Monday, September 13, 2010

Remnant, part VI

Another principle that must be included in the mix of understanding the prophecies concerning the remnant is timing and patience.

When you speak of bloodlines and blessings, it is not possible to follow the details of interconnections across generations with any amount of accuracy. Even Joseph Smith, while certain of the remnant's existence and importance, was not certain of their identity. They needed to be found. Although some groups showed promise, they were not, and have not, been identified.

There were rumors of a people in the southwest, who made rugs, that may be the group.

There are those who are convinced the Hopi are the people. Hugh Nibley has spent time with the Hopi and written a great deal about them. He seemed satisfied they were likely the chosen remnant. He studied their year-end dance festivals and believed they contained elements of sacred narrative identifiable with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I have LDS friends who have spent time among the Hopi who have the same view.

I do not believe it is necessary to identify who the remnant is. It is important to realize there is a prophetic destiny of a remnant, and to have a little humility about the limited gentile success which has been prophesied. But to go further than that is not always wise.

Everything in the Lord's plan is timed. You cannot change the timing. If, for example, you hurry to get where you think Zion will be established, and arrive before the burning and cleansing of that land, then you may have found the right spot, but you arrived at the wrong time. You will be killed, burned off the land as it is purged and prepared. The Lord alone controls timing. And timing is as important as any other portion of the Lord's plan.

Also, to identify the remnant beforehand is ill- advised. They will be identified in the ordinary course of events. They will fulfill their prophetic destiny. As it unfolds, it will be natural, appropriate and in accordance with the hand of God. There will be no need to force Zion.

Those who are the remnant may well be Hopi. Or, they may come from Hopi blood, if that is indeed the remnant bloodline. But during the time between the closing of the Book of Mormon history and the opening of American history, how many from that bloodline departed or were captured and carried away to another place. If only one left and migrated into Canada, later to intermarry and leave descendants, who have now intermarried and live in Alberta, Montana and Idaho, then they may have long ago lost any identity with the Hopi. But they may still be heirs according to the bloodline that is theirs.

How do we know the remnant does not now include businessmen in Mexico City, families in Peru, a physician in San Francisco, or a housewife in Florida, all of whom have the blood of the remnant within them, but they are without any knowledge of it? Nor can we know if there were intermarriages and migrations which make northern Mexico and Arizona filled with people who are the remnant, heirs of the promises, and destined to one day return to the faith of Christ. Who knows but what the in-migration of those regarded as "illegal aliens" currently inside the United States are not in possession of the blood that qualifies them as heirs of the promises.

They exist. They are known to the Lord. There may be great areas and people, as well as disbursed and assimilated individuals who are among those who are heirs. It is not important to "find" them in one sense, but critical that they be found in another. They will self-identify. That is, those in whom the promises will be fulfilled will act consistent with the promises. They will become known as they engage in the prophesied conduct. They will convert. They will become reunited through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They will shake off the dust of history, arise and become glorious. They will blossom as a rose and build the New Jerusalem. We will not control that. It will be them awakening, not us attempting to assimilate them into our culture and society. The  Indian Placement Program didn't work because it was not the means by which they are to be found. Pushing our culture on them will only create errors their return is intended to cure. And so the timing and means are critical for this to unfold in accordance with the Lord's plan.

If you were to know for certain exactly who was to fulfill the prophecies, and to visit with them today, you may be profoundly disappointed. Until the time is right, they won't be ready either. They will awaken on time. But until that time, you cannot rouse from slumber those who are not ready to awaken. That it WILL happen is certain. But the time is as important as any other component of the event. 

Do the remnant people even know they are the Lord's and heirs of promises in the Book of Mormon?  Probably not. They, the remnant, are to learn of these things from the gentiles. (2 Nephi 30: 3.) Therefore it is unlikely they will know anything about it until the record of the Book of Mormon is delivered to them by the gentiles. So if they are to learn about these things from the gentiles, the first step will be educational.  Gentiles need to become converted to the beliefs of the Book of Mormon, then bring these correct beliefs to the remnant. The remnant may have a glorious destiny, but not until after first the gentiles who believe in the words take them to the remnant and teach them.

