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Apocalyptic Updates I: Warren Jeffs and a troubled world

[ by Charles Cameron — prophecy, Warren Jeffs, FLDS, Zion in the US, the future, mapped ]


Well, there you have it: a map of where Warren Jeffs, the imprisoned president of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS), prophesies there will be major problems soon, if his life sentence for child sexual assault isn’t quickly rescinded.

I’ll bet our meteorologists, intel folks and policy-makers wish they had this kind of insight into just where and what will happen next.


Let’s take a closer look.

That’s Africa, the Middle East and a good bit of Asia and Australasia, with not a whole lot going on to be honest.  Turkey?

Turkey helps Israel

“Let Turkey aid Israel in day of great attack against my Israel, lest you also fall and become a subject nation. Amen.”


Iran warning

“Let the nation of Iran cease all aggressive power against neighboring lands and peoples, lest you become a nation no more; only to be of subjugation to a foreign power, to no longer be of aggression”

And that’s it for the ever-contentious Middle East.


And there’s good reason for that.  The Middle East isn’t where Zion is.

Take a look at the US  now, and see how much more dire the prophetic warnings are here…

An earthquake and tidal wave in Seattle, a “melting fire of such powers to cleanse my land of all evil” in Idaho, a tsunami off the East coast (Californians should be relieved) in which “great and noticeable cities on the coast shall be swept off the land ” — and more.

And that’s because the center of gravity shifts to the US when (a) Christ appears here as well as in Israel, according to the Book of Mormon, and (b) Joseph Smith receives his revelations and founds the Mormon church here.

And if that’s not enough, here are two especially significant events to be on the lookout for:

An attack on Washington, the destruction of Phoenix, and volcanoes across Arizona and Utah…

…which points us to the sites especially sacred to the FLDS — and indeed other churches in the tradition of Joseph Smith:

So that’s the hub of this whole thing, what the Temple Mount / Noble Sanctuary is to potent prophetic and apocalyptic influences in the Middle East: New Jerusalem in  Missouri.


So that’s your update on our future prospects as Warren Jeffs sees them.

The map was kindly provided by Lindsay Whitehurst on her Salt Lake Tribune blog, and can be found here.  Three of Jeff’s recent prophecies, containing materials used in these maps, have been made public by the Utah Attorney General’s office, and can be downloaded here and here.

Coming up shortly: Apocalyptic Updates II: Iran, the Mahdi and the Vilayat

There’s been some new analysis of the Ahmadinejad / Khamenei split at MEMRI that makes it clear that Ahmadinejad’s Mahdist claims are very much at the root of the issue, so that we have what is essentially a Mahdist vs Velayat standoff on the theological level, and a clerical elite vs populist standoff on the political.  Watch this space…

10 Responses to “Apocalyptic Updates I: Warren Jeffs and a troubled world”

  1. Joseph Fouche Says:

    “So that’s the hub of this whole thing, what the Temple Mount / Noble Sanctuary is to potent prophetic and apocalyptic influences in the Middle East: New Jerusalem in  Missouri.”

    The Temple Mount remains the hub for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and most other mainstream denominations within the broader Latter-day Saint movement. When Christ returns, He will appear at Jerusalem following the pattern revealed in Zechariah 14. The original temple will be rebuilt on the Temple Mount. A new Jerusalem will be founded on the site of the city of Independence, Missouri with a temple being built around East State Route 78 in that city.

  2. Charles Cameron Says:

    Thanks, Joseph.  I’m aware of my lack of knowledge, and very much appreciate any clarifications that you can offer.

    I’m afraid I’m still left with a couple of questions (and probably dozens more hiding behind them):

    Which of the two (the Jerusalem Mount, the Missouri Zion) will be the city mentioned in Revelation 21.1? 

    And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

    And is there a good, short account that details the LDS eschatology?  
    As I’ve mentioned before, I have McConkie‘s The Millennial Messiah: the second coming of the Son of Man, and since we last spoke of this I’ve picked up a copy of Matthew Brown, Prophecies: Signs of the Times, Second Coming, Millennium – but neither one is easy to consult for specific facts and doctrines.
    Brown, for instance, doesn’t have an entry for Jerusalem in his index, although he has one for Jackson County.  And McConkie – I’m not sure what to make of McConkie.  He writes, for instance of the returning Christ:

    He will establish Zion and build up the New Jerusalem, and he will reign on the throne of David, in peace and with equity and justice over all the earth, for the space of a thousand years.

