The New Jerusalem
In the Hebrew the word Jerusalem is written or sounded YeRUWSHALAYIM. This is a word created from two other Hebrew words. The first part is derived from the prim root YARA which means “to instruct or point the way.” The second half of the word is derived from SHALEM which is translated “Salem” and the meaning of this word is peace or “to make safe.” The literal meaning of the name then is “to instruct in peace” or “to show the way to peace.” In other words, Jerusalem is to be an ensign to the nations. The first ensign to show the way to peace was set up by Melchizedek who was called a “prince of peace.” Even though the city he built only bore the last half of the name it was in reality the first Jerusalem. We are told that his people “sought for the city of Enoch” and “obtained heaven.” Gen 14:34 Inspired Version. Thus the righteous gathering he effected produced the entire translation of the first city.
The Lord desired similar results with the second Jerusalem occupied by the Israelites for it was intended to be an Ensign to point the way of peace to all the nations, but it failed to do this because the people, and more especially the leaders did not obey all the commandments. Thus in the days of Lehi and Jeremiah Jerusalem was conquered and the Israelites were taken away captive to Babylon with a promise that the Lord would gather them again in some future period. Some of the Jews did return to Jerusalem, however, most of Israel remained scattered.
In the days of Jesus many Jews had returned to Jerusalem, but it was controlled by many “which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie.” Rev 3:9. Finally in 70 AD it was completely destroyed by the Romans under Titus. Finally, again in our day, the nation of Israel is again re-established, but just as a people will be gathered out of the LDS people to build Zion here so will a righteous remnant establish Zion on that side of the world, but before Zion is built there the prophecy of Jesus must be fulfilled: “I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, HIM YE WILL RECEIVE.” John 5:43 That other that shall come will be a false Messiahs appearing to the Jews as well as other peoples of the earth.
We are definitely told that Old Jerusalem “after it should be destroyed it should be built up again, a holy city unto the Lord.” Ether 13:5 However, it will not be the holy city spoken of until Zion is established and there is a cleansing among the Jews as well as the rest of the world.
Concerning the rebuilding of old Jerusalem Ether said: “It could not be a New Jerusalem for it had been in a time of old.” In other words, it would be a restored Jerusalem and not a new one, but he said: “A New Jerusalem should be built upon this land, (America) unto the remnant of the seed of Joseph… and they shall build up a holy city unto the Lord, like unto the Jerusalem of old.” Ether 13:5&8
Concerning this New Jerusalem the Lord said: “Righteousness truth will I cause to sweep the earth as with a flood, to gather mine elect from the four quarters of the earth, unto a place which I shall prepare, an Holy City, that my people may gird up their loins, and be looking forth for the time of my coming; for there shall be my tabernacle, and it shall be called Zion, a New Jerusalem.” Moses 1:62.
Is it not plain that the New Jerusalem must be built by the gathering of the saints? The Lord also said: “When the city of the New Jerusalem shall be prepared, that YE MAY BE GATHERED IN ONE, that ye may be my people and I will be your God.” D&C 42:9
It is also written: “And. even now, let him that goeth to the east teach them that shall be converted to FLEE TO THE WEST, and this in consequence of that which is coming on the earth, and of secret combinations… Ye shall observe the laws which YE HAVE RECEIVED, and be faithful. And ye shall hereafter receive church covenants, SUCH AS SHALL BE SUFFICIENT to establish you, both here and in the New Jerusalem.” D&C 42:64, 66-67
Has this commandment ever been revoked by the Lord? Verily no. Therefore we should still receive covenants “such as shall be sufficient to establish you here AND IN THE NEW JERUSALEM.” Are we doing this? No. The Latter-Day Saints claim to be waiting on the Lord for the command to establish the New Jerusalem, but the command has already been given and the waiting period is long over. This is supposed to be the working period.
