Wednesday, June 15, 2011

29:11 I cannot read a sealed book


Isaiah 29:11

11 And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed:
Though the meaning of this verse was referenced in footnotes my whole life, I didn't understand how it had been fulfilled until I read Elder Legrand Richard's book A Marvelous Work and a Wonder.  I began reading that book for the first time at age 19 in the missionary training center in Provo, Utah.  Legrand Richards points out that this scripture has been fulfilled literally in an incident that occurred during the translation of The Book Of Mormon.  


Joseph Smith--History 1:63-65

63Sometime in this month of February [1828], ... Mr. Martin Harris came to our place, got the characters which I had drawn off the plates, and started with them to the city of New York. For what took place relative to him and the characters, I refer to his own account of the circumstances, as he related them to me after his return, which was as follows:
 64“I went to the city of New York, and presented the characters which had been translated, with the translation thereof, to Professor Charles Anthon, a gentleman celebrated for his literary attainments. Professor Anthon stated that the translation was correct, more so than any he had before seen translated from the Egyptian. I then showed him those which were not yet translated, and he said that they were Egyptian, Chaldaic, Assyriac, and Arabic; and he said they were true characters. He gave me a certificate, certifying to the people of Palmyra that they were true characters, and that the translation of such of them as had been translated was also correct. I took the certificate and put it into my pocket, and was just leaving the house, when Mr. Anthon called me back, and asked me how the young man found out that there were gold plates in the place where he found them. I answered that an angel of God had revealed it unto him.
 65“He then said to me, ‘Let me see that certificate.’ I accordingly took it out of my pocket and gave it to him, when he took it and tore it to pieces, saying that there was no such thing now as ministering of angels, and that if I would bring the plates to him he would translate them. I informed him that part of the plates were sealed, and that I was forbidden to bring them. He replied, ‘I cannot read a sealed book.’ I left him and went to Dr. Mitchell, who sanctioned what Professor Anthon had said respecting both the characters and the translation.”Now read this prophecy again with Joseph Smith's history in mind.

Isaiah 29:11-14

11And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed:


 12And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned.
 13¶Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:
 14Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.
The men who deliver the words of the book are Joseph Smith and Martin Harris.  The "book" is The Book Of Mormon which was originally engraved on plates made of gold.  A portion of the book was physically sealed by securing the leaves.  That portion was not translated by Joseph Smith and he was commanded not to tamper with the seal.  The "one that is learned" is Professor Charles Anthon who's words "I cannot read a sealed book." are almost a direct quoted from Isaiah 29:11.  "[He] that is not learned" is Joseph Smith who received very little formal education.  
Verse 13 contains the words that the Lord, Jesus Christ spoke to Joseph Smith when Joseph asked which of all the churches he should join.  
"I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong: and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight: that those professors were all corrupt; that: 'They draw near to with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.'"
The "marvelous work and wonder" in verse 14 is the restoration of the gospel, the priesthood authority, and Christ's church to the earth in these latter days.   

A note on Joseph Smith's education:
Though he received very little formal education, his knowledge was vast.  He was taught by scriptures, angels, and the spirit of the Lord.  He revealed several physical laws in his time that took many years for physicists (such as Albert Einstein) and other scientists to elucidate.  Joseph Smith understood, or perhaps accepted the word of the Lord at face value, many concepts which modern scientists have yet to discover.  Just one example comes from the book of Abraham which he translated.
"Enish-go-on-dosh is one of the governing planets also, and is said by the Egyptians to be the Sun, and to borrow its light from Kolob through the medium of Kae-e-vanrash, which is the grand Key, or, in other words, the governing power which governs fifteen other fixed planets or stars, as also floeese or the Moon, the Earth and the sun in their annual revolutions."  
Contemporary scientists have not discovered these concepts of how the sun can borrow its light from another planet or star through the medium of a governing power.  Nor have they discovered the existence of Kolob or the fifteen other fixed planets or stars.   "For the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid."   







3 comments:

  1. This is stated ''Contemporary scientists have not discovered these concepts of how the sun can borrow its light from another planet or star through the medium of a governing power.'' I don't believe that Joseph Smith meant it literally!

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  2. p.s. Kolob means the heart, or center of something.

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  3. Hey, Unknown, thanks for commenting. I was beginning to think that no one was reading my blog anymore.

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