Hello! Shalom! Aloha! Mabuhay!

If this is your first visit to Modern Apocrypha, I have only two recommendations for continuing on with minimal confusion:

1) Please begin with the first introductory post (found HERE) and work your way forward. Almost all the posts on this blog flow chronologically and will make more sense with the background and context of previous ones. Jumping in anywhere might be disorienting.

2) Please read along in the texts posted off to the right. I try not to summarize too much in the commentary and discussion, and being at least somewhat familiar with what we're discussing or I'm commenting on will be most beneficial and edifying for all involved. Plus, going along with the theme of this blog, any hidden truths to be brought to light will be found within the text itself and not necessarily within my ramblings.

Okay, fine, three recommendations:

3) Please read with an open heart, mind, and spirit. See what truths you can find in these works--ones which speak to you. Namaste : )

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


Like Nephi, Suran teaches his family about the future Messiah directly from the ancient records and quotes teachings and prophecies of Isaiah and other ancient prophets. He begins with what we know as Isaiah 53:2-11, the fourth and last of the Songs of the Suffering Servant (the first three are 42:1-4; 49:1-6; and 50:4-9), the One who will intercede for others, bear their punishments and afflictions, and be rewarded with exaltation. (This passage is also quoted by Abinadi in Mosiah 14 during his confrontation with the priests of King Noah.) Suran also ends his instruction with Isaiah (7:14). (Although, I should say it is Ruman who narrating, and thus, possibly including these specific passages.)

However, what we have here is the first part of an interesting situation with regard to the Aklatan's inclusion of these Messianic passages (and it's the same issue the Book of Mormon runs into). Isaiah 53 belongs to what modern Biblical scholars call Deutero- or Second-Isaiah. However, this isn't a recent division--it was first advanced by rabbinical scholars almost 1000 years ago--and it's based on observed differences in the language, style, themes, etc. within the various chapters of Isaiah. The theory postulates that the "real" Isaiah wrote what are now the first 39 chapters, where his name is used frequently, he is prophesying of a future destruction, etc. Chapters 40-55, then, are written by an anonymous author during the Babylonian exile, since Isaiah is no longer named, and it mentions a Jerusalem already destroyed, a current captivity, Cyrus the Great, etc. (There's also a Trito- or Third-Isaiah, but we'll leave that for now.)

However, alternative explanations for these differing sections exist. For instance, working under the presumption of Isaiah as an actual prophet (since, you know, the "real" First-Isaiah foresaw the destruction of the northern kingdom of Israel by Assyria, the return of Israelite exiles to Jerusalem, etc.), the possibility remains that this "real" First-Isaiah could've also foreseen the destruction of Jerusalem, the Babylonian captivity, the release of the Jews by Cyrus, etc. described in Second-Isaiah. My personal opinion is that Deutero- and Trito-Isaiah represent exilic and/or post-exilic tweaks of Isaiah's pre-exilic prophecies (e.g., hindsight insertion of the name Cyrus to clarify who they thought Isaiah was describing) and those Jews not understanding the multi-layered complexity of Isaiah's writings, that he prophesied of their time, the time of Christ, and the last days--often within the same passage. Nephi understood this, which is why he included Isaiah's writings in his personal record. The Lord understood this, when he taught the descendants of Lehi, "Great are the words of Isaiah" (3 Nephi 23:1-3). Deutero-Isaiah was part of that pre-exilic Isaiah collection Nephi possessed on the Brass Plates and not a post-exilic addition, and the Aklatan is a second witness of that.

Addendum: I did a comparative analysis of the Isaiah passages found in Suran 3 and over thirty of the more popular English versions of the Bible. There are phrase matches here and there between Suran 3 and these several versions (e.g., the Isaiah 7:14 verse resembles that of the Wycliffe Bible, the 53:2 verse resembles the International Standard Version, etc.), but Suran 3 offers a unique rendering of the majority of these verses separately and the passage as a whole.


- Suran was a smart guy who wanted to believe but still had doubts and second-guessed his spiritual experiences. (Strike a chord with anybody out there?) Yet, in spite of this, he pushed forward in faith, hoping that the good fruit he found came from a good tree. A wonderful example for all of us searching for truth.

