GenCon14: “On Jesus’ Prophecy”

“On Jesus’s Prophecy to the Disciples at Bountiful as Recorded in 3 Nephi 15-16 of The Book of Mormon”

gencon14a

[Not the actual speaker, but his tie does make his words believable, I suppose.]

 

In 3 Nephi chapter 16, Jesus speaks, as part of a communication started in chapter 15, to the twelve he had chosen, of other sheep he must visit. He instructs them to write down the things he said to them after he leaves, against a day when, perhaps, those who knew him at Jerusalem would be too unconcerned to inquire of the Father about others whom they didn’t even know existed–others also visited by him. The disciples were obedient to this request, having written all that transpired of Jesus’ visit onto the Plates of Nephi (referred to as “these sayings” in verse 4), which would one day–a latter day–be made known to the Gentiles. A partial account of Jesus’ visit, taken from the Plates of Nephi and identified as the lesser part, was written into the gold plates by Mormon, which we now read (in translation) as part of The Book of Mormon today (see 3 Nephi 26). In this, Mormon’s glimpse, we read of that day, when the greater things (to use Mormon’s phrase) will be made manifest to the Gentiles, contingent on their belief, when events spoken of in 3 Nephi 16 will subsequently take place–fulness of the Gentiles, a metonym for Gentile reception of greater things; subsequent rejection, savorless salts, previous covenants remembered and fulfilled, etc.

This establishes the who and the when. What wickedness, then, to echo an oft expressed question? Gentile pride, lyings, deceits, mischiefs, hypocrisy, murders, priestcrafts, whoredoms, secret abominations, all in the face of this greater revealed text (and others, I suspect) shown them; in spite of what they will surely know about it and what it says about this Jesus. This rejection, among those to whom these greater things will come, will mark a new chapter when God will reverse the tables, so to speak, and will again remember his people, Israel, and will establish his gospel among them, and among the remnant of those who knew him in Jerusalem, bringing along any Gentiles as are willing and able to shed their polluting ways.

 

I include the subject text for convenience, taken from 3 Nephi chapters 15 and 16 of The Book of Mormon, reformatted below from its current two-column chapter and verse format to aid in reading, and which include my comments in [square brackets]:

 

[Mormon’s “abridgement” of the Plates of Nephi written to the gold plates (3 Nephi 15:11)]

And now it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words, he said unto those twelve whom he had chosen:

 

[Jesus’s words, copied as direct quote from the Plates of Nephi by Mormon onto the gold plates]

 

Ye are my disciples; and ye are a light unto this people, who are a remnant of the house of Joseph. And behold, this is the land of your inheritance; and the Father hath given it unto you. And not at any time hath the Father given me commandment that I should tell it unto your brethren at Jerusalem. Neither at any time hath the Father given me commandment that I should tell unto them concerning the other tribes of the house of Israel, whom the Father hath led away out of the land. This much did the Father command me, that I should tell unto them, that, “Other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.” And now, because of stiffneckedness and unbelief they understood not my word; therefore I was commanded to say no more of the Father concerning this thing unto them. But, verily, I say unto you that the Father hath commanded me, and I tell it unto you, that ye were separated from among them because of their iniquity; therefore it is because of their iniquity that they know not of you. And verily, I say unto you again that the other tribes hath the Father separated from them; and it is because of their iniquity that they know not of them. And verily I say unto you, that ye are they of whom I said, “Other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.”

And they understood me not, for they supposed it had been the Gentiles; for they understood not that the Gentiles should be converted through their preaching. And they understood me not that I said they shall hear my voice; and they understood me not that the Gentiles should not at any time hear my voice—that I should not manifest myself unto them save it were by the Holy Ghost. But behold, ye have both heard my voice, and seen me; and ye are my sheep, and ye are numbered among those whom the Father hath given me. And verily, verily, I say unto you that I have other sheep, which are not of this land, neither of the land of Jerusalem, neither in any parts of that land round about whither I have been to minister. For they of whom I speak are they who have not as yet heard my voice; neither have I at any time manifested myself unto them. But I have received a commandment of the Father that I shall go unto them, and that they shall hear my voice, and shall be numbered among my sheep, that there may be one fold and one shepherd; therefore I go to show myself unto them.

And I command you that ye shall write these sayings after I am gone, that if it so be that my people at Jerusalem, they who have seen me and been with me in my ministry, do not ask the Father in my name, that they may receive a knowledge of you by the Holy Ghost, and also of the other tribes whom they know not of, that these sayings which ye shall write shall be kept and shall be manifested unto the Gentiles, that through the fulness of the Gentiles, the remnant of their seed, who shall be scattered forth upon the face of the earth because of their unbelief, may be brought in, or may be brought to a knowledge of me, their Redeemer. And then will I gather them in from the four quarters of the earth; and then will I fulfil the covenant which the Father hath made unto all the people of the house of Israel. And blessed are the Gentiles, because of their belief in me, in and of the Holy Ghost, which witnesses unto them of me and of the Father. “Behold, because of their belief in me,” saith the Father, “and because of the unbelief of you, O house of Israel, in the latter day shall the truth come unto the Gentiles, that the fulness of these things shall be made known unto them. But wo,” saith the Father, “unto the unbelieving of the Gentiles.”

For notwithstanding they have come forth upon the face of this land, and have scattered my people who are of the house of Israel; and my people who are of the house of Israel have been cast out from among them, and have been trodden under feet by them; and because of the mercies of the Father unto the Gentiles, and also the judgments of the Father upon my people who are of the house of Israel, verily, verily, I say unto you, that after all this, and I have caused my people who are of the house of Israel to be smitten, and to be afflicted, and to be slain, and to be cast out from among them, and to become hated by them, and to become a hiss and a byword among them—and thus commandeth the Father that I should say unto you: at that day when the Gentiles shall sin against my gospel, and shall reject the fulness of my gospel, and shall be lifted up in the pride of their hearts above all nations, and above all the people of the whole earth, and shall be filled with all manner of lyings, and of deceits, and of mischiefs, and all manner of hypocrisy, and murders, and priestcrafts, and whoredoms, and of secret abominations; and if they shall do all those things, and shall reject the fulness of my gospel, “Behold,” saith the Father, “I will bring the fulness of my gospel from among them.”

