In previous chapters we have seen how the Lord appointed a mission for the Remnant of Jacob, or the Lost Ten Tribes long ago, before they were ever lost. We have seen how part of their mission would be to lay the foundations of the new earth, and to fulfill the role of the forerunner for Christ’s Second Coming – sanctifying the world by fire. In addition, they will lay the foundations for the New Jerusalem – the city where God will dwell. The widespread destruction that will happen prior to the Second Coming is well documented and understood to one degree or another by most in the Christian community. What is less understood is how this event will impact the Christian community itself. Isaiah covers this topic well, but some background will help to clarify his message.
We have learned that the Remnant of Jacob will first come to Zion to subdue Israel’s enemies and then to receive a blessing at the hand of the children of Ephraim, and to bestow upon them their rich treasures.[i] With this in mind consider the following regarding the great and terrible day of the Lord and its impact upon His Church.
Behold, vengeance cometh speedily upon the inhabitants of the earth, a day of wrath, a day of burning, a day of desolation, of weeping, of mourning, and of lamentation; and as a whirlwind it shall come upon all the face of the earth, saith the Lord. And upon my house shall it begin, and from my house shall it go forth, saith the Lord; first among those among you, saith the Lord, who have professed to know my name and have not known me, and have blasphemed against me in the midst of my house, saith the Lord.[ii]
In the verses above, the Lord clearly states that the epicenter for the great and terrible day will be among the hypocrites of His church. We have seen that an antichrist – the Assyrian, will make war against the saints of God. From the passage above, we learn that this is meant to be a purification and refining of the saints. This should give us serious pause for self-reflection. From the saints, the persecution then spreads across America. This is the purpose for which the Lord brought the Assyrian to America.
There is a tendency among many members of the church to believe, as the House of Israel did – that they are special beyond all others, an elevated and chosen people by birthright. However, it is impossible to separate the favor of the Lord from personal righteousness. Among none of Israel was the Lord’s wrath kindled more than among the hypocrites. Those that profess their faith with their lips, but are as whited sepulchers – appearing clean without, but full of rottenness, decay and death within. The Lord gave Israel a stinging rebuke along these lines:
But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land; but unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow.
And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian. And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath.[iii]
This is a concept worthy of study. The Lord taught repeatedly regarding this subject. He gave his disciples the parable of the ten virgins, which refers to the latter-day church. In modern day revelation, the Lord expounded upon this parable, associating it directly with our day.
And at that day [the great and terrible day of the Lord], when I shall come in my glory, shall the parable be fulfilled which I spoke concerning the ten virgins. For they that are wise and have received the truth, and have taken the Holy Spirit for their guide, and have not been deceived—verily I say unto you, they shall not be hewn down and cast into the fire, but shall abide the day.[iv]
By stating that the wise members of the church (wise virgins) would not be burned, the Lord implies that the unwise members (unwise virgins) shall be. The ratio of the parable is fifty percent, an extremely sobering number. When I think of this subject, I cannot help correlating it to the events previously discussed regarding the stout horn and the abominable church waging war against the saints of God.[v]
Satan is not some half-witted hack, he “was in authority in the presence of God”.[vi] He is intelligent, powerful, and extremely persuasive. He convinced a third of all the host of heaven to willingly leave the presence of the Father. This is a staggering accomplishment, I will attempt to provide some perspective as to what this actually means.