    Is this the Zion in Missouri?  Which Zion is the one mentioned in Jeremiah. 31:6?

    Arise ye, and let us go up to Zion unto the Lord our God.” 

    And how literally should I read McConkie?

    He also writes things like:

    Cabinets are in session planning death and destruction. Kings and presidents make unholy alliances as they Conspire to spread death and carnage in the assembled armies. A general is calling for atomic bombs on the plain of Esdraelon. All hell rages as the unseen demons join hands with men to spread sin and sickness, death and desolation, and every evil thing in all parts of the earth.

    Take that phrase, “A general is calling for atomic bombs on the plain of Esdraelon.” Is that a prophecy received in those terms (“atomic bombs”) by one of the more recent prophets and revelators of the Church, or McConkie’s own imaginative reconstruction of what’s to be expected?
    What about the literal and metaphorical readings of Scripture?
    I gathered once from one of my readings that Joseph Smith called for a symbolic reading of at least some passages of Revelation, and in Doctrine & Covenants 77, he offers what is essentially a decoding of certain specifics: to the question, “What is the sea of glass” of Rev 4.6 he received the response “It is the earth, in its sanctified, immortal. and eternal state.”
    Joseph, you once wrote:

    It’s important that internal LDS terminology is properly contextualized. LDS beliefs overlap with those of other Christian denominations but LDS usage differs enough that Latter-day Saints and other Christians don’t know they’re talking about the same things. 

    Any help would be appreciated.

  3. Mike Sellers Says:

    Charles, re: Revelation 21:1, there are more and less literalist LDS beliefs. I am among the less literalist, the more symbolically inclined (per D&C 77 among others). I don’t believe this refers to a physical city, but to a spiritual one: the “city of God” returning to earth being symbolic of divine order and governance.

    As for McConkie, I would say read non-literally and carefully. Much of what has written goes well beyond actual LDS doctrine into something more like mysticism. 

  4. Joseph Fouche Says:

    Any “New Jerusalem” referenced in the Holy Bible or the other “standard works” that Mormons accept as scripture (The Book of Mormon, The Doctrine and Covenants, The Pearl of Great Price) refers to the New Jerusalem that will be built in Missouri. 
    LDS use of the word Zion in doctrine (the word most Mormons use instead of “theology”) can refer to 1) “a place where the pure in heart live” 2) the entirety of the kingdom of God on this Earth i.e. a collection of LDS congregations in a certain area corresponding to roughly 3,000 members is called a “stake” since it is one of the “stakes of Zion” (Isaiah 33:20, 54:2-3), 3) a gathering place for the Saints i.e. before the Immigration Act of 1924 LDS converts were encouraged to move to Utah to build up Zion there but now members are to build up Zion wherever they are 4) the Temple Mount 5) Jackson County, Missouri 6) Independence, Missouri 7) North and South America. Jeremiah is referring directly to 4 but prophetically to all of the above.
    McConkie is referring to 5 and 6 but, since Zion will encompass the entire Earth during the Millenium, he’s also referring to all of the above. This statement is well grounded in LDS doctrine. The second statement is colorful opinion, perhaps informed by study and inspiration. Individual church leaders may express an opinion but it does not become official church doctrine until it is 1) received by the president of the church 2) unanimously accepted as revelation by all 15 apostles made up of the first presidency (the president of the church, his first counselor, and his second counselor) and the quorum of the twelve apostles 3) accepted by a majority of church membership at the biannual general conference. Elder McConkie was never shy in his opinions and the second passage you cited is his opinion. While it may be inspired, it is not doctrinally binding since it did not go through the process established by divine authority.
    Literal and metaphorical readings of scripture is an interesting question. The only texts accepted as bedrock doctrine is the King James Version of the Old and New Testaments, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price. Any other source may be inspired by the Spirit of God but has not been elevated to doctrine by the process authorized by scripture.
    My personal set of scriptures, known colloquially as a “quad” because it contains all four books recognized as scripture in a single volume, comes with a Bible dictionary and a topical guide. Each chapter has a brief summary of its contents. Many of those chapter headings were written by Bruce R. McConkie. But only the text is full doctrine. The topical guide, which groups cross-references between scriptural verses by topic, is more authoritative than either the chapter headings or the Bible dictionary since it references the text itself.
    The literalness or metaphoricalness of scripture is revealed by the Spirit of God to the mind of the diligent inquirer informed by the other scriptural passages and the current teachings of the church. Some passages are clearly metaphorical, others are quite literal, and others have yet to have their literalness or metaphoricalness revealed. Since the LDS canon is open ended, we believe that the process of understanding scripture is open ended. Our current understanding will be supplemented through the proper process as the tail end of history unfolds. 
    I don’t know of a single short definitive source for LDS eschatology other than devotional materials. The Gospel Principles manual available on the church’s website from chapter 42 to chapter 47 covers the official material we’d teach to a new convert. 
    Since you’re a student of millennial movements, is there a standard matrix for Christian eschatology that allows the eschatological beliefs of different Christian denominations to be lined up and compared?
    Wikipedia has this in some forms such as this comparison of differing categorizations of the Millennium but it’s still Wikipedia. Something like this (unofficial) diagram of the LDS teleology of history a teacher in my Sunday school class found could be aligned with something like the Wikipedia diagram to provide an illustrative comparison. Is there a general accepted standard in the field for doing this?

