John McDonald, Elias Boudinot, Ethan Smith, and the Mormons

General George Washington -- Ascended to Heaven and Overlooking Militant America

Elias Boudinot   |   Ethan Smith   |   Halcyon Church   |   Modern Pilgrims   |   New England Sects
British Israelites   |   The Wood Scrape   |   M. M. Noah's Israelite Gathering   |   Mormon Israelites


Is the American continent spoken of in the Bible? Were its location, history and inhabitants known to the ancient Israelite, Jewish and Christian patriarchs and prophets? Upon first consideration, the answer appears to be "no;" but does the question merit further investigation? Were the early Mormons correct, or were they mistaken, when they pointed to certain biblical passages as proof of their own latter day authority and teachings? Do scriptural passages really validate Mormon claims for American pre-history and as the chosen site for a New Jerusalem?

This web-page will (when completed) feature a number of different views, conclusions and resources on this interesting subject -- ranging from the opinions of Christopher Columbus to the writings of more recent "experts," and covering a spectrum of theologizing, from the New England Puritans to the Latter Day Saint prophets, seers and revelators.

Several important questions should be addressed here: What prominent writers first asserted that the Americas are mentioned in the Bible? Who agreed and disagreed -- and how did those assertions evolve over time? What has been said about the origin of the Native Americans -- and about their place in the greater scheme of Judeo-Christian beliefs? Was the biblical religion known and practiced in the New World in preColumbian times? Was the western hemisphere visited and evangelized by ancient Christian leaders? Did any noteworthy events occur in the Americas around the time when Jesus was crucified in Judea? Will Israelite tribes gather to the Americas to fulfil prophecy? And -- will the "New Jerusalem" be established upon the American continent as a prelude to the Christian Millennium?

Consequences of the Spanish Conquest

None of the above questions had any partucular relevance in the days before the Spanish explorers and colonizers reached the New World. The known world in 1491 appeared to conform roughly to the biblical model, with Asia, Africa and Europe supplying all the lands necessary to encompass the "ends of the earth," "the isles of the sea," and the "four corners of the world," (even though one of those four continental corners was missing). The wandering Vikings' discovery of "skraelings" west of Iceland was a matter of concern for the Bishop of Greenland perhaps, but not for the Pope at Rome nor the learned doctors of Europe. Then, a year later, everything changed...
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Scripture and Speculation:
Part 1: A Brief Overview

The Continents of the New World as a Land of Biblical Prophecy

"Many say and affirme that in the holy Scripture it was foretold long before that this new worlde should be converted to Jesus Christ by the Spanish nation... there is great reason to beleeve that mention is made in the holy Scripture of a matter of such importance as the discoverie of the Indies, of the new world, and their conversion to the faith. Isaias saith in these wordes: 'Oh the wings of ships which come from the other part of Ethiopia.' ('Woe to the land shadowing with wings, which is beyond the rivers of Ethiopia.' -- Isaiah xviii, 1.) Many learned Authors hold that all this Chapter is understood of the Indies; and that same Prophet in an other place saith: 'Those which shall escape out of Israel shal goe farre off to Tharsis and to remote islands, where they shal convert many Nations unto the Lord.'" (José de Acosta, 1590)

"Thus doth Satan continually persist in this wicked desire to make himselfe God.... Hence comes the continual and strange care which this enemie of God hath alwaies had to make him to be worshipt of men, inventing so many kinds of Idolatries, whereby he hath so long held the gretest part of the world in subjection, so as there scarce remaines any one corner for God and his people of Israel. And since the power of the Gospel hath vanquished and disarmed him, and that by the force of the Crosse, hee hath broken and ruined the most important and puissant places of his kingdom with the like tyrannie, hee hath begunne to assaile the barbarous people and nations farthest off, striving to maintaino amongst them his false and lying divinitie... although idolatrie had beene rooted out of the best and most notable partes of the worlde, yet he hath retired himself into the most remote parts, and hath ruled in that other part of the worlde." (José de Acosta, 1590)

"Who is to deny that the departure and peregrination of the Mexicans resemble the departure from Egypt of the Children of Israel and their exodus? For the former, like the latter, were prompted to leave and go in search of a Promised Land. Both peoples took their gods as guides, consulted the Ark, and built a tabernacle. Both drew advice and their laws and ceremonies. And it took both a great number of years to reach the Promised Land. In these and many other things, the history of the Mexicans resembles the history of the Israelites according to Holy Scripture." (Gregorio García, 1606)

