"The Sealed Book from the Mormon Plates"


President John P Pratt


1st Counselor in the First Presidency

of the

Prophet Maurício Berger

The claim that a recently published book is a translation of part of the "sealed plates" of the Book of Mormon is investigated based on its content.

by John P. Pratt
26 May 2019, 1 Arise (P), Elder (S)

©2019 by John P. Pratt. All rights Reserved.

On 26 Mar 2019 a book entitled The Sealed Book of Mormon was published. It begins with a Testimony of Three Witnesses from Brazil who claim to have seen the plates of Mormon and the sword of Laban, and to have shaken hands with the Angel Moroni. It also contains a Testimony of Eight Witnesses from the United States who claim to have handled the plates from which the Book of Mormon was translated. Those familiar with the Book of Mormon will recognize that similar witnesses were provided for it.

Before the publication of this work, many articles were published attempting to prove it was a fraud. Knowing that the same was done to discredit the Book of Mormon, this author postponed forming an opinion until actually reading the volume. This article treats only the book's content, leaving others to judge it on the credibility of the witnesses, authenticity of pictures of the sword of Laban and characters translated, etc.


Let us now answer five questions about the book's content, analyze each section of the book, and then consider some of the new contributions it offers, including what appeared to this author to be questionable indeed.


1. Five Questions

Is this book what it claims?

Immediately upon the publication of the book, one blogger suggested that one way to know if the book is authentic is to examine its fruits. He posed the following five questions:


  1. Does it conform to the predicted content the 1830 published Book of Mormon explains was withheld for a wise purpose?
  2. Does it make sense to you that this content should be sealed and withheld from public scrutiny until there will be faith enough to receive it?
  3. Does the content conform to or contradict other existing scripture, including the Book of Moses restored through Joseph Smith?
  4. Does it edify, enlighten, and increase light and knowledge about God?
  5. What new sacred and important things does it teach about the plans of God for these last days?


Those seem like reasonable questions, even though the book is not required to fulfill those implied demands. Let us consider each as an introduction to this article.

Three witnesses show the plates and sword of Laban.

1.1 As Predicted?

Does it conform to the predicted content? No, it definitely does not, but it explains why it does not. While the question appears to presuppose that a negative answer should disqualify the book, it might well be it is the other way around. If it conformed exactly to what is expected, then critics could respond that the translator merely fabricated a book that would appear to fulfill the prophecies.

That was what many have concluded that Jesus did, namely, that He simply read all of the prophecies and then made sure He fulfilled them. Of course, they overlook the fact that He performed miracles which no one had ever done before, somehow arranged to have died exactly when the Passover lambs were being sacrificed, and then resurrected on the holiest day in history on yet-to-be-discovered sacred calendars.

The book explains that Jared's "vision of all" (Isa. 29:11-12) is not included in this translation of only a few of the sealed plates in order to try our faith. The translator, Mauricio Berger, says that Jared's vision will come later when a people is able to live by what is in the current release. That implies that there might well be some new requirements in this book to help prepare a people to receive because the Book of Mormon says that the vision of Jared will only be revealed by the Savior himself when He visits His people (Ether 4:7), which is also explicitly stated in the Sealed Book of Mormon (Words 21).

That makes sense because we as a people are clearly not yet more faithful than the original followers of Joseph Smith, let alone as faithful as the brother of Jared. They regularly performed miraculous healings, spoke in tongues and displayed all of the gifts of the Spirit (Mor. 10:24). Moreover, even if we were as righteous, that vision supposedly contains the details of the upcoming tribulation and testing of the saints. If this book now purported to reveal that, it could spoil the test altogether. Again, if this book contained what people expected, then that would be a red flag to be suspicious of the book's authenticity, not vice versa.


These plates were witnessed.

1.2 Why Withheld?

If this volume does not contain the "vision of all", then does it contain anything that would justify it being withheld?

