Four Steps in Losing Your Naiveté- Part 6

I will bring forth the BRANCH

Is this not a brand pulled out of the fire?
Identifying the Missing Pieces
of the Prophet Puzzle

[Editorial Note: This was going to be the final part of this series with the major focus on what the fulness of the gospel is, and reviewing how the shining forth of the fulness of the Gospel in the 3rd watch will bring the repentant out of apostasy.

However it has occurred to me that some viewers may not have read all my other articles and/or may not be familiar with or understand the “atonement statute” and the roles Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon play as the two “sin offering” goats as depicted in the atonement statute in Lev 16..

Understanding about the initial apostasy in Kirtland and the three following phases of the apostasy as well as the general doctrine of the third watch pertaining to the redemption of latter day Israel is of little use if you don’t understand the intercessory atonement offering.

If you have read my fourth and final tribute to Sidney Rigdon, you have read concepts that pertain to the Seer, Joseph Smith (Rod of Jesse) and the Spokesman, Sidney Rigdon (Root of Jesse) that provide a good foundation for what you are about to read, regarding the mind-blowing prophecy embedded in the atonement statute found in Numbers 16.

As you ponder how the atonement statute was fulfilled in the lives of Joseph, Sidney and others of the founding fathers of Mormonism, prepare yourself for the further loss of naiveté and the shedding of the false doctrine pertaining to the role of prophets you have been indoctrinated into believing.

God actually uses prophets to test his people. Sometimes he uses prophets to give an idolatrous people what they want and to turn them over to animate and inanimate idols (such as prophet-worship). Sometimes he uses them to see if they can seduce those claiming to be Gods people into accepting another gospel. He also uses his prophets as intercessors and atonement offerings for the sins of his people.]

A Stone of Stumbling

During my experience moving back-ass-wards in time losing a little more of my naiveté each time I identified an earlier phase of the modern day apostasy of the restored church, I was able to identify the following four general time periods pertaining to the history of the restored church which we have briefly touched on in this series-

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

Phase two- The Far West/Nauvoo Apostasy 1839-1844

Phase three- The First Utah Period of Apostasy-1845-1889

Phase four- The Second Utah Period of Apostasy 1889-to present

Initially, I viewed the apostasy of the latter day church in the context of the church as a collective body of believers, the revelations they received, the commandments and covenants they broke, the spiritual gifts they did and did not have and the fruits they brought forth in general.

Eventually however, I felt a need to view things through a different or at least a broader lens.

I finally gained a desire to view the events through the context of one of the biggest stumbling block of the LDS restoration movement….

JOSEPH SMITH.

Yes, I am suggesting that just as Christ became a stone of stumbling to the Jews during the 1st watch, because of his righteousness and Godhood, Joseph Smith became a stone of stumbling to the Latter-day Saint gentiles in the 2nd watch because of his human fallibility and the fact that he lost his awareness began acting out the sins of the people because of the atonement statute.

The prophet Joseph Smith is perhaps one of the most controversial religious personalities in the history of the world.

His life provides a polarizing effect on those that seriously study it.

Most people that take the time to study his life and ministry in depth end up at one of two ends of the spectrum, they either come to hate and despise him as a liar and deceiver or they come to love him and revere him as Gods anointed prophet refusing to believe that he was ever guilty of any malignant sins.

As prophesied by the angel Moroni, his name has become known for both good and evil.

The deeper I got into the history of the church during my journey, the more of a stumbling block he became to me.

Prior to my journey and subsequent loss of naiveté, few people loved and revered the prophet Joseph Smith more than I did. I suspect I was guilty of participating in prophet worship.

Nevertheless, the deeper I delved into the history of the church the more perplexed I became with his life and ministry.

His involvement in masonry, polygamy and other things were very troubling to me and they seemed so inconsistent with the scriptures he brought forth. The Book of Mormon is not even subtle about its warnings against both polygamy and secret societies that swear by their necks.

Since the third watch and the marvelous work revolves around the return of the Prophet Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon, who hold the keys of the kingdom in this dispensation, and since there is so much troubling information about their lives and ministry particularly during the second half of Joseph’s public ministry, it is very hard for some people to have faith in the doctrine of the three watches…

I was no exception.

It is hard to believe that God would call forth a servant with such a disturbing history from the dead to complete the marvelous work even if there is so much scriptural documentation that it is going to occur.

Even Sidney Rigdon and Brigham Young two of Joseph’s closest associates and admirers made strong comments expressing their beliefs about Joseph loosing the spirit sometime prior to the martyrdom.

Rigdon felt the spiritual wife doctrine and the practice of polygamy was a sign he had lost the spirit.

It appears that Young possibly felt that Joseph’s decision to return to Nauvoo and go to Carthage along with his decision to repent of polygamy and several other things just prior to his death were signs that he had lost the spirit.

If one has doubts about the character and eternal welfare of the prophet Joseph Smith, and wonders if perhaps he was a fallen prophet, it is very difficult to not have anything but doubts about the final ministry that he will preside over in the 3rd watch.

I am therefore going to address the status of Joseph Smith by sharing with you a little more about another segment of my own journey backwards in time in what felt like a crazy, twilight zone, alternate reality, that I was experiencing, as I was trying to understand the status of the church and the true status of the prophet Joseph Smith.

Joseph Smith saw himself as having a very unique calling. One that was mentioned in prophecy and one that is almost impossible to comprehend.

He did not consider himself just a prophet, he considered himself THE LAST AND GREATEST PROPHET spoken of in the scriptures.

He seemed to have some knowledge about himself which he needed to keep hidden within his breast, yet at times he seemed to want to blurt it out to his followers.

Here are a few remarkable statements that he made during a time of incredible controversy in his life as the time of his death was quickly approaching.

You don’t know me; you never knew my heart. No man knows my history. I cannot tell it: I shall never undertake it. I don’t blame anyone for not believing my history. If I had not experienced what I have, I could not have believed it myself. . . . When I am called by the trump of the archangel and weighed in the balance, you will all know me then.” (king Follet Discourse)

“If I revealed all that has been made known to me, scarcely a man on this stand would stay with me.”

“Brethren, if I were to tell you all I know of the kingdom of God, I do know that you would rise up and kill me.”

“Would to God I could tell you what I know! But you would call it blasphemy, and there are me upon this stand who would want to take my life.” (Joseph Smith, Jr., as quoted by Heber C. Kimball, Life of Heber C. Kimball, by Orson F. Whitney, pg. 322-323.)(capitals added for emphasis)

It was only a matter of time before several leaders of the church, probably some that were indeed sitting on the stand that day, did in fact play a part in taking his life!

The Prophet Puzzle

In her provocative 1974 essay, “The Prophet Puzzle, religious historian Jan Shipps states that:

“The mystery of Mormonism cannot be solved until we solve the mystery of Joseph Smith”.

In that essay,

Jan Shipps faced the anomalies in the historical record concerning Smith, noting that “[w]hat we have in Mormon historiography is two Josephs… what she called the “schizophrenic state of Mormon history, with its double interpretive strand of Joseph Smith as a man of God and Joseph Smith as a kind of fraud who exploited his followers for his own purposes..”

Shipps is one of a number of scholars, researchers, and even some members of the LDS and other various restoration churches who appear to be troubled by much of the historical evidence pertaining to Smith and the restoration movement yet they can’t bring themselves to completely write him off either because of the incredible light and fruits he brought forth.

As I have already indicated, I had become aware of the third watch doctrine and written about it way back in 1992. This doctrine explained many of my concerns about the latter day apostasy and brought great peace and assurance to my soul, nevertheless, I knew that there were missing pieces to the prophet puzzle that Shipps so eloquently opined.

Despite the reassurance I had that the gospel was true and that the marvelous work would yet take place, I was nevertheless plagued with the dilemma of the inconsistencies in Joseph Smiths life and ministry. I did not know how to reconcile these things with his prophesied return during the 3rd watch to usher in the Marvelous Work.

The thought that he might be the lead servant when the first laborers of the last dispensation return was a little unsettling to me given the fact that many of his actions during the Far West and Nauvoo years did not appear to be congruent with the gospel and the scriptures he brought forth.

Some time ago, after months of reading many books about Joseph Smith and the history of the church and many of the very disturbing and controversial things that took place after the appointed time for the redemption of Zion expired, particularly in Nauvoo, I became even more perplexed about the life and ministry of Joseph Smith than I had previously been.

I was concerned about the apparent discrepancies, particularly having to do with the Kirtland Safety Society, the Danites, his involvement in Masonry, the doctrine of “exaltation” and progression of the Gods contained in the King Follett discourse the completely contradicted what he and Rigdon had taught in the Lectures on Faith, the possibilities of some failed prophecies and perhaps most disconcerting to me, the spiritual wife doctrine and the blatant inconsistencies and contradictions that section 132 is plagued with.

One day while reading a book documenting Joseph Smiths involvement in polygamy and the devastating effect it appeared to have on the lives of those plural wives and, in some cases, their offspring, I became overwhelmed with grief and anxiety and I threw the book across the room in a fit of anger and despair.

I was angry with Joseph Smith

I was angry with God.

I knew the gospel was true as contained in the book of Mormon and modern revelation because the spirit had born witness to me of the truthfulness of the gospel while doing thousands of key word searches and other types of prayerful gospel study..

..but I also knew that there was a serious problem with the current church and the originating apostasy that appeared to take place in Kirtland resulting in the defiling of the Kirtland Temple, the loss the fullness of the priesthood, the restoration of the lesser gospel of Abraham and the expulsion of the Saints.

Again, although I had a pretty good idea of how the eventual redemption of Zion would take place, I was having a difficult time understanding how God was still going to be able to use the prophet Joseph Smith. For me, he was an industrial strength stone of stumbling.

After all, God has his laws that we all have to go by, and Joseph Smith is no exception I reasoned to myself. If he violates those laws he must be held accountable just like the rest of us… right?

At that time I could not reconcile in my own mind how JS could avoid being cast into hell for eternity, let alone how he could possibly be restored to his prior position as the last and greatest prophet of the dispensation of the fullness of times.

During that point in my gospel study, having spent over ten years doing intense key word searches on countless topics, I was arrogant enough to think that I was quite familiar with all four standard works and I felt like I had a fairly good understanding of them. For that reason I didn’t think the answer to my dilemma about Joseph Smith would be found in the scriptures.

But I was quite mistaken.

I was about to have my eyes opened to a whole new level of scriptural understanding and gospel study.

I think I had to hit rock bottom regarding Joseph Smith before I was sufficiently humble enough to actually identify and believe what some of the amazing prophecies about him were saying.

I don’t remember exactly how I came across the following passages of scripture that I am about to share with you, or the exact chronology in which I found them. My memory has never been very good, and has gotten progressively worse in recent years. .

So I will simply try to logically recreate the chronology of learning that I experienced the best I can.

The scriptures and associated interpretations I am about to share with you may seem quite strange, illogical and perhaps even mystical and metaphysical.

I admit that I have never seen these passages and interpretations I am about to share with you in any book or spoken by any LDS scholars or general authorities and for that reason alone I understand why you may approach the information in this article with great skepticism.

Please understand that the only credibility to what I am about to disclose can only be gained via a spiritual witness from the Holy Ghost.

There actually may be a reason why this information can only be spiritually discerned and why it has been kept hidden up until recent times.

These passages, and the associated interpretations I am about to share with you will probably violate the sanitized perception you may have of how God should function and how he uses his prophets.

Again, if you have previously read my final tribute to Sidney Rigdon then you are already familiar with some of what I am about to share, although I am going to get into greater detail… and, I am going to drill down a little deeper and show that ancient prophets prophesied that the teaching of a false doctrine would be the reason that the “one like Moses” would need to die.  It would appear as if the false spiritual wife doctrine and/or the false doctrine pertaining to the progression of the Gods contained in the King Follett Discourse would be the reason that Joseph Smith died.

As you read what I am about to share with you, please remember the following passages in Isaiah,

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isa 55:8-9

The other thing you need to realize is that it was the rejection of the fulness of the Gospel by the saints and their apostasy from the truth that caused Joseph and the leading elders of the church to do what they did!

Isaiah tells us that the prophets, rulers and seers of the restoration movement would have their eyes covered.

Notice verse 10 of Chapter 29 in the King James version-

For the LORD hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered

Although that is really revealing, the Book of Mormon gives us greater clarity-

For behold, the Lord hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep. For behold, ye have closed your eyes and ye have rejected the prophets; and your rulers, and the seers hath he covered because of your iniquity

In the second part of Joseph’s ministry, he began doing some very strange things that contradicted many of the scriptures and doctrines he had revealed in the earlier part of his ministry, but it was because of the wickedness of the saints who rejected the fulness of the gospel which he delivered to them.

