I’m excited to introduce Matthew Gill. He’s a prophet in the UK for the Restored Branch of Jesus Christ. We’ll learn more about his scriptures. He’s translated a record of ancient peoples in Britain!
Matthew: Sure. My name is Matthew Gill and I am the Prophet and first elder of the Restored Branch of Jesus Christ based in Derbyshire, England.
Matthew: The official name of the organization is the Restored Branch of Jesus Christ.
Matthew: I mean, if you want to go right back to the beginning, when I was in the LDS Church, I had a spiritual experience when I was about 12, in 1990, where I saw an angel. I saw Moroni, and the gold plates. My father and I went, and we told the bishop and we told the stake president, so we were told pretty much to keep it to ourselves. Don’t tell anybody. Don’t bandy it about. So, I grew up, just having that experience on my mind.
Matthew: Then, obviously, with that experience in mind, you go through phases, and I went to my mission, and I came home. I didn’t really think much about the visitation when I was 12, other than the fact that he told me that one day I would have some work to do and that I was to prepare for that by being spiritually prepared, read the scriptures, behave myself, don’t do anything silly.
Matthew: Then, about October 2005, I had another angelic encounter. That’s when I started to part ways with the LDS Church. But I wasn’t kicked out. I resigned my membership quite freely. I sent a letter in, resigned my membership. I never went through any excommunication or disciplinary council. I just ended my membership.
GT: Okay. So, can you tell us more about these visions? Because I understand that, did you receive some gold plates or something? Or is that something different?
Brass Plates of Stonehenge
Matthew: No, so, in 2005, I had an angelic visitation. In that visitation, I was told that there was going to come to me a record of the people, the former inhabitants of the British Isles. There were certain things I needed to do in order to receive them. That was the way it was. I’d had, and then I had visitations on and off. Then, in 2006, I had a dream where I went to Stonehenge, and I was called to Stonehenge. So, my father and I went down to Stonehenge with a friend of ours and we had this wonderful experience at Stonehenge. We all had our own individual experiences, which culminated in the one big experience, which told us we were going to be given a record of these former inhabitants of the British Isles. And they will be with us in the coming weeks and months ahead.
Matthew: So, obviously, we weren’t going to church at that point, because we’d all left the LDS Church, including my father and my mother. So, we’d all left the church and my friend had left the church. So, we weren’t meeting formally to have church or take the sacrament or anything like that.
Matthew: Then, in I want to say, August, it was the August of 2006, my wife and I, we stopped over at my parents’ house, and we stayed the night. We were going to go home the next day on Saturday. My wife was obviously up early with getting my son ready to go home. I heard my dad calling me from downstairs, “Matthew, Matthew, come downstairs, something’s here.”
Matthew: My first reaction was, “What’s all the ruckus about?” Let’s get down to find out, you know. So, I went downstairs, and I saw my father holding a little wooden box. I would probably say it’s about, that it was about the average size of a big Bible. So yay, big. My dad took the box into his dining room, and my wife said to me, “I think you better go with him and have a look, see what this is all about.” So, I went into the dining room, and we said a prayer first. Then, started to unload the box. We unloaded the box, and there were two sets of records. There were 24 plates wrapped in leather, I suppose. There was another record, which was made of ten plates. Then, there was another little package in there, as well.
Matthew: So, we unwrapped them, had a look at them, unwrapped them.
GT: These were gold plates, apparently?
Matthew: No, they were brass.
GT: Brass plates, okay.
Matthew: Both sets were brass. So, there were 10 brass plates and 24 brass plates. They were both separate. Then we had the smaller package, which were interpreters. We found out they were interpreters. At the time, we didn’t really know what they were. So, obviously, we looked at them, we flipped the pages. They were inscribed on both sides, on both sets.
Matthew Gill is prophet of the Restored Branch of Jesus Christ, based in the UK. We’ll learn about his growing up in the LDS Church, his visions, and translating plates of an ancient record of an ancient people in the British Isles.
Leaving LDS Church
GT: What led you to leave the LDS Church?
