Thursday, March 27, 2014

Significance of the Blood Moons

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Shalom Partner and Friend of Israel,

We found the "blood-red moon" work interesting and began looking into possible connections to past and future "Jewish Feasts"… and to our amazement found there are very significant connections and trust that you will find this teaching fascinating too!
"And I will show wonders in the heavens, and in the earth, blood and fire and pillars of smoke.  The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of Jehovah."  Joel 2:30 -31
"The sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood, before that great and glorious Day of the Lord." Acts 2:20
The Jewish Talmud (book of tradition / Interpretation) says; "When the moon is in eclipse, it is a bad omen for Israel. If its face is as red as blood, (it is a sign that) the sword is coming to the world." Therefore: Lunar Eclipse = bad omen for the Jewish people and Israel; Blood Moon = sword coming; Solar Eclipse = bad omen for the world.
Four, blood moons on Jewish Feast days within two years in Israel is very rare and has only occurred seven times since the time of Yeshua (Jesus). There are now four blood moons scheduled to appear in 2014/2015 and then there will NOT be any for the next 100 years.
Every time a blood moon pattern has appeared on Jewish feast days a big event affects the nation of Israel. The event affecting Israel begins just before the actual years of the blood moons. To understand what will happen in the 2014 - 2015 "blood moons" you must understand the pattern of blood moons in the past.
It was confirmed by NASA that we have had "blood-red moons" on the first day of Passover and the first day of Sukkoth on back-to-back years seven times since 1 A.D. Three of these occurrences were connected to 1492 (the year the Jews were expelled from Spain by Queen Isabella) , 1948 (statehood for Israel and the War of Independence), and 1967 (the Six-Day War) — some of the most significant days in Jewish history. According to NASA - Four 'blood-red' TOTAL lunar eclipses WILL fall again on Passover and Sukkoth in 2014 and 2015… the same back-to-back occurrences at the time of 1492, 1948 and 1967.
Seven back-to-back, blood-red moons have fallen on the first day of Passover and Sukkoth, with the "eighth time"… coming in 2014 and 2015.
The meaning of the number "Eight"in the Bible is "New Beginnings"… The eighth day was new after God rested. There are 7 days in a week and the 8th day is a new beginning. Christ rose on the 8th day which was a new beginning for the world.
In Hebrew, the days of the week are simply numbered, except for the 7th, which is the Sabbath (Shabbat). With the exception of the Shabbat, the weekdays have no names. They are simply numbered:
yom rishon = "first day" = (Sunday)
yom sheni = "second day" = (Monday)
yom sh'lishi = "third day" = (Tuesday)
yom revi'i = "fourth day" = (Wednesday)
yom chamishi = "fifth day" = (Thursday)
yom shishi = "sixth day" = (Friday)
The week culminates in the seventh day, the Holy Shabbat (shabbat kodesh, abbreviated.
Mark 15:42-44: "Now when evening had come, because it was the Preparation Day, that is, the day before the Sabbath, Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent council member, who was himself waiting for the Kingdom of God, coming and taking courage, went in to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Pilate marvelled that He was already dead; and summoning the centurion, he asked him if He had been dead for some time." This means it was Friday afternoon since the Sabbath day begins at sundown.
The Bible is clear that (Yeshua) Jesus was crucified on the Passover, Friday, then buried later that (Friday) afternoon or evening before the Sabbath (Saturday) began, and then rose from the dead the first day of the week (Sunday). How could there be a fulfilment of Jesus' prediction that He would be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth? What exactly does this mean? Three literal 24- hour day or a statement related to a certain time period.
Matt. 28:1-2: "Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it." The first day of the week is Sunday according to Judaism, according to the New Testament since Saturday is the 7th day.
Yeshua rose on the first day of a new week which is the eighth day. Saturday is the seventh day so Sunday must be the eighth day. In other words, we do believe that (Yeshua) Jesus rose on the third day. The third day after he was in the grave three days and three nights and the third day He rose from the dead. It wasn’t eight days, but from another standpoint, even a biblical stand point; He was the firstborn of a new creation, the eighth day that’s referred to in the Bible as a new beginning.
We can from scripture determine both a Friday (6th Day) Nisan 14 crucifixion and a Sunday (8th Day – or in other words 1st day of new week) resurrection.
When the whole earth was covered with the flood, it was Noah "the eighth person" (2 Peter 2:5) who stepped out on to a new earth to commence a new order of things. "Eight souls" (1 Peter 3:20) passed through to the new or re-generated world.
Hence, too, circumcision was to be performed on the "eighth day" (Genesis 17:12), because it was the fore-shadowing of the true circumcision of the heart, that which was to be "made without hands," even "the putting off of the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ" (Colossians 2:11). This is connected with the new creation.
The first-born was to be given to Jehovah on the "eighth day" (Exodus 22: 29, 30)… and the Resurrection of Yeshua (Jesus) is ultimately signified when He rose from the dead on "the first day of the week," (Mark 16:9) that was of necessity the "eighth day."

