And now we can behold the decrees of God concerning this land, that it is a land of promise, and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall serve God or they shall be swept off when the fullness of his wrath shall come upon them. ... Wherefore, he that doth possess it shall serve God or shall be swept off, for it is the everlasting decree of God. ... And it is not until the fullness of iniquity among the children of the land that they are swept off.
—Ether 1:7 RE
The Book of Mormon text contains around 400 occurrences of some form of the word “destroy” or “destruction.” It’s an incredibly common theme, and not surprisingly so, given that the text recounts the destruction of two entire civilizations as well as countless occasions of their partial destruction. So prevalent is the notion that by the second paragraph in the book, we’ve already encountered a warning of destruction:
For it came to pass in the commencement of the first year of the reign of Zedekiah, king of Judah — my father Lehi having dwelt at Jerusalem in all his days — and in that same year there came many prophets, prophesying unto the people that they must repent or the great city Jerusalem must be destroyed. (1 Nephi 1:2 RE)
Lehi learned for himself of Jerusalem’s coming destruction in a vision when he read the following words from a book handed to him by one whose “luster was above that of the sun at noonday”:
Woe, woe unto Jerusalem, for I have seen thine abominations. Yea, and many things did my father read concerning Jerusalem: that it should be destroyed and the inhabitants thereof; many should perish by the sword and many should be carried away captive into Babylon. (1 Nephi 1:3 RE)
So it’s safe to say the prophetic theme of the whole Book of Mormon is that of a warning sent before a coming destruction. The Book of Commandments (original precursor to the Doctrine and Covenants) begins with the same theme, given in the preface to the book, which was received by revelation:
And again, verily I say unto you, O inhabitants of the earth, for I, the Lord, am willing to make these things known unto all flesh, for I am no respecter to persons and will that all men shall know that the day speedily comes; the hour is not yet, but is nigh at hand, when peace shall be taken from the earth and the Devil shall have power over his own dominion; and also, the Lord shall have power over his saints, and shall reign in their midst, and shall come down in judgment upon Idumea, or the world. (T&C 54:6)
Both of these prophetic scriptural prefaces intersect at the loss of peace:
“Jerusalem must be destroyed.” Jerusalem was originally known as Salem, which is the anglicized version of “shalom,” the Hebrew word for peace. The metaphoric warning, therefore, is that peace is about to be destroyed.
“Peace shall be taken from the earth” is the warning in the Book of Commandments, “and the Devil shall have power over his own dominion.” A sober warning indeed, reinforced by a sign from heaven when the “Great American Eclipse” of 2017 crossed over 7 American cities named Salem.
It shouldn’t escape our attention that Melchizedek’s city Salem was indeed “taken from the earth” anciently to join the City of Enoch, and will return when the Prince of Peace returns:
Melchizedek’s city of peace came because those who heard him repented. They were taken into Heaven by their repentance. They, like Enoch’s city, will return in the last days. The wicked will not survive their return. The next time there is a place where people of righteousness are taught and gathered, it will no longer be taken up to Heaven. Instead, it will allow Enoch’s and Melchizedek’s people to return. A holy city must be prepared to welcome that return. (T&C Glossary of Gospel Terms: Melchizedek)
In Post 3, we noted the Book of Mormon’s publication occurred in year 200 of the Roger Williams timeline, which is by the Book of Mormon pattern the Zenith year, when righteousness and prosperity reach their pinnacle, take a turn and begin to decline. Such is indeed a fortuitous time for a prophetic warning to be given in the form of a new book of scripture. That warning tells us of coming destruction:
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)
With this in mind, let’s take another look at that opening theme from the Book of Mormon. Prophets warned that “the great city Jerusalem must be destroyed.” Yet, though Jerusalem was indeed destroyed, it didn’t cease to exist. The walls were breached, important buildings were burned, the temple was looted and burned, and the nobles were carried away captive. Many were killed. But Jerusalem continued to exist, greatly diminished, populated by the poor and insignificant, scratching out their living in and around the ruined city, aware of its former glory, weeping for its desolation. “Destruction” as it relates to a city does not mean the city disappears. It remains, though fundamentally altered and weakened.
