Come Follow Me LDS- Intro to The Book of Mormon

'The Loss of Christ'

A quick history of the Israelites and Lehi's environment in Jerusalem shows us why the Book of Mormon came to be.


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all right

this cwic media episode is an

introduction to the Book of Mormon this

is not part of the come follow me

curriculum but I thought it would be

important to start off with some context

really understanding how the Book of

Mormon is launched what is in the heads

of Lehi and Nephi as they begin to write

and to preach where is this coming from

so we want to back up a little bit and

do a very quick little rehearsal of

Israelite history remember that when

Moses brought the twelve tribes out of

Egypt and then Joshua ended up bringing

them into Palestine that they divided up

the lands into these different tribes

that twelve different tribes now it

worked a little bit differently because

the Levites the tribe of Levi was not

given any land so there were eleven

tribes left they were just given places

among different cities around Israel to

act as the priests well to make up for

that what they did is they gave the

tribe an additional tribe to Joseph and

so that the two tribes the additional

tribe now the tribe of Joseph was now

made two tribes under Ephraim and

Manasseh now Manasseh was actually the

older of the two sons of Joseph but the

birthright was given to Ephraim and they

are mostly up in the northern parts of

the kingdom of Israel and so they go

through a period of judges and then they

finally are brought together in a United

Kingdom under King Saul and then Saul

passes away and then you have David

right and then after David you have

Solomon well that's as far as things got

in terms of a unified

Israel it was just under those

three kings what happens is that toward

the end of Solomon's reign at least by

then he had laid on a very heavy tax to

the other tribes and they were not happy

about what was going on they were not

happy at all with Solomon

well Solomon's son Rehoboam takes over

the throne after Solomon passes away and

and there was a man in the Kings Court


Jeroboam now Jeroboam was an III might

he was from the tribe of Ephraim and he

had been put in this high position of

administration and had gone around all

of Israel had his ear to the ground he

knew what the issues were and so he had

kind of advocated after that with the

son of Solomon Rehoboam to lower the

taxes on the people well he Rehoboam

wouldn't do it the king of Judah the new

king of Judah wouldn't do that and so

what happens is Jeroboam ends up going

into exile down into Egypt of course

strong relationship with Egypt and

eventually comes back with some others

and the meantime he's gotten married

down there he is married actually

according to the Septuagint he's married

to a an Egyptian princess and he comes

back with an entourage advocating again

for lowering the taxes Rehoboam is not

going to lower the taxes and so Jeroboam

unites most of the other tribes in fact

almost all of them outside of Judah and

starts a new kingdom that breaks off

which is the majority of the Israelites

the vast majority of the Israelites and

that new kingdom has a few different

names one is just the northern kingdom

and Judah where Jerusalem is becomes the

southern kingdom and Jeroboam has made

king of the northern kingdom also called

Ephraim also called the kingdom of

Israel and there is a very canoe

elected history between these two

kingdoms a lot of bloodshed that goes on

between the two of them but Rehoboam of

Judah the southern kingdom is never able

to bring the northern kingdom under his

reign again well what happens in the

northern kingdom is that their theology

changes even a little bit

Jeroboam did not want all of the

Israelites to continue to go down to the

Temple in Jerusalem so he sets up a

sanctuary in the southern part of

Ephraim in the southern part of the

northern kingdom in bethel and that's

where they have a golden calf there as

well and then up in the north

way north in the tribe of Dan's land

territory there he sets up another

sanctuary and another golden calf so

their theology is a little bit

different it changes a little bit but

they actually do hold on to a lot of the

Torah and a lot of the teachings of the

prophets so we have now these two lands

that have split apart

well Lehigh's tribe Manasseh

is in the northern the northern kingdom

now there is Benjamin which is the land

is right next to Judas land they end up

siding with Judah and they stay with

them and that's kind of how you get like

the two tribes that are together here

there's a few others a lot of especially

of Simeon and some other tribes that

you've got some of their people still

here some of the Levites as priests etc

but basically it's those two tribes

Judah and Benjamin and the other ten are

in the northern kingdom there was also a

time in the latter half of the ninth

century BC where under King ASA of the

southern kingdom he had been a righteous

King and there were a number of

defectors from the lands of Ephraim

Manasseh and of Simeon and so they came

down into the kingdom of Judah kind of

as spiritual refugees to be under a king

that they

felt was doing things right in the

temple Indian and in their theology it's

another chance where Lehigh's family may

have come down

well eventually what happens is that

the Assyrians to the east start gaining

a lot of power and dominance over the

Middle East and they come in with the

beckoning of Rehoboam the southern the

Judah’s king who pays Assyria a tribute

they come in and they battle with the

Northern Kingdom and they end up taking

a few of the territories one of them is

a portion of Manasseh at this time there

were several refugees that moved into

other lands and even move down into

Judah that's a possibility perhaps of

where Lehigh's family may have come from

