The Literal Gathering of Israel, Chapter Ten

This entry is part 10 of 16 in the series Literal Gathering

 

Chapter Ten

Salvation in Zion

Even if the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints which is supposed to be Zion does fail to live the commandments there will be those who try their best to live them and these will be looked upon by the Lord as the pure in heart or the Zion of God and among the righteous there is a promise from the Lord of escape or deliverance for He has said: “I will place salvation in Zion FOR ISRAEL” (Meaning many Israelites who did not gather because they were deceived).” Isa 46:13. In other words the pure in heart will save the country.

The escape will be miraculous for we are told that the meek “shall be HID in the day of the Lord’s anger.” Zeph 2:3 “The Lord will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.” Psalms 9:12 “And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places. And the hail in descending COMES NOT ON YOU, but the wildwood. And in the low foothills shall the city lie low.” Isa 32:18-19 (Verse 19 is quoted from the CONCORDANT version which follows the Hebrew much more closely than the King James).

Again the Lord commands us to set up a refuge: “And with one heart and one mind, gather up your riches that ye may purchase an inheritance which shall hereafter be appointed unto you. It shall be called the New Jerusalem, a land of peace, A CITY OF REFUGE, A PLACE OF SAFETY for the Saints of the Most High God. And the glory of God shall be there, and the terror of the Lord shall also be there, insomuch that the wicked will not come unto it, and it shall be called Zion. And it shall come to pass among the wicked, that every man that will not take his sword against his neighbor must needs flee unto Zion for safety. And there shall be gathered unto it OUT OF EVERY NATION under heaven; and it shall be the ONLY PEOPLE that shall not be at war one with another. And it shall be said among the wicked: Let us not go up to battle against Zion, for the inhabitants of Zion are terrible; wherefore we cannot stand. And it shall come to pass that the righteous shall be gathered out from among ALL nations, and shall come to Zion, singing with songs of everlasting joy.” D&C 45: 64-71

In speaking of this period the Prophet Isaiah said: “For thou hast made of a city an heap; of a defenced city a ruin: a palace of strangers to be no city; it shall never be rebuilt. (This seems to be speaking of the destruction of the cities on this continent.) Therefore, shall the strong people glorify thee, (The New Jerusalem) the city of the terrible nations shall fear thee.” Isa 25:2-3

The ancient Septuagint version indicates that there may have been some word changes here by an ancient scribe for in this we find that the word is “humble” and not “strong.” Both words make a certain amount of sense, but it seems more logical that it would be humble. What does “the city of terrible nations” mean? It could be more literally translated “A city of terrifying nations.” In other words so many other nations that have in the past caused terror will be terrified of Zion and their number will be so great that they will make a city Of nations which mere signifies a large group of nations who would be glorifying God.

Isaiah continues in speaking of the New Jerusalem: “For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a REFUGE FROM THE STORM, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.” Isa 25:4

At this point the central stake will be redeemed, but even before this redemption much of the glory of Zion can be reached by the pure in heart gathering and striving to live in true brotherhood. The Lord indicates that this refuge will be more than one city: “And the Lord will create upon EVERY DWELLING PLACE of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night: for upon all the glory shall be a defense. And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the daytime from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and from rain.” Isaiah 4:5-6

There is an interesting mistranslation here. “Upon all the glory shall be a defense” should be “Above all the glory is a covering.” In other words, there will be a cloud over Zion in the daytime that will turn bright in the night and covering this “flaming fire” or glory, shall be a canopy of some kind which will protect the inhabitants from the elements. This covering is an interesting point to consider. Apparently, the elements will become so fierce that the cities of Zion will have to be covered with some sort of shelter to physically protect the inhabitants from heat, storms, and rain. Isaiah indicates the reason we may need shelter from heat for he says: “Moreover, the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be SEVENFOLD, as the light of seven days, in the day that the Lord bindeth up the breach of his people, and healeth the stroke of their wound.” Isa 30:26 In other words, the light from the sun in one day here will be equal to the heat and light of SEVEN days.

