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Galadriel: Foil to Feanor, and Source of Silmarils 4, 5, and 6

A foil is a storytelling device that uses similar and yet contrasting characters to convey ideas or help readers understand a character’s nature better. Tolkien’s writings have many foils such as Melkor to Manwe, Smeagol to Frodo, Saruman to Gandalf, etc. By getting to know the foil, you learn about the other individual and can better appreciate and understand his or her actions. Here’s one foil that’s less obvious and certainly more nuanced than the ones mentioned above: Feanor to Galadriel.

The two are remarkably similar in both greatness, strengths, faults, and arc.

“Galadriel was the greatest of the Noldor, except Fëanor maybe, though she was wiser than he, and her wisdom increased with the long years.”

There are key differences between them of course, such as Galadriel avoiding the folly of oath-making. She did leave the land of the Gods and thus fall under the curse of the Noldor, but she went because like Feanor, her pride kept her from asking pardon, but unlike Feanor, she was not oath bound and therefore rationalized it would be better to press on to establish her own realm and to oppose him:

“Her pride was unwilling to return, a defeated suppliant for pardon; but now she burned with desire to follow Fëanor with her anger to whatever lands he might come, and to thwart him in all ways that she could.”

However, her chances to oppose him were short-lived since Feanor was slain by so many Balrogs in his fury to take on the Morgoth by himself.

Even though she was not oath bound, Galadriel was under the Ban and therefore in need of some form of redemption, which we finally see in the Fellowship’s visit to Lothlorien in the 3rd Age.

Offered the One Ring freely by Frodo, Galadriel could have accepted the gift and set aright the world as she saw fit by using force of will focused and augmented by the Ring. She could have achieved exactly what Feanor claimed he was seeking to achieve when he convinced the Noldor to set out from the land of the Gods.

“Long he spoke, and ever he urged the Noldor to follow him and by their own prowess to win freedom and great realms in the lands of the East, before it was too late”

This would be the ultimate opposition to Feanor, achieving his goal and making it her own. But she of course declined and received pardon to go West as a result.

Galadriel, Feanor, & the Light of the Trees

When we think of who or what preserved the light of the Two Trees, most only think of Feanor and his silmarils. But in fact, it was Galadriel who gave him the idea of preserving the light in the first place. In Unfinished Tales we read:

“Even among the Eldar she was accounted beautiful, and her hair was held a marvel unmatched. It was golden like the hair of her father and of her foremother Indis, but richer and more radiant, for its gold was touched by some memory of the starlike silver of her mother; and the Eldar said that the light of the Two Trees, Laurelin and Telperion, had been snared in her tresses. Many thought that this saying first gave to Fëanor the thought of imprisoning and blending the light of the Trees that later took shape in his hands as the Silmarils.

This suggests that Galadriel achieved w her hair what Feanor later achieved with his silmarils. And interestingly, her hair became a point of contention between them.

“For Faenor beheld the hair of Galdriel with wonder and delight. He begged three times for a tress, but Galadriel would not give him even one hair. These two kinfolk, the greatest of the Eldar of Valinor, were unfriends forever.”

Feanor asks 3x, and is denied even a single strand. While Galadriel bested Feanor initially by being the first to preserve the light of the Trees outside of themselves, it is Feanor who later improves on Galadriel’s effort to preserve the light by going a step further. He encases the light in stone or crystal — something to preserve the light against enemies or even his own death. This was of course a wonderful thing since the light of the Silmarils will eventually play a critical role in returning Arda to an Unmarred state.

I think Galadriel likewise intended to preserve the light she had captured for some future benefit but she either lacked the skill to do as Feanor had done, or for some other reason (maybe even vanity?) chose to keep the light within her hair.

Gimli: Silmaril Craftsman

The backstory of Galadriel’s hair adds very important context to Gimli’s desire to own a single strand of her hair. He doesn’t technically ask for this gift, but Galadriel commanded him to state his desire so that he wouldn’t be the only member of the Fellowship to leave Lothlorien without a gift. He humbly states that *if* he were to ask for a gift, it would be a single strand of her hair. The listening elves murmur at this, knowing the backstory with Feanor, but Galadriel, rather than reproving him, states she had never been made such a request with such courtesy. From this we can surmise that Feanor’s request came from a place lacking in courtesy.

Galadriel asks Gimli what he would do with such a gift:

“Treasure it, Lady,” he answered, “in memory of your words to me at our first meeting. And if ever I return to the smithies of my home, it shall be set in imperishable crystal to be an heirloom to my house, and a pledge of good will between the Mountain and the Wood until the end of days.”

Galadriel rewards Gimli’s earnest desire with not one, but three strands of her hair. One could surmise she was just being generous, but why three rather than one, or ten for that matter? Because Gimli promised to encase “it” in imperishable crystal. By her gift, Galadriel is expressing that she wishes him to encase each piece and thus make three of the promised objects rather than just one.

I suspect the “imperishable crystal” is actually mithril since Gimli tells us it can be “polished like glass”.

Assuming the strands she gave him indeed had the Light of the Trees and were subsequently encased in imperishable crystal, it seems a very small stretch to say these are actually 3 new silmarils. The question is, why is this even necessary? Why would Galadriel not just continue to preserve the Light in her hair? I personally doubt this is Galadriel’s attempt to steal Feanor’s thunder and use Gimli as a tool to match Feanor’s craftsmanship. This is the repentant Galadriel who has just declined the One Ring and is living by hope and faith rather than trusting in her own strength to bring about the world she wishes to see restored. I think she instead recognizes the serendipity of declining the Ring only to then be offered the chance to preserve the Light of the Trees in an “imperishable” fashion and “until the end of days”. Those are both key aspects of the Silmarils themselves as they also are imperishable and yet will be unleashed at the end of days.

Was this effort merely a backup plan of Galadriel’s in case the oath of Feanor and his sons could never be fully done away with so that the world could instead be renewed using what she and Gimli created? Somehow I doubt it because I suppose she knew that Arda would remain marred until Feanor’s silmarils were returned to the Powers and that would never happen until the oaths were done away with.

I suspect it has something to do with the dwarves and their role in rebuilding Arda at the end of days, which is perhaps why Galadriel took Gimli up on his offer, knowing that he was bound by his statement regarding the end of days. From the Silmarillion we read regarding the dwarves role at the end of the world:

“Then [the dwarves] part shall be to serve Aulë and to aid him in the remaking of Arda after the Last Battle.”

Perhaps Galadriel gifted this light to Gimli so that the dwarves would have silmarils of their own to contribute to the restoration of Arda and that doing so would aid in the preservation of the “goodwill” Gimli refers to between elves and dwarves so that never again the two peoples would have cause to quarrel.

Eru had prophesied to Aule that there would be strife between his original children and the adopted dwarves

…and often strife shall arise between thine and mine, the children of my adoption and the children of my choice

I suppose with this gift and joint effort between Galadriel and Gimli we see a path to the ending forever of that strife.

But I suspect there is something deeper here that I can’t quite identify. Knowing how central a role Feanor’s Silmarils play in Arda’s marring and healing, it’s hard to overstate the potential significance of three additional silmarils than originally thought.

I suppose one could argue that Galadriel’s efforts are lesser in some way and therefore not on par with Feanor’s silmarils, but given the lore we have, I struggle to accept that idea.

If she, like Feanor, preserved the light of the Trees and likewise encased that light in an imperishable fashion, it’s hardly different from what Feanor accomplished and therefore I must assume these creations are also silmarils and will play a key role in Arda’s Unmarring.

I suspect that role will be significant.

One Final Question

If the Elves have such Light to contribute to Arda’s Healing, and the Dwarves as well, is there also such Light for the house of Man to contribute as well? Maybe there doesn’t have to be but it would seem important for each group to have contributions of similar significance.

What is the Telestial, Terrestrial, Celestial Kingdoms?

Note: Last night I had a hard time sleeping and finally got up to give myself something to do. I ended up writing this post about D&C 76.

My mind was racing with all of this stuff and I was having a hard time shutting it off even when I laid down again around 4 am. Then suddenly I chuckled as I remembered that when I first laid down to sleep last night, I had prayed for God to remove from me the spirit of deep sleep. I guess he’s not without a sense of humor! That’s not to say I’m right on any of what I wrote below. I just found that a humorous backstory worth sharing.

I was listening to Faithful the other day and noticed a familiar phrase used to describe Joseph’s arrival on Eressea:

“In the day he awoke, certain he was that death had carried him to Valinor, and its glory surpassed all understanding, and if he grieved, it was for this comprehension alone
….for its glory was very great, and joy has often ended the few mortals who scented its fields or gazed as struck by some magic bolt, from afar its peaks, golden, and pouring forth white and purple falls, as a rain of gems under sunlight, and stars in the blue twilight.

I looked that phrase up in D&C 76, and was surprised to see it was used to describe the telestial realm rather than the terrestrial:

“And thus we saw, in the heavenly vision, the glory of the telestial, which surpasses all understanding; And no man knows it except him to whom God has revealed it.”

Supposedly as Sidney saw this vision w Joseph, Sidney was ashen-faced and slumped in his chair whereas Joseph was not so overcome. Afterward Joseph said Sidney wasn’t used to it as he was. Could just be an old mormon urban legend but if true, not surprising that Sidney was nearly overcome seeing these kingdoms given how Pengolodh describes the effects Eressea has on mortals, much less the effects of the other two kingdoms.

Having said all that, I had assumed the earth in general was telestial, Eressea was terrestrial, and Valinor celestial. But this new reading messes that up a bit. I suppose Eressea has to be telestial (tel-estial being likely a play on Teleri who inhabit Eressea), making the earth at large something other than a glorified kingdom, Arda marred, I suppose, and absent any real glory. Valmar or perhaps specifically Taniquetil is obviously celestial, since that’s where God Manwe-Varda sit enthroned. What does that leave for terrestrial? Tirion, I’m guessing, the word terrestrial being a play on Tirion, possibly.

Tirion was home to the Vanyar and the Noldor but the Vanyar eventually moved to Valmar/Taniquetil and many of the Noldor left altogether. It wasn’t abandoned necessarily, but when Earandil approached Tirion it was on a day of festival when the city was all but empty. Mistaking it for the city of the gods, he started to leave before Eonwe called him back. Based on my reading of the legendarium, I’d definitely say the Vanyar and Noldo exceed the Teleri “in glory, and in power, and in might, and in dominion” just as stated in D&C 76.

So I guess that’s what Faithful is suggesting: Eressea is the telestial kingdom, Tirion is the terrestrial, and Valmar/Taniquetil is celestial. But that interpretation raises some interesting ideas and questions with the rest of 76. Following is my attempt to work through those questions:


They are they who received the testimony of Jesus, and believed on his name and were baptized after the manner of his burial, being buried in the water in his name, and this according to the commandment which he has given—

That by keeping the commandments they might be washed and cleansed from all their sins, and receive the Holy Spirit by the laying on of the hands of him who is ordained and sealed unto this power; And who overcome by faith, and are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, which the Father sheds forth upon all those who are just and true. They are they who are the church of the Firstborn. [Bill makes a very compelling case that this refers specifically to the Vanyar.]

They are they into whose hands the Father has given all things— They are they who are priests and kings, who have received of his fulness, and of his glory; And are priests of the Most High, after the order of Melchizedek, which was after the order of Enoch, which was after the order of the Only Begotten Son. Wherefore, as it is written, they are gods, even the sons of God— Wherefore, all things are theirs, whether life or death, or things present, or things to come, all are theirs and they are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.

And they shall overcome all things. [“Shall” because they haven’t quite yet, being willing exiles thus far. But eventually they will return with every hill and boulder to reclaim and heal Arda marred.] Wherefore, let no man glory in man, but rather let him glory in God, who shall subdue all enemies under his feet. These shall dwell in the presence of God and his Christ forever and ever. These are they whom he shall bring with him, when he shall come in the clouds of heaven to reign on the earth over his people. These are they who shall have part in the first resurrection. These are they who shall come forth in the resurrection of the just.

These are they who are come unto Mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly place, the holiest of all. [Sounds like Taniquetil to me] These are they who have come to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of Enoch, and of the Firstborn. These are they whose names are written in heaven, where God and Christ are the judge of all. These are they who are just men made perfect [A reference, I believe, to the few first men who repented of the worship of the dark and were brought to Valinor] through Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, who wrought out this perfect atonement through the shedding of his own blood. These are they whose bodies are celestial, whose glory is that of the sun, even the glory of God, the highest of all, whose glory the sun of the firmament is written of as being typical.

And later in 76…

They who dwell in his presence are the church of the Firstborn; and they see as they are seen, and know as they are known, having received of his fulness and of his grace; And he makes them equal in power, and in might, and in dominion. [The Vanyar were the most beloved of Manwe Varda and dwelt nearest them. Ingwe, their king, who originally dwelt in Tirion, now dwells on Taniquetil. The Vanyar have been made equal to Manwe-Varda apparently, being now co-heirs in his kingdom.]

[There is a ton that could be unpacked here but to keep this brief, I think the celestial verses paint a picture of the Ainur and those elves/men who have ascended to their kingdom, specifically to where Manwe/Varda sit enthroned. To me, this doesn’t sound like the spirits of dead men or perhaps even elves go there, at least not without a pit stop in a lower kingdom first. This description of the celestial sounds like people and groups who have already gotten there. But as we’ll read, celestial spirits minister to terrestrial and bring them to Manwe’s city when they’re ready. In the case of Joseph Smith’s parents and brother Alvin, they’ve already done that.]


And again, we saw the terrestrial world, and behold and lo, these are they who are of the terrestrial, whose glory differs from that of the church of the Firstborn who have received the fulness of the Father, even as that of the moon differs from the sun in the firmament.

Behold, these are they who died without law; And also they who are the spirits of men kept in prison, whom the Son visited, and preached the gospel unto them, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh; Who received not the testimony of Jesus in the flesh, but afterwards received it. These are they who are honorable men of the earth, who were blinded by the craftiness of men.

[We’ve got two groups here, those who die without law and spirits of men in prison. The first group is addressed elsewhere in D&C 107 thusly: “Thus came the voice of the Lord unto me, saying: All who have died without a knowledge of this gospel, who would have received it if they had been permitted to tarry, shall be heirs of the celestial kingdom of God; Also all that shall die henceforth without a knowledge of it, who would have received it with all their hearts, shall be heirs of that kingdom; For I, the Lord, will judge all men according to their works, according to the desire of their hearts.” So basically, Jesus knows how to judge hearts and he knows who is good and not good and who can bear a terrestrial glory. Notice this crowd doesn’t go straight to the celestial kingdom but are declared heirs of it. Celestial angels minister to them and apparently take them to the celestial when they’re ready. That’s why Joseph sees his family in the celestial: “I saw Father Adam and Abraham; and my father and my mother; my brother Alvin, that has long since slept”. They apparently didn’t last long in Tirion.