"The Devil, being impatient of the sound of the Gospel and Cross of Christ in every part of this old world, so that he could in no place be quiet for it, and foreseeing that he was like at length to lose all here, bethought himself to provide him of a seed over which he might reign securely... That accordingly he drew a Colony out of some of those barbarous Nations dwelling upon the Northern Ocean, and promising them by some oracle to shew them a Country far better than their own, pleasant, large, where never man yet inhabited, he conducted them over those desart Lands and Islands... into America." (Joseph Mede, 1635)

"For your full assurance, know this [America] is the place where the Lord will create a new Heaven, and a new Earth, in new Churches, and a new Commonwealth together." (Edward Johnson, 1653)

"I have endeavoured to prove that America's Name is to be seen fairly Recorded in the Scriptures; particularly, in the Book of Psalms, in Daniel, and the Revelation. That Euphrates may be distinguished from the Sea, and from other Rivers, it ought to be limited to some proper Place; for which place, I propound the New World: as being so far from deserving the Nick-names of Gog and Magog; that it stands fair for being made the Seat of the Divine Metropolis." (Samuel Sewall, 1697)

So, many Things alleged by Cardinal Bellarmin and others, about the Descent into Hell; are wonderfully suited to the going of Christ Jesus into America.... Now the New World, the Valley of Baca was the doleful Receptacle of Ungodly and Christless Men, perfectly exposed to the Craft and Cruelty of Evil Angels. So near an Approach to; so compleat a Resemblance of Hell, was not elsewhere to be found in rerum natura. JESUS CHRIST came hither to Visit this Prison, to Preach to the miserable Prisoners; and, in spight of their sirly Jaylor [Satan]" (Samuel Sewall, 1697)

"Some judicious and learned Divines have conjectured that America is prophesied of in the thirty seventh of Ezekiel, under the denomination of a Valley. Certainly, no part of the habitable World, can shew more Bones; or bones more dry, than these vast Regions do.... The Prophet is said to be carried out in the spirit: and for ought I know, he might be carried beyond the limits of the then known World." (Samuel Sewall, 1697)

"The learned Joseph Mede was undoubtedly the principal authority on whose opinions Increase Mather rested with such confidence. He thought that tha American hemisphere would escape the general conflagration at the last day, and that the people would not share in the blessings of Millennium. He regarded the inhabitants here as colonies or descendants from the Scythians (and therein a notable fulfilment of the prophecy about the enlargement of Japhet) and to be 'the Gog and Magog whom the devil will seduce to invade the New Jerusalem, with an envious hope to gain the angelical circumstances of the people there.'" (Cotton Mather, 1702)

"The Latter-Day Glory Is Probably to Begin in America. It is not unlikely that this [revival] work of God's Spirit, that is so extraordinary and wonderful, is the dawning, or at least a prelude, of that glorious work of God, so often foretold in Scripture, which in the progress and issue of it, shall renew the world of mankind." (Jonathan Edwards, 1746)

"[New England] far removed from the noise and tumult of contending kingdoms and empires; far from the wars of Europe and Asia, and the barbarous African coast, here... shall our JESUS go forth conquering and to conquer; and the heathen be given him for an inheritance; and these uttermost parts of the earth, a possession. Zion shall here lengthen her cords, and strengthen her stakes; and the mountain of the house of the Lord be gloriously exalted on high. Here shall the religion of Jesus;... the pure and undefiled religion of our blessed Redeemer; here shall it reign in triumph, over all opposition.... And here shall the various ancient promises... and the light of divine revelation diffuse its beneficent rays, till the gospel of Jesus have accomplished its day, from east to west, around the world. A day, whose evening shall not terminate in night; but introduce that joyful period, when the outcasts of Israel, and the dispersed of Judah, shall be restored; and with them the fulness of the gentile world shall flow to the standard of redeeming love: And the nations of the earth, become the kingdom of our Lord and Saviour. (George Duffield, 1783)

"The view of the prophecy as here exhibited [Isa. 18], is calculated to press on the American mind the important part which Heaven has destined our nation to act in this wonderful drama. Pious students in Theology it is hoped may also be stirred up to prepare themselves or their successors to undertake the divine embassy to which God will call them in his providence, as he now calls them in his prophecy. (John McDonald, 1814)

