatible with modern philosophies of men, which are based upon the works of men, is by altering the text itself so that it reads contrary to how it reads now.

The Book of Mormon as a tool of discernment

Because of these facts, one who is guided by the Spirit can use the Book of Mormon to discern another’s spiritual state, simply by finding out the person’s beliefs about it. If they are members of the church and they believe the Book of Mormon to be true, live its teachings and manifest the spirit of prophecy and revelation, then they are part of the stage one church. If they are church members who say they believe the Book of Mormon to be true, but treat it lightly, preferring other scriptures or the philosophies of men to guide them, and do not live its teachings but merely give lip service, then they are part of the stage two church. And if they are church members who say that they don’t believe the Book of Mormon to be true and reject it in its prophetic and revelatory claims, and seek to alter the text or its meaning, they are part of the stage three church.

Thus, we see that the Lord has made the Book of Mormon a litmus test and He will use it to filter the masses and gather out His elect from the four quarters of the earth, for only the elect will gather around it. All others will end up rejecting it.

Now, in closing, I will prophesy again, for there are “other books” that will be coming forth during the third stage of the church, even the rest of the “last records” that Nephi saw in his vision, and many are thinking, or putting their hopes, on those last records. And this is my prophecy, that no one, at that day when those other records appear, will accept those last records as the word of God while rejecting the Book of Mormon as His word. They will either believe the Book of Mormon is true and also that the other records are true, or they will believe that the Book of Mormon is not true and also that the other books are not true.

So, only those who accept the claims of the Book of Mormon will end up accepting the fulness of the gospel which will be in those last records. And this will be true for all church factions and splinter groups that currently exist, or that will exist in that day, for the elect will accept the new volumes because they also accept the Book of Mormon, while the rest will reject them because they will have already rejected or denied the spirit of prophecy and revelation, as well as the Book of Mormon, which is a product of that spirit.

Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist

The Tree of This and That


The left-brain-mind experiences existence as being some-one or some-thing that is apart from or other than the rest of creation.  This part of the brain is a tool, designed only to look upon the mark – thus it cannot see the fractal nature of the big picture.  From its point-of-view, life is reduced to the sum of its parts – losing all sense of connectivity and spark.  A living body has the same number of particles as a dead one.

Thus, life becomes a task or chore – something that must be done.  You get out of bed in the morning so you can go do life.  Every interaction, every connection, whether with another human, a book, or a sandwich is experienced as though it is foreign.  Life becomes that which implies that you are this.  However this is alone.  It has no role to play and no sense of identity.  This is naked – and always searches for a wardrobe.

There’s nothing wrong with being naked.  You were born naked, and you’ll die naked.  The nude self is the true self.  As the nude self, we are, respectively, Adam and Eve.  Naked, we are dressed for the universal drama – wherein Adams and Eves re-enter the garden from whence they’ve been removed and reenact the ordinance of creation.

Nudity is the experience of pure life – it is just being [as opposed to being this nor that].

God describes Himself as nude.  When Moses asked God:

Who should I say has sent me?

God replied:

I am.

Simply am.  The naked, which surpasses the distinctions of this and that.

Adam and Eve have partaken of a fruit of distinctions.  It grows on the tree of this and that – good and evil, day and night, pleasure and pain, virtue and vice, sickness and health, life and death, God and humans.  They leave the basic experience of “I am” and become this and that.  At this event, self-consciousness is born – replacing the God-consciousness that previously reigned.  Once Adam and Eve are this – this becomes aware of its nakedness.  There never was a problem with the nakedness, but when the self-consciousness gained reign – knowledge of the nudity brings with it shame and sin, which will reign until you lose consciousness [die].

The focus on clothing [and other outward appearances] is but the visual manifestation of the left-brain-mind’s obsession with acquiring a wardrobe – frantically trying to cover the nakedness with distinctions, labels, and boundaries.

