The Abomination That Maketh Desolate

Excavated stones from the Wall of the 2nd Temple (Jerusalem), knocked onto the street below by Roman battering rams in on the 9th of Av, 70 C.E. -- Mark A. Wilson, public domain

Excavated stones from the Wall of the 2nd Temple (Jerusalem), knocked onto the street below by Roman battering rams on the 9th of Av, 70 C.E. — public domain photo courtesy of Mark A. Wilson and Wikipedia

In the book of Matthew, the Savior explains to his apostles that the time was soon at hand when they would see “the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet…” (Matthew 24:12)

Again in our day, the Savior commanded his servants in the latter-days that they were to go “forth as (their) circumstances shall permit, in (their) several callings, unto the great and notable cities and villages, reproving the world in righteousness of all their unrighteous and ungodly deeds, setting forth clearly and understandingly the desolation of abomination in the last days.” (Doctrine and Covenants 84:117)

Why are the words abomination and desolation reversed in these two references? Is that significant, considering that Daniel phrases it differently by saying, “…the abomination that maketh desolate…”, in two different places? (Daniel 11:31, 12:11)

 

Under the direction of Titus, in A.D. 70, Roman legions laid seige to Jerusalem and desecrated the temple mount:

“The destruction of Jerusalem took place at the time of the passover (70 A.D.), when the city was full of pilgrims from all parts of the country. Before the arrival of the Roman legions, civil war was raging. There were three factions. The most fanatic of these were for a time victorious. They entered the sacred precincts with weapons concealed under their clothes. They murdered the priest at the altar, and continued the massacre, until the blood of their victims flowed like water. Thus the abomination of desolation (i. e., the abomination that is the cause of desolation) was a second time polluting the temple ground, as predicted by our Lord. The Romans surrounded the city. Famine soon was felt. It is said that hunger turned some into cannibals. A noble woman by the name of Mary, the daughter of one Eleazer, ate the flesh of her own baby. It is claimed that 1,100,000 people perished. The Romans reduced the city to a heap of stones, and Titus, is said to have declared that he was only an instrument of divine justice in destroying the city.” –Commentary on The Book of Mormon, vol. 1, page 220, footnote 38

Is desolation an abominable thing to witness?
Or, does abomination cause desolation?
Or yet again, will abominable things be desolated through the judgments of God?

The following scriptural references provided are all instances where the words abomin* and desola* appear together in the same verse. Take note of the times when the words are reversed. And then answer the questions above, for yourself.

Before we get to the references, let’s talk definitions:

Abomination: Something that elicits great disgust.
Abhor: To regard with horror or loathing; abominate. To reject; shun. (ab – from, horrere – to shudder)
Desolate: Devoid of inhabitants; deserted. Rendered unfit for habitation or use. Dreary, dismal. Without friends or hope. To lay waste; Devastate; To make lonely, forlorn, wretched. (de – intense or intensive, solus – alone)

KEY VERSES:

“Because of abominations . . . desolation . . .” — Jeremiah 44:22
“. . . the land . . . desolate because of . . . abominations . . .” — Ezekiel 33:29
“. . . for the . . . abominations he shall make it desolate . . .” — Daniel 9:27
“. . . they shall pollute the sanctuary, and . . . shall place the abomination that maketh desolate.” — Daniel 11:31
“. . . the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up . . .” — Daniel 12:11
“. . . see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet . . .” — Matthew 24:15
“. . . see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet . . .” — Mark 13:14
“. . . setting forth clearly and understandingly the desolation of abomination in the last days.” — Doctrine and Covenants 84:117
“. . . the desolation of abomination which awaits the wicked . . .” — Doctrine and Covenants 88:85
“. . . see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet . . .” — Joseph Smith Matthew 1:12
“. . . again shall the abomination of desolation . . . be fulfilled . . .” —  Joseph Smith Matthew 1:32

Another interesting verse that doesn’t have the word “abomination” in it, but refers to the same event prophesied in Matthew 24:  “And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.” — Luke 21:20

That described event will happen again. It’s called Armageddon, and Jerusalem will be under seige once more.

Comments:

One more item of warning . . . In Ezekiel 33, the chapter about the “watchman”, the Lord speaks to the prophet and says: “Wherefore say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God: Ye eat with the blood, and lift up your eyes toward your idols, and shed blood: And shall ye possess the land?” — Ezekiel 33:25 (note the other instance of the question “shall ye possess the land?” in verse 26)

Shall we possess the land after all our abominations?

