Coming Forth of Elijah – Malachi 4 – 3 Nephi 25:1-6

This chapter is a continuation of the what the Lord shared in the previous chapter, as He revealed the words of Malachi to the people in Bountiful.

1 For behold, the day cometh that shall burn as an oven [When Christ comes in His glory and the earth is completely bathed in fire, literally.]; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble; and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of Hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. [without life]

2 But unto you that fear my name [respect His coming], shall the Son of Righteousness arise with healing [resurrection and ascension] in his wings [rays of glory]; and ye shall go forth and grow up as calves in the stall. [bursting with joy]

3 And ye shall tread down the wicked [have overcome all evil]; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of Hosts.

4 Remember ye the law of Moses, my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb [where Moses saw the burning bush and communed with God] for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments. [The higher law, which was later replaced with the Ten Commandments and preparatory law.]

5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord; [Elijah is a title which means “with God’s power.”] 

Elijah, along with Moses, are the two most important administrators of the House of Israel. Moses is head over the administering of the House of Israel, and Elijah administers over the 4th estate. Before the Second Coming, Elijah will come and set the wheels in motion to deliver the House of Israel by organizing the coming forth of the Gatherers, as it is written in Revelation 7:2-4.

6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

This last statement has layers of meaning. It is not solely related to baptisms for the dead. For the first shall be last and the last shall be first in bringing forth the kingdom of God upon the earth. When the hearts of the children remember the blessings to the Fathers, Zion shall rise up and the earth will fullfill the purpose in which it was created. Otherwise, it would be cursed.

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Offerings to God – 3 Nephi 24:1-18

1 And it came to pass that he commanded them that they should write the words which the Father had given unto Malachi, which he should tell unto them. [The words of Malachi came after Lehi left Jerusalem, and the Lord gave the Nephites these important scriptures to study.] And it came to pass that after they were written he expounded them. And these are the words which he did tell unto them, saying: Thus said the Father unto Malachi—Behold, I will send my messenger [a Servant who shall prepare the way], and he shall prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom ye seek shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant [Jesus Christ], whom ye delight in; behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of Hosts.

2 But who may abide the day of his coming, [When is His coming for you? For these people in Bountiful it was that very day.] and who shall stand when he appeareth? For he is like a refiner’s fire [burn out the dross], and like fuller’s soap. [to make white and clean]

3 And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; and he shall purify the sons of Levi [those coming to the Lord], and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness. [be found worth to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.]

The Levites symbolize a class of people who are seeking the Lord in holiness. Today, many who are desperately seeking God have a priesthood distinction called Levite (though it is referred to as a “seeker of light and knowledge”). When they stand in the presence of God and are anointed a servant they have a higher relationship with God, which is referred to as Melchizedek. These are only word distinctions,  for to the Lord they represent different levels of relationship with Him.

4 Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the Lord, as in the days of old, and as in former years. [The Jews will be reclaimed to the covenant and be made holy.]

5 And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger, and fear not me, saith the Lord of Hosts. [The Lord will separate them from the world, as they are received unto Him.]

6 For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob [those under My Covenant] are not consumed.

7 Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me and I will return unto you, saith the Lord of Hosts. But ye say: Wherein shall we return? [How do they return to the Lord of the Covenant?]

The following scriptures are often used to make a strong case for giving tithing to the church. This was not the point of these verses as they were given. The entire recorded book of Malachi is the Lord’s rebuke to the wicked Israelites, especially the priests and leaders who had made a mockery of the temple and all that was holy. They had used the tithes and offerings for their personal enrichment.

Under the Mosaic Law, one/tenth of what was gained was to be given to support the Levites who did not own land or work for a living. They were to be used to serve God and Israel, and help with priestly duties. The Levites lived meager lives of worship to the Lord and honored by the people for their sacrifice. Those who wished to self-select from other tribes to offer their lives to God were called Nazarites.

8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say: Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. [You priests of the temple have taken the sacrifices of the people and used them for your own benefit.]

