Thursday, December 29, 2022

Rescuing the Restoration on Mormon Book Reviews

Worth Your Time to Watch:

Steve Pynakker of Mormon Book Reviews just posted his excellent interview with Chris VanCampen regarding the Remnant Movement and the book, Rescuing the Restoration: The Lord Sets His Hand Again. 

Here's the link to the interview:

For more information about the book and the associated conference, check out this link:

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Righteousness Broadcast

Denver Snuffer will speak on the topic of RIGHTEOUSNESS this Sunday, Nov. 20 at 6pm MST. The broadcast will be carried live on YouTube.

Note: The link previously posted here was incorrect. Here's the correct link:

“Righteousness” doesn’t always mean what we assume it does. I’m looking forward to hearing more about this topic.

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Monday, June 27, 2022

Destruction, Part 7: Murder and Gain

Wherefore, O ye gentiles, it is wisdom in God that these things should be shewn unto you, that thereby ye may repent of your sins and suffer not that these murderous combinations shall get above you — which are built up to get power and gain — and the work, yea, even the work of destruction come upon you, yea, even the sword of the justice of the eternal God shall fall upon you to your overthrow and destruction if ye shall suffer these things to be.

—Ether 3:18 RE

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 |Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8

When Christ came to the Nephites at Bountiful, he came to the surviving remnant of a destroyed nation. Indeed, so great had been the Nephite destruction that the people who came to Bountiful to keep the required feast “were marveling and wondering one with another, and were shewing one to another the great and marvelous change which had taken place” (3 Nephi 5:1 RE). These changes were to the city, the landscape, even the very geography as fire, tempest, earthquake, floods, and volcanic eruptions had wiped out the wicked. 

But this particular destruction didn’t start as it ended, with natural disasters and entire cities laid waste in a moment. No, after the many ups and downs of the “Nephite pride cycle” this final destruction was ushered in by degrees at the beginning, and by something far more mundane than a massive display of nature’s power. 

What destroyed the Nephites was an idea—nothing more, and nothing less. Those who accepted and acted on the idea ultimately caused the deaths of millions and the destruction of an entire nation. The pen is indeed mightier than the sword, and ideas are more powerful than armies. We’ll get to the idea in due course, but first, let’s consider some history.

Dogs and Vomit

To understand the roots of the destruction before Christ’s coming, we should start with the day Christ was born. As you may recall, the faithful awaited Samuel’s sign of a night without darkness, while the wicked set a deadline for the sign to be given, or else all believers would be murdered. The miraculous sign that followed caused a general repentance, and nearly all the Nephites were converted to the Lord; but it didn’t last. 

Within three years, 

...the people began to forget those signs and wonders which they had heard, and began to be less and less astonished at a sign or a wonder from Heaven, insomuch that they began to be hard in their hearts and blind in their minds…And thus did Satan get possession of the hearts of the people again, insomuch that he did blind their eyes and lead them away to believe that the doctrine of Christ was a foolish and a vain thing.” (3 Nephi 1:8 RE)

Not many years later, the Gaddianton robbers had convinced and converted so many of the Nephites and Lamanites that they felt sufficiently powerful to make a play for the entire Nephite nation. It was only the righteousness of the Nephite Chief Judge, Lachoneous, that saved the nation from utter destruction. He gathered the people into one defensive body and declared repentance:

Yea, he said unto them, As the Lord liveth, except ye repent of all your iniquities and cry unto the Lord, that they would in no wise be delivered out of the hands of those Gaddianton robbers. And so great and marvelous were the words and prophecies of Lachoneus that they did cause fear to come upon all the people; and they did exert themselves in their might to do according to the words of Lachoneus. (3 Nephi 2:4 RE)

So complete were the preparations and so thorough the repentance that the gathered Nephites met the Gaddianton robbers in the strength of the Lord, repelled them for several years, and ultimately defeated them. They then caused the gospel to be preached among the vanquished robbers, resulting in the complete conversion of all the land. Here’s a description of the repentant Nephites that re-established peace:

And now behold, there was not a living soul among all the people of the Nephites who did doubt in the least the words of all the holy prophets which had been spoken, for they knew that it must needs be that they must be fulfilled. And they knew it must be expedient that Christ had come, because of the many signs which had been given according to the words of the prophets. And because of the things which had come to pass already, they knew it must needs be that all things should come to pass according to that which had been spoken. Therefore, they did forsake all their sins, and their abominations, and their whoredoms, and did serve God with all diligence, day and night. (3 Nephi 2:14 RE)

