It came from behind the sun

I’m an avid reader of While it’s not as popular as, it focuses on stuff that fascinates me – asteroids, planets, comets, sunspots, auroras, geomagnetic storms and meteors. It is hosted by Dr. Tony Phillips of NASA, who is a long time participant in communicating the science of astronomy to the world.

If you go visit, you’ll notice that Dr. Phillips is happy to post photos and videos of space phenomenon submitted by amateur observers from all over the world. They are always enjoyable and educational. He also has a table of known near earth asteroids that he keeps updated for those who follow this stuff.

Tracking space objects

There are people whose job it is to watch for these Potentially Hazardous Asteroids and notify important people if one gets too close. Of course, the media is usually all over the story when we know one is coming close and write it up in a way that generates interest. They usually throw in some element of fear of total destruction.

And just to show that we really don’t know everything that’s out there, an asteroid came within 8,700 miles the other day. That’s just slightly more than the diameter of the earth. Asteroid 2009 VA was discovered only fifteen hours before its closest approach by astronomers at the Catalina Sky Survey. Luckily, it was very small.

Small objects burn up

An object the size of asteroid 2009 VA, which is a little less than twenty feet, will just burn up in the atmosphere and create a spectacular fireball as it disintegrates. The fact that it was discovered only hours before it came by should give us some cause to think. We just don’t always see the things that are coming at us in space.

I suppose if an object were bigger, say more on the scale of a small moon or planet, it would be much easier to spot in advance. I imagine the people who watch the skies for us would be able to give us months, perhaps even years of warning. Or would they? You see, it all depends on the direction from which it is arriving.

Nobody saw it coming

Just last month, an asteroid that was about thirty feet across came undetected into our atmosphere and exploded only about ten miles above the surface of the earth in Indonesia. It created quite a panic in the local area and some quick thinking individual even got it on video, or at least the trailing smoke that it left behind.

Nobody saw this one coming. It was just too small. That’s not surprising since there are so few resources dedicated to watching the skies. We have been more interested in the bigger ones, usually over 35 feet that are easier to spot. But even if we catalog all that we can find, the sun still hides a lot of them from our view.

Hard to see objects near the sun

Objects between earth and the sun are hard to spot because of the glare of the sun. Asteroids do not emit light, but reflect it from the sun. About the only way to see one between us and the sun is if we see it as a miniscule dark spot in photos taken of the sun. That’s one reason why so many amateur astronomers watch the sun.

But what about objects that are coming toward the sun from the opposite side of the solar system in such a way that makes it impossible to see until they come around or past the sun? Such objects could be quite large and we would not be able to see them until a few weeks or possibly even just days before they arrive.

Orbital telescopes watch the Sun

If you are familiar with STEREO, then you know that we have two satellites in orbit around the sun both ahead of and behind the earth. They give us a different viewing angle of the sun that is tremendously helpful in making observations. But they are designed for sun observations and are always pointed directly at it.

Canada announced that they would launch a satellite that will be the first to search for objects that are between us and the sun. It hasn’t launched yet (maybe 2010), but it is hoped that it will help us find another fifty of the little buggers that we need to be watching but can’t see from earth. These are called the Aten asteroids.

Objects hidden behind the sun

I’m sure you are familiar with the Hubble telescope, one of the greatest boons to astronomy that is used and appreciated by scientists all over the world. The images captured by the Hubble have done more to advance our knowledge of the cosmos than just about any other scientific instrument that man has imagined and created.

But what we don’t have, and probably won’t have for many years to come, is a space based telescope that allows us to look around the sun. Placed in the same orbit around the sun with the earth, but ahead or behind the earth, this would give us the ability to look beyond the sun for objects coming towards it and the earth.

The Ten Tribes are on a planet

That is of tremendous interest to me and to many who have thought about some of the teachings of the early brethren of the church in regards to the Ten Tribes and the City of Enoch. Yes, I am one of those who believe that they are off on some planet somewhere and that they will each return in time, the Ten Tribes being first.