9 Ye are cursed with a curse, for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. [Your priesthood is gone, for you have taken what is not yours.]

10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in my house [Bring all the donations which are the great sacrifices of this people and apply them as has been commanded.]; and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of Hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it. [A spiritual blessing, which is greater than any worldly wealth.]

11 And I will rebuke the devourer [the Adversary] for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the fields, saith the Lord of Hosts. [The Lord will pour His spirit open them and their posterity unto a higher resurrection.]

12 And all nations shall call you blessed, for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the Lord of Hosts. [The land of your fathers shall become a mighty nation.]

13 Your words have been stout [belligerent and proud] against me, saith the Lord. Yet ye say: What have we spoken against thee? [What did we do wrong?]

14 Ye have said: It is vain to serve God, and what doth it profit that we have kept his ordinances and that we have walked mournfully before the Lord of Hosts? [We have seen no benefit for ourselves by following the laws with exactness. What’s in it for us?]

15 And now we call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered. [Now, we are living well, blessed with abundance because of the tithes and offerings of the people.]

16 Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another [The righteous knew better and found the Lord.], and the Lord hearkened and heard; and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name. [The names of the righteous were recorded, even if they were not noticed amongst the priests of the temple.]

17 And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of Hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels [anointed servants, calling and election made sure]; and I will spare them as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. [shall be rewarded for their obedience]

18 Then shall ye return and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.

Why did the Lord feel it important to share the words of Malachi? He wanted to impress upon these people in Bountiful the importance of not abusing priestly power, to seek Him and to be the means to bring many souls to Him. According to the Mosaic Law it was commanded to bring sacrifice and to make offerings so that there would be meat and other needed items to further the building of the kingdom.

It is a good thing to pay tithes and offerings to help in building the kingdom of God. This is to be done between you and the Lord, not by constraint. The purpose of this chapter is not to warn those who give tithes, but to warn those who are the stewards of the Lord’s Storehouse.

When Zion is established there will not be a law of consecration of property and wealth by constraint. It will not be “enforced communism.” There will be unequal diversity of lands, houses, and possessions, as citizens seek to produce what is necessary to help the community. People will pay tithes and offerings according to what they can without hoarding their possessions. The difference in this community is that the Spirit of the Lord shall dwell amongst them without constraint. A pillar of light by day and a pillar of fire by night, as the glory of God surrounds them.

Those who cannot dwell amongst them will live around the city limits as they prepare themselves to also receive the fullness, benefitting from the protection of the city. A true Zion society is simply those who are one in their love for God and each other as they dwell in peace. For these, the Heavens open and revelations are poured out to the degree that eventually the city is prepared to be lifted up and taken unto God.

 

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Expounding the Scriptures – 3 Nephi 23:1-14

1 And now, behold, I say unto you, that ye ought to search these things. Yea, a commandment I give unto you that ye search these things diligently; for great are the words of Isaiah. [Where else in scripture are we commanded to read the writings of a prophet? Why does the Lord make this twice spoken commandment just after quoting these verses of Isaiah to the Nephite people? Because, Isaiah’s words speak to our destiny as sons and daughter’s of God. Not just to read, but to “search diligently.” What are you searching for? The Spirit will reveal that to you.]

2 For surely he spake as touching all things concerning my people which are of the house of Israel; therefore it must needs be that he must speak also to the Gentiles. [Great promises to the Gentiles too.]

3 And all things that he spake have been and shall be, even according to the words which he spake. [The prophetic revelatory events to come are given in great detail.]

4 Therefore give heed to my words; write the things which I have told you; and according to the time and the will of the Father they shall go forth unto the Gentiles.

5 And whosoever will hearken unto my words and repenteth and is baptized, the same shall be saved. Search the prophets [writings], for many there be that testify of these things.