  5. Charles Cameron Says:

    May I just say what a pleasure it is to read you here! As you well know, I am very interested in symbolic readings, typologies, and indeed the fourfold readings that Dante propounded, and which is also found in Kabbalah under the acronym PaRDeS or Garden / Paradise.
    Trusting all’s well with you and yours.. 

  6. Charles Cameron Says:

    Many thanks. Your explanation of “Zion” in its various uses is very helpful.
    I have a quad to hand as it happens, and was using it in referencing D&C 77 — maybe you can answer me another question, though. I’m slightly puzzled by the fact that the quad offers the text of the King James version, and footnotes (or prints, in the case of longer passages, in an appendix) the changes that Joseph himself received as revelations regarding the biblical text. Given the authority of Joseph himself in Latter-day thinking, which doesn’t the church print the JSV in its quads?  Or is this purely an artefact of copyright?  Is there a printed JSV authorised by the LDS?  I believe I had an RLDS version at one time.
    I had no idea McConkie was responsible for many of the current chapter headings. Interesting.
    I believe your paragraph on “the mind of the diligent inquirer informed by the other scriptural passages and the current teachings of the church” wouldn’t be out of place in an official Catholic discourse, though of course the ‘current teachings of the church” would differ as the churches differ.
    Thank you for the pointer to the Gospel Principles, which I shall read with care.
    I don’t think there is a standard matrix, as you put it, for Christian eschatologies. The diagram you point to certainly leaves much to be desired, but here’s my quick sketch outline:

    In historical order, more or less:


    Premillennialism \was the earnest “soon coming” expectation of the early Christians.


    Amillennialism is the standard Catholic view, put forward by St Augustine to restrain the fevered expectations of those who see signs of the times even when blindfolded and placed in a Faraday cage, and is still strongly represented among Catholic and major Protestant communities. It often contains a strong element of Preterism, the idea that many of the prophecies have already been fulfilled, in many cases by the destruction of the Temple.  


    Much contemporary right-wing thought is Dispensational Premillennialist, with an emphasis on the Rapture, itself a doctrine dating back to the Plymouth Brethren movement, which came together in response to the same time of ferment as the Millerites, who expected the end of the world in 1843, the LDS, and eventually the Adventists and Witnesses.  Today’s premillennialists argue about the timing of the Rapture and whether it will protect Christians from the Tribulation or not, giving us “pre-trib”, “mid-trib” and “post-trib” sub-groups.  The Left Behind series follows a pre-trib dispensational premillennialist paradigm.


    Postmillennialism is a somewhat more classical position, and has been making inroads among otherwise premillennialist folks on the conservative end of the spectrum recently, because it can be presented as encouraging the church to “take dominion” politically in preparation for Christ’s coming.


    The other major eschatological attitude to factor in is Preterism, which suggests that many prophecies have already been fulfilled, notably by events leading up to the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE.

    And I very much appreciate your diagram. Apocalyptic diagrams of one sort or another can be found as early as the 1100s, when Abbot Joachim of Fiore created this image of the three ages of the Father (600+ detailed mizvot to observe), the Son (“these two commands give I unto you”) and the Spirit (when commandments woulds no longer be needed, as the spirit would guide us):

    Tim LaHaye has an entire book of such maps and charts, entitled Charting the End Times — and I have a wonderful book by one Rev. Clarence Larkin called Dispensational Truth, full of detailed diagrams in black and white, and dating to the 1920s.

