Malichi's Prophecy - A Study in a Prophetic Role

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Here was an interesting comparison of scriptures and how a prophet of God works with it.

Malachi 4:6


6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

 -- KJV

3 Ne 25:6


6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

Notice that they are word-for-word identical.  And the JST of Malachi offers no change to that verbiage either.  But then:

JS-H 1: 39


And he shall plant in the hearts of the children the promises made to the fathers, and the hearts of the children shall turn to their fathers. If it were not so, the whole earth would be utterly wasted at his coming.

Before I get into commentary, there is another quote that is vital to the development of this treatise.

D&C 128:18 -- I won't quote the entire verse because it is long.  But you can look it up.  Here are some excerpts:


I might have rendered a plainer translation to this, but it is sufficiently plain to suit my purpose as it stands.

the earth will be smitten with a curse unless there is a welding link of some kind

and behold what is that subject? It is the baptism for the dead.

a whole and complete and perfect union, and welding together of dispensations,

The verse as written in Malachi was a correct translation.  Christ, himself, spoke those same words to the Nephites.  Joseph made no alteration in the JST.  If it was correct, then why did Moroni quote it differently?

Scriptures are written to the dispensation which receives the words from the Lord, according to the understanding of the person receiving them.  That is why Nephi couldn't explain what happened with the 116 pages.  He just knew it was "for a wise purpose in the Lord."

Joseph stated in another discourse that the "turn their hearts" could just as easily mean "to seal".  So, why did Moroni not use the word seal when he came to Joseph?  Because Joseph didn't know about sealing at that time.  He wouldn't have understood it.  Line-upon-line.  Precept-upon-precept.

When we talk of properly "translating" the Bible (AoF 8) it is easy for us to think it is about interpreting one language into another.  But when Joseph says "But it is sufficiently plain to suit my purposes" this lets us know that it isn't necessarily wrong (c.f.3 Ne).  It is sometimes/often about interpreting the meaning of the written word to the person who may receive it.  This is the role of the prophet.

Part and parcel with this interpretive role is to offer changes to scriptures as it stands (which Joseph did when he offered the JST).  Note that this cannot be a blanket freedom to make changes at a whim. Otherwise the written word would be meaningless, and it would be nothing more than a "living breathing document that acts as a guiding light" to us today.

No, the prophet is only allowed to interpret based on newer light and knowledge that he has received from God, not based on man's wisdom.

If that is so, why not change the wording of Malachi to talk about sealing?  Because it is sufficiently plain as it is.  And the interpretations which have made it into the collective consciousness of the Church already understands this interpretation.  No need to change it.  And D&C 128 addresses it as well.

So, Moroni "provided clarity" on the verse.

Then Joseph "provided clarity" on Moroni's words indicating that vicarious work for the dead would be involved.  This was only after he received the light and knowledge about baptism for the dead (1842).

Later, Joseph "provided clarity" when he learned about sealing (1843).  Now, in the dispensation of the fullness of times, we see that the original prophecy was incomplete.  The curse is abated only when we do proxy work for all salvific ordinances for the dead.


Why am I bringing this up?  There is another part of the prophecy.


And not only this, but those things which never have been revealed from the foundation of the world, but have been kept hid from the wise and prudent, shall be revealed unto babes and sucklings in this, the dispensation of the fulness of times.

Once upon a time someone asked what things have been revealed that have been hidden from the world?

My immediate response was vicarious sealing ordinances.  The New Testament indicates that they did Baptism for the dead.  But it doesn't mention anything about sealing for the dead.

However, I've been pondering this a while.  And my mind was called up to AoF 9:


...And we believe that he will yet reveal...

 -- emphasis added.

We are about to receive a whole lot more stuff.  And far too many people are comfortable in their firm understanding of doctrine and history that they will have a hard time letting go of their pride and comfort to accept/grasp what the Lord has in store for us.  And this, more than outside forces, will cause a separation of the wheats and the tares.

I am doing what I can to let go of my own pride.  But it really isn't that easy.

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@Carborendum  May I add a thought.  You may have already touched on it but I would quote from Mark chapter 4:


10 And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable.

11 And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables:

12 That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.

13 And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?

I believe that verse 12 is paramount to revelation.  This concept of seeing and not perceiving and hearing and not understanding is pivotal to revelation.  I have pondered that it is not so much receiving "new" revelation as it is achieving deeper understandings of revelation already presented.  Kind of like the parable of the 10 blind men and the elephant.  Each has a perception of the elephant that is not wrong but rather incomplete.

At time I post as an attempt to expand thinking.  It is interesting how often because of our pride we push back at expanding thoughts.  Sometimes (like with @LDSGator @Vort and many others that seem to follow my same intent) we seem to get stuck trying to get another poster to expand thinking and argue the same points over and over thinking we disagree when in reality we are only trying to add to each other's viewpoint.

Sometimes I think we worry too much about others when we (I) need to be more aware of our own thinking.


The Traveler

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