Today’s article is the last installment of Brother Frank Natoli’s guest column on the Seven Feasts of Israel.
Why is it so valuable to be familiar with these seven feasts, as referenced in the Bible and aligned with the Book of Mormon?
- Passover: Christ’s crucifixion
- Unleavened Bread: Burial of Christ
- First Fruits: Christ’s resurrection
- Pentecost: Reception of the Holy Ghost
- Trumpets: The Book of Mormon
- Day of Atonement: Destruction
- Tabernacles: Peaceful Reign (Zion)
Without the information provided by Book of Mormon prophecy, all of the conclusions arrived and shared over the past weeks would be very difficult — if not impossible — to reach. While many may not accept these prophecies, sadly it has crippled their ability to determine the unfolding of these critical latter-day events.
As learned as the Bible scholars of the day may be, remember that the rabbis, professors, and leaders of the Jewish hierarchy of Jesus’s day all missed His coming as the Messiah!
It is up to those who have been given the full truth to educate, share, and teach these important events to those who do not know them. What a privilege to have the knowledge and understanding brought forth through the restoration and the Book of Mormon.
The Value of the Jewish Feasts
In conclusion, the Book of Mormon opens with a beautiful example of Hebrew poetry called chiasm. Chiasm is simply a statement or statements linked together in such a way so that the first part is a mirror image of the second part, hinged together by the most important statement known as the center point.
Until recently, this Hebrew style of writing went largely unnoticed and undiscovered, however 1 Nephi 1:1-4’s center point focuses on “the learnings of the Jews.” This focus highlights the importance of those things God gave to the Jews and the benefits in store for those who seek out their learnings. Nephi, son of Lehi, recognized the Jews for their weakness, but also admired their intimacy with God.
“For I, Nephi, have not taught them many things concerning the manner of the Jews; for their works were works of darkness, and their doings were doings of abominations. Wherefore, I write unto my people, unto all those that shall receive hereafter these things which I write, that they may know the judgments of God, that they come upon all nations, according to the word which he hath spoken.
Wherefore, hearken, O my people, which are of the house of Israel, and give ear unto my words; for because the words of Isaiah are not plain unto you, nevertheless they are plain unto all those that are filled with the spirit of prophecy.
But I give unto you a prophecy, according to the spirit which is in me; wherefore I shall prophesy according to the plainness which hath been with me from the time that I came out from Jerusalem with my father; for behold, my soul delighteth in plainness unto my people, that they may learn.
Yea, and my soul delighteth in the words of Isaiah, for I came out from Jerusalem, and mine eyes hath beheld the things of the Jews, and I know that the Jews do understand the things of the prophets, and there is none other people that understand the things which were spoken unto the Jews like unto them, save it be that they are taught after the manner of the things of the Jews.” (2 Nephi 25:2-5)
Nephi knew that everything God did with and for the Jews had deep significance not only for them at that time but also for things to come. He wrote concerning the importance of the prophecies of Isaiah, the value of knowing and understanding the Old Testament Law of Moses and its practices, as found in 2 Nephi 11:4.
Valuing ALL of God’s Word
In addition, the Gentiles were taken to task because they esteemed the Jews, their learnings and their struggles to bring forth God’s word, as having little value for them.
“But thus saith the Lord God: O fools, they shall have a Bible; and it shall precede forth from the Jews, mine ancient covenant people. And what think they the Jews for the Bible which they receive from them? Do they remember the travels, and the labors, and the pains of the Jews, and their diligence unto me, in bringing forth Salvation unto the Gentiles? O ye Gentiles, have ye remembered the Jews, mine ancient covenant people? Nay; But you have cursed them, and have hated them, and have not sought to recover them. But behold, I will return all these things upon your own heads; For I the Lord have not forgotten my people.” (2 Nephi 29:4-5)
As stated here, the Jews (and all of Israel) were and are God’s covenant people, and the things given to them are important to know to gain a clear understanding of how God works. This certainly includes not only the Feast Days that we’ve outlined but the reasons why they kept them so faithfully.
Let us value the “learnings” from the Bible and the Book of Mormon.
Let us value reading His word and praying for greater understanding.
Let us value the time we spend together listening to scriptures being expounded upon, through preaching and teaching.
Let us gather together as often as possible for the welfare of our soul (Moroni 6:5) that we might be prepared for these future events as we draw closer and closer to Christ.
Editor’s Note: We’d like to give Brother Frank a huge thank-you for being our first guest columnist! Next week, we’ll introduce you to Sister Darlene Ignagni, who is ready to bring you a four-part mini-column titled Facing Setbacks. We know you’ll enjoy it!
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This article has undergone ministry review and approval.