Iron Rod 040 – More evidence of the return of the servants
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Continuing last week’s discussion, we share a few more scriptures as well as blessings and other contemporaneous statements that demonstrate that it was a common belief back in the time of Joseph that Joseph and the other servants would return to finish their labors. For some reason that belief has been lost, but it was common back then.

3 Nephi 21:8-11

D&C 100:13

D&C 103:1-4

D&C 105:1-17

D&C 124:1-11

Genesis 49:10

D&C 85:7

D&C 113:7-10

Mormon 8:26-34

Patriarchal blessing: December 9, 1834

Blessing, September 22, 1835

Joseph Smith’s last dream, TPJS p. 393

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33 comments on “Iron Rod 040 – More evidence of the return of the servants

  1. Thirsty Sep 9, 2019

    Another example of the servants returning, in this case a lesser known player Robert B. Thompson.

    He was called in D&C 124:12 to assist Joseph in the proclamation to the world.

    12 And again, verily I say unto you, let my servant Robert B. Thompson help you to write this proclamation, for I am well pleased with him, and that he should be with you;

    The revelation was given Jan 1841 and he died Aug 1841 before completing the proclamation.

    Will he return as well to finish his calling and work?

  2. I appreciate you making this case for the return of the first servants, but again, I think there are other plausible scenarios laid out in the revelations. What evidence do we have that all of these promises and prophesies were not conditional upon these first brethren following the commandments to build Zion in that generation? Who is to say that all of these prophesies will not indeed come to pass, but be fulfilled by another appointed in their stead?

    Joseph said in a letter to William Phelps, “For if Zion will not purify herself, so as to be approved of in all things, in His sight, He will seek another people, for His work will go on until Israel is gathered…”

    And again in Nauvoo, Joseph said, “I will now ask this assembly, and all the Saints if you will now build this house and receive the ordinances and blessing which God has in store for you, or will you not build unto the Lord this house, and let Him pass by and bestow these blessings upon another people?”

    I think we have reason to believe President William Marks who claims Joseph told him in his final days, “We are a ruined people. This doctrine of polygamy or spiritual-wife system, that has been taught and practiced among us, will prove our destruction and overthrow. I have been deceived, in reference to its practice…”

    Did not this and many others reasons caused them to fail in their appointments?

    I feel that it is made clear in the revelations that if Joseph (or the other “servants”) fail in their appointments to establish Zion, that others will be appointed in their stead to fulfill the prophesies in the future. D&C 35:17-18 says, “And I have sent forth the fulness of my gospel by the hand of my servant Joseph; and in weakness have I blessed him; and I have given unto him the keys of the mystery of those things which have been sealed, even things which were from the foundation of the world, and the things which shall come from this time until the time of my coming, if he abide in me, and if not, another will I plant in his stead.” D&C 42:10 says, “And again, I say unto you, that my servant Edward Partridge shall stand in the office whereunto I have appointed him. And it shall come to pass, that if he transgress another shall be appointed in his stead.

    I also feel that it is made clear that if Joseph (and the other “servants”) fail in their appointments that Joseph will have power to appoint another in his stead. D&C 43:4 says, “But verily, verily, I say unto you, that none else shall be appointed unto this gift except it be through him; for if it be taken from him he shall not have power except to appoint another in his stead. In fact, we know that Joseph did indeed appoint Hyrum in his stead, but obviously Hyrum too was taken.

    Yes, Joseph was told in his patriarchal blessing that “thou shalt hold the keys of this ministry, even the presidency of this church, both in time and in eternity.” Who is to say that he won’t appoint these keys unto another in the end times, for the purpose of the gathering (similar to how he received dispensational and priesthood keys from John the Baptist, Elijah, and others)??? Then, with these keys appointed unto another, we can still expect to see every prophesy within the revelations fulfilled.

    Again, I do think it is plausible that Joseph may return. I believe in a multiple probationary type model where many may have lived multiple probations. This would include great servants, like Joseph, who may have had multiple callings to act as “saviors on Mount Zion” in different capacities. But I still think we are being a little too hasty in jumping to the foregone conclusion that Joseph and the first brethren will return to fulfill these exact prophesies…. Though, I wouldn’t be too surprised if they did….

    • Watcher Sep 10, 2019

      “What evidence do we have that all of these promises and prophesies were not conditional upon these first brethren following the commandments to build Zion in that generation? Who is to say that all of these prophesies will not indeed come to pass, but be fulfilled by another appointed in their stead?”

      CB, I think the answer to your question is found in the ancient prophecy given by Joseph of Egypt. The prophetic promises contained in that prophecy are so important that the Lord inspired them to be recorded in both the Book of Mormon and the JST version of Genesis 50.

      I believe that when understood in the proper context, the “Joseph the Seer” prophecy contained in the Book of Mormon and JST Genesis clearly reveals Joseph Smith Jr. as the Joseph the Seer that will be raised up in the future.

      For those wondering if the name of the last servant will be revealed when he is raised up by the Lord, the prophecy informs us that his name will be Joseph and that he will be a descendent of Joseph of Egypt and that he will be named after his father.

      Joseph Smith Jr. was named after his father and he was a descendent of Joseph of Egypt.

      Latter day saints have been brain-washed by the LDS church to think that the prophecy was referring to Joseph Smith’s first ministry in the 1800’s but that is clearly not the case because virtually none of the promises contained in the prophecy were fulfilled by Joseph Smith Jr. during Joseph Smith’s first ministry.

      Both accounts of the prophecy promise that Joseph the Seer would lead latter day Israel out of HIDDEN DARKNESS AND CAPTIVITY into FREEDOM in the SPIRIT OF POWER.

      Did Joseph Smith attempt to do that in his first commission?

      Yes.

      Did he accomplish that?

      No.

      Both accounts promise that Joseph the Seer would do no other work besides that which he was commanded. Joseph Smith was commanded to preach only repentance to that generation.

      Did Joseph Smith limit his preaching to repentance?

      No.

      The prophecy promises that the latter day Joseph the Seer would not only bring forth the word of God, but would CONVINCE the fruit of the loins of Joseph of the word of God that had previously gone forth. Further, the ministry of Joseph the Seer would merge together the word of God written by the fruit of the loins of Joseph with the word of God written by the fruit of the loins of Judah and would CONFOUND ALL FALSE DOCTRINES AND LAY DOWN ALL CONTENTIONS AND ESTABLISH PEACE AMONG THE FRUIT OF JOSEPH’S LOINS.