The record tells us that Alma the younger and the sons of Mosiah sought to “destroy” the church of God:
And now it came to pass that while he was going about to destroy the church of God — for he did go about secretly with the sons of Mosiah, seeking to destroy the church and to lead astray the people of the Lord contrary to the commandments of God, or even the king (Mosiah 11:26 RE)
Their method consisted of leading people astray contrary to the commandments of God by teaching falsehoods. And that’s all it takes to “destroy” true religion. If the truth can be polluted, if the doctrine can be compromised, if scripture can be altered, misinterpreted or ignored, any of these actions will compromise true religion to the point that it cannot save. It may still be called a religion, a church, a corporation or whatnot, much as salt that has lost its savor may still be called “salt” even though it is good for nothing but to be cast out and trodden under the foot of men (3 Nephi 5:20 RE). In this regard, and if history is any indication, religion is among the easiest of institutions to destroy, and its adherents will continue to ignorantly practice the destroyed religion, sometimes for millennia.
The ultimate goal of destroying religion is, of course, not simply to destroy the religion, but to destroy souls.
And the angel spake unto me, saying, Behold, the gold, and the silver, and the silks, and the scarlets, and the fine twined linen, and the precious clothing, and the harlots are the desires of this great and abominable church. And also for the praise of the world do they destroy the saints of God and bring them down into captivity. (1 Nephi 3:19 RE)
As with cities and churches, the “destruction” of a soul does not mean its complete annihilation; rather it means that soul must suffer the judgments of God. Said Jacob to his proud brethren:
And now my brethren, do ye suppose that God justifies you in this thing? Behold, I say unto you, nay, but he condemneth you; and if ye persist in these things, his judgments must speedily come unto you. Oh that he would shew you that he can pierce you, and with one glance of his eye he can smite you to the dust. Oh that he would rid you from this iniquity and abomination. And, oh that ye would listen unto the word of his commands, and let not this pride of your hearts destroy your souls. (Jacob 2:5)
In each of these cases, we’ve seen that “destruction” does not require complete annihilation, and that what is “destroyed” can continue to exist, albeit in an altered and diminished state, for quite some time. This brings us back to the example of Rochester Castle from Post 4, which was destroyed the moment the miners removed the foundation from the corner of the Southeast tower. Oh sure, the castle was still standing, the walls still shielding the garrison from stones and arrows, but the destruction was already a fait accompli, with the timing of the actual fall left as the only remaining question.
And so we encounter the chilling notion that a people and even a nation can be destroyed and not know it. Yes, that seems odd, and yet the Book of Mormon text bears it out. Let’s consider some instructive examples.
The prophet Ether warned Coriantumr of coming destruction:
And in the second year, the word of the Lord came to Ether that he should go and prophesy unto Coriantumr that if he would repent, and all his household, the Lord would give unto him his kingdom and spare the people. Otherwise, they should be destroyed, and all his household, save it were himself. And he should only live to see the fulfilling of the prophecies which had been spoken concerning another people receiving the land for their inheritance, and Coriantumr should receive a burial by them, and every soul should be destroyed save it were Coriantumr. And it came to pass that Coriantumr repented not, neither his household, neither the people; and the wars ceased not. And they sought to kill Ether, but he fled from before them and hid again in the cavity of the rock. (Ether 6:5 RE)
The moment Coriantumr rejected Ether’s message, he sealed the destruction of himself and his people. They were, at that moment destroyed and all that remained was the blood and carnage to complete the deed. Every word of Ether’s amazing prophecy was precisely fulfilled. And that’s just the point: once the destruction has been decreed and the conditions met for its completion, it will proceed to completion, and nothing can stop it. When the foundation has been removed, the castle will fall. There is no other way.
