Thursday, March 31, 2011


Wow - this was very interesting.....

Great stuff for the Wood Zone....


I was very interested to read that (for the first time since I read Joseph Smith's writings), someone else made reference to Shem being Melchizedek, the high priest of Salem:

The Ten WHAT?!!: The Truth About the "Ten Commandments"

Gershon Winkler

The Ten Commandments comprise a sadly misunderstood and misinterpreted body
of ancient Jewish rules-to-live-by, twisted out of context by religious
cultures unfamiliar with the original Hebraic language and cosmology that
originally inspired it.

Ever since the Hebrew scriptures were translated from Hebrew to Greek to
Latin and finally into English, the ancient Decalogue of the Hebrews has
been a household word across the western cultural map. More recently, the
media have given The Ten Commandments further exposure when Cecil B.
DeMille titled his biblical epic "The Ten Commandments", and, when of late,
they aroused controversy surrounding the issue of separation of Church and
State in the case of a county judge who refused to remove them from the
front lawn of his court house. Ironically, the Ten Commandments remained
the stalwart of a European Christian culture that in all other respects was
founded upon an agenda of superceding the very scriptures that contained the
Ten Commandments: the Hebrew Scriptures, otherwise derogatorily known as the
"Old" Testament.

I would like to discuss here some of the original meaning and intent of
this popularly known but sorely misunderstood body of ancient Jewish laws.
For example, nowhere in the Decalogue does it state "Thou shalt not kill".
Rather, the Hebrew writ reads: "You will not murder" (Exodus 20:13). The
"thou shalt not", or "you may not", is an incorrect rendering of what more
accurately reads "you will not", implying that if one observes the
instructions of the first five "commandments" one will not be prone to
committing murder, sexual abuse, theft, slander, etc. After all, the Hebrew
ancestors did not need to be commanded not to murder or steal or slander as
if they were a nation of idiots oblivious to simple, basic morality. It
would otherwise be akin to an American law prohibiting the wanton slaughter
of fellow humans or the random trashing of parked vehicles. The laws in the
Ten Commandments were mostly duplicates of laws already in force and
articulated earlier in the Torah. They were laws long ago transmitted
to Abraham from his teacher Eber who received them from his father Shem
(a/k/a Malkitzedek) who in turn received them from his father Noah, the
famed hero of the Great Flood. They are repeated here in the new context
of relationship with the Creator as opposed to their original context of
mortal legal injunction. Thus, the first several "commandments" are about
the relationship between humans and God, while the last five are about
the relationship between humans and each other. The intention here is to
predicate one upon the other, rather than foster a sense of morality
shadowed by societal legislation alone.

"Noachian Law had been secured by the external safeguard of severe
punishment (Talmud, Baba Kama 38a), which nevertheless proved insufficient
(Talmud, Avot 3:5). Now these external safeguards were to be replaced by
the internal restraints provided by the chuqim of the Torah, laws which
make awareness of God a reality in human life [and a determinant factor in
wholesome human behavior]." - Philip Biberfeld: Universal Jewish History
[Feldheim, 1980], Vol. 4, p. 79

The first of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:3) is another example of a
misreading. It does not read: "Thou shalt have no other gods besides Me
[or before Me]", as it is usually translated; rather it reads: "You shall
have no other gods upon My face", meaning we ought to appropriate onto God
neither definition nor image, presuming to know what God is all about. As
God is described as saying in the Hebraic scriptural book of Isaiah the
Prophet: "'My thoughts are not like your thoughts, and My ways are not like
your ways', declares Infinite One. 'For as high as heavens are from earth,
so high are My ways from your ways, and My thoughts from your thoughts"
(Isaiah 55:8-9). Even the word God is a mistranslation of the Hebrew term
used: elo'heem, which is a plural word meaning literally All Powers
(Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayyim 5:1), and is used also to describe humans
who wield powers such as mortal judges (Exodus 21:6) and persons of high
spiritual standing, or angels (Psalm 82:6).



Using the Book of Mormon to Face the Tests Ahead

M. Catherine Thomas

Our dispensation will embrace the greatest extremes of any day: the tares will be of greater virulence than any preceding period. President Ezra Taft Benson has declared: "Wickedness is rapidly expanding in every segment of our society (see D&C 1:14-16; 84: 49 - 53). It is more highly organized, more cleverly disguised, and more powerfully promoted than ever before." But, at the same time, the wheat will exhibit greater quality than ever before (D&C 86:1-7), because the Church and kingdom of God are increasing in strength, six, and faithfulness. "It [the Church] has never been better organized or equipped to perform its divine mission"

Thus in the midst of the worst trials ever known among the children of men, the Saints will finish up the work of this dispensation under the direction of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is not a defensive position we wish to take but rather a powerful moving forward to establish all of the will of the Lord in preparation for His coming. We need not shrink before the onslaught but prepare to go out to meet the Bridegroom (D&C 133:10)

We will never meet all of the challenges of this dispensation unaided. The forces about to be unleashed against the world will be sufficient to decimate the entire population (D&C 5:19). Only those who have learned how to take the Holy Spirit for their guide will be able to read the signs and abide those days (D&C 45:57); only those who have studied how to draw on the grace, on the divine enabling power of the Lord Jesus Christ, will escape through the means the Lord will provide (D&C 63:24). We will have to be a people who understand personal revelation. We will have to live in direct contact with the temporal world, but we will have to know how to be guided by the heavenly, unseen world.

It is possible to make a long list of specific things we would have to do to endure to the end. But, the real question is this: What is the quintessential preparation from which all other preparations naturally follow? The Lord has provided the answer, and it lies in the inspired use of the Book of Mormon - in particular, the use of the Book of Mormon as an instrument of personal revelation. Nearly every description of the tests that the Saints will undergo makes it clear that only personal revelation will make faithful endurance possible. Inspired uses of the Book of Mormon lie at the very core of the Saints preparation so that they, as the children of light, will not be overtaken as by a thief in the night, at the Lord's appearance (D&C 106:4-5). Prophets through the ages have looked at our day and warned us of the trials that lie ahead. President Heber C. Kimball "often used the language, 'A test, a test is coming.'"

"We think we are secure here in the chambers of the everlasting hills, where we can close those few doors of the canyons against mobs and persecutors, the wicked and the vile, who have always beset us with violence and robbery, but I want to say to you, my brethren, the time is coming when we will be mixed up in these now peaceful valleys to that extent that it will be difficult to tell the face of a Saint from the face of an enemy to the people of God. Then, brethren, look out for the great sieve, for there will be a great sifting time, and many will fall; for I say unto you there is a test, a TEST, a TEST coming, and who will be able to stand?"

"This Church has before it many close places through which it will have to pass before the work of God is crowned with victory. To meet the difficulties that are coming, it will be necessary for you to have a knowledge of the truth of this work for yourselves. The difficulties will be of such a character that the man or woman who does not possess this personal knowledge or witness will fall. If you have not got the testimony, live right and call upon the Lord and cease not till you obtain it. If you do not you will not stand...

"...The time will come when no man nor woman will be able to endure on borrowed light. Each will have to be guided by the light within himself. If you do not have it, how can you stand?"

President Heber C. Kimball was quoted later with respect to the intensity of the tests:

"The judgments of God will be poured out upon the wicked, to the extent that our elders from far and near will be called home; or in other words, the Gospel will be taken from the gentiles, and later on will be carried to the Jews.

"The western boundaries of the State of Missouri will be swept so clean of its inhabitants that as President Young tells us, 'when we return to that place there will not be as much as a yellow dog to wag his tail.'

"Before that day comes, however, the Saints will be put to the test that will try the very best of them.

"The pressure will become so great that the righteous among us will cry unto the Lord day and night until deliverance comes...

"Then is the time to look out for the great sieve, for there will be a great sifting time, and many will fall."

President Ezra Taft Benson expanded on the nature of the tests we will face and confirmed that the process has already begun:

"There is a real sifting going on in the Church, and it is going to become more pronounced with the passing of time. It will sift the wheat from the tares, because we face some difficult days, the like of which we have never experienced in our lives. And those days are going to require faith and testimony and family unity, the like of which we have never had."

"The great destructive force which was to be turned loose on the earth and which the prophets for centuries have been calling the 'abomination of desolation' is vividly described by those who saw it in vision (see Matthew 24:15, Joseph Smith - Matthew 1:12,32). Ours is the generation to realize how literally these prophecies can be fulfilled now that God, through science, has unlocked the secret to thermonuclear reaction.

"In the light of these prophecies, there should be no doubt in the mind of any priesthood holder that the human family is headed for trouble. There are rugged days ahead. It is time for every man who wishes to do his duty to get himself prepared - physically, spiritually, and psychologically - for the task which may come at any time, as suddenly as the whirlwind."

"We will live in the midst of economic, political, and spiritual instability. When these signs are observed - unmistakable evidences that His coming is nigh - we need not be troubled, but 'stand in holy places, and be not moved, until the day of the Lord come' (D&C 87:8). Holy men and women stand in holy places, and these holy places consist of our temples, our chapels, our homes, and stakes of Zion, which are, as the Lord declares, 'for a defense, and for a refuge from the storm, and from wrath when it shall be poured out without mixture upon the whole earth' (D&C 115:6). We must heed the Lord's counsel to the Saints of this dispensation: 'Prepare yourselves for the great day of the Lord' (D&C 133:10).

"This preparation must consist of more than just casual membership in the Church. We must be guided by personal revelation and the counsel of the living prophet so we will not be deceived. Our Lord has indicated who, among Church members, will stand when He appears: 'At that day, when I shall come in my glory, shall the parable be fulfilled which I spake concerning the ten virgins' (D&C 45:56). The Lord has given the sobering revelation that in the midst of the latter-day trials, Church members will feel the Lord's refining power as he forges the Saints into a force for fulfilling his divine purposes:

"The kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away. So shall it be at the end of the world: [and the world is the children of the wicked] the angels come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, and shall cast them into the furnace of fire: [out into the world to be burned] there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth"

(Matthew 13:47-50, JST text in brackets).

"Behold, vengeance cometh speedily upon the inhabitants of the earth, a day of wrath, a day of burning, a day of desolation, of weeping, of mourning, and of lamentation; and as a whirlwind it shall come upon all the face of the earth, saith the Lord. And upon my house shall it begin, and from my house shall it go forth, saith the Lord; first among those among you, saith the Lord, who have professed to know my name and have not known me, and have blasphemed against my name and have not known me, and have blasphemed against me in the midst of my house, saith the Lord ... But purify your hearts before me ... Cleanse your hearts and your garments, lest the blood of this generation be required at your hands"
(D&C 112:24-33; italics added; see also 88:74).

