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Israel and Zion Part II - Kings, Seers & Lost Records


          Part I was a preliminary examination of Ezekiel’s prophecy of the sticks of Judah and Joseph and Israel being gathered and guided by a latter-day David.

          The next reference from the Book of Mormon is a type for the prophecy of Ezekiel’s fulfillment. Before beginning the next study, an important point should be considered.

          In the earlier parts about the “Gentiles and Zion”, Denver Snuffer explained the first Patriarchal dynasty lasted ten generations beginning with Adam. The next Patriarchal dynasty began with Abraham and lasted five generations. The last Patriarchal dynasty lasted one generation that began and ended with Joseph and Hyrum Smith. Each successive Patriarchal dynasty was shortened dramatically. This is significant because the next example required three generations of kings to accomplish what the latter-day David accomplishes in one generation.

This edition of scripture stands as a witness to the whole world; it is the sign that the moment has arrived when the things that have been prophesied of in scripture will now occur in a single generation. Mankind doesn’t have to accept the witness, they don’t even have to notice the witness; it’s only required that God send the witness. If He sends the witness, God has done His part. These scriptures are a new witness of Him and a sign of His invitation to renew communication with mankind” (RE Old Covenant, Foreword, emphasis added).

There may be numerous reasons why the time is shortened, but it appears the most likely is the rapid rise in wickedness as the Spirit of the Lord withdraws from this world.


The Common Thread Tying This Account To Ezekiel 19


          Ezekiel 19 and Joseph of Egypt’s prophecy share the common theme of records from Judah and Joseph combining together. Those prophecies foretell the joining of records together, while the accounts of Mosiah, Benjamin, and Mosiah is the story of the people becoming joined together.

          Lehi and his descendants were from the tribe of Manasseh, the brother of Ephraim and son of Joseph of Egypt. The Book of Mormon is the record of their people.

“ . . . And Aminadi was a descendant of Nephi, who was the son of Lehi, who came out of the land of Jerusalem, who was a descendant of Manasseh, who was the son of Joseph, who was sold into Egypt by the hands of his brethren . . .” (RE Alma 8:1, emphasis added).

Mosiah and all Nephites descended from this lineage. There were also descendants of Ishmael but his lineage is not given.

          Mosiah, as a descendant of Joseph of Egypt, led his people from the land of Nephi until arriving in the land of Zarahemla. The people of Zarahemla were Mulekites who fled Jerusalem after Lehi, and were led by Mulek, son of Zedekiah and heir to throne in Jerusalem.

“Behold, it came to pass that Mosiah discovered that the people of Zarahemla came out from Jerusalem at the time that Zedekiah king of Judah was carried away captive into Babylon. And they journeyed in the wilderness and were brought by the hand of the Lord, across the great waters, into the land where Mosiah discovered them . . .” (RE Omni 1:7, emphasis added).

The Mulekites of Zarahemla were Jews led by Mulek, the only surviving heir to the throne of Zedekiah, king of Judah. When Mosiah discovered Zarahemla, the Mulekites appointed Mosiah king over the combined tribes of Joseph and Judah, fulfilling the prophecies of Joseph of Egypt and Ezekiel. Not only were the records combined, the example of the people of Zarahemla is a type for Israel’s gathering in the last days.

          In the story of kings Mosiah, Benjamin and Mosiah we see the entire chapter of Ezekiel 19 played out in three generations. This includes the transition from the Aaronic Covenant to the Melchizedek Covenant discussed in Ezekiel 19.

A Literal Script For the Covenant Transition From The Gentiles to Israel

          In the covenant cycle previously discussed, we are currently at the end of the gentile covenant opportunity. The people in the land of Nephi arrived at a similar position in the days of Mosiah.

