One of my favorite movies when I was a kid was Far and Away, starring Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. It was released in 1992 when I was at the impressionable age of 14. It's about two Irish immigrants that came to America in the late 1800s looking for opportunity. They landed in Boston and worked for several months, but eventually found themselves going west in search of "free land."
Without land, a man is nothing.
Now, I'm not one to take life lessons from Hollywood (especially from Scientologists like Cruise), but there is something peculiar about the land. There is something inside of us that yearns to mix our labor with the elements of the earth. That yearning is a consequence of our being the offspring of God. We long to be a creator as He is, and He gave us that opportunity by making an earth that we can till and reap the harvests of.
King Benjamin once declared that we were created out of the dust of the earth. He wasn't being derogatory or condescending. He was teaching us a great truth. Our bodies are made of the same elements that exist in the earth's fertile soil. We are connected to that soil, it is part of our constitution and chemical make up.
The first thing that God told Adam to do when he was cast out of the garden was to "till the earth," and to eat his bread by the sweat of his brow. This was not a punishment as almost everyone assumes, this was an opportunity. There is a satisfaction that only mortals can experience when they work hard and reap a reward. That can't happen in a spiritual state.
Let me give you an example. I'm a landscaper and we install sprinkler systems. It involves a lot of hard labor. Digging with a shovel through that infamous Idahoan river rock and hard clay on a 90-degree day can be exhausting. But when the job is done and it's time to turn on the water and adjust the sprinklers, a little bit of magic happens.
For me it's the smell. When parched ground gets a long-awaited drink of water it emits a certain fragrance. I can't even describe what it smells like, except that it's the smell of inactive dirt being activated. It's the smell of dead earth being brought back to life and rejuvenated. It's the smell of the elements of the earth being awakened out of a deep sleep. The very smell of the cycle of life, symbolic of death and resurrection.
For me its nostalgic. It means I'm done and can get paid. It means that I can take satisfaction in the fact that I brought water to a thirsty parcel of land... that I created an mini-oasis in the midst of a scorched desert. When I smell that smell, it actually brings me joy.
Now that might sound corny to you, but for me it's very real. Someone who is a cabinet maker might experience something similar when he presents a finished kitchen to a couple who are building a house. Or the plumber who turns on the water in a freshly trimmed kitchen or bathroom, an electrician who turns on the power and the lights, a carpenter who finishes a beautiful crown molding, or the farmer who cuts his last acre of grain.
The point? Hard work is satisfying. It is actually a gift from God, only to be experienced in mortality. And it's impossible without land.
Can you think of any commodity, product, good, or service that didn't first originate with raw materials extracted from the land?
Take cars for example. Vehicles that move us across vast tracts of land at high speeds. The steel and aluminum that make up the frame and the motor are mined, as well as the copper that runs your electrical system. The rubber from the tires come from trees like the Hevea Brasiliensis that grow in the Amazon jungle. The leather on your seats come from cows who graze on ranch lands.
If your car has cloth seats they were made from wool, silk, and cotton, grown on farms or harvested from animals. The plastic that is formed into buttons, speakers, air vents, and dashboards comes from the byproducts of crude oil and natural gas extracted from the ground, the same sources that create the fuel that runs the engine. The taxi driver, uber driver, bus driver, or air port shuttle driver, would not have a job if it weren't for the land that produced the elements to manufacture the vehicles.
And I wouldn't be able to run my landscaping company without trucks, trailers, pipe pullers, spray machines, lawn mowers, shovels and tools... all of which come from the land.
We are totally dependent on the land for all of our needs. God has truly prepared every needful thing. He created this earth to produce an abundance for all of His children.
And He gave us the land for free.
You've probably figured out that this new series is about land... and I realize it may not sound as intriguing as Beasts and corrupt religious leaders. But rest assured, this rabbit hole is about as deep as it gets, and it is connected to what the UN has been doing since its inception in 1948.
But the battle over land began long before that.
There has been a deliberate, calculated, and systematic attack on land for a very long time in this country. And for good reason. And that reason is that freedom is impossible without land. The formulae is simple: take land away from the common people, and you make them slaves.
The Book of Mormon holds the key to understanding the significance of the land. It contains the prophetic history of four different groups who were led by the hand of the Lord to this land, i.e., the promised land of America. These groups were the Jaredites, the Nephites, the Mulekites, and the 17th century Gentiles escaping European tyranny.
God made a covenant with each of these groups when He granted them title to the land. The stipulations of which are that they must serve the God of this land or be swept off when they become ripened in iniquity. This usually happened when the voice of the people began choosing evil and the government had been subjugated by secret societies and combinations.
