|Maggid ben Yoseif / Jerusalem Torah Voice in Exile|
Monday, March 1, 2010
... according to the manner of Moses
by Maggid ben Yoseif / credentials
© 2010 Jerusalem Torah Voice
Joseph Smith's simple search for faith has borne much fruit, but I don't think he always used organic fertilizer, according to the manner of Moses. A little pruning according to the manner of Moses could prepare the Mormon community to become a legitimate part of the Israel of Grandfather.
Thanks to the inspired story divined by Joseph Smith in which millions have believed, the LDS community's focus can be easily redirected to the House of Joseph among Native Americans. Many spiritual forerunners already have this awakening. With a few small adjustments and a refocus on Torah study, Joseph Smith's faith can bring forth fruit "kosher" according to the manner of Moses.
The LDS have done a lot of things right, especially in terms of family focus and values which is typically evident between fathers and children. In fact, I have never felt more home away from a Native lodge than in Mormon homes. Hospitality rivals even that of the Middle East. And to one recently made an orphan, more accustomed to the hospitality of the forest, that has been noted, felt, assimilated and appreciated.
Book of Abraham was hoax
However, Joseph Smith's divination of the Book of Mormon as well as his other works at the core of the Mormon faith, contradicts the Prophets and add to the Torah of Moses. Consequently, the Doctrine and Covenants of the LDS Church founded around Smith's prophesies and doctrinal insights, also depart from Torah. And the credibility issues with Smith personally include a later translation he offered of a funerary text from the Egyptian Book of the Dead as his "Book of Abraham." He also was arrested for using the same "seer stone" he reportedly used to divine the Book of Mormon to earlier divine the location of hidden treasure for money.
If he was not a false prophet outright, indicated by his adding to the Torah of Moses, Smith impresses as one who felt he needed a platform to justify and/or conceal the divination of a book in his spirit. The plates were always present but never seen. Smith did allow some of the 11 witnesses to pick them up bundled inside of a tablecloth or inside of a crate. But their witness of engravings on the plates, stated in the forward of the Book of Mormon, actually came in the form of "visions." None physically saw or held the plates to turn them over and examine them. According to the testimony of scribes, Smith would dictate the English words divined with his "seer" stone. The plates were not present.
An olive branch full of questions
Rather than focus on the past and rehash Smith's history, credibility, and further pick apart his book, I offer instead an olive branch. Where can the LDS Church go from here to return to the wellspring of Torah and the "everlasting laws" binding upon all who would be called "Ephraim," or any tribe of Israel? Should the presumed Aaronic priesthood search for the true sons of Zadok? How can the millions of LDS who are being drawn toward the House of Joseph in these Last Days come again under the authority and direction of Jerusalem? What is the LDS responsibility toward Native Americans who have reclaimed their spiritual sovereignty? How can LDS stakes begin immediately accommodating this move of the Spirit? This is the dialogue for LDS leaders to address, but necessary to "legitimize" the faith of LDS l'yoseif eytz Ephraim v'col Beit Yisrael chavero (for Joseph the stick of Ephraim and all the House of Israel his companions).
This leads to a sober realization. Unless the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and its offshoots experiences a revival toward Torah faith, I would question whether Mormons have the right to claim the name, "Ephraim" much less the Aaronic priesthood. Ephraim is the largest of the Tribes of Israel who will return to their ancestral homeland, currently sought as a Palestinian state. Any who would be called Ephraim, according to the terms of the Torah itself, must consider the Torah as "everlasting commands throughout your generations." And the legitimate Aaronic priesthood, that of the sons of Zadok, may soon arise from the ranks of Native American elders who have an unusual incidence and concentration of the extra-Y chromosome, tagging them as blood descendants of Aaron.
Torah foundation needed
As a maggid/mochiah I can neither endorse nor embrace the theology or Christology in this purported 1,000-year diary of Nephi (NEH-FEE) and his descendants, which hints strongly that its origin was through divination. Further, the Doctrine and Covenants of the LDS Church tragically contradict the "everlasting commands" of the Torah commanded for all, for all-time, who would own the names Ephraim or M'nashe or any other tribe of Israel.
My teachers and many LDS friends encountered do not agree with my conclusions and in fact are a little distraught over them. But I promised that I would remain open to differences of opinion that address the Torah precepts on which my arguments have been based. Also, if there are LDS who operate blogs and would invite a dialogue, I would be happy to contribute a more detailed explanation of any of my views.
Revisit the covenant
It is especially important to revisit the covenant Grandfather has with the children of Israel. If we are Native American Joes descended from Israelite East M'nashe, we remain in covenant. Unlike our brother Joes exiled later to Assyria who were removed from covenant, Native Americans Joes would have no need of the renewal of covenant offered by Jesus. The terms of the original covenant sealed at Sinai still apply, as they still apply to the House of Judah. Judah at least calls these terms to mind and studies the entire contract throughout the year. Ephraim, on the other hand REQUIRES a renewal of covenant, the context of which -- as it applies to Israel -- can only be understood in an Orthodox Passover Seder according to the manner of Moses.
