Sunday, June 1, 2014

Vision One

PROLOGUE
OR BEHOLD, the day cometh that shall burn as an oven, and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly shall burn as stubble; for they that come shall burn them, saith the Lord of Hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.

But unto you that fear my name, shall the Son of Righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth and grow up as calves in the stall. And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of Hosts. Remember ye the law of Moses, my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.

Behold, I have revealed unto you the Priesthood, by the hand of Elijah the prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. And he has planted in the hearts of the children the promises made to the fathers, and the hearts of the children are turning to their fathers. If it were not so, the whole earth would be utterly wasted at his coming.

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Thus sayeth the Lord, this is about to be fulfilled: And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord; And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.

And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins. The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.

And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.

And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious. And it has come to pass in this day, that the Lord has set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which are left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.

And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off: Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim.

But they shall fly upon the shoulders of the Philistines toward the west; they shall spoil them of the east together: they shall lay their hand upon Edom and Moab; and the children of Ammon shall obey them. And the Lord shall utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea; and with his mighty wind shall he shake his hand over the river, and shall smite it in the seven streams, and make men go over dry-shod.

And there shall be an highway for the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria; like as it was to Israel in the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt.

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For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. Verily, thus sayeth the Lord, that prophet is Christ. The day is nigh that “they who would not hear his voice should be cut off from among the people.”

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Be glad, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month.

And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the fats shall overflow with wine and oil. And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpillar, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you.

And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed. And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the Lord your God, and none else: and my people shall never be ashamed.

And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and thus fulfilleth the Father the covenant which he made with Abraham, saying: In thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed—unto the pouring out of the Holy Ghost through me upon the Gentiles, which blessing upon the Gentiles shall make them mighty above all.

And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.

And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the Lord come.

And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall repent and be baptized and call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered: for in mount Zion soon cometh deliverance, as the Lord hath said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall soon call.

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And this cometh unto you, O ye Gentiles, that ye may know the decrees of God—that ye may repent, and not continue in your iniquities until the fulness come, that ye may not bring down the fulness of the wrath of God upon you as the inhabitants of the land have hitherto done.

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Verily, verily, I say unto you, that when I give a commandment to any of the sons of men to do a work unto my name, and those sons of men go with all their might and with all they have to perform that work, and cease not their diligence, and their enemies come upon them and hinder them from performing that work, behold, it behooveth me to require that work no more at the hands of those sons of men, but to accept of their offerings.

And the iniquity and transgression of my holy laws and commandments I have visited upon the heads of those who hindered my work, unto the third and fourth generation. They have repented not, and hate me, saith the Lord God.

But the prayers of the Patient have entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth, and are recorded with this seal and testament—the Lord hath sworn and decreed that they shall be granted. Therefore, he hath given this promise unto them, with an immutable covenant that they shall be fulfilled; and all things wherewith they have been afflicted shall work together for their good, and to my name’s glory, saith the Lord.

And if the children shall repent, or the children’s children, and turn to the Lord their God, with all their hearts and with all their might, mind, and strength, and restore four-fold for all their trespasses wherewith they have trespassed, or wherewith their fathers have trespassed, or their fathers’ fathers, then his indignation shall be turned away;

And vengeance shall no more come upon them, saith the Lord thy God, and their trespasses shall never be brought any more as a testimony before the Lord against them.

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Hearken, O ye people of my church, and ye elders listen together, and hear my voice while it is called today, and harden not your hearts; For verily I say unto you that I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the light and the life of the world—a light that shineth in darkness and the darkness comprehendeth it not.

I come unto mine own, and mine own receive me not; but unto as many as receive me give I power to do many miracles, and to become the sons of God; and even unto them that believe on my name give I power to obtain eternal life.

And even so I have sent mine everlasting covenant into the world, to be a light to the world, and to be a standard for my people, and for the Gentiles to seek to it, and to be a messenger before my face to prepare the way before me. Wherefore, come ye unto it, and with him that cometh I will reason as with men in days of old, and I will show unto you my strong reasoning.

Wherefore, hearken ye together and let me show unto you even my wisdom—the wisdom of him whom ye say is the God of Enoch, and his brethren, who were separated from the earth, and were received unto myself—a city reserved until a day of righteousness shall come—a day which was sought for by all holy men, and they found it not because of wickedness and abominations; and confessed they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth; but obtained a promise that they should find it and see it in their flesh.

Wherefore, hearken! For I have reasoned with you, and I have spoken unto you and prophesied, as unto men in days of old. And I have shown it plainly as I showed it unto my disciples as I stood before them in the flesh.

Ye say that ye know that the end of the world cometh; ye say also that ye know that the heavens and the earth shall pass away; and in this ye say truly, for so it is; but these things which I have told you shall not pass away until all shall be fulfilled:

The remnant shall be gathered again; and they have remained until now: when the times of the Gentiles are soon fulfilled.