Indeed, that is the question, isn’t it?

Pillars of Fire, Pillars of Cloud, and Partings

The Ascension of Elijah - Guiseppe Angeli

The Ascension of Elijah – Guiseppe Angeli

When Jehovah led the children of Israel out of Egypt, he did so by power, with his arm bare for all to see.

A pillar of cloud led them by day, and a pillar of fire, by night. And when it seemed as though all was lost with the armies of Pharoah trapping Israel against the shores of the Red Sea, the Lord’s prophet raised his arms as Jehovah had directed. The sea parted. Israel was delivered. This amazing miracle was performed in the eyes of over a million Israelites.

But was this the only time that water was parted in such a miraculous manner? Was it the only time that pillars of cloud and fire powerfully testified of the Lord’s presence? Did you know that there are promises pertaining to pillars of cloud and fire, and partings… in the Last Days?

As we study the historical accounts and compare them to the promises yet to be fulfilled, our faith can be bolstered. We can know that the Lord will still deliver the children of Israel in their time of need.

Let’s explore . . .

KEY VERSES:

Cloud and Fire

Historical:
Exodus 13:21-22 – The Lord goes before the children of Israel, leading them by a pillar of cloud by day, and a pillar of fire by night.
Exodus 14:24 – The Lord watches the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and the cloud, and troubles them.
Exodus 24:16-18 – The glory of the Lord upon mount Sinai: Cloud for six days, and fire.
Exodus 40:38, Numbers 9:15-23, Deuteronomy 1:33, 5:22 – Resting on the tabernacle is a cloud by day, and fire by night. Israel moves when the cloud/fire moves.
Numbers 12:5-10 – The Lord comes down in a pillar of cloud, and stands in the door of the tabernacle to speak with Aaron and Miriam. The pillar departs.
Numbers 14:11-25 – The Lord is unhappy with Israel’s complaints. Moses intervenes and reminds the Lord that neighboring nations have heard that the Lord is among Israel (the cloud and the fire).
Deuteronomy 31:15 – The Lord comes down in a pillar of cloud, and stands in the door of the tabernacle to speak with Moses
Nehemiah 9:12,19 – After Ezra and Nehemiah teach the people, the Jews recount their blessings, including the pillar of cloud and pillar of fire, and the parting of the Red Sea.
Psalms 78:14, 105:39 – Other mentions of the cloud and fire.
Ezekiel 1:4 – The prophet Ezekiel sees in vision: a great cloud and a fire.
1 Nephi 1:6 – The Lord comes down in a pillar of fire and speaks with Lehi.
Helaman 5:20-52 – A prison miracle where Nephi and Lehi are surround by a cloud, and a pillar of fire.
Joseph Smith History 1:16 – The Father and the Son appear to Joseph Smith in a pillar of light, above the brightness of the sun.

Prophesied:
Isaiah 4:5 and 2 Nephi 14:5 – There will be a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night, upon every dwelling of Zion.
Revelation 10:1 – John’s vision of a mighty angel clothed with a cloud, his face as the sun, his feet as pillars of fire.
DC 29:12 – The Lord will come again in a pillar of fire.
DC 76:63 and 76:102,105 – Those who will be caught up to meet the Lord and the returning City of Zion, and those who will not. Clouds for some . . . fire for others.

Partings and Crossings

Historical:
Exodus 14:13-31 – Trapped against the Red Sea, Moses prays to the Lord. Moses lifts up his rod, and the Red Sea is divided. Pharoah’s army is kept back by a pillars of fire and cloud. Israel is led to the other side of the Red Sea, upon dry ground.
Joshua 3:7-17 – The Ark of the Covenant is carried by the priests of the Tabernacle into the River Jordan, causing it to divide (stop flowing). The Israelites pass over on dry ground.
2 Kings 2:1-15 – Elijah parts the waters of Jordan. Elijah is taken up to heaven by a chariot of fire and a whirlwind. Elisha parts the waters of Jordan.
Isaiah 51:9-16 – The strength of the arm of the Lord made a way in the sea for the ransomed to pass over.
Gospel Doctrine, Joseph F. Smith, page 499: – Fleeing mobs, the Saints cross the frozen Mississippi: “…real marvel and manifestation of the mercy and the power of God…making a roadway across the Mississippi…” (Ah… didn’t expect that one, did you? Although not a parting of the waters, it is still a very miraculous crossing, and the miracle was noticed by the saints.)