A renewed covenant Torah-based revival would restore the last day of Succot (Tabernacles) -- when the Torah becomes a dance partner for all in the synagogues -- as the birth of the Torah Made Flesh and the miraculous light of Hanukah as his conception. But to truly understand the Covenant, the "body and blood of Jesus" must be explained as it was by Jesus at his last Passover Seder as the "Book of the Covenant" and the "Blood of the Covenant" it mirrors at Sinai.
Continuity of prophetic message survives New Testament redaction
Given the prophetic dimension of the moon, its symbolism to our mother, Rachel, and the covenant established at a new moon between the House of Joseph and the House of Judah at the last meeting of David and Jonathan, Smith's divination could have been much more imaginative. It omits many important details pertaining to the reunion of the two houses. It mentions the moon only at an eclipse signaling the death of "Messiah," half way around the world in Jerusalem. The fact that he capitalizes "messiah" (which was earlier the English word "Christ," reveals the white undergarments of Christian pre-supposition. The Greek christos and the Hebrew moshiah (both meaning someone who is "anointed") may have been known to Nephites, but Smith divined their English equivalents as God! He makes the same mistake made by the New Testament redactors, the Byzantines who monkeyed with the manuscripts chosen by Constantine and his inner court composed of his wife, his conspirator in raiding the libraries in Alexandria, and the forger, Euseubius.
Rather than making the Book of Mormon a foundation or the New Testament a foundation, the Foundation of the Torah and the Prophets is proper to arrive at the Truth contained in either or both, especially when the autographs are reportedly "nowhere to be found."
Infancy prophesies about Jesus explain Hosea 1
The Torah and the Prophets bypass all of the Christology and despite Constantine and his Byzantine conscripts best efforts, find the shoot of continuity within the maze of 3,600 scrolls and fragments of the New Testament, in the simple prophecies about Jesus before his birth and at his infancy. Possibly this is because the redactors of the New Testament did not know enough End Times prophecy to discern the Return of the House of Joseph to be reunited with the House of Judah as fitting the Gospel declared by Jesus himself, "the Restoration of the Kingdom to Israel." But anyone who will consider the cry of "remembrance of mercy for His People Israel" in the infancy prophesies of Luke 1-2, with Hosea's judgments in Chapter One, that pertain not at all to the House of Judah, will find that long-obscured but always there continuity. The most startling discovery may be that the covenant Jesus came to renew with the assimilation of Israel, extended by Paul to "whosoever will among the Gentiles" never had anything to do with original sin.
Smith's later "revelations" which became the "foundation" for the LDS' revered Doctrine and Covenants, while aiming at a lofty goal, also never had a chance because of the wrong foundation and a priesthood out of context.
Priesthoods, inheritances defined by Torah
Here Smith has done much damage to a century of good Joes. The good Mormon public, whose family focus is to be applauded and whose persecution has its own reward, know not how to be turned to the heart of their fathers nor turn their hearts to their fathers. This is because in instituting the priesthood Smith is said to have received from John the Baptist (Elijah), that would turn the hearts of fathers to children and children to fathers, Smith forgot to remember something about the context of that priesthood which was a warning not to forget the very something he forgot: The Torah.
The Torah and the Torah alone according to the manner of Moses should define the priesthood for a family of Israel. And the Torah which does define the mission and message of this End-Times Elijah is the Torah of "my servant Moses which I gave him on Mount Horeb together with the statutes and the judgments.." If this is the Torah to accompany the restoration of the Zadokite priesthood, it hasn't changed a yad or a taggin.
Priests without priestly manuals
At the same time, Smith may have had the right idea by applying the priesthood authority in the family structure, lending the spiritual resources of the community to individual families. Certainly it was the intent of Grandfather to make Israel a nation of kings and priests! And before a blessing was effective, it had to be heartfelt. What better way of putting blessings on the congregants than letting them take the priesthood home? But a priest without a priestly manual -- Torah -- is simply not a priest of Israel.
It is not inconsistent with Scripture to advocate another and much larger inheritance for the House of Joseph, considering this house already would define the Rov or majority population at least in the midst of the land of Israel. (Genesis 48:16) The possibility that the Native Joes may fulfill the prophecy of a family of Joseph dwelling apart (Genesis 49:26 and Deuteronomy 33:16), also lends credence to another homeland for the House of Joseph. But the prophecy allegedly giving this land to the descendants of Nephi adds to the Torah of Moses, against which a strict admonition is given in the Torah itself.
Torah lifestyle protects from familiar spirits
The Book of Mormon was divined. Our father, Joseph, in Egypt had a special cup by which he divined. But when Grandfather gave us the Torah, Grandfather closed this door for all children of Israel who would come under his Covenant. The enchantments, astrological signs and readings, channeling, matrixing, and all of these other devices are real. They work. BUT, they are doors that are supposed to be closed to the children of Israel -- and that includes Native American M'nashe and when renewed to covenant, that includes Ephraim. Grandfather expects us to get our knowledge, insights and direction from Grandfather. Grandfather's way is to give us dreams and visions Grandfather imparts, or in carefully orchestrated ceremonies that guard against these spirits. We can be around witches and wizards and soothsayers and sorcerers and prognosticators -- and some shaman -- who may be able to read us like books. This is because they communicate in an unseen realm with spirits who know things about us ... familiar spirits, about which Grandfather warns. Because LDS have followed a leader who practiced divination, all LDS must be aware of their vulnerability to these spirits. The best protection against familiar spirits, is to avoid giving them dominion by avoiding the things and activities the Torah defines as "unclean." This is because familiar spirits are part of the "unclean" and "profane" realm which Moses distinguished from the realm of "clean" and "holy."