This refining process will prepare a purified Church membership to meet the Lord Jesus Christ. President Benson warned:

"It is well that our people understand this principle, so they will not be misled by those apostates within the Church who have not yet repented or been cut off. But there is a cleansing coming. The Lord says that his vengeance shall be poured out 'upon the inhabitants of the earth ... And upon my house shall it begin, and from my house shall it go forth, saith the Lord; first among those among you, saith the Lord, who have professed to know my name and have not known me ...' (D&C 112:24-26). I look forward to that cleansing; its need within the Church is becoming increasingly apparent."

"Yes, within the Church today there are tares among the wheat and wolves within the flock. As President Clark stated, 'The ravening wolves are amongst us, from our own membership, and they, more than any others, are clothed in sheep's clothing because they wear the habiliments of the priesthood ... We should be careful of them.'"

Yet, even as we witness the steady crescendo of sorrows spreading throughout the earth, it is apparent that the Lord has at least a twofold purpose. On the one hand, the wicked will be purged from the Church and from the earth; on the other, the saints will be purified and refined:

"Behold, the great day of the Lord is at hand; and who can abide the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appeareth? For he is like a refiner's fire, and like fuller's soap; and he shall sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver, and he shall purify the sons of Levi [the priesthood holders of today; D&C 84:32-34] and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord and offering in righteousness. Let us, therefore, as a church and as a people, and as Latter-day Saints, offer unto the Lord and offering in righteousness"
(D&C 128:24, italics added).

The present and the future do not hold so many terrors if we believe the Lord's reassuring words that the refining process is under his benevolent control:

"Fear not thine enemies, for they are in mine hands and I will do my pleasure with them.

"My people must be tried in all things, that they may be prepared to receive the glory that I have for them, even the glory of Zion; and he that will not bear chastisement is not worthy of my kingdom"
(D&C 136:30-31).

President John Taylor commented on the necessity of the Saints' being tested but of the insignificance of the pain of the testing process in relation to the great destiny of the Saints:

"It is necessary that we pass through certain ordeals, and that we be tried. But, why is it that we should be tried? There is just the same necessity for it now that there was in former times. I heard the prophet Joseph say, in speaking to the Twelve on one occasion:

'You will have all kinds of trials to pass through. And it is quite as necessary for you to be tried as it was for Abraham and other men of God, and (said he) God will feel after you, and He will take hold of you and wrench your very heart strings, and if you cannot stand it you will not be fit for an inheritance in the Celestial Kingdom of God.' ...

"But, all these personal things amount to but very little. It is the crowns, principalities, the powers, the thrones, the dominions, and the associations with the Gods that we are after, and we are here to prepare ourselves for those things. We are after eternal exaltation in the Celestial Kingdom of God."

In fact, Zion will be built by those who are purified by their sufferings, and have learned to endure suffering in order to obey the Lord's every command. Zion will have to suffer in order to be redeemed because her citizens have not learned to obey: "Were it not for the transgressions of my people, speaking concerning the church and not individuals, they might have been redeemed even now.

"But behold, they have not learned to be obedient to the things which I required at their hands, but are full of all manner of evil, and do not impart of their substance, as becometh saints, to the poor and afflicted among them. And are not united according to the union required by the law of the celestial kingdom; otherwise I cannot receive her unto myself.

"And my people must needs be chastened until they learn obedience, if it must needs be, by the things which they suffer"
(D&C 105:2-6).

The sacrificing to obey unlocks the blessings and powers of heaven:

"Verily I say unto you, all among them [the Saints] who know their hearts are honest, and are broken, and their spirits are contrite, and are willing to observe their covenants by sacrifice - ye, every sacrifice, which I, the Lord, shall command - they are accepted of me. For I, the Lord, will cause them to bring forth as a very fruitful tree which is planted in a goodly land, by a pure stream, that yieldeth much precious fruit"
(D&C 97:8-9).

"Let us here observe that a religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things never has power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation ... It is through the medium of the sacrifice of all earthly things that men do actually know that the are doing the things that are well pleasing in the sight of God ...

"... And in the last days, before the Lord comes, he is to gather together his saints who have made a covenant with him by sacrifice."

Elder John Taylor encouraged the Saints to cleave to the Lord as the night darkens: "In relation to events that will yet take place, and the kind of trials, troubles, and sufferings which we shall have to cope with, it is to me a matter of very little moment; these things are in the hands of God, he dictates the affairs of the human family, and directs and controls our affairs; and the great thing that we, as a people, have to do is to seek after and cleave unto our God, to be in close affinity with him and to seek for his guidance, and his blessing and Holy Spirit to guide us in the right path. Then it matters not what it is nor who it is that we have to contend with, God will give us strength according to our day."

Another source of reassurance is the knowledge that our coming to the earth at this time in the earth's history was no random event. We were prepared before we came to earth to do the work we would be called to do (see D&C 138:56). President Benson has taught:

"For nearly six thousand years, God has held you reserve to make your appearance in the final days before the second coming of the Lord. Some individuals will fall away; but the kingdom of God will remain intact to welcome the return of its head - even Jesus Christ. While our generation will be comparable in wickedness to the days of Noah, when the Lord cleansed the earth by flood, there is a major difference this time. It is that God has saved for the final inning some of His strongest children, who will help bear off the kingdom triumphantly. That is where you come in, for you are the generation that must be prepared to meet your God. ...

"Make no mistake about it - you are a marked generation. There has never been more expected of the faithful in such a short period of time than there is of us. Never before on the face of this earth have the forces of evil and the forces of good been as well organized. Now is the great day of the devil's power. But it now is also the great day of the Lord's power, with the greatest number ever of priesthood holders on the earth."

Having faith in our premortal preparation, we can find unique blessings in realizing that the personal tests we face were specially suited to our individual, spiritual needs. Perhaps the greatest insight to come out of this realization is that the Lord orchestrates the details of the lives of his seeking and obedient Saints. With his orchestration of their individual trials comes also deliverance from those trials. Elder Bruce R. McConkie listed the tasks that lie ahead of these premortally prepared Saints, tasks that will require a greater commitment to spiritual principles than ever before:

"We have yet to gain that full knowledge and understanding of the doctrines of salvation and the mysteries of the kingdom that were possessed by many of the ancient Saints. O that we knew what Enoch and his people knew! Or that we had the sealed portion of the Book of Mormon, as did certain of the Jaredites and Nephites! How can we ever gain these added truths until we believe in full what the Lord has already given us in the Book of Mormon, in the Doctrine and Covenants, and in the inspired changes made by Joseph Smith in the Bible? ...

"We have yet to attain that degree of obedience and personal righteousness which will give us faith like the ancients: faith to multiply miracles, move mountains, and put at defiance the armies of nations; faith to quench the violence of fire, divide seas and stop the mouth of lions; faith to break every band and to stand in the presence of God. Faith comes in degrees. Until we gain faith to heal the sick, how can we ever expect to move mountains and divide seas? "We have yet to receive such an outpouring of the Spirit of the Lord in our lives that we shall all see eye to eye in all things, that every man will esteem his brother as himself, that there shall be no poor among us ... As long as we disagree as to the simple and easy doctrines of salvation, how can we ever have unity on the complex and endless truths yet to be revealed?

"We have yet to perfect our souls, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel, and to walk in the light as God is in the light, so that if this were a day of translation we would be prepared to join Enoch and his city in heavenly realms. How many among us are now prepared to entertain angels, to see the face of the Lord, to go where God and Christ are and be like them? ....

"We have yet to prepare a people for the Second Coming....

"Shall we not now, as a Church and as a people and as the Saints of the latter days, build on the foundations of the past and forward in gospel glory until the great Jehovah shall say: 'The work is done, come ye, enter the joy of your Lord; sit down with me on my throne; thou art now one with me and my father.'"

On another occasion, Elder McConkie made a sobering statement on the necessity of the development of our faith:

"It may be, for instance, that nothing except the power of faith and the authority of the priesthood can save individuals and congregations from the atomic holocausts that surely shall be."

President Brigham Young also observed that, in general, the Saints are not prepared for the blessings that the Lord anticipates bestowing on them: "Jesus has been upon the earth a great many more times than you are aware of. When Jesus makes his next appearance upon the earth, but few of this Church and kingdom will be prepared to receive him and see him face to face and converse with him; but he will come to his temple. ...

"When all nations are so subdued to Jesus that every knee shall bow and every tongue confess, there will still be millions o the earth who will not believe in him; but they will be obliged to acknowledge his government. You may call that government ecclesiastical, or by whatever term you please; yet there is no true government on earth but the government of God, or the holy Priesthood. Shall I tell you what that is? In short, it is a perfect system of government - a kingdom of Gods and angels and all beings who will submit themselves to that government. There is no other true government in heaven or upon the earth. ...

"Is man prepared to receive that government? He is not. I can say to these Latter-day Saints, You are not prepared to receive that government. You hear men and women talk about living and abiding the Celestial law, when they do not so much as know what it is, and are not prepared to receive it. We have little here and a little there given to us, to prove whether we will be abide that portion of law that will enable us to enjoy a resurrection with the just. ... "... We have line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little, and it is something that accords with the capacity of finite beings, and you improve upon this, and the Lord will open your minds to receive more, and let you see the order of the eternal priesthood; but if you do not live your religion, you cannot receive more."

Many of us are not yet living our religion. The Saints can reach for more. In the foregoing statements of the Lord and his prophets and apostles, one common observation is that amidst the latter-day trials, the Saints will need familiarity with the Lord's voice.

For example, President Heber C. Kimball said, "Each will have to be guided by the light within himself. If you do not have it, how can you stand:" President Ezra Taft Benson remarked on the current state of the Saints' preparedness to meet the Savior:

"Watchmen - what of the night? We must respond by saying that all is not well in Zion. As Moroni counseled, we must cleanse the inner vessel (Alma 60:23), beginning first with ourselves, then with our families, and finally with the Church. ... "... It takes a Zion people to make a Zion society, and we must prepare for that."

Obviously our responses to the Lord's direction have as yet been inadequate to achieve that state of preparation, even though the Lord has made it abundantly clear that the instrument of preparation for the Second Coming is the Book of Mormon. That book is the instrument by which the citizens of Zion will have cleansed the inner vessel.

The Saints, evidently, are still under condemnation for their neglect of the Book of Mormon, the very tool that has the most power to prepare the Church for the advent of the Savior. Upon reflection, we realize that the Saints have not yet adequately made the connection between the comprehensive use of the Book of Mormon and the light that each of them will need to withstand the trials of the latter days. President Benson exclaimed: 'That they may bring forth fruit meet for their Father's kingdom; otherwise there remaineth a scourge and judgment to be poured out upon the children of Zion' (D&C 84:58). We have felt that scourge and judgment!

