You are looking at a picture of what some people believe to be the original hand written characters (labeled “Caractors”) copied from the Anthon manuscript that Martin Harris took to Professor Charles Anthon 190 years ago.
The Characters on the fools scrap paper above are presumed to have been copied from an ancient account of the inhabitants of North America that was engraved on thin sheets of gold from which we get the Book of Mormon. It is claimed that the characters are a depiction of the account in “reformed Egyptian” which no scholars to date have been able to interpret, or even verify that such a language existed.
The above document has been in the church archives of the Community of Christ (RLDS) in Independence, Missouri for many years.
I have just learned about a remarkable person that claims to have developed a program that makes a transliteration of the above characters which can then be translated into English!
He does this by looking for patterns and using, among other things what he refers to as symbol substitution ciphers.
I want to encourage you to read about this fascinating process of decoding the meaning of this ancient language because I believe it has far reaching implications. But first, I want to explain what caught my attention and why I am leaning towards taking the claims of this person seriously even though I have only invested a few minutes reading about it.
This is why this story has captured my imagination.
The Mystery of Who the Brighamite-Mormons really are
During the nine years I have been blogging about LDS doctrine, prophecy and history, I have provided countless references to the wealth of scriptural evidence indicating that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints is largely composed of descendants of Judah, or at least, descendants from the ancient kingdom of Judah.
I realize that this goes against everything the LDS church teaches.
How could this be possible?
Isn’t it commonly believed and taught that the Latter day Saints who converted to Mormonism during the ministry of Joseph Smith were largely from the tribes of Joseph and Ephraim who had mingled among the gentiles and migrated to America?
Yes, that is a fundamental and foundational belief within the LDS restoration tradition with lots of evidence to back it up. And it was true, during the Kirtland years of Joseph Smith’s ministry.
We have previously documented that the fullness of the priesthood and gospel had been on the earth for exactly 3 1/2 years in fulfillment of ancient prophecy.
This 3 1/2 year period began June 5th of 1831 when the Melchizedek Priesthood and office of High Priest was restored to the earth at the special conference at the Morely Farm, until December 5th, 1834 when the saints collectively broke their covenant and both the leaders and members of the church were declared to be under condemnation:
“Verily, condemnation resteth upon you, who are appointed to lead my Chu[r]ch, and to be saviors of men: and also upon the church: And there must needs be a repentance and a refor[m]ation among you, in all things..” (Account of Meetings, Revelation, and Blessing, 5-6 December 1834 )
However, after the leaders and members of the church were pronounced by God to be under condemnation, just a few years after the fullness was restored, a change in trajectory took place regarding the tribal demographics of the converts that began flowing into the church.
In 1837, dispite the great contention and apostasy that was manifesting itself among the saints of the restoration, Joseph Smith announced that something new must be done for the salvation of the Church by setting up foreign missions-
“In this state of things, and but a few weeks before the Twelve were expecting to meet in full quorum, (some of them having been absent for some time), God revealed to me that something new must be done for the salvation of His Church.
And on or about the first of June, 1837, Heber C. Kimball, one of the Twelve, was set apart by the spirit of prophecy and revelation, prayer and laying on of hands, of the First Presidency, to preside over a mission to England, to be the first foreign mission of the Church of Christ in the last days.” (History of the Church, 2:489)
In conjunction with this new directive, a revelation was received commissioning the quorum of the Twelve Apostles and other missionaries under their direction to promulgate the gospel “over the great waters“.
Verily, thus saith the Lord: Let a conference be held immediately; let the Twelve be organized; and let men be appointed to supply the place of those who are fallen… And next spring let them depart to go over the great waters, and there promulgate my gospel, the fulness thereof, and bear record of my name. (LDS D&C 118)
We learn from the testimony of Joseph Smith that the tribal identity of new converts from this second great wave of missionary work and the converts coming from across the great waters represented those from the “outcasts of Israel” and the “dispersed of Judah“.
“If there is anything calculated to interest the mind of the Saints, to awaken in them the finest sensibilities, and arouse them to enterprise and exertion, surely it is the great and precious promises made by our heavenly Father to the children of Abraham; and those engaged in seeking the outcasts of Israel, and the dispersed of Judah, cannot fail to enjoy the Spirit of the Lord and have the choicest blessings of Heaven rest upon them in copious effusions.” (Joseph Smith Jr., Discourses of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 195. )
To my knowledge, very few if any LDS scholars and historians have taken that pronouncement literally and seriously. Joseph Smith was documenting the change in the tribal demographics of converts coming into the church.
