Iron Rod 052 – 1 Nephi 13-15
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We conclude Nephi’s vision with with the prophecies about the Gentiles, the book of the Lamb and other books that will come forth, the great and abominable church, and the church of the Lamb.

Mosiah 1:3-4
Revelation 17:1-6
D&C 123:7-8
D&C 113:9-10
2 Nephi 6:12-13
1 Nephi 22:14
2 Nephi 10:16
D&C 86:3
Isaiah 7:1-16
1 Nephi 19:15-17
Jeremiah 31:31-34
Jeremiah 16: 14-16
3 Nephi 16:4
Abraham 2:9-10
Romans 4:16
Galatians 3:7-8
Luke 3:7-8
Mosiah 15:11
D&C 88:102
Revelation 22:11

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21 comments on “Iron Rod 052 – 1 Nephi 13-15

  1. For some reason it won’t let me reply to MD’s comment replying to Mike in last week’s thread, so I guess I’ll combine my comment for this week and last week here. I think that Dr. Heiser is actually a perfect example of why all of the parts of the Iron Rod are so important. I actually found his work independently several years ago before someone mentioned him on one of your other blogs. And I think he is as near the truth as possible by relying solely on the Bible and worldly knowledge. His first couple of podcasts talk about baptism and whether or not infant baptism is permitted, what the point of baptism is, and whether or not it should be by immersion. Every single one of those questions is answered in the Book of Mormon. But without the scriptures that Joseph brought forth there is too much ambiguity in the Bible to decide. The plain and precious parts have been removed which cause the gentiles to stumble.
    In regards to the watchers mentioned in Genesis 6 and whether truth is contained in the books of Enoch, I believe section 91 applies:
    1 Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you concerning the Apocrypha—There are many things contained therein that are true, and it is mostly translated correctly;

    2 There are many things contained therein that are not true, which are interpolations by the hands of men.

    3 Verily, I say unto you, that it is not needful that the Apocrypha should be translated.

    4 Therefore, whoso readeth it, let him understand, for the Spirit manifesteth truth;

    5 And whoso is enlightened by the Spirit shall obtain benefit therefrom;

    6 And whoso receiveth not by the Spirit, cannot be benefited. Therefore it is not needful that it should be translated. Amen.

    The JST of Genesis aka the Book of Moses has parts of the true record of Enoch. For example to answer one of your questions Mike, Enoch was 65 when he got his calling (see Moses 6:25), which according to my math means that Adam was 687. However, Zion went up to heaven when Enoch was 430 or 122 years after Adam died (65+365 see Moses 7:68).
    When I read Moses 8 it doesn’t disprove the watcher theory in my opinion, it simply adds more information, while leaving some ambiguity. For example, like Mike pointed out I think that two things are being condemned. Firstly the daughters of the sons of god (those who had entered into the fullness of the priesthood) married the sons of men, or those who did not have the fullness. Later when Noah is preaching in 8:21 the wicked say to him:
    Behold, we are the sons of God; have we not taken unto ourselves the daughters of men? And are we not eating and drinking, and marrying and giving in marriage? And our wives bear unto us children, and the same are mighty men, which are like unto men of old, men of great renown. And they hearkened not unto the words of Noah.
    So we have people claiming to be sons of God, which means we have two options. Either they had entered into the fullness of the gospel and then abandoned it, or they are the fallen angels from the book of Enoch. Notice their mighty offspring and this is three verses after giants are mentioned without mentioning where the giants come from. To me the supernatural origin of the giants is doctrinally necessary to explain why God commanded the Israelites to destroy certain groups of people. It also explains why God flooded the world and how the world so easily had become corrupted. In fact I found Dr. Heiser’s work when I was researching the book of Enoch etc., and to me I think the JST supports that theory by giving more information that it wasn’t just fallen angels that corrupted the earth, but believers willfully leaving the fullness for babylon. This also fits in with the tree of life vision of people leaving the tree after being mocked. Another interesting thing to note is that in Moses 6:40 Enoch talks with someone named Mahijah, in the Book of Enoch, which only survives in Ge’ez, and was lost in the West until the late 1700’s. The first English translation was in England in 1821 but was only known among scholars. It wasn’t widely known until probably the late 1800’s early 1900’s. Thus, there’s no way Joseph Smith could have known about it. Similarly the book of giants was discovered in Qumran only in the 1940/50’s. In the book of giants the negotiator for the fallen angels with Enoch is Mahway which in Hebrew would look similar to Mahijah: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Book_of_Giants#A_'Book_of_Moses'_connection

    Furthermore, the JST does not remove new testament references to the watchers, and the book of Abraham mentions the 1/3 who follows Satan in the premortal world (also see D&C 29:36-7 which says these fallen angels had agency). In order to have free agency there has to be opposition in all things which implies to me that Satan and his angels had agency already, even though man was only given agency in the garden according to Moses 7:32. Furthermore, section 93:30 says there is no existence if we cannot act for ourselves. This implies to me that we gain our agency in a mortal probation when there is an opposition of good and evil that we may learn to differentiate between the two and choose how we want to act. The fact that satan and his angels used agency in the prexistence implies to me that they already had lived a mortal probation and had entered into the celestial glory, but then chose to rebel against God because they wanted more power. Many are called but few are chosen. Otherwise them simply being cast out forever makes no sense. D&C 76 says:
    25 And this we saw also, and bear record, that an angel of God who was in authority in the presence of God, who rebelled against the Only Begotten Son whom the Father loved and who was in the bosom of the Father, was thrust down from the presence of God and the Son,