Perhaps some have thought that a testimony and a general knowledge of the Book of Mormon were sufficient fulfillment of the Lord's injunction. But a testimony of the Book of Mormon is not an end in itself. It is only the most rudimentary beginning. The next step, after learning that the book is true and can be trusted as a source for doctrine and the Spirit, is to learn its multiple uses and virtues. Here is the Lord's fuller text to the Church about using the Book of Mormon:

"Your minds in times past have been darkened because of unbelief, and because you have treated lightly the things you have received -

"Which vanity and unbelief have brought the whole church under condemnation.

"And this condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion, even all.

"And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them, not only to say, but to do according to that which I have written - That they may bring forth fruit meet for their Father's kingdom; otherwise there remaineth a scourge and judgment to pour out upon the children of Zion.
(D&C 84:54-58 italics added).

The Church apparently does not yet know all the uses and virtues of the Book of Mormon. It seems that the Lord would like us to use the Book of Mormon in ways it has not been used before and that he is waiting for us to ask his help to that end. President Benson, in urging us to get more deeply in into that book, pointed to the relationship between scripture study and the power of the Spirit in our life: "I urge you to recommit yourselves to a study of the scriptures. Immerse yourselves I them daily so you will have the power of the Spirit to attend you in your callings. Read them in your families and teach our children to love and treasure them. Then prayerfully and in counsel with others, seek every way possible to encourage the members of the Church to follow your example. If you do so, you will find, as Alma did, that 'the word [has] a great tendency to lead people to do that which [is] just - yea, it [has] more powerful effect upon the minds of the people than the sword, or anything else, which [has] happened unto them' (Alma 31:5)."

In that statement, President Benson has connected immersion in the scriptures with the gift and power of the Spirit. Several other Brethren have likewise pointed out the link between personal revelation and a spiritually skilled use of scripture. For example, Elder Bruce R. McConkie said: "I sometimes think that one of the best-kept secrets of the kingdom is that the scriptures open the door to the receipt of revelation." However talented men may be in administrative matters; however eloquent they may be in expressing their views; however learned they may be in the worldly things - they will be denied the sweet whisperings of the Spirit that might have been theirs unless they pay the price of studying, pondering, and praying about the scriptures."

Elder Dallin H. Oaks declared: "As a source of knowledge, the scriptures are not the ultimate but the penultimate. The ultimate knowledge comes by revelation...

"A study of the scriptures enables men and women to receive revelations ... because scripture reading puts us in tune with the Spirit of the Lord." Elder Boyd K. Packer taught; "Buildings and budgets, and reports and programs and procedures are very important. But, by themselves, they do not carry that essential spiritual nourishment and will not accomplish what the Lord has given us to do ... The right things, those with true spiritual nourishment, are centered in the scriptures." One reason that some Church members are not reaping the full reward of scripture study may be that they do not know how vital the reward could be. The Lord promises that we can hear or feel his voice in the scriptures, that we can receive messages in and above what is printed on the page, and that we can repeat that experience over and over again. Scripture reading and feasting on scripture can take on new meaning.

Those who haven't heard the voice may find the scriptures less interesting than other literature. Perhaps some are afraid to hear what the Lord has to say, and so they may read the scripture with a protective veil over their mind and then say they are bored with the scripture. The real problem may be that they are afraid to hear the voice. But the Lord says to us today, "Resist no more my voice" (D&C 108:2). It appears that the Lord intends an intersection between the daily orbit we move in and the orbit of the Book of Mormon. A power is set in motion when we become deeply involved in what the scriptures are saying to us personally. The Lord has said that "the Book of Mormon and the Holy Scriptures are given of me for your instruction; and the power of my Spirit quickeneth all things" (D&C 33:16).

Several other scriptures also show that the printed word can yield the living spirit of prophecy to the alert and prepared reader. In the very first chapter of the Book of Mormon, Lehi learned this connection between feasting on the scripture and receiving the power of revelation: "As he read [a book of scripture given him by the Lord] he was filled with the Spirit of the Lord" (1 Nephi 1:12). Nephi said, "And now, when my father saw all these things [scriptures on the plates of brass], he was filled with the Spirit and began to prophesy" (1 Nephi 5:17). Jacob made the same connection: "Wherefore, we search the prophets, and we have many revelations and the spirit of prophecy; and having all these witnesses we obtain a hope, and our faith becometh unshaken, insomuch that we truly can command in the name of Jesus and the very trees obey us, or the mountains, or the waves of the sea" (Jacob 4:6). The four sons of Mosiah "waxed strong in the knowledge of the truth; for they were men of a sound understanding and they had searched the scriptures diligently, that they might know the word of God. But this is not all; they had given themselves to much prayer, and fasting; therefore they had the spirit of prophecy, and the spirit of revelation, and when they taught, they taught with power and authority of God" (Alma 17:2-3).

The Lord, speaking of scripture, said: "These words are not of men nor of man, but of me; ... for it is my voice which speaketh them unto you; for they are given by my Spirit unto you ...; wherefore, you can testify that you have heard my voice, and know my words" (D&C 18:34-36). To hear the voice of the Lord in the scripture simply means to feel the Spirit of the Lord, because the Lord speaks "by the voice of my Spirit: (D&C 75:1). Furthermore, the Lord's "voice is Spirit" (D&C 88:66).

Thus there is a relationship between the written scripture and the voice of the Lord, or personal revelation. The same Spirit that gave the written word quickens it as one who is prepared reads it. Taking all these insights together, we may conclude that if we wish to guide our life by the Spirit, we cannot do it without also being a spiritual student of the Book of Mormon.

The Book of Mormon itself teaches the progression from feasting on the word of Christ to hearing the voice of Christ through the Holy Ghost: "Fest upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do ... if ye will enter in by the way, and receive the Holy Ghost, it will show unto you all things what ye should do" (2 Nephi 32:3 - 5).

The stories and principles and doctrines in the Book of Mormon are vitally important to the Latter-day Saints, but we soon discover that an important principle taught by the book is that no collection of writings can tell a person what to do in all circumstances. Many of life's challenges are designed to require divine insight and divine power and divine direction to meet them. Therefore, perhaps no principle is stressed as much as getting the Spirit of the Lord, who "will show you all things what ye should do," as a constant guide.

We can see how the voice of the Lord is a vital component of the gospel plan - not just for prophets but for all of us. Ultimately everyone who hopes to see the face of the Lord and to remain in his presence must learn to discern and obey the voice of the Lord. That skill is essential for the serious candidate for exaltation.

Elder Richard G. Scott explicitly stated that the Book of Mormon is like a personal Liahona or Urim and Thummim: "What does the Book of Mormon mean to you? ... "If you have not yet drunk deeply from this fountain of pure truth, with all of my soul I encourage you to do so now. Don't let the consistent study of the Book of Mormon be one of the things that you intend to do, but never quite accomplish. Begin today. "I bear witness that it can become a personal 'Urim and Thummim' in your life."

Indeed, the Book of Mormon describes itself as a Liahona. A primary use of a Liahona or a Urim and Thummim is as a physical symbol to teach the dynamics of revelation. They increase faith until one has learned to get revelation without sole dependence on the physical instrument. How important it is to realize that scripture, as another form of Liahona or Urim and Thummim, instructs our spirits in the processes of revelation.

The link between a tangible object of revelation and the process of receiving revelation without an instrument is illustrated in the Prophet Joseph's training under the Lord. The Lord started Joseph Smith out with the Urim and Thummim; later, Joseph was able to receive revelation without using it, thus showing that a Liahona and Urim and Thummim, seer stones, and scripture are all variations of the sacred instruments by which a person is taught how to receive increasingly detailed revelation - revelation that is often outside the imagination or experience of the person being so trained. Joseph's experience in translating the Book of Mormon by the Urim and Thummim actually prepared him to be the founding prophet, seer, and revelator of this dispensation.

Alma understood this relationship between instruments of revelation and scripture. In Alma 37, Alma used a succession of words that suggests that relationship: records, plates of brass, Holy Scriptures, mysteries, holy writ, interpreters, Gazelem, seer stone, counseling with the Lord, and Liahona. When the Nephites used their Liahona, they had miracles every day; whenever they grew lazy and forgot to exercise their faith and diligence, they lost their way and became hungry.

Alma taught that the ball, director, compass, or Liahona was prepared by the Lord as a type of the word of Christ: "For behold, it is as easy to give heed to the word of Christ, which will point to you a straight course to eternal bliss, as it was for our fathers to give heed to this compass, which would point unto them a straight course to the promised land. And now I say, is there not a type in this thing? For just as surely as this director did bring our fathers, by following its course, to the Promised Land, shall the words of Christ, if we follow their course, carry us beyond this vale of sorrow into a far better land of promise. O my son, do not let us be slothful because of the easiness of the way" (Alma 37:44-46). It is possible that "vale of sorrow" means not only this mortal life as a whole but the individual vales of sorrow that the Saints come upon in their lives. That is, the Lord has given the Saints a Liahona to carry them out of their individual and collective vales of sorrow.

One problem of mortality is the inadequacy of our present language to provide vocabulary to describe spiritual experience. When missionaries try to teach investigators what the Spirit is, they have to do it by analogy or by metaphor; thus, when they see the Sprit working on an investigator, they will say "That's it! What you are feeling right now is the Spirit of the Lord!" Elder Boyd K. Packer taught: "We do not have the words (event eh scriptures do not have the words) which perfectly describe the Spirit. The scriptures generally use the word voice, which does not exactly fit. These delicate, refined spiritual communications are not seen with our eyes, nor heard with our ears. And even though it is described as a voice, it is a voice that one feels, more than one hears."

We identify the Spirit mostly by feeling, and in the scripture the Lord teaches us what the Spirit feels like. If we think we have to feel something extraordinary in hearing the voice of the Lord in scripture, we might miss the subtle impressions of the Spirit. Many people have experienced the movement of the Spirit in their souls as they read scripture. On some occasions, feelings come, or maybe tears, perhaps heightened appreciation, or a sense of peace on a particular matter, a sense of unexplainable happiness, or a sense of the Lord's love. If we are asked on such an occasion what we heard from the Lord in that experience with the scripture, we might not be able to articulate an answer. Nonetheless, we have felt something sweet, something very tender. That was the spirit of prophecy, the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ.