Before answering that, it should be noted that all branches of Mormons have deteriorated since the first Book of Mormon was given. In this article, the word "Mormon" is used to refer to any of the many splinter groups which now accept Joseph Smith as a prophet and the Book of Mormon as the an authentic record. The abbreviation "LDS" is used herein to refer to the largest Utah branch known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I taught the

high priest quorum of my LDS ward last year and there was an official lesson in the manual that emphasized that the Church still had not overcome the 1832 condemnation the Lord gave for not having taken the Book of Mormon seriously (D&C 84:57). That referred to the unsealed portion which was given first to try our faith. We have apparently failed because had we succeeded we should have received "greater things to be manifest" (3 Nephi 26:9). That promise is only of "greater things" to come forth, not necessary the full vision of Jared. Thus, it does not appear necessary that the sealed portion contain some great secrets or revealed mysteries worthy only of advanced initiates. It may only require that the condemnation be removed from a least a portion of the people who are diligent believers in the Book of Mormon to be worthy of greater things to appear. So now the question is whether the Sealed Book of Mormon might qualify to partially fulfill that promise by having some "greater things" in it.

That having been said, to me the new book does indeed contain great spiritual secrets which are needed at this very time.


Do you have his faith?

1.3 Scripturally Sound?

Does the content conform to or contradict other existing scripture, including the Book of Moses restored through Joseph Smith?

When my investigation began, there was one question in my mind which could have caused me to reject the book immediately: Does it claim to contain the "vision of all" given to the Brother of Jared? If it did, to me that would be grounds for rejection as discussed above, because people today clearly do not

have faith like the brother of Jared to merit having the revelation given to him available to anyone online. Hence, that would disqualify this book from having any chance of being authentic.

The book, however, does not contain that vision, but instead contains some preliminary instructions about how to begin to build Zion in order that the rest of the sealed plates might be revealed.

What about the claim that it is okay for some of the sealed portion to have been brought forth? Wasn't there just one single "sealed portion" of the plates?

Here again, the Book of Mormon seems to allow for the possibility that there are at least two parts to the sealed portion:

And others will he [the devil] pacify, and lull them away into carnal security, that they will say: All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well; and thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell....

Wo be unto him that shall say: We have received the word of God, and we need no more of the word of God, for we have enough! -- 2 Nephi 28:21,29


This passage clearly refers the LDS saints of this day and age where we refer to the Church as "Zion" and it is emphasized that "Zion prospereth", shown, for example, by the multi-billion dollar shopping mall across the street from the Salt Lake temple. Church members have no problem in receiving policy updates from the First Presidency as revelation, but this prophecy states that we will reject new scripture when it appears. Could that refer to The Sealed Book of Mormon?

To the best of my knowledge there is no contradiction between this book and accepted scripture. This is a topic where someone who has found contradictions needs to step up to point them out. I have read most of the articles and reviews available on this book and most simply say that it contains "nothing new". Thus, this article attempts to point out many new facts and clarifications that it teaches.


1.4 Edify & Enlighten?

Does it edify, enlighten, and increase light and knowledge about God?

Absolutely yes, it does! That is discussed below in each section.

The prophet Mormon taught that one way to tell whether or not something is good and from God it that it will "persuade to believe in Christ" (Moroni 7:16-17). Satan is a master of deception, but he never sends people to Christ! All through the Book of Mormon the point is made that we should come unto Christ directly. This point is also so important in The Sealed Book of Mormon that it is emphasized in the fourth verse of the volume:

"Therefore it is in these days that the Lord invites His people: Come to Me O ye Gentiles, and I will show you things greater than these." -- Words of Moroni 4


These words sound a lot like some of Moroni's last words in the Book of Mormon:

And again I would exhort you that you would come unto Christ, and lay hold on every good gift" -- Moroni 10:30


Are there any such words in the many New Age books which have been channeled through their authors? No! They all explain how you can be perfected with no need for a Savior. Mormon's method to detect good from evil works!

1.5 New Content?

What new sacred and important things does it teach about the plans of God for these last days?

I know of no requirement that the sealed plates must contain anything about the plans of God. The Lord usually holds His cards very close to the vest! That disclaimer notwithstanding, even the introduction contains new content. Mauricio carefully explains just how the translation was done with the urim and thummim. Joseph Smith never explained such details, intentionally avoiding the topic, but only assured everyone that it was done by the "gift and power of God". Why would a translator begin with a description of something hitherto unknown, which could potentially disqualify the entire volume, if it were not true so that he could speak with confidence?

There are many new tidbits of light and truth included in the book. For example, in the Book of Mormon, Lehi had a dream about the Tree of Life in which he saw a stream flowing near that tree and then by the path leading to the tree with a handrail of iron (1 Nephi 8:13, 19). But when Nephi asked to see the same vision, he saw two contradictory aspects of the river. First, it began from a fountain of living waters at the tree of life representing the love of God. Next he saw the river was filthy, representing the depths of hell (1 Nephi 11:25, 12:16). So what is going on here? Was the river clear or filthy? Have you ever heard that explained? If not, then the explanation in the book might constitute new light and truth for you. It might also help you to understand who the man in white was at the beginning of Lehi's dream who asked Lehi to follow him. (Hint: it was not the Holy Ghost!)