and why he ended up in the Land of

Jerusalem well only about ten years

later in about 721 722 BC the Assyrians

come in and they completely conquer the

northern kingdom and that's where we get

the lost ten tribes right those ten

tribes are scattered now there's only

actually a portion of the northern

kingdom the people of the northern

kingdom that are taken out they're

exiled out of the land they're put into

other lands and other people's from the

Assyrian Empire are brought in to the

land of the northern kingdom well at

this time there's also refugees from the

northern kingdom that end up coming down

into the land of Judah and we can read

about these events that had to do with

the tribes the tribe of Manasseh in 2nd

chronicles in a couple of different

places so plenty of opportunities for

Lehigh's ancestors to have come down

into the land of Judah and so after the

Assyrians had removed a number of the

members of the northern kingdom and

brought in others from other city-states

into the northern kingdom

plus the number of Assyrians coming into

the northern kingdom you had a mixture

of Israelites and foreigners and

Assyrians in the northern kingdom well

this is by this point the capital oven

of the Northern Kingdom is Samaria these

become the Samaritans of Jesus's time in

fact Samaria is south of Galilee and

Nazareth and between Nazareth and


so through various events there is a

mixing of the pot again down in

Jerusalem in the kingdom of Judah a

little bit later a couple decades later

after the Assyrians come in and wipe out

the northern kingdom so to speak they go

after Jerusalem and this is where Isaiah

is at the time right this is more around

700 ish a little before 700 BC now they

lose a lot of the territory but they're

able to hold off in Jerusalem right

we're not going to go into that story

right now but they're able to hold off

and that's where Isaiah yes and so

they're going through a lot of

tumultuous time here and there are a

number of changes that happen eventually

with one of the Kings that is there with

Isaiah what whose name is Hezekiah and

there are reforms in the temple and

actually things taken out of the temple

at that time there's a lot of change but

what we can see here is that something

very similar to what we're going to see

in the Book of Mormon and I think it's

why Isaiah is so well liked in the Book

of Mormon by Nephi and others because

it's very a very similar situation it

looks like the doctrine of the Son of

God the doctrine of Christ was under

attack and Isaiah is there as the

Prophet as a messianic prophet to fight

against this and I believe that's what

he was doing and so we get all of these

quotations in the New Testament from

Isaiah because the writers of the New

Testament are reaching back to Isaiah

who is reacting to his own time period

and putting in the narrative and the

testimony and the support for the

doctrine of Christ and of course in the

Book of Mormon

it's everywhere the whole Book of Mormon

is built around Isaiah and if you

haven't read any of the works of Joseph

Spencer you ought to read his books this

year a couple of them are a little more

technical and a little tough but he does

a fabulous job of showing how the Book

of Mormon is written around the Book of

Isaiah now we're going to get down to

the time of Lehi and Nephi here about a

hundred years later and so why they're

in the same situation in 621 622 BC

there is a king named Josiah in

Jerusalem now we go back to the Old

Testament we read a rap about King

Josiah and we see everything is very

positive about him and maybe it was

maybe it was but we need to take some

things into consideration at this time

because we're getting into Lehigh's

period here of time and look a

little bit closer as to see what's

really going on we get the clarification

from the Book of Mormon that's the job

of the Book of Mormon is to help clarify

the Bible so at 6:21 622 BC there are

massive reforms from King Josiah in the

temple and he wipes out a lot of the

high places you've probably read about

that or had a lesson on that he

centralizes the priesthood and worship

he kills off a bunch of priests so that

all the control the theocratic


in his hands basically and under him in

Jerusalem now a couple of things about

him his father was assassinated and King

Josiah became basically a puppet King to

the court because he was put in when he

was eight years old and so he's not

really ruling a whole lot at that point

but somebody is or several people are

somewhere and eventually when he is 26

so 18 years later there is a book

supposedly found in the temple we're not

really sure how to interpret this

because it's very odd there are a number

of discrepancies in the account about

fixing the temple and when that actually

happened what was the book a lot of

biblical scholars believe it was the

book of Deuteronomy or a portion a new

portion of the book of Deuteronomy or a

revised book of the book of Deuteronomy

some very strange things happen here

when that book comes out all of a sudden

there's widespread change in the record

the religion and the practice and the

sacrifices and the temple itself is

changed and it's all done under the name

of Yahweh it's all done in a way that

says look what we're really doing here

is we're getting rid of idol worship

well that might be true that there was

idol worship that was being removed but

we need to consider a couple things here

with idol worship

first of all apparently what they are

doing is they are trying to be

extremists in their monotheism in other

words it is Yahweh to begin with Yahweh

in the end all is Yahweh there is no

worship of anybody else there is no

other God right and in what they're

saying there is there

is no father there is no Sun there is no

mother in heaven there are there's

nobody else in heaven there are no hosts

of heaven the heavenly hosts are taken

out so what they do this is this