The next thing Adam’s left-brain-mind reached for was busyness — labor.  The next step for God’s creation [according to the plan that was counseled on in the beginning] was to enter the Sabbath rest.  However Adams and Eves create a distraction from this rest.  The diversion enables this to ignore the nakedness – God providing associated physical coverings according to their desire.  Now this doesn’t have to be conscious of its nakedness because it is busy doing that.

The left-brain-mind expects life and everyone in it to provide its clothing – because it must be that’s fault that this is naked.  Adam and Eve will pluck from the tree fig leaves of labels for a covering.

The left-brain-mind gains dominion over others by assigning that – this way it can have a self-conscious purpose.  Naming that husband, then makes this become wife.  Now a desire has been formed – but not for the connection made between Adam and Eve – rather for the credentials received from the connectionThe fear of not having such a connection is just replaced with the fear of losing it.  When governed by the left-brain-mind, Adam and Eve are ready to freeze that – to box it up and own it – however, the left-brain-mind is ignorant of the fact that the connection is alive [everything is parts, no life].

Labeling it is a form of slavery, and the left-brain-mind is willing to shove a living, breathing human into a conceptual box and deny her/him the right to freely express their will – all in the name of pretending to be something it is not – clothed.

So we set up stakes and put up conceptual boundaries that suppress the intelligence of another – holding them hostage in order to play dress up in our minds.

The gospel is not a battle between the forces of darkness and light [good and evil, virtue and vice, men and women, etc.] – it is the unification of these things.  Putting the left-brain in unity with the right-brain – the Adam in unity with the Eve.

To cut thru the coverings acquired by your left-brain-mind, you must rest.  But rest doesn’t mean to stop.  Stopping just shifts the idolatry from being busy to being lazy.  The left-brain-mind proceeds to beat you calm— forcing you to relax, which is, of course, impossible.  No real rest is the passive yin principle, it is to be still and know that Jesus is God.

To yield, to submit, to rest, to sit down, to cease your frantic effort to be this or that.

Next Article by Justin:  The conditions of this law

Previous Article by Justin:  The Healing Gifts

The faith of God, part ten: The relationship of faith to agency (power)


Continued from part nine.

Faith is not power

In part two, I erroneously wrote “faith is power” in one of the sub-headings. After catching the error, I decided to leave it up as a teaching point.

Many people equate faith with power, just as they equate faith with hope. Part two explained that faith is not hope and that hope comes after one has faith. The present article (part ten) seeks to likewise explain that faith is not power and that power comes after one has faith.

Two types of power

Free agency is one of the two types of power. Agency is the ability to act and not to be acted upon. (See 2 Nephi 2: 26.)

The other type is the ability to act upon something/someone against its/his/her will. There is no scriptural name (that I know of) for this kind of power, but we use descriptive words such as coercion, compulsion, force, enslavement, control, domination, manipulation, captivation, enchainment, etc., to describe its exercise. I suppose it can be termed “anti-agency” as it is diametrically opposed to an individual’s agency, but I will refer to it as coercion.

Coercion and agency both accomplish work or get things done, but free agency is only obtained through faith, whereas coercion is experienced in the absence of faith or with the permission of the free agent.

Another purpose of this article

When I wrote The role of free agency in political systems, I talked about the link between faith and agency (power) in two small paragraphs, which I hope to expound upon in the present article:

The precursor to agency is faith, another gift of God. It is faith that allows agency to be possessed, even faith centered in God. The more faith we possess, the more agency is granted, the less faith possessed, the less agency. If we lose all faith, we lose all agency and thus become like Satan, who is devoid of both faith and agency. If we gain all faith, we gain all agency, and thus become entirely like God.

Faith and agency are heavenly principles and the entire kingdom of God operates on them. This is why all things are done (the action or power to do being agency) according to the faith of men and why God works (the action or power to work being agency) according to the faith of the children of men. (The role of free agency in political systems)

However, before talking of faith, I must expound upon agency.

Free agency alone is the power of God

One of the common misconceptions among LDS is that God, our heavenly Father, uses the principle of coercion to accomplish certain things, such as punishing the wicked. The truth of the matter is that he doesn’t. Coercion is the power under which Satan operates. Free agency alone is the type of power that God, Jesus and the Holy Ghost use.

