Part 6 of Frankly…
In a previous episode I had the audacity to suggest that the Book of Mormon prophetically mentions the coming forth and incredible role of the Doctrine and Covenants. I showed passages from the book of Ether that referred to the words of Christ that would come forth in the last days.
I believe these records first came forth before the Gentiles collectively repented of their iniquity. Then when these records come forth again, the second time, in the third watch, and the servants of the Lord expound upon them in power, they appear to be instrumental in helping a remnant of the believing Gentiles to repent. Following that, they will be taken to the seed of Lehi and are instrumental in restoring them to a knowledge of their fathers.
I also showed how 2nd Nephi 29 makes reference to the revelations that Joseph Smith received in conjunction with the record of the Nephites (Book of Mormon) and the record of the Jews (Bible)
I now want to suggest another prophetic narrative from the Book of Mormon that also very possibly identifies Doctrine and Covenants and the role they play as the “last records” that establish the truth of the first:
38 And it came to pass that I beheld the remnant of the seed of my brethren, and also the book of the Lamb of God, (the Bible) which had proceeded forth from the mouth of the Jew, that it came forth from the Gentiles unto the remnant of the seed of my brethren.
39 And after it had come forth unto them I beheld other books, (including the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants) which came forth by the power of the Lamb, from the Gentiles unto them, (the seed of my brethren) unto the convincing of the Gentiles and the remnant of the seed of my brethren, and also the Jews who were scattered upon all the face of the earth, that the records of the prophets and of the twelve apostles of the Lamb are true.
40 And the angel spake unto me, saying: These last records, (The Doctrine and Covenants and Book of Mormon) which thou hast seen among the Gentiles, shall establish the truth of the first, which are of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, and shall make known the plain and precious things which have been taken away from them; and shall make known to all kindreds, tongues, and people, that the Lamb of God is the Son of the Eternal Father, and the Savior of the world; and that all men must come unto him, or they cannot be saved.
41 [The Doctrine and Covenants ) must come according to the words which shall be established by the mouth of the Lamb; and (additionally) the words of the Lamb shall be made known in the records of thy seed, as well as in the records of the twelve apostles of the Lamb; wherefore they both shall be established in one; for there is one God and one Shepherd over all the earth.
All three records are mentioned in the above prophecy, however, it is the LAST records, primarily the revelations that Joseph Smith received, that will “ESTABLISH THE TRUTH OF THE FIRST“.
This series was inspired by an email I got from a new friend and blog reader in Canada.
The truth is that I had some topics I had been thinking about addressing for months, but did not know exactly when to introduce them.. or even the best and most compelling way on how
to introduce them.
When he contacted me and asked some questions and shared some of his conversations that he had been having with the late John Pratt, I realized that the heavens had presented to me an opportunity. I would simply take excerpts of our conversations and use them to begin and create a series that would address these topics.
I want to thank my Canada friend for unknowingly teeing things up for me to take a big swing at.
One of the topics that had been on my mind was the importance of the revelations Joseph Smith brought forth relative to the beginning of the Marvelous Work that I believe is in the process of opening up right now. So I have addressed that topic in this series.
Another related topic has to do with the relationship between the WORD OF GOD cryptically spoken of in sections 5 and 6 and the WORD OF GOD cryptically spoken of in chapters 3 and 4 of the Book of Ether. So I have addressed that topic in this series.
A third topic that had been on my mind, is the concept that the revelations received by Joseph Smith and canonized in the Book of Commandments and the Doctrine and Covenants contained mysteries of the kingdom, the meaning of which have largely been sealed up and hidden from the understanding of that generation.
In some cases these mysteries were hidden from the world by withholding the Doctrine and Covenants from the world.
In our next episode we shall show historical documentation to show that Joseph Smith advised the missionaries to not say anything to investigators about the Doctrine and Covenants, the vision known contained is section 76, and the doctrine of the gathering.
