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PRESTON - you actually believe (or whoever wrote the article) that both Esaiah and Isaiah are 2 different people? And Elijah and Elias are 2 separate people? I can’t find any source other then Mormon ones that don’t think they are just 2 different names for one person. As proof points, you used JST, and the Doctrine and Covenants, both of which were obviously authored by Joseph Smith. I hate to bring your background into the conversation, but it seems that only someone who was born Mormon would have any inclination to believe in the reasoning used in the article. The point of Elias being a name to reference forerunners or preparers seems to make sense, but only because in the Bible John the Baptist is the Elijah/Elias referred to in the Malachi 4 prophesy (see Matthew 17, Matthew 11, Luke 1). Did Joseph Smith ever refer to anyone in the Doctrine and Covenants as an “Elias”? If not, then it seems more then likely that it was an error on Joseph’s part, and the two separate visions of Elijah and Elias were fraudulent. You would probably agree that Elias only refers to Elijah in the Bible (simply because it’s the Greek translation of the Old Testament name Elijah). But, maybe you can give me other references of Elias in the Mormon standard works that refer to someone other than John the Baptist or the Old Testament prophet Elijah.

JOEL - I do have more information about the Elias refered to in the D&C scripture since I wrote the article you refered to (I will update it here). In a discourse on the Priesthood on July 2, 1839, Joseph Smith said the following regarding the role of past prophets:

"The Priesthood was first given to Adam; he obtained the First Presidency, and held the keys of it from generation to generation. He obtained it in the Creation, before the world was formed, as in Gen. 1: 26-28. He had dominion given him over every living creature. He is Michael, the Archangel, spoken of in the Scriptures. Then to Noah, who is Gabriel; he stands next in authority to Adam in the Priesthood; he was called of God to this office, and was the father of all living in his day, and to him was given the dominion. These men held keys first on earth, and then in heaven. . . ." (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p.157).

Luke reveals the coming of the angel Gabriel to Zacharias to inform him that his wife would bear a son. He also appeared to Mary and announced the birth of Jesus. (Luke 1:11, 19, 26-27.) Gabriel then is Noah according to Joseph Smith who appeared to Zacharias.
Then in a revelation given to the Joseph Smith in August 1830, Joseph Smith says it was an Elias who came to Zacharias and announced the birth of John the Baptist.

"And also with Elias, to whom I have committed the keys of bringing to pass the restoration of all things spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began, concerning the last days;
And also John the son of Zacharias, which Zacharias he (Elias) visited and gave promise that he should have a son, and his name should be John, and he should be filled with the spirit of Elias; (D. & C. 27:6-7, 9. See verse 9 for distinction between the first mentioned Elias and Elijah.)

This is the same Elias(Gabriel aka Noah) used as a title, who held the keys of the dispensation of Abraham and who came to the Prophet Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery, April 3, 1836, in the Kirtland Temple and restored the keys of Abraham's dispensation. Joseph Smith knew the Bible and knew that the angel that came to Zacharias was called Gabriel in the New Testament (every sunday school kid knows that), yet in the above D&C scripture he called him Elias.

Summarizing the facts—Joseph Smith revealed that Gabriel was Noah; Luke declared that it was the angel Gabriel who appeared to Zacharias and Mary; and Joseph Smith declared that Elias appeared to both himself and to Zacharias.
You may not agree with this, but in my opinion it just shows that joseph smith, knowing that the word "Elias" means forerunner or preparrer of the way, was obvoiusly in the practice of giving the title of Elias to certain ancient prophets.

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