William Law- Offering a Reformation and Bringing about the “Chastisement” of God Upon the Fallen Servant- Final

September 15, 2012

[Warning: If you have been directed to this site by a search engine or a well meaning friend but you are not familiar with the doctrine of three watches or the atonement statute, please do yourself a favor and leave this post until you are familiar with these two doctrines. You need to have a foundation before your read the content in this post]

William Law is unlike most of the high profile leaders of the restoration movement in that he was a late comer to the party. Unlike Oliver, David, Martin, Frederick, Sidney, the Pratts and many others who converted to the gospel early on, he was not converted to the gospel until 1836.

It is amazing to realize that he converted AFTER the fullness had been rejected (the fullness of the gospel was rejected by the latter day gentiles sometime between 1831-1834).

William Law did not personally experience the early Pentecostal events in Kirtland. He did not participate in the restoration of the fullness of the priesthood at the Morley Farm.

He missed out on the dedication of the Kirtland Temple

Ironically Law joined the church the same year that Christ and three ministering angels secretly returned to the earth to transfer the keys to the Old Testament Gospel of Abraham to the apostate latter day saint church.  This initiated the taking of the written gospel from the gentiles to the house of Israel scattered among the nations of the earth

After his conversion, he stayed in Canada for a while and missed out on the Kirtland Safety Society fiasco and the great apostasy of the Kirtland era and the ugly era of the Danites in Far West.

He finally felt impressed to lead a group of Canadian converts to Nauvoo in 1839.

His brother Wilson who was somewhat skeptical went with him even though he was not a Mormon. (According to some accounts, Wilson may have converted in Nauvoo)

I really appreciate the faith William exhibited in joining the church during a time when vicious rumors about Joseph Smith and the church were beginning to run a muck.

Who Really Started Mormon Polygamy?

In order to fully appreciate the role the William Law played in the Nauvoo era of the LDS foundation movements and his public exposition of Joseph’s involvement in polygamy, one needs to have a clear understanding of what really took place in Nauvoo and whether or not Joseph Smith is the real instigator of the LDS practice of polygamy in Nauvoo.

“Joseph Smith Fought Polygamy”

 Joseph Smith obviously fought polygamy during his public ministry but the real question is, was he secretly teaching and practicing it while publicly teaching against it?

There is a semi-compelling book written by Richard & Pamela Price titled: “Joseph Smith fought polygamy” that contends that Joseph smith was innocent of practicing or teaching about polygamy.

Thanks to some popular LDS bloggers who have been impressed with the book, it has picked up some serious traction in convincing a few Latter day Saints that Joseph was innocent of living polygamy or of being the originator of what is now known as section 132.

I highly encourage anyone who is sincerely interested in objectively hearing all sides of this debate to read it. You can read much of it online and purchase it here .

The contention of the book is somewhat compelling in that Joseph always publicly renounced the doctrine of polygamy during his public ministry. If one goes strictly on what he publicly preached, one must deduce that he never practiced polygamy.

The dilemma is that there is a huge amount of evidence from second hand testimony claiming that he was living a hypocritical, secretive life that contradicted what he was publicly saying from the pulpit.

A Two-Part Conspiracy?

The general premise of the book along with the hypothesis of some who accept the premise of the book, in my opinion, is that there was a grand, two part conspiracy to blame Joseph Smith for introducing section 132 and the doctrine of polygamy when in fact it was really characters like Brigham Young and others that were the culprits.

Part one of the conspiracy in a nutshell is that Brigham Young and his brethren of the apostles were lying when they testified that they had been introduced to the doctrine of polygamy and the eternal nature of spiritual wifery by Joseph Smith.

Brigham supposedly created an elaborate conspiracy and got countless men and women of his followers in Utah to bare a false witness that Joseph was the originator of the doctrine and practice instead of Brigham and others.

In this scenario the hypothesis is that over thirty women who sacrificed much to accept the restored gospel and join the church were enticed into lying about being sealed to Joseph Smith as a spiritual wife and having carnal sex with him. (several other women supposedly lied about being approached by Joseph even though they rejected his offers)

Supposedly their motivation for bearing false witness was for the fame and notoriety of being a wife of Joseph’s or to show their loyalty to the church by obeying the orders of Brigham Young.

For those two reasons, these women supposedly threw the reputation of Joseph Smith under the bus, having to live with the thought of having to face him in the eternities.

If that conspiracy theory seems rather unrealistic, part two of the conspiracy is even more outrageous.

The second part of the conspiracy that supports the contention that Joseph was innocent and never practiced spiritual wifery, is conducted by a host of random conspirators who all personally rejected the doctrine of polygamy and rejected Brigham Young as the legal successor to Joseph Smith.

When I say random, I mean that as a group, they were not united when the great succession crisis took place. They scattered many different directions. There was very little cohesiveness between them. They simply all believed from what they saw and heard that Joseph was the main instigator of Mormon polygamy.

The most notable among them was a group of people in very high church positions including the president of the Nauvoo Stake, three high profile leaders who all served in the First Presidency of the Church with Joseph Smith and two other members of the high council that rejected section 132 when it was read to them:

  • William Marks
  • William Law
  • John C. Bennett
  • Sidney Rigdon
  • Austin Cowles
  • Leonard Soby

None of these high profile leaders accepted the doctrine of polygamy and none of them accepted Brigham young as the legal successor to Joseph Smith. Yet they all testified from personal knowledge of the events taking place in Nauvoo that Joseph was involved.

They all testified from personal knowledge that Joseph Smith was the primary secret promoter of the doctrine of polygamy.

Despite the fact that none of these people had an affinity for Brigham Young or the doctrine of polygamy, every one of these people publicly declared that Joseph Smith was the originator of the polygamy revelation and that he secretly practiced it.

There were many other brethren who also testified of Joseph’s involvement. We will discuss one or two of them as well later in this post, but the above six men create a particularly huge problem with the hypothesis provided by the Prices.

Perhaps one of the biggest holes in the conspiracy theory presented by the Price’s has to do with President William Marks, one of the most honorable, beloved and trusted leaders of the LDS restoration. Marks was called by revelation to be the Stake President of the church in Far West and also in Nauvoo.

At this time I am going to share the content of an email that I have written to Richard and Pamela Price regarding the testimony of William Marks (I am still awaiting their reply):

_________________________________________________________________________

From: One Whoiswatching <onewhoiswatching [at gmail.com>
Date: Fri, Sep 7, 2012 at 10:27 AM
Subject: Questions about your book “Joseph Smith Fought Polygamy” from the OneWhoIsWatching
To: editors [at] @restorationbookstore.org

Dear Richard and Pamela Price

In reading your book titled Joseph Smith Fought Polygamy I came across a disturbing realization.

In chapter six of volume one you make the following declaration followed by a quote from William Marks that he made in 1859, regarding a conversation he had with Joseph Smith just weeks before the martyrdom:

Joseph was determined that polygamy was not going to continue in the Church. He was standing firmly between the polygamous conspirators and the Church. Standing with the Prophet were Emma, Hyrum, William Marks, and a few others. Most of the Saints were unaware of the deadly struggle going on behind the scenes. Both sides were growing more determined. When Joseph warned the Saints of iniquity in high places, and turned and spoke against Parley, he was aware that a conspiracy existed—that several apostles and others were planning to make polygamy a practice of the Saints and a doctrine of the Church. However, Joseph was determined to eradicate polygamy, even though he realized that his lack of cooperation with the polygamists could cost him his life.

The struggle between the pro-polygamists and Joseph became more and more severe. A few weeks before Joseph’s death it became apparent to him that polygamy could not be eradicated without bringing the struggle into the open. Therefore, Joseph went to High Priest William Marks, the president of the Nauvoo Stake and president of the High Council, as previously noted. He told Brother Marks that he would bring the polygamists to trial before the High Council, and that President Marks must expel them from the Church. Elder Marks later testified:

‘I met with Brother Joseph. He said that he wanted to converse with me on the affairs of the church, and we retired by ourselves. I will give his words verbatim, for they are indelibly stamped upon my mind. He said he had desired for a long time to have a talk with me on the subject of polygamy. He said it eventually would prove the overthrow of the church, and we should soon be obliged to leave the United States, unless it could be speedily put down. He was satisfied that it was a cursed doctrine, and that there must be every exertion made to put it down. He said that he would go before the congregation and proclaim against it, and I must go into the High Council, and he would prefer charges against those in transgression, and I must sever them from the church, unless they made ample satisfaction. There was much more said, but this was the substance. The mob commenced to gather about Carthage in a few days after, therefore there was nothing done concerning it.

After the Prophet’s death, I made mention of this conversation to several, hoping and believing that it would have a good effect; but to my great disappointment, it was soon rumored about that Brother Marks was about to apostatize, and that all that he said about the conversation with the Prophet was a tissue of lies.’(RLDS History of the Church 2:733) “

The reason I am perplexed by the way you used the above quote from William Marks regarding his conversation with Joseph Smith is that it appears that you intentionally left part of the quote out of your book so that you could put an entirely different spin on what Marks was trying to convey.

Here is what William Marks said just prior to and in conjunction with the portion of his statements that you chose to quote:

About the first of June, 1844 (situated as I was at that time, being the Presiding Elder of the Stake at Nauvoo, and by appointment the Presiding Officer of the High Council), I had a very good opportunity to know the affairs of the Church, and my convictions at that time were, that the Church in a great measure had departed from the pure principles and doctrines of Jesus Christ. I felt much troubled in mind about the condition of the Church. I prayed earnestly to my Heavenly Father to show me something in regard to it, when I was wrapt in vision, and it was shown me by the Spirit, that the top or branches had overcome the root, in sin and wickedness, and the only way to cleanse and purify it was, to disorganize it, and in due time, the Lord would reorganize it again. There were many things suggested to my mind, but the lapse of time has erased them from my memory. A few days after this occurrence…”

As you can see, the real context of the portion of William Marks testimony that you provided was relative to the fact that the top leadership of the Church, ie, Joseph and Hyrum Smith, had lead the church into apostasy.

Although the contextual statements quoted above do not specifically mention Joseph and Hyrum Smith by name, Marks is stating that it had been made known to him that the “top” and “branches” (highest leadership of the church) had overcome the “root” or remaining members of the church.

Marks was obviously using terminology from the allegory of the tame and wild olive trees in the Book of Jacob that refers to the leading elders of the church. He is pointing out that Joseph and Hyrum, the leading elders of the church, or in other words, the “top” “branches”  of the tree had become corrupt and had overcome the rest of the church or at least the lower portions of the church. [See online scriptures here and also the Watcher’s Commentary on those verses here]

Richard and Pamela, why didn’t you include the entire quote and explain that William Marks viewed Joseph and Hyrum as part of the polygamy problem?

The second aspect of this situation that perplexes me is that William’s comments from 1859 that you chose to provide a portion of, were really an outgrowth of a more popular and detailed version of the statement that had been given six years earlier in 1853 in the Zions Harbinger and Baneemy’s Organ.

I am providing this previous quote by William Marks for your perusal below:

When the doctrine of polygamy was introduced into the church as a principle of exaltation, I took a decided stand against it; which stand rendered me quite unpopular with many of the leading ones of the church… Joseph, however, became convinced before his death that he had done wrong; for about three weeks before his death, I met him one morning in the street, and he said to me, “Brother Marks… We are a ruined people.” I asked, how so? He said: “This doctrine of polygamy, or Spiritual-wife system, that has been taught and practiced among us, will prove our destruction and overthrow. I have been deceived,” said he, “in reference to its practice; it is wrong; it is a curse to mankind, and we shall have to leave the United States soon, unless it can be put down and its practice stopped in the church.  Now,’ said he,’ Brother Marks, you have not received this doctrine, and how glad I am.  I want you to go into the high council and I will have charges preferred against all who practice this doctrine, and I want you to try them by the laws of the church, and cut them off, if they will not repent and cease the practice of this doctrine.”

As you can see, William Marks was even more explicit in his earlier declaration about the fact that Joseph was involved in polygamy and by Joseph’s own admission; Joseph had been deceived about the doctrine of polygamy. 

Were you unaware of the statement by Marks that I have provided above?

Lastly, in your commentary you made the following statement:

it became apparent to him that polygamy could not be eradicated without bringing the struggle into the open.”

Surely you are aware that the polygamy issue had already been brought out into the open long before that time.

It is well documented that Hyrum had read the polygamy revelation to the High Council in Nauvoo, [told them that his bother Joseph had received and endorsed the revelation and told them that if they rejected it they would be damned.

Hyrum was the sole president of the Church at the time this took place. (Joseph having said he would no longer prophecy to the church that that Hyrum was the sole Prophet and President)]

Hyrum also presented the revelation to the Elders quorum. Virtually all of the leaders of the church knew from Hyrum, the President of the Church, that He and Joseph had secretly taught and practiced polygamy.

I plan on addressing these issues pertaining to your book in a blog but would like to give you the opportunity to respond to them first.

Can you please clarify if you were aware of the remaining portions of the quote you provided at the time you wrote the book?

Were you aware of William Marks earlier comments about Joseph Smith being deceived by the false doctrine of polygamy?

Are you aware that Hyrum had read the polygamy revelation to the Nauvoo High Council and told them they must accept it or be damned?

Thank you for your consideration and for a timely response

Watcher”

____________________________________________________________________________

I have not had a response to my questions from the Price’s yet nor have they acknowledged getting the email from me. I believe the email address I used is accurate as it is the one currently posted on their website.

I am extremely disappointed that they have not felt compelled to respond.

If I do hear from them in time future, I will update this post with their response.

It appears to me that while doing their research on polygamy, the Prices realized that they needed to maintain William Marks as a credible witness. This is because he is beloved by so many saints from all sides of the issue and was a leading player in the reorganized church they themselves have been involved in.

It appears they wanted to do damage control by quoting only a portion of the less incriminating  statement of President Marks, hoping that nobody would bother to delve a little deeper into the declarations William Marks had made regarding his knowledge of Joseph’s involvement in polygamy.

Another related point of interest pertaining to William’s testimony is that it was made known to William that God needed to completely disorganize the church and then organize it again at a future time. (This knowledge obviously played a part in Marks involvement in the “Reorganized Church”. My personal opinion is that the Lord was referring to the Doctrine of the 3rd Watch)

Although I don’t expect those providing passionate commentary, like myself and the Prices, to be non-biased in our presentations, I do expect accuracy, completeness and honesty in providing supporting documentation.

I know from personal experience how tempting it is to leave out portions of quotes that don’t support one’s own contentions. I have been very tempted in this area myself and have possibly been guilty from time to time of cutting and pasting quotes for my own purposes when a greater portion of a quote would provide greater context. It is difficult to know where to draw the line on how much of a quote needs to be used and at what point it deludes the point one is trying to make.

Nevertheless, it seems to me that these issues are clearly over the line of credible research and I find it difficult to believe that the Price’s somehow overlooked the portion of the quote that they neglected to provide in their book.

I also find it very doubtful that they were unaware of the earlier, more complete statement that Marks had published six years earlier.

Nevertheless, there may be a legitimate explanation for the issues presented above.

At this point in time, based on the information I have, I find the statements by William Marks to be a huge problem for the credibility of both the Prices and their research. It makes me feel like a person reading their book needs to go back and research every single quote they provide to see what else they have done to color things to support their views.

Before leaving the topic of the reorganized church (which has since changed its name) I want to point out that William Marks was not the only high profile participant in the “reorganization” that publicly testified of Joseph’s involvement in polygamy.

Although the official response of the RLDS church during the 1880’s to the 1860’s was that Joseph Smith was never involved in polygamy, there are other foundational members of the reorganization who agreed with Marks. Some noteworthy examples are provided below:

Jason W. Briggs

Jason W. Briggs, one of the original founders of the RLDS Church publicly maintained that Joseph Smith was the originator of Mormon polygamy and that God would punish Joseph for his transgression. He felt that the church needed to quit denying Joseph’s involvement , deal with the issue, and move on.

Issac Sheen

Issac Sheen, the editor of the first official RLDS periodical was another person who publicly admitted that Joseph had been involved in polygamy however, he believed, as did William Marks, that Joseph was in the process of repenting and trying to undo the damage shortly before his death.

James Whitehead

James Whitehead, another member of the reorganization who served as a clerk to Joseph Smith III also affirmed that he witnessed Emma give plural wives to Joseph Smith Jr on several occasions. (reference to the above three documented witnesses)

William Marks is not the Most Compelling Witness

Interestingly, the testimony of William Marks is probably not the most devastating and damaging challenge to the supposition being presented by the Richard and Pamela Price, nor are the testimonies of people like William Law, John C. Bennett, Sidney Rigdon, Austin Cowles, Leonard Soby, Jason Briggs, Issac Sheen and James Whitehead.

Interestingly, the optic of polygamy was an issue that didn’t begin in Nauvoo and some of the most credible and revealing testimony of Joseph’s involvement in comes from people like Oliver Cowdery and even William McLellin, how had both left the church by 1838.

Many years later McLellin would write three letters to Joseph Smith the 3rd testifying of Joseph’s involvement. However, even more compelling than those testimonies is the fact that there is hard evidence that Joseph’s own brother publicly introduced the doctrine of polygamy among the leading quorums of the Church in Nauvoo with the declaration that it came from Joseph.

Hyrum Smith Let the Cat out of the Bag

A more damaging testimony that Joseph Smith was involved in Polygamy is actually provided by his brother Hyrum Smith.

There is now a remarkable new book out by John S. Dinger that , in my opinion, completely destroys the myth that Joseph and Hyrum were not involved in polygamy. It brings forth credible historical evidence that has been suppressed and obscured for over a century.

It is called “The Nauvoo City and High Council Minutes”.

These official minutes of the Nauvoo City Council and the Stake High Council have been suppressed for years by the Mormon Church. Their reason for not allowing researchers to have access to them is “confidentiality”. That is apparently what they told John Dinger.

However, it came to the attention of Dinger that copies of these minutes could be obtained via certain Universities so he obtained the information from them and the rest is history… church history.

The book can be purchased from Benchmark Books.

Unfortunately, it is a very expensive book. You may need to take out a second mortgage on your house to purchase it.

You can listen to some interviews about the book with Dinger here  and here. Unfortunately the polygamy issue is not addressed in the interviews as in depth as one would desire since most Mormons take for granted that Joseph Smith was involved in it.

In my opinion, this new book provides conclusive documentation that is extremely damaging to the belief that Joseph and Hyrum never practiced or promoted polygamy.

I am actually planning on doing a post in the future that lists numerous fascinating tidbits from the book for those who cannot afford to purchase it but for now, I am simply going to provide a brief summary of the major sequence of events pertaining to polygamy in Nauvoo, most of which are documented in the Nauvoo City and High council minutes along with related historical documents.

In my opinion, the information I am going to summarize from these sources proves beyond question that Joseph and Hyrum did in fact promote the polygamy revelation and doctrine of polygamy.

Sequential Listing of Events Relating to Polygamy
Leading up to the Publication of the Expositor

May 17th 1842

On May 17th 1842 John C. Bennett, a councilor to Joseph Smith in the First Presidency, resigned as Mayor of Nauvoo.

He would later claim he was forced under duress to resign as Mayor and to swear an affidavit stating that Joseph never taught a secret doctrine about illicit intercourse with females. In mid June Joseph would make allegations about Bennett and Bennett would go on to write an expose about the secret polygamous practices and other controversial events in Nauvoo (pg 84 &86)

May 19st 1842

With the resignation of John C. Bennett, the purpose of the council meeting on this date was to vote on Joseph Smith as the new mayor. As this election was going forward, Joseph Smith received a revelation, wrote it down and “threw it across the room to Hiram Kimball one of the [city] Councilors. [according to Hiram’s wife, Sarah, Joseph had asked her to be one of his plural wives]”

Verily thus saith the Lord unto you may servant Joseph by the voice of my Spirit, Hiram Kimball has been insinuating evil & forming evil opinions against you with others, & if he continue[s] in them he & they shall be accursed for I am the Lord thy God & will stand by thee & bless thee. Amen.”  (pg 84)

May 21st 1842

Although the allegations that would later be made by John C. Bennett about Joseph Smith’s involvement in polygamy were a major concern to Joseph and Hyrum with regard to the non-Mormon population, the Bennett allegations were not their only concern.

William Law and others would do just as much damage within the church by exposing the secret doctrine of polygamy to the main body of the saints.

The beginning of the sequential events that brought Joseph Smith’s involvement in polygamy to light within the church, as documented in the Nauvoo City and High Council Minutes seems to begin on May 21st 1842 when Chancy L. Higbee was brought before the High Council by George Miller on charges of for “unchaste” and “un-virtuous” conduct with the widow Sarah Miller.

It was in this hearing that Higbee testified to the High Council that Joseph Smith had authorized him to have these types of relations if they were kept secret. Hoping to destroy the credibility of Higbee, Hyrum Smith motioned that Chancy Higbee be expelled from the church.

This hearing marked the first of over 20 similar cases that would take place during the next few months with many of them resulting in similar testimony that Joseph Smith and/or the leading brethren of the church had authorized such acts.

(Ironically, Chancy Higbee would ultimately end up violently opposing the doctrine of polygamy and help William Law and others expose Joseph Smith, while his accuser, George Miller, would eventually become converted to the practice and become a polygamist… a rather amazing turn of events.)

August 1843

Finally, after hearing about 23 similar cases in just a few months and then continuing to hear rumors following that, members of the high council began to have serious suspicions about Joseph Smith’s involvement in secretly teaching and practicing polygamy.

For this reason, they confronted Hyrum Smith in August of 1843 about this issue. (Joseph Smith was home sick. It seems odd that they would not wait to confront Joseph personally however, one must remember that Hyrum was also being implicated and was now the sole President of the Church (even though many people did not give Hyrum the respect of the office still considered Joseph to be God’s mouthpiece) and was therefore responsible to dictate policy and take action against adulterers. Additionally, Joseph was probably keeping a low profile, waiting to see what the reaction to Hyrum’s pronouncement would be.)

On this occasion Councilman Dunbar Wilson “made inquiry in relation to the subject of plurality of wives as there were rumors respecting it, and he was satisfied there was something in those remarks and he wanted to know what it was.”

At this time, Hyrum Smith, who was probably relieved to just get it out in the open, read the revelation on polygamy to the High Council.

After reading it, he made the following declaration: “Now, you that believe this revelation and go forth and obey the same shall be saved, and you that reject it shall be damned

The reading of this revelation to the High Council followed by the stern warning to obey it, by Hyrum, appears to be the first official documented public outing of Joseph Smith, in front of multiple witnesses, by a credible source, as the instigator of polygamy. It clearly identifies Joseph as the one who received and was secretly introducing the revelation on polygamy. (Although it appears that the original version of the revelation was significantly shorter than the once Brigham Young canonized in 1876)

To Joseph and Hyrum’s horror, the reading of the revelation and the ominous command to obey it or be damned created a veritable shit-storm within the High Council and the members of the church that this knowledge leaked out to.

President William Law, a councilor to Joseph Smith in the First Presidency, joined in with three members of the High Council in openly and publicly rejecting the revelation.

Those three members of the High Council were President William Marks, High Councilman Leonard Soby and High Councilman Austin A. Cowles. (there is conflicting documentation as to whether Soby initially rejected it or not)

Austin Cowles

The reading of the polygamy revelation has been documented by numerous witnesses including Austin Cowles who published his testimony in the Nauvoo Expositor. From the book, I quote:

At this meeting Hyrum Smith taught his brother Joseph’s doctrine of plural marriage, as confirmed by statements by those in attendance.

“Hyrum Smith ‘read the said revelation in the said Council’”.

Leonard Soby

“[Hyrum Smith] presented to said Council the Revelation on polygamy enjoying its observance and declaring it came from God; unto which a large majority of the Council agreed and assented, believing it to be of a celestial order, though no vote was taken upon it, for the reason that the voice of the prophet in such matters as understood by us to be the voice of God to the church, and that said revelation was presented to said Council as before stated, as coming from Joseph Smith the Prophet of the Lord was received by us as other revelation had been

Four Other Witnesses from the High Council Signed Afficavits

In 1869 the following members of the high council also signed affidavits that Hyrum read and taught the doctrine of polygamy:

  • David Fulmer
  • Thomas Grover
  • James Allred
  • Aaron Johnson

According to the testimony of Charles Smith, Hyrum Smith also read the revelation on polygamy to the Elders Quorum in the winter of 43-44.

Joseph was “outed” before the Nauvoo Expositor was Published

Although William Law is often blamed for being the primary one to “out” Joseph Smith as a practicing polygamist, the truth is that Hyrum and others had already done it.

The resignation and falling out with Bennett and the 23 cases brought before the High Council and the reading of the revelation by Hyrum Smith to the High Council and Elders Quorum culminated in the preliminary outing of Joseph Smith.

June 8 1844

Nevertheless, it appears that when Joseph and Hyrum Smith realized that strong opposition was taking place from other high profile leaders within the church, they attempted to do damage control. (There is even some evidence to suggest that they realized they had been deceived and were repenting of what they had done.)

Hyrum Tells a Little White Lie

On June 8 1844 Hyrum is noted in the City council minutes as stating that when he had previously  read the polygamy revelation to the High Council, the revelation only had to do with how polygamy was practiced anciently.

According to the council minutes, “Hyrum referred to the revelation [he] read to the [Nauvoo Stake] High Council- that it was in answer to a question concerning things which transpired in former days & had no reference to the present time”

Obviously, Hyrum was back-peddling and trying to close Pandora’s Box, but it was too late. The damage had been done and the box was now opened.

One can make a strong case that Joseph and Hyrum realized that they had made a serious doctrinal error and that they were trying to partially repent for what they did.

The declaration of William Marks that Joseph had acknowledged to him that he (Joseph) had been deceived on the doctrine of polygamy is evidence of this. It seems to coincide with William Law’s testimony in the Expositor that Joseph was willing to repent by discontinuing the practice but was not willing to publicly confess what he had done.

Other evidences of a partial repentance are supported by the fact that Joseph abruptly stopped taking plural wives and by the fact that he was also backtracking on numerous other things that he had done, ie, he told his brethren in the secret quorums to take off their special garments, destroy minutes of the council of fifty containing documentation that he had had himself ordained king, etc.

Interestingly, even though many Mormon historians identify April of 1841 as the first documented plural marriage that Joseph entered into, section 124 suggests that Joseph and others were practicing abominations earlier than that:

by your own works, bring cursings, wrath, indignation, and judgments upon your own heads, by your follies, and by all your abominations, which you practise before me, saith the Lord.” (verse 48)

This is supported by documentation showing that after Orson Pratt returned from his mission to England in 1841 he heard rumors about Joseph Smith’s conduct toward his wife. … According to Sarah Pratt, Joseph had asked her to become his plural wife in the fall of 1840.

Joseph’s journal noted that Joseph was “conflicting with Orson”.

Another evidence of Joseph’s possible involvement in polygamy prior to April of 41 comes from Ebenezer Robinson who recalled the following declaration from Joseph Smith’s younger brother Don Carlos:

“Ebenezer Robinson claimed that Joseph Smith’s brother, Don Carlos, stated: “Any man who will teach and practice the doctrine of spiritual wifery will go to hell, I don’t care if it is my brother Joseph.’ ” (The Return, vol. 2, p. 287 also In Sacred Loneliness 152)

According to Ina Coolbrith Joseph’s brother Don quietly made plans to leave Nauvoo and go back to Kirtland in protest because he opposed the secret doctrine of polygamy.

Coolbrith claims that Joseph asked Don if he had a last request while on his deathbed and that Don’s response was “Yes, I have, Joseph Smith, I want you for the rest of your life to be an honest man”. (there are conflicting stories regarding statements made by Coolbrith)

As alluded to earlier, there are testimonies about Joseph’s involvement in polygamy as early as Kirtland (see Oliver’s Secret)

I could go on providing countless 2nd hand stories about Joseph Smith and polygamy prior to and after April of 42 but there is really no point beyond the evidence provided thus far.

I really just wanted to address the issue because in wrapping up this segment on William Law, I needed to provide documentation that Joseph’s participation in polygamy was really the central issue of the last days of Joseph’s life. (It would also be the hidden but central issue during the succession crisis)

To summarize part two of the conspiracy theory presented by the Price’s, in addition to the countless people in Utah that Brigham Young supposedly got to bear a false witness about Joseph, you still need to deal with all of the other testimonies that we have briefly discussed and the fact that Hyrum read the revelation to the High Council and Elders Quorum.

Here are some of the non-Utah, witnesses that testified that Joseph practiced polygamy:

  • Hyrum Smith
  • John C. Bennett
  • William Law
  • Wilson Law
  • Sidney Rigdon
  • Austin Cowles
  • Leonard Soby
  • Jason Briggs
  • Issac Sheen
  • James Whitehead.
  • Chancy L. Higbee
  • George Miller
  • Syvester Emmons
  • Francis Higbee
  • Robert D. Foster and his brother
  • Oliver Olney
  • David Fulmer
  • Thomas Grover
  • James Allred
  • Aaron Johnson
  • Don Carlos Smith
  • Oliver Cowdery
  • William McLellin

It seems to me that the conspiracy theory promoted by the Richard and Pamela Price is beyond ridiculous based on all of the testimony from members of the church in Nauvoo that were NOT part of the supposed conspiracy that Brigham Young was leading.

Again, there are high ranking members of the church during the Kirtland era as early as 1836-8 that testified that Joseph was involved in polygamy, the most notable one being Oliver Cowdery and the Fanny Alger affair.

Oliver is not the only high profile leader of the church that left the church during the Kirtland/Far West era that testified of Joseph’s polygamy.

William McLellin, one of the original members of the quorum of the twelve apostles  later wrote that Emma Smith substantiated the Smith-Alger affair. According to McLellin, Emma came upon Joseph and Fanny one evening while searching for Joseph. She saw “him and Fanny in the barn together alone” on the hay mow.

McLellin, in a letter to one of Joseph Smith’s sons, added that the ensuing confrontation between Emma Smith and her husband grew so heated that Rigdon, Frederick G. Williams, and Oliver Cowdery had to mediate the situation. After Emma related what she had witnessed, Smith, according to McLellin, “confessed humbly, and begged forgiveness. Emma and all forgave him.”

Now, having presented evidence to support the proposition that both Joseph and Hyrum had been involved in the teaching and practice of polygamy and the spiritual wife doctrine, let me remind any readers who have wondered upon this blog post without having understood about the atonement statute that I am not accusing Joseph of being evil.

I consider him to be a victim/intercessor.

Let’s remember the following warning that the Lord gave Joseph over a decade earlier:

Satan thinketh to overpower your testimony in this generation, that the [marvelous] work may not come forth in this generation..”

Satan has largely been successful in overpowering Joseph’s testimony and preventing the marvelous work from going forth in that generation. The work was hindered! ( section 10)

One needs to remember that this ugly problem the early brethren having their testimonies overpowered was all foretold in prophecy.

God’s Seers had their eyes covered and their awareness lost. But it was initially brought about because of the wickedness of his people according to Isaiah.

For behold, the Lord hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep.  For behold, ye have closed your eyes, and ye have rejected the prophets; and your rulers, and the seers hath he covered because of your iniquity.”

Ancient prophecy about Joseph Smith foretold that he would be raised up to appoint the place of gathering and build the house of the Lord and do much good but then he would “commit iniquity” and God would “chasten him with the rod of men“.

Nevertheless, according to that prophecy, God’s “mercy shall not depart away from him“.

If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men: But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee.”

Ancient prophecy about Joseph Smith foretold that after God raised him up to speak all of the words that God commands him, Joseph would then presumptuously teach false doctrine. As a result, Joseph must die.

I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.

And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.

But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.

And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken?

 When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.”

Isaiah speaks of the time when the gospel is taken to the kings of the earth and they are astonished and forced to consider things they had never previously considered when the Lords servant returns to gather the people and is exalted and extolled despite having had a tarnished reputation that was worse than any other reputation of any other human being…

Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high.

As many were [astonished] at thee; his visage [reputation] was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men:

So shall he [gather] many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider.”

The above scenario is consistent with the following prophetic passages in section 101 in the parable of the importuning of the judges, governors and rulers who are having to consider things they had never considered when the strange act goes forth.

And if the president heed them not, then will the Lord arise and come forth out of his hiding place, and in his fury vex the nation;

And in his hot displeasure, and in his fierce anger, in his time, will cut off those wicked, unfaithful, and unjust stewards, and appoint them their portion among hypocrites, and unbelievers;

Even in outer darkness, where there is weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth.

Pray ye, therefore, that their ears may be opened unto your cries, that I may be merciful unto them, that these things may not come upon them.

What I have said unto you must needs be, that all men may be left without excuse;

That wise men and rulers may hear and know that which they have never considered;

That I may proceed to bring to pass my act, my strange act, and perform my work, my strange work, that men may discern between the righteous and the wicked, saith your God.”

Realizing that God used people as his “chastising rod” to put Joseph and Hyrum to death for speaking and teaching presumptuously, it becomes apparent that those directly and indirectly involved in the death of Joseph and Hyrum were essentially being inspired to be God’s avenging sword of justice.

Just as Brigham Young became the prophetic “hand of a fit man” that led the scapegoat Sidney Rigdon  into the wilderness, William Law played a valiant role in identifying when God’s servant like Moses, spoke “presumptuously“, so that the chastising rod of God’s justice could punish the intercessory atonement offering servant.

The second prophetic role that William Law played had to do with another prophecy that had been given over a decade earlier.

The Opportunity for the Church to Reform

In March of 1829 the Lord declared that:“if the people… harden not their hearts, I will work a reformation among them..”  (B of C 4:5)
In an un-canonized revelation given on December 5th 1834 the Lord declared:“..there must needs be a repentance and a reformation among you, in all things..”(Unpublished Revelations pg 73)
In a discourse given July 16th 1843 Joseph’s diary saye:went to the Grove and heard Pres. J. preach on the law of the priesthood. He stated that Hyrum held the office of prophet to the church by birth-right & he was going to have a reformation and the saints must regard Hyrum for he had authority.” (WofJS pg 232-3 July 16th 1843 see also boap) Joseph was openly acknowledging that the saints were in a state of apostasy and he was pointing to his brother Hyrum as the sole prophet of the church with the authority to conduct the reformation of the saints. Obviously, this was during the time that Joseph and Hyrum were secretly practicing the secret wife doctrine. It was one month before Hyrum read the revelation to the High Council.

The above quotes establish the following facts:

1- God had prophesied of a future opportunity to reform the apostate church, before it was even officially organized and restored

2- Years later the Lord acknowledged that it was time to have reformation

3- Eventually Joseph acknowledged that there needed to be a reformation and said that Hyrum, as the sole President of the Church must do it.

William Law Fulfills the Prophecy

Amazingly, William Law is the one that God had prophetically ordained to offer the true reformation of the church.

As a member of the First Presidency, led the cause.

He and a few close associates actually broke away from the apostate church and formed the “Reformed Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints”!!!

They invite all of the saints to repent and reform.

Here are a few statements from the Expositor-“We are earnestly seeking to explode the vicious principles of Joseph Smith, and those who practice the same abominations and whoredoms; which we verily know are not accordant and consonant with the principles of Jesus Christ and the Apostles; and for that purpose, and with that end in view, with an eye single to the glory of God, we have dared to gird on the armor, and with God at our head, we most solemnly and sincerely declare that the sword of truth shall not depart from the thigh, nor the buckler from the arm, until we can enjoy those glorious privileges which nature’s God and our country’s laws have guarantied to us-freedom of speech, the liberty of the press, and the right to worship God as seemeth us good.-

We are aware, however, that we are hazarding every earthly blessing, particularly property, and probably life itself, in striking this blow at tyranny and oppression: yet notwithstanding we most solemnly declare that no man, or set of men combined, shall, with impunity, violate obligations as sacred as many which have been violated unless reason, justice and virtue have become ashamed and sought the haunts of the grave, though our lives be the forfeiture.   

Many of us have sought a reformation in the church, without a public exposition of the enormities of crimes practiced by its leaders, thinking that if they would hearken to counsel, and shew fruit meet for repentance, it would be as acceptable with God, as though they were exposed to public gaze,“For the private path, the secret acts of men,
If noble, for the noblest of their lives.

..but our petitions were treated with contempt; and in many cases the petitioner spurned from their presence and particularly by Joseph, who would state that if he had sinned, and was guilty of the charges we would charge him with, he would not make acknowledgment, but would rather be damned; for it would detract from his dignity, and would consequently ruin and prove the overthrow of the Church.

We would ask him on the other hand, if the overthrow of the Church was not inevitable, to which he often replied, that we would all go to Hell together, and convert it into a heaven, by casting the Devil out; and says lie, Hell is by not means the place this world of fools suppose it to be, but on the contrary, it is quite an agreeable place: to which we would now reply, he can enjoy if he is determined not to desist from his evil ways; but as for us, and ours, we will serve the Lord our God!

    It is absurd for men to assert that all is well, while wicked and corrupt men are seeking our destruction, by a perversion of sacred things; for all is not well, while whordoms and all manner of abominations are practiced under the cloak of religion. Lo! the wolf is in the fold, arrayed in sheep’s clothing, and is spreading death and devastation among the saints: and we say to the watchmen standing upon the walls, cry aloud and spare not, for the day of the Lord is at hand-a day cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate.

    It is a notorious fact, that many females in foreign climes, and in countries to us unknown, even in the most distant regions of the Eastern hemisphere, have been induced, by the sound of the gospel, to forsake friends, and embark upon a voyage across waters that lie stretched over the greater portion of the globe, as they supposed, to glorify God, that they might thereby stand acquitted in the great day of God Almighty.

But what is taught them on their arrival at this place?- They are visited by some of the Strikers, for we know not what else to call them, and are requested to hold on and be faithful, for there are great blessings awaiting the righteous; and that God has great mysteries in store for those who love the lord, and cling to brother Joseph.

They are also notified that Brother Joseph will see them soon, and reveal the mysteries of Heaven to their full understanding, which seldom fails to inspire them with new confidence in the Prophet, as well as a great anxiety to know what God has laid up in store for them, in return for the great sacrifice of father of mother, of gold and silver, which they gladly left far behind, that they might be gathered into the fold, and numbered among the chosen of God.—

They are visited again, and what is the result? They are requested to meet brother Joseph, or some of the Twelve, at some insulated point, or at some particularly described place on the bank of the Mississippi, or at some room, which wears upon its front–Positively NO Admittance.

The harmless, inoffensive, and unsuspecting creatures, are so devoted to the Prophet, and the cause of Jesus Christ, that they do not dream of the deep laid and fatal scheme which prostrates happiness, and renders death itself desireable; but they meet him, expecting to receive through him a blessing, and learn the will of the Lord concerning them, and what awaits the faithful follower of Joseph, the Apostle and Prophet of God,

When in the stead thereof, they are told, after having been sworn in one of the most solemn manners, to never divulge what is revealed to them, with a penalty of death attached that God Almighty has revealed it to him, that she should be his (Joseph’s) Spiritual wife; for it was right anciently,and God will tolerate it again: but we must keep those pleasures and blessings form the world, for until there is a change in the government, we will endanger ourselves by practicing it-but we can enjoy the blessings of Jacob, David, and others, as well as to be deprived of them, if we do not expose ourselves to the law of the land.

She is thunder-struck, faints recovers, and refuses. The Prophet damns her if she rejects. She thinks of the great sacrifice and of the many thousand miles she has traveled over sea and land, that she might save her soul from pending ruin, and replies, God’s will be done and not mine.

The Prophet and his devotees in this way are gratified. The next step to avoid public exposition from the common course of things, they are sent away for a time, until all is well; after which they return, as from a long visit. Those whom no power or influence could seduce, except that which is wielded by some individual feigning to be a God, must realize the remarks of an able writer, when he says, “if woman’s feelings are turned to ministers of sorrow, where shall she look for consolation?”

Her lot is to be wooed and want her heart is like some fortress that has been captured, sacked, abandoned, and left desolate. With her, the desire of the heart has failed-the great charm of existence is at an end; she neglects all the cheerful exercise of life, which gladen the spirits, quicken the pulses, and send the tide of life in healthful currents through the veins. Her rest is broken.

The sweet refreshment of sleep is poisoned by melancholy dreams; dry sorrow drinks her blood, until her enfeebled frame sinks under the slightest external injury. Look for her after a little while, and you find friendship weeping over her untimely grave; and wondering that one who but so recently glowed with all the radiance of health and beauty, should so speedily be brought down to darkness and despair, you will be told of some wintry chill, of some casual indisposition that laid her low!

 But no one knows of the mental malady that previously sapped her strength, and made her so easy a pray to the spoiler. She is like some tender tree, the pride and beauty of the grove-graceful in its form, bright in its foliage, but with the worm praying at its heart; we find it withered when it should be most luxuriant.

We see it drooping its branches to the earth, and shedding leaf by leaf until wasted and perished away, it falls in the stillness of the forest; and as we muse over the beautiful ruin, we strive in vain to recollect the blast or thunder-bolt that could have smitten it with decay. But no one knows the cause except the foul fiend who perpetrated the diabolical deed.

    Our hearts have mourned and bled at the wretched and miserable condition of females in this place; many orphans have been the victims of misery and wretchedness, through the influence, that has been exerted over them, under the cloak of religion and afterwards, in consequence of that jealous dispositon which predominates over the minds of some, have been turned upon a wide world, fatherless and motherless, destitute of friends and fortune; and robbed of that which nothing but death can restore.

    Men solace themselves by saying the facts slumber in the dark caverns of midnight. But Lo! it is sudden day, and the dark deeds of foul fiends shall be exposed from the house-tops. A departed spirit, once the resident of St. Louis, shall yet cry aloud for vengeance.

    It is difficult–perhaps impossible–to describe the wretchedness of females in this place, without wounding the feelings of the benevolent, or shocking the delicacy of the refined; but the truth shall come to the world. The remedy can never be applied, unless the disease is known.

The sympathy, ever anxious to relieve, cannot be felt before the misery is seen.–The charity that kindles at the tale of woe, can never act with adequate efficiency, till it is made to see the polllution and guilt of men, now buried in the death-shades of heathenism.—

Shall we then, however painful the sight, shrink from the contemplation of their real state? We answer, we will not, if permitted to live. As we have before stated, it is the vicious principles of men we are determined to explode. It is not that we have any private feelings to gratify, or any private pique to settle, that has induced us to be thus plain; for we can respect and love the criminal, if there is any hope of reformation: but there is a point beyond which forbearance ceases to be a virtue.

    The next important item which presents itself for our consideration, is the attempt at Political power and influence, which we verity believe to be preposterous and absurd. We believe, it is inconsistent, and not in accordance with the christian religion.

 We do not believe that God ever raised up a Prophet to christianize a world by political schemes and intrigue. It is not the way God captivates the heart of the unbeliever; but on the contrary, by preaching truth in its own native simplicity, and in its own original purity, unadorned with anything except its own indigenous beauties.

Joseph may plead he has been injured, abused, and his petitions treated with contempt by the general government, and that he only desires an influence of a political character that will warrant him redress of grievances; but we care not-the faithful followers of Jesus must bear in this age as well as Christ and the Apostles did anciently; although a frowning world may have crushed him to the dust; although unpitying friends may have passed him by; although hope, the great comforter in affliction, may have burst forth and fled from his troubled bosom; yet, in Jesus there is a balm for every wound, and a cordial to assuage an agonized mind.

    Among the many items of false doctrine that are taught the Church, is the doctrine of many Gods, one of the most direful in its effects that has characterized the world for many centuries. We know not what to call it other than blasphemy, for it is most unquestionably, speaking of God in an impious and irreverent manner.

It is contended that there are innumerable gods as much above the God that presides over this universe, as he is above us; and if he varies from the law unto which he is subjected, he, with all his creatures, will be cast down as was Lucifer: thus holding forth a doctrine which is effectually calculated to sap the very foundation of our faith, and now, O Lord! shall we set still and be silent, while thy name is thus blasphemed, and thine Honor, power and glory, brought into disrepute? See Isaiah c 43, v 10; 44, 6-8; 45, 5, 6, 21, 22; and book of Covenants, page 26 and 39.

    In the dark ages of Poperty, when bigotry, superstition, and tyranny held universal sway over the empire of reason, there was some semblance of justice in the inquisitiorial deliberations; which, however, might have been dictated by prudence, or the fear of consequences; but we are no longer forced to appeal to those states that are now situated under the influence of Popery for examples of injustice, cruelty and oppression-we can appeal to the acts of the inquisitorial deliverations, which, however, might have been dictated by prudence, or the fear of consequences: but we are no longer forced to appeal to those states that are now situated under the influence of popery for examples of injustice, cruelty and oppression-we can appeal to the acts of the inquisitorial department organized in Nauvoo, by Joseph and his accomplices, for specimens of injustice of the most pernicious and diabolical character that ever stained the pages of the historian…

    On thursday evening, the 18th of April, there was a council called, unknown to the Church, which tried, condemned, and cut off brothers Wm. Law, Wilson Law, and sister Law, (Wm’s. wife,) brother R. D. Foster, and one brother Smith, with whom we are unacquainted; which we contend is contrary to the book of Doctrine and Covenants, for our law condemnest no man until he is heard.

We abhor and protest against any council or tribunal in this Church, which will not suffer the accused to stand in its midst and plead their own cause. If an Agrippa would suffer a Paul, whose eloquence surpassed, as it were, the eloquence of men, to stand before him, and plead his own cause, why should Joseph, with others, refuse to hear individuals in their own defence?—

We answer, it is because the court fears the atrocity of its crimes will be exposed to public gaze. We wish the public to thoroughly understand the nature of this court, and judge of the legality of its acts as seemeth them good.

    On Monday, the 15th of April, brother R.D. Foster had a notice served on him to appear before the High Council on Saturday following, the 20th, and answer to charges prefered against him by Joseph Smith. On Saturday, while Mr. Foster was preparing to take his witnesses, 4l in number, to the council-room, that he might make good his charges against Joseph, president Marks notified him that the trial had been on Thursday evening, before the 15th, and that he was cut off from the Church; and that same council cut off the brother Laws’, sister Law, anad brother Smith, and all without their knowledge.

They were not notified, neither did they dream of any such thing being done, for William Law had sent Joseph and some of the Twelve, special word that he desired an investigation before the Church o General Conference, on the 6th of Ap’l. The court, however, was a tribunal possessing no power to try Wm. Law, who was called by special Revelation, to stand as counsellor to the President of the Church. (Joseph,) which was twice ratified by General Conferences, assembled at Nauvoo, for Brigham Young, one of the Twelve, presided, whose duty it was not but the President of the High Council-See Book of Doctrine and Covanants, page 87.”

As you can see, William Law was the one foreordained to point out the errors of the church and offer the “reformation” that God had prophesied about.

He not only addressed the false doctrine of spiritual wife-polygamy, he also condemned the false multiple God doctrine that had been preached at the King Follett funeral and he pointed out how excommunications were being conducted contrary to the laws of God, without giving the accused the opportunity to be heard.

[refering to the fact that we can all become Christs and then become exactly like the Father and that the Father had once been a human being]

Unfortunately, the saints refused to repent and the Lord covered the eyes of all of the leaders of the church, including those of William Law, after he was forced to flee from Nauvoo for his life.

Despite the fact that the reputation of William Law has been assassinated by the modern corporate church, I am here to tell you that he was a good and noble man who was inspired to do what he did.

He helped to fulfill prophecy by publicly outing the abominable practices of God’s anointed servant and to help ignite the prophecy chastisement that was foretold in prophecy.

He also provided the opportunity for the saints to repent and return to the original precepts of the gospel as contained in the Book of Mormon and the 1833 Book of Commandments.

I firmly believe that William Law will return with brother Joseph and Sidney and others to complete his calling. Section 124 confirms this.

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[Editorial Note: Although it appears to have been established that William Law did not personally participate in the mob that killed Joseph Smith and he denied having anything to do with the murder, there is a popular story in Mormonism about two teenage boys, Dennison Lott Harris and his friend, Robert Scott who testified that William Law and others held secret meetings plotting to destroy Joseph Smith to prevent the false prophet from doing further damage.

There is also another interesting story about two Mormon missionaries who obtained an affidavit from William Law's sister stating that he made a deathbed confession admitting that he did in fact have some indirect involvement in the death of Joseph.

I have a copy of that affidavit in my files somewhere. It is also probably on the Internet somewhere.

Based on ancient prophecy, I am not sure it ultimately really matters what Law's personal involvement was one way or the other.He was inspired to do what he did.

There is much information I could not include in the above article including the pleading of William Law to Joseph to repent and also the attempts by both Hyrum and Sidney to work out a deal with Law and reinstate him back into the First Presidency on condition that he would all off the dogs during the heated issue of Joseph's involvement in Polygam, but Law would only be reconciled upon a public confession by Joseph Smith that the polygamy doctrine was from the devil and that Joseph had sinned... For those who don't have the Book by Lindon Cook on Law, this article is amazing]

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Miscellaneous

August 26, 2012

1-      Over the years several people have mentioned that it is difficult to navigate both of my blogs. I have now posted a listing that will hopefully make it a little easier to quickly peruse all of the past posts along with a brief description of what they are about. You can view it here. http://thechiefinspector.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/blog-listing.pdf It is not complete yet but I am off to a good start. That web address may change when I update it since it is a pdf

2-      I am passionate about “Jury Nullification” and have posted about it here, http://onewhoiswatching.wordpress.com/?s=jury+nullification There is now a wonderful book out about the legal principle of states rights and state nullification http://www.amazon.com/Nullification-Resist-Federal-Tyranny-Century/dp/1596981490 by Thomas E. Woods, Jr. Here is a great speech he gave http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qp5hMiTS2dg  and here is a great interview http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S2YaTVRR90g . Here is a comical interview called interview with a zombie that he staged with a friend to show his frustrations in dealing with the way politically correct people try to negate what he is trying to say http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TrcM5exDxcc

3-      There has been quite a bit of drama lately considering the firing of Daniel C. Peterson and his entire staff at FARMS. Apparently, the LDS Church feels that the type of apologetics done by FARMS and Peterson is counterproductive. Some people believe that his treatment of John Dehlin over at Mormon Stories may also have had something to do with it. Bryce Hammond, an LDS Temple Endowment apologist and mindless disciple of Hugh Nibley and Daniel C. Peterson, speaks about how Peterson and many of his apologist cronies have now created the “interpreter” and will continue to do apologetics  on their own. You can read about it here- http://www.templestudy.com/2012/08/03/farms-interpreter-journal-mormon-scripture/ . The new Interpreter website is here http://www.mormoninterpreter.com/.

4-      The Bible, Book of Mormon and 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants all taught that faith in Christ, repentance and the spiritual rebirth of baptism is all that is required to get into the strait gate that leads to salvation and eternal life. That all changed when the saints fled to Utah and the gospel of Brigham Young was introduced.  All of the sudden an additional ordinance was required to get into the strait gate. The ordinance had to do with the Masonic Temple Endowment and the related necessity of marrying multiple wives. Thankfully the church has temporarily stopped practicing polygamy but that pesky endowment has become the foundational ritual of the LDS cult. By virtue of believing that the “endowment” is necessary for salvation in the highest kingdom, the ordinance of baptism is perverted if not totally negated. I recently came across a brilliant LDS comedian who uses humor to get Mormons thinking (if that is possible) about the ridiculousness of many aspects of Mormonism. He is kind of a mixture of Red Skeleton, Jim Carrey and the three chick monks. Check him out doing his spoof on temple marriage here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXAx5SpCsOA

Here is his piece on City Creek Mall http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KaaX3dPxTyw

Polygamy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uihf_wGT3kA&feature=channel&list=UL


William Law- Looking at William Law through the eyes of the Lord- Part 2

August 17, 2012

 “Oh How Great is the Nothingness of Man”

I realize that many people will never allow themselves to believe that William Law was a good, noble and inspired counselor to Joseph Smith who was simply trying to get him and the church to repent and return to the foundational principles and ordinances.

One of the reasons why people reject William Law is because after he was rejected by the apostate church and had to flee from Nauvoo for his own safety, the Lord began to cover his eyes as prophesied in Isaiah and as required by the atonement statute. Hence, he began to doubt and eventually he rejected the validity of the original restoration. Naturally, he lost even more credibility with all branches of the restoration movement when he did that.

God made fools out of all of the Leaders and members of the Restored Church

 By understanding the atonement statute, the scapegoat doctrine and the intercessory offering that the leaders of the LDS foundation movement offered in behalf of the apostate latter day saints we can realize that all of the early leaders of the church were playing roles in a prophetic scenario that required them to have their eyes covered.

One of the truly amazing things about the LDS restoration movement in the 2nd watch is that God categorically made a fool out of everyone involved to demonstrate that the work of men can be frustrated if they are not being led by God. (Section 3:3)

The work of man always fails once the Lord withdraws His spirit.

When the angel Moroni declared to Joseph Smith that his name would be had for good and evil he was saying that the name of Joseph Smith would justifiably be known for good and evil because after doing much good under the direction of the spirit, he would then loose his awareness, temporarily fall from grace and do much evil as God used him to deliver the latter day saints over to Satan for a little season.

“…by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God…”
(Deut 8:3, Matt 4:4, Mor 7:25, D&C 84:44, 98:11)

As we have shown in previous posts, scripture warns us time and again to discern every message regardless of who the messenger is.. We are to put our trust in the word of the Lord not in his mortal messenger.

Mortal messengers can lose the spirit and fail  us, God’s word does not fail us.

God never commands us to categorically put our trust in a human messenger after they have delivered an inspired message from God. We are to discern every message regardless of who delivers it.

Personal revelation is required to pass the test.

One of the great lessons of the failed attempt to establish Zion in the 2nd watch is that when the saints collectively rejected the fullness of the Gospel, God withdrew his spirit from every single leader and member of the church and they all temporarily fell from grace with the prophetic promise that the light would shine forth again after a little season. Thankfully, Joseph, William, Sidney and others are retained mercy despite falling from grace.

Every one of the early high profile leaders from Joseph Smith, to all of those who served as his counselors, to the three witnesses to the eight witnesses to the 23 High Priests called at the Morley Farm to the Twelve Apostles and on and on, all of them humiliated themselves after God withdrew his spirit from them.

We can go down the list and find no exceptions.

“Those who live in glass houses…”

 Most latter day saints will be shocked to find out that they have inherited lies.

The Lord rejected the restored church with their dead back in Nauvoo after becoming a condemned church in Kirtland.

The apostate church has been delivered over to Satan. They have been seduced into a satanic covenant containing the same blood oath and other ear marks of the covenant that Satan and Cain entered into.

We latter day Saints have been shaking hands with the devil for the better part of 200 years. Isaiah spoke of this in shock and amazement. The Latter day saints are taking comfort in a false covenant thinking that it will protect them when the overflowing scourge passes through:

ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves…   your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it.

19  From the time that it goeth forth it shall take you: for morning by morning shall it pass over, by day and by night: and it shall be a vexation only to understand the report

Obviously, the latter day church has a role to play. The Book of Mormon is true and taking it to the world is a good thing that is helping to prepare the world for the Marvelous Work.

Testifying of the “name of Christ” is another good thing.

Testifying “of Christ” and claiming to know that he lives when a person has never seen him is not a good thing.

We live during the little season of spiritual darkness, deception and delusion when God has turned his face from the latter day saints. The greater endowment of having the heavens parted, seeing the Father and the Son, being endowed with power and and receiving one’s calling and election is not available during this designated time when the fulness of the gospel is not available to the saints.

The Marvelous Work that is about to come forth is when the light of the fulness of the gospel will re-emerge to light up this earth.

Those who claim to be parting the heavens and getting their calling and election at this time when the fulness of the gospel has been rejected and is being withheld are ether deceivers or they have been deceived.

If it was actually possible for people to get their calling and elections made sure at this time, most of the prophecies about the light shining forth and about the servants returning and about God’s deliverance would be false and unnecessary.

Originally, in the early years of the restoration it was clearly understood that the testimony of Jesus, was an essential part of the calling of an apostle. This is why the 12 apostles who were called in 1835 were told that their callings as apostles would not be complete until they saw God.

When John the Revelator said the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy, he was probably explaining that it takes the spiritual gift of prophecy to see God and Christ since they live in eternity which is comprised of what we perceive to be the past present and future at the same time.

The true definition of “testimony” is given in section 76:22-23

“…this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives! For we saw him…”

As you can see, a person needs to actually see Christ and the Father in order to have a testimony that they live.

It is blasphemous for people who “believe” that God lives to testify that they have the “testimony” of Christ. Clearly, they don’t.

Joseph Smith told the early brethren who were anticipating the solemn assembly in the Kirtland Temple that those who were pure would see Christ. This is what the real “endowment” was, to have the heavens opened, receive power and see God.

“I feel disposed to speak a few words more to you, my brethren, concerning the endowment: All who are prepared, and are sufficiently pure to abide the presence of the Savior, will see him in the solemn assembly.” (DHC VII P. 308-310)

After years of having the awkward situation of members of the church asking modern general authorities if they have seen Christ, Joseph Fielding Smith took it upon him self to change the doctrine of testimony so that apostles were no longer required to have a direct visitation from Christ in order to say they had the apostolic testimony.

Every member of the Council of the Twelve Apostles should have, and I feel sure have had, the knowledge of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This does not have to come by direct visitation of the Savior, but it does come from the testimony of the Holy Ghost.The testimony of the Holy Ghost is the strongest testimony that can be given. It is better than a person visit” (emphasis is in the original – Doctrines of Salvation, 3:153)

It will one day be apparent who the true apostles and prophets are that have the true testimony of Jesus.

The Latter day Saints who do not repent when the servants return and warn them will not stand when the overflowing scourge passes through.

 William Law and William Marks were considered “worse than dead”

 Here is an entry from the 1840-1845 Journal of Heber C. Kimball:

 “About 4 years ago next May [i.e., May 1842] nine persons were admitted into the Holy order 5 are now living–B. Young–W. Richards George Miller N. K. Whitney & H. C. Kimball two are dead [James Adams and Hyrum Smith], and two are worse than dead [the apostatized William Law and William Marks].” HC 5″

As you can see, some of the junior leaders of the church who were called to be apostles (but had not yet recieved the testimony of Jesus and should not have been allowed to preside over the church in established stakes of Zion), like Heber C. Kimball, Brigham Young, John Taylor and Williard Richards began labeling people like William Marks and William Law as “worse than dead” because they rejected the secret oaths that Joseph began to administer.

They were considered “evil” for questioning Joseph Smith and trying to reform the church back to the simple pattern provided in the New Testament.

These men began to realize that the bizarre rituals Joseph was initiating people into were contrary to the simple gospel of Jesus Christ that had previously been revealed. The true endowment of visitation and power was being replace with a Masonic ritual containing blood oaths and secret handshakes and swearing by the neck.

William Law in particular became quite outspoken prior to the martyrdom about these strange practices and also began declaring polygamous relations as adulterous. He was sticking with the original celestial law of monogamy clearly outlined in the law of the Gospel contained in section 42. (see also section 49)

Sidney Rigdon and William Marks agreed with William Law about the false doctrines and abominations taking place in the church but they did not become as publicly vocal about these issues as William Law until after the martyrdom.

In defense of Sidney Rigdom’s decision to remain relatively silent regarding Joseph’s secret spiritual wife practice and his false teachings regarding the nature of God, he had been given an unconditional commandment to “not forsake” Joseph in section 35 and he appears to have taken that commandment very seriously even though he knew that Joseph was engaging in questionable behavior. Shortly after the martyrdom several people spoke of Sidney’s prounouncement that the Church had not been led by the spirit for a long time. Here is one of the accounts:

““he[Sidney] had known for some years that Joseph had not been led by the spirit of God [and gave this] as the reason why he did not attend with him as his counselor” See journal of Joseph Fielding

Isaiah prophesied that the Saints would cast away the “Law”
(Pun intended?)

 Isaiah saw all of these amazing things happening. He could see that everything would become distorted and turned upside down shortly after the restoration of the church because the saints would reject the law of the gospel in section 42 and would try to add additional temple rituals and counterfeit endowments on top of the true and complete saving ordinances outlined in section 20.

By setting aside the celestrial law of monogamy laid out in section 42 in preference to the spiritual wife doctrine now canonized as section 132, the saints were casting away the law of the Lord:

because they have cast away the law of the LORD of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.”
(Isa 5:24)

The good news in the ominous prophetic view that Isaiah provides in chapter 5 is that although the Lords “anger is not turned away”, “his hand is stretched out still”. (Isa 5:25)

Isaiah informs us that eventually the Lord will “lift up an ensign” and his word will “hiss unto them from the end of the earth” and  “they shall come with speed swiftly”.  (Isa 5:26-27)

The latter day saints have been temporarily forsaken

The Lord informed Moses that the latter day saints would break the covenant and go a whoring after other Gods. He foresaw that God would temporarily forsake the saints and hide his face from them

16  ¶ And the LORD said unto Moses, Behold, thou shalt sleep with thy fathers; and this people will rise up, and go a whoring after the gods of the strangers of the land, whither they go to be among them, and will forsake me, and break my covenant which I have made with them.

17  Then my anger shall be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide my face from them, and they shall be devoured, and many evils and troubles shall befall them; so that they will say in that day, Are not these evils come upon us, because our God is not among us?

18  And I will surely hide my face in that day for all the evils which they shall have wrought, in that they are turned unto other gods. Deut 31:16-17

Isaiah also prophesied of the same event that was revealed to Moses pertaining to the God of Israel forsaking his people for a time.

5  For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.

6  For the LORD hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God.

7  For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee.

8  In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer.

It is important to realize that the Marvelous Work is yet a work to come forth and it is important to begin realizing the truth about what really happened. The Lord compassionately delivered his people over to Satan.

We need to know the truth about the early leaders of the church because they will play integral roles in the Marvelous Work during the 3rd watch.

If we take the unconditional promises seriously which are contained in the revealed word of God, we will realize and anticipate that great and noble men like Joseph Smith Jr., William Marks, William Law, Frederick G. Williams, Sidney Rigdon and others who have all suffered from character assassination will return to fulfill their callings when the Marvelous Work begins.

This post is a tribute to William Law, one of the truly great men of the kingdom. I realize that virtually everyone on just about every side of Mormonism hates William Law but I am simply taking God at his word that William will repent and return and be filled with the spirit of God.

Viewing the Character and Prophetic Role of William Law through God’s Word

Here is what God has to say about William Law in the last major prophetic revelation that was given to the saints in Nauvoo:

Let my servant William Law pay stock into that house, for himself and his seed after him, from generation to generation.” (124:82)

It was a great honor to be able to pay stock in the Nauvoo House. Not everyone was allowed to. William Law was a scriptural literalist that was counted worthy by the Lord to help fund the Nauvoo House because he believed the word of God as contained in the standard works as they stood in 1841..

One of the qualifications for being able to pay stock was to be grounded in the faith and in the scriptures. Anyone who taught or professed any doctrines, commandments or saving ordinances that constituted more or less than what was currently canonized in the Book of Mormon and that Doctrine and Covenants at the time section 124 was given, was considered impure and not worthy of pay for stock in the Nauvoo House:

. 119  And again, verily I say unto you, let no man pay stock to the quorum of the Nauvoo House unless he shall be a believer in the Book of Mormon, and the revelations I have given unto you, saith the Lord your God;

120  For that which is more or less than this cometh of evil, and shall be attended with cursings and not blessings, saith the Lord your God.  Even so.  Amen.

In addition to the great honor of being able to pay for stock in the Nauvoo House, William Law was to be given the same keys as Hyrum, by which he might obtain blessings of knowledge.

97  Let my servant William Law also receive the keys by which he may ask and receive blessings; let him be humble before me, and be without guile, and he shall receive of my Spirit, even the Comforter, which shall manifest unto him the truth of all things, and shall give him, in the very hour, what he shall say.

From the above prophecy it is clear that William was foreordained to have the “truth of all things” manifest to him by the comforter. William was to be given utterance in the “very hour” of what he was to say.

As we shall see as this story about William Law continues to unfold that he was foreordained to expose the secret practices and false doctrines that were being introduced into the church in Nauvoo. He was the one that invited the Saints to REFORM. ( as prophesied in the Book of Commandments)

This next passage from section 124 provides a great key verifying that William Law was to return in the 3rd watch with the fullness of the Melchizedek priesthood notice.

98  And these signs shall follow him—he shall heal the sick, he shall cast out devils, and shall be delivered from those who would administer unto him deadly poison;

99  And he shall be led in paths where the poisonous serpent cannot lay hold upon his heel, and he shall mount up in the imagination of his thoughts as upon eagles’ wings.

100  And what if I will that he should raise the dead, let him not withhold his voice.

101  Therefore, let my servant William cry aloud and spare not, with joy and rejoicing, and with hosannas to him that sitteth upon the throne forever and ever, saith the Lord your God.

102  Behold, I say unto you, I have a mission in store for my servant William, and my servant Hyrum, and for them alone; and let my servant Joseph tarry at home, for he is needed.  The remainder I will show unto you hereafter.  Even so.  Amen.

If you do a keyword search on “heal sick” and “cast out devils” and miracles and “poison” you will be taken to a handful of prophetic passages that describe how the Lords servants will return to gather the elect with full power in their priesthood.

William Law is going to return at the time of controversy and he will be doing miracles.

He will heal the sick, cast out devils and remain unharmed with people attempt to poison him.

Amen.

He will even raise the dead!

Amen.

Many latter day saints will probably say he is an imposter or possessed and filled with a demon and they will close their eyes and their ears at what is happening as people like him and Sidney, and William and Lyman and Joseph and many others return.

Another passage in section 124 commands the saints to hearken to the counsel of William along with Joseph and Hyrum;

And hearken unto the counsel of my servants Joseph, and Hyrum, and William Law, and unto the authorities which I have called to lay the foundation of Zion; and it shall be well with him forever and ever.  Even so.  Amen” (124:118)

Section 124 also calls William Law along with Sidney Rigdon to be counselors to Joseph Smith.

126  I give unto him for counselors my servant Sidney Rigdon and my servant William Law, that these may constitute a quorum and First Presidency, to receive the oracles for the whole church.

127  I give unto you my servant Brigham Young to be a president over the Twelve traveling council;

It is important to remember that Joseph Smith did not call William Law and Sidney Rigdon to be his counselors…

God did.

And God never called Brigham to preside over the church or to preside in Zion.

Brigham was called to be one of the 12 apostles which is a life long calling as a traveling missionary council.

William Law’s appointment, by revelation, as a councilor in the First Presidency is something that William Law pointed out in the expositor.

We are going to take a close look at William and view him through the eyes of God in the next installment

Keep watching


William Law- One of the Truly Great Men of the Kingdom- Part One

August 5, 2012

With the possible exception of John C. Bennett and perhaps Sidney Rigdon, William Law is arguably the most hated and despised early  high profile leader of LDS restoration movement as far as Mormons are concerned.

(Don’t confuse William Law with William Marks. Law was a counselor in the First Presidency, Marks was the Stake President of the Nauvoo Stake of Zion. Both of these men encouraged Joseph Smith to repent and stop the practice of polygamy before he died)

Many believe that William Law’s public “outing” of the prophet Joseph Smith as a polygamist is the single biggest factor leading up to the martyrdom of the prophet Joseph Smith. Some actually believe that he personally participated in the planning, if not the execution of the martyrdom itself.

In today’s terms William Law would be called a “whistle-blower”.

Remarkably most LDS people who are somewhat knowledgeable about church history hate him for telling the truth about Joseph’s involvement in polygamy, not for lying about it.

Most Mormons that are somewhat familiar with church history will acknowledge that Joseph really was secretly living polygamy and that William Law was simply exposing that truth about the secret practice.

I must confess that until I read an outstanding biographical essay about William Law several years ago done by Lindon Cook, I had pretty much despised him as well.

Effective Character Assassination

Despite many years of digging through early LDS history and even after unearthing the information on the atonement statute and the scapegoat doctrine, I still thought poorly of William Law because of all of the negative things that everyone says about him.