As for new things about the plan of God, as just mentioned it contains exactly the instructions which are currently needed by those attempting to prepare at this time to implement Zion someday soon. Now let us look at each of the three major sections of this book.

2. Words of Moroni


This section of the volume, although most likely unexpected by most readers, fits in perfectly with the pattern of the 1830 Book of Mormon. That is, in the unsealed portion of the plates there was a short section between the first and second part which explains to the reader the reason for the abrupt jump in subject matter. The Book of Mormon begins with the small plates of Nephi and then jumps to the reign of King Benjamin many years later. They were two separate records which Mormon attempted to stitch together by giving a brief summary of what occurred in the centuries between them.


Should we be surprised to find a similar explanation between the unsealed and sealed plates? Should we not have expected to find a similar transition, perhaps with an explanation of why these plates were sealed (Question 2 above)?


In this section Moroni explains that the first big book called the Sealed Book of Moses is really only part of that book. It is the part which discusses how to use the Melchizedek Priesthood. The part where Moses recorded his "vision of all" that would happen in the history of Adam's family will only be revealed when the Savior comes to His temple to a people with the faith of the brother of Jared. He explains that there is also a record written by Jonah, the son of Nephi, who is one of the Three Nephites.


This section includes a prophecy by Moroni which seems very significant:

"And it shall come to pass with those who harden their hearts to this second part, when it shall be revealed to the children of men, that even the knowledge of the first part will be taken away from them and they will remain attached to the precepts of men; they will honor the Lord with their lips but they will be far from his ways; they will be convinced of their faith in the first part previously revealed of these records, saying, we have enough, and we are not ready for more scriptures. From this will be taken even what little knowledge they have until there is nothing left but their traditions." -- Words of Moroni 16


That is rather brash prophecy to include if this book were a fraud, for surely it would be detected soon that those who reject this book did not also come to reject the Book of Mormon. Time will tell.

3. Sealed Book of Moses


The Sealed Book of Moses includes a manual on how to use the Holy Priesthood after the order of Melchizedek. So is that something new? Doesn't the LDS Church have plenty of priesthood manuals? First let us review Church history to see why we definitely need such a manual at this time for the following reasons.

3.1 LDS High Priests

On Sat 31 Mar 2018 Pres. Russell M. Nelson of the LDS Church placed all existing high priests into the elders quorum unless they are in high councils, stake presidencies, bishoprics, or are stake patriarchs. In the talk explaining the details, the point was admitted that "An elder holds as much priesthood as an Apostle." In the written transcript D&C 20:38-39 was referenced to support that point, which states, "An apostle is an elder". The speaker then went on to assume that the same is true of high priests so that high priests could be put into the elders quorums because they all have the same priesthood.[7] What was all of that about? Was this new revelation or returning to the organization of the early Church?

Table 1. 1841 Church hierarchy, numbered by rank, ordered by priesthood.

Pres. Nelson was going back to have the Church be more like how the Lord had organized the Church of Christ as given in D&C 124:123-142. When the Church was organized in 1830 there were no high priests after the order of Melchizedek in the Church. The highest priesthood held in the Church was that held by elders.


At the founding of the Church, it was clear to all that apostles and elders had the same amount of priesthood but had different callings: the apostles were to be a Traveling Council (D&C 107:33-35), and the elders were to officiate in already established churches (D&C 107:98). Joseph and Oliver were apostles, but were called the "first elders" of the Church of Christ (D&C 20:2-3). Accordingly, apostles in the LDS Church are still referred to with the title "Elder".


The Melchizedek Priesthood after the order of the Son of God was restored on Sat 4 Jun 1831 and the first high priests in the Church were ordained that day (DHC I:176). They were to be the stake presidents, high council, bishoprics and stake patriarchs (D&C 124:133-134), with members of the First Presidency chosen from 

the high priest quorum (D&C 107:22). So what happened to that organization? After the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum, Brigham Young convinced the members to vote for the apostles to lead the Church. Later he was made Church President, even though he had never been ordained a high priest. He began the new and self-serving teaching that the apostles were the highest office of the priesthood. To remove competition he sent many high priests away to be branch presidents and had most of the elders ordained to be seventies because the calling of the seventies was to serve the apostles (D&C 107:34).

