Summarizing the Five Major
Eras of the LDS Apostasy
To summarize what we have discussed in the previous six parts of this series, I have categorized the latter day apostasy into five phases or eras, each having their own unique flavor and distinct issues-
The 1 st Kirtland Apostasy– 1831-1834
The Gentile “Church of Christ” Rejects the fullness of the Gospel and Breaks the Everlasting Covenant. The Melchizedek Priesthood is lost from the earth and the Saints failed to live the law of consecration that they had covenanted to live.
At that day when the Gentiles shall sin against my gospel, and shall reject the fulness of my gospel… I will bring the fulness of my gospel from among them.
The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws,
changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.
The 2nd Kirtland Apostasy 1835-1838
The Dispensation of the Gospel of Abraham is secretly ushered in and the Atonement Statute prophecy and intercession is initiated. Something New must be done for the salvation of the church requiring the establishment of foreign missions. The condemned “Church of the Latter day Saints” defiles the Kirtland Temple and is forced to flee the land of Kirtland.
The Nauvoo Apostasy 1839-1844
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints Fails to Repent, have a Reformation, Complete the Temple, Restore that which was lost, and usher in the Fulness of times. They are rejected as a church with their dead.
and if you do not these things at the end of the appointment ye shall be rejected as a church, with your dead
The First Utah Period of Apostasy-1845-1989
The Rejected Church, calling themselves the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints rejects the leadership of Sidney Rigdon who who was the remaining member of the First Presidency in Favor of Brigham Young is forced to flee from Nauvoo. The rejected church migrates to a “salt land not inhabited” LDS “Fundamentalism” containing doctrines and ordinances contrary to the Gospel of Christ is established and practiced under the direction of Brigham Young
but if the salt have lost his savour… it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men
The Second Utah Period of Apostasy 1989-to present
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints begins to reject some of the heresies taught by Brigham Young and re-invent itself. They begin to become Popular with the World. Modern Corporate financial and marketing strategies emphasize and successfully promote missionary work and the building of temples
“For Israel hath forgotten his Maker, and buildeth temples”
“For the time speedily shall come that all churches.. who are built up to become popular in the eyes of the world.. are they who need fear, and tremble, and quake”
The original apostasy in Kirtland had to do with the restored Church of Christ which briefly brought forth the Church of God after the greater light of the fullness of the gospel shone forth in 1831 at the special conference at the Morley Farm. This general period of apostasy took place between 1831 and 1834. The exact start of the latter day falling away began at the same time the Melchizedek priesthood was restored with the revealing of the Man of Sin at the special conference according to prophetic utterances of the prophet Joseph Smith and the apostle Paul.
It appears from the prophecies of John and Daniel that the greater light of the fullness of the gospel was on the earth for a period of 3 ½ years although the “grace and supplication” of the Saints was extended as a result of the covenant entered into by Joseph and Oliver which enabled the “continuance of blessings” until the temple was finished.
Shortly after the appointed time of September 11th, 1836, in which the bridegroom tarried, the bank failure took place and the second great falling away took place in Kirtland. From the time the church was restored, the saints were always struggling and stumbling and were virtually always experiencing some degree of apostasy, I have taken the liberty of categorizing these phases into five identifiable periods tied to various events that I have addressed.
If I were to pick a few scriptures to characterize the first apostasy in Kirtland, I would pick the following two-
“And thus commandeth the Father that I should say unto you: At that day when the Gentiles shall sin against my gospel, and shall reject the fulness of my gospel, and shall be lifted up in the pride of their hearts above all nations, and above all the people of the whole earth, and shall be filled with all manner of lyings, and of deceits, and of mischiefs, and all manner of hypocrisy, and murders, and priestcrafts, and whoredoms, and of secret abominations; and if they shall do all those things, and shall reject the fulness of my gospel, behold, saith the Father, I will bring the fulness of my gospel from among them.”
3 Ne. 16: 10
Referring to Joseph Smith’s first ministry in the 2nd watch the Lord says “I will bring the fulness of my gospel from among them” indicating that he takes it from them because they rejected it by breaking the covenants they had entered into. We know that when the saints started taking the gospel to the foreign nations it was under the authority of the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham not the fullness of the gospel that they had rejected.
Yet in the 3rd watch the book of Mormon prophesies that the fullness of the gospel will come “forth from the Gentiles unto the remnant of the seed of my brethren.”
This proves that the gentiles are eventually successful in reestablishing the broken covenant, accepting the fullness of the gospel, and taking it to other remnants of Israel in the 3rd watch. This all takes place four generations later when the light shines forth and the times of the gentiles opens up again. (see also sections 45, 90 and 133 which verify that in the 3rd watch the gentiles will take the gospel to the Jews.)
Another passage pertaining to the Kirtland apostasy is as follows;
The above prophecy obviously does not have to do with the apostasy of the Church of Christ in the meridian of time. It is clearly speaking about the end times. One would be justified in assuming it is a future apostasy that takes place when the servants return and in fact, that is the culmination point. But the beginning point was Kirtland. Section one clarifies this point.
The Second era of apostasy that took place roughly between 1835-1838 takes place following the breaking of the covenant and the rejection of the fulness of the Gospel by the Church of Christ. At that time, the name of Christ was taken out of the name of the Church and a new canon of scripture was introduced. We have briefly touched on the fact that the latter day atonement statute is an enactment of an intercessory atonement that the latter day servants make to prolong the latter day saints upon the face of the earth.
When the reset button is hit in the 3ed watch, when the servants return, the curse, spoken of by Malachi and Isaiah will proceed going forth desolating the earth…
Fortunately, the Servants will quickly explain all of this to the elect and gather them out just before they are destroyed by it. more on these later in this article if I remember to address it)
The Third era of apostasy took place roughly between 1839 and 1844 having largely to do with the Saints committing abominations before the Lord while failing once again to repent reform, finance the publishing of the fulness of the scriptures and failing to complete the Nauvoo Temple. They were then forced to flee from the holy place and scatter abroad once again, contrary to the Lord’s admonition in section 124..
The Fourth era of apostasy took place at the time of the succession issue in Nauvoo and led to the saints fleeing to Utah. The time period was roughly 1845 to 1889. It had to do with the introduction of various false doctrines, ordinances and rituals and also included the sustaining of the spiritual wife form of polygamy and section 132 by the law of common consent.
The last and most ambiguous period of apostasy was during the “modernization of the church . A major tipping point took place during the administration of Wilford Woodruff when pressure on the church by the government to discontinue the practice of plural marriage finally brought about the change. Another great turning point in the worldly popularity of the church took place during the administration of President McKay. During this final era of apostasy pressure from the government would arise again during the administration of President Kimball when the doctrine of the priesthood regarding blacks would be forced to change.
It should be noted that it is during this last period of apostasy that the church was motivated by internal and external forces to self correct regarding numerous practices, such as the practice of the spiritual wife doctrine and the withholding of the priesthood from the blacks.
This modern apostasy is very hard for me to categorize succinctly because it was so multi-dimensional and it covers such a long period of time and the forces involved kept swinging the pendulum different ways.
In short, however I would suggest that one way of characterizing it is to say that the modern church left many of its conservative, dogmatic religious and political views and became much more liberal, enabling it to become more popular with the world.
An Intercessory Offering Is Made
In Behalf of Israel
After briefly touching on those five phases of the apostasy during the first five parts of this series, part six addressed the ATONEMENT STATUTE contained in Lev 16 and how ancient prophecy foretold that several servants in the latter days including the Seer and the Spokesman would offer up an intercessory atonement in behalf of latter day Israel.
It appears that the intercession of these good brethren prevented the first generation of saints in this dispensation from being wiped of the face of the earth, just as the atonement of Moses and Aaron prevented the judgments of God from falling upon the ancient children of Israel.
It delayed the curse from going forth that is prophesied of by Malachi and Isaiah. But that curse is about to be unleashed on the unsuspecting inhabitants of the earth!
Although this incredible intercession was kept secret from the church at the time, the cryptic scriptural evidence is now surfacing as people begin to understand this information that has been hidden in previous generations.
We have the advantage of hindsight and the fact that God is slowly beginning to take the blindness off of latter day Israel in preparation for the opening up of the dispensation of the fulness of times and the Marvelous Work and a Wonder in the 3rd watch.
In part six I limited the documentation of the profile of the latter day intercessory prophet and his fellows to the Old and New Testament because I wanted to make a point that the divine calling and mission of the prophet Joseph Smith could easily be proven exclusively through the Bible without the need of using the Book of Mormon or the modern revelations in the Doctrine and covenants.
I could easily provide just as much additional documentation using the scriptures of the restoration if I needed to.
One thing I would like to address in this final part, relating to the atonement statute however is this,
One might ask,
“is there anything in modern revelation that makes reference to an intercessory OFFERING that was made by the prophet Joseph Smith.”
I would suggest that there is!
But first, a little context-
As demonstrated in previous posts, after the secret appearance of the Savior in 1836 documented in section 110, the heavens continued to close up significantly.
Aside from a wild goose chase that the brethren went on as documented in section 111, It was over a year later in 1837, before the next published revelation is given. In it, this devastating declaration was made,
“darkness covereth he earth and gross darkness the minds of the people, and ALL FLESH HAS BECOME CORRUPT BEFORE MY FACE” ( See section 112)
The Lord was putting the church on notice that since they had rejected the fulness of the gospel, failed to redeem Zion by the appointed time, and gone into apostasy, they along with the whole world had become corrupt. Their baptismal covenants were not cleansing them. The fulness of the gospel had been taken from the earth!
The next major revelation came yet another year later in section 115, in 1838 in which the Lord explains that the Saints not yet gathered and consecrated when Zion if being established, are to be called the “church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints“.
He explains that the very name of that church has specific reference to those Saints that are still scattered and are not yet gathered and consecrated. Conversely, the Saints who are gathered to the appointed places and consecrated are referred to as the Church in Zion.
Interestingly, that revelation is a prophecy about the future when Zion would be redeem in the 3rd watch. Therefore, the Lord does not appear to be re-instituting his name into the name of the condemed church at that time.
Finally, three years later in Nauvoo, after a long period without any published revelations, section 124 is given. That is a long time to go without revelation in contrast to the earlier years of the church!
Section 124 is an amazing revelation given to a fallen people. In it the Lord reveals that the fullness of the priesthood had been lost!
But it is also in this incredible revelation that the Lord makes a cryptic acknowledgement that Joseph Smith had made himself an atonement OFFERING just as Moses of old had done and that the Lord is pleased with the offering that Joseph has offered.
Notice how this most unusual revelation begins,
“Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you, my servant Joseph Smith, I am well pleased with your OFFERING and acknowledgments, which you have made; for unto this end have I raised you up, that I might show forth my wisdom through the weak things of the earth”
There it is!
