The Book of Manti Part 4

Greeting All My Relations,

It’s another beautiful day and I humbly present to you some fabulous information…

What are the names of The Three Nephites?

Teachings about the Temple and covenants; Teachings about the covenant between our Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother and the Law of Chastity…

from Timothy (one of the three translated Beings) and recorded by the prophet Manti…

This is a continuation of the Ancient Book of Manti.

Manti was a great North American Indian Prophet… He was visited by Jesus Christ…and later by The Three Nephites, Manti tells us about them…this is recorded in chapter six of The Book of Manti…

Chapter Six

1) Now, we do esteem the words of Timothy to be of great worth, for he was one of the Three unto whom the Lord gave power over death. And He told us that these same Three would have much to do with the restoration of His gospel unto our posterity in latter days. Wherefore, I have recorded their names for the remembrance of the people, and also so that they may be added to those names which we celebrate in the cold months of the year. Yea, we do celebrate their names and their doings with the stories of the heroes of our people.

2) Yea, the Lord has foretold of a time when the truth shall have been restored by the mouth of His prophet, but the restoration of that truth shall have been disturbed and shall begin to falter. As also He has spoken to us of a time far in the future when our own descendents shall have become ignorant of many of their own grandfathers, as also of their ways and customs. Yea, and also He has prophesied of a time to come even His own church and the shepherds of it shall have become a great stumbling block to the righteous. Wherefore, it is wisdom, I think, to record the names of they who will do a great work in
restoring all things unto our own descendents.

3) And, again, the names of the Three unto whom He gave power over death, to tarry until He comes again, are Nephi, Mathonihah and Timothy, the sons of Nephi.

And Nephi called his son Nephi to honor that great prophet and father of our people. And he named another son Mathonihah by the word and will of God, the which he had received by the mouth of an Angel. And he named yet another son by that same name, even Timothy. And this he also did because of the word and will of the Lord.

For Nephi was a prophet of God and he did walk and talk with God, and with His Angels, upon the Way.

4) Now, this seems important to me. For, Mathonihah means “honored of God,” and

Timothy means “gift of God.”

Howbeit, I believe that Nephi received of the Lord insight into the callings of his sons and he named them according to that vision of their future work that was given him of Heaven.

For, his son Nephi was that great prophet unto whom the Lord appeared at the Temple in the Land Bountiful when all the face of the land had changed.

Lehi Mathonihah was truly honored by the Lord when He made him one of the Three. And can we not say,

and who can deny, that the gift given Timothy of God was not a great gift
indeed?

5) And this has become a custom among the Nemenhah – to give names pertaining to their future callings to sons and daughters, even when those names may sound and mean the same. For this reason do many of us now carry more than one name, a thing most uncommon in the past.

6) Now behold, all my generations, these are the names of the Three as we knew them, and they shall tarry in this world until Christ comes again. And they shall be known by all the peoples of the world by many names, but know that these are the names by which they were known unto us in our sojourn upon this blessed land. Behold, thus speaks the Spirit to me, that in a latter time these names shall become important to those of my posterity that shall wish to return again out of Babylon. Wherefore, I do record them.

7) And now I return to my account of the words of Timothy unto the Nemenhah of Mentinah. For, he did teach us much more concerning the covenants and ordinances of the Temple of God, or the High Place, which must be recorded here. And he did teach us, saying:

8) Now hearken unto my words, ye Nemenhah, and observe to do the things I tell you. For, if you do, I say unto you that you will find the ordinances of the Templeshall wax great in your minds and shall take up much of your thought. Yea, and your motive and intent shall be filled with service to your fellow man and you shall become great in wisdom and in the working of miracles.

9) But give thought also to these things and ponder them. Many shall ask:

10) Why, if the Lord made a greater sacrifice than I can make, when He atoned for all living, am I required to make what little sacrifice I can in this life? I say unto you that it is because of the great effect that sacrifice has upon the development of your soul. It is certain that neither you nor I may ever be able to make as great a sacrifice as He did. Nay, nor can we ever hope to be able to atone for sin as He did, nor bring together all the lives of men and women into one life.But we may bring our own life together with His, and this must be considered a great thing for us, even a great atonement.