Understand terms connected to “Blood Moons”…

Tetrad: When four consecutive lunar eclipses are all total eclipses, the group is known as a tetrad.
The Saros Cycle: is an eclipse cycle with a period of about 18 years 11 days 8 hours (approximately 65851/3 days) that can be used to predict eclipses of the Sun and Moon.  One cycle after an eclipse… the Sun, Earth, and Moon return to approximately the same relative geometry, and a nearly identical eclipse will occur west of the original location.
Tishri: Is the seventh month of the religious year for Israel and the first month of the civil year for Israel. This month holds the feasts of Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Tabernacles (also known as Sukkoth).
Rosh Hashanah: This is a two day feast occurring on Tishri 1 and Tishri 2 of the Hebrew calendar. This is also called the feast of trumpets. A lot of people believe this feast day is tied to the rapture of the Christian Church prior to the start of the tribulation.
Yom Kippur: This is known as the Day of Atonement. It is considered to be one of the most important of Jewish Holidays of the year. It is a day set aside to atone for the sins of the past year. It occurs on the 10th day of Tishri. It is found in Leviticus 23:26-32.
Sukkoth (Tabernacles): The feast of Sukkoth begins on Tishri 15, the fifth day of Yom Kippur. It is a joyous feast day while Yom Kippur is one of the most solemn of feast days. Sukkoth is a feast day with a festival atmosphere. It marks a season of rejoicing. Sukkoth means booths and refers to temporary dwelling places the Jews gather into during this holiday. Most Christian Scholars believe the "Feast of Sukkoth" is the feast for the 2nd Advent of the Lord Jesus Christ when he returns with his saints on white horses at Armageddon.
AV: Av is the fifth month of the Hebrew Calendar. It is a time of mourning for the Jews. There are two festivals that are in Av; on the 9th and on the 15th. On the 9th of Av is Tisha B' Av which is a sad day when Jews fast. It recalls the two temples being destroyed and commemorates other tragic events throughout Jewish History. The other festival which happens in Av… is Tu B' Av. This is a happy occasion in which couples traditionally get together to arrange their wedding.
Nissan: The first month of the Jewish Religious Year - this occurs in the spring time. Passover Occurs on the 15th day of this month.
Passover: The Hebrew feast day commemorating the Lamb Sacrifice in Exodus where the Angel of Death passed over Israel while the firstborn in Egypt were slain. It also is the same day the Lord Yeshua (Jesus Christ), our lamb sacrifice for sins, was crucified.
Four PARTIAL lunar eclipses occurred on the Jewish Passover in 32 AD – 33 AD and the "Feast of Tabernacles" in the years before and after the Crucifixion of Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus Christ). The world has since witnessed seven "Tetrads" coinciding with events impacting Jewish and Christian culture.
Seven Jewish Total Lunar Eclipses have occurred in the 1st & 2nd Millenniums:
Four TOTAL lunar eclipses occurred on the Jewish Passover and Feast of Tabernacles in 162 - 163 AD, coinciding with the worst persecution of Jews… and Christians in the history of the Roman Empire. Within 3 years the Antonine Plague killed eight million people, a third of the population.

Click picture to ZOOM

Four TOTAL lunar eclipses occurred on the Jewish Passover and Yom Kippur Holidays in 795 - 796 AD while King Charlemagne of the Holy Roman Empire established a DMZ buffer zone between France and Spain, ending centuries of Arab invasions into Western Europe.
Four TOTAL lunar eclipses occurred on the Jewish Passover and Yom Kippur Holidays in 842 - 843 AD. Shortly after the eclipses the Vatican church in Rome was attacked and looted by an Islamic invasion from Africa.
Four TOTAL lunar eclipses occurred on the Jewish Passover and Yom Kippur Holidays in 860 - 861 AD. Shortly after the eclipses the Byzantine Empire defeated Arab armies at the Battle of Lalakaon in Turkey and permanently stopped the Islamic invasion of Eastern Europe.
The last three “Blood Moons” are very important as they affect ISRAEL as we know it today:
Four TOTAL lunar eclipses occurred on the Jewish Passover and the Feast of Trumpets Holidays in 1493 – 1494. Only months after King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain ordered all Jewish people to leave the country (after about 200 AD, Spain became and remained a second Jewish homeland for well over a millennia. So deeply woven into the fabric of Spain are the Jews that neither history can be fully studied without considering the influence of the other).
“In the same month in which their Majesties (Ferdinand and Isabella)] issued the edict that all Jews should be driven out of the kingdom and its territories, in the same month they gave me the order to undertake with sufficient men my expedition of discovery to the Indies.” So begins Christopher Columbus’s diary.
The expulsion that Columbus refers to was so cataclysmic an event that ever since; the date 1492 has been almost as important in Jewish history as in American history. On July 30 of that year, the entire Jewish community, some 200,000 people, were expelled from Spain. Tens of thousands of refugees died while trying to reach safety. In some instances, Spanish ship captains charged Jewish passengers exorbitant sums, then dumped them overboard in the middle of the ocean. In the last days before the expulsion, rumours spread throughout Spain that the fleeing refugees had swallowed gold and diamonds, and many Jews were knifed to death by brigands hoping to find treasures in their stomachs.
1492 was the same year that the Jews were expelled from Spain and Christopher Columbus ‘amazingly’…. discovered America which is home today for more than 5 million Jews outside Israel. Like Mordecai said to Esther – “help will come in another way!” And America was blessed by God. More important we believe that America’s purpose was to protect Israel and offer a safe haven for the Jewish people. However, the question is… how long will America still continue this in our day?
Four TOTAL lunar eclipses occurred on the Jewish Passover and Feast of Tabernacle in 1949 - 1950 during the 1st Arab - Israeli War for Independence just after Israel had become a nation again for the first time in 2,000 years. It should be noted here: that even though Israel declared themselves a nation in 1948, the first permanent government took office on January 25th, 1949. Israel had a transitional government in 1948. In this way the “(Tetrad) four blood moons” can tie to the year 1949 for the first elected office of that year and the birth year could still be 1948.
On 14th May, 1948 - Israel proclaimed its independence. Less than 24 hours later, the regular armies of Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq invaded the country, forcing Israel to defend the sovereignty it had regained in its ancestral homeland. In what became known as Israel's War of Independence, the newly formed, poorly equipped Israel Defence Forces (IDF) repulsed the invaders in fierce intermittent fighting, which lasted some 15 months and claimed over 6,000 Israeli lives (nearly one percent of the country's Jewish population at the time).
During the first months of 1949, direct negotiations were conducted under United Nations auspices between Israel and each of the invading countries (except Iraq, which refused to negotiate with Israel), resulting in armistice agreements which reflected the situation at the end of the fighting.
Accordingly, the Coastal Plain, Galilee and the entire Negev were within Israel's sovereignty, Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) came under Jordanian rule, the Gaza Strip came under Egyptian administration, and the city of Jerusalem was divided, with Jordan controlling the eastern part, including the Old City, and Israel the western sector.