With regard to those who had joined the restored church, Joseph was commanded by the Lord to not expound on the mysteries contained in the Doctrine and Covenants at that time. It would not be until the marvelous work begins that the first laborers of the last kingdom would return to reveal these secrets.
Another topic that my friend also placed on a big fat tee for me to take a whack at, has to do with the prophetic Vision of the Brother of Jared narrative, in the Book of Ether, relative to the prophetic sealed book narrative in 2nd Nephi 27.
That topic will be addressed in this episode.
The Meaning behind Some Words in the
Doctrine and Covenants have been Sealed
I have now demonstrated from the prophetic declarations of God in His holy word, as well as from practical demonstration from scripture that the revelations in the Doctrine and Covenants have sealed words in them. The hidden meaning in these words reveal mysteries about the
kingdom of God, the
gathering, and the
plan of salvation.
have largely remained hidden from the worldly as well as the believing gentiles that the revelations were originally directed to.
However some of these mysteries are beginning to be unfolded in the eyes of those that give heed God’s word.
I find it remarkable that the unsealing of some of these mysteries is taking place prior to the start of the marvelous work.
I believe this is a sign that the marvelous work and a wonder spoken of by Isaiah is about to manifest.
As previously noted in this series, the revelations that Joseph Smith brought forth repeated contained the command to give heed to God’s word BEFORE the marvelous work begins:
1 A great and marvelous work is about to come forth unto the children of men.
2 Behold, I am God; give heed unto my word, which is quick and powerful, sharper than a two-edged sword, to the dividing asunder of both joints and marrow; therefore give heed unto my words.
The purpose of this series is to shine a spotlight on the revelations that Joseph brought forth, show how significant they are, and to give special heed to them just before the great and marvelous work begins.
A Sealed Book Containing Sealed Words
In a earlier episode I noted that the Book of Mormon actually prophesied of and testified of the coming forth of God’s word contained in the Doctrine and Covenants.
I want to now use this episode to get you pondering the mysterious prophecy in the Book of Mormon about a sealed book containing “words that are sealed“.
The majority of the prophecy is found in 2nd Nephi 27, (and in JST Isaiah 29).
However, I believe a grand key to unlocking the real meaning behind it is cryptically hidden in 2nd Nephi 30. Interestingly, the student of the Book of Mormon has usually long lost their focus on the details of chapter 27 by the time they get to chapter 30 so the big ah-ha often goes unnoticed.
Because of this, I believe the prophecy has been grossly misunderstood and misinterpreted.
Another issue that creates stumbling blocks and misunderstandings when interpreting prophecy has to do with elusive word definitions.
There is a scene in the Princess Bride wherein Inigo Montoya says:
“YOU KEEP USING THAT WORD. I DO NOT THINK IT MEANS WHAT YOU THINK IT MEANS.”
The English language is a fickle mistress. There are words so close and yet so far apart. Add to that the fact that the definitions of some words have evolved since the 1830’s and today and you have a great opportunity for misinterpretation .
Getting back to the sealed words prophesy in 2nd Nephi 27-
According to the JST version of the Bible, the prophecy originates from the prophet Isaiah. The exact same prophecy found in 2nd Nephi 27, is found almost word for word, in JST Isaiah 29.
The orthodox interpretation of the prophecy from the modern church and all of its fringe groups claims that the “sealed book with sealed words” prophecy in 2nd Nephi 27 goes hand in hand with the prophecy about the vision of the Brother of Jared contained in the book of Ether.
The claim is that both prophecies are speaking about the vision of the Brother of Jared.
This is what LDS.org has to say about the matter:
When Moroni was finishing the Book of Mormon record, he was commanded to seal up some of the plates, and Joseph Smith was later commanded not to translate them. This sealed portion contains the complete record of the vision of the brother of Jared (see Ether 4:4–5). This vision included “all things from the foundation of the world unto the end thereof” (2 Nephi 27:10–11; see also Ether 3:25). So basically the Lord revealed to the brother of Jared the history of mankind, and the sealed portion of the plates was Moroni’s translated copy of it.