I believe God is referencing the OFFERING that Joseph had made back in Kirtland BEFORE the announcements that the church had become corrupted and scattered from Kirtland and Jackson.
Unless you understand about the atonement statute and what happened with the saints in Kirtland, verse one of section 124 makes absolutely no sense, historically or religiously!
It is without context and logic.
It is irrational.
Why would the Lord tell the saints they had become corrupted three years earlier, after they had failed to redeem Zion by the appointed time and then abstain from giving them any significant revelations for three years and then begin a revelation once they flee Far West and begin establishing Nauvoo telling Joseph that the Lord was pleased with his OFFERING!
The last previously documented offering that Joseph had made prior to section 124 began in November of 1834 when he and Oliver had entered into a covenant with the Lord, which culminated in the secret vision and prophecy behind the veil in the Kirtland Temple in 1836. As I have discussed in previous posts, the prophet Daniel appears to identify the time period associated with that sacred covenant as relating to the reconciliation for sins!
The Latter day Apostasy is
Interrupted when the Light
shines forth for 3 ½ Years
Section 124 goes on to give the apostate Saints a chance to redeem themselves and usher in the dispensation of the fullness of times and reestablish the covenant and restore the fullness of the priesthood that had been lost by keeping the commandments and building the Nauvoo temple by the appointed time.
The rest is history as they say, is history, or, if you are reading the official history of the church, the rest is revised history!
We are now able to look back on the events in church history and begin to see the fulfillment of several ancient prophecies pertaining to the last days.
The Old Testament prophet Daniel and the New Testament apostle John both prophesied about a three and a half year period of time that would take place in the latter days-
During the 15 Year ministry of the Prophet Joseph Smith, it appears the
Light of the Fulness of the Gospel shown forth for 3 ½ years!
Click on Pic to enlarge
When studying the continuous chastisements that God gives to Joseph and the saints in modern revelation, one begins to wonder if the church ever came out of apostasy during those years that the foundation of the Marvelous Work was being laid!
A careful reading of the following prophecy in Daniel, informs us that after coming out of apostasy, there would only be a 3 ½ year period of “nourishment” until the saints were back in a full blown apostasy again. Interestingly, the Lord allows a short period of grace after the rejection of the fulness in which the completion of the Kirtland Temple and final items necessary for the future work, could be completed!
“And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand UNTIL a time and times and the dividing of time.” Dan 7:25
According to Daniel, Satan would wear out the new testament saints, having control over them during the dark ages, the reformation and continuing into the latter days UNTIL a three and a half year period when the FULNESS OF THE GOSPEL is restored to the earth!
But after that 3 ½ year period that the fullness of the gospel is on the earth, the saints would lose the higher- Melchizedek level of gospel light and would descend to a lesser degree of light.
While some had seen the Father and the Son at the higher- Melchizedek level during the 3 ½ year period, others would see only Christ at the patriarchal level during the period of grace that followed the 3 ½ year period when the fullness was being offered.
In the 12 chapter of Daniel he would acknowledge that some of the time lines talked about in his prophesies would key off of the “time, times, and a half” (3 1/2 years) period of time during which events and the result of which events would SCATTER THE POWER OF THE HOLY PEOPLE!
“…How long shall it be until the end of these wonders? And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people , all these things shall be finished” (Da 12:6-7)
From this we learn that the highest power of the holy people was scattered at the time of and as the result of what happened during the 3 1/2 year period. (virtually all prophecies have a dual fulfillment. Some actually appear to take on a reverse meaning in the second fulfillment.)
Old Scratch according to ancient prophecy would overcome them and they would reject the greater light! ! (However,the Lord put the spirit of grace upon the saints until the appointed time for the establishment of Zion came and went)
Time of Nourishing
There is a similar prophecy in the 12th chapter of John that appears to be speaking of the same event wherein the woman (the Church) flees into “HER PLACE” and is nourished from the face of the serpent for 3 ½ years AFTER the apostasy of the New Testament saints yet BEFORE the return of father Adam.
The 3 1/2 year time of nourishing that took place apparently had to do with the confirming of the covenant, the pentecostal experiences, and other foundational events that took place when the heavens were opened and the Father and the Son were seen by at least three people at the Morley Farm.
Later, Joseph and Sidney saw the father and the son and experienced the vision known as section 76. Following that, several of the elders received the CONFIRMATION of the highest priesthood (84:42). It would be later documented that several of the first laborers of the last kingdom had their names enrolled in the names of the sanctified and received the OTHER COMFORTER which if the promise of ETERNAL LIFE. ( 88:1-4)
It is know coincidence that the endowment from on high at the Special Conference and the events documented in sections 76, 84 and 88 all took place during the 3 1/2 year period between June of 1831 and December of 1834.
For a broader contextual understanding of the significance of the 3 1/2 year time of nourishing, do a key word search in modern revelation on THIS PLACE and also on STRONGHOLD see also the context in which the word NOURISHED is used in the parable in Jacob)
It is amazing to realize that during the 15 year public ministry of Joseph Smith, from 1829 to 1844, the fullness of the gospel only shown forth on the earth for 3 ½ years!
The Commandment to Build Jerusalem
to Messiah the Prince
Another Fascinating prophecy by Daniel has to do with the “commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem to Messiah to the Prince”.
We have discussed in a previous post how modern day revelation identifies Kirtland as the modern day Jerusalem.
With this in mind, a commandment was given on August 2nd 1833 in section 94 to
“commence the work of laying out and preparing a beginning and foundation of the city”
click on pic to enlarge
For additional information on the above prophecy and the mystical role of Kirtland in ancient prophecy please see the following article.
Joseph Smith taken out of their Midst
& Holy Melchizedek Priesthood Also
I have mentioned in other posts that in my opinion, the official history of the church has been altered and sanitized to hide, down play, and “spin” certain events, portray certain people in a poor light and exalt others in a better light.
Unfortunately, some people and their involvement have virtually been deleted from church history all together.
Back in 1992 when I published a small 100 page pamphlet titled “The Apostasy and Redemption of Latter Day Israel“, I was basically summarizing some of my investigative research on the status of the Church and identifying when the apostasy took place in the latter days during the 2nd watch and how it would eventually come out of apostasy in the 3rd watch.
My research had taken me backwards in time beginning with our current modern apostasy era.
After losing a portion of my naivete studying the status of the modern church, from there I went back to the Brigham Young apostasy era and spent considerable time losing a little more of my naivete while researching LDS Fundamentalism.
Eventually I got through that maze and found my way to the Nauvoo apostasy era. After losing a little more of my naiveté studying section 124 and the events that took place in Nauvoo, finally I ended up at the Kirtland apostasy era.
During my research I was able to identify Kirtland as the originating place and time period of the foundational apostasy from which the following three eras of apostasy sprang forth.
During my study of the Kirtland and Nauvoo eras, I dug deep into the controversial life of Joseph Smith and became very disconcerted.
He became a bit of a stone of stumbling for me and I realized that there were missing pieces of the puzzle regarding Joseph Smith.
Eventually I was led to the missing pieces of the prophet puzzle and was able to understand how the atonement statute in Leviticus 16 was an enactment of the intercessory offering that Gods latter day servants would make in behalf of the restoration saints… and everyone that followed after them…. Including you and I.
During the amazing journey it occurred to me that the church had been downgraded from the fullness of the gospel to the preparatory gospel as typologically depicted in the history of ancient Israel in section 84.
One could replace a few words in the following passage to get a pretty good idea of what happened during the Kirtland-Nauvoo era-
“And this greater priesthood administereth the gospel and holdeth the key of the mysteries of the kingdom, even the key of the knowledge of God.
Therefore, in the ordinances thereof, the power of godliness is manifest.
And without the ordinances thereof, and the authority of the priesthood, the power of godliness is not manifest unto men in the flesh;
For without this no man can see the face of God, even the Father, and live.
Now this [Joseph Smith] plainly taught to the [latter day] children of Israel and sought diligently to sanctify his people that they might behold the face of God;
But they hardened their hearts and could not endure his presence; therefore, the Lord in his wrath, for his anger was kindled against them, swore that they should not enter into his rest [during the lds foundation movement] , which rest is the fulness of his glory.
Therefore, he took [Joseph Smith ] out of their midst, and the Holy Priesthood also;
And the lesser priesthood continued, which priesthood holdeth the key of the ministering of angels and the preparatory gospel;
Which gospel is the gospel of repentance and of baptism, and the remission of sins, and the law of carnal commandments, which the Lord in his wrath caused to continue with the [Latter day Saints until the seer and the spokesman] should be raised up, being filled with the Holy Ghost [at the time of the Marvelous Work in the third watch]….” (See section 84:- minor changes made in the above passages by OWIW)
The Second Great Work must take Place
Once one begins to understand that the fulness of the gospel was taken from the Saints, it becomes apparent that section 110 alludes to the fact that the “Gospel of Abraham” was restored since the fulness of the gospel had been rejected.
Something new had to be done for the salvation of the saints and it involved an intercessory atonement offering and the restoration of the Gospel of Abraham.
As the above mentioned prophesies begin to make sense and one realizes that the fulness of the gospel and fulness of the priesthood were taken from the earth during the Kirtland years, the need for a final restitution of all things begins to make sense.
The servants need to return and bring forth the rest of the records that contain the fullness of the gospel. They need to build the temples in Far West, Nauvoo and Jackson County. They need to give the final warning.
The following excerpts are taken from an interview with David Whitmer.
It was published in the Deseret News on August 16 1878;
Q- When will the temple be built? (referring to Jackson County Temple)
A- Right after the great tribulation is over.
Q- What do you mean by that?
A- A civil war more bloody and cruel than the rebellion. (first civil
war) It will be a smashing up of this nation, about which time the SECOND GREAT WORK has to be done, a work like Joseph did, and the translation of the sealed plates, and peace all over.”
As you can see, the marvelous work is referred to by Whitmer as the “second great work“. He is distinguishing it from the preparatory “foundation work” that took place in the 1800’s.
The second great work comes forth at a time when the hypocritical nation of America is being broken up and civil war results. At this time a second translation of words from the gold plates takes place.
Ultimately after the great consummation that follows the smashing up of this nation and all of the other kingdoms of the world, the millennium will be ushered in. (many if not all of the signs are currently in place for the marvelous work to begin)
A Second Translation is about to
be Published to the World
As I mentioned in a previous post, the prophecy contained in Isaiah 29 and 2nd Nephi 27 is not even referring to the unsealed portion of the golden plates nor is it referring to the coming forth of the Book of Mormon in the 2nd watch. (except as a shadow, typological fulfillment)
click on pic to enlarge
Our Generation Inherited
the Latter day Apostasy!