6 And now it came to pass that when Jesus had said these words he said unto them again, after he had expounded all the scriptures unto them which they had received, he said unto them: Behold, other scriptures I would that ye should write, that ye have not. [They had many questions regarding the words of Isaiah, which the Lord took time to expound unto them. What scripture did they not have that He commanded them to write? There were prophets among them whose words were not included in the writings. Some of these included women. One particular named, Hozabel, whose writings will be revealed after Zion is established and the records in the Hill Shim are translated.]

7 And it came to pass that he said unto Nephi: Bring forth the record which ye have kept.

8 And when Nephi had brought forth the records, and laid them before him, he cast his eyes upon them and said:

9 Verily I say unto you, I commanded my servant Samuel, the Lamanite, that he should testify unto this people, that at the day that the Father should glorify his name in me [upon Jesus’ condescension] that there were many saints [saved souls, both of families and imminent Nephites and Lamanites] who should arise from the dead [their spirits shall appear to the living], and should appear unto many, and should minister unto them. And he said unto them: Was it not so?

10 And his disciples answered him and said: Yea, Lord, Samuel did prophesy according to thy words, and they were all fulfilled.

11 And Jesus said unto them: How be it that ye have not written this thing, that many saints did arise and appear unto many and did minister unto them?

12 And it came to pass that Nephi remembered that this thing had not been written.

13 And it came to pass that Jesus commanded that it should be written; therefore it was written according as he commanded. [How often do we forget to write down our spiritual experiences? The Lord has commanded me to write every detail from my experiences with Him, many of which I have included notes in this annotated BofM project.]

14 And now it came to pass that when Jesus had expounded all the scriptures in one [from beginning to end], which they had written, he commanded them that they should teach the things which he had expounded unto them. [It was the most profound and engaging discussion you could imagine, as the Lord thumbed through the records and commented on many stories, doctrines, and events. The dismay of the people, their love and gratitude, as they realized the great truth, that the Lord’s hand is in every detail. So much goes on behind the scenes that we do not comprehend or see.]

 

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Protect Zion – Isaiah 54 – 3 Nephi 22:1-17

The Lord continues to quote Isaiah, as it pertains to something so dear to His heart.

1 And then shall that which is written come to pass: Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child; for more are the children of the desolate [damned] than the children of the married wife [Blessed], saith the Lord. [Praise God, for the bride of my covenant has brought forth fruit for the kingdom.]

2 Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thy habitations; spare not, lengthen thy cords and strengthen thy stakes; [grow and establish Zion]

3 For thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left, and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles and make the desolate cities to be inhabited. [You shall inherit the land.]

4 Fear not, for thou shalt not be ashamed; neither be thou confounded, for thou shalt not be put to shame; for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach [disapproval] of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more. [Your days of sorrow have past.]

5 For thy maker, thy husband, the Lord of Hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel—the God of the whole earth shall he be called.

6 For the Lord hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God. [Thou hast returned which once was lost, the gathering of the House of Israel.]

7 For a small moment have I forsaken thee, but with great mercies will I gather thee. [This occurred beginning in 70AD with the Great Jewish Diaspora, and is beginning to prepare for its full return to the blessings of God.]

8 In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment, but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer.

9 For this, the waters of Noah unto me, for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth, so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee. [The flood that destroyed all life upon the earth made way for a new dispensation when Abraham was given the Covenant of God which would be the House of Israel. The people of the Covenant have wandered in forbidden paths, but will be reclaimed.]

10 For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee.

11 O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted! Behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colors, and lay thy foundations with sapphires. [Colored stones and gems are symbols of the Everlasting Covenant, referring to anointed Servants that will be placed amongst them.]

12 And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones. [I shall protect you with my anointed.]

13 And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children. [You shall receive the blessings of Zion.]

14 In righteousness shalt thou be established; thou shalt be far from oppression for thou shalt not fear, and from terror for it shall not come near thee. [There shall be a great barrier between you and the destruction of the Beast which shall flood the earth.]

15 Behold, they [kingdom of the Beast] shall surely gather together against thee, not by me; whosoever shall gather together against thee shall fall for thy sake.

