How Zion will be Redeemed- Part 3

September 5, 2014

The Marred Servant

It is interesting to note that Christ references the Micah prophecy in 3rd Nephi in response to, and as part of a commentary on Isaiah 52.

3rd Nephi chapter 20 contains a literal word for word rendering of Isaiah 52 as it appears in the King James Version of the Bible.

Clearly, Christ feels that the prophetic narrative in Isaiah 52 is critical for his people to understand, as well as for Gentiles who will one day read the Book of Mormon. That chapter of Isaiah speaks of the “Marred Servant” that will gather many nations in the last days.

Again, the purpose of the reiteration in 3rd Nephi Chapter 21 is to give further clarification to the amazing prophecy in Isaiah 52 which speaks of the “Marred Servant” gathering many nations.

Isaiah 52 speaks of how Zion will “awake” and put on her “strength”. (Keep the term “strength” fresh in your mind throughout this series, it is a key term that shows up several times, linking passages from modern prophecy to passages in ancient prophecy, including the phrase “strength of my house“.)

Christ merges the ancient prophecy in Isaiah 52, with the ancient prophecy found in Micah 5 which details how the army of Israel, which contains a “remnant of Jacob”, “shall be among the Gentiles as a young lion among the flocks’ of sheep

The narrative infers supernatural power, or fulness of the priesthood being employed by the army of Israel with no personal casualties and total power over the Gentiles they are treading down. In modern terms, one might refer to this amazing military strike as a “strongman” event of power.

Obviously, there have been countless interpretations over the years as to who the Marred Servant is that leads the army of Israel. The term is sometimes associated with “Davidic servant“, “One like Moses” the “Branch Servant” and “one Mighty and Strong“, etc. The fact that the identity of this final servant that gathers Israel remains a puzzlement to Latter day Saints is a puzzlement to me, given the fact that the Lord has identified this person as Joseph Smith countless times.

It is interesting to note that the Hebrew paragraph break between the King James Version of Isaiah 52 and 53, is duly noted in the King James Version of the Bible as beginning at verse 13 of chapter 52, which proves that the “marred servant” in Isaiah 52 is also the “suffering servant” in Isaiah 53.

We know that all of the prophecies of Isaiah had a dual fulfillment. The first major fulfillment of the suffering servant in Isaiah 53 took place in the meridian of time through the ministry of Christ.

He was Not born of Blood

In other words, the narrative given in Isaiah 53, which we generally attribute to being a description of Christ, was indeed descriptive of Christ’s suffering for us, but it is also a description of the end times servant who is marred by the sins of Israel.

In previous blogs we have documented the amazing declaration in Alma 34 that Christ was not human and did not offer a human sacrifice:

“For it is expedient that there should be a great and last sacrifice; yea, not a sacrifice of man, neither of beast, neither of any manner of fowl; for it shall not be a human sacrifice; but it must be an infinite and eternal sacrifice. Now there is not any man that can sacrifice his own blood which will atone for the sins of another. Now, if a man murdereth, behold will our law, which is just, take the life of his brother? I say unto you, Nay.”

The inspired version of the Bible informs us in the Gospel of John that “He [Christ] was born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

Indeed, Christ was not born of mortal blood.

Christ was not imbued with human blood as are all of the other sons of Adam. Christ came to earth as God, disguised as a man. He apparently had flesh through Mary’s earthly lineage, but did not inherit the capacity to manufacture mortal blood from her or a mortal father. His blood was of divine origin with the capacity to provide an infinite and eternal atonement offering.

Joseph’s Blood Absorbed the Sins of Israel with a Vengeance

It is difficult for us to fully comprehend the excruciating suffering that Christ went through as his perfect blood, refused to assimilate the sins of the people that were place upon him and thus was purged out of his body through every possible means, including the pores of his sweat glands.

Conversely, the narrative in Isaiah 53 also applies to the mortal marred servant that returns to gather Israel.

His marring is also the result of his taking on the sins of apostate Israel, not to provide an eternal atonement, but to provide a temporary, temporal atonement that prolongs the days of apostate Israel upon the face of the earth when they normally would have been wiped of the face of the earth by the justice of God.

In his situation, his mortal blood DID assimilate the sins he took upon himself as an intercessor for latter day Israel, causing him to act out the sins of latter day Israel.

For this reason, my belief in Joseph Smith as the marred servant and the work he initiated, is only strengthened every time I hear some angry cynic decry all of the terrible sins that Joseph Smith is accused of.

Prideful boasting?

Lying?

False searing?

False prophesying?

Unrighteous dominion?

Adultery?

Murder?

Yep…. bring it on!

What of it?

Get the complete context and then get a grip.

Get the complete context of why he became a degraded, pathetic sinner wallowing in iniquity, before passing a harsh judgment. The sins you are judging just might be your own.

While I don’t categorically believe every accusation made against Joseph Smith by those who hate and despise him, I don’t doubt that he did in fact commit many grievous sins.

Why am I open to the fact that Joseph Smith committed many serious transgressions?

Not just because historical accounts are many and compelling, but more importantly to me, because prophecy testifies that his calling was to “commit iniquity” and then be “chastened.. with the rod of man“.

Is it possible for us to comprehend what effect this had upon his soul?

One can actually create a case from scripture to support the theory that Joseph Smith has been suffering in hell for four generations, for the sins of our ancestors as well as for ours sins. In the following prophecy we shall observe that when the Marred Servant (Branch Prophet) returns, he is brought out of the “fire”. Furthermore, he is still wearing the filthy garments that he had on when he was chastened by the rod of man.

Indeed, a careful reading of the second chapter of Psalms reveals that the Davidic lamantations in Psalms pertain to King David only as a shadow fulfillment, but to the Davidic Servant of the end times as the literal fulfillment. (Joseph is the anointed servant that is set upon Mount Zion in the last days when the heathen rage)

Keeping in mind that the returning Davidic Servant that first become sanctified and obtained his calling and election, and then offered an intercessory offering for latter day Israel and had their sins placed upon him, is returned to earth out of the “fire” still wearing “filthy garments”:

For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.” Psalms 16:10

The Branch Prophet

We are informed that when he first returns after four generations, he is still marred by the filthiness that was artificially placed upon him and will need to have his filthy garments removed and replaced with clean garments:

And the LORD said unto Satan, The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?

3 Now Joshua [the Branch Servant] was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel.

4 And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment.

5 And I said, Let them set a fair mitre upon his head. So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the LORD stood by.

6 And the angel of the LORD protested unto Joshua, saying,

7 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; If thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keep my charge, then thou shalt also judge my house, and shalt also keep my courts, and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by.

8 Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, and thy fellows that sit before thee: for they are men wondered at: for, behold, I will bring forth my servant the BRANCH.

9 For behold the stone that I have laid before Joshua; upon one stone shall be seven eyes: behold, I will engrave the graving thereof, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day.

10 In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, shall ye call every man his neighbour under the vine and under the fig tree.”

The Branch prophet, who is the marred servant, will be made clean when he returns. After that, he will walk in the ways of the Lord and keep his charge.

When that happens, he will once again deliver the true law of the Gospel just as he had done during the early Kirtland years, before the sins of Israel corrupted him.