As I began to understand that the fullness of the gospel had been rejected in Kirtland, it also occurred to me that many of the converts coming into the apostate church after that event, during the Nauvoo era, and all the way down to the present time as well as the generations of Saints born into the church during all four eras of the latter day apostasy, did not actually reject the truth and go into apostasy, rather, they inherited the apostasy.
This is a very important distinction.
Are those of us of this generation that inherited the apostasy from the false traditions of our fathers under that same condemnation as those who actually witnessed the light shine forth at the Morley Farm?
Or do we get some slack since we were not actively participating when the original apostasy took place?
I don’t pretend to know…
Nevertheless, it is a distinction worth noting.
I don’t personally think the best of our generation are any better than the best of the generation Joseph Smith grew up in.
If you are an active Latter-day Saint who is just recently in the process of losing your naiveté regarding the current status of God’s church, you have probably been feeling a wide range of emotions.
Perhaps you are still struggling with denial.
Perhaps you feel as if you have lost your personal identity or at least your religious identity.
Perhaps you feel angry.. betrayed.. embarrassed.. shell shocked.. a little shaky?
Perhaps you feel like you need a drink even though you don’t drink.
Perhaps you are ANGRY and want to ask for your membership dues back… perhaps you want to take your marbles and go home.
Perhaps you feel enraged and want to kill somebody. (Figuratively speaking)
Some people who begin studying the latter day apostasy end up losing their faith in God altogether.
While you are going through these emotions and trying to sort things out, it is important to view everyone living in our generation, from your parents and local ward and stake leaders to the general authorities, in the context that we have all inherited the apostasy and false traditions from our forefathers.
There is no individual or group of individuals living in this generation that you can legitimately blame for this current situation.
When the early saints rejected the higher light, God, in his mercy, put blindness over latter day Israel just as he did with ancient Israel after they refused the greater light.
From time to time I see people who are in the process of waking up to a realization of the apostasy who become angry at the church that postulate dark ominous catastrophes that will befall the wicked leadership at any time within the near future.
Such prognostications often reject the necessity for these leaders to be warned by true priesthood messengers and to have the opportunity to repent. They also presuppose that the current leadership and membership of the church has been guilty of rejecting the fulness of the gospel and leading the church into darkness, which is not the case, since the fullness of the gospel has not been on the earth for over 170 years!
This gives us the opportunity to practice charity towards the leaders of the church and others who have not yet awaked to our awful situation.
Once you have lost your naiveté and gotten over the initial shock and other emotions, you will begin to gain a very deep appreciation that the grace of God has opened your eyes and begun preparing you for the amazing events that are about to take place in the 3rd watch.
There is an exquisite feeling of comfort in understanding why this crazy world is going through the distressing times it is going through and in understanding how God is going to gather his elect just in the nick of time.
You will undoubtedly begin to desire sharing this information with those you care about as you begin to spiritually discern the signs of the times.
Be sure to listen to the promptings of the spirit when this happens. Some people may not be ready for this information and will not respond very well. There may be others who are ready for it that you will pass over if you are not listening to the spirit.
Reading about the Keys
does not Confer the Keys
The Book of Mormon provides an explanation of what the fulness of the gospel is as it presents the history of an ancient people, but that does not mean that the priesthood keys to administer the fullness of the gospel are here just because we can read about them in a book.
Just because one owns and reads and even understands the Book of Mormon which contains an account of what the fulness of the Gospel is, doesn’t mean that they actually have the fulness of the gospel and have been born of the water and of the fire and of the spirit!
As mentioned in a previous post, one can even hold the keys of the kingdom without actually entering into the kingdom!
Further, the church can lose the fulness of the priesthood and only have the records explaining what the fulness of the priesthood is.
Just as the Protestants don’t have the keys to administer the saving ordinances and don’t enjoy the full gifts of the fullness of the gospel just because they can read about them in the Bible, Mormons have the same dilemma.
The Doctrine and Covenants also provides a record of what the fulness of the Gospel is as revealed to the early saints of this dispensation but that does not mean that the fullness of the gospel is here on the earth today. If it was, you would be seeing the fruits of the fulness of the gospel in the lives of worthy members (See this article for more information about the seven signs that accompany the true and LIVING church)
If the current leadership was guilty of recently rejecting the fullness of the gospel, it is understandable to feel that God might choose to destroy them at any time, HOWEVER you cannot reject something that is not being offered.. something you don’t have access to, therefore, blaming current leaders for our situation may not be an accurate viewpoint in my opinion.
One could surmise that the fulness of the Gospel is plainly before us in the scriptures and therefore everyone living in all four eras of apostasy should have been able to see the deception and will be responsible for living in darkness without knowing it. But I would contend that the higher light has not been on the earth since it was rejected during the Kirtland Era and, according to scripture, God put the blindness over us for our own good, just as he did with ancient Israel.
I would further suggest that just as the fullness of the Gospel and many of the covenants were taken from the Bible and obscured in the eyes of those of the reformation and the churches that sprang from that movement, the fullness of the Gospel has also been obscured from the view of Latter day Saints.
After all, we never brought forth and published the complete inspired version according to Gods commandment and the law contained in section 42 requires us to have that record in order to have the complete law of the Gospel.
Most saints use the same corrupted versions of the Bible that the Protestants use. In fact the official bible of the LDS church is the King James Version. That is a disgrace and an abomination after having had the opportunity to publish the inspired version.
God enabled Joseph to translate the bible and yet it was never published and made available to the saints of that generation because they would not provide the funds to do so after a decade of being admonished to!
Please understand I am not judging the Kirtland Saints more harshly than those of the world wide apostasy of our current generation.
The point is that God has allowed the wheat to be mingled among the tares in the latter days which prevented the righteous portion of the church from bringing forth the inspired version, establishing Zion at the appointed time in the 2nd watch or completing the Nauvoo temple when the saints were given the opportunity to redeem themselves.
Those who would have valiantly established Zion in the 2nd watch had they not be hampered and hindered by the tares, will come forth triumphantly in the 3rd watch. This is true of the righteous of all generations. (see section 86)
Conversely, I believe the small remnant of the truly believing gentiles among us today will be gathered in and will help to establish Zion once the tares have been separated out.
Until the light shines forth again, all members of the church and everyone else are all in the same boat, at the mercy of God to send forth divine deliverance….. leaders, members and non members alike.
The scriptures indicate that all of us living at this time will have the opportunity to be warned by the first elders of the last kingdom and/or their fellow servants when they return BEFORE the consummation hits.
Some people are currently having the blindness that God has put upon latter day Israel slowly begin to be removed regarding the current state of the church. I believe this is because we are getting very very close to the opening up of the Marvelous Work.
Some of us are starting to lose our worldly naiveté and blindness that we inherited from the false traditions of our fathers with regard to the general state of things in the church and world. We are beginning to see that the whole world is indeed in apostasy just as Daniel, John and Paul and others prophesied it would be just prior to the start of the last work.
The restoration of priesthood keys and divine deliverance is going to be the solution for those who will repent.
The fact that the grace of God is upon us in beginning to wake us up in this one small area of our spiritual growth is no cause to think that we are actually more enlightened than others in the general scheme of things or that we will have a higher place in the kingdom. Indeed this little awakening may end up being our downfall if we become proud of our knowledge and judgmental of others who are at a different place on the learning curve.
Perhaps the parable of the workers in the field is applicable.
The fact of the matter is that there may still be a great separation among those that believe the Lords servants when they return. A similar event is very possibly going to be taking place that took place in Kirtland. Many of those that embraced the light when it began to shine forth ultimately rejected it and fell.
Will that happen again?
That is one of the serious problems with this awakening that we are experiencing. It may give us a sense of false security thinking we will not stumble and fall when the light shines forth. We may be thinking our newly acquired understanding represents the finish line in the great test when in fact it actually represents the start of the race.
Perhaps we should not assume that because we initially accept the servants that we will remain faithful as they unfold the greater portion of light, when the test really begins. There are many things that will be revealed that will undoubtedly try the souls of men.
Joseph once said,
“We shall by and by learn that we were with God in another world, and had our agency: that we came into this world and have our agency, in order that we may prepare ourselves for a kingdom of glory; become archangels, even the sons of God where the man is neither without the woman, nor the woman without the man in the Lord“.
(The Mormon Hierarchy Pg 623)
Joseph knew of some very deep truths having to do with our eternal progression. He noted that after this probation we will become archangels and be in an eternal state where the man is not without the woman, neither the woman without the man in the Lord.
He knew something about the eternal relationship between the two genders.
He understood how the female gender could become archangels even though the scriptures are silent about female angels and nobody has legitimately ever seen one. (that actually looked like a female)
He understood some deep eternal principles about the composite make up of archangels and Gods and the literal commandment for a man and woman to eventually become one flesh again. This eternal relationship of the male and female genders is something that he could not speak freely about at that time…. He understood it was something the saints would need to learn by and by…
That and other mysteries will no doubt try the souls of men. (for more on that topic see this article )
Keys to enter into the New and Everlasting Covenant VS. the actual Endowment
As you study the latter day apostasy, remember that there is a difference between having the fulness of the gospel in written form as contained in the scriptures, vs having the priesthood authority to administer the saving ordinances of the gospel that allow us to enter into the new and everlasting covenant.
Realize also that there is a difference between having the patriarchal priesthood authority to administer the saving ordinances and enter into the everlasting covenant vs the actual breaking forth of the endowment that is shed forth by the will of the father!
In other words, the keys to enter into the new and everlasting covenant were restored to the earth in 1829 when the patriarchal priesthood was restored by Peter james and John. However, the first documented instance of the actual endowment of the new and everlasting covenant upon the church as a group did not take place until 1831 when the melchizedek priesthood was restored and the heavenly endowment was manifested at the special conference at the Morley Farm.
The precedence for this is given in the New Testament when the apostles who had been baptized and confirmed, were told by the resurrected Lord to tarry in Jerusalem until they received the PROMISE OF THE FATHER which resulted in the Pentecostal endowments.
After the day of Pentecost, the apostles finally could go forth in power!
They had entered into the covenant before the ascension but they did not receive the endowment of the covenant until after the ascension. (more on this later)
We are all at the Mercy
of Divine Deliverance
Until the light shines forth to begin the marvelous work, we are all in the same boat… that includes leaders, members, estranged believers who have left or been kicked out of the church, protestants, Catholics, atheists and heathens.
Those who are among that rather broad group (of everyone) who repent when the light shines forth, and pass the test and make it through the refiners fire, will be gathered out and will help establish Zion, those who don’t will not be gathered out to Zion, or, if they make it to Zion, they will be weighed in the balance and cast out of it.
God will warn the legal lease holders of the vineyard and invite them to repent along with all of the rest of us BEFORE he will destroy those among them and us that reject the fullness of the gospel. It is not clear whether those that he has “let” the kingdom out to has reference to the mortal leaders at the helm when the work first begins or if it refers to the anti-Christ and his fellows that return to deceive, if possible, the very elect.