There are scriptures (see D&C 19: 1-20 and especially verse 7) that conjure up visions of God forcing men to do certain things that they don’t want to do, but these scriptures are written “more express to work upon the hearts of the children of men.” For example:

Wherefore, because that Satan rebelled against me, and sought to destroy the agency of man, which I, the Lord God, had given him, and also, that I should give unto him mine own power; by the power of mine Only Begotten, I caused that he should be cast down; and he became Satan, yea, even the devil, the father of all lies, to deceive and to blind men, and to lead them captive at his will, even as many as would not hearken unto my voice. (Moses 4: 3-4)

LDS are often quick to point out that Jesus (the Father’s Only Begotten) was the champion of free agency, whereas the devil wanted to destroy it and force us to obey his will, but they don’t bat an eye when they read the above scripture and think that Jesus used the satanic principle of force to cast Lucifer down out of heaven. As a people, we have conditioned ourselves to believe that coercion is okay if God does it, but evil when used by Satan. In other words, that force is merely a tool, it is neither good nor evil, but can be used for good in the hands of God and for evil in the hands of Satan. They will often quote the following scripture with emphasis on the words in bold:

That they may be conferred upon us, it is true; but when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man. (D&C 121: 37)

Had the verse merely said, “in any degree” there would have been no further discussion, but as the modifier “of unrighteousness” was added, many LDS think that this means that when it comes “to exercising control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men,” there are both righteousness and unrighteousness degrees. Therefore, by their interpretation of this scripture in this way, there is a way to righteously exercise dominion, compulsion and control upon men.

In this line of thinking, if God or his servants are doing it, it is righteous. If Satan or his servants are doing it, it is unrighteous. The rules of English grammar do, in fact, allow this interpretation and as long as you eliminate the following verse in the same section, it might make sense:

The Holy Ghost shall be thy constant companion, and thy scepter an unchanging scepter of righteousness and truth; and thy dominion shall be an everlasting dominion, and without compulsory means it shall flow unto thee forever and ever. (D&C 121: 46)

However, when the two verses are taken together, they paint a proper (and different) picture, namely that the righteous dominion of God is based upon free agency, not coercion, whereas unrighteous dominion is based upon control or compulsion. Leaving mortal humans out of the equation, who routinely compel their fellows and/or allow freedom of choice by turns, and addressing only God himself, the Father’s everlasting dominion flows unto him without any compulsory means. In fact, the very reason why the scepter of God is righteous is because no one is compelled to obey him. All are given free agency. So, as it applies to God, there is no such thing as righteous compulsion. That would be a contradiction in terms.

God uses free agents

When Nephi was commanded to slay Laban, the Spirit said to him, “The Lord slayeth the wicked to bring forth his righteous purposes.” Yet, who slew Laban, Nephi or the Lord? Nephi did. And also the Lord, vicariously, through Nephi, one of His free agents. Did Nephi have to slay Laban? Was he forced to do it? Of course not. The Lord gave Nephi the law written in D&C 98: 23-32, which has a spare clause: “and then if thou wilt spare him, thou shalt be rewarded for thy righteousness; and also thy children and thy children’s children unto the third and fourth generation” (verse 30). Nephi chose to use his free agency to justifiably slay Laban, but he could have equally spared him.

The power of Jesus Christ is free agency

In Moses 4: 3-4, quoted above, when the Lord says, “by the power of mine Only Begotten, I caused that he should be cast down,” the power being referred to is free agency. Jesus used free agency to “cast Lucifer down.” He did not use coercion or force. Jesus, like the Father, both has free agency and also works through free agents.

When LDS hear the words “cast down” they envision a forceful banishment, using coercion. But D&C 121: 37, quoted above, states that exercising compulsion causes “the heavens ” to “withdraw themselves.” It doesn’t state that it causes the individual to be banished from the heavens. Yet, the heavens moving or changing location, from where you are to a location above and beyond your reach, has the same result as if you were cast down or fallen from heaven. Again, these scriptures are written more express.