I’m adding inserts from a book written by the late Ogden Kraut…

The Three Nephites; Compiled and Printed by Ogden Kraut

Wherefore, I will that all men shall repent all are under sin, except those which I have reserved unto myself, holy men that ye know not of. (D. & C. 49:8)

Be not forgetful to entertain strangers; for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. (Heb. 13:2)

Chapter 3

HISTORY OF THE THREE NEPHITES

During the ministry of Jesus to the Jews at Jerusalem, He told them of “other sheep” which were not of “their fold,” but they too would hear His voice. The disbelieving Jews scoffed and said that He was “mad and hath a devil.” However, after His crucifixion and resurrection, He visited the Nephite “fold” and they heard His voice and became His “sheep.” From among them He selected twelve disciples and ordained them to labor as apostles. These disciples taught and labored valiantly for 70 years, for which they were rewarded the desires of their hearts. The Lord appeared to them, asking them what they desired most. The account is beautifully recorded by Mormon:

And it came to pass when Jesus had said these words, He spake unto His disciples, one by one, saying unto them: What is it that ye desire of Me, after that I am gone to the Father?

And they all spake, save it were three, saying: We desire that after we have lived unto the age of man, that our ministry wherein thou hast called us, may have an end, that we may speedily come unto thee in thy kingdom.

And He said unto them: Blessed are ye because ye desired this thing of me; therefore, after that ye are seventy and two years old, ye shall come unto me in my kingdom; and with me ye shall find rest.

And when he had spoken unto them, he turned himself unto the three, and said unto them: What will ye that I should do unto you, when I am gone unto the Father?

[28] And they sorrowed in their hearts, for they durst not speak unto him the thing which they desired.

And he said unto them: Behold, I know your thoughts, and ye have desired the thing which John, my beloved, who was with me in my ministry, before that I was lifted up by the Jews, desired of me.

Therefore, more blessed are ye, for ye shall never taste of death; but ye shall live to behold all the doings of the Father unto the children of men, even until all things shall be fulfilled according to the will of the Father, when I shall come in my glory with the powers of heaven.

And ye shall never endure the pains of death; but when I shall come in my glory ye shall be changed in the twinkling of an eye from mortality to immortality; and then shall ye be blessed in the kingdom of my Father.

And again, ye shall not have pain while ye shall dwell in the flesh, neither sorrow save it be for the sins of the world; and all this will I do because of the thing which ye have desired of me, for ye have desired that ye might bring the souls of men unto me, while the world shall stand.

And for this cause ye shall have fullness of joy; and ye shall sit down in the kingdom of my Father; yea, your joy shall be full, even as the Father hath given me fullness of joy; and ye shall be even as I am, and I am even as the Father; and the Father and I are one;

And the Holy Ghost beareth record of the Father and me; and the Father giveth the Holy Ghost unto the children of men, because of me.

And it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words, he touched every one of them with His finger save it were the three who were to tarry, and then He departed.

[29] And behold, the heavens were opened, and they were caught up into heaven, and saw and heard unspeakable things. And it was forbidden them that they should utter; neither was it given unto them power that they could utter the things which they saw and heard;

And whether they were in the body or out of the body, they could not tell; for it did seem unto them like a transfiguration of them, that they were changed from this body of flesh into an immortal state, that they could behold the things of God.

But it came to pass that they did again minister upon the face of the earth; nevertheless they did not minister of the things which they had heard and seen, because of the commandment which was given them in heaven.

And now, whether they were mortal or immortal, from the day of their transfiguration, I know not;

But this much I know, according to the record which hath been given–they did go forth upon the face of the land, and did minister unto all the people, uniting as many to the church as would believe in their preaching; baptizing them, and as many as were baptized did receive the Holy Ghost.

And they were cast into prison by them who did not belong to the church. And the prisons could not hold them, for they were rent in twain.

And they were cast down into the earth; but they did smite the earth with the word of God, insomuch that by his power they were delivered out of the depths of the earth; and therefore they could not dig pits sufficient to hold them.

And thrice they were cast into a furnace and received no harm.

[30] And it came to pass that thus they did go forth among all the people of Nephi, and did preach the gospel of Christ unto all people upon the face of the land; and they were converted unto the Lord, and were united unto the Church of Christ, and thus the people of that generation were blessed, according to the word of Jesus. (3 Nephi, Chap. 28)

Mormon records the names of the original quorum of these twelve disciples:

And it came to pass that on the morrow, when the multitude was gathered together, behold, Nephi and his brother whom he had raised from the dead, whose name was Timothy, and also his son, whose name was Jonas, and also Mathoni, and Mathonihah, his brother, and Kumen, and Kumenonhi, and Jeremiah, and Shemnon, and Jonas, and Zedekiah, and Isaiah–now these were the names of the disciples whom Jesus had chosen. (3 Nephi 19:4)

He also knew the names of the three who were to tarry, but he adds at a later date: Behold, I was about to write the names of those who were never to taste of death, but the Lord forbade; therefore I write them not, for they are hid from the world. (3 Nephi 28:25)

However, in the journal of Oliver B. Huntington, he writes:

I am willing to state that the names of the Three Nephites who do not sleep in the earth are Jeremiah, Zedekiah, and Kumenonhi. (Oliver B. Huntington Diary, 2:367)

The source of Brother Huntington’s information is not definite, but it is a point of interest.