      Did Joseph Smith attempt to merge the words written by the fruit of the lions of Joseph with those written by the loins of Judah?

      Yes.

      Was he successful?

      No.

      Did he attempt to confound false doctrine and do away with contention and establish peace?

      Yes.

      Did he accomplish that?

      No.

      The prophecy states that Joseph the Seer would be successful in RESTORING THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL.

      Did Joseph Smith attempt to do that?

      Yes.

      Did he accomplish it?

      No.

      The prophecy promised that Joseph the Seer would bring God’s people to salvation.

      Did Joseph Smith attempt to do this?

      Yes.

      Did he accomplish it?

      No.

      The prophecy promises that the enemies of Joseph the Seer that seek to destroy him would be confounded.

      Did Joseph Smith Jr. have enemies that tried to destroy him?

      Yes.

      Were they confounded?

      no.

      Did they fail in their attempt to destroy him.

      No.

      ONe of the amazing things about this prophecy by Joseph of Egypt is that it validates the fact that Joseph Smith failed in his first attempt to fulfill the prophecy yet it supports all of the unconditional promises in modern revelation that speak of Joseph Smith Jr. being raised up in the future during his SECOND COMMISSION to successfully complete his mandate from the Lord.

      Isaiah 49 informs us that God’s latter day servant would fail in his first attempt to gather Israel but informs us that he would ultimately accomplish the work.

      The prophecy claims that Joseph the Seer would go forth in the spirit of power like Moses did. Sections 101 and 103 prophesy that Joseph Smith will indeed go forth in power like Moses.

      The prophecy promises that Joseph the Seer will be made strong out of weakness. Section one and many other revelations promise that Joseph Smith Jr. and others will be eventually be made strong out of weakness and that the weak things of the world shall come forth and break down the mighty and strong ones.

      Clearly, those that find these prophetic promises about the future return of Joseph Smith to be too outrageous to believe will never believe them no matter how much scriptural evidences is provided. However, IMO, the revelations that Joseph Smith brought forth testify that Joseph Smith Jr. is Joseph the Seer in that ancient prophecy and that he will return and complete his work.

      Joseph of Egypt obtained a promise of the Lord that this end times prophet named Joseph would be successful in accomplishing all of the things listed above.

      This prophecy about Joseph the Seer of end times prophecy was so important that the Lord had it included in both the Book of Mormon and JST Genesis.

      Therein is the answer to your question. That prophecy, if understood and believed, testifies that there will be no other servant that finishes the work that God has given to Joseph Smith Jr.

      Interestingly, when Joseph Smith returns, he will be commanded to do no other work than that which the Lord commands him to do. This is contextually significant because the Lord seems to be reprimanding him for having previously failed to limit his preaching to that of repentance.

      • Thank you Watcher for all you do. I truly am trying to understand.

        What do you make of D&C 113 which makes reference to great servants who are both of Joseph and of Jesse/David/Judah? Do you think these are the same servant(s) as we read of in 2 Nephi 3? Joseph Smith does not appear to be of Judah/Jesse.

        The reason why I feel that an American Indian Prophet can be expected to do a great work among the fruit of the loins of Joseph (per 2 Nephi 3) is #1 – because an American Indian uniquely would fulfill section 113 (being both of Joseph through Lehi, and of Judah through Mulek, son of King Zedekiah) and #2 – because early church leaders expected there to be a great American Indian prophet in the End Times.

        Also, what do you make of all the references where the Lord warned Joseph that if he was not faithful, he would put another in his stead? Are we just to ignore the possibility that the Lord cannot do exactly what he warned he would do if that generation failed in their commission? Is this not a possibility in your mind, at least?

        • Watcher Sep 11, 2019

          “What do you make of D&C 113 which makes reference to great servants who are both of Joseph and of Jesse/David/Judah? Do you think these are the same servant(s) as we read of in 2 Nephi 3? Joseph Smith does not appear to be of Judah/Jesse.”

          I am convinced that the two servants mentioned in D&C 113 are referring to the two servants mentioned in the Joseph the Seer prophecy, ie, Joseph the Seer and his spokesman who is identified in the D&C as Sidney Rigdon. Those who have not heard the podcast about Sidney Rigdon may want to listen to it.

          The Joseph the Seer prophecy informs us that these two individuals are to restore Israel. This involves reuniting the two houses of Israel that had split apart anciently. These two factions are referred to in the Old Testament as the House/kingdom of Judah and the House/kingdom of Israel .

          Eventually both factions of the Kingdom of Israel became scattered among the nations.

          In New Testament, Book of Mormon and D&C jargon, these two factions are referred to as the “Jews” and “Gentiles

          The Joseph the Seer prophecy informs us that the reuniting of these two ancient kingdoms will eventually take place in part because these two prophets will merge together the word of God written by the loins of Judah and the word of God written by the loins of Joseph.

          We are informed in the D&C that it will be under the administration of Joseph and Sidney that Israel will be restored and that both the Jews and the Gentiles will be brought to the knowledge of the truth.

          Because of their role in reuniting these two ancient kingdoms, it makes perfect sense that Joseph and Sidney would both be of mixed lineage as noted in Section 113.

          The Joseph the Seer prophecy only mentions that Joseph the Seer is a descendent of Joseph of Egypt. This may be because Joseph of Egypt was speaking to his own posterity and emphasizing certain things relating to them.

          Nevertheless, it is a little known fact that Joseph Smith was also a descendant of Jesse.

          We know that Joseph Smith is a descendent of King David for several reasons. One is that he fits the profile of the Davidic servant prophecy in 1 Chronicles 17 and 2nd Samuel 7. That prophecy informs us that in the latter days a descendent of David would bring forth Gods word, build the house of the Lord and identify the appointed land that Israel is to be gathered to. After that, the Davidic servant would commit iniquity and be chastened by the rod of man.

          Another reason we know that Joseph Smith is both a Jew and Gentile, being a descendent of Jesse/David as well as from Joseph is because the OT informs us that the scepter of power as the law giver shall never depart from Judah, yet Joseph Smith was promised in his patriarchal blessing that he would be the “lawgiver“. In another revelation he is designated as the one holding the “scepter of power“.

          “The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.”

