The Infinite Foreknowledge of God
The Designated Protocol for Discerning Truth
Becoming Spiritually Reborn as a Group, BEFORE Redeeming Zion
One of the great prophecies in modern revelation about the establishment of Zion is found in section 124. In this section we are informed that shortly after the servants return and redeem the cornerstone of Zion, a solemn proclamation will be sent forth to the kings of the world, the President Elect of our nation, the high minded governors of our nation, and to all of the nations of the world:
“ 1 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.
2 Your prayers are acceptable before me; and in answer to them I say unto you, that you are now called immediately to make a solemn proclamation of my gospel, and of this stake which I have planted to be a cornerstone of Zion, which shall be polished with the refinement which is after the similitude of a palace.
3 This proclamation shall be made to all the kings of the world, to the four corners thereof, to the honorable president-elect, and the high-minded governors of the nation in which you live, and to all the nations of the earth scattered abroad.
4 Let it be written in the spirit of meekness and by the power of the Holy Ghost, which shall be in you at the time of the writing of the same;
5 For it shall be given you by the Holy Ghost to know my will concerning those kings and authorities, even what shall befall them in a time to come.
6 For, behold, I am about to call upon them to give heed to the light and glory of Zion, for the set time has come to favor her.
7 Call ye, therefore, upon them with loud proclamation, and with your testimony, fearing them not, for they are as grass, and all their glory as the flower thereof which soon falleth, that they may be left also without excuse—
8 And that I may visit them in the day of visitation, when I shall unveil the face of my covering, to appoint the portion of the oppressor among hypocrites, where there is gnashing of teeth, if they reject my servants and my testimony which I have revealed unto them.
9 And again, I will visit and soften their hearts, many of them for your good, that ye may find grace in their eyes, that they may come to the light of truth, and the Gentiles to the exaltation or lifting up of Zion.
10 For the day of my visitation cometh speedily, in an hour when ye think not of; and where shall be the safety of my people, and refuge for those who shall be left of them?”
Historians are generally at a loss as to why Joseph Smith and those appointed to help him draft the solemn proclamation never appeared to even work on the document during the remaining three years that Joseph lived. Joseph showed no signs of urgency with regard to the Lord’s commandment noted in the passages above.
I believe it is because Joseph understood that it was to be immediately drafted and sent forth in the 3rd watch, at the appointed time. This is a textbook example of a third watch prophecy given in modern revelation during the 2nd watch.
Keep your eye on the next presidential election. My money says the president elect prophecy takes place in the next presidential election. The president elect has spoken of in that revelation was not referring to the president elect Henry Harrison!
I am going to return to this prophecy and many others contained in the D&C in the next post. But first, I want to discuss a few things that will better prepare some of our new readers for comprehending those prophecies.
All Time, Past and Future, is Continually Before the Eyes of God
The Biblical God that Joseph Smith attempted to introduce the world to, lives in “eternity” while we mortals live in “temporal time”. Our comprehension of events takes place in a chronological progression over the process of “time”.
We have been informed by God’s holy word in the scriptures, that the “Lord knoweth all things” and that “all things.. are manifest, past, present, and future, and are continually before the Lord” (D&C 130:7)
It is not fully possible for the finite mortal brain to comprehend eternal things. We cannot fully comprehend how God can know all things. We cannot comprehend how the past, present, and future, can simultaneously and continuously be before the Lord’s eyes as He dwells in eternity, but we can believe the declaration to be true through the mystical principle of faith.
You don’t need to have a perfect understanding of how something can be true, or why, something must be true, in order to take God’s word, on faith, that it is true.
Indeed, belief in the declaration that God knows all things and has all time past, present and future, continually before him, must be taken on faith, in order to believe and understand the revelations Joseph Smith received from the Lord.
Intermingled throughout the “thus sayeth the Lord” revelations that Joseph received, are declarations pertaining to 3rd watch events, even though the revelations were being received during the 2nd watch. Imagine God freely disclosing detailed prophetic events that were to take place four generations later, intermingled with narratives relating to the 2nd watch! If this dynamic is not understood, the revelations become mishmash to the mind of the reader.
Once a person comprehends these prophetic utterances, a whole new window of understanding takes place and a huge reservoir of knowledge about how and when Zion will be redeemed becomes available.
Many specific unconditional promises were made to numerous individuals during Joseph’s ministry according to the infallible word of God, yet these individuals have all passed away before the promises were fulfilled. Does this mean that God’s word cannot be fulfilled? Of course not.