And now I, Amaron, write the things whatsoever I write, which are few, in the book of my father. Behold, it came to pass that three hundred and twenty years had passed away; and the more wicked part of the Nephites were destroyed. For the Lord would not suffer, after he had led them out of the land of Jerusalem, and kept and preserved them from falling into the hands of their enemies, yea, he would not suffer that the words should not be verified which he spake unto our fathers, saying that inasmuch as ye will not keep my commandments, ye shall not prosper in the land. Wherefore, the Lord did visit them in great judgment; nevertheless, he did spare the righteous, that they should not perish, but did deliver them out of the hands of their enemies. And it came to pass that I did deliver the plates unto my brother Chemish” (RE Omni 1:3, emphasis added).

The Nephites prospered for three hundred twenty years before God poured His judgments upon them. The gentiles in America have had an offer of covenant for 200 years. When anyone turns away from God’s offer of covenant, one should anticipate at some time the wrath of God to be poured upon them as a witness He honors His words.

          Prior to the wrath of God being poured out upon the Nephites in the land of Nephi, the Lord warned Mosiah to depart out of the land. If this example is a type for latter-day events, the latter-day David whom the Lord has chosen follows a similar pattern to that of Mosiah.

Behold, I am Amaleki, the son of Abinadom. Behold, I will speak unto you somewhat concerning Mosiah, who was made king over the land of Zarahemla. For behold, he being warned of the Lord that he should flee out of the land of Nephi — and as many as would hearken unto the voice of the Lord should also depart out of the land with him into the wilderness — and it came to pass that he did according as the Lord had commanded him. And they departed out of the land into the wilderness, as many as would hearken unto the voice of the Lord. And they were led by many preachings and prophesyings, and they were admonished continually by the word of God. And they were led by the power of his arm through the wilderness until they came down into the land which is called the land of Zarahemla. And they discovered a people who were called the people of Zarahemla. Now, there was great rejoicing among the people of Zarahemla, and also, Zarahemla did rejoice exceedingly because the Lord had sent the people of Mosiah with the plates of brass, which contained the record of the Jews” (RE Omni 1:6, emphasis added).

A righteous group of Nephites, led by a righteous king away from impending judgments upon the wicked. They were led by preachings, prophesying and by admonitions with the word of God.

          The Lord led this small tribe of Joseph to Zarahemla and when they arrived, the descendants of Judah rejoiced to receive the records of their forefathers. The people of Zarahemla were more numerous than the people of Mosiah. Their lack of records led to a degradation of their language and society.

And at the time that Mosiah discovered them, they had become exceeding numerous. Nevertheless, they had had many wars and serious contentions, and had fallen by the sword from time to time. And their language had become corrupted; and they had brought no records with them; and they denied the being of their Creator. And Mosiah, nor the people of Mosiah, could understand them. But it came to pass that Mosiah caused that they should be taught in his language. And it came to pass that after they were taught in the language of Mosiah, Zarahemla gave a genealogy of his fathers, according to his memory. And they are written, but not in these plates” (RE Omni 1:7, emphasis added).

As the gathering of Israel commences, the description of the people of Zarahemla is an appropriate description of the scattered  tribes of Israel. Particularly if they have no records preserving their language or religion.

          Once the people of Zarahemla and the people of Mosiah spoke a common language, Zarahemla gave Mosiah and those with him a verbal genealogy of their people. Thereafter the people of Mosiah and the people of Zarahemla united under the head of king Mosiah.


The Role of Kingship and Seership Linked


          Following the peoples selection of king Mosiah to reign over them, the people of Zarahemla present to him a stone tablet with engravings. King Mosiah interpreted the engravings ‘by the gift and power of God.” We learn later in the record of Mosiah what it meant for the king to translate the engraved stone tablet “by the gift and power of God.” In response to king Limhi’s question if Ammon or someone he knew could translate ancient records, Ammon said the following:

“ . . . I can assuredly tell thee, O king, of a man that can translate the records; for he has wherewith that he can look and translate all records that are of ancient date, and it is a gift from God. And the things are called interpreters, and no man can look in them except he be commanded, lest he should look for that he ought not and he should perish. And whosoever is commanded to look in them, the same is called seer. And behold, the king of the people who is in the land of Zarahemla is the man that is commanded to do these things, and who has this high gift from God. And the king said that a seer is greater than a prophet. And Ammon said that a seer is a revelator and a prophet also. And a gift which is greater can no man have, except he should possess the power of God, which no man can; yet a man may have great power given him from God. But a seer can know of things which have passed, and also of things which are to come. And by them shall all things be revealed, or rather shall secret things be made manifest, and hidden things shall come to light, and things which are not known shall be made known by them, and also things shall be made known by them which otherwise could not be known. Thus, God has provided a means that man, through faith, might work mighty miracles. Therefore he becometh a great benefit to his fellow beings” (RE Mosiah 5:13, emphasis added).

When king Mosiah, the first, arrived at the land of Zarahemla, the people of Zarahemla presented to him a stone tablet with engravings. The account said king Mosiah interpreted the stone tablet by the gift and power of God.

          What constituted the “gift and power of God” in the Book of Mormon was possession of the Urim and Thummim, or interpreters. The purpose of the Urim and Thummim is noted to be translating records. Those in possession of the interpreters are referred to as seers. A seer has the ability to know the past, and future by inquiring of God through the device.

          Nephi described the Urim and Thummim to Joseph Smith when he revealed the existence of the gold plates the Book of Mormon was written on.

He called me by name, and said unto me that he was a messenger sent from the presence of God to me and that his name was Nephi, that God had a work for me to do, and that my name should be had for good and evil among all nations, kindreds, and tongues, or that it should be both good and evil spoken of among all people. He said there was a book deposited, written upon gold plates, giving an account of the former inhabitants of this continent and the source from whence they sprang. He also said that the fullness of the everlasting gospel was contained in it as delivered by the Savior to the ancient inhabitants; also, that there were two stones in silver bows — and these stones, fastened to a breastplate, constituted what is called the Urim and Thummim — deposited with the plates, and the possession and use of these stones was what constituted seers in ancient or former times, and that God had prepared them for the purpose of translating the book” (RE T&C 1, Joseph Smith History 1:3, emphasis added).

Joseph Smith was given the Urim and Thummim to translate the Book of Mormon, as king Mosiah the first did with the stone tablet. Apparently the “interpreters” remained in possession of kings Benjamin and Mosiah, the grandson of the first Mosiah. When Ammon explains to Limhi the king of Zarahemla has “interpreters” to translate ancient records, he is referring to king Mosiah’s grandson, Mosiah, the son of Benjamin. Presumably it passed from father to son to grandson. It remained with the reigning king.

          The purpose of the Urim and Thummim is to translate ancient records. In the example where the first Mosiah meets the people of Zarahemla, the king of Zarahemla presents to Mosiah their genealogy and  the stone tablet with engravings for translation. This is a pattern repeated in the last days when the scattered of Israel come to Ephraim and present their rich treasures.

One of the interesting things about the gathering of Zion is that, apparently, even though there may be more revelations and commandments for us, apparently, it will only be in Zion where the “rich treasures” or the records of other scattered tribes are to be added (see D&C 133:30-33).These records will allow a great deal of lost information to be recovered. If the revelations and prophecies are correct, the records of the Jews and the records of the Nephites will be gathered first (see 2 Nephi 29:13). But eventually, there will be many others that get added as well. The prophecy of returning Israelites bringing the rich treasures to the children of Ephraim in the everlasting mountains refers to the place that will be built by a covenant people who have the legal right [Lehi’s seed, see 1 Nephi 1:21] to the land. But we must take care to only do as the Lord leads” (St. George Conference Q&A, 3/19/17, p.12, emphasis added).

Like the Nephite kings, Israel’s gathering is when they come from the North bearing “rich treasures” including records restoring plain and precious truth removed from our records. “Means” will necessarily need to be provided so these records may be translated and used to correct false doctrines persisting because of false traditions.

