Tuesday, April 15, 2014

More Comments from Readers – Part XVI

Here are more comments, questions and criticisms that have been sent in from readers of our blog, along with our responses. 
    Comment #1: “There is the possibility that the mother of Jacob and Joseph was not Sariah, but a plural wife of Lehi. There were colonies of Jews along the frankincense trail, and it is not unthinkable that a few from these colonies joined in with Lehi and his group. At least to me” George W.
    Response: I suppose one could speculate on any number of ideas when there is no way to check their veracity.
Regarding this, however, Nephi tells us exactly who Jacob and Joseph’s mother was when he wrote: “Now my father, Lehi, had said many things unto them, and also unto the sons of Ishmael; but, behold, they did breathe out much threatenings against anyone that should speak for me; and my parents being stricken in years, and having suffered much grief because of their children, they were brought down, yea, even upon their sick-beds. Because of their grief and much sorrow, and the iniquity of my brethren, they were brought near even to be carried out of this time to meet their God; yea, their grey hairs were about to be brought down to lie low in the dust; yea, even they were near to be cast with sorrow into a watery grave. And Jacob and Joseph also, being young, having need of much nourishment, were grieved because of the afflictions of their mother” (1 Nephi 18:17-19, italics mine).
    Personally, I believe in the accuracy and honesty of the original writers, believing they would have mentioned somewhere something so important as Lehi, Ishmael, or Nephi, etc., having more than one wife. In fact, Jacob (Lehi’s son) was so adamantly opposed to this practice, that he stated to the Nephites: “Wherefore, I the Lord God will not suffer that this people shall do like unto them of old. Wherefore, my brethren, hear me, and hearken to the word of the Lord: For there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife; and concubines he shall have none” (Jacob 1:26-27, italics mine). 
Later, he added, “Behold, the Lamanites your brethren, whom ye hate because of their filthiness and the cursing which hath come upon their skins, are more righteous than you; for they have not forgotten the commandment of the Lord, which was given unto our father -- that they should have save it were one wife, and concubines they should have none, and there should not be whoredoms committed among them” (Jacob 3:5, italics mine). It would appear from Jacob’s comment, that Lehi was given a commandment that his community should have only one wife.
    Comment #2: “The best source for information to IDENTIFY true Israel today is the Second Book of Commandments” George W.
    The School of the Prophets, to which you refer, was founded in March 1982 by Robert C. Crossfield, as a group officially called the United Order, but sometimes referred to as the Restorers. They did not claim to be a church, but a fundamentalist movement within the LDS Church. Their purpose was simply stated: “The School of the Prophets is to retain the true doctrines and power of revelation until the church is cleansed, so that those who prepare themselves can come to the School and prepare for the establishment of Zion after the present nations are destroyed by the Lord's judgments.” 
    Their belief is that the LDS Church “has now become polluted as prophesied in the Book of Mormon, but that the time will shortly come when it will be cleansed by power. This will happen when the present nations collapse, and when Zion and its laws are reestablished and there is a gathering to a New Jerusalem in Missouri” and they “advise all members to not sustain the present leadership, but to ask for a trial to settle the controversies over them, as explained in D&C 107:81-84, etc.” Crossfield, who was born in 1929 near Alberta, Canada, claimed numerous revelations, the first in 1961 in which he claimed the Lord told him, “I have chosen thee to be a prophet unto this people," and another where he was told to “take up where My servant Joseph [Smith] left off.”
    I include all of this merely to lay the groundwork as to who is involved, and the purpose of such involvement, in the work you cited. Crossfield’s vociferous criticisms of the Church and Church leaders continued until he was finally excommunicated in 1972.  Three years later he claimed to have received a revelation that stated: “The whole of My church called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints hath gone out of the way and there are but few that doeth good and humbleth themselves before me.”
In 1980 Crossfield moved to the United States and two years later established his own “School of the Prophets,” which was presided over by a President and six counselors, with Ron and Dan Lafferty (left at their court hearing August 21, 1984) serving as counselors in a local Provo, School of the Prophets in 1984. A united order was started in 1988 and two years later newer revelations were published along with the original Book of Onias as The Second Book of Commandments—the Doctrine and Covenants is considered the "First Book of Commandments.")
    Crossfield’s rather outlandish assertions eventually led to his estrangement from the Short Creek fundamentalists, and he led a small group of followers to Salem, Utah, where they maintained their own endowment house and group activities until 1999.  Their current location is undisclosed.
    While it is true that a detailed list of Israel tribes, their dispersement and present locations is given, it is strictly Crossfield’s ideas. There is enough historical and Jewish information available to arrive at conclusions such as his, but to suggest that his writings contain “the best source for information to identify true Israel today” is beyond the reach of his work. Actually, if you want to know more on this subject, I would recommend you study the numerous works of ancient Jewish and other writers. No doubt none are completely correct, but taken as a whole, much can be gleaned from them to arrive at a fairly logical and pretty accurate picture.
There are ancient Greek and Roman writings, the sages in rabbinic literature, the Annals of Ulster (left) and Annals of the Four Masters, the latter two going back to about 444 A.D., of which many claim are the only reliable historical works from 1000 A.D. onwards. There is the Book of Tephi, of Teia Tephi, said to have been the daughter (Tender Twig) of the king of Jerusalem (the Cedar) whom Jeremiah went forth to plant in Ireland after the rooting-out and destruction of Zedekiah around just after 600 B.C. There is “The 10 Lost Tribes of Israel,” and the “Simple Biblical Clues for Finding the Lost 10 Tribes of Israel,” that are particularly interesting.
In I Maccabees 12:20-21 it is claimed that a letter from Areus, king of the Spartans (Greece) to Onias, the high priest, that a document was discovered concerning the Spartans and Jews as being brothers, both of the race of Abraham. Flavius Josephus, known as Joseph ben Matityahu in Hebrew, 1st century A.D., (The Jewish War, Jewish Antiquities), also records this letter, and there is much written much about the tribe of Dan and its connection to the Merovingian royalty of Europe. Flavius also wrote (Antiquities Book XI, Ch. 5, Sec. 2) concerning the mysterious presence of the lost tribes: “The entire body of the people of Israel remained in that country, wherefore there are but two tribes in Asia and Europe subject to the Romans, while the ten tribes are beyond Euphrates till now, and are an immense multitude, and not to be estimated by numbers” (italics mine).
    There is also the “Legends of the Lost Tribes,” which identifies ancient Israel with 13 communities spanning the entire globe: including the Samaritans in Israel, the Ibos in Nigeria, the Bene Israel in India, the Rastafarians of Jamaica, the Israelitas in Peru, the Karaites in Poland and Lithuania, descendants of Crypto-Jews in Dallas, and others. The concluding chapter of the series states: “The Lost Tribes were so lost that you can find them anywhere.”
The dispersion of the Jewish People to the four corners of the globe is a completely unique phenomenon in human history. Jews have wandered and settled in almost every land on earth, while managing to maintain their distinct national identity. Immediately after Deuteronomy 28:64 (“And God shall scatter you among all the peoples from one end of the earth to the other…”), the prophesy continues—“Among those nations you shall find no repose, not a foot of ground to stand upon, for there the Lord will give you an anguished heart and wasted eyes and a dismayed spirit” (Deuteronomy 28:65). Leschzinsky wrote in The Jewish Dispersion, “The Jewish People) are dispersed throughout over 100 lands on all five continents.” In Daniel 9:7, we are told that Israel was both “near” and “far off,” suggesting their dispersement even then was well underway in various lands, near and distant. 
    Comment #3: “I appreciate your writings Del. You should consider also putting this Nephicode.com blog on a Nephicode facebook page” George W. 
    Response: Many have suggested this over the past several months. Perhaps one of these days we will get around to it.

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