    26 And was called Perdition, for the heavens wept over him—he was Lucifer, a son of the morning.

    27 And we beheld, and lo, he is fallen! is fallen, even a son of the morning!
    Furthermore 31-33 says:
    31 Thus saith the Lord concerning all those who know my power, and have been made partakers thereof, and suffered themselves through the power of the devil to be overcome, and to deny the truth and defy my power—

    32 They are they who are the sons of perdition, of whom I say that it had been better for them never to have been born;

    33 For they are vessels of wrath, doomed to suffer the wrath of God, with the devil and his angels in eternity;
    So for Satan and his angels to be cast out they had to be in God’s presence with God’s power and authority and they deny the spirit after receiving it according to 35. This shows Satan and his angels had accepted the gospel lived it were made joint heirs in the kingdom, and then decided being joint heirs wasn’t enough they wanted all the power and glory for themselves. This is why they were cast out. So in conclusion what we have in the book of Enoch is incomplete has many interpolations but the grain of truth of the watchers rebellion is there. They tried to physically and spiritually ruin God’s creation because they wanted to overthrow God and usurp His power.

    Also one final note on this weeks podcast I agree that the two churches are babylon and Zion. That’s it. So yes the catholics the buddhists the muslims are all part of it, but so are the mormons.

    • Hi Paul,

      What I’m getting at with the account of Enoch’s preaching is that we should try to put ourselves in the shoes of his listeners. I agree with you about the general timeline as we have it, though getting when all these things are taking place is hard to nail down.

      We should be asking ourselves, when is Enoch giving this sermon? Who is he talking about when he says “And death hath come upon our fathers”? So far, in the account we have, the only deaths are those recorded by murder and secret combinations and likely wars. We don’t know of any deaths from old age as of yet. If Adam and all the patriarchs down to Enoch are still alive, why does he use the word “our”? He should be saying death has come upon YOUR fathers. Because the people he is preaching to will be familiar with the murders taking place. Maybe there are some people dying of old age, but we don’t have that described in the record.

      In JST Genesis 6:49, Enoch also states “Because that Adam fell, we are; and by his fall came death, and we are made partakers of misery and woe.” From his audience’s perspective, what is Enoch talking about here? Why does Enoch say death came from Adam’s fall? These people would be familiar with death coming at the hands of their fellow man. Indeed, they would all know the first death recorded is that of Cain murdering Able. Why blame Cain’s murder of Able on Adam’s fall?

      I know it’s hard to put ourselves in the worldview/mindset of an antediluvian person, but we shouldn’t read his words from our understanding, but theirs. Enoch is preaching a lot of things that wouldn’t make a lot of sense to someone who could go over and have a chat with Adam. Perhaps it’s pointing us to the other timelines as MD brought up? If Adam, Seth, and other patriarchs had died of old age, then the inhabitants would understand that eventually we will die even if we aren’t murdered or killed. But if those patriarchs are still all alive, then they are likely only familiar with death coming by murder, accident, warfare, etc.

      In which case, they would likely see Cain as the initial reason why death was introduced. With a still living Adam, they wouldn’t necessarily believe what God had said to Adam that because of the fall death would come to man. They may accept that because of the fall man could kill another man. But they wouldn’t necessarily understand or accept that they would eventually die from old age if nothing else got to them first.

      I also agree with you that I find Dr. Heiser’s work very compelling. I’m not 100% certain of everything, and as you note, some of his analysis based on just the Bible could really be helped by using the Book of Mormon. As I stated in last week’s comments, I’m starting to go through the Book of Mormon and see what, if any, of the 2nd temple worldview was shared by the 1st temple worldview as Lehi and Nephi were from that period. Do they put the same sort of clues in their writings? Do they see all three rebellions?

      Since you are further along in studying Dr. Heiser’s work, have you found anything in the Book of Mormon that might indicate that?

      Also, I don’t think it 100% discredits the concepts Dr. Heiser covers if the Book of Mormon doesn’t have it in it. It could well have been God’s plan to hide that knowledge and understanding until the 2nd temple period where they would be able to assemble the pieces of the puzzle together.

      We get some of this worldview in modern revelation:
      D&C 121:26 God shall give unto you knowledge by his Holy Spirit, yea, by the unspeakable gift of the Holy Ghost, that has not been revealed since the world was until now;
      27 Which our forefathers have awaited with anxious expectation to be revealed in the last times, which their minds were pointed to by the angels, as held in reserve for the fulness of their glory;
      28 A time to come in the which nothing shall be withheld, whether there be one God or many gods, they shall be manifest.
      29 All thrones and dominions, principalities and powers, shall be revealed and set forth upon all who have endured valiantly for the gospel of Jesus Christ.

      You don’t find the phrase “principalities and powers” anywhere in the Book of Mormon, but here it is in the D&C right next to the question about whether there is one God or many Gods (sons of God?). This is right in line with what Dr. Heiser teaches with the Deuteronomy 32 worldview and the Watchers worldview. And again here:

      D&C 128:23 Let the mountains shout for joy, and all ye valleys cry aloud; and all ye seas and dry lands tell the wonders of your Eternal King! And ye rivers, and brooks, and rills, flow down with gladness. Let the woods and all the trees of the field praise the Lord; and ye solid rocks weep for joy! And let the sun, moon, and the morning stars sing together, and let all the sons of God shout for joy! And let the eternal creations declare his name forever and ever! And again I say, how glorious is the voice we hear from heaven, proclaiming in our ears, glory, and salvation, and honor, and immortality, and eternal life; kingdoms, principalities, and powers!