The second group of people in this kingdom are repentant Numenoreans. They are the spirits of men kept in prison. When Eru visited, some of them repented, got his testimony or witness that they were clean, and got to go to the terrestrial kingdom. These imprisoned Numenoreans were blinded by the craftiness of men (and a devious Maia). Interestingly, it was within sight of Tirion that the forces of Numenor were finally stopped by Eru and imprisoned. Those who later repented got to enter that city as honored guests rather than a conquering host, receiving as gift what they would have taken by force, being misled.]

These are they who receive of his glory, but not of his fulness. These are they who receive of the presence of the Son, but not of the fulness of the Father. Wherefore, they are bodies terrestrial, and not bodies celestial, and differ in glory as the moon differs from the sun. These are they who are not valiant in the testimony of Jesus; wherefore, they obtain not the crown over the kingdom of our God.

[This part is a bit tricky but i think we’re still talking about the repentant Numenoreans. What’s tricky is where it says they are “not valiant in the testimony of Jesus” and b/c “they obtain not the crown…of our God”. I think this is referring to their misguided efforts during mortality. As a blessed people on Numenor, they had Eru’s testimony/witness and had a clear path to celestial glory. But they weren’t valiant in it (understatement? haha). Despite their worst efforts to dethron God, they didn’t obtain Manwe’s crown as a conquering force and they won’t now either. Believing as I do concerning Eru’s long-suffering, I imagine these repentant Numenoreans can ascend just as Joseph’s family did and would be considered “heirs of the celestial kingdom” just like those good spirits who died without a law but would have received it, presumably if it hadn’t been for Arda marred.]


[One quick note, I don’t think what we read below refers to the Teleri elves on Eressea but rather to the spirits that get resurrected to their realm. I imagine the Teleri won’t be content to stay on Eressea forever, although I could be wrong. But their incredible island will be the staging point for the healing of vast hordes of spirits apparently.]

These are they who received not the gospel of Christ, neither the testimony of Jesus. These are they who deny not the Holy Spirit. [This is, I think, the only real difference between these spirits and the sons of perdition. These telestial spirits have some real issues but they DON’T deny the holy spirit. Meaning, I assume, that they recognize their plight and want to turn from it and seek healing in the light of Eru. They accept his mercy. Merciful and long-suffering as He is, there is apparently a pretty kick-ass place for them to receive healing (Eressea).] These are they who are thrust down to hell. [Although it seems like hell Utumno is no more, there was a time when wicked spirits were captured and held there, suffering greatly. We read about it a few places in Faithful. Even though Utumno is no more (at least that’s my understanding), there are still dark places in the earth where wicked spirits, preferring darkness to light, wander and wallow. Turin was there until recently.] These are they who shall not be redeemed from the devil until the last resurrection, until the Lord, even Christ the Lamb, shall have finished his work. [This sounds like something that will happen when Arda is healed. B/c how healed could it be if there were hordes of wicked spirits wandering in hell under the feet of the righteous? Until then however, these dark souls languish in the dark places of the world. They must wait whereas good and wholesome spirits find a path to some place better when they die. They don’t have to wait for Eru to finish his work to heal Arda before finding rest.]

These are they who receive not of his fulness in the eternal world, but of the Holy Spirit through the ministration of the terrestrial; And the terrestrial through the ministration of the celestial. And also the telestial receive it of the administering of angels who are appointed to minister for them, or who are appointed to be ministering spirits for them; for they shall be heirs of salvation. [I alluded to this before, but there appears to be a flow between these kingdoms. Celestial spirits go minister to terrestrial spirits. Terrestrial go minister to telestial spirits. The idea, I assume, is to offer healing, lore, knowledge, etc such that a spirit can become something more. At least that’s how I read it. Even these dark telestial spirits (who, despite their darkness, refuse to deny the holy spirit) “shall be heirs of salvation”. Maybe it takes awhile but the light of Eru can heal them I imagine. Of course, that assumes the “they” hear refers to these telestial spirits. It could be that it’s referring to the terrestrial spirits that minister to them.] And thus we saw, in the heavenly vision, the glory of the telestial, which surpasses all understanding; And no man knows it except him to whom God has revealed it. [Just bolding that b/c that’s the phrase that brought about this entire post.]

And later in 76…

For these are they who are of Paul, and of Apollos, and of Cephas. [These are Bible names so I take it this refers to the religious of the world, deceived by that loathsome Bible (and probably other texts) into worshiping a false image of God. Upon death they find it difficult to lay down false beliefs apparently and wander here on earth rather than being taken to the terrestrial kingdom along with all those “who would have received it”.] These are they who say they are some of one and some of another—some of Christ and some of John, and some of Moses, and some of Elias, and some of Esaias, and some of Isaiah, and some of Enoch; But received not the gospel, neither the testimony of Jesus, neither the prophets, neither the everlasting covenant. [This bit I think refers to elves mostly, rather than men, or perhaps elves reborn as men who refuse the fatherhood of Manwe. They instead proclaim some other father, even a righteous being like Moses, etc. But lacking Jesus’ testimony or an everlasting covenant, they have no promise and foolishly choose to walk a path that doesn’t lead to the kingdom of the father. In the beginning, it was groups and individuals unwilling to have Manwe as their father who brought misery to that blessed realm. I’m thinking specifically of Feanor who said he would have no other father but Finwe. Daeron said something similar of Thingol and Melian. Although he didn’t have the same fate as Feanor, he did cause some real trouble for Beren/Luthien, perhaps due to his lack of acceptance of Manwe as the father. The Noldor elves named high kings other than Manwe, which I take to mean they rejected him as the father. As such, if they don’t repent of this, they inherit the telestial kingdom.]

Last of all, these all are they who will not be gathered with the saints, to be caught up unto the church of the Firstborn, and received into the cloud. These are they who are liars, and sorcerers, and adulterers, and whoremongers, and whosoever loves and makes a lie. These are they who suffer the wrath of God on earth. These are they who suffer the vengeance of eternal fire. [Basically a catch all here I suppose although I think there is more that could be unpacked here. It’s just a bunch of kinda bad people who have one redeeming quality — they don’t reject the holy spirit and because of that, there is hope for them to find healing.]

These are they who are cast down to hell and suffer the wrath of Almighty God, until the fulness of times, when Christ shall have subdued all enemies under his feet, and shall have perfected his work; When he shall deliver up the kingdom, and present it unto the Father, spotless, saying: I have overcome and have trodden the wine-press alone, even the wine-press of the fierceness of the wrath of Almighty God. Then shall he [the Father I think] be crowned with the crown of his glory, to sit on the throne of his power to reign forever and ever. [This whole paragraph seems like a repeat of ideas I mentioned above. I could be wrong but I can’t think of anything else to add. These dark souls are stuck here on earth, some suffering badly, until it’s healed and “perfected”. Then they get relief and get to enter the telestial realm that “surpasses all understanding”.]

But behold, and lo, we saw the glory and the inhabitants of the telestial world, that they were as innumerable as the stars in the firmament of heaven, or as the sand upon the seashore; [Apparently a lot of people fall into this category! Maybe even the vast majority of people? I don’t know. On the one hand that’s a depressing thought that so many go there but on the other hand, it’s a pretty freaking rad place! And possibly there are paths to ascend to greater kingdoms.] And heard the voice of the Lord saying: These all shall bow the knee, and every tongue shall confess to him who sits upon the throne forever and ever; [Unlike the sons of perdition, they don’t deny Manwe or his spirit or his Christ.] For they shall be judged according to their works, and every man shall receive according to his own works, his own dominion, in the mansions which are prepared; And they shall be servants of the Most High; but where God and Christ dwell they cannot come, worlds without end. [God can’t name them as heirs so he calls them “servants” instead. Perhaps a bit of craftiness on Manwe’s part to spare them a worse fate. Not that they actually do much serving I imagine. Kinda like “hey you can be my ‘servant’ {wink wink}; hang out on this amazing island that surpasses all understanding.” What does trouble me some is the last part about not being able to come to Taniquetil, worlds without end. Hyperbole perhaps? Or just missing a qualifier of “until you’re fully healed and can bear a terrestrial glory first”? Or is it a la D&C 19 where God talks a bigger punishment game than he really has the heart for? I don’t know. I hope so because I’ve come to believe the long-suffering of God essentially has no limits, even if there are some requirements of justice that have to be tended to.]


And this we saw also, and bear record, that an angel of God who was in authority in the presence of God, who rebelled against the Only Begotten Son whom the Father loved and who was in the bosom of the Father, was thrust down from the presence of God and the Son, And was called Perdition, for the heavens wept over him—he was Lucifer, a son of the morning. And we beheld, and lo, he is fallen! is fallen, even a son of the morning! [Rather than referring to Melkor, that liar from the beginning, this seems to refer to Feanor who until recently was “fallen” and in Mandos. He was referred to as Lucifer specifically in Slumbered. So was Melkor, but Slumbered specifically says: “a fire-spirit called Feanaro, the bright flame Lucifer downcast, to redemption yet awaiting in turn”]

And while we were yet in the Spirit, the Lord commanded us that we should write the vision; for we beheld Satan, that old serpent, even the devil, who rebelled against God, and sought to take the kingdom of our God and his Christ—Wherefore, he maketh war with the saints of God, and encompasseth them round about. [This seems to be a separate thought from the prior paragraph, almost like backstory, not a continuation of what was just said. It’s describing Melkor’s efforts against the sons of Perdition (Feanor) to encompass them in his dark will. Of course, it’s not just Feanor’s sons that fell. Maeglin fell too and is presumably a son of perdition, or at least was. Maybe that just means he got bound up in the oath and fell b/c of it and is therefore something like an adopted son of Feanor/Perdition. You could also probably apply these verses to beings like Sauron and the balrogs and orcs I imagine. But honestly I think here we’re talking specifically about war being made on “saints of God” so pretty much Feanor’s sons.]

And we saw a vision of the sufferings of those with whom he made war and overcame, [he made war with more than Feanor’s sons but he didn’t overcome all of them. I’m thinking of people like Hurin and his children. They never served Melkor.] for thus came the voice of the Lord unto us: Thus saith the Lord concerning all those who know my power, and have been made partakers thereof, and suffered themselves through the power of the devil to be overcome, and to deny the truth and defy my power—They are they who are the sons of perdition, of whom I say that it had been better for them never to have been born;

For they are vessels of wrath, doomed to suffer the wrath of God, with the devil and his angels in eternity; Concerning whom I have said there is no forgiveness in this world nor in the world to come—

Having denied the Holy Spirit after having received it, and having denied the Only Begotten Son of the Father, having crucified him unto themselves and put him to an open shame. [Ok so maybe there are more differences between these guys and gen pop of the telestial kingdom but you’ll notice here that these guys deny the Holy Spirit whereas the telestialites do not. It looks like these sons of perdition actually brought about the crucifixion. They were presented w the path of estel through Eru’s becoming flesh and instead of accepting the Spirit, repenting, finding healing, they literally kill mortal Eru. That is potentially one difference between Sauron, balrogs, et al and these sons of Feanor (although Carcaroth at least was hanging out with the wraith brothers so I’m guessing it’s more than those 3 and Melkor in the void). But I keep thinking of this idea that many of the fallen Ainur may not have been willing to cross the line of rejecting Eru. The only data point I have for this is Sauron repenting for a time after the First Age, even though he eventually declined to seek pardon in the west and fell back into his old ways.]

These are they who shall go away into the lake of fire and brimstone, with the devil and his angels— [I guess Utumno isn’t gone, it has just been moved to the void maybe?] And the only ones on whom the second death shall have any power; [I take this to mean no resurrection for these guys.] Yea, verily, the only ones who shall not be redeemed in the due time of the Lord, after the sufferings of his wrath. [In contrast to the telestialites.] For all the rest shall be brought forth by the resurrection of the dead, through the triumph and the glory of the Lamb, who was slain, who was in the bosom of the Father before the worlds were made.

skipping a bit………

…and saves all the works of his hands, except those sons of perdition who deny the Son after the Father has revealed him. [I take this to mean the father revealed the son in his mortal ministry and they killed him anyway, knowing what they did. A firm and final rejection of mercy it seems.] Wherefore, he saves all except them—they shall go away into everlasting punishment, which is endless punishment, which is eternal punishment, to reign with the devil and his angels in eternity, where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched, which is their torment— [This is where D&C 19 comes into play with a surprising twist, to me at least:

“Nevertheless, it is not written that there shall be no end to this torment, but it is written endless torment. Again, it is written eternal damnation; wherefore it is more express than other scriptures, that it might work upon the hearts of the children of men, altogether for my name’s glory. Wherefore, I will explain unto you this mystery, for it is meet unto you to know even as mine apostles. I speak unto you that are chosen in this thing, even as one, that you may enter into my rest. For, behold, the mystery of godliness, how great is it! For, behold, I am endless, and the punishment which is given from my hand is endless punishment, for Endless is my name. Wherefore— Eternal punishment is God’s punishment. Endless punishment is God’s punishment.”

God’s long-suffering applies even to these sons apparently? The words “endless punishment” are used in both places. Though they may not find forgiveness in this world or the next, there may be hope for them somewhere, somehow, even still. Truly amazing! Of note is that D&C 19 was not suppose to be published. God told them not to “speak these things unto the world”. I wonder if that was for the benefit of the wraiths. Hearing this, they may have hardened further thinking they could eventually take advantage of mercy down the road, even if it’s a long ways down the road. Just a thought.]

And the end thereof, neither the place thereof, nor their torment, no man knows; Neither was it revealed, neither is, neither will be revealed unto man, except to them who are made partakers thereof; Nevertheless, I, the Lord, show it by vision unto many, but straightway shut it up again; Wherefore, the end, the width, the height, the depth, and the misery thereof, they understand not, neither any man except those who are ordained unto this condemnation. And we heard the voice, saying: Write the vision, for lo, this is the end of the vision of the sufferings of the ungodly.