The average Latter-Day Saint has been “deceived by the craftiness of men” to the extent that in their craftiness certain men in the history of the church have changed the direction of their sights from a great good to numerous lesser goods. Instead of building the New Jerusalem their sights have been lowered to building the Mormon image in the world which thing means nothing to God for the world as we know it is a temporary state.
This is best illustrated with a parable:
(Author’s note: If I wrote this parable today instead of 1979 I would change some things but this still gives good food for thought.)
There once lived a Master Builder whose knowledge exceeded that of anyone else on the earth and he commanded a small force of men to come before him. He commanded his men to purchase a lot and build for him a house and after that is done he commanded them’ to build other houses of similar design. He left the foreman and all of the workmen with a list of written instructions including all things necessary to fulfill his commandment.
The men did as they were commanded and purchased the lot and began building the house. Unfortunately other speculators discovered the master’s plan and saw that there would be great value in obtaining the lot for themselves so by an illegal means they obtained a deed for the lot for themselves and convinced the authorities that it was legal and they drove the Master’s crew from the area.
The master returned and when faced with the situation he was disappointed with his crew for they should have been more aware, but with some he was well pleased for their efforts. To them he said: “You shall not cease striving until you obtain the lot which is legally mine and a house is built on it. Until that time you shall obtain other lots and build to me other houses on the like order of the first.” Upon leaving these instructions the Master Builder left his men for an indefinite period of time.
To begin with the workmen strived diligently to obtain the lot that they had lost, but without avail. In the meantime they purchased other lots and built on them as the master commanded them. The structures they built were much different than those of their neighbors, for they could not see the wisdom of the Master Builder; therefore they did complain exceedingly to the authorities that the structures did not match up to the covenants and restrictions of the neighborhood and they did complain of building code violations and safety violations.
Every government agency did condemn the crew until they were driven away into a wilderness where the crew did again make a valiant effort to obey the Master’s command. For a short time they were able to build without interruption according to the Master’s command until their community began to be desirable to those who believed in all of the restrictive laws. Finally many of these people began to move in and demand restrictive covenants as before, and they also demanded building codes that would restrict the structures that the crew was building.
The foreman and the crew made many compromises and changed the direction of the building according to the desires of the world. They decided to use smaller more economical studs and weaker frames for they would save money and would work just as well they thought Then with their trusses they decided to take out some of the braces, this would also save money and surely the support would be sufficient. Many other things did they change. They decided on cheap synthetic carpet instead of fine expensive wool and for plumbing they planned on plastic pipes and for wiring they used an inferior cheaper grade, but their plans did conform to all the codes and laws and their neighbors did praise them. They enjoyed the praise of their neighbors so much that they did even join with them in strengthening the laws which made their original plan illegal and they did take many of their plans and they did hold them up before the world as a light, and it was accepted by them as praiseworthy.
There were a small number of reliable workmen among the crew that carefully studied the Master’s original commandments and plans and they were dismayed at the changes and one of them called the Master Builder and told him the situation and asked him what to do. The Master was alarmed and sent instructions with the worker to the current foreman to get back to the original plans and continue working at redeeming the original lot.
The workman took the instructions to the foreman, but the foreman rebuked the workman saying: “Surely the Master Builder would contact me and not you, besides we are doing work, that is pleasing to him. Why would he be angry with us?”
Therefore, the crew did not heed the words of the Master Builder for they believed them not. Even so, the Master sent instructions through the humble workman numerous times for the workman asked of the Masters advice according to his will whereas the foreman did not, but asked of his own will. Finally, the Master said through the workman: “Except you heed to my commandments and instructions as I have written you shall be cast out and others shall take your place.” The foreman and the bosses smiled lightly at this for they did not believe the warning, but deep within they felt unsettled. Finally, the faithful workmen gathered to-ether and sent out the warning to the other workmen who were deceived and a small number believed the warning and gathered together with them. The foreman and the bosses were angry at this and tried to discredit their testimony and did all within their power to make the faithful workmen appear as fools and to hinder them.