      I think it’s very telling that Joseph used those words. In the same sentence with the sun, moon and morning stars he calls for the sons of God to shout for joy. It’s kind of pointing us to this knowledge and understanding as Dr. Heiser presents it, doesn’t it?

      • Mike,

        That’s a good point about when Enoch was giving his preaching. I think based on the timeline Adam was still alive, but the people he was addressing didn’t know Adam since they were living in a different area of the world.
        In Moses 6 it says:
        15 And the children of men were numerous upon all the face of the land. And in those days Satan had great dominion among men, and raged in their hearts; and from thenceforth came wars and bloodshed; and a man’s hand was against his own brother, in administering death, because of secret works, seeking for power.
        So death was definitely known by the people because of the secret combinations in the land.
        in 17 it says:
        17 And Enos lived ninety years, and begat Cainan. And Enos and the residue of the people of God came out from the land, which was called Shulon, and dwelt in a land of promise, which he called after his own son, whom he had named Cainan.
        So the righteous had separated from the wicked meaning the wicked to whom Enoch is preaching didn’t necessarily know Adam or any other of the patriarchs.
        In 40-41 the people ask him who he is because they don’t know him:
        40 And there came a man unto him, whose name was Mahijah, and said unto him: Tell us plainly who thou art, and from whence thou comest?

        41 And he said unto them: I came out from the land of Cainan, the land of my fathers, a land of righteousness unto this day. And my father taught me in all the ways of God.
        So from these verses it’s clear people didn’t know Enoch as he came from a different land than them, which means they probably didn’t know Adam either even though he was still alive. However, they have heard of Adam, and Enoch says that we, implying the righteous in the land of Cainan know Adam.
        45 And death hath come upon our fathers; nevertheless we know them, and cannot deny, and even the first of all we know, even Adam
        The death coming upon the fathers I think refers to those killed by the secret combinations. I admit the wording does seem a little odd, but perhaps he means death came upon them in the sense that God had proclaimed that they would die because of the fall. Notice God specifically warned Adam and Eve that they would die in the day they partook of the fruit. Which is true as 1 day of God’s time = 1000 years, and we have no record of anyone living to that age. So, death had come upon them all because of Adam’s fall, it was only a matter of time.

        As far as Dr. Heiser’s work on the watchers and the scriptures that Joseph brought forth, I think the Book of Mormon has a different point and audience than the Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price. The Book of Mormon is simply trying to convince us to believe in the Gospel of Christ and repent of our works of darkness, so I haven’t found much in it that even vaguely alludes to the watchers. To me the biggest evidence is the Pearl of Great Price and the Doctrine and Covenants in verses that you quote and in others. Although the book of Mormon does mention Satan’s fall as well and quotes heavily from Isaiah.
        I think like you said it’s ultimately not essential to our salvation, but as Paul said, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Ephesians 6:12) So it is important to understand what we are struggling against and be prepared to oppose darkness with the light, and our testimony of Christ. Evil only has power over us when we fear it. See Isaiah 14 and Moses 1 for example. But it is always overcome by the sincere and humble testimony in Christ.

        • I pretty much agree with you, but I’m not convinced that Enoch’s sermon works so well with a still living Adam. It’s hard to put ourselves in that time when an extraordinary amount of generations are all living concurrently. The knowledge and understanding that would be passed along would be truly incredible. Even though they spread out and were separated, they still seem to know the basics and certainly they know about Adam, even as they lose touch with distant cousins.

          I agree they were very familiar with death. What I wonder about, though, is if they really believed that they were all destined to die. Adam was promised he would die, but when you are living hundreds and hundreds of years, it might not seem so likely. If they could avoid being murdered, accidents, being mauled by wild animals, etc., they might just live forever. If they hadn’t yet seen a natural death from old-age, then they may not really believe the promise given to Adam.

          I think Adam needed to pass away to convince the world that God’s promise was real. I see a huge reverberation throughout the land as word of Adam’s death spread. That would confirm that even if everyone was living for hundreds and hundreds of years, they would not escape death. During Adam’s lifetime – and without accounts of other people dying from old age – the reality of everyone dying wouldn’t be so concrete.

          Reading Enoch’s sermon, it just feels like Adam’s death needs to be known by the audience. The timeline given in LoF and our version of the scriptures still allows for this, though it’s a shorter window. Another option is that some of those other timelines could be correct.

  2. I definitely believe that this prophecy has dual fulfillments. I think there’s one during the first watch and another during the second watch. I find Watcher’s discovery of Revelation 5 that the man who was able to open the sealed book was under the waters a key to understanding the second fulfillment. His conclusion that Joseph my be in spirit prison right now, fits perfectly with the Gentiles being in captivity. It actually fits a lot better than the Europeans coming to America.

    It’s also interesting that every book of scripture has been corrupted. The Bible has problems with its translation. The Book of Mormon has had edits to it. The Doctrine and Covenants has been probably the most severely altered book. That’s difficult to know for certain since we don’t know what all may have been in the Bible. However, we know that the fulness of the gospel is contained in the Bible and Book of Mormon as they were back in the early 1830s.