One must enter into a spiritual dimension of understanding, a sort of alternate reality when reading the D&C if it is to be believed and understood. Since most Latter day Saints cannot do this, they subconsciously lose faith in and have a disconnect with modern revelation, preferring to focus on, and emphasize the simple teachings in the Book of Mormon.
It appears to the natural man, and particularly to the skeptic, that the Doctrine and Covenants is a book of failed promises and prophecies, when in fact it is simply a mystical work filled with commentary on futuristic events that will take place in the 3rd watch, after certain people rise from the dead and brush the dust off.
The D&C can only be comprehended by simple-minded mystics who walk by faith. Intellectuals and scholars who place their trust in their own intellect and the wisdom of the worldly, cannot accept the futuristic narratives contained in the D&C for a serious and extended period of time.
Science based Apologetics
One of the problems with orthodox LDS Apologetics is that well-meaning LDS scholars attempt to defend the challenges to the faith backed up by “bad” science, with “good” science. You simply cannot do that because it violates the laws of discerning truth that God has set up. God never tolerates good, bad, or any kind of “science “as a valid platform for obtaining eternal truth. Any time a person bases their faith on any kind of science, a curse is placed upon them.
“Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.” (Jer 17:5)
“O Lord, I have trusted in thee, and I will trust in thee forever. I will not put my trust in the arm of flesh; for I know that cursed is he that putteth his trust in the arm of flesh. Yea, cursed is he that putteth his trust in man or maketh flesh his arm.
35 Yea, I know that God will give liberally to him that asketh.” (2nd Nephi 4:34)
This is why the early leaders of the restoration spoke so disparagingly about higher education from the institutions of the world. Generally speaking, the more educated a person is, the dumber they are with regard to spiritual things.
“O that cunning plan of the evil one! O the vainness, and the frailties, and the foolishness of men! When they are learned they think they are wise, and they hearken not unto the counsel of God, for they set it aside, supposing they know of themselves, wherefore, their wisdom is foolishness and it profiteth them not. And they shall perish.”
There are exceptions. I know a few highly educated people that show remarkable humility and teachability. Indeed, they are living examples that “to be learned is good if they hearken unto the counsels of God“
Content is King
The Lord informs us that reading his word and believing it is the key to entering into the spiritual dimension and becoming spiritually born again:
“And behold, whosoever believeth on my words, them will I visit with the manifestation of my Spirit; and they shall be born of me, even of water and of the Spirit—”
One must be spiritually minded and infused with the spirit of God to comprehend the things of God:
“Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.
16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.
It is in vain for the natural man to understand the things of God.
When Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon had their vision, currently published in the D&C as section 76, they were “in the spirit” and therefore could have their “understandings enlightened“.
“We, Joseph Smith, Jun., and Sidney Rigdon, being in the Spirit on the sixteenth day of February, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty-two—
12 By the power of the Spirit our eyes were opened and our understandings were enlightened, so as to see and understand the things of God—”
The True Baptismal Covenant
I have documented in my posts, countless times, the fact that the fulness of the gospel and the true Baptism of water, fire and the Holy Ghost, is not currently on the earth because the fulness was lost in 1834.
This is why the wording in the baptismal covenant was changed when the D&C was published in 1835.
There is a lot of chatter going on among an apostate movement that is starting their own church right now about how the Book of Mormon people had the true wording of the baptismal covenant as contained in 3rd Nephi 11, but the restored church was using the wrong wording for the ordinance. The modern church uses the wording “having been commissioned of Jesus Christ” instead of the wording “having authority given me of Jesus Christ“.
The truth is that the restored church was originally given the same wording as is contained in 3 Nephi chapter 11. It is contained in the Book of Commandments, published in 1833, which was the canon of scripture provided for the restored “Church of Christ“.
It was not until 1835, when the wording was altered and put in the Doctrine and Covenants, which was canonized for the “Church of the Latter day Saints“.
One needs to understand when and why the fulness of the gospel was rejected to understand the proper context of why the wording for the baptismal ordinance was changed. For those new to this blog, the following series will cover this topic in greater detail:
It is because the fulness was lost that the ordinances have been changed and we have been reduced to a “preparatory gospel” and we do not have the miracles, visitation of angels, and full gifts of the spirit that accompany the fulness of the Gospel. This is why the counterfeit church teaches the fear based doctrine of blindly “following the prophet” instead of the spirit-filled doctrine that we can each receive personal revelation.
