Sealing up the Testimony- Part Seven- The Testimony & Missionary Work in the Modern Church

In previous posts we have discussed the difference between a faith or belief in the testimony of others which has been expanded by the emanations of the Holy Ghost, as opposed to the sure knowledge that one receives when they are filled with the spirit, transfigured, have the heavens opened and see the Son standing on the right hand of the Father bearing witness of the Son.

Unfortunately many members of the church confuse their faith-based testimony for a knowledge-based testimony.

We reviewed how section 6 had prophesied that Joseph and Oliver would bring to light the existing ministry of Sidney Rigdon which would result in the TESTIMONY that came forth during the LDS foundation movement.

We also briefly highlighted the actual testimony that came forth as contained in section 76.

We reviewed how section 1 & 58 both foretell how that same testimony will play an incredible role in the 3rd watch

Finally, lets recall that Isaiah and sections 88 and 109 all prophesy about how the Lords servants need to return and BIND up the LAW and SEAL up the TESTIMONY to prepare the Saints for the return of the Lord.

As you can see, the testimony that the Seer and Spokesman gave to the world, is still going to play an incredible role in the 3rd watch. It is the same testimony that the elect will each receive for themselves that enables them to become exalted.

That is why I believe this topic of testimony is of paramount importance.

This is why this topic has become a series instead of just one post.

Speaking of the Morley Farm incident, this series on testimony should help to reinforce just how significant it was that Lyman Wight was transfigured by the Holy Spirit and beheld the Father and the Son.

It is significant in part, because it demonstrates that such of testimony is a Melchizedek Priesthood function. It is also significant because it shows just how grievous it was that Lyman Wight’s testimony was NOT taken very seriously by many of the Saints who witnessed it. It was taken very lightly by some… and mocked by others.

Between the testimony of the Father and Son born by Wight and the testimony by the Seer and the Spokesman that followed closely thereafter, it can truly be said that a light shined in a dark place, but it was not comprehended by the cumulative church… which brings me to the topic of this post.

And your minds in times past have been darkened because of unbelief, and because you have treated lightly the things you have received—”

All of the ancient prophets and apostles were looking forward to the time when the testimony would come forth out of Zion.

The testimony that the Marvelous Work and a Wonder largely centers around was first given to the world during the 2nd watch, but it was collectively rejected by the church!

Why is it that the Latter day Saints have changed the definition of what a true testimony is and why do they take the testimony of the Seer and the Spokesman in section 76 lightly.

Why it is that NO latter day saints have been valiant in receiving this testimony since the martyrdom of the prophet Joseph Smith?

Yes, I said that.

I even mentioned it on a blog the other day.

I said I am not convinced that there are any living mortals on the earth, between the martyrdom and the until the return of Gods servants in the 3rd watch, that have the sure testimony of the Father and the Son as documented by Joseph and Sidney in section 76,

I am suggesting that there has not been one Latter day Saint since the time of the Martyrdom that has experienced what Joseph , Sidney and Lyman ( and a few others ) received when the heavens departed and they were transfigured before the Lord to see the father and the Son.

I know what some of you are probably thinking how judgmental and arrogant it is of me to declare my skepticism that there are living mortals who have received this testimony.

right?

Actually, I make that ominous statement because I believe the word of God makes it very clear that the sure testimony of the Father and the Son is withheld from both the gentiles and the whole house of Israel for a period of time… until an appointed time…

..from the time the church went into apostasy in the 2nd watch, until the appointed time in the 3rd watch.

I suspect there were a lot of pious ministers and others who were angry with Joseph when, shortly after establishing the restored church to the earth, he produced the following revelation from the Lord-

And my vineyard has become corrupted every whit; and there is none which doeth good save it be a few; and they err in many instances because of priestcrafts, all having corrupt minds.”