Is it any wonder that “the elements will melt with fervent heat” (II Peter 3:10) in the day of the Lord. John also talks about the day of great heat: “And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun, and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire. And men were SCORCHED WITH GREAT HEAT, and blasphemed the name of God, which had power over these plagues; and they repented not to give him glory.” Rev 16:8-9

If the sun flares up seven times as bright it is then only logical that the moon would also increase in brightness since it is merely a reflector of the sun. All of this merely serves to indicate the future need the saints will have for protection, not only from wicked mobs, but from the elements. Whether the protection will come from inspired inventions or from God himself we do not know, but whatever the case great faith must be exerted to prepare a people for the day. We cannot be like those who failed to build Zion in 1834 who said: “Where is their God? Behold, he will deliver them in time of trouble, otherwise we will not go up unto Zion, and we will keep our moneys.” D&C 105:8 Most of those who call themselves Latter-Day Saints have this same attitude and say “We do not need to gather today. God will deliver in a time of trouble and there is no need, therefore we will keep our place in the world.” But remember O ye blind that follow the blind. God did not deliver the saints in Missouri and he will not deliver you unless you remember this important advice: “Zion cannot be built up unless it is by the principles of the law of the celestial kingdom; otherwise I cannot receive her unto myself.” D&C 105:5 Enoch built Zion by gathering the Saints and so must we.

Has there ever been a time in history when there was a manifestation such as described by Isaiah when he says that Zion will be covered with a cloud by day and a flaming fire by night? The most well known experience was in the time of Moses. We are told that “The Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night.” EX 13:21 This strange cloud which turned bright at night had the Lord’s presence in it for He often spoke out of the cloud. Later the cloud hovered over the tabernacle the Israelites built: “And on the day that the tabernacle was reared up the CLOUD COVERED THE TABERNACLE, namely, the tent of the testimony: and at even there was upon the tabernacle as it were the appearance of fire, until the morning. So it was alway: the cloud covered it by day, and the appearance of fire by night.” Numbers 9:15-16

A fire also appeared on the day of Pentecost: “And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues LIKE AS OF FIRE, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” Acts 2:2-4.

Again in our age on March 27, 1836 at the dedication of the Kirtland temple we find a similar occurrence: “Brother George A. Smith arose and began to prophesy, when a noise was heard like the sound of a rushing mighty wind, which filled the temple, and all the congregation simultaneously arose, being moved upon by an invisible power; many began to speak in tongues and prophesy; others saw glorious visions; and I beheld the temple was filled with angels, which fact I declared to the congregation. The people of the neighborhood came running together (hearing an unusual sound within, and SEEING A BRIGHT LIGHT LIKE A PILLAR OF FIRE RESTING UPON THE TEMPLE), and were astonished at what was taking place.” DHC 2:428 (Parentheses in the original)

Notice here that the fire was so real that the neighbors who were non members also saw it and were “astonished.” We have another interesting account of this event: “In the morning Father Smith prayed for a Pentecost, in the opening of the meeting. That day the power of God rested mightily upon the saints. There was poured out upon us abundantly the spirit of revelation, prophesying and tongues. The Holy Ghost filled the house; and along in the afternoon a noise was heard. It was the sound of a mighty rushing wind. But at first the congregation was startled, not knowing what it was. TO MANY IT SEEMED AS THOUGH THE ROOF WAS ALL IN FLAMES. Father Smith exclaimed, ‘Is the house on fire!”‘ WOMEN OF MORMONDOM Pg 208

We are also told that “The angels of the Lord appeared unto them and cloven tongues of FIRE sat upon many of them and they prophesied and spoke in tongues.” ERASTUS SNOW SKETCHBOOK Page 1.

This is just part of what happened. Throngs of angels were seen and Jesus was reported to have sat in the congregation. Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery saw their great vision.

Why is it that these great manifestations occurred at the Kirtland temple and have not reoccurred on the same scale since? There are several reasons for this:

FIRST: The pattern of the temple was given by revelation, which pattern was followed. One witness relates: “About this time Frederick G. Williams, one of President Smith’s counselors, came into the temple, when the following dialogue took place in my presence.

Carpenter Rolph said, Doctor, what do you think of the HOUSE?

He answered, It looks to me like the pattern precisely. Then he related the following:

Joseph received the word of the Lord for him to take his two councilors Williams and Rigdon and come before the Lord, and He would show them the plan or model of the House to be built. We went upon our knees, called on the Lord, and the building appeared within viewing distance: I being the first to discover it. Then all of us viewed together.

After we had taken a good look at the exterior, the building seemed to come right over us, and the makeup of this hall seemed to coincide with what I saw to a minutia.

