Over the years I have harped on the literal physical return of Joseph Smith and the fact that he provided an intercessory atonement offering for his generation and their descendants.
In doing this I have provided scriptures from the four standard works and demonstrated how all of the ancient statutes in the Old Testament are prophetic because they represent “enactments of future events”.
Additionally I have provided unpublished revelations, statements from Joseph Smith, patriarchal blessings, snippets from early hymns, and sermons of early general authorities, etc., to scripturally substantiate and prophetically document the fact that this doctrine of an intercessory servant, returning from the dead is a legitimate, recurring theme that has been showing up in prophetic narratives for thousands of years over the place for those that have awakened and are watching for it.
Despite all of this documentation I am still considered delusional by many.
All I can say is that it is really really fun being delusional.
Particularly because it is impossible to make sense out of modern revelation and the history of the church and of prophecy without understanding this prophetic event that seems to be the center hub for interconnecting and making sense out of everything else.
The fun thing about being delusional and passionate regarding this particular topic is that you can conjure up supporting evidence just about anywhere you look, including the Dead Sea Scrolls.
In this post I am going to give a brief interpretation of a translation that has been given of an ancient text from the dead sea scrolls.
One of my favorite books is one called “The dead sea scrolls uncovered” by Eisenman and Wise.
Early in the book the the two authors cannot agree with each other on the sequence of a somewhat confusing prophetic snippet about a latter day servant that appears to be killed. The narrative seems to be saying that the servant returns from the dead to continue his mission. One author interpreted it that way, the other found that interpretation too preposterous and therefore assumed that one part of the story must have happened previous to when it appears to have happened.
Those are the kinds of prophecies that actually begin to take on significantly more clarity when all of the other research that I have made reference to is used for context.
I may do a commentary on that portion of their book in an upcoming post just to demonstrate how an otherwise very confusing and seemingly disjointed storyline actually makes perfect sense when it is supported by independent prophetic narratives..
There are numerous gems in this book that need to be discussed, but today I am going to focus on a different part of the book. The portion of text I will be addressing is found on pages 144-145.
You will notice in the translation below, focusing on the underlined portion, that the narrative speaks about a servant of the Lord that has great wisdom and-
“he will make atonement for all the children of his generation“.
Notice that his atonement offering is limited to his generation.
In my opinion, it is unlikely that this narrative is speaking of Jesus Christ as he offered an atonement for everyone the ever lived on this earth from all generations and his atonement even extended to those living on other earths. The servant being spoken of here is offering an atonement for a limited class of people, just as Moses did. Namely, those that live in the generation that he lived in.
The text provides additional clues that differentiate this mortal high priest and his human atonement offering for his generation, from Christ’s, atonement which was not a human atonement, but rather an infinite and eternal one. (See Alma 34: 10)
After making the atonement, the text seamlessly notes that “He will be sent to all the sons of his generation“.
This provides an interesting reversal from the prophetic narrative about Christ.
Christ was sent to the world and then atoned for them. This scenario has the servant doing the atonement and then he was sent to those he had atoned for.
He is SENT after the offering. To the SONS of his generation as opposed to the “children” of his generation as indicated in the previous verse, noting a distinction.
Ok, what I am getting out of this, based on my bias from 30 years of studying countless Davidic Servant prophecies, is, he atones, dies, and then returns from the dead. Then he is sent to the posterity of those that lived in his generation.
“His word shall be as the word of heaven and his teaching shall be according to the will of God.”
It appears to me that this is not referring exclusively to some translation of a book he brings forth, it is referring to the continuous flow of revelation that comes out of his mouth:
“His word, shall be as the word of heaven”
His revelatory utterances create a canon of scripture. This theme is remarkably similar to some of the O. T. prophecies covered in my article about the atonement statute prophecy.
According to this prophecy in the scrolls, when the amazing intercessory servant returns it will be during a time of darkness but the fire that he kindles will light up the “four corners of the earth“.
Do those keywords ring any bells?
“And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.” Isaiah 11:12
When his second ministry begins, there will be many lies about him.
His enemies will “invent stories about him“.
“they will say shameful things about him“.
“he will overthrow his evil generation“.
Notice the use of the word “arises” which often refers to some kind of resurrection or physical return from death according to the translators;
“When he arises there will be lying and violence and the people will wander astray in his days and be CONFOUNDED.”
Notice also in the above snippet, that people will wander astray AFTER he returns, not just before!
It appears that people that sin against the light now, will continue to sin against it when the Lords servant returns and the light grows even brighter.
Ultimately they will be “confounded” by the servant.
Does that word confound in the above translation of the Dead Sea Scrolls ring a bell in any of the Book of Mormon or modern revelation narratives relevant to Joseph Smith?
Here is a snippet from the “Joseph the Seer” narrative in the BofM:
“And thus prophesied Joseph, saying: Behold, that seer will the Lord bless; and they that seek to destroy him shall be confounded; for this promise, which I have obtained of the Lord, of the fruit of my loins, shall be fulfilled. Behold, I am sure of the fulfilling of this promise;” (2 Nephi 3:14)
Here is a commandment/prophecy that had a dual fulfillment. Yes, Joseph and Sidney did go forth for a season debating and confounding their enemies back at that time, but ultimately the following commandment has a dual application. This will also take place when they return:
“Wherefore, confound your enemies; call upon them to meet you both in public and in private; and inasmuch as ye are faithful their shame shall be made manifest.
Wherefore, let them bring forth their strong reasons against the Lord.
Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you—there is no weapon that is formed against you shall prosper;
And if any man lift his voice against you he shall be confounded in mine own due time.
Wherefore, keep my commandments; they are true and faithful. Even so. Amen.” (D&C 71:7-10)
The following petition given in the dedicatory prayer asks for the Lords help in confounding all of those that had spread lying reports about Joseph, as of March 1836, prior to the secret appearance of Christ in the Kirtland Temple.
“We ask thee, Holy Father, to confound, and astonish, and to bring to shame and confusion, all those who have spread lying reports abroad, over the world, against thy servant or servants, if they will not repent, when the everlasting gospel shall be proclaimed in their ears;
And that all their works may be brought to naught, and be swept away by the hail, and by the judgments which thou wilt send upon them in thine anger, that there may be an end to lyings and slanders against thy people.
For thou knowest, O Lord, that thy servants have been innocent before thee in bearing record of thy name, for which they have suffered these things.” (D&C 109:29-31)
I suspect my articles on church history would look more credible and would gain more traction than they do if I would leave out all of the mystical, metaphysical stuff about Joseph offering up an atonement offering and returning from the dead to finish the work he has been commanded to do, but I am not hear to tickle anybodies ears or to seek anyone’s approval. I am simply rehearsing what the Lord God is saying in the scriptures to the degree of light that I have been given.
Besides, I am not courting scholars and intellectuals. I am looking for people of faith.
Being delusional is great fun.
It beats the heck out of cognitive dissonance.
Praise God for the countless prophetic testimonies that sustain my delusions.