“I was once praying earnestly upon this subject, and a voice said unto me, “My son, if thou livest until thou art eighty-five years of age, thou shalt see the face of the Son of Man.” I was left to draw my own conclusions concerning this; and I took the liberty to conclude that if I did live to that time, He would make His appearance. But I do not say whether He will make His appearance or I shall go where He is. I prophesy in the name of the Lord God, and let it be written–the Son of Man will not come in the clouds of heaven till I am eighty-five years old. Then read the 14th chapter of Revelation, 6th and 7th verses–“And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, saying with a loud voice, Fear God and give glory to Him, for the our of His judgment is come.” And Hosea, 6th chapter, After two days, etc.,–2,520 years; which brings it to 1890. The coming of the Son of Man never will be–never can be till the judgments spoken of for this hour are poured out: which judgments are commenced. Paul says, “Ye are the children of the light, and not of the darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief in the night.” It is not the design of the Almighty to come upon the earth and crush it and grind it to powder, but he will reveal it to His servants the prophets.”
(Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 286)
From this we can see that Joseph Smith believed the two days mentioned in Hosea chapter 6 were equal to 2520 years (1 day = 1260 years) and that this period of two days would end in 1890. If we move back 2520 years from 1890 AD we find the starting point of his timeline: 631 BC. Before we get into the significance of this date, we need to determine what this timeline is all about. So let’s take a look at the verses in Hosea that Joseph referred to:
“Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight. Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.”
From this we can gather that this prophecy is concerned with the division and reunification of the house of Israel (and also about the 1st and 2nd comings of Christ, which we won’t go into here). It is after the two days (631 BC – 1890 AD) that the house of Israel is revived. It is during the third day (1890 AD – 3150 AD) that it is raised up. So what event took place in 631 BC that began the fulfillment of this prophecy? Let’s take a look at what was going on in the house of Israel during this time period.
610 BC31st year: Josiah dies. (2 Chronicles 34:1)
|649 BC||Josiah born. (2 Chronicles 34:1)|
|641 BC||1st year: Josiah becomes king of Judah at 8 years old. (2 Chronicles 34:1)|
|633 BC||8th year: Josiah seeks the Lord. (2 Chronicles 34:3)|
|629 BC||12th year: Josiah begins to purge Jerusalem of idolatry. (2 Chronicles 34:3-7)|
|628 BC||13th year: Jeremiah begins to prophecy. (Jeremiah 1:2)|
|623 BC||18th year: Josiah repairs the Temple, the books are read, and Passover is observed. (2 Chronicles 34:8-33; 35:1-19)|
The dates provided here are primarily based on the Battle of Carchemish which happened about 605 BC. Josiah got killed by an Egyptian archer when he confronted King Necho II of Egypt (who was in the process of moving his armies north to join forces with the Assyrians in preparation for battle against Babylon). 610 BC is an approximate date for the death of King Josiah. Based on my previous studies, I’m convinced that 623 is a Jubilee year, so it would make sense that that would be the year which Jeremiah would have the Temple repaired, the books read, and the Passover observed. That is my reason for choosing these dates, but I’m still willing to believe they may be off by a year or two. Whatever the case, we can see that around 631 BC the Israelites were turning away from idolatry back to the Lord, a repentance process begun by King Josiah. The reading of the books is important, because Israelites were renewing their covenant and that covenant is found in the books. Concerning his covenant, God provided a prophecy in the 26th chapter of Leviticus (one of “the books”).
The covenant starts like this:
“If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them; Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit.”
If you continue reading in the 26th chapter of Leviticus, you’ll see God promises many more wonderful blessings to the Israelites if they keep all of his commandments, but starting on verse 14 he starts to enumerate the penalties for not keeping his commandments.
“But if ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments; And if ye shall despise my statutes, or if your soul abhor my judgments, so that ye will not do all my commandments, but that ye break my covenant: I also will do this unto you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it. And I will set my face against you, and ye shall be slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall reign over you; and ye shall flee when none pursueth you.”
This is the covenant that King Josiah read in the ears of the Israelites and which they covenanted to abide by. However, as we can see from history, they broke this covenant and we can see that the curses of the covenant came down upon their heads. They were beaten, killed, and taken into captivity and ruled by those who hated them. In captivity they were unable to enjoy the fruits of their harvest, which were consumed by their enemies. However, God in his mercy restored the covenant with the coming of Christ, but again they broke the covenant and again they reaped the cursings.
