1 Nephi 14: 17

1 Nephi 14: 17: 

“And when the day cometh that the wrath of God is poured out upon the mother of harlots, which is the great and abominable church of all the earth, whose founder is the devil, then, at that day, the work of the Father shall commence, in preparing the way for the fulfilling of his covenants, which he hath made to his people who are of the house of Israel.”
Now we get some indication of timing. A great deal has been described, but the timing of the events has been left out until now.
The “day cometh that the wrath of God is poured out upon the mother of harlots” – that is, when the great and abominable church is caught up in worldwide violence, every nation at war with its neighbor or within itself. It is when those events are underway “the work of the Father shall commence” to fulfill all the prior commitments and covenants.
First, the great whore will reel and stagger as a drunkard, drunk with her own blood.

Then the “work of the Father” will “commence.” What does it mean to “commence?” Why choose such a desperate hour to begin?

Are there signs of this international and internal violence already afoot? Is the work of the Father now commenced?
The “commencement” of the work is “for the fulfilling of His covenants.” What does it mean to “fulfill?” Will every whit of His covenants be all completed, all finished, all kept?  (D&C 1: 38.)
Interestingly, the “fulfilling of His covenants which He hath made to His people who are of the house of Israel” is not divided into “remnant” and “gentile.” At the time when His final work begins, all of “the house of Israel” will be remembered, in whatever scattered place they may be found. Why the change? Why no longer focus upon the “remnant” and “Jew” and “gentile” and “scattered house of Israel?”  Why does He now call them all “his people?”
Do the fractures heal? Do the divided groups come together at last? Will the scattered, lost and forgotten remains of Israel be found throughout the world? (Jacob 5: 67-68.) Will the results be a restoration of all Israel, no matter what group they may have been identified with previously? (Jacob 5: 72-73.) Will these divided, but remembered people become one at last? (Jacob 5: 74.)
How much purging will be needed to bring this to pass?  (Jacob 5: 71; D&C 45: 68-71; D&C 133: 9-12.)
If the work has begun, are there “servants” already here beginning to move the now wild branches back to their natural roots? (Jacob 5: 70.) How does one respond and return to their natural roots? Who is the “tree of life?” How do we reattach ourselves to Him? (John 15: 1-6.) What of those who would have you attach yourselves to them, to become their disciples, to follow what they claim as their right to lead and control you? (D&C 121: 36-37.) How must they lead, if not by exercising control and dominion? (D&C 121: 41-42.)
[As long as we are in Section 121, there is an important but still unrecognized truth in that revelation. The caution in Section 121 about abuse is directed in whole at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Among other things, it is warning the LDS Church not to persecute the Lord’s Saints, and thereby fight against God. (D&C 121: 38.) It has been traditionally interpreted by the LDS Church to the complete contrary. The LDS teaching turns the warning on its ear, and reads it to mean that you shouldn’t fight against the LDS Church! The warning, however, is addressed to the Church and warning it to exercise caution, least they find themselves fighting against the Lord’s Saints, and thereby in turn fighting against the Lord. Read it carefully. It is not a caution to you or me, but a caution to the LDS Church itself. It means that there may be Saints of God who are at times at odds with, or critical of the LDS Church. When that happens, the LDS Church is warned to refrain from persecuting them, or else they may find themselves fighting against God. It is an unnoticed warning because the traditional interpretation is used to give the LDS Church protection against criticism.]

14 thoughts on “1 Nephi 14: 17

  1. I need to read more carefully section 121, but on a quick look at the section you mention, I can’t see how that is directed at the institution of the church. Against individual members, yes, but verse 37 specifically mentions amen to the priesthood of “that man,” singular, individual.

    I’ve also never heard this scripture used as a protection against criticism.

    I’d love more insight on this interpretation, I’m not seeing what you do.

  2. I have been studying for about a year. Been following blog for awhile. I too feel the invitation. I need to be a part of this. I must admit my emotions run the gamut each time I study the blog. Weeping because of the truth of what we have lost or become and yet happy for what I have found. Thank you, all of you.

  3. Zang, that IS a terrifying article: Babylon or bust.

    I’ve always found language like that in verse 17 to be interesting. It proclaims the fulfillment of a covenant, but pins the time-frame only to the “commencement,” or the beginning, of the “preparation.” The time will come and go virtually without notice, only those who can read the signs of the times will see the commencement and the event for what it is.

