Mormon Trail Of John

“Come unto me!”

Radical Christians used the Supreme Court to draw a line in the sand – FOR GOD! This is a great sin and breaks the second Commandment.

Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain

How many people who are happy Woe vs. Wade is repealed – are Christians? How many agnostics and atheist are Pro-life? Elected leaders who have taken a religious stance have NOT made their case that is is God’s Will – they get their way. They have not given any real, or Biblical Evidence that life in the womb – is sacred! I alone have provided THE PROOF, this is so in regards to Hannah taking the test of the Sotah – that Elizabeth may have replicated! Thus her son, John the Baptist was filled with The Holy Host while in his mother’s womb – to the day of his death!

Yet another midrash shows Hannah as forcing God to heed her prayer. She told Him: “Master of the Universe! If You will look upon [with the double wording im ra’oh tireh] the suffering of Your maidservant’

The Christus statue in the Mormon temple in the Oakland Hills, looks like the “Master of the Universe”. Jesus said; “I have come for the sinners and not the righteous!” What does he mean by this? I believe these words belong to John the Baptist. When I met Sister Higgins and Mitchelle, I gave them the secret of Judging the Adulteress, and the search for the Secret Name of God kept in the Holy of Holies. In wondering about the NAME controversy over the True Name of the Mormon Church, this morning I found TWO BRANCHES

Church of Christ With the Elijah Message and, The Word of the Lord

William Draves was ordained an apostle in his new organization, and continued to receive alleged visitations from John the Baptist until his death in 1994.

I have SIGNED my posts, as John ‘The Nazarite Judge’. I have declared I am a prophet. For this reason, my daughter, Heather Hanson, came to believe I am insane. My grandson overheard this belief. They are seen in the Stuttmeister-Janke crypt. On this day – I fully claim them! I was old and childless with my sixteen year old daughter came into my life. I have said that I may be The End Time Elijah. I have suggested I am – a Moses! I ran for Governor of Oregon. I suggest the Mormons around the Great Salt Lake – move to Eastern Oregon – and walk the Oregon Trail – again. One of the first names for the LDS church is…..THE MORMON TRAIL!

I suggest EVERYONE who has been PUT OUT by the Christian-right, join my Church…..

Mormon Trail of John

EVERYONE QUALIFIES! Together, we will be the largest church in America – if not the world. There will tithing. We will have the best attorneys. We will Favour OUR politicians. We, will, overcome!

John ‘The Nazarite’

Thus I will be suspected of infidelity, and in order to test me, I will be given the water of the sotah to drink. Since I will emerge innocent from this test, I will be blessed with a child, for it is said in Num. 5:28: ‘But if the woman has not defiled herself and is pure, she shall be unharmed and able to retain seed’; if the charges against a woman are proven to be unfounded, she will be blessed with a child. And so I will have the child that I wanted.

On October 31, 2012, the California Department of Public Health mailed me a copy of my birth certificate. My mother and father were living on Berlin Way where William Stuttmesiter and his cousin, William Buyer built over forty new homes on this street, and on Maple Street just around the corner. My father had a framed marriage certificate of Frederick William Stuttmeister to a women named Charlotte. Vicki Presco did not have this certificate as I hoped. Vic’s mother’s middle name was Charlotte. Some citation on the web have Charlottenburg as the meaning of the name Stuttmeister. No. 1 Berlin Way was the address on this certificate. This street was founded by a King of Prussia who was into the Arts, thus one finds several famous Art Colleges here.

Hannah: Midrash and Aggadah | Jewish Women’s Archive (jwa.org)

(24) Bagdhad Cafe Lights – YouTube

Fremont Monument image. Click for full size.

Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, February 3,

The John C. Fremont Monument in Joaquin

Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain” (Hebrew: לֹא תִשָּׂא אֶת-שֵׁם-ה’ אֱלֹהֶיךָ לַשָּׁוְא) (KJV; also “You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God” (NRSV) and variants) is the second or third (depending on numbering) of God’s Ten Commandments to man in the Abrahamic religions.

Exodus 20:7 reads:

Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.[1]

Based on this commandment, Second Temple Judaism by the Hellenistic period developed a taboo of pronouncing the name Yahweh at all, resulting in the replacement of the Tetragrammaton by “Adonai” (literally “my lords” – see Adonai) in pronunciation.