Joseph was accordingly enabled to dictate to the mechanics, and his counselors stood as witnesses; and this was strictly necessary in order to satisfy the spirit of unbelief in consequence of the weakness or childishness of the Brethren of those days.” Autobiography of Truman O Angell Pg 4-5

Brigham Young affirmed this statement: “Joseph not only received a revelation and commandment to build a temple, but HE RECEIVED A PATTERN. ALSO AS DID MOSES for the tabernacle, and Solomon for his temple; for without a pattern, he could not know what was wanting.” JD 2:31

Thus we see that one of the reasons for the manifestations of the Spirit was that the saints followed the pattern revealed from heaven,

SECOND: The Quorums of the Priesthood were in order. This order was not obtained without difficulty. Joseph said: “I labored with each of these quorums for some time to bring them to the order which God had shown to me… I had considerable trouble to get all the quorums united in this order. I went from room to room REPEATEDLY, and charged each separately, assuring them that it was according to the mind of God, yet notwithstanding all my labor, while I was in the east room with the Bishop’s quorum, I felt, by the spirit, that something was wrong in the quorum of Elders in the West room, and I immediately requested Presidents Oliver Cowdery and Hyrum Smith to go and see what was the matter. The Quorum of Elders had not observed the order which I had given them… This caused the Spirit of the Lord to withdraw… The other quorums were more careful…” 11 DHC 2:391-392 Then through much labor Joseph got the quorums in proper enough order to receive great manifestations, but he said that if certain orders revealed from God are obeyed then certain results will follow. If the correct order is not followed then there will be no results. In the Kirtland Temple they followed the correct order and they obtained the results.

Are the LDS following the correct order today? Since they do not have the results does that not make it obvious that the correct order is not followed? When the temples are dedicated today does a pillar of fire rest upon it? Why not? If they were following the correct order then such results would be automatic, but unfortunately, the temples are weighed in the balance and found wanting. It is true that some of the earlier ones besides the Kirtland Temple had some manifestations, but the order has never been followed closely enough to produce a similar endowment. The Lord said: “Yea I will appear unto my servants, and speak unto them with mine own voice, if my people will keep my commandments, and DO NOT POLLUTE THIS HOLY HOUSE.” D&C 110:8

Concerning a house to be built for the Presidency of the church the Lord said: “And ye shall not suffer any unclean thing to come in unto it; AND MY GLORY SHALL BE THERE, AND MY PRESENCE SHALL BE THERE. But if there shall come into it any unclean thing, MY GLORY SHALL NOT BE THERE; AND MY PRESENCE SHALL NOT COME UNTO IT.” D&C 94:8-9

Now people can say all day long that they feel in their hearts that the glory of God is in our temples today, but so do the Baptists about their buildings, but no one can deny that they do not have manifestations of VISIBLE glory, even to non-members, as they did in Kirtland. If the Lord’s actual glory and presence are there it will produce an effect as it did in the days of Moses and on the day of Pentecost, and in the Kirtland temple. If this glory is not manifest then the correct procedure has NOT been followed.

In speaking of the temple to be built in Jackson County the Lord said “a cloud shall rest upon it, which cloud shall be even the glory of the Lord WHICH SHALL FILL THE HOUSE.” D&C 84:5

One of the reasons the Lord allowed the Saints to be driven from there was that if he would have allowed them to stay and build the temple in their unworthy condition his house would have been polluted by some and the Lord would not have been able to fulfill his prophecy for in order to produce the result a certain order must be followed.

Now we come to an interesting point that few people have contemplated, and that is that the glory which the Lord plans to reveal in his temples is merely a type or symbol of the greater glory which will be manifest in His stakes or cities. We can see the correspondence from the microcosm to the macrocosm.  An individual human being is inherently a Son of God and God is at times able to manifest his glory through him when the right principles are followed. For instance, we have Moses when he came off the mount; he was so filled with the glory of God the people could not look upon him and they covered him with a veil so as to endure his presence. The same thing to a possible greater extent happened to Jesus on the Mount of transfiguration: “His face did shine as the sun.” Matt 17:2

As we advance up the scale we find that the physical temples we build are merely symbols of the temples we call bodies and must be built after a certain pattern to correspond with certain laws just as our body conforms to laws and when the laws are utilized the glory of God is manifest. But since a temple, which is a physical building, can house numerous smaller temples, or physical bodies, if there is no pollution then much greater glory can be revealed.