    With the Lectures on Faith removed, the Doctrine and Covenants has had plain and precious truths removed from it. With the insertion of 132 and 130 false doctrines have been placed in it. The gospel is truly lacking in the LDS version. It has been replaced with a false description of God and a false doctrine requiring spiritual wifery. It’s a perfect candidate for the book that has had plain and precious truths removed from it.

    So here’s how I see 1 Nephi 13 as it relates to the fulfillment during the 2nd watch:
    The formation of the most abominable church is the restored Church of Christ being turned over to Satan. He takes control of this church and makes polygamy (desires harlots) a requirement. The church goes after worldly treasures and sends the saints into captivity. It slayed the saints and brought them down into captivity. There was a conspiracy to kill Joseph and when he was slain, he went to captivity in spirit prison.

    v 10, the many waters that separate the Gentiles from the seed of Nephi’s brethren aren’t the oceans. It’s the language from Revelation 5 and has the Gentile Saints from the restored church in spirit prison.

    v12, the man among the Gentiles is the deceased Joseph Smith. This is describing his miraculous return from the dead, escaping from that captivity.

    v13, has additional servants from the 2nd watch returning to earth, being freed from their captivity in spirit prison as well.

    v14, the multitudes of Gentiles are not the 2nd watch Gentiles. These would be the current inhabitants of America.

    v15, is back to the 2nd watch Gentiles. They obtain Zion. I believe scattering in v14 is from contention happening within the USA (a civil war-type scenario). During this upheaval, the 2nd watch Gentile saints redeem Zion.

    v16, the reason the returned from the dead 2nd watch Gentiles had the power of the Lord with them and were able to redeem Zion was because they humbled themselves before God.

    v17-19, the upheaval in the US settles down and some form of government (dictatorship likely) is established. They see that Zion has been established within their former territory and come to battle against them to reclaim the land. They likely call upon allies from overseas. However, Zion is delivered out of their hands due to the power of God.

    v20-22, As Zion prospers, the focus is drawn to a book that they carry with them.

    v23, This is a hard one to make fit exactly. It comes out of the mouth of a Jew. I take the “mouth” and see that as a keyword where the Lord is placing His words in Joseph’s mouth – the revelations in the D&C. Joseph is referred to in 1 Nephi 13 as both a Gentile and a Jew – due to his dual heritage as descending from both Joseph of Egypt and King David.

    The book is a record of the Jews – this applies more to the Bible than the D&C.

    The book contains covenants the Lord made to the House of Israel – both the Bible and D&C, but I think the D&C wins out a little here.

    The book contains many prophecies of the holy prophets – the Bible wins out more here, though the D&C has a couple – some of John’s and Joseph Smith’s.

    The book has a record like the brass plates, though not as much – the Bible a clear winner here

    If this is a dual fulfillment, then some of what is described appears to fit better with one fulfillment over another. Maybe this is a show-stopper for some, but there’s so much that fits with the 2nd Watch apostasy and the 3rd Watch that I think it’s intended to be applied to both the past events (at the time the BoM came out in the 1830s) to future events about to happen and into our day.

    Continuing, just from the D&C perspective:

    v24, When the D&C originally came out from the mouth of Joseph Smith, it contained the fullness of the gospel. The same gospel that the 12 apostles testified about.

    v25-26, The book goes from the Jews to the Gentiles. It’s no longer a singular Jew, Joseph Smith. It also calls these Jews the 12 apostles. If it’s referring to the 12 apostles of the 2nd Watch, their job was to gather the House of Israel. Thus, these are the Jews taking the book to the whole world, the Gentiles. Notice right when the 12 apostles are sharing this book with the world (Gentiles) the formation of the abominable church is happening. This is the EXACT timeline of when the 2nd Watch church is being turned over to Satan. Right here is when plain and precious truths are removed. The covenants of the Lord are taken out (polygamy becomes the new gospel).

    v27-28, They changed the book in order to pervert the way of the Lord. They want to lead people astray. It’s when the book goes through the hand of the abominable church that it loses the truth. The D&C goes through the LDS church and loses the LoF, adds section 132 and puts in a false description of God in section 130.

    v29, Many stumble because of what has been removed from the book.

    v30, The first group of Gentiles are the ones in Zion. The second group of Gentiles are the rest of the inhabitants of the land (USA).

    v31-32, The unholy (2nd group) Gentiles will not be permitted to destroy Nephi’s seed. In addition, God will also grant those Gentiles the opportunity to repent so they don’t have to remain in their awful state.

    v33-34, The plain and precious truths will be restored in the 3rd Watch and there will be a chance for all to hear the true gospel.

    I could go on, but I think there’s a clear line where this prophecy applies to the 2nd-3rd watches timeframe. If we have the mindset that Watcher proposed with Joseph in captivity, and he is both a Jew and a Gentile then so much of this lines up. It’s not 100%, and there are still some spots I need to work on. I just think it’s worth considering this viewpoint.

    • I think this prophecy definitely has multiple shadow fulfillment some which fit better with the timeline than others. For example, the mixing of Greek philosophy with early Christianity in the early gnostic movement. Then you had the Roman empire take over the church in the early 4th century which led to an acceleration in its corruption. Also don’t forget that the church existed in the Americas until Zion began to fail in the 200’s. And then of course the church was turned over to Satan in Joseph’s day. So all of these apostasies are fulfillments to some extent of the church of the devil being formed. I also think that the spread of political groups, mafias, and other secret combinations in an attempt to subvert freedoms and control people’s lives is further fulfillment of this prophecy. And today we have many churches of the devil which are really the same thing with a different coat of paint.