Prophesied:
Zechariah 14:1-7 – The Lord to set his foot on the Mount of Olives causing it to divide, and Israel will flee to safety through the valley.
DC 45:48 – The Lord to set his foot on the Mount of Olives, causing it to cleave in twain. (We’ve had partings of water… but a parting of land? That will be a sight to see!)

Comments:

In closing, let me point out just one more scripture reference that ties this all together . . .

Are you impressed by what the the Lord did for Israel in all of these accounts? I believe that the best is yet to come! Take a look at this:

Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that it shall no more be said, The Lord liveth, that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; But, The Lord liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands whither he had driven them: and I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers. (Jeremiah 16:14-15, emphasis mine)

That should certainly grab your attention! You thought the Exodus was miraculous? You ain’t seen nothing yet!

Are you aware of any other instances of pillars and partings? If so, please share!

I Will Show, They Shall See

Robert T. Barrett, Moses Parting the Red Sea

Robert T. Barrett,
Moses Parting the Red Sea

One of the things that thrills me about the scriptures is that I find jewels like this . . .

In the book of Deuteronomy, Moses is recounting to the children of Israel all of the great miracles that Jehovah did for the people. In Deut. 4:33-34 he pointedly asks them:

“Did ever people hear the voice of God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as thou hast heard, and live? Or hath God assayed to go and take him a nation from the midst of another nation, by temptations, by signs, and by wonders, and by war, and by a mighty hand, and by a stretched out arm, and by great terrors, according to all that the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes?”

This question not only highlights the miraculous events they had experienced from the time they left Egypt, but it also brings to the forefront the idea that Israel was special. God had never done for any other people what he had done for them.

Why did God do it?

“Unto thee it was shewed, that thou mightest know that the Lord he is God; there is none else beside him.” (Deut. 3:35)

Yes, the Lord wanted them to know that HE is God. The only God.

But notice the two words that I marked with bold-italics. Those are the very words that caught my attention. “Was showed.” This is why . . .

Compare Isaiah 29:13-24 with 2 Nephi 27:25-35. You will see some stark differences. Only ONE of the following highlights made it into the Old Testament version:

“And wo unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the Lord! And their works are in the dark; and they say: Who seeth us, and who knoweth us? And they also say: Surely, your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter’s clay. But behold, I will show unto them, saith the Lord of Hosts, that I know all their works. For shall the work say of him that made it, he made me not? Or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, he had no understanding?

“But behold, saith the Lord of Hosts: I will show unto the children of men that it is yet a very little while and Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field; and the fruitful field shall be esteemed as a forest.

“And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity and out of darkness.

“And the meek also shall increase, and their joy shall be in the Lord, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.

“For assuredly as the Lord liveth they shall see that the terrible one is brought to naught, and the scorner is consumed, and all that watch for iniquity are cut off;

“And they that make a man an offender for a word, and lay a snare for him that reproveth in the gate, and turn aside the just for a thing of naught.

“Therefore, thus saith the Lord, who redeemed Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob: Jacob shall not now be ashamed, neither shall his face now wax pale.

“But when he seeth his children, the work of my hands, in the midst of him, they shall sanctify my name, and sanctify the Holy One of Jacob, and shall fear the God of Israel.

They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding, and they that murmured shall learn doctrine.” (2 Nephi 27:25-35)

There you have it. The Lord showed Israel through significant miracles. As part of his “marvelous work and a wonder”, he will also show us.

He will show. We will see. As assuredly as the Lord liveth!

KEY VERSES:

  • Deuteronomy 4:35 – Moses recounts; Israel was shewed.
  • 2 Nephi 27:25-35 – Marvelous work and a wonder (compare Isaiah 29). Those whose works are in the dark, will be shown
  • 2 Nephi 29:14 – In gathering his people, God will show that he keeps the covenant he made with Abraham
  • 3 Nephi 16:12 – God will show that the Gentiles have no power over Israel
  • 3 Nephi 21:9-10 – In performing the marvelous work and a wonder, God will show his wisdom is greater than the cunning of the devil
  • Mormon 9:11 – God will perform miracles
  • Doctrine & Covenants 35:8 – God will show miracles, signs, and wonders

Comments:

There are many more instances… do a search for “will show” and “see”.  Have fun seeing!

