Review: Truths Restored
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Review: Truths Restored
Doctrine & Covenants Sections 77, 88, 91, 113Review: Truths RestoredIn his great chapter on the last days and the Millennium, Isaiah speaks of a "rod," "stem," and "root of Jesse" (Isaiah 11:1, 10). We know that Jesse was the father of King David, and we learn by revelation that the "stem of Jesse" is Jesus Christ (D&C 113:1-2), but the identity of the "rod" and "root" are not as clearly stated (D&C 113:3-6).
THE STEM OF JESSEAND THE ROD?Who better fits this promise than does the Prophet Joseph Smith? reasoned Dr. Sidney B. Sperry. As the "'servant in the hands of Christ,' . . . Joseph Smith fits naturally into Isaiah's prophecy, and it is easy to understand why Moroni quoted and explained Isaiah 11 to him" (Improvement Era, Oct. 1966, 869, 914).
WHO IS THE STEM OF JESSEAND THE ROD?What was meant by the use of the term "strength" ?What people were being addressed by Isaiah? (See D&C 113:7)The people were identified as the holders of the priesthood in the Lord's church in the last days. To "put on her strength" means to gain access to and utilize the power of the priesthood in the Lord's church in the last days.Discussion: How can you utilize the power of the priesthood?Elias Higbee asked two questions pertaining to Isaiah 52:1. The Prophet Joseph began a careful reading and study of the King James Bible in June of 1830. He acted under divine direction according to his appointment as a seer, a revelator, a translator, and a prophet, having all the gifts of God which he bestows upon the head of the Church (D&C 107:92) He sought to harmonize himself with the Spirit of God, as well as the mind and will of the ancient writers, so as to convey (as nearly as possible) not only that which was written, but also that which was intended. In one sense, then, Joseph was translating the Bible in attempting to interpret it, to explain it by the use of clearer terms or a different form or style of language. In another sense Joseph was translating the Bible inasmuch as he was restoring in the English language ideas and events and sayings which were originally recorded in Hebrew or Greek.Robert L. Millett, Joseph Smiths Translation of the Bible and the D&CJoseph Smith TranslationThe apostle John, John the Beloved, John the Revelator, and scriptural texts linked to his name are esteemed highly by Latter-day Saints. In April 1829 the Prophet Joseph Smith received a revelation (D&C 7) that clarified the Savior's statement about John's tarrying on earth until Jesus returned (John 21:22). This revelation teaches that John requested that he receive power over death so that he could bring more souls to Christ (3 Ne. 28:611); that the Lord promised him that he could tarry "until I come in my glory"; and that John is a translated being whose state is "as flaming fire and a ministering angel" (D&C 7:13, 6).This revelation [D&C 77] contains 15 questions and answers about the book of Revelation. "This Revelation is not a complete interpretation of the book. It is a key. It unlocks the door through which an entrance may be gained, but after the key has been turned, the searcher for treasure must find it for himself" (Smith, p. 478).Who is JOHN THE REVELATOR?D&C 77D&C 77: 1 Scripture CommentaryThe following incident from the history of the Prophet Joseph Smith amplifies this verse: "While at dinner, I remarked to my family and friends present, that when the earth was sanctified and became like a sea of glass, it would be one great urim and thummim, and the Saints could look in it and see as they are seen" (History of the Church, 5:279).
