Two Witnesses


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Concerning the two witnesses that will preach in Jerusalem, hold back the enemies of the nation of Israel, be killed and then raised after three days, I just read of a Jewish tradition that these two witnesses would be either Moses and Elijah or Enoch and Elijah. I found this pretty interesting because from an LDS perspective it is just assumed they would be members of the then current quorum of 12 apostles. But having that role filled by ancient prophets of the house of Israel who have not yet died has a certain logic to it that kind of makes sense. Any thoughts of why this could or couldn't be a credible fulfillment of this prophecy?

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2 hours ago, laronius said:

Concerning the two witnesses that will preach in Jerusalem, hold back the enemies of the nation of Israel, be killed and then raised after three days, I just read of a Jewish tradition that these two witnesses would be either Moses and Elijah or Enoch and Elijah. I found this pretty interesting because from an LDS perspective it is just assumed they would be members of the then current quorum of 12 apostles. But having that role filled by ancient prophets of the house of Israel who have not yet died has a certain logic to it that kind of makes sense. Any thoughts of why this could or couldn't be a credible fulfillment of this prophecy?

Doesn’t the prophecy end with the prophets being killed, their bodies lying in the streets for a couple of days, and then being resurrected and ascended to Heaven?

The idea of translated beings being mortal again, seems problematic.

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If they haven't actually experienced death yet, then I guess they could.

Moses and Elijah have also had prior experience controlling the elements, as well as other forms of mighty miracles.

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3 hours ago, Just_A_Guy said:

Doesn’t the prophecy end with the prophets being killed, their bodies lying in the streets for a couple of days, and then being resurrected and ascended to Heaven?

The idea of translated beings being mortal again, seems problematic.

There's some things we definitely don't know about translated beings but if it's anything like those who experience a bodily change when they temporarily enter God's presence then leaving His presence, i.e. come back to earth, may possibly result in becoming mortal again.

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2 hours ago, scottyg said:

If they haven't actually experienced death yet, then I guess they could.

Moses and Elijah have also had prior experience controlling the elements, as well as other forms of mighty miracles.

This is what I was thinking. These are individuals who are uniquely qualified to reach the Jewish people. Elijah is one individual they are in fact expecting to return whereas Moses and Enoch have delivered the House of Israel from their enemies before. Does present an interesting scenario.

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16 hours ago, Just_A_Guy said:

Doesn’t the prophecy end with the prophets being killed, their bodies lying in the streets for a couple of days, and then being resurrected and ascended to Heaven?

The idea of translated beings being mortal again, seems problematic.

They are more than translated.  They are now resurrected beings ("twinkled").  So, they cannot die.

In Doctrines of Salvation, JFS says that they were translated so they could bestow the keys upon Peter, James, & John prior to the Resurrection.  Once they had done so, their Terrestial mission was complete they only had to wait for Christ's resurrection to be twinkled into exalted beings.  Thia happened to all who were translated prior to Christ.

It was as resurrected beings that Elijah, Elias, and Moses returned at the dedication of the Kirtland Temple.  They cannot die.

Edited by Carborendum
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17 hours ago, scottyg said:

Moses and Elijah have also had prior experience controlling the elements, as well as other forms of mighty miracles.

From Revelation 11:6

Quote

These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.

They will replicate the miracles of Elijah (who shut the heavens) and Moses (who turned water to blood). This leads to the speculation that Moses and Elijah themselves will be the two prophets, but as far as I know only the LDS tradition has a translated Moses (Enoch’s translation may be why he’s included as Elijah’s companion, but I’m unfamiliar with that rumor). For Latter-day Saints, we already have the authority of both Moses and Elijah, so we don’t need the ancient prophets there personally to fulfill this prophecy (just like we don’t need Peter, James, and John to come to Jerusalem to set up a ward or branch there).

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21 hours ago, Carborendum said:

They are more than translated.  They are now resurrected beings ("twinkled").  So, they cannot die.

In Doctrines of Salvation, JFS says that they were translated so they could bestow the keys upon Peter, James, & John prior to the Resurrection.  Once they had done so, their Terrestial mission was complete they only had to wait for Christ's resurrection to be twinkled into exalted beings.  Thia happened to all who were translated prior to Christ.

It was as resurrected beings that Elijah, Elias, and Moses returned at the dedication of the Kirtland Temple.  They cannot die.

I know it is assumed that they have been resurrected but I didn't know if it was official doctrine. Maybe Enoch is just going to have to find him a sidekick to pull it off. 😄

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On 6/4/2022 at 11:15 AM, laronius said:

Concerning the two witnesses that will preach in Jerusalem, hold back the enemies of the nation of Israel, be killed and then raised after three days, I just read of a Jewish tradition that these two witnesses would be either Moses and Elijah or Enoch and Elijah. I found this pretty interesting because from an LDS perspective it is just assumed they would be members of the then current quorum of 12 apostles. But having that role filled by ancient prophets of the house of Israel who have not yet died has a certain logic to it that kind of makes sense. Any thoughts of why this could or couldn't be a credible fulfillment of this prophecy?