“And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins. And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass: And your strength shall be spent in vain: for your land shall not yield her increase, neither shall the trees of the land yield their fruits.”
It’s interesting that he says he will punish them “seven times more.” That implies that the first time he punished them was also seven times, but that is a topic for another time.
The time period being described here is the time from the birth of Christ (1 BC) to the uprising of the Muslims (630 AD). Christ’s coming here would be considered the “former rain” spoken of by Hosea. This is also the period of the Great Apostasy (570 AD).
“And if ye walk contrary unto me, and will not hearken unto me; I will bring seven times more plagues upon you according to your sins. I will also send wild beasts among you, which shall rob you of your children, and destroy your cattle, and make you few in number; and your high ways shall be desolate.”
These “wild beasts” can be none other than the Muslims who in 637 AD laid siege to the city of Jerusalem and took control of it. In 688 AD the Muslims began building the Dome of the Rock on the temple mount and finished it a few years later. Thus the “high ways” were made desolate. These are the years during which the Christian Crusades were fought against the Muslims in an effort to regain the Holy Land. The power of the Muslims was punctuated in 1260 AD in the Battle of Ain Jalut in which the Muslim Mamluks drove back the invading Mongols. This was a historically decisive battle which defined the Muslims as a new world power.
“And if ye will not be reformed by me by these things, but will walk contrary unto me; Then will I also walk contrary unto you, and will punish you yet seven times for your sins. And I will bring a sword upon you, that shall avenge the quarrel of my covenant: and when ye are gathered together within your cities, I will send the pestilence among you; and ye shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy. And when I have broken the staff of your bread, ten women shall bake your bread in one oven, and they shall deliver you your bread again by weight: and ye shall eat, and not be satisfied.”
The period from 1260 AD to 1890 AD had several severe famines in Europe. The Great Famine of 1315-1317 is reported to have caused millions of deaths in Europe. From 1845 AD to 1849 AD more than a million Irish perished due to a potato blight. This may be considered a form of pestilence, but a more obvious match would be the bubonic plague outbreak in Europe (the Black Death) which started around 1340 AD and continued for many decades. It is estimated to have claimed one third of Europe’s population. This period of time had no shortage of bloody wars either. These include the Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648) in most of Europe, and the Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815) in France and the American Civil War (1861-1865). Also notice that all these major wars were civil wars.
But we’re not done yet. God has yet one last 630 year period planned after 1890 AD. That’s our day, so listen up! It seems God has much more to say about this period than any of the previous periods.
“And if ye will not for all this hearken unto me, but walk contrary unto me; Then I will walk contrary unto you also in fury; and I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins. And ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall ye eat. And I will destroy your high places, and cut down your images, and cast your carcases upon the carcases of your idols, and my soul shall abhor you. And I will make your cities waste, and bring your sanctuaries unto desolation, and I will not smell the savour of your sweet odours. And I will bring the land into desolation: and your enemies which dwell therein shall be astonished at it. And I will scatter you among the heathen, and will draw out a sword after you: and your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste. Then shall the land enjoy her sabbaths, as long as it lieth desolate, and ye be in your enemies’ land; even then shall the land rest, and enjoy her sabbaths. As long as it lieth desolate it shall rest; because it did not rest in your sabbaths, when ye dwelt upon it. And upon them that are left alive of you I will send a faintness into their hearts in the lands of their enemies; and the sound of a shaken leaf shall chase them; and they shall flee, as fleeing from a sword; and they shall fall when none pursueth. And they shall fall one upon another, as it were before a sword, when none pursueth: and ye shall have no power to stand before your enemies. And ye shall perish among the heathen, and the land of your enemies shall eat you up. And they that are left of you shall pine away in their iniquity in your enemies’ lands; and also in the iniquities of their fathers shall they pine away with them.”
The tone has seriously changed here. God isn’t just walking contrary to the Israelites now. He’s walking contrary to them in his fury. Certainly many of these prophesied events are still in the future (the desolation of cities and temples and cannibalism). However, we have seen the partial fulfillment of some of these events. You can see that American and European troops are scattered throughout the world (“among the heathen”) and they are dying on foreign soil (“ye shall perish among the heathen, and the land of your enemies shall eat you up”). This is a very telling verse:
“they shall fall one upon another, as it were before a sword, when none pursueth.”
