Dr. Einar C. Erickson
Ancient Document Mormon Scholar
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She is surrounded with a cloud of light She placed a throne in the midst of clouds that nobody should see except the Holy Spirit. It is called the Mother of the living ones.


It was September 1830 and the Church was preparing for its Second Conference to begin on Sept 26, 1830.  Trials and tribulations had continued. There were now 62 members, 50 people had been baptized since the church was organized April 6th 1830.  But the Church had more enemies than friends. At this time Joseph's most pressing problem came from one of the members. "Hiram Page, one of the eight men who had seen and handled the golden plates, said he had a stone that allowed him to receive revelations and instructions for the Church." (Kelly p. 63)  Among the doctrine espoused by Page were some dealing with the New Jerusalem, a favorite topic among the new Saints. (HC l:109)  His so-called revelations filled a roll of papers; it is not known If any of these survived. "The Whitmer family and Oliver Cowdery, were believing much in the things set forth by this stone." (HC l:110)  Joseph was praying for guidance. It was a serious challenge to his role as a prophet and it was leading many into false beliefs about the New Jerusalem.


In the unmatchable visit of the Christ to the Americas among his utterances was a curious reference to a New Jerusalem.  "And behold, this people will I establish in this land, unto the fulfilling of the covenant which I made with your father Jacob: and it shall be a New Jerusalem. And the powers of heaven shall be in the midst of this people: yea, even I will be in the midst of you." (3 Nephi 20:22)  First was the reference to THIS LAND, [AMERICA] and IT would be a NEW JERUSALEM. Then a reference to a covenant that had been made with Jacob, an ancient covenant about which we know little, had to do with the New Jerusalem!  Then there was a reference to a City of New Jerusalem. "And they shall assist my people, the remnant of Jacob, and also as many of the house of Israel as shall come, that they may build a city, which shall be called the New Jerusalem.  And then shall they assist my people that they may be gathered in who are scattered upon all the face of the land, in unto the New Jerusalem." (3 Nephi 2l:23-24)  Here again was a reference to a City called New Jerusalem, that they would build, then a reference to a gathering that would occur with reference to the land and city of New Jerusalem.

These scriptures had provided food for much speculation and many queries as soon as the Book of Mormon had become available. Third Nephi was near the end of the Book of Mormon, and even nearer the end was the Book of Ether, with its comments on the New Jerusalem.  Ether, in recording that America would be a choice land, a chosen land, wrote:  "And it was the place of the New Jerusalem, which should come down out of heaven, and the holy sanctuary of the Lord.  Behold Ether saw the days of Christ, and he spake concerning a New Jerusalem upon this land. And he spake also concerning the house of Israel, and the Jerusalem from whence Lehi should come-after it should be destroyed it should be built up again, a holy city unto the Lord; wherefore, it could not be a New Jerusalem for it had been in time of old, but it should be built up again, and become a holy city of the Lord; and it should be built unto the house of Israel." (Ether 13:2-10) This subtle reference that ‘a' New Jerusalem would come down out of heaven apparently to join with a New Jerusalem that would be built, would explain the many incomplete references of such an activity or episode found in many ancient writings, some of which will be mentioned below. "For it is ordained that in Zion and in her stakes and in Jerusalem, [the old Jerusalem] those places [temples] which I have appointed for refuge, shall be the places for your baptism for your dead." (D&C 124:36) The temple ultimately to be built in old Jerusalem would function like all other LDS temples, where work for the living and the dead would be performed. "And that a New Jerusalem should be built up upon this land unto the remnant of the seed of Joseph....and then cometh the New Jerusalem; and blessed are they who dwell therein." (Ether 13:2-10)  It is easy to understand why readers of the Book of Mormon would latch on to these most intereseting doctrines and expectations.

Those with a copy of the Book of Mormon became well acquainted with these passages and no doubt there was much discussion about what it all meant. No doubt Joseph was queried many times about it, but nothing more was revealed to Joseph until the conference and the stimulation prompted by the ‘stone' of Hiram Page.   