16 Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire [the fiery powers of earth and sky], and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy. [the gushing waters of heaven and earth]

17 No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall revile against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord. [The Gatherers shall protect the bride with great power.]

 

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Prophecy of the Gathering – 3 Nephi 21:1-29

This chapter is a continuation of the last chapter where now the Lord explains in detail the meaning behind the Isaiah words He has just quoted.

1 And verily I say unto you, I give unto you a sign, that ye may know the time when these things shall be about to take place—that I shall gather in, from their long dispersion, my people, O house of Israel, and shall establish again among them my Zion [holy people and city];

2 And behold, this is the thing which I will give unto you for a sign—for verily I say unto you that when these things which I declare unto you, and which I shall declare unto you hereafter of myself, and by the power of the Holy Ghost which shall be given unto you of the Father, shall be made known unto the Gentiles that they may know concerning this people who are a remnant of the house of Jacob, and concerning this my people who shall be scattered by them; [When the Gentiles have the Book of Mormon which contains what I have given unto you (those here in Bountiful) the time is drawing near.]

3 Verily, verily, I say unto you, when these things shall be made known unto them of the Father, and shall come forth of the Father, from them unto you; [when the BofM is given back to your posterity as a witness]

4 For it is wisdom in the Father that they [the people of America] should be established in this land, and be set up as a free people [under the US Constitution] by the power of the Father, that these things might come forth from them unto a remnant of your seed, that the covenant of the Father may be fulfilled which he hath covenanted with his people, O house of Israel;

The religious freedom in America was a unique atmosphere which made the coming forth of the Book of Mormon ideal for bringing to pass the Lord’s work. Only in the United States has this land been established as a free nation.

5 Therefore, when these works and the works which shall be wrought among you hereafter shall come forth from the Gentiles, unto your seed which shall dwindle in unbelief because of iniquity; [The Indian nations have dwindled in unbelief, but the day will come when they shall receive the Book of Mormon and embrace it. It will be an event where many shall be converted in a single day.]

6 For thus it behooveth the Father that it should come forth from the Gentiles, that he may show forth his power unto the Gentiles, for this cause that the Gentiles, if they will not harden their hearts, that they may repent and come unto me and be baptized in my name and know of the true points of my doctrine, that they may be numbered among my people, O house of Israel; [There will be a remnant amongst the Church of the Gentiles that shall do this. They will follow the pure doctrine of Christ and be the means to bring the record forth to these Lamanite descendants. They will also assist in providing what is needed to begin the process of building the New Jerusalem.]

7 And when these things come to pass that thy seed shall begin to know these things—it shall be a sign unto them, that they may know that the work of the Father hath already commenced unto the fulfilling of the covenant which he hath made unto the people who are of the house of Israel. [This verse makes it clear that when these modern day Lamanites are converted it will coincide with the beginning of the gathering of Israel as was prophesied by Isaiah, the great day of the Lord as the judgments of God are brought forth to the earth.]

8 And when that day shall come, it shall come to pass that kings shall shut their mouths; for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider. [Without the permission of world leaders shall these gatherers go to the four corners of the earth seeking the Elect.]

9 For in that day, for my sake shall the Father work a work, which shall be a great and a marvelous work among them; and there shall be among them those who will not believe it, although a man shall declare it unto them. [Many will dismiss and be incredulous as people begin to share what they have seen and heard of these Servants of God who are gathering the righteous to safety.]

10 But behold, the life of my servant shall be in my hand; therefore they shall not hurt him, although he shall be marred because of them. Yet I will heal him, for I will show unto them that my wisdom is greater than the cunning of the devil. [Though they shall destroy his body, they shall not conquer, for I am God. These servants shall be translated in the body, which means they cannot be destroyed, though it may appear so. The crowing event will be when their bodies lie in the street of Jerusalem and the Lord raises them up (heals them) to the horror of their enemies.]

11 Therefore it shall come to pass that whosoever will not believe in my words, who am Jesus Christ, which the Father shall cause him to bring forth unto the Gentiles, and shall give unto him power that he shall bring them forth unto the Gentiles, (it shall be done even as Moses said) they shall be cut off from among my people who are of the covenant. [They shall be cut off from Zion.]

