He that is ordained of God and sent forth, the same is appointed to be the greatest, notwithstanding he is the least and the servant of all (D&C 50:26)

Allegory of the Tame and Wild Olive Trees – Commentary   10/26/2022

In the course studying this remarkable Allegory it has come to our attention that there are some serious misinterpretations by gospel writers with respect to certain important aspects of this Allegory. Chief among the misunderstandings are the identities of the two main characters, the lord of the vineyard and his servant. Dr Gileadi as well as most BYU and LDS scholars identify the master or lord of the vineyard as being Christ, and the servant mentioned throughout the Allegory as being symbolic of the Lord’s servants, the prophets. However, in the case of Dr Gileadi, he goes further. He asserts that the servant of the Allegory is a heroic end-time character that morphs into a usurper of Christ’s end time mission and throne—a dangerous misconception. What Dr Gileadi and others fail to comprehend is both the concept and the power associated with Christ as the servant. See also Book of Mormon-Isaiah Podcasts.

As we discuss the true identity of the two main characters in the Allegory as well as other common interpretations of additional aspects, this commentary will include attempts to identify and clarify points of contradiction with other published analyses. The Allegory also provides a convenient framework for additional gospel commentary.

Such discussion is necessary because, according to scripture, there is among LDS members an amazing basic misunderstanding of the nature of the godhead, and the role of Christ in particular. Through the principle of divine investiture some confusion arises from the custom of the Savior to often speak as if he were the Father. However, the fundamental roles of the Father and the Son are intentionally and distinctively different. An analysis of their roles in this allegory will be used as a basis for examination and clarification of their distinct positions.

In order to focus on essential points, historical background will be kept to the minimum necessary for understanding of context. The analysis, rather than being exhaustive, will mainly focus on points considered important for present purposes. This treatise may also be considered as a course of study, prayerful study.

The olive tree in the Allegory, sometimes referred to herein as the “mother tree” symbolically refers to the House of Israel. The original or mother tree is considered “tame” as it has been carefully nourished to bring forth good edible fruit versus the inedible fruit of the wild, unnourished olive trees. As commonly interpreted the fruit does not merely refer to “good works” but refers to human souls that achieve salvation/exaltation.

The numbered verses of the Allegory referenced in Jacob 5:1-77 are in bold and the commentary, except for occasional bold emphasis, is in regular text.

Book of Mormon – Jacob 5

 

1 Behold, my brethren, do ye not remember to have read the words of the prophet Zenos, which he spake unto the house of Israel, saying: 2 Hearken, O ye house of Israel, and hear the words of me, a prophet of the Lord.

The writings of the prophet Zenos were found on the brass plates Nephi obtained from the archives of Laban in Jerusalem. The brass plates, a more thorough account of the Old Testament prophets, were evidently kept current by Laban’s scribes. They even contained some of the writings of the contemporary prophet Jeremiah written near the time Lehi and his family departed (circa 600 BC). Some of the beautiful and inspired writings of Zenos are recorded in Alma chapter 33, vs 3–11. In Helaman 8:19 we find that the “prophet Zenos did testify boldly, for the which he was slain.”

The prophet Zenos was martyred for his bold testimony of Christ. The Old Testament writings we have today were mostly scrubbed of any clear references to Christ as they passed through the hands of unbelievers and scribes with subverted agendas. And though the Allegory of the Tame and Wild Olive Trees is no longer available through Jewish sources, we know from the apostle Paul it was clearly available in the days of Christ and his apostles.

Zenos’ Allegory is amazing in its detail and there is much that can be gleaned from its careful study—which is probably one reason it is not in our Bible today. Apparently too clear to escape censorship, it was among the plain and precious truths removed from Bible manuscripts (1Ne 13:28-29). Control of information and selective censorship is and has been a problem in all ages, including ours.

Paul understood the Allegory’s profound scope including the scattering and gathering of Israel, the future role to be played by the Gentiles and the preparations for the restoration of Israel in the end time. On the basis of details and concepts recorded in Romans 11:13–36) [1] the apostle Paul had access to the full Allegory account as we have it in the Book of Mormon. Though not necessary for faith or belief in the Restored gospel, this fact constitutes a very powerful witness to the validity of the Book of Mormon and the authenticity of the Brass Plates of Laban.

3 For behold, thus saith the Lord, I will liken thee, O house of Israel, like unto a tame olive tree, which a man took and nourished in his vineyard; and it grew, and waxed old, and began to decay.

The House of Israel is here symbolized as a tame olive tree. It takes a certain amount of care to produce olives worthy of consumption and the production of quality olive oil. Such cultivated trees are known as “tame” versus others that are considered “wild.” Olive trees may live for over a thousand years but will decay without proper care. In the imagery of the Allegory this particular olive tree representing the House of Israel is suffering symbolic decay. The House of Israel itself is, accordingly, suffering literal decay due to moral decline, wickedness and apostasy. This period of decline began under the Old Testament period known as the time of the “Judges” and accelerated following the reign of Saul, David and Solomon when idolatry became commonplace.

Though the seeds of decay may have started earlier, the real issues begin to emerge with Solomon’s son Rehoboam. It is at this time the Northern Tribes of Israel, under the leadership of the tribe of Ephraim, depart from Judah. Israel is now divided and giving no heed to the Lord’s prophets.

 4 And it came to pass that the master of the vineyard went forth, and he saw that his olive tree began to decay; and he said: I will prune it, and dig about it, and nourish it, that perhaps it may shoot forth young and tender branches, and it perish not. 5 And it came to pass that he pruned it, and digged about it, and nourished it according to his word.

The master or lord of the vineyard represents Heavenly Father and NOT Jesus Christ as popularly taught. Jesus Christ is the “servant” throughout the Allegory—not symbolic of the prophets of each dispensation as many have interpreted. The plural form, “servants,” does not appear until the end of the Allegory when the Father instructs the servant [Son] to call other servants (vs 75). It is critical to understand that Jesus Christ is the servant.

As the older branches have decayed [apostasy] and ceased to bring forth good fruit the nourishing effort focuses upon producing new young and tender branches—groups of Israelites with new covenant conviction and spiritual strength. Lehi’s group would be an example of a young and tender branch.

The nourishing of the vineyard is accomplished through the labors of the Father and the Son by calling prophets. In the context of the Allegory, rather than being only “good works” the tame fruit is redeemed and exalted souls—human spirits and bodies ultimately worthy of exaltation in the celestial kingdom. Good works that do not result in exalted souls are not relevant in the Allegory. The exalted are the object of Heavenly Father’s existence. It is important to realize that it is through the redeemed and exalted that Heavenly Father is glorified (see vs 54).

For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man (PoGP Moses1:39).

6 And it came to pass that after many days it [mother tree] began to put forth somewhat a little, young and tender branches; but behold, the main top thereof began to perish.

 

Young and tender branches, covenant believers and converts, develop centered around prophets such as Lehi and Jeremiah. Some of the House of Israel began to repent but the leaders did not. The main branches of the mother tree [Israel], in the geographical area of ancient Jerusalem, are now seriously decayed [apostate] and useless to the lord of the vineyard.

 

Among the young and tender branches is a repentant element of the Ten Tribes previously carried away to Assyria. We do not know the timeframe but their further departure into a “nethermost” geographical location is recorded by the prophet Esdras or Ezra in the Apocrypha also found in the Catholic Bible:

 

But they took this counsel among themselves, that they would leave the multitude of the heathen, and go forth into a further country, where never mankind dwelt, that they might there keep their statutes, which they never kept in their own land. And they entered into Euphrates by the narrow passages of the river. For the most High then shewed signs for them, and held still the flood, till they were passed over. For through that country there was a great way to go, namely, of a year and a half: and the same region is called Arsareth. Then dwelt they there until the latter time (2 Esdras 13:41–46, see also J E Talmadge, The Articles of Faith, p. 512).

 

There is much speculation as to where Arsareth might be, However, other than somewhere in the far north no-one knows.

 

7 And it came to pass that the master of the vineyard saw it, and he said unto his servant: It grieveth me that I should lose this tree; wherefore, go and pluck the branches from a wild olive tree [Gentiles], and bring them hither unto me; and we will pluck off those main branches which are beginning to wither away, and we will cast them into the fire that they may be burned.

 

The lord of the vineyard [the Father] observes the apostate state of Israel. The main top, its leaders, are now to be hewn down [plucked] and their nation destroyed, cast into the fire of invasion and captivity. First Assyria conquered and removed into captivity the Northern Kingdom of Israel [the Ten Tribes]. Later Babylon conquered the Southern Kingdom, Judah and elements of Benjamin, and took them to Babylon. The Jews returned from Babylon but were scattered again by the Romans in 70 AD. In place of the removed and scattered Israelite branches Gentile convert branches are grafted into the mother tree [Israel] from wild olive trees [Gentile nations]. The plucking is twofold. Some branches are cast into the fire [destroyed] and others are removed [scattered] to other places in the vineyard/world. This replacement of plucked Israelite branches by Gentile convert branches begins in the days of Christ’s apostles.

8 And behold, saith the Lord of the vineyard, I take away many of these young and  tender branches, and I will graft them whithersoever I will; and it mattereth not that if it so be that the root of this tree will perish, I may preserve the fruit thereof unto myself; wherefore, I will take these young and tender branches, and I will graft them whithersoever I will.

This verse suggests that there were actually “many” young and tender branches in the form of righteous and repentant groups of worshippers of the true God. We do not currently have sufficient information on other than the three scattered branches mentioned in the Allegory. However, there likely have been others led away to other parts of the world not yet revealed.

Notice that it is the lord of the vineyard, God the Father, that is making the grafting decisions—he decides where to put the young and tender branches. He is concerned about the root of the old tree and does not want it to die but is working to guarantee new sources of fruit through the young and tender branches. The Father decides where he wants these young branches to take their own roots and produce new fruit.

It is also a curious point that the placement of new branches in new locations of the vineyard/world seems to be a possible hedge against the potential loss of the root of the mother tree of Israel.

The most common scriptural use of the term “root” pertains generally to ancestors and those who have come before. In an explanation of some aspects in the chapter following the Allegory Jacob refers to “roots and branches” specifically in this ancestral sense (Jacob 6:4). Application of these terms referring to the living, as “branches,” and the dead, as “roots” is common in the scriptures. Also, the word root is used seemingly interchangeably in both singular and plural form throughout the Allegory (23 times total).

The context of root terminology in the Allegory pertains exclusively to the lineage of Israel. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and his 12 sons certainly come to mind, perhaps even the patriarchs going back through Noah to Adam. Consequently, an implied question arises in verse 8: “…it mattereth not that if it so be that the root of this tree will perish.” Could any of this amazing Israelite heritage including archangels be at risk? Could they be cast aside to be replaced by new tender roots and branches? More on this later.

9 Take thou the branches of the wild olive tree, and graft them in, in the stead thereof; and these which I have plucked off I will cast into the fire and burn them, that they may not cumber the ground of my vineyard.

The branches of the wild olive tree are the Gentiles who come into the Covenant. This occurs as a result of the ministry of Christ’s apostles following his own ministry in Israel. Since the Jews largely rejected the message, the gospel went forth to the Gentiles throughout the nations surrounding Israel. Examples are the seven churches mentioned in Revelation (chapters 1-3). In 70 AD the Roman general, Titus, sacked and burned Jerusalem, totally destroyed the temple and dispersed the surviving Jews throughout the world. Plucked off and cast into the fire, they no longer cumbered the ground of the vineyard.

10 And it came to pass that the servant of the Lord of the vineyard did according to the word of the Lord of the vineyard, and grafted in the branches of the wild olive tree.

The servant of the lord of the vineyard is with his master, the lord of the vineyard, throughout the length of the Allegory. There is regular communication between them. The servant carries out the master’s instructions. It is always the same servant, Jesus Christ, and he always carries out the will of His Father. As instructed the servant carries out the grafting of the wild branches (Gentiles converts) into the mother tree of Israel, whereby they become the Covenant people of the Lord. The term “servant” is always in the singular except at the very end when the servant is instructed to call other “servants” to labor in the vineyard for the last time—our day.

11 And the Lord of the vineyard caused that it should be digged about, and pruned, and nourished, saying unto his servant: It grieveth me that I should lose this tree; wherefore, that perhaps I might preserve the roots thereof that they perish not, that I might preserve them unto myself, I have done this thing. 12 Wherefore, go thy way; watch the tree, and nourish it, according to my words.

After Christ’s ministry to the Jews the Gentile grafts [New Testament churches] are nurtured by Christ’s apostles. The Gentile grafts, converts, save the tree and its roots. The roots, as mentioned earlier, include prophets and patriarchs extending to and through Abraham, Noah and clear to Adam. The definition of roots may also include the gospel covenants and priesthood power possessed by the chosen lineage of Israel. Again there is an allusion in this verse to the seeming possibility the roots of the mother tree could perish and the Father’s objective, the salvation of mankind, not be accomplished.

This grafting serves to preserve the mother tree and its roots for a time. Rather than replacing them, preserving these roots becomes important in the total scheme and wisdom of the lord of the vineyard.

13 And these will I place in the nethermost part of my vineyard, whithersoever I will, it mattereth not unto thee; and I do it that I may preserve unto myself the natural branches of the tree; and also, that I may lay up fruit thereof against the season, unto myself; for it grieveth me that I should lose this tree and the fruit thereof.

In order to avoid the potential loss of the mother tree and its roots the lord of the vineyard is placing young and tender shoots or branches in far flung locations of the world. The vineyard and its oversight are now expanded to include these remote locations. The purpose is to allow the new young branches to escape being cast into the same fire that destroyed the old branches and to grow righteously, unencumbered by Israel and Judah’s degeneracy in the Old World.

14 And it came to pass that the Lord of the vineyard went his way, and hid the natural branches of the tame olive tree in the nethermost parts of the vineyard, some in one and some in another, according to his will and pleasure.

 

Though the term “many” is applied to the branches in verse 8 it appears that there are just three of these young branches identified as having been removed from the mother tree. Identified later, Lehi and his family colony will be distinguishable in the Allegory.

 

Also, Christ was instructed by the Father to visit the “lost tribes” after his administration to the Lehites (3Ne 17:4). As Lehi’s people are located on the choicest ground, the so-called “lost tribes” likely relate to one or more of the branches mentioned to have been placed in poor spots of ground.

15 And it came to pass that a long time passed away, and the Lord of the vineyard said unto his servant: Come, let us go down into the vineyard, that we may labor in the vineyard. 16 And it came to pass that the Lord of the vineyard, and also the servant, went down into the vineyard to labor. And it came to pass that the servant said unto his master: Behold, look here; behold the tree. 17 And it came to pass that the Lord of the vineyard looked and beheld the tree [mother tree] in the which the wild olive branches had been grafted; and it had sprung forth and begun to bear fruit. And he beheld that it was good; and the fruit thereof was like unto the natural fruit.

This reflects the success of the apostolic ministry to the Gentile nations recorded in the New Testament. The natural fruit included the prophets and those who believed their words, worshipped the true God and were redeemed through determined application of the atonement.

18 And he said unto the servant: Behold, the branches of the wild tree [Gentiles] have taken hold of the moisture of the root thereof [mother tree/House of Israel], that the root thereof hath brought forth much strength; and because of the much strength of the root thereof the wild branches have brought forth tame fruit. Now, if we had not grafted in these branches, the tree thereof would have perished. And now, behold, I shall lay up much fruit, which the tree thereof hath brought forth; and the fruit thereof I shall lay up against the season, unto mine own self.

The roots, the gospel teachings, words of the prophets, patriarchs and necessary ordinances have brought forth much strength. The Gentile branches produced much good fruit for close to two hundred years before the last of the worthy priesthood holders were gone as a result of persecution and apostasy.

19 And it came to pass that the Lord of the vineyard said unto the servant: Come, let us go to the nethermost part of the vineyard, and behold if the natural branches of the tree have not brought forth much fruit also, that I may lay up of the fruit thereof against the season, unto mine own self. 20 And it came to pass that they went forth whither the master had hid the natural branches of the tree, and he said unto the servant: Behold these; and he beheld the first that it had brought forth much fruit; and he beheld also that it was good. And he said unto the servant: Take of the fruit thereof, and lay it up against the season, that I may preserve it unto mine own self; for behold, said he, this long time have I nourished it, and it hath brought forth much fruit.