And then will I remember my covenant which I have made unto my people, O house of Israel, and I will bring my gospel unto them. And I will show unto thee, O house of Israel, that the Gentiles shall not have power over you; but I will remember my covenant unto you, O house of Israel, and ye shall come unto the knowledge of the fulness of my gospel. “But if the Gentiles will repent and return unto me,” saith the Father, “behold they shall be numbered among my people, O house of Israel. And I will not suffer my people, who are of the house of Israel, to go through among them, and tread them down,” saith the Father, “but if they will not turn unto me, and hearken unto my voice, I will suffer them, yea, I will suffer my people, O house of Israel, that they shall go through among them, and shall tread them down, and they shall be as salt that hath lost its savor, which is thenceforth good for nothing but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of my people, O house of Israel.” Verily, verily, I say unto you, thus hath the Father commanded me—that I should give unto this people this land for their inheritance. And then the words of the prophet Isaiah shall be fulfilled, which say:

 

[Jesus quoting Isaiah, presumably from the Brass Plates] Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing, for they shall see eye to eye when the Lord shall bring again Zion. Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem; for the Lord hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem. The Lord hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of God.

 

The extended quote ends here. Jesus first speaks of various peoples, then lays out the relative timing of events contingent on the manifestation of the record of things he has said, and is saying, to his audience. The following groups are identified, described here in no particular order:

 

  1. His disciples, which are the twelve Jesus had chosen prior to this passage, as recorded in 3 Nephi 11. They are to be a light unto the people, and have been given the land of Bountiful as an inheritance by the Father.
  2. The people gathered at Bountiful, identified as a remnant of the house of Joseph, and the “other sheep” spoken of by Jesus to their brethren at Jerusalem, who are utterly unaware of them. Among those given to Jesus by the Father (his people), they were separated from their brethren at Jerusalem because of (their brethren’s) iniquity, and were also promised the land of Bountiful as an inheritance, although they will be scattered by Gentiles who will come into the land.
  3. Their brethren at Jerusalem, those who saw Jesus and were with him in Jerusalem, had no knowledge of the people Jesus visits at Bountiful or elsewhere. Jesus calls them his people and describes them as stiff necked and unbelieving, and because of this are never directly told of those separated from them. They misunderstood Jesus when he spoke to them of “other sheep,” supposing it referred to Gentiles. The remnant of their descendants to be scattered over the earth, they have a future promise of re-gathering and the return to a knowledge of Jesus, through the fullness of the Gentiles.
  4. The Gentiles were identified by Jesus as those to be converted through the preaching of those at Jerusalem, never to receive a witness of him in flesh, but only through the workings of the Holy Ghost. They are to be blessed for their belief in Jesus, and cursed for unbelief. The mercies of the Father will be unto them, and they will come forth into the land of Bountiful, will scatter the house of Israel, hate them, cast them out from among them, trample them underfoot, and otherwise treat them poorly. The full account of Jesus’s visit to Bountiful, as contained in the Plates of Nephi, will be made manifest to them, which event is called the fullness of the Gentiles. The rejection of this text, alongside a laundry list of sins committed by the Gentiles will mark the beginning of the restoration of knowledge to the house of Israel, when the fullness will pass to them, with any repentant Gentiles being counted among Jesus’s people. Unrepentant Gentiles are described as savorless salt, to be trampled underfoot by the house of Israel, in a future tragic turning of the tables.
  5. Other “other sheep” (that is, distinct from the “other sheep” identified as the people at Bountiful) are mentioned by Jesus in these passages. They were not from Bountiful, nor Jerusalem, nor from anywhere Jesus had already been, and therefore had not as yet heard nor seen Jesus in the flesh, but would be visited by him, and numbered along with the people at Jerusalem and Bountiful as his sheep. Jesus mentions that other tribes had been separated from those at Jerusalem, like those at Bountiful, for similar reasons, and with similar consequences. I am inclined to think these other “other sheep” include these other tribes, but it is not entirely clear to me from the text that this is the case.
  6. The house of Israel is introduced as Jesus speaks of the restoration of knowledge to the scattered remnant of the descendants of those at Jerusalem, through the fullness of the Gentiles. The phrase acts as title for those given promise to be remembered ultimately, and shown mercy–Jesus’s people, the combination of all scattered parties: those at Bountiful, remnant of descendants of those at Jerusalem, others separated, as well as Gentiles repentant of their rejection of the fullness of the gospel.
  7. The prophet Isaiah (mentioned at the end of the passage), whose prophetic words describing the restoration of Jerusalem are said to be fulfilled by the events being described by Jesus.
  8. Redeemer, a title used by Jesus to describe himself as one who remembers the promises made to his sheep, and as one who returns (restores) knowledge, in spite of previous unbelief, as contrasted to the way the title is commonly used to refer to one whose life was given in ransom, or as payment of some kind.

 

A loose timeline of events can also be constructed from this passage. I list the events here in relative order:

 

  1. Various peoples (tribes) “separated” from the unbelievers at Jerusalem.
  2. Jesus’s ministry among the confused at Jerusalem (and his mention of other sheep at Bountiful)
  3. Jesus visits the people at Bountiful
  4. Jesus visits yet other sheep
  5. Account of Jesus’s visit to Bountiful recorded onto Plates of Nephi by the disciples (“these sayings”)
  6. Mormon’s abridgement onto gold plates (which includes, according to Mormon, the “lesser part,” a partial account of Jesus’s visit to the people of Bountiful taken from the Plates of Nephi)
  7. Gentiles to come forth on the face of the land, blessed for belief, ongoing scattering house of Israel and remnant of seed of those at Jerusalem and Bountiful, smitten, afflicted, etc.
  8. Joseph Smith’s translation of gold plates published as The Book of Mormon (which contains the translated “lesser part” found in 3 Nephi)
  9. [You are here]
  10. Fulness of Gentiles: the account of Jesus’s visit at Bountiful as recorded on the Plates of Nephi by his disciples to be manifested to the Gentiles
  11. Fulness rejected by Gentiles, pride, lyings, deceits, etc., etc.
  12. Fulness taken from Gentiles, given to house of Israel
  13. Covenant remembered
    1. Tables turned (Gentiles trodden under feet of house of Israel)
    2. Scattered peoples brought to knowledge of Jesus, all gathered in, repentant Gentiles numbered among them, Isaiah’s words as recorded on Brass Plates considered fulfilled

 

The way it reads, the future events described by Jesus pivot around the manifestation of a certain (preserved) text to the Gentiles, and it is the presence of this text that marks them as Gentile. What text? The Book of Mormon? Hardly. Based on what? Well, Jesus’s words which seem to indicate otherwise, and for another reason. I include another passage, written by Mormon, in 3 Nephi chapter 26:

 

And now there cannot be written in this book [gold plates] even a hundredth part of the things which Jesus did truly teach unto the people; but behold the Plates of Nephi do contain the more part of the things which he taught the people. And these things have I written, which are a lesser part of the things which he taught the people; and I have written them to the intent that they may be brought again unto this people, from the Gentiles, according to the words which Jesus hath spoken. And when they shall have received this, which is expedient that they should have first, to try their faith, and if it shall so be that they shall believe these things then shall the greater things be made manifest unto them. And if it so be that they will not believe these things, then shall the greater things be withheld from them, unto their condemnation. Behold, I was about to write them, all which were engraven upon the Plates of Nephi, but the Lord forbade it, saying, “I will try the faith of my people.”