We are going to now review what I prefer to call, the FIVE major missing pieces of the prophet puzzle. They make up what I refer to as the FOUR prophetic CORNERSTONES and the CAPSTONE that unlocks the biblical profile of Joseph Smith that has been sealed.

Once these five prophesies are understood, the rest of the pieces of the prophet puzzle will fall into place.


I hope you will have a prayer in your heart as you read what I am about to convey because it is only by the power of the spirit that you will ever comprehend and/or believe the following passages that otherwise remain sealed to the understanding of most people.

I would submit that those of us that have this understanding revealed to us through the grace of God may have a remarkable opportunity and responsibility to bear witness of it once the Marvelous Work begins, for it appears that when the Lords anointed servants return, kings shall shut their mouths when these concepts are revealed to them and it will be uttered, “Who hath believed our report and to whom is the ARM OF THE LORD revealed?

We are now going to review some ancient scriptures primarily in the Old Testament that will help us connect the dots pertaining to whom Joseph Smith really was and is and they will explain his very strange behavior and the transgressions he committed during the 2nd half of his ministry during the 2nd watch. Ultimately, they are going to reveal much about the mystical calling of the Lords Servant who Isaiah refers to the ARM OF THE LORD.

Brace yourself for an amazing experience.

“wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?”

One day I was reading in Acts 1 where the apostles asked Christ when he would restore the kingdom to Israel.

When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.”

Realizing that the Jewish apostles who had descended from the kingdom of Judah knew that the keys of the kingdom would need to be restored to a Davidic Servant whose has descended from the kingdom of Israel, I was marveling how Peter, James and John eventually gave the keys of the kingdom to Joseph Smith in fulfillment of that very prophecy.

“..Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things”

I marveled also at the following prophecy given by Peter to the Jews in the temple on the day he healed the crippled man-

Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;

And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:

Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.

For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.

And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.

Clearly, there was yet a time AFTER the meridian dispensation (1st watch) and after the latter day restoration and falling away, (2nd watch) when ALL THINGS including the keys of the kingdom and the fullness of the Gospel would need to be restored to the earth. (3rd watch). This would require a REFRESHING and a RESTITUTION.

Peter James and John were obviously very familiar with the Old Testament prophecies and thereby probably knew about the necessity of transferring the keys of the priesthood to someone in the last days who would be a descendent of king David from the second kingdom of Israel, when the kingdom of Judah became divided from the kingdom of Israel.

Obviously the prophecies of Daniel about the kingdom rolling forth in the last days must have been on the mind of Peter James and John however I wondered if they were also aware of additional scriptures pertaining to kingdom theology that I had missed.

I therefore started doing some key word searches to see if I could find some prophecies relating to this event.

“I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever”

By punching in the terms “establish” AND “kingdom” I was led to one of the most remarkable and astonishing prophesies I had ever read.

It is contained in 2nd Samuel 7.

It is a prophecy given to King David from the Lord God of Israel as delivered though the prophet Nathan.

In the following passages I found a seven point profile of the latter day Davidic Servant that blew my mind.

Moreover I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as beforetime,

11 And as since the time that I commanded judges to be over my people Israel, and have caused thee to rest from all thine enemies. Also the LORD telleth thee that he will make thee an house.

12 ¶ And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom.

13
He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever.

14
I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men:

15
But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee.

16
And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.

17 According to all these words, and according to all this vision, so did Nathan speak unto David 2nd Samuel 10-17

As I read this amazing prophecy contained in those eight short verses I understood full well that many scholars interpret this to be referring to Christ, however I knew it could not be speaking about Christ as the literal fulfillment of the prophecy because he did not build a temple nor did he commit iniquity.

I also knew that some scholars interpret these passages to be referring to Solomon, one of Davids Sons who DID build a temple and DID commit iniquity.

HOWEVER, Solomon could not represent a literal fulfillment of the above passages because he did not plant the children of Israel in the appointed land nor did he establish the kingdom FOREVER, as evidenced by the fact that he sinned worse than David and had the kingdom divided in half and the Lord only left him the kingdom of Judah which left a lineage by which the prophecy in 2nd Samuel 7 could be fulfilled at a latter time in the last days.

The prophecy of Peter and the prophecies of Daniel reveal that the kingdom was not established forever at the time of Solomon and that there would need to be a restitution of ALL THINGS in the latter days that would reestablish the ancient kingdom that Nathan prophesied about.

Clearly the descendant of King David that would appoint the place of the latter day gathering of Israel, build the temple, establish the kingdom forever in the latter days, become a Son of God and then commit iniquity, could not possibly be referring to Solomon or Christ as the literal fulfillment although either of them might be considered typological or shadow fulfillments.

As I began identifying the seven points contained in the profile of this latter day prophet I was shocked because it was identifying a latter day prophet that would do a great work and then commit iniquity. This violated my sanitized definition of what a true prophet should be and how I felt God should interact with his people… and it made me feel a little uncomfortable about the prophet worship I had been guilty of most of my life.

Notice the seven point profile below.

  1. The Davidic King will Appoint the Place and Eventually Plant Israel in it. There is nothing in this passage that indicates that the appointing of the place and the planting of the people are done at the same time but the appointing of the place obviously appears to take place before the building of the temple. “Moreover I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more”
  2. The Davidic King will Establish the Kingdom Forever. A descendent of David will establish the kingdom after his death. “when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom…. And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever
  3. The Davidic King will build the House of the Lord. After the death of David someone from his posterity will build the House. “He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever…. And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever”
  4. The Davidic King will be sealed up to Eternal Life and thereby Become a Son of God. (calling and election)
    I will be his father, and he shall be my son”.
  5. The Davidic Servant will Commit Iniquity. AFTER appointing the latter day place of gathering, establishing the kingdom and building the House of the Lord, the Davidic Servant will commit iniquity. “If [when] he commit iniquity,
  6. The Davidic King will be Chastened by Men for the iniquity.
    I will chasten him with the rod of men,
    and with the stripes of the children of men:
  7. The Davidic King retains the Mercy of the Lord.
    Unlike, wicked King Saul who will receive justice and judgment for his wicked acts, the mercy of the Lord will not depart from the latter day Davidic Servant, despite his iniquity. “But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee.

It became obvious to me that Joseph Smith is the only religious figure in the latter days that even comes close to fitting the profile contained above… and he fits it perfectly.

I realize you may not interpret the above passages the way I am interpreting them at this point.

I understand that.

I only ask you to read this entire thesis before making a judgment on the interpretations and conclusions provided herein for they do not rest solely on the passage above.

I would not have accepted the above interpretation back when I was blissfully unaware of the apostasy of the church.

I had to lose mynaiveté, learn about the apostasy of latter day Israel and have my heart broken reading about certain historical events before I could be humbled enough to be open to the implications of the passages in that remarkable prophecy.

As initially stated, I am going to show you four other remarkable prophecies, and other supporting scriptures that will provide greater clarification and testimony to the mind-blowing prophecy in 2nd Samuel.

Once you have viewed each of these five prophecies, and understood them in the context of the other four, all of the pieces of the prophet puzzle will begin to fall into place.

I am asking you to review ALL of the evidence for this amazing prophetic scenario that is emerging.

One of the things that you may be thinking is that the transgression mentioned in the above passages is predicated as an IF rather than a WHEN.

However, if you accept Gods own testimony of his own attributes you must surely agree that God knows all things including the future and the past and that all time, past present and future is continually before his eyes, which is what makes the spiritual gift of prophecy possible.

That being the case, God obviously knew whether this last days descendent of David would transgress or not.

Therefore, one needs to ask, If God knew the above servant would be valiant, why would he put doubt in the minds of people about that valiancy by throwing that contingency clause into the prophecy?

More importantly, why would he continue a second level down in the story line by revealing that the Davidic Servant would be chastened by the rod of men because of his transgression and furthermore why would he provide a third level to the storyline by acknowledging that after transgressing, he would retain the mercy of God?

I would submit to you that when read in the light of prophetic understanding, as well as in the context of the additional prophecies we will review, it is not just IF the servant transgresses, it is WHEN he transgresses.

Although it was difficult and painful at first for me to change my paradigm of Joseph Smith and the role of prophets in general, I was also ecstatic because this prophecy was providing an incredible testimony that Joseph Smith was who he claimed to be. It even proves that the transgressions that he committed were foretold by the Lord via the prophet Nathan!

This obviously changes the complexion of the Joseph Smith dilemma significantly.

In light of the above passages, any iniquities committed by Joseph Smith provide additional testimony that he was exactly who he claimed to be… the last and greatest prophet. One who according the prophecy appointed the place of gathering for latter day Israel, built the temple and became a Son of God and then committed iniquity.

He is clearly the one that laid the foundation for the Marvelous Work and obtained his calling and election before transgressing.

It was very hard for me, being raised as a Mormon, to believe that prophets were “fallible” since I worshiped them much as the Catholic Church places their popes on a pedestal as being infallible

I was perplexed because the modern church teaches that God never allows a prophet to lead people astray. That false doctrine contradicts the word of God, but I never really understood that because I had not search it out.

Nevertheless, in my blissful years I did not believe that the Lord would ever allow a righteous prophet to commit iniquity.

I had been taught the sanitized version of what a prophet should be instead of the scriptural version

I continued searching for additional scriptural witnesses to verify the accuracy of the passages and my interpretation of them.

I found the same prophecy with less detail in 1 Chronicles 17.

What really perplexed me is how the seven point profile claimed that AFTER committing transgression, the Lord would allow the prophet to be chastened by the rod of men and yet, the sinful prophet would still remain in the MERCY of God.

That really seemed totally inconsistent with the Old Testament.

The sinful prophet should fall under the law of JUSTICE and JUDGEMENT not MERCY. Saul transgressed and did not retain the mercy of God, right?

I looked to see if there was an example of a righteous Old Testament prophet that sinned and yet remained in the mercy of God.

I was led to the account of Moses who sinned before God and was chastened severely. The consequences of his sin resulted in his death and even prevented him from crossing the Jordan to enter the promised land. Yet after the death of Moses the scriptures and the Lord continue to refer to Moses as a righteous prophet! He retained the mercy of God!

I realized that the ministry of Moses very possibly provided a great key to unlocking this mystery particularly since modern revelation identifies Joseph Smith as one like Moses.

Digging a little deeper I discovered that Moses sinned because he took the sins of Israel upon himself by offering himself as atonement in their behalf.

I then was reminded of the prophesy by Peter in Acts 3 about a latter day servant that would be like Moses,

“For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you..”

The above prophecy is paraphrasing a prophecy in Deuteronomy 18.

Yes, I realize everyone accepts that prophecy as referring to Christ, even Mormons, however, we shall find as we study it that it is actually speaking about two separate servants that are like Moses. Verse 15 is referring to Christ and verse 18 is referring to Joseph Smith.

Now let us go to the Old Testament version of the prophecy that Peter was paraphrasing,

15 ¶ The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;

16 According to all that thou desiredst of the Lord thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not.

17 And the Lord said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken.

18 I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like
unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.

19 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.

20 But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.

21 And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the Lord hath not spoken?

22 When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.

Clearly, verse 15  is speaking of Christ. We are commanded to categorically hearken to Christ because he is infallible.

Those prophetic passages in verses 18-20 however, speak about another servant like Moses.

They mirror the prophecy in 2nd Samuel in that they speak of a prophet of God that does speak as he is commanded of God, but eventually, he presumptuously speaks falsely in the name of God and, as a result, is put to death.

Verse 18-20 are obviously not referring to Christ as he always spoke the truth.

One of the reasons Latter day Saints don’t relate the above prophecy to Joseph Smith is because the Book of Mormon tells us that Moses was speaking of Christ!-

20 And the Lord will surely prepare a way for his people, unto the fulfilling of the words of Moses, which he spake, saying: A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass that all those who will not hear that prophet shall be cut off from among the people.

21 And now I, Nephi, declare unto you, that this prophet of whom Moses spake was the Holy One of Israel; wherefore, he shall execute judgment in righteousness.
1 Ne. 22: 20-21

The Book of Mormon is correct of course, verse 15 IS speaking of Christ.

A careful review of the above prophecies reveals however, that Moses was prophesying of two separate and distinct individuals that would be typological of Moses and would come forth at future times.

The prophet spoken of in verse 15 is clearly speaking about Christ as clarified in the Book of Mormon. Hence the admonition to categorically obey everything he says,

“unto him ye shall hearken”

Since Christ was perfect and never taught a false doctrine, the admonition from Moses was to hearken to his words… period.

