LDS apologist John Gee has written an article at the Mormon Interpreter about the Song of the Vineyard that is contained in Isaiah 5.
It is titled:
“Not Just Sour Grapes: Jesus’s Interpretation of Isaiah’s Song of the Vineyard”
I have not harassed those folks over there for months now and I know they must really miss my comments so I attempted to post a comment a few hours ago.
It is looking like they may begin blocking my comments again so I figured I would simply post it on this blog.
After all, my readers are much more intelligent, well informed and good looking than theirs anyway, so there.
Here is the comment that I posted. (I am assuming you all have Isaiah 5 memorized which is why I am not posting it for context. If that is not the case, please dust your sticks off and read chapter 5 of Isaiah BEFORE reading my comments below
In your article you said, “Isaiah’s Song of the Vineyard takes up the first seven verses of the fifth chapter. It is a sad song, detailing the problems in Israel toward the end of the eighth century BC.
While it may very well be detailing problems in Israel toward the end of the eighth century, it is important to remember the words of Christ that he spake shortly after his crucifixion, regarding the words of Isaiah. “all things that he spake have been and shall be”
All of his words had a dual fulfillment, about the past and the future from when he spake to the Nephites in 3rd Nephi. (3 Nephi 23 :3)
This means that there has been, or will be, a repeat of this narrative in the latter days.
While we can certainly learn from the mistakes of ancient Israel, perhaps learning from the mistakes of modern Israel would be even more beneficial to us.
Modern revelation reveals that the saints of the LDS restoration represented modern Israel. (D&C 103:17)
If we view the tragic events of the Kirtland era, we might find some interesting parallels with what happened to ancient Israel per the song of the vineyard and additional commentary provided by Isaiah in Chapter 5;
For instance, the song notes the Lords vineyard built on a hill.
Kirtland is located south of the lake shore plain of Lake Erie and is situated on the higher elevations of the Allegheny Plateau.
Isaiah notes that Israel built a tower in its midst.
That happened via the Kirtland Temple.
Isaiah notes that the vineyard was cleared of stones and had “good vines planted” in it.
The first four years of the restoration were full of hope. Israel was being gathered. The keys of the priesthood were restored providing the authority to offer the saving ordinances, The LAW was received which incorporates the sermon on the mount and limits God’s law of marriage to that of taking just “one wife”.
It commands the saints to live the law of “consecration” to take care of the poor and needy. During these early years in the Lord’s vineyard the Lord showered knowledge upon the saints with the Book of Mormon and the vast majority of the revelations that we have in the D&C. ( The Book of Mormon warned against involvement in secret combinations with secret oaths.)
All of this took place during the early years prior to the Lord proclaiming that the leaders and members of the church had become condemned in 1834.
What more could the Lord have done for his vineyard?
Of course, he hoped that the “good vines” that he planted in his vineyard would bring forth grapes.
But it brought forth sour grapes.
Because of this, the Lord declared that he would take away the hedge of protection from the vineyard
“I, the Lord, will to retain a strong hold in the land of Kirtland, for the space of five years.”
Per the revelation, the priesthood hedge of protection was removed on September 11, 1836.
Within a few years, after the priesthood hedge was removed, Joseph and Sidney fled Kirtland in the dark of night.
Most of the saints relocated shortly thereafter, migrating to other places. They became “scattered and dispersed.”
The saints had failed in their attempt at consecration.
the Lord informed them that they would not be able to live celestial law for a little season.
Kirtland had become desolate and the Kirtland temple eventually had farm animals living in it. A spiritual and temporal desolation fell upon Kirtland
Fast forward to the Nauvoo era.
In Nauvoo, many of the saints were putting their interests and resources towards involvement in Masonry and building a Masonic temple when they should have been anxiously building the Lords house.
They had been warned not to get involved in secret orders with secret oaths patterned after the oath between Satan and Cain.
A new marital principle of multiple wives was being introduced even though it was contrary to the LAW that had been given.
Isaiah exclaims “they have cast away the law of the Lord”!
The saints began calling evil things good and good things evil just as Isaiah observed.
Isaiah declares “woe unto them that …say let them make speed and hasten his work”
That admonition took place repeatedly among the saints.
John, your following statement is harsh but profound:
Church members are to discern true from false prophets by their works — though both will claim, and probably think, they are doing the will of God — but it is at the final judgment that the false prophets will discover, to their horror, that they were not doing the will of God after all.
Thankfully the song and the commentary by Isaiah has a happy ending.
Despite a chastisement that leaves many of the carcases of the saints strewn upon ground between Nauvoo and Utah, Gods arm is stretched out still.
He will eventually lift up an ensign and gather the nations from afar
[Editorial Note: I just got an explanation from MormonInterpreter moderator, Brant Gardner as to why my comments were blocked
The parallels between the narrative in Isaiah 5 and LDS church history are simply remarkable and undeniable.
They are instructive and worthy of mention.
The fact that you have a differing opinion on how to interpret the “shall and will be” passage in the Book of Mormon is really quite irrelevant. I am sure your opinion often differs with regard to some of the interpretive suppositions in the various articles and comments of your brethren over at the Interpreter, but you don’t block their right to share their views.
Your readers are adults. They are free agents to think for themselves. If my views don’t hold water they have the right to exercise their own discernment.
You really don’t need to protect anyone from themselves or from me Grant.
You really don’t need to be captain of the world.
Allow free speech and freedom of thought. Allow differing views to be judged in the market place of ideas.. You will probably sleep better at night.
Just based on the amazing parallels the observations should be given voice.