 

“The people,” “this people,” “my people,” I’ll be honest and say I’m not quite sure who is being referred to by all these phrases–”the people” probably refers to the group at Bountiful several hundred years prior to Mormon. The “this” is the singular form of what I understand to be referring to some group contemporary to Mormon, with emphasis on the group, and not its individuals (else I would have expected something like “these people”). “My people” had reference to a particular gathering of folks at one time by Jesus, as described above, but is that the case here? However, one thing seems clear, and that is that the account of Jesus’s visit was initially being copied wholesale from the Plates of Nephi by Mormon onto his plates. So why was Mormon doing this? Mormon claims that his copy was to go to “this people” via the Gentiles, according to Jesus’s words (where did Jesus say this?). The account of Jesus’s visit as recorded onto the Plates of Nephi would also be preserved and manifested to the Gentiles, but, and this is the distinguishing thing, in order to go to the remnant of the seed of those at Jerusalem. So Mormon was making a copy of the story of Jesus’s visit knowing the version he held in his hands as part of the Plates of Nephi was ultimately destined for some other group. This means to me that The Book of Mormon is most certainly not the text prophesied by Jesus to mark the beginning of the fulness of the Gentiles.

 

Of course, I’m often told differently in Mormon circles–the prophesied text is often interpreted as The Book of Mormon, and its rejection by those to whom it has come as indicating the “fullness of the Gentiles,” with Gentiles variously interpreted as non-Mormons, or wealthy Mormons, or the Corporation of the President and its financial dealings, or whatever, depending on the day or what flavor of Mormonism (true-blue, fundamental, neo-, ex-) one happens to align themselves with. Regardless, the book is something prophetic. A prophecy of what? Of things yet to come; things to look forward to, or to be believed in. Something to catch attention and to develop faith, in other words. A preparatory text, guide, map, or plan that tells what to expect, and what promises were made, analogous to a musical overture, intended as introduction to a more extensive work.

 

Things never mentioned in this prophecy? No restoration of church or religion, or priesthood-as-magic-power, or its keys; no mention here of engagement in world wide missionary programs as part of gathering of first the living, then the dead, then of food before a frightful apocalyptic end of what appears to be an evil, evil world prior to the triumphal second coming of Jesus; nor of The Book of Mormon going to Lamanites-as-obvious-group. None of the people or places mentioned can be positively identified by anyone lacking firsthand knowledge today, which means nothing it says can possibly be used to validate anything tradition tells us about old or new worlds, or testaments, or Indians, Jews, Gentiles, tribes, the law or the prophets…think what we will. We might like to believe that as readers of The Book of Mormon we are able to develop histories, reconstruct cultures, and point to someone’s descendants even, but no such thing is possible given what we currently possess. Much is still sealed, and the right text(s) would be a great help. The gospel is, according to Jesus, a story; his story, and one which is still not completely known to us.

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53 thoughts on “GenCon14: “On Jesus’ Prophecy”

  1. awilson says:

    “A prophecy of what? Of things yet to come; things to look forward to, or to be believed in.”

    Always the future thing! That’s what keeps some religions going: that this future thing never arrives but shifts onto something else instead. “Numerologists” are endlessly scouring the Bible for the secret to when this or that thing will happen/arrive, and their day comes and goes and new numbers emerge from the confusion. Ever more complex readings.

    I remember reading in the Cultural History about how, like Y2K doom-sayers, the Saints found themselves outside of their own narrative and off of their own map. I wondered how a religion could survive such a thing. Probably it didn’t, but it began to rot and stink until it got tossed into the formaldehyde of cheap, mass-produced kitsch.

    What I am trying to figure out is whether or not yours is one of these “complex” readings meant primarily to breathe new life into something that has been on the ice for so long. Or is it a legitimate reading, that, if only I were less steeped in Mormon tradition, would come naturally to me?

    So many names, adjectives, pronouns, places, plates, voices, events to keep track of in unraveling meanings… Obviously it takes more effort to chew one’s own food than to be spoon-fed the regurgitated stuff, but when it requires more energy to consume the food than what it can hope to give back… well.

    Because it would be nice to have some direction, some future to walk toward instead of nothing or a Disneyland. But what? And why isn’t this stuff more simple? Is it just me, or is this prophecy obscure? It seems that the obscure is ripe for abuse, for authoritative voices to enter and helpfully “clarify” for us ignorants.

    1. DJL says:

      I’ve read somewhere that there are “keys of knowledge,” which probably don’t resemble keys of power and authority; rather, they unlock the hidden and obscure things. For example, what would happen if you knew that every time the Lord spoke of “this people” he was referring to a defined group (and you knew who that group was)? Wouldn’t that expand the story for you?

      It is therefore my opinion that it important to make observations like were made in this “talk.” Perhaps we aren’t familiar with the specific names, pronouns, voices, etc., but much like playing a game of Sodoku, once we can fit a few “key” numbers in the right spots then the rest starts to fall into place (with some effort). But if we aren’t familiar with the story, then we would have no way of recognizing a key of knowledge if we saw one.

      1. GA Jeaux says:

        Sure, DJL, so long as we can agree to not impose things we’ve imagined from tradition, and that we take care to not make the speaker contradict themselves, or whatever, simply because we think we see some key, then I’m good with “keys of knowledge.” Perhaps another less-loaded phrase for what we’re talking about is in order? How about “understanding”?

        And on that note, I would add that this book, and it seems we do put too much stock in calling it “scripture”, contains statements of its purposes, which at times seems overwhelmed by the writing of those who wrote it. No “special understanding” (aka mysterious key) seems necessary to read much of it, and to the extent that I don’t understand all of what everything is referring to, well, then I refuse to go looking for understanding among the halls of religion with its unverified imaginings about Hebrew, Greek, old/new worlds, Egypt, Jerusalem and their cultures, etc., and how they should “tie” into this book. I’d be willing to consider listening to someone who thinks they have understanding, but again, so long as they don’t start from the currently accepted religious Christian foundations.

      2. DJL says:

        I can’t say I know what these “keys” are, GA Jeaux, but if I did, I would certainly suggest them here. My guess is that coming to understand will never be an exact science (like an angel comes in a cloud and magically gives you an answer. I would be wary of such a thing, it can get you into big trouble). Along the way, we will surely insert some imagined things from tradition, because what else can we imagine at this point? Persistence will flush out the errors, though, when the contradictions become apparent.

        My belief is that the enlightenment comes with the Holy Ghost (ways of imagining things outside our traditions), but it’s still up to us to move the puzzle pieces around even if the keys have been handed.

        A mystery is simply something you don’t know yet. It’s not like it always has to remain that way.