The scriptures inform us that the light will shine forth among those who sit in darkness first, then, after the gentiles cumulatively reject the light, bringing the times of the gentiles to their fullness, the stone will fall on them and crush them. (see JST Matt 21)
Nevertheless, a remnant of believing gentiles will be gathered in and saved.
The Whore, The Harlots
and the Adulterous Wife
According to scripture, there are basically three general categories of apostate Christianity on the earth in the last days prior to the return of the Lord in glory.
This includes the great church that claims direct priesthood succession from Peter, the protesting factions that broke away from the whore during the reformation, from which virtually all of evangelical Christianity comes from (Protestantism) and finally those of the latter day restored church.
The Lord characterizes these three groups using the following imagery
- the WHORE, that claims unbroken succession from Peter
- the HARLOTS of the reformation that were spawned by the WHORE, and
- the UNFAITHFUL, ADULTEROUS WIFE of the restoration
Those of us who are latter day saints are categorized as the bride of Christ, albeit, at this period, the unfaithful, adulterous wife!
Keep in mind however, that the unfaithful wife is still the wife!
She may have been put away for a while because of her unfaithfulness, but once she has the filthiness removed from her at the appointed time when the filthy clothes are removed from Gods servants and the “resent button” is pushed at the time of the “restitution of all things”, that part of the church that embraces the fullness of the gospel will put on her beautiful garments and enter into the chamber.
“ For thy Maker is thine husband; the Lord of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called. For the Lord hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God. For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer.” Isaiah 54
The Seer, Spokesman
and Seven Others
In the previous part of this series we reviewed the remarkable prophecy in Zechariah where the Seer (Branch Prophet) and the Spokesman (Brand Prophet) and seven others of their fellows would come forth and begin the Marvelous Work and a Wonder.
A passage of scripture that may relate to this event is found in section 82 wherein, nine high priests are bound together by a bond and covenant that cannot be broken by transgression except judgment shall immediately follow.
These two groups of people made up the two organizations that had stewardships over the Bishops storehouses for Kirtland and Zion
Edward Partrige……………………….. Zion
Newel K Whitney………………………. Kirtland
Sidney Gilbert……………………………. Zion
Sidney Rigdon……………………………. Kirtland
Joseph Smith……………………………… Kirtland
John Whitme……………………………… Zion
Oliver Cowdery………………………….. Kirtland
WW Phelps………………………………… Zion
Martin Harris……………………………… Kirtland
I bring up these nine servants and the bond they entered into partly to enhance your appreciation of the possible players described in Zechariah and partly to point out that the covenant that Joseph and Oliver entered into in November of 1833 provides proof that these nine mean and the Kirtland and Jackson Saints had failed in their attempt to consecrate by that time.
Of course we don’t know how many if any of these brethren have lost their office and will need to be replaced.
The covenant these men entered into appears to have been at least temporarily broken which necessitated the new covenant between Joseph, Oliver and the Lord.
Daniel refers to the timeframe that the covenant that Joseph and Oliver entered into prior to the dedication and acceptance of the Kirtland temple as “The reconciliation for sins”
What exactly did the restored church apostatize from?
The Fulness of the Gospel which is the Everlasting Covenant!
In my thesis on the apostasy of latter day Israel back in 1992, I never once attempted to define what exactly it was that the church membership apostatized from in Kirtland!
It never even occurred to me to do it.
Among the many deficiencies in that thesis, I consider that to be one of the most significant.
However it really is important to define exactly what it is that we are speaking about because some people may define the apostasy as leaving the established organization while others may define it as rejecting Gods anointed servants, and others may define it as rejecting the spiritual gifts of the gospel, and others my define it as rejecting the true doctrines in favor of unsound doctrines, etc. There are undoubtedly many definitions and components of what apostasy is and many of them apply.
For the purposes of this article I am defining the apostasy as the time when the fullness of the gospel (which is synonymous with the everlasting covenant) was rejected.
Furthermore, even though I was able to identify and document that the Kirtland apostasy was complete by September 11 1836, during the Kirtland era, I never really documented exactly when it was complete nor when it BEGAN!
The reason for this is not because I did not go backwards in time far enough, it was partly because the potentially single most important event from which the apostasy sprang was hidden from my view in the official history of the church!.
It has been underplayed and obscured and spun incorrectly in the official church history books and lesson manuals.
As much as I would love to leave it at that and just play the part of the victim of those well-meaning historical revisionists, there is another reason. It was because I was still in too much darkness to have it revealed to me. Blindness was upon my head and it was not my time to have it taken off. It is only by the grace of God that any of us have these things revealed to us.
It was not until last year when the events at the special conference at the Morley Farm were brought to my attention during the series I did entitled “Searching for the Holy Order and 23 High Priests” that I began to feel like I could see EXACTLY when the later day apostasy BEGAN and WHAT the Saints apostatized from in the ultimate sense!
Joseph Smith had prophesied that the “man of Sin” would be revealed on a predetermined date. He actually foretold that the latter day apostasy as prophesied by the apostle Paul in 2nd Thes. would begin during the special conference that began on June 3rd 1831 and ended on June 6th and was followed by the revelation given on June 7th contained in section 52..
..And it verily did, although it has taken me months to digest what happened after reading about it.
That was the beginning of the cumulative restoration and rejection of the fulness of the Gospel by the latter day gentiles.
The 3 ½ year period appears to have begun at the time of that special conference at the Morley Farm.
It appears to have ended when the law of consecration was broken by both the Kirtland Saints and the Jackson Saints. Shortly after that the bond was broken that had been entered into by the nine high priests, which resulted in Joseph and Oliver entering into a covenant of tithing to enable them to resolve the debts they were left with.
The above 3 ½ year period was the period of time when the light of the fullness of the gospel broke forth and began dividing the church.
Whenever the wheat and tares are combined instead of being separated, the tares usually win.
The greater light was cumulatively rejected by the gentile church.
Even though it was the time the heavens were opened and the greater light descended upon some, it was also the time Paul spoke of when the Man of Sin was revealed and unleashed! It was the time of a blessing and a cursing.
There must be opposing forces in all things.
Yes it is true that the Lord eventually declared the covenant to be broken in sections 104 and 105 linking it to the breaking of the law and covenant of consecration, but their failure to keep that covenant began with their rejection of THE covenant beginning at the special conference.
Section 1 which is given on November 1 1831 acknowledges that the Latter day Saints would fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah and break the everlasting covenant. (See 1:10-15 this reveals that the prophecy of Isaiah was a future event having to do with the latter day saints)
The failure of the Saints to redeem Zion at the appointed time on September 11 1836 clearly identifies that the completion of the apostasy from the fulness of the gospel took place sometime on or before that date and the beginning of the apostasy was at the special conference in 1831.
In early 1834 Joseph Smith encouraged the Saints to prepare to retake the lands in Jackson County that they had been scattered from, however, curiously, it does not appear that he continued with the admonition in 1835 and 1836. He seemed to understand by that time it would not be redeemed in that generation and that something new must be done to nourish and preserve the saints and their posterity until the light would shine forth again in the 3rd watch.
After the Saints failed to redeem Zion by the appointed time and were forced to flee from Kirtland, the prophet Joseph Smith made the following observation several years later when the Saints migrated to Nauvoo.
Please read it very closely several times over… it pretty much says it all,
“We have been chastened by the hand of God heretofore for not obeying His commands… we have treated lightly His commands, AND DEPARTED FROM HIS ORDINANCES, and the Lord has chastened us sore, and we have felt His arm and kissed the rod…“ (History of the Church, 5:65; from “The Government of God,” an editorial published in Times and Seasons, July 15, 1842, p. 857; Joseph Smith was the editor of the periodical.)
Given the huge denial the Saints have been in for four generations, it is hard to believe the above quote from Joseph Smith made it into the official history of the church. I have no doubt that many other similar ominous declarations from him and others were omitted.
Joseph Smith was acknowledging that the transgressions of the Saints and the persecutions and afflictions that forced the Saints to flee from Jackson and eventually Kirtland were caused or at least allowed to happen by the chastening hand of God because the Saints were disobedient in keeping the commandments and the ordinances.
In the above declaration the Prophet was acknowledging that the Saints DEPARTED FROM THE ORDINANCES during the Kirtland apostasy!
The ordinances of salvation!
The ordinances of the fulness of the Gospel! The everlasting covenant.
But we still have the ordinance of baptism and the associated ordinance of the sacrament, right?
Sure we have changed those ordinances around a little, but we still have them… right?
In this last and final portion of this series I am suggesting that the Saints apostatized from and ultimately REJECTED THE FULNESS OF THE GOSPEL and BROKE THE EVERLASTING COVENANT by departing from the ORDINANCES OF SALVATION during the Kirtland era and I am going to attempt to allude to a much more specific and deeper explanation and definition of what the fullness of the Gospel and its ordinances really are.
It is critical that we understand exactly when the fullness of the gospel light began to shine forth and when it was officially extinguished 3 ½ years later. It is also important to understand that the following time of grace appears to have ended at or shortly after September 11th, 1836, the appointed time for the redemption of Zion.
It is also critical that we understand the status of the inspired version of the bible at the time of the LDS restoration and the part it will play in the reformation and the restoration.
The Bible was Passed through
the Hands of the Whore
One of the ongoing debates between Protestants and Mormons has to do with the status of the Bible. A foundational theme of the LDS restoration movement was that the Bible had come through the hands of the Great Whore and had been corrupted before the reformation ever began.
Conversely, Protestants maintain that the Bible is complete, perfect and infallible.
The Infinity Bible Code
The Perfection of Imperfection
I want to share a fascinating video about the Infinity Bible Code that will either bolster your testimony of the LDS restoration and apostasy or perhaps destroy it all together. (this may be a good time to check out if you feel you are still weak in the faith)
In this video Al Neal presents what he refers to as the “INFINITY BIBLE CODE” to members of the prophesy club and shows an amazing numeric testimony embedded within the bible that would appear to provide mathematical evidence that the bible is complete and perfect.
Ironically, he is going to admit within his and other lectures that witches and satanists and those involved in the occult have a much better knowledge of the Bible than most Christians. It is an important part of their religion.
He admits that they use the bible in their own religions and their own religious time-lines!
I would suggest that perhaps his acknowledgment very possibly condemns his own assumptions of what the infinity code is really providing evidence of.
One needs to ask the question, has Satan been involved in the current translations of the Bible and is Satan a master mathematician?
Now, after reviewing the amazing evidence that Al has brought to light, and in the context of his own admission that the forces of darkness and the occult rely heavily upon the Bible for their own religious guidance, let us review what the Book of Mormon teaches us about the history and current status of the Bible-
“And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld that they did prosper in the land; and I beheld a book, and it was carried forth among them.