On the other hand, the temple building only foreshadows an even greater glory to be manifest through a stake or city of Zion. If such a city or stake is not polluted then the glory which in the past, has only been revealed in a small way, in small areas, will be manifest over a large area which will fulfill Isaiah’s prophecy that a flaming fire will be over Zion. The whole city would be aflame with the glory of God just as the Kirtland temple was on a smaller scale. Never in recorded history do we find such an event, but it would transpire today if there was even ONE stake of Zion built after the order that God has commanded and it was filled with those who would not pollute the holy place which pollution stops the flow of the Spirit and one tiny short circuit can be responsible for shutting down the lights of an entire city.

Exploring further we see that once the glory of God is manifest through a city we again have only a foreshadowing of something greater. The greater goal is to build Zion all over North and South America, and after that the whole world and when this happens then “the whole earth is full of His glory.” Isa 6:3 “For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea,” Isa 11:9

Actually, the power and glory of God is not to be created, but it is to be revealed, for God’s glory is always present. The scriptures tell us that we are covered or shielded from it. When the glory of God is revealed we do not create it, but we merely lift the fog of unbelief to reveal the light.

The Lord said: “Behold, it is my will, that all they who call on my name, and worship me according to mine everlasting gospel, should gather together, and stand in holy places; and prepare for the revelation which is to come, when the veil of the COVERING OF MY TEMPLE in my tabernacle, WHICH HIDETH THE EARTH SHALL BE TAKEN OFF, and all flesh shall see me together. And every corruptible thing, both of man, or of the beasts of the field, or of fowls of the heavens: or of the fish of the sea, that dwells upon all the face of the earth shall be consumed; and also that of element shall melt with fervent heat; and all things shall become new, that my knowledge and glory may dwell upon ALL THE EARTH.” D&C 101:22-25

When man lives God’s laws he rents the veil between heaven and earth. The same thing happens when a building conforms to the laws, and the same for a city, a nation, or a planet. When the planet as a whole then conforms to the law the veil will dissolve, for the veil is only created by man’s ignorance. Then we will have an entirely new heaven before our eyes and the earth will be rearranged and become new making a “new heaven and new earth.” In a future day we are told that the inhabitants of the New Jerusalem will have “no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the lamb is the light thereof… there shall be no night there…” Rev 21:23&25

The principle of covering or uncovering the glory of God was illustrated by Christ when he said: “The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!” Matt 6:22-23

The eye of the human race and of the planet are those who are the prophets, seers, and saints of mankind – the true race of Israel. These are to be the “saviors on Mount Zion.” However, if their eye is evil, or set on the glory of the world and not God then they and the rest of mankind will have covered themselves from God and “How great is that darkness!” But if we have a few who go forward with an eye single to the glory of God and not man then the whole of that body of people “shall be full of light” which light will eventually fill the whole world rending the veil fulfilling the promise of God that “Heaven and earth shall come together.”

The process is then repeated on many earths and spheres, all of them eventually revealing the glory of God, so as far as they fulfill the law.

When this glory begins to manifest through individuals then “two shall put their tens of thousands to flight. And by the weak things of the earth the Lord shall thrash the nations by the power of his Spirit.” D&C, 133: 58-59 “And blessed are they who shall seek to bring forth my Zion at that day, for they shall have the gift and power of the Holy Ghost.” I Nephi 13:37 The Lord also said: “And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you.” Eze 11:19

Joseph Smith also gave an indication as to how the world is to be subdued: “It will not be by sword or gun that the kingdom will roll on; the power of truth is such that all nations will be under the necessity of obeying the gospel.” DHC 6:365.

The church often quotes the following scripture as pertaining to genealogy work only: “And saviors shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be the Lord’s.” Obadiah verse 21 the LDS believe one may be a savior in doing a saving work for the dead but the Hebrew for savior is YASHA which means “to deliver or bring to safety.” Few realize that the actual intent of Obadiah was NOT intended toward genealogy work, but pertaining to a physical deliverance in this life.

If we read Obadiah in its correct context we see that the Lord is talking about Esau and the world as a whole and is speaking of the final deliverance of Israel and the destruction of Esau and the world, We are told that “all the heathen drink continually; yea, they shall drink (damnation), and they shall swallow down, AND THEY SHALL BE AS THOUGH THEY HAD NOT BEEN. BUT UPON MOUNT ZION SHALL BE DELIVERANCE, and there shall be holiness; and the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions.