The tame or natural branches [righteous groups of people] removed from the natural olive tree [mother tree/House of Israel/Holy Land] have taken root in their various locations and produced good fruit. Note that the branches have been hid in some manner from the world—hidden in some respect from the knowledge of the world and also likely to some degree from its influences.

21 And it came to pass that the servant said unto his master: How comest thou hither to plant this tree, or this branch of the tree? For behold, it was the poorest spot in all the land of thy vineyard. 22 And the Lord of the vineyard said unto him: Counsel me not; I knew that it was a poor spot of ground; wherefore, I said unto thee, I have nourished it this long time, and thou beholdest that it hath brought forth much fruit.

This branch was planted in what is described as a poor spot of ground. This could pertain to the lost ten tribes who were carried into the north countries of Assyria and then later escaped to an even more remote and unknown location. This could be polar regions or a place or places unfriendly to crop production such as where there is ice or permafrost. The Father reassures the servant, the Son, that He knows what He is doing.

23 And it came to pass that the Lord of the vineyard said unto his servant: Look hither; behold I have planted another branch of the tree also; and thou knowest that this spot of ground was poorer than the first. But, behold the tree. I have nourished it this long time, and it hath brought forth much fruit; therefore, gather it, and lay it up against the season, that I may preserve it unto mine own self.

This spot of ground is even poorer than the previous one. Nevertheless, these two Israelite colonies have flourished spiritually and brought forth good fruit. By living in an extreme climate or under tenuous environmental conditions the occupants of these societies were likely forced to cooperate and support each other just to survive—factors conducive to humility and consecration.

24 And it came to pass that the Lord of the vineyard said again unto his servant: Look hither, and behold another branch also, which I have planted; behold that I have nourished it also, and it hath brought forth fruit.

This one’s a mystery. Other than among the “many” mentioned in verse 8 there does not appear to be any further description or allusion to this group. Happily, though, it has also produced good fruit. This may actually represent a category that includes any number of other Israelite offshoots.

25 And he said unto the servant: Look hither and behold the last. Behold, this have I planted in a good spot of ground; and I have nourished it this long time, and only a part of the tree hath brought forth tame fruit, and the other part of the tree hath brought forth wild fruit; behold, I have nourished this tree like unto the others.

This is clearly the Lehite colony in the Americas, planted in a good spot of ground and having brought forth good and bad fruit. It is not so simple that the Nephites are the good fruit and the Lamanites the bad. That distinction is not supported by details of the Book of Mormon in which on occasion there are Lamanites providing examples and preaching repentance to the Nephites.

26 And it came to pass that the Lord of the vineyard said unto the servant: Pluck off the branches that have not brought forth good fruit, and cast them into the fire.

In the case of the Lehite colony there was pruning and removal of dead and withered branches periodically through wars. There was also a serious pruning through the catastrophic destructions nearly one year before Christ appeared to the descendants of Lehi in America in which the more wicked apostates were destroyed.

 

27 But behold, the servant said unto him: Let us prune it, and dig about it, and nourish it a little longer, that perhaps it may bring forth good fruit unto thee, that thou canst lay it up against the season.

The servant suggests to the Lord of the vineyard that they prune and nourish this location of the vineyard [Americas]. Here we have an opportunity. How does this nourishing administration by the lord of the vineyard and the servant look in real life? We find the answer in 3rd Nephi chapters 11-30.

First, as in every dispensation, the Father introduces the Savior with His voice from heaven. “Behold my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, in whom I have glorified my name—hear ye him” (3Ne 11:7). As recorded, the multitude at the Nephite temple in the land of Bountiful see the Savior descending. He explains that He is the prophesied Christ who has died for the sins of the world and “suffered the will of the Father in all things from the beginning” (3Ne 11:11). He invites the multitude to feel the wounds in His hands, feet and side. As they do so they fall down and worship Him (3Ne 11:13-17). The Savior proceeds to teach the people over several days. He explains repeatedly that He is fulfilling the commandments of the Father. He prays to and talks to the Father on their behalf (3Ne 17:14-18). He explains that the Father has also commanded Him to visit the other tribes. He also institutes the sacrament.

In one of Joseph McConkie’s BYU religion classes he explained the symbolic meaning of certain interesting passages in Christ’s administration of the sacrament to the Nephite disciples and the multitude. “And when the disciples had come with bread and wine, he took of the bread and brake and blessed it; and he gave unto the disciples and commanded that they should eat. And when they had eaten and were filled, he commanded that they should give unto the multitude.” The multitude then ate and were also “filled” (3Ne 18:3–4).

Neither the disciples nor the multitude physically filled their stomachs on this occasion. This is a metaphor of being filled with the Spirit of the Lord. By so doing they were also filled with knowledge and the grace of God.

Professor McConkie’s point here is that in order for the multitude to be “filled,” Christ’s twelve disciples had to be “filled” first. Once the leadership, the twelve, were filled they could then impart to the multitude. The symbolic point here is: They could not give what they had not already received. They could not impart what they did not possess.

The same principle is true today of our leaders at all levels within Christ’s Restored [LDS] Church. If leaders and teachers are imparting knowledge and instructions with regard to things they have not received as personal knowledge from the Holy Ghost they are operating without genuine authority and, therefore, without valid effect. Under this lack of divine support they are taking the name of Christ upon themselves in vain and without authority. LDS members who simply follow the mantras and continual rehash of content out of complacent obedience, thinking such an attitude is virtuous, are being set up for a fall. Nowhere in the scriptures is such a thoughtless attitude supported.

Adam’s sacrificial obedience in the Garden, though without understanding of its purpose, was not blind. He was following instructions from the Lord himself and this obedience over time resulted in knowledge. “If any man will do his [the Father’s] will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself (John 7:17). When we truly live a commandment we not only gain a testimony of it, over time we learn the deeper meaning of it. We are then in a position to teach effectively such that hearer and teacher are mutually edified.

Verily I say unto you, he that is ordained of me and sent forth to preach the word of truth by the Comforter, in the Spirit of truth, doth he preach it by the Spirit of truth or some other way? And if it be by some other way it is not of God. And again, he that receiveth the word of truth, doth he receive it by the Spirit of truth or some other way? If it be some other way it is not of God. Therefore, why is it that ye cannot understand and know, that he that receiveth the word by the Spirit of truth receiveth it as it is preached by the Spirit of truth? Wherefore, he that preacheth and he that receiveth, understand one another, and both are edified and rejoice together. And that which doth not edify is not of God, and is darkness. That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day (D&C 50:17–24).

According to the above sense of the word,  how often and to what degree are we, as LDS members, being edified? On the other hand, “He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory” (John 7:18). Those who speak and teach their own words do so for their own glory and NOT the glory of God. When popularity is a factor in leadership truth suffers accordingly. The Spirit of the Lord cannot teach the doctrine that exalts through a person who is compromised by a need for acceptance and honor or by a desire to avoid controversy. 

In this real life example of the Father and the Son nourishing an Israelite branch it is clearly the Father who determines where the branches are to be located and when they are to be visited (3Ne 16:3-5). The Savior reiterates, “But now I go unto the Father, and also to show myself unto the lost tribes of Israel, for they are not lost unto the Father, for he knoweth whither he hath taken them” (3Ne 17:4). The Nephites/Lamanites [the Allegory location with two branches—American continent] is just one of the stops that the obedient servant  [Christ, the Savior] makes in the Allegory. There will be a similar ministry in each branch/tribe location.

Christ, the faithful servant, intercedes with the Father on behalf of this portion [Nephite/ Lamanite] of the vineyard. There are also significant promises to be realized among the descendants of the Lamanite branch in the latter-days when “they that murmured shall learn doctrine” (1Ne 3:5,25. Isa 29:24).

28 And it came to pass that the Lord of the vineyard and the servant of the Lord of the vineyard did nourish all the fruit of the vineyard.

They didn’t just nourish the trees and branches; they nourished the fruit itself [the Lord’s Covenant people]. This would be in the form of both the first and second comforters—the Holy Ghost and the Holy Spirit of Promise, with the latter being a function or office of the Holy Ghost (see John 14:18-23, D&C 76:53,130:3). The result is “good fruit” [redeemed and sanctified members of the Church of the Firstborn].

29 And it came to pass that a long time had passed away, and the Lord of the vineyard said unto his servant: Come, let us go down into the vineyard, that we may labor again in the vineyard. For behold, the time draweth near, and the end soon cometh; wherefore, I must lay up fruit against the season, unto mine own self.

The “us” is the Father and Son. That we may labor “again” indicates this is the same team as always. The time frame now is prior to and preparation for the Restoration. The lord of the vineyard [Heavenly Father] and the servant [Jesus Christ] visit the various locations in the vineyard of the world and observe conditions after a long time had passed since the colonies were flourishing.

30 And it came to pass that the Lord of the vineyard and the servant went down into the vineyard; and they came to the [mother/Holy Land] tree whose natural branches had been broken off, and the wild branches [Gentiles] had been grafted in; and behold all sorts of fruit did cumber the tree.

Geographically speaking the mother tree now includes the Holy land and surrounding countries in which the ministry of Christ’s apostles took root. Of particular importance were the locations of “the seven Churches in Asia” as mentioned in Revelation chapters 1-3.

The Father and the Son come to examine the Holy Land/Old World remnants of the Gentile branches grafted into the mother tree to see what sort of fruit had been produced. What follows is an interesting description of the condition of the secular Christian world of the Dark Ages, also Catholic and Protestant iterations of religious beliefs and practices that emerged. Rather than good or divine fruit all sorts of strange fruit is found on the mother tree and none of it was good [no valid redemption]. Without the Melchizedek priesthood there are no prophets or sound doctrines. There is no authority by which people can receive the necessary saving ordinances or to obtain remission of their sins.

 

Satan brings upon the world an age of darkness, bondage, and universal apostasy. The gift of the Holy Ghost is no longer available or authorized. The Spirit of the Lord is necessarily constrained in supporting apostate forms of religion claiming His name.

Initially, and for some time, the grafted Gentile branches in the mother tree produced good fruit [for example, see D&C 77:5], but by the time of this visitation nothing but aberrations of the true gospel remained.

31 And it came to pass that the Lord of the vineyard did taste of the fruit, every sort according to its number. And the Lord of the vineyard said: Behold, this long time have we nourished this tree, [House of Israel and Gentile branches] and I have laid up unto myself against the season much fruit. 32 But behold, this time it hath brought forth much fruit, and there is none of it which is good. And behold, there are all kinds of bad fruit; and it profiteth me nothing, notwithstanding all our labor; and now it grieveth me that I should lose this tree.

In the Sacred Grove the young Joseph Smith learns directly from the Lord the truth about the sectarian world.

 

My object in going to inquire of the Lord was to know which of all the sects was right, that I might know which to join. No sooner, therefore, did I get possession of myself, so as to be able to speak, then I asked the Personages who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right (for at this time it had never entered into my heart that all were wrong)—and which I should join. I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: “they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof” (Joseph Smith—History 1:18–19, the Lord quoting Isa 29:13).

Though there were among the Reformers and others honest people striving for truth, even they did err because of the plain and precious truths removed from sacred writ. More importantly, the authority of the priesthood and its saving ordinances ended with Christ’s apostles and the translation of John the Revelator. The Gentile branches that had been grafted into the mother tree are now also withered and dead. The subsequent professors of religion in Joseph’s day and in our day are all corrupt and their false creeds are an abomination to the Lord.

At this point, even despite the Protestant Reformation, there is absolutely no good fruit on the so-called Christian tree. Unless something is done at this time the tree and its roots are in peril.

33. And the Lord of the vineyard said unto the servant: What shall we do unto the tree, that I may preserve again good fruit thereof unto mine own self? 34 And the servant said unto his master: Behold, because thou didst graft in the branches of the wild olive tree they have nourished the roots, that they are alive and they have not perished; wherefore thou beholdest that they are yet good.

The servant points out that the roots of the mother tree are still sound and alive, thanks to the grafting in of formerly wild Gentile branches. The lord of the vineyard, as portrayed in the Allegory, seeks to preserve the roots of the mother tree but also appears to allow for their possible loss such as in verses 8,11,13,32,46,51 and 65. A point not to be overlooked.

In order to preserve the tree and the roots the lord of the vineyard is required to go to great lengths. The grafting plan is critical to the success of the overall program of saving Israel in order to produce sufficient good fruit and win the end time war of good versus evil. The grafting emerges as a divine design to spread beneficial Israelite believing blood to every nation, kindred, tongue and people, thus fulfilling the promises of the Lord to Abraham that every generation of the earth would be blessed by his seed. This prophecy is not only achieved by the Savior’s mission and sacrifice but also by the scattering and gathering of Israel as the leaven that spiritually raises the whole loaf or “lump” of dough figurative of the entire world population (Matt 13:33,1Cor 5:6, Gal 5:9).

The Father and the Son have created “worlds without number.” From among these “innumerable” creations (Moses1:33,35) ours is the only one so evil that the Savior’s own people, among whom He was born, would kill him. Since it was necessary in the plan of salvation that there be an infinite and eternal sacrifice such an evil creation as ours was necessary. However, this situation possesses particular challenges to all involved, from the least to the greatest. There seems to be a degree of brinkmanship in the plan.

In the Allegory we find the ultimate fate of both the trees and their roots often in jeopardy. What might be the point of this allegorical representation? Would Heavenly Father actually cast off his people and their roots, including casting off their ancestors? Because of two instances in the Doctrine and Covenants the answer would seem to be in the affirmative. In D&C 85:3-4 early members of this dispensation who violated their covenants of consecration were not only to have their names removed from the records of the Church, nor was “their genealogy to be kept… on any of the records or history of the church.” Did their ancestors have something to do with their mortal descendants’ careless handling of stewardships? It is very likely that the ancestors are also accountable. In D&C 124:32 leaders and members of the LDS Church were informed on January 19th, 1841, that if they did not complete the Kirkland temple within the time appointed, they were to “be rejected as a church, with [their] dead.” According to laws set before the world was. we and our ancestors are clearly in this salvation project all together as a team.

It is no coincidence that the subject of “turning the heart of the fathers to the children and the heart of the children to their fathers” was the subject that most occupied the Prophet Joseph’s mind in his mortal countdown to martyrdom. It is also no coincidence that this is the very last topic we have from the Old Testament prophets (Malachi). If the necessary generational sealing “welding links” (D&C 128:18) do not occur the Lord has promised a “curse” upon the earth (Mal 4:6).

As commanded by the Lord members of the LDS Church have performed temple ordinance work for the dead for almost two hundred years. Consequently, we would expect a vast Covenant congregation in existence beyond the veil. But is there? In theory we would expect the number of this gathering of the faithful dead to be many times the number of presently living worthy Latter-day-Saints. The question is: Is this expected vast Covenant congregation beyond the veil in actual existence?

Though, according to scripture, we will have a millennium to complete the temple ordinance work for the totality of the human family, a certain threshold of support must be attained by the faithful on both sides of the veil before the return of the Savior. How do we know this? Because, as referenced above, the earth will be smitten with a curse if the necessary welding links are not sufficiently forged (D&C 76:64). Keep in mind, temple ordinance work for the dead does not guarantee the necessary “welding links.” It only guarantees the opportunity for them. Is this an issue?

The battle between good and evil, between the production of good fruit versus bad fruit continues on both sides of the veil until the last minutes of the 11th hour, even past the end of the seven year tribulation.

Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken (Matt 24:19, emphasis ours).

Before the final scores are settled, the power of Satan and the Antichrist in defying God and His people will be so strong that “the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken." A darkened sun and moon symbolize a period of dearth of the influence of the Lord [sun] and His Spirit [moon] among the people of the earth. The stars "falling" from heaven represent some of the "noble and great ones" chosen by the Lord in pre-earth councils to be His "leaders" (Abr 3:22-23).

For not many days hence and the earth shall tremble and reel to and fro as a drunken man; and the sun shall hide his face, and shall refuse to give light; and the moon shall be bathed in blood; and the stars shall become exceedingly angry, and shall cast themselves down as a fig that falleth from off a fig tree (D&C 88:87).

