You Can Buy Anything In This World With Money
So, with governments increasingly calling for proof of vaccination before citizens can function freely in society, the question naturally arises: "Does the vaccine passport represent the precursor to the mark of the beast as prophesied in the Revelation of John?"
Well, it sure looks like it to me. Of course, to be certain, it would help to have a clear definition of who or what the "beast" of Revelation is, and for that, we would want to see what Joseph Smith had to say.
Unfortunately, the one time the prophet addressed the topic, the scribes seem to have muddied things up, which I will address in more detail below in case anyone's interested in that digression. For now, though, let's look at the pertinent parts of what John says in Revelation 16-17:
"And he [the beast, who spoke as a dragon, i.e. Satan] causeth all...to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads, and that no man might buy or sell, save he had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name."
Well, we know what the governments of the world are wanting to impose on the people, because they are no longer making a secret of it. What they want is to require all people to provide proof of Covid vaccinations before they can travel, shop, dine, work, or even go outside. They have proposed, and in many cases implemented, a document showing the holder has been checked out and is officially approved by their overlords.
And since we already have the technology to inject teeny-tiny injectable chips into people, it was only a matter of time before that facet of the prophecy came to pass. After all, why lug around one more card in your wallet when you can have it inside you forever and ever?
Last week Russell Brand reported on Sweden being the first to officially introduce this "convenience":
So, to answer the question I asked at the beginning of this piece: I think we might very well be headed down that slippery slope to seeing Revelation 16 and 17 fulfilled.
And Now The Good News
We often forget that prophecies of a dystopian future don't necessarily have to be fulfilled in our generation. Recall the wicked city of Ninevah, which Jonah warned would be destroyed in forty days. That was an iron-clad promise from the Lord: "Yet forty days and Ninevah will be destroyed!"
Yet what happened? The people of Ninevah suddenly came to their senses. They turned things around. They repented. When a people finally tire of the deceptions foisted upon them by those in power, entire nations can repent, and God's hand will be stayed. At the very least, the prophesied doom might be postponed, maybe indefinitely.
"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."
That is also an iron-clad promise from the Lord. Below is a short video showing what's happening in Sweden right now following the announcement by the Swedish government attempting to foist the mark on the people. Similar national awakenings are taking place throughout the world.
The narrative seems to be crumbling as the masses are finally seeing through the propaganda.
We'll have to wait and see. Meanwhile, keep praying.
And remember: Courage Is Contagious.*****
Addendum: Joseph Smith On The Beasts Of Revelation
There is no end to the interpretations offered by the sectarian world of the meanings of the Book of Revelation, which is why in matters this crowded with confusion, I prefer to see what our founding prophet had to say. Unfortunately, the two versions of his sermon taken down by scribes William Clayton and Willard Richards differ wildly from one another, to the point where Joseph even seems to be contradicting himself.
I prefer, when possible, to read the words written in Joseph's journal in Joseph's own hand, which is why my first source in any controversy is to pull The Words of Joseph Smith off the shelf behind me. Sadly, that book is becoming harder to find at a reasonable price.
You can find the prophet's teaching on the beasts of Revelation in most books that provide the prophet's teachings on various subjects (Scriptural Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith) is one I keep nearby), but unfortunately this is one of those occasions when you'll have to rely on what the scribes thought he said, and even their words have been cleaned up by later editors and Church leaders thinking they were being helpful, to the point they often don't very well match what the scribes wrote down in their initial transcriptions.
So in the case of Joseph's teachings on the beasts of Revelation, if you can get your hands on a copy of The Words of Joseph Smith (it is now available on kindle), you can at least see the versions as transcribed by Clayton and Richards, which, as I said above, remain a somewhat muddled mess.
I think it's helpful at this point to describe exactly how it is we know (or don't know) what Joseph Smith actually taught on a given topic, and why what we think we know may not be accurate. It's one thing to read a revelation received by Joseph Smith; it's another to read a sermon given by him but hurriedly written down by someone else. It's estimated that he gave about two hundred and fifty sermons in his lifetime, but we have records of only fifty. And those fifty were taken down in what may be described as a frantic style of shorthand, often an ineffective invention of the individual scribes themselves.
In 1837 a better type of shorthand was invented by one Isaac Pittman in 1837, based on sounds rather than letters or words. But Pittman shorthand was not employed by any of the scribes in Nauvoo. Those men scribbled their notes as best they could as they struggled to keep up with what Joseph was saying.
Now, by 1945 a new convert by the name of George D. Watt began reporting speeches by Brigham Young using Pittman shorthand. I should note, for those who are unaware, that the 26 volumes we refer to as The Journal of Discourses contain the conference talks of Brigham Young and his cohorts during the pioneer period. Joseph Smith's sermons are not found in there.
Although Clayton and Richards neither knew nor used the Pittman method, understanding the way Pittman shorthand worked gives us a clue as to how unreliable most records could be when taken down in whatever methods earlier Church scribes transcribed Joseph's sermons. Here is LaJean Purcell Carruth, historian with the Church History Library, who happens to be quite the expert on Pittman shorthand as it was used to transcribe Brigham Young's sermons:
"This relatively new shorthand method used straight and curved lines, circles, and other marks to represent the sounds of words spoken, and it allowed skilled reporters to quickly record a speaker’s words verbatim. [Watt's] skills soon found use: he began teaching classes on shorthand, and in April 1845 he began reporting speeches given in Church conferences, the proceedings of the Carthage trial, and other meetings."