The message of the spirits in the Book of Mormon
Since Ethan Smith's "View of the Hebrews" was published about eight years before the Book of Mormon was divined and published, it is possible that "spirits" filled in some details in the Book of Mormon that could be true. For instance, Ethan Smith theorized a link between Native Americans and Hebrews but the Book of Mormon suggests the link to the House of Joseph specifically. It is also likely that there are as many untruths, if these spirits were from the unclean realm. I was particularly disturbed by the "black-white" contrasts the book draws and its sometimes subtle and subconscious, sometimes blatant, yet always evident influence -- racial discrimination among too many LDS.
A divined work, the Book of Mormon has no relevance to Native American' history or spirituality unless and until the plates are found, turned over to Native scholars and the Native translation agrees with the divined account. One of the biggest tests of the genuineness of the translation is the genuineness of Joseph Smith to the Native community. His failure to get the plates into the hands of the Haudenosaunee fails this test and miserably and disastrously so.
Native-Settler Wars were brother fighting brother
More than a century of European immigrant-Native wars could have been avoided had the European settlers sprinkled with Ephraim been their brother’s keeper instead of the people he was “destined” to destroy and displace. Had the European immigrants known the Natives were this “still-in-covenant” family of M’nashe, they may not have been too quick to force Christianity in their midst and could have learned centuries earlier from these indigenous peoples who are the only family of Joseph remaining in covenant with Grandfather without a renewal of covenant.
But the pride, arrogance and feeling of superiority promulgated by the Mormon leadership and all of the Christian church for that matter when it came to “Indians,” instead sought to kill Native spirituality by forcing Jesus into us. Ironically, the church has attempted the same in its misguided missions to Jews, who also remain in Covenant.
A global Book of Mormon theme war
In their defense, the early followers of Joseph Smith were themselves persecuted and a persecuted people has difficulty being a light anywhere. That might excuse 10 years of silence. What about the rest of the time from the publishing of the book in 1830?
The fact that the Book of Mormon is divined means it contains a spiritual message from some source. That message itself, simply because it has endured, cannot be dismissed in these Last Days. If nothing else, the book points to the tragedy and futility of brothers fighting brothers. The Southeast Asian Nations and virtually all of the nations comprising the ancient southern Chinese trade routes, were the lands of exile for the vast majority of discovenanted M'nashe who migrated east out of Asia Minor. The wars fought against Japan, Korea and Vietnam by European Assimilated Ephraim is the Book of Mormon on a global scale. Its message today is the example of what happens and what will happen again if brothers continue to fight brothers. Only one family will be left standing. We cannot expect Grandfather to allow this to happen to mankind -- the chiefest of his Creation.
A call for Torah revival
The preponderance of evidence dismisses the Book of Moses and the Book of Abraham and all of the doctrines that came forth to the LDS Community from these bogus works. Doubt is also placed on the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants without a Torah foundation, Torah congruity and the Torah context to the Aaronic priesthood. This means the only truths left in the LDS Church are Jesus, the people themselves and their close family and community ties.
Fortunately, living in community is the only pre-requisite for a Torah-based community to survive. If the members of the community all agree and work toward the goal of living Torah "in common," -- not as a religion but as a lifestyle -- revival can happen more quickly than could be imagined.
Re-examine Smith's teachings with spectacles of Torah
The revival should begin at the top with LDS leadership, who should immediately begin comparing all of Joseph Smith's teachings with the Torah; endorsing that which agrees and rejecting that which does not. LDS stakes should immediately begin teaching the weekly Torah portion according to the schedule on Jewish calendars. Part of the reconciliation between the houses of Judah and Israel mandates that we be on the same page in the Torah. Those stakes who accommodate the study of Torah will be blessed of Creator. But to those stakes who deny the people their Torah foundation and understanding as legitimate Ephraimites, our advice at this late hour is "Come out of her My People, lest ye be partakers of her sins."
My search for meaning and purpose of this book has been long, arduous, studied, fair and directed by prayer with sacred tobacco. It remains open-minded. I have also endeavored to get to know many LDS personally to see the fruits of Joseph Smith's doctrine in the trenches so to speak. Certainly Smith planted a good seed or possibly his followers today drawn to the plight of Native Americans robbed of their spiritual sovereignty, economic well-being and virtually everything but their dignity, is a tikkun (repair or rectification) for Smith's earlier errors. Chiefest among those mistakes was not taking the plates to the Haudenosaunee.
COMING: What's Wrong With Divination?
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