Monday, November 4, 2019

Native American Heritage Month Presentation

In honor of Native American Heritage Month, Dr. Quintina Adolpho and her husband Robert, will give two presentations this Wednesday at Utah Valley University.

The first is a talk about uncovering symbolism behind commonly overlooked cultural accouterments, such as: headdress, tipi, sweat lodge, and vision quest. This lecture is an effort to provide a stage to understand Native culture against the background of wisdom texts, ancient temple symbols, and patterns of ascent.

The second presentation will build on information from the first, focusing on reconnecting stories and ceremonies.

I have heard Quintina and Rob present on multiple occasions, and once even shared a stage with them. Based on those experiences, I'm quite certain these presentations will be outstanding.

Click on each of the graphics below for larger versions and complete information:




Monday, October 21, 2019

Last Day to Order Leather-bound Stick of Joseph

And my words shall hiss forth unto the ends of the earth for a standard unto my people which are of the house of Isra’el.
—2 Nefi 12:8 SoJ


Hi Everyone,

Just a quick reminder that today is the last day to order high-quality, leather-bound copies of The Stick of Joseph in the Hand of Ephraim.




As a reminder, these are custom-made books, and the order will take several months to arrive. Current expected arrival is in March, 2020.

Print-on-demand paperback versions, as well as PDF, eBook, and online versions are also in the works. Proof copies have already been printed and proofread. Final edits are underway now, and should be completed soon. Once final edits are complete, the electronic and paperback versions will become available for immediate ordering or download.

On a personal note, I realize I made some rather bold declarations in my “Part 7” post where I introduced this book. At the time, though I was prompted to make them, and knew them to be true, I still found it difficult to make such bold statements. Had I overstated the matter? This weighed on me.

I’m one of a group who has worked on this project for the past several months, spending, collectively, thousands of hours. Throughout this time, I’ve received numerous manifestations of the Lord’s involvement in the work. But “working” on the text, is a much different experience than “reading” the book. After hearing about others’ experiences with “reading” the copies that have been distributed for proofing, I decided to take a few minutes and “read,’ rather than “work on” the text myself. Though I’ve spent many hours in details and minutiae, I desired to receive the spirit of the text by experiencing it as a reader.

I grabbed my copy and opened to a random page and began reading. I’ll share what I read. In the following quotation, you’ll see some Hebraic terms that may be unfamiliar. (Not to worry, there’s a glossary in the book, where all the Hebraic terms are defined.) Here are a few definitions to help with the following passage:

Y’hudim: Jews
Goyim: Gentiles
YHWH: The name of God. Sometimes translated as “Jehovah” in the King James Version
Yerushalayim: Jerusalem
Besorah: Gospel
Yeshua: Joshua (Jesus, when using the Greek version)
HaMashiach: The Messiah (Christ, when using the Greek root)
Elohim: God
Mashiach: Messiah (Christ, when using the Greek root)
Adonai YHWH: The Lord God

OK, with all that in place, here is the random spot where I opened and started reading:
“And now I would prophesy somewhat more concerning the Y’hudim and the Goyim. For after the book of which I have spoken shall come forth, and be written unto the Goyim, and sealed up again unto YHWH, there shall be many which shall believe the words which are written, and they shall carry them forth unto the remnant of our seed. And then shall the remnant of our seed know concerning us, how that we came out from Yerushalayim, and that they are descendants of the Y’hudim. And the besorah of Yeshua HaMashiach shall be declared among them; wherefore, they shall be restored unto the knowledge of their fathers, and also to the knowledge of Yeshua HaMashiach which was had among their fathers. And then shall they rejoice, for they shall know that it is a blessing unto them from the hand of Elohim. And their scales of darkness shall begin to fall from their eyes, and many generations shall not pass away among them except they shall be a pure and a delightful people. And it shall come to pass that the Y’hudim which are scattered also shall begin to believe in Mashiach, and they shall begin to gather in upon the face of the land. And as many as shall believe in Mashiach shall also become a delightful people. And it shall come to pass that Adonai YHWH shall commence his work among all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, to bring about the restoration of his people upon the earth.” (2 Nefi 12:12-13)
This was, literally, the first passage I ever “read” in The Stick of Joseph. 

No, I did not overstate the matter in my original announcement. The declarations, though bold, are true.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Spring Conference Dates

A group of believers in Southern Utah is planning to hold a general conference this Spring. They asked me to post the dates and location:

March 20-22, 2020
Hurricane, UT (Near St. George)

More information will be available soon.

Friday, October 11, 2019

The End, Part 7: The Beginning

And verily I say unto you, I give unto you a sign, that ye may know the time when these things shall be about to take place, that I shall gather in from their long dispersion my people, O house of Israel, and shall establish again among them my Zion.
—3 Nephi 9:11 NC

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7

The Father’s work is moving forward, just as the Lord said it would. The 9th chapter of 3 Nephi in the New Covenants Edition of the Book of Mormon gives the Lord’s outline of what to expect and how it will unfold. Let’s consider his message.

It actually begins a couple of chapters earlier when he quotes Isaiah as follows:
Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice, with the voice together shall they sing, for they shall see eye to eye when the Lord shall bring again Zion. Break forth into joy, sing together ye waste places of Jerusalem, for the Lord hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem. The Lord hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of God (3 Nephi 7:6 NC).
But then, oddly, the Lord abruptly stops and gives the explanation as to why:
I perceive that ye are weak, that ye cannot understand all my words which I am commanded of the Father to speak unto you at this time; therefore, go ye unto your homes, and ponder upon the things which I have said, and ask of the Father, in my name, that ye may understand and prepare your minds for the morrow, and I come unto you again (3 Nephi 8:1 NC).
You may recall that the Lord next heals the sick, conducts a prayer circle with the children, opens the heavens, and institutes the sacrament. The next day, he continues by holding a prayer circle with the twelve and providing the sacrament again. The whole multitude is then filled with the Holy Ghost, at which point the Lord can continue his message. I wrote extensively about this episode in another post.

