Nephi 14

2 Nephi 14: Zion shall be Cleansed

                “…in that day, seven women shall take hold of one man, saying: We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel; only let us be called by thy name to take away our reproach [the expression of disapproval or disappointment].” (2 Nephi 14:1)

                Isaiah speaks of a time when Zion and her daughters shall be redeemed. This time will come very close to the millennial day and at the door of the Last Days. It is interesting that this chapter opens up speaking of seven women taking hold of one man. This is speaking of Polygamy.

What is Polygamy?

                Polygamy occurs when there are more than two partners in a marriage. In this case, seven women marrying one man (or taking hold of one man) would constitute ‘Polygamy’ and more specifically; ‘Polygyny’; which is when a man has multiple wives.

Polygamy in the LDS Church:

                When someone wants to attack The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Days [LDS]; or more commonly known as “The Mormons”, Polygamy is almost ALWAYS brought up! Why? Because the LDS Church practiced Polygamy. However, are the “Mormons” the only ones who have practiced Polygamy throughout time? No.

 

At various times, the Lord has commanded His people to practice plural marriage. However, like the scripture above, Polygamy was to be used within the laws of God, in other words it has only been instituted when and IF God commands. God has initiated this practice, when population of his people was at risk for extinction or in cases such as the scripture above, when women married men to take away the ‘reproach’. Early in the History of the LDS Church, so many people persecuted the church and its members that men were actually killed at an alarming rate. This left many women as widows with children. But as anyone knows women in the 1800’s were not given as many rights as men, and especially not as many rights as married women. Because women had basically no rights as single unmarried women (regardless of being widows) the Lord commanded some of the early Saints to practice plural marriage. The Prophet Joseph Smith and those closest to him, including Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball, were challenged by this command, but they obeyed it. Church leaders regulated the practice. Those entering into it had to be authorized to do so, and the marriages had to be performed through the sealing power of the priesthood.

Many of the men who participated in it did so for legal reasons, and many men kept “one wife”, but had many other legal wives that did their own thing. Like the scripture mentioned above; “…We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel; only let us be called by thy name to take away our reproach.” – In other words give us your last name and be legally called your ‘wife’, but I will take care of myself. Some who were chosen to practice polygamy were also commanded to have children with their multiple wives; however this was not the common practice throughout the church. Anyone who disobeyed the commandment of God and used Polygamy to have control over women or simply for sexual lust were disciplined by the church.

Contrary to what many people think, the LDS Church does NOT practice Polygamy today! In 1890, President Wilford Woodruff received a revelation that the leaders of the Church should cease teaching the practice of plural marriage;

To Whom It May Concern:

Press dispatches having been sent for political purposes, from Salt Lake City, which have been widely published, to the effect that the Utah Commission, in their recent report to the Secretary of the Interior, allege that plural marriages are still being solemnized and that forty or more such marriages have been contracted in Utah since last June or during the past year, also that in public discourses the leaders of the Church have taught, encouraged and urged the continuance of the practice of polygamy—

 I, therefore, as President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, do hereby, in the most solemn manner, declare that these charges are false. We are not teaching polygamy or plural marriage, nor permitting any person to enter into its practice, and I deny that either forty or any other number of plural marriages have during that period been solemnized in our Temples or in any other place in the Territory.

 One case has been reported, in which the parties allege that the marriage was performed in the Endowment House, in Salt Lake City, in the Spring of 1889, but I have not been able to learn who performed the ceremony; whatever was done in this matter was without my knowledge. In consequence of this alleged occurrence the Endowment House was, by my instructions, taken down without delay.

 Inasmuch as laws have been enacted by Congress forbidding plural marriages, which laws have been pronounced constitutional by the court of last resort, I hereby declare my intention to submit to those laws, and to use my influence with the members of the Church over which I preside to have them do likewise.

 There is nothing in my teachings to the Church or in those of my associates, during the time specified, which can be reasonably construed to inculcate or encourage polygamy; and when any Elder of the Church has used language which appeared to convey any such teaching, he has been promptly reproved. And I now publicly declare that my advice to the Latter-day Saints is to refrain from contracting any marriage forbidden by the law of the land.