Speaking of the tribal demographics that were being gathered during this second great missionary effort, Joseph Smith is using terminology taken directly from the 11th chapter of Isaiah.
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.
11 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.
12 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.
The above prophecy speaks of the day when the Gentiles begin to gather towards an “ensign of the people“. Following that, the narrative informs us that the Lord will then set his hand AGAIN the SECOND TIME TO RECOVER THE REMNANT OF HIS PEOPLE [the remnants of JUDAH]”
That is a clear reference to the Jews (from the tribe of Judah) that begin to be recovered after the restored gospel had begun among the Gentiles.
God had set his hand to recover his people the Jews the first time, in the meridian of time but they had rejected the gospel covenant. However it had been prophesied by Isaiah that God would once again set his hand a second time to recover this ancient covenant people.
According to the prophetic commentary by Joseph Smith, the second great wave of missionary work that began to emerge in 1837, represented the beginning of the fulfillment of the prophecy in Isaiah 11.
It represented the extending of God’s hand the second time to his covenant people the Jews who had also been dispersed among the nations.
The converts that would begin to flow into Nauvoo from over the great waters, represented those from the DISPERSED OF JUDAH as well as other remnants from the kingdom of Israel. God was once again setting his hand to recover his ancient covenant people.
The beginning God’s second invitation to his ancient covenant people was to precede the great end times storms and earthquakes that that will disrupt the natural terrain and result in the return of the lost tribes of Israel. Isaiah 11 informs us that God will destroy the tongue of the Egyptian Sea and shake his hand over the “river” and the “seven streams” feeding into the tongue of the Egyptian Sea so that converts may return to Mt Zion over dry ground.
15 And the Lord shall utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea; and with his mighty wind he shall shake his hand over the river, and shall smite it in the seven streams, and make men go over dry shod.
As noted in previous blogs, a prophecy about this change in tribal demographics, with additional clarity, was prophesied by Christ in 3rd Nephi. He foretold that after the believing gentiles would reject the fullness of the gospel, he would then have it taken to the house of israel.
At that day when the Gentiles shall sin against my gospel, and shall reject the fulness of my gospel…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.
Could it really be that Joseph Smith’s ministry transitioned from taking the message of the gospel to the remnants of Joseph and Ephraim among the Gentiles, to additional remnants of the House of Israel? Is it possible that tribal remnants from other tribes of the ancient kingdom of Israel and Kingdom of Judah began flooding into the church during the Nauvoo period?
I have previously pointed out that the Ashkenazi Jews are not descendants of the original Jews of the Old Testament and that their gathering to the Old World despite their collective refusal to believe in Christ does not conform to the prophecies in the Book of Mormon.
The Book of Mormon informs us that the true Jews will first begin to believe and then gather to the lands of their inheritance.
7 And it shall come to pass that the Jews which are scattered also shall begin to believe in Christ; and they shall begin to gather in upon the face of the land (2nd Nephi 30:7)
As you can see, the true Jews of the latter days first begin to believe in Christ, then they gather in upon the face of the Land. This pattern is congruent with the converts flowing in from across the great waters into America. It is not congruent with the Ashkenazi Jews who continue to collectively reject Christ even after having been directed to the Old World Jerusalem through the assistance of the World Bankers and the U.N.
Numerous scriptures inform us that North America is the land of the Abrahamic land covenant of the end times and that ALL of the tribes of Israel will ultimately gather here.
Restoring the Jews to the Land of their Inheritance
And behold, they shall go unto the unbelieving of the Jews; and for this intent shall they go—that they may be persuaded that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God; that the Father may bring about, through his most Beloved, his great and eternal purpose, in restoring the Jews, or all the house of Israel, to the land of their inheritance, which the Lord their God hath given them, unto the fulfilling of his covenant; (Mormon 5)
A close, contextual reading of scripture from all of the standard works informs us that the latter day land of their inheritance is in North America, not the Old World Jerusalem.