All of the saints and prophets of God are free agents of Jesus Christ. They voluntarily obey his will. As does all the spirit and physical matter that make up the created universe. It is through free agency and free agents alone, that Jesus accomplishes his work.

The power of the Holy Ghost is free agency

The power of the Holy Ghost, likewise, is free agency. The Holy Ghost forces no one to convert to the Lord. The Holy Ghost forces no one to believe. Those who desire to believe on the word of God invite the Holy Ghost to come and deposit the gift of belief. Those who believe on the word of God invite the Holy Ghost to come and deposit the gift of faith. Those who exercise that gift of faith invite the Holy Ghost to come and deposit other gifts and powers, such as sanctification, purification, justification, wisdom, knowledge, visions, prophecies and the like. Nothing is ever forced. Everything is done according to the desires of the children of men, according to their beliefs, according to their faith, they being free agents capable of choosing to invite the Spirit in. When faith is manifest, the Spirit brings additional manifestations of its power, meaning that the individual receives greater free agency. Remember, the scriptural definition of free agency is the ability to act and not to be acted upon, therefore, for example, a person with the gift of tongues has an additional ability to act (greater free agency) than one who doesn’t possess that gift. The same can be said of all other gifts, powers, fruits and signs of the Holy Ghost. They are all abilities to act and not to be acted upon in certain ways, meaning, they are all manifestations of greater free agency (the power of God) bestowed upon the individual.

Faith determines agency

Again, keep in mind that agency is the ability to act and not be acted upon. The greater your agency, the more ability you have to act and also the less you can be acted upon by others. It is the amount of faith you possess that determines how much agency you possess. If one has sufficiently great faith, nothing can act on you without your say so. The following scriptural examples demonstrate this principle.

Ammon could not be acted upon—due to faith

Now Ammon seeing the Spirit of the Lord poured out according to his prayers upon the Lamanites, his brethren, who had been the cause of so much mourning among the Nephites, or among all the people of God because of their iniquities and their traditions, he fell upon his knees, and began to pour out his soul in prayer and thanksgiving to God for what he had done for his brethren; and he was also overpowered with joy; and thus they all three had sunk to the earth. Now, one of them, whose brother had been slain with the sword of Ammon, being exceedingly angry with Ammon, drew his sword and went forth that he might let it fall upon Ammon, to slay him; and as he lifted the sword to smite him, behold, he fell dead. Now we see that Ammon could not be slain, for the Lord had said unto Mosiah, his father: I will spare him, and it shall be unto him according to thy faith—therefore, Mosiah trusted him unto the Lord. And it came to pass that when the multitude beheld that the man had fallen dead, who lifted the sword to slay Ammon, fear came upon them all, and they durst not put forth their hands to touch him or any of those who had fallen; and they began to marvel again among themselves what could be the cause of this great power [which is agency], or what all these things could mean. (Alma 19: 14, 22-24)

Alma and Amulek could not be acted upon—due to faith

When the saints were being burned by fire in front of them, Amulek turned to Alma and said something remarkable:

And when Amulek saw the pains of the women and children who were consuming in the fire, he also was pained; and he said unto Alma: How can we witness this awful scene? Therefore let us stretch forth our hands, and exercise the power of God [which is free agency] which is in us, and save them from the flames. (Alma 14: 10)

Amulek’s words indicate that he knew he and Alma had power to act (agency) to save the saints. Alma’s words also indicate that he knew he had such power:

But Alma said unto him: The Spirit constraineth me that I must not stretch forth mine hand; (Alma 14: 11)

In addition to ability to act, Alma and Amulek also had the ability not to be acted upon. After allowing the Amalekites to afflict them for many days, they finally decided to use their agency and stop their persecutors from acting upon them.

