|Maggid ben Yoseif / Jerusalem Torah Voice in Exile|
Friday, December 14, 2007 / Updated, March 1, 2010
Note: The candidacy of Mitt Romney has raised many questions about the Book of Mormon. Maggid ben Yoseif has these thoughts on the relevancy of the Book of Mormon as a divined spiritual fantasy of 'brothers spilling the blood of brothers' and the Book's most timely and crucial messages. The Book of Mormon, points a religious world addicted to war to long-neglected Native American wisdom that can help the U.S. solve the current immigration crisis, show Israel how to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and on a global scale, stop killing brothers.
Book of Mormon:
'Find the House of Joseph and learn of war no more! '
Americans are asking whether this nation is ready for a Mormon in the White House in 2009? (2013?) One Mormon candidate thinks his Mormonism to be a private matter that will not influence his decision-making.
Without embracing any particular candidate or judging the Christology or doctrine of the Book of Mormon -- in this article -- it is crucial to this nation's future that the story told in the Book be understood. This is because it is a spiritual account -- divined by Joseph Smith -- of brothers spilling the blood of brothers. The story also contains "inspired" clues identifying the Hispanic "illegals" coming from the South as the rightful heirs to this land. Finally, when compared to the Torah of Moses and the writings of 8th Century BCE prophets, it hints at a peaceful resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and a covenant that will restore and unite the Native American people. That's a lot to expect from a Mormon president! But without autographs and with the failure of the leadership of the Mormon Church to produce the autographs, the story remains simply divined. Yet read as both fanciful and inspired -- maybe this would be call "a-mused" -- the story grabs and the message is timely and rings the ears.
A diary of a thousand years of war
The Book of Mormon is reputed to be a diary kept over about a thousand years by the youngest son of Lehi ben M'nashe ben Yoseif (an alleged Israelite family descended from Joseph), and his Nephite descendants from about 600 BCE until 400 CE. It chronicles a succession of patriarchal rule that led to the continuous wars between these Nephites and their blood kin, the Lamanites. (By contrast, see the message of Daganawida and his matriarchal rule. Daganawida was a Huron ruler reportedly born of a virgin. He once ruled only 15 miles from where Smith resided centuries later).
Descendants of Lehi's eldest, Laman, and the other brothers' descendants who defected, who survived this bloodfest lived up to the tribal name M'nashe and completely "manashed" (forgot or "spaced") any identity as one of the branches of the House of Joseph. They forgot everything they knew about their previous faith based on the Torah of Moses. According to the Book of Mormon, they lived like savages running around naked or wearing only loincloths, eating raw meat and were proficient in bow, axe and scimitar. The Nephites remained civilized but continually warred with the "loathsome" Lamanites as the diary documents, until the Nephites were all killed or joined the Lamanites, (who were turned dark-skinned because of their bloodthirstiness). You can see why Native Americans have little respect for this alleged account of our history.
But three of these Nephites survive and are reportedly still alive. This appears to be based on the belief that John the Beloved similarly has remained alive.
Covenant remains intact
However, the diary contains no mention that the covenant between the God of Israel and these Lamanites or Nephites was ever removed, as the Bible removes the covenant from all of the remainder of the House of Joseph sent into exile 122 years earlier in 722 BCE. In fact, there is evidence that Native American ceremonies to this day symbolically "veil" this covenant made with the family of Joseph separated from his brothers. Sacred songs of the Apache, for instance, include even the permutations of the Sacred name of the God of Israel, which any Jerusalem rabbi would recognize, customs which may be rooted in the revival of the lost Zadokite priesthood.
'Return to the source of all righteousness'
A prophecy in the Book, spoken as Lehi fled Jerusalem on his way to Egypt expresses a father's wish that his son, Laman, who had been a disappointment to him, should "continually return to the source of all righteousness." This strange prophecy is interpreted by later "cries from the dust", an allegorical way of describing Native traditions and ceremonies and prophesies and especially the purification (sweat) lodges in which we are "brought low to the ground."