Matthew: My first vision as an adult happened in October of 2005. I was still in the Church at that point. I’m quite happy to stay in the Church. I mean, I held callings. I think I was, at that time, in the Melchizedek priesthood presidency at the time. So, I was happy. I mean, I have friends there and built relationships with people and my family. I’m a third generation LDS. Well, I was. So, you know, it was just like, with my parents, all I knew was LDS Church. All I knew was the LDS story. I didn’t really know anything else other than the LDS story. I certainly wasn’t aware of all the different organizations within the restoration family. The only one I was really aware of with the RLDS, and we didn’t really talk about them very much. Then, I had this. I went to bed that night, and I prayed, and my prayer was more, “Just direct me. What did my family need to do? You’ve been you’ve been telling me since I was 12, this thing is going to come? Is it ever going to come? What’s it all about?” Then, that night, I have a vision, and I see an angel and the angel says to me, “You’re going to be given this gift. This gift is going to come to you. You need to prepare.” My first questions were, at the time, “What do you mean by prepare? What do I need to do?” The angel told me some scriptures to read, where to read the scripture from.
GT: These were LDS scriptures or Bible scriptures? What was the name of the angel?
Matthew: The angel was called the Angel Raphael.
Matthew: He directed me. At the time, I only had LDS scriptures. I didn’t have anything else to have. But he was talking to me about scriptures that I didn’t have. I’d never really studied the Inspired Version of the Bible. But he was talking about the real Bible. “This is one you need to read.” I’m like, “Where do I get a copy of this and how do I go about it.” He gave me a list of things to do. I went away and researched them and read them. I read, I was told to read, in particular, to go through second Nephi properly. I did that. Then, of course, when you start to do what you’re being told to do by an angelic messenger, certain things start to happen in your life, don’t they? Because then all of a sudden, you’re doing things that are contrary to what you’ve been told at Church, which is exactly what happened. Exactly what happened. I remember one– and while these were going on, I was still a member I hadn’t left yet. This is 2005.
Matthew: So I was going to Church with my wife, and my son, he was about two, and my parents. I was just sitting in a sacrament meeting. I can’t tell you when the date was. But I remember the actual, the instant, I was sitting in a sacrament meeting, and they were blessing the sacrament. I read the Doctrine and Covenants section on the preparing of the sacrament, and who is to give the sacrament, and who is to… I was reading this. For me, anyway, I looked at what we were doing, looked to what the scripture said, I was like, “This doesn’t make any sense. We’re not doing what the Scriptures, even our own scriptures attested.” I just felt this overwhelming feeling to get out of that room and get out of there. So, I did. I got up and left and went into the corridor. My dad came out, “What’s the matter? Becky’s upset, because she doesn’t know what’s going on.” That’s my wife. I said, “I can’t stay. I’ve just got to get out. I can’t stay here anymore.” And I never went back. I decided that night to write my resignation letter. I gave it to my bishop the day after, which was on the Monday. I told him that– they came and I just gave–I said to the bishopric that you need to come. I’m going to resign my membership. They were like, “No, no, don’t do that. Don’t resign your membership. We’ll talk about it.”
GT: Well, what were they doing wrong with the sacrament?
Matthew: Well, the appropriate body wasn’t passing or blessing it.
GT: The priests weren’t blessing it?
Matthew: No, the priests were blessing it, but the priests weren’t passing it. If you read the Doctrine and Covenants, it quite clearly states who should be passing the sacrament or administering the sacrament.
GT: Oh, so you thought that the priests should pass it, not the deacons. Okay.
Matthew: Yeah, and that’s what we do. It was just a lightbulb moment for me. I just had to get out of there.
GT: Okay, so you got the plates. Was it September 26th, if I remember right?
Matthew: It was late in September, September 23. Then, we started working on them October 1.
GT: So, you just decided to translate them or there was no messenger telling you to translate them?
Matthew: When we got them, obviously, we didn’t know what was going to be in the box. When we opened the box, it was a complete surprise to us. I was expecting one set of records, maybe. I had no idea what they might be on, whether that might be on paper or whatever. I had no idea there would be two in there.