You will notice that the justification given for the assumption that both prophecies are referring to the same event, is that both events reveal “all things from the foundation of the world unto the end thereof” But let’s compare the verses from the two texts being given for that supposition-
|2nd Nephi 27:10-11||Ether 3:25|
|10 But the words which are asealed he shall not deliver, neither shall he deliver the book. For the book shall be sealed by the power of God, and the revelation which was sealed shall be kept in the book until the own due time of the Lord, that they may come forth; for behold, they breveal all things from the foundation of the world unto the end thereof.
11 And the day cometh that the words of the book which were sealed shall be read upon the house tops; and they shall be read by the power of Christ; and all things shall be arevealed unto the children of men which ever have been among the children of men, and which ever will be even unto the end of the earth.
|25 And when the Lord had said these words, he ashowed unto the brother of Jared ball the inhabitants of the earth which had been, and also all that would be; and he cwithheld them not from his sight, even unto the ends of the earth.|
Had the two sets of passages contained an exact phrase or even extremely similar wording with similar prophetic contexts, they might provide a compelling reason to believe that both prophetic narratives were referring to the same event.
However, I see very little similarity between the two sets of passages.
The sealed book with sealed words containS a revelation that reveals ALL THINGS from the foundation of the WORLD to the end thereof. The vision of the brother of Jared showed him ALL OF THE INHABITANTS of the EARTH.
One text refers to “things” relative to the “world” (people). The other refers to “inhabitants” relative to the “earth” (land).
We also have scripture informing us that Moses was shown all of the inhabitants of the earth. Does that categorically prove the he was having the same vision that the Brother of Jared had?
I don’t think so.
Being the nonconformist that I tend to be, and one who always questions authority, I want to throw a wrench in the works regarding the belief that 2nd Nephi 27 (JST Isaiah 29) is speaking about the same event as Ether 3 & 4.
I am going to suggest that there are some significant problems linking those two prophesies together.
Further, I would suggest that the prophecy in 2nd Nephi 27 provides, at the very least, a typological description of the role of the Doctrine and Covenants.
Please don’t go ballistic if you are feeling uncomfortable. I am not saying it is definitively referring to the Doctrine and Covenants, I am saying there are some remarkable similarities which are possibly types or shadows.
Allow me to point out what I consider to be some mind-blowing things.
As previously alluded to, a very important detail about the sealed book shows up a few chapters after the prophecy in 2nd Nephi 27, in chapter 30.
In that chapter it is revealed that the book with sealed words is written exclusively to the Gentiles:
3 And now, I would prophesy somewhat more concerning the Jews and the Gentiles. For after the book of which I have spoken [the book with sealed words] shall come forth, and be written unto the Gentiles, and sealed up again unto the Lord, there shall be many which shall believe the words which are written; and they shall carry them forth unto the remnant of our seed.
4 And then shall the remnant of our seed know concerning us, how that we came out from Jerusalem, and that they are descendants of the Jews.
5 And the gospel of Jesus Christ shall be declared among them; wherefore, they shall be restored unto the knowledge of their fathers, and also to the knowledge of Jesus Christ, which was had among their fathers.
Notice how the topic of “Jews and Gentiles” is discussed and clearly top of mind in the author of the prophetic text. And yet in the same sentence the author of the text informs us that the book was singularly written to the gentiles and sealed up unto the Lord.
Does that sound like it is describing the Book of Mormon or even the sealed portion of the Book of Mormon, or any other ancient record?
I don’t think so.
The preface of the Book of Mormon proclaims that the purpose of the book of Mormon is “to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God.”
Additionally, within the text of both the Doctrine and Covenants and the Book of Mormon It is again revealed that the Book of Mormon was written to both the Jew and the Gentile. (See D&C 20:9 Moroni 7:8)
So what book is being referred to in 2nd Nephi 30?
