I am going to be doing a post about the LAST TESTIMONY, what it is and the role it plays when the Marvelous Work begins.
Before doing so, I am providing a primer, in the form of an old post I did last year on my other blog site.
This concept of bringing an existing ministry to light evolved a little as a result of comments made by NEPT, the Anarchist and my Wife.
Even if you have read it, it wouldn’t hurt to review it. Plus, I have since inserted an incredible thing I have recently noticed in section 6 pertaining to the ministry that Oliver and Joseph brought to light.
The other day as I was doing some random searches pertaining to Brother Sidney and I came across http://www.sidneyrigdon.com/ which is a great resource filled with historical information pertaining to LDS Church History and Sidney Rigdon. I had visited the site many time over the years but not spent as much time there as I should have.
The person that keeps up the site apparently was once a member of the RLDS Church (Community of Christ).
For some reason I felt I should send him the link to this blog and to my surprise and utter delight he responded and said;
“I will be away from my computer for a while — in the meantime, you have my permission to reproduce material from the 1863 Sidney Rigdon book:
Thank you Uncle Dale!
As I began perusing the online book I was blown away with some of the information that it contained. I guess the fellows that wrote it firmly believed that Sidney still had a future calling…. of course they were right… they didn’t understand about the 3rd watch but they were right about the fact that he has a future calling.
Although I don’t agree with all of their conclusions, I was really impressed with their scholarship and passion.. and it was nice to get some validation of things that I had discovered in the scriptures from a few guys that lived back in the 1860’s.
Unfortunately, they are very hostile and accusative towards Brother Joseph because they felt Sidney was treated harshly by Joseph and the Smith Family and of course, they did not have the missing pieces to the prophet puzzle.
I found out a long time ago that you can’t allow yourself to become offended just because someone is wrong about something.. that is how I feel about this book.. there are offensive things in it but there are also pearls of great price…
In my final part of the tribute to Sidney Rigdon I am going to provide the missing pieces of the prophet puzzle. After you read it, you will either be incensed at what I propose and will flee from this site in disgust or you will rejoice and finally understand why Joseph Smith did some of the disconcerting things that he did and virtually all of the problematic parts of the restoration movement will make perfect sense to you.. it all depends on you and whether your heart and mind has been prepared to believe the incredible prophecies that will be unveiled.. and whether you are ready to repent of your sins.. even sins you didn’t know you had.
So… getting back to this online book… as I am reading one particular chapter and loving the fact that the authors totally take Gods word very seriously and very literally… very refreshing. They outlined all the reasons why they felt Sidney had a very special mission in the future… at some points in the chapter I felt as if I was reading my own blog because they were extracting the same information that I had extracted from the same verses!
Anyway, as I am reading this online book I came across an amazing tid-bit. The authors quoted from section 6 of our D&C that they pointed out a very subtle statement that I had missed all these years. It confirms some things I had noticed previously by connecting other dots together and I am excited to add it and some related stuff to the final tribute that I am working on….
but for now I am going to share this one thing with you for you to be pondering because this is a hugely important witness to the general premise of my blog pertaining to who Sidney Rigdon was, the special priesthood that he held and the distinction between his role and priesthood vs Joseph’s role and priesthood. Here is an excerpt from the book-
“Turn to the Book of Mormon and the former commandments,” 8th section and 13th paragraph of Doctrine and Covenants, we read thus: “And now behold I give unto you (O. Cowdery), and also unto my servant Joseph, the keys of this gift, which shall bring to light this ministry.” What ministry? Surely the ministry which was to finish the work of bringing to pass the restoration of Israel, and through these means prepare the way for the coming of Christ. It is worthy of remark here, that the Spirit did not say, I give to you this ministry, but the keys to bring it to light. Did they bring it to light? In the 11th section and 2nd paragraph, the following things on this subject are found. Let us here state a fact in relation to this revelation. It was written the first time that Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon met; they had never seen each other till then. “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.”
Oliver Cowdery and Joseph Smith were told that they had the keys of this gift which should bring to light this ministry; and they say of Sidney Rigdon: “Thou art the man;” and who dare say they falsified? Here the great question is settled. Those to whom it was given to point out this ministry, have pointed to the very man, calling him by name. No dispute can ever exist among those who turn to the Book of Mormon and the former commandments about it. Sidney Rigdon.. is the one who is to gether up the residue, after all others are broken and scattered.
It appears further that he was called to this work before he and Joseph ever saw each other, for the Spirit says: “Thou was sent forth even as John to prepare the way,” &c. It does not say, I will send thee forth, but thou wast sent forth before this time… He (Joseph) had the gift to make known who it was the Lord had chosen …. But was not the man himself to do it…”
Did you catch the significance of that? Joseph and Oliver were given the gift and the calling to bring to light an existing ministry! A separate one from their own.
There is a little more to this than the authors wanted to point out because of their bias against Joseph.. lets look at both verses;
“And now I command you, that if you have good desires—a desire to lay up atreasures for yourself in heaven—then shall you assist in bringing to light, with your gift, those parts of my bscriptures which have been hidden because of iniquity.
Joseph and Oliver were given the gift and the calling to bring to light an existing ministry! A separate one from their own.They were to identify the ministry (and minister) that was currently doing a work! And then they were to assist in that ministry… in both the 2nd and 3rd watch!
What happens next?
1) Oliver Cowdery takes a Book of Mormon to Sidney Rigdon who declares it to be a revelation from God.
2) Oliver Cowdery baptizes Rigdon.
3) Rigdon visits Joseph Smith during their first meeting… the first time they ever met, Joseph pronounces a blessing upon Sidneys head and the Lord identifies Sidney as the one like John the Baptist who had previously been sent forth doing a work that was a preparatory work. He was preparing the way before Elijah and the Lord.
4) Shortly thereafter the Lord identifies (through the Prophet Joseph Smith) Sidney Rigdon as the Spokesman from the loins of Judah prophesied about in the Book of Mormon.
What is a ministry?
According the Webster-
Ecclesiastical function; agency or service of a minister of the gospel or clergyman in the modern church, or of priests, apostles and evangelists in the ancient. Acts 1. Rom.12. 2 Tim.4. Num.4.
Did Joseph and Oliver use the keys of revelation Oliver had been given and the keys of Seership Joseph had been given to bring to light the existing ministry and the existing minister who God had previously called to do a preparatory work?
Please remember that anciently, King David had a seer who worked in concert with him;
“All these which were chosen to be porters in the gates were two hundred and twelve. These were reckoned by their genealogy in their villages, whom David and Samuel the aseer did bordain in their set office. ”
Are we seeing a pattern here? The priests had to come before King David and Samuel the Seer to be ordained. Remember how the Lord said in the D&C that all those who would go forth to preach the gospel much come before Sidney and Joseph?
Is it beginning to make a little more sense why Joseph Smith was “partly” a descendant of King David but Sidney was a full blooded descendant of King David?
The King and his Seer…. hmmm
BTW.. did you also catch in the two verses quoted from section 6 that this work would include bringing forth additional records?
I wish I had time to put together a similar tribute for Oliver Cowdery, another much maligned and misunderstood individual.. I firmly believe he will be among the first laborers of the last kingdom who return to the vineyard in the 3rd watch.
“..then shall you assist in bringing to light, with your gift, those parts of my bscriptures which have been hidden because of iniquity.”
There is much to feast on here… more later.
Praise the Lord God
[EDITORIAL NOTE: I have since noticed that section six also speaks of a future TESTIMONY that will come forth as a result of bringing the ministry to light! I’ll cover this in my next post, in the mean time, see if you can find it.]