Whether it is within the various dispensations or at the critical end time, not all foreordained leaders rise to the occasion of being called and chosen. Stars falling refers to LDS leaders who become “angry” and “cast themselves down.”

 

And it [“little horn” = Antichrist] waxed great, even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host [LDS members] and of the stars [LDS leaders] to the ground, and stamped upon them. Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host [LDS prophet leader], and by him [Antichrist] the daily sacrifice was taken away... And an host [includes apostate members] was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression, and it cast down the truth to the ground; and it practised, and prospered (Dan 8:10–12).

The Antichrist transitions from guaranteeing peace, prosperity and freedom of worship to Israel to deceitfully violating his promises. In the midst of the 7 year tribulation period the Antichrist treacherously brings his armies against Israel, the Lord and His people. Taking possession of the Jerusalem temple is his object. In another passage we find the Antichrist consulting with “them who forsake the holy covenant” (Dan 11:30).

Consequently it appears that there is a good deal of apostasy in Jerusalem in the countdown to the end time. We are also told that the daily sacrifice is removed “by reason of transgression.” Whose transgression? While the Antichrist is certainly a transgressor the angel speaking to Daniel probably didn’t need to make a point of that.

There is, unfortunately, another distinct possibility—transgression of the Lord’s covenant people. The Old Testament “daily sacrifice” under the Mosaic law was symbolic of the sacrifice of a broken heart and contrite spirit, the sacrifice required of us in this dispensation under the Melchizedek priesthood and the new and everlasting covenant (3Ne 9:19-20,12:19).

And ye shall offer up unto me no more the shedding of blood; yea, your sacrifices and your burnt offerings shall be done away… And ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit. And whoso cometh unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, him will I baptize with fire and with the Holy Ghost… (3Ne 9: 19-20).

And behold, I have given you the law and the commandments of my Father, that ye shall believe in me, and that ye shall repent of your sins, and come unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit… (3Ne 12:19).

We receive a baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost each time we repent and offer up a broken heart. This is not a one-time occurrence. According to law this is the only way to “come unto Him” and is to be a daily offering on the path of sanctification. By obeying this law we receive daily incremental gifts of the divine nature thus becoming more like the Father. The cycle of repenting with a broken heart followed by baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost and then receiving a gift of the divine nature is to be a daily offering on the path of sanctification. This is the only way to receive a regular remission of sins.

The fact that the forces of the Antichrist will have power to defile the outer court of the temple and remove the daily sacrifice seems to have a serious symbolic meaning that correlates with a parallel failure of the Saints at that time to make their own personal daily sacrifice of the required broken heart. It is likely this transgression of omission that leaves the Lord’s people short of power and direction and Jerusalem vulnerable to occupation of half the city [midpoint of 7 year tribulation period]. See GT 21: Latter-day Timeline.

Obviously none of these things catch the Lord of the vineyard unaware. It is just people who are surprised by the challenging turns of events. The shaking of the earth and the heaven by the Antichrist is also the Lord’s doing. Speaking of the Father the apostle Paul explains:

Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain (Heb 12:26-27).

Only those things done in our lives under divine inspiration are of any eternal efficacy in the resurrection. Everything else is of no efficacy and will in effect be shaken and removed (D&C 132:7,13-14). This also applies to the status of our ancestral lines. For some, perhaps many, the ancestral links will simply dissolve as progenitors take their places singly and individually in lesser kingdoms.

The necessary and timely support program for sufficient gathering of good fruit beyond the veil requires a much higher than current level of effective activity on the part of mortal “Saviors on Mount Zion” (Teachings,189, 223, 330, Rev 14:1, D&C 77:8-11).

 

To be a Savior on Mount Zion in the intended sense of the term it is necessary to carry burdens and break ancestral chains. In order to do this one must understand the personal need of this work and to make oneself worthy and available to the Lord for His purposes. Breaking ancestral and generational chains is the only way there will be sufficient Covenant strength among the vast assemblage of the dead on the other side of the veil.

 

Spiritually directed intercession among both LDS leaders and members is a key to the ultimate success of the good fruit project and the avoidance of a Covenant curse. Spiritually directed repentance and intercessional service in the similitude of the Servant [the Only Begotten, Jesus Christ] is how it is done (ref Obed 21, Rev 14:1 and chapter 7, D&C 77:8-11, 14). See also GT 5: Intercession, A Case Study.

As for the Antichrist, when the purposes for his existence as the rod of the Lord’s  “indignation” are achieved, he comes to a fiery end.

Wherefore it shall come to pass, that when the Lord hath performed his whole work upon mount Zion and on Jerusalem, I will punish the fruit of the stout heart of the king of Assyria [Antichrist], and the glory of his high looks… And the light of Israel shall be for a fire, and his Holy One for a flame: and it shall burn and devour [him and] his thorns and his briers [followers] in one day (Isa 10:12,17, see also 10:5-6).

35 And it came to pass that the Lord of the vineyard said unto his servant: The tree profiteth me nothing, and the roots thereof profit me nothing so long as it shall bring forth evil fruit.

Clearly there is a cooperative effort required over and within the various dispensations and the roots are a critical element in the great plan. The prophet Malachi informs us of the peril, that if the hearts of the fathers are not turned to the children and the children to their fathers the Lord will “come and smite the earth with a curse” (Mal 4:5-6).

Consequently, has this threat been taken seriously? With temples now doting the earth the aspect of temple building certainly has been. For example, with already 25-30 temples in Utah, Idaho and Canada hugging the rocky Mountains and Wasatch Front we should be ready for the coming arrival of the Ten Tribes. The temples are there; that much is good.

Regarding the statement of peril by Malachi, the Prophet Joseph further explained:

I might have rendered a plainer translation to this, but it is sufficiently plain to suit my purpose as it stands. It is sufficient to know, in this case, that the earth will be smitten with a curse unless there is a welding link of some kind or other between the fathers and the children, upon some subject or other—and behold what is that subject? It is the baptism for the dead. For we without them cannot be made perfect; neither can they without us be made perfect. Neither can they nor we be made perfect without those who have died in the gospel also; for it is necessary in the ushering in of the dispensation of the fulness of times, which dispensation is now beginning to usher in, that a whole and complete and perfect union, and welding together of dispensations, and keys, and powers, and glories should take place, and be revealed from the days of Adam even to the present time. And not only this, but those things which never have been revealed from the foundation of the world, but have been kept hid from the wise and prudent, shall be revealed unto babes and sucklings in this, the dispensation of the fulness of times (D&C 128:18).

Notice the coordination and interdependence involved between generations, living and dead, roots and branches. Those who have gone before cannot be made perfect without us. Nor can we be made perfect without them. What exactly does that mean? Have we really understood all this? Are our obligations to the Lord’s plan covered by genealogy and temple work? The appropriate and presumably necessary information and understanding was to be revealed to babes and sucklings in this dispensation. Babes and sucklings are found among the rank and file of the Church membership, quietly seeking the will of the Lord and who are humble and open to learn. The wise and prudent, from whom saving knowledge is purposely hidden, are those who suppose position and management skills are their ticket on the Celestial Express. They are not open to be taught.

These essential welding links require the effective application of the authority of priesthood keys that trace their origins back to previous dispensations and their key prophets and dispensational archangels. The necessary preaching of the gospel of Abraham, the gathering of the tribes of Israel and the sealing powers that link through our ancestors to the previous dispensations are all necessary in the divine scheme of things.  It all ties together. Consequently, the success of the various grafts to keep the good fruit production program going is imperative.

The responsibility laid upon us, and our dead, may come into better focus in light of the visit that the Joseph Smith made to Brigham Young sometime after the Prophet Joseph’s death. During this remarkable conversation from beyond the veil President Young asked the Prophet Joseph if he had a message for the Saints. Joseph responded that if the members would “get the Holy Ghost” they would go “just right.” Joseph also went on to explain that in the pre-mortal councils every generation of the earth was organized down to the last man but that because of darkness the world lay in chaos—disrupting the original order of the pre-mortal councils (Documentary History of the Church, Feb 17, 1847, also in Brigham Young Office Files, 1832–1878).

Despite subsequent disorder in our lineages it should be apparent that once Lucifer and his followers were dispelled from the pre-mortal world those who remained were arranged in as perfect an order as possible—down to the last man and woman for this creation. This meant that our pre-mortal ancestors, organized into each designated lineage, participated in the choice of who was to come to earth life in each dispensation and in each age of the world. Of all the vital dispensations ours was the most critical. The missions of those chosen to come here in the end times were of paramount importance to each other, our ancestors and to the consummation of Heavenly Father’s program.  Bringing these foreordained lines back into harmony keeps angels and empowered ancestors busy beyond the veil with each generation.

 

The links in our ancestry will necessarily have to bridge some gaps of the disobedient. However,  for there to be sufficient priesthood welding links (sealings by the Holy Spirit of Promise) over our ancestral generations the factual and genuine effectiveness of the work for our dead takes on critical importance. As a clarifying case in point, we now know that genealogy and temple work is of little if any benefit to ancestors who have passed through the veil bound in generational and habitual behavioral chains—which is indeed the case with the vast majority. This unfortunately includes LDS members who took lightly the admonition that we are to repent daily of all our sins while in the flesh. Even now LDS members who die spend years just going to the Light if at all. This is NOT the kind of fruit the lord of the vineyard is seeking to harvest. This sort of fruit from the vineyard is not worthy of being “laid up against the season.”

The reason the lord of the vineyard is working overtime to gather good fruit, the genuinely redeemed, “against the season” is because there is a level of righteous support required on both sides of the veil for the final showdown of good and evil. People have little idea of the high stakes and levels of commitment involved. Members are unfortunately not being taught what they need to know to be Saviors on Mount Zion in the fullest sense that the revelations dictate (see D&C 76:50-70).

 

Neither the roots nor the tree is of much use to the lord of the vineyard unless good (redeemed and exalted) fruit is being produced. The burning that is coming shall leave the wicked [unrepentant] within the LDS church with “neither root nor branch” (Mal 4:1). Correspondingly, neither is the work for the dead of much use unless their negative behavioral chains are being broken in order that they may have the personal power to “live according to God in the spirit” (1Pet 6). Or, as the JST version clarifies, “Because of this [need for the dead to be redeemed], is the gospel preached to them who are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live in the spirit according to the will of God” (JST, 1Pet 4:6).

Living according to the will of God is the main issue before, during and after mortality. Living according to the will of God requires agency. However, most people whether here in mortality or in the world of post-mortal spirits have lost large measures of their agency. They are unable to live according to the will of God because they do not have the personal power of will to do so. Satan has sent the vast majority of humankind [including LDS] through the veil of death bound up in chords and fetters of behavioral chains.

Frankly, the vast majority of the dead are in no condition to receive or even listen to the missionaries, let alone embrace the gospel and accept the temple ordinances or to “live in the spirit according to the will of God.” In the Church we only hear the other-side-of-the-veil success stories, most of which are invalid—misleading faith promoting myths and rumors. Sorry, but uncle Harry was not there waiting for Aunt Flo when she died. Uncle Harry has not even found his way to the Light. And Aunt Flo doesn’t actually want to be with Uncle Harry in the eternities. Oh, they were “faithful” members, raised children, regularly attended meetings, went to the temple, bore testimonies, etc.—observed all the trappings and the forms. They are now in darkness [a “dark and deary waste” 1Ne 8:7-8], fearful and confused. They are now dependent upon their children to break their negative chains and those of previous generations because they never learned necessary principles of daily repentance. They never learned to seal their marriage by the Holy Spirit of Promise in love and in service to and with the Savior. They never learned how to acquire the transformative “gifts of the divine nature” that would have seen them triumphant through all the vicissitudes of life and marriage and landed their eternal souls in a realm of Light and eternal possibilities with their ancestors and loved ones. See GT 13: Core Message of the Gospel.

The work of this dispensation, the work of Saviors on Mount Zion, is the consummation of the “gathering.” It is a given that Saviors on Mount Zion do genealogy and temple work, however this is only the tip of the iceberg. Saviors on Mount Zion are people who have taken the Holy Spirit for their guide and not been deceived. They are people who are repenting, bearing spiritual burdens and freeing their ancestors and others stuck in darkness. The awkward fact facing this dispensation is that the vast majority of the dead, including LDS, are in no shape to receive the fulness of the gospel. They are stuck in hell, right where Satan put them.

Most LDS members at this point in time have either not received the fulness of the gospel [through ignorance or lack of effort] or have rejected and modified the true gospel to fit their particular convenience, notions and/or misconceptions. It doesn’t help matters that no-one clearly taught them they were to repent until forgiven of all their sins before they died, or pointed out that they would be required to pay for their own sins in hell. The Lord explains:

For behold, I, God, have a suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent; But if they would not repent they must suffer even as I; Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit—and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink (D&C 19:16-18).

One cannot suffer to this extent in the flesh without dying. Hence this extreme mental anguish for unrepentant sin must be experienced in the spirit until the “uttermost farthing” has been paid (Matt 5:26).

The roots, from Adam onward including our own progenitors, have no guarantee of their ultimate glory in the eternities until we have also done our job in this final dispensation. The necessary knowledge, “[w]hich our forefathers have awaited with anxious expectation to be revealed in the last times, which their minds were pointed to by the angels,” is actually “held in reserve for the fulness of their glory” (D&C 121:27, emphasis ours). Archangels, prophets and forebearers are all actively engaged and much invested in the final outcome, extremely dependent upon us to do our part—to fulfill the promises we made to them before the world was. The patriarchs, prophets, their priesthood keys, and the redemption of the dead and the living are all critical factors that come together in the end time gathering equation (see Teachings, p. 307-8).

In fact, as the lord of the vineyard points out in the above verse, if good fruit is not produced, “the roots thereof profit me nothing” and they are in danger of becoming “ripened, that [they and the tree] may be cast into the fire.” Were the necessary level of work the Lord and the situation requires to be unrealized in this final dispensation and the earth therefore smitten with a curse, where would Abraham, Isaac and Jacob be? What would be the status of the archangels?  Not only would they not receive the fulness of their glory, but this entire order of creation would also be effectively nullified. This is, in fact, Satan’s objective.

36 Nevertheless, I know that the roots are good, and for mine own purpose I have preserved them; and because of their much strength they have hitherto brought forth, from the wild branches, good fruit.

According to the intelligence and foreknowledge of the lord of the vineyard [the Father] there was always a master plan. It is one that ultimately exposes everyone for who and what they are. It is a plan that allows his children a great deal of opportunity to prove themselves. The beginning of wisdom in the course of this program is the realization that there is NO WAY to be successful in the divine, scriptural and eternal sense without plugging into the perfection program the Lord has outlined. We cannot come up some other way because there is no other way. There is also no way to be secure and at peace in the days ahead without walking the path of sanctification.

Heavenly Father will win, and Satan will lose in the end. The question for us is, how many of us will be there triumphant at the last day or simply be part of the collateral damage? Collateral damage can be defined as not being with our friends and family in the millennium and in the eternities.

37 But behold, the wild [Gentile] branches have grown and have overrun the roots thereof; and because that the wild branches have overcome the roots thereof it hath brought forth much evil fruit; and because that it hath brought forth so much evil fruit thou beholdest that it [mother tree/House of Israel] beginneth to perish; and it will soon become ripened, that it may be cast into the fire, except we should do something for it to preserve it.

The Mother tree is in danger of perishing due to the loss of the priesthood, its covenants and ordinances. In the Old World the priesthood and its corresponding gospel requirements of serious repentance were lost through attrition and apostasy. Consequently, the apostate offshoots of Christianity became popular and acquired their own strength. Relying on their own strength they are no longer grounded in the roots of the gospel Covenant.

All that is left from the once prosperous New Testament Gentile convert grafts into the mother tree of Israel are sectarian doctrinal aberrations and counterfeit authority. Out of the Reformation there were only a few righteous religious leaders, however even they stumbled due to a lack of revelation. Usurpation of religion for political power soon took center stage.

