Sunday, September 30, 2018

Scripture


What is Scripture?
1. "And this is the ensample unto them, that they shall speak as they are moved upon by the Holy Ghost. And whatsoever they shall speak when moved upon by the Holy Ghost shall be scripture, shall be the will of the Lord, shall be the mind of the Lord, shall be the word of the Lord, shall be the voice of the Lord, and the power of God unto salvation." Doctrine and Covenants 68:3–4
2. "For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost2 Peter 1:21

Our scriptures are a compilation of the parchments, scrolls, and animal skins over thousands of years. Glen Kimball said: "These documents were not written by the churches of the world, or by journalists, scientists or historians. They were written by the imperfect friends and family of Jesus himself -- those who wanted us to know Him as they did."[i]

The Past of Scripture
  • Sources of the Holy Bible: Following the crucifixion, upon skins, scrolls, letters, in the basements of churches[ii]
  • Sanhedrin - A body of 71 men, consisting of mostly wealthy Pharisees, but lead by Annas and Caiaphas who were Sadducees. The Sadducees determined that the only scripture they used were the 5 books of Moses. All other prophetic writings of the 24 prophets since Moses were not to be found in Jerusalem, but in the library of Alexandria in Egypt[iii]
  • Secret Combination formed after crucifixion to remove women from scriptures. In 200 AD, sacred documents by and about women were burned[iv]
  • Roman Emperor Constantine declared Christianity the official religion in 313 AD. [v]
  • Rumors of the 2nd coming, but didn't happen. He took opportunity to declare himself as a deity and of apostolic descent, diminishing Christ's role. [vi]
  • Constantine calls the council of Nicea in 325 AD. This Council was politically charged and combined the parchments, scrolls, and skins that suited their political agendas into what we call our modern bible. [vii]
  • Those who spoke against the new Trinity doctrine of God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost as a single being were called heretics. One man named Arius tried to encourage the inclusion of sacred texts from Alexandria in Egypt, and was vocal in support of God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Ghost as individual beings. At one meeting a man named Nicholas punched Arius in the face. [viii]
  • In 325 ad the text was canonized and anyone who spoke in favor of adding additional records were called heretics[ix]
  • The letters, journals, and firsthand account documents that failed to be included became known as "Apocrypha" which means "Hidden" or "Secret". Some argue these writings contain more of the words and accounts of Jesus than are included in the Bible, and more are being found all the time.
·         The word "Apocrypha" has a bad connotation in many circles, but it is good:  "Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you concerning the Apocrypha—There are many things contained therein that are true, and it is mostly translated correctly; There are many things contained therein that are not true, which are interpolations by the hands of men. Verily, I say unto you, that it is not needful that the Apocrypha should be translated. Therefore, whoso readeth it, let him understand, for the Spirit manifesteth truth; And whoso is enlightened by the Spirit shall obtain benefit therefrom; And whoso receiveth not by the Spirit, cannot be benefited. Therefore it is not needful that it should be translated. Amen." Doctrine and Covenants 91

  • During the 18 years of absence of Jesus in the New Testament, the young Savior of the world was traveling with his brother Joseph of Arimathea to India, throughout the Roman Empire which included basically the Mediterranean, and went as far west as Briton.
  • While on those journeys, writings and accounts of Jesus were written and are included in many apocryphal writings, as well as Buddhist and Hindu records, and are included in the Islamic Quran. Because those writings are recorded among other world religions' records they are largely rejected by mainstream Christians.
Are the Scriptures Complete?
Joseph Smith said: “… ‘Is not the canon of the Scriptures full? If it is, there is a great defect in the book, or else it would have said so.”[x]


The Present of Scripture
Canon - A word of Greek origin, originally meaning “a rod for testing straightness,” now used to denote the authoritative collection of the sacred books used by the true believers in Christ.[xi]
  • The Holy Bible
  • The Book of Mormon
  • The Doctrine and Covenants
  • The Pearl of Great Price

*Going back to original definition, anything spoken "when moved upon by the Holy Ghost". Regardless of Gender, or church position


The Future of Scripture

"We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God." 
Articles of Faith 1:9

