Looking for Mr. Right
I thought you may be interested in a post I made to an alternative Mormon group. Keep in mind that most of these are rebel Mormons and many of them are either waiting for a man like Moses to show up or think they are the guy.
There’s been a lot of talk lately about looking for or finding the true David servant, The One Mighty and Strong, or the coming of Christ. Concerning this subject, I find it interesting how many claims have been made. It’s amazing since I have joined this group how many have had their hands up saying “Choose me. I am the great one. Is not my greatness obvious to you sinners?”
Sure they don’t actually say that, but that’s the way it comes across.
I thought I would write a few words on what we really should be looking for. This is not based on me just proclaiming it, but by giving the readers evidence.
And where is that evidence?
From the past.
Let us look at three great servants and see how they were recognized and then apply what we learn to recognizing servants to come. Logic tells us that since history repeats itself and if there are similarities in these three then we should get some pretty good clues what to look for.
Three significant servants in history according to LDs thinking are Moses, Jesus and Joseph Smith.
Let us start with Moses.
After discovering he was a Hebrew he fled Egypt and lived for 40 years in the wilderness herding sheep. It is quite possible he suspected he may be the prophesied deliverer, but held his peace. He didn’t go around saying “I am the deliverer. You must listen to me because I am an important person.”
Even if Moses knew he was the one he had the common sense to know that people wouldn’t accept him just because he proclaimed himself.
So how did the people find out about Moses?
They had evidence of who he was when they saw him boldly go before the presence of the Pharaoh time and time again with power that overwhelmed all his magicians.
Finally, when they crossed through the Red Sea and were delivered, they were pretty certain Moses was their deliverer.
They continued to have doubts, but their conviction was increased when additional works as well as inspired words, such as the Ten Commandments, were given out by him.
Conclusion: The works and the words of Moses bore him witness. Never did he have to proclaim himself as the deliverer, though he did tell the Elders about his revelation. After he performed the works of a deliverer and gave the words of the caliber of a prophet the people just knew.
Jesus showed up almost out of the blue and performed mighty miracles and works. He gave out eternal words that will not pass away, greater than the ear of man had ever heard.
Never did he announce to the people that he was the Messiah. He did not have to. His works and his words made the proclamation for him.
How did he find his disciples? He went to them and invited them to join his group. They did not have to go seek him out in some hidden location.
“Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you.” (John 15:16)
How did Joseph receive recognition as being a prophet? Did he say “Hey guys, God talks to me. I am a prophet. Follow me?”?
No. He began his work by presenting the Book of Mormon to the people and telling them to read and pray about it. This was a mighty and unique work for its time and convinced many people that Joseph was the messenger of the age.
In addition, he presented many other great words and works even to the building of cities, temples and gathering a great people as did Moses.
The first vision was not used as a proselytizing tool in the beginning. The witnesses to Joseph were the words and works he brought forth.
On this note you might want to go back and read my comments on the two witnesses from the Book of Revelation which are the Words and Works of a disciple.
Taking all this into account what should we look for in seeking the servant who is to come?
I’ll tell you what we should not look for and that is he will not be found among the many with no significant works or words, but with their hand up saying “Listen to me. I am he.” If he thought he knew who he was he would bide his time in the wilderness as did Moses. After all, he could be wrong, and then he would not wind up embarrassing himself.
We as seekers should look for a reasonable repetition of the past. The next servant (or servants) will announce himself with his works and words. Instead of believing one who says “I am he,” the seekers will be asking “Who is this guy? Could he be the one? Let’s check him out.”
Here we see that right up to the crucifixion that Jesus had not clearly identified himself:
“But Jesus held his peace. And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God.” (Matthew 26:63)
He did tell them previously. He told them through his mighty works and his eternal words.
Thus, today we need to look for servants and teachers who are giving out teachings that touch the spirit within and perform works that inspire us because they move forward the will of God on earth as it is in heaven.
After posting the above a reader says:
“Since the Davidic servant has been likened in scripture as being raised up “like Moses”, it would seem Moses would be a great source of comparison. But we must look at the true story of Moses as it appears in scripture to compare him.
“I am wondering first here, what ‘prophesised deliverer’ Moses was supposed to suspect he was, JJ? The only Deliverer prophesised or promised in Jewish scripture are about the coming of Jesus, not Moses. There was no tradition, no scriptural promise, of a deliverer that God would send to the poor suffering Israelites to save them from their troubles in Egypt. No, Moses did not suspect ever he was the “prophesised deliverer”, because he had never heard of any such a person.”
JJ: Not so fast. Anyone with a Mormon background ought to know that the orthodox scriptures do not give all the prophesies or the history of Israel.
Here is a crystal clear prediction of Moses given by Joseph who was sold into Egypt long before the birth of Moses:
“And he shall be great like unto Moses, whom I have said I would raise up unto you, to deliver my people, O house of Israel. And Moses will I raise up, to deliver thy people out of the land of Egypt.”
“Yea, thus prophesied Joseph: I am sure of this thing, even as I am sure of the promise of Moses; for the Lord hath said unto me, I will preserve thy seed forever.”
2 Nephi 3:9-10, 16
The work of Moses is even referred to in the Book of Genesis:
“And Joseph said unto his brethren, I die: and God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land unto the land which he sware to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. And Joseph took an oath of the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you, and ye shall carry up my bones from hence.” Genesis 50:24-25
Everyone who read this knew that God wasn’t going to come down in person and “bring you out of this land” but would use an appointed deliverer. And who was the one that fulfilled this prophecy and took the bones of Joseph out of Egypt?
“And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him: for he (Joseph) had straitly sworn the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you; and ye shall carry up my bones away hence with you.” Exodus 13:19
A scholar named John A. Tvedtnes wrote this:
“Joseph’s prophecy of Moses is confirmed in Jewish tradition, notably in two of the second-century-A.D. targumim, or translations of the Bible into Aramaic. In a lengthy addition to Genesis 40:12 in Targum Neofiti, Joseph interprets the three branches of Joseph of Egypt, by Robert E. Barretthe butler’s dream as representing “Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the sons of whose sons are to be enslaved in the slavery of the land of Egypt and are to be delivered by the hands of three faithful leaders: Moses, Aaron, and Miriam, who are to be likened to the clusters of grapes.” Similarly, in the Talmud, Rabbi Joshua interpreted the three branches as representing Moses, Aaron, and Miriam.” Babylonian Talmud, Hullin 92a
All this only makes sense. After all, does not the scripture say?
“Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.” Amos 3:7
Do you really think God would perform some of the greatest works in history through a deliverer and not tell the prophets what is coming? Many of the prophesies and prophets have been lost to history.
Were the people expecting a deliverer? Yes, they were praying every day for him to appear. Even the Pharaoh was nervous about his coming and killed all the male children in hope of preventing his appearance, just as Herod did at the time of Jesus.
It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. – Aristotle
July 10, 2007
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