For those who are Watching…

November 28, 2008

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Watcher

misc articles

The Bridegroom Tarried…

Seven Shepherds and an Angel

A Mystical Look at the LDS Restoration Movement

Why have ye transfigured the Holy Word of God?

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

We have found the Messias!

The Fulness of the Father

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

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

Searching for the Holy Order and 23 High Priests-

Part 1- Lyman Wight Sees the Father and the Son

Part 2 The Man of Sin is Revealed

Part 3- Melchizedek Priesthood required to Establish Zion

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

Part 5- Patriarchal Priesthood Administers New and Everlasting Covenant

Part 6- The Transfiguration of Lyman Wight

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

Part 8- The Gospel of Abraham and Patriarchal Polygamy

Part 9- Three Orders of Priesthood

Part 10- Three Distinct Churches Representing Three Distinct Gospel Laws

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

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

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

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

Black and White Robes Final

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


“Account of Meetings, Revelation, and Blessing, 5–6 December 1834″

March 3, 2015

On December 5 & 6th 0f 1834, four members of the Presidency of the Church of the Latter day Saints met to Ordain Oliver Cowdery as one of three assistants to President Joseph Smith Jr..

During this event, some pretty amazing stuff was revealed that I am going to commentary about in this post.

Over the years, as I have searched the scriptures and the history of the church, I have found it to be absolutely astounding how much incredible information has been made available to historians during the last for four generations, and yet the significance and meaning of much of this information has remained sealed up by the Lord.

Although historians, researchers and authors have acknowledged and referenced much of this raw historical data in books and papers, they have largely been oblivious to what it all means because the Lord has previously sealed up the meaning of this information from us. It is only in recent times that the Lord God appears to be taking the partial blindness off of Israel and opening up the meaning behind much of the historical details that has always been available to researchers.

Because of this, it is now possible to create an understandable timeline of what really happened during Joseph Smith’s ministry.

The title of the “notes” taken in the handwriting of Oliver Cowdery is:

Account of Meetings, Revelation, and Blessing, 5–6 December 1834

I will be quoting some, but not all of the above mentioned text. Those that would like to read the entire document for greater context, or simply check the accuracy of the quotations I provide, to a copy of the original source, are encouraged to view  the online transcript that is available at the Joseph Smith Papers website.

In this commentary we will document that exactly 3 1/2 years to the day, after the restoration of the Melchizedek priesthood at the Morley Farm Conference, the Lord placed both the leaders of the church and the members of the church under CONDEMNATION and told them that they needed to have a REFORMATION IN ALL THINGS. This revelation was clearly documented at the time, and eventually entered into the official history of the church, but never canonized in the D&C.

Below is a snippet from the revelation:

“Verily,  condemnation resteth upon you, who are appointed to lead my Chu[r]ch,  and to be saviors of men: and also upon the church: And there must needs be a  repentance and a refor[m]ation among you, in all things..”

The pronouncement of condemnation upon the leaders of the church was not a new thing. In September of 1832, (D&C 84:54-58) the Lord had declared that the leaders of the church had brought the whole church under condemnation because of their vanity and unbelief. The main difference between the two revelatory rebukes, was that the revelation in 1834 was a second rebuke, requiring a reformation of all things. In my opinion, the declaration that there must be a reformation in all things can only mean one of two things (or both);

1- All things within the church had become totally corrupt through transgression and therefore the church need to repent, reform, and return to the original gospel that had initially been revealed.

or

2- Because of extenuating circumstances having to do with the transgression of the church and the breaking of the New and Everlasting Covenant, an intercession was taking place the necessitated the introduction of ancient laws and statutes. This would bring about a priesthood reformation. This might account for the declaration that Joseph would be making about how the Lord had revealed to him that “Something new must be done for the salvation of the church”.

It is my contention that the three and a half year period, from the restoration of the Melchizedek priesthood until this revelation was given, is very significant and that it fulfills prophecies in the Book of Daniel and the Book of Revelation.

It marks the time period during which the “Church of God” came out of the wilderness of darkness and struggled to establish the kingdom of God on the earth, (see the conditional prophecy in D&C 103:5-8) but ultimately fled back into the wilderness of darkness. It marks the period of time that the Gentiles received and then rejected the fulness of the gospel/priesthood.

The Book of Daniel informs us that following this brief emergence of the Kingdom of God on earth, the “horn” would “make war with the saints and prevail against them until the Ancient of days” returns to the earth. At that time, the true saints will possess the kingdom. (Daniel 7:21-22)

In this historical document that we are going to dissect, we shall observe what I consider to be definitive revelatory proof (for those who are being taught by the spirit as they read the scriptures and history provided herein) that the appearance of Christ and three ministering angels to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery, as detailed in section 110, was a true historical event and that it had been foretold in the blessing of Oliver Cowdery as well as in a revelation to… well, more on that later in this post..

This definitive proof  is provided in the inspired ordination of Oliver Cowdery, given by Joseph Smith a little over a year before the event documented in section 110 took place.

In this revelatory ordination it was declared by the spirit of prophecy that Oliver Cowdery would eventually

1. hear the voice of the Lord
2. receive ministering angels
3. have the blessings of Abraham bestowed upon him

Those three prophetic petitions represent a summary of what happened a little over a year later, on April 3 1836

At that particular time in the history of the church, the focus had been on Christ’s atonement and the fulness of the Gospel. Nothing was being said about receiving the blessings of Abraham. Indeed, the emergence of “patriarchal blessings” and the emphasis on tracing lineal priesthood right, did not take place until after the Gentiles rejected the fulness.

The very first patriarchal blessing that Joseph Smith Sr. gave would not take place until a few days after this ordination of Oliver Cowdery which takes place at the culmination of the 3 1/2 year period, hence, the concept of receiving blessings and priesthood ordinations relative to or stemming from one’s Abrahamic lineage was a relatively foreign concept at the time. I will demonstrate in the post that the blessings of Abraham were now becoming significant at this point in time because the church was experiencing a secret change of priesthood administration. Although the facts were all made public, few people understood the significance of the changes taking place. The prophetic events related thereto completely changed the trajectory of the church. More on that later.

The following article speaks to the fact that God’s promise to Abraham that his posterity would bless the nations of the world in the latter days is not fully explained in the Bible, yet it is revealed in the Book of Abraham. The article documents how the Book of Abraham provides the missing explanation of the prophecy that would provide the interpretive keys to understanding what the “dispensation of the Gospel of Abraham” really was referring to,  in section 110. Bottom-line: Contextual proof that the Book of Abraham is authentic and true

Reading Abraham While God Winks

Hence, it is really quite unlikely and quite remarkable that, at the time of the final rejection of the fulness of the gospel, and the official condemnation of the leaders and members of the church, the Lord is foretelling that the blessings of Abraham will be bestowed upon Oliver, so that another preparatory ministry and gathering could take place during the “little season” prior to the redemption of Zion.

Obviously all three of the above listed events from the blessing mentioned in Oliver Cowdery’s ordination took place a about a year later during the vision that took place behind the veil in the Kirtland Temple.

In this post, exact quotes from the above mentioned historical document will be provided in bold maroon to help the reader distinguish between my commentary and the historical document. When I provide supporting historical documentation or scripture, it will usually be in bold black text .

 “Friday Evening, December 5, 1834.  According to the direction of the Holy Spirit, Pr[e]s ident Smith,assistant Presidents, [Sidney] Rigdon and [Frederick G.] Williams, assembled for the  purpose of ordaining<first> High Counsellor [Oliver] Cowdery to the office of assistant  President of the High and Holy Priesthood in the Church of the Latter-Day Saints.

It is necessary, for the special benefit of the reader, that he be instructed <into, or> con cerning the power and authority of the above named Priesthood.

First. The office of the President is to preside over the whole Chu[r]ch; to be  considered as at the head; to receive revelations for the Church; to be a Seer, and Revelator <and Prophet—> having all the gifts of God:— having taking <Moses> for an ensample. Which is the office and station of the above President Smith, according to the calling of God, and the ordination which he has received.

Second. The office of Assistant President is to assist in presiding  over the whole chu[r]ch, and to officiate in the abscence of the President, accor ding to their<his> rank and appointment, viz: President Cowdery, first; Pres ident Rigdon Second, and President Williams Third, as they <were> are sev erally called. The office of this Priesthood is also to act as Spokesman—taking  Aaron for an ensample.

The virtue of this the <above> Priesthood is to hold the keys of the kingdom of heaven,  or the Church militant.”

The notes continue on to explain that the delay in ordaining president Cowdery to this office and call was due to his attendance in Zion while helping William W. Phelps conduct the church printing business. This is why presidents Rigdon and Williams were apparently ordained prior to Oliver Cowdery even though Oliver was the first assistant to the President called. Nevertheless, it appears that presidents Rigdona and Williams were given similar blessings to Oliver’s following Oliver’s ordination.

For those wondering how Oliver could be called to the above office in the above mentioned priesthood, let me point out two significant details.

First- less than a week prior to this meeting, Joseph and Oliver Cowdery had privately united together and entered into the “covenant of tithing [consecration]” for the “continuance of [priesthood] blessings“. Hence, even though the church had cumulatively broken the covenant of consecration contained in the law of the gospel (D&C 42), Joseph and Oliver had provided an intercession that would enable gospel blessings from the priesthood to continue on until the temple was completed and the “acceptable offering” of the “sons of Levi” could be fully consummated.

Secondly- It needs to be pointed out that the particular priesthood office being addressed in this particular ordination was to the “office of assistant  President of the High and Holy Priesthood in the Church of the Latter-Day Saints.”

Notice the use of the new name of the church. Notice that the terms “Church of Christ” and “Church of God” that had previously been used in revelation by the Lord, had been discarded. This is because the Lord had taken His name out of the name of the restored church because of the breaking of the consecration covenant. This event took place in a special conference that had previously taken place on May 3 1834.

One of the amazing things we learn from the plat of the city of Zion that Joseph produced in 1833, is that there is a multiplicity of priesthood callings and offices that are not commonly understood or talked about.

It is appartent in reading the Old Testament that the Levitical priesthood had the office of “high priest” that was not the same office of “high priest” that function after the order of Melchizedek.

In Joseph Smith’s plat, there were 24 separate temples and numerous pulpits with priesthood  designations on them. One of them was:

House of the Lord, for the Presidency of the High and Holy Priesthood, after the order of Melchizedek

and another was:

“House of the Lord, for the Presidency of the High and Holy Priesthood, after the Order of Aaron”

As you can see, the Melchizedek and Aaronic orders both had the office of “high priest

One needs to be aware of these things and pay close attention to the wording being used as one studies the history of the church in order to get the story behind the story.

I have preciously pointed out in other posts that the secret ushering in of the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham in 1836, at the time when the saints were expecting the ushering in of the dispensation of the fulness of times, represented a huge change in trajectory.

Additionally, it was at that time that the saints were anticipating the high priests to be endowed with power from on high so that the gospel could be taken to the world in power for the last time, culminating in the redemption of Zion. But that clearly did not take place. Instead, the quorum of apostles that were clearly under condemnation at the time, (see D&C 112) were sent forth to establish foreign missions for the purpose of taking the “knowledge” of the fulness of the gospel to the “house of Israel” per the prophecy of Christ in 3 Nephi 16.

The explanatory narrative within the notes informs us that an angel had previously promised that Oliver would be ordained to that calling:

“.. but that this promise [or Ordaining Oliver to the Presidency of the High Priesthood] was  made by the angel while in company with President Smith, at the time they recievd  the office of the lesser priesthood.”

This is really quite a remarkable declaration. It is just one more proof that there is a distinction between the two lineal priesthood endowments involving angels in 1829, and the restoration of the Melchizedek Priesthood in 1831. Furthermore, the priesthood ordination that Oliver was being given in 1834 may have been something other than what one might suppose.

There are two possible ways to interpret the above snippet and the historical narrative regarding the restoration of priesthood from John the Baptist and from Peter, James and John.

Some historians have speculated that there was no visit from Peter James and John, and that Joseph and Oliver’s ordination to the office of Elder in the church back in those early years represented the office of Elder in the Aaronic priesthood, not Melchizedek priesthood.

This is clearly a possibility.

However, in previous posts I have challenged this interpretation and offered another one.

My contention is that while John the Baptist bestowed priesthood “keys” pertaining to the Aaronic priesthood, Peter James and John were simply ordaining Joseph and Oliver to the office of elder in the “Abrahamic”, otherwise referred to as “patriarchal”  priesthood that they already held by virtue of their lineage. (See Joseph’s discourse detailing the fact that there are three categories of priesthood, not two)

Since the patriarchal priesthood of Abraham is inherited according to lineage, it did not need to be restored or bestowed, only a church office within that priesthood would need to be “bestowed” through “ordination”.

There are accounts regarding the ordination of elder wherein only one angel (singular) was doing the ordaining, instead of three. That is consistent with the above snippet.

Additionally, in previous posts, I have provided another obscure historical tidbit that also supports my above contention. I offer it again below. When Joseph Smith dictated his first attempt at a personal history in 1832 he made these remarks:

“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

[Clearly referencing priesthood reception from more than just John the Baptist (Peter, James and John) ],

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

[clearly referencing the restoration of the Melchizedek priesthood according to the voice of God from heaven at the Morley Farm]

and the continuation of the blessings of God to him &c”

The above account, demonstrates that more than one ministering angel was involved in the bestowing of priesthood keys and’or offices in or about 1829. Interestingly, the first priesthood administers the “letter of the law” (law and commandments), while the next lineal priesthood has the authority to administer the saving ordinances.