Neal A. Maxwell said: “Lost books are among the treasures yet to come forth. Over twenty of these are mentioned in the existing scriptures. Perhaps most startling and voluminous will be the records of the lost tribes of Israel (see 2 Ne. 29:13). We would not even know of the impending third witness for Christ except through the precious Book of Mormon, the second witness for Christ! This third set of sacred records will thus complete a triad of truth. Then, just as the Perfect Shepherd has said, “My word also shall be gathered in one” (2 Ne. 29:14). There will be “one fold and one shepherd” (1 Ne. 22:25) in a welding together of all the Christian dispensations of human history (see Doctrine and Covenants 128:18).”[xii]


2 Nephi 29: 6-14
6 Thou fool, that shall say: A Bible, we have got a Bible, and we need no more Bible. Have ye obtained a Bible save it were by the Jews?
7 Know ye not that there are more nations than one? Know ye not that I, the Lord your God, have created all men, and that I remember those who are upon the isles of the sea; and that I rule in the heavens above and in the earth beneath; and I bring forth my word unto the children of men, yea, even upon all the nations of the earth?
8 Wherefore murmur ye, because that ye shall receive more of my word? Know ye not that the testimony of two nations is a witness unto you that I am God, that I remember one nation like unto another? Wherefore, I speak the same words unto one nation like unto another. And when the two nations shall run together the testimony of the two nations shall run together also.
9 And I do this that I may prove unto many that I am the same yesterday, today, and forever; and that I speak forth my words according to mine own pleasure. And because that I have spoken one word ye need not suppose that I cannot speak another; for my work is not yet finished; neither shall it be until the end of man, neither from that time henceforth and forever.
10 Wherefore, because that ye have a Bible ye need not suppose that it contains all my words; neither need ye suppose that I have not caused more to be written.
11 For I command all men, both in the east and in the west, and in the north, and in the south, and in the islands of the sea, that they shall write the words which I speak unto them; for out of the books which shall be written I will judge the world, every man according to their works, according to that which is written.
12 For behold, I shall speak unto the Jews and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto the Nephites and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto the other tribes of the house of Israel, which I have led away, and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto all nations of the earth and they shall write it.
13 And it shall come to pass that the Jews shall have the words of the Nephites, and the Nephites shall have the words of the Jews; and the Nephites and the Jews shall have the words of the lost tribes of Israel; and the lost tribes of Israel shall have the words of the Nephites and the Jews.
14 And it shall come to pass that my people, which are of the house of Israel, shall be gathered home unto the lands of their possessions; and my word also shall be gathered in one. And I will show unto them that fight against my word and against my people, who are of the house of Israel, that I am God, and that I covenanted with Abraham that I would remember his seed forever.

What will it look like when additional scripture comes forward?
We've heard the Joseph and Moroni story so many times that I'm concerned if scripture comes to us in a different way that we may refuse it. I encourage an open mind, and above all, follow the Holy Ghost (Moroni 10:5). Glen Kimball said: "The Christians of today walk around with Jesus on their lips, but with rejection of the extra-Biblical stories of Jesus, just like many Jews did in Jesus' time. Reading material outside the Bible is considered 'heresy' for Christians to this day."[xiii]

How will Father in Heaven unite the nations and religions of the world? Will it not be through scripture?

Would it be shocking to learn that during those missing years of Christ from the New Testament, that he was traveling with his brother Joseph of Arimathea and not only lived among Buddhists and Hindu's, but became respected, and even deified in those religions? By some accounts Jesus Christ is the great Buddha Isha. By other accounts Jesus is the Hindu God Krishna. He is Jehova, the God of the Jews; and he was highly regarded among Islam and Mohhamed as a prophet, as well as other stories from the New Testament. As with other mythology and folklore, impure traditions have crept into these stories, but earnest seeking and asking may verify the truth of this idea.

I see a future time at the Savior's return when only he can pronounce to all the major religions of the world, that He has been in their scriptures for 2,000 years or more, and we knew him not, and that he longs to gather us as a hen gathereth her chickens. 3 Nephi 10:5–6. Only then can all the inhabitants of the earth truly know He is our God, Savior, and the rightful King of the earth. Only then will we see as the Apocryphal prophet Zenos said in the allegory of the Olive Tree that the vineyard we all live in was once pure, and the fruit of the vineyard has indeed become corrupt, and it is time to go back to our mother tree, the House of Israel (see Jacob 5, and 6).