Clearly it is speaking about the sealed book with sealed words spoken of in 2nd Nephi 27.
So what is the mysterious book that is being spoken of in 2nd Nephi 27?
I could end this episode right now and let you ponder this conundrum and frankly, I probably should.
But I am not going to.
There are a few other observations I want to share.
Those of the believing Gentiles that believe the book will eventually carry it to the seed of Lehi.
Because of the book written to the Gentiles, the seed of Lehi will finally be restored to the knowledge of their fathes and know that they are descendants of the Jews.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ will be declared among them.
Again, allow me to point out that the “book” which is “sealed up again unto the Lord” referenced in 2nd Nephi 30 is referring to the prophetic narrative in 2nd Nephi 27. This prophecy is usually identified by the modern church and remnants of the latter day restoration as a record of ancient origin, such as the Gold Plates containing the vision of the brother of Jared.
However, I believe there are huge consistencies to be dealt with if that is the case.
After all, one could argue that the ancient plates containing the record of the vision of the brother of Jared is written to both Jew and Gentile. Yet the oft overlooked passage in chapter 30 is pointing out that the book is written expressly and singularly to the Gentiles.
In my opinion, the narrative fits the Doctrine and Covenants much better than the ancient plates that Joseph did and will translate.
According to the above text, the book written to the gentiles restores the remnant of the seed of Lehi to a knowledge of their fathers.
You will recall soon after the Book of Mormon was published, Oliver Cowdery and others went on a mission with the intent of using the Book of Mormon to convert the seed of Lehi.
The mission was a complete failure.
I am of the belief that the great conversion of the remnant of the seed of Lehi is yet a future event.
Does the Doctrine and Covenants testify of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and bring to light the lineage and history of the seed of Lehi?
I believe it does.
(see D&C 1, 2, 3, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20, 27, 33, etc.)
When the servants of the Lord return and expound on the mysteries in the Doctrine and Covenants, they will preach the word to the seed of Lehi and the seed of Lehi will finally be restored to the knowledge of their fathes and know that they are descendants of the Jews.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ will be declared among them
Eventually there shall be many which shall believe the words which are written in this mysterious book. (2nd Nephi 30:3)
If you read section 1 and other sections of the Doctrine and Covenants and take them literally, they reveal that a great work is going to take place which will include the seed of Lehi.
There are other prophecies in the Book of Mormon that seem to support this radical interpretation and narrative having to do with the concept that the final word of God that will go forth unto the gentiles and from the gentiles to the seed of Lehi and the house of Israel.
Compare the prophetic narratives in 3rd Nephi 16 and 21 to the one found in 2nd Nephi 27 & 30:
|3rd nephi 21||3rd Nephi 16||2nd Nephi 30|
|11 Therefore it shall come to pass that whosoever will not believe in my words, who am Jesus Christ, which the Father shall cause him to bring forth unto the Gentiles, and shall give unto him power that he shall bring them forth unto the Gentiles, (it shall be done even as Moses said) they shall be cut off from among my people who are of the covenant.||7 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.||3 And now, I would prophesy somewhat more concerning the Jews and the Gentiles. For after the book of which I have spoken shall come forth, and be written unto the Gentiles, and sealed up again unto the Lord, there shall be many which shall believe the words which are written; and they shall carry them forth unto the remnant of our seed.|
“the things which are sealed shall not be delivered in the day of the wickedness and abominations of the people. Wherefore the book shall be kept from them.” (2nd Nephi 27:8)
The above declaration is probably true about the sealed portion of the gold plates, but it also mirrors what we have uncovered about the words that are sealed in the Doctrine and Covenants.