"On a slight inspection of a common map of America, without much aid from fancy, the resemblance will appear. But when God drew the landscape, with all its features, and in all the glowing tints of light and shade, and presented it to the vivid imagination of the sacred Poet [Isaiah], must he not have re-echoed; Land of the overshadowing wings! Can we on listening to the description and comparing it with America, withhold exclaiming: It is the picture of our own country, painted by our own God!" (John McDonald, 1814)

"And I looked and beheld a man among the Gentiles, who was separated from the seed of my brethren by the many waters; and I beheld the Spirit of God, that it came down and awrought upon the man; and he went forth upon the many waters, even unto the seed of my brethren, who were in the promised land." (1 Nephi, Book of Mormon, 1830)


The LDS Political Kingdom of God in America

Council of 50  |  Ten Tribes of Israel?  |  Are We of Israel?  |  Political Kingdom

Vol. V. September 1968. No. 9.
Copyright © 1968 American West Mgt. Corp.
(all rights reserved - fair use reprints only)

The Presidential Candidacy Might Seem Madness
But What of a Monarchy in Texas?

by Klaus Hanson

Political millennialism has been a wellspring of Western Civilization for more than three thiusand years. The Biblical prophet Daniel, in his interpretation of King King Nebuchadnezzar's dream, recorded a scripture that was to stir many a dreamer after him: "And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever." (Dan. 2:44). The established Christian churches have given this scripture a symbolic interpretation, seeing it as a prophecy of the final victory of a spiritual kingdom of God, But many, too, have pursued that kingdom as a literal, political one, in the tradition of the Anabaptist John of Leyden, who in 1534-35 held sway over Munster with crown and sceptre, attended by a retinue of dukes, an army, and faithful subjects; in every instance the kingdom was to be in preparation for the literal return of Christ as king of the world, to rule for a thousand years in a millennial kingdom of peace and righteousness.

Of all these movements, which sprang up like mushrooms in early nineteenth-century America, one of the most literal-minded and successful was Mormonism. Founded by Joseph Smith in 1830, the new religion gradually demanded of its converts allegiance to a kingdom of God that was not only spiritual, social, and economic, but political as well. By 1844 Joseph Smith had decided on a complete fusion of religious and political aspirations. He pronounced his divine mission in unmistakable terms to his followers in Nauvoo, Illinois: "I calculate to be one of the instruments of setting up the kingdom of Daniel by the word of the Lord, and intend to lay a foundation that will revolutionize the whole world. . . .

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And so it seemed only logical to the Prophet that his next step should be to organize the nucleus of a political kingdom of God in preparation for the millennium.

He did so in accordance with a revelation given on April 7, 1842, which demanded the organization of "the Kingdom of God and His Laws with the keys and powers thereof and judgment in the hands of his servants." Realizing the social and political implications of such a move, Smith carefully prepared and tested a group of his most loyal followers. On March 11, 1844. he decided the time had come when he could finally entrust the secrets of the kingdom to these men by initiating them into a highly secret organization variously called the General Council, Council of the Kingdom, Council of the Gods, and Living Constitution. The most frequently used name was simply Council of Filty, an appellation that had its origin in the approximate number of men comprising the body.

According to one member, the council so guarded the confidential nature of its administrative

and governmental activities that from time to time it burned official papers. A charter member of the Fifty, John D. Lee, in a rather crude attempt to protect its identity, referred to it in his diary entries by the ingenuous cipher, YTFIF. The first clerk, William Clayton, tried to veil references to the council by using the term "K. of G." Those who revealed the secrets of the organization were subject to the death penalty, although it is difficult to determine whether it was ever carried out. The fear of such consequences, however, is clear in the case of John Pack, who had failed to guard the council's secrets sufficiently, "which should be as safe as though [they were] locked up [in] the silent vaults of eternity." The offender, "pled for forgiveness, said 'try me a little longer. Then, if I don't prove true, deal with me as you think proper, if it is to cut my head off." In view of the purposes for which the council had been established, and in view of its subsequent activities, this degree of secrecy was only to be expected. According to John D. Lee, the organization's ambitions were indeed vast: "This council alluded to is the Municipal department of the Kingdom of God set up on the Earth, from which all law eminates, for the rule, government & control of all Nations, Kingdoms & towns, and People under the whole Heavens..."

