Mosiah 8:13-18 — LeGrand Baker — sub-text in the Book of Mormon

 Mosiah 8:13-18 — LeGrand Baker — sub-text in the Book of Mormon

 

Mosiah 8:13-18
13 Now Ammon said unto him: I can assuredly tell thee, O king, of a man that can translate the records; for he has wherewith that he can look, and translate all records that are of ancient date; and it is a gift from God.

 

There are three truly remarkable things about Joseph Smith’s power to translate – not just the Book of Mormon and the Pearl of Great Price, but also his ability to translate into the language of the prophets the revelations which he received from God. There are two explanations for the latter, either he spoke the words as he received them, so the words are not his at all. Or else the Lord gave him ideas which he then spoke in his own language. (The statement in D&C 1:24 is useful, but it does not really answer the question. It reads, “Behold, I am God and have spoken it; these commandments are of me, and were given unto my servants in their weakness, after the manner of their language, that they might come to understanding.”)

 

I would like to discuss the problem of Joseph’s translating Book of Mormon and the Pearl of Great Price into the double languages of English and the sub-text language of the Prophets, and to talk about his own revelations as expressions of that same double language.

 

Like English, the Nephite language was written and therefore reasonably constant in its history – but like English, that history ranged over a period of 1000 years. A thousand years ago Englishmen were speaking and writing the language of Chaucer – which no one but trained scholarscannowunderstand. The language reached an epitome of beauty in the time of Elizabeth, Shakespear, and the Bible; then it declined through the language of Victoria, and still more to our present time. Anyone who can read well enough can pick up something written in those various times and recognize the time it was probably written by the way the English is used. The book of Mormon language probably went through much the same kind of evolution (the introduction of Jaredite names after King Mosiah’s time suggests the source of one such change. The distorted, unwritten Hebrew of the Mulekites would be another, just as the introduction of French and modern German was to English.) Their language was at least a mixture of Hebrew and Egyptian – so mixed that Mormon says anyone who knew either Hebrew or Egyptian would not be able to read the Nephite ‘reformed Egyptian.’ King Benjamin and Alma lived roughly half way through that evolutionary period. Third Nephi was 400 years from the time of Mormon. If Mormon actually quoted them, which he appears to have done, then Joseph had to know almost the full range of the language’s evolutionary history – not just the words of the language, but the subtle evolutionary changes in the meanings of its words, especially religious words, so they could all be translated into English in the same way. The Small Plates were written in Egyptian – so Joseph had to be able to translate that language into the same kind of English. The English into which he translated it was not his own back-country New England English – it was like the English of the Elizabethan Bible. That was extremely important. Not because the Book of Mormon had to sound like the Bible so it could sound like scripture, but because it had to employ the same words in its sub-text as the King James Bible used for its sub- text. And that is the truly amazing thing about the translation of the Book of Mormon – Joseph translated its surface text into English, but at the same time he translated its sub-text into the sacral code language used by Isaiah, the Psalms, and the writers of the New Testament, and other prophets. It is his translating the book into those double languages which makes the Book of Mormon so amazing.

 

That double language is like an encoded signature – not of the individual prophet, but of his prophetic call. Let me give you an example of what I mean. Nephi begins his with a review of the temple ceremony, or of the plan of salvation, or of the mission of the Saviour, or of the sacral biography of every son and daughter of God. It doesn’t matter what one calls it, they are all the same thing.

 

The surface text of the first 6 verses is a bit awkward – but look at the ideas he crammed into those few words – and at the sequence of those ideas:

 

He begins at the Council: “I Nephi, having been born of goodly parents, therefore I was taught somewhat in all the learning of my father.”

 

He then moves to the difficulties of this lonely, dreary world: “and having seen many afflictions in the course of my days….” He continues discussing this world and its tensions and contrasts between good and evil, asserting that he has “a great knowledge of the goodness and the mysteries of God.”

 

He then describes the language he is going to use in writing: “…the language of my father, which consists of the learning of the Jews and the language of the Egyptians.” That is, the double language of his father, which consists of the sacral code language of the prophets, and the surface language of the world.

 

He asserts that the writing is true, according to his hand gesture and his own personal knowledge.

 

4 contains these ideas: kingship (Zedekiah), priesthood power (father Lehi), temple authority (lived in Jerusalem), and a statement of covenantal responsibility (teaching of the prophets).

 

5 is a prayer “in behalf of his people.”

