I have been reading your blog posts for a little over a year now and I really like the latest post.
The only account we have of the welding link being attempted during the first watch is from the Bible. I find it interesting that Joseph Smith didn’t introduce baptisms for the dead until after Elijah returned in 1836, which is during the second watch. We know in the third watch the attempt will be successful and Joseph Smith will play an important role in it. What of those Saints who attempted it during the first watch? Could John the Beloved also play a role in the third watch, combining the previous failed efforts together into success?
[This was my response to that question:
We know in the third watch the attempt will be successful and Joseph Smith will play an important role in it. What of those Saints who attempted it during the first watch? Could John the Beloved also play a role in the third watch, combining the previous failed efforts together into success?
Very interesting that you would bring that issue up. Early this morning I was led to the following statements of Joseph Smith that I think you will find very interesting and I think they address this issue:
Paul spoke of the Dispensation of the fulness of times, when God would gather together all things in one &c &.  Those men to whom these Keys have been given will have to be there. (I.E. when Adam shall again assemble his children of the Priesthood, & Christ be in their midst) the Ancient of Days come &c &c J.T.) And they without us cannot not be made perfect.  These men are in heaven, but their children are on Earth. Their bowels yearn over us. God sends down men for this reason, Mat. 13. 41. & the Son of man shall send forth his Angels& c—All these authoritative characters will come down & join hand in hand in bringing about this work—
I think that without question all of the major players in the New Testament and Book of Mormon will be among the angels that return to gather the elect. Those are they that are called into the vineyard in the Jacob allegory.
Here is the remainder of his email which blew my mind:
Your post also tied in to some studies I have been doing of 2nd Esdras from the Apocrypha. I’ve read an online book by an LDS author and his interpretation of Ezra’s dream about the eagle. (http://thelost10tribes.com/?page_id=27).
His interpretation is that Ezra is seeing the return of the lost 10 tribes. As I read the dream and Ezra’s subsequent dream, I came to see the lion that confronts the eagle as an actual person, not just representative of the lost 10 tribes. In Ezra’s next dream, he sees a man coming out of the sea. I believe the person Ezra is seeing in both dreams is Joseph Smith.
2nd Esdras 11:
The interpretation given to Ezra of his first dream:
2nd Esdras 12:
31 And the lion, whom thou sawest rising up out of the wood, and roaring, and speaking to the eagle, and rebuking her for her unrighteousness with all the words which thou hast heard;
32 This is the anointed, which the Highest hath kept for them and for their wickedness unto the end: he shall reprove them, and shall upbraid them with their cruelty.
33 For he shall set them before him alive in judgment, and shall rebuke them, and correct them.
The Christian interpretations I have read think of the lion as Jesus. However, in Ezra’s dream the wicked set up a kingdom AFTER the lion rebukes the eagle. For this reason, the lion cannot be Christ’s return in power and glory. I also found the words in verse 33 to be pointing to Joseph Smith, it notes that he will be “alive in judgment”, I believe that is referring to the fact that Joseph returns from the dead!
With what you provided from Revelations 5, with the lion in that vision being Joseph Smith, the imagery from both visions seems to me to point to the same person. The next vision of Ezra does the same:
2nd Esdras 13:
2 And, lo, there arose a wind from the sea, that it moved all the waves thereof.
3 And I beheld, and, lo, that man waxed strong with the thousands of heaven: and when he turned his countenance to look, all the things trembled that were seen under him.
4 And whensoever the voice went out of his mouth, all they burned that heard his voice, like as the earth faileth when it feeleth the fire.
5 And after this I beheld, and, lo, there was gathered together a multitude of men, out of number, from the four winds of the heaven, to subdue the man that came out of the sea
This is another match for the imagery from Revelations 5, where the man who had the key to open the sealed book came from the sea! The interpretation of this dream is just awesome:
2nd Esdras 13:
25 This is the meaning of the vision: Whereas thou sawest a man coming up from the midst of the sea:
26 The same is he whom God the Highest hath kept a great season, which by his own self shall deliver his creature: and he shall order them that are left behind.
Doesn’t this fit perfectly with Joseph Smith overcoming the bondage of death and hell, and breaking out of that prison?
27 And whereas thou sawest, that out of his mouth there came as a blast of wind, and fire, and storm;
28 And that he held neither sword, nor any instrument of war, but that the rushing in of him destroyed the whole multitude that came to subdue him; this is the interpretation:
29 Behold, the days come, when the most High will begin to deliver them that are upon the earth.
30 And he shall come to the astonishment of them that dwell on the earth.
Note, this isn’t the 2nd coming of Christ. This is when God BEGINS to deliver them that are upon the earth. Also, he returns to the astonishment of those on the earth. This fits with Joseph Smith’s part in God’s strange act.
31 And one shall undertake to fight against another, one city against another, one place against another, one people against another, and one realm against another.
32 And the time shall be when these things shall come to pass, and the signs shall happen which I shewed thee before, and then shall my Son be declared, whom thou sawest as a man ascending.
33 And when all the people hear his voice, every man shall in their own land leave the battle they have one against another.
34 And an innumerable multitude shall be gathered together, as thou sawest them, willing to come, and to overcome him by fighting.
When Joseph Smith returns and declares the gospel of Christ to all, they will turn to fight against him. Is part of this declaration to all the people Joseph fulfilling D&C 124’s commandment to write a proclamation?
35 But he shall stand upon the top of the mount Sion.
36 And Sion shall come, and shall be shewed to all men, being prepared and builded, like as thou sawest the hill graven without hands.
37 And this my Son shall rebuke the wicked inventions of those nations, which for their wicked life are fallen into the tempest;
38 And shall lay before them their evil thoughts, and the torments wherewith they shall begin to be tormented, which are like unto a flame: and he shall destroy them without labour by the law which is like unto me.
Isn’t this the reunion of the earthly Zion with the Heavenly Zion? Also, note the power Joseph Smith has to destroy his enemies. The vision continues with the return of the lost 10 tribes. There is a final statement by the angel to Ezra:
51 Then said I, O Lord that bearest rule, shew me this: Wherefore have I seen the man coming up from the midst of the sea?
52 And he said unto me, Like as thou canst neither seek out nor know the things that are in the deep of the sea: even so can no man upon earth see my Son, or those that be with him, but in the day time.
I’m still working on what the answer means. Other translations of verse 52 end it with “but in the time of his day.” Is this referring to the fact that we cannot see the dead, that Joseph is in the depths of the sea along with those that are also in prison? We cannot see him until the day comes when he breaks out of that prison?