How absurd it must have seemed to many to claim that of the hundreds of millions of people living on the earth in 1830, that not one of them was doing good in the sight of the Lord…

During this time of darkness four generations following the rejection of the fullness of the Gospel, I believe we find ourselves once again in a similar situation where there are NONE WHICH DOETH GOOD. (or at least none except those that are preparing themselves to accept the fulness of the gospel when it returns)

In a future post in this series I will demonstrate additional passages showing why I believe that no living mortals have been transfigured and seen the Father and the Son in our generation.

I will also show you a definition of what a false prophet is and how you can discern who some of the false prophets are that are among us today . You see, there are only two gifts by which people attempt to part the veil, one is a HOLY GIFT from God. The other is a counterfeit gift from Satan. It is referred to as the EVIL GIFT.

The main topic for this part of this series however, has to do with the fact that we latter day saints don’t seem to comprehend the definition or the importance of what a true knowledge-based testimony really is.

Why Do Missionaries Focus on the Book of Mormon instead of the D&C?

Have you ever wondered why the modern corporate church hierarchy makes some of the decisions that they make?

Have you ever wondered how the church hierarchy makes many of the decisions they make?

Apparently one of the inspired tools they use in modern times is FOCUS GROUPS.

I found this out when I was living in Holiday Utah nearly 25 years ago.

I was the home teacher of a very highly educated person whom I believe was a sociologist. He was employed by the church to do research on numerous issues.

He would tell me about numerous changes and improvements that would come about in the church teaching curriculum and in the church missionary program that were initiated by focus groups and other very sophisticated forms of marketing research, etc.

Apparently the new advertising campaign and the new changes in the mormon.org website came about as a result of such modern techniques for creating marketing programs.

What is the Primary Focus of Missionary Work?

Have you ever wondered why LDS missionaries exclusively promote and bear witness of the Book of Mormon instead of the modern revelations contained in the D&C when approaching potential investigators?

Why do they seldom mention the Doctrine and Covenants?

Why do they not encourage investigators to read and study the Doctrine and Covenants?

Yes, they quote a few selected scriptures out of the D&C during the discussions and mention how wonderful it is to have modern revelation, but they would never hand a new investigator a D&C and ask them to read and pray about it the way they do a Book of Mormon.

Think about it.

The book of Mormon is a wonderful book of scripture and it provides a second witness of Jesus Christ along with the Bible BUT… it is an ancient record about God’s dealings with an ancient civilization.

Why isn’t the Doctrine and Covenants at least equally promoted in missionary work?

In fact, why isn’t it the main focus of the message when missionaries knock on doors?

The Book of Mormon is about the posterity of Lehi, an ancient prophet, and it speaks about events that took place between God and them over a thousand years ago.

Yes there is very important information and prophesies contained in it that pertain to those of our generation and to the remnants of Lehi’s posterity…

But the Doctrine and Covenants speaks directly to our generation about us, the gentiles living in the last days.

It contains Gods commandments and covenants and dealings between the God of Israel and the people of our generation and it contains the revelations to living prophets for our time… for our dispensation!

As we noticed in the commentary on Moroni Ten, the promise contained therein on how to know if the record is true that our missionaries always quote to gentiles, was actually specifically being directed to the Lamanites, not the gentiles.

Now I, Moroni, write somewhat as seemeth me good; and I write unto my brethren, the Lamanites; and I would that they should know that *more than four hundred and twenty years have passed away since the sign was given of the coming of Christ.

2 And I seal up these records, after I have spoken a few words by way of exhortation unto you.

3 Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts.

4 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.

5 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.

Obviously the same principles of prayerful asking in faith in the above admonition apply to us gentiles in gaining a testimony of the Book of Mormon, but it is interesting that Moroni felt inspired to direct that admonition to his brethren the Lamanites instead of including the gentiles in his admonition.

I believe it is because he understood that the primary testimony directed to the latter day gentiles of this dispensation of the last times, that we are currently in, does not come from ancient prophets in the Book of Mormon, it comes from the Seer and the Spokesman, the Lords two anointed latter day prophets.

