Because of my work to translate the Lectures on Faith into Spanish, I am attaching my witness to their truthfulness:
3 Nefi 5:23 Sí, y de seguro (Jesucristo) volverá a traer a un resto de la posteridad de José al conocimiento del Señor su Dios.
La traducción de esta obra al español está dedicada a mi querida madre y a toda mi familia con amor y también a todos los lamanitas de los últimos días y especialmente a mi Salvador, Jesucristo. Haga clic en el enlace para leer:
Traducido de la primera edición del libro, Doctrina y Convenios, 1835: Doctrine and Covenants, 1835
I served a mission on the other side of the world and when I returned, I went to the mountains of Ephraim to dwell. I saw Babylon bigger and brighter than ever. And I partook thereof until decades later, having been born of the Spirit and experiencing a mighty change of heart, I saw with new eyes how idolatrous I had been. Back then I thought worshiping idols, at least as depicted in scripture, meant nothing more than adoring or reverencing statues as the ancient Israelites did with the golden calf built by Aaron. But it is so much more than that.
The primary commandment given to Israel was to have no other gods before the Lord. Jehovah acknowledged the existence of other gods, though they were all fictions of imagination. If we love the Lord, truly love Him, there would be no need nor even use to go whoring after anything or anyone else. But the Lord’s covenant people did so and still do so. I like what Gileadi had to say in his essay, Twelve Diatribes of Modern Israel:
The final test in the scriptures of whether a god is true or false is whether he saves his people in the Lord’s day of judgment.
And so it was:
Judges 10: 13 Yet ye have forsaken me, and served other gods: wherefore I will deliver you no more.
14 Go and cry unto the gods which ye have chosen; let them deliver you in the time of your tribulation.
Isaiah 37: 18 Of a truth, Lord, the kings of Assyria have laid waste all the nations, and their countries,
19 And have cast their gods into the fire: for they were no gods, but the work of men’s hands, wood and stone: therefore they have destroyed them.
20 Now therefore, O Lord our God, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that thou art the Lord, even thou only.
Jeremiah 11:11 ¶Therefore thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will bring evil upon them, which they shall not be able to escape; and though they shall cry unto me, I will not hearken unto them.
12 Then shall the cities of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem go, and cry unto the gods unto whom they offer incense: but they shall not save them at all in the time of their trouble.
13 For according to the number of thy cities were thy gods, O Judah; and according to the number of the streets of Jerusalem have ye set up altars to that shameful thing, even altars to burn incense unto Baal.
14 Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up a cry or prayer for them: for I will not hear them in the time that they cry unto me for their trouble.
And so it will be:
D&C 112:24 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.
25 And upon my house shall it begin, and from my house shall it go forth, saith the Lord;
26 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.
Idolatry is the great obstacle. Babylon and her idols are alive and well among the Lord’s covenant people upon the mountains of Ephraim (as well as throughout the world). It is so difficult to not be stained by it all. I cannot help but dirty my hands as I contribute to feeding Mammon, though I weep for Zion. I hate money. I hate that I have to work for money in order to exist in a system, which has too great a hold of us all. The people of Limhi learned the hard way. Today there really are no more places of refuge in the world. Above all else, I am vexed by my own sinful and carnal state. I am truly my own worst enemy.
I recently came home from visiting my parents in Texas and as I drove north along I-15, I looked toward downtown SLC at all the tall buildings and also the construction going on. I remember a time when the temple was easily visible. Now it is shadowed and eclipsed by great and spacious buildings, which recently enticed the world to partake of glamorous materialism.
If those giant posters and billboards advertising to the world to come visit the heart of Salt Lake City are disturbing, even more disturbing are the overpriced brands advertised with very attractive models. But isn’t that how all commercials are? Everyone is smiling, all made up, wearing beautiful clothes in the happy settings of Utopian society.
I’m reminded of Hugh Nibley’s words in “What is Zion? A Distant View” where he says:
Elders of Israel are greedy after the things of this world. If you ask them if they are ready to build up the kingdom of God, their answer is prompt–”Why, to be sure we are, with our whole souls; but we want first to get so much gold, speculate and get rich, and then we can help the church considerably. We will go to California and get gold, go and buy goods and get rich, trade with the emigrants, build a mill, make a farm, get a large herd of cattle, and then we can do a great deal for Israel.