These first two priesthoods are separate and distinct from each other and also separate and distinct from the final priesthood and which is described as the “holy order of the son of the living God” and the “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” 

Interestingly, some critics of the restoration have claimed that Joseph Smith never mentioned the reception of the priesthood from John the Baptist and Peter, James and John until 1836 or after, yet we have just seen one account written in 1832 and one in 1834.

Continuing on with the examination of this document and associated event. Joseph gives an account of the revelatory rebuke that the Lord gave them just before Oliver is ordained. Notice the preliminary characterization that is offered to guide the mind of the reader:

“After this short explanation, we now proceed to give an account of the  acts, promises, and blessings of this memorable Evening:

First. After assembling, we received a rebuke for our former low,  uncultivated, and disrespectful manner of communication, and salutation, with, and unto each other, by the voice of the Spirit, saying unto us:

‘Verily,  condemnation resteth upon you, who are appointed to lead my Chu[r]ch,  and to be saviors of men: and also upon the church: And there must needs be a  repentance and a refor[m]ation among you, in all things, in your ensamples  before the Chuch, and before the world, in all your manners, habits and customs,  and salutations one toward another—rendering unto every man the respect  due the office,and calling, and priesthood, whereunto I the Lord have appointed and ordained you. Amen.'”

Ok, I am now going to take issue with how Joseph Smith (or Oliver, who ever is responsible for constructing these notes) re-frames the contextual content of the revelation before he even reveals what the revelation says.

The official narrative ( which I am assuming was dictated or at least approved by Joseph Smith ) appears to reduce the short revelation of censure to a rebuke for the fact that the leaders and members of the church were not treating the Lord’s appointed leaders of the church with the proper respect due them in their office, callings and priesthood..

I strongly disagree with Joseph’s simplified assessment of the Lord’s chastisement and I will provide my reasons later in this post.

Directly following the recital of the revelation, the narrative declares, Joseph and his associates rejoiced at the fact that they were reproofed because they repented and reformed in every particular, according to the instruction given:

“It is only necessary to say, relative to the foregoing reproof and  instruction, that, though it was given in sharpness, it occasioned gladness and joy, and we were willing to repent and reform, in every particular, according to the instruction given. It is also proper to remark,  that after the reproof was given, we all confessed, voluntarily, that such  had been the manifestations of the Spirit a long times  since; in consequence of which the rebuke came with greater sharpness.

Not thinking to evade the truth, or excuse, in order to escape censure,  but to give proper information, a few remarks relative to the situation  of the chu[r]ch previous to this date, is necessary. Many, on hearing the fulness  of the gospel, embraced it with eagerness; <yet,> at the same time were unwilling  to forego their former opinions and notions relative to church government, and  the rules and habits proper for the good order, harmony, peace, and beauty of  a people destined, with the protecting care of the Lord, to be an ensample and  light of the world.

Frankly, I think the above narrative, does in fact represent the evading of the truth and an attempt to escape the full censure that was being proffered. More on that later, continuing on:

They did not dispise government; but there was a disposition to organize that government according to their own notions, or feelings. For example: Every man must be subjected <to> wear a particular fashioned coat, hat, or other garment, or else an accusation was brought  that we were fashioning after the world. Every one must be called by  their given name, without respecting the office or ordinance to  which they had been called: Thus, President Smith was called Joseph, or broth er Joseph; President Rigdon, brother Sidney, or Sidney, &c.

This manner of  address gave occasion to the enemies of the truth, and was a means  of bringing reproach upon the Cause of God. But in consequence of former prejudices, the church, many of them, would not submit to proper and wholesome order. This proceeded from a spirit of enthusiasm, and  vain ambition—a desire to compel others to come to certain rules, not  dictated by the will of the Lord; or a jealous fear, that, were men called by thier respective titles, and the ordinance of heaven honored in  a proper manner, some were in a way to be exalted above others, and their form  of government disregarded.”

If I understand Joseph’s commentary above, a major part of the problem is that some of the Saints did not want to show special reverence and honor to those called to priesthood positions by addressing them as “president Rigdon” or “president Smith”  instead of just “Sidney” or “Joseph”. Frankly, I sympathize with those that felt it was wrong to show priesthood “class distinction” because there had been several warnings from the Lord about how people were not to excel one above another.

Notice how the Lord, after addressing the fact that each man is to teach others according to the “office” they have been appointed, is to esteem his brother as himself!

“But, verily I say unto you, teach one another according to the office wherewith I have appointed you;
And let every man esteem his brother as himself, and practise virtue and holiness before me.
And again I say unto you, let every man esteem his brother as himself.”

No matter what your calling is, or isn’t, everyone is to be esteemed by each other equally!

Notice the following rebuke to William W. Phelps who seemed to want to excel, possibly because of his priesthood appointment:

“And also let my servant William W. Phelps stand in the office to which I have appointed him, and receive his inheritance in the land; And also he hath need to repent, for I, the Lord, am not well pleased with him, for he seeketh to excel, and he is not sufficiently meek before me.”

In section 78 The Lord gives a specific commandment regarding the “organization” of his people by the High Priests regulating the affairs of the storehouse. In it he stresses that his people must be equal in all earthly and heavenly things:

“THE Lord spake unto Joseph Smith, Jun., saying: Hearken unto me, saith the Lord your God, who are ordained unto the high priesthood of my church, who have assembled yourselves together;
2 And listen to the counsel of him who has ordained you from on high, who shall speak in your ears the words of wisdom, that salvation may be unto you in that thing which you have presented before me, saith the Lord God.
3 For verily I say unto you, the time has come, and is now at hand; and behold, and lo, it must needs be that there be an organization of my people, in regulating and establishing the affairs of the storehouse for the poor of my people, both in this place and in the land of Zion—
4 For a permanent and everlasting establishment and order unto my church, to advance the cause, which ye have espoused, to the salvation of man, and to the glory of your Father who is in heaven;
5 That you may be equal in the bonds of heavenly things, yea, and earthly things also, for the obtaining of heavenly things.
6 For if ye are not equal in earthly things ye cannot be equal in obtaining heavenly things;
7 For if you will that I give unto you a place in the celestial world, you must prepare yourselves by doing the things which I have commanded you and required of you.
8 And now, verily thus saith the Lord, it is expedient that all things be done unto my glory, by you who are joined together in this order”

The importance of showing equality among all of the saints is consistent with section 76 wherein we are informed that all members of the church of the firstborn are “equal in power, and in might, and in dominion.”

In section 101 we are informed that one of the problems experienced by the original high priests is that “ there were jarrings, and contentions, and envyings, and strifes, and lustful and covetous desires among them; therefore by these things they polluted their inheritances.

I find it hard to believe that class distinction in priesthood callings did not play into the contentions and envyings and jealousies that took place.

Previous to that revelation the Lord had identified jealousies and fears as the primary reasons that the high priests were not seeing the face of God as expected.

“And again, verily I say unto you that it is your privilege, and a promise I give unto you that have been ordained unto this ministry, that inasmuch as you strip yourselves from jealousies and fears, and humble yourselves before me, for ye are not sufficiently humble, the veil shall be rent and you shall see me and know that I am—not with the carnal neither natural mind, but with the spiritual.”

Certainly the jealousies experienced were at least partly related to the spiritual class distinction that takes place when some priests begin claiming Pentecostal experiences and others cannot make the same claims. Ordinations to specific callings in addition to their ordination as a High priest, also no doubt caused jealousies.

I am not disagreeing with what the Lord is saying, I am dissagreeing with the interpretation being offered by Joseph Smith. Yes we should treat the appointed leaders with the proper respect. But should we not treat he or her that is least in the kingdom with the exact same respect?

Clearly it is important to treat leaders with support and respect. One of the problems that the church had just experienced, had to do with the high priests in Zion, and the high priests in Kirtland being publicly critical of each other and speaking disrespectfully of each other and making accusations. We have covered that in a previous post. That clearly did prejudice the non-Mormons against the latter day work.

My concern is that Joseph’s summation of the revelation minimized, if not overlooked, the obvious fact that the Saints had just failed to live the everlasting covenant of consecration that they had entered into. Yes, disrespecting appointed leaders was one of many problems, but hardly the only one. And calling leaders by their titles was hardly the main problem in my opinion.

Opening the Door to Prophet Worship

It appears to me as if Joseph and his brethren may have misinterpreted what the Lord was saying and that by emphasizing the exaltation of leadership positions, it created a problem with regard to the terrible plight of “prophet worship” that the church has been plagued with from that time onward to the present time. I have noticed that contemporary general authorities of the apostate church love to take snippets of the above revelation and Joseph’s interpretation to really emphasize how important it is to call authorities by their proper titles, etc.

The act of the entire congregation standing in humble reverence when the president of the apostate church walks into a ward meeting is an abomination in the site of God. I doubt that Joseph Smith would have allowed such a pompous vanity to exist even in his darkest hours.

Frankly, Joseph’s interpretation of the revelation kind of reminds me of when the Lord commanded Moses to provide water for the thirsting Israelites by striking the rock. Following that, Moses was supposed to “sanctify the Lord” (give all credit and glory to the Lord). Since Moses did not do exactly as instructed and since he took credit for the act himself, encouraging the children of Israel to put their faith in the arm of flesh, he was prevented from crossing the river and had to die.

Of course we know the story behind the story. Moses was simply acting out his role as an intercessory offering and that is why he committed the sin. The sins of the people had been put upon him.

Is it possible that this event marks the same intercessory spot in Joseph’s intercessory role?

I disagree with the supposition that the condemnation of the church had to do primarily with the fact that the saints were not calling leaders by their priesthood titles. I doubt Jesus referred to Nephi as Elder Nephi or President Nephi after giving him authority and I doubt Nephi addressed his brethren of the Twelve that way either.

I think the condemnation had more to do with how the saints refused to obeyed the word of the Lord coming through the appointed leaders. That, in my opinion, is the root of the problem and what the Lord was angry about.

Let’s analyse the prophetic rebuke.

I believe there are basically three separate, though related, major points being made and that the third point does not represent the full explanation of the first two points, but rather it is simply a related sub-topics of the first topic:

1. Verily,  condemnation resteth upon you, who are appointed to lead my Chu[r]ch,  and to be saviors of men: and also upon the church:

2. And there must needs be a  repentance and a refor[m]ation among you, in all things,

3.  in your ensamples  before the Chuch, and before the world, in all your manners, habits and customs,  and salutations one toward another—rendering unto every man the respect  due the office,and calling, and priesthood, whereunto I the Lord have appointed and ordained you. Amen.'”

The major point of the rebuke is that the entire church had been condemned.

The second point is that the church now needed to reform in all things.

Finally, as a sub-category of points #1 & 2, the Lord noted that the Saints had not been showing the proper respect for their appointed leaders by virtue of the fact that the saints were not obeying the commandments of God coming through the leaders.

Let me point out a chronological keyword sequence that provides context to the declaration that the saints need to have a reformation.

prophetic Sequence #1

In March of 1829 (BoC Chapter 4) The Lord gave a revelation in which he prophesied that after the church was restored, they would need to have a reformation and that if they failed at the reformation, he would deliver them over to Satan:  “if the people harden not their hearts ..I will work a [future] reformation…

Prophetic Sequence #2

Then, as demonstrated in this historical document that we are reviewing, on December 5th 1834,, exactly 3 1/2 years after the fulness was restored to the earth, the Lord declares that the entire church is condemned and must have a reformation in all things: Verily,  condemnation resteth upon you, who are appointed to lead my Chu[r]ch,  and to be saviors of men: and also upon the church: And there must needs be a  repentance and a refor[m]ation among you, in all things,

Prophetic Sequence #3

Interestingly, in July 16th 1843, (WofJS pg 232-3) two years after Hyrum had been ordained to act in concert with Joseph as the presiding High Priest of the church,  Joseph publicly announced that he would no longer prophesy for the church, leaving Hyrum as the sole president of the church. He then publicly declared that “Hyrum held the office of prophet & he was going to have a reformation”. This is really quite amazing because it shows that Joseph was still very much aware of the rebuke and warning that the Lord had given to the entire church back in 1834. The first thing Hyrum did at that point is to go around with two other presiding officers of the church and try to stamp out polygamy. Sadly, Hyrum was converted to polygamy through the efforts of Brigham Young, but the attempt to have a reformation did not end with Hyrum’s attempt.

Prophetic Sequence #4

Finally, on June 7 1844, William Law published the Nauvoo Expositor in which he exposed Joseph’s involvement in polygamy and he invited the church to have a REFORMATION. The prospectus of the paper stated:

“It Is intended to be the organ of the Reformed Mormon Chnrch

The following snippet is taken from the text of the paper:

“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 sew fruit meet for repentance  it would be as acceptable with God, as though they were exposed to public gaze..”

The Need for Reformation was systemic

As we can see from the four part chronological keyword sequence of the reformation of the church, the scolding of the Lord given in 1834 had been prophesied way back in 1829. The rebuke in the 1834 revelation was much more severe than simply chastising the saints for not acknowledging the priesthood titles of those that had been ordained to lead the church.

Since readers of this analysis are probably mortified that I seem to be criticizing Joseph’s characterization of the rebuke from the Lord, let me remind you of the book of Mormon’s expanded translation of Isaiah 29:10

“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)

As you can see, the latter day prophets and seers (like Joseph, Oliver and Sidney) stumble because the Saints reject their warnings, declarations and commandments that the Lord utters through them.

The five part sequence of Joseph Smith’s ministry that I have been documenting since 2008 clearly demonstrates that it is at this time in the history of the church (at the end of the 3 1/2 year period) that the eyes of the seers are being covered.

Why?

Because the saints had rejected the prophets!