Captain Moroni made a most interesting statement when he demanded that Zerahemnah depart with his armies. He revealed the significance between a people and their land. One can only imagine hearing these words booming out of Moroni's mouth as he boldly declared them:
And now Zerahemnah, I command you in the name of that all-powerful God, who has strengthened our arms that we have gained power over you by our faith, by our religion, and by our rites of worship, and by our church, and by the sacred support which we owe to our wives and our children, and by that liberty which binds us to our lands and our country... (Alma 20:13, RE. emphasis added)
When you hear or read these words from Moroni, you should also be able to feel them. You should feel that you are literally bound to this land, and that adhesive that binds you is liberty.
That binding agent is still active today, and whether we are conscious of it or not, it is written upon our hearts.
All it takes is a single airplane ride across America to get an idea of how much land there actually is in this country... much of it unused. And even a child can sense when they see an enormous city where people are packed like sardines in massive high rises that something is not right.
God never intended for us to live that way. He gave us the land and He created it to be used. He has hidden things on it that He intended for us to find, as well as things in it and even under it. That earth he made for us... not for global elites to own and hoard for themselves while they corral the rest of us into cities.
God intended for us to be land owners, not serfs and peasants who eek out of a living on rented land or in rented buildings.
Before I get ahead of myself let's start at the beginning, when the waters receded off of this land of America.
Brought by the Hand of the Lord
Ether testified of the promises upon this land. He saw that when the waters receded from off the face of it that it became a choice land (I believe Ether if referring to the waters of creation, not the waters of the flood). A land where the future New Jerusalem would "come down out of Heaven."
The Jaredites rejected all the words of Ether, they had embraced secret combinations and indulged in warful vengeance. They had rejected Christ. God withdrew His divine protection from them and left them to themselves. They are the first chronological example in scripture that we have of God leading a small group of the righteous away from tyranny and into a promised land.
From whose tyranny were they escaping? None other than king Nimrod himself.
He was the first postdiluvian dictator of the then-known world. He ruled over a one-world kingdom, where unalienable rights were denied to the populace. Like the desires of modern-day globalists, he crammed everyone into large cities with little to no land. They were no better off than serfs and peasants. But because Nimrod offered his "protection" to them, they sustained him as their ruler. Like American's today, they probably believed that the slavery they labored under was "freedom."
In an apocryphal work known as the The Writings of Abraham, it reveals just how bad king Nimrod was. He, like Cain of old, had sold his soul to Lucifer in exchange for power:
Nimrod was a man of mighty power for he was Master Mahan and had in his hands the secrets of the ancients as they had come down from Cain wherein he knew the words of power and the signs for using them and he had the holy garments which had been given unto Adam in the garden in which was great power.
All of this power did Nimrod use to get gain after the manner of the secret combination.
With his power he had set out to build a tower which would reach to heaven, even the city of my father Enoch which had been taken up, that he, Nimrod, might depose God from his throne for God had taken up his abode among the people of Enoch.
But God frustrated the plans of Nimrod by confounding the language of him and his people that they could no longer remember the sacred words and they scattered forth over the face of the earth...
And through the administration of Satan he did receive again some of the words of power and did reorganize the secret combination among his people; but he had not power as at the first for the fullness of the pure language was not restored to him according to the decree of the Most High God. (Chapter 2)
The Brother of Jared desperately prayed for his people not to lose those sacred words. Remember, it was the power of the language of Enoch that protected Zion. That language will be restored sometime in the future, and Zion will be protected once again.
After the Brother of Jared cried unto the Lord for a long time He promised to lead him to a land of promise... where the Jaredites would become the greatest nation on earth.
Here we see the pattern beginning. The pattern of the Lord leading a few humble followers out of tyranny and into freedom.
But, as we know, the Jaredites eventually blew it. They were corrupted from within by secret combinations. The government was destroyed and they descended into chaos and violent bloodshed.
Enter the Nephites.
Jerusalem was becoming a dangerous place for rogue prophets like Lehi and Jeremiah. Lehi escaped, Jeremiah was not so lucky.
God led Lehi out of Jerusalem just in time to escape a sweeping off from Babylonian conquerors. The promised land of Israel is under the same decrees as the land of America. With Lehi we have the first example of a family being led away from one promised land into another.
This was a symbolic merging of the stick of Judah and the stick of Joseph. Two books of scripture connected by the migration of a single family. Joseph of Egypt was given a blessing by his father Jacob, who told him that he was a fruitful bough... by a well, whose branches run over the wall.
Bough means "branch" and well means a source of water, branches running over the wall has reference to posterity crossing oceans. Joseph knew that his posterity, emanating from his sons Ephraim and Manasseh, would cross oceans and come to a fruitful land. Lehi is a descendant of Manasseh and many of us Gentiles are descendants of Ephraim. Both groups became mighty nations upon the face of this land.
Like the Jaredites, the Nephites also blew it. Secret combinations took over their government, and they descended into a state of vengeful warfare until almost every Nephite was slain.