          Notice the following declaration in Joseph Smith’s patriarchal blessing and then compare it to the snippet from Judah’s patriarchal blessing from his father Jacob:

          “By the keys of the Kingdom shall he lead Israel into the land of Zion while the house of Jacob shouts in the danse and in the song..

          He shall be a lawgiver to Israel and shall teach the house of Jacob the statutes of the Most High…

          In his hands shall the Urim and Thummim remain and the holy ministry, and the keys of the evangelical priesthood, also, for an everlasting priesthood forever, even the patriarchal; for, behold, he is the first patriarch in the last days. He shall sit in the great assembly and general council of patriarchs, and execute the will and commandment of God under the direction of the Ancient of Days”[23]

          As you can see, Joseph will return to lead Israel into the land of Zion with the keys of the Kingdom that he holds, just as is prophesied in sections 101 and 103 of the D&C. But notice also that he shall be the LAWGIVER to Israel! That Biblical term is very definitive and revealing. It refers to the Davidic right.

          This explains why Section 109 informs us that under Joseph Smith’s administration, Jerusalem began to be redeemed in 1836 and the “yoke of bondage was broken off of” the “house of David” at that time.

          Judah’s blessing not only informs us that Judah has the right to the sceptre and to be the lawgiver over Israel, it also informs us that he has the exclusive right to gather Israel.

          “..unto him shall the gathering of the people be”

          It is no coincidence that Joseph Smith was given the keys to the gathering of Israel!

          “After this vision closed, the heavens were again opened unto us; and Moses appeared before us, and committed unto us the keys of the gathering of Israel from the four parts of the earth, and the leading of the ten tribes from the land of the north.”[28]

          As you can see, the right to the scepter of leadership over Israel and the calling of LAWGIVER over the twelve tribes, belongs to Judah through David/Jesse! Joseph Smith’s patriarchal blessing is clearly identifying him as the last great lawgiver over all of Israel who sits directly under father Adam in authority. That would make him the last great Davidic Servant leading up to Christ. Clearly, he has to be from the loins of Judah as well as Joseph.

          Joseph clearly believed that he was in the process of establishing David’s ancient throne in the last days, in fulfillment of ancient prophecy. Notice the following snippet from the revelation that Joseph delivered to Newel K. Whitney, containing the verbiage to be used as he married Joseph Smith to his daughter Sarah:

          “All these things I do in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, that through this order he may be glorified and [that] through the power of anointing David may reign King over Israel, which shall hereafter be revealed”

          The implication of the above revelation had to do with the re-establishment of the Davidic Dynasty. The revelation spoke of this great honor coming to the Whitney family because of “the lineage of my Priesthood” and the “holy progenitors by the right of birth” and “powers to concentrate in you and through to your posterity forever”

          On March 11, 1844 Joseph Smith had himself anointed as King of Israel and he establish the council of Fifty which was meant to be the political kingdom that would usher in the millennium. This was to be the kingdom mentioned in the Book of Daniel that would crush all other worldly kingdoms .

          Also, what do you make of all the references where the Lord warned Joseph that if he was not faithful, he would put another in his stead? Are we just to ignore the possibility that the Lord cannot do exactly what he warned he would do if that generation failed in their commission? Is this not a possibility in your mind, at least?

          It is true that the Lord warned Joseph that if he did not abide in Him, Joseph would have to ordain another and appoint him to receive commandments and revelations for the church. The revelation also informs us that the written oracles would remain after Joseph was removed.

          3 And this ye shall know assuredly—that there is none other appointed unto you to receive commandments and revelations until he be taken, if he abide in me.
          4 But verily, verily, I say unto you, that none else shall be appointed unto this gift except it be through him; for if it be taken from him he shall not have power except to appoint another in his stead.
          5 And this shall be a law unto you, that ye receive not the teachings of any that shall come before you as revelations or commandments

          The above prophecy was fulfilled. Joseph Smith did in fact name a successor. Indeed, he named two successors, by revelation. One was killed. The other was rejected by the church.

          Furthermore, the oracles of God that were given through Joseph Smith have remained and they provide the iron rod that we must hold on too until the two servants of mixed lineage (“Joseph the Seer” and the “spokesman”) return to complete the work they have been given.

          We have no need to speculate about Indian prophets or others who are rising up to claim they are going to finish the work given to Joseph Smith, we simply need to search the oracles that God in his mercy and grace has ordained to be the standard by which we measure every mans doctrine.

          • I think Watcher has presented a great case. The last two podcasts used almost exclusively the prophecies from the D&C to show the point. I think a future podcast could be done listing many of the Old Testament, New Testament, and JST prophecies that also point to Joseph and those laborers returning to finish their mission.

            I’ve been listening to Dr. Heiser’s podcasts and he’s mentioned several times how the Old Testament uses a mosaic approach in the prophecies about the Savior. It doesn’t spell out exactly what would happen so that the forces opposed to God didn’t understand how crucifying Christ was part of the plan. Instead, the prophecy is understood after the fact, the pieces from all the different parts of the Old Testament can be brought together and then the full picture of what God had planned and his foreknowledge of it is clear.

            I think there’s a similar thing going on with Joseph Smith. The pieces are there, throughout all the scriptures – OT, NT, JST, BoM, D&C. If we put them together the right way we see what God’s plan is. There’s power in seeing all the ancient scriptures testifying to the modern revelations covered in the past two podcasts.

          • Episodes 12 and 13 cover the Biblical prophecies about Joseph. Those episodes pair nicely with these two.

          • Watcher,
            I appreciate your interpretation of why you discount the idea of another individual coming to fulfill the role Joseph was called to (to redeem Zion with power, like unto Moses). I think you have out forward a plausible explanation…

            I still think, however, we should at least keep other options as a possibility. The Lord was clear that if Joseph were to fail, that another would be planted in his stead. I think that the prophesy of Joseph could still easily apply to the more pure seed of Lehi (Manassah), and the American Indians, rather than the mingled seed of Ephraim among the Gentiles. I am a bit concerned with how easily you seem to be shrugging off the possibility that the prophesied Joseph servant could be called from among the American Indians.

            Let’s remember that the End Times promises given to the seed of Lehi on this land are much greater than the promises given to the Gentiles. This is mostly recorded from Christ’s own voice all through 3 Nephi… Are we not to understand that they will be the ones chiefly in charge of building the New Jerusalem, with us (the repentant gentiles) being merely privelaged to be able to assist them with that effort? The Lord says in 3 Nephi 20, “then shall ye [THE REMNANT OF LEHI] who are a remnant of the house of Jacob, go forth among them [THE GENTILES WHO DIDNT REPENT SUFFICIENTLY]; and ye shall be in the midst of them who shall be many; and ye shall be among them as a lion among the beasts of the forest, and as a young lion among the flocks of sheep…”. Does this not imply that they were endowed with power from on high to fulfill the promises given to their Fathers?

