By President of Seventy,
Nolan W. Glauner
AN ANOINTED PRIESTHOOD
Enemies of the Restoration Movement have made accusations that those believing in the Book of Mormon and latter day prophecy have elevated Joseph Smith Jr., to a level equal to that of our Savior, Jesus Christ. I want to make myself perfectly clear that I do not believe this and I do not know of anyone in the restoration who does. I think that any true Christian would agree that no human could possibly claim that perfection of our Lord and Savior. Having said that, I would like to address the subject of the ‘anointed son of Joseph’. We as individuals often misunderstand each other. We have been self-taught or schooled to accept certain meanings of words within our vocabulary. According to the interpretation of the Hebrew word, Messiah, contained in the Bible King David would be classified as a messiah for the word messiah translated means anointed king or anointed priest. King David was anointed with oil by Samuel the prophet.
Joseph Smith Jr., was truly a unique man. The church and work he brought forth can only be labeled by Jew and Gentile, bond or free, as the work of God or the work of the Devil it cannot be in any possible way the work of a man. So why do Latter Day Saints believe that he was called of God with a mission to accomplish much restoration for the chosen children of God? As the old folk saying goes, “the proof is in the pudding.”
“. . . And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself, shall not stand. And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how then shall his kingdom stand?” Matthew 12:21
It is also written. . . "I say unto you, that whatsoever is good, cometh from God, and whatsoever is evil, cometh from the devil; Therefore, if a man bringeth forth good works, he hearkeneth unto the voice of the good shepherd; and he doth follow him; But whosoever bringeth forth evil works, the same becometh a child of the devil; for he hearkeneth unto his voice, and doth follow him.” Alma 3:67- 69
Joseph was anointed to perform all that the Lord gave him and finished his work and it was a glorious work filled with wonderful glory along with persecutions against his work by the Devil.
Some would say that he fulfilled the predicted prophecy of the ancient Jews who proclaimed that before the last day a man who was anointed of the house of Joseph would do great things and this anointed person would start the work of the gathering of Israel and the re-establishment of the ten tribes of Israel to their inheritances. The ancient Jews called this man from the tribe of Joseph, “The Messiah Ben [son of] Joseph.
We as a people do not have any trouble thinking of the anointing of kings Saul and David by Samuel the prophet, or the Holy Oil anointing of the priesthood under the leadership of Moses, but it seems that it is just to outlandish to think of a more modern man of God that did the things that Joseph Smith Jr., did to be considered anointed of the Lord for a special purpose.
If we truly believe the Holy Scriptures we will realize that all priesthood, the sons of Moses [Melchisedek] and sons of Aaron should receive this Holy Oil [consecrating] anointing.
Definition; MESSIAH: “A messiah is a saviour or liberator of a people in the Abrahamic religions. In the Hebrew Bible a messiah (or mashiach) is a king or High Priest traditionally anointed with holy anointing oil. However, messiahs were not exclusively Jewish kings, as the Hebrew Bible refers to Cyrus the Great, king of Persia, as a messiah, for his decree to rebuild the Jerusalem Temple. The Jewish messiah is a leader anointed by God, physically descended from the Davidic line, who will rule the united tribes of Israel  and herald the Messianic Age  of global peace also known as the World to Come.”
Jewish Rabbis have written about two major Messiah’s that were to make their appearance, the Messiah Ben Judah, [son of David], and the Messiah Ben Joseph [of the tribe of Joseph] and that each will have a very different mission or purpose in the world. Much has been written containing the amazing similarities between the prophetic mission of the messiah ben Joseph and the life and ministry of the prophet Joseph Smith Jr.
Joseph Smith was a Major General in the Nauvoo Legion [Militia], recognized by the Government of the United States. It was stated that at one time he held the highest military rank in America. He claimed a divine mission appointed of God to restore what was lost on earth to the church of Jesus Christ and his kingdom. He was instrumental in re-organizing the scattered people of God and setting the church into order. One of the stated goals of the church was to gather the scattered tribes of Israel.
Patriarchs in the founding church would give the tribal linage for the member in their patriarchal blessings. Joseph was instrumental in building two temples commanded of God; one in Kirtland, Ohio and one at Nauvoo, Illinois. He was murdered in his battle against evil forces that were hell bent to destroy him. He did not die before completing the work the Lord gave him.
From the Encyclopedia Judaia we read: “…According to the Talmud, the Messiah will be a descendant of the house of David and will be preceded by a secondary Messiah from the house of Joseph. When the Chief Rabbi, Avraham Hakohen Kook, was appointed in Palestine in the 1920’s, he was asked if the Jews could now build the temple (destroyed since year 70 A.D.). His response was that the priestly rights were gone and referred to the great 12th century Rabbi Moses Maimonides. Maimonides said, in effect, ‘we are waiting for a Messiah Ben Joseph, to him will be given the keys to the gathering of Israel, He will restore temple worship.”
From the Jewish Encyclopedia which is now a part of the public domain:
“Finally, there must be mentioned a Messianic figure peculiar to the rabbinical apocalyptic literature—that of Messiah ben Joseph. The earliest mention of him is in Suk. 52a, b, where three statements occur in regard to him, for the first of which R. Dosa (c. 250) is given as authority. In the last of these statements only his name is mentioned, but the first two speak of the fate which he is to meet, namely, to fall in battle (as if alluding to a well-known tradition). Details about him are not found until much later, but he has an established place in the apocalypses of later centuries and in the midrash literature—in Saadia's description of the future ("Emunot we-De'ot," ch. viii.) and in that of Hai Gaon ("Ṭa'am Zeḳenim," p. 59). According to these, Messiah b. Joseph will appear prior to the coming of Messiah b. David; he will gather the children of Israel around him, march to Jerusalem, and there, after overcoming the hostile powers, reestablish the Temple-worship and set up his own dominion. Thereupon Armilus, according to one group of sources, or Gog and Magog, according to the other, will appear with their hosts before Jerusalem, wage war against Messiah b. Joseph, and slay him. His corpse, according to one group, will lie unburied in the streets of Jerusalem; according to the other, it will be hidden by the angels with the bodies of the Patriarchs, until Messiah b. David comes and resurrects him (comp. Jew. Encyc. i. 682, 684 [§§ 8 and 13]; comp. also Midr. Wayosha' and Agadat ha-Mashiaḥ in Jellinek, "B. H." i. 55 et seq., iii. 141 et seq.).