38 And it came to pass that the Lord of the vineyard said unto his servant: Let us go down into the nethermost parts of the vineyard, and behold if the natural branches [such as Lehi colony, Ten Tribes, etc.] have also brought forth evil fruit. 39 And it came to pass that they went down into the nethermost parts of the vineyard. And it came to pass that they beheld that the fruit of the natural branches had become corrupt also; yea, the first and the second and also the last; and they had all become corrupt. 40 And the wild fruit [Lamanites] of the last had overcome that part of the tree which brought forth good fruit [Nephites/converted Lamanites], even that the branch had withered away and died.

 

There are only three remote colonies mentioned here. They have by now all become corrupt. There is, apparently, no good fruit being produced anywhere. These are the Dark Ages.

 

41 And it came to pass that the Lord of the vineyard wept, and said unto the servant: What could I have done more for my vineyard?

This reminds us of the classic passage in the Pearl of Great Price in which Enoch marvels that God the Father weeps for his children—in this case for those destroyed in the flood.

And it came to pass that the God of heaven looked upon the residue of the people, and he wept; and Enoch bore record of it, saying: How is it that the heavens weep, and shed forth their tears as the rain upon the mountains? And Enoch said unto the Lord: How is it that thou canst weep, seeing thou art holy, and from all eternity to all eternity? …The Lord said unto Enoch: Behold these thy brethren; they are the workmanship of mine own hands, and I gave unto them their knowledge, in the day I created them; and in the Garden of Eden, gave I unto man his agency; And unto thy brethren have I said, and also given commandment, that they should love one another, and that they should choose me, their Father; but behold, they are without affection, and they hate their own blood (Moses 7:28-29,32-33).

Notice that the Father weeps. Everything the Father does is for the benefit of his children. Little wonder He weeps when they fail to realize this fact and suppose they have better ideas which inevitably end in their harm and destruction.

42 Behold, I knew that all the fruit of the vineyard, save it were these, had become corrupted. And now these which have once brought forth good fruit have also become corrupted; and now all the trees of my vineyard are good for nothing save it be to be hewn down and cast into the fire.

There may also be little wonder the Father becomes angry when his children trample upon the sacrifice and atonement of His Son—the most crucial event and ultimate expression of godly love in the history of the cosmos.

In His foreknowledge the Lord of the vineyard, who is God the Father, was well aware of His people’s disobedience and apostasy. There was and is a master plan laid out from before the foundation of the world in which Heavenly Father’s wisdom overthrows and destroys the cunning of the devil (3Ne 21:10, D&C 10:43).

43 And behold this last [Nephites], whose branch hath withered away, I did plant in a good spot of ground; yea, even that which was choice unto me above all other parts of the land of my vineyard. 44 And thou beheldest that I also cut down that which cumbered this spot of ground [Jaredites], that I might plant this tree in the stead thereof.

The Lehite colony was brought to a promised land, choice above all others. The land was abundant in resources and with reasonable effort life there could be prosperous and comfortable—factors which gave rise to progressive worsening cycles of the Nephite disease of wealth and pride.

Notice also, that the Lord had cut down a branch [Jaredites] that had previously “cumbered this spot of ground.”

And he [the Father] had sworn in his wrath unto the brother of Jared, that whoso should possess this land of promise, from that time henceforth and forever, should serve him, the true and only God, or they should be swept off when the fulness of his wrath should come upon them. And now, we can behold the decrees of God concerning this land, that it is a land of promise; and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall serve God, or they shall be swept off when the fulness of his wrath shall come upon them. And the fulness of his wrath cometh upon them when they are ripened in iniquity. For behold, this is a land which is choice above all other lands; wherefore he that doth possess it shall serve God or shall be swept off; for it is the everlasting decree of God. And it is not until the fulness of iniquity among the children of the land, that they are swept off (Ether 2: 8 –10).

The Jaredites, no longer worthy of the promised land, were extinguished. However, this was not to be the case with the Lamanite/Nephite remnant. This remnant has an important mission in America during the end time. The prophet Zenos also describes this in the allegory (see also verses 25, 40, 43-45).

Moroni now continues with a specific message to the American Gentiles including LDS:

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 (Ether 2:11).

45 And thou beheldest that a part thereof brought forth good fruit, and a part thereof brought forth wild fruit; and because I plucked not the branches thereof and cast them into the fire [Lamanites and apostates], behold, they have overcome the good branch [righteous Nephites/Lamanites] that it hath withered away.

The Nephites had a permanent promise of protection from their enemies as long as they observed the commandments and covenants of the Lord. Their biggest mistake, besides pride and unbelief was changing their policy from defending themselves from their enemies to attacking them in their enemies’ own homelands. They changed from a defensive philosophy to an offensive one. When people lose the Spirit through pride they also lose perspective and discernment.

The Americas are lands of promise to the Lehite remnants as well as today’s righteous Gentile [mainly Ephraimite] Covenant LDS membership. The promise of the Lord’s protection extended to the Nephites is attached to this choice land of promise. It applies just as much today as in Book of Mormon times. When America decides to attack other nations that have not pled for our help simply to enrich certain special interests we do not have the blessing of the Lord, which is already evident in many cases.

But behold, this land, said God, shall be a land of thine inheritance, and the Gentiles shall be blessed upon the land. And this land shall be a land of liberty unto the Gentiles, and there shall be no kings upon the land, who shall raise up unto the Gentiles. And I will fortify this land against all other nations. And he that fighteth against Zion shall perish, saith God. For he that raiseth up a king against me shall perish, for I, the Lord, the king of heaven, will be their king, and I will be a light unto them forever, that hear my words. Wherefore, for this cause, that my covenants may be fulfilled which I have made unto the children of men, that I will do unto them while they are in the flesh, I must needs destroy the secret works of darkness, and of murders, and of abominations. Wherefore, he that fighteth against Zion, both Jew and Gentile, both bond and free, both male and female, shall perish; for they are they who are the whore of all the earth; for they who are not for me are against me, saith our God (2Ne 10:10-16).

The Lord has blessed this land and made us many promises. Among these we are assured never to have a king ruling over our land and that nations and peoples who war against us [Zion] will be destroyed. Because of this promise we know the Antichrist will never rule over America. However, there will be war. The almost full cup of our own national and collective iniquity [LDS included] shall not fail to be scourged and cleansed out of existence. And the [LDS] “righteous shall hardly escape” (Joseph Smith Dairy, 29 Sep, 1839, D&C 63:34).

And upon my house shall it begin, and from my house shall it go forth, saith the Lord (D&C 112:25).

Some may suppose this prophecy has already been fulfilled. Such is not the case.

46 And now, behold, notwithstanding all the care which we have taken of my vineyard, the trees thereof have become corrupted, that they bring forth no good fruit; and these I had hoped to preserve, to have laid up fruit thereof against the season, unto mine own self. But, behold, they have become like unto the wild olive tree, and they are of no worth but to be hewn down and cast into the fire; and it grieveth me that I should lose them.

The marvelous success of the grafting program in which branches or groups of people are put into novel environments and led by prophetic doctrines and miraculous conversions inevitably winds down over time. Quasi-religious forms gradually replace the substance of the gospel Spirit. Ordinances may become meaningless and corrupted. Congregations become subcultural social units with pecking orders. Local leaders acquire honor unto themselves and take advantage of the flock instead of feeding them. Wealth and educational advantages create a caste system. The doctrines of salvation are assumed rather than taught. The Lord’s people eventually plateau where they possess little more light and truth than their non-member peers—but are under much greater accountability and liability. Sectarians and gnostic aberrations took over the gospel in the Old World and crude idolatry and violence ultimately ruined the Nephite civilization in the Americas.

47 But what could I have done more in my vineyard? Have I slackened mine hand, that I have not nourished it? Nay, I have nourished it, and I have digged about it, and I have pruned it, and I have dunged it; and I have stretched forth mine hand almost all the day long, and the end draweth nigh. And it grieveth me that I should hew down all the trees of my vineyard, and cast them into the fire that they should be burned. Who is it that has corrupted my vineyard?

Heavenly Father points out that the vineyard is not suffering for lack of support but rather for other reasons. He asks a rhetorical question, for which he knows the answer. It is Satan who has corrupted the vineyard, having access to the Lord’s people through immorality and pride.

48 And it came to pass that the servant said unto his master: Is it not the loftiness of thy vineyard—have not the branches thereof overcome the roots which are good? And because the branches have overcome the roots thereof, behold they grew faster than the strength of the roots, taking strength unto themselves. Behold, I say, is not this the cause that the trees of thy vineyard have become corrupted?

The branches and congregations of the Lord’s people subtly shift from doing the Lord’s will to doing their own will. The meat of the gospel, upon which gospel colonies were established, soon devolves into gospel milk until the milk becomes so thin it is indistinguishable from other liquids. In this knowledge vacuum other doctrines and philosophies become attractive. By taking strength unto themselves the branches have ceased to derive strength from the roots and now depend upon the arm of flesh and the value systems of men.

Mormon writes of his people regarding their decay and apostasy:

 

…nevertheless the strength of the Lord was not with us; yea, we were left to ourselves, that the Spirit of the Lord did not abide in us; therefore we had become weak like unto our brethren” (Morm 2:26).

 

No longer were the Nephites stronger than their enemies. Their pride gave them a false sense of security.

The servant, Jesus Christ, reminds the Father that the susceptibility of these Saints to transgress was their lofty pride. Much like the Saints of today they took strength from other than the true source, wandering away from their divine roots [true doctrine and sacred covenants].

​​49 And it came to pass that the Lord of the vineyard said unto the servant: Let us go to and hew down the trees of the vineyard and cast them into the fire, that they shall not cumber the ground of my vineyard, for I have done all. What could I have done more for my vineyard?


The lord of the vineyard [God, the Father] is understandably offended at his children’s behavior and lack of repentance. He again makes the point that the problem does not lie with Him. Heavenly Father’s patience is tried by his misbehaving and errant children. Casting withering branches into the fire is a common idea expressed by the lord of the vineyard. However, though the Lord knew what would happen, he still has a plan—the same one presented by Him in the Council in Heaven and accepted by the servant [the Son] when he answered, “Father, thy will be done, and the glory be thine forever” (Moses 4:2).

 

50 But, behold, the servant said unto the Lord of the vineyard: Spare it a little longer. 51 And the Lord said: Yea, I will spare it a little longer, for it grieveth me that I should lose the trees of my vineyard.

The servant, who represents Christ, our Advocate, pleads with the Father to spare the vineyard a little longer. The Father, of course, agrees. It was always the plan.

52 Wherefore, let us take of the branches of these which I have planted in the nethermost parts of my vineyard, and let us graft them into the tree from whence they came; and let us pluck from the tree those branches whose fruit is most bitter, and graft in the natural branches of the tree in the stead thereof.

Here we are beginning to take branches [people] from the nethermost parts of the vineyard [Gentile nations] and graft them back into the mother tree [coming into the Covenant and House of Israel]. Ephraimites among the Gentiles will be the first branch in this dispensation to be grafted into the Covenant. Once Ephraim has done its job of receiving the priesthood from heaven associated with the Restoration other tribes will be gathered.

At this point in the Allegory time frame the mother tree has become corrupted with all sorts of sectarian versions of the gospel. The true priesthood ordinances and covenants are replaced with apostate and ineffectual rituals. This would be the period from about 200 AD coming up through the Protestant Reformation to the time of the Restoration. The establishment of the Restoration will serve to totally invalidate all sectarian doctrines and prepare the mother tree to receive a true branch, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

As revealed by Patriarchal blessings representatives of other tribes are joining the Church, however, present membership mainly consists of the tribe of Ephraim. Being gathered from among the Gentile nations, Ephraim has the latter-day birthright responsibility (Gen 48:20, Jer 31:9). Ephraim has been and will increasingly be the catalyst for the gathering of the other tribes. Manasseh [initially the descendants of Lehi] soon follows.

53 And this will I do that the tree may not perish, that, perhaps, I may preserve unto myself the roots thereof for mine own purpose.

It is the plan through missionary work to bring the natural branches back to the mother tree of Israel so that it may realize all its promised blessings pronounced by the Lord through the prophets of all ages. A great deal depends on the success of this gathering. Through repentance and obedience the Gentile converts are also permitted to enjoy the Covenant blessings.

54 And, behold, the roots of the natural branches of the tree which I planted whithersoever I would are yet alive; wherefore, that I may preserve them also for mine own purpose, I will take of the branches of this tree, and I will graft them in unto them. Yea, I will graft in unto them the branches of their mother tree, that I may preserve the roots also unto mine own self, that when they shall be sufficiently strong perhaps they may bring forth good fruit unto me, and I may yet have glory in the fruit of my vineyard.

Note that the lord of the vineyard refers to the harvesting of the fruit, that is the salvation and exaltation of souls, as a source of glory to him. This fact alone is sufficient to identify the lord of the vineyard as symbolic of Heavenly Father. The Savior as servant never takes glory unto himself but always directs and defers glory to the Father.

The descendants of the natural branches are alive in their scattered locations. The plan now is for the lord of the vineyard to take wild branches from the mother tree and graft them into wild remote branches scattered abroad. This is another scattering of Israel in anticipation of a later gathering. The modern Jewish diaspora would be an example. A reference to the Internet, such as Wikipedia, reveals significant Jewish populations on every continent.

55 And it came to pass that they took from the natural tree which had become wild [apostate], and grafted in [scattered] unto the natural trees [among Gentile nations], which also had become wild.

The apostate Israelite tribes are scattered among the Gentile nations so that over time their descendants will hear and accept the gospel of the Restoration in their foreign lands and begin to gather.

The fact that this scattering and gathering of Israel was the plan of the Father, and that this prophetic Allegory was known in the days of Christ’s apostles is attested by the Apostle Paul (see footnote #1). Paul warns the Gentile members of his day to beware of pride. He points out that if the Lord can cast off the Jews he can do the same with them. He also points out, clearly referencing the Allegory, that the grafting process is part of the Lord’s plan for the benefit of mankind with the ultimate restoration of Israel as a key element of the plan.

56 And they also took of the natural trees [tribes of Israel] which had become wild [apostate], and grafted into their mother tree [Covenant and House of Israel].

The LDS Restoration is tasked with preaching the gospel to the world and converting and gathering the scattered Israelite tribes and their various remnants—that they may be grafted back into their mother tree and connected to the original divine roots.

Though growth in the LDS Church has slowed in recent years the missionary effort has brought in millions of converts over time. The quality of the fruit produced then becomes the main issue. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or the Kingdom of God on the earth, becomes a staging area for advancement on the Covenant path of sanctification leading to exaltation and membership in the Church of the Firstborn. The Church of the Firstborn is the heavenly church reserved for the faithful (D&C 76:50-60).

The challenge is for souls to move beyond the staging area onto the upward path of progression and sanctification that eventuates in the kind of fruit the Lord intends for his children to become. The ordinances at the initial levels of progression within Church membership are conditional and only eternal in nature when sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise. This only occurs through spiritually directed service engaged in doing the will of the Lord.

But great and marvelous are the works of the Lord, and the mysteries of his kingdom which he showed unto us [Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon], which surpass all understanding in glory, and in might, and in dominion; Which he commanded us we should not write while we were yet in the Spirit, and are not lawful for man to utter; Neither is man capable to make them known, for they are only to be seen and understood by the power of the Holy Spirit, which God bestows on those who love him, and purify themselves before him; To whom he grants this privilege of seeing and knowing for themselves; That through the power and manifestation of the Spirit, while in the flesh, they may be able to bear his presence in the world of glory (D&C 76:114–118, emphasis ours).

From this we glean that there is clearly a job to do while we are in the flesh. One of the many Mormon myths, a serious misconception among many LDS is that we have a thousand millennial years to clean up our lives. Doing missionary work, genealogy, temple work, and church service do not take the place of fulfilling the commandment of offering a daily broken heart for our sins, thus eventually making us pure and holy in the flesh. If we choose to avoid this commandment we will be called upon to suffer for our own sins in Spirit Prison. Unless we are pure and holy, in other words sanctified, by the time of the resurrection we have likely missed our chance for exaltation. The thousand year millennial period of time is reserved for terrestrial and telestial spirits to suffer for their sins. For them it is not a rest home or even a halfway house.