Moroni summed up this Nephite/Jaredite pattern as follows:
And whatsoever nation shall uphold such secret combinations, to get power and gain, until they shall spread over the nation, behold, they shall be destroyed; for the Lord will not suffer that the blood of his saints which shall be shed by them shall always cry unto him from the ground for vengeance upon them yet he avenge them not. (Ether 3:18, RE)
Moroni gave us the reason for destruction... righteous vengeance upon those who murder the Lord's saints and get away with it. Many of those saints are innocent children who are used as sex slaves and blood sacrifices by Luciferians. Others may include prophets who testify against them, or whistleblowers like JFK who turn against them. But the majority of the victims of secret combinations are children. (Another example is legally sanctioned abortion, since Roe v. Wade around 70 million children have been murdered in the U.S.).
One of the reasons that God is compelled to destroy nations is that they have to account for building up these secret combinations and letting them commit egregious atrocities against children.
The movie Sound of Freedom was an attempt to expose some of these atrocities. But it only implicated random pedophile perps and drug lords as being the instigators. The truth is that child traffickers comprise the highest positions in government and churches, and are strewn throughout all professions and occupations. (Sound of Freedom may have been a psyop to deflect the blame for child trafficking off of elites and onto everyday miscreants and criminals... another classic case of controlled opposition. Listen to this testimony from a trafficking survivor and her opinion of the movie.)
The articulate lawyer, the "wise" judge, the high-achieving corporate CEO, the "protecting" policeman, the smiling politician, and the hanker-chief-waving clergyman, are all potential abusers.
This is why we must expose evil at the highest levels of society. We must "waste and wear out our lives in bringing to light all the hidden works of darkness."
If we do not repent and expose these evil organizations, we may lose our title to the promised land.
Our experiment began in the early 1600s when the humble Gentiles that Nephi saw began to migrate to the Eastern seaboard of what was about to become colonial America.
The Spirit come down and wrought upon one of these Gentiles, and he came to the colonies, unto the seed of Nephi's brethren.
Many have mistakenly concluded that this man was Christopher Columbus (me included).
Columbus was not escaping European captivity, he was trying to find alternate trade routes to India for Queen Isabella. When he came into contact with the natives, he was terrible to them. He allowed his men to rape their women, kill their men, and steal their goods.
The man who fits the prophecy came to America in 1630, he was banished from Massachusetts by the Puritans in 1636, and during that time he had endeavored to learn the Algonquin language. He believed that the natives should enjoy the same rights and privileges as white Europeans, and he traded peacefully with them.
Nephi goes on to mention other Gentiles who had humbled themselves before God, and were led out of captivity. These good people were escaping the tyranny of the Roman Catholic and Anglican Churches, the theocratic power structures that ruled Europe with an iron fist.
The clandestine secret society that dominated Europe was the Jesuit Order. The subject of my last two blog posts.
Can you see the pattern? Europe had been overtaken by secret combinations and God was leading humble saints out of that awful situation and into this promised land for a new start.
And what record did these Gentiles have? The Bible that included the record of the Israelites and the five books of Moses. A record of a captive people miraculously delivered and led to their own land of promise. And remember, Nephi sees that our Gentile progenitors were also delivered miraculously from England.
And even though the Bible had been corrupted by the Great and Abominable Church, there was still enough truth in it to instruct the Gentiles to pattern the American government after the Israelites.
And this is where the rabbit hole begins.
Almost everything you have been taught about land, real estate, deeds, titles, mortgages, negotiable instruments, debt, and money is a lie. The American people have been the victims of fraud, and have had their land stolen from them.
The truth? Those humble Gentiles paid no property tax. They held allodial title to their land, which was gifted to them by God. They didn't pay a dime for it (except for processing fees). They understood this claim to the land through their study of the Bible.
In an 1878 Supreme Court case known as United States vs Throckmorton, a landmark ruling was made. The case involved the fraudulent acquisition of a land grant by a man named W.A. Richardson. During the 1850s, he had forged the signature of a Mexican governor and dated it back to the 1830s, before the United States had annexed the Mexican territory.
Justice Samuel Freeman Miller made a famous statement in reference to the case. He said that "fraud vitiates everything."
The word vitiate, in a legal context, means "negates, squashes, annuls, invalidates, revokes, and abrogates."
Dear readers, you have been defrauded. Your land has been stolen from you. Your debt, the currency you use, the real estate you think you own, and the "assets" you think you have... are all an illusion.
We are all lost in vast sea of maritime law, constantly tossed by the unrelenting waves of feudalism. When we try to stand our ground, the swells move just enough so we lose our footing, the constant flux renders us helpless in our pursuit to stand upon the land.
That land was the reason the Revolutionary War was fought. Our Founder's understood the Biblical decrees upon the land, and that a man cannot be "accountable for his own sins" unless he was made a steward over a portion of it.
In this series, we are going to get into the specifics of how land ownership was viewed by Americans in the antebellum period, the role the federal government played, what the terms sovereign and allodial mean, and how the Book of Mormon ties it all together.