I know for myself that more scripture will come forward, and even already has. With all the unexplored ruins in the America's it is likely additional scripture from the Lamanites and Nephites will come forward. With all the missions and church investment in the Phillipines, more is likely to come from there. With the near complete silence of Christ's presence in mainland Asia we are likely to see records from there, and in fact, already have. And I've received personal witness that additional records will come forth from Briton, which will validate the truths contained in British Folklore and Legend. All of which will no doubt validate the divine role of the Savior, and help to establish him as the true King of Kings of the whole earth and beyond.



[i] Glenn Kimball, "Hidden Stories of the Childhood of Jesus Vol 1", 1999 printing; pg. 15
[ii] Glenn Kimball, "Hidden Stories of the Childhood of Jesus Vol 1", 1999 printing; pg. 19
[iii] Glenn Kimball, "Hidden Politics of the Crucifixion", 1998; pg 59
[iv] Glenn Kimball, "Hidden Politics of the Crucifixion", 1998; pg 61
[v] Glenn Kimball, "Hidden Stories of the Childhood of Jesus Vol 1", 1999 printing; pg. 20
[vi] Laurence Gardner, "Bloodline of the Holy Grail", 2001; Pg. 139
[vii] Glenn Kimball, "Hidden Stories of the Childhood of Jesus Vol 1", 1999 printing; pg. 28
[viii] Laurence Gardner, "Bloodline of the Holy Grail", 2001; Pg. 139
[ix] Glenn Kimball, "Hidden Politics of the Crucifixion", 1998; pg 61
[x]  Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 121
[xi] LDS Bible Dictionary: "Canon", accessed https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bd/canon
[xii] Neal A. Maxwell, “God Will Yet Reveal” October 1986 General Conference Talk
[xiii] Glenn Kimball, "Hidden Politics of the Crucifixion", 1998; pg 61

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

The Prophetess


Word studies are thrilling for me. I feel like a single word has the potential of unlocking hidden treasures of knowledge (Colossians 2:3; Doctrine and Covenants 89:19). I really enjoy finding those words which have evolved over the centuries and now have nearly the opposite meaning they once had. Hidden within those words is something the adversary no doubt recognizes as a threat to his plan, and thus is an important part of Father’s plan.

Consider for example the words "prophet", or "prophetess" and adversary's intentions to minimize their sacred roles on earth. Worldly views, as demonstrated in media, represent prophets as crazy men dressed in tattered robes, with unkempt hair, and shouting doom and gloom from street corners. The prophetess is portrayed as a woman with a crystal ball, burning incense, and often using demonic voices. Hardly the kinds of people I would follow, and very different from how I imagine Moses, Isaiah, or Hulda, for example.

By the adversary's design, the idea of hearkening to prophets and prophetesses by cultural standards is absurd, and therefore those who heed Satan’s message are without an anchor on a storm-tossed sea, and are more apt to be driven with the wind and become his subjects (James 1:6). Brigham Young said, “cut the thread that binds you to the prophet of God, and sink yourselves to hell” (Brigham Young, quoted by Harold B. Lee; CR, April 1963, p. 81).

I am a witness of the sacred and divine role of the prophet, which witness I feel many Christians also have (see other Prophet blog posts Follow Prophets Appropriately, Prophet Essentials). But in this post I am concerned with the seeming lack of understanding surrounding the prophetess. Doctrinally speaking, her place in God’s kingdom in modern or ancient times is ambiguous and even a bit taboo at times.

The LDS Guide to the Scriptures defines a prophetess as: A woman who has received a testimony of Jesus and enjoys the spirit of revelation. A prophetess does not hold the priesthood or its keys. We can assemble more on the purpose of prophetesses from the scriptural examples of Miriam, Deborah, Huldah, Anna, Rebekah, Hannah, Elisabeth, and Mary. The Mentinah archives in addition to the historical accounts and traditions of many world religions also provide additional insight in women's often divinely appointed gifts and sacred roles in the Kingdom.

More can be gleaned about prophetic women by exploring the governing structure of the kingdom of Israel in ancient times. This is important because we are now the kingdom of God run by Gentiles with an impending scriptural transition back to the Kingdom of God run by Israel. Therefore, a strong likelihood exists that the role of the prophetess will find place in God's kingdom once again; not to mention prophets in the way they once existed, as a third governing body of gifted revelatory individuals. I believe that transition has already begun.

