The modern LDS Church teaches that during the Millennium there will be two governing centers: Zion in North America and Jerusalem in the Middle East. In this episode we examine the scriptural record to see how Jerusalem and Zion are used and come to a conclusion that differs from what Salt Lake City teaches.
Psalm 135:21 (mistakenly referenced as 125 in the podcast)
D&C 133:7, 12
2 Nephi 10:7-10
2 Chronicles 20:7
3 Nephi 21:1, 22
3 Nephi 20:21-22
2 Nephi 30:7
History of the Church 1:388
D&C 101:12, 17, 20, 22
Great podcast as always and an important topic that most of the world is still ignorant of. A few things I would add. First if you look at JST Genesis there is a holy land of Cainan. Look at the spelling! Enoch when asked where he’s from answers in Moses 6:41, “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.”
Moroni in Ether 13 says, “4 Behold, Ether saw the days of Christ, and he spake concerning a New Jerusalem upon this land. 5 And he spake also concerning the
house of Israel, and the Jerusalem from whence Lehi should come—after it should be destroyed it should be built up again, a holy city unto the Lord; wherefore, it could not be a new Jerusalem for it had been in a time of old; but it should be built
up again, and become a holy city of the Lord; and it should be built unto the house of Israel— 6 And that a New Jerusalem should be built up upon this land, unto the
remnant of the seed of Joseph, for which things there has been a type.”
So the revelations Joseph brought forth clarify the fact that there are two promised lands that have a different fate. Zion the New Jerusalem will be built in America and will be redeemed by God himself and He will lead the people. The old Jerusalem will suffer before its salvation, but will ultimately be saved by God too after Zion has already been saved. I believe these are types of the Celestial and Terrestrial kingdoms. The rest of the world is Telestial and will be burned with fire, and the souls therein will suffer for a thousand years.
Next the location of various cities in Zion. We know a few things and the order that they must follow. First we know that Nauvoo is the place where the high priesthood is to be restored, and that this fullness of the priesthood is the power which will redeem Zion. See section 113:7-8.
Secondly as you guys pointed out there is a future endowment needed in the Kirtland temple. Which must be given like the day of Pentacost which will allow the Elders to gather the nations to Zion.
Thirdly, section 57:1-3 says: Hearken, O ye elders of my church, saith the Lord your God, who have assembled yourselves together, according to my commandments, in this land, which is the land of Missouri, which is the land which I have appointed and consecrated for the gathering of the saints. 2 Wherefore, this is the land of promise, and the place for the city of Zion. 3 And thus saith the Lord your God, if you will receive wisdom here is wisdom. Behold, the place which is now called Independence is the center place; and a spot for the temple is lying westward, upon a lot which is not far from the courthouse.
So I believe the leadership will gather to Nauvoo first to reobtain the high priesthood. Then they will go to Kirtland for the endowment of power, and finally the centerplace will be redeemed and prepared as the place of gathering, and the missionaries will go forth for the last time. And only later will the Jerusalem of old be redeemed.
Thanks for your comments. The scripture you quote to support the High Priesthood being restored in Nauvoo (D&C 113:7-8) doesn’t say anything about Nauvoo. How are you drawing that conclusion?
I was referring to section 124:28 For there is not a place found on earth that he may come to and restore again that which was lost unto you, or which he hath taken away, even the fulness of the priesthood.
I assume this is still in effect just like the proclamation that needs to go forth.
So, in the days of Enoch, the land of Cainan may have been located in what today is North America? But after the flood, that land was lost and then the promised land is referred to as Canaan. Joseph Smith didn’t alter the spelling in JST Genesis 17:13. That would support there being two promised lands and it’s interesting how similar the names sound.
I think the high priesthood being restored is part of the endowment that happens in the Kirtland temple. Not sure if there are scriptures to support it, but there needs to be a house to restore it in (D&C 124) and the only house the Lord has accepted is in Kirtland. He gave them a chance to build one in Nauvoo since the Kirtland temple had been desecrated.
Also, I find it useful to substitute “Mormons” when it says “Jews” in many scriptures. I think the gathering Joseph started brought together a group of “jews” who are now part of the LDS church. It works really well in many situations.
Yea I’ve thought about the kirtland endowment and the high priesthood and I think the kirtland endowment will be more like a new day of pentacost whereas in Nauvoo the office of high priest needs to be restored first.
Also on the two lands of promise remember eventually the earth will go back into one landmass so there will be one chosen land that is the whole earth.
The problem with the Nauvoo location is that a house was never built there for that purpose:
D&C 124:28 For there is not a place found on earth that he may come to and restore again that which was lost unto you, or which he hath taken away, even the fulness of the priesthood.
29 For a baptismal font there is not upon the earth, that they, my saints, may be baptized for those who are dead—
30 For this ordinance belongeth to my house, and cannot be acceptable to me, only in the days of your poverty, wherein ye are not able to build a house unto me.
31 But I command you, all ye my saints, to build a house unto me; and I grant unto you a sufficient time to build a house unto me; and during this time your baptisms shall be acceptable unto me.
32 But behold, at the end of this appointment your baptisms for your dead shall not be acceptable unto me; and if you do not these things at the end of the appointment ye shall be rejected as a church, with your dead, saith the Lord your God.
33 For verily I say unto you, that after you have had sufficient time to build a house to me, wherein the ordinance of baptizing for the dead belongeth, and for which the same was instituted from before the foundation of the world, your baptisms for your dead cannot be acceptable unto me;
34 For therein are the keys of the holy priesthood ordained, that you may receive honor and glory.
The passage goes back and forth on baptisms and baptisms for the dead, but I think the keys of the holy priesthood are intended to be restored in that house. I put the Kirtland temple as an option since that house remains standing. The Nauvoo house was never built. If it’s to be in Nauvoo, then the servants would need to finally build it.
I guess another option is that it could be restored like at the Morley farm, since it could be considered in the days of their poverty (verse 30). Since they failed to build the temple in Nauvoo and when they return they will likely be starting as in the early 1830s, God has several options to fulfill His word: a temple is built in Nauvoo, the Kirtland temple is re-dedicated, or God does it wherever the servants are able to assemble themselves together after returning from the dead.
Also, is there a linkage between restoring the fulness of the priesthood and baptisms for the dead being made in that passage above? Reading between the lines, I can see the linkage to baptisms for the dead and the return of the servants from the dead… just a thought.
Another option I’ve thought about is maybe the gutting of the Nauvoo temple to restore it how it was supposed to be. So not a full new temple but the cleansing and restoration of how it was planned.
I think there is a link between baptisms for the dead and the fullness of the priesthood. I can’t say I fully understand what yet, but I think we will know soon. I feel our waiting is coming to an end with all the signs of the times unfolding.
Now that we’re in the speculation zone…Nauvoo was always plan B. Plan A was Kirtland. The Saints were told Kirtland would be a stronghold, and they were promised in Section 103 that if they were faithful they would prevail against their enemies. They didn’t, the Kirtland temple was defiled, and they were driven out of Kirtland and eventually ended up in Nauvoo.
We know from Section 110 (well, from the original source, not the version publish by SLC) that the Kirtland temple will become holy again in the future, because the servants “shall hereafter be endowed in this house”. If it’s holy enough for the final endowment of power, it’s probably holy enough for the restoration of the fullness.
Personally, I don’t expect much of anything to happen in Nauvoo, regardless of how much SLC spends spiffing the place up. Kirtland has the building that is promised to host yet another endowment, and the fame of the Kirtland temple will spread to all nations.
Yes, but Nauvoo is also the cornerstone of Zion. You have to establish the cornerstone first in order to redeem Zion. Isaiah 52 is what talks about the redemption of Zion and the restoration of the priesthood (Section 113). Isaiah 52:7 says: How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!
In Hebrew the “how beautiful” is “ma nauvoo” this is where Joseph took the name of the city. Hence its nickname as the the city beautiful. What are they publishing from Nauvoo? Maybe the next portion of the scriptures and the proclamation to the president elect among other good tidings?
I appreciate what a thorough job you did on this complex topic. As you were talking, one thing I started to notice is that the promises of this land (American continent) seem to be linked to Jacob specifically, not so much to Abraham. Although the promises to Abraham concerning the original land of promise are given to Jacob as well. Those gathered to America also seem to be those who accept Jesus Christ as their messiah. As we can see, there are many descendants of Abraham living in the Middle East who recognize the reality of Jesus as a historical teacher or prophet, but deny his divinity.
2 Ne. 10:7-11 shows God promising the future restoration of the house of Israel upon the lands (plural) of their inheritance. And that this land, (America) would be the land of inheritance for the seed of Lehi, a remnant of Jacob through Joseph, as well as a place where the Gentiles would be blessed and have no king over them.
3 Ne. 21:22 tells us that those who repent will be numbered among the remnant of Jacob, unto whom God had given “this land for their inheritance”.
3 Ne. 20:22 says, “this people will I establish in this land, unto the fulfilling of the covenant which I made with your father Jacob”.
D&C 45:43 says, “the remnant shall be gathered unto this place”.
In the original list of scriptures, you showed the promise to Abraham in Genesis 17:8 and where it was passed by Isaac to Jacob in Genesis 28:3-4 when Isaac sent Jacob to Haran to find a wife. However, there are other places where God himself covenants with Jacob. The first is in chapter 28:13-14. He is told “the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed” as well as promising that he will bring Jacob safely back to the land again. As the story continues, Jacob eventually returns back with his family and flocks, however, he is terrified of Esau because of the deception that occurred before he left. He prays that God will keep his promise to keep him safe from his brother’s wrath. The night before the dreaded confrontation, Jacob wrestles all night, and will not let the man/angel go unless he gives him a blessing. All we are told at that time is that Jacob’s name would be changed to Israel “for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.”
The next instance of God blessing Jacob occurs in Bethel where Jacob built an alter in memory of the vision he had when he first left the land. “And God appeared unto Jacob again,. . . and God said unto him, Thy name is Jacob; thy name shall not be called any more Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name; and he called his name Israel. And God said unto him, I am God Almighty; be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of their loins; And the land which I gave Abraham and Isaac, to thee I will give it, and to thy seed after thee will I give the land.” (Gen. 35:9-12)
The blessing comes up again at the end of Jacob’s life. He relates to his children the blessing given to him in Canaan, “Behold, I will make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, and I will make of thee a multitude of people; and will give this land to thy seed after thee for an everlasting possession.” He then blesses Joseph’s sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, and adds “moreover I have given to thee one portion above thy brethren, which I took out of the hand of the Amorite with my sword and with my bow.” (Gen 48:22)
Additionally, here is his blessing regarding Joseph, “Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall; the archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him; but his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob; (from thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel:) even by the God of thy father, who shall help thee; and by the Almighty, who shall bless thee with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lieth under, blessings of the breasts and of the womb: the blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills: they shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separate from his brethren.” (Gen 49:22-26)
This last blessing hints that Jacob was blessed above the blessings of his progenitors (including Abraham and Isaac), and that this blessing extends “unto the utmost bounds of the everlasting hills”. Also, there is a reference to Joseph being separate from his brethren. The fact that some of the scriptures relating to the land of inheritance in America are from 1st and 2nd Nephi may indicate that the Brass Plates carried by Lehi had more information related to these promises than the record kept and passed through the line of Judah, which are contained in our Bible.
If your timeline of Zion and Jerusalem is correct, there will be a Zion established in America by those who believe in Jesus Christ before the unbelieving children of Abraham, who are gathered in the Middle East, need to be rescued, after which, they too will finally believe in Jesus Christ.
So, does a distinction between the promise regarding the remnant of Jacob vs. the children of Abraham, and the believers vs. unbelievers clarify some of the apparent contradictions about whether the gathering takes place in America or the old Jerusalem and whether they are gathered before or after accepting Jesus? Anyway, these are my thoughts while listening to your podcast.
“We had a letter from Elder Hyde, a few days ago, who is in New Jersey, and is expecting to leave for England as soon as Elder Page reaches him. He requested to know if converted Jews are to go to Jerusalem or to come to Zion. I therefore wish you to inform him that converted Jews must come here.” (HC 4:231 approx October 1840)
There has been some speculation based on this letter that Orson Hyde might have been mistaken about dedicating Jerusalem for the gathering of the Jews. However, he might have been right to do so. Joseph only specified that “converted Jews must come here.” That seems consistent that America is for the gathering of those who are converted to Christ, and the land promised to Abraham for his children continues to exist where it has always been.
Could you guys posts some links/references for the Smoot hearing transcripts? I’d love to look at the transcripts more but looking all over and struggling to find it online besides buying that book about it. I can potentially get my hands on the book but I’d like to get it directly from the gov source if possible. Thanks
Thank you, sir. *tips hat
I know this is an old thread but I wanted to focus in on the words that Caanan would be a land of inheritance to the SEED OF ABRAHAM. Could it be that this is the place of those under the lower covenant. Those who have accepted the Gospel of Abraham. The Abrahamic covenant but not the Enochian covenant that was renewed. See D&C 122 and JST Genesis 9:21-25
I have no idea, but as I have searched the scriptures it is clear that the area around Old Jerusalem will be a place of inheritance for the seed of Abraham.