Table 1 shows the organizational hierarchy of the Church in 1841 according the Lord in D&C 124. Note that elders rank above seventies even though they both hold the same priesthood of apostles. The traveling seventies were ranked below the elders quorum presidency, even as the apostles were below the presiding high priests (First Presidency). When Elder Young immediately (Sept. 1844) had most elders ordained to be seventies, it produced a multitude of seventies, so several quorums were formed, each with seven presidents. Every stake had a seventies quorum up until 10 Oct 1986 when they were all merged into the elders quorums.[9] Thus, the Quorum of the Twelve took over the leadership of the Church, rather than being a Traveling Council to spread the gospel into new areas. Today, nearly every LDS high priest traces his priesthood lineage to one of the twelve apostles, so the sad news is that we have not had many true high priests in the LDS Church since that time.

Patriarch Eldred G. Smith in his Church office at age 105. 

Photo by David Christenson

There was one office, however, that Pres. Young felt was imperative to maintain. It was the office of Presiding Patriarch, which he felt was essential to keep as a general authority, even though he demoted the office to be below the Quorum of Apostles. President Joseph F. Smith restored the office of Presiding Patriarch to its rightful place of being read first in the sustaining of Church leadership and in fact, he was set apart as President of the Church by the Presiding Patriarch John Smith.

The preeminence of the Presiding Patriarch was short-lived. By 1947 the office had become "Patriarch to the Church" with no presiding authority. The last to hold the office was Eldred G. Smith. He was ordained by George Albert Smith, and it seems possible that Eldred was still a true high priest, having been ordained by the Smith line. His office was voted by the apostles to be retired in 1979, but he retained his

office in the Church Office Building, giving blessings until the year of his death. He lived to the amazing age of 106, passing away on Thu 4 Apr 2013. His death ended an era.

The preservation of high priests in the other branches of Mormonism is not known to me. Hopefully, some of their high priests, especially in the leadership, can trace their priesthood lineage entirely through other high priests back to Joseph Smith.

It was felt necessary to review that disturbing LDS history in order to show that in fact, the covenant people of God could use a "high priest manual" written by a true high priest after the order of Melchizedek. With this preparation, let us turn to the largest part of the Sealed Book of Mormon.

3.2 High Priest Manual

The bulk of the Sealed Book of Mormon is called The Sealed Book of Moses. It purports to have been written by Moses himself to be hidden up to come forth during the end times, when true high priests would be needed to found the city of Zion. It is essentially a high priest manual followed by a history of high priesthood throughout the ages from Adam to Moses.

Moses wanted his people to know Jehovah directly as he did, but they rejected that offer and instead wanted to follow the prophet. When others began to prophesy and some people complained about it, Moses said that he wished that all of them were prophets (Num. 11:29). Because his people rejected the privileges of the Melchizedek priesthood, Moses had no use for a high priest manual. Accordingly, he hid it up to come forth in our times today when true high priests would again begin to be ordained. He knew that it would not be needed until the end times.

These are some of his teachings about the Holy Priesthood after the Order of the Son of God (herein called "high priests" for brevity, even though that title refers to a church, rather than a priesthood, office):

  1. High priests are required for the full redemption of man from the Fall of Adam:"the Father of tender mercies provided a means of redemption by which the children of Adam could return to their initial glory and again have full communion with God as they had in the beginning -- this providence being the very Priesthood of God, that is, according to the order of His Son ...

    "Therefore, no man can free himself from the yoke of slavery and death without the help of those who bear the priesthood of the Son of God." -- Sealed Moses 3:9,20
  2. Adam ordained both Cain and Abel to be high priests, but that priesthood withdrew from Cain when he disobeyed God:"the priesthood of the Son of God was full in Abel, but diminished in its fullness with each passing day on Cain" -- Sealed Moses 3:35
  3. An angel told Cain that changing ordinances causes loss of priesthood:"his erroneous form of worship only removed the power of the priesthood which Adam had placed on his head,... the power of divinity from the priesthood of the Son of God among the sons of Adam, can only be maintained by a strict observation of their ordinances on earth." -- Sealed Moses 3:38-39
  4. The great secret of using the high priesthood is this:"it is only through the use of right feelings which they should have in their hearts that it is possible to make use of the attributions derived from the priesthood authority of the son of God and that there is no other way of subduing the powers of the heavens and establishing the 'Order of Enoch', except in accordance with the invocation of the high sentiments which pertain to that order." -- Sealed Moses 3:51


Is this great secret new to us? It is not found anywhere in the Bible or Book of Mormon nor revelations from God in the Doctrine and Covenants. Joseph the Seer had to learn this lesson the hard way, which he summarized in a letter he wrote from the Liberty jail, later to be canonized:

"That the rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and that the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness.