"When I began transcribing the original shorthand of sermons that were published in the Journal of Discourses, I compared the original shorthand records to the published versions; it was obvious that Watt and other shorthand reporters significantly changed the words of early Church leaders during the transcription process. (It is true that editors made some additional alterations; however, comparing the shorthand and extant longhand transcripts of Watt and others shows that most alterations between the shorthand and published text were made by the reporters themselves.) In other words, the sermons published in the Journal of Discourses and in the Deseret News often differ significantly from what speakers actually said according to the original shorthand record. Examples of these differences will be included in parts two and three.So What Went South With Joseph's Transcripts?
"I am frequently asked why Watt, Long, Evans, and others altered their shorthand as they did. In short, we don’t fully know. Ideas of historical accuracy were very different in the 19th century than they are now, and people altered records far more casually than we would today, with shorthand writers often making changes as they transcribed. The shorthand reporters themselves left no explanation, so we must rely on their original longhand transcriptions to give us some information. In most cases, we still do not know what the transcribers’ motives were for their changes, but we can at least see what changes were made.
For example, when we compare Watt’s shorthand to his longhand transcripts (and the resulting publication in the Journal of Discourses), it is clear that Watt made significant changes as he transcribed. He inserted words, phrases, and even extensive passages into his longhand that do not have any relation to the shorthand itself; these inserted passages’ style is often different from the style of the speaker he was transcribing. Also, comparing the shorthand transcripts and the Journal of Discourses shows that many cited scriptures were editorial additions, with no mention in the original shorthand itself. Changes to Brigham Young’s sermons thus changed the representation of his personality, not to mention his prophetic guidance." (LaJean Purcell Carruth, Preached vs Published: Shorthand Record Discrepancies, Part One)
And so here we are at April Conference of 1842. The problem with trying to understand Joseph Smith's explication of the Book of Revelation is that in the first place, he wasn't really that keen on talking about it. He only addressed the issue because there had been disputations among the elders as to the meaning of the beasts. These guys had been mostly arguing that the beasts John wrote about in the Book of Revelation were similar to the beasts from Daniel's vision. The Elders would argue about whether the beasts John spoke of had anything to do with Nebuchadnezzar or Constantine or even Napoleon, so Joseph said they had nothing to do with anything in the past, or in the present -their present- for that matter. These beasts were entirely different from Daniel's vision, the prophet said. They were "yet set in futurity" and the Elders at that time needn't concern themselves with them.
Of course, that doesn't mean we in the 21st century should ignore the signs that we may be approaching the last days. At any rate, at one point, Joseph went off on a tangent, as he was wont to do, declaring that beasts by the thousands resided in heaven, intelligent beasts who could think and communicate with the angels. This resulted in either Clayton or Richards (or both; I've long since lost track of who said what) transcribing the sermon in a way that has Joseph Smith saying the beasts of Revelation resided in heaven and that's where those beasts came from. That, of course, is not true, as John is very clear that the beasts were sent by Satan. It seems apparent that when Joseph digressed onto that little side discussion about beasts in heaven, he was talking about resurrected animals, but Clayton and Richards were having trouble keeping up with where Joseph was going with this whole thing.
To be fair, Willard Richards points out that the wind was quite fierce at the time this sermon was being given, and Joseph said his lungs were so affected that he could barely continue speaking. So I have to kind of feel bad for these guys struggling to hear past the whistling of the wind to grasp what it was the prophet was saying on this very complicated topic while at the same time trying to keep their notes from blowing away.
Anyhow, all this is by way of explaining that, in my view, pertinent to understanding what the mark of the beast is, or will be, it is probably a good idea to have a clue who or what those beasts represent. Clayton or Richards pretty much have Joseph claiming that the beasts were sent from heaven. But a reading of John's Revelation tells us, among other things, that the beasts represent the corrupt and debased kingdoms of this world operating under the control of Satan, which I interpret to mean modern governments. That will have to satisfy me for now. Most of us have heard the quote from Joseph Smith to the effect that "the Book of Revelation is one of the plainest books God caused to be created." This is the very sermon wherein he made that claim, and I'm inclined to the view that Joseph was making a little joke for the benefit of his audience, and the humor simply didn't translate.
Notes & Asides
Of late, here at the end of my posts, I have made mention of the blogs of a couple of close friends whose writing has motivated me to really think about things that sometimes had not occurred to me. Both have written further since the last plug I gave them, so I'm going to mention them again:
I just spoke on the phone with the proprietor of Latter Day Truths, and he has uncovered a doctrine I had not heard of before. Apparently Apostle Mark E. Peterson announced several years ago that "Salvation Comes Only Through the Church." This completely unsupported falsehood was preached in conference, established as doctrine, and published in the Ensign Magazine. Seems to me that would eliminate the need for a Savior, but I guess our leaders know better than me about such things. Watch for this piece to be published this afternoon at LDTruths.Blogspot.com
Mormon Perspectives continues to provide thought-provoking pieces, and he's incredibly prolific. Click here for The Art Of Propaganda And The Rape Of The Mind.
I've just learned that Denver Snuffer has a short post as of just this morning and it is somewhat related to this one. I haven't read it yet because I want to get this one up first, but the title is Awaiting Results...
And finally, if you haven't yet seen the documentary "Who Killed Joseph Smith?" It's free to watch and it's waiting for you so click on the link. And if you want to see what Denver thought of the film, CLICK HERE.
It's not my intention to play favorites, so if you happen to blog on topics of interest to Mormons and you'd like a mention, or if you have come across something you feel might be of interest to my readers here, please let us all know in the comment section and I'll give it a mention next time and/or the next. I'll try and include two or three links each time I post here.
In the meantime, way down at the bottom of the right hand page here is a blogroll that I understand is automatically kept current by the algorithm. I never get around to looking myself, and I'm aware that some of those blogs listed may be dormant or extinct, but it would be a good thing to check out now and then if you're interested in all things Mormondom.