I am not alone in this belief and have spent many years accumulating statements from early leaders of the church to support this position. However, this belief is not commonly taught or accepted today. In fact, Elder Bruce R. McConkie said it is a wholly false view of what is to be when it is paraphrased from the scriptures.

Ice shall flow down at their presence

He also said that the Ten Tribes will NOT return with ice flowing down at their presence, even though that precise phrase is used in D&C 133:26. I suspect that Elder McConkie was not familiar with the work of Talbott or Velikovsky who have explained how ice can flow between two planets in a synchronous orbit.

So the idea that the Ten Tribes are on a planet somewhere makes total sense to me. We have the word of many early members of the church who declared that Joseph Smith taught this very doctrine. The testimony of Wandle Mace is one that helps me to understand this better. He was a contemporary associate of Joseph Smith.

A portion of the earth was taken

Brother Mace said that Joseph was preaching on the subject of the restoration of all things. In the course of his remarks he spoke of the earth being divided at various times. He said, “When Enoch and his city was taken away, a portion of earth was taken and would again be restored.” He then said the same about the Ten Tribes.

Recorded Brother Mace, “These remarks satisfied me, it was no longer necessary to hunt the place on this earth where the Ten Tribes were so long hidden, for the earth was divided and taken away, and will be the first to return, as it was the last taken away. He shall command the great deep, and it shall be driven back into the north countries, and the islands shall become one land.” That makes sense to me.

The Ten Tribes will return

From the 10th article of faith we read, “We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon this the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.”

The literal gathering of Israel and the restoration of the Ten Tribes are two separate events. As we read in Section 110, the prophet holds these keys: “Moses appeared before us, and committed unto us the keys of the gathering of Israel from the four parts of the earth, and the leading of the ten tribes from the land of the north.”

Summary and conclusion

Orson Pratt taught that “…a portion of the Earth was by a miracle broken off…the Ten Tribes were taken away with it…in the latter days it would be restored to the Earth or be let down in the Polar regions.” Great changes will take place upon this earth. It will be restored and will be like it was in the days before it was divided.

Somewhere out there is a planet or a piece of this earth that is prophesied to return and be restored or reunited to this earth. The joining doesn’t have to make it one spherical unit. Think of a binary star or two planets joined together by a flow of electromagnetic energy between them. Ice will flow down when they are joined.

14 thoughts on “It came from behind the sun”

  1. Tim:

    Thanks for the information on space weather. It is absolutely fascinating. The link is a keeper.

    I am not a “10 tribes on another planet” kind of guy. The concept is too hard for me to imagine.

    I am glad to see you posting again.

  2. S.Faux: You are not alone. My ad hoc surveys show that about 95% of the church members feel the same way you do about the location of the lost ten tribes. But let’s remember a couple of things: 1) This is a fringe doctrine that is not central to our salvation and 2) Unless a living prophet comes right out and clearly teaches something about the subject, whatever we believe is pure speculation.

    I learned this doctrine when I was but a lad, growing up in the old Covina Stake here in Southern California. I remember some High Council speakers teaching on the subject and it intrigued me so I did some studying and digging. You don’t hear this idea taught much any more. In fact, the handbook specifically advises us to avoid speculation and controversial subjects when we speak from the pulpit.

    After several years of pondeirng and thinking about the creation of the earth, I’ve decided to revisit the topic in my next essay. I remember I got blasted when I first wrote about the ideas of evolution and the creation. I want to focus on several quotes of the early brethren who said that Joseph taught that this world was organized from the fragments of other, much older worlds.

    I think I’ve written several times that I am a Catastrophist and don’t believe in Uniformitarianism. I imagine you have engaged in dozens of dialogs about this. If fact, I’ve read many of your comments about this on various spots in the Bloggernacle. I hope you’ll come back and comment on what I offer. Knowing that you are an expert on the subject, I will greatly value your critiques.