Even if you knew the Hopi were the right people, that does not accomplish what the promises foretell. The remnant must be taught the truth. That will be taught by believing gentiles. We don't have many of those yet. So to deliver a copy of the Book of Mormon to a Hopi and expect that to result in spontaneous combustion producing light, truth and glory is at best a naive notion and at worst absolute foolishness. It won't happen that way. The right people must be brought the right message by a believing gentile, preaching the fullness of the Gospel to them. When that happens, Nephi's prophecy may begin to unfold. We lack qualified gentile ministers at present. They labor under condemnation for not taking the Book of Mormon seriously or remembering the covenant made within it. So the first step is to convert a few gentiles.

Nevertheless, this is an important subject and worth taking time to understand. But with this, as with almost everything else in the Gospel, having it measured correctly and weighed in proportion is the only way to understand. So we proceed step by cautious step to try and dismantle false and corrupt notions, and to assemble the true ones. You must be patient to understand the Lord's plan. And therefore we proceed patiently in this subject, as well.

Patience is more than a virtue. It is critical to participating in the Lord's plan.


  1. "The right people must be brought the right message by a believing gentile, preaching the fullness of the Gospel to them. When that happens, Nephi's prophecy may begin to unfold."

    Interestingly, I know of a Hopi man that converted after reading the Book of Mormon. I also know a few Native Americans from the northern plains that have converted and have become spiritually powerful and very awake people.

    I think that much of the remnant will be found through small and simple means. There are a few truly converted gentiles. They hang on every word from General Conference and read the Book of Mormon, in depth, daily. It was through some of these that my Native American acquaintances found the gospel. I believe as more of us gentiles awaken to our awful situation, more of the remnant will be found until the gentiles will no longer need to be involved in the conversion of the remnant.

  2. To follow-up with Denver’s post, I would mention a few salient thoughts. One of my dear friends is nearly 60 years old and he has spent a lifetime ministering to “his Indians.” When he was a much younger man, he was informed through divine means of his future mission to assist the Lamanites in a meaningful way. This has not yet occurred. He was however told to study intently the Book of Mormon as his primary method of preparation for the future work. Very recently his son of 25 years of age, had a similar divine encounter, resulting in the same assignments. God’s patience in these matters stretches over generations. It’s all about timing and patience. And interestingly, both of these men were given the same preparatory assignment for their work with the Lamanites; study the Book of Mormon intently.

    Another friend who passed away recently had the good fortune to see a magnificent vision of the winding up scenes of this world, three times during his life. His experience is similar to that recorded in Wilford Woodruff’s journal. My friend became a serious gospel student as a result of his experience early in life, amassing and reading some 1500 or so volumes of history and doctrine. The Book of Mormon and the Book of Isaiah became his guides in life. He was another of the few “Gentiles” to really take the scriptures seriously. He managed to read both books of scripyure over 100 times each, and the rest of the books of scripture 50 times each.

    And we are too busy in our lives to wipe the dust from our unused copies of the scriptures. My friend was a very busy man running his own business, serving others, and church service. I’ll bet he couldn’t tell you a single sitcom on television, or give you the latest BYU stats (as so many of our neighbors can do) but he sure knew the scriptures and the teachings of the prophets and apostles. I often wonder what assignments he received upon reaching the other side because he prepared himself so well here?

    His knowledge of, and his compassion towards the Native American’s was admirable. I believe Denver is trying to help the rest of us move forward in this regard.

  3. Hmmm...guess i should have read this post before I posed my questions on the earlier post.

  4. This church has had a large conversion of people in Mexico, Central and South America over the last 40 years or so. I wouldn't be surprised if this is part of the remnant. At least in my mind we have to have a big population of the remnant to fulfill the prophecies of 3 Ne. 16:12-15; 20:14-16; 21:12. But we shall see. It is possible that this prophecy is closer to us than we think. If so, there needs to be large population of the remnant already in place or rapidly so. After listening to Pres. Packer and Elder Holland yesterday in Regional Conference methinks we are in for some interesting times fairly soon.

  5. CCA.... I was in that same regional meeting. My wife and I also noticed interesting comments from President Packer and Elder Holland. I reviewed my notes several times last night (they are now part of my journal) Look at a map of Southern Mexico and Central America... overlay that with current temple locations there. I was surprised that there were so many Temples there.

  6. I read Ronald Walker's paper, "Seeking the Remnant". I was amazed how seriously Joseph and others sought to teach the Lamanites and gather a remnant. Their efforts were inspiring but nothing of long-term significance seemed to have come from it all (as far as I can tell, I may be wrong). I wonder why Joseph tried to push the issue that Denver is now saying has to be in the Lord’s own time. What am I, Joseph or Denver missing?

  7. Joseph tried, as did Brigham. But now we are not even aware of its importance. We're not pushing it because we don't remember it. Joseph pushed because he was aware of it.

    Remember that, had Joseph lived to be 85 years old, he would have seen the Lord's coming; though he was uncertain which coming that would have been. (D&C 130: 14-15.)

    Our efforts matter. But the first step is to gain knowledge so we can do our part. We're a long way from that. We can't control the others nor even contribute to them until we have first prepared. We aren't aware of that need as yet; at least in the way in which we need to be aware. Then we need to act consistent with that awareness and acquire some understanding so we can teach the truth. Right now we're a long way short of that capability. When the truth is taught, people have some difficulty recognizing it and oftentimes will argue against it.

  8. Say what you will. My knowledge comes as a farm boy. No great college or church position. I am a so called Son Of Ammon. I served my mission to the Native American Indians. My life has been studying the Book of Mormon. I have loved Denver's blog !! Many young missionaries went to the Indian's . And when they come home they forgot about them. Many can't even remember their Indian brother and sisters names. But you bring the subject up and they seem to know all about them. Myself and a few others have never failed to go back from the time we left , to continue our missions . shortly after Pres. Kimball died the mission of the Remnant was no more. Soon the missions were done away with , then the churches were closed, and they are still boarded up. As we traveled through the reservations in the north , the people would come out and ask us for Priesthood blessing,and cry there hearts out to us and wonder how to get there children baptized.To me it was like planting a thousand acres of wheat with sweat and labor and then when it become ready to harvest pull up the farm and go with out harvesting the crop. We had thousands of placement students who we all labored so hard to get to grow. with all the foster families help ,time and great effort, and when their children grew of age no one was there to harvest the crop so it just blew to the ground and went to waste. I saw their tears and felt there hearts. I always felt satan had a hand in this , I have been to the Hopi , Sioux ,Shoshoni, Cheyenne, Navajo, Blood, Fox and etc. The Hopi have some unreal ceremonies, so do the other tribes that are so close to our way. Tecumseh , is one that not many studied about , if you knew him he and his many tribes from the east would surprise us all. I believe the Remnant is here , the garden of Eden was here ,the land of liberty is here , the Book of Mormon testifies of this great land . If you want a map it is in the Book of Mormon. I am sorry if I seem blunt but i love these people , they were scatters , forts built up against them ,they were beaten till there was no meaning to life left in them . they were divine and exterminated . I believe Hagoth hauled many south.And even further. There is so much I wish I could say but this is Denver's blog. there ceremonies tell us so much more. There stories of the Christ fascinate one to great extreme's. Thank you Denver for letting me toot my horn ,and as bad as scholars Doctor's and other people want it to be in Central and South America , I won"t stand in your way . SwiftHawk -
    Blood brother of medicine woman , North Stars War Child - Great Great Grand Daughter of Sitting Bull

  9. Let's not forget the possibility of our Polynesian brothers and sisters being part of the remnant. Many Hawaiians and Tongans I have talked to can verbally trace their lineage back to Hagoth. In the minds of these islanders, there is no question about their heritage.

    Of course all of this is just speculation and curiosity until the right time has come for the remnant to "accept" the Book of Mormon. Until then, perhaps our time is best spent accepting the Gospel ourselves (as gentiles).

  10. My understanding is that Brigham had success in Utah converting the local Indians but when Brigham required that they wear white man's nice shirts and ties they couldn't conform to the church standards. Did those Lamanites, as well as the church suffer because Brigham wanted to culturalize as well as convert them? Do we suffer needlessly in the church today because of our culturalization requirements? Is being culturalized into western norms inspired by the Lord or just a cultural bias? The Lord did choose northern European descendants to restore his church through and become its first converts. Does that mean he wanted to use their cultural norms to set the church's standards by? I'm not advocating anything here, just wondering. I do think it is marvelous how being converted to the gospel raises our standards of conduct, which includes dress. However, could have the Indians raised their standards according to their cultural norms and have been accepted by the Lord, if not even adding something to the glory of the church?

