For those who are Watching…

November 28, 2008

For general listing of all posts on both sites with brief description click here

This is the sister site of www.threewatches.blogspot.com

It contains deep doctrine pertaining to the LDS Restoration Movement and the Restored Church and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

One must first learn to swim before one enters into deep waters.

The content provided herein is for those who have been weaned from the breast and yearn for the meat. Those not prepared for the meat can choke on it.

It is for those who have contracted the spirit of watching and have made it through the “Third Watch Boot Camp” which consists of reading every numbered post in chronological order on the above mentioned three watches blog, beginning with the very first post which lays the foundation for the journey you are about to embark on.

If you make it that far and still want more information to read, this blog would be next.

If you cheat and read the information in this site first, you risk getting a big, ugly wart on the end of your nose and you will only be cheating yourself. The content in this blog will make much more sense and be much more meaningful if you lay the proper foundation first.

The deeper doctrines of the kingdom have the ability to either enhance your “testimony” of the restored gospel or expose how frail it is, based on the doctrinal and spiritual foundation you have acquired before you read this information.

Prepare for the journey of your life…. we’re not in Kansas anymore Toto

Watcher

misc articles

The Bridegroom Tarried…

Seven Shepherds and an Angel

A Mystical Look at the LDS Restoration Movement

Why have ye transfigured the Holy Word of God?

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine

We have found the Messias!

The Fulness of the Father

When the Floods come and the Winds Blow and the Rains Descend
Watching for the signs in the heavens

A Second Look at the Ten Virgins
Analysing the literal meaning and time frame of the Parable of the Ten Virgins

Searching for the Holy Order and 23 High Priests-

Part 1- Lyman Wight Sees the Father and the Son

Part 2 The Man of Sin is Revealed

Part 3- Melchizedek Priesthood required to Establish Zion

Part 4- The Highest Priesthood makes you a Possessor of All Things

Part 5- Patriarchal Priesthood Administers New and Everlasting Covenant

Part 6- The Transfiguration of Lyman Wight

Part 7- True Oath & Covenant found in True Manner of Baptism

Part 8- The Gospel of Abraham and Patriarchal Polygamy

Part 9- Three Orders of Priesthood

Part 10- Three Distinct Churches Representing Three Distinct Gospel Laws

Baneemy- The Wild Ram of the Mountains
A look at one of the most amazing personalities of the LDS Restoration Movement

The Law of Adoption and the Sealing Principles
How did the Law of Adoption and Sealing Principles evolved into “Families are Forever”?

Black and White Robes- Part One
Ancient prophesies warn that latter day Israel would be seduced into a false covenant

Black and White Robes Part Two
Ancient prophesies warn that a breach will take place between God and his people

Black and White Robes Final

“I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God”
Was it only the righteous in the pre-existent war in heaven that came to earth to go through moral probation?

BECOME ye therefore perfect? OR BE ye therefore perfect?
Did Christ really mean what he said when he commanded us to BE perfect instead of to BECOME perfect?

“I WILL TELL YOU IN YOUR MIND AND IN YOUR HEART”
How do we avoid being decieved? Intellectual knowledge? Warm fuzzy feelings? Or searching the word of God so the Holy Spirit can teach us through mind and our heart?

The Fulness of the Father
The doctrine of oneness and the Celestial Cloning of the Gods

“Bring AGAIN Zion”
Why is it that the Nephite Zion was not translated and caught up into heaven like the city of Enoch? Is it that they still have a mission to fulfill here on earth?

Peace and Safety
Right before the sudden destruction people will be saying “Pease and Safety”

The Return of Sidney Rigdon, God’s Spokesman- Part Four
Fourth and final part

The Unrestrained Ponderings and Pontifications of a Heretic
The mystical Union of the Sexes-Composite Beings- The Abrahamic Priesthood-

The Spiritual Wife Doctrine
The Celestial Law of Consecration requires the Holy Principle of Marital Monogamy


A Sobering Look at Section 50

July 8, 2014

false spirits1


Miscellaneous Musings # 7 The Kinderhook Plates were Authentic

June 26, 2014

Praise God for people like this woman

 

 The Second Anointing

I got the following email from a reader of this blog the other day:

Thank you for your recent post. I love how you can pull the scriptures into modern scenarios like you did with Isa. 3:11-12.

I don’t support the whole Ordain Women movement.  However, if I were to, I’d approach it from a completely different angle to really force the Church to squirm.
I’d ask for equality in the priesthood.  However, I wouldn’t ask that the church change it’s policy to ordain women.  I’d ask the church to make it’s 2nd anointing more accessible.  Because it’s there where the women are ordained and given the privilege to lay their hands on their husbands and pronounce blessings.
I would make it an issue of equal access.  This would bring to light something that many members don’t know about and it would put the church in an tight spot about hiding or granting this to only a select few.”
.
This was my response, although I have modified it a little upon further reflection:
.

“Very interesting thoughts, XXXX.

I think your idea is brilliant and may have some potential. (of course women already have the right to lay their hands upon people and give them blessings IMO)

Nevertheless, the anointing/ordination is an interesting idea.

A long time ago I acquired, through the Mormon underground, a listing of all of the men and their wives in the last century, that had been called in by the First Presidency and received their 2nd anointing (2nd endowment) along with some interesting related information about when the practice stopped.

In the document, it had the suggestion from a GA who petitioned the first presidency to begin the practice again after it had become a dormant practice for many years.

For years they stopped the practice… then they recently began doing it again and of course, it eventually blew up in their face with the guy (that now runs Mormonthink) that became angry when he and his wife did not have the experience they were anticipating.

I have noticed that some people seem to use the terms “second endowment” and “second anointing” interchangeably.. generally, however, I think the second anointing is a blessing (earthly ordinance typically performed by the president of the Church) with a promise of exaltation, while the 2nd endowment is usually associated with getting one’s calling and election from a personal appearance from the Savior.

(Had the brethren given the second anointing to the Mormonthink guy, with a clear and proper explanation of what he was getting, instead of having him anticipate the second endowment and a personal audience from the Savior, perhaps the whole thing would not have blown up in their face and he would still be a member in good standing today.)

Again, if your idea is to have them ramp up the physical earthly ordinance of second anointing from the President of the Church, for the purposes of giving women a priesthood ordination, it is intriguing. It would certainly increase loyalty and passion on the part of those receiving the ordinance as well as an increased effort by those seeking the ordination, not to mention, alleviating the pressure from the ordain women movement, to have the priesthood ordination. Your idea could be a stroke of genius. ( I may bring this idea up to Tom Monson in my next visit with him!)

It would need to be the second anointing instead of the promise of the second endowment to avoid generating disappointment from a heavenly “no show”, such as was experienced by the Mormonthink guy.

Another danger, of course, is that if the calling of the candidates is not conducted on a very high level of inspiration, it could back fire in several different ways and create doubt about the inspiration being employed by the President of the Church.

Also, since the First Presidency does not receive the level of revelation that Joseph received, and they do not receive “thus sayeth the Lord” revelations, and since they don’t know most members of the church at the local level, they would need to rely heavily on recommendations from local bishops and Stake Presidents.

This would probably necessitate the categorical bestowal of the second anointing on every Stake President and Bishop since it would make little sense to give the stewardship of choosing worthy candidates for the second anointing, to someone who is themselves, is not yet worthy. This is of course problematic, since there is no doubt a few Stake Presidents and Bishops that are thiefs, rapists and murderers, etc. LOL (just kidding… sort of)”

 

 

Strangers in Zion

 

 

This same person that sent that email, also sent me the following link regarding a movement to support Kate Kelley:

 

http://strangersinzion.org/

 

 

After reviewing the email, this was my response, again with a few minor changes upon further reflection:

“Thank you for the link.. very interesting. 

It seems kind of cheesy and presumptuous to encourage people to give up their memberships in support of another person’s issues with priesthood ordianation… it assumes that others also don’t value their memberships very much.. but then, that is probably indicative of the demographic they are addressing…  to me it seems that the only takers, if any, would be disaffected people that seldom if ever go to church and do not desire active membership and don’t pay their tithing, hence, very little collateral damage to the church.

 

I noticed that the website has a feature that enables a person to find out who their local bishop is. That would indicate that they are largely targeting inactive and disaffected members.

 

It actually might be a blessing to the church, to cut these people off from the membership records. By getting rid of all of the angry, inactive, critical members that are conducting their criticisms under the cloak of “member in good standing”, the church would be less adversely affected in the court of public opinion and become more strengthened, in my opinion.

 

The other problem with the concept is that it is encouraging people just like John and Kate to proactively ask for courts and give up membership, when  in fact John and Kate were fighting to maintain membership… seems counter-intuitive to me.

Letter to a CES Director

 

I am working on a book that may or may not be published in my life time. In one of the chapters I am going to review the issues in Jeremy Runnells letter to a CES Director. I am doing this not only because I think someone needs to provide some answers for those that are truly seeking them, but because it is a great platform for highlighting some principles regarding Biblical Christianity that many Mormons and Protestants are unaware of.

I plan on presenting a pie chart divided into three categories that his listing of troubling issues fall into.

Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm

One category has to do with science related issues. I will show that God has given a very strict set of parameters by which to judge truth, and science does not happen to be one of them. Indeed, the Lord places a cursing upon those that base their spiritual faith in God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ in empirical evidence and the worldly learning of men, and modern science, which has become God to many people.

Your rulers, and the seers hath he covered because of your iniquity.

A second category in the pie chart will have to do mainly with morality issues, false doctrines and false spiritual gifts that Joseph Smith and others were accused of displaying. All of these are explained by the prophecy embedded within the atonement statute.

Legitimate Questions

All other issues listed in Jeremy’s Letter to a CES Director would fall into a third category that I consider to be legitimate questions that need to be researched.

All of these faith challenging questions have faith promoting answers in my opinion, if researched under the influence of the spirit. I will cover these answers in my book.

Critical thinking that rests upon the foundation of faith, while seeking the Holy Spirit as one’s guide, is an important part of Gospel study. That is why I appreciate thoughtful people like Jeremy and the Tanners. There is nothing wrong with asking questions and challenging people to respond with answers.

IMO, people like Jeremy and the Tanners play an important role in this mortal probationary test. Nevertheless, IMO they will very possibly never find any answer to their questions very acceptable because they have made their decision and they have a lot invested in their stance. This saddens me.

I Believe the Kinderhook Plates are Authentic

One of the issues Jeremy brought up in the Letter is the Kinderhook controversy which I assume everyone that reads this blog, knows about.

While pondering which category the Kinderhook fabrication should go into on the pie chart, it occurred to me that a few months ago I would have had to deliberate on which of the first two categories I have listed, would have been the most appropriate, since it involves scientific analysis and also appears to put into question Joseph’s ability as a prophet and seer.

However, my opinion has greatly changed since then. I would now put it in the third category.

I think the response to this issue has now been addressed pretty well.

Let me explain-

While visiting Nauvoo a few months ago, I had an amazing epiphany about the controversial Kinderhook Plates.

First of all, let me admit that I had never done any previous serious research regarding the supposed Kinderhook fabrication, which, at face value, seemed to show that Joseph Smith was fooled by an unscrupulous forger.

It is unclear who forged the plates. They were supposedly found by a merchant by the name of Robert Wiley who was inspired to look for them because of a dream..

The reason I had bought into the traditional storyline that Joseph Smith had been fooled by a fabricated ancient artifact, is because the prophetic “atonement statute” narrative and the Book of Mormon version of Isaiah 29:10  testifies of and allows for the fact that Joseph had his eyes covered on several things during the last part of his ministry and very possibly produced multiple false revelations..

I have made my beliefs clear regarding the false revelation on the spiritual wife doctrine and some of the content in the king follett discourse…. hence, I was at peace on the issue, having simply assumed that Joseph had been fooled regarding the Kinderhook plates.

That all changed after my visit to Nauvoo.

After visiting the site which I believe to be the ancient city of Zarahemla, directly across the river from Nauvoo, I became aware of several ancient burial mounds located in or just north of Nauvoo City proper, which I visited.

It was fun to realize that Nauvoo was located smack dab in the middle-diddle of some pretty amazing ancient historic Book of Mormon sites.

For many years, while I have been pondering and writing about the historical and prophetic significance of Nauvoo, I had been unaware that the general geographical area had huge historical significance with regard to the Book of Mormon peoples. I had already determined that Kirtland did, and I had speculated about Zarahemla in my 1992 booklet, but, beyond the possibility of Zarahemla, I was unaware that any burial mounds with ancient artifacts had been discovered close to Nauvoo.