And he said: Behold it proceedeth out of the mouth of a Jew. And I, Nephi, beheld it; and he said unto me: The book that thou beholdest is a record of the Jews, which contains the covenants of the Lord, which he hath made unto the house of Israel; and it also containeth many of the prophecies of the holy prophets; and it is a record like unto the engravings which are upon the plates of brass, save there are not so many; nevertheless, they contain the covenants of the Lord, which he hath made unto the house of Israel; wherefore, they are of great worth unto the Gentiles.
And the angel of the Lord said unto me: Thou hast beheld that the book proceeded forth from the mouth of a Jew; and when it proceeded forth from the mouth of a Jew it contained the fulness of the gospel of the Lord, of whom the twelve apostles bear record; and they bear record according to the truth which is in the Lamb of God.
And after they go forth by the hand of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, from the Jews unto the Gentiles, thou seest the formation of that great and abominable church, which is most abominable above all other churches; for behold, they have taken away from the gospel of the Lamb many parts which are plain and most precious; and also many covenants of the Lord have they taken away.
And all this have they done that they might pervert the right ways of the Lord, that they might blind the eyes and harden the hearts of the children of men.
Wherefore, thou seest that after the book hath gone forth through the hands of the great and abominable church, that there are many plain and precious things taken away from the book, which is the book of the Lamb of God.
And after these plain and precious things were taken away it goeth forth unto all the nations of the Gentiles; and after it goeth forth unto all the nations of the Gentiles, yea, even across the many waters which thou hast seen with the Gentiles which have gone forth out of captivity, thou seest—because of the many plain and precious things which have been taken out of the book, which were plain unto the understanding of the children of men, according to the plainness which is in the Lamb of God—because of these things which are taken away out of the gospel of the Lamb, an exceedingly great many do stumble,
yea, insomuch that Satan hath great power over them.”
From the above passages we find that the holy, perfect and infallible word of God was taken and modified and distorted by Satan’s church for the purpose of taking many of the plain precious things out of the book so that the Gentiles would stumble!
Let me ask you a question. If Satan has been smart enough to rule this world during the 6,000 year probation and to bring the whole world into apostasy, was he smart enough to change the Bible so that many of the covenants are taken out of the Book?
And if so, is it possible that he was smart enough to make those changes in such a way as to make it appear that the Bible is mathematically perfect and complete using special numeric codes and principles of gematria?
Could he have massaged the book in such a way as to provide an embedded numeric testimony in it that appears to testify that the current bible translations that came through the hands of the whore is perfect and complete?
We learn from the Book of Mormon that God allowed Satan to take important things out of the Bible. It was to be part of the test in the 2nd and 3rd watches.
Another intriguing possibility regarding the infinity code is that God himself showed forth his majesty in allowing the mathematical gematria to remain in the bible despite the alterations that were made.
This is amazing stuff!
The infinity code is powerful stuff.
The implications of the infinity code are indeed profound.
However with the context that the Book of Mormon provides us concerning the corrupted versions of the bible, there are two completely different messages you can derive from the infinity code presentation depending on how well versed you are in Gods word and in the gospel of Jesus Christ.
I don’t doubt that the above presentation may cause some who are weak in the faith to question the restored church. Yet, those of you that feel the power and truthfulness in the above passages in the Book of Mormon will no doubt come away from the infinity code presentation with a much stronger testimony of the gospel and a greater, more sobering appreciation for the craftiness of old scratch and the strong delusion that God has sent upon Israel.
Indeed, the Bible is a mystical document that was originally pure and then came through the hands of the Great and Abominable Church.
The Bible, by itself, is a two edged sword.
Reading the Bible in the context of the Book of Mormon and the D&C brings an astounding dimension to gospel study and the life of Christ and his gospel.
For the humble follower of Christ that is receiving personal revelation and accepts, by personal revelation that the Book of Mormon is true, the bible does in fact provide evidence of the fulness of the Gospel and the LDS restoration movement and that the Book of Mormon is true. It provides many missing pieces of the puzzle.
For those who love darkness rather than light, whether in the occult or any of the flavors of apostate Christianity, it provides a blue print for them as well.
It provides a blueprint for disaster.
(BTW, I sent an email to Al asking him to enter the term “scapegoat” into his infinity code equation to see where it leads him… I was not surprised to NOT get a response back from him… I suspect he did not know how to interpret and react to the results he got! LOL)
Please understand I love the Bible. I am not trying to discredit the incredible information it contains in its current condition as long as the context of the other scriptures is used. I think part six of this series should provide a formidable witness to how much I love the Bible and how much I ponder and study it and how much evidence it provides of the truth.
The Bible still provides amazing truth… God put limitations on the alterations that Satans minions put in it, hence the Catholic Churches attempted to try to prevent the lay membership from having access to it… nevertheless, when it was made available, it effectively not only paved the way for the reformation and eventually the restoration of the gospel, it also opened Pandora’s box among the children of darkness.
And the occult went wild!
One of the purposes of this series is to identify and acknowledge the four phases of the apostasy of the latter day restored church with particular emphasis on the first, original apostasy in Kirtland from which the following three phases grew out of.
By doing so, we can at least begin to lose our worldly naiveté and naiveté that comes from darkened minds caused by the false teachings of our fathers and by personal pride and sin.
From a biblical perspective, God caused blindness to come upon Israel because of their stiff necks and unbelief.
This awakening and loss of worldly naiveté that I am referring to is a painful one.
Those of you who have been active and faithful members of the restored church, who then began to learn about the latter day apostasy, have no doubt experienced this pain, at least to some extent.
Many of those of you who are very active in the church who have been reading this and/or similar other articles and have, by the grace of God begun to have your naiveté lost, have no doubt felt your heart breaking.
That is good.
The acquisition of a broken heart and a contrite spirit is excruciatingly painful but it is necessary and it will enable us to return to a state of true spiritual innocence before God.
If we are going to identify the EXACT time and CIRCUMSTANCES pertaining to when the latter day apostasy really began, we need to identify and define exactly what it was that the restored church apostatized from!
I am going to suggest that according to the scriptures, the latter day church apostatized from and ultimately rejected the FULNESS OF THE GOSPEL.
The exact phrase “fullness of the gospel” or “fullness of the everlasting gospel” or a variation thereof shows up at least eleven times in the scriptures that I am aware of, four times in the Book of Mormon, six times in the D&C and once in the account of Moroni’s visit to Joseph smith.
It never shows up in the Bible!
That is a very significant fact. Let me say that again,
It never shows up in the Bible!
Interestingly, of the 11 passages, most of them are only making reference to the fullness of the Gospel. Only two of them actually summarize what it is.
One definition comes from the Book of Mormon, the other comes from the last testimony of the Seer and the Spokesman as contained in section 76.
We will review some of these verses in this part of the series because understanding this phrase is critical if we are going to understand when, how and why the latter day apostasy took place.
According to the book of Mormon, the Bible originally contained the fullness of the Gospel when it went forth in purity but the great church perverted it and took many plain and precious parts of the gospel out of it.
When the angel Moroni appeared to Joseph Smith, he informed him that there was a book deposited in the ground that contained the fulness of the gospel as given to the Nephites by the Savior.
“He said there was a book deposited, written upon gold plates, giving an account of the former inhabitants of this continent, and the source from whence they sprang. He also said that the fulness of the everlasting Gospel was contained in it, as delivered by the Savior to the ancient inhabitants“; (ref #1…..)
The church often teaches that the purpose of the Book of Mormon is to be a second witness to the Bible.
That is certainly true, however if they are referring the King James Version of the Bible which is currently the official Bible
endorsed and published by the church, it is a misleading statement because it implies that both books of scripture contain the fullness of the gospel.
Only the Book of Mormon does.
Another scripture in modern revelation is also confusing and misleading if not properly understood, it is contained in section 42,
“And again, the elders, priests and teachers of this church shall teach the principles of my gospel, which are in the Bible and the Book of Mormon, in the which is the fulness of the gospel.”
It is easy to assume that the above passage is saying that the corrupted King James and other contemporary versions of the bible contain the fullness of the gospel as well as the Book of Mormon, however, as we will see in a minute, that would contradict what the Book of Mormon teaches.
The book of Mormon teaches that the fullness of the gospel was taken out of the Bible when it passed through the hands of the Great Church which is the Whore.
With that in mind, it becomes apparent that the above verse is either saying that the corrupted bible and the Book of Mormon contain the fullness of the gospel when read jointly
Or, another possible interpretation is that it could be referring to the Bible in its original condition which Joseph Smith was currently working on restoring through the process of translation.
Notice a few verses later in section 20 how it refers to the “fullness of the scriptures” which are forthcoming,
“And all this ye shall observe to do as I have commanded concerning your teaching, until the fulness of my scriptures is given”
The fullness of the scriptures appears to be speaking about the Joseph Smith translation of the Bible that Joseph Smith was currently working on and possibly the additional words contained in the sealed portion.
Notice also the following passages that show up even later in the same section,
Thou shalt ask, and my scriptures shall be given as I have appointed, and they shall be preserved in safety;
And it is expedient that thou shouldst hold thy peace concerning them, and not teach them until ye have received them in full. And I give unto you a commandment that then ye shall teach them unto all men; for they shall be taught unto all nations, kindreds, tongues and people.
We know from this that Joseph Smith and the first elders were commanded not to teach from the Joseph Smith Translation, otherwise known as the inspired version of the Bible until they could be taught unto all nations, kindreds, tongues and people.
Hence, the Saints would need to provide the means for financing the publishing of the inspired version of the Bible before the fullness of the Gospel contained in it could be taught to the church and the whole world.
It is interesting to note that even though the specific, detailed “definition” and “how to” pertaining to the fullness of the gospel was taken out of the Bible, once you have found out what the fullness of the Gospel really is, you can very easily use the Bible to document what it is even though the original plainness and clarity of it has been taken out.
In other words, even though the Bible does not explain the fullness of the gospel in detail, it does provide several accounts that contain the various elements and fruits of the fullness of the Gospel and it documents that it existed back then.
You may be thinking that you already know what the phrase fullness of the Gospel means, but I am going to suggest that there might be a deeper, more detailed definition that is very important to understand.
Notice the following statement about the prophesying of Lehi,
Wherefore, he said it must needs be that we should be led with one accord into the land of promise, unto the fulfilling of the word of the Lord, that we should be scattered upon all the face of the earth.
And after the house of Israel should be scattered they should be gathered together again; or, in fine, after the Gentiles had received the fulness of the Gospel, the natural branches of the olive-tree, or the remnants of the house of Israel, should be grafted in, or come to the knowledge of the true Messiah, their Lord and their Redeemer. (2nd ref: 1st Nephi 1:10)
The above passages are somewhat cryptic if you don’t understand the doctrine of the three watches.