Click picture to ZOOM

The war over, Israel focused on building the state which the people had struggled so long and so hard to regain. The first 120-seat Knesset (parliament) went into session following national elections (25 January 1949) in which nearly 85 percent of all eligible voters cast their ballots.
Two of the people who had led Israel to statehood became the country's leaders:  David Ben-Gurion, head of the Jewish Agency, was chosen as the first Prime Minister; and Chaim Weizmann, head of the World Zionist Organization, was elected by the Knesset as the first president. On 11 May 1949, Israel took its seat as the 59th member of the United Nations.
“The gates of the country were thrown open, affirming the right of every Jew to become a citizen.” David Ben-Gurion
Four TOTAL lunar eclipses occurred on the Jewish Passover and Feast of Tabernacle in 1967 - 1968 coinciding with the 6 Day War when Israel recaptured Jerusalem. As Israel's neighbours prepared to destroy the Jewish state, Israel invoked its inherent right of self-defence, launching a pre-emptive strike (5 June 1967) against Egypt in the South.
It was followed by a counter attack against Jordan in the East and the routing of Syrian forces entrenched on the Golan Heights in the North. At the end of six days of fighting, previous cease-fire lines were replaced by new ones, with Judea, Samaria, Gaza, the Sinai Peninsula, and the Golan Heights under Israel's control. As a result, the northern villages were freed from 19 years of recurrent Syrian shelling; the passage of Israeli and Israel-bound shipping through the Straits of Tiran was ensured; and Jerusalem, which had been divided under Israeli and Jordanian rule since 1949, was reunified under Israel's authority.
The coming Blood Moons of 2014 – 2015… These four TOTAL lunar eclipses and two solar eclipses WILL occur on the Jewish holidays of “Passover,” the “Feast of Tabernacles” and the “Feast of Trumpets.”