“Mormon revelation helpfully defines knowledge of the Gods’ mysteries as “riches.”21 That definition helps explain a prophecy about the coming return of other sheep. Newly awakened dormant prophets in the north countries will lead scattered flocks to the boundaries of the everlasting hills. They will bring with them “rich treasures unto the children of Ephraim” who will welcome them. 22 This will not merely be a reunion, but an exchange of treasured wisdom, or in other words revelation, between those who have preserved sacred knowledge. That reunion, however, will depend on a body of believing Ephraimites established in the everlasting hills that will welcome such riches. These prophetically described people must be humble enough to be taught, and willing to appreciate sacred information from outside” (Other Sheep Indeed, Denver Snuffer Jr., p.10, emphasis added).

The additional records delivered to Ephraim are essential in convincing Lehi’s seed, the gentiles and Israel of the truth found in the records of Judah and Joseph.

“ . . . And blessed are they [gentiles, Ephraim] who shall seek to bring forth my Zion at that day, for they shall have the gift and the power of the holy ghost. And if they endure unto the end, they shall be lifted up at the last day and shall be saved in the everlasting kingdom of the Lamb. Yea, whoso shall publish peace, yea, tidings of great joy, how beautiful upon the mountains shall they be!

And it came to pass that I beheld the remnant of the seed of my brethren and also the book of the Lamb of God [record of Judah] which had proceeded forth from the mouth of the Jew, that it came forth from the gentiles unto the remnant of the seed of my brethren. And after it had come forth unto them, I beheld other books which came forth by the power of the Lamb from the gentiles unto them, unto the convincing of the gentiles, and the remnant of the seed of my brethren, and also the Jews who were scattered upon all the face of the earth, that the records of the prophets and of the twelve apostles of the Lamb are true. And the angel spake unto me, saying, These last records which thou hast seen among the gentiles shall establish the truth of the first, which are of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, and shall make known the plain and precious things which have been taken away from them, and shall make known to all kindreds, tongues, and people that the Lamb of God is the Son of the Eternal Father and the Savior of the world, and that all men must come unto him or they cannot be saved. And they must come according to the words which shall be established by the mouth of the Lamb; and the words of the Lamb shall be made known in the records of thy seed, as well as in the records of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. Wherefore, they both shall be established in one, for there is one God and one Shepherd over all the earth. And the time cometh that he shall manifest himself unto all nations, both unto the Jews and also unto the gentiles. And after he has manifested himself unto the Jews and also unto the gentiles, then he shall manifest himself unto the gentiles and also unto the Jews; and the last shall be first, and the first shall be last” (RE 1 Nephi 3:23-24, emphasis added).

The gentiles who receive the holy ghost and seek to establish Zion are not legal heirs to the land of promise unless they are numbered with those who are. The blessings of Abraham are extended to the gentiles through Ephraim, the son of Joseph of Egypt who was half Egyptian and half Israelite blood. The seed of Lehi, from the loins of Joseph of Egypt are restored to the knowledge of their Patriarchal Fathers by the gentiles. The gentiles who receive the holy ghost introduce Lehi’s seed to the Bible. The repentant gentiles assist Joseph of Egypt’s descendants through Lehi in establishing the New Jerusalem and Zion.

“But if they [gentiles] will repent, and hearken unto my words, and harden not their hearts, I will establish my church [“whosoever repents and comes unto me,” RE T&C 1, Joseph Smith History 10:19] among them, and they shall come in unto the covenant and be numbered among this the remnant of Jacob, unto whom I have given this land for their inheritance [Lehi’s seed]. And they [gentiles] shall assist my people [Lehi’s descendants], the remnant of Jacob, and also as many of the house of Israel as shall come, that they may build a city which shall be called the New Jerusalem. And then shall they [gentiles] assist my people [Israel], that they [Israel] may be gathered in, who are scattered upon all the face of the land, in unto the New Jerusalem. And then shall the Powers of Heaven [Patriarchal Fathers, Spirit of Elijah] come down among them, and I also will be in the midst. [“And angels did come down out of Heaven and did minister unto them. And it came to pass that while the angels were ministering unto the disciples, behold, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and ministered unto them,” RE 3 Nephi 9:1] And then shall the work of the Father commence at that day, even when this gospel shall be preached among the remnant of this people. Verily I say unto you, at that day shall the work of the Father commence among all the dispersed of my people [Israel], yea, even the tribes which have been lost, which the Father hath led away out of Jerusalem. Yea, the work shall commence among all the dispersed of my people, with the Father to prepare the way whereby they may come unto me, that they may call on the Father in my name. Yea, and then shall the work commence with the Father among all nations, in preparing the way whereby his people may be gathered home to the land of their inheritance. And they shall go out from all nations, and they shall not go out in haste nor go by flight, for I will go before them, saith the Father, and I will be their rearward” (RE 3 Nephi 10:1, emphasis added).