Although the fulness is not here at this time and we are awaiting the return of God’s servants, and the last restoration of the fulness, referred to as the Marvelous work, to begin, we are not left without hope.
The Pre-Baptismal Remission of Sins
It it interesting to note that the gospel of Christ offers a sort of pre-baptismal remission of sins that precedes the baptism of water, fire and the Holy Ghost. This amazing cleansing and the heightened spiritual discernment that accompanies it, is given solely based on the desire to believe God’s word and exercising the faith in Christ and his atonement.
“I Command You in the Name of God!”
When Oliver Cowdery was reviewing the joint revelation he and Joseph had received, known at the time as the “Articles and Covenants of the Church of Christ“, (currently published in the D&C as section 20) he noticed a significant alteration in the text that Joseph Smith had made without informing him. The alteration so enraged Oliver Cowdery that he wrote a letter to Joseph Smith, commanding him to remove the erroneous passage that had been inserted. In the letter, Oliver exclaimed:
“I command you in the name of God to erase those words, that no priestcraft be amongst us”
Here is Joseph’s recollection of the matter, according to the generally accepted History of the Church:
“Whilst thus (and otherwise at intervals) employed in the work appointed me, by my Heavenly Father; I received a letter from Oliver Cowdery—the contents of which, gave me both sorrow and uneasiness…. He wrote to inform me, that he had discovered an error in one of the commandments”
The revelation in question was no less than the Church’s Articles and Covenants and the allegedly erroneous passage described the requirements for baptism. What Cowdery found objectionable were the words “and truly manifest by their works that they have received the Spirit unto the remission of their sins.” (Cited in Dean C. Jessee, ed., The Papers of Joseph Smith, 2 vols. (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1989–1992), 1:319-20.)
Joseph was quite offended by the rebuke and the implication of priestcraft. His response to Cowdery was as follows:
“by what authority he took upon him to command me to alter, or erase, to add or diminish to or from a revelation or commandment from Almighty God.”
The following historical narrative by Grant Underwood suggests that Oliver felt the passage was incorrect and that a remission of sins is not received until after baptism, not prior to baptism. Underwood points out that Moroni 6:1-3 does not specifically include the doctrine of a pre-baptismal remission of sins solely upon the principle of faith:
“What Cowdery found objectionable were the words “and truly manifest by their works that they have received the Spirit unto the remission of their sins.” As Joseph remembered the letter, Oliver wrote “I command you in the name of God to erase those words, that no priestcraft be amongst us.”
Understanding the meaning of priestcraft is crucial to comprehending why this letter was so offensive to Joseph. Before exploring its implications, though, a brief digression is appropriate.
There has been some confusion over the years as to exactly what it was that Oliver found objectionable in this list of baptismal requirements. Some have opined that Cowdery viewed it as perpetuating the old Puritan practice of giving a satisfactory recital of one’s conversion prior to being admitted for baptism.
While such an interpretation might be plausible if Oliver had singled out the requirement to “witness before the church that they have truly repented of all their sins,” but those are not the words he found objectionable.
The words Oliver chose—“and truly manifest by their works that they have received the Spirit unto the remission of their sins”—are the only ones that are not also found in Moroni 6:1–3.
Now this created a problem for Oliver because he apparently felt that the additional words violated instructions he and Joseph had received the previous June to “rely upon that which is written,” meaning the Book of Mormon, when endeavoring to “build up [the] church” (D&C 18:3–5).
By including in Articles and Covenants an additional requirement not specified in the Book of Mormon, especially when Cowdery’s own 1829 “Articles of the Church of Christ” hewed so closely to Book of Mormon wording, Joseph had, as Oliver saw it, overstepped his bounds. To Cowdery, such arrogation on Joseph’s part was nothing short of priestcraft.”
the graphic below provides a comparison of the content in D&C 1:37 and Moroni 6:1-3
A Public Confession is Mandatory
It is very important that the baptismal candidate makes a public confession that they are willing to take upon themselves the name of Christ and are determined to serve him to the end. It would appear that the sacrament prayers represent a reiteration of this public confession.
Sadly, the modern church no longer gives the candidate the opportunity and requirement to make this public declaration. That is one of the many reasons that baptisms in the corporate church have no saving value. However, this was not the issue in verse 37 that Oliver Cowdery was upset about.