A Pearl of Great Price reference (Moses 6:62) permits us to conclude that the pre-flood Patriarchs knew about the end of days and the New Jerusalem, separate from the Old Jerusalem. Recent discoveries states: "Adam imparted revelations to his son Seth, and showed him his original greatness before the Transgression and his going out of Paradise. He recommended his son Seth never to fail in justice as he, Adam had done. Seth welcomed the teaching of his father with a pure heart...it was given to him to inscribe this wisdom in a book and to teach it...and thanks to him, for the first time in this world, there was seen a book written in the name of the Most High. Seth bequeathed to his descendants the book thus written, and that book was handed down even to Noah. ...In the time of the Flood Noah took with him into the ark the books [now plural probably including the visions of Enoch] of these teachings, and when he came out of the ark, he ordained in his turn that the generations that came after him were to repeat the many things and the holy mysteries written in the books of Seth upon the Majesty of the Father and upon all the mysteries. Hence these books, these mysteries and this narrative were handed down even to our fathers, who welcomed them with joy and who passed them on to us." (Doresse p. 185)  Three generations later the Jaredites were given a similar knowledge, (Ether 13:2-10) perhaps they had copies of these books. Nearly ten generations later Abraham recorded: "the chronology running back from myself to the beginning of the creations, for the records have come into my hands, which I hold unto this present time...But the records of the fathers, even the patriarchs, concerning the right of Priesthood, the Lord my God preserved in mine own hands." (Abraham l:28,31)  Did he pass them on to his sons? (Erickson 20 Aug 2004)  

There was a time when Enoch was querying the Lord about a lot of things. An unusual answer the Lord gave Enoch is recorded in the little studied Bogomil document Altercatio Johannis. "From the time when the devil fell from the glory of the Father (D&C 76:25-27) and lost his own glory, he sat upon the clouds, and sent his ministers, even angels flaming with fire, unto men from dam, even unto Henoch [Enoch son of Cain]  his servant. And he raised up Henoch upon the firmament and showed him his godhead, and commanded pen and ink to be given him; and he sat down and wrote threescore and seven books. And he commanded that he should take them to the earth and deliver them unto his sons. ...so did he hide the kingdom of heaven from men." (Milik p. 124)  Whoever taught that the devil had glory in the presence of god, and that he lost it.  Or that the devil was the God of this earth. That he sent ministers to Adam. Or that he tried to hide the gospel truths in false books he had written for that purpose? Note that some 67 books are mentioned here, prepared by the son of Cain, as he imitated genuine books prepared by the true Enoch.  Lots of books and records are mentioned in the above references and those to be mentioned below. Can we expect to find some of these someday?  Fragments of less than 20 books of Enoch are now known. But only the LDS testify that there are more and that "These things are all written in the book of Enoch, and are to be testified of in due time." (D&C 107:57)


Did the early Church Father, Irenaeus refer to the pattern of the rebuilt Jerusalem provided by the New Jerusalem [in the heaven] above? (Irenaeus c. 180 AD,  E/W, l.56)  What was the New Jerusalem that the Church Father Tertullian states the Apostle saw in heaven? (Tertullian about 207 AD, W. 3:101)  And in the early events of the Millennium what did John mean when he said: "That, I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband?"  (Rev 12:2) This was after the opening of the seventh seal, in the Millennium. (Rev 8:1)  Where did that holy city come down to? And which city was meant by Origen when commenting on scripture saying "Whatever, therefore, is predicted of Jerusalem, and spoken of it,...we must understand the Scriptures to be speaking of the heavenly city." (Origen c. 225 AD, E. 4:371, 372) Origen also seems to mirror certain aspects of the New Jerusalem as conceived by Mormon Scriptures and the Teachings of Joseph Smith, particular as he describes the "citizen of that city." (Origen, Comm. On John, Bk. X. p. 16) And Augustine, in his Confessions, XIII, II, what is he describing which included the "peace of Jerusalem?" And in the Revelations of St. Peter Chap. 27, what really is the "upper Jerusalem...above the third heaven?" (Shiffman p. 608) Is this a reference to the Celestial Kingdom? Or a Celestial City?  Other references of similar character suggest a longing for, and a faint tantalizing understanding, of a New Jerusalem to come! (Gaskell pp. 405-406) These and other references are suggestive but not clear that there was a New Jerusalem and a Heavenly Jerusalem in Prophecy and ancient writings, certainly the old Temple was to be rebuilt as Justin Martyr (c. 160, E, 1:1239) believed, but there was a New Jerusalem clearly hidden in the references to be a newly built city at the ‘end of days'. (Bercot pp. 367-368)

