The Parable of The Tower, the Watchmen, and the Constitution

The parable of the watchtower can be found in D&C 101: 43–62. D&C 101: 77–80 mentions the Constitution. I recommend you read those before continuing.

In a sermon delivered at Nauvoo, Illinois July 19, 1840, Joseph Smith said the following:

“We shall build the Zion of the Lord in peace until the servants of that Lord shall begin to lay the foundation of a great and high watch Tower, and then shall they begin to say within themselves, “what need hath my Lord of this tower seeing this is a time of peace?” Then the Enemy shall come as a thief in the night and scatter the servants abroad. When the seed of these 12 Olive trees are scattered abroad they will wake up the Nations of the whole Earth. Even this Nation will be on the very verge of crumbling to pieces and tumbling to the ground, and when the constitution is upon the brink of ruin, this people will be the Staff upon which the Nation shall lean, and they shall bear the constitution away from the very verge of destruction. Then shall the Lord say, “go, tell all my servants who are the strength of mine house, my young men, and middle aged, and come to the Land of my vineyard and fight the battle of the Lord”. Then the Kings & Queens shall come, then the rulers of the Earth shall come, then shall all saints come, yea the Foreign saints shall come to fight for the Land of my vineyard, for in this thing shall be their safety, and they will have no power to choose but will come as a man fleeth from a sudden destruction.”

Put simply, I believe the tower is Zion and the watchmen are the “pure in heart”.

The prophets are often referred to as the watchmen on the tower, and that is quite fitting considering their call to be prophets, seers, and revelators. We are privileged to receive their counsel on a regular basis, in General Conference, and elsewhere, which, if followed, will be a protection to us. I believe, furthermore, that we all can be watchmen on the tower, we all should be, especially within our own families and communities.

In the parable of the Tower, the Lord asked for watchmen to be placed around the vineyard, upon the walls, as a well as a watchman upon the tower. The reason for the tower was to see the enemy coming from far away. Unfortunately, after only working on the foundation, the servants felt, because it was a time of peace, that they had no need for the tower, and this resulted in much destruction.

I believe this parable applies to us, individually, and as a Church. Since 2 years after the Church was founded in 1830 we have been under condemnation. “And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them, not only to say, but to do according to that which I have written.” Fortunately, as individuals, we can remove ourselves from such condemnation by reading and using the Book of Mormon as we should, and by keeping the commandments and covenants we have received.

As we strive to follow Christ, and seek guidance and revelation from the Lord, we become watchmen upon the tower. It is primarily through being in-tune with the Spirit that we can see the enemy coming from afar and act accordingly. As we continue to build Zion, to establish the Kingdom of God upon this earth, in other words, as we do our part to build the Tower, the Spirit of the Lord will be upon us, and will warn us of danger.

The Tower also represents our homes and communities.

We must become watchmen upon our own towers and keep the enemy from destroying ourselves and our families. We must have a good relationship with our spouse and raise our children in righteousness.

We also have a civic responsibility to be involved in strengthening our communities, and standing up for correct principles and good government. As more and more people stand up for what is right within our communities, they will be protected from the evils of the world, for “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is Liberty“.

I believe the building of the tower also relates to the building up of the political Kingdom of God as mentioned in the scriptures. The Book of Revelation, Chapter 12, refers to a woman who flees from the dragon into the wilderness, and brings forth a man child, “who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron”. We read in the Bible Dictionary that “The woman is the Church; the man child is the political kingdom of God growing out of the Church.”

How does the Constitution relate to the parable of the watchtower?

I believe that Joseph Smith’s mention of the “constitution on the brink of ruin” helps us to better understand the timeline of events related in the parable. It is also stated that “they (the saints) shall bear the constitution away from the very verge of destruction”. This should serve as a reminder of those principles we must be upholding, the principles of Liberty.

Regarding the previously quoted statement of Joseph Smith, I believe he was prophesying about events past, events currently happening and those to come.

We are currently in the days where the Constitution is “hanging by a thread”, the Secret Combinations have obtained sole management of the government, and the nation is getting ripe for destruction. The enemy is among us, and people are waking up.