But what good is history if we can't apply it?
The great news in all of this is that God is planning to give the promised land back to house of Israel (us Gentiles included)... if we but qualify to assist the remnant of Jacob in building up the New Jerusalem. God has invited everyone to that gathering, and I think understanding the covenant on the land can help us to better prepare for what's coming.
But before I get into all that heavy stuff, there is a looming irritant that needs to be addressed. There is a lot of controversy about the physical location of where the Book of Mormon took place. There are two models that are in competition: the Mesoamerican and Heartland models. Both sides attempt to use archeological and geographical evidence to prove their theories. But physical evidence pales in comparison to the prophetic utterances we find in the pages of the Book of Mormon.
According to prophecy, the promised land given to Lehi comprises the same land that we Americans occupy now. This is easily proven by scriptural references from the BOM text itself.
As it turns out, the Heartland model, espoused by Wayne May, Rod Meldrum, Bruce Porter, Amberli Nelson, and others, is absolutely correct. However, the archeological evidence they present for this model is secondary and an afterthought, a byproduct of exercising faith in what BOM prophets have prophetically stated.
Understanding the prophecies is paramount to understanding our connection to the land. It is absolutely necessary to comprehend the liberty that binds us to this land. And it is necessary to understand the future prophecies about the New Jerusalem and Zion.
We need to know that the Heartland model is correct, otherwise, the prophecies mean nothing, and we remain lost at sea, never firmly planting our feet onto the solid ground that God has freely given us.
"Even Upon the Face of This Land"
Nephi is really the one that ties all of this together. His prophecy about the Revolutionary War leaves no question as to what land the Nephites were led to. He writes:
And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld that the gentiles who had gone forth out of captivity did humble themselves before the Lord, and the power of the Lord was with them.
And I beheld that their mother gentiles were gathered together upon the waters, and upon the land also, to battle against them. And I beheld that the power of God was with them, and also that the wrath of God was upon all those that were gathered against them to battle.
And I, Nephi, beheld that the Gentiles that had gone forth out of captivity were delivered by the power of God out of the hands of all other nations. And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld that they did prosper in the land. (1 Nephi 3:20, RE)
Nephi can only be describing the American Revolution in these passages. What other nation was first settled by Christians seeking for religious freedom? What other nation gained independence from its "mother" nation and was delivered out of the hands of all other nations? What other nation became as economically prosperous as America?
There can be no question as to what nation Nephi is talking about. And in the next few paragraphs, Nephi makes an unmistakable link between the American gentiles and the seed of his father Lehi. He tells us that they are occupying the very same land:
Nevertheless, thou beholdest that the 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 the Lord God hath covenanted with thy father that his seed shall have for the land of their inheritance--will not utterly destroy the mixture of thy seed who are among thy brethren. (1 Nephi 3:22, RE, emphasis added)
And there you have it. Nephi just settled the decades long debate between the Mesoamerican and Heartland models. What central American nation won its independence and became the most powerful and wealthiest country on earth? None of them.
As if Nephi's statement wasn't proof enough, the Lord Himself told the Nephite's at Bountiful essentially the same thing. He provides us a second witness. The Lord explains to them the reason why us Gentiles would be set up as a free people was... to bring the knowledge of the covenants of the Lord to their posterity:
... for it is wisdom is the Father that they [the gentiles] should be established in this land and be set up as a free people by the power of the Father, that these things might come forth from them unto a remnant of your seed, that the covenant of the Father may be fulfilled which he hath covenanted with his people, O house of Israel... (3 Nephi 9:11, RE, emphasis added)
In these last two verses quoted above the word nation and phrase in this land create a clear distinction that cannot be mistaken. Nation signifies a specific geographical area with definitive borders. It is synonymous with country and territory.
The phrase in this land is controlled language. It was meant to convey a high degree of specificity. In this context it could only have reference to the physical location of the Savior when He uttered the words. Royal Skousen has pointed out in his scholarly work on the Book of Mormon text that certain demonstrative words were revealed to Joseph Smith as he did the work of translation.
These demonstratives come from the Hebrew language, and according to Bruce Porter, they answer the question of "which." Porter writes:
The answer of "which" will fall into two main classifications:
number, meaning singular or plural, and proximity, indicating near or remote...
Gesenius' Hebrew Grammar states that "the singular demonstrative pronoun always points out a person or thing that is present." The demonstratives are as follows:
Singular Plural Near--This These
A simply way of understanding the demonstrative singular is a straightforward cliche: "this" is where I am at, and "that" is where I'm not... (Bruce Porter and Rod Meldrum, Prophecies and Promises: The Book of Mormon and the United States of America, Kindle version, Loc 553-565)
So when Jesus told the Nephites that the gentiles will be set up as a free people in this land, He was standing upon that very land... the land now occupied by the United States of America.