"The archangels Michael and Gabriel (D&C 128:20-21) stand to the right and left of God, the Christian iconographical position which is well established in the Byzantine period; the archangel Ouriel dictates his 360 Books to Enoch...The Lord explains to Enoch, who has become the heavenly scribe and acolyte of Gabriel, his work of creation." (Milik p. 113; Erickson 20 Dec 2006)   "The farewells and Assumption [translation] of Enoch take place at Achouzan...a cryptic name of Jerusalem, or more exactly the hill [or mountain of the Lord] of the Temple...whence Enoch was taken." (Milik pp 112-114)  The ancient city of Enoch, known as Zion, which was translated, would later be joined with the New Jerusalem city in Missouri.  Not until the restoration under the Prophet Joseph Smith could one understand these and other references.


Newel Knight who was with Joseph just before the September conference and shared a room with him recorded:  "About the last of August, 1830, I took my team and wagon to Harmony to move Joseph....to Fayette, New York...to attend our second conference...to be held at Father Whitmer's  where Joseph then resided....I found Brother Joseph in great distress...on account of Hiram Page...who had managed to get some dissension of feeling among the brethren by giving revelations...which he claimed to have received through the medium of a stone...He had quite a roll of papers full of these revelations...many...were led astray...Even Oliver...and the Whitmer family...had given heed to them.  Joseph was perplexed and scarcely knew how to meet this new exigency...I occupied the same room with him...the night was spent in prayer and supplication. After much labor...these brethren...were convinced of their error...renounced the revelations...acknowledging that Satan had conspired to overthrow their belief...Joseph inquired of the Lord before conference and received a revelation." (Kelly pp. 64-65; HC 1:109-111) This was revelation D&C 28.  It corrected many things, but also offered great hope and expectations. In part it was a response to the Hiram Page situation. (Burton p. 21)  

"Oliver Cowdery was directed to meet with Hiram Page (who incidentally was his brother-in-law) ‘to tell him that those things which he hath written from that stone are not of me [the Lord] and that Satan deceiveth him.'" (Burton p. 21)  Oliver evidently did this.

The new revelation was addressed to Oliver Cowdery. Again the Lord had to chasten him for pride and his failure to recognize Joseph as the head of the Church. The Lord explained that all persons called to a calling or Priesthood office could receive revelation for himself and be inspired as he spoke, but his calling did not include giving commandments to the Church. (D&C 28:9; Kelly p. 65; HC l:111)  Among those who gathered from all of over the region to attend this second conference of the Church was Parley Pratt. He was born in 1807, married Thankful Halsey in 1827. While traveling on the Erie Canal he made contact with Hamblin, a Baptist Deacon, who introduced him to a copy of the Book of Mormon. His wife continued homeward, Parley took off looking for Joseph Smith and his group, he found them, and was baptized in Seneca Lake on September l, 1830 by Oliver Cowdery and stayed for the coming conference. (Ludlow p. 1116) Parley was not to see his wife for six months. But he kept her informed of the astounding things that were happening. He recorded one of the first descriptions of Joseph who "was in person tall and well built, strong and active, of light complexion light hair, blue eyes, very little beard, and of an expression peculiar to himself...His countenance was ever mild, affable, beaming with intelligence and benevolence...an unconscious smile, or cheerfulness, entirely free from restraint or affectation of gravity...a serene and steady penetrating glance...as if he would penetrate the deepest abyss of the human heart, gaze into eternity, penetrate the heavens and comprehend the worlds...Even his most bitter enemies were generally overcame, if he could once get their ears." (Kelly pp. 66-67)