This is the only "tetrad" in the near future that aligns itself with the Jewish holidays. One should make mention here that there are other "tetrads" occurring as well. One tetrad occurred in 2003 - 2004. Future ones other than the 2014 - 2015 are found in 2032-2033, 2043-2044, 2050-2051, 2061-2062, 2072-2073, and 2090-2091… The difference between these "tetrads" and the 2014 - 2015 "tetrad" is that this "tetrad" aligns with the Jewish holidays and the others DO NOT!
Putting everything into perspective… The above does not mean that the Second Coming of Yeshua (Jesus Christ) at Tabernacles… has to occur on Tabernacles 2015. But, what the above taken as a whole does show a pattern. The "1493 tetrad"… is tied to the Spanish Government expelling the Jews. The "1949 tetrad" is the nation Israel being reborn" and the "1967 tetrad" is the recapture of Jerusalem. The coming "2014 tetrad"… will be tied to some major event dealing with Israel. We believe that the "tetrad" of 2014 through 2015 will have something to do with Israel for the start. The blood moons show a pattern of Jewish persecution… and then new land for Israel after a time of war!
This means that the blood moons of 2014 - 2015 will be a time of war or persecution for the Jewish people. This may Lead Israel to gain and/or loose land during this time.
As of 2011 there has been war and crisis in the Middle East that has ignited violence and uprisings in Egypt, Libya, Syria, Yemen and soon to be other Middle Eastern nations. These Nations are at war and have increased the danger for Israel and a nuclear Iran in the coming years. The administration of America has increased the leadership of the Muslim brotherhood creating a more fanatical terrorist state that threatens Israel’s existence as a nation.
As of 2012 the world is on the edge of a financial collapse that could destroy the economy of Europe and America, one of the lone supporters of the nation of Israel. Keep in mind that Barrack Obama has declared the position of the United States is to divide the land of Israel to pre-1967 borders for the creation of a Palestine state within Israel.
2013 through 2014 will provide the leading events in the next 2014 - 2015 blood moons (tetrads) that are predicted to occur. The events may involve war in the Middle East and a financial crisis around the world that will affect the land of Israel or the Jewish elite in New York City.
It cannot be regarded as coincidence that all four blood moons of 2014/15 occur on religious festivals of Israel, together with two eclipses of the sun also on important days in 2015. A blood moon will occur on the 14th day of Nisan in 2014, when the Passover will be celebrated in Israel (Leviticus 23:5). Nisan is the first month in Israel's religious calendar. On the 15th day of the seventh month (Tishri) when the Feast of Tabernacles begins (Leviticus 23:34) there will be another blood moon.
Exactly the same pattern will be repeated in 2015. Because of Israel's lunar calendar these dates all coincide with the full moon - on these occasions the moon will become blood-red. Apart from the lunar eclipses there will also be two eclipses of the sun in 2015… on the first day of Nisan and again on the first day of Tishri. The Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) is celebrated on 1st Tishri, which is the beginning of their civil calendar.
The eclipses of the sun and moon confront us with precise dates which cannot be manipulated…! Nevertheless, these signs should not be seen as an attempt to date-setting for the Second Coming of Christ but rather as a wake-up call to be ready for what may happen in the near future. Now is not the time to lapse into spiritual slumber like the Matthew 25 foolish virgins.
Repeated calls by radical Muslims for a world-wide jihad are now heard everywhere - from Iran, Syria, Lebanon, AfghanistanPakistan, Egypt, the Palestinian territories in Israel, and even from Muslim groups in London. The scene is set to launch a major attack against non-Islamic infidels. The suicide bomb mentality of these terrorist Islamists has over and over demonstrated that they have a fanatical, religious-driven hatred for their enemies and will not hesitate to plunge the whole world into chaos!
Israel still remains their most important target, but the Lord will not allow them to annihilate His people. According to; Psalm 83 Israel’s surrounding Arab enemies and Ezekiel 39:1 - 5 radical Islamist Muslims who will invade Israel under the leadership of Russia (Magog) will be destroyed on the mountains of Israel. That, together with the rapture, will bring about the end of the church dispensation and offer the Antichrist the opportunity to be revealed as Satan's world leader.
NOTE: There is a huge difference between astrology and astronomy. Astronomy is a natural science that deals with the study of celestial objects (such as stars, planets, comets, nebulae, star clusters and galaxies) and observing the cycles in the heavens. Astrology is witchcraft, where they believe the order of the stars leads them to a successful life or warns them of things coming. In biblical times, watchmen were posted on the walls surrounding the city. They not only watched for an enemy approaching, they also recorded anything happening in the night sky. From historical events on earth during the same time that unusual heavenly events were recorded, they observed a relationship pattern of occurrences relating to heaven and earth. (Israel’s calendar is linked with the cycles of the moon, but keeps with the solar cycle by their leap years).
The Jews require a sign… If it does line up with Israel fleeing into the wilderness, Israel will see the eclipses occurring on their feast days to show them that the time for their redemption is near.
God created the heavens and the earth and the sun, moon and stars are totally controlled by his power. The story of Joshua, Hezekiah and the three wise men following the star to the location where Yeshua (Jesus) was… is Bible validation of God's absolute control of the universe. Genesis 1:14 states that God has put lights in the firmament and let them be for "signs." The Hebrew word for "sign" is "owth" which means also "a signal."
Other interesting facts:
1. Passover is the first annual feast.
2. Sukkoth is the seventh and final annual feast.
3. AV is a month of mourning for the Jews.
4. The 17th of Tammuz to the 9th of Av is a 21-day period of mourning for the Jewish people.
5. The next seven year cycle began on Rosh Hashanah on September 30th, 2008… and will end on Rosh Hashanah on September 13 - 14, 2015
6. The sabbatical year in the seven-year cycle begins on Rosh Hashanah on September 25, 2014, and ends on Rosh Hashanah on September 13 - 14, 2015 — the day of a partial solar eclipse 2000-year history of blood-red moons' connection to Passover and Sukkoth. During this century, the only string of four consecutive blood moons that coincide with God's holy days of Passover in the spring… and the autumn's Feast of Tabernacles (also called Sukkoth) occur in 2014 and 2015 on today's Gregorian calendar.
7. There were no astronomical back-to-back blood-red moon events in the 1800s, the 1700s or the 1600s. In the 1500s, there were six… but none of those fell on Passover and Sukkoth. The 2014 / 2015 "tetrad" events will be the last of the century! 
In biblical prophecies there is a direct correlation between signs in heavenly bodies and distressing events happening on earth…. We are rapidly approaching the time of the fulfilment of these signs.

Mark 13:24 - 46, "But in those days the sun shall be darkened (eclipse) and the moon shall not give its light (eclipse) then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory."