Let’s look at another example:
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. 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. And every tribe did appoint a chief or a leader over them; and thus they became tribes and leaders of tribes. Now behold, there was no man among them save he had much family and many kindreds and friends, therefore their tribes became exceeding great. Now all this was done, and there were no wars as yet among them. And all this iniquity had come upon the people because they did yield themselves unto the power of Satan. (3 Nephi 3:5-6 RE)
In this example the government and the rule of law were destroyed by the murder of the chief judge. Notice there was not complete social breakdown or mass chaos, nor was there war. The people divided into tribes, and lived in some degree of peace as they rebelled against God and murdered the prophets he sent. They had already been destroyed but didn’t realize it until their annihilation in the upheavals during Christ’s crucifixion three years later.
And thus we see there is a space of time between destruction and what the Book of Mormon calls “sweeping off” or “utter destruction.” During that time, the course of destruction can be changed, but only by repentance. If the repentance is widespread and sincere, the decreed destruction is rescinded, as was the case with Ninevah when Jonah warned them. If the repentance is sparse and individual, some remnant may be led away to safety before the sweeping off, as happened with Lehi, Nephi and Mosiah, but the remaining population will be swept off.
God sends prophets and signs to warn of destruction, though they are seldom widely heeded. I believe the blood moon tetrad of 2014-2015 was God’s general warning, culminating in the final super moon sign of Jonah calling us to repent as did Ninevah. Sadly, the signs overhead were largely viewed as little more than curiosities.
Naturally, much has changed since 2015 and our society has become alarmingly more angry, divided, ignorant, confused, fearful, and dark. I could write essay upon essay citing the absolute insanity of what we’ve become. When the way to defeat racism is by becoming hyper racist, when the way to empower women is by cheering while men in makeup defeat them in competition, when the most important qualification for a Supreme Court Justice of the United States is skin color and genitalia, and the woman nominated for that position says she cannot define the word “woman,” when an alarming majority of people are afraid to express their thoughts for fear of very real consequences, when it becomes criminal to even question mathematically impossible election results, when parents are told they have no say in, and no right to even know what their children are being taught at school regarding race and sexuality, when government and tech companies can monitor all facets of private lives without cause or warrant, when free citizens can be arrested and imprisoned without trial for simply being in a certain city on a certain day, and when religions have become the greatest champions of control instead of truth, when the government causes massive inflation by creating prodigious amounts of fiat money without creating any value, when government bureaucrats intentionally destroy huge swaths of the economy in the name of pretended climate salvation, and when choruses of billions demand war, we simply must be blind not to notice the path we’re on and the doom to which it leads.
Wow, that was a tough paragraph to write, but there’s still more, which brings us back to Roger Williams and the first amendment.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
In very recent times whether we realize it or not, we’ve witnessed the loss of our constitution, the rule of law, and the notion of God-given Natural Rights. Each guarantee listed in the first amendment above, though still ostensibly existing as the law of the land, has been undermined to the point of destruction.
Freedom to Assemble and Petition
After what happened on January 6 2021, including the disturbing evidence of intentional rejection of National Guard troops, undercover FBI agents agitating the crowd, video of officers opening doors and letting people into the capitol, the unjustified shooting of a woman in the crowd by an incompetent officer, the massive, coordinated misrepresentation of this event as an “armed insurrection,” and the resulting incarceration of many citizens for over a year and counting, without a trial on the horizon, I think it’s safe to say people will be extremely hesitant to “peaceably assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
Evidently, violent riots, arson, theft, looting, and war on law enforcement are all ok though, as long as you espouse the cause of those in charge.
Freedom of the Press
Nearly every major press outlet is now owned or controlled by a small handful of related corporations. Overwhelming evidence demonstrates the various press outlets collude to control information, shape public opinion, and promote stories in a certain way. They don’t even attempt to hide it at this point. Smaller, independent news outlets who attempt to present an alternative viewpoint find they have no ability to reach any sort of audience because the internet and all other communication channels are controlled by the same corporations that control the news. Alternative viewpoints are de-platformed and silenced.
Every major news outlet took money from the Federal Government to suppress certain information and promote other information regarding Covid, regardless of science or reliable evidence. It was so effective that the majority of our citizens, even most healthcare workers, are utterly unaware of the overwhelming science that contradicts the approved narrative, simply dismissing it all as “anti-vax.” When the government pays to disseminate overwhelming and untrue information, we call that propaganda. Freedom of the press is a thing of the past, even without the government making any specific law to abridge it. It doesn't require aberrant laws to utterly control the press. It only requires consolidation and collusion.
Freedom of Speech
A recent survey showed a strong majority of Americans are afraid to speak their minds on a variety of topics for fear that their personal opinions may bring reprisal, punishment, loss of opportunity, loss of employment, or worse. This is a significant change from just 5 years ago. Self-censorship is now the approach of the majority of Americans. Oh sure, you’re free to speak your mind, but God help you if you do.
Likewise, as I alluded to above, every major social media platform, news outlet, and even internet service providers and mobile phone providers engage in overt censorship of opinions with which they disagree. It’s gotten to the point that even private text messages are censored. It wasn’t too long ago that “censorship” was a dirty, evil word, expressing what was done by totalitarians and dictators to exercise control, dominion and compulsion on the masses. Now it’s just another Tuesday, and few notice or care. The powerful platforms openly censor and remove anyone who departs too far from the approved messaging, regardless of truth.
Freedom of speech ostensibly exists of course, as a legal right. But free speech rights are irrelevant if nobody else can hear what you have to say, and you can’t speak without reprisal.
Freedom of Religion
In Post 2 we discussed how the freedom of religion is the foundation of all other freedoms we enjoy. This is because it inherently enshrines two important truths:
- The relationship between the individual and God supersedes the relationship between the individual and the state. Therefore in the realm of religion, the state has no power to dictate, demand, or deny; it must yield.
- All Natural Rights come to humans from God and not from the state. Therefore, because the state does not bestow Natural Rights, the state likewise cannot revoke them. The state’s sole intended function is to protect the Rights we receive from God.
Upon these two truths hangs all else.
During the ongoing Covid issue, the war engines of big government, big business, big tech, and big pharma hurled volley after volley against the Keep of Natural Rights. Numerous laws were ignored, science was polluted, free speakers were threatened, canceled, and all but destroyed, money, politics, corporate interests and above all, control made mighty gains in the name of “the common good.” Lies were spun with wild abandon, and willing minions repeated them with foam and screeches. Definitions were rewritten. Truth was blatantly denied. But against the sturdy walls of Natural Rights, all these stones and arrows had limited effect.
As long as the freedom of religion remained as the foundation of all Natural Rights, any who objected to the forced administration of an experimental medical treatment for a disease that represented almost no threat, yet had safe harbor.
And now behold, I say unto you that the foundation of the destruction of this people is beginning to be laid by the unrighteousness of your lawyers and your judges. (Alma 8:6 RE)
But that all changed in the face of an unproven, experimental gene therapy, relabeled a “vaccine,” though it neither prevents people from contracting nor from spreading the disease in question (and wasn’t designed to), in the name of an imaginary “greater good” that has no definition, no evidence, and no basis in reality, simply because unelected bureaucrats in positions of power decreed it to be so. The final disaster then ensued:
- In August 2021, Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett denied a bid by students at Indiana University to block the school’s mandatory vaccine requirement over issues of bodily integrity.
- In October 2021, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor refused to block New York City’s mandatory vaccination requirement for all public employees.
- October 29, 2021: The U.S. Supreme Court rejected a case brought by Maine healthcare workers seeking religious exemption to mandatory Covid vaccination.
