For those who are Watching…

November 28, 2008

This blog is an outgrowth of its sister site  www.threewatches.blogspot.com which provides over 50 scriptural and prophetic evidences that the “Marvelous Work and a Wonder” spoken of in Isaiah and the Book of Mormon did not begin during Joseph Smith’s ministry and the coming forth of the Book of Mormon in the 1800’s.

The LDS restoration movement represented the laying of the FOUNDATION for the Marvelous Work and a Wonder that was to come forth four generations later. It is time for the Marvelous Work and a Wonder to happen NOW. It is our generation that will see it unfold.

After the saints failed to live the law of consecration and failed to redeem Zion during Joseph Smith’s 15 year ministry, the Lord told them they must wait for a “little season” of “chastisement” and “learning” before they could live the laws pertaining to Zion.

The Marvelous Work and a Wonder takes place when the Gentiles repent and accept the fulness of the gospel and it includes the coming forth of additional ancient records as detailed in the 4th chapter of Ether.

Behold, I have written upon these plates the very thingswhich the brother of Jared saw; and there never weregreater things made manifest than those which were made manifest unto the brother of Jared.

Wherefore the Lord hath commanded me to write them; and I have written them. And he commanded me that I should seal them up; and he also hath commanded that I should seal up the interpretation thereof; wherefore I have sealed up the interpreters, according to the commandment of the Lord.

For the Lord said unto me: They shall not go forth unto the Gentiles until the day that they shall repent of their iniquity, and become clean before the Lord.

And in that day that they shall exercise faith in me, saith the Lord, even as the brother of Jared did, that they may become sanctified in me, then will I manifest unto them the things which the brother of Jared saw, even to the unfolding unto them all my revelations, saith Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Father of the heavens and of the earth, and all things that in them are.

I believe the Marvelous Work and a Wonder is about to begin.

This blog deals with deep doctrinal, historical and prophecy related issues pertaining to the LDS Restoration Movement, the Restored Church and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It views history through the lens of prophecy and prophecy through the lens of LDS church history.

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

This blog 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.

The content provided in the posts of this blog are 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, the following resources can be considered:

  • This blog– For an incomplete listing of some of the earliest posts on both blog sites with brief descriptions click here
  • The Chief Inspector Blog  Part One and Part Two
  • My Youtube Series on “The Secret History of Mormonism Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4
  • The book, “Solving the Prophet Puzzle, transforming a crisis of faith into a spiritual awakening“. This book provide the true Biblical profile of who Joseph Smith really was and what his full calling is. It documents how Joseph Smith, the latter day Moses offered up an atonement offering in behalf of latter day Israel after they rejected the fulness, much the same way the Moses offered himself as an atonement offering for ancient Israel after they rejected the fulness. The book provides answers to most of the criticisms made by skeptics of the restoration. The book can be ordered through Amazon.

book pic

 

The book, “Solving the Prophet Puzzle” reveals the secret history of the LDS restoration movement.

Three chapters of my book address the topic of the intercessory atonement offering. I feel that the documentation I have provided is beyond compelling in showing that Joseph Smith is the COVENANT SERVANT of the Lord in the last days who began the work of the Lord and will finish it under the direction of, and in conjunction with, Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

The book is currently being updated and should be finished by the end of 2016. The original version that was used by members of my peer review has temporarily been reduced in price from $49 to $19.

The book is over 600 pages long with over 1200 historical and scriptural references.

 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

PS

I do the Iron Rod Podcast with a few friends. Here is a listing of Podcast Topics

Publish Date       Episode    Name

03-18-2019 Iron Rod 015 – The True Restoration of the Melchizedek Priesthood

03-11-2019 Iron Rod 014 – The Doctrine of the Three Watches

03-04-2019 Iron Rod 013 – The Biblical Profile of Joseph Smith (Part 2)

02-26-2019 Iron Rod 012 – The Biblical Profile of Joseph Smith

02-18-2019 Iron Rod 011 – Testing Section 132 to see if it is a true revelation

02-11-2019 Iron Rod 010 – What the scriptures say and don’t say about polygamy

02-05-2019 Iron Rod 009 – The Truth about Sidney Rigdon

01-28-2019 Iron Rod 008 – A Brief History of the Church (Part 2: 1836-1844)

01-21-2019 Iron Rod 007 – A Brief History of the Church (Part 1)

01-14-2019 Iron Rod 006 – The Nature of God

01-07-2019 Iron Rod 005 – Why Lectures on Faith is Scripture

12-31-2018 Iron Rod 004 – The True Role of prophets

12-25-2018 Iron Rod 003 – Reformatted scriptures

12-19-2018 Iron Rod 002 – Tips and tricks for searching

12-12-2018 Iron Rod 001 – Searching the scriptures

 


Were the Restoration Saints and the Entire World Condemned by God Because they Neglected to Enter Into Covenant with the Book of Mormon? Part 1

December 7, 2019

I recently did a blog about the unique and strangely silent role of the Book of Mormon during Joseph Smith’s ministry with regard to public discourse about it’s doctrinal content.

In short, I basically pointed out that after translating and publishing the Book of Mormon, and using it as the bedrock of missionary work, it pretty much fades into the background with regard to the foundational doctrine of the church as canonized in the Doctrine portion of the Doctrine and Covenants, (Lectures on Faith).

It was also rarely used as the scriptural authority, in favor of the Bible, in virtually all of the major known sermons of Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon. The Nauvoo discourses for instance were based primarily on the Bible not the Book of Mormon.

I then speculated on why this was the case.

I had no other agenda than to point out what seems to be a real historical oddity on the surface.

I find this to be very curious and historically significant and I love to ponder and discuss these types of things even though they may cause indigestion and consternation in the hearts and minds of those that want to rigidly uphold the orthodox narratives.

Shortly after posting my observations, a reader made the following comment:

You are welcome to interpret “most correct book” how you want. But you have neglected the remainder of Joseph’s quote, namely that the Book of Mormon is “the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts than by any other book.”

There is not a lot of wiggle room in this portion of Joseph’s quote.
However you slice the quote it is apparent that he meant that the Book of Mormon is supreme among scripture and can help us get closer to God than any other book of scripture (regardless of how much or how little he used the Book of Mormon as a source for his public discourses).

I obviously had hit a nerve with this person.

This was my response to him in the comment section:

I figured I would get some blowback on this

I am well aware of the rest of the quote. I only provided the snippet because I wanted to focus on that specific topic.

I have covered this general topic [including the remainder of the quote] before in previous posts.

I do not agree that Joseph’s statement about getting closer to God was an explanation of why it was the most correct book. He was making two distinct points about the Book of Mormon.

The second point after addressing the accuracy of the translation process, was simply that a person can get closer to God by reading it.

(to my point in the post, it was promoted as a book of scripture to be read on an individual basis, not publicly parsed)

I agree with the statement that you can get closer to God by reading that book of scripture.