While pondering these things during my stay there, and reading a few books that I obtained, I became aware of another thing I had not been aware of.

It turns out that the area of Kinderhook, in Pike County Illinous, which is also quite close to Nauvoo, has a proven history of having ancient artifacts. I had not previously realized that. I simply thought the guy that brought the plates to Joseph lived in a geographical location that had no history of ancient artifacts.

Furthermore, Kinderhook is not all that far from where the Joseph had discovered the remains of the white Lamanite warrior named “Zelph” was located.

It was amazing to realize how rich the general area is in producing evidence of ancient Book of Mormon related civilizations.

  • Ancient city and temple site of Zerehemla across the river from Nauvoo
  • Ancient burial mounds north of Nauvoo
  • Kinderhook plates and other artifacts discovered just south of Nauvoo
  • The remains of the warrior Zelph

All of this information began to substantiate in my mind, the possibility that perhaps Joseph was not fooled by a forgery..

While pondering all of these things, a very strong impression came upon me which basically said, “The plates were authentic….Joseph’s claims about the content of the artifacts were accurate.”

This was really quite an exhilarating thought that I wanted to blurb about in this blog diary of random musings, but I realized that those factors that I had become aware of, and the impression I had had, would be less than compelling to other people, so, I simply shelved the impression.

Shortly after getting back from my trip I got an email from an Aussie friend of mine who sent a link to a recent presentation given by Wayne May which absolutely blew my  mind and provided a second witness to the impressions I have had.

In the presentation, Wayne May provides what I consider to be compelling proof that the Kinderhook Plates were not a forgery.

 

wayne may kinderhook

You can click on the above graphic to see the entire presentation on youtube.

The Kinderhook part of the presentation starts at about 48:30 and goes to 100:40. I would start a little earlier, at about 43:00. Better yet, watch the entire presentation.. it is fabulous.

He gets into some pretty thought provoking stuff about Ham, the priesthood, the Jaradites, etc. Be prepared to have a paradigm change on a few doctrinal issues.

 

[One last thing.. those of you who have prayed for Jade have made a huge impact in her life. The Lord has heard your prayers and the prayers of her family and loved ones and she has been blessed. They asked me to thank all of you that prayed for her. Her last surgery went well and she is progressing.

On a similar note, the guy that shared this information with me about Wayne May's presentation has been suffering with severe migraine headaches for over 20 days in a row and has had a cat scan that does not indicate what the problem is.

Please join with me in praying for him. My personal belief is that old scratch is trying to silence him because he is a very gifted, knowledgeable, follower of Christ who has made a positive impact in people's lives by sharing his knowledge and testimony of the Gospel.

Please take a minute the second you get through reading this, and join with me in praying for this humble man..... THANK YOU!]

 


Miscellaneous Musings # 6 Jeremy Runnells

June 24, 2014

 

MormonStories Interview with Jeremy Runnells

 The Church has recently made the public declaration:

“When some members attempt to change clear church teachings to fit their personal preferences and encourage others to follow them, doctrine needs to be clarified so that others are not misled,”

After watching the interview with Jeremy and not seeing any semblance of neutrality on the part of John Dehlin, who basically did a tag team broadcast with Jeremy Runnells challenging the validity of the LDS Restoration Movement, if John is not EX’d, then I think everyone can now safely assume that there will be no further courts for apostasy… the coast is now clear to openly criticize and recruit people away from belief in the restoration with the consequence of a church court. However, those like Kate Kelly, who apply pressure on the church to change doctrine by staging marches, may still be at risk.

The MormonInterpreter Post about Jeremy

I recently posted the following comment over at MormonInterpreter:

During the last few decades of studying the history and doctrines of the church I would have to say that some of the most thought provoking and faith promoting information I have come across has been motivated by books and publications that I have purchased from the Tanners.

They have the ability to present controversial information that seems faith destroying on the surface, yet when deeply researched, “the rest of the story” that can be unearthed by personal study, becomes illuminating and testimony strengthening.

For this reason, I love the Tanners for the great service they have provided. My gospel study has been greatly enhanced thanks to them. Despite the fact that I have arrived at the opposite conclusion that they have, with regard to the origins of the LDS Restoration Movement, I have appreciated their efforts and I believe the intent of their hearts has been pure.

I have never questioned the sincerity of the Tanners or the integrity with which they have conducted their research. I loved the story Sandra shares about how Jerald questioned the Mark Hoffman forgeries that put the church in a negative light, despite the fact that it would have strengthened their own position. I think that is a fair demonstration of his integrity.

I feel the same way about Jeremy Runnnells. I think he is sincere and full of integrity. By his own admission, he is not the original researcher on any of the stuff he has accumulated. He nevertheless has done a stellar job of aggregating and eloquently articulating many of the troubling issues that skeptics have proffered over the years.

Like the Tanners, Runnells has strengthened my faith by forcing me to find answers to some questions that had never occurred to me.

One example I would share has to do with the question of why did the BofM contain passages from the King James Version of the Bible with mistranslated passages that would later be corrected in the Inspired Version.

I would suggest that even though the BofM brings to light some deficiencies in the KJV of the Bible and even though Joseph was commanded to revise and correct the existing translation in 1830,(section 35) the Lord had previously declared that the Book of Mormon proves that “..the holy scriptures [Bible] are true” (Section 20) That is a pretty good endorsement of the existing KJV of the Bible of that day.

After section 20 declared that the holy scriptures were true, it pontificated on doctrines having to do with justification and justification and then referenced the revelations of John and the Holy Scriptures, as a credible source for the suppositions:

“And we know that these things are true and according to the revelations of John, neither adding to, nor diminishing from the prophecy of his book, the holy scriptures, or the revelations of God which shall come hereafter by the gift and power of the Holy Ghost, the voice of God, or the ministering of angels.”

It then admonished those ordained to the priesthood to:

“.. confirm those who are baptized into the church, by the laying on of hands for the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost, according to the scriptures..”

As you can see, the Bible, as it currently existed, was to be used as the official manual for administering the saving ordinances.

After section 20 testified that the holy scriptures were true, it used the holy scriptures as a credible source for teaching the doctrine of justification and sanctification, and used the holy scriptures as a guide for baptizing people into the church, it referred church authorities to the scriptures for dealing with transgressors:

“Any member of the church of Christ transgressing, or being overtaken in a fault, shall be dealt with as the scriptures direct.”

Within less than a year after this revelation was given, and over a year before the bible translation was supposedly finished, the law of the gospel was given on February 9 1831 . According to the law of the Gospel, the existing, un-revised, King James Version of the Bible became binding upon the saints, until the inspired revision should be completed and published to the world:

“Again I say unto you, that it shall not be given to any one to go forth to preach my gospel, or to build up my church, except he be ordained by some one who has authority, and it is known to the church that he has authority and has been regularly ordained by the heads of the church.

And again, the elders, priests and teachers of this church shall teach the principles of my gospel, WHICH ARE IN THE BIBLE and the Book of Mormon, in the which is the fulness of the gospel.

And they shall observe the covenants and church articles to do them, and these shall be their teachings, as they shall be directed by the Spirit.
And the Spirit shall be given unto you by the prayer of faith; and if ye receive not the Spirit ye shall not teach.

And all this ye shall observe to do as I have commanded concerning your teaching, until the fulness of my scriptures is given.”

As you can see, according to the law of the gospel contained in section 42, the Elders and Teachers were to teach out of the existing, un-revised Bible. It was fully acceptable and binding upon the church the way it was translated.

We know that God has infinite foreknowledge and he obviously knew that Joseph would not successfully publish, canonize and send the inspired version of the Bible to the world during his ministry, has he had been commanded, yet God saw the need, according to his perfect wisdom, to give the saints the law of the Gospel and to make the existing Bible binding upon the Saints until the Inspired translation would be available.

In section 45 Joseph would be commanded to not teach from the Inspired Version until it was successfully published and canonized.

Hence, in my feeble mind, it makes perfect sense that God wanted the saints of the restored Church to accept the imperfect King James Version of the scriptures along with the Book of Mormon and revelations received by Joseph Smith as the official canons of scripture during that generation all the way up to our generation. His revelations made it clear that if the existing Bible was read in conjunction with the Book of Mormon and the Holy Spirit, it was adequate.

It therefore would have been entirely inconsistent with Gods own word and will, for the Book of Mormon to have contradicted God’s plan for the Saints, by providing a differing translation other that the KJV passages in the BofM.

Doing so would have created cognitive dissonance and the passages in the BofM would have to have been discarded in favor of the KJV since they were not endorsed as the approved text to use pending the forthcoming Inspired Version.

A really disturbing problem, in my mind, would have been if the Lord had provided a differing translation of the Bible in the Book of Mormon that was not congruent with what was binding upon them. (In all fairness, it should be noted, that there are a few places in the BofM that provides a corrected passage that would later be included in the Inspired Version. Even though God was not willing to let JS teach from the inspired translation, God himself obviously did have some things he wanted to share. For some reason, the paper done by Jeremy failed to note that there were some passages from the upcoming Inspired Version. I am not accusing Jeremy of intentionally leaving this important fact out of his paper… I suspect he was not aware of this fact. Nevertheless, the vast majority of the Bible passages were left in the KJV format to provide for general consistency)

Furthermore, the saints had been commanded multiple times in ancient and modern revelation to SEARCH the scriptures. Comparing similar keywords within passages is an essential aspect of being able to search the scriptures, regardless of whether one is doing manual searches or computerized searches.

If a differing translation of Bible passages had been provided in the BofM, than the contemporary Bible they had been commanded to use, the ability to search would have been significantly compromised.

It is truly remarkable to me that God provided consistency in the inspired content of the Book of Mormon by providing the version of the Bible that would be binding upon the Saints. (It should be noted that the Book of Mormon acknowledges that it has errors in it and that it represented the “lesser” part of the gospel and that “greater things” would be forthcoming when the gentiles repent.)

I have found similar answers in the other questions raised in the paper that Jeremy has put together.

Thank you Jeremy for your diligent research into the problems that skeptics have found with the Book of Mormon and providing a great question from which faith promoting research could be generated.. I believe God wants all of us to employ principles if critical thinking as  we study the Gospel. As Paul says, we must prove all things and hold fast to that which is good. providing a great question from which faith promoting research could be generated.

PS

I can see how the doctrinal and historical information I have provided could be used by an unbeliever to support their unbelief. Much of how we process information is determined by WHAT WE WANT TO BELIEVE. Perhaps this is why the BofM informs us that a successful journey of faith begins with the simple DESIRE TO BELIEVE:

26 Now, as I said concerning faith—that it was not a perfect knowledge—even so it is with my words. Ye cannot know of their surety at first, unto perfection, any more than faith is a perfect knowledge.
27 But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than DESIRE TO BELIEVE, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words.
28 Now, we will compare the word unto a seed. Now, if ye give place, that a seed may be planted in your heart, behold, if it be a true seed, or a good seed, if ye do not cast it out by your unbelief, that ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord, behold, it will begin to swell within your breasts; and when you feel these swelling motions, ye will begin to say within yourselves—It must needs be that this is a good seed, or that the word is good, for it beginneth to enlarge my soul; yea, it beginneth to enlighten my understanding, yea, it beginneth to be delicious to me.29 Now behold, would not this increase your faith? I say unto you, Yea; nevertheless it hath not grown up to a perfect knowledge.
30 But behold, as the seed swelleth, and sprouteth, and beginneth to grow, then you must needs say that the seed is good; for behold it swelleth, and sprouteth, and beginneth to grow. And now, behold, will not this strengthen your faith? Yea, it will strengthen your faith: for ye will say I know that this is a good seed; for behold it sprouteth and beginneth to grow.
31 And now, behold, are ye sure that this is a good seed? I say unto you, Yea; for every seed bringeth forth unto its own likeness.
32 Therefore, if a seed groweth it is good, but if it groweth not, behold it is not good, therefore it is cast away.
33 And now, behold, because ye have tried the experiment, and planted the seed, and it swelleth and sprouteth, and beginneth to grow, ye must needs know that the seed is good.

 

Kate Kelly

It is now official. Kate Kelly has been temporarily relieved of her pew in the celestial kingdom and turned over to the buffetings of Satan according to several news sites.

For those few, unusual Mormons, who are rooted in Biblical Christianity, the Ordain Priesthood movement makes absolutely no sense with the absurd notion which seems to question the fairness and wisdom of the Savior himself for choosing 12 male apostles, when he could have chosen six male and six female members of the quorum of the Twelve.