    2. GA Jeaux says:

      You’ve said a mouthful, awilson. You express much of what I often think to myself about such things. Abuse is why I chose to prepare this piece, as I state at the end, and it’s possible I have only added to the confusion, and complexity.

      I cannot deny what appears to be a proliferation of names, words, etc. And I’m inclined to not worry so much about the “energy in, energy out” model used to categorize the reading. How would one measure such a thing, I guess is my question there. Over time, I should think, for starters. Regardless, no engine I know of is ever able to approach 100% energy efficiency, so why should this one? Better to look at what its attempting to drive, maybe, as you point out? Not all engines are meant to provide power to vehicles. The analogy of the vehicle and its requisite destination seems to be strong among us, to the extent that we force the issue by 1) naming our ships after their destinations in what appears to be an attempt to make the act of climbing aboard the ship the destination itself when, as you point out, no real destination is in site, and 2) when the vessel is made to go no where when we insist on its eternal anchoring to something. Just some thoughts, anyway.

      I’m not sure how religion, or numerology, or the Bible play into what I was trying to point out. Direction is nice, I guess. And for the record, I’m a fan of spending my time and money at Disneyland from time to time.

      Thanks for for taking the time to read, and for sharing your thoughts.

    3. Chuck says:

      Wasn’t a comment made yesterday regarding the simplification and its relation to inaccuracy of understanding, etc.? The notions of complexity seen in this post are introduced by subsequent comment on it, and not by the reading represented by it, and is unimportant to the point it is making, which I take to be that what has traditionally been said on the subject of this prophecy can’t be justified by the text itself, when read as one would read any other book.

    4. day2mon says:

      it seems pretty simple to me. One books refers to other books, and speakers reported in that existing book say they’ll provide its readers these other books. I cannot see what the problem is “the future,” I mean, anything not here is either there or in the past. If GA Jeaux were suggesting something vague set to a vague timeline, I’d be wary like you. But he put the reader on the timeline, and either he’s wrong, or the book is wrong.

      1. awilson says:

        Lol, you know how badly I want to concede this point? When you say that this seems simple to you, I have this reflex that wants to agree. Yup, easy! I get it now. I’m smart too. I could even tell that lie to myself, I think. But I don’t get it. This is not simple to me.

        A man loses his wife and is left alone to raise his unruly, stiff-necked daughter. After a time, he meets another woman and decides to marry her, but he knows of the jealous disposition and the meanness of his own daughter. So he re-marries in secret and leads a double-life, sparing the children of his new marriage from the tyranny of an evil half-sister. As the man nears death, he visits the children of this second marriage in private and speaks to them of their sibling, admitting that because of her anger and jealousy she has no knowledge of any of them. He also says that unless she asks him about it, he is not planning on revealing his secret to her. So he asks them a favor: When I am gone, will you please write down “these sayings” so that, in future, those who are born to my first daughter can know what happened? Then maybe when they receive these sayings (through whomever, Gentiles maybe), this family can be united in one, and they will know about me and why the family was broken like this.

        Why is it that when I come to “these sayings,” I feel like I’ve just read them? Why don’t I feel like I’m being referred to “other books” not present, containing additional details of that private visit? Am I being blinded by tradition, so that I can’t see the obvious reading? It seems to me that “these sayings” refers to the immediately preceding explanation of the family problems. Yes, it is apparent that “greater things” are in store–perhaps more details of that private visit–but they seem contingent on belief in the book of “these sayings,” which I am now reading, in order for them to come to light.

        Finding themselves in possession of “these sayings,” some people built up a church which is now dead and which has been replaced with a multiplier of hashtags and other trendy things. It’s latter days have come and gone, and where are the greater things promised to those who believed in those things?

        Well, we need a more complex reading. Rescue it from the dead church and its false traditions. A new timeline! Maybe if we chew the food differently, it will give us more nourishment. We’ll find that, ah, the thing we need–maybe a detailed account of father’s secret visit–is not yet come. It’s still future. The disillusioned may still find hope. We’ll still cling to this nourishment until that day, and then we’ll have something to try our faith so that we may have greater things. Or maybe not. What are we supposed to do with this Book of Mormon again? What’s the point of it? To know that it isn’t a map, but a map is coming? It’s a pointer to a pointer? How will it help us to live?

        (P.S. Isn’t GA Jeaux’s a vague timeline? I mean, I don’t see any dates or anything. Personally, I’m wary of specific timelines. People who have them start drinking Kool Aid.)

      2. day2mon says:

        Well, concede it then! Done.

        There’s nothing odd about a text referring the reader to a second text. Do we develop machines to draw out that second text? Cargo Cults? Then, I would say, the errors have persisted which are probably, if I was writing the first text, the same reason I’d not send out the second text. Why bother writing a second one, when the first one is used to do terrible things to people? Is this fantasy complex or simple? What does it matter which word we use? Can I read the BoM as pointing us (as a map, itself) toward other texts? Yes, and I think it can be shown as a reasonable, text-derived interpretation. Is it strange that one map might change our perspective, and as a result, we can find other directions? I don’t think so. Having taught college for some time, a few students have “seen the map,” and seen their world differently as a result. Is it all fantasy or exercises of power? Prove it.

        “These sayings” can refer to the immediately preceding “sayings,” or could refer to the text mentioned in the immediately preceding text. Given we have no strict requirement to read one way or the other, across the entire text, anyway; and must develop our interpretation of “these sayings” anew, at every time we have that phrase, we have no obligation to give a restrictive reading, except as an expression of our sense of forsakenness, perhaps. Like, “we aren’t getting anything else, because we are shit” sort of self-loathing. Maybe we are just that, but admitting it doesn’t seem to be the first step to getting better. It seems like the last step in a two-century long fail. Let’s admit we’ve screwed things up, and that this wasn’t a surprise to folks with greater knowledge. Presumably they would’ve planned for said screw-up, and for some way to fix what we’ve done. Assumptions? They don’t want us to fail, and to continue being shit. They love us. Can I “ergo” my way into a future book, from that? Maybe not, but I can’t “ergo” my way into, “we are lost forever,” either. If we are free agents, I will create what I think is best, and if it is joined in by folks with more creative insight than I have, perhaps those ideas are not really mine, but are living “in the air,” and need only believers. Am I going to create “these sayings” just because I feel like they must come? Of course not.

      3. awilson says:

        day2mon, I appreciate this commentary. I’m afraid I will need to struggle with the book for some time before I begin to understand it for myself enough to concede in an honest way. The Book of Mormon talks to me through Sunday school manuals and footnotes and long tradition. The thing is, I don’t like that tradition. It doesn’t light me up at all. I read the book, and I hate it.

        I’ve learned that hate for it, to treat it with so much indifference, and now somebody is telling me that there is something else. I might have had it wrong all along.