Indeed, according to the prophetic narrative, the latter day servant took upon himself the sins of Israel just as Moses had anciently made an atonement for the sins of Israel.

Our ancestors would have been swept off the face of the earth if not for the intercessory offering made by Joseph Smith.

The the sins of latter day Israel had been artificially placed upon Joseph Smith, would this not result in this mortal being marred more than any other mortal man that walked the earth?

Will this marring effect how Joseph looks physically when he returns or was it simply a spiritual marring and a marring of his reputation and persona?

I don’t know.

It is interesting that Joseph Smith’s Father identified Joseph Smith as the one who would be marred in the patriarchal blessing that he gave him.

He also prophesied that Joseph would stand upon the earth when the final judgments go forth to destroy the wicked. He even reiterates the passage in section 133, that it is Joseph Smith’s brethren, the “Sons of Ephraim” that will administer blessings upon the “tribes of Jacob“:

“…and though the wicked mar him for a little season, he shall be like one rising up in the heat of wine, he shall roar in his strength, and the Lord shall put to flight his persecutors…

Thou shalt stand upon the earth when it shall reel to and fro as a drunken man, and be removed out of its place: thou shalt stand when the mighty judgments go forth to the destruction of the wicked:

thou shalt stand on Mount Zion when the tribes of Jacob come shouting from the north, and with thy brethren, the sons of Ephraim, crown them in the name of Jesus Christ..”

It is interesting how the blessing states that Joseph was to be marred for a little season, which mirrors the word of the Lord in section 105 that Zion would not be redeemed for a little season!

If you are not intimately familiar with how Joseph’s calling incorporated a temporal atonement similar to the one that Moses provided for ancient Israel, I would strongly recommend the following article.

http://onewhoiswatching.wordpress.com/2010/04/15/four-steps-in-losing-your-innocence-part-6-3/

Without this understanding, you may be deceived by a false prophet who is taking upon himself the awesome task of showing people how to redeem Zion. Such an imposter would obviously reject the possibility the Joseph could return to complete his assignment.

Furthermore, you may reject the disruptive claims of the servant that has been marred and then healed when he returns to “declare” the truth. Indeed, there will be people who will not believe what he has to tell them.

9 For in that day, for my sake shall the Father work a work, which shall be a great and a marvelous work among them; and there shall be among them those who will not believe it, although a man shall declare it unto them.

10 But behold, the life of my servant shall be in my hand; therefore they shall not hurt him, although he shall be marred because of them. Yet I will heal him, for I will show unto them that my wisdom is greater than the cunning of the devil.

11 Therefore it shall come to pass that whosoever will not believe in my words, who am Jesus Christ, which the Father shall cause him to bring forth unto the Gentiles, and shall give unto him power that he shall bring them forth unto the Gentiles, (it shall be done even as Moses said) they shall be cut off from among my people who are of the covenant.

A marred servant that has been healed is about to be among us. If you do not believe the words of Christ that he shall declare, you will be cut off from among the people.

In our next segment we will review the secret revelation received at Zion’s Camp, which proves that it is Joseph and his brethren that will return and gather up the strength of God’s house to form the army of Israel that will redeem Zion..

Great and terrible things are about to happen

Are you watching?

Part 1

Part 2

Part 4


How Zion will be Redeemed Part 2

September 2, 2014

“.. break down the walls of mine enemies;
throw down their tower,
and scatter their watchmen”

“Throw down”

Perhaps one of the most compelling evidences that the army of Israel in the parable of the redemption of Zion is the same army mentioned in Micah, that treads down the gentiles, is demonstrated by the keywords “Throw down“.

Notice how it is used in the Micah prophecy:

“Yea, wo be unto the Gentiles except they repent; for it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Father, that I will cut off thy horses out of the midst of thee, and I will destroy thy chariots;

15 And I will cut off the cities of thy land, and throw down all thy strongholds” (3 nephi 21:14-15 see also Micah 5:12)

Compare the same keywords and similar contextual use thereof, in the parable of the redemption of Zion as contained in section 101

“And the lord of the vineyard said unto one of his servants: Go and gather together the residue of my servants, and take all the strength of mine house, which are my warriors, my young men, and they that are of middle age also among all my servants, who are the strength of mine house, save those only whom I have appointed to tarry;

56 And go ye straightway unto the land of my vineyard, and redeem my vineyard; for it is mine; I have bought it with money.

57 Therefore, get ye straightway unto my land; break down the walls of mine enemies; throw down their tower, and scatter their watchmen.” (D&C 101:55-57)

In a follow up to the parable in section 101, the Lord made the following declaration in section 103 which reiterates the use of the keywords:

“Behold, I have commanded my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., to say unto the strength of my house, even my warriors, my young men, and middle-aged, to gather together for the redemption of my people, and throw down the towers ( strong holds) of mine enemies, and scatter their watchmen;

But the strength of mine house have not hearkened unto my words. But inasmuch as there are those who have hearkened unto my words, I have prepared a blessing and an endowment for them, if they continue faithful. I have heard their prayers, and will accept their offering; and it is expedient in me that they should be brought thus far for a trial of their faith.”

As you can see from the above passages, the servant of the vineyard, Joseph Smith was commanded to gather the “strength of God’s house” which is another term for the Army of Israel that has returned to their former POWER, to “throw down” the towers (strongholds) of the enemy.

That is what Christ is speaking of in 3rd Nephi as he incorporates a prophecy from the 5th chapter of Micah.

Interestingly, Christ merges the prophecy in Micah with the prophecy in Isaiah 52, demonstrating that it is when God’s Marred Servant returns to gather Israel, that the army of Israel goes forth to tread down the wicked Gentile Nation.

The Army of Israel is a Family Affair

In part one of this series, we observed that when Christ expounded on the prophecy of Micah, he referenced the prophecy three times, apparently identifying separate and distinct remnants of God’s people that are gathered and incorporated into the “army of Israel” that goes forth destroying the unrepentant gentiles from off of the face of the earth. The three distinct terms he used to reference branches of the family of Israel are as follows:

  • The “house of Israel” (The righteous Saints of the LDS restoration)
  • The “House of Jacab” (The literal return of the righteous Nephites)
  • The “Remnant of Jacab” (Lamanites)

It is apparent that the “House of Jacob” in chapter 20 is referring to the righteous Nephites that Christ is visiting because he is telling them directly that “ye shall be among them as a lion among the beasts of the forest“. He is informing them that they will be returned to the earth to participate in the fulfilling of the Abrahamic land covenant. Conversely, he speaks of ” my people, O house of Israel..” and “My people who are a remnant of Jacob.. “, respectively, in His first and third declarations about the Micah prophecy found in chapters 16 & 21.

Furthermore, the term “remnant of Jacob“used in chapter 21, is defined as the Lamanites in section 109:65-66:

And cause that the remnants of Jacob, who have been cursed and smitten because of their transgression, be converted from their wild and savage condition to the fulness of the everlasting gospel; That they may lay down their weapons of bloodshed, and cease their rebellions.