[This post is overlong already and I don’t have the heart to pull quotes from Faithful and Slumbered about Melkor’s desires to unmake and to make void all that Eru sought, but it would seem that Melkor and those who followed him got exactly what he sought to bring about, except it became their own fate alone, and no one else’s. I’m reminded of Hurin’s conversation with Melkor. At first, Hurin defies Morgoth and stands his ground but he seems to lose nerve toward the end:

“Beyond the Circles of the World I will not pursue them,” said Morgoth. “For beyond the Circles of the World there is Nothing. But within them they shall not escape me, until they enter into Nothing.”
“You lie,” said Hurin.
“You shall see and you shall confess that I do not lie,” said Morgoth.

Morgoth, is, of course, lying, being a liar from the beginning. But there is some truth in his statements. There really is a nothing-void, or maybe more than one. And he has received his own fate along with those who were overcome by him. The void-pit he meant for others is now his own fate along w those he overcame: “And that great pit, which hath been digged for them by that great and abominable church, which was founded by the devil and his children, that he might lead away the souls of men down to hell—yea, that great pit which hath been digged for the destruction of men shall be filled by those who digged it, unto their utter destruction, saith the Lamb of God; not the destruction of the soul, save it be the casting of it into that hell which hath no end.” Interestingly, being in this pit doesn’t destroy their soul since that is something that apparently can’t be destroyed. But it’s not happy times there. I guess I’ll stop here and maybe come back to this topic some other time.]

“Translating” Some of Jacob’s Words

I’ve had a thing for the chapters where Nephi quotes his brother for a few years now. Actually, my wife and I both became a bit enchanted with those chapters independently around the same time and reached some very similar conclusions. Sure, it could be that we were already on the same wavelength so naturally we’d reach similar conclusions. But the conclusions were fairly unique, so much so that it surprised us that we were thinking so similarly. That’s not to say what we thought back then was even correct, although I think some of it dovetails nicely with what I’m sharing on this page. I only share that as backstory to why I’ve decided to take a crack at “translating” this part of the BOM after my last attempt. I figured if I’ve found fruit in Jacob’s words in the past, maybe I’ll find some more as I try to reconcile it w the world of Tolkien.

As a reminder, don’t take the word translation very seriously. If I were with you (the reader) in person I’d be using air quotes every time I use that word. This translation isn’t anything supernatural like most people would think of when they consider translation in the context of the book of Mormon. It’s more like a commentary/interpretation. Anyway, here goes…

The Words of Jacob the Brother of Nephi
Which he spake unto the people of Nephi:

Behold, my beloved brethren, I, Jacob, having been called of God, and ordained
After the manner of his holy order, [Daymon makes some points about this holy order in V5 of CHBOM. It sounds like God (in this case, Manwe) put together a team of other holy people. Holy in the sense that they share Eru’s vision for his children and are able/willing to help bring it to pass. The holy order goes out and preaches to wayward man and gives them a chance to get out from under Melkor’s curse, a curse they themselves brought about when they first came to Arda with Eru as a host and worshiped the dark. But the holy order’s work apparently includes preaching to the house of Finwe-Israel enfleshed as man. Jacob here is he’s part of Manwe’s crew, or order, if you prefer.] and having been consecrated
By my brother Nephi, unto whom ye look as a king
Or a protector, and on whom ye depend for safety, behold
Ye know that I have spoken unto you exceedingly many things.

Nevertheless, I speak unto you again. For I am desirous
For the welfare of your souls. Yea, mine anxiety is great for you!
And ye yourselves know that it ever has been.
For I have exhorted you with all diligence and I have taught you
The words of my father and I have spoken unto you concerning
All things which are written, from the creation of the world. [I’m thinking he refers here to the Brass Plates since they are described in similar words elsewhere. If so, I would guess these people had a pretty clear understanding of the world’s history and their role in it as part of Finwe’s house.]

And now, behold, I would speak unto you concerning things
Which are, and which are to come; wherefore, I will read you
The Words of Isaiah. And they are the words which my brother
Has desired that I should speak unto you. And I speak unto you
For your sakes, that ye may learn and glorify the name of your god.
And now, the words which I shall read are they which Isaiah spake
Concerning all the House is Israel; wherefore, they may be
Likened unto you, for ye are of the House of Israel.
And there are many things which have been
Spoken by Isaiah which may be likened unto you, because ye are
Of the House of Israel. [I can only assume this means the seed of Lehi are all elves reborn, and specifically, elves from the house of Finwe (Israel). They’ve come back as men, and as suggested further down, not even for the first time. The gates of Mandos swung only in one direction originally, but Beren/Manwe opened a “cut” that was left for Eru to widen or stitch as he saw fit. Eru will use the same cut to affect his own resurrection, doing what he saw his father do. I’m guessing many others besides used that cut to come back as man reborn. Good and less good elves (including the sons of Feanor) did this. And it would appear that the spirits of men also did and most likely continue to do this since mortality is a probation for them as well to get out from under a curse. But these words from Jacob are meant primarily for this group of man-elves known as the House of Israel. One can imagine that if Finwe was known of in their records from which Jacob had preached, this idea could sound pretty wild to them. Imagine if today someone said “hey, you’re an elf reborn and you did some crazy stuff in ages past that brought about some curses and bonds; you’re here on a probation, just like man is so turn to God” etc. It might be a hard thing to believe. Later we’ll read about unbelief amongst these people so I assume they either didn’t believe Jacob’s teachings or they couldn’t humble themselves to embrace it in their hearts.] And now, these are the words:

Thus saith the Lord God: Behold, I will lift up mine hand
To the gentiles, and set up my standard to the people; and they [the Gentiles] shall bring
Thy [House if Isreal’s] sons in their arms, and thy daughters shall be carried upon
Their [the Gentiles’] shoulders. And kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and their [the Gentile kings’] queens
Thy nursing mothers. They [in my last post there were a few places where it seemed like the word “gentiles” was being used to describe different groups of gentiles at different times. It makes for a sometimes difficult reading, however, I think I can show this is another example of that very thing. The prior sentence speaks of the gentiles in a positive way, as nursing fathers and mothers. But this next sentence describes the gentiles as bowing down and licking up the dust from the feet of the house of Israel. Not exactly positive imagery. And 3 paragraphs down, Jacob clarifies that there are two types of Gentiles being spoken of here: a righteous group and an unrighteous group. And yet, in these few standalone sentences, it would be hard to not assume Isaiah is speaking of a single gentile group.] shall bow down to thee [House of Israel] with their faces
Towards the earth, and lick up the dust of thy feet; and thou shalt know That I am the Lord; For they [the repentant House of Israel] shall not be ashamed that wait for me.

And now I, Jacob, would speak somewhat concerning these words.
For behold, the Lord has shown me that those who were at Jerusalem,
From whence we came, have been slain and carried away
Captive. [There are two ways to read this. The typical way is that most of Jerusalem was killed but some weren’t and those were the ones carried away captive. But I’m going to say that instead, they were *all* slain/killed and *all* carried away captive as spirits, either to hell specifically or perhaps some other corner of Mandos that is less burdensome. I think this latter reading is justified by the text. Those men-elves of Finwe’s house who were at Jerusalem were killed and became captive spirits. God had led righteous groups of them out of Jerusalem from time to time but those that remained waxed to a fulness of iniquity and so death was decreed.] Nevertheless, the Lord has shown unto me that
They should return again. [Cuz there’s that cut right? These people are coming back as men again. They’ll be reborn.] And he also has shown unto me that the Lord God,
The Holy One of Israel, should manifest himself unto them in the flesh;
And after he should manifest himself they should scourge him and crucify him, [Not to beat a dead horse but this seems pretty plainly stated. These people will come back, “in the flesh”, and Eru Jesus will come among them.]
According to the words of the angel who spake it unto me.
And after they have hardened their hearts and stiffened their necks against
The Holy One of Israel, behold, the judgments of the Holy One of Israel
Shall come upon them. And the day cometh that they shall be
Smitten and afflicted. Wherefore, after they are driven to and fro,
For thus saith the angel,

Many shall be afflicted in the flesh, and shall not be suffered to perish, [The men-elves of Finwe’s house who were at Jerusalem, bereft of estel it seems, hardened against Eru and his plan for redemption, openly reject him and scourge/crucify him. As a result, they get smitten and afflicted. Driven. But not unto death. In fact, they’re not “suffered to perish”. Why? Read on.]
Because of the prayers of the faithful; they shall be scattered,
And smitten, and hated; nevertheless, the Lord will be merciful unto them,
That when they shall come to the knowledge of their redeemer, they shall
Be gathered together again to the lands of their inheritance. [Thank God for the faithful. They offer up these prayers, which in Tolkien’s world is more like an idea or request. The word “prayer” seems to hold less weight than the way prayer is used in religion normally. “Aulë at the prayer of Yavanna wrought two mighty lamps for the lighting of the Middle-earth.” The faithful are worried about these men-elves of Finwe’s house so they make a prayer that they not be allowed to die. But why? I assume because of some law related to their treatment and rejection of Eru as Christ. If they were to die it would prove disastrous to the plan to save them, much like if fallen man had been able to lay hands on the tree of life in the beginning of Arda. The plan to save them would have been “frustrated”. Perhaps sparing these men-elves from another death is to spare the risk that they be lost entirely (at least for now). Instead they can linger in the flesh and avoid hell, not free of consequence, however. Smitten as they ought to be, driven and scattered, but not suffered to die. This group of the house if Israel are the “Jews”. In my prior post, we read how Lehi’s remnant will be given books by some repentant gentiles and that other writings come forth as a result that cause the Jews to believe. So it would seem that this prayer of the faithful eventually succeeds and that the Jews who slew Christ are scattered here upon the earth, unable to die. This fate of theirs reads similar to what was imposed on Cain. It’s interesting that death is a gift given in mercy to man but in this case, death is removed, also as a gift given in mercy.]

And blessed are the gentiles, they of whom the prophet has written!
For behold, if it so be that they shall repent and fight not against Zion,
And do not unite themselves to that great and abominable church,
They shall be saved! [Here’s one type of Gentile. This would be the nursing fathers and mothers I imagine] For the Lord God will fulfill his covenants which he has
Made unto his children; and for this cause the prophet has written these things.

Wherefore, they that fight against Zion and the covenant people
Of the Lord shall lick up the dust of their feet! [And here’s the other type of Gentile, the ones that get to lick feet. I kind of think these people are the ones “without law” mentioned later, the ones that get to inherit the earth as well by virtue of not having a law given to them. Hence this seeming act of submission to the house of Israel to whom certain lands are promised. “hey, sorry i fought against you covenant people. if i lick your feet clean can i not go to hell?” Joking, obviously. I do hope it’s some kind of figure of speech.] And the people of the Lord
Shall not be ashamed! For the people of the Lord are they who wait for him;
For they still wait for the coming of the messiah. [It seems the fact that so much time has passed without the promises being fulfilled is a major sticking point for Finwe’s house that causes unbelief. Many don’t want to wait, trusting Eru.]

And behold, according to the words of the prophet, the messiah will set himself
Again the second time to recover them; wherefore, he will manifest himself
Unto them in power and great glory, unto the destruction of their enemies,
When that day cometh when they shall believe in him; and none
Will he destroy that believe in him. And they that believe not in him
Shall be destroyed, both by fire, and by tempest, and by earthquakes,
And by bloodsheds, and by pestilence, and by famine.
And they shall know that the Lord is God, the Holy One of Israel.
For shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captive delivered?
But thus saith the Lord:

Even the captives [cursed men and Noldor alike] of the mighty [Melkor] shall be taken away,
And the prey of the terrible shall be delivered.

For the Mighty God shall deliver his covenant people. For thus saith the Lord:

I will contend with them that contendeth with thee –
And I will feed them that oppress thee, with their own flesh!
And they shall be drunken with their own blood as with sweet wine; [this reads incredibly macabre if we don’t consider it in another light. this vengeful God making these people eat their own bodies and drink their own blood? Nah. Remember that Jesus gives of his own “flesh” and “blood” to his followers. Bread that makes one never hunger. Wine that makes one never thirst. In partaking of his flesh and blood man desires no thing from Arda as was originally promised to men (“…grief that none of the promises came to pass: Namely, to run and not be weary, to eat not and yet desire never food of Arda” Slumbered p 16). That is the flesh and blood of Jesus. Apparently Melkor devised his own version of flesh and blood and the result was a fall for man. Melkor dispersed himself throughout Arda and humanity itself by the giving of his “flesh” and “blood” to man (my guess, at least). Jesus heals the corruption with his own “flesh” and “blood”. Here in these words, Jesus promises that those who have oppressed his children shall eat the flesh and blood they prepared for others, much like the pit they dug for others (Hell-Udun) shall be Melkor’s own fate with his children.] and all flesh shall know that I the Lord am
Thy savior and thy redeemer, the mighty one of Jacob.

Yea, for thus saith the Lord: Have I put thee away, or have I cast thee off forever?
For thus saith the Lord: Where is the bill of your mother’s divorcement? [I’m not sure exactly what this means but I wonder if it’s a reference to Miriel. The division created by Finwe’s loss of estel at Miriel’s death seems to have been the root cause of Finwe’s house being broken according to Slumbered (143-144).] 

To whom have I put thee away, or to which of my creditors have I
Sold you? Yea, to whom have I sold you? Behold, for your iniquities have
Ye sold yourselves. And for your transgressions is your mother put away. [Or maybe “kept away” instead of “put away” if referring to Miriel?]

[Because Miriel wasn’t there…?] Wherefore, when I came, there was no man; when I called,
Yea, there was none to answer. O House of Israel, is my hand shortened
At all that it cannot redeem, or have I no power to deliver?
Behold, at my rebuke I dry up the sea,
I make their rivers a wilderness and their fish to stink
Because the waters are dried up, and they die because of thirst.
I clothe the heavens with blackness, and I make sackcloth their covering.

[At this point in the 3 volume BOM, Daymon removes the italics and the double paragraph indent. I’m admittedly confused with why Daymon did not continue the next several paragraphs as italicized and indented. Jacob seems to still be quoting Isaiah here but in Daymon’s formatting, I’d have to assume Jacob is now speaking of himself in the next paragraph. A few paragraphs later, Daymon switches back to the italicized indented paragraphs, then switches back and forth a couple more times. I can’t make sense of it and it seems that this is a lengthy Isaiah quote to me, so I’m going to format it that way and interpret it as such. But I’ll put a # sign at points where Daymon switches from one formatting to the other.]