        It’s like stealing my religion. Do you understand? I resist it. You and Jeaux are ruiners of faith–the faith of those who have come to believe that the Book of Mormon is worthless. So I say: Maybe you guys are like the readers of Kabbalah who came up with a date for the End, and finding it past, came up with another one to be disappointed in. Maybe that suspicion is a defense of mine, or maybe it’s true. I hope to find out somehow.

        I love that you can create what you think is best from this, and I hate that I can’t do that. I have this Book of Mormon same as you and GA Jeaux, only I can’t make it work for me. Well, not yet and maybe never. Maybe I am only reached by other books, unsullied by corporate churches. If it matters, shouldn’t it be easier than this? How will others have any hope of seeing those ideas living in the air, in need of believers? We can’t be told; we have to see them.

      4. day2mon says:

        Yeah, one must exorcise those demons of the corporate church. The BoM can be used for this magic, at least, it worked for me. I just decided they were wrong, for various reasons, and so their reading must also be incorrect. Then, of course, I had to write five volumes to make my way out of the quandary, and into some firm ground I feel is really “there” in the text, and definitely not “there” in the corporate church. I also felt I had to explain, or account for, the stability of the corporate/correlated reading, so that others could see, using conventional reason, why I was deconstructing as I did.

    5. day2mon says:

      awilson, it seems like a general complaint about What Isn’t.

      Maybe in some future (future state, I mean) there will only be What Is, and we won’t have to worry, guess, fail, surprise ourselves, and so on. Maybe the thought of the Future, What Isn’t available to our memory, is inherent in What Is Now?

      As you are concerned with Now, that past-future void that Is, then it seems we cannot get away from Past or Future, and so, maybe refusals to move Now toward a Past (i.e., Restorationism) or Future (Cargo Cult?) is what I’d call a death. We’ve tried to go-back-to-start creation of Now, and failed in one way. Yet the move, as you seem to say, is a misreading that nonetheless bears fruit. Is hope for the Future a similar error? We will get fruit, nonetheless.

      The vagueness or unraveling you seem to despair of, is just a way of saying, ‘some things are not transparent to my mind,’ as if anything ever is, or was, or shall be… All things are signs, as you seem to understand, and require interpretation if they are to live as signs. I agree, of course, that when someone steps in and says, “That is a sign of X,” we should keep an eye on that man. But not all interpretations given to others are of this sort. Some are given as suggestions, to be refracted or whatever through another mind, where it touches points not alien to that mind, to minds such as yours.

      Does the suggestion, say, of future books, call out a belief, a belief in something not present in form, but only in the Idea? These future books are present, in some sense, although perhaps not quite present in the way other books are thought to be present. Yet, as you admit, you’ve read the BoM a hundred times, but never read it. These books are real, though they are not yet entirely actual, perhaps, in the way that one might copy it using modern technology.

      1. awilson says:

        Yes, thanks for this. It reminded me of something important that I often lose the idea of. What if we are moving toward a kind of Cargo Cult? That would seem to be a wrong thing, but that isn’t the point. Life is movement, as you say. I reject orthodoxy on the grounds that we intuit rather than know what is good fruit or right fruit. We will get fruit, nonetheless, you remind me.

        I am convinced that, if there should come a day of judgment, no plan will be produced in order to see whether or not the soul figured out how to build a very specific suspension bridge with a blindfold on and a host of voices shouting contradictory things. Just like I don’t have plans for my own kids yet hope they should find their purpose. If one of them should hear some voice calling them to build an airfield, I would be proud if it were a good one, even should no planes come to it.

        There has to be the one voice though, that cuts through. You have one speaking to you out of the Book of Mormon, a real Book of Mormon. I only have the actual book, and I want to go home and kick it.

      2. day2mon says:

        awilson,
        sorry I am slow to reply. No, I don’t think we (me, and others) are moving toward a new cargo cult. We can hope, change the way we live and read, and so on, without expecting it to be a magic that brings down the cargo. Not because the cargo is said to come in the always distant future, however. But because we can look at existing cargo cults, and learn to not make their mistakes. Doesn’t mean we won’t, but we shouldn’t. It must be intuitively felt to live in such a (new) manner, rather than the following of instructions to get to an end, as you say.

      3. Awaketozion says:

        This conversation between day2mon and awilson reminds me of 2 Nephi 27-29. Read these chapters together, and substitute day2mon for the “man” and awilson for the “learned.” It fits so well that it almost makes me want to throw out the proposed Martin Harris fulfillment.

        awilson is learned because she knows institutional religion does not produce life. I think the Book of Mormon author is just asking you to give the words a chance–a spot in the soil of your heart. Don’t reject these words just because “all [churches have] gone out of the way; they [all churches] have become corrupted.

        The Book of Mormon is a sealed book. Only the unlearned [sorry day2mon] will be able to read it. “The learned shall not read them, for they have rejected them, and I am able to do mine own work; wherefore thou shalt read the words which I shall give unto thee.”

        And, here we have again The Lord saying, I can do my own work, and it will be great and marvelous.

        The Book of Mormon is a sealed book. Believe it or not, it does contain a revelation from God, from the beginning of the world to the ending thereof.

        But to have the eyes and ears to see or hear it, you have to be unlearned enough to receive “the words which I shall give unto thee.”

        One might be able to see the end from the beginning if one views Lehi’s awakening typifying Adam’s realization of his nakedness. Abinadi typifies Christ in the meridian of time, and Christ’s visit and establishment of a Zion as the millennial reign. You might enjoy all the other jewels in between if you will just be unlearned about how you read it.

        And these statements are not from someone who understands the Book of Mormon. They are just from someone who wants to be unlearned when reading it. I want the words which God shall give me.

      4. day2mon says:

        I’m fine with unlearned. I do not think, however, the Book of Mormon contains a revelation from God, from the beginning of the world to the ending thereof. That may be found in other books, but I can’t see in the BoM.

      5. DJL says:

        So now the Book of Mormon is that book which has the revelation from the beginning to the end (all typified with the stories told therein)? And Daymon is which character again? The ‘learned’ or the ‘man’? And the world isn’t unlearned enough to unlock the embedded symbols which you have access to because you admit that you don’t understand it?

        Well, watch this… I can put a string of words together and make a declarative statement too. But don’t believe me just because I say it. Let’s look at the fruit: Daymon has literally spent years working to unravel the cultural traditions which mar the Book of Mormon. He has not done it for “praise of the world,” or money… In fact I dare say that it has impacted his career in a way which hinders future opportunities for himself. He has offered his books for free to anyone serious about learning.

        I will be a witness that his work has cleared the path for us to start approaching the Book of Mormon in new and creative ways… Enabling even this conversation. I know there are other witnesses, too. As far as I can see, he has hearkened to the counsels of God… Walking a mile with those who seek it.