It appears that he was upset about the declaration that the candidate had received a remission of their sins BEFORE the baptism! He felt that the doctrine of pre-baptismal remission of sins was not supported in the scriptures. Notice how Moroni 6 notes that the confession demonstrates “fruit” demonstrating “worthiness”, but no mention of having experienced a pre-baptismal remission of sins.
Joseph had to meet with Oliver and the Whitmer’s and reason with them using the scriptures that the statement was doctrinally accurate:
“I immediately wrote to him in reply, in which I asked him by what authority he took upon him to command me to alter or erase, to add to or diminish from, a revelation or commandment from Almighty God.
A few days afterwards I visited him and Mr. Whitmer’s family, when I found the family in general of his opinion concerning the words above quoted, and it was not without both labor and perseverance that I could prevail with any of them to reason calmly on the subject. However, Christian Whitmer at length became convinced that the sentence was reasonable, and according to Scripture; and finally, with his assistance, I succeeded in bringing, not only the Whitmer family, but also Oliver Cowdery to acknowledge that they had been in error, and that the sentence in dispute was in accordance with the rest of the commandment.
And thus was this error rooted out, which having its rise in presumption and rash judgment, was the more particularly calculated (when once fairly understood) to teach each and all of us the necessity of humility and meekness before the Lord, that He might teach us of His ways, that we might walk in His paths, and live by every word that proceedeth forth from His mouth. (History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1: 104-105.)
Sadly, we are not informed which passages of scripture, Joseph Smith used to prove to Oliver Cowdery and the Whitmers that a faith-based pre-baptismal remission of sins is part of God’s plan of salvation.
In my own reading of the scriptures, I have come across several passages that support the baptismal protocol and doctrine found in Section 1:37.
Here are a few excerpts from the book of Mosiah that support D&C 1:37. The following passage speaks of the remission of sins that the people of King Benjamin recieved by simply believing on the words of King Benjamin as he prophesied about the coming of Christ and the atonement that would be provided:
AND now, it came to pass that when king Benjamin had made an end of speaking the words which had been delivered unto him by the angel of the Lord, that he cast his eyes round about on the multitude, and behold they had fallen to the earth, for the fear of the Lord had come upon them.
2 And they had viewed themselves in their own carnal state, even less than the dust of the earth. And they all cried aloud with one voice, saying: O have mercy, and apply the atoning blood of Christ that we may receive forgiveness of our sins, and our hearts may be purified; for we believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who created heaven and earth, and all things; who shall come down among the children of men.
3 And it came to pass that after they had spoken these words the Spirit of the Lord came upon them, and they were filled with joy, having received a remission of their sins, and having peace of conscience, because of the exceeding faith which they had in Jesus Christ who should come, according to the words which king Benjamin had spoken unto them.
Nothing in the narrative in the book of Mosiah suggests that King Benjamins people had been baptized prior to receiving their remission of sins. It was their belief on the words of the angel, delivered by king Benjamin, their faith in the atonement of Jesus Christ, and the public covenant to follow Christ, that brought about the forgiveness and remission of sins!
Interestingly, King Mosiah gives the “conditions” whereby man can be saved and he does not mention the need for baptism:
I say unto you, if ye have come to a knowledge of the goodness of God, and his matchless power, and his wisdom, and his patience, and his long-suffering towards the children of men; and also, the atonement which has been prepared from the foundation of the world, that thereby salvation might come to him that should put his trust in the Lord, and should be diligent in keeping his commandments, and continue in the faith even unto the end of his life, I mean the life of the mortal body—
7 I say, that this is the man who receiveth salvation, through the atonement which was prepared from the foundation of the world for all mankind, which ever were since the fall of Adam, or who are, or who ever shall be, even unto the end of the world.
8 And this is the means whereby salvation cometh. And there is none other salvation save this which hath been spoken of; neither are there any conditions whereby man can be saved except the conditions which I have told you.
9 Believe in God; believe that he is, and that he created all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth not comprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend.
10 And again, believe that ye must repent of your sins and forsake them, and humble yourselves before God; and ask in sincerity of heart that he would forgive you; and now, if you believe all these things see that ye do them.