"That they may be conferred upon us, it is true; but when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man....

"No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned;

"By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile;

"Reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy;" -- D&C 121:36-37, 41-43


Those verses apply to the leadership of the Church. They say that if leaders attempt to use the priesthood incorrectly, the heavens withdraw and so does the priesthood. The problem, however, is that the principle was not followed, so that the heavens withdrew their support from many of the men who had been ordained to be high priests in 1831. In fact, many were excommunicated. Thus, the LDS Church has had no need for a high priest manual because it has virtually no real high priests.

3.3 Witness of Enoch

Moses testifies of The Book of Enoch.

Most of the rest of the Sealed Book of Moses is a longer, more detailed history of the high priesthood throughout the ages from Adam down to Moses than found elsewhere in scripture. It also includes a history of Satan's priesthood after the order of Mahan.

When it gets to the history of Enoch, it becomes a second witness to much of what is in the Book of Enoch, especially the history of the angels (men in Enoch's translated city) called "Watchers" who went rogue and had intercourse with the daughters of men leading to giant offspring. This book is not only a second witness to Enoch, it also fills in many more details.

The Lord has promised that a witness for the Book of Enoch will be given (D&C 107:57). Perhaps The Sealed Book of Mormon is that very witness!

Massive interlocking stones discussed!

Again, stop and think about that. The Book of Enoch, though it was accepted by Jesus Christ as authentic,[10] has been rejected by modern scholars as a late fabrication of about 200 BC. They are baffled as to how it got so well accepted by the time of Christ. So if you were fabricating this Sealed Book of Mormon, would you link it to another book which has been rejected by the world and nearly all of those who claim to be of the Church of Christ?[11] The best way to fake scripture is probably to insert all sorts of miraculous stories which cannot be compared to true history. It is certainly not to be a second witness to what is nearly universally regarded by the world as fraudulent!

4. Acts of the Three Nephites

The three Nephites were preserved.


The last book contained in The Sealed Book of Mormon is called The Acts of the Three Nephites. One might expect this book to be like the Acts of the Apostles in the Bible, filled with stories of miraculous healings. That would satisfy some, but one would be hard-pressed to explain why such an account would merit being sealed to come forth at this time. Instead it is more like a handbook of instructions for priesthood leaders.


This book is a manual purportedly written by one of the three Nephites, namely Jonah, son of Nephi (3 Nephi 19:4). Among other

instructions, it includes a step-by-step account of exactly how the law of the Gospel was implemented by them which required that there be no poor among them (Acts of 3 Nephites 9-12). They were successful for two centuries!


Think about that! Suppose you were going fabricate a book claiming to have been sealed up until now to come forth in these latter days with needed information. Would you attempt to write such a manual? Joseph the Seer tried to implement the law of consecration (D&C 105:29) and failed! Then Brigham Young tried, founding cities like Orderville, Utah, where people had all things in common. After that failed, Pres. Young tried to get Church members to at least buy from each other by founding Zion's Cooperative Mercantile Institution (ZCMI). Now that has disappeared too! The Church has apparently abandoned all efforts to prepare us to live as will be required in the city of Zion with no poor. So who is going to be interested in someone in Brazil attempting to enlighten us as to exactly how the Three Nephites implemented it so successfully? This section would not be a point of interest for most LDS members today. It would not help a fraud to be accepted.


The timing of this book coming forth is amazing for the following reason. In my research, the work of Denver Snuffer has been followed with interest. It has even been suggested that he might be David the Servant who will found the city of Zion in the last days. His followers held a general conference on Easter, Sun 21 Apr 2019, at which he bemoaned the fact that the scriptures contain so little about exactly how to go about setting up a society with no poor among them. This book looks like an answer to his prayers!


5. Divided Dispensation


Now we come to the part of this article which I am uniquely qualified to write. Hence, I felt the need to bear witness to one obscure but very important part of the book.


Several times in the different books included in the Sealed Book of Mormon, reference is made to the "first part" and "last part" of the dispensation of the fulness of times. Usually the "first part" referred to when the Book of Mormon would come forth and the beginning of the "last part" to when this translation of some of the sealed plates would come forth. Then the Savior will reveal the most sacred part when He comes at the end of the fulness of times. Does this dispensation really have two parts?


In earlier papers about sacred calendars, it was pointed out that this dispensation began with the opening of a new Enoch Great Year. In fact, the First Vision occurred on the opening day of this Great Year! A Great Year is a set of 364 years, each of which is named the same as the days of an Enoch Year. The principal holy days on both the Enoch and Hebrew Calendars fall into two groups, spring and autumn. There is a close correspondence between the two sets. On the Enoch Calendar, the spring days occur on day 1, 10, and 14-21 (Passover) in the first month (Spring) and the autumn holy days are on 1, 10, and 14-21 (Tabernacles) of the 7th month (Autumn). That means there is a set of 7 years which correspond to Passover week, which are called PASSOVER (all capitals meaning it refers to years, not days). Those seven years were from 1833 through 1840, counting years from the First Vision from 1 SPR (1820) to 14 SPR-21 SPR (see timeline illustration). That was indeed when many great revelations took place and included the years in Kirtland and the coming of the Lord to the temple there.


Holy Years in first and second part of the fulness of times.


On the Enoch Calendar, the second week-long festival occurs 182 days (half of a 364-day year) after Passover and is called the Feast of Tabernacles. Thus, the corresponding 7-year FEAST OF TABERNACLES began in the year 1833 + 182 = 2015. In other words, we are now in the holy years of TABERNACLES (Enoch).


Thus, we see that there are indeed two parts to this dispensation, separated by 182 years. To me it is remarkable that The Sealed Book of Mormon has come forth during the FEAST OF TABERNACLES in this second part of this dispensation and that the book even refers to this age as the "second part" of the fulness of times. The Brazilian fellow who translated the plates almost certainly knows nothing about my work which would predict that important spiritual advances should be made during these current years. Thus, to me this timing is a witness that the book is authentic.

6. Olive Tree Allegory

My first version of this article was scheduled to be published on 2 May 2019. Just before that date, it was brought to my attention that the article was totally one sided, only promoting the book without mentioning any problems or concerns. Indeed I had encountered several minor bumps along the road to acceptance but had totally left them out of the article. Suddenly I felt the need to be more objective and research the questionable parts of the book. In place of the planned article, a short one was published about the importance of avoiding blind spots by looking for both good and bad in any proposition.[13] In that spirit, this section now addresses the only serious issue I had with the volume.

The most arresting teaching to me was the explanation of the Olive Tree Allegory from the Book of Mormon (Jacob 5). On my first reading of the very last chapter in this new book, a few concerns about what claims to be the Savior's own interpretation of that allegory raised enough red flags as to nearly disqualify accepting the entire volume. Because this section is about my personal issues with the book, perhaps my prejudices which were stumbling blocks to my acceptance should be noted.

My main problem in simply reading the Book of Jacob decades ago was with the word "nethermost". The Lord of the vineyard plants three branches in the "nethermost" part of his vineyard. That means the lowest parts, like the Netherlands being below sea level. What is that supposed to represent? The servant said he doubted that an olive tree could even be grown there (Jacob 5:21). The Lord told him that the second spot in the nethermost regions was even worse than the first, but it was still worth attempting to grow there to preserve some natural fruit.

Olive trees represent the House of Israel.

To me the symbolism of "nethermost" was such a mystery that I decided it was a bad translation and that it should read "uttermost"! That was because I had decided that one of the branches had been planted in the British Isles, being the ancient Britons. Those islands were considered to be the "ends of the earth" or "uttermost" regions. They are also poor spots of ground for growing many kinds of crops, so that seemed to fit. And what about the next spot which was even worse? To me that was Norway and Sweden which is cold and even worse for agriculture. Moreover, the inhabitants are blond and blue-eyed people, who to me seemed like pure Israelites.[14] My best guess for the third branch, which was not stated to be in bad soil, was the Etruscans in Tuscany, Italy, who brought olive and wine culture to Italy which the later Romans inherited.[15]

To my dismay, the explanation given in this new book is that the three branches planted in the lowest parts of the vineyard were in (1) Greece, (2) Italy, and (3) Antioch (Syria)! It was also noted

that they had knowledge of the stars in those areas, which seemed like a useless detail. And then the claim was made that examples of fruit from those branches were that Nicodemus was from Greece, Joseph of Arithmathea was born in Rome, and that Lazarus was from Antioch. None of that seemed likely on my first reading.