GT: So there were 24 brass plates and 10 brass plates and then a urim and thummin. Is that what it was?
Matthew: Yeah, I suppose you could call it a urim and thummim. I just called them the translators. The 24 plates were roughly this size, and 10 of the plates were slightly larger. But, instead of portrait, the writing was across, but it was later. Anyway, then, of course, we had the translators, but we didn’t know, I didn’t know what to do them. So, the first thing I did was like, “Okay, shut the box. Put the box away. We’re not going to get everything out and start playing with it. Put it away. Let’s go and pray about this. Let’s go and ask the Lord. What do we do now? Obviously, you want us to translate, but how does that work?” That’s when I got the introduction to use the translators. The best way to describe them– Have you ever seen an old pair of medieval glasses? They were round, like an arch in the middle. They were wrapped in leather. One lens was red and the other lens was blue. They were inscribed around the outside and they were big. They were not wearing glasses, but they were super big. We had trouble trying to keep them on. So, my dad tied them to wrap around my head. Then, as soon as I knew…
GT: So, before he tied them on, you just had to hold them with your hands.
Matthew: Yeah, I had to sit there like this. And when you’re trying to do something, this isn’t good because you can’t move anything. So, we came up, we my dad came up with a great solution. Let’s just tie the things, let’s just tie them on. So, we tied them on. Then, on October the first, we all decided after prayerful consideration that we would start to translate them. We were told to translate the smaller of the set, which was the 24 plate one to start with. That’s what we did.
GT: That was smaller than the ten plates?
Matthew: Oh, yeah. Yeah, the ten plates were wider. So, if you can imagine the wooden boxes square, the ten plates sat on the bottom of the box, right? The 24 plates on top of it. Then, the interpreters or the translators are at the bottom.
Matthew Gill claims to have translated an ancient record of the people of Stonehenge. We’ll learn more about them. Are they related to Book of Mormon peoples?
Jaredites & Book of Jareneck
Matthew: The plates were written by a prophet called Jeraneck. Okay? Jeraneck was the last prophet of the people before they were destroyed. So, before he died, he completed the record, the history, the religious practices, and he gave his set of records to an angel to keep safe, because he knew he was going to die. He didn’t want these plates to fall into the wrong hands. So, he gave them to an angel to come forward through his son, when it was ready. So, the first prophet of the Book of Jeraneck is a man called Araneck. He came from the Plains of Shinar, which is in the Middle East, like Iraq, Babylon area. The timeline of the Book of Jeraneck spans roughly give or take 100 years, the timeline of the Jaredites. We learn from the book of Jaranek that the Jaredites were known to the people of the Book of Jeraneck, and they traveled with each other for a short period of time. The brother of Jared’s people went one way, and Araneck’s people went another way.
GT: Was this when they were in the ocean, the plates, like…
Matthew: On land. This is the Tower of Babel. They didn’t have their language confounded. So, they were speaking the first language or the first…
GT: So, they migrated from, basically, modern day Iraq to the British Isles.
Matthew: Yeah. So, basically, the journey the journey they take from Iraq, modern day Iraq, is northeast. So, they went through what today is known as the Caucasus Mountain region.
GT: Which is in Russia.
Matthew: Yes, sort of part of Russia, so they’d be going through, like Georgia. They went through there and then up into southern Russia. When they were into the southern Russian area, they split off into two peoples. So, the Prophet Araneck had a number of sons, and his eldest son was called Lioneck. He rebelled and took 2000 people with him into Russia. The other two sons, who were called to be prophets over the people, went west and all the way right to France, to Brittany. Then, they built ships from Brittain, and sailed out into the Bay of Biscay, around the little nub of France into the English Channel, and then made landfall in southern England.
GT: And the Jaredites continued on to America?
Matthew: Yeah, they continued to America, yeah, whatever.
GT: These were the same ships, like tight unto a dish?