Lastly, the “House of Israel” mentioned by Christ in chapter 16, is clearly referring to the “army of Israel” that is mentioned in section 105. However the term used in 105, could be referring exclusively to the repentant of the LDS restoration movement and their descendents, or it could have a broader meaning which also includes the other two groups designated by Christ in chapters 20 and 21. My guess is that the term “Army of Israel” refers cumulatively to all of the repentant branches of Israel that return and are gathered together to cleanse this land of the unrepentant.

Isaiah 10

Isaiah 10 offers a prophetic narrative that mirrors some of the narrative in the prophecy in Micah. It refers to the “remnant of Israel“, and the “escaped of the House of Jacob” and the “remnant of Jacob“.

Again, one could interpret the terms to be interchangeable or referring to separate and distinct branches of the Lords people. I am inclined to believe that his usage in these verses, just like the differing terms in Christ’s references to the prophecy of Micah, are being specific.

America will be Invaded by a host of foreign Nations

From my personal study, adding context, from other related prophetic passages, it appears to me that during this time of upheaval, a secret combination of traitors within the US government coordinates a military invasion of America from an external army that is assembled from many foreign nations.

While the invading army is approaching, God’s people are gathering or have gathered to the designated place where the city Zion is to be built. During this time of “consumption” upon the hypocritical nation, the gathering of the elect “overflows with righteousness“.

To borrow a phrase from Masonry, “Out of chaos comes order.”

The Zion of God will emerge during a time of crisis, although a silent, unpretentious preparatory gathering may precede the emergence of Zion in power.

A Latter day Pharaoh and a Latter day Moses

Some of the wording in this most interesting prophecy makes it sound as if there is going to be a latter day showdown that is typological to the one that took place anciently when Mosses was extracting the children of Israel from the bondage of Pharaoh.

The Lord assures and encourages his people: “..be not afraid of the Assyrian “. “.. he shall smite thee with a rod, and shall lift up his staff against thee, after the manner of Egypt” things will work out! his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed”

Why?

” because of the anointing.”

The anointing is what makes Israels deliverance possible.

What is the anointing?

More on that later.

Here are a few passages from Isaiah 10 which I believe is referring to the same prophetic time spoken of in 3rd Nephi 20-21 and Micah:

“And it shall come to pass in that day, that the remnant of Israel, and such as are escaped of the house of Jacob, shall no more again stay upon him that smote them; but shall stay upon the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, in truth.

21 The remnant shall return, even the remnant of Jacob, unto the mighty God.

22 For though thy people Israel be as the sand of the sea, yet a remnant of them shall return: the consumption decreed shall overflow with righteousness.

23 For the Lord GOD of hosts shall make a consumption, even determined, in the midst of all the land.

24 ¶ Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD of hosts, O my people that dwellest in Zion, be not afraid of the Assyrian: he shall smite thee with a rod, and shall lift up his staff against thee, after the manner of Egypt.

25 For yet a very little while, and the indignation shall cease, and mine anger in their destruction.

26 And the LORD of hosts shall stir up a scourge for him according to the slaughter of Midian at the rock of Oreb: and as his rod was upon the sea, so shall he lift it up after the manner of Egypt.

27 And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing.”

Interestingly, section 109, which identifies the believing gentiles of the restored church as the “sons of Jacob“, pleads with the Lord to take the yoke from off their neck. Notice the similar wording between the ancient prophecy in Isaiah and the following text from modern revelation:

Therefore we plead before thee for a full and complete deliverance from under this yoke;

33 Break it off, O Lord; break it off from the necks of thy servants, by thy power, that we may rise up in the midst of this generation and do thy work.”

The plea to take the yoke of bondage off of the necks of Gods latter day servants is followed with the petition for the anointing, that Gods servants had received in the Kirtland temple, just a few months previously, to be “sealed” upon them during the solemn assembly which was scheduled to take place a few days later:

Let the anointing of thy ministers be sealed upon them with power from on high.

36 Let it be fulfilled upon them, as upon those on the day of Pentecost; let the gift of tongues be poured out upon thy people, even cloven tongues as of fire, and the interpretation thereof.”

As you can see, the mysterious anointing that makes possible the ignition of the marvelous work in the 3rd watch, took place in the Kirtland temple and it is acknowledged in ancient scripture. These related passages from modern revelation provide incredible interpretive keys to understanding the ancient prophecies in Isaiah.

In previous posts I have suggested that one of the keys to understanding ancient prophecy, is to understand modern prophecy, and the key to understanding modern prophecy is contained in D&C 1:37-38:

Search these commandments, for they are true and faithful, and the prophecies and promises which are in them shall all be fulfilled.

38 What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.

39 For behold, and lo, the Lord is God, and the Spirit beareth record, and the record is true, and the truth abideth forever and ever. Amen.”

I Have accepted the challenge given above.

I have searched the commandments given in the Book of commandments and the Doctrine and Covenants.

I have studied and searched the unconditional prophecies and promises contained in modern revelation.

I have gained for myself, the faith to believe God’s unconditional promises and prophecies to us.

I invite you to take God at his word. Take the unconditional promises given in modern revelation literally and at face value and they will open up the meaning of the ancient prophecies!

According to the promise of God: EVERY SINGLE UNCONDITIONAL PROPHECY CONTAINED IN THE TRUE REVELATIONS BROUGHT FORTH BY JOSEPH SMITH WILL COME TO PASS EXACTLY THE WAY GOD SAYS THEY WILL, EVEN IF IT REQUIRES BRINGING PEOPLE BACK FROM THE DEAD..

Joseph Smith is the Marred Servant in Isaiah 52

As I have searched the scriptures in the Doctrine and Covenants and used keyword word-crunching technology to connect them with ancient scripture, I have come to the conclusion that Joseph Smith is the Marred Servant mentioned in Isaiah 52 who is given the mandate to gather Israel.I have provided countless proofs of this from ancient and modern revelation, prophecies and visions given during the LDS restoration movement, and from patriarchal blessings given to Joseph Smith. It boggles my mind that believing Latter day Saints reject the supposition that Joseph Smith is going to return to finish his ministry.

marred servant.5

(Click to Enlarge)

More on that later.

I have also come to the conclusion that Joseph’s first ministry during the 2nd watch was a “dry run” and a feeble attempt at what will ultimately come to pass in the 3rd watch. (although secret things took place at that time that secretly laid the foundation for the Marvelous Work to come forth at the appointed time)

Let me reiterate.

Many of the early historical events in the LDS restoration movement represent vague, shadow, non-literal types of ancient prophecies. In many instances, they are unsuccessful attempts at fulfilling prophecies that will ultimately take place in the final generation. It is, nevertheless, beneficial to study church history and to take the events very seriously, because we can learn from them.

The Solemn Assembly in the Kirtland Temple is a great example of an unsuccessful dry run.

We will review that historic event and others in part three.

Keep watching ;)

Click here for How Zion will be Redeemed Part 1

 Part 3

Part 4


How Zion Will Be Redeemed Part 1

August 28, 2014

Christ Expounds on the Prophecy of Micah Three Times

For those anticipating the establishment of Zion, preparatory to the return of the Lord, (in glory) perhaps the prophecies of Christ in 3rd Nephi 16, 20 and 21 provide some of the most detailed and compelling narratives about how this event will take place.

The setting of these chapters is Christ’s visit to the inhabitants of America. Jesus Christ is speaking to the more righteous portion of the Nephites that were not destroyed at his coming. He blesses them and establishes his church among them.