After the Gentiles Receive the Fulness the Knowledge Goes to the Jews
Christ’s prophecy in 3rd Nephi about the House of Israel receiving the knowledge of the Gospel after the fullness was given to the Gentiles was actually paraphrasing the following declaration that had been given by father Lehi thousands of years earlier:
14 And after the house of Israel should be scattered they should be gathered together again; or, in fine, after the Gentiles had received the fulness of the Gospel, the natural branches of the olive tree, or the remnants of the house of Israel, should be grafted in, or come to the knowledge of the true Messiah, their Lord and their Redeemer. 1 Nephi 10)
The historical facts of the LDS restoration movement match up perfectly with the prophecies in the Book of Mormon. The remnants of the authentic blood line of the tribe of Judah did in fact begin embracing the knowledge of the restored Gospel and begin gathering back to the land of their inheritance during the Nauvoo period and eventually to Utah. This amazing historical event took place directly after the Gentile saints of the Kirtland era had failed to live consecration and the fullness of the Gospel and had been declared to be under condemnation.
The Book of Mormon claims to be a record written to testify to the Jews of Christ and to reclaim them and graft them back into the vine.
It is truly astounding that Mormons are blinded as to who they truly are and are still awaiting the time when the Book of Mormon will play a key role in restoring Gods ancient covenant people, the Jews, and bringing them to a knowledge of Christ.
How exquisitely cryptic is it that many Mormons are in fact of the literal blood line of Judah that have been brought to the KNOWLEDGE of Christ and His gospel.
Gentile Saints VS. House of Israel Saints
The majority of the leaders and members of the church in Nauvoo that rejected the leadership of Brigham Young were Gentiles from the early Kirtland era, tribally composed of Joseph and Ephraim.
The vast majority of converts from across the great waters from the “outcasts of Israel” and the “dispersed of Judah” chose to follow the leadership of the Twelve Apostles and Brigham Young.
Because of this, I have speculated that shortly after the martyrdom of Joseph Smith, there was to some extent, a significant difference in tribal demographics between the remnants of the RLDS factions that rejected Brigham Young, and that of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints that followed Brigham Young.
Obviously, there has been a great tribal intermingling within both religious traditions, and the influx of people from differing nationalities from the global missionary work of both organizations has also created a tribal melting pot in both traditions.
Nonetheless, it is intriguing to ponder the possibility that at least initially, the RLDS demographic largely represented Joseph among the Gentiles, while the LDS demographic included a large portion of other remnants of the House of Israel, including, remnants of the ancient tribe of Judah.
I have pointed out several Book of Mormon passages that seem to indicated that the pure bloodline of the “Jews” from “Judah” would convert to Christ and unite with the latter day saints in the latter days which is consistent with the claim of the Nephite record which claims to be written for the purpose of converting both Jew and Gentile.
I have also provided scriptural evidence to show that additional records of the Nephites are to come forth that will be directed more specifically to the Gentiles when the great last work begins.
If in fact the narrative I have just painted is true, it would mean that the portion of the plates, containing the “lesser things“, that Joseph Smith translated by the gift and power of God as the Book of Mormon, was to play a major role in testifying of Christ to those of Judah and in converting them to Christ.
And yet the worldview of mainstream Mormonism is still awaiting the mass conversion of the Jews because Mormons erroneously assume that the Book of Mormon has not made good on its claims to have successfully testified of Christ to the Jews and actuated their return to their lands of inheritance.
The Biggest Impact of the Book of Mormon has been on the Jews
I would suggest that in fact, the primary demographic success of the ancient record that we refer to as the Book of Mormon, has in deed been the Jews. The Book of Mormon has been much more successful in converting the remnants of the Jews than the Gentiles.
Think about it-
1- THE SEED OF LEHI: The initial mission to the “Lamanites” failed. Book of Mormon prophecy scholars still await the mass conversion of the seed of Lehi.
2- THE GENTILES: The Book of Mormon was instrumental in the conversion of Gentiles during the first four years of the restoration up until they rejected the fullness, and failed at living the law of consecration. Nevertheless, the numbers of gentile converts during that period of time were relatively small when compared with the second wave of missionary work that would begin in 1837.
3- THE LOST TRIBES: Clearly the prophecies regarding the lost tribes returning have reference to a future event.
So what tribal demographic was most impacted by the Book of Mormon?
4- THE TRIBE OF JUDAH AND THEIR ASSOCIATES: It was the tribal demographic coming from across the great waters during the Nauvoo and Utah eras that has restored the most people to the knowledge of Christ and to the lands of their inheritance. Converts from that wave of latter day missionary work, and their descendants are by far and away the largest tribal demographic that has been impacted by the book of Mormon.