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  4. Hate to say it but this quote is hearsay:
    “Brother Mace (said) that Joseph was preaching on the subject of the restoration of all things. In the course of his remarks he spoke of the earth being divided at various times. He said, “When Enoch and his city was taken away, a portion of earth was taken and would again be restored.” He then said the same about the Ten Tribes.”

  5. Hi Russ. Thanks for stopping by. Yes the quote is hearsay. Wandle Mace heard Joseph Smith say it. 🙂 He recorded it in his autobiography, which is found in the Harold B. Lee Library at BYU and can be read online at the quote I provided in the essay. Here is that link again in case you missed it. Search for “Ten Tribes” once you are in the document.

    Also read the poem from Eliza R. Snow, one of Joseph’s wives that R. Gary referred to in the link in his comment above. You can also find it in the Wandle Mace autobiography. This doctrine was clearly believed and taught in the early days of the church and even in my youth. Sadly, it is not commonly believed or taught today.

  6. It is very possible that the people of Enoch are on some other planet somewhere, but it seems rather clear that the Ten Tribes are located among the people of the earth and not in some group separate. Ephraim and Manasseh are among the ten missing tribes and they both are now in large number among the latter-day saints. The (restoration) of the ten lost tribes has been underway for some time. Yes, Eliza R. Snow was a plural wife of Joseph Smith, but that does not give her special knowledge that the rest of the saints did not have. Just as I would not follow the counsel of the Stake President’s wife in spiritual and temporal affairs instead of the him. I will listen to the actual writings of Joseph Smith or the later prophets. I know that every man has opinions as well including the Prophet, but unless something is in the scriptures or official doctrine it would be an error to follow it. Until there is an official explanation of D&C 133 I will leave it as a mystery. Besides, I have always looked at verse 26 as a symbolic representation of the last days.

    I think what this discussion comes down to in the end is that we just do not know and we will have to wait for ‘further light and knowledge’ to be revealed at some future date. As long as we do not become obsessive on points of mystery and allow it to distract us from the key doctrines of the gospel then I guess these suppositions are relatively harmless. We just should be cautious not to read more into the scriptures than has been revealed. We do not want to make the same mistake that the Jews made and reach beyond the mark. I will admit it would be kind of cool to have a giant chunk of earth land at the pole though. How cool it would be to witness such a miracle? But, I will continue to follow the gospel and not waste to much time in speculative scripture reading. 🙂

  7. Amen, Russ, Amen! Good advice. Thanks so much for returning and sharing additional thoughts. I’m with you that we do not want to becomes obsessive about and allow unrevealed mysteries to detract from the key doctrines of the gospel or consume us.

    As I shared with my good friend and fellow blogger S. Faux above, this subject is pure speculation and not at all central to our salvation. And of course, you are right about Eliza R. Snow. Brigham Young called her a prophetess, but she was not our prophet.

    I believe that what Eliza shared in her poems was considered common knowledge back in the early days of the church. This is evidenced by the quote from an early and well-respected apostle Orson Pratt in my essay. His brother Parley also taught the doctrine.

    Time has changed the way we view in the church this question of where the lost ten tribes are located. If it was common knowledge in the 1840’s, by 1910 less than 30% of the members of the church believed that they are not here among us on the earth.

    Again, as I noted in my comment to S. Faux, from my experience in discussing this concept with members of the church in my neck of the woods, less than 5% believe it today. The majority believe as you do that the lost tribes are dispersed among us.

    I think I have made it clear over the years through my essays here on Latter-day Commentary, I believe that the lost ten tribes of Israel are in a separate body and will join us at some future day. They will return just as the City of Enoch will return.

    The phrase “land of the North” is one that engenders much speculation. I do not believe that it refers to anyplace on this earth, but to a portion of the earth that used to be attached and to which the lost ten tribes ascended through miraculous means.

    Yes, it is dangerous to believe in and act upon false ideas and false doctrine, especially when it comes to our salvation. Like you, I too will continue to study and follow the gospel of Jesus Christ and not waste too much time in speculative scripture reading.

