Becoming a Watchman

Time and time again questions come up in conversations  regarding obscure topics.  Regularly they are the ones either briefly covered by the “mainstream” media or not at all.  Information is scarce and to often hearsay.  These are stories that many may feel in a family setting to be taboo such as politics, religion or the always least favorable conspiracy theory’s.  It is on my blog I post them for discussion.

Maybe this is my formal disclaimer but I would rather be clear.  Regardless of whether I believe or not what I have posted I am interested in the conversation, more information and the opinions of others.  Notice that often my posts are without my thoughts, I’m looking to start a discussion and anticipate your comments.  Please post your thoughts as well as supporting information and I will reply.

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The Tower also represents our homes and communities.

We must become watchmen upon our own towers and keep the enemy from destroying ourselves and our families. Having a good relationship with our spouse is key and an essential part of raising our children in righteousness.

We also have a civic responsibility to be involved in strengthening our communities, and standing up for correct principles and good government. As more and more people stand up for what is right within our communities, they will be protected from the evils of the world, for “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is Liberty“.

To be a Watchman on the Tower unto the people is no small assignment. It carries with it a tremendous responsibility to warn the people of impending calamities if they refuse to alter their downward course. I quote from Ezekiel in the Old Testament.

EZEKIEL 3:17-21 Son of man, I have made thee a Watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them Warning from me.  When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him Not Warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.  Yet if thou Warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.  Again, when a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumblingblock before him, he shall die: because thou hast not given him Warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand.  Nevertheless if thou warn the righteous man, that the righteous sin not, and he doth not sin, he shall surely live, because he is warned; also thou hast delivered thy soul.

EZEKIEL 33:3-6 If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and Warn the people;  Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head.  He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh Warning shall deliver his soul.  But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be Not Warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand.

I the LORD give unto you a COMMANDMENT to WARN the people & YOU are left without excuse…

D&C 88:77–82 And I give unto you a commandment that you shall teach one another the doctrine of the kingdom. Teach ye diligently and my grace shall attend you, that you may be instructed more perfectly in theory, in principle, in doctrine, in the law of the gospel, in all things that pertain unto the kingdom of God, that are expedient for you to understand;  Of things both in heaven and in the earth, and under the earth; things which have been, things which are, things which must shortly come to pass; things which are at home, things which are abroad; the wars and the perplexities of the nations, and the judgments which are on the land; and a knowledge also of countries and of kingdoms— That ye may be prepared in all things when I shall send you Again to magnify the calling whereunto I have called you, and the mission with which I have commissioned you.  Behold, I sent you out to testify and Warn the people, and it becometh EVERY man who hath been Warned to Warn his neighbor.   Therefore, they are left without excuse, and their sins are upon their own heads.

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Watchmen on the Tower

Consider this…

ORIGINAL POST

The following comes from The Doctrine & Covenants Section 101, versus 43-62. After reading this parable please read the quote by Joseph Smith below it.

And now, I will show unto you a parable, that you may know my will concerning the redemption of Zion. A certain nobleman had a spot of land, very choice; and he said unto his servants: Go ye unto my vineyard, even upon this very choice piece of land, and plant twelve olive-trees; And set watchmen round about them, and build a tower, that one may overlook the land round about, to be a watchman upon the tower, that mine olive-trees may not be broken down when the enemy shall come to spoil and take upon themselves the fruit of my vineyard.

Now, the servants of the nobleman went and did as their lord commanded them, and planted the olive-trees, and built a hedge round about, and set watchmen, and began to build a tower. And while they were yet laying the foundation thereof, they began to say among themselves: And what need hath my lord of this tower? And consulted for a long time, saying among themselves: What need hath my lord of this tower, seeing this is a time of peace? Might not this money be given to the exchangers? For there is no need of these things.

And while they were at variance one with another they became very slothful, and they hearkened not unto the commandments of their lord. And the enemy came by night, and broke down the hedge; and the servants of the nobleman arose and were affrighted, and fled; and the enemy destroyed their works, and broke down the olive-trees.