Our Lord continues his message from the previous day by referencing the Isaiah passage he previously quoted:
Ye remember that I spake unto you and said that when the words of Isaiah should be fulfilled — behold, they are written, ye have them before you, therefore search them — and verily, verily I say unto you that when they shall be fulfilled, then is the fulfilling of the covenant which the Father hath made unto his people, O house of Israel. Then shall the remnants which shall be scattered abroad upon the face of the earth be gathered in from the east, and from the west, and from the south, and from the north; and they shall be brought to the knowledge of the Lord their God who hath redeemed them (3 Nephi 5:7 NC).
In this explanation, he both gives a summary of, and sets the theme for, his entire message. He then delivers the balance of the message—the words his Father commanded—consisting of a beautiful double chiasmus. It’s really worth reading the whole thing, and I suggest you do that. I can’t begin to do it justice in a single blog post. In fact, This single sermon from the Messiah can, and should, be the object of many hours of study.

But since I have a point to make, I’ll offer the briefest of summaries of the dual chiastic message as follows:

Opening Theme: The gentiles will be trodden down by the House of Israel if they don’t repent.

First Chiastic Message


A. This land (America) is the land of promise for Joseph

B. When Joseph inherits the land, the watchmen shall lift up the voice, see eye to eye, and sing together. The Lord has made bare his holy arm. (From Isaiah 18:8 OC) This is the fulfilling of the Father’s covenant.

C. The scattered remnants of Israel will be gathered in and come to the knowledge of God.

D. This land (America) is your land of inheritance (Joseph). 

E. The gentiles scattered Israel, but Israel will now scatter and tread down the gentiles

F. I will establish New Jerusalem in this land to fulfill the covenant with Jacob. The powers of heaven will be there, and I will be in the midst. I am the prophet Moses spoke about.

f1. You are the children of the prophets, and part of Abraham’s covenant through which all the kindreds of the earth would be blessed.


f2. The Father raised me up first, to bless you in turning you away from your iniquities


f1' Because you are children of the covenant, and after you are blessed, all the kindreds of the earth will be blessed

E' Gentiles scattered the people, but their iniquities will be returned on their own heads.

D' Jerusalem is the land of their inheritance (Judah)

C' The Fulness of the gospel will be preached, they will believe, pray to the father in Messiah’s name, and be gathered.

B' When Judah inherits the land, the watchmen will lift up the voice, see eye to eye, break forth into joy, sing together

A' Jerusalem shall be redeemed


Second Chiastic Message


A. My people shall know my name; I am he that doth speak

B. A servant will publish peace and teach repentance, but will be marred; kings shall shut their mouths because they hear and see new things

C. The covenant will be fulfilled and Jerusalem will be inhabited by his people. Here’s the sign to tell you when this is about to take place:

D. When these things which I declare are made known unto the gentiles (it is wisdom in the Father that it comes through the gentiles to you) and come from them unto you

E. From the gentiles to a remnant of your seed

F. The covenant of the Father with the House of Israel will be fulfilled

E' It will come from the gentiles to your seed

D' It behooves the Father that it comes to the gentiles first, so they might repent and become numbered among the House of Israel

C' This is the sign the work has already commenced unto the fulfilling of the covenant

B' Kings shall shut their mouths when the marvelous work is declared by a servant who will be marred and healed.

A' Those who won’t believe Christ’s words, spoken by his servant, shall be cut off from the covenant

Closing Theme: The gentiles will be trodden down by the House of Israel if they don’t repent.

Like I said, the message is immensely rich and complex; it is worth the time to study it out properly. This little diagram is only the barest of outlines. Nevertheless, let me point out a few themes from it.

  1. Notice the opening and closing warning to the gentiles (in red). Their time is up, the sword of justice hangs over them, and destruction awaits.
  2. The Lord used specific prophecies from Isaiah to illustrate coming events in our day.
  3. In the first chiasmus, the first half is all about “this land” (America) to be inherited by Joseph’s seed. The second half is a mirror image, all about Jerusalem to be inherited by Judah’s seed. This reinforces the idea that covenant fulfillment starts among the gentiles who become numbered with Joseph, then goes forth to Judah from Joseph.
  4. The Father WILL keep the covenant he made. Their fulfillment absolutely depends on people being willing to repent and believe in the Messiah.
  5. Keep in mind, this is the message the Lord couldn’t even preach at first because the audience wasn’t prepared. Only when they were filled with the spirit did he convey this information.
  6. The Lord specifically stipulated that this message must be recorded for future generations. It must go first to the gentiles in the latter days, then to scattered Israel.
  7. This message carefully and specifically lays out the sign that will tell the world when these things are happening.

I hope this series has made it abundantly clear that EVERYTHING about which the Lord spoke is now underway. The gospel has come to the gentiles; a messenger has declared the truth in purity; some gentiles have repented and become numbered among Israel; this covenant gives them the right to this land. And those gentiles who refuse to repent and believe now face destruction. The offering to the gentiles is now complete and the teachings of Messiah must now go to scattered Israel. This brings us to the Book of Mormon.

Gentile Clothing

When the Book of Mormon was published in 1830, the target audience was Christian gentiles through whom the restoration would begin. Consequently, the language and demeanor of the text was given in a gentile-focused translation, featuring King James language and abundant Christian terminology. Words like gospel, baptism, apostle, Christ, priest, church, and dozens of others all ring familiar to Christians, but would be utterly foreign to the books Jewish authors, who would have used different terms for these concepts.

Keep in mind, this book was written by Jews, for Jews, with the stated goal of bringing about the Father’s covenants to Israel. The gentiles were only the warm-up act, to awaken Joseph and set the marvelous work in motion.