The miraculously established peace among these repentant people didn’t quite last four years. Soon, “some were lifted up unto pride and boastings…the people began to be distinguished by ranks…there became a great unequality in all the land, insomuch that the church began to be broken up…” and ultimately:

Satan had great power unto the stirring up of the people to do all manner of iniquity and to the puffing them up with pride, tempting them to seek for power, and authority, and riches, and the vain things of the world. And thus Satan did lead away the hearts of the people to do all manner of iniquity; therefore, they had not enjoyed peace but a few years. …they were in a state of awful wickedness. Now they did not sin ignorantly, for they knew the will of God concerning them, for it had been taught unto them; therefore, they did willfully rebel against God. (3 Nephi 3:3 RE)

Into this dire circumstance the Lord sent prophets, “preaching and testifying boldly of the sins and iniquities of the people, and testifying unto them concerning the redemption which the Lord would make for his people, or in other words, the resurrection of Christ; and they did testify boldly of his death and sufferings.” (3 Nephi 3:4)

This preaching, as it always does, angered the wicked, who responded by killing the prophets and forming a secret combination:

And they did enter into a covenant one with another, yea, even into that covenant which was given by them of old, which covenant was given and administered by the Devil to combine against all righteousness. Therefore, they did combine against the people of the Lord and enter into a covenant to destroy them and to deliver those who were guilty of murder from the grasp of justice which was about to be administered according to the law. (3 Nephi 3:5)

And now we’ve arrived at the idea I said we would reach in due course. It was put most plainly in the beginning, by none other than the original murderer, Cain: 

And Cain says, Truly I am Mahon, the master of this great secret — that I may murder and get gain; wherefore, Cain was called Master Mahon. (Genesis 3:9 RE)

It’s easy to consider this idea dismissively, as if it were so obvious. Yeah, you can kill someone and steal their stuff. This may be true enough, but such is the domain of amateurs and petty criminals. Cain, under the guidance of Lucifer, had a much greater goal in mind than merely obtaining property through murder. Ultimately, it was about gaining control over human souls. Cain’s murder was an attempt to displace Abel from the birthright position so that Cain could follow Adam as head of the human family with dominion over the earth. 

Naturally, Cain’s plan failed, as the outcome he sought could only be obtained in righteousness, but it didn’t keep him from laying out his secret plans in ways to inspire mankind to murder for the next 6000 years. 

Now, back to the Nephites. Here’s what happened next:

And they did set at defiance the law and the rights of their country. And they did covenant one with another to destroy the governor and to establish a king over the land, that the land should no more be at liberty, but should be subject unto kings. Now behold, I will shew unto you that they did not establish a king over the land, but in this same year, yea, the thirtieth year, they did destroy upon the judgment seat, yea, did murder the chief judge of the land. And the people were divided one against another and they did separate one from another into tribes, every man according to his family, and his kindred, and friends; and thus they did destroy the government of the land. (3 Nephi 3:5-6 RE)

The wicked combination intended to overthrow the current government and establish a king by murdering the chief judge. What they didn’t bank on was that the government had already been so weakened, and the fabric of society so frayed through wickedness that the murder of the chief judge—rather than resulting in a new government—resulted in no government at all. The people broke up into tribes and banded together for survival. 

And all this iniquity had come upon the people because they did yield themselves unto the power of Satan. And the regulations of the government were destroyed because of the secret combination of the friends and the kindreds of those who murdered the prophets. And they did cause a great contention in the land…and thus six years had not passed away since the more part of the people had turned from their righteousness, like the dog to his vomit or like the sow to her wallowing in the mire. (3 Nephi 3:6 RE)

The Nephites remained in this general state of wickedness and societal destruction for the next three years until the natural disasters at Christ’s death overtook and annihilated the wicked. Regarding those who had destroyed the government by murdering the chief judge, the Lord said the following: 

And behold, that great city Jacob-ugath, which was inhabited by the people of king Jacob, have I caused to be burned with fire because of their sins and their wickedness, which was above all the wickedness of the whole earth because of their secret murders and combinations, for it was they that did destroy the peace of my people and the government of the land. Therefore, I did cause them to be burned to destroy them from before my face, that the blood of the prophets and the saints should not come up unto me anymore against them. (3 Nephi 4:6 RE)

Chief Judges

In considering this particular round of Nephite destruction, it’s perhaps tempting to think the chief judge’s murder was a new idea, tried out by desperate revolutionaries in hopes of establishing a king. But this isn’t the case at all. Of the 12 named chief judges in the 90-plus-year history of the reign of the judges over the people of Nephi, fully five of them were murdered in office—always by secret combinations, always for the purpose of getting gain, and twice causing governmental collapse. That’s nearly half, folks. Might there be a lesson there for us? 