In all three chapters, the Lord appears to be paraphrasing or quoting from an ancient prophecy in Micah that speaks of an army that treads down the unrepentant gentiles in the last days.

However the wording and context of each recital differs subtly and significantly from the other two.

tread1

In the various renditions referring to the prophecy in Micah, the Lord refers to the “House of Israel“, “House of Jacob” and the “remnant of Jacob” respectively. Although many people assume that all three terms are synonymous, I would suggest that they are not.

A contextual examination with the use of keyword comparisons will demonstrate that these three accounts are highlighting different participants from various branches of the House of Israel that will be part of the army that treads down the gentiles.

It will also demonstrate that the prophecies in Micah and Isaiah 52, dovetail with the parable of the redemption of Zion in Sections 101, 103 and 105.

People who disregard or don’t understand modern revelation are at a significant disadvantage in understanding this most important topic.

“House of Israel” – The Army of Israel”

In his first declaration in chapter 16, Christ refers to the army as being composed of the “house of Israel”. This terminology is consistent with section 105 given in Zions Camp, prophesying that the “army of Israel” will eventually become “very great

The prophecy in section 105 continues on:

“And after these lands are purchased, I will hold the armies of Israel guiltless in taking possession of their own lands, which they have previously purchased with their moneys, and of throwing down the towers of mine enemies that may be upon them, and scattering their watchmen, and avenging me of mine enemies unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me.

31 But first let my army become very great, and let it be sanctified before me, that it may become fair as the sun, and clear as the moon, and that her banners may be terrible unto all nations”

The above narrative is referencing the parable of the redemption of Zion and related passages given in sections 101, 103 and 105, which the Zion’s Camp expedition was attempting to fulfill. It becomes obvious in this section that even though Zion’s Camp would fail in their attempt to redeem Zion, the Lord was still going to have them fulfill the commandment and prophecy at a later time, after a little season. In fact, later in this series, we shall review a secret revelation that was given the day after section 105 was given which will shed further light on how Zion will be redeemed.

A great key in understanding how this prophetic scenario unfolds is in understanding that the first elders of the restored church who were identified with the Gentiles are also the literal “Sons of Jacob” who are heirs to the covenant according to the flesh. Although they were identified with the Gentiles, they were different and distinct from the Gentiles with regard to lineage.

More on this later.

“..Remnant of the House of Jacob”

When Christ continues expounding on the Micah prophecy in chapter 20, his slight change of verbiage reveals that he is telling the Nephites that he is speaking to, that they, “a remnant of the House of Jacob“, are literally going to be returned to the earth in the flesh, to participate in the army of Israel that goes forth treading down the Gentiles.

This explains why the Zion, set up by Christ in America, stayed on the earth for the duration of 3 1/2 generations and was not raptured up like the Old Testament Zion communities of Enoch and Melchizedek. Their calling is to remain on this earth and fulfill the Abrahamic Covenant that takes place during the Marvelous Work and a Wonder. They will unite with the returning “Sons of Jacob” to help reestablish Zion on earth. Eventually, the reestablished Zion will be caught up to meet the Zion of Enoch in the air when it comes down.

“The Remnant of Jacob”

Finally, when Christ gives a third variation of the Micah prophecy in chapter 21 of 3rd Nephi, He reveals that the army of Israel will also be  include descendents of Lehi that repent and are converted. We learn from section 109 that the term “remnant of Jacob” has specific reference to the Lamanites:

“And cause that the remnants of Jacob, who have been cursed and smitten because of their transgression, be converted from their wild and savage condition to the fulness of the everlasting gospel”

Reading Assignment

Please read chapters 16,   20, and 21  of 3rd Nephi very carefully taking nothing for granted.

Forget how you have heard it interpreted at church and don’t assume that all three accounts are referring to the “remnant of Jacob“, they are not!

Read them in the context that the wording variations are intentional and significant.

Then read the parable of the redemption of Zion and associated passages as they are contained in sections 101, 103, and 105.

Keep in mind that every unconditional promise and prophecy must come to pass, even if it means returning people from the dead, because God’s word must come to pass.

For as I, the Lord God, liveth, even so my words cannot return void, for as they go forth out of my mouth they must be fulfilled.

My word shall not pass way but shall all be fulfilled.

In part two we will continue with what Christ tells us about the Marred Servant, that reveals Christs words, and gathers Israel.


Do you have the “Constant Companionship of the Holy Ghost”

August 24, 2014

 

In previous posts I have suggested that virtually every single major doctrine of the restored gospel has been perverted during the last four generations.

I truly believe this.

In 2nd Nephi 28: 29-32 the Lord explains that he teaches his people line upon line, precept upon precept and that he that receiveth, will be given more.

He then goes on to give a mystical warning”:

“from them that shall say, We have enough, from them shall be taken away even that which they have.

I refer to this ominous warning as being mystical because at face value, it may seem illogical to some that somebody can learn something and then have that knowledge un-learned… or somehow mystically taken way from them so that they un-know it.

How can you unlearn something?

Apparently it happens.

God can cover our eyes and make us look silly when we depart from his commandments.

The saints were taught that monogamy is God’s celestial law and that living it was required according to the law of Zion in section 42 and yet within less than a decade, a secret doctrine infiltrated the church and somehow, polygamy became the celestrial law of marriage within the church for many decades.

Eventually the practice was discontinued because of pressure from the government and now, many years later, the official church website is proclaiming that monogamy has always been the standard of marriage. This is apparently the case despite a few short temporary exceptions to the rule  caused by things that are not well understood.

It is amazing how God can take knowledge from people after they have received the truth.

even today, there are lots of people in and out of the modern church that continue to accept polygamy and the spiritual wife doctrine as God’s law.

Once a person reads and believes section 132 of the Doctrine and Covenants it is as if section 42 and section 49 of the Doctrine and Covenants don’t exist, or they just don’t matter, or, that God made mistakes in those section and needed to correct himself, or, he was just kidding his people…. or, whatever.

In the New Testament it was taught that an Apostle had to be an eye witness of Jesus Christ.

Paul made it clear that he had to see Christ, even in vision, after the crucifixion in order to qualify as an apostle, so that he could testify of Christ in his apostolic calling.

This principle was reiterated to the newly chosen quorum of the Twelve in 1835 by Oliver Cowdery who admonished the Twelve to seek the face of God and warned them that their calling as apostles would not be complete until they had become eye witnesses of Christ’s resurrection.

Nevertheless, eventually, after being badgered long enough about whether they had seen Christ or not, leaders within the modern Church have declared it was no longer necessary for an apostle to be an eye witness of Christ.

It is now adequate for them to feel the promptings of the spirit that Jesus is the Christ.

The list goes on and on of how we Latter day Sainbts have unlearned that which we had previously learned.

I once began compiling a listing of all of the major doctrines that have been corrupted in the modern apostate church and was going to do a series of posts on it but got side tracked on other issues and ultimately lost interest.

Another interesting one is the proper pattern for being baptized in the church as explained in section 20, that requires the candidate to publicly “witness before the church that they have truly repented of all their sinsBEFORE they are dunked.