Ezekiel prophesied of these events, in the following terms:
The word of the Lord came again unto me, saying, Moreover, you son of man, take one stick and write upon it: For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions. Then take another stick and write upon it: For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions. And join them one to another, into one stick, and they shall become one in your hand. And when the children of your people shall speak unto you, saying, Will you not show us what you mean by these? Say unto them, Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick; and they shall be one in my hand. And the sticks on which you write shall be in your hand before their eyes (Ezekiel 19:4 OC).
If you look at the above verse in its original Hebrew, you’ll find the word here translated as “stick” is עץ (etz). This word actually means tree, stick, wood, lumber, and the like. The more fulsome translation of Ezekiel’s prophecy, therefore, deals with two trees: a tame olive tree (Judah) and a wild olive tree (Joseph) who become grafted together into one tree at the last day. This is a familiar allegory to us all. Like Isaiah, Paul and Jacob, Ezekiel referred to the words of Zenos.

An ancient Jewish interpretation of this prophecy uses “plates” or writing tablets instead of trees. It literally speaks of two sets of plates, or two records—one for Judah and one for Joseph. The record of Joseph will go from Joseph to Judah, and the two will become one.

Of course, the gentile-flavored Book of Mormon cannot effectively reach its intended Jewish audience, who will likely reject it outright due to its intensely Christian flavor and terminology. It also doesn’t help that the follies of gentile organizations and corporations have turned the book into a laughingstock and a punchline. NO gentile church has EVER even BEGUN to use and appreciate this sacred text the way it was intended by its authors and by God.
  • It is not a proof text from which to cherry pick snippets for sound bites in vapid, inane conference talks
  • It is not a book of children’s stories about heroes and villains and virtues
  • It is not a tool for use in convincing people to join a church and pay tithing
  • And it is most certainly not “proof” that an organization is “true,” that an imposter is a “living prophet” or that any church has a monopoly on what came to the world through Joseph, son of Joseph. The text was not published by any church, not officially canonized by any church, and is not the property of any of the gentile churches who have so long abused and ignored it
So, instead of talking about what it is NOT, let’s talk about what this book IS.
  • It is the direct continuation of the Plates of Brass, preserving and continuing the prophetic record uninterrupted after the destruction of Jerusalem.
  • It is the only existing first-temple-period Jewish text in the world. Nowhere else can we find the insights it provides into pre-exile Jewish thought and worship.
  • It is the premier messianic text in existence, giving more insight than any other record into the life, mission, death, ministry, and impending return of the Messiah.
  • It is the most sublime ascension text available, providing the direct teachings of those who ascended into the personal presence of God.
  • It is the prophesied record to come forth in the last days, from Joseph to Judah, destined to launch the restoration of scattered Israel, the unification of Judah and Joseph, the return of the covenant people to their lands of promise, and the preparation of God’s family to meet him at his coming.
  • It is the embodiment of the Marvelous Work and Wonder.
  • It is the Stick of Joseph in the Hand of Ephraim.
And the Lord has, at long last, allowed this marvelous record to shed its gentile disguise, return to the language and pattern of its Hebraic origins, and bear witness to scattered Israel of their covenants, their Messiah, and their God. After 190 years, this most miraculous book is finally prepared for its target audience.

The prophecy of Ezekiel stands fulfilled. The Stick of Joseph in the Hand of Ephraim has been published.


Actual photo; not a mock up


Publication

Yosef ben Yosef (Joseph, son of Joseph—known to you as Joseph Smith Jr.) received the plates from Nefi on September 22, 1827. That day was not only the autumn equinox, but was also Rosh Hashanah on the Jewish calendar. Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish new year, and is celebrated by the blowing of the Shofar (a trumpet made from a ram’s horn.) The blowing of the Shofar is the signal used to call Israel to gather. It is entirely fitting that this is the day the plates came to Yosef.

The Stick of Joseph in the Hand of Ephraim was published on Rosh Hashanah, 2019, sounding the signal for the gathering of scattered Israel. The publication fulfills prophecies and timetables too numerous to even list here. Suffice it to say, it is a miracle wrought by the hand of God.

You may recall from this series of posts that a lightning strike on June 28 of this year symbolically blinded and silenced the golden watchman on the corrupt gentile tower. His shofar was destroyed so that it could not be blown. You may also recall that the next day, June 29, marked the end of the gentile fulness and the beginning of the restoration of Israel, as evidenced by numerous signs, including a calendar alignment that takes place once in 10,000 years. 

June 29 also happens to be the day the copyright was filed for The Stick of Joseph, recording on earth—and in heaven—that this work does not, and never will, belong to any gentile institution, church, or corporation. Their opportunity has ended, and even the legal right to the text has reverted to the House of Israel.

None of this was done by human intention. Only weeks later did I discover this miraculous alignment of signs, wonders, events and dates. God has done this.

Availability

A number of copies have already been printed and are currently being proofread to catch any final errors. When this process is complete, print-on-demand copies will be available for purchase at the publishers minimum allowed price. PDF versions and a searchable online version will also be made available to the world at no charge. All of these will be deployed in the coming weeks and months.

Meanwhile, a leather-bound, high quality version is being made available in conjunction with the leather RE scriptures. The same cover options and colors will be offered for the Stick of Joseph as are offered for the other scriptures.


Artist's Rendition of Leather Version in Blue Lambskin


But time is of the essence!

The window for ordering leather-bound scriptures closes on October 15th. Because the Stick of Joseph has just been announced, the ordering window—for the Stick of Joseph only—has been extended one week, to October 22. You'll need to act quickly to order a leather-bound Stick of Joseph, should you desire to do so. Orders are live now, and can be accessed at the following link:



Remember, print-on-demand paperbacks should be available within weeks. Orders will open for those as soon as they’re ready, and shipping will take a few days from the time orders are placed. The leather-bound versions, if ordered now, are currently expected to be available around March, 2020, with the rest of the RE scriptures. See the above link for more information.

