(Blogpost 2 of 2. For part one, click here.)
WATCH FOR RAINBOWS
- The prophet Joseph Smith said of the rainbow: “I have asked of the Lord concerning His coming; and while asking the Lord, He gave a sign and said, “In the days of Noah I set a bow in the heavens as a sign and token that in any year that the bow should be seen the Lord would not come; but there should be seed time and harvest during that year; but whenever you see the bow withdrawn, it shall be a token that there shall be famine, pestilence, and great distress among the nations, and that the coming of the Messiah is not far distant.” (Smith, Joseph. Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith. Joseph F. Smith, 1976., pp. 340-41)
- No rain… no raindrops…With the way I think, I start to wonder about the symbolism. Could this, in effect, be God’s response to a world screaming “We don’t want any more! Stop! No more requirements of any law! No more supposed revelation! No more people of the book!” (3 Nephi 9:11, Alma 10:23)
So… God puts this rainbow in the sky after he’s killed off the unrepentant population, as a promise to the only 8 people he saved: the repenting ones. And the JST Genesis adds this detail about how everybody righteous, on this side of the veil of tears and the other (in heaven and on earth) are going to join up… and you expect me to believe that rainbows are an appropriate symbol for “Nothing to repent of, and proud of it!”???
I have a sneaking suspicion that somebody got tired of all the Christians and their smiley faces and rainbows and olive-leaf-carrying doves. Then he got an idea. An awful idea. The Grinch got a wonderful, *awful* idea! If I have to see smiley faces and these stinking cheerful rainbows all over the place all the time, then it had better be about my cause celebe, and not your cause of Christ. Give me thy joy. Give me thy confidence. Give me thy valiance. Let’s see how YOU like it to be told what you are doing is evil! Then the Who’s down in Whoville, they’ll all cry, Boo-hoo!!
The work of repentance, redemption and revelation will go on, rainbows or no rainbows.
“How long can rolling waters remain impure? What power shall stay the heavens? As well might man stretch forth his puny arm to stop the Missouri river in its decreed course, or to turn it up stream, as to hinder the Almighty from pouring down knowledge from heaven upon the heads of the Latter-day Saints.” D&C 121:33
The Science of Rainbows
- White light from the sun is absolutely necessary
- Thousands of individual raindrops are necessary
- There are parts of rainbows that are unseen
- There are at least 3 degrees of rainbows (triple rainbows and larger) but the human eye can only see double rainbows.
- More interesting info at this link and this link. My proposed symbolism of rainbows, based on what I know from the scriptures
- White light, Intelligence, the Light of the World, the Light of Christ (D&C 88:7) = Jesus Christ
- Living Water = Jesus Christ.
- Raindrops, dews of heaven (small, individual pieces of water) = blessings from God… revelation and/or the power of the Priesthood, distilled individually upon righteous souls.
- Rainbows as seen by earthly viewer are dependent upon variables. Different people in different places see the rainbow from different perspectives. Depending on where they stand, some do not see the rainbow at all. = One-on-one relationship with God, One-on-one AND collective relationships with his people.
- Fully complete rainbows are actually circles, with a visible half and an invisible half. Remember the illustration in part 1 of this post? So we only call them rainbows because we can’t see the whole thing? They should be called raincircles then
- Amazed by the symbolism of the visible and invisible circle. Very much like the visible and invisible parts of the Tree of Life = both sides of the veil are ever-present. An astounding visual match for the JST translation of Genesis 9:21-25
- Can you see a whole circle rainbow? Yes. Yes you can.
- Degrees of rainbows = degrees of glory?
Therefore, the full, complete arc of the rainbow, in one great whole…
and not one flag-striped section that separated itself
or torn a piece off from the whole as a flag of rebellion
is the rightful symbol of the Lord and of His righteous children
who are allied with Him. (Phillippians 1:27-28)
“It is reported that on one occasion when Sir Isaac Newton was thinking seriously concerning the nature of light, he cut a hole in a window blind and a ray of light entered his room. He held a triangular piece of glass in the range of the light, and there were reflected in great beauty all the colors of the rainbow. And for the first time man learned that all of the glorious colors of the universe are locked up in a ray of white light…
- Each raindrop refracts the whole prism of light = the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Not ala carte acceptance of just purple, or just red. All the law and all the prophets, and every word which proceedeth forth from the mouth of God.
