At the tower of Babel, the languages were confounded. We typically associate that time as the point at which languages became suddenly different (that’s what’s still taught in primary today). However, there were diverse languages before the time of Babel. A language change was not unique, so the primary tradition begins to grow legs in their evolutionary process of corruption and unbelief (because of ignorance). If we return to the original meaning of what happened at Babel, we will realize that our current status is precisely the same as the confounding of languages at Babel.
Babel: I just recently learned that Babel is not the same as Babylon, they are two different places. Babel was a place in the land of Haran, where Nimrod was the king. This was at the time of Abraham, Jared, and Mahonrimoriancumr (the bro of Jared). Haran was located next door to Ur-Fa, like Hauula is next to Laie, …also known as “Ur of the Chaldeas” (the homeland of Abraham).
At this time period (2800 BC) the earth went through drastic changes. There were massive storms, frequent earthquakes, heavy lightning and thunder, and huge winds that frequently swallowed up cities, leaving destruction in it’s wake. The tradition at the time was to build massive towers to somehow balance the earth’s shifting out of control, so that there would be less destruction (not sure how that idea came about). Therefore the tower of Babel was not the only skyscraper in it’s day, built to balance the chaos.
Among such towers, temples were common. But, in order for the temple to properly work, the ordinances necessarily needed to remain unchanged. They kept the ordinances unchanged as they read the patterns of the sun, moon, and stars, to know what was being done in heaven, so that they could do the same on earth. For this reason, the tower-temples were appropriately star observatories as well. By the way: I think that our Hawaiian sun, moon, and star traditions go all the way back to the traditions of Abraham.
At the time of Babel, the tower was used less and less as a temple, and more and more to balance the earth, putting more trust in the arm of flesh instead of consulting the heavens. The natural by-product of trusting in the arm of flesh, and disconnecting from consulting the heavens is the changing of the ordinances. And once the ordinances are changed, it was evidence of man’s distancing themselves from the heavens, and the covenant blessings that accompanied it was null and void. This is the environment of Babel. As the people strayed from the ordinances, the earth responded to the broken covenant by reeling chaotically, causing fear and trembling among the people.
Desperation was the result of fear and trembling. In desperation, people turned to their own logic of worship. They put people on a pedestal, and worshipped them as idols. Human lives were offered up as a sacrificial offering to appease the god’s, but the god’s seemed to reject the offering of their altars. Here is where we find our three heroes: Abraham, Jared, Mohanrimoriancumr. Abraham was one whose father tried to kill him as an offering to idols. This sets the stage for the confounding of the languages referred to in the Book of Ether.
Confounding Languages: The prayer of Mohanrimoriancumr, that their languages be not confounded, was not to preserve a dialect of words, but to preserve the intention behind the words. The word remained the same, in spelling, and sound, …but the definition became corrupted, twisted, wrested. God preserved the language of Jared and his brother, and their family and friends.
Among a select group of people, words maintained its proper definitions. Therefore bad was bad, and good was good, among them. Thus, as their language was preserved, so were the people.
Modern Confounding: Words have been changed in our time. Scriptures are being changed, even within our church. The ordinances have also changed. And we find ourselves in the same predicament as Jared and his brother.
Words like faith has been changed to mean “strongly feel,” rather than being based on the study and understanding of the words of Christ. We have even called it a little seed that we are instructed to plant in our hearts, when Alma never said that. Unbelief is defined as having “no belief,” rather than “wrong belief’s.” There are more, but you get the point.
Scriptures have been removed since Joseph Smith died. words have been rearranged to say what people have assumed that they mean, but they didn’t know better. An entire record was completely removed (Lectures on Faith), an in our day it has ben reduced to extracurricular reading. As of recent, the second comforter is being re-defined as merely having the Holy Ghost, instead of receiving Christ in the flesh, as Joseph Smith defined it.
The ordinances have been constantly changed since Joseph Smith. As of 1990 they drastically changed, such that penalties aren’t included. And as of most recent, the endowment has emphasized drama and emotions that actually distract from the instruction to:
- authenticate true messengers,
- put on bodies of light,
- come to the veil in the flesh,
- knock, ask, and seek so that the veil might be removed,
- so that you can once again enter into Christ’s presence to receive more instruction.
And we find ourselves in the same predicament as Jared and his brother, as our language has been confounded, and the entire philosophy and emphasis of our institution is missing the mark, the mark being to return to the presence of Christ in the flesh. I am crying out to you whom I love, to study the scriptures, so that your language will not be confounded as well, and we can be preserved, as was Jared and his brother.
Conclusion: We are fools to think that we cannot fail in these latter-days because somebody said so. Everyone who has ever been preserved by God was preserved because they sought to have their language preserved. The only way to preserve a language is for that language to maintain the intended meaning, as it was originally instructed.
A corrupted language not only cannot unite, it also plants contention and destruction. That is the curse and the condemnation we have been under for 183 years. It is of our own doing. Those who want to ignore the condemnation and continue not reading, will suffer the curse and condemnation prophesied of by Joseph Smith. But those who repent, reverse the condemnation, by preserving their language, they will escape the condemnation, and rise up to find a place in Zion. The regret of those who never rise up, will be directly related to the confounding of the languages at Babel!