  4. Denver, I’m looking, but I’m still not seeing it. Maybe there are a couple references somewhere using sec 121 in the way you’ve described, as a way to silence criticism, but I’m not finding anything like it. I find it generally used as I have always read it: a general warning to all priesthood holders, especially priesthood leaders, husbands and fathers, that abuse, coercion, domination based on so-called priesthood “authority” is a sin and will lead to loss of priesthood and the loss of spirit.

    I’m just not seeing how “man, he, himself, men” can possibly be referring specifically to the institution of the church.

    Now, if you are arguing that this section applies especially to men called into leadership positions at every level of the church, including bishops, stake presidents, and the President himself, to beware of using that church position to exercise unrighteous dominion, I’m with you on that.

  5. Using BYU’s LDS Scripture Citation Index [which includes the Scriptural Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Journal of Discourses, Conference Reports from 1942-1970 and conference editions (May & November) of the Ensign from 1971 on] there are five references in STPJS and twenty-five talks that cite D&C 121:38.

    Admittedly this search is incomplete since it does not include addresses from Collected Discourses or from Conference Reports prior to 1942.

    The five references in STPJS are on pages 41 (fn 20), 143 (fn 2), 169 (fn 19), 297 (fn 18), and 340 (fn 14).

    To keep things within Blogger’s limits I’ll break the list of 25 addresses up into a separate comment for each of the 19th, 20th & 21st centuries respectively.

  6. Blogger initially gave me an error posting the 19th century talks so I broke them into two parts, but now the original is posted anyway.

    (The CM is free to delete the duplicate two posts if she wants. :)

    19th & 20th century talks:

    11. Lee, Harold B.. “Spiritual Re-birth and Death” (October 1947 Conference Report, 63-67).

    12. Benson, Ezra Taft. “Responsibilities of the Priesthood” (October 1948 Conference Report, 98-104).

    13. McKay, David O.. “Choose You This Day Whom Ye Will Serve” (April 1949 Conference Report, 10-17).

    14. McKay, David O.. “Untitled” (October 1954 Conference Report, 82-85).

    15. Kimball, Spencer W.. “To Kick Against the Pricks” (April 1955 Conference Report, 94-98).

    16. Clark, J. Reuben. “Untitled” (October 1958 Conference Report, 80-83).

    17. Dyer, Alvin R.. “False Loyalty” (April 1965 Conference Report, 82-86).

    18. McKay, David O.. “The Right and Authority of Priesthood” (October 1965 Conference Report, 103-106).

    19. Tanner, N. Eldon. “The Power and Influence of the Priesthood” (April 1970 Conference Report, 52-54).

    20. Harbertson, Robert B.. “He Returned Speedily” (November 1984 Ensign, 24-25).

    21. Hinckley, Gordon B.. “Magnify Your Calling” (May 1989 Ensign, 46-49).

    22. Oaks, Dallin H.. “Alternate Voices” (May 1989 Ensign, 27-30).

    23. Lund, Gerald N.. “Opening Our Hearts” (May 2008 Ensign, 32-34).

    24. Scott, Richard G.. “To Healt the Shattering Consequences of Abuse” (May 2008 Ensign, 40-43).

  7. A few observations on some of the above talks–

    Brigham Young sure could be blunt! Inviting those who thought their priesthood gave them the power of others to leave & go on to California “entirely away from the Saints, and the sooner the better[!]”.

    John Taylor makes it clear in the July 1880 address that D&C 121 applied to even the leading bretheren (emphasis added): “Brother Joseph laid before us the cause of those men’s turning away from the commandments of God. He hoped we would learn wisdom by what we saw with the eye and heard with the ear, and that we would be able to discern the spirits of other men without being compelled to learn by sad experience. He then remarked that any man, any elder in this Church and kingdom—who pursued a course whereby he would ignore or in other words refuse to obey any known law or commandment or duty—whenever a man did this, neglected any duty God required at his hand in attending meetings, filling missions, or obeying counsel, he laid a foundation to lead him to apostasy and this was the reason those men had fallen. They had misused the priesthood sealed upon their heads. They had neglected to magnify their callings as apostles, as elders.”

    John Taylor (May 1883) applies D&C 121 to Church leaders: “Could they, or could the Bishop himself preach against a practice that the Counselors were guilty of?”

    Spencer W. Kimball’s April 1955 talk tells the same story quoted in Chapter 17 of Eighteen Verses (page 304).