That is the real point the Lord was making when he said that the saints would not submit to proper order! The saints did not show due respect to Joseph, Sidney and Oliver by virtue of the fact that they did not obey the commandments given through them!

They broke the everlasting covenant! (See Isaiah 24)

“But in consequence of former prejudices, the church, many of them, would not submit to proper and wholesome order”

For even greater context from which to interpret the Lords rebuke, here is a brief chronology of events that took place within a year leading up to the revelation, showing how the Church had struggled:

April 23rd 1834 (Section 104) “the covenants [had been] broken through transgression”

May 3, 1834 (HC 2:62-63) Conference of the Church held ten days after breaking law of consecration and officially removes the name of Christ from the name of the Church and changes name to “Church of the Latter day Saints” Note how this document being reviewed refers to the church as the “Church of the Latter day Saints”

June 22 1834 section 105 The Lord informs the Saints that they must wait for little season of chastisement and learning before the redemption of Zion can take place

June 23 1834 Secret revelation to Zion High Priests who will gather strength of God’s house in the 3rd watch.

November 29 1834 Covenant of tithing for the continuance of blessings

Those events culminated in the final revelation of condemnation:

December 5 1834 The Saints and Leaders of the Church are condemned and need a reformation in all things

As you can see, a contextual reading of the 1834 condemnation, in view of the above summary of events leading up to the condemnation, makes it pretty obvious that the condemnation and call for reformation in all things is caused by much more that showing respect for the “titles” of authorities and the other misc things mentioned in the text being analyzed.

Ok.. I will suspend my rant for now while we continue reviewing the amazing piece of church history:

“After addressing the throne of mercy, President Smith laid hands up on High Counsellor Cowdery, and ordained him to the Presidency of the High priesthood in the Church, saying:

Brother, In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, who was crucified for  the sins of the world, that we through the virtue of his blood might come to the Father, I lay my hands upon thy head, and ordain thee a President of the high and  holy priesthood, to assist in presiding over the Chu[r]ch, and bearing the keys of this kingdom—which priesthood is after the order of Melchizedek—which is after the order of the Son of God—

And now, O Father, wilt thou bless this thy servant  with wisdom, knowledge, and understanding— give him, by the Holy Spirit,  a correct understanding of thy doctrine, laws, and will— commune with  him from on high—

let him hear thy voice, and recieve the ministries ministring  of the holy angels

deliver him from temptation, and the power of  darkness— deliver him from evil, and from those who may seek his destruction, — be his shield, his buckler, and his great reward— endow him with power from on  high, that he may write, preach, and proclaim the gospel to his fellowmen in demonstration of the Spirit and of power— may his feet never slide— may his  heart never feint— may his faith never fail.

Bestow upon him the blessings of his fathers Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and of Joseph

Prolong his  life to a good old age, and bring him in peace to his end, and to rejoice with  thy saints, even the sanctified, in the celestial kingdom; for thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.”

Oh my gosh… I feel it coming on…

Unbe-freakin-lievable !

There is the preliminary petition foretelling what was going to happen on April 3 1834

1. hear the voice of the Lord
2. receive ministering angels
3. have the blessings of Abraham bestowed upon him

But it gets even better.

Since the Lord is revealing through Joseph Smith’s ordination of Oliver Cowdery that the event in Section 110 is going to be taking place, lets search the revelations being given at about this time to see if there are any other prophecies that foretell the upcoming event documented in Section 110, wherein the Lord secretly comes to his temple as a thief in the night.

Notice section 106 given on November 25 1834, just days before this ordination takes place

“And again, verily I say unto you, the coming of the Lord draweth nigh, and it overtaketh the world as a thief in the night— Therefore, gird up your loins, that you may be the children of light, and that day shall not overtake you as a thief.”

Oh my gosh… I feel it coming on again…

Unbe-freakin-lievable !

There it is. The Lord is warning the saints that the coming of the Lord is nigh and that it would result in ushering in a new “day” that the world would be virtually unaware of.

But what about the Saints of the restoration?

Would the saints be aware of it?

Only if they took heed and gird up their loins.

The Lord had previously declared that the drop dead date for the redemption of Zion would be on or before September 11th of 1836. ( see D&C 64:21) He had informed the Saints that at that time in history, it was called “today”, but once the Son of man comes, it would be a new day:

Behold, now it is called today until the coming of the Son of Man, and verily it is a day of sacrifice, and a day for the tithing [consecration] of my people; for he that is tithed [consecrated] shall not be burned at his coming.” (D&C 64:23)

He also declared that “if ye believe me, ye will labor while it is called today.

This explains why the anticipated missionary work by the High Priests that were to be endowed with power from on high and take the gospel to the nations for the last time, never took place after the Kirtland Temple Solemn Assembly, as anticipated. The final endowment did not come at the appointed time and a new day was secretly ushered during the eight days of the Kirtland Temple dedictation and acceptation period.  The window of time for that work had ended.

Shortly thereafter Joseph would declare that “something new must be done for the salvation of the church“.

Up until the secret coming of the Lord to the Kirtland Temple, Joseph Smith had been encouraging the Saints that had been scattered from Jackson County to relocate to places close by Jackson for the sole purpose of redeeming Zion at the up coming appointed time in September 1836. Understandably, Joseph quit talking about that strategy once the secret coming of the Lord took place as a thief in the night. He knew that the bridegroom had tarried with regard to the appoint meeting with the virgins and that they would not enter the chamber at that time. It would need to take place in the 3rd watch. Nevertheless, the Lord came suddenly to his temple as promised.

In 1830, shortly after the formal establishment of the church, the Lord had declared:

“I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God; wherefore, gird up your loins and I will suddenly come to my temple. Even so. Amen.”

The Lord had warned the saints about 13 times that “I come Quickly“. Most of those pronouncements appear to have been referring to the secret coming during the second watch. One of them clearly had reference to his coming as a thief in the night during the third watch.

in section 51 he said-

“Verily, I say unto you, I am Jesus Christ, who cometh quickly, in an hour you think not. Even so. Amen.”

He repeated this warning again in section 133:

“HEARKEN, O ye people of my church, saith the Lord your God, and hear the word of the Lord concerning you—
The Lord who shall suddenly come to his temple; the Lord who shall come down upon the world with a curse to judgment; yea, upon all the nations that forget God, and upon all the ungodly among you.”

Those declarations were paraphrasing Malachi 3:1.

The prophecy has a dual fulfillment. Once in the 2nd watch and once in the 3rd watch.

The Lord knew the Saints of that generation would cumulatively not be aware of his secret appearance.

Clearly he did come, after the expected time of his coming during the Solemn Assembly, and before the anticipated September 11th deadline. It happened “suddenly”, and “quickly”. in an hour that he was not expected.

Most Mormons erroneously associate the declaration in Section 106, that the Lord’s coming was “nigh” with the Lord’s coming in glory , which has yet to take place four generations later. Therefore they suffer from cognitive dissonance and take modern revelation lightly since it appears to them as if the prophecy about Christ’s eminent return was unfulfilled.

But clearly this revelation documented in section 106 was not speaking about Christ’s coming in glory wherein the whole world sees it and tries to run for cover from the wrath of God, this is referring to the second of three separate and distinct secretative comings as a thief in the night. Those passages are clearly foretelling the secret appearance of Christ to Joseph and Oliver behind the veil at the Kirtland Temple.

But wait..

It gets even better.

While the revelation documented in section 86, that the Lord’s coming was nigh, was to eventually be made public and canonized in 1835, for the benefit and warning of the whole church, it was, nevertheless being directed specifically to one certain High Priest who was being informed about this secret coming of the Lord.

This High Priest is one of the very few personalities in modern revelation that received praise from the Lord rather than just admonition or even chastisement.

He was informed that he had been the cause of “joy in heaven” because he “bowed” to the “scepter” and separated himself from the “crafts” of men.

He was told that he was “blessed” and that the Lord would have “mercy” on him.

He was promised that he would receive “Grace” and “have assurance wherewith he may stand“.

He was promised that if he would continue to be a “faithful witness” to the “church“, a “crown” had been prepared for him.

Who was this faithful witness that section 106 we addressed to?

In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall ever word be established

The scriptures inform us that in the mouth of two or three witnesses, every word shall be established. In the case of of the Lord’s coming in secret, as a thief in the night, Joseph and Oliver were the primary witnesses. They were obviously commanded to keep the vision and related prophecy as secret. Yet the Lord wanted future generations to know about the astounding event and thus he had Joseph and Oliver document this event in a church historical journal. It appears the Lord wanted a third independent witness hear the testimony of Joseph and Oliver and write it down above his own name, documenting that he knew of this incredible secret event.

The Lord had Joseph and Oliver dictate this experience to a scribe as he wrote the experience down, prividing three witnesses that the event took place. Following that, there is no historical evident to suggest that any of these three faithful witnesses ever publicly revealed what had taken place.

That person that wrote down the narrative that has become section 110, was Warren Cowdery, Oliver’s brother.

with that in mind, look who section 106 is being addressed to.

1 IT is my will that my servant Warren A. Cowdery should be appointed and ordained a presiding high priest over my church, in the land of Freedom and the regions round about;
2 And should preach my everlasting gospel, and lift up his voice and warn the people, not only in his own place, but in the adjoining counties;
3 And devote his whole time to this high and holy calling, which I now give unto him, seeking diligently the kingdom of heaven and its righteousness, and all things necessary shall be added thereunto; for the laborer is worthy of his hire.

“And again, verily I say unto you, the coming of the Lord draweth nigh, and it overtaketh the world as a thief in the night— Therefore, gird up your loins, that you may be the children of light, and that day shall not overtake you as a thief.”

And again, verily I say unto you, there was joy in heaven when my servant Warren bowed to my scepter, and separated himself from the crafts of men; [referring to Warrens repentance of his participation of Masonry]
7 Therefore, blessed is my servant Warren, for I will have mercy on him; and, notwithstanding the vanity of his heart, I will lift him up inasmuch as he will humble himself before me.
8 And I will give him grace and assurance wherewith he may stand; and if he continue to be a faithful witness and a light unto the church I have prepared a crown for him in the mansions of my Father. Even so. Amen.”

The High Priest was none other than Warren Cowdery.

He was the faithful witness.

Oh my gosh… I feel it coming on again…

Unbe-freakin-lievable !

Is it a coincidence that the Lord told Warren Cowdery that the coming of the Lord was nigh at hand and that it overtaketh the world as a thief in the night.. then admonished Warren to watch for it and continue being a faithful witness.. and then, when the historical document of the secret visit of the Lord is found years later, it is none other than Warren Cowery that had written the account down!

Woe unto those that question and mock the veracity of section 110 and question the motives and integrity of Warren Cowdery as the scribe thereof.  Ye, wo unto those that deny the revelations of God.

Ok…. I need to self medicate and go to bed. The excitement of doing this commentary has exhausted me. It has been so exhilarating and edifying.

I  hope you have enjoyed reading it as much as I have enjoyed writing it.

I will now wrap things up.

The narrative ends with the following statement

Much light was communicated to our minds, and we were instructed into  the order of the church of the saints, and how they ought to conduct in re specting and reverencing each other. The praise of men, or the honor of this world,  is of no benefit; but if a man is respected in his calling, and considered to be  a man of righteousness, the truth may have an influence, many times, by which  means they may teach the gospel with success, and lead men into the kingdom  of heaven. [p. 19]

This concludes my commentary of the  “Account of Meetings, Revelation, and Blessing, 5–6 December 1834

The restored gospel of Jesus Christ is true.

The historical details and cryptic revelations that have befuddled historians and authors for generations are beginning to make sense because of God’s mercy and because he is now beginning to take away our partial blindness.

The secret history of Mormonism is coming into the light.

The last great restoration and marvelous work is beginning to be ushered in.

The children of light are soon to be gathered.

Zion will soon be redeemed.

Praise God for the mercy he is showing us.

 

 

 


Notable Emails Part 9 “My number one desire right now is to protect my wife and honor her tender feelings about the gospel as she understands it.”

February 25, 2015

Posts 4 & 5 in this series that contained JL’s emails really hit a nerve with some people.  I got this response from an Aussie friend we will call “RA”

“Hey brother

Loved the latest post with JL’s email. 

It could have EASILY been my own…right down to the jots and tittles!”

Another response came from a scientist living back east that I met through this blog back in 2008:

“I like this guy….he is a kindred spirit.

When I read his e-mails, it takes me back a few years….I can superimpose his thoughts/feelings right on top of what mine were back then.

And that’s how the truth should be — constant, the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Yet the truth can set you free as well as destroy you. It’s not what you’re given in life that matters, but what you do with what you are given. 

I remember not sleeping for 72 hours straight just to get through all your posts, then sending you bold questions because I wanted bold answers.

Thanks, again. 

“NEPT”

I hope to be sharing some past correspondence that I have had with  NEPT through the years, if I can find the emails. Sadly, I have had two computer melt downs during the last several years and lost much of my correspondence.

“I Would Like to Connect with JL”

I thought it was interesting that three different people specifically contacted me to get contact information for JL. With two of them, it seemed to be motivated by JL’s amazingly compassionate response to his dear wife who believes differently than him. Apparently they are experiencing a similar challenge with their spouse or children. They would love to connect with someone having that same experience.

Heres are a few snippets from these three guys:

“RT” put in these comments in the about section of my blog:

“I like this JL fella that you have written about recently.

If he is in Utah I would like to reach out to him, as he sounds like a like-minded truth seeker.

Maybe we could do lunch. With his permission, can you put me in touch with him?