I have been harping on the fact in other posts that after the apostasy in Kirtland, the Lord revealed to Joseph Smith that “something new must be done for the salvation of the Church” and then the apostles were sent to establish foreign missions and to take the gospel to the dispersed of Judah and the outcasts of Israel. Since then many tens of thousands of the house of Israel have gathered to America and to the church.
HOWEVER, it was the priesthood power and gifts of the preparatory gospel, also possibly referred to as the gospel of Abraham that was taken to foreign missions at that time in the second watch, the fullness of the Gosepl of Christ was only spoken about in those missionary efforts!
The above passages in the Book of Mormon are referring to the time when the light of the fulness of the gospel shines forth
again among the gentiles in the 3rd watch. At that time the first laborers of the last kingdom return and the rest of the house of Israel will be grafted in!
We need to ask ourselves, did the gentiles as a group ultimately receive the fullness of the gospel in the 2nd watch or did they as a group ultimately reject the fullness of the gospel in the 2nd watch?
Notice the following passages in 3rd Nephiti-
And thus commandeth the Father that I should say unto you: At that day when the Gentiles shall sin against my gospel, and shall reject the fulness of my gospel, and shall be lifted up in the pride of their hearts above all nations, and above all the people of the whole earth, and shall be filled with all manner of lyings, and of deceits, and of mischiefs, and all manner of hypocrisy, and murders, and priestcrafts, and whoredoms, and of secret abominations; and if they shall do all those things, and shall reject the fulness of my gospel, behold, saith the Father, I will bring the fulness of my gospel from among them. (3rd ref: 3 Ne. 16: 10)
The above passages seem to be saying that in the second watch the gentiles will reject the fullness of the gospel when it is offered to them and therefore the Father will take the fullness of the gospel from them. It could be referring to the entire day of the gentiles… from the first watch to the 3rd watch, for indeed it appears that the majority of gentiles will reject the fulness of the gospel in the 3rd watch as well! (However we do know that a portion of the righteous gentiles will become established in the fulness of the gospel.)
As painful as it is to admit, the above passages are directed more towards the believing gentiles than the unbelieving gentiles. They are referencing the gentiles that first begin to receive the light and then sin against it.
This is further verified later in 3rd Nephi. Notice the chronology of events contained in the following passages.
First the gentiles receive power from the Holy Ghost that makes them mighty above all nations unto the scattering and scourging of the remnants of this land.
Secondly, the gentiles receive the fullness of the Gospel
Thirdly the gentiles harden their hearts.
Fourth, the Father returns their iniquities upon their own heads. .
And after that ye were blessed then fulfilleth the Father the covenant which he made with Abraham, saying: In thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed—unto the pouring out of the Holy Ghost through me upon the Gentiles, which blessing upon the Gentiles shall make them mighty above all, unto the scattering of my people, O house of Israel.
And they shall be a scourge unto the people of this land. Nevertheless, when they shall have received the fulness of my gospel, then if they shall harden their hearts against me I will return their iniquities upon their own heads, saith the Father.
(4th ref: 3 nephi 20)
Clearly, the gentiles that sin against the gospel are the believing gentiles that initially receive it, not the gentiles that refused to receive it.
This ominous sequence of events is further confirmed in the following passages in 1st Nephi where it clarifies that the final grafting in of the house of Israel into the true fold of God is represented as the gentiles who bring the fullness of the gospel to them. These events obviously did not take place in the 2nd watch, they are to take place in the 3rd watch when the first laborers of the last kingdom return and begin the Marvelous Work.
13 And now, the thing which our father meaneth concerning the grafting in of the natural branches through the fulness of the Gentiles, is, that in the latter days, when our seed shall have dwindled in unbelief, yea, for the space of many years, and many generations after the Messiah shall be manifested in body unto the children of men, then shall the fulness of the gospel of the Messiah come unto the Gentiles, and from the Gentiles unto the remnant of our seed—
14 And at that day shall the remnant of our seed know that they are of the house of Israel, and that they are the covenant people of the Lord; and then shall they know and come to the knowledge of their forefathers, and also to the knowledge of the gospel of their Redeemer, which was ministered unto their fathers by him; wherefore, they shall come to the knowledge of their Redeemer and the very points of his doctrine, that they may know how to come unto him and be saved.
15 And then at that day will they not rejoice and give praise unto their everlasting God, their rock and their salvation? Yea, at that day, will they not receive the strength and nourishment from the true vine? Yea, will they not come unto the true fold of God? (5th ref: 1st Nephi 15:13)
From the above passages and others we learn that during the 2nd watch the gospel taken from the gentiles because they rejected it. However in the 3rd watch a righteous portion of the gentiles will repent and accept the fulness of the gospel. They will then take it to the other remnants of the house of Israel.
The Gentiles- In the 2nd watch it is taken from them… in the 3rd watch it is restored to them and they take it to the rest of the world!
Many assume that all of the gentiles during the 3rd watch will reject the gospel and have it taken from them and that the remnants of the Nephites will then take over and administer the gospel and take it to the world but this is clearly not the case. It is in fact the first elders of the last kingdom who are identified among the gentiles that will successfully return and administer and deliver the fulness of the gospel to the gentiles nations and to all other remnants of Israel.
In a sense it is really a matter of semantics in that the Book of Mormon tells us that the righteous believing gentiles are the covenant people of the Lord, so regardless of whether you choose to refer to the first laborers of the last kingdom that return, as gentiles, Israel, the sons of Jacob or Ephraim, it is still those who were classed among the gentiles that will return, repent, and administer the gospel. They will take it to the gentiles first and then to the other remnants of Israel. (See also D&C 90:6-10)
The ACTUAL Fruits of the Fullness of the Gospel VS. the Description in the Written Word.
So far, every passage we have observed has been speaking about the fullness of the Gospel, yet none of them have provided a detailed definition of what the fullness of the gospel is.
Here is another very important passage that references the fullness of the gospel, yet is simply stating that the Bible, in its original form contained the fullness of the Gospel.
24 And the angel of the Lord said unto me: Thou hast beheld that the book proceeded forth from the mouth of a Jew; and when it proceeded forth from the mouth of a Jew it contained the fulness of the gospel of the Lord, of whom the twelve apostles bear record; and they bear record according to the truth which is in the Lamb of God. (Ref #6 1 Ne. 13: 24)
Again we have a passage that is only speaking about the fullness of the gospel, not defining what it is!
By the way as mentioned previously, the fact that a person or group of people have the uncorrupted bible or the book of Mormon and can read about how the fullness of the Gospel once existed among an ancient people, or even read a detailed description of what the fullness of the Gospel is, does not mean that they themselves actually have it, or that they have the authority to administer the ordinances thereof.
Reading about the fullness of the Gospel is not the same as having actuated the fullness of the gospel endowment.
This is the shaky foundation that Protestantism finds itself on.
The subtle implication is that the Protestants got their authority to preach and administer the Gospel and enjoy the fruits thereof either through the act of protesting against the corrupt gospel and the whore, or by virtue of the fact that they have the bible and can read about the Gospel.
Furthermore, they can’t even read about the fullness of the Gospel in their bible because the plain explanation of what it is has been taken out! The key to extracting that veiled information out of the Bible is contained in the Doctrine and Covenants and the Book of Mormon.
We understand from the Book of Mormon that the Bible actually no longer contains a clear description of what the fullness of the gospel really is. Let us continue reading from where the last passage left off,
25 Wherefore, these things go forth from the Jews in purity unto the Gentiles, according to the truth which is in God.
26 And after they go forth by the hand of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, from the Jews unto the Gentiles, thou seest the formation of that great and abominable church, which is most abominable above all other churches; for behold, they have taken away from the gospel of the Lamb many parts which are plain and most precious; and also many covenants of the Lord have they taken away.
28 Wherefore, thou seest that after the book hath gone forth through the hands of the great and abominable church, that there are many plain and precious things taken away from the book, which is the book of the Lamb of God.
29 And after these plain and precious things were taken away it goeth forth unto all the nations of the Gentiles; and after it goeth forth unto all the nations of the Gentiles, yea, even across the many waters which thou hast seen with the Gentiles which have gone forth out of captivity, thou seest—because of the many plain and precious things which have been taken out of the book, which were plain unto the understanding of the children of men, according to the plainness which is in the Lamb of God—because of these things which are taken away out of the gospel of the Lamb, an exceedingly great many do stumble, yea, insomuch that Satan hath great power over them.” (1st Nephi 13)
We have been conditioned to think that many plain and precious parts of the bible have been taken out in general but according to the above passages, the more poignant point being made is the many plain and precious parts of the FULNESS OF THE GOSPEL (verse 24) and OF THE GOSPEL OF THE LAMB (verse 29) have been taken out of the bible.
From this we understand that one cannot even gain an understanding of what the fullness of the gospel is from reading the bible….
but even if the Bible still did contain a complete description of all of the covenants and ordinances of the fullness of the gospel, it would still be incapable of empowering people with the fullness of the gospel without the literal restoration of priesthood by God and/or angels because priesthood authority is not conferred simply through the reading of a Book and by an intellectual understanding of what the necessary covenants and ordinances of the gospel are.
Reading about the ordinances of the gospel and reading about those who were authorized to administer them does not transfer priesthood authority and power to the reader.
Notice how the revelation that Oliver received known as section 20 makes the distinction between the fullness of the gospel in the written word, in the Book of Mormon, vs the priesthood authority which is ordained by God, angels and humans to actually administer the fullness of the Gospel-
1 The rise of the Church of Christ in these last days, being one thousand eight hundred and thirty years since the coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in the flesh, it being regularly organized and established agreeable to the laws of our country, by the will and commandments of God, in the fourth month, and on the sixth day of the month which is called April—
6 But after repenting, and humbling himself sincerely, through faith, God ministered unto him by an holy angel, whose countenance was as lightning, and whose garments were pure and white above all other whiteness;
Ok, there is a difference between the fulness of the Gospel as contained in the written word, vs being ordained to the priesthood authority to administer the fullness of the Gospel.
Now that we understand that the fullness of the gospel is no longer contained in the bible, we are ready to better understand why many of the great biblical scholars at the time of the restoration movement did not comprehend the spiritual baptism that must attend the baptism of water.
The Baptism of Water Fire and the Holy Ghost
Prior to the legal restoration of the church in 1830 while Joseph Smith was meeting yearly with the angel Moroni and eventually translating the Book of Mormon, Sidney Rigdon and his long time associate Alexander Campbell were involved in a ministry of their own.
Both Rigdon and Campbell had become known as formidable biblical scholars and both of them were having a formidable impact on Protestantism in America.
Little did they know that they would eventually have a huge theological parting of the ways and become great adversaries of each other.