    My ideas about the giant chunk of earth landing at the pole have been refined over the years. I don’t believe there will be physical contact when it comes back and I don’t believe that it will reintegrate or reassemble in any way. It was always a separate body.

    I agree that we just do not know details of the lost ten tribes. I suspect that we are both right. Some from the ten tribes are indeed among us. Yet, there may be a large body of them somewhere separate. We know that they have prophets among them.

    We also know that the Savior visited them after his visit to the Nephites in ancient America. And we know that when they return, they will bring their records with them. These records will include their dealings with the Savior and with John the Revelator.

    Thank you again for your additional comments and for your caution. I am honored that you took the time to share your thoughts on the subject. I recognize that I am a bit of a maverick on this idea, but I assure you that I do not teach this in official settings.

    As a long time teacher in the church, I follow Elder Packer’s direction about what I teach from the pulpit or in the classroom. I only teach that which is found in the authorized and current manuals of the church. I leave the speculation for my blog.

  8. Tim:

    You and I agree on about 97% of everything, and so I am NOT too inclined to hassle you about the 3% we differ on. True, I absolutely love traditional scientific interpretations of earth origins, etc., but you and I BOTH know that the gospel comes FIRST.

    Besides, you are one of a tiny handful of individuals on the Bloggernacle who could cause me to actually shut up, pause, and wonder if I might be wrong. I mean that as a very high compliment.

  9. I’m very interested in the reality of translated individuals. We know from scripture that those who repented at the time of Noah, for example, were caught up to be with the Lord, so these incidents are not confined to the time of Enoch.

    Besides John the Beloved and the three Nephites, there were other obedient Christians who were translated. I think it’s safe to assume Moses and his brother Aaron were translated, as well as Elijah. Also, the brothers Nephi and Lehi appear to have been translated. Whether there were more individuals or peoples translated we do not know as yet.

    At one time, we were all angels and dwelt in heaven together. It is logical to assume that heaven it is a series of planets on a higher order, the divine order. It’s not far-fetched to think of going to heaven without experiencing mortal death. From the scriptures, it seems evident that many of the righteous of this generation will be caught up to be with the Lord before the destruction of the wicked occurs.

    It’s probably safe to assume that all the saints whose missions were on this earth will be reunited at some time in the near future, probably at the Second Coming before the Millennial reign, and that we will no longer dwell exclusively here.

  10. I think we need to be wary about developing theories based on our own conjectures or on comments from other members of the church.

    That said, we know that the entire City of Enoch was translated and will return during the Second Coming. The scriptures say that Zion from above will be reunited with Zion from beneath. Personally, I think that this homecoming will be a simple process that is less impressive than the joy the saints experience.

    Apparently, King Melkizedek and the City of Salem were likewise translated. The scriptures that we currently have do not give us enough information on this, but it would be great to find out more.

    When the righteous of this time are reunited with the righteous of ages past, it will be a glorious day indeed. I hope many of us are present to see the promises of the Lord fulfilled.

  11. I am immensely enjoying your information on the ten tribes. I also run an identical themed blog (alot less mature in its content) and say emphatically that you are spot on in what you are laying out here on the ten tribes. You are the first person that thinks identically and completely in harmony with my line of thinking (and with that of the early brethren). You prepared for your mission just as I did and received remarkable personal revelation that has laid the foundation for your faith and further personal growth. Because you have done the hard things to achieve this state of thinking, you will be one of the few that is able to see things as they are when the hard things happen that will come to pass shortly. It truly will a be a great and a dreadful day when the Lord appears.
    As catastrophists, you and I both know the awesome things that will transpire as the “everlasting hills tremble” in the events leading up to the grand finale.

    You probably have blogged it already (and I just have not come across it), but we are about to enter a civil war in this country that will shake it from coast to coast. Read my blog to see the supporting research on that. I am one of the few people that sees it coming. Like the ten tribes adherents (who are few and far between), there are few who recognize the Book of Mormon as the manual that it is for dealing with the extreme difficulties of war in your own land. There is dualism in Section 87 as I always say.

    Keep up the great work!

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