Wilford Woodruff

President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

 President Lorenzo Snow offered the following:

 “I move that, recognizing Wilford Woodruff as the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the only man on the earth at the present time who holds the keys of the sealing ordinances, we consider him fully authorized by virtue of his position to issue the Manifesto which has been read in our hearing, and which is dated September 24th, 1890, and that as a Church in General Conference assembled, we accept his declaration concerning plural marriages as authoritative and binding.”

Salt Lake City, Utah, October 6, 1890.

2 Nephi 8

2 Nephi 8: Zion Shall be of Joy

                See Isaiah 51 and 52:1-2

“Therefore, the redeemed of the Lord shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy and holiness shall be upon their heads; and they shall obtain gladness and joy; sorrow and mourning shall flee away. I am he; yea, I am he that comforteth you. Behold, who art thou, that thou shouldst be afraid of man, who shall die, and of the son of man, who shall be made like unto grass? And forgettest the Lord thy maker, that hath stretched forth the heavens, and laid the foundations of the earth, and hast feared continually every day, because of the fury of the oppressor, as if he were ready to destroy? And where is the fury of the oppressor?” (2 Nephi 8:11-13)

In the LAST DAYS, the Lord will comfort His people and shall gather them into Israel. Those who are of the Lord shall gather together and there shall be much joy!

2 Nephi 6

2 Nephi 6: Jewish History

                Jacob speaks to the people of Nephi, he explains that he is anxious and desirous of them, that they might have welfare unto their souls. He explains that Nephi has told them much of the history of the world, but that he would like to read to them the words of Isaiah to give them a better history of their own people, the Jews.  Jacob explains that they might be likened unto themselves, because they too are part of the house of Israel.

Jacob speaks the words of Isaiah;

“…Thus saith the Lord God: Behold, I will lift up mine hand to the Gentiles, and set up my standard to the people; and they shall bring thy sons in their arms, and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders.  And kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and their queens thy nursing mothers; they shall bow down to thee with their faces towards the earth, and lick up the dust of thy feet; and thou shalt know that I am the Lord; for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me.” (2 Nephi 6:6; see also: Isaiah 49:22)

Jacob reminds the people of Nephi that he reason for leaving the ‘Old World’ and coming to the ‘New World’ was because Jerusalem was to be destroyed (and at this point had already been destroyed) and for this purpose Lehi was led by God to safety with his family. Jacob explains that even though the people were destroyed that God will have them return, however they would also crucify their Savior.

Jacob continues to explain the Jewish people; “…shall be scattered, and smitten, and hated; nevertheless, the Lord will be merciful unto them, that when they shall come to the knowledge of their Redeemer, they shall be gathered together again to the lands of their inheritance.” (2 Nephi 6:11) Jacob explains that not only will the Jews be blessed, but also the Gentiles; “…if it so be that they shall repent and fight not against Zion, and do not unite themselves to that great and abominable church, they shall be saved; for the Lord God will fulfil his covenants which he has made unto his children; and for this cause the prophet has written these things.” (2 Nephi 6:12) Jacob explains that those who fight against Zion shall ‘lick up the dust of their feet’ as Isaiah had explained in old.

Jacob explains that those who fight against Zion and believe not on the Lord shall be destroyed; “…both by fire, and by tempest, and by earthquakes, and by bloodsheds, and by pestilence, and by famine. And they shall know that the Lord is God, the Holy One of Israel.” (2 Nephi 6:15)

Moses 7

Moses 7: Restoration, Second Coming and Return of Zion

Enoch speaks to the people;

“…Behold, our father Adam taught these things, and many have believed and become the sons of God, and many have believed not, and have perished in their sins, and are looking forth with fear, in torment, for the fiery indignation of the wrath of God to be poured out upon them.”

Enoch explains that as he was prophesying near the place Mahujah, there came a voice unto him that told him to go to the top of Mount Simeon.  There he saw the Lord, who; “…stood before my face, and he talked with me, even as a man talketh one with another, face to face; and he said unto me: Look, and I will show unto thee the world for the space of many generations…  I beheld in the valley of Shum, and lo, a great people which dwelt in tents, which were the people of Shum… and I beheld the people of Canaan, which dwelt in tents… And the Lord said unto me: …Behold the people of Canaan, which are numerous, shall go forth in battle array against the people of Shum, and shall slay them that they shall utterly be destroyed; and the people of Canaan shall divide themselves in the land, and the land shall be barren and unfruitful, and none other people shall dwell there but the people of Canaan;” (Moses 7:4-7)

Because of this, the Lord will curse the land with great heat and the land shall become barren. The people of Canaan were also cursed with a blackness and were despised among all people.