This is an epic moment in human history. This is the sign our Lord said would tell us the Father’s work has already commenced. This is the beginning of the fulfillment of the covenants to the fathers.

And I will remember the covenant which I have made with my people, and I have covenanted with them that I would gather them together in my own due time, that I would give unto them again the land of their fathers for their inheritance, which is the Land of Yerushalayim, which is the promised land unto them for ever, says the Father. 

And it shall come to pass that the time comes when the fullness of my besorah shall be preached unto them, and they shall believe in me, that I am Yeshua HaMashiach, the Son of Elohim, and shall pray unto the Father in my name. Then shall their watchmen lift up their voice, and with the voice together shall they sing, for they shall see eye to eye. Then will the Father gather them together again and give unto them Yerushalayim for the land of their inheritance. Then shall they break forth into joy. Sing together, you waste places of Yerushalayim, for the Father has comforted his people, he has redeemed Yerushalayim. The Father has made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of the Father. And the Father and I are echad.
—3 Nefi 9:8-9 SoJ

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Scripture Printing Announcements

Hi Everyone,

There have been some announcements made by the Restoration Scriptures Foundation (the folks who are printing the scriptures for us) regarding a number of the discussion points of late. Of particular interest is the announcement of a new forum where discussion can take place among everyone, as equals, regarding addition of new scripture content and anything else that needs to be brought before the covenant body. 

Also there is some clarification about the process of printing scriptures and adding to the text. 

I encourage you to head over there and check out the announcements.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

The End, Part 6: The End

For I desire not, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own eyes. That blindness, in part, has happened to Israel until the fullness of the gentiles has come in. Then all Israel shall be saved, as it is written: There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob. For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.
—Romans 1:56 NC


Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7

We began this series by talking about the Lord’s marvelous work and the ordered series of events required to complete it. To finish this series, we need to take a look at that order of events and consider where we are.

We’ll start by rolling all the way back to the time of the Abraham. As you recall, though he lived in a time of apostasy and great wickedness, Abraham rose up to know God and obtain a covenant. This covenant extended promises to Abraham’s posterity, through whom the covenant remained available for five generations before it lapsed back into apostasy and the people into bondage.

Moses came on the scene to free Israel from bondage and re-establish the covenant between God and Israel, but the people rejected the fulness of what was offered. For the next 1,500 years, God continued to work with Israel, sending prophets, warnings, and calls to repent—all to little avail. Nevertheless, the covenant offer remained open for Israel, upon conditions of repentance.

When the Messiah came to Israel, his ministry offered the opportunity for Israel to repent and return to God. At one point he sent his disciples to teach, but commanded them, “Go not into the way of the gentiles, and enter not into any city of the Samaritans, but rather go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. (Matthew 5:2 NC)” Reflecting the same sentiment, he said, “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” (Matthew 8:11 NC)

After Christ’s death and resurrection, however, the target audience changed. Israel, having rejected the prophets, the Messiah and the offered covenant, lost the covenant opportunity for a time. Therefore, after his resurrection, Christ commanded that the gospel be taken to all nations, rather than only to Israel:
All power is given unto me in Heaven and on earth. Go therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy ghost, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. (Matthew 13:4 NC)
This change in target was likewise confirmed to Peter in a vision, after which he began teaching and baptizing gentiles. (See Acts 6:4-9, NC). This shift after the Messiah’s mortal ministry ushered in the era called, “the Times of the Gentiles.” To help keep the various time periods and eras straight, I’ve prepared the following illustration showing the order of events, together with some attempt to differentiate long periods from short periods:




Times of the Gentiles

So what was first targeted to, and reserved for, the house of Israel, became available to the gentile world after the Messiah’s death and resurrection. The Lord extended the covenant offering beyond the family of Israel, and opened the way for grafting gentiles into Israel by adoption.

Shortly thereafter, Jerusalem was destroyed by the gentile Romans, and the Jewish people were scattered and persecuted. This exile and persecution continued for nearly 2,000 years, which period is known astronomically as the age of Pisces, and is known scripturally as the Times of the Gentiles.

During this era, while the Jews lacked a homeland and suffered endless persecution, the gentile nations of Europe and later America came to dominate much of the world. The Lord poured out blessings on the gentiles, culminating in the restoration of the gospel and the return of the gospel fulness, through a gentile prophet in a gentile nation. The Times of the Gentiles gave the nations ample time to repent, choose God, and become adopted, or grafted, into God’s family. But the gentiles rejected the fulness of the offer, instead adopting a powerless, corrupt vestige of apostate Christianity, and its various permutations. This offering to the gentiles, and their subsequent rejection of the gospel was prophesied in the Book of Mormon:
And thus commandeth the Father that I should say unto you: At that day when the gentiles shall sin against my gospel, and shall reject the fullness of my gospel, and shall be lifted up in the pride of their hearts above all nations and above all the people of the whole earth, and shall be filled with all manner of lyings, and of deceits, and of mischiefs, and all manner of hypocrisy, and murders, and priestcrafts, and whoredoms, and of secret abominations, and if they shall do all these things, and shall reject the fullness of my gospel, Behold, saith the Father, I will bring the fullness of my gospel from among them. (3 Nephi 7:5 NC)
As the Times of the Gentiles neared completion, the restoration of the gospel through Joseph Smith included the promise that something greater would come before the gentile opportunity completely ended. Specifically, the angel Nephi informed Joseph that “the fullness of the gentiles was soon to come in.” (T&C 1, Part 3:4)

Final Voicing

The Fulness of the Gentiles represents a number of important ideas, one of which is the final voicing of the Lord’s offer, in its fulness, to the gentile nations. During this period, the covenant opportunity is again made available, and all gentiles are invited, for the last time, to come unto God. This final voicing, planned for millenia, was prophesied by Moses:
I will raise them up a prophet from among their brethren like unto you, and will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass that whoever will not listen unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him. (Deuteronomy 6:4 OC)
The prophecy was repeated in the book of Acts (2:3 NC) and quoted by Nephi to Joseph Smith, with the following explanation:
…that that prophet was Christ, but the day had not yet come when they who would not hear his voice should be cut off from among the people, but soon would come. (T&C 1, Part 3:4)
Note that the voice that must be heard and heeded is the voice of Christ, sent through a prophet. This final declaration by one who is sent, and subsequent cutting off is one of the primary identifiers of that period known as the Fulness of the Gentiles.