And it came to pass after they had thus suffered for many days, (and it was on the twelfth day, in the tenth month, in the tenth year of the reign of the judges over the people of Nephi) that the chief judge over the land of Ammonihah and many of their teachers and their lawyers went in unto the prison where Alma and Amulek were bound with cords. And the chief judge stood before them, and smote them again, and said unto them: If ye have the power of God [which is free agency] deliver yourselves from these bands, and then we will believe that the Lord will destroy this people according to your words. And it came to pass that they all went forth and smote them, saying the same words, even until the last; and when the last had spoken unto them the power of God [which is free agency] was upon Alma and Amulek, and they rose and stood upon their feet. Alma cried, saying: How long shall we suffer these great afflictions, O Lord? O Lord, give us strength according to our faith which is in Christ, even unto deliverance. And they broke the cords with which they were bound; and when the people saw this, they began to flee, for the fear of destruction had come upon them. And Alma and Amulek came forth out of the prison, and they were not hurt; for the Lord had granted unto them power [which is free agency], according to their faith which was in Christ. (Alma 14: 23-26, 28 )

You know the rest of the story. The chief judge, teachers and lawyers all thought their power of coercion (forcibly imprisoning Alma and Amulek and torturing them) was greater than the power of agency. It wasn’t. Agency is a greater power than coercion, but agency only exists where there is faith.

Abinadi could not be acted upon—due to faith

And now when the king had heard these words, he said unto his priests: Away with this fellow, and slay him; for what have we to do with him, for he is mad. And they stood forth and attempted to lay their hands on him; but he withstood them, and said unto them: Touch me not, for God shall smite you if ye lay your hands upon me, for I have not delivered the message which the Lord sent me to deliver; neither have I told you that which ye requested that I should tell; therefore, God will not suffer that I shall be destroyed at this time. But I must fulfil the commandments wherewith God has commanded me; and because I have told you the truth ye are angry with me. And again, because I have spoken the word of God ye have judged me that I am mad. Now it came to pass after Abinadi had spoken these words that the people of king Noah durst not lay their hands on him, for the Spirit of the Lord was upon him; and his face shone with exceeding luster, even as Moses’ did while in the mount of Sinai, while speaking with the Lord. And he spake with power [which is free agency] and authority from God; and he continued his words, saying: Ye see that ye have not power to slay me, therefore I finish my message. Yea, and I perceive that it cuts you to your hearts because I tell you the truth concerning your iniquities. Yea, and my words fill you with wonder and amazement, and with anger. But I finish my message; and then it matters not whither I go, if it so be that I am saved. (Mosiah 13: 1-9)

Although the text doesn’t specifically say that Abinadi obtained the Spirit of the Lord through faith, other scriptures teach this principle. (For example, see D&C 42: 14.) Despite having the power to resist these men, Abinadi later allowed them to slay him.

Now Abinadi said unto him: I say unto you, I will not recall the words which I have spoken unto you concerning this people, for they are true; and that ye may know of their surety I have suffered myself that I have fallen into your hands. Yea, and I will suffer even until death, and I will not recall my words, and they shall stand as a testimony against you. And if ye slay me ye will shed innocent blood, and this shall also stand as a testimony against you at the last day. (Mosiah 17: 9-10)

Jesus could not be acted upon—due to faith

I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power [which is free agency] to lay it down, and I have power [which is free agency] to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father. (John 10: 14-17)

All, therefore, that happened to Jesus was allowed by him to happen, as he had a fullness of free agency and thus none could act upon him unless he allowed it.

Enoch and Melchizedek could not be acted upon—due to faith

Now Melchizedek was a man of faith, who wrought righteousness; and when a child he feared God, and stopped the mouths of lions, and quenched the violence of fire. And thus, having been approved of God, he was ordained an high priest after the order of the covenant which God made with Enoch, it being after the order of the Son of God; which order came, not by man, nor the will of man; neither by father nor mother; neither by beginning of days nor end of years; but of God; and it was delivered unto men by the calling of his own voice, according to his own will, unto as many as believed on his name. For God having sworn unto Enoch and unto his seed with an oath by himself; that every one being ordained after this order and calling should have power [which is free agency], by faith, to break mountains, to divide the seas, to dry up waters, to turn them out of their course; to put at defiance the armies of nations, to divide the earth, to break every band, to stand in the presence of God; to do all things according to his will, according to his command, subdue principalities and powers; and this by the will of the Son of God which was from before the foundation of the world. And men having this faith, coming up unto this order of God, were translated and taken up into heaven. (JST Genesis 14: 26-32)

Translation is the ultimate manifestation that great power not to be acted upon (free agency) has been bestowed, due to one’s faith, as the coercion of death itself is broken. Not every prophet or saint that reaches that level, though, is translated. Some, like Abinadi, choose to allow themselves to be killed, to seal up their testimony in the blood of the innocent.