On other occasions, we may be reading along when an issue or problem in our life comes to mind, maybe even a subject unrelated to the scripture being read, and suddenly we just know what to do about it. All these are instances of feeling the voice of the Lord to ourselves. We could develop this skill to a high degree and enjoy a living relationship with the Lord, in which the Lord could teach us many wonderful things. To develop such a skill we must invest time and experience, labor in the Sprit, and make scripture study a part of our daily life, but it is within the capability of any serious seeker.

The Book of Mormon teaches us how to receive a revelation from scripture: "I, Nephi, beheld the pointers which were in the ball, that they did work according to the faith and diligence and heed which we did give unto them. And there was also written upon them a new writing, which was plain to be read, which did give us understanding concerning the ways of the Lord; and it was written and changed from time to time, according to the faith and diligence which we gave unto it. And thus we see that by small means the Lord can bring about great things" (1 Nephi 16:28-29). By studying the spiritual conditions under which the Book of Mormon was translated, we can learn more about the process of receiving the Sprit from the scripture. Joseph Smith showed the way. David Whitmer described what the Prophet had to go through to get the spirit of prophecy so that he could translate:

"At times when Brother Joseph would attempt to translate ..., he found he was spiritually blind and could not translate. He told us that his mind dwelt too much on earthly things, and various causes would make him incapable of proceeding with the translation. When in this condition he would go out and pray, and when he became sufficiently humble before God, he would then proceed with the translation. Now we see how very strict the Lord is, and how he requires the heart of man to be just right in his sight before he can receive revelation from him."

On another occasion David Whitmer recorded: "He [Joseph Smith] was religious and straightforward man ... He had to trust in God. He could not translate unless he was humble and possessed the right feelings towards everyone. To illustrate so you can see the right feelings towards everyone. To illustrate so you can see: One morning when he was getting ready to continue the translation, something went wrong about the house and he was put out about it. Something that Emma, his wife, had done. Oliver and I went upstairs and Joseph came up soon after to continue the translation but could not do anything. He could not translate a single syllable. He went downstairs, out into the orchard, and made supplication to the Lord; was gone about an hour - came back to the hose, and asked Emma's forgiveness and then came upstairs where we were and then the translation went on all right. He could do nothing save e was humble and faithful."

This account is highly instructive. We must approach the scripture in the same way that the scripture was given to one who was in a state of humility, of desire, of courage, of forgiveness of others. We can prepare ourselves to hear the word of the Lord by realizing that in opening up the scriptures, we are about to have a conversation with the Lord. Thus we approach such an encounter in a spiritual, prayerful, thoughtful, and solemn way. We read trying to feel, to listen, to hear, and even to make notes. Our heart must be prepared to be written on; we must want to hear what the Lord wants to say to us, what the Lord's counsel is to us. So we approach the scripture with as much humility as we can, with willingness to repent and to grow.

Whenever we feel that movement of the spirit in our own soul, we are feeling the voice of the Lord to us - the Lord is speaking to us individually. We are connected by the Spirit in that moment to our Savior. IN this way, the Book of Mormon can bring us to Christ is the main objective of all scripture. Simply, we feast on the words of Christ, and, if we have prepared, he speaks to us through feelings and impressions and happiness and even words, and thus we come to Christ as we study scripture and hear his voice.

This kind of immersion in reading, this knowledge of the Book of Mormon, this learning to discern, to hear or feel, and then to obey the voice of the Lord to us personally may do more to prepare the Saints for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ than nearly any other activity we could engage in. President Benson urged the priesthood holders of the Church: "One of the most important things you can do as priesthood leaders is to immerse yourselves in the scriptures. Search them diligently. Feast upon the words of Christ. Learn the doctrine. Master the principles that are found therein. There are few other ways to gain greater inspiration as you serve.

"But that alone, as valuable as it is, is not enough. You must also bend your efforts and your activities to stimulating meaningful scripture study among the members of the Church. Often we spend great effort in trying to increase the activity levels in our stakes.

"We work diligently to raise the percentages of those attending sacrament meetings. We labor to get a higher percentage of our young me on missions. We strive to improve the numbers of those marrying in the temple. All of these are commendable efforts and important to the growth of the kingdom. But when individual members and families immerse themselves in the scriptures regularly and consistently, these other areas of activity will automatically come. Testimonies will increase. Commitment will be strengthened. Families will be fortified. Personal revelation will flow ...

"This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success'" (Joshua 1:8; italics added)."

President Benson also spoke on the centrality of the scriptures to the work that the Saints must do in the winding-up scenes of this dispensation:

"In the Book of Mormon we find a pattern for preparing for the Second Coming. A major portion of the book centers o the few decades just prior to Christ's coming to America. By careful study of that time period we can determine why some were destroyed in the terrible judgments that preceded His coming and what brought others to stand at the temple in the land of Bountiful and thrust their hands into the wounds of His hands and feet."

"My beloved brothers and sisters, I bear my solemn witness that these books [the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants] contain the mind and the will of the Lord for us in these days of trial and tribulation. They stand with the Bible to give witness of the Lord and His work. These books contain the voice of the Lord to us in these latter days. May we turn to them with full purpose of heart and use them in the way the Lord wishes them to be used."

It is clear that as wickedness increases, the Saints need a compensatory blessing to carry the Lord's work forward. We have been promised that very blessing. President Benson declared: "I bless you with increased understanding of the Book of Mormon. I promise you that from this moment forward, if we will daily sup from its pages and abide by its precepts; God will pour out upon each child of Zion and the Church a blessing hitherto unknown." Finally President Benson has spoken on how we will get from where we are now to that day when our Savior appears and the Saints stand before him prepared:

"Only a Zion people can bring in a Zion society. And as the Zion people increase, so we will be able to incorporate more of the principles of Zion until we have a people prepared to receive the Lord." When the Saints have assumed their individual responsibility to possess the Spirit of the Lord in the ways that the Lord has instructed, all other preparations will follow, and we will have a people not only ready to stand in the midst of the trials preceding the Second Coming but able to rejoice under the sanctifying and prospering hand of the Lord Jesus Christ.




Joseph Smith Jr.'s Patriarchal Blessing

Patriarchal Blessing given by Joseph Smith, Sr., Patriarch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to his son, Joseph Smith, Jr., on 9 December 1834. Joseph Smith, Jr. was born in Sharon, Windsor County, Vermont, December 23, 1805.

(Joseph Smith, Sr., Patriarchal Blessing Book no. 1, Historical Department, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah.)

Joseph, my son, I lay my hands upon thy head in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, to confirm upon thee a father's blessing. The Lord thy God has called thee by name out of the heavens: thou hast heard his voice from on high from time to time, even in thy youth. The hand of the angel of his presence has been extended toward thee by which thou hast been lifted up and sustained; yea, the Lord has delivered thee from the hands of thine enemies and thou hast been made to rejoice in his salvation: thou hast sought to know his ways, and from thy childhood thou hast meditated much upon the great things of his law. Thou hast suffered much in thy youth, and the poverty and afflictions of thy father's family have been a grief to thy soul. Thou hast desired to see them delivered from bondage, for thou hast loved them with a perfect love. Thou hast stood by thy father, and like Shem, would have covered his nakedness, rather than see him exposed to shame: when the daughters of the Gentiles laughed, thy heart has been moved with a just anger to avenge thy kindred. Thou hast been an obedient son: the commands of thy father and the reproofs of thy mother, thou hast respected and obeyed - for all these things the Lord my God will bless thee. Thou hast been called, even in thy youth to the great work of the Lord: to do a work in this generation which no man would do as thyself, in all things according to the will of the Lord. A marvelous work and a wonder has the Lord wrought by thy hand, even that which shall prepare the way for the remnants of his people to come in among the Gentiles, with their fulness, as the tribes of Israel are restored.

I bless thee with the blessings of thy fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and even the blessings of thy father Joseph, the son of Jacob. Behold, he looked after his posterity in the last days, when they should be scattered and driven by the Gentiles, and wept before the Lord: he sought diligently to know from whence the son should come who should bring forth the word of the Lord, by which they might be enlightened, and brought back to the true fold, and his eyes beheld thee, my son: his heart rejoiced and his soul was satisfied, and he said, As my blessings are to extend to the utmost bounds of the everlasting hills, as my father's blessing prevailed above the blessings of his progen[i]tor, and as my branches are to run over the wall, and my seed are to inherit the choice land whereon the Zion of God shall stand in the last days, from among my seed, scattered with the Gentiles, shall a choice Seer arise whose bowles shall be as a fountain of truth, whose loins shall be girded with the girdle of righteousness, whose hands shall be lifted with acceptance before the God of Jacob to turn away his anger from his annointed, whose heart shall meditate great wisdom, whose intelligence shall circumscribe and comprehend the deep things of God, and whose mouth shall utter the law of the just: His feet shall stand upon the neck of his enemies, and he shall walk upon the ashes of those who seek his destruction: with wine and oil shall he be sustained, and he shall feed upon the heritage of Jacob his father: the just shall desire his society, and the upright in heart shall be his companions: No weapon formed against him shall prosper, and though the wicked mar him for a little season, he shall be like one rising up in the heat of wine - he shall roar in his strength, and the Lord shall put to flight his persecutors: he shall be blessed like the fruitful olive, and his memory shall be as sweet as the choice cluster of the first ripe grapes. Like a shief fully ripe, gathered into the garner, so shall he stand before the Lord, having produced a hundred fold. Thus spake my father Joseph. Therefore, my son, I know for a surety that those things will be fulfilled, and I confirm upon thee all these blessings.

Thou shalt like to do the work which the Lord shall command thee: Thou shalt hold the Keys of this ministry, even the presidency of this church, both in time and in eternity. Thy heart shall be enlarged, and thou shalt be able to fill up the measure of thy days according to the will of the Lord. Thou shalt speak the word of the Lord and the earth shall tremble; the mountains shall move and the rivers shall turn out of their course. Thou shalt escape the edge of the sword, and put to flight the armies of the wicked. At thy word the lame shall walk, the deaf shall hear and the blind shall see. Thou shalt be gathered to Zion and in the goodly land thou shalt enjoy thine inheritance; thy children and thy children's children to the latest generation; for thy name and the names of thy posterity shall be recorded in the book of the Lord, even in the book of blessings and genealogies, for their joy and benefit forever. And now, my son, what more shall I say? Thou art as a fruitful olive and a choice vine: thou shalt be laden with precious fruit. Thousands and tens of thousands shall come to a knowledge of the truth through thy ministry, and thou shalt rejoice with them in the Celestial Kingdom:

Thou shalt stand upon the earth when it shall reel to and fro as a drunken man, and be removed out of its place: thou shalt stand when the mighty judgments go forth to the destruction of the wicked: thou shalt stand on Mount Zion when the tribes of Jacob come shouting from the north, and with thy brethren, the sons of Ephraim, crown them in the name of Jesus Christ: Thou shalt see thy Redeemer come in the clouds of heaven, and with the just receive the hallowed throng with shouts of hallalujahs, praise the Lord. Amen


I have always wondered what the great division in the Church will be - which Brigham Young said will cause the bands to tighten ever more until his description, we will be about ready to burst.