For strait is the gate, and narrow the way that leadeth unto the exaltation and continuation of the lives, and few there be that find it, because ye receive me not in the world neither do ye know me. But if ye receive me in the world, then shall ye know me, and shall receive your exaltation; that where I am ye shall be also (D&C 132:22–23, emphasis ours).

Receiving the Lord is becoming His fellow servant in lockstep with the whisperings and directions of His Spirit. Obedience and service in nourishing and gathering His children in His similitude is the example and message of the servant in the Allegory.

57 And the Lord of the vineyard said unto the servant: Pluck [destroy] not the wild branches from the trees, save it be those which are most bitter; and in them ye shall graft according to that which I have said.

The return of the scattered tribes of Israel to the mother tree coincides with a process of pruning and removing existing apostate elements, refining and cleansing the Latter-day Church. At this time only the most bitter apostates are being removed from the Church either by excommunication or by their own volition as they become offended or are drawn off by various priestcrafts.

58 And we will nourish again the trees of the vineyard, and we will trim up the branches thereof; and we will pluck from the trees those branches which are ripened [in iniquity], that must perish, and cast them into the fire.

The nourishing of the vineyard includes prophets again being called to labor in the vineyard. There is also a purging and cleansing process that removes those branches or elements that have failed to become productive of good fruit. Many of these nonproductive elements simply remove themselves through inertia, becoming offended or through seductive philosophies of men and of devils. Some of these become strident enemies of the Church, a situation that will intensify in the countdown to the return of the Savior.

59 And this I do that, perhaps, the roots thereof may take strength because of their goodness; and because of the change of the branches, that the good may overcome the evil.

The wheat and the tares are growing up together among the Lord’s people in the Latter-day Church. At present only the most bitter are removed. The ongoing and projected gathering of Israelite remnants requires sacrifice and the refiner’s fire of the Lord’s servants. Through the return of earnest remnants to the fold new strength will be provided. Generally speaking, the level of faith among the members will roughly correspond with the level of faith in Church leadership. Between our leadership and membership Light, truth and strength flow in both directions between our members and their leaders.

Following the leadership of the Church is important. However, “Follow the Prophet” is not a mantra. Our Church doctrine does not support the concept of infallibility of our president or leadership. To properly support our leadership we must follow and know the Savior functioning as his fellow servant. We must come to know His voice. As a cautionary case in point the angel who prophecies to Daniel informs him that someone who will be known as “the prince of the covenant” [“the head of the covenant,” Septuagint] is involved in what will prove to be a treacherous end time agreement with the Antichrist (Dan 11:21-23). The man holding this title would appear to be the presiding leader of the LDS Church in the Holy Land. This deceitful league of pretended protection of the Jews and the Lord’s people triggers the beginning of the seven year “tribulation” period that will prove to be very challenging to the Saints involved there (see Dan 11:3-35).

This perception by Israelite and regional LDS Church leadership of the need of a protective alliance is likely due to the absence of historic support and protection from the USA. At this time America has ceased to be an effective military power due to invasion, tribal and sectional warfare, pestilence and mobocracy.

However, the prophets have warned and forewarned Israel to never form alliances or a “confederacy” with anyone but the Most High God (Isa 30:1-7, 50:10-11).

Associate yourselves, O ye people, and ye shall be broken in pieces; and give ear, all ye of far countries: gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces; gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces. Take counsel together, and it shall come to nought; speak the word, and it shall not stand: for God is with us. For the Lord spake thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying, Say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid. Sanctify the Lord of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken (Isa 8:9–15).

Even today Israel is in a sense trusting “in the shadow of Egypt” as they did anciently. Egypt will be the head of an alliance that in the end time wars unsuccessfully with the forces of the Antichrist.

Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help; and stay on horses, and trust in chariots, because they are many; and in horsemen, because they are very strong; but they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek the Lord! Yet he also is wise, and will bring evil, and will not call back his words: but will arise against the house of the evildoers, and against the help of them that work iniquity. Now the Egyptians are men, and not God; and their horses flesh, and not spirit. When the Lord shall stretch out his hand, both he that helpeth shall fall, and he that is holpen shall fall down, and they all shall fail together. For thus hath the Lord spoken unto me, Like as the lion and the young lion roaring on his prey, when a multitude of shepherds is called forth against him, he will not be afraid of their voice, nor abase himself for the noise of them: so shall the Lord of hosts come down to fight for mount Zion, and for the hill thereof. As birds flying, so will the Lord of hosts defend Jerusalem; defending also he will deliver it; and passing over he will preserve it (Isa 31:1–5).

The alliance of Israel with Egypt shall fail, and the Lord will allow two thirds of the inhabitants of Jerusalem to be cut off [destroyed] by the Antichrist’s invading army and will bring the other third effectively through the refiner’s fire (Zech 13:8-9). With this group of tried and true believers the Lord will defend Jerusalem until He meets with them as their deliverer at His coming to the Mount of Olives (Zech 14:4-5).

It is understandable that some gospel writers may ascribe Old Testament latter-day prophecies referencing Egypt as symbolically referring to America. It is a fact that America is and has been modern day Israel’s chief ally almost since its inception and that American Jews have also been an essential support to the Jewish nation. It is questionable, for example, if Israel would have retained its position of national strength as result of the Yom Kippur War [1973] had not America provided a rapid and massive resupply airlift of war material to the beleaguered Israeli military. Despite people like Obama being a clever enemy of Israel the USA has generally held a position of strong support. The present Middle East peace and trade agreements are largely the work of President Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

However, latter-day Egypt in the prophetic Old Testament scriptures is not America. It is most likely modern day Egypt itself as leader of a powerful alliance of Middle Eastern nations opposed to the emerging rise and power of the Antichrist. In the series of battles described in Daniel this southern alliance led by the “king of the South” is ultimately unsuccessful, ending in the Antichrist invading and occupying Egypt. For more details and references see GT 21: Latter-day Timeline.

With respect to confederacies and alliances, what is true for Israel is true for the LDS Church and is also true for families and individuals. The only genuine security is in the Lord.

60 And because that I have preserved the natural branches and the roots thereof, and that I have grafted in the natural branches again into their mother tree, and have preserved the roots of their mother tree, that, perhaps, the trees of my vineyard may bring forth again good fruit; and that I may have joy again in the fruit of my vineyard, and, perhaps, that I may rejoice exceedingly that I have preserved the roots and the branches of the first fruit.

The grand plan of scattering Israel that blessed and lifted the whole world, and the reverse grand plan of gathering that brings all the tribes of Israel back together to possess their ancient lands of inheritance is here referenced. Led by the Ephraimite Gentile members, there is a resurgence of faith and works among the various descendants of Israel.

In the Americas the Lehite branch (mainly Lamanites) is yet alive—not destroyed, as was the Jaredite population before them. In the Lord’s wisdom they will play the improbable role of dual significance in the days ahead. They will vex the American Gentile nation (3Ne 16:15) and they will lead us [a remnant of Ephraimite Gentile members] back to Jackson County (3Ne 21:23-24). The Book of Mormon prophets always knew that the Gentiles of this nation would, with minor exceptions, ultimately reject the gospel and become ripe for destruction.

To the descendants of Lehi during His ministry the Savior explained:

And thus commandeth the Father that I should say unto you: At that day when the Gentiles shall sin against my gospel, and shall reject the fulness of my gospel, and shall be lifted up in the pride of their hearts above all nations, and above all the people of the whole earth, and shall be filled with all manner of lyings, and of deceits, and of mischiefs, and all manner of hypocrisy, and murders, and priestcrafts, and whoredoms, and of secret abominations; and if they shall do all those things, and shall reject the fulness of my gospel, behold, saith the Father, I will bring the fulness of my gospel from among them. And then will I remember my covenant which I have made unto my people, O House of Israel, and I will bring my gospel unto them (3Ne 16:10–11, emphasis ours).

The present rate of LDS conversions in North America and Europe is insignificant compared to the total populations. The rate of convert retention is also a problem. The level of genuine conversion and participation of existing members on the Covenant path of sanctification is also of concern. The younger generations, unimpressed by their leaders and parents are now leaving the Church in droves. It is in the poorer countries of the world that the Church is flourishing.

Against this backdrop of American withering and in what will be the aftermath of the Russian/Assyrian invasion (still some years off) there will be an associated collapse of the US government and the power grid with resultant rampant mobocracy as prophesied by the prophet Joseph Smith. At the time of this future national chaos many native Americans, descendants of Lehi, will rise up and take control of parts of the nation that was and still is their land of inheritance. Lehite descendants will also be grafted into the Olive tree and its roots. They will provide leadership associated with the settlement of Jackson County and the commencement and building of New Jerusalem.

And they [LDS Ephraimites] shall assist my people, the remnant of Jacob [descendants of Lehi], and also as many of the House of Israel as shall come, that they may build a city, which shall be called the New Jerusalem. And then shall they assist my people that they may be gathered in, who are scattered upon all the face of the land, in unto the New Jerusalem (3Ne 21:23-24, emphasis ours).

The truth of this may appear stranger than fiction but is part of the Lord’s master plan. See GT 21: Latter-day Timeline.

 

Regarding the role of the latter-day descendants of Lehi and their return to the natural tree of Israel the Lamanite prophet Samuel prophesied and testified as follows:

And now, because of their [Lamanite] steadfastness when they do believe in that thing which they do believe, for because of their firmness when they are once enlightened, behold, the Lord shall bless them and prolong their days, notwithstanding their iniquity—Yea, even if they should dwindle in unbelief the Lord shall prolong their days, until the time shall come which hath been spoken of by our fathers, and also by the prophet Zenos, and many other prophets, concerning the restoration of our brethren, the Lamanites, again to the knowledge of the truth—(Hel 15:10-11).

According to Samuel’s testimony the ancient author of this Allegory [Zenos], as well as other prophets of Old Testament times, clearly saw in vision the return of the Lehite remnant of the American continent to the true fold of God. Speaking to apostate Nephites Samuel continues:

Yea, I say unto you, that in the latter times the promises of the Lord have been extended to our brethren, the Lamanites; and notwithstanding the many afflictions which they shall have, and notwithstanding they shall be driven to and fro upon the face of the earth, and be hunted, and shall be smitten and scattered abroad, having no place for refuge, the Lord shall be merciful unto them. And this is according to the prophecy, that they shall again be brought to the true knowledge, which is the knowledge of their Redeemer, and their great and true shepherd, and be numbered among his sheep. Therefore I say unto you, it shall be better for them than for you [Nephites] except ye repent. For behold, had the mighty works been shown unto them which have been shown unto you, yea, unto them who have dwindled in unbelief because of the traditions of their fathers, ye can see of yourselves that they never would again have dwindled in unbelief. Therefore, saith the Lord: I will not utterly destroy them, but I will cause that in the day of my wisdom they shall return again unto me, saith the Lord (Hel 15:12–16).

In the great wisdom of the Lord, the Lamanites were permitted to remain upon the land of America so that their latter-day descendants would fulfill their end time two-fold mission—as a vexation to the decadent American Gentiles and then as the project lead for the establishment of the New Jerusalem. Through Lehi, the Nephites and Lamanites are descendants of Manasseh and inheritors of the promises given to the sons of Joseph of Egypt.

Consequently, according to Lehi, Joseph of Egypt’s ancient prophecies recorded on the brass plates not only predict a namesake, Joseph Smith, but they also foresee another latter-day prophet that Lehi identifies as an end time descendant of his youngest son, Joseph. According to Lehi’s interpretation of the ancient Patriarch Joseph’s prophecies and according to his [Lehi’s] own blessing, we may correlate the predicted “mighty and strong” latter-day leader of the Saints to be a descendant of Lehi’s youngest son and, therefore, having a Native American bloodline. This would also make him a descendant of Manasseh like his ancient father Lehi (ref 2Ne 3:23-24).

With respect to this latter-day leader and according to the D&C:

And it shall come to pass that I, the Lord God, will send one mighty and strong, holding the scepter of power in his hand, clothed with light for a covering, whose mouth shall utter words, eternal words; while his bowels shall be a fountain of truth, to set in order the house of God, and to arrange by lot the inheritances of the saints whose names are found, and the names of their fathers, and of their children, enrolled in the book of the law of God (D&C 85:7, emphasis ours).

See also GT 21: Latter-day Timeline/The Day of Manasseh.

61 Wherefore, go to, and call servants, that we may labor diligently with our might in the vineyard, that we may prepare the way, that I may bring forth again the natural fruit, which natural fruit is good and the most precious above all other fruit.

The natural fruit, “most precious above all other fruit,” are the sanctified and redeemed. This is the first point at which we find other “servants” besides “the servant” mentioned throughout the Allegory. The lord of the vineyard summons his servants to labor for the sake of the trees. They are prophets and others called by the Lord in this final dispensation. They are to prepare the way for the return of the remnants of the other tribes and the return of Jesus Christ.

62 Wherefore, let us go to and labor with our might this last time, for behold the end draweth nigh, and this is for the last time that I shall prune my vineyard.

The time in which we live is the last pruning of the vineyard. The Lord says in the D&C that it will be a “mighty pruning, yea, even for the last time” (D&C 24:19). The lord of the vineyard and the servant [the Father and the Son] are laboring with all their might. We are to take our tasks seriously and to do the same. The gathering is also a personal thing as we gather our family, living and dead, into our branch of the tree of Israel and its roots. We are to gather our family in Christ, the “root and offspring of David and the bright and morning star” (Rev 22:16).

O then, my beloved brethren, come unto the Lord, the Holy One. Remember that his paths are righteous. Behold, the way for man is narrow, but it lieth in a straight course before him, and the keeper of the gate is the Holy One of Israel; and he employeth no servant there; and there is none other way save it be by the gate; for he cannot be deceived, for the Lord God is his name. And whoso knocketh, to him will he open; and the wise, and the learned, and they that are rich, who are puffed up because of their learning, and their wisdom, and their riches—yea, they are they whom he despiseth; and save they shall cast these things away, and consider themselves fools before God, and come down in the depths of humility, he will not open unto them (2Ne 9:41–42, emphasis ours).

When we appear before the Savior, as we all will, there is no rationale for disbelief or intellectual sophistry that will sustain any confidence in that interview. On that occasion there will be no excuses of non-repentance of any merit whatsoever. At the moment we gaze upon the Savior’s face our whole life story, if it has not already, will become crystal clear.

Returning to the olive trees, the Allegory provides a window to the fact that a great deal of coordination and planning for the vineyard was required by the Godhead. It is also apparent that a great deal of responsibility rests upon the Lord’s people to finish up the program in this last dispensation in order for both roots and branches to come together in a coherent whole. This is according to the Father’s master plan enabled by the Savior’s infinite atonement. Not only do we have a great deal of temple work to do, but we also have a great deal of repenting to do if we are to survive the coming tribulations. We are to become again, and better than ever before, in the words of Paul, a “peculiar people” (Titus 2:14 ).

The Satan worshipping globalist elites that essentially control and run the world at present suppose that they can prevent the second coming, subdue the masses, and use technology and dark science to live indefinitely. Satan knows, for example, that in Heavenly Father’s plan there is a set number of human spirits to come to earth. Through abortion and population reduction measures Lucifer’s mortal leaders are attempting to thwart God’s plan and indefinitely delay the return of the Savior to His people until none of the Lord’s people remain.

In the Father’s perfect foreknowledge and despite Lucifer’s attempts to upset and thwart His program and timetable, everything of significance still happens in its “set” or “appointed time” (Gen 17:21; Pslm 102:13; Dan 8:19,11:27-29,35; Alma 40:4-5, etc.) including the destruction of the Antichrist (Dan 11:45).

And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever (Dan 12:1–3).

Again, everything in the Lord’s plan happens in its appointed time. At the appointed time the archangel Michael, the Ancient of Days, shall preside over a great congregation of the righteous from all ages of the earth at Adam-ondi-Ahman. At this same appointed time the Antichrist is destroyed and his claim to rule is officially nullified along with all the kings of the earth.

I [Daniel] beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened. I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame. As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time. I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed (Dan 7:9–14).