In Israelite times, church government was the same thing as civil government; politically speaking Israel was a church-state. The scriptures were the law. In a similar way to modern gentile democracies, three branches comprised Israelite government: 1)The Civic leader; 2) the High Priest who oversaw temple worship; 3) the teachers, prophets, or warners. Looking at modern church government, it appears that the Lord has combined the civic, religious, and prophetic roles practiced among ancient Israelites into one governing structure.

The first two governing groups were comprised of men holding priesthood keys. The third governing structure feels to me like it was governed by the Holy Spirit, and was comprised of those men and women who were blessed with the spirit of prophecy. I love the idea that women not only posses divinely appointed gifts, but those prophetic gifts were once celebrated and employed in the governing affairs of the kingdom.

A few of the prophetess stories from scripture illustrate the three different functions of Israelite government, and some other interesting points about female prophets:

Miriam - Little is known of her or her ministry, but her role as a leader in Israel was directly mentioned by the prophet Micah when speaking to Israel: “For I brought thee up out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed thee out of the house of servants; and I sent before thee Moses, Aaron, and Miriam” (Micah 6:4). Through Micah, the Lord indicated His leaders during the Exodus, focusing on the head of each of the three groups mentioned previously, with Moses acting as the chief civic leader, Aaron as the Priest overseeing worship, and Miriam leading the prophets.

Deborah – she was perhaps the only prophetess among them all who had a place in the civil aspects of government, in addition to her prophetic role in the third group. We learn from the Book of Mormon and from examples like Deborah in the Old Testament that it was a common practice in the kingdom of God to use leaders with prophetic insight and revelation during times of war (see 3 Nephi 3:19). Deborah's more notable prophecy indicates she was involved in leading and prophesying during war time among Israelites (see Judges 4:6-7). For this gift and curious stewardship, it may be worth noting a similarity to Joan of Arc, who also possessed prophetic gifts and lead men in war.
Deborah's involvement in Israelite government was no doubt in part to her prophetic gifts, but it is also an indication of the spiritually weakened condition of the men in those times to fulfill leadership roles. This was a common theme among ancient prophets to speak of times of unrighteousness to such a degree that women had to step away from motherly duties to fill leadership roles commonly held by men who were too wicked (see Isaiah 3:12). I think of it like only those who held current temple recommends could fill governing functions, and there were periods when so few men were temple worthy, that the women had to compensate for their spiritual depravity.

Huldah - her story is most peculiar to me among the female prophets. She lived at the time of King Josiah, and King Zedekiah (group 1), and just before the time of the destruction of Jerusalem, when the Lord sent many prophets in the land (see 1 Nephi 1:4, Jarom 1, Enos 1:22, Ether 11:1). Among them were Jeremiah (the high priest overseeing temple worship from group 2), Ezekiel, Daniel, and Lehi of the Book of Mormon; all of which embodied the third group of Israelite government, the prophets.

When a scroll was found in the temple, King Josiah wanted to know if the prophetic warnings contained therein were of God. Among all the prophets he could have consulted with, he chose Huldah to provide a prophetic witness and authentication. Her powerful Messianic response is an indication that as a prophetess she was able to speak firsthand for the Lord, which response can be found in 2 Kings 22:15-20.

Anna - she was an elderly prophet at the time of the Savior's birth. When her husband died after seven years of marriage, she dedicated the remainder of her life to the Lord in temple service. While her scriptural footprint is small, I believe her lifelong proximity to government (which consisted of temple worship) is evidence of the way ancient Israelite's held prophets and prophetesses in high regard.

There are other women in scripture who were living witnesses that God is no respecter of persons, and that He poured out His gifts upon whomever He chose. But these scriptural examples of female prophet's beg the question: If God is no respecter of persons, and is the same today, yesterday, and forever (Heb. 13: 8), then where are the female prophets today?

I know Father is sending additional messengers to warn in these latter days. I have observed His voice from both expected and unexpected sources; men and women; member and non-member. I have found that we sometimes con-volute the simplicity of the Savior's council with who and who should not prophesy - who or who we should not hearken to. The Savior gave simple and clear direction to us concerning those voices, with no qualifications to gender, priesthood position, worldly credentials, or so on - examine their fruits to know if they are good or bad (see Matthew 7:16-20).  One of His servants, Neal A. Maxwell, gave equally simple advice: "Voices of warning are meant to be heard, not just raised" ( Neal A. Maxwell, "Brightness of Hope"; October 1994).