Now the faithful workmen did want to heed all of the instructions of the Master Builder so they did again buy lots and build the strange structures as before, but in many ways the laws were more relaxed than before, so they were not greatly hindered by their neighbors and the government, but instead their greatest enemy was their fellow workmen who were jealous at the beauty of the structures and did all in their power to hinder them until they did openly fight against them in open rebellion against their own masters commandments.
The Master Builder was very wroth with the foreman and his workmen and from that time forth ignored them and communicated with the faithful workmen.
After that the original plan of buying lots and building the strange structures on them and also the method of redeeming the original lot was presented to them. The plan was contrary to anything this generation of workmen had ever believed and only the most humble and faithful among the remainder were able to accept them which number was between ten to twenty per cent. The rest of them murmured and left and the original bosses gathered them together saying the new builders were deceived and that they should work at the plans that are accepted by the world, and they did all they could to build a company on their own plans and designs.
Now that the Faithful Workmen were at the head of the Master builders company again they did proceed with great diligence toward the original goal until, to their amazement, they obtained the original lot for no fee at all save their labor, and there they perfected the Master’s grand architecture and they built the greatest structure on the earth. At the completion of the building (of the city Zion – not the temple) the eyes of the world were opened and they realized their previous ignorance for the building was only strange because the principles incorporated therein were so advanced beyond any other buildings. The building became an Ensign for all others to look to and to use the beneficial designs for themselves and great was the glory of those faithful workmen who had followed the Masters original commandments.
At this time those unfaithful workmen who had followed their bosses began to see that only the Master Builder could be behind the work of the faithful workmen and a few of them were ashamed for their unbelief and came in great humility asking for their old jobs. Their old jobs were not available, but they were glad to start as apprentices. Eventually, the stubborn workmen that were left working on their own plans saw for themselves that they could never materialize and their foolishness made them a hiss and a byword throughout the whole world, and when their folly was made obvious there was weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth among them. And they were never heard of again among the children of men.
The Master Builder looked upon the work of his faithful workmen and he was pleased to the extent that he left his other businesses which occupied his time and came and personally assisted his workmen and they rebuilt the whole world.
Most of the interpretation here should be obvious. The Master Builder is Christ and the workmen are the members of the church. The Foreman is the President and the bosses are the General Authorities. The original lot is tot the temple lot only, but the entire city plot for Zion in Missouri. The building they were to create was the Central city of Zion and the other buildings are other gathering places. When they ceased to buy lots signifies the time they ceased to gather. The changes in the building plan signifies the changes made in the Priesthood and the church. The workmen who called the Master Builder to repentance are various inspired members who sened something was wrong and the other workman who was given full authority is the one Mighty and Strong.
Are we not clearly told that “the city New Jerusalem shall be built BY THE GATHERING OF THE SAINTS.” D&C 84:4 Let us not be then as the unfaithful workmen and wait for the Lord to do it all, but let us go forward with an eye single to his glory and do the work for remember that “The Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.” I Nephi 3:7
We may be impressed with the glory of the New Jerusalem which is to be built here in America, but it is just a type or symbol of the New Jerusalem – which is to descend out of heaven, which, according to the Book of Revelations is to take place after the Millennium. This is to take place when there “is a new heaven and a new earth.” Rev 21:1 The city has “the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a Jasper stone, clear as crystal… And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth AND THE HEIGHT OF IT ARE EQUAL.” Rev 21:1 &16
One may be led to Inquire: How long is twelve thousand furlongs Believe it or not it is 1500 miles and the amazing thing is that the city will be as high as it is long and deep. Can you imagine a city 1500 miles high? Most people assume that it will be a square city, but most do not realize that it could be in the shape of a pyramid and match the description given in the Bible. We are also told that the city is “clear as crystal” and “like unto clear glass” Rev 21:18. Can you imagine a more beautiful structure? But this will not be for thousands of years to come. In the meantime we must concentrate on the earthly New Jerusalem which will be a foreshadowing of the heavenly one.
Copyright 1979 by J J Dewey
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