The continual return of the Lamanites to this mystical source correlates with the history of the Hopi migrations from and back to this same sacred, Four Corners' region in southern Utah and Colorado and northern Arizona and New Mexico. The prophecy may also have veiled illusions to a "mystical source" long hiding a preserved priesthood.
The Hopi, who also share a tradition with the Lamanites that they "buried their weapons and declared a vow of peace (hopi)," lived in this region of the American southwest at the same time as the Lamanites were alleged to be there. Did Joseph Smith divine that much right? Or was it some kind of inspired clue fabricated in the context of his story. Regardless, the command by the ruling prince of the Hopi for the Native peoples to "walk the length and breadth of the land in all four directions and everywhere stake out their journeys with migration marks" also rings of a nearly identical promise made to Abraham pertaining to the Land of Israel. And we suggest that it should be invested with the same degree of respect and sanctity as the sacred inheritance of Joseph in the land of Israel.
'Tuwanisavi is Jerusalem'
Finally, the late chief, "Mike" Gashwarza, z''l, of the Hopi at Third Mesa, Old Oraibi, AZ., announced to his people shortly before his death that he had guarded a great secret told to him by his grandfather when he was a child. "Your origin, Tuwanisavi, and the place to which you must prepare your people to return is Jerusalem," he told his people, as reported by his three daughters and several independent witnesses, including a medicine man at Hotevilla on Third Mesa. In Hebrew mysticism, the "center of the Universe" is the city of Jerusalem because of the Eben Shatiah (foundation stone) of the Jerusalem Temple.
A delegation of Hopi already have been appointed to bring pottery shards to Jerusalem and are simply awaiting the invitation from Jewish spiritual leaders or someone in authority in Jerusalem to do so. This remarkable story documented by Los Angeles film-makers Andrew Feder and Teresa Crespo-hartendorf will air at film festivals worldwide beginning in May 2010.
Change in spiritual sovereignty of America
As the last of the Hopi clans return from their migrations to the South, if these be the assimilated families of Laman, would not the spiritual sovereignty of the nation change in the mind of say a Mormon in the White House? In fact, sovereignty may already have switched this past summer (2007). The 400th anniversary of the Jamestown settlement, commemorating 400 years of European colonization of the Americas may be all-she-wrote for European-colonized Anglo-America. The wave of Hispanics from the South -- children of Hopi clans stranded until now -- are evidence of this growing change as the nation's demographics change.
European Ephraim and Native M'nashe wars
Considering the evidence from Jewish scholars that the settlers were "sprinkled" with the Cimmerian root-stock identifying Ephraim in its assimilation from Asia Minor across Europe, the Book of Mormon -- divined though it be -- explains the European and Native wars. Once again, my spirit perceives from these wars: Brothers shed the blood of brothers: European Ephraim against Native M'nashe. And because another family of M'nashe is known to have migrated eastward out of Asia Minor along the ancient southern Chinese trade routes, Ephraimite America may have fought the indigenous children of M'nashe in Vietnam, Cambodia, Burma and Thailand, the Koreas, Philippines and possibly Japan.
Are you your brother's keeper?
The major question raised by the story of the Book is whether brothers are finally ready to be their brother's keepers? Indeed "Hoa mitakuye oyasin" (AHO ME-TAK-U-YEH O-YAH-SIN) or "To all my relations," the greeting said by all before entering an Apache sweat lodge, has asked the same thing for centuries. It is the voice being cried loudest from the dust!
Had Joseph Smith followed the advice in the Book and simply sought out the Lamanites and brought the plates to them, the history of this nation would have evolved much differently, with the advice and co-counsel of Native American elders.