May we listen for the Lord’s warning voice in whomever he uses to warn, including prophetesses which are among us now, as in times of old.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

The Greatest Gift of All - A Poem


The Greatest Gift of All
April 4, 2018

One morning as I searched the meadow of my mind
I gazed across its vistas hoping I would find,
Wisdom to end dark patterns, and cycles that confound;
from self-made weapons  forged in life that often hold me bound.

Then a voice of softness, wise and firmly spake,
"Not those who seek will find here, but those who come and make".
I then created scenes from near and distant past;
Scenes depicting choices made, and consequence amassed.

The voice then said to look around, and see what I could see
My mind created paths I've traveled, which then became the key;
Above each path a word appeared, describing my desires,
Thoughts and motives of my past and all that had transpired.

The natural man and tendency from deep within then came
And looking past the source of pain, sought someone else to blame.
"Surely someone mean and vile hath brought to me this shame!"
But reason spoke in piercing voice, declaring just my name.

Then humbled and on fallen knee, with soul about to burst,
I sought to find a trend, a theme, of why I'd been my worst.
The paths that led to quick delights were short and never steep;
No sweat or pain, just smooth terrain, their motive was always me.

Then recognizing self to be the source of all my pain,
I asked the voice to please make known a path of nobler gain.
And to the side of where I spent the vastness of my life
A path emerged, with sticks and stones, and steepness, and of strife.

Throngs of souls just then emerged, encompassing where I'd trod
I watched them seek for pleasures there, while they themselves applaud.
Yet on the nobler path I saw but few souls climbing there;
Each had left the path below without the need of fanfare.

Curious and concerned I asked, "To what, seek these souls abroad?"
Further ahead I looked and beheld a Grove called The Gifts of God.
And in that grove stood many a vial, of different shapes and size
With different appeal, and some were concealed, but each stood tall in my eyes.

When those who had left the valley below arrived at the sacred grove
Covered were they, in blood sweat and tears, as long they each had strove.
I watched as they opened the vials, and drank what they contained
Their joy became full, their bodies were healed and they shared their gifts unrestrained.

From one vial was given the gift of sight, to know the mysteries of God,
Another held the gift of faith, and one to know true from fraud.
To some was given to speak in tongues and others the gift to heal,
To others the spirit of prophesy, and to me all those gifts were real.

I watched in delight as those souls took their peace, and rested from their cares
While others persisted in taking them in until each of the gifts became theirs.
Then marveling in the scene which I saw, and feeling I'd seen the end
My thoughts were dispelled, and hunches were quelled, as I heard the voice of my friend:

"To those who sought gifts, and used them to bless the souls of those in need,
They'll come to find one vial more, but only when absent of greed;
Who seek, and ask, and pray in faith, and seek God in pure clarity,
The last gift, though modest, is greatest of all, and is known as charity."

It stood apart from other vials, and was housed at the top of the trail,
Through thistles and thorns, and snares to forlorn all those who would there travail.
Its outward appearance left nothing to desire; its size was rather small
It wasn't the gift that most pursued, nor sought to possess at all.
For those who persisted, arrived at long last, finally to obtain
Looked within and took a drink, and were never the same again.

The voice then said "And what hast thou learned?", as I looked back on my life
I searched my heart as I paused to reflect on past grief, turmoil, and strife,
"In pursuit of pleasure and selfishness and to all of those cares did I cling;
Though a man has God's gifts, and knoweth all things, without divine love he is nothing."

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Thy Kingdom Come - Doctrinal Notes