According to modern revelation, the primary purpose of the Book of Mormon is to provide a testimony to the Lamanites, not the Gentiles-

Nevertheless, my work shall go forth, for inasmuch as the knowledge of a Savior has come unto the world, through the testimony of the Jews, even so shall the knowledge of a Savior come unto my people—

17 And to the Nephites, and the Jacobites, and the Josephites, and the Zoramites, through the testimony of their fathers—

18 And this testimony shall come to the knowledge of the Lamanites, and the Lemuelites, and the Ishmaelites, who dwindled in unbelief because of the iniquity of their fathers, whom the Lord has suffered to destroy their brethren the Nephites, because of their iniquities and their abominations.

19 And for this very purpose are these plates preserved, which contain these records—that the promises of the Lord might be fulfilled, which he made to his people;

20 And that the Lamanites might come to the knowledge of their fathers, and that they might know the promises of the Lord, and that they may believe the gospel and rely upon the merits of Jesus Christ, and be glorified through faith in his name, and that through their repentance they might be saved. Amen.” (section 3)

The testimony to the latter day gentiles comes primarily from the mouth of two witnesses, the latter day Seer and Spokesman, the two prophets that were instrumental in restoring the church to the earth.

The Most Important Testimony to Latter day Gentiles is found in Section 76

Their last testimony to the world is contained in the vision now known as section 76.

The contents of the vision contain three components. They are as follows-

  1. An eye and ear witness testimony of the Father and the Son
  2. A detailed explanation and definition of the fulness of the Gospel
  3. A brief summary of the plan of salvation including a narration of the fall of Satan, the war in heaven, a future event when Satan will encompass the Saints round about on this earth, and the four classifications of souls and their eternal reward.

Although there is a segment within section 76 that seems to specifically and succinctly define what the fullness of the gospel is with regard to the saving ordinances of the gospel, arguably, the entire section could be classified as a general description of the fulness of the gospel because the context of who Satan is, his role in tempting and trying us, the war in heaven and the fall are essential in understanding the necessity of the atonement.

Although the vision that Joseph and Sidney had became known and referred to as THE VISION, I would suggest that it is just as appropriate to refer to it as THE TESTIMONY.

I say this because, I believe there is compelling evidence to suggest that the testimony of the Father and the Son and the testimony of the fullness of the gospel and the testimony of the plan of salvation contained in the vision known as section 76, represents the FINAL TESTIMONY that this world will be accountable for when the 3rd watch is ushered in.

Again, it is the testimony that Isaiah and section 88 refer to.

It is the testimony that will need to be sealed up by the servants of God when they return to the earth to complete their second commission. At that time they will also bind up the law.

Section 76 contains the TESTIMONY that EVERYONE in our generation will be held accountable for when the dispensation of the fullness of times is successfully ushered in…

By the way, verse 29 in section 76 is usually interpreted to be referring to the pre-existent war in heaven, however in a poem written by Joseph Smith, he clarified that Satan was going to encompass the Saints at a future time

And while I was yet in the spirit of truth,
The commandment was: write ye the vision all out;
For Satan, old serpent, the devil’s for war,-
And yet will encompass the saints round about.”

But again, the main point here is that EVERYONE is going to have to make a decision about this TESTIMONY.

Think seriously about this.

Is it more important for new investigators who are investigating the restoration of the gospel in these latter days to hear about the LAW of the GOSPEL and the TESTIMONY OF GOD THE FATHER AND HIS SON JESUS CHRIST from an ancient prophet in the Book of Mormon, or is it more important to hear the testimony of latter day prophets living in our own dispensation?

Is the testimony of Lehi’s or Nephi’s communications with God going to be more important to this generation or is a testimony of God’s communications to the prophet Joseph Smith more important to those of this generation?

Section one of the Doctrine and Covenants was about the 65th revelation given in modern times that was published, however God commanded the Saints to make it the preface of the modern book of scripture.

It was to be the very first revelation presented in this incredible book of modern revelation.

This is how the Lord chose to begin it-

”  1 Hearken, O ye people of my church, saith the voice of him who dwells on high, and whose eyes are upon all men; yea, verily I say: Hearken ye people from afar; and ye that are upon the islands of the sea, listen together.

2 For verily the voice of the Lord is unto all men, and there is none to escape; and there is no eye that shall not see, neither ear that shall not hear, neither heart that shall not be penetrated.

3 And the rebellious shall be pierced with much sorrow; for their iniquities shall be spoken upon the housetops, and their secret acts shall be revealed.

4 And the voice of warning shall be unto all people, by the mouths of my disciples, whom I have chosen in these last days.

5 And they shall go forth and none shall stay them, for I the Lord have commanded them.

6 Behold, this is mine authority, and the authority of my servants, and my preface unto the book of my commandments, which I have given them to publish unto you, O inhabitants of the earth.

7 Wherefore, fear and tremble, O ye people, for what I the Lord have decreed in them shall be fulfilled.

8 And verily I say unto you, that they who go forth, bearing these tidings unto the inhabitants of the earth, to them is power given to seal both on earth and in heaven, the unbelieving and rebellious;

9 Yea, verily, to seal them up unto the day when the wrath of God shall be poured out upon the wicked without measure—

That opening statement makes it unquestionably clear that the modern book of scripture is being directed to EVERYONE!

The Doctrine and Covanants has been published unto the INHABITANTS OF THE EARTH!

It also makes it clear that the message is very important and urgent, containing a message of warning!

If the D&C is true and if it is important and if it is addressed to ALL OF THE INHABITANTS OF THE EARTH, why are the Mormon missionaries only focusing on an ancient record and skipping over the most current and most important and pertinent book of scripture that speaks directly to us and to our time?

And why don’t they pass on that urgent message of warning anymore?

Why aren’t they presenting the testimony from the Seer and the Spokesman?

Interestingly, before the Book of Commandments (and later the D C ) was even published, the very first missionaries of this dispensation were given hand written copies of section 20 and section 42 to read to prospects that were investigating the church.

That was the most important content that they wanted to provide to those investigating the restored gospel.

The book of Mormon was also made available when possible and when people could afford it, but it was more of a second witness of Christ along with the Bible and for purposes of missionary work, it was a witness of the fruits of a modern seer. The Book of Mormon gave credibility to the role of Joseph Smith as a modern day prophet and seer and directed people to the restoration of the Church, the importance of gathering and of establishing Zion.

It seems to me that the essence of the original message from Mormon Missionaries was, “Christ is the Savior of the world and he lives and has begun speaking to prophets again”…. we have a prophet on the earth who has restored the ancient church of Christ and the authority to administer the ordinances of salvation! You are invited to
COME UNTO CHRIST!”

The fact that God had spoken to people in America anciently and given them the fullness of the gospel was secondary in importance to the message that God was now prepared to reveal the fullness of the gospel to the gentiles through a modern prophet.

Section 20 announces the restoration of the Lords church, the appearance of angels, the translation of a book having to do with the history of the ancient inhabitants of America, “proving to the world that the holy scriptures are true, and that God does inspire men and call them to his holy work in this age and generation, as well as generations of old… by these things we know that there is a God in heaven, who is infinite and eternal, and from everlasting to everlasting the same unchangeable God, the framer of heaven and earth, and all things which are in them

Section 20 then goes on to detail how the ordinances of salvation are to be administered and how the church is to be set up and how it is to function.

After demonstrating those most important issues the missionaries would review section 42 which reveals the law of the gospel as contained in the four standard works, including the law of consecration.