In the Hebrew Bible itself, the commandment is directed against abuse of the name of God, not against any use; there are numerous examples in the Hebrew Bible and a few in the New Testament where God’s name is called upon in oaths to tell the truth or to support the truth of the statement being sworn to, and the books of Daniel and Revelation include instances where an angel sent by God invokes the name of God to support the truth of apocalyptic revelations.[2] God himself is presented as swearing by his own name (“As surely as I live …”) to guarantee the certainty of various events foretold through the prophets.[3]

Ina Coolbrith – Wikipedia

Yet another midrash shows Hannah as forcing God to heed her prayer. She told Him: “Master of the Universe! If You will look upon [with the double wording im ra’oh tireh] the suffering of Your maidservant’ [v. 11]—‘if You will look [im ra’oh]’—it will be well; and if not, ‘tireh’ [i.e., I will force You to heed it]. How so? I will go and be alone with another man with the knowledge of my husband Elkanah. Thus I will be suspected of infidelity, and in order to test me, I will be given the water of the sotah to drink. Since I will emerge innocent from this test, I will be blessed with a child, for it is said in Num. 5:28: ‘But if the woman has not defiled herself and is pure, she shall be unharmed and able to retain seed’; if the charges against a woman are proven to be unfounded, she will be blessed with a child. And so I will have the child that I wanted. Will You make of Your Torah a lie?” (BT Berakhot 31b). This midrash portrays Hannah’s desperate straits. She is even willing to be suspected as a sotah and debase herself in the humiliating ceremony of being forced to drink the water of bitterness, so that the Lord will give her children. In order to “force” God to listen to her, she uses His Torah as a weapon.

Ina Donna Coolbrith (March 10, 1841 – February 29, 1928), born Josephine Donna Smith, was an American poet, writer, librarian, and a prominent figure in the San Francisco Bay Area literary community. Called the “Sweet Singer of California”,[1] she was the first California Poet Laureate and the first poet laureate of any American state.[2]

Coolbrith, born the niece of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints founder Joseph Smith, left the Mormon community as a child to enter her teens in Los Angeles, California, where she began to publish poetry. She terminated a youthful failed marriage to make her home in San Francisco, and met writers Bret Harte and Charles Warren Stoddard with whom she formed the “Golden Gate Trinity” closely associated with the literary journal Overland Monthly. Her poetry received positive notice from critics and established poets such as Mark TwainAmbrose Bierce and Alfred Lord Tennyson. She held literary salons at her home in Russian Hill[3]—in this way she introduced new writers to publishers. Coolbrith befriended the poet Joaquin Miller and helped him gain global fame.

While Miller toured Europe and lived out their mutual dream of visiting Lord Byron’s tomb, Coolbrith cared for his Wintu daughter and members of her own family. As a result, she came to reside in Oakland and accepted the position of city librarian. Her poetry suffered as a result of her long work hours, but she mentored a generation of young readers including Jack London and Isadora Duncan. After she served for 19 years, Oakland’s library patrons called for reorganization, and Coolbrith was fired. She moved back to San Francisco and was invited by members of the Bohemian Club to be their librarian.[4]

Coolbrith began to write a history of California literature, including much autobiographical material, but the fire following the 1906 San Francisco earthquake consumed her work. Author Gertrude Atherton and Coolbrith’s Bohemian Club friends helped set her up again in a new house, and she resumed writing and holding literary salons. She traveled by train to New York City several times and, with fewer worldly cares, greatly increased her poetry output.

On June 30, 1915, Coolbrith was named California’s poet laureate, and she continued to write poetry for eight more years. Her style was more than the usual melancholic or uplifting themes expected of women—she included a wide variety of subjects in her poems, which were noted as being “singularly sympathetic” and “palpably spontaneous”.[5] Her sensuous descriptions of natural scenes advanced the art of Victorian poetry to incorporate greater accuracy without trite sentiment, foreshadowing the Imagist school and the work of Robert Frost.[6] California poet laureate Carol Muske-Dukes wrote of Coolbrith’s poems that, though they “were steeped in a high tea lavender style”, influenced by a British stateliness, “California remained her inspiration.”[7]

Both the Fettingite and Elijah Message editions of The World of the Lord are divided into sections of varying lengths, called “messages”. In each message, John the Baptist speaks in the first person, claiming to fulfill prophecies given in Malachi 3:1 and Malachi 4:5-6, where “Elijah the prophet” is promised before the coming of the “great and dreadful day of the Lord”. This latter verse is also referred to by Jesus Christ in Matthew 11:17, where the relationship between Elijah and John is clarified. The Messenger—as he is called by Fetting and Draves—also claims to be fulfilling Deuteronomy 18:15-19’s prophecy of a prophet like Moses, and to be the angel “flying in the midst of heaven” mentioned in Revelation 14:6. He claims to be purifying the Levites in preparation for the Lord’s return.