            I think we should still keep an open mind that the Lord may yet call a great leader with the name/calling of Joseph from among the seed of Lehi. Would this not also be Great and Marvelous?

          • Perhaps the last will be first and the first last… Ephraim was the last born of Joseph, and got the first bestowal of the Fulness of the Gospel in the end times…
            Manassah was the first born of Joseph, and may get the last bestowal…. Which flower has yet to blossom, and which one is destined to fade?

            D&C 49
            24 But before the great day of the Lord shall come, Jacob shall flourish in the wilderness, and the Lamanites shall blossom as the rose.

            Isaiah 28
            1 Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, whose glorious beauty is a fading flower, which are on the head of the fat valleys of them that are overcome with wine!

  3. Ranae Sep 10, 2019

    I agree with CB. For me, personally, the value in recognizing the promises in the D&C directed to Joseph, and identifying him as the one who would redeem the vineyard was to start thinking flexibly about the work God is going to do. I don’t really know whether or not Joseph or any other previously living individual will be identifiable in the work that is coming. In my own life, though, it is through the work of Joseph via the JST, Book of Mormon, and D&C that has given me the worldview to see what is actually happening in the world. It has made me a “conspiracy theorist” because secret combinations are real and they are among all people.

    The work that I see happening right now in the world, beginning with “President-elect” Donald Trump is sending a definite message throughout the world, to kings and governors of the world. Did the President-elect receive a message? None of us are in a position to say, but we can each see the results, if we know where to look.

    Here is the thought I had this morning, “Restoring their judges and all as at first”. One of the primary objectives of this President since his inauguration has been to fill judgement seats with people who will uphold the Constitution. He is flipping appellate courts across the nation. When I went to the scriptures to see where the phrase about restoring judges comes from, it took me straight to Isaiah 1:26. When I went back to read the chapter as a whole, it sounded like the context for “the great awakening” and “drain the swamp”. This is just a tiny sample of what I see happening, yet when I talk to others about politics, there is a huge divide. Even people who are “watching” have told me that they think Trump is an ego-maniac who only caters to Christianity for political support. I see a man who opens his cabinet meetings with prayer and who is no respecter of persons, black or white, male or female, bond or free. They see someone who was unfaithful to his first wife, at the same time they accuse Joseph Smith of polygamy, yet say it does not disqualify him for this work.

    I guess my biggest concern with the recent podcasts is the assurance from the hosts that they are not seeing the evidence of the servants work yet. I don’t see people being raised from the dead on the streets, but I do see someone lifting the heavy burdens off the backs of the oppressed and bringing hope where there was none. I see the tares being bound in bundles as RICO cases are being formed against conspirators who have shredded justice. The difference, maybe, is that I am looking everywhere for the signs, not just in the mainstream LDS church populations. Faith has to grow as a mustard seed, or as leaven hidden in the meal. The growth curve is exponential, and not everyone becomes aware of the change at the same time. Could it be that internet junkies on 8chan are aware of the light rising before the faithful temple-going, conference attending Saints?

    I don’t want to cause controversy, but I would be interested in feedback on this topic, especially as far as it relates to identifying the Servants. If you think I am way off base, let me know why. If you see things happening in current events that support the idea that prophecy is unfolding in the eyes of the world, what are you seeing?

    • Personally I see Trump as an amoral egoist who was placed in his position to see if “christians” would trust in the arm of the flesh or wait patiently for the Messiah. Apparently most christians would rather use bombastic revanchist politics and tactics to force people to live how they think we should, rather than live the life Jesus did. As to your point on the servants returning the scriptures are clear that a servant who failed to gather Israel must return to gather them. And Joseph Smith is named as that servant in section 103. I personally think he won’t look like Joseph in order to test us, but I could be wrong.

    • Ranae,

      It seems that you (and many others) are much more well-read than I, especially regarding the return of the servants and the fulfillment of the work of the Lord in the latter days. I do have a few thoughts to share, of which I more than willing to accept any and all criticism.

      I agree that we need to consider the role of leaders (government or otherwise) in our striving to be found watching. The danger of bringing governmental or political leaders into faith-based discussions (aside from how emotional people can get in that arena) is that they are not the ‘weak and the simple’ that the Lord speaks of in scripture. In fact, it is the ‘weak and the simple’ who will proclaim the gospel to the kings and rulers (D/C 1:23) It seems to me that there are different categories or aspects of the work that will be accomplished, and there is history/precedence of this happening in the scriptures. Consider the Lords use of Cyrus or Nebuchadnezzar (among others). They, themselves, were not the Lords covenant servants nor did they proclaim the everlasting gospel. The Lord did utilize them, however, even in their wicked or worldly state. Does the Lord utilize Donald Trump? Perhaps. Perhaps he also utilizes Vladamir Putin, Kim Jong Un, Elizabeth II, etc. Clearly I have not researched this in depth. However, my initial reaction is that we need to identify who the Lords servants are and be able/willing to separate the servants from those whom the Lord utilizes. A few scriptures come to mind:
      1 Corinthians 1:25-29
      …the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence.
      D/C 1:17-19 and 23 (the entire section is pertinent)
      Wherefore, I the Lord, knowing the calamity which should come upon the inhabitants of the earth, called upon my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., and spake unto him from heaven, and gave him commandments; And also gave commandments to others, that they should proclaim these things unto the world; and all this that it might be fulfilled, which was written by the prophets—The weak things of the world shall come forth and break down the mighty and strong ones, that man should not counsel his fellow man, neither trust in the arm of flesh… That the fulness of my gospel might be proclaimed by the weak and the simple unto the ends of the world, and before kings and rulers.

      All this being said, we also need to be careful to not call evil good and good evil.
      Isaiah 5:20 (once again, the entire chapter is pertinent)
      Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

      • Ranae Sep 10, 2019

        Q,
        I would say that “weak and simple” are fairly good descriptions of the British Brexit voters, the American “deplorables”, the French “yellow jackets”, the Hong Kong protesters, and millions of other voters across Europe who are refusing to cave to people in power. In some countries they are filling the streets week after week to protest the oppressive plans of their elitist rulers. How did these movements start? Was it cut out of a mountain without hands? I don’t know. I’m just an armchair observer.