**“It has been the design of Jehovah, from the commencement of the world, and is His purpose now, to regulate the affairs of the world in His own time, to stand as a head of the universe, and take the reins of government in His own hand. When that is done, judgment will be administered in righteousness; anarchy and confusion will be destroyed, and ‘nations will learn war no more.’ It is for want of this great governing principle, that all this confusion has existed. … The Lord has at various times commenced this kind of government, and tendered His services to the human family.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith [1974] 250-51; emphasis added)
1.       
      Adamic Theocracy
a.       Adam given dominion over all the earth Moses 2:26-28
                                                               i.      Joseph Smith: The Priesthood was first given to Adam; he obtained the First Presidency, and held the keys of it from generation to generation. He obtained it in the Creation, before the world was formed, as in Gen. 1:26, 27, 28. He had dominion given him over every living creature.  (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith [2007] 104)
b.      Theocratic Government (Patriarchal Order) under direction of God established Moses 6:1-22; D&C 107:40-52
                                                               i.      McConkie: A theocracy cannot operate except among righteous people who voluntarily submit to its authority. Under this system of government, which is the Lord's way of ruling on earth, there is and must be absolute freedom of worship. It is, in effect, a system of government in which the Church, which is the kingdom of God on earth, rules over the Lord's people. The Church, being true and being the Lord's, of necessity administers the gospel. The gospel is the plan of salvation presented by the Father in the Grand Council, the chief characteristic of which is agency. Thus, in a theocracy, "men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil." The theocracy of the Adamic age was patriarchal, and from Adam to Noah all the legitimate powers of government, both civil and religious, descended from father to son. That is to say, government in all its forms and with all its powers was centered in the family. (A New Witness for the Articles Faith [1985] 657-58; emphasis added)
2.       False and Imitation Theocracy
    1. Cain established an imitation theocracy (Moses 5: 18-42)
    2. McConkie: “And thus the pattern was set. Ever thereafter, when evil and carnal men set up governments of compulsion, governments in which the secular arm imposed a way of worship upon men, such governments were not of God and such ways of worship had no divine approval.” (A New Witness for the Articles Faith [1985] 658)
3.       Enoch's Theocracy Moses 7
    1. McConkie: By the time of Enoch, the seventh generation from Adam, the population of the earth was great and the governments among men diverse. Adam and his faithful seed gloried in their divine system of government; Cain and his seed, and all who had fallen away, had nations and governments and religions—imposed religions—of their own. Up to this point in time, a separation of church and state had never entered the minds of men. All anyone knew about was a government that controlled both civically and religiously. When Enoch preached among the wicked, made converts, and built his City of Holiness, that original Zion operated so perfectly upon theocratic principles that the Lord of heaven himself came and dwelt with his people. So perfect was the system and so righteous were the people that they received instruction from the Lord in person as well as from his duly constituted servants on earth. What better system of government could there be? Providentially it is one that will differ only in size and complexity from the government that shall prevail over all the earth when the Lord reigns during the Millennial era. (A New Witness for the Articles Faith [1985] 659; emphasis added.)
    2. McConkie: “After the immersion of the earth in the waters of Noah came a day of new beginning. As in Adam's day, the faithful lived under a theocratic system, and as in the days before the flood, those who chose to live after the manner of the world set up their own governments and their own ways of worship. The seed of Shem, Ham, and Japheth began to populate the earth, and it so continued for more than four hundred years, when Abraham, who received theocratic power from Melchizedek, went down into Egypt. There he found a descendant of Ham, reigning as Pharaoh, whose government was patterned after the patriarchal governments of old, but which was devoid of priesthood and revelation, and hence, as far as worship is concerned—a worship prescribed, mandated, and commanded by Pharaoh—had turned to ‘idolatry.’ (Abraham 1:20-27.) “That which prevailed in Egypt was symbolical of false worship among all peoples and races of the day. No one was free to worship as he chose; all people in all nations worshipped as their governments prescribed, and the head of their government was ordinarily the head of their religious system. This is a concept we must understand if we are to put the worship of all people in all ages in its proper perspective. The worship of the world was decreed and required by Satan, who proposed in preexistence to deny men their agency and save all mankind by forcing them to worship as he decreed.”  (A New Witness for the Articles Faith [1985] 660
4.       Theocracy reestablished through Moses