During Joseph Smith’s ministry, he attempted, against terrible opposition, to prepare a people who would receive God’s covenant and rise up to fulfill the prophecies. Joseph’s efforts were thwarted again and again until the last major revelation he received called upon the people to repent, build a temple to which the Lord could personally come and restore the fulness of the priesthood, which had been taken away. The command to build the temple included a limited time period in which the work could be acceptably accomplished. Upon this final command hinged both tremendous blessings and tremendous cursings. (T&C 141:10-14)

As it turned out, the limited time period for that opportunity began January 19, 1841 when the command was received, and ended June 27, 1844 when Joseph and Hyrum were slain. The interim period of opportunity lasted exactly 1255 days—5 days short of the 1260-day period scripturally defined as three-and-a-half years. (Remember that 1255-day period; it’s important later.)

The rejection and murder of the Smith brothers required three and four generations to pass before the Lord would begin his work again. The required time passed, and as prophesied, the Lord “set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people” (see Isaiah 5:5 OC). That effort found a small, but receptive audience, with some few gentiles who chose to repent and hear the Lord’s voice, sent through His messenger.

Fulness of the Gentiles

As you can see from the above diagram, the Fullness of the Gentiles comes when the Times of the Gentiles have ended, and it only lasts for a short period. When it passes, the Lord’s efforts turn back to the House of Israel. During the gentile fullness, some few gentiles repent, believe, receive the Lord’s offering, and become grafted in, or numbered among the house of Israel. These believing gentiles-turned-Israel are tasked with bearing the Lord’s message to the rest of the scattered remnants of Israel in the next phase of the work.

The passing of the gentile fullness is enormously significant, because it marks the beginning of the gentile destruction. The Lord’s blessings and protection are removed from the gentile nations, and his spirit begins to withdraw. As the gathering of scattered Israel commences, gentile devastation follows.
Therefore, woe be unto the gentiles if it so be that they harden their hearts against the Lamb of God. For the time cometh, saith the Lamb of God, that I will work a great and a marvelous work among the children of men, a work which shall be everlasting, either on the one hand or on the other, either to the convincing of them unto peace and life eternal, or unto the deliverance of them to the hardness of their hearts and the blindness of their minds, unto their being brought down into captivity and also unto destruction, both temporally and spiritually, according to the captivity of the Devil of which I have spoken. (1 Nephi 3:25-26)
The end of the gentile fulness marks the beginning of the gentile destruction, and, as you can see from the diagram, the beginning of the restoration of scattered Israel. The Lord will remember his covenants to Israel’s fathers, and will gather his people home to the lands of their inheritance. Ultimately, the house of Israel will gather to two holy cities, Jerusalem (for Judah) and New Jerusalem (for Joseph), and succeed in building two holy temples. The Messiah will then return and cleanse the earth.

Now this is necessarily a brief overview, just to give an orientation regarding the periods of the Lord’s work. A full treatment would fill many blog posts—though the best treatise on the subject is the Book of Mormon itself. Everything I’ve written so far in this post is only a summary—and here’s a summary of the summary, from a blog post I wrote on November 28, 2015:
The “Times” of the Gentiles lasted for roughly 2,000 years, ever since the ministry of Christ. The “Times” were marked by the age of Pisces.  
The “Fulness” of the Gentiles is the last voicing of Christ’s word to the gentiles, and last opportunity for the gentiles to rise up, receive God’s covenant, and become redeemed. The Fulness of the Gentiles marks the end of the gentile opportunity and the reversion back to the House of Israel 
During the fulness of the gentiles, some few gentiles will accept the fulness of the gospel and take hold of the final opportunity. 
The above excerpt comes from a series of posts I wrote on the signs evident in the blood moon tetrad of 2014-2015. Those signs overhead indicated the end of the Times of the Gentiles and the beginning of the Fulness of the Gentiles; the blood moons marked the turning of a page in history.

What Happened in June

This brings us now to current times and the events of this year. Allow me to lay out a timeline of events that took place when I started this series, titled The End. 

Thursday, June 27, 2019: The 175th anniversary of the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum, an event the LDS church chose to almost completely ignore, focusing instead on Russel Nelson’s star-studded birthday bash announcement. See Post 1 in this series, “Without Foundation.”

Friday, June 28, 2019: Lightning struck the Nauvoo LDS temple, damaging the golden statue atop the tower. Moroni’s face was burned, and his trumpet’s mouthpiece was removed. Ample symbolism accompanied this event, including the following:
  • The Nauvoo temple doesn’t have a “spire” like many temples. Rather, it has a tower, with the statue on top. 

  • The golden watchman on the tower was blinded when his eyes were darkened by the blast. Likewise, he was rendered unable to sound the trumpet, as the mouthpiece of the trumpet was blown completely away. The symbol of the blind watchman who will not sound the alarm was covered in post 5 in this series, “Blind Watchmen on the Mount.” 
  • The Nauvoo temple was built as a replacement replica of the failed and destroyed prior effort. The LDS attempt to replace what ended in failure with the deaths of Joseph and Hyrum, has been rejected. 
  • The date of the lightning strike was highly significant. The date was the 6th on nine sacred calendars—an event occurring approximately once in 10,000 years. Nine sixes is 666,666,666. See post 2 in this series, “Commemoration.” This was a sign of condemnation.