In this generation a light has broken forth among them that sit in darkness, and it is the fulness of my gospel; But ye receive it not; for ye perceive not the light, and ye turn your hearts from me because of the precepts of men.

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Come unto me, O ye Gentiles, and behold the greater things, the knowledge which was hid up because of unbelief.

Come unto me, O ye house of Israel, and it shall be made manifest unto you how great things the Father hath laid up for you, from the foundation of the world; and it hath not come unto you, because of unbelief.

Behold, when ye shall rend that veil of unbelief which doth cause you to remain in your awful state of wickedness, and hardness of heart, and blindness of mind, then shall the great and marvelous things which have been hid up from the foundation of the world from you—yea, when ye shall call upon the Father in my name, with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, then shall ye know that the Father hath remembered the covenant which he made unto your fathers, O house of Israel.

And my revelations which I have caused to be written by my servant John are unfolded in the eyes of all the people. Remember, as ye see these things, know that the time is at hand that they shall be made manifest in very deed; that the work of the Father has commenced upon all the face of the land.

Therefore, repent all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me, and believe in my gospel, and be baptized in my name; for he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned; and signs shall follow them that believe in my name.

And blessed is he that is found faithful unto my name at the last day, for he shall be lifted up to dwell in the kingdom prepared for him from the foundation of the world. And behold it is I that hath spoken it. Amen.

THE VISION AND THE SONG
Seven years ago today (June 1, 2014), I was carried away in a vision and found myself outside of some sort of arena. I stood with family members who did not see me, waiting in line, for what purpose I could not determine. As the line receded, I came to the front and realized that the other people had been speaking to an angel. I worked my way towards him until finally we were face to face. We greeted each other and the angel began to talk to me. As he did so, an image of a youthful experience came to mind that I had recently been talking about with my spouse. Every time I recalled that story in adulthood, I took the position of being a victim, blaming another rather than acknowledging my own folly. The angel then said to me:

You are not yet stripped of pride. I tell you, if you are not you are not prepared to meet God. You must prepare quickly. For the kingdom of heaven is soon at hand, and one who has not been stripped of pride does not have eternal life.

No sooner had the angel said these words than I was removed from the vision and found myself back in this world. The pain and disappointment of opportunity lost hit me, and I grieved that the visit had been so short-lived. To be in the presence of the heavenly messenger and then to be rebuked by the same was almost too much to bear. The image of my youthful folly continued to haunt me for an undefined period of time, yet I still desired to reunite with the angel. Feeling that the invitation was still there, I silently asked if the arms of mercy could be extended to even a person like myself. As I prayed in this manner, the veil was lifted and I was again carried to the foot of my heavenly escort.

This time we were inside the covered coliseum. I ascended a few stairs to the level of the angel. I could tell that I now had his attention for a while, so I engaged him in conversation. We discussed conditions in the world, and the angel said, as with a trump:

The world lies in darkness, and all things are in commotion. Surely, men’s hearts fail them and fear has come upon all people. Soon the Bridegroom comes, and you must prepare to go out and meet him. Hearken to the voice of the Lord, to him who is the advocate with the Father, who is pleading your cause before him. Listen and hear his voice while it is called today, and harden not your heart. Let him reason with you, and speak unto you and prophesy, as unto men in days of old.

My surroundings changed to a familial scene being acted out in front of me. I learned from that experience the importance of not only avoiding casting judgment on others, but that we should freely forgive those who offend, and pray for those who spitefully use and abuse us. The angel declared:

Thus God brings about his great and eternal purposes, which were prepared from the foundation of the world. And thus comes about the salvation and the redemption of men, and also their destruction and misery. All are invited to partake of the waters of life freely, and none are compelled. But in the last day of this probation, it will be restored to men according to their deeds. If they have desired to do evil and not repented, evil will be restored according to the restoration of God. And after that day will they sleep, where no labor can be performed.

I asked the angel, “What is to be done?” He responded:

Mercy does not come with a price, it does not cost us money. We do not accumulate merits but rely on His alone. The very definition of mercy is that we are not deserving, but the Lord succors us in spite of our nature. Only your unshaken faith and desire for charity matter. This is the way, and there is no other way or name given under Heaven that we can be saved in God’s Kingdom.

You may come and partake of the waters of life freely. This is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost, which is one God. The Lord is merciful unto all who will, in the sincerity of their hearts, call upon his holy name. The gate of heaven is open unto all, even to those who will believe on the name of Jesus Christ, who is the Son of God. Mercy will have claim on you, if you can believe. 

I found myself back in the stadium, and the angel said, “Look!” I moved my gaze upward and started to see beyond the enclosed room that I was in. I observed threads or streaks of light which appeared as beautiful asteroids or comets with great tails of golden stardust. They were coming at us, and it was marvelous to behold. Then they exploded overhead, and we seemed to be shielded from it. The angel declared:

Behold that great and abominable church, which is the mother of abominations, whose founder is the devil. For praise and to be seen of the world do they destroy the saints of God, and bring them down into captivity. And when they shall say unto you: Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep and mutter—should not a people seek unto their God for the living to hear from the dead? To the law and to the testimony; and if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

Who is among them that fears the Lord? They walk in darkness and have no light. Behold all those that kindle fire, that compass themselves about with sparks, they will walk in the light of their fire and in the sparks which they have kindled. This shall they have of their own hand—they shall lie down in sorrow.