    1. Joseph Smith: When the children of Israel were chosen with Moses at their head, they were to be a peculiar people, among whom God should place His name; their motto was: "The Lord is our lawgiver; the Lord is our Judge; the Lord is our King; and He shall reign over us." While in this state they might truly say, "Happy is that people, whose God is the Lord." Their government was a theocracy; they had God to make their laws, and men chosen by Him to administer them; He was their God, and they were His people.  Moses received the word of the Lord from God Himself; he was the mouth of God to Aaron, and Aaron taught the people, in both civil and ecclesiastical affairs; they were both one, there was no distinction; so will it be when the purposes of God shall be accomplished: when "the Lord shall be King over the whole earth" and "Jerusalem His throne." "The law shall go forth from Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem." (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith [1974] 252)
    2. McConkie: Israel inherited the patriarchal system from the Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and, with the exodus from Egypt, it was renewed by revelation given to Moses.  Ancient Israel was a theocracy.  God governed.  He revealed his religion; he called his prophets; he designated the Levites as the priests; he appointed judges and kings; and he defined their foreign policy and directed when they should go to war.                                                 (A New Witness for the Articles Faith [1985] 660)
5.       Israelite Government
a.       Government with God at the Head
b.      The law was administered according to "The Law of Moses"
c.       Administered by three categories of people:
                                                               i.      Religious Officers
1.       High Priest (Urim & Thummim) 1 Samuel 28:6
2.       Priests & Levites:
a.       Residence: Num. 25:1-8; Num 35:2-8
                                                                                                                                       i.      Levitical Cities - Only tribe who did not receive land of an inheritance. About 40 cities were interspersed among all other tribes, where they carried out the following:
b.      Responsibilities:
                                                                                                                                       i.      Teaching Law Lev. 10:11, Deut 33:10
                                                                                                                                     ii.      Ceremonies & Ordinances
                                                             ii.      Civic Offices (Joshua 24:1)
1.       General Level:
a.       Chief Judge Deut. 17:8-13
2.       Local Level:
a.       Elders Deut. 19:12
b.      Judges & Officers Deut 16:18
                                                            iii.      Prophetic Offices (Instructors, Warners) Deut. 18:9-22
1.       Prophets, Men of God (and Angels)
2.       Scriptural Examples:
a.       Jonah
b.      Lehi
c.       Samuel the Lamanite
d.      Abinidai
3.       Duties
a.       Seers & Revelators (1 Sam 28:6)                                  
b.      Preaching (2 Chron. 15:1-13)
c.       Warning (1 Sam. 2:27-36)
                                                           iv.      Kings introduced into Law of Moses (Works as long as King acknowledges higher power of God)
1.       What happened in the days of wicked and rebellious kings? They simply instituted their own ways of worship, appointed their own priests, and, when it pleased them so to do, commanded the worship of Baal, or Ashtoreth, or Molech, or whatever deity pleased their fancy. The religions of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites, and all the nations that inhabited the land before Israel, were state religions. The worship in Assyria, Babylonia, Egypt, and all the nations of the Gentiles was by government edict. People were not free to choose their own gods and to worship according to the dictates of their own conscience. In the minds of the credulous and superstitious Gentiles, the issues of war and peace, life and death, national survival or defeat were all tied in to the proposition of whose god was the greatest – Baal or Jehovah; the god of the Assyrians or the God of Jacob; the gods of the Canaanites or the Lord of Hosts who camped with Joshua; the god of whatever nation or the God of Israel. (A New Witness for the Articles Faith [1985] 661)
6.       The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
    1. BIBLE DICTIONARY: (Kingdom of God or Kingdom of Heaven) The kingdom of God on earth is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (D&C 65). The purpose of the Church is to prepare its members to live forever in the celestial kingdom or kingdom of heaven. However, the scriptures sometimes call the Church the kingdom of heaven, meaning that the Church is the kingdom of heaven on earth. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the kingdom of God on the earth, but it is at present limited to an ecclesiastical kingdom. During the Millennium, the kingdom of God will be both political and ecclesiastical.
c.       Said Brigham Young: “I am more afraid that this people have so much confidence in their leaders that they will not inquire for themselves of God whether they are led by Him. … Let every man and woman know, by the whisperings of the Spirit of God to themselves, whether their leaders are walking in the path the Lord dictates, or not.” (JD, vol. 9, p. 150.) https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1972/04/civic-standards-for-the-faithful-saints?lang=eng