This day vision may hold the answer:


A VISION by Bro Thomas Caidon of Logan 7 or 8 years ago which he reported and Bro. B Riches wrote down March 28, 1885.

I seemed to stand away north beyond all the settlements that have since been made and looking towards the south, I saw many settlements that had been made even as far as the vision of my mind could gage.

The people seemed to be in trouble and many were leaving their homes to get out of the way of being persecuted. After this had been going on for sometime I saw a small thread like line lying on the ground and it was drawn from the north to the south, beyond any of the settlements that were then made. I also saw many of the settlements of the saints that have since been made and the line extended south beyond them all.

It seemed that but few persons noticed it at the time, but as the thread grew larger more persons began to see it and began to choose for themselves on which side of the line they chose to live. Some preferred the east and others the west, and others preferred standing over the line with one foot on each side and seemed undecided as to which side they would go. As they seemed to want to wait to see which would be the safest side to be on. While others again would stand on one side for awhile and then cross over back and forth for some time and seemed to want to keep friends with both sides in order to insure their safety.

As the trouble increased and the people were looking for more difficulty to come along as though they expected some great calamity to come upon them. The line constantly increased in size until it was difficult to cross and then they who stood with a foot on each side found it impossible to remain so. The most part seemed to go to the east side. I then wondered why this separation took place and found those who stood on the west side were those who chose to keep all the Commandments of God. While those on the east side were those who had been accustomed to finding fault with the brethren and the presiding officers of the Church. Those who did not have a testimony for themselves that this was the work of God, and were afraid of the finger of scorn and the words of Calumny* of the unbelieving world. They seemed to wonder if this was the work of God, why He did not come and deliver them from the destruction that seemed to await them.

Those on the west side seemed to stand further away from the line than those on the east side and they also seemed to anticipate danger and retreated further away into the mountains and other places of safety.

I then heard a great noise and looked to the southeast and saw great black clouds that rested upon the earth. Under the clouds there appeared to be an immense mob like army and they seemed to be rolling west toward the line. They came with the clashing of arms and other war like demonstrations, and with great threatening against the people on the west side of the line with full determination to destroy them. When they were within a few miles of the line those people who were on the east side with a hope of saving themselves from being destroyed started towards the army and even a few who were on the west side came up to the line and threw themselves over and started towards the army also. When they met the army they were all utterly destroyed by their advancing columns. This scene seemed to cause me much trouble of mind to see so much suffering and destruction of lives of men, women and children who had once identified themselves with the people of God. I prayed to the Lord that he would stay this great army lest the LDS would be destroyed also.

After much prayer and supplication I saw a bright light in the heavens in a southeasterly direction. Under the light was a beautiful white cloud and the light and cloud moved towards the earth. Then I saw two personages on top of the cloud who were surrounded by the light. These came down and stopped within about 20 feet of the line. One of them seemed much older than the other and pointed to the one on His right hand side, then I knew it was our Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ.

Then I looked towards the army and I saw the black clouds entirely gone and those who composed the army fought with each other until they were utterly destroyed. After which, I looked towards the west and saw the saints coming toward the personages who still remained above the line with cheerful countenances. I felt to rejoice at the deliverance and I cried out with my heart full of gratitude for this deliverance. I wondered if I was asleep or awake, I stretched out my hand to pinch my arm to make sure which it was, but this I know, my eyes were open. I was much fatigued in body but buoyant in spirit.

Copied from J H ? Nov 3, 1892

G Windous

*Calumny The act of uttering false charges or misrepresentations maliciciously calculated to damage another's reputation.

Websters Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


So, previously - a few posts back, I wrote down my experiences with my first love Tawny and how I was able to feel her pain from 5500 miles away.

So, I had another experience that was equally as unusual.

After I returned from my mission to Brazil, I worked in Eastern WA making good summer wages at a vegetable processing plant. I actually worked three jobs knowing that the scholarships would cover everything but the dating dollars - and I wanted some spending cash to spend on the ladies I knew I would bump into at the happy hunting ground.... It was not to be that year, while at Moses Lake, my brother met and introduced me to Danielle. I initially fell in love with her family - they seemed to have it all together and like mother, like daughter, I was determined to marry a girl that had a good blueprint for how to make a happy well-balanced family happen. Danielle had 7 kids in her family and they lived what I thought to be the perfect existence. Our relationship went along pretty well - she at Ricks and I at BYU-Provo getting my engineering degree. If grades are any indication of how well a girl positively influences a guy, I was in good shape. I was pulling the curves in almost every class and managed straight A's all year in engineering weeder courses. Our relationship went well, but there were some maturity issues on both our parts - and her dad specifically told me she was too young to marry. The other thing that scared me was that Danielle took the whole family thing a little too seriously. She was going to bear me 12 children - and she was dead serious. I was more in the 5-7 range. I know my limits - and 12 was too many. Maybe she was just trying to scare me off - but I knew she might try and make good on her promise. I was falling for her and we had even kicked the M word around - but there were a few hurdles we could not clear and she decided she was to serve a mission (much to her dad's delight). In the meantime, I found a good friend who I swear knew every woman on campus and he took me on "the rounds" every Sunday where we would go to the women's apartments and forage for a free Sunday meal. We had an agreement: we cleaned the kitchen top to bottom after taking care of the Sunday leftovers - and we also took notice of all the cute girls we bumped into. We were praised for our cleaning details which was no big deal as we were engineers and used to detail - they were praised on their cooking skills. It was the perfect setup and ended in the marriage of me to my eternal companion. She passed all the necessary tests and cleared all the hurdles except she came from a broken home where a divorce was occurring just as we were coming together in our union. Truly sad.... It was so sad, that having heard some of the dysfunction from her family had me thinking I was going to have to let her down easy and move on to the girl behind door number three - but I actually heard a crystal clear voice in my mind say "It will be okay (stick with her)".... FREAKY stuff!! The only time that ever happened before or since.
My sweetie was born in September (I had known my sweetie would be a Sept girl since I was 16 years old and first pondered on the concept of being married). We were actually born 15 hours apart and my best man - that set me up with her was born on the same day as me - all of us in the same year. Pretty odd for three completely random people meeting up. My best man being a major player in every major thing in my life including the dream I had the night we lost our Dallin. He even found me my current job that has seen us through tough economic times. Which segues nicely into the point of this whole story.....
I had the previously posted anguishing dreams the week Tawny lost her brother in a tragic death, and in Nov 2001 I, for two weeks, had been having these anguishing tormented dreams again - but this time about Danielle. Every morning I would wake up and tell my wife and then another torturous night feeling gloom and doom over Danielle. I was convinced that something bad had happened to her - but could not ascertain what it possibly could be. My wife prodded me to call her - but I could not bring myself to do it - it would be awkward beyond words, and besides, I had no contact info and she had married a few years before that and I only knew that my brother had run into her in N. Utah at a crafts fair where her woodworking husband sold some of his works of art.

One of the problems also was that I only awoke with impressions of torment, but with no specific details of what the exact details were. My wife promised me that if I would wake her, she would record the details the next time this kind of thing happened. I was concerned enough, I agreed, but I was NOT going to make contact with Danielle. VERY awkward considering how our relationship just kind of petered out and died with a sigh.... Not very good closure, I must say.

Fast forward four and a half months. I had been given a weekly 5am Saturday morning temple assignment. I dreaded the early hours - but LOVED the chance to serve and start my weekend off right. My personal level of spirituality soared. Six weeks after serving in the temple, I had a most powerful and vivid dream. I rolled over and my wife and I woke up simultaneously. I was saying over and over "That was amazing, that was amazing...". My wife asked what it was and I told her I had just had the most incredible dream. She popped out of bed and disappeared into the office returning shortly with a tape. She popped it into the tape recorder that just happened to be next to our bed (we had just pulled it out of storage three days before to listen to some Cleon Skousen tapes the missionaries had given us - the only boom box we owned that could record). For 45 minutes I recorded the most incredible dream I had ever had - and our son had been laying dead in the next room for the past three hours. I believe he was there in the room - and the sweet spirit I was feeling was some of his presence - he is one of the greats of the Matheson line who needed only get a tabernacle of clay and move on to greater things without the need to be tried and tested in this fallen world. After recording this singular dream which we later foretold with incredible clarity three significant events that would define our lives in the future (one of which was Dallin's death), I turned off the tape and we rolled over and went to sleep until we woke up late that morning - the usual babe crying at 6am for his morning milk not having woken us as usual.....
Our little family converged on his room where we found his lifeless body - beginning the most unusual odyssey I could ever have contrived in my mind had I even scarcely believed it to be possible. One where I have a solid witness of God's interaction in our lives, where I know He lives and where I know there is life after this one and we are on a carefully guided plan to help us fill our greatest God-given potential - take my life if you must, but you cannot take that solid assurance away from me.

So - what does this have to do with Danielle? It finally (after I was able to digest the whole death of a child thing and that I wasn't just having random or coincidental dreams), I looked up her mom who still lived in the same place in Moses Lake and briefly told her of our tragedy and asked, "What happened to one of your daughters last November?". "Did something tragic or of significance happen the end of that month?" She paused - and then said that I must be referring to Danielle and I said yes, it was....

She then proceeded to tell me that around the time that my wife and I were married, Danielle (as a 21 year old woman - and on her mission in AZ) had gone through menopause and stopped ovulating completely. The woman who had wanted 12 kids became completely infertile and could no longer bear any. She gave Danielle our phone number and Danielle called a few nights later and we had a good cry together as we shared our losses - a truly surreal experience. She had met her husband and they started the treatment to kick her body out of the early onset menopause (much as they would one of these ladies who is 60 and decides she would like to have a baby). The doctors kept increasing the dosages of medicine until the doctor told her it would end up killing her before she could have a baby of her own. The levels were 5x what it would take to kick the 60 year old back into a fertile state. She was left with an empty minivan (she had bought with the idea she and her husband would fill it) - and no children. A tragedy as great as having and then losing one of her own - a true state of mourning. Once again, I had felt someone's pain from a great distance - that strange non-verbal soul to soul communication at work. I cannot explain it - but it is fascinating beyond words. I understand the communication with Danielle - we had professed our love to each other and I wonder what the long-term interactions between her and I will be. I found out after marrying my wife (who made the genealogical connections through a common friend), that all three girls who made the top of the list while I was at BYU were all descended from a common ancestor who was hanging out with my common ancestor on the Willey-Martin handcart company disaster. I truly was supposed to marry into that line - I am sure of it. I have only skimmed the surface on this topic - there is so much more weird stuff that I haven't got time for.