Although some bloggers would equate the need to ordain women with properly respecting women and giving them a voice, there is not connection between the two issues. There have always been and always will be men that love and respect women and value their voice and those that don’t. If women were given priesthood authority and callings that they don’t now have, nothing would change. Some men would continue to love and respect women and value their voices.

I have observed and not been amazed at the revelatory comments that female commenters have made on my blogs over the years. My dear wife reminds me every day by her Christlike example how superior she is to me in countless ways. But none of that has anything to do with the need to change the ordained order that God has established.

Here is a listing of 70 LDS bloggers that bellied up to the bar and are putting it all on the line to publicly support Kate.

I have a first cousin that I adore.

She is a writer.

Her name is Terry Tempest Williams.

She recently wrote an open letter to her Bish and Pres Monson.

I couldn’t possibly disagree with her more than I do on this issue, assuming that the modern LDS church is the true church of God on the earth being led by direct revelation.

However, since the current Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints is not the restored, New Testament Church of Christ that was formally established in 1830, I suppose there is no reason why revelation from the bottom up wouldn’t be just as interesting bizarre as it currently is from the top of the mortal command, downward, with a bunch of loose canon, corporate executives at the helm, buying up real estate and investing in shopping centers.

Isaiah prophesied that this feminist ordeal would happen:

“Woe unto the wicked!  it shall be ill with him: for the reward of his hands shall be given him.
As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them.  O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.”

Here is what she has to say in her letter as she lectures the leaders of the church.

13 June 2014
AN OPEN LETTER TO BISHOP MARK HARRISON AND PRESIDENT THOMAS S. MONSON AND THE FIRST PRESIDENCY OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS AND THE COUNCIL OF TWELVE APOSTLES:

I stand in solidarity with Kate Kelly and her plea to grant women equal standing in the rights, responsibilities and privileges of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, including the right to hold the Priesthood. Revelations occur. Whereas Polygamy was once sanctioned through revelation, now it is not. Whereas African Americans were told they could not hold the Priesthood, now they do. Doctrines that denied dignity or defied the rights of law to individuals within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, have changed through modern-day revelation. The time has come to shift the religious inequality toward women and allow sisters to lead alongside their brothers in prayer and power and purpose.

For the Mormon Church to continue to preserve this spiritual patrimony is to affirm its organizational misogyny. Why is asking to grant half its membership equal power under God viewed as apostasy? Why is a vision to ordain women worthy of disciplinary action and excommunication, when twelve-year old boys are ‘given’ the priesthood? Are men and women not equal under God’s eyes?

This kind of governance is not tolerated in the United States of America. And it should not be tolerated by those of us who are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints.
The question must be asked: What are you afraid of?

In 1977, I watched the Mormon Church undermine the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment in Salt Lake City, Utah. It is a well known and documented story. And in 1979, I watched Sonia Johnson similarly demonized and disciplined, ironically, by her local congregation in Virginia, as well, for speaking out for the rights of women which led to her excommunication. And in 1993, I witnessed Professor Cecilia Konchar Farr exercise her voice concerning violence against women at Brigham Young University, and when she spoke out on behalf of a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion, I watched her charged with “violating her responsibilities as a university citizen” and accused of “undermining the faith of her students.” She did not pass her three-year review and was denied her teaching contract. At this same time, historian Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, Pulitzer Prize winning author and MacArthur Fellow, was rejected by BYU’s Board of Trustees as a keynote speaker at BYU ‘s Women’s Conference. Was it because Ulrich was a founding member of Exponet II, a feminist journal for Mormon women? 1993 was also the year of ‘The September Six’ excommunications, six Mormon scholars, half of them feminists, dismembered for raising questions of sexism, homophobia, and intellectual disparities within LDS religious doctrine.

This is our history. I thought the era of retribution was behind us. Apparently, not. Kate Kelly speaks for all of us within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints who care about an equality of power for women — active members and dissident members like me – men and women, both — who believe there is no difference in the spiritual aspirations between men and women, gay, straight, or transgender. Each of us are the creators of the world we wish to live in, with equal power, equal voice, and equal opportunities beyond the womb.
At a time when sexual assault, rape, and repeated acts of violence against women are under public scrutiny and part of the public conversation that is happening around the world, the Mormon Church’s ongoing policy to withhold ordination from women is its own act of violence.

Before my mother died, she faced her young granddaughters, and said, “I pray that one day, you two will hold the priesthood.”

I believe my mother’s voice was prophetic delivered with love and wise intention. Kate Kelly is delivering this intention now and it is not without the labor pains of a movement with momentum. I do not believe Kate Kelly should be disciplined for her vision of women ordained. Nor do I believe she should be excommunicated for exercising her voice in public. Her disciplinary hearing set for June 22, 2014, in Virginia where she no longer resides, is another attempt to silence women by a world religion run by men.

Behind Kate Kelly and ‘Ordain Women’, there is a long lineage of women, old and young and in between, not interested in asking for permission or hoping for a revelation, but rather, ready and willing to carry this vision forward in prayer and in action, for the simple reason, it is time. This is not an act of apostasy, but an act of self-respect, and a belief that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints will honor its sisters of faith, not punish them.

Sincerely,
Terry Tempest Williams
Castle Valley, Utah
There you have it… can there be any doubt that we are living in the last days?


Miscellaneous Musings # 5 Phineas Young

June 13, 2014

Church Discipline

We seem to be at another defining moment in Mormon history with the announcement that John Dehlin and Kate Kelly are facing disciplinary councils. The Church has done everything possible to avoid this confrontation, their hand is being forced, in my opinion. They don’t want the public relations nightmare and residual collateral damage that is going to result in holding church courts on people with high profiles. Obviously, they have come to the conclusion that doing nothing will result in greater collateral damage.

It is interesting how Mormon news now becomes national news as the NY Times, Huffington Post and other national media outlets are jumping on the story. America is having a warped fascination with things Mormon, particularly things that embarrass Mormonism.

I have mixed emotions about this topic because on the one hand, the church is totally within their right to cut off people who publicly disagree with official policies and doctrines of the church. In fact, if they don’t, the church could eventually implode as a result of the weight of internal skepticism and unbelief from within the church.

What troubles me is that the church falsely represents their own priesthood authority to represent the Lord and to judge others.

Although the media is suggesting that both of these individuals are being disciplined for their activism in womens rights and gay rights, LGBT, etc., I am not convinced that those are the primary issues for which John is being disciplined. I think John’s blatant mocking of the core beliefs of the LDS restoration and his use of mormonstories to embarrass the church on historical and doctrinal issues is really the real issue for his disciplinary council.

I also think it is not a coincidence that this action is taking place just prior to John’s upcoming interviews with Alex Beam, the author of American Crucifixion and Jeremy Runnells, the author of “Letter to a CES Director”.

One of my friends who teaches in elders quorum just read American Crucifixion and his comment was, “I don’t know how anyone can read that book and remain a Mormon without understanding the scapegoat doctrine“.

Although I believe John’s Mormonstories series has a profound calling in bringing issues and personalities to the public light of scrutiny, it has always bothered me that John presents himself and his series as being neutral. I think it is disingenuous of John to represent himself as a Mormon that loves the church and desires membership in it, while doing everything he can to embarrass the church and mock the core beliefs of the restoration.

I remain mystified how people that have lost all faith in God and the restoration fight to remain in the church and want sympathy when they are cast out of it.

I think Mormon stories would be much more powerful and authentic if the interviewer truly was neutral and objective and if they made more of an effort to balance things out and interview contemporary luminaries who believe in the Book of Mormon and the mission of Joseph Smith.

I noticed that at the end of his interview with Sandra Tanner, that he walked over and held up the replica of the gold plates and mockingly displayed how inconceivable the whole storyline behind the plates and the Book of Mormon is. He is definitely not a neutral interviewer.

John has a gi-normous following. He really knows how to play on people’s emotions and work an online crowd. He asked his followers to comfort his wife and children during the trauma of his upcoming church court and within 24 hours he has had over 1,000 comments from adoring fans.

According to my understanding, if a person submits a letter of resignation ANY TIME PRIOR TO THE CHURCH COURT, the church legally has to stop all proceedings and simply take the person’s name off of the records of the church. I suspect that Kate and John have no intentions of resigning, they want to become martyrs and to work the media for all it is worth.

 

A Blatant Lie

I noticed that Denver Snuffer has posted a blurb about the official response from the church regarding how church discipline is always conducted exclusively by local authorities. The official statement from the church states that:

“Decisions are made by local leaders and not directed or coordinated by Church headquarters.”

 

Snuffer’s response to the claim is as follows:

“The assertion by the church in their press release that “Decisions are made by local leaders and not directed or coordinated by Church headquarters” is false. In the case of public, controversial members, it is a lie.

 

Of course Snuffer is absolutely correct on this issue. It is shocking that the church would publish such a patently false statement. I have to wonder how the General authorities, not to mention the Stake Presidents, Bishops and regional authorities that have been caught in the middle of these disciplinary issues, feel in their hearts about this deception.

Is this justified under the topic of “lying for the Lord”?

The Book of Mormon is inspired fiction?

While perusing the Internet the other day I came upon a few sites that spoke about the fact that Van Hale, popular LDS apologist and talk radio show host, rejects the historicity of the Book of Mormon, but accepts it as “inspired fiction”.

He believes that God inspired Joseph Smith to create a false storyline with true doctrinal principles in it. He apparently believes that the Book of Mormon qualifies as divine scripture even though it’s claims to be a record of an ancient people are false.

How can a person maintain any personal integrity and self respect when claiming to believe that God inspired Joseph Smith to create a false storyline that is filled with lies about history and fictitious historic personalities?

The Book of Mormon is true. It is also an accurate record of the ancient inhabitants of North America.

William Smith Replaced Phineus Young as an Apostle?

I am reading a few interesting books. One of them is “Lost Apostles”. It is about the six original members of the quorum of the Twelve that left the church early on. As you know, I believe these guys are awesome folks, most of whom will return to complete their stewardships.

It is always fun to come across historical tidbits that are new to me. I was shocked to find out that when the three witnesses chose the twelve apostles, per their divine mandate from the Lord, Brigham Young’s brother Phineas young was one of the twelve they selected and William Smith, Joseph Smith’s brother, was NOT!

According to the testimony of Phineas, he was the FIRST one picked.

p young

Joseph intervened AFTER Phineas was selected and asked him to give up his position to his brother William Smith..

 

Williamsmith

 

Here is a letter from Oliver Cowdery to Brigham Young

 

Elkhorn, Walworth County, Wisconsin February 27, 1848

Dear Brigham [Young]:

By the hand of Brother Phineas H. Young I received your epistle of December last, and after reading it carefully and conversing freely with Brother Phineas, I have thought that if circumstances would permit I would visit you in the early part of the spring say as soon as the 6th of April, if possible. This will give me an opportunity of seeing my valuable old friends, and time too of conversing upon interesting subjects. I have concluded to do so for many reasons; One is, it is difficult communicating as fully by writing as one would often wish, and also it will give time to say orally what one can hardly communicate in any other way as well. I have said above, that if possible I would see you the 6th of April: this my be prevented on account of certain business, of which Brother Phineas will fully acquaint you, which I may find myself under an honorable obligation of doing.

Brother Phineas informs me that you talk of going into the [Salt Lake] valley this summer. After conversing with Brother Phineas upon some matters of importance, you may think best not to, till you shall have seen us. I refer you to Brother Phineas for full particulars, upon which you will act as wisdom may direct. Brother Phineas will also inform you of the substance of what I have just written to Brother David Whitmer, advising him for reasons given by all means to be at Winter Quarters on the 6th of April.

As I may not be with you at the conference, and as this is a confidential communication, I may be permitted to say a word in relation to a matter long since past, but which is due Brother Phineas. At the time the Twelve were chosen in Kirtland, and I may say before it had been manifested that Brother Phineas was entitled to occupy the station as one of the number; but owing to Brother Joseph’s urgent request at the time, Brother David and myself yielded to his wish, and consented for William to be selected, contrary to our feelings and judgment, and to our deep mortification ever since. Brother Phineas occupied at that time a relation to myself that caused me to feel delicate about urging his name and besides Brother Joseph, about that time was bearing down heavily upon Brother Phineas. The time has now come when Brother Phineas can occupy the place where he ought to have been from the first, and I cannot but hope he may have justice done him as far as possible. You and others may think that it is a matter about which I have no right to speak, but this shall not prevent my saying the truth, for it one to a worthy man, though he be my brother-in-law.

As to other matters, I refer you to Brother Phineas. I will in great haste subscribe myself.