    Both the Larkin and my current quad were happy finds at Goodwill Bookstores.

  7. Joseph Fouche Says:

    Two sections of what Joseph Smith called the “New Translation”, the RLDS/Community of Christ calls the “Inspired Version”, and the LDS church calls the “Joseph Smith Translation” (the abbreviation for “New Translation” clashed with that of the New Testament, hence the change) are canonical: the “Book of Moses” and “Joseph Smith Matthew”, both found in The Pearl of Great Price. JST material in the appendix is not canonical though it’s inspired enough to be an authorized study-aid. 
    The status of the JST was cloudy for the LDS church until 1968. The original manuscripts was held by the RLDS church and they were disinclined to let LDS church members examine them. This led to widespread LDS suspicion that what the RLDS church published as the IV did not reflect Smith’s original work. In 1968, LDS scholar Robert J. Matthews was allowed to examine the original manuscripts. He found that the IV was consistent with the original translation. Matthew’s research opened the way for JST material to be included in the first official LDS KJV published in 1979.
    Many audio and video discussions on the JST have appeared recently, coinciding with our commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the KJV and recent work on producing a definitive scholarly edition of Smith’s papers. These discussions have an obvious devotional slant but you may find material in them that would be of interest if you’re curious about informed LDS views on the JST. Many of the LDS scholars participating in these discussions were involved in its recent acceptance by the LDS church:


    As you note, Joseph Smith has a revered place in the history of the LDS church but his word on any matter is subject to revision as inspiration comes and is accepted in the proscribed manner. This is why the LDS church puts a great deal of emphasis on continuous inspiration through living prophets, seers, and revelators whose teachings are an open-ended canon, believing that Truth is revealed “precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little” (per Isaiah 28:10 KJV).
    This ideal is reflected in one feature that distinguished Joseph Smith from many other founders of “charismatic” religions: the conscious effort he put into building up institutions that could outlive him. Many participants in the 1844 conspiracy that assassinated Smith and his brother Hyrum and contributed to the death of his brother Samuel a month later thought that their decapitation strike would dissolve the Church membership when the “head was cut off”. However, Joseph Smith had a carefully cultivated cadre of successors. While there was great disruption in the 3 years following his death (martyrdom as we call it), a majority of church membership held together and followed Joseph Smith’s closest collaborators to the settle the Utah territory.
    LDS eschatology roughly corresponds to post-tribulational pre-millennialism:

    1. Everyone, including the saints, will go through the tribulation.
    2. Christ will come for a second time.
    3. At the moment of his coming, the believers (who have undergone tribulation) will be caught up in the clouds to greet him. 
    4. The wicked will burn as stubble since they cannot endure the unfiltered glory of Christ’s presence.
    5. The faithful among the dead will be resurrected and receive their inheritance.
    6. Christ will reign personally on the earth for one thousand years of peace.
    7. He shall establish a secular and a church government and be the head of both. Each will have its own capital at the New and Old Jerusalems.
    8. Religious freedom will be preserved for righteous non-believers that survived the tribulation. They will have the opportunity to freely accept or reject Christ’s Good News for themselves. 
    9. The devil and his angels will be bound and have no power to tempt men.
    10. Enmity between creatures shall cease: the lion will lay down with the lamb and the baby will play with the asp.
    11. The work of bringing salvation to those who have not heard the Good News preached either in this life or the next will continue at full speed.
    12. After 1,000 years of peace, the devil and his angels will be loosed for a short season.
    13. A final confrontation takes place. Christ 1. Lucifer 0.
    14. The unrighteous dead are resurrected.
    15. Everyone is finally judged by Christ.
    16. The devil, his angels, and those mortals whose knowledge of God was as concrete as any man’s knowledge of the sun will be consigned to outer darkness.
    17. The remainder will be distributed among three degrees of glory depending upon their demonstrated competence in enduring the unfiltered glory of the presence of God the Father and the Son.
    18. Most of the inhabitants of the earth will enjoy an existence that exceeds any they knew on earth.

    I will look into how to present the different strains of millennial thought. Such a device would be useful for members of my church who are unfamiliar with what other Christian denominations believe. 

  8. Charles Cameron Says:

    I am much obliged. 

  9. MB1 Says:

    Neat post w/ excellent commentary. Much obliged.

  10. Charles Cameron Says:


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