Here’s what I take from it: Those who submit themselves to Satan ultimately lust for power and control over others. This power lust drives increasingly desperate actions against any who stand in the way of the ambitious, until the ultimate solution presents itself to their minds: Murder those who stand in your way, and you will gain what you seek. 

The history of humanity most certainly bears this out. Those seeking power, wealth, gratification of lust, and control of the institutions that could deliver all these things have bathed the world in blood nearly continually, ever since Cain first demonstrated the technique. 

The pattern is SO strong, SO pervasive, SO commonly acted out on stages both public and private, that this idea explains nearly all murders committed among all humanity for the last 6000 years. 

And now I, Moroni, do not write the manner of their oaths and combinations, for it hath been made known unto me that they are had among all people; and they are had among the Lamanites. And they have caused the destruction of this people of whom I am now speaking, and also the destruction of the people of Nephi. And whatsoever nation shall uphold such secret combinations, to get power and gain, until they shall spread over the nation, behold, they shall be destroyed; for the Lord will not suffer that the blood of his saints which shall be shed by them shall always cry unto him from the ground for vengeance upon them and yet he avengeth them not. (Ether 3:18 RE, emphasis mine)

Indeed if such plans are had among all people, they are certainly had in our nation and in our day. Given the prophecies already upon us, and those that will shortly be fulfilled, we should not be surprised to find we are the most murderous of any people ever to exist.

Whoa, there’s an assertion for you. 

Blood of the Innocents

As I write this, our nation is wracked with a massive upheaval threatening what’s left of our societal stability and rule of law. The Supreme Court of the United States just overturned a 50-year-old, poorly reasoned, tortuously applied ruling that an implied right to privacy constituted a right to abortion at will. Or in plainer terms, the Supreme Court ruled that abortion is an issue for the states to settle through legislation at the state level. There is not now, and never has been a Constitutional “right” to abortion.

This certainly doesn’t end the legacy of killing the unborn in our country, but it brings the current chapter to a close, after the deaths of some 63 million unborn children, almost universally for the “gain” of those sponsoring, choosing, and performing the killing. 

Rather than dwell on the horrific legacy of abortion in our nation, or the affront and offense it is to our Heavenly Parents, I’ll instead focus on the actions of those participating in this combination. The pending Supreme Court opinion was intentionally leaked in early May—a breach so egregious that it has never happened before in our nation’s history. Since that time, those in favor of killing the unborn have become increasingly angry, violent, and unwilling to be governed.  

After the leak, pregnancy centers were vandalized. Demonstrations were organized. Open threats were issued against those who would dare suggest the killings ought to stop, or even be regulated by the states. The coming ruling was mischaracterized in the most inflammatory language possible, outright lies were published and repeated about it, and politicians, governments, media organizations, celebrities, and corporations all sought to use any means possible to intimidate both the Supreme Court and the nation, perhaps hoping enough fear would cause the court to change the opinion before it was officially published. 

In response, the moon hid her face on the night of May 15-16, in the longest lunar eclipse of this century. The last blood moon of this duration took place 33 years ago, in 1989. Perhaps take notice of that 33-year span.

In the run-up to the release of the Court’s opinion, we witnessed the Summer Solstice with its zenith of maximum light, commencing the gradual loss of light now underway. A few days later, we saw the alignment of all 5 visible planets in a rare viewing event. Curiously, the best day for their viewing featured the waning crescent Moon between Venus and Mars (standing in for Earth in the planetary order.) The fact that the Moon was a waning crescent demonstrates before all the assembled planetary heavenly hosts that the Earth is losing light. The Moon’s testimony, in relation to events on the ground, is ominous. 

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That very day, the Supreme Court issued its unchanged opinion, striking down Roe v. Wade and though many celebrated this monumental decision, the far more vocal, angry, graphic, vulgar, loud, noticeable, media-promoted demonstrations were by the pro-killing crowd. There was no civil, reasoned discussion or debate of this matter. Why engage in an intellectual discussion of case law, legal precedent, federalism, states rights, biology, fetal development, women’s rights, religion, godliness, morality, or any of the myriad other important facets of this question, when you can instead paint a vulgar sign, smear your crotch with red paint, and scream obscenities at peaceful passers-by while you vandalize a church to show your disdain for life and law all while standing in a state that still allows abortion!? 