Thank you

RT”

I also heard from a reader for the first time who told me about his journey of awakening. Here are a few snippets from a rather long email that he sent-

“My name is “SN and I’m a recovering “mormonoholic”. I’ve been sober going on three years and it feels good. Although sometimes I have felt all alone, especially in the beginning of my awakening. However, about a year ago I shared a few things with my younger brother who is also a fellow “drunkard” from the tribe of Ephraim trying to get dry. Haha, that’s funny Isaiah, we don’t even drink :) and he has been a nice support.

I stumbled upon your blog back in late 2011 and have been a “religious” reader ever since. ..

..Your post Sunday February 15 which I read during gospel doctrine :) did more than just reveal an email. I related so well with JL and thought, “wouldn’t that be cool if I could connect with other recovering “mormonoholics” and provide support for one another…

..Enough rambling. My wife has always been my best friend of 20 years. But the last three years have been hard on our marriage. There have been other factors including taking care of sick parents but I believe at the heart of it is our views on the gospel and the LDS Church have differed.

It’s difficult to confide in your closest confidant only to be met with skepticism and worry that you’ve lost it. (JL, I empathize with you and your wife). You want so bad for them to see it, but they refuse to look. I know I have become too cynical toward LDS corporate, but it’s hard not to once you realize you’ve been deceived all those years.

I believe my own cynicism caused my wife to put up walls. I know the Lord has a timetable for the “awakening” of each of his children and I’m learning patience. The good news is, after 3 years my wife is “softening” to some if these “heretic” views :))).

“Watcher”, your blog has been a tremendous help to me in my awakening. Thank you…

..Please pass my information on to JL and let him know I would love to connect with him should he choose to. I know I could use somebody to lean on once in a while and maybe he feels the same?

Take care

“SR”

Lastly, here is an email I got from a guy we will call “ME”. He first contacted me last summer while I was camping in Nauvoo with my son. He has done some extensive research on the law of consecration that I have previously shared on this blog. Here is what he had to say:

“Watcher,I have not corresponded with you in some time, although I have continued to receive updates on your blog through email, and I always look forward to reading them.
I feel prompted to reach out to you in email once again. And here’s why:
In a couple of your last posts, you shared your email correspondence with “JL” and I was very intrigued.I could relate to much that he said about his journey towards truth.
I think all truth seekers could.
But what really resonated with me was his heartbreaking story about how his exciting new discoveries were received by those closest to him.
Over the last couple years, I have also tried to share the wonderful news of the “true gospel” with some of those that are dear to me, including my wife and my parents (who are all mainstream Mormons with full blinders on), and it has pretty much backfired, just as JL described.
In fact, I was just starting to wonder what was wrong with me, the messenger, and then you shared these posts recently. And I read those words in JL’s email,Only God can truly prepare a person to understand these truths.”And as hard as it is to admit the truth in those words, they did put my mind at ease.I realized that maybe I truly am not a horrible messenger, but rather the message itself is just too pure to be received by anyone except those who are truly prepared by the Lord.The reason I say that those words, albeit comforting, are hard to swallow, is because I am not a patient person. I know this and God knows this. I am so excited about these truths, and I want those around me to also be excited about them. Right now! Not tomorrow, but now! Why can’t they just see? It’s so clear to me now. It’s right there in the scriptures. COME ON PEOPLE! Wake up, already! Open your eyes! Etc, etc, etc. Do you sense my lack of patience yet?

Anyway, I’ll get to the main point here. I am trying to develop more patience, especially when it comes to my wife.

I have to let the Lord work with her when she is ready.

But where this difficult task has been compounded that much more, is in regards to our children. And JL made brief reference to this in his email, but he didn’t expound on it.

I am contacting you because I was wondering if you would be willing to contact JL through email and ask him if I could correspond with him personally, either through email, or even on the phone. If he is willing to do so, I give you permission to give him my email.

Watcher, I do have concern for my wife, and I want dearly for her eyes to be opened. But like JL mentioned about his wife, I know that my wife is one of the kindest and most wonderful Christ-like people out there. So I have all faith that some day she will truly see. BUT, it is my kids that I am currently most concerned about. I know how hard it can be for someone to realize these sacred truths once they have been sucked into the vortex of “Follow the Prophet” and “I Love to See the Temple”. For the majority of my life, I also lived with blinders on, so I know.

Like you mentioned in your last post, it is almost easier to talk to someone who has lost their faith completely, or nearly completely, then to reason with a mainstream true believing mormon. In fact, of those few that are close to me that I have shared these truths with, they have been the most warmly received by one who used to be a TBM that now claims to be an atheist. Go figure.

Anyway, I would love to talk with JL and ask him further questions about how he, and his wife, are dealing with raising their children when their ideas regarding these most important things vary greatly.

Needless to say, it has become a great concern for my wife and myself.

I’m sure you realize how lucky you are that Mrs. Watcher’s eyes were opened at the same time yours were. You truly are blessed in this way! I don’t know exactly why the Lord works with individuals at different times, to help them see. I’m sure there are many different reasons. But I think that for a couple to “wake up” at the same time, partially irrespective of each other, must be something of a miracle…

Anyway, sorry for the length of this email.

As always, God Bless you for your efforts to help others also “wake up”.”

 
Ok…
JL’s email obviously hit a nerve with those five guys. Some of them are dealing with the heartbreak of not being able to share one of the greatest epiphanies of their spiritual life with their most valued and beloved companion at this time.
I happen to know from previous correspondence with others that there are some gals following this blog that have the same problem with their husbands. Clearly there are a LOT of people who are waking up and anxiously waiting for their soul mate to wake up.
 
This is a difficult time to live in because those who currently believe and are waking up, are scattered, and longing for community, and one’s spouse does not always wake up at the same time, and it is not easy to meet and make contact with fellow believers. Ddd to that the exquisitely painful experience of having to keep this glorious information locked up inside instead of sharing it with this lifes companion is unspeakable.
 
(BTW I have contacted JL and told him I would be willing to provide the contact info for those that want to contact him if he wants it. I have not heard back from him yet. I suspect this is a very tender and sensitive time for him where he needs to exercise prudence, as he is trying to protect the feelings of his dear wife right now and it may not be the best time for him to be meeting with others that believe like him)
Sanctifying the unbelieving Spouse
I love how the apostle Paul stated that the unbelieving husband (or wife) is sanctified by the believing wive (or husband).What am amazing declaration from Paul!
JL’s words keep ringing in my ears:“My number one desire right now is to protect my wife and honor her tender feelings about the gospel as she understands it.”JL has chosen to be a protector of his wife instead of a criticizer or a stumbling block.Incredible.

The is the role of the High Priest in Israel and also the role of the family patriarch and matriarch… providing protection for those you love during their time of probation. In some cases the best protection is to teach the truth if it is their time, in other cases, simply loving them and supporting them is the best way to protect them.

I think we don’t even get what the spiritual dynamics are that are involved in the prayers and patience that a person offers up in behalf of their spouse, child, parent, friend, etc.

Perhaps true Charity is in sometimes not sharing the fulness of the Gospel until the appointed time.

As I have been pondering the ramifications of the intercessory atonement statute and how some of the great prophets like Moses and Samuel and Joseph Smith have interceded on behalf of their people, it has led me to the an interesting study regarding the role of the high priest, and how the high priest was required to go into the holy of holies each year and offer up an atonement offering in behalf of his congregation.

Not only is that typological of the great atonement of Christ, and the temporal intercessory intercessions of people like Moses and Joseph, it is probably typological of what the gospel of Jesus Christ requires of each of us with regard to our fellow man.

What an amazing concept it is for one person to intercede in behalf of another person or persons, as the best form of protection is provided for them.

The concept of intercession is remarkable and it shows up in many different forms.

The following admonition of Joseph Smith which he made during his dark days in Nauvoo when people were beginning to accuse him of being a false prophet is somewhat intriguing because he makes a veiled intercessionary statement about taking those who do not accuse him of sin into heaven as his “backload”:

“I charged the Saints not to follow the example of the adversary in accusing the brethren, and said, “If you do not accuse each other, God will not accuse you. If you have no accuser you will enter heaven, and if you will follow the revelations and instructions which God gives you through me, I will take you into heaven as my back load. If you will not accuse me, I will not accuse you. If you will throw a cloak of charity over my sins, I will over yours—for charity covereth a multitude of sins. (Joseph Smith, History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 7 vols. 4:445)

Lately I have been expanding my atonement statute thesis ( atonement statute final 6 UPDATED ) to include additional supporting documentation from the other standard works regarding the role of Joseph Smith. Originally it only had prophesies from the Old Testament in it because I wanted to prove that the prophetic profile of Joseph Smith can easily be documented in the Bible without the aid of the Book of Mormon or the D&C, however, I have now added a huge amount of additional supporting information, primarily from the D&C.

During this research I was reminded about the intercession protection that the “servant” provides to apostate latter day Israel in the following passage contained in the allegory in Jacob 5

“And it came to pass that the Lord of the vineyard said unto the servant: Let us go to and hew down the trees of the vineyard and cast them into the fire, that they shall not cumber the ground of my vineyard, for I have done all.  What could I have done more for my vineyard? 

But, behold, the servant said unto the Lord of the vineyard: Spare it a little longer.

And the Lord said: Yea, I will spare it a little longer, for it grieveth me that I should lose the trees of my vineyard.

Wherefore, let us take of the branches of these which I have planted in the nethermost parts of my vineyard, and let us graft them into the tree from whence they came; and let us pluck from the tree those branches whose fruit is most bitter, and graft in the natural branches of the tree in the stead thereof. 

And this will I do that the tree may not perish, that, perhaps, I may preserve unto myself the roots thereof for mine own purpose.

And, behold, the roots of the natural branches of the tree which I planted whithersoever I would are yet alive; wherefore, that I may preserve them also for mine own purpose, I will take of the branches of this tree, and I will graft them in unto them.  

Yea, I will graft in unto them the branches of their mother tree, that I may preserve the roots also unto mine own self, that when they shall be sufficiently strong perhaps they may bring forth good fruit unto me, and I may yet have glory in the fruit of my vineyard.”

Jacob 5:49-54

I stand in awe of the doctrine of intercession and protection.
I think JL has set an incredible exsample for us about how we need to patiently protect and intercede for our spouse and other loved ones as they are striving to understand the gospel to the best of their ability.

Notable Emails Part 8 “Who are the Jews and Gentiles?

February 24, 2015

I just recently got the following email:

“Dear One who is watching, I need some help.  Who are the Jews and Gentiles? 

What I have been taught… A) we separate them based on lineage, i.e. Christ was a Jew  or B) I hear a lot in church them separated by members and non-member?????? 

I just want to know when I am reading the book of Mormon who is who? 

I have tried to read your post on this subject a number of times, but I just get so confused. Is there a simple way to understand who the Lord is speaking to (me, them, the LDS church, the non Lds members) or how I can better understand this as I read?? 

My mind is so mucked up from growing up LDS, any help would be awesome!!!! 

Thanks you so much for time and help, 

“A”

 

“A”, It really can be confusing…

The Book of Mormon refers to the native Americans as “Jews”, “House of Israel”, Nephites, Lamanites, etc.., while referring to the American pilgrims from England that settled in America and their decendents, the American settlers that accepted the gospel at the time of Joseph Smith’s early ministry, as “Gentiles”. However, what many Mormons don’t realize is that Christ makes reference to those LDS converts that would migrate to Nauvoo from oversees, after the early Kirtland years, as the “House of Israel”. Few people catch that because they don’t understand the prophecy given by Christ in 3 Nephi 16 .

Most of the prophecies in the book of Mormon about the problems with the restored gentile church are referring to the restored Gentile church at the time of Joseph Smith’s ministry. They are not referring to those of us living four generations later. For instance in Mormon 8, when the Gentiles are reprimanded for transfiguring the holy word of God and of polluting the Holy Church of God, it is the Kirtland Saints living during Joseph Smith’s ministry that is being referred to, not us. The holy Church of God has not been on the earth during our life time. It has not been on the earth for four generations.  The term “Holy Church of God” refers to the “true and living Church” that has the fulness of the gospel and priesthood.

The Holy Church of God Fled back into the Wilderness

The timeline chart shown below illustrates that the holy Church and kingdom of God came forth out of the wilderness for 3  1/2 years, just as John the Revelator and the Book of Daniel prophesied that it would. Following that, the Saints would be overcome until the ancient of days returns.

timeline13

                                                                                                                 (Click on the graphic to Enlarge)

The 3 1/2 year period that the fulness would be offered and ultimately rejected by the Saints, began in June of 1831 when the fulness of priesthood was restored at the Morley Farm and 23 high priests were called by the voice of God out of heaven. It then fled back into the wilderness as soon as the saints cumulatively broke the everlasting covenant as foretold in Isaiah 24.

Exactly 3 1/2 years after the Melchizedek priesthood was restored at the Morley Farm, the Lord gave a revelation declaring that the saints and their leaders were under condemnation and needed to have a reformation in ALL THINGS. Shortly after that, the Lord announced that the covenant of consecration had been broken and that the Saints must wait for a little season to live the law of Zion and the heavens began to close.

Contrary to what LDS apologists tell us about the heretical teachings that infiltrated the church during the Nauvoo  period, that contradicted the early teachings during the revelatory period during the early Kirtland years, Joseph was not more illuminated and revelatory in Nauvoo. The eyes of the seers were being covered just as Isaiah had prophesied. Progressive revelation builds upon and complements previous revelation, it does not contradict it.

Brigham Young’s use of the term Gentiles

Further complicating things for Mormon’s trying to make sense out of all of this Jew and Gentile lingo, is the fact that Brigham Young referred to non-members of the church categorically as “Gentiles” and members of the church categorically as Israel, which is not congruent with how the terms are used in the Book of Mormon.