A whole other topic for a whole other day. Sufficeth to say - things are way too strange when you take a walk down the wild side in the Wood Zone. I wouldn't believe it if I hadn't experienced it.

Monday, March 28, 2011


Well, this is about as good a news as a cancer diagnosis.....

Well, actually - come to think of it - it is not much unlike a cancer diagnosis. I blogged earlier about speculation of where the Anti-Christ will rise up from. This gives a clearer picture of the Iranian perspective:

As they say in the airline industry; prepare for impact - put your head between your knees and kiss your posterior goodbye.... May the good people of Iran succeed in doing to their freakish dictator(s) what the people of Egypt did to theirs......

Heaven help us all!

Saturday, March 26, 2011


I really like the work of Ron Wyatt - he didn't buy the bull-puckey that the rest of the archealogical herd was selling and went out on his own to establish the truth. The amount of disinformation out there is astounding - and he was able to use the Holy Spirit as his guide and cut through it (he was Seventh Day Adventist).

His research is well-founded in Bible passages and common sense and range from the correct location of the Ark of Noah to the Ark of the Covenant and the correct location of the crucifixion of our Lord and Savior. I hope you will give him some of your time and consideration because he really does belong on this blog. For more info, click on the RON WYATT label at the bottom of this blog piece. There is a lot of info in the archives:

Click the play button once the link opens up. ENJOY!!

Friday, March 25, 2011


Anonymous said...

Your view on the Gadianton robbers I believe is far too small to point to the Islamic extremists. Somebody from a much "higher" perspective is pulling the strings.

Anthony you must be careful in relying on the press for information, they are part of our modern day Gadianton robbers. I see them influencing your thinking.

The press outright lies, they lie about the economy, about "terrorists", and just about everything else.

I once set up an interview with a 3rd party presidential candidate with our local newspaper. The reporter told me that she could not mention his name or she would loose her job and never get another job again.

The true terrorists are among us, they occupy our banks, courts, Hollywood, the media, Wallstreet, congress and London. There is no nation on this planet that is not ruled or controlled by them.

Sorry to say they have infiltrated some our churches, and have strong influence especially among the fundamentalist types of religions.

Many years ago I baptized a repentant member of these robbers. They sought to kill him. He had to flee town. They have their secret signs that they may know each other.

Our last and only defense is the U.S. Constitution. When that is destroyed they will rule the world.

I'm aware of the prophesy that the Constitution will never be destroyed, but I'm sure all that read this know it's "hanging by a thread".

We members of the church need to repent, many of us are not heeding the prophecies or commandments.
October 9, 2009 12:17 AM

Thursday, March 24, 2011


So reading the following post gave rise to memories of what happened before Sept 11 at the WTC. Most people would be hard-pressed to remember that someone tried to bring the towers down using a land-based wheel design. Obviously they weren't good civil engineers - thus the dearly departed Mohammed Atta being one.....

So we have some people in Gaza that dearly hate the presence of Jews in them middle east and they are ranging their rockets for a shot at the financial center, Tel Aviv. They are getting ready to do a 9/11 style thing to the financial heart and symbol of power in Israel.

According to my previous post, a Hamas (Iran)-backed nuclear tipped missile will be fired on Israel (from a cornered or future radicalized Libyan gov't) which will ignite bad juju around the world (feel free to read up on it). The hyenas are circling their prey and they will try and make good on their previous threats. George Soros (who has backed our current president from the beginning) was involved in the fall of Egypt (Israel's only real middle east ally) and will be involved in the further destabilization of the middle east so that they will (as radicalized nations) march against his own people, the Israeli's. What a sick sack! If he had a heart attack tomorrow, I for one would be in a state of euphoria..... but then, this is not a political blog and I do love all my fellow man (some just slightly less than others) - so just ignore the above statements.

Here is the article that got me spun up. We are entering an unimaginably dangerous chapter in human history. Heaven help us all:

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


If ever there was a guy that is right on the money (99% of the time), it is Glenn Beck. He is a slightly moderated voice for all of the stuff on this blog and he is taking ALOT of heat by people who hate the truth. He is simply preaching reality and people cannot handle the truth..... Sad, really. Sometimes it stares you in the face and you are so disconnected from reality through pride, ignorance and prejudice that you cannot see it. That is how alot of people in this country (probably a majority, now) are. It is a rift that freaks me out - similar to what we saw before the first (un)Civil War where people could not see the light on the morality of enslaving another human being for your own personal gain.

It is soon after things reach critical mass that people are thrown in to a tail-spin and end up completely in bondage or dead.... Not that we are not already in financial and moral bondage. Here is something I thought worthy of taking a look at. These SEIU socialist/marxist pukes need some serious time in the pokey for sedition. Better yet, lets put up the gallows and let 'em swing. I am not a big fan of Wall Street, etc, but bringing this country down with intent is terrorism and affects all of us: (CLICK ON THE LINK)

Saturday, March 19, 2011


Considering what is going on in Libya, current events there concern me greatly. If this dog is cornered, he may do something rash if he has a Shahab missile from Iran parked somewhere. Hate to judge a guy by his pic, but that sack looks disgusting; evil incarnate....

Here are the words of Sarah Menet....the bolded text below being VERY TROUBLING INDEED!!!

As I tried to look away from my black surroundings, a small light started to shine in front of me, and the darkness, sounds and feelings that had so completely oppressed me started to fade into the background. The light grew bigger, and a window opened up much the same as when I had witnessed my life's review. This time however, a panoramic view of the entire earth lay before me. It came closer and closer as if I had been out in space and was flying toward it.

I knew what was happening was intended to help me make my decision about going back to the earth and my terrible life. A part of me wanted to go back to the beautiful spirit world, or paradise, that I had seen, and another part of me felt the need to be reunited with my body so I could change my life. It was a tug-of-war, and what I was about to see was to help me understand what I would be going through if I chose to go back to my 'body of clay.'

Again the view before me played out like a videotape in fast forward motion, and yet I could see the scene in perfect clarity and was able to comprehend everything that transpired. As the earth zoomed up into my view, I first saw the whole world, and then various countries. It was made clear to me that in the future there would be wars and troubles, including nuclear attacks in various places of the world, and a view of how it would start was given.

I am not familiar with the geography of the world, but as I looked a the various lands before my view I instinctively knew what countries they were. Looking at the Middle East, I watched as a missile flew from Libya and hit Israel. The mushroom cloud that resulted from the blast was visible, and I knew that the missile contained a nuclear bomb. I was aware that those responsible for the missile were Iranian, but the missile had been hidden and fired from within the borders of Libya.

Almost immediately after this, other missiles began flying from one country to another, quickly spreading war around the world. I also saw that many nuclear explosions did not come from missiles but from bombs of some kind on the ground.

My focus then changed from the Middle East to the United States, and I understood that I was about to see some of the things that would lead up to the nuclear holocaust that I had just witnessed.

As I looked upon the continent of North America, I zeroed in on the eastern coast and then on New York specifically. I saw New York City with all of its people and buildings. I then saw some tall buildings crashing to the earth surrounded by tremendous amounts of smoke, dust, and debris.

I zoomed in closer into the smoke and dust, and I saw a woman holding a little girl's hand and running from the crashing buildings. The woman had long dark hair, hanging past her shoulders and curled inward slightly. She wore a beige business suit, heels of a slightly darker color, perhaps tan, and she was not wearing glasses. The little girl appeared to be about 6 or 7 years old with short brown hair reaching below the chin and cut in a type of pageboy look. They ran together, holding hands and trying to escape from the falling buildings. As they ran through the heavy smoke and dust, they were forced to let go of their hands and became separated. The child was terrified, and I could hear her screaming, "Mommy, mommy!" over and over again.

I don't know their outcome, if they lived or died, but I can still see the face of the woman clearly and could easily identify her from a photo or describe her to a sketch artist. I asked if an earthquake had caused the buildings to fall and felt impressed that the answer was no. However, I was not given any indication as to the cause of the destruction. (Incidentally, I told this story many, many times before September 11, 2001. When I did see on television the World Trade Center towers collapsing, I knew that this was what I had seen.

Me personally, I am not terribly worried about the developments in Japan (although I did go rifle through my preps looking for them a few days ago just in case....), but I did have those distinct feelings two years ago to get my KI pills ordered and ready for my own family - and many others. The Spirit bore distinct witness that this preparation would save lives (of children) where the other less-critical items of the $40K I spent on preps were just window dressing, relatively speaking. I only stopped at 400 pills because I was running low on $$. There will be some things that will save lives (besides stored food that is not contaminated.....) when things become desperate - and those pills are among those items.

Heaven help us all!!


I believe the fulfilling of times for these people is coming about and I wonder that the truly faithful among them need to fell to America to be gathered against the times of tribulation that are coming. There is little in the way of physical protection in those islands and they will need to find themselves above 2500 feet elevation to be truly protected from the sore future calamities.

Here are some great quotes that have been outlining the origins of the people who have such great faith and devotion that the Lord chose to hide away for a good purpose in Him.... I found Pres. Grant's quote on the Japanese people interesting. The Samurai have an interesting origin story that I will try and document at some later juncture. I truly admire and love the Japanese people and their culture. Besides the Jews of Israel, they are the people (generally speaking) who most capture the millennial spirit of a unified people.

Robert E. Parsons, “Hagoth and the Polynesians,” in The Book of Mormon: Alma, The Testimony of the Word, eds. Monte S. Nyman and Charles D. Tate Jr., (Provo, Utah: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1992), 249–262.

Chapter 15: Hagoth and the Polynesians

Robert E. Parsons

Robert E. Parsons is emeritus professor of Ancient Scripture at Brigham Young University.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has shown deep interest in the Polynesian people almost from the time the Church was organized in 1830. Just thirteen years later, in 1843, the Prophet Joseph Smith sent the first missionaries to the islands of the Pacific. The interest in the people of the Pacific comes from a brief account in the Book of Mormon of one Hagoth, a Nephite shipbuilder who left the Americas and sailed away and was “never heard of more” (Alma 63:8). This paper will review the traditional beliefs of the Church regarding the Polynesian people, and will thus explain the Prophet Joseph’s early interest in these people of the Pacific Islands. It will not thoroughly examine the current or past theories of the origin of the Polynesians, but concentrate on the Book of Mormon account and supplementary interpretations that have led to the traditional beliefs.