When was the last time you attended an LDS baptism  of a convert that first stood up before the congregation and made the required public declaration prior to being baptized? (D&C 20:37)

The list goes on and on and I am not going to share an exhaustive list of false doctrines in this post.

Nevertheless, there is something that has been on my mind lately that really irritates me. It has to do with the teaching in the modern church that the “Gift of the Holy Ghost” means  to have the “constant companionship of the Holy Ghost”.

I recall countless baptismal talks, sadly, many of which I was guilty of giving, in which it was taught that those who were given the gift of the Holy Ghost would now have the “constant companionship of the Holy Ghost” as long as they were worthy.

Have you ever wondered where that teaching comes from?

Have you ever done a keyword search on that topic to be edified by all of the scriptures that teach that the “Gift of the Holy Ghost” is the ability to enjoy the “constant companionship of the Holy Ghost”?

After all, that is one of the trademarks of Mormonism, that we members of the only true church are the only ones that have the power and authority to bestow the Gift of the Holy Ghost which is the wonderful ability for a person to have the Holy Ghost constantly present within them.

I challenge you to do a little research project. Document this teaching, then show me one verse in the scriptures that indicates that the definition of the “Gift of the Holy Ghost” is to have the “constant companionship of the Holy Ghost.”

 

 


Miscellaneous Musings #8 Sunstone Symposium 2014

August 4, 2014

 

I have just experienced three days of nostalgia by attending the Sunstone Symposium. (Warning- It is late so my spelling will be even worse than it usually is…)

My first experience with a Sunstone Symposium was in 1991 when I attended Sunstone for the first time and listened to a presentation by Ogden Kraut. Ogden Kraut (who has since passed away) was one of the most prolific writers and promoters of LDS fundamentalism.

I had become friends with Ogden back during that time frame. Mrs. Watcher and I had had Ogden and his 2nd wife Anne Wilde over to our home for a fireside and had compared notes with them.

It was a sweet surprise to see Anne at the symposium. She was walking up the Isle during the “Moderating Mormons in Cyberspace” panel so I grabbed her and reintroduced myself to her. We had a great moment doing a little reminiscing with each other about the past.

I introduced Anne to my son and she asked him if he had read any of Ogdens books. He informed her that he owned the book Ogden wrote titled the “95 thesis”, or something like that. As I recall, the book does a great job of pointing out the similarities between how Catholicism and Mormonism both eventually departed from scripture. The 95 doctrinal problems that Martin Luther nailed on the door of the cathedral were a type and shadow of the doctrinal changes that had taken place in Mormonism. One year, Mrs Watcher and I gave the book to everyone we knew as a gift for Christmas. The book did such a good job of alienating our friends and relatives that we did not even need to hand out gift the following Christmas because we no longer had any friends. LOL

Ogden’s presentation at the Sunstone Symposium back in 1991 was on the topic of the “One Mighty and Strong” which originated, in modern revelation, from a letter sent from Joseph Smith to the Saints in Zion. A portion of the letter has become canonized as scripture in section 85. The following passage from section 85 is the primary theme that Ogden Kraut addressed in his presentation:

And it shall come to pass that I, the Lord God, will send one mighty and strong, holding the scepter of power in his hand, clothed with light for a covering, whose mouth shall utter words, eternal words; while his bowels shall be a fountain of truth, to set in order the house of God, and to arrange by lot the inheritances of the saints whose names are found, and the names of their fathers, and of their children, enrolled in the book of the law of God”

The Davidic Servant

We often think of the “One Mighty and Strong” as the “Davidic Servant” however there are numerous other prophetic terms and phrases that are often associated with the last great servant that will set the church in order to prepare it for Zion. Included among these are, the “one like Moses” and the last “Elias“, “the Branch servant“that is mentioned in Isaiah 11:1, (Zech 6:12), “his hand” Isaiah 11:11, “My Servant” referenced in Isaiah 42:1, 49:5, etc., etc.

Much of the content of Ogden’s presentation was taken from a book he wrote on the topic. (by the way, Bill Shepard, co-author of Lost Apostles, who also participated in a wonderful session at this recent Symposium, “, has also written about the One Mighty and Strong)

Back in 1991 Ogden agreed with me that Joseph Smith is the “one mighty and strong”. He agreed that the parable of the redemption of Zion in Section 101, provides an unconditional prophecy about how Zion is going to be redeemed once the light shines forth among those that sit in darkness. It also identifies Joseph as the lead servant that redeems Zion.

Anyone that truly wants to know how Zion is going to finally be redeemed can know how this is going to take place if they believe in the literal interpretation of the unconditional prophecies received by Joseph Smith, and have the faith to believe these unconditional prophecies about this upcoming epic event.

Section 103 is a follow up revelation to the parable of the redemption of Zion in section 101, that informs us that:

“..the redemption of Zion must needs come by POWER; Therefore, I will raise up unto my people a man, who shall lead them like as Moses led the children of Israel.”

 

The Strong Man Model

 

The Holy Word of God  informs us that the Lord is going to use a “strong man” approach to establishing Zion just as he did in the days of Enoch. The term “strong man” typically refers to a person that has “great physical strength” and often “rules” using “force” and sometimes even “violence”.

 

In the scriptural and prophetic narrative, the servant of God is demonstrating miraculous, supernatural powers and leads a military conquest.

 

In the case of the one mighty and strong, this mighty servant of the Lord will be showing forth the fulness of priesthood power like Moses, Enoch and Melchizedek manifested. Enoch represented a prophetic strong man type when he was going forth in power, resulting in the establishment of Zion (BTW Section 103 reminds us that Jesus Christ will personally return with the servant(s) of the Lord’s vineyard as well. )

 

 

The parable of the redemption of Zion informs us that God’s servant will lead a military strike and will break down the walls of mine enemies; throw down their tower, and scatter their watchmen

 

The Lord is going to use a man that is commanding the elements and showing forth the great miraculous power found in the fulness of the priesthood. This power will be similar to the power manifested by Moses when he led the Children of Israel out of Bondage. (The bondage the ancient Children of Israel were in pales in comparison to the bondage we are in today, and yet, few people even know that they are in bondage!))

 

Section 103 informs us that the servant of the Lord that returns in power to redeem Zion AFTER “many days” and after the enemy has “broke down the hedge” and literally “destroyed their works and broke down the olive trees“, is none other than Joseph Smith.

 

Verily, verily I say unto you, that my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., is the man to whom I likened the servant to whom the Lord of the vineyard spake in the parable which I have given unto you.

 

According to the unconditional prophecies contained in the word of God, Joseph Smith must return and complete the gathering of Israel and the redemption of Zion. (see also Isaiah 49) This is why the Lord declared that the keys of priesthood would remain with Joseph Smith in this world and in the next, because Joseph’s calling was not completed during the second watch:

 

“Thus saith the Lord, verily, verily I say unto you my son, thy sins are forgiven thee, according to thy petition, for thy prayers and the prayers of thy brethren have come up into my ears.

 

Therefore, thou art blessed from henceforth that bear the keysof the kingdom given unto you; which kingdom is coming forth for the last time.