theocratic party are called

the Deuteronomists and they basically

take theocratic power at this point and

they're the ones responsible really for

a lot of the books in the Old Testament

at least the resulting books the way

that they're written in the New

Testament or in the Old Testament and

they basically shrink the hierarchy in

heaven down to nothing there is no

longer a hierarchy in heaven it is just

one single God and his name is Yahweh

well think about the temple drama what

would have to change with the temple

drama quite a bit because there was a

son that was born and that was gone into

the Holy of Holies sat on the throne

born coming out of the veil acted

as Yahweh as Jehovah but he was the son

and there was a mom and there was a

father who was L or Elohim

so you have to change everything if

you're gonna do that and those are

things are some of those things are

represented in the temple or they in

that temple drama

the hosts of heaven now we look at that

today and if we just art and take a very

cursory look at the hosts of

heaven we can think of more of something

like the myths of Greece and Rome right

where there's a heavenly or star like

gods and goddesses that are being

worshipped and that could very well be

the case right we that could be that

that was part of a problem but it also

means that if you're going to it's like

us saying today you know there should be

no other gods before him before God and

then getting rid of Jesus Christ and

getting rid of a heavenly

mother there might exist and getting rid

of any of the Angels in a hierarchy that

are in heaven there is nothing there

right what does that do that takes away

the pre-existence that takes away a lot

of what we're looking at as far as who

we are and who we can become and it's

all centered in the doctrine of Christ

you don't have a father and you don't

have a son while there's no son of God

right you've changed everything and that

appears to me anyway to be what has

happened here with the Deuteronomists

they have flattened the hierarchy in

heaven they have changed the temple they

have changed the temple drama and even

its imagery they got rid of some things

in the temple that would have

represented individuals in heaven so

this is just about 24 25 years before

Lehi leaves Jerusalem and then we have

that 24 25 years and whatever happened

during that period of time where there's

a succession of Kings after Josiah he

reigns for thirty years or so now

something to realize that's important at

this time is the political makeup in the

power game that is going on in the

Middle East

the Assyrians have lost power by this

time they have lost almost all of their

power and what has risen is Babylon with

and especially now under King

Nebuchadnezzar and Babylon is now

basically taking tribute from the land

of Judah from Jerusalem and they've got

their own puppet king in there and then

they change them out and they change

them out some flee to Egypt well what

happens is the people the majority of

the people do not want to side with

Babylon they want to betray Babylon and

King Nebuchadnezzar and they want to

align themselves with Egypt now it used

to be thought that that was just

ridiculous but the truth is that

there are a lot of strong

between Egypt and Jerusalem the land of

Judah the Egyptians had brought in a

lot of people when they had basically

had Palestine as a vassal state previous

to this a lot of the accounting that we

see and business transactions and

documents from those things that we see

in this time period were actually

written in Egyptian and so the people

had a stronger affinity over to Egypt

than they did over to Babylon well

finally one of the sons of King Josiah

being Kent King Zedekiah is put into

pull into the throne and he's there for

in his first year and this is the

environment that they're in this this

political triangle between Jerusalem

Babylon and Egypt and then this crushing

of the doctrine of Christ in their

theocracy and in the temple and here's

Lehi now we don't know much about Lehi

and what his background is but there's

some things to consider there he's from


at some point it sounds like his

ancestors came down or maybe he did but

at some point his family had moved down

into the land of Jerusalem and we don't

know if he was really on board with what

he eventually gets on board with

the doctrine of Christ we don't

know where he's at

spiritually earlier in his life with

Sarah he may have bought into the whole

thing with the Deuteronomists he may

have been a lower law kind of guy at

first and it was all about Moses and all

about the law of Moses and the Torah and

doctrine of Christ is something that is

a blasphemy thing and they're not gonna

have any part of it we don't know it may

not be until the very beginning of the

book of Mormon where we see he has his

vision and that he ends up changing

right that's a possibility

now this is he is contemporary to

Jeremiah who is in Jerusalem at this

time and the interesting thing about the

Book of Jeremiah is a lot of biblical

scholars will say that that was written

by the Deuteronomists or at least that

there are several elements that look

like they were edited by the

Deuteronomists and they have changed

things but here's some things that we do

know that are in the Book of Jeremiah

there are people in the temple that are

fighting against Jeremiah so Jeremiah

the Prophet is in direct conflict with

several people here in the temple he is

fighting off false prophets all the time

those that are in Babylon at the time

when they get taken out to Babylon and

the in Babylon has not yet conquered

Jerusalem but they have taken some of

the court maybe Daniel for example maybe

Ezekiel but they are but Jeremiah is

fighting off these false prophets he

hammers the priests several of the

priests he fights against local prophets

and what they're prophesying about that

