Tuesday, July 6, 2010

1 Nephi 14: 3-4

"And that great pit, which hath been digged for them by that great and abominable church, which was founded by the devil and his children, that he might lead away the souls of men down to hell—yea, that great pit which hath been digged for the destruction of men shall be filled by those who digged it, unto their utter destruction, saith the Lamb of God; not the destruction of the soul, save it be the casting of it into that hell which hath no end.  For behold, this is according to the captivity of the devil, and also according to the justice of God, upon all those who will work wickedness and abomination before him."
Now I wish Nephi would only prophecy smooth things to us. (Isa. 30: 10.) But once again here we find him being negative. He needs to repent or he's going to lose readers.
The "great pit" is an interesting symbol. Remember when the brothers sought to kill Joseph? Before they sold him into slavery, they put him into a pit in which there was no water. (Gen. 37: 23-24.) They stripped him of his sacred garment - not of "many colors" but of "sacred markings." Having stripped him of the garment that belonged to the heir, and assured him of his exaltation, they cast him into a pit without water. He descended, as the damned, into the waterless pit. This pit symbolizes the damned souls in spirit prison who, without deliverance from the waters of baptism, are left to suffer. (See Zech. 9: 12.) Joseph's pit without water is a reminder of how the ordinances that pass us through the water are the means of deliverance. (Hence the Red Sea and rebirth of Israel as they emerged from Egypt.) Christ also alluded to this in His parable of Lazarus, when the torment could only be cooled by covenantal water. (Luke 16: 24.)
Well the abominable church offers ordinances, but they leave people in a pit, without redemption and in need of authoritative washing to cleanse from sin. The devil and his children are the founders of this great and abominable order. They seek to cheat mankind of salvation. If they can cause even a little error that robs power from the ordinances performed, they can keep mankind captive. For death and hell will claim all those who have not been redeemed from the awful pit.

How unkind would it be to fail to warn people of this risk they face? How unkind would it be to allow them to proceed into the afterlife unprepared, uncleansed, and unredeemed? Which would be better, to stay silent while the idolatry of the Latter-day Saints robs them of redemption, or to speak up and warn? Men and institutions will never redeem a man. Idolizing an institution will damn every participant. Idolizing men will damn those false religionists. In the Latter-day Saint community we have two groups: Those who are humble and follow Christ, but who are taught by the precepts of men and err. (2 Nephi 28: 14.)  And the rest are those who follow men and worship the institution and proclaim "All is well" with their faith. For the first group there is hope, so long as they are able to find the truth. (D&C 123: 12.)  For the rest, they will become heirs of this prophecy of Nephi's, all the while assuring one another that the odds are they are going to be exalted.
The goal in every generation is to become Zion. To do that you must have a return of a Patriarchal head, as in Enoch's day or in Melchizedek's day, wherein they organized again after the pattern of heaven. A family. One. Where all things are in common because there is a loving environment where all are of equal worth. No one aspires to be a leader, but all become sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, husbands and wives where the care of all is as natural as family affection for one another.
The devil and his children seek to fragment, to divide, and to keep mankind from organizing into a family where the hearts of fathers are with the children and the hearts of children are toward their fathers. When you divide up into separate clans or divided families, while still paying tribute to the honored position of "family life" among the divided clans and families, you still have only a form of godliness without any power. This is the goal of the devil. It will prevent Zion from ever being brought again. It will leave people unorganized and unprepared to assume a place in the government of God, which is His eternal and singular extended family, where all are one.
The references to the "hell that hath no end" is that same play on words that is defined in D&C 19: 5-12.  It is a place of torment, where people suffer as in the Telestial Kingdom, or the world in which you presently reside (to paraphrase the Endowment). How long will people endure such an experience? Until they repent.  (D&C 76: 99-101.) What if they do not repent? They will suffer, worlds without end. (D&C 76: 109-112.)
All of this according to "the justice of God."
Notice that people arrive here because of the "abominable church" that will always be ready to preach to you false, vain and foolish doctrines. They will offer anything to distract you and keep you from seeing the Lord "bring again Zion." They will use the words of Zion to preach a false faith. They are "abominable" because their false teachings are clothed in the vocabulary of truth.
At that day even the very elect will be the targets of deception. Those claiming falsely to be "prophets" will arise and lead away many. They will show great wonders, spacious and glorious buildings, feats of charity and good will. But the elect will not be deceived, though they may be troubled. (JS-M 1: 22-25.) They will not be deceived because they treasure up His words. They know His voice, recognize when it speaks, and will use it to keep them from deception. They will have entertained angels, who will have gathered them, and will be waiting for His return. (JS-M 1: 37.)
Now, indeed, is the great day of Satan's power; who rules from the rivers to the ends of the earth and there are none to molest him or make him afraid. We look for the day when, again, a voice will cry out in the wilderness saying to walk in the strait path of the Lord. It would be interesting if that should happen to see who would recognize it, and who would want to know instead "by what authority" such a voice cries out.
Well, there's more to the verse than this. Ask yourself:
-Why is it a "great pit which hath been digged for the destruction of men?"
-Who is it that "shall fill" it?
-What does "utter destruction" mean?
-What does the phrase "not the destruction of the soul, save it be the casting of it into that hell which hath no end" refer to?
-Why is this "according to the captivity of the devil?"
-Why is this "also according to the justice of God, upon all those who will work wickedness and abomination before him?"
It is an interesting insight into the patience of God, the eternal purposes of God, and the endless, even "worlds without end" which will be provided for all those who will not repent. What a vast, eternal work God has set about to accomplish!  Imagine bringing to pass the immortality and eternal life of man! What an endless process such a work may entail! Why would anyone procrastinate the day of their repentance?


  1. How do you come up with They stripped him of his sacred garment - not of "many colors" but of "sacred markings."
    from the scriptural reference? Gen. 37:23=24

  2. Will the gentiles of this generation witness His deeds, works, and power--as those who were in the Americas or in Judea? Seems as if an early verse covered suggested as much and that the veil would be rent.

    If someone desires to escape the pit, Does Christ part the veil to invite us to enter His presence, or must a person's faith alone part the veil and enable Him to ascend out of the pit? Is there help for those encumbered by stumbling blocks and error?

    When one wishes to speak with the Lord through the veil, does he need to be presented to the Lord by the Holy Ghost, or another, or can he present himself alone at the veil? Is humble prayer sufficient, or is their a greater process that must be observed, similar to what you eluded to in Beloved Enos?

    How does a return to a Patriarchal head take place? Is it what happens through the veil after receiving the Second Comforter? From prior discussion I am uncertain who our Patriarchal head is, and does he have family here on earth that are sealed to Him or just in heaven?

    Is there such a family that has all things in common upon the earth today? Or, is this a family that only resides in heaven? Is it vain to pray and seek to be a part of such a family now or to ask our immediate and extended families to seek to be such a family?

    If the LDS church is part of the abominable church, then would that not subject a person and his family to further error--if they remained active?

    If such a one were to cry out in the wilderness, can we expect that the Spirit of the Lord will confirm the truthfulness of such a messenger for those who have treasured up words of Eternal Life throughout a lifetime; and who have recognized His voice in their daily walk; and who have served one another according to His spirit, and who have also entertained angels. Words alone would not be all the Lord would send would it, or would he also send the His comforter to attend those words--lest even the elect be deceived?

  3. Denver, I read Gen. 37:23-24 and it says "coat of many colors". Can you please clue us in as to how you got "sacred markings". Are there other cross references that you used to put two and two together? Did you come to the conclusion through the voice of the Spirit? Are they words of another that have become your own? I am baffled. Hope you respond. thanks.

  4. How do you tell the difference between a true Prophet & a false Prophet? For even false prophets often claim divine authority.

    Zion seems so far away as we watch most marriages & families slowly disintegrate in the Church today.

    For we must create Zion in our own marrige & family & home before we will ever be able to join with others to create a larger Zion.

  5. Here's a blog post talking about "marks" not "colors" on Joseph's coat. http://www.templestudy.com/2008/03/24/josephs-coat-of-many-marks/

  6. This post, like no other has affected me. I feel overcome by the things which must unavoidably come to pass, because of the great wickedness of the children of men. In essence, you have shown us the destruction of our people... how a great many of them will fall into the pit which has been prepared by Satan himself. These are our brothers, our sisters, our children! My heart aches and my tears flow at the thought of the endless torment that awaits those who are ensnared in the pit.

    Oh Holy Father! My soul is harrowed up with affliction as I picture those so close to me being bound by the chains of hell. The burden of this knowledge is heavy, and I feel so lonely. Wilt thou Comfort me and all the others who are bearing such painful loads? What must I do that I may be an instrument in thy Hands to bring as many who will hear thy Voice and follow thy Words, that they may escape the captivity of the devil? Grant unto me strength that I may bear these afflictions with patience. Help me understand the greatness of the Plan, that I might not get swept away in despair at the destruction of my brethren. Guide me to thy Son, dear Father, and help me to come thee, through Him. In His sacred name I pray, even Jesus Christ, my Savior, Amen.

    PS - Comment moderator: I'm sorry to have broken out in prayer there, but I couldn't help it. Yes, it is personal, but I KNOW that others are feeling the emotions of coming to realize the terrible situation we are in and concern for our family and friends. My hope is by putting this up, I will be able to join in united prayer for our loved ones. If you feel it is inappropriate, I am fine with you not posting it. You can put me up as Anonymous if you'd like. Thanks.


  7. "The idea of a garment of many colors is an invention. If you look in your Bible every time it mentions many colors the word colors (even in the commentary) is in italics [the word in italics is actually many] because it is put in there by modern editors. It’s found in no ancient source. It’s not a garment of many colors at all. A garment of certain marks is the term that’s used here. We’ll see what it is in a second. 'This garment had belonged to Abraham, and it already had a long history.' It’s history was lengthy because it went back to the Garden of Eden, you see. That’s the garment; it’s the only one. Just as we treat the story of Cain and Abel, we trivialize this. We say, 'Joseph was the youngest kid, so his father favored him and gave him a pretty garment of many colors.' There is no mention in any ancient source of a garment of many colors. That’s an invention of modern editors trying to explain it. But here it was the garment he gave him. It was the garment of the priesthood. No wonder they were jealous of him, they being the elder brothers and he the younger in the patriarchal line coming down from Abraham. This garment had belonged to Abraham and had come down to Joseph instead of to the other brethren."

    From: Hugh Nibley, Teachings of the Book of Mormon, vol. 3, 51-52.

  8. Doug,

    Thank you for your prayer. Your family and friends are fortunate you are earnestly on this path. If the sons of Mosiah could assist in redeeming many of the Lamanites, perhaps we may overcome our stumbling blocks and errors to yet do a greater work among the children of men. Or, we could smooth the way by calling Denver to repentance--that all might yet be well in Zion:)


  9. Denver, in your previous writings you talk about the Patriarch of the Church and how the office is not utilized (or something to that affect).

    How does the office of Patriarch of the Church fit into the conversation?

    Also, I didn't catch it at first, but your line at the end of the post "even 'worlds without end' which will be provided for all those who will not repent." Is this related to what you've wrote previously about in the "1st 3 Words" paper?

  10. Isn't this the same "goodly raiment" that Rebekah placed on Jacob, designating him to be the birthright son so that he was properly dressed when he went in to be blessed by Isaac....It does have a very interesting history doesn't it?

  11. "Which would be better, to stay silent while the idolatry of the Latter-day Saints robs them of redemption, or to speak up and warn?"

    Well, President Spencer W. Kimball did speak up. His First Presidency message, The False Gods We Worship (June 1976 Ensign) is worth re-reading periodically.

    "In spite of our delight in defining ourselves as modern, and our tendency to think we possess a sophistication that no people in the past ever had—in spite of these things, we are, on the whole, an idolatrous people—a condition most repugnant to the Lord." (Emphasis added.)

    Of course as Hugh Nibley sadly observed (in Approaching Zion) "[W]e say, The Prophet! The Prophet! We have got us a Prophet! But when he speaks on the most solemn occasion, the bicentennial of the nation, with the deepest fervor and conviction about the conditions of the time and the course we must take, we give his remarks the instant deep-freeze."

  12. Thanks JDS, I probably got a little too into the emotions of the moment. Guess that happens when I keep it bottled up inside. But like I've said before, this putting off the natural man business smarts sometimes. It's a painful process to have to let go of (UN)beliefs I've held all my life. Thanks for the support.


  13. I've had so many thoughts this last week as I've read this blog. I just have to express a few of them.

    First, in response to a question someone asked about whether or not Jesus was married - yes, yes He was! He fulfilled all righteousness and was our exemplar in all things. He, who was without sin, was even baptized because it was a necessary ordinance. Jesus certainly fulfilled this righteous and necessary requirement to enter the Celestial Kingdom.

    As to the pleas and angst as to how to best help our families - in my mind the only way I know is to receive the 2nd Comforter myself. We are told that if we do, we will be instruments in bringing thousands to Christ. I would certainly think that some of those would be family members.

    Someone asked how to tell the difference between false and true prophets and if the Spirit would manifest. Yes, yes the Spirit will manifest to us, as in all things, the truth of all things. We will hear and recognize our Savior's voice in their words, just as we have recognized truth as we read The 2nd Comforter and just as we recognize truth from error in our daily walk.

    It was asked if we could try and live Zion now with our families. I think Denver mentioned, awhile back, that it is useless for us to try and "establish Zion" because the Lord will bring it. The best way I've reconciled being a Zion person and not living in a Zion society, at the present, is to try and live it in my heart. To try and always think of everything as the Lords - my time, talents, everything I possess as the Lord's and be ever ready to lend, share, leave and give away all I have. (How else do we keep all of our Temple Covenants at the present?)

    Now, to my turmoil. When I read Denver's books, I am full of hope and feel great happiness and desire. When, however, I read the blog, I often feel confused at what I should do, what I should say, what I should study. And I miss the joy and desire and have actually, several times, felt quite hopeless about myself and that I really cannot ever be what i need to be. I've thought and continue to think about why I have these feelings. I can't stand the thought of not reading the posts because I want to learn and because I believe they are filled with truth and they are easy for me to believe. I don't know why I feel this way. Also, I can't stand the thought of being one of the rigid, unteachable and blind adults Denver refers to - I want to be as a child in my willingness to believe and be taught.

    Those are just some of my thoughts and turmoils. Does anyone else feel this way?

  14. In response to Ic.
    I can relate exactly to what you're describing. These questions seem to allow us greater opportunity to examine ourselves, and our beliefs. Discomfort comes when we're not quite aligned. I think that is good, it helps direct our focus, ask and learn. Just my thoughts. JM

  15. JM
    I think you must be right. thanks for clarifying it in such a simple way. I'll press forward.


What Say You?