The bias created in my mind by the character assassination that was done so skillfully by Brigham Young and others was just too deeply embedded. Finally, I eventually broke down and actually read the notorious Expositor.

I was blown away by the content of that supposedly evil and shortlived newspaper. To my surprise I could find precious little in it that I didn’t agree with after nearly three decades of studying the crisis that took place in Nauvoo. In fact, there were times when I thought I was reading some of my own posts.

Major Issues Addressed in the Expositor

Later in this series I am going to dissect and quote from the Expositor content in great detail but for now, here are a few of the major things that jumped out at me that William Law and his associates were saying-

  • The Book of Mormon is True
  • The restoration of the gospel back in the early Kirtland era was true
  • The original doctrines taught in the early Kirtland ear were true
  • The revelations contained in the Book of Commandments were true
  • The restored Church had strayed from the straight and narrow path
  • The Church was associating with and participating in secret societies
  • Joseph had been a true prophet but was now a fallen prophet
  • Joseph was publically preaching against polygamy but was secretly practicing it
  • Joseph had falsely taught that God the father is a changeable God who had progressed from a mortal state to that of Godhood. He taught that there were many Gods above God the Father.

Those are some of the major points contained in the expositor.

William Law and the members of the reformed Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints had not lost their testimonies of the Book of Mormon or the restoration of the New Testament church.

They were simply acknowledging that the restored church had gone out of the way as prophesied in the Book of Mormon and further documented in the D&C (see 2nd Ne 28:11 & D&C 82:6)

With regard to Joseph being a fallen prophet, teaching the false spiritual wife doctrine and introducing a blasphemous doctrine concerning there being many Gods previous to the only true God of the Bible, I had already come to all of those conclusions on my own.

If I had simply read the expositor several decades ago and believed it, I could have saved myself all of the effort I went to during decades of study.

Obviously, I have no regrets.

I prefer to have discovered all of this information on my own from countless sources and to have collected all of the documentation, but it was nice to have the confirmation that William Law provides.

It is also nice to understand the prophetic calling that William Law had then and will have in the future.

I hereby repent and ask forgiveness for any false and disparaging comments I have ever made about William Law. William, if you are listening now or if you read this when you get back, I am sorry I judged you harshly without first learning the facts. I have been a victim of the false traditions of my fathers and of the lie’s and rumors that people have made about you, but that is no excuse. I judged you unrighteously and I am sorry. Please forgive me.

After spending the better part of three decades searching the history and doctrines of the church including thousands of key word searches pertaining to doctrine and history I have come to all of those exact same conclusions that are stated in the Expositor.

Was William Law perfect?

No.

But he was inspired of God to do what he did and after years of study and searching I agree with every single one of the above suppositions in the bullet points.

The publishing of the Expositor was a very important prophetic event.

The Original Doctrines of the Restoration

One of the most important things William and his associates were trying to accomplish was to get people to return back to the original true doctrines of the restoration. Here is their declaration:

Resolved 13th, That we call upon the honest in heart, in the Church, and throughout the world, to vindicate the pure doctrines of Jesus Christ, whether set forth in the Bible, Book of Mormon, of Book of Covenants; and we hereby withdraw the hand of fellowship, from all those who practice or teach doctrines contrary to the above, until they cease so to do, and show works meet for repentance.”

All of the abominations that were taking place in Nauvoo and all of the erroneous teachings would have dried up and blown away if the church membership would have simply returned to the true doctrines contained in the standard works at that time.

I am currently documenting the true, original doctrines that were taught during the early years in Kirtland and showing the false doctrines that have crept into the church during the 170+ years that followed. Those who are interested in reviewing them may click here

The True Nature of God

Regarding the false doctrine introduced in the King Follett Sermon, here is what William Law had to say about it:

and inasmuch as they have introduced false and damnable doctrines into the church, such as a plurality of Gods above the God of this universe, and his liability to fall with all his creations..”

As you can see, William Law was exposing the fact that Joseph’s King Follett discourse taught the false doctrine that God the Father is not the only true God and first creator. Additionally, Law was reiterating and alluding to the truth taught in Lectures on faith that it is impossible to have faith in a changeable God who could fall just as fast as he ascended to Godhood.

I have provided scriptural documentation beyond dispute concluding that William Law’s condemnation of the King Follett multiple God doctrine was spot-on. It is the 1st of 20 doctrines that I am currently spotlighting and you can read about it here if you have not already read it.

Joseph Smith Temporarily Fell from Grace

Law and his associates were claiming that Joseph Smith had originally been a true prophet that eventually became a fallen prophet.

That is a pretty tough pill to swallow for many of us.

Nevertheless, I think there is a real misunderstanding about the concept of falling from grace.

Many people probably assume that someone who has fallen from grace cannot be saved and will be thrust into hell.

That is simply not true.

Someone can temporarily fall from grace and then be restored and redeemed.

Section 20 warns that “there is a possibility that man may fall from grace and depart from the living God”. That is certainly true, but that does not mean that one cannot return to the living God.

Here is an interesting observation from Paul

Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.” (Gal 5:1-6)

Translation: Those that believed in Christ and the atonement but then returned to relying on salvation through works are no longer under the law of Grace, rather they fall under the old covenant and the law of mercy and justice.

Paul was pointing out that the gospel of Christ was the gospel of grace through faith which works by love. Those that had initially accepted the gospel of Jesus Christ and the atonement but then began putting their faith in outer works like circumcision and the Old Covenant had fallen from the law of “grace” and returned to the lesser law which is upheld by “mercy”.

Paul was not telling them there was no longer any hope for them. To the contrary he was helping them see that by redirecting their thoughts to faith in the atonement instead of works they could enter back into the gospel of grace!

Joseph and others made an intercessory offering
and temporarily fell from grace
but they retained MERCY

We latter day saints should not be too hard on Joseph Smith for falling from grace. He and his fellow servants had to provide an offering which was the literal fulfillment of the atonement statute described in Lev 16. I have attempted to explain the latter day fulfillment of the atonement statute here.

Paul knew about the atonement statute prophecy that would be fulfilled in the latter days but was constrained by the Lord and could not reveal what was going to happen with regard to the paved work and the mercyseat.

speaking particularly about the Mercy Seat and the “paved work” in the Kirtland Temple

In Galations 9 Paul began speaking about the atonement statute and made reference to the “cherubims of glory shadowing the mercyseat; of which we cannot now speak particularly.”

Why couldn’t Paul speak “particularly” about the cherubims and the mercyseat?

Because God did not want him to let the cat out of the bag about the prophetic event that was going to take place in the Kirtland Temple among the apostate gentile church in the latter days. This event even had to be kept a secret from the Latter day saints  when it happened!

When Christ appeared to Joseph and Oliver, he was standing above or on the “paved work

And under his feet was a paved work of pure gold, in color like amber.”

This appears to be the same “paved work” that was under the feet of the God of Israel when he appeared to Moses, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel (Exod 24:10)

And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the LORD hath said will we do, and be obedient.

And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which the LORD hath made with you concerning all these words.

Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel:

And they saw the God of Israel: and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness. And upon the nobles of the children of Israel he laid not his hand: also they saw God, and did eat and drink.

And the LORD said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them.”

Once the restored church had rejected the fullness of the gospel as prophesied in 3rd Nephi, (Just as ancient Israel rejected the higher law at the time of Moses), the Lord revealed to Joseph Smith that “something new must be done for the salvation of the church”.

This secret event necessitated the completion of the Kirtland Temple so that the atonement statute could be initiated.

During the secret event that is now publicly documented in section 110 of the D&C, God appeared over the “paved work” in the presence of angels and spoke to Joseph and Oliver, initiating the fulfillment of the atonement statute and restoring the ancient covenant of mercy since the covenant of grace had been rejected.

God’s prophetic promise to Israel was that: “ I will appear in the cloud upon the mercy seat.” (Lev 16)

Isaiah spoke about this amazing latter day event in which the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham would be restored which you can read about here.

Once you realize what happened on the eighth day following the dedication of the Kirtland Temple involving the restoration of the gospel of Abraham and the visitations and declarations that took place over the “paved work”, you will realize why the latter day Saints were protected by the mercy of God from being destroyed from off the face of the earth for rejecting the fulness of the gospel.

For four generations the latter day saints are to function under the gospel of Abraham and the law of mercy until the blindness is lifted off of Israel and the fulness of the gospel of grace is restored.

That’s right, the entire church in the latter days has temporarily fallen from grace.

We are all functioning under the Old Testament law of mercy.

That is why we don’t prophesy and speak in tongues and have true, immediate and complete healings, etc.

The true gifts of the spirit are gone.

Mercy vs. Grace

Mercy and Grace are two completely different things.

Mercy has to do with protecting the undeserving from the wrath of God while grace has to do with imbuing the undeserving with justification and with the spiritual gifts of God.

When the servants return and the fullness of the gospel is restored to the earth, the grace of God will be offered once again.

Secret Societies in Nauvoo

It is clearly undisputed that Joseph Smith and many of his followers were up to their eyeballs in masonry during the Nauvoo years.

William Law and his associates declared “That we consider all secret societies, and combinations under penal oaths and obligations, (professing to be organized for religious purposes,) to be anti-Christian, hypocritical and corrupt.

Law was clearly challenging the propriety of the saints getting involved in masonry and any modified use of the dark practices of penal oaths and obligations in the use of religious covenants, such as the Danites and the Masonic temple endowment.

As you can see, it was not Brigham Young that began the dark temple endowment with penal oaths, signs, tokens and the forbidden practice of swearing by the neck. Initially, penal oaths were introduced by Joseph.

The Inspired Version of the Bible reveals that these dark practices within secret combinations that incorporate penal oaths originated between Satan and Cain (see Moses 5)

The Book of Mormon had warned that America and the restored church would be infiltrated by a secret combination. The gentile church is admonished to repent of this wicked Masonic temple endowment and all other secret societies:

And whatsoever nation shall uphold such secret combinations, to get power and gain, until they shall spread over the nation, behold, they shall be destroyed; for the Lord will not suffer that the blood of his saints, which shall be shed by them, shall always cry unto him from the ground for vengeance upon them and yet he avenge them not.

Wherefore, O ye Gentiles, it is wisdom in God that these things should be shown unto you, that thereby ye may repent of your sins, and suffer not that these murderous combinations shall get above you, which are built up to get power and gain—and the work, yea, even the work of destruction come upon you, yea, even the sword of the justice of the Eternal God shall fall upon you, to your overthrow and destruction if ye shall suffer these things to be.

 Wherefore, the Lord commandeth you, when ye shall see these things come among you that ye shall awake to a sense of your awful situation, because of this secret combination which shall be among you; or wo be unto it, because of the blood of them who have been slain; for they cry from the dust for vengeance upon it, and also upon those who built it up.

For it cometh to pass that whoso buildeth it up seeketh to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations, and countries; and it bringeth to pass the destruction of all people, for it is built up by the devil, who is the father of all lies; even that same liar who beguiled our first parents, yea, even that same liar who hath caused man to commit murder from the beginning; who hath hardened the hearts of men that they have murdered the prophets, and stoned them, and cast them out from the beginning.”

Clearly, the dark endowment containing Satan’s penal oaths and other nonsense infiltrated the church in Nauvoo. William Law was desperately attempting to call the people to repentance.

That dark endowment, despite changes by the brethren to try to temper some of the satanic things in it, continues in all of its dastardly glory to this day.

The Saints love it! (“..the [false] covenant whom ye delight in…” see mal 3 )

William Law was simply trying to get the saints to awake to a sense of their awful situation.

I suspect he will try to do it once again when he returns.

A great work is about to take place in America.

It may involve a president elect and a proclamation that will go to all of the leaders of nations who have been involved in a great secret combination.

Once again the saints and the world will be called upon to awake to a sense of their awful situation.

Have you partaken of the evil gift?

Will you repent and reform?

Spiritual Wife Doctrine-Polygamy

Interestingly, some well meaning apologists are trying to persuade people that Joseph did not really teach and practice spiritual wifery or polygamy. In the process they have assassinated the character and testimonies of countless eye witnesses in an effort to maintain the sanctity of their beloved prophet. They have thrown numerous testators under the bus and accused them of being liars and perjurers.

Later in this series I will provide some of this overwhelming documentation to show that these apologists  are absolutely wrong and their claims are unsustainable.

In addition to the overwhelming amount of evidence already provided in history and prophecy, a new book has come out with devastating documentation that the church has tried to obscure for years.

Nevertheless, the claim the Joseph fell does not rest on the single claim that he introduced or condoned the practice of polygamy.

Indeed, the practice of polygamy may not be the greatest sin that Joseph committed in Nauvoo.

Even though it is the most controversial in people’s minds and outwardly appears to have created the most moral devastation in people’s lives, his teachings about the eternally changing nature and progression of the Gods is perhaps much more damaging from an eternal perspective according to Lectures on Faith.

Those who truly reject God’s declarations that he is the only true God who is unchangeable from everlasting to everlasting, will ultimately have their faith replace with doubt.

“An acquaintance with these attributes in the divine character is essentially necessary, in order that the faith of any rational being can center in him for life and salvation. …But it is equally as necessary that men should have the idea that he is a God who changes not, in order to have faith in him, as it is to have the idea that he is gracious and long suffering. For without the idea of unchangeableness in the character if the Deity, doubt would take the place of faith.”

Please don’t think I am judge Joseph to be an evil person. I am not. I am declaring him to be one of the intercessory servants prophesied in scripture who willingly agreed to offer himself when the saints rejected the fullness. He is one of the greatest prophets that ever lived!

In this series on William Law I am going to explain why I consider President Law to be one of the greatest and most inspired men of the LDS restoration movement and I will address the following issues and topics:

  • A brief history of President Law’s life and conversion
  • The unconditional promises and prophesies that God made about him in section 124
  • The prophetic role he played in offering the apostate church a “reformation”
  • The prophetic role he played in allowing the Seer of the Lord to be chastened by the “rod of men”
  • An itemized listing of some of the things he exposed in the Expositor

Hopefully I will get this series about William Law completed before he returns.


A Tribute to the Great Counselors of the LDS Restoration

July 22, 2012

From time to time I highlight the life and pay a tribute to of one of the great men of the restoration movement.  Today I want to address the calling of “counselor” and also talk about the three great counselors of the restoration. Hopefully you are sitting down, because you will probably be appalled that I think so highly of one of the men I am about to spotlight.

The men shown above are three of the greatest and wisest men of the LDS restoration movement. They also had a few things in common

  1. Each of them sacrificed greatly for the kingdom, including their own reputations
  2. Each of them was called by direct revelation to be a counselor to Joseph Smith
  3. Joseph attempted to terminate each of their callings as his counselors (and was successful in two of the three situations)

Joseph Smiths desire to free himself from the counsel of all three of these men who were called by God to assist him provides an interesting pattern. (These are not the only men who served as counselors to Joseph Smith, simply the three I want to spotlight in this post)

The Prophet Joseph Smith was ordained as president of the high priesthood on 25 January 1832 (see History of the Church, 1:267), his counselors were not called until 8 March 1832 (see “Kirtland Revelation Book,” p. 10). This revelation was directed to one of those counselors, Jesse Gause, but it was applied to Frederick G. Williams when he was called to the Presidency to replace Gause on 8 March 1833 (see D&C 90 ; History of the Church, 1:329–30). March 18, 1833, is the date when the organizing and ordaining of the first First Presidency in this dispensation was completed (see History of the Church, 1:334).

Frederick will play a Major Role in the Marvelous Work

Section 90 informs us just how significant of a role Frederick will play in the Marvelous Work and a Wonder when he returns with Joseph and Sidney in the third watch.

And again, verily I say unto thy brethren, Sidney Rigdon and Frederick G. Williams, their sins are forgiven them also, and they are accounted as equal with thee in holding the keys of this last kingdom;

As also through your administration the keys of the school of the prophets, which I have commanded to be organized;

That thereby they may be perfected in their ministry for the salvation of Zion, and of the nations of Israel, and of the Gentiles, as many as will believe;

That through your [Joseph] administration they may receive the word, and through their [Sidney and Frederick] administration the word may go forth unto the ends of the earth, unto the Gentiles first, and then, behold, and lo, they shall turn unto the Jews.

And then cometh the day when the arm of the Lord shall be revealed in power in convincing the nations, the heathens nations, the house of Joseph, of the gospel of their salvation.

For it shall come to pass in that day, that every man shall hear the fulness of the gospel in his own tongue, and in his own language, through those who are ordained unto this power, by the administration of the Comforter, shed forth upon them for the revelation of Jesus Christ.

And now, verily I say unto you, I give unto you a commandment that you continue in the ministry and presidency.”

As you can see, when the Marvelous Work begins, it will continue seamlessly from the foundation that was already laid back in the 1820’s and 1830’s. Joseph’s ministry will be to receive the word of God while Sidney and Frederick will be responsible for the administration of taking the word that is received through Joseph to the ends of the earth.

Frederick donates his land for the Work in Kirtland

Fredrick was one of a few relatively well to do believers who provided his own land for the gathering of the saints in the Kirtland area who wanted to live the restored biblical principle of having all things in common (consecration).

On September 11, 1831 the Lord said:

I will not that my servant Frederick G. Williams should sell his farm, for I, the Lord, will to retain a strong hold in the land of Kirtland, for the space of five years, in the which I will not overthrow the wicked, that thereby I may save some.”

That farm was eventually used for the printing house, House of the Lord, and for homes for Joseph, Hyrum, Sidney, and others.

The Lord calls Frederick to be a counselor to Joseph
and provide land for receiving revelations

On January 6, 1833, in an unpublished revelation that Lord said:

Behold I Say unto you my Servant Frederick listen to the word of Jesus Christ your Lord and your Redeemer thou hast desired of me to know which would be the most worth unto you, behold blessed art tho[u] for this thing. Now I say unto you my Servant Joseph is called to do a great work and hath need that he may do the work of translation for the Salvation of Souls. Verily verily I say unto you thou art called to be a Councillor & Scribe unto my Servant Joseph. Let thy farm be consecrated for bringing forth of the revelations and thou shalt be blessed and lifted up at the Last day even so Amen.”

On March 18, 1833 Joseph ordained Sidney and Frederick “to be equal with him in holding the keys of the Kingdom and also the Presidency of the High Priesthood.

Joseph prophesies that Frederick will have an inheritance in Zion

The November 19, 1833 Joseph diary entry by Joseph Smithstated:

Brother Frederick is a man who <is one of those men> in whom I place the greatest confidence and trust for I have found him ever full of love and Brotherly kindness he is not a man of many words but is ever wining because of his constant mind he shall ever have place in my heart and is ever intitled to my confiden<ce> [*] He is perfectly honest and upright, and seeks with all his heart to magnify his presidency in the church of ch[r]ist, but fails in many instances, in consequence of a lack <want> of confidence in himself: God grant that he may overcome all evil: Blessed be brother Frederick, for he shall never want a friend; and his generation after him shall flourish. The Lord hath appointed him an inheritance upon the land of Zion. Yea, and his head shall blossom. <And he shall be> as an olive branch that is bowed down with fruit: even so; Amen.”

Frederick sees the temple in vision with Joseph and Sidney

“The plans for the Kirtland Temple were shown to the First Presidency of the Church—Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon, and Frederick G. Williams—in a vision. Frederick G. Williams reported that the Lord told Joseph to gather with his counselors, and the Lord would show them how to build the temple (see D&C 95:14).

The three men knelt to pray, and they saw a vision of the temple. First they saw the outside, and then the building seemed to pass over them and they saw the inside. Frederick G. Williams said that when the Kirtland Temple was completed it looked exactly as it had in the vision. During the building of the temple someone tried to get Joseph Smith to change some of the design, but Joseph insisted that the temple be built just as it appeared in the vision.”

On March 27, 1836 at the dedication of the House of the Lord, sitting on the property that Frederick had given to the church, Frederick saw an angel enter through a window and sit down between himself and Joseph Sr. The angel remains through the prayer. According to George A. Smith, Frederick “bore testimony that the Savior, dressed in his vesture without seam, came into the stand and accepted of the dedication of the house, that he saw him, and gave a description of his clothing and all things pertaining to it.”

June 29, 1836 Joseph and Emma name their second Frederick Granger Williams Smith.

Frederick served in the First Presidency from 1833 to 1837.  He was a member of the committee appointed to publish the Doctrine and Covenants. He also bore witness along with Joseph Sidney and Oliver to the truthfulness of the doctrines contained in the Lectures on Faith which was canonized in the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants (It was the “doctrine” portion of the Doctrine and Covenants)

He was eventually excommunicated illegally, in absentia. Church law requires a court to allow the accused person to be present, face their accusers and defend themselves.

Here are some statements recorded in the history of the church pertaining to the matter of terminating Frederick as a counselor:

November 7, 1837 at a “general assembly” of the church in Far West, Lyman Wight, Thomas B. Marsh, and James Emmett object to Frederick as a counselor in the First Presidency. Edward Partridge and David Whitmer speak on his behalf. Marsh reiterates his objection and high counselor Thomas Grover also objects. Frederick is “rejected” and at Sidney Rigdon’s nomination, Hyrum Smith is elected unanimously.”

Here are some statements recorded in the history of the church pertaining to the matter of being excommunicated in absentia as well as eventually being reinstated:

March 17, 1839 excommunicated in absentia with George M. Hinkle, Sampson Avard, W. W. Phelps, Thomas B. Marsh (h), John Corrill, and others. It appears they were charged with leaving the church “in the time of our perils, persecutions and dangers, and were acting against the interests of the Church.” Minutes of March 17, 1839 Quincy After March 17, arrives in Quincy, Illinois, which becomes his home.   Received back April 8, 1840 (Nauvoo) requests forgiveness from the church. Hyrum presents his case to the conference. Vote to receive him back into fellowship.”

It is my opinion that Frederick  is one of the truly great men and counselors of the restoration movement and he is going to return with others to complete their assignments.

What is the Calling of a Counselor?

Having given a little tribute to Frederick, I want to provide some context for the men who served as counselors followed by a tribute to William Law who, in my opinion, was another one of the truly great and inspired counselors of the restoration movement. (My tribute to brother Sidney as already been given)

I want to talk about a calling in the church that has been grossly misunderstood and corrupted.

It is the calling of “counselor”.

The 1828 Websters informs us that the definition of counselor is as follows:

COUNSELOR, n.

1. Any person who gives advice; but properly one who is authorized by natural relationship, or by birth, office or profession, to advise another in regard to his future conduct and measures.

There are several people who were called by divine revelation to be a counselor to Joseph Smith regarding his responsibly to be a presiding elder and perhaps other callings.

In the modern church today, a counselor is someone who acts in a subordinate role.

Interestingly, that is not how it was during the early days of the restoration. It is not how it is supposed to be. Nor is it how it was intended to be.

Originally, the counselors to Joseph Smith were called to counsel him “in regard to his future conduct and measures” not to take assignments from him. Obviously, God would give assignments to these counselors via revelations, but in the personal relationship with Joseph Smith himself, these men were called to be his counselors largely because they were pious men who were usually older and wiser.

The following graphic showing three of the great men who were called to advise Joseph illustrates how God initially meant for the relationship to be with the counselors instructing and providing counsel to the one who presides on how to act in his calling.

This next graphic illustrates how the current modern church has changed the nature of this calling.

Again, most Latter day Saints have been indoctrinated to believe that the counselors to someone who presides are to act in a subordinate role to the President. It is currently believed in the modern corporate church that counselors are basically helpers to do what the President tells them to do.

That is not what the original and true role of a “Counselor” was when God first revealed the nature of the calling.

A counselor who was called by divine revelation in the restored church was a man who was typically more experienced, more knowledgeable and wiser that the “President” they provided counsel to.

In most cases the counselor was older, as in the cases of Jesse Gause who was 20 years older than Joseph, Frederick Williams who was 18 years older and Sidney Rigdon who was 12 years older.

One exception to the rule was William Law who as 4 years younger than Joseph, however, William was a very unusual person with vast experience and skills that he brought to the table.

This term “counselor” can be traced all the way back to King David who also had a Counselor by the name of Ahithophel.

The responsibility of the counselor in the restored church was to give Godly and doctrinally congruent counsel to the person who was called to preside.

A modern day analogy to this pattern would be that of the relationship between a CEO and President of a Corporation and that of the Board of Directors. Although the CEO/President is considered to be the head of the organization and makes the day to day decisions for the company, he still needs to answer to the members of the board and receive counsel and direction from them.

In a sense, God is the head of the board.

(Similarly, as a checks and balances feature of the Church of Christ, all members of the church might be compared to stockholders of the corporation which is why they must condone the major decisions of the president and must put their stamp of approval on the way he is carrying out the directives of God, via the law of common consent.)

Perhaps one of the most obvious scriptural proofs of the top-down relationship of the counselor to the person or people who preside, is found in section 112 when the Lord explained that the first Presidency of the Church was called to act as counselors to the quorum of the twelve.

Whosoever receiveth my word receiveth me, and whosoever receiveth me, receiveth those, the First Presidency, whom I have sent, whom I have made counselors for my name’s sake unto you [12 apostles].”  (112:20)

The fact that the First Presidency were commissioned by the Lord to be counselors to the 12 was not implying that Joseph and the other members of the First Presidency were called to be subservient to and to run around doing assignments given to them by the 12 apostles, hardly.

That passage was documenting that the First Presidency was to instruct and give counsel to the apostles and “advise [them].. in regard to [their].. future conduct and measures.

Modern revelation had established the fact that the 12 apostles were to act under the directions of the First Presidency-

“The Twelve are a Traveling Presiding High Council, to officiate in the name of the Lord, under the direction of the Presidency of the Church“, (107:23)

This is because the First Presidency was significantly wiser, more knowledgeable, more doctrinally astute, receiving greater revelation and enjoying the spiritual blessings of a higher office than the Twelve.

The First Presidency was to watch over and give guidance to the Twelve as their counselors.

A Counselor Gives Guidance to the President

The same was true when Sidney Rigdon was called to be a counselor to Joseph Smith. Sidney Rigdon was arguably the most able Bible scholar in the United States when he joined the Church. He was older and had much more experience in life and in running a ministry and a church organization than Joseph.

His calling, according to section 35, was to:

  • to write for [Joseph]” while doing the work of translation (since Joseph was not good at writing)
  • “..watch over him that his faith fail not..” since Joseph desperately needed someone to keep him on track and help him keep the faith. (modern revelation would ultimately offer no less than 5 revelations warning and prophesying about Joseph failing to abide in the Lord)
  • forsake him not”. Even though the time would come when others might need or choose to forsake Joseph, Sidney was given an unconditional commandment to never forsake him.  (this provides a possible explanation as to why Sidney stood by quietly when Joseph began preaching false doctrines but then became very vocally critical of Joseph after the martyrdom)

As you can see, Sidney’s role as a counselor was not that of a subordinate yes man. It was that of a wise, experienced sage, one who God had prepared and ordained to give Godly instruction and counsel to Joseph.

Sidney was to compensate for many of Joseph’s weaknesses and keep him on track.

In later revelations it was revealed that Sidney jointly held the keys of expounding the mysteries out of the scriptures and of holding the keys of the kingdom.

It was also revealed that another one of Sidney’s responsibilities was to use the Bible to prove the accuracy and consistency of the new revelations that Joseph was receiving.

All of this is helpful in understanding the true role of a counselor.

Corrupting the Calling of Counselor

It is not completely clear how and why the calling of counselor become corrupted. One reason appears to be that during the Nauvoo years, Joseph felt shackled by the counsel he was getting from time to time from his counselors.

Another issue is that when Joseph began teaching doctrines that conflicted with the original teaching of the Kirtland era, his counselor, William Law began to counsel Joseph to repent and eventually felt compelled to expose what Joseph was teaching and doing.

This resulted in Joseph excommunicating William Law in absentia without giving him the opportunity to face his accusers and defend himself.

After the martyrdom, the church rejected Joseph’s second counselor, Sidney Rigdon.

For this reason, the official history of the church was altered to minimize and marginalize the important role that both of these wise counselors were to play in the hierarchy of the church.

Lastly, Brigham Young, like Joseph, preferred to pretty much be in charge and to simply delegate responsibilities to counselors. People with dominant personalities hate accountability and they hate having to listen to advice that is contrary to what the dominate personality wants to do.

In part two of this series I will document some of the major things in the life of William Law and I will explain why I consider him to be one of the great, inspired counselors and among the greatest men in the LDS restoration movements.


COMMANDMENTS-DOCTRINE-COVENANTS Part Two

July 2, 2012


Differentiating between the Divine Purpose of the
BOOK of COMMANDMENTS
and the
DOCTRINE & COVENANTS

 

Part Two  (See part one here)

In part one of this series we talked about how the Book of Commandments was given to the restored Church of Christ (including those called to the Melchizedek Priesthood who were referred to as the Church of God) who were endeavoring to establish Zion,

After the restored church broke the gospel covenant and failed to live the law of consecration, the name of Christ was taken out of the name of the Church and the Doctrine and Covenants was published for the downgraded Saints. It was assumed by the Saints when they fled from Kirtland to Far West and began making preparations to live consecration again, that Section 115 was putting the name of Christ back into the name of the Church, expanding the name as  the Church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints.

Section 115 defines the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints” as referring to those members of Gods church who are scattered abroad and not yet gathered and consecrated in one of the designated areas that are to be part of Zion. ( My interpretation of section 115 is that it was a prophecy of a future event and that the re-inclusion of the name of Christ takes place when the 3rd watch begins)

We know from sections 104 and 105 that after the saints failed to consecrate and establish Zion that they were told that they would need to wait  for a little season before they could live the laws of Zion and bring about the redemption of Zion.

The Distinction Between The Two Cannons of Scripture

The Book of Commandments was a cannon of scripture that highlighted the COMMANDMENTS the Lord was giving to the restored Church of Christ when the greater light of the fulness of the gospel was coming forth.

Conversely, the Doctrine and Covenants was directed at the condemned, fallen church, after it had collectively rejected the greater light of the fulness of the gospel.

The D&C was providing a road map on how the saints were to prepare their minds and hearts for when the greater light would come forth again at a later time.

A  very important historical place to start in determining what events instigated the changing of the LDS cannon of scriptures from being a commandments based cannon of scripture to a doctrine and covenants based cannon of scripture would be the period of time when the one cannon of scripture was superseded by the other.

That general transitional period would be from mid 1834 and the beginning of 1835.

As indicated in the graphic that will be shown below, I am suggesting that the Book of Commandments came forth and was written to a people who were attempting to live the law of the gospel when the greater light of the fulness of the Gospel was beginning to shine forth upon the world.

It was a time when the true Church of Christ was beginning to come forth out of the wilderness of darkness.

The underlying context of that Cannon of Scripture was that the Saints were commanded to repent, accept the FULNESS of the gospel and establish Zion.

During that brief period of time the Lord warned the saints that:

..in your temporal things you shall be equal, and this not grudgingly, otherwise the abundance of the manifestations of the Spirit shall be withheld” (Given November 12 1831 section 7)

He also admonished the Saints to:

“..call upon me while I am near—” (Given in Section 88 December 27, 1832).

The obvious implication was one of urgency, the Saints were to  quickly respond to the fulness of the Gospel and the command to organize into a consecrated people and establish Zion or the time of this opportunity would soon pass.

From the coming forth of the Book of Mormon until the breaking of the covenant and the failure of the Saints to consecrate and establish Zion, the revelations given to the Saints had a very strong underlying theme built upon the COMMANDMENTS to consecrate and establish Zion.

Notice the amazing chronology documented in scripture regarding the coming forth of the true church out of the wilderness and then it return into the wilderness-

 First, in section 86 given in 6 December 1832 the Lord says-

1 Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you my servants, concerning the parable of the wheat and of the tares:

 2 Behold, verily I say, the field was the world, and the apostles were the sowers of the seed;

 3 And after they have fallen asleep the great persecutor of the church, the apostate, the whore, even Babylon, that maketh all nations to drink of her cup, in whose hearts the enemy, even Satan, sitteth to reign—behold he soweth the tares; wherefore, the tares choke the wheat and drive the church into the wilderness.

 4 But behold, in the last days, even now while the Lord is beginning to bring forth the word, and the blade is springing up and is yet tender—

This is the word of the Lord explaining how the meridian Church of Christ went into apostasy shortly after the light of the fulness of the gospel shown forth among them. This passage reveals that the church was beginning to spring up again in the last days!

In section 5 given in March 1829 the Lord says-

 14 And to none else will I grant this power, to receive this same testimony among this generation, in this the beginning of the rising up and the coming forth of my church out of the wilderness—clear as the moon, and fair as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners.

 In section 33 given in October 1830 the Lord says-

 And verily, verily, I say unto you, that this  church have I established and called forth out of the wilderness.

Finally, in 27 March 1836 the Lord reveals to the Church, in section 109,  that the restored Church of Christ that had previously been brought forth out of the wilderness, would need to come forth out of the wilderness again at a future time!

In other words, the true church that had been restored to the earth had been driven back into the wilderness again!

“…that the kingdom, which thou hast set up without hands, may become a great mountain and fill the whole earth;

 73 That thy church may come forth out of the wilderness of darkness, and shine forth fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners;

 74 And be adorned as a bride for that day when thou shalt unveil the heavens, and cause the mountains to flow down at thy presence, and the valleys to be exalted, the rough places made smooth; that thy glory may fill the earth;

 75 That when the trump shall sound for the dead, we shall be caught up in the cloud to meet thee, that we may ever be with the Lord”

Once the Saints failed to successfully consecrate, establish Zion and accept the fullness of the gospel containing the fullness of the priesthood, the Lord informed them that they had taken the COMMANDMENTS LIGHTLY-

And your minds in times past have been darkened because of unbelief, and because you have treated lightly the things you have received—
55  Which vanity and unbelief have brought the whole church under condemnation.
56  And this condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion, even all.
57  And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them, not only to say, but to do according to that which I have written—
58  That they may bring forth fruit meet for their Father’s kingdom; otherwise there remaineth a scourge and judgment to be poured out upon the children of Zion.”

Please note that the above condemnation took place because the Book of Commandments was taken lightly, not the Doctrine and Covenants!

It was the only true church of Christ, restored in 1829-30 that had taken the scriptures lightly according to section 84.

It was the true, restored church of Christ that fled back into the wilderness.

It is very important to realize that the saints stopped attempting to establish Zion during the time of the Book of Commandments.

That is why the name of the Church needed to be changed and a different book of scripture needed to be established.

Following the taking of the commandments lightly, the saints transgressed and failed to live the law of Zion resulting in the saints needing to halt their attempts at Zion for a little season-

“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—”

The above pronouncement given in June of 1834 marked a huge shift in the direction of the church.

The greater light had come and gone, the fulness of the gospel had been rejected and Zion could no longer be established until after a little season.

This is all perfectly consistent with Christ’s prophecy that the gentiles would initially reject the fulness of the gospel but later repent. (see 3rd Nephi 16)

But God, in his infinite patience and mercy was willing to continue laboring with the saints. He had given them a period of grace leading up to September 11th, 1836 to repent and accept the New Covenant. Prior to that appointed time however, the saints failed to usher in the dispensation of the fulness of times and instead, ushered in the dispensation of the Gospel of Abraham and the lesser, preparatory gospel.

As illustrated in the above graphic, after the true Church of Christ went back into the wilderness by the end of 1834 the latter day saints had the opportunity to repent and usher in the fulness of the gospel by the appointed time of September 11th 1836 but failed to do so.

He informed them that the purpose of the little season of waiting, was to prepare the leaders and  teach the saints.

“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.”

The Lord then informs the saints that the time of preparation and teaching leading up to the final successful attempt to establish Zion would be completed when the elders are endowed with power from on high-

And this cannot be brought to pass until mine elders are endowed with power from on high...” (105:9-11)

From that point on, the Book of Commandments which contained numerous commandments to establish Zion was no longer applicable in the context of the urgency of establishing Zion at that time, rather, a preparatory time of learning must be accompanied with a new cannon of scripture that would help the saints to learn and prepare.

the New Book of Scripture was to focus on the true DOCTRINE of the gospel and the true COVENANTS of the Gospel.

Those were the two things needed in the new cannon of scripture to teach and prepare the saints for the next opportunity, when the greater light would once again shine forth, a time that was to be marked by the endowment of power upon the first elders.

This future occasion is clearly clarified in section one of the D&C

“And the voice of warning shall be unto all people, by the mouths of my disciples, whom I have chosen in these last days.

And they shall go forth and none shall stay them, for I the Lord have commanded them.

Behold, this is mine authority, and the authority of my servants, and my preface unto the book of my commandments, which I have given them to publish unto you, O inhabitants of the earth.

Wherefore, fear and tremble, O ye people, for what I the Lord have decreed in them shall be fulfilled.

And verily I say unto you, that they who go forth, bearing these tidings unto the inhabitants of the earth, to them is power given to seal both on earth and in heaven, the unbelieving and rebellious;


Yea, verily, to seal them up unto the day when the wrath of God shall be poured out upon the wicked without measure—

Unto the day when the Lord shall come to recompense unto every man according to his work, and measure to every man according to the measure which he has measured to his fellow man.”

We learn from the prophetic promise of the Lord in the above passages that the disciples of Christ who published the original Book of Commandments would be the ones to issue the final “voice of warning.. unto all people”.

It will be Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdry, Sidney Rigdon, Frederick G. Williams, Lyman Wight and the others of the  first elders of the church, referred to as the “first laborers of the last kingdom”, who published and testified of the Book of Commandments, that will be endowed with POWER to go forth in POWER as previously mentioned in sections 1 and 105.

Sections 104 and 105 are two of the pivotal revelations given at the transitional point when the new cannon of scripture called the Doctrine and Covenants was being introduced to supersede the Book of Commandments as the official Cannon of scripture of the condemned church.

A major purpose of the Doctrine and Covenants was to historically document the failure of the saints to obey the COMMANDMENTS in the Book of Commandments.

Like the Book of Mormon,  the Doctrine and Covenants is a record of a fallen, apostate people.

It documents how the saints failed to live the law of Zion and the covenant of consecration resulting in the need for the church to wait for a little season of learning and preparation.

Here are some critical passages from section 104 showing why the Saints no longer qualified to by called by the name of Christ because of the breaking of covenants and transgression-

“And now, a commandment I give unto you concerning Zion, that you shall no longer be bound as a united order to your brethren of Zion, only on this wise—
48  After you are organized, you shall be called the United Order of the Stake of Zion, the City of Kirtland.  And your brethren, after they are organized, shall be called the United Order of the City of Zion.
49  And they shall be organized in their own names, and in their own name; and they shall do their business in their own name, and in their own names;
50  And you shall do your business in your own name, and in your own names.
51  And this I have commanded to be done for your salvation, and also for their salvation, in consequence of their being driven out and that which is to come.
52  The covenants being broken through transgression, by covetousness and feigned words—
53  Therefore, you are dissolved as a united order with your brethren, that you are not bound only up to this hour unto them, only on this wise, as I said, by loan as shall be agreed by this order in council, as your circumstances will admit and the voice of the council direct.

Here are some similar, related passages from section 105-

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.”

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—

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.

And this cannot be brought to pass until mine elders are endowed with power from on high…” 105:9-11

One way to differentiate the two cannons of scripture is to classify the Book of Commandments as an inspired book containing COMMANDMENTS. The major theme thereof is  to-

-Repent
-Enter into the New Covenant
-Gather
-Establish Zion.

These four major commandments and all other ancillary ones took place during the time of the greater light when the fulness of the gospel was shining forth and the church was coming forth out of the wilderness.

Conversely, the Doctrine and Covenants is a book of scripture that is published to a fallen people who had collectively failed to embrace the greater light.. they had failed to do the above itemized commandments.

The Doctrine and Covenants is written to a people who were living AFTER the greater light had departed, after the Church of Christ had fled back into the wilderness, after the Saints had broken the covenant and failed to keep the COMMANDMENTS leading to the establishment of Zion.

Critics of the church often point out that Joseph Smith made some very significant changes in the original revelations in the Book of Commandments when he incorporated them into the Doctrine and Covenants. Their criticism of this practice is based on the false assumption that the Doctrine and Covenants was simply an updated version of the Book of Commandments.

Once it is understood that that the Doctrine and Covenants was never meant to be an updated version of the Book of Commandments, and that the contents there of were being directed to a fallen people, virtually all of the changes made, make perfect sense and are contextually congruent. With this knowledge you can now review all of the changes that Joseph made between passages in the Book of Commandments and passages in the Doctrine and Covenants and it will make perfect sense why the changes needed to be made.

One of the most pertinent examples of a significant change that was made if the following prophecy in the Book of Commandment that was deleted from the revelation when it was put in the Doctrine and Covenants:

And thus, if the people of this generation harden not their hearts, I will work a reformation among them, and I will put down all lyings, and deceivings, and priestcrafts, and envyings, and strifes, and idolatries, and sorceries, and all manner of iniquities, and I will establish my church, like unto the church which was taught by my disciples in the days of old.4:6 And now if this generation do harden their hearts against my word, behold I will deliver them up unto Satan, for he reigneth and hath power at this time, for he hath got great hold upon the hearts of the people of this generation: and not far from the iniquities of Sodom and Gomorrah, do they come at this time: and behold the sword of justice hangeth over their heads, and if they persist in the hardness of their hearts, the time cometh that it must fall upon them. Behold I tell you these things even as I also told the people of the destruction of Jerusalem, and my word shall be verified at this time as it hath hitherto been verified..( BofC 4:5 See http://www.2think.org/hundredsheep/boc/boc4.shtml)

Since that prophecy published in 1833 in the Book of Commandments had already been fulfilled, and the Lord had delivered the Saints over to Satan, it would have been inaccurate and misleading to have it contained in the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants. Deleting it was for contextual accuracy was necessary because it no longer represented a prophecy of a future event.

The purpose of the Doctrine and Covenants is largely to document the apostate condition of the fallen church, and provide the doctrines and covenants to prepare the saints for the next opportunity, in the 3rd watch when the light shines forth again and the servants return with the fulness of the gospel.

It is to provide the TRUE “DOCTRINE” OF CHRIST and the TRUE “COVENANTS” that will lead to the salvation of the saints and the successful establishment of Zion once the light shines forth again and the first laborers of the last kingdom go forth in power for the last time, warning the inhabitants of the world and sealing the righteous and the wicked up unto their appropriate rewards.

Another one of the great historical secrets of the Mormon Church is that “Lectures on Faith” has also been deleted from the Doctrine and Covenants. It was the “Doctrine” part of the “Doctrine and Covenants” when the original Doctrine and Covenants was published. It was sustained as scripture by the law of common consent by the church, yet it was eventually take out of the cannon of scripture. Since that time, virtually every major doctrine of the restoration has been corrupted or rejected.

 

Those interested in reviewing a listing of 20 of the true and false doctrines of the kingdom may now do so here


The Google Apostasy- Part 4 (final)

June 5, 2012

Hopefully this is the final part of this series on the Google Apostasy.

I trust that I will not be shilled by any well meaning folks any more. If I am, it may result in a part 5 of this series and further embarrassment to those who have do it.

Ironically, this series comes to an end during the 181st anniversary of the single most important Pentecostal event that took place during the 14 year public ministry of the prophet Joseph Smith.

On that mystical occasion the heavens were opened, communications took place between heaven and earth and priesthood was transacted.

No, I am not referring to the first vision.

I am not referring to the restoration of priesthood by John the Baptist.

I am not referring to the restoration of priesthood by Peter James and John.

I am not speaking about the vision that Joseph and Sidney had that is documented in section 76 nor am I referring to the secret visitation of Christ and three angels to Joseph and Oliver in the Kirtland Temple in 1836 as documented in section 110.

I am referring to the special conference that was held at the Morley Farm in June of 1831.

If you are not very familiar with the details of that event, it is probably because the modern corporate church doesn’t really want you to be and therefore they have kept the true details and ramifications of this monumental event out of the correlated lesson manuals and conference talks.

In my humble opinion, the event that resulted in the restoration of the true Melchizedek priesthood and the opening of the heavens that took place at the special conference at the Morley Farm is arguably more significant than all of the other Pentecostal events that I previously listed.

According to the grossly inadequate and misleading summary of the event given in the heading of section 52, the event took place on June 3, 4, 5 and 6th. It resulted in the revealing of the man of sin and the calling of missionaries to go to Missouri while preaching along the way, as documented in section 52.

During that conference, Lyman Wight and another individual became transfigured in the same fashion that Moses was transfigured before God, as they pierced the veil of unbelief and beheld God the Father.

This took place in front of about 50 other elders and members of the church.

On that occasion 22 Elders holding the patriarchal priesthood and one Aaronic priesthood holder were called and ordained to the Melchizedek priesthood according to the voice of God out of heaven. (This fulness of the priesthood was soon rejected by the gentile church and lost from the earth see D&C 124:28)

Because of that sacred event, the first several days of June have a special place in my heart.

In addition to that event, June 1st is another important date to me.

It was on that date 34 years ago that Mrs Watcher and I were being sealed to each other in the Salt Lake Temple at the exact same time that the First Presidency and the quorum of the Twelve were meeting in the upper chambers of the temple, deciding to remove the priesthood ban on the Blacks.

Of course, some well meaning folks spin that decision to be a revelation from God however, there was no revelation from God pertaining to the lifting of the ban on the priesthood because none was needed. God had never given a revelation banning people of color from the priesthood in the first place.

This brings us to one more important event that took place during the month of June.

It was during the month of June in 1829 that the priesthood was extended to all worthy men of all color and nationalities.

As clearly documented in section 14, every man (of any color or nationality) who desired to participate in missionary work was called to the priesthood. The only limitations God put on priesthood ordination had to do with desire to be a missionary.

Those who were willing to thrust in their sickle and reap in the field that was white and ready to harvest, were categorically called of God and invited to receive the priesthood. (see 14:3-4) Common sense tells you that if God wanted to limit any race of people from being called to the ministry, it surely would have been when the priesthood office of elder was first being introduced and extended to all of those having a desire to participate in the harvest.

This is why black people were ordained to the priesthood during the ministry of Joseph Smith. God never gave Joseph a revelation banning the priesthood from the black converts. There were several black priesthood holders who were ordained during Joseph’s administration that went with the saints to Utah.

One of the Black elders of the Church that was given the priesthood during Joseph Smith’s public ministry was Elijah Abel who received a patriarchal blessing from Joseph Smith Sr.

In the blessing he Patriarch Smith promised him: “Thou shalt be made equal to thy brethren and thy soul shall be white in eternity and thy robes glittering: thou shalt receive these blessing because of the covenants of thy fathers“.

The “covenants” of his “fathers” was a clear reference in my opinion to the fact that people like Elijah Abel were children of Abraham and had the believing blood of Israel flowing in their veins just like the other members of the church who had mingled their blood among the gentile nations of the earth. (or possibly he was a descendent of Jethro and the Rechabites who appear to be a more obedient people to the commandments of God)

In 1836, Elijah Abel was ordained a seventy and participated in the ordinances in the Kirtland Temple.

It was common knowledge in the restored church that the priesthood was available to all men based on their faith and desire, in fact, one of the reasons that the Saints were persecuted and kicked out of Jackson County Missouri is because William W. Phelps editorialized in the Evening and the Morning Star” that there was “no special rule in the Church, as to people of color“.

He also said that “In connection with the wonderful events of this age, much is doing towards abolishing slavery, and colonizing the blacks, in Africa.

These and other statements made by Phelps were interpreted by Missourians to imply that the church was encouraging free blacks to join the church and migrate to Missouri. This was a real threat to their way of life and the enjoyment of slavery. (http://www.cesnur.org/2006/sd_homer.pdf)

It is only according to the apostate gospel of Brigham Young that blacks were eventually banned from holding the priesthood.

The True Biblical Profile of Joseph Smith

In earlier parts of this series I mentioned that I was going to provide a summary of the ministry of Joseph Smith and the true history of the LDS restoration movement.

I said that it would provide the true biblical profile of who Joseph Smith really is. I said that every answer to every difficult question pertaining to the very controversial and bizarre doctrinal and historical issues brought up by skeptics and ex-Mormons would be addressed in that document.

I am now providing a link to where that document is published. It will be provided in a series of three or four parts. Part One is now posted even though it is not completely finished.

As I continue finishing it and the other parts of that series, links to them will be provided as well, located at the following site.

(click on the link below to see where the various parts of the series will be posted)

The True Biblical Profile of Joseph Smith
and the Un-sanitized History of the LDS Restoration Movement
Part One

enjoy

[Related article that has since come out by the NYT "Some Mormons Search the Web and Find Doubt"]

Click here for Google Apostasy Part 1

Click here for Google Apostasy Part 2

Click here for Google Apostasy Part 3


The Google Apostasy Part 3 (The Leaders of the LDS Church No longer Allow Themselves to Be Accountable to The Membership of the Church)

May 27, 2012

I have been blogging for about three years now.

The general purpose of my blogs are to get people back into the scriptures and to take the scriptures seriously and literally and to BELIEVE THEM!

I encourage people to revisit what the scriptures actually say compared to what LDS lesson manuals and leaders claim that they teach.

The primary purpose of my first blog is to provide scriptural testimony that the Marvelous Work and a Wonder did not begin during the 14 year ministry of Joseph Smith but rather it is a future event, one that very possibly begins to come forth within the next few years. It is true that the New Testament church of Christ was restored to the earth along with many truths, however, the work of Joseph Smith and others had to do with laying the foundation of the Marvelous Work which would come forth at a future time.

Another false doctrine that has been taught is that the dispensation of the fulness of times was ushered in back during Joseph Smith’s public ministry.  Extensive documentation exists in the scriptures pertaining to what the dispensation of the fulness of times really entails and how it was not ushered in, in 1820′s as many erroneously teach.

The truth is that the saints were just beginning to attempt to usher it in when they transitioned from Far West to Nauvoo (as verified in section 128) but they failed.

It is clearly explained in section 124 and other passages of scripture and confirmed by LDS church history that the Lord rejected the Latter day Saints as a church along with their dead when they failed to repent, live the gospel law of consecration, restore the fulness of the priesthood which had been lost and complete the Nauvoo Temple.

The Second blog of mine (this one) deals with deep doctrine and brings to light many of the false and insidious doctrines that the modern corporate church teaches.

Needless to say, I don’t get many visitors to either of my two blogs and when I do, they usually flee once they see a little bit of the highly controversial content.

I fully understand why they do.

The LDS people have been indoctrinated to think that they belong to the only true church that has been restored but cannot fall into apostasy like the New Testament church did.

They have been indoctrinated to believe that it is a grievous sin to ever question authority or to doubt the general authorities.

They have been indoctrinated to think they should never exercise critical thinking while reading the scriptures and history of the church, or read material having an alternate view.

For these reasons, it must be a terrifying thing to happen on to sites like mine.

Ancient prophets referred to the time we live in as a period of “hidden darkness“, meaning that God’s people would think they live during religiously enlightened times even though we ourselves and the entire world are in all actuality in a state of spiritual darkness.

The scriptures have informed us that the reason that our minds have been darkened is because God placed blindness over Israel way back in ancient times and that the blindness would not be removed until the appointed time, when the dispensation of the fulness of times is ushered in.

For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.” (Rom 11:25)

It has never been my intent or desire to provide this information to people who are happy and content to be in the latter day corporate church. I believe they are probably where they need to be at this time..

This is why I like the blog platform. It provides a format where people only find this information if they are actively searching for it.

My interest is in providing this information to those who feel strongly that the restored gospel is true but they are having a difficult time reconciling the original gospel that was restored by Joseph Smith with the one that is being lived and promoted by the current corporate Church.

Many of these people are concerned about the direction the modern church. Some are experiencing a crisis of faith because of some of the troubling and disconcerting information that has surfaced about LDS church doctrine and the history of the Church.

Recently I blogged about the Google  apostasy that Marlin Jensen spoke about at Utah State University.

Although that particular post ranked on the first page of Google pertaining to most of the key words associated with the topic, I only got a hand full of unique visitors at my blog. My usual 40 to 50 visitors grew conservatively to about 60 or 70, however, three of the visitors that made comments appeared to be paid influencers.

The irony of being visited by paid shills right after making a post that addressed the general topic of how the church was actively taking measures on the internet to counteract negative public opinion, was unbelievable to me. One would think that the church would not want to take the chance of shilling someone who already suspects the church of  trying to influence public opinion. That would produce a high probability of being caught wouldn’t it?

After doing a little research and finding what I consider to be compelling evidence that I was being shilled by paid influencers, I decided to expose what was being done on a following post about the Google apostasy.

That following post seemed to hit a nerve.

Within about a week I got 497 unique visitors to that last blog post resulting in nearly 1,400 views to various posts and articles I have previously written on this blog. (I don’t keep track of the stats on the other blog and therefore don’t know how many people have visited it recently)

Although 497 unique visitors is really not many visitors compared to what most popular blogs get, it still represents a huge increase from what I normally get.

Interestingly, nearly 15% of those unique visitors were driven to my post from something somebody posted on facebook. Since I don’t have or want a facebook account, I have no idea who it was or what they said. (But I am curious)

Nearly 20% of those unique visitors were driven to my post from an LDS chatboard called “LDS Freedom Forum“.

Someone on that forum actually posted the content of my blog into a post in the forum (although he surgically removed the links my post provided to the controversial doctrinal information about the false doctrines that the church teaches.)

In my opinion, this type of content would never have attracted any viewers ten years ago. The fact that it has generated as much interest as it has may be a sign that things are changing. One wonders if something like this could actually go viral in a big way at some point in time.

It has been interesting to read the comments that my post generated from members of that forum. It would appear to me as if the Church has been shilling that forum for some time to keep people from straying too far off the path and to keep them in spiritual oppression and bondage.

In my opinion however, any paid shills probably don’t do near the damage that ignorant members of the church do in their attempts to defend their faith and call their fellow brethren to repentance for being critical of the authorities.

Nevertheless, I noticed something quite encouraging as I read some of the comments. Even though most of the commenters were your typical apologists discounting the evidence and warning everyone not to be critical of the brethren, there were a few commenters that had seemed to understand the severity of our current situation and just how wrong it is for a religious organization to be involved in this type of activity.

Some of the more rigid and sanctimonious ones with blinders on ominously warned that this must mark the beginning of the separation of the wheat from the tares (with the wheat staying in the church and loyally but blindly following the brethren of course).

Curious to know what would happen if someone actually posted a scathing rebuke of how the brethren no longer allow themselves to be held accountable by the church membership, I had a very controversial article that addresses this topic posted within that particular thread.

I frankly did not even think the forum moderator would allow it to be published on that site but to my surprise, they did.

The short pontification actually generated one or two positive or neutral comments that were followed by a few private emails of encouragement.

This got me thinking, “could it be that God is finally beginning to take blindness off of Israel in preparation for the ushering in of the dispensation of the fulness of times?

Anyway, I have decided to copy the pontification and paste it for your review below, followed by a short poll for you to state how you would respond if the church was shilling you.

Enjoy

Pontification Posted on the LDS Freedom Forum

This discussion has been an interesting one to follow. Both of them actually, since this tread has morphed into at least two topics or more… but, getting back to the original discussion, I believe many of the issues being brought up in this thread parallel some of the fundamental underlying issues pertaining to the war in heaven which is being continued here in hell or, a I mean earth.

 

(having to do with oppression, force, authoritarianism, intimidation, kissing the Pope’s a#* I mean ring vs. liberty, free speech and agency and taking the spirit as your guide, etc.).

 

It is really interesting to see people on one side of the debate always talking about finding safety in following the “brethren” and staying true to the “church” while the people on the other side of the debate speak of “following the Holy Ghost” and being true to the “gospel”.

 

I would like to ask the folks on this forum a two primary questions:

 

1. “Is it possible to file a complaint against someone to the appropriate church authorities and request that a disciplinary church court be held to evaluate their standing in the church without being ‘critical’ of their actions or statements?”

 

Please think this question over really carefully cuz it is a trick question.

 

I personally don’t think it is possible to bring someone into a church court without making a critical assessment of something they have done wrong.

 

Obviously we are to love the sinner but not embrace the sin that is committed. Nevertheless, we still hold those wonderful “courts of love” that result in destroying people’s reputations, families and livelihoods… and for good reason.. usually.

 

 I don’t think that being critical is categorically bad.

 

Sometimes it is bad, but sometimes it is necessary and justified.

 

 In fact, God requires the church membership to make judgments about people’s actions and to take action in order to protect the church from being overcome with sin.

 

If someone brings something to the attention of the appropriate church authorities that they think is a serious offense that warrants a bishop’s court or high council court, I would think that they are being critical, but they are only wrong in being critical if they are wrong about their accusation.

 

Here are some examples of sinful actions that might result in justified critical thoughts from members of the church:

 

A person gets drunk and smokes weed and gets high daily but enjoys having a temple recommend.

 

Does that warrant a critical judgment that could result in a complaint to church authorities?

 

A person commits adultery with his neighbor’s wife.

 

Does that warrant a critical judgment that could result in a complaint to church authorities?

 

Are any of those complaints worthy of disciplinary action by a church court and if so, don’t they require someone to observe them and make a critical judgment that results in a complaint to the church authorities?

 

I think they do..

 

And I think that there are times when the church needs to take action against those who are sinning.

 

In other words, if a lay member of the church or someone in authority thinks that someone in the church has made a serious enough mistake that a disciplinary church court should be held, they are making a critical observation.

 

Here is a text book example of how the Lord mandates criticism within the church:

 

“Thou shalt not commit adultery; and he that committeth adultery, and repenteth not, shall be cast out. But he that has committed adultery and repents with all his heart, and forsaketh it, and doeth it no more, thou shalt forgive; But if he doeth it again, he shall not be forgiven, but shall be cast out.”

 

That commandment from the Lord contained in section 42 commands the church to make a critical but accurate judgment about a person’s actions and if necessary, to “cast out” those who don’t repent of adultery.

 

Does it not take criticism to observe that someone is committing adultery and then to cast the unrepentant adulterer out of the church for adultery?

 

Of course it does.

 

Here is another mandate from the Lord to look at fellow church members critically:

 

“And now behold, this is the commandment which I give unto you, that ye shall not suffer any one knowingly to partake of my flesh and blood unworthily, when ye shall minister it; For whoso eateth and drinketh my flesh and blood unworthily eateth and drinketh damnation to his soul; therefore if ye know that a man is unworthy to eat and drink of my flesh and blood ye shall forbid him.” (3rd Nephi 18: 28-29)

 

How can any member of the church follow the above mandate from the Lord in preventing people from partaking of the sacrament unworthily if it is a sin to be critical of others?

 

Is it only the people who are in leadership positions who are allowed to make critical judgments?

 

Obviously, church courts are conducted by those who are in certain leadership positions and ultimately it is those people that have the awesome and unenviable responsibility of passing disciplinary judgment on their fellow saints, but I would venture to guess that in most cases, the sin is brought to the attention of the leadership by a concerned member of the church who is not going to ultimately be sitting in judgment in the church court.

 

Do lay members of the church have the right and responsibility to make these critical observations when they see them?

 

Of course they do. That is what the Lord has commanded us to do.

 

Remember, the following passage in the New Testament?-

 

” JUDGE not, that ye be not judged.”

 

It represents a corrupted passage of scripture.

 

It was corrected and  restored to it’s original statement in the JST

 

“Judge not unrighteously, that ye be not judged; but judge righteous judgment.”

 

Question #2. (this one is also a trick question of sorts)

 

Why did the Lord provide specific instructions on how to hold a church court for the President of the Church?

 

Was he being facetious or disingenuous when he gave us that protocol or was he being serious?

 

If it is really a cardinal sin to ever be critical of the Prophet of the Church and if we are to turn and look the other way and leave it up to the Lord to correct the situation whenever the president of the Church does something that is potentially harmful to the church or his own personal spiritual well being, WHY DID THE LORD GIVE US INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW THE PRESIDENT OF THE CHURCH CAN BE DISCIPLINED OR EXCOMMUNICATED?

 

I would suggest that it is because the Lord, in his infinite foreknowledge and wisdom knew that Presidents of the church are human beings that are subject to making serious mistakes just like everyone else.

 

I would suggest that He knew that there would (or at least could) be future circumstances when a president of the church might do something wrong for which he would need to be corrected, if not cut off.

 

Interestingly, there are people in this forum who seem to believe that it would be a mortal sin to ever be critical of the president of the church and other general authorities.

 

[b][u]The very belief that nobody should ever be critical of the president of the church completely negates the Lords instructions on how to hold a church court on the president of the church.[/u][/b]

 

If church members have no right or responsibility to make righteous judgments about how the church is being governed then it appears as if the Lord made a very serious error in providing a protocol for holding a disciplinary counsil concerning the conduct of the president of the church.

 

It is interesting to note that Joseph Smith was actually brought before a disciplinary court as a result of a complaint by a fellow saint stemming from issues that took place during Zions Camp.

 

The brother who filed the charges was named Sylvester Smith, one of the captains who served in the Zion’s Camp expedition. The charges had to do with “criminal conduct” along with the fact that Sylvester felt that Joseph had used “insulting and abusive language” towards him.

 

One can only imagine what was going on in the minds of the council members who tried the case. Perhaps they were wondering what would ever happen to the church in the event that the Lord’s prophet seer and revelator was ever excommunicated from the church.

 

The court ultimately rendered a verdict in favor of Joseph.

 

To the credit of Sylvester Smith, who was reprimanded as a result of the church council that he caused to be held, he did not leave the church because of that incident.

 

To the credit of Joseph Smith who was deeply humiliated in front of the entire church by the court proceedings and some of the testimony that was given by other witnesses that sided with Sylvester, he did not seek retribution of any kind.

 

Within a year after Sylvester brought charges against the Prophet, he was called to serve on the Kirtland High Council and shortly after that, he was called and ordained as one of the inaugural presidents of the Seventies which would indicate to me that neither Joseph Smith or the Lord harbored ill will against him for bringing the critical charges against the prophet.

 

There are obviously some disagreements between members of this forum as to whether there are serious problems within the church.

 

One thing is for sure, if there ever are serious problems with the leaders of this church, the problem can never be corrected based on the absurd notion that members of the church never have the right to ever be critical of church leaders and that only the leadership of the church have the right to be critical of their own sins.

 

The truth is that church leaders need to have the positive burden and tension of knowing that they are being watched by loving members who understand sound doctrine and want to accept their responsibility of participating in keeping the church on the right path.

 

I believe the Lord originally put two very important measures for a checks and balances between the leadership and the lay membership of this church. I believe those two measures are as follows:

 

1- He made members of the church responsible for bringing anyone, including church authorities into a church court anytime they commit a grievous sin.

 

2- He put in place the law of common consent giving the membership the right to reject new doctrines, commandments or church callings that is presented before the church

 

I believe both of those checks and balances have been negated by false teachings and perceptions currently held in the church.

 

Members have been brainwashed to believe that they can never be justified in bringing criticism against a general authority and they have been brain washed into believing that refusing to sustain the brethren in any doctrine, commandment or new leadership calling is categorically wrong and sinful.

 

If the church was running the way the Lord meant for it to run, someone would request that the Church look into the allegations and associated evidence that has been publicly provided regarding the use of paid employees to sway public opinion and to lie about who they actually represent.

 

After all, two separate witnesses who probably don’t even know each other have obtained evidence and made allegations. One has actually provided compelling information which the church has made no attempt to refute or explain. (and you can be sure there are people in high places that know about the post that started this discussion.

 

in the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established”

 

If the allegations turn out to me wrong, everyone including the general authority over the strengthening the church members committee will feel much better after having the truth be brought to light and the authorities vindicated.

 

If in fact the allegations are true, an investigation needs to be held to see just how far up the chain of command the responsibility goes and the necessary disciplinary action needs to take place even if it goes all the way up to an Apostle or President. By that holy process given to us by the Lord we can correct the problem and move forward.

[polldaddy poll=6256953]

Click here for Google Apostasy Part 1

Click here for Google Apostasy Part 2

Click here for Google Apostasy Part 4


The Google Apostasy Part 2 Does The Mormon Church Uses Paid Shills to Influence the Way People Think?

May 17, 2012

On Saturday, March 31, 2012 a blogger  by the name of Denver Snuffer claimed that the Mormon Church was using employees to post online responses using personas and anonymous identities with the intent to influence public opinion within church circles. Here are his comments below:

” The City Creek multi-billion dollar project has excited a lot of criticism. The result has been dismay by many faithful Latter-day Saints. Their anxiety over the project has become the subject of many conversations on the Internet.

To grapple with this outpouring of criticism and in some cases disgust, the church has paid employees and volunteers who post on-line responses using personas, or anonymous identities to beat back those who express concern. Many of the multiple personas are put up by the same church employee.”
.

Snuffer is a faithful member of the church and an attorney. He did not explain how he obtained this sensitive information however; it is difficult to believe that he just made it up.

[Editorial Note: Snuffer has since been excommunicated from the church for apostasy]

Although I found his accusations fascinating, that the LDS church was using paid shills to influence the thinking of members of the church, I didn’t really put much additional thought into it.

Recently however, I encountered a situation that has caused me to focus my attention on this issue.

In my last blog post I commented on the recent remarks of Elder Marlin K. Jensen at Utah State University and how the current “Google Apostasy” represents the greatest turbulence and crises of faith among Mormons since the Kirtland apostasy back in the 1830′s.

Jensen had acknowledged that many Mormons were experiencing a crisis of faith because Google and the internet was bringing to light some very perplexing and distressing doctrinal and historical issues pertaining to the LDS religion. Jensen then assured the audience he was speaking to, that the church was taking measures to deal with the situation.

In that post I mentioned that the church had hired an SEO expert to try and redirect people searching on the internet to neutral and positive websites instead of negative anti-Mormon websites.  I speculated that they were probably doing some online reputation management work as well.

In my blog I also mentioned that I am working on a paper that will provide a biblical profile of the calling of the Prophet Joseph Smith that will explain why he did all of the bizarre, contradictory things that he did. I claimed that my paper would provide a legitimate biblical/prophetic answer for every single disturbing issue that skeptics of Mormonism like to bring up. ( I had hoped to release the paper by April 6th but now it is looking like it will be closer to May 20th)

Within a very short period of time I had several visitors make comments… three of the visitors that made comments are the topic of this post.
The first commenter I want to speak about had a screen name of “Ted“.

Ted took issue with one of the critical comments that I made where I claimed that the current general authorities of the Mormon Church were not very knowledgeable about church history or doctrine.

He felt that the talks from the brethren are inspiring and that they do contain scriptural references. He then appeared to be in somewhat of an agreement with me that difficult issues should be addressed more adequately by the Church on their websites. Here is one of his comments:

I love Rough Stone Rolling, and would love more direct approaches to dealing with challenging issues on the Church websites“.

This passionate statement appeared to be agreeing in part with some of the things I had said on my post.

Nevertheless, the person who was presenting himself as a hard-hitting and passionate member of the church ( who loves controversial books on LDS church history) made the authoritarian observation that:

..what these men [the general authorities] speak is scripture

I will come back to Ted and his very calculated remarks in a minute but for now, let me just say that the IP address from which Ted’s comments came is 216.49.181.254

Within 5 minutes after Ted posted his remarks, a fellow by the screen name of Evan Valenatine made the following declaration:

I am glad that the church is putting in an effort to counteract the effects of these websites, and I hope that they do more.

I will also return to Evan in a minute but for now, please make note of the IP address that he was posting from:

216.49.181.254

I thought it was interesting that these two different people were coming from the same IP address.

Perhaps they live in the same home or apartments I thought to myself.

At this point my curiosity got the better of me so I did a reverse IP address search to see who owns that particular IP address.

Guess who owns it…

Well, we will get to that in a minute. The story gets better.

A few days later a person using the screen name of “Mark-e-Mark and the Funky Bunch” paid my blog post a visit quoting Heber C. Kimball and warning that the “very first step of apostasy commenced with losing confidence in the leaders of the church

He then lovingly counseled me to “not rely so much on the logical“.

faith is rarely logical” he assured me.

You will never guess what IP address he was posting from so I will simply tell you.