  • We witnessed national elected representatives calling the Supreme Court illegitimate, and openly calling for its dissolution and the destruction of our constitutional government.
  • We witnessed politicians stating they would simply refuse to obey laws with which they disagreed, including laws that limit killing the unborn. 
  • We witnessed vandalism, burning and bombing of churches, medical facilities, pregnancy care centers, and pro-life organizations, most concentrated in states where abortion is still allowed and promoted.
  • We witnessed open calls for a national split, civil war, or at least violence against any who believe in the sanctity of life. 
  • We witnessed ongoing personal threats and verbal attacks against the Supreme Court Justices, which included publishing their home addresses and organizing demonstrations at their homes (which is blatantly and directly against federal law, but was not prosecuted and is instead openly promoted by the current White House administration.)
  • We witnessed holders of high public office proclaiming from the steps of the Supreme Court that the Justices must suffer consequences for their rulings. 
  • In summary, we witnessed public calls for violence against the chief judges. The baby killers are now vocally promoting the assassination of various Justices, and even their families. 

Murder to Get Gain

In short, those most interested in murdering to get gain have done the math, considered the makeup of the court, realize the impact of a single changed vote, and are now calling for the murder of a chief judge. At least one assassin set out with the intent and means to do just that, before ultimately being apprehended and charged. This ought to come as a gut kick to anyone who believes the warnings in the Book of Mormon. It certainly did to me. The death of one chief judge is as likely to upend our government and society as it was to upend the Nephite nation. And we know how that turned out.

What I found most shocking was not that abortion supporters are calling for the murder of a Supreme Court Justice, but rather that they are being so public about it. Guys, it’s supposed to be a secret combination—remember? What, haven’t you read the book?

A recent poll by the leftist Southern Poverty Law Center found broad support for political violence, most particularly among younger people. Take a look at their findings, below:

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As you can see, the under-50 demographic of both major political parties expresses impressive levels of support for political assassinations, with nearly half of respondents among some demographics in favor. Such poll numbers ought to have Lucifer positively giddy with excitement. Hell, he’s polling even better than the president. 

All sarcasm aside, it’s clear we’re in deep trouble. Though overturning Roe v. Wade was certainly a positive step, it was taken by the same court that widely refused to consider the rights of those who object to forced experimental vaccination on religious grounds. Far from being the harbinger of a better future for society, it appears that the true legacy of the decision may ultimately have little to do with halting abortion, and far more to do with creating greater division, violence and destruction in what’s left of our nation. 

The pre-crucifixion Nephite nation, in a whiplash-inducing swing went from full conversion and righteousness to vile wickedness, loss of government, tribalism and ripeness for destruction in two years. Three years after that, the wicked were all wiped out. 

And it all fell apart with a single idea: murder to get gain. Sadly, that idea is now more popular than ever.

178 Years Ago

Having examined the ancient pattern established by Lucifer as a secret combination, its fundamental tenet of murder to get gain, and its modern application as the train careens wildly down the mountain toward the curve in the tracks, we should not fail to notice the pattern of murder among the religious. Just as killing political opponents often appears to the wicked as a solution to their problems and the path to gaining what they seek, so also it has always appeared to religious authorities as the path to freedom, power, control and wealth. 

True prophets have ever been threatened, abused, and killed for doing nothing other than teaching the truth. Because truth threatens the false institutions and power structures that have accumulated wealth and power, truth tellers become targets of the ambitious, the proud, the lustful, and the fearful. This played out 178 years ago today in an upper-floor room of a jailhouse in Carthage, Illinois, where two prophets sent by God to speak truth were murdered by a secret combination that lied about the deaths and gained a legacy of power, control, unbridled lust, and untold wealth built on the blood of the dead witnesses. 

Enough truth remained after the Smith brothers were gone to maintain a flicker in a darkening world. The Book of Mormon is a light that will not, indeed cannot, be extinguished, and together with the other revelations that came through Joseph and Hyrum Smith, truth gained a foothold in this fallen place. Their deaths were not in vain and will remain so as long as believers seek to rise up and know the God that manifested himself through these two witnesses. 

They trod the path that we must now follow. They laid the foundation upon which we must now build. Although the institution they left behind was immediately hijacked and corrupted by the very combination that conspired to kill them, enough of the truths they taught endured and caught the attention of others who would carry the work forward. The God of Heaven has now made a bonafide offer to continue what they started, rescue us from destruction and gather us to safety and peace. We are invited to know him as the Smith brothers did. Lucifer’s murderous combinations have reigned far too long with blood and horror on this earth.