Please notice that verse 18 on the other hand is speaking about another one who is like Moses, but that particular prophet, after speaking all the words that God puts in his mouth, shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak”

Holy Moly! The second prophet teaches a false doctrine that God did not command him to teach!!!!!!!!!!!

What is the consequence?

“even that prophet shall die.”

Unbe-freakin-lievable!

If you are familiar with how President William Law and others printed an expose of Joseph Smith secret polygamy doctrine and how it led to the death of the Prophet Joseph Smith, you may be falling off your chair about now!

Just as 2nd Samuel prophesies that the Davidic Servant will transgress and therefore be chastised by the rod of man, Deuteronomy 18 confirms that as a result of speaking presumptuously, he must die.

Another thing we learn from these passages is that the prophet is held accountable when the people reject his words! “whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him [referring to the prophet!]

Lastly,

The prophecy in Deuteronomy 18 provides a second witness to the prophecy in 2nd Samuel!

However it provides four additional points to the prophetic profile that we derived from 2nd Samuel. They are as follows

  • UNIQUE TYPE OF SCRIPTURE: From Deuteronomy 18 we learn that the scripture this second prophet like Moses brings forth is somewhat different from traditional scripture. The Bible and Book of Mormon contain historical narrative by mortals and they also provide inspired statements from mortals and an occasional direct “thus sayeth the Lord” quote, but the Book of Commandments and Doctrine and Covenants provides the EXACT WORDS OF CHRIST continuously, revelation after revelation.
  • INTERCESSORY ATONEMENT: The one like Moses is acting as an intercessory servant and must have the sins of the people upon his garments until he has bound up the testimony and the law per his requirement as a watchman on the tower.
  • THE SERVANT MUST DIE: Although 2nd Samuel informs us that the servant would be chastened, it was not clear if he was put to death. Deuteronomy 18 makes this clarification.
  • CHASTENED FOR TEACHING FALSE DOCTRINE: Additionally, 2nd Samuel did not clarify what the transgression would be that would result in his death. This prophecy informs us that after delivering all of the words that the Lord commanded him to deliver; he would then speak presumptuously and teach something the Lord did not command him to teach!

The irony of verses 20 through 22 is that they are frequently used by critics of Joseph Smith to prove that Joseph Smith could not have been a true prophet because he spoke falsely and some of his prophesies did not come true.

However they fail to see those verses in the context of the prophecy from the previous verses and therefore misinterpret what those verses are saying.

Those three verses are not providing a generic law stating that false prophets were required to be put to death when they prophesy falsely. A careful study of those passages reveals that they actually represent a continuation of the prophecy contained in the previous five verses! They are simply acknowledging that the presumptuous teaching of a false doctrine will result in the death of the latter day prophet that is like Moses.

Ironically, those passages actually provide a compelling witness that Joseph Smith was who he claimed to be!

They are referring to a specific latter day prophet that would first speak what the Lord commanded him to speak and then be put to death because he presumptuously speaks falsely in the name of the Lord!

Those passages are speaking of the same latter day prophet that 2nd Samuel prophesies of… they speak of a prophet that does a great work, but eventually sins by speaking presumptuously and, as a result, is put to death!

Not only do they provide a second witness of the prophecy in 2nd Samuel, they also provide more clarification and more details for the prophetic profile provided in 2nd Samuel!

They inform us that the latter day prophet is LIKE Moses in that he will provide an intercessory atonement for a rebellious people.

They clarify that the chastisement by the rod of men spoken of in 2nd Samuel, results in the prophets death.

They inform us that when the congregation rejects the words of the prophet, God requires it of the intercessory prophet!

In other words, the latter day prophet acts as an intercessory sin offering for an apostate people that reject the word of the Lord!

This alludes to why the mercy of God does not depart from this prophet despite the fact that he commits sin. It is because the transgression committed by the prophet was caused by the atonement he offered in behalf of the people, as we shall scripturally prove as we proceed in this last part of this series.

Let us refresh our memories regarding some key points in the ministry of Moses that many overlook-

The Atonement of Moses

After reading the prophecy in Deuteronomy about the latter day prophet that would be like Moses I was reminded of the modern revelations that stated that Joseph Smith would be like Moses however, I was not that familiar with the atonement that Moses provided for the rebellious children of Israel so I decided to review those passages.

And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses said unto the people, Ye have sinned a great sin: and now I will go up unto the Lord; peradventure I shall make an atonement for your sin.

31 And Moses returned unto the Lord, and said, Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold.

32 Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin—; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written.

33 And the Lord said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book.

34 Therefore now go, lead the people unto the place of which I have spoken unto thee: behold, mine Angel shall go before thee: nevertheless in the day when I visit I will visit their sin upon them.

35 And the Lord plagued the people, because they made the calf, which Aaron made. Ex. 32: 30

It is interesting that Moses offered to have his name blotted out of the book! The Lord did not accept that offer but did accept the atonement.

Very sobering is the fact that the atonement offering was only a temporary temporal one. Notice that the wrath of God was only delayed. It would be visited upon the rebellious Israel when the LORD visits then at a future time!

Stood Before Him in the Breach

It is recorded in Psalms 106:23 how God would have destroyed Israel if Moses had not stood in the breach:

Therefore he said that he would destroy them, had not Moses his chosen stood before him in the breach, to turn away his wrath, lest he should destroy them.”

The Sin of Moses

After realizing that Moses had to provide an atonement for rebellious Israel, I wanted to further understand exactly what the sin was that Moses committed.

And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,

8 Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink.

9 And Moses took the rod from before the Lord, as he commanded him.

10 And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock?

11 And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also.

12 ¶ And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify ME in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.
Num. 20: 10-11

Moses Prevented from Entering the Promised Land and Must Die

From the above passages we learn that Moses disobeyed the commandment of the Lord and spoke directly to the people instead of looking at the rock. Additionally, he sinned by taking credit unto himself and his brother Aaron for the miracle instead of sanctifying the Lord (giving credit to the Lord). That is the act of encouraging the children of Israel to put their trust in the arm of flesh which is IDOLOTRY.

Interestingly, it is the same sin they had been guilty of when they were worshipping the golden calf!

The Consequences of the Sin of Moses

By providing an atonement for the people, Moses and Aaron had taken the sins of the people upon themselves and therefore began acting out their sins. The consequence of those sins was “ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.”

The Intercession of Moses

In Deuteronomy 4 Moses clarifies that the anger of the Lord was for the sake of the people because of the atonement offering and also that Moses as a consequence of his sin he must die and not enter into Jordan.

21 Furthermore the Lord was angry with me for your sakes, and sware that I should not go over Jordan, and that I should not go in unto that good land, which the Lord thy God giveth thee for an inheritance:

22 But I must die in this land, I must not go over Jordan: but ye shall go over, and possess that good land. Deut. 4: 21

In the book of Numbers we find that after Moses was allowed to climb a mountain and view the promised land, he was required to die and be gathered unto his people, just as Aaron had died, because of their rebellion against the Lords commandment,

And the Lord said unto Moses, Get thee up into this mount Abarim, and see the land which I have given unto the children of Israel.

13 And when thou hast seen it, thou also shalt be gathered unto thy people, as Aaron thy brother was gathered.

14 For ye rebelled against my commandment in the desert of Zin, in the strife of the congregation, to sanctify me at the water before their eyes: that is the water of Meribah in Kadesh in the wilderness of Zin. Num. 27: 13

The God of Modern Mormonism does not Exist

If you are somewhat mortified by the storyline presented in the prophesies we have reviewed in 2nd Samuel 7 and Deuteronomy 18 it is probably because you have been indoctrinated falsely about how God interrelates with his people and you have been taught to put your trust in the arm of flesh.

The thought that the Lord might allow a true prophet to teach a false doctrine or teach something presumptuously that God did not reveal to him is a terrifying thought because it puts the responsibility of discerning truth and error back on to YOU When in fact you have been given a false sense of security that you can just blindly follow the brethren to keep on the straight and narrow.

This brings us to one of the most solemn commandments that God has given to his people. It is contained in the closing passage in the 12th chapter of Deuteronomy.

It is as follows-

What thing soever I command you,
observe to do it:
thou shalt not add thereto,
nor diminish from it
.”

From the following chapter which we are about to review, we find that God sometimes actually uses true prophets to reveal his true commandments and then he allows them to speak presumptuously and contradict his previous commandment.

He does this to test whether his people will stay true and faithful to the true commandments the Lord has already revealed or whether they can be seduced into adding to or diminishing from established commandments!

For instance, the law of the gospel which was revealed in 1831 in section 42 clearly states that men are to have ONE WIFE.

That is part of celestial law and the law of consecration.

It was reiterated in section 49 and eventually reiterated again in a section prepared by Oliver Cowdery, but later replace with section 132.

In Nauvoo, Joseph Smith began teaching a different, law that requires multiple wives. It contradicted the celestial law of monogamy contained in the LAW laid out in section 42. It was presented as a higher law.

When the contradictory doctrine began to be introduced, some people held firm and stayed true to the covenants they entered into in Kirtland when section 42 was revealed while others chose to “add thereto or diminish from” that which had previously been taught by the Lord God of Israel.

The above commandment at the end of chapter 12 was the preliminary commandment leading up to another missing piece of the prophet puzzle. I refer to it as the 3rd cornerstone prophecy.

It is as follows-

The Lord Your God Proveth You

If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder,

2 And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them;

3 Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the Lord your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

4 Ye shall walk after the Lord your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.

5 And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the Lord your God,
which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the Lord thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee.


The above prophecy and warning teaches that God sometimes uses his prophets to try and deceive us to see if we will be true to God and his commandments or to the messenger.

It also provides a third forewarning about the death of the last servant!

It adds yet another point to the biblical profile of the Davidic Servant we have been creating.

It informs us that God uses this last great servant to TEST the Saints, to see if his servant can turn them away from the Lord God.

He uses his servant to see if the saints will remain true and faithful to the true commandments and covenants contained in the word of God or if they will depart from them by putting their faith in the prophet.

The lesson we need to learn is that we are responsible to discern the MESSAGES that come from God through his messenger, we are NOT supposed to categorically and blindly worship and obey the MESSANGER!

What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.”

The fulness of the Gospel, the New and Everlasting Covenant and the LAW of the Gospel had all been given long before the defilement of the Kirtland Temple in 1836, yet in 1842 Joseph Smith began teaching a secret doctrine about the need to have multiple wives, a doctrine that stated that instead of having only one wife, priesthood holders needed to be sealed to multiple wives in order to gain the highest salvation.

This strange new doctrine contradicted the previous revelations and doctrines contained in the revelations Joseph Smith had already given as well as the rest of the four standard works.

Section 132 is full of contradictions and falsehoods. It contradicts the law of the gospel that had been given in 1831 and it changes the definition of several gospel terms. It added new doctrine and changes previous doctrine.

Section 132 adds thereto and diminishes from the holy and infallible word of God.

It resulted in another gospel being taught.

Paul warned us that another gospel would be introduced. He knew that “signs” would be produced and that the strength of the testimony of an angel would be used to persuade people to depart from the truth.

But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.”
Gal. 1: 8-9

Speaking of the mystery of iniquity and how God will eventually consume the wicked one in the latter days, Paul reveals that God will send a strong delusion upon those that believe not the truth but rather take pleasure in unrighteousness.

For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.

8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:

9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,

10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:

12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. 2 Thes. 2: 11

The God of the Bible uses prophets to test us

Perhaps one of the most poignant bible stories for illustrating the need for personal revelation and the fact that God does allow prophets to lead people astray in order to test them, is found in 1 Kings 13.

The story line is so remarkable that I am not going to tell it in detail, you simply need to read it yourself. To summarize however, a man of God who had received direct revelation from God had been commanded to NOT do something while on a journey.

He was then approached during his journey by another prophet who told him that he should in fact do it.

When the first prophet declared that the Lord had commanded him not to do it, the second prophet assured him that the Lord had changed his mind and told him that an angel of the Lord had thus appeared and rescinded the commandment of the Lord.

At this, the first prophet accepted the invitation to do what the Lord had commanded him to NOT do.

As a result, the Lord had a lion destroy the first prophet from off the face of the earth.

So much for God never allowing prophets to lead anyone astray.

So much for angels legitimately appearing to revoke a previous commandment of God without God himself revoking it.

So much for the God of Modern Mormonism and his associated teachings regarding the infallibility of prophets. That doctrine cannot be found in the holy and infallible word of God.

[BTW read the above passages from the JST. It provides clarification as to why the Lord had the angel and the prophet tempt the first prophet…. “that I may prove him“]

Succession

Those that dig deeply enough into church history realize that the succession issue was really not just about priesthood right or seniority or office, it was about the spiritual wife doctrine that had been introduced into the church.