In addition to the common interest in the New Jerusalem, several of the elders had expressed interest in taking the gospel to the Lamanites. "The desire being so great, it was agreed that we should inquire of the Lord...which we accordingly did, and received the following revelations." (HC l:118-119) These included Sections 28, 30, and 32, "which called the brethren [by name] to preach to the Lamanites." (Kelly p. 66) "At length our conference assembled. The subject of the stone previously mentioned was discussed, and after considerable investigations, Brother Page, as well as the whole Church who were present, renounced the said stone..." (HC l:115)  In the new revelations received Oliver Cowdery and Peter Whitmer Jr. were called  "to take a mission to Missouri, preaching by the way." (L. Smith p. 190) to "go unto the Lamanites and preach my gospel unto them." (D&C  28:8; 30:5-6) The new convert Parley P. Pratt and Ziba Peterson (D&C 32:1-3) were also called to go into the wilderness among the Lamanites. They all were to "go unto the Lamanites and preach my gospel unto them; and inasmuch as they receive thy teachings thou shall cause my Church to be established among them." (D&C 28:8) And the Lord said "and I, MYSELF will go with them and be in their midst; and I am their advocate with the Father, and nothing shall prevail against them." (D&C 32-3)  So five, including the Lord were to go on the Church's First Mission directed to the Lamanites. In many instances the Lord gave his assurance of his presence and support, and that he was backing up his servants in a personal manner. One has to credit Parley Pratt for extreme zeal to be baptized and accept a mission call in the middle of winter and to be willing to travel under extreme conditions some 1500 miles with men who he scarcely knew to teach Indians who at that time were the subject of a vast forced removal westward by the government.   


But in the first of the new revelations given, the Lord addressed their concern and intense interest about the New Jerusalem. "And now, behold I say unto you that it is not revealed, and no man knoweth [particularly Hiram Page] where the city of Zion [the city of the New Jerusalem] shall be built, but it shall be given hereafter, Behold, I say unto you that it shall be on the borders by the Lamanites." (D&C 28:9) They were overjoyed. Not only were they going on the first mission of the Church but that mission would be to the Lamanites, but their final objective was to end up where the New Jerusalem would be established! In Missouri! They were not to leave until after the conference and after preparations could be made. (D&C 28:10) Recall, they were in the far northeast and it was in the dead of winter. Great suffering and effort lay ahead of them. That did not deter them in the slightest. They were going to the future ‘center place,' or ‘capital city,' of Zion.  "It is referred to both as ‘the city of Zion' and as ‘the city of New Jerusalem." (Ludlow p. 1010)  It was 1500 miles west in Missouri!


When the conference ended, the women of the Church began at once to help the four missionaries prepare for their travels. Lucy Smith tells of their activities. "As soon as this revelation was received, Emma Smith, and several other sisters, began to make arrangements to furnish those who were set apart for this mission, with the necessary clothing, which was no easy task, as the most of it had to be manufactured out of the raw material. Emma's health at this time was quite delicate, yet she did not favor herself on this account, but whatever her hands found to do, she did with her might, until so far beyond her strength that she brought upon herself a heavy fit of sickness, which lasted four weeks...her strength was exhausted, still her spirits were the same ...was always the case with her, even under the most trying circumstances." (L. Smith p. 190) Emma was at this time pregnant with twins. Ahead of her was the winter move from Palmyra to Kirtland and unsettled conditions. On April 31, 1831 tiny cries of newborn babies, Thaddeus and Louisa, were heard in the new tiny log cabin near Kirtland. The cries however were weak. They were both immediately named.  Within three hours both infants were still and lifeless. (McGavin p. 126) Like their little predecessor brother, they were snatched from Emma's arms by the hand of death.