216.49.181.254

That’s right, he was posting from the same IP address as Ted and Evan.

Imagine that, Ted, Evan and Mark-E were all taking issue with me, sticking up for the modern corporate church and they were all posting from the same IP address, what a coincidence!

I had a doctrinal exchange with Mark-e-Mark, and told him why I felt he was putting his faith in the “arm of flesh“. He visited me again to make a rebuttal.

Following his rebuttal, he apparently began making comments on another controversial LDS blog using a different screen name. Then, he had another thought that he wanted to make on my post. In his rush to make the response on my blog, he forgot to change the screen name he had been using to make comments on a different controversial LDS related blog site.

The screen name he mistakenly used this time was “I love the Circus

Naturally, that screen name also came from  216.49.181.254

He then acknowledged that he had made a mistake in using the circus screen name and changed back to Mark-E-Mark..

In the spirit of mocking me and my screen name, Mark-E-Mark decided to create a unique screen name of “onewhoiswaiting” which would apparently be dedicated to making comments on my blog. Apparently, in anticipation of cyberstalking my future posts he decided to go to the trouble of creating a screen name that would be dedicated to countering the information on my future blog posts.

As you have probably already guessed, all of these people and comments that I have been speaking about were coming from the same IP address and according to the reverse search service that I used, that IP address is owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

After doing a little further research, I believe I have identified exactly who one of the people is. I have reason to believe he is a full time employee of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints. He was hired away from Microsoft and works in the LDS Church “user research” division.

Perhaps the user research division is the same division that Denver Snuffer was referring to.

I even know which arm of the church he works for and the general physical location of the building that houses their “user research” specialists.

The block it is on appears to be located on or  close to 21st South between 4th and 5th East in Salt Lake City Utah.

The map below shows an Arial view of the general location where their facility is located, according to the analytics provided by wordpress.

After realizing that Ted, Evan, Mark-E, and “I love the Circus” were all coming from the same IP address that is owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints and that the people (or person)  posting comments appeared to be  employees of the Mormon Church, I wanted to give Mark-E Mark the opportunity to come clean and admit that he was a paid influencer working for the Mormon Church if in fact he was.

I made the following statement/question:

I am going to invite you to publicly acknowledge whether or not you are on the payroll of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints.

I think readers of this blog have a right to know if you are an independent influencer acting solely on your own, or if you are a paid influencer who is attempting to do damage control and retain tithe payers for the LDS Church who are troubled about disconcerting things they are finding out about church doctrine and history.

Here is his response:

I am just a normal guy. My goal is not to influence anyone. I do act independently and if my statements are of influence, then so be it. That is for your readers to decide. I am not [a] paid influencer “attempting to do damage control and retain tithe payers for the LDS Church”. Truth stands on it’s own.

There you have it… That was his response

It also occurred to me that perhaps these people were just rogue employees of the church who were making these posts from their employers IP (some during work hours, some late at might) without being directed to do so. So I emailed MarkE and the others and showed them this post before posting it, giving them the opportunity to respond and explain what their real motivation was and whether they were directed by their employer or not.

It has been over a week with no response.

I have been feeling pretty important and honored to realize that the user experience department of the LDS Church  may be among my very small group of blog followers. Members of the church should be aware that this may be an activity the church is investing in.

Are the brethren concerned about the information I have been blogging about?

If so, they must deem something that I am saying to be disruptive enough to do this types of activity.

Is there something they don’t want you to know?

Things I have been blogging about

It is actually difficult to know for sure what concerns them the most because I have written over 300 posts and articles on a large array of issues  during the last three years.

Perhaps they don’t want people to know the truth about the fact that the Marvelous Work is a future event that takes place in the  third watch.

Perhaps they don’t want people to know the truth about Kirtland and the Jerusalem Isaiah spoke about.

Perhaps they don’t want people to know the truth about what really happened at the special conference at the Morley Farm and the fact that there are actually three levels of priesthood.

Perhaps they don’t want the truth revealed about the true role of prophets and how God does use prophets to teach false doctrine and lead the unfaithful and ignorant astray.

Perhaps they don’t want people to understand that salvation in the highest kingdom is only obtained through the spiritual rebirth and baptism of fire which they cannot administer.

Perhaps they don’t want people to understand that the stone that Daniel saw rolling forth in power has nothing to do with the current Mormon Church.

Perhaps they don’t want it understood that after the true Church of Christ was restored and then fell into apostasy, the name of the condemned church was changed to the Church of the Latter day Saints and then eventually to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints.

Perhaps they don’t want people to realize that the church that came forth out of the wilderness of darkness, according to modern revelation, went back into the wilderness of darkness within a few years after the restoration.

Perhaps they don’t want people to know how to identify the seven signs of the only true church and to realize that those signs are vacant in the current Mormon church.

Perhaps they don’t want people to understand what ancient prophecy actually says about the ministry of Joseph Smith and about the atonement statute.

Perhaps they don’t want people to know the real truth about the succession doctrine and what really happened during the succession crisis.

Perhaps they don’t want people to know about why Joseph and Oliver kept the visitation of Christ and three angels at the Kirtland Temple and the related events contained in section 110 a secret from the saints.

Perhaps they don’t want people to know who Sidney Rigdon really is and why we have not seen the last of him

Perhaps they don’t want people to know the truth about section 132 and the spiritual wife doctrine

There are legitimate biblical and historical answers to every disturbing issue that skeptics bring up

The powers that be apparently don’t want people who are experiencing a crisis in faith to see the shocking, yet comforting and faith promoting  answers to all of the disturbing information out there about Joseph Smith and the LDS restoration movement. It appears they would prefer that people lose their faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ rather than to learn the truth about the modern corporate church.

My how the evolving leadership of the corporate church over the last 180 years has deviated from being focused on taking care of the poor and the cause of Zion, to building billion dollar shopping malls and encouraging shoppers to purchase $10,000 designer watches. It would appear as if they have become preoccupied with silencing the small voices like mine instead of listening to THE still small voice.

Naturally, I am curious to know who is over the  “paid employees and volunteers who post on-line responses using personas, or anonymous identities to beat back those who express concern.” if in fact Denver is correct.

In my next post I am going to provide a link to a synopsis of what actually happened during the 14 year public ministry of the prophet Joseph Smith.

In that synopsis I will provide a credible biblical explanation of what took place during the LDS restoration movement. In it, I am going to bring to light the disruptive information that the leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter days Saints desperately don’t want to the membership of the church to know.

It will contain a response to all of the difficult questions being asked by skeptics and unbelievers.

[Related article that has since come out by the NYT "Some Mormons Search the Web and Find Doubt"]

.Click here for Google Apostasy Part 1

.Click here for Google Apostasy Part 3

Click here for Google Apostasy Part 4

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Wikipedia
“A shill, plant, or stooge is a person who publicly helps a person or organization without disclosing that he has a close relationship with that person or organization. Shill typically refers to someone who purposely gives onlookers the impression that he is an enthusiastic independent customer of a seller (or marketer of ideas) for whom he is secretly working. The person or group who hires the shill is using crowd psychology, to encourage other onlookers or audience members to purchase the goods or services (or accept the ideas being marketed). Shills are often employed by professional marketing campaign…..  Shilling is illegal in many circumstances and in many jurisdictions[1] because of the frequently fraudulent and damaging[vague] character of the shill’s actions..”

 


The Google Apostasy Part 1

April 1, 2012

On January 18 of 2012, Church historian Elder Marlin K. Jensen attended a Q;A set up by Phil Barlow at Utah State University. He was asked the following question.

Has the church seen the effects of Google on membership? It seems like the people who I talk to about church history are people who find out and leave quickly. Is the church aware of that problem? What about the people who are already leaving in droves?”

The answer coming from Jensen is as follows:

“We are aware. Let me say this, I often get this question: “Do the Brethren really know?” They do. And I’m not speaking for me. I’m speaking for the fifteen men that are above me in the hierarchy in the church. The fifteen men really do know, and they really care. And they realize that maybe since Kirtland, we never have had a period of, I’ll call it apostasy, like we’re having right now; largely over these issues.

We do have another initiative that we have called, “Answers to Gospel Questions”. We are trying to figure out exactly what channels to deliver it in and exactly what format to put it in. But we want to have a place where people can go. We have hired someone that’s in charge of search engine optimization.

We realize that people get their information basically from Google. They don’t come to LDS.org. If they get there, it’s through Google. So, we are trying to create an offering that will address these issues and be available for the public at large and to the church leaders, because many of them don’t have answers either.

It can be very disappointing to church members. And, for people who are losing their faith, or who have lost it, we hope to regain to the church.” (See http://exmormon.org/d6/drupal/Mormon-Church_admits-that-the-Internet-is-causing-members-to-leave & http://simplemormonspectator.blogspot.com/ )

Those comments by Jensen reveal what everyone already knows. The internet has created a very serious problem for the Mormon Church which is causing lots of members to leave the church or become inactive.

Google provides a showcase for all of the incredibly embarrassing and disruptive information about difficult historical issues and doctrinal issues. It provides an amazingly simple and effective ability for common people to access sensitive information about LDS church history and doctrine.

It also promotes countless anti-Mormon articles and websites related to these sensitive issues. Interestingly, the church has hired a search engine optimization specialist to try to steer more people away from the anti-Mormon sites and direct them to LDS.org.

Having done some contract work for a very large SEO company and being somewhat familiar with the industry, I can tell you that there is an entire discipline within the SEO vertical that focuses on reputation management on the internet.

There are numerous tactics and tools (both white hat and black hat) that companies use to diffuse negative information on the internet. Here is an excerpt describing one of the most successful ways to push negative sites further down in the Google search rankings:

“…Find any potential damning material and watch it closely … but what you really want to find is positive or neutral content that might be lurking around page 3-4.  This content is golden, because we know that Google finds it at least somewhat relevant for the keyword you target. In our audits, we try to find a minimum of 20-30 pieces of Web real estate per keyword. This content could, with the help of a few links, be pushed to the front page – perhaps replacing negative content that appears after a crisis.”

(See the following articles http://www.seomoz.org/blog/reputation-management-seo-6-advanced-tactics  & http://www.pubcon.com/pubcon-speaker-tony-wright-proactive-seo-reputation-management-in-6-easy-steps-%E2%80%93-all-for-free )

You can be sure that if the church can spend over a BILLION dollars on a shopping mall, it has allocated a significant budget for doing reputation damage control on the internet.

My personal opinion is that even the millions of dollars that the church has been and will be spending on SEO and reputation damage control, they will not be very successful. There are too many latter day “William Laws” that are passionate about exposing what they feel is a terrible scam and they are flooding the internet with their spin. They can do SEO just like anyone else can.

Jensen acknowledged at the Utah State Q and A that many of the “church leaders” don’t have the answers either. Of course he was probably referring to bishops and stake presidents and people in virtually all leadership capacities below the 15 general authorities that sit in the highest apostolic leadership positions in the church. The unfortunate truth however is that even the 15 people that lead the church don’t have the answers to such questions.

In another interview with a S L Tribune reporter Jensen made the following statements:

“Never before have we had this information age, with social networking and bloggers publishing unvetted points of view,” Jensen said in an interview Monday. “The church is concerned about misinformation and distorted information, but we are doing better and trying harder to get our story told in an accurate way.”

The church “has made no effort to hide or obscure its history,” Jensen said, but some aspects — such as polygamy — “haven’t been emphasized often because they were not necessarily germane to what is taught at present.”

Can the LDS Church do better to explain its history, even to its own members? Sure, Jensen said. “Can we weave some of this into our seminaries, institutes and adult curriculum? I think we can, and efforts are under way to do that.”

The church has assigned a staffer to create “a strategy to get church history onto the Web,” he said. “We are also working on an initiative to answer some of these more pressing questions.”

Late last year, the church’s publishing arm, Deseret Book, put out No Weapon Shall Prosper: New Light on Sensitive Issues to address some of the hot-button issues of Mormon history and doctrine, offering members ways to answer critics.

To read more about the interview see http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/53408134-78/church-mormon-lds-faith.html.csp#.TydqcAb_Geo.mailto

If the statements by Jensen are accurate, the Church is currently putting together some quasi-official responses to the most disturbing issues that are continually being raised on the internet.

If they do so, this will be a landmark event. The church has never really responded to most of these issues in any kind of church sponsored platform. Of course these answers are not likely to come directly from any of the 15 apostolic leaders.

First of all, they don’t have any credible answers. Most of them are quite ignorant and naive when it comes to the deeper issues of doctrine and history. Most of them just grew up within the church and were indoctrinated like the rest of us. Because they each exemplified strong leadership ability within the church, unquestioning loyalty to the church, and also became successful in law or medicine, education or business, etc. they were deemed worthy to call to the higher leadership positions.

The last GA to be be fairly well adept in the scriptures was McConkie. Now there is not strong scholar of the scriptures among the 15. As a rule, the brethren try to stay away from debate, contention and controversy regarding sensitive doctrinal and historical issues. None of them are really qualified to get into a biblical debate with a seasoned biblical scholar.

My guess is that the church is calling upon the best and brightest minds within LDS apologetics to try to craft credible responses to these very difficult questions.

Those LDS scholars at FARMS and FAIR make for the best respondents to criticism because they can run interference for the brethren.

They can attempt to defend the church without actually having the official stamp of authority on what they say. Hence, when they say something that turns out to be wrong or embarrassingly lame, their statements are easily discounted as the opinion of a lay member. (one of the latest examples of a really embarrassingly lame defense is the recent paper from a FARMS scholar who tried to justify why the multi-BILLION dollar expenditure of a shopping mall was a better expenditure than feeding the poor, see http://en.fairmormon.org/Mormonism_and_church_integrity/City_Creek_Center_Mall_in_Salt_Lake_City)

The problem with FARMS as I see it, is that their allegiance is to the brethren instead of Christ.

They are committed to defending the modern corporate church as an institution instead of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

If FARMS was dedicated to defending biblical Christianity and the truth behind the LDS restoration movement, they would applaud the church whenever they are conforming to the gospel and speak honestly and frankly about the problems whenever the brethren and the church in general it is acting contrary to the gospel and the laws of God as they are laid out in the scriptures.

Getting back to Jensen, it is interesting to note that in January of 2012, during the same month that he visited USU, Elder Jensen was released as the Church historian. (See http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700215000/Elder-Snow-appointed-as-new-LDS-Church-Historian.html )

Interestingly, the following statement is found on the mormonthink.org website:

The LDS organization FAIR (Foundation for Apologetic Information & Research) is making an organized effort to ensure that faith-promoting comments about the LDS church will drown out all other comments that are critical of the LDS church, regardless of whether or not they are true.”

The MormonThink website makes the following declaration about their mission-

Mormonthink.com is a site produced by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who are interested in the historical accuracy of our church and how it is being taught to its members and portrayed in the media.

There is a lot of misinformation on the LDS church that is presented by both critics and defenders of the faith – particularly on the Internet. We present both sides fairly and let the reader decide.”

That statement is really quite disingenuous. The people behind that site do not represent both sides of the issue fairly. Their only agenda is to destroy people’s faith in God and Mormonism. It is beyond their capacity to comprehend that the original restoration was true and then the church eventually fell into apostasy.

I know this about MormonThink from personal experience because last year I sent them an email telling them briefly about the three watches doctrine and the atonement statute and explaining to them that there is a profound biblical explanation for all of the bizarre things that happened during the public ministry of the prophet Joseph Smith.

All I was asking for was a short blurb and a link to the information that documents these doctrines on my two blogs. Needless to say, they did not respond.

They are not looking for truth nor do they want to provide a balanced and fair listing of sites that provide various view points. They simply have a vendetta against the church and they are content to destroy faith in God, Mormonism and the LDS restoration movement in their attempt.

Recently I got an email from the owners of the MormonThink website providing the following link.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ac_fLUHiBw&feature=youtu.bel

They asked me to send it to everyone I know and help it to go viral. The link is to a video describing 10 of the major reasons that people leave the church. While I have no desire to promote it and help it go viral, I am not afraid to mention it in this post and address the issued contained in it.

I am not afraid of the points of contention that they are high-lighting because the scriptures provide the truth about what really happened and they provide a credible response to every challenging question that the anti-Mormons can come up with.

1.      Faulty Translations of the Book of Abraham

2.      22 year delay in telling the First Vision story- conflicting versions of it.

3.      Translation process of the Book of Mormon by gazing at a stone in a hat without the plates physically present.

4.      No archeological or other scientific support for the Book of Mormon including DNA, literal quotes from the King James version of the Bible, etc.

5.      Questionable authorship of the Book of Mormon

6.      Blacks and the Priesthood

7.      Kinderhook Plates

8.      Polygamy

9.      Questionable witnesses of the Book of Mormon

10.  Temple Ceremony taken from Masons

Frankly, the above concerns are among the easier ones to address in my humble opinion.

I would point out that there are numerous other doctrinal issues that should be noted as well in my view.

Many of the more disturbing inconsistencies about the history of the church really have to do with the changing of the original doctrines that were taught during the first seven years in Kirtland but then altered during the Nauvoo years or during Brigham Youngs administration after the Saints fled to Utah.

Here are just a few of the issues that I would highlight out of context if I wanted to destroy peoples testimonies:

  1. Changing several of the revelations in the Book of Commandments when the D&C was published
  2. Changing the doctrine that God is an unchangeable God who is from everlasting to everlasting (pointing out that the doctrines taught in the King Follett sermon categorically contradicts Lectures on Faith)
  3. The false claim that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints is the same church that was restored in 1830 which in fact the scriptures and the history of the church clearly document that it did not even exist when the “Church of Christ” was restored in 1829-1830.
  4. The false claim that the restoration of the church represented the rolling forth of the kingdom that Daniel saw, destroying the kingdoms of the world.
  5. The false claim that the church has the fulness of the gospel when in fact it does not have the power and fruits clearly associated with the fulness of the gospel.
  6. The false claims that the church, kingdom and priesthoods would never be taken from the earth again to be restored at a future time.
  7. The false claim that the dispensation of the fullness of times was ushered in when the scriptures and history of the church clearly state that it wasn’t.

The list of doctrinal discrepancies provided above could be much longer if I wanted to take the time. In a paper I have been working on I have identified 14 stumbling blocks contained within the Lectures on Faith which are contradicted by modern doctrines taught in the church

Another research project that I did included 20 major doctrines that were changed by the modern church.

The point is that there are many disturbing doctrinal issues about the modern corporate church, but that does not mean that the original restoration of the true church was not authentic, it only means that the church went into apostasy as is clearly prophesied in both the Bible and Book of Mormon.

That is the sad thing about all of the anti-Mormon propaganda flooding the internet, even though much of the disturbing information is true, it is being presented out of context, without the biblical explanation for why these things happened.

It is being used to destroy faith in Jesus Christ and his gospel instead of acknowledging that after the truth was restored to the earth, corrupt men took control of the church organization and have created an abomination that the world is now laughing at.

Every single one of the above issues in both of the lists and countless other apparent discrepancies can all be answered from the scriptures and the un-sanitized history of the restoration movement.

A few weeks ago I got the following email from a Russian convert who calls himself Jim-

Hi, Watcher…


I just finished listening to the last episode on mormonstories 324-326: Grant Palmer Returns to Discuss Sexual Allegations Against Joseph Smith, William and Jane Law, and His Resignation.

Were it not for the scapegoat doctrine (SGD)that I’ve learned about recently, my reaction to this podcast would be a usual one – “I’m not knowledgeable enough to come to any conclusion on this matter, I’m gonna shelve it for now”, never to come back to it again.

With the SGD I pretty much can handle the charges against Joseph Smith of seducing young girls, ordering to kill Boggs, ordering to destroy printing press, ordering to kill William Law and even threatening his own wife with death.

As I was listening to the podcast, I sensed desperation in John Delin’s voice “What was Joseph doing?” – to that effect.

Coupled with John’s own admission that there’s been too much negative content on his podcast recently and his invitation to his show for any apologists who could show a different angle of what’s been talked about, I think it’s prime time for you to step in and restore the true understanding.

Would you be comfortable if I went ahead and solicited John Delhin to get in touch with you on this email to invite you to his show (over Skype, naturally)?


Kind regards,


Jim

Here is my response to Jim-

“Hi Jim

I do listen to Mormon Stories from time to time. In fact, I recently listened to the Snuffer interview and also the McLay interview.

John Dehlin is a magnificent interviewer and he has done a tremendous job with the Mormon Stories theme.

Your suggestion is an intriguing one. If I was approached by John or one of his connections I suppose I would need to take the idea seriously however my guess is that they are looking for higher profile people than me.

Also the scapegoat doctrine is extremely doctrinally intensive and would probably be geared for believers who still find the scriptures to be credible and pertinent in their religious lives… it seems to me that John and much of his audience have long since let go of the scriptures and the LDS restoration movement as a guiding light in their lives.

John seems to be focusing on how to deal with the cultural dilemma he faces that has been caused by the false traditions of his fathers.

Nevertheless, it would be a wonderful opportunity to see if the topic could be presented in such a way as to reignite faith in some of the disaffected people in the listening audience and show them how to reconcile the many “apparent discrepancies” of the LDS restoration that they have been conflicted with.

I thank you for the suggestion. It is worth pondering.

I hope the Lord is blessing you and yours and that all is going well for you.

Thanks for dropping by

Watcher

I am not convinced that MormonStories is the appropriate audience and format to rebuff all of the anti-Mormon propaganda by presenting the true context of these events as provided by the Bible and the doctrine of three watches and the atonement statute.

Nevertheless, Jim has got me thinking about the opportunity that might come up in the future to present these ideas. Many of you who understand and believe in the truths provided by the standard works may also have the opportunity to testify of the truth some day.

What an amazing challenge it would be to present these truths to skeptics and people who have lost or are in the process of losing their faith in God and in the LDS restoration. I believe there are lots of members and ex-members of the church that are suffering from and industrial strength case of cognitive dissonance. It would be nice to be able to present additional information to them.

How in the world would I condense the information that I have now provided in my two blogs into a short one or two hour presentation? How could I take the information provided in about two hundred posts and articles into an understandable summary?

I am currently in the process of undertaking such an ominous challenge and hope to be providing this summary or at least one installment of it on this blog before April 6th.

Several of you have expressed over the years a similar statement to Jim’s, expressing the fact that the three watches doctrine and the Atonement Statute have helped you maintain your faith in God and his scriptures and the LDS restoration despite the barrage of negative information that permeates the internet.

I am open to any suggestions that any of you may have on how to present these ideas.

If you recall the particular scripture or event in the history of the church that was instrumental in your “ah ha!” moment when the scales of darkness began to fall off and it all began to make sense to you, please email me and share it.

Watcher

Click here for Google Apostasy Part 2

.Click here for Google Apostasy Part 3

Click here for Google Apostasy Part 4


COMMANDMENTS-DOCTRINE-COVENANTS Part One

December 11, 2011

Differentiating between the Divine Purpose of the
BOOK of COMMANDMENTS
and the
DOCTRINE & COVENANTS
Part One

Some Latter Day Saints have been indoctrinated to think of the 1835 version of the “Doctrine and Covenants” as being the next updated installment and/or newer version of the original 1833 “Book of Commandments”, in the same way that all newer versions of the 1835 D&C are considered to be newer, updated versions of the 1835 D&C.

This assumption is promoted by the modern corporate church which characterized the 1835 D&C as an enlarged compilation of the 1833 Book of Commandments.

This is what the modern corporate church has to say about it-

A number of the revelations were published in Zion (Independence), Missouri, in 1833, under the title A Book of Commandments for the Government of the Church of Christ. Concerning this publication the elders of the Church gave solemn testimony that the Lord had borne record to their souls that these revelations were true. As the Lord continued to communicate with his servants, an enlarged compilation was published two years later in Kirtland, Ohio, with the title Doctrine and Covenants of the Church of the Latter Day Saints.

In this series I am going to challenge that assumption.

From 1835 until today the D&C has been published and updated many times. Each time some revelations were added, deleted, and in some instances altered, yet the name of the canonized book of scripture has remained the same.

The 1844 edition of the D&C was the next version of the 1835 D&C and it retained the same name.

Is that a coincidence?

Of course not.

Why then, was that not the same situation with the Book of Commandments?

Why wasn’t the 1835 version of the Doctrine and Covenants simply called the second edition of the Book of Commandments? Why did Joseph Smith and the other three members of the committee that compiled the revelations for canonization change the name?

Why were they inspired, and in fact probably commanded by the Lord , to call the second cannon of scripture by a different name?

Was there a need to distinguish and differentiate the two cannons of scripture and if so, why?

I would submit that the Lord inspired the name change because the Doctrine and Covenants was never intended to simply be an updated version of the Book of Commandments.. in fact, it was a cannon of scripture with an entirely different purpose and it was addressing a different church, living in a different dispensation.

Please notice that the full original name of the Book of Commandments was-

A Book of Commandments for the Government of the Church of Christ, Organized According to Law on the 6th of April 1830

The original full name of the Doctrine and Covenants was

The Doctrine and Covenants of the Church of the Latter Day Saints: Carefully Selected from the Revelations of God

As you can see, the Book of Commandments was written for the Church of Christ. The Doctrine and Covenants was written for the Church of the Latter day Saints.

Many of the Kirtland saints were confused by the name change of the church. They didn’t feel that the true Church of Christ would need to experience a name change if it was originally organized and named by revelation.

Furthermore, the Book of Mormon had warned that the true church of Christ must be called by his name.

And how be it my church save it be called in my name? For if a church be called in Moses’ name then it be Moses’ church; or if it be called in the name of a man then it be the church of a man; but if it be called in my name then it is my church, if it so be that they are built upon my gospel.”  3 Nephi 27:8

Jesus Christ revealed the name of his church to the Nephite people: the “Church of Christ“.

And they who were baptized in the name of Jesus were called the church of Christ.” (3 Nephi 26:21, bold added)

And they said unto him: Lord, we will that thou wouldst tell us the name whereby we shall call this church; for there are disputations among the people concerning this matter. And the Lord said unto them: Verily, verily, I say unto you, why is it that the people should murmur and dispute because of this thing? Have they not read the scriptures, which say ye must take upon you the name of Christ, which is my name? For by this name shall ye be called at the last day; And whoso taketh upon him my name, and endureth to the end, the same shall be saved at the last day. Therefore, whatsoever ye shall do, ye shall do it in my name; therefore ye shall call the church in my name; and ye shall call upon the Father in my name that he will bless the church for my sake. And how be it my church save it be called in my name?

As we have discussed in other articles, once the gentile Church of Christ rejected the greater light, the fulness of the gospel containing the fulness of the priesthood was taken from among them and they had to change their name.

Lets briefly review the chronology of the names by which the restoration saints called their church-

On April 6, 1830, LDS church leaders met together presumably to fulfill the requirements of the laws of the land, and they named their church consistent with the admonition of the Book of Mormon, “The Church of Christ.”

The rise of the Church of Christ in these last days…by the will and commandments of God, in the fourth month, and on the sixth day of the month which is called April”

Yet, after the saints failed to embrace the fulness of the gospel, containing the fulness of the priesthood and the law of consecration, during a conference held on May 3, 1834, with Joseph Smith acting as moderator, “a motion was made by Sidney Rigdon, and seconded by Newel K. Whitney, that this Church be known hereafter by the name of ‘The Church of the Latter-day Saints.’ Remarks were made by the members, after which the motion passed by unanimous vote” (History of the Church 2:62-63). er, p. 73).

On that historic occasion, by unanimous vote, the saints took the name of CHRIST out of the official name of the church!

In essence, whether unwittingly or whether knowingly, that event appears to have been inspired.

That event acknowledged that the church was no longer worthy of being called by the name of Christ. (The Lord had told the saints that if they did not live the law of Zion they were not his people)

Of course it  appears that the saints didn’t generally understand the real reason for the name change of the church.

David Whitmer, who seemed to blame all bad things on Sidney Rigdon would later imply that after being inspired by the Lord to name the church in the Lord’s  name, that it would be Rigdon’s influence that got Joseph to make the name change-

In June, 1829, the Lord gave us the name by which we must call the church, being the same as He gave the Nephites.  We obeyed His commandment, and called it The Church of Christ until 1834, when, through the influence of Sydney Rigdon, the name of the church was changed to The Church of the Latter Day Saints, dropping out the name of Christ entirely…” (An Address to All Believers In Christ Whitmer, p. 73). er Day Saints

LDS apologists who contend that the original name was not really changed but simply given a nick name to differentiate it from other contemporary churches, (for example, Alexander Campbell had founded a church that was called the “Church of Christ” ) have two very difficult problems to explain.

One is the title given to the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants. wherein it was called the Church of the Latter day Saints.



The other problem can clearly be seen on the face of the Kirtland Temple.

It is no coincidence that when the Kirtland Temple was completed and dedicated in 1836, the Lord restored the gospel of Abraham instead of the dispensation of the fulness of times.

This is because the saints had rejected the fulness of the gospel containing the fulness of the priesthood and were now hanging on to the Abrahamic Covenant of the Old Covenant instead of the New Covenant in Christ.

Notice the name of the Kirtland Temple which is the same name that was engraved in a tablet on the Temple at the time of it’s dedication in 1836!

Two years after the name change downgrade in 1836, on April 26, 1838, another name change was assumed by the Saints. The name of “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints” appeared to be given to the church by the Lord in Section 115. (It is my contention that Section 115 was actually a prophecy about what the scattered Saints would be called when the Marvelous Work begins, but that is a subject for a future post. For the purposes of this series, I am simply going to acknowledge that the Saints took upon themselves that name based on their interpretation of Section 115 in 1838. (Historical records indicate that they probably began calling themselves by that name previous to that revelation, but that revelation is the scriptural basis the church claims. The hyphen in ‘Latter-day’ was add about a century or so later to be grammatically correct).

Although 1838 is the first time in modern revelation that the fourth and final name change is acknowledged by the Lord, other historical documentation no doubt verifies that the new name began being used in Far West.

The chronology of the names by which the restored church was called is:

1830:  Church of Christ (See D&C 1)
1831   Church of God (See D&C 70:5 referring to those within the Church of Christ who were called to the Melchizedek Priesthood)
1834:  The Church of the Latter Day Saints (Name on Temple and on 1835 D&C)
1838: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints ( although the fourth and final name change shows up for the first time in canonized scripture in section 115, it was probably being used earlier than that during the early Far West era)

I would submit that the Book of Commandments and the Doctrine and Covenants had two very distinct and different purposes and they were addressing two separate churches.

This is proven by the names given to these two cannons of scriptures.

However, there is much more evidence to support this proposition which will be addressed as we continue this series. It is not just two different churches being addressed. The actual purpose of each book is quite different.

 

Click here for part two


The Doctrine of AWARENESS- Part Three

October 31, 2011

False Prophets VS. Fallen Prophets
[editorial note: Since this post is being published on Halloween day, let me remind you that the original holiday was
reformation day...this is the day that Martin Luther nailed the "95 Thesis" on the door of the large and spacious building!]

The term false prophet originates in the New Testament.

If you do a Google search of the term “false prophet”, you get a little over 3 MILLION hits and 2.1 MILLION if you do a more narrow search using quotation marks.

Interestingly, the term fallen prophet cannot be found in the New Testament yet a cursory examination suggests that the term very possibly originated or at least gained traction during and from the LDS restoration movement of the 1800′s.

A general Google search of the term brings up a little over 15 MILLION hits with 41,000 resulting from a more narrow search using quotation marks!

The very first listing for fallen prophet on Google, regardless of which way you search the term, is a page accusing Joseph Smith of being a fallen prophet… it is listed below with the three lines, exactly as it shows up on Google-

LDS Mormon Joseph Smith American Prophet
www.i4m.com/think/history/fallen_prophet.htm
This page lists five good reasons Joseph Smith died a fallen prophet.

Following that first listing you get lots of contemporary uses of the term mingled with sites pertaining to Mormonism both pro and con. A Google search brings up everything from music groups and songs, to video games, software platforms and even YouTube videos all incorporating the term fallen prophet, or variations thereof.

Again, the term fallen prophet never shows up in the Old or New Testament and when goggling it, virtually all of the top ranking religious sites mingled in with the contemporary sites using the key words “fallen prophet” seem to be LDS related.

Traditional Christianity virtually never uses the term nor does it show up in the Bible. This is not surprising since traditional Christianity does not put a huge emphasis on the importance of prophets, particularly in a contemporary context.

Of course Joseph Smith was accused in Kirtland of being a fallen prophet and again in Far West and finally in Nauvoo, he was accused of being a fallen prophet.

His accusers were believers in the LDS restoration who believed in his original calling as a prophet and associated revelations but felt he had eventually fallen into transgression and departed from his original calling.

The first major apostasy took place in Kirtland shortly after the special conference at the Morley Farm when some of the leading brethren who were called to be high priests denied the faith and others accused Joseph of being.

During the second main apostasy in Kirtland some people were upset about the name change of the church while others became angry about the affairs of the Kirtland Safety Society.

During the Far West period some of the most prominent leaders of the Church actually signed affidavits accusing Joseph of some very serious things. These charges landed Joseph and others in jail.

Finally in Nauvoo, people were concerned for a multitude of reasons including the fact that he was no longer receiving revelations. Section 124 was the last major revelation of doctrinal significance to be canonized. Some of the saints felt that Joseph Smith began teaching doctrines that conflicted with his earlier teachings. They saw Joseph Smith’s teachings about the progression of the Gods and his involvement in masonry and polygamy as contradicting the teachings of the gospel in the Book of Mormon and the early revelations in the D&C.

On the other hand, many of the saints interpreted the new doctrines and practices as proof of continued revelation and further enlightenment.

According to one online commentary-

“In the stormy spring of 1844, the King Follett discourse rose like a castle in the weeds, a splendid, mysterious heterodoxy standing amid the bitterness in Nauvoo. The sermon thrilled many of the city’s Mormons. Joseph Fielding, one of the Prophet’s listeners, said, “Any one that could not see in him the Spirit of inspiration of God must be dark, they might have known that he was not a fallen Prophet even if they thought he was fallen.

People like Fielding loved accounts of the heavenly order. Not so the Laws, Fosters, and Higbees. William Law said the annual conference brought out “some of the most blasphemous doctrines… ever heard of,” such as “other gods as far above our God as he is above us.”

I have already discussed in previous blogs how some people believe that the Nauvoo era of the church represented further enlightenment while others saw it as a time of great darkness and backsliding.

There was actually a great polarization taking place at this period of time within the church.

So great was the heat on Joseph Smith by his critics that he made mention of their deliberations publicly in a sermon.

In it he said-

my apostate enemies say that I have been a true prophet–& I had rather be a fallen true prophet, than a false prophetMay 12 1844

Joseph was pointing out that there is a very significant distinction between a false prophet and a true prophet that becomes a fallen prophet.

What does it mean to be fallen?

Fallen from what?

The probable answer to that is provided by the Lord in section 20 of the D&C.

“And we know that justification through the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is just and true; And we know also, that sanctification through the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is just and true, to all those who love and serve God with all their mights, minds, and strength. But there is a possibility that man may fall from grace and depart from the living God;


Based on the above passage, I would submit that a fallen prophet is a person who was a true prophet at first, who has since Fallen from Grace.

That being the case, it causes one pause that Joseph would rather be a fallen true prophet than simply a false prophet from the beginning because we are taught in the church that those who fall from the greater light receive the greater condemnation.. Obviously a true prophet who transgresses and falls from grace would have fallen from a state of greater light than someone who was never a true prophet to begin with.

I am going to suggest that Joseph would rather be a fallen prophet simply because it is possible to return to a state of grace after falling from it!

Grace Vs. Mercy

It is often said that “Grace is what God gives us that we don’t deserve. Mercy results in God not giving us what we do deserve“. (God often withholds his wrath even though we deserve it)

It is interesting to observe that according to the ancient prophecy about the future Davidic servant, even though he would transgress and be chastened by the rod of men, the mercy of the Lord would not depart from him.

If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men: But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee.” 2nd Samuel 7:15:

Is it possible that the latter day servant of God and his associates spoken of in 2nd Samuel and Leviticus 16 temporarily fall from grace while the mercy of God never departs from them?

I would suggest that one can remain within the mercy of God even while temporarily falling from grace.

Perhaps that is why Joseph said he would rather be a true fallen prophet than a false prophet. Perhaps he understood that falling from grace does not necessarily denote an eternal or unchangeable condition of damnation.

When Satan fell from heaven, he was not only falling from grace, but he was eternally falling from the mercy of God.

It is unfortunate that some of us view prophets as infallible and others of us assume that if a prophet does fall from grace they cannot repent and be returned to their former state. Such assumptions prevent us from using their lives and the counsel God gives them as examples of the human condition and the mercy of God.

Again my purpose in addressing this topic is not to Judge (condemn) Joseph Smith but rather to judge (observe and learn from ) the events of his life and from the council and prophetic instruction that the Lord gave him.

It is truly significant that the term fallen prophet is mainly only relevant in Mormonism and that Protestantism and Catholicism seldom if ever use the term.

Although the term fallen prophet does appear to originate from the Kirtland era of the restoration movement, it did not originate from the accusations that were being made by the critics of Joseph Smith.

It actually originates from a revelation from God to Joseph Smith!

First, a little context.

The storyline begins in mid 1828.

The 116 pages of the Book of Mormon had been lost because Joseph had feared man more than God and had allowed himself to be influenced by the persuasions of men.

The Lord was upset with Joseph.

In a revelation directed solely to Joseph Smith, before the church was even organized, the Lord proclaimed this very profound truth-

“Remember, remember that it is not the work of God that is frustrated, but the work of men”

The Lord then gave Joseph a hypothetical scenario-

For although a man may have many revelations, and have power to do many mighty works, yet if he boasts in his own strength, and sets at naught the counsels of God, and follows after the dictates of his own will and carnal desires, he must fall and incur the vengeance of a just God upon him.”

One has to wonder how modern day Mormonism has embraced the infallibility of prophets doctrine, when the above passage so clearly states that prophets CAN fall!

The above passage in section 3 of the D&C very possibly constitutes the very first introduction of the “fallen prophet” term and the fact that a true prophet can in fact fall from grace.

It is this revelation that haunted Joseph throughout his public ministry because it alerted the membership of the church to the fact that a prophet of God can fall from grace after receiving a long string of revelations and doing many mighty works.

It is this passage that caused many of the converts to Mormonism to watch Joseph Smith with a very critical and accusative eye anytime he did or said something that seemed out of harmony with the prior revelations..

Clearly the hypothetical given in section 3 was not referring to the historical Joseph Smith of 1828 for indeed the pattern given did not reflect the life of Joseph during that period of time.

Take a look at the six point hypothetical the Lord gave to Joseph in section 3-

  • A prophet can have many revelations
  • A prophet can do many mighty works
  • Following the revelations and mighty works the prophet can begin boasting
  • Following the revelations and mighty works the prophet can set at naught the counsels of God
  • Following the revelations and mighty works the prophet can follow his his own will and carnal desires
  • Following the revelations and mighty works the prophet can FALL (and have no more gift of prophecy)

At the time this revelation was given in 1828 Joseph had not yet received very many revelations. He had mainly been blessed with the ministering of angels. The many revelations now canonized in the D&C were to come in later years.

At that time, Joseph had not done very many mighty works.

He was not a boastful person at that early time in his life.

He did make a bad judgment call with regard to Martin Harris and the 116 pages but he was tormented by his mistake and quickly became contrite and repentant.

He clearly did not fall from grace at that time, or if he did, he did not fall from grace for very long because God assured him-

thou are still chosen, and art AGAIN called to the work” (vs 10)

(admittedly, the “again” in the above passage implies that in fact Joseph may have temporarily lost his calling even though he had not lost his status of being  “chosen”.

The Lord in his mercy forgave him and accepted his repentance.

All in all, the six-part hypothetical really did not fully apply to the historical Joseph Smith of 1828 even though the hypothetical was incorporated within a revelation that was being clearly and specifically directed at him.

Lets review in greater detail what the Lord said to Joseph after giving the hypothetical.

Notice how the dialogue changed from hypothetical to personal once again.

Behold, you have been entrusted with these things, but how strict were your commandments; and remember also the promises which were made to you, if you did not transgress them.

And behold, how oft you have transgressed the commandments and the laws of God, and have gone on in the persuasions of men.

For, behold, you should not have feared man more than God. Although men set at naught the counsels of God, and despise his words—

Yet you should have been faithful; and he would have extended his arm and supported you against all the fiery darts of the adversary; and he would have been with you in every time of trouble.

Behold, thou art Joseph, and thou wast chosen to do the work of the Lord, but because of transgression, if thou art not aware thou wilt fall.

But remember, God is merciful; therefore, repent of that which thou hast done which is contrary to the commandment which I gave you, and thou art still chosen, and art again called to the work;

Except thou do this, thou shalt be delivered up and become as other men, and have no more gift.

The Importance of Being AWARE

What an interesting statement-

“..if thou art not aware thou wilt fall.”

That is the second time in the revelation that the Lord uses the word FALL.

The word “fall” is first used in the six point hypothetical, demonstrating that a true prophet can still fall from grace if he transgresses.

Secondly, it is used referring directly to Joseph, as the Lord gives Joseph the warning that if he is not aware, he will “fall“!

This passage is what I have taken as the theme of this post because the message is so profound and yet so subtle.

Have you ever really considered the importance of being aware?

Have you ever read about the doctrine of AWARENESS?

I have written other posts in which I have attempted to show that Joseph, Sidney and others were acting as intercessory servants who were artificially taking upon themselves the transgressions of the apostate latter day saints.

In those articles I emphasized that Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon and their associates committed transgression in a different way than many others commit transgressions.

It is one thing to take upon you your own sins. It is quite another to act as intercessory servants who have the sins of latter day Israel artificially placed upon them and therefore act them out!

In the above mentioned posts I have always stopped short of calling Joseph Smith a fallen prophet because in my mind, the transgressions he took himself during or shortly after the latter day fulfillment of the atonement statute prophesy in the Kirtland Temple were artificially placed upon him and he simply acted out the sins that were in the hearts of apostate Israel.


During the Far West period the Lord gave a strong rebuke to those who were accusing Joseph and Sidney falsely-

Cursed are all those that shall lift up the heel against mine anointed, saith the Lord, and cry they have sinned when they have not sinned before me, saith the Lord, but have done that which was meet in mine eyes, and which I commanded them. But those who cry transgression do it because they are the servants of sin, and are the children of disobedience themselves.

How interesting that the Lord made it clear to the church in section three and section twenty and other revelations that Joseph had sinned and that he could fall in the future if he was not AWARE, yet during the Far West period he gives such a strong warning to those who falsely accuse Joseph and others of the Lords anointed servants!

Another interesting possibility that surfaces in this study is that the terms “sin” and “transgression” may not mean the same thing. It is possible that the anointed servants of the Lord that artificially took upon themselves the sins of the people were under transgression but not sin. Just a passing thought… I don’t pretend to know.

Nevertheless, after pondering section 3, I believe there is strong reason to believe that the six part hypothetical given in section 3, followed by the direct warning to Joseph that he will fall if he is not aware, is in fact more than a hypothetical. It appears to be a prophecy regarding the future historical Joseph smith of the 1840′s and perhaps even earlier.

There is an uncanny resemblance between the six-part hypothetical in section 3 and the life of Joseph during the Nauvoo era.

First of all, Joseph had published and canonized over 100 revelations by the time he began his involvement in Masonry and polygamy in Nauvoo. He had truly received “many revelations”. Shortly thereafter, revelation dried up.

Secondly, Joseph had done “many wonderful works“, including healings, the restoration of the Melchizedek priesthood, the completion of the Kirtland Temple and the associated ushering in of the gospel of Abraham, etc.

Thirdly, the humble and contrite Joseph of the early years became bold and brash and “boastful” very possibly in fulfillment of the prophecy in section 3.

Perhaps one of the most arrogant, obnoxious and blasphemous pronouncements he made is contained in a sermon he gave in front of thousands of people in 1844 when he said-

“I have more to boast of than ever any man had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam. A large majority of the whole have stood by me. Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such a work as I. The followers of Jesus ran away from Him; but the Latter-day Saints never ran away from me yet.” History of the Church, Vol. 6, pp. 408-409 (Sunday, May 26, 1844) http://www.boap.org/LDS/Parallel/1844/26May44.html

Prior to understanding the atonement statute and the effect it had on Joseph Smith I would read the above quote and other similar ones made during the Nauvoo era and just shake my head in disbelief.

At first I simply rejected the possibility that Joseph ever made such statements even though they appear to come from credible sources. These types of statements are so repugnant that I simply didn’t believe a prophet of God could utter them.

I now see them as a reminder of what happens when a person looses their spiritual equilibrium and state of spiritual awareness. The ego runs unrestrained. I believe such pronouncements from Joseph Smith represent a remarkable fulfillment of Gods warning and prophecy in section 3.

I see them as a sign that Joseph lost his awareness, when the sins of latter day Israel were put upon him, causing him to fall. (Isaiah informs us that God covers the eyes of the seers because of the iniquity of latter day Israel. Would that not constitute losing ones awareness?)

Fourth and fifthly, at the time that Joseph was boasting in his accomplishments he was contradicting the previous revelations about the importance of the celestial law of monogamy. In doing this, he was truly setting at naught the councils of God and following after the dictates of his own will and carnal desires.

According to some accounts, Joseph spoke openly about his enjoyment of the young wives he had taken on… according to William Law-

Joseph was very free in his talk about his women. He told me one day of a certain girl and remarked, that she had given him more pleasure than any girl he had ever enjoyed. I told him it was horrible to talk like this. – Joseph Smith’s close confidant and LDS Church First Councilor, William Law, Interview in Salt Lake Tribune, July 31,

As mentioned on other posts, Joseph later confided in William Marks that he and the saints had been deceived into embracing the spiritual wife doctrine but this was not until it had deeply infected the quorum of the Twelve, other leaders and many members of the church.

Lastly,  point number six of the prophecy is arguably the most profound and remarkable part of the prophecy to come true  if this scenario I am presenting is accurate; he fell from grace, resulting in falling from his position and from his gift of prophecy.

The Lord had warned Joseph that if he boasted, he truly would become as other men, and have his gift of prophecy taken away.-

“Except thou do this, thou shalt be delivered up and become as other men and have no more gift

When Joseph publicly announced to the Church in Nauvoo that he would no longer be prophesying for the church, I don’t believe he was exercising his own prerogative to become an emeritus prophet. I believe he was in essence acknowledging that he didn’t possess the gift of prophecy anymore.

Did he fully understood what had happened?

I don’t know.

Did he realize that the prophecy in section 3 had been fulfilled and that he had lost the gift and become as other men?

I don’t know.

He seemed to indicate that he was moving forward in his own personal progression while his brother Hyrum would remain as the prophet for the church.

I believe the prophetic and historical evidence strongly suggests Joseph had become as other men… and the Lord had taken the gift of prophecy from him.

It is not a coincidence that he did not receive any revelations during the last three years of his life.

In part four of this series we shall view the remarkable prophecy in section 3 in the context of two other supporting prophetic revelations contained in the D&C.

We shall then take a look at the meaning behind the Tree of Life vs the Tree of Knowledge and continue our attempt to gain a better understanding of the doctrine of awareness.


The Doctrine of “AWARENESS” Part Two

October 30, 2011

Part Two

I believe most people who have studied the life of Joseph Smith assume that either he was a true prophet, or a false prophet, period.

It is a very black or white issue for them.

They believe he was either virtually always inspired and acting prophetically whenever he gave a high profile doctrinal sermon or revelation OR he was virtually never inspired when giving a doctrinal sermon or presenting a revelation.

That view seems logical to most people.

Latter day saints have been brain washed into a system of prophet-worship and indoctrinated into the doctrine of infallibility.

Believers feel safe in believing EVERYTHING he said.

Conversely, those who reject the LDS restoration feel safe in rejecting EVERYTHING he said if they can find just one doctrine he taught that appears to be false or one thing he did that appeared to be out of character for a holy prophet of God.

This all or nothing belief takes the need for personal revelation and discernment out of the equation.

It feels so much safer to believe that the Lord’s anointed servant will never make a mistake and that all we need to do is mindlessly “follow the prophet” like dumb sheep instead of actually thinking things through, studying them out in the scriptures and praying about them for personal revelation on every given topic.

Brigham Young once said, (I am paraphrasing), that anyone who blindly followed a prophet was not worthy of the celestial kingdom even if they were valiantly following a true prophet.

I agree.

The scriptures make it clear that having oil in our lamps (the Holy Spirit) is what enables the wise virgins into the marriage feast, not blind obedience.

Only those who take responsibility for treasuring up the word of God and taking the Holy Spirit for their guide (which is to receive personal revelation) will receive the gift of eternal life in the highest kingdom of God.

I believe that the doctrine of blindly following a true prophet is a very dangerous and un-scriptural way of thinking. It is a false premise and a slippery slope.

I believe the all or nothing belief system is just exactly how old Scratch wants people to think because that way of thinking prevents both believers and non-believers from entering into the straight and narrow path.

Joseph Smith entered the following statement into his journal

This morning . . . I visited with a brother and sister from Michigan, who thought that ‘a prophet is always a prophet’; but I told them that a prophet is a prophet only when he was acting as such” (Joseph Smith,_History of the Church, 5:265).

We have reviewed countless other supporting scriptures and inspired statements related to this topic on other posts but don’t have the time to beat a dead horse right now… there is too much other stuff that we need to cover in this series. Suffice it to say, prophets are mortal men who sometimes provide true messages from God, sometimes share their fallible opinions and yes, as documented in the scriptures, they sometimes offer false revelations.

God sometimes uses them to test the Saints, to see if the Saints will stay true to God and the commandments and truths that God has previously taught or whether they can be deceived by worshiping a wayward messenger.

“…if thou art not aware thou wilt fall.”

I began this series by providing the following quotation from section 3

I then provided several definitions including the following one.

aware

AWA’RE, a. [See Ware and Wary.]

Watchful; vigilant; guarded; but more strictly in modern usage, apprised; expecting an event from information, or probability; as, the general was aware of the enemy’s designs.

I then pointed out that I believe the doctrine of awareness pertains to both outward events such as the events of the third watch (which my three watches blog is about) and it also pertains to the inward events that take place in our mind and our hearts. (which my onewhoiswatching blog attempts to address from time to time)

In this series we are going to dissect section 3 of the D&C to get some context for an amazing event in LDS church history having to do with a high profile prophet of God and his tragic, but prophesied departure from being in a state of spiritual awareness.

Before tackling section 3, let me share a few things that have really helped me in my journey to better understand the doctrine of awareness.

Eckhart Tolle

One of the profound teachers of our day is a fellow by the name of Eckhart Tolle

You may be familiar with his best selling book, “A New Earth- Awakening To Your Life’s Purpose” in which he contends that humanity is ready for a transformation of consciousness.

Oprah Winfrey became so enamored with the teachings of Eckhart Tolle that she began promoting him and his work a few years ago and they have attracted millions of followers. In essence, some people feel that she and he are starting a new church/religion.

Unfortunately, Eckhart Tolle doesn’t appear to appreciate the significance of the atonement and the literal Godhood of Christ and yet he builds many of his teachings largely around many of the things Christ taught.

Because Eckhart appears to reject the deity of Christ and the atonement, evangelicals have become violently opposed to his teachings and to the church that he and Oprah seem to be establishing.

My personal philosophy is that I try to adhere to the admonition of Paul and I try to “prove all things and hold fast to that with is good.”

Translation: Even though I see some very serious deficiencies in what Eckhart Tolle and Oprah are teaching and promoting, I can still appreciate some of the profundities that they are sharing.

I have four very close friends who have all told me within the last month that the teachings of Eckhart Tolle have profoundly changed their lives for the better.

They have all said that once they begin to understand how mind chatter works and how the ego adversely influences our lives by painting inaccurate mental images, they can never think in the same destructive way again without catching themselves and their destructive egoic thought patterns.

The comedian, Jim Carey is one of Eckarts enthusiastic and passionate followers. In this short youtube video, he briefly shares his perceptions of Eckhart Tolle and his teachings-

In another youtube video Carrey shared his experience of getting a glimpse of what awareness feels like-

I woke up and I suddenly got it… I understood about how thought was an illusory thing and how thought is responsible for most of the suffering we experience and then I suddenly felt as if I was looking at these thoughts from another perspective and suddenly I was thrown into this amazing feeling of freedom from myself from my problems.

I saw that I was bigger than what I do and from my body and from everyone.. I was no longer a fragment of the universe.. I was the universe.. and ever since that day I’ve been trying to get back there. It comes and it goes… its like riding a wave, sometimes I an on and sometimes I’m off but at least I know where I want to go and I want to take as many people with me as I can because the feeling is amazing..”

I have listed below a few quotes about awareness by Eckhart Toll

“Awareness is the greatest agent for change.”

“Awareness is the power that is concealed within the present moment.”

“The moment you become aware of the ego in you, it is strictly speaking, no longer the ego, but just an old, conditioned mind-pattern. Ego implies unawareness. Awareness and ego cannot coexist.”

“As soon as you honor the present moment, all unhappiness and struggle dissolve, and life begins to flow with joy and ease. When you act out the present-moment awareness, whatever you do becomes imbued with a sense of quality, care, and love – even the most simple action.”

“It is when we are trapped in incessant streams of compulsive thinking that the universe really disintegrates for us, and we lose the ability to sense the interconnectedness of all that exists.”

“Once you have had a glimpse of awareness or Presence, you know it firsthand. It is no longer just a concept in your mind.”

“If you are in a state of intense presence you are free of thought, yet highly alert. If your conscious attention sinks below a certain level, thought rushes in, the mental noise returns, stillness is lost, you’re back in time.”

“thinking without awareness is the main dilemma of human existence”

“some people never forget the first time they disidentified from their thoughts and thus briedly experienced the shift in identity from being the content of their mind to being the awareness in the background”

“The moment you become aware of the ego in you, it is strictly speaking no longer ego, but just an old, conditioned mind-pattern”

“The good news is: If you can recognize illusion as illusion, it dissolves. The recognition of illusion is also its ending”

Eckhart Tolle

If you take the time to listen to or read some of Eckarts stuff about “awareness” and “awakening”, you will see how many of the associated topics that he addresses are also addressed in scripture.’

For instance, he identifies ego as being the condition of perceived separateness that clouds our ability to enter into an enlightened state of awareness.

Is that not closely related to what the Book of Mormon and other scriptures address time and time again as the natural man and the sin of pride?

Is that not closely related to what the New Testament and other scripture address as the state of the natural man?

Ego results in pride, separateness and class distinction instead of the Zion principles of humility, unity, equality and oneness.

Ego produces ( or IS) mental noise that prevents the stillness.

The Lord admonishes us to “be still and Know that I am God”.

One of the things I hope to accomplish in this series is to further expose and thus dissolve the illusion that results in prophet worship.

The following graphic illustrates how correlated Mormons prioritize doctrinal authority or truth.

The above graphic illustrates the fact that most members of the corporate church use the correlated teachings of the current and modern presidents of the church as the highest level of authority followed by the teachings of the prophet Joseph Smith. After that, they accept the scriptures in the four standard works. In there minds they believe they also receive some degree of personal revelation from the promptings of the Holy Spirit however, they would never question the correlated teachings and therefore  rarely find a need to pray about doctrine.

What this means is that if the teachings of the current correlated lesson manuals contradict the teachings of Joseph Smith or the scriptures, they discard the teachings of Joseph Smith and the Scriptures and follow the current correlated teachings of the modern presidents of the church.

This constitutes taking the scriptures lightly and results in being condemned (See Section 84:54)

Conversely the following graphic illustrates how the Lord expects us to discern and prioritized truth. Our center and foundational method of identifying truth is thru the Word of God which comes in two different forms-

a) The Written words of Christ and his servants as contained in the scriptures

b) Personal Revelation from the Holy Ghost

Every other source of doctrinal information must be tested against this foundation and discarded if it fails the test.

Anyone claiming to get personal revelation who does not seriously study and search the written word of God and whose personal revelation contradicts the written word of God is deceived. Anyone who does search the scriptures but fails to received personal revelation will fall short of celestial law. The two must work together synergistically.


PMA vs Life Changing Knowledge vs The Rebirth

I have come to the conclusion that there is a huge difference between some of the motivational “feel good” stuff that is taught and the life changing concepts that others are teaching.

And yet, even the enlightened information dealing with our “state of awareness” that many of the great self help gurus and some of their followers have experienced is still quite different from the spiritual awareness spoken of by the Lord.

Regardless of whether your self help philosophies come from Zig Ziggler, Steven Covey, Wayne Dyer, Tony Robins, Deepak
Chopra, Eckhart Tolle or Buda himself, your inner awakening and level of awareness will be terrestrial at best until you become spiritually born again.

There simply is no substitute for the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the spiritual rebirth that takes place via the baptism of water, fire and Holy Ghost. (Which is not currently available at this time… but will be in the near future)

As we study section 3 we need to see the relationship between awareness vs. ego. We need to appreciate how ego leads to pride boasting and destructive mind noise. All of these things disintegrate when spiritual awareness takes place.

Another fascinating author that brings much to the study of this topic is Max Skousen.

Years ago I read many of his books including “a Blessing Hitherto Unknown” (part one and two).

While I disagree with some of his ultimate conclusions, I highly recommend his books. They will challenge the way you interpret many passages in the scriptures and hopefully motivate you to dig a little deeper into the deeper doctrines of the kingdom. (thank you for reminding me of his work Ryan)

He compares the tree of knowledge to the Tree of Life concluding that the one leads to death and the other to life.

My perspective if the the Tree of Knowledge represents a temporary phase and that it can lead to life or death depending on the choices we make.

I don’t believe the tree of Knowledge is categorically evil, it actually enabled Adam and his posterity to avoid living forever in their sins.

We will discuss this in more detail later in this series.

Nonjudgmental Judgment

My interpretation of section three of the D&C is no doubt going to offend some people’s sensitivities if they are not familiar with the fact that prophets are fallible human beings and further, if they are not familiar with the atonement statute and the intercessory offering that Joseph Smith and several of his brethren made in behalf of the WHOLE WORLD.

Let me state up front that I believe Joseph Smith became sanctified and had his calling and election made sure in or before 1833.

He is clearly one of the greatest prophets that ever lived and he is going to return to the earth and complete the work the Lord has given him to do in the third watch..

Therefore, as I present my interpretation of section three and some corresponding events that took place in Joseph’s life, please don’t think I am condemning him from an eternal perspective.

On the contrary, I want to understand section 3 and the doctrine of awareness and its application in the life of Joseph Smith because the Lord made this revelation public for the purpose of teaching the Saints about how God’s plan works, Joseph’s role in the restoration and also to teach us about ourselves.

This study is more about us than about Joseph.

He simply played a grand part in this probation that required him to fall just as Adam was required to fall.

Believe it or not, the Lord used the life of Joseph Smith as a quasi-allegorical template for teaching each of us about the human condition and our own struggle to enter into and maintain a state of spiritual awareness.

If you are not familiar with the atonement statute and how it relates to the life of Joseph Smith, you may want to read the following articles

The Return of Sidney Rigdon Final

Four Steps in Losing Your Innocence- Part 6

The Atonement Statute

Another powerful reference to the atonement statute is provided in section 84 and points out that verse 57 speaks about how the church was under condemnation until they remember the NEW COVENANT, “even the book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them

The keywords “new covenant” in verse 57 links up with the keywords “the covenant” in verse 48 which the “Father has renewed and conferred upon you” speaking to the seven elders who had gathered together in prayer to petition the Lord.

In that passage the Lord makes an observation that is perhaps one of the greatest references to the atonement statute and the doctrine of the three watches.

The Lord continues-

“..which is confirmed upon you for your own sakes, and not for your sakes only, but for the sake of the whole world.”

WOW!

Have you ever heard anything like that before?

Can you ever remember the Lord telling any of the prophets or apostles in the New Testament or the Book of Mormon that the father was renewing and conferring the covenant upon them for the sake of the whole world?

Do you believe what the passage is saying?

Do you believe that somehow these seven servants were receiving the renewal and confirming of their covenant with the Father for YOUR SAKE and the sake of the WHOLE WORLD?

Born again evangelicals would probably feel those passages are blasphemous because they don’t think that a prophets role is to do anything beyond delivering a message from God.

They don’t think that any human being can take upon themselves a covenant in behalf of other people or provide an intercessory atonement.

I believe the key word phrases in verses 58 and 47-48 continue to lead us to other verses in section 84 which are very instructive.

What is the NEW COVENANT that God has just renewed and confirmed upon the seven elders?

Look at how verse 42 links up with verse 48 via the keyword “confirm”

“And wo unto all those who come not unto this priesthood which ye have received, which I now confirm upon you who are present this day, by mine own voice out of the heavens; and even I have given the heavenly hosts and mine angels charge concerning you.”

The priesthood that was confirmed upon the seven that day is the same thing as the covenant that was confirmed upon the seven that day.

COVENANT = PRIESTHOOD

The “NEW COVENANT” – “OATH AND COVENANT OF THE PRIESTHOOD”

The keywords in sections 58, 47-48, and 42 lead us to the key words describing the OATH AND COVENANT OF THE PRIESTHOOD as described in verses 33-41

33 For whoso is faithful unto the obtaining these two priesthoods of which I have spoken, and the magnifying their calling, are sanctified by the Spirit unto the renewing of their bodies.

34 They become the sons of Moses and of Aaron and the seed of Abraham, and the church and kingdom, and the elect of God.

35 And also all they who receive this priesthood receive me, saith the Lord;

36 For he that receiveth my servants receiveth me;

37 And he that receiveth me receiveth my Father;

38 And he that receiveth my Father receiveth my Father’s kingdom; therefore all that my Father hath shall be given unto him.

39 And this is according to the oath and covenant which belongeth to the priesthood.

40
Therefore, all those who receive the priesthood, receive this oath and covenant of my Father, which he cannot break, neither can it be moved.

41 But whoso breaketh this covenant after he hath received it, and altogether turneth therefrom, shall not have forgiveness of sins in this world nor in the world to come.

As you can see, once you receive one or both of the first two earthly patriarchal priesthoods and magnified them thru faith, the father enters into covenant with you.

This brings about the renewing of your body.

That is what was being spoken of later on in verse 48 when the Lord spoke of the Father teaching them of the covenant which was RENEWED and CONFIRMED upon these seven individuals.

In other words, you become renewed into a new creation. You experience the spiritual rebirth. You become spiritually born again.

Once you are taught the covenant by the Father and have been reborn, God cannot break the covenant with you, only you can break the covenant.

The ultimate goal of awareness is to lead us to a contrite heart and broken spirit through the re-birthing process of the spirit

Having laid a foundation for the topic of awareness and the role of Joseph Smith, in part three of this series we will finally get down to dissecting section 3.

I had meant to do it in this part but realized that I needed to provide greater foundation before showing the prophecy regarding the fall of one of the greatest prophets that ever lived


The Doctrine of “AWARENESS”

October 23, 2011

“…if thou art not aware thou wilt fall.”


aware


AWA’RE, a. [See Ware and Wary.]

Watchful; vigilant; guarded; but more strictly in modern usage, apprised; expecting an event from information, or probability; as, the general was aware of the enemy’s designs.


wary


WARY, a. [See Ware and Warn.] Cautious of danger; carefully watching and guarding against deception, artifices and dangers; scrupulous; timorously prudent. Old men are usually more wary than the young. It is incumbent on a general in war to be always wary.


watchful


WATCHFUL, a. Vigilant; attentive; careful to observe; observant; cautious. It has of before the thing to be regulated, as to be watchful of ones behavior; and against, before the thing to be avoided, as to be watchful against the growth of vicious habits.


vigilant


VIG’ILANT, a. [L. vigilans.] Watchful; circumspect; attentive to discover and avoid danger, or to provide for safety.

Take your places and be vigilant. Be sober, be vigilant.

1Peter 5.

Long before the restored church was legally organized in 1830 the Lord gave Joseph Smith the following warning-

“…if thou art not aware thou wilt fall.”

The mystical and ineffable doctrine of AWARENESS is as subtle as it is profound.

It really doesn’t perceivably show up very often in the scriptures and when it does, it is often described using an array of differing terminology and those terms are often hidden in a seemingly larger message.

Not only are there differing terms associated with it, there are also overlapping doctrines that it intercepts with.

The doctrine of awareness apparently has to do with being watchful, and vigilant regarding external,
situational events and things in this temporal world around however it also has to doing with being watchful and vigilant with regard to internal things taking place in our mind and heart.

We Think, Reason and Feel In Both Mind And Heart

The scriptures inform us that the human soul has two separate and distinct thinking and feeling organs, with minds of their own.

One mind is contained in the brain.

The other mind is located in the heart.

The Lord has told us that he communicates to us in both of these cognizant, thinking organs and that the Holy Ghost dwells in the hearts of the righteous-

I will tell you in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you and which shall dwell in your heart“. D&C 8:2

The first commandment involves loving the Lord with both of our minds… the mind in our hearts and the mind in our brains.

And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.” (Mark 12:30)

While the King James Version of the Bible quotes Jesus as saying

“As a man thinketh so is he…”

The Inspired Version of the Bible makes a profound correction to the translation-

“As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he…”

Although he brain is always thinking and chattering and and providing thoughts, the heart appears to be listening and observing and having thoughts of its own. Sometimes it believes the chatter coming from the brain-mind and sometimes it doesn’t.

From the above passage in the JST It appears to be the thought conclusions formulated within the heart of man that ultimately constitutes what the man is.

While the brain entertains a myriad of thoughts during the day of our conscious lives, it is what we think in our heart that determines who and what we are in the spiritual realm and ultimately how we will be judged and what degree of glory we will be able to abide in the eternal realm. This is perhaps why it is important that we invite the Holy Spirit into our hearts and allow it to dwell in our hearts.

Scripture also informs us that there are two superhuman intelligences that govern and inspire the world of thoughts that the intelligence of man is subjected too.

One source is often referred to as LIGHT and TRUTH.

Section 93 and other scriptures inform us that all truth comes from God and the Holy Spirit (which, according to Lectures on Faith, is the mind of God.)

Therefore, in the beginning the Word was, for he was the Word, even the messenger of salvation— The light and the Redeemer of the world; the Spirit of truth, who came into the world, because the world was made by him, and in him was the life of men and the light of men… The glory of God is intelligence, or, in other words, light and truth. Light and truth forsake that evil one.” (D&C 94)

The other thought source that provides the opposing force in the universe is referred to as LIES.

Scripture informs us that all lies come from
Satan.

the devil.. is the father of all lies“.

If the Devil is the father of all lies, then it is His spirit and thought force that emanates throughout this world darkening and seducing the minds of all men that tell lies.

The Book of Mormon makes the very simple and plain declaration that “There is nothing which is good save it comes from the Lord; and that which is evil cometh from the devil.”

We must be vigilant in watching and aware of what is going on around us externally and we must be vigilant in watching what is taking place in our own hearts.

There are external events that we have been commanded to watch for, such as the events of the second coming, however, during this outer watch of things going on in the external world, we must also watch out for the deceptions that Satan plants in the hearts of men when they least expect it.

Satan Wants To Put A Data Feed Into Your Mind and Heart

The scriptures remind us that we need to beware of Satan and his desire to enter into the inner chambers of the heart of man.

why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost (Acts 5:3)

And Satan put it into the heart of the serpent, (for he had drawn away many after him,) and he sought also to beguile Ev… wherefore he sought to destroy the world. (Moses 4:6)

And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him; (John 13:2)

Suffer not yourself to be led away by any vain or foolish thing; suffer not the devil to lead away your heart again after those wicked harlots (Alma 39:11)

God Created Satan and Controls Him

It is essential for there to be opposition in all things and the creation of Satan was necessary to provide that opposition. We are informed that God actually creates both good and evil and it is the Lord God Almighty that actually created and controls Satan-

I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.(Isa 45:7)

O Lord God Almighty, maker of heaven, earth, and seas, and of all things that in them are, and who controllest and subjectest the devil, and the dark and benighted dominion of Sheol— (121:4)

(The 1828 Websters informs us that control means “To check; to restrain; to govern… To overpower; to subject to authority; to counteract; to have under command…. To direct or govern in opposition; to have superior force, or authority over.)