Tower to General John C. Frémont – Oakland – LocalWiki

Hidden East Bay Wonders: Joaquin Miller’s Stone Monuments – Broke-Ass Stuart’s Website (brokeassstuart.com)

Berlin Way on Peralta Creek | Rosamond Press

Home To Berlin Way | Rosamond Press

The Word of the Lord

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The Word of the Lord refers to one of two books of scripture used by certain factions of the Latter Day Saint movement. The first book, simply entitled The Word of the Lord, is used by members of the Church of Christ (Fettingite), the Church of Christ at Halley’s Bluff and the Church of Christ (Restored). The second, called The Word of the Lord Brought to Mankind by an Angel, is accepted only by the Church of Christ with the Elijah Message, and churches derived from it, such as the Church of Christ (Assured Way). Both books contain revelations allegedly given to former Church of Christ (Temple Lot) Apostle Otto Fetting by an angelic being who claimed to be John the Baptist. The latter title also contains revelations purportedly given to William A. Draves by this same being, after Fetting’s death.

Contents

Background[edit]

Otto Fetting[edit]

The Word of the Lord originated in the claimed angelic visitations of John the Baptist to Otto Fetting, an Apostle in the Church of Christ (Temple Lot) who lived in Port Huron, Michigan. These visits commenced in February 1927,[1] and ended with Fetting’s death in January 1933.[2] Directives were given to build the long-awaited temple in Independence, Missouri, together with instructions about its dimensions and Temple Lot doctrine and practices. While the first eleven of these messages were enthusiastically accepted by the Temple Lot organization, the twelfth message[3] caused considerable controversy. Mandating rebaptism for those who had come into the Church of Christ from other Latter Day Saint denominations (contrary to Temple Lot practice at that time), this message was rejected by the leadership of that organization during a church conference October 6–7, 1929, and Fetting was “silenced”. Unwilling to continue under such a restriction, Fetting left the Temple Lot church and founded his own organization, the Church of Christ (Fettingite). The Temple Lot organization retained possession of the Temple Lot and other church properties.

William Draves[edit]

Four years after Fetting’s death in 1933, a young Fettingite elder named William Draves claimed that the “messenger” had come to him, with further revelations for the Fettingite organization. While many Fettingites accepted Draves’ claims, some did not, and this led to a split in Fetting’s church in 1939. Those who accepted Draves formed the Church of Christ With the Elijah Message, while those who rejected him remained in the original Fettingite organization; it subsequently split during the 1950s over the introduction of Seventh-day Sabbatarianism. This separation between Draves’ organization and the Fettingite remnant continues, with each group proclaiming itself the true continuation of Fetting’s work.

William Draves was ordained an apostle in his new organization, and continued to receive alleged visitations from John the Baptist until his death in 1994.

Testimonies about the Messenger[edit]

Otto Fetting emphasized the ability to physically feel the touch of this alleged angel, indicating in his 1929 testimonial that he “felt his hand on my head, and the slap on my shoulder”. Draves, too, indicated that he could feel the visitor’s touch on his shoulder, and felt him hold his hand. In addition to the testimonies of the two “scribes” (Fetting and Draves), the book contains an additional testimony of four witnesses who saw the angel during his final visit to Fetting in 1933. This latter testimony is signed and notarized.

In the preface to his first message, and in his 1940 personal testimony about the heavenly “messenger”, William Draves wrote the following:”The messenger wears a white robe, his hair is a tiny bit gold next to his skin and blended to whiteness like pure wool, white as snow. His eyes are like a flame and his feet like the brightness of fine brass, as if they were ablaze. His voice has the sound of one having authority. His countenance is as the brightness of the sun with its greatness in light, even brighter than light that shineth down on the earth. He is enveloped in light and immediately around him is very bright”.