Yours in the new covenant,

Source: Oliver Cowdery to Brigham Young, February 27, 1848 in Gunn (1962).

 

According to the Wilford Woodruff Journal, in 1854, Phineas Young told the brethren in Utah about the switch:

“May 15, 1854: Near Fillmore, Utah.

 

Phineas Young said that he was the first that was chosen in the organization of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, but Brother Joseph said he wished I would let Wm. Smith have that place, so I gave way to him. The above shows Phineas Young’s feelings

“Some fifty years after the formation of the quorum, in an interview that Zenas Gurley conducted with David Whitmer in January 1885, Whitmer corroborated Cowdery’s and Young’s recollections and confirmed that Phineas was the man who was originally selected for the position” (Cook, David Whitmer Interviews, 157.)  See http://signaturebooks.com/2014/04/lost-apostles-excerpts/#apostle9

 

 

 

young brothers

 

 

Pictured above, are Brigham Young and his four brothers, Lorenzo Dow,  Brigham, Phineas H.,  Joseph, and John

 Choosing the President of the Quorum of the Twelve

Back at that time, the president of a priesthood quorum was picked according to age. The oldest member of the quorum was the presiding member of the quorum. There was some discrepancy between who was older, between Thomas Marsh and David Patten because one of them could not remember his birth date.

It is believed that Thomas Marsh was born in on November 1 1799. David Patten was born November 14th 1799.

Interestingly, Phineas Young was born February 16 1799!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

One can only wonder what would have happened and how the trajectory of the history of the church would have been affected had Phineas remained as an apostle and as the presiding apostle. He ended up living a few years longer than Brigham.

Would Phineas have wrested the kingdom from Sidney during the succession crisis?

I don’t know that much about Phineas, but I suspect he was a good and humble man.

I would not be surprised at all if he returns and takes his rightful place as a member of the Twelve and perhaps even as the president of the quorum of the Twelve when the marvelous work begins.

 

 

 

 

 


What is the Fulness of the Priesthood?

May 24, 2014

I’ve been thinking about priesthood lately.
I am currently reading an article on priesthood in the latest edition of Dialogue. Also, another blogger recently asked his readers what they think the definition of “fulness of the priesthood” is.
I think that is a really important question. One that is not easily answered in the scriptures, particularly when the term only shows up once.
I have stated before that I believe there is a really good chance that the term fulness of the priesthood is ultimately the same as fulness of the gospel.
The fulness… is the fulness..
I believe one of the few clear hints for the definition of the fulness of the Priesthood is found in section 66.
Notice how the Lord congratulates  William McLellin for receiving the “everlasting covenant” even the “fulness of the gospel”.
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1  BEHOLD, thus saith the Lord unto my servant William E. McLellin—Blessed are you, inasmuch as you have turned away from your iniquities, and have received my truths, saith the Lord your Redeemer, the Savior of the world, even of as many as believe on my name.
2  Verily I say unto you, blessed are you for receiving mine everlasting covenant, even the fulness of my gospel, sent forth unto the children of men, that they might have life and be made partakers of the glories which are to be revealed in the last days, as it was written by the prophets and apostles in days of old.
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This is the only place in the entire D&C where the Lord specifically declares that a specific person has received the fulness of the Gospel. He implies it in other places using differing terminology. Obviously Joseph Smith and others also received the fulness of the gospel, but this is the only place using “fulness of the gospel” and he links it to an “everlasting covenant”.
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What is the everlasting covenant being referred to?
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It could be the baptismal covenant which must be entered into before one can receive the Melchizedek priesthood endowment.
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I find it interesting that William McLellin had just recently been called, by the voice of God out of heaven to receive the Melchizedek priesthood in June of 1831.

Therefore, the term “everlasting covenant” may also refer to the “Oath and Covenant” associated with the highest priesthood mentioned in section 84.. (which I believe is simply the Baptismal covenant)
In one of his Nauvoo discourses, Joseph Smith spoke about the fact that there are three grand orders of priesthood.

He identified them as:
1- Levitical (Aaronic)
2- Abrahams Patriarchal Power
3- Melchizedek (who had still greater power. Even greater than a prophet, apostle or patriarch).
Section 84  speaks of these three orders of priesthood. It describes those holding the Aaronic priesthood as the “Sons of Aaron”. It describes those holding the Abrahamic Patriarchal priesthood as the “Sons of Moses”.
Both of those priesthoods are patriarchal.

In other words, they are based on what the Dialogue article refers to as patrilineal heritage.

Since patrilineal heritage is not commonly known among those of the House of Israel that have been mingled among the gentiles, Joseph Smith informed the gentile church that men must be called to the priesthood through the gift of prophecy.

In other words, a person’s rightful calling in the priesthood based on patrilineal heritage, must be identified by revelation.
The third and highest priesthood spoken of in section 84 describes the highest priesthood as the “Church of God“, the “Kingdom of God” and the “Elect of God“.

Those are simply other terms for Melchizedek priesthood and fulness of the priesthood.
It notes that one must first obtain one of the two patriarchal priesthoods of Moses and Aaron, and magnify it, before one can be “sanctified by the spirit unto the renewing of their bodies”.

This sanctification process apparently purges out any gentile blood as it infuses the candidate with the highest priesthood of the elect. (Melchizedek Priesthood- fulness of the priesthood)
There seem to be at least four very significant things that differentiate the Melchizedek priesthood from the two lesser patriarchal priesthoods
1- ORDAINED DIRECTLY BY GOD: While people are called  and ordained to offices in the Aaronic and Patriarchal priesthoods by revelation, via, other mortal priesthood holders, God himself ordains the candidate to the Melchizedek Priesthood himself (D&C 50:26) by the calling of his own voice out of heaven (Gen 14:25-29) Unlike the lesser and higher priesthoods, the highest priesthood is delivered unto men according to the voice of God the Father.
2- WITHOUT FATHER OR MOTHER: Unlike the priesthood of Moses and Aaron, the Melchizedek priesthood is not a patriarchal priesthood. It is without father and mother and without beginning of days or end of years.
3- THE OATH AND COVENANT: The two lesser orders of priesthood do not require an oath and covenant while the Melchizedek Priesthood does require an oath and covenant, as addressed in section 84. People can hold patriarchal priesthood without entering into the baptismal covenant. Not so with the Fulness of the Priesthood.
4- POSSESSOR OF ALL THINGS: Those who rise up valiantly in the Melchizedek priesthood, ultimately being both called and chosen, receive an endowment of power from on high. At some point in time they are made a possessor of all things. (D&C 50) This means that all things in heaven and earth are subject to them. It has greater power than a prophet, apostle, or patriarch in the patriarchal order of priesthood.

We see this kind of priesthood power in the lives of Enoch and Melchizedek. Interestingly, just because a person is a possessor of all things, does not necessarily mean that they will be using their power to command the elements and overcome enemies. Some people are called to endure persecution.
We are informed in the scriptures that the priesthood of Moses and the Priesthood of Aaron are both appendages of the Melchizedek priesthood and that the priesthood of Aaron is an appendage of the priesthood of Moses.
I have created a pic from paint that depicts how I currently view the three priesthoods.

 

Click on the pic to enlarge

 

 

priesthood3


Miscellaneous Musings #4

May 19, 2014

Nauvoo

I am finally back from my marathon pilgrimage to Nauvoo. I was gone for 21 days. It was a fantastic experience but I am glad to be back. Among other things, I loved-

1- searching for and finding Wayne May’s designated temple spot in the ancient city of Zarahemla,

2-discovering the ancient Lamanite burial mounds located within the Nauvoo city limits,

3- sitting and gazing at a majestic 360 year old tree hidden in the forest next to Camp Nauvoo,

4- taking in a few  faith promoting lectures by Susan Easton Black Durrant and seeing first hand how historical revisionism is created and perpetuated

5- interviewing a Community of Christ (RLDS) historian and getting his perspective on numerous things including Joseph Smith and the restoration,

6- taking in a river boat ride and dinner on the “Mark Twain” in Hannibal, MO which is only about an hour away from Nauvoo, etc., etc.

Brian C. Hales is a Closet Fundamentalist Mormon

Brian C. Hales is an anesthesiologist working at the Davis North Hospital in Layton Utah. Although he is in good standing, as a member of the LDS Church, he is also an LDS fundamentalist enthusiast wannabe.

I get the impression he can’t wait until polygamy is once again sanctioned by the church. He has been obsessed with fundamentalism his entire life and has written several books and papers about Mormon Fundamentalism and polygamy, and he maintains a website about Mormon Fundamentalism which he uses to promote his books. I think his most recent offering is “Joseph Smith’s Polygamy“.

Many years ago I came upon his website and contacted him by email. He replied, stating he was quite familiar with my work and beliefs and that he simply could not accept my conclusions and believe the way I do, yet he declined to explain why. He did not want to engage in a theological discussion, nor did he want to respond to the challenges I made to his assumptions. He, like the LDS Church, is unable to scripturally justify the practice of polygamy as a true celestial law, and he has a huge blind spot and disregard for Section 42 and 49 with regard to the monogamy mandate.

While on my journey to Nauvoo, I noticed that the MormonInterpreter published a paper by him titled

Dissenters: Portraying the Church as Wrong So They can be Right Without It

Although his primary theme was about LDS dissenters of all varieties that feel the church authorities are no longer inspired, and how they error in that belief, he spent much of the article addressing the topic with a focus on LDS fundamentalism and their rejection of current church authorities.

Although he supports the current authorities and the current ban on polygamy, he, like many Mormon males that suffer from testosterone toxicity, still appears to believe the doctrine of polygamy to be a celestial doctrine that will be practiced in heaven and most likely will return to the church again.

In my opinion, this makes him, and all of those that believe in polygamy as a true eternal, celestial law, closet fundamentalist polygamists, despite the fact that they are not currently practicing their craft.

I simply could not resist the temptation to submit a comment to his post, even though I realized that the Interpreter would probably block it.

Here is what I said:

“I believe the terms “Mormon Fundamentalist” and “Fundamentalist Mormon”, although commonly used to characterize fringe LDS polygamous groups and individuals, they incorrectly imply that these groups believe the fundamental, orthodox, and original teachings of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.

This is not the case.

For this reason, it is important to inform the reader, in an article such as this, that the term fundamentalist, is a misnomer when used the way our culture has allowed it to be used.

By not making this distinction, we may inadvertently legitimize these fringe groups in the eyes of some less informed readers, since the act of sticking to the fundamentals is a virtue in the eyes of some people.

The true foundational and fundamental teachings of the restored gospel were introduced into the restored Church by revelation, primarily between 1829 and 1834. The teachings believed by the so-called fundamentalists, were not publicly taught in the church until over a decade later.

Perhaps the quickest and easiest way for a person to document and detail these true fundamental teachings is to simply read Sections 20 and 42 of the Doctrine and Covenants. These two revelations containing the articles, ordinances and laws of the restored church were read to investigators by the early missionaries of the church. They contain the major doctrines upon which the restored church was founded.

A summary of the main beliefs might look something like this:

  • Faith
  • Repentance
  • Baptism by Water
  • Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost
  • The Baptism of Fire and the Holy Ghost
  • Offering up a broken heart and a contrite spirit
  • Obedience to the Law of the Gospel contained in the scriptures with special emphasis on the law of consecration and the law of marital monogamy

These polygamous groups don’t believe monogamy to be the fundamental, form of eternal celestial marriage despite the three foundational revelations mandating it as part of the fulness of the Gospel. (The fulness of the Gospel was clearly established on the earth long before polygamy was introduced into the church)

Additionally, these fundamentalist groups believe the highest salvation to be predicated on the acquisition of obtaining multiple wives.

When writing about these groups, I believe it is important to point out to the reader, that such doctrines as polygamy, do not represent the fundamental doctrines of Mormonism.”

As expected, my LDS apologetic friends over at the Interpreter blocked my comment and sent me an email with the following explanation:

I have not approved the comment. It appears that you are creating another definition of fundamentalist that simply moves the time frame back. Interpreter is not interested in becoming a forum for definitions that are even more restrictive than those who claim the fundamentalist label.

I had to pinch myself when I read the above comment.

I was simply moving the time frame back?

That is the whole point.

I was not picking a random time further back or a self serving point in which to move the time back based on my preference in history, I was going back to the very beginning of the church to show what the original doctrine of Christ had been, when the church was first restored. ( which, coincidentally was the exact same doctrine of Christ in the Book of Mormon)

What is wrong with showing what the original, foundational, fundamental doctrine of the church was, so that people can determine the efficacy of changing from the original doctrine and adding additional covenants and additional ordinances of salvation?