The style and feel of the Book of Mormon prophets does provide a softer, more emotional tone that is better for getting closer to God. But that does not take away from the fact that the NT provides the most powerful witness of the life, teachings, crucifixion, resurrection and atonement of Christ, not to mention his instructions to his apostles who still play an important role in the final watch.

They are two different and distinct books of scriptures [that both testify of Christ] with different purposes.

The Book of Mormon is a second witness, that makes the New Testament the first and primary witness of Christ.

Here is a previous post where I touched on this before

https://onewhoiswatching.wordpress.com/2015/01/16/notable-emails-part-3-have-you-ever-read-letter-to-a-ces-director-yes-and-it-has-strengthened-my-testimony/

The commenter then responded thusly:

The Book of Mormon is the most correct of any book on earth, because it was received directly from God. All other volumes of scripture are vastly inferior due to the changes and emendations that have been made to them by men. The Book of Mormon is the covenant that mankind has been condemned for neglecting, and it is a great loss when it is defined as just another volume of scripture or just another book. It contains the means whereby mankind can return into the presence of the Lord.

At this point it occurred to me why I had hit a nerve with this person.

His declaration that the Book of Mormon was the covenant that mankind has been condemned for neglecting revealed that this guy was a Snufferite!

Now it became clear as to why I had hit a nerve with him. I was showing in my article that the Bible was the foundational witness of Christ and doctrinal authority upon which the LDS restoration took place with the Book of Mormon playing a secondary role.

I was show that the “New Covenant” brought forth through Christ’s crucifixion, atonement and resurrection as contained in the New Testament was the foundation of Christianity and the latter day restoration of the Christian Church through the instrumentality of Joseph Smith.

Those facts completely contradict and refute the supposition that the Book of Mormon was some kind of distinct and superior covenant that needed to be entered into.

Although I can see now why this commenter felt so threatened by my post, I can honestly say that I was not intentionally attacking the heresy that Denver Snuffer has taught. Frankly, I had forgotten about it.

Nevertheless, he was bringing this fascinating dichotomy to my attention.

I couldn’t help but respond point by point to his comment:

“The Book of Mormon is the most correct of any book on earth, because it was received directly from God. ”

Is that not the point I was making about the superior translation process by which the BofM came forth??

“All other volumes of scripture are vastly inferior due to the changes and emendations that have been made to them by men”

I would suggest that it was the translation process of the Bible was inferior to that of the Book of Mormon, NOT the importance of the content.

It seems very unfair and inaccurate to me to state that the Bible is inferior to the Book of Mormon simply because the translation process was not as good. Further, the D&C did not need to go through a translation process..

It is those kinds of comments that cause Christians to look at us as a cult that does not take the Bible seriously and that kind of thinking is why Mormons have become biblically illiterate.

One of the problems with latter day Mormonism is that Mormons take the Bible for granted and they don’t realize just how important and profound the content really is.

If your claim was true Joseph Smith would have spent his ministry publicly focusing on the Book of Mormon instead of the Bible.

While the Book of Mormon is a very important secondary witness of Christ which provides the lesser things… The Bible is the first and primary witness of Christ.

One of the most important roles of the Book of Mormon is to prove that the Bible is true.

“The Book of Mormon is the covenant that mankind has been condemned ..”

I think you are greatly limiting the definition of what the “New Covenant” refers to.

The term is not referring to a singular book. It is referring to the New Covenant that Christ established through his atonement which is expounded upon in all of the books of scripture, D&C and NT included.

Do a keyword search on the term “new covenant” and you will see that the definition is much broader than how you are using it. It was an established term long before the BofM came forth.

The passage of scripture in Section 84 that you reference refers to the “Book of Mormon” AND the “scriptures” as the New Covenant.

Shortly after my reply, I got a long diatribe from him in the comment section which I left in moderation and did not approve to be posted in the comment section.

This is what it said:

The Book of Mormon was intended to be studied and followed as the means to reassert a covenant between God and man. The Book of Mormon points to a recovery of the covenants made to Abraham. It was intended to restore knowledge that would make it again possible for mankind to enter into a covenantal relationship with God, vindicating the promises that were made to the Fathers.

The Book of Mormon reveals that God made a covenant with Abraham in the beginning and that, at the end, God intends to uphold that covenant by changing gentiles into the house of Israel, by covenant; and that through the gentiles, he will gather in the scattered branches of Israel.

Therefore, the Book of Mormon must be received by covenant to accept the gospel given to Abraham and to participate in what the Lord has set out to do in this day.

The adoption of latter-day scriptures as a law and covenant is a necessary step foretold by the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon was preserved to come forth in the last days to restore the covenant people. Six months after publication of the Book of Mormon, the first missionary assignment was given by revelation. The Lord commanded,

“And now behold, I say unto you that thou shall go unto the Lamanites and preach my gospel unto them and cause my church to be established among them. And thou shall have revelations…” (September 1830)

The purpose of the first missionary work was to announce the fullness of the gospel to the scattered remnants, and the first remnant of Israel to be sent the invitation was the Lamanites. That mission failed to produce any Lamanite converts.

Instead, gentile, Campbellite disciples of Sidney Rigdon in Kirtland, Ohio joined by the hundreds. The focus quickly changed from recovering remnants of Israel, to successfully growing a large gentile church. This was not a temporary change. Its lasting effect has skewed the entire gentile effort. While some limited gestures have been made, recovering the remnants of Israel has been secondary. Once the focus left the Lamanites, all subsequent Mormon sects have likewise failed to fulfill the covenant in the Book of Mormon to seek to reclaim the remnants of Israel. They have remained intent on converting gentiles.

It was necessary for the Nephite record to come forth to the gentiles first, not to the remnant. Before it will go to the remnant the gentiles must accept the new covenant. The record does contain Christ’s gospel. But the gentiles are conditionally blessed if they seek to bring forth Zion. The record is to facilitate only that purpose for the gentiles. If the gentiles failed to focus on that, they would fail altogether.

The Book of Mormon is not entrusted to the gentiles to create an institution, or to build numerous chapels, or construct hundreds of temples before seeking to bring forth Zion, nor to enable a gentile body of millions to be assembled. It was entrusted to the gentiles for the purpose of gathering the remnant and establishing Zion. For that end alone, the gentiles are required to endure in the approved course until they reach the end. Or, in other words, endure and labor for the purpose of establishing Zion. When gentiles pursue any end other than establishing Zion, the Book of Mormon calls it “priestcraft”. That is what the gentiles have accomplished with the Book of Mormon thus far.

Moses recovered Israel from captivity in Egypt. They had been enslaved for generations, and lost a proper understanding of their covenant with God. He read the law to Israel and asked them to accept God’s word as a covenant. When he did, Israel responded, “All the words which the Lord hath said will we do.” (Exo. 4) The Book of Mormon records a pattern for establishing a covenant between the people willing to obey the Lord and God. King Benjamin gathered together those who were willing to receive a covenant from God. King Benjamin inquired to “know of his people if they believed the words which he had spoken unto them.” In both examples, the words of the covenant were read to the people.