Because the messenger could be seen and touched, some in Draves’ church have expressed a belief that the messages in the Word of the Lord are not revelations, since for a revelation (according to them), the author is unseen.

The books[edit]

Overview[edit]

Both the Fettingite and Elijah Message editions of The World of the Lord are divided into sections of varying lengths, called “messages”. In each message, John the Baptist speaks in the first person, claiming to fulfill prophecies given in Malachi 3:1 and Malachi 4:5-6, where “Elijah the prophet” is promised before the coming of the “great and dreadful day of the Lord”. This latter verse is also referred to by Jesus Christ in Matthew 11:17, where the relationship between Elijah and John is clarified. The Messenger—as he is called by Fetting and Draves—also claims to be fulfilling Deuteronomy 18:15-19’s prophecy of a prophet like Moses, and to be the angel “flying in the midst of heaven” mentioned in Revelation 14:6. He claims to be purifying the Levites in preparation for the Lord’s return.

The Word of the Lord covers a wide array of topics, containing encouraging words, warnings of dark events (but also of a bright future, ultimately), appointments to church office, visions, and several prophecies. The early portion of the Word of the Lord (common to both editions) contains detailed descriptions of architecture for the temple which is to be built on the Temple Lot in Independence, Missouri. This temple is described in the Articles of Faith and Practice for the church, which quotes from the original prophecy on this subject made by Joseph Smith, Jr., founder of the Latter Day Saint movement.

Fettingite editions[edit]

Editions of The Word of the Lord utilized within those Fettingite organizations who rejected William Draves all contain only the thirty “messages” given to Otto Fetting. At least two of these organizations are extant today, and at least one still publishes an edition of this work.

Elijah Message edition[edit]

The Word of the Lord Brought to Mankind by an Angel is subtitled, “A warning to all people on the second coming of Jesus Christ, revelations on the building of the temple, and instructions to the Church of Christ: The Lord has spoken and revealed his purpose by the mouth of his servant John the Baptist”.

The book is divided into 131 sections, on 3 levels, all with a view: the thirty messages originally given to Fetting, and ninety more allegedly given to William Draves. Some of its revelations include a description of the course and end of World War II written in 1939. Describing the end of the war, Draves writes: “I saw that Germany was no more; she had become divided, part of her going to America and part joining with the armies of the man at Rome. Great Britain was also broken up never again to be united as an empire.” However, Draves prophesied that the war would last seven years, and although it ended as described here, it only lasted six. The “man at Rome” is a cryptic character.

Another message, first published in 1968, contains the prophecy: “The great powers, not of God’s will, will find their failing and end. This will consummate in 1989.” Church members believe this alludes to the end of the Cold War. This same message states that ‘Armageddon’ would begin in “the nineties” (1990s). Some believe this may refer to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait on August 2, 1990, and the ensuing chain of events.

Church of Christ With the Elijah Message

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The Church of Christ with the Elijah Message
Church of Christ “With the Elijah Message” meetinghouse in Independence, Missouri
ClassificationLatter Day Saint movement
OrientationLatter Day Saints
PolityChurch conference
ModeratorNone; all members of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles are equal
RegionUnited States
FounderWilliam Draves
Origin1943
Separated fromChurch of Christ (Fettingite)
SeparationsChurch of Christ with the Elijah Message – The Assured Way of the Lord, Inc. ; Church of Christ with the Elijah Message, Inc. ; Church of Christ – “The Church with the Elijah Message” – Established anew in 1929, Inc.
Membersc. 12,500 worldwide as of 1987[1][2]

The Church of Christ with the Elijah Message is the name of three related church groups and a denomination of the Latter Day Saint movement, headquartered in Independence, Missouri. It split from the Church of Christ (informally referred to as the “Fettingites”) in 1943 in a dispute over claimed revelations given to its founder William A. Draves. Draves, an elder in the Fettingite group, claimed to be receiving messages from an angelic being who identified himself as John the Baptist—the same person who had allegedly appeared to Fettingite founder Otto Fetting, a former apostle of the Temple Lot Church of Christ. While many Fettingites accepted these new missives, some did not, leading Draves to form his own church. His adherents claim it to be the sole legitimate continuation of Fetting’s organization, as well as that of the Temple Lot church. As of 1987, the church had approximately 12,500 adherents spread between Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas.[3]

Contents

Origin of name[edit]

The church’s name originates in the alleged visitations of John the Baptist to Otto Fetting and William Draves. In the Gospel of Matthew 11:14, Jesus Christ identifies John with the prophet Elijah in the Book of Malachi; hence the use of “Elijah Message”. Malachi 4:5-6 says: “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. And He shall turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers; lest I come and smite the land with a curse”.[4] Members believe that the purported visits of this “messenger” fulfill Malachi’s prophecy, as well as others found in Revelation 14:6, Malachi 3:1, Deuteronomy 18:15-19, and Daniel 7:9-10.[5]

History[edit]

Otto Fetting[edit]

Otto Fetting in 1916

Otto Fetting was born on 20 November 1871 in Casco, St. Clair County, Michigan. Making his home in Port Huron, Michigan, he was baptised into the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints on February 9, 1891, and ordained to its priesthood in 1899. In 1925, dismayed by the “Supreme Directional Control” controversy within the RLDS church, Fetting switched his allegiance to the Temple Lot Church of Christ (also informally known as “Hedrickites”). At the time, this did not require rebaptism or reordination, as each group accepted the priesthood and sacraments of the other. In the spring of 1926, he was among seven men ordained to be Apostles in the Church of Christ.

On February 4 of 1927, Otto Fetting claimed that he had been visited by John the Baptist, who had delivered a message[6] for him to relay to the Temple Lot organization. This missive directed the construction of the long-awaited Temple in IndependenceMissouri, first foretold by Latter Day Saint founder Joseph Smith in 1831. The Temple Lot church had a long history of direction via revelation and angelic visits and thus was originally receptive to these alleged visits of the Biblical prophet, publishing Fetting’s messages in their monthly periodical Zion’s Advocate. They also began work on the temple with a groundbreaking ceremony held on 6 April 1929. According to Fetting, the Hedrickites were given seven years to complete the structure.

Fetting’s messenger revealed various architectural details for the building and specifically directed surveyors to move their markers ten feet to the east of where they had originally been placed. The angel also revealed the location of two of Joseph Smith’s original marker stones, which Smith had buried 98 years before to indicate the location for his planned temple. Another revelation indicated that the “Articles of Faith and Practice” of the Temple Lot church were correct, and should not be changed from their original form. On other occasions, the messenger indicated particular men to be ordained within the organization, including to its Quorum of Twelve Apostles.

Trouble on the Temple Lot[edit]

Although the Temple Lot organization had enthusiastically accepted the first eleven of Fetting’s messages, this would not hold true for the twelfth. In verse four of this missive, John the Baptist states that all persons coming into the Church of Christ must be rebaptized, as “the Lord has rejected all creeds and factions of men”. While this reflects the practice of the majority of Latter Day Saint denominations (including the Temple Lot church itself, today), it did not reflect the policy of the Temple Lot church at the time, which accepted members during this period from the Reorganized church, certain other Latter Day Saint organizations, and Joseph Smith’s pre-1844 church on their original baptisms. This message equally declared Fetting to have been given the same “keys to the priesthood” that were given to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery on May 15, 1829.

Controversy over the meaning and application of Fetting’s twelfth message became so great that Fetting himself was “silenced” in October 1929 by the Temple Lot organization. Choosing to withdraw rather than continue under such a restriction, Fetting led approximately half of the Church of Christ members (including some of its apostles) to found a “Church of Christ” of his own, which became known as the Church of Christ (Fettingite). Since the main Temple Lot organization retained possession of the Temple Lot and its meetinghouse, Fetting’s organization met in members’ homes for a considerable period prior to building their own worship facilities.

Fetting would claim to be visited a total of 30 times by the messenger prior to his death on 30 January 1933.

William A. Draves[edit]

William A. Draves

Four years after Fetting’s death, a young Fettingite elder named William A. Draves from Nucla, Colorado claimed that the same messenger who had appeared to Fetting had begun to appear to him, as well. While the Fettingite organization was initially receptive to these new missives, it ultimately decided to reject them all, leading to a split in the Fettingite organization in 1943. Draves’ adherents formed the Church of Christ with the Elijah Message, which claims to be the sole legitimate continuance of Fetting’s original organization. Draves himself announced a total of 90 messages prior to his death in 1994, which were combined with Fetting’s into a book entitled The Word of the Lord Brought to Mankind by an Angel. Fetting’s organization publishes its own compendium, simply entitled The Word of the Lord, which contains only Fetting’s original 30 messages.

Prior to W.A. Draves’s death in 1994 the final three messages he had recorded reflected leadership disputes within The Church of Christ with the Elijah Message.[7] These led to a division causing Apostles W.A. Draves, Leonard Draves and Mervyn Johnson to be blocked from church property by way of a restraining order.[8] After a short legal battle, a failure to reconcile, and the death of W.A. Draves, six of the twelve leading Apostles decided to reincorporate the Church under the name The Church of Christ with the Elijah Message, Inc. in August 1994.[9] This new organization would go on to become the Church of Christ With the Elijah Message, The Assured Way of the Lord, Inc. The remaining five Apostles, including those who filed the above restraining order, retained the corporate name “The Church of Christ with the Elijah Message, Established Anew 1929” and all properties including the headquarters building at 608 Lacy Rd. Independence, Missouri.

Doctrine and practices[edit]

Other than their acceptance of Fetting’s 30 messages and the 90 offered by William Draves, the beliefs and practices of the Elijah Message organization are virtually identical to those of the Church of Christ (Temple Lot). In common with the Temple Lot church, the Elijah Message church rejects the office of President of the Church, being led instead by their Quorum of Twelve Apostles; all members of that quorum are considered equal.

Also, like their Temple Lot cousins, the church rejects the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price, as well as Joseph Smith’s Inspired Version of the Bible, preferring to use only the King James Bible and the Record of the Nephites (their name for the Book of Mormon) as standards. They also await an as-yet-unrevealed work of scripture which the Messenger was alleged to have shown to Draves in 1946. Baptism for the Dead, eternal marriage, polygamy and the eternal progression doctrine are all rejected. Members of the Church of Christ with the Elijah Message still believe that a temple will be reared on the Temple Lot, but it will not be like any of the LDS or Community of Christ temples currently in use.

Hannah’s attempt to arouse divine compassion: the midrash learns from the verse “Now Hannah was praying in her heart” (v. 13) that she was praying for matters that concerned her heart (that is, what rested on her heart—her breasts). She said: “Master of the Universe, of all that you created in woman, You did not create anything for naught. Eyes with which to see, ears with which to hear, a nose with which to smell, a mouth with which to talk, hands with which to do work, feet with which to walk, and breasts with which to nurse. These breasts that You placed on my heart—what for? not to nurse from them? Give me a son and I will nurse with them!” (BT Berakhot 31b). Hannah addresses God as man’s Creator. It was He who created her as a woman, and she asks Him to let her fulfill her body’s destiny as a mother.

See Also:

A tapestry depicting Rachel giving Bilhah to Jacob.

Encyclopedia: Bilhah: Midrash and Aggadah

Hannah uses a special term in her prayer: “Lord of Hosts” (v. 11). The Rabbis assert that Hannah was the first person since God created His world to use the name “Hosts.” She said to Him: “Master of the Universe! there is a heavenly host and an earthly one. The heavenly host neither eat nor drink, are not fruitful and don’t multiply, and do not die, but live forever. The earthly host eat and drink, are fruitful and multiply, and die. I do not know to which host I belong, whether to the heavenly host or the earthly one. If I am of the heavenly host, for I do not give birth, then I do not eat or drink [as Hannah did at Shiloh], and I shall not die, but live forever. But if I am of the earthly host, let me then eat and drink, give birth, and die” (Pesikta Rabbati 43). As in the previous midrash, Hannah wonders about her destiny as a person, but views herself as part of humankind as a whole, different from the angels.

Hannah tries to persuade God to give her a son by playing upon her merits. In her prayer she mentions the term “Your maidservant” three times (v. 11): “the suffering of Your maidservant […] and not forget Your maidservant, and if You will grant Your maidservant […].” The Rabbis ask why this phrase appears three times and answer: Hannah said to God: “Master of the Universe! You have created three death tests [a wordplay based on the similarity between amatkha, Your maidservant, and mitah, death] for woman [You have given women three tests, and transgressing one of them is liable to result in her demise]: niddah, the taking of hallah, and the kindling of the Sabbath lights. Have I violated any of these?” (BT Berakhot 31b; see above). Hannah compares her situation to a woman who is sentenced to death, which is how she feels since she has no children. She asks God to let her become pregnant by merit of her being His maidservant, a woman who is scrupulous in her observance of the commandments that are reserved exclusively for women.

