Thursday, June 11, 2009

36e Zenos Saw Far Into the Future - Book of Mormon Prophecies are Fulfilled in Our Day

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We See the Families of Lehi and Ishmael as Their Ship Nears Land in What is Now Known as Central America -by Arnold Friberg
It is relatively easy for me to identify in this painting four individuals: Father Lehi and Mother Sariah, his wife. Standing to the right of Sariah would be their son, Nephi, the inspired builder of the ship. The young boy leaning on the ship's railings and standing to Nephi's right, in my opinion, would be Jacob, Lehi and Sariah's fifth son who was born on their long journey across the Arabian peninsula. Another son was born on that same journey, only he is younger than Jacob. His name was Joseph. I have mentioned Joseph in several posts, particularly in Post 36a, The Three Josephs.

I have tried to identify Jacob in that Friberg painting because he wrote the Book of Jacob contained in the small plates of Nephi (the first section of the Book of Mormon). In this post you will have the opportunity of reading Chapter 5 of Jacob's book.
This is the Chapter 5 Heading:
Jacob Chapter 5 Jacob quotes Zenos relative to the allegory of the tame and wild olive trees—They are a likeness of Israel and the gentiles—The scattering and gathering of Israel are prefigured—Allusions are made to the Nephites and Lamanites and all the house of Israel—Gentiles shall be grafted into Israel—Eventually the vineyard shall be burned. About 544–421 B.C. (emphasis added)
You will have noticed the name, Zenos which I have put in highlighted italics in the chapter heading above. The only scriptures we hear mentioned in the beginning of the Book of Mormon is the record contained on the Brass Plates of Laban, for which Lehi sent his four sons, Laman, Lemuel, Sam and Nephi back to Jerusalem after they had been camped not far from the Red Sea, to obtain those scriptures from Laban, most likely a distant relative of theirs.

Laban was a descendant of Joseph, Who Was Sold Into Egypt as was Lehi and his family and as was Ishmael, a relative of Lehi's who was persuaded to bring along his family to go with Lehi and family out of troubled Jerusalem to a yet to be identified Promised Land. Lehi's sons married Ishmael's daughters as did Laban's servant who was obliged to come along too, but became very close to Nephi throughout his life.

The Brass plates contained many records which are found in our Old Testament. The Book of Isaiah is one of them. Look now back to the Jacob Chapter Five heading above to the name Zenos which I have highlighted in italics there. He was a prophet in what we would call Old Testament Times.

If you can easily locate your copy of the Old Testament, I suggest you look in its index for the name, Zenos.

You mean to tell me that you couldn't find such a name there? That must mean that there are books in the Brass Plates that Nephi obtained during his and his brothers' trip back to Jerusalem that are not found in our Old Testament. I just now checked in the index of my Finnish Bible, Raamattu, and that name was not found there either.

The fact is that the Lord has not yet given us access to the books in the Brass Plates of Laban so we can't access Zenos's writings anywhere except where it is referred to in the Book of Mormon and in this case, in the Book of Jacob, chapter Five.

To help prepare you for your reading Chapter Five of Jacob here is something I'd like you to read:

I found the following somewhere on the Internet. Particularly from the last paragraph above we learn that before the time of Father Lehi, Olive Cultivation had become a very important part of the culture of the Jews. Surely such was the case in the time of Zenos, the Jewish prophet.
"Beginning in 5000 B.C. And until 1400 B.C., olive cultivation spread from Crete to Syria, Palestine, and Israel; commercial networking and application of new knowledge then brought it to Southern Turkey, Cyprus, and Egypt. Until 1500 B.C., Greece—particularly Mycenae—was the area most heavily cultivated. with the expansion of the Greek colonies, olive culture reached Southern Italy and Northern Africa in the eighth century B.C., then spread into Southern France. Olive trees were planted in the entire Mediterranean basin under Roman rule.
According to the historian Pliny, Italy had "excellent olive oil at reasonable prices" by the first century A.C, "the best in the Mediterranean," he maintained."
"In the land of the Hebrews, King Solomon and King David placed great importance on the cultivation of olive trees; King David even had guards watching over the olive groves and warehouses, ensuring the safety of the trees and their precious oil." (emphasis added)

An Olive Grove -by Vincent Van Gogh
I now invite you to read and listen to Chapter Five of the Book of Jacob. It is an allegory so it is in a style you may not be used to. There are seventy seven verses. If you give it your full attention by both reading and listening at the same time, it will make much sense to you.

Jacob 5:1-77

I have decided to help you interpret Zenos' allegory given in Jacob, Chapter Five in my next post.

However, before doing so for a key purpose I now return to something I have referred to a number of times in this blog, beginning actually with Post 1.

In that post I told how in my viewing the Prime-time Video, "The Mormons" in May of 2007 it came home very forcibly to me that the people who prepared that video did not know as I know that Joseph Smith, under the divine gift of inspiration and guidance, translated an ancient record written in hieroglyphics into the English language.

The following is a quote from the video "The Mormons": It was that which I just quoted Alex Caldiero saying above that caused me to entitle this blog, Have You Really Read The Book of Mormon? If you have been regularly reading this blog for any amount of time you must have come to the conclusion that Professor Caldiero has never ever read anything in the Book of Mormon.

Right from the beginning of that sacred book there are many complexities that wouldn't be there if it had been made up by a young, unschooled Nineteenth Century American farm boy. Facts presented in the Book of Mormon are woven together intrinsically, because it contains true history. Chapter Five of Jacob which you just read and listened to is a prime example.

Professor Alex Caldiero, Utah Valley University, Orem, Utah, (U.S.A.)
"I hear Joseph Smith's voice every time I read it (The Book of Mormon). He was young. He was unlettered and he put this all together. So you have this rough hewn kind of text..." Alex Caldiero, poet and scholar, Utah Valley University Orem, Utah) (clarification and emphasis added)
Dr. Dan Peterson of the Neal A. Maxwell Institute at Brigham Young University has shown conclusively that all of the evidence shows that it would have been impossible for Joseph Smith to have used any documents as a source for the Book of Mormon. There were many people around Joseph Smith and his scribe when the translating took place and none of them suggest there were documents in the house from which Joseph or his scribe could have copied. They all agree: Joseph translated The Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ by the power of God.

Many people who reject the Book of Mormon have tried since the mid-1800s to find such a document that Joseph Smith could have copied to bring about the Book of Mormon, have failed over and over again.

You can view - Dr. Peterson's Lecture Video about this matter.  It is long, but you can select what you read!

I wrote what I did above about "The Mormons" video because I wanted to show that the enemies of the Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ desire to have the world believe that the sacred Book of Mormon is a farce and was put together by the Mormons to deceive the world for some devious purpose.

While they do that, there are those of us (which may include some of you readers) who have received a divine witness that the Book of Mormon, along with the Holy Bible, and certain other revealed scriptures, were given us by our Heavenly Father to help prepare His children to be able to live with Him and His Son, Jesus Christ, eternally.

Please return to this blog in three to four days to allow me to help you better understand how the very inspired Chapter Five of Jacob from the Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ applies to each of us.


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Neil Birch

1 comment:

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