I was suggesting that the earliest possible time frame, when the gospel law was given, by revelation, represented the correct doctrine that we have been commanded to not change!

Sections 33 and 76  give a brief definition of the gospel of Christ and his simple law and doctrine and associated ordinances. The procedural explanation of how to govern the church and administer the saving ordinances in Section 42 are completely consistent with those two sections.

Additionally, here are the passages of scripture Christ gave in 3rd Nephi, which mirror the definition of Christ’s gospel and doctrine given in modern revelation, that came to mind as I read the response from the Interpreter:

31 Behold, verily, verily, I say unto you, I will declare unto you my doctrine.

32 And this is my doctrine, and it is the doctrine which the Father hath given unto me; and I bear record of the Father, and the Father beareth record of me, and the Holy Ghost beareth record of the Father and me; and I bear record that the Father commandeth all men, everywhere, to repent and believe in me.

33 And whoso believeth in me, and is baptized, the same shall be saved; and they are they who shall inherit the kingdom of God.

34 And whoso believeth not in me, and is not baptized, shall be damned.

35 Verily, verily, I say unto you, that this is my doctrine, and I bear record of it from the Father; and whoso believeth in me believeth in the Father also; and unto him will the Father bear record of me, for he will visit him with fire and with the Holy Ghost.

36 And thus will the Father bear record of me, and the Holy Ghost will bear record unto him of the Father and me; for the Father, and I, and the Holy Ghost are one.

37 And again I say unto you, ye must repent, and become as a little child, and be baptized in my name, or ye can in nowise receive these things.

38 And again I say unto you, ye must repent, and be baptized in my name, and become as a little child, or ye can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God.

39 Verily, verily, I say unto you, that this is my doctrine, and whoso buildeth upon this buildeth upon my rock, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against them.

40 And whoso shall declare more or less than this, and establish it for my doctrine, the same cometh of evil, and is not built upon my rock; but he buildeth upon a sandy foundation, and the gates of hell stand open to receive such when the floods come and the winds beat upon them.

41 Therefore, go forth unto this people, and declare the words which I have spoken, unto the ends of the earth.”

As you can see, nothing is stated in the above words of Christ about needing additional temple ordinances and covenants. Christ did not say that we needed some secret hand shakes or silly ritualistic robes and aprons, or secret methods of taking life and killing people. He did not say we needed to enter into covenant with Satan, to put ourselves under the power of Satan, upon stumbling in our efforts to keep God’s law, or that we needed to swear a dark secret oath by our necks, (which practice is forbidden in the NT and BofM, etc., etc.

Another passage of scripture that came to mind, which was basically reiterates the warning to not add more or less to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the saving ordinances thereof, saying the same thing as the passages in 3rd Nephi, is given in section 124:119-120. In those passages, the Lord informs the brethren that only those who believe the Book of Mormon and revelations contained in the 1835 edition of the D&C, (which contained three revelations condemning the practice of polygamy)  are worthy enough to help fund that Nauvoo House. He then warns, anything “more or less than this cometh of evil“. Does the “cometh of evil” in that passage sound familiar?

Imagine that. Anything contradicting or adding to or taking away from, the doctrine of Christas defined in the Book of Mormon and the 1835 edition of the D&C cometh of evil!

The Folks over at the Interpreter don’t want Gospel “definitions that are even more restrictive”

The simple doctrine of Christ is way to restrictive for modern Mormonism!

We need to be more liberal in our definition of the Gospel and add other covenants. We need to widen the “narrow way” with other requirements because the path and the way is just too narrow and restrictive as originally established by Christ.

Certainly the Lord was being disingenuous when providing very restrictive rules:

“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”

It is really strange to me that the folks over at the Interpreter are now allowing many critical responses with contrary points of view, yet they blocked my comment which was strictly based on scripture and the point of view that we should not deviate from the fundamental doctrine of Christ that was originally given to the restored Church.

Nevertheless, I must admit, that they are becoming much more open to posting critical remarks, as long as they don’t come from me, LOL.

I have probably offended them with previous posts I have had concerning them and therefore the blocking of my comment is probably personal.

On the other hand, the comment may simply have been too close to the painful truth and too difficult to counter.

Regardless of their real motives for blocking the comment, I love how they at least give me the courtesy of contacting me to acknowledge that they got the comment, and provide an explanation for why they are blocking it, however lame it may be.

The Interpreter shows a degree of professionalism that few bloggers seem to display, when blocking comments, and I give them kudos for that.

Avraham Gileadi

While doing a random search on the Internet the other day about the Jewishness of the Latter day Saints and their religion, I came upon a notice that Avraham Gileadi would be speaking on May 17th in Idaho Falls on the following topic

May 17: “The Book of Mormon’s End-Time Scenario of Events Based on the Prophecies of Isaiah”

Gileadi played an important role in my awakening many years ago with his observation that the Marvelous Work and a Wonder was to be a future event, not something that began during Joseph Smith’s ministry.

It seems like it has been decades since I have listened to any of his lectures or read any of his books and I was curious to see if he had evolved in his beliefs and teachings over the years, so a grabbed my friend Malachi and went up to Idaho Falls to sit through six hours of his lecture.

Although there were some really good points made, and I was glad I went, overall, I was quite disappointed to find that he was, for the most part, rehashing the same themes he had been addressing when he first began lecturing and authoring books.

I was hoping he would give a chronological bullet point summary of how he thinks things will play out in the end times, but no such luck. I don’t think he knows.

I really like him and think he is a really good man and I think he was one of the first of our generation to observe and publicly teach that the Marvelous Work and a Wonder did not take place at the time of Joseph Smith, rather it is a future event. This theological concept was revolutionary at the time he came out with it. Sadly, many of the other concepts he teaches are erroneous in my opinion. It is impossible for anyone to have an accurate view of end times prophecy as long as they think the Modern Mormon Church represents the true, restored church with all of the priesthood that was originally restored, that will (or did) usher in the dispensation of the fulness of times, etc.

I was surprised to find that he is again quite outspoken about the current state of the church. He, like his old friend Hugh Nibley, before passing away, is caught in the cognitive dissonance of harping on all of the problems with the church while still claiming it is the Lord’s true church.

I guess it has become obvious to him that the criticisms and teachings he got in trouble for the first time around are no longer going to get him in trouble. People like Denver Snuffer who has been excommunicated, and John Dehlin who hasn’t been excommunicated, have really raised the bar of tolerance regarding the level of criticism people can level against the church and get away with it.

I was also surprised to find out that he has been lecturing on and promoting the Book by Pontius called “Visions of Glory”.

Gileadi recently did a lecture called

“Spencer’s Vision Compared to the Vision of Isaiah”

Gileadi has done a comparison of the content in Isaiah and the content in the visions that Spencer claims to have had and he claims they are consistent and compatible. Apparently he has bought into the belief that the visions contained in the book are authentic and accurate. I have purchased the book and within just a few pages I have huge misgivings. It really surprises me that someone like Gileadi would put their reputation on the line by promoting something like that.

First I will bullet point some of the things I really liked about the lecture:

  • He spoke in greater detail about the role of “proxy Saviors” and the “Emperor/Vassal model” which, of course, completely substantiates my thesis on the Biblical role of Joseph Smith. He did quite a good job on the topic and helped me realize that my paper on the Biblical Profile of Joseph Smith probably needed this topic addressed.
  • He made a sarcastic remark about how we used to be allowed to give our own talks in church but now we are assigned to simply review talks previously  given by General Authorities that have already been given. He pointed out that it was a positive learning experience when a person needed to research and prepare their own talk. (my son teaches in the elders quorum and is limited to just regurgitating old conference talks, so I know what Gileadi is referring to )
  • He said that when the Book of Mormon prophecies about the people who will say, “A Bible a Bible we need no other Bible..” it is a future event speaking about the response of many Latter day Saints when additional books of scripture come forth. I’ve already covered that several times over the years, but it was fun to see that he had come to the same conclusion, despite his allegiance to the corporate church.
  • He said that the righteous watchman were going to replace the wicked watchman.
  • He said he was working on his last book about the 144,000 which will be very controversial and may need to go into hiding after publishing it. (The comment was somewhat light-hearted and facetious but kind of serious)
  • The high point of the experience took place when a man on the back row read the part in 3 nephi 11 describing the simplicity of what the fulness of the Gospel is and how “more or less than this cometh of evil..” He then began referring to the things the LDS people do in secret and how the temple endowment/ordinances constituted more or less than the pure simple gospel… two of the stronger personalities in the room kind of tried to discount what he was saying and got him to shut up, but it was great fun while it lasted, and kind of interesting, considering my recent blocked comment on the Interpreter blog.

Here are some theological themes he covered that I strongly disagree with:

  • He doesn’t think the Gentiles officially scattered the House of Israel, per the prophecies in the Book of Mormon,  until about 1890 or later and uses wounded knee as his proof.
  • He thinks the Kings and Queens of the Gentiles that carry the House of Israel on their shoulders, refers to contemporary Latter day Saints when they finally get their act together and go forth in power gathering the Lamanites, Jews and Ten Tribes and restoring them to their lands of inheritance, etc. He doesn’t seem to accept the literal unconditional promises in modern revelation that the first elders of the last kingdom are going to return to fulfill their assignments while the vast majority of the Mormons reject the Marvelous Work.
  • He continuously emphasizes on how we are not living the fulness of the Gospel but never once mentions the mandatory requirement to live consecration.
  • He seems to think the upcoming Marvelous Work only has to do with restoring the House of Israel to their lands and not with restoring priesthood or the gospel
  • He actually said the Gentiles were not the covenant people. (I don’t know how he reconciles 2 Nephi 30:2)
  • He said be wary of lecturers that tell you how to gain an audience with the Lord and get your calling and election, because it is not something you seek and learn to do, rather it is something that just happens after one has sacrificed and shown obedience. (He was obviously referring to Denver Snuffer) Ironically, within a few minutes of stating that, he read a verse that said something like, “..that they may know how to come to me..” LOL I am not disagreeing with him, I just thought it was kind of funny.
  • He says the Book of Isaiah is not about Joseph Smith’s time, at all, only about the end times that is still future. He thinks EVERYTHING mentioned in Isaiah is yet future and he also thinks the passage about those who seek but fail to bring forth Zion directly after the Book of Mormon comes forth in 1 Nephi 13:35-37… is not referring to Joseph Smith’s ministry but is yet a future event)
  • He defines “Fulness of the Gentiles” as “The Latter day Saints” or the “Seed of Ephraim”, instead of as1-  the time when the Gentiles are given the Fulness of the Gospel/Priesthood or 2- the time when the Gentiles reach a fulness of iniquity.
  • He still thinks the Jerusalem Isaiah Speaks about in the end times is in the Old World and that the Jews are the Ashkenazi Jews. He differentiates the secular Jews from the religious Jews and seems to think the 1948 establishment of the state of Israel was a truly inspired prophetic event.
  • He thinks the three Nephites that were translated are celestial beings while the other nine are terrestrial beings

 The True Biblical Meaning of Tithing

I want to address some false information and myths about consecration and tithing. It is commonly taught and believed in the church that once the Saints failed to live the law of consecration, the Lord gave them a lesser economic law called the law of “tithing”.

This is simply not true in my opinion.

I have never seen this documented in the scriptures, other than in the chapter heading of Section 119 which grossly misinterprets the revelation to justify their modern practice of tithing.

Yes I realize that some Presidents of the church have put their spin on the doctrine, but I don’t think there is a canonized revelation that supports the current teachings on tithing.

Don’t get me wrong. I think we should help the poor and make contributions even in our fallen state, I just think we need to get the facts about God’s law correct.

The scriptural terms “sacrifice” and “tithe” and “tithing” are generally used to refer to the first part of the law of consecration having to do with giving all surplus properties to the Bishop, when speaking about God’s economic laws.

The terms “tithing” and “tithe” NEVER refer to the annual payment of 10% of income or interest.

While it is true that some modern dictionaries define tithe or tithing to refer to a payment of 10% of ones annual income, that definition is not biblical. By doing a keyword search, it will become apparent that the scriptures do not define the term that way.

Consecration is a two part process. The first part that initiates the law of consecration is the initial giving of all surplus property to the Bishops storehouse. The second part has to do with the annual payment of 10% of one’s interest.

The true biblical definition of tithing has to do with the initial offering of surplus property, not the annual payment of 10% of the interest.

The passage of scripture which is commonly used erroneously, to suggest a new lesser law, that temporarily replaces the law of consecration, is found in section 119 of the Doctrine and Covenants. The truth is that Section 119 is not introducing a new lesser law to replace the law of consecration, it is reiterating and clarifying the law of consecration that had previously been given in section 42 and other revelations. 119  is completely consistent with section 42 and every other section about consecration.