People like Joseph’s brother Samuel Smith, President William Marks, President William Law and President Sidney Rigdon and some members of the high council were a threat to those other leading brethren who had embraced the spiritual wife doctrine and refused to acknowledge their sin and repent.

If you are well acquainted with the life of Joseph Smith, you may be aware of the fact that his introduction of the spiritual wife doctrine contained in section 132 is what caused him to be chastened by the rod of angry men and to be put to death by a secret combination of people from both in and out of the church.

One of the amazing things that we learn from the history of the church is that when people like Hyrum Smith and Mary Ann Lightner were initially skeptical about the doctrine and questioned Joseph about it, instead of proving it from the scriptures, Joseph would promise them a SIGN or a WONDER to prove it.

Lets review the first two verses of Deuteronomy 13 again-

If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them. Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet

A prophet can teach false doctrine and provide signs and wonders in an effort to seduce people to follow after false doctrines and false Gods.

The above three prophesies in 2nd Samuel 7, Deuteronomy 13 and Deuteronomy 18 provide an amazing biblical profile of the David Servant who was to be like Moses in the latter days, however, there is one more that provides the forth cornerstone which vividly supports this theme and prepares us for the final capstone prophecy.

It is provided in the 16th chapter of Leviticus and it is called the atonement statute.

It is in this amazing chapter that we are given a prophecy about how two prophets depicted as two goats as well as other offerings depicting other servants would provide an intercessory atonement offering in behalf of apostate latter day Israel in the latter days.

This is where the tables are turned on each of us and all of the critics that are passing judgment on the prophet Joseph Smith, because it is in this prophetic enactment and other supporting prophecies that we are informed that the reason the latter day prophet and his spokesman are committing transgression is because the sins of the rebellious, apostate latter day children of Israel. Is there any reason why this would not include you and me? Those sins were artificially placed on the two servants.

It is OUR sins, the sins of latter day Israel that Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon and others of their associates were acting out!

This should be very humbling for each of us to take into consideration. It isn’t just the outward sins of Joseph Smith that are really being revealed and judged, it is ours!

Once you come to this realization, you need to repent of any anger and judgment that you currently have towards God’s Seer, Spokesman and others of the first elders of the last kingdom.

Here are a few passages from the atonement statute.

AND the LORD spake unto Moses after the death of the two sons of Aaron, when they offered before the LORD, and died;

2 And the LORD said unto Moses, Speak unto Aaron thy brother, that he come not at all times into the holy place within the vail before the mercy seat, which is upon the ark; that he die not: for I will appear in the cloud upon the mercy seat.

3
Thus shall Aaron come into the holy place: with a young bullock for a sin offering,
and a ram for a burnt offering.

4 He shall put on the holy linen coat, and he shall have the linen breeches upon his flesh, and shall be girded with a linen girdle, and with the linen mitre shall he be attired: these are holy garments; therefore shall he wash his flesh in water, and so put them on.

5
And he shall take of the congregation of the children of Israel two kids of the goats for a sin offering, (a joint sin offering! ) and one ram for a burnt offering.

6 And Aaron shall offer his bullock of the sin offering, which is for himself, and make an atonement for himself, and for his house.

7
And he shall take the two goats, and present them before the LORD at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.

8 And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; (both goats were equally clean and acceptable) one lot for the LORD, and the other lot for the scapegoat.

9
And Aaron shall bring the goat upon which the LORD’s lot fell, and offer him for a sin offering.

10 But the goat, on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat, shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make an atonement with him, and to let him go for a scapegoat into the wilderness.

11 And Aaron shall bring the bullock of the sin offering, which is for himself, and shall make an atonement for himself, and for his house, and shall kill the bullock of the sin offering which is for himself:

16
And he shall make an atonement for the holy place, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions in all their sins: and so shall he do for the tabernacle of the congregation, that remaineth among them in the midst of their uncleanness. (section 110 reveals that God accepted the offering of the Seer and the Spokesman because of and despite the transgressions and sins of latter day Israel and in the midst of the uncleanness of the congregation.)

20 ¶ And when he hath made an end of reconciling the holy place, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and the altar, he shall bring the live goat:

21
And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness:

22 And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness.

33 And he shall make an atonement for the holy sanctuary, and he shall make an atonement for the tabernacle of the congregation, and for the altar, and he shall make an atonement for the priests, and for all the people of the congregation.

34 And this shall be an everlasting statute unto you, to make an atonement for the children of Israel for all their sins once a year. And he did as the LORD commanded Moses.

Most prophecy scholars try to force the above prophecy to fit the atonement of Christ. Some claim both goats represent Christ which is inconsistent within the storyline enactment since they are both chosen at the same time to fill different offerings at the same time. It is illogical and inconsistent to have two physical goats simultaneously doing two different things. One requiring a blood sacrifice while the other requiring a living sacrifice.

Other interpretations acknowledge that two separate individual are represented in the two goats and claim the scapegoat represents Satan while the blood sacrifice goat represents Christ. The problems with that are significant and numerous. Suffice it to say that Satan does not qualify as a perfect and acceptable offering that began on equal footing with the Savior of the world… Nor could he have easily had his calling switched with that of Christ as that interpretation would have us believe!

Once I began to read each of the above mentioned four cornerstone prophesies in context of the other three, other Old Testament prophecies began jumping out of the woodwork and the pieces of the prophet puzzle began to fall in place.

Ezekiel 14 began to make perfect sense to me.

Interestingly enough, Joseph Smith taught a sermon to the Relief Society in May of 1842 using Ezekiel 14 as his text during the time when he was apparently taking some of them as plural wives! This is interesting in view of the fact that the relief society had to be suspended later in 1842 because Emma was using it as a platform for preaching against polygamy!

The history of the church records-

Prest. Smith rose; read the 14th Chap. Of Ezekiel–Said the Lord had declared by the prophet that the people should each one stand for himself and depend on no man or men in that state of corruption of the Jewish Church–that righteous persons could only deliver their own souls–applied it to the present state of the church of Latter Day Saints

How interesting that Joseph appeared to be warning the Relief Society about relying on others when each person must deliver their own souls as far as discerning truth!

A passage from the text of Ezekiel is worth reiterating to provide context to the prophets remarks and the four cornerstone prophesies we have reviewed-

1 Then came certain of the elders of Israel unto me, and sat before me.

2 And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,

3 Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their heart, and put the stumbling block of their iniquity before their face; should I be inquired of at all by them?

4 Therefore speak unto them, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Every man of the house of Israel that setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumbling block of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to the prophet; I the Lord will answer him that cometh, [thru that prophet] according to the multitude of his idols;

5 That I may take the house of Israel in their own heart, because they are all estranged from me through their idols.

6 Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord God; Repent, and turn yourselves from your idols; and turn away your faces from all your abominations.

Amazing.

If you inquire of a prophet with an impure and idolatrous heart, God will have the prophet answer you according to the desire of your sinful heart!

Interestingly, one of the plural wives of Joseph Smith, while speaking on the subject in Utah, admitted that she had dreamed of being the wife of Joseph Smith and felt guilty of it, long before he proposed to her.

If this seems like hard doctrine, and you are thinking that the Old Testament is harsher than the New Testament and modern revelation, please review the prophetic revelation and stern warning below that was given in the book of commandments in 1829.

And thus, if the people of this generation harden not their hearts, I will work a reformation among them, and I will put down all lyings, and deceivings, and priestcrafts, and envyings, and strifes, and idolatries, and sorceries, and all manner of iniquities, and I will establish my church, like unto the church which was taught by my disciples in the days of old.

And now if this generation do harden their hearts against my word, behold I will deliver them up unto Satan, for he reigneth and hath power at this time, for he hath got great hold upon the hearts of the people of this generation: and not far from the iniquities of Sodom and Gomorrah, do they come at this time: and behold the sword of justice hangeth over their heads, and if they persist in the hardness of their hearts, the time cometh that it must fall upon them.

Behold I tell you these things even as I also told the people of the destruction of Jerusalem, and my word shall be verified at this time as it hath hitherto been verified..” (Book of Commandments Chapter 4)

Just as Moses provided an atonement, took upon him the sins of Israel and was prevented from entering into the promised land and then put to death for his transgression, so would the latter day one like Moses!

The following doctrine and prophesy contained in section 132 contradicts the Bible, Book of Mormon and all of the other published revelations that Joseph Smith brought forth-

Therefore, prepare thy heart to receive and obey the instructions which I am about to give unto you; for all those who have this law revealed unto them must obey the same. For behold, I reveal unto you a new and an everlasting covenant; and if ye abide not that covenant, then are ye damned; for no one can reject this covenant and be permitted to enter into my glory.”

Imagine that, a false prophecy embedded in a false doctrine foretelling that those who have had this new doctrine revealed to them about the necessity of having plural wives sealed to them, preventing them from entering into the highest glory if they refuse to live it! In other words, a false commandment is being given here.

Is it a true doctrine and a true commandment or was Joseph Smith speaking presumptuously?

Do you fear the Lords anointed more than you fear God?

Will it become an issue again when the marvelous work begins?

Will it become a stumbling block for many?

After debating with people who are to wise to be taught for years on this issue, I can guarantee this is going to become an issue when the strange act takes place. The natural man is inherently polygamous by nature.

There may be other false doctrines introduced as well but this particular one seems to be the one that ancient prophecy points out as the primary one that was at the center of controversy in getting latter day Ephraim to act out their whoring spirit.

Read the entire book of Hosea to see how latter day Ephraim, like ancient Ephraim, would commit whoredom and depart from the Lord (1:2) because they have forgotten the law of God (3:6). Indeed the spirit of whoredoms would cause them to err (3:12) because “they walked after the COMMANDMENT! (511) Which commandment? Obviously a false commandment which caused them to err!

We have now reviewed from Deuteronomy 18 that a latter day prophet like Moses would first utter the true word of the Lord that the people are to receive and then he will prophesy falsely and die!

We have also reviewed three other prophecies that provide confirmation.

Do you think the prophecies in 2nd Samuel and Deuteronomy 18 and Deuteronomy 13 and the prophetic enactment in the atonement statute in Leviticus 16 are the only passages that suggest that a prophet of God can transgress and yet retain the mercy of God and even be restored to their calling?

We also have the example of how Moses transgressed.

That is pretty strong evidence.

However, once you have identified the general scenario, you will be surprised how many other scriptural witnesses will jump out of the scriptures from other prophecies and Davidic lamentations.

Here are a few,

  • Malachi 2 prophesies about the one that “The law of truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips; he walked with me in peace and equity, and did turn many away from iniquity” But forebodes when he sees that eventually this Davidic Servant “departed out of the way;
    and “caused many to stumble at the law
    and
    “corrupted the covenant of Levi.

    He notes that “an abomination is committed in Israel and in Jerusalem; for Judah hath profaned the holiness of the Lord which he loved, and hath married the daughter of a strange god.

  • In sync with the atonement statute enactment, Malachi notes “The Lord will cut off the man that doeth this, the master and the scholar, out of the tabernacles of Jacob, and him that offereth an offering unto the Lord of hosts.
    It appears that the “Master” blood sacrifice goat and the “Scholar” scapegoat are “cut off”.
  • The Davidic lamentation in Isaiah 49 laments “I have labored in vain.. to bring [gather] Jacob again.” But rejoices that “yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the Lord, and my God shall be my strength.” God will give him to the gentiles as a covenant, “I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles“.
  • In Jeremiah 15 the Davidic Servant laments that “thou has filled me with indignation. Why is my pain perpetual, and my wound incurable, which refuseth to be healed. But the Lord give him cause to rejoice, “Thus saith he Lord, If thou return, then will I bring thee again, and thou shalt stand before me… and they that fight against thee, but they shall not prevail against thee for I am with thee to save thee and to deliver thee… I will redeem thee out of the hand of the terrible.
  • Ezekiel 33 gives an amazing scenario where in the servant commits iniquity after getting the promise of life and must die, yet after that when the transgressing servant turns from his sin and restores the pledge and walks in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity, he is restored to life! “When I say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust in his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousnesses shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he hath committed, he shall die for it.” “Again, when I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; if he turn from his sin, and do that with is lawful and right; If the wicked restores the pledge, give again that he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die. None of his sins that he hath committed shall be mentioned unto him; he hath done tht which is lawful and right; he shall surely live.”
  • Micah 7 provides this bone chilling rendition of the scenario we have have been studying- “Woe is me! for I am as when they have gathered the summer fruits, as the grapegleanings of the vintage: there is no cluster to eat: my soul desired the firstripe fruit.
    2 The good man is perished out of the earth: and there is none upright among men: they all lie in wait for blood; they hunt every man his brother with a net.
    3 ¶ That they may do evil with both hands earnestly, the prince asketh, and the judge asketh for a reward; and the great man, he uttereth his mischievous desire: so they wrap it up.
    4 The best of them is as a brier: the most upright is sharper than a thorn hedge: the day of thy watchmen and thy visitation cometh; now shall be their perplexity.
    5 ¶ Trust ye not in a friend, put ye not confidence in a guide: keep the doors of thy mouth from her that lieth in thy bosom.
    6 For the son dishonoureth the father, the daughter riseth up against her mother, the daughter in law against her mother in law; a man’s enemies are the men of his own house.
    7 Therefore I will look unto the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me.
    8 ¶ Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me.
    9 I will bear the indignation of the Lord, because I have sinned against him, until he plead my cause, and execute judgment for me: he will bring me forth to the light, and I shall behold his righteousness.
    10 Then she that is mine enemy shall see it, and shame shall cover her which said unto me, Where is the Lord thy God? mine eyes shall behold her: now shall she be trodden down as the mire of the streets.