I have heard this many times from friends and relatives, but it is hokum. What they are saying is, “If God will give me a million dollars, I will let him have a generous cut of it.” And so they pray and speculate and expect the Lord to come through for them. He won’t do it: “And again, I command thee that thou shalt not covet thine own property” (D&C 19:26). “Let them repent of all their sins, and of all their covetous desires, before me, saith the Lord; for what is property unto me? saith the Lord” (D&C 117:4). He does not need our property or our help.
Every rhetorician knows that his most effective weapons by far are labels. He can demolish the opposition with simple and devastating labels such as communism, socialism, or atheism, popery, militarism, or Mormonism, or give his clients’ worst crimes a religious glow with noble labels such as integrity, old-fashioned honesty, tough-mindedness, or free competitive enterprise. “You can get away with anything if you just wave the flag,” a business partner of my father once told me. He called that patriotism. But the label game reaches its all-time peak of skill and effrontery in the Madison Avenue master stroke of pasting the lovely label of Zion on all the most typical institutions of Babylon: Zion’s Loans, Zion’s Real Estate, Zion’s Used Cars, Zion’s Jewelry, Zion’s Supermart, Zion’s Auto Wrecking, Zion’s Outdoor Advertising, Zion’s Gunshop, Zion’s Land and Mining, Zion’s Development, Zion’s Securities–all that is quintessentially Babylon now masquerades as Zion.
“The Hopi People were converted to the Great Spirit before the Great Star appeared in the sky. After they were converted, they took all the weapons they had used for the shedding of human blood and buried them deep in the earth. After burying their weapons, the faced their enemies, but would not take up weapons to fight against them. Rather than do this they would gladly die, and many of them were killed. This made their enemies ashamed and some of the aggressors would join the peaceful Hopi and bury their weapons also.
The Hopi people were great farmers who planted and harvested their crops so that they could feed the starving people in battle around them. They stayed in that country for a long time–feeding and caring for their people and theh people of other tribes that were hungry. After many years, the Hopi left the place where they were living when they were converted to the Great Spirit to migrate to another land where they could be alone and live in peace. Their greatest desire was to find a place that was peaceful.
They tied their food supplies and seeds around their waists and over their shoulders and began their migration. Many times they would not take off their supplies to rest at night because they knew they must go on–they had a long journey ahead of them. During their migration the Great Spirit spoke to them from the clouds above and directed their course, much the same as he did in the day of Moses. One day He said, “When a Great Star appears in the sky that is brighter than all other stars wherever you are at that time STOP and build houses from one to four stories high, like the homes your people lived in before they came to this country.”
…When the Great Star appeared in the sky, the Hopi stopped and built their homes as they were instructed to do by the Great Spirit. They named their first village “Shongopavi.” When they built their first village, they lived there until the babies had grown to adulthood and were having children of their own. Then they decided it was time to search for a suitable location for their second village. They were on top of a mesa looking for the proper location when they saw two huge rocks that looked like they had fallen together to form a TEPEE. Sitting within the shade of the rocks, a WHITE MAN was dropping pebbles down a squirrel hole. Looking up He arose and walked toward them with outstretched arms and said, “I am your True White Brother that has come to lead you forward and to teach you of my ways.” He stayed with them for several days and taught them things they must do to be saved…
…The White Brother said, “You are Hopi, which means ‘peaceful’ or ‘righteous people.’ You have proven faithful to the Great Spirit. Now you must cut your hair a certain way and never change it.” The Hopi haircut represents a window that their face looks out of watching and waiting for the return of the White Brother…They were told to leave their hair long in back because their long hair must be used in sacred ceremonies to veil their faces when praying to the Great Spirit…
…When the White Brother told them he must leave, the Hope begged Him to stay and be their leader. But He said, “Choose the man who led you to this country to be your leader at this time, and always follow my teachings and I will return to you in the last days and I will be your leader then. Now I must go back to my Father.”