- November 29, 2021: Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer refused to hear an emergency petition brought by Massachusetts healthcare workers seeking religious exemption to vaccination.
- Dec. 13, 2021: The Supreme Court rejected challenges brought by healthcare workers over New York’s refusal to allow religious exemptions to Covid vaccinations.
- Feb 22, 2022: The Supreme Court rejected an emergency appeal by 15 New York City teachers seeking religious exemption to mandatory vaccination requirements.
The highest court in the land—the court of last resort—has now resoundingly and repeatedly declared, and therefore set precedent for all other courts, that the individual’s relationship with God NO LONGER supersedes the power of the state so long as the state makes any claim of “greater good,” no matter how specious. In practical terms, this means the following:
- Regardless of your religious objections, the state can compel you to undergo experimental medical treatment for a disease you do not have, or face loss of your livelihood, freedom of movement, freedom of association, access to commerce, and access to medical care, among other penalties.
- There is no requirement that the experimental medical procedure be proven safe or effective. (In the case of covid gene therapies, it is utterly impossible to have proven such a thing because the therapies have not existed long enough to establish such a track record.) Indeed, valid science is NOT REQUIRED AT ALL, and to the extent “science” is wanted, it can be manufactured or ignored at will. Executive orders alone appear to be all that is required to strip you of your rights and take control of your body.
- Therefore, the state has asserted, and gained, final control over your body. Since “the spirit and the body is the soul of man” the state now claims control over your soul, even in matters of personal religious observance.
- Therefore, the state now claims to be God, and any other god you worship is subservient to it. Please don’t fail to note the significance of this statement. There’s a new god in town, and the True and Living God has a challenger. (Ask Elijah how that ends.)
- This means there is effectively NO matter of conscience in which the whims of some unelected bureaucrat cannot overthrow your deepest commitments to God. Remarkably, religious leaders have led the charge into this flaming abyss! Moloch is most pleased. (I would add as an aside that following any such religious leader who promoted and assisted this catastrophe is beyond foolish; it is suicide.)
- This is such a fundamental tectonic shift in political and religious understanding, belief and practice that nothing will ever be the same again. Normal is not coming back. Jesus is.
In practical terms, as I write this, I have lights and heat, gas in my car, food in my kitchen, and I’ll get up and go to work tomorrow. My day-to-day life continues much as it has for years, minus a few inconveniences and annoyances. The walls look solid, the roof is holding, and the Keep is well provisioned. And yet, as we’ve been distracted with lockdowns, travel restrictions, mask mandates, and an unending diet of fear porn in the media, the miners have been hard at work, sapping the strength of the final bulwark against tyranny. They have now succeeded in undermining the foundation of it all, and a single spark is all that’s required to ignite the brush, boards and bacon grease that have replaced the foundation. IT HAS CHANGED. It will ignite, it will burn, and it will fall. Great will be the fall thereof.
Our society, our rights, our government, and we as a people have been destroyed.
Roger Williams, the “man among the gentiles” was the beginning. He laid the foundation that supported the structure for nearly 400 years. But true to the Nephite pattern, it has been destroyed in the expected time period. All that remains is the sweeping off soon to come. We may yet have a few years of relative stability in which to build a temple, but even that is in terrible jeopardy at this moment. God help us.
For as their laws and their governments were established by the voice of the people, and they who chose evil were more numerous than they who chose good, therefore they were ripening for destruction. ... For the laws had become corrupted, yea, and this was not all; they were a stiffnecked people, insomuch that they could not be governed by the law nor justice, save it were to their destruction.
—Helaman 2:15 RE
And he had sworn in his wrath unto the brother of Jared that whoso should possess this land of promise, from that time henceforth and for ever should serve him, the true and only God, or they should be swept off when the fullness of his wrath should come upon them.
—Ether 1:6 RE