The Lord God [Manwe] hath given me [Eru-Jesus] the tongue of the learned, that I should know
How to speak a word in season unto thee, O House of Israel: [this gift comes from Manwe to Eru b/c, as I understand it, Eru gave away all his gifts and powers to become man but the gifts were returned to him during his mortality. “So Estel-Eru was born, as a star new come to earth; finding here in his children’s realm, no place to shelter, having parted all his glory, whithersothem he deemed faithful to his purposes, extending unto all his children – Elf and Atani (Man, even all!) those gifts, though by time withheld in grant to all; and having thus parted his own power, in lore and craft, succor, and insight to recall all the music before him a-sung; Thus parting, he entered upon Arda’s Wars subsequent, no weapon taking, or compass holding, and without dress to oppose or join sides warring” Slumbered p 148]
When ye are weary he [Manwe] waketh morning by morning.
He waketh mine [Eru-Jesus] ear to hear as the learned.
The Lord God hath opened mine ear,
And I was not rebellious, neither turned away back.
I gave my back to the smiter, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair.
I hid not my face from shame and spitting.
For the Lord God will help me, therefore shall I not be confounded.

Therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.
And the Lord is near, and he justifieth me. Who will contend with me?
Let us stand together. Who is mine adversary?
Let him come near me, and I will smite him with the strength of my mouth.
For the Lord God will help me. And all they [referred to earlier by Jacob as those who rejected and killed Eru-Jesus] who shall condemn me,
Behold, all they shall wax old as a garment, and the moth shall eat them up. [wax old, but not die apparently]
Who is among you that feareth the Lord? That obeyeth the voice of his servant?
That walketh in darkness and hath no light?


Behold all ye that kindle fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks,
Walk in the light of your fire and in the sparks which ye have kindled.
This shall ye have of mine hand — ye shall lie down in sorrow.
Hearken unto me, ye that follow after righteousness. Look
Unto the rock from whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit [the pit dug by Melkor for the children of Eru]
From whence ye are digged. Look unto Abraham, your father, [clan father ki-abroam per Slumbered]
And unto Sarah, she that bare you: for I called him alone, and blessed
Him. For the Lord shall comfort Zion, he will comfort all her waste places;
And he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert
Like the garden of the Lord! Joy and gladness
Shall be found therein, thanksgiving and the voice of melody!

Hearken unto me, my people [speaking to the House of Israel]; and give ear unto me, O my nation!
For a law shall proceed from me, [where a law is given, they are held accountable] and I will make my judgment
To rest for a light for the people.
My righteousness is near; my salvation is gone forth, and mine arm
Shall judge the people. The isles shall wait upon me, and on mine
Arm shall they trust. [Later Jacob speaks of righteous groups, including the Lehites, led off to inhabit various isles. Of course they are not all righteous all the time per the BOM.] Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look
Upon the earth beneath! For the heavens shall vanish away
Like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment;
And they that dwell therein shall die in like manner.
But my salvation shall be forever! And my righteousness shall not
Be abolished! [this prophecy about the earth seems to hearken to the uncertain fate of Arda and the elves in particular. The shadow, as they say, is before them as they don’t know what comes after Arda. Jesus appeals to them through this uncertainty that Arda indeed will come to an end along with everything in it but that estel is a path to salvation that doesn’t pass away.] Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness,
The people in whose heart I have written my law,
Fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings.
For the moth shall eat them up like a garment,
And the worm shall eat them like wool.
But my righteousness shall be forever, and my salvation
From generation to generation.


[I see a couple ways to read this next paragraph. One is to read it as a description of the first age and the heroic deeds of the Noldor. But I don’t think the Noldor were able to dry seas. Instead I think it’s an introspective from the viewpoint of Eru-Jesus. A rallying cry to himself or perhaps spoken from Manwe to him. One could see Eru-Jesus here quoting a song Manwe sang to him as mortal man. On the other hand, I could also see this as speaking of Beren-Manwe. Not really sure.] Awake, awake! Put on strength, O arm of the Lord. [is Manwe the arm of Eru or is Eru the arm of Manwe?]
Awake as in the ancient days. Art thou not he that hath cut Rahab? [Rahab is a sea monster in many cultures. I don’t know of any named sea monsters except the watcher in the water at the gates of Moria. I think there must be something to this reference but as yet I haven’t found it. Could refer to Beren facing some monster as he made his way to Thingol’s realm or maybe it’s Carcaroth.]
And wounded the Dragon? [this reference makes me think of Turin but I wonder if instead it refers to Melkor and the scepter of avarice from before Arda. I don’t know, Much like the Rahab reference, I think there is something here that will tie back and clarify this paragraph but I can’t quite put my finger on it.] Art thou not he who hath dried the sea? [Several paragraphs back Jesus says of himself “at my rebuke I dry up the sea”]
The waters of the Great Deep?
That hath made the depths of the sea a way for the ransomed to pass over? [Eru himself led the ransomed Noldor across the crushing ice. “…he himself led across the Grinding Ice…” Slumbered p 101]
Therefore, the redeemed of the Lord shall return!
And come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy
And holiness shall be upon their heads;
And they shall obtain gladness and joy; sorrow and mourning shall flee away! [Eru’s efforts on behalf of the unbelieving Noldor will eventually pay off. The redeemed among them (the vast majority I imagine) will return with singing and joy and holiness, cured of wicked oaths and unbelief.]


I am he, yea, I am he that comforteth you. 
Behold, who art thou, that thou shouldst be afraid of man?
Who shall die, and of the Son of Man, [not sure why son of man is capitalized. it makes more sense to me if this is referring to the children of men, continuing the thought that these men-elves shouldn’t fear corrupted man or their children encroaching on Arda forever because there are lands here that are promised to the house of Israel.] who shall be made like unto grass?
And forgettest the Lord thy maker, that hath stretched forth the heavens,
And laid the foundations of the earth, and hast feared continually
Every day because of the fury of the oppressor,
As if he were ready to destroy? And where is the fury of the oppressor?

The captive exile hasteneth, that he may be loosed,
And that he should not die in the pit, nor that his bread should fail.
But I am the Lord thy god, whose waves roared!
The Lord of Hosts is my name.
And I have put my words in thy mouth, and have covered thee
In the shadow of mine hand that I may plant the heavens [“…restore to greater glory, the world on which His children would grow into flame, swords of light to be raised throughout, perpetual, the void-darkness, to whom would gather souls otherwise forsaken.” Slumbered p 11. In CHBOM v5 Daymon says “Jesus will call upon you in Zion, ask you to gather some good friends and their spouses; and your children and their spouses; and like the old Jaredites, he will lead us into the Great Deep, showing us matter waiting to be shaped and added upon, making stories of element and giving it life thereby, writing leaves of a book he shall add to the Tree of Life. We will wonder at the diversity of his creation and take joy in raising it up to his glory.”]
And lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion:
Behold, thou art my people!


Awake, awake! Stand up, O Jerusalem! [A reminder of who is being addressed in this lengthy quote. Remember Jacob is quoting this to his people b/c it also applies to them, being of the same house as those who killed Eru-Jesus at Jerusalem. Of course, this reading by Jacob is being given many generations prior to the time of Eru Jesus.]
Which hast drunk at the hand of the Lord the cup of his fury.
Thou hast drunken the dregs of the cup of trembling wrung out
And none to guide her among all the sons she hath brought forth;
Neither that taketh her by the hand, of all the sons she hath brought up.

These two sons are come unto thee, who shall be sorry for thee,
Thy desolation and destruction, and the famine and the sword? [Not sure I get the question mark here. Regardless, I wonder if this refers to Maedros and Maglor, they two accompanied Caranthir spirit to the west sea with a message for Feanor. Perhaps these two sons, purged of the oath, came to the people as prophets and fulfilled what is said below. Just a guess obviously.]
And by whom shall I comfort thee? Thy sons have fainted!
Save these two: they lie at the head of all the streets.
As a wild bull in a net, they are full of the fury of the Lord,
The rebuke of thy god. Therefore hear now this,
Thou afflicted, and drunken, and not with wine:
Thus saith thy lord, the Lord and thy god pleadeth the cause of his people:


Behold! I have taken out of thine hand the cup
Of trembling, the dregs of the cup of my fury;
Thou shalt no more drink it again.
But I will put it into the hand of them that afflict thee;
Who have said to thy soul: Bow down, that we may go over.
And thou hast laid thy body as the ground and as the street
To them that went over. Awake, awake! Put on thy strength, O Zion.
Put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city!
For henceforth there shall no more come into thee
The uncircumcised and the unclean.
Shake thyself from the dust; arise,
Sit down, O Jerusalem; loose thyself from the bands of thy neck,
O captive daughter of Zion.

And now, my beloved brethren, I [Jacob] have read these things that ye might know
Concerning the covenants of the Lord that he has covenanted with
All the House of Israel: That he has spoken unto the Jews, by the mouth
Of his holy prophets, even from the beginning down,
From generation to generation, until the time comes that they shall be restored
To the true church and fold of God! When they shall be gathered home to
The lands of their inheritance, and shall be established
In all their lands of promise.

Behold, my beloved brethren, I speak unto you these things that ye may rejoice,
And lift up your heads forever! Because of the blessings which the Lord
God shall bestow upon your children. For I know that ye have searched much,
Many of you, to know of things to come:

Wherefore I know that ye know that our flesh must waste away and die;
Nevertheless, in our bodies we shall see God! [A reference to the resurrection?….except for the next curious statement….]
Yea, I know that ye know that in the body he shall show
Himself unto those at Jerusalem, from whence we came; [I get that what I’m about to say isn’t 100% explicit in this text, but in some ways, it’s the simplest reading of it. On the one hand, you could say Jacob is saying: “Hey someday we’re gonna die but then later we’re gonna get bodies and see God cuz you know, the resurrection and all. Oh and yeah Jesus is gonna show himself at Jerusalem.” But reading it this way strikes me as terribly disjointed, as if Jacob is throwing out two unrelated topics for no apparent reason. To me it’s easier to read it as saying “I know you know we’re slated to die. These bodies are gonna give out on us. But we’re actually gonna get to see God in our bodies because he’s gonna show himself to us when we are reborn and live at Jerusalem.” That reading is stretched a bit by the next sentence that says “them” (as opposed to “us”) but that could still work if those at Jerusalem when Jesus comes include more than just these Nephite elf spirits in human form. Jacob did say earlier that their contemporaries in Jerusalem would be slain and then held captive (as spirits) but that they “should return again” and go on to crucify Christ. So it would seem that a large contingent of the House of Israel was represented at Jerusalem as man reborn for Eru-Jesus to be there among them. It would seem these Nephite and probably Lamanite spirits, many of them at least, would also be reborn at Jerusalem for this event. My guess is that not all the people in Jerusalem consented to his death. The righteous were either also slain or perhaps granted passage to the Blessed Realm or led off. The wicked among them then slew Eru Jesus, bringing upon themselves the judgments spoken of earlier.]
For it is expedient that it should be
Among them [the house of Israel]; for it behooveth the great creator
That he suffereth himself to become subject unto man
In the flesh, and die for all men, [not just the house of Israel] that all men
Might become subject unto him.

For as death hath passed upon all men, to fulfill
The merciful plan of the great creator,
There must needs be a power of resurrection,
And the resurrection must needs come unto Man by reason
Of the Fall; and the Fall came by reason of transgression.
And because Man became fallen, they were cut off
From the presence of the Lord. [probably nothing new here for anyone reading this. man came as a great host to Arda. Like literally all men, came in the beginning w Eru. Man was originally appointed to not die and instead be led to Valinor by Eru in order to grow into beings of light like Valar. But of course Melkor screwed that up, corrupting man into worship of the dark by which they became bound to him. As Jacob says in two paragraphs, were it not for the plan of redemption and resurrection, man would have become angels to the devil forever. Stuck. So Eru appointed death in order to free us from corrupted bodies. Seeing we wouldn’t join him in Valinor, Manwe joined us in mortality, eating his own forbidden fruit that would cause death, the poisoned trees from Melkor’s attack w Ungoliant. I’m filling in blanks of course, but that’s my basic understanding at this point.]

Wherefore, it must needs be an infinite atonement!
Save it should be an infinite atonement
This corruption could not put on incorruption.
Wherefore, the first judgment [the judgment that meant death and endless servitude to Melkor as our father] which came upon man
Must needs have remained to an endless duration.
And if so, this flesh must have laid down to rot
And to crumble to its mother earth, to rise no more.

O the wisdom of God, his mercy and grace!
For behold, if the flesh should rise no more
Our spirits must become subject to that angel [Melkor] who fell from before
The presence of the eternal god, and became the devil to rise no more.
And our spirits must have become like unto him,
And we become devils, angels to a devil,
To be shut out from the presence of our god,
And to remain with the father of lies, [Melkor, obviously] in misery,
Like unto himself; yea, to that being who beguiled
Our first parents, [Daymon’s note suggests this is Jacob drawing on some potentially old or incomplete lore like Lehi possibly did. Or it could be a reference to Manwe-Varda (Adam and Eve) who were beguiled by Melkor in Valinor, something I would guess is made clear on the Brass Plates.] who transformeth himself nigh unto an angel
Of light, and stirreth up the children of men
Unto secret combinations of murder and all manner
Of secret works of darkness.

O how great the goodness of our god, who prepareth a way
For our escape from the grasp of this awful monster!
Yea, that monster: Death and Hell,
Which I call the death of the body, and also the death of the spirit.

And because of the way of deliverance of our god,
The Holy One of Israel,
This death, of which I have spoken,
Which is the temporal, shall deliver up its dead;
Which death is the grave. And this death of which I have spoken,
Which is the spiritual death, shall deliver up its dead;
Which spiritual death is Hell. Wherefore, Death and Hell
Must deliver up their dead, and Hell must deliver up
Its captive spirits, and the grave must deliver up its captive bodies,
And the bodies and the spirits of men will be restored!
One to the other. And it is by the power
Of the resurrection of the Holy One of Israel. [I haven’t quite unraveled why this is true. Why is it that because Eru made himself subject to man, died at their hands and then resurrected, he makes them subject unto himself. Of course, I understand that making us subject to someone like Eru is maybe a technicality he can use to free us from Melkor’s claims upon us, not as a way to lord himself over us. But I don’t get the mechanics of it. Why are we now subject unto him rather than Melkor?]

