A few posts ago I talked about an exciting find in section 6 of the D&C that showed that Oliver and Joseph had been given a gift that would bring to light the existing ministry that Sidney Rigdon had been involved in.
In it we discussed how Oliver, Parley and their missionary companions played an important part in bringing to light the existing ministry by taking the Book of Mormon to Sidney Rigdon and how Joseph Smith played an important part by giving a revelation which identified the fact that Sidney had been called to a great work without even knowing it, and that he would have an even greater work in the future. Additional revelations followed through the prophet which gave additional information about the past and future ministry of Sidney Rigdon.
I still feel that everything discussed in that post is applicable and perhaps even a shadow fulfillment of the prophecy for the 2nd watch however, I think there is more to it.
Recently I went back and reread the chapter and I drilled down a little further.
Although Oliver and his missionary companions were led to Sidney by personal revelation and although Joseph was acting as a prophet to receive the revelations that reveal who Sidney was… it occurred to me that the primary “gift” that the Lord was referring to was the gift of being able to “translate” ancient records.” It also occurred to me that the full understanding of Sidneys calling was not really fully brought to light back during the 2nd watch.
Joseph had just translated the Book of Mormon with the help of Oliver as his scribe and Oliver had just been given the promise that at a future time he would get to translate ancient records as well… hence, Oliver also had, or would be given the gift of translation at a future time.
As I pondered this, wondering how the gift of translation had helped to identify Sidney Rigdons calling it occurred to me that perhaps two of the most important sections of scripture identifying Sidney’s calling are 2 Ne. 3: 17-18 in the Book of Mormon and JST Gen. 50: 24-38 in the Bible. Both of these speak about the “Spokesman” and his ministry and provide a point of reference for latter day revelation to refer to when revealing who Sidney is.
Certainly the gift of translation that brought forth the Book of Mormon and the inspired version of the Bible (JST) containing prophecies about Rigdons ministry is part of what the Lord was referring to as well.
Furthermore, the revelation in section 6 begins by stating that a Marvelous Work was about to come forth referring of course to the 3rd watch… I wonder if in the 3rd watch, perhaps Joseph and or Oliver will translate additional records that will shed further light and testimony on the past and future ministries of Sidney Rigdon, Gods Spokesman…. Something to ponder!
Moving on to another but somewhat related topic, there is an interesting article on www.ldsanarcy.wordpress.com wherein 3rd Nephi 21 is broken down and expounded on verse by verse.
Chapter 21 and the above mentioned commentary on it provides a compelling argument for the 3 Watches Doctrine because it shows with great clarity how there is going to be a future time when additional records come forth and a final gathering of Israel takes place and the gospel goes forth again. I encourage you to read it.
I do want to mention however, an alternative way to interpret a particular section of this chapter however;
Let me bring your attention to the following verses in this chapter that are mentioned in the above article;
“And my people who are a remnant of Jacob shall be among the Gentiles, yea, in the midst of them as a lion among the beasts of the forest, as a young lion among the flocks of sheep, who, if he go through both treadeth down and teareth in pieces, and none can deliver. Their hand shall be lifted up upon their adversaries, and all their enemies shall be cut off.” (verse 12)
Many people often assume that the remnant that shall be among the Gentiles like a lion in the midst of sheep is referring to the mortal descendants of Lehi that we refer as the Lamanites. Below please see another quote from the article;
“The Lord has used the Lamanites in this manner before. (See 2 Nephi 5: 25.) Another prophecy that talks of the same event is found here:”
“And it shall come to pass also that the remnants who are left of the land will marshal themselves, and shall become exceedingly angry, and shall vex the Gentiles with a sore vexation. (D&C 87: 5)”
The above conclusion is a typical interpretation by many LDS scholars. It is certainly a logical conclusion to assume that the remnants who marshal themselves to vex the gentiles are the same people as is mentioned in verse 12 of chapter 21, however, I would suggest that the two prophecies are speaking about two separate remnants of Lehi.
Have you ever wondered why it is that Enoch and his people were translated and caught up after living the higher law of consecration and also Melchizedek and his people were translated and caught up after living the higher law of consecration and yet Nephi and his people successfully lived consecration but were not translated and caught up.. they each lived to a certain age and then died in the Lord.
I am going to suggest that the first two groups lived in the Old Testament times before the ministry of Christ while Nephi and his people lived during New Testament times during the ministry of Christ.
I believe Nephi and the righteous Nephites that established a Zion after the visit of Christ, had a different calling to perform than Enoch, Melchizedek and their people. Their calling required them to return in the 3rd watch to cleanse America and to built up the New Jerusalem.
The righteous Nephites of the 1st watch are to unite with the righteous Saints of the 2nd and 3rd watches to redeem Zion and prepare the earth for Christ’s Coming in Glory. After they do this they will be caught up to meet Christ and Enoch and Melchizedek and their people in the clouds.
This is what the dispensation of the fullness of times is about… bringing all past dispensations together and gathering all things into one.
Let me give you a few reasons why I believe the remnant of Jacob that Christ visited is going to RETURN to the earth;
While speaking to the righteous Nephites the Savior said to them that when the Marvelous Work takes place the Gentiles that repent will help “THIS, the remnant of Jacob unto who I have given this land for an inheritance”. In other words Christ was speaking to the righteous Nephites and designating them as the remnant that the righteous Gentiles would assist in building up the New Jersalem in the 3rd watch. He was letting them know that rather than being caught up to be with the city of Enoch, they would be returning to the earth in the end times to help finish the work
Christ explains that it is AFTER the righteous Nephites, that he is speaking to, return to the earth that the “Gospel shall be preached among the remnant of this people” as well as all the tribes that have been lost and all of the dispersed of Gods people.
The Savior explains that when the nations of the earth gather to make war with the Saints it will include those righteous Nephites that Christ is ministering to in 3rd Nephi.
In the previous chapter the Lord made it clear that it was not talking about the posterity of the Nephites he was speaking to that would go forth among the gentiles as a lion among lambs but rather it was them! “Then shall YE who are a remnant of the house of Jacob go forth among them”
“and YE shall be among them as a young lion among the flocks of sheep who if he goeth through both treadeth down and teareth in pieces and none can deliver.”
That analogy indicates that the army being spoken of will have zero casualties when they go forth destroying the wicked Gentiles. Although angry human Lamanites could go forth without casualties if the power of God was with them, the description makes more sense if it is referring to the righteous Nephites who are quickened and returned from the dead. After all, the prophecy in section 87 is talking about angry remnants who marshal themselves, they are not necessarily righteous people being marshaled by the Lord or his servants.
Back in chapter 16 of 3rd Nephi the Lord revealed that he would not be starting from scratch in establishing Zion during the 3rd watch but rather, he would be returning the righteous Nephites that lived consecration and established Zion back in the 1st watch! He would BRING AGAIN A ZION that had previously been established.
“But if they will not turn unto me, and hearken unto my voice, I will suffer them, yea, I will suffer my people, O house of Israel, that they shall go through among them, and shall tread them down, and they shall be as salt that hath lost its savor, which is thenceforth good for nothing but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of my people, O house of Israel. Verily, verily, I say unto you, thus hath the Father commanded me—that I should give unto this people this land for their inheritance. And then the words of the prophet Isaiah shall be fulfilled, which say: Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing, for they shall see eye to eye when the Lord shall BRING AGAIN Zion.”
This is a great key in realizing that the ministry of the Seer and the Spokesman in the 3rd watch is not just taking the word of God to the mortal remnants of Israel which includes the Lamanites, it includes bringing AGAIN Zion. It includes gathering up the strength of his house to go and tear down the tower of the enemy and then to fight the great battle when the whore gathers against them.
Clearly a mortal remnant of the Lamanites will become angry and will marshal themselves to vex the Gentiles and they play an important roll in the civil strive that will take place in the United States as mentioned in the prophecy in section 87 however that prophecy is not referring to the remnant of Jacob that is brought forth from the dust and marshaled by Gods servants to cleanse American and build up the New Jerusalem.
This is what Daniel was speaking about when he revealed that the stone would smash the toe of the kingdoms of the world before the stone would roll forth.
There is going to be a military strike by the strength of Gods warriors that begins the stone rolling forth.
The remnant of Jacob is going to awake from a deep sleep and brush off the dust and come forth to fulfill their calling.
Praise the Lord…