Assume for the purposes of this illustration that only the inhabitants of this world were included in the pre-mortal council, though I believe that this is an incorrect assumption.[vii] According to the Population Reference Bureau, it is estimated that the earth has been home to 108 billion people since its creation.[viii] We also know that the earth will continue to bear the fruit of the womb for at least another thousand years after the Second Coming. If we assume that between now and the end of that thousand-year period another 100 billion souls come to earth (7 billion living today-assumes another 10 billion per 100 year period), we might estimate 208 billion souls coming to earth in total. If we assume that these 208 billion represents the two thirds of Heavenly Father’s children that did not follow Satan initially, we can calculate that there were approximately 312 billion spirits from our earth that were involved in the pre-mortal counsels in heaven. Therefore, by this calculation, Satan convinced approximately 104 billion souls to following him. Using this number, today Latter-day Saints are out-numbered 7,000 to 1 by Satan’s “pinched, calculating little minions”.[ix]
With odds like this, it is inconceivable to think that any mortal could expect to withstand the onslaught of Satan on his own. Samuel the Lamanite further confirmed this point when he prophesied to the members of the Church of Jesus Christ in his day. He prophesied the day would come when they would realize their awful state, and when they did, they would howl these words with weeping and wailing:
Behold, we are surrounded by demons, yea, we are encircled about by the angels of him who hath sought to destroy our souls.[x]
Samuel foresaw that in his day, the members of the church would with anguished cries, finally see the error of their ways. Satan and his unseen hosts are joined in their fight against the Lamb of God by the brick and mortar infrastructure of the great and abominable institutions under his control. This war is real, it is intense, and the stakes could not be higher. The counsel of Paul was meant for us in these dire circumstances:
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day.[xi]
It is because of Satan’s war against the Lamb of God and His saints that so many who were once counted as faithful members of the church will fall prey to Satan and his minions. He will lull many away. He will seduce them, change them, slowly, patiently, almost imperceptibly until they are bound in his heavy chains. This was seen and testified of by Enoch, when he saw the condition of the earth in the latter-days.
And he beheld Satan; and he had a great chain in his hand, and it veiled the whole face of the earth with darkness; and he looked up and laughed, and his angels rejoiced.[xii]
Satan’s war against the Lamb of God, and those who would be His disciples, is not some dumb, brute-force attack. It has been highly calculated and crafted. He has been laying the foundations for this assault for many years, and the worst lies yet ahead of us.
To date, his strategies have been primarily spiritual in nature. These strategies vary for men and women. Sins of a sexual nature are second only to murder in their seriousness, and given the world’s open mockery of the law of chastity, this certainly goes to the heart of his strategy. To better understand Satan’s stratagem, we must first clearly understand the Lord’s standard regarding the same. These teachings can be found in the plain and simple language of the For the Strength of Youth pamphlet – emphasis added.
In God’s sight, sexual sins are extremely serious. They defile the sacred power God has given us to create life. The prophet Alma taught that sexual sins are more serious than any other sins except murder or denying the Holy Ghost [which is also associated with murder[xiii]].
Treat others [and yourself] with respect, not as objects used to satisfy lustful and selfish desires. Before marriage, do not participate in passionate kissing, lie on top of another person, or touch the private, sacred parts of another person’s body, with or without clothing. Do not do anything else that arouses sexual feelings [pornography]. Do not arouse those emotions in your own body [masturbation].[xiv]
Your body is sacred. Respect it and do not defile it in any way. Through your dress and appearance, you can show that you know how precious your body is. You can show that you are a disciple of Jesus Christ and that you love Him. Prophets of God have continually counseled His children to dress modestly.
When you are well groomed and modestly dressed, you invite the companionship of the Spirit and you can be a good influence on others. Your dress and grooming influence the way you and others act. Never lower your standards of dress. Do not use a special occasion as an excuse to be immodest. [Bikinis, dance dresses, party dresses, etc.] When you dress immodestly, you send a message that is contrary to your identity as a son or daughter of God. You also send the message that you are using your body to get attention and approval.
Immodest clothing is any clothing that is tight, sheer, or revealing in any other manner. Young women should avoid short shorts and short skirts, shirts that do not cover the stomach, and clothing that does not cover the shoulders or is low-cut in the front or the back. Young men should also maintain modesty in their appearance. Young men and young women should be neat and clean and avoid being extreme or inappropriately casual in clothing, hairstyle, and behavior. They should choose appropriately modest apparel when participating in sports. The fashions of the world will change, but the Lord’s standards will not change.[xv]
With the Lord’s standard of modesty and morality clearly laid out, Satan’s scheme stands out in sharp contrast. We will first discuss a primary strategy Satan has employed against the women of the church – daughters of Zion, then we will discuss a primary strategy used against the men – sons of Zion.
The Daughters of Zion
“Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies.”[xvi] The Lord has placed within women the noble desire to be loved, cherished, and honored. Satan knows this all too well, and has incorporated these righteous desires into his strategy. An insightful introduction into Satan’s stratagem against women can be found in Ether. Consider this account:
Now the daughter of Jared being exceedingly expert, and seeing the sorrows of her father, thought to devise a plan whereby she could redeem the kingdom unto her father. Now the daughter of Jared was exceedingly fair.