O how great the plan of our god!
For on the other hand, the paradise of God must deliver up
The spirits of the righteous, and the grave deliver up the body of the righteous;
And the spirit and the body is restored to itself again,
And all men become incorruptible,
And immortal, and they are living souls,
Having a perfect knowledge like unto us in the flesh, save it be
That our knowledge shall be perfect.
Wherefore, we shall have a perfect knowledge
Of all our guilt, and our uncleanness, and our nakedness;
And the righteous shall have a perfect knowledge
Of their enjoyment, and their righteousness,
Being clothed with purity, yea, even with the robe of righteousness.

And it shall come to pass that when all men shall have passed
From this first death unto life, insomuch as they
Have become immortal, they must appear
Before the judgment-seat of the Holy One of Israel;
And then cometh the judgment, and then must they be judged

According to the holy judgment of God.
And assuredly, as the Lord liveth, for the Lord God hath spoken it,
And it is his eternal word, which cannot pass away!
That they who are righteous shall be righteous still,
And they who are filthy shall be filthy still;
Wherefore, they who are filthy are the Devil and his angels;
And they shall go away into everlasting fire, prepared for them;
And their torment is as a lake of fire and brimstone, whose flame
Ascendeth up forever and ever and has no end. [I tend to think the vast majority will be “righteous” when this happens. I think most people are naturally good. Daymon points out that in the PoGP it says the spirits were deemed good. Even Melkor was judged good by Eru! But misled. And I think whatever bad the people in this world exhibit is mostly a consequence of a corrupted flesh and an Arda marred. Take that away and I bet pretty much everyone will be righteous. But not all. Some are filthy, children of the devil, unable to be re-deemed, their fates sealed. Much like the orc spirits who rejected a chance to be saved, some spirits won’t have whatever strength or courage it takes to turn to Jesus. At this point it would be another knowing and open rebellion I imagine, believing as I do the extent of God’s long suffering nature. I imagine the ranks of the wicked will be filled with the Sauron’s and wraiths of the world along w lesser beings too far bent to embrace any estel. As we read a little later, those without a law are essentially given a free pass so the wicked are only those who know and reject Christ openly, preferring the darkness one must suppose. Or maybe too filled with shame for past deeds to walk amongst beings of light.]

O the greatness and the justice of our god!
For he executeth all his words, and they have gone forth out
Of his mouth, and his law must be fulfilled.
But, behold, the righteous, the saints of the Holy One of Israel,
They who have believed in the Holy One of Israel,
They who have endured the crosses of the world,
And despised the shame of it,
They shall inherit the Kingdom of God, which was prepared
For them from the foundation of the world,
And their joy shall be full forever.

O the greatness of the mercy of our god, the Holy One of Israel!
For he delivereth his saints from that awful monster,
The Devil and Death and Hell, and that lake of fire and brimstone,
Which is endless torment. O how great the holiness of our god!
For he knoweth all things, and there is not anything save he knows it.
And he cometh into the world that he may save all men
If they will hearken unto his voice;
For behold, he suffereth the pains of all men,
Yea, the pains of every living creature, both men, women,
And children, who belong to the family of Adam.
And he suffereth this that the resurrection might pass upon all men,
That all might stand before him at the great and judgment day.
And he commandeth all men that they must repent,
And be baptized in his name, having perfect faith in the Holy One of Israel,
Or they cannot be saved in the Kingdom of God.
And if they will not repent and believe in his name,
And be baptized in his name, and endure to the end, they must be damned!
For the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, has spoken it. [Eru doesn’t speak this into reality imo. Damnation was already reality because Melkor was able to baptize us in his name (making us his children) in the beginning. Eru “has spoken” that our fates are sealed without this other spell of Eru’s (repent, estel, baptized in his name, etc).] 

Wherefore, he has given a law; and where there is no law given
There is no punishment; and where there is no punishment
There is no condemnation; and where there is no condemnation
The mercies of the Holy One of Israel have claim upon them,
Because of the atonement; for they are delivered by the power of him.
For the atonement satisfieth the demands of his justice
Upon all those who have not the law given to them,
That they are delivered from that awful monster,
Death and Hell and the Devil, and the lake of fire and brimstone,
Which is endless torment.
And they are restored to that God who gave them breath,
Which is the Holy One of Israel.

But wo unto him that has the law given, [more and more it seems a law is rarely given and only as a means to free a people from a bond; in fact, it seems like laws are mostly only given to the house of Finwe. the rest of the world being “without law”] yea, that has
All the commandments of God, like unto us,
And that transgresseth them, and that wasteth the days of his probation,
For awful is his state! O that cunning plan of the evil one!
O the vainness, and the frailties, and the foolishness of men!

[I don’t have much to say for the next several paragraphs. Basically Jacob is trying to inspire these people to not waste this probation because it’s a chance to cure unbelief and prepare to “meet God” as Amulek might say. A reference to them being restored in the flesh during the days of Eru Jesus?]

When they are learned they think they are wise,
And they hearken not unto the counsel of God, for they set it aside,
Supposing they know of themselves. Wherefore,
Their wisdom is foolishness and it profiteth them not.
And they shall perish. But
To be learned is good, if they hearken unto the counsels of God.
But wo unto the rich, who are rich as to the things of the world!
For because they are rich they despise the poor, and they persecute the meek,
And their hearts are upon their treasures; wherefore,
Their treasure is their god. And behold,
Their treasure shall perish with them also.
And wo unto the deaf that will not hear; for they shall perish!
Wo unto the blind that will not see; for they shall perish also!
Wo unto the uncircumcised of heart!
For a knowledge of their iniquities shall smite them at the last day.
Wo unto the liar, for he shall be thrust down to Hell!
Wo unto the murderer who deliberately killeth, for he shall die!
Wo unto them who commit whoredoms, for they shall be thrust down to Hell!
Yea, wo unto those that worship idols, for the Devil of all
Devils delighteth in them! And, in fine, wo unto all those who die in their sins;
For they shall return to God, and behold his face, and remain in their sins.

O, my beloved brethren, remember the awfulness in transgressing
Against that holy god,
And also the awfulness of yielding to the enticings of that cunning one.
Remember, to be carnally-minded is death,
And to be spiritually-minded is life eternal.

O, my beloved brethren, give ear to my words!
Remember the greatness of the Holy One of Israel.
Do not say that I have spoken hard things against you;
For if ye do, ye will revile against the truth;
For I have spoken the words of your maker.
I know that the words of truth are hard against all uncleanness;
But the righteous fear them not, for they love the truth
And are not shaken.

O then, my beloved brethren, come unto the Lord, the Holy One.
Remember that his paths are righteous. Behold, the way for man is narrow,
But it lieth in a straight course before him,
And the keeper of the gate is the Holy One of Israel;
And he employeth no servant there;
And there is none other way save it be by the gate;
For he cannot be deceived, for the Lord God is his name.
And whoso knocketh, to him will he open.

And the wise, and the learned, and they that are rich:
Who are puffed up because of their learning, and their wisdom, and their riches
Yea, they are they whom he despiseth!
And save they shall cast these things away,
And consider themselves fools before God, and come down
In the depths of humility, he will not open unto them.
But the things of the wise and the prudent shall be hid from them forever:
Yea, that happiness which is prepared for the saints.

O, my beloved brethren, remember my words.
Behold, I take off my garments, and I shake them before you!
I pray the god of my salvation that he view me with his all-searching eye.
Wherefore, ye shall know at the last day, when all men shall be judged
Of their works, that the god of Israel did witness that I
Shook your iniquities from my soul, and that I stand
With brightness before him, and am rid of your blood.

O, my beloved brethren, turn away from your sins!
Shake off the chains of him that would bind you fast,
Come unto that god who is the rock of your salvation.
Prepare your souls for that glorious day when justice shall be administered
Unto the righteous, even the day of judgment,
That ye may not shrink with awful fear;
That ye may not remember your awful guilt in perfectness,
And be constrained to exclaim: Holy, holy are thy
Judgments, O Lord God Almighty! But I know my guilt;
I transgressed thy law, and my transgressions are mine;
And the Devil hath obtained me, that I am a prey to his awful misery.

But behold, my brethren, is it expedient that I should awaken you
To an awful reality of these things? Would I harrow up your souls
If your minds were pure? Would I be plain unto you
According to the plainness of the truth if ye were freed from sin?
Behold, if ye were holy I would speak unto you of holiness!
But as ye are not holy, and ye look upon me as a teacher,
It must needs be expedient that I teach you the consequences of sin.
Behold, my soul abhorreth sin, and my heart delighteth in righteousness;
And I will praise the holy name of my god.

Come, my brethren, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters!
And he that hath no money, come buy and eat;
Yea, come buy wine and milk without money and without price.
Wherefore, do not spend money for that which is
Of no worth, nor your labor for that which cannot satisfy.
Hearken diligently unto me, and remember the words which I have spoken!
And come unto the Holy One of Israel, and feast
Upon that which perisheth not, neither can be corrupted,
And let your soul delight in fatness.

Behold, my beloved brethren, remember the words of your god.
Pray unto him continually by day,
And give thanks unto his holy name by night.
Let your hearts rejoice. And behold how great the covenants of the Lord,
And how great his condescensions unto the children of men!
And because of his greatness, and his grace and mercy,
He has promised unto us that our seed shall not utterly
Be destroyed, according to the flesh, but that he would preserve them; [in CHBOM v5 Daymon posits that the ANLs were blessed w long life, “preserved” as Jacob just said. Likewise those at Bountiful, which would include the ANLs and their kids presumably, were given the flesh and blood of Jesus which essentially made them immortal. Here Jacob is saying that the Lehite branch of Israel won’t be utterly destroyed. There will be a remnant of them preserved.]
And in future generations they shall become a righteous branch [I’m reading this as saying it’s future to Jacob’s time and refers to the ANLs and the zion of 4th Nephi. That is the “righteous branch” that he will be speaking of “on the morrow”.]
Unto the House of Israel. And now, my brethren, I would speak unto you more.
But on the morrow I will declare unto you the remainder of my words. Amen.

And now I, Jacob, speak unto you again, my beloved brethren, concerning this righteous branch [see? he’s gonna tell us more about this group of people] of which I have spoken. For behold, the promises which we have obtained are promises unto us according to the flesh [Jacob has been and is gonna continue to reference “the flesh” several times. I think he’s saying here that some things have to be done/fulfilled in the flesh or with a hroa. Like repentance and receiving the promise to inherit a promised land. That’s a thing of the flesh apparently.]; wherefore, as it has been shown unto me that many of our children shall perish in the flesh because of unbelief, [They perish in the flesh “because of unbelief”?? Not because of the human condition? it’s an odd statement. Were it not for unbelief would they all have been preserved as the ANLs? Jacob seems to be setting this up as if to say “yeah things aren’t gonna pan out like we’re hoping cuz ‘many’ of our kids will die.” Is he saying they will die as opposed to gaining passage to undying lands or as opposed to being “preserved” like the ANLs for when Christ comes? That seems to be the suggestion if unbelief is what causes them to perish in the flesh.] nevertheless, God will be merciful unto many [so yeah “sorry guys, most of our kids are gonna die but there is a silver lining…”]; And our children shall be restored, [I see this hearkening back to what he said earlier about “in our bodies we shall see God” when Eru-Jesus comes to Jerusalem.] that they may come to that which will give them the true knowledge of their redeemer. [seeing Eru-Jesus in person among them would be a chance to come to the true knowledge of their redeemer rather than succumb to the unbelief that apparently afflicted them at this time] Wherefore, as I said unto you, [he mentioned this yesterday. he’s expounding on the previous mention of this.] it must needs be expedient that Christ, for in the last night the angel spake unto me that this should be his name, should come among the Jews, among those who are the more wicked part of the world. And they shall crucify him, for it behooveth our god, and there is none other nation on earth that would crucify their god. [lots of thoughts here but this is twice where Jacob says “hey we’re gonna die” and then immediately after says something about Christ coming to the Jews. The last time he said “we’ll see God in our bodies” and this time he says they’re gonna be “restored”. Same idea with different words imo. For whatever reason, Finwe’s house is the only group of Eru’s children that would crucify him. I assume that’s because of the oath and subsequent cursings. Slumbered says of this house: “Thus Eru divided that house (of Finwë), and set bonds upon them, burdens ancient and still borne, if unrepenting, and disbelieving his (worded) instruction, through Manwë-Varda; the worst offenders he took to himself to rebuke in gentle kindness, and not in wrath, which they being proud, and tender to suffer any slight, would not bear; and those greatest – in self- will, in majesty and lore, and even those repentant of wrong doing upon Valmar’s floors – he himself led across the Grinding Ice, seeking in their passage thus to plant a new house mergent to Thingolsuleman [spirit-blessed], and thereby to bring into redemption all the lost sons and daughters of his own house; the mightiest beyond might, desperate to heal, yet mostly he could not;” 

So there is some ancient burden set upon that house but it only remains “if unrepenting and disbelieving”. Jacob has just said their children will die b/c of unbelief. Eru originally attempted to re-deem Finwe’s house by merging them with Thingol’s house but the attempt failed. Why? Because of unrepenting and disbelieving one must presume. And so the bond-burden remains so that Eru can continue to labor over them. What is the bond-burden? I don’t know exactly of course but it seems to have something to do with coming again as man, perhaps many times, until unbelief is cured. Eru makes another attempt by gathering the unrepenting house of Israel to Jerusalem, at least many of them if not all. But their unbelief was not cured and so they crucified him. That’s how I’m reading it anyway.]

For should the mighty miracles be wrought among other nations they would repent, and know that he be their god. Because of priestcrafts [At Endar, a certain priestcraft led to the fall of that realm: “…many were lost, in heart receiving lies without giving battle thereto; in mind, stretching the heart’s wiles, to craft as-if only, in thought, all new things, beyond the world’s scrutiny; each a king or queen self-proclaimed, toadied about one another, in false obeisance, sneering contempt for deluded idols, by false priests (themselves!).”] and iniquities, they at Jerusalem will stiffen their necks against him, [“greatest in self-will, in majesty and lore”. It’s apparently hard for them to accept Eru as their god. Manwe had a hell of time with that too. “…these Noldo grew amidmost the greatest Vala here stepped, proud, cumbersome to discourse, ill-hearing, vain most, and increasing their jealousy of Powers, and how ruled they over and upon Arda;”] that he be crucified. Wherefore, because of their iniquities, destructions, famines, pestilences, and bloodshed shall come upon them; And they who shall not be destroyed shall be scattered among all nations. [Remember earlier that the faithful pray a mercy for the ones who kill Christ so that “they shall not be suffered to perish”. Those people will be scattered. But many others of Finwe’s house do die. As one example look to those killed at the death of Christ in the BOM. It was the more righteous part that were spared but many were not.]