I began this post by stating that when Christ came to the Nephites at Bountiful, he came to the surviving remnant of a destroyed nation. In the next and final installment we will consider the Lord’s promises, the current remnant, the destroyed nation, and how to be present when the Lord comes. The Book of Mormon is, after all, more prophecy than history.

Wherefore, the Lord commandeth you, when ye shall see these things come among you, that ye shall awake to a sense of your awful situation because of this secret combination which shall be among you; or woe be unto it because of the blood of them who have been slain, for they cry from the dust for vengeance upon it, and also upon those who build it up.

—Ether 3:18 RE

Sunday, May 1, 2022

Two Great Upcoming Events

There are two great events coming up and I want to do my part to spread the word. Both look like they're going to be phenomenally well done and worth attending. 

First, the Remnant Youth Conference:

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Second, the Stand Independent Conference:

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Please visit the conference website here:

Or, here are some specific links:

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Destruction, Part 6: Four Passovers

It is the Lord’s Passover, for I will pass through the land of Egypt this night and will smite all the first born in the land of Egypt, both man and beast, and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment; I am the Lord. And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you when I smite the land of Egypt.

—Exodus 8:2, RE

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 |Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8

The annual celebration of Passover commemorates the deliverance of Israel from bondage and slavery in Egypt. The seven-day celebration begins with the Seder meal held after sunset on the first day of the festival. This meal includes many traditions and rich symbolism, including the drinking of four cups of wine throughout the meal. 

Tradition tells us the four cups commemorate the four-fold promise of deliverance found in Exodus 6:6-7 (Ex. 4:1 RE):

Wherefore, say unto the children of Israel, I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will remove you out of their bondage, and I will redeem you with a stretched out arm and with great judgments. And I will take you to me for a people and I will be to you a God, and you shall know that I am the Lord your God who brings you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. 

Each of the bolded statements is a promise given by God, and each is symbolized by a cup of wine, as follows:

Though Jewish tradition ascribes meaning to each of the statements and cups in the context of the Israelite liberation from Egypt and entry into the Promised Land, I choose to take a more expansive view of the meanings of the statements and the cups, beginning with the Israelite Exodus, and continuing through three more Passovers that constitute the four pivotal moments in Israel’s redemption.

All the passovers have elements they share in common; watch for these elements as we discuss the four Passovers.

  • Three days journey
  • Sacrifice
  • Blood
  • Death
  • Destruction and suffering
  • Negotiation for release
  • Miracles
  • A ceremonial meal
  • Wine
  • A nighttime escape
  • A final deliverance
  • Freedom under a new government

The First Passover

The first of the four Passovers is the Passover with which we are all familiar, associated with the Exodus from Egypt. It began with Moses and Aaron asking Pharaoh to allow the people to travel three days journey into the wilderness to sacrifice. Upon Pharaoh’s refusal, the Lord sent plagues of destruction and suffering, beginning with turning the waters to blood, and culminating with the death of all the firstborn in Egypt. The “Passover” refers to the angel of death passing over the Israelite homes marked with the blood of the sacrificed lamb, while the Israelites ate a ceremonial meal inside. They were instructed to eat the meal “in haste” with “your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand” to be ready to depart immediately on their journey. They departed by night and escaped the Egyptians, only to be followed by Pharaoh’s armies. Their final deliverance occurred when the Lord parted the Red Sea through which they escaped on dry ground, and then returned the sea and drowned Pharaoh’s armies. 

All the events I mentioned in the above bullet list occurred in this passover and  prefigure similar events in the subsequent Passovers. You may want to consult the bullet list and see if you can find them all. 

One other item to note—the first cup in the Seder, the Cup of Sanctification and Separation, linked to the statement, “I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians” symbolizes this exodus.

The Second Passover

Having delivered the House of Israel from physical bondage through the initial Passover and exodus, the next item on the Lord’s agenda was their spiritual deliverance from the bondage of ignorance and false religion. Like the first Passover exodus, this second occurred at a time when Israel labored under burdens. The Northern kingdom had already turned apostate, been conquered and carried away captive by the Assyrians. The Southern kingdom had been preliminarily conquered by Babylon with Zedekiah sitting on the throne of David as Babylon’s puppet king. The reforms instituted by Josiah had gone to great lengths to destroy scripture and alter the Israelite religion, including erasure of the divine feminine, removal of the Messiah from scripture, elimination of entire books that were too Messianic, and centralization of all worship at the temple in Jerusalem. The people labored in great wickedness and prophets foretold their doom.