The Three Nephites could not be acted upon—due to faith

Others choose translation. No matter how much coercion the wicked used against the Three Nephite disciples of Christ, it had no effect on their agency, because of their faith.

Therefore they did exercise power [coercion] and authority over the disciples of Jesus who did tarry with them, and they did cast them into prison; but by the power of the word of God, which was in them, the prisons were rent in twain, and they went forth doing mighty miracles among them. Nevertheless, and notwithstanding all these miracles, the people did harden their hearts, and did seek to kill them, even as the Jews at Jerusalem sought to kill Jesus, according to his word. And they did cast them into furnaces of fire, and they came forth receiving no harm. And they also cast them into dens of wild beasts, and they did play with the wild beasts even as a child with a lamb; and they did come forth from among them, receiving no harm. (4 Nephi 1: 30-33)

And they were cast into prison by them who did not belong to the church. And the prisons could not hold them, for they were rent in twain. And they were cast down into the earth; but they did smite the earth with the word of God, insomuch that by his power they were delivered out of the depths of the earth; and therefore they could not dig pits sufficient to hold them. And thrice they were cast into a furnace and received no harm. And twice were they cast into a den of wild beasts; and behold they did play with the beasts as a child with a suckling lamb, and received no harm. (3 Nephi 28: 19-22)

Agency is the supreme power, which trumps or frees one from the power of all other things, including the power of death, if one’s faith is sufficient. This is one of the reasons why it is called free agency, because it gives you freedom or liberates you from the power of coercion. It gives you the power to choose life (translation and exaltation) or death (physical and spiritual death.) Those who obtain enough faith, are given by God the agency to overcome all things, including death, meaning that nothing can act upon them without their say so.

And now behold, as I spake concerning those whom the Lord hath chosen, yea, even three who were caught up into the heavens, that I knew not whether they were cleansed from mortality to immortality—but behold, since I wrote, I have inquired of the Lord, and he hath made it manifest unto me that there must needs be a change wrought upon their bodies, or else it needs be that they must taste of death; therefore, that they might not taste of death there was a change wrought upon their bodies, that they might not suffer pain nor sorrow save it were for the sins of the world. Now this change was not equal to that which shall take place at the last day; but there was a change wrought upon them, insomuch that Satan could have no power over them, that he could not tempt them; and they were sanctified in the flesh, that they were holy, and that the powers of the earth could not hold them. (3 Nephi 28: 36-39)

How this relates to God’s faith

The scriptures teach that agency alone is the power of God; that coercion is the power of the devil; that agency is greater or more powerful than coercion; that agency is granted only when faith is present; that agency and coercion cannot co-manifest in the same circumstance, either coercion exercises its power to the reduction of agency (or with the permission of the free agent who chooses not to exercise his agency), or agency exercises its power to the elimination or reduction of coercion; that agency is linked to faith; that faith precedes agency; that agency comes of faith; that the amount of agency possessed is determined by the amount of faith possessed; and that if one loses faith, agency is also lost (see Matthew 14: 25-31 for Peter’s faltering faith.)

As we know that God is omnipotent (all-powerful), meaning that he has a fullness of agency, he must have gotten his agency through the only mechanism given in the scriptures for obtaining it: faith. And as God remains almighty, he must not have lost one iota of his faith, for to do so, according to the scriptures, would remove a portion of his agency. Therefore, it is reasonable to conclude, based upon these scriptural evidences and teachings of the relationship of faith to agency, that God does, indeed, possess faith.

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