Saturday, June 29, 2019: The next day, Saturday, was dated the seventh on nine sacred calendars. That is to say, it was 777,777,777. Seven is commonly considered the number of fullness or completion, and nine sevens is emphatic. Certain events took place that day, which permanently changed things on earth and in heaven.

I didn’t realize anything about the significance of these events or dates until after they happened. Things usually occur that way in the Lord’s work. Only in hindsight do we recognize the fulfillment of prophecy, which prevents human interference in the Lord’s timetable as it is happening.

Here’s an example of what I mean: You may recall post 5 in this series, “Blind Watchmen on the Mount.” That post was about the choice the LDS church made to actively prevent and fight against the Lord’s work by refusing to share the gospel or the Book of Mormon with the Jewish people. Only later did I realize I wrote that post on Tisha B’Av, the annual Jewish day of mourning. Historically, this was the day that both the first and the second Jewish temples were destroyed, as well as other tragic events. Each year, the tragedies are commemorated with fasting and mourning on Tisha B’Av. I only realized later that my post fell on the most appropriate day of the entire year to commemorate this tragedy. There’s no way I could have planned or even known about that alignment until after it happened. To me, it demonstrated the Lord’s hand in the timing.

Declaration

OK, so with that example in mind, I need to speak of another such “coincidence.” I would normally not share what follows, but the Lord has required it, regardless of my discomfort.

Several weeks after the fact, when I learned of the nine sevens occurring on June 29th, the day after the Lord’s sign of gentile rejection, I wondered what the sevens meant. Fullness? Completion? 777,777,777…I pondered for days and eventually made my question a matter of prayer, along the lines of “What came to an end on that day?” In response the question came, “What ended with the martyrdom?” “The gentile opportunity,” was my summary response. This troubled me, and I thought, “But there was warning given first. That’s the pattern. The saints had 1255 days of notice to repent.”

“Check your blog 1255 days before June 29” came the reply.

I did so, and that landed me on January 21, 2016—the day I wrote the final post in the Blood Moons series. That post was part seven of the series, and it included a numbered list. Item seven on that list said the following:
The Age of Pisces (Time of the Gentiles) has ended, and the Fulness of the Gentiles is upon us. The covenant is reverting back to scattered Israel, and the Gentile nations will be destroyed.
At that moment, comprehension flooded my mind, leaving me absolutely thunderstruck. Speechless and shaking, I simultaneously realized two things.

First, the Fulness of the Gentiles began on January 21, 2016 and ended on June 29, 2019. Just as in Joseph’s day, it lasted exactly, precisely, 1255 days. The Lord followed the same pattern in our opportunity as he did in the offering through Joseph.

And second, the Lord—completely unbeknownst to me—had given warning to the world, in the seventh item in the seventh post in that series, precisely on the required date to give a 1255-day opportunity.

This all troubled me deeply, as I consider myself not only unimportant, but an entirely unsuitable watchman to make a proclamation putting the world on notice. And yet, there it was. To the day. And it was nothing I could have planned, or indeed understood, until years after it happened. At the time I simply wrote what the Lord gave me—without understanding its full import.

Even so, I shrank at the obligation to make the declaration you are now reading. Though I have faith in the Lord, it was hard for me to believe he had used me for so critical a task. At length, I brought it up in prayer again, because I couldn’t shake the continued urgings to make this known, and desperately needed reassurance.

My questions this time were along these lines: “Did the Fullness of the Gentiles really end on June 29? and Did you really put the world on notice through my blog when the Fulness began?”

And again the Lord, who is patient and kind, gave answer: “Go look at the first blog post you ever wrote.”

I went and looked. It was written on June 29, 2014. Exactly 5 years—to the day—from the June 29, 2019 end of the Gentile Fulness. I could not have planned that, nor could I have begun to guess the Lord would use that post as a second witness to reassure me when the time came. When I started this blog, I knew nothing of sacred calendars, signs overhead, the Fulness of the Gentiles, nor anything about the Lord’s timing.

Even now, after processing this information for months, I still marvel that the Lord could accomplish anything at all with so poor a servant as myself. I cannot take any credit whatsoever for what he has done. All I can do is testify that it was Him, not me. He told me when to start this effort, what to call it, and what to write about. I’ve done my best to obey. Now that he has told me to point out what He has done, I’ve done so, through considerable personal discomfort. Please ignore me; I am nothing. But please do notice what the Lord has accomplished by small and simple means.

In making this statement, I’ve only spoken of certain signs giving witness to the declaration I now make. There are many more signs I am not obligated to reveal. But I can and will testify: It really has happened. The Fulness of the Gentiles really has ended and the restoration of Israel is now upon us. Regardless of where you think we are in the Lord’s timeline, or what you think the prophecies mean, or how you think they will be fulfilled, I’m declaring to you the truth. It has happened.

More about the Fulness

That term, “Fulness of the Gentiles” comes from several places in scripture. It refers to a time period, of course, but it also refers to a group of events and a group of people. Now that we’ve discussed the time period and given specific dates, let’s look at the events and people.

The phrase first appears in Genesis, when Jacob (Israel) blesses Ephraim and Manasseh.
He [Manassah] also shall become a people and he also shall be great, but truly his younger brother [Ephraim] shall be greater than he. And his seed shall become a multitude of nations. (Genesis 12:18 OC, emphasis mine) 
The Hebrew words translated as “multitude of nations” are מלא הגוים [Milo HaGoyim] which actually means “fulness of the gentiles.” Therefore, the above statement literally says Ephraim’s seed shall become the fulness of the gentiles. Thus, there is no question about WHO will be the gentiles to whom the fulness is offered. It is Ephraim; it says so right in Genesis. And though most have rejected what was offered, some few have believed, repented, accepted, and received a covenant, restoring their status as part of the House of Israel.