 

Verily I say unto you, the keys of this kingdom shall never be taken from you, while thou art in the world, neither in the world to come;”

 

Of course we have many scriptural witnesses that Joseph will return. One of the more notable ones is found in the allegory of the Olive trees in the book of Jacob. I have blogged about this before and broken the allegory down into the different time frames. Regarding the return of the Lords servant who had previously done a work in the vineyard, we read that the Lord of the vineyard sends this servant back to the vineyard again:

 

“And it came to pass that the Lord of the vineyard sent his servant; and the servant went and did as the Lord had commanded him, and brought other servants; and they were few.”

 

I have also discussed how the Lord has revealed, by name, who 15 of the other servants are from the 2nd watch that will return with Joseph to “gather up the strength of the Lords house“, and fulfill the prophetic commandment of the Lord in section 101 etc.

 

Break down the Hedge… destroy the works..

 

If you don’t understand what it means to break down the hedge and destroy the works that the Lords servants were overseeing in the parable of the redemption of Zion and the allegory in Jacob, I would suggest that you do a little research to see just how dire our current situation is in the church, and how desperately we need the divine intervention that has been prophesied about.

 

Integrated into your search, I would suggest considering that the tower was the Nauvoo temple (or possibly Nauvoo House- Temple) which was never finished… that fleeing from the enemy represented the leadership leading the saints in many different directions from Nauvoo despite the fact that they had been commanded to not be moved out of their place.

 

Lastly, I would suggest that the breaking of the hedge has to do with loss of the remaining priesthood the saints had in Nauvoo, and that the act of having their “works destroyed” had specific reference to the failed attempt to redeem the dead. Clearly, the works for redeeming the dead and all associated works, came to no avail and were destroyed. Note the associated warning given in section 124:31-33

 

“But I command you, all ye my saints, to build a house unto me; and I grant unto you a sufficient time to build a house unto me; and during this time your baptisms shall be acceptable unto me.

 

But behold, at the end of this appointment your baptisms for your dead shall not be acceptable unto me; and if you do not these things at the end of the appointment ye shall be rejected as a church, with your dead, saith the Lord your God.

 

For verily I say unto you, that after you have had sufficient time to build a house to me, wherein the ordinance of baptizing for the dead belongeth, and for which the same was instituted from before the foundation of the world, your baptisms for your dead cannot be acceptable unto me..”

 

Lots of Wannabes

 

Ogden Kraut was perhaps the most famous polygamist in modern Mormonism. He had people flying in from all over the world to consult with him and to have him perform their polygamous sealings.

 

CLAIMANTS TO THE TITLE

 

As a result of his high profile and his down to earth willingness to speak with anyone about the gospel, all of the crazy delusional wing-nuts in the LDS fringe would meet with him, so he was well connected to a lot of people.

 

During his Sunstone talk in 1991, he mentioned that he had personally known countless delusional people that had all been visited by angels and by Christ. Each of these pathetic individuals declared themselves to be the “one mighty and strong” and the “one like Moses”. Kraut also pointed out that many people had claimed that calling in the early years of the restoration movement following the death of Joseph Smith.

 

According to Kraut, the following people were among the most noteworthy “mighty ones” of the deluded, from the past until Kraut’s talk in 1991:

 

  • James Strang
  • James Brighouse
  • Samuel Eastman
  • Paul Feil
  • LeRoy Wilson
  • John Tanner Clark
  • Benjamin LeBaron
  • Joel LeBaron
  • John Bryant
  • Elden Hollis
  • Sherman Russell Lloyd
  • Frank Miller
  • Jasper No. 7
  • Art Bulla (Art is the fellow that initially agreed to debate me about the polygamy and the spiritual wife doctrines, claiming he had never lost a debate. Sadly, he didn’t lose the debate with me either since he was a no-show)
  • Alonzo Langford

 

Since the passing of brother Kraut, there have arisen a few other notable colorful personalities that suffer from delusions of grandeur. One is Christopher Nemelka. Another is Jim Harmston, who I personally knew.

 

The Time of Joseph’s return must be Near

 

I always sit up and take notice when well meaning people begin bearing their testimonies that the “one like Moses” has arrived,  or, “there is a new prophet in town”.

 

When someone rises up claiming to have a message from God and/or claiming to have been commissioned to lead people to Christ, or show people how to redeem Zion, or set the church in order, etc., I take note because Joseph Smith revealed that the devil would be setting up a part of his kingdom and sending his false prophets at the same time the true kingdom of God was ready to go forth:

 

Here is an excerpt from the discourse:

“..In relation to the Kingdom of God–the devil always sets up his Kingdom at the very same time in opposition to God,–every man who has a calling to minister to the Inhabitants of the world, was ordained to that very purpose in the grand Council of Heaven before this world was–I suppose that I was ordained to this very office in that grand Council–“

Another excerpt is as follows:

“..false prophets always arise to oppose the true prophets, and they will prophesy so very near the truth that they will deceive almost the very chosen ones–“

We often think of the coming of false prophets when we think of Matthew 24 because it clearly speaks of the role of false prophets at the time when the light once again shines forth during the last generation. But Joseph Smith used the German Bible to show that Matthew 24 also testifies that a TRUE prophet would arise during the last generation as well:

“..the Savior said, when those tribulations should take place, it [the Gospel] should be committed to a man, who should be a witness over the whole world, the keys of knowledge, power, and revelations, should be revealed to a witness who should hold the testimony to the world..”

In the discourse, Joseph alludes to the fact that it is he, Joseph, that is the one that is to be the holder of keys that is to be a witness over all the people. He also alludes to the fact that he, Joseph will be the angel flying in the midst of heaven, spoken of in the book of Revelation:

“..all the testimony is, that the Lord in the last days would commit the keys of the Priesthood to a witness over all people–has the Gospel of the Kingdom commenced in the last days..

I have read it precisely as the words flowed from the lips of Jesus Christ–John the Revelator saw an angel flying thro’ the midst of heaven, having the everlasting Gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, &c.”

Joseph Smith then lists the signs that will be taking place when he, Joseph Smith , and his associates return to the vineyard:

  • wars
  • famines
  • pestilence
  • great distress
  • judgments
  • false prophets

“.. the Scripture is ready to be fulfilled when great wars, famines, pestilence, great distress, judgments, &c are ready to be poured out on the Inhabitants of the Earth–John saw the angel having the holy Priesthood who should preach the everlasting gospel to all nations,–God had an angel, a special messenger, ordained, & prepared for that purpose in the last days–    (quoted Rev. 14-6 having the Gospel saying the hour of his Judgment is come.)

Joseph then prophesies that the man or set of men (false prophets) that have already set themselves up as the appointed servants to set the church in order, will lift their hands against God and his witness and, if possible, will deceive almost the very chosen ones:

 

Woe! Woe! be to that man, or set of men, who lift up their hands against God and his Witness in these last days.–for they shall deceive almost the very chosen ones–“

Joseph Smith taught that his return to the earth, to give his final testimony, would be accompanied by the rising up of false prophets who would deceive “almost” the very chosen” ones.

That is why I sit up and take notice when a new “One Like Moses” wannabe begins claiming that Christ and angels have commissioned him to bring a message about Zion, etc to this wicked world.