“…It is important that we live all the principles of the gospel and obey all the commandments that the Lord has given us if we are to grow more nearly like our Father and his Beloved Son. We cannot say, “Oh, I believe in missionary work—it is important; I am thoroughly converted to the welfare plan or the wonderful social program of the Church for its young people; but I don’t believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet or that our present prophets are guided by revelation from the Lord.”
Some may say, “I believe the Book of Mormon, but I can’t believe that it was received from an angel as Joseph said it was.”
With a wavering faith of that kind, how can such a person expect to have the true light of Christ, the true understanding and light of the gospel? How can he expect to receive the blessings that the Lord has promised to the faithful? If he leaves out any one of these principles, he does not get pure white light. If he fails to have faith in all the principles of the gospel and does not have faith to live in accordance therewith, he cannot expect to get the pure light of the gospel in his heart.
If you truly have faith in God sufficient to impel you to keep his commandments, you will draw nearer to him and he will come nearer to you, and your faith will become knowledge, and the limit of your horizon will extend into the eternal world.”
– LDS General Authority and Secretary to the First Presidency, Elder Joseph Anderson, Man’s Eternal Horizon, April 1972
The Power of Independence amid Interdependence
A rainbow is made up of many raindrops, all beautifully doing what only they can do: magnifying the power of the Light. Without each individual raindrop (independence) there would be no rainbow (interdependence).
- “I am only one, but I am one. I can’t do everything, but I can do something. The something I ought to do, I can do. And by the grace of God, I will” – by Edward Everett Hale and oft quoted by Ezra Taft Benson
- Therefore, hold up your light that it may shine unto the world. Behold I am the light which ye shall hold up—that which ye have seen me do. Behold ye see that I have prayed unto the Father, and ye all have witnessed. – Jesus Christ (3 Nephi 18:24)
- Pure like a raindrop: “Purity of heart is to will one thing. The Son willed only one thing: the will of His Father. That’s what He came to earth to do. Nothing else. One whose aim is as pure as that can have a completely quiet heart.” Soren Kierkegaard. And in these times, when men’s hearts are failing them, having a quiet heart is something I desire.
There is a song that I love, by Twila Paris, which reminds me of the importance of being the best disciples of the Lord that we can be. My favorite lyric is this:
Could you believe if I stood here transparent,
and through me you could look in his eyes?
Could you believe if you saw right inside
and there was no disguise?
Some profound advice on this topic comes from Elder Boyd K. Packer. I quote from a general conference address that he gave in October 1969, The Other Side of The Ship:
“If one of these young people would listen for a moment—listen seriously enough that I could speak from the depths of my soul—there are some things I would tell him.
Why, he may first ask, do you appeal to me, the most criticized and uncomfortable of all in society? That is easy to answer.
First, you are right, you know, when you assess that most of society is interested only in immediate material success, too comfortable to really care, too preoccupied to listen to any significant message.
Because you are trying to change things, perhaps you will at least listen.
We are trying to change things too. We have many thousands of young people, something like yourself, assigned across the world to change people. But they must sift through literally thousands to find one who will listen—really listen.
We appeal to you because you are young. Our message requires a change so monumental that few but youth have the courage for it.
In your rebellion, so called, you have cut yourself loose from your moorings, perhaps even from family ties, and set adrift on the sea of life. Now you may be drifting on the right sea, you may even be in the right boat, but you might try fishing on the other side. Some others were fishing on the wrong side of the ship.
“And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes” (John 21:6)
When we mention that there is a spiritual answer to your need, I hope you don’t dismiss it or ridicule the possibility. “Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it” is sound counsel. If you haven’t tried it yet, you are as yet no witness on the matter. Surely you have that much honesty.
You may say you’ve been to church, that you’ve tried religion and not been satisfied. That is little wonder. It isn’t in them all, you know, only a flavoring of it. The substance of it, the fullness of it can be found in only one place. Perhaps you have looked for it here, in that one place, and have not found it. And so I repeat, you might try fishing on the right side.
No one can compel you to taste of this living water. It can come only when you consent. There are no conscripts, only volunteers.