President Brigham Young gave the following insight: "This Earth will become a celestial bodybe like a sea of glass, or like a Urim and Thummim; and when you wish to know anything, you can look in this Earth and see all the eternities of God" (in Journal of Discourses, 8:200; see also D&C 88:1720, 2526; 130:69).THE EARTH IS LIKE A SEA OF GLASSD&C 77:3 Scripture Commentary"Says one, `I cannot believe in the salvation of beasts.' Any man who would tell you that this could not be, would tell you that the revelations are not true. John heard the words of the beasts giving glory to God, and understood them. God who made the beasts could understand every language spoken by them. The four beasts were four of the most noble animals that had filled the measure of their creation, and had been saved from other worlds, because they were perfect; they were like angels in their sphere. We are not told where they came from, and I do not know; but they were seen and heard by John praising and glorifying God." (Smith, Teachings, pp. 29192. Compare D&C 77:2, 3.)THE FOUR BEASTSD&C 77:6 Scripture Commentary"`The book which John saw' represented the real history of the world what the eye of God has seen, what the recording angel has written; and the seven thousand years, corresponding to the seven seals of the Apocalyptic volume, are as seven great days during which Mother Earth will fulfill her mortal mission, laboring six days and resting upon the seventh, her period of sanctification. These seven days do not include the period of our planet's creation and preparation as a dwelling place for man. They are limited to Earth's `temporal existence,' that is, to Time, considered as distinct from Eternity. ~Orson F. WhitneyTHE BOOK THAT JOHN BEHELDTHE EARTHS TEMPORAL EXISTENCED&C 77:67, 213 Scripture CommentaryElder Joseph Fielding Smith has said: By the seven thousand years of temporal existence is meant the time of the earth's duration from the fall of Adam to the end of time, which will come after the millennium and "a little season" which will follow. (CHMR, Vol. 2, p. 64)
D&C 77: 7 Scripture CommentaryAn additional insight provided in this revelation, is that there is a key given to the chronological timeframe of the events described in John's Book of Revelation. We learn that each seal seen by John in his vision represents a separate sequential thousand year period of the earth's temporal existence. By knowing which time period is involved, we can better understand and determine the meaning of the many symbolic references given by John. We can better follow the sequence of the earth's events from the fall of Adam to the end of the earth's temporal existence. And, of course, we are better able to discern the intended workings of God in our day as pertains to the restoration of His Kingdom and the events associated therewith for the salvation of man.THE SEVEN SEALSD&C 77:8 Scripture Commentary"These angels have been given power over the four parts [quarters] of the earth and they have the power of committing the everlasting Gospel to the peoples of the earth. The fullness of the Gospel was not restored by any one messenger sent from the presence of the Lord. All the ancient prophets who held keys and came and restored them, had a hand in this great work of restoration. There are, we learn from this revelation, four angels unto whom the power has been given, to shut up the heavens, to open them and with power unto life and also unto death and destruction. These are now at work in the earth on their sacred mission." (Church History and Modern Revelation, 1:300301.)Susa Young Gates reported an address by President Wilford Woodruff in which he declared: "Those angels have left the portals of heaven, and they stand over this people and this nation now, and are hovering over the earth waiting to pour out the judgments. And from this very day they shall be poured out." (Young Women's Journal, Aug. 1894, p. 512; see also Notes and Commentary for D&C 86:5.)THE FOUR ANGELSMatthew 13:3-43Zion and Babylon
D&C 86: Wheat & Tares
D&C 86:4When this revelation was given in December 1832, the Church was not yet three years old and was, therefore, still very "tender.Meaning of the ParableThe man sowing the seedThe FieldThe Sowers who assistThe Good SeedThe Tares
The EnemyThe HarvestTares Bound and BurnedWheat gathered into the barn
The Son of ManThe WorldThe ApostlesChildren of God, followers of Christ or principles of truthChildren of Satan who follow his enticements or principles of deception.The DevilThe end of the worldThe evil ones who are separated out and cast into fire at the judgmentRighteous who receive the kingdom of the Father
Section 91 The ApocryphaScripture CommentaryKirtland, Ohio March 9, 1833As part of his revision of the Bible, Joseph Smith wondered whether to worry about Apocryphal booksEleven books in Greek Septuagint considered canonical by Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches but are not included in the Hebrew or Protestant BiblesJoseph Smith was well in advance of modern perceptions concerning the Apocrypha when he was given the revelation warning the Saints to seek spiritual guidance when reading such works, alerting them to the truths to be obtained thereinC. Wilfred Griggs