Elijah and Reincarnation
Question from LDS reader: Why do you think that Mal 4:5-6 refers to Elijah reincarnated as John the Baptist?
This is a pretty cut and dried issue which was presented starkly in black and white by Jesus, but let me cover it again.
(1) Mal. 4:5-6 and Mal 3:1 are both referring to the same individual which was to be fulfilled by John the Baptist (Elijah in a past life).
In speaking of Mal 3:1 Jesus spoke of John the Baptist saying:
“But what went ye. out for to see? A prophet? Yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet. FOR THIS IS HE OF WHOM IT IS WRITTEN, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee…” Matt 11:9-10.
Thus there is no argument that John the Baptist is the one spoken of to fulfill this prophesy.
Now concerning a few verses later (Mal. 4:5-6) the apostles asked Jesus:
“His disciples asked him saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias (Elijah) must first come? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come and restore all things. (This refers to a future coming) But I say unto you, that Elias is COME ALREADY, AND THEY KNEW HIM NOT, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.” Matt 17:10-13.
Keep in mind that Elias is Greek for Elijah and all modern Bibles Translate it as Elijah to avoid confusion.
Here both Jesus and the Apostles identified the one who would precede the coming of the Messiah in Malachi as Elijah and “the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist” when talking about its fulfillment.
But note that there would be two appearances. One as Elijah reincarnated through John the Baptist 2000 years ago and another coming to restore all things. Since the messenger in Mal 3:1 is positively identified as Elijah come again then the person named as Elijah in Mal 4:5-6 has to be one and the same person.
Even the Mormon Church (and most Bible scholars) teach that the person in both these scriptures are the same person.
The hearts of the children seeking after their fathers is just one of the meanings of this verse. Let me quote it:
“Behold, I will send you Elijah the Prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord; and he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.” Malachi 4:5-6
Joseph gave a different twist on this than is usually taught in the church:
“This is the spirit of Elijah, that we redeem our dead, and connect ourselves with our fathers which are in heaven… We cannot be perfect without our fathers. WE MUST HAVE REVELATION FROM THEM.” Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith Page 338.
This linking up with the dead is to have the effect of giving us revelation. Indeed, many of those who have passed on will at times play the roll of a guardian angel and speak to us in still moments.
As the reader mentioned the angel Moroni quoted this verse differently to Joseph Smith:
“Behold, I will reveal unto you the Priesthood, by the hand of Elijah the prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. And he shall plant in the hearts of the children THE PROMISES MADE TO THE FATHERS, and the hearts of the children shall turn to their fathers. If it were not so THE WHOLE EARTH WOULD BE UTTERLY WASTED AT HIS COMING.” D&C 2:1-3.
And what are the promises made to the Fathers (the prophets)? There are many. In speaking of this verse Joseph Smith said that the most consistent promise made to the fathers was the building of Zion and the gathering of Israel (lights).
Note that an often overlooked part of the verse is that the heart of the Fathers will turn to the children? What does this mean?
We are the fathers of the children of the future and if we do not turn our hearts to them and prepare for them a world free from nuclear weapons, pollution, war and starvation, then indeed the earth will be smitten with a curse.
“Curse here comes from the Hebrew CHEREM which implies “utter destruction” or “extermination,” and this is a real possibility if we do not do our part in leaving our children to come an earth in which they can live in peace and abundance.
Elijah either as a reincarnated messenger or one working from the higher realms is predicted to help with our deliverance.
During the transfiguration we are told that both Moses and Elias (Elijah) appeared to Jesus, but the Inspired Version adds something rather startling for Mormon eyes. It says:
“And there appeared unto them Elias with Moses, OR IN OTHER WORDS, JOHN THE BAPTIST AND MOSES; and they were talking with Jesus.” Mark 9:3
You can’t get amore positive I.D. than that. “in other words” Elijah and John the Baptist were one and the same.
Comment: you say that “Never in history has God sent a resurrected being to accomplish what can be done by mortal men.” But there have been numerous instances where ancient prophets have appeared and assisted various servants.
Other worldly messengers have only appeared briefly, often to one person and have never done the work of mortals, rubbing shoulders with the general populace. If Joseph Smith or any other past being were to return and work with humanity it would be as one of us, not as some resurrected glorified being.
Question: Can translated beings reincarnate?
Many translated beings return to mortality.
“Wherefore, all things are theirs, whether life or death.” D&C 76:59
Question: “If murder is an “unforgivable sin,” then how could David, who committed murder, reincarnate as another prophet as some believe?
The scriptures say that murder is not forgiven “in this world.” Fortunately there are next worlds. In the New Testament “world” comes from AEON which means “an age.” If a person commits murder he will not be forgiven while he lives, but must give his life or save lives to pay the debt which brings forgiveness in a future life, world or age.
Some of the greatest leaders and teachers of humanity have had some of the largest debts to pay off.
Copyright by J J Dewey
Dec 6, 2001
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