When and how this Messiah-conception originated is a question that has not yet been answered satisfactorily. It is not possible to consider Messiah b. Joseph the Messiah of the Ten Tribes. He is nowhere represented as such; though twice it is mentioned that a part of the Ten Tribes will be found among those who will gather about his standard.” *Messiah ben David reference is according to our belief the second coming of Christ.”
The above was written by Jews and no doubt their opinions were influenced by their ridged teachings. These teachings also caused them to miss the significance of the first coming of their Messiah.
the mission of Joseph Smith:
Lehi’s dying prophecy over his son Joseph
“. . .Joseph [of Egypt] truly saw our day. And he obtained a promise of the Lord, that out of the fruit of his loins, the Lord God would raise up a righteous branch unto the house of Israel; Not the Messiah, but a branch which was to be broken off; nevertheless, to be remembered in the covenants of the Lord, That the Messiah should be made manifest unto them in the latter days, in the spirit of power, unto the bringing of them out of darkness unto light; yea, out of hidden darkness and out of captivity unto freedom. For Joseph truly testified, saying: A seer shall the Lord my God raise up, who shall be a choice seer unto the fruit of my loins. Yea, Joseph truly said, Thus saith the Lord unto me: A choice seer will I raise up out of the fruit of thy loins . . . And unto him will I give commandment, that he shall do a work for the fruit of thy loins, his brethren, which shall be of great worth unto them, even to the bringing of them to the knowledge of the covenants which I have made with thy fathers. . . And he shall be great like unto Moses, whom I have said I would raise up unto you, to deliver my people, O house of Israel. And Moses will I raise up, to deliver thy people out of the land of Egypt. But a seer will I raise up out of the fruit of thy loins; and unto him will I give power to bring forth my word unto the seed of thy loins. . .And his name shall be called [Joseph] after me; and it shall be after the name of his father. And he shall be like unto me; for the thing which the Lord shall bring forth by his hand, by the power of the Lord shall bring my people unto salvation;” 2 Nephi 2: 6- 30
6 April 1830 “Behold, there shall be a record kept among you; and in it thou [Joseph] shalt be called a seer, a translator, a prophet, an apostle of Jesus Christ, an elder of the church through the will of God the Father, and the grace of your Lord Jesus Christ, Being inspired of the Holy Ghost to lay the foundation thereof, and to build it up unto the most holy faith; which church was organized and established, in the year of your Lord eighteen hundred and thirty, in the fourth month, and on the sixth day of the month, which is called April.” D&C 19: 1a- 1c
“Listen to the voice of him who speaketh, to the word of the Lord your God, and hearken to the calling wherewith you are called, even to be a high priest in my church, and a counselor unto my servant, Joseph Smith, Jr., unto whom I have given the keys of the kingdom, which belongeth always unto the Presidency of the high priesthood;” D&C 80:1b, c
“And again, verily I say unto you, my friends, A commandment I give unto you, that ye shall commence a work of laying out and preparing a beginning and foundation of the city of the stake of Zion, here in the land of Kirtland, beginning at my house; [house of the Lord] and, behold, it must be done according to the pattern which I have given unto you.” D&C 91:1a
“And thou shalt anoint Aaron and his sons, and consecrate them that they may minister unto me in the priest's office. And thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel, saying, This shall be a holy anointing oil unto me throughout your generations. ” Exodus 30:30, 31
“. . .and the sons of Moses and of Aaron shall be filled with the glory of the Lord upon Mount Zion in the Lord's house, whose sons are ye; and also many whom I have called and sent forth to build up my church;” D&C 83:6b
Jesus was anointed with holy oil
“. . .therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.” Hebrews 1:8, 9
Consecrated oil represents the Spirit of God.
All of our priesthood should, when ordained as Aaron was ordained, be anointed [consecrated] with Holy Oil! §§
Isn’t the church of Christ supposed to be socialist in its nature? What about Christ’s message to give all you have to the poor and follow him? What about the message in the Doctrine and Covenants that says that we should have equality in all material things? Sounds kind of like socialism to me!
“. . . A certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, and kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles' feet. But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? While it remained [as thy possession], was it not thine own; and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power [to retain the proceeds?]; why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? Thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God? And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost; and great fear came on all them that heard these things. And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him. And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in. And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, yea, for so much. Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? Behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out.” Acts 5:1- 9
The fatal sin that Ananias and Sapphira committed was not the sin of not giving, but of lying and conspiring to lie about the transaction. They were not required to give the proceeds of the sale of their property to the church. Evidently they had made a pledge to give the total proceeds of the sale and then withheld a part attempting to swindle the church out of what they had pledged. They did not realize that they were lying to God not man. While they thought they could get away with it God judged them and took their lives.
The following was given as a commandment of God for; . . . the inhabitants of Zion
The Zionic law of total consecration
“. . . as they receive more than is needful for their necessities and their wants, it shall be given into my storehouse, and the benefits shall be consecrated unto the inhabitants of Zion and unto their generations, inasmuch as they become heirs according to the laws of the kingdom. Behold, this is what the Lord requires of every man in his stewardship, even as I, the Lord, have appointed, or shall hereafter appoint unto any man. And behold, none are exempt from this law who belong to the church of the living God; yea, neither the bishop, neither the agent, who keepeth the Lord's storehouse; neither he who is appointed in a stewardship over temporal things; he who is appointed to administer spiritual things, the same is worthy of his hire, even as those who are appointed to a stewardship, to administer in temporal things; yea, even more abundantly, which abundance is multiplied unto them through the manifestations of the Spirit; nevertheless, in your temporal things you shall be equal, and this not grudgingly, otherwise the abundance of the manifestations of the Spirit shall be withheld.” D&C 70:2b- 3d
BUT WAIT A MINUTE! If we give everything we have to the poor we will become poor also, who will take care of us in our poverty? And who is to determine what constitutes the poor- Is it the church, the bishop, the Zionic stake - Is it the individual? Just as all legislation within the church is accepted by common consent, so we also have to agree to what we give to the church whither it conforms to a celestial law or a lesser law.
The key to understanding this seemingly contradiction is, ‘inasmuch as they become heirs according to the laws of the kingdom’.
When we inter into the kingdom environment, we must conform to a Celestial law, not a terrestrial one.
“For he who is not able to abide the law of a celestial kingdom, cannot abide a celestial glory; and he who cannot abide the law of a terrestrial kingdom, cannot abide a terrestrial glory; he who cannot abide the law of a telestial kingdom, cannot abide a telestial glory: therefore, he is not meet for a kingdom of glory.” D&C 85:5b
Actually seeking riches is not sinful if they are sought by righteous people and for a good purpose.
“But before ye seek for riches, seek ye for the kingdom of God. And after ye have obtained a hope in Christ, ye shall obtain riches, if ye seek them; and ye will seek them, for the intent to do good; to clothe the naked, and to feed the hungry, and to liberate the captive, and administer relief to the sick, and the afflicted.” BoM Jacob 2:23, 24
It appears that God does not condemn the righteous rich if the riches are obtained by honest means and are used for good purposes. The Doctrine and Covenants clarifies that there is a different law for those who are in the kingdom [the church triumphant] and those who are still living in the world [the church militant] environment. Now we can ask, what is this about two separate laws and two different categories of members and priesthood within the overall church? Yes there must be two designations that describe the two different functions of the general church as the church militant and the church triumphant. The church militant is the calling of the general church and priesthood who fight against error and corruption until the church is victorious and the kingdom organization can take place. Until we are able to enter into the kingdom environment we remain in the world and it is our duty to witness to our neighbors of the fullness of the gospel and the kingdom. Those entering into the kingdom enter into the covenant of a celestial law and to live their lives in harmony with this higher law.
So far we have fallen short of the celestial glory of God.
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” Romans 3:23
We should also be aware that Presidents, Apostles, High Counselors, Seventies and Bishops wear two hats. One of these hats they wear in the church militant. They go out into the world and mix with worldly people in order to draw them to repentance and the covenant so that they might be saved with the house of our God, the house of Israel. The other hat is worn by those holding like offices in the church triumphant. This is the church gathered and organized into the holy sanctuaries, stakes and eventually into the Holy City New Jerusalem. Each hat carries a great amount of responsibility for those wearing them. The church militant rounds up the new converts and cause them to gather into the church triumphant where they can become polished jewels in the kingdom of our Lord.
“Behold, I say unto you, Were it not for the transgressions of my people, speaking concerning the church and not individuals, they might have been redeemed even now; but, behold, they have not learned to be obedient to the things which I require at their hands, but are full of all manner of evil, and do not impart of their substance, as becometh Saints, to the poor and afflicted among them, and are not united according to the union required by the law of the celestial kingdom; and Zion cannot be built up unless it is by the principles of the law of the celestial kingdom, otherwise I cannot receive her unto myself;” D&C 102:2a- c
“Therefore, it [the earth] must needs be sanctified from all unrighteousness, that it may be prepared for the celestial glory; for after it hath filled the measure of its creation, it shall be crowned with glory, even with the presence of God the Father; that bodies who are of the celestial kingdom may possess it for ever and ever; for, for this intent was it made and created; and for this intent are they sanctified.” D&C 85:4c, d
“For he who is not able to abide the law of a celestial kingdom, cannot abide a celestial glory; and he who cannot abide the law of a terrestrial kingdom, cannot abide a terrestrial glory; he who cannot abide the law of a telestial kingdom, cannot abide a telestial glory: therefore, he is not meet for a kingdom of glory.” D&C 85:5b
Our probationary period upon this earth is a critical time for us to realize that we are conforming to a higher or lesser law of God. We are also informed that if we quickened [made alive] by even a portion of the celestial law, we will then receive a fullness. It is by that law that we are quickened by that will determine our glory:
“Ye who are quickened by a portion of the celestial glory, shall then receive of the same, even a fullness; and they who are quickened by a portion of the terrestrial glory, shall then receive of the same, even a fullness: and also they who are quickened by a portion of the telestial glory, shall then receive of the same, even a fullness:” D&C 85:6d- f
“Verily I say unto you, that it is my will that an house should be built unto me in the land of Zion, like unto the pattern which I have given you; yea, let it be built speedily by the tithing of my people: behold, this is the tithing and the sacrifice which I, the Lord, require at their hands, that there may be an house built unto me for the salvation of Zion; for a place of thanksgiving, for all Saints, and for a place of instruction for all those who are called to the work of the ministry, in all their several callings, and offices; that they may be perfected in the understanding of their ministry; in theory; in principle and in doctrine; in all things pertaining to the kingdom of God on the earth, the keys of which kingdom have been conferred upon you. And inasmuch as my people build an house unto me, in the name of the Lord, and do not suffer any unclean thing to come into it, that it be not defiled, my glory shall rest upon it;” D&C 94:3a- 4a
“And the Lord called his people Zion, because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them; and Enoch continued his preaching in righteousness unto the people of God.” D&C 36:2h, I
The promise still stands for those who overcome!
“Fear not, little flock, the kingdom is yours until I come. Behold, I come quickly, even so. Amen.” D&C 34:6d §§
How do we face that complex future into which each one of us is inevitably being propelled?
I am often at loss to know what can be done for a broken and dysfunctional world. Oh I know that many are completely satisfied with their lives and the way the world is functioning now, but can they be sure that they have not just been conditioned to accept the path of least resistance while ignoring the terrible crimes, wars, and lack of virtue that has become accepted in our failing society? Even if we recognize the dysfunctional aspects around us is there really anything we can do about it? Are we so helpless now that everything seems to go well if we just walk the maze while not bumping into any walls, in other words just not going against anything that is called popularity or the modern trend? Do you think the solution to this dysfunction is to pray, go to church, say hello to our neighbor when we see them in their yard? Should this be sufficient to fulfill our requirements for the gifts and talents our gracious God has given to us?
I served twenty years in the U.S. Air Force and in my later career years I would often have some young airman come to me all dejected and discouraged. He would sometime use some pretty bad language to describe his thoughts about the Air Force. I would remind him that if the Air Force was so terrible so was he as he was the Air Force. Of course I did this to attempt to get him to realize that it is the individual that makes up the organization and I would contend that this is true, whither Air Force, Church, or the Kingdom of God.
My title “The New Jerusalem; When” should make each of us think. Do we have any personal responsibility for its coming forth? God gave mankind dominion over all the earth along with all things on it so that kind of makes what is done on earth our responsibility does it not?
I am convinced that God wants us to exercise that dominion and up until now we have been doing a pretty bad job of it. Could it be that the answer to our failed society is not just more and fuller churches, but the full implementation of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ? Our society has failed in our efforts to bring peace and brotherly love to our people and in turn be an example to the world. I believe the only answer to our failed society is for us to create a true, and successful society. This cannot be accomplished solely by relying on the imagination and efforts of man of what this society shall consist. The society I am talking about is that society that God has identified to us as ‘His people and His priesthood’, and who were given the laws and keys to accomplish a society of virtue and righteousness as father Enoch was able to do in his day.
What do I mean when writing about a full implementation? Joseph Smith was given the law at Kirtland, Ohio, and this law is contained in the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants. He was also given, along with the presidency of the church the keys of the kingdom. These keys were the power from on high to bring into existence a totally new society, a society which was to be built upon the laws and pattern given to us in the Doctrine and Covenants. The beginning nucleus of this society is described as the individual stake with its full complement of priesthood and members building and living on land that is dedicated to Holiness, being sanctified by the Lord. These stakes, [Holy Sanctuaries] of the Lord were meant to expand in number until they someday fill the whole earth. Since stakes are Holy Sanctuaries, only those seeking sanctification through the blood of Christ are allowed to enter and live.
Sanctification [to make God’s people holy] was a primary effort and goals since the church was restored by Joseph Smith. The process was amplified after the Kirtland Temple was dedicated.
From the book “The Teachings of Joseph Smith” Page: 178-179 Prayer,
Dedication Prayer for the Lord's House in Kirtland Ohio March 27, 1836. By Joseph Smith, Jr.,
President of the Church of the Latter Day Saints.
“O Jehovah, have mercy upon this people, and as all men sin, forgive the transgressions of thy people, and let them be blotted out forever. Let the anointing of thy ministers be sealed upon them with power from on high: let it be fulfilled upon them as upon those on the day of Pentecost: let the gift of tongues be poured out upon thy people, even cloven tongues as of fire, and the interpretation thereof. And let thy house be filled, as with a rushing mighty wind, with thy glory. Put upon thy servants the testimony of the covenant that where they go out and proclaim thy word, they may seal up the law, and prepare the hearts of thy saints for all those judgments thou art about to send, in thy wrath, upon the inhabitants of the earth because of their transgressions, that thy people may not faint in the day of trouble. And whatever city thy servants shall enter, and the people of that city receive their testimony let thy peace and thy salvation be upon that city, that they may gather out from that city the righteous, that they may come forth to Zion, or to her stakes, the places of thine appointment, with songs of everlasting joy, and until this be accomplished let not thy judgments fall upon that city.”
Color coding and underline; By the editor.
Joseph was desirous to sanctify the priesthood and saints at Kirtland. He and the various quorums of priesthood performed washings and anointing’s in the Kirtland Temple.
This practice was criticized by the R.L.D.S. Church. Introduction to the R.L.D.S. Doctrine and Covenants Section107:
“ . . . It will be noted that several paragraphs are devoted to references to such practices as "washings," "anointing’s," and "memorials for your sacrifices" and matters which "have been kept hid from before the foundation of the world" (paragraphs 10, 11, 12, 13). Concerning such esoteric practices the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints declared as early as April 9, 1886, that "we know of no temple building, except as edifices wherein to worship God, and no endowment except the endowment of the Holy Spirit of the kind experienced by the early saints on Pentecost Day."
In New Testament times there were purification [sanctification] rites for someone who should prepare to enter the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. The Apostle Paul adhered to these requirements before entering into the Sanctuary.
“Then Paul took the  men, and the next day purifying [sanctifying] himself with them entered into the temple, to signify the accomplishment of the days of purification, until that an offering should be offered for every one of them.” Acts 21:26
[SANCTIFY: Strong's number: 6942- Hebrew: qadash Pronunciation: kaw-dash' a primitive root; to be (causatively, make, pronounce or observe as) clean (ceremonially or morally): --appoint, bid, consecrate, dedicate, defile, hallow, (be, keep) holy (-er, place), keep, prepare, proclaim, purify, sanctify (-ied one, self)]
We were provided with salvation through baptisms and made holy [sanctified] by the blood of Christ and the Holy Spirit of God. Only when a person has entered into the covenant are they allowed to partake of the bread and wine that represents the body and blood of the Christ.
Likewise the covenant people of God who choose to enter into a Holy Sanctuary, the Temple of God or a stake of Zion, need to make personal preparations for entering. The grounds upon which the stake will be dedicated, consecrated, and blessed for the dwelling place for the Saints of the Most High; “. . . Jesus said unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man hath not where to lay his head.” Luke 9: 58
Jesus proclaimed that there was not a place on earth that he could call his own where he could lay his head, for there was not a place that remained sanctified for the Son of God. We know that God or His Spirit cannot dwell in unholy temples and each citizen of Zion represents as the Apostle Paul stated, a temple of God.
There have been many attempts of well-meaning priesthood members and Saints who tried to start Zionic communities, but failed to get the results they desired. “Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it; except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.” Psalms 127: 1
The stakes of Zion [designated by the presidency of the church] must be built on the pattern given of the Lord or they will fail. The RLDS Church failed to see the importance of this fact. Joseph Smith III, as president of the high priesthood at Lamoni, Iowa [even though they called Lamoni a stake] when the saints at Lamoni wanted to organize into a stake, said that the saints should not attempt to gather into stake organizations, but instead should loosely gather in the areas round about. This effectually stopped the progress and ability to build up the kingdom of Christ within the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
The Utah Church followed God’s pattern to an extent, but when Brigham took a faction of the church to the Great Basin all that went with him were church members and when they established towns and stakes all were Mormons. But when the secular populations moved into Utah the church did not segregate out the stakes from the towns or cities. I believe both factions, the RLDS and the LDS failed to accomplish what God wanted and commanded under Joseph Smith Jr.
Jesus commanded us; “. . . Seek not the things of this world but seek ye first to build up the kingdom of God, and to establish his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:38
Have we done this? I think not! But let me emphasize, The Kingdom, Zion and her stakes in some degree and form will be built prior to the return of our Lord.
Inspired Holy Scriptures and God’s words through his latter day prophet Joseph Smith Jr., furnishes us with a sequence of these end time events.
“. . . righteousness and truth will I cause to sweep the earth as with a flood, to gather out my own elect from the four quarters of the earth unto a place which I shall prepare; a holy city, that my people may gird up their loins, and be looking forth for the time of my coming; for there shall be my tabernacle, and it shall be called Zion, a New Jerusalem.” D&C 36:12f- g
“. . . I have decreed that your brethren, which have been scattered, shall return to the land of their inheritances and build up the waste places of Zion; for after much tribulation, as I have said unto you in a former commandment, cometh the blessing. Behold, this is the blessing which I have promised after your tribulations, and the tribulations of your brethren; your redemption, and the redemption of your brethren; even their restoration to the land of Zion, to be established, no more to be thrown down; nevertheless, if they pollute their inheritances, they shall be thrown down; for I will not spare them if they pollute their inheritances. Behold, I say unto you, The redemption of Zion must needs come by power; therefore I will raise up unto my people a man, who shall lead them like as Moses led the children of Israel, for ye are the children of Israel, and of the seed of Abraham; and ye must needs be led out of bondage by power, and with a stretched out arm; and as your fathers were led at the first, even so shall the redemption of Zion be. Therefore, let not your hearts faint, for I say not unto you as I said unto your fathers, Mine angel shall go up before you, but not my presence; but I say unto you, Mine angels shall go before you, and also my presence, and in time ye shall possess the goodly land.” D&C 100:3a-3f
I’m not sure just what it will take for the saints to begin to respond to the many promises and warnings they have received. The lesson may have to be learned by the things which they suffer.
“But, behold, I say unto you, that before this great day shall come [coming of the Lord], the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall be turned into blood, and the stars shall fall from heaven; and there shall be greater signs in heaven above, and in the earth beneath; and there shall be weeping and wailing among the hosts of men; and there shall be a great hailstorm sent forth to destroy the crops of the earth;” D&C 28:4a, b
It is hard to imagine the chaos throughout the world as the result of such a great hailstorm and note that it says that it shall destroy the crops of the earth, meaning that it will come when our crops are in the field but not gathered. Our grocery store shelves will swiftly become bare [in two or three days] and without any food to replace it. When people get hungry they will go to any extremes to find food. Roving bands of city dwellers will roam the countryside pillaging food from private homes and any remaining resources. Farm animals will not be spared.
Sequence of events:
1. Truth will come forth from out of the earth [Book of Mormon] and this truth [containing the fullness of the gospel] will sweep the earth as a flood.
2. This truth will gather Gods elect family [House of Jacob] from the four quarters of the earth.
3. They will be gathered to a place that God shall prepare a holy city.
4. The holy city shall be called the New Jerusalem, Zion.
5. From this holy city the elect family will gird up their loins [prepare] and look forward to the coming of the Lord.
6. That the city of Enoch will come down out of Heaven to join Zion in a great reunion.
7. The earth shall rest for a thousand years with Satan being bound and not able to tempt mankind.
The Restoration must come together in some capacity of agreement upon the essentials that God has given. We must bring about those resources and conditions necessary to build up stakes and this holy city unto the Lord that we may look forward and be prepared for his coming.
It seem to follow that If Muslims and Muslim Leaders including Louis Farrakhan have a right to organize “The Nation of Islam” within the boundaries and borders of the United States of America, then we as latter day saints with equal rights under the same laws have the right to organize “The Nation of Zion” when that time comes and be within our lawful rights!
From the Diary of the Prophet Joseph Smith Jr., Page 181
“We ask thee to appoint unto Zion other stakes besides this one, which thou hast appointed, that the gathering of thy people may roll on in great power and majesty, that thy work may be cut short in righteousness.”
From the Times and Seasons, Vol.2, Page 424
“One thing, however, is certain, that Zion shall be established, her foundations shall be laid, her beauty shall astonish the world, and she become the glory of the whole earth. These things are decreed by the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and he hath declared, that Heaven and earth may pass away, but not one jot or tittle of his word shall fall to the ground. Knowing then, that the work of the Lord is propelled by Almighty power, the saints can rest satisfied, under all circumstances, that it will roll froth with power and energy, that shall comport with the purposes of Jehovah.”
The New Jerusalem will only be built when enough of God’s people are willing to leave worldly pursuits and have the desire to enter into the New Covenant focusing upon the most important project given us by our God, to build up the kingdom of Jesus Christ and establish his righteousness. And when they do, stakes shall radiate out from the Center Place into all the land and peace shall overflow and resources will be forthcoming for the building up of the Holy City, The New Jerusalem.
We know that these events shall happen for God has declared it so therefore . . .
“Pray unto the Lord; call upon his holy name; make known his wonderful works among the people, call upon the Lord, that his kingdom may go forth upon the earth; that the inhabitants thereof may receive it, and be prepared for the days to come, in the which the Son of man shall come down in heaven, clothed in the brightness of his glory, to meet the kingdom of God which is set up on the earth; wherefore, may the kingdom of God go forth, that the kingdom of heaven may come, that thou, O God, may be glorified in heaven, so on earth, that thy enemies may be subdued; for thine is the honor, power, and glory, for ever and ever. Amen.” D&C 65:1d- f N.W.G. §§
Received By Seventy Nolan W. Glauner 23 November
1. I stand at the door waiting, will you open unto me?
2. My treasures are in my hand to bestow upon all who love me and seek my face.
3. My treasures are beyond silver and gold.
4.That which I desire to give you is an inheritance in eternity, a gift that only I can give and one that shall never be diminished.
5. Gold, silver and other precious objects shall slip through your hands but none can rob you of your eternal inheritance if you are one who hears my voice and opens unto me.
6. You have longed for riches secretly, for you know that I have called upon you for greater purposes than to accumulate riches.
7. Seek not those riches that proceedeth out of the ground, but seek that which cometh from above.
8. That which is of the earth is earthly and that which is Heavenly cometh from the realms of glory.
9. Seek the treasures of my Celestial law, for in it my holy ones dwell and bask in my glory.
10. Ask of me, saith your Creator, and I shall give you the bright and morning star.
11. All things are mine to give, for they have been created by my hand.
12. Ask of me and I will guide you to treasures of righteousness and they shall school you in eternal principles.
13. Seek me and I shall convert your souls and place upon you a cloak of immortality, a robe of light, which shall contain the righteous power of your God.
14. I long to give you robes of light and empower you with my Spirit, for all who covenant with me according to the commandment which has gone forth are my Sons and Daughters, and are children of light.
15. Open the door and accept your inheritance.
16. I will teach you all things necessary for the conversion of your souls.
17. Open the door and I will teach you the highest law of Heaven.
18. Though your riches are not lasting that are taken from the earth, even so I have brought out of Heaven righteousness and offered it unto you and I have brought my truth which was buried from in the earth for a special purpose in me and to fulfill prophecy.
19. Embrace my truth and take my Spirit for your guide into all truth and I shall reward the righteous with great and eternal joy and glory.
20. Open unto me, my children for I long to bless you as only a loving Father can bless.
21. Keep my commandments until I come and Lo, I come quickly. Amen
Received 7 December, 2012
1. I have emboldened you to make a stand for that which is right.
2. The easy path is a path that contends not and which receives no reward.
3. I would admonish you to choose that which is right even though it may be much more difficult to walk and may bring you pain.
4. My Beloved Son did not vary from the path he walked for he knew that I would crown him with glory for the great work he performed for the world.
5. I have admonished my children to store up good works worthy of my acceptation, for in good works you show forth and express your gratitude for the gifts and talents that I have given unto you.
6. Labor to bring forth your gifts, for in the expression of your gifts you store up treasures in Heaven.
7. My children, I desire that which is good for you, that which will assist your journey through life.
8. Look upon your life as my greatest gift unto you and the gift of eternal life as a fullness of joy.
9. In this life I have allotted you, you will have tribulations, but they will be limited to that which you can bear if you come to me for strength and guidance.
10. I have given you my law to guide your life in an acceptable way and I give you my counsel to gird up your strength in the way my law requires.
11. Keep my law and heed my counsel.
12. I bring my children along a path that shall lead them into my Kingdom. 13. Along that path my children will at times need to seek my guidance therefore I have counseled to ask, knock, and seek.
14. I will heed the call of my faithful children who are struggling to follow me and my commandments.
15. Part of your requirements on this path is to overcome those temptations that shall confront you.
16. Draw close to me and call upon me in your times of temptation and I will empower you to reject those enticements that you be not overtaken in sin.
17. I call upon each of my children to face the challenge to embrace righteousness and refuse to fall into temptation along the pathway I have laid out before you.
18. A father delights in his children when they learn to walk, when they learn to talk, when they grow strong and healthy.
19. I, as your Father delight in you when you overcome and walk in a straight and upright manner. Amen
Received 10, January, 2013
1. I approached my Lord and asked him, what will it take Jacob to awaken him?
2. How shall the Holy City be built?
3. Where are the laborers and where are the means?
4. My Lord called upon me and said, Jacob is behaving like a small child and would sleep on, but I am not pleased with his ignoring those things that are going on around him.
5. I shall awaken him to full attention with a shout, for his time to slumber is past and the full time for him to take up his manhood is upon him.
6. I have called upon my son Jacob when I surnamed him Israel, to be my special family, a family that is different from all other families I have brought forth.
7. My son can no longer play the role of a child, but must start forth, not only as a man but as a mighty man.
8. The sons of Jacob shall build my Holy City and the Holy One of Israel King over all.
9. Hear me, O sons of Jacob, that multitude that I have brought forth as my special family.
10. I have been a Father to you and as a Father I shall instruct and chastise you.
11. If you reject my instruction or my chastisement I shall cast you out of my family and you shall become a beggar upon the earth.
12. I have called you to greater things.
14. Rally my people that a generation may rise up that will value my city, my kingdom, and the King of Kings.
15. Teach my people that a sanctified generation will build my city and none else.
16. My holy generation shall not covet that which I provide, but will willingly share and give of their substance for the building of my kingdom.
17. A people with great desire shall build up my city and kingdom.
18. When my children desire my city and kingdom, over and more than their comfort, and the things of this world they shall be ready.
19. All things that I have proclaimed shall come to pass, but it is up to my children to decide when they shall value me, my city and my kingdom more that the enticements of the world.
20. Your spiritual condition my, sons and daughters, will determine when Zion shall come. Amen †
“And I, God, said, Let there be light, and there was light. And I, God, saw the light, and that light was good. And I, God, divided the light from the darkness. And I, God, called the light day, and the darkness I called night. And this I did by the word of my power; and it was done as I spake. And the evening and the morning were the first day. And again, I, God, said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters; and it was so, even as I spake. And I said, Let it divide the waters from the waters; and it was done.” Genesis 1:6-9
God is powerful. For all of the strength we could muster, the crafty words we can devise, and all of our intellect, not even our combined abilities can measure up to what our one heavenly father is capable of. He can speak, and impossible things happen. He created all things, and all things are His. He knows all, sees all, and can do anything. Yet, even knowing this, mankind still often finds itself struggling to perform even small works by relying on their limited strength and understanding. Some of these works aren’t even of value, and serve no greater purpose. There is no need to trust so much in ourselves or our fellow man to provide our needs, nor to perform great works.
“Be merciful unto me, O Lord; for I cry unto thee daily. Rejoice the soul of thy servant; for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee. Give ear, O Lord, unto my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications. In the day of my trouble, I will call upon thee; for thou wilt answer me. Among the gods there is none like unto thee, O Lord; neither are there any works like unto thy works. All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Lord; and shall glorify thy name. For thou art great, and doest wondrous things; thou art God alone.” Psalms 86:3-10
Can anyone say that God, knowing all of our needs and possessing all things, cannot provide for us when we are in need? Yet if someone never asks anything of God, or doesn’t believe they will receive it if they do, what good is it to them? God is our father, and one who is just and caring. With just a little faith, God could have a part in our lives and provide those things we need which we would justly ask of Him. No one with faith who cares for and trusts in our heavenly father would ask anything of Him that would be shameful or evil, so He, who cares for us so dearly, would certainly provide us those things for our benefit as any father would if we would just have faith and care for Him as we would our earthly parents. If you trust in God, in His strength, knowledge, wisdom, mercy, and His great love, it is the same as to say you have faith in Him.
“God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent; hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?” Numbers 23:19
Who is more trustworthy than God? What person can be trusted to never be tempted and betray his fellow man? God himself is most deserving of our trust before any other. If we trust in anyone at all, God should be the one we trust most. What reason does anyone have to refuse their heavenly father’s help, when is most gracious and merciful, and more loving than any earthly father could ever be? There’s no need hold ourselves at a distance from God, or to be afraid to approach Him in spirit. There is no child that cares for their father that wouldn’t want to be closer to him. To truly and sincerely love our heavenly father is first and foremost before all things. We can have no doubt if we truly love Him.
“Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom; I am understanding; I have strength. By me kings reign, and princes decree justice. By me princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges of the earth. I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me. Riches and honor are with me; yea, durable riches and righteousness. My fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine gold; and my revenue than choice silver. I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment. That I may cause those that love me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures. The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was.” Proverbs 8:14-23 §§
LEST YE BE TEMPTED
My previous articles were about the signs of the times. I guess this is also somewhat along those same lines. While watching the ball drop in time square, I was sickened by the blatant display of two men kissing and the TV announcer applauding them nationally on their recent nuptials. It brought to mind the Lord’s commandment in Deuteronomy 18:23, and 22:5 about deviant behavior. Also the book of Romans Ch. 1, lists forty evils of society of which some are, vile affections, women changing the natural uses of their bodies, men lusting towards one another, etc. “He will turn them over to reprobate minds… verse 28”
If there is ever a need for daily prayer, it is in this day and time. I asked my wife during our daily studies if we, being true Christians, attended the New Year’s party in time square, does that mean we are not true Christians ? Even the appearance of being participants in their deeds of the world is an abomination according to God, because while in the flesh we are an enemy to God. There are several scriptures that give warning. (read these). In Luke 17:25… it say it will be as in the days of Noe, they will be eating, drinking, marrying, etc., and warns not to be like Lot’s wife- also Matthew 24:44, II Peter 2:3 “let it be the hidden man of the heart…”; James 4:4 “whosoever will be a friend of the world is an enemy of God”
For fifty years my pastor and friend, who was also a junior college instructor gave me some advice about appearances during faculty gatherings. After I graduated from college to teach he said when he attended faculty functions where there was alcohol present, he would not even hold a glass of water in his hand because it gave the appearance of drinking alcohol. If we attend the functions of the world, even though we may not be doing anything wrong, it is the natural tendency for people to think, if you are there you must also approve. There are many ways for us to enjoy events without appearing to be of the world.
We are told to pray without ceasing over all things lest we be caught by the snares of Satan. (paraphrased) As much power as the Prince of the air (Satan) (Ephesians 2:2.3) has through the medias, it’s a wonder any of us can resist all those things that look so good, especially the young and inexperienced. “ Train up your child in the ways of the Lord and when he is old he shall not depart from it”. (Proverbs 22:6) I can affirm this as personal testimony as my military travels and later life experiences afforded me many opportunities to do works of the flesh that I was warned about, but my childhood teachings many times came to the forefront and kept me from evil deeds.
I received my patriarchal blessing right after I married in 1960 and six days later went on the USS Yorktown for seven months away from my bride. My blessing lists my lineage and the many things I would encounter then and all my life. I have reread that blessing several times in the past decades and it has held so true.
The year 2013, I’m sure, is going to be a year of challenge economically and spiritually. I was watching the world news last night and learned that our main traffic byway, the great Mississippi river is drying up and shipping is coming to a standstill. Almost 70% of all goods are shipped on that river. Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy are another of God’s great warnings. If Any of us have not experienced any disasters mentioned in scriptures, do not be too complacent as the rain falls on the just as well as the unjust alike. Tribulations have been with us for years but like the woman travailing in birth, the events are getting closer and closer together. Let us not sit back and think we are saved by grace alone even though Eph. 2:8 and other references say so. Not even Christ received his grace at the first, but as he did as the Lord commanded he received grace for grace. (D&C90:2), Helaman 4:71 ”Grace according to their works”). Pray!
We are told to stand fast and secure our household lest that thief come in the middle of the night when we are not prepared. Of course we should all know that refers to the coming of our Lord and Savior. We are told to gather together often. “Where two or three are gathered together in my name as touching on one thing, behold there will I be in the midst of them; even so am I in the midst of you”. D&C6:15b
I consider prayer like the old adage of Ben Franklin who said an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Convert his saying to three prayers a day keeps the adversary away. Pray always lest ye enter into temptation. D&C18:4; teach your children in all ways, have them baptized at age eight (if taught from birth) and to pray D&C68:4” fervent prayers of a righteous man availeth much. James 5:16
Things seem to remain the same in churches as Babylon is ever present in many aspects of our lives. How many will FORSAKE ALL as Christ told his apostles when he said, who is my brother and my mother, those that will forsake all and take up their cross and follow me, they are my brothers . Mark 3:28-30 Connect the above statement with D&C 83:8a,b, about treating lightly the things we have received and the observance of the new covenant. Also compare Christ’s own words in Luke 14:26. . . about hating your mother and brother; quite harsh isn’t it, but that is what the Lord requires to be His disciple. He said to the elders in the DC that they were all called, but few chosen; what does that mean? Which would you choose today? Could you forsake all ?
The last thing Christ did before he ascended into heaven was give his apostles the endowment. The apostles from the day of Pentecost went about healing, raising the dead and curing all diseases. We don’t have the endowment because we don’t pray without ceasing, fast often and forsake all. We are a church of schedules and worry about whether we will be out by 12:00 P.M.. Apostles come out for a weekend, arrive Fri and return Sunday. How can that be sufficient; it can’t. How can they expect to be endowed when their schedules are more important than serving? Read acts and see how the apostles stayed places for months at a time to fill the needs of the people. They truly forsake all to fulfill all. Notice in Acts 19 where Paul went to bestow the Holy Ghost on those that had received baptism of water only. In vs. 6 it says “And when he had laid his hands on them; the Holy Ghost came on them and they spake with tongues and prophesied.” If our apostles and seventy were to forsake all, I’m sure we would see that also. Throughout the New Testament miracles and gifts were always associated with the growth of the churches. We must pray that this condition will change as it was then .
When we think of mighty prayer, how many of us notice that administrations for the sick lack the choice of words that seem powerful and demanding of our Lord? There seems to always be the phrase, “if it be thy will”, or “ we know Lord that healing may take time”, etc..; that in my mind shows lack of confidence that it will happen. J. J. Cornish in his book, Walk Into the Latter Day Light, many times commanded people to be healed in the name of Jesus Christ, and it was done immediately.
We are to be a church of peculiar people, yet we look no different than protestant churches. We indulge in pagan celebrations such as Christmas and Easter (eggs, bunny, etc.) which were changed by Emperors, Constantine and Justinian; which could be a topic for a month. The question is, how are we to teach our children the right way when the church does not want to change “mans” traditions? We may have the form of the priesthoods and governments, but where is the understanding? Paul said “I would rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also…” I Corinthians 14:19
Pray always without ceasing in mighty prayer for spiritually discerned understanding! § §
From the 1906
Immediately after the discovery of Central and South America the legend of the Lost Tribes began to be referred to the aboriginal inhabitants. Garcia, in his "Origen de los Medianos" (1607, pp. 79-128), declares that the Tribes passed over the "Strait of Aninai," i.e., Bering Strait, and went by that way to Mexico and South America. He deduces their identity from the common cowardice and want of charity of the Israelites and Indians. Both of these peoples, according to him, bury their dead on the hills, give kisses on the cheek as a sign of peace, tear their clothes as a sign of mourning, and dance as a sign of triumph. Garcia claimed to have found many Hebrew terms in the American language.
According to Manasseh ben Israel, Antonio Montesinos deposed in 1644 before the bet din of Amsterdam that while traveling in Peru he had met with a number of the natives who recited the "Shema'" in Hebrew [Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord;], and who informed him through an interpreter that they were Israelites descended from Reuben, and that the tribe of Joseph dwelt in the midst of the sea. He supported their statements by tracing Jewish customs among other inhabitants of Central and South America. The Indians of Yucatan and the Mexicans rent their garments in mourning and kept perpetual fires upon their altars, as did also the Peruvians. The Mexicans kept the jubilee, while the Indians of Peru and Guatemala observed the custom of levirate marriage. Manasseh ben Israel therefore concluded that the aboriginal inhabitants of America were the Lost Ten Tribes, and as he was of the opinion that the Messiah would come when the whole world was inhabited by the descendants of Israel, he directed his efforts to obtaining admission for the Jews to the British Islands, from which they were at that time excluded [see Manasseh ben Israel] Mexican theory was later taken up by Viscount Kingsborough, who devoted his life and fortune to proving the thesis that the Mexicans were descended from the Lost Ten Tribes, and published a magnificent and expensive work on the subject ("Antiquities of Mexico," 9 vols., 1837-45). Kingsborough's chief arguments are that Mexicans and Israelites believe in both devils and angels, as well as in miracles, and use the blood of the sacrifice in the same way, namely, by pouring it on the ground; also that the high priest of Peru is the only one allowed to enter the inner, most holy part of the temple, and that the Peruvians anointed the Ark, as did the Israelites. He also finds many similarities in the myths and legends. Thus certain Mexican heroes are said to have wrestled with Quetzalcohuatl, like Jacob with the angel ("Antiquities of Mexico," vol. vii.).
North American Indians
Manasseh b. Israel's views were taken up by T. Thorowgood in his "Jewes in America" (London, 1650), and he was followed by the "Apostle" Eliot in a publication ten years later; and their views, referring now to the North-American Indians instead of the Mexicans or Peruvians, were adopted by Cotton Mather, Roger Williams, and even William Penn. S. Sewall also gave expression, in 1697, to the same views in a special publication.
Charles Beatty, in his "Journal of a Two-Months' Tour" (London, 1678), declared that he had found among the Delaware Indians traces of Israelitish origin; and J. Adair, in his "History of the American Indians" (London, 1775), devotes a considerable amount of attention to the same view, which he accepts. Adair was followed by Jonathan Edwards. A special work was written by E. Boudinot ("A Star in the West," Trenton, N. J., 1816); and he was followed by Ethan Smith in 1825, and by Israel Worsley ("View of the American Indians, Showing Them to Be Descendants of the Lost Tribes of Israel," London, 1828). Mordecai M. Noah accepted the Israelitish origin of the Indians (1837) in a pamphlet republished in Marryat's "Diary in America" (vol. ii.). J. B. Finlay claimed to have found traces among the Wyandottes in 1840, and the view was even considered by George Catlin in his "Manners . . . of the North American Indians" (London, 1841). Discoveries of alleged Hebrew tablets, as at Pittsfield, Mass., 1815, and Newark, Ohio, about 1860, have given fresh vigor to the theory. Altogether, with the exception of the Anglo-Israelite craze, a larger amount of literature has been written on this identification than on any other. §§
CAVE OF THE PATRIARCHS
Situated beneath a large rectangular Herodian era structure, the series of subterranean chambers is located in the heart of Hebron (Al-Khalil's) old city in the Hebron Hills. According to tradition that has been associated with both the Book of Genesis and the Quran, the cave and adjoining field were purchased by Abraham and Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca, and Leah, considered the Patriarchs and Matriarchs of the Jewish people, are all believed to be buried there. The only matriarch missing is Rachel, who is believed to be buried near Bethlehem where she died in childbirth. The Hebrew name possibly refers to the physical layout of the original two chambers while according to the Book of Genesis, Jacob dug further in to make a third chamber for Leah and himself.
The Arabic name of the complex reflects the prominence given to Abraham, revered by Muslims as a Quranic prophet and patriarch through Ishmael. Outside biblical and Quranic sources there are a number of legends and traditions associated with the cave. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.§ §
[Note Muslims added the minarets at a later date]
“And Abraham stood up, and bowed himself to the people of the land, and to the children of Heth; and he communed with them, saying, If it be your mind that I should bury my dead out of my sight, hear me, and entreat Ephron the son of Zohar for me, that he may give me the cave of Machpelah, which he hath in the end of his field; For, as much money as it is worth he shall have, if he will give it me for a possession of a burying-place among you. And Ephron dwelt among the children of Heth. And Ephron, the Hittite, answered Abraham in the audience of the children of Heth, among all of them that went in at the gates of the city, saying, Hearken, my lord, and hear me; the field I give thee, and the cave that is therein; I give it thee in the presence of the sons of my people; and I give it thee; therefore, bury thy dead. And Abraham bowed himself down before the people of the land, and he spake unto Ephron in the audience of the people of the land, saying, I pray thee, hear me; If thou wilt take it of me, I will give thee money for the field, and I will bury my dead there, but I will give thee money for it. And Ephron answered Abraham, saying unto him, My lord, hearken unto me; the land thou shalt have for four hundred shekels of silver; what shall that be betwixt me and thee? Bury therefore thy dead. And Abraham hearkened unto Ephron; and Abraham weighed unto Ephron the silver which he had named in the audience of the sons of Heth, four hundred shekels of silver, which was current with the merchant. And the field of Ephron, which was in Machpelah, which was before Mamre; the field, and the cave which was therein, and all the trees that were in the field, and that were in all the borders round about, were made sure unto Abraham for a possession, in the presence of the children of Heth, before all that went in at the gate of the city.” Genesis 23:6- 16 .
And after this, Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field of Machpelah, which is before Mamre; the same is called Hebron, in the land of Canaan. And the field and the cave that was therein, were made sure unto Abraham for a possession of a burying-place by the sons of Heth.
Genesis 23:17, 18
Then Abraham gave up the ghost, and died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years; and was gathered to his people. And his sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron the son of Zohar the Hittite, which is before Mamre; The field which Abraham purchased of the sons of Heth; there was Abraham buried, and Sarah his wife.
Genesis 25:8– 10
And he [Jacob/Israel] charged them, and said unto them, I am to be gathered unto my people; bury me with my fathers in the cave that is in the field of Ephron the Hittite, In the cave that is in the field of Machpelah, which is before Mamre, in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought with the field of Ephron the Hittite for a possession of a burying-place. There they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife; there they buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife; and there I buried Leah. The purchase of the field and of the cave that is therein was from the children of Heth.
Genesis 49:29– 32 § §