Christ  informs us in 3rd Nephi 16, that many white Caucasian people that migrated to America after 1836, and after the Gentile church rejected the fulness of the Gospel, were actually referred to as the “House of Israel”

They actually represent different tribes from the House of Israel than most of those Caucasian settlers in America prior to that time.

The Kingdoms of Judah and Israel = Jews and Gentiles

To provide a little broader context for the use of these terms and for better understanding the prophecy in 3rd Nephi, I am going to need to get into a little bit of history.

BTW I believe the Lord intended this topic to be confusing so that prophecy can take place.

You see, there is a reason why most latter days saints don’t really understand who they are, because in order for things to play out they way they are going to, these people need to be oblivious to the fact that most of the major last days prophecies about “Jerusalem” and “Babylon” are going to take place in America, not the Old World. Because of this, they will not understand the prophetic events that are taking place around them until it is too late.

In modern revelation the word Babylon is used about nine times. Sometimes it is referring to spiritual Babylon which is a perverse and pervasive worldwide spiritual sickness that worldly people have, other times it is referring to a geographical area referred to in other scriptures as Babylon the Great, which the elect are commanded to flee from at the appointed time. Obviously it is not talking about the Old World. Clearly, America is the center place that is referred to in end times prophecy as Babylon the Great. America is the great latter day kingdom that pollutes and oppressess all other kingdoms and America is the most evil war mongering empire in the entire world ( which is secretly governed by the Vatican). Those that are still looking to the Old World as the Babylon of the end times simply don’t understand prophecy. And rightly so. God has covered the eyes of the people.

Historical Background of the two houses of Israel

I will not elaborate further on that, but with regard to your question, let me try to provide some background leading up to the prophecy in 3 Nephi.

Please remember that this is just my own interpretation, and I reserve the right to change my mind without notice at any time.. LOL

You will need to do your own searching to verify the truth as it is revealed to you.

Anciently there was the kingdom of Israel which included all of the twelve tribes of Israel.

Eventually the kingdom split into two kingdoms after the death of Solomon. They were called the “kingdom of Judah” (2 1/2 tribes) and the “Kingdom of Israel”. (the remaining tribes)

During Old Testament times, the kingdom of Judah sinned and God dispersed them among the nations but they retained their tribal identity.

They later gathered back to the Old World Jerusalem and reconstituted their tribal kingdom prior to New Testament times. These are the Jews Christ dealt with during His ministry in the meridian of time

The Kingdom of Israel also sinned and was cast out of the Lord’s sight during Old Testament times, mingling among the gentile nations. Unlike the remnants of the kingdom of Judah, they did lose their tribal identity and they did not reconstitute their kingdom like the Jews did..

After the Jews rejected Christ during the meridian of time, they were once again “destroyed” as a kingdom and “dispersed” and  “scattered among the nations”.

The scriptures (and Joseph Smith) referred to these two tribal divisions of the original house of Israel as the “the outcasts of Israel” (kingdom of Israel) and “the dispersed of Judah” (Kingdom of Judah)

In modern times the remnants of the ancient kingdom of Israel (outcasts of Israel) are generally referred to “gentiles” because they have been scattered among them and have mingled their seed with them. Many of these gentiles ended up in America prior to the LDS restoration. There are generally two classifications of Gentiles according to the book of Mormon, 1) the believing Gentiles and

2) the unbelieving Gentiles.

Avraham Gileadi has written excellent articles talking about the “gentiles from the house of Israel“. He points out that the believing gentiles actually originated from the house of Israel but then mingled among the gentile nations, losing their tribal identity).

The book of Mormon reminds us that as many of the Geniles as believe, are the covenant people of the Lord:

“For behold, I say unto you that as many of the Gentiles as will repent are the covenant people of the Lord.”

The kingdom of Judah (Jews) in the New Testament were scattered after they rejected Christ. At this time, they also finally lost their tribal identity, just as the kingdom of Israel did., Nevertheless, it appears as if they have largely reproduced within their tribal heritage which enables them to continue being referred to as the “Jews” and the “House of Israel”. They are white and delightsome and look like the Gentiles, but they are clueless about their tribal heritage.. The scriptures still refer to them as the “Jews” and as the “house of Israel” or variations thereof even in these modern times..

The Real Jews Begin to Believe Before Being Gathered

The Book of Mormon informs us that the Jews will begin to believe before they are gathered in the last days. This is one of many reasons we know that those unbelieving folks that have gathered to the Old World Jerusalem, claiming to be Jews, are not the Jews spoken of in prophecy.

When the LDS restoration movement began, most of the American settlers that responded to the call of the restored Gospel during the Kirtland era, were “Gentiles” even though they originate from the kingdom of Israel. Hence the Lord revealed in February of 1834 (D&C 103) that these gentiles saints of the restoration were the latter day Children of Israel:

For ye are the children of Israel, and of the seed of Abraham

In section 109, the Lord referred to Joseph Smith and the first elders of the church as the “sons of Jacob

“That from among all these, thy servants, the sons of Jacob, may gather out the righteous to build a holy city to thy name, as thou hast commanded them.”

But in the same section, he also acknowledged that they are “Identified with the Gentiles” or called, gentiles, because their tribal ancestors had been mingled among the nations:

“Now these words, O Lord, we have spoken before thee, concerning the revelations and commandments which thou hast given unto us, who are identified with the Gentiles.”

The Secret Re-establishment of the House of David and Judah

In that same dedicatory prayer, an amazing thing took place that has largely remained a secret to this very day.

An intercessory prayer was offered up by Joseph and others petitioning that “Jerusalem” (referring to the scattered remnants of the kingdom of Judah would begin to be redeemed from their scattered condition and that the yoke of bondage would “begin” to be broken off of the  “house of David”, and that the “children of Judah” would begin to return to the lands of the Abrahamic land covenant (America)

We therefore ask thee to have mercy upon the children of Jacob, that Jerusalem, from this hour, may begin to be redeemed; And the yoke of bondage may begin to be broken off from the house of David; And the children of Judah may begin to return to the lands which thou didst give to Abraham, their father.

The above passages have nothing to do with the land of Jerusalem in the Old World or with the Ashkenazi Jews that are claiming the Old World Jerusalem as the lands of their inheritance. The smokescreen gathering that took place in the Old World in 1948 that was financed by the Rockafellers, did not begin in 1836. Nothing happened “from that very hour” in the Old World..

What was happening from that very hour was the restoration of the keys of gathering followed by the establishment of foreign missions to take the message of the gospel to the remnants of the House of David and the Children of Judah and to gather them to the land of America that God had promised as the Abrahamic land covenant land to ALL of the tribes of Israel.

The Secret Prophecy and Vision

In fulfillment of the secret petition documented in section 109, the Lord secretly appeared to Joseph and Oliver on the eighth day after the dedicatory prayer and accepted the temple, followed by angelic messengers who secretly ushered in the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham, which opened up the way for the petition in the dedicatory prayer to be fulfilled. Additionally, Joseph and Oliver were given the keys of the gathering of Israel by Moses so that the scattered remnants of the ancient kingdom of Judah could “begin” to believe, and to gather.  (one of the trademarks of modern Mormonism is that they only “begin” to believe. They have not been able to accept the fulness of the gospel, they can only accept a preparatory gospel)

The history of the church provides documentation that Joseph did organize the Twelve apostles and sent missionaries to Canada, and Great Britain, etc., to begin this amazing gathering of the House of David and the Children of Judah, in fulfillment to the petition offered in section 109, as well as the prophecies in the OT. This event also fulfills the prophecy of Christ in 3 Nephi 16.

Following the 1st and 8th day events that took place in the Kirtland Temple, where in the petition was offered and granted, the message was taken to those of the House of David and the Children of Judah, as well as remnants of the ancient kingdom of Israel. Many of the converts that began flowing into Nauvoo from across the ocean are remnants of the ancient kingdom of Judah as well as some of the scattered remnants from the ancient kingdom of Israel. These remnants are sometimes referred to as the “Jews” and as the “house of Israel”. (The Book of Mormon sometimes uses those two terms interchangeably)

Below I am going to break down the prophecy of Christ into three distinct historical events. The first two have taken place. The last one is about to take place.

The prophecy of Christ in 3rd Nephi details this exact sequence: 

Part 1- The Gentiles Reject the fulness that is offered for 3 1/2 years between June 1831 and December of 1834

“And thus commandeth the Father that I should say unto you: At that day when the Gentiles (Latter day restored church of Christ) 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.

Part 2- The “knowledge” of the fulness of the gospel is taken from the Gentiles to the House House of Israel: Joseph Smith declares that the Lord has revealed to him that “Something new must be done for the salvation of the Church”. He then established foreign missions to take the “knowledge of the gospel” to the “Outcasts of Israel and the dispersed of Judah”. Thousands of converts began flowing into Nauvoo and eventually to Utah. Following the succession crisis, the Jewish members of the Church overtook the leadership positions of the church and the Gentiles no longer had priesthood power over the remnants of Judah. The kingdom of Judah was secretly re-established in the last days and is now disguised as the C_u_ch   o_   J_s_s   C_r_s_   o_  l_t_e_ d_y  S_i_ts.

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.

12  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.

Part 3- In the third watch, the original servants of God will return and repent at the conclusion of the acceptable atonement offering. The fulness of the gospel will then be restored and the dispensation of the fulness of times and the Marvelous work will be ushered in and the righteous and repentant among both houses of Israel during the last four generations will be reunited in fulfillment of prophecy.

13  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.

timeline13

 Click to enlarge

Notable Emails Part 7 “My eyes have been opened”
Notable Emails Part 6: “Can anyone tell me anything about this blog?… This guy seems to have some new ideas I’ve never heard before using the scriptures to back his views.
Notable Emails Part 5: “the truths that both you and I hold so dear …are things that cannot be taught they can only be revealed.”
Notable Emails- Part 4 “I have now caught the spirit of watching along with you and others.”
Notable Emails- Part 3 “Have you ever read ‘Letter to a CES Director?’” Yes… and it has strengthened my testimony!
Notable Emails- Part 2: “Readers deserve to know if you truly are a heretic or just a faithful divergent thinker”
Notable Emails Part 1- Mormon Missionary: “I too am watching”

Notable Emails Part 7 “My eyes have been opened”

February 22, 2015

On October 7th of last year I got the following comment on my blog by a fellow that calls himself “T”:

Watcher

My eyes have been opened.

I have read through almost everything you have written here and have delved headlong into the scriptures as a result.

The insight provided by the Atonement Statute and JS’s intercessory offering explain so much.

The Spirit has testified to my soul of the truthfulness. Thank You…

I am now watching.

Feel free to respond directly by email.”

Following that I did contact him and we chatted for a while by email. Shortly after that, I got the following email from him:

“Hi Watcher: 

The more I study the more compelled I feel to start writing things down.  

I am considering starting a blog. 

I have two sons who have left the church and as I have fed them tidbits of information that I have discovered they have asked me start a blog. 

 I am wondering if you care that I use the title “One Who Is Searching”.   

It is obviously close to your One Who Is Watching.  My purpose is to direct them and others to the scriptures but perhaps in a more succinct manner than you have done in the past. 

 In a way this can be another witness of the many awesome truths that I am becoming aware of.   

Thanks be to God and thanks to you for your diligent searching and sharing. If you would rather that I title it something else, I am totally OK with that too.

Let me know, 

“T”

My response was as follows:

Sounds great to me.

When his blog posts began being published I was totally blown away.

It is certainly no secret that I am not a gifted writer and besides not being able to spell very well or construct an intelligible sentence, I am really long winded. People have been known to fall asleep, pass out,  go on vacation, or go into a comma while reading some of my shorter articles on doctrine. During New Testament times the Saints would have fallen out of windows and died during one of my long  windedf pontifications.

He wasn’t kidding when he said he was going to direct people to the scriptures in a “ succinct manner!” 

 What a breath of fresh air it is to read a well written, compelling post that is short and to the point!

As an added bonus, this guy is not crass and vulgar as I sometimes tend to be. He also doesn’t struggle with the ego like I do. There is no picking doctrinal fights with those that disagree, petty name calling, mudslinging, or whining about what other bloggers are teaching in his posts. He does not throw tantrums or go off onto tangents and forget what his post was supposed to be about. He just states the facts and moves on. And yet, he does call a spade a spade.

He has already written six posts and he has not cussed one time!

While I feel a little humiliated that he writes so much better than I do, I am, nevertheless, so excited to have his voice and his testimony out there that I feel like breaking out in song!

Imagine that, “Onewhoiswatching.. the Musical

I know that some of you have friends that are ready to wake up but you are too embarrassed to refer them to my blog because you don’t want to offend their sensitivities or put at risk the milk of human kindness that flows through their veins. But now you finally have a G rated blog that you can feel good about sending people to.

If you know people that are waking up, that would be blessed by some of the basic truth concepts documented by the word of God, presented in a classy, tasteful, well written manner, brimming with testimony, please do them a favor and refer them to T’s new blog.

Here are the topics he has covered thus far. I know this blog will be a blessing to many people as it has been to me.

 

I can’t wait for his next post.

Praise God

 

 

.

.

Notable Emails Part 6: “Can anyone tell me anything about this blog?… This guy seems to have some new ideas I’ve never heard before using the scriptures to back his views.
Notable Emails Part 5: “the truths that both you and I hold so dear …are things that cannot be taught they can only be revealed.”
Notable Emails- Part 4 “I have now caught the spirit of watching along with you and others.”
Notable Emails- Part 3 “Have you ever read ‘Letter to a CES Director?’” Yes… and it has strengthened my testimony!
Notable Emails- Part 2: “Readers deserve to know if you truly are a heretic or just a faithful divergent thinker”
Notable Emails Part 1- Mormon Missionary: “I too am watching”

Notable Emails Part 6: “Can anyone tell me anything about this blog?… This guy seems to have some new ideas I’ve never heard before using the scriptures to back his views.