When King Benjamin asked the people if they believed, …they all cried with one voice, saying: Yea, we believe all the words which thou hast spoken unto us; and also, we know of their surety and truth, because of the Spirit of the Lord Omnipotent, which has wrought a mighty change in us, or in our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually. And we, ourselves, also, through the infinite goodness of God, and the manifestations of his Spirit, have great views of that which is to come; and were it expedient, we could prophesy of all things. And it is the faith which we have had on the things which our king has spoken unto us that has brought us to this great knowledge, whereby we do rejoice with such exceedingly great joy. And we are willing to enter into a covenant with our God to do his will, and to be obedient to his commandments in all things that he shall command us, all the remainder of our days, that we may not bring upon ourselves a never-ending torment, as has been spoken by the angel, that we may not drink out of the cup of the wrath of God.

The people of King Benjamin willingly agreed to the covenant. They had a desire to be obedient to the covenant. They wanted to receive blessings from God. In the act of accepting the covenant with full purpose of heart, intending to repent and follow God, they had gifts poured out upon them from heaven.

The Book of Mormon is intended to be received as a covenant. The covenant MUST first be delivered to, and accepted by the gentiles in order for the gentiles to be numbered among the remnant of God’s people. (3 Ne. 21:22) The gentiles must have a covenant, or they cannot assist in any way to establish the New Jerusalem. (Id. v. 23) It will be former gentiles who are called “Ephraim” once restored, to whom all other tribes must come to receive their part in the covenant. (D&C 133:30-34) This will happen once the gentiles have been given the land as their land of promise, an inheritance from God given only to covenant people. (3 Ne. 21:22) At present, the gentiles have been condemned and rejected by the Lord. Therefore, some few must repent and return.

The Book of Mormon IS a covenant. In it we have examples of covenant making provided to us so we can understand the process. There have never been any people who have received the covenant offered through The Book of Mormon. When the 1835 conference adopted scriptures, they adopted only the D&C and not the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon as an offered covenant to the gentiles is an essential step required for the gentiles to become numbered with the remnant and obtain the right to inherit the promised land. If it is not received as a covenant by the gentiles, they have no right to be here on this land, or on any other land of promise.

I did not release the above discourse out of moderation in the comment section. Instead, I sent this Snufferite a personal email. This is what I said to him:

Dear Arelius11 alias (Mark Peterson)

I appreciate your desire to indoctrinate my readers to your beliefs, however, I really don’t agree with your hypothesis. There is no scriptural basis for it.

I don’t want to use my comment section for that purpose or for arguing points of doctrine to an excess.

Having said that, I think the theory you are presenting is an interesting one and worthy of examination. Particularly since it has influenced the thinking of several hundred people, having been promoted by the Denver Snuffer personally and the Snuffer Remnant Movement generally (of which I suspect you are associated)

 

For that reason, I am going to present your diatribe in a blog post and then I will dissect and parse it and show why I don’t agree with your assessment.

Before I do so, I want to give you a heads up so that you can be preparing any rebuttal that you may wish to provide.

If there is a more complete and detailed explanation of these concepts on Denver’s blog or in his writings or by any other followers of his, please provide me with the links so that a full and fair review of the doctrine can be made.

I can tell you once again that the foundational issue stems from a gross misinterpretation of the following passage in section 84:

57 And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them, not only to say, but to do according to that which I have written—

The above passage is using the term “new covenant” exactly the same way that the New Testament uses the term “new covenant“. In fact, that is what the term “New Testament” actually has reference to.

Even the Old Testament prophetically told about the time when the New Covenant would come forth.

There is no newer, updated, separate, or more important definition of the term than the one given in the New Testament.

Section 84 was simply referencing the fact that the New Covenant of Christ’s atonement and commanded covenantal entry point of being born again through the multi-part baptism, was contained in the Book of Mormon and the FORMER COMMANDMENTS. ( which are contained in the Inspired Version of the Bible and the revelations that Joseph Smith brought forth. What were the commandments? To repent and get baptized and to partake of the sacrament… see section 20 which Joseph Smith declared to have been received by the spirit of prophecy and revelation, which the Snufferite movement has rejected. ).

To assume that some kind of new covenant beyond the one already presented in the New Testament and the related commandments given in the revelations Joseph had brought forth which is to accept the covenant and be baptized and enter into the strait gate, is simply overthinking and undervaluing the real
new covenant that had been taken lightly by the restoration saints and therefore had brought the restored church under condemnation.

Hence, the following suppositions that you have made about the physical Book of Mormon representing some kind of a covenant that is separate and distinct from the New Covenant of Christ that had already been given to the new testament saints and the restoration saints, simply is not accurate. It is a doctrine of the devil devised to take our minds and hearts and focus off of the New Covenant of Christ.

Here are some of your proclamations:

“..the Book of Mormon must be received by covenant to accept the gospel given to Abraham and to participate in what the Lord has set out to do in this day..

..The Book of Mormon is intended to be received as a covenant..

..The Book of Mormon IS a covenant..

..There have never been any people who have received the covenant offered through The Book of Mormon.

Those claims are patently false.

I look forward to any other supporting documentation that you would like to provide and to your rebuttal.

May I suggest that you have Denver help you and proof read what you say [if he has not already been intimately involved in helping you in this discusson]. .

Mark the Snufferite then responded with some links to revelations that Denver claimed to have from the Lord on this subject. This was my response to the links that he sent me:

LOL  You must have misunderstood me. Or perhaps I did not communicate very well.

I do not accept Denver Snuffer as a prophet and I don’t care what any of his revelations from the Lord say. What I was asking is, do you or does Denver, have any references from the true scriptures to support the false interpretation of the passage in Section 84 specifically or the thesis you have provided generally.

I was asking you if Denver has provided anything more detailed regarding scriptural validation of what you are claiming.

I am assuming that you have learned all of this theory from Denver and his writings. If in fact you are the original presenter of this info and that Denver has reviewed and endorsed it, I would be interested to know that. However, I suspect that Denver and the entity that inspires him is the one behind it.

Thank you for your consideration.

In a follow up post, I will continue to address the depth, holiness and profundity of the scriptural term “New Covenant“.

I will show why Denver Snuffer’s new teaching that glorifies a book and promotes idolatry instead of focusing on the sacrificial offering of Christ as contained primarily in the Bible and secondarily in the Book of Mormon, is a doctrine of the Devil.


Types and Shadows from the Book of Mormon to Understand our Present Situation

November 28, 2019

I recently received emails from two different people sharing some of their ponderings about possible parallels between Book of Mormon narratives and our current situation.

First, a snippet from a gal:

HI, Watcher,

I am always happy to see a new post from you.  I hope your time off has
been a help to your good health.