I looked again and realized that indeed they did not give off light, but their true color was this sinister green hue, a glowing iridescence. The sky was streaked with the bombardment, which seemed intent on engulfing its prey. The angel continued:

You must watch and pray always. The father of lies can transform himself as an angel of light, and stir up men unto all manner of works of darkness, even those things which may appear good. Take heed that ye do not judge that which is evil to be of God, or that which is good and of God to be of the devil. For it is given unto you to judge, that you may know good from evil. And the way to judge is as plain as the daylight is from the dark night, that you may know with a perfect knowledge.

For the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil. I will explain the way to judge: everything which invites to do good, everything which serves your neighbor, and all that persuades you to believe in the mercy of Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ. This is how you may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God.

Hearken unto the pure words of Christ which are laid before you, and ask the Father in the name of Jesus for whatever things you need. Doubt not, but be believing, and begin as in times of old, and come unto the Lord with all your heart, and work out your own salvation before him.

“Come with me,” I heard, and we rose up through the building. As we did so, the angel stretched forth his hand and it all was washed away revealing a sky and landscape full of colors I cannot describe.

We stood, as it were, upon the western edge of a long beach. Gazing across the mighty deep, I was blessed with the sight of a city, whose gold and silver steeples and towers were more beautiful than any I have ever seen or heard of on earth. Its order and glory seemed far beyond the wisdom of man. Although the shimmering city was miles off on the horizon, I was able to gaze into her glory and behold the splendor. Music from a thousand towers played, such as not to be heard in this world, and the light of God Himself danced around in symphony with its surroundings. I noticed a curious thing about it, however. The Great City was uninhabited, or at least I was shown no residents. The angel then proclaimed:

Behold, Zion has said: The Lord has forsaken me, and my Lord has forgotten me—but he will show that he has not. Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; for the feet of those who are in the east shall be established! And break forth into singing, O mountains, for they shall be smitten no more! For the Lord has comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted.

The Lord has sworn this promise unto His friends, with an immutable covenant that his words shall be fulfilled! And all things wherewith they have been afflicted shall work together for their good, and to the glory of God.

The angel then made mention of a man and a prophet who stood today upon the many waters. He said:

Thus sayeth the Lord: Hearken unto me, you that follow after righteousness. Look unto the rock from whence you are hewn, and to the hole of the pit from whence you are dug. For the Lord shall comfort Zion, he will comfort all her waste places. And he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord. Joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving and the voice of melody. Hearken unto me, my people; and give ear unto me, O my nation! For a law shall proceed from me, and I will make my judgment to rest for a light for the people, to the Gentiles and unto the ends of the earth. My righteousness is near, my salvation is gone forth, and my arm shall judge the people.

The isles shall wait upon me, and on my arm shall they trust. Hearken unto me, you that know righteousness, the people in whose heart I have written my law! Fear not the reproach of men, neither be afraid of their revilings. Awake, awake! Put on strength, O arm of the Lord! Awake as in the ancient days. Are you not he who has dried the sea, the waters of the great deep, that has made the depths of the sea a way for the ransomed to pass over? Therefore, the redeemed of the Lord shall return, and come with singing unto Zion. And everlasting joy and holiness shall be upon their heads, and they shall obtain gladness and joy. Sorrow and mourning shall flee away!

The captive exile hastens, that he may be loosed, and that he should not die in the pit, nor that his bread should fail. But I am the Lord your God, whose waves roared! The Lord of Hosts is my name. And I have put my words in your mouth, and have covered you in the shadow of my hand, that I may plant the heavens and lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion: Behold, you are my people.

Awake, awake, stand up, O Jerusalem, which has drunk at the hand of the Lord the cup of his fury! Awake, awake, put on your strength, O Zion! Put on your beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city! For henceforth there shall no more come into you the uncircumcised and the unclean. Shake yourself from the dust; arise, sit down, O Jerusalem! Loose yourself from the bands of your neck, O captive daughter of Zion!

I was brought back to this realm and immediately recorded what I could remember. Little did I know that this would be the first of twelve significant visions over the course of the next five years. Upon reflection of these experiences, the words of King Benjamin’s people continue to fill my mind and my heart:


And we, ourselves, also, through the infinite goodness of God, and the manifestations of his Spirit, have great views of that which is to come; and were it expedient, we could prophesy of all things. And it is the faith which we have had on the things which our king has spoken unto us that has brought us to this great knowledge, whereby we do rejoice with such exceedingly great joy.







Vignettes:


Fly by Night

Speed of Sound

I Saw God Today

Someday

Darmok/Gilgamesh


Next post: Sunday, June 8