The horn spoken of is the Antichrist. The beast is the worldly kingdom and alliance over which the horn ruled. The other beasts are worldly kingdoms such as Britain/America, Russia/Assyria or Persia/Iran. The Son of Man, Jesus Christ, comes to Adam-ondi-Ahman and all the keys of authority bestowed upon all the prophets and apostles from every age are returned to the Savior whose right it is to reign. And now, rather than some end time mortal by the name of David, it is Christ who will sit upon the throne of David throughout the millennium and beyond (Luke 1:3-34, Acts 2:30, Rev 19:16). David (Beloved in Hebrew) is a name for the Savior.

Consequently, our path forward requires perfect trust and great obedience in order to walk through the fire and not have it kindle upon us. We must be careful to always be in lockstep and in tune with the Spirit of the Lord.

But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life. Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west; I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth; Even every one that is called by my name (Isa 43:1-7).

These are promises to the remnants of Israel, to us, to our ancestors and our posterity if we follow the steps of sanctification the Lord has outlined.

63 Graft in the branches; begin at the last that they may be first, and that the first may be last, and dig about the trees, both old and young, the first and the last; and the last and the first, that all may be nourished once again for the last time.

Israel, including the Jews, were the first to receive the gospel and it was to the Jews that Jesus administered in the flesh. The House of Israel produced the firstfruits. When the Northern Kingdom fell into apostasy they were carried away as was later also the Southern Kingdom. When the Jews essentially rejected the gospel message of Christ and the apostles the gospel went from what was left of Israel to the Gentile nations of the Old World. The Jews received the gospel message first, then the Gentiles. In this last dispensation the Gentiles receive it first and then the Jews and other tribes of Israel—so that the first [Jews] shall in the end be the last.

Israelite lineages, sometimes referred to as “believing blood” were purposely scattered by the Lord throughout the world as part of the Father’s divine plan for the redemption of as many of his children as possible. Knowing that Israel would stumble spiritually the Lord incorporates their disobedience into His master plan. The house and blood of Israel is characterized as leaven that serves to leaven the whole loaf or lump of flour meal that represents the world population (Matt 13:33). Leaven is like yeast that causes the bread to rise when backed. The leaven refers to the blessings of greater intelligence, both intellectual and spiritual, that the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob possess that affects through integration the entire world population enabling it to rise to a greater measure of light and truth. It is an expression of God’s love for His children.

Many in the LDS church now suppose, even some Stake patriarchs, that members are assigned to a particular tribe through adoption. Nothing could be further from the truth. This is a serious misunderstanding and doctrinal error stemming from ignorance of the great wisdom of the Father’s plan of scattering and gathering of Israel. In a patriarchal blessing our literal lineal connection to one of the 12 tribes is to be revealed rather than assigned. During a patriarchal blessing the Spirit of the Lord reveals to the inspired patriarch the actual blood lineage of the person receiving the blessing.

As members of the Gentile nations we necessarily have a blood lineage that is a mixture of Israelite and Gentile. The tribe revealed in a patriarchal blessing is the tribe from which we have the greatest degree of actual lineal blood. We may likely possess descent from more than one tribe of Israel, but the tribe identified in the blessing will be the major one to whom we are related. It is extremely rare for a true Gentile to join the Church—in which case there is a physical change wrought upon him/her through baptism and the reception of the Holy Ghost (Joseph Smith, Teachings, p.149-150). Such a rare convert must then necessarily be assigned by the Lord to a tribe.

Many scriptures attest to the fact that the tribes of Israel, besides being planted in a few specific locations were otherwise scattered throughout every nation of the earth.

For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth (Amos 9:9). Ephraim…shall be wanderers among the nations  (Hosea 9:16-17). But I scattered them [Jews] among all the nations whom they knew not (Zech 7:14).

There is purpose in this. Israelite descendants are found throughout the world. Every nation of the earth is blessed and lifted thereby. Ephraim in particular was scattered throughout the earth and was tasked to be the first to receive the gospel in this, the last dispensation. Present day conversion has mainly been among the descendants of Ephraim, though other tribes, especially Manassah, have been coming into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Ephraimite Gentiles are, therefore, the first to receive the gospel in this last dispensation.

And they of Ephraim shall be like a mighty man, and their heart shall rejoice as through wine: yea, their children shall see it, and be glad; their heart shall rejoice in the Lord. I will hiss for them, and gather them; for I have redeemed them: and they shall increase as they have increased. And I will sow them among the people: and they shall remember me in far countries; and they shall live with their children, and turn again (Zech 10:7–9).

The tribe of Ephraim, despite having a proud and rebellious history, will “turn again” and serve the Lord according to the critical birthright responsibility as the first fruits of the Restoration and its  accompanying obligation to bring the gospel to the remnants of the other tribes of Israel throughout the world in this final dispensation.

Manasseh, including Lehi’s descendants, also plays a key role in the end time affairs. According to the blessing given to Joseph both Ephraim and his brother Manasseh are instrumental in the latter-day gathering.

 

Moses, in his ancient blessing to the tribe of Joseph of Egypt, saw in prophetic vision the latter-day teamwork by Ephraim and Manasseh, the sons of Joseph:

And of Joseph he said, Blessed of the Lord be his land, for the precious things of heaven, for the dew, and for the deep that coucheth beneath, And for the precious fruits brought forth by the sun, and for the precious things put forth by the moon, And for the chief things of the ancient mountains, and for the precious things of the lasting hills, And for the precious things of the earth and fulness thereof, and for the good will of him that dwelt in the bush: let the blessing come upon the head of Joseph, and upon the top of the head of him that was separated from his brethren. His glory is like the firstling of his bullock, and his horns are like the horns of unicorns: with them he shall push the people together to the ends of the earth: and they are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they are the thousands of Manasseh (Deut 33:13–17).

In this last dispensation the children of Joseph [Ephraim and Manasseh] “shall push the people together” to and from the “ends of the earth” in the process of the end time gathering and harvest of souls.

64 Wherefore, dig about them, and prune them, and dung them once more, for the last time, for the end draweth nigh. And if it be so that these last grafts shall grow, and bring forth the natural fruit, then shall ye prepare the way for them, that they may grow.

The branches referred to as “them” pertain to the Restored Church and its spread of congregations across the world. This verse also pertains to further gathering of the additional tribes of Israel into the “new and everlasting covenant” that has not as yet happened. The arrival to the Rocky Mountains of the Lost Ten Tribes will be a significant demonstration of the return of a natural branch and natural fruit to the mother tree.

In the last dispensation the branches are to be nourished by apostles and prophets holding the Holy Melchizedek priesthood. The environment is created for fruit to grow to maturity and be harvested. Apostate branches arise and spin off. Wolves in sheep’s clothing within the LDS Church are revealed and excommunicated. Some become dedicated enemies to the Lord’s Church.

65 And as they [new branches] begin to grow ye shall clear away the branches which bring forth bitter fruit, according to the strength of the good and the size thereof; and ye shall not clear away the bad thereof all at once, lest the roots thereof should be too strong for the graft, and the graft thereof shall perish, and I lose the trees of my vineyard.

As the latter-day remnants of the tribes of Israel begin to come into the covenant apostates are ‘cleared away’ from time to time.

Despite this sporadic pruning many tares [foolish virgins] continue to exist among the wheat. As prophesied it is to be so until the “entire separation of the righteous and the wicked” in the church (D&C 63:54, 86:7). The coming times of tribulation will constitute a discernment of the LDS wheat and tares—both of whom will be fully ripe for their destined rewards.

And until that hour there will be foolish virgins among the wise; and at that hour cometh an entire separation of the righteous and the wicked; and in that day will I send mine angels to pluck out the wicked and cast them into unquenchable fire (D&C 63:54).

It is interesting to note that a premature removal of the tares also threatens to pull up the young and tender wheat with it. The wheat and the tares in the Church must grow up together. It appears that, in the Lord’s assessment, the wheat must come to a certain level of maturity in order to withstand the challenges associated with the great separation of the righteous from the wicked within the LDS Church itself.

“…lest the roots thereof should be too strong for the graft…” The roots of the gospel covenant are always good and strong. However, the grafted branches are required to progress through milk [basic elemental principles taught in Primary and Sunday School] until they are ready for meat [deep spiritual knowledge].

For every one that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat [solid doctrine] belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil (Heb 5:13–14).

At present LDS members are mostly confined to watered down doctrines and spiritual wheel spinning—because, generally speaking, they are not ready for the meat of the gospel. The more solid meat [doctrine] of the gospel requires personal revelation, repentance, and doing the will of the Father with calling and election as the object. This lack of spiritual understanding and discernment among the Lord’s people was also a challenge in Paul’s day:

 

And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able…are ye not carnal [worldly] and walk [behaving] as [mere] men? (1Cor 3:1–3).

The progression of the Saints from primary level spiritual knowledge and, therefore, corresponding primary level spiritual behavior, is primarily the result of personal repentance and personal revelation.

This separation of the wicked [members lacking in personal repentance] from the righteous will be crucial in order for the remaining critical tasks to be accomplished by the latter-day Kingdom of God on the earth—that is, the gathering of Israel and the triumph of good over evil.

66 For it grieveth me that I should lose the trees of my vineyard; wherefore ye shall clear away the bad according as the good shall grow, that the root and the top may be equal in strength, until the good shall overcome the bad, and the bad be hewn down and cast into the fire, that they cumber not the ground of my vineyard; and thus will I sweep away the bad out of my vineyard.

The root here includes Christ as the “Root of David” (Rev 5:5) and the “stem of Jesse,” (Isa 11:1, D&C 113:1), the Lord’s Covenant, [“Ye shall be my people and I will be your God.” Jer 30:22], and the teachings of the patriarchs and prophets of old. The top is the leadership of the Lord’s Church. The latter-day leadership ideally needs to be similar in strength to the prophets and apostles of previous dispensations. Ideally, our leaders  ought to be what we sustain them to be, namely “prophets, seers and revelators!”

Clearly in this last dispensation there is and will be “bad” fruit and branches that require  to be cleared away. It is also apparent that the good has to overcome the bad and that the wheat [the repenting righteous] has to grow to maturity [pure, holy, and sanctified] before the separation and subsequent harvest.

The Lord clears away the bad in the world as well as in his church. But the real day of cleansing/tribulation begins with us, in the US and as members of the LDS church.

Behold, vengeance cometh speedily upon the inhabitants of the earth, a day of wrath, a day of burning, a day of desolation, of weeping, of mourning, and of lamentation; and as a whirlwind it shall come upon all the face of the earth, saith the Lord. And upon my house shall it begin, and from my house shall it go forth, saith the Lord; 26 First among those among you, saith the Lord, who have professed to know my name and have not known me, and have blasphemed against me in the midst of my house, saith the Lord (D&C 112:24-26, emphasis ours).

Those that suppose the focus of the Lord’s vengeance upon the LDS Church community has shifted long ago to that of the world are in for a rude awakening. As long as we still have foolish virgins among the wise, the day of reckoning is still on schedule. See GT 21: Latter-Day Timeline.

The day of an “entire separation” (D&C 63:54) will involve a set of challenges to member perceptions [or misperceptions] of their security and welfare. Both physical and spiritual challenges will arrive to disquiet the Saints. Among these challenges will be exhortations to repentance as dictated by the Holy Order of the Melchizedek priesthood—a higher order of the priesthood. See GT 4: Oath and Covenant and GT 5: Intercession, A Case Study.

When repentance to the extent required for a Zion people is preached according to the Holy Order, such that many member’s core values and habits are challenged, a great separation will ensue—and a whole new phalanx of enemies of the Church will materialize overnight. There will be a good deal of drama and excitement while those with sufficient oil in their lamps shall be prepared to enter into the wedding supper of the Lamb.

The coming apostasy also coincides with the Gentile rejection of the fulness of the gospel. We are now living in the latter-day or end time “day of the Gentile” which day has a time limit. The day of the Gentile concludes in two ways—rejection of the gospel by the Gentiles and concluding with the siege of Jerusalem by the Antichrist’s Gentile army.

And this I have told you concerning Jerusalem; and when that day shall come, shall a remnant be scattered among all nations; But they shall be gathered again; but they shall remain until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. And in that day shall be heard of wars and rumors of wars, and the whole earth shall be in commotion, and men’s hearts shall fail them, and they shall say that Christ delayeth his coming until the end of the earth. And the love of men shall wax cold, and iniquity shall abound. And when the times of the Gentiles is come in, a light shall break forth among them that sit in darkness, and it shall be the fulness of my gospel; But they receive it not; for they perceive not the light, and they turn their hearts from me because of the precepts of men. And in that generation shall the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. And there shall be men standing in that generation, that shall not pass until they shall see an overflowing scourge; for a desolating sickness shall cover the land. But my disciples shall stand in holy places, and shall not be moved; but among the wicked, men shall lift up their voices and curse God and die (D&C 45:24–32, emphasis ours).

As anticipated the Gentile nations will reject the gospel, but it is only the Gentile Saints that reject the “fulness of the gospel.” It is only the Saints that have access to the keys that unlock the “fulness” of the gospel. However, the righteous/sanctified, who have taken the Holy Spirit for their guide, will stand in holy places and not be moved.

67 And the branches of the natural tree will I graft in again into the natural tree.

This verse refers to the scattered House of Israel coming back into the Covenant..

And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call (Joel 2:32).

The prime gathering places are Zion [American New Jerusalem] and [Old] Jerusalem. A key to the success of this gathering to Zion is the Lehite “remnant’ whom the Lord shall call. Speaking to the descendants of Lehi the Savior clarified this point:

Verily, verily, I say unto you, thus hath the Father commanded me—that I should give unto this people [descendants of Lehi] this land [America] for their inheritance (3Ne 16:16).

Because of the “stiffneckedness and unbelief” of Christ’s Old World apostles they did not understand the significance of this “remnant” [Lehi’s descendants] and other prophecies testifying of Israelite tribes being led away. Speaking to the Lehite remnant the Savior said, “…it is because of their iniquity that they [Christ’s Old World apostles] know not of you [the Lehite remnant]…it is because of their iniquity they know not of them [the other tribes]” (3Ne 15:18-20).

And it is because of ignorance and failure to ask that few if any people today [LDS or otherwise] understand the stark and portentous ramifications of the gathering with all its tribal components. The scourging and cleansing of the Church, nation and the world operate in appointed synchronization with empowering first Ephraim and then Manasseh to “push people together [gather] to [and from] the ends of the earth” (Deut 33:13–17).

In this dispensation Ephraim is empowered first through angelic administration, additional scripture, restoration of the priesthood, the keys of missionary work and the keys of sealing.

And I will make…her that was cast far off [Ephraim] a strong nation [America]: and the Lord shall reign over them in mount Zion…And thou, O tower of the flock, the strong hold of the daughter of Zion [Ephraim], unto thee shall it come, even the first dominion (Micah 4:7-8).

The day of Manasseh, especially for the children of Lehi, is coming when they rise up, vex the Gentiles (Micah 5:8-10), experience substantial conversion (Micah 5:3) and lead the Lord’s people to establish the New Jerusalem—a gathering place for all the tribes (3Ne 21:23-24).

This requires a series of scenes wild beyond any present reference or comprehension. Warfare, natural disasters, plagues, pestilence and unspeakable evil will overtake the world while the sanctified will have peace in their hearts, power in their priesthood and daily revelation from the Lord.

68 And the branches of the natural tree [Israelite tribal remnants throughout the world] will I graft into the natural branches [LDS church] of the tree; and thus will I bring them together again, that they shall bring forth the natural fruit, [the ‘redeemed’ of the House of Israel] and they shall be one.

Not all the Gentiles reject the gospel and are cast into the fire. With respect to the LDS Church pruning generally happens in increments but with a strong exclamation point to come in the form of the prophesied Assyrian invasion. To the American populace and those members comfortable in Zion it will come suddenly and without warning.

They come from a far country, from the end of heaven, even the Lord, and the weapons of his indignation, to destroy the whole land. Howl ye; for the day of the Lord is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty. Therefore shall all hands be faint, and every man’s heart shall melt: And they shall be afraid: pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them; they shall be in pain as a woman that travaileth: they shall be amazed one at another; their faces shall be as flames. Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land [America] desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it (Isa 13:5–9).

Those unprepared are described above. The sinners that will be destroyed include many LDS. Currently the sinners in Zion are not afraid but, according to the Lord, when the time of cleansing comes, they will be.