“…the Lord said unto me: Look; and I looked, and I beheld the land of Sharon, and the land of Enoch, and the land of Omner, and the land of Heni, and the land of Shem, and the land of Haner, and the land of Hanannihah, and all the inhabitants thereof; And the Lord said unto me: Go to this people, and say unto them—Repent, lest I come out and smite them with a curse, and they die.” (Moses 7:9-10)

The Lord commanded Enoch that he should preach unto those people repentance, that they might become baptized and receive the Holy Ghost. Enoch preached mightily throughout the land, so much that when; “…he spake the word of the Lord… the earth trembled, and the mountains fled, even according to his command; …the rivers of water were turned out of their course; and the roar of the lions was heard out of the wilderness; and all nations feared greatly, so powerful was the word of Enoch, and so great was the power of the language which God had given him.” (Moses 7:13) Enoch was a true prophet, which had been called of God. God gave Enoch the power and Authority to do these things in the name of the Lord.

Even though there were many wars throughout the land, the people still feared the Lord. Those who truly feared the Lord were called the people of Zion; “…because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them… Enoch continued his preaching in righteousness unto the people of God. And it came to pass in his days, that he built a city that was called the City of Holiness, even Zion.” (Moses 7:18-19) Enoch exclaimed to the Lord that the city of Zion should dwell in safety forever! The Lord explained to Enoch that the inhabitants of Zion he has blessed, but the rest of the people he had cursed.

“…the Lord showed unto Enoch all the inhabitants of the earth; and he beheld…  Zion, in process of time, was taken up into heaven… Enoch also beheld the residue of the people which were the sons of Adam; and they were a mixture of all the seed of Adam save it was the seed of Cain, for the seed of Cain were black, and had not place among them. And after that Zion was taken up into heaven…” (Moses 7:21-23) Because of the righteousness of Enoch and his people, they and the entire city in which they dwelt were lifted up into the heavens to be with God and His Son.

After this happened, the power of Satan was upon all the face of the earth, and Enoch saw angels descending out of heaven saying; “…Wo, wo be unto the inhabitants of the earth.” (Moses 7:25) Enoch saw Satan, who; “…had a great chain in his hand, and it veiled the whole face of the earth with darkness; and he looked up and laughed, and his angels rejoiced.” (Moses 7:26) During this time many Angels came down to earth to bear testimony of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost and as many as believed; “…were caught up by the powers of heaven into Zion.” (Moses 7:27) Enoch explained that he saw God cry because of the inhabitants of the world. Enoch explains that this weeping is when the heavens; “…weep, and shed forth their tears as the rain upon the mountains…” (Moses 7:28)

Does God Cry?

Enoch asks the Lord

“…How is it that thou canst weep, seeing thou art holy, and from all eternity to all eternity?” (Moses 7:29) and the Lord responds to Enoch; “…Behold these thy brethren; they are the workmanship of mine own hands, and I gave unto them their knowledge, in the day I created them; and in the Garden of Eden, gave I unto man his agency; And unto thy brethren have I said, and also given commandment, that they should love one another, and that they should choose me, their Father; but behold, they are without affection, and they hate their own blood; …But behold, their sins shall be upon the heads of their fathers; Satan shall be their father, and misery shall be their doom; and the whole heavens shall weep over them, even all the workmanship of mine hands; wherefore should not the heavens weep, seeing these shall suffer?” (Moses 7:32-37) God made it clear; He created the Heaven and the Earth. He created man and gave men knowledge and agency. Satan tempted his children and made them hate their own Father and their own blood. Because of this, God weeps because He is sad to see His children fail.