I mentioned this at the end of the introductory post (HERE), but Mormon gives a good recipe (that Suran seemed to follow) for discerning good fruit in Moroni 7:13-14,16. He says that which is inspired of God invites, entices, and persuades to:
1) do good continually
2) love God
3) serve Him
4) believe in Christ
Also, notice how there is no coercion with God, only invitation, enticement, and persuasion.

- Suran also learned and taught his family that a primary purpose of the Fall was "that there might be weakness and imperfection in the world," as both are necessary in this life to test us, humble us, manifest God's works through us, and ultimately bring us to Christ, as Moroni learned (Ether 12). In Arakim 7, Kodan will learn this, too.

- Suran calls Shem, "the great king," and later the high priesthood is referred to as the Order of Shem. It seems the Aklatan, then, is confirming the Shem-as-Melchizedek hypothesis.

- In Suran 6, we'll discuss the travels and captivities of the branches of Arpaksad and Levi (and the "large men" in the west), who eventually mix together with the indigenous islanders.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015


(This post has been a long time coming...)

Quick thoughts:
- Who is the voice testifying to and teaching Suran? The Lord, the Spirit, an unseen angel? (Maybe Ngameke could throw his voice ; )
- I like the simple twofold purpose of baptism given here -- to be cleansed and to witness acceptance of God's teachings.
- Suran is baptized by immersion, initiated into the Order of God (Melchizedek Priesthood), and appointed to be a prophet, priest, and king. Does this last part represent the endowment rites, too?

Foreordination & Premortal Existence
This chapter tangentially touches on one of the great theological and philosophical debates--that of free will versus determinism. I had a well-written exposition on the subject, but it was conveniently deleted when my computer crashed back in Jan. (Hence the long delay of this post.) So, I'll just state briefly that the Gospel of Jesus Christ and its associated plan of salvation, as taught in the LDS standard works (Jeremiah 1, Alma 13, Abraham 3, etc.) and now the Aklatan, strike a balance between these two seemingly opposing perspectives through the clarifying doctrines of eternal agency, premortal existence, foreordination, etc. Within the Grand Plan, both free will and God's omniscience coexist--but both set within their own bounds and in compliance with their own laws.

According to this paradigm, eternal progression through the wise exercise of agency is the essential core of human existence--to go from grace to grace, intelligence to intelligence, from lower rungs of the ladder to higher ones (as Joseph Smith illustrated it). Not only do we pass through stages of progression during this earth life, but mortality is just one of many larger stages extending forward and backward through our eternal existence (see D&C 93:29), each previous stage affecting the next. Therefore, knowledge of our premortal state is key to a fuller understanding of our current mortal (and future immortal) one, with its inherent trials, suffering, etc. (We'll delve deeper into the issue of theodicy--or why bad things happen to good people--later.)

In essence, all mankind lived with God before coming to earth, and each person was appointed (and I believe chose) to live at a certain time in a certain place. This is foreordination: a premortal setting apart or appointment to undertake mortal missions or experience specific trials--all within the grander perspective of our eternal progression. However, this does not mean we are predetermined to act a certain way or choose a predefined path. We are not guaranteed to make the right choice nor destined to make the wrong one; foreordination neither precludes nor violates the exercise of agency. Through transgression, sin, or rebellion, we may fail in our foreordination and surrender promised blessings. Hence, "many are called but few are chosen." Free will is an eternal characteristic of intelligent beings.

Foreordination, then, is based on both our agency and God's omniscience and foreknowledge. As all things are present before him (see D&C 88:41; 130:7), He anticipates our choices but does not make them for us. In the Grand Council before the world, we elected and agreed to enter into this plan set up by God to bless all His children and provide opportunities and challenges for their growth, development, and progress. He knows our potential and foreordains us to help bring about His eternal purposes, as with Suran.


Sometimes I like to think of this whole life of ours from the perspective of chaos theory, which describes systems of deterministic chaos. Within such a system, apparent randomness leads to an overall pattern. (This is where we get fractal geometry. The image above is an artistic depiction of a fractal pattern.) However, just because a chaotic system has a predetermined outcome doesn't mean it's predictable. One needs to know the precise initial conditions of the system in order to predict that outcome. Therefore, an all-knowing observer, like God, who is outside of the system and at the start of it, could then specify or measure those precise initial conditions, and in doing so would then be able to know and predict with certainty the final outcome, as well as any point along the way.

Is our free will just an illusion, then? No, we are still able to make choices on our level, though we are still bound by certain laws. This idea of illusion, which still baffles philosophers, shouldn't be an issue since all "true" randomness in any system is still bound by some law or rule.

Monday, April 27, 2015


Last week Elisha made a few announcements on the website, HERE. The minor ones were that the official website will soon be moving from WordPress to its own site. (Along with this, a new forum/discussion board has been created HERE.) Also, images for the temple are nearly complete. I don't know if these are patterned after the temples of Ezekiel or Suran, or if they're based on modern ideas. There was also a message to the three of the Twelve Women who have been identified but has since been taken down, probably because of its personal nature. I won't post it here, but feel free to ask questions about it in the comments.

But the three primary announcements were:
1) A call to develop materials to share with others (pamphlets, etc.) and a curriculum for group study (no specification as to whether this was to be topic based, chronological, etc.).

2) Preparations for the first pilgrimage are beginning, and Elisha is hoping to be there if the Lord allows. It will take place in two parts. The northern one will visit Kabigan Falls, which was revealed as the place where Ngameke taught and baptized Suran and where his son, Ahkman, taught the people of God. (It was called Katagan by Suran's family, as it was a "hidden sacred place".) The southern pilgrimage will visit Mt Banahaw, the future city Banal ("Holy") (see JST Ezek 48:35; Aklatan Selections from Ezekiel 9:35), and the temple site a few km to the north. A map of the layout of this area (patterned after Ezekiel's description of the New Jerusalem) is found HERE. (You might have to sign in to access it.)

3) The Warriors of the Darkness will begin to be reestablished. Those with military training will gather and create a training program and then recruit and train others without that experience. The purpose of this is to peacefully gather to fulfill the word of God in defending future believers.

(The Prophecies of Telemek and Book of Datara are to be released after this first pilgrimage is completed and the Warriors of the Darkness are reestablished and strong in number, respectively. The Great Scroll of Suran will also be released once land is acquired for the temple.)

Finally, Elisha shared that the Lord knows our desires, sees our faithfulness, and will pour out His blessings upon us.

Friday, April 24, 2015


Modern Apocrypha has survived a whole year! There have been a lot of ups and downs over the past 12 months... and a lot of hiatuses (or is it hiati?). But averaging just under a post a week isn't too bad, right?

Happy Birthday, Blog.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


I happened upon this article earlier this month and thought it'd be food for thought (esp. for the LDS audience). Make sure to read through to the end.

Man Sentenced to Death After Skirmish in LDS Temple

SALT LAKE CITY- Following a brawl in the Salt Lake temple, the longtime disturber of the peace, 33-year-old Joshua Hamashiach, was sentenced to death by a Utah judge. The sentence was carried out Friday, April 3, 2015.
Though a lifelong member of the LDS church, Hamashiach spent the last three years teaching his own gospel along the “Mormon Corridor.” Living practically homeless, he developed a small following of blue collar workers and excommunicated members of the LDS church who were dazzled by his apparent gifts of healing and other so-called “miracles.”
Prior to the incident in the temple, Hamashiach was known to have stirred up trouble in various LDS meetinghouses. Catching members off-guard, he would teach that he was the son of God and that it would not be necessary to follow the teachings of LDS leaders.
Probably assuming him to be insane, church leadership did not immediately discipline Hamashiach, allowing him to remain a member in good standing with full access to the church’s various temples.
Just prior to the LDS General Conference earlier this month, Hamashiach entered the historic Salt Lake temple and began destroying furniture and fighting patrons. While details about the incident are sparse, it is certain that this action led directly to his indictment and eventual death sentence.
Though Hamashiach was able to escape the temple before police arrived, his whereabouts were eventually reported by one of his former followers. During the trial, practically all members of his organization abandoned him. Even his righthand man, Rock McJona, who had originally assaulted a police officer to prevent Hamashiach’s arrest, later denied to reporters that he knew Hamashiach at all.
Apparently since his excommunication, some of his followers have reunited and are set on promulgating his teachings. A few of the more unstable ones have even claimed that Hamashiach has risen from the dead.
While the future of Hamashiach’s little cult is unknown, it is likely that they will be heading down the same road he did--that is, into complete and utter obscurity.
If you have read this far, you now understand a little better what it would have been like for the Jews to accept Jesus Christ during His mortal ministry.

Yes, this was thought-provoking satire. But how difficult would it have been at that time for Jesus' disciples to obey His command, "Come, follow me"? What would've been their sacrifice? This is why Nicodemus came to be taught by Him at night, and why the rich man went away sorrowing, etc. What is He asking us to sacrifice today to follow Him?

Tuesday, March 3, 2015


Hi all. Just another quick post. As of today, the official Ang Aklatan Facebook page (find it HERE) has a new spinoff page focusing solely on the Twelve Women prophesied by the prophetess Liwan, who will help spread Christ's message throughout the Kingdom of Maharlika in the last days. Check it out HERE.

Saturday, February 28, 2015


Just another quick post before moving on with the Aklatan. Elisha posted some thoughts and answers to questions on the official website today (find it HERE). Without reposting the whole thing here, I'll give some of the highlights and let you check out the details, but there's been a lot of discussion recently on the Twelve Women, so that's a running theme throughout.

A Record of the Twelve Women will be published in two parts after the Twelve Women are found, meet together, and read it.  Three have been identified already (I won't post their names here) based on the Prophecy of the Prophetess Liwan, Elisha's vision of these women, and some sleuthing by interested parties.

Do you know anything more about the 12 women?
The Prophecy of the Prophetess Liwan and A Record of the Twelve Women are the main sources of information about them. Elisha wrote inspired personal prophecies for them in 1993 but sealed them in envelopes and "can't remember for sure what is in them."

Are the 12 women given priesthood authority?
The power of God in the universe has both a male and female portion. The 12 women will act unitedly in their portion of the holy order. (We'll be discussing this in depth later on.)

Do you know how old the 12 women are?
He saw their faces in vision, but doesn't know if that matches their age when gathered.

Will the Maharlika and those who join them be safe from the calamities of the last days?
Faith leads to safety but not freedom from hardship. (Sounds like D&C 63:34--"the saints also shall hardly escape", 38:30--"if ye are prepared ye shall not fear", 87:8--"stand ye in holy places, and be not moved," etc.)

Is the coming of Christ and the destructive events a planetary/cosmological catastrophe?
"The coming of Christ will be witnessed on all scales."

Do you know anything about the fall of America as prophesied in the Aklatan?
The unpublished Great Scroll of Suran contains prophecies of many nations.

Do you expect miracles and gifts of the Spirit to be abundant among the followers of Christ and the Aklatan? Are they experiencing these things now?
Yes, but the Aklatan is only part of Christ's work.

Approximately how many followers or "believers" are there presently that are known?
He has preached all over the Philippines and knows of others throughout the world and estimates a few thousand or so. (The official Facebook page HERE has over 3500 likes as of today.)

Where is Elisha when he is preaching?
He's been traveling all over the Philippines as inspired by the Lord.

Has Elisha had any contact with the leadership of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?
He can't speak about Mormons at the moment.

Is Elisha familiar with Mormon history or has he been one in the past?
His thoughts on or relationships with Mormons aren't central to the work at this time.

What is the abomination spoken of in the Life of Suran?
Basically, it's a secret combination that's gained politico-economic power in the US and whose influence is felt worldwide (cf. Nephi's "great and abominable church". I was going to post a bunch on this, but he beat me to the punch ; )

What are we to understand about the Book of the Lords, as written by Ahkman?
There's more information in unpublished portions of the Aklatan, and these Lords will be identified after the Twelve Women have been gathered.