      • I believe a lot of those fit as shadows of the 1 Nephi 13 vision. I think the main point of it, though, is a commentary on what was about to happen with the restored church. I think the BoM, by and large, is a warning that the first attempt to restore Biblical Christianity in the second watch would fail. I don’t think it’s primarily concerned with the failure in the first watch. That was going to be history when the BoM came forth.

        I think linking the abominable church to the Catholic church and the book to the Bible and the Gentile to Christopher Columbus are ways that lull us to miss the primary meaning. Reading it as a history of what has already happened, reduces its impact. Sure, it would be neat to know that Nephi saw all that around 600 B.C., but knowing the BoM was coming to us around the 1830s, it’s really not so impressive. From the skeptics perspective, how easy would it be to write a past prophecy about an event that already happened?

        I think the true value is seeing that Nephi was shown how the attempt to restore the church would initially fail. What would become of that church, and how eventually it would succeed on the next attempt in the third watch. None of that had happened in the late 1820s when Joseph translated the BoM. Indeed, it’s not the sort of thing that anyone would expect him to predict.

        I think that vision Nephi had is precisely why he loved Isaiah so much. He knew exactly what Isaiah was talking about. He had seen it all unfold.

  3. Ranae Dec 7, 2019

    I prefer a simple approach to these chapters. In your discussion about the great and abominable church of the devil, I don’t remember you referencing secret combinations, which is a major theme of the Book of Mormon. Alma instructed his son, Heleman, to keep the 24 plates that the mysteries and works of darkness may be made manifest unto this people (Alma 37:21) Then verse 23 and 25 say: “And the Lord said: I will prepare unto my servant Gazelem (Joseph Smith), a stone, which shall shine forth in darkness unto light, that I may discover unto my people who serve me, that I may discover unto them the works of their brethren, yea, their secret works, their works of darkness, and their wickedness and ABOMINATIONS. … I will bring forth out of darkness unto light all their secret works and their ABOMINATIONS; and except they repent I will destroy them from off the face of the earth; and I will bring to light all their secrets and abominations unto every nation that shall hereafter possess the land.” Verse 28 continues, “For behold, there is a curse upon all this land, that destruction shall come upon all those workers of darkness, according to the power of God, when they are fully ripe; therefore I desire that this people might not be destroyed.”

    Helaman 6: 26-30 talks about where these oaths and covenants originate “they were put into the heart of Gadianton by that same being who did entice our first parents to partake of the forbidden fruit — yea, that same being who did plot with Cain, that if he would murder his bother Abel it should not be known unto the world. And he did plot with Cain and his followers from that time forth. … he doth carry on his works of darkness and secret murder, and doth hand down their plots, and their oaths, and their covenants, and their plans of awful wickedness, from generation to generation according as he can get hold upon the hearts of the children of men.”

    Oaths and covenants? Sounds like a church to me! And who is doing this? “Satan, yea, even the DEVIL, the father of all lies, to deceive and to blind men, and to lead them captive at his will, even as many as would not hearken unto my voice.” (Moses 4:4) It doesn’t matter if this church is called the Knights Templar, Freemasonry, Illuminati, Cosa Nostra, Bilderburgers, etc. Historically, once a “secret society’s” works of darkness are exposed, it changes its name and continues its work.

    This might be why it is so hard to identify a specific organization with the Great and Abominable Church of the Devil…these things are done by secret organizations. The name doesn’t matter, it is the ability to identify the fruits and the means of operation of this church that is important. That is why Alma, Helaman, and Moroni all point back to this account of the people of Jared. The Book of Mormon was given as a warning to us that we might recognize the secret combinations among us, particularly in government, so that we can repent before we are wiped off the face of the land and our inheritance be given to other nations.

    I do not believe, as you said, that this Great and Abominable Church of the Devil IS Babylon, I believe they work hand in hand. The luxuries and allure of Babylon are the bait that entices people to join the G&AC. We all live in Babylon, and to the extent we do not push back against oppression of the poor upon which it is built, we are also guilty of her sins. However there is a difference between buying cheap goods from Walmart, or iPads, or Nike gear that was manufactured by slave labor and being the corporate heads who set up the supply chains and oppress the workers for profit. There is a difference between living in a society that promotes the exploitation of people and being someone high enough up the food chain to enable and profit from it. And where people might be born into families who support the G&AC, I don’t think it is possible to join ignorantly, meaning, people who are in these societies know it. They aren’t the default position for a fallen human race.

    You used 1 Ne. 14:10 to say that anyone who doesn’t belong to the Church of the Lamb of God belongs to the other great church. There are different ways to read this. I have already said I don’t believe membership in that church is the default. However, there may come a time in the future when we will all make that choice, similar to choosing which side of the battle between Coriantumr and Shiz the Jaredites were going to lose their lives on. I don’t think that day is now, but it is coming, after the Lamb of God removes the Gentiles stumbling blocks (14:1) and the great and marvelous work has divided the people unto “peace and life eternal” or “destruction both temporally and spiritually, … according to the captivity of the devil” (14:7). My reason for thinking so has to do with the relationship between knowledge and accountability and also 2 Nephi 6:12 where the Gentiles will be saved if they repent and don’t fight against Zion or unite themselves to the G&AC. From my understanding, they don’t have to actively build Zion or join the church of the Lamb of God. The other way I can read the either/or dichotomy, which could be a present tense application, is that they “belong” in the sense of being a possession, rather than a member.