Now, I'm not going to get into the archeological "evidence" for the Book of Mormon transpiring in America's Heartland. The "evidence" is only secondary, it is only to back up what the prophecies already tell you. We should not base our faith upon archeological evidence, however, God has promised to eventually reveal all things to us, including the true history of the earth and its inhabitants. I think that promise is beginning to unfold. With that in mind here is one of Wayne May's lectures where he ties it all together:
But evidence will never convert the searching soul. Only a spiritual confirmation can do that, preceded by years of study and searching the scriptures. Grasping the prophecies about the promised land requires at least a cursory study of American history. And I'm not talking about establishment history... I'm talking about the true story of the pilgrims... and how they based American government on the decentralization of Christianity.
This story can be found in a book compiled by Verna M. Hall entitled, The Christian History of the Constitution of the United States of America: Christian Self-Government. I wrote about this extensively in a blog post called The Constitution of no Authority.
Another book I recommend for true colonial history is Murray Rothbard's Conceived in Liberty series, available for free at mises.org.
Just these two volumes alone will make Nephi's simple prophecy jump off the page and come to life.
Before we move on, there is a final and third witness of the Heartland model being the correct historical context of the Book of Mormon. This is from the prophet/narrator Moroni, who links all three groups (the Nephites, the Jaredites, and the Gentiles) in one statement declaring the decrees of God upon this land:
And now we can behold the decrees of God concerning this land, that it is a land of promise, and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall serve God or they shall be swept off when the fulness of his wrath shall come upon them. And the fulness of his wrath cometh upon when they are ripened in iniquity.
For behold, this is a land which is choice above all other lands. Wherefore, he that doth possess it shall serve God or shall be swept off, for it is the everlasting decree of God. And it is not until the fulness of iniquity among the children of the land that they are swept off.
And this cometh unto you, O ye gentiles, that ye may know the decrees of God, that ye may repent and not continue in your iniquities until the fulness come, that ye may not bring down the fullness of the wrath of God upon you as the inhabitants hath hitherto done.
Behold, this is a choice land; and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall be free from bondage, and from captivity, and from all other nations under Heaven if they will but serve the God of the land, who is Jesus Christ, who has been manifested by the things which we have written. (Ether 1:7, RE, emphasis added)
Moroni is speaking directly to us... the gentiles who now live in America. He is using the demonstrative this to reference the very land he is standing on. He is begging us to not incur the wrath of God as our ancient progenitors have done. He is revealing the link between all three societies. And he is telling us how to avoid destruction--we must serve the God of the land.
The God of the land, Jesus Christ, is also the author of the law of the land. Lucifer, the true God's adversary, is the author of administrative law, or the law of the sea. Just as there are Two Churches Only, there are also two laws only: Common Law and Maritime Admiralty Law (which I wrote about here).
Under common law the individual is sovereign. He/she is endowed with un-alienable rights from the Creator. Jefferson knew exactly what he was doing when he used the term unalienable. It simply means unencumbered, or unable to lien. A lien is defined as follows:
A claim upon a part of another's property that arises because of an unpaid debt related to that property and that operates as an encumbrance on the property until the debt is satisfied; the right to hold another's property as security for a debt owed.
Independence to colonial Americans meant that Parliament or the king had no right to place liens upon their private property. And what is private property? First of all, it is yourself, consisting of your body and your mind. You are the rightful owner of yourself, and what logically follows, is that you also own whatever your body mixes with the elements of the land. In other words, you own what you laboriously produce. Those goods or services are an extension of yourself, and as such are also unalienable.
And guess what? You cannot produce anything without the natural resources that exist in the land. Thus, just as captain Moroni declared, you are bound to the land by a dependence on the elements it contains. You have a symbiotic relationship with the dirt, because, without it you cannot produce the basic provisions of survival, and without you, to till and dress the land, the dirt will only produce whatever grows on it in a wild or natural state.
Hence, to sum up Hollywood's depiction of an old Irish peasant, "a man is nothing without land." And I would add the caveat, a man who has to pay rents or taxes to a feudal lord, a king, or state, county, or city on a piece of land is a slave.
Part of what those humble gentiles that Nephi saw were fighting for was the right to own unencumbered property, the right to work land that was free of rents or taxes. The right to enjoy the fruits of their labors.
Now, let's take this a step further... the Founder's knew that true land ownership could not be granted to them by the king. If it was then there would be stipulations on the land, or in other words, liens. Thus, true ownership of land, just like the true source of rights, would have to be granted by the Creator Himself.
This ownership came with a title, not a deed. The two terms are complete opposites. A deed grants you nothing but the permission of another who controls what they are deeding to you. A title, on the other hand, grants you full allodial ownership, unencumbered by liens, stipulations, taxes, etc. An allodial title is a certificate of sovereign right upon a piece of land, and it makes you the king over it.