 

Adam-ondi-Ahman, Far West, and Liberty Jail

It’s been a while since I posted last, but it hasn’t been for a lack of scripture study. I’ve read Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers and a whole lot of cross references. My scripture markers are down to nubs and it’s time to open a new package.

But . . . this last week I had the opportunity of a lifetime. Even though I lived in Indianapolis for 10 years, while I was there I never had the time to travel the 7 hours to western Missouri. This last Friday I was in the area. And this is what I got to see . . .

LIBERTY JAIL

With a protective rotunda built over the re-constructed jail, the Liberty Jail Visitor Center is a special place of reflection and spiritual influence. I came away from my visit there with an intense feeling of gratitude for the Prophet Joseph Smith: for his faithfulness, his strength, and his example of how to deal with adversity. He truly was an amazing man.

The quote about the blessings of the Constitution upon the wall of the rotunda struck me deeply. Here was a man that had been denied the protections of that sacred document, who still felt that the Constitution had been inspired by God, and could protect mankind, if men would simply adhere to the principles of liberty. Here is the photo (sorry for the reflections).

Declaration on the Constitution, Joseph Smith

Declaration on the Constitution, Joseph Smith

And here is the rest of the quote from page 304 (History of the Church, VOL III):

“Here is a principle also, which we are bound to be exercised with, that is, in common with all men, such as governments, and laws, and regulations in the civil concerns of life. This principle guarantees to all parties, sects, and denominations, and classes of religion, equal, coherent, and indefeasible rights; they are things that pertain to this life; therefore all are alike interested; they make our responsibilities one towards another in matters of corruptible things, while the former principles do not destroy the latter, but bind us stronger, and make our responsibilities not only one to another, but unto God also. Hence we say, that the Constitution of the United States is a glorious standard; it is founded in the wisdom of God. It is a heavenly banner; it is to all those who are privileged with the sweets of its liberty, like the cooling shades and refreshing waters of a great rock in a thirsty and weary land. It is like a great tree under whose branches men from every clime can be shielded from the burning rays of the sun.

“We, brethren, are deprived of the protection of its glorious principles, by the cruelty of the cruel, by those who only look for the time being, for pasturage like the beasts of the field, only to fill themselves; and forget that the “Mormons,” as well as the Presbyterians, and those of every other class and description, have equal rights to partake of the fruits of the great tree of our national liberty. But notwithstanding we see what we see, and feel what we feel, and know what we know, yet that fruit is no less precious and delicious to our taste; we cannot be weaned from the milk, neither can we be driven from the breast; neither will we deny our religion because of the hand of oppression; but we will hold on until death.

“We say that God is true; that the Constitution of the United States is true; that the Bible is true; that the Book of Mormon is true; that the Book of Covenants is true; that Christ is true; that the ministering angels sent forth from God are true, and that we know that we have an house not made with hands eternal in the heavens, whose builder and maker is God; a consolation which our oppressors cannot feel, when fortune, or fate, shall lay its iron hand on them as it has on us. Now, we ask, what is man? Remember, brethren, that time and chance happen to all men.” (HC VOL 3 page 304)

I’ll let the other pictures speak for themselves.

Entrance to the jail

Entrance to the jail

Double-door man-trap

Double-door man-trap

Side of the jail

Side of the jail

Jail cross-section

Jail cross-section

Jail - Ceiling and Wall detail

Jail – Ceiling and Wall detail

Jailer's Quarters

Jailer’s Quarters

Dungeon

Dungeon

 

FAR WEST

Coming from Liberty Jail, the reverent feelings (and even sadness) impressed upon me, never left. I was amazed to see how remote both Far West and Adam-ondi-Ahman were. Completely surrounded by farmland. Miles from any notable civilization. The Saints had established settlements at both of these sites. Yet very little remained.

I look forward to when the time when the Far West temple will be built. Like the re-built temple in Nauvoo, Far West will also be a testament to the principle of Restoration. All good things will be restored to the saints. Every one!