The words of Christ in the “book” and the associated mysteries of the book that comes forth unto the Gentiles apparently comes forth from Gentile “prophets” who are “rejected” by the Gentiles. For that reason, “the seers hath he covered because of [the] iniquity of the Gentiles“. See 2nd Nephi 27:5
Because of this rejection of the Gentile prophets by the Gentiles, the Lord “pours out upon the” Gentiles and their prophets, a “the spirit of deep sleep” (2nd Nephi 27:5)
Countless times in my writings I have provided numerous scriptural and historical evidence to demonstrate that this narrative speaks of the saints of the restoration rejecting the law and commandments that came forth through the gentile prophet Joseph Smith.
The consequences of this action caused the Lord to place a spirit of deep sleep over both the leaders and members of the restored church. Hence the revelation from the Lord declaring both the leaders and members of the restored church to be under condemnation.
After the Gentile prophets that bring forth the words of the book have “slumbered“, the Lord will again “bring forth unto you the words of [the] book” (2nd Nephi 27:6)
“..in the book shall be a revelation from God, from the beginning of the world to the ending thereof” (2nd Nephi 27:7)
What a remarkable coincidence that in the Doctrine and Covenants there is a revelation from God concerning the plan of salvation detailing the plan from the beginning of the world and to the ending thereof..
The prophecy states that the book is sealed, however I would suggest that it seems to imply that the book is sealed
not only because the book is withheld from the unbelieving, but also because the mysterious meaning of many of the “words are sealed” from the believing gentiles.
In other words, the prophecy appears to make a distinction and differentiation between the “sealed book” and the “sealed words” in the book.
The possible implication is that the information within the book written to the Gentiles is sealed simply because the wording is cryptic, and the hidden treasures of knowledge are withheld from the understanding of men because of unbelief.
I addressed the sealed up mysteries in the last episode, in a future episode I will demonstrate from credible historical records that Joseph Smith had the book withheld from the world.
“But the words which are sealed he shall not deliver, neither shall he deliver the book. For the book shall be sealed by the power of God, and the revelation which was sealed shall be kept in the book until the own due time of the Lord, that they may come forth; for behold, they reveal all things from the foundation of the world unto the end thereof.. the book shall be hid from the eyes of the world”” (2nd Nephi 27:10-11)
The prophecy informs us that the book written to the Gentiles that came through Gentile prophets would one day be read upon the housetops:
“And the day cometh that the words of the book which were sealed shall be read upon the house tops; and they shall be read by the power of Christ; and all things shall be revealed unto the children of men which ever have been among the children of men, and which ever will be even unto the end of the earth.” (2nd Nephi 27:11)
If you take away the preface and the appendix of the Doctrine and Covenants which testify that the book will one day be taken to the world, it is apparent that the content of the book is written to the Gentiles.
Nevertheless, the Lord commanded the saints to encapsulate the revelations directed to the Gentiles in a preface (section 1) and an appendix (section 133).
Those two sections jointly testify that the book written to the Gentiles will eventually go to the whole world as “tidings” because even though the inner content is written to the gentiles of the restored church, the book is “published” unto the “inhabitants of the earth” (D&C 1:2,6 I addressed this in part 5).
During the day of wickedness and abominations, before that day when the book would be unsealed and go forth a second time to be read by the whole world, there would a few people who would have the cryptic mysteries in the book delivered to them. And they would testify of the truthfulness of the book.
“..none shall behold it (during the days of wickedness) save it be that three witnesses shall behold it, by the power of God, besides him to whom the book shall be delivered; and they shall testify to the truth of the book and the things therein.
And there is none other which shall view it, save it be a few according to the will of God, to bear testimony of his word unto the children of men; for the Lord God hath said that the words of the faithful should speak as if it were from the dead.” (2 Nephi 27:12-13)
Although we have been conditioned to think that the three witnesses of the sealed book mentioned in the Book of Mormon and also the Doctrine and Covenants are witnesses of an ancient record, the Book of Mormon, it is revealed in the Doctrine and Covenants that the three witnesses are ordained to be witnesses of the record.