Into this desperate situation, the Lord sent Lehi who preached of both the coming destruction and the future Messiah. This proved too much for the religious authorities, who sought to have Lehi killed. 

At the Lord’s command, Lehi took his family and fled three days’ journey into the wilderness where they made camp and offered sacrifice. The Lord then instructed Lehi that his sons must return to Jerusalem to rescue the “record of the Jews” that was written on brass plates and safeguarded in a treasury. This record contained:

…the five books of Moses, which gave an account of the creation of the world and also of Adam and Eve, who were our first parents, and also a record of the Jews from the beginning, even down to the commencement of the reign of Zedekiah, king of Judah, and also the prophecies of the holy prophets from the beginning, even down to the commencement of the reign of Zedekiah, and also many prophecies which have been spoken by the mouth of Jeremiah. (1 Nephi 1:22 RE)

Even more important, this record, preserved on metal plates, had not been altered by revisionists. It was likely the last remaining unadulterated record of the original religion God gave to Adam, and the original words of all the prophets. It testified of the Messiah in full and rich detail, and as such was undoubtedly targeted for destruction by those bent on obliterating this sacred knowledge.

Lehi’s sons tried negotiating with Laban for the record’s release, making multiple attempts to convince Laban to relinquish it. They sacrificed all their worldly wealth in an attempt to purchase the record. But ultimately, it was Nephi who secured the record when he found Laban inebriated in the street, killed him, stole his armor, and impersonated his way into the treasury to retrieve the record. 

This all likely happened at Passover. Indeed, evidence suggests Laban’s death took place on the last day of Passover, just after the final festival celebrating the death of the Egyptians in the Red Sea. Laban’s drunkenness was the natural result of the final celebration, and Nephi’s ability to creep through the city by night undetected, kill Laban, impersonate him, and retrieve the record were all likely facilitated by the fact that most of the city was passed out drunk that night. 

Like the first Passover, this one contained all the same representative elements. But rather than concluding with the physical deliverance of Israel, this Passover exodus brought about the eventual spiritual salvation of the covenant people. The Brass Plates were the direct precursor to the Book of Mormon. In fact, I’ll go so far as to say the Book of Mormon was a direct continuation of the Brass Plates record. Without the retrieval of the Brass Plates, the Book of Mormon likely would never have existed, and therefore its ultimate purpose and destiny in the Marvelous Work that will gather and spiritually restore Israel in these last days would not be possible. This was truly a pivotal Passover.

It is symbolized by the second cup of wine in the Seder, the Cup of Deliverance and Judgment, associated with the Lord’s statement, “I will remove you out of their bondage.” All Israel was delivered from the spiritual bondage of false religion through this Passover and exodus, while Judgment rained down in the form of Babylon’s final conquest of Jerusalem.

For more information on the Passover exodus of Lehi, I recommend this blog post over at Stick of Joseph.

The Third Passover

Jesus Christ’s suffering, sacrificial death and resurrection all occurred at Passover. He embodied the Paschal lamb without blemish that would be inspected, judged, sacrificed, and eaten in the Seder meal. Prior to Christ’s death, Pilate negotiated with the crowd to determine who would be released. Our Lord escaped his suffering as evening fell, and took his three day journey in the spirit world. Then final deliverance came at the resurrection when he broke the bands of death and returned to life. Every Passover element and symbol was fulfilled in these events, and this Passover delivered Israel from sin and death. 

For interesting information about the timing of this Passover, check out this post at Stick of Joseph.

This Passover is symbolized by the third cup in the Seder meal, the Cup of Redemption, reflecting the Lord’s statement, “I will redeem you with a stretched out arm and with great judgments.” Christ’s arms were stretched out on the cross, as great judgments fell on the world. On the American continent, fierce and unprecedented destructions took place by storm, fire, earthquake, tsunami, electrical storm and volcano. The wicked were destroyed as entire cities were erased. This was the greatest Passover yet, and it resulted in the redemption of all creation. 

The Fourth Passover

The fourth and final Passover has not yet taken place, but it is prophesied and expected. This Passover is the topic of Malachi’s prophecy:

Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another, and the Lord hearkened and heard. And a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord and that thought upon his name. And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of Hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels. And I will spare them as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. Then shall ye return and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not. For behold, the day cometh that shall burn as an oven, and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble; and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of Hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.