        “Wherefore, I call upon the weak things of the world, those who are unlearned and despised, to thrash the nations by the power of my Spirit” (D&C 35:13)

        Maybe it is just a coincidence, but the unlearned seem to be more inclined to reject global power structures. It is the well-educated and powerful (with a few exceptions) who are fighting with everything they have to keep the status quo. (Which also happens to grind the face of the poor.) Among the people I know, the non-college educated, blue collar workers are very supportive of Donald Trump’s policies and how he is working to MAGA. The college educated, more financially stable friends can’t see more than non-politically correct Tweeting and a worldly lifestyle. The exception is those who have spent years searching Isaiah and watching for the signs of the times.

        Again, this is just my personal informal observation. I could be very wrong about more general trends. FYI, I did not vote for Trump in 2016, but his election is what caught my attention, and I have been watching events extremely carefully since then to see what God is doing. I have always heard that in the day when Isaiah’s prophecies are fulfilled, they will be plain to understand. At least for me, that’s now. Reading Isaiah seems more like reading the newspaper than it ever has before.

        • Ranae Sep 11, 2019

          I just looked up “weak” in the 1828 Webster’s dictionary, and found that there are a ton of definitions, many of which would not apply to the latter day servants. However, “soft, pliant; not stiff” seems to be consistent with the qualities the Lord is looking for in his servants in any age. (I see that in contrast to stiff-necked, or hard-hearted.)

  4. Searcher Sep 10, 2019

    As we discussed in the podcast, the servants are going to call the world to repentance, seal up the law and bind up the testimony. They will go forth with power and authority. I can see no scriptural justification for equating any political leaders of any stripe with the servants who are to return as promised in the Word of God.

    • I totally agree with you that current political leaders are not the servants talked about in prophecy. However, to Ranae’s point, I do see all of the commotion happening in the world as fulfilling many of the conditions of end-times prophecy. There is definitely a movement where the weak and oppressed are trying to rise up against their oppressors. I don’t think they are doing so in the way God would have them, yet I see the conditions as ripe for the servants to return and there could be many receptive people to their message because of the state of the world.

      I think a key aspect to separating the current political world with scriptural prophecy is to understand what Egypt and Babylon are referring to. If you interpret them to be placeholders for the dominant world power during the end times, then they are referring to the United States. This can lead to cognitive dissonance for many Americans.

      Michael Rush has an interesting book about the return of the 10 tribes and he interprets 2nd Esdras account of the Eagle as representing the United States. I have differences with some of his ideas, but his interpretation of the Eagle is very intriguing. I believe the voice of the man mentioned below is that of Joseph Smith. (Also in Esdra’s vision is a powerful end time servant who is able to destroy armies and establish Zion – all indicators to me it’s referring to Joseph Smith’s future powerful work.)

      2nd Esdras 11
      37 And I beheld, and lo, as it were a roaring lion chased out of the wood: and I saw that he sent out a man’s voice unto the eagle, and said,
      38 Hear thou, I will talk with thee, and the Highest shall say unto thee,
      39 Art not thou it that remainest of the four beasts, whom I made to reign in my world, that the end of their times might come through them?
      40 And the fourth came, and overcame all the beasts that were past, and had power over the world with great fearfulness, and over the whole compass of the earth with much wicked oppression; and so long time dwelt he upon the earth with deceit.
      41 For the earth hast thou not judged with truth.
      42 For thou hast afflicted the meek, thou hast hurt the peaceable, thou hast loved liars, and destroyed the dwellings of them that brought forth fruit, and hast cast down the walls of such as did thee no harm.
      43 Therefore is thy wrongful dealing come up unto the Highest, and thy pride unto the Mighty.
      44 The Highest also hath looked upon the proud times, and, behold, they are ended, and his abominations are fulfilled.
      45 And therefore appear no more, thou eagle, nor thy horrible wings, nor thy wicked feathers nor thy malicious heads, nor thy hurtful claws, nor all thy vain body:
      46 That all the earth may be refreshed, and may return, being delivered from thy violence, and that she may hope for the judgment and mercy of him that made her.

      If all of this interpretation is correct, then God views the actions of the US quite differently than most of the US population. It looks like wars we undertake to liberate nations (Kuwait from Iraq, Syria from ISIS, Iraq from Saddam post 9/11, etc.) are not viewed positively by God. Where we think of ourselves as liberating and giving people freedom, God is saying that the earth is suffering from our violence. It puts a very different light to the way most Americans see the world.

      So from this perspective, I think the current times are opening a lot of people’s eyes. The revelation of what has been secretly done against the current president really shows a huge part of our government that has been quite deceitful. This isn’t a recent change of behavior, but has been long hidden and is just recently coming to light. To the extent that Trump is apparently a victim of this deceit, he may appear sympathetic. However it isn’t clear that Trump’s administration is free from this same condemnation.

      Interestingly, in the interpretation of Esdra’s Eagle vision, one of the last leaders of this nation is removed from office early. By Michael Rush’s timeline, it is Trump’s presidency when this will happen. Given the current rhetoric, and impeachment efforts and resorts to violence by his opponents, it seems likely the prophecy applies to him. I see the current times as really setting up many conditions foretold in the various prophecies.

      To me, it means the return of the servants is very close.

      • Ranae Sep 11, 2019

        Mike,
        “I think a key aspect to separating the current political world with scriptural prophecy is to understand what Egypt and Babylon are referring to. If you interpret them to be placeholders for the dominant world power during the end times, then they are referring to the United States. This can lead to cognitive dissonance for many Americans.”

        I used to think that Egypt and Babylon were direct placeholders for specific nations, particularly the US. However, I don’t think it is quite that simple. Rev. 17:4-5 tells us about Babylon: “the woman was arrayed in purple, and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornications; and upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.”

