Four Steps in Losing Your Naiveté part 4

During this series we have briefly alluded to the four general phases of the apostasy of the restored church-

Phase One- The Kirtland/Jackson County Apostasy- 1831-1838

Phase One Part A 1831-34
Saints Reject of the Fulness

Phase One Part B 1835-1838
Secret Ushering in of Gospel of Abraham-Mass Kirtland Apostasy 

Phase Two- The Far West/Nauvoo Apostasy 1839-1844
God Rejects the Unfaithful Church

Phase Three- The First Utah Period of Apostasy-1845-1889
The Gospel of Brigham Young

Phase Four- The Second Utah Period of Apostasy 1889-to present
The Modern Church Abandons Brigham’s Polygamy and
“Fundamentalism” to Become More Popular with the World

It is interesting to note that the officially accepted doctrines of the church dramatically changed during the 3rd phase of the apostasy, during Brigham Young,s administration. Five of the notable, heretical doctrines that Brigham officially introduced into the church are as follows,

  • Spiritual Wife Doctrine
  • Adam God Doctrine
  • Blood Atonement doctrine for eliminating threats to the church.
  • Withholding the priesthood from Blacks
  • God is always progressing in knowledge- He does not know all things

There are a host of other heresies that Brother Brigham introduced into the church however the above five provide a sampling of the more high profile dogmas.

Of the doctrines listed above, the only one that could be theologically linked to Joseph smith from historical documentation is the spiritual wife doctrine, or at least the practice of polygamy. But even that doctrine was never publicly introduced by Joseph Smith and was never officially accepted into the church under the law of common consent during his administration.

Furthermore, as with the other four doctrines, there is no basis for it from the scriptures. Section 132 is a blatant contradiction of the celestial law of monogamy as taught in section 42 and section 49 as well as the original section 101 Article on Marriage written by Oliver Cowdery which Brigham Young extracted from the canon of modern scripture when he had section 132 canonized. There is simply no way to link spiritual wifery or polygamy to the celestial law of the gospel as contained in the scriptures.


[BTW, years ago I joined a chat board that had the topic of polygamy. After doing so, I engaged an LDS fundamentalist on the topic of celestial polygamy. He was a veritable walking dictionary when it comes to the sermons and dogma contained in the Journal of Discourses.

During the conversation, I challenged him to put aside everything he had ever learned from the Journal of Discourse and try to prove the doctrine of Celestial Polygamy, exclusively using the Old Testament, New Testament and Book of Mormon.

(I use the term Celestial Polygamy to refer to the doctrine that a man needs multiple wives sealed to him for eternity to be exalted)

He enthusiastically accepted my challenge and said he would return with his response shortly.

A day passed.

Then a few days passed.

Eventually he returned to the conversation with me in the chat board and admitted that it would be more difficult than he realized. I then told him he was welcome to use the D&C as also, as long as he didn’t use section 132.

The reason I was disqualifying section 132 is because it contradicted sections 42 and 49, and because it had never been officially taught by Joseph Smith, and because it had never been accepted by common consent and canonized until one year before Brigham Young’s death.

I wanted him to realize that the entire doctrine he had espoused was based solely on one heretical revelation. The place and person from which the revelation originated from is completely irrelevant because it contradicts the holy and infallible word of God.

I never heard back from the guy.]

One way to characterize the 4th and last phase of the apostasy of the church is by acknowledging that the church began to become popular with the world. This happened in part, because the church leadership realized that to be more accepted by mainstream Christianity  it needed to self correct with regard to some of the doctrinal heresies that had infiltrated the Church. Hence, it began systematically rejecting important doctrinal components of the gospel of Brigham Young.

Of course when that took place beginning in approximately about 1889, it created a polarization in the church. That is when those who refused to abandon the teachings of Brigham Young, or, in other words, what has become known as modern day LDS fundamentalism as we know it, began to break away from the main church and become separate and distinct religious entities.

The LDS fundamentalist community eventually split up into multiple warring factions of the movement. With the emergence strange dominant authoritative personalities like Ervil and Joel LeBaron, Ron and Dan Lafferty, Rulon Allred, Warren Jeffs, Jim Harston and a long list of delusional wing-nuts that have ruled over their little kingdoms of followers. It only makes sense that many of these factions began intimidating their followers in much the same fashion as brigham Young used threaten and intimidate the saints under his rule. Some of these leaders even ended up slitting the throats of those who challenged their authority using the masonic temple endowment of Brother Brig as their justification.

I must emphasize as I have done in previous posts that technically it is inaccurate to refer to the followers of Brigham Youngs doctrines and the polygamous offshoots of the church as fundamentalists because the doctrines they believe and practice do not in fact represent the fundamental doctrines of the LDS restoration movement.

By 1831 the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored and by late 1834 it had been fully rejected by the gentile church.

95% of the revelations that Joseph smith received had been received  by 1836 and yet NONE of the above five doctrines and a myriad of other future heresies of Brigham Young were taught in the church at that time nor were they contained in the fulness of the gospel or in the scriptures that had been received.

Even as late as 1841, the Lord put his seal of approval on the existing cannon of modern scripture which had three revelations mandating celestial monogamy. (That canon of scripture had no revelations that advocated polygamy). Indeed, Brigham Young did not insert section 132 into the canon of scripture until 40 years after the Nauvoo period of the church.

In section 124 the Lord gave a stern warning that anything more or less than the doctrines contained in that cannon of scripture and the Book of Mormon “COMETH OF EVIL“. (124:119-120)

“And again, verily I say unto you, let no man pay stock to the quorum of the Nauvoo House unless he shall be a believer in the Book of Mormon, and the revelations I have given unto you, saith the Lord your God; For that which is more or less than this cometh of evil, and shall be attended with cursings and not blessings, saith the Lord your God.  Even so.  Amen.”

Indeed, the practice of polygamy that crept into the church even during the time that the revelation in section 124 was given did represent something more or less than what had been revealed and commanded of God.

Unsurprisingly, the practice of it was accompanied with cursings rather than blessings. One only needs to read the countless references to the damnable practice in the many diaries of the LDS pioneers and early Utah saints.

The true fundamental doctrines of the restored gospel and church teach just the opposite of many of the doctrines Brigham Young introduced into the apostate church.

The majority of the church had been indoctrinated strongly enough in the “follow the brethren” theology to go with the changes in doctrine whether they agreed with them or not. Truth be known, the majority of the membership was doctrinally ignorant and largely indifferent to the changes. Most of them probably agreed with the changes simply because they were told to by the “authorities”.

Some undoubtedly went along with the changes in doctrine because the changes would bring about less persecution from the government and the world in general.

I suspect that there were a few that actually studied the scriptures and realized that there was NO scriptural foundation for any of them and they probably viewed the church as actually going through a period of self correction and doctrinal cleansing by dropping those practices and beliefs.

Two of the changes, the practice of polygamy and the priesthood ban on blacks were prompted by government threats and pending intervention. The government involvement pertaining to polygamy is well known, however, the government intervention relating to the change in the priesthood ban with regard to blacks is not so well known.

“Kimball’s announcement [reversing the LDS anti-Black priesthood ban] coincided with events which were adversely affecting the Mormon Church.”

“For a period of time immediately prior to Kimball’s declaration, several major universities, had announced that until such time as the Mormon Church reversed its policy of racial discrimination, they would no longer take part in athletic events in which BYU participated.”

“More importantly though, approximately two weeks prior to Kimball’s surprising declaration, President Jimmy Carter had phoned Kimball and informed him that the IRS was seriously considering removing the Mormon Church’s tax exempt status unless changes were made in their policy of discrimination.”

“In 1978, due to the urging of Carter and mounting pressure from pending lawsuits concerning racism, Spencer W. Kimball suddenly received a revelation that Blacks could now enter the temple and hold the Priesthood.”

President Carter sent a telegram commending Spencer W. Kimball “for your compassionate prayerfulness and courage in receiving a new doctrine.’

The discarding of many of Brigham’s doctrines is really one of the foundational themes of the fourth phase of the modern apostasy.

As one begins to evaluate the phases of the modern day apostasy, it is interesting to analyze the membership growth of the church to help formulate context.

Prior to the beginning of Brigham’s Reign in 1844 the church claims a membership of 26,146.

The membership in 1845 at the beginning of the reign of Young, as the President of the Twelve, was at 30,332. At the death of Young in 1887 it was 115,065.

President John Taylor curiously reigned over the church for three years as the President of the 12. Then he was finally sustained as the president of the Church in 1880. He died in 1887.

President Woodruff claimed to have received a revelation on November 24, 1889. In it the Lord warnes-

Let not my servants who are called to the presidency of my Church deny my word or my law, which concerns the salvation of the children of men.”

Despite this supposed warning from the Lord to not discontinue polygamy, after a few years of immense pressure from the government, Woodruff finally conducted the historic press dispatches associated with what has become known as “Official Declaration- 1” in which he publicly claims to be submitting himself and the church membership, to the anti-polygamy laws of the US.

It was at this time that he introduced the scripturally unjustifiable doctrine of infallibility,

the Lord will never permit me or any other man who stands as the president of this Church to lead you astray

Lets see, what is a politically correct term for BULLSHIT?

The apostasy of the church had begun long before brother Wilford took the helm… nevertheless I am sure he had good intentions in wanting to calm the nerves of the membership.

Nevertheless, we must remember the following warning the Lord gave the church back in 1829 which he acted on within less than a decade, by the time the Kirtland Temple had been defiled and the Saints fled Kirtland,

if this generation do harden their hearts against my word, behold I will deliver them up unto Satan, (Book of Commandments Chapter 4)

it would appear that the Lord had a different understanding of the principle of infallibility with regard to human priesthood authority than Wilford had.

The above passage was deleted from the revelation now known as section 5 when it was later published in the Doctrine and Covenants because it was no longer applicable to the Latter day Saints as a future prophesy. It had already been acted upon by the Lord. He was in the midst of turning the Saints over to the man of sin as prophesied by the Prophet Joseph Smith in 1831.

Although the world began to soften towards the latter day church from the time of the “Special Declaration- 1” the most significant era of PR took place during the administration of President McKay which could be considered a distinguishable time period of its own because of the tremendous positioning that he did with the world and the changing image of the church that he was instrumental in portraying.

President McKay served as a general authority for 66 years. He served as president of the church from 1951 to 1970. The membership was 1,147,157 in 1951. It grew to 2,930,810 in 1970 under his able leadership.

Today the Church boasts a membership of about 13,500,000 and claims to be one of the fastest growing churches in the world.

Although the LDS church was one of the fastest growing churches during the nineties, that is no longer true.

The internet has had a devastating impact on the growth of the Church. It has made doctrinal and historical information way to accessible to everyone. The light of truth is there for those who sincerely want to find it.

Between all of the anti-Mormon sites and sites by those doing serious historical research and the apologetic’s of FARMS and FAIR, disturbing information about the LDS church is so prevalent that it simply cannot be hidden any longer.

According to one website,

Mormons like to claim that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is one of the fastest growing religious denominations in the world. While it was true into the 1990s, the membership of the Mormons has in fact been shrinking in every US state including Utah.

While some 13 million members are on the membership roll, the actual number of people who consider themselves Mormons is considerably less. Many people that the church claims are members are not. According to John Dehlin’s “Why People Leave the Church” podcast, about two-thirds of the church members are inactive, and one-third of these people cannot be located by the church. The once meteoric growth of the Mormon church is now expressed as a negative number.

Mormon Church Growth Issues

According to charts that can be found on the LDS Church News website, the membership has gone up at a slightly decreased rate, while the number of converts has gone down. Most new members of the Mormon church now come from people being born into the faith, rather than coming from converts to the church.

Further compounding the issue is that the Mormon church cannot retain converts and many of the people who they claim as Mormons go inactive shortly after a baptism. A City University of New York Study and the Salt Lake Tribune confirm Dehlin’s numbers. Both sources report that the actual number of members is declining and nearly 100 percent of the converts who were baptized into the church report that they have left it.

Because the church does not take a member’s name off the rolls unless a member requests it, the 12 million member number is inaccurate in gaging Mormon church growth or the actual number of people who consider themselves Mormons worldwide.

The following youtube video is produced by John Dehlin, a 5th generation member of the Church and doctrinal lightweight with a very good heart and good intentions, living in Logan Utah, who attempts to give an objective presentation on why people leave the LDS religion.

The presentation is extremely revealing and disturbing.

If anyone had concerns about the church before listening to his presentation, their concerns would be ten fold afterwards!

He brings new meaning to the apostle Pauls warning that the time would come when the saints will not endure sound doctrine and he is successful in bringing up controversial issues that must be making church apologists blush 24/7

He does a remarkable job of detailing many of the troubling issues in church history and doctrine however his attempt to resolve the issues, if he ever made any attempt during his presentation, completely backfires and he ends up doing much more damage to the church than helping it.

I suspect the Lord has inspired him to do what he is doing as far as bring hidden things to light.

I would venture to guess that his presentation is significantly much more successful in sending people packing than it does in salvaging people’s testimony or even their desire to stay in the church.

The bottom line of the interview is that he himself is extremely conflicted in his own mind. In fact, after listening to it, I am convinced that he has lost his own testimony if in fact he ever had one.

He provides no real doctrinal resolution in his presentation other than the logic of you are going to be better off staying with the local religious culture rather than alienating yourself from it because it is wise to continue being a member if you ever need help from the church and/or its members and it provides an opportunity for you to be of service to others.

The more you listen to the presentation the more you realize how void of doctrinal logic and reasoning it is

The next video is an interview between John and an excommunicated Mormon who encourages Mormons to become spiritually “born again”.

I provide it for context.

Notice how at peace the interviewee is and how stressed the interviewer looks.

I believe both of the people in the above interview are sincere and both of them are very good candidates for accepting the fulness of the gospel once the light shines forth again when the Marvelous Work begins.

For those that continue moving backwards in time in their quest to learn about the origins of the apostasy, the period of Brigham Young’s reign from the expulsion of the Saints from Nauvoo till the end of John Taylors reign, the church appears to have been victimized and therefore has the appearance of having suffered for being true and faithful to their original covenants.

The trek west to Utah has been spun as being a righteous remnant that was ill treated by a wicked nation.

Although it is true that they were essentially cast out by a wicked nation, it was at least in part because the wicked nation could not tolerate some of the dark practices of the apostate church. The scriptures refer to the salt that has lost its savor..

The old testament reveals that God puts all ecclesiastical and political rulers in place based on the righteous or wicked acts of the people.

Just as the Lord has put the President Elect at the helm of this nation based on what we as a nation deserve, the Lord also put President Young at the helm of the restored church based on what the collective church membership wanted and deserved.

Very few people get past this 3rd period of apostasy as they are working their way backwards in church history.

Therefore they quit traveling back in time to take a critical look at what happened in Nauvoo.

Those that do continue their research can find a very clear cut stop off in Nauvoo. Section 113 and sections 124 pretty much lay it all out. Verse 28 in section 124 reveals that the fullness of the priesthood had been lost before 1841. Verse 48 reveals that the Saints were currently practicing abominations before the Lord. Verse 45 promises that if the saints “will hearken” unto the voice of the Lord, they will not be moved out of their place in Nauvoo.

And finally, the ominous warning that if the church failed to complete the temple within the appointed time, they will be rejected as a church is found in verse 32.

Making the transition from the 2rd period of apostasy in Nauvoo to the 1st period of apostasy in Kirtland is actually not very difficult if one keeps diligently searching because section 124 makes it clear that the Saints were in apostasy when they got to Nauvoo.

If a person backs up far enough in time to finally begin focusing on the actual restoration of the Church in New York and the gathering of the church during the Kirtland era, they will find that the initial apostasy of the church took place back during those early years of the restoration of the church. In fact they will be shocked just how quickly the light of the fullness of the Gospel left after it began to shine forth.

Once this is realized, the 2nd, 3rd and 4th periods of apostasy make so much more sense.

The following passage of scripture in section 45 provides a perfect description of how quickly the fullness of the gospel light shined forth and then was rejected by the gentile church. This passage of prophesy has a dual fulfillment.

28 And when the times of the Gentiles is come in, a light shall break forth among them that sit in darkness, and it shall be the fulness of my gospel;

29 But they receive it not; for they perceive not the light, and they turn their hearts from me because of the precepts of men.

According to the official D&C commentary by Smith and Sjodahl, (which has been greatly modified by the modern church) verse 28 is referring to the Saints of the 2nd watch at the time Joseph Smith was living. Interestingly, but not surprisingly, no commentary is provided for verse 29!

I personally agree that it applies to the Saints of the 2nd watch, however, I believe it is typological. The literal fulfillment of the passage has to do with the third watch.

I believe that when the marvelous work begins and the servants return, the vast majority of the church will reject the light just as the majority of the church rejected it during the 2nd watch.

In another post I will provide about 10 evidences why that prophesy in section 45 has to do with the 3rd watch.

One of the problems that we have that obscures our perception of when the apostasy took place is that God has varying degrees of light and gospel law that he offers which enables him to continue speaking to his people even after they have rejected the higher law.

The children of Israel are a perfect example.

The JST reveals that they rejected the higher law and that God therefore cursed them with a lesser law.

Nevertheless, God continued speaking to the children of Israel and giving them lesser commandments through the prophet Moses for a period of time after they rejected the higher law.

The same is true with the latter day saints. After they rejected the fullness of the gospel, God greatly reduced how often he sent communications to the church, but he did nevertheless continue providing direction for a time.

The following chart shows an amazing time line of the revelations.

In section 63 given in August of 31 the Lord told the Saints that they were not justified and that they needed to “overcome” by enduring in faith.

Websters tells us that one must be in a state of difficulties or obstacles before they can OVERCOME or SURMOUNT them.

Overcome To surmount; to get the better of; as, to overcome difficulties or obstacles.

Surmount To surpass; to exceed.

In other words the Saints were currently in a state of difficulties and obstacles that they needed to overcome and surpass.

In that same revelation the Lord said,

I the Lord am angry with the wicked. I am holding my Spirit from the inhabitants of the earth.”

Although it is a natural tendency to assume the Lord was not speaking of the saints but rather of the wicked non members of the church, a close reading of that section reveals that it was primarily the wickedness of the saints that was being addressed throughout the section. Section 63 was addressed to the Saints and focused on the saints and their difficulties.

In fact, 18 months after that revelation was given, Joseph Smith made the following remarks which are recorded in the history of the church,

The Lord declared to His servants, some eighteen months since, that He was then withdrawing His Spirit from the earth and we can see that such is the fact for not only the churches are dwindling away, but there are no conversions, or but very few” [D&C 63:32 was given 18 months prior to the above statement that was made January 4th, 1833]

As you can see, Joseph Smith interpreted section 63 as stating that God was withholding his spirit from the Saints as well as from the rest of the world! He acknowledged that the dwindling away of the existing LDS churches and the reduction in new LDS conversions was a direct result of the withholding of Gods spirit!

Section 63 and the withholding of Gods spirit from the Saints was less than 3 months after the opening of the heavens and the special endowment that was given at the special conference at the Morley Farm!

If you have not read the series on the Morley Farm entitles Searching for the Holy Order and 23 High Priests, you need to read it in order to appreciate what we are going to addressing in the next part of this series!

Searching for the Holy Order and 23 High Priests-

Part 1- Lyman Wight Sees the Father and the Son

Part 2 The Man of Sin is Revealed

Part 3- Melchizedek Priesthood required to Establish Zion

Part 4-The Highest Priesthood makes you a

Part 5- Possessor of All Things Part 5- Patriarchal Priesthood Administers New and Everlasting Covenant

Part 6- The Transfiguration of Lyman Wight

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

Part 8- The Gospel of Abraham and Patriarchal Polygamy

Part 9- Three Orders of Priesthood

Part 10- Three Distinct Churches Representing Three Distinct Gospel Laws

I ended the last post asking you if you knew what the following five people all had in common.

  • Joseph smith
  • Sidney Rigdon
  • Lyman Wight
  • Harvey Whitlock
  • Zebedee Coltrin

Do you know what these five people all had in common?

They all experienced an amazing supernatural spiritual epiphany in their lives. It is an epiphany and endowment that is not spoken of frequently in the scriptures. Possibly because it happens so rarely and possibly because the bible had it removed and the sealed portion of the plates that speak about it in detail were never brought forth.

These three men had the heavens opened and they saw both the Father and the Son. The event was part of their true baptismal covenant. And they all experienced this before 1833. There is no account of anyone in the church experiencing that sacred event anytime from 1836 to the present time… do you think that is a coincidence?

What they began experiencing has to do with the very definition of what the fullness of the gospel is.

In the next part of this series we are going to address the definition of what the fullness of the Gospel is because we cannot fully appreciate when and how the church apostatized until we now what it apostatized from!

If you think you know exactly what the fullness of the gospel is, you just might be surprised.

Keep Watching

click here for part 5


16 Responses to Four Steps in Losing Your Naiveté part 4

  1. The Glider says:

    Thank you so much for this series. Very enlightening, and needed. I have always bemoaned the “checklist” mentality that exists in the church. My wife refers to it as the Cult of Self-Sufficiency. I have always thought of it as a lack of faith. Your exposition has given me a new way of looking at things, instead of wondering why there is no more “thus sayeth the Lord” and why we don’t command people to get up and walk – I can let that go and concentrate more on gaining that for myself instead of waiting on the bureaucracy (not that I have been waiting on them) to take the lead.

    As someone who is holding out for something more, I am looking forward to your description of the hope we can have as we stick around. I’ve been reading your posts to try to get a handle because I know you’ve probably already previewed your views.

    Also, pardon my ignorance, but was there any ‘discrimination’ with respect to who received the priesthood prior to Brigham Young, or was it just never an issue? The whole issue has never made sense to me as I have never felt comfortable with the Kingdom of God kowtowing to the law of man.

  2. Rooch says:

    Hey Watcher, this is Younger Dude. Its been a while! I have had fun reading this series and thinking about how I lost my innocence last year. What a crazy journey it has been!

    Your blogs will always hold a special place in my journey because they pretty much helped me to lose my innocence. I suppose I was headed down that path anyway, but it was good to have someone there to help me make the journey.

    In this post you reference the amazing experience that Zebedee Coltrin had. I remember one night last year when I was contemplating the existence of God and feeling pretty scared and discouraged. I was roaming around your blog and read the experience of Zebedee. An awesome yet subtle spirit came over me and comforted me.

    Thanks for being there to help me lose my innocence, it has meant a lot. Tell Mrs. Watcher thanks as well.

    You might be interested to know that I have finally started my own blog at I also have an older brother who has started a blog at Also, last year we made ourselves a private blog to talk about our journey, and we decided a few nights ago to make it public at I thought you might enjoy some of the things we have been discovering and thinking.

    Well, the small community of bloggers longing for Zion is growing!

  3. Glider-

    You said,

    “also, pardon my ignorance, but was there any ‘discrimination’ with respect to who received the priesthood prior to Brigham Young, or was it just never an issue?”

    From a doctrinal standpoint as far as the priesthood is concerned, I think the ban on priesthood was originated by BY in this dispensation.

    It is my understanding that JS ordained at least one black person to the priesthood.

    As far as the church membership is concerned I am sure there were people in the church that struggled with prejudice then and now.

    Also, the PofGP does in fact inform us that prior to the atonement that took place in the Meridian of Time, there was a time anciently before the blood of Israel was mixed among all nations that God did separate his people from the heathen and he did limit access to the priesthood.

    Thank you for visiting and for sharing your insights.


  4. Rooch (Younger Dude)

    It is good to hear from you again!

    Mrs Watcher and I have wondered how you were doing in your journey.

    I am really excited to hear about the blogs you and your brother have started.

    It has been said that you don’t know something until you can teach it to someone else. A blog is a great way to solidify your thoughts and communicate them to others and allow others to give you feedback and even force you to defend your beliefs.

    I am excited to read your blogs!

    May the Lord God continue to bless you in your journey and loss of innocence.


  5. NEPT says:

    Enjoying every word, Watcher.

    One question though, is your opinion that most members of the modern LDS church will reject the light a shift in your thinking? It seemed to me, maybe a year ago, that you were under the impression that most would “see the light”.

    Personally, I never quite felt that way. The most I envision being invited to the marriage feast is 50% of those invited (if you interpret the parable of the 10 virgins literally), but that’s being generous I suppose. IMO, the “follow the prophet” mantra is just too strong a yoke. But then again, it wasn’t that long ago that I was under the same yolk. Praise the Lord Almighty!

  6. I don’t recall what I might have said to give you that impression. It seems to me that straight is the gate and narrow is the gate and FEW…. that is, VERY FEW will enter therein.

    I do try to speak and think in positive terms and I certainly hope that I am wrong and that the majority will accept the light. But that does not seem to be what the scriptures and the words of Christ seem to indicate.

    One thing that is confusing is which light we are speaking about. And which gospel we are speaking about.

    I think those of the first celestial gathering will be few.

    My thinking is that after the 144,000 are sealed up to become Gods, they will then take the terrestrial gospel to the nations of the earth and a huge gathering will take place at that time.

    I do think that lots of people, including the LDS Jews and other tribes, after their pain, will accept that lesser gospel and lesser light.

  7. NEPT says:

    I’ve really been pondering this particular nuance for quite a few days now, and I would like to believe that I will have the opportunity to choose to follow the true servants over “those who are not prophets and apostles” and thus be “sealed up”. This is the only scenario that I can justify and rationalize (in my tiny little ignorant mind) that would give everyone a “fair shake”. That is, I suppose a majority (almost all save a “few”) of true blue members of the church would reject a bunch of crazy men preaching Zion in favor of the status quo. In contrast, for those of us who choose to break from the traditions of our fathers and follow the “wild” men of Zion, it might just be the toughest heart wrenching test of faith we will ever experience.

    In the end, after learning so much, I think I would be heartbroken to learn that I’m terrestrial material. I need to think that I can be celestial. It’s really the only thing that keeps me going now.

  8. I would add Jesus being begotten by sexual intercourse between God and Mary to the list of Brigham Young introduced teachings.

  9. SeekingtobeAstonished says:

    For most of my adult life I have struggled with a reconciliation of the Mormon Churches Doctrine of God (D&C 130:22) with what the Book of Mormon teaches. I have long since decided that the problem lies in the fact that THEY CAN’T BE RECONCILED. In looking back into our history, I am intrigued by the lectures on Faith (circa 1835). However, once again, I struggle with the reconciliation of the doctrine of God in the Lectures on Faith with what is revealed in the Book of Mormon. The LoF seems closer to what is found in the Book of Mormon, but is still strikingly different. Bottom line, there are NO APPEARANCES of the Father and the Son as distinct and separate individuals in the Book of Mormon (although I am aware of 3 Nephi 11; and 2 Nephi 31 — neither of which have God and Christ appearing side by side). It is the ongoing teaching throughout the book that is summed up in experiences such as the Brother of Jared, the teachings of Abinadi, and the argument of Amulek and Zeezrom. Ironically enough, these teachings seem to jive with what Joseph Smith shared in his 1832 history regarding the ‘first vision’. If the fulness of the gospel is contained in the Bible and the Book of Mormon — this seems important to me. Would you mind commenting?

  10. Great observations.

    I love that you posted this on Thanksgiving. It shows how passionate you are about these most important things.

    I have attempted to address the topic of God and the Godhead in other posts. I am not sure if you have read them. Tomorrow I will provide a few links but there are also two very interesting passages in the JST that support the point you have made.. I will provide those as well when I return.

    Again, thank you for pointing these things out. They are very important observations having to do with the very important mystery of Godliness.


  11. “there are NO APPEARANCES of the Father and the Son as distinct and separate individuals in the Book of Mormon…If the fulness of the gospel is contained in the Bible and the Book of Mormon… this seems important to me. Would you mind commenting?”

    Sorry about the delay responding to this… I have had guests over for the holiday.

    I love your comments. They are profound observations. The mystery of Godliness is just that… a mystery.

    The great debate over whether the Father and the Son are separate and distinct beings or the same being has been going on in Christianity for a long time because the Bible clearly teaches both doctrines multiple times. They appear to contradict each other.. but once the veil is lifted and a person sees into eternity with his spiritual eyes, apparently, we will see that things are different than how we comprehend them in this limited and fallen world.

    I find it interesting that conflicting stories of the first vision provide the same controversy about God that the Bible provides.

    God and Christ are both separate and distinct in one account of the first vision while in another account they are the same being… just one God.

    Here is an interesting JST passage

    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. JST Luke 10:22

    According to that passage, the Son is the Father and the Father is the Son (they are the same) and yet the verse begins by making the distinction that they are separate by informing us that the FAther delivers all things to the Son. GO FIGURE !!!!

    I am going to suggest that both doctrines are true and that there is no contradiction even though this seems illogical to the mortal mind.

    My short answer about why the Book of Mormon does not contain an eye witness testimony of the Son standing on the right hand of the Father like section 76 does is because the first portion of the Book of Mormon that we currently have contains the “lesser things”. When the next portion of the Book gets here, it will contain the greater things, which I believe will include a similar testimony.

    Here is one of the feeble attempts I have attempted to make accumulating and trying to comprehend what the scriptures say about God

  12. Frederick says:


    I was wondering if you could comment on the five men who saw both the Father and the Son. I’ve been reading Zebedee Coltrin’s account of the vision from Jan 23, 1833. I was unable to locate a list of who exactly witnessed the events of this vision, which is I am sure not the same as those who were present. For example, what did Brother Reynolds Cahoon witness? He clearly was taken in his own vision. Also, I believe Brigham Young “may” have been present that day, but he is not, by his own admission, a witness of Christ.

    I also noticed that you stated that these men had all witnessed the Father and the Son as part of their baptismal covenant before 1833. Can you link to an account of these visions, or is this from the vision at the school of the prophets.

    And on another note, would all of these men necessarily have been pure descendants of the House of Israel? Or, could they have been adopted into that lineage by the process Joseph Smith describes here. “while the effect of the Holy Ghost upon a Gentile, is to purge out the old blood, and make him actually of the seed of Abraham. That man that has none of the blood of Abraham (naturally) must have a new creation by the Holy Ghost.”

    These are just some of thoughts I’ve had while pondering this post. I sincerely appreciate the effort you’ve put into the writing contained on this site. It has had a very positive effect on my understanding if the Gospel.

  13. Joseph and Sidney saw the Father and the Son as noted in section 76. I believe that is the “last testimony” by which the world will be judged when the servants return. Lyman Wight and another brother apparently saw the Father and the Son at the Morley Farm. I am not very familiar with the experience that Cahoon had.

    I believe Zebedee Coltrin’s account is in many ways one of the most significant ones in substantiating the doctrine that God the Father has a spiritual tabernacle while the Son has a physical tabernacle as taught in Lectures on Faith. Theer were other brethren in the group when Zebedee had that experience but I am not aware of any other accounts of it.

    In the JST passage that I recently quoted in the comments section on this blog, it said “the Son is the Father, and the Father is the Son”. I believe the physical tabernacle of Christ dwells in the spiritual tabernacles of the Father and the spiritual tabernacle of the Father dwells in the physical tabernacle of the Son…

    They have the ability to manifest themselves separately and independently and yet they can dwell in each other and they constitute ONE GOD.

    I have heard that The Karl Anderson, the author of Joseph Smith’s Kirtland has just released a new book documenting all of the known personal accounts of divine manifestations of the Savior in Kirtland. I am hoping Santa or Mrs Watcher gets me this book for Christmas. It should be a good read.

    You said:

    “And on another note, would all of these men necessarily have been pure descendants of the House of Israel? Or, could they have been adopted into that lineage by the process Joseph Smith describes here. “while the effect of the Holy Ghost upon a Gentile, is to purge out the old blood, and make him actually of the seed of Abraham. That man that has none of the blood of Abraham (naturally) must have a new creation by the Holy Ghost.”

    What a great question. I believe these early members of the Church were what the scriptures refer to as the Gentiles (remnants of Israel who had been mingled among the gentiles nations and hence, “identified with the Gentiles”… see 109:60).

    Thank you for visiting


  14. Questioning says:

    Dear One Who is Watching-

    Thank you so much for you amazing blog. I have a question regarding polygamy.

    In section 49 the revelation date is 1831, and in that section it calls for monogamy (vs.16). Section 132 is dated at 1843 but I’ve always been taught that because Joseph was practicing as early as 1833 that the revelation could have come as early as 1831.

    This leaves me a little confused. Is it possible in 1831 for Joseph to be deceived into believing false doctrine along with receiving true doctrine? Were the saints/church in a state of apostasy at that time causing darkness to come upon them? Why would Joseph get a monogamist revelation in 1831 via section 49, and around that same time (give or take a few years or months) feel that polygamy was the way to go?

    Thank you for all your help,

  15. Questioning

    Those are great questions.

    I am going to address the date of the revelation we now know as section 132 in the upcoming rebuttals. I do not believe that it was given before the Nauvoo era.

    While you are waiting for that part of the rebuttal, I would suggest that you review the posts I have done on the topic of polygamy and the spiritual wife doctrine.

    You can find a listing of most of the blogs on my two blog sites at this link.

    Then scroll down until you find the seven articles on polygamy in the right hand column. I suggest that you read them all. They will provide you with an abundance of historical and doctrinal information about the topic.

    After reading those articles, the followng article provides a rather deep and beautiful explanation of what the verse in section 49 is speaking about.

    CELIBACY, the Doctrine of Marriage & the Shaker Connection

    It can be found a little ways below the seven articles, also on the right hand side.


    For visiting


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