I have wondered if in fact the last great imposter would be a little different type of person than the typical ones that have risen in the past. Many of the ones in the past have been poor and lowly types with relatively little money or worldly education. For this reason, they were not appealing to the wealthy or the highly educated intellectuals.

But what if a false prophet showed up, that was a highly educated and highly respected professional type that would be much more acceptable to the more sophisticated in today’s world?

What if he were a doctor or a lawyer that was a great thinker and eloquent orator with great confidence and charisma?

What if he began challenging God’s word on how Zion was going to be established and yet he was so smooth and persuasive that he could convince people to discard the truth so clearly laid out in the word of God?

What if his main emphasis was a “how to” see the Savior instead of warning EVERYBODY to REPENT and receive the true baptism?

When the light shines forth for the last time, everybody on the earth is going to need to repent and receive the true ordinance and start from the beginning with faith and repentance. It is impossible to use the false ordinances and doctrines of Mormonism as a springboard for getting the Second Comforter! The assumption that we don’t need to repent is critical for deluded people to think that they simply need to exercise faith and they can see God.

What if much of what this person is saying is not congruent with the true gospel found in the scriptures? Remember how all of Adam and Eve’s posterity quit believing the gospel Adam and Eve had taught them once Satan claimed to also be a son of God and told them to not believe?

 

And Adam and Eve blessed the name of God, and they made all things known unto their sons and their daughters.

 

And Satan came among them, saying: I am also a son of God; and he commanded them, saying: Believe it not; and they believed it not, and they loved Satan more than God. And men began from that time forth to be carnal, sensual, and devilish.

(yes, that is right, Eve also preached the gospel to their posterity, not just Adam. Emma was also promised that she would be ORDAINED to preach the gospel: “And thou shalt be ordained under his hand to expound scriptures, and to exhort the church, according as it shall be given thee by my Spirit” (I point this out to keep all of the feminist stoners happy ;)  )

What if a successful, articulate, charismatic fellow came among the people and began preaching a different gospel and was able to mesmerize people into disregarding many of the true points in the scriptures by mingling selected passages with his own narrative?

What if he claimed that priesthood authority was not necessary to administer the ordinances of salvation even though God’s word teaches it is categorically necessary?

What if he began claiming that Zion would not necessarily be established in the designated places identified in scripture?

What if he challenged the strong man narrative so clearly laid out in scripture and convinced people to believe in a different protocol for establishing Zion instead of the protocol provided in the  word of God?

It is easy to get sucked into the belief that someone who is speaking to God is more credible than the lowly voice of warning coming from someone who simply quotes scripture, even though the person claiming to be speaking directly to God, is contradicting scripture!

What if he was to declare “A “strong man” model is the opposite of Zion” even thought prophecy teaches that Zion can only be established by someone endowed with power from on high?

What if he continued teaching the false doctrines that Joseph taught in Nauvoo, which contradicted the “thus sayeth the Lord ” teachings revealed during the Kirtland era?

We know that according to ancient prophecy, Joseph had his eyes covered, had the sins of latter day Israel placed upon himself and spoke “presumptuously”, delivering the Saints over to Satan for a little season which resulted in false doctrine being taught that contradicted the foundational doctrines, ie, the King Follett discourse completely contradicts Lectures on Faith. What if the false prophet foolishly continued teaching those falsehoods to tickle the ears of his hearers?

What if he denied that God is from everlasting to everlasting, without beginning of days or end of years and began teaching the heresy that there are other numerous numberless Gods above God the Father, even though the Father has declared that there is no other God beside him?

What if he could sway public opinion in his favor by getting highly popular LDS fringe bloggers to begin promoting him to their readers?

What if he was to write an impressive book detailing the problems with modern Mormonism, filled with doctrinal errors, and inaccurate historical dates and characterizations, yet was unwilling to respond to or acknowledge those specific problems when exposed by critics?

What if he were to question the historicity of one of the most significant and foundational visitations that took place during the LDS restoration movement?

Anyway, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if the last great false prophet is much more palatable to the tastes of the scripturally ignorant, yet highly “educated” masses than his past predecessors… but I digress, I wanted to briefly share some brief thoughts and experiences I had at Sunstone.

I am not going to give a detailed analysis or even a summary of the content in the sessions I attended. Rather, I am simply going to randomly share a few impressions and thoughts that came to me while attending the symposium.

Moderating Mormons in Cyberspace

I enjoyed the “Moderating Mormons in Cyberspace” session. Of particular note, Andrew Spriggs was a bright, witty, engaging personality that was fun to listen to. It was also fun to see and hear from Rock Waterman of PureMormonism who is always quite outspoken.

Interestingly, John Hamer was sitting in back of me and I got to chat briefly with him. He was familiar with my blog and remembered chatting with me in the comments section of his Mormonstories interview. (John Hamer, Mike Quinn, William Sheperd and every other credible LDS historian all agree that Joseph Smith secretly practiced polygamy. The evidence is overwhelming. That is why the RLDS Church finally decided to reinvented itself and take their emphasis off of Joseph Smith. Yet some people still think there was a global conspiracy by Brigham Young to blame the practice on Joseph Smith even though he never practiced it.

During the free lunch sponsored by Signature Books, I randomly sat down by a guy in a crowd of several hundred people and started chatting with him… before long it occurred to me that he was one of my old online friends that used to comment quite a bit on my blog. It was fun to get to know him better and have a face to associate with a screen name! We picked several of the same sessions to attend because great minds think alike.

 

One of the best sessions I attended was the one titled “The Latter day Apostasy: A scriptural perspective” done by “Spek” (Joe Jensen) author of the Just and true blog. He did a SPEKtacular job. It was the only session wherein the scriptures were exclusively used as the foundational basis for what was being presented. It proved to be a novel approach for a Sunstone presentation.

“Sealing and salvation in early Mormonism: Perspectives on the law of adoption” was an interesting session wherein feminist Cheryl L. Bruno debated with polygamy enthusiast Brian C Hales about how the mystical law of adoption is supposed to work.

As you all probably know, after the death of Joseph Smith, the apostate apostles in Nauvoo started running around trying to seal as many men and women to themselves as possible thinking it would give them greater power and glory than their fellow apostles in the afterlife if they could recruit more people to be part of their own spiritual tribe. Brigham Young even called all of his sealed minions together and named them the “Tribe of Brigham”.

It was kind of like a multilevel marketing pyramid that was trafficking in souls instead of snake oil and money. Everyone was frantically trying to build their spiritual “down-line” in hopes of gaining more power and glory. The New Testament refers to the situation as a “strong delusion”.

I was amazed that both of the presenters have spent so much time and energy trying to figure out something that originated primarily from Brigham Young and yet, Brigham Young himself was clearly clueless about the concept and simply improvising to keep everyone in tow.

I found it interesting that both of these people conveniently neglected to mention the visitation Brigham Young claimed to have with Joseph Smith in a dream, wherein Brigham admitted that he and the brethren didn’t understand the concept and needed a little help understanding it.

During the Q&A I got up and asked both presenters o comment on the content of the dream in that I felt it clearly showed that Brigham Young was clueless about the law of adoption.

In the dream Brigham Young said to Joseph:

“The Brethren have a great anxiety to understand the law of adoption, or sealing principles; and if you have a word of council for me, I should be glad to receive it.”

