There’s something about the saying, “those who don’t know their history tend to repeat it,” that rings deep in me. I am learning that there are many things written, some true and some not, that must be filtered through to clearly understand what’s really happening. The value of understanding the whole truth is absolutely significant in keeping things in context. Without the context, perceptions can easily be manipulated.
God knows the beginning from the end, and has set the lights in the heavens to testify of them. For that reason all wise-men were knowledgable of, and dependent on, the patterns of the sun, moon and stars for their prophecies. They literally knew God, and God shared His plan with them, in the heavens. That is why the cosmological lights were set as a sign in the heavens. Since no man can manipulate the heavens to effect any change there, the only tool Satan has, is to distract our attention from the heavens, so as to perpetuate ignorance of the things of God. Our ignorance of the words of God and the signs in the heavens gives manipulation control to Satan. That way Satan can lead men astray in their ignorance, through perceptions.
I have never personally found history very interesting, until it impacted me in the present, or in the near future (which it rarely seems to do). Some people have a natural draw to history, simply out of curiosity. They find it fascinating. I am not one of them. It is my understanding, that you could occupy a ton of time studying history, and never know much. History didn’t mean much to me until my children were fighting! Then a brief history became very important to me. I wanted to know the surrounding context, who did what, and why. Context is significant to judge properly, in order to correct the problems. When I finally understood the value of context, in exercising proper judgement, history became significant.
That’s what history is to me, context! As I study the scriptures, history and context begin to grow more and more important to me. I would much prefer learning history like Enoch, the brother of Jared, Abraham, Moses, Lehi, Nephi, and all of the ancient Fathers. For them, God opened up a vision that showed them, first hand, all things from the beginning of time until the end, nothing excluded. After this vision was given to Moses, Moses comments on the “nothingness of man.” He said, “such thing I had never before supposed.” Moses could see a much grander context, which made man seem so insignificant to him. I think that seeing the world through those eyes, one could easily recognize themes of repetition. I believe that this type of vision is given to certain men, so that man can judge righteously the situation we are really in, in order to help correct the problems and repent. After all, there is no new way to sin. It has all been done before. Satan is not innovative.
When we are unaware of the context, our sights are narrowly focused, and we can rarely see the forest from the trees. Since our sights are so narrow, we can easily be fooled into believing that …we …are the innovators. We think that our innovations produce our success or failure, and in essence our happiness or misery. We don’t look to God for our solutions, rather we look for our solutions, and then label it as coming from God.
The lack of context negatively effects our memory, making it shorter and shorter, and making us more and more complacent. The patterns of war, food shortages (famines), desolation, hatred, fornication, and violence are forgotten within 50-100 years (one or two generations). My grandmother can tell, in detail, what it was like to be raised in the great depression. My father can remember the origins of my grandmother’s philosophies. However, those philosophies are not familiar to me and my children (50-100 years after the depression). Once the human family is out of the situation, we return to complacency, forgetting (in ignorance) the times of hardships. In complacency we do some new thing and count it as our innovation, our creativity, our mastery, and our modern superiority. We claim the glory and honors of men for our modern health advancements, our quality of life, and our longevity. We fail to remember that we have fallen from the original days, before the flood, when people lived for over 900 years. In our day, we justify ourselves by claiming that …perhaps they merely calculated time differently, …like dog-years. We want to see ourselves in a superior light, technologically advanced, and held to a different set of rules/standards.
A Bible, a Bible, we have got a Bible, and we need no more Bible. This is a phrase of all generations who failed to recognize themselves in the looking glass of prophecy, repeated in scriptural context. They consider themselves as …the believing class. They read this phrase as being targeted to nonbelievers (which they do not identify with). The people of Noah refused to follow the scriptures that addressed their wickedness. The idolatrous people at the time of Tera (Abraham’s dad) failed to do the same. The House of Israel, in bondage to the Egyptians, also saw no necessity to apply this counsel to themselves. They could not recognize their own reflection in their unbelief. They rejected the invitation of God to receive the great and everlasting covenant, that would unite them with Enoch’s Zion. At the time of Christ, the pharisees and sadducees also could not see themselves in this warning, and crucified Christ for accusing them of not knowing God.
Recorded history tells of the plight of the House of Israel once they left Egypt and rejected the covenant. They were pushed all over the place. The Old Testament doesn’t produce much history, but the history can be found. Within that history, the House of Israel are continually being conquered and governed by Assyrians, Egyptians, Babylonians, and Romans. They were always subject to other nations and their governing authority. All because they would not be governed by God, they were left to be ruled by the arm of flesh. Although they may have had their kings, their kingdom was never established as it was promised it would be, if they received the covenant. Zion was never established by them. Their governing power was always under an overarching power of another ruling nation. Still to this day, the Palestinians and the Israelites fight to claim what they call their land of inheritance, and the Jews are scattered. They are still fighting for land that is ruled by an overarching power. Zion was meant to be independent. There was never a city of God established through the House of Israel, that God protected, like Enoch and Salem’s Zion.
When we read the scriptures, do we justify …our current status, or can we see …our reflection in that looking glass, that calls for repentance? Are we in Zion yet? Is this Zion? …Or, is Zion still in our future, …if we adhere to the warnings to repent and quit repeating the phrase “…A Bible, a Bible, we have got a Bible, we need no more Bible.”
I am certain that I am not in Zion. In Utah, they call this place, “happy valley.” Utah may have a valley that seems happy, but there is no Zion to be found like described in scripture. Zion is not yet hear, and will not come until we build it.
The first building block is the corner stone, that is Christ. That is where our emphasis needs to return to. He is the offerer of the covenant that the ancient House of Israel rejected. Christ is the one that offers the oath and covenant of the priesthood that D&C 84 describes. It was Christ that offered the same covenant, in this dispensation, to the Nauvoo saints, if they built the temple in “sufficient time” (D&C 124). It is Christ that offers us that covenant still today. Our temple ordinances are not the actual covenant, rather a pointer to it. The scriptures are trying to teach the covenant to us.
It is the covenant that makes the scriptures Holy. It is not the paper it is written on, or the ink that makes up the words, nor is it the men who write the words. It is only the covenant being offered, the message that beckons from the heavens, the words of Christ, that makes scriptures Sacred and Holy. That is the covenants, or promises, made to the Fathers that we are being instructed to turn our hearts to (Malachi 4, D&C 2). That is the gift that is being offered to all who will receive it. The ancient Fathers desire all to receive it. When a gift is offered by the ancient Fathers that way (in an ancient or modern temple) it is always left to the individual to …arise and receive it. We are in a lowly state. We must arise in order to receive this. Shake off the dust, and arise. Receive the words of Christ. Do not counsel the Lord. Take counsel from His words. They are in the scriptures. Use the words of Christ as a compass to bring you into His presence.