Interestingly, section 119 defines “tithing” as the initial offering of surplus property to the storehouse, not the annual interest payments. Notice the following verses:

 1  VERILY, thus saith the Lord, I require all their surplus property to be put into the hands of the bishop of my church in Zion,
2  For the building of mine house, and for the laying of the foundation of Zion and for the priesthood, and for the debts of the Presidency of my Church.
And this shall be the beginning of the tithing of my people.

As you can see, the beginning of the tithing of God’s people is defined as the requirement to put all surplus property into the hands of the Bishop in Zion. The payment of 10% of the increase does not become part of a true tithe until the initial consecration is entered into and paid. Although some Mormon foolishly think they can bypass actually living the law by simply making a promise to live it, if the authorities ever ask them to, are sadly mistaken. The Lord forsaw this folly and emphasized that they repentance would not be complete until the laws are lived, “not only to say, but to do“. (Section 84:57)

This definition of what a tithe is, is reiterated again, in the same section, in the following passage:

4  And after that, those who have thus been tithed shall pay one-tenth of all their interest annually; and this shall be a standing law unto them forever, for my holy priesthood, saith the Lord.

There it is again, to be tithed, is the act giving the initial surplus properties.  That is what constitutes and defines the act of being tithed. Following that, the consecrated person will pay one tenth of their interest annually.

It appears that interest refers to profit, interest, or increase.

The 1828 Websters says: Any surplus advantage.

Interestingly, even the initial petition that Joseph Smith made to the Lord that resulted in the revelation also defines what tithing means:

“O Lord, show unto thy servants how much thou requirest of the properties of they people for a tithing..” (See chapter heading of section 119)

As you can see, the petition of Joseph Smith’s also defines tithing to refer to the initial offering of surplus properties and not to the annual 10% of increase that follows the initial consecration.

Admittedly, the context for section 119 is a little confusing because it makes it look like the saints were still attempting consecration after the Lord had temporarily released them from the law for a little season during the Zion’s Camp expedition..

First of all, it must be remembered that when giving counsel to the apostles and missionaries in July of 1839, just one year after Section 119 was given,  Joseph Smith declared that the Saints “..are not required to sacrifice [consecrate].”

Again, he was referring to the fact that the Lord had temporarily released the saints from the commandment to live the laws of Zion, including consecration, for a little season, until the land of Zion was redeemed. This is why it is doubtful that the saints were seriously starting to consecrate again in Far West, after failing in their efforts in Kirtland and Jackson. More than likely, the revelation was simply stating how the beginning of law of tithing would take place when the appointed time arrives. (I realize the saints were probably taking the revelation seriously and possibly attempting to resume their failed attempt to consecrate again, but the fact that they needed to flee from Far West soon after they arrived is a good indicator that the Lord was not very impressed with any offerings being made)

Here are the passages in section 105 releasing the saints from living consecration for a little season:

“Behold, I say unto you, were it not for the transgressions of my people, speaking concerning the church and not individuals, they might have been redeemed even now.

But behold, they have not learned to be obedient to the things which I required at their hands, but are full of all manner of evil, and do not impart of their substance, as becometh saints, to the poor and afflicted among them;

And are not united according to the union required by the law of the celestial kingdom;

And Zion cannot be built up unless it is by the principles of the law of the celestial kingdom; otherwise I cannot receive her unto myself.

And my people must needs be chastened until they learn obedience, if it must needs be, by the things which they suffer.

I speak not concerning those who are appointed to lead my people, who are the first elders of my church, for they are not all under this condemnation…

Therefore, in consequence of the transgressions of my people, it is expedient in me that mine elders should wait for a little season for the redemption of Zion..

And this cannot be brought to pass until mine elders are endowed with power from on high.

For behold, I have prepared a great endowment and blessing to be poured out upon them, inasmuch as they are faithful and continue in humility before me.

Therefore it is expedient in me that mine elders should wait for a little season, for the redemption of Zion…And let those commandments which I have given concerning Zion and her law be executed and fulfilled, after her redemption.

As you can see,the Lord had told the saints they did not need to live consecration until after Zion’s redemption.

Zion had not been established again at the time of section 119, even though Far West was considered to also be in the “land of Zion”.

According to the revelation, Zion could not be established except upon the principle of celestial law which mandates consecration.

Joseph Smith’s declaration in July of 1839 that the Saints were not required to sacrifice (consecrate) is consistent with Joseph’s decision to not have the Saints consecrate in Nauvoo (the cornerstone of Zion).

Less than a year after section 119 was given, when the Saints were establishing Nauvoo, Joseph Smith declared before the High Council on March 6 1840 that “The law of consecration could not be kept here, and that the it was the will of the Lord that we should desist from trying to keep it; and if persisted in, it would produce a perfect defeat of its object..”
http://josephsmithpapers.org/paperSummary/history-1838-1856-volume-c-1-2-november-1838-31-july-1842?p=198#!/paperSummary/history-1838-1856-volume-c-1-2-november-1838-31-july-1842&p=198

He repeated this directive again on March 30, 1841:

Joseph said that an Equality would Not answer for he says if we were eaqual in property at present in six months we would be worse than Ever for there is too many Dishonest men amongst us who has more injenity to threat the Rest &c

http://boap.org/LDS/Parallel/1841/30Mar41.html

This of course made sense, since the wheat were mingled among the tares, nevertheless, it seemed to contradict the urgency and essential need to live consecration that he been revealed in the early revelations when the fulness of the Gospel and priesthood were on the earth. After all, the Lord had warned the saints that they would be damned if they did not live the law.

The Lord had also warned-

“in your temporal things you shall be equal, and this not grudgingly, otherwise the abundance of the manifestations of the Spirit shall be withheld.”

It would be a serious thing for the manifestations of the spirit to be withheld! (this is one of the many reasons we know that people who think they have enjoyed the second comforter have been deceived.. because the manifestations of the higher spiritual gifts have been and will continue to be withheld until the servants return, remove the curses on us, and reinstate consecration)

No wonder members of the High Council in Nauvoo probably felt a little uneasy about neglecting this law. They did not want the manifestations of the spirit to be withheld. Because of this, Joseph Smith had to assure the brethren that “.. he assumed the whole responsibility of not keeping it until proposed by himself“. (HC Vol 4 page 93)

With this background, one needs to read section 119 with the understanding that the revelation was probably simply answering the petition, explaining how the future tithing of the people would take place when the appointed time for Zion to be established comes.

“O Lord, show unto thy servants how much thou requirest of the properties of the thy people for a tithing?”

Another passage of scripture that is often misinterpreted is section 64:23

“Behold, now it is called today until the coming of the Son of Man, and verily it is a day of sacrifice, and a day for the tithing [consecration] of my people; for he that is tithed shall not be burned at his coming.”

Again, this passage is speaking about living the law of consecration, not some lesser law. One could simply replace the word “tithing” with the word “consecration” and the integrity of the passage would stay intact.

Recently a popular Blogger erroneously claimed that this passage represented the Lord giving the lesser law of tithing to replace the law of consecration. This is ridiculous because, as I have pointed out, tithing means consecration, not a lesser law that has replaced consecration.

Furthermore, section 64 was given in August of 1831 long before the saints failed at their attempt at consecration. The Bishops storehouse was not even organized until April 26 of 1832 (section 82) and it was not discontinued because of transgression until April 23rd of 1834 (section 104)

As you can see, it doesn’t make sense that God would give the saints a lesser financial law to replace consecration before they had even failed at consecration.

We could keep going on evaluating passages that speak of the “tithe” or “tithing”.

Section 85:3 says:

3  It is contrary to the will and commandment of God that those who receive not their inheritance by consecration, agreeable to his law, which he has given, that he may tithe [consecrate] his people, to prepare them against the day of vengeance and burning, should have their names enrolled with the people of God.

Section 97:11 says

11  Yea, let it be built speedily, by the tithing [consecration] of my people.

Malachi 3:10 says:

10  Bring ye all the tithes [surplus properties followed by 10% of the annual increase] into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

Malachi is obviously speaking of the time when God’s apostate people will repent and begin to gather and consecrate to prepare for the return of the Lord. At that time a great blessing will be poured out upon the people.

The scriptures never use the term tithing the way the modern corporate church currently defines it.

Again, I am not saying we should not help the poor, which was originally one of the major purposes of paying tithing, I am simply saying, we need to show ourselves approved of God by searching the scriptures to better understand God’s laws.  Even if we are going to use them as a pattern or type for the system we are using today

Let me give a brief example of how this understanding might affect people financially in today’s corrupt system, in the corrupted church.

Lets say the Ned, Ted and Fred are all struggling to earn a living and support their families.

All of them gross $30,000  annually, and pay $3,000 in payroll taxes and have $300 left over at the end of the year after paying all of the legitimate expenses that their families incur, but before tithing has been paid. (I realize that is not a probable scenario, this is just  simplified illustration to make a point)

Each of them goes to tithing settlement and declares that they have paid a full tithe to the Bishop according to their understanding of what tithing is.

Ned paid $3,000 in what the LDS church erroneously calls tithing, for the year because he had understood that he should pay 10% based on the gross paycheck that he earned. He had to pull money out of his savings and retirement plan to pay the $,3000 and is getting further into debt and very miserable, but feels good that he paid a full tithe.

Ted paid $2700 in what the church erroneously calls tithing because he had been taught that God’s lesser law of tithing is based on 10% of the net pay check. He realizes it is foolish to pay tithing on money that is never even received.

Ted did not have savings or retirement funds so he borrowed some money from family members and took out a loan so that he could get square with the Lord and declare himself to be a full tithe payer, according to his false belief of what his obligation was. He is getting further into debt and very miserable, but feels good that he paid a full tithe.

Fred paid $30 in what the church erroneously calls tithing because he understood God’s law to require 10% of one’s annual interest, or increase. Since his annual increase was $300 after taxes and all legitimate bills, he understood his requirement to be 10% of that increase.

Fred is not increasing his debt and going into greater financial bondage as a result of paying is increase because God’s economic laws were never meant to be a financial cursing but rather a blessing.

Fred knows the Lord appreciates his sincere desire to understand God’s laws. Even though he realizes there is no  such thing as the lesser law of tithing, he wants to contribute and he realizes that the spirit of the law would indicate that one should pay annually based on 10% of increase. Obviously he could and would pay more if he were in a position to do so and if the spirit impressed upon his mind to do so.

Ned and Ted are in financial bondage with little light at the end of the tunnel. They find it very difficult to get an increase because of what they perceive to be their tithing obligation. They have been indoctrinated to believe that it is a necessary sacrifice for people like them because if they did not sacrifice, the general authorities who are compensated hundreds of thousands of dollars per year, to match the huge salaries they had previously garnered in Babylon.

Ned and Ted realize that the highly educated and trained leaders of the Church, would not be able to maintain their lavish standard of living as they valiantly lead the kingdom of God towards Zion, if it were not for the noble sacrifice people like them are making. The tremendous “investment spree” in shopping malls and other important expenditures would be curtailed without faithful tithe payers.

The reason I point out this scenario is because if every faithful member of the LDS church would pay based on 10% of their INTEREST/INCREASE, rather than on their gross or net pay, there would actually still be plenty of funds to take care of the poor and to achieve the legitimate requirements of the financial law, yet there would be much less financial suffering among faithful tithe payers who are struggling financially.

Furthermore, the leadership of the church would be forced to become responsible stewards in their use of the funds. It should be noted that the modern church does not even use tithing as the primary vehicle for taking care of the poor, instead, they put an additional burden upon the saints for that purpose. It should also be noted that New Testament Christianity never built “chapels” for Sunday worship. They were divided into smaller congregations that met in the saints homes and in groves when the weather was permitting. The focus on building expensive  chapels is an unnecessary abomination which serves as an amenity to make the saints feel like they are being taken well care of by a benevolent organization.

As it is, with people paying such unscriptural and obscene amounts of their income to the corporation, it has caused the LDS church to  be flush with money. Since the corporation is hemorrhaging with cash coming out of its ying-yang, it has forced the financial arm of the church to frantically look for all sorts of Babylonian ways to invest the funds in ward buildings, temples, real estate, multi-billion dollar shopping malls,  stocks, bonds, business investments, etc.