And it came to pass that she did talk with her father, and said unto him: Whereby hath my father so much sorrow? Hath he not read the record which our fathers brought across the great deep? Behold, is there not an account concerning them of old, that they by their secret plans did obtain kingdoms and great glory?
And now, therefore, let my father send for Akish, the son of Kimnor; and behold, I am fair, and I will dance before him, and I will please him, that he will desire me to wife; wherefore if he shall desire of thee that ye shall give unto him me to wife, then shall ye say: I will give her if ye will bring unto me the head of my father, the king.[xvii]
In this brief account we get a glimpse into Satan’s playbook. Satan took a beautiful daughter of God and convinced her to use her body as an object – a catalyst for instilling feelings of lust and desire within another. In this way, this woman’s body became a means to an end, a tool in the hands of the adversary. It is ludicrous to imagine a true disciple of Jesus Christ ever intentionally using her body in such a manner. This story contrasts starkly with the story of Queen Esther who, rather than relying upon the power and influence of sexual desire, fasted and prayed and put her trust in the Lord for the deliverance of her people.
Thus we see the twisted genius of Satan’s cunning plan, and how patiently he has worked behind the curtain to bring it to pass. Just as the deceitful tailor in the story, The Emperor’s New Clothes, Satan has slowly molded and shaped the fashions of the day to serve his purposes – the objectification and sensualization of the female body. Thus, where once the thought of attending school in your underwear could only be contemplated in a cold-sweat-inducing nightmare, it is now the fashion of the day to reveal as much as possible!
Isaiah saw this play out to its awful end in a prophetic vision upon our lands. A cursory reading of which might lead one to believe that Isaiah is talking about vanity and pride. A more in-depth study, involving the corresponding footnotes of both the Old Testament, and Book of Mormon accounts as guides, paints a much more severe picture – along the same vein as the daughter of Jared. The footnotes relating to the first verse of Isaiah’s account reference the following Topical Guide subjects: immodesty,[xviii] vanity,[xix] walking in darkness,[xx] and carnal mindedness;[xxi] and associates these characteristics directly with the daughters of Zion. Lets consider his words:
Moreover, the Lord saith: Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched-forth necks and wanton eyes [sensuality and carnal mindedness], walking and mincing as they go, and making a tinkling with their feet [deliberately creating a “look at me” scenario[xxii]] —
Therefore the Lord will smite with a scab the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion, and the Lord will discover their secret parts [cause them to be ashamed[xxiii]]. In that day [the great and terrible day of the Lord[xxiv]], the Lord will take away the bravery of their tinkling ornaments – the chains and the bracelets, and the ornaments of the legs, and the headbands, and the ear-rings; the rings, and nose jewels; the changeable suits of apparel, and the crisping-pins; and the fine linen [transparent clothing[xxv]], and hoods, and the veils.
And it shall come to pass, instead of sweet smell there shall be stink; and instead of a girdle, a rent; and instead of well set hair, baldness; and instead of a [robe[xxvi]], a girding of sackcloth; burning instead of beauty [reminiscent of the burning of the five unwise virgins].
Thy men shall fall by the sword and thy mighty in the war [the war the great and abominable church/antichrist wage against the saints]. And her gates shall lament and mourn; and she shall be desolate, and shall sit upon the ground.[xxvii] And in that day, seven women shall take hold of one man, saying: We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel; only let us be called by thy name to take away our reproach.[xxviii]
Isaiah’s condemning vision has nothing to do with the beauty of these daughters of Zion – Queen Esther, and Mary – the Mother of Jesus were both described as being exceedingly fair. The women Isaiah condemned were condemned because they had given in to Satan’s sensuality. I cannot say for certain whether the term daughters of Zion refers to the church specifically, or the inhabitants of the United States generally. Regardless, members of the church are included in either category and must therefore pay particular attention to this prophetic warning. Regarding this subject the teachings of Brigham Young were as follows:
He [President Brigham Young] conversed freely on the situation of the Saints in the mountains, and said that he dreaded the time when the Saints would become popular with the world; for he had seen in sorrow, in a dream, or in dreams, this people clothed in the fashions of Babylon and drinking in the spirit of Babylon until one could hardly tell a Saint from a black-leg. And he felt like shouting, “To your tents, Oh Israel!”[xxix]
Much of women’s clothing today is designed to showcase their “secret parts”. The tighter the better – nothing is left to the imagination. Clothing has become tighter than the skin itself. The cuts and fits emphasize the sensual. The curves and nuances of women’s bodies are made to shout, like flashing neon signs, augmented and pronounced. Shorter shorts, skirts, and shirts are the norm. Unfortunately, too many Latter-day Saints have taken up the styles of Babylon, putting their bodies on display, as if they were visitor centers, rather than temples. Like the daughter of Jared, many today use their bodies to gain acceptance, validation, attention, and influence.