On an old headstone that was still standing in the neglected cemetery at Harmony when some of my family visited it, there was no name recorded, it simply reads:  The infant son of Joseph and Emma Smith, born June 15, 1828. " In the Smith family record this child is known as Alva, being named in honor of Emma's brother." (McGaven p. 121) I had hope that something would  been done for that cemetery and that lonely grave. About a year later the family of my eldest daughter visited that same cemetery, the grave had been taken care of,  a bright new tombstone with the salient facts was in place, and the old head stone was imbedded in the back of the new one.

On that very same day April 31, "Not far away, John Murdock, who was one of those converted to the Gospel by this group of missionaries [baptized by Pratt] when they passed through the Kirtland area, was attending his wife in the birth of strong and healthy twins, Joseph and Julia. Their cries were strong and hungry, but their mother lay still in death. John looked at his other three children, then wrapped the babies in blankets and took them to Emma. Finally Emma was able to use the little clothes she had painstakingly prepared. Finally the cradles were full. The blue eyes opened and young months searched for food. Emma's tears were dried, and her heart was comforted," Kelly p. 83) But not for long, within a year, March 24, 1832, little Joseph would be taken by sickness when a mob sought to destroy Joseph, her husband,  leaving him beaten, tarred and feathered. So much to endure! (McGavin pp. 127-128)  Of the first five children born to her or adopted, there was only one left. But other children would come.  


The women of the Church faithfully continued their preparations for the newly called missionaries. "The women cut trousers, shirts, and jackets from rough homespun wool, linen, and cotton fabrics, and then sewed clothing for the missionaries. Every pin, needle and button was used with care, and no thread was wasted. The wool for stockings and sweaters had to be carded, spun on a spinning wheel, and then knit by hand. To make the stockings wear longer, the women added their own long hair to the yarn as they made the heels of the stockings." (Kelly p. 67)  The women were extremely busy at this time, preparing daily meals and caring for everyone present. Finally all arrangements were finished. The men then made a covenant with the Lord which they wrote down and signed before they left in November.

"Manchester, New York, October 17, 1830. I, Oliver, being commanded by the Lord God, to go forth unto the Lamanites, to proclaim glad tidings of great joy unto them, by presenting unto them the fullness of the Gospel, of the only begotten Son of God, and also, to rear up a pillar as a witness where the temple of God shall be built in the glorious New Jerusalem; and having certain brothers with me, WHO ARE CALLED OF GOD TO ASSIST ME, whose names are Parley, and Peter and Ziba, do therefore most solemnly covenant with God that I will Walk humbly before him, and do this business, and this glorious work, accordingly as He shall direct me by the Holy Ghost:; ever praying for mine and their Prosperity, and deliverance form bonds, and from imprisonment, and whatsoever may befall us, with all patience and faith. Amen. Signed O. Cowdery." (Lyndon W. Cook, The Revelations of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 44)
A copy of the revelation (D&C Sections 28 and 32) which specified their callings was also provided them: (HC l:120) Then they were on their way. Somewhere along the way, not recorded in any extant Church history, Joseph must have passed on other information about the New Jerusalem to the missionaries including the mention of a Temple that would be built there.

Unknown to these new missionaries, but important for the future of the Church, another group was making an historic journey in 1830. The intrepid Mountain Man, William Sublet and one of his brothers, Andrew, entered the fur trade by traveling from St. Louis and passing through Independence on their way to the Rocky Mountains with ten wagons that were each pulled by five mules meeting with other Mountain men at the Wind River Rendezvous. (Thrapp p. 1385)  This was the first wagon train to the Rockies, and it proved that wagons could cross the Continental divide and reach the Pacific Ocean. (Kelly p. 68) This began the great westward movement of wagons searching for religious freedom, lands to settle, and gold and precious metals, all for a better life. Some seventeen years later much of their route to South Pass Wyoming would be followed by Brigham Young and the Pioneers.

The four missionaries "bade adieu  to their brethren and friends, and commenced their journey, preaching by the way and leaving a sealing a testimony behind them lifting up their voice like a trump in the different villages through which they passed." (HC l:120)  The so called French word ‘adieu' is in reality an old Hebrew word! As such it is found in the Book of Mormon.


The extent of the contact with the Indians by these missionaries was summarized by Parley P. Pratt in an account written after their arrival at Independence, Missouri early in 1831, about March. "Thus ended our first Indian mission, in which we had preached the gospel in its fullness and distributed the record of their fore-fathers among three tribes, viz: The Cattaraugus Indians, near Buffalo, N.Y., the Wyandots, of Ohio, and the Delawares, west of Missouri." (Dyer p. 35)  Later, Pratt was to add they also visited with the Shawnee for an evening while in Independence, Missouri just before they crossed the river to meet with the Delawares. Apparently they had given Book of Mormons to three of the tribes they visited, but not to the Shawnee.

At this time, in the early History of the Church, why just these four Indian Groups? Of the 627 tribes identified to have been present when Columbus landed, less than 525 remained in 1830. Was there something special about them? Perhaps a little information about them may be of more than of passing interest. In Part II of this study we will summarize some of what is known about these four Indian groups.  


When the Book of Mormon was published in the spring of 1829, the Christian World had lost all knowledge of the doctrine of a New Jerusalem in the last days. And until the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered and translated, the Jews likewise had failed to transmit their ancient knowledge about the New Jerusalem. The First Missionaries had made converts of important personages in Mentor, Ohio, not far from Kirtland. One of these converts, Dr. Frederick G. Williams, abandoned his practice of medicine for the work of the ministry, and accompanied the Lamanite mission to Missouri. (HC l:125) Later he would become a member of the First Presidency. While the Missionaries continued on westward, several other converts, including Sidney Rigdon, journeyed eastward to meet with the prophet. The missionaries had lingered while Sidney read the Book of Mormon. He was earnest. Sincere. Praying mightly. Within a fortnight from the time the book was put into his hands, he was fully convinced of the truth by a revelation from Jesus Christ which was made known to him in a remarkable manner so he could exclaim. "Flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto me, but my Father which is in heaven." (HC l:124-135) He and his wife were baptized. He had to sacrifice a new home being built for him by his parishioners. The missionaries bound for the borders of the Lamanites bade an affectionate farewell to the new Saints in Kirtland, and with Frederick G. Williams added to their number went on their way rejoicing. (HC l:125)


Sidney and his group, including Edward Partridge, arrived at Fayette, New York, in December. Soon thereafter a revelation was received by Joseph for Sidney Rigdon. (D&C 35) and another one for Edward Partridge (D&C 36) There was immediate rapport between Sidney and Joseph, and Sidney was caught up in the work of the gospel and with Joseph was recipient of many intimate doctrinal details as together they worked on the Inspired Revised edition of the Bible. During December an important additional document was added to the inspired scriptures of the Church. "To the Joy of the little flock, which all, from Coleville to Canandaigua, New York, numbered about seventy members, did the Lord reveal the following doings of olden times, from the prophecy of Enoch." (HC l:132-139) This came as a bonus to these early saints for having endured so much. This revelation is now included in the Book of Moses in the Pearl of Great Price. Moses 6:62, contained this: "gather my elect from the four quarters of the earth, unto a place which I shall prepare, an Holy City, that my people may gird up their loins, and be looking forth for the time of my coming: for there shall be my tabernacle, and it shall be called Zion, a New Jerusalem."  (HC l:138) The west bound missionaries struggling in the grips of a terrible winter were to learn of this revelation only at a much later date.  This knowledge held by Enoch would have been passed down? Where are the records?  

There is the curious reference about 800 BC around the time Nineveh was destroyed. (Charles p. 241) recorded in Tobit about a New Jerusalem: "A bright light shall shine unto all the ends of the earth: Many nations shall come from afar. And the inhabitants of the utmost ends of the earth unto thy holy name." (Tobit vv 7-18; Charles p. 236)  Tobit had more to say on this subject as well as other things about Old Jerusalem. There seems to be a strange thread persisting throughout all time about the New Jerusalem, but not connected together until now, as we know from modern revelation and the restoration of all things. Translators and commentaries do not know what to make of these kinds of references they just assume the references somehow are associated with Old Jerusalem. But a close scrutiny of the ancient writings indicates that interpretation does not always fit. There is much more to the idea of a New Jerusalem than is seen by the casual looker.