I would argue that David, Oliver, and Martin were NEVER ordained to be witnesses of the Book of Mormon. That calling was an organic call from heaven that never had a priesthood ordination.
However, the three witnesses of the Doctrine and Covenants were ordained for that calling by virtue of their callings in the presidency. I addressed that issue in Part 3.
When the book with sealed words comes forth the second time, “the words of the faithful [prophets that originally brought for the book] should speak as if it were from the dead.”
That’s right. Those prophets that had originally brought for the sealed words, and who had been rejected by the believing Gentiles and the world, will return from the dead to unseal, expound, and declare them.
The narrative informs us that when the sealed book comes forth for the last time, those leaders who had previously been rejected and had been “covered” and blinded and had the spirit of deep sleep placed upon them, will come to understanding and learn doctrine.
“They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding, and they that murmured shall learn doctrine.” (2nd Nephi 27:35 see also section 1 about how Joseph had “erred”)
The second time that the book comes forth, when the marvelous work and a wonder begins, (third watch), the words of the book will be ESTABLISHED by the mouth of three witnesses. Those that rejected the book when it comes forth for the last time will have a “wo” placed upon them.
Notice the prophecy in 2nd Nephi 27:
“Wherefore, the Lord God will proceed to bring forth the words of the book; and in the mouth of as many witnesses as seemeth him good will he establish his word; and wo be unto him that rejecteth the word of God!“(2nd Nephi 27:14)
Thoughout the Doctrine and Covenants the Lord pronounces a “wo” upon those that deny his voice. Compare the passage above with the following passages in the Doctrine and Covenants:
Deny not the spirit of revelation, nor the spirit of prophecy, for wo unto him that denieth these things D&C 11:25
And even so will I cause the wicked to be kept, that will not hear my voice but harden their hearts, and wo, wo, wo, is their doom. D&C 38:6
Notice also all of the passages in the Doctrine and Covenants about ESTABLISHING righteousness, the work, the cause of Zion, the church, the gospel, the rock.
The narrative in 2nd Nephi 27 makes the following observation, that God can do his own work–
20 The learned shall not read them, for they have rejected them, and I am able to do mine own work… 21 Touch not the things which are sealed, for I will bring them forth in mine own due time; for I will show unto the children of men that I am able to do mine own work.
The word “work” in the revelations Joseph brought forth usually has reference to human beings doing the work of God in publishing God’s word and expounding upon it.
However, the above passage seems to be speaking about a very strange act that may involve God beginning his work without the use of ordained priesthood authority.
It could be suggesting that after the first work done by human beings failed, God will begin the final work by unveiling some of the mysteries in the book to those that give heed to the WORD.
Is it possible that the WORK of beginning of the unsealing of the mysteries to those that heed God’s word is done by God himself through the Holy Spirit, not assisted by ordained priesthood authority?
When pondering God’s declaration that he can do his own work, it is helpful to remember the following prophetic observation given by the Lord:
1 The works, and the designs, and the purposes of God cannot be frustrated, neither can they come to naught.
2 For God doth not walk in crooked paths, neither doth he turn to the right hand nor to the left, neither doth he vary from that which he hath said, therefore his paths are straight, and his course is one eternal round.
3 Remember, remember that it is not the work of God that is frustrated, but the work of men;
God gave mortal man the opportunity to do His work during Joseph Smith’s ministry.
Although a foundation was laid for a future work, the preliminary work had the opportunity to usher in the marvelous work but failed miserably.
It is the work of man that is frustrated, not the work of God.
God can do His own work. Even when the servants return, we are informed that God will be in their midst directing things and providing His power to ensure that the work is finished to His specifications.
He himself will be walking among the saints.
Again, I must stress that the narrative in the sealed book prophecy in 2nd Nephi 27 may only be typologically relative to the revelations that Joseph Smith brought forth
The above observations may just be some remarkable parallels.