These women were not described as harlots, they are described as daughters of Zion, and were therefore raised, to one degree or another, within the light of the Lord. Nevertheless, “notwithstanding they believed in [Jesus Christ] they supposed that whatsoever they did was right.”[xxx] They, like Lot’s wife, had come to learn to embrace unholy aspects of a decaying society.
The consequences for these carnal minded daughters of Zion are intense, for the Lord delights in the chastity of his daughters. However, according to his prophecy, these women are not destroyed like so many others. They are brought down low, humbled to the point of sackcloth and ashes – their beauty having been replaced by burning. However, they do not die in their sins – they live to repent.
These accounts provide a terrifying insight into the genius of Satan, the great deceiver. The Lord has placed within women the noble desire to be loved, cherished, and honored. Satan attempts to manipulate these righteous desires. Satan is the greatest counterfeiter the world has ever known. He takes the God-given desires of women and turns them upside down. Rather than being content in the love and honor of a virtuous man, they seek for and relish in the validating lustful gazes of passing strangers. Their bodies bring them attention, status, and acceptance, but at a terrible price. They trade their birthright for “a mess of porridge”.[xxxi] An honest and objective review of one’s wardrobe in the light of the Lord’s standard, will help the sincere heart discern between the apparel of the five wise virgins, and that of the five foolish ones.
I say unto you, all you that are desirous to follow the voice of the good Shepard, come ye out from the wicked, and be ye separate, and touch not their unclean things.[xxxii]
The Sons of Zion
The Lord has engineered into the human body a remarkable attraction to the opposite sex. This attraction is natural, and is meant to serve as the foundation of society and the gospel. It is meant to ennoble and create. However, Satan is all too familiar with how to use this ingrained programing against the sons of Zion. Wilford Woodruff warned the sons of Zion of the trials to come upon them in the last day. Consider his warning:
I would to God that the eyes of the Latter-day Saints were open far more than they are to those things that rest upon them! …By and by great Babylon will fall and there will be wailing, mourning and sore affliction in her midst. The sons of Zion have got to stand in holy places to be preserved in the midst of the judgments that will shortly overtake the world. [xxxiii]
If immodesty and sensuality are problems among the daughters of Zion, lust is the black-plague amongst its sons. Isaiah’s account above includes a telling ratio of one man to seven women. The account states that the reason is related to the number of men that are killed in the war. If the Lord will preserve the righteous Sons of Zion as they stand in holy places, what can we infer by the great number of Zion’s sons that perish? In the same chapter in which Isaiah talks about the daughters of Zion he says the following of the world:
The show of their countenance doth witness against them; and they declare their sins as Sodom, they hide it not. Woe unto their soul! For they have rewarded evil unto themselves.[xxxiv]
Sodom was guilty of many sins, but those of sexual impurity were at the forefront. Unfortunately it appears that such sins are spreading like a decimating scourge through the ranks of the sons of Zion. The statistics of pornography usage among the men of our day are astounding. In a study involving six college researchers, four of whom were from BYU, it was found that nine out of ten young men actively use pornography.[xxxv] From the many talks regarding the usage of pornography in the General Conferences of the Church, it is evident that pornography use among church members has swelled to epidemic levels. The scope and magnitude of this problem is a direct result of Satan’s strategy against the sons of Zion. In fact, evidence suggests that rather than being less of a problem among LDS men, it is likely far greater.