Documents from the Caves of Qumran shed light on the question of ancient records. "Qumran Apocalyptic assumes a dualistic universe, of lights and darkness, the spirit of truth and the spirit of error (or perversity), similar to that of the Johannine writings.  It looked forward to a final Visitation or Judgment in which there would be a divine purification of mankind. The state ensuing appears to be conceived as that of the New Creation or renewal of Creation; it is the return to the state of innocence before the Fall when Adam's lostglory' is restored again and he enjoys an everlasting life, undisturbed by sin or death. The actual destruction of the present world at the Judgment appears to have been envisaged as a universal conflagration.  This New Creation of eternal duration appears to have its location on this earth, for the restoration of the Temple in a New Jerusalem seems to have been an integral part of their expectation for the new age." (Black p. 171)  The highlighting shows the many parallel ideas that are associated with particular LDS beliefs. The Dead Sea Scrolls seems to have retained many of the ancient teachings and ideas associated with the Last Days, the End Time, and the New Jerusalem.


There was even a Dead Sea New Jerusalem Scroll. "This was a visionary work; the New Jerusalem Scroll describes the architectural plans for an eschatological Jerusalem of immense proportions. Known only in Aramaic." (Schiffman p. 606)  Twenty-three fragments were recovered from Qumran Cave l (lQ32) copied in an early Herodian script from the second half of the first century BCE. (Schiffman p. 606) Over time, four additional caves yielded fragments of the New Jerusalem Scroll, including cave 2, caves 4 and 5 and cave 11, in this last cave a complete scroll of the New Jerusalem was recovered but has resisted attempts to unroll it, though a portion has been recovered so far. Some fragments from cave 4, where thousands of fragments of nearly 800 different documents were recovered were written in early Herodian from the second half of the first century BCE. (Shiffman pp. 606-607)  Fragments from caves 2 and 11 are dated to the last quarter of the first century BCE. ((Chyutin p. 9)  The Scroll was a popular one, being copied again and again.   

The commentator of the scroll says: "In the course of the editing I have collated various versions of the scroll fragments with the aim of arriving at a uniform and complete version." (Chyutin p. 10) The scroll reconstructed by Chyutin was "...written in Aramaic. It contains detailed descriptions of the plan of a walled temple city, the design of its houses and gates and of the temple as well, and of ceremonies conducted in the Temple...which hints at a description of the ideal city of Jerusalem at ‘the end of days'."  (Chyutin p. 9).  The many fragments and evidence of different copies of the scroll "attests to its important in the Qumranic literature." (Chyutin p. 9)  The first structure to be built to a detailed divine command was Noah's ark. (Gen. 6:14-17) The next structure is the Tabernacle in Exodus (Chap. 25-27), "so shall you make it" (Exod. 25:8-9)  as Moses was shown on the Mountain. (Exod. 26:30)  The Temple built by Solomon also falls within this ‘execution of a command'. (l Kings 6-7; 2 Chron. 3-4) This style of detailed divine command "appears in the description of the Temple and its courts in the Temple Scroll." (Chyutin p. 10)  The divine commandment style fits the description of the New Jerusalem as well. (Chyutin p. 13).  The LDS are familiar with the divine command to build temples!