There is still time to strengthen ourselves and others, to preach the Gospel unto all the earth, to stand up for freedom; to lift where we stand.

Ezra Taft Benson warned us that one of the devils most effective neutralizers is:

“‘Don’t do anything in the fight for freedom until the Church sets up its own specific program to save the Constitution’… To those slothful servants who will not do anything until they are ‘compelled in all things’, maybe the Lord will never set up a specific church program for the purpose of saving the Constitution. Perhaps if he set one up at this time it might split the Church asunder, and perhaps he does not want that to happen yet for not all the wheat and tares are fully ripe.”

The prophesied time will come, the moment we’ve all been waiting for, when we will finally take back the Lord’s vineyard (from the enemy), place watchmen round about and on the walls, and finish building the tower (Zion).

“The field is white already to harvest; wherefore, thrust in your sickles, and reap with all your might, mind, and strength.” (D&C 33:7)

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Beyond the thoughts I have shared with you, I’d also like to share some insights from others that I have asked about the meaning of the parable of the tower in the past:

The Tower was supposed to be a Watch tower to view the enemy while they were afar off. I believe a modern day ‘watch tower’ would have been a news service like like a CNN or Fox News. It would’ve been extremely expensive to build but we could have watch the politicians during Christmas breaks changing our Constitution by passing unratified ammendments and Federal Reserve Acts. We could further warn the Saints concerning the deceptions in war and promote truth and expose wickedness to a worldwide audience. It would be a broadcast “tower” to the world.

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I take this as, the Tower is the Constitution or the knowledge of it (Knowledge = Power) and that knowledge acts as a Tower. If you know the principles of freedom then you can see the enemy afar off when they say things that are in conflict with constitutional principles. Remember anything more or less than the Constitution cometh of evil, the Tower is the principles of the Constitution (“know your constitution!”). The people do not want to know all about what is in the constitution because they have no need and then the enemy, Gadiantons, have taken the constitution (tower) and the Lord is commanding US to take it back! The Lord asks for his strong servants, young men and middle age?? This is the youth that have been held back for 6000 years! Think on it carefully. “Young men and middle age servants, the old ones had their chance and they messed it up in the Pres. Mckay and Pres. Benson’s times, they had no need to study the constitution (tower) and refused to listen to Mckay and Benson (save a few). Now it has been taken over by the evil men scheming to change our Tower (constitution) to their own liking! This is what I take from all this, now is our time, this is our moment to take back the Tower.

I also know there is a lot of “endure to the end” to be done, John the revelator talks of the great patience of the Saints. Just a thought.

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In the other parables of the vineyard, it meant the earth.

This vineyard is a choice spot in the land, and that would be the US in my eyes.

Those on the towers are those that would guard this land, protect the liberty.

If liberty falls, the church does not exist in this land.

To me, this says that we have been called to stand up, climb the towers and uproot all those that are enemies to liberty, because they are enemies to the gospel of Jesus Christ by being such. And in order to do that, we must preach the gospel, and preach it in action. We stand up, we get involved, we educate the people, and we take the country back. As we do this, it destroys their strong holds, their power, and they crumble to the earth.

That is how I was impressed. To get up and defend the gospel through protecting the liberty of this nation. That it is my mission to do so, and that I was sent in this time because I will risk it all to save liberty, therefore protecting the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Image: Watchtower – LDS Media Library


  1. Thank you Mr. Mecham for your thoughtful remarks about this passage in the Doctrine and Covenants. Your writing has brought out some interesting points that I have not thought about. Questions for example–What is the Watchtower in our modern times? Who are the watchman and how does this whole parable relate to us? I will ream much from the information.

    I feel the same way as in the last person who commented said: …”To get up and defend the gospel through protecting the liberty of this nation. That it is my mission to do so, and that I was sent in this time because I will risk it all to save liberty, therefore protecting the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

    Since the time I have been writing my books in 1990, I have felt that I was sent at this time to risk it all to save liberty…” We all have our own mission in these latter days, we were sent to accomplish and as we recognize this mission we can join the ranks to protect the gospel of Jesus Christ. Thank you.