If one is going to fake a scripture, it would be wise not to put in unexpected, questionable details which stop the reader in his tracks and invite rejection. But if writing true scripture which is to enlighten and add to the body of knowledge available, then such tidbits invite investigation which, if true, will verify the source.[16]

With that background understood, here is the report the results of my research of the last few weeks to learn more on that subject.


First of all, what indeed does "nethermost" symbolize? The details given in an allegory usually represent something else, such as the tree representing Israel. So why should "nethermost" refer to the actual lowest part of the earth or farthest part? And why should poor soil refer to the actual soil in that area, as I assumed about Great Britain and Norway. After all, look at Jerusalem where the mother tree was planted. That is not exactly a choice plot of ground agriculturally. So what does "nethermost" symbolize?

There was a huge "aha moment" when the irony hit me that the Lord was using the same symbolism explained in my own articles! The stars in the "high" (north) parts of the heavens represent the most righteous and those in the "lowest" parts of the sky (south) represent evil in the netherworld. The word "netherworld" refers to hell. What the servant was questioning was why would the Lord plant branches in such wicked parts of the world! Suddenly the explanation in the Sealed Book of Mormon made perfect sense. After all, Greece, Rome, and Antioch were not famous for their righteousness, and Rome became more wicked than Greece, which is a match.

There is another huge point in favor of the interpretation in this new volume over my interpretation. The allegory is clearly supposed to be in chronological order. The first grafting in of the wild branches after pruning off the bad branches clearly refers to the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar and subsequent captivity where wild Babylonian branches were grafted into Israel. It is after that in the allegory that the three branches are planted in the lowlands and the fourth branch in the choice land. Lehi's migration date to the choice spot is known and indeed it was at the time of Nebuchadnezzar's reign. Moreover, it is known that one reason that the King of Babylon took princes along with Daniel was to be trained to preside over colonies all around the Mediterranean Sea. That not only included Greece and Italy, but even went as far as Spain (the Castilians). All of that fits with this new interpretation perfectly, including the timing!

At the fall of Troy, the migration from there to Tuscany and then on to England to become the Britons occurred many centuries before that, about 1000 BC. The Norwegians, Swedes, and Danes seem to be from the scattered (not lost) tribes of Israel escaping from the Assyrian captivity about 700 BC. Thus, all three of my guesses apparently now must be abandoned in any case because they all precede the Babylonian captivity! Those three groups of people still look like branches of Israel to me, but they were all broken off and planted before the time of Zenos (about 700 BC), so they would not have been part of a prophecy of his future. Suddenly this book's interpretation has become a relief to find a plausible interpretation of meaning of the branches rather than being a stumbling block to accept the volume.

With that obstacle overcome, what about the part about them having a knowledge of the stars? Of what use is that for us to know? If this book were a fraud, why would that have been inserted?


1550 Latin Almagest.

Before attempting to answer that, consider what the "fruit" of the olive tree refers to. From the allegory itself, the tree refers to the people in the house of Israel. The roots appear to be the ancestors and the branches are the descendants. If the branches do not bring forth good fruit, they are "cut off" and burned. If they do produce good fruit, that fruit is preserved against the season (Jacob 5:13). So what is the fruit?

There are many places that prophets have talked about our "fruit", and in every case it seems to refer to what we produce, which includes our thoughts, our words, and our actions (Mosiah 4:30).. Both Alma and John the Baptist taught that those of Israel who do not produce good fruit will be burned (Alma 5:52, Mat. 3:10). That matches perfectly the symbolism of the Olive Tree Allegory. The fruit clearly refers to their works. Note that it is not the fruit that is burned, but the branches (the people) so that they do not continue to produce bad fruit.

Interestingly, this record makes a point of mentioning some good fruit that had been produced by Daniel. It states that he began some wisdom schools teaching about the

stars and that this knowledge was preserved in the lands where the three lowland branches had been planted. It makes specific reference to mapping the stars so that when the new star appeared which would herald the birth of the Messiah that they would be able to recognize it:

"Daniel, the servant of the Lord, became master of the magicians-astrologers from the east and came to teach his princes ... knowledge of astrology ... the Lord of the vineyard went to hide the natural branches of the good olive tree in the nethermost parts of the vineyard, some in one part, others in another, spreading these apprentices of the wisdom of Daniel the prophet according to His pleasure and will....