Matthew: No, the ships that that Jeraneck people built were more like Phoenician ships. They didn’t need to be tight, because they weren’t going–well, I believe the Jaredites made an Atlantic crossing, not a Pacific crossing. So, they weren’t going out into the rough seas. I mean, they weren’t going out into the ocean. They were going into the Bay of Biscay around and up. I mean, if anyone knows that kind of geography, I mean, it is rough water, but it’s not like the Atlantic Ocean. So, they didn’t need to be as tight as a dish. They certainly weren’t going under the water at any point. They just needed to be big enough and tight enough to make that short voyage from the Carnac region in France to southern England. And that’s the route they took, they went from Carnac, out to the ocean, up to southern England, made landfall and went up the Avon tributary to what today is the Stonehenge Valley. And they settled there. They eventually built a temple, which is the remains of what we see at Stonehenge, and they build lots of other things around about that area. Then, eventually, this is cutting the story very short. But eventually, they migrate north, then they run into a brand-new group of people who they didn’t know of.
Matthew: They joined together as one people, and then they moved further north into Scotland, and they meet another group of people that didn’t know about. So, by the end, they’re all this one tight group of people. The book of Jeraneck is a history of their dealings with God, their history, their society, their wars, their peaces, their politics. Then, the ten plates only ever deal with the total religious side: I mean prayers and ceremonies and how to baptize, how to marry, at what age you’re age supposed to be married, all kinds of–they have certain prayers that they would say, so that the prayers are all listed in there. So, the book that we see today, which is this, which is the chronicle of the children of Araneck, is the Book of Jeraneck, and the Book of Rayanek, which we had in 2015.
GT: So, you got a new book?
Matthew: Yes, we’ve had a new book. We had it in 2015. It’s been translated and it’s in here. It’s for everyone. Everyone can read it that way.
GT: Okay, so you got a new edition. So, let me make sure I understand that. So, the book of Jeraneck, those were the 24 plates. Then, there were 10 other plates, but those weren’t translated in 2015.
Matthew: No, it was translated. Everything that was in the box, the 24 plates, the ten plates are all translated by December of 2006. Okay, and then there was this big gap. Then in 2015, we were given another record.
GT: Oh, this, this is new.
Matthew: Brand new, brand new. I mean, like really brand new. Then, we obviously translated that and put the two books together into this. So, in here, you’ve got the 24 plates, the 10 plates, and the new book we were given, which is called which is called the Book of Rayaneck.
Matthew Gill is a prophet of the Restored Branch of Jesus Christ. He claims to have translated an ancient record of the people of Stonehenge. What were their religious practices like? Are they Christians?
Pre-Jewish Christian Religious Practices
GT: So, as far as the religious practices, because this predates Abraham and Moses and everything, would there be like Christian practices? Would they be Jewish practices?
Matthew: Yeah, they won’t be Jewish. There won’t be Jewish, and they won’t be Christian. I mean, that’s the problem, isn’t it? Because whenever I talk to people about it, I always say, well, in the Book of Ether, which isn’t very complicated to read, there’s very, very, very few mentions of religious practices. I mean, if you read the Book of Ether, it’s like a kings list of who ruled for how long, and who was in prison with anyone else.
Matthew: For me, when people say, is it Christian or Jewish? I would say it’s neither of those things. It is God. It is religion. It is God. I don’t think to label it Christian, or it certainly wouldn’t be Jewish, because it predates Judaism, and it wouldn’t be Christian because it predates Christianity, technically. But, it would be religion, it would be a group of people who have set practices, worshipping the same God that I worship, i.e. Jesus Christ. Which is why, I would gather, there are differences in the way they worship Christ, [and] the way I worship Christ. Because a lot of the things [the way] I worship Christ are based upon modern revelation, the Doctrine and Covenants, the Book of Mormon. They wouldn’t have had those things. So, their way of worshipping Christ would have been different to the way I worship Christ. But, it wouldn’t have been totally alien to me, because it’s worshipping Christ.
GT: Are there like prophecies about Christ or anything like that?