Are we seeing a pattern here?

After identifying Leviticus 16 as one of the missing pieces of the prophet puzzle and realizing how Gods servant takes the sins of Israel upon himself, I also realized that the “marred servant” in Isaiah 52 was also the “suffering servant” in Isaiah 53. (check the Hebrew chapter identifiers)

Furthermore, even though Isaiah 53 is typological of Christ in the 1st watch, it has a dual fulfillment and is also typological of a latter day servant in the 2nd watch.

Notice how the marred servant in 52 comes forth triumphantly to gather Israel out of Babylon yet 53 describes the first part of his ministry as an intercessory one where he bears the sins of others-

1 Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean.

2 Shake thyself from the dust; arise, and sit down, O Jerusalem: loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion.

7 ¶ How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!

8 Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the Lord shall bring again Zion. [multiple watchmen who previously quarreled will become united]

9 ¶ Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem: for the Lord hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem.

10 The Lord hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.

11 ¶ Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the Lord.

12 For ye shall not go out with haste, nor go by flight: for the Lord will go before you; and the God of Israel will be your rereward.

13 ¶ Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high.

14 As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men:

15 So shall he sprinkle [gather] many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider. (Isa 52)

1 Who hath believed our report? [is it possible that part of this unbelievable report contains some of the information we are discussing in this article?]  and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?

2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.

3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

4 ¶ Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.

8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.

9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.

10 ¶ Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.

11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.

12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. (Isa 53)

Once I had considered all four of the cornerstone prophesies itemized below and the related scriptures in the context they provided for each other, I was able to add more of the missing pieces to the prophet puzzle.

  • 2nd Samuel 7,
  • Deuteronomy 13
  • Deuteronomy 18.
  • Leviticus 16

I was finally ready to Identify and understand the fifth and final capstone prophecy that had eluded me for so many years. It is in my opinion one of the greatest prophesies about how the Marvelous Work will begin.

It is contained in Zachariah 3 & 6

Joshua The High Priest and the Branch Prophet

The amazing prophecy in Zech 3 and 6 reveals that in the latter days a BRAND (servant) that has become filthy and been cast into the fire will be retrieved from the fire despite the resisting of Satan.

This BRAND prophet that had previously committed sin will have his filthy garments removed and be made clean and restored to his previous calling and position. At this time, the Lord announces that he will bring forth another servant called the BRANCH.

1 And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him.

2 And the Lord said unto Satan, The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan; even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?

3 Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel.

4 And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment.

5 And I said, Let them set a fair mitre upon his head. So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the Lord stood by.

6 And the angel of the Lord protested unto Joshua, saying,

7 Thus saith the Lord of hosts; If thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keep my charge, then thou shalt also judge my house, and shalt also keep my courts, and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by.

8 Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, and thy fellows that sit before thee: for they are men wondered at: for, behold, I will bring forth my servant the BRANCH.

9 For behold the stone that I have laid before Joshua; upon one stone shall be seven eyes: behold, I will engrave the graving thereof, saith the Lord of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day.

10 In that day, saith the Lord of hosts, shall ye call every man his neighbour under the vine and under the fig tree. (Zech 3)

Then take silver and gold, and make crowns, and set them upon the head of Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest;

12 And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the Lord:

13 Even he shall build the temple of the Lord; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.

14 And the crowns shall be to Helem, and to Tobijah, and to Jedaiah, and to Hen the son of Zephaniah, for a memorial in the temple of the Lord.

15 And they that are far off shall come and build in the temple of the Lord, and ye shall know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me unto you. And this shall come to pass, if ye will diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God. (Zech 6)

From the above passages we learn that the two “goats” in the “atonement statute eventually come forth from the dead to finish their work!

One of these returning servants is called Joshua The High Priest. Joshua means “Jehovah Saves”. This servant is also referred to as a “BRAND” (or piece of wood and also genealogical term) which is retrieved from the fire.

The second servant that is also brought forth from the dead is called the “BRANCH“. (also a piece of wood and genealogical term)

The Brand servant who had been the scapegoat, has his filthy garments replaced with clean garments and is crowned and set as a judge over the house of the Lord.

The Branch servant, who had been the blood sacrifice goat, will build the final temple of the Lord in Zion and shall bear the glory of the Lord and shall rule upon his throne.

Notice how Zechariah points out that the counsel of peace shall be between them BOTH of these servants in the 3rd watch

This is consistent with the atonement statute that states that the two goats will offer a joint offering,

5 And he shall take of the congregation of the children of Israel two kids of the goats for a sin offering, (a joint sin offering! ) and one ram for a burnt offering.

It is also consistent with modern revelation which speaks of a joint stewardship between the Seer and Spokesman in section 36 in the 2nd watch.

And now this calling and commandment give I unto you concerning ALL MEN—That as many as shall come before MY SERVANTS SIDNEY RIGDON AND JOSEPH SMITH, JUN., embracing this calling and commandment, shall be ordained and sent forth to preach the everlasting gospel among the nations

My original seven point profile of the Davidic Servant had become significantly larger now that the four cornerstone prophecies had been combined with the final capstone prophecy, verifying that a scapegoat servant with filthy garments will be returned to the earth and made clean and given the mandate to take his rightful position, followed by the return of the BRANCH servant who made the joint atonement with him.

Below are some of the points of a more complete profile of the Davidic Servant…

  1. The Davidic Servant will Appoint the Place and Eventually Plant Israel in it.
  2. The Davidic Servant will Establish the Kingdom Forever.
  3. God puts his words in the mouth of the Servant creating a Unique Book of Scripture
  4. The Davidic Servant will build the House of the Lord.
  5. The Davidic Servant will be sealed up to Eternal Life and thereby Become a Son of God. “
  6. The Davidic Servant will provide an atonement for rebellious latter day Israel.
  7. The Davidic Servant will Commit Iniquity because of the sins places upon him
  8. The Iniquity Committed will be a false teaching which is spoken presumptuously.
  9. The Davidic Servant will be Chastened and Killed by Men for the iniquity.
  10. The Davidic Servat retains the Mercy of the Lord Because his sins were placed upon him artificially.
  11. The Davidic Servant who is called the BRANCH PROPHET (Blood Sacrifice Goat- Seer) will be returned to the earth, be made clean, build the final temple, rule upon his throne, and will reign jointly with the BRAND PROPHET (Scapegoat- Spokesman)

The following diagram depicts the four cornerstone prophesies in conjunction with the capstone prophecy as the missing pieces of the Prophet Puzzle that enable all of the other pieces to fall into place.


Eventually over 50 Old and New Testament scriptures surfaced that provided evidences that the Davidic Servant profile depicted in the four cornerstone prophesies were true. Some of them are depicted on the above picture.

They also added other points to the profile explaining why the Davidic Servant committed iniquity and why the mercy of the Lord did not part from him and why he is able to return and have his filthy garments made white and to complete his calling and gather Israel.


Some Mormon prophesy scholars are quick to point out that Joseph Smith is the one mighty and strong as depicted in section Isaiah 28:1-6, however, I have yet to see one of them acknowledge that verses 7-13 in Isaiah 28 identifies the mighty and strong prophet (Seer) and the priest (spokesman) as having eventually erred in vision and stumbled in judgment, leaving all tables full of vomit and filthiness and no place clean because the people would not hear! This results in latter day Israel falling backwards and being broken, snared and taken.

A key word search for the word erred in the D&C takes us to a prophecy that God’s latter day servants would

1- Err and sin while in their weakness

2- Eventually their sins would be made known

3- They would be chastened that they might repent!

4- They would become strong

(see section 1:24-28)

There are a host of supporting scriptures to indicate that Gods Servant[s] are weak during the 2nd watch when a portion of God’s word goes forth but they are STRONG during the 3rd watch when God’s WORD goes forth in POWER.

Needless to say, there are numerous other supporting scriptures in the book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants, many of which are provided in the threewatches blog, but I left most of them out of this article because I wanted to focus mainly on Old and New Testament passages to show non-Mormons that you don’t even need the book of Mormon or modern revelation to prove that Joseph Smith is the great last prophet spoken of in the bible.

The biblical evidence for Joseph Smith is beyond overwhelming!

Praise the Lord God almighty for the Lords Seer, Spokesman and others of the first laborers of the last kingdom.

They will return and complete their callings.

As watchmen on the wall who are diligent in warning Israel, they will be restored to their clean garments that they had prior to offering up an atonement and they will again cleanse their garments from the blood and sins of this generation by giving the last warning.

We need to recognize them and discern every message they give us that is inspired of the Lord, not adding to or diminishing from the holy and infallible word of God.

Amen and amen.

(the final part of this series is forthcoming… keep watching)

.

.

.

.

Misc information possibly related to this article

Statues & Idolatry, an important aspect of Mormonism

And the Lord commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and judgments, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go over to possess it.

15 Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves; for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that the Lord spake unto you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire:

16 Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female,


“CALM AS A SUMMERS MORNING”
HYRUM AND JOSEPH SMITH
BRONZE EQUESTRIAN MONUMENT- JUST ONE OF NUMEROUS STATUES IN NAUVOO
ALSO TITLED
“PROPHETS LAST RIDE”
Latter day Saints have become a statue building people. They probably generated more statues per year than any other religion except the Catholic Church. Strange how we assume that even though God commanded ancient Israel not to make graven images, it is somehow not offensive to him in the latter days!

Graven Images and the prophecy that latter day Israel would worship the moon sun and stars

19 And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which the Lord thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven.

Deuteronomy 4



Evidence indicating that Joseph Repented of Polygamy just before he Died

From April of 1841 to November of 1843 historians believe that Joseph smith took on 31 plural wives with the majority of them acquired in 1843. Then, all at once, it all stopped very abruptly. From December of 43 until his death at the end of June of 1844 no more wives were sealed to him. Although he seemed to be picking up steam through 1843 he immediately stopped and not one wife was taken during the last 7 months of his life.

At least two reputable people claimed that Joseph had admitted to them that he had made a terrible mistake on the polygamy issue and that he had repented of it and that it would curse the church if it could not be put down.

The following excerpt from David Whitmer contains some interesting perspective concerning this-

Excerpts from An Address to all believers in Christ by David Whitmer

(The following excerpts show that many of the concepts in this article were apparent to various people way back at the time of the succession issue.)

All, or nearly all, of the pioneers of the Reorganization who were living in Nauvoo in 1843 and 1844 have now passed away, and you see what time has done in this regard. To-day nearly all of the Reorganization do not believe that Brother Joseph received that revelation on polygamy, or ever had any connection whatever with the doctrine of polygamy, openly and firmly denying this fact; some through ignorance, and some who should not be so ignorant about this matter. They charge it all to Brigham Young. Now, all honest men will understand, after they have read this pamphlet through, that I am doing God’s will in bringiug the truth to light concerning the errors of Brother Joseph. They will see that it is necessary, as he is the man Who introduced many doctrines of error into the Church of Christ; and his errors must be made manifest and the truth brought to light, in order that all Latter Day Saints shall cease to put their trust m this man, believing his doctrines as if they were from the mouth of God.