Are there "other sheep" that you are aware of that have other records, promises, temples, gathering places?
The Book of Mormon peoples are the most prominent, though he can't speak on that. Others he knows of are among Islamic Arabs, Beta Israel (Ethiopian Jews), Chinese, British Islands, etc.

Would you like bilingual persons to translate the Aklatan into other languages?
Yes, but the English text needs to be cleaned up first.

Why is the very last verse from the Selections of Ezekiel different than from the KJV?
He was instructed to copy those passages from a specific Bible. (*cough* JST *cough* ; )

Do you have, or have you had, other visions, dreams, revelations, etc. that you have not published and may we know about them?
Yes, the Aklatan is just part of his calling, and the rest will be published in due time.

Where are we when it comes to the work and the unveiling of more books?
The primary effort still needs to be in gathering believers, establishing Maharlika, and identifying the Twelve Women. The next three books to be published will probably be A Record of the Twelve Women (after many of the women begin traveling around to share the Aklatan), The Prophecies of Telemek (after the first pilgrimage), and the Book of Datara (after the Warriors of Darkness are re-established).

In the Lesser Gospel Written by Buka, Christ created a group of 12 men and a group of 12 women. We know that the group of 12 women will be recreated, but will the group of twelve men be recreated too?
The gathering of the 12 women is central to his calling, but he was not called to do the same with a group of men.

When might the copper sheets be tested as spoken of by Oleeha?
After the temple and Kingdom are established.

Were you given authority to baptize, lay on hands, or ordain priests?
He was given authority to accomplish everything related to his specific work of establishing Maharlika.

Who were the three men who baptized and ordained you?
Can't say yet.

How can we reach a representative of the colonies (Okinawa, CA, etc.), or does Elisha need representatives?
There are none yet, but volunteers are welcome : )

Do you have any plans or blueprints for Zion communities to be established?
Just general plans that he might discuss later.


Hi all. We're still alive here. With my last awesome, super-long post lost somewhere in the ether of the interwebs, my external reading list growing by the day, and time constraints related to family, study, work, etc., I felt it was a good time to re-evaluate the blog, or at least the content and how it gets published.

I love preparing these posts and delving into the subjects addressed, but oftentimes I get bogged down in the publication process and how to adequately present my monkey-minded trains of thought. (It's my personal cross to bear ; ) The main purpose of the blog is to bring hidden things to light--these modern apocryphal texts--and talk about some fun and interesting things, but ultimately allow the readers to study things out for themselves and see what truths they can find and apply to their individual circumstances and life-paths. There's also a lot that I'd like to get to and through.

So, I've figured that I'll try to cut down on my long-windedness and summary of the text, and work under the premise that each visitor has read that portion of the text. In this way, I'll be able to quickly touch on some of the more intriguing tidbits and interject some thoughts (while avoiding ramblings... ; ), and then we can move on.

How's that sound?

Thursday, January 29, 2015


Our story begins with Suran, a good man who follows his heart, hunting and gathering in the mountains. His old, wise uncle, Ngameke, follows him to share an important secret with him concerning their ancestors and teach him about the laws and commandments of God. As a fervent animist or polytheist, Suran has no idea what Ngameke's talking about, but he's curious so he follows him into the jungle. 

This name, Ngameke, is intriguing to me; it seems to be unique in the Aklatan, or at least it's unique sounding. For fun, I tried to see if I could make any sense of it. (I don't know any of the Filipino languages.) In Cebuano, nga = "that", meke = a type of noodle dish. In Maori, nga = "breath/to breathe" or simply "the", meke = "to punch/hit". In Mapuche (indigenous Chilean), nga = participle/"the", meke = "busy". Filipino and Polynesian languages belong to the same Austronesian language family, so we should expect some similarities and cognates. Also, there have been some cool archaeological, linguistic, and genetic discoveries over the past decade or so showing ancient connections between Polynesians and Mapuche peoples, but we'll have to save going into that for another time : )

In any case, Suran and Ngameke travel along jungle trails for several days until they come to the base of a cliff hidden by vegetation with water flowing down from the top, when Ngameke produces a bamboo container. He removes the stopper and pulls out several records written by their ancestors. Suran is amazed and reads them, which contain the history of a group of people--a branch of Shem--who traveled to the islands long before. (Incidentally, Suran, a polytheistic hunter-gatherer from several centuries BC is literate. Usually writing systems and literacy follow the advent of agriculture and more complex forms of social organization.)

As with any good history from the ancient Middle East, it begins with the genealogy of the participants to give context to the events--in this case, Shem's lineage for several generations down to Ophir. This is part of what is know as the Table of Nations in the Bible. The genealogy here in Suran 1 is nearly identical to the those found in Genesis 10, 1 Chronicles 1, and Josephus' Antiquities of the Jews. However, it is unique in many ways. (I was going to list off the main differences, but here's a nice little chart instead ; )

Reading the ancestral records, Suran learns that some of Ophir's sons (a "band of ten") traveled for many years until they reached the northern shores of the islands, where they established a righteous order (i.e., priesthood order) among the people and adopted many islanders into it. But after many years, the people returned to their animism/polytheism, and the righteous band dwindled until there were few of them. After many years a broken branch of the tribe of Levi also came to the islands (we'll talk more about this later), and Ruman interjects that he's recorded many more things concerning the ancestors in the Aklatan. But finally, Ngameke admits he is now the last of this righteous lineage.

I spent weeks of research going down this Ophir (and Tarshish, and Havilah, etc.) rabbit hole, and then the holidays came, which is why this post is two months late. From the Biblical tradition, we find that Ophir is a foreign land to the east accessible by the sea and laden with gold and other precious items. (Later traditions equate it with Yemen, India, Pakistan, etc.) David had set aside gold from Ophir for the temple he'd never see. Solomon's servants went with Hiram's navy to fetch gold, sandalwood (almug/algum), and precious stones from Ophir for the temple. (The type of sandalwood mentioned is only found in the east Indian Ocean and Pacific Islands.) Jehoshaphat tries to send ships to Ophir for gold, but they're wrecked in port (Gulf of Aqaba). Job, Psalms, and Isaiah all mention the glory of the "gold of Ophir". We'll talk more about the traditional geography of Tarshish and Havilah in Suran 6.

However, there's another fun tradition of Ophir that aided Magellan in his journey to and through these east Asian islands. Volume 3 of Coleccion General de Documentos Relativos a las Islas Filipinas contains the official documents of Magellan's voyage and his captain's logbook. Document 98 (AD 1519-1522) (pp. 112-138) describes how to locate the land of Ophir, saying it was "in front of China towards the sea, of many islands where the Moluccans, Chinese, and Lequios met to trade." According to this account, Ophir would be found somewhere between mainland China and the Indonesian archipelago of Maluku. (Hint: the Philippines are the only islands directly between the two.)

But this document and other Spanish books of the time mention these enigmatic "Lequios", who have been identified by modern historians as Okinawans, Koreans, Vietnamese, etc. The Lequio ships were favorite targets of the Spanish East Indian navy during the latter end of the 16th century, as they were always laden with gold and silver. However, Document 98 describes Lequios as large, bearded, and light-skinned (features uncharacteristic of SE Asians) and only interested in trading gold and silver at Ophir. Those Spaniards with some Biblical knowledge believed them to be remnants of Hebrew or Phoenician sailors and/or merchants (i.e., from the time of Solomon and Hiram) who established permanent trading posts in and around Ophir.

I found one author who claims that this Spanish transliteration "Lequio" could be a derivation and/or corruption of the Hebrew verb LAQAT or one of its forms, meaning "to gather, glean, collect, assemble", a fitting title and description of the servants of Solomon and sailors of Hiram sent to gather gold and precious things for the temple. (Or as a fun aside, it could be a derivation of Lehi, with a hard H shifting to a K sound, meaning Lequios are Lehites ; ) But more than likely Lequios is connected to Lekas island mentioned in Suran 6.