Does anything better describe the situation of our ever tightening Homeland Security here in America? Americans are so afraid of what the terrorists might do that they’ve really been cracking down on our civil liberties with an insane zeal. Ultimately this situation may very well lead up to another civil war in the United States as well as in other Israelite nations.
If the above passage was all you’d read, you might think the only thing we have to look forward to is doom and gloom. However, this chapter concludes with the Israelites turning back to God and him restoring his covenant with them. Remember after 1890, we’ve entered into the third day: the time of revival, although it appears that revival doesn’t come (at least not fully) until after the wrath of God has been poured out upon the house of Israel.
If they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, with their trespass which they trespassed against me, and that also they have walked contrary unto me; And that I also have walked contrary unto them, and have brought them into the land of their enemies; if then their uncircumcised hearts be humbled, and they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity: Then will I remember my covenant with Jacob, and also my covenant with Isaac, and also my covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land. The land also shall be left of them, and shall enjoy her sabbaths, while she lieth desolate without them: and they shall accept of the punishment of their iniquity: because, even because they despised my judgments, and because their soul abhorred my statutes. And yet for all that, when they be in the land of their enemies, I will not cast them away, neither will I abhor them, to destroy them utterly, and to break my covenant with them: for I am the Lord their God. But I will for their sakes remember the covenant of their ancestors, whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the heathen, that I might be their God: I am the Lord.”
So it seems the order of major events in this final 630 year period (starting in 1890) are:
1) The house of Israel breaks their covenant with God.
2) The wrath of God is poured out upon the house of Israel in fury.
3) The house of Israel repents and is reconciled with their God.
According to NASA two total solar eclipses are scheduled to entirely shadow the mainland of America. The first is on August 21, 2017 and the second is on April 8, 2024. This is a fairly rare occurrence. The Wikipedia page for the upcoming 2017 eclipse states: “This eclipse will be the first total solar eclipse visible from the United States since 1991 (which was seen only from part of Hawaii), and the first visible from the contiguous United States since 1979.” These two upcoming eclipses will be less than seven years apart. Ok, now here’s were it gets interesting. If you take the paths of these two eclipses and overlap them over America, it creates an X. The eclipse2017.org site has images of where the center of this crosshair lies. Take a look at it here. Quoting from the page: “Actually, to be fair, the overlap of the paths of totality of these two eclipses lies in three states: Illinois, Missouri, and Kentucky.” Interesting. Joseph Smith was imprisoned in both Missouri and Illinois. He was murdered by a mob in Illinois.
Top selling author Jonathan Cahn released a book titled “The Harbinger: The Ancient Mystery That Holds the Secret of America’s Future” in 2012. In this book he cites Isaiah 9:9-10 “And all the people shall know, even Ephraim and the inhabitant of Samaria, that say in the pride and stoutness of heart, The bricks are fallen down, but we will build with hewn stones: the sycomores are cut down, but we will change them into cedars.” He convincingly argues that this scripture was fulfilled in the events surrounding the attack on the Twin Towers in NYC. His conclusion is that this attack was a harbinger of things to come to the unrepentant America. It is what he calls a warning shot. (You can listen to his full presentation on the topic here.) What Mr. Cahn fails to do is put any emphasis on who it is that is rebelling and in danger of God’s wrath. Verse 9 tells us plainly that this is Ephraim. Ephraim is America! Many Mormons know this, because this is one of the things which Joseph Smith taught. In fact, Brigham Young is known to have stated that Joseph Smith was “a pure Ephraimite.” America is more precisely composed of the scattered Ephraimites or Gentiles.
Ok, so what do solar eclipses have to do with prophecy? Eclipses in ancient times were often looked at as bad omens. There were a few recorded cases of eclipses happening shortly before earthquakes. These events left an impact on the minds of the people of those times which they no doubt passed onto future generations. Here is one recent example of a lunar eclipse being followed by an earthquake in our time: On September 16, 1978 a total lunar eclipse shadowed the country of Iran and a few hours later a devastating earthquake killed 15,000 people (close to the number of fatalities in the recent Japanese earthquake). There is evidence that lunar eclipses are a bad omen for Israel’s enemies, so there is the possibility that solar eclipses are bad omens for Israel. Ephraim is part of the house of Israel! Could this be God’s way of marking in the heavens his time of wrath for the unrepentant in America? Time will tell.
For some time I’ve been intrigued by the Great Pyramid of Giza (also known as the Pyramid of Khufu or the Pyramid of Cheops). I’ve been studying ideas concerning it on and off for a few years now and have become fairly convinced that it was a “temple” built by Seth and/or some of his descendants before the Great Flood/Deluge. It’s purpose? To stand as an immovable testament of God’s foreknowledge of the major events of the earth. This is a theory proposed by pyramidologists, a title often associated with quackery, somewhat like ufologists. Despite their tainted reputation, there are a few renowned scientists among their ranks, including Sir Isaac Newton and Scotland’s Astronomer Royal, Charles Piazzi Smyth, and lastly LDS apostle and mathematician Orson Pratt.
Pyramidology is based upon an interesting idea: the path from the entrance to the King’s Chamber when measured in pyramid inches (which are extremely close to English inches) provides absolute dating in years for the major events in Christian history. The following two dates are generally agreed upon:
1) 1453 BC: The Exodus
2) 33 AD: The Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ
There is greater disagreement with dates and events closer to our time, but if these two dates are correct, that gives us two markers on which to string all other Biblical events.
Taking 1453 to be the year of the Exodus we can then determine the year that King Solomon began construction of the temple.
“And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month Zif, which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the Lord.”
(1 Kings 6:1)
So we minus 480 from 1453 to come to 973 BC. Is there any other outside evidence that might corroborate this year? If we believe 28 AD to be a Jubilee year (see Finding the Prophetic Jubilee Year), this would make 23 BC a Jubilee year and thus 973 BC also would be a Jubilee year. A remarkable coincidence!
I’ve recently been studying the book of Revelation, the parts dealing with the Harlot Babylon and the 7-headed Beast. Interesting thing is the Book of Mormon has a great deal to say about the Harlot. It calls her the Great and Abominable Church of the Devil (See 1 Nephi chapters 13 and 14). It tells us that this abominable church was founded after a Jew published a pure version of the Bible and that this corrupted church corrupted this Bible. So, this must have happened sometime after Jesus and Peter. Us Mormons call this the Great Apostasy. Now the apostasy probably started before the church started changing their holy books, but we can see that over time it became full blown. It’s obvious the reason why apostate churches feel the need to change the word of God. Apostasy always leads to changes in doctrines and ordinances. In order for the apostate church to still look valid in the eyes of its members it has to change the words of God to conform with their new doctrines and ordinances.
One fundamental truth which the Bible teaches and which Joseph Smith taught is that God is consistent and his word is consistent. Since this consistency exists, God in scripture often refers us to other scriptures to back up what he’s saying. Here’s one example of this:
“And the great and abominable church, which is the whore of all the earth, shall be cast down by devouring fire, according as it is spoken by the mouth of Ezekiel the prophet, who spoke of these things, which have not come to pass but surely must, as I live, for abominations shall not reign.”
You won’t find the word “church” in the book of Ezekiel (or the Old Testament for that matter), but you do find the word “abominable” in three verses. One of these verses really sticks out:
“Thou also, which hast judged thy sisters, bear thine own shame for thy sins that thou hast committed more ABOMINABLE than they: they are more righteous than thou: yea, be thou confounded also, and bear thy shame, in that thou hast justified thy sisters.”
We find this near the beginning of that chapter:
“Son of man, cause Jerusalem to know her abominations,”
So Jerusalem is the harlot? Well, she’s one of them, but this chapter makes clear there are two harlots, one is Jerusalem and the other is her older sister Samaria. Jerusalem historically has been the capital of the Jews and Samaria was the capital of the rest of the house of Israel, led by the tribe of Ephraim. If we put this all together we come to conclude that the harlot is the house of Israel. Why is she the harlot? Because she departed from God and went after the traditions of the nations around her and she began serving their gods. Because she did this God withdrew his presence from her and left her to the consequences of her actions (for the full story read Ezekiel 16 and 23). So she was scattered. Ephraim and the other Ten Tribes was the first to scatter and then Judah was scattered in 70 AD after they killed Christ. And they both remained in that condition until the Restoration when Joseph Smith began to gather Ephraim back together. However, they still had too much Gentile blood in them and so they rejected the gospel (D&C 45:28-30). God knew they would do this and so he said that when the Gentiles reject the fulness of his gospel he would take it from them and give it to the house of Israel (3 Nephi 16:10-11). Who is the house of Israel? It includes those Gentile Ephraimites who “hearken unto the Lamb of God … And harden not their hearts against the Lamb of God.” (1 Nephi 14:1-2)
There is a pattern to this all:
“And the time cometh that [Christ] shall manifest himself unto all nations, both unto the Jews and also unto the Gentiles; and after he has manifested himself unto the Jews and also unto the Gentiles, then he shall manifest himself unto the Gentiles and also unto the Jews, and the last shall be first, and the first shall be last.”
(1 Nephi 13:42)
First Christ visited the Jews in Jerusalem (his 1st coming), then he visited the Gentile church founded by Peter. He then visited a second Gentile church founded by Joseph Smith (D&C 109:60). After this church goes into apostasy he will again visit an Jewish/Israelite church, but only after the Gentile portion has been purged from her. Those who recognize the signs of the times will stay close to God and he will lead them to the Moses he’s called to gather his people before the coming of Christ. (1 Nephi 22:20)
“And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.”
This one verse makes a mess of a common interpretation of the seven-headed beast and the harlot. That interpretation being that the last head of this beast is the Roman Catholic church and that the harlot is also the Roman Catholic church. How can the harlot and beast be the same entity if the one hates the other and destroys it?
It’s easy to see why many are convinced that the harlot is the Roman Catholic church. In scripture the Church of God is often referred to as a woman and an apostate Church as a harlot. The Catholic church is an easy target since it is the largest of the Christian churches and it is very wealthy. Not only that, but they are guilty of much bloodshed from their inquisition days. So it may be easy to picture her being drunk on the blood of the saints.
As for the beast, it’s argued that the 6th head was the Roman Empire and that the 7th head was the Roman Catholic church, which came to power after the fall of the Roman Empire.
Both of these ideas can’t be true and maybe neither is.
Let’s take a closer look at the 7th head of the beast. The book of Revelation tells us that there are 10 horns on this head and that these kings have not yet appeared on the scene at the time John the Revelator received the vision. When we compare this with the gold-headed image in Daniel, we find that the final kingdom of that image is the feet, which has 10 toes, some made of iron and others of clay. The previous kingdom of this image is the iron legs which suggest a kingdom that was divided in half. Was the Roman Empire divided in half? Yes, it was divided over religious differences into the Western Orthodox (Roman Catholic) church centered in Rome and the Eastern Orthodox church centered in Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul, Turkey). The toes most likely get their iron from one or both of these factions. But where does the clay come from?
It seems logical to look for the clay in the nations that made up the first kingdoms of the image, since the imagery of both Daniel and Revelation implies that the final kingdom is a composite of the previous kingdoms. These nations are generally agreed to be Babylon, Media/Persia, Greece, and Rome. I already addressed Rome, so where are these other kingdoms today? Babylon is modern-day Iraq, Persia is Iran, and Greece is well Greece. What powers rule these countries? Iran and Iraq are governed by Shi’a and Sunni Muslims. The prodominent religion in Greece is Greek Orthodox, which is a flavor of the Eastern Orthodox (Catholic) church. Islam and Cathlocism, a strange mixture indeed! But is there any evidence of an alliance forming between these religions/nations? The Prophet Muhammad indicated that the Muslim nations would make an alliance with a somewhat ambigious nation named Rûm. The popular Sheikh Imran Hosein identified Rûm, not as Rome, but as the fallen Byzantine Empire which used to be centered in Constantinople. However he says the religion of this empire (the Eastern Orthodox church) is now centered in Moscow, Russia. So he’s expecting a Russian/Muslim alliance in the not too distant future. This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise given the close economic/political ties between Russia and Iran in recent years.
I’ve identified two potential Eastern Orthodox nations (Russia and Greece) and two Muslim nations (Iran and Iraq) who are likely members of the ten-toed kingdom of these latter-days. At present I don’t think I can identify the other toes with any confidence, although I suspect Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, and Pakistan are among them. Other European countries may even be involved, however, I think we can all safely forget the declining European Union being involved in this alliance.
