Friday, August 26, 2016

Ye Elders of Israel

We all find at some point in our lives that we need to leave the entrapments of the world--known as Babylon in the Bible-- behind, and climb to a higher plane. This arrangement of a well known hymn inspires us to do just that.
You can also watch the above video by clicking here.
From the October 2014 General Priesthood Session

Below is an excerpt of an article by Lenet Hadley Read that is found in the January 1981 Ensign magazine.:

"It is apparent that in the scriptures Babylon, a city that really did exist historically, is also a symbol. The warning given through Jeremiah to “flee out of the midst of Babylon” (Jer. 51:6) before destruction was brought upon the wicked of that city sets a pattern for our day. The responsive are warned, “Go ye out from among the nations, even from Babylon, from the midst of wickedness, which is spiritual Babylon” (D&C 133:14), for “I will not spare any that remain in Babylon” (D&C 64:24). The book of Revelation also prophesies the fall of a great Babylon in the latter days (see Rev. 14:8; Rev. 18:21).

"Why, of all cities, does Babylon deserve the distinction of symbolizing wickedness? No doubt it is because Babylon was anciently associated with acts that aroused God’s displeasure. For the beginning of Babylon was Babel. After the attempted construction of the tower of Babel, the unity of mankind was severed; many tongues arose, and communication among men became as “babble.”

"But was this dispersion of the people the point at which the proliferation of false philosophies also fully began? After all, Babel marks the time when confusion once more came upon the earth after the cleansing of the Flood, and only a select few remained knowledgeable of God’s word from then on. To the Lord, the source of truth, he who comprehends all language, would not these false philosophies, which have multiplied and spread confusion, be the true “babble”?

"If this is true, then to be called out of Babylon, or Babel, is to be called back to the original and pure truth, away from philosophies that lead to faulty judgment and therefore to evil. According to prophecies, Babylon, the multiplication of confusion and false philosophies, will indeed suffer a great fall, and unity of correct knowledge will finally return."

The lyrics to the hymn Ye Elders of Israel:

1.  Ye elders of Israel, come join now with me

And seek out the righteous, where'er they may be--

In desert, on mountain, on land, or on sea--

And bring them to Zion, the pure and the free.


O Babylon, O Babylon, we bid thee farewell;

We're going to the mountains of Ephraim to dwell.

2.  The harvest is great, and the lab'rers are few;

But if we're united, we all things can do.

We'll gather the wheat from the midst of the tares

And bring them from bondage, from sorrows and snares.

3.   We’ll go to the poor, like our Captain of old,

And visit the weary, the hungry, and cold;

We'll cheer up their hearts with the news that he bore

And point them to Zion and life evermore.

Text: Cyrus H. Wheelock, 1813-1894
   Music: Thomas H. Bayly, 1797-1839, adapted

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