 

6 He is before the veil. The “pillar of fire” is the ‘shechinah’ (see your Bible dictionary). “Rock” may have been a real rock, but it is also the code word for the Holy of Holies in Jerusalem. Then he “saw and heard much.”

 

After that he has a sode experience where he “saw God sitting on his throne.” He is given a book to read in which he learns about his own personal responsibilities and about the mission of the Saviour.

 

That “signature” tells us that Nephi is a true prophet. John uses his letters to the seven churches thesamewayintheBookofRevelation. Thesequenceofideasinthoseletterstestifythat Revelation was written by a prophet who understood the sacred language of the prophets. Moroni includes that “signature” in the last chapter of the Book of Mormon. The Saviour spoke

 

it in the Beatitudes when he began his ministry in America, and on the Mount in the Gospel of Matthew. It is found in the last chapters of Job – actually the whole book of Job. It found completely, or in part, in all of the major sermons in the Book of Mormon. It is the way prophets have of identifying themselves. In 1 Ne. 1 it is simply embedded into the sequences of ideas, but in most instances it is encoded into the sub-text – and if Joseph had not correctly translated the sacral sub-text of the Book of Mormon it would not have been able to bring people nearer to God than can any other book.

 

This week, Dil sent me some e-mails and I responded by sending a review of D&C 10 to both him and Derek. After I read the scriptures Beck had sent us for this week, I realized that what I had sent to them was central to what I wanted to say here. So what follows are those comments on section 10. I wrote:

 

I want to read with you one of the most amazing scriptures I have ever read. I read it “for the first time” last Sunday in sacrament meeting while I was preparing my Sunday School class (that is a very good environment in which to read the scriptures, by the way). There were times when I just sat there and stared at the page. The amazing things are what it says, how it says it, and when that revelation was written.

 

First the when – it was in 1828 – soon after Martin lost the 116 pages and some time before Oliver came to help Joseph translate – and two years before the church was organized. The knowledge Joseph would have had to already had, in order to fully understand this revelation is astounding.

 

How he says it – exactly the way it is said in Isaiah, the Psalms, and the Book of Mormon. The surface text has an historical relevance which fits into the context of the story of the Lord telling Joseph he can translate again, then it ends with a nice bit of poetic rhetoric which is intended to encourage him. If one wants to read it that way, it works fine. But the sub-text is about Joseph’s responsibilities as those responsibilities were outlined in the Council, and that bit of poetic rhetoric at the end is a review of the concluding saving ordinances of the temple – and all that in 1828. Dil, I haven’t changed the subject, by the way. What the Lord told Joseph in this revelation is the answer to the question of battle between good and evil in this world.

 

Section 10, Date: Summer 1828, Place: Harmony, Pennsylvania, To: Joseph Smith

 

1 Now, behold, I say unto you, that because you delivered up those writings which you had power given unto you to translate by the means of the Urim and Thummim, into the hands of a wicked man, you have lost them.
2 And you also lost your gift at the same time, and your mind became darkened.

 

Here “mind” means the same thing it does in the Book of Mormon. The evidence for that is that “heart” is used here to represent both intellectual thought and emotion. So if “heart” is used the way it is in the Old Testament and the Book of Mormon, that leaves no meaning for “mind” except the reasoning and emotional powers of one’s spirit. If Joseph’s “heart” were darkened, he would be in a serious depression. If his “mind” is darkened – he is deep, deep trouble!

 

3 Nevertheless, it is now restored unto you again; therefore see that you are faithful and continue on unto the finishing of the remainder of the work of translation as you have begun.

 

“Now restored” – so the person the Lord is addressing is no longer in darkness, he is not only back in the good graces of God – but his “mind” can fully understand.

 

4 Do not run faster or labor more than you have strength and means provided to enable you to translate; but be diligent unto the end.
5 Pray always, that you may come off conqueror; yea, that you may conquer Satan, and that you may escape the hands of the servants of Satan that do uphold his work.

 

This is a reference to his assignment at the Council. The Lord does not explain how or why he is to conquer Satan. The idea just comes out of the blue – which means either that the Lord isn’t going to explain, or else that he knows Joseph understands what he is talking about. When that happened, we don’t know, but when the idea is dropped into the context of the beginning of Job, as it is a few verses later on, then it is apparent that Joseph was intended to understand this statement about conquering Satan in the context of Joseph’s assignment at the Council. When the statement is put in that context it becomes apparent that “conquer” means conquer.

 

In addition to the Job reference, the other place we learn that Joseph’s assignment is to defeat Satan is in the 1 Ne 20-21 version of Isaiah 48-49. There we learn of the Prophet Joseph giving a speech.

 

The part about the speech reads: 1 Ne. 20:13 [Jehovah speaking] Mine hand hath also laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand hath spanned [measured – OED says “with fingers and thumb extended.”] the heavens. [The heavens are people = members of the Council – same as the “stars” in Job.] [So I read that to say that God placed his RIGHT hand on them, measuring them to define them as sacred space {ye are temples}, and ordaining them to a “call”] I call unto them and they stand up together. [one stands to make a covenant – 2 Kings 23:1-3 ]

 

1 Nephi 20:14 All ye [“ye” seems to be all of Israel, who he has talked about throughout the chapter, rather than just members of the Council], assemble yourselves, and hear; who among them hath declared these things unto them? [So someone is going to give a speech. This tells who he is:] The Lord [that’s Jehovah] hath loved him [the one who is giving the speech]; yea, and he [the speech maker ] will fulfill his word which he hath declared by them; and he will do his pleasure on Babylon, and his arm shall come upon the Chaldeans. [ He is a man of great integrity – It is instructive that this was written by Isaiah at the time when Nineveh, not Babylon was the great enemy. So here “Babylon and the Chaldeans” are representative of the world, just as they are elsewhere in the scriptures.]

 

15 Also, saith the Lord [Jehovah] ; I the Lord, yea, I have spoken; yea, I have called him [the speaker] to declare [to give the speech] , I have brought him, and he shall make his way prosperous. [another declaration of his integrity.]
16 Come ye near unto me; I have not spoken in secret; from the beginning, from the time that it was declared have I spoken; and the Lord God, and his Spirit, hath sent me. [I can’t tell whether this is spoken by the Saviour, or the speechmaker, because it works either way.]
17 And thus saith the Lord, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel [So that identifies the “Lord” as the Saviour, and not as his Father] ; I have sent him [speechmaker], the Lord thy God who teacheth thee to profit [temple type code word], who leadeth thee by the way [another code word] thou shouldst go, hath done it (1 Nephi 20:15-17).

 

In the next few verses there is more information about the speechmaker and those who will assist him until we get to the next chapter. I can’t tell for sure what that chapter is. Either it is a prophecy of what Joseph will do to defeat the kingdoms of “Babylon”, or else it is a synopsis of the promises in his speech which was referred to in the previous chapter. The reason I cant tell, is that it works either way. By the time we get to ch 21: 8 we are learning about the how of Joseph’s defeating the kingdom of Satan – he will restore the temple and thereby restore scattered Israel.

 

7 Thus saith the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel, his Holy One, to him whom man despiseth, to him whom the nations abhorreth, to servant of rulers: Kings [sacral kings] shall see and arise, [“see” and make covenants] princes [ those anointed to become kings] also shall worship, because of the Lord that is faithful. [He has kept his part of the covenants]
8 Thus saith the Lord: In an acceptable time [time when priesthood is here so ordinance s are acceptable] have I heard thee, O isles of the sea, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee; and I will preserve thee, and give thee my servant [In the LDS Bible, footnote “a” identifies this servant as the Prophet Joseph] for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth [ same language as describes the mission of Elijah] , to cause to inherit the desolate heritages;
9 That thou mayest say to the prisoners: Go forth; to them that sit in darkness: Show yourselves. [All that is the same language Isaiah uses in ch 61 to describe temple work for the dead] They shall feed [code word] in the ways [code word] , and their pastures shall be in all high places. [temples]
10 They shall not hunger nor thirst [fruit of the tree of life, waters of life – Rev. 20:6], neither shall the heat nor the sun smite them; for he that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall he guide them. [more temple imagery]
11 And I will make all my mountains [temples] a way [code word], and my highways [codeword] shall be exalted.

 

The rest of the chapter deals with how the temple covenants will come into play in order to bring about the gathering of Israel.

 

So that is Joseph’s assignment, and that is the way he will “defeat” Satan and overthrow his kingdom. Now lets return to D&C 10.

 

D&C 10:6 Behold, they have sought to destroy you; yea, even the man in whom you have trusted has sought to destroy you.
7 And for this cause I said that he is a wicked man, for he has sought to take away the things wherewith you have been entrusted; and he has also sought to destroy your gift.
8 And because you have delivered the writings into his hands, behold, wicked men have taken them from you.
9 Therefore, you have delivered them up, yea, that which was sacred, unto wickedness.
10 And, behold, Satan hath put it into their hearts [ ‘hearts’ here has the power to contrive, or think through a plot ] to alter the words which you have caused to be written, or which you have translated, which have gone out of your hands.
11 And behold, I say unto you, that because they have altered the words, they read contrary from that which you translated and caused to be written;
12 And, on this wise, the devil has sought to lay a cunning plan, that he may destroy this work;
13 For he hath put into their hearts [same idea about ‘heart’] to do this, that by lying they may say they have caught you in the words which you have pretended to translate.
14 Verily, I say unto you, that I will not suffer that Satan shall accomplish his evil design in this thing.
15 For behold, he has put it into their hearts [their ‘hearts’ make plans ]to get thee to tempt the Lord thy God, in asking to translate it over again.
16 And then, behold, they say and think in their hearts [Again, ‘hearts’ think – just as hearts do in the Old Testament and the Book of Mormon] –We will see if God has given him power to translate; if so, he will also give him power again;
17 And if God giveth him power again, or if he translates again, or, in other words, if he bringeth forth the same words, behold, we have the same with us, and we have altered them;
18 Therefore they will not agree, and we will say that he has lied in his words, and that he has no gift, and that he has no power;
19 Therefore we will destroy him, and also the work; and we will do this that we may not be ashamed in the end, and that we may get glory of the world.
20 Verily, verily, I say unto you, that Satan has great hold upon their hearts [Until now’heart’ has been used to mean the intellect, soon he will use it to also mean the seat of emotion – Satan has “great hold” on both ] ; he stirreth them up to iniquity against that which is good;
21 And their hearts are corrupt, and full of wickedness and abominations [that’s not just intellect! ]; and they love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil; therefore they will not ask of me.
22 Satan stirreth them up, that he may lead their souls to destruction.
23 And thus he has laid a cunning plan, thinking to destroy the work of God; but I will require this at their hands, and it shall turn to their shame and condemnation in the day of judgment.
24 Yea, he stirreth up their hearts to anger [here ‘heart’ is used as the seat of emotion- the heart is angry] against this work.
25 Yea, he saith unto them: Deceive and lie in wait to catch, that ye may destroy; behold, this is no harm. And thus he flattereth them, and telleth them that it is no sin to lie that they may catch a man in a lie, that they may destroy him.
26 And thus he flattereth them, and leadeth them along until he draggeth their souls down to hell; and thus he causeth them to catch themselves in their own snare.
27 And thus he goeth up and down, to and fro in the earth, seeking to destroy the souls of men.

 

This is the quote from Job. Now lets read Job and I will show you why this quote is so important.

Job 1:6 6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD [we are at the Council] , and Satan came also among them.
Job 1:7 And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou?

 

That is: where have you been?] Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. [ Dan Belnap wrote a paper showing that the word translated “walking” is from a Hebrew verb which only kings and gods do. That is, it is a ceremonial “walking” It is the word used when God walked in the Garden, and when David “walked” on the roof when he saw Bathsheba bathing (which suggests it was a ceremonial time, and she may have been doing a queenly thing rather than just taking a bath). Here Satan claims to be “walking” as a king or god upon the earth – to and fro, up and down – he is measuring it out as his own sacred space, and declaring his sovereignty over it.] 8 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? [ In other words: Satan, you cannot claim dominion over the earth, because Job is there. So after that, the person of Job becomes the focal point in the struggle between God and Satan. God pits Job’s integrity against Satan’s power. In the end, Job wins and Satan is defeated. Then in the last chapters are an endowment where Job is prepared to meet God; sees him; and is made sacral king.]

 

Here, in D&C 10, the Lord makes reference to this passage casually enough that it is apparent that the Lord knows Joseph already understands what it all means – Joseph and Job are in the same situation – now Satan’s kingdom hangs in the balance of Joseph’s integrity – and Satan will loose.

 

28 Verily, verily, I say unto you, wo be unto him that lieth to deceive because he supposeth that another lieth to deceive, for such are not exempt from the justice of God.
29 Now, behold, they have altered these words, because Satan saith unto them: He hath deceived you–and thus he flattereth them away to do iniquity, to get thee to tempt the Lord thy God.
30 Behold, I say unto you, that you shall not translate again those words which have gone forth out of your hands;
31 For, behold, they shall not accomplish their evil designs in lying against those words. For, behold, if you should bring forth the same words they will say that you have lied and that you have pretended to translate, but that you have contradicted yourself.
32 And, behold, they will publish this, and Satan will harden the hearts of the people [That is defined in Alma 12: 11 as refusing to know the ‘mysteries’ – the SOD, secrets of the Council – temple things] to stir them up to anger against you, that they will not believe my words. [so it is defined the same way here.]
33 Thus Satan thinketh to overpower your testimony in this generation, that the work may not come forth in this generation.
34 But behold, here is wisdom, and because I show unto you wisdom, and give you commandments concerning these things, what you shall do, show it not unto the world until you have accomplished the work of translation.
35 Marvel not that I said unto you: Here is wisdom, show it not unto the world–for I said, show it not unto the world, that you may be preserved.
36 Behold, I do not say that you shall not show it unto the righteous;
37 But as you cannot always judge the righteous, or as you cannot always tell the wicked from the righteous, therefore I say unto you, hold your peace until I shall see fit to make all things known unto the world concerning the matter.
38 And now, verily I say unto you, that an account of those things that you have written, which have gone out of your hands, is engraven upon the plates of Nephi;
39 Yea, and you remember it was said in those writings that a more particular account was given of these things upon the plates of Nephi.
40 And now, because the account which is engraven upon the plates of Nephi is more particular concerning the things which, in my wisdom, I would bring to the knowledge of the people in this account–
41 Therefore, you shall translate the engravings which are on the plates of Nephi, down even till you come to the reign of king Benjamin, or until you come to that which you have translated, which you have retained;
42 And behold, you shall publish it as the record of Nephi; and thus I will confound those who have altered my words.
43 I will not suffer that they shall destroy my work; yea, I will show unto them that my wisdom is greater than the cunning of the devil.
44 Behold, they have only got a part, or an abridgment of the account of Nephi.
45 Behold, there are many things engraven upon the plates of Nephi which do throw greater views upon my gospel; therefore, it is wisdom in me that you should translate this first part of the engravings of Nephi, and send forth in this work.
46 And, behold, all the remainder of this work does contain all those parts of my gospel which my holy prophets, yea, and also my disciples, desired in their prayers should come forth unto this people.
47 And I said unto them, that it should be granted unto them according to their faith in their prayers;
48 Yea, and this was their faith–that my gospel, which I gave unto them that they might preach in their days, might come unto their brethren the Lamanites, and also all that had become Lamanites because of their dissensions.
49 Now, this is not all–their faith in their prayers was that this gospel should be made known also, if it were possible that other nations should possess this land;
50 And thus they did leave a blessing upon this land in their prayers [these were prayers of power, not of pleading], that whosoever should believe in this gospel in this land might have eternal life;
51 Yea, that it might be free unto all of whatsoever nation, kindred, tongue, or people they may be.
52 And now, behold, according to their faith in their prayers [‘faith’ {token of the covenant} “IN” their prayers – these are not ordinary prayers ! ] will I bring this part of my gospel to the knowledge of my people. Behold, I do not bring it to destroy that which they have received, but to build it up.
53 And for this cause have I said: If this generation harden not their hearts [accept and understand the mysteries] , I will establish my church among them.
54 Now I do not say this to destroy my church, but I say this to build up my church;
55 Therefore, whosoever belongeth to my church need not fear, for such shall inherit the kingdom of heaven.
56 But it is they who do not fear me, neither keep my commandments but build up churches unto themselves to get gain, yea, and all those that do wickedly and build up the kingdom of the devil–yea, verily, verily, I sayunto you, that it is they that I will disturb, and cause to tremble and shake to the center.
57 Behold, I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I came unto mine own, and mine own received me not. [Not just an identification of who Jesus is, but a reminder to Joseph that he will not have to go anywhere his Saviour has not already been]
58 I am the light which shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not. [Quote from John. There “comprehend” does not mean “understand,” it means to encircle – darkness cannot encircle and crush the light – another encouragement to the Prophet ]
59 I am he who said–Other sheep have I which are not of this fold–unto my disciples [a Book of Mormon reference (otherwise he would have used ‘apostles’), but Joseph had not yet translated Third Nephi] , and many there were that understood me not.
60 And I will show unto this people that I had other sheep, and that they were a branch of the house of Jacob;
61 And I will bring to light their marvelous works, which they did in my name;
62 Yea, and I will also bring to light my gospel which was ministered [‘minister’ does not mean teach, it means to teach and to act – so if the gospel was ‘ministered’ there were ordinances as well as information.] unto them, and, behold, they shall not deny that which you have received, but they shall build it up, and shall bring to light the true points of my doctrine, yea, and the only doctrine which is in me.
63 And this I do that I may establish my gospel, that there may not be so much contention; yea,

 

Satan doth stir up the hearts [‘hearts’ again == this time both academic and emotional ] of the people to contention concerning the points of my doctrine; and in these things they do err, for they do wrest the scriptures and do not understand them.

 

64 Therefore, I will unfold unto them this great mystery;

 

So now we are going to learn about the ‘mystery’ which he will teach. This is the conclusion of the revelation. So, since the revelation has been about Joseph’s responsibilities and challenges, one would expect that the conclusion would be some sort of promise that he would have the strength to succeed. There are a thousand ways that might have been said. But there is only one absolutely correct way, and that way would not have been guessed by the greatest biblical scholars in the world in Joseph’s day. Yet that perfect conclusion is the one we have here: It is a reference to the coronation ceremony at the conclusion of the ancient Israelite New Year festival, where the newly anointed king sits on the throne of God in the Holy of Holies, and (symbolically at least) does so in the presence of and with the approval of God. – The revelation does not conclude with only a promise that Joseph will succeed in overthrowing Satan’s kingdom, but with the promise that Joseph, and those who assist him will be made kings.

 

65 For, behold, I will gather them as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, if they will not harden their hearts;

 

Above the throne in the Holy of Holies stretched the wings of two great cherubim. Their wings reached up 16 feet high. Often, in the Psalms, God is referred to as the One who sits beneath the wings. In both the New Testament and the Book of Mormon, Christ says he would have gathered the people beneath his wings, as a hen gathers her chickens. That can be a nice barnyard metaphor, or it can be a reference to his invitation to them to accept the ordinances of sacral kingship. I think it is the latter there, just as I think it is here in D&C 10.

 

66 Yea, if they will come, they may, and partake of the waters of life freely. [In the last chapters of Revelation, as in Ezekiel, the waters of life flow from beneath that sacred throne in the Holy of Holies. Only those who have eternal life may freely drink.]
67 Behold, this is my doctrine–whosoever repenteth and cometh unto me, [Come to where Christ is – in this world to the temple and the veil – in reality it is to come to where he really is. ] the same is my church.
68 Whosoever declareth more or less than this, the same is not of me, but is against me; therefore he is not of my church.
69 And now, behold, whosoever is of my church, and endureth of my church to the end, him will I establish upon my rock [THEE ROCK to which he so frequently refers elsewhere in the scripturesistherockinJerusalemuponwhichtheHolyofHolieswasbuilt. Thereisonlyone way to be ‘established’ on that rock, and that is to sit on the throne which is on the rock.] , and the gates of hell shall not prevail against them. [Hell must release him – its gates cannot keep him in]
70 And now, remember the words of him who is the life and light of the world, your Redeemer

 

[the One who brings you into the presence of God], your Lord and your God. Amen.

 

Dil and Derek, the two things which struck me about this section are (1) the confirmation that the Lord would keep his covenants with Joseph and thereby Joseph could keep his covenants to defeat Satan and his kingdom. (2) The language the Lord uses to affirm that is the sacral sub-textual language of Isaiah, the Psalms, and the Book of Mormon. That second is especially important for two reasons. A) It shows that the “pseudo-biblical” language of the D&C is not Joseph’s invention to make his revelations sound like scripture, but it is real biblical language designed to be read in the same way the other scriptures are read. B) It testifies to everyone who can read the Isaiah sub-text language, that the author who wrote this revelation also knows the sacred language of Isaiah – that is, the language itself testifies to one who can read it that the one who wrote it is a true prophet. And in the precision of the sacral sub-text language is the testimony that the author knows the ‘mysteries’ and speaks with their authority. Thus, as early as 1828, the language of his revelations testifies of the reality and divinity of the Prophet Joseph’s sacred call.

 

So, Dil, this is the only response I can give to your two emails: There is a struggle between good and evil in this world and two generals in that struggle are Satan, whose kingdom is fighting for life. Because of Joseph Smith who is still the head of this dispensation, the outcome is assured.

 

My love to each of you LeGrand

 

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