The word allodial is derived from the Latin term allodialis, meaning "held in freehold." Black's Law Dictionary defines it as "owing to no one, nor to any lord or superior." Just ponder that for a moment... to us in our modern society it means no property taxes, no zoning laws, no building permits, and no federal, state, country, or city restrictions... period. No encumbrances whatsoever.
If you have to pay a bureaucracy perpetual rents on your land or ask them for permission to build a structure on it... you DO NOT own it.
We need to wake up. God granted us the land and He intends for us to use it according to His purposes... and He does not require us to ask permission from a governmental body that is perpetrating fraud on society. There is no constitutional authority for a county to exact property taxes. That is a crime of extortion on land that they do not own.
But I digress. We will get more into the nuts and bolts of true land ownership in part II.
Bruce Porter once stated that the Book of Mormon is the Title of Liberty for America. I believe he was 100% correct. It contains the only stipulations that God has ever decreed upon this land. Remember, He owns the land, not kings, governments, or counties, and as the lawful (not legal) owner it is His right to place righteous restrictions upon it. We just went over what those are as laid out by Moroni in Ether 1:7 of the RE edition of the scriptures.
Now let's get into what the Title of Liberty actually means.
Title to the Promised Land
Have you ever noticed that the Nephite war for freedom is chronologically placed smack dab in the center of the Book of Mormon? If the Book of Mormon is indeed written in chiasmus form, then the centerpiece is the Title of Liberty.
The etymology of the word title comes from the Old French and means "inscription, heading, position," or "legal permit." The word entitle means to "bestow," as in an "estate or property."
Each group that the Lord brought here had a title agreement, laying out the covenants upon this land. The Nephites had the Brass Plates, the 17th century Gentiles had the Bible, and we have the Book of Mormon (we are not told what record the Jaredites had but it could have been the Book of Remembrance written by Adam).
And speaking of the Brass Plates, Enoch makes an interesting statement in the Joseph Smith Translation of the Old Testament. He describes two groups of people: the people of Canaan and the people of Shum. The people of Canaan, who appear to be wicked, are apparently used to sweep the people of Shum off the land, unto their utter destruction. The Lord then cursed the land with heat and barrenness. Read the account here.
Why would Enoch slip this little vignette into his account? And why was it important enough for the Lord to reveal it to Joseph during his work of translation on the Old Testament?
Another scripture provides us a clue:
And he [Alma] said, Thus saith the Lord: Cursed shall be the land, yea, this land, unto every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, unto destruction, which do wickedly, when they are fully ripe; and as I have said, so shall it be. For this is the cursing and the blessing of God upon the land... (Alma 21:3, RE, emphasis added)
Were the people of Shum and Canaan just repeating another cycle of a group being led to and eventually swept off this promised land? And was Enoch the prophet who was called to gather the elect who had not been destroyed to the city of Zion as the world descended into violence and chaos?
And is this the pattern that we will see repeated when us gentiles are swept off this very same land?
These are things we should ponder.
If my suppositions are correct about the people of Shum and Canaan, then that means that the Title of Liberty already existed, thousands of years before captain Moroni's inspiring march to gather volunteer troops to fight a war against tyranny. The land of Adam-ondi-Ahman, where Adam gave his last blessings to his descendants, was after all, right here in America.
Does that mean that Enoch's city was also right here in America?
Captain Moroni talked about the Title of Liberty as if it was something that was already in existence. As he went around waving his flag and receiving troops by covenant, he explained to them the terms of the title that God had granted to them upon the land:
And he said, Surely God shall not suffer that we who are despised because we take upon us the name of Christ shall be trodden down and destroyed, until we bring it upon us by our own transgressions. And when Moroni had said these words, he went forth among the people, waving the rent of his garment in the air, that all might see the writing that he had wrote upon the rent, and, crying with a loud voice, saying, Behold, whosoever will maintain this title upon the land, let him come forth in the strength of the Lord and enter into a covenant that they will maintain their rights and their religion, that the Lord God may bless them. (Alma 21:8, RE, emphasis added)
Notice Moroni's use of the word maintain. He was declaring that the Title of Liberty upon the land was already in place, and that the rights of the people were inherent in that title. He is telling you that rights come from God and that the people had an inherent right to defend the land that God had given them. Moroni is making a direct link between the title and the land.
Are you paying attention?
We need to understand something... the promised land given to the Nephites was not owned by the Nephite government. It was owned and maintained by the people. They were stewards over it. During righteous times, even when kings were in place before Mosiah introduced the Israelitish system of judges, the people spread out over the land according to population growth. Jarom explains this pattern as follows:
And we multiplied exceedingly, and spread upon the face of the land, and became exceeding rich in gold, and in silver, and in precious things, and in fine workmanship of wood, in buildings, and in machinery, and also in iron, and copper, and brass, and steel, making all manner of tools of every kind to till the ground, and weapons of war--yea, the sharp pointed arrow, and the quiver, and the dart, and the javelin, and all preparations of war... the word of the Lord was verified which he spake unto our fathers, saying that inasmuch as ye will keep my commandments, ye shall prosper in the land. (Jarom 1:4, RE)
As they multiplied, they spread over the face of the land. And because of that process they engaged in mining and industry. In other words, they worked the land, which is an individual and entrepreneurial pursuit. This could've only happened if the land had been distributed to them in some fashion. How much did each family get? We are not told. But the fact that they become so prosperous suggests that individual ownership of land was part of the equation.