Video Tour: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eP-EG96MuPk

Far West - Entrance

Far West – Entrance

Far West - NW Cornerstone

Far West – NW Cornerstone

Far West - North Marker

Far West – North Marker

Far West - NE Cornerstone Sign

Far West – NE Cornerstone Sign

Far West - NE Cornerstone

Far West – NE Cornerstone

Far West - Monument, Left

Far West – Monument, Left

Far West - Monument, Center

Far West – Monument, Center

Far West - Monument, Right

Far West – Monument, Right

Far West - SE Cornerstone

Far West – SE Cornerstone

Far West - SE Cornerstone, sign

Far West – SE Cornerstone, sign

Far West - South Marker 1

Far West – South Marker 1

Far West - South Marker 2

Far West – South Marker 2

Far West - SW Cornerstone, sign

Far West – SW Cornerstone, sign

Far West - SW Cornerstone

Far West – SW Cornerstone

 

ADAM-ONDI-AHMAN

I walked where the Prophet Joseph Smith walked. I stood where Nephites stood. And from the hill where sacrifices were offered up to the Great Jehovah, I gazed upon the valley where Adam blessed his posterity in the grand meeting of the patriarchs, three years before his death. The same valley where Jesus Christ will appear prior to the Second Coming and receive back priesthood keys from the prophets of every dispensation.

This holy site is absolutely beautiful. I pray earnestly that the day of His coming will be hastened.

Adam-ondi-Ahman Map

Adam-ondi-Ahman Map

Adam-ondi-Ahman approaching Spring Hill

Adam-ondi-Ahman approaching Spring Hill

Adam-ondi-Ahman Spring Hill

Adam-ondi-Ahman Spring Hill

Adam-ondi-Ahman Spring Hill, Northward

Adam-ondi-Ahman Spring Hill, Northward

Adam-ondi-Ahman Spring Hill, Eastward

Adam-ondi-Ahman Spring Hill, Eastward

Adam-ondi-Ahman Spring Hill, Westward. Landscapers Storage?

Adam-ondi-Ahman Spring Hill, Westward. Landscapers Storage?

Adam-ondi-Ahman Spring Hill, Westward. Direction sign to Tower Hill

Adam-ondi-Ahman Spring Hill, Westward. Direction sign to Tower Hill

Adam-ondi-Ahman on the way to Tower Hill

Adam-ondi-Ahman on the way to Tower Hill

Adam-ondi-Ahman Tower Hill, Westward

Adam-ondi-Ahman Tower Hill, Westward

Adam-ondi-Ahman Tower Hill, West-South-West

Adam-ondi-Ahman Tower Hill, West-South-West

Adam-ondi-Ahman Tower Hill, Southwest

Adam-ondi-Ahman Tower Hill, Southwest

Adam-ondi-Ahman Tower Hill, Southeast

Adam-ondi-Ahman Tower Hill, Southeast

Adam-ondi-Ahman Tower Hill, sign on West side

Adam-ondi-Ahman Tower Hill, sign on West side

Adam-ondi-Ahman Tower Hill, Eastward

Adam-ondi-Ahman Tower Hill, Eastward

Adam-ondi-Ahman leaving Spring Hill

Adam-ondi-Ahman leaving Spring Hill

Adam-ondi-Ahman East-Overlook, Southward

Adam-ondi-Ahman East-Overlook, Southward

Adam-ondi-Ahman East-Overlook, Southwestward

Adam-ondi-Ahman East-Overlook, Southwestward

Adam-ondi-Ahman East-Overlook, Map

Adam-ondi-Ahman East-Overlook, Map

Adam-ondi-Ahman East-Overlook, Westward toward Tower Hill

Adam-ondi-Ahman East-Overlook, Westward toward Tower Hill

Adam-ondi-Ahman East-Overlook, Westward, sign

Adam-ondi-Ahman East-Overlook, Westward, sign

 

And then, a video tour from the East Overlook so you can see how long the Valley of Adam-ondi-Ahman really is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chqE28yMMBk

I hope you enjoyed this simple tour of the three sites. Let me know if you enjoyed the pictures!

 

 

LIBERTY in Scripture

The following document is a synopsis of every occurrence of the word “liberty” in LDS Scripture.

LIBERTY_in_the_Scriptures

There are some very interesting things in here… one of my favorite findings: The last time the word “liberty” is used in The Book of Mormon is when the people intentionally destroy the government.

Let me know what you think!

The Abrahamic Covenant: A Covenant Renewed

This chart is in three parts, and covers the covenants made with Abraham, Enoch, Noah, Melchizedek, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Lehi, and the seed of Abraham. The Abrahamic Covenant is a covenant that has been renewed in our day!

PAGE 1 of 3

PAGE 1 of 3

 

Page 2 of 3

Page 2 of 3

 

Page 3 of 3

Page 3 of 3

 

KEY VERSES:

All key verses are in the charts themselves.