Because their religion was infused with a great deal of spread-eagle American nationalism at a time when Manifest Destiny had become the watchword of the nation, the Mormons thought that the United States was perhaps the logical instrument for their divinely inspired political mission. If Joseph Smith could be elected President of the United States, this might provide a stepping-stone for the ultimate goal of world dominion.

Viewed from hindsight, these dreams of Smith and his council seem to border on megalomania. But was it really unreasonable for a man who knew that he was carrying out the will of God to believe that he could be elected President of the United States? George Miller, another charter member of the Council of Fifty and Presiding Bishop of the Church, did not think so: "If we succeeded in making a majority of the voters converts to our faith, and elected Joseph president, he wrote hopefully, "in such an event the dominion of the kingdom would be forever established in the United States.". . .

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That God was with them, the Mormon Prophet never doubted. Neither did his associates in the Council of Fifty. But some, such as John D. Lee, did not share the optimistic faith of Richards and Miller that Joseph's presidential campaign was the best means of establishing the Kingdom of God. In his role as presidential candidate, the Prophet could hardly publicize the fact that in a secret ceremony of the council -- revealing the literal-mindedness of the participants and reminiscent of the regal pretensions of a John of Leydon -- he had appointed the members "princes of the Kingdom of God, to preside over the chief cities of the Nation." As a climax to theseproceedings, George Miller recalled, "in this council we ordained Joseph Smith as King on earth." Although his successful candidacy for the presidency of the United States woule then provide Smith with territory and subjects, it is doubtful that the publication of this ceremony would have furthered that aspiration.
Moreover, it appears that Miller may

have been overly impressed with the rhetoric of the occasion. It was, after all, a heady prospect for a group made up largely of artisans and farmers to be told that they were to be the governing princes in the Kingdom of God with authority to rule the nations of the earth. But Smith's own aspirations must have been somewhat less literal. Surely, if he dreamed of becoming President, he could not aspire to be a literal king at the same time, especially when his own Book of Mormon had emphatically predicted that no kings were to rule in America. It was quite likely, then, that the ceremony was essentially symbolic, since Smith introduced a great deal of symbolism into Mormonism.

Whatever the symbolic meaning, there can be no doubt that Smith held real political power within Mormondom and that he and his council made every effort to establish a Mormon state as a political entity. Smith's political candidacy was only one of several alternatives that the council seriously entertained for a realization of that goal. Most council members were Yankees and shared the old American philosophy that God helps those who help themselves. Perhaps God willed Joseph to become President of the United States, but even God could fashion a miracle only if Joseph was prepared. So the Council of Fifty went on the political stump for the Prophet.

But perhaps God had something else in mind. The position of the Saints in Illinois was becoming increasingly precarious. By the spring of 1844 both internal dissension and external pressures bode to those Saints who could see and hear that the persecutions of Missouri might be repeated in Nauvoo. So the Council of Fifty, only three days after Smith had called its first meeting, commissioned the architect Lucien Wood- worth to go to Texas to negotiate with Sam Houston and the Texas Congress for the establishment of the Kingdom of God.

The lands the Mormons wanted to settle were in the disputed region extending from the Nueces River south to the Rio Grande. Texans were eager to have large groups of settlers move into this largely uninhabited area in order to establish a bulwark against both Mexican and Indian depredations. Sale of public lands, furthermore, was one of the principal sources of revenue for the financially embarrassed republic. The Mormons thus had good reason to believe that they would be welcome in Texas. . . .

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The Council of Fifty, however, did not feel that it could leave the matter entirely to God. It had sent Orson Hyde as emissary to Washington in order to keep abreast of the latest developments regarding Texas. Hyde's letters to Smith reveal that he was well informed. He predicted that as a result of strong opposition by Whigs and anti- slavery Democrats an annexation treaty would be turned down by Congress: "She (the United States) is afarid of England, afarid of Mexico, afraid the Presidential election will be twisted by it." Finally, of course, annexation would not take place if God did not will it: "There are many powerful checks upon our government, preventing her from moving in any of thest important matters; and for aught I know these checks are permitted to prevent our government from extending her jurisdiction over the territory which God designs to give to His Saints." The optimism with which church leaders regarded the Texas plans, as well as their magnitude, is revealed in Brigham Young's letter to Reuben Hedlock encouraging the emigration of British Saints: "You may send a hundred thousand there if you can, in eighteen months."

Under these seemingly auspicious circumstances the Council of Fifty sent an emissary to Texas. Records of the negotiations between the council and the Texas government reveal that the over-optimistic Mormon leaders acted as if the Kingdom of God were already a political state, or at least a quasi-independent government. George Miller insisted that Lucien Woodworth was sent as "minister to the then Republic of Texas to make a treaty with the cabinet of Texas for all that country north of a west line from the falls of the Colorado River to the Nueces, thence down the same to the Guli of Mexico, and along the same to the Rio Grande, and up the same to the United States Territory." The Republic of Texas was to recognize the Mormon Kingdom of God as an independent nation. In return, the Saints were to help the Texans "defend themselves against Mexico, standing as go-between [sic] the belligerent powers." Miller's language is in keeping with that of an address made by George Q. Cannon to a group of Mormon missionaries, in which Cannon said the Kingdom of God was "to become a political power, known and recognized by the powers of the earth; and you, my brethren, may have to be sent forth to represent that power as its accredited agents * * * at the courts of foreign nations."

It seems doubtful, however, that the Texas government formally "received" Woodworth, thereby recognizing the diplomatic pretensions of the "minister." Recognition of the esoteric Mormon government would have placed the Texans in a most embarrassing position vis-a-vis the United States. According to Miller, however, Woodworth returned from Texas with the preliminary draft of a "treaty," although it is unlikely that the Texans saw the negotiations in that light. Woodworth returned to Illinois on May 2, 1844. On the following day, the Council of fifty convened and received the report

of its emissary, Miller reported that "it was altogether as we could wish it. On the part of the church there were commissioners appointed to meet the Texan Congress to sanction or ratify the said treaty, partly entered into by one minister and the Texan cabinet. A. W. Brown, Lucien Woodworth and myself were the commissioners appointed to meet the Texan Congress."

The council, however, did not stake it entire plans on Texas, but also explored other potential habitats for the Kingdom of God. In Washington, Orson Hyde had instructions to negotiate with the federal government to secure its aid in settling the Saints in some unoccupied region of the trans-Mississippi West. It was in connection with this mission that the council, on March 21, 1844, appointed Dr. Willard Richards to draw up a memorandum to Congress requesting the federal government to give Joseph Smith authority to raise an army of one hundred thousand men. Hyde reported that the Saints could expect little federal support for their plan, and advised Smith and his associates that "if the Saints (are to) possess the kingdom I think they will have to take it; and the sooner it is done, the more easily it is accomplished." To the Mormon Prophet this was gratuitous advice. The problem was not that the Saints had to "take the kingdom," but how this could be accomplished? . . .

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Rumors circulated that the Mormons were planning to overthrow the government and seize the country when they grew strong enough -- rumors that seemed to confirm John C. Bennett's revelations that Smith planned to establish a Mormon empire in the Middle West. Governor Thomas Ford, who claimed that he had spies among both the Mormons and their enemies, revealed in his History of Illinois that he had learned some of the important secrets connected with the Political Kingdom of God, albeit in distorted form:
It seems, from the best information that could be got from the best men who had seceded from the Mormon Church, that Joe Smith about this time conceived the idea of making himself a temporal prince as well as spiritual leader of his people. He instituted a new and select order of the priesthood, the members of which were to be priests and kings temporally and spiritually, these were to be his nobility, who were to be the upholders of his throne. He caused himself to be crowned and anointed king and priest, far above the rest; and he prescribed the form of an oath of allegiance to himself, which he administered to his principal followers. To uphold his pretensions to rayalty, he deduced his decent by an unbroken chain from Joseph the son of Jacob, and that of his wife from some other renowned personage of Old Testament history. The Mormons openly denounced the government of the United States as utterly corrupt, and as being about to pass away, and to be replaced by the government of God, to be administered by his servant Joseph.

Even more detailed is the account by George Davis, who claims for his source of information none other than defected members of the Council of Fifty:
That the authority with which God had clothed him (Smith), being "Jure Divino," extended over all mankind, and was paramount and superior to any human authority. Joe further stated, that God had revealed to him, that the Indians and Latter Day-Saints, under Joe as their King and Ruler, were to conquer the Gentiles, and that their subjection to this authority was to be obtained by the sword! From thos revelation, he enforced upon them that it was necessary he should be crowned King, and they, believing in the gross imposition, yielded to his edict. Joe was accordingly cowned KING under God, over the immediate house of Israel. This ceremony was performed in 1842, by a council of fifty in number denominated the "ANCIENT OF DAYS." * * * He further impressed upon the council crowning him, that God's desire was, as revealed to him (Joe), that, for the time being, this was to remain a perfect secret until God should reveal to the contrary. And accordingly Joe swore them all to present secrecy, under the penalty of death!

If such accounts only implied that Smith had engaged in treasonable activities, some of his enemies came right out and said so. In an unpublished reply to Smith's famous appeal to the Green Mountain Boys sent to Thomas C. Sharp, anti-Mormon editor of the Warsaw Signal, the writers accused Smith:
"That you and your clan did consider yourselves a separate nation as much so as any foreign nation * * * you and your followers cast off all allegiance to the General or states government and assumed a new one for yourselves, and that act, we consider no less than high treason * * *"

The most direct accusations, however, were made by Wilson Law, one of Smith's closest associates before his excommunication in 1844. In an attempt to obtain a warrant against Smith for treason, Law charged that the Prophet, while preaching on the text of Dan. 2:44, declared "that the kingdom referred to was already set up, and that he was king over it."

Almost identical charges were levelled against Smith in the Nauvoo Expositor. Although the affair had been described by many

times, none of these accounts takes into consideration the existence of the Council of Fifty in Nauvoo in 1844; yet an examination of its role in the controversy provides a new dimension for understanding the causes of the death of the Smith brothers.

The Expositor was a newspaper started by a group of disgruntled Mormons under the joint leadership of Dr. Robert D. Foster, who put up most of the money for the press, and William Law, second counselor to Joseph Smith for over two years. Law claimed to be firmly convinced of the validity of Mormon doctrine. By April, 1844, he was equally certain that Joseph Smith was a fallen prophet. According to Law, the rift with Smith had its origins in the Prophet's authoritarian insistence upon managing all temporal affairs of the Saints, including those of William Law. The second counselor, however, claimed that he avoided an open break with Smith until he learned of the doctrine of polygamy. Dr. Foster, likewise, insisted that he broke with the Prophet over this same doctrine. Smith had set April 20 as the date for Foster's church trial. Foster, however, intended to use the trial as a platform to condemn the Prophet. To prevent such a possibility, a secret council excommunicated Foster along with William, Wilson, and Jane Law "for unchristianlike conduct." It is of considerable interest that of the thirty-two persons present at this meeting twenty-two can be identified as members of the Council of Fifty.

Why should the Council of Fifty take such a special interest in a church trial? That its concern was warranted is indicated by the aims of Law and Foster. Law was more dangerous to church unity than apostates like John C. Bennett, because Law still professed to believe in Mormonism. In fact, he claimed reform of the church of Joseph Smith to be his major motivation. He started his newspaper in order to "expose" the alleged malpractices of Smith and his followers. Francis Higbee, one of Law's disciples, wrote a letter to the editor of the Warsaw Signal outlining the aims of the forthcoming edition of the Expositor. The paper was to be an expose of Smith's "Mormon Seraglio a[nd] Nauvoo Harem; and his unparalleled and unheard of attempts at Seduction." Most writers have emphasized this aspect of the affair. Higbee, however, noted that the edition was to be "fraught with Joe's peculiar and particular mode of Legislation -- and a dissertation upon his delectable plan of government." Was Higbee referring to the Council of Fifty and its ambition to set up a political Kingdom of God? Had the apostates learned important secrets concerning that organization? It seems that they had. A number of reasons support this assumption. In a prospectus, the publishers proclaimed it their "sacred duty ... to advocate unmitigated DISOBEDIENCE TO POLITICAL REVELATIONS, and to censure and decry gross moral imperfections wherever found, either in the plebeian, patrician or SELF- CONSTITUTED MONARCH."

When the first and only issue of the Expositor appeared on June 7, 1844, it contained the significant passage: "We will not acknowledge any man as king or lawgiver to the church." The objection to Smith as lawgiver suggests that apostates Law, Foster, and their associates must have had at least a rudimentary knowledge of "the Kingdom of God and His Laws"; their objection to Smith as lawgiver in an ecclesiastical sense would not have been logical as long as they professed to accept the revelations providing the foundation for the church.