The cares of the world

In the fourth chapter of Mark, we read about the parable of the sower. In this parable the Savior observed that the word of God is like unto a sower who is sowing seed in an array of places.

In some instances the fowls of the air devoured the seed before it could take root.

“And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up.”

In other instances it fell on stony ground where it had not much earth. It therefore sprang up because it had no depth of earth. Therefore, when the sun came up it was scorched because it had no root. It therefore withered away.

Some of the good seed fell among thorns which chocked it so that it yielded no fruit.

The seed which fell on good ground yielded fruit that sprang up and increased and brought forth, some thirty, some sixty and some an hundred.

After informing his disciples that it was given unto them to know the mystery of the kingdom while others must be taught in parables, he revealed that the thorns represented the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in.

These cares of the world, the deceitfulness of riches and the lusts of other things are what, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.

Spirit filled Awareness

When the scriptures speak of the importance of being aware and of watching.. I believe they are speaking about spirit filled awareness and spirit filled watching. In other words, those passages are speaking of awareness and watching in the spirit filled context, not in the level of awareness and watching that takes place in the natural man.

The natural man is an enemy to God because he is unable to access the Godly state of awareness. In a sense, one might define awareness as having the Holy Ghost dwelling in the heart, creating a contrite spirit and broken heart.

The broken heart and contrite spirit takes place during the spiritual rebirth, after we have become spiritually born again.

True Knowledge Is a State Of Being

When Christ said that it was life eternal to know God, he again taught the behavioral principle that true knowledge is a state of being. (Study 2 Peter 1:3–11 and John 7:16–17.)

In this series we will review the importance of being aware externally and internally.

The term aware only shows up in the four standard works about 13 times.

One of these times is in section 121 wherein we are informed that when a person is not in a state of awareness, they are “left unto themselves” rather than being harmonious with the spirit and the will of God-

34 Behold, there are many called, but few are chosen. And why are they not chosen?

 

 35 Because their hearts are set so much upon the things of this world and aspire to the honors of men, that they do not learn this one lesson—

 

 36 That the rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and that the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness.

 

 37 That they may be conferred upon us, it is true; but when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man.

 

 38 Behold, ere [BEFORE] he is AWARE, he is left unto himself, to kick against the pricks, to persecute the saints, and to fight against God.

 

 39 We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion.

 

 40 Hence many are called, but few are chosen.

Another instance we find the doctrine of awareness in Modern Revelation is found in a very personal revelation given to Joseph smith.

It is section 3 of the D&C and it contains an ominous warning to Joseph Smith, informing him that if he is not AWARE, he will fall. Some might argue that the admonition of the Lord to Joseph Smith is more than a warning… that in fact, it was a prophecy.

Despite the personal nature of this revelation and the fact that it was received before the church was even legally organized, the Lord apparently commanded Joseph Smith to include it in the canonized Book of Commandments and the Doctrine and Covenants.

I suspect that the reason for this is that the principles and lessons to be learned from this revelation apply to all of us. Additionally, God wanted the world to know that Joseph, and prophets in general, can fall from grace.

In part two of this series we shall focus on that section. You may want to read it and ponder it before you read part two of this section.


Miscellaneous Musings 9/21/2011

September 21, 2011

I don’t seem to make much time for blogging anymore… I have several unfinished series that will apparently remain unfinished for some time. My energies have been focused in a different directions.

I recently made a Walipini (earth sheltered greenhouse) and it has really been a fun project. We should get our first freeze in this neck of the woods within the next three weeks and then I will see if all of my hard work has paid off. I hope to provide pics on one of my posts some time in the future.

I want to share a few things that have been happening and/or things that have been on my mind lately.

In this post I will be rambling about various related and unrelated things-

A month or two ago NEPT send me the following link to a newspaper article which I found very interesting.

http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/52412444-78/polygamy-mormon-hudson-lds.html.csp

It is also very timely since it is about polygamy and lots of people have been blogging about polygamy lately…

A fellow by the name of Mark recently sent me the following heads up

“Hi Watcher,

Not sure if you ever read Denver Snuffer’s posts – but his latest I thought you may find interesting: his conclusion that Joseph never taught that plural wives was a requirement for exaltation – that only came from Brigham.

http://denversnuffer.blogspot.com/2011/09/joseph-smiths-limited-plural-marriage.html

_____

Snuffer presents an interesting case that Joseph did not teach the multiple wives was necessary for the highest salvation.

By the way, Rock has been threatening to revisit the topic of polygamy again.. It will be interesting to see if he changes his stance on whether JS participated in the practice or not…. I always find his articles entertaining and thought provoking.

Anyway,

The above newspaper article is about a paper presented at the recent FAIR conference. It was given by a prominent BYU professor who is a high profile Mormon feminist.  Valerie Hudson is really quite a high powered gal… here is her website…. http://vmrhudson.org/

She has created an organization to promote LDS scholarship. You can read about it along with some interesting article here http://squaretwo.org/

At the FAIR conference Hudson proposed a different interpretation of section 132. One that suggests that polygamy was given as a temporary sacrifice, not an ongoing blessing.

If I felt that section 132 was a valid revelation I would be sorely tempted to take her interpretation of it seriously.

I would love to see the actual transcript of the talk she gave. I noticed a comment on a blog that indicated that it was retty much the same as what is in this article on her site http://www.squaretwo.org/Sq2ArticleCasslerPolygamy.html (I don’t know if that is true)

I believe she has an amazing amount of courage to publicly dictate why the doctrine of polygamy will never be lived again by the Latter day Saints.

Rumor has it that she has really pissed of some of the brethren by her remarks.

While checking out some of her article I read an interesting one she wrote entitled

The Curious Appeal of Roman Catholicism
for Certain Latter-day Saint Intellectuals

 In that article she references that fascinating conversion to Catholicism of  Mormon professor Richard Sherlock.

Click on the following link to here USU philosophy professor Richard Sherlock explain why he left Mormonism and converted to Roman Catholicism   http://usu-shaft.com/2011/audio-of-dr-sherlocks-conversion-story/

Frankly, I was underwhelmed with the guy and his deductive reasoning abilities. I suspect he is a Jesuit plant who never understood the Mormon religion.

The only thing of interest in his entire talk was that he made reference to the unscriptural doctrines that Joseph Smith introduced in the 1840′s.

Of course, I have pointed out in several blogs why the gospel and associated doctrines of Mormonism in the 1830′s is so incredibly and radically different than the gospel and related doctrines of Mormonism of the 1840′s… which reminds of another interesting event.

The folks at Mormon stories sponsored a tribute to D. Michael Quinn. I really appreciate the research and integrity Quinn has put forth in getting the truth out about Mormon history. I owe him big time for providing critical historical information that has helped me get down the rabbit hole more quickly and to find missing pieces of the prophet puzzel.

If you are interested in hearing Quinns story and answers to questions during his recent visit to the City of Salt, click here.  http://mormonstories.org/?p=1787

When someone asked Mike about the future of the church, he said, “Historians don’t make good prophets”.

After hearing some of Quinns personal beliefs and his love for Brigham Young, I would add that “historians don’t make good theologians” either!

Speaking of the huge change between the 1830′s and 1840′s, the folks over at Mormon Expression had an essay contest where they invited folks to send in a 10 minute audio essay about anything related to Mormonism.

The Mormon Expression Podcast is largely directed to those who have lost their faith relating to Mormonism. I was curious to see if there were any disenfranchised Mormons over there that were well read in church history and the scriptures and I wanted to see what kind of response I would get if I summarized what happened at the special conference at the Morley Farm.

Hence, I sent in an audio summary of the Special Conference.

You can hear it by clicking on the link below (if I did this correctly)

ests]

Sadly, the recording did not generated much discussion. However, there was one person by the name of Jason that made a comment.

In responding to him I was able to chrystalize in my mind how differently the process and methodology is of how believers and non believers interpret LDS history. I was also able to respond to the false idea perpetuated by anti-Mormon scholars that JS never mentions the first vision or restoration of priesthood until 1835 (the comments will make more sense if you listen to the recording first).

I thought some of you might find the exchange between me and Jason interesting. I have provided our exchange below-

JASON: The June 1831 Conference always fascinated me since I first read about it for the first time in Bushman’s Rough Stone Rolling. I appreciate your faith-promoting interpretation because you remain consistent with the facts.

However, I believe an alternative explanation is more plausible. Namely, Smith actually believed the Melchizedek Priesthood was restored for the first time in 1831 when he declared it so at that time.

It isn’t until later that Smith retroactively claimed that he received the Melchizedek Priesthood from Peter, James, and John in 1829. In his traditional fashion, Smith fashioned a more charismatic, more grandiose story of priesthood restoration to gain a following at a time when members were leaving in droves.

Martin Harris and David Whitmer had never heard of angelic beings who restored the higher priesthood until quite later. Indeed, few members had ever heard of this account until well after the alleged date of the priesthood’s restoration in 1829. Indeed, Oliver Cowdry and others later retrofitted the Book of Commandments with the higher priesthood’s restoration by the hands of Peter, James, and John. D. Michael Quinn thoroughly addressed this problem in the first Mormon Hierarchy book.

However, Smith’s problem was that he already claimed to have received the Melchizedek priesthood “for the first time” in June of 1831. It’s a quandary that even Bushman couldn’t really comfortably resolve in Rough Stone Rolling.

OWIW:  That is an interesting theory Jason.

Can you be more specific about when Joseph changed his story at a “later” time, because people were leaving in droves?

I don’t think he ever changed his story, I think there was perhaps a problem with semantics. Joseph did say that all priesthood was Melchizedek. In that context, it is true that the patriarchal priesthood restored by PJ&J was a portion of Melchizedek, however, I think it is easily documented that Joseph did not deviate from the concept that there were three separate and distinct divisions of priesthood, nor did he deny that the Melchizedek priesthood was restored for the first time at the Morley Farm.

Joseph Smith gave a very detailed explanation of the three divisions of priesthood very late in his life, during the Nauvoo period, on August 27 1843. http://www.boap.org/LDS/Parall…

Additionally, section 124 also indicates that the fulness of the priesthood had been lost from the earth, yet the second priesthood which governs the saving ordinances was clearly still on the earth and being used and spoken of in revelation during the Nauvoo period.

JASON: OWIW,

Richard Bushman raises this theory in Rough Stone Rolling when he writes, “the late appearance of these accounts [referring to the accounts of restoration by Peter, James and John] raises the possibility of later fabrication.” (Pg. 75).

The current version of Priesthood restoration does not appear until around 1835. The Book of Commandments was a chronological recording of all of Joseph Smith’s revelations and would have covered the time that Smith alleges to have received the Melchizedek Priesthood in 1829. However, such an account makes no appearance.

Grant Palmer writes in, An Insider’s View of Mormon Origins, that “Accounts of angelic ordinations from John the Baptist, and Peter, James, and John are in none of the journals, diaries, letters, or printed matter until the mid-1830s.” Pgs. 223-24).

When Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery complied the 1835 D&C, they added a significant amount of verses to D&C section 27 from the original chapter in the Book of Commandments. Of the 649 added words, Smith and Cowdery provided account of the visit from Peter, James, and John. This link provides a comparison of the later additions and alterations of the 1835 D&C with the original Book of Commandments: http://www.saintswithouthalos…..

Anyway, Mormonthink.com provides a comprehensive review of this problem and raises other significant issues that suggest Smith retroactively added the angelic account of priesthood revelation after the June 1831 conference. As for the members leaving at this time, I believe that information is generally accepted, but I cannot provide an immediate source.

As discussed above, we know that no account of the angelic restoration appeared until the mid 1830s, and I believe that this was a time of great upheaval in Kirkland. It’s also the same year in which Smith tells more grandiose stories of the First Vision and purchases the Egyptian Papyri and announces that he found a text written by the hand of Abraham. Add all of these events together, and we see a pattern of Smith making grandiose claims as a method to instill zeal and belief in its membership during a time when doubts and disenchantment with Mormonism pervaded.

OWIW:  Jason-

Thank you for a more detailed response.

I am not questioning that people left in droves during the Kirtland era. Indeed I have seen estimates of up to 50% of the membership and 30% of the leadership that left during the Kirtland apostasy.

My point was that the Kirtland apostasy was pretty much completed by 1838-9 and yet we have Joseph still teaching about the three levels of priesthood in 1843. Joseph was still clearly teaching about the three levels of priesthood long after the Kirtland apostasy.

I also agree with you that Joseph did not speak about certain things until later in his ministry which understandably causes lots of people indigestion.

One of the intriguing aspects of the LDS restoration movement is how Joseph intentionally withheld information at times and then revealed it later.

I realize this makes him look like a deceiver who is back tracking and trying to revise history… Your logic is very understandable… I get it.

I am simply suggesting that there is another possibility. Not the sanitized possibilities provided by the corporate apologists, but rather a third possibility.

In one of the very early meetings of the church, 1830 or earlier, Hyrum got up in front of the first elders and invited Joseph to get up and give all of the particulars of what had happened to bring the church up to the point of having it ready to be legally organized. Hyrum saw this as an incredibly fortuitous opportunity for Joseph to strengthen the testimonies and knowledge base of the new converts who were to take the gospel to the nations.

To the shock and dismay of Hyrum, Joseph flatly declined and said something to the effect of “it is not necessary that the elders should know all of the particulars at this time”.

I apologize for not having the exact quote and the reference handy on that event, I suspect that you may be familiar with it since you appear to be pretty well read in the history of the church.

Again, Joseph’s decline to take that opportunity to clearly lay out what happened in the first vision and the visitation of angels restoring the priesthood is disconcerting at best.

A similar scenario took place with the visitation of angels in the Kirtland Temple many years later.

How strange that the two people who experienced the visitation and the scribe who recorded it NEVER ONCE PUBLICLY MADE MENTION OF IT DURING THE REMAINDER OF JOSEPH’S LIFE!!!!

It would be published for the first time about 16 years later and not canonized for 40 years!

There was apparently a congregation of people sitting on the other side of the veil during the visitation and yet Joseph and Oliver quietly got up and left instead of sharing the event with the congregation… go figure.

Why would Joseph not want to the contemporary saints that event??

They had labored hard to complete the Temple and the Savior accepted their efforts… why not publish the event?

Yet he obviously wanted future generations to know about it by virtue of the fact that he had it recorded and documented in the history which obviously had a good chance of surviving him.

I believe that skeptics of the restoration movement, who reject it, view and judge the scriptures in modern revelation through the eyes of their own interpretation of the associated historical events… thereby assuming that Joseph was simply making up the revelations.

Conversely, I  believe that skeptics of the restoration movement (like myself), who accept the basic storyline, as presented in the scriptures, view the history through the eyes of modern revelation.

I believe that is why skeptic believers and skeptic non-believers interpret historical events in an opposite way.

I really appreciate the fact that you have researched these issues and that you have sound reasons why you are rejecting the storyline.

Although there is little chance of either of us changing the views of the other, I love to dialogue with people like you because I love having my views challenged and I love challenging the contrary views… that is how we all pick up additional information that we may not have previously had and we have the ability to examine things at a deeper level.

Regarding the claim that Joseph really did not make mention of the first vision or the restoration of the priesthood by angels until years after the fact,.. I agree. However, regarding the claim that he did not do so until approximately 1835ish, I don’t think that is accurate.

Here is a quote taken from one of the journals of Joseph Smith. I believe he is in fact alluding to the first vision, the restoration of the priesthoods by angels and, interestingly enough, he then alludes to the restoration of the third priesthood, making a distinction between the third priesthood and the previous two priesthoods.

The statements in brackets are provided by believing contributors of Boap.org who seem to be somewhat baffled by what is being said…

“When Joseph Smith dictated his first attempt at a personal history in 1832 he made this remark:

‘A History of the life of Joseph Smith Jr an account of his marvilous experience and of all the mighty acts which he doeth in the name of Jesus Christ the son of the living God of whom he beareth record and also an account of the rise of the church of Christ in the eve of time according as the Lord brought forth and established by his hand firstly he receiving the testimony from on high

[The first vision]

secondly the ministering of Angels

[Moroni -Book of Mormon plates]

thirdly the reception of the holy Priesthood by the ministring of Angels to adminster the letter of the Gospel – the Law and commandments as they were given unto him – and the ordinencs

[John the Baptist (are Peter, James and John included here?)],

forthly a confirmation and reception of the high Priesthood after the holy order of the son of the living God power and ordinence from on high to preach the Gospel in the administration and demonstration of the spirit the Kees of the Kingdom of God confered upon him

[visit of Peter, James and John, or is this a reference to the restoration of the office of high priest?]

and the continuation of the blessings of God to him &c”

http://webcache.googleusercont…

As you can see from the comments in brackets, it was difficult for traditional Mormon scholars to believe what they were reading but they had no other alternative than to accept the possibility that the reception of the “holy” priesthood, by angels, (plural), had to probably be referring to BOTH of the first two priesthoods since the Aaronic priesthood was the first to be restored, and it was restored by just one angel.

This set up the next part of Joseph’s statement which speaks of the restoration of a “high” priesthood which is separate and distinct from the two previous priesthoods that were both restored by angels.

He identifies it as the “High Priesthood after the holy order of the son of God“

Again we see question marks in the brackets from the LDS scholars postulating that the third priesthood was possibly referring to the restoration of the office of “High Priest” which is how the modern corporate church inaccurately defines the event that took place at the Morley Farm.

Finally, notice how the first two priesthoods were for the purpose of administering the “letter of the Gospel – the Law and commandments.. and the ordinencs” while the priesthood after the order of the Son of God was to “preach the Gospel in the administration and demonstration of the spirit”

I believe the above entry by Joseph Smith in 1832 demonstrates that he did in fact make reference to these experiences long before 1835.

————-END OF EXCHANGE BETWEEN WATCHER AND JASON

Next item..

Tomorrow is the 22nd of September which is a very special and holy day. It is the day of the year that Moroni came to visit Joseph Smith seven years in a row!

According to author and self proclaimed Davidic Servant, Dr. David B. Cohen MD, a major event will be marked by September 22 2011. I have noticed other prophecy enthusiasts claiming that we will have three days of darkness and earthquakes, etc. some claim it marks the opening of the sixth seal while other claim it will be the opening of the seventh seal… they claim that much of the turmoil this month will be because of the so-called commet Elinen.

I guess we don’t have long to wait and see if anything of significance happens.

Lastly, I have been pondering the tree of life vs the tree of the knowledge of good and evil lately… naturally my finding are quite heretical…

Many people thing that the tree of life represents love and grace while the tree of knowledge represents works and law.

I disagree.

 

I hope to do a short post about it in the future.


How Will The Servants Return?

August 21, 2011

I suspect that the doctrine of Three Watches is difficult for some people to believe for many reasons.

One is because the concept of the literal return from the dead of Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon, Lyman Wight, Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer and others of the first laborers of the last kingdom before the second coming in glory, would be such a huge undeniable evidence that the restored gospel is true, that it would take away from the test of faith for the rest of the world.

I have speculated from time to time whether Joseph and Sidney would be taking a high profile stance or a low profile, behind the scenes, stance,  when they return.

I can see it taking place either way.

Here is a description of how Brigham Young sees it happening. As usual, I don’t necessarily agree with him… but I find his remarks facinating-

How long will it be before the resurrection commences again? I know not, but I am proud to believe that it is not long; I am happy to believe that the resurrection of the last days is at hand. Who will be raised? The Saints—those who sleep in Jesus; those that have manifested to the Father, to the Son, to the holy angels, and to all their acquaintances upon the earth, that they believe in God, and acknowledge His hand in all things, and have served Him according to the best of their ability. Will Jesus come? Yes.

We will suppose a case. Let this congregation be prepared to receive a visit from the Son of Man; suppose our hearts are sanctified before the Lord, or we have sanctified the Lord God in our hearts, and we are met here to worship Him, to praise Him, where we are enjoying the society of each other, and the gift of the Holy Spirit, secluded from the rude gaze and confused bustle of the world, retired from all the business transactions of human life, with the doors closed, and Jesus comes into our midst, casts off the vert from our eyes, as he did from the eyes of the two disciples that journeyed from Jerusalem, for they did not know him until he broke bread at supper—suppose he appears in our midst, and rends the veil from our eyes; we shall know Him: he says, “Here are the prints of the nails in my hands, here is the place where my side was pierced; look at them, my brethren and sisters, for I am he.” Every eye will be upon him, and every heart will love him. He remains with us for a time, and he is gone.

We spread abroad upon the earth, and bear testimony of what we have seen. I ask, who will believe our testimony? None, unless the Lord designs to reveal it to them, by an holy angel, or by the manifestation of His own person. We may testify of it until we drop in the grave, to no purpose, unless the Spirit manifests it to them; no person can possibly know it unless God makes it known to him.

This is an item of doctrine I feel to impress upon the minds of this people continually, viz., to live in the light of the Spirit of God, so that every man and woman may have revelations for themselves; for the Spirit of the Lord can instruct you, that you can know for yourselves.

Will the Saints arise from the dead?

Yes.

Who will know it?

But a few.

When the resurrection commences, I say but few will know it; and allow me to inform you, when you have seen Joseph, and Hyrum, and Father Smith, and many others, risen from the dead, and you Elders go abroad preaching, you will not tell the world of their resurrection, for they will not believe it.

You may testify that father Smith has arisen, that Joseph and Hyrum again possess their bodies; that they again live in the flesh, and they will laugh you to scorn, and persecute you to the death, if they have the power, for your testimony’s sake.

Will the Saints rise from the dead before the world is converted?

Yes.

You may despair of ever seeing all creation converted to the Lord Jesus, or to the faith of the holy gospel.

Will you see the resurrection?

Yes: you will be in it, and enjoy it; you will be in the first resurrection.

Will the world believe it, and know of it?

They will not.

Zion will be redeemed, the great Temple of the Lord will be built, whereupon the glory of the Lord will rest, and a cloud by day, and a pillar of fire by night; the Saints will be gathered from all nations, and will walk into the temples of God, to do the work of redemption for their dead, and saviors will be upon Mount Zion to save the house of Esau.

But will the nations know of it?

They will not.

And when the Lord reigns King of nations as he does King of Saints, the inhabitants of the earth will not distrust but that it is the power of some great one, that it is the plans of wise men brought into action.

Thus they will be governed and controlled, and overruled, and led by the principles of the holy Priesthood, and they will never mistrust but that it is the doings of wise men at the head of a powerful nation, schooled in governmental affairs, who know to control their own nation, and then bring into subjection their neighboring nations, until the whole earth has become subject to them.

They will not know that it is the Savior who is ruling King of nations as He does King of Saints. A great portion of the inhabitants of the earth will never mistrust but that it is the effects of the wisdom of men.


The Law of Succession- Part Six William Marks Warns the Twelve of the Consequences of Cutting off the Last Surviving Member of the First Presidency

August 6, 2011


William Marks was one of the great leaders of the LDS restoration movement, having served on the high council in Kirtland, then being called to preside as the president of the church in Far West and finally, he was called by revelation to preside over the church in Nauvoo.

As the Stake President of Nauvoo, Marks became a pivotal player in the Nauvoo drama caused by the succession crises.

Marks was seen in vision by Joseph Smith

According to Smith’s own record on March 29, 1838. Smith wrote that he saw Marks:

“... closely pursued by an innumerable concourse of enemies, who pressed upon him hard; and when they were about to devour him, and had seemingly obtained some degree of advantage over him, a chariot of fire came, and near the place, even the angel of the Lord, put forth his hand upon Bro. Marks and said unto him: ‘Thou art my son, come here.’ And immediately he was caught up in the chariot and rode away triumphantly out of their midst. And again the Lord said, ‘I will raise thee up for a blessing unto many people.‘”(1 Millennial Star. Volume 16, page 131.)

As Stake President, William Marks assisted in the laying of the corner stones of the Nauvoo Temple in April, 1841.

Although Marks was a close friend of Joseph Smith, he occasionally found himself at odds with the prophet.

On one occasion Smith presented questionable evidence of why he felt Sidney Rigdon should be rejected as first counselor in the First Presidency of the church during the October 1843 General Conference.

He accused Rigdon, the long-time friend of Marks, as having lost his “integrity and steadfastness” and stated that he had no confidence in Rigdon’s abilities as a leader in the church or as his counselor.

Regardless of these accusations, Joseph’s brother Hyrum defended Sidney and encouraged the Saints to uphold him in his calling.

Following that, it was William Marks that motioned that Rigdon remain in his station as a counselor in the First Presidency.

Rigdon was then sustained to the position by the membership of the church.


Smith later realized that he had over reacted to some false reports he had heard about Rigdon and both Smith and Rigdon made efforts to mend hard feelings. (there is evidence to support the fact that Rigdon and Smith were on much better terms with each other than the sanitized history of the church would have us believe)

Initially, it was commonly assumed and agreed upon by leaders of the church at the death of Joseph Smith that William Marks, as the president of the Nauvoo Stake, should be the “successor and trustee” but because of Marks rejection of the secret measures that had infiltrated the church, several leaders of the church manipulated things and appointed someone else to that most important task. Here is what a historian had to say-

“The majority of a certain “Quorum” in Nauvoo at this time opposed the appointment of William Marks as successor and trustee. They believed that because William Law, Emma Smith and William Marks (all members of this “Quorum”) were opposed to Joseph and the Quorum on certain matters — in fact, as they put it, on “the most important matters” — if Marks were permitted to be Trustee, they and the Quorum, and the Church would have it’s highest “spiritual blessings destroyed”.

In other words, the false “secret endowments” and the false “spiritual wife doctrine” would be put in jeopardy and possibly exercised from the church, and those unrepentant souls that were involved it these practices would be cut off.

The unusual thing about Marks rejecting “the most important matters”, was that he had actually been part of the secret cabal that Joseph was introducing them to.

He was initiated into Masonry in April 1842 and received his secret endowment on May 4, 1842 as a member of the Council of Fifty.

Nevertheless, Marks was able to keep his spiritual and doctrinal equilibrium as Joseph Smith was leading an inner circle of intimates away from the straight and narrow- indeed, Marks seemed to realize that Joseph was no longer “abiding in the Lord” and that the succession prophecy in section 43 had been fulfilled.

On with the Trial

Ok, in our last installment we discussed how Brigham Young and his fellow accusers of Sidney Rigdon basically incriminated themselves by trying to justify their secret meetings, ordinations, and polygamous abominations as the “measures” of Joseph Smith the prophet.

It is amazing that even though these men were not on trial themselves and even though Sidney was sick and did not show up to defend himself and bring to light the secret acts of these brethren, their own remarks attempting to justify their secret acts revealed what this trail was really about.

We also reviewed how William Marks valiantly stood up and began defending the character of Sidney Rigdon and pointing out that the court was not acting consistently with divine protocol as contained in section 102.

Furthermore, William Marks pointed out that most of the charges being brought up against Rigdon had already been brought up in the previous trial in which Rigdon was found innocent and re-sustained by the church to his calling.

It is now, in this installment that we will review the rest of William Marks testimony.

Prepare yourself for one of the most illuminated summaries of what the true doctrine of succession really is and how it played out in the succession crisis in Nauvoo.

William Marks was able to use passages from the D&C to clearly substantiate the doctrine of succession and yet he did so without even referencing section 43 which contains the succession doctrine and a succession prophecy that was fulfilled in Nauvoo.

It is this author’s opinion that Marks intentionally avoided referencing section 43 because he did not want to tarnish the reputation of Joseph Smith in a high profile church trial that might possibly color how generations to come would view the prophet Joseph Smith if it were pointed out that Joseph had not been  “abiding in the Lord” per the ominous sayings in section 43.

William Marks took modern revelation very seriously and was undoubtedly one of the greatest students of modern revelation of his time and this is undoubtedly one of the reasons why the Lord called him to preside over the saints in Far West and Nauvoo.

He was quite capable of showing forth the true doctrine of succession even without using section 43, as we shall see. .

One of the things Brigham and his fellow conspirators wanted to accomplish was to dissolve the quorum of the First Presidency and have the quorum of the Twelve Apostles preside over the church.

The following declaration by William Marks must have really pissed off brother Brigham!

I had always been taught that the First Presidency would remain and always be with the Church. I have always understood that the Church would be imperfect without a quorum o three to stand as the First Presidency, and I cannot find any law to say that this quorum should ever by dropped” (see D&C 107:2-22 , 65-66)

Obviously Marks was right. There is always supposed to be a first Presidency to lead the Church until the Savior returns. Brigham and his brethren wanted to disband it because they wanted to continue in the secret measures they were doing and didn’t want to deal with Rigdon.

It appears that they didn’t want anyone over them holding them accountable for their actions. They had become a law unto themselves.

The next bombshell that President Marks laid on the Twelve was this-

I laid my hands on Brother Sidney with Brother Joseph and he ordained him to be a ‘Prophet Seer and Revelator”, and to be equal with him in holding the Keys and Authority of this Kingdom. I have known this for two years” (See also section 90:6)

This amazing testimony is powerful. An eye witness was testifying that he had participated along with the prophet Joseph Smith in ordaining Sidney Rigdon to be a prophet seer and revelator AND to be equal with Joseph in holding the keys and authority of the kingdom.

The testimony of William Marks was consistent with the published record of the event which was inconspicuously recorded on page 431 of the Times and Seasons for the date of June 1 1841-

We have to announce that Sidney Rigdon has been ordained a Prophet, Seer and Revelator

The testimony of William Marks and the documentation of the event in the Times and Seasons are consistent with the calling of Sidney Rigdon by the Lord in D&C 90:6 to be equal with Joseph in holding the keys of the kingdom

“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 keys of 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, [Joseph Smith] while thou art in the world, neither in the world to come;

Nevertheless, through you shall the oracles be given to another, yea, even unto the church. And all they who receive the oracles of God, let them beware how they hold them lest they are accounted as a light thing, and are brought under condemnation thereby, and stumble and fall when the storms descend, and the winds blow, and the rains descend, and beat upon their house. And again, verily I say unto thy brethren, Sidney Rigdon and Frederick G. Williams, their sins are forgiven them also, and they are accounted as equal with thee in holding the keys of this last kingdom;

Did you notice how the Lord warned the church to beware not to hold the revelations of God as a light thing?

In other words, you better use the holy word of God to direct the church in all things. If you discard the callings of people and divine protocol contained in the holy word of God, you are guilty of taking the word of God lightly.

That is what William Marks was trying to point out at the trial.

He was quoting from the revelations in the D&C and showing the accusers of Sidney Rigdon that they were taking the word of God lightly, not only with regard to succession protocol, but with regard to the calling of Sidney Rigdon by the voice of God through his servants.

Marks was documenting the fact that Rigdon had been set apart and ordained as a member of the first Presidency as a prophet seer and revelator and was equal with Joseph in holding the keys of the kingdom.

But notice also how the Lord paraphrased Isaiah in the above passages-

And all they who receive the oracles of God, let them beware how they hold them lest they are accounted as a light thing, and are brought under condemnation thereby, and stumble and fall when the storms descend, and the winds blow, and the rains descend, and beat upon their house.

Keep this ominous warning in the above passage in the back of your mind.

In a later installment we will show that the succession crisis was the culmination of that very prophecy in section 90 and Isaiah 28! It was the crescendo of when the saints cumulatively stumbled and fell backwards.

Marks continues with his testimony-

I always felt that there was a power and responsibility in that quorum which did not exist anywhere else.”

Marks is exactly right.

The first presidency has a power and responsibility that no other quorum has, hence, no other quorum has the right and power to create a first presidency and ordain members of it .

Many apologists attempt to suggest that the quorum of the twelve held the same power authority and position as the first presidency but that is a lie and a misinterpretation of scripture… otherwise, the quorum of the Lord would not have been expressly prohibited by the Lord from presiding in an organized stake of Zion.

Paraphrasing modern revelation, the Prophet Joseph Smith made the following declaration about the Twelve Apostles-

The president then stated that the Twelve will have no right to go into Zion or any of its stakes and there undertake to regulate the affairs thereof where there is a standing High Council. But it is their duty to go abroad and regulate all matters relative to the different branches of the Church..”

Modern revelation makes it clear that the Twelve are under the direction of the Presidency of the church-

“The Twelve are a Traveling Presiding High Council, to officiate in the name of the Lord, under the direction of the Presidency of the Church, (107:23)

Marks then quoted from section 90:3 and said-

This is what I ever supposed would be the case that through him the oracles should be given to another who should be a Prophet, and a Seer and Revelator, and through him to the Church. I have always felt since last special conference that the order was not according to this pattern.

Sidney Rigdon and Fredrick G. Williams were appointed to stand equal with Joseph in this kingdom and I always supposed that one [of them] would receive the oracles from Joseph and give them to the Church. Now brethren, I have searched diligently to get at the right of the matter, and I know I am honest and wish to know how it should be.”

Brigham and his brethren must have been ready to explode as they had to stand there and hear the pure doctrine of succession flowing from this man of integrity as he quoted from modern scripture.

William Marks continued-

“I will read another extract from the Doctrine and Covenants which you will find on the ninty sixth page.

I never supposed that this quorum could be disorganized while there was one or two left.

I have ever felt that Elder Rigdon sustains his authority.

I never believed he had lost it through transgression.

I believe he is the man to receive the oracles from Brother Joseph and give them to the Church.

All I want is to have the thing right, and when I believe it is right , I am as ready to confess it as any other man”

He then read extracts from section 102:9-11

The president of the church, who is also the president of the council, is appointed by revelation, and acknowledged in his administration by the voice of the church. And it is according to the dignity of his office that he should preside over the council of the church; and it is his privilege to be assisted by two other presidents, appointed after the same manner that he himself was appointed. And in case of the absence of one or both of those who are appointed to assist him, he has power to preside over the council without an assistant; and in case he himself is absent, the other presidents have power to preside in his stead, both or either of them.

The above passage contains one of the most misunderstood doctrines of the kingdom.

The quorum of the first presidency does not need a quorum of three or even two to act.

Any member of it may act when the other two are not present.

Furthermore, the quorum does not become disorganized or dissolved when the President or a member of it dies or transgresses. The other two remain as members of the quorum with the power to replace the missing member(s)

Indeed, the remaining member of the quorum is the only one who has the right to receive revelation as to who should be called into the quorum. He is the one with the power and authority to ordain and replace the missing members of the quorum!

The following entry in the history of the church during the Kirtland years provides yet another testimony to this great truth-

“On 19 april 1834 at the organization of the Kirtland Council, the Prophet spoke of the role of counselors in the ancient church: “he had two men appointed as counselors with him, in case Peter was absent, his counselors could transact business alone….

Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery, and Zebedee Coltrin “laid hands upon brother Sidney and confirmed upon him the blessings of wisdom and knowledge to preside over the church in the absence of brother Joseph.”

From the above declaration of Joseph Smith it is clear that James and John continued to have the keys to preside in the church after Peter was crucified. (some accounts of the restoration of the 2nd priesthood by Peter James and John reveal that it was just one angel, not three that restored this priesthood and that the angel was John, not Peter. If this is true, it provides another testimony that all three members of a first presidency may act singularly without the other two)

How ironic it is that Joseph gave this instruction as Sidney was being ordained with blessings of wisdom and knowledge and to be able to preside over the church in the absence of Brother Joseph.

As you can see, Sidney had been given the authority to preside in Joseph’s absence as early as 1834!

How incredibly refreshing it is to actually hear the voice of reason and the quoting of scripture as the standard…Something Brigham Young and his brethren failed to do at all during the trial. 

The blatant absence of sound doctrine would later become a trademark of Brigham’s future administration.

The accusers at the trial did not base any of their remarks on the law of succession as contained in the scriptures, it appears that all they wanted to do was destroy the credibility and reputation of Rigdon and characterize him as being delinquent in his duties so that they could cast him aside, dissolve the quorum of the first presidency and become the presiding quorum of the Church.

Marks wasn’t finished.

He continued on to make sure that his testimony on the succession issue was complete and fully understood.

He wanted to make sure that they understood that the quorum of the twelve did not have the authority to organize another first presidency and they would not be able to preside over the church because their calling was to be a traveling missionary quorum of life, to take the gospel into the mission field-

When this organization is broken up there is a quorum broken up which is of great power and authority, and I always thought it ought to have been continued.

The Church has always supposed the Twelve were to bear the gospel to all the world and when they are absent, who will preside over the church? (107:23,33)

We know that it is necessary for individuals to preside over the whole church.

Now we are losing this office and power and authority, but I feel as though we don’t want to lose anything.

I feel that we ought to keep up the organization, if it is right to do so.”

If the doctrine being preached by William Marks is sound and true, it stands as a condemnation not only against Brigham and his brethren of the Twelve at that time, it stands as a condemnation of the current quorum of the twelve of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints.

For indeed, they base themselves out of what they claim is the main stake of Zion and the preside over what they claim to be organized stakes.

Something the Lord has expressly forbidden them to do.

They fly all over the world organizing stakes of Zion and presiding in “stakes of Zion” instead of focusing their efforts exclusively on preaching the gospel to non-members in the mission field as they have been commanded to do by revelation.

By dissolving the first presidency that was set up by revelation and then eventually reorganizing it themselves, even though they had no power and authority to do so, the quorum of the Twelve have taken unto themselves a power and calling that was never given to them!

[Although the church membership have the right by common consent to appoint a president instead of some that the Lord has designated as a prophet seer and revelator, is certainly must be a serious thing for these authorities to call themselves the Lord's anointed prophets, seers and revelators!]

They are doing something they have been expressly forbidden to do!

They are not allowed to preside in a stake of Zion!

They had no authority to organize a portion of their traveling missionary quorum into the first presidency of the church!

Within 3 ½ years after the church sustained the Twelve as the presiding quorum over the church, Brigham and his brethren  would create a first presidency to preside over the church and the quorum of the Twelve.

Although Brigham was quite candid about the fact that he was not a prophet and was not a legal successor to Joseph Smith, the marketing department of the corporate church would eventually indoctrinate the church membership to believe that these men hold the same keys and spiritual gifts as Joseph and Sidney held.

Wilford Woodruff would be the first person that Brigham would confide in about reorganizing the First Presidency. Here is what Wilford Woodruff writes in his personal diary-

I had a question put to me by President Young: What my opinion was concerning one of the Twleve Apostles being appointed as the President of the Church with his two counselors. I answered that a quorum like the Twelve who had been appointed by revelation, confirmed by revelation from time to time, I thought it would require a REVELATION to change the order of that quorum..

We must give Wilford Woodruff credit for understanding that a change in the quorum of the Twelve would require a revelation from God.

Indeed, the creation of a First Presidency would require a revelation from God, if indeed it was even possible for a lesser priesthood quorum to create a higher priesthood quorum.

Despite the concerns of Wilford Woodruff, Brigham Young would eventually move forward without a revelation and have himself elected as the President of the Church.

Back to the trial, William Marks continued-

When Elder Rigdon first came from Pittsburgh he said it was his place to receive the oracles, but there was a delicacy in Brother Rigdon in presenting his claims to the people; he supposed there would have been some individuals who would have taken up the case.—

What does it mean to “receive the oracles“?

One way to interpret the revelation is that the successor to Joseph Smith would be responsible for being the steward over the existing canonized revelations and be responsible for teaching what they mean.

Another way to interpret it is that the successor to Joseph Smith would be responsible for receiving additional revelation for the church.

It would appear as if both interpretations may be correct.

Marks then says that he is willing to sustain the actions of the court if it can be proven that Rigdon was worthy of being severed from the church, reiterates that he can find nothing that Rigdon has done wrong-

“It appears from what has been stated this morning, that the questions have been put which seems to bring a contradiction. If Elder Rigdon has done anything worthy of being severed from the church, I feel to go with the church, and to be satisfied with what they do. I dont [don't] know that I can see anything worthy of cutting him off at the present time. Probably I am prejudiced in his favor; if it is wrong I hope the brethren will forgive me.

When I have set with the High Council I have always tried to divest myself of prejudice. I am willing that the High Council and church should act on his case, if they think best. I felt as though there was a great many men here who were saying hard things against him and nobody to speak a word for him, and I have volunteered to say a few words in his defence [defense].

I have had a conversation with Elder Rigdon and I cannot find that he has committed a crime. The church has never cut off any person without a crime was proven against him.

The following question by Marks may well be the most important question he asked during the trial-

“Now is there a man in the church who has received the ordination of a prophet, seer and revelator? [other than Sidney Rigdon] If there is I want to see him.—”

There has men been ordained prophets, priests and kings, but I have never heard of anyone [except Sidney Rigdon] being ordained a seer and revelator. I think I am knowing to all the ordinations, but I dont [don't] know of a man who has been ordained to the office and calling Brother Sidney has; and if he is cut off, who will we have to obtain revelations?”

Again, one of the reasons that William Marks testimony is so powerful is that he was actually one of the members of the secret quorums where men were being ordained as “prophets, priests and kings“. Yet he clearly understood that those callings did not have the power to act as a prophet seer and revelator for the church.

He was a member of the quorum of 50 and he was also involved in receiving the secret endowment ….. so he was aware of the ordinations that Joseph had done regarding being a prophet priest and king but he understood that those ordinations did not give someone the power and authority to preside over the church nor did any of Joseph’s “secret measures” supersede the protocol written in the scriptures.

Marks then made the following declaration-

“A man must be in possession of this power to be able to ordain a prophet, and a seer and a revelator. If there is a man ordained to lead this people, [other than Sidney Rigdon] I do not know it.”

” I dont [don't] believe there are sufficient revelations given to lead this people, and I am fully of the belief that this people cannot build the kingdom except it is done by revelation”

The Importance of Revelation in Leading the Church

Marks declarations really bring us to the bottom line of what the trial was all about. The church was going to be making a decision about whether they would submit themselves to a prophet seer and revelator and be led by divine revelation or whether they would rather follow the council of a quorum of men who had not been ordained to act as prophets seers and revelators in behalf of the entire church.

In wrapping up this installment and the magnificent pontifications of William Marks, let us review the 18 points he made during his defense of Sidney Rigdon-

1- The court was not proceeding according to the protocol provided in modern revelation

2- Straws must be drawn to see who defends the character of the accused and makes sure he gets a fair trial

3- It is improper to bring up old charges that Rigdon has already been tried for and found innocent of

4- The First Presidency of the Church always presides over the church

5- It does not become unorganized or dissolved when one or two members die

6- Any member of the quorum can conduct business when the other two are not present

7- The First Presidency has “power and responsibility” no other quorum has. They preside over the quorum of the Twelve

8- The quorum of the 12 are a traveling missionary quorum that has no right to preside in an established stake of Zion (with no authority to organize the First Presidency)

9- He personally helped Joseph Ordain Sidney to be a Prophet Seer and Revelator

10- A person must be a prophet seer and revelator in order to ordain another person to be a prophet seer and revelator (Marks could not have ordained Sidney himself, he could only participate in the circle while Joseph performed the ordinance)

11- Marks was aware of every ordination and Sidney was the only living person was ordained to be a prophet seer and revelator

12- A “prophet, priest and king” does not have the same authority as a “prophet seer and revelator” and does not have the right to receive the oracles for the church

13- Sidney was equal with Joseph in holding the Keys and Authority of the Kingdom

14- Sidney has sustained his authority and has not lost it through transgression

15- Sidney is the one to receive the oracles from brother Joseph and give them to the church

16- If Sidney is cut off from the church, there will be no one to obtain revelations for the church

17- Continuous revelation was essential to guide the church

18- The kingdom cannot be built without revelation

Finally, let’s review what Joseph Smith had said regarding the importance of revelation-

The essence of Mormonism is revelation from God to man. It is by revelation that God is known. The prophets have consistently taught this throughout the ages.

Joseph Smith taught “Jesus in His teachings says, ‘Upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.’ What rock? Revelation.” Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Section Five 1842–43, p.273.

Salvation cannot come without revelation; it is in vain for anyone to minister without it. No man is a minister of Jesus Christ without being a Prophet. No man can be a minister of Jesus Christ except he has the testimony of Jesus; and this is the spirit of prophecy.” Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith (1976), 160.

No man can receive the Holy Ghost without receiving revelations. The Holy Ghost is a revelator.” Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith (1976), 328.

In our next installment we shall take a look at the amazing man who led the scapegoat out of the congregation of Israel and then positioned himself to become the sole president of the church. Ancient prophecy refers to this man as a “fit man”.



The Law of Succession’ Part Five (William Marks Challenges the Protocol of the Church Court & Defends the Character of Sidney Rigdon)

July 29, 2011

The Trial of Sidney Rigdon

We shall now address some of the major doctrinal issues that came out in the trial of Sidney Rigdon which was recorded in the Times and Seasons.

I wish I could provide the entire proceedings that were reported in the Times and Seasons but this article and series has already become too long.

Those wanting to read the whole account may acquire a copy of it from Colliers Publishing or look it up in the Times and Seasons or check here.

Although section 102 states that a court may be held by the “Bishop’s Council” OR the “High Council of the Church of Christ“, it appears as if the trial for Sidney Rigdon’s was an amalgamation of those two options.

Apparently, Bishop Newel K. Whitney presided over the court but the High Council of the Church of Christ of the Nauvoo Stake acted as the council of twelve high priests in the Bishops Council.

As the stake President, William Marks acted as a member of the High Council but did not preside over the church court.

Unlike courts held today in modern times, Marks did not preside over the court, he simply participated as the presiding member of the high council.

Brigham Young and his brethren of the Quorum of the Twelve did not have the authority to preside in a stake of Zion. That is why Brigham Young stated in his opening remarks, that “The Twelve are to be regarded as witnesses in this trial, and not Judges: we present ourselves before this court as witnesses, and we are prepared to bring other testimony forward if necessary.”

Obviously, Bishop Whitney and the High Council were being coerced and controlled by the quorum of the Twelve and it appears that Brigham was directing the hearing even though it should have been the presiding officer over the high council or Bishop Whitney. If not for the conflict of interest between Brigham and the Twelve and Rigdon, there is no reason to believe that the local leaders would have ever called a court.

It should also be understood that the quorum of the twelve was actually not united in their beliefs at the time of the succession crisis.

It appears that there were actually only six members of the quorum who testified at the trial of Sidney Rigdon, they are-

  • Brigham Young
  • Amasa Lyman
  • Orson Hyde
  • Parley P. Pratt
  • Heber C. Kimball
  • John Taylor.

In additional to those six, W.W. Phelps also testified.

Several members of the quorum that appear to not be present at the trial and ultimately rejected the authority of Brigham Young were as follows;

  • Lyman Wight
  • William Smith
  • John E. Page.

The quorum of the Twelve

It is important to remember that many changes had taken place in the original quorum of the Twelve by the time that the death of Joseph and Hyrum took place.

Here is what Wikipedia has to say about the quorum of the Twelve and the adjustments that were made-

” In 1835, the Three Witnesses were asked by Joseph Smith, Jr. to select the original twelve members of the church’s Quorum of the Twelve. They announced their choices at a meeting on February 14, 1835.[1] The Three Witnesses also ordained the twelve chosen men to the priesthood office of apostle by the laying on of hands.[1] Below is a list of members of the quorum prior to the succession crisis of 1844.

Ten of the eighteen followed Brigham Young to Utah Territory and remained part of the Quorum in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (indicated below as “LDS after 1844″). Thomas B. Marsh and Luke S. Johnson later rejoined the Latter-day Saints in Utah, but did not resume their former places in the Quorum. Three of these apostles went on to be apostles in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Strangite). One, John E. Page, went on to be an apostle in the Church of Christ (Temple Lot) or “Hedrickite” church. Another, William Smith, later asserted his claim to head his own “Williamite” church organization before ultimately joining what is now the Community of Christ (where he did not resume his place in the quorum). Lyman Wight, likewise, organized his own branch of the church. William E. M’Lellin joined with multiple post-1844 church organizations in succession, each of which recognized his apostleship.

The list includes the dates when each apostle was ordained. In some cases, the date of the calling is used when the actual date of ordination is unclear.

Sidney Rigdon Claimed to have the Spirit of Revelation & Prophecy

When Sidney Rigdon returned to Nauoo after the death of Joseph and Hyrum and locked horns with the Twelve, he claimed to have had a vision while he was in Pittsburgh. He claimed that the vision was a continuation of the Vision that He and Joseph had had which is documented in section 76.

Among other things he claimed that it was shown to him in vision that the Twelve would withdraw fellowship from him, the temple would not be completed and the church would be rejected with their dead.

Orson Hyde accused Rigdon of intimating that he, Sidney was the stone that the builders rejected (see Psalms 118:22, Matt 21:42, Mark 10:12, Luke 20 :17, Acts 4:11; 1 Peter 2:7, Isaiah 22:25)

Sidney was obsessed with great battles to take place in the future and that he would become a great conqueror.

We will touch again on the significance of Sidney’s vision later on as we review accusations made by the Twelve however, keep in mind that when Joseph Smith presented greater clarification to section 76 by writing a poem about it, he revealed that verse 29 was not speaking about a past war with Satan but rather about a future one in which Satan would encompass the saints round about.

“For Satan, old serpent, the devil’s for war,-
And yet will encompass the saints round about.”

Perhaps one of the most intriguing statements that Sidney made was an innuendo that the Lord had shown Sidney what would befall himself (Sidney) as a result of the apostasy of the church… A possible implication having to do with the sins of latter day Israel being artificially put upon the head of the Lords scapegoat servant. That statement, as it applies to Sidney’s role as the scapegoat in the atonement statute, may explain why Sidney would have such a strange and troubled history after he is rejected by the church led away from the congregation of Israel -

Perhaps the most important significance of the vision that Sidney claimed to have had is that Sidney was claiming to have the spirit of prophecy which is consistent with his calling as a prophet seer and revelator of the church.

Elder Hyde defends the Secret “Measures” -

The first accuser to follow the opening remarks of Brigham Young was Elder Hyde.

According to Elder Hyde’s testimony, Sidney had said to Elder Hyde and his brethren of the Twelve-

You are not led by the Lord, and I have known for a long time that you were not led by the Lord

Elder Hyde attempted to defend the actions of the Twelve, claiming that the “measures” they were involved in had come from Joseph Smith-

I defy any man to show that we have adopted any measure, only what Joseph has directed us

Elder Rigdon was obviously making a categorical observation that the twelve were not being led by the spirit. He was also accusing the Twelve of departing from the pure and simple gospel of Jesus Christ that had been restored to the earth.

Elders Hydes use of the term “measures” was alluding to the secret quorums and secret ordinations and secret teachings about spiritual wifery and the associated practice of practice of polygamy, the secret revelation that would eventually become known as section 132, secret council meetings where secret ordinations were being introduces, etc.

In essence, Rigdon was confirming that another gospel, one that was contrary to the true gospel of Christ, had been introduced to the saints and that the prophecies in 2nd Thess the and the original text of section five of the D&C had come true, the Lord had sent strong delusion upon the church for believing a lie and therefore, because of their hardened hearts the Lord had turned them over to Satan-

It is interesting that the primary debate during the succession crisis was not focused on the doctrine of succession and the pure gospel as documented in the accepted scriptures or the importance of the church being led by revelation, rather, Orson Hyde was defending the actions of the Twelve by stating that the secret “measures” they were following were given to them by the Prophet Joseph Smith.

Why would the Lord Contradict Himself?

Orson quoted the Prophet Joseph as saying-

The Lord bids me to hasten and give you your endowment before the temple is finished

This hastening to give the endowment was supposedly done so that the keys of the kingdom could be transferred from Joseph to the Twelve and so that the Twelve could bear off the kingdom triumphantly even if Joseph were to be killed and the temple not finished.

There are several very serious doctrinal problems with the alleged pronouncement of Joseph Smith.

Perhaps the most obvious one is that the logical and doctrinal choice for handing over the keys of the kingdom would be other members of the first presidency and just about anyone other than the missionary quorum of the Twelve who had been expressly forbidden by the Lord to ever preside in a stake of Zion.

Another point is that Joseph Smith was no longer the prophet seer and revelator of the church and therefore was not even authorized to receive new doctrine and new covenants for the church, especially new doctrine and new ordinances and covenants that contradicted previous revelations.

If anyone would have been revealing new doctrine and new ordinances and covenants and secretly handing the keys of the kingdom to anyone in the church, it would have been Hyrum who was the only presiding member of the presidency who was authorized to act as a prophet seer and revelator of the church at the time!

Even if Joseph had been the acting prophet seer and revelator of the Church, the saints would have been duty bound to reject the new “measures” being introduced since they contradicted the previous revelations and the four standard works of the church which had been voted on and sustained by the church as the LAW of the CHURCH.

The reason that the Lord provides a protocol for excommunicating the president of the high priesthood is because no mortal person is infallible! That would include Joseph Smith, who according to the succession prophecy in section 42, would not always abide in the Lord.

Fourthly, the Lord had commanded the saints to not add to or diminish from the doctrines contained in the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants. (D&C 124:119-120)

Lastly, Orson’s claim that Joseph had been inspired by the Lord to reveal and bestow the temple endowment BEFORE the temple was finished, so that the kingdom could roll forth, contradicted what the Lord said in sections 124.

Clearly, section 124 stated that if the temple was not finished, the church would be rejected with their dead. How could the kingdom roll forth if the church is rejected with their dead? Hence, there was nothing gained by prematurely revealing the “full endowment” just in case the temple was not finished by the appointed time.

Further, the prophet Hyrum Smith had clarified the warning in section 124 and made it clear that the key of knowledge that unfolds the dispensation of the fullness of times cannot be turned until the temple was completed and the baptismal font finished.

“…they have neglected the House of the Lord, the Baptismal Font, in this place, wherein their dead may be redeemed, and the key of knowledge that unfolds the dispensation of the fullness of times may be turned, and the mysteries of God be unfolded, upon which their salvation and the salvation of the world, and the redemption of their dead depends, for ‘Thus saith the Lord,’ ‘there shall not be a general assembly for a general conference assembled together until the House of the Lord shall be finished, and the Baptismal Font, and if we are not diligent the church shall be rejected, and their dead also,’ ‘saith the Lord,’ therefore, dear Brother, any proceedings otherwise than to put forth their hands with their might to do this work, is not according to the will of God, and shall not prosper; therefore, tarry not in any place whatever but come forth unto this place from all the world, until it is filled up and polished, and sanctified according to my word…”

In another sermon given in May of 1842 Joseph Smith stated that there were

keys of the kingdom,” and “certain signs and words by which false spirits and personages may be detected from true, which cannot be revealed to the Elders till the Temple is completed.

Obviously all of the above documentation testifies to the fact that there would be no advantage to the so called endowment and special keys being given to anyone before the completion of the temple.

If Joseph had made the declaration that Brigham claimed he made, it would have contradicted previous revelations and statements of Joseph Smith.

Everything was predicated upon the completion of the temple.

If Joseph really did make the proclamation that Orson (and Brigham) claimed he made, Joseph was contradicting himself, Hyrum and the Lord.

Nevertheless, it makes sense that Joseph may have done these things in fulfillment of the original prophecy in section 5 foretelling that God would turn the saints over to Satan.

The Testimony of Parley P. Pratt

The next accuser of Sidney Rigdon was Parley P. Pratt, a previous disciple of Rigdon’s who had helped to bring Rigdon into the church.

Pratt quoted Rigdon as saying-

I shall now take the liberty to publish to the world, all the secret works of this church… I now the result both on you and the Church, and myself…”

Again, we see from the testimony of Pratt that the central issue of the succession crisis had to do with the secret acts of many of the leading brethren of the church, including most of the twelve apostles.

Rigdon was threatening to expose the secret abominations that were being practiced by Young, Hyde, Pratt and their brethren.

Again, when Rigdon said he knew what the result would be on the church and even himself, one has to wonder if in fact the Lord had shown him in vision that the sins of the church would be artificially placed upon his own head and he would himself eventually be turned over to delusion, per the prophecy in the atonement statute. (Lev 16)

According to the testimony of Pratt, Sidney Rigdon claimed that the vision he had in Pittsburgh revealed that the twelve apostles would withdraw fellowship from him.

The Testimony of Amasa Lyman

Next, Amasa Lyman attached the character of Sidney Rigdon by claiming that he had not been valiant in his calling for 4 or 5 years. He also said ,

Now where has this individual been for these years past? Has he been laboring to support and uphold the man whom God has appointed to bring forth His work? Has he been endeavoring for the last four or five years to build up the principles taught and laid down by the man of God? There are men here present who have travelled through the length and breadth of these united states, and to Europe, and some who have travelled as far as the Palestine to carry out the establish the principles which have been laid down by our deceased prophet, and yet the Great God has not made known to any of these men the wonderful things made known in this revelation.

Neither has Elder Marks nor the twelve received any such wonderful revelation. but this man who has been asleep[ all the while, when he was not too sick to sleep and smoke his pipe, and take his drink; correspond with John C. Bennett, and other mean, corrupt men. This is the character of the man on whom shines the light of revelation, this is the man who says that the Twelve have gone astray and this Church is not led by the Lord!”

Wow!

What interesting charges these are!

Apparently Sidney Rigdon, like Joseph Smith and many others of the elders living in Nauvoo was known for enjoying an occasional smoke and an occasional drink.

This is fascinating.

The accusers were actually the ones that really should have been on trial for fornication and adultery and yet they were suggesting that Sidney Rigdon should be excommunicated for not obeying the word of wisdom!

With regard to the fact that Sidney Rigdon had not been overly active during the last five years, if you have not read my tribute to Sidney Rigdon to understand why Rigdon had been largely silenced for a period of time, please read the article here.

Furthermore, as we will see as we progress further into the details of this kangaroo court, President Marks would later stand up and declare that it is not appropriate according to church procedure to retry someone for something they have previously been tried for and exonerated from.

Sidney Rigdon had already been accused of corresponding with Bennett and for not being active in his calling in the Presidency and had been exonerated by the Church and by Hyrum Smith and by Joseph Smith.

Sidney Rigdon had already previously been accused of not being active in his calling in the first presidency for the last five years and he was forgiven, and President Hyrum Smith had led the vote in sustaining President Rigdon in his calling.

According to Amasa, Sidney Rigdon had testified that he had seen in vision that the “the temple must be forsaken and not be finished, and all that Joseph has done must be rejected.”

That prophecy of Rigdon’s about the saints eventual failure to complete the Temple is really quite remarkable since the saints had every intention of finishing the temple when Rigdon arrived at Nauvoo. At that time there was no apparent reason why the temple would not be finished.

In conjunction with this, Sidney quoted Isaiah “The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner”

Another interesting thing that came out of this trial is that Sidney Rigdon had said that the “vision was a continuation of the vision recorded in the book of doctrine and covenants

Sidney was linking his credibility as a prophet to the fact that he had been the co-testator with Joseph Smith in providing the testimony of the Father and the Son as contained in section 76.

After Brigham and his six conspirators had finished making their accusations, Brigham Young said-

I shall now wait and see if there is anyone to produce testimony in favor of the opposite side of the question.”

At this point in time, “President William Marks arose and said he felt disposed to say a few words in defense of Elder Rigdon

“there has been a strong team against him. They all seem to speak against him and there I nothing said in his favor. If feel to take up the opposite side of the question and say something in his defense, for I have always been a friend to Elder Rigdon.”

William Marks was pointing out that bishop Whitney and/or Brigham Young, whoever was conducting the trial, was not following the protocol given in section 102 which requires the council to draw straws to see which members of the quorum defend the accuser and make sure that his character and reputation are not tarnished.

Marks made the bold declaration that revelatory protocol was not being followed as it had been in past trials-

It has always been the case before this High Council, that there are two sides to the question, there are some to speak in favor of the accused, but there seems to be only one side to this subject.”

… it has always been the case before the High council that some should speak in the defense of the accused, I feel to volunteer to speak in his behalf. It is no more than right that both sides should be represented.”

in regard to his character, there are many things said which appear to be objectionable

“I hear objections to his authority and to his conduct for four or five years past. There charges brought before the conference, last fall, and one or two days spent in hearing of them, and it seemed to me, that every exertion was made that could be made, to criminate him and cut him off.

There was time given to bring all the charges that could be got at, but there was not a single particle of the charges sustained, if I recollect right, as to proving him guilty of committing any of the acts specified in the charges.

Now I think if Brother Rigdon was restored at that time we ought not to go beyond the conference to fetch up charges today, but here are charges fetched up for years back. It is known that he was restored to full faith and fellow ship last fall. I have heard Brother Joseph say repeatedly since that time that all things was right between them….”

Incredible!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Marks was standing in the gap!

He was calling out the accusers and pointing out the inappropriate things they were doing and saying.

He declared that the church court was not in accordance with the protocol in the scriptures.

He was boldly stating that most of the things that were being brought up had already been brought up in a previous hearing and that Rigdon had been found innocent and restored to his calling.

Imagine the courage it must have taken to stand up against the crowd, realizing he was putting his own standing in jeopardy!

The reason Marks had to get up and “volunteer” to defend Rigdon is because nobody else was doing it. The court had neglected draw straws and appointed members of the high council to defend and protect the rights and the character of Rigdon.

One the things missing in the trial was any volunteered comments from any members of the high council!

Why?

Because they all knew that Brigham and the Twelve were orchestrating the Kangaroo trial and they knew that the outcome of the trial had been predetermined. They understood that if they spoke favorably about Rigdon, it could cost them their membership, as it eventually did cost Marks his.

Praise God for the integrity of President William Marks, one of the most honest, steady, valiant leaders of the LDS restoration movement.

In the next part of this series we shall finish hearing the testimony of William Marks. In my opinion, he provides the most clear and scripturally sound explanation of the law of succession and his testimony will stand as a witness against the seven accusers the members of the high council, Bishop Whitney and the apostate members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter days.

Clearly the saints who chose to follow Brigham Young and the majority of the twelve chose to be led by rulers rather than prophets. They chose to be led by dogma and the teachings of man rather than by revelation.

They chose to discard the man who had been chosen by revelation and ordained to be a prophet seer and revelator according to the voice of God out of heaven in favor of a man who openly proclaimed that he was not a prophet.

More on the testimony of William Marks in the next installment.

Keep Watching


Law of Succession- Part Four (The Real Succession Issue was about the Spiritual Wife Doctrine)

July 20, 2011

After the Fulness was Rejected
The Lord Covered the Eyes of the Seers

In part three of this series we discussed how the gospel was fully restored and then rejected sometime between June of 1831 and the end of 1834. After that, something NEW had to be done for the salvation of the church. That took place in 1836. It had to do with the restoration of the gospel of Abraham and the setting up or foreign missions to take the gospel to the nations of the world. From that time on, the church grew further and further into a state of apostasy and darkness. Because of this, Hyrum was commissioned to reform the church after the saints got to Nauvoo.

One cannot understand the truth about what happened during the LDS succession crisis without understanding what the fulness of the gospel is, the fact that it was fully restored and then rejected by the end of 1834. The context in which the saints gathered to Nauvoo is that they were a fallen and apostate people who had lost the fullness of the priesthood as documented in section 124.

I documented that the gospel law of monogamy had clearly been established by the Lord in modern revelation in sections 42, 49 and the article on Marriage and that it was an eternal law, not a temporal or temporary law. There is no higher marital law that the law of monogamy.

I did this because the secret practices pertaining to spiritual wifery and polygamy that were taking place in Nauvoo at the time of the succession crisis are the crux of what the succession crisis was really all about regarding the struggle between Sidney Rigdon and the majority of the Twelve Apostles under the leadership of Brigham Young.

The primary issue in Nauvoo was that the saints had collectively strayed from the original gospel ordinances and covenants.

It is critical to understand that every ordinance and covenant necessary for salvation is contained in sections 20 and 42 and that the saints were commanded to not add to or take away from what had been revealed in those two revelations. (The “Baptisms for the Dead” that would be introduced in Nauvoo are a subcategory of baptisms and the ordinance of “washing of feet” that was done in the Kirtland Temple and also before the Kirtland Temple was completed, is not an ordinance of salvation, but rather an ordinance for those in the ministry.)

It is because the saints had stayed from the ordinances, covenants and commandments that the Lord commissioned the prophet Hyrum Smith to lead a reformation of the church.

The Lord had acknowledged in section 124 that the saints were practicing abominations during the Nauvoo era-

“..And it shall come to pass that if you build a house unto my name, and do not do the things that I say, I will not perform the oath which I make unto you, neither fulfil the promises which ye expect at my hands, saith the Lord.

For instead of blessings, ye, by your own works, bring cursings, wrath, indignation, and judgments upon your own heads, by your follies, and by all your abominations, which you practise before me, saith the Lord…”

.

The practice of secret combinations and secret abominations began infiltrating the church shortly after the fulness of the gospel was rejected in Kirtland.

Secret doctrines and secret oaths were infiltrating the restored church. They were bringing darkness upon the saints.

Although Joseph was being accused by some people of his day of organizing the Danites and some historians believe that Joseph Smith at least encouraged the creation of the Danites and other secret organizations within the church shortly after the Kirtland Temple was defiled and the saints had to flee from Kirtland, we find him condemning secret bands as late as 1839.

I would further suggest the impropriety of the organization of bands or companies, by covenant or oath, by penalties or secrecies; but let the time past of our experience and sufferings by the wickedness of Doctor Avard suffice and let our covenant be that of the Everlasting Covenant, as contained in the Holy Writ and the things that God hath revealed to us. Pure friendship always becomes weakened the very moment you undertake to make it stronger by penalty oaths and secrecy.”

Joseph was publicly testifying against the practice of secret oaths by “penalties or secrecies” and encouraging people to stick with the EVERLASTING COVENANT.

Indeed, the only covenant the church members should be involved in was the EVERLASTING COVENANT of baptism.

Shortly after the death of Joseph and Hyrum, Apostle William Smith, their brother, and his supporters publicly condemned the secret doctrine of secret oaths and covenants that Brigham Young and other leading brethren were participating in.

“… we do solemnly protest against the doctrine of secret oaths and covenants and we also view this as among the principal causes that have overthrown our brethren…”

William saw the practice of secret oaths as the primary thing that led the leaders of the church into apostasy.

Emma Smith made a profound observation shortly after the death of Joseph and Hyrum. She said-

…secret things… cost Joseph and Hyrum their lives!

The Real Succession debate was about the Spiritual Wife Doctrine
and the False Masonic Covenant- Temple Endowment

It appears to me from my study that Brigham Young and his brethren of the Twelve would very probably have found the leadership of Sidney Rigdon acceptable if Rigdon would have embraced the spiritual wife doctrine and the Masonic secret oaths and covenants that were being intertwined with each other.

I believe the following testimony by Joseph Newton is accurate-

I was at Nauvoo during all the time that Elder Rigdon was there on his last visit to that place, and am well acquainted with the cause of all the difficulties that existed, and now exist between him and the twelve and their adherents. It was said to me by many that they had no objection to Elder Rigdon but his opposition to the Spiritual Wife System.”

The Saints departed from the Ordinances during the Kirtland Years

After the saints arrived in Nauvoo Joseph Smith published the following statement-

We have been chastened by the hand of God heretofore for not obeying His commands… we have treated lightly His commands, and departed from His ordinances, and the Lord has chastened us sore, and we have felt His arm and kissed the rod; let us be wise in time to come and ever remember that ‘to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.” (HC 5:65)

Joseph was primarily paraphrasing and combining two passages of scripture.

He was addressing the chastisement from the Lord in section 84 when the saints were brought under condemnation for taking lightly the Book of Mormon and modern revelation.

He was also paraphrasing Isaiah 24 and acknowledging that the latter day saints were the express people that Isaiah had identified in prophecy as the culprits who would bring about the defiling of the earth in the end times by breaking the everlasting covenant. This was done by transgressing the laws and changing the ordinance-

The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.” (Isaiah 24:5 See also section one wherein the Lord prophesies that it was the saints of the restored church that would fulfill this prophecy of Isaiah)

The saints were defiling the true everlasting covenant of baptism by replacing it with the Satanic everlasting covenant of spiritual wifery and associated masonic oaths and covenants and swearing by the neck. The redefinition of what the “New and Everlasting Covenant” is given in section 132.