The Lord gives Enoch the ability to see all of the wickedness from God’s perspective, and Enoch; “…looked upon their wickedness, and their misery, and wept and stretched forth his arms, and his heart swelled wide as eternity; and his bowels yearned; and all eternity shook… Enoch also saw Noah, and his family; that the posterity of all the sons of Noah should be saved with a temporal salvation; …Enoch saw that Noah built an ark; and that the Lord smiled upon it, and held it in his own hand; but upon the residue of the wicked the floods came and swallowed them up.” (Moses 7:41-43) When Enoch saw this he was saddened, but the Lord told him to be glad. Enoch saw the destruction of the flood and begged the Lord; “…I ask thee, O Lord, in the name of thine Only Begotten, even Jesus Christ, that thou wilt have mercy upon Noah and his seed, that the earth might never more be covered by the floods.” (Moses 7:50) The Lord agreed and covenanted with Enoch and made an oath that; “…he would stay the floods…” (Moses 7:51)

                Enoch saw the day of the coming of the; “…Son of Man, even in the flesh; and his soul rejoiced, saying: The Righteous is lifted up, and the Lamb is slain from the foundation of the world; and through faith I am in the bosom of my father…” (Moses 7:47) Here we learn that Jesus Christ was ordained before the Foundation of the World to become the Savior, who would Atone for the sins of ALL mankind!

Enoch is given a vision of the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ;

“…Enoch cried unto the Lord, saying: When the Son of Man cometh in the flesh, shall the earth rest? I pray thee, show me these things… The Lord said unto Enoch: Look, and he looked and beheld the Son of Man lifted up on the cross, after the manner of men; And he heard a loud voice; and the heavens were veiled; and all the creations of God mourned; and the earth groaned; and the rocks were rent; and the saints arose, and were crowned at the right hand of the Son of Man, with crowns of glory; And as many of the spirits as were in prison came forth, and stood on the right hand of God; and the remainder were reserved in chains of darkness until the judgment of the great day.” (Moses 7:54-57) Enoch was told about the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, and we learn that when Jesus Christ died on the cross that the Saints arose from the grave. Those who were in Spirit Prison (like Purgatory) that chose to be on the right hand of God were permitted to pass into Spirit Paradise and those who did not would wait in darkness until the Judgment Day.

When Shall the Earth Rest?

“…again Enoch wept and cried unto the Lord, saying: When shall the earth rest?” (Moses 7:58)

“…the Lord said unto Enoch: As I live, even so will I come in the last days, in the days of wickedness and vengeance, to fulfil the oath which I have made unto you concerning the children of Noah; And the day shall come that the earth shall rest, but before that day the heavens shall be darkened, and a veil of darkness shall cover the earth; and the heavens shall shake, and also the earth; and great tribulations shall be among the children of men, but my people will I preserve; And righteousness will I send down out of heaven; and truth [The Book of Mormon] will I send forth out of the earth, to bear testimony of mine Only Begotten; his resurrection from the dead; yea, and also the resurrection of all men; and righteousness and truth will I cause to sweep the earth as with a flood, to gather out 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 7:60-62) God answers Enoch and tells him that YES, the EARTH SHALL REST. However, before the world will come to its rest; great darkness and tribulation must precede this rest.  Jesus explains to Enoch that the Book of Mormon will come forth from the earth and that heavenly messengers will come down before the End, to help declare the word of God. In the first resurrection, all men that are righteous [the ‘elect’ of God] will be gathered from the four corners of the earth and he shall prepare a city for them, the New Jerusalem. There, Enoch and his people will also meet at the New Jerusalem and shall; “…fall upon their necks, and they shall fall upon our necks, and we will kiss each other; And there shall be mine abode, and it shall be Zion, which shall come forth out of all the creations which I have made; and for the space of a thousand years the earth shall rest.” (Moses 7:63-64) Shortly after the Second Coming of Jesus Christ the elect will be gathered, the New Jerusalem and Zion shall be established and there shall be one thousand years of peace.

“…the Lord showed Enoch all things, even unto the end of the world; and he saw the day of the righteous, the hour of their redemption, and received a fulness of joy’ …all the days of Zion, in the days of Enoch, were three hundred and sixty-five years…. Enoch and all his people walked with God, and he dwelt in the midst of Zion; and it came to pass that Zion was not, for God received it up into his own bosom; and from thence went forth the saying, Zion is Fled.” (Moses 7:67-69) Enoch and his people were taken up to the bosom of the Lord. Zion is Fled… but will return in the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

Zechariah 7-8

Zechariah 7-8

Chapter 7: Hypocrisy in Fasts

In the fourth year of Darius, the people ask if they should weep and fast in the fifth month to commemorate the destruction of the first temple. The Lord criticizes those who fast without a purpose, asking; “…did ye at all fast unto me, even to me?” (Zechariah 7:5). He goes on to explain that all things done in hypocrisy are not of the Lord. Compassion and mercy unto your fellow man is more important than hypocrisy in fasting. It is very important to note that fasting is not hypocrisy if done with true intent for the Lord!