Even before Rigdon accepted the restored gospel, he had a theological falling out with Campbell.
Rigdon believed that the gift of prophesy and all of the other spiritual gifts enjoyed by the Saints in the New Testament needed to be restored in the latter days.
Campbell believed that the spiritual and Pentecostal phenomena of New Testament times only had to do with that dispensation and would not return to the earth in the latter days.
While Rigdon’s conversion to Mormonism played an invaluable role in lending credibility to the church since he was a highly esteemed biblical scholar who maintained that there was doctrinal congruency between the bible and Book of Mormon, Alexander Campbell went on to become perhaps the greatest doctrinal adversary of Joseph Smith and the restored Church.
Although there were apostates that left the church and enemies from the outside that fabricated stories and did things to thwart the work of God, arguably, Alexander Campbell did more damage to the growth of the kingdom than any other individual from a antagonistic theological and scholarly point of view.
Many people were able to justify their decisions to reject the gospel message based on the strength of written and verbal diatribes generated by the revered Campbell.
He was relentless in his doctrinal criticisms of the restoration movement.
It appears to me that one of the main issues that he argued was that the ordinance of baptism was limited to what the bible clearly refers to in the following declaration.
“He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved. He that believeth not shall be damned.”
Campbell took issue with the belief that a discernible spiritual baptism (rebirth), brought about by the laying on of hands, was necessary to accompany water baptism. He also challenged the notion that the spiritual gifts mentioned in the bible were a necessary part of the Lords church in the latter days. (to get a better idea of what Campbell taught you can read a fascinating debate on this topic involving one of his disciples and a believer in the LDS restoration here)
It is in this context that in 1843, in the middle of the funeral sermon, Joseph Smith publically lashed out at Alexander Campbell with the following question,
“Alexander Campbell how are you going to save people with water only?”
The doctrinal disconnect between Joseph Smith and Alexander Campbell was caused by virtue of the fact that Campbell considered the Bible to be complete and without error and it did not clearly specify a mandatory secondary spiritual baptism, nor did it clearly establish that such a spiritual baptism must be initiated by the laying on of hands.
Notice how the revelation given to Sidney Rigdon on the first day he met Joseph Smith states,
“Behold, verily, verily, I say unto my servant Sidney, I have looked upon thee and thy works. I have heard thy prayers, and prepared thee for a greater work.
Thou art blessed, for thou shalt do great things. Behold thou wast sent forth, even as John, to prepare the way before me, and before Elijah which should come, and thou knewest it not.
Thou didst baptize by water unto repentance, but they received not the Holy Ghost;
But now I give unto thee a commandment, that thou shalt baptize by water, and they shall receive the Holy Ghost by the laying on of the hands, even as the apostles of old.”
Notice how the Lord quickly jumps to a prophesy about the third watch in that revelation to Sidney-
“And it shall come to pass that there shall be a great work in the land, even among the Gentiles, for their folly and their abominations shall be made manifest in the eyes of all people.
For I am God, and mine arm is not shortened; and I will show miracles, signs, and wonders, unto all those who believe on my name.
And whoso shall ask it in my name in faith, they shall cast out devils; they shall heal the sick; they shall cause the blind to receive their sight, and the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak, and the lame to walk.
And the time speedily cometh that great things are to be shown forth unto the children of men;”
Now look closely at how curious the following passage in this same revelation to Sidney is,
“And there are none that doeth good except those who are ready to receive the fulness of my gospel, which I have sent forth unto this generation.”
Read the above passage several times.
It is curious.
It is telling the existing church membership and the world at large that the fullness of the Gospel has already been sent forth on the one hand, yet it does not indicate that anyone has received the fullness of the Gospel yet. It simply says blessed are those who are READY to receive it.
In other words, many people had been baptized by water and received the ordinance of the laying on of hands, and they had the Book of Mormon which provides a detailed description of the fullness of the gospel, but none of them had received the second part of baptism. None of them had been endowed with power from on high and become born of the spirit.
These passages are setting the stage for the significance of the Special Conference at the Morley Farm that would be taking place about six months AFTER this revelation is given when the fullness of the gospel would be manifest in the eyes of the priesthood body of the church that would gather to the special conference.
Blessed are those who are READY to receive it.
The first two priesthoods that had already been restored to the earth had the power and authority to baptize with water and administer the laying on of hands. HOWEVER, the second spiritual part of baptism which is called the baptism of FIRE, which is also referred to as the PROMISE OF THE FATHER had not yet been given to the church membership since the church had been legally organized nor had the third part of baptism wherein the Father sends the Holy Ghost to dwell in the heart of the recipient and seal them up unto eternal life.
It was Gods intention for this spiritual endowment to take place in a group setting at the special conference similar to the day of Pentecost in New Testament times.
It took David Whitmer and several others of the first elders by surprise when Joseph Smith received a revelation January of 1831 telling the church that all of the members of the church who had been baptized and confirmed were still corrupted and needed to gather to the Ohio to receive the LAW and to be endowed with power from on high! (see section 38)
In section 41 the Lord warns the Saints that he is getting ready to give them the LAW and that it would result in a blessing to those who accept it and a cursing to those who reject it.
After arriving in Ohio, the Lord gave the revelation containing the Law of the Gospel on Feb 9th 1831. It is also referred to as the law of the Church, containing the law of consecration and the marital law of monogamy. (see section 42)
Later that month the Lord gave a commandment for the elders of the church to assemble. The promise was that God would Pour out is Spirit upon those who were faithful and exercise faith in Christ (see section 44)
Do you see a type here?
Remember in Acts chapter one how the apostles who had been baptized, confirmed and ordained spent 40 days with the resurrected Lord and yet just before Christ’s ascension into heaven he commanded them to tarry in Jerusalem until they received power from on high–
THE former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,
Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen:
To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:
And, being assembled together with them,
commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.
For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.
The apostles had been baptized and had received the laying on of hands (or been breathed on by the Lord) but they had not yet received the PROMISE OF THE FATHER which is contained in the FULNESS OF THE GOSPEL!
They were commanded to tarry in Jerusalem and wait for the day of Pentecost when God would pour out his spirit and baptize them with fire and the Holy Ghost!
This endowment was called the PROMISE OF THE FATHER!
From this we realize that the special conference at the Morley farm was to be the appointed day of Pentecost in the latter days where the promise of the Father would be realized by the faithful while those who rejected it would be cursed!
Lets read further in the book of Acts,
AND when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.
Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.
And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilæans?
And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?
Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judæa, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia,
Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes,
Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.
And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?
Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.
But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judæa, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:
For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.
But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;
And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:
And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: (is there a type her?)
The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:
And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
We read further how the endowment of power from on high brought about a great conversion by those who witnessed it. We also read how it was associated with the doctrine of having all things in common and how it was accompanied by miraculous signs and wonders.
Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.
And all that believed were together, and had all things common;
And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.
And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,
Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
Truly the apostles and converts did receive power from on high from the promise of the Father and the pouring out of the holy ghost.
This was the endowment that Christ wanted the apostles to receive before they went forth preaching the gospel.
We read in the next chapter of Acts about the amazing priesthood power that the apostles had as a result of the baptism of fire and the holy Ghost,
“NOW Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour.
And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple;
Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms.
And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us.
And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them.
Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.
And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.
And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.
And all the people saw him walking and praising God:
That is an example of the power that comes when the second two parts of baptism are received. That is the fullness of the Gospel!
That endowment of power is what was being offered to the elders of the Church at the special conference at the Morley Farm!
But Joseph had also prophesied that the “man of sin would be revealed” as well.
It is evident from historical records (see the following series of articles for additional info) that Joseph Smith was prophesying that the apostasy of the restored church as contained in 2nd Thes. would begin at the latter day, day of Pentecost because of those whose minds were darkened that would deny the experience.
Truly a blessing and a cursing did begin to take place at the special conference at the Morley Farm and it continued for 3 ½ years.
For a duration of 3 ½ years, those who were called to be high priests along with all other saints, were given the opportunity to accept the greater light of the fulness of the gospel or reject it. According the historical and scriptural accounts, some accepted it while the majority rejected it.
Some people like Lyman Wight, Sidney rigdon and Joseph Smith did receive the promise of the Father on that occasion and have the heavens opened and according to sections 84 and 88 they went on to have the covenant of the Father conferred upon them (84:48) and to receive the other comforter of the Holy Ghost which is the PROMISE OF ETERNAL LIFE. (88:3-5).
Unfortunately, it appears that many began to question the validity of the experience and denied what had happened. David Whitmer became an outspoken critic of what had taken place at the Morley Farm!
Jealousy eventually broke out among many of the newly ordained high priests when they failed to see the face of God. Seeing the face of God is one of the promises contained in the fullness of the gospel to those who are faithful.
Some of these men became darkened in their minds and rejected the light that had shined forth because of the fears in their hearts and jealousies towards their brethren. (see section 67)
The Old Testament prophecy of Moses about the latter days had come to pass. The blessing and the cursing had begun.
An understanding of what took place at the special conference and the typology of the meridian apostles and the day of Pentecost is helpful in understanding what the fullness of the gospel is and how and when it was rejected by the Saints of the latter days.
Within the same month that the blessing and the cursing of the fulness of the gospel was initiated at the Morley Farms some of the newly ordained high priests broke the everlasting covenant they had entered into. Others broke their covenants during the months and years to come.
During that same month that the special conference took place, the Lord revealed that some of the high priests had kept the everlasting covenant that they had entered into while others had broken it,
“BEHOLD, thus saith the Lord, even Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, even he who was crucified for the sins of the world—
Behold, verily, verily, I say unto you, my servant Newel Knight, you shall stand fast in the office whereunto I have appointed you.
And if your brethren desire to escape their enemies, let them repent of all their sins, and become truly humble before me and contrite.
And as the covenant which they made unto me has been broken, even so it has become void and of none effect.
And wo to him by whom this offense cometh, for it had been better for him that he had been drowned in the depth of the sea.
But blessed are they who have kept the covenant and observed the commandment, for they shall obtain mercy.”
(see section 54)
FULNESS OF THE GOSPEL IS SYNONOMOUS WITH EVERLASTING COVENANT
Modern revelation informs us that the everlasting covenant is synonymous with the fullness of the gospel.
“Verily I say unto you, blessed are you for receiving mine everlasting covenant, even the fulness of my gospel, sent forth unto the children of men, that they might have life and be made partakers of the glories which are to be revealed in the last days, as it was written by the prophets and apostles in days of old.” ( D&C 66: 2 see also D&C 101: 39)
In October the Lord revealed that the fulness of the gospel is synonymous with the EVERLASTING COVENANT and tells William McLellin he is blessed for receiving it,
“BEHOLD, thus saith the Lord unto my servant William E. McLellin—Blessed are you, inasmuch as you have turned away from your iniquities, and have received my truths, saith the Lord your Redeemer, the Savior of the world, even of as many as believe on my name.