        With that in mind, look at the past couple years and what has happened with the #METOO movement, NXIVM, Jeffry Epstein, etc. and that is my frame of reference for Babylon. The buying and selling of peoples bodies and souls for the fame and recognition of the world. Babylon is international in scope, and “all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.” (Rev. 18:3)

        Even 1 Ne 14:9-10 tells us that Babylon is not the USA. “Look, and behold that great and abominable church, which is the mother of abominations, whose founder is the devil. And he said unto me: Behold, there are save two churches only; the one is the church of the Lamb of God, and the other is the church of the devil; wherefore, whoso belongeth not the the church of the Lamb of God belongeth to that great church, which is the mother of abominations; and she is the whore of all the earth.” (Also 1Ne.13:6-9) Note that Nephi uses the description of Babylon without the name, perhaps because he only knew Babylon as a city. His family left before they lived in that culture. If America were Babylon, as described here, it would also have to have been founded by the devil, which it was not.

        The Trump administration has been actively taking down the worldwide human trafficking networks, and prosecuting perpetrators since the inauguration. Yes, America has participated and been used to facilitate this evil, but America itself is not the Babylon I see described in scripture.

        I think Egypt might tie in with a false priesthood, secret societies, and ultimately human sacrifice (remember who tried to sacrifice Abraham). This is why it makes me nervous to hear LDS temple scholars get so excited about ties between temple worship and Egyptian rites.

        • Ranae,
          “If America were Babylon, as described here, it would also have to have been founded by the devil, which it was not.”

          I’m not entirely sure I can agree with you here. Have you looked into any of the occult practices and symbols located in the US capitol? How many of the founders of this nation were members of secret combinations?

          God allows the nations to be ruled by other entities and they serve at His pleasure, but that doesn’t make them His servants.

          • Ranae Sep 12, 2019

            Mike,
            “And for this purpose have I established the Constitution of this land, by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose, and redeemed the land by the shedding of blood.” (D&C 101: 80) This also happens to be the same section as the parable of the vineyard that we have been referencing, which was overtaken and needs to be redeemed. I don’t think it is a stretch to think the parable could refer to America as a whole, and not just the saints living in Missouri (Zion).

            The founding documents of our country are the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Both of which reflect the true gospel of Christ by allowing all men equal rights under the law. (Granted it was such a novel idea that it took awhile before it was fully implemented.) The founding fathers were just as much a product of their environment as we are, and yes, many of them were involved in fraternal societies, which were carried over from Europe. However, if America were really founded by the devil, it would not have brought forth “good fruit”.

            Personally, I believe America is in a window for repentance. It is possible to survive the prophesied calamities, if we respond to this opportunity with greater faith in God and a return to the Constitutional law which God has “suffered to be established, and should be maintained for the rights and protection of all flesh, according to just and holy principles; that every man may act in doctrine and principle pertaining to futurity, according to the moral agency which I have given unto him, that every man may be accountable for his own sins in the day of judgment.” (D&C 101:77-78)

            “And now, verily I say unto you concerning the laws of the land, it is my will that my people should observe to do all things whatsoever I command them. And that law of the land which is constitutional, supporting that principle of freedom in maintaining rights and privileges, belongs to all mankind, and is justifiable before me. Therefore, I, the Lord, justify you and your brethren of my church in befriending that law which is the constitutional law of the land; and as pertaining to law of man, whatsoever is more or less than this, cometh of evil. … Nevertheless, when the wicked rule, the people mourn.” (D&C 98:4-7,9)

          • Renae,

            I understand why Mormons feel strongly about the Constitution, God does look favorably upon it as necessary for keeping people out of the bondage of more oppressive governments. Notice though that he “suffered” it to be established. It’s not His ideal, but the best humans in a telestial world can have. However, if we felt as strongly as a people about God’s celestial law and wanting to live in Zion, as we do about the Republican party and blind patriotism, we would have established Zion a long time ago. I see patriotism and loyalty to any political party or politician as simply false idols that will not save us, and not only that they will keep us from being saved. Politicians can only divide and conquer, while the gospel unites us. You are right the babylonian/egyptian system is international, however, elements based in America are the ones enforcing that system through the US military and the US Dollar. If we are to recognize the servants and be of any use to them we need to wake up to the corruption and separate ourselves from the system as much as we can. I often feel like Mormon, or Ether, sitting on the sidelines while the Republicans and Democrats divide America into two camps just like the Nephites vs. the Lamanites and the two Jaradite factions. For both of those civilizations and their final battles which side was right? None of them! Just like today both of our parties suck. They both are evil and corrupt, and no good fruits come from either of them, nor will any good fruit ever come from them. Instead they will destroy American civilization just like the Nephites and Jaredites before them. However, the Lord will use this great calamity to establish Zion. So, for now all we can do is sit on the sidelines and wait for the servants to return and study the word while trying to wake up those we can. Also on the point about native american prophets someone else mentioned above we already know who they are: (3 Nephi 28)
            27 And behold they will be among the Gentiles, and the Gentiles shall know them not.

            28 They will also be among the Jews, and the Jews shall know them not.

            29 And it shall come to pass, when the Lord seeth fit in his wisdom that they shall minister unto all the ascattered tribes of Israel, and unto all nations, kindreds, tongues and people, and shall bring out of them unto Jesus many souls, that their desire may be fulfilled, and also because of the convincing power of God which is in them.

            30 And they are as the angels of God, and if they shall pray unto the Father in the name of Jesus they can show themselves unto whatsoever man it seemeth them good.

            31 Therefore, great and marvelous works shall be wrought by them, before the great and coming day when all people must surely stand before the judgment-seat of Christ;

            32 Yea even among the Gentiles shall there be a great and marvelous work wrought by them, before that judgment day.
            So the three Nephites will also do a great and marvelous work which we should also be looking for.

          • Ranae Sep 12, 2019

            Saul,
            Perhaps you are right, that the Constitution “is the best humans in a telestial world can have”, but that is the exactly the world we are living in. What is your more terrestrial or celestial alternative so long as there are still people who will take advantage of their neighbors and seek to rule over their fellow men?

            The scripture said that living under Constitutional law allows people to act “according to the moral agency which I have given him, that every man may be accountable for his own sins in the day of judgment.” If you accept the verse where the Lord said He established the constitution by wise men whom He raised up for this purpose, to be consistent with his statement that God has “suffered [it] to be established, and should be maintained for the rights and protection of all flesh”, then the definition of “suffered” is more generous than what you allude to.

            According the the contemporary usage in the 1828 dictionary, suffered can mean:
            Borne; undergone; permitted; allowed.
            In the same dictionary, borne means:
            Carried; conveyed; supported; defrayed.
            Neither of these definitions connote something God is tolerating against His better judgment.