Now, behold, the nobleman, the lord of the vineyard, called upon his servants, and said unto them, Why! what is the cause of this great evil? Ought ye not to have done even as I commanded you, and—after ye had planted the vineyard, and built the hedge round about, and set watchmen upon the walls thereof—built the tower also, and set a awatchman upon the tower, and watched for my vineyard, and not have fallen asleep, lest the enemy should come upon you? And behold, the watchman upon the tower would have seen the enemy while he was yet afar off; and then ye could have made ready and kept the enemy from breaking down the hedge thereof, and saved my vineyard from the hands of the destroyer.

And the lord of the vineyard said unto one of his servants: Go and gather together the residue of my servants, and take all the strength of mine house, which are my warriors, my young men, and they that are of middle age also among all my servants, who arethe strength of mine house, save those only whom I have appointed to tarry; And go ye straightway unto the land of my vineyard, and redeem my vineyard; for it is mine; I have bought it with money. Therefore, get ye straightway unto my land; break down thewalls of mine enemies; throw down their tower, and scatter their watchmen. And inasmuch as they gather together against you, avenge me of mine enemies, that by and by I may come with the residue of mine house and possess the land.

And the servant said unto his lord: When shall these things be?

And he said unto his servant: When I will; go ye straightway, and do all things whatsoever I have commanded you; And this shall be my seal and blessing upon you—a faithful and wise steward in the midst of mine house, a ruler in my kingdom.

And his servant went straightway, and did all things whatsoever his lord commanded him; and after many days all things were fulfilled.

…also Consider…

D&C 101, 77-80:

…According to the laws and constitution of the people, which I have suffered to be established, and should be maintained for the rights and protection of all flesh, according to just and holy principles; That every man may act in doctrine and principle pertaining to futurity, according to the moral agency which I have given unto him, that every man may be accountable for his own sins in the day of judgment. Therefore, it is not right that any man should be in bondage one to another. And for this purpose have I established the Constitution of this land, by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose, and redeemedthe land by the shedding of blood…

…and this…

by Joseph Smith ( Sermon Delivered at Nauvoo, Illinois July 19, 1840. Source: Howard and Martha Coray Notebook ).

“We shall build the Zion of the Lord in peace until the servants of that Lord shall begin to lay the foundation of a great and high watch Tower and then shall they begin to say within themselves what need hath my Lord of this tower seeing this is a time of peace & Then the Enemy shall come as a thief in the night and scatter the servants abroad when the seed of these 12 Olive trees are scattered abroad they will wake up the Nations of the whole Earth. Even this Nation will be on the very verge of crumbling to pieces and tumbling to the ground and when the constitution is upon the brink of ruin this people will be the Staff up which the Nation shall lean and they shall bear the constitution away from the very verge of destruction. Then shall the Lord say go tell all my servants who are the strength of mine house my young men and middle aged and come to the Land of my vineyard and fight the battle of the Lord. Then the Kings & Queens shall come then the rulers of the Earth shall come then shall all saints come yea the Foreign saints shall come to fight for the Land of my vineyard for in this thing shall be their safety and they will have no power to choose but will come as a man fleeth from a sudden destruction.”

Putting some of the pieces together

In D&C Section 101 we read about the parable of the Tower, the servants only started on the foundation, but never completed the tower. Then we read about the U.S. Constitution that “should be maintained for the rights and protection of all flesh, according to just and holy principles.”

In the sermon given by the Prophet Joseph Smith in 1840 he spoke of that same parable of the Tower and also of the Constitution, and that “when the constitution is upon the brink of ruin this people will be the Staff up which the Nation shall lean and they shall bear the constitution away from the very verge of destruction”.

Put simply, I believe the tower is Zion and the watchmen are the “pure in heart”.