I quote from Volume X, Number 1, of The True Latter Day Saints* Herald, page 24, from an article written by Isaac Sheen, who was a leader in establishing the Reorganization. ” the Salt Lake apostles said “excuse themselves by saying that Joseph Smith taught the spiritual ” wife doctrine, but this excuse is as weak as their excuse concerning ” the ancient kings and patriarchs. Joseph Smith repented of his connection with this doctrine, and said that it was of the devil. He caused the revelation on that subject to be burned, and when he voluntarily came ” to Nauvoo and resigned himself into the arms of his enemies, he said ” that he was going to Carthage to die. At that time he also said that, if it “had not been for that accursed spiritual wife doctrine, he would not “have come to that. By his conduct at that time he proved the “sincerity of his repentance, and of his profession as a prophet. If ” Abraham and Jacob by repentance can obtain salvation and exaltation, “so can Joseph -Smith.” Here we have Isaac Sheen’s testimony as follows : That Joseph Smith did have connection with this spiritual wife doctrine; that he repented of it just before his death, having come to the conclusion that the revelation was not of God, but was of the devil ; and lie caused the revelation to be burned. Brother Sheen does not state how long Brother Joseph had connection with this doctrine, but of course we suppose from the time the revelation was given, July 12, 1843, until the time of his repentance just before his death, in June, 1844; at which time he concluded that the revelation was not’ of God, but was of the devil, and caused it to be burned, voluntarily giving himself up to his enemies, saying he was going to Carthage to die….

On page 22, in the same number of the Herald, is an article of like testimony, by Wm. Marks, who, as he states in his article, was Presiding Elder at Nauvoo in 1844, when Brother Joseph was killed, and was with Brother Joseph up to his death. His testimony is the same as that given in the two foregoing articles.

He states that Brother Joseph said to him just before his death, concernng polygamy as follows : ” He (Joseph) said it eventually would prove the overthrow of the church, and we should soon be obliged to leave *’ the United States unless it could be speedily put down. He was satisfied that it was a cursed doctrine, and that there must be every exertion made to put it down, etc.”

The reader will please notice this fact in regard to Wm. Marks’ statement ; and that is the time when Brother Joseph told him that polygamy must be put down in the church. The time when Brother Joseph said this to Wm. Marks, was just before his (Joseph’s) death. \ Polygamy had then been in the church almost a year, and it was just before his death that Brother Joseph saw that polygamy was a cursed doctrine, and repented of his connection with that doctrine — believing then that the revelation was not of God, but was of the devil —and he then caused the revelation to be burned.

The foregoing evidence is*sufficient to convince any one that. Brother Joseph received the revelation on polygamy; that he gave the doctrine to the church; that he had connection with this spiritual wife doctrine himself; and afterwards became convinced that this revelation was of the devil, and repented of this iniquity just before his death.”

[ A fascinating word search pertaining to the power of the atonement statute and the intercession of Gods servants in being PRESERVED to come forth at a later time and in PRESERVING others under the law to come forth at a later time, is conducted using the word PRESERVED which will take you into Isaiah, the parable in Jacob and into modern revelation! ]

Click here for part seven

Advertisements

21 Responses to Four Steps in Losing Your Naiveté- Part 6

  1. Hell-raising Love Monster says:

    My wife and I read half the article last night at home (by candle light since we have no electricity). Our eyes were opened to the greatness of the prophet Joseph in taking upon himself our sins, and preserving and lengthening out our days.

    My wife has contemplated for the past few years taking her name off the records of the church. She hasn’t been angry at Joseph, but at the men who are blind, like myself, my father, her father, and many community and church leaders. She has lost tolerance for men who act in all piousness in their church callings and businesses, and then show incredible neglect to their children and wives. But after reading about the atonement and intercessory doctrines put forth in this article, she desires to be part of the church “in all its sins”, to be cleansed when the prophet returns. She saw that she was “cause” in the matter of the current state of the church, similar, I am sure, to the way in which Joseph saw that he was cause in the matter of the sins of the church. Not “cause” as meaning to be blamed for what happened, but “cause” as a place to stand that gives a person power to do something about it. She saw that leaving the church would be leaving her mess to be dealt with by others.

    I haven’t seen totally what she is seeing, but she was very excited after reading the article, even to the point of tears.

    She also saw that atonements are being offered all the time. That we take on sins that are not ours, and in the transaction, we become transition figures to purify a lineage. We see this in our children who have “strayed”. They have taken on sins that we (the parents) have the nerve to commit. In this sense an atonement is a crystallization of a particular evil that is not seen in solution. Once it is “atoned” for, the sin crystallizes out of solution, then all those involved can see the cause they are in the matter, and the solution can be cleaned, and true repentance can be gifted.

    Thank you for another great article.

  2. Hell-raising Love Monster says:

    I meant that our children take on sins of their parents, which parents HAVEN”T the nerve to commit. In other words, the children bring out of the closet the sins of the parents, and give both parents and children and opportunity to see the sin, its devastating effects, and the gift of repentance in granted to both parties. In that regard children effect and atonement for the parents.

  3. Love Monster-

    I am quite affected by Mrs Love Monster’s response to the article.

    I loved hearing her thoughts and feelings on it.

    Thank you very much for sharing it.

    The following comment IMO is quite profound

    “My wife has contemplated for the past few years taking her name off the records of the church. She hasn’t been angry at Joseph, but at the men who are blind, like myself, my father, her father, and many community and church leaders.

    She has lost tolerance for men who act in all piousness in their church callings and businesses, and then show incredible neglect to their children and wives.

    But after reading about the atonement and intercessory doctrines put forth in this article, she desires to be part of the church “in all its sins”, to be cleansed when the prophet returns.

    She saw that she was “cause” in the matter of the current state of the church, similar, I am sure, to the way in which Joseph saw that he was cause in the matter of the sins of the church.”

    I for one, don’t feel like I totally comprehend the principle of “atonement” and how it applies in all the various levels and applications in our lives. But I have become increasingly aware of it and the fact that I am am part of the “cause”.

    Another thought… When I first came across the passages speaking about the atonement Moses made for the children of Israel I was shocked and offended as I thought the concept of atonement only pertained to the infinite atonement of Christ and it seemed blasphemous to me that mortal men could offer atonement’s of a lessor and typological order for their fellow men.

    clearly I was wrong.

    One of the things I have pointed out in the last part of this series which I hope to post within a week or so, is that as angry and frustrated as I get at many of the leaders that have lived since the time of the succession issue, at all levels, is that most of them were not alive at the time of the rejecting of the gospel. Most of them, like us, were born into the apostate church or converted to it without anything else to compare it to… they inherited the apostasy.

    I am not saying our generation is any better than the generation living in the 1820-40’s, for all I know, they were a better generation than ours, nevertheless, all of the leaders in the church today were born into an apostate church living in an apostate world.

    Why would we expect more of them under the circumstances?

    for that reason alone, we need to be careful about the anger and judgment that we direct towards those in authority.

    If anything, they need our compassion.

    Whenever I begin feeling angry or judgmental towards Joseph and others I think of the sins being put upon him and Sidney and others and try to redirect responsibility toward myself.

    Quite a paradigm shift!

    Heavy stuff..

    Thanks again for the comments

    Watcher

  4. Hell-raising Love Monster says:

    Since reading all your posts, what’s there for me is a lot of anger toward Brigham Young. I am not angry at the same people my wife has been angry at. By the way, she did experience compassion toward those leaders in the church after reading your article last night.

    Like I said, I don’t understand everything she experienced. I should let her talk, and not be an middle man.

    Anyway, about my feelings of Anger toward BY; I don’t want to go back to church, I feel it is BY’s church. I don’t want to go to the temple and go through those “oaths” agian. I don’t see that BY was that godly. I clearly see that I am judging him, but that doesn’t take away the anger.

    I was reading “Approaching Zion” by Hugh Nibley the other day. There is a chapter called “We Will Still Weep For Zion”. And I thought that surely as smart as Hugh was, he must have picked up on the apostasy of the Kirtland days, and Nauvoo days. I wonder if the “brethren” are protecting a special interest, and are hiding the truth. Why do they not be responsible for the blight on the history of the church, and go from there, instead of lying about it? I know that my question should be directed to them, and not to you. But I tell it to you to express my feelings.

    These things make me angry. There are very intelligent scholars, and they gloss over or lie about these things.

  5. Love Monster-

    As you know from my articles, I sometimes share your frustration and anger regarding brother Brig.

    Perhaps some of my bias in my articles has fanned the flames of your anger towards him.

    If so, shame on me for showing my opinion and bias if I did so beyond stating the facts as they are presented in history and in scripture AND shame on you for putting any stock in my opinion.

    My opinion and 50 cents will buy you a coke if you happen to be at the right machine at the right time.. but that is about it.

    If your anger with him is based solely on the facts based on history and on the doctrines he taught vs the doctrines taught in the word of God, then good for you!

    His blood runs through my veins..

    I have strong motivation to see things in a positive spin regarding who he is and what he did.. nevertheless, despite the strong bias I should have in his favor, I struggle with the doctrines he taught and some of the things he did.

    I have often wondered if he will kick my ass when he gets back for the things I have said…

    I don’t know what else to say regarding the topic of Brigham Young other than to point out that if God has put blindness on Israel, including the Seer and the Spokesman and everyone else including you and me, then I suppose BY will have as much opportunity to repent as any of the rest of us when the 3rd watch begins.

    I take comfort in the fact that he was not one of the first laborers of the last kingdom and he was never ordained a High Priest nor did he have the heavens opened to him, that would indicate that he did not fall from a perfect knowledge… perhaps he sinned “cheaply”, like the rest of us do.

    Regarding your ongoing dilemma about the modern corporate church, I’m sure you and the Lord will get it worked out. LOL

    Watcher

  6. Hell-raising Love Monster says:

    I was riding my back home yesterday afternoon, after responding about my anger about Brother Brigham, and in my pondering, I think I saw what my wife saw. If I am angry with any prophet, that is a sure sign that I am guilty of prophet worship. He’s not being the way I think he should be! So I repent. Brigham showed up the way he showed up. He was great at “keeping the wolves out of the flock” as you said in another post. But as judgment goes, it takes one to know one, which would indicate that he too was a wolf. I’m not saying that is bad or good. It simply is what it is, and we are to worship the Lord God, and him only, and pass no judgment upon another.

    So I repent, and I will not be angry at prophets anymore. I see now that in a way that is my way of “steadying the Ark”.

  7. NEPT says:

    It IS amazing, Watcher, how so many pieces of the puzzle start to surface once the four cornerstones and the capstone pieces have been laid down.

    There were a few additional verses in Ezekiel 14 that could probably be included with this discussion. Verses 7-11 follow the few that you shared above:

    7 For every one of the house of Israel, or of the stranger that sojourneth in Israel, which separateth himself from me, and setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to a prophet to enquire of him concerning me; I the Lord will answer him by myself:
    8 And I will set my face against that man, and will make him a sign and a proverb, and I will cut him off from the midst of my people; and ye shall know that I am the Lord.
    9 And if the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I the Lord have deceived that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand upon him, and will destroy him from the midst of my people Israel.
    10 And they shall bear the punishment of their iniquity: the punishment of the prophet shall be even as the punishment of him that seeketh unto him;

    11 That the house of Israel may go no more astray from me, neither be polluted any more with all their transgressions; but that they may be my people, and I may be their God, saith the Lord God.

    —–

    I love how the “one who is like Moses” is also typological of Christ, as was Moses himself. In effect, three atonements–ancient, meridian, end times–the meridian being infinite and eternal. Knowing this really enforces the following versed in 1 Cointhians 10 (pay special attention to verse 11):

    1 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;
    2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;
    3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat;
    4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink; for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them; and that Rock was Christ.
    5 But with many of them God was not well pleased; for they were overthrown in the wilderness.
    6 Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.
    7 Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.
    8 Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.
    9 Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents.
    10 Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.
    11 Now, all these things happened unto them for ensamples; and they were written for our admonition also, and for an admonition for those upon whom the end of the world shall come.

  8. NEPT says:

    I forgot to ask you, Watcher, if you could post some evidence that Joseph attempted to convince Hyrum and Mary Ann Lightner through “signs and wonders”. Not that I don’t believe you, I just would find it interesting to see actual examples in light of the scriptures that were shared regarding this piece of the puzzle.

  9. NEPT says:

    On a more humorous note, something you said, Watcher, made me chuckle just a little bit. You said that BY’s “blood runs through your veins”. Well, if you’re familiar with the Lord of the Rings books, Aragorn is destined to be a king because of his bloodline. However, he is hesitant to claim the throne because his forefather King Isildur defeated the dark lord Sauron and claimed the “one ring” that Sauron had crafted to control the hearts of men. Isildur was supposed to destroy the ring, but he succumbed to the power of the ring and was consequently killed. Aragorn was afraid he would suffer the same fate, thus he went into hiding as to avoid taking the throne. At one point he says,

    “The same blood runs through my veins.”

    But luckily, for all involved, Aragorn saddled up and led his people to battle, and the ring was destroyed.

    Watcher, are you my Aragorn? LOL

  10. Love Monster

    Although I have alluded to the “throw down their tower and scatter their watchman” prophecy in section 101 and hinted at what I think it is referring to that will take place in the 3rd watch in previous posts, I had never associated it with the following OT passage that you associated it with,

    “thus saith the Lord of hosts, THEY SHALL BUILD, BUT I WILL THROW DOWN; and they shall call them, The border of wickedness, and, The people against whom the Lord hath indignation forever.”

    I was blown away at the exact phrase “throw down” in both passages.

    Great catch!

    Thanks for sharing

    Watcher

  11. Love Monster

    You said

    “He was great at “keeping the wolves out of the flock” as you said in another post.”

    Actually I did not say Brig was good at keeping the wolves out of the flock, I quote what he said. He claimed he was simply trying to keep the wolves out of the flock when he challenged the authority of some of those claiming to have the right.

    It seems to me that he was characterizing Sidney Rigdon as one of the “wolves” which I strongly disagree with.

    You also siad,

    “If I am angry with any prophet, that is a sure sign that I am guilty of prophet worship.”

    I really think your observation is profound.

    If we are led astray we have no one to blame but our selves.

    The fact that we are angry at them implies that we are putting the total blame on the leader which does indeed imply that we falsely assume they should be infallible and that we can blindly follow them without needing to exorcise discernment. That is imo prophet worship.

    Watcher

  12. NEPT

    you said-

    “It IS amazing, Watcher, how so many pieces of the puzzle start to surface once the four cornerstones and the capstone pieces have been laid down.

    There were a few additional verses in Ezekiel 14 that could probably be included with this discussion. Verses 7-11 follow the few that you shared above:

    ….And if the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I the Lord have deceived that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand upon him, and will destroy him from the midst of my people Israel.”

    The reason I did not quote those verses with the other ones in that chapter is because I meant to provide additional commentary on them but then forgot.

    You might find it interesting to note that the JST makes a very important change in the following verse.

    “….And if the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I the Lord have [NOT] deceived that prophet”

    Although God will send strong delusion upon the Saints using other people and spirits and although he will turn a rebellious people over to Satan and although he will send lying spirits to prophesy falsely though certain prophets, GOD HIMSELF NEVER DIRECTLY LIES AND DECEIVES PEOPLE IN HIS DIRECT COMMUNICATION WITH THEM. HE CANNOT LIE.

    It is against the law of heaven and againts the nature and attributes of a perfected being.

    It seems to me that those protestants who claim the bible is perfect and infallible are forced to believe in a God that lies to people deceives them directly.

    Those changes JS made provide another evidence of how incredibly inspired he was before the atonement statute went into effect and began proving who would weigh all of his words against the word of God.

    Thank you for bringing up those verses.

    Watcher.

  13. NEPT

    You said

    ” forgot to ask you, Watcher, if you could post some evidence that Joseph attempted to convince Hyrum and Mary Ann Lightner through “signs and wonders”. Not that I don’t believe you, I just would find it interesting to see actual examples in light of the scriptures that were shared regarding this piece of the puzzle.”

    Yep. I’ll do it tomorrow. it is late and I need to hit the sack. Just got back from a delightful dinning in Brigham City with a group Mrs Watchers old high school friends.

    Watcher

  14. NEPT says:

    Thanks for clarifying the “NOT” JST change. I meant to include it in my post, but it was a pretty late night for me too!

    The point I was attempting to make was that, although the Lord does not deceive the prophet, nevertheless he is deceived, and his “reward” is the same as that of the rebellious (and deceived) people. That is, he is destroyed (scattered) along with Israel.

  15. Mrs Love Monster says:

    Dear onewhoiswatching: thank you for your contribution to my life and the life of my family/posterity

    The verdict is not in yet, and I daresay that your deep and thoughtful considerations have had a landmark impact uopon myself and my family for generations, through my reading of(so far, the first half)”Four Steps of Losing Your Innocence”-part 6.

    When you shared about Joseph and Moses and the Atonement Doctrince (or whatever you called it), I had an epiphany: What deep love is exhibited here by Brother Joseph and Moses: being willing to take upon themselves the sins of the people, that the arm of the Lord may be outstretched still. I saw the apostasy as part of the process; in other words, He had already contemplated the whole of it and knew before hand what they playing out of the establishment of Zion would look like. I lacked understanding, and therfore I judged, and thanks to your contribution to me, the judgement has simply fallen off and I am left in awe, wonder, love, and a burning desire to join with my brothers and sisters at church.

    I have had a strong desire to be there lately, and have lacked a context sufficiently large enough to allow me to be there and participate authentically. With what opened up to me through FSLYI-part 6, I experienced truths that have been hanging out in my world of understanding, circumscribed into one great whole, and I am subdued.

    After much searching years ago, I found a definition for “presiding” that has stood the test of time for me: “One who presides is one who takes responsibility for the outcome.” I got this out of the “Parents Guide” put out by the First Presidency years ago. I see this is what Moses and then Joseph have done, to make themselves a living atonement for the sins of the people.

    On the court of apostasy, this is what presiding will look like–the rule, not the exception. As I see it now, my part is to follow their example and be 100% responsible for the sin that has us, as a church, be under condemnation. Being responsible is not about whose at fault, or whose to blame, or whose to praise, or shame, or place guilt upon, but rather, to put myself under the yoke of Christ where making a difference only and ever happens.

    The hugest thing I saw, which I believe is the absolute core of what you distinguished is that it is adultery and idol worship to get any of our answers from outside of ourselves with the Holy Spirit bearing witness of truth to us.

    I had a profound actual experience last month that showed me that in truth, that the labor I am to perform is to “look to God and live” (1 Ne. 17:41; Alma 37:47).

    That’s it.

    And inside of that labor, I will experience openings for action from moment to moment to moment. Reality must, and can only be discerned through my own Self; the Spirit bearing witness of that truth directly to my own Soul. Looking to anyone or anything else for salvation, ie, answers, is idol worship and idolatry.

    This to me is possibly a key or fulcrum point upon which our becoming like God devolves. In my recent experience, I saw that in bringing the truth I experience/receive from God, to where the ‘rubber meets the road’, ie, day-to-day living, it absolutely does not happen with what I see with the body’s eyes or hear with the body’s ears, but rather through my spirit, which is who I really am. And I find that, more often than not, I have to pass through an ‘eye of the needle’, of sorts–to be ‘willing to give away all my sins (chiefly my false perceptions given my bodily senses and egoic judgements and perceptions)to know God’ (Alma 22:18).

    Only when I have given up everything I know to I get to see, and it is always the love of God that informs my senses here. At first I was exhilarated, and then it became tedious to have to check myself, off and on, all day long. I felt and feel much like the elders of Israel when Moses told them to prepare themselves; that in three days the Lord was to come down in the sight of them, in Mt. Sinai (Exodus 19:10-…). I heard them say, “No, you go find out what he wants, tell us, and we’ll do everything he says (to me this is a classic example of what being not willing to be responsible looks like, on the court). There are a few other awarenesses that opened up to me and considering I’ve already written so much that may or may not be coherent, I leave my comment at this.

    Again, thank you, dear brother, for affording me an opportunity to make a profound difference for myself in my experience as a member of the Church. I am going to attend this morning with my whole family, husband included. I am watching to see how it goes, and may give a report at some point in the future as to how my experience with your words is making a real live difference in my church participation. Namaste.

  16. Mrs. Love Monster

    Thank you so much for sharing your feelings.

    I feel like you are a little further down the path of internalizing the information in the post than I am.

    It is one thing to intellectually grasp a concept and another one to integrate it into ones spiritual DNA.

    I feel that much of what I write about is something I have been blessed to comprehend conceptually, but I am still waiting for the gift of charity to accompany it.

    Perhaps that is why some of my statements in some of my posts probably wreak of anger and judgment towards individual personalities rather than simply stating the facts and letting the chips fall where they will.

    Also, I love the following statement you made as it really provides an eloquent description of the “moral of the story”-

    “The hugest thing I saw, which I believe is the absolute core of what you distinguished is that it is adultery and idol worship to get any of our answers from outside of ourselves with the Holy Spirit bearing witness of truth to us.

    I had a profound actual experience last month that showed me that in truth, that the labor I am to perform is to “look to God and live” (1 Ne. 17:41; Alma 37:47). That’s it. And inside of that labor, I will experience openings for action from moment to moment to moment.

    Reality must, and can only be discerned through my own Self; the Spirit bearing witness of that truth directly to my own Soul. Looking to anyone or anything else for salvation, ie, answers, is idol worship and idolatry.”

    Well said dear sister.

    The key is not in following the prophet but rather in becoming a prophet (as in learning to receive personal revelation by looking directly to God)

    At that point the spirit confirms what we should be doing and who and when we should be following someone…

    Watcher

  17. NEPT

    You asked me to elaborate on the concept of how JS used signs and wonders in converting people to the spiritual wife doctrine.

    I really appreciate you bringing up this issue for greater discussion. It is an important one. One I probably should have spent more time on in the article.

    Unfortunately the article was too long as it was and I had to draw the line on what I could put in it.

    To paraphrase Deuteronomy 13, the Lord said that if a prophet rises up that gives a sign or wonder that actually comes to pass which entices you to go after other gods (ie the false doctrines of other gods), DO NOT HEARKEN TO THE WORDS OF THE PROPHET!

    The New Testament picks up on this theme in the sobering words of Christ, associating sign seekers as adulterers,

    “A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign…. Matt. 16: 4

    Modern Revelation also has something to say about this topic, relating certain types of the seeking of signs with lustful thoughts,

    “For verily I say unto you, they are given for the benefit of those who love me and keep all my commandments, and him that seeketh so to do; that all may be benefited that seek or that ask of me, that ask and not for a sign that they may consume it upon their lusts.” D&C 46: 9

    Lastly, those who seek for signs shall see them, but it shall be to their condemnation!

    “And he that seeketh signs shall see signs, but not unto salvation.” D&C 63: 7

    The Hebrew for “Sign” is as follows-
    1) sign, signal
    a) a distinguishing mark
    b) banner
    c) remembrance
    d) miraculous sign
    e) omen
    f) warning
    2) token, ensign, standard, miracle, proof

    The Hebrew for “Wonder” is as follows-
    1) wonder, sign, miracle, portent
    a) wonder (as a special display of God’s power)
    b) sign, token (of future event)

    One of the trademarks of Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon was their ability and desire to prove all doctrines that were revealed in modern revelation from the existing scriptures that had been accepted as the word of God, ie the Bible and Book of Mormon.

    They were both masterful at taking a gospel principle or doctrine and extracting the major relevant passages from the word of God expounding on them and they did it repeatedly on numerous doctrines up until the Spiritual Wife doctrine was introduced.

    When Joseph began practicing the spiritual wife doctrine, Sidney Rigdon, who had been given the express commandment from the Lord to prove the doctrines brought forth through Joseph Smith via the scriptures, declined to provide such documentation because you cannot justify the doctrine from the Bible or the Book of Mormon.

    As I observed in the “tribute to Sidney Rigdon” article, Rigdon simply proclaimed that Smith and the other practicing polygamists had contracted a whoring spirit.

    Curiously, Joseph Smith introduced the spiritual wife doctrine secretly to certain individuals much differently than he addressed other doctrines previously.

    He never attempted to prove its validity from the word of God in the Bible or Book of Mormon. The reason for this, again, is obvious; IT CANNOT BE JUSTIFIED FROM THE BIBLE OR BOOK OF MORMON OR ANY OF THE PREVIOUS REVELATIONS THAT HAD BEEN ACCEPTED VIA THE LAW OF COMMON CONSENT PRIOR TO THE INTRODUCTION OF THE SPIRITUAL WIFE DOCTRINE!

    Joseph Smith justified the spiritual wife doctrine from the very beginning by testifying of a very strange SIGN and/or WONDER that appeared to him.

    The primary sign or wonder was an angel with a drawn sword who threatened to lop of his if he did not comply with the demand.

    Despite how bazaar the story line was, most of the men and women that submitted to the doctrine did so either because he was a prophet and they were involved in the idolatrous practice of prophet worship OR they were greatly impressed with the sign and wonder he told them about.

    How very strange that such a disruptive and unsound doctrine could be introduced and gain credibility among so many Saints based on miraculous SIGNS rather than being validated by the word of God!

    One has to wonder how the first converts to the church would have initially responded to the gospel message if Joseph Smith would have told them that in the first vision, God threatened to kill him if he did not do everything he was told, or if he had told people that John the Baptist appeared to him and threatened to chop his head off if he did not accept the Aaroic priesthood and submit to baptism, etc.

    The scenario is beyond ridiculous.

    It is contrary to the law of agency.

    Apparently that angel did not prescribe to the Joseph Smith’s management philosophy of “I teach them correct principles and let them govern themselves”. LOL

    And yet Joseph got a tremendous amount of mileage out the angel with a drawn sword story in Nauvoo because by that time, he had brought forth the Book of Mormon, the D&C, built a temple, and established himself as a prophet seer and revelator, etc.

    He now had credibility as a true prophet so people did not think they were responsible to discern truth for themselves anymore… they could accept the doctrine because of their idolatry or based on a sign or wonder.

    Many of the Saints were now willing to accept a new doctrine the contradicted previous doctrines on the strength of Joseph’s past resume and achievements as a prophet while others were converted by a SIGN or WONDER pertaining to the angel story, even if the storyline defies basic gospel principles and sound doctrine.

    So, in answer to your question, I would submit that the primary sign and wonder that Joseph used to convert people to the spiritual wife doctrine was the angel story. ( BTW I do not doubt that an angel appeared to him)

    There were however, in my opinion, secondary signs and wonders beside his testimony of the angel appearing to him personally.

    Although the vast majority of women that he proposed to accepted his invitation based on prophet worship or his testimony of the sign and wonder of an angel, there were a few that need a PERSONAL sign or wonder.

    One example is in the story of Mary Ann Lightner.
    In 1905 she gave some details about her conversion into the practice.

    Here are a few excerpts-

    “I asked him if Emma knew about me, and he said, “Emma thinks the world of you.” I was not sealed to him until I had a witness.

    I had been dreaming for a number of years I was his wife. I thought I was a great sinner. I prayed to God to take it from me for I felt it was a sin; but when Joseph sent for me he told me all of these things.

    “Well,” said I, “don’t you think it was an angel of the devil that told you these things?” Said he, “No, it was an angell of God…”

    Notice that instead of asking for scriptural proof that celestial plural marriage was documented in the Word of God, she simply asked for a witness. But what kind of a “witness” did she end up receiving?

    One of them was that Joseph was apparently able to tell her what she had been dreaming about!

    Is that not a sign or a wonder?

    To the credit of Mary Ann, Josephs ability to tell her about what she had been dreaming was not sufficient for her, her story contines,

    “Well, I talked with him for a long time and finally I told him I would never be sealed to him until I had a witness. Said he, “You shall have a witness.” Said I, “If God told you that, why does he not tell me?”

    He asked me if I was going to be a traitor. “I have never told a mortal and shall never tell a mortal I had such a talk from a married man,” said I.

    “Well,” said he, “pray earnestly for the angel said to me you should have a witness.” Well, Brigham Young was with me. He said if I had a witness he wanted to know it. “Why should I tell you?” said I. “Well,” said he, “I want to know for myself.”

    It is interesting to note that after she was promised that an angel would appear to her, Brigham asked her to let him know if it happens so that he could know for himself.

    That statement from Brigham Young is very revealing. Brigham had been promoting the doctrine but he clearly did not have any kind of personal revelation on the matter and was hoping to hear Mary Anns testimony of an angel appearing to her!

    Continuing with her story,

    “I made it a subject of prayer and I worried about it because I did not dare to speak to a living being except Brigham Young.

    I went out and got between three haystacks where no one could see me. As I knelt down I thought, why not pray as Moses did? He prayed with his hands raised. When his hands were raised, Israel was victorious, but when they were not raised, the Philistines were victorious.

    I lifted my hands and I have heard Joseph say the angels covered their faces. I knelt down and if ever a poor mortal prayed, I did.

    A few nights after that an angel of the Lord came to me and if ever a thrill went through a mortal, it went through me. I gazed upon the clothes and figure but the eyes were like lightning. They pierced me from the crown of my head to the soles of my feet. I was frightened almost to death for a moment.

    I tried to waken my aunt, but I could not. The angel leaned over me and the light was very great, although it was night. When my aunt woke up she said she had seen a figure in white robes pass from our bed to my mother’s bed and pass out of the window.

    Joseph came up the next Sabbath. He said, “Have you had a witness yet?” “No.” “Well,” said he, “the angel expressly told me you should have.” Said I, “I have not had a witness, but I have seen something I have never seen before. I saw an angel and I was frightened almost to death. I did not speak.”

    He studied a while and put his elbows on his knees and his face in his hands. He looked up and said, “How could you have been such a coward?” Said I, “I was weak.” “Did you think to say, ‘Father, help me?'” “No.” “Well, if you had just said that, your mouth would have been opened for that was an angel of the living God. He came to you with more knowledge, intelligence, and light than I have ever dared to reveal.”

    I said, “If that was an angel of light, why did he not speak to me?” “You covered your face and for this reason the angel was insulted.” Said I, “Will it ever come again?” He thought a moment and then said, “No, not the same one, but if you are faithful you shall see greater things than that.”

    And then he gave me three SIGNS of what would take place in my own family, although my husband was far away from me at the time. Every work came true. I went forward and was sealed to him. Brigham Young performed the sealing, and Heber C. Kimball the blessing”

    How interesting that an angel appeared to teach her about the spiritual wife doctrine but became offended when she did not speak first and she covered her face!

    How odd that she was commanded to keep the proposal secret from her husband who she is to obey as her head according to the NT!

    Since the appearance of the angel did not suffice in getting her a “witness” the prophet joseph smith gave her, according to her own testimony, three SIGNS!

    He apparently predicted three things that would happen in her life and they came true.
    From her own words and the words of Joseph Smith, it was the SIGNS that joseph Smith gave her that converted her to the principle and got her to follow after a strange doctrine!

    Another interesting example is that of Benjamin F. Johnson who Joseph asked to convince his sister of the principle.

    Here is an account of how the prophet Joseph Smith offered him a very strange sign or wonder. He told him that he would preach a sermon that only Benjamin would understand.. pertaining to the doctrine of plural marriage.

    “On April 1, 1843, Joseph visited Macedonia and stayed at the Johnson home. Of the
    visit, Benjamin recalls, “[One morning Joseph said] ‘Come brother Bennie, let us have a
    walk’. [As we walked Joseph explained] that the Lord had revealed to him that
    plural….marriage was according to His law; [and] had commanded him to obey it…He
    had Come now to ask me for my Sister Almera –

    His words astonished me and almost
    took my breath – I Sat for a time amazed…[I could not] comprehend anything. I….Said:
    ‘Brother Joseph This is something I did not Expect…You know whether it is right. I do
    not. I want to do just as you tell me…But how…Can I teach my Sister what I mySelf do not
    understand’”.

    Joseph told Benjamin to listen to the sermon he would preach that evening, saying it
    would relate to this doctrine in a way that only Benjamin would understand.

    That evening Joseph spoke on the parable of the talents, which in this case Benjamin
    understood to mean wives: To him who increased his talents, more talents would be
    given; but to him that had only one, the talent would be taken away (Matthew 25:15).”

    So, in summary, I think the general sign and wonder used to promote and justify and convert people to the doctrine of polygamy was the angel with the drawn sword.

    Additionally, there were a few people who demanded additional signs and wonders which came in various forms including the revealing of dreams, visitation of angels, predictions of events and cryptic sermons about polygamy that only the initiate would understand.

    BTW several of the cornerstone and related prophecies spoke of how the false teaching that was taught presumptuously would cause angry men to chasten the Lords servant with the rod and kill him.

    The following account provides an interesting view of how this all came about-

    “By October 1843, William Law became aware that Joseph was indeed practicing polygamy. He didn’t agree with the doctrine, or its secret practice, and tried to get Joseph to abandon it.

    William, “with his arms around the neck of the Prophet…[and] tears streaming down his face…pleaded with him to withdraw the doctrine of plural marriage.”

    Joseph said he couldn’t, and released William from the First Presidency.

    Finally in late spring 1844, William resolved to take Joseph’s polygamy public.

    As polygamy was against the law, William filed a lawsuit against Joseph for living “in an
    open state of adultery” with Maria Lawrence. The following Sunday Joseph commented on William’s suit in his sermon, “Another indictment has been got up against me…What a thing it is for a man to be accused of committing adultery, and having seven wives, when I can only find one.”

    By this time, Joseph had married at least thirty-four women. William also announced Joseph’s polygamy in the “Nauvoo Expositor”. Within days,
    Joseph declared the newspaper a “public nuisance” and ordered the city marshal to “destroy the printing press…and burn all the Expositors.”

    Joseph was subsequently arrested and jailed in nearby Carthage, where he was killed on June”

  18. The Glider says:

    Mrs Love Monster’s comment about atonement going on all around us helps to crystallize thoughts that my wife and I have been hanging on to for years, decades.

    We both have experience with abuse and extreme dysfunction from our early years.

    She has been very successful at holding the line, and not letting what happened before taint what has come after (our children). It has not been easy, I have seen her struggle and fight against the demons for years, putting aside hopes and dreams and talents, going without comfort and security, and doing it all while dragging me along.

    For my part, I haven’t been as good at it – I grew up in a family that worships in the cult of self sufficiency, and lack is a sign of wickedness – and despite having all the ‘right’ tools, I have never been able to provide for the temporal comfort and well being of my family (there’s a whole lot here that I don’t want to bore you with, but I think this is enough to go on…)

    When we can rise above the stress and pain and boredom of our every days, one of the things that helps my wife and I get through another few hours, is that we have agreed to suffer whatever we need to so that our kids aren’t consumed, as we have been, by the actions of past generations.

    So, when no one can understand why we are such losers (‘what’s wrong with them, they obviously must be sinning somehow since he can’t keep a job and they move around so much, and she doesn’t participate in any relief society functions or activities’ – a question asked about us at church) and then recognize that our kids are the most well adjusted in primary and young men/women (including their own kids in that assessment), we feel blessed that something is working, and that God’s Grace is intervening to block our history of dysfunction from moving on a generation.

    My wife has taken upon her the sins of the fathers, and knowingly and voluntarily chosen to not pass the consequences of their actions on – she has taken the pain and suffering of future generations on herself. While nothing earth shattering (except to our own family), and what some would say is just a parent’s responsibility – I believe there is something Christlike in such an atonement – while innocent of any sin or transgression, she agreed to clean up the mess. It adds a nobility to the struggle, and through identifying it as a type of atonement (no matter how weak a shadow of Christ’s infinite one) brings us closer to our Savior.

    While this might not have been where you were going with this, Watcher, using what you have shared to make day to day life (where the ‘rubber meets the road’ as Mrs Love Monster says) palatable is what my wife and I need right now – and with your insights on idol worship, apostasy, and these recent thoughts on atonement, you have helped us start thinking in a different direction, which may lead us to different conclusions about ourselves than those we have been living with.

  19. Glider

    I loved your comments and found them very pertinent and edifying.

    Please don’t ever feel like your comments need to be in sync with how I am interpreting the subject matter or which direction I have been taking the subject matter.

    I loved how Mrs Love Monster and you have brought these lofty and deep concepts down to a level those of us living on earth can do something with, to bring about positive change in our lives NOW.

    I have the tendency to live in the future much of the time as I hope for major prophetic events to take place and I think that limits my spiritual growth in many ways.

    We live in the NOW and what we are experiencing now and how we are dealing with the challenges of the present and the past are of major importance in preparing ourselves for the great things to come.

    We need to get better at wrapping our minds around these concepts having to do with the sins of the fathers and how we can avoid perpetuating them upon our children and how we can use the principle of atonement in a positive way to better live the gospel, gain greater charity and better appreciate the grace of God.

    Thank you for your remarks

    Watcher

  20. To the person that called themselves Truth-

    The Savior has commanded us to BEWARE of false prophets. All I am doing is putting out a mild warning for people like you and Steve. There are countless people who began following the person that jABBA has referred to years ago. They did so thinking that by reading his books and following his blog and trying to implement the “how to” directions about receiving the second comforter, would lead them to their own calling and election. Many of them are now very insecure because despite all of their faith and efforts, they have not had the experience they were seeking.

    I have backed up every doctrine I have blogged about with multiple passages and I have suggested to readers that the bottom-line of what I blog about are the passages of scripture I point people too. My interpretations are there for people to judge the correctness of. Feel free to reject them a spurious doctrines if you please, which you apparently have done.

    Feel free to keep following those who reject the notion that Joseph must return the keys of salvation to the earth.

  21. Terry Displaced RLDS says:

    For petes sake at 63 i am now receiving what i should have years ago, I am worn out after reading this whole thing. Seek and you will find is true ,now i am afraid that i am hopelessly alone, them in the restoration branch are well connected with christ and the BM, but i fear i am the only one seeking the truth in the whole LDS movement
    I have spent time with the Strangits as well as others,you have been an eye opener,thanks for watching.

%d bloggers like this: