The Book of Mormon Harlot

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.”
(D&C 29:21)

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.”
(Ezekiel 16:52)

We find this near the beginning of that chapter:
“Son of man, cause Jerusalem to know her abominations,”
(Ezekiel 16:2)

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)


Harlot and the Beast

“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.”
(Revelation 17:16)

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?