[31] The life and story of the mission of these three, while they lived as mortals, would fill a large volume of amazing reading. They lived in a most unique and contrasting generation. They were witnesses to one of The most corrupt and also one of the most noble generations in the history of the world.

They saw their nation undergo moral and physical destructions at the time of Christ’s crucifixion. After the days of darkness and the terrible earthquakes, the people were humbled to the dust at witnessing so many people and cities utterly destroyed. They took a new outlook upon life; and with a desire to keep God’s commandments, they began to obtain blessings rather than cursings.

The Church and nation of the Nephites began to prosper as never before. After the tremendous changes upon the face of the land, there were marvelous changes in the hearts of the people. Through repentance and conversion to Christ, there were no more contentions, disputations, or injustices and “every man did deal justly one with another.”

At this time the disciples of Jesus went among the people to heal the sick, causing the lame to walk, the blind to see, and the deaf to hear. On occasions they raised the dead and performed “all manner of miracles” in the name of Jesus. It seemed almost like a storybook fable to witness a people who could so quickly and wholeheartedly become converted from savagery, war, and corruption to the simple and beautiful Gospel of Christ. But only through the calamities and destructions of the Almighty has man had to learn the painful lessons of the laws of righteousness. After the suffering cometh the blessings. A marvelous story was recorded in the conversion of the Nephites to the Gospel of Christ.

“Because of the love of God which did dwell in the hearts of the people,” they cast away all selfishness and lost their strifes, tumults, and lasciviousness. And, instead [32] of contention, they “had all things common among them, therefore there were not rich and poor, bond and free” or any inequality.

Mormon looked upon this beautiful and envious time and recorded that they “were in one, the children of Christ and heirs to the Kingdom of God, and how, blessed were they! For the Lord did bless them in all their doings” and “surely there could not be a happier people among all the people who had been created by the hand of God.” Here is a lovely page in the history of man where he has “condescended” to allow God to rule over his life.

Here was a time and a setting for which every missionary of Christ has dreamed–a people who believed and were converted to the Gospel of Christ without contention, disbelief or ridicule. Here were a people whose hearts had changed in a miraculous manner and accepted the Gospel in its entirety with a pure faith.

We read that they continued to fast and pray after their baptism, and they did meet together often to hear the word of the Lord and thus they were blessed and “filled with the Holy Ghost.” As a result there were many “mighty miracles wrought among the disciples of Jesus.” The people and the land prospered as never before.

By the year 201 A.D. the Nephite people had “multiplied insomuch that they were spread upon all the face of the land, and that they had become exceedingly rich.” The disciples that Jesus had chosen had “all gone to the paradise of God, save it were the three who should tarry.” At this time the glorious principles of the Gospel began to waver, because some were lifted up in pride in the desires for the “fine things of the world.” Inequality soon followed and Satan caused dissentions, persecutions, and all manner of wickedness. Within another eight years many churches had been established, while the true church received persecutions and death at the hands of the other churches. The disciples of Jesus were hunted down by the mobs, politicians, and ministers who all thirsted for their death.

[33] These disciples were “cast into prisons” but they tore the prisons down; they were cast into deep pits in the earth but they came forth; three times they were thrown into a furnace but received no harm; and twice they were cast into dens of wild beasts but the animals became tame at their touch. They were smitten, ridiculed, and driven out by mobs until the nation had become ripe for total destruction. Thus from the year 201 A.D. to 230 A.D. that great nation had almost crumbled into total apostacy.

The visitations and miracles of the disciples have only been manifest during the times of righteousness among the people. As wickedness increases, their faith and the power of God also diminish. At the final apostacy and dissolution of the Nephite nation, the appearance and labors of the three Disciples were almost unknown. Mormon records:

And I did endeavor to preach unto this people, but my mouth was shut, and I was forbidden that I should preach unto them; for behold they had wilfully rebelled against their God; and the beloved disciples were taken away out of the land, because of their iniquity. (Mormon 1:16)

And there are none that do know the true God save it be the disciples of Jesus who did tarry in the land until the wickedness of the people was so great that the Lord would not suffer them to remain with the people; and whether they be upon the face of the land no man knoweth. (Mormon 8:10)

Moroni was acquainted with the Three Nephites, for he wrote:

My father and I have seen them, and they have ministered unto us. (Mormon 8:11)

[34] And Moroni’s father, Mormon, also made mention of their visit to him:

But behold, I have seen them, and they have ministered unto me. (3 Nephi 28:26)

Then after the fourth century the Three Nephites probably labored throughout the world, wherever honest, God-fearing souls needed aid and instruction. Later records indicate the appearance of one or more similar characters at the discovery of America, the Continental Congress, the making of the American flag, and at the time of the restoration of the Gospel.