And it is my contention that they did not have to purchase it. I believe the Title of Liberty was the land grant agreement for each families' stake upon their own piece of property.
Land, like water, is a natural resource. God made plenty of it. Don't ever believe the propaganda that we are running out of land or natural resources. God planned ahead when He created the earth. Not only does this earth contain abundant resources, more then enough to sustain 8 billion people, but God intended that each family be granted a stewardship over a certain portion of it.
And I'm not talking about the measly 1/4 acre that most us get who live in zoned subdivisions. Let me do some simple math to illustrate.
In the continental U.S. alone there are approximately 1.9 billion acres of land and 340 million people. If every individual man, woman, and child was granted their own piece of property, there is enough land for just over 5 acres each. But let's take it a step further.
Most families consist of 6-8 people. When you figure an average of 7 people in each family and you divide up the land accordingly, every family would receive 40 acres.
Now, 40 is a number with very deep meaning. It is the number of years in a generation, and generations are familial. 40 years to produce a number of children and grandchildren, and 40 acres to feed and sustain them.
40 is also a number associated with fasting, which is symbolic of sacrifice. Moses fasted 40 days and nights as he was with the Lord receiving the ten commandments. Jesus fasted 40 days and nights just prior to beginning his ministry. Each of those fasting periods inaugurated new dispensations upon the earth. They are symbolic of renewal, just as 40 years is symbolic of generational renewal, and of men and women fulfilling their injunction to multiply and replenish the earth.
Now let's go a bit deeper. The number 40 is also associated with God's pattern of leading the righteous out of captivity and into promised lands. Two examples come to mind. Let's start with the most obvious. The children of Israel were delivered from Egyptian bondage and wandered for 40 years in the wilderness; a single generation.
In the Book of Mormon there is a mini-typology of this very history. If you'll recall, king Mosiah sent sixteen men (the same number of stones that the finger of God lit up for the brother of Jared; another example of leading away the righteous) to wander in the wilderness in search for the people of Zeniff. Listen to the language used in the text:
And they knew not the course they should travel in the wilderness to go up to the land of Nephi-Lehi; therefore they wandered many days in the wilderness, even forty days did they wander. (Mosiah 5:2, RE, emphasis added)
When they found king Limhi and his people they were in bondage to the Lamanites, just as the Israelites were in bondage to the Egyptians. The next day king Limhi addressed his people, and he brought up the very subject of the Israelites and likened it to their situation. He admonished his people as follows:
Therefore, lift up your heads and rejoice, and put your trust in God, in that God who was the God of Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and also that God who brought the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt, and caused that they should walk through the Red Sea on dry ground, and fed them with manna that they might not perish in the wilderness; and many more things did he do for them. And again, that same God has brought our fathers out of the land of Jerusalem, and has kept and preserved his people, even until now. And behold, it is because of our iniquities and abominations that has brought us into bondage. (Mosiah 5:7, RE)
Did you catch that? Limhi just repeated the entire cycle of being led into promised lands and then brought into bondage because of iniquity. These cycles begin with the number 40: 40 years for the Israelites and 40 days for the people of Zeniff.
But there is more. The Old Testament is full of references to the number 40. For instance, during the great deluge, God caused it to rain forty days and forty nights upon the earth. This was again symbolic of destruction and renewal. When the ark landed the sons of Noah had a fresh start at repopulating the earth.
Here are some other interesting references to the number 40. Both Solomon and David reigned over Israel for forty years each. Joash also reigned for forty years. Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah to wife, Jonah was told that Nineveh would be destroyed in 40 days. When Jacob died, he was embalmed for forty days as part of the mourning process.
After Moses died, Joshua raised an army of forty thousand troops to prepare to cleanse the promised land, a land that he had been sent to spy out forty-five years earlier when he was 40 years old. Goliath and the Philistines challenged and taunted the Israelites for 40 days until David agreed to fight. When Moses and Aaron sent men to search out the land of Canaan (one man from each tribe), they returned after 40 days.
What does it all mean?
Forty is also symbolic of a trial or testing period. When you multiply it by ten, the number symbolic of completion, you arrive at a complete cycle of destruction. Adrian Larsen has also written about the significance of 400 year cycles. The Nephites experienced one, and us Gentiles are only seven years away from experiencing our own. Read Adrian's blog post to find out more...