[Editorial Notes: Years ago I was reading the diary or a letter from of one of the really early missionaries, that was in England, during the early 1840's. I think it was Wilford Woodruff or one of the other early apostles. He commented on how the people in the apostate protestant churches were being oppressed by the requirement to pay 10% of all of their income annually. He could not believe how duped the financially oppressed people were! From a purely economic point of view, someone that spends a lifetime paying 10% of their gross or net paycheck, actually ends up making a much larger financial sacrifice than they would if they simply  consecrated and paid 10% of their annual increase. ]

 “Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith
The Art of Parsing God’s Word and Deleting Context

I used to think the book “Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith” by Joseph Fielding Smith was one of the greatest things since sliced bread and a wonderful resource for gospel study because it distilled the important information from church history and saves us all alot of time doing our own research.

Now I have begun to despise it as a ploy to hide context.

Let me explain.

I was recently reading part of an excellent paper written by Paul Toscano wherein he points out that an oft quoted statement is always taken out of context.

Here is the quote re referred to:

I will give you one of the Keys of the mysteries of the Kingdom. It is an eternal principle, that has existed with God from all eternity: That man who rises up to condemn others, finding fault with the Church, saying that they are out of the way, while he himself is righteous, then know assuredly, that that man is in the high road to apostasy; and if he does not repent, will apostatize, as God lives..”

We have all heard that statement quoted many times.

However, as Toscano points out, Joseph Smith was not referring to church members being critical of church leaders, he was speaking about a general principle and his main emphasis and warning was directed at people who “rise up” into priesthood leadership positions that become critical of the church membership.

This pattern is seen in Satan’s rising up into a position of authority in the presence of God and then his eventual fall from heaven and his character trait of always accusing the saints before God day and night.

This council from Joseph Smith was also prophetic.

I believe he was alluding to the fact that a future priesthood leader in the church would “rise up” to a greater position and show these characteristics… perhaps even one of the apostles that he was addressing on that occasion.

When I spent weeks reviewing the sermons of Brigham Young, after he had himself voted as the President of the Church, I was shocked at the recurring theme that showed up in his sermons. The saints were in apostasy and darkness, yet Brigham himself had ever done anything wrong and all of his words could be considered as scripture, etc.

Anyway, my point is, that the reason that we members of the church have been indoctrinated with a quote that is taken out of context, is not only because general authorities have misused the quote, but because it is provided as a snippet, without the proper context, in the book “Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith” by Joseph Fielding Smith.

Members of the church are lazy and would rather read the snippets from church history, rather than the full context in church history.

After reading that observation of the proper context of the quote by Toscano, I went to the Joseph Smith Papers site to read the whole section from which the quote was taken. Joseph Smith was giving counsel to leaders of the church.

I was shocked and horrified to read numerous quotes from “Teachings” in the original context in which they were originally given.

WOW.

Shame on me and all of us that have allowed ourselves to be spoon fed with snippets carefully parsed by those who want to protect us from the true context in which the statements were made.

BTW

Here is part of Toscano’s paper that contains some profound content

Brethren, before you judge those you think are contentious, ask yourselves if you are hnot also contentious? Who has divided the church into leaders and followers, intellectuals and mainstream members, believers and liberals, true voices and alternate voices, active Mormons and inactive Mormons?

To label, renounce, stigmatize, or reject your follow Saints because we disagree with you or cannot accept all you want us to accept is the kind of contention and divisiveness Jesus warned against. And not Jesus only. Joseph Smith said: “I will give you one of the Keys of the mysteries of the Kingdom. It is an eternal principle, that has existed with God from all eternity: That man who rises up to condemn others, finding fault with the Church, saying that they are out of the way, while he himself is righteous, then know assuredly, that that man is in the high road to apostasy; and if he does not repent, will apostatize, as God lives.. This famous statement, made by the prophet on 2 July 1839, is often quoted to members who are critical of you as a warning that criticism can lead to apostasy. But this twists the original meaning and purpose of the statement.

Joseph Smith did not say these words TO church members WHO WERE critical of the leaders. He said them to church leaders to apostles and seventies- who were critical of church members. He warned leaders of the church, not to put themselves above others, not to condemn others, not to find fault with the church, not to say that members are out of the way while leaders are righteous.

Brethren, you ignore this warning whenever you create, maintain, or reinforce categories of church membership or attempt to classify people as intellectuals, liberals, or dissidents. We all do it whenever we believed there are people whom we esteem as less valuable than ourselves, whose voices we do not have to hear- people who must listen to us but who have not right to be heard. We violate Joseph Smith’s warning whenever we insist on the use of titles to distinguish leaders from followers. Did not Jesus instruct us not to call each other by titles?? We are brothers and sisters, children of Christ.

The complete paper can be read here

https://www.dialoguejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/sbi/articles/Dialogue_V26N01_111.pdf

 

 

PS

Joseph Smith’s declaration in Far West and Nauvoo that the saints were no longer require to “sacrifice” demonstrates that the secret vision behind the veil in 1836 marked the changing of the “day” of the gentiles to the “day” of the House of Israel.

Section 64 had declared that it would be a day of sacrifice until the coming of the Son of Man:

“Behold, now it is called today until the coming of the Son of Man, and verily it is a day of sacrifice, and a day for the tithing of my people; for he that is tithed shall not be burned at his coming”

Yet shortly after the secret visitation, Joseph was informing people that the saints were no longer required to sacrifice. Clearly the “day” mentioned in section 64 had changed. The  “coming of the Son of Man” had taken place sometime before Joseph’s declaration in 1839. When had the coming of the Son of Man taken place? IN THE KIRTLAND TEMPLE!!!!!

Here is one more evidence proving the historicity of section 110 DS!

 

 


The Danger of Riches and Inequality and the Law of Consecration

May 3, 2014

I have been on the road now with my youngest son for a while doing a little writing and sightseeing. I am currently in Nauvoo. I have been here nearly a week. I am thinking about hitting Independence or Kirtland after this stop. I have a herniated disk in my back which has been excruciating at times. Any prayers from any of you out there would be muchly appreciated.

I am making this post because of an incredible work of gospel scholarship that was sent to me that I want to share with you, but, first, I will share a few of the interesting experiences that I have had thus far-

The Martyrdom: I met an LDS guy that became obsessed with the history of the Martyrdom and has written a book about it and moved to Nauvoo. He claims that William Law was somewhat involved in the martyrdom conspiracy and that he was meeting with Joseph Smith’s two shady lawyers in Fort Madison at the time of the martyrdom, which provided his alibi. I will be digesting his book when I get a chance. It seems like there are certain topics of the gospel and church history that the Lord picks certain people to investigate and share information about. I love it when I meet people with passion who have closely researched a given topic.

Nauvoo Christian Center: I always enjoy meeting with the guy at this place. This time I harped on the obvious TOTAL apostasy of ALL flavors of Christianity have experienced and the need for priesthood authority. The more I talked the harder he tapped his foot on the floor as he was listening to me. It is insidious and disgraceful how much delight I get out of making some people uncomfortable. He is a salt of the earth person that, like the rest of us, is doing the best he can to live the gospel and bring people to the truth as he sees it. I really enjoy chatting with. He never remembers who I am each time I visit him. I told him that is because I am a very forgettable personality.. LOL

Community of Christ Historian: I had the opportunity to meet with one of the Community of Christ administrators who is also one of their top historians. I will not divulge his name since I neglected to ask for permission to do so. He said some very interesting things. One of the things I got from the conversation is that for years, the leaders of the RLDS and LDS church debated back and forth over whether Joseph Smith was really involved in polygamy. He indicated that many years later, when the top officials of the RLDS church could no longer deny the overwhelming flood of evidence that Joseph was involved in it, it really threw their church into an identity crisis, as well as a crisis of faith. That is largely what ultimately motivated the RLDS church to change its name, take its emphasis off of church history, off of the importance of Joseph Smith and even off of the Book of Mormon.

I can remember how shocked I was back when it changed it’s name to the community of Christ and how it seemed like they morphed into a protestant church instead of a restoration church, almost overnight. I remember how some of their main-streamers left the church at that time, unwilling to give up their roots and core beliefs. I suspect that is about the time and the reason that the Prices left the fold. I had meant to ask him his thoughts about the Prices but forgot.. Apparently he feels the same way about the Prices work that John Hamer does. Here is John Hamers response to me about the Prices:

 The Prices are wrong about Joseph and polygamy. They are in the “Josephite” (RLDS) tradition, but they are not in Community of Christ. They are independent “Restorationists” (meaning conservatives who separated from the RLDS Church). I’m familiar with their arguments; I’ve read their book. Their book is entirely uninformed of the evidence; it’s not actual scholarship; it’s simply a repeat of old pre-scholarly RLDS polemics that have been discredited. I have not personally met them or conversed with them on the topic, although I have been to their book store in Independence.

Back at the time of the transformation from RLDS to Community of Christ, I did not connect the dots that the polygamy issue was such a huge part of their transformation.

He feels that the pendulum is now beginning to swing back a little bit in their church towards embracing their history, but with a more healthy and realistic view of history and the role of prophets. He emphasized that prophets are not perfect and they have human weaknesses and can make mistakes, etc. I asked him if he still believes the BofM is what it claims to be as far as a literal history of an ancient civilization.. he said no, but that it is still a good book with good principles. I love how candid and forthright he was and how the enmity that used to exist between the two churches appears to be completely gone now. The contention is gone and nobody is trying to convert the other side or show the falicy of their position anymore.. I think the polygamy issue and all of the difficult issues brought out by the  “Google Apostasy” has provided both groups with a huge portion of humble pie. BTW, I noticed an interesting article at the Mormon Interpreter

Separated but not Divorced: The LDS Church’s Uncomfortable Relationship with its Polygamous Past

Zarahemla:  I have previously speculated that the land of Zarahemla in the Book of Mormon ,was located in the same place, across the river from Nauvoo, that was named Zarahemla by revelation. (Section 125) Since Wayne May has declared that he may have found the place where an ancient temple was located, in the old city of Zarahemla, I thought it would be fun to see if I could locate that parcel of land. I wanted to see if I could locate the land using the Google Maps graphic that he provided in his article. I wanted to see if in fact he has begun his archeological dig.

Sure enough, I found it!

It does not appear as if he has begun digging. Perhaps he never acquired the land for some reason. I couldn’t help but notice that when driving along the road along the river, there is a space of about a half a mile in which one can see the exact front of the Nauvoo Temple, without seeing part of either side of the temple which enables a person to gauge when they are directly in front of the temple. Interestingly, the piece of land Wayne thinks is the place of the old Zarahemla Temple falls nicely within that range. The Nauvoo Temple is one of the very few temples that faces west. That puts the Nauvoo temple facing west directly towards Zarahemla. Assuming that the new temple is positioned where the old one was in Nauvoo, and that the place of the old temple Wayne has identified in Zarahemla is accurate, this puts both temples facing each other directly, across the river from each other. That also assumes that the Zarahemla Temple faced (and will face) east, like most temples do.. I find this interesting based on the following passage of scripture and the following definition from the 1828Websters:

Let them build up a city unto my name upon the land opposite the city of Nauvoo, and let the name of Zarahemla be named upon it.”

OP’POSITE, a. [L. oppositus. ]1. Standing or situated in front; facing; as an edifice opposite to the Exchange. Brooklyn lies opposite to New York,”

The Danger of Riches and Inequality and the Law of Consecration

I have really enjoyed my semi retirement from blogging and had no intention of blogging during this pilgrimage, however, I have been motivated to write this post because of an email with some scholarship that I just had to share with you.

A fellow has contacted me and told me about his blog that has a 12 part thesis on the law of consecration. He has done a remarkable job of researching the topic. I would have to say it may be the best paper I have ever seen on the topic with the exception of a few assumptions made within and at the end of the thesis that I strongly disagree with.

I am so impressed with the thesis that I am going to share the new blog post and encourage everyone interested in the topic to read all 12 parts of the thesis even though the assumptions in the final part, in my opinion, are seriously flawed. I am also going to share the email I sent back to this person, so that my readers will know what the issues are that I disagree with.

I want to thank the fellow who wrote the thesis, it obviously has taken a long to time to put it together. I believe he has done an outstanding job of scriptural research.

Here are links to his blog and the twelve parts of the thesis. It will be interesting to see what else he posts about.

 

Here is the content of my response (with a few minor changes) to the author of the above thesis after I had read all 12 parts of it

 

 

“WOW

 

I just finished reading your thesis on the danger of riches and inequality and the Law of Consecration, which I assume is your personal Magnus Opus.

 

 

I loved it.

 

I have been thinking about doing an exhaustive paper on the topic of consecration and have felt overwhelmed at the thought of doing it… NOW I DON’T NEED TOO!

 

I love your zeal and passion and I love that I have identified someone else that agrees with me that the manifestations of the Lords spirit are being withheld because of our failure to live the mandatory law of the gospel. (If people comprehended this, they would not fall for the belief that the Lord somehow overlooked the failure to live consecration but decided to give a “higher law of Polygamy” to the Saints anyway. They would also realize the folly and deception of those claiming to have the second comforter when in fact, the Lord has told us that he is withhold the manifestations of his spirit until the church repents and obeys the laws of Zion, etc.

 

I think you have been inspired of the Lord to do this amazing work and I want to recommend your blog to others.

 

I need to ask you a few questions, because, if I recommend it the way it is currently written, I will need to put a disclaimer about a few of the things you have said that I don’t agree with…

 

Please take this in the spirit in which it is intended..

 

Let me say that I agreed with 99% of everything you said until I got to part 12.

You made the following statement,

 

“Many theorize that the law of consecration is in some way meant to be hypothetical or forthcoming, in essence a law that we would agree to live by, and are supposedly willing to some day, if and when we are commanded to do so. I can’t find anything in the scriptures to support these ideas.”

 

That belief, that we can and should live the law of consecration right now, shows up a few times throughout your work and of course, you really drive it home in the last part.

 

Here is why it gives me great indigestion-

 

Allow me to respond to your challenge to show where we are in fact told to wait until a forthcoming time to live consecration..

 

In section 105, one of the many sections you quote from, the Lord says this:

 

VERILY I say unto you who have assembled yourselves together that you may learn my will concerning the redemption of mine afflicted people—

2  Behold, I say unto you, were it not for the transgressions of my people, speaking concerning the church and not individuals, they might have been redeemed even now.

3  But behold, they have not learned to be obedient to the things which I required at their hands, but are full of all manner of evil, and do not impart of their substance, as becometh saints, to the poor and afflicted among them;

4  And are not united according to the union required by the law of the celestial kingdom;

5  And Zion cannot be built up unless it is by the principles of the law of the celestial kingdom; otherwise I cannot receive her unto myself.

6  And my people must needs be chastened until they learn obedience, if it must needs be, by the things which they suffer.

7  I speak not concerning those who are appointed to lead my people, who are the first elders of my church, for they are not all under this condemnation;

8  But I speak concerning my churches abroad—there are many who will say: Where is their God?  Behold, he will deliver them in time of trouble, otherwise we will not go up unto Zion, and will keep our moneys.

9  Therefore, in consequence of the transgressions of my people, it is expedient in me that mine elders should wait for a little season for the redemption of Zion—

10  That they themselves may be prepared, and that my people may be taught more perfectly, and have experience, and know more perfectly concerning their duty, and the things which I require at their hands.

11  And this cannot be brought to pass until mine elders are endowed with power from on high.

12  For behold, I have prepared a great endowment and blessing to be poured out upon them, inasmuch as they are faithful and continue in humility before me.

13  Therefore it is expedient in me that mine elders should wait for a little season, for the redemption of Zion.

33  Verily I say unto you, it is expedient in me that the first elders of my church should receive their endowment from on high in my house, which I have commanded to be built unto my name in the land of Kirtland.

34  And let those commandments which I have given concerning Zion and her law be executed and fulfilled, after her redemption.

 

My interpretation of the above passages is that after the Saints failed to live the laws of Zion, most notably, for the purposes of this conversation, the law of consecration, the Lord temporarily revoked the commandment to live it, until after the final restoration during the upcoming Marvelous Work and a Wonder begins and after the land of Zion is once again physically redeemed (as per the prophecy of the redemption of Zion given in section 101), and after the first elders receive their endowment of power from on high.

 

I am not saying we should not be living the law of Zion in our hearts. I am not saying we should not be going by the spirit to responsibly impart our excess substance to the poor as the spirit guides us and to not have our hearts set on accumulating wealth.

 

However, living the actual law of Zion, under the direction of the Lord and his ordained servants, is not an option right now, in my opinion, during this, the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham that we currently live in.

 

One of the things that jumped out at me as I read your document, is that all of the people that were commanded to sell all that they had and give it to the poor, had the blessing of the safety net of the Lords storehouse when they took that leap of faith. We don’t have that safety net at this time. Therefore, the act of doing what you seem to be suggesting may be irresponsible foolishness that could actually result in putting the giver into the position of being poor and being reliant on others if their income should ever stop for some reason, after they have given all of their excess away. (you cannot count on the church as a safety net. They have no obligation to support anyone if they decide for any reason not to. There is a single lady in my neighborhood right now who is being denied welfare that she needs because she had not previously been a full tithe payer.)

 

I realize that what I am saying sounds faithless, and perhaps it is. But I see a practical application to what the Lord is telling us with regard to the law of consecration. His law is a very practical law because it focuses on providing temporally for those in need. I don’t think the Lord wants others to become needy themselves by being irresponsible with their financial stewardships.

 

It appears to me, that even the rich man, who was told to sell all that he had and give it to the poor, was not even being told to just go by faith that he would be taken care of, in the inspired version, we are informed us that the Jews at that time, had their own form of consecration set up with a storehouse treasury safety net:

“Then said John to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, crying against them with a loud voice, saying, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, Abraham is our father; we have kept the commandments of God, and none can inherit the promises but the children of Abraham; for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.

And now also, the axe is laid unto the root of the trees; every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit, shall be hewn down, and cast into the fire.

And the people asked him, saying, What shall we do then?

He answered and said unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise.

Then came also publicans to be baptized, and said unto him, Master, what shall we do?

And he said unto them, Exact no more than that which is appointed unto you.

For it is well known unto you, Theophilus, that after the manner of the Jews, and according to the custom of their law in receiving money into the treasury, that out of the abundance which was received, was appointed unto the poor, every man his portion;

And after this manner did the publicans also, wherefore John said unto them, Exact no more than that which is appointed you.”

 

The Strongman Model for Zion

The other thing that seems to be missing in your thesis is the fact that Zion cannot be established without God’s servant who has been commissioned and endowed with authority, to direct the cause.

 

In every single successful Zion, there has been a servant endowed with power from on high directing the cause.

 

Enoch’s Zion was directed by the Lord, through revelation, through Enoch.

 

Melchizedek’s Zion was directed by the Lord through revelation, through Melchizedek.

 

Nephi’s Zion-like community was directed personally by the Lord Himself.

 

Prophecy informs us that there will be another anointed servant that will lead the cause of Zion just as there have been in the past.

 

One of the things you surely noticed during your research is that priesthood authority is mandatory to administer the Gospel and establish the Law of Consecration, it cannot simply be done by those desiring to take things into their own hands.

 

Denver Snuffer, a popular LDS author-blogger appears to be telling people that Zion cannot be established with a “strongman model”.

 

He apparently considers leaders like Moses and Joseph Smith to represent a strongman model, although, technically, according to the dictionary, a strongman is someone not inspired, who intimidates people:

 

“..apoliticalleaderwhocontrolsby force; dictator.”

 

In my opinion, Brigham Young was the textbook example of a strongman, however, I think that Snuffer may well be alluding to the fact that he considers the prophetic narrative in the parable of the redemption of Zion, in Section 101 as the strongman model, which he obviously rejects.

 

He seems to be suggesting that everyone simply needs to spontaneously just begin to “rise up” and begin living the law of Zion, even though they are not properly gathered and have no authority.

 

Interestingly, Snuffer’s suggestion actually represents the cumulative strongman model, instead of the God-sanctioned model, my opinion. This is because it is encouraging a group of people to take the law [of the Gospel] into their own hands and move forward without God’s sanction.

 

He doesn’t seem to understand that there is an appointed servant like Enoch and Melchizedek that is to direct the establishment of Zion (and that the servant is not him.)

 

He doesn’t seem to understand that there is an appointed place and time, and that the elect are to be patient and be found watching and waiting for the anointed servants to arrive and begin the gathering.

 

He doesn’t seem to understand that delegated priesthood power is required. He has made some heretical statements indicating that we don’t need the priesthood, like the following ones:

 

“It does not matter whether there is an officiator with authority from God on earth or not”

 

“it would be good to have an authorized minister to perform the ordinance, but the language of Section 20 is not contingent upon authority. Rather it is the faith of the one receiving baptism which determines the ordinance’s validity.”

 

Of course the Book of Mormon makes it perfectly clear that priesthood power and authority is necessary.

 

Just prior to establishing the law of consecration on the American Continent, Christ gave power to his servants to administer the ordinances:

 

“And it came to pass that he spake unto Nephi (for Nephi was among the multitude) and he commanded him that he should come forth.

And Nephi arose and went forth, and bowed himself before the Lord and did kiss his feet. And the Lord commanded him that he should arise.  And he arose and stood before him.

And the Lord said unto him: I give unto you power that ye shall baptize this people when I am again ascended into heaven.

And again the Lord called others, and said unto them likewise; and he gave unto them power to baptize.  And he said unto them: On this wise shall ye baptize; and there shall be no disputations among you.

 

Verily I say unto you, that whoso repenteth of his sins through your words, and desireth to be baptized in my name, on this wise shall ye baptize them—Behold, ye shall go down and stand in the water, and in my name shall ye baptize them”

 

 

As you can see, unlike the gospel according to Brother Snuffer, who does not recognize the mandatory need for delegated priesthood power, and thinks anybody can baptize anybody, without priesthood power, the gospel of Christ is very strict about this. One does need to have the proper priesthood authority.

 

I noticed that in one of his talks, he grossly  misinterpreted Section 64:22-24. He believes that passage was giving the Saints the lesser law of tithing:

 

“One of the things that happened when we failed to live the Law of Consecration was a replacement commandment requiring the payment of tithes. D&C 64:23“Behold, now it is called today until the coming of the Son of Man, and verily it is a day of sacrifice, and a day for the tithing of my people; for he that is tithed shall not be burned at his coming “For after today cometh the burning..”  — this is speaking after the manner of the Lord  for verily I say, tomorrow all the proud and they that do wickedly shall be as stubble; and I will burn them up, for I am the Lord of Hosts; and I will not spare any that remain in Babylon. Wherefore, if ye believe me, ye will labor while it is called today.” (D&C 64: 23-25).

 

First of all, the above interpretation is illogical because Section 64 was being addressed to the elders in Kirtland in September of 1831 and it was not until about three years later that the Saints in Kirtland failed in their attempt to live consecration. They arguably had not even formally been organized and begun the practice it when section 64 was given, even though they had been taught about it.

 

Why would the Lord be giving a lesser law of tithing before the saints failed at the higher law?

 

Secondly, the Lord NEVER gave a lesser law of tithing in any of the published revelations. The term tithing, as used in the scriptures is always either being used interchangeably with the term consecration, or it is referring to the paying of an annual interest or surplus, after being consecrated. Even section 119,  which many people typically, erroneously attribute to being the announcement of a lesser law that replaces consecration, is also referring to the surplus of those previously consecrated.

 

My concern with your logic is that it is the same logic that people like Snuffer use to move forward in establishing Zion without authority. Perhaps you are a follower of Snuffer, I don’t know, but youe logic seems to be similar to his.

 

Those are the issues I have with what you have written.

 

1- We have been commanded to wait until the land of Zion has been redeemed and the first elders have returned and been endowed with priesthood power.

 

2- We have been commanded to establish consecration and Zion under the direction of the Lord and through his priesthood and his anointed servants

 

I would love to get a response from you on those issues.

 

Again, I love the research you have done. You have done an amazing job of accumulating virtually all of the pertinent passages pertaining to this important topic and I love your commentary and how you put so many pieces of the puzzle together.

 

Thank you for sharing it with me.

 

Watcher”

 

Anyway, as you can see, I have some issues with the content of this person’s thesis even though I think he has done a remarkable job of accumulating scriptures having to do with the topic. I have not heard back from this fellow that wrote the thesis on consecration.. perhaps I will add his  response to this post if I do.

 

Enjoy the thesis!

 

[Editorial Notes:] I have since heard back from the author if the thesis. He has softened some of his wording to imply that one can still personally consecrate even though the group covenant was broken..  or something to that effect… I still have some differences of opinion about whether we are actually held accountable to be living it now, however, that is something each of us need to ponder and pray about and arrive at our own conclusions.

I think everyone should read the entire thesis and prayerfully consider all of the passages that he provides.

Again, I think it is the best work I have ever seen written on the topic and it provides some sobering food for thought about how the accumulation of wealth effects a person and what our moral and scriptural responsibilities are with regard to helping our fellow man that is in need.

 

Indeed, the love of money is the root of all evil

 


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