The story of Hagoth is recorded in just six verses (4–9) of Alma 63. Great wars between the Nephites and Lamanites had just concluded and there seemed to be a restlessness among the survivors. At that time thousands (even tens of thousands) migrated to the land northward (Alma 63:4). In 55 BC, Hagoth built an “exceedingly large ship” and launched it into the West Sea by the narrow neck of land and went north with many men, women, children, and provisions (Alma 63:5–6). This ship returned in 54 BC, was provisioned and sailed north again never to be heard from thereafter. An additional ship was launched that year, and it also was never heard from again (Alma 63:7–8). Interest in this one-half page abridgment of two years of Nephite history has led to the interpretations that will follow.

What happened to these lost ships? Only speculation and theories can be advanced, but the most common is that the ships were lost at sea. This is what the Nephites thought happened to them (Alma 63:8).

A second theory is that they went to Japan. The basis of this theory is the prayer Elder Heber J. Grant offered when he dedicated Japan in 1901 to receive the restored gospel.

According to Alma Taylor’s reminiscences of the event, Elder Grant “spoke of those who, because of iniquity, had been cut off from among the Nephites . . . and said we felt that through the lineage of those rebellious Nephites who joined with the Lamanites, that the blood of Lehi and Nephi [and of all Israel] had been transmitted unto the people of this land, many of whom have the features and manners of the American Indians, [and he] asked the Lord that if this were true that He would not forget the integrity of His servants Lehi and Nephi and would verify the promises made unto them concerning their descendants in the last days upon this [the Japanese] people for we felt that they were a worthy nation” (Palmer 91).

A third theory is that they went to Hawaii. In speaking to the Hawaiians at Laie, Elder Matthew Cowley said to them: “Brothers and sisters, you are God’s children—you are Israel. You have in your veins the blood of Nephi” (Cole 384). Expounding this theory, some believe that they went not only to Hawaii, but also to other Polynesian Islands as well; this theory is the emphasis of this paper.

Does the Church have an official position on any connection between Hagoth and the Polynesians? In a letter to the mission president of the Samoan Mission dated September 6, 1972, and signed by N. Eldon Tanner and Marion G. Romney, under the letterhead of the First Presidency, they wrote:

In your letter of September 6, 1972, you ask if the Polynesian people are Lamanites or Nephites. There has been much speculation about the origin of these people. We have, however, no scriptural evidence or revelation from the Lord that would tell us exactly where these people came from or their background.

Teachings of General Authorities

Notwithstanding this 1972 letter from the First Presidency, we have many definite statements from members of the Twelve, and from Presidents of the Church reiterating their firm belief that the Polynesians originated from Lehi’s American colony. Elder Mark E. Petersen, in his conference message of 1962, says:

The Polynesian Saints are characterized by a tremendous faith. Why do they have this great faith? It is because these people are of the blood of Israel. They are heirs to the promises of the Book of Mormon. God is now awakening them to their great destiny. As Latter-day Saints we have always believed that the Polynesians are descendants of Lehi and blood relatives of the American Indians, despite the contrary theories of other men (Petersen 457).

The building of temples among the Polynesian people has been the source of many statements connecting these people with the Book of Mormon. When the cornerstone was laid at the New Zealand Temple, Elder Hugh B. Brown stated in the closing prayer:

We thank Thee, O God, for revealing to us the Book of Mormon, the story of the ancient inhabitants of America. We thank Thee that from among those inhabitants, the ancestors of these whose heads are bowed before Thee here, came from the western shores of America into the South Seas pursuant to Thy plan and now their descendants humbly raise their voices in grateful acknowledgement of Thy kindness, Thy mercy, and Thy love for them and those who went before them.

We humbly thank Thee that this building is erected in this land, so that those faithful Maoris who came here in early days, descendants of Father Lehi, may be remembered by their descendants and saved through the ordinances that will, in this House, be performed in their behalf (Cummings 63; quoted in Cheesman 14).

In the opening sentences of his dedicatory prayer at the New Zealand Temple, April 20, 1958, President David O. McKay stated:

We express gratitude that to these fertile islands thou didst guide descendants of Father Lehi and hast enabled them to prosper (McKay 2).

Later, Elder Gordon B. Hinckley commented upon Europeans being assembled with the Maoris of the Pacific at the dedication of the New Zealand Temple: “Again, there was something prophetic about it. Here were two great strains of the house of Israel the children of Ephraim from the isles of Britain, and the children of Lehi from the isles of the Pacific” (509).

Nearly twenty years later, in a talk to the Samoans in 1976, President Spencer W. Kimball said:

I thought to read to you a sacred scripture which pertains especially to you the islanders of the Pacific. It is in the sixty-third chapter of Alma [He then read the account of Hagoth.]

And so it seems to me rather clear that your ancestors moved northward and crossed a part of the South Pacific. You did not bring your records with you, but you brought much food and provisions. And so we have a great congregation of people in the South seas who came from the Nephites, and who came from the land southward and went to the land northward, which could have been Hawaii. And then the further settlement could have been a move southward again to all of these islands and even to New Zealand. The Lord knows what he is doing when he sends his people from one place to another. That was the scattering of Israel. Some of them remained in America and went from Alaska to the southern point. And others of you came this direction.

President Spencer W. Kimball continued by quoting former President Joseph F. Smith as saying:

“I would like to say to you brethren and sisters from New Zealand, you are some of Hagoth’s people, and there is No Perhaps about it!” He didn’t want any arguments about it. That was definite. So you are of Israel. You have been scattered. Now you are being gathered (15).

It might be of interest to you to know that when Elder Spencer W. Kimball set me apart for my mission to New Zealand in 1946, he said: “We bless you with power and the ‘gift of tongues’ to learn the language of the Maoris . . . . We set you apart among the Children of Lehi to do good.”

Besides these many statements from the Prophets, we have added insights from patriarchal blessings. Paul Cheesman notes in Early America and the Polynesians that Bruce G. Pitt, a graduate student, “viewed a portion of microfilm #34 in the BYU library” which contained the patriarchal blessings given to these people in regard to the lineage declared in the blessings. The following information was found: “Of 321 total Polynesian lineages viewed, 155 were declared to be of Manasseh, 2 of Manasseh and Ephraim, 68 of Joseph, 62 of Israel, 4 of Jacob, 28 of Ephraim, 1 of Lehi and 1 of Japeth . . . . Another [graduate] researcher, Max Hirschi, recorded that out of 35 patriarchal blessings given to Polynesians, thirteen were from the tribe of Ephraim, fourteen were told they were from Manasseh, and the other eight were of the tribe of Joseph” (15).

During Dr. Paul Cheesman’s visits to the islands, he questioned patriarchs in the various places and found “that nearly three-fourths [of the declared lineages] were from Manasseh and one-fourth were from Ephraim, with some being designated as descendants of the tribe of Joseph” (15). Since Lehi was a descendant of Manasseh (Alma 10:3) and Ishmael was a descendant of Ephraim (Journal of Discourses 23:184), the common lineage of these two descendants of Joseph who was sold into Egypt and the Polynesian Saints gives support to the theory that the Polynesians came from the American Nephites.

Another evidence of a connection between the Nephites and the Isles of the Pacific is the oral traditions among the Latter-day Saint Polynesian people. I asked Elder John Groberg, who has spent years among the Tongans, if they had any traditions concerning their coming to the islands. He said they had nothing as detailed as the Maori, but that Church members among both Tongans and Samoans were adamant in their tradition that they came from the east, not the west as some modern scholars affirm. Elder Groberg is well-qualified to speak concerning these people. He served as a missionary to Tonga, then as mission president, regional representative, and when he was ordained a member of the First Quorum of Seventy, he served as an area supervisor of the Polynesian people.

Returning to the Maoris, my favorite oral tradition, one I learned among the Maoris, is as follows: I haere mai o tatou tipuna, i tawhiti nui, i tawhiti roa, i tawhiti pamamao i te hono i wai rua. English: Our Fathers came from a great distance, an extended distance, an extremely great distance the joining of two waters. It is this last phrase, “the joining of two waters,” that is so interesting to us Latter-day Saints.

Elder Matthew Cowley gave an interesting explanation of this tradition as he introduced one of his Maori friends who was visiting the United States.

Now we have with us here my good Israelite friend (Wi Pere Amaru). I am glad he has come to speak to us Gentiles, to bring to us a message right from the heart and blood of Israel. You know, in the 63rd chapter of Alma, there is a little story which tells of Hagoth who was such an exceedingly curious man that he built a boat, and he went out on the seas, and he came back. He built other boats, and then finally the boats went forth and never returned. We are told in The Book of Mormon the place where those ships were built was near a narrow neck of land.

When I was on my first mission as a young boy, I used to ask the oldtimers out there, “Where did you come from?” They would say in Maori, “We came from the place where the sweet potato grows wild, where it is not planted, does not have to be cultivated.”

There is only one place in all the world where the sweet potato grows wild, and that is within the environs of that narrow neck of land where Hagoth built his ships. They will tell you that they came from several degrees of distance. One degree of distance, a greater degree of distance, and then a far greater degree of distance.

The Maori scholars tell you that “i te hono i te wai rua” means the place where the spirits are joined. But I have a little different interpretation of that. Wairua in the Maori language means “spirit.” It also means “two waters,” wai meaning water, rua meaning two.

In the Hawaiian language Wailua means “two waters”: in the Samoan language VaiJua means “two waters.” The word for spirit in those other languages isn’t Wairua, the same as in the Maori language.

The Maori scholars say that they came from a far distant place, where the spirits are joined, or where the body returns to the spirit. But I say, knowing the story of Hagoth as I do, that they came from the joining of two waters, a narrow neck of land between two bodies of water which joins those two great continents (114–16).

Stuart Meha, a great Maori High Priest, agreed with Matthew Cowley’s interpretation of “wairua” and added the following:

My name is Brother Stuart Meha. While in Salt Lake City in 1957, President David O. McKay asked me to write him an article on the origin of the Maori. This is my humble effort. It is particularly interesting to note that all the students of Maori history and lore have come to the one and same conclusion: namely, that the Maori, in the long dim past have come from India. With due respect to the academic qualifications of these men, we beg to differ and positively aver and maintain, not so with the fleet. We say clearly and unmistakably that the fleet of seven canoes came together from Hawaiki, which name is Hawaii to the Hawaiians, and the striking similarity of these names in the two languages should be good enough proof for the most critical. However, we do say that some other canoes could have come from India. We do not deny the scholars that, but positively not the fleet.