2 Verily I say unto you, blessed are you for receiving mine everlasting covenant, even the fulness of my gospel, sent forth unto the children of men, that they might have life and be made partakers of the glories which are to be revealed in the last days, as it was written by the prophets and apostles in days of old.”
This is incredible!
We know from this and other passages that the following passage from Isaiah is speaking about the rejection of the fullness of the gospel and the everlasting covenant that was established in the latter days beginning with the special conference at the Morley Farm,
“The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.” (Isa 24)
This ties the ominous pronouncement above with the prophecies in the Book of Mormon that the gentiles would reject the fulness of the gospel!
The following passages are quoted often in articles about the apostasy of the church and was even quoted by President Benson but unfortunately most people quoting them are clueless to the fact they have specific reference to the rejection of the NEW [AND EVERLASTING] COVENANT of the FULNESS OF THE GOSPEL, even the light that began to shine forth at the Morley Farm, which is clearly outlined in the Book of Mormon!
And your minds in times past have been darkened because of unbelief, and because you have treated lightly the things you have received— [He is speaking specifically to the newly ordained high priests who have doubted the significance of the events that took place at the Morley Farm when the endowment associated with their baptismal covenants was being offered by the FATHER to those who were faithful and believing]
Which vanity and unbelief have brought the whole church under condemnation.
And this condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion, even all.
And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them, not only to say, but to do according to that which I have written—
Interestingly, even though the church was to remain under the condemnation the servants of God being addressed in this revelation appear to be forgiven at that time-
“For I will forgive you of your sins with this commandment—that you remain steadfast in your minds in solemnity and the spirit of prayer, in bearing testimony to all the world of those things which are communicated unto you.”
(The promise of forgiveness based on the associated commandment has a dual fulfillment! The literal, final fulfillment of it comes in the 3rd watch. We know this because those first elders being addressed never went into all of world with the fullness of the gospel at that time as commanded! Those passages actually detail how the Marvelous Work begins with the servant and his fellows being forgiven and sent forth with the fulness of the gospel when they return!)
But getting back to Alexander Campbell, during my mission in the Bible Belt, as I would debate with church of Christ preachers they would continuously quote the following couplet that I believe was originated by Alexander Campbell,
“Where the Bible speaks, we speak. Where the Bible is silent, we are silent”
On the other hand, Joseph Smith was teaching that the bible was not complete and that some things were missing from it.
He taught that water baptism was not complete by itself.
As previously mentioned, according to the Book of Mormon, the Bible had originally contained the fulness of the Gospel when it originally went forth in purity however after going through the hands of the great and abominable church, many plain and precious truths and covenants had been taken out of it.
Have you ever wondered what exactly was removed from the Bible?
Lets review a passage from the Book of Mormon,
“…they have taken away from the gospel of the Lamb many parts which are plain and most precious; and also many covenants of the Lord have they taken away.
Can you identify what the “many covenants” are that pertain to the Gospel of the Lamb?
Three Baptismal Covenants Constitute the Full baptism
I will now provide three separate quotes from the prophet Joseph smith wherein he taught that the baptismal covenant is composed of three separate covenants-
I am now going to provide you with three separate quotes by Joseph smith when he emphasized that the full baptism consists of three baptismal covenants-
Now lets go back to the King Follett funeral sermon and read a little broader portion of Joseph Smiths declaration again.
Campbell, how are you
going to save them with water alone? For John said his baptism was nothing without the baptism of Jesus Christ. There is one God, one Father, one Jesus, one hope of our calling, one baptism all these three baptisms only make one. I have the truth and am at the defiance of the world to contradict me if they can. I have now preached a little Latin, a little Hebrew, Greek, and German; and I have fulfilled all. I am not so big a fool as many have taken me to be. The Germans know that I read the German correctly.?”
There you have the first quote.
Joseph Smith nailed it down in that funeral sermon. He succinctly identified one of the doctrines that had been taken from the Bible pertaining to the fulness of the gospel. He shows that there are multiple covenants associated with the fullness of the gospel as stated in the Book of Mormon!
The true baptism is composed of a three part covenant made to three separate and distinct Gods that mystically make up one God.
According to the Prophet Joseph Smith, the Baptismal covenant is more than just the baptism by water.
He went on to clarify that the full baptism is actually three baptismal covenants that make up the complete ordinance.
Baptism of water only represents one of three baptisms that make up the complete baptismal covenant!
Alexander Campbell did not accept this because this doctrine was clearly explained in the corrupted bible.
Here is a second documented quote from Joseph Smith as recalled by Daniel Tyler, demonstrating that Joseph taught the doctrine of the three part baptism
“Here we have baptism with water, baptism with the Holy Ghost, and baptism with fire, three in number…. Joseph Smith… said, there is but one baptism; it takes the baptism of water, of the Holy Ghost, and of fire to constitute one full baptism” (They knew the Prophet” Page 51)
From the above account we can see that Joseph interpreted all of the scriptures that speak of the baptism of water, fire and Holy Ghost as referring to three distinct portions of the baptismal covenant!
Now for the third quote that become apparent now that we know that the “fullness of the gospel” is synonymous with the term “everlasting covenant”-
“An Everlasting covenant was made between three personages before the organization of this earth, and relates to their dispensation of things to men on the earth; these personages, according to Abraham’s record, are called God the first, the Creator; God the second, the Redeemer; and God the third, the witness or Testator.“ (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p.190 Extracts from Wm Clayton’s Private Book, 10-11, Nuttall collection, BYU Library].
That is amazing!
Joseph Smith was using the Book of Abraham to illustrate that the baptismal covenant represented three covenants with the three pre-existent Gods that presided over our creation and this probation!
He even alludes to who the third member of the Godhead is that we are covenanting with!
Three baptisms that make up one baptism
Three covenants that make up one covenant
I always thought it was curious how the Bible and Book of Mormon refer to being baptized unto Christ and being baptized in the name of Christ, yet instead of the actual wording of the ordinance saying “I baptize you in the name of Jesus Christ…” it says, “I baptize you in the name of the Father
Son and Holy Ghost“.
In other words, I baptize you in the name of the Father who you make covenant with, and also in the name of the Son who you make a covenant with and I baptize you in the name of the Holy Ghost who make a covenant with.
These three Gods constitute one God!
Don’t you just love how the scriptures continually alternate back and forth in reminding us that the mystery of God incorporates the distinctness and interaction between the three members of the Godhead and yet the oneness and singleness of the Godhead?
According to Joseph Smith and the scriptures he was instrumental in bringing forth a knowledge of the mystical triune of the Godhead which requires a mystical covenant with each member of the trinity!
From this we can see that when the Book of Mormon speaks of the baptism of water and of fire and of the Holy Ghost, it is literally speaking of the three parts of baptism!
Water- Christ the Son
Fire- God the Father
Hence, if you have not received the promise of the Father previously described, you have not received the full baptismal endowment!
One of the best descriptions of what the fullness of the Gospel is, is found in section 76
Elaborate on the significance of why the testimony of Joseph and Sidney in 76 becomes THE LAST TESTIMONY.
It is because this was the last witness to the world under the influence of the spirit by which the complete definition of what the fullness of the gospel really is, was given!
The fullness of the gospel is a brief explanation of what is required to come forth in the resurrection of the just.
15 For while we were doing the work of translation, which the Lord had appointed unto us, we came to the twenty-ninth verse of the fifth chapter of John, which was given unto us as follows—
50 And again we bear record—for we saw and heard, and this is the testimony of the gospel of Christ concerning them who shall come forth in the resurrection of the just—
51 They are they who received the testimony of Jesus, and believed on his name and were baptized after the manner of his burial, being buried in the water in his name, and this according to the commandment which he has given—
That is it right there.
- Covenant with Christ being buried in the water after the manner of his example
- Promise of the Father resulting in Fire
- Sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise– calling and election-
Three baptisms that make one baptism
Once a person has received the full complete three part baptism, they have the POWER FROM ON HIGH.
Have you received power from on high?
How many people in your ward have received power from on high?
How many people in the church have you met that have received power from on high with the appointed signs following them?
Once we know what the commandments and ordinances of the fullness of the Gospel are, we need to identify the fruits of the true church that has the fullness of the gospel.
We have already covered this in the following blog post entitled the Exclusivity of Priesthood and the Seven Signs of the True Church but we need to briefly review the seven fruits that always accompany the Lords Church when they have the fullness of the Gospel
Seven fruits of the True Church
Interestingly, Christ actually gave such a list of how we can recognize the true church.
It focused on fruits and power.
He gives this list three times in the scriptures.
First He gave it to the New Testament Saints so that they could easily identify who the true believers of Christ’s church were. (Mark 16)
Secondly, He gave it to the Nephites so that they could identify who the true believers in Christ really were. (3rd Nephi)
Finally, He gave it to the Saints in modern revelation so that we who are waiting for the messengers to return in the 3rd watch will know how to identify the true servants and the true believers in Christ. (Section 84)
In all three passages referenced above in the Bible, Book of Mormon and D&C he begins by commanding his servants to take and preach the gospel into all the world. (possibly a veiled reference to the fact that all three groups of apostles will be returning in the 3rd watch to literally fulfill the commandment to take the gospel into ALL THE WORLD)
Here are the points contained in his list that identifies how to identify the true followers of Christ that constitute the true and living church,
- They believe
- They are baptized (with the full, complete three part baptism)
- They cast out devils
- They speak with new tongues
- They take up serpents with out getting hurt
- They drink any deadly thing without getting hurt
- They lay hands on the sick and they recover (power over the elements)
In giving us the points by which we might identify the true and living church, Christ was focusing not just on the primary belief in Christ and the primary ordinance of the gospel, but also on the associated POWER and FRUITS that always accompany the fulness of the Gospel and those who embrace it.
Notice that 5 of the 7 points had to do with Melchizedek priesthood POWER over devils, poison and, sickness.
Please remember the above seven fruits because we need to understand this to identify when the fullness of the Gospel shines forth in the Marvelous Word that is about to come forth.
This concludes this series on losing ones naiveté during the process of waking up to the various phases of the latter day apostasy although I will be posting an appendix showing a Brief Chronology of Events Pertaining to the Latter-day Apostasy.
The Chronology of Events that I will be posting will show a pattern that testifies of the information contained in this series. The events listed are taken from historical documents and passages from modern revelation .
It is so critical that we understand that we have not received the full gospel endowment until we have received the baptism of fire which is associated with the promise of the Father. The endowment is not complete until we have been sealed up by the Holy Spirit of Promise which is sent by the Father.
We need to be watching for the signs of the times and also the the signs that follow the true servants that will be returning and the true believers that heed their words and are gathered out.
Are you watching?