Comments:

How do we apply these verses? Are the blessings of the Abrahamic Covenant obtainable for us and our families?

Yes! They certainly are, and the blessings are to be had in the temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Let us do the works of Abraham, who said:

“In the land of the Chaldeans, at the residence of my fathers, I, Abraham, saw that it was needful for me to obtain another place of residence; And, finding there was greater happiness and peace and rest for me, I sought for the blessings of the fathers, and the right whereunto I should be ordained to administer the same; having been myself a follower of righteousness, desiring also to be one who possessed great knowledge, and to be a greater follower of righteousness, and to possess a greater knowledge, and to be a father of many nations, a prince of peace, and desiring to receive instructions, and to keep the commandments of God, I became a rightful heir, a High Priest, holding the right belonging to the fathers. It was conferred upon me from the fathers; it came down from the fathers, from the beginning of time, yea, even from the beginning, or before the foundation of the earth, down to the present time, even the right of the firstborn, or the first man, who is Adam, or first father, through the fathers unto me. I sought for mine appointment unto the Priesthood according to the appointment of God unto the fathers concerning the seed.” (Abraham 1:1-4)

* * *

 

Printable Chart: The Creation Accounts Compared

In preparation for tomorrow’s Sunday School lesson, here is a printable version of the Creation Chart. For more information about this chart, please see this post: The Creation Comparison: Genesis – Moses – Abraham

Again, this chart is freely distributable under the Creative Commons BY-NC-ND license.

The Creation Compared: Genesis - Moses - Abraham

The Creation Compared: Genesis – Moses – Abraham

The Family of Joseph – Ages of Isaac, Jacob, Joseph Compared

The story of Joseph in the book of Genesis is one of the most inspiring of the bible. Joseph was truly blessed—everything he touched prospered. And that was on account of his obedience to God’s laws.

As we study the account, we come upon a very touching scene where Joseph has to leave the feast with his long-lost brothers so that he can privately weep without them knowing his identity. When that happened . . . and when Joseph later frankly forgave his brothers . . . how old were they? How old was Reuben and Joseph when they shed tears together as Joseph revealed himself?

That is the purpose of the enclosed chart. But before we get started with the data, we need to spend a moment to investigate the methods used to calculate the ages. This was no easy task. Unlike other chapters where genealogy and ages were consistently given, the clues to age in this family are sparse and scattered among many chapters. For that reason, the first diagram shows the order in which the spreadsheet cells were calculated. Using a starting point of Joseph’s age when he is sold into Egypt, ages are calculated forward until other date markers are obtained, and then ages are calculated backward until we arrive at the other book-end: The ages of Isaac and Jacob in their early years.

Please note, the numbers in the cells of this worksheet refer to the order in which that cell was used to calculate neighboring cells:

Worksheet

Worksheet for calculating ages

This second chart contains the actual ages of the men at these key events in their lives:

Isaac, Jacob, Joseph: Ages

Ages of Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, and Reuben at key life events

KEY VERSES:

All key verses are in the charts themselves.

Comments:

You may notice that the event called “Isaac dies, Jacob and Esau bury him” is listed twice in the chart. That is because age-wise, in relation to Joseph’s age of 17, the death of Isaac occurs when Joseph is in Egypt. But in the Genesis account, his death is recorded (note the paragraph symbol on Genesis 35:27, indicating that these three verses stand on their own) two chapters earlier.

The location of the event in chapter 35 of the account is simply not possible. We know how old Jacob was when he met with Pharoah (age 130). Calculating backward, and knowing that there is a 60 year difference between Isaac and Jacob, Isaac would have died just before Joseph turned 30. And that was when Joseph was in Egypt!

UPDATE:

Abraham lived to be 175 years old (Genesis 25:7). He was 100 years old when Isaac was born (Genesis 21:5). That means when Abraham died, Jacob and Esau were 15 years old.

Jacob 5 – The Allegory of The Olive Tree

Even though I am studying the Old Testament this year, this diagram is well worth sharing, especially since the themes of the Tree of Life and harvesting olive trees crop up (pun intended) occasionally in our reading. Not to mention (okay, I’m mentioning) we will eventually discuss the scattering of Israel by the Assyrians and Babylonians. Daniel and Esther are both examples of records written by captive Israelites.

The-Allegory-of-The-Olive-Tree

The Scattering and Gathering of Israel

 

KEY VERSES:

All of the key verses are in the diagram itself.