    • I think the reason why we see only two churches in Chapter 14 is because the Church of the Lamb of God is returned to earth. Once it returns, then everyone has to make a choice. Either gather to Zion and join the true church or be counted as those aligned with the devil. We don’t have that binary choice today because there is no true church available to join.

      If you continue on with the all prophecies of the end times, the only safe place to be will be Zion. If you don’t gather to Zion and join the church of the Lamb of God, you’re going to be left out exposed to all the calamities that will befall the world. Not making a decision at that point, is making a decision. The call will go forth throughout the world. You will need to heed it or reject it. There won’t be any neutral, safe ground.

      • Ranae Dec 7, 2019

        Verse 12 doesn’t describe the Church of the Lamb of God as being a localized Zion, but rather it defines it as “the saints of God” who were “upon all the face of the land”. Then when multitudes among all the nations of the Gentiles gather together to fight against the Lamb of God, then the power of the Lamb will descend upon the saints of the church of the Lamb and upon the covenant people of the Lord, which were scattered upon all the face of the earth.

        Based on the prophesy of the vineyard from Jacob 5, I am expecting a gradual shift from wickedness to good fruit, where the worst of the branches are cut off first. As the branches begin to bring forth good fruit, more evil will be cut off, until eventually the whole vineyard is productive for a long season. I think this is consistent with the idea that the Lord will remove the stumbling blocks from the Gentiles and then they have the chance to repent, or harden their hearts and be cut off themselves.

        • The LDS church promotes a false belief that Zion is not a localized place. This is because they simply do not fit the prophetic profile of the Church of the Lamb of God that they would like to be. We need to avoid falling into the trap the church has laid that Zion is merely a mindest, something only found in the hearts of believers.

          Nephi sees a time when small groups of believers, churches, are spread across the land. This is not the end-state that they will be in until the coming of Christ. Nephi isn’t allowed to record the end of the vision. From many other prophecies, especially in the D&C, we know that Zion is a physical location. It will be redeemed. There will be a literal, physical gathering of the House of Israel to that location.

          We need to take all the prophecies together to get as much of the complete picture as we can. There are still tons of gaps as we are living in this time of hidden darkness. But there is still enough light for us to discern the truth and avoid many pitfalls.

          • Ranae Dec 8, 2019

            Mike, thanks for engaging. Being able to dig into the scriptures with other people is why I come to this podcast blog.

            Do you think that chapter 14 (the one we are discussing) describes the time when Zion on earth looks up and Zion in heaven look down and they come together and embrace each other? My comment had nothing to do with what the LDS church teaches about Zion, I simply quoted from Nephi about a particular time in the historical sequence he is describing.

            What I like so much about this particular section of 1 Nephi is that we do seem to get a sequence of events that can be traced. There are multiple prophecies throughout the scriptures describing the great and marvelous work and the establishment of Zion, but they are also conflated with the end times when the vineyard is burned. We hear about the end of the world, which the JST clarifies as the end of the wicked, not some cataclysmic event. I think Nephi was very specific here and did not write about the events which are to come beyond the point of the fall of the great and abominable church. In my current opinion, we are about to see justice come to people who thought they were untouchable in their wickedness. There is a reset taking place What happens after that? I don’t know specifically. Perhaps some cities cast out the righteous and they are destroyed, like the BoM describes while other places are spared while the balance of power shifts. It’s an exciting time to be alive.

            • I don’t believe chapter 14 goes so far as the reunion of heavenly and earthly Zion. It’s before that happens. It describes a period of time where the church – small groups of believers – are scattered. This indicates to me that it’s when the truth is preached and these people recognize the light as it begins to shine forth. I think verse 2 places them on the promised land – Zion. They aren’t there yet, but the gathering will take place. verse 17 notes the eventual fulfilling of the covenants God made with the House of Israel. One of those covenants is that they would be established on the promised land. For these reasons, I believe the scattered state of the churches is a temporary state. It’s not their final state where they remain throughout the final days until the second coming.

              You are much more optimistic about the wicked facing justice in the near term than I am. I think the secret combinations have a lot of power right now and they are throwing everything they can against the existential threat they are facing. There is an active campaign to hide the facts from the general population. In Babylon, that is the US, there are two sets of justices. If you are part of the secret combinations, your crimes are absolved because of your intent. If you are against the secret combinations, you are guilty of crimes you never committed. I note that not a single perpetrator of the ongoing coup has been brought to justice despite a multitude of known violations of the laws having been committed by many of them. Most troubling, is that members of the secret combination sit both in the House and the Senate, where one will indict (impeach) without evidence of a crime and the other may very well convict in the face of overwhelming evidence of innocence. We shall see, but I agree it’s both an exciting and interesting time to be alive!

              • Ranae Dec 9, 2019

                Mike, the reason I am optimistic is that I have followed QAnon https://qanon.pub/ for the past 2 years and seen the effect it has had on bringing darkness to light for scattered groups of truth-seekers around the world. It is not just the church of the the Firstborn that are scattered, but all the House of Israel, and God will gather them.

                There is a plan in effect and if the secret combinations had the power they used to, Jeffry Epstein and Harvey Weinstein would have never been arrested. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. None of the people who ran “spygate” are still in their positions of power. Who got them out? Just because investigations aren’t being leaked doesn’t mean they aren’t happening. I have heard it takes an average of 2 years for federal investigations to run their course. (So the IG report on FISA abuse is coming out ahead of schedule.) Things are being done correctly so they aren’t thrown out. Meanwhile, Trump is putting new judges in all over the country. You can’t prosecute crimes when the people running the investigations and the judges are determined to let the guilty go free. The people running the impeachment aren’t acting like they have things under control. They are acting like they are out of options and out of time.

                Just something to think about.

                • I don’t trust Q’s trust the plan mantra. If it really takes so long for a federal crime to be prosecuted, then please explain Gen. Flynn, Roger Stone, and Paul Manafort. Meanwhile, all the crimes reported on the other side land in the “decline to prosecute” file. If the plan is working so well, why is Epstein dead? I think the purpose of Q is to lull the people into a false sense of security and avoid an upheaval before the plan is fully executed. That plan has likely already involve actual executions with more planned. I don’t trust Q and I don’t trust what’s been going on in Babylon. I fear it’s going to get much worse before it gets any better.

                  On the plus side, I believe there will be markers available for those of us with our eyes open to spot the return of the servants. There will be a place of refuge.

                  Finally, on a personal note, it was my concern about all of the dealings in Babylon that somehow led me to Watcher’s blog and ultimately opened my eyes to the hidden darkness we’ve been living in. Funny how things work.

                  • Ranae Dec 9, 2019

                    The explanation about Flynn, Stone, Manafort, etc. is pretty simple. The conspirators needed convictions to bolster their claims of wrong-doing. Some of the convictions during the Special Counsel were designed to get Trump to react so they could use his actions as proof of “obstruction of justice”. The Manafort charges were looked into years ago and the FBI declined to prosecute. They were dug up as a means to smear the campaign, putting him in solitary confinement was designed to goad Trump into reacting to their abuse.

                    Stone and Flynn were simply process violations where no crimes were committed until the investigators got involved and then the charges were lying to investigators. In the case of Flynn, we may find out that the “lying” never happened. The agents changed their notes so they could charge him with the lie. I don’t think it takes 2 years to investigate innocent people when the charges were based on prosecutors actions and intent to convict on anything they can get to stick. The Flynn case is rapidly unraveling and may be the basis for undoing the other convictions. The case against Flynn’s business partners was already thrown out by the judge when it came to trial.

                    • Ranae,

                      Yes to all of that. No to the idea that any of that is evidence of a super secret larger plan in place. It’s all in one direction, nothing directed at the coup plotters. The IG report once again whitewashes the clear evidence of their conspiracy by noting that despite their admitted hatred of President Trump and their admissions in text messages of their conspiracy, no one was willing to directly testify under oath to the IG that they were part of the conspiracy . Thus, the IG concludes: no evidence of any ill intent on all the crimes and mistakes that all go in just one direction. None of this supports Q’s claims.

                      I suggest directing your viewpoint as though this were the gospel. God doesn’t work in secret, in darkness. He does what He does right out in the open. There are secret combinations happening today and directed against many, including President Trump. They are operating in secret, though some of their evil has been exposed. Even so, that exposure is by and large hidden from the general population as the mass media is a participant in the secret combination. What Q is trying to suggest is that there is another secret combination. He tries to convince those who are not blinded by the mass media to not react. Secret combinations are not the provenance of God. They come from a different place altogether.

                      If Q is correct, then it is simply a house divided operating competing secret combinations. It offers no hope to any believer. However, there’s far more evidence that Q itself is a secret combination designed to keep those who are aware from mobilizing against these secret combinations.

                    • I see your guy’s point of view, however, I’m more skeptical and am pretty convinced that both parties are run by secret combinations that simply have rival agendas. So to me I could care less who is “right” as they are are both corrupt and wicked. I say impeach everyone in both parties, ban them both, and ban all political parties in general. I also fear that at the rate we’re going civil war is inevitable before Zion will come.

                    • Ranae Dec 10, 2019

                      Mike,
                      There is a difference between being anonymous and being a secret combination. The model of a secret combination, involving membership and oaths of secrecy is something totally different than what Q is doing to open-source investigations by the general public into corruption, and to bypass the MSM so that we learn to read for ourselves and do our own homework, without which any freedoms gained will quickly be lost again. The point of Q is to bring hidden things of darkness into public awareness so the criminals in positions of power and fame can be brought to justice. The results I have seen are greater faith, hope, an charity, as well as strangers coming together to pray for this nation and those who are working to save it.

                      Paul,
                      I agree that both parties are being run by secret combinations (or two faces of the same one). Trump is an outsider, which is why both parties are working against him. To tell you the truth, after the election I kept expecting him to be taken out-one way or another. The fact that he has walked through the fire and still done more to lift the average American than any other is what got me watching so carefully to see what God is doing in our country, and through us, the rest of the world.

  4. Ranae Dec 7, 2019

    I guess with such info-packed chapters, it isn’t surprising the comments are book length!

    I think 1N 13:37 refers to the faithful Elders in the days of Joseph Smith who sought to bring forth Zion. They did have the gift and the power of the Holy Ghost for a season, and this verse comes in the context of the record of the Nephites who are destroyed. Even though they did not establish Zion, they are promised that they shall be lifted up at the last day and saved in the everlasting kingdom of the Lamb.