  2. I disagree on the overall tone of Brother Mecham’s article. Unstable and fearful people may use such reasoning to lure the saints into militia and survivalist groups and groups that encourage radical political action, civil disobedience, and sedition.

    In my 30-plus years of studying the gospel and the statements of Joseph Smith, the early apostles and prophets of this dispensation, and the words of the modern general authorities, the overwhelming prophetic view is that the United States will collapse. The functions of government will cease. Civil wars (plural) will embroil the land and commerce will all but cease. The judgments of God will afflict the saints as well as the nonbelievers. The obedient saints will be prepared with food, water, fuel, clothing, a small nest-egg of savings, and the hope for the establishment of Zion.

    Zion will become the staff upon which the people of the nation will lean. (I make a distinction between the people of the nation and the organs of national government.) They will lean on it for survival, for a safety and a refuge. Zion will provide a place of stability in the midst of anarchy. There is no political movement that is going to have power to save the Constitution or the United States government. Efforts toward political solutions distract the saints away from the preparations to enter Zion.

    Every effort should be made for individual families to qualify to enter a system of united orders when the time comes. That means having a current temple recommend, having little or no debt (because you can’t consecrate what you don’t own), and being a full tithe-payer. Having food storage is important as well and may be a requirement for entry into a united order. Having such commodities prepares us to participate in an alternative economy when the current national and global economy fails. It is also important that we practice principles of home production of those things for which we have need.

    A sensible course towards preparedness and faithful church participation will help us to be ready when the time comes to establish Zion.

    1. G West, Either you misunderstood the message I was trying to convey, or I simply poorly conveyed it… Perhaps the case is that you are making conclusions based on this singular article, or parts of it, while my thoughts on Zion and other things mentioned in this article cannot be contained within one single article.

      I did not mean to say that any political movement was going to save this nation or the Constitution.

      I agree with your thoughs on Zion, but not your interpretation of my article. :)

  3. I have several observations to make on this article. First of all, the quotation marks you use in quoting Joseph Smith are so confusing, as to destroy all confidence in the meaning of the passage. Who is saying what and what is the source?

    Second, the idea that the “tower” in the parable is Zion is just ludicrous. When did the Lord’s servants ever start to lay the foundation of Zion and then stop and contend that it wasn’t worth building it, because it was too expensive and there was really no real need to do so?

    Third, when the Council of Fifty was organized and Joseph was crowned its king, the foundation of the political kingdom of God was laid, but, in time, it was discontinued by the Lord’s servants, because some argued that it was not needed, and indeed that it was superfluous at a time when Utah was struggling for statehood – to make peace with the U.S. government, their formidable foe.

    The name of the Kingdom that the Council of Fifty was the governing body of was not the name of the Church, it was the “The Kingdom of God and His Laws, with the Keys and Power thereof, and Judgment, in the Hands of His Servants, Ahman Christ.” The president of the Council was the president of the Church, who was always crowned king of the earth, and the Council of the Twelve were standing members. Others, including non-members, made up the rest.

    President Taylor was the last President of the Church who was crowned King, but it didn’t seem all that important to him, and the rest of the brethren, who began to regard it as a “debating society,” more than anything else, and they thought had no need for a mere debating society, in light of the great challenges facing the work of perfecting the saints, redeeming the dead, and proclaiming the gospel to the world.

    But stop and think for a minute how wrong they were! The Council would have no doubt debated the unconstitutional acts of the banksters, the old-world money of the European bankers and royalty, who had struggled for decades to wrest control of the U.S. monetary system from that of the constitutionally mandated Congress, and who have now managed to enslave the people, as the founding fathers feared would happen.

    How useful would they have been, as watchmen, to enlighten and educate the Saints, so that they would not have suffered themselves to be deceived by the corporate cabals, whose purpose is to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations and countries, and who seek to bring to pass the destruction of all people, through their eugenics programs, that they may be alone in the earth!