2008-09: A fateful year
The relevance of the Book of Mormon to these families of Joseph, may begin to be spotlighted in the coming Hebrew year. The year 2008-09, signals the stirrings at least of a biblical movement that will eventually be as big as the Exodus of Israel from Egypt. It starts -- perhaps as a refugee movement -- with the Return of the House of Joseph. This may relate specifically to coming Earth changes that could quickly make refugees of masses, including a representative population of these "fanciful Lamanites," to their biblical borders, and particularly to the head and crown region in the outline at the top right on this page.
These inheritances of Joseph are just that: Neither are they the inheritances of the Jewish people nor the Palestinians. They belong to Joseph's descendants and include the birthright multitudes of Jacob given through his multiplier, Joseph. In the coming year, a remnant of these Joes across the world will begin to hear and those already hearing to act on the voice of the Spirit instructing them on reuniting and reconciling among themselves and with their Jewish brothers to end a 3,500+ year enmity. Churches, Mormon temples and sweat lodges must somehow accommodate the restoration to the Torah of the Hebrews, which contains the truth of the conflict, its resolution and the eternal laws that will shape Israel into the Israel of God in the process.
Unfinished business between God and Israel
Jews and Joes have fought in a civil war never reconciled. Joes and Jews have spilled brothers' blood defiling the Holy land in a way that can in no worse way be defiled, repeating the mistake of Cain and Abel. Clearly there is unfinished business between the Israel of God and the God of Israel.
Here is heard the plea of the Rebbe Shani Dor of the Revived Jerusalem Sanhedrin Court when he gave smichah (spiritual authority) to "ben Yoseif" to "Go find Rachel's kids and prepare them to come home!"
The Rebbe knows. He knows the solitude and confinement and suffering he has spent almost going crazy over the sins of the House of Joseph. He knows the only hope for the State of Israel in having peace is to move the Palestinians out of the inheritance of the House of Joseph (the head and crown in the outline at right) and return the Joes to their ancestral possessions.
A personal appeal by Maggid ben Yoseif to his Palestinian friends at Beit Phage:
The biblical Palestinian state curiously coincides with the territory assigned to Dan before Dan was driven out to another region in the north, the Golan Heights. The state, whose borders are loosely defined in Zechariah 9, is a contiguous region that comprises the wells dug by Isaac, which were filled in by the Philistines. If extended into the fertile Sh'felah hills to join cities mentioned by name in Zechariah 9 -- Gaza, Ashdod, Ekron and Ashquelon -- it is a utopia compared to the land beyond the Green Line, called that for a reason. Only Joseph can make it fruitful.
A sealed revelation
The Book of Mormon could be a "divined" revelation pertaining to the identity of many First Nations peoples, perhaps trained in the rites of Solomon. They are the legitimate and long-awaited Zadokite priesthood, which the Book of Mormon adherents among the Latter Day Saints and their splinter religions ignorantly mock and mimic.
What I find a-musing is that revelation about the "divined fantasy" seems keyed to Native Americans' revelations. In other words, its truths, fantasized or no, cannot be understood without the revelation that speaks from the dust, (in the sweat lodge). Now that would be just like Grandfather!
The revelation from the dust of the Hopi kiva
It would have been impossible for me to make any sense of the Book of Mormon until 1976. That year, Dr. Frank Waters published his "Book of the Hopi," with the permission and blessing of Hopi elders. However, I did not read the Book until it was presented to me by Abe Walkingbear, the Bear Clan Zuni elder who I credit with the idea of beginning Eldersgate. Here at the Eastern gateway into the area called Sacred, beckoned by the Huerfano ("the orphan") we are welcoming Native American elders.
There was quite a dust storm going on when I read the Book of Hopi and the Book of Mormon at the same time, the latter a gift from a Dr. DeLynne Hansen in the Provo, UT area.
The Book of Mormon, recording the Lamanite history was published in 1830. The Book of Hopi 146 years later tells of a people who lived in the same region in the American Southwest at the same time. The Hopi call this region "sacred." Because so much blood was shed between brothers here, this can be reasoned in the story of the Book of Mormon.
Background of Torah of Moses
The Torah of Moses is the background by which to understand and evaluate the credibility of the Book of Mormon and its prophetic significance, assuming some of the divinations in the Book of Mormon are more than fanciful. The Torah relates the sibling rivalry between Joseph and the 10 of his 11 brothers who were born ahead of him ... especially after their father, Jacob, made it clear that Joseph was his favorite by giving him a special garment that Jacob had made himself.
The 10 conspired to throw him into a pit, sell him to a passing caravan headed to Egypt and into slavery and falsify his death to the chagrin and anguish of their father. But in his exile, Joseph rose to prominence and found himself in a position to save his brothers and his father when a famine struck and they came to Egypt -- the place from which he rose from slavery to viceroy -- to survive.
Eventually there was a reconciliation but after their father died, because two sons of Joseph -- Ephraim and M'nashe -- had been favored by Jacob and given inheritances equal to his (Jacob's) own sons -- the enmity erupted again.
Rival Israelite monarchies
Over time, the enmity resulted in two rival monarchies, the House of David, who ruled a southern branch of Israel known as "the House of Judah," and the House of Joseph, who ruled a northern kingdom called "the House of Israel."
Only King David could keep both houses from warring through an alliance he struck with the son and heir of the king of the rival kingdom, Yonatan, son of Sha'ul. But after many years and a succession of kings, a civil war was fought. The northern tribes made alliances with the enemies of the southern tribes. The blood of brothers was spilled by brothers. To resolve the situation, exile was decreed for both houses.
Decree of the prophet Ezekiel
The decree came through a most unusual man, the prophet Ezekiel, who was also a priest. He lay bound on his side for 390 days -- some say "naked" -- facing the north and for 40 days facing the south. Each day represented a year of judgment for the Joes to the north and the Jews to the south.
The Joes were the first to be exiled in 722 BCE, (with the exception of the fanciful family of Lehi who, according to the Book of Mormon, remained in Jerusalem). The Jewish exile followed 136 years later in 586 BCE, 14 years after Lehi had prophesied the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple, according to the Book of Mormon. True to the prophecy of Ezekiel, the decree for the Jews to return and rebuild their temple in Jerusalem came exactly 40 years later, although they did not make a physical return to the land to rebuild the Jerusalem Temple until 70 years had passed.
Seven-fold multiplication of the judgment
But 390 years came and went with no evidence that the Northern tribes repented of their violence against their brothers. So, according to a law in the Torah, that 390-year judgment was multiplied times seven to 2,730 years. Reckoned from the date of the exile, 722 BCE, the judgment expires and a return, reconciliation and reunion is due beginning in 2008.
"The madness (between brothers) must end before brothers wind up destroying the world," says Tenrivers, a spiritual leader of the Membreno Apache. Who better suited to express that thought than the sons and daughters descended from the most feared of Apache warriors but who have today learned the Red Road of peace and harmony and are prepared to teach the same at the Eastern Gate of the sacred area?
A different world with Native wisdom
"Had the European settlers come with an open and outstretched hand rather than rifles, they would have been welcomed to our sweat lodges," Tenrivers said. "The world would look different had Native wisdom been sought."
What the Apache teach through this weekly ritual in which they afflict their souls -- not for themselves, but for others -- is that all of mankind is related, so why war against your brother? And if your brother could come to the same understanding, would he have reason for war at all?
With the simple understandings of the fate of even the "fanciful" House of Joseph divined in the Book of Mormon, domestic immigration issues can be resolved with much more compassion. The Book in association with the Bible also gives us a framework around which to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict giving the Palestinians more fertile land than they now have and a contiguous state with a shared "religious" capital. And the blood spilled between its pages teaches brother not to war against brother. So why would any believing Mormon -- in particular a Mormon in the White House -- want to distance himself/herself from these crucial historical lessons and their most timely and logical "fanciful" conclusions?
OK, the fact it was divined with a seer stone.
Maggid ben Yoseif