But unto you that fear my name shall the Son of Righteousness arise with healing in his wings. And ye shall go forth and grow up as calves in the stall; and ye shall tread down the wicked, for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of Hosts. (3 Nephi 11:4-5 RE) 

As I’m sure you’re aware, this prophecy makes appearance in every volume of our scripture, and was the first scripture quoted by Nephi when he appeared to Joseph Smith in September 1823. It is one of the major themes of the restoration and the ultimate conclusion of this era, including its promise of protection for the righteous, who will be “passed over” in the day of burning.

Specifically for this final Passover, the Lord has made all the following promises to those who will receive and faithfully keep his Covenant:

And I, the Lord your God, will be with you and will never forsake you, and I will lead you in the path which will bring peace to you in the troubling season now fast approaching.

I will raise you up and protect you, abide with you, and gather you in due time, and this shall be a land of promise to you as your inheritance from me. 

The earth will yield its increase, and you will flourish upon the mountains and upon the hills, and the wicked will not come against you because the fear of the Lord will be with you.

I will visit my house, which the remnant of my people shall build, and I will dwell therein, to be among you, and no one will need to say, Know ye the Lord, for you all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.

I will teach you things that have been hidden from the foundation of the world and your understanding will reach unto Heaven.

And you shall be called the children of the Most High God, and I will preserve you against the harvest.

And the angels sent to harvest the world will gather the wicked into bundles to be burned, but will pass over you as my peculiar treasure. (T&C 158:12-18)

These robust promises of separation, deliverance, protection, prosperity, knowledge, spiritual growth, and adoption reflect but also surpass all the promises of deliverance in the prior three Passovers. The final promise that the covenant people will be passed over refers to the final, triumphant return of the Lord when the wicked will be destroyed and the righteous will be blessed. 

This final Passover reflects the fourth cup of the Seder meal, the Cup of Acceptance, associated with the promise, “I will take you to me for a people and I will be to you a God.” In language of the Covenant, the Lord phrases it thus:

All you who have turned from your wicked ways and repented of your evil doings, of lying and deceiving, and of all whoredoms, and of secret abominations, idolatries, murders, priestcrafts, envying, and strife, and from all wickedness and abominations, and have come unto me, and been baptized in my name, and have received a remission of your sins, and received the holy ghost, are now numbered with my people who are of the house of Israel. (T&C 158:10)

And you shall be called the children of the Most High God, and I will preserve you against the harvest. (T&C 158:17)

In 1831, the Lord spoke through Joseph Smith about an initial attempt to establish Zion in Missouri. Regarding the ultimate triumph, he spoke the following:

Behold, verily I say unto you, for this cause I have sent you — that you might be obedient, and that your hearts might be prepared to bear testimony of the things which are to come, and also that you might be honored of laying the foundation and of bearing record of the land upon which the Zion of God shall stand. And also, that a feast of fat things might be prepared for the poor, yea, a feast of fat things, of wine on the lees well refined, that the earth may know that the mouths of the prophets shall not fail; yea, a supper of the House of the Lord, well prepared, unto which all nations shall be invited: firstly, the rich and the learned, the wise and the noble, and after that comes the day of my power. Then shall the poor, the lame, and the blind, and the deaf come in unto the marriage of the Lamb, and partake of the supper of the Lord prepared for the great day to come. Behold, I, the Lord, have spoken it. (T&C 45:2)

This “supper of the House of the Lord,” featuring “fat things” and “wine on the lees well refined” is the marriage supper of the Lamb, prefigured in the parable of the 10 Virgins, and also mentioned other places. “Wine on the lees” refers to wine that has been left to age on its “lees” or residue of the grape juice that has settled to the bottom of the barrel. Aging wine in this way produces a richer, creamier, more complex wine than would otherwise be achieved. Describing the wine in this way implies careful preparation and exceptional quality. 

Jewish tradition speaks of this wine in specific detail, calling it the Yayin HaMeshumar, or “wine of the keeping” including the tradition that this wine was actually prepared in the Garden of Eden, prior to the fall, and that it has been “kept in its grapes” (or aging on its lees) from the six days of creation, in preparation for this Passover feast. I expect wine from the grapes found in the Garden of Eden will be excellent beyond all other earthly wine. I also theorize that it will cause actual physical changes in the bodies of those who drink it.

