Sunday, March 27, 2011


Powers of Heaven

Just some thoughts off the cuff here as I consider two verses from D&C Section 84:
118 For, with you saith the Lord Almighty, I will rend their kingdoms; I will not only shake the earth, but the starry heavens shall tremble.
119 For I, the Lord, have put forth my hand to exert the powers of heaven; ye cannot see it now, yet a little while and ye shall see it, and know that I am, and that I will come and reign with my people.

I had two thoughts while reading this: First, I remember some other verses using the term powers of heaven, and second, I remember a verse about the stars being angry and casting themselves down. Are the starry heavens trembling and the powers of heaven, which shall be "shaken" according to some verses, the same, related or completely different?

These are the other scriptures that use the term powers of heaven:
Doctrine and Covenants 121:36
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.

-This is the one most often quoted in conference talks and other references by the general authorities to the powers of heaven. The rights of the priesthood being inseparably connected therewith. So the powers of heaven have some reference to the priesthood (or rather govern the use of the priesthood)?

Moses 7:27
And Enoch beheld angels descending out of heaven, bearing testimony of the Father and Son; and the Holy Ghost fell on many, and they were caught up by the powers of heaven into Zion.

Luke 21:26
Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.

-This is what I was thinking of, references to the powers of heaven being shaken. But how does that relate to the priesthood connection? Is this a completely different meaning for the "powers of heaven" as in the things that we can see in the physical heavens rather than the priesthood or righteousness?

Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:33
And immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of heaven shall be shaken.

3 Nephi 20:22
And behold, this people will I establish in this land, unto the fulfilling of the covenant which I made with your father Jacob; and it shall be a New Jerusalem. And the powers of heaven shall be in the midst of this people; yea, even I will be in the midst of you.

-This seems relate back to the priesthood connection again - or Jesus Christ himself.

3 Nephi 28:7
Therefore, more blessed are ye, for ye shall never taste of death; but ye shall live to behold all the doings of the Father unto the children of men, even until all things shall be fulfilled according to the will of the Father, when I shall come in my glory with the powers of heaven.

Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:36
And, as I said before, after the tribulation of those days, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken, then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven, and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn; and they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory;

This verse D&C 21:6 (and others) make reference to the heavens shaking for good:
For by doing these things the gates of hell shall not prevail against you; yea, and the Lord God will disperse the powers of darkness from before you, and cause the heavens to shake for your good, and his name’s glory.

And this verse Doctrine and Covenants 88:87 talks about the stars being angry and casting themselves down:
87 For not many days hence and the earth shall tremble and reel to and fro as a drunken man; and the sun shall hide his face, and shall refuse to give light; and the moon shall be bathed in blood; and the stars shall become exceedingly angry, and shall cast themselves down as a fig that falleth from off a fig tree.

-So where does all this go? We have powers of heaven connected to priesthood, heaven and the powers of heaven being shaken (for good?), and stars becoming angry and casting themselves down. All sparked (in my mind) by two verses referencing the starry heavens shaking and the Lord reaching forth to exert the powers of heaven. All having reference to the last days. I am intrigued by the angry stars because it could be simply stars falling (meteors or other phenomena), or it could have reference to something earthly, as in kings, princes, nobles, leaders becoming angry and falling from their positions. (This latter idea is from something I read a year or so ago by Sir Isaac Newton as he attempted to decipher the Book of Revelation. While I found him uninspired, it was at least interesting.) I haven't found a satisfactory discussion in modern revelation about the meanings here, so I have to assume it hasn't been given, or it is simply obvious and I'm just not bright enough to see it.

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