The Journal of Economic Perspectives published an article on the dissemination of pornography on the internet. The following information was taken from that study.[xxxvi] To facilitate the study, the team worked with some of the top ten pornography suppliers on the internet, each with hundreds of affiliated distribution sites. These companies provided several years worth of subscription data, including the zip codes of all of their paid subscribers. The team then analyzed the data by state in the following ways: subscriptions per capita, subscriptions per internet connection, and subscription per broadband connection. In every instance, Utah had the highest pornographic subscription rate by far, for each metric studied. The following map of the continental US shows the state-by-state results of pornographic subscriptions per broadband connection – the darker the color, the higher the subscription rate.
According to this study, Utah’s subscription rates were 30% higher than second worst state- Mississippi, and 70% higher than the third highest state- Oklahoma. The results of this study are shocking! Especially given Utah has the highest concentration of Latter-day Saints in the world.
Pornographic addiction enslaves men. It transforms them into the equivalent of spiritual zombies – living, but spiritually dead – hollow and incapable. To such the Lord warned:
Behold, it is written by them of old time, that thou shalt not commit adultery; but I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on a woman, to lust after her, hath committed adultery already in his heart. Behold, I give unto you a commandment, that ye suffer none of these things to enter into your heart; for it is better that ye should deny yourselves of these things, wherein ye will take up your cross, than that ye should be cast into hell.[xxxvii]
A staggering number of the sons of Zion are bound by Satan’s heavy chains, whose daily lives have become a living hell. They are trapped, feeling helpless to break the cycle of addiction. Once Satan has enslaved a son of Zion, he and his demon-angels shame and embarrass him into passive silence. By so doing, they prevent him from reaching out to the God-given resources provided for just such a purpose. Such men have opened Pandora’s box, and lack the strength, will or capacity to close it on their own. They must break their silence and solicit help – or die in their sins.
For those precious few who cry out for help from the depths of their anguished despair, we should not shrink away in unrighteous judgment and disgust. To such, we should rally as the father to the prodigal son, in love and brotherly kindness, with patience and forgiveness. If we do not, I fear that far more will suffer in hellish silence and die in their sins than will find the strength to reach out for aid.
The destruction among the Nephites before the Savior’s coming was a foreshadowing of the things to come in our day. The more righteous part of their people were spared, but it was not without pain. Many of their loved ones fell. Mormon’s lament will be heard once again to ring out in the homes and families of this blessed land.
O ye fair ones, how could ye have departed from the ways of the Lord! O ye fair ones, how could ye have rejected that Jesus, who stood with open arms to receive you! Behold, if ye had not done this, ye would not have fallen. But behold, ye are fallen, and I mourn your loss. O ye fair sons and daughters, ye fathers and mothers, ye husbands and wives, ye fair ones, how is it that ye could have fallen![xxxviii]
This topic has been a dreadful one, but as the saying goes, the night is always darkest before the dawn. As we have discussed previously, in all things the Lord works to bring about the salvation of His children, such will be the case among the children of Ephraim. The prophet Jeremiah saw that Ephraim would be chastised for their backsliding but, once corrected, they would remain true.
I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself thus; Thou hast chastised me, and I was chastised, as a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke: turn thou me, and I shall be turned; for thou art the Lord my God. Surely after that I was turned, I repented; and after that I was instructed, I smote upon my thigh: I was ashamed, yea, even confounded, because I did bear the reproach of my youth.
Is Ephraim my dear son? Is he a pleasant child? For since I spake against him, I do earnestly remember him still: therefore my bowels are troubled for him; I will surely have mercy upon him, saith the Lord.[xxxix]
Whereas as there are those among Ephraim that have strayed, after the Church’s purification, Ephraim will be stalwart in the Lord’s service forevermore. There can be no doubt that the purging events described above happen for a glorious purpose – Isaiah makes this unmistakably clear:
And it shall come to pass, they that are left in Zion … shall be called holy, every one that is written among the living… When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the [Sons and] Daughters of Zion… by the spirit of judgment and by the spirit of burning.[xl]
In light of this great destruction, Nephi sought to reassure the righteous living among the wicked during this horrific time of trial. Despite the widespread destruction, Nephi expressed optimism for the righteous. He saw that the righteous would be saved, and need not fear the days to come. After transcribing Isaiah’s words of destruction, Nephi wrote the following:
For the time soon cometh that the fullness of the wrath of God shall be poured out upon all the children of men; for he will not suffer that the wicked shall destroy the righteous. Wherefore, He will preserve the righteous by his power, even if it so be that the fullness of His wrath must come, and the righteous be preserved, even unto the destruction of their enemies by fire. Wherefore, the righteous need not fear; for thus saith the prophet, they shall be saved, even if it so be as by fire.[xli]
While the righteous will be spared, the fact that they will not be exempt from feeling the pains and sorrows of that day, did not escape Isaiah. He saw their pain and suffering, at the loss of their loved ones, their friends and neighbors, sons and daughters. He felt their heartache. He knew that there would be many that would look heavenward and cry as did our Lord from the cross, “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?”[xlii] But we must not despair; we must endure the refiner’s fire with patience. Through this affliction the Lord is bringing about greater things. Consider the following verses from Isaiah.