    What great debates they would have had over everything from capitalism and communism, to fiat currencies, to the dumbing-down and subversion of education. Fifty or so men, required to come to a consensus on these issues that would have clearly shown the intent of the enemy, when he was yet afar off, so that the Saints could have made ready and protected the Lord’s vineyard.

    But now, the enemy is upon us. He is breaking down the hedge that protects the Church, the U.S. constitution, and soon will break down the twelve olive trees that the Lord’s servants have planted and they shall flee. Their works shall be destroyed, by those desiring to take upon themselves the fruit of the vineyard, and the Lord will ask his servants, “Why?”

    However, he will call his Servant, and command him to gather the strength of his house, his young men and his middle aged men, for the purpose of redeeming his vineyard, for it is his. He bought it with money, and his servants will avenge him of his enemies, inasmuch as they gather against them.

    It’s time, I think, that we understood the truth about these things. The Corporation of the First Presidency is a 501(c) 3 corporation, and, as a church, cannot engage in political matters. Their hands are tied in all but moral issues, by the laws that the banksters have made that allow the Saints to deduct their tithing from their taxes.

    They cannot expose the cabals that have gained sole management of the government, in any way that would wake up the Saints. They cannot educate the Saints on the dangers that the priesthood faces, as President Benson and others tried to do, at this point in time, because it is too late.

    However, as members of the Council of Fifty, they would have been FREE to take political action. To urge the Saints and all freedom loving Gentiles to understand the importance of the political and economic issues and the dangers that President Benson warned of, without dividing them, as they would be divided now, over these things, as they were divided over President Benson’s words.

    Finally, the days are coming when the slaves shall rise up against their masters, and the remnant shall be marshaled for war, but oh how I glory in the Lord Almighty and the words of his servant, who said to his brethren:

    Now, what do we hear in the gospel which we have received? A voice of gladness! A voice of mercy from heaven; and a voice of truth out of the earth; glad tidings for the dead; a voice of gladness for the living and the dead; glad tidings of great joy. How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of those that bring glad tidings of good things, and that say unto Zion: Behold, thy God reigneth! As the dews of Carmel, so shall the knowledge of God descend upon them! […]
    Brethren, shall we not go on in so great a cause? Go forward and not backward. Courage, brethren; and on, on to the victory! Let your hearts rejoice, and be exceedingly glad. Let the earth break forth into singing. Let the dead speak forth anthems of eternal praise to the King Immanuel, who hath ordained, before the world was, that which would enable us to redeem them out of their prison; for the prisoners shall go free. […]
    Let the mountains shout for joy, and all ye valleys cry aloud; and all ye seas and dry lands tell the wonders of your Eternal King! And ye rivers, and brooks, and rills, flow down with gladness. Let the woods and all the trees of the field praise the Lord; and ye solid rocks weep for joy! And let the sun, moon, and the morning stars sing together, and let all the sons of God shout for joy! And let the eternal creations declare his name forever and ever! And again I say, how glorious is the voice we hear from heaven, proclaiming in our ears, glory, and salvation, and honor, and immortality, and eternal life; kingdoms, principalities, and powers!

    Behold, the great day of the Lord is at hand; and who can abide the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appeareth? For he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fuller’s soap; and he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness. Let us, therefore, as a church and a people, and as Latter-day Saints, offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness; and let us present in his holy temple, when it is finished, a book containing the records of our dead, which shall be worthy of all acceptation.


  4. To be a Watchman on the Tower unto the people is no small assignment. It carries with it a tremendous responsibility to warn the people of impending calamities if they refuse to alter their downward course. I quote from Ezekiel in the Old Testament.

    EZEKIEL 3:17-21 Son of man, I have made thee a Watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them Warning from me. When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him Not Warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Yet if thou Warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul. Again, when a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumblingblock before him, he shall die: because thou hast not given him Warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless if thou warn the righteous man, that the righteous sin not, and he doth not sin, he shall surely live, because he is warned; also thou hast delivered thy soul.

    EZEKIEL 33:3-6 If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and Warn the people; Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh Warning shall deliver his soul. But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be Not Warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand.

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