As for events of the Fulness, along with the final voicing of God’s invitation to the gentiles, other events have transpired as well during this period. Here’s a partial list of important things that happened during this period:
  • Intense labor to recover the most accurate collection of scripture available, culminating in the Lord’s acceptance of the effort
  • The first general conference of believers, and thereafter multiple conferences and gatherings
  • A group assignment from the Lord to create a statement of principles, and completion of the assignment
  • The servant David revealed
  • A fund established to prepare for construction of the temple
  • A major book of scripture revealed in the Testimony of St. John
  • Canonization of new scripture and multiple new revelations
  • A group of gentiles, for the first time in history, accepted the Book of Mormon as a covenant
  • In response, the Lord offered his covenant to all who would accept it, creating the first modern grafting back into the House of Israel, with signs accompanying
  • The sign in the heavens of the birth of God’s kingdom
  • Other important activities and events, that have gone largely unknown or unnoticed, but which are nevertheless pivotal in the Lord’s marvelous work.

This is quite a list for a period of not-quite-three-and-a-half years. Though at times it may feel as if things are moving slowly, you and I have lived through and witnessed one of the most significant periods in the history of the world. It is impossible to overstate the significance of what the Lord has done and is now doing.

So What Does it All Mean?

The gentile opportunity has now passed, and the Lord’s work has reverted back to the house of Israel. The work will move forward, but will not be accomplished by the gentiles who spurned it. All that remains for those gentiles now is the spiritual and temporal destruction of all who will not repent. The great and spacious building and all who are in it, lacking any foundation, and no longer upheld at the last day, will come crashing down and fill the pit which was dug by those who fight against God. (1 Nephi 3:25 NC) We can only pray that the Lord will stay the destruction until we can accomplish what he requires of us.

You may have noticed a new focus at our last conference. The Lord’s agenda now revolves around the lost sheep remnants of Israel, on this land and abroad. We’ll wrap this up in my next post by talking more about that work.

Verily I say unto you, at that day shall the work of the Father commence among all the dispersed of my people, yea, even the tribes which have been lost, which the Father hath led away out of Jerusalem. Yea, the work shall commence among all the dispersed of my people, with the Father to prepare the way whereby they may come unto me, that they may call on the Father in my name. Yea, and then shall the work commence with the Father among all nations, in preparing the way whereby his people may be gathered home to the land of their inheritance. And they shall go out from all nations, and they shall not go out in haste nor go by flight, for I will go before them, saith the Father, and I will be their rearward.
—3 Nephi 10:1 NC

Thursday, October 3, 2019

What Happened to the Vote?

By Chris Hamill

On Tuesday, a number of concerns were communicated to me from several sources about the ongoing vote for the proposed new Section of the T&C. The vote was temporarily suspended in order to fairly address the issues, and what is to happen will be explained in a moment.

The timing/rush of the vote was due to a misunderstanding of how long we have left before the final text of the scriptures has to be turned over to the printer for the leather scriptures. If the vote adopted the new Section, the formatting of the T&C would have to be changed in order to place that new Section in front of the final 3 existing sections so that it would be in chronological order like all of the other Sections. And with so little time available, it all had to take place within a few weeks. The primary concerns raised about how this was being handled were:

  • Changing the arrangement of the Sections would mean that the paperback and hardbound books no longer matched the formatting of the leather scriptures, though we were told they would.
  • This should have been handled during the conference a few weeks ago, not afterwards. Or it should wait until the next conference.

A post was prepared to address these and other concerns, but was not put up because a new factor was introduced that changed everything. Some thoughts shared with me from a conversation Denver had with one of the committee members indicated that the chronological order of that particular talk (OUR DIVINE PARENTS) is not critical. He suggested simply adding the new Section, if adopted, at the end of the T&C as Section 178. The effects of that observation are:

  • This would not mess with the formatting of the paperback and hardbound T&C compared to the leather scriptures.
  • Being added at the end could be done at any time, not necessarily immediately, meaning it doesn't have to be done online, but can wait until the next general conference.

The result is a simple change -- postponing a vote until next year.

Or so it would seem.

A few more issues and explanations need to be presented before continuing. First, here are some of the other concerns that were raised about the proposed new Section, given with responses so that everyone is aware of them and can discuss them as needed:

  • There should always be an opportunity for people to discuss an issue before making a decision. If the vote didn't need such a rush, more time would definitely have been taken ahead of the vote.
  • The substance of the proposed Section has been questioned: Is it a rehash that doesn't warrant special attention? Shouldn't the whole talk be adopted, rather than just a piece given without a lot of context? The determination was made early on in the scriptures project to try to avoid including any of Denver's talks or published works in the scriptures. He agreed that those should stand on their own. So including the whole talk, which was once proposed for inclusion, was determined inappropriate. Looking more closely at the small portion quoted in the proposal, the initial material is a restating of what can be found in Section 89. Had that been all that was said about it, this proposal never would have even been made. It was Denver's later return to the remarks, and his singling them out as unique and independent of the talk, that attracted attention: Those concluding references to the Word of Wisdom were themselves given as a reminder, by revelation, as something to be repeated here in the context of this talk [Our Divine Parents] to honor Her. Remarks given by revelation, with the intent to honor Heavenly Mother, fit the definition of scripture found in the Glossary better than some of the existing Sections in the T&C do. There is no other instance of singled out revealed remarks in all of Denver's writings. In the course of compiling material for the Glossary, I've listened to all of his talks and books many times and can attest to that.
  • The scriptures committee has repeatedly stated that the project was done and the text was finished. People waited to purchase new copies of the scriptures until they felt confident that nothing major would change. That was assumed by the publishing of the new paperbacks and hardbound copies. The first inkling that there was something to address happened a week ago Wednesday, 3 days after the conference ended. This may look suspicious, until asking reveals that it was unexpected. We had no anticipation of anything further happening with the ongoing scriptures project other than minor typos being caught and addressed until we lock down the text and send it for printing. It came to light as a result of reviewing the talk OUR DIVINE PARENTS. Once a new Section was proposed, there was the concern for getting it into this first printing of the leather scriptures. If the proposed Section was adopted, it would have to be added to the T&C in front of the last 3 sections because of the chronological order of the Sections. This couldn't be done down the road as there may not be another printing of leather scriptures, and to insert a Section anywhere other than at the end of the line would be problematic at best. So to add it to the leather scriptures, it would have to be voted on quickly (so we assumed). Because there would not be a conference or group event allowing for a larger discussion and vote prior to the closing deadline of the text, the committee discussed whether the proposal was reasonable to make and execute online. There was good support for proposing it for a vote and the vote was set up.
  • (Now that we understand the order of the Sections doesn't need to change, all arguments that the non-leather scriptures won't sync with the leather versions are no longer an issue.)
  • Claims and concerns of betrayal, of lying, of trying to sneak something in, in a way no one could really prevent, have all been leveled. And they all require the assumption of intent to do so. This proposal wasn't anticipated, so it's hard to claim any ill intent. Because claims of nefarious intent have been leveled for 2 1/2 years and not a single one has proven true, this should add support to our claim that we're simply acting on something that seems reasonable to consider adding to the scriptures, and proposing it to the general assembly. That has been part of our assignment from the beginning. (A plea: We need to be careful not to move back into the contentious exchanges we've been reproved for in Sections 157 and 177.) This also speaks to the integrity claims -- that we aren't keeping our word. We intended the scripture text to be completed. We had no anticipation of any additions to happen within what we already have, only for new revelations to be added later. But some people have placed expectations upon the project that have never been promised. We're doing our best, and communicate as clearly and openly as we can. But we've all experienced making commitments and then having something arise that can't be ignored and that supersedes our original commitment. That doesn't make us liars, but instead, requires us to consider our higher priorities. For example, when the project was first announced in March of 2017, we stated that there would be a 6-9 month period of review and then the final scriptures would be published. That was 2 1/2 years ago. Many unanticipated things have come to light and required us to investigate and adapt. This was no exception.

Given all of the issues raised, even though there are reasonable responses to them all, we determined it would be best to temporarily suspend the ongoing vote, listen to and consider what people were saying, and address them. There was a post prepared for that purpose that would have gone up yesterday afternoon if Denver's thoughts hadn't changed our understanding. And to handle the additional issue that some pointed to -- that there are folks, for example, who have voted NO and who might have voted differently had they heard these explanations, but their votes have been cast and can't be changed -- we also determined to allow time for the post to be studied and discussed, then have the vote restarted from scratch (a do-over). This delay is possible because the deadline for getting the final text to the printer is farther out than we first realized. (It will take at least 45 days to produce the paper for the printing and the PDFs don't have to be to the printer before the paper is. The paper won't be ordered until after we place our order, which won't happen until the special-order window closes on October 15th.)

--------------

Now that you've been brought up to speed, there is another consideration to be made. A number of people, many of them women, have expressed excitement and satisfaction at the possibility of having a clear, present-day example of our Heavenly Mother speaking to us included in the scriptures. Having that Section published in this first edition of our leather scriptures adds a sense of validity that printing the Section and inserting it in the back of the T&C next year just couldn't achieve. But once the leather scriptures are printed, all new revelations will be handled as inserts until there is enough material to justify either printing a booklet-style addendum or reprinting the leather T&C.

There is always the possibility of new revelation, other than this proposed Section, being given to us prior to the locking down of the T&C text for printing in December. And it's likely many of us would want as much material as possible included in the first printing. Since we don't have a conference of any sort planned until next April, the only means of adding anything else between now and December is the online approach. It doesn't have to be rushed; time for discussion can be made. We currently do not have a formally accepted procedure for adopting new material as scripture. The Glossary explanation of SCRIPTURE includes: "To be acknowledged, a conference must adopt the writing as part of a canon." Up to now we've had new scripture added both by online voting and by voting in a conference. Because we have yet to formally agree as a people how we will continue to add new scripture, the possibility exists to still add scripture using the online approach (which could be ratified at a future conference). However, no person or group can decide that for the body as a whole. For that reason, the suspended voting will be replaced with a new vote that will address both questions facing this people:

  1. Should any new material that we want included as scripture in the first printing of the leather scriptures be allowed to be adopted using an online vote, or must it wait until a conference can be held?
  2. If an online approach is determined to be acceptable until the next conference, should the proposed new Section be adopted as scripture and added to the initial printing of the leather scriptures?

This approach accomplishes several things:

  • The people as a whole, not a small group or individual, decides the method of adoption to be used until the next conference. The matter of agreeing on a procedure for adding scripture can be finalized and voted on at that time.
  • The lack of a definitive approach gives those who are interested or passionate about the proposed example of the Mother's voice being included in the original printing of the leather scriptures the possibility to have that take place.
  • In addressing both questions in a single voting session, if the determination is that an online approach is not acceptable, despite the special circumstance of trying to include the material in the new leather scriptures, the results of the second question can be ignored and a future vote can be taken at a conference instead. If, however, an online vote is deemed acceptable for the time being, then we will also have the voice of the people on the proposed Section and can act in time to include it in the first printing of the leather scriptures if it's adopted.

The new vote will begin a week from this Saturday, on October 12th, and run through Sunday October 20th. This will allow all of us enough time to consider all of the issues presented, any new ones, and discuss it all among ourselves before voting. Please pay attention to the announcement area at the top of the home page of scriptures.info for updates and other information.