The prophets are often referred to as the watchmen on the tower, and that is quite fitting considering their call to be prophets, seers, and revelators. We are privileged to receive their counsel on a regular basis, in General Conference, and elsewhere, which, if followed, will be a protection to us. I believe, furthermore, that we all can be watchmen on the tower, we all should be, especially within our own families and communities.

In the parable of the Tower, the Lord asked for watchmen to be placed around the vineyard, upon the walls, as a well as a watchman upon the tower. The reason for the tower was to see the enemy coming from far away. Unfortunately, after only working on the foundation, the servants felt, because it was a time of peace, that they had no need for the tower, and this resulted in much destruction.

I believe this parable applies to us, individually, and as a Church. Since 2 years after the Church was founded in 1830 we have been under condemnation. “And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them, not only to say, but to do according to that which I have written.” Fortunately, as individuals, we can remove ourselves from such condemnation by reading and using the Book of Mormon as we should, and by keeping the commandments and covenants we have received.

As we strive to follow Christ, and seek guidance and revelation from the Lord, we become watchmen upon the tower. It is primarily through being in-tune with the Spirit that we can see the enemy coming from afar and act accordingly. As we continue to build Zion, to establish the Kingdom of God upon this earth, in other words, as we do our part to build the Tower, the Spirit of the Lord will be upon us, and will warn us of danger.

I believe the building of the tower also relates to the building up of the political Kingdom of God as mentioned in the scriptures. The Book of Revelation, Chapter 12, refers to a woman who flees from the dragon into the wilderness, and brings forth a man child, “who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron”. We read in the Bible Dictionary that “The woman is the Church; the man child is the political kingdom of God growing out of the Church.”

How does the Constitution relate to the parable of the watchtower?

I believe that Joseph Smith’s mention of the “constitution on the brink of ruin” helps us to better understand the timeline of events related in the parable. It is also stated that “they (the saints) shall bear the constitution away from the very verge of destruction”. This should serve as a reminder of those principles we must be upholding, the principles of Liberty.

After relating the parable of the watchtower, Joseph Smith said:

” …the Enemy shall come as a thief in the night and scatter the servants abroad when the seed of these 12 Olive trees are scattered abroad they will wake up the Nations of the whole Earth. Even this Nation will be on the very verge of crumbling to pieces and tumbling to the ground, and when the constitution is upon the brink of ruin, this people will be the Staff upon which the Nation shall lean, and they shall bear the constitution away from the very verge of destruction. Then shall the Lord say, “go, tell all my servants who are the strength of mine house, my young men, and middle aged, and come to the Land of my vineyard and fight the battle of the Lord”. Then the Kings & Queens shall come, then the rulers of the Earth shall come, then shall all saints come, yea the Foreign saints shall come to fight for the Land of my vineyard, for in this thing shall be their safety, and they will have no power to choose but will come as a man fleeth from a sudden destruction.”

I believe Joseph Smith was prophesying about events past, events currently happening and those to come.

We are currently in the days where the Constitution is “hanging by a thread”, the Secret Combinations have obtained sole management of the government, and the nation is getting ripe for destruction. The enemy is among us, and people are waking up.

There is still time to strengthen ourselves and others, to preach the Gospel unto all the earth, to stand up for freedom; to lift where we stand.

Ezra Taft Benson warned us that one of the devils most effective neutralizers is:

“‘Don’t do anything in the fight for freedom until the Church sets up its own specific program to save the Constitution’… To those slothful servants who will not do anything until they are ‘compelled in all things’, maybe the Lord will never set up a specific church program for the purpose of saving the Constitution. Perhaps if he set one up at this time it might split the Church asunder, and perhaps he does not want that to happen yet for not all the wheat and tares are fully ripe.”

The prophesied time will come, the moment we’ve all been waiting for, when we will finally take back the Lord’s vineyard (from the enemy), place watchmen round about and on the walls, and finish building the tower (Zion).

“The field is white already to harvest; wherefore, thrust in your sickles, and reap with all your might, mind, and strength.” (D&C 33:7)

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