Yeshua (Jesus) told His disciples what would be the signs of the end of the age and some of them involved signs in the heavens he closes commanding them to ‘watch’ 4 times. To be a "Watcher, and observe what is happening in the heavens" relating to the Last Day, when "unusual signs" are seen in the heavens we watch, pray and record.
"Does YHWH (Yahweh God) use the moon for signs?" Yes: Genesis 1:14, Luke 21:25.
"Are Feasts relevant to Yahweh, and related to the moon?" Yes: Leviticus 23.
"Are blood-red moons prophetic in Scripture?" Yes: Joel 2:10, 31; Acts 2:20; Revelations 6:12.
"Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen..." - Luke 21:36 Yeshua (Jesus) spoke those words after He warned us of many of the events that will happen in the end times. They are especially relevant to us today when we consider current headlines are now fulfilling Bible prophecy at an absolutely amazing rate — which is setting the stage for more ominous events to happen at any time. The signs are sometimes obvious, such as rumblings in the Middle East, economic turmoil, shifts in geopolitical policy, earthquakes, signs from heaven, and more. At other times, the clues are more subtle, yet equally astounding to those who know Bible prophecy.
Circumstantial evidence should also be considered… You look at the world and you hang your head in shame. It is so sad to see mankind destroying each other and choosing this world over God. In every aspect of life, we see the God of the universe and His creation on two different roads. One is filled with love, patience, kindness, and salvation, where the other is filled with hate, murder, adultery, and perversion. No wonder our world is in such a mess. Creation is groaning for the day when the Father will make all things new.
The United States should have never taken its protection off Israel!. The US is slowly distancing itself from Israel while aiding her enemies. As the US is drawing away, Israel will soon find another protector which will bring her real salvation, namely Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus Christ). The situation in the Middle East is precarious, and at any given moment hostilities can break out. Iran and Russia are using Syria to draw Israel into a war, and they may be successful. In February, Iranian President, Ahmadinejad visited Egypt and received a welcome from Morsi the Egyptian President and Muslim Brotherhood… this is also to be a warning alarm! At the same time that all this was taking place, a surprise announcement that Obama would be visiting Israel in March… a first since visit since he was only a candidate for presidency? We suspect it is to push for a peace treaty and Palestinian state! In any case, we have the enemies of Israel's military might playing out before our very eyes. There are various indications that the tension between Israel and her Muslim neighbours are close to breaking-point. Iran's president and religious leaders have made renewed calls for the complete annihilation of Israel. Their nuclear programme has been accelerated and they have armed Hezbollah in Lebanon to the teeth.
We have the withdrawing of the United States from the world scene, a weakened yet dangerous Syria, and Russian army personnel in the Middle East ready for war. It only takes a spark to get it all going! The next weeks are very important to see how the region will spend the next few months. It could be very eventful… as the Middle East is lining up to prophecy!
We hope that you enjoy and become more informed by our work. We serve an awesome God and we are humbled by this opportunity to bring you this information. With Shalom to you and your family always,
Alf & Julie Saunders
15th March, 2013 

| Stolen Foundational ALTARS! | Blessing and Cursing | The Coming Blood Moons | Living in Interesting Times! | The Burden of Damascus | Supernatural Births | We are at WAR! | ISRAEL a Mystery of TIME! | Separating the Sheep from the Goats | Is Syria the Smokescreen? | Peace when there is NO peace! | Turning the world upside down! | The coming Collision: God vs. gods | The FULL Circle | The Times of The Signs! |
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Sunday, February 23, 2014

Gilbert, Arizona Temple and the Agave Plant From: TravlinmanBlog

The Agave

As a design theme, the humble AGAVE plant, native to
Arizona, dominates the architecture of the new Gilbert temple.
It is apparent in the stained-glass windows, stone work,
carpet, carvings, light fixtures, door hardware, and elsewhere.
The temple’s color palette incorporates soft blue, green, gold
and cream – colors of the succulent AGAVE plant.
After collaborating with church leaders, the principal
architect, Greg Lambright said, “We wanted something to
represent the living waters of Christ, and for the temple to be
an oasis in the desert.”  The AGAVE plant was chosen to
represent the Southwest – a humble, yet strong, tolerant plant.
It is extremely versatile, and has been used for a variety of
purposes, including food, beverages, rope, and basketry awls.
The Aztec used the plant for meat, drink, clothing, shelter, and
writing materials!  It is a common misconception that the
AGAVE plant is a cactus, but the AGAVE is actually a lily.
(That certainly gives new meaning to the scripture…”Consider
the lilies – how they grow”.)
The leaf design of the AGAVE plant used in the temple and on
the outside fencing is interlinked, representing families being
linked for eternity.  In the plant, the lower, older leaves are on
the bottom and the younger ones on top.  The lower leaves
support the younger ones and help them to grow as a plant.
After a decade or so the AGAVE plant grows a tall stalk in the
middle – it contains the plant’s short tubular flowers, which
are the plant’s “children”.  Once the plant has dropped all of
the “children”, the plant dies – It is as if the plant “gives her life
for her children”.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Facsimile #2 With Translation