The Joseph Smith we read about in Nauvoo is a very different Joseph Smith than the one we read about in the early Kirtland era.

The Kirtland Joseph was confident and full of the spirit of revelation. His personal life was quite consistent with his public teachings. During the first years of Joseph Public ministry he would bring forth about 100 revelations.

The Nauvoo Joseph was schizophrenic, erratic and paranoid and there is evidence that seems to indicate that his personal life was not congruent with what he was teaching publicly.

One day he would appear to be confident, prophetic and chastising the saints for departing from the ordinances and failing to complete the temple. The next day, he might be dedicating a Masonic Lodge or, according to multiple testimonies, he would be off secretly teaching the spiritual wife doctrine, conducting secret polygamous marriage ceremonies and introducing doctrines and rituals that contributed to leading the saints into further darkness.

Less than ten significant revelations directed to the church were received by Joseph during the last seven years of his life, after the saints defiled the Kirtland Temple and fled from Kirtland.

Only one significant revelation was received during the Nauvoo years.

Again, it would be easy to place the blame on Joseph, but those who understand the prophetic aspects of what was being enacted in the atonement statute (Lev 16) will realize that it was the rebellious saints, beginning in the  very early Kirtland era, that rejected the fulness of the gospel and brought darkness upon Joseph and his brethren during the Nauvoo era.

Truly it was the saints of the restored church Isaiah was speaking about when he acknowledged that the revelatory gifts of the latter day prophets and seers would be covered because of the iniquity of the people-

For behold, the Lord hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep. For behold, ye have closed your eyes, and ye have rejected the prophets; and your rulers, and the seers hath he covered because of your iniquity.” (2 Nephi 27:5)

Did Joseph wake up and try to Repent Before his Death?

There are many evidences that make it appear that the Lord was allowing Joseph to begin to wake up and see that his eyes had been covered and that he had been deceived shortly before his death. It also appears that Joseph finally acknowledged that he had been involved in some abominable practices and he was trying to repent.

Although he had been taking on spiritual wives at a break-neck pace in 1843, it appears that he completely stopped taking additional wives during the last 8 month before the martyrdom.

William Marks testified that Joseph eventually realized that spiritual wifery was a sin and that he had been deceived.

He wrote in a July 1853 letter to the Zion’s Harbinger and Baneemy’s Organ that he had met with the prophet a short time before his death.

He quoted Smith as saying privately, “This doctrine of polygamy, or spiritual wife-system, that has been taught and practiced among us, will prove our destruction and overthrow. I have been deceived; it is a curse to mankind , and we shall have to leave the United States soon, unless it can be put down, and its practice stopped in the Church.

Several others that knew Joseph Smith during those trying times also claimed that Joseph was trying to repent including Issac Sheen who became affiliated with the RLDS movement in 1859 and edited the church periodical Saints’ Herald, wrote in the first issue of that paper (March 1860) that though “Joseph Smith taught the spiritual wife doctrine,” he “repented of his connection with this doctrine, and said it was of the devil.

Although Brigham Young vehemently denied ever hearing Joseph Smith proclaim that he had been deceived and that the spiritual wife doctrine was false, he conceded in a discourse given in 1866 that “joseph was worn out with it“.

Joseph Has the Spiritual wife Revelation Destroyed

LDS historian Michael D. Quinn acknowledged that “Smith was, in fact, willing to destroy the original manuscript of the 1843 polygamy revelation.

Joseph F. Smith wrote that the prophet “consented for her [Emma Smith] to burn the paper containing the original copy of the revelation.”

An obscure 1853 publication also reported that the original text of the polygamy revelation “by Joseph Smith’s command was burned.”” (Quinn page 147) Quinn references Letter of Joseph F. Smith to William E. McLellin, 6 Jan. 1880, fd21, box 5, Scott G. Kenney Papers, Manuscripts Division, Marriott Library.

“Emma Smith remembered that the prophet did more than consent to the revelation’s destruction. According to her 1847 account, while alone in their Mansion House bedroom, Smith “told her that the doctrine and practice of polygamy was going to ruin the church” and then he burned the revelation.

According to Quinn, “It makes sense that while he was alone with her the night of 23 June 1844, only hours before surrendering for trial, he directed his attention to destroying the written evidence of polygamy.”
(Quinn page 147)

Joseph Smith destroyed the Council of Fifty Minutes

There is an abundance of historical documentation that indicates that Joseph Smith was using masonry, the Danites, secret anointed quorums and the counsel of 50 to try to establish the kingdom of God that Daniel prophesied about.

The diary of William Clayton shows that Joseph Smith told his secretary to burn the Council of Fifty’s minutes.

A possible reason for destroying the minutes of the council of fifty is that Joseph Smith had had himself ordained and anointed as the King in those secret meetings. It would appear that that act may have been a very grievous sin.

In the Book of Mormon the Lord warns that there will be no kings upon the land of America until Zion is established and Christ himself reigns as king and that he who attempts to rise up as a king shall perish-

“And this land shall be a land of liberty unto the Gentiles, and there shall be no kings upon the land, who shall raise up unto the Gentiles.

And I will fortify this land against all other nations.

And he that fighteth against Zion shall perish, saith God.

For he that raiseth up a king against me shall perish, for I, the Lord, the king of heaven, will be their king, and I will be a light unto them forever, that hear my words.

Wherefore, for this cause, that my covenants may be fulfilled which I have made unto the children of men, that I will do unto them while they are in the flesh, I must needs destroy the secret works of darkness, and of murders, and of abominations.” (2nd Nephi 10)

Modern revelation confirms that during “time” there are to be no mortal kings ruling over the latter day saints but in eternity Christ will be the king-

But, verily I say unto you that in time ye shall have no king nor ruler, for I will be your king and watch over you.” (D&C 38:21)

Smith Removed his own Garments
and admonishes the apostles to do the same

Another aberration of the secret rituals that Joseph Smith was implementing was the temple garment. It is very revealing that Joseph had instructed the members of his secret quorum to remove them shortly before his own death-

Heber C. Kimball said Smith sent word to the apostles on the east coast to destroy their garments they had received in the endowment since 1842.” (Quinn page 147) Quinn references History of the Church 6:519 which mentions the letter, and Heber C. Kimball’s diary, 21 Dec. 1845, found in the book “Smith, An Intimate Chronicle, page 224″

“Smith removed his own endowment “robe” or garment before he went to Carthage Jail and told those with him to do likewise.

His nephew Joseph F. Smith later explained, when Willard Richards was solicited [by Smith] to do the same, he declined, and it seems little less than marvelous that he was preserved without so much as a bullet piercing his garments.””
(Quinn page 146) Quinn references Heber J. Grant journal sheets, 7 June 1907, LDS Archives.

While Joseph F Smith puts a positive spin on Williard Richard’s refusal to remove his own garments, it should be remembered that it was masons that stormed the jail and murdered Joseph Smith. The fact that Williard Richard’s fellow masons murdered Joseph Smith and left Willard unharmed could simply be because he is not the one they wanted to murder. Others might suggest that his being left unharmed hardly bodes well for his role in the Carthage conspiracy to murder Joseph Smith.

Was it a marvelous miracle that saved Willard’s life, or his involvement in a secret brotherhood and possibly even his own participation in a secret plot?

Again, the words of Emma ring loud and clear. “It was indeed secret things” that caused the murder of Joseph and Hyrum.

Joseph Smith sent an order for the Nauvoo Legion to Attack Carthage

“The morning of 27 June, Smith sent an order (in his own handwriting) to Major-General Jonathan Dunham to lead the Nauvoo Legion in a military attack on Carthage “immediately” to free the prisoners.

Dunham realized that such an assault by the Nauvoo Legion would result in two blood baths – one in Carthage and another when anti-Mormons (and probably the Illinois militia) retaliated by laying siege to Nauvoo for insurrection.

To avoid civil war and the destruction of Nauvoo’s population, Dunham refused to obey the order and did not notify Smith of his decision. One of his lieutenants, a former Danite, later complained that Dunham “did not let a single mortal know that he had received such orders (from Smith).”

“[Later that same day] Around 5 p.m., more than 250 men approached the Carthage Jail. When informed of this by the panicky jailer, Joseph Smith replied: “Don’t trouble yourself, they have come to rescue me.(Quinn, Page 141) Smith quickly discovered that the mob wasn’t his rescue army. After exchanging gunfire with the mob, Smith was killed.

Jonathan Dunham Commits Suicide

On July 28th 1845, Jonathan Dunham, despondent about disobeying Smiths orders to rescue him from jail, commits suicide.

Later disclosures indicate that Dunham, who was a captain of Nauvoo’s police, major-general of the Nauvoo legion, and a Council of Fifty member, accomplished the suicide by asking a native American friend (Lewis Dana, a fellow member of the fifty) to “kill and bury him”. (Mormon Hierarchy- Origins of Power pg 652)

Joseph Smith Kills Two Men in a Shoot Out?

Amazingly, many members of the restored church are not even aware that Joseph had a pistol when the attack in the Carthage Jail took place.

According to several accounts, some contained in Quinn’s above mentioned book, Joseph shot three members of the mob. According to some accounts, two of the three eventually died from the wounds inflicted at that time-

Elder Cyrus H. Wheelock came in to see us, and when he was about leaving drew a small pistol, a six-shooter, from his pocket, remarking at the same time, ‘Would any of you like to have this?’ Brother Joseph immediately replied, ‘Yes, give it to me,’ whereupon he took the pistol, and put it in his pantaloons pocket.”

“I shall never forget the deep feeling of sympathy and regard manifested in the countenance of Brother Joseph as he drew nigh to Hyrum, and, leaning over him, exclaimed, ‘Oh! my poor, dear brother Hyrum!’ He, however, instantly arose, and with a firm, quick step, and a determined expression of countenance, approached the door, and pulling the six-shooter left by Brother Wheelock from his pocket, opened the door slightly, and snapped the pistol six successive times; only three of the barrels, however, were discharged. I afterwards understood that two or three were wounded by these discharges, two of whom, I am informed, died.

“I had in my hands a large, strong hickory stick, brought there by Brother Markham, and left by him, which I had seized as soon as I saw the mob approach; and while Brother Joseph was firing the pistol, I stood close behind him. As soon as he had discharged it he stepped back, and I immediately took his place next to the door, while he occupied the one I had done while he was shooting.”

Reporter John Hay, of the Atlantic Monthly identified three men who were shot by Joseph Smith: John Wills in the arm, William Vorhees in the shoulder, and William Gallagher in the face. Hay was a son of Charles Hay, a surgeon of the Carthage militia and apparently a member of the mob.

“Smith had two loaded six-barrelled revolvers in his room. How a man on trial for capital offences came to be supplied with such luxuries is a mystery that perhaps only one man could fully have solved; and as General Deming, the Jack-Mormon sheriff, died soon after, and left no explanation of the matter, investigation is effectually baffled. But the four shots which I have chronicled, and two which had no billet, exhausted one pistol, and the enemy gave Smith no time to use the other. Severely wounded as he was, he ran to the window, which was open to receive the fresh June air, and half leaped, half fell, into the jail yard below.”
-
John Hay, “The Mormon Prophet’s Tragedy,” Atlantic Monthly (December 1869) 671-678.

In another contemporary account from a faithful Latter-Day Saint:

Of the three barrels discharged by Joseph, it is believed he hit three men: an Irishman named Wells-who was in the mob from his love of a brawl-in the arm; Voorhees-an oversized kid from Bear Creek known for his lack of good sense-in the shoulder; and a man named Gallagher-a Southerner from the Mississippi Bottom-in the face.”

“Two other men were known to get hit in the hall, one a man named Townsend from Fort Madison, Iowa Territory, who died nine months later from the arm wound that wouldn’t heal, and another named Mills, who was shot in the arm.”
- Elder Reed Blake, 24 Hours to Martyrdom, p. 129

D&C Section 135 is part of John Taylor’s account of the incident. It states: “Joseph leapt from the window, and was shot dead in the attempt, exclaiming ‘O Lord my God!’”

That “canonized” version of events gives one the false impression that Smith was praying to God. The edited D&C version omits Heber C. Kimball’s details of Smith’s actions:

“When the enemy surrounded the jail, rushed up the stairway, and killed Hyrum Smith, Joseph stood at the open window, his martyr-cry being these words, ‘O Lord My God! This was not the beginning of a prayer, because Joseph Smith did not pray in that manner. This brave, young man who knew that death was near, started to repeat the distress signal of the Masons, expecting thereby to gain the protection its members are pledged to give a brother in distress.”
- Mormonism and Masonry, p. 16-17

“President Young said the people of the United States had sought our destruction and they had used every Exertion to perfect it. They have worked through the masonic institution to perfect it. Joseph & Hyrum Smith were Master Masons and they were put to death by masons or through there instigation and he gave the sign of distress & he was shot by masons while in the act.” – Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, August 19th, 1860, Volume 5

“The mob forced the door open. Joseph dropped the pistol, sprang to a big windowsill and stood there glaring down at a crowd of men below with their bayonets at the ready. Some reports say he tried a final ploy with the Gentiles, giving the Masonic hand signal of distress and uttering the accompanying code, “Is there no help for the widow’s son?”

There were, almost certainly, Masons in the crowd below. But Smith’s appeal to members of that fraternal order was probably a very bad decision on his part. As he teetered on the windowsill, a rifle ball fired from upstairs slammed into Joseph’s back, sending him to the ground below as he shouted, “Oh Lord, My God.”

Joseph landed on his shoulder with a snap of cartilage. A disguised militiaman with his face painted black dragged the wounded Joseph across the yard and propped him up against the side of a well. An officer ordered a firing squad, and four men sent rifle balls into the Prophet, killing him at last.”

One of Joseph Smith’s alleged polygamous wives, Zina D. Huntington, declared:

“I am the widow of a master mason, who, when leaping from the window of Carthage Jail pierced with bullets, made the masonic sign of distress.” – Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia, Andrew Jenson, Volume 1, page 698

The Nauvoo Environment

Ok, I covered several of the chaotic events of Joseph’s last months for several reasons.

One is that they give context to the fact that Joseph’s eyes had been covered, he had sinned as foretold in ancient and modern prophecy and it appears that he began to realize the awful state that he and the saints were in and wanted to repent and set things right.

Ironically, he had been a major part of the reason that his brother Hyrum had been called to try and reform the church. (of course, ultimately it was not his own sins but rather the sins of latter day Israel that caused him to do what he did. He was part of the literal fulfillment of Lev 16))

Another reason that I covered this most painful sequence of events is that they are important in understanding the psyche of the inhabitants of Nauvoo. It appears that many of the leaders of the church had been publicly teaching one thing while secretly teaching contrary doctrines.

Some of the saints were privy to the secret things going on while others were not. It depended on which circles you were in and whether you were called into one of the “anointed quorums”. This created havoc and division among the saints.

If you are a seasoned student of church history you probably didn’t learn anything new in this post.

If you are someone who has just recently begun to wake up, you may be in shock right now.

Perhaps you have just learned that Joseph’s last several months and the events surrounding his death are a little different than the LDS lesson manuals depict.

Please notice that the following passage in the Book of Mormon. It clearly states that directly after the Lamanites that dwindle in unbelief are smitten by the gentiles, restored gentile church will be lifted up in the pride of their eyes.

No, it does not actually say the “restored gentile church”, it simply says gentiles… but if you read the whole thing in context, it is referring to the believing but apostate gentiles not the unbelieving gentiles.

Speaking of the restored gentile church, it says-

They will “stumble”.

They will build up many churches (congregations)

They will put down the power of miracles from God

They will preach up to themselves from their own wisdom to get gain

They will be infested with secret combinations (this is an incredible link between Masonry and Mormonism)

19  And it shall come to pass, that those who have dwindled in unbelief shall be smitten by the hand of the Gentiles.
20  And the Gentiles are lifted up in the pride of their eyes, and have stumbled, because of the greatness of their stumbling block, that they have built up many churches; nevertheless, they put down the power and miracles of God, and preach up unto themselves their own wisdom and their own learning, that they may get gain and grind upon the face of the poor.
21  And there are many churches built up which cause envyings, and strifes, and malice.
22  And there are also secret combinations, even as in times of old, according to the combinations of the devil, for he is the founder of all these things; yea, the founder of murder, and works of darkness; yea, and he leadeth them by the neck with a flaxen cord, until he bindeth them with his strong cords forever.
23  For behold, my beloved brethren, I say unto you that the Lord God worketh not in darkness.

Is it a coincidence that the restored church embraced the flaxen cord of Masonry?

Is it a coincidence that in Nauvoo many of the saints were involved in secret works of darkness?

Is it a coincidence that the saints were involved in secret councils and secret doctrines and secret covenants and secret ordinances when in fact God does not do his work in darkness?

Okay… now that we have a little context for what was happening leading up the murder of Joseph and Hyrum, we are ready to address the trial of Sidney Rigdon when we get to part five..


The Law of Succession- Part Three (Hyrum was Commissioned to Reform the Church)

July 9, 2011

If He Abide in Me

In part two of this series we discussed the prophetic role of Hyrum Smith.

We addressed his calling by revelation in section 124 to act in concert with Joseph Smith as a prophet seer and revelator.

Shortly thereafter his calling to be a prophet of the church in section 124, Joseph made a public declaration in a church conference that Hyrum held the office of prophet to the church and that Joseph was not going to prophesy any more. 

By the time Joseph had made that announcement the heavens had already begun to close over his head. It had been nearly two years since he had received section 124 and he had not received canonized revelation concerning the church since that time, although some of his epistles have since been entered into the D&C.

The calling of Hyrum Smith to be a prophet seer and revelator to the church in concert with Joseph Smith and the declaration at the church conference that Joseph would no longer prophesy to the church represented a literal fulfillment of the succession prophecy in section 43.

The Lord was replacing Joseph with Hyrum as the prophet of the church.

Why?

Because according to section 43, if Joseph ever revealed his own successor by revelation, it would be because Joseph was no longer going to be “abiding in the Lord“.

And this ye shall know assuredly—that there is none other appointed unto you to receive commandments and revelations until he be taken, if he abide in me.

But verily, verily, I say unto you, that none else shall be appointed unto this gift except it be through him; for if it be taken from him he shall not have power except to appoint another in his stead.”

Clearly, the unconditional prophecy in section 43 states that no one else was to be appointed to receive commandments and revelations for the church until Joseph Smith was taken by the Lord, UNLESS Joseph fails to ABIDE in the Lord!

And yet, if Joseph fails to abide in the Lord, necessitating a successor, it would be Joseph himself that would still be given power to appoint another to succeed him, by revelation.

So strange was the wording and apparent chronology of events pertaining to that prophecy that it hardly made sense how Joseph could reveal his successor if indeed he was no longer abiding in the Lord!

It is only in hindsight that it all makes sense how this strange phenomena took place.

Remarkably, before the Lord gave the succession prophecy in section 43, containing the key word “abide”, he had already informed the church in a canonized revelation pertaining to the calling of Sidney Rigdon in section 35, that if Joseph fails to abide in the Lord, he will plant another in his stead-

“And I have sent forth the fulness of my gospel by the hand of my servant Joseph; and in weakness have I blessed him;

And I have given unto him the keys of the mystery of those things which have been sealed, even things which were from the foundation of the world, and the things which shall come from this time until the time of my coming, if he abide in me, and if not, another will I plant in his stead.

Wherefore, watch over him that his faith fail not, and it shall be given by the Comforter, the Holy Ghost, that knoweth all things.”

Incredible.


The Lord was making it pretty obvious that Joseph was eventually going to stop abiding in the Lord.

Once the saints received the fulness of the gospel back in Kirtland, they had to either progress, receive the spiritual rebirth and become a Zion people OR the Lords Spirit was to withdraw and not abide with them.

There are multiple examples in the scriptures of times when the spirit of the Lord has been withdrawn from God’s people.

Notice the words of the prophet Mormon as he describes how the spirit of the Lord had ceased to abide with his people-

And it came to pass that when they had fled we did pursue them with our armies, and did meet them again, and did beat them; nevertheless the strength of the Lord was not with us; yea, we were left to ourselves, that the Spirit of the Lord did not abide in us; therefore we had become weak like unto our brethren.

27 And my heart did sorrow because of this the great calamity of my people, because of their wickedness and their abominations…”

Less than three months after the Melchizedek priesthood was restored and the 23 newly ordained High Priests went on missions, preaching the fulness of the gospel on their way to the land of Zion, the Lord made the following ominous declaration

I, the Lord, am angry with the wicked; I am holding my Spirit from the inhabitants of the earth…

That is how quickly the Lord can determine if the world is going to respond to the fulness of the gospel. God was withdrawing his spirit from the world because of their cumulative rejection of the fulness of the gospel!

Inhabitants of the earth” is all encompassing. The Spirit of the Lord was being somewhat withheld even from the saints who are part of the inhabitants of the world. This explains why even during the 3 to 3 ½ years that the saints were trying to comprehend the greater light that very few miracles and spiritual endowments were actually being enjoyed.

The Intercessory Atonement Offering

Why was Joseph no longer going to be abiding in the Lord?

It would be easy and logical to write Joseph Smith off as a fallen prophet because of his own personal sins, like many people were doing during the last years of his life, however if we dig a little deeper there is another reason why Joseph was not able to abide in the Lord.

This topic has been addressed in detail in another article which can be read here

To summarize, it was because the saints had rejected the fulness of the gospel/priesthood and that resulted in their sins being placed upon the heads of Joseph and several of his brethren.

Joseph and some of his brethren, like Moses and Aaron of old, provided an intercessory atonement offering for the latter day saints so that the Lord would not destroy them from off of the face of the earth!

You will recall that after the children of Israel rejected the higher law, God was going to destroy them from off of the face of the earth, but Moses interceded for them and made an intercessory atonement offering for them in their behalf.

Because of the atonement that Moses offered in their behalf, the Lord prolonged their days upon the earth.

As an atonement offering, Moses and Aaron took upon themselves the sins of Israel and as a result, Moses sinned the same sin against the Lord. He got involved in idolatry just like the children of Israel did. He took credit for a miracle instead of giving credit to the Lord as the Lord had commanded him to do. This action encouraged the sin of Idolatry among the children of Israel.

His punishment for acting out the sins that were artificially placed upon his head, was death and he was prohibited from crossing over into the promised land with Israel.

His atonement offering prevented him from abiding in the Lord for a season.

Nevertheless, the Lord continued to love his servant Moses as one of the greatest prophets.

The atonement offering that Moses made was a type and shadow of the offering that would be made by the latter day prophet that would be “like Moses”. Joseph Smith made a similar intercessory offering in behalf of latter day Israel.

You can read about the atonement statute that provides a prophetic enactment of the latter day atonement in Leviticus 16.

Sometime after the rejection of the fulness of the gospel by the gentile church, Joseph offered himself as an offering and the Lord acknowledged and accepted it in the first verse of section 124.

VERILY, thus saith the Lord unto you, my servant Joseph Smith, I am well pleased with your offering and acknowledgments, which you have made; for unto this end have I raised you up, that I might show forth my wisdom through the weak things of the earth.”

Hyrum Attempts to Reform the Church

In the last installment of this series we also briefly discussed the reformation that was offered to the saints in Nauvoo.


You simply cannot make sense of the succession crisis in Nauvoo until you understand the reformation prophecy.

In 1829 the Lord prophesied that the saints would need to have a reformation at a future time.

And thus, if the people of this generation harden not their hearts, I will work a REFORMATION among them… ,

And now if this generation do harden their hearts against my word, behold I will deliver them up unto Satan..”

Again, one December 5th 1834, the Lord acknowledges that the leaders and the saints were under condemnations and needed to reform in all things.

‘Verily, condemnation resteth upon you, who are appointed to lead my Church, and to be saviors of men; and also upon the Church; and there must needs be a repentance and a REFORMATION among you, in all things..” (Unpublished revelations Pg 73)

Finally, On July 16th 1843, nearly 10 years later, The prophet Joseph Smith “stated that Hyrum held the office of prophet to the church … &he was going to have a REFORMATION and the saints must regard Hyrum for he has authority

The 1828 Websters Dictionary tells us that reformation is “The act of reforming; correction or amendment of life, manners, or of anything vicious or corrupt…

It further informs us that to Reform is to “restore to a former good state” and to abandon that which is evil or corrupt, and return to a good state”

The purpose of the Nauvoo era under the direction of the Prophet Hyrum Smith, was not to introduce contradictory esoteric doctrines, covenants and rituals that contradicted earlier revelations but rather to return the church back to the pure and simple doctrines of salvation that were originally taught in the early years of the restoration movement.

Probably the primary single most profound thing Hyrum began doing to reform the church and restore the church to it’s former state was to try and stamp out the practice of polygamy and the spiritual wife doctrine that had taken root in the church.

He began doing this before he was the sole president of the church.

There are many documented historical journal entries and public admissions from the Nauvoo era that document Hyrum’s campaign against polygamy and the spiritual wife doctrine.

Even the Brighamites admit that Hyrum stubbornly rejected the spiritual wife doctrine at first.

They claim however that Hyrum finally embraced it.

Others like Richard and Pamela Price make a compelling case for the fact that the spurious information about Hyrum eventually entering into polygamy was a fabrication and that he held true to the foundational doctrines of gospel law.

It is not the purpose of this series to try to prove of disprove whether Hyrum finally embraced polygamy or the spiritual wife doctrine. One can make a compelling case either way. (It appears to me that he begrudgingly did)

What we do know is that publicly, both Joseph and Hyrum were preaching against the doctrines of polygamy and spiritual wifery.

By February 1, 1844, they had cut off Elder Hiram Brown from the Church for, among other things, “preaching Polygamy.” They published the following announcement to the Saints:

NOTICE.

As we have lately been credibly informed, that an Elder of the Church of Jesus Christ, of Latter-day Saints, by the name of Hiram Brown, has been preaching Polygamy, and other false and corrupt doctrines, in the county of Lapeer, state of Michigan. This is to notify him and the Church in general, that he has been cut off from the church, for his iniquity; and he is further notified to appear at the Special Conference, on the 6th of April next, to make answer to these charges.

JOSEPH SMITH,
HYRUM SMITH,
Presidents of said Church.
(Times and Seasons 5 [February 1, 1844]: 423)”

Following that event, Hyrum heard rumors from Richard Hewitt that elders had been preaching about polygamy in outlying branches and claiming that it was being lived in Nauvoo. Hyrum immediately wrote the following letter to the brethren in China Creek

Nauvoo, March 15,1844.

To the brethren of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints, living on China Creek, in Hancock County, Greeting:—Whereas brother Richard Hewitt has called on me today, to know my views concerning some doctrines that are preached in your place, and states to me that some of your elders say, that a man having a certain priesthood, may have as many wives as he pleases, and that doctrine is taught here [at Nauvoo]: I say unto you that that man teaches false doctrine, for there is no such doctrine taught here; neither is there any such thing practised here. And any man that is found teaching privately or publicly any such doctrine, is culpable, and will stand a chance to be brought before the High Council, and lose his license and membership also: therefore he had better beware what he is about….

“Hyrum Smith addresses conference “on Spiritual wife system. The first one we heard reporting such stories we will report him in the Time[s] and Seasons to come and give up his licence. He was decided against it in every form and spoke at length.” (April 8 1844)

There are several dairies that make mention of the April 1844 conference wherein Hyrum spoke against polygamy and spiritual wifery.

“Elder Levi Graybill, who joined the Church in 1833, and was with the Saints at Kirtland, Ohio; Independence and Far West, Missouri; and at Nauvoo testified that he heard President Hyrum Smith speak against polygamy at the April 1844 Church Conference. Elder Graybill wrote:

I was present at the April conference in Nauvoo in 1844….

I was well acquainted with Joseph and Hyrum Smith, and most all of the early leaders of the church…. At the conference of April, 1844, Hyrum Smith said from the stand that some had been teaching spiritual wifery, which meant polygamy, and addressing the sisters he said: “If any man makes such a proposition to you, if you will put a dagger to his heart I will plead your cause in the day of judgment.” (Journal of History 4 [January 1911]: 108) “

Again, the Brighamite faction that went to Utah concede that Hyrum was “stubbornly” against polygamy when he was made a prophet of the church but they claim he was eventually persuaded by Joseph and that he was living a dual life, publicly speaking against it and even excommunicating people for practicing it while secretly living it.

It is difficult to believe that this man with “integrity of heart ” according to the Lord, was such a hypocrite as to publicly testify against the practice of polygamy and excommunicating people for preaching about it, while privately engaging in it. But again, if that did happen, it fits with the atonement prophecy in Leviticus 16.

Whether Hyrum did or did not finally fall into a darkened state or not before he was killed with Joseph, really is not of huge consequence in understanding the truth and in understanding the controversy in Nauvoo because we have indisputable proof that section 132 is contrary to sections 42, 49 and 101 (the Article on Marriage).

If Hyrum did transgress and eventually begin practicing the spiritual wifery, it would be consistent with his part in the prophetic atonement statute that Joseph, Oliver, Sidney and Hyrum all play a part in.

(Later in this series we will show that the campaign to reform the church was taken up by another member of the first presidency. That story is a facinating one that may surprise you)

The Prophet Oliver Cowdery


There is a very interesting statement in the section 124 regarding the relationship between the calling of Hyrum Smith during the Nauvoo era, and the previous calling of Oliver Cowdery during the Kirtland era-

And from this time forth I appoint unto him [Hyrum] that he may be a prophet, and a seer, and a revelator unto my church, as well as my servant Joseph;

95 That he may act in concert also with my servant Joseph; and that he shall receive counsel from my servant Joseph, who shall show unto him the keys whereby he may ask and receive, and be crowned with the same blessing, and glory, and honor, and priesthood, and gifts of the priesthood, that once were put upon him that was my servant Oliver Cowdery;

From that passage we are informed that Oliver Cowdery was not just the co-presiding elder of the church back in Kirtland, he was also a prophet, seer and revelator.

In section 124, Hyrum Smith was being given the same blessing, glory, honor, priesthood and gifts of the priesthood that had been put upon Oliver Cowdery!

[Editorial Note: "President Joseph Fielding Smith once "said that if Oliver Cowdery had not apostatized from the church, it would have been him (Oliver) instead of Hyrum who would have died with Joseph Smith in Carthage jail to seal their testimony with their blood.” (ref)]

Hyrum was actually being acknowledged in section 124 in two separate and distinct callings.

The first calling the Lord gave to Hyrum was the “office of priesthood and patriarch“. It was given according to blessing and right. Apparently he had right to by lineage as the eldest living son of joseph Smith Sr but he was also being ordained.

That made him the patriarch over the entire church. Obviously, the priesthood being referenced was the patriarchal Abrahamic priesthood. This was the priesthood which applies to the restoration brought about by Peter James and John.

That was the priesthood that was governing the church now that the fulness of the Melchizedek priesthood had been lost from the earth.

Because of this, Hyrum held the keys of the patriarchal blessing upon the church-

And again, verily I say unto you, let my servant William be appointed, ordained, and anointed, as counselor unto my servant Joseph, in the room of my servant Hyrum, that my servant Hyrum may take the office of Priesthood and Patriarch, which was appointed unto him by his father, by blessing and also by right;

That from henceforth he shall hold the keys of the patriarchal blessings upon the heads of all my people,

That whoever he blesses shall be blessed, and whoever he curses shall be cursed; that whatsoever he shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever he shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (see 124:92-93)

Most Mormons probably interpret the above passages to refer to patriarchal blessings which tell people about their tribal lineage, etc. however it really refers to holding all the keys of the kingdom, ie, keys of the saving ordinances of the church. (see Matthew 16:19 and Abraham 2:6-11)

The second calling that Hyrum was being called to function in was the calling of prophet seer and revelator in the church. He appears to be filling the vacancy left by Oliver Cowdery.

From section 124 we are informed that Oliver had previously been called to be a prophet seer and revelator just like Joseph.

Although the sanitized history of the Church greatly downplays the role and position of Oliver Cowdery in the early days of the LDS restoration, we know that Oliver saw the face of Christ.

We also know that Oliver was given the spiritual gift of being able to translate and use a seer stone and/or urim and thummim.

Although his faith failed him when he tried to translate part of the Book of Mormon, nevertheless, the Lord told him he had the gift and that he would translate at a future time in the 3rd watch.


As a prophet and co-presiding elder of the church, Oliver brought forth some of the revelations in the D&C.

Although Oliver was a prophet seer and revelator just like Joseph Smith, there were restrictions on how he could use his spiritual gifts as a prophet, seer and revelator regarding the church.

He was not commissioned to receive new doctrine and commandments for the church, rather, it was his calling to expound on existing doctrine that had previously been revealed in the ancient scriptures and modern revelation.

“BEHOLD, I say unto thee, Oliver, that it shall be given unto thee that thou shalt be heard by the church in all things whatsoever thou shalt teach them by the Comforter, concerning the revelations and commandments which I have given.

But, behold, verily, verily, I say unto thee, no one shall be appointed to receive commandments and revelations in this church excepting my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., for he receiveth them even as Moses.

And thou shalt be obedient unto the things which I shall give unto him, even as Aaron, to declare faithfully the commandments and the revelations, with power and authority unto the church.

And if thou art led at any time by the Comforter to speak or teach, or at all times by the way of commandment unto the church, thou mayest do it.

But thou shalt not write by way of commandment, but by wisdom;

The spiritual gift of wisdom listed in section 46 verse 17 was one of the gifts that Oliver had been given-

“And again, verily I say unto you, to some is given, by the Spirit of God, the word of wisdom.”

Using the spiritual gift of wisdom, Oliver was to teach and expound on previous revelations and commandments by the power of the Comforter.

There are two amazing sections in the D&C that were written by Oliver Cowdery under the spiritual gift of wisdom, by the power of the comforter.

The first was known as the “Articles and Covenants of the Church” (section 20 )

That section, received by the Prophet Oliver Cowdery, along with the “Law of the church” in section 42, received through the prophet Joseph Smith, were the two most important revelations in laying the foundation of the LDS restoration, the restoration of the church and the establishing of missionary work.

The word of wisdom received by Oliver Cowdery in section 20 does not reveal any new doctrine, rather it expounds on the covenants of the church using existing scriptures.


Interestingly, in section 20 we are informed that there are three ways that true revelation can be received-

1- By the Voice of God

2- The ministering of Angels

3- The Holy Ghost

(see 20:35)


THE FULNESS OF THE GOSPEL WAS ON THE EARTH IN 1831

EVERY SINGLE COVENANT AND ORDINANCE OF THE FULNESS OF THE GOSPEL REQUIRED FOR SALVATION WAS REVEALED BY FEBRUARY OF 1831

THESE COVENANTS AND ORDINANCES CAN BE FOUND IN SECTION 20 WHICH IS CALLED THE “ARTICLES AND COVENANTS OF THE CHURCH” AND SECTION 42 WHICH WAS CALLED “THE LAW”

Once a person gains an understanding and testimony that all of the saving ordinances and covenants of the fulness of the gospel are identified in sections 20 and 42, they can easily identify the false covenants, commandments and rituals that were being secretly introduced into the church during the apostate Nauvoo era and they can understand why the Lord commissioned the prophet Hyrum Smith to lead a reformation.

There is another “word of wisdom” revelation that Oliver had produced. One that was canonized 1835 and remained in the D&C until 1876, one year before Brigham young died.

This revelation was accepted by the church through the law of common consent and Joseph Smith never challenged it.

This revelation by Oliver Cowdery that was also canonized in the D&C was the “Article on Marriage“.

This amazing section simply expounded on the existing doctrine of marriage that had been revealed in the Bible, Book of Mormon and modern revelation

Although LDS fundamentalists are quick to point out that Joseph was not at the meeting when this section was voted on and they try to imply that Joseph did not endorse it, the fact remains that during the next nine years, Joseph never publicly challenged it or attempted to take it out of the D&C.

More importantly, the Lord endorsed all of the sections in the D&C, including the Article on Marriage, that had been publicly published and canonized by 1841-

And again, verily I say unto you, let no man pay stock to the quorum of the Nauvoo House unless he shall be a believer in the Book of Mormon, and the revelations I have given unto you, saith the Lord your God” ( 124:119)

The above passage demonstrates that God was pleased with all of the canonized revelations in the D&C, including the Article on Marriage at the time when section 124 was given.

The Article on Marriage

Oliver was given the privilege of expounding on existing doctrine to the church.

That is what he was doing when he received both the Articles and Covenants of the Church (section 20) and also the Article on Marriage (section 101 before it was taken out of the D&C)

Compare the two following passages of scripture that had been given in sections 42 and 49 with the third passage from the Article on Marriage-


Section 42

Thou shalt love thy wife with all thy heart, and shalt cleave unto her and none else.

And he that looketh upon a woman to lust after her shall deny the faith, and shall not have the Spirit; and if he repents not he shall be cast out.

Thou shalt not commit adultery; and he that committeth adultery, and repenteth not, shall be cast out.” (42:22)


Section 49

“And again, verily I say unto you, that whoso forbiddeth to marry is not ordained of God, for marriage is ordained of God unto man.

Wherefore, it is lawful that he should have one wife, and they twain shall be one flesh, and all this that the earth might answer the end of its creation;

And that it might be filled with the measure of man, according to his creation before the world was made.” (49:15-17)


The Article on Marriage (101)

Inasmuch as this church of Christ has been reproached with the crime of fornication, and polygamy: we declare that we believe, that one man should have one wife; and one woman, but one husband,
except in case of death, when either is at liberty to marry again.”
(Section 101:4 1835 edition)

Again, Oliver Cowdery wasn’t revealing new scripture or new doctrine, he was simply using his spiritual gift of wisdom in expounding on existing scripture and doctrine.

From the mouth of three witnesses, provided in canonized revelations that were accepted by the law of common consent, it was revealed during the early Kirtland years that the fulness of the gospel requires a man to have only one wife.

Amazingly, the article on marriage by Oliver Cowdery remained in all versions of the D&C from 1835 until about 1877 when Brigham Young finally had it expelled from the D&C and replaced by the heretical abomination now known as section 132.

Despite the fact that sections 42, 49 and 101 all testified of the requirement of the gospel law of monogamy during the Nauvoo years, the darkened minds of many of the saints in Nauvoo began participating in the secret practice of spiritual wifery.

In hindsight it is interesting to go back to section 38 when the Lord promised the saints that the law of the gospel that would be given in Kirtland to enable them to escape the power of the enemy-

And that ye might escape the power of the enemy, and be gathered unto me a righteous people, without spot and blameless—

Wherefore, for this cause I gave unto you the commandment that ye should go to the Ohio; and there I will give unto you my law; and there you shall be endowed with power from on high

Also contained in that revelation the Lord gave a veiled prophecy that the gentile church would become prideful and would take on the same sin of polygamy which was instrumental in bringing the prideful Nephite nation to ruin-

“And if ye seek the riches which it is the will of the Father to give unto you, ye shall be the richest of all people, for ye shall have the riches of eternity; and it must needs be that the riches of the earth are mine to give; but beware of pride, lest ye become as the Nephites of old.”

It was the sin of pride that led the Nephites into the practice of polygamy.

It was the practice of polygamy that led to the destruction of the Nephite nation after they rejected the fulness of the gospel.

The reformation that Hyrum attempted to conduct began with his attempt to get back to the pure and simple law of the gospel which included the celestial law of monogamy.

Amazing!

How is it possible that many of the largest factions of the latter day restoration, including the one led by the majority of the quorum of the twelve apostles who held the mandate to publish the Book of Mormon and the modern words of Christ to the world, would be seduced into believing a different gospel?

How could they embrace a different new and everlasting covenant which was out of harmony with the true new and everlasting covenant. (see isa 24:5-6)

How could they reject the celestial law of monogamy after it had been so well documented in ancient and modern revelation?

Unfortunately, the Prophet Hyrum Smith was unable to reform the church during the 2nd watch.


In the next installment we shall review Joseph Smith’s frantic attempt to repent just before his death and we shall dissect the amazing information revealed in the excommunication trial of the Prophet Sidney Rigdon.



The Law of Succession- Part Two (Hyrum replaces Joseph as Prophet of the Church)

July 4, 2011

The Prophet Hyrum Smith


As is common when I do a series on any topic, I sometimes find it necessary to interject some important information and delay other parts to be addressed later.

Hence, our  discussion on the excommunication trial of Sidney Rigdon must be postponed for a later part of this series.

Before we continue on in our review of the great deception that took place during the LDS succession crisis and evaluate some of the key events and profound points of succession doctrine that came out during the trial of Sidney Rigdon, we need to address the calling of Hyrum Smith as the prophet of the church.

I would be getting ahead of myself to address the topic of Sydney Rigdon before adequately addressing the topic of Hyrum Smith with regard to the succession issue.

Additionally, let me remind you that you need to be familiar with the good news BEFORE you focus too much on the bad news provided in this series.

One of the challenges in writing on a controversial topic like this is that it is sometimes read by those who are not familiar with the doctrine of three watches and are not familiar with how God is going to remedy this situation created by the crisis.

This information can cause indigestion and despair if it is not read in the broader prophetic context that is provided in scripture.

You need to be familiar with the doctrine of the three watches and how the Lord has a remedy in place for the grand delusion that began approximately 180 years ago and continues up to this day.

If the doctrine of three watches is new to you, you can read about it starting here and then review over 50 scriptural and historical evidences documenting the doctrine of three watches and the fact that the Marvelous Work and a Wonder did not begin during the public ministry of Joseph Smith. It was at that time that the foundation of the future work was laid.

The Remedy for the Awful Situation We are In

So what is the remedy that God has provided for taking blindness off of Israel?

Paul provides the answer-

“There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob

He is of course paraphrasing a passage out of Isaiah 59

And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the LORD.”

Through the prophet Isaiah the Lord promises us that he will send an intercessory deliverer- redeemer to turn latter day Israel from their transgressions.

The Lord reminds us of his covenant with Israel (and of the enactment of the atonement statute contained in Lev 16 ) and the fact that his intercessory servant that initially delivered the law in the 2nd watch, will restore the law in the 3rd watch when the fulness of the gentiles comes in for the last time.

As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the LORD; My spirit that is upon thee, [the intercessory servant] and my words which I have put in thy mouth

Clearly, the return of the Davidic Servant as the arm of the Lord, deliverer-redeemer marks the time in the 3rd watch when the fullness of the Gentiles comes in for the last time preparatory for the return of Christ.

The Dispensational Bait and Switch

When the light began to shine forth at the special conference at the Morley Farm in 1831 when the Melchizedek priesthood was restored for the first time and 23 men were called to be High Priests, Joseph Smith and the gentile church were focused on ushering in the dispensation of the fullness of times.

Prior to that time, modern revelation had only mentioned two gospel dispensations, the dispensation of the last times and the dispensation of the fullness of times.

Had the church successfully received the fulness of the Priesthood, ie, fulness of the Gospel when it was being offered to them, they would indeed have ushered in the dispensation of the fulness of times.

Modern revelation had informed the saints that the current dispensation they were in was the dispensation of the last times which had began with the meridian apostles in the New Testament.

The purpose of the marvelous work and a wonder was to usher in the dispensation of the fullness of times that takes place within the dispensation of the last times.

When the saints ultimately rejected the fullness of the gospel in the 2nd watch, the Lord secretly restored to Joseph and Oliver the keys to a lesser, ancient, preparatory dispensation.

The Great Secret of Joseph and Oliver

Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery had an incredible secret experience in the Kirtland Temple in 1836.

It is an astounding fact that neither of them ever publicly revealed this secret event during the remainder of their lives.

What was their secret?

It was the appearance of Christ and three ministering angels.

The event now known as section 110 was not made publicly known until about 16 years after it happened in 1836 and it was not canonized into the D&C until 40 years after it happened!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Shortly after the gentile church rejected the fullness of the gospel and failed to usher in the dispensation of the fullness of times, the Lord and three ministering angels secretly visited Joseph and Oliver Cowdery in the Kirtland Temple. At this time another gospel dispensation was ushered in.

However the dispensation that was ushered in was NOT the dispensation of the fullness of times, it was the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham which dates back to the covenant that God made with Abraham. It has to do with the patriarchal right of the chosen seed line to administer the gospel to the inhabitants of the world.

It appears that it can administer the fulness of the Gospel or the preparatory Gospel depending on the state of the people.

The secret visitation behind the veil represented an intercession that prolonged the lives of the Latter day Saints and resented a remedy for their aweful situation.

One can read more about the Gospel of Abraham in the Book of Abraham. I have written an article about it here.

 

The Three Part Prophecy of Jesus Christ

The rejection of the fulness of the priesthood appears to have begun with the special conference at the Morley Farm and came to its fulfillment in or before1834. At this time the law of consecration was broken and the Lord announced that Zion must be chastened and her redemption would be delayed. This resulted in the secret ushering in of the gospel of Abraham in the Kirtland Temple.

The restoration of the gospel of Abraham resulted in the mandate that Joseph gave to the twelve apostles to set up foreign missions to gather the children of Abraham. It also resulted in the mandate given to the twelve apostles in section 112, to publish the scriptures and testify of the name of Christ to the world. Section 112 informs us that gross darkness was covering the whole world at that time.

All of this was the fulfillment of a three part prophecy given by Jesus Christ in 3rd Nephi-

Part One of the Prophesy

And thus commandeth the Father that I should say unto you: At that day when the Gentiles shall sin against my gospel, and shall reject the fulness of my gospel, and shall be lifted up in the pride of their hearts above all nations, and above all the people of the whole earth, and shall be filled with all manner of lyings, and of deceits, and of mischiefs, and all manner of hypocrisy, and murders, and priestcrafts, and whoredoms, and of secret abominations; and if they shall do all those things, and shall reject the fulness of my gospel, behold, saith the Father, I will bring the fulness of my gospel from among them.”

By the end of 1834 the above prophecy had been fulfilled. The restored church of Christ among the gentiles had rejected the fulness of the priesthood which is virtually synonymous with the fulness of the gospel.

Part Two of the Prophesy

And then will I remember my covenant which I have made unto my people, O house of Israel, and I will bring my gospel unto them. And I will show unto thee, O house of Israel, that the Gentiles shall not have power over you; but I will remember my covenant unto you, O house of Israel, and ye shall come unto the knowledge of the fulness of my gospel.”

The secret event in the Kirtland Temple represented the mandate and associated dispensational keys to begin the fulfillment of the second part of Christ’s prophecy.

The keys of taking the KNOWLEDGE of the fullness of the gospel (Book of Mormon & Doctrine and Covenants) to the rest of the children of Israel and Abraham’s posterity were restored.

Notice the admonition of Joseph Smith to the Twelve Apostles-

“If there is anything calculated to interest the mind of the Saints, to awaken in them the finest sensibilities, and arouse them to enterprise and exertion, surely it is the great and precious promises made by our heavenly Father to the children of Abraham; and those engaged in seeking the outcasts of Israel, and the dispersed of Judah, cannot fail
to enjoy the Spirit of the Lord and have the choicest blessings of Heaven rest upon them in copious effusions.” (Joseph Smith Jr., Discourses of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 195.)

Part Three of the Prophesy

“But if the Gentiles will repent and return unto me, saith the Father, behold they shall be numbered among my people, O house of Israel. And I will not suffer my people, who are of the house of Israel, to go through among them, and tread them down, saith the Father.”

As you can see, the third part of Christ’s prophecy in 3rd Nephi addresses the opportunity for the fallen gentiles to REPENT.

This opportunity takes place AFTER the KNOWLEDGE of the gospel goes forth to Abraham’s seed in other parts of the vineyard. It takes place when the fulness of the gentiles comes in during the 3rd and final watch.

It must be remembered that the current corporate church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints has a legitimate mandate from God to take the “knowledge” of the fulness of the gospel to the world by publishing the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants.

The fact that the modern church falsely insinuates that it has the  fulness of the priesthood and lives the fullness of the gospel does not take away from the fact that they are only dispensing the KNOWLEDGE of what the fullness of the gospel is by publishing the sacred scriptures to the world.

It is ironic that the very scriptures that the Latter day Saints publish and claim to believe in, TESTIFY that the modern church is in apostasy and have polluted the holy church of God.

The inspired version of the Bible documents that those who lead the church do in fact hold the legal lease over the vineyard even though the Lord will destroy the miserable leaders that fail to repent, in the 3rd watch, when the servants return and the Marvelous Work and a Wonder finally begins -

“And when the Lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, he will destroy those miserable, wicked men, and will let again his vineyard unto other husbandmen, even in the last days, who shall render him the fruits in their seasons.” (JST Matt 21)

All of these issues pertain to the succession crisis that took place in Nauvoo.

The Rise of Hyrum Smith

Hyrum Smith was such a low key individual that he hardly stands out as anything other than the loyal older brother to Joseph.

This is in part because much of his contribution has been down played or deleted from the history of the church.

A key word search in the D&C reveals that Hyrum is one of the first and primary missionaries for the church (sections 11 & 23)

He later becomes one of the 23 High Priests called by the voice of God out of heaven.

Directly after his calling as a High Priest, he is called to preach the gospel with John Murdock en route to the land of Zion in Missouri (section 52)

Following that, he received the promise of an inheritance (section 94)

Later Hyrum is teamed up with Frederick G. Williams when the more valiant brethren go on their journey to attempt to restore the saints in Jackson County (section 103)

Eventually in section 112, we find Hyrum as a member of the first presidency holding the keys of the kingdom with Joseph and Sidney-

Verily I say unto you, my servant Thomas, thou art the man whom I have chosen to hold the keys of my kingdom, as pertaining to the Twelve, abroad among all nations—

That thou mayest be my servant to unlock the door of the kingdom in all places where my servant Joseph, and my servant Sidney, and my servant Hyrum, cannot come” (section 112 see also section 115)

Finally, Hyrum is called to act in concert with Joseph as a prophet seer and revelator to the church.

It is worth noting that Hyrum had been acting as a member of the presidency of the Church BEFORE he was given the spiritual gift and calling to act as a prophet seer and revelator in Nauvoo via section 124.

Please also remember that Joseph, Hyrum and Sidney are presiding elders in the patriarchal priesthood during the Nauvoo years, not presiding High Priests over the High Priesthood.

Did Hyrum meet the Qualifications in the Law of Succession?

I have blogged about numerous people who I feel will play incredible role in the LDS restoration movement even though I feel much of the significance of their past and future involvement has largely been down played and obscured.

These tributes have included people like Sidney Rigdon, Lyman Wight, Oliver Cowdery, Frederick G. Williams, David Patten, etc.

Another one of the most influential personalities of the LDS restoration is Hyrum Smith, and yet, much of his contribution is downplayed, suppressed and perhaps not even documented since he was ultimately rejected as the prophet of the church by many of the leading brethren.

What would it be like to be the older brother of Joseph Smith who was always in the background?

Section 43 informs us that the true successor to the prophet Joseph Smith must be called of God through Joseph Smith.

Did Hyrum qualify?

Yes.

Section 124 is a clear revelation from God through the prophet Joseph Smith calling Hyrum to be a prophet seer and revelator to the church-

And from this time forth I appoint unto him that he may be a prophet, and a seer, and a revelator unto my church, as well as my servant Joseph; That he may act in concert also with my servant Joseph.”

Section 43 requires a valid successor to also be ordained through the instrumentality of Joseph Smith

Does Hyrum qualify?

Yes.

In accordance with the mind and will of the Lord in section 124, Joseph Smith ordained Hyrum to be the prophet seer and revelator.

Section 43 requires a valid successor to first enter into the gate which in my opinion, is a clear reference to being born of the spirit. (it could simply be referring to meeting the other demands mentioned in the succession prophecy in section 43, but it makes more sense to me that the term is referring to the obvious definition given in the scriptures referring the spiritual rebirth)


This spiritual rebirth must take place before God will call him to the spiritual calling and office of being a prophet seer and revelator to the church.

Had Hyrum been spiritually born again?

If so, did the Lord provide a canonized revelation proving that Hyrum had been spiritually born again?

It is interesting to note that God provided proof to the church that Joseph and Sidney had both received the spiritual rebirth by giving them the vision now known as section 76.

In this canonized revelation it is revealed that Joseph and Sidney both received a fulness of the glory of the Son and the Father-

while we meditated upon these things, the Lord touched the eyes of our understandings and they were opened, and the glory of the Lord shone round about. And we beheld the glory of the Son, on the right hand of the Father, and received of his fulness

Clearly, a person would need to have been spiritually born again before they could receive a fulness of the glory of the Son and Father, otherwise without a purified heart, they would be destroyed in the flesh by such an experience!

But what about Hyrum?

Did the Lord provide public documentation to the church membership that Hyrum had been born again?

YES!


I believe so.

The Integrity of his Heart

In section 124, when Hyrum was called to act in concert with Joseph Smith as a prophet seer and revelator of the church, the Lord made the following proclamation regarding the spiritual status of Hyrum Smith-

“…blessed is my servant Hyrum Smith; for I, the Lord, love him because of the integrity of his heart, and because he loveth that which is right before me, saith the Lord.”

What an incredible endorsement from the Lord!

If you do a key word search on the word heart, you will find an abundance of passages documenting the fact that the heart is the spiritual chamber of the soul in which, the Holy Spirit ultimately resides OR the devil reigns.

Each soul on this earth will ultimately become a servant of God or a servant of the Devil.

It is in the heart that a person ultimately becomes sanctified and saved or becomes deceived and overcome by Satan-

Although the King James Version of the bible quotes the Savior as saying

“As a man thinketh, so is he”

The inspired version informs us that

“As a man thinketh IN HIS HEART, so is he”

The human body has the ability to initiate thought in both the brain and the heart!

The heart is a thinking organ with a mind of its own.

It is the thoughts of the heart that determine the status of the soul.

The ultimate sacrifice the Lord is looking for is a “broken heart and a contrite spirit“.

The Book of Mormon informs us that the gates of hell cannot claim us if we have a broken heart and a contrite spirit-

May the gates of hell be shut continually before me, because that my heart is broken and my spirit is contrite!”

It appears that Hyrum had offered up to a broken heart and a contrite spirit to the Lord.

Needless to say, Hyrum Smith had obviously received the spiritual rebirth as evidenced by the fact that he had integrity of heart and he loved that which was right before God.

It is no coincidence that one of the first main objectives that Hyrum had while acting in the inpired integrity of his heart, was to testify against polygamy and the spiritual wife doctrine and try to rid it from the church.

Unfortunately, the atonement statute would eventually kick in and the Lord would cover the eyes of the seers. Hyrum would eventually be persuaded by Joseph, fulfilling ancient prophecy.

 

Joseph Announces that Hyrum is the Sole Prophet

As documented in the diary of William Clayton, one of Joseph Smith’s personal secretaries, on Sunday, July 16 1843, Joseph preached again, proposing a radical change in church organization-

He stated that Hyrum held the office of prophet to the church..”

Hyrum is Called to Reform the Church

William Clayton also reveals that Joseph had acknowledged that Hyrum was to conduct a REFORMATION in the church-

“…He [Hyrum] was going to have a reformation, and the Saints must regard Hyrum for he has authority.”

The reformation of the fallen church during the Nauvoo period had previously been prophesied in the book of commandments-

Within this section the following passage was in the original revelation as it is documented in the Book-


And thus, if the people of this generation harden not their hearts, I will work a REFORMATION among them, and I will put down all lyings, and deceivings, and priestcrafts, and envyings, and strifes, and idolatries, and sorceries, and all manner of iniquities, and I will establish my church, like unto the church which was taught by my disciples in the days of old.4:6 And now if this generation do harden their hearts against my word, behold I will deliver them up unto Satan, for he reigneth and hath power at this time, for he hath got great hold upon the hearts of the people of this generation: and not far from the iniquities of Sodom and Gomorrah, do they come at this time: and behold the sword of justice hangeth over their heads, and if they persist in the hardness of their hearts, the time cometh that it must fall upon them. Behold I tell you these things even as I also told the people of the destruction of Jerusalem, and my word shall be verified at this time as it hath hitherto been verified..”

At first blush, the above passage given before the church was even legally organized seems somewhat illogical. The Lords church was in the early stages of being restored and organized yet the Lord is speaking about doing a reformation if that generation will not harden their hearts.

This prophecy was also given prior to the restoration of the three priesthoods.

Clearly the restored church could not yet be reformed at the time the revelation was given as it had not yet be fully restored.

Those passages represent a prophecy about a future fulfillment, after the Church transgresses.

Additionally, all of the existing protestant churches had been created out of the great reformation. What good would it do to work a reformation among the reformed churches of the protestant reformation when it had been clearly revealed that they were dead branches from a dead tree without authority?

Clearly, the LDS restoration movement was about restoring the keys of the New Testament church, NOT about reforming an existing church.

Again, the above passage from the Book of Commandments is a prophecy about a future opportunity that would take place AFTER the restoration of the Church of Christ and after that restored church has gone into apostasy.

As we will see, the above prophecy was not referring to the initial beginning of Joseph Smith’s public ministry, rather, it is making specific mention of a future opportunity to reform the church after the keys are restored and the latter day church goes into apostasy during the early Kirtland years.

That apostasy of the restored church would take place in Kirtland after the saints cumulatively reject the greater light that began shining forth beginning at the special conference at the Morley Farm.

After the saints rejected the fulness of the Gospel and failed to redeem Zion, the Lord gave an unpublished revelation informing both the leaders of the Church and also the membership, that they were all under condemnation and that there needed to be a REFORMATION among them.

‘Verily, condemnation resteth upon you, who are appointed to lead my Church, and to be saviors of men; and also upon the Church; and there must needs be a repentance and a REFORMATION among you, in all things..” (Unpublished revelations Pg 73)

As we can see from the above documentation, the appointed time of reformation was to take place some time  after the church was restored and then in a state of apostasy. With this understanding, the events that took place in Nauvoo begin to make sense.

The reformation was to take place in Nauvoo.

It began under the direction of the Prophet Hyrum Smith, when he was trying to stamp out polygamy-

Section 124 and the Nauvoo period was the last chance during the 2nd watch for the apostate saints to reform the apostate restored church.

Again, look at the statement from William Clayton-

On July 16th 1843 The prophet Joseph Smith “stated that Hyrum held the office of prophet to the church by birth-right &he was going to have a REFORMATION and the saints must regard Hyrum for he has authority

This is remarkable.

Joseph stated publicly that Hyrum was now the sole prophet of the church.

The saints must regard Hyrum because he has the authority.

Hyrum was going to lead a reformation.

Few if any of the Nauvoo Saints appear to have recognized the fulfillment of the succession prophecy in section 43 taking place before their very eyes when Joseph announced that Hyrum would now be the sole prophet.

Section 124 was essentially informing the saints that they had lost the fulness of the priesthood and it was offering them the chance to reform or be rejected as a church.

The William Clayton Journal does not provide the only testimony that Hyrum became the sole prophet of the church-

Apostle Willard Richards gave a similar report in a letter to the absent Brigham Young:

“[Joseph] said he would not prophesy anymore— Hyrum should be the prophet.”

 Joseph was making it clear in a public discourse that Hyrum would be the sole prophet, seer and revelator of the church and that He, [Joseph] was no longer going to speak prophetically for the church membership.

Hyrum is rejected by the Saints

According to Willard Richards, the following morning, a number of fretting Saints came to Joseph protesting about Hyrum. They felt he was not qualified to be the sole prophet of the church-

Brother Joseph, Hyrum is no prophet: he can’t lead the church.”

It is truly amazing that some of the saints had no faith in the Lord’s calling of Hyrum Smith as a prophet seer and revelator to the church in section 124.

Having demonstrated that Hyrum had been called of God to be a prophet seer and revelator and had spiritually been born again, it is a rather sobering fact that Hyrum had not yet received the keys pertaining to how to pray and receive answers to prayer!

(Later in this series we shall see that even though Hyrum attempted to reform the church and then had his eyes covered, another person holding the keys of presidency would stand forth and offer the church a reformation. It may shock you to find out who it was)

The Keys to ASK and RECIEVE

“…and that he shall receive counsel from my servant Joseph, who shall show unto him the keys whereby he may ask and receive

This brings us to another interesting question.

Did Joseph teach Hyrum how to ask and receive before the martyrdom as he was commanded to do in section 124??

Perhaps another way to pose the question is, did Hyrum ever actually begin acting as a prophet and revelator?

Did he authoritatively receive revelation from God and did he provide inspired explanations regarding the scriptures?

Did Hyrum have the spirit of Prophesy?

Did the spirit of prophecy reside in Hyrum Smith?

Did he ever interpret scripture for the church, give them commandments and say

thus sayeth the Lord?

I believe he did.

The following prophetic counsel to the saints is one of my favorite quotes from Hyrum Smith. It was published on November 19th 1841 in the Sangamo Journal (which was quoting from the “Times and Seasons).

The following admonishing to the saints from the prophet Hyrum Smith came less than one year after he was called by God to be a prophet seer and revelator to the church in concert with his brother Joseph-

“All the saints that dwell in that land [Kirtland] are commanded to come away, for this is, ‘Thus saith the Lord;’ therefore pay out no monies nor properties for houses, nor lands, in that country, for if you do, you will lose them; for the time shall come that you shall not possess them in peace; but shall be scourged with a sore scourge; yet your children may possess them; but not until many years shall pass away; and; as to the organization of that branch of the church, it is not according to the spirit and will of God:

Hyrum is authoritatively paraphrasing elements of section 124 and also expanding upon a prophetic sermon previously given by Joseph Smith. ( See Building the Zion of the Lord given on July 19, 1840)

Hyrum was informing the saints in Kirtland and other places that the Lord wants them to come to Nauvoo and not to settle in Kirtland and other places.

Hyrum continues in his admonition and warns the saints that they have neglected the house of the Lord and the baptismal font.

Interestingly, he confirms that the dispensation of the fullness of times HAS NOT BEEN USHERED IN!

He informs them that the key of knowledge and the revealing of the mysteries of God necessary to unfold the dispensation of the fullness of times will not be turned until the temple and baptismal font have been finished!

“…and as to the designs of the leading members of that branch relative to the printing press, and the ordaining of Elders, and sending out Elders to beg for the poor, are not according to the will of God; and in these things they shall not prosper, for they have neglected the House of the Lord, the Baptismal Font, in this place, wherein their dead may be redeemed, and the key of knowledge that unfolds the dispensation of the fullness of times may be turned, and the mysteries of God be unfolded, upon which their salvation and the salvation of the world, and the redemption of their dead depends, for ‘Thus saith the Lord,’ ‘there shall not be a general assembly for a general conference assembled together until the House of the Lord shall be finished, and the Baptismal Font, and if we are not diligent the church shall be rejected, and their dead also,’ ‘saith the Lord,’ therefore, dear Brother, any proceedings otherwise than to put forth their hands with their might to do this work, is not according to the will of God, and shall not prosper; therefore, tarry not in any place whatever but come forth unto this place from all the world, until it is filled up and polished, and sanctified according to my word…”

As you can see, Hyrum is chastising the saints.

He is identifying things they shouldn’t be doing and reiterating the warning in section 124 that the saints will be rejected as a church with their dead if they fail to finish the temple and the baptismal font.

Hyrum, like most prophets, is not interested in tickling the ears of the saints or worrying about being liked. His words are stern. His warning is ominous.

Then Hyrum Smith reveals a grand secret that had possibly never been revealed to the Nauvoo Saints before.

He prophetically notifies them that Nauvoo, (which had been designated as the cornerstone of Zion) is the “hiding place” where the Lord will hide his elect from the “indignation” which shall punish the wicked.

It becomes obvious that Hyrum is revealing Nauvoo as the “chambers” mentioned in Isaiah 26.

Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.

For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.”

Hyrum is warning the saints that Kirtland was not to be righteously inhabited again by the saints until after the great cleansing.

Finally, Hyrum ends with these remarks-

“…saith the Lord, come ye forth from the ends of the earth, that I may hide you from mine indignation that shall scourge the wicked, and then I will send forth and build up Kirtland, and it shall be polished and refined according to my word; therefore, your doings and your organizations, and designs in printing, or any of your councils, are not of me, saith the Lord, even so, Amen
HYRUM SMITH,

Again, compare the prophetic warning of Hyrum Smith above to the prophecy in Isaiah 26

Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.

Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.

For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.

Un-be-freakin-lieveable!

The ordinance of baptism for the dead in section 124 interrelates to the prophetic utterances of Isaiah who proclaimed that “dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise“.

It appears that the prophet Hyrum Smith was revealing that the ordinance of baptisms for the dead is not just an ordinance that enables those who missed out on the opportunity of the gospel during probation… it appears that the ordinance is an integral part of the ordinance of resurrecting or quickening people from the dead!

We learn from Hyrum that Isaiah was prophetically looking forward at Nauvoo and the temple and baptisms for the dead.

Isaiah and Hyrum were both filled with the spirit of prophecy and realized that Nauvoo, the cornerstone of Zion, is the grand hiding place where God will, at some point in time, gather his elect into the chambers while the wrath of the Lord chastises the wicked of the earth.


It is very possibly after the Lord pulls down the tower of the enemy and hides his people in the designated hiding place in the cornerstone of Zion that the saints will eventually redeem the center place of Zion in Missouri and build the temple.

Additional key word searches seem to reveal that the sacred gathering places in Ohio, Missouri and Illinois where the Lord will gather and hide his people will be flooded at about the time that the servants return.

waters shall overflow the hiding place. And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it.”

Incredible.

One of the signs that accompany the return of God’s servants is the flooding of the hiding place… probably to remove the unbelievers from the holy ground for the gathering of the elect.

Thanks to Hyrum and Isaiah, we know that the servants return at a time when the hiding place overflows.

Watch for flooding.

And your covenant with death shall be disannulled

We also know that when the servant returns, he will restore the fulness of the priesthood and the fulness of the true gospel covenant.

This will result in the spiritual rebirth, for those who repent and reform.

He will also disannul the agreement with hell that the miserable wicked leaders of apostate latter day Israel have bound the saints over to.

The saints collectively had the opportunity in Nauvoo under the prophet Hyrum Smith to repent of their abominations and reform, by renewing the original covenant of the gospel and restoring the fulness of the priesthood which had been lost.

They also had the option to allow themselves to be seduced into a heretical ceremonial covenant with death, one which substituted the holy spiritual endowments with ritualistic secret signs and tokens and secret handshakes and swearing by the neck.

Imagine a ceremony where Satan himself is depicted as being in a position of authority over the saints, administering an oath and binding the saints over to a covenant with death if they fail to keep every single commandment according to the letter of the law.

Through this false covenant Satan will lead many of the saints away from the truth.

We don’t have time in this series to elaborate on the evil gift that Isaiah refers to as the covenant with death. Those wanting more information on this topic may ref this article.

Incredible future events are going to take place in Nauvoo and the return of the dead will take place in conjunction with the return of the servants when the true covenant is restored and the key of knowledge will be turned and unfold the ushering in of the dispensation of the fullness of times.

I believe Hyrum Smith was the real deal. He may not have been what the people wanted, but he was a true prophet.

He met the qualifications of succession itemized in section 43.

He was called to be a prophet seer and revelator to the church through Joseph.

He became the sole legal successor to the Prophet Joseph Smith once Joseph informed the Church that he would no long prophesy for the church.

Joseph declared that “the saints must regard Hyrum for he has authority“.

Sadly, the saints did not regard and sustain Hyrum and he his calling as the sole replacement for Joseph Smith as the prophet seer and revelator of the church has largely been written out of history.

It is only because of a few dairies that we even know that Hyrum was the sole prophet and president of the church at the time of the martyrdom.

The Lord loved him because of the integrity of his heart.

Praise God for the prophet Hyrum Smith.

In a future part of this series we shall evaluate the claims of Sidney Rigdon and the trial that cut him off from the Brighamite faction of the apostate church. In it we shall see that the Lord had actually called both Hyrum and Sidney to be prophets seers and revelators through the prophet Joseph Smith.

That’s right, the Lord used Joseph Smith to identify, by revelation, his own successor and his successor’s successor, but the saints rejected BOTH of these prophets.