I'm unfamiliar with this teaching, and I find it very interesting. I'm in agreement though with @Just_A_Guy in that a translated being isn't going to die.

John the Beloved is to have been plunged into boiling oil and no harm came to him. If no harm came to a translated being from boiling oil I have a hard time believing then any human could destroy their translated flesh -- fulfilling the prophecy that these two died and then were resurrected.

We learn from the Book of Mormon that a translated being will feel no pain and will not die (as to our temporal death experience). In order for this to be true concerning Moses and Elijah or Enoch and Elijah, then the promised blessing of becoming a translated being would have to be removed.

I mean, it could be possible that -- voluntarily -- either of these individuals would give up such immortality to fulfill another purpose, but I would highly doubt it.

Edited by Anddenex
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19 minutes ago, Anddenex said:

 

We learn from the Book of Mormon that a translated being will feel no pain and will not die (as to our temporal death experience). In order for this to be true concerning Moses and Elijah or Enoch and Elijah, then the promised blessing of becoming a translated being would have to be removed.

I agree but it makes me wonder what if any difference there is between the physical change that must come upon a mortal being to temporarily enter God's presence and one who is essentially taken up into heaven as a translated being. Is there a difference in what actually takes place or is it simply a difference in duration? But yes, resurrection is altogether different so if they have been resurrected then I don't see them returning to mortality as an option.

Again, we do have the three Nephites wandering around. Maybe two of them will get a wild hair and decide to go check out Jerusalem. 🤔😁

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54 minutes ago, laronius said:

Is there a difference in what actually takes place or is it simply a difference in duration?

Translated beings are of a Terrestrial glory, not Celestial, so that is a fairly significant difference.

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On 6/4/2022 at 11:15 AM, laronius said:

Concerning the two witnesses that will preach in Jerusalem, hold back the enemies of the nation of Israel, be killed and then raised after three days, I just read of a Jewish tradition that these two witnesses would be either Moses and Elijah or Enoch and Elijah. I found this pretty interesting because from an LDS perspective it is just assumed they would be members of the then current quorum of 12 apostles. But having that role filled by ancient prophets of the house of Israel who have not yet died has a certain logic to it that kind of makes sense. Any thoughts of why this could or couldn't be a credible fulfillment of this prophecy?

I am reasonably certain that the two witnesses will be called by G-d through (by prophesy as was Aaron) priesthood channels according to the oath and covenant of the priesthood.  The calling of Apostles is the calling to witness.  I believe that these two witnesses will be Latter-day Apostles.  I have pondered that there will be more than two witnesses but only two will be killed.  I have speculated that the names of the witnesses will have significant meaning and reference and that in essence when they are called to witness to the Jews and give their lives, that it will be somewhat of an "Ah ha" moment for LDS students of modern and ancient scripture.  And as with other latter-day prophesies I ponder and wonder if (symbolically speaking) that their table is currently being set.

 

The Traveler

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23 hours ago, laronius said:

I know it is assumed that they have been resurrected but I didn't know if it was official doctrine.

It is not just "assumed". 

Quote

54 Yea, and Enoch also, and they who were with him; the prophets who were before him; and Noah also, and they who were before him; and Moses also, and they who were before him;
55 And from Moses to Elijah, and from Elijah to John, who were with Christ in his resurrection...

D&C 133

 

  • We also know that translated beings are changed from mortal to immortal in the "twinkling of an eye." (3Ne 28)
  • And we also know that translated beings will undergo a process "similar to death".

 

Quote

Translated bodies cannot enter into rest until they have undergone a change equivalent to death. (Joseph Smith papers)

"equivalent to" is specifically worded to mean something that has similar results but is somehow different from death as we're familiar with it.  All the literature you would need to point to regarding the belief that Moses and Elijah are the ones... that sure looks exactly like death that we're familiar with.

...

If you're dead set on believing that Moses and Elijah are the ones who will be there at the great battle, then you're going to believe it.  If you go through enough mental gymnastics, I'm sure you can come up with a reasonable way to explain why LDS beliefs would support such a notion.  And it will likely not cause anyone a faith crisis if it were found out to be true.

But I have to wonder, why are you willing to undergo such mental gymnastics to justify such a belief in the face of the known doctrines regarding translated beings?

Edited by Carborendum
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7 hours ago, Carborendum said:

It is not just "assumed". 

 

  • We also know that translated beings are changed from mortal to immortal in the "twinkling of an eye." (3Ne 28)
  • And we also know that translated beings will undergo a process "similar to death".

 

"equivalent to" is specifically worded to mean something that has similar results but is somehow different from death as we're familiar with it.  All the literature you would need to point to regarding the belief that Moses and Elijah are the ones... that sure looks exactly like death that we're familiar with.

...

If you're dead set on believing that Moses and Elijah are the ones who will be there at the great battle, then you're going to believe it.  If you go through enough mental gymnastics, I'm sure you can come up with a reasonable way to explain why LDS beliefs would support such a notion.  And it will likely not cause anyone a faith crisis if it were found out to be true.