February 22, 2015

Email is a powerful communication tool that has largely changed how the world communicates.

In this series that I have titled “Notable Emails”, I have been sharing some one on one conversations between myself and others through traditional emails. However, electronic mail takes place in several different formats. Another form electronic mail takes place in the form of blog comments.

Blog comments are an amazing form of electronic communication because it enables a group of individuals to join in a discussion, in real time, as well as in extended time.

Communication Synergism

Sometimes a personal discussion takes place between two people that others don’t join in on, yet they are able to be bystanders and listen in on the personal exchange. Other times lots of people participate with the potential for a synergistic outcome.

In a future post I am going to share a doctrinal debate that I had with a person in a comments section that ended up in an unbelievably long thread of very short scriptural snippets. It demonstrates just how quickly a doctrinal topic can be fleshed out when two people are smokin up their scriptural word crunching software.

In other posts I will share some traditional email conversations that began with a blog comment and then morphed into a traditional email conversaion. Others will simply take place on-line in the comment section of a blog.

Rigdon Posterity is coming to the Party Late ..
..but they are Coming!

Another one of the future posts will be from a non-member lady who is a direct descendent of Sidney Rigdon. She made a comment on my blog and I contacted her by traditional email to continue the conversation. I think you will find the conversation interesting.

Sidney Rigdon was promised in a patriarchal blessing that his posterity would be scattered for a time but that they would eventually be gathered into the flock.. I see this woman as a partial fulfillment to that prophecy.

“Blessed are his generations: nevertheless, one shall  hunt after them as as a man hunteth after an ass that is strayed in the wilderness and straitway find eth him and bringeth him into the fold: and thus shall the Lord watch over his generations that they  may be saved..”

A few decades ago you would have been hard pressed to find a believer in the Book of Mormon with the last name of Rigdon or even that name in their genealogy.. I think that may be changing.

I guarantee it will change when the servants return.

Electronic Eavesdropping

Anyway, in this post I am going to share an even different variation of online communication. In a sense, it might be considered electronic eavesdropping.. It is the act of finding out what other people in different online communities are saying about something or somebody online using various Google keyword searches or blog analytics.

Other Voices

I recently did a keyword search that brought up a fascinating discussion on the newordermormon site. The topic of the thread was “Can You Summarize the “Other Voices” Out There for me?” that forum appears to be composed of an eclectic bunch of folks who range from unbelieving to simply creating their own version of Mormonism with a new age spin on it.

In the post, a person is asking for help from his fellow earth travelers in identifying who some of the other LDS voices are on the Internet. Here is a snippet:

” I just listened to Lindsay Hansen Park’s latest Year of Polygamy podcast that implies the idea that the mainstream LDS church is really an offshoot church. That they left the bad and took the good with them. And she describes tons of splinter and fundamentalist groups.

 I can’t stop thinking about this concept. For those of you who have been at this longer than me, what are the other voices out there and what are they about?

 I’m wondering because I have 2 TBM teenagers and hundreds of TBM family, some of whom seem to have curious leanings towards Snuffer.

My worst fear is my daughter joining a fundamentalist polygamist sect or that the mainstream LDS church will bring back polygamy because it will be legalized. The likelihood of that happening is low but I guess I’m wondering what else might I be afraid of her joining?

To be honest I am more afraid of some of these groups than her staying TBM. 

Here are a few I’ve heard of … more? And a brief description? Thanks for your help:)

Denver Snuffer
Rock Waterman
FLDS groups
Nemelka
Who is “onewhoiswatching”?”

The Crisis of Faith is Causing People to Search

I am going to suggest that we are entering a new era of Mormonism wherein the current, growing, large scale crisis of faith in Mormonism is causing people who never visited alternate LDS websites is going to begin to increase exponentially as people begin desperately looking for answers in order to maintain any degree of faith. I guess the scriptural explanation of this .. is that since the dispensation of the fulness of times is getting ready to usher in, God is removing the blindness that he put upon Israel many generations ago.

“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)

In other words, we are experiencing the beginning of the preparatory light that is preparing the minds of this generation for the last great restoration.

Interestingly, someone deleted the above thread, it only shows up as a cached page on Google.

WordPress Analytics

Those of you who use wordpress, realize that the service provides an analytics feature that allows you to see where many of your viewers or coming from, along with live links so that you can quickly visit a blog, email group or chat forum to see what the chatter was that prompted people to visit your site.

Periodically I notice a surge in visitors to one of my old blog posts that are sent from another place on the Internet and on days when I have way too much time on my hands, I will sometimes visit some of these links to see why my ears have been burning.

ExMormon.org

Back in September I noticed a bunch of visitors that were being directed to my site from exmormon.org.

Obviously, I found this a little bit intriguing so I visited the site to see what was being said.

A member of that community had posted the following comment/question to the rest of the group:

“…by One Who is Watching.
Can anyone tell me anything about this blog?

I was looking up some info on Lyman Wight who moved with some followers to Texas after J. Smith’s death. I came upon this blog after it was referred by Google as source of some Wight info.

Very strange and interesting reading. Anyone have some info on who writes this blog?

He then followed up with the following observation:

” This guy seems to have a fairly extensive knowledge of LDS scriptures and some new ideas I’ve never heard before using the scriptures to back his views.

 I started reading from one of his entries and he made a statement that he had listed thirty scriptures to support his claims but they must be read in the precise order he lists them so as to prove his point.

This seems to be taking things out of context and manipulating them for his own purposes. Sounds like another from the early 1800s.

It amazes me how people can search thru scriptures and pick and choose those pieces that fit into their puzzle. How are they able to do that?

Further searches have revealed no new evidence as to who he is. Very weird and strange at the same time.”

Taking things out of context?

Ha!

Frankly, I just couldn’t resist the urge to make a comment so I did:

” What I don’t understand is, why are people so curious about who I am.

The blog is not about me.

Why can’t you simply focus on the content instead of getting distracted by wondering who wrote it?”

It appears to me as if the reason this fellow wanted to know who I am is because if you cannot kill the message, you can always try to kill the messenger.

Killing the Message by Killing the Messenger

You see, most human beings who have their lives closely scrutinized, have a huge credibility problem with other human beings in that they are, well…  human.

If you can find out who the messenger is and can find some dirt on them, or, at the very least, you can show that they are not successful people worthy of emulation, you can convince people that their voice is not worth listening to. If you can show that they have never accomplished anything worthwhile, you can easily dismiss their ideas. By doing this, you can justify rejecting what they are saying that invalidates your own conclusions.

Hence, you make a comment like the one shown above instead of saying something like this:

hey, this blogsite I have stumbled onto is presenting some groundbreaking historical and doctrinal interpretations that I have never been confronted with and they are overwhelmingly backed up by passages in all four of the standard works! Furthermore, the guy providing this information can’t spell very well and is clearly to stupid to have made this stuff up!

The research  provides compelling credible answers to the major stumbling blocks that most of us on this forum are having. I think we should test the suppositions on this site and see if he is onto something, after all, our eternal salvation is at risk here… etc., etc., yada yada yada..”,

Sadly, it is much easier and safer to discount the content and to try to find out who the smuck is, focus on his human-ness, and demonstrate that he is a clown, so that the information on the site can be marginalized.

That is one possible scenario, however, I think there is a deeper reason that the exMormon started the post. More on that later in this post.

I suspect this fellow was shocked and mortified when I entered the conversation and made the above comment.

Group Mentality of the Mob

Needless to say, several of his cohorts, who have now accepted the lifestyle of unbelief and entered the community of unbelievers, all chimed in to mock and make game of me which I found mildly entertaining.

I am afraid some of their comments reflect the mob mentality and cumulative emotional IQ of the forum. I was a little surprised when a few children of light weighed into the discussion. I have no idea what they were doing visiting the Mormon red-light district of the Internet.

If you have ever visited an exMormon site then you realize that many people who have lost faith and left the church become extremely dark, cynical, and critical of everything. Unbelief and the feeling that you have been deceived colors a person’s communications in a pervasive way and they end up mocking anyone and everyone of faith.

Quick.. Take a Shower!

When you leave an exMormon site you feel so dirty that you want to take a shower. But that is only when you are conversing with these lost souls as a group. Conversing with them individually, if they have truly done some significant research on their own and not just accepted the research of others, is actually quite refreshing because they can clearly and intelligently explain what they don’t believe and why.

It can be a very different and enjoyable experience speaking with these folks on a personal basis because they are usually very intelligent, articulate, thoughtful people who have done lots of sincere research. They actually demonstrate that they have a mind. And sometimes it is still open.

Over the years I have had several conversations with several people who have lost all faith and have become exMormons. Some visit my blog and engage me. Sometimes I visit their dark and nefarious domains to engage them. Often times an initial conversation in a blog comment switches to traditional email.

I prefer Speaking to the EXMOs

I am now going to tell you something that will probably shock and offend many readers of this blog.

I actually enjoy speaking with skeptical exMormons one on one, more than I enjoy speaking to mainstream members of the church, one on one.

Why?

Because I often sense a much higher level of personal integrity and intelligence in the skeptics than I do in members of the church that have blinders on and will not prayerfully consider the facts.

You see, a person can arrive at the wrong conclusion about something through research even though their research was motivated by sincerity and integrity of their heart. The problem is that they don’t have all the facts, yet their research was conducted out of a sincere desire to know the truth.

Many of the exMormon community leave the church because they sincerely just want to know the truth and it starts them on a journey of research that destroys their faith. This happens because they don’t go far enough down the rabbit hole looking for answers and they are not looking for answers in the right places.

Their loss of faith does not occur because they are evil sinners.

It isn’t because they don’t want to pay their tithing.

It isn’t because they don’t have charity for their fellow man.

It is not because they are out committing adultery with their neighbor’s wife.

More likely, they have concerns about Joseph Smith committing adultery with his neighbors wives.

It is because they are confronted with difficult historical and doctrinal conundrums and they have the personal integrity to search for answers instead of placing the questions on the proverbial “shelf” that well meaning institutional leaders so highly endorse, since they have no credible answers to proffer.

During their search, they cannot find adequate answers. Before long, they find community with others who share the same concerns and conclusions. These new seemingly like-minded friends in the exMormon communities seem to validate their conclusions and it provides the vindication they are looking for relative to the life-changing decisions they have made that makes them look like covenant breakers to relatives and past friends.

Despite how darkened many of these disenfranchised souls often become, I have noticed that many of them are people of integrity. Sadly, once they have lost the light, which invariably results from making false conclusions, and they associate with the dark side long enough, it is hard to resurrect hope in them again.

Nevertheless, I actually find it easier to reason with many of these folks who have lost faith, than with the TBM. When I try to reason with mainstream members of the church, all they can do is shut me out, or rehearse the testimony that they began memorizing when they were in Jr. Sunday School.

In the last post, JL observed that the information discussed on this blog cannot be taught, it can only be revealed.

Holy shmoly is that ever true.

I wish I could get that through my head and just quit wasting my time trying to convince anybody of anything.

I often leave conversations with mainstream members of the church feeling like I have sustained significant brain damage.

Regarding the rabbit Hole

I have found that if you go down the rabbit hole far enough, you eventually come out on the other side of the earth where the sun is shining brightly even though the world around you is very different than the one you came from… and you discover you are no longer in Kansas anymore. That is the problem with most exMormons IMO, they didn’t search far enough, and deep enough, and they searched the Internet instead of the scriptures… they lost faith in the holy and infallible word of God before they could experience the epiphany that it’s content can bring.

One parting thought. There is another possibility as to why that person posted their comment/question on the exMormon site.

It might have been a cry for help in a sea of unbelievers.

Maybe he began to be convicted in his heart and mind by one of the scriptures he read on the blog. Maybe his heart and mind are still open. Maybe the light of Christ is calling him back into the light.

If that is the case, come on in brother, the water is fine.

 

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Notable Emails Part 5: “the truths that both you and I hold so dear …are things that cannot be taught they can only be revealed.”
Notable Emails- Part 4 “I have now caught the spirit of watching along with you and others.”
Notable Emails- Part 3 “Have you ever read ‘Letter to a CES Director?’” Yes… and it has strengthened my testimony!
Notable Emails- Part 2: “Readers deserve to know if you truly are a heretic or just a faithful divergent thinker”
Notable Emails Part 1- Mormon Missionary: “I too am watching”

 


Notable Emails Part 5: “the truths that both you and I hold so dear …are things that cannot be taught they can only be revealed.”

February 19, 2015

In Part 4 of this series I shared two emails from JL. I neglected to mention that the first one had been sent by him on 6/22/14 and the second one was sent on 10/24/14.

I had not heard from him since then.

Frankly, I was just going on faith that he was still hanging on to the iron rod when I shared his emails, and I felt that even if he wasn’t, those emails were instructive and worthy of sharing because of the content in them.

Well….

He read that post and I heard from him again.

He is still hanging onto the iron rod… HOWEVER, he made the mistake of aggressively sharing his awakening with his wife and parents.

Reading his email brought back some painful memories of how I felt like I needed to tell the world what I had discovered shortly after I began having my scriptural epiphanies. OUCH! It was so painful to get the rejection that I encountered.