The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings? He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil; He shall dwell on high: his place of defence shall be the munitions of rocks: bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure (Isa 33:14–16, emphasis ours).

Who are the sinners in Zion? Hugh Nibley has a classic answer here paraphrased: If I repent today, I am righteous. If I don’t repent tomorrow, I am wicked tomorrow…and so on. Repentance is the key, and it is to be applied every day. Repentance is the key by which we may progress through the milk and ultimately to the meat. “There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked” (Isa 57:21). Each day we can ask, How much peace do I have? 

The righteous, those who repent, need not fear (1Ne 22:17). Their bread and water, symbolic and literal, “shall be sure.” The Lord, through the prophetic mouth of Isaiah, often termed the prophet of the Restoration, gives instructional preparation to the righteous in preparation for the “weapons of his indignation” that “come from a far country.”

Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. For, behold, the Lord cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain (Isa 26:20–21).

 

The invasion, occupation and redemption of Zion in America will not take long.

Zion shall be redeemed with judgment, and her converts with righteousness. And the destruction of the transgressors and of the sinners shall be together, and they that forsake the Lord shall be consumed (Isa 1:27–28).

This day of consumption of the wicked is also the day of Zion’s travail.

Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children (Isa 66:8).

 

Who are these children of Zion?

I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir (Isa 13:12). And a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land (Isa 32:2).

This is what we have termed “the priesthood man”—the man holding the fulness of the Melchizedek priesthood, the priesthood after the Holy Order of the Son of God. This is the man that arises out of the crucible of affliction. This is the category of men required at this point in time to bring the remaining latter-day work forward as fellow servants of Christ. It is this travail that catalyzes the further gathering of Israel, their temple and  priesthood blessings and the commencement of the New Jerusalem. See GT 4: Oath and Covenant.

When the Lord’s objectives of setting in motion the scourging and cleansing of both the American nation and His people are accomplished, the foreign enemy will be powerfully dispatched by the Ten Tribes as well as by the participation of indigenous American tribes (see D&C 87:5).

For this period of time the ancient prophet Mormon has a message to the Lehite descendant tribes/remnants:

And now, behold, I would speak somewhat unto the remnant of this people who are spared, if it so be that God may give unto them my words, that they may know of the things of their fathers; yea, I speak unto you, ye remnant of the house of Israel; and these are the words which I speak:

Know ye that ye are of the house of Israel. Know ye that ye must come unto repentance, or ye cannot be saved. Know ye that ye must lay down your weapons of war, and delight no more in the shedding of blood, and take them not again, save it be that God shall command you (Morm 7:1-4).

As righteous members of the various tribes all the fruit shall come together and be one in faith, heart and mind—and more especially, one in Christ. This is because they are redeemed or in process of being such.

[The Lord] Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him (Eph 1:9–10, D&C 27:13).

Even though we are currently not permitted to proselyte in Israel Jews are becoming Christians throughout the world. They are  joining the LDS Church as well. Prior to the Lord’s return the gospel and the Book of Mormon will make greater inroads among the Jewish people. After the opening of the 7th Seal these inroads expand as the result of the 144,000 High Priests holding the sealing power who will encompass all nations of the earth. This mission necessarily includes the land of Israel. Moreover there will be among the Jews at least some of the 12 thousand of the tribe of Judah who will likely be a powerful source of further conversion among their own people.

In conjunction with the invasion of America the Ten Tribes will have arrived in the “everlasting hills” [Rocky Mountains] and received their temple endowments (D&C 133:26-32). Ancestral temple work from their own records will take up several years. At this time their records and scriptures will likely be translated into English and perhaps other languages.

 

And they shall bring forth their rich treasures unto the children of Ephraim, my servants. And the boundaries of the everlasting hills shall tremble at their presence. And there shall they fall down and be crowned with glory, even in Zion, by the hands of the servants of the Lord, even the children of Ephraim. And they shall be filled with songs of everlasting joy. Behold, this is the blessing of the everlasting God upon the tribes of Israel, and the richer blessing upon the head of Ephraim and his fellows (D&C 133:30-34).

The establishment of the New Jerusalem is actually headed by the indigenous descendants of the tribe of Manasseh through Lehi.  

During his post-resurrection visit to the Nephites/Lamanites the Lord promised Lehi’s descendants, to whom He was speaking, the land of America as their inheritance.

And behold, this people [Nephites/Lamanites] will I establish in this land [America], unto the fulfilling of the covenant which I made with your father Jacob [Israel]; and it shall be a New Jerusalem. And the powers of heaven shall be in the midst of this people; yea, even I will be in the midst of you (3Ne 20:22).

And with respect to us, the Ephraimite Gentiles [LDS members], once the Israelite tribes and many of their ancestors have received their temple endowments, we play a supporting role to what happens next— establishing the New Jerusalem.

But if they [LDS Ephraimite Gentiles] will repent and hearken unto my words, and harden not their hearts, I will establish my church among them, and they shall come in unto the covenant and be numbered among this the remnant of Jacob [descendants of Lehi], unto whom I have given this land for their inheritance; And they [LDS Ephraimites] shall assist my people, the remnant of Jacob [descendants of Lehi], and also as many of the house of Israel as shall come, that they may build a city, which shall be called the New Jerusalem. And then shall they assist my people that they may be gathered in, who are scattered upon all the face of the land, in unto the New Jerusalem. And then shall the power of heaven come down among them; and I also will be in the midst (3Ne 21:22-25, emphasis ours).

Once this work is sufficiently advanced and the prophesied “besom of destruction” has accomplished its purposes in clearing Jackson County and much of the American continent of marauders and mobs, construction on the New Jerusalem can commence.

Jackson County now becomes a gathering place for Ephraim, Manasseh, the Ten Tribes and other remnants from around the American continent and the world. See GT 21: Latter-day Timeline.

69 And the bad shall be cast away, yea, even out of all the land of my vineyard; for behold, only this once will I prune my vineyard.

For I, the Almighty, have laid my hands upon the nations, to scourge them for their wickedness. And plagues shall go forth, and they shall not be taken from the earth until I have completed my work, which shall be cut short in righteousness—Until all shall know me, who remain, even from the least unto the greatest, and shall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord, and shall see eye to eye, and shall lift up their voice, and with the voice together sing this new song, saying: The Lord hath brought again Zion; The Lord hath redeemed his people, Israel, According to the  election of grace, Which was brought to pass by the faith And covenant of their fathers. The Lord hath redeemed his people; And Satan is bound and time is no longer. The Lord hath gathered all things in one. The Lord hath brought down Zion from above. The Lord hath brought up Zion from beneath. The earth hath travailed and brought forth her strength; And truth is established in her bowels; And the heavens have smiled upon her; And she is clothed with the glory of her God; For he stands in the midst of his people. Glory, and honor, and power, and might, Be ascribed to our God; for he is full of mercy, Justice, grace and truth, and peace, Forever and ever, Amen (D&C 84:96-102).

70 And it came to pass that the Lord of the vineyard sent his servant; and the servant went and did as the Lord had commanded him, and brought other servants; and they were few.

In 1820 the Father and the Son appeared to Joseph Smith in the Sacred Grove near Palmyra, New York, which set in motion the subsequent events of the Restoration. There would again be prophets and apostles upon the earth—mortal laborers in the Lord’s vineyard.

71 And the Lord of the vineyard said unto them: Go to, and labor in the vineyard, with your might. For behold, this is the last time that I shall nourish my vineyard; for the end is nigh at hand, and the season speedily cometh; and if ye labor with your might with me ye shall have joy in the fruit which I shall lay up unto myself against the time which will soon come.

Ten years after the First Vision on April 6, 1830, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the name specified by the Lord for His latter-day Church, was formerly organized. At this time there were only 6 official members.

 

72 And it came to pass that the servants did go and labor with their mights; and the Lord of the vineyard labored also with them; and they did obey the commandments of the Lord of the vineyard in all things.

With the establishment of a First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles by 1833 missionary efforts would swell the ranks to over three thousand. This was still just the beginning.

73 And there began to be the natural fruit again in the vineyard; and the natural branches began to grow and thrive exceedingly; and the wild branches began to be plucked off and to be cast away; and they did keep the root and the top thereof equal, according to the strength thereof.

Clearing away wild branches was required at every stage of the growth of the early LDS Church. The Prophet Joseph went through a series of counselors and apostles who turned on him and were plucked off through excommunication or spin-off. In some cases a person would one day join the Church and pledge to do the will of the Lord for life and disappear almost the next day. Over time there were also a series of offshoots that flourished briefly but then withered and died.

 

Opening and preparing the way for the vineyard to again produce natural fruit is the assignment of the latter-day Gentile converts [mainly Ephraim]. Father Lehi explains this grafting scenario to his children and Nephi expands upon it for the sake of a puzzled Laman and Lemuel.

And now, the thing which our father [Lehi] meaneth concerning the grafting in of the natural branches through the fulness of the Gentiles, is, that in the latter-days, when our seed shall have dwindled in unbelief, yea, for the space of many years, and many generations after the Messiah shall be manifested in body unto the children of men, then shall the fulness of the gospel of the Messiah come unto the Gentiles, and from the Gentiles unto the remnant of our seed—And at that day shall the remnant of our seed know that they are of the house of Israel, and that they are the covenant people of the Lord; and then shall they know and come to the knowledge of their forefathers, and also to the knowledge of the gospel of their Redeemer, which was ministered unto their fathers by him; wherefore, they shall come to the knowledge of their Redeemer and the very points of his doctrine, that they may know how to come unto him and be saved. And then at that day will they not rejoice and give praise unto their everlasting God, their rock and their salvation? Yea, at that day, will they not receive the strength and nourishment from the true vine? Yea, will they not come unto the true fold of God? Behold, I say unto you, Yea; they shall be remembered again among the house of Israel; they shall be grafted in, being a natural branch of the olive tree, into the true olive tree. And this is what our father meaneth; and he meaneth that it will not come to pass until after they are scattered by the Gentiles; and he meaneth that it shall come by way of the Gentiles, that the Lord may show his power unto the Gentiles, for the very cause that he shall be rejected of the Jews, or of the house of Israel. Wherefore, our father hath not spoken of our seed alone, but also of all the house of Israel, pointing to the covenant which should be fulfilled in the latter-days; which covenant the Lord made to our father Abraham, saying: In thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed (1Ne 15:13–18, emphasis ours).

The scattering and gathering of Israel are the means by which all the kindreds of the earth have been and yet will be blessed.

74 And thus they labored, with all diligence, according to the commandments of the Lord of the vineyard, even until the bad had been cast away out of the vineyard, and the Lord had preserved unto himself that the trees had become again the natural fruit; and they became like unto one body; and the fruits were equal; and the Lord of the vineyard had preserved unto himself the natural fruit, which was most precious unto him from the beginning.

As the end-time nears the “bad” are plucked and “cast away out of the vineyard.”

And the rebellious shall be cut off out of the land of Zion, and shall be sent away, and shall not inherit the land. For, verily I say that the rebellious are not of the blood of Ephraim, wherefore they shall be plucked out (D&C 64:35–36, emphasis ours).

As this is written there are individuals, groups and movements leaving the LDS Church and taking others with them. Though most of them will never know what it is that they are leaving, this departure is perfectly OK. Easily rocked testimonies would never withstand what is coming. Many of them will also become part of the necessary opposition as they try to assuage their guilt and justify their treachery by persecuting the true Saints as a pathetic self-righteous offering to the god of the prevailing world culture. The coming crucible will expose everyone—good, bad and indifferent.

The reference to the fruits being one body and also being equal points to the objective of one worldwide church living the law of consecration. The Lord has said, “… ye shall have no laws but my laws when I come” (D&C 38:22). This clearly does not defer the responsibility to live consecration until after He comes, but rather identifies the sort of people and culture that will receive the Savior. In a consecrated church culture there will be no poor.

That you may be equal in the bonds of heavenly things, yea, and earthly things also, for the obtaining of heavenly things. For if ye are not equal in earthly things ye cannot be equal in obtaining heavenly things (D&C 78:5–6, emphasis ours).

What does it mean to live consecration? In simple terms it means doing the will of the Lord… every day. This is the temple covenant that, if lived, removes Satan’s power over us. At some point a formal organization may be used to facilitate the Saints living consecration but is absolutely not necessary. Anyone can live this principle at any time by simply walking the path of sanctification—including the realization that everything we own belongs to the Lord and that we seek direction and permission how we spend our money. This is what we covenanted to do when we took out our endowments.

In this final dispensation the fruits (redeemed/exalted souls) of the various tribes of Israel may ripen at somewhat different times or sequences, but from the long view of the Lord all this happens in a relatively compressed time frame.  From that point of view it does not take long for the various tribes to embrace the gospel and see “eye to eye” (Isa 52:7-8, D&C 84:98). This applies especially to Ephraim and Judah.

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 (Isa 11:12-13).  

There are now close to 17 million LDS members in more than 160 countries. This has brought worldwide attention to the Lord’s Church. The most amazing and perhaps visible growth of the Church lies ahead. With respect to the gathering of the various tribes of Israel the Lord has promised to bear His holy arm before the nations of the world.

And I would, my brethren, that ye should know that all the kindreds of the earth cannot be blessed unless he shall make bare his arm in the eyes of the nations. Wherefore, the Lord God will proceed to make bare his arm in the eyes of all the nations, in bringing about his covenants and his gospel unto those who are of the house of Israel. Wherefore, he will bring them again out of captivity, and they shall be gathered together to the lands of their inheritance; and they shall be brought out of obscurity and out of darkness; and they shall know that the Lord is their Savior and their Redeemer, the Mighty One of Israel (1Ne 22:10-12).

With respect to the Lord bearing “his arm in the eyes of all the nations” shall be such things as the mission of the 144 thousand Saviors on Mount Zion. These servants are ordained by the angels of heaven as ministers of the gospel to every nation. There will also be the apparently spectacular return of a portion of the Lost Ten Tribes from somewhere in the “north countries.”

And they who are in the north countries shall come in remembrance before the Lord; and their prophets shall hear his voice, and shall no longer stay themselves; and they shall smite the rocks, and the ice shall flow down at their presence. And an highway shall be cast up in the midst of the great deep. Their enemies shall become a prey unto them, And in the barren deserts there shall come forth pools of living water; and the parched ground shall no longer be a thirsty land. And they shall bring forth their rich treasures unto the children of Ephraim, my servants. And the boundaries of the everlasting hills shall tremble at their presence. And there shall they fall down and be crowned with glory, even in Zion, by the hands of the servants of the Lord, even the children of Ephraim (D&C 133:26–32).

The imagery here stretches the imagination. Other than crossing the Red Sea on dry ground and the arrival of Israel crossing the river Jordan into the Holy Land never have such things as described herein been witnessed by the world. This is the prophetic time into which we are entering. The prophets saw it, including Jeremiah.

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 (Jer 16:14–15).

The occurrence of these prophecies will punctuate history in a manner and degree not seen before. Never in the history of the planet has anyone seen anything as remarkable as the return of all the tribes of Israel to their God, to the Covenant and to the lands of their inheritance.

Notice that the enemies of the returning Ten Tribes “become a prey unto them.” Their enemies, the latter-day equivalent of their ancient Assyrian conquerors, will also be our [American LDS] enemies. It is the miraculous arrival of the Ten Tribes led by their prophets that scatter and defeat the Russian/Assyrian forces that have invaded and occupied America. With the leaders of the Ten Tribes having power over the elements (D&C 133:26-28), the Assyrians are no match for them this time.

75 And it came to pass that when the Lord of the vineyard saw that his fruit was good, and that his vineyard was no more corrupt, he called up his servants, and said unto them: Behold, for this last time have we nourished my vineyard; and thou beholdest that I have done according to my will; and I have preserved the natural fruit, that it is good, even like as it was in the beginning. And blessed art thou; for because ye have been diligent in laboring with me in my vineyard, and have kept my commandments, and have brought unto me again the natural fruit, that my vineyard is no more corrupted, and the bad is cast away, behold ye shall have joy with me because of the fruit of my vineyard.

In the aftermath of a scourged and cleansed America [Zion] and Jerusalem the harvest of good fruit can be completed.