Fullness of the Priesthood, Priests and Kings

The following information is taken from, The Words of Joseph Smith by Andrew Ehat, these are footnotes from the book explaining the process and dates of these historical events:

21. The Prophet here teaches that though Abraham had not yet received the fulness of the priesthood, he had received from the Lord the promise of an innumerable posterity both for this world and in the world to come (D&C 132:28-31). Joseph Smith, however, clarifies that Abraham's endowment (Abraham facsimile Number 2, figures 3 and 7) was greater than that which his descendants Aaron and Levi would be allowed; and thus "Abraham's" Patriarchal Priesthood (the ordinances of the endowment and patriarchal marriage for time and eternity) comprehended the Aaronic portion of the endowment. Additionally, the Prophet here clarifies that the Patriarchal Priesthood was not the same as the crowning ordinances of the fulness of the Melchizedek Priesthood. Elias returned the authority of promising innumerable posterity, but Elijah restored the authority of the fulness of the priesthood (D&C 110:12-16).  
Aside from this theological commentary, it is important to point out that the Prophet's teachings fit perfectly within a historical context. Joseph Smith administered the first ordinances of the Patriarchal Priesthood on 4 May 1842 when he gave both the Aaronic and Melchizedek portions of the endowment to nine men in his store in Nauvoo (see History of the Church, 5:1-2, or Teachings, p. 137; and H. W. Mills, "De Tal Palo Tal Astilla," Annual Publications-Historical Society of Southern California 10 [Los Angeles: McBride Printing Company, 1917]: 120-21). By a year later, most of the nine received the ordinances of marriage for time and eternity. In particular, the Prophet and his wife, Emma, and James and Harriet Adams were sealed on 28 May 1843 (Joseph Smith Diary, Church Archives). Similarly, Hyrum Smith and his wife, Mary Fielding, Brigham Young and his wife, Mary Ann, and Willard Richards and his wife, Jennetta, were all sealed the next day. But the higher ordinances that confer the fulness of the priesthood had not as yet been administered. However one month and a day after this 27 August 1843 discourse, Joseph and Emma received the anointing and ordination "of the highest and holiest order of the priesthood" (Joseph Smith Diary, 28 September 1843, Church Archives). Hence by 27 August 1843, "Abrahams patriarchal power[was] the greatest yet experienced in [the] church." As  abstract as this may seem, the Prophet was not the only one who understood the relationship between these three orders of priesthood blessings that he said were illustrated in Hebrews 7; they who received these ordinances also understood these relationships. For example, Brigham Young later discussed in public discourse the relationship between the Aaronic and Patriarchal orders of the endowment as follows:    
When we give the brethren their endowments, weconfer upon them the Melchizedek Priesthood; but I expect to see the day, when we shallsay to a company of brethren, you can go and receive the [endowment] ordinances pertaining to the Aaronic order of Priesthood, and then you can go into the world and preach the Gospel, or do something that will prove whether you will honor that Priesthood before you receive more. Now we pass them through the [temple] ordinances of both Priesthoods in one day. (Journal of Discourses, 10:309, quoted in John A. Widstoe, Discourses of Brigham Young [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1973], p. 396).   
Perhaps more important than his later understanding of the relationship between the Aaronic and Melchizedek portions of the endowment is the fact that three weeks before this 27 August 1843 discourse, Brigham Young demonstrated that the Prophet made clear to those who had received the endowment and patriarchal marriage ordinances, that they had not as yet received the fulness of the priesthood. On 6 August 1843, Brigham Young said, "If any in the church [have] the fullness of the Melchizedek Priesthood [I do] not know it. For any person to have the fullness of that priesthood, he must be a king and priest." Since he had received, with eight others, an anointing in 1842 promising him he would, if faithful, eventually receive another anointing actually ordaining him a king and a priest, Brigham Young therefore added, "A person may be anointed king and priest long before he receives his kingdom" (History of the Church, 5:527, which is quoted verbatim from the contemporary account kept by Wilford Woodruff). Based on his understanding from Joseph the Prophet, Brigham Young said of this third order of priesthood blessings, "Those whocome in here [the Nauvoo Temple] and have received their washing & anointing will [later, if faithful], be ordained Kings & Priests, and will then have received the fullness of the Priesthood, all that can be given on earth. For Brother Joseph said he had given us all that could be given to man on the earth" (Heber C. Kimball Journal, kept by William Clayton, 26 December 1845, Church Archives, italics added). This is the theological and historical context for the Prophet's comments on the three orders of temple blessings outlined in this extremely important discourse.    
               (Joseph Smith, The Words of Joseph Smith: The Contemporary Accounts of the Nauvoo Discourses of the Prophet Joseph, compiled and edited by Andrew F. Ehat and Lyndon W. Cook, p.303-304)