    President David O. McKay quotes verse 38 and then adds “and to apostatize from the Church.” Followed immediately by “The only way we can keep the priesthood and keep in touch with the Holy Spirit, the only way we can be true representatives, is to live up to the ideals of the Church which bears his name.”

    I wonder if Dallin H. Oaks Alternative Voices is a good example of the type of talk Denver had in mind with his comments regarding D&C 121(?).

  8. Very vital post Denver. Thank you.

    “Unrighteous Dominion” (abuse, pride in action) is Satan’s greatest tool in destroying individuals, marriages, families, societies & worlds. Abuse in some form, is always the cause in every instance.

    I agree that 1st & foremost the Lord was talking to the Church in reference to being abusive. For if the Church or it’s leaders becomes abusive, then there is no hope for the world.

    The 1st responsibility of the Church (as Pres. Hinckley said) & it’s leaders is to protect members from abuse, even from itself.

    This is the duty of all men actually. To protect, especially women & children, from abuse.

    Moroni let it be known that if men would not stand up for right & protect women & children & freedom, then death was the penalty. Sooner or later.

    If the Church & it’s leaders do not do it’s most vital duty to protect it’s members from abuse, then nothing else it tries to accomplish will succeed for long. For if abuse is allowed to run rampant, families will quickly disintegrate & so will the Church.

    Leaders must study & live worthy of their callings, responsibility & obligation to have the knowledge & Spirit to discern right from wrong, truth from error & devils from saints & lead with humility, love & power.

    For if leaders can be repeatedly deceived by abusers or if they themselves become abusive & prideful in their callings, then they lose their authority & power to protect & serve & their callings become useless & powerless.

    Unfortunately today far too many leaders seem so easily decieved by abusers & fail to do what they can & should to protect the abused in their wards & stakes.

    Pres. Hinckley said over & over that the Church was doing it’s best to educate local leaders about abuse, but it still seems very rare to find a leader who has such vital education & understanding about his most important duty.

    Even Leaders become partly accountable for the abuse happening around them that they know about if they don’t do all in their power to protect the abused.

    Too often Leaders become abusive also, as they turn a blind eye or deaf ear to the pleas of the abused & are instead deceived to believe & support the abuser.

    Only those with the knowledge & Spirit to discern abuse in themselves & others, can be trusted & relied upon to serve, protect & guide the Saints to Zion.

  9. Once we understand the need to avoid using or excusing Unrighteous Dominion & abuse, we then need to come to understand & define what exactly IS ‘abuse’ in the Church, in marriage & family & in society, before we can ever identify it & stop it in ourselves & others.

    “Every effort should be made by Priesthood leaders, adult members of the family & others, to stop the abuse.” LDS Abuse Pamphlet

  10. Ben, I took some time to read sec. 121 and have found a few verses that may lead to what Denver was talking about. I don’t know if this is it and Denver can correct me if I am wrong.
    16 Cursed are all those that shall lift up the heel against mine anointed, saith the Lord, and cry they have sinned when they have not sinned before me, saith the Lord, but have done that which was meet in mine eyes, and which I commanded them.
    17 But those who cry transgression do it because they are the servants of sin, and are the children of disobedience themselves.
    18 And those who aswear bfalsely against my servants, that they might bring them into bondage and death—
    19 Wo unto them; because they have aoffended my little ones they shall be severed from the ordinances of mine house.
    20 Their basket shall not be full, their houses and their barns shall perish, and they themselves shall be despised by those that flattered them.
    21 They shall not have right to the priesthood, nor their posterity after them from generation to generation.

    In verse 16 Cursed are those who say that his anointed have sinned, but they have not sinned before me, saith the Lord but have done that which was meet in mine eyes, and which I commanded them. Obviously these people who are his anointed have been commanded by God to do what he has asked.
    The verses talk about accusations against his annointed, but what does annointed mean? Can the prophet be the only one that is anointed of God, or can there be others? If they have not seen God or Christ are they then anointed?

    IN 18 & 19 I used to think that this was talking about little children literally, but in the previous verses he talks nothing about abuse, but accusing his annointed. We are all his little ones. In the end of verse 19 it says that they shall be severed from the ordinances of his house. We are the only church that has the “saving ordinaces” in it. What does he mean by his house, the Temple? In 21 it says that they shall not have the right to the priesthood, which to me signifies the members of the church, as we are the only church that exercises the practice of the priesthood correctly. I welcome anybody who knows more than I do to correct me if need be.

Comments are closed.