You have always been a good person to bounce new ideas about scripture
with, so I would like to share some things I have been noticing in the
Book of Alma.  I think much of the Book of Mormon is designed to help us
recognize the timing of the Great and Marvelous Work, so that we do not
fight against what God is doing in our day.

In just the first few chapters of Alma, we read about a national
election in which one person refuses to concede defeat and organizes a
“resistance” against the lawfully elected leader, including coordination
with foreign powers.  In an effort to gain intelligence about the plans
of the Amlicites, Alma used spies to learn their plans and prevent their
attack. (FISA warrants?)

In the process of trying to turn around the hearts of his people to
repent and accept a greater word to come, he reminds them of their
history, their deliverance, both recent and long past.  (This seems to
be effective, because it is the explanation Amulek uses when he explains
how he had seen God’s mysteries and power without knowing it.  Alma
didn’t show him some new record or miracle, he put into perspective
things Amulek could relate to directly.)

The public trial of Alma and Amulek remind me of the recent impeachment
hearings where words are twisted by lawyers seeking a conviction without
any concern for due process or actual crimes committed. The impeachment
may also lead to the walls falling on the people who have worked to take
down the current Administration, leaving them free to walk away from the
rubble, unharmed. The account of Zeezrom may indicate that there are
individuals who were originally in favor of  “taking down the President”
who will “flip” when confronted with their part of the coup.

I have just started into the account of the sons of Mosiah, but I
believe it has a connection to foreign policy.  I read a lot commentary
from https://theconservativetreehouse.com/ which help explain the
dynamic of China trade policy and how it ties into things like North
Korea, Canada, Mexico, and the EU. Alma 17:14-15 could show the parallel
between the Lamanite traditions and the socialist/communist policies
that are prevalent around the world.  The Lamanites want the technology
(defense, prosperity) of the Nephites, without the work ethic to develop
and earn it themselves.  If Lamoni were to represent North Korea, and
King Lamoni’s father (king of all the Lamanites) were China, there is
the pattern of North Korea being set free once China is held at
sword-point, figuratively.  The sons of Mosiah and their companions
would include people like Mike Pompeo and Peter Navarro, Robert
Lightheizer, Wilber Ross, Steve Mnuchin, etc.

Anyhow, that’s what I’m having fun with.  I would love to hear your
thoughts.  Hope you are feeling better.

Here is an email I just got today from a fellow:

Watcher,

Have you ever delved into the Book of Mormon 3rd Nephi timeline from chapters 1-10 before Christ visits?

I’m starting to do dive in and I see a lot of similarities… brink of destruction due to corruption, Nephite leader not intimidated by the threatenings of the Gadianton Robbers who want their right to govern back, unifying of a county, building fortifications, etc.

Seems a lot like Trump’s modern day America.

I’m not saying it’s an exact “quid pro quo”, but there’s several similarities.

Just wondering if you’ve done any such study.

I could clearly see 3 Ne. 2:19 being the end of 2016 and this destruction was delayed and time was given for us to repent.

19 And thus ended the fifteenth year [2016], and thus were the people in a state of many afflictions; and the sword of destruction did hang over them, insomuch that they were about to be smitten down by it, and this because of their iniquity.

But because the country elected a ruler who “could not be frightened by the demands and the threatenings of a robber” [who desired for his] “people [political party] may recover their rights and government” (see 3 Ne. 3:12,10)

Happy Thanksgiving,

I love how these people are consulting the historical narratives in the Book of Mormon to better understand the fulfillment of prophecy in the last days.

Happy Thanksgiving


The Elephant in the Room for LDS Leaders and Historians: The Role of the Book of Mormon During Joseph Smith’s Ministry

November 20, 2019

Critics of Mormonism often refer to the Book of Mormon as the “Mormon Bible” as if to imply that Mormons have replaced the traditional Bible with the Book of Mormon.

Even when it is acknowledged by critics that the Bible is one of our standard works, Mormons are often accused of reverencing the Book of Mormon more than the Bible because, after all, Joseph Smith declared it to be “”most correct book of any book on earth.” (History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 4:461.)

My contention is that Joseph was not saying the storyline and doctrine in the Book of Mormon was more correct than the Bible, rather, he was referring to the translation process.

He was simply pointing out that the translation process of the Book of Mormon ( by the gift and power of God) was more correct than that of the scholarly translation processes that the Bible went through… hence the need for the Inspired Version of the Bible which addresses many of the major translation problems in the Bible.

Today I want to address the elephant in the room that most LDS historians and church leaders seldom want to discuss.

It has to do with the public discourse (or lack thereof) pertaining to the specific doctrinal content within the Book of Mormon during the ministry of the prophet Joseph Smith.

Consider this, after the translation and coming forth of the Book of Mormon in the consciousness of the American public and it’s prominent role in the individual conversion process of new converts of the Church, it became virtually invisible in the public doctrinal discourse of the saints and the doctrinal development of the restored church.

Did I really say that?

Yes, I did.

Think about it. One of the very first major doctrinal undertakings of Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon once the church was formally established, was to create the doctrine portion of the Doctrine and Covenants which we now refer to as the Lectures on Faith.

The Lectures on Faith is a masterful doctrinal thesis that was so foundationally important to the doctrinal development of Mormonism that is was canonized with the revelations that Joseph Smith received from the Lord. Yet the vast majority of the doctrinal references provided within that document were taken from the Bible. Only a sparse handful of references were taken from the Book of Mormon.

Doesn’t that seem just a little bit strange?

Was that an oversight on the part of the Lord’s seers?

I don’t think so.

Even more interesting is the fact that the Book of Mormon was virtually NEVER used as the basis for sermons and discourses of the early church leaders.

The vast majority of the discourses that Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon were based on bible passages with very little mention of the Book of Mormon.

A careful perusal of the Nauvoo discourses given by Joseph Smith show that virtually all of the doctrinal themes presented were based on biblical passages with the book of Mormon being negligible.

This largely why I refer to Joseph Smith as the Quintessential Biblical Christian.

The cold hard fact is that the Book of Mormon became little more than a small footnote of the restoration movement after it came forth, with regard to public doctrinal discourse and doctrinal development.

Yes broad sweeping references to the Book of Mormon as a history of the ancient inhabitants of America would be acknowledged from time to time, but for the most part, the Book of Mormon was not publicly parsed. It was simply handed to people to read for themselves.

For the most part, reading the Book of Mormon was a very personal read, not a public one.

Don’t get me wrong. Joseph saw the Book of Mormon as an integrable part of the restored church. Indeed, along with the revelations he received directly from God, it was what differentiated the restored church from other Christian sects:

“Take away the Book of Mormon and the revelations, and where is our religion? We have none” History of the Church, 2:52 (21 April 1834)

But that statement made in 1844 during the Nauvoo years when he gave all of his bible based discourses must has caused some degree of cognitive dissonance among those paying attention to the historically contextual implications of the statement.

It is true that four generations later, after the veil of darkness has sufficiently dumbed down the revelatory abilities of latter day saints, the Book of Mormon has taken on a new role and persona in Mormonism.

Many sermons and even lesson manuals use passages and doctrinal concepts from the ancient record. In many ways the Book of Mormon now overshadows that of the Bible. It is now the canon of scripture in the spotlight. In some respects the prominence of the Bible and Book of Mormon in the minds of the latter day saints has flip-flopped.

Somehow, most latter day saints seem oblivious to the fact that the Book of Mormon condemns both the restored gentile church of Joseph Smith’s ministry as well as the current modern church.

Despite the newly emerged role of the Book of Mormon, I would contend that public discourse on the doctrinal and prophetic content of the Book of Mormon seemed to be suppressed during the foundation movement.

Am I wrong?

I invite readers of this blog who are steeped in LDS church history to challenge me if I am wrong.

In the event that I am correct, it begs the question, WHY?

Why was the Book of Mormon suppressed in doctrinal discourse by leaders?

At face value it seems counterintuitive after all the Joseph Smith went through to bring this ancient record to light and what a powerful role it played and continues to play in the personal conversion process, for it to be such a low profile part of public doctrinal discourse.

Obviously, the general historical context of the book of Mormon is significantly different than that of the Bible and the New Testament focuses expressly on the life and teachings of Christ while the Book of Mormon does not.

That in and of itself is pretty good reason to focus on the New Testament for doctrinal teaching and content.

But can that be the whole reason that the doctrinal content of the Book of Mormon seemed to be dead on arrival in the mainstream consciousness?

Could it be that the cannon of scripture was suppressed because one of the major themes of the Book of Mormon is that the gentiles of the latter day church would apostatize and reject the truth?

One has to wonder if in fact, that is part of the bizarre dynamic that the book played in the early years of restoration.

After reading passages in 2nd Nephi 28 and Mormon 8 and then reading Christ’s prophetic observation to the Nephites about “that day when the Gentiles shall sin against my gospel” and finally the Lord’s declaration in Ether that the sealed record “shall not go forth unto the Gentiles until the day that they shall repent of their iniquity, and become clean before the Lord.” One has to wonder if in fact it was the apostasy theme in the record was one of the reason why the book was not publicly scrutinize and showcased back then.

Aside from referencing prior groups of people like the Jaredites and Mulekites, the primary demographics prophesied about in the Book of Mormon are as follows:

  • Nephites
  • Lamanites
  • Unblieving Gentiles
  • Believing Gentiles
  • Latter day restoration of the Jews

Without exception each of these groups struggled with apostacy in the Book of Mormon narrative.

Apostacy drove the Nephites to extinction.

It rendered the Lamanites a dark and lithesome people.

It would eventually cause the believing gentiles of the restoration to sin against the fulness of the gospel.

Even the Jews and other remnants of Israel who would begin to believe in the latter days and gather to the restored church in America are limited to a stagnated state continually only beginning to believe, preventing them from obtaining the blessings of the fulness of the gospel and the laws of Zion.

Is it possible that Joseph and Sidney did not want the ominous apostasy narratives in the Book of Mormon to side track the efforts of the foundation movement any sooner than those prophecies needed to be fulfilled?

If that is the case, why would members of the church during Joseph Smith’s ministry be more apt to understand the apostasy narrative implications than modern Mormons?

I would suggest that during Joseph Smith’s ministry it was more clearly understood by the saints that the portion of the Book of Mormon that Joseph Smith brought forth was only a portion of a larger body of scripture to come forth.

Indeed, it was a preparatory and preliminary book of scripture that contained the lesser portion of the word. In addition to the lesser portion of the word, it provided a sober warning to those that received it.

The Book of Mormon that Joseph Smith brought forth was to prepare the hearts and minds of the saints for the greater things that would come forth after they stumble and then finally collectively repent in the latter days:

Modern latter day saints seem to have generally forgotten that the Book of Mormon was just a preliminary and preparatory record to prepare us for the seal portion that actually begins the Work of the Father.

.
15 Behold, when ye shall rend that veil of unbelief which doth cause you to remain in your awful state of wickedness, and hardness of heart, and blindness of mind, then shall the great and marvelous things which have been hid up from the foundation of the world from you—yea, when ye shall call upon the Father in my name, with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, then shall ye know that the Father hath remembered the covenant which he made unto your fathers, O house of Israel.

16 And then shall my revelations which I have caused to be written by my servant John be unfolded in the eyes of all the people. Remember, when ye see these things, ye shall know that the time is at hand that they shall be made manifest in very deed.

17 Therefore, when ye shall receive this record ye may know that the work of the Father has commenced upon all the face of the land.

When does the work of the Father begin?

When “this record” is received.

This record” is not referring to the Book of Mormon or the Book of Ether that Joseph Smith translated. It is referring to a sealed record yet to come forth.

Yes it may seem odd that the Mormon Bible was translated by Joseph Smith and then the content thereof was largely forgotten about by the saints for the next 14 years.

But a broader context reveals that there is more to come and that there was to be an interim time of darkness and stumbling by the saints. Eventually more of God’s word that has been sealed up will come forth.

Those that reject it will be cursed. Those that repent and become clean before the Lord will be blessed.

While a surface reading of the history of the Church presents lots of strange issues and elephants in the room that are difficult to understand, the day will come when we will no longer see through a glass darkly and we will realize that everything that happened was according to the providence of God.

 


Semicha

November 11, 2019

I got an email some time back from a reader of this blog which I am providing below:

“Hi Watcher, I’ve been enjoying the podcasts you’ve produced with searcher and md. They have been enlightening to say the least.

As you frankly discuss the ‘lay of the land” regarding the current LDS church and it’s doctrine, the spirit of the discussion is neither offensive/combative and all seems quite reasonable. A tough feat considering the subject.

Anyways, I’ve come across something that may be related to the intercessory offering of Joseph Smith. You probably know about it, it’s the principal of the Semicha in Jewish tradition.

In the Hebrew Bible, semicha (literally “leaning”) refers to the priest’s placing of his hands before the offering of a korban (animal sacrifice) in theTemple in Jerusalem. This involved pressing firmly on the head of the sacrificial animal, thereby symbolically “transmitting” sins onto the animal or, in other interpretations, to transform the sacrifice into an offering acceptable to HaShem.”

More at:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semicha_in_sacrifices

You’ve discussed Joseph taking upon him the sins of polygamy and others and then being offered as a sacrifice to spare the saints. And he did so by acting out the sins himself – (as I understand it).

My question is, was there an event, such as a blessing from Brigham Young or someone else, where they placed their hands on Joseph’s (and possibly Hyrum’s head) prior to their departure to Carthage? Have you found any such act that may be a symbolic transfer of sins to the sacrifice that may be in accordance to the principal of the semicha?

Hope all is well,

Thanks”

This was my response:

“That is a great find XXXX.

I was not familiar with the concept of Semicha as described in Jewish tradition.

I found the following blurb in the wiki article you referenced particularly interesting as it appears to describe one of the two servants putting his sins that he had committed (because of the sins of Israel), upon the other servant:

Some rabbinical authorities,[who?] followed by some Church Fathers,[who?] interpreted “semikah” as meaning that the sacrificer, by laying his hands upon the animal, transferred his sins to it and imposed upon it the punishment which his conduct had merited (Sforno on Leviticus i. 5; Levi ben Gershon on Leviticus i. 4). Also important, here, should be the explicit teaching [Leviticus 16:21], “And Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, and confess over it all the iniquities of the people of Israel, and all their transgressions, all their sins. And he shall put them [their sins] on the head of the goat and send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a man who is in readiness.” 

I had not previously considered that the one servant was placing his own sins upon the head of the other servant….

If in fact the two servants are Joseph and Sidney and if in fact Sidney is the scapegoat servant, then it would have required a special blessing from Joseph upon the head of Sidney.

With that in mind, it is interesting that Joseph gave a blessing upon the head of Sidney in 1835, (presumably by the laying on of hands) at about the time of transition from the fulness of the Church of Christ to the Dispensation of the Gospel of Abraham. (It was not a common occurrence for Joseph to give blessings. Usually his father, or Sidney or someone else was giving blessings if my memory serves me right)

In the blessing, the following promise was given:

Thou shall receive an ordination not many days hence which shall surpass all human understanding; for thy Redeemer shall come down and stand before thee-thou shalt see his face and hear his voice and great shall be thy rejoicing.

We have no documentation of when that ordination took place and can only wonder what kind of ordination would surpass all human understanding.

It is interesting to note that Joseph seems to have fallen into transgression before Sidney, which also meets the sequence of events being described. First the primary servant sins, then places the sins on the secondary servant.

Your question about Hyrum and Joseph on the way to Carthage is also an interesting one as priesthood blessings are sometimes followed up with additional sequential confirmations. .

As the Patriarchal High Priest over Israel at the time, Hyrum would be the one to act in the role described in Leviticus 16 in placing his hands upon the head of the atonement offering….

Interesting stuff to ponder.

Thank you for bringing that to my attention.

Hope all is going well for your guys. We think of you whenever we visit ….”

scapegoat image

 


Final Nails in the Coffin: The Brazil Deception

November 3, 2019

I have not been paying any attention to the Brazil Deception for a long time. Ever since Bob Moore declared it to be a farce it just wasn’t that interesting of a show to watch.

Nevertheless, I have been informed that more pivotal events have taken place. The two factions in America that were sustaining Mauricio to be a prophet and translator have now rejected him as their leader.

A reader of this blog from Australia gave me a heads up that on Oct 15, 2019 Joseph F. Smith publicly declared Maurico’s movement in Brazil to be a “cult” and he has requested that his name be withdrawn as a witness.

His statement is a follows:

THIS IS MY STATEMENT – OCT 15, 2019

Let everyone take notice of what I say. I have asked that my name be taken from the Sealed Book of Mormon.  Understand however I do not discredit the book nor this work. I repeat for those of you who desire to cast shadows on others who you disagree with. I do not discredit the book, nor do I discredit this work. I withdraw my name because it is being used to promote what, in my opinion, is an organization in Brazil that has become the equivalent of a cult; that which is not in accordance with the scriptures I have enjoyed for these many years. This is not acceptable to me.

Joseph F Smith

It is not surprising that Joseph F. Smith still maintains that the sealed plates and associated translation are still true. His rise to relevance in the eyes of his very small group of followers rests upon the foundation of that work.  If he were to acknowledge that the sealed plates from Brazil were a fabrication and that he has been deceived, his occupation and associated income as a prophet would come to an abrupt end.

Joseph and his faction are not the only ones to finally reject Mauricio.

Another contact of mine in Missouri just sent me the following public statement from Roberta “Bobbi” Chinnery, the leader of the second faction. The following snippet is taken from her Facebook page:

bobbie

As you can see, she goes one step further than Joseph. She not only rejects Mauricio, she also claims that the sealed plates and associated translation are a fabrication and deception.

To her credit, she acknowledges that she was deceived and was involved in unwittingly deceiving other people.

It would be interesting to know what exactly took place to cause the darkness to disperse from her mind regarding this issue. I suspect those details are forthcoming for those who are interested.

I have not heard anything about how Maurico’s missionary labors in Brazil have been going. I suspect not very well.

These two public rejections of Mauricio from Joseph and Roberta must be devastating to Mauricio and his little group of followers in Brazil. The only reason Mauricio’s movement ever got any traction at all is because of the endorsement of Joseph F. Smith and Bob Moore, who have both rejected Mauricio.

On the other hand, Mauricio got a car, several thousand dollars and a few fleeting moments of fame out of the deal.

The defection of these two fringe groups in America most likely represents the final nail in the coffin of Mauricio’s scam although there are no doubt still gullible folks who are drinking the cool-aid.

It would be interesting to know where people like John Pratt , Russell Y Anderson, Jonathan Felt and other ex-Snufferites who promoted the Brazil scam currently stand on this issue.

It will also be interesting to see how long it takes for Tyler Crowell and the remaining witnesses in Missouri to wake up and smell the coffee.


The LDS Church is being Sued for Religious Fraud

September 14, 2019

As most of you are probably aware, the LDS Church is being sued for religious fraud.

Here is a snippet from courthousenews.com

SALT LAKE CITY (CN) — A federal lawsuit sure to get attention in Utah claims that the “Mormon Corporate Empire” has driven worshipers to existential crises, suicide, anxiety and depression by peddling a “scheme of lies” centered on the  religion’s creation and its scriptures, a onetime member claims.

 

(The angel Moroni, an icon of the Mormon faith.)

Laura Gaddy on Monday filed a scathing, 75-page class action against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Represented by Salt Lake City attorney Kay Burningham, Gaddy claims the church, which claimed 16 million members worldwide in 2018, twisted “the foundational history of Mormonism” in a “fraudulent scheme perpetrated for generations.”

“The material facts upon which Mormonism is based have been manipulated through intentional concealment, misrepresentation, distortion and or obfuscation by the [LDS] to contrive an inducement to faith in Mormonism’s core beliefs,” the complaint states.

The defendant is The Corporation of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which Gaddy describes as a holding company, “which owns and/or controls several for-profit businesses.”

The complaint cites official, “whitewashed” teachings of Mormonism claiming to be the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ, in which a divine authority essential to that gospel was taken from Earth after Christ’s crucifixion and purportedly restored hundreds of years later to church founder Joseph Smith.

There have obviously been countless lawsuits over a myriad of issues attempted against the LDS Church by disgruntled members of the church over the years. Some successful, most probably never see the light of day in court. The church has deep pockets and one of the most powerful law firms on retainer.

Institutional Financial Fraud

Several months ago I was contacted by another person who has accumulated compelling documentation about the intentional and secretive manipulation of and questionable use of financial funds by the church.

Additionally he has documented how the legal status and ownership of the corporation of the church has been intentionally altered to conceal how money and power is being routed. He claims these secret changes of legal status have been done for nefarious reasons and that there has been no accountability. Much of this information has not come to light because of lack of the lack of transparency which the Mormon church is famous for.

He was asking me for support and guidance on how he might proceed taking legal action against the church. I told him I did not think success would be very likely and that the costs would be overwhelming. Additionally, I did not think a credible attorney could be found that would accept the case.

The Remnant Temple Fund has over $100,000?

I have now been contacted by a disgruntled Snufferite who is claiming that the  Temple Fund lacks transparency and he feels that those behind the fund have questionable motives.

He has attempted to look into where the money is, who controls it, and how it will ultimately be used. I found the email and his detective work to be insightful and somewhat shocking as to how he has been treated when simply attempting to identify who some of the key players over the fund are and requesting transparency and accountability.

He is concerned that other gullible people are going to be bilked out of their hard earned money in the future and wants to bring this issue into the spotlight to protect future victims. I will probably be posting his email at his request in a future post.

Kay Burningham is the Real Deal

Getting back to the most recent lawsuit by Laura Gaddy which is accusing the LDS Church of religious fraud, the interesting thing about this lawsuit which differentiates it from others is that it is claiming damages based on the intentional misrepresentation of LDS Church History.

This attempt appears to be somewhat unusual. Some legal experts might suggest that the claims of such a lawsuit would be extremely difficult to prove. Obviously, a legal success in such an undertaking might just send a chill down the spine of many religious cults, not to mention all of the false prophets out there that are making outrageous claims that cannot be supported and in some cases, can easily be shown to be false.

Some casual observers of the Gaddy lawsuit may be shaking their heads and blowing it off as a frivolous lawsuit without merit that has no chance in hell of ever making it to court.

Frankly, I am not so sure this is the case.

Here are two things to consider.

  1. Many bloggers, authors and historians (including myself) have been documenting the intentional manipulation of church history by the LDS for years. There is no question about the fact that the LDS church has knowing fabricated and suppressed church historical facts that are foundational to the truth claims of the church.

    While I do not personally question or challenge foundational truth claims about Joseph Smith being a true prophet, the true New Testament Church of Christ being restored in the 1800’s, and the Book of Mormon being a true record of an ancient and fallen people, I do agree that many other parts of the current historical narrative being promoted by the modern church are unsupported and false.

    I think the modern LDS church leadership needs to be held accountable. Interestingly, the most egregious and damaging historical fabrications are not even being addressed in the lawsuit because it is being orchestrated by non-believers who only have a cursory understanding of LDS church history. They do not comprehend the deeper historical revisionism and related ramifications.

    2- The other thing to consider is who the legal counsel for Laura Gaddy is. Kay Burningham appears to be the real deal and she has skin in the game.

    She is not some low budget ambulance chasing opportunist that is throwing up a hail Mary in hopes of hitting the jackpot against a wealthy corporation. She is an accomplished attorney that has been groomed to take on such a case. She got her J.D. from the BYU  J. Reuben Clark Law School. She was a recipient of the “Outstanding Achievement Award” in Intellectual Property Law.

    She “is a civil trial attorney with over 25 years experience in California and Utah, representing both corporate defendants and individual plaintiffs. She has litigated cases involving misrepresentation and fraud in the context of product liability warnings, health care disclosures, insurance coverage and employment and real-estate contracts.

    Ms. Burningham has tried a variety of civil cases in San Diego Superior Court. In the early nineties she served as a San Diego Superior Court judge pro tem/civil settlement officer and arbitrator where she assisted in the resolution of a variety of civil cases. Since returning to Utah, she has tried cases in Utah District Court and has successfully argued before the Utah Supreme Court.”

    She has obviously been preparing for a case like this for years. Kay is the author of the book, “An American Fraud: One Lawyer’s case against Mormonism

Below is a link to a video of a presentation she did in 2013 on the topic of religious fraud and whether or not it is prosecutable.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCgotg4kM7w&t=712s

Those desiring updates on this may visit the following site.

https://www.xmoresources.org/

 

 


Identifying and Correcting the False Traditions of our Fathers: #2 The resurrection begins the great judgment and represents the reuniting of our body and spirit into our final glorified state.

August 6, 2019

This post represents the second false doctrine that we are going to cover in this series which is often taught in the LDS Church.

The resurrection is often characterized by the institutional church as a split-second event that takes place after this earthly probation is over, where the spirit and body are reunited in their final glorified state.

Admittedly, some passages of scripture even sound like that may be the case when viewed as a single passage without looking at related passages and taking a broader contextual look at the doctrine.

The scenario I am seeing in the scriptures relative to the doctrine of the resurrection is quite different. The process of returning and being restored in the flesh actually appears to be part of the end times scenario and it begins with being restored to mortality before being restored to a glorified state.

The scriptures sometimes use the word restoration in place of or including the term resurrection.

Furthermore, the restoration (and resurrection) process actually takes place during this probationary period of this earth life and before the time of the final judgments and wrath of God that will be poured out upon the inhabitants of the earth.

The Resurrection of the Dead Represents the Time of Restoration

The following declarations are found on the official website of the LDS Church and has been taught as official church doctrine for centuries:

“[This] is truly the dispensation of the fullness of times, when all things which are in Christ Jesus, whether in heaven or on the earth, shall be gathered together in Him, and when all things shall be restored.”

As you can see, according to the above quote, we Latter day Saints have entered into the dispensation of the fulness of times when all things in heaven or on earth are to be restored and gathered to Christ. Interestingly, there is no scriptural support provided for that claim nor is there a reference provided as to who made that sensational statement.

In a later post in this series we shall address this topic and see from scripture and history of the church that we have not entered into the dispensation of the fulness of times.

Regarding the resurrection, or restoration of the dead, the official LDS website states that-

At the time of the resurrection, we will “be judged according to [our] works. … We shall be brought to stand before God, knowing even as we know now, and have a bright recollection of all our guilt..”

The wording in the above teaching can be confusing. It causes us to assume that the resurrection takes place after God’s last great work is finished and this mortal probation is over.

I believe the scriptures do not teach that.

It declares that the resurrection marks the time when the judgment begins and our works done in the mortal flesh have been completed.

I believe that a full, contextual reading of the scriptures provide a much more detailed sequence of events that do not support such a narrow characterization.

One of the problems may be semantics. The terms resurrection and restoration are not always used exactly the same way.

Below is one a passage from the modern revelation that I think is sometimes misunderstood:

6 And also with Elias, to whom I have committed the keys of bringing to pass the restoration of all things spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began, concerning the last days; D&C27:6

 Who is the Elias being spoken of? When did he bring to pass the restoration of all things?

I would suggest that the passage is speaking about keys that were committed pertaining to a future event.

 A literal reading of the scriptures that pertain to the resurrection inform us that the resurrection actually begins the time of the literal gathering of God’s people to the lands of their inheritance. Further, they inform us that when we are initially brought forth from the dead, we will be returned to our MORTAL bodies, not our IMORTAL BODIES!

Look at the following passage of scripture in 2 Nephi 10:7

But behold, thus saith the Lord God: When the day cometh that they shall believe in me, that I am Christ, then have I covenanted with their fathers that they shall be restored in the flesh, upon the earth, unto the lands of their inheritance.

The passage is speaking about the final literal gathering of Israel.

First, those living on the earth shall believe in Christ.

Second, people will be restored in the flesh upon the earth.

Lastly, they are brought unto the lands of their inheritance.

That chronological sequence of events may be so foreign to you that you think I am misinterpreting the passage and wresting the scriptures. But I am not basing these claims solely on a unique interpretation of the above passage of scripture.

Verse 8 of 2 Nephi 10 notes that people are being gathered from the “four parts of the earth” after people are restored in the flesh.

And it shall come to pass that they shall be gathered in from their long dispersion, from the isles of the sea, and from the four parts of the earth;

 Now let’s review the dry bones prophecy in Ezekiel which supports the above declaration in 2 Nephi 10, that people will be restored to the earth in the flesh BEFORE the final gathering of Israel:

37 The hand of the Lord was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones…

2 And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry.

3 And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord God, thou knowest.

4 Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord.

5 Thus saith the Lord God unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live:

6 And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the Lord.

7 So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone.

8 And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them.

9 Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord God; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.

10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.

11 Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts.

Ezekiel prophesies that the time will come when the whole house of Israel will be restored to the earth in the flesh. Their dead bones will be covered with flesh once again and the breath of life will be put into them.

This has huge implications that we will not address in this post, but one has to wonder what has taken place on earth that would cause the entire house of Israel to be dead.

What happens after God restored them to the earth in the flesh?

They are gathered to the land of Israel!

 12 Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.

13 And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves,

14 And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the Lord have spoken it, and performed it, saith the Lord.

After God opens the graves of the dead and restores all of Israel back to the earth in the flesh and puts his spirit in them, he brings them into the land of Israel.

As you can see, the above prophecy in Ezekiel 37 shares the same bizarre chronology as 2nd Nephi 10

This unusual narrative is also found in the blessing and cursing prophecy of Moses who declares that after Israel goes into apostasy in the latter days and is “driven” among “all nations“, God will gather his people, even from the four parts of heaven, and place them in their land!

1 And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath driven thee,

2 And shalt return unto the LORD thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul;

3 That then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee.

4 If any of thine be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, from thence will the LORD thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee:

5 And the LORD thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers.

This doctrine of being gathered even from the dead and placed into the appointed land is also found in Isaiah 52 which speaks first of the dead shaking the dust off and then being gathered.

shake yourselves from the dust

It then transitions into the gathering out of Babylon-

“go out from thence.. go ye out of the midst of her..

It speaks of the anointed servant of the Lord conducting this gathering

Behold my servant shall deal prudently.. his visage was so marred.. he shall gather many nations..”

 As you can see, the restoration of men back to the earth in the flesh precedes the final gathering of Israel!

The prophet Daniel also provides an interesting chronology having to do with the restoration of souls back to the earth:

1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.

2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.

Daniel informs us that once the children of Israel have been gathered, Michael stands up.

At that time, there will be a time of trouble.

People who have slept in the dust will awake. Some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.

Some of the ones that awake will turn many to righteousness! If people are still being converted to the truth, then clearly this amazing time of resurrection is still taking place during probationary time.

From Mortal Bodies to Immortal Bodies

Furthermore, as briefly mentioned earlier in this post, there is reason to believe that initially, men are restored from the dust back to their mortal bodies not their immortal bodies!

It is commonly taught in the church that after our mortal body dies, all men will be resurrected from the dead into our final immortal and glorified bodies to be judged.  It is believed by many that perhaps this process takes place sometime after the events of the end times during the millennium.

But there are passages in the Book of Mormon that seem to challenge this.

They teach that those who experience the death of the mortal body must first be returned to this earth and come forth out of the grave and be restored to that same mortal body to be judged.

Notice the very specific language used in the book of Alma declaring that the immortal body is raised from the mortal body, not directly from the spirit that is in the spirit world. 

Alma 11:45 

45 Now, behold, I have spoken unto you concerning the death of the mortal body, and also concerning the resurrection of the mortal body. I say unto you that this mortal body is raised to an immortal body

It is not saying that the spirit is directly reunited with the immortal body, it is saying that first there is a resurrection of the mortal body. Sometime after that, the mortal body is raised to an immortal body.  

Alma 12:20 

20 But there was one Antionah, who was a chief ruler among them, came forth and said unto him: What is this that thou hast said, that man should rise from the dead and be changed from this mortal to an immortal state, that the soul can never die?

Again, we have a progression here.

Alma is stating that we gain a mortal body in this probation, then we die, then we are raised up again in our mortal body, then we are judged, then we are raised from our mortal body to an immortal body.

  • Mortal Body in Mortal Probation
  • Death
  • Restored from the dead to our mortal body after death the first death has been conquered
  • Mortal Body raise to an Immortal body

Countless patriarchal blessings from the time of Kirtland to the present day have promised the saints that they would stand on the earth in the flesh to see the coming of the Lord.

Skeptics have scoffed at how many people have died without seeing the fulfillment of this prophecy. And yet it appears from several passages that everyone that has died after the crucifixion of Christ will eventually be returned to the earth at the appointed time, before the time of the coming of the Lord so that they can stand on the earth and witness his coming in glory.

Those patriarchal blessings will still be fulfilled.

Job understood this concept full well that at the time of the end, he would be restored to the earth in the flesh to see God.

25 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:

           26 And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God.. Job 19:25-29 King James Version (KJV)

 The Book of Revelation notes how the wicked that are restored to their bodies will desire death but will not be able to die

“And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them”

This doesn’t necessarily mean that these men are in their final glorified bodies. If so, why are they seeking death?

Again, the term resurrection is not necessarily used the same way in the scriptures all the time nor does it always have reference to the final state of the immortal body.

Sometimes the term resurrection and related terms may simply have reference to coming forth from the dead to be judged, not necessarily referring to the restoration of a physical body.

Section 88: 96-101 gives a chronology of the four groups coming forth from the dead at the coming of Christ and yet, it only addresses some form of physical restoration of the celestial spirits are quickened and caught up and the terrestrial spirits are judged in the flesh. Nothing is said about the “spirits” that come forth from the other two groups having been returned to physical bodies at that time.

This restoration narrative is closely related to many other deep topics and this episode is not intended to answer all of the questions about the resurrection. In some ways it may generate more questions than answers. The purpose is to simply point out that what is being taught about resurrection by the institutional church is not supported in scripture.