If you are to find it, you must pay more, by a thousandfold, than ever you paid before, reach farther than you have ever reached, use more courage and self-discipline than you ever knew you had. But at the end of all that comes the promise:
“Verily, thus saith the Lord: It shall come to pass that every soul who forsaketh his sins and cometh unto me, and calleth on my name, and obeyeth my voice, and keepeth my commandments, shall see my face and know that I am;
“And that I am the true light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world”(D&C 93:1-2)
I must be plain also to say to you, my young friend, that when you come to know, it will be on his terms—not on yours.
“Therefore,” he has said, “sanctify yourselves that your minds become single to God, and the days will come that you shall see him; for he will unveil his face unto you, and it shall be in his own time, and in hisown way, and according to his own will” (D&C 88:68, italics added)
The fact—the positive, irrefutable truth—is that what you seek, my young friend, exists. And when you find it, it will not take you out of the world. You will find a greater need to be in the mainstream of life facing the same issues that are so disturbing to you now, but you’ll face them with a different light.
It will not require that you give up anything essential or fulfilling in life, whether it be physical, emotional, spiritual, or intellectual. You will be the same height, the same weight, you’ll be under the necessity of eating to live and being sheltered. You’ll have dislikes and likes, passions and desires. At first glance nothing will change at all, and yet positively everything will change. “
This is the Token
HE THAT HATH EARS TO HEAR, LET HIM HEAR:
And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: – Genesis 9:12
I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. – Genesis 9:13
And God said unto Noah, This is the token of the covenant, which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth. – Genesis 9:17
My thanks to Kelsey Berteaux, compiler of the online article at LDSLiving where these images appeared.
All copyrights and credits to the photographers who captured the temple rainbows displayed above.
Encircled About In the Arms of His Love
“I thought of an experience I had long, long ago. In the summer we lived on a farm. We had a little old tractor. There was a dead tree I wished to pull. I fastened one end of a chain to the tractor and the other end to the tree. As the tractor began to move, the tree shook a little, and then the chain broke.
I looked at that broken link and wondered how it could have given way. I went to the hardware store and bought a repair link. I put it together again, but it was an awkward and ugly connection. The chain was never, never the same.
As I sat in the celestial room of the temple pondering these things, I said to myself, “Never permit yourself to become a weak link in the chain of your generations.” It is so important that we pass on without a blemish our inheritance of body and brain and, if you please, faith and virtue untarnished to the generations who will come after us.
You young men and you young women, most of you will marry and have children. Your children will have children, as will the children who come after them. Life is a great chain of generations that we in the Church believe must be linked together.”
President Gordon B. Hinckley, BYU, November 1999
Stick of Ephraim
Stick of Judah
They don’t remember that they remember…;)
Maybe something, somewhere in each of us, remembers…
Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding… who laid the cornerstone thereof when all the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy? – Job 38:4,7
Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. – Jeremiah 1:5
The song, Before The World Was, by Steven Kapp Perry, has this lyric that I love “And we danced in the heavens with the joy of our God, and we shouted the praises of our King! And we sang out in glory as the children of the morning, and Jehovah was the greatest of all! ❤ ❤
The Father Of Lights Is Always Surrounded By Rainbows
- According to physics.org, double rainbows occur when the sunlight is reflected twice inside the raindrops. The second rainbow usually sits outside the first, and looks dimmer and more blurry than the original. Because of the angle of reflection, the second rainbow appears with the opposite colour scheme to the first.
- Another website states, “a double rainbow symbolizes a transformation in life. The first rainbow represents the material and the second the spiritual. No doubt that is why we stop to admire it’s beauty. It’s meant to help us align both our outer world with our inner spirit…
- In Chinese culture red is symbolic of the feet and violet represents the head. So a Primary Rainbow can be seen to illustrate a human descending from heaven. As stated before, the secondary arc in a Double Rainbow has reversed colors so, since the red is on the bottom and the violet is on top, the human figure is ascending from the material earth to the spiritual heaven. Therefore seeing a Double Rainbow is considered a very auspicious occasion and a reason for reflection and meditation” This fits well with LDS doctrine about the Premortal World.
I wonder if there is any connection symbolically between the Northern Lights and rainbows? We’ve been having quite a show of them this summer. Maybe it’s a night rainbow, to be there for us like a song.
Actually, there are such things as night rainbows. They occur in the same manner as rainbows, only they are caused by the light of a full moon on a dark night where water droplets are present. Often they are seen around rainbows, such as on the Hawaiian islands or at the Cumberland Falls in Corbin, Kentucky.