    I am of the opinion that 1 Ne 13 is a good overview of Christianity among the Gentiles until now. In which case, I DO believe that the records of the 12 apostles is not some future book we are waiting for, but simply a way to refer to the New Testament. The other books that convince the Gentiles and the remnant of the truthfulness of the Bible could be things like the Dead Sea scrolls and other ancient documents that show consistency with the Bible which has passed through the hands of so many translators on its way to us, particularly if there is a concern about errors introduced when the Bible was not translated into a vernacular that the common people had direct access to. The reformation did a lot to correct doctrinal error and get people relying on scripture rather than tradition and the teachings of men prior to the coming forth of the Book of Mormon. I also think that the Book of Mormon itself has had a bigger influence on Christianity than we might believe, as people adopt and pass on truths from the Book of Mormon without necessarily joining the LDS church or even admitting where they got their doctrinal points. There are many, many people of Native American heritage who believe in Christ. There may be another future fulfillment of this part of prophecy, but I don’t know that there has to be.

    Chapter 14 has many of the same themes as chapter 13, but I think they reference 2 different stages of the prophetic timeline. Chapter 13 outlines how the Lamb would be manifest unto the Jews and then the Gentiles, while chapter 14 outlines how he would manifest unto the Gentiles and then to the Jews. Verse I says he would manifest unto the Gentiles in taking away their stumbling blocks. What do you think these are? Chapter 13, verse 34 says the Gentiles would stumble because the abominable church kept back the most plain and precious parts of the gospel. (An example might be ignoring the establishment of Zion by caring for the poor and having things in common; this leaves people susceptible to the false zions of communism and socialism which will enslave the people instead of lifting them.) 2 Ne 26:20 identifies other stumbling blocks as: too many churches (this can also include political parties), pride in their own learning and wisdom (higher education experts), gaining wealth and grinding upon the face of the poor, as well as secret combinations.

    I think it was MD who is looking for priesthood power miracles, but I think this verse says God will manifest himself to the Gentiles in taking away these stumbling blocks. I believe we are watching this take place right now. Watch what is going to happen to the structures of power and the elite in the next few years. Would you consider Trump’s “magic wand” in restoring good paying manufacturing jobs as a miracle? He is lifting the poor without having to overthrow the rich. And, I think we are about to see many people fall into the pit they dug to trap him and regular Americans. The spying and lying are coming out of the darkness into the light. This is a miracle, and I see people crediting God for the new direction and hope. Verse 2 tells us the Gentiles need to not harden their hearts when this happens, and if they repent, it shall be well with them. Repenting can look like reversing course on abortion on demand, prosecuting pedophiles and human traffickers, and appointing judges who decide cases based on Constitutional principles instead of legislating from the bench. This manifestation of God’s power is beginning in America, but the whole world is watching and praying for their turn for deliverance.

    Chapter 14 says God’s wrath will be poured out upon the Great and Abominable Church. That is the day that the work of the Father shall commence in preparing the way for the fulfilling of his covenants unto the house of Israel. Whatever you think about politics, I think we can agree that God is doing something important politically right now to set the stage for this fulfillment of his covenants. What comes next is recorded by John. Nephi wasn’t allowed to tell us.

    • I think you can apply the shadow fulfillments to a number of different scenarios. I don’t see these verses so much as it relates to Babylon. I think it uses ‘church’ because that’s its focus. It’s on the different groups of believers. What’s happening in politics and the nation, I view as applying to Babylon. My own opinion is that Ezra’s eagle vision/prophecy is the view of the politics/nation. That’s the vision of what becomes of Babylon.

      I agree that President Trump is doing some very powerful things to help this nation and especially the poorer people. However, I don’t believe these actions are fulfilling what Nephi saw. I think the forces aligned against President Trump are enormous. I believe there are secret combinations actively at work to overthrow him. If they succeed, it would line up with some interpretations of Ezra’s vision.

      I also believe that the Book of Mormon provides a similar commentary on the government/politics at play before Christ’s birth as it will be before Christ’s second coming. I believe there are a lot of parallels to be found there and apply them to what is happening in our nation/politics.

      I found an interesting phrase in the JST:

      JST Genesis 7:52 But the LORD said unto Enoch, Lift up your heart, and be glad, and look. And it came to pass that Enoch looked, and from Noah he beheld all the families of the earth; and he cried unto the LORD, saying, When shall the day of the LORD come? When shall the blood of the righteous be shed, that all they that mourn may be sanctified and have eternal life?
      53 And the LORD said, It shall be in the meridian of time, in the days of wickedness and vengeance.

      The days of “wickedness and vengeance” are referenced again:

      JST Genesis 7:67 And 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 fulfill the oath which I made unto you concerning the children of Noah.

      There is some scriptural support that there will be parallel events happening before each coming of the Savior. The Book of Mormon gives us some great commentary on those days before the birth of Christ.

      Those two keywords show up one more place in D&C 29, dealing with what will be happening in the last days.

      Finally, there is the interesting tie in with Enoch’s day as we are also told that the last days will be as in the days of Noah. In the JST, it appears some elements of the days of Noah were already taking place in the days of Enoch. From Enoch’s preaching we know the world was in a pretty wicked state. It only got worse as time progressed to Noah’s day.