The Law of Succession- Part One (Seven parts of the Succession Doctrine)

June 9, 2011

The Law Pertaining to Succession
him whom I have appointed unto you to receive commandments and revelations”

It occurred to me while writing the post about Frederick G. Williams that I have never done a specific post on the LDS succession crisis in detail although I have touched on it in bits and pieces in lots of posts that focused on other topics.

When I started blogging nearly three years ago I never intended to write anything this controversial however, over time, I have actually written about many things that are probably even more controversial than this series is going to be..

I have therefore decided to do a series focusing on this most important topic.

In this series I am going to be a little repetitive at times, on purpose.

As I have said previously, the succession crisis is far from over.

It is a continuing issue.

We still need to try to understand it and face it head on.

In fact, one way to view the Marvelous Work and a Wonder is to characterize it as a continuation and ultimately the conclusion to the succession debate that took place after the death of Joseph and Hyrum Smith. In some ways, the succession issue was a microcosm of the war in heaven, having to do with a great debate and war over the control over the souls of men. Free agency is the principle that allows us to become free by submitting to Christ or to submit ourselves into bondage by being deceived and choosing Satan and his minions.

In this first part of this series I am going to give a summary and associated commentary on the  law of succession that is contained in section 43. in so doing, I will highlight seven major principals contained therein.

The following parts of this series will then eventually fall into place as this series evolves and will include highlights of the trial of Sidney Rigdon. The amazing information contained in the notes of that trial has been largely neglected and suppressed by the corporate church.

In that trial, President William Marks gave one of the most eloquent and succinct summaries of the law of succession and he explained from a scriptural point of view why Sidney Rigdon was the only living person who met the qualifications laid out in section 43. (not be confused with William Law, William Marks was the Stake President in Far West and eventually also of Nauvoo)

One of the great myths believed by some students of modern day Mormonism is that the LDS succession crisis took place because the Lord had not given a clear explanation of how succession in church leadership was to take place.

This view is erroneously ascribed by D. Michael Quinn who stated that-

by the summer of 1844 there was no explicit outline of presidential succession in print..”

Quinn continues-

“Not only did most Mormons have only the haziest concept of what should transpire in the leadership of the LDS Church if the founding prophet were to die, but between 1834 and 1844 Joseph Smith had by word or action established precedents or authority for eight possible methods of succession

  1. By a counselor in the First Presidency
  2. By a special appointment
  3. Through the office of Associate President
  4. By the Presiding Patriarch
  5. By the Council of Fifty
  6. By the Quorum of the twelve Apostles
  7. By the three priesthood councils,
  8. By a descendant of Joseph Smith, Jr.

Four Very Important Foundational Succession Issues

Before we dissect the law of succession in section 43, we need to address four issues that can create confusion if they are not understood-

1…The Lord gives the church the free agency to reject being presided over by a Prophet Seer and Revelator via the Law of Common Consent:

There is a huge difference between the collective church or even a branch of the church, randomly appointing someone to preside over them as their presiding officer as opposed to the church membership requiring the chosen candidate to first be called and ordained by God to be a prophet seer and revelator expressly chosen by God to receive revelations and commandments for the church.

In other words, the church actually does have the option, through the law of common consent to refuse to appoint the Lord’s prophet seer and revelator as their presiding officer. They may choose someone else that they would rather have preside over them.

Although it appears from historical accounts that Joseph Smith may have suggested some or all of the above eight methods of succession mentioned by Quinn, they would only be reasons for choosing someone according to the law of common consent to simply preside over the church in a leadership capacity.

It is interesting and informative to note that the Lord called Joseph Smith by revelation to be a prophet seer and revelator to receive commandments and revelations for the church in section 28, and then, at a later time, in section 43 the Lord admonishes the saints to appoint Joseph Smith to preside over them by common consent if they want the glories of the kingdom-

“But, behold, verily, verily, I say unto thee, no one shall be appointed to receive commandments and revelations in this church [the Church of Christ] excepting my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., for he receiveth them even as Moses. And thou shalt be obedient unto the things which I shall give unto him, even as Aaron, to declare faithfully the commandments and the revelations, with power and authority unto the church.” (Section 28)

And if ye desire the glories of the kingdom, appoint ye my servant Joseph Smith, Jun , and uphold him before me by the prayer of faith.13 And again, I say unto you, that if ye desire the mysteries of the kingdom, provide for him food and raiment, and whatsoever thing he needeth to accomplish the work wherewith I have commanded him;14 And if ye do it not he shall remain unto them that have received him, that I may reserve unto myself a pure people before me..” (section 43)

This demonstrates that the calling to be a prophet seer and revelator comes from God but the appointment to preside comes from the church membership via common consent ( or at least the ratification of God’s appointment).

The only way the church can appoint someone to act as a prophet seer and revelator while presiding over the church is if they appoint someone who has already been called and ordained to that SPIRITUAL GIFT by God.

Appointment to preside by the church does not mystically confer the spiritual gift of prophecy and seership upon the person being appointed.

Although Joseph Smith may very possibly have suggested some or all of the eight methods for identifying someone to preside over the church, those prerequisites do not give the person the spiritual gift of being a prophet seer and revelator, nor do they bestow the right to receive revelations and commandments for the church.

In my opinion, the real succession issue has to do with the protocol that the Lord had given by revelation, not the many conflicting alleged protocols that were supposedly suggested by Joseph Smith

2…President of the High Priesthood vs. President of the Church

Another very important distinction that must be understood, is that there is a difference between the office of President of the Church in a specific geographical area, vs, the office of President of the High Priesthood, who is the presiding officer over all of the congregations of the church worldwide.

As the President of the Church in Kirtland, Joseph Smith was not the president of the church in Zion, David Whitmer was. Similarly, the president of the church in Nauvoo was President William Marks, not Joseph Smith. However, Joseph Smith, while serving as the local president of the Kirtland stake of Zion, was also sustained in a separate and distinct calling, as the President of the High Priesthood which made him the presiding officer over all church congregations and over all presidents of the various churches in all geographical locations.

Section 107:91-92 is not speaking about the office of “President of the Church” as many suppose, rather it is referring to the president of the high priesthood, which also presides over all church presidents and their respective congregations-

And again, the duty of the President of the office of the High Priesthood is to preside over the whole church, and to be like unto Moses— Behold, here is wisdom; yea, to be a seer, a revelator, a translator, and a prophet, having all the gifts of God which he bestows upon the head of the church.”

Many assume that the president of the church, ie, the president of the church in Kirtland or Zion or Nauvoo, and the president of the high priesthood are synonymous but this is not true. They are two different and distinct callings, although one person can be functioning in both callings at the same time like Joseph Smith did during the Kirtland era of the church.

3.. Joseph Smith was called to be the Presiding “Elder”, not the President of the High Priesthood when he established the church in Nauvoo:

If you compare section 107 91-92 with section 124:125 you might be surprised to find out that Joseph Smith was no longer acting as the President of the High Priesthood when the saints settled in Nauvoo, rather, he was the “Presiding Elder” who also was appointed to be a prophet seer and revelator for the church. The reason for this, as noted in section 124 is that the fullness of the priesthood had been lost from the earth and therefore there was no longer anyone acting in the office of President of the High Priesthood who held all of the spiritual gifts of the church. (see also 127:12)

In previous posts we have discussed how Joseph established three churches, ie, the Church of Christ (presided over by an elder) in the early Kirtland years, the Church of God  which describes the saints who were in the process of gathering and consecrating, (presided over by a High Priest- beginning with the restoration of the Melchizedek Priesthood at the Morley Farm). Finally, after the gentile church rejected the fulness of the priesthood and the fulness of the Gospel sometime around 1834, Joseph was instrumental in renaming/establishing the Church of the  Latter day Saints, (later changed, due to a misinterpretation of section 115,  to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints which refers to the saints who are in a scattered and unconsecrated and apostate condition which is presided over by an elder or elders)

4… Joseph Smith was not “the” or “a” prophet Seer and Revelator of the church when he died, Hyrum was the sole prophet seer and revelator for the church. As documented in several other posts, after the Lord called Hyrum to be the co-president and prophet seer and revelator of the church with Joseph Smith in Nauvoo, Joseph stated publicly in a general conference that he would no longer be acting as a prophet of the church. This left Hyrum as the sole presiding elder and prophet seer and revelator of the church. Hence, the true succession issue had nothing to do with finding a successor for joseph Smith, a successor had already been chosen and ordained. It had to do with finding a successor for Hyrum Smith!


The Doctrine of Succession was Very Clearly Defined

Although it is true that most Mormons were unclear about the true succession protocol, it is not because it did not exist, it is because of their doctrinal ignorance or refusal to accept the revealed protocol.

So, while some people like D. Michael Quinn postulate that there was no clear protocol for succession based on historicity showing confusion on the issue, actually, the opposite is true.There was a very clear protocol which is contained in section 43.

The real reason the succession crisis took place is because he Quorum of the Twelve and others who had been initiated into the secret measures wanted to dissolve the first Presidency and have the Twelve preside over the church.

Tthe Lord had given a very clear protocol about how he would call and ordain future successors to the Prophet Joseph Smith but the saints either were unaware of it or they refused to accept it as they were distracted by the dog and pony show that Brigham and his brethren were putting on.

The succession protocol in section 43 is so specific and exacting that nobody familiar with modern revelation could possibly refute the protocol. Indeed, section 43 even contains a succession prophecy revealing how succession would indeed take place BEFORE Joseph dies!

It also provides a continuing protocol for those who succeed Joseph’s successor.

Nevertheless, the majority of the saints either knowingly or unknowingly rejected the protocol either because they were doctrinally ignorant of the law-

“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.” Isaiah 4:6

OR they didn’t want to be led by true prophets that spoke the harsh truth… they wanted to be told smooth things-

“.. this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD: Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits. Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us. Isaiah 30:9-11

As we shall see as we continue in this series, there was only one living person who had been properly called and chosen by the Lord as a Prophet Seer and Revelator who had been ordained and publicly presented to the saints as such by those who had the authority to perform such an ordination.

Many if not most of saints living in Nauvoo in 1844 probably did not own a copy of the 1833 Book of Commandments or the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants.

A large portion of the early latter day gentiles from the Kirtland era had since rejected the fullness of the gospel and left the church by the time Joseph and the church migrated to Nauvoo and now, because of the secret visitation which is now documented in section 110, the children of Abraham were now converting to Mormonism, crossing the ocean and coming into Nauvoo from foreign lands. Most of them were very poor and did not have their own set of scriptures.

Many of the new converts were virtually illiterate.

These children of Abraham would include many of the children of Judah.

This very possibly included those who were literal descendents of the original apostles of Jesus Christ as well as literal descendents of the rebellious Jews who cried out to Pilot-

Let him be crucified…. His blood be on us, and on our children.”

The Law of Succession- Section 43

Once again, section 43 was extremely explicit on how succession was to take place. In fact, the Lord provided at least seven main points on how succession was to take place. This law of succession even contained a conditional prophecy explaining how succession would take place in the future and the prophecy came to pass in Nauvoo.

The main purpose of part one of this paper is to simply summarize and analyze the LAW OF SUCCESSION that is provided in section 43.

1… Verse 2) “..Him whom I have appointed unto you to receive revelations and commandments..”:

The law begins by informing us that in the latter day restored church, Joseph Smith was the initial one who is appointed to receive commandments and revelations . It mandates that only those appointed as prophets, seers and revelators for the church, and given those spiritual gift, by God, are allowed to receive commandments and revelations for the church. It is not the church or leaders of the church who decide who God bestows this gift upon… it is God.

2… (Verse 3) “..IF he abides in Me..”:

The second point I want to address in the law of succession is also a conditional prophesy. It informs us that there will be no other person appointed to receive commandments and revelations for the church until Joseph is taken IF Joseph continues to abide in the Lord.

In this conditional promise, we are informed that If Joseph Smith abides in the Lord, no one else will be appointed to receive revelations and commandments for the church. It appears that Zion would have been redeemed IF Joseph would have continued to ABIDE in the Lord.

This part of the law of succession makes it clear that there is a possibility that Joseph may not continue to abide in the Lord, in which event, another would be called and appointed to that gift and that office. (Please don’t assume that Joseph did not continue to abide in the Lord because of his own unrighteousness… for more information on this topic see the post on the atonement statute-scapegoat doctrine)

3,,, (Verse 4) “..If it (the gift) be taken from him..”:

This is the second part of the conditional promise previously given. Building upon the previous acknowledgement that Joseph may not continue to abide in the Lord, the law of succession provides a solution for the appointing of another. If another is appointed God will do it by revelation through Joseph.

The ONLY way another will be appointed by God to the spiritual gift of receiving commandments and revelations for the church will be through Joseph Smith. This amazing prophecy came true in 1841 when section 124 was given. In that revelation the Lord appointed Hyrum through the Prophet Joseph Smith to receive the gift of receiving commandments and revelations for the church, in concert with Joseph.

Shortly after Hyrum’s ordination, Joseph announced in a conference that he, (Joseph) would no longer be acting in the capacity of a prophet to the church. In essence, he was announcing the fulfillment of the succession prophecy in section 43.(whether he knew it or not)

Some of the members of the Church approached Joseph after the conference and told him that they did not feel Hyrum could lead the church. It is not clear whether they were a small minority or if they represented the majority of the church membership. (the history of the Church does not reveal who these brethren were, however I believe there is a good possibility that they were the same brethren that would also eventually reject Sidney)

Whether or not Hyrum was ultimately rejected by the church as the sole prophet seer and revelator is not clear, however it is a clear historical fact that he was called and ordained as such by the Lord through the “prophet Joseph Smith according to the protocol given in section 43. Unfortunately many Mormons falsely assume that Joseph Smith was the prophet Seer and Revelator for the church at the time of his death but this is not the case. Brigham Young made the following declaration, ““Did Joseph Smith ordain any man to take his place. He did. Who was it? It was Hyrum..,”.Times and Seasons, 5 [Oct. 15, 1844]: 683…..”

4… (Verse 7) “.. He that is ordained of me shall come in at the gate and be ordained..”:

Section 43 informs us that the only way a person can be called to the gift of receiving commandments and revelations for the church is by first, entering in at the gate, which is to receive the spiritual rebirth, and second, being called by God and ordained by the existing anointed servant of the Lord who has already been appointed to the gift.

Apparently it is not possible for someone to bestow a spiritual gift upon another that they themselves don’t possess. As we shall see in a future part of this series, this is one of the points made by William Marks at the trial of Sidney Rigdon.

It is really quite amazing that the Lord is telling the church that one must have entered into the “GATE” before they can even be called and chosen by God to be a prophet seer and revelator of the church. Is it possible that this portion of the law of succession requires the church members to be able to discern if the candidate has previously received the spiritual rebirth!

I would submit to you that only those who have themselves been spiritually been born again can spiritually discern if someone else has been spiritually born again. This is why we are told in section 45 that those who are wise and have taken the Holy Spirit as their guide will not be deceived!

To summarize: anyone who receives the gift of being able to receive revelations and commandments for the church after Joseph fails to abide in the lord, must first receive the spiritual rebirth by entering in at the gate and secondly, they must be appointed by the Lord by the spirit of revelation through Joseph.

It is truly amazing that the law of succession requires the saints to be able to discern if someone has been spiritually reborn! A key word search on the word “gate” will bring up a multitude of passages about the strait gate that one must enter into in order to be spiritually born of the Lord. Also, in section 5 we are informed that becoming born of God through the manifestation of the spirit is initiated by believing in the word of God as contained in the Book of Mormon- “And behold, whosoever believeth on my words, [contained in the Book of Mormon] them will I visit with the manifestation of my Spirit; and they shall be born of me, even of water and of the Spirit—

5… Verse 6) “..And this I give unto you that you may not be deceived..”:

The Lord gave the law of succession in section 43 to enable the saints to avoid being DECEIVED by false prophets.

If you do a key word search using the words “prophets” and  “deceived”, the first reference that comes up in the New Testament has to do with the mandate Christ gives to his disciples to not be deceived be false prophets. He informs the saints that false prophets will arise in the latter days. That warning is also found in JST Matthew. We see from this that the succession doctrine given in section 43 is a continuation of Christ’s warning about false prophets in the New Testament!

This is incredible!

We see from this that the false prophets of the latter days that Christ warns about in the New Testament are not coming from Catholicism or Protestantism but rather, from the latter day restoration movement!

The prophecies warning about false prophets in the latter days are clearly spawned from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That warning contained in section 43 is accompanied by the commandment to “receive not the teachings of any that come before you as revelations or commandments” who had not entered in at the gate and been properly appointed and ordained by God through Joseph Smith, or a legal successor of Joseph Smith.

It is truly remarkable that the largest faction of the restoration movement did in fact accept the teachings of the person that did not meet the requirements of the succession protocol provided in section 43. Instead they chose to follow someone else and they chose to eventually accept his teachings as revelations and commandments…

..indeed, the saints allowed the person they chose by the law of common consent to alter doctrines and alter the scriptures. Despite the fact that the saints rejected the Lord’s appointed prophet in favor of someone else, the Lord gave them the option to do so via the law of common consent.

This scenario is reminiscent of when God’s people chose to follow a king rather than a prophet… choosing King Saul instead of the prophet Samuel-

But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us.  And Samuel prayed unto the LORD. And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them. According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even unto this day, wherewith they have forsaken me, and served other gods, so do they also unto thee. Now therefore hearken unto their voice: howbeit yet protest solemnly unto them, and shew them the manner of the king that shall reign over them.

Obviously, there have been times when righteous kings were also inspired prophets. Another passage from Alma 10 documents how a people governed by a righteous king can eventually become ruled by the “voice of the people”.

Yea, well did Mosiah say, who was our last king, when he was about to deliver up the kingdom, having no one to confer it upon, causing that this people should be governed by their own voices—yea, well did he say that if the time should come that the voice of this people should choose iniquity, that is, if the time should come that this people should fall into transgression, they would be ripe for destruction. And now I say unto you that well doth the Lord judge of your iniquities; well doth he cry unto this people, by the voice of his angels: Repent ye, repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

6… (Verse 2) “..ye have received a commandment for a law unto my church..”;

The law of succession in section 43 began by acknowledging that the church had just previously received section 42 which was the LAW given to the church by the Lord through his anointed prophet, seer and revelator.

The LAW unto the CHURCH given in section 42 was an integral part of the LAW of SUCCESSION because it identifies many of the fruits and doctrines of the true church and what will be taught by the true Prophet Seer and Revelator.It also requires the church to accept the established four standard works as the law of the church.

The leading elders of the church were commanded to assemble together and instruct and edify each other that they may know how to act and direct the true church upon the points of the LAW and COMMANDMENTS given in section 42.

They were promised that they could be sanctified by the law given in section 42 if they lived it. The law given in section 42 bound the saints to live the fullness of the gospel contained in the inspired version of the Bible (when it was completed), the Book of Mormon and the revelations that had been and would be given through the Prophet Joseph Smith.

Section 42 clearly laid out the law of consecration and the celestial law of monogamy.

The law of consecration and the law of monogamy would ultimately be key issues when the succession crisis took place after the death of Hyrum Smith, the Lords appointed prophet seer and revelator of the church.

Again, it is truly amazing that the presiding quorum and ultimately the presiding person sustained by the largest faction of the saints would personally refuse to live the law of monogamy and the law of consecration for the remainder of his very long life.

7… (Verse 11) “..Purge ye out the iniquity that is among you..”:

The saints were commanded to purge out the wicked and the wickedness that was among them.

That was a necessity before they could become sanctified. They were also commanded to uphold the prophet Joseph Smith through the prayer of faith. In a later revelation the Lord explains that he would allow the wheat and tares to remain together until the great day of purging. From this we learn that the restored church was not successful in purging out the iniquity which was among them and in becoming sanctified.

Those who study the so-called succession issue closely, will find that the real issues at the root of the succession controversy were not being based on the succession protocol that the Lord had given. The saints were not focusing on trying to discern who had entered into the gate and been appointed by the Lord through Joseph Smith, rather, they were deciding who they wanted to follow.

As we continue in this series, we shall see that the real controversy between  Sidney Rigdon and the Twelve Apostles had to do with another gospel that had been secretly introduced into the church. It involved secret endowments and ordinations and a secret practice that had entered into the church which was contrary to the celestial law of monogamy. This secret practice had to do with the spiritual wife doctrine and the ancient practice of polygamy.

To be continued.


“..they are accounted as equal with thee in holding the keys of this last kingdom”

May 19, 2011

From time to time I like to summarize and highlight one of the early leaders of the LDS restoration movement.

The past significance of this person in the 2nd watch and his future importance in the 3rd watch has largely been obscured, misunderstood or forgotten.

Take a good look at this person; he may be visiting us soon.

Do you know who he is?

Here are a few interesting details about him-

  • This amazing man had pursued the British and Tecumseh’s Indian forces in Sandusky during the War of 1812.
  • In July 1830 his mother joined the Alexander Campbell’s Reformed Baptists
  • In November 1830 his wife Rebecca was converted to the restored gospel by Oliver Cowdery, Parley P. Pratt (h), Ziba Peterson, and Peter Whitmer Jr. He continued to study the Book of Mormon, overcome his skepticism, and be baptized and ordained an elder the same day..
  • He is the one who owned and donated the sacred land to the church that the Kirtland Temple was built one.
  • On August 3, 1831 he was present with Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon,, Oliver Cowdery, Martin Harris, Newel Knight, W. W. Phelps, Ezra Booth, Joseph Coe, and Peter Whitmer Jr. at the temple site in Independence Missouri when Sidney dedicated the site and Joseph laid “a stone at the North east corner of the contemplated Temple in the name of the Lord Jesus of Nazareth.”
  • On October 25, 1831 he was ordained to the High Priesthood (3rd and highest Melchizedek Priesthood) by Oliver Cowdery.
  • On January 6, 1833 in an unpublished revelation the Lord said to him, “Behold I Say unto you… Listen to the word of Jesus Christ your Lord and your Redeemer thou hast desired of me to Know which would be the most worth unto you, behold blessed art tho[u] for this thing. now I say unto you my Servant Joseph is called to do a great work and hath need that he may do the work of translation for the Salvation of Souls. Verily verily I Say unto you thou art called to be a Councillor & Scribe unto my Servant Joseph Let thy farm be consecrated for bringing forth of the revelations and thou Shalt be blessed and lifted up at the Last day even so Amen”
  • March 8 1833 He is called by revelation to the First Presidency of the High Priesthood- “And again, verily I say unto thy brethren, Sidney Rigdon and …. their sins are forgiven them also, and they are accounted as equal with thee in holding the keys of this last kingdom”
  • On March 18, 1833 Joseph ordains him and Sidney “to be equal with him in holding the keys of the Kingdom and also the Presidency of the High Priesthood.”
  • On November 19, 1833 Joseph puts the following entry into his diary about this amazing man- “Brother …. is one of those men> in whom I place the greatest confidence and trust for I have found him ever full of love and Brotherly kindness he is not a man of many words but is ever wining because of his constant mind he shall ever have place in my heart and is ever intitled to my confiden<ce> [*] He is perfectly honest and upright, and seeks with all his heart to magnify his presidency in the church of ch[r]ist… God grant that he may overcome all evil: …The Lord hath appointed him an inheritance upon the land of Zion. Yea, and his head shall blossom. <And he shall be> as an olive branch that is bowed down with fruit: even so; Amen.
  • On July 1, 1834 he was discharged as “council to the commander in Chief of the Army of the Lord’s house, & also the duties of quartermaster & many others to which he was appointed … his garments are cl[e]ar of the blood of all with whom he has associated in this region, & he has important duties to do in the East … ” Signed by Lyman Wight and Sylvester Smith.
  • September 24, 1834 selected as member of committee “to arrange the items of the doctrine” for the church with Joseph, Oliver, and Sidney. This becomes the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants.
  • In 1835 he helped organize and became a Trustee of the School of the Prophets and he also taught in the school of the prophets.
  • He was on the Kirtland Temple building committee and saw the Kirtland temple in vision.  “Joseph received the word of the Lord for him to take his two counselors, ….. and Sidney Rigdon, and come before the Lord and He would show them the plan or model of the house to be built. We went upon our knees, called on the Lord, and the building appeared within viewing distance. I being the first to discover it. Then all of us viewed it together. After we had taken a good look at the exterior, the building seemed to come right over us, and the makeup of this hall seemed to coincide with what I there saw to a minutia.”
  • On March 27, 1836 at the dedication of the House of the Lord, he, sees an angel enter through a window and sit down between himself and Joseph Sr. The angel remains through the prayer. He also, “bore testimony that the Savior, dressed in his vesture without seam, came into the stand and accepted of the dedication of the house, that he saw him, and gave a description of his clothing and all things pertaining to it.”
  • June 29, 1836 Joseph and Emma name their second son after this man.
  • November 7, 1837 dropped from the First Presidency in Far West. “Joseph discovered that a large amount of money had been taken away by fraud, from this bank. He immediately demanded a search warrant of Esquire Williams, which was flatly refused. “I insist upon a warrant,” said Joseph, “for if you will give me one, I can get the money, and if you do not, I will break you of your office.””Well, break it is then,” said Williams, “and we will strike hands upon it.””Very well,” said Joseph, “from henceforth I drop you from my quorum, in the name of the Lord.” Williams, in wrath, replied, “Amen.”Joseph entered a complaint against him, for neglect of duty, as an officer of justice; in consequence of which the magistracy was taken from him, and given to Oliver Cowdery
  • On July 8, 1838 revelation: this man and W. W. Phelps have lost their standing, but may be ordained elders and serve missions abroad.
  • In March 17, 1839 he was excommunicated in absentia with George M. Hinkle, Sampson Avard, W. W. Phelps, Thomas B. Marsh (h), John Corrill, and others. It appears they were charged with leaving the church “in the time of our perils, persecutions and dangers, and were acting against the interests of the Church.”
  • On April 8, 1840 in Nauvoo, he requests forgiveness from the church. Hyrum presents his case to the conference. Vote to receive him back into fellowship. At the Church conference held in April of 1840 in Nauvoo, “Frederick G. Williams presented himself on the stand, and humbly asked forgiveness for his conduct, and expressed his determination to do the will of God in the future. His case was presented to the conference by President Hyrum Smith, when it was unanimously resolved, that Fredrick [sic] G. Williams be forgiven, and be received into the fellowship of the Church.
  • Brother Williams remained in the Church the rest of his life (2 years) . His home was in Quincy, Illinois,53 where he continued to practice medicine; but he made frequent trips to Nauvoo to treat and visit his longtime friend, the Prophet. On his last visit, Joseph Smith put his arm around him and said, “Brother Frederick, I hate to see you return home; you are going there to die.” Frederick answered, “I am already a dead man.”54 He died a short time later at his home in Quincy of a hemorrhage of the lungs–although his son Ezra thought it was more of a broken heart55–on 10 October 1842, two years before the Prophet’s martyrdom.
  • On October 10, 1842 Frederick Granger Williams died in Quincy of a “hemorrhage of the lungs.”
  • In section 90 verses 1-6 it tells us that the keys of the kingdom will remain with Joseph Smith in life and in death… however, a close look at those verses appears to reveal that in fact the keys of the kingdom will remain with all three members of the presidency of the high priesthood in life and death… namely, Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon and Frederick G. Williams. Indeed that section goes on to inform us that when the first laborers of the last kingdom return, it will be through the administration of Joseph Smith that the word of the Lord will continue to come forth to Sidney and Frederick and it is through the 3rd watch ministry of Sidney and Frederick that the word of the Lord will go forth to the ends of the earth!
  • Praise the Lord God of Israel for the past and future ministry of Frederick G. Williams.



Ripe in Iniquity

May 11, 2011

Years ago while reading the Book of Mormon I became intrigued with the phrase “ripe in iniquity”.

We are informed in the scriptures that destruction is sent upon the Lord’s people AFTER they become ripe in iniquity.

The exact phrase shows up two times in the Book of Mormon.

1 Nephi 17
2nd Nephi 28

I began doing key word and key topic searches to determine just exactly what constitutes the condition of the Lord’s people being ripe in iniquity.

My thinking was that if I could determine what constitutes being ripe in iniquity, I could more easily ascertain the final condition of the apostate church just prior to the return of the servants, who will be coming to gather the elect with the last warning and the last testimony.

During this search I arrived at all sorts of speculative theories on what the answer might be but I never really felt like I felt I knew the answer for certain.

Eventually, years later while reading in the D&C , it was revealed to me that the reason I could not find the answer to my question was because my question was based on a false assumption resulting in asking the wrong question.

I also realized that there is a synergism that comes from searching all four standard works when studying a topic, even if the key phrase in question only shows up in one of the canonized volumes.

Anyway, one day I finally realized that the Lord’s people don’t become ripe in iniquity BEFORE the servants return..

..they become ripe in iniquity AFTER the servants return!

The ultimate ripeness of iniquity is to SIN AGAINST THE LORD (Zeph 1-3) by rejecting the true servants of the Lord who come to warn and gather God’s people and restore the fulness of the gospel and the fulness of the priesthood.

I believe that a search on this topic in all four of the standard works, reveals that God always sends angels or true prophets to warn his apostate church BEFORE he sends destruction upon them.

2nd Nephi 28 speaks about the latter day gentiles and makes the following statement

“Wo unto them that turn aside the just for a thing of naught and revile against that which is good, and say that it is of no worth! For the day shall come that the Lord God will speedily visit the inhabitants of the earth; and in that day that they are fully ripe in iniquity they shall perish. But behold, if the inhabitants of the earth shall repent of their wickedness and abominations they shall not be destroyed, saith the Lord of Hosts.”

Notice that the “Wo” issued to the latter day gentiles has to do with rejecting the “just” in favor of a “thing of naught”.

They will be saying that something that is presented to them which is “good” is “of no worth”.

Following that we are informed that God will visit the inhabitants of the earth and those who do not REPENT shall be DESTROYED.

The obvious implication of these verses pertain to the time when the light shines forth and the Marvelous Work and a Wonder begins to take place. At this time, additional books of scriptures are brought forth, messengers are sent forth to testify of the truth and warn the people, etc.

This is the time the Book of Mormon speaks of, defining the Marvelous Work and a Wonder as a time when a great polarization will take place, which will result in peace and life eternal to those who accept the last messengers.

It will result in captivity and destruction for those who become ripe in iniquity be rejecting the message from God’s messengers-

“For the time cometh, saith the Lamb of God, that I will work a great and a marvelous work among the children of men; a work which shall be everlasting, either on the one hand or on the other—either to the convincing of them unto peace and life eternal, or unto the deliverance of them to the hardness of their hearts and the blindness of their minds unto their being brought down into captivity, and also into destruction, both temporally and spiritually, according to the captivity of the devil, of which I have spoken.” ( 1 Nephi 14:7)

It only makes sense that God warns his apostate people and gives them a final opportunity to repent BEFORE he sends his destruction upon them.

Clearly, it is the rejection of the gospel message, as delivered by God’s servants that constitutes being fully ripe in iniquity followed by destruction.

The Jerusalem that Lehi and his family fled from is a great type.

The Lord did not just destroy his people in Jerusalem once they became extremely iniquitous within their apostate condition, he first sent Lehi and other true prophets among them to warn them for the last time, but Lehi was forced to flee for his life and the other prophets that warned Jerusalem were “cast out, and stoned, and slain” (1 Nephi 1:20)

It was the rejection of God’s ordained servants that constituted His people being “ripe in iniquity“.

Another great type was the destruction of the people as recorded in 3rd Nephi.

The Lord didn’t just wait until the apostate people reached a certain depth of transgression before raining down judgments upon them, the key to the ripeness factor was the rejection of the call to repent from true messengers.

During the years just before Christ visited the Nephites with destruction, Nephi and other prophets went forth warning the people and inviting them to repent.

And there began to be men inspired from heaven and sent forth, standing among the people in all the land, preaching and testifying boldly of the sins and iniquities of the people, and testifying unto them concerning the redemption which the Lord would make for his people...”

When the Lord did come with destruction, he makes the following statement-

O ye people of these great cities which have fallen, who are descendants of Jacob, yea, who are of the house of Israel, how oft have I gathered you as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and have nourished you.
5 And again, how oft would I have gathered you as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, yea, O ye people of the house of Israel, who have fallen; yea, O ye people of the house of Israel, ye that dwell at Jerusalem, as ye that have fallen; yea, how oft would I have gathered you as a hen gathereth her chickens, and ye would not.
6 O ye house of Israel whom I have spared, how oft will I gather you as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, if ye will repent and return unto me with full purpose of heart.

The Lord is informing them and us of a great principle in the above statements.

God offers to nourish and gather his people before he sends destruction on those who reject his messengers.

When reading the above passages, in the LDS scriptures, notice footnote 5a-

It takes you to section 43 in which we are informed that once again in the 3rd watch Christ is going to rain down destruction upon the gentiles who reject his servants and he will once again say, from heaven, almost word for word the same thing to the Gentiles that he said to the Nephites-

First he will send forth his servants in the 3rd watch to-

Call upon the nations to repent, both old and young, both bond and free, saying: Prepare yourselves for the great day of the Lord” (43:20)

Following the invitation and warning of the first laborers of the last kingdom, the testimony of thunders and lightnings will sound.

For if I [Joseph Smith] , who am a man, do lift up my voice and call upon you to repent, and ye hate me, what will ye say when the day cometh when the thunders shall utter their voices from the ends of the earth, speaking to the ears of all that live, saying—Repent, and prepare for the great day of the Lord?
22 Yea, and again, when the lightnings shall streak forth from the east unto the west, and shall utter forth their voices unto all that live, and make the ears of all tingle that hear, saying these words—Repent ye, for the great day of the Lord is come?

Finally we are informed that after the testimony of God’s servants and the lightnings and thunders, The Lord will utter his voice from heaven again saying virtually the same thing to the gentiles that he did to the Nephites-

23 And again, the Lord shall utter his voice out of heaven, saying: Hearken, O ye nations of the earth, and hear the words of that God who made you.
24 O, ye nations of the earth, how often would I have gathered you together as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, but ye would not!
25 How oft have I called upon you by the mouth of my servants, and by the ministering of angels, and by mine own voice, and by the voice of thunderings, and by the voice of lightnings, and by the voice of tempests, and by the voice of earthquakes, and great hailstorms, and by the voice of famines and pestilences of every kind, and by the great sound of a trump, and by the voice of judgment, and by the voice of mercy all the day long, and by the voice of glory and honor and the riches of eternal life, and would have saved you with an everlasting salvation, but ye would not!
26 Behold, the day has come, when the cup of the wrath of mine indignation is full.
27 Behold, verily I say unto you, that these are the words of the Lord your God.”

Incredible..

The scenario in 3rd Nephi is going to be repeated in the third watch and Christ will utter almost the exact same words that he did in 3rd Nephi!

Does the above sequence of events mentioned in section 43 ring a bell?

It is the same sequence given in section 88 where the Lord reminds the first elders that-

“AFTER YOUR TESTIMONY cometh the testimony of earthquakes, that shall cause groanings in the midst of her, and men shall fall upon the ground and shall not be able to stand and also cometh the testimony of the voice of thunderings, and the voice of lightnings, and the voice of tempests and the voice of the waves of the sea heaving themselves beyond their bounds” (88:88-91)

As you can see, the latter day apostate church will not become fully ripe in iniquity before the servants return. Indeed, it is AFTER they return that the unbelieving portion of the apostate church will become fully ripe in iniquity.

The only way to know who the servants are and when they have returned is to treasure up the word of God and to take the Holy Spirit as your guide.

One last thing, in doing the key word search pertaining to ripe and iniquity, I came across the following scripture in Alma 10 that probably sheds a typological light on the LDS succession crisis as well as the topic of an apostate people becoming ripe for destruction-

Yea, well did Mosiah say, who was our last king, when he was about to deliver up the kingdom, having no one to confer it upon, causing that this people should be governed by their own voices—yea, well did he say that if the time should come that the voice of this people should choose iniquity, that is, if the time should come that this people should fall into transgression, they would be ripe for destruction.
20 And now I say unto you that well doth the Lord judge of your iniquities; well doth he cry unto this people, by the voice of his angels: Repent ye, repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

The above passages indicate that since King Mosiah had no one to deliver the kingdom to and confer the governing keys to, the people were left to be “governed by their own voices“.

It also speaks of how the people become ripe for destruction by rejecting the voice of his angels.

As we have discussed in previous posts, this is essentially what happened during the LDS succession crisis. The Church was split into about seven major schisms when the only person who had been ordained as a prophet seer and revelator had been rejected by the Church.

Each schism was governed by the voice of the people who chose their own leaders, or at least, chose which of the claimants they wanted to follow.

These passages in the Book of Mormon inform us that once God’s people fall into transgression, they would be ripe for destruction. They also inform us that angels had been crying repentance to them and, as we have demonstrated, it is the rejection of the call to repent from God’s messengers that constitutes the fulness of being ripe in iniquity.

Section 43 provides a very strict protocol for succession over the Church and kingdom of God in the latter days.

It informs us nobody except Joseph Smith will ever be appointed to receive commandments and revelations for the church IF Joseph continues to abide in the Lord.

The apparent reason for that is that if the church was obedient to the commandments, Joseph was to lead the Church to Zion and to preside over the translation of the Saints and a rapture, just as Enoch did with his people.

The law of succession in 43 stipulates however that Joseph could ordain another to that calling as a result of his own transgression.

God, in his infinite foreknowledge understood that the Saints would not repent and be obedient and that Joseph, like Moses of old would need to make an atonement for Israel and take upon him their transgressions.

History informs us that almost exactly one decade after the law of succession was given in section 43, Joseph did indeed receive a revelation to ordain Hyrum to the calling of being “prophet seer and revelator unto my church” to “act in concert” with Joseph.

Shortly after that, Joseph announced at a conference that he would no longer act in the “office” of co-prophet from that time forth.

After the deaths of Joseph and Hyrum, the various fragments of the church were left to be governed by the voice of the people.

HOWEVER- The law of succession in section 43 gives the following warning-

And this shall be a law unto you, that ye receive not the teachings of any that shall come before you as revelations or commandments; and this I give unto you that you may not be deceived, that you may know they are not of me.

For verily I say unto you, that he that is ordained of me shall come in at the gate and be ordained as I have told you before, to teach those revelations which you have received and shall receive through him whom I have appointed

The whole reason for the succession crisis in Nauvoo is that the only living man who had “come in at the gate”  and been “appointed by the Lord” was Sidney Rigdon.

He was the only living person who had entered through the gate of spiritual rebirth AND been ordained a prophet seer and revelator, and recieved every gift and calling that Joseph had been given, by the gift of prophecy, by God’s anointed prophet.

One of the few people at the time of the succession crisis who has a modern revelation scholar was William Marks, President of the Nauvoo Stake.

At the kangaroo trial that Brigham and his masonic brethren held for Sidney in absentia, William Marks mustered up all the courage he had and made the following declaration in defense of Sidney Rigdon-

I laid my hands on brother Sidney with brother Joseph and he ordained hm to be a prophet, seer and revelator and be equal with him in holding the keys and authority of this kingdom

Marks then pointed out that he was aware of every major ordination that had taken place and he was not aware of anyone else who had been ordained to the same calling as Sidney Rigdon-

Now, is there a man in the Church who has received the ordination of Prophet Seer and Revelator? If there is, I want to see him!” I think I am knowing to all the ordinations but I don’t know of a man who has been ordained to the office and calling Brother Sidney has; ad if he is cut off, who will we have to obtain revelations?

Marks then made a very astute observation… one that made the crisis so difficult-

“the Quorum of the Twelve don’t have the authority to ordain someone a prophet seer and revelator!”

” A man must be in possession of this power to be able to ordain a prophet and a seer and a revelator”

In short, Marks was simply pointing out that Rigdon was the only living person that had come through the gate and been ordained according to the law of succession in section 43. Rigdon was the only living prophet seer and revelator who had been approved by God to function in the highest priesthood quorum of the church and kingdom.

Marks was pointing out that the Quorum of the Twelve did not have authority to ordain someone to a power they themselves did not possess.

Of course Brigham Young and his brethren had the opportunity to correct Marks on these declarations and provide evidence that there was someone else who qualified but they remained silent on this issue.

Marks went on to explain that the quorum of the first presidency as never meant to be disorganized and he warned that if it was, it would leave no one to preside over the church-

“..I have never supposed that this quorum [of the First Presidency] could be disorganized!”

“..Who Will preside over the church?”

As you can see, Sidney was the only one that met the conditions of the law of succession as outlined in section 43, but Sidney was rejected by the main body of the Church.

Brigham and the others had clearly not “come in at the gate”. A close perusal at Brigham’s actions and his own acknowledgments in his personal journal reveals that he had not received the spiritual rebirth. LDS history reveals that Brigham was never ordained to be a prophet seer and revelator.

To further complicate things, Brigham was a member of the traveling quorum of the twelve apostles who had been given a strict command to not preside in any of the organized stakes of Zion. Their specific calling was missionary work outside of the stakes of Zion.

As you can see, section 43 was very prophetic. It foretold the replacing of Joseph with someone else because of Joseph’s transgression.

The Lord knew that Joseph and the church would not be successful in redeeming Zion in the 2nd watch.

The Lord was making it perfectly clear that another prophet seer and revelator would need to be ordained in the proper way, by revelation and the gift of Prophecy via the Lord’s anointed, at a future time.

That person was Hyrum.

Section 43 provides a clear protocol of the succession doctrine and section 124 provides a clear example of how the protocol is to take place. Section 124 makes it clear by published revelation through the existing prophet, who the next prophet seer and revelator is to be. Following that, he is ordained by the existing prophet.

The Lord also had Sidney, another member of the quorum, ordain as a prophet seer and revelator as well.

The Lord knew that after the death of Hyrum, the saints would reject Sidney and that the leadership of the church would ultimately default to someone who would be chosen by the “voice of the People” according to the “law of common consent” and that the church would be led without an inspired prophet seer and revelator who had been called and chosen by the Lord… someone who had entered in at the proper gate and been properly ordained by the gift of prophecy.

The Lord apparently decided to leave the apostate church without excuse by providing the succession protocol in section 43.

He therefore warned us that whoever the church chose to lead the church (regardless of which faction) would not be approved of God to teach doctrine or to present “revelations” or “commandments”.

God knew that the apostate faction that would retain the mandate to take the preparatory gospel to the nations of the earth, would appoint a man who had not come in through the GATE or been properly ordained.

This man would ultimately introduce another gospel to the saints.

He would implement a new array of covenants and ordinances that were not contained in the scriptures the were approved by God when Joseph was alive. (42:12 & 124:119)

He would teach an array of doctrines that contradicted the original doctrines of the restoration including the doctrine that Adam is God the Father and was the literal father of Christ, having had carnal sex with Mary.

He knew that this man would not seriously attempt to personally have all things in common with the Saints as required in the LAW of the gospel, indeed, this man would be a multi-millionaire real estate tycoon when he died.

He knew this man would add and delete sections to the doctrine and covenants without being authorized to do so.

He knew this man would mock the holy celestial law of monogamy as contained in the LAW of the Gospel found in section 42 and would claim that every word he spake could be considered as scripture.

The list of doctrines this man introduced to the church is to long to address at this time and I have gotten off of the original topic in my rant!

Suffice it to say-

And this shall be a law unto you, that ye receive not the teachings of any that shall come before you as revelations or commandments; and this I give unto you that you may not be deceived, that you may know they are not of me.

Have we Latter day Saints received the teachings of anyone who has not come in at the gate, being called by prophecy and ordained by the Lords anointed to be the Prophet Seer and Revelator of the Church?

If so, we have most certainly been deceived.

Despite the awful situation we are currently in, being led by the latter day hirelings of the flock, no portion of the church will be fully ripe in iniquity until after they have been warned by the properly ordained servants and then rejected their message.


“The letter.. law, commandments and the ordinances…”

March 4, 2011

If someone were to ask me which internet site was the most valuable one for searching the true originating events relating to the early history of the LDS church, I would have to say it is www.saintswithouthalos.com

The amount of credible, unbiased, documented historical facts accumulated on that site is really quite remarkable.

Interestingly it only documents events having to do with the period 1830-1839.

That site was very helpful to me in my attempt to reconstruct what happened at the June 1831 special conference where 23 high priests were ordained to the holy order of the Son of God according to the voice of God out of heaven.

It greatly saddens me that that site has not been working in recent weeks.

I hope this is a temporary problem. If not, the loss of this resource is a real tragedy.

I believe the owner of that site is a fellow by the name of Scott Kenney. He is apparently one of the originating founders of Signature Books.

If anyone knows Scott or the inside scoop on what happened to the site, I would be very interested in knowing what happened to this valuable resource.

Perhaps my second favorite site pertaining to LDS historical information is www.boap.org which provides every known public discourse by Joseph Smith during the Nauvoo period. It appears to be maintained by BYU or come of the religious scholars at BYU.

The other day I came across the most incredible, revealing statement by the prophet Joseph Smith pertaining to priesthood. I got it off of the boap website.

I really wish I would have had this quote that I am going to share with you when I did the Priesthood Series and the Morley Farm

I am going to provide the quote as it reads on the boap website including the brief statements of commentary by the contributors of boap provided in the [brackets].

I am doing this to 1- provide another witness that there are three separate priesthoods and 2- to show that those who have been indoctrinated by the corporate church to believe that there are only two priesthoods and that the Morley Farms incident only had to do with the introduction of a priesthood office within the priesthood restored by Peter James and John  were understandably confused by the statement that Joseph made.

Even though they were understandably confused by the statement, they were forced to consider, at least in part, what was really being said by Joseph Smith.

I have highlighted the comments in brackets in yellow to make it easy for your to separate them from the words of Joseph Smith. (the bracket were added by them)

Those who have read and understood the Morley Farm series or even just read the discourse Joseph Smith gave on the three priesthoods will understand how significant the following statement really is.

**** quote by JS from Boap with their comments in yellow highlighted caps below****

 

“When Joseph Smith dictated his first attempt at a personal history in 1832 he made this remark:

A History of the life of Joseph Smith Jr an account of his marvilous experience and of all the mighty acts which he doeth in the name of Jesus Christ the son of the living God of whom he beareth record and also an account of the rise of the church of Christ in the eve of time according as the Lord brought forth and established by his hand firstly he receiving the testimony from on high
[The first vision]
secondly the ministering of Angels
[Moroni -Book of Mormon plates]
thirdly the reception of the holy Priesthood by the ministring of Angels to adminster the letter of the Gospel – the Law and commandments as they were given unto him – and the ordinencs
[John the Baptist (are Peter, James and John included here?)], forthly a confirmation and reception of the high Priesthood after the holy order of the son of the living God power and ordinence from on high to preach the Gospel in the administration and demonstration of the spirit the Kees of the Kingdom of God confered upon him [visit of Peter, James and John, or is this a reference to the restoration of the office of high priest?] and the continuation of the blessings of God to him &c”

As you can see from the comments in brackets, it was difficult for traditional Mormon scholars to believe what they were reading but they had no other alternative than to accept the possibility that the reception of the “holy” priesthood, by angels, (plural), had to probably be referring to both of the first two priesthoods since the Aaronic priesthood was the first to be restored by just one angel.

This set up the next part of Joseph’s statement which speaks of the restoration of a “high” priesthood which is separate and distinct from the two previous priesthoods that were both restored by angels.

He identifies it as the “High Priesthood after the holy order of the son of God

Again we see question marks in the brackets from the LDS scholars postulating that the third priesthood must have been referring to the restoration of the office of “High Priest” which is how the modern corporate church inaccurately defines the event that took place at the Morley Farm.

Finally, notice how the first two priesthoods were for the purpose of administering the “letter of the Gospel – the Law and commandments.. and the ordinencs” while the priesthood after the order of the Son of God was to “preach the Gospel in the administration and demonstration of the spirit”

This explains one issue that I was never really clear on even after all of the research I did in the Morley Farm series, ie, was the third priesthood necessary for the preaching the fullness of the gospel or was it simply needed to establish Zion?

It would appear from the above statement from Joseph Smith that it has a greater spiritual power that is necessary in the final preaching of the gospel.

When the Gentiles finally repent and the first laborers of the last kingdom return in power, they will go forth not only with patriarchal priesthood authority to administer the saving ordinances of the gospel, ie, baptize and confirm, they will also be showing forth the spiritual fruits and powers that follow those with the fulness of the priesthood.

Section 88 confirms that elders who are ordained to be apostles do not really receive the fulness of apostolic power confirmed upon them until after they get their calling and election to the high Melchizedek priesthood of the Son of God.

It is not enough to be ordained an apostle, one must also be called and elected to the high priesthood and become a friend of God.

It is only after that spiritual endowment takes place that the spiritual fruits and powers are manifest in their missionary labors-

“Therefore, go ye into all the world; and unto whatsoever place ye cannot go ye shall send, that the testimony may go from you into all the world unto every creature.

And as I said unto mine apostles, even so I say unto you, for you are mine apostles, even God’s high priests; ye are they whom my Father hath given me; ye are my friends;

Therefore, as I said unto mine apostles I say unto you again, that every soul who believeth on your words, and is baptized by water for the remission of sins, shall receive the Holy Ghost.

And these signs shall follow them that believe—

In my name they shall do many wonderful works;

In my name they shall cast out devils;

In my name they shall heal the sick;

In my name they shall open the eyes of the blind, and unstop the ears of the deaf;

And the tongue of the dumb shall speak; And if any man shall administer poison unto them it shall not hurt them;

And the poison of a serpent shall not have power to harm them.”

Very few experiences like the spiritual manifestations mentioned above happened following the restoration of the highest priesthood at the Morley Farm because the vast majority of the 23 who were ordained by the calling of God’s voice out of heaven were called but not chosen and even those who were chosen temporarily lost the fulness of the priesthood because of fear and jealousy. (see section 67 and also 95:5)

When Brigham Young was quizzed about the fact that he had never been called or chosen by God to be a high priest, he dismissed it by stating that it was not necessary because he had been ordained an apostle. He claimed that the apostolic priesthood holds all of the priesthood power that one can hold on earth.

Conceptually Brigham Young’s claim is true, if the apostle magnifies his calling and is also called by God to be a High Priest, such as the first laborers being addressed in the above passage.

But his contention is accurate ONLY if an apostle has magnified his calling and been called and elected to the office of High Priest in the Melchizedek priesthood such as those being addressed in section 88!

In closing, let me share one other quote that I have since found, that I wish I had had during the Morley Farm series.

It provides another testimony that the restoration of the fulness of the Melchizedek priesthood at the Morley Farm represented a greater portion of Melchizedek priesthood than that which was restored by Peter James and John, not just an office within it-

Parley P. Pratt wrote the following about the Morley Farm conference in these words:

On the sixth of June, 1831, a general conference was convened at Kirtland, consisting of all the Elders, far and near, who could be got together. In this conference much instruction was given by President Smith, who spake in great power, as he was moved by the Holy Ghost; and the spirit of power and of testimony rested down upon the Elders in a marvelous manner. Here also were some strange manifestations of false spirits, which were immediately rebuked

Several were then selected by revelation, through President Smith, and ordained to the High Priesthood after the order of the Son of God; which is after the order of Melchizedek.

This was the first occasion in which this priesthood had been revealed and conferred upon the Elders in this dispensation, Although the office of an Elder is the same in a certain degree, but not in the fulness.

On this occasion I was ordained to this holy ordinance and calling by President Smith.” (Parley P. Pratt, Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, edited by his son, Parley P. Pratt [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1985], 53.)

From the words of Parley Pratt we find that the restoration that took place at the special conference was of a priesthood, not just a priesthood office.

It appears that the two year missionary work prior to the restoration of the fullness of the priesthood at the Morley Farm in June of 1831 was done under the power of the patriarchal priesthood while the missionary work that took place after the restoration of the highest priesthood, during beginning with section 52, was to be done under the authority of the highest priesthood.

Confirming this amazing truth is the fact that prior to the restoration of the highest priesthood in 1831, the first commission to the elders was to-

open your mouths and they shall be filled, saying: Repent, repent, and prepare ye the way of the Lord, and make his paths straight; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (section 33)

Interestingly, that is the exact wording that that John the Baptist made in preparing the way in the spirit of Elias, with the preparatory gospel, BEFORE the greater ministry with the fulness of the gospel was to take place via Peter, James and John and the other apostles! (Matt 3:2 )


Hello Pandora!

February 26, 2011


The LDS church recently started an internet marketing campaign that they hoped would go viral. I think I blogged about it.. I can’t remember for sure.

The “I’m a Mormon” video series  provides very short video testimonials by members of the church who each give a short summary of who they are, what they do and how happy and successful they are. Each of these videos ends by the person proudly saying, “I am a Mormon”.

The obvious implication is, if you want to be happy and successful and well thought of like me, become a Mormon!

The testimonials are painfully devoid of true testimony bearing and anything of real doctrinal substance. Each person is basically holding themselves up as a light unto the world and inviting others to become like them.

This proactive marketing idea was created to counteract the ever increasing amount of anti-Mormon material that shows up on the internet. I think the idea behind it was to change the direction of dialogue about Mormonism from difficult historical and doctrinal problems to the fruits of happy lives.

The internet has changed our world in many ways and it has certainly changed the world of Mormonism because it makes all of the painfully uncomfortable historical and doctrinal issues so easy to research and so easy to buzz about.

Anyway, the above mentioned marketing effort of the LDS Church was a very bold PR move and it may well become the worst marketing nightmare in the history of the church.. and maybe in the history of the world because it has given a host of ex-Mormons the opportunity to duplicate the concept with the opposite spin, by allowing ex-Mormons to tell the world how happy and fulfilled they are now that they have left the church.

“I am an Ex-Mormon… I am finally happy and fulfilled!
The website

I have watched several of the videos and I must say, many of them are quite tastefully done and rather compelling… in the same emotional response marketing way that the Mormon testimonials are compelling.

It is too early to tell if this campaign will go viral, however, if it does this will certainly be the outing of Pandora from her box.

There are so many people who have a story they want to tell about leaving Mormonism.

As they say, what goes around comes around and all of those quiet little “courts of love” that have embarrassed people, destroyed reputations, broken up families and left such a bad taste in so many peoples mouths will now come forth to haunt the those loving brethren.

Those who have become disenfranchised from the latter day apostate church have just been given a very special platform and a public voice they did not have before. Their voices are now beginning to show up, not as a voice of hostility, but rather a voice of pity with a perceived empowerment.

One of the stories tells of a young wife who temporarily lost her questioning husband because her Bishop counseled her to leave her husband.

In the first seven years of the restoration movement that Bishop would have probably been released and disciplined for doing such a damnable thing (see the original revelation on marriageIt is not right to persuade a woman to be baptized contrary to the will of her husband; neither is it lawful to influence her to leave her husband.”

In another testimonial, a member of a music group got a standing ovation from a sympathetic crowd when his friend introduced him as someone who had just left Mormonism.

A large portion of the world has a very distinct hatred for Mormonism.

That would not be a bad thing if they hated Mormons for being true and humble followers of Christ.

What hurts is that they hate us for having many cult-like characteristics that represent a false form of true religion. One that has a variety of putrid fruits.

I don’t know who I feel the sorriest for, the Mormons who have inherited a cult-like religion from the false traditions of their fathers who rejected the fulness of the gospel and became a condemned and cursed people four generations ago, or the ex-Mormons who have gained just enough information about early Mormonism to become angry and unbelieving.

What folly we latter day Jews and gentiles find ourselves in!

It is so heartbreaking to see what people all over the world are saying about the Mormon religion.

I am reminded of these words from Psalms 44-

Thou makest us a reproach to our neighbours, a scorn and a derision to them that are round about us. Thou makest us a byword among the heathen, a shaking of the head among the people.”


“..from him shall be taken even the light which he has received”

February 18, 2011

20 Transfigured Doctrines

I have been working on a paper that breaks the 15 year public ministry of the prophet Joseph Smith into five very specific, definable and revealing time periods.

It contains historical and scriptural documentation to demonstrate exactly what took place during those periods of time and ultimately, why the current state of the corporate latter day church is in the condition it is in.

Although much of this information has been covered in bits and pieces in previous blog posts, this paper will provide additional documentation and also provide live links to all articles that covered each topic covered in the paper.

In conjunction with this religious-historical timeline of the LDS restoration movement, I have identified 20 major, foundational doctrines that were taught between 1829 and the latter part of 1836.

The paper addresses how every single one those foundational doctrines have since been transfigured at some point in time between the end of 1836 and our present time in 2011.

There are several reasons I am using 1836/1837 as the dividing line for when the true doctrines began being transfigured.

One is that even though the Lord told the Saints in 1834 that they had already been given sufficient time to redeem Zion by that date and would need to wait a little season before they could live the laws of Zion and redeem Zion, he had previously promised them that they would have priesthood blessings and protection and the opportunity to repent in Kirtland until the appointed time of September 11th 1836

Another reason for choosing 1836/1837 as the tipping point for when the original truths began to be corrupted has to do with the ominous pronouncement from the Lord in section 112 that-

all flesh has become corrupt before my face“.

That pronouncement was essentially the same one made in JST Genesis 8 when the Lord observed that all flesh had become corrupt.

Beginning with that pronouncement in the Old Testament, He gave the world a set time of 120 years in which to listen to the preaching of Noah and repent or be destroyed by water-

The earth was corrupt before God; and it was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted its way upon the earth.

And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence, and behold, I will destroy all flesh from off the earth. Make thee therefore, an ark..”

The scriptures then inform us that the existing flesh on the earth that had become corrupted would have 120 years to repent before the rain began falling and the floods destroyed all living things.

Interestingly, the ark seems to be a type of the chambers or holy places that the righteous will be commanded to gather into when the servants return to give the final warning in the last days.. and the floods that covered the earth in the days of Noah are a type of the fire that will consume the earth in the latter days.

Additionally, the city of Enoch is also a type of what will happen to the elect after they have gathered and consecrated. Once they have repented and received the fulness of the gospel that was previously rejected, they will be caught up to meet the Lord and the city of Enoch in the cloud while the inhabitants of the earth are destroyed by fire, just as the wicked were destroyed by water in the days of Noah.

I don’t know if I will ever get the paper completed, and I’m not anxious about it since this research is mainly for my own edification and ability to easily reference my other posts by topic, however if any of you would like to see it when and if it gets finished, feel free to respond with you email address and I will send the document to you when it is done. My blog has the moderation feature and I will not publish you email address.

Since the paper may not be completed anytime soon, I thought I would share a few details of the paper at this time.

The general five part time-line break down is provided in the graphic below-


Again, I am not going to provide the detailed documentation pertaining to each of these time periods at this time, it will be contained in the finished paper. (although anyone who has read my blogs will not have a difficult time understanding the significance of each designated time period.)

The graphic does not mean to imply that the 111 revelations that were received prior to September 11th of 1836 are true revelations and the 14 revelations received after that period of time are false.

I believe that virtually all of the revelations received by Joseph Smith during his life that are consistent with all previous revelations and that were published or canonized during his life are true. (not just the canonized ones, but all of the published ones)

The above time-line is a testimony to the long suffering of God and how he continues to labor with his apostate people for a season even after they have corrupted themselves.

It had previously been prophesied, in the book of Commandments, and in other published but un-canonized revelations, that the saints would have a future opportunity for a reformation. I believe that opportunity came in Nauvoo.

Had they done so, they would have ushered
in the dispensation of the fulness of times.

I simply showed the number of revelations that were received during each period of time, in the graphic, to illustrate the flow of revelation during each segment of the 15 year ministry.

In all fairness, the revelations were probably slowing down, not only because of the darkness that was covering the minds of the people and their unwillingness to accept truth, but also because the light and knowledge necessary in laying the initial foundation of the Marvelous Work had been given, primarily within the first seven years when the initial appointed time frame for redeeming Zion was to take place.

Why have you Transfigured the Holy Word of God

A Book of Mormon prophet gasped when he saw in vision that the saints of the restored church would change the pure truths revealed by God through his prophets pertaining to the gospel of Jesus Christ and the kingdom of God.

Although I have known that many of the original doctrines have been changed for a long time, it is only within the last few years that I have actually come to realize just how pervasive this transfiguration of God’s holy word has really been.

After studying this topic in more detail, I now feel as if virtually every single doctrine and ordinance that was originally revealed through the prophet Joseph Smith has been changed… including the most important doctrines pertaining to the nature and character of God that reveal who and what we worship.

From them shall be Taken Away
Even that which they have

The following passages of scripture indicate that once an enlightened people reject the truth, not only does the Lord stop revealing additional truths, he even takes away the previous truths that have already been revealed-

For behold, thus saith the Lord God: I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom; for unto him that receiveth I will give more; and from them that shall say, We have enough, from them shall be taken away even that which they have.

31 Cursed is he that putteth his trust in man, or maketh flesh his arm, or shall hearken unto the precepts of men, save their precepts shall be given by the power of the Holy Ghost.

32 Wo be unto the Gentiles, saith the Lord God of Hosts! For notwithstanding I shall lengthen out mine arm unto them from day to day, they will deny me; nevertheless, I will be merciful unto them, saith the Lord God, if they will repent and come unto me; for mine arm is lengthened out all the day long, saith the Lord God of Hosts. 2nd Nephi 28

This amazing truth is addressed again in Alma-

“..he that will harden his heart, the same receiveth the lesser portion of the word; and he that will not harden his heart, to him is given the greater portion of the word, until it is given unto him to know the mysteries of God until he know them in full.

11
And they that will harden their hearts, to them is given the lesser portion of the word until they know nothing concerning his mysteries; and then they are taken captive by the devil, and led by his will down to destruction. Now this is what is meant by the chains of hell.”
(Alma 12)

We are reminded in modern revelation that the wrath of God will be poured out upon the wicked without measure because his spirit shall not always strive with man-

“Wherefore, fear and tremble, O ye people, for what I the Lord have decreed in them shall be fulfilled.

8 And verily I say unto you, that they who go forth, bearing these tidings unto the inhabitants of the earth, to them is power given to seal both on earth and in heaven, the unbelieving and rebellious;

9 Yea, verily, to seal them up unto the day when the wrath of God shall be poured out upon the wicked without measure—

10 Unto the day when the Lord shall come to recompense unto every man according to his work, and measure to every man according to the measure which he has measured to his fellow man.

..he that repents not, from him shall be taken even the light which he has received, for my spirit shall not always strive with man, saith the Lord of hosts.”

As you can see, the Lord reiterates in modern revelation that if the saints did not repent, the previous light they had been given would be taken away.

Also, did you catch another parallel pertaining to the time of Noah and our own? In the same passages in Genesis when God observes that all flesh has become corrupt, he warns that his spirit shall not always strive with man-

the Lord said unto Noah, My Spirit shall not always strive with man, for he shall know that all flesh shall die, yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years; and if men do not repent, I will send in the floods upon them”

How interesting that in modern revelation God makes the same general observations and pronouncements that he made in the time of Noah-

  • All flesh has become corrupt
  • My spirit shall not always strive with men
  • If men do not repent I will send floods/fire upon them

This is a fascinating concept where the light and truth that has been given must be taken away if it is rejected.

The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away..
(God uses his seers the revealed the truth to take the truth aways)

If God reveals the truth to his saints through his anointed seers, and the people reject the truth, exactly how does God take the truth away from the people?

Have you ever wondered about that?

The answer to that is found in the Book of Mormon and JST versions of Isaiah 29:

For behold, all ye that doeth iniquity, stay yourselves and wonder, for ye shall cry out, and cry; yea, ye shall be drunken but not with wine, ye shall stagger but not with strong drink.

For behold, the Lord hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep. For behold, ye have closed your eyes, and ye have rejected the prophets; and your rulers, and the seers hath he covered because of your iniquity.”

Speaking of the Seers whose eyes are covered by the Lord because of the transgression of the saints, Isaiah informs us the “priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink..”

They “err in vision and stumble in judgment”

Using similar terminology, section one prophesies that when the Lord’s weak and simple servants “erred”, “it might be made known”.

“And in as much as they sinned, they might be chastened that they might repent”.

We have already covered the prophesies in Zechariah and other Old Testament passages that speak of the return and repentance of God’s latter day servants in the 3rd watch. At that time, they will restore the light and knowledge that they had previously restored and then taken away from the saints when God covered their eyes.

There you have it, Isaiah informs us that at the time when the first portion of the sealed book comes forth, there are seers on the earth that bring a portion of the record forth.

Those seers that bring forth the first portions of the book of Mormon thereafter have their eyes closed by the Lord because of the wickedness of the saints. At that time the Lord pours out a spirit of deep sleep upon the saints and their seers.

I realize that it is almost incomprehensible to consider the possibility that God used such men as Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon (who were both  sustained as prophets and seers in the 1836 solemn assembly) to eventually transfigure the original true doctrines that those men had been so instrumental in bringing forth.

I will not provide the detailed documentation for each of the doctrines I am going to list at this time. I will simply give you the listing of doctrines that have been transfigured. I leave it to you to do your own research to determine  which doctrines are true and which are false.

You decide if my supposition is correct or false and if in fact the original teaching of the LDS restoration movement are the true teachings.

You can decide for yourself how and when the true and false doctrines were introduced into the church.

Some of these doctrines on the list have been transfigured in relatively recent times by leaders such as Joseph Fielding Smith.

Others were transfigured in the early Utah period of the church by Brigham Young.

Some, however, were transfigured in the later Nauvoo years by Joseph Smith himself.

Again, I have known for decades that the church has been infested with false doctrines. Indeed I have a long list of church leaders from Brigham Young, to Joseph Fielding Smith, to Ezra Taft Benson who have acknowledged this fact. However I did not realize just how pervasive the problem was or how early it began until recent years.

I always realized that the Book of Mormon was including the very first generation of the latter day saints in the rebuke for transfiguring the holy word of God, but I had assumed it was only referring to the lay members, I just couldn’t accept that it was including the first laborers of the last kingdom in that ominous observation.

Just as recently as the last year or two I have come to the painful realization that the Image of God that I have been worshiping all of my life is really just a false image of God that has been created by the imagination of uninspired men .

I inherited this image of God from the false traditions of my fathers.

The image of God that I had, originated from the transfigured doctrines, not from the original pure doctrines.

I grew up loving the King Follett Sermon that Joseph Smith gave in Nauvoo. To me, it was the epitome of what differentiated Mormonism from apostate Christianity.

I am going to be a God someday I thought to myself!

But was it not the desire to exalt himself that got Satan thrown out of heaven?

I loved the concept of the progression of the Gods and the possibility that I might become a Savior of a world and the fact that God the Father was once a mortal man like myself.

I loved knowing that God the Father has a glorified body of flesh and bones and that I will one day be a “God the Father”. (I am not saying we cannot become begotten Sons of God, I am simply saying that their will always be a distinction between the “begotten Sons of God” and “unbegotten” Father.

Conversely, I have also always loved the Lectures on Faith that Joseph and Sidney gave in Kirtland, although I have struggled over the years to wrap my mind around some of the concepts in it.

It is only recently that I realized that many of the doctrines taught in Lectures on Faith and the doctrines taught in the King Follett Sermon are diametrically opposed to each other. (They cannot both be true)

If you will carefully compare Lectures on Faith with the King Follett Sermon, I think you will see what I am talking about.

This realization has helped me to understand and appreciate the true doctrine of salvation and nature of God, taught in the New Testament and the Book of Mormon and distinguish it from the doctrine of exaltation that crept into the church during the Nauvoo period.

It has also sobered me up about my desire to exalt myself in the eternities.

I have come to the conclusion that either Joseph and Sidney were confused and deceived when they taught the Lectures on Faith in the school of the prophets prior to 1835, or, Joseph taught some industrial strength false doctrine during the Nauvoo era.

Of course, the fruits of Lectures on Faith is that several of the elders who believed those teachings during the Kirtland period were actually seeing God the Father and the only begotten Son and testifying that the Father was a glorified personage of spirit that was a consuming fire and that the Son was a personage of fleshly tabernacle.

Conversely, nobody during the Nauvoo era was having the heavens opened to them.

