1. Mark Greene

    Perhaps Enoch was also give the token of the rainbow. “And the bow shall be in the cloud, and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant, which I made unto thy father Enoch: that when men men should keep all my commandments, Zion should come again on the earth, the city of Enoch” (JST Genesis 9:21). This promise gives a particular meaning to the token of the rainbow. For as the full rainbow rises from the earth and then returns to the earth in the distance, so Enoch and his Zion people were taken form the earth and will return to the earth in the future. “And the Lord said unto Enoch: Then shalt thou and all they city meet them there, and we will receive them into our bosom, and they shall see us; and we will fall upon their necks, and they shall fall upon our necks, and we will kiss each other . (Moses 7:63) A choice moment in the temple celestial room is to have a beam of light penetrate an upper window and diffract in the crystals of the chandelier, filling the room with miniature rainbows.

  2. Excellent insights Mark. The Enoch JST is particularly interesting, since it was before Noah and before the flood. These same covenants go back to Adam, but have been reiterated with each of the prophets down the line. It is an everlasting covenant.

    Nahmanides gave an interesting commentary on the rainbow – “(God) has not made the rainbow with its feet bent upward because it might have appeared that arrows were being shot from heaven… It is indeed the way of warriors to invert the instruments of war which they hold in their hands when calling for peace” (Nachmanides 9:13).

    This kind of peace that God calls for reminds us of the definition of Zion – “And the Lord called his people Zion, because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them” (Moses 7:18).

    The image you recall of the chandelier of the celestial room refracting the light into rainbows around the room is beautiful.

  3. Reed Russell

    ” . . . it is surely significant that the whole color spectrum, every vivid color of the rainbow, harmonizes in white light which, in turn, harmonizes in Christ.”

    –Truman Madsen

  4. I’m hunkering down in the Texas Gulf Coast. I’ve never been more grateful for the council to have food, water, etc. in our homes. As precarious as our situation is here, I feel no fear b/c of the preparations we have made — all thanks to the Gospel.

  5. Bryce, I had always considered the Noahic Covenant to be an example of a one-way covenant (except in a spiritualized, metaphorical sense, wherein the constructing and entering of the arc represents the outward manifestation of accepting God’s salvation and deliverance). But I see that, as you point out, the sacrifices offered by Noah do clearly indicate recognized covenant ritual on his part.

    Thanks for enlightening me.

  6. This is a beautifully written piece.!
    Thank you for including the HC quotes. I actually had never connected that a sign of the second coming will be when the rainbow is actually taken from the earth. I have been pondering that and it would mean of course that some cataclysmic event must take place globally to prevent sunlight from penetrating the atmosphere – and/or a lack of any moisture. This has taken place before in concentrated areas of the earth – such as when Mt. St. Helen’s erupted, but not globally. A couple of years ago I was studying the dust-bowl storms of the 30s (research for a “Grapes of Wrath” performance). When the storms were at their peak the sky was actually nearly as dark as night during the day. There was no rain or moisture anywhere. A diary entry I read actually said “no rainbows now”. It was so poignant – almost a declaration of “no more hope” – but also an interesting scientific outcome of that earth system crises. Just a thought, but I assume at “the end” the earth is headed for experiencing some sort of global Dust Bowl – possibly ash, or nuclear fall-out? (not meaning to sound dooms-day, just observational).