Comments:

I realize that ripe olives are typically dark colors, and the “good fruit” would not normally be white. I personally like the purplish ones the best. But in the spirit of the Tree of Life which was said to have white fruit, I chose to represent the good fruit here as white olives, and the bad fruit / corrupt fruit with dark colors.

Destiny of the Earth

When we study the Old Testament we come across several stories that pertain to the earth and its role in the salvation of mankind: The Creation, the Fall, the City of Zion at the time of Enoch, the Flood, and many others. In addition to events that have already occurred, there are prophecies remaining to be fulfilled that are part of the destiny of the earth. Let’s take a look at a graphical representation of the timeline:

Destiny of the Earth

Significant Events in the Destiny of the Earth

 

KEY VERSES:

For the most part, I tried to provide references for major parts of the diagram, working from left to right:

  • Abraham 3:22-28 – Pre-mortal life; Plans for creating an earth; A Savior is chosen
  • Journal of Discourses, 17:143, Moses 7:48-62 – The earth fell and became a telestial sphere when Adam fell, but will be cleansed in the last day
  • Moses 7:69 – Zion is Fled (taken up to heaven)
  • Genesis chapters 6-8 – Account of the Flood
  • Genesis 10:25 – The earth divided in the days of Peleg
  • Moses 5:57, 6:62, 7:46 – Christ to come in the meridian of time
  • Acts 26:23 – Christ the first to rise from the dead in the resurrection
  • Matthew 27:52-53 – Saints resurrected with Christ appear to many
  • Intro to the Book of Mormon, D&C 128:20 – Peter, James, Moroni: Examples of saints resurrected long after Christ (resurrection continues as God wills until the morning of the first resurrection)
  • Revelation 20:6 – Those of the first resurrection will reign with Christ in Millennium
  • 3 Nephi 5:25, Acts 3:19-21, Ephesians 1:10 – Restoration of the Gospel
  • Revelation 16:16, Joel 3:2, Zephaniah 3:8 – Armageddon, all nations gathered to battle
  • Malachi 4:1, Joseph Smith History 1:37 – First burning
  • John 5:29, D&C 76:17,50,65 – Two resurrections: just and unjust
  • D&C 88:110, 1 Nephi 22:26 – Satan bound during Millennium
  • Revelation 20:7-9, D&C 43:30-32 – Satan loosed at end of Millennium, final great battle, final burning
  • Revelation 4:6, D&C 77:1, D&C 88:25-26 – Earth to be a sanctified celestial sphere where the righteous shall dwell, Earth follows celestial law
  • Alma 41:1-15 – All things restored to their proper state (resurrection the accompanying judgment is a restoration)
  • D&C 76:25-49, Alma 40:13 – Satan is Lucifer and a Son of Perdition, will be cast out with his followers
  • 1 Corinthians 15:40-41, D&C 76 – bodies Celestial, Terrestrial, Telestial
  • D&C 133:21-24 – Waters driven back, continents and islands become one land on the Earth at beginning of Millennium

Comments:

You will notice that I use the word “Final Restoration” in place of “Final Judgment”. Also on the chart, at the beginning of the Millennium, you will see “Resurrection of the Just”, which is in reality both the First Resurrection and the Great Day of Judgment for those who are resurrected at that time.

In Alma chapters 39-42, Alma teaches his son Corianton about justice, mercy, the resurrection, and judgment. He uses the word RESTORE (or variants of the word), 25 times. If you study those chapters closely, you come to realize that our personal Great Day of Judgment which will occur when we are resurrected is really a day of Restoration—we are restored to exactly what we have become. If we are good and clean, we will be restored to that which is good and clean, and not only will our own body be raised again as a celestialized tabernacle, but we will regain the presence of the Father, a place where the clean and pure will dwell. That is our final judgment: To be restored to who we have become. That is why I chose to use the word Restoration instead of Judgment.

In the diagram you will also notice arrows which carry the earth from state to state. Earth starts out near to God at its creation. Then, with the Fall of Man, the earth also falls and spends over 6,000 years as a Telestial world. When the Millennium arrives, the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory (Article of Faith 10). When that happens, the earth will be lifted to a Terrestrial state of glory. At the end of the Millennium, the earth will be transformed once again, through burning, and become the Celestial Kingdom for those who are worthy of it.

On the far right, I mention a Terrestrial Sphere and a Telestial Sphere. We have no written record that teaches us where those kingdoms will be, but we do know that it won’t be this earth.

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