But, behold, Zion hath said: The Lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me—but he will show that he hath not. For can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee, O House of Israel. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.[xliii]
For a small moment have I forsaken thee, but with great mercies will I gather thee. In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment, but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer.[xliv] For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee.[xlv]
While the refining process will not be relished, it does serve a purpose. No unclean thing can dwell in the presence of the Lord, and the Lord will dwell in America. Therefore, after the stout horn has waged his war against the saints, the saints will be saved by the return of their brothers – long since lost in obscurity – the Remnant of Jacob. These will save the saints, and act as the weapons of the Lord’s indignation to destroy the wicked out of the whole land.[xlvi]
Once America is sanctified, it will stand as the Ensign to the nations it was meant to be. America, or Zion, will then be ready for the construction of the New Jerusalem. Zion will then become the launching pad for the last great harvest. While up to this point in time the House of Joseph will have carried the bulk of the workload, now the mighty Remnant of Jacob will take up the mantle. The remnant will go out in force, 144,000 strong, 12,000 from each tribe, into the vineyard one last time. Those that will harken to the call will be gathered to the refuge of Zion, while the rest of the world will languish in civil war and sin. Orson Pratt, an early Apostle, taught regarding this subject:
Before the Lord shall come … there is to be a great work among the nations. … The ten tribes will have to come forth and come to this land, to be crowned with glory in the midst of Zion by the hands of the servants of God, even the Children of Ephraim; and twelve thousand High Priests will be elected from each of these ten tribes, as well as from the scattered tribes, and sealed in their foreheads, and will be ordained and receive power to gather out of all nations, kindreds, tongues and people as many as will come unto the general assemblage of the Church of the First-born.[xlvii]
While the House of Joseph will have spent the last 200 years fishing for the scattered remnants of Israel from among the nations, the returning lost tribes will represent the last wave that will be sent out in the final hours to bring the remaining stragglers into the safe-holds of Zion. Jeremiah saw this day and prophesied of it as follows:
Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that it shall no more be said, The Lord liveth, that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; But, The Lord liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the North, and from all the lands whither he had driven them: and I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers.
Behold, I will send for many fishers, saith the Lord, and they shall fish them; and after will I send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks.
And first I will recompense their iniquity and their sin double; because they have defiled my land, they have filled mine inheritance with the carcasses of their detestable and abominable things. O Lord, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction, the Gentiles shall come unto thee from the ends of the earth, and shall say, Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit.[xlviii]
The order of events from Jeremiah are insightful, the hunters come after the fishers, and after the wicked have received a double portion of the Lord’s wrath. We have learned that while the stout horn will rage against the saints, the Remnant of Jacob will deliver them, acting as the “weapons of His indignation” [xlix] to prepare the way before His coming and to destroy the wicked. This highlights another distinction between fishers and hunters, the latter are associated with the usage of weaponry, while the former not so much. Isaiah saw that this last great gathering would happen, and attested to as follows:
And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the House of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.[l]
The Lord hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.[li] Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion; for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.[lii]
These scattered remnants will flow into the safety of Zion. Some will come in time to help the Remnant of Jacob and the Saints of God to build the Holy City.[liii] Regardless of the timing of their coming, the rest that they will enjoy in Zion will be glorious. The Doctrine and Covenants further elaborates upon the subject.