  7. I came upon this page while doing research. I was considering this very covenant and wondering if rainbows would be literally taken from the earth by God or if instead perhaps the covenant sign would be destroyed by us figuratively.
    The Sign of the Rainbow is a covenant promise from God that He would withhold His destruction. Our side of the covenant is to remember Him. I believe that includes remembering the sign of the rainbow. If you were to see a rainbow back in the 1960’s or even as late as the 1970’s, you would have recognized it for what it was meant to be, which is as a sign of God’s covenant. Back then I’m sure that if you were asked to say what it is that the rainbow symbolized, most people would likely respond that the rainbow symbolized God’s promise to us, or his love for us, or something similar.
    Today the rainbow is no longer seen as a covenant from God. Ask 1,000 people on the street to tell you what the rainbow symbolizes and their response would be almost unanimously that it symbolizes homosexuality.
    Man has allowed the symbol of God’s promise, or the Sign of the Rainbow, to be destroyed. Even though God has not withdrawn the rainbow, its sign HAS disappeared from the hearts of man. Woe unto our generation if that is the case, for the end cometh quickly.
    This is just an idea I have been tossing around in my head for a few months and just recently decided to go look up the old statements made by Joseph Smith, where I stumbled upon your page. I think it of particular significance that you mentioned Gen 9:7 as part of man’s end of the covenant which is to multiply. That would be another way for homosexuality (the new sign of the rainbow) to shun the covenant.
    I’m putting notes together, tell me what you guys think about this idea.

  8. Sebourn, your comment is very thought-provoking. Since we know a sign of the second coming will be when the rainbow is taken from the earth, I was thinking the interpretation of that in a literal “global catastrophe” sense – per my prior comment. However, your analysis leads us to reason that the sign of the rainbow is a sacred covenant both as a literal sign and a spiritual symbol. Per your observation, it has already been violated and essentially taken from the earth. Prophesy fulfilled.

  9. I wonder, what conditions must exist in atmosphere for the rainbow to never be shown? Could the “rainbow” was are familiar with actually be the full bow, rarely seen in the sky, not the halfbow we are used to seeing?

    If all it takes to prevent the pestilence of flies is to run my sprayer on the hose, I’m down! 🙂

  10. Ferreira

    It is interesting to note that the image of light refracted through the rain drop is actually a full circle. We usually see rainbows as an arch intersecting the ground because of the angle of the sun relative to the refracting rain drop and our eyes…not because the full circle isn’t refracted but that it is interrupted from view.

    The full circle of a rainbow may symbolize both eternity [one eternal round] and the binding aspect of a covenant as a knot which binds two items together. “…for the puropse of the oath is to bind—the Egyptian word for oath…is simply ankh, originally a ‘knot'” (Nibley, Lehi in the Desert, 201). The ankh symbol is “a knot in a sash, with ends hanging down” (Nibley, The Message of the Joseph Smith Papyri, 252) as perhaps a sash tied around one’s waist with a bow.

    In the rain-bow’s complete circle is the symbol of binding and covenant.


  11. Ferreira

    The rainbow as a token of covenant also appears to unite the 4 elements of creation as a reference to the covenant-making Creator: fire (light of the sun); water, earth (often intersected by the bow), and air.

    …just a thought.

  12. Jennifer

    Interestingly, the “gay” rainbow has six colors…a true rainbow has seven. 6 is numerically a sign of deception, and 7 a symbol of spiritual perfection or wholeness. The “missing” color is violet, which is a mixture of three colors: red, blue, and white. Symbolically speaking, it would be “natural man” + “priesthood” + God = perfection.

    The 6-colored rainbow leaves this last color out, just as they leave out the priesthood/God combination.

  13. Jennifer, I consulted the fount of all knowledge, Wikipedia, regarding the colors of the LGBT flag. It says that violet is currently part of the flag:

    Originally created with eight colors, pink and turquoise were removed for production purposes and as of 2008, it consists of six colored stripes, which should always be displayed with red on top or to left. Aside from the obvious symbolism of a mixed LGBT community, the colors were designed to symbolize: red (life), orange (healing), yellow (sunlight), green (nature), blue (harmony), and purple/violet (spirit). The removed colors stood for sex (pink) and art/magic (turquoise). It is most commonly flown with the red stripe on top, as the colors appear in a natural rainbow.

    But regardless of whether “white” is to be considered a color, a large portion of the LGBT community is religious and spiritually inclined. Note that the purple/violet of the LGBT rainbow flag was designated as symbolizing “spirit.”

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