        Lest you think I am boarding the Good Ship Daymon, that is not the case. I am pointing out the fruits. Where are your fruits? On what basis are we to believe your claims of unlocking the book and understanding all the hidden “jewels” that we who are not unlearned enough can’t see? Just because you say it’s so? What is to stop me from labelling you as the man dressed in white robes which led Lehi into the dark wasteland? Couldn’t you admitting that you don’t understand be likened to one who leads another into darkness? (The blind leading the blind).

        I respect that everyone has an opinion, but I think we all should be careful when those cross the line into accusations. At the very least, you should be able to back up your statements with a little evidence.

      6. awilson says:

        Easy there, DJL. 😉 I think the only thing awaketozion is accusing day2mon of is having “unlearned” the things that the institution has imposed on the Book of Mormon. On the other hand, I have “learned” and received my readings/interpretations from others. That’s how the Book of Mormon is sealed: when someone else reads it for you. Awaketozion has made a useful contribution in pointing that out.

        I too appreciate the efforts of Daymon and GA Jeaux, and your own efforts, in unraveling much confusion.

      7. day2mon says:

        its the gremlin of text communication…little demons speak into our ears, giving tones to other’s words they may not have carried when typed. no worries.

      8. awaketozion says:

        Yeah, I only apologized because I didn’t want to label Daymon as unlearned. We all know he is a man of many letters, uh… words, and degrees. I was laughing last night at the irony, i.e., an academic acting the part of the unlearned.

        You are absolutely right to say that my reading of the Book of Mormon is absurd. But the Book of Mormon speaks to me and sometimes even in a declarative voice. It’s kinda like taking directions from a curious ball with spindles and words on it.

        It is trying to take me to a land of promise, but it only works when I believe God is speaking through it. I make no claim as to the correctness of my liahona. Maybe it is a path tailored uniquely to me.

      9. day2mon says:

        like I said, unlearned is fine, it being a relative term, and we having no starting point to refer to. I would say my approach is generally more literal, less figurative than you’ve spelled out. There is a land of promise, somewhere in the Americas. It isn’t your promised land, however, as it has been promised to another already. You must work within the story already promised, or the book has no purpose. Can it be a mirror, a crystal ball, whatever? Of course, so can the Bible, Twilight, Calvin and Hobbes. But it tells a story about gods, humans, angels, and so on. A “one-off” reading of some passage is dangerous or foolish, or both. Some may say my reading is just pulled out of nowhere, and anyone can do the same. They neglect to see that the reading I give, eventually in volume five, is stretched across as much of the text as I can find, and attempts to answers existing puzzles without proposing new ones in some sort of whack-a-mole interpretive game.

  2. Awaketozion says:

    The Book of Mormon repeatedly promises additional scripture. Whether it be the Small Plates of Nephi, the Brass Plates, or the writings of the Bother of Jared if you’re not looking for these writings (and their associated gifts/covenants/promises) then you’re probably trying to be willfully blind to the messages of the Book of Mormon.

    Are we trying to meet the conditions required to bring these writings forth? Will it take a servant (i.e., a priest) to accomplish the work? Or are these writings in the care of angels who show them to those who have gained the necessary faith by sacrifice?

    My faith filled opinion: the only thing that prevents the writings from coming to light is our own ignorance of them.

    When I first read the Book of Mormon, I thought that these additional writings would be dividers that separate the wheat from the tares. But maybe the separator is simply the *desire* to have these words. A desire strong enough to motivate one to action.

    Imagine a GA in conference admitting that we lack the fullness of the gospel because we don’t even have these words, which our own canon decrees shall come forth (based on our own faith/desires). That is a GA I would listen to.

  3. day2mon says:

    I also want to make it clear that I am not writing these talks under some covert voice. I say this not because I wish to distance myself from these talks, but because I don’t want people quoting me, when the credit should be given to GA Joe and GA Jeaux, and others. But I’d prefer no citation, of course, it being a month set aside for not caring who said it.

  4. Golem Joe! says:

    GA Jeaux (you cheese-eating-surrender-monkey!),
    How can the greater words/works of Jesus come out to the gentiles if the gentiles are under condemnation for their lack of faith is demonstrated by their treatment of the Bom, and greater faith than that which produced the BoM is needed to bring the greater works forth? Isn’t the faithlessness of the gentiles indicated in the prophecy? Isn’t that unbelief/rejection of the fullness given as the reason for their rejection by the Father, who commands Jesus to tell it?

      1. awaketozion says:

        Here is more of Ether 4:

        4 Behold, I have written upon these plates the very things which the brother of Jared saw; and there never were greater things made manifest than those which were made manifest unto the brother of Jared.

        5 Wherefore the Lord hath commanded me to write them; and I have written them. And he commanded me that I should seal them up; and he also hath commanded that I should seal up the interpretation thereof; wherefore I have sealed up the interpreters, according to the commandment of the Lord.

        6 For the Lord said unto me: They shall not go forth unto the Gentiles until the day that they shall repent of their iniquity, and become clean before the Lord.

        7 And in that day that they shall exercise faith in me, saith the Lord, even as the brother of Jared did, that they may become sanctified in me, then will I manifest unto them the things which the brother of Jared saw, even to the unfolding unto them all my revelations, saith Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Father of the heavens and of the earth, and all things that in them are.

        I know it is a little of topic because we have been talking about the writings contained on the Small Plates of Nephi, but I believe all of these writings, which the Book of Mormon foretells will come forth will come forth by and through the Gentiles that have repented and come clean before the Lord.

      2. day2mon says:

        The writings of the Brother of Jared (three distinct ones) are not promised to anyone. The interpreters are said to come forth, under the conditions set out.

      3. day2mon says:

        Not necessarily so. You could “use” the interpreters (whatever that means) without having said book. In fact, having the book would seem to make the interpreters superfluous, potentially.

    1. awaketozion says:

      Yea, he that repenteth and exerciseth faith, and bringeth forth good works, and prayeth continually without ceasing—unto such it is given to know the mysteries of God; yea, unto such it shall be given to reveal things which never have been revealed; yea, and it shall be given unto such to bring thousands of souls to repentance, even as it has been given unto us to bring these our brethren to repentance.

    2. awaketozion says:

      1 And now behold, I say unto you that when the Lord shall see fit, in his wisdom, that these sayings shall come unto the Gentiles according to his word, then ye may know that the covenant which the Father hath made with the children of Israel, concerning their restoration to the lands of their inheritance, is already beginning to be fulfilled.

      2 And ye may know that the words of the Lord, which have been spoken by the holy prophets, shall all be fulfilled; and ye need not say that the Lord delays his coming unto the children of Israel.