Contemplate the substance of what was previously stated. The words of Christ are what has been discussed. The words of Christ grow together to reveal what the Lord has in mind for our day. Men and women called of God to repent, join the Father and Son in preparing for the great millennial days. Days when Heaven and Earth are reconnected in the work of assembling God’s family on Earth. Allow our imaginations to reflect on what is foretold.

          Pondering the magnitude of these events, the great words of Isaiah accurately express what a casual observer of these events think and say as these prophecies are fulfilled.

“And verily I say unto you [Lehi’s descendants], I give unto you a sign, that ye may know the time when these things shall be about to take place, that I shall gather in from their long dispersion my people, O house of Israel, and shall establish again among them my Zion. And behold, this is the thing which I will give unto you for a sign: for verily I say unto you that when these things which I declare unto you — and which I shall declare unto you hereafter of myself and by the power of the holy ghost, which shall be given unto you of the Father — shall be made known unto the gentiles, that they may know concerning this people who are a remnant of the house of Jacob, and concerning this my people who shall be scattered by them, verily, verily I say unto you, when these things [Book of Mormon, everything?, the record in its entirety?] shall be made known unto them [gentiles] of the Father and shall come forth of the Father from them unto you — for it is wisdom in the Father that they [gentiles] should be established in this land and be set up as a free people by the power of the Father, that these things might come forth from them unto a remnant of your seed, that the covenant of the Father may be fulfilled which he hath covenanted with his people, O house of Israel — therefore, when these works and the works which shall be wrought among you hereafter shall come forth from the gentiles unto your seed which shall dwindle in unbelief because of iniquity — for thus it behooveth the Father that it should come forth from the gentiles, that he may shew forth his power unto the gentiles for this cause, that the gentiles, if they will not harden their hearts, that they may repent, and come unto me, and be baptized in my name, and know of the true points of my doctrine, that they may be numbered among my people, O house of Israel — and when these things come to pass, that thy seed shall begin to know these things, it shall be a sign unto them that they may know that the work of the Father hath already commenced unto the fulfilling of the covenant which he hath made unto the people who are of the house of Israel. And when that day shall come, it shall come to pass that kings shall shut their mouths, for that which had not been told them shall they see, and that which they had not heard shall they consider” (RE 3 Nephi 9:11, emphasis added).

As the events unfold, will we be among the gentile kings who are left speechless when “that which they had not been told them shall they see, and that which they had not heard shall they consider?” Will we stand in the wonder of our ignorance, or be among the gentiles who repent and rejoice because that which we have been told unfolds through the mercy and grace of a loving God who keeps His promises? Will we awake and arise to the task.

          Reconsider the words from the beginning of this paper:

This edition of scripture stands as a witness to the whole world; it is the sign that the moment has arrived when the things that have been prophesied of in scripture will now occur in a single generation. Mankind doesn’t have to accept the witness, they don’t even have to notice the witness; it’s only required that God send the witness. If He sends the witness, God has done His part. These scriptures are a new witness of Him and a sign of His invitation to renew communication with mankind” (RE Old Covenant, Foreword, emphasis added).

 

 3/12/24

Scott Roderick



Israel and Zion Part II
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