Come Follow Me Follow Up- Wait, Who Is Elias?

– Who was on the Mount of Transfiguration?

– Further information about Elias and Elijah

I do not make any conclusions on this topic. I only try to put some information out there about this nebulous concept of Elias/Elijah. This is, as are all of my podcasts, simply my opinion and I am only inviting you to go on this journey of my own thought processes in regards to this doctrine.


Raw Transcript


“Thou Art the Christ” Follow-Up


all right so this episode is going to

serve as a follow-up to the come follow

me lessons for this study week right now

and looking at mostly Matthew 17 and

mark 9 where we have talked about the

Mount of Transfiguration I’ve had a

couple of questions that have come up to

me about Elias and even though we’ve

covered this a few times again this is a

very nebulous concept because we just

don’t know enough about it and I’ve had

some references given to me about Elijah

being on the Mount of Transfiguration

and that Elias refers to Elijah so let

me cover those real quick and then I

want to back up a little bit and

give a little bit of an explanation

again on Elias and Elijah these are very

crucial to understanding the higher and

the lower laws but there is not anything

conclusive yet I believe so I’m not

going to give any conclusions here but I

am going to give you some information

and some food for thought here about who

was actually on the Mount of

Transfiguration the references that were

given to me was first a an article

written on or at least placed on by Larry Dahl Tahl and he goes

over who was on the Mount of

Transfiguration and he quotes mostly

Bruce or McConkey on this and basically

the gist is that when Matthew 17 is

talking about Moses and Elias that it is

Moses and Elijah the Prophet from Israel

that called down the fire

and listen to the still small voice and

I want to talk a little bit more about

that that’s a real possibility by the

way it’s a real possibility that he was

there it would make sense right that

Elijah was there on the Mount of

Transfiguration where he is known as the

holder of the keys to the temptu temple

work to turning the hearts of the

father’s to the children and for the

children to the father’s and etc but

let’s delve in just a little bit more I

wanted to wait more to really delve into

Elias and Elijah to do a full

exploration of this concept but I think

that because come follow me

and it’s a great thing has given us more

more of a desire I think to study for

Sunday-school undoubtedly I know that my

listeners here are going to go to gospel

doctrine class on Sunday and there’s

going to be some discussion about what

this means about Elias being on the

Mount of Transfiguration so I want to

add a little bit more clarification so

you have a little bit more information

when things are discussed in in Sunday

school especially so let’s cover this so

Bruce R McConkey basically says that

Elias is Elijah the Prophet you can go

back all the way to James II Tallmadge in

Jesus the Christ and he also discusses

this a little very very briefly I was a

little surprised I hadn’t read Jesus

Christ in a long time but when I went

back to look at what he had said he

doesn’t really cover much of this but he

does at a minimum imply and pretty much

puts it out there that this is that

Elias is the prophet Elijah so looking

at Matthew 17 again and you might want

to go back and go to the episode again

that covers the Transfiguration

if you’ve already listened to a once but

go back to that episode of the podcast

and listen again to Matthew 17 and the

Mount of Transfiguration but Matthew 17

basically says that Peter James and John

go up to the Mount of Transfiguration

with Christ and the only names that are

brought up there that are the visitors

are Moses and Elias okay so it’s very

possible that there was a much larger

group there it’s very possible that many

individuals could have been there other

translated beings especially that would

have been providing keys to Peter James

and John because that’s basically what’s

happening here they are receiving the

keys of the fullness of the keys of the

kingdom from those that have held them

in the past just like we happened with

Joseph Smith when he was visited by many

resurrected beings at that time because

that’s post resurrection and the keys

were restored to him and Elijah and

Peter James and John of course and John

the Baptist all came and others came to

restore and Moses came to restore the

keys of the of the priesthood

so Elias and Elijah who is this Elias is

it really Elijah the prophet well you

decide on this but let me just throw out

the information there and the thought

process that I’ve had to go through to

see this because if you did happen to

watch the video on this episode you will

see that there is artwork that I had

inserted into the video that has Peter

James and John on the ground usually and

Christ up in the center and two other

figures that are with him sometimes up

in the cloud and there’s no doubt that

for the most part in most of these if

not all of them the artists intention

here is that those two figures that are

up with Christ are

our Moses and the prophet Elijah and yet

I’m sitting there talking about Moses

and John the Baptist in the episode and

there’s a reason for that and I’m going

over that now so I’m getting there all

right so in Matthew 17 I want to go to

the Joseph Smith translation of Matthew

17 where we talk about Elias here so

this is what it says and Jesus answered

and said unto them Elias truly shall

come first so remember he’s responding

to Peter James and John asking about

isn’t Elias supposed to come first

that’s what the scribes all say the

scribes I’ll say that Elias comes first

to restore all things

it’s very cryptic and they’re asking

isn’t he supposed to come first and

Jesus answered and said unto them Elias

truly shall come first and restore all

things as the prophets have written he

inserts in there and again I say unto

you that Elias has come so here he’s

saying Elias will come to restore all

things that’s one Elias or one Elijah

right Elias is the Greek form of Elijah

but there’s another Elias that he’s

referring to is that has come already

and this is what is inserted he says

concerning whom it is written behold I

will send my messenger and he shall

prepare the way before me we know that’s

from Isaiah and others and other

prophets and that this refers to John

the Baptist and they knew him not said

Jesus and have done unto him whatsoever

they listed likewise shall also the Son

of man suffer of them but I say unto you

who is Elias this is important but I say

to you who is a life so they’re asking

specifically who is this Elias that is

supposed to come first

behold this is Elias whom I send to

prepare the way before me who is that

that’s John the Baptist

then the disciples understood that he

spake unto them of John the Baptist or

that’s the in the King James Version

that’s not that Joseph Smith portion and

here Joseph Smith adds in after that and

also of another so he’s speaking also of

another who should come and restore all

things as it is written by the prophets

so there are two difference in the only

term used in here is the Greek Elias not

the Hebrew Elijah that there is one that

comes from before and if to prepare

things and then there is another that

comes to restore all things okay two

different elias’s or two different

Elijah’s that is being talked about but

the focus on this is John the Baptist

that they are that that Jesus is

speaking of and by the way you remember

that when John the Baptist was in prison

and he sent a couple of his disciples to

go see Jesus and they asked who he was

and we’re kind of confirming that he was

the Messiah Jesus said this is Elias

he’s talking about himself so in other

words Jesus isn’t Elijah Jesus isn’t

Elias and he is one that also was a

restorer because he restored the

Melchizedek Priesthood in the fullness

of the gospel and there you have again

going back to the iconic picture of John

the Baptist baptizing Jesus Christ it is

the Aaronic priesthood and the

Melchizedek Priesthood it is the

preparer John the Baptist and the

restorer Jesus Christ so the two elias’s

the two Elijah’s right that are there so

that clarifies a little bit but not

enough we need to keep going here now we

also need to talk about what Peter says

about the Tabernacles as they’re in

this vision Peter asks Jesus

should we make three Tabernacles one for

you one for Moses and one for Elias now

we know that John the Baptist we know

that John the Baptist was on the Mount

of Transfiguration so at least according

to these three Tabernacles that Peter is

recommending be built the only people

that we know of the only names that we

know of are Moses Jesus and Elias and so


it appears that who Elias is being

spoken of here is actually John the

Baptist okay but it’s those three for

sure it is Jesus Moses and Elias so keep

that in mind right only three people

another thing to remember is that I

think that this whole concept has got to

be put into perspective and to context

based on what Joseph Smith was

developing with a certain doctrine when

he was killed and when he was martyred

and that is the spirit of Elias and the

spirit of Elijah and so he was

developing this doctrine that he was

receiving information on and an

inspiration and as he studied more and

you know he’s really receiving light and

knowledge about this but he never really

really outlined everything on this and

didn’t speak much about it though he did

some and he had again two separate

elias’s are two separate Elijah’s one he

called Elias which was the preparer

and seemed to be more involved with the

ironic priesthood and one he had as the

that he would call Elijah which is Elias

but he used the Hebrew name Elijah which

was more to restore things or fullness

of doom like his Luke priest is being

focused in the temple where we talk

about the spirit of Elijah

so put

that into context there we see that

there are two different elias’s and the

Joseph Smith translation tells us that

also a preparer and a restorer so keep

that in mind and then let’s go to the

Joseph Smith translation of mark 9 verse

3 and this is also the Mount of

Transfiguration and I don’t know that

you can be more clear here what Joseph

Smith gives us about this it’s it says

very simply and there appeared unto them

Elias with Moses or in other words John

the Baptist and Moses and they were

talking with Jesus so again we have

these three Tabernacles that they’ve

talked about we only have three names

that we know of Moses Jesus and Elias

and very straightforward here

Joseph Smith says that in other words

it’s Elias and Moses in other words John

the Baptist in Moses that’s about as

clear as you can get now Bruce R

McConkey who has also said that it must

be that that it can only be basically

I’m paraphrasing here it can only be

Elijah that would be Elias on the on the

on the Mount of Transfiguration I don’t

know if that’s true

honestly I don’t know it could be James

II Tallmadge said the same thing but

Joseph Smith didn’t write Joseph Smith

didn’t so Joseph Smith is going through

and this is Scripture the Joseph Smith

translation and James II Tallmadge wrote

a book and Bruce R McConkey wrote a

book and they’re saying that

it’s Elijah so again that’s their

opinions so obviously very important to

distinguish between doctrine

and opinion a lot of opinions can

be written and in books by very inspired

people but they’re not always right when

they’re writing these books they may not

even be a profit or even an apostle at

the time that they write the books I had

that’s happened a lot in the past and in

fact it’s one of the biggest tools for

people that are critical of the church

and they’ll go back and they’ll grab one

of these books like Mormon doctrine from

Elder McConkey and read through it

and say hey look what elder McConkey

said about this and it’s something that

we have discounted or discredited even

in the church now why because that’s

their opinions

that’s all that’s their opinions and

it’s important that we understand that

that we take all that in understand

these are very inspired people that are

writing these books but that their books

and we want to read good books but

not everything in them is correct a lot

of this is going to be personal opinion

now I have a great deal of respect for

elder McConkey I’ve read all of his

works his book entitled a new witness to

the articles of faith was one of my

favorite books early in my life as I was

trying to really solidify an

understanding of the doctrine of the

gospel and his 1985 talk in testimony

which was very basically his

farewell testimony before he passed away

in the April conference of 1985 is one

of my favorite talks ever given in

General Conference but all the books

that he writes are not necessarily all

doctrine even when they’re called Mormon

doctrine right so he also is the author

of the Bible Dictionary now there was a

team that was working on this under

Spencer W Kimball but elder McConkey is

the one who is in charge of that and so

in the Bible

dictionary we get another comment about

Elias being Elijah I’m going to go there

alright so here in the Bible dictionary

under Elias this is what basically elder

McConkey gives us here he says and this

is not Scripture either it’s

inspired and now I’m going to get a bunch

of people that are mad at me for saying

this but the Bible dictionary is a study

help it is not the scripture it’s just

like a lot of the headings that we have

for example in the Bible the chapter


those aren’t Scripture there’s things

that we’ve written to help us out to

understand the scriptures more and

that’s what the Bible Dictionary is it’s

a tool to help us I read it all the time

I love reading the Bible Dictionary I’m

a little strange that way but it is

a tool an inspired tool to help us this

is what it says under Eliza says there

are several uses of this word in the

scriptures it is the New Testament Greek

form of Elijah which was Hebrew and then

he says that in for example the

mount of transfiguration he says elias

in these instances that example in

others can only be the ancient prophet

Elijah whose ministry is recorded in 1st

and 2nd kings

so he’s saying again here in the bible

dictionary that Elias has to be Elijah

that’s not what Joseph Smith said so

that’s where some questions here arise

and again the whole idea here that

Joseph Smith had sprung on us about this

spirit of Elias in the spirit of Elijah

without being able to finish it off is

very confusing because you can you can

see that even with church leaders and

great skip to script or Ian’s like elder

McConkey even though we see that right

in the Joseph Smith translation he’s

saying it’s Elijah where Joseph Smith

said it was John the Baptist and this is

what he says following that in but the

Bible Dictionary elder McConkey it says

the curious wording of Joseph Smith

translation 93

does not imply that Elias at the

Transfiguration was John the Baptist now

why is he saying curious he’s saying

curious because it seems to be very

plain in the Joseph Smith translation

that it is John the Baptist but he says

instead that it is it that in addition

to Elijah the Prophet John the Baptist

was present it’s not seems doesn’t seem

to be what is stated here but that

is what elder McConkey says I am not

giving you a conclusion here I’m just

trying to give you the information that

is out there because there’s

more than one statement here from a

prophet or an apostle or whoever it

might be about who Elias is and what

Elijah represents and I’m guessing I

believe this I think that in the future

there is going to be revelation that is

given to us that clarifies more the

Spirit of Elias and the spirit of Elijah

that is for whatever reason has been

held back from us and that we will

receive this revelation and it will

clarify not just things like the Mount

of Transfiguration but much much more

probably about the ironic and the meketa

clause and the ironic and logistic

priesthood and in fact down a little

further here older McConkey in the bible

dictionary says under Elias in this

particular instance there is reflected

also the comparative functions of the

Aaronic and Melchizedek priesthoods I

think he’s spot-on with that and he

talks about Elias being a title now a

little bit more let’s get a little bit

more into this and follow through on

this journey just a little bit more on

Elias that I know of and I certainly

haven’t read everything in fact I’d love

to see if there’s more on this maybe you

guys if you have the books

on the joseph smith papers that might

cover some of this I have not gone

through much of that but maybe he talks

more about it and maybe that would

clarify a little bit more but as far as

I know from what I’ve seen from like

teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith

and sermons that he’s given where he

brings up Elias as far as I know all

he’s ever said is of who was on the

Mount of Transfiguration is Moses and

Elias he doesn’t bring up Elijah at all

he just brings up Elias and now that

could be Elijah it’s just odd that he

would not use the Hebrew name Elijah

which we know the prophets went by the

Prophet went by in the Old Testament so

that’s another issue that this seems

strange to me and then we get to use

elder macaques word the curious visions

in Doctrine and Covenants section 110

and this is where visions were given to

Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery in

Kirtland in the temple and different

people that came and restored keys to

them just like what is happening here on

the Mount of Transfiguration and this is

what happens and this is interesting he

says they’re having a vision and then he

says after this first vision then after

this vision this is verse 11 after this

vision closed the heavens were again

opened unto us and Moses appeared this

is uncurl ‘end and he 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 so

that would make sense that a

transfigured Moses we know he was

transfigured would be on the Mount of

Transfiguration conferring the keys of

the gathering of Israel to Peter James

and John right but then this happens in

verse 12 after this

Elias appeared and committed the

dispensation of the gospel of Abraham

saying that in us and our seed all

generations after us should be blessed

who is that

well we’re told elsewhere I’m going to

need to get this reference but we’re

told elsewhere that a lie there was a

man a prophet named Elias interestingly

again Joseph Smith uses the term Elias

as a Greek name for someone who lived at

the time of Abraham when you would be

using Hebrew you know you’d think that

this would be a Hebrew name

he’s does this elsewhere in the Doctrine

and Covenants where he uses Greek names

for ancient prophets I’m thinking of the

the prophet Isaiah there is a

prophet named Isaiah but he uses the

Greek word Isaiah’s in the I believe it

is in Section 84 or 107 but I think it’s

section 84 where he’s talking about the

the priesthood down line so to speak the

succession of priesthood authority

coming from Abraham down to Jethro and

then to Moses and he uses the name

Esaias yes I yes which is the Greek form

of Isaiah so here is Moses first and

then Elias

now is this Elijah no how do we know

that because in verse 13 it says after

this vision had closed another great and

glorious vision burst upon us for Elisha

the prophet who was taken to heaven

without tasting death stood before us

and said behold the time has fully come

and he goes on so this is Elijah now

so in this instance we have Moses and

then Elias apparently this man this

Prophet Elias from the time of Abraham

and then Elijah separately each giving

different keys to Joseph Smith and

Oliver Cowdery so that’s another thing

to think about here Elias who appears

right after Moses just like in the

amount of Transfiguration you know that

the name right after Moses Elias is

not Elijah here it is somebody else it

is the only name we know this profit by

is Elias and interestingly maybe in some

way he was a preparer maybe he was a

preparer for Abraham in some way or

maybe he was a restorer for another part

of the Middle East somewhere where he

restored all things just like Abraham

did we don’t know but again Elias here

does not refer to Elijah but somebody

else and then the last reference I’m

going to go to is another section in the

Doctrine and Covenants and this is the

last section which is 138 and as you

recall this is Joseph F Smith s– vision

about baptisms for the dead and in this

vision he sees a number of prophets not

just a small number a lot of the

prophets and he lists them out and this

is what he said he’s talked about

Daniel and Isaiah and many many others

but then he but then he comes down and

says speaks of Daniel and then in verse

45 of section 138 he says and Elias who

was with Moses on the Mount of


so here Joseph F Smith doesn’t use again

the name Elijah that was with Moses

referring to the only other name given

to us on the Mount of trance

duration but he uses just like as it

does in the King James Version and in

the Joseph Smith translation he uses the

term Elias and not Elijah

so Elias who is with Moses on the Mount

of Transfiguration well does Joseph F

Smith mean Elijah well again we keep

following down here and we see no he

doesn’t mean Elijah here in verse 46 it

says and Malachi was another prophet

that was there in this vision the

prophet who testified of the coming of


so here obviously if he just used Elias

the verse before if that would have

meant Elijah

why is he now using the Hebrew word

Elijah the Hebrew name Elijah instead of

Elias again and he doesn’t say who was

also Elijah in when he refers to Elias

is he who was also Elijah of whom Moroni

spoke but no he says Malachi was there

the prophet who testified of the coming

of Elijah this is somebody else of whom

also Moroni spoke to the Prophet Joseph

Smith declaring that he should come

before the ushering in of the Great and

dreadful day of the Lord were also there

so they were also there and then the

next verse the prophet Elijah was to

plant the hearts of the children was to

plant in the hearts of the children the

promises made to their fathers he’s

referring to somebody else besides who

he’s speaking of previously who is named

Elias so that gives us a little bit more

to think about on this so when I use and

talk about the Mount of Transfiguration

for me and again these are I’m not I’m

certainly not anything close to a final

word on doctrine these are my opinions

that I’m gleaning from my own studies

and my own thought process but the only

person I really know for sure

was there along with Moses was John the

Baptist now if he’s there in spirit and

he did doesn’t have a transfigured body

which apparently he didn’t be tough I I

don’t know maybe somehow that could

happen after losing his head I’d be kind

of tough it seems like he already

died and then when you throw in that

there was actually a prophet named Elias

who is separate from the prophet Elijah

and that he also showed up to Joseph

Smith and Oliver Cowdery in a temple

setting like the Mount of

Transfiguration to restore keys

it puts even more ambiguity more

cloudiness into what this means about

the Spirit of Elias and the spirit of

Elijah for example is this other prophet

named Elias is that where maybe all of

this idea about an Elias comes from and

‘cause why don’t we hear about I don’t know

what why is that where maybe all this

comes from he is Elijah the Prophet who

would be have lived much later than

Elias the prophet in the time of Abraham

is he named after him or has he given a

similar title to Elias the Prophet

because he is going to be one who comes

and restores later on a lot of questions

that would come up here so when you go

to church and you sit in your gospel

doctrine class and you hear about what

elder McConkey has said or what brother

doll has said understand that they might

be totally right but that there are

other things to consider here and many

other facts and references good facts

and references that cloud that quite a

bit and so you kind of have to decide

for now without having further

revelation which of those are the more

it most important to you for me

that’s why I brought up the episode the

way that I did I don’t know for sure if

that’s Elijah that’s just my opinion it

seems based on what Joseph Smith says in

the Joseph Smith translation that he’s

speaking of John the Baptist

so anyway Elias times to given to you

again who is who who is on the Mount of

Transfiguration I don’t think we really

know thanks for listening to this I’ll

talk to you next


Larry E. Dahl Article…

Bible Dictionary- ‘Elias’…

D&C Section 110…

D&C Section 138… Elias/Elijah Section

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