Nephi Prophecy pt. 3 “Again the Second Time”
As I began to search the scriptures and dig out all the prophecies that pertain to the last-days, I noticed a recurring phrase I found to be very important, a set of words in the which I titled this post.
It’s a biblical phrase that first shows up in Isaiah 11:
11 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.
This scripture is reiterated and expounded on in the Book of Mormon, marking this scripture as that of great significance.
It makes an important entry into the prophetic timeline throughout 2nd Nephi. Because of the Book of Mormon, we can know exactly what future event Isaiah was pointing to. It was not Jesus’ earthly ministry, as Christians might suggest, and with a close reading I’m going to suggest that it’s an event AFTER the coming forth of Christ’s church in 1830.
2nd Nephi 29:
1 But behold, there shall be many–at that day when I shall proceed to do a marvelous work among them, that I may remember my covenants which I have made unto the children of men, that I may set my hand again the second time to recover my people, which are of the house of Israel;
Many individuals assume that the “marvelous work” and “again the second time” are referring to the Book of Mormon and/or the restoration of the gospel. As I studied the scriptures thoroughly, one of my greatest scriptural epiphanies was the realization that the scripture referred to neither!
Funny enough, as I continued to research my new-found hypothesis, I encountered a stumbling block which caused me to throw the idea out the window. I went back to the normal paradigm and falsely believed that I had been over-thinking the scripture.
So what was the stumbling block that stopped me from receiving the truth behind this extremely important scripture?
It was something Joseph Smith said in Section 137. Can’t really disagree with him, right?
Yet a few months later, with a closer reading, I realized that what had thrown me for a loop was actually a hard piece of evidence that could have reinforced my initial epiphany! I was just too blind to notice it the first time around.
Recognizing this was an important lesson. I realized how prophets could be saying one thing while secretly saying something totally different.
I’ll get back to 2nd Nephi 29 and Section 137 in a moment;
First, I want to talk about the kind of person Joseph Smith was. And not just him, but any true servant of God. Contrary to popular belief, true and biblically-defined prophets are different than prophets defined by LDS thought.
Prophets can either deliver people over to Satan, or bring people close to God. People in this world can choose to “use” a prophet to commit abominations, or they can learn from them the mysteries of God.
It all depends on whether or not the person has ulterior motives. Do they want to know God or not?
It’s a messy concept these days in knowing what a prophet actually is and does. (Especially for those with idols in their hearts.)
I’ll use Joseph Smith as an example– the great, latter-day prophet of God.
What’s so interesting about Joseph is that he seemingly never gave anyone the full details of his life. Close to his death, he coined the infamous phrase that no man knew his history.
Nearly two hundred years later, as historians continue to dig up more and more information and backstory on his controversial life, that phrase has taken on a whole new meaning. Joseph Smith’s life is a puzzle that we’re still putting together.
Yet no matter what the historians uncover, the only way to truly understand Joseph the Prophet is to understand him in context of the four standard works.
Maybe that’s why he was always so sneaky, why he never gave explanations or apologies, or spelled the whole thing out– He had the faith to know that the elect would be able to find the truth.
He knew God’s timing.
Whether it’s the details of the first vision; the words Moroni said at their yearly appointments; the restorations of the priesthoods; or even the vision of Christ, Moses, Elias, and Elijah in the Kirtland temple, the Saints were kept aloof from many key events.
Joseph had said on many occasions that there were certain things revealed unto him that he dared not speak.
One such quote is as follows:
“If I revealed all that has been made known unto me, scarcely a man on this stand would stay with me… Brethren, If I were to tell you all I know of the kingdom of God, I do know that you would rise up and kill me.”
The Mormon fundamentalists believe that Joseph was referring to polygamy in these such sayings. A large portion of apostate Israel believe that polygamy is a higher law that Joseph valiantly brought forth. And I’m not talking about Warren Jeffs or the Allred’s, I’m talking about regular run-of-the-mill Mormons. There are legions of active LDS members that believe that polygamy is the law of heaven.
When the LDS church brings that awful abomination back into practice, there will be so many tears shed by so many of our poor, faithful, sisters in Zion. Once again, they’re about to get royally screwed over.
[The good news is that there will be many good, Christian boys that will accept the new and everlasting covenant whom the virtuous LDS girls can marry in the New Jerusalem 🙂 ]
Back to Joseph’s ominous sayings: it should be obvious to anyone pure in heart that it literally makes no sense that God would reveal a higher law to the Saints when they weren’t even able to live the laws already given them.
The Saints were given the law of the gospel in 1831, which contained the commandments to live consecration and monogamy. “He that receiveth my law and doeth it, the same is my disciple.” (D&C 41:5)
To be a disciple of Christ then must require monogamy, because the law gave this commandment: “Thou shalt love thy wife with all thy heart, and shalt cleave unto her and none else.” (D&C 42:22)
Pretty straightforward in my opinion.
Now check out the passage on consecration as also contained in section 42:
30 And behold, thou wilt remember the poor, and consecrate of thy properties for their support that which thou hast to impart unto them, with a covenant and a deed which cannot be broken.
Consecration is a covenant that cannot be broken. Kind of a big deal, right? But look what happened by mid-1834. It was revealed unto the church that the, “servants have not kept the commandment, but have broken the covenant.” (D&C 104:4)
39 When men are called unto mine everlasting gospel, and covenant with an everlasting covenant, they are accounted as the salt of the earth and the savor of men;
Regardless to what is taught in the temple, we make one covenant with God: to keep all of his commandments. Read every passage that talks about baptism and you find this out real quick. (Do some homework and read what Nephi and Alma said in 2nd Nephi 31 or Mosiah 18.)
Baptism is a witness that you have entered into a covenant with God to keep all of his commandments.
The law of the gospel in section 42 contained what was needed to be a disciple of Christ. Consecration was an obligation of the covenant made to keep all of God’s commandments.
As now documented, the Saints did not live consecration, and the covenant was broken.
Does this remind you of Isaiah 24?
5 The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.
This is clearly why Joseph changed the wording to the baptismal ordinance in the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants. Because the everlasting covenant had been broken, he changed the ordinance.
Joseph knew what was going on!
Prophecy explains that the people will not listen to the last-day servant of God.
In Isaiah, the Davidic servant laments, “I have labored in vain, I have spent my strength for naught, and in vain… to bring Jacob to him [God]… Israel be not gathered.” (Isa 49:4-5)
In Malachi, Joseph is described: “The law of truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips… they should seek the law at his mouth; for he is the messenger of the Lord of Hosts. But ye [the Saints] are departed out of the way; ye have caused many to stumble at the law.” (Mal 2:6-8)
Joseph lived and breathed the scriptures. He of course had to know what was happening. He had to know the church would fall into apostasy. One of the most shocking things he ever said was this:
“And I prophecy that the day will come when you will say, ‘Oh that we had given heed…’
The people will not hearken nor hear, and bondage, death, and destruction are close at our heels. The kingdom will not be broken up, but we shall be scattered and driven, gathered again and then dispersed, reestablished and driven abroad–
and so on until the Ancient of Days shall sit and the kingdom and power thereof shall the be given to the Saints and they shall possess it forever and ever, which may God hasten for Christ’s sake. Amen.” (March 21st, 1841)
Now combine this with the previous quote from Joseph– his telling that even the brethren themselves would kill him if he dared reveal all he knew of the kingdom of God.
What if Joseph was actually talking about the reverse of polygamy in his cryptic musings? What if what he really wanted to say was how evil and despicable it was?
People like Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball– that would go on to be multi-millionaire’s and have 25+ wives– certainly would have killed Joseph had he been about to burst the bubble on what God really thought about what they were doing.
BY and HK were on their way to be kings over Israel. They didn’t care if the church was in apostasy or not– they knew that being head honcho’s of the LDS church would give them all the perks in the world they desired. Essentially, they were nothing but modern-day pimps. They’d spend the rest of their days– after JS’s death– lording over the humble followers of Christ, stealing their money and marrying their teenage daughters.
Considering the quote we have from Brigham claiming that he believed Joseph had lost the spirit by the time he got to Carthage Jail–
As well as the testimony we have from William Marks that Joseph had begun to try and put a stop to the practice of polygamy, and even the evidence that Joseph and Hyrum had begun excommunicating certain individuals under the pretense of polygamy–
There’s a good chance that Joseph may have spoken up to BY about the evils of the polygamous arrangements occurring.
Perhaps this is why BY claimed that Joseph was a fallen prophet? It’s worth thinking about. Here’s the quote from Brigham: “If Joseph Smith, Jun., the Prophet, had followed the Spirit of revelation in him he never would have gone to Carthage and never for one moment did he say that he had one particle of light in him after he started back from Montrose to give himself up in Nauvoo.”
– A Series of Instructions and Remarks by Brigham Young at a Special Council, Mar. 21, 1858, Brigham Young Papers, Church Archives
No matter what actually happened, it’s clear that Joseph allowed prophecy to play out in Nauvoo. Though his eyes may have been covered, he certainly knew more than he let on. He was a man full of secrets.
“Surely the Lord God will do nothing but he revealeth his secrets unto his servants, the prophets.”
I love how Amos doesn’t even say anything about the prophets then teaching people the secrets revealed unto them. In fact, the chapter is talking about how the people reject the prophets, instead of heeding the knowledge and insight they have. Amos 3:7 is completely irrelevant the way LDS missionaries use it.
The prophets know what’s happening, but whether or not the people do is up to them. In Nauvoo, even in Joseph Smith’s darkest hours, he went as far as to try and explain this to the Saints:
“President Joseph Smith read the 14th chapter of Ezekiel–said the Lord had declared by the Prophet, that the people should each one stand for himself, and depend on no man or men in that state of corruption of the Jewish church–that righteous persons could only deliver their own souls–applied it to the present state of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints–said if the people departed from the Lord, they must fall–that they were depending on the Prophet, hence were darkened in their minds…”
Is any of this resonating? I really hope so.
Truly, the Saints of the 2nd watch were darkened in their minds. They depended on the prophet and departed from the Lord. Because they were so gullible and easily deceived, their own iniquity corrupted the Prophet. He simply reflected the hearts of apostate Israel.
Joseph Smith knew without a shadow of a doubt that polygamy was evil. Look what he said in Liberty Jail in 1839:
“We have heard that it is reported by some, that some of us should have said, that we not only dedicated our property, but our families also to the Lord; and Satan, taking advantage of this, has perverted it into licentiousness, such as a community of wives, which is an abomination in the sight of God…
calculated to lead the Saints far astray…
being taught in the church…
Thus we find that there have been frauds and secret abominations and evil works of darkness going on, leading the minds of the weak and unwary into confusion and distraction, and all the time palming it off upon the Presidency.” (TOTPJS p. 127-128)
So if Joseph knew these things in 1839, why the hell in 1841 did he start taking multiple wives and creating a bizarre and satan-infused endowment?
He was just doing what God wanted. The Lord warned the church what would happen if they disregarded the commandments. He warned about this very thing at the very beginning of the original Book of Commandments. In section 4 it read:
6 … if this generation do harden their hearts against my word, behold I will deliver them up unto Satan… and my word shall be verified at this time as it hath hitherto been verified.
So anyway. I’m sorry that was such a long intro to talk about what I now want to talk about. Returning back to the prophecies of Nephi, we are on chapter 29. Before I embarked on that tangent, I was talking about the phrase, “again the second time.”
Taking a close look at the prophecies of Nephi, it became apparent to me that the Lord had not yet set his hand again for the second time! I was thrilled by the prospect, but as I already explained, section 137 got me confused and had me rethinking the idea.
In that section, Joseph has a vision where he sees Alvin in the celestial kingdom; and he “marveled how it was that he had obtained an inheritance in that kingdom, seeing that he had departed from this life before the Lord had set his hand to gather Israel the second time, and had not been baptized for the remission of sins.”
Clearly, this passage would go to show that the restoration of the gospel in 1830 was the Lord setting his hand again the second time. Proving my theory false, right?
Wrong! I had to look closer.
Joseph did something SNEAKY. As I’ve now demonstrated previously– in the tangent I went on– this is completely consistent with his character. He did sneaky things. So now look what he did here.
The passage in section 137 leaves out one very key word: again. Joseph did not make mistakes. I can guarantee that this was an intentional omission.
In 1830, the Lord set his hand the second time.
And now, the Lord is going to set his hand again the second time.
This is totally consistent with the third watch doctrine I explain in “All is Well in Zion.”
YOU CAN’T MAKE THIS STUFF UP.
So now, let’s continue on, and find out what happens when the Lord sets his hand again the second time.
In part 4 of this series I’m going to to skip over to Chapter 30 in 2nd Nephi, and then perhaps go back to 1st Nephi 13 and 14.
I recommend re-reading 2nd Nephi 29 while keeping in mind that the entire chapter is referring to FUTURE events from now. With that in the forefront of the mind, there’s no telling what else might start to click together.
Having fun yet?