30. One of the major milestones, if not the major milestone, of the Latter-day work was to be the restoration of the fulness of the priesthood (D&C 124:28). The Prophet's "mission[was to] firmly [establish] the  dispensation of the fullness of the priesthood in the last days, that all the powers of earth and hell [could] never prevail against it" (History of the Church, 5:140, or Teachings, p. 258). What was this fulness of the priesthood? The most concise but inclusive definition of the authority of the fulness of the priesthood was given by Joseph Smith in his 10 March 1844 discourse when he said, "Now for Elijah; the spirit, power and calling of Elijah is that ye have power to hold the keys of the revelations, ordinances, oracles, powers and endowments of the fulness of the Melchizedek Priesthood and of the Kingdom of God on the Earth and to receive, obtain and perform all the ordinances belonging to the kingdom of God[to] have power to seal on earth and in heaven." However, the Prophet had not as yet administered the ordinances that made men kings and priests. Brigham Young said three weeks before this discourse that no one yet in the Church had the fulness of the Melchizedek Priesthood, "For any person to have the fullness of that priesthood, he must be a king and priest" (History of the Church, 5:527, which is quoted verbatim from the original source kept by Wilford Woodruff, Church Archives). These ordinances were instituted on 28 September 1843 and in the next five months were conferred on twenty men (and their wives, except for those whose names are asterisked): Hyrum Smith, Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Willard Richards, Newel K. Whitney, William Marks, John Taylor, John Smith, Reynolds Cahoon, Alpheus Cutler, Orson Spencer, Orson Hyde*, Parley P. Pratt*, Wilford Woodruff, George A. Smith, Levi Richards*, Cornelius P. Lott, William W. Phelps Isaac Morley, and Orson Pratt.* As George Q. Cannon later said,    
Previous to his death. the Prophet Joseph manifested great anxiety to see the temple completed, as most of you who were with the Church during his day, well know. "Hurry up the work, brethren," he used to say, "let us finish the temple; the Lord has a great endowment in store for you, and I am anxious that the brethren should have their endowments and receive the fullness of the Priesthood. Then," said he, "the Kingdom will be established, and I do not care what shall become of me."    
Prior to the completion of the Temple, [Joseph Smith] took the Twelve and certain other men, who were chosen, and bestowed upon them a holy anointing, similar to that which was received on the day of Pentecost by the Twelve, who had been told to tarry at Jerusalem. This endowment was bestowed upon the chosen few whom Joseph anointed and ordained, giving unto them the keys of the holy Priesthood, the power and authority which he himself held, to build up the Kingdom of God in all the earth and accomplish the great purposes of our Heavenly Father."    
Knowing that Sidney Rigdon was the only member of the First Presidency to survive the martyrdom but knowing too that he had not received the ordinances of the fulness of the priesthood, George Q. Cannon added this significant comment: "It was by virtue of this authority, on the death of Joseph, that President Young, as President of the quorum of the Twelve, presided over the Church" (Journal of Discourses, 13:49). Joseph  Smith's followers did believe he "firmly established the dispensation of the fullness of the priesthoodthat allearth and hell [could] never prevail against it." See notes 21  22, 29  38, this discourse.    
               (Joseph Smith, The Words of Joseph Smith: The Contemporary Accounts of the Nauvoo Discourses of the Prophet Joseph, compiled and edited by Andrew F. Ehat and Lyndon W. Cook, p.306-307)
This is from the body of The Words of Joseph Smith:
Men will set up stakes and say thus far will we go and no farther, did Abraham when called upon to offer his son, 35 did the Saviour, 36 no, view him fulfiling all rightousness again on the banks of jordon, 37 also on the Mount transfigured before Peter and John there receiving the fulness of preisthood or the law of God, 38 setting up no stake but coming right up to the mark in all things here him after he returned from the Mount, did ever language of such magnitude fall from the lips of any man, hearken him. All power is given is given unto me both in heaven and the earth. 39 Offering's sacrifice's and carnal commandments, was added in consequence of transgression and they that did them should live by them. 40 View  him the Son of God at saying it behoveth me to fulfil all rightousness 41 also in a garden saying if it be possible let this cup pass from me nevertheless thy will be done. 42 What was the design of the Almighty in making man, it was to exalt him to be as God, 43 the scripture says yet are Gods and it cannot be broken, 44 heirs of God and joint heirs I with Jesus Christ equal with him possesing all power &c. 45 The mystery power and glory of the preisthood is so great and glorious that the angels desired to understand it and cannot: why, because of the tradition of them and their fathers in setting up stakes and not coming up to the mark in their probationary state. 46    

               (Joseph Smith, The Words of Joseph Smith: The Contemporary Accounts of the Nauvoo Discourses of the Prophet Joseph, compiled and edited by Andrew F. Ehat and Lyndon W. Cook, p.247)
38. This is the only known record of when, according to Joseph Smith, the Savior received the fulness of the priesthood. Wilford Woodruff's report of the Prophet's 11 June 1843 discourse recorded a significant comment by Joseph Smith regarding this subject: "If a man gets the fulness of God ["priesthood" as in the published version], he has to get [it] in the same way that Jesus Christ obtained it, by keeping all the ordinances of the house of the Lord" (see 11 June 1843, note 9  9). To Joseph Smith, however, it was not the Lord's will that all have Elijah confer upon them the sealing power of the fulness of the priesthood, for as Franklin D. Richards expressed it, we receive the fulness by "being administered to by one having the same power and Authority of Melchizedek" (D&C 132:7).    
Joseph Smith distinguished between the ordination of the twelve disciples as apostles (in Matthew 10) and the bestowal of the sealing power of Elijah upon three of the twelve (in Matthew 17), for he himself received the authority of the apostleship in 1829 (Joseph Smith-History, 1:72; D&C 27:12), but did not receive the sealing power of the fulness of the priesthood until 3 April 1836 (D&C 110:13-16; also text at notes 13-20 & of the 10 March 1844 discourse).    
               (Joseph Smith, The Words of Joseph Smith: The Contemporary Accounts of the Nauvoo Discourses of the Prophet Joseph, compiled and edited by Andrew F. Ehat and Lyndon W. Cook, p.307-)