Chapter 8: The Restoration

The word of the Lord again comes to Zechariah and told him “…I was jealous for Zion with great jealousy…” (Zechariah 8:2). The Lord tells Zechariah that He will return to Zion, and dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. Jerusalem will be a safe place with children playing in the streets. It will be secure and safe. More people will return from the east and the west. The Lord also encourages the people to finish the temple. Judah is described as being a curse, but a curse that shall become a blessing.

The Lord explains that He is as determined to bless the people now as He was to punish them in the past. The Lord tells Zechariah what the people must and must not do to keep the Lord from becoming angry; “…Speak ye every man the truth to his neighbor; execute the judgment of truth and peace in your gates: And let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbour; and love no false oath: for all these are things that I hate, saith the Lord.” (Zechariah 8:16-17)

Zechariah 1-2

Zechariah 1-2

Chapter 1: Zechariah calls Repentance

The word of the Lord came unto Zechariah in the second year of Darius. The Lord commands Zechariah to speak to his people and tell them to “…Turn ye unto me [God]… and I will turn unto you…” (Zechariah 1:3)

Zechariah has a vision of a man on a red horse among myrtle trees in a low valley. Behind him were red, speckled and white horses. Zechariah asks the angel in his vision what they were and a man riding the horse explains that they are a patrol, which has found that the earth is at peace. However at peace, God is angry with the nations because they assisted in Judah’s and Jerusalem’s suffering/destruction. The Lord’s house will be built in Jerusalem, and comfort Zion. Zechariah then has another vision of four horns, symbolizing the four nations that scattered God’s people. Craftsmen are coming to terrify them, and cast them out.

Chapter 2: The Last Days…

Zechariah has a vision of a man with a measuring line, who is going to measure out Jerusalem (length and width). We learn that the Lord will provide a wall of fire around Jerusalem. He who touches God’s people touches the apple of his eye. The people are commanded to Sing and rejoice! When the Lord dwells in the midst of Jerusalem, many nations shall be drawn unto Him.

Micah 3-4

Micah 3-4

Chapter 3: Pastors for Money

The heads of Jacob commit some pretty horrible acts of violence against their own people. (see 1-3)

Because of this Jacob’s people turn to the Lord “Then shall they cry unto the Lord, but he will not hear them…” (Micah 3:4) A darkness will descend on the prophets, and the prophets will be confused because there is “…no answer of God.” (Micah 3:7) This is the Apostasy, a time when men were so wicked that the Lord had to withdraw his power and authority from the earth (for a time). Meaning that there wouldn’t be a prophet and those who pretend to be a prophet would suffer great consequences.

 

“… the priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for money: yet will they lean upon the Lord, and say, Is not the Lord among us? None evil can come upon us.” ( Micah 3:11) Today, and throughout History there has always been false prophets and priests trying to make a quick buck. They do it for money, sadly a large number of churches today follow this format, that God was so angered by in the first place. We further learn in this chapter that Zion shall be plowed like a field, Jerusalem shall become heaps of ruins, and the mountain of the temple like the bare hills of the forest.

Chapter 4: The Millennium

This is an almost word for word vision of what Isaiah sees as a vision of the latter days in Isaiah 2:2…

“But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it.” (Micah 4:1)

“And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the tops of mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” (Isaiah 2:2-4)

Essentially Isaiah sees a vision of the last days, where God’s church would be restored and the Temples would be built and shortly following that the Second Coming of Jesus would happen, where there would be 1,000 years of peace in the World.

The most interesting part of this, to me, is the following: “And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the tops of mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it…” (Isaiah 2:2) The reason this is so fascinating to me, is because the “tops of mountains” is a translation of a meaning of the word “Ute” which was the Indian Tribe of Utah, where the state was named and one of the most famous Temples in the world… the Salt Lake Temple has visitors from ALL around the world flock there on a daily basis. Isaiah was speaking of the Latter-day Temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

In the last days, the proud and the wicked will be brought low and the judgment will occur for everyone during the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Nations will no longer know war, and the world will enter into a peace for 1,000 years, while Jesus Christ reigns as king over Zion!