Stressing the Power of Symbolism, Again
Just a few samplings from my Facebook feed over the past few days. The second image bothers me most. See? It is happening already. When I was a child, a rainbow ALWAYS meant you were a Christian. Now does it just mean “gay”? Don’t believe me? Google anything with the word rainbow in it. Or any rainbow phrase. Something wicked this way comes.
The Rainbow of Beautiful Young Womanhood
Just below are the rainbow of LDS Young Women’s Values.
Baptism: Freely Choosing To Enter The Rainbow
Never forget that rainbows come from a source: white light. Rainbows are made of light and water. They do not come from the earth. While we can use paints and pigments to create rainbows of our own, when the colors are mixed together, they cannot create the color white. They create black. The materials we use to make paints and pigments come from the earth, or terra. Choose to make of your life something higher. Choose to remember who you were, who you are, and who you are destined to become: a child of Light. Make it grow bigger and better – magnify – that part of you, just like you would with a concave lens, a prism or even face-to-face mirrors. Become more than what you are now. Become a Celestial child of Light: nurturing all that is virtuous, lovely and of good report, or of the light, into the rainbow of your life.
Hurrah For Israel!
I was thinking about colors in the Gospel more today and remembered when the children of Isreal were commanded to build a house unto the Lord. The high priest wore a breastplate as part of his ceremonial garments. Every stone represents one of the 12 Tribes of Israel. Looks like a rainbow to me…
- Another interesting link… Apparently there were lots of rules about the construction and appearance breastplate: It was that important to God. I find the symbolism interesting of it being WOVEN of specific and different-colored fibers (Mosiah 18:21?) Didn’t know this until today. And yes, they were correct that each tribe’s name was actually engraved on the stones… plus there were remembrance stones on each shoulder.
- “This garment is called choshen mishpat in Hebrew, which means the “breastplate of judgment” or “decision.” Square-shaped and worn over the heart, it was called so because of the unique role which it played in helping to render fateful decisions.” Soberly, seriously making a fateful decision sounds so much less mean and bigoted than being judgmental… doesn’t it?
- Don’t forget, as well, that the breastplate held the Urim and Thummim.
- The armor of God? Or more specifically, the breastplate of righteousness? It never occurred to me that the Savior wears it, too. The situation Isaiah describes sounds like now, right now (Isaiah 59:11-17, Ephesians 6:14)
- Hmmm… another complete rainbow circle is formed by the camp formation of the Israelites… and… what are they circling? Latter-day Saints would find this interesting (Mosiah 2:6).
- Folks that are “into” the energy of stones, gems and crystals could also study out the why’s and wherefores of the individual tribes, and the arguments over exactly which stone is which, since Bible translators weren’t always sure of the name of the stone given.
- (Sidetone: Each tribe has its own animal, maybe kind of like the first team mascots? Ooh-rah!)
- Then there were also flags or banners for each tribe of Israel. (Psst, and they are in all the colors of the RAINBOW too!) How’s that for being an uncanny echo from this week on social media with the cry of some to ban the Confederate and U.S. flags?
So hold your banner high AND hold your colors close to your heart.
Lift Up Your Hearts! Lift Up Your Voice!
As stated earlier in this album, rainbows always show up at significant times in my life. While discussing everything going on on FB today with my family over supper, I happened to glance up at the window and beheld what I felt like was a little love letter from my Heavenly Father in the sky (pictured just above). Another insight that came today: Adding up all these gospel-centered elements surrounding the token of the rainbow, (it is not called a sign, it is called a token)… could it be that the rainbow is, essentially, a symbol for the Millennium?
Why do I think so? How would I comfort faithful Noah, if I were God, and could see him, mourning for family he had lost, friends, church members, so many! So many! (2 Sam 19:4, Matt 23:37, Mormon 6:17-19). Wouldn’t he be pleading with me not to let it happen again? I think he would. And so I could promise him not to destroy man again, at least not by flood. And maybe he wouldn’t like that answer, and maybe I would have to tell him I couldn’t promise more than that. And maybe he would ask me why, when all he wanted was peace and love on earth! And I would tell him that would only happen when mankind were obedient to the laws of God. And he might ask me if that day would ever come. And I would promise him it would. Just one more destruction, this time by fire, and then, it would. And I would build him a beautiful rainbow to show him that I meant it, and comfort his heart.