I would submit to you that the converts from this second wave of missionary work would be classified as the House of Israel and Judah, not the Gentiles.
If in fact the converts from across the great waters did represent a different tribal demographic and if it did in fact represent the conversion of the “Jews” (Judah) as foretold in the Book of Mormon, it stands to reason that the Book of Mormon that we have today has had the most impact on the Jews and other remnants of the House of Israel in terms of conversion to Christ.
That would be true with both the general meaning as well as the specific meaning of the term Jews.
Why am I reminding you of these things that have been discussed in more detail in previous posts?
To set the stage for why I am excited about the remarkable work of Blair Bryant.
Blair has spent the last 23 years attempting to decode the meaning of the “Caractors” on the Charles Anthon Transcript.
He has written a book that can be downloaded for free at the following link:
Interestingly, the forward of the book is written by an LDS scholar possibly resulting in the testimony of both a believing Jew and a believing Gentile.
Although I have not read the book yet, and have not reached an ultimate conclusion as to whether he is inspired in his work, I was blown away by the following translation he made from some of the “caractors“:
“Jesus Christ, Lord of testimony Judah people of the king heir God.”
It blew my mind when I read the above translation!
This is because many students of the book of Mormon, including myself, have been indoctrinated to speak of it being written to both the Jew and Gentile, and we often associate the term “Jew” in a very broad ambiguous way, that does not necessarily specify the descendants of Judah.
It really jumped out at me as I read one of Blair’s transliterations of the Anthon Transcript, when I noticed that he used the word “Judah” instead of “Jew“!
The word Judah specifically ties a major import and impact of the Book of Mormon to those of the tribe and kingdom of Judah.
Notice also that the passage is limited to Judah instead of combining the terms “Jew and Gentile” or “Judah and Gentile”.
This would imply that the lesser things contained in the Book of Mormon were to have the primary impact on the remnants of Judah, not Joseph or the Seed of Lehi!
It fits perfectly with the narrative that I have summarized in this post because I believe that the Book of Mormon has thus far had the biggest impact on those of Judah and other remnants of Israel!
The Next Nephite Record to Come Forth will be Directed to the Gentiles
As discussed in other posts, there are passages in the Book of Mormon that inform us that additional records from the Nephites that have slumbered in the dust will yet come forth with content more specifically directed to the believing Gentiles of the last great marvelous work. These records will have a great impact on the believing Gentiles and also on the seed of Lehi.
Brother Bryant interprets the above raw transliteration into what he believes is a more accurate explanation in English-
“This is a testimony to the Jews that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”
Again, the term “Jew” is often interpreted to have a general meaning for the House of Israel, not necessarily specifically referring to the remnants of Judah.
Because of this confusion, based on my own reading of the Book of Mormon and the narrative I have provided, I would translate it in English thusly:
“This is a testimony to the remnants of Judah that Jesus is the Son of God.”
Anyway, I am so impressed with brother Bryant’s raw translation above, that I must say that he has really got my attention! I plan on reading his book with great interest.
I believe his raw transliteration of the world “Judah” instead of Jews, from the reformed Egyptian symbols goes contrary to the indoctrination and bias that many of us have received from the restoration tradition. I believe it reveals the integrity of his heart and the exactness of the method he has been inspired to develop.
I believe the transliteration of the above passage reveals one of the great secrets contained in the Book of Mormon about the largest tribal demographic within the Latter day Saint movement. It is consistent with the events in LDS church history that document the great secret that Judah began being restored back during Joseph Smith’s ministry. Note the following petition in the dedicatory Prayer of the Kirtland TEmple actuated back in 1836:
62 We therefore ask thee to have mercy upon the children of Jacob, that Jerusalem, from this hour, may begin to be redeemed;
63 And the yoke of bondage may begin to be broken off from the house of David;
64 And the children of Judah may begin to return to the lands which thou didst give to Abraham, their father.
Think about it, most people from the RLDS or LDS tradition would have a huge bias in favor of the Book of Mormon having had the greatest impact on the believing Gentile, with a future anticipated impact on the “seed of Lehi” and the “Jews”.
But what if in fact the remarkable prophecy about the latter day Jews beginning to believe in Christ and being restored to the lands of their inheritance has already begun taken place? What if it has been taking place for over 180 years?
I find the following transliteration to be profound.
“Jesus Christ, Lord of testimony Judah people of the king heir God.”