there is peace and not to worry about

things and oh go ahead you can go with

the Egyptians and everything will be

dandy no problems there and so he's

fighting all of these things off it

seems like with his preaching all around

him all around him he is surrounded by

people that are against him and again

that is the environment the theocratic

environment that he is in it is not just

an evil place right when we talk about

Lehi and Nephi and they're looking back

at Jerusalem and it's going to be

destroyed it's not just because it's an

evil place and they're doing bad that's

of course a big part of it but they are

in an environment in Jerusalem where

they have crushed the doctrine of Christ

it's gone it is a whisper it is a shadow

right now

of course there would have been a number

of people that would have held on to

things they're not just going to give it

up but not in Jerusalem right you're

pushed out if you're going to believe in

the older ways you're pushed out if you

believe in the things that Isaiah was

talking about so that's where Jeremiah

is and that's what's happening in

Jerusalem and that is what we need to

understand as we start off with the Book

of Mormon just as Isaiah was in an

environment that was fighting against

the doctrine of Christ and he was

sticking up for it left and right and

warning the people and preaching about

Christ about the Son of God the

suffering servant

that's what Lehi is doing and we're

going to cover that you're going to see

that right from chapter one you're going

to see a prophet a man that is fighting

for his life and that is fighting for

the doctrine of Christ he's not just

preaching repentance that's not the way

to look at this we want to see why he's

leaving why is he going to be killed

like all the other prophets

what were they preaching about why do

his own sons Laman and Lemuel despise

him and want to kill him it's not just a

power play

it's a theocratic issue that knee fie is

bringing us into this is how things are

in Jerusalem

we are leaving all of this we are

starting something new where we can make

sure that not only Lehi saves his life

from those that want to kill him but

that we can start a civilization built

built on the doctrine of Christ

that's the Book of Mormon we're going to

see this in the interplay between the

brothers we're going to see this in the

vision of Lehi in his very first a very

first vision of in Chapter 1

where he sees the Son of God and he sees

the horse of heaven like we already

spoke about this is immediately Nephi is

putting this out there to let us know

that this is a refuting what has

happened and transpired in Jerusalem

we're going to see this in the end

Lehigh's dream in his vision of the tree

of life you're going to see it

completely differently we're going to

see this with King Benjamin when he

gives his speech at the coronation of

his son Messiah we're going to see this

with Abinadi and King Noah and those

priests the fight the fight between the

doc those that would hold on to the

doctrine of Christ and those that want

to push it away we're going to see it

with the Antichrist of Korihor and

cherem and Nehor what Lehi and Nephi

do is build an entire legacy of people

built on the doctrine of Christ they

have seen what happens when you remove

that they have seen the corruption of

the church and the corruption of the

temple and as they pass on the records

to Jacob and then to Enos and Omni and

Jarom and then all the way down the

road here there is a legacy that is

built on the doctrine of Christ and they

can always reach back and pull back with

an understanding of how they are being

contrasted against Jerusalem and what

the condition that Jerusalem is in there

are many copies of the chapters of

Isaiah throughout the Book of Mormon why

there is a focus on Isaiah and chapter

52 verses 7 to 10 in the whole struggle

with Abinadi and the end King Noah

and his priests

this is all about Jesus Christ the whole

book is written on this and therefore

what is it doing for us we can see the

words Jesus and Christ throughout the

Book of Mormon we don't see that in the

Old Testament again why how is it that

they have this deep knowledge of these

things and yet we can't extract that out

of the Old Testament

not precisely only by implication right

we can infer several things from Isaiah

and all of the prophets and we can tie

them to prophecy and that's what the New

Testament writers do but specific

clarification on the son of God on

Jehovah as the suffering servant of

Jesus Christ is not in the Old Testament

that is why we have the Book of Mormon

because it is a check on the Old

Testament and on the New Testament when

we talk about the Book of Mormon in its

subtitle another testament of Jesus

Christ the entire book is written on

that and the Bible was - originally

right and still in a sense is but it has

had many errors editing errors

translation errors and probably a lot of

changes that were there on purpose well

we know that we know there are several

changes in the Bible especially the Old

Testament so as we get ready here for

the Book of Mormon and go through it I

know that as we go through this series

you're going to have a completely

different view of this book of its focus

of what it's trying to teach you and me

and you're going to see it in a

different way we're going to apply the

four interpreters of the higher in the

lower laws we're going to have a temple

imagery and drama we're going to have

authorship and then

Nehor principle and you're gonna see

how those all play out throughout this

book you'll see the characters of the

Book of Mormon in a different light and

understand where they're coming from and

you'll see the importance of the book in

our day as it fights with everything

it's got to protect and uphold and

preach about the doctrine of Christ I'll

talk to you next time


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