In another exegetical approach, Hannah is presented as protesting against God’s own behavior. The Rabbis derive from the unusual wording of v. 10—“She prayed to the Lord,” with the preposition al (instead of the usual el), literally meaning: “She prayed concerning the Lord”—that this was an accusation directed against the Lord (BT Berakhot 31b).

An additional tradition depicts Hannah as complaining about the injustice in God’s world. Hannah proclaimed: “Master of the Universe! Abraham did Your bidding, and You gave him a son when he was a hundred years old, while Ahab, who was a sinner and idolater, begot seventy sons! Sarah did Your bidding, and You gave her a son when she reached the age of ninety, while the wicked Jezebel bore seventy sons!” (Midrash Samuel 2:1).

Yet another midrash shows Hannah as forcing God to heed her prayer. She told Him: “Master of the Universe! If You will look upon [with the double wording im ra’oh tireh] the suffering of Your maidservant’ [v. 11]—‘if You will look [im ra’oh]’—it will be well; and if not, ‘tireh’ [i.e., I will force You to heed it]. How so? I will go and be alone with another man with the knowledge of my husband Elkanah. Thus I will be suspected of infidelity, and in order to test me, I will be given the water of the sotah to drink. Since I will emerge innocent from this test, I will be blessed with a child, for it is said in Num. 5:28: ‘But if the woman has not defiled herself and is pure, she shall be unharmed and able to retain seed’; if the charges against a woman are proven to be unfounded, she will be blessed with a child. And so I will have the child that I wanted. Will You make of Your Torah a lie?” (BT Berakhot 31b). This midrash portrays Hannah’s desperate straits. She is even willing to be suspected as a sotah and debase herself in the humiliating ceremony of being forced to drink the water of bitterness, so that the Lord will give her children. In order to “force” God to listen to her, she uses His Torah as a weapon.

HIDDEN EAST BAY WONDERS: JOAQUIN MILLER’S STONE MONUMENTS

15MAY2018JAMES GAGE

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Updated: May 20, 2018 16:05

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Hidden East Bay Wonders brings you everything weird, whimsical and wonderful in the East Bay. This week: Joaquin Miller’s hand-built monuments in Joaquin Miller Park.


Imagine a time when the East Bay was nothing but a grove of Oak trees stretching to the water, interspersed with neat rows of Victorian homes, sprawling, estates, and stuccoed missions.In 1886, turn-of-the-century poet, environmentalist, adventurer, judge, newspaper writer, and occasional horse thief Joaquin Miller built his “Abbey” in the hills of Oakland–a modest, Victorian-styled white frame building that served as an artists’ retreat, hosting repeat visitors like Jack London, Mark Twain, Gertrude Stein, John Muir, Ambrose Bierce, and Walt Whitman. Acquired by the City of Oakland in 1919, the area is today known as Joaquin Miller Park.

Miller’s Abbey hosted literary giants like Mark Twain and Jack London when Oakland was still part of the wild west.

The Abbey consisted of a single small room with a porch and a high-shingled peak with no ceiling. The rafters supporting the roof were left bare. Its rough board walls were decorated with animal hides, bear claws, antlers, horns, Mexican saddles, swords, daggers, and bows.
Sprawled across 70 grassy acres in “the Hights” (sic) above the “City of the Oaks,” Miller erected three stone monuments on the acreage surrounding the Abbey, today enshrined by the 75,000 cypress, pine, olive and eucalyptus trees that he had planted on the grounds.

The steps beginning at the Writer’s Circle ascend to the Woodminster Amphitheater.

The area where Miller built his home is naturally splendorous–wandering the hills, you can see the rare Oakland star tulip bloom in fields of purple needlegrass, leatherwood, and manzanita flowers. The elusive Gray Fox makes his home here, and all around the area are colorful rocky outcroppings of blueschist, serpentine, and pink basalt.

This area, known as the “Writer’s Circle” or “Fire Circle” is where Bohemians like Stein, Twain, and Miller gathered for theatrics and readings. The stone fringe and reflection pool were constructed by the Works Progress Administration in 1937.

Joaquin Hiner Miller was born Cincinnatus Hiner Miller in 1839 (though he lied and said it was 1941–he was a known liar) in Millersville, Indiana (supposedly founded by his father) and grew up in Oregon, making the journey to California during the Gold Rush.
On his many adventures, Miller lived and battled alongside the Wintu tribe, and even fathered a daughter with a princess of the tribe, Cali-Shasta (Lilly of the Shasta). He changed his name in 1870 at the behest of California’s first poet Laureate, Ina Coolbirth, who convinced him to take the pen name “Joaquin”–a bit sexier than “Cincinnatus.”

A statue built in 1942 by Berkeley artist Kisa Beeck memorializes Miller on the back of a horse–probably one he stole.

Dubbed the “Poet of the Sierras,” Miller traveled the world, producing several books of poetry and plays that were especially well-received in London, where he was more of a celebrity than in the United States.

On his literary tours and adventures around the world, he played the part of California bushwhacker and vagabond; a ruffian with a heart of gold and a tongue of silver. A womanizer, a scoundrel, an outdoorsman, and at his crux, a poet. Miller was at touch with worlds natural and manmade, and much preferred the former. His seminal body of poetry, “Songs of the Sierras,” is still known throughout the world today, and evokes the same sense of place and personality that it did when it was written:

“And I have said, and I say it ever
As the years go on and the world goes over
‘Twere better to be content and clever
In the tending of cattle and the tossing of clover.”

The John C. Fremont Monument in Joaquin Miller Park.

Back at home in Oakland, Miller built four strange concrete and rubble monuments scattered atop the eminences surrounding his property. The first monument, his “Pyramid to Moses,” was built in 1892 as a representation of Miller’s respect for the ten commandments (or so it’s said–remember: Miller was a known liar).
Sturdy and foreboding, its shadows chart a path along the ground with the hours of the day, and it stands ominously looming over the city below it.

The Pyramid to Moses looms over the City of Oaks.

Miller built his second monument in 1898 just north of the Pyramid: his own funeral pyre. The pyre was a Romanesque altar of stone indented at its peak to cradle Miller’s dead body.

The Pyramid to Moses, damaged by assholes.

He wished to be burned without embalming and without a religious ceremony. Unfortunately, his wishes went unheeded. His very traditional funeral drew thousands in Oakland. After he was cremated, the mysterious Bohemian Club in San Francisco arranged to have his ashes scattered on the pyre that he built.

The top of the Funeral Pyre, today filled with broken glass and trash.

Interestingly, in 2016, a local man named Reginald Richardson committed suicide by self-immolation, burning himself on top of Miller’s pyre. His body was found smoldering at noon when a jogger noticed the smoke as he was passing by. Today, the pyre is a punchbowl of broken glass, condom wrappers, and cigarette butts. East of the Pyramid, Miller erected his third monument in 1904: a small, medieval-style drum tower crowned with merlons dedicated to the poets Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, who were husband and wife.

The Browning Monument in Joaquin Miller Park.

His final monument was built further east in 1904: a stone bastion with an arrowslit window and open roof dedicated to explorer, soldier, and California senator John C. Fremont, commemorating the spot where Fremont was rumored to have first seen the sunset over the Bay in 1848.

The John C. Fremont Monument in Oakland’s Joaquin Miller Park.

Sunlight pours through the monument built to commemorate the spot where in 1848 John C. Fremont first saw the sunset over the Bay.

 Take a day to wander Joaquin Miller Park, 3300 Joaquin Miller Rd. in Oakland, and observe these special monuments, which have a quality unlike anything you will find in the East Bay. Note: due to vandalism, many of the monuments have been partially destroyed. Please be respectful of Oakland’s history and help protect local wonders for future generations to enjoy.
Visit: www.fojmp.org for information on how to donate or volunteer.

Joaqwer to General John C. Frémont

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The Tower to General John C. Frémont monument is located in Joaquin Miller Park, and was erected as a tribute to General Frémont by Joaquin Miller. On the spot of the monument General Frémont is thought to have stood and seen the San Francisco Bay for the first time, which he called the “Golden Gate.” 1 There is some doubt as to whether Frémont was actually in Joaquin Miller Park, but it should be remembered that Miller was a poet, so perhaps it was poetic license.

On January 7, 1975, the Tower to General John C. Frémont was designated an Oakland Landmark, under Zoning Case #LM 74-335.

[ Including the modern spelling “Fremont” so searches will find it. ]

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About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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