Practically nothing is known of the work and mission of the “Three” from the time of Moroni until a thousand years later. One incident in the life and voyages of Christopher Columbus mentions an unusual occurrence which may well have been the appearance of the Nephites to the members of that famous voyage. Since the mission of the Three Nephites was in the land of America, there is little wonder that they should not be somewhere within that famous discovery of the new world by Columbus.

E.D. Partridge of the Brigham Young University wrote an interesting article about the sailor in Columbus’ party who may have seen those Nephites:

The “Three Nephites”

Did One of Columbus’ Sailors See Them?

Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are always on the lookout for evidences of the Divine origin of the Book of Mormon. This interest led me to mark many passages in Irving’s Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus, some of which seem to be worthy of more than a mere passing notice.

Columbus, though steeped in the superstitions of his day, was a very humble man. Often, [35] while sailing abroad, he would spend a whole night in prayer and supplication. He felt that he was doing God’s will in making these voyages of discovery; and no doubt, it was this feeling which caused him to say to his officers and men, when implored to return, and even threatened with death, “Sail on–sail on!” Irving says–* {*All quotations from Irving in this article will be from the works of Washington Irving, Vol. 6, The Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus, published in New York by Peter Fenelon Collier, 1897.}(page 17) “He attributed his early and irresistible inclination for the sea, and his passion for geographical studies, to an impulse from Deity, preparing him for the high decrees he was chosen to accomplish.” And when he came before the king of Spain asking for royal and financial support, “he unfolded his plan with eloquence and zeal; for he felt himself, as he afterwards declared, kindled as with a fire from on high, and considered himself the chosen agent by heaven to accomplish its grand designs” (page 64). This is very significant when compared with the following: “And I looked and beheld a man 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, and he went forth upon the many waters, even unto the seed of my brethren who were in the promised land” (I Nephi 13:12).

By far the most interesting paragraph in the whole volume is found beginning on page 329, which I will give after quoting a few passages from the Book of Mormon. I have always been deeply interested in the account of the “Three Nephites” and have often wondered if there [36] were not on record somewhere an account of their having been seen by someone outside of the Church. I am almost convinced that Irving has made just such a record. * * *

I will now give the above mentioned paragraph from Irving. It is in the account of Columbus’ second voyage of discovery to America. He was cruising along the coast of Cuba, when one day he anchored near a beautiful palm grove:

“Here a party was sent on shore for wood and water; and they found two living springs in the midst of the grove. While they were employed in cutting wood and filling their water casks, an archer strayed into the forest with his crossbow in search of game, but soon returned, flying with great terror, and calling loudly upon his companions for aid. He declared that he had not proceeded far, when he suddenly espied through an opening glade, a man in a long white dress so like a friar of the order of St. Mary of mercy, that at first sight he took him for the chaplain of the admiral. Two others followed in white tunics reaching to their knees, and the three were of as fair complexions as Europeans. Behind these appeared many more, to the number of thirty, armed with clubs and lances. They made no signs of hostility, but remained quiet, the man in the long white dress alone advancing to accost him. But he was so alarmed by their number that he had fled instantly to seek the aid of his companions. The latter, however, were so daunted by the reported number of armed natives, that they had not courage to seek them nor await their coming, but hurried with all speed to the ships.”

It is stated that Columbus sent two different expeditions in search of the three white men and their followers, but both returned unsuccessful. Irving apologizes for the appearance of this item in his record, and states that, [37] since no tribe of Indians was ever discovered in Cuba who wore clothing, the matter probably arose in either error or falsehood.

No apology is needed. however, by the Latter-day Saints. The account given by the archer portrays conditions just as they would naturally be with the “Three Disciples.” They lived among the people when the vision recorded in 1st Nephi was taught. They were, of course, looking forward to its fulfillment. They were to bring souls to Christ till he should come again, and had probably been busy gathering bands of followers all over the country. They, of course, taught their followers to wear clothing and to live as much of the Gospel as they could. They naturally would have to arm themselves against their savage neighbors.

Columbus and his sailors were looked upon by the natives as visitors from heaven, and their appearance among them was heralded all over the country. Their movements were watched closely from the shores, since whenever they landed they found themselves not unexpected. It does not take much imagination to see the “disciples” and one of their bands following the movements of the ships from the trees or mountains, awaiting a favorable opportunity to make themselves known. In fact, there is nothing in the report of the archer which is in the least at variance with what might be expected from our knowledge of the Book of Mormon. As I said before, I am almost convinced that this is the record I have been looking for. (Improvement Era 7:621-624)

To be continued…cj

 

 

 

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