** The first portion of these notes on government largely come from the work of Bruce Satterfield


THREE ISRAELITE GOVERNING OFFICES
This list is not complete, and is a work in progress

Time Period Religious Office Civic Office Prophets / Warners / Teachers
? Melchizedek Melchizedek Melchizedek?
Aaron / Eleazar Moses Moses?
Eli / Samuel Samuel (Judge) Samuel
1020-1000 Saul Samuel?
1000-961 Abiathar / Zadok David Samuel / Nathan / Gad?
1015-975 Solomon
975-957 Rehoboam Ahijah / Shemaiah
954 Nadab Oded / Azariah
953 Baasha Hanani / Jehu
914 Jehoshaphat Elijah / Micaiah
898 Ahaziah Jahaziel / Eliezer
897 Jehoram Elisha / Obadiah
856 Jehoahaz Joel
826 Jeroboam II Hosea / Jonah
811 Azariah or Uzziah Amos
742-735 Jotham Isaiah
735-715 Ahaz Isaiah
715-687 Hezekiah Isaiah / Micah
687-642 Manasseh
642-640 Amon Nahum
640-609 Hilkiah (Daniel in Babylon) Josiah Huldah (woman), Jeremiah, Zephaniah (woman), Hananiah
609 Jehoahaz Obadiah
609-598 Jehoikim
598-597 Jehoiachin Habakkuk
597-590 Jeremiah - High Priest Mattaniah - Zedekiah King Ezekiel / Lehi
536 Joshua
520 Joshua Zerubbabel - Governor of Judah Haggai / Zechariah
453 Eliashib
444 Nehemiah - Gov. of Judea
432 Malachi
413 Joiada Nehemiah - Gov. of Judea
373 Johanan
341 Jaddua
321 Onias I
300 Simon the Just
292 Eleazar
277 Manasseh
250 Onias II
217 Simon II
195 Onias III
175 Jason
172 Menelaus
163 Alcimus
156 Jonathan - Ruler of Judea
153 Jonathan
143 Simon
142 Simon - Prince of the Jews
135 John Hyrcanus
105 Alexander Jannaeus
78 Hyrcanus II Alexandra
41 Herod / Phasael - Tetrarchs
0-33 Ananus / Caiaphas Herod John the Baptist: Jesus Christ
BOOK OF MORMON
Time Period Religious Office Civic Office Prophets / Warners / Teachers
600 BC Jeremiah King Zedekiah Lehi
Lehi Lehi Lehi
544 Jacob? King Nephi Jacob/Joseph have 'spirit of much prophecy', "Consecrated preists and teachers…" Jacob 1:6, 18; Jacob 2:2-3; 2 Ne. 5:26
544 Jacob / Joseph ("errand from the lord" - Jacob 1:17) King Nephi II (Jacob 1:9, 15) Jacob/Joseph
Enos? "Exceedingly many prophets"
"Mighty men in the faith of the Lord" (Jarom 1:7) Jarom "Many among us who have many revelations", "Prophets of the Lord", "Prophets, priests, and teachers…"
Mosiah I (seer - interpreted writings) King Mosiah I (Omni 1:19)
King Benjamin (WOM 17) "the holy prophets", "Many holy men", "the prophets", "Just men appointed"
Alma I (Mosiah 6:3; 23:16; 26:7-8) King Mosiah II (Mosiah 1:15)
False Priests King Noah - False Government Abinidai (Mosiah 26:15)
91 BC Alma II (Mosiah 29:42); Giddonah (Alma 30:23); Ammon "…over that people…" (Alma 30:20) Alma II - 1st of General Chief Judges (younger); Mosiah 29:42; Alma 4:4; Local Chief Judge mentioned in Alma 30:21,29 Alma II (Alma 16:5 - has "spirit of prophecy"), "Fellow laborers -over the church" Mosiah 26:38
83 BC Nephihah (Alma 4:17,20)
73 BC Helaman I (Alma 37:1; 45:20-23) Chief Judges (Alma 46:34); Captain Moroni "Priests and Teachers" Helaman 3:25
68/67 Pahoran I (Alma 50:39-40)
52 Pahoran II (Hel 1:1,5)
52 Pacumeni (Hel 1:13)
50 Helaman II (Hel 2:1-2)
39 Nephi II (Hel 3:37) Samuel the Lamanite
30 Cezoram (Hel 4:18;5:1)
26 Cezoram's son (Hel 6:15
Seezoram (Hel 6:39; 9:23
1 Lachoneus I (3 Ne 1:1)
30 Lachoneus II (3 Ne 6:19)
Nephi III
AD 110 Amos I
AD 194 Amos II
AD 305 Ammaron
AD 321-335 Mormon
AD 385 Moroni