The publication of the Expositor put Smith in a dilemma. Exposure of the secrets of polygamy and the political Kingdom of God might well rend the church asunder and leave it a prey to the Gentiles. If he closed the paper, he faced charges of flouting the freedom of the press. If he attempted an injunction on grounds of libel, he risked the broadcast publicity of the defense -- whether successful or not. As the Mormon Prophet could not afford to tolerate an apostate newspaper dedicated to sensational exposes, he had to silence the press by force. He convinced his city council, in a trial without lawyers, witnesses, or jury, that the paper should be declared a public nuisance, its press smashed, and the remaining copies of its first and only issue burned. . . .

There can be . . .

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The American Continents Symbolized as Outstretched Wings
(A Typical Mormon Interpretation of the Isaiah 18:1-2 "Wings Prophecy")

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Charles B. Thompson's 1841 Evidences of the Book of Mormon

=========== Biblical prophecy not in Thompson's Evidences ========== 1 The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. 2 And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. 3 And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. (Isa. 2:1-2). This Isaiah prophecy was the basis for the founding of the Mormons' Evening and Morning Star newspaper at "Mt. Zion" (Independence) in Missouri, in 1832 -- so that "the law" (latter day commandments) would "go forth" thereafter, "out of Zion." This prophecy is also oft cited as referring to the LDS Church being established in Utah, or "in the tops of the mountains." ========== Thompson's Evidences p. 21 & 57-61 =========== The question arises, "…If Jesus visited America, then were the ancient Biblical prophets aware of the existence of the New World?" And the answer is yes. Isaiah, for one, speaks of the land shadowing with wings. "…Woe to the land shadowing with wings which is beyond the rivers of Ethiopia [Africa]; that sendeth ambassadors by the sea…" (Isa.18:1,2). That’s America.
Only America is beyond Africa. And she has certainly sent more missionaries "by the sea" than any other nation. Her emblem is the eagle, and the two Americas are shaped like a bird with wings. =========== not in Thompson's Evidences ========== A Hebrew Nation in America "…For out of Jerusalem shall go forth a remnant, and they that escape out of mount Zion; the zeal of the Lord of hosts shall do this." --Isaiah 37:32 The prophecy is plain -- a remnant was to escape from Jerusalem. That occurred around 588 BC, the time of the Babylonian captivity. ========== Thompson's Evidences p. 46 & 29 =========== Jeremiah, living in Jerusalem at the time, delivered a precious prophecy: "…Flee, get you far off, dwell deep, O ye inhabitants of Hazar, saith the Lord; for Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon hath taken counsel against you, and hath conceived a purpose against you. Arise, get you up unto the wealthy nation, that dwelleth without gate, saith the Lord, which have neither gates nor bars, which dwell alone." -- Jer.49: 30, 31 Notice the details… They were to go "far off." It is to be a "wealthy nation which have neither gates nor bars, which dwell alone." There’s no place in the old world like that. All cities of the Old World had walls; they had gates and bars, and they certainly did not dwell alone. The prophecy no doubt refers to the New World, specifically the Americas. The Americas were wealthy and they dwelt alone. ========== not in Thompson's Evidences =========== Another prophet, Zephaniah, also saw the New World. "…From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia my supplicants [Israelites who pray to the God of Israel], even the daughter of my dispersed [Israelites who were dispersed beyond the rivers of Ethiopia], shall bring mine offering." -- Zeph.3:10 Ethiopia in Zephaniah’s time included the entire known continent of Africa. America is the only nation that lies "beyond the rivers of Ethiopia," beyond Africa. In a nutshell, the Bible contains the history of God’s dealing with a colony of Hebrews who came out of Egypt. This colony migrates to the New World and becomes a key "prophetic ensign" to the nations during the end of this present church age. ========== Thompson's Evidences p. 44 =========== Joseph’s Descendants to Come to the Everlasting Hills There is a passage in Genesis chapter 49 that has strong ties to the Book of Mormon. Jacob, the old patriarch, is dying. We’re reading his last words as he pronounces prophetic blessings upon his sons and upon his two grandsons, words concerning the descendants of Joseph. "…Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well, whose branches run over the wall…The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills; they shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separate from his brethren." -- Gen.49:22,26 An interesting passage, indeed. Joseph and his descendants have been separated "from his brethren." =========== not in Thompson's