But behold, thus saith the Lord God:

When the day cometh that they shall believe in me,
That I am Christ! Then have I covenanted
With their fathers that they shall be restored
In the flesh, upon the earth, unto the lands of their inheritance. [Remember Jacob was saying earlier how their promises are “according to the flesh”. Here’s what he means. They get to inherit their lands (plural) in the flesh because those who have perished will be “restored in the flesh”. At the resurrection I presume? But it only comes when they accept Eru as their god because that’s the only way Finwe’s house can be restored apparently.]
And it shall come to pass that they shall be gathered in
From their long dispersion, from the isles of the sea,
And from the four parts of the earth; and the nations
Of the gentiles shall be great in the eyes of me, saith God,
In carrying them forth to the lands of their inheritance.
Yea, the kings of the gentiles shall be nursing fathers unto them,
And their queens shall become nursing mothers;
Wherefore, the promises of the Lord are great unto the gentiles,
For he hath spoken it, and who can dispute?

But behold, this land, saith God, shall be a land of thine [speaking directly to the seed of Lehi. In the last paragraph he speaks of lands, plural, that the house of Israel is promised. But this branch of that house gets whatever land they’re in at the moment of this speech. The lands over which so many wars were fought throughout the BOM.] inheritance,

[I read this next paragraph as referring to the nursing father/mother gentiles once they’ve helped the house of Israel establish zion again, not as the USA/Canada.] 
And the gentiles shall be blessed upon the land.
And this land shall be a land of liberty unto the gentiles,
And there shall be no kings upon the land, who shall raise
Up unto the gentiles. And I will fortify this land against
All other nations. And he that fighteth against Zion shall perish,
Saith God. For he that raiseth up a king against me shall perish,
For I, the Lord, the King of Heaven, will be their king!
And I will be a light unto them forever, that hear my words.
Wherefore, for this cause, that my covenants may
Be fulfilled which I have made unto the children of men, that I will
Do unto them while they are in the flesh, I must needs destroy
The secret works of darkness, and of murders,
And of abominations. Wherefore, he that fighteth
Against Zion, both Jew and gentile, both bond and free,
Both male and female, shall perish!
For they are they who are the whore of all the earth; for they
Who are not for me are against me, saith our god.
For I will fulfill my promises which I have made unto the children of men,
That I will do unto them while they are in the flesh. [“in the flesh”. Apparently that is a really big deal. Whatever God has promised his children, it is to be done in the flesh. Perhaps the promise was to become a soul of one part, not two. “…and death too, Eru made, so that a new body in one, not two parts, shall be by him conceived; and not by carrying from Eru-place a corpse to take up; but howso refreshed, he reveals not to me, nor do I inquire”]

Wherefore, my beloved brethren, thus saith our god:

I will afflict thy seed by the hand of the gentiles;
Nevertheless, I will soften the hearts of the gentiles,
That they shall be like unto a father to them; wherefore,
The gentiles shall be blessed and numbered among the House of Israel. [This is where we can tie pretty directly to my last post about the “something-special” gentiles who smite/afflict the remnant. Smiting being, in my opinion, a smiting with truth and lore (in the form of the book of the Lamb) that pricks their hearts. The gentiles’ hearts are softened so they become like a father. Or as said earlier, a nursing father. Why do the gentiles need to have their hearts softened I wonder? Is it because they have a right to claim the land as their own if they want but in mercy they lift up the remnant, rally them to take their place and the remnant adopts these something-special Gentiles as part of their house? Just guessing, obviously. But there is some dynamic hinted at here that requires these gentiles to hold back and display mercy rather than judgment. Reminds me of “If only had felt [those] women one hundred: retire nursing grudges to kill not heal…”]

Wherefore, I will consecrate this land unto thy seed,
And them who shall be numbered among thy seed, forever,
For the land of their inheritance; for it is a choice land,
Saith God unto me, above all other lands, [it used to be Valinor after all]
Wherefore I will have all men that dwell thereon
That they shall worship me, saith God.

And now, my beloved brethren, seeing that our merciful god has given us so great knowledge concerning these things, let us remember him, and lay aside our sins! And not hang down our heads, for we are not cast off!

Nevertheless, we have been driven out of the land of our [original] inheritance [Jerusalem]. But we have been led to a better land, for the Lord has made the sea our path, and we are upon an isle of the sea. But great are the promises of the Lord unto them who are upon the isles of the sea! Wherefore as it says isles, there must needs be more than this, And they are inhabited also by our brethren.

For behold, the Lord God has led away from time to time from the House of Israel, according to his will and pleasure. And now behold, the Lord remembereth all them who have been broken off, wherefore he remembereth us also. Therefore, cheer up your hearts! And remember that ye are free to act for yourselves — to choose the way of everlasting death or the way of eternal life!

Wherefore, my beloved brethren, reconcile yourselves to the will of God, and not to the will of the devil and the flesh. And remember, after ye are reconciled unto God, that it is only in and through the grace of God that ye are saved! Wherefore, may God raise you from death by the power of the resurrection, and also from everlasting death by the power of the atonement, that ye may be received into the eternal kingdom of God, that ye may praise him through grace divine. Amen.

And now, Jacob spake many more things to my people at that time.
Nevertheless only these things have I caused to be written,
for the things which I have written, sufficeth me.

A BOM “translation”

Sometimes it can be helpful to put other people’s ideas into our own words. I know in my own experience it helps me make sense of things and primes the re-imagining pump, as it were. Of course, we want to avoid metatext and all its accompanying dangers so there is an inherent risk in an exercise like the one I’m about to present, but maybe if we go into it knowing this is just one way to read the text, it will neuter the metatext beast.

I’ll call this a “translation” only in the sense that I’m putting ideas expressed by Joseph Smith (from ideas he got from Nephi from ideas he got from an angel) into my own words. Meaning, if i were tasked with explaining what Nephi was saying, this is one way I could “translate” those ideas. I might read aloud what Joseph says Nephi said and interject with my own interpretation at times. That’s what you’ll see below

The following text comes from the Wilderness Vision of Nephi. This topic is treated heavily in CHBOM volume 5. I follow Daymon’s reading of it much of the time, but I struggle to make his reading fit completely so this is my own effort to make sense of what’s written.

And it came to pass that the angel spake unto me, saying: Look!
And I looked and beheld many nations and kingdoms.
And the angel said unto me: What beholdest thou?
And I said: I behold many nations and kingdoms.
And he said unto me: These are the nations and kingdoms of the gentiles.
And it came to pass that I saw among the nations of the gentiles the foundation [not formation, more explained below] of a great church. And the angel said unto me:

Behold the foundation of a church which is most abominable
Above all other churches, which slayeth the saints of God,
Yea, and tortureth them and bindeth them down, and yoketh them
With a yoke of iron, and bringeth them down into captivity.

And it came to pass that I beheld this great and abominable church! And I saw the Devil that he was the founder of it. And I also saw gold, and silver, and silks, and scarlets, and fine-twined linen, and all manner of precious clothing. And I saw many harlots. And the angel spake unto me, saying:

Behold the gold, and the silver, and the silks, and the scarlets, and
The fine-twined linen, and the precious clothing, and the harlots,
Are the desires of this great and abominable church.
And also for the praise of the world do they destroy the saints
Of God, and bring them down into captivity.

[At this point we have this “church” or maybe better to think of it as an association or combination of some kind. The same way you might think of a corporation. It’s a group of beings with a mission statement that includes killing God’s saints. They’re all about getting gold and such for the “praise” of the world, or better said, as a tool to keep the world’s attention. Because what use does the devil really have for gold when it comes down to it? His goal isn’t to amass wealth but to bring the saints into captivity. What Nephi sees amongst all the nations of the gentiles is the “foundation” of this group, suggesting it has been around for awhile and even if it’s not up to its former glory, it’s still there and it’s still going about it’s business like it ever was.

I imagine this “church” was formed by Melkor to fight against the Valar apostles of the Lamb. It was pretty successful at slaying the saints (elves?) of God. How many saint-elves were killed or brought into captivity by Melkor and then Sauron? But even with them long gone, that church/association carries on the same work even in the latter day and it exists among all the gentile nations.]

And it came to pass that I looked and beheld many waters, and they divided the gentiles from the seed of my brethren. And it came to pass that the angel said unto me: Behold the wrath of God is upon the seed of thy brethren! [Many waters I’m guessing means the ocean(s) between the gentiles and his brothers’ seed.”]

And I looked and beheld a man [let’s imagine this man is Thingol/John the Beloved and possibly also John the Baptist as well] among the gentiles, who was separated from the seed of my brethren by the many waters. And I beheld the spirit of God, that it came down and wrought upon the man [Thingol] and he [Thingol] went forth upon the many waters, even unto the seed of my brethren who were in the promised land. And it came to pass that I beheld the spirit of God, that it wrought upon other gentiles. And they went forth out of captivity, upon the many waters. [So Thingol goes from being among a group of Gentiles, upon the waters (let’s say the ocean) and TO the seed of Nephi’s brethren on the promised land. Then “other” Gentiles get the spirit. Presumably they are “other” in the sense that they are not the same Gentiles Thingol was among at the beginning of this paragraph. In fact, it seems to suggest that after Thingol comes to the promised land he interacts with some Gentiles who are also on the promised land, maybe giving them a book or something (like the BOM and later the Book of the Lamb). Regardless, these “other” Gentiles also get wrought upon by the spirit of God like Thingol did and are able to leave captivity upon the waters (ocean). But it doesn’t say which direction these Gentiles are going or where they land. It could be that they leave the promised land or somewhere else entirely and land somewhere else. We can dispense with the traditional Columbus reading, as Daymon points out in volume 5, for it can’t be Columbus because those Gentiles hadn’t escaped captivity as defined further down. Also, in my reading, these 3 sentences very likely cover a period of a few hundred years.]

And it came to pass that I beheld many multitudes of the gentiles upon the land of promise [let’s not assume these are the same Gentiles just mentioned above. We could be now speaking of Gentiles in general that have occupied (but not inherited) the land of promise and as yet are not out of captivity like the “other” Gentiles mentioned in the prior paragraph. These general Gentiles I’ll call the nothing-special Gentiles and the “other” Gentiles I’ll call the something-special Gentiles. As for timeline, I think Nephi is circling back now. The last 3 sentences were kind of a beginning-to-end summary whereas now he’s coming back around with more detail.] and I beheld the wrath of God, that it was upon the seed of my brethren. And they were scattered before the [something-special] gentiles and were smitten. And I beheld the spirit of the Lord, that it was upon the [something-special] gentiles. And they [the something-special Gentiles] did prosper and obtain the land of their inheritance. [Again, not all Gentiles, or even the Gentiles that live in America, but specifically those Gentiles who are wrought upon by the Spirit like Thingol was. They are the ones who obtain the land of promise for their inheritance, not the hordes of Gentiles who found their way here from Europe. The land of promise belongs specifically to the house of Israel and only some few Gentiles who become numbered among them. So far, we seem to have two types of Gentiles: the standard nothing-special Gentiles who just happen to be “upon” the land of promise, and the ones who are wrought upon, leave captivity upon waters, come (back?) and smite the seed of Nephi’s brethren, and then obtain the land of promise for an inheritance. As I read it, this smiting and inheriting is still a future event. The seed of Nephi’s brethren haven’t yet been “smitten”, which means there haven’t been any Gentiles that have been wrought upon, gone out of captivity upon waters, then (come back and?) scatter Nephi’s brethren, and get this land for an inheritance.] And I beheld that they [the something-special Gentiles] were white, and exceedingly fair and beautiful, like unto my people before they were slain. [I assume they become like elves/angels and it will be obvious to any onlooker that they are different from normal men. I imagine these Gentiles will have great power and knowledge and it will be impossible to ignore them. They won’t be like any humans we’ve seen.]

And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld that the [something-special] gentiles who had gone forth out of captivity did humble themselves before the Lord [despite their power and their beauty, they aren’t lifted up in pride], and the power of the Lord was with them. And I beheld that their [the something-special Gentiles] mother [them other] [nothing-special] gentiles were gathered together upon the waters, and upon the land also, to battle against them. [Here again we see two groups of Gentiles. In this case, the nothing-special Gentiles have probably been driven from the land of promise, or at least part of it, by these something-special Gentile angel-elves because this land is now theirs. The nothing-special Gentiles try to take it back by force. They are the “mother” Gentiles because the something-special Gentiles came from among the nothing-special Gentiles.] And I beheld that the power of God was with them [the something-special Gentiles], and also that the wrath of God was upon all those that were gathered together against them to battle. And I, Nephi, beheld that the [something-special] gentiles that had gone out of captivity were delivered by the power of God out of the hands of all other nations [another piece of evidence that this is a future event because there are no Gentiles that have been delivered out of the hands of all other nations who also live in the promised land as their land of inheritance. Various countries and powers still control this land of promise]. And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld that they [the something-special Gentiles] did prosper in the land. And I beheld a book, and it was carried forth among them. And the angel said unto me: Knowest thou the meaning of the book? [Our first clue as to why the something-special Gentiles are the way they are, because they have a book that must be unique to all other books. As any reader familiar with Daymon will know, this book is not the Bible or even the Book of Mormon, but an as-yet-to-be-revealed Book of the Lamb of God (as we’ll see below).]

And I said unto him: I know not.
And he said: Behold! It proceedeth out of the mouth of a Jew [let’s again assume this is Thingol/John the Beloved/Baptist].
And I, Nephi, beheld it. And he said unto me:

The book that thou beholdest is a record of the Jews, which contains
The covenants of the Lord, which he hath made unto the House of Israel.
And it also containeth many of the prophecies of the holy prophets.
And it is a record like unto the engravings which are upon
The Plates of Brass, save there are not so many; nevertheless,
They contain the covenants of the Lord, which he hath made unto
The House of Israel. Wherefore, they are of great worth unto the gentiles.

And the angel of the Lord said unto me:

Thou hast beheld that the book proceeded forth from the mouth
Of a Jew [“A” Jew, not some unknown committee of writers across a couple millenia. Someone with quite powerful lore to share. Thingol certainly fits the bill here as his Lay is destined to change the course of history, which is why the 3 wraith brothers laid the trap that kept Thingol’s Lay under wraps until last summer.]; and when it [the book] proceeded forth from the mouth of a Jew
It contained the plainness of the gospel of the Lamb, of whom
The twelve Apostles [the Valar — Manwe/Varda et al] bear record. And they [the Valar] bear record according to
The truth which is in the Lamb of God. Wherefore, these things [this refers to the testimony of the Valar Apostles, not specifically the book mentioned above, which will contain more than just the testimonies of the Valar] go forth
From the Jews [I can only assume from this that “Jews” refers to the Valar Apostles when they were enfleshed among the Jews and that their testimonies must have been recorded at that time. Those testimonies come forth from “a Jew” (Thingol) but they were given originally from multiple Jews, the Valar Apostles.] in purity unto the gentiles, according to the truth which is
In God. And after they go forth by the hand of the twelve Apostles
Of the Lamb, from the Jews unto the Gentiles, thou seest the foundation
Of that great and abominable church, which is most abominable
Above all other churches, for behold, they have taken away from
The gospel of the Lamb many parts which are plain and most precious.
And also many covenants of the Lord have they taken away. [So the Valar Apostles as Jews record some apparently fantastic things that are supposed to go to the Gentiles. But after those things are recorded, and presumably before they go forth, the “foundation”, not formation, of that devilish church is used to screw things up. They somehow know of whatever lore is about to be passed to the Gentiles. Perhaps bitter that the lore goes from Jews to Gentiles, they purposely engage in the following cover up. The church of the devil knows the power of that lore and that it will free at least some Gentiles from their dominion. I assume the beings behind the effort to corrupt the true lore are the 3 wraith brothers and perhaps other wicked spirits that they can marshal to their service. How do they do this and why? Read on…]

And all this have they done that they might pervert the right
Ways of the Lord, that they might blind the eyes and harden
The hearts of the children of men. Wherefore, thou seest that
After the book hath gone forth through the hands of the great
And abominable church, that there are many plain and precious things
Taken away from the book, which is the Book of the Lamb of God. [the book mentioned above that the something-special Gentiles have is finally named. But the Gentiles don’t get this book initially. Instead they get a counterfeit that is designed to “pervert” what God intended. Isaiah perhaps speaks of those responsible when he says: “And wo unto them [the three wraiths] that seek deep to hide their counsel from the Lord! And their works are in the dark; and they say: Who seeth us, and who knoweth us? And they also say: Surely, your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter’s clay. [in other words, they see in their deceptions and traps a turning of the potter’s wheel that even Eru did not foresee or is able to undo. they think their plan is going to destroy the labors of Eru and his friends] But behold, I will show unto them, saith the Lord of Hosts, that I know all their works. [but fortunately their works are known and their potter’s clay is smashed maybe by a stone out of a mountain or something]”]

And after these plain and precious things were taken away it [not the book of the Lamb! the counterfeit!] goeth
Forth unto all the nations of the gentiles; and after it goeth forth
Unto all the nations of the gentiles, yea, even across the many waters
Which thou hast seen with the gentiles which have gone forth
Out of captivity [the angel isn’t saying the counterfeit book goes *with* the something-special Gentiles that Nephi has already seen come forth out of captivity. He’s merely using them as a reference point for the many waters, saying the book went across the same waters that those something-special Gentiles went across (or WILL YET go across since that is a future event for us today)], thou seest — because of the many plain
And precious things which have been taken out of the book,
Which were plain unto the understanding of the children of men,
According to the plainness which is in the Lamb of God — Because
Of these things which are taken away out of the gospel of the Lamb,
An exceedingly great many do stumble, yea, insomuch that Satan
Hath great power over them. [as Daymon points out, it’s quite risky to read the counterfeit book of the Lamb. It was written for a specific purpose and it is a very good counterfeit that causes many to stumble.]

[the angel now moves forward in time. The counterfeit book (the Bible) has already gone forth and screwed up the lore God wanted to go to the Gentiles. That’s in the past of the vision and for us today. He’s now jumping forward to the something-special Gentiles coming out of captivity which is still a future event for us today.]
Nevertheless, thou beholdest that the [something-special] gentiles who have gone

Forth out of captivity, and have been lifted up
By the power of God above all other nations,
Upon the face of the land which is choice above all other lands,
Which is the land that the Lord God hath covenanted with thy father,
That his seed should have for the land of their inheritance, wherefore,
Thou seest that the Lord God will not suffer that the [something-special] gentiles will
Utterly destroy the mixture of thy seed, which are among thy brethren. 

Neither will he suffer that the [something-special] gentiles shall destroy the seed
Of thy brethren. Neither will the Lord God suffer that the [nothing-special] gentiles shall
Forever remain in that state of awful woundedness which thou beholdest
They are in, because of the plain and most precious parts of the gospel
Of the Lamb which have been kept back by that abominable church,
Whose formation thou hast seen. Wherefore saith the Lamb of God:
I will be merciful unto the [nothing-special] gentiles unto the visiting
Of the remnant of the House of Israel in great judgment. [In two more paragraphs the angel explains how God will be merciful to these warmongering nothing-special Gentiles. In the 3-volume BOM, Daymon’s note here suggests this remnant house of Israel had something to do with the corruption of the Book of the Lamb. Indeed, in this reimagining it seems likely it was the 3 wraith sons who were instrumental in that effort, sons of Feanor, son of Finwe/Israel. As for the role the seed of Lehi played, I can’t speculate.] 

And it came to pass that the angel of the Lord spake unto me, saying:

Behold, saith the Lamb of God: after I have visited the remnant of
The House of Israel and this remnant of whom I speak is the seed
Of thy father — Wherefore, after I have visited them in judgment,
And smitten them [Smiting them could be merely calling them to repent from unbelief and showing them the Book of the Lamb as a means to bring that repentance about.]  by the hand of the [something-special] gentiles, and after
The [nothing-special] gentiles do stumble exceedingly because of the most plain and precious
Parts of the gospel of the Lamb which have been kept back
By that abominable church which is the mother of harlots, saith the Lamb

I will be merciful unto the [nothing-special] gentiles in that day, saith the Lamb
Insomuch that I will bring forth unto them, in mine own power,
Much of my gospel, [Daymon says this is the Book of Mormon but I struggle to make that fit with this reading. The angel is pretty adamant that the “much of my gospel” comes AFTER the something-special Gentiles get the Book of the Lamb, come out of captivity, smite the remnant, etc. So the only way this could be referring to the BOM is if those events had already happened in the past (for us today), which I can’t see as a valid reading. No, instead I think this must refer to the Book of the Lamb coming to the nothing-special Gentiles after the something-special Gentiles take it to the remnant and smite them. Remember that the nothing-special Gentiles come to battle against the something-special Gentiles. God is merciful to these hard-hearted Gentiles and the something-special Gentiles respond to their threat with the Book of the Lamb as their weapon of choice. Does the Book of the Lamb just contain “much” of the gospel? Well, it obviously doesn’t have everything because a little later we hear of yet “other books” that will apparently have even more success convincing various groups to believe the records of the Valar Apostles. Up above we read that the Book of the Lamb contains their witnesses so the later books convince even more people to believe their words. As such, the Book of the Lamb contains “much” of the Lamb’s gospel but not all.] which shall be plain and precious, saith the Lamb.

For, behold, saith the Lamb: I will manifest myself unto thy [Nephi’s] seed,
That they shall write many things which I shall minister unto them,
Which shall be plain and precious; and after thy seed shall be destroyed,
And dwindle in unbelief, and also the seed of thy brethren, behold,
These things [And NOW I think we’re talking about the BOM. Nephi’s seed will write some plain and precious things that will be hid up and brought forth to the nothing-special Gentiles.] shall be hid up! To come forth unto the [nothing-special] gentiles by the gift
And power of the Lamb. And in them shall be written my gospel,
Saith the Lamb, and my rock and my salvation. [this last sentence gives me pause because I don’t know what is meant by rock and salvation. But I don’t think it’s a stretch to say this part of the vision refers to the BOM. Daymon says the next bit refers to the early Mormons, who, though cursed and rejected as a church, are blessed because at least they were trying. I don’t have a problem with that reading.]
And blessed are they who shall seek to bring forth my Zion
At that day: For they shall have the gift and the power of the Holy Ghost.
And if they endure unto the end they shall be lifted up at the last day,
And shall be saved, in the everlasting Kingdom of the Lamb.
And whoso shall publish peace, yea, tidings of great joy, how beautiful
Upon the mountains shall they be!

And it came to pass that I beheld the remnant of the seed of my brethren, and also the Book of the Lamb of God, which had proceeded forth from the mouth of the Jew [Thingol], that it came forth from the [something-special] gentiles unto the remnant of the seed of my brethren. And after it had come forth unto them [the remnant] I beheld other books, which came forth by the power of the Lamb, from the [something-special] gentiles unto them [the remnant], unto the convincing of the [nothing-special] gentiles and the remnant of the seed of my brethren, and also the Jews who were scattered upon all the face of the earth, that the records of the prophets and of the twelve Apostles of the Lamb are true. [Here we see these other books mentioned. Daymon suggests the brass plates and the sealed portion of the BOM as likely candidates.]

And the angel spake unto me, saying:

These last records, which thou hast seen among the [all Gentiles, at this point] Gentiles, shall establish
The truth of the first [the first book mentioned — the Book of the Lamb], which are of the twelve Apostles of the Lamb,
And shall make known the plain and precious things which have been
Taken away from them [the Gentiles]; and shall make known to all kindreds, tongues,
And people, that the Lamb of God is the eternal Father, and
The savior of the world. And that all man must come unto him, or
They cannot be saved. And they must come according to the words
Which shall be established by the mouth of the Lamb; and the words
Of the Lamb shall be made known in the records of thy seed [BOM], as well
As in the records of the twelve Apostles of the Lamb.

Wherefore they both [the words of the Lamb in both books] shall be established in one! For there is one
God and one shepherd over all the earth. And the time cometh
That he shall manifest himself unto all nations, both unto the Jews
And also unto the gentiles; and after he has manifested himself unto
The Jews and also unto the gentiles, then he shall manifest himself unto
The gentiles and also unto the Jews, And the last shall be first,
And the first shall be last. And it shall come to pass,
That if the gentiles shall hearken unto the Lamb of God in that day that
He shall manifest himself unto them in word, and also in power,
In very deed unto the taking away of their stumbling blocks,
And harden not their hearts against the Lamb of God, they shall
Be numbered among the seed of thy father!

Yea, they shall be numbered among the House of Israel,
And they shall be a blessed people upon the promised land forever!
They shall be no more brought down into captivity.
And the House of Israel shall no more be confounded.
And that great pit, which hath been digged
For them by that great and abominable church, which was founded
By the Devil and his children, [we come back to that abominable church, or combination, created by Morgoth to ensnare the house of Finwe and lock them in a hellish pit, just as he had done on Endar.] that he might lead away the souls of men
Down to Hell — yea, that great pit which hath been digged for
The destruction of men, shall be filled by those who digged it,
Unto their utter destruction, saith the Lamb of God.
Not the destruction of the soul, [I don’t know what to say about this. I hate to think of any soul literally being destroyed but I can’t imagine a way for the soul of Morgoth to be redeemed so part of me laments that he and his children carry on, even if they are trapped in their own pit prison. I can only assume they exist to cause mischief forevermore, but perhaps that’s a lack of estel on my part. Perhaps Eru has a way to save even them.] save it be
The casting of it into that Hell which hath no end. For behold, this
Is according to the captivity of the Devil, and also according
To the justice of God, upon
All those who will work wickedness and abomination before him.

That’s probably a good stopping point. I may continue in another post but I really wanted to unravel these various Gentile groups, the various books, etc. Comments, corrections, and conflicting thoughts are welcome! This “translation” is a work in progress.

Battling for hearts and minds

Every story is made of strokes: of the pen in ink crossing over itself upon the sheet of paper; of the sound of a telling in the air, carving up where before was still plainness, inaction, inert unvibrating air, as water frozen, flat, waveless; Every story is made of strokes swung by a character’s hands, and arms; leaps, landing in a battle attack, as two lionesses suddenly become a single whirlwind of anger, reborn for a brief time to cut across some still land; strokes of a knife into flesh, inert made, or rendered suit for meat at meal to eat; strokes of flashes of lightning cut into the black page of night, or of stars into that arena come, a sky hewing; so may iron of a star’s fall cut, and of its material, be forged a sword, for cutting, and if broken, in time, of shards may be written, upon plates of brass, by that same iron’s instrumentation, now in pen held to cut by strokes a tale, whose telling will strike the fateful blow, of an enemy not by meteor, nor sword, nor brave assault, ever at last felled.

I think this excerpt from Slumbered is possibly the most eloquent and beautifully written part of either book. A close second would be Pengolodh’s description of childbirth as a compressing star. But I like this one better. It underscores an idea that fascinates me about the Tolkien legendarium, which is the power of lore.

One story that demonstrates my fascination with this is when Finrod battles Sauron as he and Beren (with others) try to sneak past Sauron’s tower disguised as orcs. The two become locked in something like a rap off, singing to and against each other, their lore. Finrod almost gains the mastery but Sauron’s final song that references the shame of the Noldor (kinslaying, oaths, curses) seems to cause Finrod to falter, which gives Sauron the mastery. I wonder if Finrod could have prevailed had those curses not been in place.

then the gloom gathered; darkness growing
In Valinor, the red blood flowing
Beside the sea, where the Noldor slew
The Foamriders, and stealing drew
Their white ships with their white sails
From lamplit havens. The wind wails,
The wolf howls. The ravens flee.
The ice mutters in the mouths of the sea.
The captives sad in Angband mourn,
Thunder rumbles, the fires burn-
And Finrod fell before the throne.

Slumbered also tells of Daeron’s power of song which allowed him to go just about anywhere he liked:

So also came a-straggle, Dairon, as a minstrel, lightly minding what others headed in dread: the commands of “Eru- Black”; False God of they who have not the True Light Revealed; and laughing at hunters in songs, where was told the capture and torment and worse, of many an elf, he (Dairon) mocked this God of Arda, and sang about his realm, a challenge: to sit and listen awhile, to his tune, untuneful (if it be); yet no answer to the minstrel’s vain boast in challenge ever came to him, and he wandered free, asinging, whither he would

Luthien’s singing could unfreeze winter and cause flowers to sprout. She used her lore in song against Morgoth:

out of the shadows began a song of such surpassing loveliness, and of such blinding power, that he [Morgoth] listened perforce; and a blindness came upon him, as his eyes roamed to and fro, seeking her

And of course Ea itself was brought into being (spiritually at least) by song.