And it shall be called the New Jerusalem, a land of peace, a city of refuge, a place of safety for the saints of the Most High God; and the glory of the Lord shall be there, and the terror of the Lord also shall be there, insomuch that the wicked will not come unto it, and it shall be called Zion.
And it shall come to pass among the wicked, that every man that will not take his sword against his neighbor must needs flee unto Zion for safety. And there shall be gathered unto it out of every nation under heaven [by Jeremiah’s hunters]; and it shall be the only people that shall not be at war one with another.
And it shall be said among the wicked: Let us not go up to battle against Zion, for the inhabitants of Zion are terrible; wherefore we cannot stand. And it shall come to pass that the righteous shall be gathered out from among all nations, and shall come to Zion, singing with songs of everlasting joy.[liv]
In conclusion let’s review the events surrounding the purification process of America. From prior chapters we have learned that in the last days Satan and his supporters will wage a war against the saints. While this has been a spiritual war, with the introduction of an antichrist, it will develop into much more in the near future. Under this persecution the saints will suffer, but they will also be purified and prepared to meet their Lord. The Lord will preserve His people by fulfilling His covenants to restore Israel in the Latter-days.
The Remnant of Jacob will come to the children of Ephraim, and preserve the saints and take the fight to the wicked. As a result, the antichrist will retreat from America to regroup elsewhere. After the Lord has sanctified America, there will be a significant missionary effort, wherein 144,000 hunters will go forth into all the nations of the earth and gather those that will to Zion, which will be the only remaining place of refuge in the world. These will assist the Remnant of Jacob in constructing the New Jerusalem upon the American continent. Zion will be a place of peace and love, and will be full of the knowledge of the Lord.
[i] D&C 133:26-34
[ii] D&C 112:24-26
[iii] Luke 4: 25-28
[iv] D&C 45:56-57
[v] 1 Nephi 14:13
[vi] D&C 76:25
[vii] Moses 1:33
[ix] “Cast not Away Therefore Thy Confidence” March 2000 Ensign
[x] Helaman 13:37
[xi] Ephesians 6:12-13
[xii] Moses 7:26
[xiii] D&C 132:27
[xiv] For the Strength of the Youth – Sexual Purity
[xv] For the Strength of the Youth – Dress and Appearance
[xvi] Proverbs 31:10
[xvii] Ether 8:8-10
[xviii] Isaiah 3:16 footnote a
[xix] Isaiah 3:16 footnote b
[xx] Isaiah 3:16 footnote c
[xxi] Isaiah 3:16 footnote d
[xxii] Isaiah 3:16 footnote e
[xxiii] Isaiah 3:17 footnote a
[xxiv] 2 Nephi 13:18 footnote a
[xxv] Isaiah 3:23 footnote a
[xxvi] Isaiah 3:24 footnote c
[xxvii] 2 Nephi 13:16-26
[xxviii] 2 Nephi 14:1
[xxix] Heber C. Kimball, Journal of Discourses, Vol.9, p.154, June 19, 1862
[xxx] Alma 18:5
[xxxi] Hebrews 12:16
[xxxii] Alma 5:57
[xxxiii] Journal of Discourses Volume 15 discourse 35 The Signs of the Coming of the Son of Man – the duties of the saints
[xxxiv] Isaiah 3:9
[xxxv] Journal of Adolescent Research January 2008 vol. 23 no. 1 6-30
[xxxvi] Journal of Economic Perspectives—Volume 23, Number 1—Winter 2009— Pages 209–220
[xxxvii] 3 Nephi 12:27-30
[xxxviii] Mormon 6:17-19
[xxxix] Jeremiah 31:18-20
[xl] 2 Nephi 14:3-4
[xli] 1 Nephi 22:16-17
[xlii] Mark 15:34
[xliii] 1 Nephi 21:14-16
[xliv] 3 Nephi 22:7-8
[xlv] 3 Nephi 22:10
[xlvi] 2 Nephi 23:5
[xlvii] Orson Pratt, Journal of Discourses, 16:325
[xlviii] Jeremiah 16:14-16;18-19
[xlix] 2 Nephi 23:5
[l] Isaiah 2:3
[li] Isaiah 53:10 –see 3 Nephi 20:35
[lii] 2 Nephi 22:6
[liii] 3 Nephi 21:3
[liv] D&C 45:66-71