  11. After what some Mormons did to the Hopi in getting Peabody and others into the Black Mesa to mine it for the "liver" of the earth, all for a substantial profit, I'd be surprised if any Hopi listen to any Mormon missionaries any time soon. Many scars still remain from what Boyden, Wilkinson and others did.

    Nibley noted:

    "Throughout these explicit prophecies [3 Ne. 16:4, 8-14; 3 Ne. 21:19, 22-24] it is the Gentiles who join: “the Lamanites and those who have become Lamanites,” not the other way around. If we are to be saved we must move in their direction. ... "

    As to our efforts to change their culture to ours, Nibley noted in the same paper:

    "He was soon baptized and became an elder, and we should note that he and Brother Bushman had to go clear to Gallup to find enough water for baptizing. That’s how desolate the land was; there was what they called Jacob’s Well in Oraibi, but the water was poisonous. There was indeed a spring in Hotevila, which gave the place its name. The WPA wanted, by installing a pump, to relieve the women of Polacca from the trouble of going down the long trail to the water and fetching it up again on their heads. This was vigorously opposed by all. Were these people insane to reject such a convenience? Not at all. It was a way of life that your ancestors and mine had practiced for thousands of years since the days of Rebecca at the well. When the U.S. government wanted to install electric lines in Hotevila, the people repeatedly took down the poles. The government officials would put them up again, and the people would take them down again—they actually rejected the blessings of electricity and a ready water supply. I talk about these things to show how different their ways were from ours.

    Since this is Homecoming Week, I may suggest a parallel. All the time my children were growing up, it was a special thrill for all of us to go out in front of the house during Homecoming Week to watch the lighting of the “Y”—the long, zigzag trail of flickering torches creeping up the mountain (a good 1000 feet), dividing and slowly enclosing the giant emblem with mysterious flickering orange flames, until the final glory. It was exciting, strenuous, thoroughly unnecessary, and everybody loved it. How silly, how wasteful, how impractical! Now we just throw a light switch and it’s all done—as convenient and inspiring as lighting a billboard. That is the difference between our cultures. The torches on the mountainside served no practical purpose whatever, but the water trail up the mountain had been an absolute necessity for many centuries; what greater imperative than to preserve the operation just as it is, where an act of drudgery becomes an act of devotion and even fun? Pumps can and do break down."

    It's a fantastic article, in light of the Hopi at least.

  12. There is a great irony in the LDS missions and church education to the Native Americans. Namely, that of correlation. When Lee, Packer and others returned from their missions (to the Native Americans) they had the belief that the Natives just "didn't get the Gospel."

    Daymon Smith has written quite a bit about this in his book and dissertation on the correlation process, so I won't belabor the point, but he stated:

    "...And even then [the Natives] didn’t seem to understand very basic things, like how to properly perform ordinances, how to lay your hands on somebody’s head. These guys returned from that experience in the 1950s, working with Church Education down on the reservations, really quite dismayed by the prospects of rapid Church growth outside of white Utah."

    Their dismay then rapidly turned into the church correlation process which some argue (myself included) led to a further devolution of the use of doctrine (and which kinds, I might add) in the church.

    (I've linked Daymon's 4-part interview over at Mormon Stories for those who want to listen. It's long, but WELL worth your time.)

  13. Just maybe the remnant will come to the mountains to join their brothers, Ephraim.

    I thought this Iroquios prophecy very interesting in light of what you are talking about, Denver:

    This topic is fascinating to me.

  14. Donald,
    Can you comment as to what exactly was said by President Packer and Elder Holland at the regional meeting.

  15. Anon of 9:34,

    The thought that converts should change to fit our culture is horrendously erroneous!

    What could be more beautiful then a room filled with dark-skinned people wearing their flowerly muumuus and lava lavas? Oh, and yes, flip-flops! Do we think the Savior will be wearing a white shirt and tie when he comes?

    I don't mean to sound rude. I just am afraid that we too often think our way is the correct/right way.

  16. No matter who we are or what our culture is, when we are converted, truly converted, we have to throw off the false traditions of our fathers to truly embrace the gospel.

    When my ancesters came into the fold, they had to learn new languges, change the way they dressed, and even change their "natural man" natures in many cases to be a part of God's kingdom. They gave up comfortable and good, to embrace that which was best.

    The correct/right way is the Lord's way. Sometimes we have give up past traditions to fully embrace the gospel. This has not been the case with some cultures.

  17. Here is a link to the Regional Conference:


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