…He then blessed the babies healed the sick and performed many miracles among them. When leaving, He started at the place where the Hopi first met Him by the “TEPEE ROCKS” and walked eastward to the end of the mesa ascending into the heavens until he faded out of sight…” Source: Chapter One, “God’s Chosen People of America” by Z. Brinkerhoff
I snatched this book from Amazon.com as soon as I learned about it and have begun studying the Hopi and their origins. It is over 250 pages and I can’t wait to finish reading it. Anybody who has carefully studied the Book of Mormon knows that the people of Ammon, who called themselves the people of Anti-Nephi-Lehi after their king’s son, Anti-Nephi-Lehi, as we read in Alma chapter 24. This is also the chapter where we read about this people burying their weapons of war for peace.
Later they migrate to Zarahemla and lived in Jershon for a time. After the Nephite/Lamanite civil wars, many people migrate by the thousands. In Helaman Chapter three, the following verses forever remains etched in my mind:
1 And now it came to pass in the forty and third year of the reign of the judges, there was no contention among the people of Nephi save it were a little pride which was in the church, which did cause some little dissensions among the people, which affairs were settled in the ending of the forty and third year.
2 And there was no contention among the people in the forty and fourth year; neither was there much contention in the forty and fifth year.
3 And it came to pass in the forty and sixth, yea, there was much contention and many dissensions; in the which there were an exceedingly great many who departed out of the land of Zarahemla, and went forth unto the land northward to inherit the land.
4 And they did travel to an exceedingly great distance, insomuch that they came to large bodies of water and many rivers.
5 Yea, and even they did spread forth into all parts of the land, into whatever parts it had not been rendered desolate and without timber, because of the many inhabitants who had before inherited the land…
12 And it came to pass that there were many of the people of Ammon, who were Lamanites by birth, did also go forth into this land.
It was approximately 45 years B.C. when they departed. Mexico is a land of many bodies of water and rivers. I believe that this people traveled northward, through Mexico and continued until they reached what is now Arizona where they finally settled down after seeing the “Great Star” appear. There is another book, which I plan on reading called, “Book Of The Hopi” by Frank Waters. Apparently, this White Brother’s name is Pahana and He promised to return again from the east. They were instructed to keep their way of building houses and also their hair style. Their way of building houses is similar to the construction of the western wall of the temple at Jerusalem. Their haircut is similar to that of the ancient Egyptians at the time that Joseph, son of Jacob, helped Pharaoh govern Egypt. Because of these instructions, many people believe that the Hopi are a remnant of the tribe of Joseph. Again, we know from the Book of Mormon that Lehi was a descendant of Joseph, as we read in 1 Nephi chapter 5:
14 And it came to pass that my father, Lehi, also found upon the plates of brass a genealogy of his fathers; wherefore he knew that he was a descendant of Joseph; yea, even that Joseph who was the son of Jacob, who was sold into Egypt, and who was preserved by the hand of the Lord, that he might preserve his father, Jacob, and all his household from perishing with famine.
15 And they were also led out of captivity and out of the land of Egypt, by that same God who had preserved them.
16 And thus my father, Lehi, did discover the genealogy of his fathers. And Laban also was a descendant of Joseph, wherefore he and his fathers had kept the records.
1 Nephi 15:16 And thus my father, Lehi, did discover the genealogy of his fathers. And Laban also was a descendant of Joseph, wherefore he and his fathers had kept the records.
I have begun taking a serious interest in my lineage and will be taking over where my mother left off. She has done a considerable amount of work in tracing our lineage back a number of generations. One thing that I do know is that I was “born to a goodly lineage, even that of Ephraim, the son of Joseph who was sold into Egypt.” What’s more fascinating is that my father stems from Manasseh and my mother, from Ephraim, both sons of Joseph. My family is split with three siblings stemming from Manasseh and myself from Ephraim. My father was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas and my mother in Ciudad Juarez in the state of Chihuahua, Mexico. I was born and raised in El Paso, Texas.
Alma 10:3 And Aminadi was a descendant of Nephi, who was the son of Lehi, who came out of the land of Jerusalem, who was a descendant of Manasseh, who was the son of Joseph who was sold into Egypt by the hands of his brethren.
I look forward to connecting all those who came before me and the stories that they have to tell. It has been a challenge for my family to dig up records from Mexico. I only hope that I can make some leaps from the great steps that they have taken.