Here a Jubilee, There a Jubilee

First Prayer of the First Continental Congress

First Prayer of the First Continental Congress

What if I were to tell you that this "promised land" of North America appears to have its very own modern Jubilee cycle? What if I were to tell you that it began the year spanning 1782-1783 - the year the United States was granted its independence? What exactly would that mean for us?

We ought to understand that 50th year jubilee "sabbaths" were never intended to be a means of calculating when wars, calamities and disaster would strike or when the stock market would take a beating, although those things can sometimes occur in correlation. The mere numbers involved ought to tell us something. According to ancient Israelite law, every 7 years is a sabbath year (dedicated to God), every 7 sets of 7 years (49 years) produces a complete set. What comes next as a result and product of a complete set is the numerical equivalence of a fullness; the number 50 = what is full.

Also embedded in the numbers is this equation: (3 squared) + (4 squared) + (5 squared) = 50.                                                                                         (9)            +      (16)         +     (25)  = 50           That is only a big deal because 3 is a number symbolic of heaven (the Godhead with its 3 members), 4 is representative of the earth (4 corners, 4 cardinal directions, etc) and 5 is highly indicative of grace or intercession (take a look at Exodus 26:3-37 where instruction for the temple include 5 curtains, 5 bars, 5 pillars, 5 sockets and an altar that is a 5 by 5 cube, etc). When we have these symbolic numbers squared (further emphasizing them) and united, the resultant number 50 should point our minds toward the unification of heaven and earth through covenant and through the power of Jesus Christ, the rightful King.

We only have to look as far as Joseph Smith's organizing of the "Council of Fifty," originally termed  the "Living Constitution," to understand more. In 1844 the Council of Fifty was established via revelation to the Prophet to symbolize and represent a future theocratic Kingdom of God on earth in preparation for the Millennium and 2nd coming of Jesus Christ. Fifty was not an arbitrary number.

President Joseph Fielding Smith said: “When Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon, he learned that America is the land of Zion which was given to Joseph and his children and that on this land the City Zion, or New Jerusalem, is to be built. He also learned that Jerusalem in Palestine is to be rebuilt and become a holy city. These two cities, one in the land of Zion and one in Palestine, are to become capitals for the kingdom of God during the millennium” (Doctrines of Salvation, 3:71). h/t lds.org

President Joseph Fielding Smith said: “When Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon, he learned that America is the land of Zion which was given to Joseph and his children and that on this land the City Zion, or New Jerusalem, is to be built. He also learned that Jerusalem in Palestine is to be rebuilt and become a holy city. These two cities, one in the land of Zion and one in Palestine, are to become capitals for the kingdom of God during the millennium” (Doctrines of Salvation, 3:71). h/t lds.org

In a nutshell, "50" points us to places where heaven and earth meet. And that is what a Jubilee year SHOULD be -- a lifting up the earth a little closer toward heaven...approaching Zion. No one, to my knowledge, has ever done this without the promises exchanged between God and man that we call covenants. And there are some serious covenants forming a bond between heaven and earth in two places that I know of: the old Jerusalem and the New Jerusalem which will be built right here in the heart of the United States of America. 

In a previous post, other modern-day jubilee years have been mentioned: 1831, 1880, 1929, and 1978. How could we have failed to connect this cycle up to 1782-83? Because this author failed to recognize that covenants did not begin with the Restoration of the Gospel, but that they have applied to this land from the very beginning. We have record of two previous civilizations to whom was given the same blessed ground where Adam saw fit to dwell. The Jaredites and Nephites kept their covenants in turn and then ultimately broke them and the Promised Land was swept clean of them both.

Just as the ancient Israelites were not commanded to observe the Jubilee until they "[came] into the land" that the Lord had given them, perhaps the jubilee cycle of the land of the New Jerusalem did not begin until we had properly "come into" the land and had inherited it legally and lawfully by means of the American Revolutionary War.  

1. And the Lord spake unto Moses in mount Sinai, saying,
2. Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye come into the land which I give you, then shall the land keep a sabbath unto the Lord...
8. And thou shalt number seven sabbaths of years unto thee, seven times seven years; and the space of the seven sabbaths of years shall be unto thee forty and nine years.
9. Then shalt thou cause the trumpet of the jubilee to sound...
10. And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof...
17. Ye shall not therefore oppress one another; but thou shalt fear thy God: for I am the Lord your God.
18. Wherefore ye shall do my statutes, and keep my judgments, and do them; and ye shall dwell in the land in safety.
— Leviticus 25
The Liberty Bell, inscribed by the Founding Fathers with Leviticus 25:10 "Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof"

The Liberty Bell, inscribed by the Founding Fathers with Leviticus 25:10 "Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof"

If we follow the modern jubilee cycle back in time to 1782-83, we discover the birth of a nation - the exact moment when this covenant people of the United States of America legitimately came into the land. At the beginning of the Hebrew year, the spring of 1782, there were the Peace talks in Paris between Benjamin Franklin and Richard Oswald of Britain. That summer, the British evacuated Savannah, Georgia. At the height of the Hebrew year, in November of 1782, a preliminary peace treaty was signed in Paris, recognizing American independence and the boundaries of the United States, along with the promise of British withdrawal from America. February of 1783 (still within the Hebrew calendar year) saw England officially declaring an end to hostilities in America and the year culminated in April with Congress officially declaring an end to the Revolutionary War.

What does America's independence have to do with the coming together of heaven and earth, I WONDER? I can think of a few things: not only was the stage set for the Restoration of the Kingdom of God on earth (i.e. the restored Church), but there was a fulfillment of major scriptural prophecy concerning this land having no other king besides Christ Himself. We inched that much closer to the establishment of Zion here on the earth. And that is at the heart of what the Jubilee is all about. 

What does this mean for us? It means that, let's count... 1782, 1831, 1880, 1929, 1978....yes, that's right - 2027 is still poised to be an exceptional year for Zion and the building up of the New Jerusalem on this, the American continent. And it is further evidence to me of the hand of God over this nation and the confidence that "[His] word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled (D&C 1:38)." I am also reminded that we must not default on our covenants as a people in possession of this, a sacred, "promised" land but that we, too, have promises to keep to Him. 

What say ye?