Essentially there is an angelic tour by a divine messenger in the style of Ezekiel's description of the Temple to be built in Old Jerusalem in the last days, at about the beginning of the Millennium, to replace the earlier Temples that were destroyed. (Ez. Chs. 40-44) This can be compared also to the revelations of Zechariah (2:.5-10).  The angelic tour is an apocalyptic prophetic vision of the end of days, (Chyutin p. 12) and of the city of the New Jerusalem and its Temple complex. The ending Column, (C-22) of the Scroll is "a description of the scenario of the world at the end of days." (Chyutin p. 14)  Compare this with the Prophet Joseph Smith's description of the end of days and the functions and honor that will come to the city of the New Jerusalem in Jackson County, Missouri. The Dead Sea War Scroll  (Yadin WS) dwells on the concepts of a ‘final war' where a supernatural leader, [of evil], Belie, leads the Sons of Darkness against the Sons of Light who are lead by Michael. (Shiffman p. 967)  The significance of all of these references, concepts and details, are lost on most commentators and translators of ancient documents including the Dead Sea Scrolls, and without the knowledge provided by modern revelation as given to the Prophet Joseph Smith, very few would have any understanding of what the above is all about and where the true city of the New Jerusalem will be built and what the End of Days involves.   

Following the restoration of a part of the prophecies of Enoch the Prophet Joseph Smith would receive over a period of eight months, until August 1831, a whole series of revelations culminating in the actual dedication of Temples to be built in a city of New Jerusalem in Jackson County, Missouri. Twenty-four Temples are listed. These details will be provided in Part III of this study, along with more comparisons to the Dead Sea Scrolls that are involved. 


Bercot, David W., Ed. A Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs, Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody, Massachusetts, 1998

Black, Matthew, The Scrolls and Christian Origins, Charles Scribner's Sons. N.Y. 1961

Burton, Alma, P., Toward the New Jerusalem, Deseret Book, Salt Lake City, Utah, 1985

Charles, R.H., The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament in English, Vol. 1, Oxford University Press, London, 1976

Chyutin, Michael, The New Jerusalem Scroll From Qumran, Sheffield Academic Press, Sheffield, England, 1997

Doresse, Jean, The Secret Books of the Egyptian Gnostics, Viking Press, New York, 1959

Dyer, Alvin R., The Refiner's Fire, Deseret Book Company Salt Lake City, Utah 1976

Erickson, Einar C, A Temple Other Than Solomon's, Web Site, 9 Mar. 2005

...................... ..Ishabah (Son of Abraham)-Ancient Documents Confirm LDS Doctrine, Web site 20 Aug 2004

........................The Creations, 20 Dec 2006

Gaskell, G.A., Dictionary of All Scriptures and Myths, Julian Press, Inc, Crown Publishers, New York, 1960

Kihn, W. Langdon, and H.M. Herget, Indians of the Americas, National Geographic, Washington, D.C. 1955

Kelly, Brian & Petrea, Latter-day History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Covenant Communications, Inc., American Fork, Utah 2000

Ludlow, Daniel Ed. Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol. 3,  Macmillan Publishing Co., New York, 1992

McGavin, E. Cecil, The Family of Joseph Smith, Bookcraft Inc., Salt Lake City, Ut. 1963

Parker, Linda, S., Native American Estate, the Struggle over Indian and Hawaiian Lands, University of Hawaii, Press, Honolulu, 1989

Smith, Lucy Mack, Ed. Preston Nibley, History of Joseph Smith,  Bookcraft, Salt Lake City, Utah 1956

Thrapp, Dan L., Encyclopedia of Frontier Biography, Vol. III First Bison Book Co., Glendale, Calif. 1991

Schiffman, Lawrence H., James C. VanderKam, Ed. Martinez, F.G. Encyclopedia of the Dead Sea Scrolls, Oxford University Press, Oxford, N.Y., 2000

White, John Manchip, Everyday Life of the North American Indian, Indian Head Books, New York, 1979

Yadin, Yigael, The Temple Scroll, Random House, New York, 1985

.................Ed. The Temple Scroll, Israel Exploration Society, The Shrine of the Book, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem 1983

.................The Scroll of the War of the Sons of Light against the Sons of Darkness. Oxford, England  1962

All research and opionions presented on this site are the sole responsibility of Dr. Einar C. Erickson, and should not be interpreted as official statements of the LDS doctrine, beliefs or practice.
To find out more about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, please see their offical websites at LDS.org and Mormon.org