Old Testament Prophets: Malachi

2014 Ensign December

Anotated by Don R. Hender

    "BEHOLD, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come saith the LORD of hosts."
    — Malachi 3:1

    “[Jesus] commanded them that they should write the words which the Father had given unto Malachi”
    — 3 Nephi 24:1

So much emphasis is place on John the Baptist being the 'messenger' who prepared the way before the Lord, that the rest of the pronouncement is somewhat lost. And that is that the Lord himself shall suddenly come and appear in his temple.

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

    My name means “my messenger,” and as such I relayed the “burden of the word of the Lord to Israel.”1 In my day, about 450 years before Christ’s birth,2 many of the Jews became discouraged and had stopped living righteously.3 The Lord rebuked them through my teachings.

Jewish priests from the tribe of Levi were normally dedicated to providing ordinances, but the Levites were corrupt in my time. They were ungrateful, refused to honor God, and offered polluted bread and imperfect animal sacrifices.4 They had broken the priesthood covenant God had made with Levi.

The people—not only the priests—were corrupt as well. They were marrying outside of the covenant, divorcing the wives of their youth, and refusing to pay their tithes and offerings.5

But even as the Lord spoke against these evil practices, He was willing to forgive because He loved His people: “Return unto me, and I will return unto you.”6 One way to return unto the Lord was to bring “all the tithes into the storehouse.”7

The people complained, “It is vain to serve God: … they that work wickedness are set up [prosperous],”8 but I taught that the names of those who “feared the Lord … and that thought upon his name” were written in a “book of remembrance.”9

I also prophesied that at the Lord’s Second Coming, the wicked “shall be stubble” but unto those who fear His name “shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings.”10

I prophesied that before the Second Coming, the prophet Elijah would come to restore the priesthood keys that would “turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers.”11

Through my teachings, we see that the Lord remembers His people and keeps His promises to His faithful children. He wants us to have faith in these promises and, through repentance, return unto Him.12

Apreciating Malahi:

Malachi's prophecies where not a 'one time' or about one era only and done type of prphecies, they were very much dualistic. Yes John the Baptist would come and prepare the way of the Lord in the meridian of time, but Malachi spoke concerning the events of the latter days as well. Not only did Malachi prophesy of the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ to the latter day temple in Kirtland, Ohio, but he also prophesied of Elijah the prophet comeing to visit the earth before the Secord Coming of the Great and Dreadful day of the Lord.

Elijah's mission was to restore the keys of the priesthood that related to the sealing powers of uniting the family of God eternally. That is that work which turns the hearts of the fathers and the hearts of the children toward's each other in the great temple sealings that being the family units together eternally and eternally connected unto God their Father in Heaven.

  [Fact/Information Box: Isaiah]

  • Malachi was considered as one of the minor prophets of the Old Testatment. His prophecies are in the last book of the Old Testament. presumed that it would be known who is being spoken of.
  • Life time: He lived in the 5th century B.C. and is dated to about 450 B.C.
  • Mission: His ministry and mission is not seen as being that of a contemporary nature as the people at that time where again considered in the ways of sin. Rather he is deamed as a prophet for future ages to come. Thus his prophecies are applied to the mission and ministry of John the Baptist in preparing the way of the Lord and to such matters as the Lord's Glorious Second Coming preceed by the prophet Elijah.
  • His Name: The meaning of Malachi is 'God's Messenger' and may more precisely be applied to mean the prophet of God's Messengers. Malachi prophecies of the coming forth of various 'messengers', John the Baptist, Jesus Christ as the messenger of the covenant, and even Elijah's coming before the Second Coming of the Lord.
  • Mortal role: Thus his mortal role must be seen not so much as a prophet calling his contempories unto repentance, but as the prophet prophesying of the furture events to come.

"The Prophet Elijah was to plant in the hearts of the children the promises made to their fathers*,
"Foreshadowing the great work to be done in the temples of the Lord in the dispensation of the fulness of times, for the redemption of the dead, and the sealing of the children to their parents, lest the whole earth be smitten with a curse and utterly wasted at his coming."

~ Doctrine and Covenants | Section 138:47-48

* These promises of the fathers are those propmised back father Adam, and are those promises which Abraham states that he was seeking in the book of Abraham. They are the eternal or everlasting covenant promises of heaven of providing the Messiah and a way by which man might return to God. These covenant blessing include all the priesthood blessing that the bring the blessings of God, by the power of God, upon the children of man.

Elijah Has Come Again 
Jewish Tradition holds to the prophecies of Malachi that before the Lord's Glorious Coming to earth, Elijah the prophet must first come. In fact they invite the Prophet Elijah to attend the Seder feast by reserving a special chair that remain's vacant until Elijah does come and sit in it at the Seder. They will even pour Elijah a cup of wine and open the door to have him come in.

It was at the Seder feast of the Passover that Jesus introduced the ordinance of the Lord's Super or Sacrement. That was a special covenant ordinance that pertains to the Lord's Atonement. One of the beliefs of the Jews is that Elijah comes to the Seder to visit the performance of the cirsumcision, which is the Old Israelite covenant observed to mark the children of Israel as being of the covenant of Abraham. And it is about that time of year that Elijah did come to the Temple of Kirtland [April 3, 1836] but not to visit the Old Covenant of the Circumcision that was fulfilled in Christ, but to turn the hearts of the child to the fathers and the fathers to the children in restoring the priesthood of the sealing powers of God that seals the families of earth to the eternal and celestial heaven of God and God's family.

Of course, the Jews who are not Mormons, are still looking for Elijah to come, though we are given to understand that he has come already.

Reference Notes:

1. Malachi 1:1.

2. See Bible Dictionary, “Malachi,” 728.

3. See Old Testament Seminary Student Study Guide (2002), 193.

4. See Malachi 1:2, 6–14; see also Old Testament Instructor’s Guide, Religion 301–2 (1994), 109–10.

5. See Malachi 2:11, 14–16; 3:8.

6. Malachi 3:7.

7. Malachi 3:10; see also LeGrand Richards, “The Second Coming of Christ,” Ensign, May 1978, 75.

8. Malachi 3:14–15.

9. Malachi 3:16.

10. Malachi 4:1–2.

11. Malachi 4:6; see also Doctrine and Covenants 110.

12. See Old Testament Teacher Resource Manual (2003), 215.                                                    Elijah's Chair

" Behold, the time has fully come, which was spoken of by the mought of Malachi—testifying that he [Elijah] should be sent, before the great and dreadful day of the Lord come [Lord's Coming]—
To turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers, lest the whole earth be smitten with a curse—
~ Doctrine and Covenants 110:14-15                                                      

'Come to the House of the LORD'