Words, especially in song, have real power apparently. Greater power than the sword even. And so Pengolodh’s poetic description of writing as a battle that will finally defeat what strength of arms never could intrigues me.

We see in the First Age that battle was mostly by strength of arms. I’ve mentioned a few exceptions above, but the elves and men of that age gathered with arms to defeat Morgoth, who likewise had various weapons which he used. Perhaps the greatest lesson of the Silmarillion is that this proved a tremendous folly that led to tears unnumbered. Their heroic deeds fell short and we see in this twilight of the age of men a different kind of battle taking place — one that involves pens and keypads as the weapons of choice.

Alma maybe learned from the Brass Plates (or just his own experience) that doing battle with lore/song/words was a better way:

the preaching of the word had a great tendency to lead the people to do that which was just—yea, it had had more powerful effect upon the minds of the people than the sword, or anything else, which had happened unto them—therefore Alma thought it was expedient that they should try the virtue of the word of God.

The Book of Mormon has examples of words bringing about change that swords never could. How long did the Nephites battle to regain the lands of their inheritance without success? And yet, it was preaching that led to the Lamanites giving the lands back freely. It doesn’t always work, or course. The ANLs had to flee for their lives, after all. Or maybe if the ANLs had better lore they could have merely sung for their protection? If a song can dismay Morgoth I’ve gotta think there’s a song to dismay some Nehors.

But the point is, it’s a new kind of battle compared to what we saw in the First Age. Today it appears the battlefront hinges on lore. And it’s not just the good guys making strokes with a pen.

In fact, the devil made a huge pre-emptive strike it seems. The Book of the Lamb was apparently written some time ago and in a pure form by “a Jew” (Thingol I presume?). But “the devil” somehow preempted it with a counterfeit Bible that keeps Gentiles in an “awful state of blindness…because of the plain and most precious parts of the gospel of the Lamb which have been kept back by that abominable church.”

Lore seems to be the weapon of choice for both sides today. The good guys produce true lore and the bad guys create a counterfeit that is apparently good enough to lead a billion plus people into an awful state of blindness. This counterfeit Bible has a tremendous impact all over the world. Who is behind it? Based on my prior post about who the devil is, I assume it was authored by one of the three remaining wraiths. They would certainly have the knowledge and ill will to bring about a convincing counterfeit.

But they aren’t content with just that since I’m sure they knew the true lore/lay/song will have the power to undo their own fake lore. The utility in having the Bible is that it causes a huge stumbling block that prevents the Gentiles from doing what they’re supposed to do when the Book of Mormon comes out. The true lore of the Book of the Lamb can’t come until the BOM is received and strips away unbelief. Knowing this, the three put out their counterfeit to wrap the BOM in chains. It’s a temporary success, but a success nonetheless. Those three sons unrepentant buy themselves time.

Time for what?

For a bigger play. These words came to Daymon after a dream about the dead and a chant to “remember the dead”:

Lofty perceiving, speaks not a Great Spirit True fading out; The evil ones, the not-them, who are not, Great Spirit by Heats Fading out, they went to lowest airs to bring the Grey Prince’s Lay returned to nothingness.

In order for the counterfeit to really succeed, they have to keep the true lore from coming out. Thingol is apparently the key player for this happening. Eru told Beren and Thingol one of them had to stay to see things through, so to speak, and he also warned Thingol that if he stayed too long he’d inherit something worse than Mordor. This venture has a very real risk to Thingol and us. Hence the importance of turning Thingol’s Lay to nothingness.

The three wraiths with Carcaroth set a trap using a silmaril. Apparently it was a good trap since Thingol has been stuck there for quite some time. Perhaps a hundred years or so.

Remember the Dead, remember the dead, this chant was unto you said, and we hear it too, and fear that though Thingol be indeed trapped below, he is now without friend, beset by foes of ancient allegiance, and kin-strife; yet in his Seeing now told, these too shall see, and in him seeing, discern their own folly, and through his wisdom, the liberation of their souls from shackles unrelenting, without release, and impervious to tale or weapon otherwise.

As an aside, I wonder if this trap is what is referred to here by Isaiah:

And wo unto them [the three wraiths] that seek deep to hide their counsel from the Lord! And their works are in the dark; and they say: Who seeth us, and who knoweth us? [they would naturally assume so since their trap worked and no one comes to Thingol’s rescue] And they also say: Surely, your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter’s clay. [in other words, they see in their trap a turning of the potter’s wheel that even Eru did not foresee or is able to undo. they think their plan is going to destroy the labors of Eru and his friends] But behold, I will show unto them, saith the Lord of Hosts, that I know all their works. [but fortunately their works are known and their potter’s clay is smashed maybe by a stone out of a mountain or something]

Regardless, it sounds like the trap was so good that no one even knew Thingol was missing for awhile or with certainty where he could be. The key to his escape, apparently, isn’t some call to arms but a call to write. Dyon Ruel is first called forth to tell tales:

The dead then return, and one climbing high upon the rock- horn is John Ruel. To destine a creature in spirit, a great spirit does not end knife- fang-tooth encircled.

But the tales don’t do the trick. The lore is strong but perhaps not strong enough. It seems like the Elves are trying to thread some needle. They need to free Thingol but they have to be careful what they reveal:

And Dyon Ruel came forth, being born a man in England, and a teller of tales divine, comical, and myth-heroic; so has captured many, enchanted thus yet only suspended so, and not yet firmly set afoot upon Faëry, where few are allowed; And he set bonds upon thy house, and protectors also, so that these tales’ weight might suspend fewer in those Airs above, and thence drawing them down to earth, fire setting all dead things that stand above a mouldering thirst, depriving of water and light, as it were, seeds long ago set and waiting;

Dyon’s lore enchants many but it’s the lore that comes through Daymon that apparently brings the missing piece that results in Thingol’s freedom. It’s told that Melian played a pivotal role though we don’t really have the details. Perhaps Daymon’s lore helped Melian escape her own trap and find Thingol to help him also escape. Just a guess.

But the point is that it was strokes on a page that dealt the fateful blow. Apparently there was a call to arms to free Thingol and it failed. 100 women spirits, hearing what was done to White Tree Nimloth girl by these wraiths, nursed a grudge and sought to avenge rather than heal. They could not overpower the three, however.

Dior’s tribe(144)-tells spirit-friend
dyon ruel a mountain hiking, away with this plan! Vala-kind
wishes-battle where place-begot-pair-immortal, of all those beings who-fear-true-word
Come-the-lamentation of-dead-ones!

And after the failed attempt:

If only had felt [those] women one hundred: retire nursing grudges to kill not heal

If those 100 women had instead sought to heal those three through lore, perhaps they would have been freed from their oaths and repented. Either way, the call to arms fails. The heroes lose. It is instead lore that frees Thingol.

So now what? Presumably now Thingol gets to undo the lore of the 3. He is apparently out and the 3 are apparently “no more”. Daymon has suggested Manwe now has the silmarils but that Thingol is taking a breather before doing what’s needed next to heal Arda. I presume that next step is to bring forth true lore in the form of the Book of the Lamb to undo the spell of the counterfeit Bible and cause the Remnant to cast off their unbelief and build zion like they once did.

There’s a cryptic part of Slumbered that says:

whose scattering [the House of Israel] now has run its course, even to confusion, light for dark, lost for found; and in His Chosen’s Telling, Thingol’s Lay announced … what cannot be here told, but will soon be revealed, and by him, again restored;

Ah the infamous ellipses AND double cross, both of which indicate omissions by Daymon. This is a double whammy and no less bitter to the taste than the other omissions. But there is a nugget there. Thingol’s Lay announces something that will “soon be revealed” that will restore something. Who knows what “soon” means to an angel/elf. I hope he’s using it the way a mortal would mean it but there’s no telling.

Regardless, the battle of lore rages on and it appears that the good guys now have the upper hand. Once the true lore comes out, my understanding is that is the generation that will see the end of all things. Perhaps a rapid conclusion is about to be triggered. If that’s where we’re at, it’s an exciting time to be alive and a good reason to take this exploration and reimagining seriously.

READ FIRST: A short explanation of this blog

Sticky post

The “blog” aspect of this website is more like musings. It’s not written by Daymon but rather people who are working through this reimagining process. It might end up being only one person’s musings, or several people. And it may end up being only a few posts or perhaps a steady stream of ideas will form here.

Doesn’t matter. What matters is that you know not to take the “blog” section too seriously and to pay attention to who the author of each post is. That’s not to say there won’t appear anything good on this part of the site or that it’s not worth your time. But it’s not like what’s written here comes from loremaster Pengolodh or Mormon. Oh and if you want to take part in the musing, contact us through the contact page form. Alright. Now that you’ve been properly disclaimed, feel free to read some posts. 😉

Who is the devil in this reimagined world?

One of the questions that has puzzled me from the very beginning of this exploration is the topic of the devil. Specifically, who is he? Daymon states in the intro to Faithful that Melkor approximates the Christian devil. Fine. No real problem with that. Except that Melkor is gone and has been for a very long time. By “gone” I mean not in this world and not even whatever he once was, being much diminished by the time he was cast out of Arda.

The question of whether Melkor will ever return seems to be open for debate depending on how much stock you put in things like the Dagor Dagorath (good reasons exist to doubt it’s still an accurate prophecy). As such, I’ve set aside the question of whether the devil Melkor will return. I assume since he is a spirit he can’t be destroyed but I wouldn’t be surprised if he was so diminished that his spirit lacks any meaningful potency.

Perhaps the fate of Sauron isn’t much different than the fate of Melkor such that we could look at Sauron as type or “shadow” (see what I did there?) of what happened to Melkor? Gandalf states in Return of the King:

“If [the ring] is destroyed, then [Sauron] will fall; and his fall will be so low that none can foresee his arising ever again. For he will lose the best part of the strength that was native to him in his beginning, and all that was made or begun with that power will crumble, and he will be maimed for ever, becoming a mere spirit of malice that gnaws itself in the shadows, but cannot again grow or take shape. And so a great evil of this world will be removed.”

So assuming something like that also happened to Melkor (or even if it didn’t, it may not matter since he has been gone for ages), the question of “who is the devil” becomes more pressing. Why? Because the devil is referenced quite a bit in “scripture” as if he were a real being with real power now, then, and in the future. He’s not referenced as if he were a fallen Power that had lost his power/glory and has been MIA for many thousands of years with no real prospect of returning.

I suppose, then, that “devil” refers to his lasting influence in one sense. After all, Melkor spent himself by literally giving his power to those who followed him in exchange for their oaths of allegiance to carry out his will. By the time of the War of Wrath he was a shadow (I did it again!) of his former self. Of course, the extent of his efforts to thwart Eru’s song at his own expense was so severe that he marred the very nature of Arda, leaving “seeds” to sprout forever that Eru alone could heal.

And even after he was removed, he left behind no shortage of laborers who were apparently still bound to serve him. It is said that Sauron initially repented after Melkor was removed but it was short lived. His oath of allegiance perhaps could not have broken without doing as instructed to return to Valinor and face judgment (healing, more like). He was soon back to his old ways, bringing to pass Melkor’s visions of dominance and corruption.

I suppose in that sense, Sauron was the “devil” for a time. He followed Melkor’s example in creating powerful servants who were bound by oath to do his will to the uttermost. But as Gandalf explains above, Sauron is long gone and his power too so can he still be the devil? On the other hand, Slumbered speaks of three remaining wraiths even in our day:

“Three Sons remain, wraiths to a spectre King Imaginary, Thû resident on Arda no longer, who once was feared by all, here;”

It has been told that those three were recently made “no more”, as in, no longer here raising hell, having been defeated by Thingol’s Lay (as I understand it). But that was only very recent. At the time Slumbered was published, those three with Carcaroth had Thingol trapped in a cave and nearly defeated. But as all good stories, the good guy prevailed and those three are “no more” (though we mourn that they did not instead repent and be healed).

What have those three been doing all these many years? Apparently serving a fallen master! An imagined king who was here and powerless to carry out his own will. But to those three, bound still by oaths, Sauron’s sway over them was not diminished.

I suppose those three were the “devil” the past 10,000 years. Now that they are gone, who carries the banner? I would guess that they did what their predecessors did in establishing lieutenants, oath-bound sycophants, to carry out their will, which is really Sauron’s will, which is really Melkor’s will. I doubt whoever is left is as powerful as those 3, but there are certainly robbers and Gadiantons in our day (as Ether foretold). Who knows what actual form they take. World bankers and politicians would be at the top of my list but maybe they are mere pawns to something more sinister.

The BOM warns us against saying there is no devil. It warns that the devil himself whispers that he doesn’t exist. Perhaps he doesn’t whisper these lies himself anymore but others who have taken up his cause spread these lies. Although frankly, it seems like a huge portion of the world believes the devil exists so the lie isn’t all that convincing perhaps.

Apparently Melkor’s seeds have serious lasting power though:

and in the writing of the tale of Izilba, you have committed to paper an ancient thing, the unfolding of which will undo all that remains of the flowering of Melko.

It’s a really hopeful thing that these tales are going to undo whatever remains. Better days are hopefully soon upon us. But man still does what the prior devils are no longer here to do themselves:

“and among these seeds sprouting are also to be found men implementing his desires. To break the word from the heart, and to make of it a thing to think on, only, yet outside of one’s soul, pondered: this and more he would do, has done, and may yet undertake.”

It’s curious that Pengolodh says Melkor “may yet undertake” these things. Maybe M does somehow come back at the end? Or maybe he may attempt his work again elsewhere, outside Arda, like he did at Endar, and Pengolodh merely admits that he doesn’t know Melkor’s fate.

At any rate, I think I have a much better idea now of what is meant by “the devil” in scripture. I’m not sure the writers of those records didn’t have an inaccurate view of the devil and such that the way they present him doesn’t fully match with these views. But that’s ok. False tradition is everywhere, and I surely have it wrong in some ways myself.

My other question in this vein is what the hell is hell? Does it even still exist? Is there really a lake of fire and brimstone or did that end with the destruction of Mordor, or perhaps with the resurrection of Christ? Is this Arda marred all that’s left of hell? That’s a pleasant thought, actually. But I don’t really have much more than questions at this point so I’ll leave that topic for another time.


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