11 And again I say unto you as I have said before, that as ye have come to the knowledge of the glory of God, or if ye have known of his goodness and have tasted of his love, and have received a remission of your sins, which causeth such exceedingly great joy in your souls, even so I would that ye should remember, and always retain in remembrance, the greatness of God, and your own nothingness, and his goodness and long-suffering towards you, unworthy creatures, and humble yourselves even in the depths of humility, calling on the name of the Lord daily, and standing steadfastly in the faith of that which is to come, which was spoken by the mouth of the angel.
12 And behold, I say unto you that if ye do this ye shall always rejoice, and be filled with the love of God, and always retain a remission of your sins; and ye shall grow in the knowledge of the glory of him that created you, or in the knowledge of that which is just and true.”
I am not suggesting that baptism is not a necessary ordinance of salvation, simply that it is an extension of faith. It comes later as part of the obedience to the “commandments” that are contained in the above condition upon which salvation is obtained.
My point is that one can and should obtain a remission of sins through the power of faith BEFORE baptism. This concept is rarely talked about in the modern church.
One must acknowledge one’s faith, and remission of sins, and commitment to follow Christ to the end, in a public confession before Baptism.
A Pre-baptismal Spiritual Rebirth
Mosiah chapter five informs us that after the people of King Mosiah entered into a covenant with God to do his will, they became spirtually begotten of Christ and became his sons and his daughters.
“And now, because of the covenant which ye have made ye shall be called the children of Christ, his sons, and his daughters; for behold, this day he hath spiritually begotten you; for ye say that your hearts are changed through faith on his name; therefore, ye are born of him and have become his sons and his daughters.” Mosiah 5:7
This is another concept rarely acknowledge in the modern church. One can become born again before they recieve the baptism of water, fire and the Holy Ghost. Undoubtedly there are some people in this generation that have mistaken their pre-baptismal manifestations of the spirit as the final baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost.
In this post I have tried to make the following points
- God Knows all things and has infinite foreknowledge
- God speaks frequently of 3rd watch events in the D&C
- Although the fulness is not here, God visits those that believe on his words with a manifestation of his spirit
- There is a pre-baptismal remission of sins and spiritual rebirth available to those that have faith in God’s word
The reason that I have covered these points is because in part seven of this series, I am going to provide numerous 3rd watch passages from the Doctrine and Covenants that inform us how and when Zion will be redeemed. But you will not benefit from the information in the next post if you have not received a remission of your sins and a spiritual awakening based on faith in God’s words.
If you are wallowing in fear and cultivating doubts because of the science presented by the learned skeptics, you will not be visited by the manifestations of God’s spirit when you read the passages of scripture in the next part of this series.
I hope you will take the opportunity to prepare your heart and mind by exercising faith in God and the atonement that Christ has provided. Focus on exercising faith in the truthfulness of the content found within God’s holy word. Forget about the learning and wisdom of highly educated nincompoops.
Only the work of the Father and the pre and post- baptismal spiritual rebirths can bring about Zion, not the work of man. No mortal or group of mortals that are impatient for Zion are going to initiate Zion. There is no mortal man that is going to show people how to “work” real hard and climb great hills to create a functioning society worthy of the presence of God and angels. God and his authorized servants are going to bring about the Marvelous Work in power just as described in the prophecies.
The reason Zion was successfully established in 3rd Nephi is because God intervened with POWER, separated the wicked from the righteous, and brought about the spiritual rebirth of the repentant believers BEFORE consecration and the laws of Zion could be successfully implemented.
The Lord explained in section 86 that the reason Zion failed during Joseph’s ministry is because during the 2nd watch, He was going to allow the wheat and the tares to grow together until the harvest is fully ripe. Once the harvest is fully ripe, God will intervine and separate the wheat from the tares just as he did in 3rd Nephi.
During the separating of the wheat and the tares in the 3rd watch, the fulness will return and God’s elect will receive the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost. It is only after the separation and the spiritual rebirthing that Zion can be established.
In the meantime, those that are taking matters into their own hands, thinking they can simply correct the wording of ordinances and fix the mistakes made during Joseph’s ministry are greatly mistaken. They cannot start baptizing without proper authority, when they have not been duly authorized by the God, while in their delusional and apostate condition, while scattered among the gentiles. Those that do so are pissing directly into the wind.
The redemption of Zion is only a “very difficult project” if it is being attempted by people who have not been commissioned to redeem Zion or who have stumbled in the stewardship they have been given by cumulatively rejecting the fullness.
We live in interesting times.
I believe the Marvelous Work is about to begin. Most of the signs are in place.