This brings us to the old argument of whether Joseph 1) began the restoration movement making lots of doctrinal errors that needed to be corrected later on in Nauvoo when he gained greater truth and light, or 2) if he started with truth and light and then became darkened in his mind after the saints rejected the truth that he revealed.

We must ask ourselves this question- did the most inspired doctrines come in the first seven years or the second seven years of Joseph’s ministry?

I have made my views on this abundantly clear in previous posts, I now provide a listing of transfigured doctrines for you to study and formulate your own opinions on.

This has created no small degree of indigestion for me, realizing that perhaps, God, in his infinite wisdom, covered the eyes of the seers and used Joseph and others to take away the original truths about the Godhead that they had previously revealed.

Again, in this post I am going to provide a partial listing of 20 of the true doctrines that were originally taught during the first years of the LDS restoration movement. Each one of them will be followed by the transfigured doctrine that is currently believed and taught by many leaders and members of the church today.

I am NOT going to provide all of the documentation that I have to show why one doctrine is true and the other is false. That information will be contained in the finished document.

I simply thought you would enjoy being able to see the difference between what was being taught in the early church up to September 11th 1836 vs the last seven or eight years and beyond, even up today.

Enjoy-

Remember, every doctrine classified below as the “Original Doctrine” was taught sometime prior to September 11th 1836. Every doctrine classified as “Transfigured Doctrine”, was taught sometime after September 11th 1836.

Listing of Original and Transfigured Doctrines

  1. God the Father: Original Doctrine- God is a glorified personage of spirit, even a consuming fire. One of the major differentiating attributes between the Father and Son is that, unlike the Father, the Son is a personage of tabernacle (element or flesh) Transfigured Doctrine- God has a separate glorified body of flesh and bones like the Son.
  2. Jesus Christ: Original Doctrine- Christ is the only begotten of the Father and he created all past and future worlds and atoned for all past and future worlds. (that is what an infinite and eternal atonement is) Transfigured Doctrine- each of us that become “exalted” will become an Adam God then a Christ God that creates and atones for the worlds we create and then eventually we will become the Father of our own Godhead.
  3. The Holy Ghost: Original Doctrine- The Holy Ghost is a spirit essence and is the mind of God and is not a personage of spirit or tabernacle. Transfigured Doctrine- The Holy Ghost is a personage and was in a temporal probation at the time of Joseph Smith
  4. The Godhead (Trinity): Original Doctrine- The Father and Son constitute the two personages in the Godhead while the Father, Son and Holy Ghost constitute the Godhead. Although each of these entities have separate and distinct features, and can manifest themselves independently, they jointly and synergistically constitute the ONLY TRUE GOD and they dwell in each other and there is no God besides them. These three distinct entities each provide a separate and distinct function within THE DIETY. Transfigured Doctrine- The majority of the church membership now believe that the three members of the Godhead are separate entities and that there are many other independent Gods (and Godheads) just like them… and that all of the righteous will become Gods and part of other Godheads. (A smaller segment of the church has taken the view that Christ is the only God… he is both the Father and the Son, never acting as two distinct personages.)
  5. The infinite knowledge of God: Original Doctrine- God has all knowledge and there is not anything that he does not know. According to Lectures on Faith, it is impossible to have the faith necessary to life and salvation if one does not believe that God knows all things. Transfigured Doctrine- God is still learning. (this was taught by our beloved Brigham Young and others)
  6. Jesus is our Father NOT our Brother: Original Doctrine- Jesus is the Father of the heavens and the earth. He was the only begotten Son from the beginning and he was part of the Godhead during our pre-existence. Transfigured Doctrine- Christ was one of our spirit brothers in the pre-existence who came to earth as a mortal messiah.
  7. Christ had a Glorified Body of Flesh BEFORE his earthly ministry and is an unchangeable being:
    Original Doctrine- Christ was an immortal personage of fleshly tabernacle BEFORE he came in the meridian of time to atone for our sins. Transfigured Doctrine- Christ took on a physical body for the first time when he came to earth in the meridian of time.
  8. Christ was an IMMORTAL MESSIAH: Original Doctrine- Christ did not have mortal blood. Human blood cannot atone for the sins of other humans. Christ was an immortal God with immortal blood when he hung on the cross. Transfigured Doctrine- Christ was mortal/human just like us. He provided mortal blood to provide an infinite atonement.
  9. The Doctrine of the knowledge God (otherwise known as Lectures on Faith): Original Doctrine- It was originally taught that one needed to have a correct doctrinal foundation in order to correctly interpret the covenants provided in the modern revelations. For that reason, the “Lectures on Faith”, which was inspired of God, were canonized as scripture in the Doctrine and Covenants as the Doctrine part of the Doctrine and Covenants. It provided the foundation for understanding the revelations from God. Transfigured Doctrine- The Lectures on Faith have some good information but is not to be considered scripture. Conflicting teaching from the King Follett discouse are accepted instead of the sacred doctrines in LoF. Eventually the Lectures on Faith was taken from the D&C because it conflicted with the King Follett Sermon and the doctrines taught in section 132 and 130 (which were both cannonized by Brigham Young without a revelation to do so.)
  10. Salvation vs Exaltation: Original Gospel- The ultimate salvation was to become a Son of God and becoming equal with Christ and to spend eternity praising and glorifying and worshipping God and doing his will. Transfigured Gospel- We can also become Savior’s of our own worlds and atone for them and eventually become Just like God the Father.
  11. The Testimony of Jesus: Original Gospel- Originally the testimony of Jesus, categorically had to be obtained by seeing Jesus with the definition of testimony provided by the event documented in section 76. Transfigured Gospel- Now you only need to get a testimony from the “promptings” of the Holy Ghost.
  12. The Dispensation of the Fulness of Times:
    Original Doctrine- The Church of Christ was restored under the dispensation of the last times and was hoping to usher in the dispensation of the fullness of times when the highest priesthood was restored at the Morley Farm. After that failure, the next attempt was to take place after the completion of the Nauvoo Temple… another failure.  Instead of ushering in the fulness of times, the dispensation of the Gospel of Abraham was secretly ushered in. Transfigured Doctrine- The church now falsely teaches that we are living in the dispensation of the fullness of times and they usually claim it was ushered in either at the time of the first vision or when the church was legally established in 1830. (and some apologists claim it was ushered in in 1836)
  13. The Kingdom Daniel Saw Rolling forth:
    Original Doctrine- It was the hope that the kingdom of God on earth which Daniel saw coming forth destroying all other kingdoms, would eventually come forth in the future, after Zion was redeemed. Transfigured Doctrine- The church now teaches that the Church IS the Kingdom of God that Danial Saw rolling forth in vision.
  14. Pre-Baptismal Public Witness: Original Gospel- God commanded the new converts of the newly restored Church of Christ to make a public witness before the church that they have truly repented of all their sins and are determined to serve him to the end. Transfigured Gospel- Allows new converts to be baptized without first making a public witness before the church.
  15. The Lords Supper: Original Doctrine- The Lords Supper was one of the five ordinances of the gospel. Transfigured Doctrine- the Lords Supper is no longer considered an ordinance of salvation by many.
  16. The Members of the Church Commanded to Kneel during the Sacrament; Original Doctrine- the entire congregation was to kneel. Transfigured Doctrine- Only those blessing the sacrament need to kneel while the congregation sits on their “arses”. (which is extremely offensive to God)
  17. The Sacrament must be administered by an Elder or Priest: Original Doctrine- The Sacrament must be administered by an Elder or Priest. Transfigured Doctrine- The Teachers and Deacons may assist in the administration of the sacrament.
  18. The Ordinance of faith: Original Doctrine- Faith was originally listed as one of the ordinances of the gospel. Transfigured Doctrine- Faith is now only a principle of the gospel.
  19. Virgin birth: Original Doctrine- Mary was a virgin before and after giving birth to Christ. She became pregnant after being overshadowed by the Holy Spirit. Transfigured Doctrine- God the Father came down in a physical body and had carnal sex with Mary.
  20. Marriage: Original Doctrine- A righteous monogamous couple could gain the highest salvation. Transfigured Doctrine- Polygamy was required to gain a greater salvation.

Needless to say, there are many more transfigured doctrines that could be added to the list. I may address more of them in the finished article. Feel free to submit others that you feel should be included or challenge any of the above suppositions that you think are inaccurate.


Which day is the Sabbath?

December 19, 2010

About a week ago a neighbor of mine dropped off an article about the true Sabbath day being on the seventh day of the week and asked my wife and I to read it.

My first thought was that they had been proselytized by the new couple that has moved into town. They are Seventh Day Adventists. I have a huge respect for the Seventh Day Adventists. They have some prophecy scholars that are really sharp.

However the people who dropped of the article are members of the LaPorte Church of Christ led by Pastor Pete Peters. Peters is probably the current leading figure in America in the Christian “Identity” movement which is an outgrowth of “British Israelism“. After further thought I realized that they also believe in the seventh day Sabbath.

A few other Christian denominations also practice the seventh day Sabbath.

The article they dropped off had some mildly interesting information in it.

It claims that the Catholic Church is the one that changed the seventh day Sabbath to Sunday. It also takes a very hard stand against those who have been deceived into worshiping on Sunday.

Attached to this seventh day Sabbath doctrine is the accusation and condemnation of all other Christians who do not accept the seventh day as the true day of worship. They claim those who worship on Sunday are categorically deceived and will be deceived during the hour of temptation and will be under condemnation when the Lord returns.

Frankly I have never done a in depth analysis on the topic because section 59 seems pretty clear to me.

Nevertheless, I thought I should take the time to do a little key word searching and googling to find the information available and provide them with my response to their claims.

The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate from the New Testament and modern revelation that the Seventh Day Sabbath of the Old Covenant was replaced with the First day Sabbath of the New Covenant.

This changing of the Sabbath day took place once the Lord had atoned for the sins of the world and returned to the earth on the first day of the week as a resurrected being.

It was on the first day of the week that he visited the apostles and established the NEW COVENANT.

I have observed over the years that there is a portion of those calling themselves Christians that seem to always put more emphasis and credence in the Old Testament than on the New Testament when determining how they will practice their Christian religion. It causes me to wonder if they are putting their hope in the grace of Christ and the New Covenant or in the law of Moses and the Old Covenant.

The Old Covenant Seventh Day Sabbath
vs.
the New Covenant First Day Sabbath

The first thing I would like to point out is that the word SABBATH does not mean seventh day as some well meaning gospel teachers would have you believe.

If you will look it up in the 1828 Websters and in the Strongs Concordance, you will see that it has various definitions… among them is the general reference to a holy day of rest that was commanded by the Lord.

The definition has to do with the meaning and purpose of the day, not which day of the week it is to be practiced.

As we shall continue on in this study, we shall see that there is a very significant and specific set of things that we have been commanded to do in keeping the Sabbath day holy.

It includes a very significant commandment having to do with the poor.

Those who do not keep this part of the New Covenant are breaking the Sabbath day regardless of which day they attempt to worship God and rest from their labors. We shall address this overlooked New Testament doctrine later in this article.

The Resurrection of Christ

All four gospels in the New Testament testify that after Christ suffered and atoned for the sins of the world and was resurrected, a series of extremely significant events took place on the very day the resurrected Lord visited his disciples.

These three events all had to do with the NEW COVENANT.

ALL of these events fell on the first day of the week. Conversely, the New Testament reveals that following those events, NOTHING of significance took place on the seventh day of the week.

Let me drill down just a little bit further on the above observation.

Below, is just one of the four accounts provided in the New Testament of the first major set of events that took place AFTER the VERY LAST OLD Testament Sabbath day.

The very last seventh day Sabbath of the Old Testament took place just BEFORE the resurrected Christ revealed himself to his disciples on the first day of the following week.

In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.

2 And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.

3 His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:

4 And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.

5 And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.

6 He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.

7
And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.

8 And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.

9And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.

10
Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.

11 ¶ Now when they were going, behold, some of the watch came into the city, and shewed unto the chief priests all the things that were done.

12 And when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers,

13 Saying, Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept.

14 And if this come to the governor’s ears, we will persuade him, and secure you.

15 So they took the money, and did as they were taught: and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.

16Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.

17 And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.

18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

19 ¶ Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Of course that is just one testimony from one of the four gospels.

Because I am limited in space for this article and it is already going to be longer than desired, I will not provide the other three accounts in the other three gospels however I highly encourage you to look them up and prayerfully read them. They provide other very significant details that show the significance of the first day of the week.

How interesting that the four gospels emphasis that the following three events all happened on the first day of the week following the crucifixion-

  • Mary discovers that the tomb is empty and receives the testimony of angels. As she is leaving she is visited by the resurrected Lord, gaining a witness that he had risen.
  • Peter and another disciple witness the empty tomb and following that, the Lord appears to them and they converse with Christ, gaining a witness that he had risen.
  • The eleven apostles all gathered to a place in Galilee which had before been designated and appointed by Christ. At that time he appeared to them and invites them to thrust their hands into the wounds in his hands and feet. He then does three things- A) He announces to them that all power has been given to him in heaven and in earth.    B) He then breaths on them and commands them to receive the Holy Ghost     C) He then commissions them to go into all the world baptizing in the name of the Father Son and Holy Ghost.

All three of the above events took place in one very eventful day for the purposes of establish the NEW COVENANT.

THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK!

Powered by the atonement of Christ, these three events establishing the new covenant appear to have taken place in the morning, afternoon and evening, respectively, on the very first day of the week, after the very last Sabbath day of the Old Testament, under the Old Covenant.

Just as the Lord had changed the name of Jacob to Israel and the name of Abram to Abraham, based on a new covenant, the Lord changed which day of the week the Sabbath should be honored based on a new covenant!

The Sabbath day under the New Covenant was to be, among other things, a memorial to the resurrection and the glorious fact that Christ overcame death and gave us hope in a future resurrection.

The above events were just the beginning of a string of other significant events documented in the New Testament, that took place on the NEW SABBATH DAY of the NEW COVENANT-

The ordinance of breaking of bread

It was “upon the first day of the week when the disciples came together to break bread” in Troas, “and Paul preached unto themThe first day of the week is Sunday and this is the day the people gathered. This passage is showing that the church was meeting on Sunday. The above passage identifies two important church functions within it: breaking bread (communion) and a preaching.

Additionally, Luke did not use the Jewish system of counting days: sundown to sundown. He used the Roman system: midnight to midnight. This is a subtle point that shows the Jewish Sabbath system was not the one utilized by Luke.

When Paul and his companions stayed at Troas for seven days, a Sabbath passed by, yet there was not a single hint that they observed it. On the contrary, when the first day of the week came, the disciples gathered together to break bread, and Paul preached. Why did they have to wait until the first day of the week? What happened to the seventh day Sabbath?

Obviously this period of time had already become the formal day for Christians’ gathering. Here, besides the importance of the day, the Lord further disclosed the program of commemoration or worship that should include gathering together, breaking bread, and preaching.

Nine of the Ten Commandments are restated in the New Testament

In addition to the documented facts that Christ appeared to his disciples and initiated the New Covenant on the Sunday Sabbath and also stipulated it as the day for the body of Christ to gather and break bread and preach, it is also interesting to note that of the 10 commandments listed in Exodus 20:1-17, only 9 of them were restated in the New Testament. Eight commandments are reiterated in Matt. 19:18,
murder
adultery
stealing
false witness
honor parents
worshiping God; (Worshiping God properly covers the first three commandments)

One commandment is reiterated in Rom. 13:9,
coveting.

The one commandment of the original ten that was not specifically reaffirmed was the one having to do with the seventh day of the week… the one about the Sabbath.

Instead, Jesus said that He is the Lord of the Sabbath, implying that he could make any adjustments to it that he wanted to.

When the Pharisees were being critical of those who seemed to be breaking the rigid rules pertaining to the Sabbath as taught in the Old Testament, he stated -

The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath; Therefore the Son of Man is Lord also of the Sabbath” (Matt. 12:8).

This same concept was reiterated by Paul when the lawyers of the gospel were being critical of how the Saints were keeping the Sabbath day-

Therefore let no one act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day— things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ.”
Col. 2:16-17,

Clearly, there is a distinction between the Old Testament teachings that provided a shadow of things to come as opposed to the fact that Christ determines the current substance of the Sabbath law as applicable to the New Covenant.

Notice the time sequence mentioned. A festival is yearly. A new moon is monthly. A Sabbath is weekly. No one is to judge others in regard to the issue of Sabbath timing.

A Listing of Sabbath Day Evidences in the New Testament

The New Testament provides numerous evidences that the first day of the week Sunday- Sabbath was the recognized Lords Day-

  • Jesus rose on the first day of the week not the Sabbath: Mk 16:9
  • All 6 appearances of Jesus happen on two Sundays, none on Sabbath. Mk 16:9; Mt 28:5-9; Lk 24:34; Lk 24:13-15; Lk 24:33,36 + Jn 20:19; Jn 20:26
  • Christians are recorded assembling three times on Sunday after resurrection and before ascension, never on the seventh day Sabbath. Jn 20:19 Jn 20:26 Acts 2:1
  • The only day ever mentioned when Christians broke bread was on Sunday: Acts 20:7
  • Christians are commanded every Sunday to give into a common treasury of the church: 1 Cor 16:1-2
  • Jesus was declared the Son of God on Sunday: Rom 1:4
  • Ps 2:7 “Today I have begotten thee” was fulfilled on Sunday when he rose: Acts 13:33
  • The sign that Jesus was glorified was given on Sunday: Jn 7:39 + Acts 2:1,32
  • The church officially began on Pentecost Sunday: Acts 2:1
  • Jesus was crowned king on a Sunday: Acts 2:33-36
  • The disciples reception of the promise of the Father on Sunday: Acts 1:4-5; 2:1-4
  • The Holy Spirit first fell upon the apostles on a Sunday: Acts 2:1-4
  • Salvation first preached by Peter on Sunday: Mt 16:19; Acts 2:1,38,40-41
  • The Keys to the Kingdom of God were first used on Sunday: Mt 16:19
  • The great “Triumphal entry” (also called “Palm Sunday”) happened on the first day: Luke 13:32
  • The time between the Lord’s resurrection (sheaf waving day) and Pentecost was Sunday to Sunday counting of 50 days. The starting and stopping time was on the 1st day.
  • First time Jesus worshiped after resurrection was on the first day by Thomas (Jn. 20:26).
  • The first time we could be born again to a living hope was on a Sunday: 1 Pet. 1:3
  • The first time Jesus had communion after his resurrection with His disciples, was on a Sunday: (Lk. 24:1, 13, 28-35)
  • Pentecost was a Sunday – Sunday duration of 50 days. The starting point and stopping point of counting the 50 days was a Sunday – Sunday period! Pentecost always falls on a first day Sunday Sabbath!

In addition to the above mentioned evidences of the New Covenant First Day Sunday Sabbath, there is no New Testament significance of the seventh day Sabbath in connection with anything of Christ, Christianity, the church, or heaven!

As Latter Day Saints, we have the more sure word of prophecy on this matter. (as if the evidence provided in the New Testament is not adequate!)

In a revelation given on August 7th 1831 addressed specifically to the Saints who had migrated to the land of Zion, the Lord commanded the Saints to keep the following commandments-

“Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy might, mind and strength”

“Love thy neighbor a thy self”

“Thou shalt not steal”

“Neither commit adultery”

“Nor Kill”

“Thank the Lord thy God in all things”

“Thou shalt offer a sacrifice unto the Lord thy God in righteousness, even that of a broken heart and a contrite spirit”

Notice how the New Covenant Sabbath Day offering in the latter days is a personal sacrifice of a broken heart and the contrite spirit instead of an animal blood sacrifice as was instituted under the Old Covenant Seventh day Sabbath.

He then gave the latter day New Covenant version of keeping the Sabbath day holy

And that thou mayest more fully keep thyself unspotted from the world, thou shalt go to the house of prayer and offer up thy sacraments upon my holy day. For verily this is a day appointed unto you to rest from your labors and to pay thy devotions unto the Most High. Nevertheless, thy vows shall be offered up in righteousness on all days and at all times.
On this, the Lords Day thou shalt offer thine oblations and thy sacraments unto the most high, confessing thy sins to thy brethren and before the Lord

That particular holy day upon which section 59 was given, fell on a Sunday. (interestingly, it just happened to be a New Moon also)

For those who might want to suggest that there is a difference between the Lord’s holy day and the Lords designated Sabbath day, Isaiah 58:13 specifically identifies the phrase “my holy day” as the “Sabbath“.

Section 59 appears to be the first time in modern revelation that the Lord instructed the latter day saints on how to keep the first day Sabbath day holy.

Why did the Lord wait for two years after the publishing of the Book of Mormon and the establishing of the church before instructing the Saints on how to keep the Lords day holy?

Because the Saints needed to enter into the fullness of gospel law which included the covenant of Consecration in Zion BEFORE they could keep the Lords day holy by properly providing tithing funds for the poor.

Indeed, it is only the inhabitants of Zion that can keep the Sabbath holy!

“And the inhabitants of Zion shall also observe Sabbath day to keep it holy.” (Section 68)

Sunday Oblations

You will notice that according to modern revelation, the first day Sunday Sabbath is when the Saints are to offer up oblations.

An oblation is sometimes defined as a collection or offering for the poor. It is sometimes referred to as tithing.

In another revelation through the prophet Joseph Smith the Lord said-

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.

24 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.

As we have discussed in previous articles, it is impossible to pay a tenth of one’s increase according to the law of God until after one has entered into the law of consecration.

The above passages are clearly making reference to passages in Malachi where the Lord informs us that his people are cursed because they robbed the Lord in tithes and offerings.

Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return?

8Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.

9 Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.

10 Bring ye all the tithes 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.

This takes us back to our Sabbath day study in the New Testament

The Commandment to meet and Collect for the Poor

It was on the first day of the week also that the collection for the poor saints of Jerusalem was to be taken in the Corinthian Church. “Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store as God hath prospered him…” (See 1 Corinthians 16:1,2).

This brings us to an amazing doctrine in the New Testament that most Christian Churches conveniently overlook because it is simply too difficult to live. It is the doctrine of having all things common

The doctrine of collecting for the poor appears to be a sub-doctrine of “having all things common“.

With the exception of a few communal groups such as the Mennonites, Quakers, Moravians and Amish, very few Christian sects have attempted to live the New Testament law of having all things in common.

And yet this doctrine is an integral part of proper Sabbath day worship. If you are not obeying it, you are not keeping the Sabbath day holy!

It probably isn’t necessary for Christians to argue over which day of the week is the true Sabbath since none of us are living it properly anyway.

On the very first day of Pentecost after the establishing of the New Covenant the spirit fell upon a large congregation of people. It was on that day that Peter preached to a large body of people. Many of them began speaking in tongues and having the spiritual baptism.

Over 3,000 new converts were added to the church.

As Peter preached, the spirit touched the hearts of the people and they asked Peter and the apostles

What shall we do?”

His response was-

Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.

41 ¶ Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of
bread, and in prayers.

43 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.

The above passage of scripture goes on to inform us that the apostle’s doctrine included-

  • Preaching
  • Fellowship
  • Breaking of Bread
  • Prayers

The next part of the passage provides a requirement that most Christian Churches conveniently neglect because it goes against the greedy nature of the natural man. Indeed the following commandment can only be kept by those who have been truly born of the fire and the Holy Ghost

44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common;

45
And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.

46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,

47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

Did you get that?

The baptized members of Christs body HAD ALL THINGS COMMON.

They sold their possessions and goods and parted them to all men as every man had need.

That is one of the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ that is required to have SINGLENESS OF HEART.

This amazing doctrine of having all things common and collecting for the poor each first day Sunday Sabbath is an integral part of keeping the Sabbath day holy.

Anyone that has not entered into the commandment to have all things common with the other members of Christs body and is not making their weekly contributions to the poor is not keeping the New Covenant Sabbath Day HOLY!

In Acts chapter four we are given more information regarding this most sacred law of the New Covenant Sabbath-

And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.

32
And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.

33 And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.

34
Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold,

35 And laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.

36 And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus,

37
Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.

The next chapter in Acts gives us a blood curdling account of a husband and wife that conspired to hold back some of the money they received from the land they had sold.

According to the law of having all things in common, they were to consecrate all excess increase to the church to be distributed to the poor-

1 BUT a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession,

2 And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.

3 But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?

4 Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.

5 And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things.

6 And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him.

7 And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in.

8 And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much.

9 Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out.

10 Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband.

It is only with the above context of how the members of the body of Christ were to not have personal assets above and beyond what they needed to live on a daily basis of living by faith, and how all excess lands and possessions were to be sold and the money was to be given to the apostles to be distributed to the poor, that one can really understand what Christ was saying to the rich man-

And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?

17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,

19 Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

20 The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?

21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.

22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.

23 ¶ Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.

24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

It is interesting to note that Christ’s admonition to the rich man took place BEFORE the crucifixion and resurrection and BEFORE the New Covenant Sunday Sabbath was initiated.

The Jewish church at the time of Christ also believed in and practiced the offering of oblations for the poor.

Notice the following passages in Luke wherein John the Baptist is admonishing them to give their excess possessions to the poor. The passages with yellow highlight are from the JST version of the Bible to provide clarification on the current practices of the time.

12 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?

13 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.

14 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.

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

16 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.

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

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

19 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;

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

This is why I believe that NONE of the Christians churches including the Latter day Saints are truly keeping the Sabbath day holy. How many Christian churches are you aware of that have all things in common and truly provide for the poor?

Modern Revelation Clarifies “all things in common”

Although the account of Peter discerning the lying hearts of the husband and wife seems pretty harsh, the Lord has made it clear that the consequences of not living this law in the latter days are still pretty serious.

29 If thou lovest me thou shalt serve me and keep all my commandments.

30 And behold, thou wilt remember the poor, and consecrate of thy properties for their support that which thou hast to impart unto them, with a covenant and a deed which cannot be broken.

31 And inasmuch as ye impart of your substance unto the poor, ye will do it unto me; and they shall be laid before the bishop of my church and his counselors, two of the elders, or high priests, such as he shall appoint or has appointed and set apart for that purpose.

32 And it shall come to pass, that after they are laid before the bishop of my church, and after that he has received these testimonies concerning the consecration of the properties of my church, that they cannot be taken from the church, agreeable to my commandments, every man shall be made accountable unto me, a steward over his own property, or that which he has received by consecration, as much as is sufficient for himself and family.

33 And again, if there shall be properties in the hands of the church, or any individuals of it, more than is necessary for their support after this first consecration, which is a residue to be consecrated unto the bishop, it shall be kept to administer to those who have not, from time to time, that every man who has need may be amply supplied and receive according to his wants.

34 Therefore, the residue shall be kept in my storehouse, to administer to the poor and the needy, as shall be appointed by the high council of the church, and the bishop and his council;

35 And for the purpose of purchasing lands for the public benefit of the church, and building houses of worship, and building up of the New Jerusalem which is hereafter to be revealed—

36 That my covenant people may be gathered in one in that day when I shall come to my temple. And this I do for the salvation of my people.

60 And he that doeth according to these things shall be saved, and he that doeth them not shall be damned if he so continue.
Section 42

5 For I, the Lord, have decreed in my heart, that inasmuch as any man belonging to the order shall be found a transgressor, or, in other words, shall break the covenant with which ye are bound, he shall be cursed in his life, and shall be trodden down by whom I will;

6 For I, the Lord, am not to be mocked in these things—

18 Therefore, if any man shall take of the abundance which I have made, and impart not his portion, according to the law of my gospel, unto the poor and the needy, he shall, with the wicked, lift up his eyes in hell, being in torment. 104:5-6,18

Behold, none are exempt from this law who belong to the church of the living God 70:10

The First Day is also the Eighth Day

As emphatic as some religious cults are about interpreting the New Covenant according to the doctrines taught in the Old Testament, it is surprising that they have missed one of the most revealing Old Testament doctrines pointing to the appointed time of the New Covenant Sunday Sabbath.

I refer to it as the “eighth day doctrine“.

Prophecy and the divine time line of the earth provide another witness that the Sabbath day was to be changed from the seventh day to the eighth day which is the first day of the previous seven day week.

I will show a few of the Old Testament scriptures that identify the ancient and future significance of the eighth day-

First let’s look at the admonition of Moses regarding the proper delivering up of the offerings on the eighth day-

Thou shalt not delay to offer the first of thy ripe fruits, and of thy liquors: the firstborn of thy sons shalt thou give unto me.

30 Likewise shalt thou do with thine oxen, and with thy sheep: seven days it shall be with his dam; on the eighth day thou shalt give it me. Exod 22:29

Clearly, the designated day for offering oblations was on the eighth day, both in Old Testament times and also in New Testament times.

AND it came to pass on the eighth day, that Moses called Aaron and his sons, and the elders of Israel;

2 And he said unto Aaron, Take thee a young calf for a sin offering, and a ram for a burnt offering, without blemish, and offer them before the LORD.

3 And unto the children of Israel thou shalt speak, saying, Take ye a kid of the goats for a sin offering; and a calf and a lamb, both of the first year, without blemish, for a burnt offering;

4 Also a bullock and a ram for peace offerings, to sacrifice before the LORD; and a meat offering mingled with oil: for to day the LORD will appear unto you.

5 ¶ And they brought that which Moses commanded before the tabernacle of the congregation: and all the congregation drew near and stood before the LORD.

6 And Moses said, This is the thing which the LORD commanded that ye should do: and the glory of the LORD shall appear unto you.

The result was spectacular. The Lord did appear to them on the eighth day-

And Moses and Aaron went into the tabernacle of the congregation, and came out, and blessed the people: and the glory of the LORD appeared unto all the people.

24 And there came a fire out from before the LORD, and consumed upon the altar the burnt offering and the fat: which when all the people saw, they shouted, and fell on their faces.

Let us now visit Leviticus 11:12 to see the significance of the eighth day in establishing the covenant of circumcism-

1 AND the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

2 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a woman have conceived seed, and born a man child: then she shall be unclean seven days; according to the days of the separation for her infirmity shall she be unclean.

3
And in the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised.

In 2nd Chronicles 6:7 Solomon understands the importance of the eighth day in the offerings associated with temple worship

NOW when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the LORD filled the house.

2 And the priests could not enter into the house of the LORD, because the glory of the LORD had filled the LORD’s house.

3 And when all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the glory of the LORD upon the house, they bowed themselves with their faces to the ground upon the pavement, and worshipped, and praised the LORD, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.

4 ¶ Then the king and all the people offered sacrifices before the LORD.

5 And king Solomon offered a sacrifice of twenty and two thousand oxen, and an hundred and twenty thousand sheep: so the king and all the people dedicated the house of God.

6 And the priests waited on their offices: the Levites also with instruments of musick of the LORD, which David the king had made to praise the LORD, because his mercy endureth for ever, when David praised by their ministry; and the priests sounded trumpets before them, and all Israel stood.

7 Moreover Solomon hallowed the middle of the court that was before the house of the LORD: for there he offered burnt offerings, and the fat of the peace offerings, because the brasen altar which Solomon had made was not able to receive the burnt offerings, and the meat offerings, and the fat.

8 ¶ Also at the same time Solomon kept the feast seven days, and all Israel with him, a very great congregation, from the entering in of Hamath unto the river of Egypt.

9
And in the eighth day they made a solemn assembly: for they kept the dedication of the altar seven days, and the feast seven days.

Righteous Hezekiah also documents the importance of the eighth day as the day when the sanctification of the house of the Lord is completed in Chron 29:17 ( shall show forth the typology of this to the Kirtland Temple Sanctification later in this paper)

Now they began on the first day of the first month to sanctify, and on the eighth day of the month came they to the porch of the LORD: so they sanctified the house of the LORD in eight days; and in the sixteenth day of the first month they made an end.

18 Then they went in to Hezekiah the king, and said, We have cleansed all the house of the LORD, and the altar of burnt offering, with all the vessels thereof, and the shewbread table, with all the vessels thereof.

In Nehemiah 8 we are informed that the Book of the Law required that the solemn assembly be held on the eighth day, typological to the day of Pentecost-

And on the second day were gathered together the chief of the fathers of all the people, the priests, and the Levites, unto Ezra the scribe, even to understand the words of the law.

14 And they found written in the law which the LORD had commanded by Moses, that the children of Israel should dwell in booths in the feast of the seventh month:

15 And that they should publish and proclaim in all their cities, and in Jerusalem, saying, Go forth unto the mount, and fetch olive branches, and pine branches, and myrtle branches, and palm branches, and branches of thick trees, to make booths, as it is written.

16 ¶ So the people went forth, and brought them, and made themselves booths, every one upon the roof of his house, and in their courts, and in the courts of the house of God, and in the street of the water gate, and in the street of the gate of Ephraim.

17 And all the congregation of them that were come again out of the captivity made booths, and sat under the booths: for since the days of Jeshua the son of Nun unto that day had not the children of Israel done so. And there was very great gladness.

18
Also day by day, from the first day unto the last day, he read in the book of the law of God. And they kept the feast seven days; and on the eighth day was a solemn assembly, according unto the manner.

Ezekiel also confirms the importance of the eighth day as the day when God accepts the offering of Israel-

Seven days shall they purge the altar and purify it; and they shall consecrate themselves.

27 And when these days are expired, it shall be, that
upon the eighth day, and so forward, the priests shall make your burnt offerings upon the altar, and your peace offerings; and I will accept you, saith the Lord GOD.

There are many other passages speaking in the Old Testament documenting the importance of the eighth day relative to temple worship, offerings, covenants and the future typological significance of the NEW COVENANT.

Clearly, the appearing of Christ to Mary and the apostles on the eighth day was not random; it was the institution of the Sabbath Day of the New Covenant!

Modern revelation reveals that the term “Lord of Sabaoth” literally means “creator of the first day“-

And for this cause I gave unto you a commandment that you should call your solemn assembly, that your fastings and your mourning might come up into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth, which is by interpretation, the creator of the first day, the beginning and the end. (section 95)

Did you notice in the passage above that the first day marks both the beginning of a week and the end of the previous week?

The beginning and the end

There you have a modern day reference to the doctrine of the eighth day as it related to the doctrine of Sabaoth. .


If Mormons were diligent in their study of the Old Testament and their own history, they would find numerous amazing events in their own history that correspond with the laws and timing sequences contained in the Old Testament that pointed to the latter day establishing and re-establishing of the New Covenant.

Indeed the Old Testament testifies again and again of the establishment of the New Covenant by Christ in the New Testament and the latter day saint restoration of the gospel.

It also testifies of the latter day apostasy that followed shortly thereafter when the Latter day Saints rejected the fullness of the gospel.

The eight day sequence was manifest (although not noticed) in the eight day, Sunday to Sunday dedication and acceptance of the Kirtland Temple.

The Dedicatory Prayer of the Kirtland Temple was given on Sunday March 27th 1836 and the appearance of Christ, Moses Elias and Elijah took place on the eighth day,  Sunday April 3rd 1836.

During that first Sunday and the next seven days the covenant was confirmed and the anointing took place.

In the Middle of the week, on Wednesday the Lords Supper (sacrifice) was administered and a “liberal contribution” (oblation) was collected, fulfilling the prophecy in Daniel-

And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate


(http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Diary_of_Joseph_Smith,_Jr._%281835-1836%29)

Because of the failure of the Latter Day Saints to redeem Zion, consecrate and have all things in common like the New Testament Saints did, the blessing of the Kirtland Temple also included a cursing.

Instead of ushering in the dispensation of the fullness of times, the Lord and several ministering angels appeared to Joseph and Oliver on Sunday April 3rd, 1836, ON THE EIGHTH DAY to restore the preparatory gospel of Jesus Christ, which is the Gospel of Abraham.

In another article I have already documented the fact that the Kirtland Temple fulfilled (and will fulfill in the future) other prophecies contained in the book of Daniel.

With the eighth day doctrine summarized above, let us look at what Barnabas says about the time line of the earth and the mystical eighth day Sabbath.

After we review what he and Enoch have to say about the eighth day time line of the earth, we will show that the apostle John also explained that the time line of the earth is eight thousand years, composed of seven “seals” or days composed of one thousand years each, plus an eighth day ( space of one thousand years) during which time the earth leaves temporal time and returns to is paradisaical glory.

And ye shall hallow, the sabbath of the Lord with pure hands and with a
pure heart.
15:3 And in another place He saith ;
15:4 If My sons observe the sabbath, then I will bestow My mercy upon them.
15:5 Of the sabbath He speaketh in the beginning of the creation;
15:6 And God made the works of His hands in six days, and He ended on the
seventh day, and rested on it, and He hallowed it.
15:7 Give heed, children, what this meaneth ;
15:8 He ended in six days.
15:9 He meaneth this, that in six thousand years the Lord shall bring all things
to an end ;
15:10 for the day with Him signifieth a thousand years ;
15:11 and this He himself beareth me witness, saying;
15:12 Behold, the day of the Lord shall be as a thousand years.
\5:13 Therefore, children, in six days, that is in six thousand years,
everything shall come to an end.
15:14 And He rested on the seventh day.
15:15 This He meaneth;
15:16 when His Son shall come, and shall abolish the time of the Lawless One,
and shall judge the ungodly, and shall change the sun and the moon and the
stars, then shall He truly rest on the seventh day.
15:17 Yea and furthermore He saith;
15:18 Thou shalt hallow it with pure hands and with a pure heart.
15:19 If therefore a man is able now to hallow the day which God hallowed,
though he be pure in heart, we have gone utterly astray.
15:20 But if after all then and not till then shall we truly rest and hallow it,
when we shall ourselves be able to do so after being justified and receiving the
promise, when iniquity is no more and all things have been made new by the Lord,
15:21 we shall be able to hallow it then, because we ourselves shall have been
hallowed first.
15:22 Finally He saith to them ;
15:23 Your new moons and your sabbaths I cannot away with.
15:24 Ye see what is His meaning;
15:25 it is not your present sabbaths that are acceptable [unto Me], but the
sabbath which I have made, in the which, when I have set all things at rest, I
will make the beginning of the
eighth
day which is the beginning of another
world.

15:26 Wherefore also we keep the
eighth day for rejoicing, in the which also  Jesus rose from the dead, and having been manifested ascended into the heavens.

Epistle of Barnabas 15

Clearly, as the apostle Barnabas says, it was not the present Jewish Sabbaths that were currently acceptable to the Lord, but rather, it was the one he ordained when he came to the earth in the flesh, even the eighth day which represents the beginning of another world.

2 Enoch 33:1: also addresses the doctrine of the eighth day-

(Yahweh says:) I appointed the eighth day also, that the eighth day should be the first-created after my work, and that the first seven revolve in the form of the seventh thousand, and that at the beginning of the eighth thousand there should be a time of not-counting, endless, with neither years nor months nor weeks nor days nor hours.

The eighth day “time of not counting” that Enoch is referring to is mentioned in both the Book of Revelation and the D&C as the day when there shall be “time no longer”.

And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven,

6 And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer: Rev 10

And so on, until the seventh angel shall sound his trump; and he shall stand forth upon the land and upon the sea, and swear in the name of him who sitteth upon the throne, that there shall be time no longer; and Satan shall be bound, that old serpent, who is called the devil, and shall not be loosed for the space of a thousand years.

111 And then he shall be loosed for a little season, that he may gather together his armies. Section 88:110

As you can see, after the eighth day when there is time no longer for the space of one thousand years, the earth returns to temporal time for a little season.

The book of revelation reveals that the time line of the earth is eight thousand years not seven thousand years-

1-     1st Seal (one thousand years)

2-     2nd Seal (second thousand years)

3-     3rd Seal (third thousand years)

4-     4th Seal (fourth thousand years

MIDDLE OF TIME  (Meridian)

5-     5th Seal (fifth thousand years)

6-     6th Seal (sixth thousand years)

7-     Beginning of the 7th Seal- also called the “Hour of Judgment”- (possibly about 41 years although the days will be cut short)

8-     Paradisaical Millennium- “There shall be time no longer” (the earth leaves temporal time for the “space of 1,000 years”)

9-     Remainder of the 7th Seal- “Little Season” (possibly about 959 years)

Total time frame of the earth = 8,000 years with a mystical eighth day of rest.

Summary

The Seventh Day Sabbath of the Old Covenant was changed to the First Day, Sunday Sabbath under the New Covenant. (which is also the eighth day)

To keep this day holy, the Saints have been commanded to make this a day of-

  • Preaching
  • Fellowship
  • Breaking of Bread
  • Prayers
  • Having all things common- taking care of the poor

“I finally ordered him to sit down- he said he would not unless I knocked him down”

December 18, 2010

I love reading the personal journal of Joseph Smith because it is a sobering reminder of how human Joseph Smith and the other great men of the LDS restoration movement were and what ups and downs they had as they struggled to bring forth the kingdom.

I was delighted to find a portion of the journals online today. They are here for anyone who would like to read them.

In this post I thought I would provide a fascinating snippet covering a few short days, containing the following string of events-

  • William Smith, the brother of Joseph becomes angry at Joseph the Prophet and accuses him of showing disrespect to Mother Smith during a meeting
  • Joseph tells William to sit down
  • William says Joseph will need to knock him down
  • Joseph becomes agitated at William
  • Joseph and William later try to resolve the hurt feelings between each other using their brother Hyrum as a facilitator
  • William becomes angry again and threatens to leave the church
  • William takes the dirty laundry between he and Joseph to the streets which embarrasses Joseph in front of the enemies of the Church
  • William prejudiced the mind of br. Samuel Smith against Joseph
  • Visitors are coming intermittently to see the mummy and artifacts
  • Emma is chastised for leaving a meeting before taking the sacrament… her response was to weep.
  • Joseph is intermittently receiving various revelation during these few days
  • The Lord reveals to Joseph that he is upset with Reynolds Cahoon
  • Joseph gets a revelation stating that the 12 apostles are under condemnation. This causes various members of the quorum to visit Joseph and listen to the contents of the revelation to see if they believe it..
  • IN the revelation about the twelve, it addresses the current fiasco with William Smith: “…as for my Servant William let the Eleven humble themselves in prayer and in faith and wait on me in patience and my servant William shall return, and I will yet make him a polished shaft in my quiver..”

Enjoy

29 October 1835 • Thursday

Br W. Parish [Warren Parrish] commenced writing for me. Father & Mother Smith visit[ed] us and while we set writing Bishop Partrige [Edward Partridge] passed our window just returned from the East Br Parish commenced writing for me at $15.00 pr month I paid him $16.00 in advance out of the committee Store Br Parrish agrees to board himself, for which I agree to allow him four Dollars more pr. month making $19.00. I was then called to appear before the high Council which was page 10 setting to give my testimony in an action brought against Br. David Eliot for whiping his Daughter unreasonably my testimony was in his favour, returned to our writing room, went to Dr. Williams after my large Journal, made some observations to my Scribe concerning the plan of the City which is to be built up hereafter on this ground consecrated for a stake of Zion while at the Doct[or's] Bishop E Pa[r]trige came in, in company with President Phelps, I was much rejoiced to see him, we examined the mumies, returned home and my scribe commenced writing in my Journal a history of my life, concluding President Cowdery[Ôs 2d] letter to W. W. Phelps, which president Williams had begun Bishop Whitney & his wife with his Father & Mother called to Visit us, his parents having lately arived here from the East called to make enquiry concerning the coming forth of the book of Mormon, Bishop Partrige & some others came in I then set down and taught related to them the history of the coming forth of the book the administration of the Angel to me the rudiments of the gospel of Christ &c they appeared well satisfied & I expect to baptise them in a few days, or this is my feelings upon the subject altho they have not made any request of this Kind at present, went to the council, the Presidency arose and adjourned on my return Elder Boynton observed that long debates were bad. I replyed that it was generally the case that to[o] much altercation was generally indulged in, on both sides and their debates protracted to an unprofitable length; we were seated called to super, after being seated around the table Bishop Whitney observed to Bishop Partrige that the thought had just occured to his mind that perhaps in about one year from this time they might be seated together around a table in on the land of Zion page 11 Sister Emma my wife observed that she hoped it might be the case that not only they but the rest of the company present might be seated around her table in the land of promise; the same sentiment was reciprocated from the company round the table and my heart responded amen God grant it, I ask in the name of Jesus Christ, after super I went to the high council in company with my wife and some others that belong to my house hold I was solicited to take a seat with the presidency and preside in a case of Sister Eliots I did so my Mother was called as testimony and began to relate circumstances that had been brought before the church and settled I objected against such testimony the complainant Br. William Smith arose and accused me of invalidating or doubting My mothers testimony which I had not done nor did I desire to do I told him he was out of place & asked him to set down he refused I repeated my request he become enraged I finally ordered him to set down he said he would not unless I knocked him down I was agitated in my feeling on the account of his stubournness and was about to call leave the house, but my Father requ[e]sted me not to do so I complyed the house was brought to order after much debate upon the subject and we proceded to buisness & br. Eliot & his wife were both cleared from the charges prefered against them

[edit] 30 October 1835 • Friday

at home Mr. Fransis Porter called from Jefferson Co. New York a member of the Methodist Church, called to make some inquiry about lands in this place whether there is any farmes for sale that are valuable and whether page 12 a member of our church could move into this vicinity and purchase lands and enjoy his own possessions & property without making it common Stock, he had been requested to do so by some brethren who live in the town of Leroy Jeff[erson] Co N. Y I replyed that I had a valuable farm joining the Temple Lot that I would sell & that there is other lands for sale in this place and that we have no common stock business among us, that every man enjoys his own property, or can if he is disposed, consecrate liberally or illiberally to the support of the poor & needy, or the building up of Zion, he also enquired how many members there are in this church I told him that there is about five or six hundred who commune at our chapel and perhaps a thousand in this vicinity; at evening I was presented with a letter from Br. Wm Smith the purport of which is that he is censured by the brethren on the account of what took place at the council last night and wishes to have the matter settled to the understanding of all, that he may not be censured unjustly, concidering that his cause was a just one, and that he had been materially injured; I replied that I thought we parted with the best of feelings, that I am not to blame on the account of the dissatisfaction of others. I invited him to call and talk with me, and that I would give talk with him in the spirit of meekness and give him all the satisfaction I could this reply was by letter copy retained

[edit] 31 October 1835 • Saturday

in the morning br. Hyram Smith came in and said he had been much troubled all night and had not slept any page 13 that something was wrong while talking br. Wm Smith came in according to my requ[e]st last night br. Hyram observed that he must go to the Store I invited him to stay he said he would go and do his business & return he did so while he was gone br. William introduced the subject of our difficulty at the council, I told him I did not want to converse upon the subject untill Hyrum returned, he soon came in I then proposed to relate the occurrences of the council before named and wherein I had been out of the way I would confess it and ask his forgivness, and then he should relate his story and make confession wherein he had done wrong he said he had not done wrong and then leave it to br. Hyrum Smith & br. Parish to decide the matter between us and I would agree to the decission & be satisfyed there with; he observed that he had not done wrong, and that I was always determined to carry my points whether right or wrong and there fore he would not stand an equal chance with me; this was an insult, but I did not reply to him in a harsh manner knowing his inflamatory disposition, but tryed to reason with him and show him the propriety of a complyance with my request, I finally succeeded with the assistance of br. Hyrum in obtaining his assent to the proposition that I had made. I then related my story and wherein I had been wrong I confessed it and asked his forgivness after I got through he made his statements jusifying himself throughout in transgressing the order of the council & treating the authority of the Presidency with contempt; after he had got through br. Hyrum began to make page 14 some remarks, in the spirit of meekness, he became enraged, I joined my brother in trying to calm his stormy feelings, but to no purpose he insisted that we intended to add abuse to injury, his passion increased, he arose abruptly and declared that he wanted no more to do with them us or the church and said we might take his licence for he would have nothing to do with us, he rushed out at the door we tryed to prevail on him to stop, but all to no purpose, he went away in a passion, and soon sent his licence to me, he went home and spread the levvin of iniquity among my brethren and especially prejudiced the mind of br. Samuel as I soon learned that he was in the street exclaiming against me, which no doubt our enemys rejoice at, and where the matter will end I know not, but I p[r]ay God to forgiv[e] him and th[e]m, and give them humility and repentance, the feelings of my heart I cannot express on this occasion. I can only pray my heavenly Father to open their eyes that they may discover where they stand, that they may extricate themselves from the snare they have fallen into after dinner I rode out in company with my wife and children, br. carloss & some others, we went to visit br. Roundy & family who live near Willoughby, we had an interesting visit at br. Roundy[Ôs] as soon as I returned I was called upon to baptise Samuel Whitney & his Wife and Daughter after baptism we returned to their house and offered Our thanks, in prayer I obtained a testimony that Br. William Would return and to the church and repair the wrong he had done page 15

[edit] 1 November 1835 • Sunday

Verily thus Saith the Lord unto me, his servant Joseph Smith jr min[e] anger is kindle[d] against my servant Reynolds Cahoon because of his iniquities his covetous and dishonest principles in himself and family and he doth not purge them away and set his house in order therefore if he repent not chastisment awaiteth him even as it seemeth good in my sight therefore go and declare unto him these words I went imediately and del[i]vired this message according as the Lord commanded me I called him in & read what the Lord had said concerning him, he acknowledged that it was verily so & expressed much humility I then went to meeting Elder Carrill [John Corrill] preached a fine discourse, in the afternoon President Phelps continued the servises of the day by reading the 5th chapt. of Mathew also the laws regulating the High Council and made some remarks upon them after which sacrament was administered I then confirmed a number who had been baptised & blessed a number of children in the name of Jesus Christ with the blessings of the new and everlasting covenant, notice was then given that the Elders School wou[1]d commence on the morrow, I then dismissed the meeting.

[edit] 2 November 1835 • Monday

was engaged in regulating the affairs of the School, I then had my team prepared & Sidney Oliver Frederick and my scribe and a number of others went to Willoughby to Hear Doct[or] Piexotto [Daniel Peixotto] deliver a lecture on the profession theory & practice of Physic [medicine] page 16 we called at Mr. [Nathan] Cushmans, had our horses put in the Stable took dinner, attended the lecture was treated with great respect throughout; returned home Lyman Wight came from Zion to day; George & Lyman Smith also from the East the question was agitated whether Frederick G. Williams or Oliver Cowdery Should go to New York to make arangements respecting a book bindery they refered to me for a decision, and thus cam[e] the word of the Lord unto me saying it is not my will that my servant Frederick should go to New York, but inasmuch as he wishes to go and visit his relatives that he may warn them to flee the wrath to come let him go and see them, for that purpose and let that be his only business, and behold in this thing he shall be blessed with power while to overcome their prejudices, Verily thus saith the Lord Amen.

[edit] 3 November 1835 • Tuesday

Thus came the word of the Lord unto me saying concerning the Twelve saying behold they are under condemnation, because they have not been sufficiently humble in my sight, and in consequence of their covetous desires, in that they have not dealt equally with each other in the division of the moneys which came into their hands, nevertheless some of them dealt equally therefore they shall be rewarded, but verily I say unto you they must all humble themselves before me, before they will be accounted worthy to receive an endowment to go forth in my name unto all nations, as for my Servant William let the Eleven humble themselves in prayer and in faith page 17 and wait on me in patience and my servant William shall return, and I will yet make him a polished shaft in my quiver, in bringing down the wickedness and abominations of men and their shall be none mightier than he in his day and generation, nevertheless if he repent not spedily he shall be brought low and shall be chastened sorely for all his iniquities he has commited against me. nevertheless the sin which he hath sined against me is not even now more grevious than the sin with which my servant David W. Patten and my servant Orson Hyde and my servant Wm E. McLellen have sinned against me, and the residue are not sufficiently humble before me, behold the parable which I spake concerning a man having twelve Sons, for what man amon[g] you having twelve Sons and is no respecter to them and they serve him obediantly and he saith unto the one be thou clothed in robes and sit thou here, and to the other be thou clothed in rags and sit thou there, and looketh upon his sons and saith I am just, ye will answer and say no man, and ye answer truly, therefore Verely thus saith the Lord your God I appointed these twelve that they should be equal in their ministry and in their portion and in their evangelical rights, wherefore they have sin[n]ed a verry grevious sin, in asmuch as they have made themselves unequal and have not hearkned unto my voice therfor let them repent speedily and prepare their hearts for the solem[n] assembly page 18 and for the great day which is to come Verely thus saith the Lord Amen.

I then went to assist in organizing the Elders School called to order and I made some remarks upon the object of this School, and the great necessity there is of our rightly improving our time and reigning up our minds to the a sense of the great object that lies before us, viz, that glorious endowment that God has in store for the faithful I then dedicated the School in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. after the School was dismissed I attended a patriarchal meeting at Br Samuel Smiths, his wifeses parents were blessed also his child & named Susanah, at evening I preach[e]d at the Schoolhouse to a crowded congregation

[edit] 4 November 1835 • Wednesday

in morning, at home attended school all during the school hours, made rapid progress in our studies, in the evening, lectured on grammar, at home on this day King Follet arived at this place from Zion

[edit] 5 November 1835 • Thursday

attended School all day Isaac Morley came in from the east this morning I was called to visit Thomas Burdick who was sick, I took my scribe with me and we p[r]ayed for and laid our hands on him in the name of the Lord Jesus and rebuked his affliction Wm E. McLellen & Orson Hyde came in and desired to hear the revelation concerning the Twelve, my scribe read to him them they expressed some little dissatisfaction but after examining their own hearts, they acknowledged it to be the word of the Lord page 19 and said they were satisfied; after School Brigham Young came in and desired also to hear, it read also after hearing it he appeared perfectly satisfied; in the evening lectured on Grammar

[edit] 6 November 1835 • Friday

at home. attended School during the school hours returned and spent the evening at home I was this morning introduced to a man from the east, after hearing my name he replied remarked that I was nothing but a man: indicating by this expression that he had supposed that a person, to whom the Lord should see fit to reveal his will, must be something more than a man, he seems to have forgotten the saying that fell from the lips of St. James, that Elias was a man of like passions like unto us, yet he had such power with God that He in answer to his prayer, shut the heavens that they gave no rain for the space of three years and six months, and again in answer to his prayer the heavens gave forth rain and the earth brought forth fruit; and indeed such is the darkness & ignorance of this generation that they look upon it as incredible that a man should have any intercourse with his Maker.

[edit] 7 November 1835 • Saturday

spent the day at home attending to my domestic concerns; The word of the Lord came to me saying, behold I am well pleased with my servant Isaac Morley and my servant Edward Partridge, because of the integrity of their harts in laboring in my vinyard for the salvation of the souls of men, Verely I say unto you their sins are page 20 forgiven them, therefore say unto them in my name that it is my will that they should tarry for a little season and attend the school, and also the solem assembly for a wise purpose in me, even so amen

[edit] 8 November 1835 • Sunday

went to meeting in the morning at the us[u]al hour, Z[erubbabel]. Snow preached a verry interesting discourse, in the after noon J[oseph]. Young preached; after preaching Isaac Hill came forward to make some remarks by way of confession, he had been previously excommunicated from the church for lying & for an attempt to seduce a female; his confession was not satisfactory to my mind Uncle John Smith arose and made some remarks respecting the dealings of the high council on the case of the said Hill, that is that he should make a public confession of his crime and have it published in the messenger and Advocate, he proposed that Mr Hill should now make his confession before the congregation and then immediately observed that he had forgiven Mr Hill, which was in contradiction to the sentiment he first advanced, this I attributed to an error in Judgment not in design President Rigdon then arose and verry abruptly militated against the sentiment of Uncle John, which had a direct tendency to destroy his influence and bring him into disrepute in the eyes of the church, which was not right, he also misrepresented Mr Hills case wh and spread darkness rather than light upon the subject a vote was then called of the church was then called on his case and he was restored without any further confession; that he should page 21 be received into the church by babtism which was administered acordingly. after I came home I took up a labour with uncle John and convinced him that he was wrong & he made his confession to my satisfaction; I then went and laboured with President Rigdon and succeded in convincing him also of his error which he confessed to my satisfaction.

The word of the Lord cam[e] unto me saying that President Phelps & President J[ohn] Whitmer are under condemnation before the Lord, for their errors for which they made satisfaction the same day; I also took up a labour with John Carrill [Corrill] for leaving the meeting before not partaking of the sacrament, he made his confession; also my wife for the same leaving the meeting before sacrament she made no reply, but manifested contrition by weeping


Is God a WHO or a WHAT?

December 5, 2010

[this may well be the most controversial topic I have ever written about. As with all my posts, you are encouraged to search out the passages of scriptures and history for yourself and take the Holy Ghost as your guide.]

In the series on the LAST TESTIMONY, which is still not finished I cover the importance of the testimony of the Father and the Son contained in section 76.

I hope to finish that series someday.

In the mean time, I would like to point out that the last testimony that is going to be sealed up in the 3rd watch, originally provided the foundational experience that resulted in the true explanation of the Godhead.

Section 93 speaks of the importance of knowing how to worship God

However, despite the myriad of scriptures that refer to God as a who, section 93 reminds us that God is also a what!

And I, John, bear record, and lo, the heavens were opened, and the Holy Ghost descended upon him in the form of a dove, and sat upon him, and there came a voice out of heaven saying: This is my beloved Son.

16 And I, John, bear record that he received a fulness of the glory of the Father;

17 And he received all power, both in heaven and on earth, and the glory of the Father was with him, for he dwelt in him.

18 And it shall come to pass, that if you are faithful you shall receive the fulness of the record of John.

19 I give unto you these sayings that you may understand and know how to worship, and know WHAT you worship, that you may come unto the Father in my name, and in due time receive of his fulness.

20 For if you keep my commandments you shall receive of his fulness, and be glorified in me as I am in the Father; therefore, I say unto you, you shall receive grace for grace.

Obviously, “the Father” appears to be a WHO, if we accept the term “Father” to represent a person, personage, personality, etc.

Numerous scriptures verify that God the Father is a who.

But the passage above also informs us that the God we worship is a WHAT.

In fact, it seems to be putting emphasis in the fact that God is a WHAT… perhaps it is necessary to understand that he is a what in order to know HOW to worship him…. or at the very least it assures us that we will better comprehend the WHAT nature of God after we obtain the record that is to come forth.

I long for the time when that record spoken of in section 93 will come forth but I think we need to be searching for additional truth in the mean time.

What does the Lord mean when he uses the term WHAT in describing the nature of God in that scriptural context?

One thought is that it might be referring to the following definition of what, as contained in the 1828 version of the Websters

What is used as an adjective, of BOTH GENDERS

That is very intriguing.

In Moses 2:26, 27 God informs us that he created man, male and female, in his own image and in the image of his Son. In otherwords, God is telling us that He himself ane His Son are both composed of both male and female intelligence.

But I have already addressed the composite gender of exalted souls and the Gods in another article.

I think that is an important part of the puzzle, but I want to focus on the bigger picture in this post.

Another thought that I have had is that WHAT could be speaking about the glory of God as a power, or essence that permeates the universe instead of pointing out the personal, or personality aspect of his attributes.

Section 76 points out that the Son resides in the bosom of the Father.

Other passages in scripture inform us that the Father resides in the Son.

InLuke 10:22 the King James Version of the Bible quotes Jesus as saying

All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him.”

However Joseph Smith changed that in the Inspired Version to say-

All things are delivered to me of my Father; and no man knoweth that the Son is the Father, and the Father is the Son, but him to whom the Son will reveal it.

Pretty metaphysical don’t you think?

Part of the mystery of Godliness is in understanding that although the Father and Son can manifest themselves independently as distinct beings, and although God is independently described in Lectures on Faith and in the scriptures as a personage of Spirit, while the Son  is independently described in Lectures on Faith and in the scriptures as a personage of tabernacle, they dwell in each other and constitute ONE GOD!

Section 88 speaks of the “face of him who sitteth upon the throne and governeth and executeth all things.

It points out that God “comprehendeth all things, and all things are before him, and all things are round about him; and he is above all things, and in all things, and is through all things, and is round about all things; and all things are by him, and of him, even God, forever and ever.”

It goes on to provide a rather esoteric, all encompassing characterization of the fact that if you have seen anything God has created, you have seen God.

The earth rolls upon her wings, and the sun giveth his light by day, and the moon giveth her light by night, and the stars also give their light, as they roll upon their wings in their glory, in the midst of the power of God.

46 Unto what shall I liken these kingdoms, that ye may understand?

47 Behold, all these are kingdoms, and any man who hath seen any or the least of these hath seen God moving in his majesty and power.

Let me suggest those mystical passages contained in sections 76, 88, and 93 are not there for their poetry. They are literally true. More on that later.

Anyway, those verses in section 93 seem to be saying that if we are faithful we shall receive the fullness of the RECORD of John.

Section 93 has been a source of controversy because some people think it is speaking about the testimony from heaven that John the Baptist received when he bore witness of Christ at the baptism, while others believe that it is speaking about the testimony from heaven that John the Revelator received, possibly during his visions on Patmos, from which we get the information contained in the Book of Revelation.

Section 93 contains passages from both of the John’s.

So, if we are faithful, we can receive the fullness of the record of John.

What is the record of John?

Is that speaking about his written testimony of what he saw and heard when the heavens were opened to John or is it saying that we ourselves can receive the same open vision and the same TESTIMONY that John had?

Or, is it saying both?

Perhaps it is the written RECORD that will come forth of what John saw and heard that will ignite sufficient faith in each of the elect to initiate our own experience in rending the veil of unbelief and seeing the Father and the Son, just as John, the Brother of Jared and the Seer and the Spokesman and many other prophets have all seen and heard.

The LAST TESTIMONY
of the Seer and the Spokesman
reveals the Godhead

After having the heavens opened to them and seeing the Father and the Son, the Seer and the Spokesman bore testimony that they had seen the Father and the Son.

In a desire to bring others to that same testimony, and by commandment, they published their own record containing a testimony and description of the Godhead and had it canonized.

Then they formed the school of the prophets to teach these concepts to others.

The primary goal of the school of the prophets was to facilitate others of the elect to comprehend God and see him and Know him so that they could become Saviors on Mt Zion and help to bear testimony and bring others to the knowledge of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

In the Lectures on Faith which appears to have been written and taught by Rigdon in the school of the Prophets but approved and endorsed by Joseph Smith, the following distinctions were made.

(The following passages may well be the most profound knowledge ever given about the Godhead and about the nature of who and what God is that has been given to our generation)

Lectures on Faith

There are two personages who constitute the great, matchless, governing, and supreme power over all things, by whom all things were created and made…

They are the Father and the Son, the Father being a personage of spirit, glory, and power, possessing all perfection and fullness, the Son, who was in the bosom of the Father, a personage of tabernacle, made, or fashioned like unto man….

And He being the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth, and having overcome, received a fullness of the glory of the Father, possessing the same mind with the Father, which mind is the Holy Spirit, that bears record of the Father and the Son, and these three are one; or, in other words, these three constitute the great, matchless, governing and supreme power over all things; by whom all things were created and made that were created and made, and these three constitute the Godhead, and are one;

the Father and the Son possessing the same mind, the same wisdom, glory, power, and fullness…filling all in all; the Son being filled with the fullness of the mind, glory, and power; or, in other words, the spirit, glory, and power, of the Father, possessing all knowledge and glory, and the same kingdom, sitting at the right hand of power, in the express image and likeness of the Father, mediator for man, being filled with the fullness of the mind of the Father; or, in other words, the Spirit of the Father, which Spirit is shed forth upon all who believe on His name and keep His commandments;

and all those who keep His commandments shall grow up from grace to grace, and become heirs of the heavenly kingdom, and joint heirs with Jesus Christ;

possessing the same mind, being transformed into the same image or likeness, even the express image of Him who fills all in all; being filled with the fullness of His glory, and become one in Him, even as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are one.power over all things, by whom all things were created and made…they are the Father
and the Son: The Father being a personage of spirit, glory, and
power…The Son…a personage of tabernacle…The Only Begotten of the
Father…possessing the same mind with the Father, which mind is the Holy Spirit…”

The above passage from lectures on Faith is making a distinction between the Father who is a “personage of spirit, glory and power”  vs. the “personage of tabernacle” we refer to as the Son, vs. the Holy Spirit which is a intelligent spirit essence that is NOT A PERSONAGE at all.


Mosiah 15 reminds us that that the reason Christ was called the Son is because he dwelt in a tabernacle of flesh-

“And because he dwelleth in flesh he shall be called the Son of God, and having subjected the flesh to the will of the Father”  mosiah 15

Another great key given to us in those passages from Lectures on Faith is that “The Holy Ghost is the Mind of God.”

At first blush that seems problematic because we Latter day Saints have been conditioned to think of the Holy Ghost as the third member of the Godhead who is a spirit personage and is subject to the Father and the Son, and below them in authority, hence, it seems odd that he is the intelligence powering their thoughts.

We learn from the scriptures however, that the term Holy Ghost, like many other terms, such as “soul”, “redemption”, “resurrection, etc. is used in separate and distinct ways in the scriptures depending on context. Which is why the things of God must be discerned by the power of the God.

The term Holy Ghost is sometimes used in modern LDS terminology to refer to a third personage in the Godhead.

And yet Lectures does not acknowledge three personages in the Godhead, clearly, the Holy Ghost, or Holy Spirit, according to Lectures, is the spiritual essence that powers the two personages who constitute the great, matchless, governing, and supreme power over all things. It fills the immensity of space and is in all things and through all things.

According to Lectures on Faith, the following three entities are separate, distinct and different from each other, and yet they form a composite God that is ONE.

Lectures clearly distinguishes the Father and Son as a personage of SPIRIT and a personage of TABERNACLE respectively. It also reveals that the Holy Spirit is not a personage-

  1. The Father is a “personage of spirit, glory and power
  2. The Son is a “personage of tabernacle
  3. The Holy Spirit is a spiritual essence which is the mind of God and which bears witness of the Father and the Son.

The testimony of the Father and the Son as contained in section 76 resulted in the School of the Prophets and the inspired content contained in Lectures on Faith.

So important were the Lectures on Faith that they were originally included in the Book of Commandments and the Doctrine and Covenants.

In fact, they represented the “Doctrine” part of the Doctrine and Covenants.

The Revelations received by Joseph Smith represented the “Covenants” part of the Doctrine and Covenants.

The light and truth contained in the Lectures on Faith was so bright and glorious that the gentiles could not comprehend it and they began to doubt the accuracy of many of the things contained therein.

Shortly after the gentiles rejected the fulness of the gospel, they took the Lectures on Faith out of the D&C because leaders of the church doubted many of the things contained therein.

Technically, the current Doctrine and Covenants should be called “The Covenants” or the “Book of Covenants” because the doctrine that God commanded the Seer and the Spokesman to give to the Saints has been removed.

The Proof is in the Pudding

The vision of the Father and the son documented in section 76 resulted in the school of the Prophets and the Lectures on Faith, which in turn resulted in several of the believing gentiles seeing the Father and the Son for themselves. Shortly thereafter, the heavens closed and the fulness of the gentiles came to an end in the 2nd watch.

Zebedee Coltrin is one of several remarkable High Priests who attended the school of the prophets that gave an account of seeing the Father and the Son while attending the school of the prophets.

His testimony is 100% congruent with the doctrine about the Godhead in the Lectures on faith and in the other sections of the Doctrine and Covenants-

His testimony confirms that the Father and the Son are two different types of personages.

Christ is a personage of tabernacle while the Father is a glorious “personage of spirit, glory and power

His testimony might just be one of the most important corroborating descriptions of the Father and the Son that has been given to our generation because it parrots what Joseph and Sidney described in modern revelation and what they taught in the lectures on Faith-

REMARKS OF ZEBEDEE COLTRIN

Source: Minutes, Salt Lake City School of the Prophets, October 3, 1883.

Presidents John Taylor and George Q. Cannon, Apostles Erastus Snow, Brigham Young, Francis M. Lyman, and Heber J. Grant, and Elders L. John Nuttall and Zebedee Coltrin present.

Brother Zebedee Coltrin said: I believe I am the only living man now in the church who was connected with the School of the Prophets when it was organized in 1833, the year before we went up in Zion’s Camp.

President Taylor: How many were then connected with the School at that time?

Brother Coltrin: When the Word of Wisdom [D&C 89] was first presented by the Prophet Joseph (as he came out of the translating room) and was read to the School, there were twenty out of the twenty-one who used tobacco and they all immediately threw their tobacco and pies into the fire.

There were members as follows: Joseph Smith, Hyrum Smith, William Smith, Frederick G. Williams, Orson Hyde (who had the charge of the school), Zebedee Coltrin, Sylvester Smith, Joseph Smith, Sr., Levi Hancock, Martin Harris, Sidney Rigdon, Newel K. Whitney, Samuel H. Smith, John Murdock, Lyman Johnson and Ezra Thayer.

The salutation as written in the Doctrine and Covenants [D&C 88:136-141] was carried out at that time, and at every meeting, and the washing of feet was attended to, the sacrament was also administered at times when Joseph appointed, after the ancient order; that is, warm bread to break easy was provided and broken into pieces as large as my fist and each person had a glass of wine and sat and ate the bread and drank the wine; and Joseph said that was the way that Jesus and his disciples partook of the bread and wine. And this was the order of the church anciently and until the church went into darkness. Every time we were called together to attend to any business, we came together in the morning about sunrise, fasting and partook of the sacrament each time, and before going to school we washed ourselves and put on clean linen.

At one of these meetings after the organization of the school, (the school being organized_ on the 23rd of January, 1833, when we were all together, Joseph having given instructions, and while engaged in silent prayer, kneeling, with our hands uplifted each one praying in silence, no one whispered above his breath, a personage walked through the room from east to west, and Joseph asked if we saw him. I saw him and suppose the others did and Joseph answered that is Jesus, the Son of God…. Afterward Joseph told us to resume our former position in prayer, which we did. Another person came through; he was surrounded as with a flame of fire. He (Brother Coltrin) experienced a sensation that it might destroy the tabernacle as it was of consuming fire of great brightness. The Prophet Joseph said this was the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

I saw Him.

When asked about the kind of clothing the Father had on, Brother Coltrin said: I did not discover his clothing for he was surrounded as with a flame of fire, which was so brilliant that I could not discover anything else but his person.

I saw his hands, his legs, his feet, his eyes, nose, mouth, head and body in the shape and form of a perfect man. He sat in a chair as a man would sit in a chair, but this appearance was so grand and overwhelming that it seemed I should melt down in his presence, and the sensation was so powerful that it thrilled through my whole system and I felt it in the marrow of my bones.

The Prophet Joseph said: Brethren, now you are prepared to be the apostles of Jesus Christ, for you have seen both the Father and the Son and know that they exist and that they are two separate personages.

From the account of brother Coltrin it is obvious that the Father is a personage of spirit power and glory while the Son is a personage of tabernacle.

These two separate personages make up one God in conjunction with the Holy Spirit.

The Son had been created in the same image of God the Father.

Both of them have the same mind, it is the Holy Spirit which is in all things and through all things.

These three form a composite entity which the scriptures refer to as the one eternal God.

This composite entity makes up the only true God that is the creator of all things!

It appears, from what we have covered, that Christ is a “who” personage of tabernacle that resides in the bosom of the Father. The Father is a “who” personage of spirit that resided in the bosom of eternity.

Both can manifest themselves to men.

The Holy Spirit/Holy Ghost is the “what”, intelligent light force that is the mind of both the father and the Son. It empowers and actuates and bears witness of them both.

It is in all things and through all things

Why is this important?

Because according to section 93, we must understand who and what God is, in order to properly worship him.

In my own personal experience, I have found that if I ponder the truths about the Godhead that have been revealed in the TESTIMONY of the FATHER and the SON given by the prophet and the Seer as contained in section 76, other sections of the D&C, their associated teachings in Lectures on Faith and the testimony of those who have also seen the Father and the Son, that my prayers seem to have much more power.

We are to pray to the Father, in the name of the Son, by the power of the Holy Ghost.

Although it is futile to explain infinite concepts in finite terms, the above graphic was created in an effort to resemble the mystical relationship between the three entities that comprise the Godhead as revealed by Joseph, Sidney and Zebedee.

It may well be that the term “throne” is a term representing the power, authority and intelligence.

I believe that if you picture the Father as a personage of Spirit, glory and power that is plugged into the light force that is in all things and through all things, you will be more capable of exercising enough faith to believe that God is omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent.

But wait…

If you are a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, you are probably feeling a little conflicted in your mind right now after reading the above descriptions of the Godhead.

Why?

Because you have been taught all your life that-

“The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s..”

That passage from section 130 of the D&C has probably had a profound effect on your perspective of God.

The above passage contradicts the testimony of Joseph, Sidney, Zebedee, Lectures on Faith and modern revelation.

So how did this conflicting doctrine it get into the scriptures, when was it put there and who put it there?

When was the D&C defiled with the above passage?

The reminisced statements of Joseph Smith were put into the D&C in 1876 by Orson Pratt under the direction of Brigham Young.

These statements were never considered to be a revelation before that.

Those statements were taken from a journal entry. It was supposedly entered into the journal two days after the date that Joseph Smith gave some instructions at a friends house.

The original entry is in the hand writing of Williard Richards who apparently was not even present when the remarks were given.

Secondly, Joseph never made public mention of those remarks in a sermon and in fact was killed shortly after these statements were supposedly made.

Historians tell us that the original version of the manuscript is different than what shows up in the D&C, with verses 10, 11, 16, and 17 being added at later times.

Verses 9 and 14 are entirely different in the original than what is in the D&C.

It is now understood that the instructions given by Joseph Smith as recorded in section 130 is a composite of statements he made on two  separate occasions.

We simply don’t know how historically accurate the alleged statements from Joseph Smith are.

We know that under the direction of Brigham Young and the members of the 12 that chose to follow him, much of the journal entries that make up the current sanitized history of the church were doctored up. Some events were deleted while others were revised.

I don’t pretend to know if Joseph really made those statements or not.

If he did, he was contradicting what he had taught a decade earlier.

The biggest concern of course is not whether Joseph actually stated those things.

The concern is whether those things are true.

The next question is, why did Brigham and Orson want to canonize the doctrine that the Father has a body of flesh and bones?

Was it to justify another doctrine they had been teaching?

Mary was not a Virgin?

Brigham, Orson and others of the Masonic 12 apostles had rejected the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception and the Virgin Birth that is taught in the New Testament.

Despite the fact that Joseph Smith validated the doctrine of the virgin birth contained in the New Testament using both the Book of Mormon and the JST, Brigham and Orson apparently didn’t get the memo.

They taught that the Father came to earth in a physical body and had carnal sexual intercourse with Mary.

That, they pontificated, is how the baby Jesus was conceived. The biblical and Book of Mormon accounts of her being overshadowed by the Holy Spirit apparently seemed a little to impractical to them.

Their teaching lacked credibility in light of what the Lectures on Faith and the scriptures taught about the Father being a personage of spirit, so they needed to canonize a statement, allegedly from Joseph Smith that would back them up.

Lets return to the verse in question that was canonized into scripture by Brigham and Orson.

The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of spirit, were it not so, the Holy Ghost could not dwell in us

WOW!

Two false doctrines contained in two short verses.

The Father has a body of flesh and bones?

Not according to the original doctrines of the restoration

The Holy Ghost is a personage of spirit?

Not according to the original doctrines of the restoration!

Again, the alleged statements now contained in section 130 were supposedly made by Joseph Smith at a friends house in 1843.

They were made after Hyrum was called to be the Prophet Seer and Revelator of the Church and Joseph publicly acknowledged in a general conference that he was no longer acting as the prophet of the church.

The alleged statements were made after the gentiles had rejected the fullness of the gospel

The alleged statements were made after the church had been rejected with its dead.

Most importantly, the new doctrines contradicted the testimony of Joseph, Sidney Zebedee and the four standard works.

Which doctrine pertaining to the Godhead should we believe?

The one taught by the scriptures and by Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon and Zebedee Coltin who all were personally transfigured and saw the Father and the Son, or the teachings of Brigham Young, someone who openly admitted that he had never seen God and did not expect to until after he died.

Joseph Smith clearly believed in the miraculous conception and the doctrine of the Virgin Birth, as taught in the New Testament, the inspired version and the Book of Mormon.

Nevertheless, Brigham, Orson and company were apparently a little too wise to believe such nonsense.

The doctrine they chose to believe and teach required a God with a physical tabernacle, hence, section 130.

In a previous post I referred to the Gospel of Brigham Young.

Indeed, Brigham Young introduced numerous doctrines that contradicted the original doctrines taught by Joseph Smith.

This may sound strange to you because TPTB have done an incredible job of giving the general perception that the doctrines of Brigham were congruent with the doctrines taught by Joseph.

However, a close analysis will show that they were not harmonious.

Just to name a few-

The Gospel according to Brigham Young

  • Joseph taught that a prophet is only speaking as a prophet when the spirit of prophecy descends upon him and that the person was otherwise giving their personal opinion. Brigham taught that everything in all his sermons were worthy of being called scripture.
  • Joseph accepted the literal interpretation of the creation story, with Adam being created from the dust of the earth. He even provided other books of scripture to verify it. Brigham taught that the creation story in Genesis was a fairytale and that Adam was transported to this earth as a resurrected being.
  • Joseph taught that the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible would be an integral part of Gospel Law and needed to be published to the world before Zion could be redeemed but Brigham scoffed at the importance of the inspired version and taught that the King James version of the Bible was sufficient for the Saints.
  • Joseph taught the literal New Testament account that Mary conceived the baby Jesus as a virgin as a result of the Holy Spirit overshadowing her. Brigham and Orson taught that the Father descended in a physical body and had carnal sexual intercourse with her.
  • Joseph taught that the Father was a personage of Spirit. Brigham, using the alleged words of Joseph, taught that the Father is a personage of tabernacle.
  • Joseph taught that the Holy Spirit is the mind of the God and not a personage of spirit. Brigham taught that the Holy Ghost is a personage of spirit.
  • Joseph taught that Christ created Adam. Brigham taught that Adam was the father of Christ.
  • Joseph taught that it was contrary to gospel law to take a persons life. He openly worried that some of his enemies might die in their sins before they had the opportunity to repent. Brigham, on the other hand, taught that if someone was evil, it was a merciful act under his version of the law of blood atonement to send them on their way.
  • Joseph taught that God knows all things and that there is not anything that he does not know. In fact he taught that it is impossible to have enough faith to be saved if you did not believe that God knows all things… and could make a mistake. Brigham taught that God does not know all things and that God is always learning new things.

Let me acknowledge that the above teachings of Joseph were all documented during the early period of church history when the fullness of the Gentiles was taking place… during the 3 1/2 years that the fulness of the gospel was being offered to the gentiles.

There are lots a apocryphal accounts of statements from Joseph in the later Nauvoo years that seem to contradict some of these early doctrines in Lectures in faith.

Clearly, the scriptures and the Holy Ghost must be the foundational guide as we sift through the doctrinal maze of the restoration movement.

The atonement statute and scapegoat doctrine in the later years may have had a part to play in how Joseph handed the idolatrous Saints over to the God they wanted to worship.

Let me apologize to those of you who accept Brigham Young as a Prophet Seer and Revelator and find him to be a credible gospel scholar, I am sure these statements are offensive to you, but time is short.

I believe the servants are going to return shortly and they are not going to mince words. They will boldly declare the TRUTHS found in the foundational doctrines of the kingdom.

They will bear the last testimony.

They will teach the true nature of the Godhead.

It is important to understand the truths taught about each of the three entities discussed, but then, as the scripture continually remind us, we must remember that these three ARE ONE GOD.

If we think of these three entities as a composite God, then all of the scriptures about God that appeared to contradict each other are now congruent.

God is a spirit.

God did come down and take on flesh in the form of the Son.

The father dwells in the tabernacle of the Son just as the tabernacle of the Son dwells in the spiritual dimension of the Father.

The Father dwells in all of our tabernacles, indeed, as one of the Book of Mormon prophets noted, the “great spirit” that created the earth also dwells in men-

And a portion of that Spirit dwelleth in me, which giveth me knowledge, and also power according to my faith and desires which are in God.

And yet section 130 dismisses the word of this Book of Mormon prophet by telling us that “the idea that the Father and the Son dwell in a man’s heart is an old sectarian notion

I guess one of the reasons that Brigham spent very little time reading and expounding the doctrines in the D&C and Book of Mormon is because he felt they were full of old sectarian notions.

As stated earlier in this post, God “comprehendeth all things, and all things are before him, and all things are round about him; and he is above all things, and in all things, and is through all things, and is round about all things; and all things are by him, and of him, even God, forever and ever.”

The Servants will return and teach these great foundational truths again.

They will seal up the TESTIMONY of the Father and the Son for those who will accept it.

Those who reject their testimony, will be rejecting the Lords Servants and the Marvelous Work and will not be included in the upcoming true endowment and in seeing the Face of God.

VERILY, thus saith the Lord: It shall come to pass that every soul who forsaketh his sins and cometh unto me, and calleth on my name, and obeyeth my voice, and keepeth my commandments, shall see my face and know that I am

And that I am the true light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world;

And that I am in the Father, and the Father in me, and the Father and I are one—

The Father because he gave me of his fulness, [by receiving the same mind and power of the Holy Spirit?] and the Son because I was in the world and made flesh my tabernacle, [It is his tabernacle of flesh that distinguishes him from the Father!] and dwelt among the sons of men.

I was in the world and received of my Father, and the works of him were plainly manifest.” (93:1-5)

“1  AND now Abinadi said unto them: I would that ye should understand that God himself shall come down among the children of men, and shall redeem his people.
2  And because he dwelleth in flesh he shall be called the Son of God, and having subjected the flesh to the will of the Father, being the Father and the Son—
3  The Father, because he was conceived by the power of God; and the Son, because of the flesh; thus becoming the Father and Son— Mosiah 15
4  And they are one God, yea, the very Eternal Father of heaven and of earth.


Are You Sure You Are A Gentile- Part Five

November 21, 2010

In the last two parts of this series, we used the prophecy given by Christ in 3rd Nephi and a prophecy by Moroni in conjunction with the grafting in of the branches scenario described in the parable contained in Jacob to show the three part sequence of events-

1- The Gentiles received the fulness of the Gospel at the time the fullness of the priesthood was revealed at the special conference at the Morley Farm which brought in the fulness of the Gentiles as prophesied by Moroni when he visited Joseph Smith.

Shortly after that, they stumbled and rejected the fulness of the priesthood and the fullness of the gospel bringing the times of the Gentiles to an end as was prophesied by Christ.

2- God remembers his covenant with the House of Israel and takes the gospel from the Gentiles to the House of Israel. Section 110 documents the restoration of the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham and the restoration of the keys of the gathering of Israel. This was all prophesied by Christ when he said God would remember his covenant with Abraham and the house of Israel.

3- Eventually, the Marvelous Work begins and the servants return with the priesthood keys again. At that time, a portion of the Gentiles Repent

Dual Fulfillment of Prophecy

One of the things one needs to know about prophecy is that virtually all prophesies have a dual fulfillment- A shadow fulfillment and a literal fulfillment. (Types and Shadows)

The scenario of the gentiles first getting the gospel followed by the house of Israel getting the gospel takes place both in the 2nd watch and also the 3rd watch.

The difference is that in the 2nd watch the gentiles and the house of Israel both stumble after getting it. In the 3rd watch there is a righteous remnant in both groups that repent and receives the fulness.


A great key that is given having to do with this prophecy is in understanding the following distinction:

In the 2nd watch the gentiles get the gospel delivered to them in WORD.

In the 3rd watch they get the gospel delivered in WORD and in POWER and in VERY
DEED.

The word power is pretty much self explanatory.

Although there were a few brief glimpses of partial power during the LDS restoration movement, there is a stark difference between those events and many of the amazing miracles and the gospel power that took place in the Book of Mormon and New Testament churches. The LDS restoration movement that took place four generations ago was not a work of POWER.

The word DEED is worthy of evaluating in closer scrutiny as well.

Lets check out the 1828 Websters-

deed

DEED, n.

1. That which is done, acted or effected; an act; a fact; a word of extensive application, including whatever is done, good or bad, great or small.

And Joseph said to them, what deed is this which ye have done? Gen. x1iv.

We receive the due reward of our deeds. Luke xxv.

2. Exploit; achievement; illustrious act.

Whose deeds some nobler poem shall adorn.

3. Power of action; agency.

With will and deed created free.

4. A writing containing some contract or agreement, and the evidence of its execution; particularly, an instrument on paper or parchment, conveying real estate to a purchaser or donee. This instrument must be executed, and the execution attested, in the manner prescribed by law.

As you can see, the final great work is very different from the laying of the foundation of the great work in that it comes forth not only in word, but also in POWER and DEED.

Let us now take a look at 1st Nephi 14.

The majority of the time, the Book of Mormon skips right over the LDS foundation movement when the gentiles stumbled and goes right to the Marvelous Work and a Wonder in the 3rd watch-

1 And it shall come to pass, that if the Gentiles shall hearken unto the Lamb of God in that day that he shall manifest himself unto them in word, and also in power, in very deed, unto the taking away of their stumbling blocks

2 And harden not their hearts against the Lamb of God, they shall be numbered among the seed of thy father; yea, they shall be numbered among the house of Israel; and they shall be a blessed people upon the promised land forever; they shall be no more brought down into captivity; and the house of Israel shall no more be confounded.

Did you catch that?

THAT DAY” that is being spoken of is the Marvelous Work and a Wonder in the 3rd Watch. How do we know? Because the Marvelous Work is the time when the Lamb of God shall manifest himself to the Gentiles, not only in WORD, but also in POWER and VERY DEED!

Four generations ago the restored church was offered the fulness of the gospel but they only received it in word, they, as a collective group, could not receive it in power and in deed.

They could only embrace it in word and with words.

This is why the Lord chastened the Saints and warned them that they would remain under condemnation until they remembered the New and Everlasting Covenant, the Book of Mormon and the revelations received by Joseph Smith…”not only to say, but to do according to that which I have written—”

Lip service doesn’t cut it.

Stating in a temple ceremony that you are willing to consecrate everything is not the same as consecrating everything!

Our generation is currently living during the time when we only have the WORDS in scripture that describe the fullness of the gospel and we use words to give lip service about our willingness to live it!

We don’t have POWER. The fulness of the gospel is not being manifest among us in VERY DEED.

We are the ones that need to have our stumbling blocks removed!

Our stumbling blocks will be taken away when the Marvelous Work is ushered in IF WE ARE AMONG THE RIGHTEOUS PORTION OF THE GENTILES AND HOUSE OF ISRAEL THAT REPENT!

We are informed that the one mighty and strong is characterized as one who does much good not only in WORD but also in DEED… even in POWER by doing MIGHTY WORKS.

And there shall rise up one mighty among them, who shall do much good, both in word and in deed, being an instrument in the hands of God, with exceeding faith, to work mighty wonders, and do that thing which is great in the sight of God, unto the bringing to pass much restoration unto the house of Israel, and unto the seed of thy brethren.”  2nd ne 3:24

Clearly the restoration being spoken of in the above verses is a future restoration.

Ether chapter five speaks of the “three witnesses” and yet it is clearly speaking about the testimony of the witnesses during the marvelous work in the 3rd watch because the testimony of the three witnesses and the work comes forth in POWER, not just in WORD!

1 And now I, Moroni, have written the words which were commanded me, according to my memory; and I have told you the things which I have sealed up; therefore touch them not in order that ye may translate; for that thing is forbidden you, except by and by it shall be wisdom in God.

2 And behold, ye may be privileged that ye may show the plates unto those who shall assist to bring forth this work;

3 And unto three shall they be shown by the power of God; wherefore they shall know of a surety that these things are true.

4 And in the mouth of three witnesses shall these things be established; and the testimony of three, and this work, in the which shall be shown forth the power of God and also his word, of which the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost bear record—and all this shall stand as a testimony against the world at the last day.

5 And if it so be that they repent and come unto the Father in the name of Jesus, they shall be received into the kingdom of God.

6 And now, if I have no authority for these things, judge ye; for ye shall know that I have authority when ye shall see me, and we shall stand before God at the last day. Amen.

The first ministry of Joseph Smith was to bring forth the word and lay the foundation for when the work of the Lord would come forth in power. His second commission with be a time of power.

The gentiles stumbled during the laying of the foundation of the great work and then God remembered the covenant he had with the house of Israel.

Ok now, lets bring this thing full circle and get back to our mysterious character that we began this series with, James Jesse Strang.

It is a shocking fact that many and according to some, the vast majority of the leaders of the church in Nauvoo initially chose to follow this new convert to Mormonism that was virtually unknown in the church in Nauvoo.. He joined the church in about February of 1844, the same year Joseph was martyred..


How likely is it that Joseph Smith would commission a brand new member of the Church to be his successor?

Strang claimed to be the sole legitimate continuation of the Church of Christ founded by Joseph Smith, Jr. in 1830—

Strang reigned for six years as the crowned “king” of an ecclesiastical monarchy that he established on Beaver Island in the U.S. state of Michigan. Building an organization that eventually rivaled Young’s in Utah, Strang gained nearly 12,000 adherents prior to his murder in 1856, which brought down his kingdom and all but extinguished his sect.

In addition to his ecclesiastical calling, Strang served one full term and part of a second as a member of the Michigan House of Representatives, and assisted in the organization of Manitou County. He was also at various times an attorney, educator, temperance lecturer, newspaper editor, Baptist minister, correspondent for the New York Tribune, and amateur scientist. (excerpt taken from wiki)

As previously mentioned, some historians claim that more saints in Nauvoo followed Strang than Brigham young.

It is, in my opinion, even more significant to note that very possibly a greater majority of the original foundational Saints from the Kirtland era followed Strang than Brigham Young.

In addition to the entire remaining members of the Smith Family, including apostle William Smith, people like William Marks, George Miller, William E. McLellin, William Cowdery, George Adams, Martin Harris, Jared Carter, John E Page, Ezra Thayer chose to follow Strang.

About 150 famous people who lived beside Joseph Smith during the early Kirtland years, chose to follow Strang. These people personally knew Joseph Smith and the revelations he brought forth much better than the new converts coming form foreign lands. They chose to follow James Strang instead of Brigham Young and the 12..

The Significance of James Strang

Obviously, the significance of the impact of James Strang and how so many of the gentiles resonated with him over the quorum of the 12 is simply an indicator of how the Gentiles and the House of Israel parted ways during the general time frame that the Gentiles who had rejected the fullness, were were now taking to the preparatory gospel to the House of Israel.

Regarding Strang’s succession claims, one only need read the letter from Joseph Smith to Strang to see that it makes no claims regarding priesthood succession.

It said nothing about handing the keys of the kingdom over to a new president of the church.

It was simply a response to James Strang’s request to plant a stake of Zion in Wisconsin.

At best, Strang was called to be the president of a stake of Zion… and not even the center stake.

Technically, from a doctrinal point of view, it seems impossible to me, to plant a legitimate stake of Zion somewhere in Gods vineyard until after the center of Zion has been established or is at least in the process of being established with an organized church there that is attempting consecration.

In short, you cannot be establishing new stakes of Zion when the Saints had been rejected as a Church and failed to establish Zion.

Kirtland was never referred to as a stake of Zion until AFTER the Saints began settling in Jackson County and the land was dedicated, even though Kirtland was established first.

After revealing Jackson County as the center place of Zion and Kirtland as the latter day Jerusalem that was to be a stake of Zion, the Lord later revealed that no additional stakes would actually be valid until AFTER the pure in heart return to claim their inheritances and build up the waste places of the center stake of Zion.

Only after there is no more room in the center stake of Zion will the Lord appoint new stakes.

Zion shall not be moved out of her place, notwithstanding her children are scattered. They that remain, and are pure in heart, shall return, and come to their inheritances, they and their children, with songs of everlasting joy, to build up the waste places of Zion—

And all these things that the prophets might be fulfilled.

And, behold, there is none other place appointed than that which I have appointed; neither shall there be any other place appointed than that which I have appointed, for the work of the gathering of my saints—

Until the day cometh when there is found no more room for them; and then I have other places which I will appoint unto them, and they shall be called stakes, for the curtains or the strength of Zion.” (section 101)

That is why the Lord referred to Nauvoo as the cornerstone of Zion but made it perfectly clear that the Saints were on probation and that Zion could not proceed forth from the designated cornerstone of Zion and usher in the dispensation of the fulness of times until the saints repented of their abominations and the Nauvoo Temple was completed.

That makes the establishing of additional “stakes” outside the boundaries of Zion, after the Jackson period, somewhat problematic to me.

It also makes the calling of James Strang to establish a new stake somewhat problematic to begin with. The same goes for Lyman Wight.

Secondly, we must keep in mind that the Lord had already fulfilled the succession prophecy in section 43 and replaced Joseph Smith with his brother Hyrum as his successor to be the prophet seer and revelator of the church.

See section 124 and the Nauvoo discourse provided in previous posts wherein Joseph announced that Hyrum was now the sole prophet of the church and that Joseph would not prophesy any more.

That makes the petition from Strang to Joseph somewhat irrelevant without the intervention or endorsement of Hyrum.

The replacement of Joseph with Hyrum as the prophet seer and revelator of the church and Joseph’s own admission in a general conference that he would not prophesy anymore, is not only validated by historical data, additionally, Joseph acknowledges in the letter to Strang that after his personal inclination to reject the request by Strang, it was actually Hyrum who overruled his rejection of the request and said that Strang should be allowed to plant a stake in Zion.

Clearly Hyrum was attempting to act as the Presiding Officer of the Church per his calling in section 124.

The Strang letter provides yet another witness that the succession prophecy in section 43:3-4 was fulfilled by the replacement of Joseph Smith with Hyrum Smith. Yet the murder of Hyrum along with Joseph created a huge dilemma. ( I might interject here that Isaiah provided commentary regarding this time period “…the seers hath he covered because of your iniquity..” 2 Ne. 27: 5)

Despite the dichotomies created by this event, most historians seem to agree that the letter of appointment does appear to be authentic as far as being signed by Joseph Smith.

For that reason, I believe the serious seeker of truth must take the letter seriously enough to study and ponder its contents to see what was going on in the mind of the folks and for providing greater context for the events of this time period.

Nevertheless, the church was in a state of complete apostasy before the Saints ever got to Nauvoo.

The Lord had informed the Saints that the fullness of the priesthood had been lost and that the church would be rejected with their dead if they failed to repent, refuse to be moved out of their place and complete the temple.

Most scholars concur that the letter appears to be authentic. And I don’t doubt it.

It probably was written by Joseph and it is consistent with the following prophecy from Joseph-

“I prophecy that the day will come when you will say Oh that we had given heed… the people will not hearken nor hear and bondage, death and destruction are close at our heels. The kingdom will not be broken up but we shall be scattered and driven, gathered again and then dispersed , reestablished & driven abroad and so on until the Ancient of days shall sit and the kingdom and power thereof shall be given to the Saints and they shall possess it forever and
ever…” (words of Joseph pg 67)

Fascinating.

Joseph prophesied that before the kingdom would be given to the Saints, they would first be scattered, driven, gathered again, reestablished, etc.

Is that not exactly what happened to the Latter day Saints following the succession crisis?

Were they not scattered seven different ways and eventually establishing wards and branches in all the kingdoms of the earth according to the prophecy of Moses?


(The above graphic of the seven main factions of the Latter day Saints that scattered in different directions at the time of the succession crisis is provided by wikipedia. I simply numbered them to illustrate how it seems to match the prophecy of Moses. If I were creating the chart, I would be tempted to count the Strangites and the RLDS church as on group and I would insert the Lyman Wight group.)

After giving the prophecy Joseph then helped the saints to fulfill the prophecy of Moses and to flee seven different ways by commissioning multiple people to lead the Saints.

The Saints did flee and scatter with a little help from Joseph.

The purpose of providing information about James Strang and the huge role he played in leading away the majority of the remaining gentiles is obviously not to imply that I believe that he was the legitimate successor of Joseph Smith.

Clearly he was not.

When we study the lives and events surrounding people like David Whitmer and James Strang in light of prophecy, several things begin to materialized-

  • The gentiles received and rejected the fullness of the gospel between June of 1831 and late 1834
  • The saints were rejected as a church with their dead in Nauvoo for failing to complete the temple.
  • The restoration of the gospel of Abraham and the keys to gather Israel marked the time that God remembered his covenant with the House of Israel and began grafting in the those branches into the mother tree. That tribal organization, the preparatory gospel and the Aaronic priesthood was to remain and play an important part when God remembered his covenant with Abraham and the House of Israel and in the ushering in of the Marvelous Work
  • The converts coming to Nauvoo and later to Utah from foreign lands are referred to as the House of Israel in the Book of Mormon, not as Gentiles.

  • The sanitized version of the LDS church history has largely been manipulated to down play how many of the Nauvoo Saints chose to not follow Brigham Young and the quorum of the 12.

  • The vast majority of the early American Gentile converts to Mormonism did not stay with the body of saints that went to Utah. The Utah Saints were mainly composed of illiterate farmers and laborers from Great Britain.

Although many of us that think we are gentiles may be surprised to find out that we are of the House of Israel and visa versa. At the end of the day it really doesn’t matter because the Book of Mormon informs us that there will be some from both groups who repent and receive the greater things.

Nevertheless, it does provide something interesting to consider.

In my personal case, my father was a descendant of Brigham Young through his mother, who would be defined as a gentile according to my interpretation of the Book of Mormon. And yet others on his father’s side came to America from foreign lands after 1836 as a result of the missionary effort.

My mother on the other hand comes from Edward Bunker who would probably be classified as a gentile, but she also is a descendant of from Miles Romney. He and his wife Elizabeth heard Orson Hyde preaching on a street corner in 1837 and were baptized in 1839. They left England in 1841 to join the Saints in Nauvoo.

The family left England in 1841 to gather with the Saints in Nauvoo.

It appears that the Romneys would be classified as House of Israel.

So what would the Book of Mormon classify me as, a Gentile or House of Israel?

It is interesting to note that all religious denominations of Judaism agree that a person may be a Jew either by birth based on Leviticus 24:10. A Jew or member of the House of Israel is a person born to a Jewish mother. (or who is a convert to Judaism)

Traditionally, Jewish status passes through the mother, not the father

Happily, the book of Mormon informs us that there will be some among both the Gentiles and the House of Israel that repent when the Marvelous Work begins in the 3rd watch.

The only thing that matters is whether we are ready to repent and accept the fullness of the gospel when the second great work takes place.


To be continued


A Little Zion Geography Trivia

November 19, 2010

I love taking the scriptures literally during the 95%+ time they are intended to be taken literally.

I also love meshing the ancient prophecies with modern prophecies and then connecting the dots to see what things have happened and are happening around us that may not be obvious to the casual observer.

I guess there is a part of me that gets a little satisfaction out of antagonizing people and watching them squirm when a little too much disruptive information is presented to them. This is one of the many flaws I really need to work on. Unfortunately, there are so many that this particular one is not real high on the list of things I need to repent of.

There has been in the church, a growing tension regarding Book of Mormon geography.

Some believe the geography relative to the descendants of Lehi and the events that took place in the Book of Mormon took place in Central or South America.

The majority of the highly educated seem to believe this.

I believe most main stream members of the church have been successfully indoctrinated by the wise and learned in Mormonism to believe that South and Central America is the place  where the events in the Book of Mormon took place.

Such people as Wayne May, the publisher of the Ancient American, a Wisconsin-based magazine and Rod Meldrum  (http://www.bookofmormonevidence.org/ ) the guiding force behind the FIRM Foundation, are considered by many to be heretics, espousing the North America theory.

It is an unfortunate dichotomy that many of the most passionate people with an important story to tell end up needing or wanting to make a profitable enterprise out of their passions. Such has the potential of creating a conflict of interest.

Oh… the love of money!

Several years ago I sent this article entiled “A Mystical Look at the LDS Restoration Movement” to Rod, just as he was in the early part of establishing what has become known as the FIRM foundation.

His response was one of interest and excitement and he commented on how impressed he was with the many references that were provided with my hypothesis.

I could tell the theological part of it was way over his head.

He said he wanted to study it further and get back to me.

I suspect he ran it past his buddy and fellow board member of his new project, Hartman Rector Jr., to get his stamp of approval on some of the disruptive and controversial content provided therein.

Needless to say, I never heard back from Rod…

What I have learned over the years is that many people with an agenda will not cross the line of perceived credibility and politically correct diplomacy.

There is huge social and religious pressure to not cross over the line into too much controversy and to not offend the sensibilities of mainstream members and/or the brethren. That goal is often higher up on the list of priorities than digging deep, deep down to discover and expose the truth at all costs regardless of the collateral damage done to the dearly beloved false traditions of our fathers.

I know of prophecy scholars for example who never acknowledge the latter day apostasy in their writings because they don’t want to alienate members of the church and they don’t want to get in trouble with the brethren.

The problem, of course, is that a prophecy scholar that cannot introduce and expose the latter day apostasy is about as useful as a neutered stud if breeding is the goal.

You simply cannot begin to provide a credible discourse on end times events without understanding and exposing the latter day apostasy, virtually all of the prophecy scriptures are directly or indirectly related to the topic however disruptive and controversial it may be.

And by the way…

If there is no latter day apostasy, there is no need for a last restoration or “Marvelous Work”.

If there has been a latter day apostasy, another restoration is mandatory, or we have no hope.

Anyway… enough blabbering for now, the picture below is an illustration of the primary cubed geography of where the New Jerusalem will be located based on Jackson County/ Independence being the center place (http://scriptures.lds.org/en/dc/57/3#3 )and Nauvoo being the cornerstone. (D&C 124: 2, 23, 60, 131.)

I have no idea how or if this relates to the description and dimensions of the holy city provided in Rev 21

Just a little food for thought.

I cannot remember if I have provided this before… if I have … please disregard, dementia is a terrible thing.


Are You Sure You Are A Gentile? Part Four

November 13, 2010

Having used the prophecy of Moroni to clarify that a righteous portion of the Gentiles do ultimately repent prior to the second coming of the Lord in glory, let us now go back to the prophecy of Christ in 3rd Nephi.

We shall see that Christ was actually giving a three part sequence in his prophecy, first the Gentiles will reject the gospel, secondly, the fullness of the gospel will be taken from them and the gospel will be taken to the house of Israel… but only the knowledge of the fullness of the gospel will be given to the House of Israel as they are being grafted in.

Third and lastly, a portion of the believing gentiles will repent and become clean before the Lord

As you can see, the prophecy of Christ in 3rd Nephi is totally consistent with the prophecy of Moroni. A portion of believing gentiles will repent when the Marvelous Work commences.

Why is it that Moroni assures us that the gentiles will categorically repent and yet Christ says IF the gentiles repent?

It is because the context of Moroni’s remarks was only referring to the repentant believing gentiles. They, will repent.

Christ was making a broader declaration concerning all of the gentiles in the 3rd watch, realizing that some would repent while others would not when the marvelous work is ushered it.

He understood that the vast majority of the gentiles will reject the gospel when the final restoration takes place. Only a small portion of the gentiles will repent.

The Secret Appearance of Christ,
Moses, Elias and Elijah

The Secret Restoration of the Dispensation
of the Gospel of Abraham

Yes, I believe that Christ’s three part prophecy which is depicted in the image above, is related to the secret appearance of Christ and ministering angels to Joseph and Oliver in the Kirtland Temple.

God was remembering his covenant with the House of Israel when he sent messengers to restore the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham and the keys of gathering Israel.

The restoration of the gospel of Abraham was done secretly allowing a great delusion to take place while resulting in the preparatory gospel being taken to the House of Israel.

This began the grafting in of the House of Israel to the restored gentile church!’

The prophet Mormon also provides an additional witness that just after the Lamanites are scattered by the gentiles, the Lord will remember his covenant with Abraham-

But behold, it shall come to pass that they shall be driven and scattered by the Gentiles; and AFTER they have been driven and scattered by the gentiles, behold, then will the Lord remember the covenant which he made unto Abraham and unto all the house of Israel” (Mormon 5)

The Trail of Tears and related events having to do with the scattering of the Lamanites by the Gentiles began in 1831.

In 1836 Elias came to the Kirtland Temple to restore the “Gospel of Abraham” and Moses came to restore the “keys of the gathering of Israel”.

Can this possibly be a coincidence?

Was God not remembering his covenant with Abraham and with the house of Israel?

Would the real Gentiles please stand up?

I am suggesting that the originating American gentiles from pilgrim stock from England that were instrumental in laying the foundation of the church are not from the same branch of Israel as those who began converting to the church and migrating to America from Great Britain and other foreign lands a decade later during the Nauvoo era.

The American Gentiles from pilgrim stock were primarily from Joseph/Ephraim.

Yet Joseph smith referred to the new converts from foreign lands as the “outcasts of Israel” and the “dispersed of Judah“.

One could make a strong argument that the new converts migrating to Nauvoo from foreign lands from which most current latter days saints descend from, are not even technically referred to as gentiles in the Book of Mormon based on the Saviors statement in 3rd Nephi.

He continued to refer to them as the house of Israel even though they had mingled among the gentiles nations.

Perhaps that is why so many Caucasian members of the church innately despise the gentile once they begin to dig deep into the scriptures even though they falsely assume themselves to be one.

I am suggesting that the early and prominent gentile players in the restoration movement such as the Whitmer family, the Cowdery family, the Luke Johnson family and hundreds of other gentiles descending from pilgrim stock from England, were the gentiles that the Book of Mormon refers to.

They embraced the Book of Mormon but ultimately left the church during the Kirtland, Jackson, Far West and Nauvoo era’s over things pertaining to the fulness.

David Whitmer and Oliver Cowdery personify the early originating gentile members of the church.

They continued to bear testimony of the Book of Mormon and of Jesus Christ, but they and the rest of their American gentile brethren stumbled and just couldn’t accept the fullness of the higher light at that particular time.

The baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost were not being manifest abundantly during those trying years.

David Whitmer eventually rejected his own missionary work.

He essentially renounced the validity of the baptisms of tens of thousands of LDS converts that were brought into the church as the direct or indirect result of his missionary efforts and the testimony above his name in the opening cover of the Book of Mormon to this very day.

He rejected his own calling as an apostle.

He rejected the calling of the quorum of the twelve apostles that he and Oliver Cowdery had been instrumental in choosing and ordaining.

He rejected the restoration of the Melchizedek priesthood and his own ordination as a high priest.

It was because of his actions and hundreds of others of his gentile brethren, that the Lord announced in section 124 that the fullness of the priesthood had been taken away from the gentiles!

Whitmer is one of the Great men of the Kingdom

Now then, have I been unreasonably hard on brother Whitmer and his fellow gentiles that rejected the fullness in this series?

Not at all.

Why?

Because what I am saying is the truth. I am simply quoting the prophecies of Jesus Christ and acknowledging their fulfillment regarding the preliminary rejection of the fullness of the Gospel by the Gentiles.

Furthermore, I am much kinder in my perception of these founding members of the restored church than most latter day Saints because I  accept the unconditional promises that were given to people like David Whitmer and Oliver Cowdery.

I am claiming that David Whitmer and Oliver Cowdery and many others of the early gentiles are also the very same gentiles that Moroni prophesied about.

They are also the gentiles that will repent in the 3rd watch.

They REPENT and return to fulfill their callings!

Look at the UNCONDITIONAL promise given to Oliver and David

44 And by your hands I will work a marvelous work among the children of men, unto the convincing of many of their sins, that they may come unto repentance, and that they may come unto the kingdom of my Father.

45 Wherefore, the blessings which I give unto you are above all things.

Holy Cow, David and Oliver will be instrumental (along with others) in bringing to pass the Marvelous Work and a Wonder that is still a future event!

I would submit that David and Oliver have still not completed their callings as witnesses to the Book of Mormon. Perhaps they will witness about additional records as well.

It is because of their final testimony that many of the gentiles in the third watch will REPENT and enter the kingdom of the Father!

During the same month in 1829 that the above revelation was given to David and Oliver, the Lord gives a revelation directed exclusively at David Whitmer.

Are you sitting down?

I hope so because this might just blow your mind.

In it, He commands David Whitmer to seek to bring forth and establish Zion, a task that required the priesthood keys of the kingdom.

In the revelation given to Whitmer, Christ paraphrases his own prophecy in 3rd Nephi, telling David exactly what is going to happen to him and his fellow gentiles. He lets Whitmer know that the fullness of the gospel will be taken from him and his gentile brethren-

1 A great and marvelous work is about to come forth unto the children of men.

2 Behold, I am God; give heed to my word, which is quick and powerful, sharper than a two-edged sword, to the dividing asunder of both joints and marrow; therefore give heed unto my word.

3 Behold, the field is white already to harvest; therefore, whoso desireth to reap let him thrust in his sickle with his might, and reap while the day lasts, that he may treasure up for his soul everlasting salvation in the kingdom of God.

4 Yea, whosoever will thrust in his sickle and reap, the same is called of God.

5 Therefore, if you will ask of me you shall receive; if you will knock it shall be opened unto you.

6 Seek to bring forth and establish my Zion. Keep my commandments in all things.

7 And, if you keep my commandments and endure to the end you shall have eternal life, which gift is the greatest of all the gifts of God.

8 And it shall come to pass, that if you shall ask the Father in my name, in faith believing, you shall receive the Holy Ghost, which giveth utterance, that you may stand as a witness of the things of which you shall both hear and see, and also that you may declare repentance unto this generation.

9 Behold, I am Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, who created the heavens and the earth, a flight which cannot be hid in darkness;

10 Wherefore, I must bring forth the fulness of my gospel from the Gentiles unto the house of Israel.

11 And behold, thou art David, and thou art called to assist; which thing if ye do, and are faithful, ye shall be blessed both spiritually and temporally, and great shall be your reward. Amen. ( section 14)

Incredible!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Undoubtedly, David and many others probably interpreted “bringing the fullness of the gospel FROM the gentiles to the house of Israel” with a positive spin. Meaning that the righteous gentiles who had embraced the fullness of the gospel would then share it with the House of Israel.

It is Obvious four generations later to those of us that have scripture search capabilities that the the Lord was paraphrasing his prophecy in 3rd Nephi and the SPIN was just the opposite of what it appeared to be.

The fullness of the gospel would be taken away from the gentiles because of their rejection of it!

Then the preparatory gospel and the Book of Mormon and D&C containing a description of the fullness of the gospel would be taken by an unsuspecting portion of well meaning Gentiles, to the House of Israel.

Praise God for David and Oliver and others of the gentiles who initially stumbled but have been covered by the grace of Jesus Christ and by the grafting in of the other branches of Israel and by the scapegoat offering of the atonement statute of God’s servants!

They will return and repent and testify.

Now then, was it only those early American gentiles who apostatized in Kirtland that rejected the fullness of the gospel?

NO!

The early gentiles that stayed with the church and went to Nauvoo ALSO rejected the fullness of the gospel.

They also could only embrace a portion of the gospel. This is what section 124:25 was telling the Nauvoo saints. They had failed to retain the fullness!

The entire church failed to embrace the fullness of the gospel in the 2nd watch and the fullness of the gospel was taken from all of them.

The issue was’t just whether a person stayed in the church or not, it was whether they lived the law of the gospel contained in section 42 and magnified the office of high priest which was restored at the Morley Farm and established Zion.

The entire gentile church collectively rejected the fullness of the gospel.

Now then, you might be surprised to find out that as the remaining portion of the early gentiles from the Kirtland church mingled with the converts to the church that began pouring into Nauvoo from foreign lands, who were being graphed into the church, that something very fascinating took place when the great succession debate took place.

There is evidence to suggest that 90% of the early Kirtland saints that followed Joseph Smith to Nauvoo rejected Brigham Young and the 12 and refused to follow them to Utah.

The primary demographic that followed Brigham were the new converts. The poor farmers and laborers from foreign lands who were still babes in the gospel. Many were illiterate. Most did not own a copy of the Book of Mormon or D&C.

If you were not seasoned in the scriptures and had just come over to the promised land, who would you follow? If you had been converted to the gospel by the preaching of one of the 12 or their assistance and then you were forced to put your trust in the one group of men or another, would it not be the apostles that you had come to love and trust?

Listen to the statement of Brigham Young that was being directed to those who could not really think for themselves-

“You are now without a prophet present with you in the flesh to guide you; but you are not without apostles..” Times and Seasons 5:618

Those words would calculated to appeal to the new converts that had not yet been weaned from the breast.

They would not have been very impressive to the seasoned leadership of the church who understood that the 12 were not even allowed to preside in stakes!

It was primarily the branches of the House of Israel from foreign lands that were being graphed into the restored church that had embraced the preparatory gospel of Abraham, that chose to follow Brigham Young and the quorum of the 12 to Utah… and then continued taking it to the nations of the earth.

Few things Stranger than Strang

This brings us back to the mysterious character in the picture at the beginning of this series.

Truth is often stranger than fiction. And so it is with the life of James Jesse Strang, our mystery guy in the picture at the beginning of this article.

To be continued…


Are You Sure You Are A Gentile? Part Three

November 13, 2010

Continuing on with David Whitmer-

If you agree with him concerning his view that Joseph should not have restored the office of apostle to the earth, then you are on a slippery slope and ultimately, you may end up concluding that the other things he taught were true as well.

He has rejected many of the most important revelations that Joseph Smith received.

In fact, since virtually all of the canonized revelations have to do with the restored church, church protocol, gospel law, the establishment of Zion and priesthood keys, you would need to reject virtually all of the revelations in the D&C. Are you prepared to do that?

Here is a passage from section 84 given in September of 1832 being directed to the first laborers of the last kingdom that had been ordained High Priests.

62 Therefore, go ye into all the world; and unto whatsoever place ye cannot go ye shall send, that the testimony may go from you into all the world unto every creature.

63 And as I said unto mine apostles, even so I say unto you, for you are mine apostles, even God’s high priests; ye are they whom my Father hath given me; ye are my friends;

64 Therefore, as I said unto mine apostles I say unto you again, that every soul who believeth on your words, and is baptized by water for the remission of sins, shall receive the Holy Ghost

Needless to say, Whitmer rejected section 84 as a valid revelation from God didn’t he?

The Lord would never have made that declaration before June of 1831 because the office of High Priest had not been restored at the Morley Farm by then.

I’m sorry that David Whitmer lost faith in the greater part of the restoration movement of the 1820′s and 30′s, and was only able to testify of the divinity of the Book of Mormon, but I firmly believe that section 84 and other sections of the D&C are inspired and true.

If ever there was a true revelation from God, it would be section 84.

The modern revelations are true, even if Whitmer needed to reject them to keep his sanity.

Ironically, the Lord was addressing the leaders of the church when he gave the following warning in that same section of scripture-

your minds in times past have been darkened because of unbelief, and because you have treated lightly the things you have received—

55 Which vanity and unbelief have brought the whole church under condemnation.

56 And this condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion, even all.

57 And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them, not only to say, but to do according to that which I have written—

58 That they may bring forth fruit meet for their Father’s kingdom; otherwise there remaineth a scourge and judgment to be poured out upon the children of Zion.

As you can see, the Lord was upset with David Whitmer and many of the other early leaders of the church for taking the “former commandments” lightly… such as to live consecration, redeem Zion and to magnify their priesthood as an Apostle and a High Priest until they become clean and see the face of God, etc.

You see, David Whitmer’s hindsight observations led him to conclude that the spiritual phenomena and restoration of the Melchizedek priesthood at the special conference at the Morley Farm was all a deception. (If you are not familiar with the special conference at the Morley Farm you have missed out on the foundational and pivotal event that explains the context behind every section in the D&C from section 38 to 133. please click here to view the other half of LDS history that you have missed out on)

Whitmer had been doing missionary work for about two years BEFORE the Lord revealed that a special endowment of greater priesthood was now going to be bestowed at a special conference at the Morley Farm.

The announcement made in section 44 and other comments from Joseph Smith about the restoration of the Melchizedek priesthood perplexed David because he had previously assumed that the priesthood that he had been ordained with, that was restored by Peter James and John, was the highest priesthood there was.

When Joseph announced that the highest Melchizedek priesthood was restored for the first time in June of 1831 at the Morley farm, David and others were confused. It seemed like a contradiction to them because these brethren already thought they had the highest priesthood, from Peter James and John.

One thing led to another and eventually Whitmer and a group of other saints dissented.

They even tried to form a new church in Kirtland that failed. A few years later Whitmer tried again, unsuccessfully.

The reason I am spotlighting David Whitmer is not just because his views are often quoted and embraced by those who are trying to figure things out, it is because his views are representative of most of the gentile converts who apostatized during the early Kirtland era.

Did you realize that, according to some historians, nearly 50% of the gentile members of the church in Kirtland apostatized and left the Church between 1831 and 1839? About 30% of the leaders did as well.

Most of these people had similar doubts and issues that David had.

Many of the saints that left the church still believed the Book of Mormon just like David and Oliver did, they simply could not accept the fulness of all of the other things that Joseph was revealing and restoring.

As mentioned in previous posts, the real problem had to do with the tares being mingled among the wheat, making it impossible for the collective body of Christ to accomplish what they needed to. The spiritual gifts were therefore largely withheld.

David Whitmer and the early gentiles who apostatized in Kirtland were literally fulfilling the prophecy of Jesus Christ revealing that the gentiles would reject the fullness of the gospel.

Initially David went with the flow and allowed himself to be ordained a High Priest.

He even accepted his calling to go on a mission on the way to Jackson County. He then became the president of the church in Zion during the failed attempt to redeem Zion.

But after the discouraging attempt to redeem Zion, he had his falling out with Joseph and eventually rejected the whole experienced as a deception.

His soul became cankered toward the Seer and the Spokesman even while remaining true to his testimony of the Book of Mormon.

His mind became darkened against the work of God just as the Lord had indicated in section 84.

If you accept these same teachings of David Whitmer, how can your state of mind be any different than the darkened state of mind that David had?

It is difficult to understand exactly what all of David’s issues were at first.

We do know that he was among the twenty three originally ordained high priests.

We also know that he and most of the other high priests failed to see the face of God, which was promised to all of those who became pure before God.

That was a very difficult thing for many of them.

It was difficult to see people like Lyman Wight having the heavens opened and seeing the father and the Son while most of the quorum of High Priests struggled.

Jealousies crept into the church.

We also know that he felt highly threatened and jealous of the new-comer Sidney Rigdon who was getting much more adoration from the membership than the three witnesses to the book of Mormon and the other originating elders of the church.

The revelation to Sidney in section 35 was unbelievably gushing with incredible future promises and validation of Rigdon’s previous ministry.

David seemed to see Sidney as the cause of many of the problems in the church.

He claimed that Sidney had an unhealthy influence on Joseph and blamed the introduction of the various priesthoods into the church on Sidney.

Whatever the reasons, David eventually rebelled at the teaching that the church and the priesthoods had been restored.

He eventually found himself teaching that the only commandment that God had given Joseph Smith was to translate the Book of Mormon.

Yes, that is right, if you have decided to side doctrinally with David Whitmer, you may as well burn your doctrine and covenants because David rejected virtually everything of importance in it from the restoration of the church to the restoration of all three priesthoods, to the commandment to redeem Zion.

Years ago when I first read An Address to all believers in the Book of Mormon, I began to see the logic of what Whitmer was saying and I could see how people could be seduced into believing that Joseph should have been limited to just translating the Book of Mormon.

I had to reread many of the incredible, light filled revelations in the D&C to jolt myself back into the realization that Whitmer’s mind had been darkened and was denying modern revelation.

Think about the ramifications of what Whitmer was teaching!

He rejected the articles of the church in section 20 and the law of the gospel given in section 42. These were the two revelations that he and others of the early missionaries took with them during the first missionary campaigns.

He rejected section 29 containing the great secret of how the elect will be gathered BEFORE the wrath of God hits.

He rejected section 35 regarding the Rigdon ministry that Joseph and Oliver brought to light and the future calling of Rigdon.

He rejected section 38 regarding the commandment for the church to go to Kirtland to get the law of the gospel.

Section 43 on the law of succession,

45 containing invaluable insight on Matthew 24, section

59 revealing that Sunday is the true day of worship, section

64 prophesying that Kirtland only would be a stronghold for five more years and that the appointed time for the redemption of Zion would expire on September 11th 1836, the prophetic dream known as section

65 revealing that the keys of the Kingdom would need to be restored again to man on the earth,

76 revealing the plan of salvation and the three degrees of glory, section

84 revealing amazing things about the priesthood,

88 revealing how the first elders of the last kingdom would be called again to go forth for the last time and how the sequence of things would take place in the last generation of time,

93 on the eternal nature of light and the spirit of truth, etc,

01 and 103 providing the parable of the redemptions of Zion and how that would take place, etc. etc. etc.

The list goes on and one… he rejected all of the great infusions of light coming forth from Gods latter day prophet!

Again, I am spotlighting the views of David Whitmer not because I want to pick on him, rather, because he is really the poster child of the latter day gentile apostasy that Christ prophesied about..

Many of the views of David Whitmer were the personification of most of the other early gentiles who left the church.

Nearly 50% of the gentile Church apostatized in Kirtland because they ultimately decided they could not accept the further light, knowledge and priesthood keys that followed the translation of the Book of Mormon, let alone consecration.

These gentiles were fulfilling the prophecy given by Christ in 3rd Nephi!

They were accepting the Book of Mormon and parts of the gospel, but they were rejecting the fullness of the gospel!

This is why there were so few documented events pertaining to the full baptism of water, fire and Holy Ghost during the 15 year ministry of the prophet Joseph Smith. The gentiles just could not embrace the fullness.

It is the same David Whitmer mindset along with many misinterpreted passages of scripture in the Book of Mormon that has infected many LDS seekers who don’t know how to interpret the string of failures in the restored church and the awful situation the restored church finds itself in today!

Why is it that so many people begin to embrace the teachings of David Whitmer after they begin to realize that the church is in apostasy?

In part, it is because they misinterpret many of the passages in the Book of Mormon.

Do the Gentiles Reject or Accept the Gospel?

I want to review two sets of passages in the book of Mormon that initially appear to contradict each other.

After one realizes that they are referring to two separate and distinct events, that take place in two different and distinct time periods, it all makes sense.

However it is common to get the chronology of these events backwards.

I am going to review these two passages in an effort to highlight what I think is a large part of the disconnect is, with people who turn against the gentiles.

Many of them refuse to believe that the Marvelous Work is yet a future event. If they get the chronology of events wrong, it is easy to see why they reject the Marvelous Work as a future event.

The Gentiles will REPENT and ACCEPT the fullness of the Gospel

The following passage tells us that in the latter days the gentiles will repent and accept the fullness of the gospel-

Behold, I have written upon these plates the very things which the brother of Jared saw; and there never were greater things made manifest than those which were made manifest unto the brother of Jared. Wherefore the Lord hath commanded me to write them; and I have written them. And he commanded me that I should seal them up.. For the Lord said unto me: They [the sealed portion] shall not go forth unto the Gentiles until the day that they shall repent of their iniquity, and become clean before the Lord.

And in that day that they shall exercise faith in me, saith the Lord, even as the brother of Jared did, that they may become sanctified in me, then will I manifest unto them the things which the brother of Jared saw, even to the unfolding unto them all my revelations, saith Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Father of the heavens and of the earth, and all things that in them are.

The gentiles will REJECT the fullness fo the gospel

This passage indicates that he gentiles will reject the fullness of the gospel-

” At that day when the Gentiles shall sin against my gospel, and shall reject the fulness of my gospel, and shall be lifted up in the pride of their hearts above all nations, and above all the people of the whole earth, and shall be filled with all manner of lyings, and of deceits, and of mischiefs, and all manner of hypocrisy, and murders, and priestcrafts, and whoredoms, and of secret abominations… I will bring the fulness of my gospel from among them.

Ok, so which passage is correct?

Do the latter day gentiles sin against the gospel as prophesied by Christ in 3rd Nephi or do they repent and become clean before the Lord and accept the fullness of the gospel as prophesied by Moroni in the book of Ether?

The obvious answer to this is that both prophetic statements are true.

They simply speak of different events that take place at different times in the last days.

It is true that the latter day gentiles do collectively sin and reject the fullness of the gospel AND it is true that the righteous among the latter day gentiles eventually repent and accept the fullness of the gospel and become clean before the Lord.

The real issue to be addressed, is, which prophetic event comes first, the repentance or the apostasy?

Many Mormons have been conditioned to assume that the repenting of the gentiles took place at the time Joseph Smith restored the church and that the ultimate rejection of the gentiles is something that eventually takes place sometime before the second coming.

In other words, the church begins as a righteous organization that successfully embraces the fullness of the Gospel with very few if any real problems and then, through the process of many generations, it eventually rejects the gospel.

Hence, many people are looking critically at the church right now wondering if they have rejected the fullness of the gospel yet, fulfilling the prophecy given by Christ.

This is why most Mormons think we have been in the dispensation of the fullness of times ever since the restoration of the church four generations ago and that the next phase will be the “fullness of the gentiles” when they think the gentiles will finally reject the fullness of the gospel.

This is incorrect!!!!!

A careful analysis of the passages above will verify that the true sequence is actually reversed!

The first event was not the repentance of the gentiles; it was their rejection of the fullness of the gospel back at the time of Joseph Smith.

The second event that takes place among the believing gentiles, just prior to the second coming is not apostasy, it is repentance and redemption. (yes it is true that the unbelieving gentiles will reject it, but the believing ones repent!)

Notice how the passages from Christ in 3rd Nephi associate the rejection of the gospel with the time that the gentile nation smites and afflicts and slays the descendants of Lehi-

9 And because of the mercies of the Father unto the Gentiles, and also the judgments of the Father upon my people who are of the house of Israel, verily, verily, I say unto you, that after all this, and I have caused my people who are of the house of Israel to be smitten, and to be afflicted, and to be slain, and to be cast out from among them, and to become hated by them, and to become a hiss and a byword among them—

10 And thus commandeth the Father that I should say unto you: At that day when the Gentiles shall sin against my gospel, and shall reject the fulness of my gospel, and shall be lifted up in the pride of their hearts above all nations, and above all the people of the whole earth, and shall be filled with all manner of lyings, and of deceits, and of mischiefs, and all manner of hypocrisy, and murders, and priestcrafts, and whoredoms, and of secret abominations; and if they shall do all those things, and shall reject the fulness of my gospel, behold, saith the Father, I will bring the fulness of my gospel from among them.

11 And then will I remember my covenant which I have made unto my people, O house of Israel, and I will bring my gospel unto them. [as show in previous posts, this was fulfilled shortly after the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham was restored in 1836]

As you can see, “That day” when the gentiles reject the fullness of the gospel is NOT referring to the last generation of time spoken of in Matthew 24, it is speaking of a previous time, when the book of Mormon first comes forth.

It is speaking about a time when the descendants of Lehi are smitten and afflicted by the gentiles in the 1830-40′s. (trail of tears, etc.)

The affliction of the descendants of Lehi happened primarily during the LDS restoration movement.

It is also speaking of a time when the restored church begins a new missionary effort to the house of Israel after the Lord remembers the covenant of Abraham that he had previously made with his people in Old Testament times!

Ok, now let’s look closer at the words of Moroni-

The Gentiles will repent and accept the fullness of the Gospel

4 Behold, I have written upon these plates the very things which the brother of Jared saw; and there never were greater things made manifest than those which were made manifest unto the brother of Jared.

5 Wherefore the Lord hath commanded me to write them; and I have written them. And he commanded me that I should seal them up; and he also hath commanded that I should seal up the interpretation thereof; wherefore I have sealed up the interpreters, according to the commandment of the Lord.

6 For the Lord said unto me: They [the greater things in the sealed portion] shall not go forth unto the Gentiles until the day that they shall repent of their iniquity, and become clean before the Lord.

7 And in that day that they shall exercise faith in me, saith the Lord, even as the brother of Jared did, that they may become sanctified in me, then will I manifest unto them the things which the brother of Jared saw, even to the unfolding unto them all my revelations, saith Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Father of the heavens and of the earth, and all things that in them are.

8 And he that will contend against the word of the Lord, let him be accursed; and he that shall deny these things, let him be accursed; for unto them will I show no greater things, saith Jesus Christ; for I am he who speaketh.

Clearly, the time when the gentiles finally repent is not when the unsealed portion of the Book of Mormon came forth four generations ago, but rather it will be when the sealed portion comes forth in the future!

As you can see, the prophecy made by Christ and the prophecy made by Moroni do not contradict each other, they simply speak of two different events that take place at two different times.

In fact they provide the proper sequence of events pertaining to the role of the latter day gentiles.

First, in the 2nd watch, the restored church would bring forth a portion of the record of the Nephites and then collectively stumble and ultimately reject the fullness of the gospel.

This would necessitate that something new be done for the salvation of the church.

Hence, the restoration of the gospel of Abraham (as documented in section 110) then the commission to take the preparatory gospel to the nations of the world (as documented in the words of Joseph Smith and also section 112).

This made possible the grafting in of additional branches of the house of Israel from foreign nations to keep the tree alive as revealed in the parable in Jacob.

Many generations later in the 3d watch, the Lord would do a Marvelous Work and a Wonder among the gentiles in the 3rd watch and the righteous gentiles will repent and become clean.

Now for the rest of the story regarding the identity of
The Gentiles and the House of Israel

To be continued…


Are You Sure You Are A Gentile? Part Two

November 13, 2010

Alternate Voices

Back in 1989 Dallin H. Oaks gave a talk entitled “Alternate Voices,” (Ensign, May 1989, 27)

In it he warned the members of the church to beware of those who speak about gospel topics who do not have the authority to do so.

“My remarks will refer to those voices that speak of God, of his commandments, and of the doctrines, ordinances, and practices of his church. Some of those who speak on these subjects have been called and given divine authority to do so. Others, whom I choose to call alternate voices, speak on these subjects without calling or authority.”

Of course the main purpose of the talk was to do damage control since Sunstone and other symposiums and publications were raising controversial issues and waking people up about church history and the original gospel taught in the early church history and in the scriptures.

Some issues were being raised by intellectuals from academia while others were being raised by LDS fundamentalists and renegade historians.

Since that time I am happy to observe that there have been many new alternate voices that have educated Mormons and challenged them to search church history and the scriptures.

I think that agency is very important and I think those that have inquiring minds have a right to seek out additional information and to share their views of history and the gospel with others.

The internet has changed the world and it has certainly changed the world of Mormonism.

Information is being rediscovered and disseminated at a rapid pace and it is creating indigestion for a lot people in high places.

There are numerous bloggers out there that I enjoy reading from time to time that do a great job of exposing the apostasy of the latter day church.

It seems like more and more of these types of blogs are popping up all the time.

I believe this is a sign of the times.

There is a lot of good that comes out of these types of blogs and there is a lot of bad as well.

More and more people are waking up to the fact that all in not well in Zion.

That is good.

Most of these alternate voices focus on the PROBLEM (apostasy of the latter day church) and only talk about the obvious signs that the church is in apostasy, and do not reveal the SOLUTION (how the redemption of the latter day church and the establishment of Zion is going to take place).

Most of these alternate voices do not discuss how the Lord is going to bring the believing gentiles out of apostasy and redeem Zion. Some of them still assume the church still holds all of the keys Joseph Smith held despite the countless problems that are discussed.

Many of these sites end up leaving their readers in a state of confusion and despair because they only harp on the awful state that we are in.

Often times the result of these blogs on the readers is the loss of testimony in the gospel, the latter day work, the calling of Joseph Smith, and in Gods word.

Many of these sites point their readers down what the Book of Mormon refers to as forbidden paths by promoting false doctrines, rather than hanging on to the iron rod.

The problem, in my opinion with only harping on the apostasy is that even though it gives many readers an “ah hah” moment and helps them wake up and understand the insanity being experienced in the corporate church, it leaves many readers in a state of confusion and anger and despair regarding the state of Gods people and their own salvation.

This makes lots of people ripe for entering into forbidden paths.

But it is all good.

Everyone with a voice has a calling.

For some it is to spread a little light and ultimately point people on the right path.

For others it is to spread a little light and ultimately point people into a forbidden path.

It is all part of the program, those who are the elect will ultimately make it through the maze, they will know the voice of God’s servants when the Marvelous Work  begins.

In addition to those who blog about the apostasy, there are those at the other extreme who continue the myth that leaders and members of the restored church continue to have the heavens opened and enjoy direct communion with God and receive the second comforter despite the fact that we as a individuals and collectively as a people have been rejected as a church and have failed to keep the law of the gospel, have not sacrificed all things, (which is required before one can receive their calling and election), and we no longer have the keys of the kingdom on the earth.

Joseph Smith taught that a man cannot have his calling and election, or the second comforter until AFTER they have been thoroughly tested-

When the Lord has thoroughly proved him, and finds that the man is determined to serve Him at all hazards, then the man will find his calling and his election made sure, then it will be his privilege to receive the other Comforter, which the Lord hath promised the Saints.

What does it mean to be thoroughly tested?

According to Lectures on faith, it means you have to sacrifice all things-

A religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things never has power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation; for, from the first existence of man, the faith necessary unto the enjoyment of life and salvation never could be obtained without the sacrifice of all earthly things” (Lectures on Faith [1985], 69).

There is no bypassing the system. You cannot have your calling and election made sure at this time on the earth without doing what all of the great prophets have done. You must consecrate and sacrifice all things.

Those of us living during these times of hidden darkness kid ourselves if we assume that we have sacrificed all things for the Lord or even come close to making the  sacrifices that some of the early saints of the restoration movement have made.

I believe the people of this generation who think they have made great sacrifices for the Lord deceive themselves. I am skeptical that there are members of the latter day church that have sacrificed all things and made their calling and election sure.

Indeed, if there are such people then indeed the many evidences I have provided of the last restoration of the gospel would be invalid since there would clearly be know need for a gospel restoration if people are still getting their calling and election made sure.

We as a people have miserably failed to live consecration.

If someone in this day in age of our generation is claiming to have had their calling and election made sure and is now claiming that they are receiving the second comforter, I believe they are either deceived or they are intentionally deceiving others. Most of the alternate voice that come along making these claims are pretty easy to spot by some of the false doctrines they teach.

Even if they have not directly made that claim and have been misunderstood by their followers but they knowingly allow their followers to continue thinking that they have had their calling and election made sure, their motives are suspect and they are dangerous people in my opinion. I am very skeptical of those kinds of people.

Nevertheless, they have an important calling, to weed out those who don’t know the voice of the Master.

Along the same lines, although Presidents of the Church from Brigham Young to the present time have clearly not been claiming to be parting the veil and communicating directly with God, but the fact that some of them have knowing allowed the gullible among the saints to assume they continuously communed directly with God, is, in my opinion, a very serious sin of omission. I don’t think God condones this practice.

The doctrine of the Three Watches exposes the fact that we live in deceptive times when the fulness of the gospel appears to be on the earth to those who have not been weened from the breast in their gospel study. The scriptures refer to this time that we are living in as a time of “hidden darkness”

The Book of Mormon explains that after the fulness of the gospel is taken from the Gentiles, the house of Israel simply comes to a knowledge of the fulness of the gospel, but do not receive the fulness.

If indeed we do not currently have the fulness of the gospel, how can people personally receive of the fulness of the gifts of God?

Although we live in times of darkness, we are deluded into thinking we live in times of great light. Many of us rationalize that the fulness of the gospel is still on the earth even though virtually all of the gifts of the spirit and the baptism of fire is never truly being experienced by anyone.

Obviously, since I feel passionate about this topic I feel personally responsible with regard to the sobering fact that I and others have been trying to explain this doctrine with very little noticeable success.

I have pondered long and hard about why I and a few others have been ineffectual in teaching the third watch doctrine.

Although I concede that I have probably not done a very good job, I have come to the conclusion that the issue is much deeper than my shortcomings in articulating this doctrine.

I am not overly concerned however because the Lord tells us he can do his own work.

The Gentiles are Destined to Fail Virus

Another outgrowth of this situation is that many of the alternate voices who are warning about the latter day apostasy seem to have turned against the latter day gentiles.

They interpret the scriptures with a huge bias against the role of the gentiles and against the eventual outcome of the gentiles.

It is becoming more c