Parallel Excerpt with Commentary Interspersed
"Overflowing" enhances the idea of "fully ripe." That's pretty wicked. To verify this match, Joel 3:13 actually uses both of these ideas as synonyms, speaking of "great wickedness" with the metaphor of "overflowing."
Being "cast down" and "perishing" are obviously parallel terms. A dictionary could very well list "to perish" as one of the meanings of cast down. My Webster's III New International (1961) dictionary lists "destruction" – a close synonym of "perish" – as one of the meanings of cast down.
"The earth" is identical to "the earth." The additional phraseology in the right-hand column portrays the earth's purpose of providing a proving ground for God's children, "the inhabitants of the earth." Will they wreak havoc or will they "repent of their wickedness and abominations"?
The a b c in 20 shows a parallel with the a b c in 21.
a. represents the subject, "they," "the inhabitants of the earth;"
Meanwhile, the left-hand column of 21 presents "the hand" of God in two of its primary metaphorical functions, namely arbitrating "destruction" on the non-repentant as well as extending the arm of mercy or the turning away of deserved judgement from those who "repent" (from 20). The phrase, "saith the Lord of Hosts," adds a stamp of decisive importance on this concept. Indeed, the scriptures present this as a primary theme: that those who keep the commandments of God, hearkening to his voice, prosper in the land, while those who rebel are cut off – "saith the Lord of Hosts." (1 Ne. 17:35-38; Jer. 1:10; Matt. 21 & JST-Matt. 21.)
Now we start hitting close to home but don't know it yet. The "not me" folks are still sitting comfortably. Even they, looking as they think from the outside, would readily agree that "the crown of pride" indeed epitomizes "the great and abominable church." In the interpretation of his vision of the tree of life, Nephi was told that "the great and spacious building," which is the same as the great and abominable church (1 Ne. 22:22,23), is "the pride of the world," which will fall (1 Ne. 11:36; 12:18). Indeed, the essence of the great and abominable church, the church of the devil, the kingdom of the devil, the whore of all the earth (all synonyms for the same thing), is pride: the arrogance of supposing that the mind and brawn of man without God is both necessary and sufficient to bring order and peace to the world. Not so.
This is the punch-line. In the left-hand column the phrase "the crown of pride" is grammatically presented as a synonymous phrase with "the drunkards of Ephraim" above. To further solidify this identity, the right-hand column text equates the "drunkards of Ephraim" with "the whore of all the earth," which is grammatically equated with "the great and abominable church" in the previous phrase. Hence the four bulleted phrases in 22 and 23 are all synonyms: the crown of pride, the great and abominable church, the whore of all the earth, and (for the clincher) the drunkards of Ephraim.
Ouch. That's us. No dodging these bullets.
We are, generally speaking, the haughty, foolish, blind Mormons: the drunkards of Ephraim. If it were not for the right-hand column contribution, the typical "not me" Mormon could say, "no; that was talking about the apostate Ephraimites of old in the Northern Kingdom of Israel who were eventually taken north by the king of Assyria. However, the right-hand text very definitely places this in a latter-day context. There are no other people on earth in these latter days who better fit the self-description of Ephraimites than the Western White Wonder Bread Mormons. They pride themselves in their Ephraimite blood, whether it be literal or adopted. Most all patriarchal blessings affirm this tribal lineage on their recipients.
This is not the only inference of the Mormons. These two chapters, Isaiah 28 and II Nephi 28, and their parallel to one another present a significant number of metaphors which further pin this prophecy down to the Mormons. Words like "the priest and the prophet," "Gentiles," "churches," "the fat valleys," "Zion," "glorious beauty," "doctrine," "teachers," "marvelous work."
Who would have ever thought that the Book of Mormon would label the Mormons as the great and abominable church, generally speaking? How could this church which claims to be the Lord's "only true and living church on the face of the earth" (D&C 1) also be called "the great and abominable church"?
There are many reasons, but briefly it has to do with the fact that the Lord set us to be a light to the world and savor of men, but we have instead become as salt that is lost its savor and is henceforth good for nothing but to be cast out and trodden under feet of men. We are more intent on becoming popular with the world than we are with standing out as a peculiar people. Instead of building up the government of God, we build up and support the secret combinations which seek to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations and countries. (Compare Hel. 6:38.) Many key Mormon figures are also key proponents of the New World Order, which is Satan's kingdom on earth, built on his doctrine of compulsion and reliance on the arm of flesh: humanistic socialism. This may seem like a strong opinion that does not directly follow this parallel. Actually an entire book could be written to validate these points from the scriptures. That is not my purpose at present, but to show how this parallel provides yet another validation.
Because Mormons were supposed to be the primary factor in opposing the kingdom of the devil, in favor of the kingdom of God, but have failed in that responsibility, they – more than any other people on earth – are most responsible for the rise of Satan's kingdom. Hence the drunkards of Ephraim are considered to belong to the great and abominable church, for they have contributed the most to its success by their failure to adequately oppose it. They could have stopped it, but instead they support it. (Again, this is speaking generally, the "more part," not specifically, for there will arise a remnant from their ranks who will put on strength in the Lord and redeem Zion.)
Now, for the consequences:
"Shall be" and "must" are both imperative statements, denoting unavoidable consequences.
"Trodden under feet" in prophetic language is synonymous to "tumbling to the earth," both being metaphors of violent destruction of the great and abominable church and of the people who are as salt that has lost its savor, which we can now see are overlapping sets.
Likewise, "trodden under feet" is an additional confirmation of the destruction imagery: "and great must be the fall thereof."
"The kingdom" is amplified by the imagery of "glorious beauty" and "the head," conveying the idea of government. Lehi and Nephi's visions also describe the great and spacious building as being extremely ornate and appealing, "high and lifted up," filled with people bedecked in exceedingly fine apparel. (e.g. 1 Ne. 8:27.)
Thinking of the valleys of the mountains which we are proud to call our Mormons headquarters, once again, this match hits very close to home, as the prepositional phrase "of the fat valley" is matched with the prepositional phrase, "of the devil."
Again, "shall be" and "must" are both imperative statements, denoting unavoidable consequences.
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by Sterling D. Allan; Mapleton, Utah; October 2, 1998
Document composed by Sterling
D. Allan, Oct. 2, 1998
"Would God that ALL the Lord's People Were PROPHETS"