In this installment on the revelatory clarifications in the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible we are going to review inspired passages that address the nature and character of God and the mystical relationship of ONENESS between the Father and the Son.
We will demonstrate through the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible and related scriptures that ALL worlds past and present were created by the Father through his Son Jesus Christ.
We will demonstrate that the infinite and eternal atonement of Jesus Christ was done for the inhabitants of all worlds past and present.
We will document the eternal distinction between how Jesus Christ was created by the Father as the “ONLY BEGOTTEN OF THE FATHER” while all other saved beings are “BEGOTTEN SONS AND DAUGHTERS UNTO GOD” through the Atonement of Christ and the Plan of Salvation.
We will note that the fruits of true prophets are to teach true doctrines and that we can detect false prophets and fallen prophets by detecting the false doctrines they teach through the false revelations they receive.
Samples of Inspired Clarifications in the JST #5
the Father is the Son and the Son is the Father
This Can Only be Understood if the Son Reveals It
Joseph Smith Revision
King James Version
All things are delivered to me of my Father; and no man knoweth that the Son is the Father, and the Father is the Son, but him to whom the Son will reveal it.
All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him.
I believe that the above change is one of the most revelatory profundities in the JST with regard to revealing the nature and character of God and the true relationship between the Father and the Son.
The Son is the Father and the Father is the Son.
As with any single passage of scripture, no matter how inspired and revelatory, it needs to be viewed holistically through the promptings of the spirit in conjunction with all other relevant scriptures.
And after all we can do under those circumstances, we will still not fully comprehend how the Son is the Father and the Father is the Son UNTIL Christ opens the heavens and infuses us with the Holy Ghost and shows us the mystery of what is being taught.
Nevertheless, God obviously wants us to ponder what is being said or he would not have revealed what he said in scripture. Interestingly, God forbid Joseph from expounding on the revelatory clarifications in the JST until it was published to the world.
Sadly the JST was never published to the world under Joseph’s direction during his life. He will yet return and restore the truth in power.
Nevertheless, by the grace and providence of God, the Bible which he used to make many inspired changes and the associated manuscript, eventually fell into the hands of the RLDS church and was published so that those who seek for deeper understanding could benefit from it and prepare their hearts for the return of the fulness.
The above nugget from the JST is completely consistent with many other passages of scriptures that give us a glimpse into the nature of God.
Notice what was revealed in Section 93 regarding the mystical oneness of the Father and the Son
1 Verily, thus saith the Lord: It shall come to pass that every soul who forsaketh his sins and cometh unto me, and calleth on my name, and obeyeth my voice, and keepeth my commandments, shall see my face and know that I am;
2 And that I am the true light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world;
3 And that I am in the Father, and the Father in me, and the Father and I are one—
We are informed that the Father and the Son are ONE because they dwell in each other.
4 The Father because he gave me of his fulness, and the Son because I was in the world and made flesh my tabernacle, and dwelt among the sons of men.
5 I was in the world and received of my Father, and the works of him were plainly manifest.
6 And John saw and bore record of the fulness of my glory, and the fulness of John’s record is hereafter to be revealed.
After informing us that Christ is the Father and the Father is the Son because they literally dwell in each other, we are informed that they are differentiated by the fact that the Father enjoyed the “fulness” before Christ was begotten of the Father.
The Father has always been God. Christ is a created, begotten being. The Father created the Son and has created all other things through the Son.
John saw that Christ received of the Father.
Is this referring to Christ’s earthly ministry or to the pre-existence?
Context is possibly provided for this question in John 17:5
“And Now oh Father, glorify me with the glory which I had with thee before the world was”
Christ received his fulness from the Father when he was created before his earthly ministry and again during this earthly ministry.
Christ temporarily put off his fulness during his earthly sojourn UNTIL God once again infused him with the fulness.
John was a witness of these things.
The Book of Mormon seems to refer to Christ’s temporary putting off of the Father’s fulness and his earthly ministry wherein he regained the fulness and meekly ministered to the inhabitants of the world and allowed himself to be judged of the world and slain for the sins of the world as a CONDESCENSION. ( 1 Nephi 11:16-36)
The Son had the ability and willingness to separate out of the Father, put off the fulness, and enter into his earthly body even though he would remain sinless and not take upon himself the corrupted mortal blood that all other humans of the family of Adam inherited from the fall.
Once in the earthly tabernacle, Christ again received of the fulness from the Father in order to provide an atonement. The new Testament makes the following record of the baptism of Jesus, not for the remissions of sins, but rather, to fulfill all righteousness
43 And Jesus, answering, said unto him, Suffer me to be baptized of thee, for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness. Then he suffered him.
44 And John went down into the water and baptized him.
45 And Jesus when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water; and John saw, and lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting upon Jesus.
46 And lo, he heard a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear ye him. (JST Matthew 3:43-46)
Continuing with the narrative in Section 93, the following is a record of John’s epiphany about Jesus’ pre-existent glory
7 And he bore record, saying: I saw his glory, that he was in the beginning, before the world was;
8 Therefore, in the beginning the Word was, for he was the Word, even the messenger of salvation—
9 The light and the Redeemer of the world; the Spirit of truth, who came into the world, because the world was made by him, and in him was the life of men and the light of men.
10 The worlds were made by him; men were made by him; all things were made by him, and through him, and of him.
John saw that Christ had the glory of the Father prior to coming to earth and that he created ALL of the worlds that had been created.
11 And I, John, bear record that I beheld his glory, as the glory of the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth, even the Spirit of truth, which came and dwelt in the flesh, and dwelt among us.
12 And I, John, saw that he received not of the fulness at the first, but received grace for grace;
13 And he received not of the fulness at first, but continued from grace to grace, until he received a fulness;
14 And thus he was called the Son of God, because he received not of the fulness at the first.
A contextual reading of the above passages in Section 93 in conjunction with John 17:5 and other passages, reveals that it was during his earth life that Christ “received not the fulness at first but received grace for grace”.
15 And I, John, bear record, and lo, the heavens were opened, and the Holy Ghost descended upon him in the form of a dove, and sat upon him, and there came a voice out of heaven saying: This is my beloved Son.
16 And I, John, bear record that he received a fulness of the glory of the Father;
17 And he received all power, both in heaven and on earth, and the glory of the Father was with him, for he dwelt in him.
It appears from the narrative in Section 93 that it was during the baptism of Christ and the reception of the Holy Ghost that Christ regained at least part of his previous glory and pre-existent status and that John bore witness of this event.
18 And it shall come to pass, that if you are faithful you shall receive the fulness of the record of John.
19 I give unto you these sayings that you may understand and know how to worship, and know what you worship, that you may come unto the Father in my name, and in due time receive of his fulness.
20 For if you keep my commandments you shall receive of his fulness, and be glorified in me as I am in the Father; therefore, I say unto you, you shall receive grace for grace.
21 And now, verily I say unto you, I was in the beginning with the Father, and am the Firstborn;
There are parts of John’s record that have been withheld until the appointed time. The existing record of John and the additional part of his record that is to be revealed in the future are given that we may understand how to worship and what we worship.
JST Luke 10:23 may well be part of the record of John that was to come forth at a future time.
The inspired clarification provides a much deeper meaning to the simple declaration made by Joseph Smith that we pray to the Father in the name of Christ, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
Praying to the Father in the name of Christ is one of the essential aspects of prayer:
“Ye must always pray unto the Father in my name” (3 Nephi 18:19)
Again, the nature and character of God is a mystery which is only revealed to those that receive the fulness of the saving ordinances by those that possess the greater priesthood.
For This reason, we know that we are at the mercy of God in fufilling his unconditional promises and returning the first elders with the greater priesthood and the saving ordinances before we can fully have the mystery of God revealed to us. It is essential to have the greater priesthood to unfold the mysteries of the kingdom and the key of the knowledge of God-
19 And this greater priesthood administereth the gospel and holdeth the key of the mysteries of the kingdom, even the key of the knowledge of God.
20 Therefore, in the ordinances thereof, the power of godliness is manifest.
21 And without the ordinances thereof, and the authority of the priesthood, the power of godliness is not manifest unto men in the flesh;
22 For without this no man can see the face of God, even the Father, and live. (Section 84)
Nevertheless, the amount of information that we have been given about God and his kingdom, enables us to prepare our hearts and our minds for the return of the fulness and discern the false doctrines taught by the false prophets that arise among us who claim to converse with and be taught of God.
The above passages revealing the oneness of the Father and the Son are really just a reiteration of the intercessory prayer that Christ offers in John 17. In that prayer, we are informed that just as the Father and the Son are one, those of us that become the Sons of God through the atonement of Christ will likewise become one in them:
1 These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:
2 As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.
3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
4 I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.
5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.
6 I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.
7 Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee.
8 For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.
9 I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.
10 And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them.
11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.
12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.
13 And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.
14 I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.
16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
18 As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.
19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.
20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.
24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.
25 O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me.
26 And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.
Here is what I said regarding the oneness of the Father and the Son and the mystery of Godliness in my book
Scholars of the Bible have argued for centuries over whether God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ represent two separate and distinct beings [a plural God] or if they represent one being [a singular God]. The argument is fanned by the fact that the scriptures depict both a singular God, with the Father and the Son being declared to be one God, yet also depicting Christ and the Father as being separate and distinct intellegences that actually carry on conversations with each other, showing them to be a plural God.
A similar debate has taken place within Mormonism and has been exacerbated by conflicting accounts of the first vision, some declaring God, singular, visiting Joseph, while others declare that the Father and the Son visited Joseph in vision.
I am going to suggest that the scriptures do not present two conflicting doctrines regarding the Father and the Son. Rather, they reveal two separate ways that the only true God manifests himself.
I believe we need to accept EVERYTHING that God has collectively taught about Himself in the Holy Scriptures; even the passages that appear to be contradictory and require the student of the Gospel to step outside the paradigm of their five senses and accept what is said, regardless of how illogical and contradictory it seems to the natural man and his finite mind and limited comprehension of eternal things.
Hence, I have no other choice than to conclude that the Father and Son represent ONE GOD, whose mind is the Holy Ghost, who has the ability to manifest Himself as TWO SEPARATE AND DISTINCT INTELLIGENCES.
How is this possible?
According to scripture, the Father is a personage of spirit and the Son is a personage of tabernacle.
I believe Christ’s physical personage dwells within the spiritual personage of the Father and the Father’s spiritual personage dwells within the physical personage of the Son. Add to that the fact that the Holy Ghost is their mind, giving them unity of thought, and this makes them ONE GOD.
In other words, the Father cloaks himself in the tabernacle of the Son. Conversely, the tabernacle is infused with the spirit of the Father enabling Christ to inherit and manifest the fulness of the nature and character of the Father, enjoying the same mind and will when they are combined.
Nevertheless, we know from scripture that Christ has the ability to separate out of God to bring about the purposes of God. Hence, the Son was able to condescend and come to earth to do the will of his Father.
Not only does scripture document the Son condescending into his earthly ministry and having a conversation with the Father, he even displays a will that is not necessarily the same as the Fathers.
“Not my will but thine…”
Clearly, Jesus has the capacity to literally be one with the Father, nay, be the Father, and yet, he also has the capacity to separate out as an independent intelligence.
John 1:18 informs us that Christ is:
. . . in the bosom of the Father . . .
D&C Section 76:13 also makes reference to :
. . . his Only Begotten Son . . . in the bosom of the Father, even from the beginning.
D&C Section 93 informs us that the Father and Son literally reside in each other:
. . . I am in the Father, and the Father in me, and the Father and I are one—
Isn’t that just another way of saying the Son is the Father and the Father is the Son?
In JST Luke 10:23 Christ declares-
“and no man knoweth that the Son is the Father, and the Father is the Son, but him to whom the Son will reveal it.
Perhaps one of the most amazing things to realize is that the Father apparently jointly participated in the atonement with the Son
“..I God have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent…” D&C 19:16
Mosiah 15:1-4 states that God himself redeems his people-
1 …I would that ye should understand that God himself shall come down among the children of men, and shall redeem his people.
2 And because he dwelleth in flesh he shall be called the Son of God, and having subjected the flesh to the will of the Father, being the Father and the Son—
3 The Father, because he was conceived by the power of God; and the Son, because of the flesh; thus becoming the Father and Son—
4 And they are one God, yea, the very Eternal Father of heaven and of earth.
Lectures on Faith informs us that the mind of God and Christ is the Holy Spirit:
…And he being the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth, and having overcome, received a fulness of the glory of the Father—possessing the same mind with the Father, which mind is the Holy Spirit, that bears record of the Father and the Son, and these three are one, or in other words, these three constitute the great, matchless, governing and supreme power over all things:
by whom all things were created and made, that were created and made: and these three constitute the Godhead, and are one: The Father and the Son possessing the same mind, the same wisdom, glory, power and fulness:
Filling all in all—the Son being filled with the fulness of the Mind, glory and power, or, in other words, the Spirit, glory and power of the Father—possessing all knowledge and glory, and the same kingdom: sitting at the right hand of power, in the express image and likeness of the Father—a Mediator for man—being filled with the fulness of the Mind of the Father, or, in other words, the Spirit of the Father:
which Spirit is shed forth upon all who believe on his name and keep his commandments: and all those who keep his commandments shall grow up from grace to grace, and become heirs of the heavenly kingdom, and joint heirs with Jesus Christ; possessing the same mind, being transformed into the same image or likeness, even the express image of him who fills all in all: being filled with the fulness of his glory, and become one in him, even as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are one.
Of course the truths given above only provide an intellectual understanding that hopefully gets us closer to the full truth. The passage in the JST informs us that we can only truly understand this when the Son reveals this mystery to us.
Samples of Inspired Clarifications in the JST #6
The Key of Knowledge is the Fulness of the Scriptures
Joseph Smith Revision
King James Version
|Woe unto you, lawyers! For ye have taken away the key of knowledge, the fullness of the scriptures; ye enter not in yourselves into the kingdom; and those who were entering in, ye hindered.
Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered.
The term “fulness of the scriptures” added to the above passage in the JST is significant. Another very close variation of the keyword, “fulness of my scriptures” shows up two times in modern revelation. The first time has to do with the LAW of the GOSPEL in Section 42:
12 And again, the elders, priests and teachers of this church shall teach the principles of my gospel, which are in the Bible and the Book of Mormon, in the which is the fulness of the gospel.
13 And they shall observe the covenants and church articles to do them, and these shall be their teachings, as they shall be directed by the Spirit.
14 And the Spirit shall be given unto you by the prayer of faith; and if ye receive not the Spirit ye shall not teach.
15 And all this ye shall observe to do as I have commanded concerning your teaching, until the fulness of my scriptures is given.
16 And as ye shall lift up your voices by the Comforter, ye shall speak and prophesy as seemeth me good;
17 For, behold, the Comforter knoweth all things, and beareth record of the Father and of the Son.
The obvious interpretation of the term being used would indicate that the Joseph Smith Inspired Version of the Bible is being referred to as the fulness of the scriptures.
I would suggest however that perhaps a broader meaning is intended which would include all of the scriptures that Joseph will ultimately bring forth.
The next time that the keyword shows up in modern revelation seems to suggest this.
In Section 104 the Lord declares that some of the saints in the land of Zion had broken the covenant of consecration that they had entered into. Because of this, the Lord dissolved the covenant between the saints in Zion and the saints in Kirtland. They were no longer bound together as a united order.
In the revelation the Lord informs the leaders of his church that he had commanded them to “organize themselves”.
He then explains that organizing themselves includes printing the fulness of the scriptures:
57 But, verily I say unto you, I have appointed unto you to be stewards over mine house, even stewards indeed.
58 And for this purpose I have commanded you to organize yourselves, even to print my words, the fulness of my scriptures, the revelations which I have given unto you, and which I shall, hereafter, from time to time give unto you—
Interestingly, this revelation was given AFTER the JST of the Bible had been completed!
Yet the Lord is telling them that the fulness of the scriptures will contain not only that which had already been revealed, but things that were yet to be revealed!
Clearly, the fulness of the scriptures is a term that refers to the publishing of multiple books of scripture, possibly into one canon of scripture, as had been foretold in ancient scripture.
The revelation then goes on to inform us that the fulness of the scriptures are essential in building up the church and kingdom on earth and to prepare the saints for the time when Christ will return to dwell with them.
59 For the purpose of building up my church and kingdom on the earth, and to prepare my people for the time when I shall dwell with them, which is nigh at hand.
The Lord then instructs the saints to prepare a place for a treasury to be consecrated for keeping the sacred things that needed to be printed and canonized.
60 And ye shall prepare for yourselves a place for a treasury, and consecrate it unto my name.
61 And ye shall appoint one among you to keep the treasury, and he shall be ordained unto this blessing.
62 And there shall be a seal upon the treasury, and all the sacred things shall be delivered into the treasury; and no man among you shall call it his own, or any part of it, for it shall belong to you all with one accord.
63 And I give it unto you from this very hour; and now see to it, that ye go to and make use of the stewardship which I have appointed unto you, exclusive of the sacred things, for the purpose of printing these sacred things as I have said.
64 And the avails of the sacred things shall be had in the treasury, and a seal shall be upon it; and it shall not be used or taken out of the treasury by any one, neither shall the seal be loosed which shall be placed upon it, only by the voice of the order, or by commandment.
65 And thus shall ye preserve the avails of the sacred things in the treasury, for sacred and holy purposes.
66 And this shall be called the sacred treasury of the Lord; and a seal shall be kept upon it that it may be holy and consecrated unto the Lord.
The bottom-line is that the fulness of the scriptures that Joseph Smith is to bring forth are essential for the building up of the kingdom and for preparing us to dwell with the Lord when he returns.
The above passage from the JST informs us that the fulness of the scriptures represent the key of knowledge by which we enter into the kingdom.
The importance of the scriptures in revealing the nature and character of God and the mystical relationship between the Father and the Son is hard to overstate.
Back in the time of Christ, the Lawyers had taken away or suppressed the fulness of the scriptures. By so doing, they were preventing themselves from entering into the kingdom and they were hindering the humble followers of Christ from entering in.
This exact scenario has taken place in the latter days. Shortly after the restoration of the fulness of the gospel, the Gentiles rejected the fulness. From that time on, the saints were delivered over to Satan and the true teachings of the restoration, and the true interpretation of the scriptures began to be corrupted and suppressed.
Samples of Inspired Clarifications in the JST #7
Human Priesthood Leaders are to Guide People by Showing the Light
If They Transgress and Teach Falsehood they Need to be Discarded
Joseph Smith Translation
|King James Translation
|JST Mark 9:39-50
39 And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck and he were cast into the sea.
40 Therefore, if thy hand offend thee, cut it off; or if thy brother offend thee, and confess not, and forsake not, he shall be cut off. It is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than, having two hands, to go into hell.
41 For it is better for thee to enter into life without thy brother, than for thee and thy brother to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched, where their worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched.
42 And again, if thy foot offend thee, cut it off; for he that is thy standard, by whom thou walkest, if he become a transgressor, he shall be cut off.
43 It is better for thee to enter halt into life, than, having two feet, to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched.
44 Therefore, let every man stand or fall by himself and not for another, or not trusting another.
45 Seek unto my Father, and it shall be done in that very moment what ye shall ask, if ye ask in faith, believing that ye shall receive.
46 And if thine eye which seeth for thee, him that is appointed to watch over thee to show thee light, become a transgressor and offend thee, pluck him out.
47 It is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than, having two eyes, to be cast into hellfire.
48 For it is better that thyself should be saved, than to be cast into hell with thy brother, where their worm dieth not and where the fire is not quenched.
49 For everyone shall be salted with fire; and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt; but the salt must be good.
50 For if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith will ye season it (the sacrifice)? Therefore, it must needs be that ye have salt in yourselves and have peace one with another.
42 And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.
43 And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:
44 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
45 And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:
46 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
47 And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire:
48 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
49 For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt.
50 Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith will ye season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another.
The above passages and clarifications inform us that God does in fact appoint human priesthood holders to act as a standard and as inspired guides for his people. Ancient prophets like Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel were sent to be guides.
In the New Testament God sent prophets and apostles like Peter, James, John and Paul to act as standards and guides and teach the truth.
However the above clarifications in the JST also inform us that human guides are fallible and can begin teaching falsehood.
It is not the human priesthood leader that God has ordained to be our guide, that we are to put our trust in. It is the light coming from God through the prophet that we are to trust in. It is our responsibility to discern the doctrine being presented. As soon as we detect false doctrine coming from the human guide that has been ordained of God, we are to thrust them aside.
The truth is that there are precious few examples of true prophets that teach false doctrine pertaining to the basics of the gospel of Christ and the saving ordinances. Peter struggled to understand the truth about preaching the gospel to the Gentiles, but God corrected him on that issue.
Paul “wrote unto the church, giving unto them a commandment, not of the Lord, but of himself..” but his witness of the Christ and him crucified was sound.
Neither of those rare instances actually had to do with teaching false doctrines regarding the nature of God, the essentials of the plan of salvation or the saving ordinances of salvation.
I have noted in previous posts that Joseph Smith had a very unique calling with regard to eventually having his eyes covered.
Joseph Smith initially revealed the truth with uncanny accuracy up until the fulness of the gospel was rejected by the Gentiles.
After that, the saints were delivered over to Satan and the eyes of the seers were covered and some false doctrine was taught.
Some people have greatly misunderstood the uniqueness of Joseph’s calling and have used it to assume that true prophets can teach false doctrine while still acting as a valid prophetic guide.
That is false. If Joseph taught any false doctrines, it was after he became a fallen prophet pursuant to his calling and having his eyes covered.
I have had several Snufferites contact me and tell me that they agree with me that Denver Snuffer has taught lots of false doctrines but they ultimately choose to accept Snuffer as a valid mortal priesthood guide and a true prophet solely based on his claim that he has seen God and has been called of God.
Sadly they use my research on the atonement statute and the intercessory atonement offering of Joseph Smith, and the covering of Joseph Smith’s eyes, as an excuse as to why true prophets can teach false doctrine and yet still be true prophets.
With this misunderstanding, they give Snuffer a free pass to teach all of the false doctrines he wants while maintaining his status as a true prophet and credible guide.
That is a gross misunderstanding of Joseph Smith’s unique calling and a misunderstanding of the necessity of true prophets to teach true doctrine.
In sample #8 we shall expose yet another very grievous false doctrine and false revelation that Denver Snuffer has presented.
Sample of Inspired Clarifications in the JST #8
There is Only One Savior who Created All of the Past and Future Worlds
His Infinite Atonement Covers All of Creation
Joseph Smith Revision
Book of Moses
King James Version
|Moses 1:6, 33, 5:7,9, 7:35-40, 62:4
6 And I have a work for thee, Moses, my son; and thou art in the similitude of mine Only Begotten; and mine Only Begotten is and shall be the Savior, for he is full of grace and truth; but there is no God beside me, and all things are present with me, for I know them all.
33 And worlds without number have I created; and I also created them for mine own purpose; and by the Son I created them, which is mine Only Begotten
7 And then the angel spake, saying: This thing is a similitude of the sacrifice of the Only Begotten of the Father, which is full of grace and truth.
9 And in that day the Holy Ghost fell upon Adam, which beareth record of the Father and the Son, saying: I am the Only Begotten of the Father from the beginning, henceforth and forever, that as thou hast fallen thou mayest be redeemed, and all mankind, even as many as will.
62 And righteousness will I send down out of heaven; and truth will I send forth out of the earth, to bear testimony of mine Only Begotten; his resurrection from the dead; yea, and also the resurrection of all men; and righteousness and truth will I cause to sweep the earth as with a flood, to gather out mine elect from the four quarters of the earth, unto a place which I shall prepare, an Holy City, that my people may gird up their loins, and be looking forth for the time of my coming; for there shall be my tabernacle, and it shall be called Zion, a New Jerusalem.
63 And the Lord said unto Enoch: Then shalt thou and all thy city meet them there, and we will receive them into our bosom, and they shall see us; and we will fall upon their necks, and they shall fall upon our necks, and we will kiss each other;
64 And there shall be mine abode, and it shall be Zion, which shall come forth out of all the creations which I have made; and for the space of a thousand years the earth shall rest.
It is easy to forget that the Book of Moses represents the very first part of the JST that was revealed through Joseph Smith. It is essentially, Genesis Chapter One+.
The snippets above represent passages of scripture from the Book of Moses that establish the following truths:
- There is no God beside the Father
- The Father created the Son as His ONLY BEGOTTEN
- The Father created all things through the Son
- There is no Savior besides Christ
- The inhabitants of Zion come forth from all creations that God has made.
- As the creator of all worlds, Christ’s infinite and eternal atonement provides the atonement and redemption for all saved people from all worlds pasts and present
As previously established, God the Father has always been God. He had no beginning. He created (organized) his Son from pure, celestial, unorganized Intelligence that had resided in the Bosom of the Father.
Since Christ was given the fulness of the Father when he was begotten of the Father, Christ received everything the Father had and Christ became ONE with the Father. The Father and the Son are ONE GOD.
Christ has always been in the bosom of the Father and was begotten as the the Son of God who has always been without sin. Christ has never needed an atonement performed for him. The only atonement ever provided throughout eternity is the atonement provided by Christ through the will of the Father.
In a very real sense, it appears the Father participated in the suffering and atonement of the Son. Indeed, it was after the suffering in gethsemane and the cross that Christ was able to lay down his life on the Cross as a result of becoming separated from the Father
“And at the ninth hour, Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Mark 15:39
In other words, the Father was indwelling in Christ at least intermittently, during the suffering right up until Christ laid down his life.
In modern revelation we are given a remarkable sequence of declarations that can only be appreciated when the mystical oneness of the Father and the Son is understood..
First we are informed that Christ is the Redeemer of the world
Second we are informed that Christ belongs to the Father and does his will
Third we are informed that “God” suffered for the sins of the world
Fourth we are informed that the God who suffered is the “greatest of all”
Fifth we are informed that it was Christ that “would that I might not drink the bitter cup” and then gives glory to the Father after submitting to the will of the Father.
1 I am Alpha and Omega, Christ the Lord; yea, even I am he, the beginning and the end, the Redeemer of the world.
2 I, having accomplished and finished the will of him whose I am, even the Father, concerning me—having done this that I might subdue all things unto myself—
3 Retaining all power, even to the destroying of Satan and his works at the end of the world, and the last great day of judgment, which I shall pass upon the inhabitants thereof, judging every man according to his works and the deeds which he hath done.
4 And surely every man must repent or suffer, for I, God, am endless.15 Therefore I command you to repent—repent, lest I smite you by the rod of my mouth, and by my wrath, and by my anger, and your sufferings be sore—how sore you know not, how exquisite you know not, yea, how hard to bear you know not.
16 For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent;
17 But if they would not repent they must suffer even as I;
18 Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit—and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink—
19 Nevertheless, glory be to the Father, and I partook and finished my preparations unto the children of men. D&C 19
To the carnal natural mind, that sequence of declarations is illogical and irrational.
How can Christ belong to and submit himself to, and do the will of the Father, if Christ is the greatest of all?
Isn’t the Father the greatest of all?
It appears that the Father was indwelling in Christ and they were ONE GOD during the suffering.
Even though the passages above clearly identifies Christ as the host tabernacle who trembled because of pain and offered himself as the atonement, it appears the Father was dwelling within him and participating in the suffering.
No Gods Before Him
In Isaiah 43 God informs us that there have been no Gods before Him
10 Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.
11 I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is no saviour. (Isa 43)
The Vision known as Section 76 of the Doctrine and Covenants reveals that it is Christ, without the involvement of other Saviors that saves all of the creations that Christ created except for the Sons of Perdition. This proves conclusively that Christ’s atonement was an infinite and eternal atonement that redeems all creations.
76:43 Who glorifies the Father, and saves all the works of his hands, except those sons of perdition who deny the Son after the Father has revealed him.
According to the testimony of Joseph and Sidney in Section 76, Jesus Christ is the Creator AND Redeemer of all the worlds that are created.
22 And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!
23 For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father—
24 That by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God.
38 Yea, verily, the only ones who shall not be redeemed in the due time of the Lord, after the sufferings of his wrath.
39 For all the rest shall be brought forth by the resurrection of the dead, through the triumph and the glory of the Lamb, who was slain, who was in the bosom of the Father before the worlds were made.
40 And this is the gospel, the glad tidings, which the voice out of the heavens bore record unto us—
41 That he came into the world, even Jesus, to be crucified for the world, and to bear the sins of the world, and to sanctify the world, and to cleanse it from all unrighteousness;
42 That through him all might be saved whom the Father had put into his power and made by him;
43 Who glorifies the Father, and saves all the works of his hands, except those sons of perdition who deny the Son after the Father has revealed him.
Further Clarification that Christ’s Atonement is for All Creation
WW Phelps once asked Joseph to provide further clarification regarding the amazing vision that Joseph and Sidney had had. The following segment from the poem Joseph wrote in response, provides unquestionable clarity as to whether each world has its own Savior and atonement, or whether Jesus Christ provided one infinite and eternal atonement for all worlds.
||Joseph Smith Poem Clarifying Section 76
|21. And saw the holy angels, and them who are sanctified before his throne, worshiping God, and the Lamb, who worship him forever and ever.
22. And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!
23. For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father—
22. And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!
23. For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father—
|17. I beheld round the throne, holy angels and hosts, And sanctified beings from worlds that have been, In holiness worshipping God and the Lamb,Forever and ever, amen and amen!
18. And now after all of the proofs made of him, By witnesses truly, by whom he was known, This is mine, last of all, that he lives; yea he lives! And sits at the right hand of God, on his throne.
19. And I heard a great voice, bearing record from heav’n, He’s the Saviour (Savior), and only begotten of God- By him, of him, and through him, the worlds were all made, Even all that career in the heavens so broad.
20. Whose inhabitants, too, from the first to the last, Are sav’d by the very same Saviour (Savior) of ours; And, of course, are begotten God’s daughters and sons,
By the very same truths, and the very same pow’rs.
[This poetical rendering of Doctrine and Covenants 76, published in Nauvoo in 1843, is the only poem extant supposed to have been written by the Prophet Joseph Smith. For a long period Phelps served as a personal scribe for Joseph. The poem is a response to Phelps’ request]
As you can see, the snippets in the above poem about Section 76 provide a second witness to what is clearly declared in Section 76 and the Book of Moses in confirming that Christ has atoned for the sins of the inhabitants of all past and future worlds.
Christ’s Atonement Was Infinite
One the remarkable things about the Book of Mormon is that it reminds us repeatedly that the atonement of Christ was INFINITE:
Wherefore, it must needs be an infinite atonement–save it should be an infinite atonement this corruption could not put on incorruption. Wherefore, the first judgment which came upon man must needs have remained to an endless duration. And if so, this flesh must have laid down to rot and to crumble to its mother earth, to rise no more (2 Ne 9:7).
And after they have been scattered, and the Lord God hath scourged them by other nations for the space of many generations, yea, even down from generation to generation until they shall be persuaded to believe in Christ, the Son of God, and the atonement, which is infinite for all mankind–and when that day shall come that they shall believe in Christ, and worship the Father in his name, with pure hearts and clean hands, and look not forward any more for another Messiah, then, at that time, the day will come that it must needs be expedient that they should believe these things (2 Ne 25:16).
(2 Ne 25:16).And after they [the Jews] have been scattered, and the Lord God hath scourged them by other nations for the space of many generations, yea, even down from generation to generation until they shall be persuaded to believe in Christ, the Son of God, and the atonement, which is infinite for all mankind–and when that day shall come that they shall believe in Christ, and worship the Father in his name, with pure hearts and clean hands, and look not forward any more for another Messiah, then, at that time, the day will come that it must needs be expedient that they should believe these things. (2 Ne 25:16)
For it is expedient that there should be a great and last sacrifice; yea, not a sacrifice of man, neither of beast, neither of any manner of fowl; for it shall not be a human sacrifice; but it must be an infinite and eternal sacrifice. Now there is not any man that can sacrifice his own blood which will atone for the sins of another. Now, if a man murdereth, behold will our law, which is just, take the life of his brother? I say unto you, Nay. But the law requireth the life of him who hath murdered; therefore there can be nothing which is short of an infinite atonement which will suffice for the sins of the world (Alma 34:10-12).
Why is it important to understand that God the Father has never changed and that there were no Gods before him, and that the atonement of Christ was infinite and eternal ?
I believe it is important for many reasons.
One reason is so that we will more fully comprehend the magnificent power of the God we worship and better know who and what we worship.
Another reason is so that we can avoid becoming arrogant like Satan did and wanting to become like unto God in the sense of replacing the works of God with our own works of creations and atonement.
Another reason is so that we can detect false teachings and false prophets in our midst.
One of the things we learned from the scriptures is that false prophets teach false doctrine.
The Fruits of True Prophets is True Doctrine
One of the primary fruits of a true prophet is to teach truth instead of falsehood. The defining fruit of a false prophet is false doctrine.
15 ¶Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
Damnable Heresies that Deny that Christ Bought Us
Peter warned of false prophets that would teach damnable heresies. They would deny the Lord. Denying the Lord could refer to rejecting Jesus as the Christ. Another way to interpret the passage is that they would deny the fulness of the work and atonement of God, claiming that there are many Gods providing many atonements for different worlds.
2 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. 2 Peter 2:1-3 King James Version (KJV)
For years I have spoken about the fact that virtually every true doctrine of the restoration has been perverted. The more I study and search the scriptures and compare the teachings of Christ in the scriptures and the original teachings of the LDS restoration movement, to what is taught in the church today, the more I am convinced of this.
I am now going to address one of the most evil damnable heresies that has ever been introduced into the church.
I have personally been guilty of teaching it and have since repented.
Here is an excerpt from a booklet I wrote back in 1992 when I was just beginning to separate out the truth from fiction in LDS doctrine.
“‘follow thou me’ is the command given. But if we must follow the example of a “mortal messiah” that never committed any sin during his mortal earth life, we are without hope, “for we have all sinned” and therefore cannot follow his example of mortal perfection. On the other hand, if we are commanded to follow the example of an immortal messiah, , “who was once a [mortal] man like us”. who became a god by going through the same plan of salvation that we are experiencing we have great reason to hope and glory in the grace of God”
Sounds logical does it?
At the time I wrote the above snippet, I had just become aware of the book “The Mortal Messiah” by Bruce McConkie and knew deep within my soul that Christ was not a mortal messiah. So I began trying to make sense of the truth, doing the best that I could with what I had been taught and what i was learning.
In my last installment on the JST I addressed how Christ was not born of Mortal Blood according to the inspired gospel of John and how the book of Mormon teaches that Christ did not offer a human sacrifice.
I still believe the first part of the above quote. Christ was not a perfect mortal. He was not born of mortal blood. He was truly pure and innocent. He had sinless blood flowing through his veins.
There is no such thing as a perfect mortal. The term is an oxymoron.
Christ was God in the flesh.
That is why he did not commit sin during his earthly life and ministry.
HOWEVER, during my studies, I would eventually discover that the second part of the above quote that speculates that Christ had previously gone through a mortal probation like the one we are experiencing, before becoming the Savior of this world, simply does not square with the scriptures provided in the Book of Moses, Section 76, the JST, and other passages of scripture.
What I said in that quote represented a very logical deduction in my opinion. But I can’t give my self any brownie points for being logical. I can only confess that I taught a false doctrine.
I believe that virtually all of us who are trying to understand the doctrine of the kingdom and sharing our beliefs and interpretation of scripture have been guilty of teaching false doctrine . That pamphlet I wrote three decades ago had several false doctrines in it.
Over the last nine years I suspect that I have taught some false doctrines on my blog. That is why I put the disclaimers on my blogs and tell people they should not believe anything I write just because I believe it. Every man is responsible for their own beliefs.
I am on a learning curve like everyone else who has inherited the latter day apostasy and the false traditions of my fathers.
I cut myself and others who openly confess that they are just trying to understand the truth, and don’t claim any authority, lots of slack.
The only people I am really critical of for teaching false doctrine, are those that claim to be a special messenger or witness of Christ and claim to speak directly to Christ and claim to be directly taught by Christ.
Those people who claim a special relationship and status with Christ and then teach false doctrine are VERY DANGEROUS PEOPLE. They are the ones that Christ has warned us about.
Reverse Engineering the False Doctrine that I Taught
Ok, now, I am going to reverse engineer how I arrived at the false conclusion that Christ had previously gone through a mortal probation before he became the creator and Savior of this world.
To begin with, I had been raised to believe the following scripture and its associated implications:
22 The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit. Were it not so, the Holy Ghost could not dwell in us. (D&C 130:22)
Obviously, if the Father has a tangible body like Christ, it paves the way for the possibility that the Father gained his body the same way that Christ did, and that Christ was simply following in his fathers footsteps.
However we have shown in a previous post that the above passage was taken out of context by the Brigham Young administration when they canonized it. Joseph Smith was responding to the false doctrine that Orson Hyde had taught, incorrectly teaching that the Father had a body of flesh and bones.
The Lectures on Faith and the scriptures teach that the Father is a flaming fire. He is a personage of spirit, unlike the Son who is a personage of tabernacle. The Father only has a tabernacle of element in the sense that he dwells in the Son.
Another thing that threw me off track is the fact that I had been raised to believe the following couplet by Lorenzo Snow:
“As man is, God once was; as God is, man may be.”
I had accepted the above couplet as scripture without scrutinizing it with the scriptures.
Another problem is that I had been told that Christ was our “Elder Brother” which implied that he was subject to the same plan of salvation as us. But that does not square with scripture. Christ is our creator and redeemer, not our elder brother.
Another reason that I speculated that Christ had previously gone through a mortal probation before he came to this world to redeem us is that I had been studying the teachings of Mormon Fundamentalism that grew out of the teachings of Brigham Young back at the time that I wrote that.
One of their teachings is that each of us that are valiant will advance to become an Adam of a future world and then, if valiant, we will become like the Son and then like the Father.
That is supposedly one of the cryptic teachings of the Brigham Young temple endowment.
With the shaky foundation I had from all of those false assumptions, I was one day visiting a friend that worked for Sunstone Magazine and I struck a deal with him. I told him I would do some volunteer work for Sunstone if I could have access to their files containing lots of interesting and controversial teachings and events having to do with LDS church history.
One of the many things I came across is the following statement from Brigham Young, as documented in the diary of Wilford Woodruff.
May 12, 1867: At Fillmore public meetings President Young said “there never was
any world created and peopled nor never would be but what would be redeemed
by the shedding of the blood of the Savior of that world. If we are ever
exalted and crowned in the presence of God, we shall become saviors of a world
which we shall create and people”
Since I had already accepted some false teachings that fit in perfectly with what Brigham Young had said. I believed it.
I’ll be honest with you about my initial reaction when I read the above statement from Woodruffs journal.
I got light headed and nauseated.
You see, I have a very low pain threshold.
If I get a minor cut or burn, I fall to the floor and cry like a little baby in the fetal position. My wife who has a really high pain threshold just rolls her eyes at me in disgust.
So I am sitting there at Sunstone trying to envision myself creating a world and then hanging on a cross and suffering and going through everything Christ went through in the New Testament and I just couldn’t fathom going through it… nor did I think I could ever feel worthy enough to ever provide an atonement for the inhabitants of a world that I would create and people.
Nevertheless, while questioning whether or not I would ever be worthy of becoming a Christ, I took the above statement by Brigham Young as the gospel truth because back at that time, I had been conditioned to believe it based on other things that the church taught. Besides, I considered Brigham Young to be a prophet of God and to be a credible gospel scholar.
Of course I would later discover similar declarations from others of the apostate apostles that followed Brigham Young to Utah. The following was a declaration from Orson Hyde;
“Remember that God our Heavenly Father was perhaps once a child, and mortal like we are, and rose step by step in the scale of progress, in the school of advancement; has moved forward and overcome until he has arrived at the point where He now is” (Mormon Apostle Orson Hyde Gospel Through the Ages p.104)
I realized that Brigham Young’s and Orson Hyde’s declarations were just variations and extensions of what is taught in the King Follett Sermon. The King Follett Sermon was a sermon that Joseph Smith gave at a funeral of a person named King Follett. The sermon contains the following snippets:
King follett Sermon
God who sits in yonder heavens is a man like yourselves
We suppose that God was God from eternity. I will refute that idea,
The scriptures inform us, mark it [brother Rigdon] that Jesus Christ said As the Father hath power in himself, so hath the son power in himself to do what the father did even to lay down my body & take it up again do you believe it, if not, dont believe the bible. I defy all Hell and earth to refute it.
You have got to learn how to be a god yourself in order to save yourself
What did Jesus do. Why I do the things that I saw the father do when worlds came into existence.
I saw the father work out a kingdom with fear & trembling & I can do the same & when I get my k[ingdom] work I will present to the father & it will exalt his glory and Jesus steps into his tracks to inherit what God did before.
When I first read the King Follett Sermon I had no reason to question it. It sounded really powerful and authoritative to me.
At that time I had not become intimately familiar with the Lectures on Faith and the Book of Moses and related scriptures which completely contradicts many of the things mentioned in the King Follett Sermon.
“..to do what the father did even to lay down [his] body & take it up again..”
The most powerful and compelling aspect of the sermon is the inference taken from John Chapter 5 that Christ is saying he has power to do what he has previously seen the Father do, namely, lay down his body and then take it up again.
Of course that statement is quite problematic because the Father has always been God. He is an unchanging God. He does not have a physical body and the Father has never gone through a mortal probation. Obviously, Christ could not have seen his Father lay down his life in a previous mortal probation.
A contextual reading of the passages being referred to in John 5 reveals that Christ was simply addressing the topic of the resurrection and pointing out that he gets all his power from the Father… he can only do the will of the Father by the power of the Father and they basically do it together because of their oneness:
v 19 Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.
v 21 For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.
v 26 For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;
God the Father Never Changes
The Lectures on Faith emphasized the divine attribute that God the Father has not and will not ever change.
He has not evolved into Godhood from humanhood.
He has always been God.
The King Follett Sermon on the other hand celebrates the belief that God was once a mortal man and that we mortals can evolve into Godhood to take the place of a God that went before us.
That is patently false.
Here is a snippet from the Lectures on Faith which was initially sustained by the Law of Common Consent as the official inspired doctrine of the Church:
“It is equally as necessary that men should have the idea that he is a God who changes not, in order to have faith in him, as it is to have the idea that he is gracious and long suffering. For without the idea of unchangeableness in the character if the Deity, doubt would take the place of faith. But with the idea that he changes not, faith lays hold upon the excellencies in his character with unshaken confidence, believing he is the same yesterday, to-day and forever, and that his course is one eternal round. (Lecture 3:19-21)
I am embarrassed to say that I was not intimately familiar with the true doctrine of God as contained in the Lectures on Faith and in the scriptures when I wrote the false doctrine about Christ having gone through a mortal probation.
I had not done a serious comparison of the heretical teachings in the King Follett Sermon with the Book of Moses, Section 76 and numerous other conflicting passages in the standard works..
I just did not have a deep enough knowledge of the scriptures and the gospel to realize that the King Follett sermon is not congruent with the scriptures.
One of the interesting things about the King Follett sermon is that it was given at about the same time that Joseph Smith wrote the poem about Section 76 which blatantly contradicts the doctrines taught in the King Follett Sermon.
This brings up the question, did Joseph Smith even teach the heresies contained in the King Follett Sermon?
Interestingly, the sermon was given on April 7 1844 but it was not published in the Times and Seasons until August 15th, two months AFTER the martyrdom!
Joseph never had the opportunity to review the sermon that is attributed to him and defend himself from the attributions being made.
Coincidentally, all of the diaries that contained notes from the discourse were from those who would become staunch supporters of Brigham Young during the succession crises just a few months later. Furthermore, many of the notes in their journals were almost identical which is not characteristic of the variations in note taking that is commonplace with the diaries of other Nauvoo discourses. This begs the question of whether there was a concerted effort in historical revisionism on the part of Brigham Young and his associates.
The accuracy of the teachings in the sermon have been questioned by many general authorities including Senior Apostle Orson Pratt who was a Biblical literalist.
Blake Ostler made the following observation about the doubt that Charles Penrose had in the credibility of the King Follett Sermon
“The First Presidency demonstrated its opposition to the idea of man’s necessary existence again in 1912 when it removed the King Follett discourse from [B.H.] Roberts’ Documentary History of the Church. Charles B. Penrose, in particular, doubted the authenticity and correctness of the reporting of the sermon.
In a letter to Samuel O. Bennion, president of the Central States Mission, George Albert Smith said:
“I have thought that the report of that sermon might not be authentic and I have feared that it contained some things that might be contrary to the truth. . . . Some of the brethren felt as I did and thought that greater publicity should not be given to that particular sermon.”
If people like Orson Pratt, Charles Penrose and President George Albert Smith doubted the authenticity of the sermon, they have another critic that has arrived at a similar conclusion.
Back in 1969, Enid Stubbart DeBarthe presented a paper to the faculty of the graduate school of Northern Illinois in partical fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree, Master of Library Science.
In the paper, she analysed and compared the writing style of Section 132 and the King Follett Sermon with the writing style of Joseph Smith. She concluded that neither represented the speaking or writing style of Joseph Smith and that both seemed to be similar to the writing style of Brigham Young.
I personally don’t have a strong opinion as to whether the sermon, as we have it today, was actually given by Joseph Smith or not.
Ultimately I don’t think it matters because each of us is responsible for searching the scriptures to know if a doctrine is true. We cannot just accept everything that Joseph Smith says because he is fallible just like every other human guide.
Regardless of whether it was Joseph Smith that introduced the heresies contained in the King Follett Sermon or not, the only thing that really matters is whether we have the ability to discern true doctrine from false doctrine.
At the time that the sermon was given, Joseph was being accused of being a fallen prophet. I have provided extensive scripture and historical documentation in previous posts to show that Joseph did experience a temporary fall because of the unique calling that he had as an intercessor.
Are the doctrines contained in the King Follett sermon true?
If they are, then we need to discard many of the foundational scriptures of the restoration.
Is Christ the creator and redeemer of all past and present worlds like the scriptures tell us or will human beings become creators and redeemers like the King Follett Sermons teaches?
Is Christ the Savior of all past and present worlds who created an infinite and eternal atonement, or will those that are valiant in the gospel become saviors and hang on a cross for the worlds they create?
Are the scriptures true or is the King Follett Sermon true?
I think the answer is pretty obvious.
Which brings me to the topic of Denver Snuffer.
Denver claims to be a true prophet of God.
He has warned the world that they must accept his teachings and warnings or be damned.
In his book “Preserving the Restoration” he warns, through the words of one of his disciples that we must accept his words as a true prophet or be damned:
“.. do not ignore what is written in this book. Please do not take this warning lightly… Receive the words of a true prophet… if you will not consider it, [the teachings of Denver Snuffer in the Book] but instead harden your heart, YOU WILL BE DAMNED”
By giving that warning and many others similar to it, Denver Snuffer has placed an ominous obligation on all of us to determine through the doctrines that he teaches and through the Holy Ghost whether or not he is a true prophet of God.
As I previously mentioned, I cut people a lot of slack when they teach a false doctrine as long as they let people know that they are not speaking with authority and it is just their speculation.
Denver has placed himself in that very rare class of people who has put the world on notice that he speaks with Christ and that the doctrine that he teaches is true and that we will be damned if we reject his teachings.
Probably the most prolific way that we common folk have of identifying false prophets is by identifying the false doctrines that they teach. But we cannot do that unless we have searched the scriptures and become approved unto God by our ability to rightly divide the word of truth.
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. Timothy 2:15
We have just reviewed evidence from the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible and other passages of scripture to prove that there are not multiple Christs offering multiple atonement’s for multiple worlds.
We have seen that Christ was not created as an imperfect being that needed to go through a mortal probation and have his sins remitted by the atonement of another God.
The scriptures are clear about the fact that we mortals may BECOME the sons of God through a plan of salvation and an atonement provided by Christ, but Christ was created as the SON OF GOD. He has never sinned and he has never needed an atonement to remit his sins.
Christ did not need to progress through a plan of salvation. He dwelt in the bosom of the Father from the beginning of his creation as the only begotten of the Father.
Christ had never been through a mortal probation prior to his earthly ministry and during his earthly ministry he was not baptized for the remission of sins because he was sinless and had no sins to remit. He was baptized as the Son of God to fulfill all righteousness.
In the pre-existence he was the Son of God dwelling in the bosom of the Father. As the only begotten of the Father he had the fulness of the Father and was ONE with him and in him.
He condescended to come down to this earth and provide an atonement offering.
Having established all of that through the holy word of God in the scriptures, let us review a snippet from the most recent “revelation” that Denver Snuffer has received which is apparently supposed to be the record of John that was supposed to come forth.
Keep in mind that I have already pointed out a major revelatory problem with Denvers revelation in the last installment of this series, namely that Denver discarded Joseph’s amazing correct showing that Jesus Christ was not born of blood.
This next doctrinal problem with the “revelation” Denver had is astronomical in my opinion.
Here is the snippet in question.
“Just as the Father laid down his life for me, he trusts me with the lives of the sheep. I will sacrifice my life for the sheep.”
Here we have Denver Snuffer regurgitating the damnable doctrine from the King Follet heresy.
He follows up with additional snippets to further expound the doctrine making the following declarations from Jesus;
“…as you [speaking to Peter] approach the end of the path, you will have to let others stretch out your hands and likewise nail you, even if you plead to have the bitter cup removed. This He said to foretell the sacrificial death that is required for endless glory And then He added, You must follow after me..
..Now, therefore, know that Jesus is the Messiah, the Walker in the Path who has proven for evermore that Father Ahman sent Him into the world to prove His Father’s path…
..Followers will also finish the path, as I am now concluding, at the place my Father dwells..””
Snuffer is revealing through his inspired revelation that Christ had been imperfect and sinful and needed to have his sins remitted through an atonement provided by God the Father.
He appears to be teaching that both Christ and God the Father went through the same path of a sinful mortal probation that required both of them to need their sins remitted by a separate atonement than the one provided by Christ.
One of the most disturbing things about Snuffer’s inspired version of the Gospel of St. John is that he removed the following passage-
“And Now oh Father, glorify me with the glory which I had with thee before the world was”
which clearly demonstrates the pre-earth Godhood of Christ.
He replaced it with the following passage
“Let what happens next finish your great work, so I may return to your
Throne to be with you where I was before my descent here.”
Does Snuffer reject the pre-earth Godhood of Christ?
The King James text above, when read with related scripture, explains that Christ received his fulness from the Father when he was created before his earthly ministry. He then condescended to fulfill the work given him of the Father. He then received the fulness again during this earthly ministry.
To suggest that God the Father and Christ were simply part of an eternal progression of the Gods and that they evolved into God from a sinful sinful state, instead of accepting the scriptural declarations that the Father has always been God, would appear to be blasphemy and it is categorically contrary to scripture.
One can only assume that Denver teaches the above heresy in a revelation either because he was inspired by a false Christ, or because he wanted to prove how inspired and revelatory he is by revealing deep doctrine based on his belief in the King Follett Sermon and some false assumptions he has.
Clearly Snuffer does not understand sound doctrine or have the ability to teach it. In my opinion he is an impostor who is trying to replace the calling of Joseph Smith with himself and he is not intimately familiar with God’s word.
According to Snuffer’s revelation, the King Follett Sermon is true and the Book of Moses, Section 76, and numerous other passages of scripture from the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants are false.
If Snuffers revelation is true, the scriptural and doctrinal foundation of Mormonism comes crumbling down to the ground.
Praise God for the scriptures and the true prophets that have provided a measuring yard stick by which we can measure every mans doctrine and ascertain whether or not they have the light of truth in them.
Free Audio Version of Solving the Prophet Puzzle
Some people love to listen to audio presentations while driving in their car or working around the house. Because of this, Mrs. Watcher has decided to read each of the chapters of Solving the Prophet Puzzle and post them on youtube.
A few posts ago I included the youtube of Mrs Watcher reading the Preface.
Here is the Youtube of Mrs Watcher reading the Introduction