It is pretty amazing that the law of consecration was being taught to investigators by the first Mormon missionaries and yet in the modern corporate church today missionaries seldom if ever speak of the law of consecration as if it is one of the more important laws and as if we actually take it seriously!

The main purpose of the Book of Mormon in missionary work was to point peoples attention to the fact that God was again speaking to and revealing information through a modern PROPHET and SEER that enable people to come unto Christ, gather together, consecrate and establish Zion.

Interestingly, after the Saints fled Nauvoo and came to Utah, sections 20 and 42 were no longer part of the main focus and the Book of Mormon became the primary focus for four generations even though the D&C had been published….

I don’t know how much the use of focus groups and marketing research has been used in the modern church to determine why sections 20 and 42 and the majority of the D&C is NOT being used in missionary work in modern times.

But this issue is an intriguing one-

Here is what Joseph Fielding Smith says about why he feels the D&C is much more important to us than the Book of Mormon and other books of scripture

“In my judgment there is no book on earth yet come to man as important as the book known as the Doctrine and Covenants, with all due respect to the Book of Mormon, and the Bible, and the Pearl of Great Price, which we say are our standards in doctrine.

The book of Doctrine and Covenants to us stands in a peculiar position above them all. I am going to tell you why. When I say that, do not for a moment think I do not value the Book of Mormon, the Bible, and the Pearl of Great Price, just as much as any man that lives; I think I do. I do not know of anybody who has read them more, and I appreciate them; they are wonderful; they contain doctrine and revelation and commandments that we should heed;

but the Bible is a history containing the doctrine and commandments given to the people anciently. That applies also to the Book of Mormon. It is the doctrine and the history and the commandments of the people who dwelt upon this continent anciently.

But this Doctrine and Covenants contains the word of God to those who dwell here now. It is our book. It belongs to the Latter-day Saints. More precious than gold, the Prophet says we should treasure it more than the riches of the whole earth.

I wonder if we do? If we value it, understand it, and know what it contains, we will value it more than wealth; it is worth more to us than the riches of the earth.” (Doctrines of Salvation 3:198-199)

I agree 100% with the above words of Joseph Fielding Smith.

I believe the Doctrine and Covenants is infinitely more important to our salvation than any other book of scripture.

I feel this is true because it contains the LAW and the TESTIMONY by the prophets of our dispensation and it is the record containing the fullness of the gospel by which we will be judged in these last days.

So… back to the original question. Why has the church spent so much time, effort and money promoting the Book of Mormon to potential investigators instead of the Doctrine and Covenants?

Do you realize how many millions of dollars the church corporation and membership has spent on promoting the book of Mormon in door to door missionary labors and supporting TV and radio commercials and pamphlets, etc.

The Book of Mormon is listed in the top ten most published books in the history of the world. (estimated at over 150 MILLION copies) .

In the area of religious Christian literature, it is probably second only to the Holy Bible in sales, yet, outside of the membership of the church, the Doctrine and Covenants is virtually unknown compared to the Book of Mormon.

The church and the missionary department have never done anything to encourage investigators to read the D&C.

In fact, if a missionary were to give a D&C to a new investigator and ask him to study it and pray about it, I suspect they would get in trouble with their mission president… and the results would not be good regarding the response of the investigator.

You may be thinking it is because the Book of Mormon contains the milk of the gospel while the D&C contains the meat of the gospel and therefore it is more appropriate to start new investigators off on milk instead of meat.

Perhaps that is part of the reasoning… but I think there is a greater reason!

I believe the primary reason why our missionaries use the Book of Mormon in presenting the restored gospel instead of the Doctrine and Covenants has to do with timing….

It has to do with the fact that most of the prophecies contained in modern revelation are directed to and specifically applicable to the third watch… and very few people understand the doctrine of the third watch.. therefore the book is very confusing to people.

If our missionaries were to start handing out copies of the D&C to new investigators and ask them to pray about the contents thereof, the missionary work would come to a complete stop. Virtually none of the investigators would join the church and the questions that investigators would ask missionaries after reading the D&C would cause many of the missionaries to leave the church.

Here are some of the questions investigators would ask the missionaries if they were asked to read and pray about the Doctrine and Covenants-

“Why aren’t modern day missionaries giving the voice of warning according to the mandate in section one of the D&C?”

“Why is there no longer any urgency about an impending calamity and why Is the voice of warning no longer applicable?”

“Why hasn’t the message of warning gone forth in power to every nation as promised in section one of the D&C? It has been over 160 years and yet the impending doom has never materialized… why!”

Why is the establishment of Zion no longer the major theme of the church and missionary work? Has the church given up on Zion?

“Why didn’t Joseph Smith and the other six laborers of the last kingdom gather the Saints into the holy places and prepare them for the tribulation as unconditionally promised in section 29?”

“Since the Lord tells the saints they cannot be his people if they reject the law of consecration, why don’t Mormons live the law of consecration, or even talk about living it anymore?”

“Why didn’t Joseph Smith lead latter day Israel forth in power as unconditionally promised in section 101 and 103?”

“How come the saints never returned to redeem Zion as promised?” (103)

“Why didn’t the bishop and other first laborers of the last kingdom clearly and understandably explain to the world what the abomination of desolation is that is going to go in the earth as promised in section 88.”

“Why don’t you feel the testimony of the Father and the Son is not worth focusing on?

The list of embarrassing questions like these would go on and on…

You see… in addition to giving the laws and doctrines and covenants pertaining to the latter day restored church, the D&C is primarily a book of prophecy about events that don’t come to pass until the 3rd watch…

And until one realizes that the “marvelous work and a wonder” is a future event and did not begin when the church was restored… until one learns about the doctrine of the three watches, the doctrine and covenants appears to be a book of failed prophecies.

Of course those who understand the doctrine of the three watches understand why the D&C is in fact currently a book of UNFULFILLED prophecies, however, we know that every single unconditional prophecy contained in the D&C will yet be fulfilled, to the letter, just as promised by the Lord.

Just as the Book of Mormon has a declaration to the Lamanites on how they can understand and gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon, the D&C also has a declaration and promise to the latter day gentiles and the inhabitants of the world on how they can understand and gain a testimony of modern revelation.

It is contained in section one

37 Search these commandments, for they are true and faithful, and the prophecies and promises which are in them shall all be fulfilled.

38 What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.

39 For behold, and lo, the Lord is God, and the Spirit beareth record, and the record is true, and the truth abideth forever and ever. Amen.

So…. For those who don’t understand the doctrine of the three watches, and don’t accept the above noted unconditional promise in section one, the D&C is largely a sealed book.

It appears to be a book of failed prophesies.

It simply doesn’t make sense to those who read it.

Can you see why it is so critical to understand the doctrine of the three watches?

The book is a sealed book to those who think the marvelous work began four generations ago.

The prophetic promises in the book cannot be unsealed and cannot be understood until you understand the doctrine of the three watches.

Until your spiritual eyes have been opened to understand that the marvelous work is a future event and that all of the unconditional promises and prophecies are still going to be fulfilled by those who will be returning from the dead, the book will be a testimony destroyer rather than a testimony builder.

Since the majority of people in the restored church do not yet understand the doctrine of the three watches and therefore do not have the faith to believe the unconditional promises in the D&C, how can we expect investigators to believe it?

For that reason, it is very wise for the church to be very low key about the D&C in relation to missionary work…

We live in a time when God has put blindness over Israel…. The current church is functioning under grace while in a time of hidden darkness and administering the preparatory gospel, even the gospel of Abraham, until the third watch opens…..

I suspect that all of the sociology PHD’s and marketing executives on the payroll of the LDS church have conducted countless research studies and have all of the research to verify that what I have just said it true… namely, that encouraging new investigators to read the D&C would be disastrous to the missionary effort.

The D&C creates enough problems for seasoned members of the church who seriously study the unconditional prophesies in it!

In the past, the book of Mormon has been a good focus and foundation for people to learn about Christ until the time comes when the light shines forth and the voice of warning is declared by messengers who are raised from the dead.

Interestingly, now that so much negative publicity is made available about the Book of Mormon by anti-Mormon websites and videos, the sociologists and marketing executives employed by the church appear to be encouraging the church to do a marketing test… and to change the focus away from the Book of Mormon and toward focusing on happy and successful members of the church.

Again, the latest marketing strategy of the church appears to be getting away from the Book of Mormon and away from the first principles of the gospel and away from testifying of Christ. It appears to be focusing on happy, successful people who are Mormons.

I encourage you to go to www.mormon.org and watch some of the video profiles of the happy successful Mormons.

These are by far the best marketing videos I have ever seen! They might just bring a tear to your eye!

Although they throw in a few token stories of people who have struggled or are currently struggling, most of the heartwarming videos are about the happy successful people in the church… after people tell a little about themselves and what interests they have or what they do for a living, they all end by the person being spotlighted as saying “I am a Mormon”.

The majority of the videos are about extremely successful, happy people. The many of these people are the “poster children of Mormonism”…People who may be very successful in business or who are reporters for national networks or who work for the United Nations, etc.… the type of people the WORLD admires.

The messages are meant to appeal to the worldly. Which is the demographic the church is going for… right?

The message of the videos is not “Christ has been crucified for our sins” or “Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world” or “The gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored to the earth”, or even “read the Book of Mormon it is a 2nd witness of Christ” etc.

Those types of messages just aren’t pulling a good response from people in the dark times.

The message is, I am happy and successful and I am a Mormon. My religious culture and community breads success and happy people, don’t you want to be like me? Come join the club!

In this dark world, people are looking for success, happiness and for COMMUNITY.

They want to belong to a group of good looking successful happy people.

And that is what the marketing folks at the church have very perceptibly determined.

Believe it or not, I am not being critical.

Why?

I think the church is probably marketing itself in the best possible way they can considering the preparatory gospel they have to offer and considering the current state of the world they are trying to appeal to.

Obviously, if they had the keys of the kingdom and were truly offering the fulness of the gospel, the wrath of God would probably destroy them for blasphemy.

However, their current approach is probably a good teaser approach for introducing people to the preparatory gospel and getting them to begin reading the Book of Mormon and hopefully, eventually the D&C. From there, those who have the light to begin comprehending the deeper things will be led to their personal journey of awakening.

The point is, the fulness of the gospel will be available when the 3rd watch opens upand the final restoration takes place for the last time.

I mentioned earlier in this post that the testimony that the inhabitants of this world will be held accountable for would be the testimony given by the Seer Joseph Smith and the Spokesman Sidney Rigdon.

If you are a non-member or ex-member visiting this blog I assume that you are familiar with section 76, however, if you are not, please review this amazing vision and testimony here.

If you did not read the last post in this series you need to. In it we show how John the Revelator referenced the four classes of souls and the two separate and distinct resurrections that take place prior to the millennium.

In the eighth and final post in this series we will review what the EVIL GIFT is, why it is very unlikely that people are currently parting the heavens and we will revisit Lyman Wights proclamation that the Book of Commandments represented Celestial Law and the Doctrine and Covenants represented Telestial Law.

More later

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6 Responses to Sealing up the Testimony- Part Seven- The Testimony & Missionary Work in the Modern Church

  1. drheath1 says:

    Watcher,
    Did you ever complete part 8 of this fantastic series?

  2. Ryan says:

    Watcher,

    You wrote:

    “Why is it that the Latter day Saints have changed the definition of what a true testimony is?”

    I get that your definition of a “true” testimony is having the heavens opened, but is that all together scriptural as to what a testimony is?

    I guess the question could be asked do you have a testimony of Christ and him crucified or just a belief that he was the Son of God?

    You mentioned in this post that we can gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon by praying to God to know if it is true. That doesn’t require the heavens opening and actually seeing the gold plates to know from the Holy Ghost that it’s a true book.

    In fact, following Moroni’s promise in Moro. 10:3-5 in vs 6-7 is an extension of that same promise to know that Jesus is the Christ by the power of the Holy Ghost.

    6 And whatsoever thing is good is just and true; wherefore, nothing that is good denieth the Christ, but acknowledgeth that he is.

    7 And ye may know that he is, by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore I would exhort you that ye deny not the power of God; for he worketh by power, according to the faith of the children of men, the same today and tomorrow, and forever.

    So I don’t see a testimony as being changed. This might be semantics and there are different kinds of testimonies or witnesses that one can have. And one can lead to the other or is a preparatory testimony. But to say that unless you’ve seen Christ you don’t have a testimony is missing the mark IMO.

    I also believe this is consistent with D&C 46:14-13

    13 To some it is given by the Holy Ghost to know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that he was crucified for the sins of the world.

    14 To others it is given to believe on their words, that they also might have eternal life if they continue faithful.

    Again, I agree that the ultimate testimony isn’t that of the Holy Ghost that Jesus is the Christ but that of the Father that Jesus is the Christ as in 3 Ne. 11:35-36

    35 Verily, verily, I say unto you, that this is my doctrine, and I bear record of it from the Father; and whoso believeth in me believeth in the Father also; and unto him will the Father bear record of me, for he will visit him with fire and with the Holy Ghost.

    36 And thus will the Father bear record of me, and the Holy Ghost will bear record unto him of the Father and me; for the Father, and I, and the Holy Ghost are one.

    Now if I mis-read your post, please forgive me.

  3. Ryan says:

    Oh and it looks like part 8 never was finished. Parts 9 and 10 from the Search for the 23 High Priests doesn’t touch on the evil gift.

  4. My singular point I was trying to make had to do with what the testimony of God is according to the scriptures, particularly having to do with those with apostolic callings who are to witness of Christ.

    Section 76 gives us the scriptural definition of what the apostolic testimony of God is.

    22 And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!
    23 For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father—

    “For we saw him”

    I believe that general authorities that get up and represent themselves to be an apostolic witness of Christ, when in fact they have not literally seen him by the power of the Holy Ghost, are deceived or deceivers. One or the other.

    Years ago, one of the presidents of the church stated to the apostles that it was no longer necessary for them to see Christ in order to witness that they have the testimony of Christ.

    I disagree.

    That contradicts the commission to the Twelve apostles called by the three witnesses. They were told that they callings as apostles would not be complete until the savior appeared to them.

    It is true the people in our culture, including myself, use the word in many different ways rather liberally. I don’t doubt that it can be used in different ways, that don’t pertain to the testimony of Christ, but I disagree that the scriptural definition of having a testimony of God is anything other than having seen him.

    I believe there are numerous other scriptures and words of Joseph and the first Elders that back that up.

    “14 To others it is given to believe on their words, that they also might have eternal life if they continue faithful.”

    To “continue faithful” means to eventually get the testimony for themselves.

    I believe this because section 76 defines the Celestial as those “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—” (verse 51)

    And it defines that Terrestrials as those “Who received not the testimony of Jesus in the flesh, but afterwards received it.” (verse 74)

    I suppose that the term testimony, in reference to knowing God lives, could have a lesser definition for Saints who are not called to witness as apostles, but I doubt it, because the second comforter is for all to have when the fulness is on the earth.

    Again, the main point that I wanted to make is that church authorities that say they have the testimony of Jesus when in fact they do not have the spirit of prophecy are not in accordance with scripture IMO

  5. Well, whatever you do, DON’T TOUCH IT!

    It is evil!

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