I will now give the tradition just as it was couched in words by our forefathers, also its translation into English. The tradition must be literal in order to retain as near as possible the real meaning which our antecedents wished to pass down to posterity. Here is the tradition: “I haere mai taua i Hawaiki, tawhiti nui, tawhiti roa, tawhiti pamamao i te hono i wai rua.” No more, no less.

Translation: “I haere mai taua i Hawaiki.” English: You and I have come from Hawaiiki. “tawhiti nui, tawhiti roa, tawhiti pamamao.” English: A great distance away, an extended distance away, an extremely remote distance away, “i te hono i wai rua.” English: even from the joining at the two waters. Putting all the English into compact form we have: “You and I have come from Hawaiiki a great distance away, an extended distance away, an extremely remote distance away, even from the joining at the two waters.” The last part, “i te hono i wai rua” is where the students of Maori history fall into error. The last two words, ‘wai rua’ were taken as one word, “wairua,” and regarded in that manner it means “spirit.” Thus, their translation read, “from the joining of the spirit,” presumably with a body. We hold that the view they took is erroneous, and that the old Maori migrant meant just what he had said orally—that he had come from the joining of two great lands at the two waters I will now give the best proof of all because it came from the lips of a prophet of God. In 1913, with five others, I went to the U.S.A.—our objective being to go through the House of the Lord at Salt Lake City. On arrival outside of Vancouver, our boat, the R.M.S. Niagara, stood outside the bay awaiting medical clearance. With the doctor came a letter for me, a letter of welcome from Elder Benjamin Goddard, at that time President of the New Zealand Missionary Association of Zion. We landed and were met by two missionaries who were laboring in Vancouver and who had been requested to meet us and make arrangements for our stay in this British metropolis. They took us to the finest hotel here and made us to feel welcome. They then took me to the telegraph office, and I sent a message to Brother Goddard, thanking the Association for its welcome to our party and for all the arrangements for our stay here.

In the wire, I also said, “Who knows but that some of Hagoth’s people had arrived, pea?” I added the little word “pea” not because of any element of doubt on my part, but I wanted to raise comment, which I succeeded as will be seen later.

At a reception tended [tendered] our party at Wandamere Park, Salt Lake City, President Joseph F. Smith and his counsellors and several of the Twelve and others of the General Authorities of the Church, Governor Spry of Utah and many of the leading citizens of the city were present. President Smith in his welcome said:

“I would like to say to you brethren and sisters from New Zealand, you are some of Hagoth’s people, and there is pea about it!”

This is the word of a prophet of God, and we need go no further to look for proof of the origin of the Maori. (Meha tape, Waipawa, Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand, July 1962).

Ever since President Smith told that to the Maori visitors, the members of the Church in New Zealand have had no questions in their minds as far as their connection with Hagoth and their origin to that land. Since the Brethren have spoken so plainly about that in the quotations above, and since the Maori’s themselves have that tradition, we might ask ourselves, how did this teaching that the Polynesians came from the Book of Mormon people first begin? When did we first start talking about all of this in the Church?

Back in the 1830s and 40s, during Joseph Smith’s time, there was nothing that was ever said that we are aware of that would tie the Polynesians with the Book of Mormon people. Elder George Q. Cannon is credited with first connecting the Hawaiian people and other Polynesians to the house of Israel.

The doctrine that the Hawaiian people and all other Polynesians are heirs to the blessings promised to the posterity of Abraham had its origin through George Q. Cannon. While he was at Lahaina, he received a knowledge directly from the Lord that the Hawaiians were of the house of Israel. From this time on Elder Cannon and his associates began to teach that the Hawaiian people were an offshoot branch of Israel through the posterity of Lehi, the Book of Mormon prophet (Britsch 97–98).

At a recent Mormon History Association meeting held in Hawaii, the linking together of these people with the people of Hagoth was treated.

The Israelite descent of the Polynesians is more difficult to trace in Mormon doctrine. Indeed, there is no evidence that Joseph Smith or the first Mormon missionaries sent to Polynesia in the 1840s ever made the connection. As far as is known, the doctrine was first preached publicly by Tahitian LDS missionary Louisa Pratt who identified the Nephites as “the ancient fathers of the Tahitians” at a meeting in 1851. The Israelite ancestry of the Hawaiians was also preached by the Mormon missionaries in Hawaii from the following year at least. By the late 1850s, Mormon leader Brigham Young was referring to this doctrine, and an article in a Mormon periodical in 1868 claimed with respect to the “Sandwich Islanders” that “it is well understood by us that these peoples are of the same stock as the Lamanites.” This article also claimed that native New Zealanders “have the same origin.”

A connection between the Maori and the history of the Nephites and Lamanites was firmly established at this time. On April 7,1888, Ezra F. Richards gave the Maori conference attenders “a short account of their forefathers leaving the land of Jerusalem and going to America, and touched briefly upon some of their great battles, some building boats and leaving America.” On the 8 April, Sondra Sanders, Jr., gave the Saints “an account of some of the wars and contentions that arose between the Nephites and Lamanites, also the reason that they became a dark skinned people and the promises that had been made concerning their becoming ‘a white and delightsome people.’“ And on the 9 April, after discussing the scattering of Israel, M. S. Marriot suggested that the time had come for “the gathering of the Maori people.” Thereafter, the Book’s teachings on Israelites became a focus for proselyting work among the Maori. As Francis Kirkham, an LDS missionary to the Maori in the 1890s remembered, “we would go to them, hold up a copy of the Book of Mormon and tell them that we had a book that told the history of their ancestors” (Barber 12–15).

The Coming of the Church to New Zealand

Elder Matthew Cowley tells of a great convention held in 1881 that represented all of the native tribes of New Zealand. They were gathered at a native village near Mastertown, near Wellington. Many who attended that conference were old enough to have seen the first Christian missionaries arrive in New Zealand, and all who attended belonged to a Christian church. They were Catholics, Methodists, or Presbyterians. One of the dominant topics considered was why the Maoris were no longer religiously unified as they had been before Christianity came to them. If Christianity was the higher light—the true religion—why were they divided into many churches? So they began asking themselves which of these Christian churches was the right one for the Maori race and which one they should all belong to so that there would be only one church among them. Not knowing the answer and not being able to decide in their debate, they turned to their wisest sage, Paora Potangaroa, and asked him which church they should all join. He said he would have to think on it and then went to his own residence which was nearby. After three days of fasting and prayer, asking Jehovah which was the right church for the Maori people, he returned to his people and said: “My friends, the church for the Maori people has not yet come among us. You will recognize it when it comes. Its missionaries will travel in pairs. They will come from the rising sun. They will visit with us in our homes. They will learn our language and teach us the gospel in our own tongue. When they pray they will raise their right hands” (Cowley 200–01).

Paora Potangaroa then asked Ranginui Kingi to write down what he was going to say and his words were proclaimed to his people at the “eight-years house” on the 16th day of March 1881. Several things were said of interest to us: First, the year 1881 is the “day of fulness”; that is the year that the missionaries first taught the fulness of the gospel to the Maori people. It is also the year W. M. Bromley arrived to preside over the mission. He was told before leaving Utah “that the time had come to take the gospel to the Maori people.” Potangaroa said the next year, 1882, would be the year of the “sealing.” It was in 1882 when they were first taught about the sealing ordinances performed in the temple. He said the third year, 1883, would be the year of “the honoring,” when they would pay “tribute to whom tribute was due, custom to whom custom . . . honor to whom honor” (See Romans 13:7). Elder Cowley interpreted that as the year when Maoris joined the Church in great numbers and gave “tribute to whom tribute was due [and] custom to whom custom” was due as they began worshiping the Lord (203–04).

The prophecy went on to say that they were the lost sheep of the house of Israel. They would learn of the scepter of Judah, and of “Shiloh, the king of peace.” They would also learn of “the sacred church with a large wall surrounding it.” There would be an “increase of the[ir] race” and of their faith, love, and peace (203). That was at a time when the Maoris were beginning to be exterminated, much as the American Indian was in the United States. There was a great deal of apprehension among them, a fear they would disappear as a people.

This covenant was written down on a piece of paper, and at the top of the piece of paper they drew an “all-seeing eye.” This prophecy was then placed in a cement monument in the eight-years house where the convention was held. It remained there from 1881 until 1929, when a Maori sect known as the Ratana Church, in groping for substantiation that they were the true church of the Maoris as foretold by Potangaroa, broke open the cement monument to get at his prophecy, hoping to find something in it that would establish their claim to be the right church for the Maori (203–04).

Unfortunately, the storage chamber which contained the prophecy had not been hermetically sealed and the paper had been so damaged by moisture that nothing was legible on it.

That was 1929. In 1944, Matthew Cowley was the New Zealand mission president. He was there during the war years, and the only American missionaries he had were himself, his wife, and their daughter. They held a convention for the Maoris in the same area where Paora Potangaroa gave his prophecy in 1881. Present at the 1944 convention was Eriata Nopera, another great Maori chief. When he rose to speak, he told his people that he had been a little boy there when Paora Potangaroa gave his prophecy and repeated what he remembered of the prophecy. At the end of that day’s convention, one of the women attending the convention had her husband go fetch parcel wrapped in brown paper from a trunk in their house. When he brought her the parcel, she called President Cowley and Eriata Nopera into an adjoining room and gave it to them. They opened the parcel and found a photograph of Potangaroa’s written prophecy wrapped up in it (205).

What had happened was that in 1881, when the prophecy was written down by Ranginui, a photographer in Wellington had heard that a Maori had made a prophecy. He traveled out to that village and asked for permission to photograph it. This was granted and he photographed the prophecy before it was sealed in the cement monument. This woman’s family got a copy of that photograph and had kept it since. She then gave it to Brother Nopera, who in turn gave it to President Matthew Cowley (205). That is the way we know what was in Paora Potangaroa’s prophecy.

In conclusion it seems fair to state that although the Church has no official, published declaration on the origin of the Polynesians, there have been enough semi-official statements by prophets of the Lord to leave little doubt that the Church believes that the Polynesians are direct blood relatives of Lehi’s colony and that Hagoth’s lost ships provide at least one connection between the Americas and Polynesia. This is further supported by patriarchal blessings given to the members of the Church among these people and by oral traditions. The brief account of Hagoth recorded in the book of Alma is important to an understanding of the blessings given to the descendants of Joseph, as the inhabitants of the isles of the sea.


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Petersen, Mark E. “New Evidence for the Book of Mormon,” Improvement Era (June 1962) 65:456–59; also in Conference Report (Apr 1962) 111–15.