43. In his 21 May 1843 discourse (at note 12 &), the Prophet, without elaborating on his statement, said he would "keep in [his] own bosom the design of the great God in sending us into this world and organizing us to prepare us for the Eternal world." Joseph Smith did hint though that the doctrine of eternal marriage was related to the implicit question. Here in the James Burgess account of the 27 August 1843 discourse (three months later), the Prophet finally answers his own question: "What was the design of the Almighty in making man? It was to exalt him to be as God." Given that the  Prophet would have answered the question similarly in May, this is remarkable confirmation of the then unwritten revelation on eternal marriage. When it was written seven and a half weeks later (12 July 1843), this revelation asserted that if couples were sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise through the authority of the sealing power of the priesthood and were also given the promise that they would come forth in the first resurrection, and if they should continue without committing the unpardonable sin, "Then shall they be godsbecause they have all power, and the angels are subject unto them" (D&C 132:19-20).    
               (Joseph Smith, The Words of Joseph Smith: The Contemporary Accounts of the Nauvoo Discourses of the Prophet Joseph, compiled and edited by Andrew F. Ehat and Lyndon W. Cook, p.308)

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Those Elected Are Responsible

Charley Reese (January 29, 1937 - May 21, 2013) was an American syndicated columnist known for his conservative views.[1] He was associated with the Orlando Sentinel from 1971 to 2001, both as a writer and in various editorial capacities. King Features Syndicate distributed his column, which was published three times per week.

This is his last column

Charlie Reese, a retired reporter for the Orlando Sentinel, has hit the nail
directly on the head, defining clearly who it is that in the final analysis must
assume responsibility for the judgments made that impact each one of us every
day.  It's a short but good read.  Worth the time.  Worth remembering!
                545 vs. 300,000,000 People
                -By Charlie Reese
                Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems
and then campaign against them.
                Have you ever wondered, if both the Democrats and the
Republicans are against deficits, WHY do we have deficits?
                Have you ever wondered, if all the politicians are against
inflation and high taxes, WHY do we have inflation and high taxes?
                You and I don't propose a federal budget.  The President does.
                You and I don't have the Constitutional authority to vote on
appropriations. The House of Representatives does.
                You and I don't write the tax code, Congress does.
                You and I don't set fiscal policy, Congress does.
                You and I don't control monetary policy, the Federal Reserve
Bank does.
                One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one President, and nine
Supreme Court justices equates to 545 human beings out of the 300 million are
directly, legally, morally, and individually responsible for the domestic
problems that plague this country.
                I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that
problem was created by the Congress.  In 1913, Congress delegated its
Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered, but
private, central bank.
                I excluded all the special interests and lobbyists for a sound
reason.  They have no legal authority.  They have no ability to coerce a
senator, a congressman, or a President to do one cotton-picking thing.  I don't
care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash.  The politician has
the power to accept or reject it.  No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is
the legislator's responsibility to determine how he votes.
                Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you
that what they did is not their fault.  They cooperate in this common con
regardless of party.
                What separates a politician from a normal human being is an
excessive amount of gall.  No normal human being would have the gall of a
Speaker, who stood up and criticized the President for creating deficits.  The
President can only propose a budget.  He cannot force the Congress to accept it.
                The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives
sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and
approving appropriations and taxes.  Who is the speaker of the House?  John
Boehner.  He is the leader of the majority party.  He and fellow House members,
not the President, can approve any budget they want.  If the President vetoes
it, they can pass it over his veto if they agree to.
                It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 300 million cannot
replace 545 people who stand convicted -- by present facts -- of incompetence
and irresponsibility.  I can't think of a single domestic problem that is not
traceable directly to those 545 people.  When you fully grasp the plain truth
that 545 people exercise the power of the federal government, then it must
follow that what exists is what they want to exist.
                If the tax code is unfair, it's because they want it unfair.
                If the budget is in the red, it's because they want it in the
                If the Army & Marines are in Iraq and Afghanistan it's because
they want them in Iraq and Afghanistan ...
                If they do not receive social security but are on an elite
retirement plan not available to the people, it's because they want it that way.
                There are no insoluble government problems.
                Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom
they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice
they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from
whom they can take this power.
                Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there
exists disembodied mystical forces like "the economy," "inflation," or
"politics" that prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do.
                Those 545 people, and they alone, are responsible.  They, and
they alone, have the power.
                They, and they alone, should be held accountable by the people
who are their bosses.  Provided the voters have the gumption to manage their own
employees...  We should vote all of them out of office and clean up their mess!