"and for this reason they learned to map the heavens, so that they could identify that star that had been foretold by the prophets that does not belong to the starry skies, for how much its manifestation in the night sky would foreshadow the birth of the 'promised descendant' among men on earth." -- 3N Acts 14:17,19, emphasis added.


Here it seems clear that "magician-astrologers" is an excellent translation of what the King James Bible calls "wise men" (Mat. 2:1), also a good translation of the Greek "magi". The magi were a priestly caste from Persia, where Daniel had taught Zoroaster. They were skilled both in "magic" (named for them) and astronomy/astrology. Note also that mapping the heavens (astronomy) is explicitly mentioned. In my work, the Persian sources have been better in some cases than the Greek in knowing the original constellations, especially in having preserved the Infant Prince.Another example is that they had a Lamb on the heavy tray of the Balance, paying the price for man on the upper tray, whereas the Greeks had lost that constellation too. Thus, this volume verifies that these ancient constellations did indeed foretell Christ. Again, if this were a fraud, that would be a potential rejection issue to include because most Christians today consider constellations to be pagan fantasies.


Most of my work discovering the sacred nature of the constellations has been based on the extant Greek descriptions, namely Ptolemy's Almagest of about AD 150, which itself preserves far more ancient sources. Just how was that volume preserved for us to use today? About AD 800 it was translated from Greek into Arabic and there was a copy in Constantinople. Early in the twelfth century, King Roger II, a Norman ("North man" of Viking descent from Normandy, France), had become king of Sicily, much like William the Conqueror had become king of England about fifty years earlier. Roger was influential in improving the arts and sciences. He was stalwart Catholic Christian but allowed Eastern Orthodox and Muslims all to coexist peacefully. He had a Muslim scholar go to Constantinople to translate the Almagest into Latin. That was one of the first rays of light to be a precursor to the Renaissance centuries before it officially began!


1515 star map based on Ptolemy's Almagest.

Was not the Almagest an example of "fruit" which had been preserved for future use? Wouldn't it have grieved the Lord to have lost the fruit of that knowledge of the ancient constellations which had been revealed to Enoch and which taught the gospel through pictures (Psa. 19:1-3)? Was it not wise to have planted some branches in both Greece and Italy to preserve that fruit?[19]

As for the birth places of Nicodemus, Joseph of Arithmathea, and Lazarus, although that information may be surprising, my knowledge cannot dispute it. Joseph was reputedly a wealthy tin trader to the British Isles and may well have had an international background. Similarly, Lazarus is said to have gone on to become the first bishop of Marseille, France, so he too may have had roots elsewhere than Bethany.[20] Jerusalem was an international center (Acts 2:5), so these three claims seem plausible enough not to be deal breakers.

Thus, my questions of authenticity have been resolved: the book contains much light and truth and I now see no major problems and trust that smaller ones will be resolved. I have looked in it for both good and evil and the suspected evil has evaporated in the light of research. For me, the door is now open to study the many new teachings contained in it.



This book poses the same challenge as did the Book of Mormon: it demands an explanation! It appears that there may be only three main choices: either it is (1) a fraud, a complete fabrication, (2) a satanic revelation, or (3) it is genuine, even if containing the "mistakes of men" (BoM Title Page).


The content of The Sealed Book of Mormon was scrutinized under five proposed criteria to determine its authenticity and found to have fared well. It contains much new light and truth and addresses problems which are relevant today to those who are attempting to prepare to build the city of Zion. It only costs $5 (the cost of printing) and is even available free in PDF format, so the goal of the author is clearly not to make money. What were considered to be the worst problems, in the sense of conflict with my own cherished personal theories, turned out in the light of new research, not only to be more believable than mine, but also to apply to the very field of my own research of mapping the stars.

Thus, it is concluded that (1) this cannot be the work of those perpetrating fraud because it has too much arcane information that would raise suspicions in the those unfamiliar with those mysteries, (2) it is highly unlikely to be channeled from satanic sources because it focuses on the importance of coming to Jesus Christ and it exposes satanic deceptions, so (3) to me all of the internal evidence now points to it being authentic, even if presented in an obscure and unexpected way, much like the Messiah having been born in a stable. Much of it seems so unlikely that it will indeed try the faith (3 Nephi 26:11) of many who consider themselves the people of God.


Sealed Book of Mormon Authenticity (