If the nations named are correctly identified as being part of the leadership of the final head of the beast, it should be relatively easy to identify who the harlot is. We just have to ask ourselves one question: “Which nation(s) do these four beast nations hate?” The United States is the obvious choice, but the Muslim nations also hate Israel and to a lesser degree Britain. We can certainly see how the population of the United States in general has lived an oppulent lifestyle compared to the rest of the world. The same is also true for many nations in Europe. In fact, it could be said that the reason for the United States’ wealth is because it rides on the back of third world countries (China, the Middle East, and South America). And she controls these countries through various economic means (sanctions, subsidies/loans, etc). Much of this is done through the World Bank, IMF, and the New York Stock Exchange. The book of Revelation also identifies the woman as a diverse city made up of many peoples and tongues, a city of trade and commerce. New York City is the natural match.
But how is the United States/New York City a harlot? You certainly couldn’t label this nation or city as belonging to any one church, although a large majority of the population of the United States still identify themselves as Christian, most of those being either Protestant (51%) or Catholic (24%). Interestingly in New York City, the demographics change somewhat, its population being 40% Catholic and 30% Protestant. Even if you can agree with me that both of these denominations are apostate, how could they be accused of being drunk on the blood of the saints? We could of course point to the inquisitions of the Catholic church, which no doubt have not been forgotten by God. However, those crimes aren’t specific to the United States. We do have one crime which continues to grow in popularity in the United States. Current statistics state that one out of every three American women will have an abortion in their lifetime. Could these unborn children be considered saints by God? This is certainly a possibility. As a Mormon, it is also my belief that the United States became guilty of shedding the blood of at least two saints when it allowed the life of the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum to be taken by an angry mob. Not only that, but many other Mormons lost their lives when they were driven from their homes in Nauvoo, Illinois by similar mobs. Many of them died in the harsh trek westward to Utah. Lastly, it’s a well known fact that the United States government was involved in the extermination of many Native Americans through war and the intentional spread of disease. Do you think a just God has forgotten these crimes against his people?
Some have speculated that 1967 was a Jubilee year since it was a year in which the Jews reclaimed much of their homeland in the Six-Day War. I will show here that there is far more evidence pointing to 1978 being a Jubilee year than 1967.
I will begin by searching for a Jubilee year around the time of Christ. After all, what greater liberation of the captives have we had in the history of man than what was made possible by Christ’s crucifixion? Most biblical historians place Jesus’ ministry somewhere between 26-33 AD. One of these years very likely was a Jubilee year.
“Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Cæsar… Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness. And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins;”
“And as the people were in expectation, and all men mused in their hearts of John, whether he were the Christ, or not; John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:”
“Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased. And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli,”
These passages from the 3rd chapter of Luke show us that Christ was baptized by John the Baptist in the 15th year of Tiberius Cæsar. History shows us that Tiberius began to reign in 14 AD. If we add 15 years to this date we get 29 AD. But he didn’t begin his reign at the end of the year, so we subtract one year to get 28 AD.
After Jesus was baptized he went into the desert and fasted for 40 days and endured the temptations of the devil. Afterwhich he returned to Galilee and taught in the synagogues.
“And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.”
Many believe Jesus was identifying this year in his ministry as a Jubilee year. This event seems to have happened relatively close to his baptism, very possibly that same year (28/29 AD), but we have no solid evidence for this. However, one could convincingly argue that it was early in Jesus’ ministry since it is one of the first few events related to us by Luke.
One of the most significant years in Mormon history is 1830, it being the year the church was founded and the Book of Mormon was first published. However, was it a Jubilee year?
Josephus states, “six hundred years; for the great year is completed in that interval.” (Antiquities of the Jews, Book Chapter 3, Section 9) It takes 12 Jubilees to make up 600 years (50*12=600). If we count back three of these 600 year periods we end up at 30 AD, remarkably close to the suspected Jubilee year during the time of Jesus.
Lorenzo Snow (the 5th President of the LDS church) believed 1830 to be a Jubilee year. This is evidenced by the fact that he called 1880 a Jubilee year and he forgave all Church debts in that year .
Moving foward two Jubilee years from 1880 to 1980, we find significant events happening in the nation of Israel. Probably the most significant is the 1978 Camp David Accords which lead to the 1979 Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty. Indeed, such a treaty would lead to a freeing of captives. True to their word, we have not seen any major aggression from Egypt toward Israel since 1978. Up until that point Egypt was the only country that participated in every attack made on Israel.
Lastly, some prophetic evidence:
“And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.”
The Jews stopped performing their daily sacrifices (morning and evening sacrifice) after the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 AD. The “abomination that maketh desolate” began to be built by the Muslims in 688/689 AD. It is known today as the Dome of the Rock. If you add 1290 to this year you get 1978/1979.