            The problem we face now is that the Constitutional law has been substituted with the law of men, and we are living under gross inequality. That has to be remedied before we are ready for the messengers to preach repentance. Do you think anyone can speak truth to power in the climate of social media shadow banning and politically correct thought police and have the message resonate throughout the land?

            My current interest in political events has nothing to do with support of the Republican or Democrat parties. I have voted for candidates from a variety of parties over the years, and am well aware of the corruption in the system, on all sides. As I have said before, I see an individual who is actually working to lift the heavy burdens and set captives free, who is no respecter of persons and is being opposed by both parties. And, he seems to be trying to be the President of the United States, not just the president of the Republican or Democrat parties. I also see him trying incredibly hard to operate within the bounds of the Constitutional law, moreso than any other President in my memory.

            As for living a more celestial law, my opinion is that the family is the fundamental unit of society. If we were to operate on a celestial law within our families, I believe Zion on a larger scale would soon follow. The Constitution provides enough of a safety net for us to do that. How do you treat your spouse, your children, your friends and even strangers? My impression is that LDS families as a whole are probably not much different from families in the general population. If it were otherwise, we would be a light that draws others. Instead, we struggle with addiction, abuse, betrayal, depression, etc. just like everyone else. Pulling out of the larger society and waiting on the sides to build up the kingdom after the US is in ashes seems like wishful thinking to me. Ether, Mormon, and even Lehi kept talking until it was life-threatening to do so. Then they watched and continued to pray that the people would repent before it was too late.

          • I think in our current fallen world, the best we can do is try and be peace makers and comfort those that mourn. Some people see god’s hand behind current political events and I definitely think that He will use politicians as He sees fit, however, I find it disconcerting that so many Christians don’t do what Christ would do if He were here. When I said leave the system as much as possible I didn’t mean go live in the wilderness. I meant to analyze everything in our lives and see if it is in harmony with the gospel as contained in the scriptures. If is not we need to cast it aside. Christians need to wake up and begin advocating consistently for positions that are in harmony with the gospel instead of associating with issues like anti immigration and pro gun rights. Christ says everyone is our neighbor and we are responsible for caring for them. This is what we should be worried about as it is what Christ would do and I believe the servants will be doing when they return. While we may have lost the fullness of the priesthood to establish Zion, we can at least try to live by the light we have and set an example for others. Blessed are the peacemakers indeed.

  5. This is really a tangent to the Mormon 8:26-34 passage you read.

    31 Yea, it shall come in a day when there shall be great pollutions upon the face of the earth; there shall be murders, and robbing, and lying, and deceivings, and whoredoms, and all manner of abominations; when there shall be many who will say, Do this, or do that, and it mattereth not, for the Lord will uphold such at the last day. But wo unto such, for they are in the gall of bitterness and in the bonds of iniquity.

    That first part of verse 31 always conjured up images of billowing smoke, piles of trash, etc. However, the rest of the verse talks about murders, robbing, lying, whoredoms, etc. – all abominations. A year or so ago, I was looking up different terms in the 1828 Webster’s Dictionary and ‘pollution’ was one of them:

    Pollution
    POLLU’TION, noun [Latin pollutio.]

    1. The act of polluting.
    2. Defilement; uncleanness; impurity; the state of being polluted.
    3. In the Jewish economy, legal or ceremonial uncleanness, which disqualified a person for sacred services or for common intercourse with the people, or rendered any thing unfit for sacred use.
    4. In medicine, the involuntary emission of semen in sleep.
    5. In a religious sense, guilt, the effect of sin; idolatry, etc.

    Clarifying definition 1:
    Polluting
    POLLU’TING, participle present tense Defiling; rendering unclean; corrupting; profaning.

    In the 1820s and 1830s, pollution had nothing to do with the way we think of the word today! It meant defiled, unclean, profane, corrupt. It goes right along with all the rest of what is included in verse 31. It’s all the wickedness, all the acts of defilement people would be committing in the promised land and all over the earth.

    In an earlier podcast, one of you mentioned what a valuable tool the 1828 Websters is. I think it’s really true and it’s an important effort to go back to that dictionary to find out what the words meant back then. Our words have morphed and changed over time, so that today when we see ‘pollution’ we don’t think about any of the definitions it had back then. There are probably numerous cases like this, and it takes a lot of effort to make sure I am reading the scriptures with the correct understanding. It can be easy to miss the mark because we are using 21st century definitions of the same words used in the 19th century.

  6. Ranae,

    I don’t believe that what the Lord says in 101 means that this is His nation. Rather, He has put in place certain things like the constitution. A lot of what you believe may depend on how you interpret His use of ‘wise’ in verse 80. I’ll refer you to Watcher’s article here for another perspective:
    https://onewhoiswatching.wordpress.com/2010/04/22/black-robes-final/

    There’s far too much of the occult involved in our founding for me to consider the founders His servants. I don’t see any allowance for being a product of our environment to excuse occult practices. I can’t find scriptures saying, ‘Yeah, sure he worshiped Baal, but he was just a product of his environment’, instead God calls people out of their environment. Danial rejected his environment and followed God. Over and over again, that is the pattern of the scriptures. The founders did not reject their environment. I don’t believe they were establishing God’s nation. I also don’t see evidence that this nation has produced “good fruit”.

    Also, we should not ignore what 101 says here:
    11 Mine indignation is soon to be poured out without measure upon all nations; and this will I do when the cup of their iniquity is full.

    This nation is not exempted. This isn’t God’s nation.

    It’s also noteworthy that He gives the parable of the widow and the unjust judge in 101:
    82 There was in a city a judge which feared not God, neither regarded man.

    Though I fear not God, nor regard man, yet because this widow troubleth me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.

    The Lord recognizes that those leading this nation are not God fearing men.

    Regarding the kingdom being set up without hands, Watcher has an excellent article here which offers a different perspective:
    https://onewhoiswatching.wordpress.com/2019/02/06/the-kingdom-has-been-set-up-without-hands/

    Now, all that being said, I’m sympathetic to the idea that what is happening politically throughout the world is in preparation for the servants return. I do see them as signs of the times. I also believe that God placed Trump here to provoke the dark forces that rule this nation. That’s why there is so much opposition to him, he is an outsider and he is thwarting much of their corruption. The problem is that it isn’t that this nation has veered off it’s founding. It’s been like this all along.