“And  the house Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau for stubble, and they shall kindle in them, and devour them; and there shall not be ANY REMAINING of the house of Esau; for the Lord hath spoken it.” Obadiah verses 16- 18

We are told that there will be great destruction and again that the Lord “will not spare ANY that remain in Babylon” D&C 64:24, or in this case among the world and Esau, but “upon mount Zion shall be deliverance.” “Deliverance” comes from the Hebrew PeLETAH, which literally means “an escaped remnant.” In other words, there will be an escaped portion that will dwell in Zion. These who escape and help others to be delivered from destruction are call “saviors” or deliverers on mount Zion.

It’s obvious that Orson Hyde did his homework and studied the chapter for himself for he said: “Where is the mount of Esau? It is the world at large, the wickedness of which God hates. YOU ARE A SAVIOR ON MOUNT ZION WHEN YOU HELP YOUR BRETHREN GATHER. When will it be that the angels are sent to gather in the remnant? It will be just at the time when the saints have done ALL that is in their power to do, and can do no more.” JD 2:68 All of this agrees with the prophet Joseph: “There will be here and there a stake (of Zion) for the gathering of the saints … We ought to have the building up of Zion as our greatest object, when wars come, we shall have to FLEE to Zion.” DHC 3:390

Before we can “flee” to Zion there has to be a Zion to flee to, thus it should be our “greatest object” to build it up.

Unfortunately, the church today seems completely unaware of how Zion will be built for they really believe that they are building it today and that the New Jerusalem will be just another stake. A Church News editorial said: “But Jerusalem itself will be a development from the Lord’s kingdom in the mountains. Here the prophets abide. FROM HERE will they establish the central stake AS THEY DO ALL OTHER STAKES.” CHURCH NEWS May 26, 1979

To the contrary, the New Jerusalem will not be just another stake established from Salt Lake, but when it is established it will be the NEW headquarters for the pyre in heart and FROM there will the law go forth not Salt Lake. It will not be a stake established like “all other stakes,” but it will be a city of refuge established in a day of great tribulation When cities are destroyed and communications are broken up then the authorities will not be able to establish it from their ivory towers at their leisure, but the effort will take all the energy of the most Holy of the saints, and such effort will be crucial to the physical survival of the righteous.

In view of all of this evidence I am amazed to hear some people say: “So what if I were to die in the tribulation! We are not supposed to be afraid to die. If we keep the commandments we will go to the celestial kingdom and all will be well.”

Such gross ignorance is nothing new. Brigham Young had to contend with it in his day. He said: “Latter-Day Saints who live merely to get ready to die are not worth much; RATHER GET READY TO LIVE, and be prepared to live to the glory of your Father in heaven, and to do the work he has given you to do. THAT IS OUR DUTY, and then we shall be-ready to receive our blessings.” JD 2:271

I’m sure Lehi had lo also contend with such individuals when he was warning the people of the destruction of Jerusalem. They probably said: “So what if we die? Our God is pleased with us. We live the law of Moses.”

The people in the days of Noah, Sodom and Gomorra, the Jaredites, the Jews in the days of Jesus… All of them probably said the same thing. However, when destruction came upon them they all found that they were of all people the least prepared to die and fear and terror reigned in their breast much more than would have done in others who try and prepare to live.

What would have happened if men such as Noah, Lot, Abraham, Lehi and others said: “So what if I die?” If they had not made preparations to live where would you and I be? Most importantly where would they be? They would be under great condemnation.

Of course, we should not be afraid to die for what is right, but many forget our responsibility to live, not only for ourselves, but for future generations. Suppose one more soul would have repented and entered the ark with Noah? Today he would probably have about a billion descendants that would praise his name for making the effort to live according to the witness he received. As it is, there is not the name of one person or his children who lived at the time of Noah who is remembered on the earth today. Even Noah is not remembered for his success as a preacher, but his name is great today merely because he obeyed the Lord and physically survived. The same is true today. If we can just survive the desolations which await us, that by itself will be a monument to our wisdom for future generations to praise. On the other hand, even if one has no desire to save his own skin, we have a duty to our posterity to do it. Can you imagine the sorrow of one who through his folly dies in the desolation ahead only to be greeted on the other side by thousands of souls who planned to come through his lineage?

Let us be as wise virgins so our children will be those who share the joys of the world to come.

 

Copyright 1979 by J J Dewey

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