Believing 1978 to be a Jubilee year leads us into some interesting predictions for the future. Using the Samaritan calendar, we can give names to each of the “weeks” (7 years) of the 50 years following 1978.
|1979-1985||The crossing of the Red Sea|
|1986-1992||The changing of the water of marah|
|1993-1999||Where they found 12 water springs and 70 palm trees|
|2000-2006||The manna, which fell down upon them from heavens in the desert|
|2007-2013||The welling out of water from the rock|
|2014-2020||The battles against Amaleq|
|2021-2027||Standing at Mount Sinai|
We are still in the “welling out of water from the rock” week, which suggests economic hardship, not surprisingly started in 2007. Starting in 2014 we enter into seven years of war against Amaleq (descendants of Esau: the Arab/Muslim nations). After those years of war (or maybe during them), modern-day Israelites will be gathered to Mt Sinai.
Daniel gives another year to watch out for:
“Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.”
If we add 1335 to 688/689 we get 2023/2024. This is near the middle of the last week, after the week of wars with the Muslims. Indeed it would be a very blessed time.
LDS General Authorities don’t talk about Jesus being a husband and father, even though it is a core tenet of their faith that a man is required to be sealed to a spouse for eternity in an LDS temple if he is to attain godhood (Doctrine and Covenants 131:1-2). So how did Jesus become a God if he didn’t get married? And why would a faith that teaches “Families are Forever”, not have at its head a married man? Mormons do need a role model for this slogan and they tend to use Joseph Smith to fill this role, painting his wife Emma, him, and their children as the ideal family. This often has the unintended effect of causing Christians on the outside to perceive Mormons as Joseph Smith worshipers. If Mormons are to ever have a unified religion, they’ve got to come to grips with Jesus being married and having children. Not only do they need to believe it, but they need to preach it just as boldly as “The Family: A Proclamation to the World.”
Our bodies work best when we use them how God intended them to be used. This applies to diet, sleep, exercise, even work and play. God has laws which govern everything and when we break those laws we suffer the consequences, but if we obey them we enjoy the peace and happiness that comes when things work as they should.
We don’t know the laws of God as well as he does, so we often break them unwittingly. And even the ones we do know often take time to implement, since we are so habituated to our old ways. However, if we are to live the good life, we must learn God’s laws and strive to follow them. A close study of the scriptures gives us guidance on his laws. Here are a few of them:
PRIDE, LAUGHTER, LIGHT-MINDEDNESS, AND LUSTFULNESS
“…cast away your idle thoughts and your excess of laughter far from you.”
“Therefore, cease from all your light speeches, from all laughter, from all your lustful desires, from all your pride and light-mindedness, and from all your wicked doings.”
PRAYER AND FASTING
“Also, I give unto you a commandment that ye shall continue in prayer and fasting from this time forth.”
“Pray always, that ye may not faint, until I come. …”
TEACHING ONE ANOTHER
“And I give unto you a commandment that you shall teach one another the doctrine of the kingdom.”
COVETOUSNESS AND GIVING
“See that ye love one another; cease to be covetous; learn to impart one to another as the gospel requires.”
WORK, CLEANLINESS, FORGIVENESS, AND SLEEP
“Cease to be idle; cease to be unclean; cease to find fault one with another; cease to sleep longer than is needful; retire to thy bed early, that ye may not be weary; arise early, that your bodies and your minds may be invigorated.”
“That inasmuch as any man drinketh wine or strong drink among you, behold it is not good, neither meet in the sight of your Father…”
“And again, hot drinks are not for the body or belly.”
“And again, tobacco is not for the body, neither for the belly, and is not good for man, but is an herb for bruises and all sick cattle, to be used with judgment and skill.”
“Yea, flesh also of beasts and of the fowls of the air, I, the Lord, have ordained for the use of man with thanksgiving; nevertheless they are to be used sparingly; And it is pleasing unto me that they should not be used, only in times of winter, or of cold, or famine.”
“… all wholesome herbs God hath ordained for the constitution, nature, and use of man—Every herb in the season thereof, and every fruit in the season thereof; all these to be used with prudence and thanksgiving.”
“All grain is good for the food of man; as also the fruit of the vine; that which yieldeth fruit, whether in the ground or above the ground—Nevertheless, wheat for man, and corn for the ox, and oats for the horse, and rye for the fowls and for swine, and for all beasts of the field, and barley for all useful animals, and for mild drinks, as also other grain.”