One of the nice things about sharing information on an anonymous blog is that only those that are ready for their epiphany and interested in the content seem to search it out and gravitate towards it. Yes there are a few people who find themselves at my blog by mistake, but they can quickly label me as a heretic and apostate and leave the site.. “no harm, no foul”, as Hot Rod Hundley would say. .

[very important update: I have just been informed that Hot Rod did not coin that phrase although he used it a lot. Here is what a reader, had to say: “Actually No Harm No Foul derived from Chick Hearn in Los Angeles, whom Hot Rod was color commentator for.” Thank you for that bit of sports trivia!

Anyway, I have seen many marriages fall apart when one person experiences an awakening and their spouse does not. The truth (or perception of what is truth) can become a wedge in a marriage.

Many people justify discarding a spouse by using some of the comments by the Savior about how a person needs to love the Savior more than family and friends, however, the dividing up of families takes place when the fulness of the Gospel is on the earth and the great “come out of Babylon” polarization takes place. That time has not begun yet! We live during the dispensation of the Gospel of Abraham. There is no need for anyone to get on their high horse and begin discarding people over religion. We all see through a glass darkly as this time. There is no place for self righteousness, nor justification for discarding the sacred marriage covenant.

As painful as my journey has been, I have not had to experience that challenge of  having a spouse that believes differently. Thankfully, Mrs Watcher had her epiphany at the same time I had mine… or so I thought…  Many people assume that my epiphany prompted hers, and in a way it she did, however, she later confided in me that during her temple experience, when she had to take out her endowments to get sealed to me, the spirit told her that the ritual of swearing by her neck and taking secret oaths was EVIL. She was not sure if she was being deceived or not and felt guilty about having those thoughts. She was concerned about how I would respond if she told me about those prompting prior to our marriage… She simply kept that experience to her self and did not share it with me until I had my awakening. Her concerns were valid. If she would have told me about her temple experience prior to our marriage, I don’t think she would be Mrs Watcher today LOL

She has reminded me ever since my awakening that she is not a “yes [wo]man” and that she has had her own personal epiphany. She is also quick to remind me that if I ever lose my testimony of the Savior and his marvelous work, I would be on my own, in my beliefs, because she has no intentions of following me to hell. ;)

She’s a spunky little fireball she is..

Praise God for that!

Anyway, getting back to JL and his wife. I found it really touching to hear his tender feelings for her and how much he loves her and the compassion he has shown after realizing that this is not her time for awakening.

Some people rigidly judge their spouse and are quick to leave them if they are not ready and willing to have the same spiritual epiphany… I believe that is a very serious mistake.

I have JL’s permission to once again share this most recent correspondence which I am going to do because I think the content is instructive and inspiring.

Enjoy.

Hello Watcher,

I want to apologize ahead of time for how long this email got. I read your latest post and I wanted to tell you how honored I was that you shared the emails between you and me with those who visit your site. I am very grateful for the way that you framed my thoughts and I feel they caught the true spirit of what I was trying to say.

I am humbled to think that perhaps there is someone else out there searching for the truth and someday may be lead the way that I was to your site and will be able to read my testimony and know that truth does exist and more is soon to come.

I have been amazed over the months how I can be caught up with a certain subject or topic and out of the blue you will post something that has to do with exactly what I am learning about. I doubt this happens by accident and I wonder how many other brothers and sisters who have caught the spirit of watching have had the same thing happen to them. I often wonder if we are all caught up thinking and pondering on similar things at similar times because the hand of God is directing us. I would even go so far as to say he is preparing us because time is short. Needless to say I am still watching and waiting and doing all that I can to prepare my heart and mind for the return of the Savior and the mighty servants he will send to prepare the world for that great event. 

I have not shared this with you yet but I have a feeling there are many others who must be in a similar situation as myself. When I first started realizing that all was not right with the church I loved and had committed my life to I was very careful who I talked to and that continues to be the case to this day.

Initially the only person that I spoke to was my wife. I have known my wife since I was eight years old. We grew up down the street from one another and from a young age we both knew we were meant to be together. She is my better half and in every way she is my soul mate. As I have mentioned in previous emails we have been blessed with six children and our lives have been blessed because of each other and our children.

As I started talking to my wife about all of the concerns I had about the church (all of my concerns at this point were coming from church sponsored materials and the standard works) she was very concerned that I was losing my testimony.  As time went on and my feelings and understanding solidified her concerns turned into real fear I think. I felt horrible at this point because as any husband can attest to the last thing they want to do is crush the tender feelings of their wife.

Eventually I realized that I was probably doing my wife a great disservice by continuing to bring up my concerns about the church that I knew I had to try and find some answers or at a minimum some moral support somewhere else so I began discussing what I had learned with my parents. To my parents credit they initially tried to be supportive but I quickly realized that they too were concerned for my eternal wellbeing. Instead of trying to understand why I was having the concerns that I was having they would ask questions like “have you been offended by your Bishop lately, or have you read something controversial that you probably should not have”.

At one point my Mother asked a question like this and it struck me just how funny this whole situation was that they thought this was about me being offended or upset even though there was no reason for them to assume that anything like that had happened. I could see the endless general conference talks spinning in there head about how to overcome those who have objections or concerns about the church and how those concerns can be overcome with love and support. As I am typing this I am chuckling a little because it was really funny now that I think about it. I was not offended and I did not need love. I needed answers. I needed the truth.

I know that my wife and my parents were all worried that I was on the verge of being a lost soul. I know that they were all spending time on their knees asking the Lord to send me the answers that I needed and to help me find the truth I was determined to find no matter what the cost. I know that all three of them believed the Lord would send an answer but I don’t think any of them were prepared for the answer the Lord sent.

As you know I eventually found your three watches bloghttp://threewatches.blogspot.com/ and then your https://onewhoiswatching.wordpress.com/ website and I found the answer to my prayers and began to re-piece my testimony in the foundation that the Prophet Joseph Smith started. My heart went from the lowest low to the highest high and my family could all tell that I had found the peace I was so desperately looking for.

My wife was so relieved and my parents were so grateful that the Lord had heard their prayers and that I was back to my old self. The problem was I was not my old self. I was someone very different. I took nothing for granted because I vowed I would never find myself in a similar situation again. I would read one of your posts and then I would go study the scriptures and try and find as many of the historic references as I could.

This was not an easy task and I sometimes would spend days on just one topic. One example of this was your post on section 132. I spent weeks studying section 132 alone. I would start breaking down each verse and I would not move on until I understood what each verse was saying and compare it to other revealed words of God. I think I spent so much time on that section because I kept finding so many contradictions and falsehoods that it kept me busy for a while.

As my testimony grew and my knowledge expanded (though I felt like I was still an infant and I still feel this way) I began to share my new testimony with my wife and my parents. As I started showing them from the scriptures how the marvelous work and wonder was going to be a future event, and that what began with Joseph Smith as a foundation that started off strong but ultimately became corrupted over time and required him and others to offer themselves as an offering like Moses amongst the Children of Israel to hold off the wrath of the Lord. I discussed how many of the core teachings revealed by revelation within just a few short years were changed as the eyes of the saints were darkened and they began to accept doctrines that were not from the Lord.

I went on to expound on how the Lord knew this was all going to happen and that he prepared different ways for His great work to move forward. I was so excited to share my new found knowledge that looking back at it I think I went a little overboard. In fact I am certain I did because I quickly realized that as concerned as my wife and parents were for me when they thought I was just losing my testimony now they were absolutely horrified. It was obvious to me that they would much rather deal with someone who had just lost his testimony then have to consider that the things they had been taught all of their lives by Prophets, Apostles, Seventies, Stake Presidents, and Bishops were not in accordance with what the scriptures actually teach.  

As time went on the range of emotions they felt was wide especially for my amazing wife. These past 19 months have without question been the hardest on her. There are no words to express how grateful I am to her for her love and endless support. She has had to put up with a husband who for about 7 months was in the depths of despair thinking his whole world had been destroyed from a religious perspective to the last 12 months were he could barely contain his joy and excitement.

The real challenge for her is she still believes what she has always believed. She believes with all of her heart that President Monson speaks with God on regular bases and that he could never lead the members of the church astray. She believes with all of her heart that the Twelve Apostles each day are doing the work that Jesus would have them do and that when they speak they are speaking the words the Lord would say if he were here.

She believes with all of her heart that she could never be allowed to enter the Celestial Kingdom without participating in the temple ceremony. She believes with all of her heart that the highest priesthood God gives man is still on the earth and that all of the rights and privileges associated with the priesthood is governing the affairs of the Lords kingdom on this earth.

She believes with all of her heart that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the same as the Lords kingdom and when she speaks of the church she is speaking of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I love my wife more than ever. In many ways our relationship is stronger because of the things we have experienced. There have been many tears some from joy and some from sadness as we have tried to work through the tough questions that come from a couple that now believe very differently from each other especially when it comes to raising our children.

My number one desire right now is to protect my wife and honor her tender feelings about the gospel as she understands it. I have never felt impressed or compelled to think it was my place to try and change the way she thinks. I support with all of my heart her faith and her testimony because not too long ago I believed the same things.

My testimony and my prayer

I know this was an incredibly long email and there is more I wish I could say but I wanted to end with my testimony and perhaps a prayer from my heart. I have come to realize that no one can teach the things that you discuss on your website and expect the person reading the information to understand no matter what their knowledge or background is.

I have come to realize that I could stand in front of my parents and my wife and anyone else I come in contact with and teach them in the most perfect way the truths that both you and I hold so dear and no one would ever understand what I was trying to say. The reason why I say this is the things that you discuss on your website or the things that I was trying to teach my wife and parents are things that cannot be taught they can only be revealed.

I am convinced that for someone to truly understand the things that you and I believe in God has to show them. Only God can truly prepare a person to understand these truths. This thought fills my soul with so much joy. This thought brings my heart so much peace because I know right now as I speak the Lord has a plan for my wife.

He understands better than I ever could what it will take for her to be prepared so that when he begins his amazing work in its fullness my wife will be prepared in the best possible way. I know we all have a choice to either accept the message of the Lord or deny it but I have faith that he can do a better job preparing those that I love better than I ever could. I believe that as each day passes I am getting that much closer to my wife having these truths revealed to her because the Lord is getting closer to revealing himself to all who know his voice and will follow. I have faith that my wife is one of those!

I know that what the scriptures teach about the servants returning is true. I know this not just because of a feeling but because I have studied it out in my mind and my heart and the portion of the Spirit the Lord has blessed me with has revealed to me that it is so. I know that all of God’s promises will be fulfilled and it’s my job to have faith, and watch, and wait. It is my prayer that the servants return quickly. It is my prayer that they come with their words but even more importantly that they come with the power of God to prepare the world for the Savior. I desire more than anything to witness this and if God will allow it to be a part of it in some small way.

Thank you for letting me takes so much of your time and thank you for your service to the Lord. I know it has made an impact in my own life beyond words.

Your brother,

 

JL

There is a huge pile of profundity in the above email. I was really touched by the following declaration:

“My number one desire right now is to protect my wife and honor her tender feelings about the gospel as she understands it.:

What a humble, compassionate, charitable soul this man is.

Here is my reply to him:

“Wow

Just wow.
I am so grateful that you have made your way through the refiners fire thus far without getting burned to death.
You have stated some real profundities.
I Love how you have learned that the deeper things cannot be taught from one mortal to another, only the Lord can reveal these things to someone who is ready. Once someone is ready, the Lord can use numerous people and resources to help in the process but;
a) the recipient must be prepared, and
b) it is the Lord and his spirit that do the revealing.
I am also touched at how much you love your dear wife and how you did not allow your passion and love for the truth to become a wedge between the two of you just because she is not ready yet. It does sound like you were perhaps a little too aggressive in trying to teach the deeper things to your loved ones and that is only normal, yet very dangerous, as you have found out.
I praise God that you are still strong in the faith and that you have been taught by the spirit to be long suffering and prudent while you are watching and patiently waiting on the Lord.
May I add this response to the existing post or a new one?
Your unworthy brother in Christ
Watcher”
Here is his follow up email with a few more profundities in it:
“Hello Watcher,

Yes please feel free to share this email.

You are so right about being a little two aggressive. It is so easy to let excitement and devotion sometimes cloud our better judgement.

I am lucky that the better half of our relationship is my wife so she was more willing to put up with my lack of understanding at first.
I made a promise to my wife before we got married. I promised her that I would always follow the Lord. I think that for her that meant that I would always follow the church but as we have gone through this whole experience I have told her that I am fulfilling my promise to her that I a made before we were married.
I am just so grateful that the spirit of forgiveness and patience and our common faith in the Lord has allowed our family to move forward. In the end I know this will be a great blessing!

I am sure we will talk soon and thank you again!”

Praise God..

Notable Emails- Part 4 “I have now caught the spirit of watching along with you and others.”

February 15, 2015

Over the years I have been contacted by a lot of people online; some via the comment section of my blog posts (which I have temporarily deactivated because I don’t have time to manage and respond at this time) and others who send me emails.

This wordpress blog appears to have over 2200 comments on it and the three watches blog spot has lots of comments as well, although I have not posted on that site for years now.

Although I began blogging in September of 05, I did not get around to creating my onewhoiswatching [at] gmail dot com account until April 6 2012. I did not anticipate using the gmail account very much when I created it but thought I should have a place for allowing people to contact and communicate with me on a more personal basis. I now have nearly 700 separate email strings of discussions with people in the gmail account.

Some people contact me to thank me for sharing what I have learned.

Some people contact me to explain why they disagree with me on a particular doctrinal issue.

When I decided to publicly challenge some of the doctrinal claims of Denver Snuffer I got inundated with a lot of angry responses from people who felt I was being disrespectful of the Lord’s newly anointed.