Of course Joseph refused to dignify the question with a direct answer but instead told Brigham to tell the saints to be humble and faithful and to keep the spirit of the Lord…. bla bla…

Here is a post I wrote on the topic years ago

At the end of this session, I crossed paths with the notorious Jeremy Runnells who wrote the controversial Letter to a CES Director, so I took the opportunity to shake his hand and tell him that I enjoyed his paper. I then said with a smile, “I disagree with your conclusions, but I enjoyed reading your paper”. He smiled back and nodded his head and we parted in peace.

I enjoyed “Authors Meet Critics: The Lost Apostles”. My favorite historical takeaway from the book is how the first person called by the three witnesses to be a member of the quorum of the twelve apostles was Phineas Young, but Joseph intervened and replaced Phineas with his brother William Smith, who proved to be an embarrassment to himself and the church. Since Phineas was older than all of the other apostles, he would have been the president of the quorum and that would probably have very significantly changed the trajectory of the church and the outcome of the succession crises, etc! Had Joseph never interfered with those that had received the commission to choose the apostles, the church may well have never heard about blood atonement or the Adam-God doctrine or any of the other absurd heresies that BY introduced into the apostate church.

An unrelated but interesting historical issue that came up afterwards, while I was speaking to Bill Shepard- he informed me that the complete affidavits of Thomas B Marsh and Orson Hyde, were now available online. Here is the pertinent portion of the Marsh declaration that brought persecution upon the church and got them expelled from the state:

“… Hogs were brought in dead, but I know not how many; I saw only two. They have among a company consiting of all that are considered true Mormons, called the Danites, who have taken an oath to support the heads of the Church in all things, that they say or do, whether right or wrong. Many, however, of this band are much dissatisfied with this oath, as being against moral and religious principles. On Saturday last, I am informed by the Mormons that they had a meeting at Far West, at which they appointed a company of twelve, by the name of the Destruction Company, for the purpose of burning and destroying; and that if the people of Buncombe came to do mischief upon the people of Caldwell, and committed depredations upon the Mormons, they were to burn Buncombe; and if the people of Clay and Ray made any movements against them, this destroying company were to burn Liberty and Richmond. This burning was to be done secretly, by going as incendiaries. At the same meeting, I was informed, they passed a decree that no Mormon dissenter should leave Caldwell county alive; and that such and that such as attempted to do it, should be shot down, and sent to tell their tale in eternity. In a conversation between Dr. Avard and other Mormons, said Avard proposed to start a pestilence among the Gentiles, as he called them, by poisoning their corn, fruit, &c., and saying it was the work of the Lord; and said Avard advocated lying for the support of their religion, and said it was no harm to lie for the Lord!! The plan of said Smith, the Prophet, is to take this State; and he professes to his people to intend taking the United States, and ultimately the whole world. This is the belief of the Church, and my own opinion of the Prophet’s plans and intentions. It is my opinion that neither said Joseph Smith, the Prophet, nor any one of the principal men, who is firm in the fiath, could be indicted for any offecne in the county of Caldwell. The Prophet inculcates the notiion, and it is believed by every true Mormon that Smith’s prophecies are superior to the law of the land. I have heard the Prophet say that he should yet tread down his enemies, and walk over their dead bodies; that if he was not let alone, hew ould be a second Mahomet to this generation, and that he would make it one gore of blood from the Rocky Mountains to the Atlantic Ocean; that like Mahomet, whose motto, is treating for peace, was ‘Alcoran or the Sword,’ so should it be eventually with us, ‘Joseph Smith or the Sword.’ These last statments were made during the last summer. The number of armed men at Adam-on-diahmon was between three and four hundred. “ Thomas B. March.

According to Shepard, Marsh was accurate in everything he stated and he never recanted anything in the statement. His sin was in telling the truth.

“Apologetic Ethics: Defending the Faith without Losing Your Soul”

In this presentation Seth Payne appeared to be encouraging LDS apologists to change their tone and strategy in how they debate with skeptics.

“Church Discipline: A procedural Overview

Nadine Hansen is a feisty attorney who wrote the legal brief for Kate Kelly which was submitted to her Bishop and Stake President. She did an eye-opening job of showing how the church violates their own rules of disciplinary procedure, let-alone the procedures provided in revelation. It was a great session.

Perhaps the most significant procedural takeaway is that the “judge” of the court is not supposed to be the “accuser” also, yet in Modern corporate Mormonism, the Bishop or Stake President that presides at the court acts as both judge and accuser.

Another session I attended which I cannot remember the name of, involved Paul Toscano and Mike Quinn. Although I think the world of Quinn as a credible historian, he presented a rather weak and illogical presentation on why people should stay in the church in my opinion. He claimed that the church facilitates us in serving others. He acknowledged that he could go volunteer at a soup kitchen, but he was too self centered and selfish to do so. He said he had never done such a thing and likely never would… Therefore, church membership is good because it helps people to be of service to others who are otherwise unwilling and unmotivated to be proactive in serving others….. Huh?

I could listen to Toscano nonstop because he is so funny, entertaining and relevant. At one point he said something to the effect of, “I wish the Twelve Apostles would simply go out into the world and preach the gospel as a traveling missionary quorum like they have been commanded to do. When they hang around Salt Lake, all they do is irritate people.” LOL, LOL, LOL

I attended a panel discussion on demanding financial transparency from church headquarters that was excellent. I was extremely impressed with everyone that participated on the panel. They were all very bight, passionate people who had done their homework. Obviously, they are pissing into the wind if they think the church will ever provide full transparency. How can a church that spends money on paid shills to influence public opinion be expected to provide transparency on how they spend their money?

The very last session I attended was “Cutting Down the Tree of Life to Build a Wooden Bridge” by Denver the Snuffer.

My first born son and Mrs Watcher were able to attend and it was very interesting. Snuffer is a gifted thinker and orator. He was providing historical context to how and why doctrine has changed in the past and why it will continue to change in the future based on social trends and potential threat of tax status.

He did a remarkable job.

I felt sorry for the respondent who tried to challenge the supposition Snuffer made that gospel fruits are no longer in the church. He felt that the church was being blessed by all of the special interest groups that are gaining acceptance and traction in the modern church… go figure.

As an added bonus to the session experience, Snuffer took off his “independent historical researcher who was giving a presentation at a symposium of liberal Mormons” hat, and put on his “prophet” hat during the Q and A.

A person asked a question that sounded something like: “why can’t we get a complete sentence from God when we pray to him?”

That was all Denver needed to begin proclaiming how he has been visited by God and angels. I don’t know if the person was a “plant” or if she simply felt inspired to ask the question, but that question gave Denver the opportunity to let everyone know that he has heard a complete sentence from God!

It was somewhat of a crowd-pleaser of a presentation in my opinion.

It would be interesting to know how many of the approximate 3oo attendees were Snufferites that follow him around in mindless adoration and how many of them were Sunstone “intellectuals” who were boredd and wanted to be entertained. My guess is about 80% followers and 20% Stoners… but that is pure conjecture.

I enjoyed my visit to Sunstone this year/ I am really glad I attended…  however, it may be another 23 years before attend another one. Perhaps I will attend again if Joseph returns and decides to speak there


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!]

 


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