From 'Old Testament Prophets: Elijah'

2014 Ensign July

Anotated by Don R. Hender


    “Elijah was one of the greatest of the prophets, and the Lord conferred upon him the sealing power.”1 —President Joseph Fielding Smith (1876–1972)

    ["¶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 heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse." ~ Malachi 4:4-5]

   Elijah was an inhabitant of Gilead and a member of the Northern Kingdom of Israel/Ephraim. He is called a 'Tishbite' but it is uncertain as to the origin and meaning of that name. It is significant that Elijah was a prophet specific to the Kingdom of Ephraim as that is even in his latter work of visitation and restoration, who he did come to administer to. Thus as Elder LeGrand Richards pointed out to his Jewish friend, the Jews still wait with empty chair for he who has come already again to the earth to perform his important work.

[This Section Is Given As if Elijah Is Narrating His Story]

I ministered as a prophet in the Northern Kingdom of Israel [Ephraim].2 Due to the Israelites’ wickedness, I sealed the heavens against rain, causing a famine in the land. During the famine, I lived by a brook and ravens brought me food, but then the brook dried up.3

The Lord commanded me to go to a widow who lived in Zarephath, and she would feed me. I found her gathering sticks to prepare a final meal for herself and her son. I told her that if she fed me first, her “barrel of meal [should] not waste, neither [should] the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the Lord sendeth rain upon the earth.”4 She exercised faith, and the Lord fulfilled His promise.

While I lived with her family, the widow’s son died. I pled, “O Lord my God, I pray thee, let this child’s soul come into him again.”5 The Lord heard my cry, and her son lived again.6

Later, I demonstrated the Lord’s power to the people of Israel by challenging the priests of Baal to a contest. The priests prepared a sacrifice and called upon Baal all day long to send down fire, but no fire appeared. I constructed an altar of 12 stones, symbolic of the 12 tribes of Israel, and dug a trench around the altar. Then I had the altar and its sacrifice soaked with 12 barrels of water, drenching the wood and filling the trench. I called upon the Lord, and He sent down fire that consumed the sacrifice, the altar, and the water. Afterward, I prayed unto the Lord, and He opened the heavens to rain.7

At the end of my life, I did not die but ascended into heaven in a chariot of fire.8 During Christ's mortal ministry, I appeared on the Mount of Transfiguration and gave priesthood keys to Peter, James, and John.9

I appeared again in the latter days "to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers," coming to the Kirtland Temple on April 3, 1836, and restoring the keys of the sealing power to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery.10

Prophet of Israel

As 'prophet of the everlasting covenant' Elijah is holder of the keys of the sealing powers over heaven and earth. Elijah was installed by God as a prophet of Israel, that is to and among those of Ephriam and his companions. This becomes significant not only of him in his day and age of his life time, but it is also significant for he is the latter-day prophet looked for to come. And of course he mission was to come not to Judah but to Ephraim and his companions to bestow those keys which he held that would be actively used in the administration of the Gospel in the last days in not just taking it to all the world, but further to annoint, endow, and seal by the power of God the heavens and the earth by the sealing powers exercised in the temple of turning the hearts of the parents, the fathers, to the children, and the hearts of the children to their parents, their fathers, lest the whole earth be cursed and not fulfill its intented purpose to the ends of the work and glory of God, that is the bringing to past the immortality and eternal life of man.

Elijah did not die a death of the grave. He was taken up to heaven and presumed translated. This has enabled him to personally and physically restore those priesthood keys which he held.

  [Fact Box: Samuel]

  • Writings of Elijah: Only a very few words even spoken by Elijah have been recorded by other Biblical record keepers. Elijah was more of a man of action. And his actions were most memorable to have been preserved by other Biblical scriptural writers, which does indeed say something considering that Elijah was a prophet in Ephraim and not in Judah.
  • Premortal role: Elijah would have been pre-selected to that prophetic role which he filled in his life in the Northern Kingdom of Israel. But Elijah did not die for his administration was to continue upon earth in a row he'd play as a 'post-mortal', having now been translated.
  • It is little known to the world just what Elijah's future mission was to be, for which the Jews still await his coming. But unlike many a forgotten prophet of the Kingdom of Ephraim, Elijah is highly revered and awaited by the Jewish community. But it is unto Ephraim and Ephraim's birthright that Elijah was to come to restore the keys of the sealing powers of heaven. And it is in this hiden mission in Ephraim which has kept the world from generally knowing that Elijah has come already.
  • Mortal roles: Elijah's mortal roll was unto the preservation of the faith of which his name proclaims. And that is 'Jehovah is God'. That is Jehovah is the one and only true God given under Heaven and there is none other but him who we are to worship in this second estate but him who is both Jehovah of the Old Testament and Jesus Christ of the New Testament. Elijah's 'war' against the religion of Baal is monumental from the sealing of the heavens to the calling down of fire out of heaven and then the opening up of the heavens again by that Melchizedek Power of God that he did hold.
  • Postmortal roles: Elijah, now a translated beinging, not suffering death, returned to earth to 'restore' the keys of the sealing power of God. It is by that power that the ordiances of the Temples of God do perform their many ordiances which seal upon earth and in heaven those ordiances performed which will work to the ends of the salvation of all men who ever have lived and which are taken to the world today for the blessing of every nation, kindred, tongue and people by and through the power of God through the administration of Ephraim as the heir of the covenant of Abraham and of the 'fathers'.
Like many a prophet, when first called, Elijah perhaps did not have full confidence in his position and calling. After speaking against Jesebell and sealing the heavens that it ceased to rain upon the earth, Elijah went into hiding for a time, being first feed by ravens and then by a gentile widow who was suffering unto death because of the sealing of the heavens which Elijah had done. But in the end, Elijah was filled with the full confidence of being the Lord's prophet as he stood against the captains of the Queen and brought down fire from heaven to effect the destruction of the priests of Baal before he did finally unsealed the heavens and brought rain against upon the earth.

Elijah's Name

The name Elijah is one of those names of God bestowed upon man. It means 'Jehovah is God'. And it was a decree against King Ahab and particularly Jezebel, who had brought and enstalled the religion of Baal to be Israel's 'state' religion. In his 'fight' against the religion of Baal, Elijah was bestowed with the powers of heaven which not only had power to command the elements, but also was that sealing power by which things bound or loosed on earth are bound or loosed in heaven. The importance of this sealing power is that by which the earth is sealed to heaven by the priesthood power of God and is the foundational power exercised in the temples today.

Reference Notes:
1. Joseph Fielding Smith, Answers to Gospel Questions, ed. Joseph Fielding Smith Jr., 5 vols. (1957–1966), 4:193.

2. See Guide to the Scriptures, “Elijah,”

3. See 1 Kings 17:1–7.

4. See 1 Kings 17:8–16.

5. See 1 Kings 17:21.

6. See 1 Kings 17:8–24.

7. See 1 Kings 18.

8. See 2 Kings 2:11.

9. See Matthew 17:3; Guide to the Scriptures, “Transfiguration,”

10. See Doctrine and Covenants 110:13–16.

The Jews believe that Elijah is still to come according to the Biblical promise. They will have an 'empty chair' reserved for Elijah, 'the prophet of the Covenant', for various religious events.The fact is Elijah has come already and his keys of power are exercised in every temple ordiance performed in the LDS Temples today.

rev. 27 June 2014