    3. GA Jeaux says:

      Golem Joe!,
      I’ve head of shit-eating-grins, and code-monkeys, but never of cheese-eating-surrender-monkeys…
      Which way would you have it–faith as something demonstrated by a people in possession of a book, or faith as something “produced” by possession of that book? Is it possible for a book to magically produce something called faith in such a way as to not be demonstrable based on its treatment? If so, then how? If not, then what’s the problem? You tie many things together in the form of questions, as if simply asking for clarification of something I said, or as if giving a pop-quiz. No, I don’t see definite faithlessness being prophesied.

      1. Golem Joe says:

        I figure you’re French because of your particular spelling of Jeaux…and the fact that I can’t understand what you say. So I resorted to hurling an epithet that I picked up from a certain imaginary Groundskeeper who shall go nameless due to the theme of the month being, “I don’t care who said it.”

        I am trying to decipher your decipherment of my question. I’m not executing that well due to my insufferable lack of understanding of your use of language.

        If the Gentiles in the 3 Nephi scripture -that you referenced in the original post- are rejected, isn’t that because of a lack of faith? When we do anything that results in our condemnation by God, isn’t that a result of some lack of faith on our part?

  5. pmccombs says:

    There are a couple of radical ideas in this talk that I happen to agree with and that aren’t getting much attention in the comments. I don’t know if that is because everyone is in agreement, or if we are just distracted by other things. I’d like to point them out:

    #1) “…Gentiles variously interpreted as non-Mormons, or wealthy Mormons, or the Corporation of the President and its financial dealings, or whatever, depending on the day or what flavor of Mormonism (true-blue, fundamental, neo-, ex-) one happens to align themselves with.”

    I think interpretation-by-alignment is an unfortunate practice. I see the Book of Mormon as poetry, and who knows what truths could possibly be conveyed even in its misreadings? Only, don’t speak these as if some author had meant it that way. It loses its poetry when people start speaking with authority, and folks start to line up along party lines.

    #2) “No restoration of church or religion, or priesthood-as-magic-power, or its keys; no mention here of engagement in world wide missionary programs as part of gathering of first the living, then the dead, then of food before a frightful apocalyptic end of what appears to be an evil, evil world prior to the triumphal second coming of Jesus… We might like to believe that as readers of The Book of Mormon we are able to develop histories, reconstruct cultures, and point to someone’s descendants even, but no such thing is possible given what we currently possess.”

    We might indeed develop histories and such, from misreadings or otherwise, but I would say that these can’t be _justified_ by what we currently possess. I think we could be instructed by imaginary histories and cultures, but to project them with certainty onto reality is to invite disappointment.

    Stranger still are the priesthoods (which are the end-products of priestcrafts), temple ordinances, programs, and so forth. I mean, I’m all for stretching poetry, but it’s as if the Book of Mormon and the institution that presumes to claim it are cut from entirely different cloth. I’m sometimes surprised that the two things have anything to do with each other.

    I wonder, though: Instead of a timeline populated with potential histories and future-histories maybe worth anticipating–and setting aside all of the nonsense baggage heaped on it by a vain and corrupt institution–what can the Book of Mormon tell us about that strange, unmeasurable increment where the beginning and the end join together into the mysterious and fleeting “now”? That is where the “I am”, the being, emerges; where life happens. What does the poetry tell you about it? I am still trying to get it to speak to me.

    1. GA Jeaux says:

      I will refrain from sarcasm, and wittiness at this point, pmccombs, and speak as honestly as I can. In past I have always been of the ilk that heard the word “poetic” and assumed that it referred to someone who thought themselves quite clever; the word always sounded “mysterious” to me, or if it didn’t refer to goofy-ass limerics, probably referred to very mysterious things indeed, and I was not the guy to buy into mysterious explanations of things. That is, until recently, when I decided that perhaps I was making some assumptions and should give it a chance. And I further admit I have no clue what someone means when they use that word. It sounds like what the BoM is to you, “poetry” is to me. Say the word, and I imagine a big black hole. So, I’m afraid this essay is all I have to offer, and I would rather have hoped that it could have been read as what I presented it to be…a reading, and not a sign of a movement, a rallying point, or of my being particularly smart or spiritual. And I apologize if its not poetic enough (not sarcasm intended here). Here’s a chance to help a friend out, and to maybe help me see what a poetic reading might look like.

      1. pmccombs says:

        Well, I think probably I am not writing clearly and that you mistake my meaning, since I was attempting by my comment to provide some support for the idea of interpretation that is _not_ based in flavor-of-the-day Mormonism, nor in one’s alignment to some movement. I think it’s one of the most important ideas I gleaned from the talk.

        So, “poetry,” or that mysterious black whole you mention: You never know what is in there. For me, even misreadings could be useful so long as people deserve them and aren’t simply signed up for membership in the club that produces them, claiming them to be authoritative.

        I’m not saying that yours is a misreading, of course, nor a sign of any movement. I’m simply pointing out the “poesis” of a unique reading. It’s not about rhyming or anything like that, it is _making_ something–hopefully not a movement, as that would be counterproductive. But, when you have your own reading, you are making something, and that is poesis. So your reading is plenty poetic for me, because it has been earned. Does that make sense?

  6. Awaketozion says:

    On point #1…

    If the scriptures are calling a sinner to repentance, then I am that sinner. I think it is better to err on the side of repentance than to be stuck swallowed up in pride. Thus, I am a Gentile. Yes, a Book of Mormon-believing, baptised, endowed, sealed, Latter-day Saint Gentile. And I’m happy to admit I am in dire need of some repentance. Enough that maybe me (or my seed because I want to qualify for the same covenant that was given to Lehi) will be able to assist in building Zion. Only a few Gentiles will believe in the Lord’s great and marvelous work. Compare 1 Nephi 14 with 3 Nephi 21.

    1 Nephi 14:1 And it shall come to pass, that if the Gentiles shall hearken unto the Lamb of God in that day that he shall manifest himself unto them in word, and also in power, in very deed, unto the taking away of their stumbling blocks

    1 Nephi 14:7 For the time cometh, saith the Lamb of God, that I will work a great and a marvelous work among the children of men; a work which shall be everlasting, either on the one hand or on the other—either to the convincing of them unto peace and life eternal, or unto the deliverance of them to the hardness of their hearts and the blindness of their minds unto their being brought down into captivity, and also into destruction, both temporally and spiritually, according to the captivity of the devil, of which I have spoken.

    I don’t think it is a coincidence that Christ uses the same words, great and marvelous in his sermon at Bountiful. This sermon was meant to be read with Nephi, Isaiah, Jacob, Mormon, and Moroni. They all talked about it!

    3 Nephi 21: 9 For in that day, for my sake shall the Father work a work, which shall be a great and a marvelous work among them; and there shall be among them those who will not believe it, although a man shall declare it unto them.

    In fact, I think the great and marvelous work IS the Gentile humiliation and subsequent repentance to the point of bringing forth of these additional ancient writings/testimonies of Christ.