In that day shall the branch of the Lord [the sanctified] be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel. And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem: When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion [America LDS], and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning. And the Lord will create upon every dwelling place of mount Zion [New Jerusalem], and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night: for upon all the glory shall be a defence. And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the daytime from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and from rain (Isa 4:2–6, emphasis ours).

The tribulations that descend upon the world also cleanse the Saints who remain faithful. They are delivered from spiritual Babylon and also from the Assyrian military forces that culminate in the war of Armageddon. They receive and spread the glad tidings that the God of Israel reigneth!

How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth! Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the LORD shall bring again Zion (Isa 52:7-8).

In that day the leaders of Ephraim and Judah shall see eye to eye and so will the righteous LDS leaders and prophets of all the tribes.

76 For behold, for a long time will I lay up of the fruit of my vineyard unto mine own self against the season, which speedily cometh; and for the last time have I nourished my vineyard, and pruned it, and dug about it, and dunged it; wherefore I will lay up unto mine own self of the fruit, for a long time, according to that which I have spoken.

As explained earlier the fruit that is laid up in the Lord’s garner is that of the redeemed/exalted. For a further explanation of the nature and character of this fruit to be “laid up against the season” the Lord explains:

And [these are they] who overcome by faith, and are sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise, which the Father sheds forth upon all those who are just and true. They are they who are the church of the Firstborn. They are they into whose hands the Father has given all things—They are they who are priests and kings, who have received of his fulness, and of his glory; And are priests of the Most High, after the order of Melchizedek, which was after the order of Enoch, which was after the order of the Only Begotten Son. Wherefore, as it is written, they are gods, even the sons of God—Wherefore, all things are theirs, whether life or death, or things present, or things to come, all are theirs and they are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s. And they shall overcome all things. Wherefore, let no man glory in man, but rather let him glory in God, who shall subdue all enemies under his feet. These shall dwell in the presence of God and his Christ forever and ever. These are they whom he shall bring with him, when he shall come in the clouds of heaven to reign on the earth over his people. These are they who shall have part in the first resurrection. These are they who shall come forth in the resurrection of the just. These are they who are come unto Mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly place, the holiest of all. These are they who have come to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of Enoch, and of the Firstborn. These are they whose names are written in heaven, where God and Christ are the judge of all. These are they who are just men made perfect through Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, who wrought out this perfect atonement through the shedding of his own blood. These are they whose bodies are celestial, whose glory is that of the sun, even the glory of God, the highest of all, whose glory the sun of the firmament is written of as being typical (D&C 76:53–70).

Described above are the living and the dead who will be caught up to meet the Savior when He comes in the cloud and who will descend with Him when he comes on the earth with vengeance and in glory.

77 And when the time cometh that evil fruit shall again come into my vineyard, then will I cause the good and the bad to be gathered; and the good will I preserve unto myself, and the bad will I cast away into its own place. And then cometh the season and the end; and my vineyard will I cause to be burned with fire.

This last verse pertains to the final faceoff between good and evil after the Savior’s thousand year millennial reign. The earth shall then receive its celestial glory and the redeemed shall dwell thereon.

What is the message of the Allegory?

  1. Our Lord, Jesus Christ, is the “servant” of the Allegory and He is the very epitome of the servant on earth and in heaven.

  2. It is by virtue of Christ’s servitude that he became our Advocate with the Father and the author and finisher of our salvation.

  3. It is by virtue of His servitude that Christ became our Lord and Master.

  4. He who washed the disciples feet, is the ultimate servant and our exemplar in every respect.

  5. If we do not understand the Savior as “servant” we do not understand the role we are to emulate. It is by being servants in the similitude of the Only Begotten that we glorify the Father and become like Him.

  6. Heavenly Father goes to great lengths to bless His children—not only the lineage of Israel but also the whole world.

  7. The grafting, scattering and gathering is an ingenious process for the Father to lift and bless the entire world.

  8. The Father weeps and sorrows over the disobedience of His children.

  9. The battle between good and evil is ever present and ongoing until the very end.

  10. The Father’s plan demonstrates His wisdom is greater than the cunning of the devil.

  11. There is a great need for good [redeemed/exalted] fruit in preparation for the “season” or, in other words, the successful transition of this creation into eternity.

  12. A critical coordinated effort is required for sufficient support [good fruit] on both sides of the veil of death to avoid the peril of the earth being smitten with a curse.

  13. Good fruit is defined as those who are or will become redeemed and assured of eternal life/exaltation.

Conclusion

And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent (John 17:3).

 

Life eternal or eternal life is God’s life. In order to realize and enjoy God’s life it is necessary to know Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, whom He has sent. In order to know the Father and the Son we may be served by knowing the law associated with each. The Father dwells in an environment of perfection. Where he dwells everything is according to law.

 

The divine law of the Father is a perfect law. It is, therefore, only through the law of Redemption of Christ and his atonement that members of Heavenly Father’s human creation may dwell with Him. It is only by and through the law of the Redemption of Christ that exalted perfection is possible. It is the object of God’s existence to reproduce himself with beings that can live with Him and become gods in their own right. (PoGP, Moses 1:39). This is only possible through Christ.

With respect to divine law the sectarian Christians make the mistake of supposing they can live with God simply by being forgiven of their sins, but to live with God an actual transformation of the sinful human nature is required. This includes being cleansed from sin and having undergone the steps necessary for the modification of human nature and behavior.

 

God is perfect and only perfect beings reside in His kingdom. God loves us with a perfect love and wants us to be both the unique person He created as well as being like him in his perfection, power and attributes. His love is expressed to us through the atoning sacrifice and mission of His Son. Just as Christ grew grace for grace to become like the Father, we, through applying His Son’s atonement may grow grace for grace until we are perfected in Christ. The Son, as servant, is the door to the sheepfold, the keeper of the gate, and the example of how to enter in (John 10:1, 2Ne 9:41).

A salient message of the Allegory, and one that is unfortunately little understood, is the role and mission of the Savior as “the servant.” Dr Avraham Gileadi, for instance, declares unequivocally that Jesus Christ is “never” referenced in the scriptures by the term of servant. In reality, and reality is our object, nothing could be further from the truth. This erroneous assertion stems from a serious misunderstanding of the godhead and who it is that we worship and how we worship.

I give unto you these sayings that you may understand and know how to worship, and know what you worship, that you may come unto the Father in my name, and in due time receive of his fulness. For if you keep my commandments you shall receive of his fulness, and be glorified in me as I am in the Father; therefore, I say unto you, you shall receive grace for grace. And now, verily I say unto you, I was in the beginning with the Father, and am the Firstborn; And all those who are begotten through me are partakers of the glory of the same, and are the church of the Firstborn (D&C 93:19–22, emphasis ours).

Confusion of identity of the main characters of the Allegory can certainly be forgiven. However, there is a larger issue here that warrants particular attention—the Savior as servant. The implications of this term [servant] go misunderstood and blessings therefore unrealized. If we are to qualify to be begotten through Christ and become members of the Church of the Firstborn we would do well to understand better who He is and how to “come unto Christ” and be “begotten” through Him.

Accordingly, when the Savior explained that he was “the least in the kingdom of heaven” (Matt 11:11) he was providing a clue to an important concept. He also touched on this point speaking to the disciples vying for position in His kingdom. He explained to them that he that would be “greatest” among them let him, therefore, be “the least” and “the servant of all” (Mark 9:35, Luke 9:46–48). He further explains to the disciples that the order in heaven is the opposite of that on earth, in which the lesser serve the greater, whereas in heaven it is the greater that serve the lesser. It is in this reverse sense that Christ is both the least [servant] and the greatest [with the exception of the Father]. He is the greatest by virtue of being the servant of all.

The Apostle Paul offers some insights:

If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with  God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men (Phil 2:1–7. ref Isa 53:11, emphasis ours)

Christ is the ultimate servant. In His service to us He descended below all things. Can we imagine what that means? He suffered humiliation and extreme mental, physical and spiritual pain. The Savior also takes no glory unto himself. Rather He defers all glory to the Father. Being “the least and the servant of all” is not demeaning—rather, it is powerful beyond measure or comprehension. It is the power to save and to elevate. It is the power to glorify God through the salvation of His children. It is the power of God himself.

Being the least and the servant of all is a major message of the Allegory and a major message of the Savior's life. It is also the Savior’s charge to the perhaps overly confident leadership of this Church and to us as His fellow servants.

He that is ordained of God and sent forth, the same is appointed to be the greatest, notwithstanding he is the least and the servant of all (D&C 50:26).

There is service for service's sake, there is service for the sake of honor and there is service for Christ's sake. “Woe be to the shepherds” who feed themselves instead of “the flock” (Ezek 34:2).

Christ's message to us is that He came to do the will of the Father and He does only those things that please the Father (John 8:29). “Behold I have given unto you my gospel, and this is the gospel which I have given unto you—that I came into the world to do the will of my Father” (3Ne 27:13, emphasis ours). Christ came as His Father’s servant, and He came as our servant. Consequently, no individual was too insignificant for His personal attention—beggar, leper, tax collector, Samaritan woman at the well, etc.

In the parable of the Lord’s supper (Luke 14:16-24) the lord of the supper is symbolic of the Father and the servant that of Christ. In this parable we find the Father interested “in the poor, and the maimed, the halt, and the blind.” He even sends the Son as servant to “the highways and hedges” to find humble prospects for the wedding feast in place of the leaders and gospel nobility for whom there were seemingly more important things occupying their minds.

“The first shall be last and the last shall be first” (see vs 63) is an important concept in more ways than one (D&C 29:30). For example, those who anticipated places of honor in heaven may find themselves disappointed as inferiors of souls that in mortality they considered as beneath them—beings they may then even be tempted to worship. On the other hand those who served others humbly throughout their lives and held few if any, or no positions of honor, may find themselves exalted, “rulers of many kingdoms” (D&C 78:15) with power and position over their former masters in mortality. It is only upon the meek and humble that the Lord can work His miracles of celestial transformation.

The act of the Savior washing the apostles feet is not only a sacred ordinance, but typifies the mission and role of the Savior as our exemplar, the servant.

Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you (John 13:13-15).

As our exemplar, the servant, Jesus Christ, that washed the disciples feet is no longer our “elder brother” from the pre-mortal realm, but rather now our Lord and Master. He is also our Redeemer. Whenever we take any glory to ourselves we are following the example of Lucifer. Pride is a perpetual trap. Almost without exception those who have accumulated glory among mortal men have become subverted by it and neither need nor deserve glory in the hereafter. There are, of course, exceptions, but some degree of “unrighteous dominion” is the norm (D&C 121:39).

The only glory that is legitimate here in mortality is that which the Father himself bestows upon us as we walk in the similitude of Christ. This only happens as we repent of our sins and receive transformational gifts of the divine nature through daily offerings of a broken heart and contrite spirit (3Ne 12:19). By this means our service is directed and then sealed by the Holy Ghost. Jesus Christ is our example in everything, and our ultimate offering in His similitude is that of our agency. The portal that opens through the offering of personal will on the altar of sacrifice leads us to an abundant eternity of infinite choices.

Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God... the things of God knoweth no man, but [by] the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth… But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned… For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ (1 Cor 2:9–16, emphasis ours).

The mind of Christ is the mind of the servant. It is also the mind that is open and in tune with the whisperings and revelations of the Holy Spirit. It is the mind that is opened to the realities of eternity and the principles of eternal progression. It is the mind that is set apart [removed] from worldly lusts. It is the mind that is humble and teachable and can be instructed from on High to receive the “greater things” of God, ever becoming more like the Father through Christ (Ether 4:4-8).

The thing that makes us different from our Exemplar is the need for constant repentance. It is by daily repentance that we maintain a remission of sins and keep the channels of communication, direction and power open and effective. This is the path of personal perfection and a path that anyone can walk.

Being fellow servants with Christ we also glorify the Father who, in turn, glorifies us and makes us to be like Him.

Summary

The scattering and gathering of Israel are key components of the Father’s plan. The Father directs activities in his creations according to His perfect knowledge and foreknowledge—as past, present and future are all one great “now” 2 to the Father (Joseph Smith, 15 Apr 1842). The Son is the obedient servant who carries out the Father’s instructions perfectly. He came to do the will of the Father. By so doing he, Christ, grew grace for grace and became like the Father—ultimately possessing all the knowledge and power of the Father.

By His perfect obedience as the servant, Christ becomes like the Father, following the example of what He saw the Father do before him. It is by walking in the light of the Spirit and being a fellow servant with Christ as our leader and our example that we take upon ourselves, line upon line and grace for grace, the characteristics of our Savior. By this means we may advance into our exaltation. As we do the will of the Lord our daily checklist may even be the same, but the results will be different—eternally different.

Our past is not the issue. Anyone who has not committed the unpardonable sin can get on the path of sanctification. And as long as they do not get off they shall enjoy Celestial glory and eternal increase.

There is also a popular misconception about putting one’s will upon the altar and walking the path of the servant. What people don’t realize is that it is the easiest way through life. It is also fire insurance for the days of tribulation that lie ahead.

Footnotes:


1) The apostle Paul understands the Lord’s wisdom and purpose in the grafting game plan:

For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them. For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead? For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches. And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in. Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in: for God is able to graft them in again. For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree? For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes. For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all. O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen (Rom 11:13–36).

2) Joseph Smith: The great Jehovah contemplated the whole of the events connected with this creation pertaining to the plan of salvation before it rolled into existence, or ever the “morning stars sung together for joy,” (Job 38:7) the past, the present and the future, were, and are with him one eternal now; he knew of the fall of Adam, the iniquities of the antediluvians, of the depth of iniquity that would be connected with the human family; their weakness and strength, their power and glory, apostasies, their crimes, their righteousness, and iniquity; he comprehended the fall of man, and their redemption; he knew the plan of salvation, and pointed it out; he was acquainted with the situation of all nations; and with their destiny; he ordered all things according to the council of his own will, he knows the situation of both the living, and the dead, and has made ample provision for their redemption, according to their several circumstances, and the laws of the kingdom of God, whether in this world, or in the world to come (Joseph Smith papers, Times-and-Seasons-15-april-1842).

Appendix

Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Section Two 1834-37, p.92

Much has been said and done of late by the general government in relation to the Indians (Lamanites) within the territorial limits of the United States. One of the most important points in the faith of the Church of the Latter-day Saints, through the fullness of the everlasting Gospel, is the gathering of Israel (of whom the Lamanites constitute a part) that happy time when Jacob shall go up to the house of the Lord, to worship Him in spirit and in truth, to live in holiness; when the Lord will restore His judges as at the first, and His counselors as at the beginning; when every man may sit under his own vine and fig tree, and there will be none to molest or make afraid; when He will turn to them a pure language, and the earth will be filled with sacred knowledge, as the waters cover the great deep; when it shall no longer be said, the Lord lives that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt, but the Lord lives that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands whither He has driven them. That day is one, all important to all men.

 

Alma 33 The words of the ancient prophet Zenos:

Do ye remember to have read what Zenos, the prophet of old, has said concerning prayer or worship? For he said: Thou art merciful, O God, for thou hast heard my prayer, even when I was  in the wilderness; yea, thou wast merciful when I prayed concerning those who were mine  enemies, and thou didst turn them to me. Yea, O God, and thou wast merciful unto me when I did cry unto thee in my  field; when I did cry unto thee in my prayer, and thou didst hear me. And again, O God, when I did turn to my house thou didst hear me in my prayer. And when I did turn unto my closet, O Lord, and prayed unto thee, thou didst hear me. Yea, thou art merciful unto thy children when they cry unto thee, to be heard of thee and not of men, and thou  wilt hear them. Yea, O God, thou hast been merciful unto me, and heard my cries in the midst of thy congregations. Yea, and thou hast also heard me when I have been cast out and have been despised by  mine enemies; yea, thou didst hear my cries, and wast angry with mine enemies, and thou didst  visit them in thine anger with speedy destruction. And thou didst hear me because of mine afflictions and my sincerity; and it is because of thy Son that thou hast been thus merciful unto me, therefore I will cry unto thee in all mine  afflictions, for in thee is my joy; for thou hast turned thy judgments away from me, because of thy Son (Alma 33:3-11).