Behold, this is wisdom in me; wherefore, marvel not, for the hour comes that I will drink of the fruit of the vine with you on the earth, and with all those whom my Father has given me out of the world. Wherefore, lift up your hearts and rejoice, and gird up your loins, and be faithful until I come. Even so, Amen. (T&C 8:2)

Regarding this final Passover, I won’t pretend to know the details of how it will all take place, but given the well-established elements of the other three Passovers, I expect the events of this final Passover will, at a minimum, include the following:

  • Three days journey
  • Sacrifice
  • Blood
  • Death
  • Destruction and suffering
  • Negotiation for release
  • Miracles
  • A ceremonial meal
  • Wine
  • A nighttime initial escape
  • A final deliverance
  • Freedom under a new government

I hesitate to even assert inclusion of these elements, and I wouldn’t do it at all except for the undeniable pattern that tells us the Lord works in patterns. These elements are so pervasive in the first three Passovers that I would be very surprised if they are not all present in the fourth. 

Four Angels

In this post we’ve looked at the pattern concerning four promises given at the initial Exodus, featuring four distinct types of deliverance, as commemorated by four cups of wine in the Seder, and referring specifically to four specific Passover events featuring significantly in the deliverance of the House of Israel. 

These four Passovers are also associated with the Four Great Angels or Four Archangels associated with the four corners of the earth. As you know, each of these four angels is associated with a specific element, and these four elements play important roles in the Passovers. They are as follows:

  1. Gabriel, who is the angel over water. He is associated with the first Passover as Israel’s final deliverance came through the waters of the Red Sea:

    And the children of Israel went into the middle of the sea upon the dry ground, and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand and on their left…And Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to his strength when the morning appeared, and the Egyptians fled against it, and the Lord overthrew the Egyptians in the middle of the sea. (Ex. 9:4 RE)

  2. Michael, who is the angel over air. He is associated with the second Passover as Lehi’s family was driven by the wind to their final deliverance in the Land of Promise:

    And it came to pass, after we had all gone down into the ship, and had taken with us our provisions and things which had been commanded us, we did put forth into the sea and were driven forth before the wind towards the promised land. (1 Nephi 5:28 RE)

  3. Uriel, who is the angel over earth. Christ’s triumph over sin occurred when he spilled his blood on the earth, and his triumph over death occurred when he came forth alive, out of the earth:

    Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from you. But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and there shall be no sign given to it but the sign of the prophet Jonah; for as Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly, so shall the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. (Matt 6:15 RE)

  4. Raphael, who is the angel over fire. Christ’s return is spoken of as the day that will burn as an oven, wherein the wicked will finally be vanquished and the righteous will live in peace:

    For behold, the day cometh that shall burn as an oven, and all the proud, yea and all that do wickedly, shall burn as stubble; for they that cometh shall burn them, saith the Lord of Hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. (JSH 3:4 RE)

    Raphael, who is Enoch, will return at that day with his people and his city. They are “they that cometh.” 

In each case, the Angel and his associated element represent the final deliverance of Israel from their enemies. 

What Matters Now? 

As you know the general topic of this series is destruction. As we’ve taken a hard look at our precarious situation, and the destruction already upon us, I thought it would be worthwhile to also consider the patterns in scripture that teach us not only of destruction, but also of salvation from destruction. The Passovers teach us of deliverance, redemption, protection, acceptance, and triumph available in our day through the Lord’s Covenant. They are the Lord’s object lessons, given to teach us the way of peace.

By recognizing the patterns of what has happened in the past and what is now upon us, we see the Lord’s wisdom, power and foreknowledge manifest. It is all happening according to a divine plan—which plan puts before us a Covenant if we will receive it. And this is what matters now.

The Covenant is the blood on the doorposts; it is the uncorrupted scripture hidden in the treasury; it is the fulfillment of Christ’s sacrifice and resurrection; it is how the Lord will make up his Jewels; it is the great secret of the Passover and the wine of the keeping at the feast of the House of the Lord.

Receiving and keeping the covenant is the only way to receive the Lord’s promise of protection from the destruction that is already upon us. The pattern is solid; the prophecies are sure, the evidence is overwhelming. The day soon cometh that shall burn as an oven.

Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the Lord. Awake as in the ancient days, in the generations of old. Are you not it that has cut Rahab and wounded the dragon? Are you not it which has dried the sea, the waters of the great deep, that has made the depths of the sea a way for the ransomed to pass over? Therefore, the redeemed of the Lord shall return and come with singing unto Zion, and everlasting joy and holiness shall be upon their head. They shall obtain gladness and joy; sorrow and mourning shall flee away. I am he, yea, I am he that comforts you.

—Isaiah 18:3 RE