There is one more account in the Old Testament of a mini-cycle of blessing and cursing that is similar to the BOM account of the people of Limhi. This is found in the first few chapters of Judges.
Joshua, the great war captain and leader of the Israelites, had just passed away at 110 years old. And Caleb was attempting to finish the work of driving out the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites from the promised land (whom I believe were descendants of the Nephilim races, but that is a subject for an entire blog series).
The Israelites were not successful in driving them all out, and consequently were chastened by an angel of the Lord, who spoke in behalf of God, stating:
I will never break my covenant with you, and you shall make no league with the inhabitants of this land, you shall throw down their alters. But you have not obeyed my voice. Why have you done this? Wherefore, I also said, I will not drive them out from before you, but they shall be as thorns in your side, and their gods shall be a snare unto you. (Judges 1:4, RE)
The next generation of Israelites grew up not knowing the true God, and began intermarrying with the surrounding tribes and serving their gods, namely, Baal and Ashtaroth. So God delivered them into the hands of spoilers to chasten them. Then He raised up judges to deliver them, but they refused to listen to them. So God refused to continue to drive out the other races in further attempts to prove them.
This patterns continues throughout the book of Judges. God kept raising up deliverers and the people kept rejecting them and serving pagan gods. After a few of these cycles the text says that the "land had rest forty years."
There is that number again.
Notice that God never broke His covenant with Israel. He kept trying to deliver them from the surrounding (Nephilim) tribes. He never forsook them but they constantly rejected Him. All He wanted to do was to give them the promised land and give them a chance to establish Zion. They couldn't do it; the lure of false gods and worldly goods was too tempting.
Jesus spoke the following words to the Nephites, and they can be applied to the ancient Israelites and, well... us:
... how oft would I have gathered you as a hen gathereth her chickens, and ye would not! (3 Nephi 4:9, RE)
The ultimate purpose of the Lord attempting to gather His people is to establish Zion. But it has only been accomplished a few times in the history of the world. The establishment of Zion requires a place to gather, it requires land. And in Zion there will be no property taxes or zoning laws. There will be no coercion... period. And each family will have enough land to produce an abundance of food and provisions so that no person will have to go without.
Having "no poor among" us is much easier accomplished if there are no encumbrances upon the land. Government restrictions and red tape create class distinctions. They create an economic barrier between who can pay to get around the regulations and those who cannot. They bolster the state-favored corporations at the expense of the local ma and pa shops. And you better believe it was designed that way.
God has a different plan in mind for us... one in which every man should have an equal chance throughout the land.
There has always been a Title of Liberty upon the promised lands. The stipulations of which have never changed. It is a contract between us the Lord, the laws of which are written upon our hearts. We all know them and easily recognize them when we hear them. That spirit of freedom lives deep within our souls. We long to be free and we long to be stewards over the land. It was created for that very purpose.
We Gentiles are being proven at this every instant. We are nearing the end of a destruction cycle that will result in a sweeping off similar to what the Jaredites and Nephites experienced. But in the midst of all the fearful anticipation we can still find hope. That hope is found within the pages of the Book of Mormon.
In addition to it being an ascension text and a testament of Jesus Christ, it is also a contract with a title. The stipulations of the contract are distributed throughout its pages leading up to, and following the central theme of the Title of Liberty. It is a contract written in chiasmus form.
Maintaining the title requires diligence in keeping the terms of the contract. Some of which are as follows:
- We must not let secret combinations overrun the land and the government.
- We must not engage in preemptive warfare by attacking nations in their own lands.
- We must continually worship Jesus Christ, the God of the land.
- We must keep secret combinations from corrupting our laws.
- We must be willing to enter into a covenant to defend our lands from tyrants, along with our wives, children, religion, etc.
- We must seek for honest and upright men to hold public office.
- We must only pass laws that punish crime and not consciousness, creativeness, or innovation.
And it shall to come to pass that if the gentiles shall hearken unto the Lamb of God in that day that he shall manifest himself 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 my father. Yea, they shall be numbered among the house of Israel; and they shall be a blessed people upon the promised land for ever... (1 Nephi 3:25, RE, emphasis added)
Dear readers..., dear Gentiles, he is speaking directly to us. Can you feel it? The time that Nephi is referencing is now. God is beginning to manifest Himself to us in word and in power, and is beginning to take away our stumbling blocks. He is beginning to restore things that are ancient, that go all the way back to Adam.
It is my prayer that we all wake up. That we look at this land in a whole new light. That we see it for what it is. That we use it for the intended purposes of its creation.
This will end part I of this series, but I haven't even scratched the surface. In part II I'll get into the history of American land distribution and land patents, as well as legal terms that were deliberately created to swindle us out of our land.
Stay tuned..., and in the meantime, here is part of an interview with Amberli Nelson sharing her perspective on the Book of Mormon Heartland Model:
And here is a presentation she did on the meaning of the Jewish Holy Days and how the Nephites practiced them: