Mormon Prophecy and Secret Combinations

November 30, 2010

11 For all flesh is corrupted before me; and the powers of darkness prevail upon the earth, among the children of men, in the presence of all the hosts of heaven—

12 Which causeth silence to reign, and all eternity is pained, and the angels are waiting the great command to reap down the earth, to gather the tares that they may be burned; and, behold, the enemy is combined.

This is taken from the 38th Section of the Doctrine and Covenants. What does it mean? I don’t know, but a have a couple of ideas.

“…all flesh is corrupted”
Could this mean that we are all mortal, living in a telestial world, and all men everywhere are filthy unless they come unto Christ and are sanctified so that they are washed clean in the blood of the Lamb?”

“…the powers of darkness prevail upon the earth”
What does the word “prevail” mean in this context?  It might mean that those who are in seats of power over the nations are in darkness, or in other words they are influenced or controlled by Satan, the great deceiver.

“…Which causeth silence to reign”
This phrase I do not understand at all.  I hope to learn more, by and by.

“…the angels are waiting the great command to reap down the earth”
This phrase is also mysterious.  I believe that it is literal as well as metaphorical.  Apparently angels are going to have a role in the destruction of the wicked at the end of the world.  In other words, it is not going to be entirely a holocaust by the hands of mortal men.  Who will or what will be reaped down?  I hope it will not be me.  It is a frightening verse.  If it is a reference to the wicked and their destruction at the beginning of the Millennium, who are the wicked?  How can I be sure I’m not one of them?  How is “wicked” defined?  It is a word used often throughout scripture.  It must have a meaning beyond those who are not a member of the Church, or those who are merely imperfect and sinners.

“…gather the tares that they may be burned”
I assume this does not mean literal weeds growing among literal wheat.  But how far does the metaphor go?  Does it mean that the wicked will be literally burned at the beginning of the Millennium?”  Or does it mean that something else will happen to them that is represented by this metaphorical reference?  If the latter, what could it be referring to?”

“…behold, the enemy is combined.”
Who is the enemy? I suppose it is a reference to the enemies of Jesus Christ and his covenant people, but could it mean something else too?   And what does the word “combined” mean?  I believe it is a reference to secret combinations, those who intentionally or unwittingly follow Satan in opposition to Christ and his covenant people.  They are undoubtedly organized into syndicates, cartels, and other criminal organizations.  Are these the combinations spoken of?  Is this what “combined” means in this context?  I think so, but what else could it mean?”

I find these two verses fascinating precisely because I am not certain what they mean.  I am sure there are others who understand them better.  It is my hope that such a one will find this blog post and enlighten me in the comments.

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Mormon Prophecy and Calamities to Come

November 10, 2010

In the General Priesthood Session of October 1972 I sat in the Marriot Center on the campus of Brigham Young University and listened to Harold B. Lee, the President of the Church, speak of the horrors to come.  He spoke of the need for priesthood holders to learn their prophecy from reliable, scriptural sources and the dangers of learning of these things from popular, “loose” writings which had become a problem in the Church at that time largely because of a book by Duane Crowther entitled Prophecy: Key to the Future which included the notorious White Horse Prophecy as an appendix.

These words from President Lee had a great impact upon my gospel education as I have been afflicted with a great anxiety about nuclear war ever since I was a three year old boy in 1948.  Here is what President Lee said.  Some years later I typed it up and keep it in my scripture case:

One more matter: There are among us many loose writings predicting the calamities which are about to overtake us. Some of these have been publicized as though they were necessary to wake up the world to the horrors about to overtake us. Many of these are from sources upon which there cannot be unquestioned reliance.

Are you priesthood bearers aware of the fact that we need no such publications to be forewarned, if we were only conversant with what the scriptures have already spoken to us in plainness?

Let me give you the sure word of prophecy on which you should rely for your guide instead of these strange sources which may have great political implications.

Read the 24th chapter of Matthew—particularly that inspired version as contained in the Pearl of Great Price. (JS—M 1.)

Then read the 45th section of the Doctrine and Covenants where the Lord, not man, has documented the signs of the times. [D&C 45]

Now turn to section 101 and section 133 of the Doctrine and Covenants and hear the step-by-step recounting of events leading up to the coming of the Savior. [D&C 101; D&C 133]

Finally, turn to the promises the Lord makes to those who keep the commandments when these judgments descend upon the wicked, as set forth in the Doctrine and Covenants, section 38. [D&C 38]

Brethren, these are some of the writings with which you should concern yourselves, rather than commentaries that may come from those whose information may not be the most reliable and whose motives may be subject to question. And may I say, parenthetically, most of such writers are not handicapped by having any authentic information on their writings.

Counsel like this from the living prophet of God is a blessing beyond measure to the faithful saints. In every age the covenant people of the Lord have enjoyed such guidance from his oracles. I recommend these words and testify to you that they are true.