    What God is saying in 101 is that those laws that conform to the constitutional ideals of protecting the people’s right to be free are acceptable to Him. He doesn’t name any particular law, and the laws of the land quickly went against that ideal. There really is a lot of cognitive dissonance with Mormons because we grew up believing this country was designed by God to bring about the church. Yet God does not accept this nation. He seeks the establishment of Zion, not the US.

    I think the current animosity towards Trump is going to lead to the fulfillment of Esdras’ Eagle vision. They will try to impeach Trump and if that doesn’t work, they’ll resort to another method. Both Trumps opponents and supporters speak of civil war, and I believe it will be during the conflict, both civil war and foreign invasion that Zion will be redeemed.

    • Ranae Sep 13, 2019

      Thank you, Mike, and Saul, and everyone else who has shared their thoughts on this comment thread. There are very few places to openly share ideas and receive feedback from other people who are watching and waiting for prophesy to be fulfilled. I hope MD and Searcher don’t feel like their topic was hijacked by my question. Politics can be very divisive and I appreciate the honest comments that have been shared here.

      • Hi Ranae,

        I appreciate the topic too. My own thoughts are an eclectic mix of all sorts of research I’ve been doing over the last few years. I’m sure I’ve got more wrong that right at this point, but I feel I have the tools to refine my thoughts and get them closer to correct.

        In addition to Watcher, Searcher and MD, I’ve read Gazelem’s blog, Steven Fisher’s 3rd watch blog (he has a lot of research on the events he believes will happen in the last days, starting with the servants’ return). I’ve also watched a lot of Chuck Missler’s Bible expositions. I’m currently listening to Dr. Heiser’s podcasts. I’ve read Michael Rush’s return of the 10 tribes online book. I think there’s truth in all of them, though I don’t agree with everything. It’s still much a work in process as I take all the different perspectives and inputs and then see what fits with my understanding of the word of God.

  7. Saul,

    I’m not sure we can conclude what Christ’s position on illegal immigration would be. God seems to recognize the need for physical boundaries to define the nations, as He’s the one who set them up. Heaven has a pretty strict anti-immigration policy, after all.

    I think one trying to follow Christ could share your view that all should be welcome into the land to try to help them and give the an opportunity to better themselves.
    I think one trying to follow Christ could oppose your view and prefer to keep the enemy outside the hedge so the tower and vineyard aren’t destroyed.

    • I guess my point was that in the scriptures there seems to often be things that are acceptable to God, and then the thing that He actually wishes we would do. For example, in D&C 98 it says:

      30 And then if thou wilt spare him, thou shalt be rewarded for thy righteousness; and also thy children and thy children’s children unto the third and fourth generation.

      31 Nevertheless, thine enemy is in thine hands; and if thou rewardest him according to his works thou art justified; if he has sought thy life, and thy life is endangered by him, thine enemy is in thine hands and thou art justified.

      32 Behold, this is the law I gave unto my servant Nephi, and thy fathers, Joseph, and Jacob, and Isaac, and Abraham, and all mine ancient prophets and apostles.

      33 And again, this is the law that I gave unto mine ancients, that they should not go out unto battle against any nation, kindred, tongue, or people, save I, the Lord, commanded them.

      34 And if any nation, tongue, or people should proclaim war against them, they should first lift a standard of peace unto that people, nation, or tongue;

      35 And if that people did not accept the offering of peace, neither the second nor the third time, they should bring these testimonies before the Lord;

      36 Then I, the Lord, would give unto them a commandment, and justify them in going out to battle against that nation, tongue, or people.

      37 And I, the Lord, would fight their battles, and their children’s battles, and their children’s children’s, until they had avenged themselves on all their enemies, to the third and fourth generation.

      38 Behold, this is an ensample unto all people, saith the Lord your God, for justification before me.

      39 And again, verily I say unto you, if after thine enemy has come upon thee the first time, he repent and come unto thee praying thy forgiveness, thou shalt forgive him, and shalt hold it no more as a testimony against thine enemy—

      40 And so on unto the second and third time; and as oft as thine enemy repenteth of the trespass wherewith he has trespassed against thee, thou shalt forgive him, until seventy times seven.

      41 And if he trespass against thee and repent not the first time, nevertheless thou shalt forgive him.

      42 And if he trespass against thee the second time, and repent not, nevertheless thou shalt forgive him.

      43 And if he trespass against thee the third time, and repent not, thou shalt also forgive him.

      44 But if he trespass against thee the fourth time thou shalt not forgive him, but shalt bring these testimonies before the Lord; and they shall not be blotted out until he repent and reward thee four-fold in all things wherewith he has trespassed against thee.

      45 And if he do this, thou shalt forgive him with all thine heart; and if he do not this, I, the Lord, will avenge thee of thine enemy an hundred-fold;

      So the Lord says we are justified in defending ourselves, however, the higher law and the way the Lord wants is for us to forgive our enemies and let Him avenge us of our wrongs. He will fight our battles for us. We must love all just like the people of Ammon who laid down their lives rather than fight, which sacrifice led to thousands of the Lamanites embracing the gospel and being saved. This was my main point that at the current time we need to be willing to advocate and attempt to live this law, and look for those who are advocating it, because I believe that this is how we will recognize the servants when they return.

      • Saul,

        I get the point, but even in the passage you quote, the Lord is not saying that one cannot follow Him if one chooses to avenge one’s enemy. Both positions can be taken by different followers of Christ. I think the same is true of many of the political positions in our day. I think it can get a little dangerous when we believe our political views are the same as Christ’s and our opponents must not be.

    • I disagree about Heaven’s anti immigration policy. I believe you can immigrate from one kingdom to the next, and that it’s encouraged… You just have to go through the proper process, and pass the right tests. Haha

      • CB,

        You actually are agreeing with me. Illegal immigration is not the same as immigration. Being against illegal immigration is not being anti immigration. In order to disagree with me, you would have to believe that the proper process to immigrate to Heaven should not be followed and that God prefers that His rules are NOT followed!

        • CB – I noticed I had a typo in my earlier post. I meant to say Heaven as an anti-illegal immigration policy. Sorry for the confusion!

          • It’s simply the difference between the letter and the spirit of the law, so I don’t claim any political positions are God’s positions, simply that we should seek by the spirit to find and live the spirit of the law. Hence I support no political parties/philosophies, or religions. Because all are imperfect. Only when the servants return will we have the ability to know for sure what is truth, as they will preach with power from on high, and call for Zion to be built up again.