Needless to say, I meet all kinds of people online and I know that everyone of these souls is precious to God.

Many of these people that I have met have become very good friends. (Although I have never once met one of these online personalities, in person)

Some visitors to my blog have become angry critics.

Being a passionate soul with a dominate and sometimes overbearing personality, with very strong doctrinal point of view, I have offended several people because I tend to lose patience with those that simply want to emotionally argue and debate about the issues I have raised based solely on how they want things to be, or how they think things should be, rather than to engage based on using the scriptures as the foundational reasons for making doctrinal conclusions.

I am impatient and arrogant 

In an upcoming post for this series I will highlight a communication wherein I am informed what a jerk I am because of my impatience and arrogance, etc.

The truth is that I am a jerk sometimes.

A visitor to this blog that has a high “EQ” (emotional intelligence quota)  will not discount the research I am offering simply because I am not a highly advanced spiritual being. The truth is that God sometimes uses jerks to test people and to see if they are more interested the truth or in warm fuzzy personalities. One of the truly miraculous things about God is that he can and does use jerks to disseminate valuable information.

Even highly advanced personalities like the apostle Paul appear to have been somewhat costic personalities at times according to the New Testament narratives.

My goal in blogging is to passionately state my findings and my conclusions in an effort to jolt people into questioning their preconceived conclusions, question the assumed religious authority of those claiming to have any,  and to ultimately drive people deeper into the word of God and to take God’s word literally.

I have never intended to enter any online personality contests, and it is clear to me from many of the comments that I get, that I would not do well, if I did.

Two Outcomes from Spiritual Epiphanies

I get many people contacting me to tell me how excited they are to learn about how the Marvelous Work and a Wonder is a future event, that is about to take place, and how my research regarding 2nd Samuel 7 and the atonement statute-prophecy as contained in Lev 16 has solved the prophet “Prophet Puzzle” which answers most of the difficult questions they have had during their crisis of faith.

Nevertheless, among those that have this initial epiphany, I have identified two general categories of people that each have a different outcome from their epiphanies; there are those that continue to become filled with light and become stronger in the faith after their initial epiphany, and those that eventually begin to falter again and become filled with darkness.

The difference between these two groups of people is that those that continue to become stronger in the faith, contract the spirit of searching the scriptures and the spirit of watching for the secret return of Christ and his messengers, and they spend their time doing their own scriptural keyword searches and developing a stronger relationship with God through reading and pondering his word as they mine the hidden treasures of knowledge from them.

The second group spends their time searching the Internet instead of searching God’s word.

They love to be entertained and to know what all of the great minds on the Internet are thinking and they are often intrigued by the dark side.’

They are curious to see what all of the interesting bloggers are saying and they want to know the latest challenges to the faith are.

The people in this second category usually begin to be filled with doubts again, after their initial epiphany, because they focus on the intellectual technicalities brought up by the skeptics instead of realizing that the only way one can spiritually discern the truth is by searching and pondering God’s words.

Their ongoing search for truth becomes a cerebral one instead of a spiritual one, they don’t seem to understand that the things of God can only be understood by the spirit of God.

Needless to say, it is deeply disappointing to me when someone has the initial epiphany but eventually becomes darkened in their mind again.

Today I am going to highlight a correspondence I had with a fellow who has contacted me twice and appears to be in the first category I mentioned for which I am so grateful.

Epidemic numbers of people are having a crisis of faith

The reason I am sharing some of the correspondences that I have had over the years is because there are LOTS of people that are currently experiencing a crisis of faith at this time and I am hoping that sharing some of these online conversations will help those that are feeling spiritually confused and distraught, to regain their spiritual equilibrium and get back in the straight and narrow path and to re-grip the iron rod.

As with all of the emails shared in this series, I am not sharing the actual names of people.

In this post, I am referring to this fellow as “JL”

Here is what he had to say in his first email:

“Hello Watcher,I am not certain if this is your email address however I noticed that you posted it on one of your posts from  our https://onewhoiswatching.wordpress.com/ website so I figured I would send you a quick email in hopes that it reaches you.

I have been meaning to email you for a while now. There are so many things I could say but the only one that really matters is thank you! I want to thank you for your Three Watches blog and for your One Who Is Watching website.

About 11 months ago my life changed. At that point I was overall a happy father of six kids who was striving to live the gospel the way I had been taught all my life and was trying to pass those teachings on to my own children. I was someone who would spend hours studying the scriptures and learning all I could about the gospel and the church.

I was someone who would drop anything to fulfill a priesthood calling or go take care of something that needed to be done within the Ward because that was who I was and who I thought the Lord wanted me to be. I was someone who cherished the covenants I had made in the Temple and felt they ensured that I would have the most important things in my life in the life to come (my wife and children).

Up until that point in my life there were brief moments were I wondered why things seemed different now in the church compared to what the prophet Joseph Smith taught to the early saints but I was quick to brush those kind of thoughts away. I never wanted to doubt what I was being taught because I knew I had a modern day prophet that I could listen to for guidance in my life.

Everything changed when I accepted  the gospel doctrine instructor calling. I was preparing for my first lesson which was lesson 30 from the Doctrine and Covenants lesson manual. The lesson focuses on the building of the Nauvoo temple and the introduction of temple work for the dead.

As I was studying the history of the Nauvoo temple I started learning things that did not sit well with me. What should have been a simple gospel doctrine lesson ended up turning into a crises of my faith. Looking back at it now a part of me wants to cry, while another part of me wants to laugh and shout for joy.

I began to look at everything about the history of the church. No subject was off limits. I would wake up early so I could read as much as I could and then continue late into the night after my family was asleep. All that I cared about was finding the truth. I just wanted to know if what I had been taught and believed all my life was correct.

By the time I was done at this point I had come to a few conclusions.

  1. I knew more than ever that my faith needed to be in the Savior and that as long as I trusted in him he would help me through this even though at that point I felt lost.
  1. I knew that Joseph Smith started off on the Lord’s path but it was clear to me that something had gone horribly wrong (I did not know what at this point).
  1. I knew that after Joseph’s death there had been terrible liberties taken with changing the things the Lord had initially established with the early saints.
  1. I struggled with the thought that things might be so far from the path that I might no longer belong to the Lord’s church.
  1. I was devastated.

I am sorry this email has become so long but this is the part I wanted to share with you. As I was truly struggling with these issues I was begging the Lord for guidance. I was looking to the scriptures for help, I was looking to my parents for help, I was searching other sources on the internet but all were falling short.

At some point I started noticing a blog that would pop up as I was entering different search phrases The blog kept talking about three watches which I had no idea what in the world that meant so each time I kept moving past it. Despite my attempts to move past that silly blog almost everyday as I was entering different search phrases through Google it kept popping up as one of the top 5 or so results. I finally started realizing this and one day told myself I better find out why I keep seeing this blog.

Watcher the Lord saved me! He heard my prayers and I know he lead me directly to your blog. I know that my cries for help, for insight, for something more were heard and I wake up every morning and I thank him with all of my heart that he kept having your blog show up each time until I finally got the message he was sending me.

Once I realized what your blog was about I doubled my efforts and begin my personal quest to understand the doctrines you discuss so powerfully at your sites. I went through every single post you ever made on your Three Watches blog within just a couple of weeks. I then moved on to your other site and have read through most of the material. I took a break for a few months as I digested and tried to apply the information into my life.

There is so much more I could say but this email is longer then I intended. Please just know how grateful I am to you for your thoughts and insights. I am a better man because of this experience and I have now caught the spirit of watching along with you and others. 

 I can see how the Lord’s hand has lead me to this point in my life and how sweet this knowledge is to my soul. My despair has now been replaced with joy! I am anxiously waiting for the servants of the Lord to return and I pray that I can recognize when that time comes. I hope that someday I can meet you and thank you in person.

Your friend,

JL

My reponse:

“Praise the Lord God Almighty!! 

God is Good.

I am so grateful that you would take the time to share a little about your journey with me.

I know God is doing a preliminary work getting us ready for the Marvelous Work. It is always so wonderful to meet another kindred spirit. I look forward to the day we can physically meet in Zion or perhaps before.

I love you brother.

Keep the faith and keep in touch

Your unworthy friend in Christ

Watcher”

One of the reasons that I have reason to believe that this fellow is part of category number one that I previously mentioned is because I heard from him a second time several months later and he appears to be searching the word of God for answers instead of searching the Internet for answers.

Here is his second communication:

“Hello Watcher,

Its been four months or so since I last emailed you.

 I did not have anything special to say other than your last two post have prompted me to send you a quick email. I wanted to take a quick second and comment on your latest post about how some people come to your site and then leave quickly looking for cover and therapy.

I want you to know that for me your insights and thoughts have been my therapy because when I found your three watches blog I was at a point in my life were I did not care what the answers were I just needed the truth.

I had realized that up until that point in my life I had not been taught the truth or if I had it certainly was only half truths. Coming to this realization was difficult for me however it was necessary.

In the past I probably cared more about what the answers were and how they fit into my view of the world and the world to come and less about the actual truth.

I thank God every second of my day that he brought me to a place in my life that truth was more important to me than anything else.

I just want you to know that its been more than a year now and I have stuck with your insights and my life is the better for it.

My understanding of the scriptures has grown by leaps and bounds and I anxiously await for the first laborers to return.

I pray every day that I can be a part of the Lord’s great work. Sometimes I find myself laughing at how I used to think and how silly I was. I can only imagine what it will be like six months from now as my faith and knowledge in the Lord grows and then six months after that.

I have read just about every post you have made on both websites over the last six years and even though I did not start with you six years ago I feel like I have been on that journey in some small way. There is so much more I could say but ultimately I just want to thank you. Happy anniversary!

Your friend,

LJ”

Here is my response:

“Praise God

Thank you so much for that response and for the first one you sent prior to that.

I need to share your testimony in one of my blogs and plan to do so.

May the Lord God continue to bless you in your study of the scriptures and in the relationship with God that categorically follows such a study.

I love you 

Watcher

I rejoice in the comments shared by JL.

I find it interesting that his crisis of faith was not created by some controversial interview from MormonStores or from the writings of an anti-Mormon.

It was caused by reading an official teaching manual of the corporate church!

(this reminds me of the letter that a disaffected person recently send to his bishop informing his bishop that his loss of faith did not come from reading anti-Mormon literature but rather from reading the historical essays on the church website!)

God can create a crisis of faith without using a skeptic LOL

During the last few years there have been many things that have caused many people to experience a crisis of faith.

There are compelling books about church history coming out, like the one written by Alex Beam.

John Dehlin has produced some powerful interviews of high profile people that have lost their faith.

Jeremy Runnells has compiled a compelling listing of the more difficult issues that have been promoted by critics of the restoration.

Interestingly, many people are waking up simply from reading about church doctrine and history within church manuals and from the essays on the church website.

Additionally, within the faith, there are charismatic personalities that are raising up, claiming to have spoken to Christ. Then they spout all sorts of nonsense which contradicts the word of God.

All of these things are taking their toll on the lives of many latter day saints who are not looking for answers to their concerns in the right place.

The right place is the word of God.

Although it may seem discouraging that so much crisis of faith is taking place, the Lord is in the storm!

He is using these things to bring the pure in heart to their knees. (quite literally)

A great spiritual awakening often begins with a crisis of faith to sufficiently humble the sincere seeker of truth.

Once a person is humbled, they can be taught. Prior to that, they are too wise to be taught.

One of the most powerful statements by JL is the following one:

“.. at a point in my life w[h]ere I did not care what the answers were I just needed the truth.”

You see, before a person can be humble enough to believe something that challenges their false paradigm, they sometimes need to be broken down. Have you wanted to know the truth about something only if the truth was what you wanted it to be.. or at least something that would not be too inconvenient… something you could handle?

A crisis of faith can humble a person to the point where they no longer need to protect their belief biases that they inherited from  the false traditions of their fathers and from false teachers. Once this happens, the only thing a person cares about is knowing the truth.. no matter what it is, no matter what the cost of knowing the truth is.

Another significant statement by JL is this:

“I have now caught the spirit of watching along with you and others.”

Once a person has their spiritual epiphany and begins to deeply search the scriptures for themselves, they catch the spirit of watching because the promises and prophecies contained in the scriptures come alive and they can see the work of God taking place in the earth RIGHT NOW!

If you are a person that is new to this blog,

and you are having a crisis of faith,

and you are looking for answers

and you are at the point where you have been truly humbled,

and you no longer feel the need to defend what you have been taught all of your life,

and you simply want to know the truth at all costs, no matter how painful it is,

I HAVE A MESSAGE FOR YOU.

God lives.

He is real.

He is the God of the Bible. (which is a God that you are very possibly unfamiliar with if you are a Mormon)

His ways differ greatly from our ways and his thoughts differ from our thoughts.

Forget everything you have ever been taught and begin reading the New Testament without any commentary from any other mortal person.

Take it literally.

Gain a testimony of Christ and him crucified.

Then re-read the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants and read them accepting the literal interpretation of what they are saying WITHOUT any interpretive biases from any commentaries or any spin that you have received from the modern corporate church. Believe EVERY unconditional promise and prophecy that is given in modern revelation.

Realize that people must return from the dead in order for God’s unconditional promises to come true.

After doing these things and prayerfully searching God’s word, there might be a few tidbits hidden within the posts in my threewatches and onewhoiswatching blogs that will continue to facility your search for the truth and that may contain additional insights as you begin searching the scriptures in a way that you have never searched them before, but be warned, the journey you are about to embark on is not for the faint of heart. You must embark on this journey with a desire to know the truth at any cost.

Praise God.


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