We Can Do This Thing. We Can Be Wise.
I don’t want to feel like Noah did when the doors of the ark were closed to all others… but I don’t want to be out there meeting my death in the terrifying storm, either. 😦 I wish we could all want it. Then we could all arrive safely home together. Don’t say it can never be! Don’t believe it can never be, because then it will never be (Moses 5:13)! The people of Enoch accomplished it. For four generations the peoples of the Americas accomplished it. It was a choice they individually made, but I imagine it was much easier to do in the unity of being in a society of one mind and heart. For now, each must mind his own lamps as the darkness falls, keeping our lamps lit and trimmed, with oil in our vessels, waiting for the Bridegroom to come.
President Spencer W. Kimball (1899–1985) discussed what the oil symbolizes and why it cannot be shared with those who are foolish: “The kind of oil that is needed to illuminate the way and light up the darkness is not shareable. How can one share obedience to the principle of tithing; a mind at peace from righteous living; an accumulation of knowledge? How can one share faith or testimony? How can one share attitudes or chastity, or the experience of a mission? How can one share temple privileges? Each must obtain that kind of oil for himself. … “In the parable, oil can be purchased at the market. In our lives the oil of preparedness is accumulated drop by drop in righteous living. Attendance at sacrament meetings adds oil to our lamps, drop by drop over the years. Fasting, family prayer, home teaching, control of bodily appetites, preaching the gospel, studying the scriptures—each act of dedication and obedience is a drop added to our store. Deeds of kindness, payment of offerings and tithes, chaste thoughts and actions, marriage in the covenant for eternity—these, too, contribute importantly to the oil with which we can at midnight refuel our exhausted lamps” (Faith Precedes the Miracle , 255–56).
I Have A Dream
I wait for the day when the promises of God are fulfilled, for you and for me… and Zion of our God is here again! Maran-atha!
- Lyrics: One night I dreamed a dream; I saw a noble city with those who were so pure and of one mind and heart. Oh what joy, peace and love filled the souls of Zion. At dawn when I awoke, I looked around with longing. And lo, beauty was there! I felt the joy and light. Then I knew and the dream burst forth and was Zion.
I heard this song as a child. It’s another one of those songs I remember from their days in LDS seminary. It was my favorite one from the whole Gates of Zion series and has always evoked tender feelings. Lord, sustain me, sustain my people. Help us find and hold onto beauty in this dark day until it grows and overcomes all evil. Oh, let me be a part of it!
- In this way we will be emancipated through the blessing and aid of God upon us, and in this way the earth will be redeemed from the power of Satan: The more people obey the laws of God as God has revealed them and as they are embodied in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the nearer they approach unto God, the more they become like Him, the more power they get over themselves and over the adversary. – George Q. Cannon. (Gospel Truth, 1:86-88)
- When Satan is bound in a single life—the Millennium has already begun in that home, in that life. (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, 172)
The Rainbow Connection… get it?
Why are there so many songs about rainbows and what’s on the other side?
“Rainbows are visions but only illusions.” and “Rainbows have nothing to hide.”
So we’ve been told and some choose to believe it.
I know they’re wrong, wait and see
Some day we‘ll find it – the rainbow connection – the lovers, the dreamers, and me.
Who said that every wish would be heard and answered when wished on the *Morning Star?
Somebody thought of that and someone believed it and look what it’s done so far!
What’s so amazing that keeps us stargazing? And what do we think we might see?
Some day we’ll find it – the rainbow connection – the lovers, the dreamers, and me.
All of us under its spell! We know that it’s probably magic!
Have you been half asleep and have you heard voices?
I’ve heard them calling my name
Is this the sweet sound that called the young sailors?
The voice might be one in the same
I’ve heard it too many times to ignore it.
It’s something that I’m supposed to be 🌈
Some day we’ll find it – the rainbow connection – the lovers, the dreamers, and me.
La da da di da da dum da duh da da dum di da ohhh
*A note on a lyric from Kermit’s song: The Bright and Morning Star is another name for Jesus Christ. This is fascinating because of what is happening currently in astronomy.
I believe in Jesus Christ. I testify of him. No magic, he’s real… and America, he’s calling my name and he’s calling yours (Luke 18:22, Ether 2:12, Isaiah 5:25, Alma 5:37).