“…[He] kneeled down, and prayed, Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.”
These were the immortal words which our Savior spoke in the Garden of Gethsemane just prior to partaking the “bitter cup”.
“And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”
What was Christ talking about when he said, “new testament”? It’s interesting to note what Merriam Webster’s first definition of testament is. It reads, “archaic: a covenant between God and the human race.” When we read the Old Testament and New Testament as Old Covenant and New Covenant, we see things in an entirely new light. It also causes us to realize that the phrase “New and Everlasting Covenant” isn’t so new, it’s just disguised in older jargon. So what is this New Covenant that Christ made with us that we renew every time we partake of the Sacrament each Sunday? The terms of the covenant can be found in the prayer itself:
“O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee, in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this wine to the souls of all those who drink of it, that they may do it in remembrance of the blood of thy Son, which was shed for them; that they may witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they do always remember him, that they may have his Spirit to be with them. Amen.”
We covenant to always remember Christ and if we do that then he will grant us his Spirit. So remembering Christ isn’t just supposed to happen twice a year, at Easter and Christmas, but we should be remembering him always. But what are we to remember about him? It states that we are to remember his blood, but why? What does the blood represent? Mortality. It represents him sacrificing his mortal life, as an example of what we must do if we are to obtain eternal life (this same symbolism can also be found in the baptismal covenant). For most of us this sacrifice seems overwhelmingly difficult. As with any difficult task, having an example of someone who has achieved that task, gives us faith that that it can actually be done. So it is that our elder brother made the sacrifice necessary for eternal life and showed us it can be done. He made this sacrifice before he hung on the cross, he made it in the Garden of Gethsemane when he said:
not my will, but thine, be done
So it is that if we will take this humble attitude into our daily lives then God will impart his Will to us through his Holy Spirit. It is obedience to this Will which will lead us to eternal life. What God asks us to do is rarely easy, we will often be tempted to disobey his Will and take an easier path. However, when we don’t follow his Will, he withdraws his Spirit and we loose access to all the blessings he has to offer through obedience…at least until we repent. Those who persist in repenting and endure to the end will be exalted. That’s a guarantee given by God!
Orthodox Jews have a very fascinating belief. The Wikipedia page on Shidduch describes it like so:
“Bashert, (Yiddish: באַשערט), is a Yiddish word that means “destiny”. It is often used in the context of one’s divinely foreordained spouse or soulmate, who is called “basherte” (female) or “basherter” (male).”
We can see from this that the original purpose of the matchmaker was to pair up couples who were “foreordained” to be together. Foreordination isn’t a foreign idea to Mormons seeing it is one of the primary teachings taught in the Book of Abraham:
“Now the Lord had shown unto me, Abraham, the intelligences that were organized before the world was; and among all these there were many of the noble and great ones; And God saw these souls that they were good, and he stood in the midst of them, and he said: These I will make my rulers; for he stood among those that were spirits, and he saw that they were good; and he said unto me: Abraham, thou art one of them; thou wast chosen before thou wast born.“
In a canonized vision Joseph F. Smith received we also find this:
“The Prophet Joseph Smith, and my father, Hyrum Smith, Brigham Young, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, and other choice spirits who were reserved to come forth in the fulness of times to take part in laying the foundations of the great latter-day work, Including the building of the temples and the performance of ordinances therein for the redemption of the dead, were also in the spirit world. I observed that they were also among the noble and great ones who were chosen in the beginning to be rulers in the Church of God.”
From these two passages we can see that God already decided who was going to lead his Church through every age, even before the earth was created. If this is the case, wouldn’t it also seem probable that God foreordained every marriage and that the Jewish matchmaking system came into being to facilitate the need to determine God’s will in these unions? God’s revelation on eternal marriages heavily implies that this is the case:
“Or will I receive at your hands that which I have not appointed? And will I appoint unto you, saith the Lord, except it be by law, even as I and my Father ordained unto you, before the world was?”
Isn’t God saying here that he can’t accept a marriage unless he ordained it “before the world was”? If this is the case and he allowed you to eternally marry someone who he did not foreordain, wouldn’t he be a covenant breaker and cease to be God? So how do you know you’re following his will in your choice of a spouse? It seems to me that you’d want to ask a man who speaks with God: a prophet. Do you know where to find such a man or how to seek him out?