Evidences ========== Here are a couple points to consider: 1) Joseph is a fruitful bough by a well. What’s a "bough" and what’s a "well?" Let scripture answer scripture. The Psalmist said, "…O Shepherd of Israel, thou what leadest Joseph like a flock…Thou hast brought a vine out of Egypt; thou hast cast out the heathen, and planted it…She sent out her boughs unto the sea, and her branches unto the river…" -- Psalm 80: 1,8,11 The "bough" is Joseph’s lineage and the "well" is the sea. The remnant escaping Jerusalem is the flock of Joseph. And where did the Shepherd of Israel lead the flock of Joseph "…whose branches [lineage] run over the wall [sea]?" Over the seas unto the New World. To be separate from his brethren. ========== Thompson's Evidences p. 65-66 =========== The Bible Prophesies of the Book of Mormon "…And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee; and he saith, I cannot, for it is sealed. And learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee; and he saith, I am not learned." -- Isa.29:11, 12 Isaiah prophesied of the sealed book that was to become "the vision of all." In late February, 1828, Joseph Smith sent Martin Harris to New York with a copy of the Book of Mormon characters. He was to meet with Professor Charles Anthon, "a gentleman celebrated for his literary attainments." The professor asked Mr. Harris if he would bring the plates so he could translate them. ========== Thompson's Evidences p. 23 =========== Ezekiel’s Prophecy of the Two Sticks The prophet Ezekiel looked into the future and foresaw two nations and two records would some day be joined into one. The so-called "parable of the two sticks" deals with Israel’s division into two kingdoms. "…The word of the Lord came again unto me saying, Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it. For Judah and for the children of Israel his companions; then take another stick, and write upon it. For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions; and join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand." -- Ezekiel 37:15-17 Ezekiel is prophesying the restoration of Israel in these last days. The Hebrew prophets deplore Israel’s separation, which occurred because of wickedness (compare Zech.11:24). The day Ephraim (with nine other tribes) broke away from Judah became a turning point in Israel’s history (Isa.7:17). Since that day, Israel has remained divided into two "houses," or kingdoms (Isa.8:14). Isaiah calls the division of his people an "open wound" that the Lord will heal as his coming to the earth draws nigh (Isa.30:26,27). -- The Last Days, p.126 The two sticks coming together in the endtime is a wonderful Biblical pronouncement. The Lord says, "…When…two nations shall run together the testimony of the two nations shall run together also" (2 Nephi 29:8). Of course, the sticks are really books and nations "…running together…" The Smith Bible Dictionary states: "…A book in ancient times consisted of a single long strip of paper or parchment, which was usually kept rolled upon a stick, and was unrolled when a person wished to read it." Back to the testimony of the two nations "running together." In his prophesy, Ezekiel saw that each of the two kingdoms was to have a record, or stick. The record of Judah is easily identified as the Bible "…for Judah [the Jews], and for the children of Israel his companions…" The record of Joseph [records of the Lost Tribes of Israel] is connected with the prophesied Book of Mormon "…the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows…" The prophet Lehi, with whom the Book of Mormon begins, was among those originally from the northern kingdom who had come, or whose forefathers had come, to live in the kingdom of Judah, for he was a resident of Jerusalem. His family came to the American continents and the record they kept is a record of the descendants of Joseph in this hemisphere. Through the instrumentality of the prophet Joseph Smith, the record of Joseph -- the Book of Mormon -- has joined the Bible to serve as a dual witness of the divinity of Christ. -- Prophecies of Joseph Smith, p.170 These two books [the Book of Mormon and the Bible] become one in the endtime. A dual witness. Hosea prophesied a marvelous thing: "…I have written to him [Ephraim] the great things of my law, but they were counted as a strange thing." -- Hosea 8:12 God wrote some wonderful and great things to Ephraim in the Bible, but he wrote even more wonderful (strange) things to him in the Stick of Joseph. For example… Ezekiel describes the stick of Joseph as being of a dual nature: 1) the record is to be "the stick of Ephraim," and 2) it must also be "…for all the house of Israel his companions." Then Ezekiel adds that the stick of Joseph is to be "…in the hands of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows." Ephraim, of course, was the leading tribe among the tribes which were carried away captive by Assyria and which are now known as the Ten Lost Tribes. -- Prophecies of Joseph Smith, p.171 Ephraim’s descendants will lead the way in the last days.

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