    With respect to point #2…

    I think Christ does talk about establishing a church…

    3 Nephi 21:22

    But if they [the Gentiles] will repent and hearken unto my words, and harden not their hearts, I will establish my church among them, and they shall come in unto the covenant and be numbered among this the remnant of Jacob, unto whom I have given this land for their inheritance;

    However, the text does not say that the church needs to be organized under the laws of man. The is something different about this church…

    1 Nephi 14: 14 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld the power of the Lamb of God, that it descended upon the saints of the church of the Lamb, and upon the covenant people of the Lord, who were scattered upon all the face of the earth; and they were armed with righteousness and with the power of God in great glory.

    3 Nephi 21:25 And then shall the power of heaven come down among them; and I also will be in the midst.

    1. pmccombs says:

      Well, I’m not looking for any covenants nor to swear oaths. I want to keep my commitments simple, you know?

      A man once pointed out to me that my country had no national book. Then he started talking about having a personal canon, a shelf of books that matter to me because they have the power to change my life.

      It’s been curious to me that the Book of Mormon has never managed to make it onto that shelf. I’ve read it a dozen times and yet not at all, if you take my meaning.

      I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s because the Book of Mormon has been turned into an instruction manual, and people become instruction readers and instruction tellers and instruction copy-pasters. I’m so bored by that. It’s just, meh. I don’t care about instructions; that’s how intractable I am.

      I deal with instructions _all_day_long_. I tell them to computers. Are the scriptures instructions? Then why have a soul.

      1. Awaketozion says:

        I like to think of the Book of Mormon of what can or might be. It is a vision. A story of what is possible. A sort of motivational speech. The instructions are things like have faith, repent, believe in Christ–all generic and vanilla enough for you to create your own flavor.

        Are you the one that cares enough about these lost records to bring them out of the dust?

        Mormon 9:21. Behold, I say unto you that whoso believeth in Christ, doubting nothing, whatsoever he shall ask the Father in the name of Christ it shall be granted him; and this promise is unto all, even unto the ends of the earth.

        Maybe I am naive and my faith is all in vain. But if I am delusional, why should I also half-a** my delusion? It makes no sense for me to believe in God, but deny the fact that He is a God of miracles.

        I’m sorry for being an instruction copy-paster. It is difficult to cut up scriptures like that, but it is harder to convey the vision that the scriptures have built up in my mind. It would take the whole book to communicate it.

  7. Tiani says:

    Again, I appreciate this “talk,” and the ensuing conversation. Kind of tough when you have a Living experience with the Book of Mormon, wherein nearly all of the interpretations you’ve been taught all of your life are “debunked,” and you realize that it’s talking about something really quite different, and it’s beautiful and exhilarating . . . until you listen to actual General Conference, or face some other reality, and realize that the institution isn’t interested in knowing about or moving toward what you’ve discovered, and are on a path seemingly opposite. And then you run into so disaffected who, because of the stumbling block, have lost all faith in anything resembling any type of branch or root. It’s hard not to just rot and decay. So it’s nice to be reminded of the Life that’s there, and the sure anchor of Hope.

  8. Edwin says:

    GA Jeaux: Jacob, the brother of Nephi, prophesies (see 2 Nephi9:2) about the Jews being “restored to the true church and fold of God;” So even though Christ doesn’t include it in His prophecy, it is included in the Book of Mormon…

    1. GA Jeaux says:

      Thanks, Edwin. I had rather thought that Jesus was speaking of “Jews” in this prophecy when he spoke of the remnant of the seed of those in Jerusalem, as opposed to the traditional LDS church as Israel, the Book of Mormon, and “Lamanites”.

      1. day2mon says:

        I’d say no, nobody should be looking for a restoration of a church. A church will be established, and this church apparently exists currently, but mostly in places other than planet earth, it seems. No restoration, only establishment. Who should look for it? Nobody, I suppose. It’s not like a secret society leaving ciphers for the true believers to decode. I guess you’ll know it when you see it, or you won’t.

  9. awaketozion says:

    Where in the text does it say an ancient preserved text? I’m mostly getting that the greater thing would be made manifest.

    “Behold, because of their belief in me,” saith the Father, “and because of the unbelief of you, O house of Israel, in the latter day shall the truth come unto the Gentiles, that the fulness of these things shall be made known unto them. But wo,” saith the Father, “unto the unbelieving of the Gentiles.”

    “and if it shall so be that they shall believe these things then shall the greater things be made manifest unto them.”

    Could they not have been made manifest to the Gentiles if Christ could have come to Nauvoo to offer the covenant of Zion? Does it even require a written text?

    The purpose of building the Nauvoo temple was to receive the ‘fulness.’ I understand the gospel to be individual salvation. Baptism, Holy Ghost, etc. until you are in the presence of Christ. The fulness of the gospel I associate with the salvation of a community… Zion. Christ dwells among a group of people. That was offered by The Lord through JS. It appears to me that it was rejected in both Kirkland and Nauvoo.

    Think of what we would have become if it was accepted. 200 years of Zion. Now, since the Gentiles are ripe, most of them will be destroyed.

    However, a few Gentiles, much less than there could have been if there was a Zion established, will now be given the responsibility to salvage what’s left.

    1. awaketozion says:

      And these few Gentiles will only be able to do it when the greater things are manifested unto them. Maybe, Christ, in a temple offering Zion’s covenant.

    2. day2mon says:

      “Salvage what’s left”. Do you know how vain and foolish that sounds? You are a creation of their errors, and you believe you can discern better than they, what is to be kept and what discarded?

      A man talked a glowing personage, who told him everyone was wrong: all Christians, their creeds abominations, and so on. Let’s start there. Toss everything out. Then go back and toss everything out. Rinse and Repeat. You have nothing to salvage. Moreover, this path of restoration of Zion has as its end point, Zion, a term without definition independent of those walking the path. Anything could be called Zion, therefore.

      This fool’s hope for a picking through the rubbish to find a key to Zion is no different than that proposed by Campbellites, church of christers, and early Mormons. And Christians, and…

      Maybe God doesn’t bury the pearls in a pile of shit? Maybe the shit is just shit?

      Can you eat it again, after it has been digusted and excreted by early forebears? Of course. will it nourish you? Perhaps.

      I think we have the same interests, and desires. But our paths are very different. You deal in words and ideas that have been condemned, by that glowing being, by D&C 84, and by my own reading of history given in the Cult.Hist.

      In answer to your questions, I’d say:
      No, Christ didn’t offer a covenant of Zion at Nauvoo for anyone even to reject. the “fullness” of the gospel is not a bigger pile of things we like. If “Gospel” has any meaning, it probably means, “good story.” the fullness of the good story is not zion, whatever that means.

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