Matthew: They talk of Christ a lot in the record. Jeraneck, the last prophet, in the Book of Jeraneck, he sees a vision of the birth of Christ.
GT: Just like Nephi.
Matthew: Yeah, yeah, I suppose. But you’re later than that. Yeah, it’s just like Nephi, he sees where he will be born, how he will be born, how he will die, which confuses him a little in the record, because he doesn’t realize, he doesn’t understand how people can kill a god. But, anyway, that’s beside the point. He sees the way he dies. He sees that he’s resurrected. He knows what’s going to happen. Also, one of the good things about the Book of Jeraneck, for me, is we know one of the wise men there at the birth of Christ.
GT: Who is?
Matthew: So it was one, his name is Sheraneck, and he’s still knocking around. He hasn’t tasted death. He’s still here, though, and he was told that he would bring a gift to the birth side, or the cradle of Christ. I happen to believe that there are many, many wise men that went to see Jesus, including the Nephites. So, they prophesy of Christ, they teach of Christ, they worship Christ. They talk about him all the time. Then, of course, skipping forward to the book of Rayaneck…
GT: So, these are pre-Jewish Christians.
Matthew: Right, yes. Some of the things that they do that we will recognize, I mean, I don’t know. Baptism, probably, is probably the most important one, I would think. We know they baptized in the Book of Jeraneck, because baptisms take place. They weren’t, like taking the sacrament, but they weren’t offering sacrifice, either. So, there are certain things that you and I would recognize as being, “Christian practices,” such as…
GT: The sacrament?
Matthew: No, no. That’s definitely not instituted amongst them at that time, no. This would probably make sense as Christ hasn’t been born yet. So, no sacrament. No ritual sacrifices of animals, nothing like that. Prayer. We know that they pray a heck of a lot and baptisms. I’m just trying to think of all the stuff in there.
Matthew: There’s a part in the Book of Jeraneck, where they set up for the first time amongst the people, a religious organization where people can attend and pray and worship. They call that the Church of Christ. So, they knew about Christ. They knew he was going to come forth. They believed in him because it’s open to the prophets and given them direction.
GT: So, they call him Christ, not Yeshua, or Joshua or Messiah or anything like that. It’s the Greek Christ, okay.
Matthew: Now, it’s going to be, you know, I translated that record, nobody else. So, I often say to people, this book, is only as good as my translation efforts. I’m sure somewhere, maybe there could have been someone who could have translated it better. But I did what I could do and did do. And just like the Book of Mormon, I’m sure if Oliver Cowdery translated parts of the Book of Mormon, it would have a different tonal inflection than Joseph Smith. But he couldn’t, so he didn’t.
GT: So, there’s not a unique translation, every prophet is going to put his own little spin on it?
Matthew: I think every prophet would bring his own loaded ideas, or would describe things differently. Like, for example, when I was translating the Book of Jeraneck, not only did I see text, I saw events. I would describe those events. So, those events that I’m describing are only going to be as good as my description. I’m sure if someone else saw that event, they might pick something else out.
GT: I know Joseph used a seer stone, as well as the urim and thummim. So, you’ve got these red and blue spectacles, and you’re seeing you’re seeing those on the spectacles? I mean, there’s kind of sound like 3D glasses in a way.
Matthew: Yeah, people have said that to me before. Yeah, I mean, I would put them on, and then I would look at the text.
GT: Look at the plates.
Matthew: Look at the plates, and then I would see above the line of inscription, a translation into my English. Because don’t forget, my English is different than your English, too.
GT: That’s right.
Matthew: I mean, we have another language that’s totally different. We spell things differently, for a start.
GT: Yeah. You spell it all wrong. (Chuckles)
Matthew: So, I saw the text above the line that I was looking at. But then–how do I describe this? When the text won’t do, when the text doesn’t describe it richly enough, I saw through those glasses.
GT: Like a vision, kind of.
Matthew: Like a vision, a scene of something.
What are your thoughts on Elder Gill’s claims? Are you open to others receiving visions? Have you read the Chronicles of Jeraneck?