But I have to wonder, why are you willing to undergo such mental gymnastics to justify such a belief in the face of the known doctrines regarding translated beings?

I think you have been reading far too much in between the lines. Simply exploring an interesting belief of the Jewish people. But I do appreciate your contributions to the discussion.

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21 hours ago, Traveler said:

I am reasonably certain that the two witnesses will be called by G-d through (by prophesy as was Aaron) priesthood channels according to the oath and covenant of the priesthood.  The calling of Apostles is the calling to witness.  I believe that these two witnesses will be Latter-day Apostles.  I have pondered that there will be more than two witnesses but only two will be killed.  I have speculated that the names of the witnesses will have significant meaning and reference and that in essence when they are called to witness to the Jews and give their lives, that it will be somewhat of an "Ah ha" moment for LDS students of modern and ancient scripture.  And as with other latter-day prophesies I ponder and wonder if (symbolically speaking) that their table is currently being set.

 

The Traveler

Yes, the "raised up to the Jewish nation" part is one of the few bits of information on their identity. It does make one wonder on what exactly it means.

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12 hours ago, laronius said:

Yes, the "raised up to the Jewish nation" part is one of the few bits of information on their identity. It does make one wonder on what exactly it means.

Thanks for your input.  Just my opinion, I do not think that coincidences occur in scripture.

 

The Traveler

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On 6/6/2022 at 9:54 PM, laronius said:

I think you have been reading far too much in between the lines.

Well, there's always that danger, I suppose.  But I don't think I am.

I ask that you don't take this the wrong way.  I'm not saying this in a voice of thunder.  I'm rather concerned about you.

Quote

Simply exploring an interesting belief of the Jewish people.

Nothing wrong with that.  But it seems you started from an innocent discussion topic and then drifted into defending the position that continues to ignore the things that we DO know.

It began innocent enough.

On 6/4/2022 at 12:15 PM, laronius said:

Any thoughts of why this could or couldn't be a credible fulfillment of this prophecy?

This is simply an "I wonder" kind of question.  Nothing wrong with that.

On 6/4/2022 at 6:27 PM, laronius said:

This is what I was thinking. These are individuals who are uniquely qualified to reach the Jewish people. Elijah is one individual they are in fact expecting to return whereas Moses and Enoch have delivered the House of Israel from their enemies before. Does present an interesting scenario.

Here is where you start making arguments about why it is probably true while ignoring the doctrinal background on the subject. That doesn't seem like a simple "thought experiment".

On 6/5/2022 at 3:55 PM, laronius said:

I know it is assumed that they have been resurrected but I didn't know if it was official doctrine. Maybe Enoch is just going to have to find him a sidekick to pull it off. 😄

Now you're saying it is only an assumption and show that you're actually ignoring doctrine stating that it is NOT official doctrine.

On 6/5/2022 at 6:32 PM, laronius said:

Again, we do have the three Nephites wandering around. Maybe two of them will get a wild hair and decide to go check out Jerusalem. 🤔😁

And, yet again, you speculate while ignoring the fact that Jesus himself said that these three would be changed in the twinkling of an eye (i.e. never taste of death).

Yes, I see the note of humor in these last two quotes.  But it seems to be layered on a foundation of actual belief that this is actually true.  Am I reading between the lines here?  Could be.  You tell me.  Am I?  Do you actually believe those last couple of statements are true?  Are you kind of "hoping" they are true?

On 6/6/2022 at 10:07 PM, laronius said:

Yes, the "raised up to the Jewish nation" part is one of the few bits of information on their identity. It does make one wonder on what exactly it means.

Even though this is a very vague reference to a very generic principle that could apply to anyone.  You're chomping at the bit to apply it to this fanciful idea.

A simple "I wonder" turned into a defense of an idea that requires that we ignore several known points of doctrine.  Where does that leave you?  You've heard of a slippery slope?  It is often touted as a fallacy. But you've just shown a perfect example of how easily it can be a correct description.

Again, idle curiosity...  nothing more... perfectly fine.  Speculation makes us ask questions.  And there is nothing wrong with asking questions and seeking answers from the Lord.  And for this doctrine, if you want to believe it, you probably can and it will probably do nothing to mar your salvation.  It isn't about the belief in this idea. 

It is how you're going about trying to defend it.  It requires that you ignore established doctrines and beliefs to believe what you want to believe.  That's the dangerous part.

Edited by Carborendum
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Posted (edited)

Well @Carborendum you caught me. The two witnesses prophecy has proven to be my spiritual Achilles heel. Who would've thunk it. 😂

Seriously???? Okay, let me set your mind at ease that I am not quickly (or even slowly) sliding into the realm of apostasy. Apparently it has been a while since I've read section 133 of the D&C which as you point out clearly teaches us that these individuals have in fact been resurrected and that is why I thanked you for your contribution. You previously had referenced something a previous prophet had mentioned and while I always give merit to such things I also recognize the possibility of expressed opinion in such things so I don't automatically take it as absolute, so if you would have lead with scripture I imagine this thread would have been a bit shorter. But I thank you for your concern.

Edited by laronius
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