12 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 [evil] of the forest, as a young lion among the flocks of sheep [without a shepherd], who, if he go through both treadeth down and teareth in pieces, and none can deliver. [These Lamanite warriors shall destroy all that attempt to challenge them.]

13 Their hand shall be lifted up upon their adversaries, and all their enemies shall be cut off. [destroyed and isolated]

14 Yea, wo be unto the Gentiles except they repent [come unto Me]; for it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Father, that I will cut off thy horses out of the midst of thee, and I will destroy thy chariots; [All means of transportation shall be halted or destroyed in this land.]

15 And I will cut off [destroy and isolate] the cities of thy land [America], and throw down all thy strongholds [defenses]; [The military will cease to function and there shall be no power grid or infrastructure to support these cities.]

16 And I will cut off witchcrafts out of thy land, and thou shalt have no more soothsayers; [The internet and news sources will be shut down.]

17 Thy graven images [man made devices]I will also cut off, and thy standing images [trusted people and places] out of the midst of thee, and thou shalt no more worship the works of thy hands; [Everything that society worships today shall be shut down, destroyed, and made useless.]

18 And I will pluck up thy groves [places of entertainment] out of the midst of thee; so will I destroy thy cities.

19 And it shall come to pass that all lyings, and deceivings, and envyings, and strifes, and priestcrafts, and whoredoms, shall be done away. [Various institutions, both government, religious, and cultural, shall be done away.]

20 For it shall come to pass, saith the Father, that at that day whosoever will not repent and come unto my Beloved Son, them will I cut off from among my people, O house of Israel;

21 And I will execute vengeance and fury upon them, even as upon the heathen, such as they have not heard. [They shall be smitten with great destruction and they shall live as the savages with no rules and laws, eating their own flesh and with no restrictions.]

22 But if they will repent and hearken unto my words, and harden not their hearts, I will establish my church among them, and they shall come in unto the covenant and be numbered among this the remnant of Jacob, unto whom I have given this land for their inheritance; [The Lord’s arms are open to receive them if they will only repent. There shall be groups of righteous Gentiles that will prepare the way for those to come.]

23 And they shall assist my people, the remnant of Jacob [the Lamanites], and also as many of the house of Israel as shall come [a remnant of the Ten Tribes], that they may build a city, which shall be called the New Jerusalem. [The Church of the Gentiles shall be relatively small in number compared to the others that shall build the New Jerusalem.]

24 And then shall they assist my people that they may be gathered in, who are scattered upon all the face of the land, in unto the New Jerusalem. [The Great Gathering of Israel]

25 And then shall the power of heaven come down among them; and I also will be in the midst. [A reference to the event where the Gatherers are given the sealing power and the instruction to go forth.]

26 And then shall the work of the Father commence at that day [beginning at that moment], even when this gospel shall be preached among the remnant of this people. [beginning with the Lamanite remnant] Verily I say unto you, at that day shall the work of the Father commence among all the dispersed of my people [all the Elect from the four corners of the earth], yea, even the tribes which have been lost, which the Father hath led away out of Jerusalem.

27 Yea, the work shall commence among all the dispersed of my people, with the Father to prepare the way whereby they may come unto me, that they may call on the Father in my name. [A way is prepared to bring the Gospel to all, no matter how remote a location, or unlikely a people. This will be a miraculous undertaking, not one of mortal means, for as written, all transportation will have ceased. The earth will be in commotion, but the servants of God will go forth like the “eagles” as they snatch up the people and bring them to Zion.]

28 Yea, and then shall the work commence, with the Father among all nations in preparing the way whereby his people may be gathered home to the land of their inheritance.

29 And they shall go out from all nations; and they shall not go out in haste [unprepared], nor go by flight [in a panic], for I will go before them, saith the Father, and I will be their rearward. [God will protect and oversee all.]

 

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